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
  15.11-19.11.2004, No. 41  
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Foreign Policy

Powell: China ties best in 30 years
2004-11-15 China Daily
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Saturday that the United States now has the "best" relationship with China in over 30 years. "We have a good relationship with China. I would submit it's the best relationship that the United States has had with China in over 30 years," Powell told CNBC's weekly programme "The Wall Street Journal Report," which is also aired on some 200 broadcast stations across the country. ( ) "I have found the Chinese leadership over the last three or four years... to be very helpful as we worked our way through problems on the (South Asian) subcontinent, the challenge that we faced two years ago between India and Pakistan," he said. On the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he said "China is playing a very helpful role in the resolution of the problem with" the DPRK, and that "it's China that's been hosting these six-party talks and playing a leadership as well as a hosting role." The United State is pleased to have a strong economic relationship with China, and would rather "be competing with China in the world of economics than in other kinds of worlds," Powell said. The Chinese are sensitive to the trade imbalance between the two countries, and that the Chinese side is doing more to buy more from the Untied States, he said. "So what we want to do is engage China, watch how they develop in the future, watch it with caution, but not with fear; watch it for the purpose of moving along with China and not trying to contain China," he said.

China congratulates Rice, Hadley on nomination, appointment
2004-11-18 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing has sent messages to Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley congratulating them on their nomination and appointment, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhang Qiyue on Wednesday. Li congratulated Rice on her nomination as US Secretary of State and Hadley on his appointment as US National Security Advisor, saying that he appreciated the work they had done to improve and develop Sino-US relations, said Zhang. Li also expressed his desire to join with them to further develop Sino-US relations in the second term of US President George W. Bush , she said.

Russia hails settlement of territorial problem with China
2004-11-15 Xinhuanet
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday the understanding on border issues with China "helped to remove serious irritants in bilateral relations, "Russian media reported. In an interview with the NTV television network, Lavrov said Russia now has a fully delimited border with China for the first time in history, adding that the two countries made this achievement after "their relations reached the level of strategic partnership." Apart from settling the territorial problems, Russia and China have also "achieved important understandings on military, energy and migration questions," the minister said. Speaking of Russia's ties with Japan, Lavrov said it's important to sign a peace treaty "to settle fully relations with Japan." The development of the dialogue and partnership is the precondition for settling the territorial problems with Japan, he noted. Referring to the disputes with Georgia, he said Russia has always recognized the republic's territorial integrity. ( )

Japan, China to hold summit Saturday in Chile
2004-11-18 Japan Today
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet as early as Saturday in Chile, realizing the countries' first summit this year with Beijing apparently easing its stance after a submarine incident, government sources said Wednesday. The first bilateral summit since October last year in Bangkok is expected for Saturday morning before a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit opens in Santiago in the afternoon, the sources said.

China expects more cooperation with British military
2004-11-18 PLA Daily
The Chinese military expects to go on expanding exchanges and cooperation with its British counterpart, said Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan here Tuesday. Cao, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and state councilor, made the remark during a meeting with Alan West, the British Royal Navy's First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff. ( ) As a crucial ingredient of relations between the two countries, the relationship between two militaries has been reinforced by frequented high-level visits, increased professional exchanges and staff training, and a good beginning of non-conventional security cooperation in recent years, he added. ( ) The two navies staged a search-and-rescue drill off shore of the eastern coastal city Qingdao. This is the first maritime exercise of the two nations.

German Chancellor to visit China, Japan
2004-11-17 People's Daily
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will visit China and Japan from Dec. 5-10 to hold talks with political and business leaders there, a government statement said on Monday. He will be accompanied by a large business delegation, said the statement. In China, Schroeder will meet President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. The China visit will also take him to the northeastern city of Changchun, where the German automobile giant Volkswagen has a joint venture. The German leader has visited China once a year over the last years. In Tokyo, Schroeder will hold talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and take part in a German-Japanese conference.

China's int'l status becomes increasingly important: Interview
2004-11-16 People's Daily
Chen Jian, UN deputy secretary-general in charge of the United Nations General Assembly and conference affairs management department, when being interviewed recently in New York City, indicated that along with economic development and the enhancement of overall national strength, China's status in international affairs has become increasingly important and its influence is also getting ever-larger. Chen Jian, who once served as Chinese ambassador to Japan, is a senior diplomat, his diplomatic career began in the United Nations (UN). Over the past decades, Chen went to work in the UN four times. ( ) China's international status keeps rising and its role and influence in international affairs are becoming increasingly large. Speaking of UN's relations with China, Chen Jian said that China and the UN have all along maintained very close ties, on the one hand, the UN is very concerned with questions that concern China's vital interests, for instance it upholds the one-China principle; on the other hand, the Chinese understanding, concern for and support of the UN are very extensive and vigorous. ( ) Chen Jian said that the Chinese government has consistently supported UN's work and has played an active role in pursuing the UN goal of peace and development. Along with the rise in the role and influence of the UN, the degree of China's participation in UN activities and world affairs is also on the increase everyday. Speaking of China's influence in the UN, Chen Jian said that in the past few years China's status and influence in the UN and international affairs have witnessed a marked rise, China's positive international image has commanded wide respects, and the active role it plays in various fields has received high attention and affirmation from various countries, and international organizations and groups. ( ) China has made tremendous contribution to the realization of peace and development". While talking about China's international image, Chen Jian cited an example saying that the UN spoke highly of China's active participation in peacekeeping operations, China's dispatch of well-trained riot police to Haiti, in particular, has greatly enhanced China's international prestige. The peacekeeping operation this time indicates that "China is an enthusiastic and responsible UN member, and it is ready to undertake more obligations", "the present action is regarded as an important step China has taken in its effort to improve its international status". Secretary-General Annan has, in his speeches, repeatedly extended his thanks to China for its efforts in the defense of world peace. Chen Jian said that since 1989 when it first participated in UN peacekeeping mission, China has taken part in 12 global peacekeeping operations and it has sent out 2,300 military personnel and policemen. China's peacekeeping forces have repeatedly won high praises from the recipient countries and UN officials for their high qualities, strict discipline, proficiency in professional work and ability in undertaking major dangerous tasks. For this reason, the United Nations places higher expectations on China's roles in the defense of world peace and regional security, hoping China would send out more peacekeeping forces and continue to play still greater role in international affairs. ( )

Ambassadors: China can make major contributions to peace, stability,prosperity of central Asia
2004-11-16 Xinhuanet
China's active participation in the regional economic cooperation of central Asia will greatly improve the region's standard of living and boost peace, stability and prosperity in the region, a number of Asian ambassadors and diplomatic envoys said here Monday. ("Terrorism, separatism and extremism" are three biggest threats to Afghanistan and other central Asian countries, Qiamuddin said. Terrorists, he acknowledged, "will find no place to hide if these countries strengthen regional economic cooperation to improve people's living standards." He said China can play a major role in regional economic cooperation of central Asia. "It is not only beneficial to other central Asian countries but also to China itself, especially to the stability and development of China's northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region." Qiamuddin said Xinjiang's Kashi, a historic place on the ancient Silk Road linking China and central Asian countries, can also play a very crucial role in economic, trade and cultural relations between China and neighboring countries. ( ) While praising the China-Tajikistan port that was just opened in earlier this year, Tajikistan Ambassador Abdoullaev Bokhadyr voiced his worries about terrorism that may impair regional economic cooperation. He said, however, that further enhancement of regional economic cooperation is the most efficient way to combat terrorism. "Tajikistan is ready to cooperate with China to deepen the regional cooperation," he said. Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Indian deputy chief of mission to China, said the objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)are laudable and they have achieved great cooperation not only on political and security issues, but also in promoting economic and trade relations. "India has been following closely the developments in the SCO," Bhattacharyya told Xinhua. "We should also look at the developments in Xinjiang as related to the overall prosperity of the region, in central Asia and also in south Asia," he said. According to Jiang Zuyang, of the Department of External Security Affairs with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has carried out increasing cooperation with central and south Asian countries over recent years thanks to the SCO. "Poverty and backwardness are blamed as one of the root causes for engendering terrorism. Therefore, the SCO sets increased regional cooperation and regional stability as two of its main goals," he said. The SCO, a regional cooperation body founded in June 2001, includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

'Regret' expressed over sub incident
2004-11-17 South China Morning Post
Beijing yesterday expressed regret over the intrusion by a PLA submarine into Japanese waters last week, Japanese officials said, in a gesture that defuses a dispute and may open the way for a summit between the two countries this weekend. ( ) Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei conveyed Beijing's regret over the intrusion. He told Japanese Ambassador Koreshige Anami in Beijing yesterday that the submarine had been on routine manoeuvres when it accidentally strayed into Japan's waters, said Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Hiroyuki Hosoda. "We consider this to be an apology," Mr Hosoda said, adding that Mr Wu blamed the incident on "technical causes". Mr Koizumi said the central government should ensure the incident would not be repeated. "I want to call for firm steps to prevent a recurrence so this issue does not hinder the development of the Japan-China friendship," he said. However, the central government stopped short of publicly acknowledging that it had apologised to Japan. "Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei has already informed the Japanese ambassador in China of the relevant matters," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said yesterday. ( ) Lu Guozhong , a senior analyst at the China Institute of International Studies, said the submarine incident was likely to haunt relations for years. "The incident focused attention on the jostling for energy resources, [border] demarcation and the rise of China as a regional power," he said. Andrew Yang Nien-dzu, a military analyst in Taipei, said he did not believe the intrusion was due to a technical problem. "It's an excuse," he said. "It seems the Japanese side has accepted such an excuse and given Beijing a way out."

Wen: Nation strengthens ties with Luxembourg
2004-11-15 China Daily
China will strengthen consultation and dialogue with Luxembourg on important bilateral and international issues as well accelerate bilateral trade and economic relations, Premier Wen Jiabao said while meeting with his Luxembourg counterpart Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday. China appreciates Luxembourg's sticking to the "one-China policy" over the past years, said Wen, adding that Luxembourg, within the European Union (EU), always advocates increased understanding and rooting out differences through dialogue. Paying great importance to ties with Luxembourg, China will maintain high-level exchanges and raise the level of bilateral technological and financial co-operation in order to speed up trade and economic relations, he said. ( ) Before their meeting, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong also held talks with the Luxembourg prime minister. Before arriving the capital, Juncker visited Shanghai and Hong Kong during a six-day working tour of China at the invitation of Wen.

PLA chief concludes three-nation visit
2004-11-15 PLA Daily
Liang Guanglie, chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), concluded official goodwill visits to the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and returned to Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, on Saturday . Liang, also member of the Central Military Commission, started the visit on Oct. 24 at the invitation of the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers, Australian Chief Commander of the Defense Forces Peter Cosgrove, and New Zealand's Chief of the Defense Forces Bruce Ferguson.

China holds "active attitude" to grow ties with Albania: DM
2004-11-15 PLA Daily
The Chinese military held "active attitude" in developing cooperation with Albanian armed forces and will make efforts to further military relations in line with mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, said Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan here Thursday. Cao, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and state councilor, made the remarks in the official talks with Albanian Defense Minister Pandelt Majko. Cao said that the China-Albania relations have withstood the test of history and witnessed smooth growth with frequent high-level exchanges in recent years. Amidst the smooth advancement of the relations between the two nations, he said, the bilateral military relations, which is an important part of the state-to-state ties, also enjoyed a steady development. Cao also briefed the guests on China's domestic situation and defense policy, and reiterated China's principled stance on the Taiwan issue. ( )

Chinese premier talks with Antigua and Barbuda PM
2004-11-18 People's Daily
Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer Wednesday. According to sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the two leaders reached consensus on "strengthening bilateral friendship" and "reciprocal cooperation." Wen said China and Antigua and Barbuda have kept increasing mutual political trust and conducted fruitful cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, culture, and human resource development since the establishment of their diplomatic ties 21 years ago. China appreciates the government of Antigua and Barbuda for its adherence to the one-China policy and recognizing China's full market economy status, Wen said. ( ) Wen lodged the following proposals: First, carrying out exchanges at multilayers and in various fields; Second, expanding two-way trade and investment as well as encouraging companies of both countries to conduct extensive cooperation; Third, stepping up cultural exchanges in a bid to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples; Fourth, enhancing cooperation in tourism and; Fifth, enhancing consultation and cooperation on international affairs, and safeguarding legitimate rights and interests of developing nations in joint efforts. ( ) After the talks, Wen and Spencer attended the signing ceremony of two documents between their governments, including one concerning bilateral economic and technological cooperation.

Cambodian king says he will inherit and develop ties with China
2004-11-18 People's Daily
Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni said Wednesday that as the new king of the country he will inherit and further develop the traditional friendship between Cambodia and China. The king made the remarks during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Hu Qianwen. Sihamoni spoke highly of the traditional relations between the two countries, which he said were built and nurtured by his father, former king Norodom Sihanouk, and the Chinese leaders of the older generations. He reaffirmed the stance of sticking to the "one-China" policy and supporting China's cause of reunification. The ambassador conveyed the greetings from Chinese President Hu Jintao. He said China highly appreciates the king's firm adherence to the one-China policy, noting the Chinese government will continue to support Cambodia in its endeavor to maintain stability, promote national unity and develop economy.



Beijing sounds alarm on Taipei intentions
2004-11-16 China Daily
Beijing has heightened its alert against Taipei's pursuit of formal independence, warning that cross-Straits relations will face a severe test in the next few years. Wang Zaixi, vice-minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said Monday that Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian has been advancing his separatist agenda since his re-election in March. ( ) The vice-minister said the biggest threat to cross-Straits stability comes from the Taiwan leader's pro-independence timetable to write a new "constitution" through a referendum in 2006 and enact the document in 2008. In a bid to cover up his plot to promote formal independence for the island, Chen recently made an empty call for the resumption of cross-Straits dialogue and a so-called "code of conduct." Wang said the mainland has seen through Chen's double-dealing move, which aims at "fooling international opinion and the Taiwanese people and winning votes (in the December polls). ( ) Bilateral talks can be resumed immediately "if Chen would clearly acknowledge the precondition as well as the facts, while discarding his separatist framework to promote 'one country on each side' of the Straits," Wang said. Despite his conciliatory remarks, Chen has stepped up his pro-independence push to alienate the island even more from China. On Sunday, he pledged to seek UN membership using the name "Taiwan" if his party wins a majority in the upcoming December 11 "legislative" elections. Chen told a campaign rally that it was a mistake for the government to use the name "republic of China" in applying for a seat in the United Nations. ( )

Taiwanese islet interested in HK govt model
2004-11-18 Straits Times
Taipei - Kinmen magistrate Lee Chu-feng has suggested adopting the 'one country, two systems' policy for the outlying Taiwanese island should Taiwan declare independence. Mr Lee told the county assembly that 'it is not a bad idea if Kinmen gradually becomes similar to Hong Kong', reported the China Times. The Kinmen official is against independence for Taiwan, but sees the pro-independence agenda of the government becoming increasingly blatant. He believes that the 'one country, two systems' policy would serve Kinmen's interests best. Mr Lee argued that from fortifying the island to introducing the 'three mini-links', the Taiwan government has already been using Kinmen as a guinea pig for 'one country, two systems'. ( ) The 'three mini-links' refer to direct trade, transport and postal services between China and Taiwan via the islets of Kinmen and Matsu. ( ) Mr Lee's proposal has come under heavy criticism from members of the county assembly. Assembly Speaker Chuang Liang-shih said that the 'one country, two systems' principle was purely Mr Lee's personal stand. Independent member Chen Yu-chen criticised Mr Lee for putting Kinmen in a negative light as his stand would only leave a bad impression on the Taiwan government. Vice-speaker Hsu Yung-cheng, who is from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, stressed that Kinmen is inseparable from Taiwan as its economy is reliant on Taiwan. Moreover, he added, Kinmen is hardly on par with Hong Kong.

China holding data on most Taiwanese: Chai
2004-11-16 Taipei Times
Keeping Tabs: China's intelligence officials have files on most individuals, and the situation needs to be addressed, a DPP legislator said yesterday Chinese intelligence authorities have files on almost all the personal data of Taiwan's residents, Legislator Trong Chai of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday. Chai, together with fellow DPP lawmakers Lin Chin-hsing and Chiang Chao-yi of the Alliance Against Selling Out Taiwan , submitted an emergency inquiry to the Executive Yuan yesterday, telling the administration about the seriousness of the problem and calling for a quick resolution to the "crisis." The alliance was formed to monitor interactions between the opposition pan-blue camp and China. Personal data Chai quoted unidentified China-based Taiwanese businesspeople and intelligence sources as saying recently that Chinese intelligence officials have files on the personal data of almost every resident in Taiwan. Chinese intelligence authorities' computers contain data on Taiwan residents' household registration, military service records, vehicle registration and even national health insurance records, Chai said. Chinese authorities also keep files on Taiwan's political parties, military hierarchy line-ups, and high technology research and development sector personnel, Chai said. The data could be smuggled from Taiwan and sold to Chinese authorities by Taiwan officials or stolen by criminal rings who trade the information for certain purposes, Chai said. Elections Chai said that China's intelligence authorities have established a task force to focus on Taiwan's legislative elections next month, including gathering personal data on the candidates. The task force is even dedicated to trying to influence the elections by having Taiwanese businesspeople in China return to Taiwan and vote or drum up support for candidates that are more to Beijing's liking, he said. He said this is a pressing issue that the Taiwanese people should be concerned with and that should be tackled. Meanwhile, Lin and Chiang said they want the government to "clean up" all possible channels through which important personal data could be smuggled to China and to establish a special task force to find out whether certain government officials have been bribed by Beijing for intelligence information.

Soya milk recall after labels refer to Taiwan as country
2004-11-19 South China Morning Post
A Taiwanese soya milk has been forced to remove bottled drinks from store shelves on the mainland because they carry labels which imply Taiwan is an independent country, the company said yesterday. Horn Chi Chang Enterprise, which produces the popular Yonho soya bean milk, decided to remove hundreds of bottles of the drink from sale because Taiwan was listed as the "country of origin" on the packaging, a spokeswoman said. The labels were the result of a "printing error", she added. The offending products were replaced with bottles with new labels which did not specify the country of origin, according to a report in Taiwan's Economic Daily. Taiwanese reports said the company had also approached the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office, under the State Council, which had expressed concern about the firm's "political stance". "They [consumers] have a very strong one-China concept," company president Lin Ping-shen told Taiwan's TVBS cable news network. In July, Ajisen Noodles, a popular Japanese fast-food chain on the mainland, was forced to change menus which referred to Taiwan as a country. The menus displayed a map and a list of places where Ajisen had outlets, grouped by country. Taipei was listed under the "country" Taiwan.



China's Muslims celebrate end of fast
2004-11-15 Xinhuanet
The Muslim population of China's western provinces celebrated the end of Ramadan, Islam's month of fasting, on Sunday. In the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, 1 .91 million Muslims took part in the celebration at local mosques. ( ) Ren Qixing, chairman of the Ningxia Regional Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, sent his congratulations on behalf of the CPC committee and government of the autonomous region. He said the remarkable economic development and social progressin Ningxia are attributable to the joint efforts of both the Han, China's majority ethnicity, and the region's Muslim Huis. Major officials of the autonomous region joined in the fastbreaking ceremonies in many districts and townships of Yinchuan, extending their greetings to local Muslims.

Beijing Games' high-tech to benefit all
2004-11-16 China Daily
In a world now so overshadowed by the looming threat of terrorism, China has put security as a priority on its agenda for the 2008 Olympic Games. Safety expert Ma Xin said the country is working hard to establish a security system for the game with the help of cutting-edge technology. He said the minister of public security will act as commander to guarantee security. A face-recognition system will be widely used to identify participants and support staff, said Ma, who is employed by the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee as safety expert. ( ) He also said technical efforts and precautions should be made to ensure biological security and nuclear safety in laboratories. ( ) Ma said advanced technology should also be adopted to forecast and prevent disasters such as storms, floods, earthquakes and fires. Fast-response schemes with the backing of cutting-edge relief technology should be prepared for the Olympics period. High-tech ambition To remove Ma's concerns and also help participants of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games breathe fresh air, eat healthy food, travel smoothly, and compete well, Chinese scientists are working hard. Du Zhanyuan, planning official with the Ministry of Science and Technology, said 1.3 billion yuan (US$157 million) of government funds and 1.8 billion yuan (US$217 million) from companies has been channelled into 449 science and technology projects preparing for the Olympics. ( ) Focus has been put on solutions for minimizing the effects of sandstorms, drainage, water conservation, clean energy supplies, intelligent public transport networks and management, and up-to-date digital applications to offer Internet access, virtual mock sports training sessions and anti-drug checks. ( ) More accurate forecast As part of the high-tech plan, a small satellite is expected to be launched in May next year to monitor Beijing's venue construction, environment and traffic conditions through 2009. The satellite will be the fifth of the International Disaster Relief Network, which will have seven in total, Beijing Youth Daily reported. With an investment of 190 million yuan (US$23 million), the project will be supervised by Xu's ministry and the Beijing Municipal Commission of Science and Technology. After being launched, the 100-kilogram satellite will orbit 600 kilometres above the Earth. It will work for five years in space and will orbit the Earth once every 100 minutes. ( ) The satellite will provide direct and scientific proof for the government to make decisions and supervise issues related to environmental protection, urban construction, disasters and traffic conditions, Wang said. ( ) The coastal city in East China's Shandong Province is building a new comprehensive digital meteorological system, to raise its weather service to a world-leading level. ( ) Smarter transport By using advanced information technology, Beijing has initiated an intelligent transport systems project in the hope of relieving traffic congestion before the Olympics. ( ) Beijing is mobilizing think-tanks around the country to give a final evaluation of the Beijing Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Project, which they hope will relieve the traffic snarls that have blighted the capital for years. The project - approved by Xu's ministry as a key scientific research item in the country's 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) - combined the efforts of leading scientists nationwide. International specialists who were honed during previous Games in Sydney and Atlanta were also involved, according to the ministry. The central government allocated 560 million yuan (US$68 million) for national ITS research, and Beijing served as a pilot city in the project. Analyzing intelligent traffic control systems, parking systems, public transport systems and information service networks for passengers, the project is expected to significantly improve the capital's traffic management. With its advanced technology, Beijing has an ambitious road plan. It will build a fast road system without intersections, encompassing the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth ring roads and 15 feeder lines. Another 15 arteries will stretch out from the central area to link the fast roads. Experts emphasize that, to complete this road system, construction on four major systems must be accelerated. These are the roads, priority public transport lines, transit stops and public traffic control systems. ( )

PLA Air Force to switch its defensive posture
2004-11-17 People's Daily
The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLA) will strive to complete its transformation from mechanization to informationization, from an air force of aerial defense to one with both offensive and defensive capabilities, so that it will better shoulder the holy mission of defending the territorial airspace of the motherland, says Qiao Qingchen, commander of the PLA Air Force and Deng Changyou, the air force's commissar. ( ) In the high-tech war in the future, the air force will play a significant role in joint operations; in particular, it will play a decisive role in gaining mastery of the sky. Hence, the air force will realize transformation from an air force of aerial defense to the one with both offensive and defensive capabilities. On the basis of winning "local war under high-tech conditions", it will gradually fulfill the goal to reach an appropriate scale with optimized structure as well as offensive and defensive capabilities. In the future, the air force will be dedicated to building an elite and capable force in terms of formation of the force, combat diameter, combat capabilities and ability to implement combat tasks assigned by the CPC central committee and military commission. The air force will speed up informationization on the basis of mechanization. It will adhere to the development road of taking mechanization as base and informationization as predominance. In the interest of future development, it will push forward modernization at a high starting point; enhance the quality of armament to a new level so that the future combat and development are assured. It will make the PLA Air Force step on a new stage in quality and quantity of armament. ( )

China evicts families in Beijing
2004-11-17 Taipei Times
Illegal action: Despite new laws protecting private property in China, police yesterday started using force to get unwilling homeowners to leave their dwellings A woman was injured as at least 100 police officers began forcefully evicting families from a neighborhood in east Beijing yesterday despite new laws in China protecting private property. Police surrounded three one-story old brick homes in the Nanyingfang neighborhood of Chaoyang district yesterday morning as moving crews piled the belongings of the unwilling home-owners onto vans. One middle-aged woman was brought out of her home covered in blood, the cause of her injuries was unclear. Several residents from another home were pulled out and shoved into a police van. Police sprayed foam from fire extinguishers on a large crowd of onlookers whose homes were also facing demolition in coming days. Journalists were ordered not to take pictures and leave the site. ( ) More than 1,000 households live in the neighborhood where houses once served as barracks for soldiers of the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911) who guarded the Chaoyangmen gate of the capital's city walls. Unlike most demolitions happening throughout Beijing, the residents in Nanyingfang own their homes, purchased following the fall of the Qing Dynasty and passed down from generations over 100 years. Under China's constitution, amended in March to protect private assets for the first time, the res-idents are supposed to have rights to negotiate a fair compensation before moving. The central government this year also ordered local governments not to carry out "chaotic," unreasonable requisition of land. But none of that mattered yesterday with the Chaoyang district government intent on making way for a major developer to build what residents believe will be a shopping district. ( )



China to offer award in Tibetan studies
2004-11-15 People's Daily
Development of the Tibet an studies is poised to enter a new phase, said Lhagba Puncog, head of China Research Center of Tibetan Studies, at a recent national conference on the research work. Lhagba Puncog said China plans to establish a state-level award for Tibetan studies, which will be named after Mount Qomolangma. The award aimed to help encourage more talented students to study Tibet, producing more academic works in the discipline. It will also enable China's Tibetan studies to become an international academic discipline, as Lhagba Puncog put it. To raise China's status on the world Tibetan studies, Lhagba Puncog asked all related researchers and institutions across the nation to intensify cooperation so as to a build a competent national web of research, education and publication for the Tibetan studies. China now has scores of research institutions specializing in Tibetan studies, of which most are located in Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibet autonomous prefectures and counties in the western provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan . According to rough statistics, more than 3,000 books and about 30,000 theses on Tibetan studies were publicized in China during the past five decades. Tour de force include titles on Tibet's social conditions under the serfdom, the annotation of the Tibetan-language version of Buddhist scriptures and the Domgar Grand Dictionary of Tibetan Studies.

One out of every 23 people in Lhasa owns a car
2004-11-19 Xinhuanet
In Lhasa, capital of Tibet autonomous region, one out of every 23 residents owns a car, according to the city's vehicle administration, 5.6 times higher than the national average of one private car for every 130 people. By the end of September, 420,000-person city reported nearly 18,000 private cars, said Hu Lianying, an official with the vehicle administration of the city's public security bureau. This is a twofold increase over the 1999 figure, he said. ( ) Cars are believed to have first appeared in Tibet in 1928, whenthe 13th Dalai Lama imported two from India. As there were no modern roads on which to drive the cars, they were dismantled intospare parts to be taken to Tibet on horseback for reassembly. In the mid-1990s, Lhasa had a total of just 8,000 motor vehicles. The number has climbed to 40,000 over the past decade. Nearly 40 auto retailers have settled down in the emerging market. Official statistics show the per-capita disposable income of urban residents in Tibet averaged 8,058 yuan (about 970 US dollars)in 2003, 300 yuan (36 US dollars) more than the year before. But experts warn that Tibet's urban roads, which add up to merely 130 km, are already congested and many citizens have started to complain about lack of parking and excessive pollution. ( )



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China imports nearly 100 mln tons of crude oil Jan. to Oct.
2004-11-15 People's Daily
China imported a total of 99.59 million tons of crude oil during the January - October period amid continually rising international oil prices, according to China's General Administration of Customs. Administration statistics show that the amount has already exceeded last year's total of 91.12 million tons. China's rapid economic development has caused the rising consumption of oil, the administration said. According to the International Energy Agency, China's crude oil imports could reach 120 million tons in 2004, the second most in the world after the United States. The administration also said China imported 19.85 million tons of processed oil in the first half of 2004 and is expected to import 40 million tons by the end of the year.

EU official: IPR legal frameworkin place
2004-11-16 China Daily
China has improved protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) since it joined the World Trade Organization three years ago, European Union officials said yesterday in Beijing. "China's legal framework (of IPR) is basically in place," Franz Jessen, deputy head of the EU Delegation in Beijing, told a news briefing. "The Chinese Government has put a lot of efforts in legislation." He also said the Chinese Government has a high level of understanding of IPR protection and is revving up efforts to combat piracy and counterfeitting. Sergio Balibrea, head of trade section of the delegation, said the EU has noted China launched a year-long, national campaign in September to protect IPR. And he also noted China will release a legal interpretation on criminal prosecution standards of IPR violations by the end of the year. Beijing-based experts believe that China has stood by its WTO commitments in terms of IPR protection. ( ) At the same briefing, Jessen called for further efforts from the Chinese Government and industries to implement IPR laws and regulations to curb the flow of Chinese fake goods from flowing into the EU market. He also called on local governments to give high priority to protect right holders. According to EU statistics, almost 85 million counterfeit or pirated articles were seized by EU customs at its external border in 2002. The figure was 50 million in the first half of 2003. EU will intensify the enforcement of IPR protection in third countries, according to a strategy it adopted last week.



NK Refugee Seeks Asylum in Russia
2004-11-16 Korea Times
A North Korean defector entered the South Korean Consulate in Vladivostok in a bid for diplomatic asylum Monday, according to a human rights activist in Seoul. Rev. Shin Dong-churl, head of civic group Exodus 21, claimed the defector, identified as Hwang Dae-soo, 29, entered the consulate at around 11 a.m. and requested diplomatic protection and a flight to Seoul. However, neither South Korean Consul General Choi Jae-keun in Vladivostok nor the Foreign Ministry in Seoul were able to confirm the asylum bid. If confirmed, it would be the second attempt by a North Korean defector to seek protection at a foreign mission in the Russian city in the last three weeks. A North Korean man barged into the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok late last month and is reportedly still being held while officials decide if he should be granted permanent asylum. Hundreds of defectors have stormed foreign missions in Beijing over the last month, but asylum bids in Russia are rare. According to Shin, the defector worked as an interpreter for North Korean laborers in Vladivostok since June 2000. In 2003, however, he refused to respond to an order to return to Pyongyang and has been in hiding from North Korean authorities in Russia since then, the Korean-American human rights activist said. While the South Korean government takes a passive approach in assisting North Korean refugees abroad, it generally grants asylum to defectors who successfully enter its overseas missions. China has begun to crack down on defectors attempting to storm embassies in Beijing over the last month, arresting more than 70 North Koreans in police raids.

China sent 62 N Korean asylum seekers back home
2004-11-16 Japan Today
Sixty-two North Koreans who sneaked into China seeking asylum in recent months were sent back to North Korea, a rights group said Monday. The refugees, all of whom were caught in Beijing trying to break into the South Korean consulate, were sent back after being in a Chinese border-area detention center for seven to 10 days, said Hiroshi Kato, secretary general of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees in Tokyo.


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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