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
  30.11-4.12.15, No. 599  
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Mongolia

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Foreign Policy

China to help Ebola-hit Guinea hone health care capacity (Xinhua)
2015-12-04
Chinese President Xi Jinping met here Thursday with Guinean President Alpha Conde and pledged to help the West African country once beset with an Ebola outbreak strengthen public health systems. Beijing is pleased to see that Guinea has beaten the Ebola virus, Xi said, recalling that when the crisis broke out last year, his country, out of its brotherly bond with Guinea, took the lead in providing assistance. China, he added, will continue to send medical teams to Guinea and support Conakry developing public health and epidemic prevention networks and promoting its capacity-building in this vital public-welfare area. Noting that Guinea is the first sub-Saharan country to establish diplomatic ties with China and that the two nations boast a profound traditional friendship, Xi said his country attaches great importance to its relations with Guinea. "China stands ready to work with Guinea to translate their time-honored friendship into sustained impetus for bilateral cooperation and common development," Xi said, suggesting that the two countries cement political mutual trust, boost friendly exchanges at all levels and deepen win-win cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to both peoples. China encourages its enterprises to participate in Guinea's industrial construction and invest in the country's agricultural production and processing sectors, added the Chinese president. Conde, For his part, also spoke highly of the long-standing friendship between Guinea and China, and expressed his gratitude for China's long-running support for his country, particularly the valuable and timely assistance China offered for its struggle against the Ebola outbreak. […] ^ top ^

China, Kenya pledge to push ties to higher level (Xinhua)
2015-12-04
China and Kenya vowed here on Thursday to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and push their ties to a higher level. The two countries reached the consensus as Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, held talks ahead of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled for Dec. 4-5. China stands ready to work with Kenya to comprehensively deepen their cooperation in various areas and push bilateral relations to a higher level, Xi told Kenyatta. The Chinese president is in the South African economic hub to co-chair the two-day FOCAC summit, which is to be attended by leaders and senior officials from China and African countries. Xi underlined the China-Kenya comprehensive cooperative partnership of equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and win-win outcome is brimming with robust vitality. […] Meanwhile, Xi suggested the two sides boost people-to-people exchanges, push forward programs such as the Sino-Africa joint research center and the Chinese culture center, and work together to protect ecological environment and wildlife. While calling for enhanced exchanges and coordination in major international and regional issues including climate change, Xi expressed China's support to Kenya for a bigger role in safeguarding regional peace and stability. For his part, Kenyatta spoke highly of the Kenya-China relations that have reached a new level, adding the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries have produced tangible results. […] ^ top ^

Chinese president vows to push ties with Togo to new heights (Xinhua)
2015-12-04
Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged here Thursday to push relations with Togo to a new high during a meeting with his Togolese counterpart. Ahead of a summit on China-Africa cooperation in Johannesburg, Xi told President Faure Gnassingbe that China attaches great importance to bilateral ties and the two countries should consolidate political mutual trust and enhance cooperation to achieve common development. The Chinese government, he said, would encourage and support its enterprises to invest and develop businesses in Togo in such areas as appliances, construction materials, textile, food processing and automobile assembly and participate in Togo's infrastructure construction so as to help build up its own industry. China will also strive to help Togo achieve food security through cooperation in agriculture, marine fishery, as well as agricultural and fishery product processing, he added. Xi also urged the two countries to improve security cooperation and enhance people-to-people exchanges. Faure, for his part, said Togo cherished its traditional friendship with China and appreciated China's long-standing and valuable assistance. Togo welcomes China's increasing investment and hopes to enhance cooperation with China in multiple areas, including food security, port and railway construction, as well as logistics, he said. Xi stays in South Africa on Dec. 2-5 to serve as co-chair of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and for his second state visit to the country.. ^ top ^

Xi urges more momentum for China-Angola common development (Xinhua)
2015-12-04
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for more momentum for China-Angola win-win cooperation and common development, urging the two countries to maintain high-level exchanges. Xi made the remarks when meeting his Angolan counterpart, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, before the two leaders attend a summit on China-Africa cooperation in the South African economic hub from Friday to Saturday. Noting the China-Angola ties are at their best in history, Xi said China stands ready to work with Angola to continue translating their political mutual trust and economic complementarity into momentum for win-win cooperation and common development. To that end, Xi called on China and Angola to strengthen political guidance and maintain their good momentum of high-level exchanges, suggesting the two countries push forward mutually beneficial cooperation in investment, industry, finance, infrastructure construction and other fields. […] As for cooperation in global and regional affairs, Xi said China is willing to enhance communication and coordination with Angola over major international matters with an eye to defending the rights and common interests of developing countries. Xi also spoke highly of the positive role Angola has played as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the rotating chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. For his part, Eduardo dos Santos recalled his China visit in June, describing it as a very successful one. The Angolan leader said he is pleased to see that the important consensus reached during his visit is being implemented by both sides. Angola stands ready to enhance cooperation with China in oil industry, water conservation, food processing, investment and financing, services and other areas, Eduardo dos Santos said. He also stressed that his country is willing to maintain communication and coordination with China in safeguarding peace and stability in Africa. ^ top ^

China signs deals worth HK$50 billion with South Africa (SCMP)
2015-12-03
President Xi Jinping presided yesterday over the signing of agreements and loan deals with South Africa worth 94 billion rand (HK$50 billion), mainly for infrastructure in the continent's most industrialised nation. South African President Jacob Zuma hailed relations between the two nations as at their “best ever”, while Xi described the relationship between the two nations as “comrades and brothers” – a term usually used for ties between communist countries, suggesting the growing importance of South Africa to Beijing's reach to the continent. Xi and Zuma witnessed the signing of 26 deals, including a US$500 million loan to South Africa's cash-strapped power utility. Other deals include building new nuclear power plants that experts say may cost as much as US$100 billion, and a car plant that could export vehicles to the rest of Africa by 2017. China's Credit Insurance Corporation signed a deal to provide state-owned logistics firm Transnet with US$2.5 billion in loans to pay for contracts and equipment with Chinese companies. China's ambitions to expand its presence in Africa will be evident at today's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg, where it is likely to announce more aid and investment. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will ask Xi to fund rail and power projects urgently needed to diversify an economy hit hard by a plunge in oil prices, a presidential spokesman said. He Wenping, an African studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Xi's remarks indicated that South Africa would become a key player in China's drive in Africa. China has made a string of cheap loans to nations in Africa, a continent that supplies it with vital commodities, prompting criticism that the relationship is based on exploiting resources. ^ top ^

Elephant ivory forgotten at China-Africa summit (SCMP)
2015-12-03
When the Chinese president and African leaders meet this week to bolster economic ties, the elephant in the room will be the trade in ivory – and conservationists want the issue on the table. China is the major consumer of illegal elephant ivory, and demand for tusks is threatening Africa's elephant populations with extinction. President Xi Jinping and leaders from about 50 African countries open two days of talks in Johannesburg on Friday at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Discussions will centre around industrialisation and development and are expected to culminate in major deals on infrastructure and agriculture. […] International wildlife conservation group WWF urged the meeting to “incorporate clear goals” in its final declaration as well as an action plan to push for sustainable use and trade of natural resources. Between 20,000 and 40,000 elephants are slaughtered in Africa each year, fuelled mainly by demand from Asia. “In the four years up to 2014, the wholesale price of raw ivory in China tripled, reaching a per kilo dollar price of US$2,100,” according to the conservation group Save the Elephants. “Without China's leadership in ending demand for ivory, Africa's elephants could disappear from the wild within a generation,” warned the group's founder, Iain Douglas-Hamilton. China's ballooning middle class has created a population of wealthy shoppers with a penchant for ivory trinkets, or “white gold”, as a sign of financial success. […] The Chinese government has supported efforts to protect elephants in Africa, having granting US$10 million in 2014 to fund vehicles for game rangers and other protection measures. […] One problem, experts say, is the coexistence of legal and illegal trade in ivory in mainland China. The international trade in ivory has been banned since 1989, but China was authorised in 2008 to import 62 tonnes of ivory from Africa in an attempt to dry up the black market. […] The legal ivory objects are supposed to have an authentication certificate, but “most vendors ignore the regulations”, says Zhou [director of China's branch of the global NGO Traffic]. “Legal trade serves as a cover for illegal trade.” One proposal is to ban all ivory trade in China, with Zhou citing the example of tiger bones. […] There are about 470,000 elephants left in Africa, compared to 20 million in the early 20th century. ^ top ^

Xi pledges support for AU's role in regional, global affairs ahead of China-Africa summit (Xinhua)
2015-12-03
China attaches great importance to its relations with the African Union (AU) and supports the organization to play a significant role in Africa's development, integration as well as in regional and global affairs, Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Thursday. […] On economic ties, the president said the two sides should synergize their development strategies through pushing forward production capacity cooperation. China is ready to provide assistance to Africa in addressing its bottleneck problems of backwardness of infrastructure and shortage of talents. Xi also urged both sides to strengthen cooperation in disease control and prevention, people-to-people exchanges and other fields, so as to foster new bright spots in bilateral cooperation. China has always adhered to the principle of "African issues should be addressed by the African people in the African way," Xi said, stressing the country will never interfere in internal affairs of the African countries. China backs AU's efforts in maintaining peace of the continent, Xi said, noting that China is willing to enhance security cooperation with the AU, strengthen bilateral communication and coordination in major international issues and make joint efforts in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries in the United Nations and on other multilateral occasions. Dlamini-Zuma said it is of great significance that Xi is to co-chair the second summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa. She thanked China for its long-term help to Africa, especially the timely and valuable assistance in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. She also expressed gratitude to China for its support to the AU in improving its peace-keeping ability, stressing the African countries are ready to work with China in achieving the Agenda 2063, a blue print of Africa's development. ^ top ^

China, Japan restart ruling party talks (Xinhua)
2015-12-03
The ruling parties of China and Japan met for the first time in six years Thursday. Senior members of the Communist Party of China and Japan's ruling coalition, formed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner the Komeito party, gathered in Beijing for the fifth meeting under an exchange mechanism that was suspended as tensions peaked between the two sides. The mechanism, established in 2006, has played an important role in improving bilateral relations, said Wang Jiarui, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, at the opening ceremony. "Both sides need to grasp the main trend of the times, featuring peace, friendship and win-win cooperation, and match their development strategies," said Wang. "China and Japan should properly handle their disputes to tap potential for cooperation and expand common interests." The Japanese delegation is headed by Sadakazu Tanigaki and Yoshihisa Inoue, the LDP and Komeito's secretary generals. China-Japan relations have been strained by historical and territorial disputes, particularly over the Diaoyu Islands. China has accused Japan of attempting to whitewash its aggression during World War II. ^ top ^

China, Bangladesh pledge to strengthen military ties (Xinhua)
2015-12-03
Texte China and Bangladesh pledged to strengthen military ties during a meeting between Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq. Chang, also a state councilor, called on the two militaries to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of two countries. Chang said the Chinese military is willing to work with Bangladesh's army to strengthen strategic communication and enhance pragmatic cooperation to inject new impetus to bilateral relationships. This year marks the 40th anniversary of establishing bilateral ties, said Belal, noting that Bangladesh's army is ready to promote cooperation with Chinese military in personnel training and peace keeping. ^ top ^

G77, China urge developed countries to fulfil climate finance obligation (Xinhua)
2015-12-03
The G77 and China, a group representing 134 developing countries, has urged developed countries to fulfil their obligation of providing financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building, to all developing countries, in the battle against climate change. "This is a legal obligation under the Convention. It is neither 'aid' nor 'charity', nor is it the same as development assistance," according to a statement released by the G77 and China on Wednesday at the ongoing 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The G77 and China expressed their concern about the introduction of new language, which has no basis in the Convention, such as "Parties in a position to do so" and "dynamism" that do not take into account responsibility for historical emissions. "The G77 and China is deeply concerned with the attempts to introduce economic conditions in the finance section currently under negotiation here in Paris. This approach is not consistent with the Convention, the mandate of the ADP (Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) and the sovereignty of Parties," reads the statement. "In particular, the Paris outcome must provide clarity on the level of financial support that will be provided by developed country Parties to developing country Parties to allow for enhanced implementation of the Convention in the post-2020 period," it adds. In addition, the G77 and China also required a substantial scaling up of finance from the 2020 base level of 100 billion U.S. dollars per year. Meanwhile, the statement pointed out that despite not having a finance obligation under the Convention, "developing countries are already making significant contributions towards the global effort through the implementation of climate actions". Therefore, the G77 and China urged that the new climate agreement should provide for the recognition of the social, economic and environmental value of actions financed voluntarily by developing country Parties, including on adaptation, and their co-benefits to health and sustainable development. ^ top ^

China accused of hacking into Australian government's weather bureau (SCMP)
2015-12-02
China has been blamed for a cyber attack on Australia's Bureau of Meteorology that may have compromised computer systems across the federal government, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing unidentified sources. The security breach will cost millions of dollars to fix as other agencies that receive information from the bureau have been affected, the national broadcaster said, citing official sources it didn't identify. There was little doubt the source of the attack was China, the broadcaster cited one official as saying. The weather bureau declined to comment on security matters, beyond saying it worked closely with government security agencies. The bureau's “systems are fully operational”, according to a statement on its website. The office of Attorney General George Brandis did not immediately respond to e-mailed request for comment on the report. China has previously denied reports of hacking, including claims reported by the Daily Telegraph in 2011 that its intelligence agencies accessed the e-mails of senior Australian officials including then prime minister Julia Gillard. The US has previously accused China of hacking American companies to steal industrial trade secrets. The motivation for the attack on the weather bureau could be commercial, strategic or both, the ABC reported. The defence department said in an e-mailed statement the government “does not publicly discuss specific cyber activities or incidents”. ^ top ^

China's Xi Jinping hails Mugabe's Zimbabwe as 'all-weather friend' on his return to Africa as dynamics shift (SCMP)
2015-12-02
President Xi Jinping described Zimbabwe as the “all-weather friend” of China as he landed in Harare on Tuesday for a five-day visit to the continent to strengthen Beijing's economic and security presence in the face of declining commodity prices and Sino-African trade. Xi was due to hold talks with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has been shunned by Western nations for years over human rights concerns, before continuing to Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa, where he will attend the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said China would provide a US$1.2 billion loan to expand the nation's Hwange power station, while Zambia's presidential spokesman, Amos Chanda, said his nation expected to clinch US$1 billion in Chinese investment and loans at the China-Africa summit. Xi's trip came amid heightened concerns over China's reduced demand for commodities such as oil, iron ore and copper, leading to a drop of Chinese investment in Africa by 40 per cent in the first half of this year. Sino-African trade for the first three quarters reached US$130 billion, compared with US$220 billion for the whole of 2014. Analysts blamed the drop in trade on plunging commodity prices, which have affected Africa's economic growth. Xi is expected to boost new economic cooperation with the continent. “Xi's main goal might be to settle new economic agreements based on his 'One Belt, One Road' initiative,” said Hu Yuwei, a researcher at Renmin University. The new type of cooperation would involve a wider range of industries, including finance, logistics and real estate, he said, adding that Chinese manufacturers would also export their excess production capacity to Africa. Analysts also said China was soliciting support for its security engagement with the continent. Chinese defence officials last week confirmed that Beijing was in talks with Djibouti to build military logistics “facilities” there to support Chinese peacekeeping and anti-piracy missions. China also wanted support from Africa in anti-terrorism efforts, especially after three executives of a Chinese railway corporation were killed in an attack by militants in Mali last month, said Hu. ^ top ^

Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe break the ice with a brief meeting in Paris (SCMP)
2015-12-02
President Xi Jinping has told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that China hoped to see sensitive issues with its Asian neighbour “addressed rightly”, according to a news agency report, amid signs of a thaw in relations between the two nations. Xi and Abe talked for four minutes on the sidelines of the international climate change summit in Paris on Monday, Kyodo quoted a senior Japanese official as saying. Xi noted that he had seen “changing signs” in the two countries' relations, the official said. “It's important for us to continue deepening the favourable atmosphere and, towards that end, I hope to see mutually sensitive issues addressed rightly and the relationship cherished,” the official cited Xi as saying. Abe told Xi he had a good exchange of views with Premier Li Keqiang in Seoul at talks last month that included South Korea, according to the report. He also called for more “people-to-people” exchanges between Japan and China. The brief meeting marks the two leaders' first conversation since the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta in April. Ties between the two countries have been strained since Beijing's high-profile nationalist campaign to mark the end of the second world war in September. Tensions escalated as Japan joined the US and the Philippines to oppose China's constructions in the disputed South China Sea. Apart from a “hello” from Abe, the two had no conversation during the G20 meetings in November and little interaction during the following Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila. Xi also met US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Paris climate summit. Xi said the world's two largest economies should “partner with each other to help the climate conference deliver its expected targets”. Obama said “nowhere has our coordination been more necessary or more fruitful than the topic that we're here to discuss during the Paris conference”. Obama raised the issue of China's territorial claims in South China Sea during their meeting, following reports that the US Navy was likely to carry out another patrol by the end of the year within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in disputed waters of the ocean. “On issues like cybersecurity and maritime issues, I think President Xi and I have developed a candid way of discussing these issues,” Obama said. Xi said it was important to “manage differences and sensitive issues in a constructive way”. ^ top ^

Chinese, Russian ruling parties hold dialogue to promote development of ties (Global Times)
2015-12-01
China and Russia's ruling parties held a dialogue on party building and national governance to promote the development of the bilateral relations. The fifth meeting of the China-Russia ruling parties dialogue mechanism was held between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and United Russian party under the theme of "Party's ruling ability and modernization of national governance system" on Tuesday in Beijing. The two parties should make full use of the dialogue mechanism to exchange experience and learn from each other to promote further development of bilateral relations, said Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said in a congratulatory letter to the meeting that the party-to-party exchange is playing a "unique" role in the development of bilateral relations. The dialogue mechanism and forum between the two parties has built an effective platform for them to discuss strategic issues such as the two countries' relations and ruling party construction, Xi said. He added that the meeting will help the two parties strengthen capacity building and ability in national governance. Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed Xi in his congratulatory letter that the two ruling parties' cooperation played an important role for bilateral ties including promoting solutions of major issues between the two countries and coordinating their stance on regional and international affairs. ^ top ^

Beijing: Manila's attempt 'will lead to nothing' (China Daily)
2015-12-01
The Philippines' attempt to negate China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea through arbitral proceeding "will lead to nothing", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday. Hua made the comments after she was asked to response to media reports that the South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal has wrapped up its hearing on issues related to merits. "China has expounded on many occasions its position that the Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over the arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines and that China will neither accept nor participate in the arbitration. This position is clear and consistent," She said. Hua noted that the Philippines' unilateral initiation and obstinate pushing forward of the South China Sea arbitration is "a political provocation under the cloak of law". "It is in essence not an effort to settle disputes but an attempt to negate China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea," she said. With regard to the issues of territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China will not accept any solution imposed on it or any unilateral resort to a third-party dispute settlement, the spokeswoman said. "China has a right to do so as a sovereign state and a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," she said. ^ top ^

Paris climate summit: Chinese president urges world leaders to unite to tackle common challenge (SCMP)
2015-12-01
President Xi Jinping on Monday called on leaders from more than 140 countries to abandon the “zero-sum” mindset on climate change and unite to tackle the common challenge. On the opening day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Xi said a deal for post-2020 action should be “comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and binding”. But rich nations should also honour their commitment to financial aid for developing nations. The president said the deal had to galvanise global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions as well as respect the rights of developing countries to grow their economies. “Tackling climate change is a shared mission for humanity,” Xi said. “It also mirrors a new model for global governance in which each country does its fair share and reaches an all-win situation, while discarding the [old] mindset of the zero-sum game. “The Paris conference is not the finishing line, it is a new starting point.” Other world leaders also urged negotiators to forge an ambitious agreement in the two weeks of talks. Calling terrorism and climate change “two major challenges we must overcome” for future generations, French President Francois Hollande said Paris “must be the start of far-reaching change” to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, even 1.5 degrees if possible. US President Barack Obama said: “The threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told negotiators to take a more flexible attitude to reach consensus at the gathering. China has taken an increasingly proactive role on climate change this year, forging bilateral deals with key players and major carbon polluters including the United States, France and India. Meeting Xi on the sidelines of the summit, Obama credited Sino-US joint leadership with encouraging 180 nations to make their own pledges to curb emissions in the run-up to the Paris talks. […] ^ top ^

China jails 14 officials over 2013 Sinopec oil pipeline blast (SCMP)
2015-12-01
China has sentenced 14 former officials at state energy firm Sinopec and the local government to jail for up to five years for their role in a massive oil pipeline explosion in 2013, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. The explosion in the eastern province of Shandong killed 63 people and injured 156, and caused losses worth 751.7 million yuan (US$117.53 million), Xinhua said. It said the Sinopec officials were sentenced for violating safety regulations while the government officials had failed to fully perform their duties in dealing with the blast. The explosion was one of the biggest to hit infrastructure developments in China, raising questions about safety standards in the world's second largest economy. In August, explosions at port warehouses killed more than 160 people in the northeastern city of Tianjin. The 2013 oil pipeline explosion occurred at the Dongying-Huangdao II pipeline owned by Sinopec. The government at the time said it was caused by corrosion, irregular work practices and a tangled network of underground pipes. The blast highlights the risks involved as both energy pipeline networks and China's cities expand rapidly. Urban development has engulfed many existing pipelines, providing an opportunity for thieves but also leaving lines dangerously close to residents, industry and commerce. ^ top ^

Chinese envoy urges support for Afghanistan's political reconciliation process (Xinhua)
2015-12-01
A Chinese envoy to the United Nations on Monday called on the international community to firmly advance political reconciliation process in Afghanistan as the war-torn country is at its transition. "Afghanistan is at the start of a decade-long transition period," said Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, who believed Afghanistan has embarked upon a new historic journey of state-building and economic development. Wang told a UN General Assembly meeting that the international community should continue the constructive support for and assistance to the country while respecting the ownership of the Afghan people. "It is our conviction that the Afghan people have the capacity and wisdom to take over their own business and eventually achieve peace and stability of their country," said Wang. Wang called on the international community to firmly promote Afghanistan's political reconciliation process. "China hopes that various Afghan political parties can put the interest of state-building and national development above anything else, actively participate in the political reconciliation process, so as to consult one another on matters of peace, stability and prosperity of the country," he said. The international community should support and promote peace and reconciliation process that is owned and led by Afghan people, support the efforts to promote talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, said Wang, who stressed it is essential to assist the Afghan government to enhance its capacity building and support its integration into the family of nations and expedite its development. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Afghanistan. […] ^ top ^

Africa's debt to China to be key theme of talks as Xi Jinping visits for summit (SCMP)
2015-11-30
Some African countries may seek to renegotiate repayment of their debts to China as a way of helping their economies hit by lower commodity prices, but will not turn down offers of new loans at a summit this week. African countries will also seek more Chinese investment in factories manufacturing goods for export in addition to roads and railways on a continent long seen as a major commodities and energy source for China. Chinese state-owned firms in Africa face criticism for using Chinese labour to build government-funded projects while pumping out resources – an image Beijing wants to change at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg on Thursday and Friday. President Xi Jinping will visit Zimbabwe on Tuesday and South Africa on Wednesday, before co-chairing the conference, which several African heads of state will attend. Experts expect China to push ahead with new loan and trade proposals for the continent despite its own slowing economy. “Key themes for Africa will be Africa's growing debt to China [and] how China's domestic stimulus can re-ignite commodity demand to help pay off the loans and industrialisation of the continent,” said Martyn Davies, Deloitte's managing director for emerging markets and Africa. “Real development is driven not by another US$10 billion loan pledge, but by African economies institutionalising intellectual property and not just investment in mines and roads,” he said. “[Xi] will not be coming unless they are going to announce a big deal. But you still have to pay for it and it will lead Zimbabwe deeper into a debt crisis,” Tony Hawkins, economics professor at the University of Zimbabwe said. China is Africa's largest trading partner and the trade volume between them amounted to US$220 billion last year. Africans see China as a counterbalance to Western influence though Western governments charge China of turning a blind eye to rights abuses on the continent. ^ top ^

Chinese president arrives in Paris for climate change conference (Xinhua)
2015-11-30
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Paris on Sunday to attend the opening ceremony of an international conference on climate change. Xi, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan and other senior officials, arrived in the French capital as guest of French President Francois Hollande and Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister and chair of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Chinese president will deliver a speech at the conference on Monday, raising China's proposals on countering climate change before leaving for state visits to Zimbabwe and South Africa and a summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg. During his two-day stay in Paris, Xi is also expected to meet other heads of state including Hollande and U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the conference, discussing the climate issue and bilateral relations. It will be the first time for China's top leader to be present at the UN climate change conference. David Gosset, founder of the Euro-China Forum, said China "is in a unique situation" in the climate negotiations and is striving to push for a success of the conference. […] Although differences remain, expectations are high that the Paris conference will reach a second legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. China, the largest developing country in the world, has expressed hopes that "a powerful, ambitious and legally binding deal" can be reached at the Paris conference on the basis of equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. While advocating coordinated actions in face of global warming, China has called on the rich nations to live up to their promises on funding and technology transfer to help the poor ones adapt and mitigate. […] ^ top ^

China signs US$930m in business deals with Africa ahead of President Xi Jinping's visit (SCMP)
2015-11-29
China boosted its economic ties with Africa yesterday by signing 23 business deals totalling US$930 million, while a fresh round of economic aid is being planned before President Xi Jinping starts his visit to the continent on Tuesday. Mainland companies, including Sinosteel Corp, Sinochem Group and China Chengtong, agreed contracts with 50 South Africa firms involved in industries including steel, energy, medicine, fruits, wine and textiles, at a signing ceremony in Johannesburg, Xinhua reported. Beijing has sought to address its excessive domestic capacity by relocating some businesses overseas, including Africa, as it steers its economy towards an advanced manufacturing and services sector. Mainland business representatives visited export processing and manufacturing companies after ceremony, with South African firms keen to increase exports of high value-added products to China, Xinhua said. Xi will announce new economic aid for the continent at a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg during his trip. The aid was likely to cover the industrialisation of African nations, agriculture and food safety, in addition to investment in infrastructure, Qian Keming, China's Vice-Minister of Commerce, said last week. […] Beijing, a major consumer of African agricultural products and resources, has pledged to increase imports of the continent's non-resource products to address its trade deficit with China. Xi's Africa trip, which also includes a visit to Zimbabwe, comes amid an increased significance of China's military and economic focus on Africa. China's Ministry of National Defence said it was in talks with Djibouti to build a logistics facility to support Beijing's naval vessels carrying out peacekeeping and antipiracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia - part of the important Suez canal shipping route for China's crude oil imports. Beijing has been Africa's largest trading partner for the past six years, with the trading volume totalling US$222 billion last year. Its investment in Africa reached US32.4 billion at the end of last year, with an annual rise in investment of more than 30 per cent in the past 15 years. ^ top ^

 

Domestic Policy

138,000 officials censured in frugality drive (Global Times)
2015-12-04
A total of 138,867 Chinese officials have been punished in a frugality campaign since it was launched by the top disciplinary watchdog in late 2012. The extent of the campaign reflects the necessity of harsher measures against the backdrop of a year-on-year increase in disciplinary violations during the nationwide anti-corruption drive, experts said. Seven provincial and ministerial-level officials were among those punished in 104,934 cases involving violations over the past three years, according to a report by the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China on Thursday. Beijing-based newspaper The Mirror, said that the incidence of two violations - use of public funds for dining and for travel unrelated to official duties - had increased by 278 percent and 221 percent year-on-year, respectively, by October 31. Hosting lavish weddings and funerals, spending public money on dining and travel, and giving and receiving illicit gifts were among the uncovered violations, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Although the report indicates the determination and high efficiency of the CCDI's fight against graft, the increasing number of violations demands more effective measures to root out the problem, Xu Yaotong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times. Xu said that the poor implementation of regulations by local authorities has also led to the increase in violations, adding that some officials choose to take their chances with graft, thinking that they will not be the "lucky one" spotted among thousands of their colleagues. […] ^ top ^

China to strengthen supervision over Internet news reproduction (Xinhua)
2015-12-03
China will strengthen its supervision and law enforcement on news reproduction on the Internet, said an official of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) on Thursday. Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of SARFT and National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC), made the remarks at a forum on copyright protection for news writing. Apart from further strengthening supervision and taking a stronger hand in law enforcement, NCAC will play a bigger role as the institution for copyright and an intermediary organization in the business, according to Yan. Also, an efficient and low-cost authorization mechanism that benefits both copyright protection and spread of news is expected to be established, he said. Officials and experts in media and law from China's major news agencies and universities attended the forum. As a part of an annual national meeting on copyright that kicked off on Nov. 27 this year, the forum focuses on topics including copyright protection and development of news in the age of new media. ^ top ^

Premier Li Keqiang vows to kill off China's 'zombie firms' (SCMP)
2015-12-03
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Wednesday to kick out industries mired with overcapacity and moribund businesses that constantly posted losses in order to help buoy the slowing economy. “We should speed up the move to knock out backward industries and zombie firms while enhancing corporate performance and efficiency of resource allocation,” Li told a meeting of several leading economists, according to Xinhua. His remarks, ahead of the annual central economic work conference in mid-December, suggest the leadership is determined to carry out a head-to-toe restructuring of the world's second-largest economy. The work meeting normally maps out strategy and goals for economic growth to be presented in a government work report presented by the premier during the annual session of the National People's Congress in March. The mainland economy grew 6.9 per cent in the third quarter, the slowest pace since the first three months of 2009 amid weaker external demand and lacklustre business activities. The current leadership has been adamant in transforming the economy into one driven by buoyant consumer spending and vigorous entrepreneurship, a break with the past reliance on massive infrastructure construction to drive growth over last two decades. Li told the economists that his cabinet would continue to support the urbanisation drive and improve the mix of industries. “To kill those moribund businesses is important because they were a hotbed for bad debts and corruption,” said Ray Lu, a director with Hotung Ventures. “The premier is sending a clear message to the business community that a deepened reform is an irreversible trend.” ^ top ^

CPC teachers warned of political red line (Global Times)
2015-12-03
China's education minister reiterated his warning to Party members in the education sector not to "challenge the political baseline" after three more university heads were sacked in the anti-corruption drive. In an interview with a newspaper affiliated with the Party discipline watchdog, published on Wednesday, Yuan Guiren said that some Party members in the education sector lack a clear understanding or have taken the wrong stand on major issues. "A few people's speech and behavior have challenged the political and legal baseline," he said. Yuan said some universities' leadership have failed to implement adequate supervision in class, seminars or workshops in the fields of philosophy and the social sciences. He also said there was not enough political screening when it came to hiring and academic exchanges. Yuan's statement comes shortly after three university heads were removed from their post, including Wang Cizhao, former president of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, who held an extravagant wedding for his daughter; Yang Fangchun, former Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications vice president, who listed fake expenditures to gain profit; and Liu Ya, former vice president of the University of International Business and Economics, who violated disciplines by taking part-time jobs. Earlier last week, eight officials from the Communication University of China were punished for luxury cars and spacious offices, or attempting to cover up the university's poor finances. "The punishment serves two purposes: to strike fear in people and to reform their behavior," Zhi Zhenfeng, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. Whether or not the punishment was related to ideology, Zhi said Yuan's speech aims to draw the "red line" for educators, especially Party members. "In China, ideological work from the Party extends to universities. Politics and education cannot be fully separated," Zhi said. In February, the education minister wrote in Party magazine Qiushi that "universities are at the forefront of ideological work and young teachers as well as students are the main target of hostile forces, who try to infiltrate and divide China." Yuan recommended the creation of a textbook system based on Marxist guidelines, and to "firmly boycott textbooks from the West that spread wrong ideas." In July, Lingnan Normal University professor Liang Xinsheng was removed from his post for publishing blogs on Sina Weibo, the Xinhua News Agency reported. His posts were deemed to have "damaged the Party and the country's image, causing harmful social influences." ^ top ^

China busts more graft-busters (Xinhua)
2015-12-02
A former anti-corruption official has been put under investigation for corruption, becoming the latest graft-buster to be busted. Fang Keyou was deputy chief of the Anhui Provincial discipline inspection team, responsible for supervising local authorities. Excluding Fang, at least eight discipline officials have been given punishments ranging from warnings to removal from office since the start of November, when China started a new round of anti-corruption inspections targeting key state and party organs. On Tuesday, it was announced that Jiang Guohe, former head of the discipline committee of the Fujian Energy Group, had been removed from office for involvement in bribery. Jiang is very likely to face prosecution, according to the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Cui Shuyan, head of the disciplinary organ of a branch of PICC, China's largest insurer, was removed from her post for not reporting her and her family members' gaining of permanent residence in Canada, a requirement under Party rules. Others were formally warned for not performing their supervision duties well. One such guilty part was Pang Huanlei, discipline chief of the Central Conservatory of Music, punished after attending a wedding ceremony for the university principal's daughter. The event broke frugality regulations, and Pang should have stopped it, according to an official statement. The principal also lost his job. The CPC started sending out inspectors to check up on departments in the 1990s. However, some inspectors themselves have reportedly abused their positions in many cases, damaging Party credibility and hampering the corruption fight. Last year, 1,575 discipline officials were punished, and two senior CCDI inspectors were removed from their posts. ^ top ^

China's cabinet begins major clean-up of regulations (Xinhua)
2015-12-02
The State Council will render "a batch" of rules and regulations defunct during a three-year, comprehensive clean-up of cabinet documents in a bid to cut red tape and inject market vitality. The clean-up, already under way, targets all documents drafted since the founding of the New China in 1949, and those that have expired or are either incompatible with current laws and regulations or covered by new rules will be invalidated, according to a decision approved by Premier Li Keqiang and made public Wednesday. "The move is aimed to further simplify administrative procedures, designate functions to lower organs, optimize service and reform, boost business start-ups and innovation for the public, stimulate market vitality and social creativity," the cabinet said in a statement accompanying the decision. An initial check has already led to immediate abatement of 489 such documents. The cabinet also urged local organs to streamline their own rules and regulations in a timely fashion, describing the clean-up as a move to accelerate the progress of building a government based on the rule of law and safeguarding the authoritative status of cabinet documents. ^ top ^

Chinese military confirms HQs to go in dramatic shake-up to rid challenge to Communist Party's leadership (SCMP)
2015-12-02
China's military mouthpiece has confirmed that its four headquarters and seven key military commands will have to be dissolved and dramatically reorganised. A commentary published on Monday in the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People's Liberation Army, said the existing system was outdated, too centralised and challenged the Communist Party's absolute leadership over the army. "The current command system … combines decision making, enforcement and oversight functions into one, exposing a series of shortcomings," the commentary said. "The four general headquarters' excessive concentration of power has allowed it to become an independent leadership hierarchy overshadowing many of the functions of the Central Military Commission, affecting the commission's centralised and unified leadership over the army." The South China Morning Post reported in September that the military overhaul included plans to consolidate the seven commands and reorganise the so-called four headquarters - the General Staff, General Political, General Logistics and General Armaments departments. But the commentary did not give details on how the four departments would be dissolved. The Post cited sources close to the army as saying that only the General Staff Department would remain intact after the shake-up, with it and the Ministry of National Defence absorbing the functions of the three other departments. The changes are also expected to reinforce President and CMC chairman Xi Jinping's political control over the PLA. Shanghai-based military analyst Ni Lexiong said that without checks and balances, creating a highly centralised leadership under the CMC chairman raised the risk of abuse. "As the one person with the great power of the party, military and government in his hands, Xi will need to be very self-disciplined to keep his mindset clear and clean. Otherwise, it will be a disaster for him and the whole country," Ni said. Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of Canada-based magazine Kanwa Asian Defence, said Xi faced political risks on par with those confronted by former Soviet chiefs Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev, who were forced to step down after introducing sweeping military reforms in the 1960s and 1980s. "Such a large-scale military overhaul, especially the massive lay-offs, cannot be pushed in such a hurry," Chang said. The military overhaul, which aims to shift the PLA from an army-centric system towards a Western-style joint command in which the army, navy and air force are equally represented, would be the biggest restructure since the PLA was founded in 1933, the article said. ^ top ^

The method in Xi Jinping's Marxism: What's behind the president's push for the economic theory? (SCMP)
2015-12-01
Xi Jinping's call last week to promote Marxist economic philosophy was more about the president's desire to develop his own political theory and shape his legacy and less an attempt to return the country to communist orthodoxy, analysts said. Xi has chaired three study sessions with Communist Party leaders on Marxism, most recently one last Monday with the Politburo on Marxist political economy. In the sessions, he stressed both Marxism and traditional Chinese culture and values as part of a broader push to fill a perceived ideological void in the country, analysts said. Addressing the Politburo last week, Xi said Marxist political economy could “help conduct economic analysis in a scientific way, improve the capability of managing a socialist market economy, and better answer problems of economic development”, in the face of the extremely complex economic situation at home and abroad. He also said the party had enriched Marxist political economy by combining its basic principles with new practices on the mainland. But Xi has also promoted market-oriented reforms, which run counter to Marxist thought. Rather than public ownership of the means of production, China has become a major destination for foreign capital and a centre for private enterprise. That is because Xi's focus is not on the party but on himself, according to Steve Tsang, professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham in Britain. “He is not preaching Marxism as insisting that the party should continue to uphold its ideology, whatever it is, in a pragmatic way, but as it is interpreted by him as leader,” Tsang said. […] agreed that Xi was trying to form his own political theory and adapt Marxism to highlight his thoughts on the country's development. […] “With an officially approved theory, it will be easier to popularise and implement his political and economic policies.” Zhu said it would be interesting to see how Xi would try to reconcile Marxism with market reforms down the track, especially in terms of private ownership and a mixed economy […] Xi was aiming to tie Marxism with traditional Chinese thought. “What this really emphasises is the so-called Sinicisation of Marxism,” Pu said.“ […] ^ top ^

A climate for change: how China went from zero to hero in fight against global warming in just 6 years (SCMP)
2015-12-01
When the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit ended without reaching a legally binding deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions, China was demonised for wrecking the negotiations. Six years later, the world's largest carbon emitter has become an unlikely leader in the international dialogue. China is now praised for its plans to tackle climate change – by peaking its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, and helping poor countries adapt to global warming. The changes, made possible by economic restructuring and public pressure to tackle pollution, come as the country – now the world's second-largest economy – straddles the division between developing and developed nations. […] So when negotiators from more than 190 nations met in Copenhagen in 2009, China refused not only to take on cuts itself, but ruled out including concrete emission targets in the summit's agreement. Beijing was criticised because then, China was already the world's largest carbon emitter and third-largest economy. […] Chinese negotiators still talk about “common but differentiated responsibilities”, but have also called for countries to offer innovative interpretations of the issue at next week's Paris summit, when nearly 200 countries will negotiate a new deal for the post-2020 period to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. […] In Copenhagen, China had refused to accept the same level of scrutiny of its emission reductions as developed countries, but Xi agreed with Obama in September on “strengthened” transparency that allowed some flexibility for poorer countries. China's promise of US$3.1 billion in support to developing countries, announced when Xi met Obama at the White House, also represented “a transition in the country's diplomatic strategy”, said Professor Zhang Haibin at Peking University's School of International Studies. […] China no longer sees low-carbon growth as a threat to its economic development. Rather, it's seen as bringing new business opportunities. […] One worrying sign is that China has given the green light to the construction of 155 coal-fired power plants this year […] ^ top ^

Premier Li vows AIDS battle (Xinhua)
2015-12-01
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has promised more initiatives to prevent and treat AIDS in order to limit its spread. "We need to guarantee spending on prevention and treatment, especially in the worst-hit regions and poverty-stricken areas in the center and west of China," said Li in a written instruction published on Monday, the eve of World AIDS Day. He said social organizations should be brought more into play and called for faster development of anti-AIDS drugs, while stressing that health insurance needs to be put in place to reduce the burden for those most in need. The premier also said an action plan for AIDS prevention and treatment for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) must be formulated as soon as possible, Latest figure suggests there were 575,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in China by the end of October, and 177,000 had died following infection. ^ top ^

Ex-environment official charged with corruption (China Daily)
2015-11-30
The former deputy head of the provincial environmental watchdog in Hebei has been charged with taking bribes along with another 10 officials, amid a tide of senior officials in environment authorities being accused of corruption since 2014. Li Bao had taken advantage of his leading position since 2009 to get benefits from illegal trades such as helping an environmental technology company in bids for building 196 air quality monitoring stations, Procuratorial Daily reported on Tuesday. He received property worth around 14 million yuan ($2.3 million) and $60,000 in cash, it said, adding that another 10 officials have been charged in the group corruption cases, and six of them worked in leading positions in provincial environmental protection department and its branches. This is the latest reported case amid a rising tide of corruption involving senior officials in environment authorities nationwide. In July, the former deputy minister of environmental protection, Zhang Lijun, 63, was held for investigation on corruption charges, the first ministerial level official in the environmental protection system to be investigated after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012. In addition, more high-level officials in this system have been investigated for corruption by using their power to get benefits from companies, such as Xiong Yuehui, former head of the ministry's scientific standards bureau, in August. Since 2012, the environmental protection system has seen a great increase in the number of cases of officials violating laws and regulations, said Zhou Ying, head of the anti-graft body at the ministry. The number of investigated officials has increased from 646 in 2012 to 1,684 in 2014, she added, and more than 20 percent were charged with corruption. "The public has seen the frequent exposure of corrupt officials in the environment system recently, demonstrating the high risk of corruption in this field," said Ma Yong, a researcher at a law center under the Supreme People's Court on Friday. China has given greater powers to the environmental protection system through revised laws and regulations since severe pollution has become a major public concern. The environment bureaus now have a greater voice in industrial production given their decisive role in granting companies an environmental impact assessment, which has led to some companies giving bribes to officials.. ^ top ^

Scandal over giant phoenix mural in southwest China mirrors rise and fall of corrupt official (SCMP)
2015-11-29
A giant cliff mural of a pair of phoenixes in southwest China has brought about the downfall of a senior city official who commissioned it after it was found he accepted millions of yuan in bribes and kickbacks, and misappropriated millions more from funds for the project. Huang Deyi, 51, a deputy city mayor in Guangxi autonomous region, stood trial this week after he confessed to taking more than 5 million yuan (HK$6 million) in bribes over six years, the Nanguo Morning News reported. The fall of Huang Deyi, 51, followed residents' complaints that he had spent 50 million yuan to have the giant fresco carved at the entry to Fengshan county, which he headed at the time, in the northwest of the scenic but impoverished region. The Guangxi anti-graft watchdog found that Huang had also misappropriated 5.35 million yuan – the equivalent of half of Fengshan's annual revenue – from public funds to make the mural, which only cost about 2 million yuan to construct. The report did not say how the money was misappropriated, but the investigation is continuing into what happened to the outstanding millions of yuan. However, it was established that between 2007 and 2013, Huang took bribes of more than 5.21 million yuan, which included 3kg of gold, the report said. In one case, Huang took gifts totalling 600,000 yuan to help a local investment firm build a sewage and garbage treatment works and invest in other infrastructure projects in the county. On another occasion, Huang accepted about 2.3 million yuan from a businessman surnamed Wen from Zhejiang province to help develop tourism real estate in the county. Although Huang later returned the gifts, he accepted 200,000 in cash from Wen in 2012 after his promotion to deputy mayor of Hechi, a prefectural level city that administers Fengshan county. “I didn't mean to take those bribes on purpose. For most of the time, I accepted them when I was drunk,” Huang told the court, according to the report. “I didn't want these bribes, and I regret taking them. But I didn't return them because I was afraid of losing face. ” ^ top ^

China's PLA reforms slash political posts as part of a 300,000 cut in non-combat personnel by 2017 (SCMP)
2015-11-29
Many rank-and-file political officers are expected to lose their jobs in the reform of the People's Liberation Army. However, the Chinese Communist Party's grip on the military's political ideology will be tightened with the setting up of a discipline commission that will take over the responsibilities for military discipline from political officers and their deputies in lower level military units. A unique feature of the PLA means political officers - the most senior of whom are commissars - hold military rank equalling that of unit commanders to ensure the party's absolutely control over combat forces. Political officers, who exist at all levels, oversee discipline and manage non-combat units, including medical, communications, academies, promotion of personnel, as well as army entertainment troupes. President Xi Jinping said a cut of 300,000 military personnel by 2017 - affecting many non-combat units overseen by the political departments - would lead to the PLA downsizing to two million personnel. The decision to have fewer non-combat personnel means there will be no need for so many political officers. "The planned reorganisation will affect many departments, with non-combat units either removed or downsized, so it will lead to a fewer political officers," Hong Kong-based military observer Liang Guoliang said. Analysts said the number of political officers had increased in the past few decades. During wars in the 1930s and 1950s, political commissar posts were held by commanders or deputy commanders. Former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and former defence minister Peng Dehuai were political commissars. In the 1950s, an army unit would have one political commissar and one deputy. S ome local military commands now have six deputy political commissars. Such posts have become hotbeds for corruption. Disgraced Central Military Commission vice-chairman Xu Caihou, a former Shenyang political commissar, took bribes in return for making appointments. Chen Daoyin, an associate professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said "the overhaul means the political status of departments and political commissars will be weakened … and the new disciplinary commission will help the party control the army more". ^ top ^

More power will go to lower levels under reform (China Daily)
2015-11-28
China's top military authority, the Central Military Commission, will greatly reduce its departments and personnel and give more power to lower-level authorities, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday. "The reform aims to enable the Central Military Commission to focus on its core missions, integrate similar functions, intensify supervision and better act as a coordinator," Senior Colonel Yang Yujun told a news conference on the reform guidelines, which were announced by the commission on Thursday. After the reform, the decision on some specific matters will be left to lower-level authorities, he said, adding that the commission has planned to extensively cut the number of its organs, employees and affiliated entities. "The restructuring will slim the commission and make it more efficient," the spokesman said. "The top authority will take the lead to compress its size, giving a good example to the whole People's Liberation Army." The Central Military Commission hosted a three-day PLA reform meeting in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday. President Xi Jinping, who is chairman of the commission, gave guidelines on the reform at the conference. According to Yang, the Central Military Commission organized more than 860 seminars and forums to solicit suggestions on the unprecedented reform. Nearly 700 PLA units and government departments and more than 900 high-ranking officers were surveyed. Yang also said that establishment of the ground force's headquarters will improve the Army's development and modernization. Responding to a question on whether the reform will change China's defense policy, he said that the policy will remain "defensive in nature", and that Chinese armed forces "will always be a staunch force to safeguard world peace and regional stability". President Xi's pledge in September that the military will cut 300,000 troops has demonstrated the nation's resolve to pursue a path of peaceful development, Yang added. The government and the military have drafted a detailed plan and a set of supporting measures to make sure that the interests of those affected by the reform will not be compromised, he said. ^ top ^

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu 'had no choice' but to confess guilt before early release from prison, legal experts say (SCMP)
2015-11-28
While dissident journalist Gao Yu was said to be released from her 20-month detention on state secret charges for medical reasons, the outcome of her case actually hinged upon one thing: a confession. State media said Gao, 71, who has heart disease and high blood pressure, was allowed to serve her sentence outside jail due to her “severe illnesses”. Just a few hours before the announcement, Gao, who had earlier insisted on her innocence, pleaded guilty at an appeal hearing at a high court in Beijing, which cut Gao's original jail term of seven years to five, said a Xinhua report headlined “Gao Yu confesses and regrets her guilt.” People familiar with the third-time jailed journalists said a confession was out of character for the normally spirited woman. Gao wrote in her memoir that state security agents tried to extract a confession from her in 1997 as a condition of her release, but she refused. But during her latest ordeal, she had confessed twice. In May last year, two weeks after she was detained, she admitted on state television that she “breached the law and endangered national interests”. At the time, she was told a confession would mean she and her son, who was detained along with her, would be released. But in the end, only her son was released. She retracted her confession during her trial the following November, saying it was extracted under coercion. Gao was sentenced to seven years in jail in April. The verdict said she had sent an electronic version of a Communist Party circular known as “Document No9 to the US-based website Mingjing in 2013, although both Gao and Mingjing denied it. Gao's health deteriorated in the following months and lawyers pressed for her release her on medical grounds. The authorities put pressure on her to plead guilty as a condition for her release and she resisted, family and lawyers said. Legal experts say political prisoners in China are often pushed to own up their supposed guilt in the absence of evidence to incriminate them, even though confessions alone are not allowed as evidence against defendants under Chinese law. […] He said forced confessions amounted to mental torture and instilled fear and anxiety in detainees – factors that likely contributed towards Gao's ailing health in custody. […] ^ top ^

Guo Feixiong, Chinese press freedom activist, jailed for six years over censorship protests (SCMP)
2015-11-27
A prominent Chinese rights activist, Guo Feixiong, was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday by a court in southern China, his lawyer said on Friday, amid a crackdown on human rights advocates across the country. Two other activists, Liu Yuandong and Sun Desheng, were sentenced to three years and 2½ years, according to Guo's lawyer, Zhang Lei. Guo and Sun had been accused of “gathering crowds to disturb social order” during a nearly week-long peaceful demonstration outside the gates of a newspaper, the Southern Weekly, in January 2013. The protest called on the authorities to respect media freedoms amid a censorship row. “He wasn't guilty of anything at all. This sentence is unacceptable and unfair,” Zhang said after attending the court on Friday. Guo had previously been jailed for nearly five years for his grassroots activism. Guo, 48, whose real name is Yang Maodong, had been detained by Chinese authorities for over two years before sentencing with his trial stuck in limbo due to delays and a boycott by his lawyers last year to protest against what they called procedural violations. As with previous hearings for Guo, and other rights activists in Guanghzou, the area around the court was blocked off and heavily policed. Guo had been held in a crowded cell and barred from exercising outside in violation of international standards on the treatment of prisoners, according to rights groups. His lawyer said Guo's health had deteriorated and that two police officers had handled Guo roughly in court, injuring his arms. Amnesty International said Sun Desheng had been forced to wear handcuffs and leg cuffs for long periods in detention. Human rights groups and Western countries have expressed repeated concern about a widening campaign by President Xi Jinping to quash dissent among academics, journalists and social activists. A Chinese court on Thursday upheld a conviction against a prominent journalist, Gao Yu, 71, who was accused of leaking an internal Communist Party document to a foreign website, but reduced her seven-year jail term by two years. “Beijing's assault on civil society seems to know no bounds as peaceful activists are increasingly subject to criminal prosecutions,” said Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch in New York. “The Chinese government should immediately drop all charges against Guangzhou activists Guo Feixiong and Sun Desheng and release them.” ^ top ^

 

Beijing

Former Yunnan official sentenced for taking bribes (Xinhua)
2015-12-03
Shen Peiping, former vice governor of Yunnan province, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for accepting bribes worth around 16 million yuan (2.5 million U.S. dollars), a Beijing court announced Thursday a guilty verdict. Two million yuan of Shen's personal assets will be confiscated, according to the ruling of the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. Shen's real estate property has already been seized, the court said. Shen pleaded guilty, saying not to appeal. ^ top ^

 

Tibet

China insists on right to approve next Dalai Lama in tussle over Tibetan spiritual leader's reincarnation (SCMP)
2015-12-01
China will never give up the right to decide on the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, a top Chinese official said yesterday, despite criticism from rights groups and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader on the issue. The Dalai Lama and China's officially atheist Communist Party have repeatedly tussled over who has final authority on the issue of reincarnation. Tibetans fear that China will use the issue of the Dalai Lama's succession to split Tibetan Buddhism, with one new Dalai Lama named by exiles and one by the government after his death. READ MORE: China says Dalai Lama 'profanes' Buddhism by doubting his reincarnation The central government has stiffened its resolve to decide on the reincarnation of "living Buddhas, so as to ensure victory over the anti-separatist struggle", Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to the country's legislature, wrote in the state-run Global Times. China says the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, is a violent separatist. The Nobel Peace laureate denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet. Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death. China says the tradition must continue and it must approve the next Dalai Lama. However, the Dalai Lama has said he thinks the title could end when he dies. Chinese officials, however, have stressed that the present Dalai Lama has no right to abandon reincarnation. In a commentary, Zhu said the issue "has never been purely a religious matter or to do with the Dalai Lama's individual rights; it is first and foremost an important political matter in Tibet and an important manifestation of the Chinese central government's sovereignty over Tibet". As the Dalai Lama is the first political leader of Tibet, "whoever has the name of Dalai Lama will control political power in Tibet", Zhu added. "For this reason, since historical times, the central government has never given up, and will never give up, the right to decide the reincarnation affairs of the Dalai Lama," Zhu said. ^ top ^

 

Hongkong

China's Premier flags closer ties between Hong Kong and Guangdong zone after yuan's inclusion in special drawing rights (SCMP)
2015-12-03
Beijing would encourage the Guangdong free-trade zone to cooperate with Hong Kong and Macau in pioneering financial reform as it sought to make the yuan a convertible currency under the capital account "in an orderly way", Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday. His remarks came two days after the International Monetary Fund granted reserve currency status to the yuan. The central government would encourage the free-trade zone in Guangdong to deepen its ties with Hong Kong and conduct "innovative trials" in cross-border use of the yuan and in opening the capital account, Li said in a statement released after a regular State Council meeting. Tianjin and Fujian had been instructed to conduct similar experiments in their free-trade zones, Li said. Beijing has been relying on a top-down approach to relaxing capital controls. This has included opening the interbank bond market to foreign central banks and creating a stock link between Shanghai and Hong Kong. Beijing has also been encouraging bottom-up trials, in which local governments make rules that apply only to small designated areas, with mixed results. Beijing would seek ways to improve financial support to small businesses in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, and conduct trials in rural financial services in Jilin province, the State Council said. The IMF on Monday approved the yuan as the fifth currency in its Special Drawing Rights basket along with the US dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen. Li welcomed the IMF's decision, saying it amounted to a recognition of China's economic achievements. He said China would "take the chance" to deepen financial industry reform. The IMF's decision would "help the process of yuan internationalisation and facilitate China's role in global economic governance at a deeper and wider level", Li added. Ben Bernanke, the former US Federal Reserve chairman and now a researcher at Brookings Institute, said including the yuan in the SDR was "the equivalent of a gold star" for China. It had no real value other than motivating the country to "work hard on the next assignment", he said. But the yuan's inclusion in the SDR could be meaningful if Beijing took it as a catalyst for financial market reforms, Wang Tao, UBS chief China economist, said. Yi Gang, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said on Tuesday that the yuan's inclusion in the elite club was not a case of "once and forever". He said a review would be conducted by the IMF every five years, and the currency would be taken out of the SDR if it failed to meet the review criteria. ^ top ^

Hired in secret: public not told about new adviser for Hong Kong's Central Policy Unit (SCMP)
2015-12-02
The Central Policy Unit, responsible for advising Hong Kong's chief executive, chief secretary and financial secretary, has been criticised for quietly appointing a senior adviser to the government's think tank without disclosing the move to the public. Former academic Dr Louie Kin-sheun assumed his short-term role as special project director on Monday – the appointment only confirmed after an inquiry from the South China Morning Post. No public announcement was made, unlike in the appointments of three other members on the same pay grade who were handed longer-term contracts. Louie, a retired City University political scientist, is the elder brother of Louie King-bun, a former executive editor of pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Po and former executive director of ATV. He confirmed to the Post he had started work but declined to give details on which projects he will be responsible for. A unit spokesman confirmed Louie's “temporary” tenure would last 12 months. His pay grade is directorate grade-three – HK$180,200 per month. “Dr Louie is an experienced academic, having worked in various tertiary institutions for over 20 years. His research expertise covers history, political systems, and cultural issues,” the spokesman said. According to the government, the academic will assist the Policy Unit chief Shiu Sin-por in leading special research projects. The government can appoint advisers on shorter-term contracts without seeking approval from Legislative Council's Finance Committee or Establishment Subcommittee. Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, a member of both committees, said: “There is nothing to hide, but if the government feel the appointment is legitimate and appropriate, they should announce it. “A secret appointment would only create suspicion and undermine government credibility.” ^ top ^

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing parties should brace themselves for a tough 2016 (SCMP)
2015-12-01
The pro-establishment camp has nothing to celebrate after the district council elections. Some core members originally saw the polls as an occasion for voters to punish the pan-democrats for backing Occupy Central and voting down the government's package for electing the chief executive in 2017. In the face of the apparently lukewarm atmosphere during campaigning, plus the strong electioneering machinery of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, even some pan-democrats were bracing themselves for poor results. […] The DAB won 119 seats and its candidates had a success rate of 69.6 per cent, down 5 percentage points on 2011. The flagship pro-establishment party described the results as “OK” but, given its abundant resources for campaigning and district work, the number of seats it secured is by no means encouraging. Don't forget that the DAB pocketed a record HK$63.8 million at its fundraising event last year – several times the amount of the Democratic Party's annual revenue. […] The impact of young voters, including the 261,000 who were newly registered this year, remains to be seen as the Registration and Electoral Office has yet to release the breakdown of voter turnout by age group. But the flocking of young voters to polling stations caught the campaign teams of many pro-establishment candidates by surprise, rekindling memories of the massive numbers coming out to vote in the 2003 district elections. […] Thanks to polarisation in the wake of Occupy, some people who oppose the civil disobedience movement also came out to make their voices heard. The pro-establishment camp should prepare itself for more sobering results at next year's Legislative Council election. Based on the record of previous elections, young voters, who tend to back pan-democrats, are more drawn to Legco elections than district council polls. In the 2011 district council election, about 30 per cent of registered voters aged 18 to 30 turned out to vote. The turnout rate of voters in this age group rose to 49 per cent in the 2012 Legco election. The pro-establishment camp should brace itself. ^ top ^

 

Taiwan

Taiwan and mainland China's spy swap a sign of how far cross-strait ties have improved under Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou's rule (SCMP)
2015-12-01
A swap between Beijing and Taipei of three jailed spies - announced yesterday, just weeks after the two sides' leaders met at a historic summit - is testament to Taiwan's improved ties with the mainland under Ma Ying-jeou's presidency, analysts said. Beijing released Colonel Zhu Gongxun and Colonel Xu Changguo of Taiwan's Military Intelligence who had held behind bars for more than nine years, after Taiwan gave advance parole to mainland spy Li Zhichao, a statement from Ma's office said. The news comes less than a month after Ma and President Xi Jinping met in Singapore on November 7. It was the first meeting between the two sides' leaders in 66 years after the Communist Party defeated the Kuomintang, which fled to Taiwan, during the Chinese civil war in 1949. Zhu and Xu were returned to Taiwan in mid-October, Taiwan's defence ministry said. It was the first time the two sides had officially exchanged their captives. "This is based on a mutual goodwill gesture delivered by the Ma-Xi meeting," Ma's spokesman, Charles Chen, said. There are more than 100 Taiwanese spies imprisoned on the mainland, among whom Zhu and Xu were the highest-ranked. The most senior mainland spy in Taiwan, Major General Lo Hsien-chen, was still serving out his life sentence, Taiwanese newspaper The China Times reported. Beijing still sees the self-ruled island as a "renegade province" to be reunited, by force if necessary. […] But Arthur Ding Shu-fan, a professor at Taiwan's National Chengchi University, said the move was unlikely to do much to improve Beijing's image on the island amid mounting anti-mainland sentiment. This was because the mainland's missiles remained aimed at the island and Beijing was still suppressing Taiwan's participation in international organisations, he said. Moreover, Ma's term as president will end in a few weeks, with the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party tipped to win the January presidential elections. Beijing probably would not grant DPP presidential front runner Tsai Ing-wen the favour of freeing Taiwanese agents, Ding said. "[Mainland] China clearly distrusts the DPP, although they both maintain some flexibility," he said. "[The spy swap move] is more like a conclusion to Ma's reign." For decades, both sides have sent spies across the strait. People's Liberation Army Major General Liu Liankun was the highest-ranked mainland military officer convicted for spying for Taiwan. Liu was executed in 1999 after it was discovered he had revealed confidential information to then-Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui. He had told Lee that the missiles Beijing test-fired during the 1996 crisis were not armed. Four other Taiwanese agents were also implicated. ^ top ^

 

Economy

Li pledges to cut back on overcapacity (China Daily)
2015-12-04
Premier Li Keqiang has pledged "firmer resolve and greater efforts" to tackle the long-standing problem of industrial overcapacity as "old growth drivers" such as manufacturing and investment continue to struggle. China is experiencing a tough time and pain in shifting to new growth drivers featuring high-tech and service industries, he said. "We should strive to upgrade traditional industries," he told a seminar on the country's economic situation held in Beijing on Wednesday. The gathering was attended by economists and ministers. Li highlighted the pressing need to curb industrial overcapacity, which has been blamed for surplus inventory and shrinking profits in the industrial sector and a drag on overall economic growth. […] "From next year, we should be determined to cut back on overcapacity in traditional industries as well as a large number of zombie enterprises," he said while pointing to the worst-performing steel and coal industries. […] Li Daokui, director of Tsinghua University's Center for China in the World Economy and one of the six experts invited, warned that excess and backward industrial capacity is one of the major economic woes. With China producing 800 million tons of steel a year, four times more than any other country has ever produced, the sector is experiencing overcapacity of about 400 million tons as construction slows. Large and medium-sized Chinese steel companies saw overall losses in the first eight months of this year after recording profits a year ago, according to the China Iron and Steel Association. […] The move is aimed at increasing the quality and efficiency of the supply system and providing growth impetus for sustainable economic development. Observers said this indicates the new thinking of China's top leadership on macroeconomic policy. Premier Li also said at Wednesday's meeting that reforms covering supply and demand should be handled in a balanced way, as the Chinese economy is still seeing a lack of demand in some sectors. "Efforts to moderately expand demand should continue in future," he said. ^ top ^

China vows financial reforms after yuan's SDR entry (China Daily)
2015-12-02
China's cabinet, the State Council, on Wednesday welcomed the IMF decision to include the yuan in its Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket, seeing an opportunity for further financial reform and opening up. The IMF decision is recognition of China's reform and opening-up achievements, and will enable China to be more engaged in global economic governance, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. The State Council reiterated that China will stick to a managed, floating exchange rate mechanism, keep the currency stable at a reasonable level and make it convertible under the capital account "in an orderly manner." The IMF will add the Chinese currency to its SDR basket from Oct. 1, 2016 with a weighting of 10.92 percent, as the currency has "met all existing criteria." The weighting of the other currencies in the basket is 41.73 percent for the US dollar, 30.93 percent for the euro, 8.33 percent for the Japanese yen and 8.09 percent for the British pound. Created by the IMF in 1969, the SDR is an international reserve asset supplementing members' official reserves. It can be exchanged among governments for freely usable currencies in times of need. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde described the decision as "an important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy into the global financial system." Also at Wednesday's meeting, the State Council decided to allow several regions in Zhejiang and Jilin provinces to pilot approaches aimed at easing financing difficulties for small businesses and improving rural financing. Free trade zones in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian will be given the greenlight to experiment with cross-border yuan use, capital account convertibility and cross-border financing. Wednesday's meeting also passed a draft amendment to China's family planning law that allows all couples to have two children. ^ top ^

China takes over G20 presidency (China Daily)
2015-2-01
Preparation for the 2016 Group of Twenty (G20) Summit is going smoothly, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson said on Tuesday, as China officially took over G20 presidency. The summit's official website is now in use and updates will be posted on it regularly, Hua Chunying said at a daily media briefing. China will follow the principles of "openness, transparency and inclusiveness" in hosting the summit and maintain close coordination with member states, she said. China will host the summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou on Sept. 4 and 5 next year. In a statement released on Monday night, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the G20 to make substantial progress in promoting international economic cooperation, and to help solve pressing problems facing the world economy. The theme of next year's G20 summit is "building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy". China's preparations will be focused on innovating in growth patterns, improving global economic and financial governance, boosting international trade and investment, and promoting inclusive and interconnected development, according to Xi. ^ top ^

Lock-up shares worth 46.8 bln yuan to become tradable (Xinhua)
2015-11-29
Lock-up shares worth 46.8 billion yuan (7.63 billion U.S. dollars) will become eligible for trade on China's stock market next week. About 3.32 billion shares from 30 companies will become tradable on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses. Tri-Ring Group, listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, will see non-tradable shares worth around 14.90 billion yuan become tradable next week, the largest amount to hit the market. Under China's market rules, major shareholders of non-tradable stocks are subject to one or two years of lock-up before they are permitted to trade. ^ top ^

Mainland and Hong Kong reach CEPA service trade agreement (China Daily)
2015-11-27
The Chinese mainland and Hong Kong reached a Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement on service trade on Friday, opening up a new era of liberalization in service trades between the two sides. The arrangement, signed by Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen and John Tsang, the Hong Kong SAR Government Financial Secretary, will be implemented on June 1, 2016, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The agreement outlined principled regulations with a range of applications, bilateral obligations, most favored treatment, financial prudence principles, supporting measures, exception clauses, restrictive measures, trans boarder services, special procedures and information requirements and investment facilitation. It also illustrates the mainland's restrictive measures in the format of negative listing under Hong Kong's current business model and the mainland's newly added measures in fields of trans-border service, telecommunications and culture. According to the ministry, the agreement is based on the experiences and efforts to forge closer economic ties between China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Hong Kong earlier, while bringing about more innovative measures to boost business of higher level and stronger capacity. The mainland will open up 153 service sectors to Hong Kong, 95.6 percent of the 160 service sectors related to the World Trade Organization, it said. The agreement also ensures that Hong Kong is given the most favorable treatment in the mainland, which means any free trade agreement the mainland signed with other countries or regions applies to Hong Kong as long as it's more favorable than the CEPA. The liberalization of service trade between the mainland and Hong Kong will not only help Hong Kong strengthen its status as a hub for international finance, trade and shipping and enhance its development of the emerging modern service industry, but also brings more vitality to the mainland's service sector, it said. ^ top ^

 

Mongolia

Mongolia and USA will expand their cooperation in trade, economy and investment (Montsame)
2015-12-02
Expressing the satisfaction with intensifying of the Mongolia-USA relations and cooperation, the two countries affirmed their aspiration to broaden the bilateral cooperation in trade, economy and investment. It was sounded during a meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr L.Purevsuren on Tuesday with Ms Jennifer Z. Galt, the US Ambassador to Mongolia. Ms Galt appreciated the Mongolian example of a development of the democratic governance to those countries that are transmitting into democracy, and then said she aspires to contribute to preparing Mongolian young democratic leaders and initiate specific works. The sides also exchanged views on the multilateral cooperation and activities of the Mongolian Foundation for International Cooperation. ^ top ^

Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren pays a working visit to Switzerland (InfoMongolia)
2015-11-27
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Mr. Lundeg PUREVSUREN paid a working visit to the Swiss Confederation on November 26, 2015. During the visit, Minister L.Purevsuren held talks with Mr. Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and exchanged views on bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. Minister L.Purevsuren expressed satisfaction with the development of the relations between the two countries, especially in politics, development assistance, cultural and humanitarian sectors. He mentioned that Mongolia attaches great importance to its ties with Switzerland and underlined Mongolia's interest to deepen political talks in all aspects, continue the collaboration in the field of development assistance and broaden the bilateral relations in diverse areas including economy, trade, investment, tourism, agriculture and education. In relation to the President's announcement on Mongolia's permanent neutrality during the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, a bilateral consultation meeting to share and exchange views on Swiss neutrality was held on November 16-17, 2015 in Bern. […] Mr. Burkhalter also congratulated Mongolia's success in strengthening democracy and particularly on its 25th anniversary of the First Democratic Election, and expressed his support for Mongolia's initiative on permanent neutrality On the same day, Foreign Minister L.Purevsuren held a meeting with Mr. Manuel Sager, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). At the meeting, Minister L.Purevsuren noted the valuable development assistance given to Mongolia and expressed appreciation to the government and people of Switzerland for the implementation of projects on decentralization, developing good governance, ensuring safety of food and agricultural goods, and improving vocational training system in rural areas. […] Within the framework of his visit, Foreign Minister of Mongolia attended the 24th Session of the Council of Member States and the Annual Democracy Forum of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and officially received the chairmanship of the International IDEA's Council from the Swiss Confederation, the previous chair in 2015. […] ^ top ^

Foreign Minister meets SDC Director-General (Montsame)
2015-11-27
In frames of a working visit to Switzerland on Thursday, the Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Purevsuren received Mr Manuel Sager, the director-general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The Minister said a developmental assistance of Switzerland to Mongolia is fully accorded with governmental goals to ensure the sustainable development, "our government and people are thankful to Switzerland for realizing programmes on decentralization, developing good-governance, ensuring agricultural and food safeties and improving vocational training system in localities". Mongolia has concrete necessities to continue receiving developmental aid from Switzerland, he said adding that Mongolia aspires to introduce Swiss technologies and to attract investments after designing ways of sustainable and fruitful long-term collaboration with Switzerland in agriculture, food industry and tourism. Mr Sager expressed a satisfaction with successful implementation of developmental projects and programmes on agriculture, food safety, good governance and vocational training. He said his country is ready to share with Mongolia its experience. ^ top ^

 

Mrs. Tamara Ta
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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