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
  05.04-08.04.2004, No. 14  
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Foreign Policy

China urges US to lift export restrictions
2004-04-07 People's Daily
China is taking steps to resolve the problem of the trade deficit between China and the United States, and hopes the United States will lift the restrictions on its exports to China so as to expand bilateral trade, a Chinese official said here Wednesday. "We didn't deny there is the trade deficit between China and the United States, and we are making great efforts to resolve the problem by increasing import purchase orders from the United States," said He Yafei, Foreign Ministry director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs. He said the Chinese side also hopes the US side will take measures to loose its restrictions on exports to China. As a result, the Chinese government is working on introducing nuclear techniques from foreign countries. Upon the upcoming China visit of the US Vice President Dick Cheney, He said the Chinese side hopes China and the United States can make progress in import of nuclear techniques.( ) In addition, He said the US unemployment problem should not be blamed on China. Analysis by economists from the United States and other foreign countries has shown that the trade deficit with China is not the cause of US job losses, the director added. ( )

China urges US to honor promise on Taiwan issue
2004-04-07 Xinhua News
China urges the United States to honor its words on the Taiwan issue, including those enshrined in the three Sino-US communiques, a Chinese official said here Wednesday. China appreciates that US presidents have reiterated time and again that the United States supports the one-China policy, He Yafei, director of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, said at a news briefing on US Vice President Dick Cheney's China tour next week. "The Taiwan issue is the most vital and sensitive question amid Sino-US relationship because it concerns China's sovereignty, territory integrity and the feeling of the 1.3 billion Chinese people," He said. "The one-China policy and the three Sino-US communiques are the foundation of Sino-US ties and I believe the US side clearly understands that," the Director said. The recent declaration of the United States showed that the US side kept its promise, but some words and activities such as the decision to sell weapons to Taiwan violated the US commitment, He said.

United States can't be trusted on Taiwan
2004-04-05 China Daily
The Taiwan question is nothing less than the question of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States' sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, a gesture of connivance to the island's separatist factions, are a serious affront to China's sovereignty. The US decision to sell US$1.78 billion in advanced radar systems to Taiwan is a blatant violation of the principles laid down in the three Sino-US joint communiques and its one-China policy commitment. By sending wrong signals to the island's pro-independence forces, the US move will only jeopardize China's peaceful reunification and the political foundation of Sino-US relations. It also risks torpedoing peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular the current complex and sensitive situation across the Taiwan Straits. ( ) Instead of keeping its word, the United States has never severed its military connections with Taipei, and has in fact increased those ties at a time when the island's separatist forces led by Chen Shui-bian have been seeking independence more boldly and overtly than ever before. The United States has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to adhering to the one-China policy and not to support Taiwan independence, yet continues to give the island moral and material support. Washington eats its words and loses credibility by trying to balance its two-faced stance towards Taiwan. ( ) Neither a united China nor a war across the Taiwan Straits fits in with the United States' perception of its own interests in the Asia-Pacific region. While admonishing Taiwan against declaring independence, the United States has always vowed to intervene if the mainland resorted to force to ensure the nation's reunification. Washington has maintained a deep-rooted contradictory policy towards Taiwan for decades in order to cement its own interests in the Asia-Pacific at the sacrifice of the interests of the Chinese people across the Straits. No amount of mealy-mouthed rhetoric can disguise that objective.

Japan told not to connect cutting loans to so-called "China threat"
2004-04-06 Xinhua News
The Japanese side should not connect the cutting of loans to China with the so-called "China threat", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan here Tuesday. Kong said at a regular press conference that China regards the Japanese loans as a symbol of Japanese friendly policy towards China, and spoke highly of the loans' role, although China needed to repay the loan with interest.( ) After the Japanese government decided to cut the loans, the Japanese side provided evidence such as China's robust growth and the so-called "China threat", Kong said, stressing that China cannot accept these "rootless and groundless" explanations, and cannot accept Japan connecting the loans with these kinds of view. Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said on March 11 that Japan plans to scale back loans to China by 20 percent to around 96.7 billion yen (872.1 million US dollars) in the fiscal year to March 31. The amount is set to fall below the 100 billion yen mark for the first time in 14 years and it is the third straight year that Japan is cutting loans to China.

Dialogue important for China and Japan amidst problems
2004-04-04 Xinhua News
A senior Chinese official said here Sunday that there is a greater necessity to have dialogue and exchange views amidst a number of recent problems and disputes between China and Japan. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan made the remarks in his meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko, who was on an official visit to China. After stressing that the main current of Sino-Japanese relations is good, Tang admitted that a number of problems have emerged between the two countries recently. He stated China's stance on Taiwan, history and the Diaoyu Islands issues. Japan should attach importance to these issues related to China's major concerns and the feeling of the Chinese people, respect China's stand and rational proposals and properly handle the issues in line with the three major political documents and the commitments Japan has made so far, Tang stressed. ( ) Owing to the wrong state policy adopted by Japan, she said, Japan engaged in invasions and colonial rule over Asian countries and brought disasters to peoples in these countries, for which Japan should express deep remorse. Japan is willing to cooperate with China for pushing forward Japan-China friendly ties and overcoming difficulties with wisdom, she said. ( )

China seeks cooperation with Mongolia in sand control
2004-04-06 PLA Daily
China is planning to cooperate with the neighboring Mongolia in the transformation of desert, according to an official with the Sand Prevention and Control Association of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Monday. China's Inner Mongolia region shares over 3,000 kilometers of borderline with Mongolia, where desertification is a serious problem on both sides. China has suffered from nine sand storms this year, which caused great economic losses and made great negative influence on people's lives. Sand storms are not confined to boundary. Sand storm control efforts must be made by both sides of the boundary. ( )

China to boost military cooperation with Egypt
2004-04-06 People's Daily
The military cooperation between China and Egypt will be further promoted with the joint efforts of the two armed forces, Liang Guanglie chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), said in Beijing Tuesday. Liang, also a member of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a meeting with Commander of Egyptian Navy Tamer Aleem and his party. Liang said the bilateral relations between China and Egypt have seen sound development since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1956, and the two armed forces also enjoyed fruitful cooperation in recent years, with frequent high-level exchanges between their leaders. ( )

No political barriers between China and Holland for cooperation, Premier
2004-04-06 Xinhua News
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Tuesday there is no political barrier for expanding bilateral cooperation between China and Holland, and hoped the two countries would continue increasing high-level exchanges and promote cooperation in economic and technological fields. Wen made the remarks during talks with visiting Holland Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. ( ) China's second largest trade partner in the European Union(EU) second only to Germany. Holland is also the fourth largest European investor in China with a number of major corporations operating in China. ( ) Holland is to assume the rotating chairmanship of EU soon and will host the seventh China-EU summit within the year. ( ) Balkenende also commended the expanding cooperation between the EU and China in political and economic areas, and in particular praised China's progress in the area of human rights. He hoped the China-EU human rights dialogue would achieve new progress and enhance mutual understanding in the area. Balkenende was here for a working visit at the invitation of Wen.

Chinese, Mozambican presidents hold talks
2004-04-05 Xinhua News
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday the Chinese government and people cherish the fraternal friendship with Mozambique and are willing to work with Mozambique to push forward bilateral relations. Hu proposed strengthening trade and economic ties between the two sides, featuring cooperation in agriculture, mining, infrastructure construction and human resources development. The two countries should also coordinate and cooperate more with each other in international and regional affairs, he added. Chissano said the Mozambican people will never forget China's firm support to Mozambique in its struggle for independence and the valuable aid China provided to his country after the establishment of diplomatic relations. He agreed with Hu on his comment on bilateral relations and his proposals on furthering the relations, expressing the hope that the two sides strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in mining, agriculture, fishery and tourism. As a friend of Africa, China always supports the efforts of African countries to realize peace and development, and has strengthened cooperation with Africa in this field, said Hu. ( )

Defense minister returns home from 3 Asian-nation tour
2004-04-05 PLA Daily
Chinese Minister of National Defense Cao Gangchuan returned to Beijing from Bangkok Saturday after visiting Pakistan, India and Thailand. Cao, also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state councilor, held meetings with leaders of the three countries during his visit, including Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Indian President Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Deputy PrimeMinisters Chavalit Yongchaiyudh of Thailand. During his three-Asian nation tour, he exchanged views and reached consensus on issues of common concern with Pakistani Defense Minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes, and Thai Minister of Defense Chettha Thanajaro. Sources from the Chinese Ministry of National Defense noted that Cao's visit has enhanced mutual understanding and increase mutual trust between China and these countries.

Taiwanese businessmen further expand investment in Chinese mainland
2004-04-07 People's Daily
The "presidential election", which has annoyed Taiwan for a couple of months, taught the Taiwan businessmen a political lesson. As the result released by the Taiwan election authorities indicates, Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu, candidates for Democratic Progressive Party, won 6,471,970 votes, or 50.11 percent of the total; while Lien Chan and James Soong, of the coalition of the Kuomintang and People First Party, won 49.89 percent of the votes, which makes the businessmen feel pessimistic for the relationship between Taiwan province and the Chinese mainland. Over 100, 000 Taiwan businessmen went home to vote for Lien Chan and James Soong, but they felt greatly disappointed with the result. Worrying about the failure of "three direct links", a lot of businessmen have decided to further expand their investment in the Chinese mainland. ( ) The chaotic situations in Taiwan after "election" made them feel even far away from home. In fact, numerous Taiwan enterprises have quickened their deployment in Chinese mainland in recent one or two years. With the vanishing of their hope for "three direct links", the localization process becomes the first thing of Taiwan businessmen after their returning to Shanghai. Says Liao Guobin, Vice Chairman, Pudong branch of Shanghai Taiwan Businessmen Association. A large electronic company that listed in Taiwan had planned to build a factory in East China prior to the "election". It also planned to go public in Shanghai. The boss demanded to quicken implementation of the plan to go public so soon as the "election" result was out. The "election" has become a hot topic for the members of Association of Taiwan Businessmen in Shanghai, Suzhou and Kunshan. Many businessmen even did not take the good news into consideration. Instead, they turned to the capital market in the Chinese mainland, where still exit lots of restrictions for Taiwan enterprises to go public. In recent years, a number of technology and capital-intensive industries in Taiwan have gone west. The Taiwan authority's restrictions made bosses of large-scale Taiwan-funded enterprises to complain about the difficulties in running business. Under the fierce competition and the deadlock between Taiwan under the domination of Chen Shui-bian and the Chinese mainland, Taiwan's investment to the Chinese mainland keeps quickening its paces. This shows that the economic and trade ties between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland can by no means be prevented by political factors. The Taiwan banks, insurance and security practitioners, who are eager to access the market in Chinese mainland, feels worried for the succession of Chen Shui-bian.


Domestic Policy

Judges slated for stricter scrutiny
2004-04-07 China Daily
The Supreme People's Court Wednesday warned the nation's leading judges against the abuse of judicial power. Addressing court leaders from across the country, Li Yucheng, who heads a full-time disciplinary inspection group on the Supreme People's Court, asked them to exercise their judicial and enforcement powers according to law. They should not accept any gifts, money or invitations that might affect judicial fairness and they should bar their spouses, children and immediate staff from interfering in trials and verdict enforcement. Corruption of some judges has already tarnished the image of China's judicial system. ( ) "Court leaders are the easiest to corrupt due to the judicial power and administrative management power in their hands," said Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court. "Therefore they should be the main targets of supervision." A China News Service report Wednesday said that on Tuesday, Ke Changxin and Hu Changyou, former vice-presidents of the Wuhan Intermediate People's Court were sentenced to 13 years and 6.5 years imprisonment respectively for taking bribes. According to Xiao, court leaders should not only make sure they do not surrender to temptation, but also must be held responsible for the anti-corruption efforts in their courts. "Court leaders should focus on efforts to ensure the accuracy in verdicts and no corruption in themselves and their subordinate judges," said Xiao. The focus of this year's anti-corruption efforts in courts is bribery, irregularities for favouritism, perversion of laws and illegal enforcement. ( )

China has become world's 3rd top importer
2004-04-07 People's Daily
A report issued by the World Trade Organization on Apr.5 in Geneva showed that China became the third largest importer in the world trade in 2003, following the US and Germany. The report said that in terms of US dollars, China's imports rocketed by 40 percent last year and the import volume notched up to the third of the world from the sixth in the previous year. In 2003, China's exports soared up 35 percent. The report predicted that this year the world economy would grow 3.7 percent while the global trade would increase by 7.5 percent, as long as the economic recoveries in the US and Europe sustained. The report also spotted Asian countries and economies in transitional period the fastest-growing importers and exporters in 2003 with their rise of import and export from 10 percent to 12 percent.

China tries to break Boeing, Airbus domination with self-made aircraft
2004-04-07 People's Daily
China now pins its hopes on ARJ21, (short for Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st century), a self-designed passenger aircraft of the country's own intellectual property rights, to lead its fight against domination by Boeing and Airbus in the aviation industry. ARJ21 is designed to be a 70-90 seats turbo fan aircraft for civil use, 32.68 meters in length. Its extended model would have 105 seats, 36.06 meters in length. The aircraft is designed for a distance from 1,200 to 3,700 kilometers. ARJ21 is not a large mainline plane, but its birth means the opening of a new air route over China's sky along which it will fly side by side with Boeing and Airbus planes. ( )

Oil finds to ease national thirst
2004-04-06 Xinhua News
New oil finds, totaling some 280 million tons, may go a long way towards alleviating China's reliance on foreign imports. In at least six areas around the Shengli Oilfield in East China, scientists have found large oil deposits dating back millions of years, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced Monday. They said Dongxin, one of the six, contains more than 252 million tons of oil while the other five areas may have between 10-30 million tons. "The new breakthroughs will considerably help ease the country's oil shortage and especially sustain the better developed eastern areas," said Yan Jisheng, a ministry official in charge of natural resources and environmental development. ( )

Expert warns food safety could affect Chinese birth rate
2004-04-07 Xinhua News
Food safety problems have become so alarming in Guangdong that one of the South China province's most renowned doctors chose to address the issue. "If the safety problem of foods is not dealt with appropriately as soon as possible, a sizable proportion of our population will be unable to bear children within 50 years," said Zhong Nanshan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a deputy to the National People's Congress. He made the comments at a session of the Guangzhou People's Congress last week. Compared with figures of 40 years ago, the average sperm density of a Chinese male has decreased by nearly half, Professor Zhong said. According to Zhong, the increased frequency of various diseases can be traced to food safety issues. These diseases include intestinal cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. Over-use of additives, preservatives and ripeners in food planting and processing have been cited as contributing factors. Against alarming food problems, Guangdong Province is adopting new policies and standards, and legislation has been tabled to ensure foods are safe and hygienic. According to a source at Guangdong Health Department, detailed policies will be put in place to regulate food safety soon. ( )

China sorgt sich um die Getreideversorgung
2004-04-04 Renmin Ribao
Der chinesische Staatsrat hat beschlossen Massnahmen zur Förderung der Getreideproduktion zu treffen. Die chinesische Getreideproduktion ist zwischen 1999 - 2001 auf mehr als 59 Mio Tonnen geschrumpft. Nur dank grosser Lagerbestände konnte die Nachfrage gedeckt werden. Um diesen Zustand zu verbessern, hat der chinesische Staatsrat Anfang des Jahres das sogenannte Dokument Nr. 1 erlassen. Premier Wen Jiabao hat in seinem Rechenschaftsbericht vor dem Nationalen Volkskongress zugesagt, ab 2004 die Steuern für agrarische Produkte allmählich zu reduzieren, um sie in fünf Jahren völlig abzuschaffen. Nun hat der Staatsrat weitere Massnahmen vorgesehen, um den Anreiz der Bauern zu fördern und so die Getreideproduktion zu erhöhen.( )

Beijing forecasts: No rain
2004-04-07 China Daily
The nation's capital is facing a sixth straight year of drought, according to water officials, with water levels at two major city reservoirs falling to their lowest point in history. Zheng Qiuli, an official with the Beijing Water Resources Bureau, said staff there have teamed up with meteorological department officials to try to take advantage of every opportunity to make artificial rainfall this year. The time span for rain-making has been expanded to between April and September from the previous three month period usually prescribed, said Zheng. Meanwhile, two airplanes will join in the rain-making battle for the first time along with rockets and ack-acks, she added. Statistics show that artificial precipitation added 23.8 million cubic meters of water to the city's reservoirs last year. The amount of rainfall equals 46 times the water volume of the Shichahai Lake in downtown Beijing. Meteorological experts say Beijing has entered its most severe drought period since 1949. They predict the amount of precipitation between June and August, which generally makes up 85 per cent of the total precipitation in a year, will only be 400-450 millimetres this year. That is far less than the average 580 millimetres per year experienced over past decades. ( )

China strives to eliminate discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients
2004-04-05 Xinhua News
The amendment draft to China's 15-year-old law on contagious disease prevention and control has canceled forcible isolation of HIV/AIDS patients, an important legal step to eliminate bias against HIV/AIDS patients. "In the past, every HIV/AIDS patient must be isolated. If he or she refused, policemen were entitled to force them into isolation wards. However, the spread channels of HIV/AIDS are quite limited and the disease's spread is not as strong as other acute contagious diseases. Forcible isolation was unnecessary and finally built a discriminated social environment for AIDS patients," said a member of the NPC's Standing Committee, who declined to be named. He added that the amendment draft canceling the forcible isolation to HIV/AIDS patients is an institutional start to eliminate the stigma and discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients. Some local regulations still take AIDS as a venereal disease and impose some unreasonable duties on the AIDS patients, which infringed AIDS patients' residence rights, employment rights, education rights, and marriage rights as well as privacy and caused great panic in society. It is reported that China now has 840,000 HIV carriers, including 80,000 AIDS patients. The figure might rocket to ten million in the best case by 2010, predicted experts. The UN has warned China that cases could reach 20 million by 2010, if drastic actions were not immediately taken. ( )

30 mln Chinese teenagers suffer psychological problems
2004-04-04 Xinhua News
Some 30 million Chinese teenagers under 17 years old suffer some degree of psychological problems, said the Ministry of Public Health Friday. Psychological and mental problems among juveniles have become prominent as the country is changing fast into a modern society and mental illness becomes the top disease, the Ministry said. China now has 16 million people suffering mental illness, accounting for 20 percent of the total number of patients. Many neglected to seek treatment in the early stage of their illness in part because the Chinese public, adults as well as youth, don't have a good awareness of mental illness and psychological problems, the administration said. ( )

HK protesters urged to act peacefully
2004-04-04 China Daily
Hong Kong's Chief Secretary Donald Tsang on Friday urged Hong Kong people to express their views peacefully after a scuffle between police and protesters outside the Central Government Offices. He reiterated that Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law annexes would not undermine "One Country, Two Systems" and the "high degree of autonomy" in Hong Kong. In the early morning, police removed some 60 protesters from the complex after they camped there overnight to protest against the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC). Most of the protesters were from the Federation of Student Unions. Tsang said he fully understood the concerns of young people over the possible impact of the interpretation move. But there were sufficient channels available for exchange of ideas. "We have been through a number of difficulties, such as the SARS outbreak and the Asian financial crisis, since the handover. Whenever we encountered a difficulty, the central government gave its helping hands to us timely and unselfishly," Tsang said. ( ) Scuffles broke out when the protesters sought to force their way through the police barricade and sit on the driveway. They said they wanted to hand a petition to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa when he arrived at the office the next morning. Protesters refused to leave even though the police had issued seven verbal warnings throughout the night. Many police officers then carried away the protesters in two separate actions at about 4:30 am and 6:30 am on Friday so as to let government employees go to work. Chaos and wrangles flared as protesters struggled to remain and many reporters jostled and vied to cover the news. During the operation, two demonstrators were arrested for assaulting police and later released on bail but they had to report to the police next Thursday. But some democrats and the Hong Kong Journalists Association condemned the police for resorting to force to remove demonstrators. Meanwhile in Beijing, the NPCSC began a five-day meeting on Friday to discuss the interpretation on the two annexes of the Basic Law concerning the methods for the selection of the chief executive and the formation of the Legislative Council after 2007. ( )

China fördert Menschenrechte der Frauen
Das Leid der Amerikanerinnen
2004-04-06 Guangming Ribao
Die Regierung Chinas will die Rechte der Frauen weiter fördern. Das sagte der Berater der chinesischen Delegation, Du Zhongxin, am letzten Montag auf der 60. UN-Menschenrechtskonferenz in Genf. Die chinesische Regierung habe im vergangenen Jahr einige Massnahmen der Förderung umgesetzt. Ein wichtiger Schwerpunkt sei die Gleichberechtigung chinesischer Frauen in der Politik, der Wirtschaft und der Gesellschaft. Du Zhongxin bemängelte auf der Konferenz auch die besorgniserregende Lage der Frauenrechte in den USA.


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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