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
  19.07-23.07.2004, No. 26  
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Foreign Policy

Nations team up on arms control
2004-07-21 Xinhua News
As terror groups' access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have become more of a major threat to world security, China is teaming up with other countries such as the United State to improve global non-proliferation, Tuesday's China Daily quoted Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui as saying. He made his remarks at the opening ceremonies of a two-day 5th Sino-US Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation that opened Tuesday in Beijing. Zhang said China has already participated in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and is willing to take part in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). He said China has formulated and enacted a number of laws and regulations, which form a complete system for export controls on nuclear, biological, chemical, missile and other sensitive items and technologies. Looking back on co-operation between China and the United States on such issues anti-terrorism, chemical and biological weapons, mines and small weapons, Zhang noted that the Taiwan question is at the core of Sino-US relations and also a most delicate one. "We hope the United States adheres to the three joint communiques and does not send any wrong signals to Taiwan separatists. ( )

Lee's trip undermine basis for bilateral ties
2004-07-22 People's Daily
China said that the trip to Taiwan by Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had damaged ties and infringed on Beijing's interests. The visit "has infringed China's core interest and undermined the political basis of China-Singapore relations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency. The comments were the latest development in a row between the normally friendly nations over Lee's three-day trip last week, during which he met Taiwanese leader Chen Shui-bian and opposition leaders. Kong was responding to Lee's recent defence of his trip to Taiwan, Xinhua said. ( ) Singapore, whose population is almost 80 percent ethnic Chinese, has tried to maintain a delicate balance in its relations with Beijing and Taipei. Beijing had expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" immediately after Lee arrived in Taiwan. ( )

China to enrich strategic ties with ASEAN
2004-07-19 Xinhua News
China is willing to enrich the strategic partnership with ASEAN, said Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan here Monday. He made the remark during his meeting with Ong Keng Yong, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Tang said China attaches high importance to its relations with ASEAN, which witnessed fast and comprehensive growth in recent years. China is willing to work with ASEAN to enhance the all-round cooperation, said Tang. He reiterated that China supports the ASEAN integration processand the efforts made by ASEAN to form a community. China also supports ASEAN to play a bigger role in the regional cooperation, he said. ( ) According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs, China has become the sixth largest trade partner of ASEAN. ASEAN is the fifth largest trade partner of China.

Die Kritik an der Taiwanpolitik der USA
2004-07-19 Xinhua Wang (Übersetzung)
Die Sprecherin des chinesischen Aussenministeriums, Zhang Qiyue, erklärte, dass China sich der jüngsten Resolution des US-Kongresses des amerikanischen Gesetzes der Beziehungen zu Taiwan widersetzte. Als Konsequenz habe Beijing bei seinem amerikanischen Partner eine Protestnote eingelegt. Die Resolution der USA beabsichtige eine militärische Bedrohung von Seiten Chinas zu provozieren, indem mehr Waffen an Taiwan verkauft und die militärischen Beziehungen zwischen den USA und Taiwan gefördert wird. Dies gefährde den Frieden und die Stabilität in der Region der Taiwan-Strasse und beeinträchtige die chinesisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen. Im Endeffekt schade dies den eigenen Interessen der USA. ( )


Domestic Policy

China hits new record high in power consumption
2004-07-22 Xinhua News
China set a new high for electricity consumption at 6.406 billion kwh Wednesday, the State Grid Corporation of China (SG) announced Thursday. This was 107 million kwh more than the previous record high set on June 29, the SG said. Also Wednesday, the Chinese capital city of Beijing imposed its first brownout this year, which lasted 47 minutes in the afternoon, saving 70,000 kilowatts of electricity consumption while affecting some of the capital's suburbs, according to the Beijing Municipal Power Supply Bureau. The security of the power supply has become a serious issue for the rapidly growing economy of China, according to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. The National Meteorological Center predicts that high temperatures will linger in most parts of southern China regions for the coming 10 days. ( )

China has 87 million Internet users
2004-07-21 China Daily
The number of Internet users in China has risen 28 percent over the past year to 87 million, and use of broadband and online commerce is soaring, the government said Wednesday. The number of broadband subscribers has jumped 78.7 percent in the past six months to 31.1 million, the China Internet Network Information Center said on its Web site. China already has the world's second-biggest online population after the United States. ( ) The number of computers in China linked to the Internet has grown to 36.3 million, the agency said. Despite the booming growth, China's population of Internet users still accounts for only 6.7 percent of the population, just over half the world average of 12.2 percent, the agency said.

Flooding and droughts plague China, together
2004-07-21 China Daily
Most of North China's severe droughts have gone hand in hand with recent downpours except in parts of Inner Mongolia and Northwest China. The death toll from this summer's flash floods has risen to 381 throughout China. Some 288, or 75 per cent, of those deaths were caused by mountain torrents, mudflows and landslides, authorities said. By press time Wednesday, 98 people were still missing in the worst-hit areas while damage caused by the disasters amounted to 14.85 billion yuan (US$1.78 billion), according to statistics released early Wednesday by the State Flood-Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. ( )

China at least 30 years away from zero population growth
2004-07-21 People's Daily
An article on the latest issue of Outlook Weekly stressed that in a period to come China's total population will keep growing at a speed of 8 to 10 million each year, pressing up to the security line of 1.5 to 1.6 billion, and the country needs at least 30 years to achieve zero population growth. Entitled First, the population base is huge and keeps growing. As the world most populous country, China has made much achievement in population control. Analysts say China's total population has long exceeded the most proper scale (7 to 10 million) and is now pressing up to the security line (1.5 to 1.6 billion). Second, the population quality needs to be raised. Besides, the cultural standard of the population is rather low and the overall schooling lags far behind developed countries. Third, new perils appear in population structure. One is the serious imbalance of gender ratio in new borns. The fifth national census showed that the gender ratio of China's newborns had reached 117:100, much higher than the international accepted normal scope (between 103 and 107). ( ) By now China has entered into an aged society, with the population over 60 reaching 134 million, or over 10 percent of the national total, which is believed to reach 15.6 percent by 2020. Fourth, the urbanization of population has put greater pressure on strategic rare resources. So far 40.5 percent of China's population has been urbanized, and the percentage is expected to reach 65 percent by 2020. This means that in a dozen years the country's urban population would increase by 360 million, adding the total number of urban dwellers to 900 million. Fifth, migrant population has cast a tremendous impact on traditional system and changed the layout of labor resources. Currently China has more than 120 million migrant people, which has become an import driving force for economic development in cities and developed regions.

Die Bildungsförderung der Minoritäten
2004-07-21 Xinhua Wang (Übersetzung)
Im Jahr 2003 hätten mehr als 20 Mio Minoritäten eine Ausbildung durchlaufen, darunter 700.000 Studenten an den Hochschulen Chinas. Als Beispiele für die Förderung der Minderheiten ist die gewachsenen Aufwendungen der chinesischen Regierung und die Einführung des zweisprachigen Unterrichts. Ein umfassendes Bildungssystem, das vom Kindergarten, Grundschule über Hochschulbildung reicht, wurde eigens für die in China anerkannten Minoritäten geschaffen. ( ) Gegenwärtig gibt es 100.000 Grundschulen in den Minoritäten Gebieten. Ebenfalls ist die Prozentrate der Kinderarbeit minim. In der Inneren Mongolei oder Xinjiang gehen 98% aller Kinder zur Schule.

Indigent population grows by 800,000 in 2003
2004-07-20 Xinhua News
The number of indigent Chinese with less than 637 yuan (77 US dollars) of annual net income rose by 800,000 in 2003. This is the first time the number increased since China began opening-up in the late 1970s, said a senior Chinese official. Due to the serious natural disasters, the number of poor in Henan, Anhui, Shanxi and Heilongjiang provinces increased to more than two million in 2003, causing the increase of the national total of poor population, said Liu Jian, director of China's State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development. In 2003, the number of inadequately fed and clothed poor was 29million, 3 percent of China's population, statistics show. In 1978, just prior to the reform and opening to the rest of the world, China had 250 million people who were inadequately fed and clothed -- representing 30 percent of the population. In 2001 and 2002, two million Chinese got above the poverty line each year. ( ) The upper line of poor people's net income in 2003 was 637 yuan (77 US dollars) while the average annual income reached 2,622 yuan (316 US dollars). ( )


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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