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
  27-31.5.13, No. 477  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Bilateral Issues

Chinese premier's Swiss tour fruitful, influential (Xinhua)
2013-05-25
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Germany Saturday after wrapping up a fruitful visit to Switzerland, which has far-reaching influences. […] The conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) talks between China and Switzerland, secured by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), is one of the highlights of Li's Swiss trip and has drawn lots of attention from the media and public. Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said the completion of FTA is a historic event in the bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Gao, who signed an MOU with Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann, said it marked a significant achievement for China's acceleration of implementing its FTA strategy. The FTA, Gao said, would be one of the most comprehensive and high-level accords China has signed with a foreign country in recent years. Swiss media described the trade accord as one of the most important international deals in 40 years for Switzerland. Li's trip also helped promote bilateral financial cooperation. In his first stop in Zurich, the European financial hub, Li delivered a speech in a luncheon with Swiss financial leaders. In Bern, Li and Swiss President Ueli Maurer witnessed the signing of an agreement to establish a financial dialogue mechanism between the two sides. Maurer said Switzerland was honored to become the first continental European country to establish a free trade zone and financial dialogue mechanism with China. The two countries also signed agreements on cooperation in human resources, education and other sectors. Li stressed on Saturday the significance of innovation and called for more technological cooperation between Chinese and Swiss enterprises during a visit to the Einstein House museum in Bern, the residence of Albert Einstein from 1903 to 1905. He said the Chinese government has put forward a series of measures to boost technological innovation and welcomes investment by Swiss and European companies. Li visited Guldenberg family farm in the suburb of Zurich Friday morning. Alphorns, flag-throwing and yodeling -- he was warmly welcomed by local residents in a typical traditional way of Switzerland. He said the two countries could further strengthen exchanges and cooperation, unleash their potential to realize the sustainable development of agriculture, and bring benefits to the two peoples. Switzerland's location at the heart of Europe carries geographical importance. For China, the impact of its cooperation with the country extended far beyond the two nations. The FTA, as pointed by Li, will not only benefit the two countries, but also promote China-EU trade and global trade liberalization. Li said in a signed article published Thursday in Neue Zuricher Zeitung, a German-language Swiss daily, that a high-quality FTA agreement between China and Switzerland will set a good example. "It will not only upgrade our business and investment cooperation but also send a powerful message to the rest of the world that we reject trade and investment protectionism and, instead, we embrace trade liberalization and facilitation," the article said. That's perhaps why Li chose Switzerland as the place to reiterate China's firm opposition to recent EU trade measures against Chinese-made photovoltaic products and mobile telecom equipment. The two cases will not only cause severe damages to China's related industries, enterprises and jobs, but also harm the interests of European users and consumers, Li noted. He said that China always favors solving trade disputes via dialogue and consultation. China hopes the EU will properly handle the two cases, give thought to the overall China-EU economic and trade relations and uphold the principle of free trade, he added. […]. ^ top ^

China seals free-trade pact with Switzerland (SCMP)
2013-05-25
Premier Li Keqiang was to announce yesterday the conclusion of negotiations with Switzerland on a free-trade deal seen as a touchstone for China's growing global ties. In a speech at a lunch with business and financial leaders, Li said he would announce with Swiss President Ueli Maurer the conclusion of talks on the free-trade deal. "To conclude [free-trade agreement] talks with such a developed and world-leading economy as Switzerland shows China's determination and courage in opening up wider," Xinhua quoted Li as saying. The pact has been in the works since 2011. Swiss economy minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said he hoped the pact could be signed when he visits Beijing in mid-July. After wrangling, notably over Chinese taxes on imported Swiss industrial goods and Switzerland's rules on China's agricultural exports, the two countries wrapped up their technical talks earlier this month. Bilateral trade between Switzerland and China was worth US$26.3 billion last year, with US$22.8 billion of that represented by Swiss exports to China. The agreement with Switzerland follows China's free-trade pact with Iceland, its first signed with a European country. Li arrived in Switzerland late on Thursday, on the first leg of his debut visit to Europe as premier. [...]. ^ top ^

Chinese state councilor meets Swiss, Russian guests (Xinhua)
2013-05-30
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Thursday met with Doris Leuthard, Swiss federal councilor and head of the federal departments of environment, transport, energy and communications, and Andrei Denisov, the newly appointed Russian ambassador to China. During the meeting with Leuthard, Yang hailed the sound development of China-Switzerland relations and noted that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Switzerland last week has greatly promoted the comprehensive development of ties between the two sides. He said he believed that the two countries will face new opportunities in various fields including hydraulic projects, the environment, energy and transportation. Leuthard said Switzerland attaches great importance to developing relations with China and expressed congratulations on reaching consensus on a free trade agreement. During the meeting with Denisov, Yang welcomed him to China and voiced hope that China and Russia can comprehensively implement the achievements of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia in March. […]. ^ top ^

 

Foreign Policy

China calls for denuclearization of Korean Peninsula (Xinhua)
2013-05-27
China hopes that relevant parties will stick to the objective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and work toward peace and stability in the region, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday. Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a question about Choe Ryong Hae's recent visit to China as the special envoy of Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). During Choe's visit, Chinese leaders emphasized to him that China's stance on relevant issues has been clear. No matter how the situation changes, relevant parties should stick to the objective of denuclearization, safeguard peninsular peace and stability, and resolve disputes and conflicts through dialogues and consultations, Hong said. Choe had said the DPRK will work with relevant parties to resolve related problems through a variety of means, including six-party talks, and safeguard the peace and stability of the peninsula, Hong said. ^ top ^

China willing to join Geneva talks on Syria: spokesman (Xinhua)
2013-05-27
China is willing to actively participate in the Geneva II conference on the Syria issue, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday. Hong said during a regular press briefing that China welcomes the proposal by Russia and the United States to hold the international conference. "China supports all efforts that are helpful for a political resolution to the Syria issue," Hong said. He said the Chinese side is ready to work with all related parties to push for a just, peaceful and proper resolution to the Syria issue as soon as possible. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem on Sunday said in Iraqi capital of Baghdad that Syria "in principle" will attend the upcoming Geneva conference aimed at ending the two-year-old Syrian crisis. Also on Sunday, Syrian opposition said that it in principle agrees to participate in the upcoming Geneva talks. ^ top ^

Premier Li Keqiang takes to the world's stage with ease (SCMP)
2013-05-28
On his maiden, eight-day diplomatic trip as premier, Li Keqiang not only engaged in serious bilateral talks but also attempted to show his personable side to boost the image of the Chinese leadership. Li expressed his appreciation of foreign culture and appeared self-confident when touching on sensitive issues. Li's predecessor, Wen Jiabao always used overseas trips to show his human side, reinforcing the "Grandpa Wen" image he cultivated at home by showing his affection for the impoverished and those struck by disasters. […] In one meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Wen said China would be invincible if only its people could think independently. He also often quoted lines from Chinese poems. Li did not make any such remarks on his trip and also steered clear of reciting classical Chinese. And his meetings with members of Chinese communities were mostly closed to the Hong Kong media. But Li did surprise people by opting for a vegetarian meal at a dinner hosted by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. He also said he was impressed by the philosophical insights of the poet Rabindranath Tagore and that he had watched 3 Idiots, the critically acclaimed Bollywood movie. The charm offensive continued in Switzerland, where he visited a family farm. In Germany, he watched the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in a live broadcast. "Both leaders wanted to show a softer side of the Chinese leadership," said Professor Qiao Mu, a communications expert at Beijing Foreign Studies University. "But Wen was more mature and looked more natural, while Li is a bit stiff. Li is just new to such an approach." Professor Pang Zhongying, an international relations specialist at Renmin University, said Li appeared to be bolder and more decisive. In India, Li said China had no intention of containing its giant South Asian neighbour, and called for dialogue to resolve border disputes. Pang said Li's charm offensive was partly due to his being educated after the Cultural Revolution, when people were more open to Western ideas, and that he had learned English from his wife. "The other reason is that Li's power as the No2 in the Communist Party hierarchy is consolidated, and thus he is more confident," Pang said. Analysts said Chinese leaders were now more aware of boosting their image abroad. President Xi Jinping chatted with residents of Iowa during his trip to the United States last year, when he was still vice-president. ^ top ^

China-Norway free trade talks nearing agreement (SCMP)
2013-05-28
China and Norway are close to the "final stage" of negotiations for a free-trade agreement, after talks were suspended for about two years following the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo. Assistant Commerce Minister Yu Jianhua said in Beijing yesterday that the two nations were negotiating on the trade deal, but did not give a time frame for its completion. "Norway has raised some demands, which are quite difficult to our industries," China News Service quoted Yu as saying. "Both nations are scrutinising the demands of Norway and how far our industries can accept them. At present, neither side has proposed any solutions." Yu's remarks came as Premier Li Keqiang announced the conclusion of talks for a similar deal with Switzerland. Negotiations between China and Norway were halted in 2010 after the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu, who was jailed for 11 years for co-drafting a manifesto calling for political reform. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said in March that he was "optimistic" relations with China could be normalised. Earlier this month, Norway supported the granting of Arctic Council observer status to China. "Norway has given positive signals," said Ding Chun, director of the Centre for European Studies at Shanghai's Fudan University, adding that although political differences existed, both nations were concerned about their economic interests. ^ top ^

China reaffirms its rights over Ren'ai Jiao, Nansha Islands (Xinhua)
2013-05-28
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday reiterated that Ren'ai Jiao is a part of the Nansha Islands and asserted China's rights over the shoal. Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to a media request for comment on the Philippines' recent claim that Chinese ships and vessels pose a threat to the security of the Nansha Islands. Noting that Ren'ai Jiao is part of the Nansha Islands, and that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, Hong said Chinese public service vessels are entitled to patrol there. Hong also urged relevant countries to fully and earnestly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), refrain from actions that could amplify or complicate the issue, and avoid any action that could undermine peace and stability in the region. ^ top ^

US national security adviser Tom Donilon promotes military ties in Beijing (SCMP)
2013-05-29
US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon pushed for stronger military ties with China yesterday, the final day of a visit to Beijing to set the stage for a presidential summit next month between Xi Jinping and Barack Obama. Non-traditional military activities such as peacekeeping, disaster relief and anti-piracy operations offer opportunities to boost co-operation and "contribute to greater mutual confidence and understanding", Donilon told General Fan Changlong, a vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission. A "healthy, stable, and reliable military-to-military relationship" is an essential part of Sino-US ties, Donilon said at the Defence Ministry building in Beijing. In another high-profile defence meeting, senior Chinese and US military officials in Beijing yesterday pledged further naval co-operation. Deputy Chief of General Staff Qi Jianguo told visiting US Pacific Fleet Commander Cecil Haney that China would work with the United States to deepen military trust and co-operation, Xinhua reported. Donilon, meanwhile, met Chinese officials over two days to hammer out plans for the June 7-8 summit, the first face-to-face meeting between the presidents since Obama's re-election and Xi's promotion to Communist Party chief in November. Their informal summit at the private Sunnylands estate of the late publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg in southern California will come months before the two leaders had been originally scheduled to meet, underscoring concerns that the US-China relationship is drifting. Xi told Donilon that relations were at a critical juncture, and that the sides must now "build on past successes and open up new dimensions for the future". Building trust between their militaries is one of the main challenges the sides face in seeking to bridge relations, troubled by issues from trade disputes to allegations of cyberspying. Although Washington and Beijing have talked about boosting military ties for more than a decade, distrust runs high and disagreements over Taiwan, North Korea and competing territorial claims in the East and South China seas remain potential flashpoints. The US has repeatedly questioned the purpose of China's heavy military build-up over the past two decades, while Beijing is suspicious of Washington's focus on military alliances in Asia. Steps to increase benign interactions between their militaries have been modest so far, including joint anti-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden and a classroom natural-disaster-response simulation. The US has also invited China to take part in large US-led multinational naval exercises. In a separate meeting yesterday, Vice-Premier Wang Yang told Donilon that the two countries must better co-ordinate their economic policies. Wang urged both countries to acquire a deeper understanding of each other's economic development strategies and policies. ^ top ^

China enlists EU states to counter Brussels on tariffs (SCMP)
2013-05-29
China, dismayed at the tougher stance Brussels is taking in trade disputes, is seeking to put pressure on the European Commission by engaging EU member states and strengthening trade ties with non-EU European countries, analysts say. The tactic was manifested during Premier Li Keqiang's recent visits to Switzerland and Germany, which is opposing a proposal for tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels. Li returned to Beijing yesterday. Li's trip came after the EC, the 27-nation bloc's executive arm, accused China of pricing its solar panels too cheaply and proposed the imposition of a 47 per cent tariff on such products by June 5. China is banking on Germany to lead opposition to the proposal, which is reportedly opposed by more than half of the EU's 27 members. "China is trying to benefit from Europe's internal divisions," said Jonathan Holslag, head of research at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies, adding that China had deepened ties with southern and eastern Europe during the euro- zone crisis. "The main aim is to keep the export channels open and to prevent member states swinging behind a more assertive European Commission." On Monday, the EC warned against "pressure being exerted by China on a number of EU member states". "It is the role of the European Commission to remain independent, to resist any external pressure and to see the 'big picture' for the benefit of Europe, its companies and workers based upon the evidence alone," said John Clancy, spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. China has also stepped up its involvement with non-EU states. It is expected to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Switzerland in July, following the signing of its first European FTA with Iceland this year. On Monday, the Ministry of Commerce said negotiations for a similar deal with Norway had entered the "final stage" - after stalling for more than two years over the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to dissident Liu Xiaobo. Feng Zhongping, director of European studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said China was forging ties with non-EU nations because of difficulties over a free trade deal with the EU. "China is telling Europe that the Chinese economy is open by having trade agreements with non-EU states," he said. Last year, China and 16 central and eastern European countries, many of them EU members, agreed to set up a secretariat for co-operation. China also pledged a US$10 billion loan and another US$500 million was designated for an investment fund. "China believes that smooth ties with Germany and France can guarantee a stable Sino-European relationship," said Zhao Junjie, a European studies specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "But China also interacts with marginalised European nations. By pouring in aid and grants, Beijing hopes these nations will not resort to an anti-China stance." Francois Godement, head of the China programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said Germany had rejected the tariff proposal because China could "take tough action against German businesses" such as carmakers. But he said whether the EU would drop the proposal remained to be seen. "There are occasions that member states have said something, but the end result is a different thing," he said. Zhao said China and the EU expected the other side to blink. "Europe does not have many alternatives, and it will feel the heat if China adopts counter measures," he said. ^ top ^

Chinese hackers have access to major US weapons designs, report says (SCMP)
2013-05-29
Chinese hackers have gained access to designs of more than two dozen major United States weapons systems, a US report says. And Australian media said Chinese hackers had stolen the blueprints for Australia's new spy headquarters. Citing a report prepared for the US Defence Department by the Defence Science Board, The Washington Post said the compromised US designs included those for combat aircraft and ships, as well as missile defences vital for Europe, Asia and the Gulf. Among the weapons listed in the report were the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy's Aegis ballistic missile defence systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The report did not specify the extent or time of the cyberthefts or indicate if they involved computer networks of the American government, contractors or subcontractors. China dismissed the report as groundless. In Australia, a news report said hackers linked to China stole the floor plans of a A$630 million (HK$4.7 billion) headquarters for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the country's domestic spy agency. The attack through the computers of a building contractor exposed not only building layouts, but also the location of communication and computer networks, it said. In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, asked about the Australian report, said China disapproved of hacking. "Since it is very difficult to find out the origin of hacker attacks, it is very difficult to find out who carried out such attacks. I don't know what the evidence is for media to make such kinds of reports," he said. Australian security analyst Des Ball said such information about the yet-to-be-completed spy headquarters made it vulnerable to cyberattack. The ASIO building is designed to be part of an electronic-intelligence-gathering network that includes the United States and Britain. Its construction has been plagued by delays and cost over-runs, with some builders blaming late design changes on cyberattacks. ^ top ^

Beijing seeks cooperation with US on cyber attacks (China Daily)
2013-05-30
China reiterated on Wednesday that it is against all Internet hacking attacks and hopes to conduct dialogues and cooperate with the United States on this matter under the principle of mutual respect and trust. The remarks, made by Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang at a news briefing, came ahead of the summit between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama on June 7 and 8 — the first face-to-face communication between the two leaders since Xi became president in March. [...] Reuters reported on Wednesday that Obama will discuss cyber security with Xi during their meeting in California next week. [...] [Zheng] said China and the US have agreed to set up a working team on cyber issues under the framework of the China-US Strategic Security Dialogue, and China is willing to conduct further talks and cooperation under the principle of mutual respect and trust. [...]. ^ top ^

China corrects Japan on treaty's Diaoyu implications (Xinhua)
2013-05-30
China has urged Japan to squarely face the history and respect the fact following a Japanese official's justifying Japan's claims to the Diaoyu Islands based on the so-called San Francisco Peace Treaty. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press conference on Thursday that the Chinese government regards the so-called San Francisco Peace Treaty as illegal and invalid and therefore will definitely not recognize it. Hong made the remark after Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide on Wednesday said the Diaoyu Islands had been Japanese territories even before the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895 and before the release of the Potsdam Proclamation at the end of the World War II. He claimed that Japan's territories are legally defined by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which served to officially end World War II upon its signing in 1952. Hong, however, said historical records on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands are clear. In 1895, Japan took advantage of the foreseeable defeat of the Qing court in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) to covertly include the Diaoyu Islands in its territories. "This is an illegal act of theft," he said. Afterwards, Japan forced the Qing court to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, and cede to Japan the island of Formosa (Taiwan), as well as the Diaoyu Islands and all other islands appertaining or belonging to the island of Formosa, according to the spokesman. Leaders of the United States, Britain and China signed the Cairo Declaration in December 1943, which stated that all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese should be restored to China. The Potsdam Declaration established in July 1945 reaffirmed that the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out. Japan announced its acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation as well as its unconditional surrender in August 1945. In the China-Japan joint statement issued in September 1972, the Japanese government also promised to "earnestly implement Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation." Hong said, the Chinese government has time and again reiterated that it regards the San Francisco Peace Treaty as illegal and invalid and therefore will definitely not recognize it, as the People's Republic of China has never been involved in preparation, formulating or signing of the treaty. "The Diaoyu Islands have never been part of Liuqiu, and they are not in the trusteeship area defined by Article 3 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty," Hong added. Hong said that China again urges the Japanese government to face squarely the history, respect the fact, honor its commitments and fulfill its due international obligations. ^ top ^

China condemns Philippine vessel grounding on Ren'ai Reef (Xinhua)
2013-05-31
China has condemned the illegal grounding of a Philippine vessel on Ren'ai Reef, in the South China Sea. The vessel has been grounded since 1999, and there have been media reports of the Philippines wanting to increase their military presence on the reef. The Chinese Defense and Foreign Ministries have reiterated the country's sovereignty over Ren'ai Reef, and denounced the Phillipine act as illegal. China's Defense Ministry said on Thursday that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, which include Ren'ai Reef, and their adjacent waters. "Chinese naval patrols in the area are justified. The illegal grounding of a Philippines vessel on the reef represents encroachment on China's territorial sovereignty," said Geng Yansheng, Spokesman of Chinese Defense Ministry. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry made it clear that China will never accept the Philippines' illegal seizure of the Ren'ai Reef. […] A Philippine warship illegally landed on the beach of Ren'ai Reef, of China's Nansha Islands in 1999, claiming it had been stranded. Since then, China has made solemn representations to the Philippines dozens of times, demanding that the country tow the warship. In the past, the Philippines has stated it had no intention of building any facilities on the reef, and that they could not drag the warship away due to a lack of parts. However, there have been recent media reports that the Philippines is planning to beef up its military presence on the reef. China's Foreign Ministry has pointed out that the warship grounding seriously infringes upon China's territorial sovereignty and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. ^ top ^

Chinese president leaves for three-nation visit, Obama meeting (Xinhua)
2013-05-31
President Xi Jinping left Friday morning for state visits to Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico, as well as a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. Xi is making the visits at the invitation of President of Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Carmona, President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama. Xi's entourage includes his wife Peng Liyuan, member of the Political Bureau and director of the Policy Research Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Wang Huning, member of the Political Bureau and Secretariat and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Li Zhanshu and State Councilor Yang Jiechi. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

CPC publishes rules to sharpen intra-Party management (Xinhua)
2013-05-27
The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Monday published two documents to regulate the formation of Party rules. The two regulations are considered an important move to improve the CPC's internal management and sharpen intra-Party supervision. One regulation is about which party organs are authorized to draft, approve, publish, amend and abolish party regulations and what procedures they should follow. The other one details how party regulations should be put on records, reviewed, amended or abolished. The two regulations are the first formal documents to regulate the formation of CPC rules since the founding of the CPC in 1921. They will affect more than 82 million members and 4 million CPC organs. The newly published regulations are based on a temporary regulation on the formation of party rules issued in 1990. Prof. Jiang Ming'an, with the Law School of Peking University, told Xinhua that the new CPC leadership expected to tighten up internal management through standardizing the formation of party rules and preventing randomness in this aspect. "Stable and standard management of the CPC, the ruling party, is an important aspect of the rule of law in China," Jiang said. Currently, the CPC operates under a comprehensive set of regulations but some were issued without proper research and some old rules have not been updated to keep up with changes in reality. ^ top ^

China to issue new plan for air pollution control (China Daily)
2013-05-29
A national plan for air pollution control could be outlined as early as this week, said 21cbh.com, a professional financial news website Tuesday. The outline will target the reduction of air pollution on a national scale by establishing clear standards of air quality in different regions. Coal plants, motor vehicles and dust that produce fine particulate matter will be the focus of strict control in the outline initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, according to multiple sources who told the news website. The overall plan has undergone multiple revisions and will be submitted to the State Council, China's cabinet, for review by the end of this month, the Shanghai Securities News quoted Yang Tiesheng, deputy director of the energy saving department under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as saying on May 22. The specific measures put forward by the plan include stipulating the declining rates of atmospheric pollutants such as PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide in cities, the reduction of coal consumption throughout the country, as well as the promotion of using clean energy such as natural gas, while banning coal-fired power plants in cities and minimizing heavy-polluting vehicles. The Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region will be the key areas of the new air pollution prevention campaign. Roughly one million heavy-polluting vehicles, popularly known as "yellow label cars", will be prohibited from driving on roads in Beijing, Tianjin municipality and Hebei province, which would reduce half of the PM2.5 by vehicle emissions alone, said one environmental expert as quoted by the news website. The outline stipulates that air quality must "make substantial progress" in the upcoming five years rather than the next 20 years, a standard previously adhered to by big cities such as Beijing, according to a source from the National Development and Reform Commission, China's economic planning body. Grade II air quality stipulates the average concentration of PM2.5 over a 21 hour period should be between 35 to 75 milligrams per cubic meters, according to the latest standard made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in 2012. ^ top ^

Teachers face politics classes (Global Times)
2013-05-29
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued a policy document demanding that institutions of higher education strengthen and improve ideological and political work on young teachers. The document, which was posted on the ministry's website on Monday, demanded that Party organizations on campus recognize the importance of such work under "new circumstances" and seize the initiative on related issues online, while reiterating that young teachers should not pass on information "harming national interests" during class. An unidentified MOE official said on the ministry's website that teachers are close to students in age and communicate with them a great deal, and thus have a great impact on their thought and behavior. The official noted that while most young teachers support the Communist Party of China's (CPC) leadership, a small number of them are confused in their political beliefs, and a few have inappropriate words and deeds, which makes them unqualified to be teachers. Against this backdrop, the authorities asked the institutions to reinforce education on political theories, faith and current affairs among young teachers, and intensify the promotion of the Chinese dream. An anonymous administrative employee with the Communication University of China told the Global Times Tuesday that they had not received such a notice, nor they had drawn up any related programs. The employee said the university has always attached importance to such work, but noted such activities are not compulsory and not linked with teachers' assessment or income. Several professors from Party schools at central and local levels told the Global Times they had given lectures to college teachers on a regular basis. […] The document reiterated that while there is no taboo in academic research, discipline does exist for lectures, demanding that teachers refrain from words and deeds that harm national interests and students' healthy development. Wang Tianding, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Xi'an International Studies University, told the Global Times the school does not currently monitor the information teachers provide in class, and it has faith in young teachers' judgment. "The best way is to respect the law of education and pass on nothing but truth to students," Hu said. The document also demanded that young teachers' ideological and political awareness of the Internet be reinforced. It said universities should increase their capacity in strengthening such work through the use of the Internet. Hu and Wang said that their universities don't have rules over teachers' use of social media, while most government departments and media outlets have their own regulations over staff members' online behavior. "I think teachers need to be prudent in expressing their opinions online, because they are always followed by their students," said Wei Wuhui, a lecturer at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The document also stressed the importance of recruiting Party members among young teachers. "We should pay attention to nurturing candidates as Party members among outstanding scientific research staff, academic leaders and overseas returned personnel, bringing all outstanding young teachers to the Party," it said. ^ top ^

Commentary: Downsizing the Party (Global Times)
2013-05-30
With over 82.6 million members, or close to the population of Germany, the Communist Party of China (CPC) is arguably the largest political party in the world. But is it too big for its own good? Recent debates among Party scholars and talks by top leaders seem to suggest that the CPC needs to slim down in order to make itself stronger. At a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on January 28, it was emphasized that the CPC should build a team of "proper size" and that unqualified members should get the boot. This is viewed as part of a series of efforts since Xi Jinping took the leadership position of the CPC to rectify the working style of the Party and to crack down on corruption. Party scholars were quick to respond with suggestions of an "exit mechanism" in order to kick out unqualified members, while acknowledging this would prove to be a daunting task. With more members than likely all the other Communist parties in the world combined, the CPC is filled with those who only join to pursue personal interests or do things that greatly damage the Party's image, scholars say. Even though the Party already has regulations on discharging people from the party, they are not really enforced. Official numbers show that there are over 2 million new additions to the Party's rolls each year. Some experts allude to the example of the Communist Party of the former Soviet Union, which seized power with 200,000 members, but collapsed when it grew to nearly 20 million in 1991. They argue that this was because all kinds of people joined the party to seek power and personal gains rather than serve the ideals of communism. The CPC may be facing a similar problem. During the revolutionary era, the Party sought to swell its ranks at all costs and it could almost be guaranteed that those who risked their lives to join the CPC were committed to its values, Wang Jinzhu, an associate professor at the Central Party School, wrote in People's Tribune, a magazine affiliated with the People's Daily, earlier this month. But since the CPC came to power, people have been increasingly drawn to it. "We don't know if all of them are dependable, or how many of them join purely for power and resources," wrote Wang. Since 2001, the Party has tried to extend its reach by opening its doors to different classes of people, such as entrepreneurs. Since then the Party has grown rapidly, especially among college students. In 2010, about 40 percent of new members were college students. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Education last June showed that about 80 percent of college students wanted to join the Party, with most claiming that they wanted to do so to pursue the CPC's "ideals." But scholars have cautioned that the motivations behind this enthusiasm may be more complicated and self-involved than the students admit. Party membership is often an advantage in the labor market and almost a prerequisite for the coveted officialdom. Yet with many thousands of applicants for only a few hundred positions, there have been those who claim the standards for recruiting new members are already strict enough. The most difficult part of improving the Party therefore lies in handling "unqualified" Party members, those who have not committed a crime or violated Party disciplines but nonetheless have not fulfilled their duties, said Wu Meihua, a professor of CPC history at Renmin University of China. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Beijing to shut coal-fired boilers to clean up air (China Daily)
2013-05-27
Beijing has vowed to eliminate most coal-fired boilers in the city center by the end of 2015 to reduce pollution from fine particulate matter, especially during the heating season. After reducing coal use by 700,000 metric tons last year, the capital plans to cut another 1.4 million tons this year and use no more than 21.5 million tons, according to the 2013 coal consumption reduction plan released by the city's Environmental Protection Bureau and Commission of Development and Reform. The capital used 26.35 million tons of coal in 2010, the environmental bureau said. Beijing still has a large number of coal-fired central heating boilers that give off large amounts of coal dust, and noise during the heating season. Richard Saint Cyr, a family medicine doctor at United Family Health in Beijing, said he has noticed an uptick in discussions about the worsening air quality with many patients since winter. He said that air pollution in the past winter was unusually serious and he had never witnessed such collective anxiety in Beijing. Fine particulate matter poses a serious threat to people's hearts and lungs, he said. Shang Wenchao, 28, a lifelong Beijing resident, said he used to clean his nostrils before going to sleep in winter because the air he breathed was filled with soot from burning coal. "You have to wear a mask every day while outdoors or you would be eating coal," he said. Shang said the situation is much better now, but the pollution is still worse in the winter because of the coal-fired boilers. In response, the city's Environmental Protection Bureau is taking action has said it will replace coal-fired boilers within the Fourth Ring Road with clean energy by the end of 2015. All coal-fired boilers with a capacity of generating 20 tons of steam per hour and above will be replaced with clean energy by the end of 2015, it said. The last five coal-fired boilers at Shougang Machinery Co's heavy machinery branch in the Shijingshan district were shut down in March, making Shijingshan the third city district without coal-powered heating, after Xicheng district and Dongcheng district. ^ top ^

 

Xinjiang

Xinjiang official stresses stability (Xinhua)
2013-05-28
Despite sporadic incidents of violence, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is in stable condition, a local official said Tuesday. The stability and development of Xinjiang will not only benefit the people there, but also bring opportunities to central and eastern regions of China, as well as other Eurasian countries, Shi Dagang, deputy governor of the region, said at a press conference in Beijing. Shi made the remarks following a clash between alleged terrorists and authorities in Xinjiang's Bachu County, located some 1,200 km southwest of the regional capital Urumqi, in which 15 community workers and police officers and six alleged terrorists were killed on April 23. "The 'three evil forces' of separatism, extremism and terrorism, whose organization and backers are based overseas, are unwilling to see a prosperous, united and stable Xinjiang and use every possible method to sabotage social stability," he told the press. Xinjiang is resolute in using the law to crack down on terrorist activities, said Shi. Development in Xinjiang is at an historical high, as the region's gross domestic product has risen from 427.7 billion yuan (69.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009 to 750 billion yuan in 2012, he said. The official stressed social stability and safety in Xinjiang, citing a growing number of visitors to the region. The number of tourists to Xinjiang has grown by an average of 10 to 20 percent annually in the past decade, with more than 48 million tourists visiting the region in 2012, he said. ^ top ^

Gov't-led tour makes Mecca dreams come true (Xinhua)
2013-05-28
Abulaiti Mamati's dream came true on Oct. 25, 2012. That was the day that the 64-year-old imam from a local mosque in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, embarked on his pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five obligatory acts for Muslims, through an annual government-organized trip to the Holy City of Islam. At 30,000 yuan (4,896 U.S. dollars), Mamati said the package tour spared him from the arduous planning process and made his trip to Mecca carefree. Before he and the other pilgrims left, the local government also arranged physical exams for them, minimizing the risk of illness during the trip, said Zhang Feng, an official with the committee of ethnicity and religion in Kashgar. […] The annual government-led tour takes up to 100 pilgrims on a month-long trip to Mecca. Its popularity is evident in the long list of names of hopeful pilgrims. Abdu Wayit is awaiting his turn. The 65-year-old shop owner's greatest dream is to visit Mecca before he turns 70. "Money is not a problem, but the quota is very limited," Abdu said. Abdu runs a shoe store on Wustanbowie Street, a bustling commercial street dotted with stores selling traditional Uygur handicrafts. With tourism booming in Xinjiang, his business is thriving. His shop can earn some 8,000 yuan in net profits after rent and other operating costs. Both a shrewd businessman and a devout Muslim, Abdu has never missed one of the five daily calls to prayer. […] The mosque they attend, Idkha Mosque, is the largest in the region, covering an area of 16,800 square meters. The prayer hall can hold up to 3,000 people. […]. During Jumu'ah, a congregational prayer held every Friday, the mosque teems with multiple-colored taqiyahs, short, rounded prayer caps worn by Muslims, as more than 30,000 people flood into the mosque, occupying all available space, said Abulimiti Sopee Haji, deputy director of the Kashgar municipal publicity department. The mosque also becomes a center of celebration during festivals such as Kurban Bayram, the Feast of the Sacrifice, when hundreds of thousands of muslims gravitate toward the mosque to honor God's merciful act of using a sacrificial lamb to spare human life. "It was my biggest wish to visit Mecca," Mamati said. "Now, I'd love to travel to as many more places in China as my health permits.". ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

Hong Kong no longer ranked world's most competitive economy (SCMP)
2013-05-27
Hong Kong has lost its status as the world's most competitive economy, according to the latest report by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Its overall ranking has dropped to third this year, overtaken by the United States and Switzerland. The institute's research, which covered 60 economies, shows Hong Kong has performed worse in all four major areas studied - economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure. The biggest fall was seen in economic performance, from fourth last year to eighth. Singapore was the only other Asian economy in the top 10 as ranked by the institute, a leading global business school based in Switzerland. But the Lion City also fell, from fourth to fifth. Chinese University economist Dr Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu said: "The crux of the problems of Hong Kong are high property prices and rents. The business environment is getting worse and this would discourage overseas investors too." Kwan said the government should consider pursuing new industries to drive growth, instead of depending on the so-called "conventional economic pillars" such as finance, logistics and trade, tourism and professional services. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung attributed Hong Kong's weakening edge partly to the weak growth in major advanced markets. "Our assessment is that the Hong Kong economy, as well as the entire Asian region, has been affected by external factors," he said. Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce chairman Chow Chung-kong was satisfied that Hong Kong's ranking was "still very high", despite a slight fall. But he admitted air pollution was hurting competitiveness and warned of more business closures should standard working hours be put into legislation. The IMD world competitiveness report came as the latest blow to Hong Kong. A survey last year by Transparency International - an international corruption watchdog - showed Hong Kong's global graft-free ranking fall two places to 14th. Earlier this month, United States social concern group Freedom House also ranked Hong Kong 72nd in press freedom, down from 71st last year and 70th in 2011. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan opposition urged to stop undermining cross-Strait ties (Xinhua)
2013-05-29
It would be futile to use "human rights" as an excuse to undermine the peaceful development of relations between the mainland and Taiwan, a mainland spokesman said Wednesday. Yang Yi, spokesman for the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks at a regular press conference in response to a question about a recent proposal by some members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Taiwan's main opposition party, that highlighted human rights issues in advancing cross-Strait ties. The DPP should understand that its "Taiwan independence" stance will do no good for cross-Strait peace and stability, nor will it improve cross-Strait relations, Yang said. It will also hinder the future development of Taiwan as well as the DPP's own progress, Yang said. [...]. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Commentary: Chinese premier's strong message to Europe (Xinhua)
2013-05-28
Li Keqiang wrapped up his first official visit abroad as Chinese premier on Monday with a clear and strong message to Europe: more cooperation, less protectionism. In Germany, the last stop of his four-nation tour, Li reiterated China's firm opposition to the European Union (EU)'s plan to launch a trade probe into Chinese mobile telecommunications products and slap punitive duties on Chinese solar panels. The two individual cases deserve China's grave concern since billions of dollars of its exports and thousands of jobs are at stake. But what is more worrisome for Beijing is the rising protectionism within the EU and a more aggressive approach taken by Brussels. In the case of telecom products, the European Commission proposed the investigation on its own initiative, a rare move by the EU's executive arm, while the pending duties on Chinese solar panels were also hammered out by the Brussels-based commission despite opposition from most of EU member states. By playing up to protectionist forces, Brussels is risking a tit-for-tat trade war with Beijing, which would in no way stand idly by. Given the scale of bilateral trade, any confrontation between China and the EU would cost each other dearly and is certainly undesirable. Trade has been the main pillar of China-EU relations, and keeping the trade ties stable accords with the interests of both sides and demands proper resolution of trade disputes through dialogue and consultation, rather than punitive measures. During Li's trip, China showed its determination to keep market open and to pursue trade liberalization with its partners by concluding the free trade talks with Switzerland, a non-EU country. This sends an encouraging signal to the fight protectionism and sets a good example for cooperation between China and Europe at large. China attaches great importance to its relations with Europe, which is fully demonstrated by the fact that two European countries, namely Switzerland and Germany, were among the destinations of Li's first overseas tour after he took office in March. As two highly complementary economies, China and Europe can make full use of their respective advantages and make a bigger cake to share between them. By resisting the temptation of protectionism, the EU can work hand in hand with China to tap the huge potential for their further cooperation. For that to happen, Brussels needs to heed the anti-protectionism call from China and take it seriously. ^ top ^

China's urban unemployment rate remains 4.1% (Xinhua)
2013-05-28
China's urban unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent in 2012, unchanged from a year earlier, said the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Monday. Some 767.04 million people were employed in China's urban areas in 2012, an increase of 2.84 million on the previous year, according to the ministry. […] China aims to keep the registered urban unemployment rate within 5 percent in the 2011-2015 period, according to a statement released by the State Council, or China's Cabinet, in 2011. ^ top ^

China designates service industry new growth engine (Xinhua)
2013-05-29
China will step up efforts to build up its service industry to make it a new engine to power sustainable growth, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday. Speaking at a summit during the second Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services, Li stressed the important role of the service industry in job creation and economic upgrading. "Increasing service supplies and improving service qualities will help unleash huge potential in domestic demand, and thus offer firm support for stable economic growth and structural optimization," he said. [...] In 2012, the service industry accounted for 44.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up 2.7 percentage points from a year earlier but still significantly below the share of 60percent or more seen in many developed countries. [...] "China will further open up the service industry, and pilot free trade experimental zones to tap development," he said, adding that the government will seek balanced trade and encourage cross-border investments in the sector. [...] Under China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the country aims to bring the sector's proportion of GDP to 47 percent by 2015 and to make it a strategic focus for the country's industrial restructuring and upgrading to ease reliance on traditional manufacturing. [...]. ^ top ^

Rising wages, reform doubts dent business optimism in China (SCMP)
2013-05-31
European companies are more pessimistic about profits in China because of rising labour costs and a lack of confidence in reforms, a survey has found. The findings, released yesterday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, reflect the fading allure of the country's cheap labour that was once effective in luring foreign capital. Foreign investors' shrinking confidence may not bode well for the country's growth in the long run unless the new leadership can further liberalise the market, analysts have warned. About 44 per cent of the companies in the survey reported a rise in their mainland earnings, down from 64 per cent last year. A rising share - 21 per cent, from 14 per cent last year - of companies reported a drop in earnings, according to the survey, which covered more than 550 European businesses operating in China. Less than a third of the companies said they remained optimistic about their profitability outlook in China over the next two years, compared with close to half in 2008. "The most notable factor negatively affecting net profit margins is rising labour costs, but slower economic growth in both China and Europe, as well as increased competition, also had notable effects," the chamber said in a statement. Last year, 25 provinces raised the minimum wage by an average of 20.2 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics said this week. The pace exceeded the mainland's 7.8 per cent economic growth last year. The government should treat foreign and domestic enterprises equally, allowing foreign businesses to participate in the projects or sectors that are off-limits to them, said Davide Cucino, the chamber's president. "It's not an issue of opportunities. It's an issue of offering those opportunities in an equal way to everybody," Cucino said. The potential drivers of the Chinese economy deemed most important are rule of law and transparent policymaking, as well as promotion of fair competition and fewer monopolies, the survey found. However, only 38 per cent of the respondents said they believed the new leadership would implement significant economic reforms. About half said they were unsure. "Despite the increasing rhetoric from senior Chinese leaders that efforts will be undertaken to transform and level the regulatory environment through allowing greater play to market forces, European companies have so far perceived few concrete changes," said Cucino. He urged "meaningful changes" to be "swiftly implemented". But despite the challenges, foreign companies still view China as a priority market for expanding business, according to the survey. Only 10 per cent of them said they were considering shifting investments outside China, down from 22 per cent last year. About 86 per cent stated that they were considering expanding operations on the mainland, while 41 per cent said they were mulling mergers and acquisitions. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

Repatriation row over nine North Korean refugees captured in Laos (SCMP)
2013-05-31
Human rights monitors and North Korean defector groups voiced anger and concern yesterday over the forced repatriation to Pyongyang of nine young refugees captured in Laos. The case has aroused strong public feeling in South Korea. Some have accused the South Korean foreign ministry, which has refused to comment, of failing in its duty to protect the refugees once they got to Laos. Most North Korean refugees begin their escape by crossing into China and then try to make it to third countries - often in Southeast Asia - where they seek permission to resettle in South Korea. If they are caught and then returned to the North they can face severe punishment. The nine arrested in Laos around three weeks ago were returned to China on Monday and then flown back to Pyongyang the next day. Laos had previously been seen as a relatively safe and popular transit point, and its decision in this case to return the nine refugees - aged between 15 and 23 - prompted strong expressions of concern. "Laos and China demonstrated their disregard for human rights by allowing the North Korean government to forcibly return these nine people without fulfilling their obligations to allow refugee status determination," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch. "These three governments will share the blame if further harm comes to them," he said. In South Korea, the foreign ministry came under fire after it emerged its embassy in Vientiane was aware of the refugees' arrest but was unable to prevent their return to China. "The South Korean embassy in Laos should be held accountable for their tragic journey home," the JoongAng Daily said in an editorial. "It seems the embassy simply watched them be repatriated." President of the Seoul-based North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association, Kim Yong-Hwa, said: "This happened because of the South Korean foreign ministry's lack of care for North Korean refugees." In a press briefing yesterday, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-Young suggested Seoul was reluctant to comment for fear of worsening the situation for the repatriated refugees. "We're not trying to cover things up. We are doing this because the safety of these people is our top priority," Cho said. He said the foreign ministry had conveyed its feelings on the matter to Laos and had raised the issue with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. South Korea's Dong-A Ilbo newspaper yesterday quoted a diplomatic source as saying one of the repatriated refugees was the son of a Japanese woman abducted to North Korea in the 1970s. The report could not be confirmed. North Korea's abduction of Japanese people decades ago to train its spies is a running sore in relations between the countries. Human Rights Watch urged North Korea to reveal the whereabouts of the nine and to show they were not being ill-treated. "North Korea has to come clean on where these nine refugees are and publicly guarantee that they will not be harmed or retaliated against for having fled the country," said Robertson. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia passes new securities law, paves way for giant mine IPO (news.mn)
2013-05-27
Mongolia's parliament finally passed a long-awaited securities law on Friday that will allow the state-owned firm mining the enormous Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to launch a $3 billion initial public offering at home and overseas. Khangai Altai, the chief executive of the fledgling Mongolian Stock Exchange said the new law would also help attract more companies to the exchange by introducing international standards, adding that it could eventually bring total market capitalisation to around $30-$40 billion, from only around $1.3 billion at present. According to a statement issued by the exchange, the law will allow companies to list on multiple markets, enabling those currently operating in Mongolia but listed on overseas bourses to launch IPOs at home as well. The new legislation is also an essential part in allowing Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC, the state-owned miner of the coveted Tavan Tolgoi coking coal project, to list in London and possibly Hong Kong. The cash-strapped state-owned developer, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, has been planning to list the eastern Tsankhi block of the Tavan Tolgoi project for years, but the fundraising has been repeatedly delayed. The company said in January that it would not happen this year. The London Stock Exchange signed a deal with its counterpart in Mongolia in 2011 to introduce new software, advise on capital market training, and bring its market rules up to date. Although the Mongolian stock market was ranked as one of the world's best performing markets in 2010 and 2011, it suffered in 2012 largely as a result of slow growth in China, falling commodity prices, and the introduction of new regulations and taxes that deterred foreign investment. The Mongolian Top-20 index, a measure of Mongolia's top 20 best-performing companies fell 34.6 percent between January 3 2012 and May 23, 2013, according to the stock exchange's website. Khangai said the law would become effective on January 2014, and that the Mongolian Stock Exchange would in the meantime make the necessary preparations. "The reason for setting the January date is to prepare the infrastructure as far as introducing custodians and other necessities not yet present here in the market," he said. "We'll be working with regulators to bring in the custodians globally. There's quite a big amount of work to do.". ^ top ^

Mongolian election experience attracts many countries (Montsame)
2013-05-30
A head of the General Election Commission of Mongolia (GEC) Ch.Sodnomtseren received Thursday a delegation led by V.Yu.Yelchenko, the Special Representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Secretary-General. Mr Sodnomtseren introduced to the delegation the GEC's structure, organization and functions, and talked about the Presidential election to be held next month. Then the two parties discussed the ties and cooperation between the GEC and OSCE. Mr Yelchenko said that his delegation is visiting Mongolia with aims to shape up directions of the further cooperation, to study opportunities of rendering support to the election authority, and to research Mongolia's participation and role in the OSCE activities. They emphasized that they are really interested in the Mongolian experience in registering voters, tackling of election-related arguments, collaborating with other institutions. The OSCE observers intends to make a conclusion on the election process in Mongolia after observing it and will collaborate with Mongolia in implementing recommendations they will issue in the conclusion. Hoping that it will contribute to successful running of next elections, the OSCE invited Mongolia to attend elections of OSCE Participating States as an observer. "Experience of Mongolia in successful running of parliamentary and Presidential elections are attracting attention of OSCE members," Mr Yelchenko said. As of today, some 30 observers from 24 countries have arrived here to observe the upcoming Presidential election which will run June 26. ^ top ^

 

Andrin Lutz
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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