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
  01.03-05.03.2004, No. 09  
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Foreign Policy

Universal suffrage in HK out of question for 2007, 2008
2004-03-03 Xinhua News
Messages from Beijing clearly suggest that it will be impossible for Hong Kong to adopt universal suffrage for the election of the chief executive in 2007 and the formation of the legislature in 2008, according to Wen Wei Po's editorial on Monday. In his signed article released by Xinhua news agency on Sunday, Professor Xu Chongde, one of the drafters of the Basic Law, recalled how Deng Xiaoping had explained that those elected through one-person-one-vote would not necessarily be patriotic. The republication of Deng's speech two decades ago and the four key Xinhua commentaries have combined to relay a strong and explicit message from Beijing: Hong Kong cannot possibly have universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008; its constitutional development must proceed in an orderly and progressive manner and must ensure that the main body of those ruling Hong Kong are patriots. The Basic Law stipulates that Hong Kong's constitutional development must be undertaken in the light of its actual situation. What is the actual situation? Some directly elected legislators have joined political organizations that aim to subvert the central government; some have openly supported Taiwan separatism; some have invited foreign forces to intervene in Hong Kong's internal affairs; and some have obstructed legislation for Article 23. "( ) Deng Xiaoping was telling the world that Hong Kong's political system should not copy from the West. Some said Deng's remarks were not in line with the current realities in the SAR, but what some legislators have done are manifestations that his words are not obsolete at all. Certainly, saying that there should be no universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008 does not mean that this election mode should be abandoned. It only means that it should be realized step by step. Compared to the situation before 1997, the present democratization process can be considered to be too speedy.

No meddling in China's internal affairs: FM
2004-03-03 Xinhua News
The Chinese government resolutely opposes any attempts to interfere in its internal affairs, said Liu Jianchao, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wednesday. It has been reported that Martin Lee, and other two members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Legislative Council will give evidence to a US Senate hearing on the issue of democracy of Hong Kong. Liu said Hong Kong's democratic issue was China's internal affairs, and the Basic Law had earnestly safeguarded the democracy of Hong Kong and its people's democratic rights. "The Chinese people are wise enough to handle Hong Kong affairs according to the law, and any random comments are not necessary, "he noted.

China and the United States strengthen military exchanges
PLA Daily 2004-03-01
On February 24-28, the Command Ship "Blue Ridge" of the Seventh Fleet of the US Navy, under its Commander Vice Admiral Willard, paid its third visit to Shanghai. During its five-day visit, sailors from the East China Sea Fleet of the PLAN and their U.S. counterparts held a series of exchanges and activities. As the weather glass of Sino-US relations, the military exchanges between the two countries measure the ups and downs of relations between the two countries for the past two decades. Cooperation between China and the U.S., the two major powers with significant influence in the world, is no doubt what the peoples of the two countries and other peace-loving people around the world hope for. After the 9/11 attacks, the Sino-U.S. relations began to change for the better and their military exchanges started to grow steadily. The great importance attached to the military exchanges by the two sides is epitomized in the frequent mutual visits by defense leaders and warships. ( )

China welcomes consensus between DPRK and Japan: official
2004-02-28 Xinhua News
China welcomes any consensus reached between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Japan, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Saturday. Wang said at a press conference that the DPRK and Japan met on the sidelines of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue, and they exchanged views on existing problems. "China welcomes any consensus reached between the DPRK and Japan, and hopes an early normalization of relations between the two sides can be realized.," Wang said. The Chinese deputy foreign minister said the specific goal of next round of six-party talks, set to be held in Beijing no later than the end of the second quarter of 2004, has yet to be discussed among the six countries. ( )

Wang Yi says first-phase goal of nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is clear
2004-02-28 Xinhua News
Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi Saturday said at present the first-phase goal of realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is clear. Wang made the remark at a press conference in the afternoon after the closing of the second round of six-party talks. ( )The six countries attending the just-concluded six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue expressed their commitment to a "nuclear-weapon-free" Korean Peninsula, according to the chairman's statement released here Saturday after the talks. "The Parties expressed their commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free Korean Peninsula, and to resolving the nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue ..." the chairman's statement said. The United States, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russia, the Republic of Korea and Japan concluded their second round of talks Saturday afternoon. ( )WangYi explained the positions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States on the six-party talks. The DPRK further made clear its willingness to abolish its nuclear program, Wang said at a news briefing. So long as the United State drops its hostile policy toward the DPRK, the DPRK is willing to abandon its nuclear weapon development program.


Domestic Policy

Wird China 2020 zum drittstärksten Land aufsteigen?
2004-03-04 Renmin Ribao
Bis zum Jahr 2020 will China eine Gesellschaft mit bescheidenem Wohlstand aufbauen, deren Bruttoinlandsprodukt 4 Billionen US-Dollar betragen soll. China wäre dann das drittstärkste Land der Welt, heißt es in einem am Dienstag vorgelegten Schrift der Chinesischen Akademie der Wissenschaften über die Strategie der nachhaltigen Entwicklung. ( )Dazu meint Chefgutachter Niu Wenyuan, die Urbanisierungsrate in China werde im Jahr 2020 bei 55% liegen. 700 Millionen Menschen würden dann in Städten wohnen. Zudem sollten das natürliche Bevölkerungswachstum, der Rohstoff- und Energieverbrauch sowie die Verschmutzung der Umwelt in den Städten ein Nullwachstum erreicht haben. ()

Constitutional amendments under way
2004-03-02 Xinhua News
Nearly 3,000 members of China's top legislature have shown up here for an annual session to assess the performance of the central government and take the historic decision to write the protection of private property into the country's constitution. In a 10-day session that is scheduled to begin Friday, the NPC delegates will, as usual, hear Premier Wen Jiabao outlining the achievements of his government that will include successes in the fight against SARS, the stunning feat of manned-space trip and an awesome 9.1 percent GDP growth. They will also hear him presenting a list of problems, such as the rebuilding of the health system, corruption, unemployment, the lightening of the burdens of farmers and the movement of rural surplus labor the government has tackled and will continue to tackle. ( )They particularly care about a balanced development between urban and rural areas and about the enlarging regional disparities. "Many farmers have pinned high hopes on this year's NPC annual session," said Zhang Xinshi, mayor of the less-developed Suqian City in east China's wealthy Jiangsu Province, who had conducted extensive investigations in preparation for the annual session. ( )

Hilfe für Aids-Patienten in Henan
2004-03-04 Renmin Ribao
Die Regierung der zentralchinesischen Provinz Henan hat 76 Mitarbeiter in 38 besonders schwer von Aids betroffene Dörfer entsandt, um die dortigen Patienten zu unterstützen. Beamte des Gesundheitsamts, des Finanzamts und anderer relevanter Regierungsämter der Provinz werden ein Jahr in den Dörfern leben und für den Lebensunterhalt der AIDS-Kranken sorgen. Im Landkreis Shangcai hatten sich zahlreiche Bauern bei bezahlten Blutspendeaktionen auf Grund mangelhafter Hygiene mit Aids infiziert. In der Provinz Henan sind insgesamt mehr als 110.000 HIV-Infizierte gemeldet. ( ) Die Entsendung der Beamten war am 14. Februar auf einer Konferenz über die Unterstützung von AIDS-Patienten beschlossen worden. Die Beamte wurden aus den zuständigen Regierungsämtern der Provinz ausgewählt und in Arbeitsteams eingeteilt.

China, US cooperate in fighting AIDS
2004-03-02 Xinhua News
China and the United States have launched a joint project to fight AIDS in ten Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The Global AIDS Program, initiated by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was launched here Tuesday with a promised 15-million-US-dollar investment from the US side. The Global AIDS Program aims to provide information and technology to help the health departments in the provinces of Heilongjiang, Shandong, Henan, Anhui, Guangdong and Guizhou, Beijing Municipality, and the Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions to improve their ability to prevent the spread of AIDS. The 2003 statistics from the Ministry of Health estimate that more than 840,000 Chinese people are HIV-carriers, of whom 80,000 are AIDS patients. ( ) US Ambassador to China Clark T. Rantd Jr said the US government would help China to respond in a timely and effective way to AIDS, expressing his hope that the two sides could cooperate closely to improve the technology of the testing, surveillance and treatment of AIDS. ( )

First local law on AIDS prevention to take effect in Yunnan
2004-02-29 People's Daily
China's first local law on the prevention of AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, will take effect in Yunnan Province in southwest China on Monday. According to the law, the province will provide disposable injection needles for drug users and condoms will be available either for free or at a lower price in all its hotels and entertainment venues, like night clubs, as part of its effort to control the spread of AIDS. In addition, AIDS prevention has been written into the duties of all levels of government in the province in the law, which also requires the government to set up a special organization on AIDS control, consisting of officials from the departments like public security, health, education and supervision. By December 2003, statistics showed the province with a population of over 42 million reported 14,905 HIV positive cases and 907 AIDS patients, the largest number in the country, and 558 of them had died, said Lu Lin, director of the province's disease prevention and control center.

Verbesserung der Menschenrechte ist die Pflicht Chinas im 21. Jahrhundert
2004-03-04 Guangming Ribao
Die Respektierung und der verbesserte Schutz der Menschenrechte ist nach Ansicht von Staatskommissar Tang Jiaxuan eine wichtige Aufgabe Chinas im 21. Jahrhundert. Auf einer Konferenz des Instituts für Menschenrechte sagte er am Montag in Beijing, China habe in den vergangenen Jahren beim Menschenrechtsschutz trotz Unzulänglichkeiten einige Fortschritte erzielt. Institutsleiter Zhou Jue verwies darauf, dass die KP Chinas die Notwendigkeit eines geordneten Ausbaus der politischen Mitwirkung des Volkes und der Respektierung und Gewährleistung der Menschenrechte sehe. So habe die KP zahlreiche Maßnahmen ergriffen, um die Interessen von bäuerlichen Wanderarbeitern, Aids-Patienten, Armen und Obdachlosen zu schützen. ( )
Weiter hat China auch eine Reihe von internationalen Konventionen zum Schutz der Bürgerrechte unterzeichnet. Unter Hinweis auf die Vorwürfe an China und andere Länder im Menschenrechtsbericht des US-Außenministeriums hatte das Pressebüro des chinesischen Staatsrats darauf aufmerksam gemacht, dass die USA wie auch schon bei den vorangegangenen Berichten die eigenen Probleme und Fragen im Menschenrechtsbereich schlicht "ausgelassen" hätten.

China to issue Human Rights Record of US
2004-02-28 Xinhua News
The Information Office of the State Council of China will issue on March 1 the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003, in response to the latter's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices which contains "many distortions and denouncements". It will be the fifth Chinese report in response to the annual country reports on human rights by the United States in five consecutive years. An official with the Information Office said that the United States, as in previous years, acted again as "the world human rights police" by distorting the human right situations in more than 190 countries and regions across the world, including China. However, the reports released by the US State Department on Wednesday once again "omitted" its own long-standing malpractice and problems of human rights. "Therefore, we have to, as before, help the United States keep its own human rights record," said the official. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003, based on a great many facts, is divided into six parts, covering life, freedom and personal safety of the US citizens, their political rights and freedom, the living conditions of workers, racial discrimination, conditions for women, children and elderly people, as well as its infringements on the human rights of other nations.

Protecting human rights become country's priority
2004-03-02 PLA Daily
Better protecting human rights will be one of the priorities of China in the 21st Century, a senior government official said here Monday. The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) had showed greater concern for hum an rights and so had the government, said State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan here Monday. The draft amendment to the Constitution, scheduled to be discussed at the annual session of the Chinese legislature this month, includes the CPC-proposed item "to respect and guarantee human rights". It was noticeable that the Party and the government pledged to promote citizens' participation in political life and better implement the Constitution, Zhou said. China had adopted the open elections for village committees in rural areas and promoted the votes for community committees in cities. Voting for heads of townships and counties was on trial in a few areas. ( )

Nation cracks down on human trafficking
2004-03-02 Xinhua News
Chinese police authorities has crashed 20,360 cases of trafficking of women and children during years of 2001-2003, and issued brochures and videos to caution women against the crime. Luo Feng, Vice-Minister of Public Security, said Tuesday that China had arrested 22,018 criminals involved in human trafficking and rescued 42,215 women and children in the past three years. In the run-up to International Women's Day on March 8, the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) jointly issued a cartoon brochure and videos to teach women how to avoid falling victim to the people traffickers. ( )

CPPCC: Development is top priority
2004-03-04 Xinhua News
Chairman Jia Qinglin of China's highest advisory body pledged yesterday that the organization would give top priority to boosting the country's development, by raising proposals and suggestions on issues regarding the national economy and the livelihood of citizens. This is also what the CPPCC National Committee eyes in an amendment to the organization's charter, Jia said in his report on the work of the Standing Committee of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which opened in Beijing yesterday afternoon. Top Chinese leaders including Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin were present at the opening session. In-depth investigations have been conducted and opinions heeded and solicited from a broad range of society in drafting the amendment, he told the annual gathering of more than 2,000 members. The CPPCC is a patriotic united front organization of the Chinese people. Its main functions are to conduct political consultation, exercise supervision and participate in the discussion and handling of state affairs, mainly through setting forth proposals and suggestions. Reviewing the work over the past year, Jia said the participating parties, special committees and members of the CPPCC National Committee made in-depth investigations and studies on major issues of the country's social and economic development and, on this basis, submitted 22 inspection reports, 37 survey reports and 114 written suggestions to central authorities. ( )

China bans new Internet bars near schools
2004-03-04 China Daily
China will not approve new Internet bars near schools, saying harmful information online was hurting children. New Internet services won't be allowed within 200 meters of schools, China News Service reported on March 4, quoting a notice issued by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. It didn't say whether those already operating would be affected. China encourages Internet use for business and education, but has expressed growing alarm in recent years that it is exposing young people to pornography and other harmful influences. Officials also worry that students spend too much time playing video games. "Currently some online services such as Internet bars are breaking the rules, using the Internet to spread harmful information and seriously hurting the mental and physical health of young people," the report said. China had 79.5 million Internet users at the end of 2003 - the world's second biggest population online after the United States. ( )

Leaders, media work to improve transparency
2004-03-03 People's Daily
Public disclosure of information and transparency in policymaking have improved tremendously since the new leadership came into power in last March, and the press has played a pivotal role in the process, says Yang Zhengquan, CPPCC member and a retired vice minister with the State Council Information Office (SCIO). He adds, "People began to feel the change in late 2002, when the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened. In 2003, governments at all levels spared no effort to improve transparency of their work while inviting public supervision. Many government departments began holding press conferences regularly. The press thus has more space in its daily coverage of the government's work and decision-making processes."

China cracks down on chat rooms on eve of NPC
2004-03-04 Asia Times
China is cracking down on Internet news discussion websites in an effort to stifle dissent in the run up to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), which opens on Friday. Tightening control of the media in advance of the national legislative session has become part an annual ritual designed to avoid the embarrassment of dissenting viewpoints. But the crackdown may not last very long, as Internet news discussion groups are very popular, though they have become a big headache for Beijing. And the arrival of more than 3,000 deputies from around the country for the 10-day session makes the government particularly sensitive. As the legislature convenes in the Great Hall of the People, the venue has become a magnet for disgruntled citizens seeking to air their complaints. The Internet restrictions are contained in a series of new regulations designed to limit the ability of individuals to criticize government officials via Internet news discussion websites. The rules stipulate that websites are now prohibited from running news forums about any subject that has not already been covered by mainstream state-run media such as the Xinhua News Agency and the People's Daily. ( )


Patrick Dreher
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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