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
  30.9-4.10.13, No. 495  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea

Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

S. Africa hails successful participation in Int'l Astronautical Congress in Beijing (Xinhua)
2013.10.02
The South African government on Wednesday hailed the recently-concluded International Astronautical Congress 2013 (IAC 2013) in Beijing as a successful platform to raise South African space profile. The IAC 2013 was held in Beijing from Sept. 23 to Sept. 29. On Wednesday morning, the Department of Trade and Industry spokesperson Nomfuneko Majaja said, "Participating in the congress afforded the South African space industry a great opportunity to be recognized at an international scale given the presence of all space institutions and companies that attended and exhibited." The spokesperson stressed that the South African companies that took part in the congress showed the country's growing space capabilities. During the congress South Africa unveiled the newly-formed satellite manufacturing company and the newly-designed miniaturized satellite CubeSat which will be launched shortly to the international space community. The University of Pretoria participated in the Manfred Lachs Moot court competition up to the semi-finals. "Taking part in this competition was to improve the competitive capability of South Africa," said Majaja. "The benefits accruing to the South African space industry in participating in the IAC 2013 is immeasurable. We hope that next year's congress will provide more opportunities for our companies to exhibit their space capabilities and contributing to strengthening space human and productive capacity," added Majaja. ^ top ^

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on Thursday mapped out the future course of their countries' cooperation (Xinhua)
2013.10.03
The course of action was laid out in a joint document released Thursday and titled "Future Direction of China-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership." During the visit, the two presidents held extensive and in-depth talks and reached important consensus on bilateral relations as well as global and regional issues of common concern. Commending the past progress in the development of bilateral ties, they agreed to lift the China-Indonesia relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. On political cooperation, the two leaders emphasized that they will continue to enhance mutual support on issues involving the two countries' core interests and major concern. Xi stressed Beijing's respect and support for Indonesia's national unity and territorial integrity, and Yudhoyono reiterated Jakarta's adherence to the one-China policy. The two presidents agreed to maintain regular exchange of visits between leaders of the two countries and improve various bilateral consultation mechanisms. They also hailed the achievements in bilateral defense cooperation and vowed to push forward cooperation in joint military exercises and training, maritime security, defense industry and non-traditional security areas. The two sides agreed to intensify the bilateral counter-terrorism consultation mechanism and continue promoting judicial and law enforcement cooperation. On the economic front, the two leaders pledged to continue working vigorously to achieve the 80-billion-U.S.-dollar goal in bilateral trade by 2015, and China vowed to continue to encourage its enterprises to increase direct investment in Indonesia. The Chinese president reaffirmed Beijing's readiness to continue encouraging and supporting Chinese enterprises to participate in Indonesia's infrastructure development. Yudhoyono welcomed and encouraged China's greater investment in and contribution to the infrastructural connectivity in Indonesia, such as railways, bridges, highways, seaports and airports. The two leaders also agreed to boost industrial cooperation, improve connectivity between the two countries, and promote cooperation in ensuring food security and energy security. In addition, the two sides agreed to push forward maritime cooperation and strengthen practical cooperation in such areas as navigation safety, maritime security, navy cooperation, marine scientific research and environmental protection. They also pledged to promote cooperation in science and technology, and agreed to establish a joint committee to boost exchanges in aerospace surveying and satellite development, launch and application. To enhance the understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries, the two sides agreed on a series of measures to expand cultural and non-governmental exchanges. On international and regional affairs, the two presidents stressed the importance for people of all countries to independently decide their own social systems and development paths. The two sides voiced support for the reform of the United Nations Security Council to better fulfill its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. They also recognized the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, now under negotiation, as an important platform for regional integration, and agreed to push forward relevant talks under the principles of openness, equality and mutual benefit, equitable development and common prosperity. The two leaders recognized that it is the common responsibility of the countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. The document urged relevant parties to work together to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation, and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. The two leaders agreed to work towards the eventual adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea in line with the principles and spirit of the DOC. Xi left here for Malaysia on Thursday after a two-day state visit to Indonesia. After Malaysia, he will travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the 21st informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. ^ top ^

China, Indonesia call for efforts to maintain peace in South China Sea (Global Times)
2013.10.03
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, agreed that it is the common responsibility of the countries in the region to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, according to a joint statement issued here Thursday. China, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries shall work together to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation, and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, said a document titled Future Direction of China-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The two leaders agreed to work toward the eventual adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea, following the principles and spirit of the DOC. Xi arrived here Wednesday for a two-day state visit to the Southeast Asian country. He will then travel to Malaysia before heading back to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for an APEC meeting. ^ top ^

Chinese president arrives in Kuala Lumpur for state visit (Xinhua)
2013.10.03
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Thursday for a state visit to Malaysia, the second leg of his maiden trip to Southeast Asia since he assumed presidency in March. During his stay in the country, Xi is scheduled to meet Supreme Head of State Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Prime Minister Najib Razak and attend a China-Malaysia economic cooperation summit. Both China and Malaysia are important countries in the region and they share extensive common interests, Xi noted in a statement delivered upon arrival. "To deepen the strategic cooperation between our two countries accords with the aspiration of our people and the trend of the times," Xi said, adding that it is also conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity. The Chinese president expressed the hope that the visit will help deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries and achieve new progress in China-Malaysia strategic cooperation. Prior to Xi's visit, Najib told Xinhua in an interview that the visit signals China's desire to maintain warm ties with Malaysia, which will advance on a strong footing under China's new leadership. The trip, added the prime minister, will lift bilateral ties to a higher level and add fresh impetus to Malaysia-China cooperation. China and Malaysia have seen the development of their relations gaining momentum in recent years. China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner for four consecutive years, while Malaysia has been China's largest in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for five years in a row. In 2012, two-way trade soared to a record high of 94.8 billion U.S. dollars, nearly a quarter of China's total with ASEAN. Xi flew in following a state visit to Indonesia. After Malaysia, he will travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the 21st informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. ^ top ^

Xi Jinping outlines US$1tr trade target with Asean states (SCMP)
2013.10.04
President Xi Jinping yesterday became the first foreign leader to address the Indonesian parliament, pledging more investment initiatives to bolster ties with the region while sidestepping territorial disputes over the South China Sea. Xi said China was ready to enhance political and strategic trust with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members. The president's overture was aimed at mending regional ties overshadowed by recent tension involving the South China Sea. The approach was described by some Chinese analysts as an indication of Xi's new foreign policy initiatives. While the territorial disputes have not hindered trade links, Xi is using the trip to reinforce China's role as a major regional trading and investment partner. He told the Indonesian lawmakers China would strive to ensure the trade volume with Asean countries reaches US$1 trillion by 2020. He also restated the proposal to establish a regional infrastructure investment bank, an initiative he raised during a visit to the region in March. Xi later travelled to Malaysia on the second stop of his trip. Ian Storey, a senior fellow with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said trade links with China had grown rapidly regardless of the maritime tensions. "The establishment of an infrastructure investment bank will not redefine the growing trade ties we've seen in the last few years," Storey said. "It will show that China is not only an important trade partner, but also an important investment player in Southeast Asia." Professor Zhang Mingliang, a specialist in Southeast Asian affairs at Jinan University, said Xi's speech was symbolic as it underlined China's significance in the region. "Even if [US President Barack] Obama were to be invited to give a speech to the parliament, he would be the second one to do so, not the first one," he said. Indonesia has played an active role in raising disputes with China through the Asean platform and it has dismissed as illegal the "nine-dash line" Beijing has drawn around most of the South China Sea to mark its territorial claims. As the region's biggest economy and population, Indonesia has also served as an intermediary on important issues. Storey said Indonesia had helped to restore consensus among Asean states and sought to reduce damage after a contentious meeting among Asean foreign ministers in Phnom Penh last year. At the meeting, the foreign ministers failed to issue a joint communiqué for the first time in its 45-year history. Member states failed to reach an agreement on whether to include in the communiqué a diplomatic row between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal. Observers attributed the failure to Beijing's efforts to divide the body. Xi made no direct reference to the South China Sea in his address. Instead, he said China and "certain Southeast Asian countries" must use peaceful methods and friendly talks to address disagreements over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights. Zhang, from Jinan University, said the territorial issue would not be a priority in future regional meetings as China had agreed to engage in discussions with Asean member states on the Code of Conduct (COC), a set of guidelines Asean countries hope to introduce as a legally binding document. A working group meeting on the COC was held last month in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. However, Storey said the meeting in Suzhou had yielded no substantive agreements, while Asean countries had allowed China to set the pace and scope of the discussion. "Asean wants an early conclusion [to the COC negotiations], but China doesn't want it, and there is not much Asean can do.". ^ top ^

Xi in call for building of new 'maritime silk road'(China Daily)
2013.10.04
President Xi Jinping proposed on his maiden Southeast Asian trip on Thursday to join efforts with countries in the region to build a new "maritime silk road". Observers said the proposal, made by Xi during a speech to the Indonesian parliament, aimed at enhancing maritime partnership against the backdrop that China's geopolitical ties with its Southeast Asian neighbors brings both opportunities for cooperation and challenges from territorial disputes. Xi left for Kuala Lumpur on Thursday evening for a state visit to Malaysia, where he is scheduled to meet Supreme Head of State Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, and will also hold talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The new maritime silk road has a win-win strategic significance for both China and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said experts. Since ancient times, Southeast Asia has been an important hub along the historical "maritime silk road", a commercial route on which China sold its silk and other commodities to other countries. According to Xi, to build the new "maritime silk road", China will strengthen maritime cooperation with ASEAN countries "to make good use of the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund set up by the Chinese government". This is Xi's first visit to an ASEAN member country since taking office in March, and the policy speech, elaborating on China's overall policy toward ASEAN, is the first made by a foreign leader to the Indonesian parliament. Yang Baoyun, a professor of Southeast Asian studies at Peking University, said the new route will directly facilitate China's economic development and neighborly diplomacy with Southeast Asian nations. "Like the historical route centuries ago, the new maritime silk road will bring tangible benefits to neighbors along the route, and will be a new driving force for the prosperity of the entire East Asian region," said Yang. Xi's speech on Thursday has been widely interpreted as signaling China's ASEAN policy under the new leadership. During the speech, Xi underscored the "shared destiny" of China and ASEAN members, saying that China is ready to open itself wider to ASEAN countries and to enable ASEAN countries to benefit more from China's development. Xi said China is ready to discuss with ASEAN countries the prospect of concluding a treaty of good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation in a joint effort to build good-neighborly relations. Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said a unified voice is expected from Southeast Asian nations to resonate with China's diplomatic effort to further stabilize the regional situation. Xi said Beijing welcomed a constructive role by countries from outside the region in the development and stability of Southeast Asia, but these countries should respect the diversity of the region and do more to facilitate regional development and stability. Bambang Suryono, leader writer of the Indonesian newspaper Sinchew Daily, who listened to Xi's speech, said President Xi's proposals made during his trip to Indonesia have brought enormous opportunities for regional development. Xi proposed both on Wednesday and Thursday to set up an Asian investment bank to support regional connectivity construction. Suryono said the proposal is very important for Indonesia, as the country has drawn up a $400 billion plan for its domestic infrastructure construction and requires investment. China is expected to take a more proactive role in promoting connectivity construction in the region, and "obstacles in financing, legislation and standards" should be addressed with joint efforts as soon as possible, said Zhang Yunling, a senior research fellow on Asia-Pacific studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "If the connectivity projects with the region finally achieve smooth interconnection with each other, the China-ASEAN free trade zone will see a much greater potential to be tapped into," Zhang said. A modernized rail network that connects ASEAN members remains to be established, and imbalanced infrastructure construction within the nations has become a bottleneck for further upgrading China's trade links with them, Zhang said. With regard to differences and disputes between China and some Southeast Asian nations on territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Xi said: "Peaceful solutions should be sought, and differences and disputes should be properly handled through dialogue on an equal footing and friendly consultation in the overall interests of bilateral ties and regional stability." Recent years have seen the Philippines stirring up the South China Sea situation with its attempt to internationalize claims on some of the islands. "But it has been proved that the tangible benefits of cooperation far outweigh individual territorial problems," Yang Baoyun said. Eddy Sadeli, a member of Indonesian parliament, said he was impressed by Xi's speech as "Xi really knows well the history of the relationship between Indonesia and China". He said that as an important member of ASEAN, Indonesia will play a role in overall ties between China and ASEAN. Contracts signed - Xi and his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday also witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements worth $23.6 billion by business leaders from the two countries. "These agreements fully prove that China and Indonesia greatly complement each other in the economic field and have broad prospects for development," Xi told a luncheon attended by business leaders from the two countries. The contracts signed covered a wide range of sectors, including minerals, refining, infrastructure, telecommunications and power grids. Xi said the two nations are both undertaking the mission of domestic economic development and improving their people's livelihoods. The two sides should work together and tap into the great potential for bilateral trade to lift this figure to $80 billion at an early date. ^ top ^

Chinese premier to attend East Asia leaders meetings, visit Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam (Xinhua)
2013.10.04
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is to attend the East Asia leaders meetings and pay an official visit to Brunei, Thailand and Vietnam next week, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Friday. Li will make the three-leg Southeast Asia trip from Oct. 9 to 15 at the invitation of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a press release. During his trip to Seri Begawan, Li will attend the 16th China-ASEAN leaders meeting, the 16th ASEAN plus three(China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) summit and the 8th East Asia Summit to be held in Brunei, the chair nation of the Association of South East Asian Nations(ASEAN). ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

Beijing to issue air pollution warnings (China Daily)
2013.10.01
China plans to pilot an air quality warning system in the heavily-polluted cities of Beijing, Tianjin and surrounding areas next month amid the country's increasing efforts to tackle the much-concerned problem. China Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection has jointly released the plan that put the alert system at three levels -- I being the highest and III the lowest. When the air quality index is set to go beyond 500, a level I warning will issued, and level II and III are for the index to be at between 300 to 500, 200 to 300, respectively, for three consecutive days. The plan came as China has been under growing pressure to address the causes of air pollution after heavy smog smothered large swathes of the country early this year. The government aims to cut the density of inhalable particulate matter by at least 10 percent in major cities nationwide by 2017. PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, should fall by about 25 percent from 2012 levels in Beijing and surrounding provincial areas by 2017, according to a recent government plan. ^ top ^

Party organs affirm 'criticism' resolution after Xi's remarks (People's daily online)
2013.10.03
Local Communist Party of China (CPC) organs nationwide have affirmed their resolution to carry out "criticism and self-criticism," a tool that Party leader Xi Jinping recently stressed should be used by leading officials to solve "their own problems." The CPC provincial committees and Party units at state organs and major state-run enterprises and universities have moved quickly to study remarks made by Xi while attending local Party committee sessions in Hebei last week. According to an official statement obtained by Xinhua on Thursday, Party officials have vowed greater "courage and resolution" for criticism and self-criticism at intra-Party sessions attended by top officials. Party officials at a number of government departments and state-run organizations pledged to conduct "active and healthy struggle of ideas" in a bid to spot and solve problems among officials in a frank manner, the statement says. Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, participated in special sessions held in north China's Hebei Province between Sept. 23-25 for local officials to discuss their own problems. Such sessions are part of the CPC's ongoing year-long "mass line" campaign that is dedicated to removing undesirable work styles among officials and forging closer Party-people ties. Xi told the Hebei officials that he wanted no "fancy words" from them but "real criticisms and self-criticisms," referring to a work style that has long been cherished by the CPC as a weapon for solving intra-Party contradictions and making self-improvements. ^ top ^

National Day holiday: Golden Week, or golden mess? (Xinhua)
2013.10.03
Highways turned into "free parking lots;" high-speed trains shuttled with the minimum possible intervals but still struggled to take the strain; armed police were summoned to help evacuate stranded crowds... These are not screen shots from Hollywood blockbuster 2012 but rather a reality show currently taking place in China, where 1.3 billion people are on their 14th week-long National Day holiday. Since the holiday kicked off on Tuesday, relatively comfortable weather across the country, toll-free highways, admission ticket discounts, and lower gas prices have combined to make this so-called Golden Week the best time for traveling. At least that was the theory. But such miracles rarely happen when millions of minds think alike -- the hustle and bustle of crowds have been seen almost everywhere. No other description allows better visualization of the situation than the Chinglish phrase "people mountain, people sea," as netizens re-branded Golden Week as "golden mess." FACTS AND FIGURES - 98,000 -- The number of visitors received by the Summer Palace in Beijing on Wednesday as crowds flocked to catch a glimpse of a giant rubber duck installed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. The temporary exhibit, which has caused quite a buzz in China, was transferred to this former royal garden and residence prior to the Golden Week. The park administration had to encourage local residents holding monthly or annual tickets to avoid coming to view the duck between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the convenience of tourists from outside Beijing. 110 -- A record 110 pairs of high-speed trains have shuttled between Beijing and Tianjin every National Day since 2008, transporting more than 100,000 passengers daily. The trip between the two municipalities takes 33 minutes. Major scenic spots in Tianjin, a coastal municipality neighboring Beijing, received 804,000 visitors on the first day of the National Day holiday. 4,000 -- Jiuzhaigou Valley, a World Heritage site famous for its colorful water pools, snowy mountains, deep valleys and forests, got into trouble on Wednesday when its shuttle buses failed to cope with a rush of 40,000 tourists. More than 4,000 of them stranded in the valley were not evacuated until 10 p.m. on Wednesday. The whole traffic system was paralyzed after some visitors lost patience and tried to stop buses and get aboard, according to the valley administration which later apologized for insufficient measures. 12 -- The number of hours it took a Xinhua correspondent to drive 540 km (336 miles) from Harbin, capital city of Heilongjiang Province, to Shenyang, capital city of Liaoning Province, in northeast China, on Oct. 1. Solutions - There have been many attempts to ease the problems. Under China's first Tourism Law, which came into effect on Oct. 1, scenic spots are not allowed to receive tourists exceeding their capacities, and these should be made public. Early warning mechanisms and group visitor reservation systems have been broadly introduced to make the best use of travel resources. For instance, the administration of Mount Huangshan, another World Heritage site located in east China's Anhui Province, has a policy under which groups without reservations are not allowed entry at times when the attraction is approaching peak capacity. With people traveling from far and wide to visit some scenic spots, it is hard to decline their often unyielding demand for admission. This intense demand has been identified as a key problem by people studying "Golden Week syndrome." Possible cures, or at least palliatives, have been identified. Paid annual leave is one of them. February saw the State Council, China's cabinet, announce a new program promoting domestic tourism. It says that a paid annual leave system will have been basically implemented by 2020, meaning all employers will be encouraged to subscribe to it by this point. Both the program and the Tourism Law emphasize tourism and leisure welfare for ordinary people. However, in reality employees who can take paid vacations are mainly from government organizations and state-owned enterprises. Most people working for labor-intensive and private firms face practical difficulties in enjoying the vacation. Their employers can simply decline their request. Even if they are allowed time off, they could be skating on thin ice, with employers taking time off facing losing their jobs or promotion opportunities, such is the fierce competition for employment. It is rare to hear of employers not in some way punishing their staff for enjoying paid vacations. The week-long National Day holiday therefore becomes a "legal" time for these people to travel. Travel is not only about time but also money. To encourage more people to travel, China introduced a policy of exempting highway tolls during holidays for the first time in October 2012. One year on, passenger car drivers have been exempted 14.3 billion yuan (2.3 billion U.S. dollars) during four holidays with 20 days free of charge. Traffic has increased by 51.6 percent compared with previous toll-charged holidays, according to Liang Xiao'an, spokesperson of the Ministry of Transport. Some have boxed clever to avoid the road rush. Cheng Zhengfa, who works in south China's Guangdong Province and drove back home to Wuhan, in central China's Hubei Province, said, "I departed before the toll-free day to save time. No traffic jam means less oil consumption, too." Local administrations in east China's Jiangsu Province, and south China's Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are gradually reducing or even exempting toll-gate fee for some highway sections. A nationwide campaign to standardize and regulate toll charging is also under way. China's highway network takes in 90 percent of its medium-sized cities with a total mileage of 96,000 km (nearly 59,700 miles) as the end of 2012. There is still a long way to go to make the highways free, says Wang Guohua, a professor of public administration with Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan. Nearly 70 percent of the funding for China's highway construction has been bank loans, foreign investment, and social capital. The government's financial input alone was far from enough given the situation that transportation in many remote and less developed areas needed to be improved urgently, explains Yang. "Highways will be back to their nature of public good when toll gate fees are dropped upon extinction of debt," he says. ^ top ^

Frustration and shabby behaviour mark travellers' experience three days into 'golden week' (SCMP)
2013.10.04
Major tourist spots across the nation were swamped with holidaymakers in the first three days of "golden week", leaving many sights in chaos and prompting internet users to mock the annual rush as a "national celebration - Chinese style". Managers of Jiuzhaigou national park apologised to more than 4,000 travellers who were left stranded for up to 10 hours and forced to walk several kilometres in the dark to catch buses out of the world-famous valley in Sichuan province. The park - known for its pristine ravines, lakes and beautiful forests - was accused of selling far more tickets to visitors than it could accommodate. The management said in a statement that a small group of people had tried to stop buses driving away after they failed to get on one, causing a succession of problems. Photos posted on microblogs showed thousands of angry visitors gathered near the ticket office demanding refunds on Wednesday night. A 64-page rulebook recently issued by the government on proper tourist etiquette seemed to have had little effect, as further cases of "uncivilised" behaviour were posted by Web users during the week-long holiday to celebrate National Day that started on Tuesday. "Happy National Day holidays, everybody. This is the time of year when the big nationwide party is thrown in different parts of our country," a blogger wrote. Other internet users said having a quiet week at home was preferable, while some complained about a lack of orderly queuing. One said: "If only people would queue and be patient … It's going to take some time before the country sees the universal benefits of a queue." The crowds at Jiuzhaigou persisted yesterday, but the park's management said on its official microblog that the situation was under control, and denied the reports of chaos. In Beijing, people left heaps of rubbish and scrawled graffiti at major sights such as the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Great Wall. A cleaner, holding a big plastic bag, told China Central Television: "I just picked up about 3,000 cigarette butts. They're all over the place, and smell really bad." Elsewhere in the country, graffiti was found scrawled on walls and on bamboo trees at the former residence of late premier Zhou Enlai in Huaian, Jiangsu province, Xinhua reported. Hangzhou's scenic West Lake was visited by millions of visitors, who left behind 7,000 cigarette butts. Disorder was also reported in Thailand, where Chinese tourists were said to have ignored signs in Chinese saying "no photos" and "no touching" at a temple in Pattaya, and posed for photos while sitting on statues, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. The National Tourism Administration has issued guidelines urging holidaymakers travelling overseas to "abide by the norms of civilised tourist behaviour". Tips include not spitting on the street, not shouting in public areas, not forcing locals to help take photographs, not throwing rubbish and not picking one's nose. Timed to coincide with the National Day holiday, the new guidelines come after growing frustration among some people around the world over unruly conduct by some mainland tourists. ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Overburdened scenic spots urged to improve management (Xinhua)
2013.10.02
China's holiday-coordination authorities on Thursday urged popular scenic spots to improve their management to cope with surging tourist flows following soaring complaints of nightmarish experiences at overcrowded sites. As China's seven-day National Day Holiday -- during which millions of Chinese flocked on the road for the "Golden week" -- stretches into the third day, the hustle and bustle of crowds at major tourist attractions continued to plague outgoing travellers. In response to mounting public grumbles, the National Holiday Office on Thursday issued an emergency notice asking the scenic spots to timely disclose reception information and tap capabilities to avoid unpleasant episodes. Jiuzhaigou Valley, a World Heritage site in southwest China which is famous for its colorful water pools, snowy mountains, deep valleys and forests, got into trouble on Wednesday when its shuttle buses failed to cope with a rush of 40,000 tourists. More than 4,000 of them stranded in the valley were not evacuated until 10 p.m. on Wednesday. The whole traffic system was paralyzed after some visitors lost patience and tried to stop buses and get aboard, according to the valley administration which later apologized for insufficient measures. ^ top ^

 

Guangdong

58 fishermen remain missing after Typhoon Wutip (China Daily)
2013.10.02
Rescue work continued on Wednesday as 58 fishermen remain missing in the South China Sea after three fishing boats sank due to Typhoon Wutip on Sunday afternoon. Authorities are checking and confirming the list of missing people, said public security and civil affairs authorities in Taishan City in south China's Guangdong Province, where the boats were registered. A total of 88 fishermen and their five boats, all from Guangdong, went missing near Shanhu Island in the Xisha Islands, about 330 km from China's island province of Hainan. Three boats are confirmed to have sunk, and four fishermen have been confirmed dead. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, rescuers had saved 12 fishermen and temporarily sheltered them on Yongqing Island off the coast of Hainan. Zhang Jie, a spokesman with the Hainan Maritime Affairs Bureau, said on Tuesday that a total of 37 vessels and 10 airplanes are searching the waters for more survivors. The fishermen had received typhoon warnings starting on Friday but did not go ashore. Instead, they placed their ships in a lagoon south of Shanhu Island to avoid gales, but the typhoon overturned their boats. Wutip gained power, growing into a super typhoon as it swept across nearby waters on Sunday and packed winds of up to 151.2 km per hour at its eye. Meanwhile, the navy barracks on Chenhang Island have provided temporary shelter and food to 268 fishermen trapped by the typhoon. The hospital ship "Ark of Peace," which was scheduled to return to port following a mission, changed course and is now rushing to the South China Sea to join the search and rescue work. Staff aboard the hospital ship have prepared blankets, ventilators and other emergency equipment and have readied temporary emergency medical units on board the ship for helicopter rescue work. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Several groups in Taiwan stage protest against Ma (Xinhua)
2013.09.30
Several groups in Taiwan organized rallies and marches in Taipei on Sunday to express their discontent with Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou and the local authorities. The protests, staged separately on the Ketagalan Boulevard near Ma's office as well as outside Ma's residence and the Sun Yat-sen memorial hall in Taipei, lasted from morning to late Sunday night with protesters complaining about judicial problems, partisanship and ineffective administration in Taiwan. Garfie Li, a spokeswoman with the Taiwan leader's office, said the public's rights will be respected and their reasonable appeals will be transferred to relevant authorities to handle. The Kuomintang had scheduled to convene its 19th plenary congress on Sunday, but delayed the meeting prior to the protests out of security considerations. ^ top ^

Taiwan leader questioned as witness in prosecutor's case (Xinhua)
2013.10.03
Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday was questioned as a witness in the investigation of a suspected leak of confidential information by the island's chief prosecutor, Huang Shyh-ming. Ma went to Taipei's local prosecutorial authority on Thursday evening, according to local media reports. Huang is suspected of briefing Ma on information about the investigation of a suspected lobbying case by Wang Jin-pyng, the island's chief legislator, before the conclusion of the probe. Huang has been questioned as defendant in the secret leak case, and Jiang Yi-huah, chief of Taiwan's administrative authority, and Lo Chih-chiang, a former senior official at Taiwan leader's office, were also questioned as witness in this case. ^ top ^

 

Economy

China issues cultural policies for FTZ in Shanghai (Global Times)
2013.09.29
China's Ministry of Culture on Sunday published a couple of readjustments on policies regarding the cultural sector in the pilot free trade zone in Shanghai, which was officially inaugurated in this eastern Chinese municipality on the same day. Foreign-funded art performance institutions will be allowed to set up in the zone, no matter whether they are Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative firms or solely foreign-funded ones, according to the new policies. Foreign investors will also be allowed to invest in performance agencies. The new policies will open up the zone to foreign operators of overseas-funded recreational facilities, provided they follow the country's regulations on recreational places. The third major policy change is that foreign game machine manufacturers will be eligible to sell their products in China, merely via their entities registered in the zone. These companies have to apply for official approval about the appearance, the content, and the method of playing the games before they are sold on the domestic market. The new policies are applicable for investors from the country's Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan, as well as those living abroad. ^ top ^

Shanghai opens free trade zone (China Daily)
20013.09.30
The Shanghai municipal government unveiled the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone on Sunday, which is widely expected to create an efficient market environment for domestic and foreign enterprises in a wide variety of businesses. The move seeks to free up the overloaded administrative approval system and introduce measures to encourage innovation and internationalization. Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said the zone is set to become a pilot project for economic reform and a role model in efforts to upgrade the Chinese economy. Dai Haibo, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal government and vice-director of the zone's management committee, said the guiding principle is to shift the overriding role of the government from administrative to supervisory. Enterprises will no longer need to seek government approval for many of the things they want to do in the zone. In three years, the country will build on the experience gleaned from the Shanghai free trade zone, and further reform targets may be set, Dai said. These include, in certain areas, no administrative approval required for company registration, no restrictions in equity ratios and limited disclosure requirements. The cornerstones are the reform of power structures and government transparency, with positive changes in policy coordination, information tracking and effect evaluation. A case in point is the treatment of foreign investors as nationals in economic sectors that are not specifically restricted, said Liu Yajun, director of the department of foreign investment administration with the Ministry of Commerce. To encourage and simplify foreign investment, an Internet-based registration system will be introduced for enterprises whose business portfolios do not fall in the restricted areas, Liu said. That would effectively shorten the registration period from the current 29 days to a minimum of four days, Dai said. A fast-track channel has also been established to lure financial institutions with strong profitability and risk-control capabilities to enter the zone, said Liao Min of the Shanghai branch of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. He confirmed that banking regulators will adjust loan-to-deposit ratios and other regulatory requirements for banks operating in the area. A series of customs clearance and supervision policies have been initiated to offer more complete, convenient and transparent foreign trade services, said Zhang Wansheng, director of the General Administration of Customs' processing trade and bonded system department. For instance, companies can have their cargo transported into warehouses before they declare customs, said Zhang, adding that a unified information monitoring system will be set up to supervise entrants. ^ top ^

 

DPRK and South Korea

DPRK calls for closure of 'UN Command' on Korean Peninsula (Global Times)
2013.10.02
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday urged to close down the "UN Command" on the Korean Peninsula, saying it serves the "US military strategy" by "abusing the name of the United Nations." The statement came as Pak Kil Yon, vice minister of foreign affairs of the DPRK, was addressing the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, a week-long event which ended here Tuesday. "60 years have passed since the end of the gunfire of fierce 3- year-long war and the signing of the Armistice Agreement in the Korean peninsula in the last century," he said. "Yet, a mechanism that guarantees peace fails to be in place, as a result of which the unstable situation of neither war nor peace continues on the Korean peninsula." Pak said "the'United Nations Command,' the outdated legacy of the Korean War, continues to serve the US military strategy by abusing the name of the United Nations." The United Nations Command is the headquarters for the multinational military forces supporting the Republic of Korea ( ROK) during and after the Korean War in the 1950s. The Korean War came to a cease-fire on July 27, 1953, when the Armistice Agreement was signed in Panmunjom on the border shared by the DPRK and ROK. But the war is not officially over because no peace treaty has ever been signed. "The 'UN Command,' which has nothing to do with the United Nations, is ceaselessly conducting military actions threatening the Korean peninsula and its surrounding area in the name of the UN under the baton of the US," Pak said. He pointed out that the repeated vicious cycle of mounting tension on the Korean peninsula has its roots in the hostile policy of the US on the DPRK. "The United States designated the DPRK with different ideology and system as its enemy from the very first day of its foundation and has been refusing to recognize its sovereignty and imposing all sorts of sanctions, pressures and military threats on the DPRK for more than half a century," he said. Pak reaffirmed Pyongyang's commitment to put an end to the tension on the Korean peninsula "by peaceful means through dialogue and negotiations," and contribute to ensuring peace and security in the region. The DPRK official also pointed out the only way to ensure lasting peace on the Korean peninsula is to "bring the US hostile policy to an end." "The United States should abolish its hostile policy by beginning from, among other things, respecting the sovereignty of the DPRK, replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace mechanism dismantling the 'UN Command' with no further delay and lifting all sanctions and military threats," he said. ^ top ^

Pentagon chief sees DPRK's use of WMD unacceptable (Xinhua)
2013.10.02
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ( DPRK)'s use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and chemical weapons is unacceptable. His comments were made during the joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-jin after holding their annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM). Hagel said that the DPRK's provocations would impose threats on the world security, promising that the U.S. will offer its extended deterrence to South Korea with all possible military capabilities. Meanwhile, the Pentagon chief said that he seriously saw Seoul' s request to delay the transition of the country's wartime operational control, adding that discussions on the issue were anticipated to last down the road. South Korea handed over its wartime command of troops to Washington during the 1950-53 Korean War. Seoul regained its peacetime operational control in 1994. Seoul initially agreed to retrieve its operational control in time of war in April 2012, but it called for a delay after the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in 2010. South Korean had offered in May to postpone the wartime command transfer, which had been scheduled for Dec. 1, 2015, amid escalating tensions on the Koran Peninsula following the DPRK's third nuclear test in February and its long-range rocket launch in December 2012. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolian PM meets Chinese ambassador on China visit (Xinhua)
2013.10.01
Mongolian Prime Minister Altankhuyag Norov met here on Tuesday with Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia Wang Xiaolong ahead of his upcoming visit to China in October. During the meeting, the prime minister and the ambassador exchanged opinions about issues planned to be discussed during Norov's official visit to China. Wang said the Chinese side is preparing for this trip and is confident that discussions and talks would boost the strategic partnership between the two countries and uplift their economic cooperation. The Mongolian prime minister said they are also working to prepare for the visit. Mongolian minister of defense and minister of road and transportation have visited China before. Batbayar Nyamjav, Mongolian minister of economic development, will also visit China soon. ^ top ^

UB and JICA launch second phase of air pollution control project (UB Post)
2013.10.01
The Ulaanbaatar City Governor's Office, Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development, Ministry of Economic Development, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) worked together on a Technical Cooperation Project between 2010 and March 2013 to enhance air pollution control monitoring in Ulaanbaatar. On September 24, the partnered agencies signed a discussion note to launch the second stage of the project, which will continue for three years starting in December 2013. In the first stage, a database was formulated on air polluting factors and handed over to related organizations. The second stage will focus on reducing air pollution based on the collected data. Measures, policies, strategies and the implementation of monitoring structures will be put into place to reduce air pollution. ^ top ^

Foreign Ministries of LLDCs met in New York (news.mn)
2013.10.01
The 12th Annual Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Land Locked Developing Countries, a part of the 68th session of the UNGA was held in New York on September 30th. The meeting where Foreign Ministers, representatives from member countries and international organizations UN system and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attended was headed by Laos, the Chairman of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries. At the meeting O.Och, Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations, G.Ganbold, Director of the Department of International Organizations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and E.Odbayar, Interim Director of International Think Tank on LLDCs represented Mongolia. O.Och, the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations said that the Mongolian Government intends to continue cooperation with the UN and its system organizations to make progress to protect the interests of Landlocked Developing countries outlining this in the action plan for 2012-2016. He noted that Mongolia has been an active member of the group of the Landlocked Developing Countries adding that Mongolia gives importance to the preparation of the Almaty Program of Action and takes the necessary measures. He also expressed concerns that the Doha round of trade negotiations are at a dead end, saying there is a need to strengthen cooperation on the issues. Moreover, he said the landlocked developing countries are vulnerable and weak to climate change so the Group should participate in discussions and express integrated interest in final solutions. O.Och continued to say that the International Studies Center of Landlocked Developing Countries that is to be established in Ulaanbaatar on the initiative of the Mongolian Government is essential. He added that the Mongolian Government budgeted 540 million MNT in 2014 to finance the start of the Center. O.Och also called other landlocked countries to join the Group. ^ top ^

The 2013 Autumn plenary session of the Parliament of Mongolia starts (Infomongolia)
2013.10.01
The opening ceremony of the 2013 Autumn Plenary Session of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia was held in the Assembly Hall at 11:50 am today on October 1st, where parliamentaries out of 76 members with 63.2 percentage of attendance were present.Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold opened the session and in his remarks the Speaker noted, "During the regular plenary session, we will discuss and adopt the 2014 State Budget of Mongolia, Human Development Fund and Social Insurance Fund, and the Basic Guidelines of State Adherence on Monetary Policy. We set the 2013 State Budget revenue too high, hence it caused to misbalance the income and expense. Therefore we need to make urgent amendments in 2013 Budget. A few days ago, the irregular plenary session of the Pariliament was concluded, however none of the discussed laws were ratified, but the draft bills on the Law on Investment and the Law on Investment Fund were brought to its final discussions, and these laws along with other bills relevant to mineral resources and mining are needed to be proceeded immediately at this session. Due to the schedule of this week, this afternoon the Party and Coalition groups at the Parliament will hold their meetings and the regular plenary session will meet on October 03-04, 2013. ^ top ^

 

Ludivine Candiotti
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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