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
  08.11-12.11.2004, No. 40  
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Foreign Policy

President Hu's visits expected to enhance Sino-Latin American ties
2004-11-08 People's Daily
President Hu Jintao's upcoming visits to Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba are expected to further enhance the Sino-Latin American ties, Chinese vice foreign minister Zhou Wenzhong said Friday. Zhou told a press conference that Hu Jintao's visits to Latin American countries will be of considerable significance for promoting the long-term development of the relationship between China and the four countries. During his visits, Hu will hold talks with the leaders of the four countries, meet with parliament chiefs and exchange views with them on issues of common concern. Besides, Hu will also give speeches at the parliaments of Brazil and Argentina and meet with delegates from sectors of business and trade, science and technology. A package of cooperative agreements are expected to be inked, Zhou said. Hu is scheduled to visit the four countries on Nov. 11-23 and attend the 12th Informal Leadership Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to be held on Nov. 20-21 in Santiago, capital of Chile.

Chinese army praised for becoming an important peacekeeping force
2004-11-08 PLA Daily
At the "Challenges of Peacekeeping Operations into the 21st Century Project, Beijing International Seminar" held in Beijing, participants from around the world highly praised the dynamic role of the Chinese troops in UN peacekeeping operations and their outstanding contributions to upholding world peace and security. They believed that the role of China, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has been further brought into play and the Chinese troops have now become an important force in maintaining world peace. Dai Shao'an, deputy chief of the Peacekeeping Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense of China told reporters that China has all along been attaching great importance to and supporting the peacekeeping operations that are in line with the spirit of the U.N. Charter. China sent its first group of military observers for UN peacekeeping operations in 1990. Since then, China has dispatched a total of 2,796 person-times peacekeeping forces, military observers and staff officers for 13 peacekeeping missions. ( ) Partly because of the outstanding performance of the Chinese peacekeeping troops, the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan highly praised, during his recent visit to China, the efforts of the Chinese government in maintaining world and regional peace and hoped that the Chinese government would, as ever, support and participate in more of the UN peacekeeping operations. And in its turn, the Chinese government is incrementally increasing its efforts and expanding its involvement in UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, China has two engineering detachments, two medical teams and one transportation team, totaling 776 people, as well as 69 military observers serving in eight UN peacekeeping areas.

Hu, Bush talk over phone
2004-11-09 China Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao had a phone conversation with US President George W. Bush Monday evening, according to sources with the Foreign Ministry. Bush thanked Hu for his congratulatory message when he won the re-election, saying he will further promote bilateral cooperation in various fields during his second term. Bush reiterated the US government will not change its stance on the Taiwan question. ( ) Hu said China appreciated the US commitments to one-China policy and the three Sino-US joint communiques and its opposition to "Taiwan independence". The two heads of state pledged to further promote bilateral ties and said they were expecting to meet again during the upcoming 12th economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the sources said. ( )

Japan intends to set up intelligence station at East China Sea
2004-11-09 People's Daily - Japan
Defense Agency is studying the possibility of adding an electromagnetic wave detecting system on the East China Sea to strengthen collection and management of intelligence from China as well as supervision over Chinese warships an jets. The Agency decided earlier to build a station on Miyako Island of Okinawa County to intercept and handle communication signals of Chinese warships and aircraft, which will be put into operation in 2008. Since the China-Japan dispute over resources of East China Sea surfaced, Japan has enhanced all kinds of military deployment in this sea area and the two countries conducted consultations at the end of last month. The Agency believes that a station on Miyako Island is not enough, and another one must be added at a southwest island to intercept and decode the rivalry's radio communication signals, Xinhuanet quoted Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun as saying. ( ) The Agency has decided to dispatch Ground Self-Defense Force to the island with a newly established "communication intelligence team" and unmanned surveillance planes. The F4 fighters on Naha Base will also be replaced by more advanced F15 fighters, and fighters will be sent to Shimoji, an island near Taiwan , to enhance defense capability in the southwest. The Agency has planned to build an 850-people army to be sent to Naha City, Okinawa, to form a 2,300-member brigade there, the report pointed out. To guard against enemy's attacks
against the isolated islands, the Agency changed its defense ideology in the past (that is, taking the Soviet Union as the imaginary enemy and attaching importance to defending the north) and made clear the policy of reinforcing military deployment on southwest islands.

Japan Defense Agency set 3 scenarios of "China attack"
2004-11-09 People's Daily - Japan
<> ese Defense Agency officials established in internal meetings three scenarios of possible attacks on Japan by China as the agency prepares to revamp national defense strategy, agency sources said Sunday. The scenarios are attacks stemming from disputes over ocean resources and territorial claims over the Senkaku Islands as well as a clash across the Taiwan Strait, they said. While the scenarios are assumptions for discussions on Japan's future defense capability, they indicate a strong warning that China is a threat and are likely to further upset Beijing amid the ongoing political standoff over the development of gas fields in the East China Sea and the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands. ( ) According to the sources, the report predicts China will ''strengthen its military capability in order to demonstrate its capability to Taiwan and the United States , and will be the greatest military power in the Asia-Pacific region in the future.'' In the case of a clash between China and Taiwan, China may attack parts of Japan to prevent aid from U.S. forces in Japan, according to the scenarios. In the second scenario, the report says China may take military action to seize the Senkakus if Chinese public criticism of the Chinese Communist Party over the territorial dispute grows strong enough to threaten its leadership. The islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Tiaoyutais in Taiwan, are controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing and Taipei. As for the third scenario, the report says China may conduct illegal moves to secure its interests in the East China Sea if it deems Japan did not take what Beijing believes to be appropriate measures regarding the dispute over development of gas fields near the boundary of the two sides. Japan and China are at loggerheads over their natural gas exploration activities near the median line in the East China Sea. They hold different definitions of where the exclusive economic zones are separated. ( ) The discussions on possible Chinese attacks are also believed to be behind Japan's plans to shift its troop alignment focus from the north, made under the assumption of Soviet threats during the Cold War, to the south near Okinawa and the Nansei Islands, closer to China and Taiwan, the sources said. ( )

China to help make Iraq election possible
2004-11-10 Xinhuanet
China hopes situation in Iraq will be stabilized as early as possible, and the relevant parties will create favorable conditions for the election to be held as planned and the Chinese side will also make its due efforts to this end, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Tuesday. ( ) Zhang also pledged China's efforts to make possible Iraq's election, which is slated for January 2005. As to an international conference on Iraq due for Nov. 22-23 in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Zhang said that the Chinese government has designated Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Wang Guangya as the envoy to the meeting. Iraq, Egypt, the Group of Eight, China, the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference and the European Union (EU) are expected to attend the meeting. ( )

Hu heads to Brazil via Portugal
2004-11.12 China Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes in this port city in northern Portugal on Wednesday while en route to Brazil. Lopes welcomed Hu on behalf of Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio and the Portuguese Government. Lopes spoke highly of China's economic development and its positive impacts on the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, and said the Portuguese Government hopes to strengthen co-operation with China. The Portuguese prime minister said his government encourages entrepreneurs to invest in China and participate in preparations for the Beijing 2008 Olympiad as well as the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Lopes told Hu that Sampaio will visit China next January to promote Portugal-China relations. Lopes reiterated the Portuguesefirm commitment upholds the one-China policy and fully respects the stance and feelings of the Chinese Government and people on the issue of Taiwan. ( ) The Chinese president said he is expecting Sampaio's visit to Beijing early next year. ( ) . The Chinese president's state visit to Brazil, at the invitation of his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is the first leg of his four-nation Latin-American tour that will also bring him to Argentina, Chile and Cuba through November 23. ( )

Bush administration divide reemerges over North Korea
2004-11-12 China Daily
As US President Bush prepares for a second term, hard-liners are pressing once again for a more coercive approach if six-party talks make no progress on resolving the North Korea nuclear issue. ( ) . "Is our attitude that this is the beginning of a negotiation or a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. That's the first question the president has to answer," a U.S. official said. A tougher U.S. line, including a firmer crackdown on the North's growing illicit trade in narcotics, weapons and counterfeit dollars, presupposes the failure of diplomacy. ( ) Much will turn on whether Secretary of State Colin Powell and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, main advocates of diplomacy with North Korea, and Undersecretary of State John Bolton, a key hard-liner, stay on in Bush's second term. Powell and Kelly are rumored to be leaving at some point while Bolton is seen as wanting a promotion, perhaps to deputy secretary or deputy national security adviser. ( ) After the June session, participants agreed to convene again in September but Pyongyang appeared to stall until after the Nov. 2 U.S. presidential election. With Bush's victory, more diplomacy is under way to revive negotiations. Senior administration officials say they have a sense of urgency about North Korea, which is estimated to have eight nuclear weapons -- up from one or two when Bush took office. But Kelly, speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank on Tuesday, urged remaining patient. While acknowledging the administration had not reduced North-South tensions, he said in the six-party format, "we have established what we believe offers the best hope for resolution of the problem." But an analyst for one of the administration's favorite Republican think tanks -- Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute -- slammed the Bush approach. At an AEI event, he said the administration has a "very clear attitude toward North Korea but ... lacked a policy to translate that attitude into coherent and consistent action." He said the nuclear crisis won't end "until we get a better brand of dictators in North Korea" and also called for "regime change at the State Department."



Taiwan intends to build Asia's largest missile base, local media
2004-11-08 People's Daily
A large bunker project is being constructed at Jiupeng missile test-launching ground by Zhongshan Scientific Research Institute under Taiwan's "Defense Ministry", which, after completion in next year, will be used to deploy "Patriot III" missile system purchased from the United States <> , Taiwan newspapers including China Times and United Daily News reported on October 27. Jiupeng base, located in Pingdong Province of the island, has been a key area of missile research and test of Taiwan army, and is called the "Space Center Houston" of Taiwan. It has drawn wide attention as it is reportedly being expanded into Asia's biggest missile base. Large bunker suspected to be a nuclear test ground. The arms research by the Zhongshan institute has drawn close attention from the United States due to Taiwan authority's frequent remarks of developing offensive arms against the mainland as well as You His-kun ("president of the Administrative Yuan")'s advocating of the so-called "balance of terror", local media quoted "informed personages" as saying. US intelligence satellite noticed recently that a large structure by reinforced concrete is being built at Jiupeng base belonged to Zhongshan institute. From its unusual thickness, the US side predicted it is a bunker able to resist heavy bombs. It is suspected the bunker is built for "special purpose", which may be related to Taiwan's alleged research of medium-range missiles and cruise missile, or even nuclear weapons. US experts say such a large-capacity, anti-explosion structure may be used to store high-risk objects such as warhead, missile, missile-propelling rocket and fuel, or to finally assemble such dangerous objects to avoid damaging other facilities in case of accidental explosions. High-ranking military officials from Taiwan made no comment on the ongoing construction, and firmly rejected the conjectures of "nuclear test ground" or "missile base". A "Space Center Houston" in Taiwan. Formally put into operation in 1975, Jiupeng Base is called one of the "three mysterious units" of Taiwan military for their potential of developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (the other two are "Preventive Medicine Research Institute" and Nuclear Energy Research Institute). After 1990, the base was updated to possess R&D functions, and it will further become a missile base after the bunker construction this time. After decades of development, Jiupeng Base gathers all the island's secrets in high-precision observation, calculation, missile guidance, research and development, and is the island's sole camp of test missile launch and important long-range projecting system tests. ( )

Beijing 'hardens its policy on Taiwan' - Taipei official says China less willing to separate economic and political issues
2004-11-09 Straits Times - CHINA has hardened its policy on Taiwan and is less eager to separate politics from economics, says the former chairman of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Mr Hsu Hsin-liang. 'I feel that the Beijing government's attitude towards its 2002 policy of separating politics from economics is tougher now,' he told reporters yesterday after his meetings with Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu and Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) chief Chen Yunlin in the Chinese capital. In 2002, when Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian's refusal to recognise the one-China principle made resumption of suspended cross-strait dialogue uncertain, then Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen had suggested the separation of politics from economics. This allowed for discussions on economic and trade exchanges as well as direct three links to be held by non-governmental organisations. ( ) Mr Hsu is leading a delegation comprising leaders of Taiwan's agricultural industry to Beijing and Shanghai to discuss cooperation in the industry. The group received the highest-level official treatment given to Taiwanese teams since the re-election of Mr Chen earlier this year. One of the delegates, Ms Jennifer Chi, told reporters that TAO chief Chen dubbed their visit 'an ice-breaking trip'. The group is seeking waivers of customs duties and faster custom clearance for Taiwanese farm products so that fresh produce could be exported to the mainland. Its other aim is to persuade China to refrain from selling to the island farm products that Taiwanese farmers are already producing after the two sides open up their markets to foreign farm produce in 2006 in accordance with their WTO agreements. ( )

MAC warns China to keep its nose out of elections
2004-11-11 Taipei Times
The caution from Joseph Wu came after a trip to Beijing by Hsu Hsin-liang, who is running for a seat as an independent The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday warned China not to take measures to influence the outcome of the upcoming legislative elections, saying that no one should interfere with the workings of the nation's electoral process. "They [Chinese authorities] understand that a democratic election has its own momentum, and they need to respect that," said MAC Chairman Joseph Wu, citing the results of the last two presidential elections. Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Hsu Hsin-liang, now seen as sympathetic to the pan-blue camp, was given a high profile reception during a recent trip to China as the head of an agricultural delegation. ( ) Meanwhile, Wu called for patience in efforts to resume talks, saying that domestic turmoil in China necessitated an international environment conducive to resolving recent demonstrations and protests. According to Wu, China saw close to 60,000 protests last year. He further predicted that given measures to cool down the Chinese economy, more demonstrations would occur. "Given the civil strife in China, Taiwan must be careful not to become an excuse for China to use force," Wu said, citing the possibility that Taiwan be used to divert attention away from domestic instability.

Vanuatu reaffirms one-China principle
2004-11-12 China Daily
Vanuatu has withdrawn a communique it signed in Taipei last week establishing "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and again stated its adherence to a one-China policy. "The Chinese Government appreciates the statement of the Vanuatuan Government," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Thursday at a regular news briefing. The Vanuatuan Government issued a statement on Wednesday, withdrawing the communique signed in Taipei on November 3 in which it had said it was establishing "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan. In the statement, the Vanuatuan Government reiterated its commitment to the No. 2758 Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly and its adherence to the one-China policy stated in the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and Vanuatu in 1982. Vanuatu said it recognizes that there is only one China in the world, and that Taiwan is a province of China and the government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China. The statement says the Vanuatuan Government will not have political contact with Taiwan in any form. ( )

Taiwan makes bid to distort history
Beijing, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet)
Teenagers in Taiwan will soon be confused by the island's authorities' 2006 drafted outline of history courses for high school students, which has completely altered the traditional teaching of history in Taiwan, says China Daily Thursday. The draft, reportedly published on Tuesday, takes the island province out of Chinese history, referring to the period in Chinese history after the Revolution of 1911 under the range of Chinese ancient history, but not the history of Taiwan. The island's "education minister" claimed the period of the Republic of China belongs to Chinese history and has nothing to do with Taiwan. Some Taiwan media have asked whether Dr Sun Yat-sen, leader of the Revolution of 1911, which overthrew the Qing court (1644-1911) and ended China's 2,000-year-old feudal system, and is respected as the "Father of the Nation," has now become a foreigner, based upon this ridiculous logic. ( ) That it took the "education minister" to challenge the fact is another ramification of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)'s growing distaste for the island's undeniable Chineseness. The draft is merely a continuation of the island's pro-independence supporters' old tricks of "desinification" to separate Taiwan from the motherland. ( ) But no matter how hard they try, reality is reality. They can never get round the long-standing legal reality that Taiwan has never been an independent state but has been and still is a part of China. ( ) To sever Taiwan's history from China's is an attempt by the Taiwan separatists to confuse the recognition of one nation among the people, in particular young people, on the island. ( ) But they will have to pay for what they are doing now as this is against the immediate interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, who want peace and stability as well as prosperity.



Henan, Yunnan move to stop spread of AIDS
2004-11-08 China Daily
The provinces of Henan and Yunnan that were worst-hit by AIDS have moved to cut off the spread of the fatal disease from high-risk groups to the general population. Working teams will conduct surveys to locate high-risk groups and seek solutions, such as promoting the use of condoms. Face-to-face education will be included in the intervention plan to improve the population's awareness of AIDS control. Local disease prevention and control authorities in Central China's Henan had set up intervention teams aimed at high-risk groups at provincial, city and county levels by the end of October, China News Agency reported. The move is another step in government efforts to rein in AIDS. The province has started surveying blood stations to discover the true extent of its AIDS epidemic. The ongoing survey, which began on July 26, aims to poll more than 1 million people in 18 cities and 35 counties in the province who may have sold blood at unsanitary blood stations. The number of HIV/AIDS cases in Henan has hit 25,036. Among those infected, more than 97 per cent come from rural areas, official statistics show. More than 11,800 infected people have already shown AIDS symptoms. Chinese officials have acknowledged AIDS is moving from high-risk populations, such as drug users and prostitutes, into the general population through sexual transmission. The Ministry of Health has decided to set up a national prevention framework among the high-risk population. Southwest China's Yunnan Province has taken the first steps. More than 1,340 medical professionals have been engaged in the prevention efforts among the province's 400,000-strong high-risk population to curb the spread of AIDS to the general public. The Chinese Government has successfully launched a drive from the top to the grassroots level, raising national awareness of AIDS. Prevention and control work is at a crucial stage as the epidemic may spread beyond high-risk groups. With 840,000 HIV carriers reported, of whom 80,000 suffer from AIDS, China is ranked second in Asia and 14th in the world in terms of the number of HIV/AIDS patients. China, alongside India and Russia, is one of the countries most at risk from AIDS outside Africa and health agencies say it could have 10 million victims by 2010 if it fails to take the threat seriously.

Chinese police take measures to make sure 2008 Olympic Games safe
2004-11-09 People's Daily
Chinese police are taking additional thoughtful and comprehensive measures to ensure the security of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, officials said Sunday. To provide a safe and secure environment for Games participants, a comprehensive security plan will be implemented, said Cao Dongxiang, director of the Major Event Division of the Beijing police. ( ) Measures being discussed include major event security, crisis management and anti-terrorism. "We should formulate and perfect laws and regulations related to the Olympics to provide legal backup for safeguards," said Cao. In a bid to increase police officers' skills in incident control, professional training is also required to set up a kind and professional image of Chinese police, Cao added. Possible challenges for security may come from the shadow of wars in some areas in the world, threats from terrorists, and possible conflicts caused by differences among nations, cultures, history and ideologies, Cao added. The traffic problem in Beijing is also considered a major hurdle to overcome, Cao said, adding that there will be 3-4 million power-driven vehicles in Beijing by 2008. ( )

China digs out malpractice of prison
2004-11-11 China Daily
Chinese Ministry of Justice punished 27 wardens and sent ten to the court for improperly handling sentence reduction, parole and release on bail for medical treatment since May this year. Of the 1.1 million cases from January 2002 to April this year, malpractice was found in 1,436 cases, said the Ministry source Wednesday when reporting the results of a nationwide inspection. In several prisons inmates served longer sentences and were mistreated, the source added. The Ministry will continue an inspection of prison mismanagement, especially against corporal punishment, insult and maltreatment in prisons, said Zhang Fusen, the minister of justice. China now has 1.5 million prison population in its 670 jails. The country has been reforming its penal system and updating correction methods. The Ministry of Justice started a campaign to educate and train wardens for new correction methods in July. And more professional psychologists have been introduced into jails since last year. Continuous efforts are being made to protect the legitimate rights of inmates. Chinese procuratorates set up organs in jails for prisoners to hand in their requests while legal assistance reach in behind bars.



Late marriage increasingly popular among young Tibetans
2004-11-11 China Daily
Late marriage has become an increasingly popular trend in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the largest Tibetan-dominated region in China. Statistics released by the Chengguan District Civil Affairs Bureau in Lhasa, the regional capital, showed that more than 1,000 newly-weds are registered by the bureau on average each year. Their legally marriageable age averaged 25, older than the state required marriageable age for ethnic women at 18 and men at 20. ( ) Gaisang Yexe, a noted sociologist at the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences, ascribed a new life concept to the main reason for later marriage among the young Tibetans, apart from fast work tempo, better education backgrounds and improved living standards. In old Tibet, many households, particularly those in outlying rural and pastoral areas, took early marriage as a useful and helpful way to increase their labor power, he added.


Susanne Schuetz
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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