BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
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Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP
Hu, Bush meet on ties, DPRK nuke issue
2004-11-22 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Saturday that China and the United States have made progress in their constructive relationship of cooperation in the past four years and that China will work for the steady development of bilateral ties during US President George W. Bush's second term. When meeting with Bush on the sidelines of the 12th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Hu noted that high-level dialogue and contacts at various levels have increased, with new progress in cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, law enforcement and the fight against terrorism, and that military exchanges have basically resumed. ( ) Bush, for his part, said relations with China are among Washington's most important bilateral ties. China, as a great country developing constantly, is a source of stability, trade andeconomic development, he said. The US president, re-elected early this month for another four-year term, said his country is willing to further strengthen ties with China and to step up consultations and coordination on major regional and international issues for a better world. Both leaders are here to attend the two-day APEC meeting, which kicked off Saturday in the Chile an capital. ( ) During their meeting, Hu said China highly appreciates Washington's adherence to the "one China" policy and its opposition to "Taiwan independence." China has always cherished the principles of "peaceful reunification" and "One country, Two systems" in solving the Taiwan issue, Hu stressed. However, he said that China would never tolerate any attempt to separate Taiwan from the motherland and that "Taiwan independence"is totally unacceptable. "It will not only ruin peace across the Taiwan Straits but alsogravely wreck peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific," Hu said. "Both China and the United States should perceive the perils of ' Taiwan independence' from such a strategic height." Bush said Washington understands the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and that it will stick to the "one China" policy, abide by the three joint communiques, oppose any words or deeds to unilaterally alter the status quo and declare "independence," and give no inconsistent signals to Taiwan authorities. Meanwhile, the two leaders agreed to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and peaceful means. Hu told Bush that China is for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue through dialogue soas to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula. ( )
China to host G20 meeting next year
2004-11-23 People's Daily
Chinese Finance Minster Jin Renqing announced Sunday in Berlin that China is to take over from Germany the presidency of the Group of 20 (G20), a forum comprising most industrialized and main developing countries. "The theme of the forum next year would be to enhance global cooperation and ensure balanced and orderly development of world economy," said the Chinese minister. The G20 members will, through talks and dialogues, seek ways to overcome imbalance in development and the limitation of the current international economic system, Jin said. Next year, the G20 members will discuss the rational allocation of production factors such as capital, labor and technology, improvement of the current international economic system and the principles of achieving balanced and orderly economic development. The first two meetings of deputies are to be held respectively in China's southwestern city of Chongqing in March and the northeastern coastal city of Dalian in September. The ministerial meeting is to be held in mid-October in Xianghe, a small town near Beijing , the capital of China. ( )
Brazil, Argentina, Chile approved as Chinese group travelers destinations
2004-11-22 People's Daily
Brazil , Argentina and Chile have been approved by the Chinese government as Chinese group travelers destinations, according to the latest news from China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). Cuba was approved as a Chinese travelers destination last year. With no direct flights between China and South America, package prices to the three nations will be quite high. ( ) Chinese travel agencies will organize groups only after CNTA reaches a consensus with those three nations in visa procedure and local guide issues. Travelers can fly there via Europe or North America. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), China is among the top ten overseas tourist consumption markets. Last year, more than 20 million Chinese travelers went abroad, passing Japan to rank first in Asia for the first time. The WTO has predicted China will become the world's fourth biggest tourism source nation by 2020.
Chinese, French officers discuss on defense, security in Beijing
2004-11-22 PLA Daily
China-France Seminar on Defense and Security for Senior Defense Officials opened here Saturday afternoon. Hosted by the Chinese Defense Ministry, the 10-day seminar was attended by more than 10 officers from the French army, navy and air force. The seminar offers an opportunity for the two sides to exchange views on international and regional security situations and help advance military cooperation between the two countries, according to a senior Chinese defense official. Noted experts and scholars from the Chinese Defense Ministry, Military Academy of Sciences of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, Chinese Foreign Ministry and other institutions will give lectures on international and regional situation, Sino-European relations, international counter-terrorism and regional cooperation. French officers will also pay a visit to Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province, Xi'an in northwest China's Shaanxi Province and Shanghai. They will visit military projects and be briefed on military issues. ( )
German chancellor to visit China
2004-11-26 People's Daily
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will pay a working visit to China from Dec. 6 to 8 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue at a regular press conference Thursday.
Chinese president meets Spanish crown prince
2004-11-26 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao told Spanish Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon y Grecia Wednesday that China will work with Spain to boost bilateral relations. Hu was in Spain for a stopover after winding up a 13-day, four-nation Latin American tour during which he attended the 12th APEC economic leaders' meeting in Chile. Hu said China highly appreciates the efforts of the Spanish Royal Family in promoting China-Spain ties. Felipe paid tribute to China's modern development, saying China's industrialization drive has scored huge successes and that the country is playing an ever greater role in world affairs. Spain looks forward to broadening cooperation with China and getting more actively involved in China's economic development, he said. Spain would be glad to share its experiences with China in hosting the Olympic Games and the World Exposition, the Prince said. ( )
Xu Qiliang meets with Polish guest
2004-11-26 PLA Daily
Xu Qiliang, deputy chief of the general staff of the PLA, met in Beijing yesterday with Lt Gen. Flis, the visiting principal of Polish National Defense University.
Zhang Shutian meets with Vietnamese guests
2004-11-26 PLA Daily
Zhang Shutian, deputy director of the General Political Department of the PLA, met in Beijing yesterday with the visiting study delegation from the Security Bureau of the General Political Department of the Vietnamese People's Army led by Maj. Gen. Nguyen Phuc Hoai, the head of the Bureau.
China, New Zealand to launch FTA talks
China and New Zealand have agreed to launch negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) as soon as possible, China Daily reported Monday. President Hu Jintao and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark made the announcement when they met over the weekend in Chile, where they are attending the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Santiago. ( ) The more than 100-page study concluded "significant complementarities" exist between the Chinese and New Zealand economies and that an FTA "would benefit" the people and economies of both countries. To secure these benefits and build on the long and warm relationship between the two countries, the study recommends negotiations on an FTA between China and New Zealand covering goods, services and investment commence as soon as possible. It does not identify major problems but identifies concerns about possible adjustments for producers from the removal of barriers to trade, and recommends their impact be taken into account in negotiations. ( ) According to the agreement, the two nations wish to kickstart negotiations early next year. However, the negotiations may begin ahead of schedule. It is reported that the first round of FTA negotiations is expected to be held in Beijing in the first week of December. No date has been set for the completion of the negotiations. Trade between China and New Zealand has thrived in past years, said the Ministry of Commerce. From January to September, two-way trade volume surged by 40 per cent on a yearly basis to US$1.86 billion, exceeding the full-year figure of 2003.
Senior Chinese military officer holds talks with Canadian guest
2004-11-24 PLA Daily
China is willing to make concerted efforts with Canada to promote the relations between the two armed forces, said Liang Guanglie, chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), here Monday. Liang, also member of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when he held talks with Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff Ray Henault. Liang said the relations between the armed forces of China and Canada have maintained good momentum in recent years, with frequent high-level visits and active cooperation in such fields as peace keeping, logistics, college education and winter training. ( ) Liang reaffirmed China's principled stand on the Taiwan issue. Henault spoke positively of China's role played in maintaining regional stability, hoping to enhance cooperation with the Chinese armed forces and increase mutual understanding. Henault stressed that Canada will continue to pursue the one-China policy.
Chinese envoy meets Egyptian FM over Iraq issue
Chinese representative to the United Nations Wang Guangya met here on Monday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit over the Iraq issue. Wang, who is here as special envoy of the Chinese government toattend an international conference on Iraq on Tuesday, said that the meeting was very important, because Egypt, as the host of the conference, has played an important role in arranging the gathering. He said that the conference came at a crucial moment as violence in the war-torn country poses a serious challenge to both the interim Iraqi government and the international community. If the situation in Iraq deteriorates, it would not only bring more sufferings to the Iraqi people, but also have an adverse impact on regional issues, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iran's nuclear issue, he said. He stressed that China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a friend of the Arab world, would continue to play a constructive role in the Iraq issue. For his part, Abul Gheit praised China's role in dealing with regional and international issues. He said that Egypt hopes China would make further contributions to helping seek a solution to the Iraq problem and render the international conference a success.
Chinese Middle East envoy meets Palestinian leaders
China's Special Envoy to the Middle East Wang Shijie held separate talks with members of the Palestinian leadership on Wednesday. The senior Palestinian officials included head of Palestine Liberation Organization, Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, Palestinian Authority Acting President Rawhi Fattouh and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath. The Palestinian leadership praised China for its support of the Palestinians after the passing of Yassser Arafat and said a smooth transfer of power has been achieved in the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian leadership also pledged to consolidate unity among its people and improve the security situation through collective leadership and democratic means. Wang Shijie has reiterated China's support for the just cause of the Palestinian people and hoped the Palestinians and Israel could push forward the peace process as soon as possible under relevant UN resolutions.
China rejects Vietnams' request to cease oil exploration
2004-11-24 China Daily
China rejected Vietnam's request to halt oil exploration in a boundary sea area, but is willing to keep communication with Vietnam on the issue. China is conducting normal and regular oil exploration operations in the Chinese area of Beibu Bay, neighboring south China and north Vietnam. Vietnam's accusation is "groundless," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said when asked to comment on the report. China's drilling platform "Exploration No. 3" is conducting regular exploration in China's territorial waters, Zhang told a regular press conference. Relevant maritime department of China has published notice of sailing to ships passing the area according to international safety practice, she said. The accusation based on Vietnam's unilateral position is " groundless" and "unacceptable" to China, she said. China is willing to maintain dialogue and communications with the Vietnamese side on this issue.
CPPCC National Committee chairman stresses relations with Belgium
2004-11-24 People's Daily
Jia Qinglin , chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), spoke highly of the friendly cooperation between China and Belgium in his meeting with Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium in Beijing Monday. Jia appreciated Philippe's effort for boosting bilateral relations between China and Belgium, saying in the past few years, the two countries have kept frequent high-level exchanges and enhanced mutual political trust. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful visit to Belgium last May, which witnessed lots of consensus reached by the two sides on development of bilateral relations and economic and trade cooperation, he said. The two countries are implementing those agreements, he said. ( ) "As an important member of the European Union and locale of the EU headquarters, Belgium plays a unique role in international and regional affairs," said he. Jia also said he appreciates Belgium's adherence to the one-China policy. Belgian Crown Prince Philippe, who came to China with an economic and trade delegation of about 500 people, agreed with Jiaon appraisal of the Belgium-China relations. Belgium is willing to enhance relations with China, by underscoring economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
Cao Gangchuan meets Belarus deputy defense minister
2004-11-25 PLA Daily
Cao Gangchuan, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, state councilor and defense minister, met in Beijing with Maj. Gen. Merentsov, deputy defense minister of the Republic of Belarus and his party on November 23, 2004. Cao Gangchuan said that China held a positive attitude towards developing its relations with Belarus and the armed forces on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, hoped that the two sides would work hard to implement the consensus reached by heads of state of the two countries, and push the overall friendly cooperative ties featuring long-time stability, mutual trust and mutual cooperation to a new height. Cao Gangchuan also noted that Chinese side valued the friendly ties and cooperation with the Belarus Armed Forces and was willing to work together with the Belarus side to promote the development of friendly cooperative ties between the two militaries along the multi-level and wide-range direction. Maj. Gen. Merentsov said that Belarus also attached importance to developing its relations with China, and hoped to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese side and push for constant development of the ties between the two countries and two militaries. He added that Belarus would continue to adhere to the one-China policy
Chinese president's Cuba visit to promote bilateral ties
The upcoming visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Cuba will give an impulse to bilateral relations, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Jose Guerra told Xinhua. "This visit, without a doubt, will give greater dynamism to the relations between the two countries," said the vice minister, who was Cuban ambassador to China from 1988 to 1999. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the official noted the direct contact between President Hu and his Cuban counterpart, Fidel Castro, will strengthen the ties between Havana and Beijing. ( ) He said that among the documents discussed by both sides, there is an educational agreement on the study of Spanish in China and Chinese in Cuba. The Cuban vice minister reiterated Cuba's position to back the reunification of China under the scheme of "one country, two systems." "There is only one China, and Taiwan is a province of this great nation," Guerra said. He added that China has become a country with great influence on international issues. When referring to the reforms initiated in China over 20 years ago, he said their success has been more than a result of the positive transformation of the country's infrastructure. "The changes, in my opinion, are in the Chinese men and women, who knew how to adapt to this complex process and move on upon that basis," said the vice foreign minister. He added that because of its economic, scientific, technological and political might developed by China, it could be a viable alternative for Latin America. He welcomed the important agreements signed by President Hu with Brazilian and Argentine leaders during his current Latin American tour. ( ) Guerra termed Hu's trip as a gesture of solidarity and friendship that "we have to recognize from all viewpoints." "We are expecting it to be a fraternal and friendly visit," he said. Cuba was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with China on Sept. 28, 1960.
China, Peruvian presidents meet to further ties
2004-11-22 China Daily - Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo Manrique said Saturday that Peru recognizes China's full market economy status and is ready to further develop bilateral cooperation in investment, economic and trade. The Peruvian president made the remarks when meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the 12th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the Chilean capital, according to a press release issued by the Chinese delegation. ( ) China is willing to consider Peru as a tourist destination for Chinese citizens, Hu noted. The Chinese president arrived here Thursday for a state visit to Chile and attending the 12th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.
Chinese foreign minister meets S. Korean, Papua New Guinea counterparts
2004-11-23 PLA Daily
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing held separate talks on Saturday with his South Korean counterpart Ban Ki-Moon and Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rabbie Namaliu. Li made positive comments on the sound development of Sino-Korean relations, adding that China appreciates South Korea's support on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet. The minister, who is accompanying Chinese President Hu Jintao for the ongoing 12th Economic Leaders Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held here, also expressed full confidence over the prospect of the comprehensive partnership between China and South Korea. Noting there is no pending questions between South Korea and China, Ban reaffirmed South Korea's adherence to the One-China policy, adding that his country hopes to boost exchange and cooperation with China in a bid to push bilateral relations to a higher level. ( ) During the meeting between Li and Namaliu, the two ministers expressed satisfaction over the development of bilateral relations. Li praised the government of Papua New Guinea for its adherence to the One-Chinapolicy and its support to the Chinese side when dealing with the Taiwan issue in international and regional organizations. ( ) Namaliu said that the One-Chinapolicy is a consensus of the international community, which Papua New Guinea will firmly stick to. China's support and aid to Papua New Guinea represents improving bilateral relations and has brought substantial benefits to the Papua New Guinea people, said the minister. He said Papua New Guinea is willing to enhance cooperation with China and welcomes the investment from Chinese enterprises. ( )
Chinese military delegation visits Zambia
2004-11-23 PLA Daily
Zambian deputy defense minister said that Zambia had consistently supported the one-China policy and opposed "Taiwan independence". He made the remark when he met with the visiting Chinese military delegation led by Lt. Gen. Sun Zhongtong, deputy director of the General Political Department of the PLA in Lusaka on the 19th November. The deputy minister said the traditional friendship, which existed between China and Zambia and between the two militaries, had withstood the test of the time. He expressed appreciation for the long-term support China had rendered to the Zambian armed forces. ( ) On the same day, the Chinese military delegation also paid courtesy calls to commanders of the Zambian army and the air force as well as commander of the national service force. The Chinese military delegation arrived in Zambian on the 19th for the visit at the invitation of the Ministry of National Defense of Zambia after it concluded its visit to Uganda.
China, Albania hail 55th anniversary of establishing ties
2004-11-25 PLA Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao and Albanian President Alfred Moisiu exchanged congratulatory messages Tuesday to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. â€œAlbania was among the earliest to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and has made historic contributions to the restoration of China's legitimate seat at the United Nations," Hu said in his message to Moisiu. ã€€ã€€( ) "China values its relations with Albania and stands ready to join Albania in working on the opportunities of the 55th anniversary of our diplomatic relations to build an even better future for our bilateral relationship," Hu said. In a message to Hu, Moisiu said that through high-level political dialogue and full-range cooperation with mutual benefit, bilateral relations have been further developed and upgraded to a higher level. ( ) Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), and Servet Pellumbi, speaker of Albania's People's Assembly, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Albanian counterpart, Kastriot Islami, also exchanged congratulatory messages.
Finnish parliament delegation to visit China
A Finnish parliament delegation, led by speaker Paavo Tapio Lipponen, will pay an official goodwill visit to China from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3. The delegation is invited by Wu Bangguo, chairman of China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
Hu, Koizumi hold contentious meeting
2004-11-24 Taipei Times
STRAINED RELATIONS: Hu told Koizumi that his visits to a controversial shrine were causing tensions, while Koizumi noted the recent intrusion of a Chinese nuclear sub. Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday warned Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that his controversial visits to a shrine honoring war criminals are the "crux" of the problem in Sino-Japanese ties. Relations between the Asian powers have been soured by Koizumi's visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine. The trips have prevented state visits by either leader to the other's country for the past three years. ( ) The Japanese and Chinese leaders met after a two-day summit of APEC leaders in the Chilean capital of Santiago. "He said that Japanese leaders should seek a proper solution to this matter by taking history as a mirror and looking into the future." Hu particularly called on Koizumi to suspend his visit to the shrine next year "as we will have a sensitive year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the victory of anti-fascism." Koizumi replied he would "sincerely" receive Hu's remarks but stopped short of mentioning any possibility of suspending his pilgrimage next year. "I visit there in order to honor those who lost their lives against their will," Koizumi explained. The heated debate on the war history extended the length of talks to over an hour from an originally scheduled 30 minutes. ( ) In a bid to turn the tables, Koizumi raised with Hu the matter of a Chinese nuclear submarine's intrusion into Japanese waters this month, which put a new strain on the Asian powers' relations. "It is important to prevent any recurrence of such an incident in the future," Koizumi told Hu, according to a Japanese government official. But Hu made no reply over the intrusion, which involved a two-day chase on the high seas near gas fields disputed between China and Japan in the East China Sea. A Chinese spokesman, declining to elaborate, said: "The submarine issue was already appropriately resolved through the foreign ministries." ( ) Koizumi said, adding that the two countries should not "turn the East China Sea to a conflicting sea." A sense of political self-confidence and nationalism is growing in both countries despite close trade relations. Japanese business leaders have pressed Koizumi to smooth over relations with China, to which Japan's exports surged 24.1 percent to ?3.8 trillion (US$37 billion) for the six months to June. During the China-Japan summit, Hu and Koizumi at least agreed to urge North Korea to buckle on negotiations for an end to a crisis over its nuclear weapons program, often described as a major threat to Asian security. "The issue should be solved peacefully though dialogue," Hu said, pledging to continue persuading North Korea to return to stalled multilateral talks over the crisis. Beijing has traditionally friendly ties with Pyongyang. ( )
China's Hu meets Singaporean PM on Taiwan, bilateral ties
2004-11-22 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao met Singapore an Prime
Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday, focusing on Taiwan issue and
bilateral ties. Hu said, with sincere hopes to maintain friendship with
Singaporean people, China is willing to make efforts to put Sino-Singaporean
relations on track for healthy and sustainable development, taking note with
appreciation of Singapore's repeated confirmation of its one-China policy
and its opposition to "Taiwan independence". Lee said he realized that his
trip to Taiwan in July has brought about difficulties to relations with
China. Singapore's fundamental position, which sticks to the one-China
policy, has not changed, he said, adding that his country is unequivocal in
opposition to "Taiwan independence." Hu pointed out that the Taiwan issue
should be handled with caution as it has a bearing on China's essential
interests. The handling of the issue shall not harm the feelings of 1.3
billion Chinese and be detrimental to bilateral relations, he said. That
China's sovereignty and essential interests must be respected is a general
principle, said Hu. ( )
Plan outlined to deal with flu outbreak
2004-11-23 China Daily
Chinese health authorities have organized a group of experts to draft an emergency plan to deal with possible outbreaks of flu, the China Youth Daily reported yesterday. The plan includes two parts: one is on how to increase monitoring of the flu and the second is to make preparations for flu vaccines and medicines, the report quoted official Xiao Donglou from the Ministry of Health as saying. Once a large-scale flu outbreak happens, the ministry will take such measures as giving early-warning as well as taking necessary action to prevent the expansion of the disease, said the report. ( ) A total of 34 children contracted the flu caused by the parainfluenza virus in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) that borders Guangdong Province. And one of them died of the illness. Hong Kong had detected five Japanese encephalitis cases by Thursday. ( ) " Children and senior citizens should take vaccines against flu to prevent themselves from contracting infectious diseases in the near future, the official said. Meanwhile, local residents should pay more attention to their personal hygiene, frequently washing their hands and wearing masks while visiting their relatives and friends who have been in the ward for treatment. And Guangdong refused to panic after Hong Kong witnessed a minor outbreak of flu and Japanese encephalitis. Business at local supermarkets, department stores, cinemas, theaters, and bars have been as brisk as usual.
AsiaSat accuses Falungong of intercepting satellite signal
2004-11-23 People's Daily
A Hong Kong based satellite company accused Sunday the Falungong cult, that has been outlawed on the Chinese mainland, of hijacking its satellite and disrupting its normal signal sending. "At 20:05:54 p.m. on Nov. 20 this year, malicious signals containing Falungong promotion contents intercepted the K7V transponder aboard the AsiaSat 3S satellite of the company. "We were forced to shut it down at 20:18:56 on Nov. 20 till 00:35 on Nov. 21." said a statement released by the Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd (AsiaSat). As a result, the normal broadcast by the Beijing Municipal TV and the Tianjin Municipal TV, which chartered the transponder according to commercial contracts, were disrupted and had to be stopped, it said. "The act of attacking a civil satellite has seriously violated international pacts on telecommunications and internationally recognized norms. The normal satellite telecommunications order was broken, which brought great harm to our company's commercial benefit and reputation." ( )
China to audit senior military officers
2004-11-25 China Daily
Starting in January, China will audit military officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher who are in charge of army finance work, according to a regulation issued Wednesday by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). The new rule requires that senior military officers be audited when they have held a post for two years, are up for leaving the post or being evaluated. The military's auditing department will set up a special team in charge of departments of auditing, personnel, accountants and discipline inspection. The audits will cover annual budgets, final accounts, accounting work, revenue, expenses, assets and debts according to the regulation. The Chinese PLA Audit Office will audit top officers of all seven military area commands across the country. ( )
China to start HIV test on prison population
2004-11-26 China Daily
China will start testing the country's prison population this month to identify HIV-positive prisoners, the Ministry of Health said Thursday. The ministry will work with the Ministry of Justice to launch HIV tests on inmates in prisons and other correctional institutions from this month to March next year, the ministry said. If an inmate is found to be HIV-positive, the health authority will then test his family members, the ministry said. The HIV-positive inmates and AIDS patients will receive proper treatment, it added. ( ) The police are inclined not to detain AIDS patients, and many of them are not put in prison or serve their sentences outside as most Chinese prisons and detention houses have no facility specially for AIDS patients and the HIV-positive. China now has a prison population of 1.5 million in its 670 jails, while the country has 840,000 HIV-positive people, of whom 80,000 are AIDS patients. This year China has made great efforts to prevent AIDS/HIV and improve public awareness of the prevention. The Ministry of Health said in mid October that it plans to launch HIV test on people with histories of selling blood nationwide. Monday more than 40 billboards on AIDS prevention were set up along both sides of the Sanlitun Bar Street, Beijing's hottest haunt for night life. The health authority also plans to promote AIDS prevention on the campuses of 34 universities.
Curbs on views of academics in media
2004-11-22 South China Morning Post
Beijing has banned discussions in the media on the role of intellectuals in the development of the mainland. A source said the Publicity Department, which supervises propaganda and ideological control, issued an order last week barring reports on the topic of "public intellectuals". The order was issued as the term, which was previously confined solely to academics, was becoming increasingly common in the media. It refers to intellectuals who become involved in public affairs. Analysts said the ban reflected growing anxiety over the topic among authorities, as well as a tighter grip over the media and public opinion under the current leadership. Wang Yi , a law teacher at Chengdu University and a columnist for several national publications, said the term was banned because of political implications that could be considered a threat to the government. "Another concept corresponding to the notion of public intellectual is public politics, which is inevitably about dissent and even the forming of opposition forces," said Mr Wang, whose name was included on a list of 50 public intellectuals that was compiled by the Southern People's Weekly, a news magazine under the Southern Daily group. The term was seldom used until the magazine published a series of high-profile articles honouring famous scholars and writers from the mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas. They included Aids activist Gao Yaojie and economist Wu Jinglian . Despite the magazine's lengthy profiles of contemporary philosophers, artists, lawyers, economists and media analysts, some critics said the list was incomplete because it overlooked people such as Sars whistle-blower Jiang Yanyong. Renowned social scientist Hu Xingdou said he was uncertain whether the list had been compiled simply as media propaganda, aimed at raising the stature of the individuals involved. "But it is certainly a reflection of social demands - we need a large number of public intellectuals who have a sense of social responsibility, strive for social justice and care about others, especially the underprivileged," he said. Mr Wang said public intellectuals possessed at least two qualities: the moral courage to speak out for the public interest, and sympathising with those unable to live up to expectations. He said being a public intellectual required courage, professional expertise and, most importantly, the willingness to act. "We cannot force anyone to take responsibility and act if it is against his or her will," he said. "No one has the right to blame an individual for not doing well enough." Professor Hu agreed, saying given the current political situation, it was understandable that there were now many "private intellectuals", who only paid attention to their own interests. Years of experience had shown the pursuit of social responsibility and conscience, and caring for others carried risks, he said.
Tiananmen protester tortured 'to point of psychosis'
2004-11-23 South China Morning Post
A former newspaper editor who defaced a portrait of Mao Zedong during the 1989 Tiananmen protests has been tortured to the "the point of psychosis", a fellow protester told Radio Free Asia after fleeing the mainland. Yu Dongyue was jailed for life for "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement" after he and two friends splattered Mao's picture with paint. "In 2001, a group of five of us went to the Hunan No1 Prison to visit him," fellow protester Lu Decheng, who was jailed for 16 years but released early, told the Washington-based radio station. "He was almost unrecognisable. "He had a totally dull look in his eyes, and he kept repeating words over and over again as if he were chanting a mantra. He didn't recognise anyone," said Mr Lu, who recently escaped the mainland in a perilous three-month journey. "There was a big scar on the right side of his head. I asked his mother if Yu had ever received a head injury, but she said he never had." Mr Lu said another inmate at the prison told him that Yu had been tied to a power pole and left in the sun for several days. "After that, they locked him in solitary confinement for two years and that's when he got like that," he said. "He had been tortured to the point of psychosis." Officials at the Hunan No1 Prison were not available for comment. Yu, Mr Lu and Yu Zhijian were school friends from Hunan province and had been active in the pro-democracy movement before travelling to Beijing in May 1989 to join thousands of demonstrators on Tiananmen Square. They were handed over to authorities by fellow students after defacing the Mao portrait hung prominently on Tiananmen Gate. Mr Lu said his house had been demolished, his wife received threats from the authorities forcing her to divorce him, and his minibus was confiscated, depriving him of a means to earn a living. Phone tapping, mail interception and surveillance became a regular part of his life, he said. Speaking from an undisclosed location, Mr Lu said he fled so that he could tell Yu's story. He did not divulge details of his escape. Yu Zhijian remains on the mainland.
First batch of new recruits to Tibet flies off from Shanghai
2004-11-24 PLA Daily
On the morning of Nov. 21, 2004, two special planes
took off from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. In the planes, there
were 200 new recruits of Shanghai, who will be replenished to troops in
Tibet after accepting short adaptability training in Chengdu. It was the
first time for Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to carry out
transportation of new recruits with two planes. Meanwhile, it was also the
first time for the country to transport new recruits with planes in this
Tibet protects river heads
China will take steps to protect the ecological
environment in some key river heads in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Radio International reported Thursday. China's State Foresty Administration
says loss of vegetation and the effects of global warming on glacial areas
are damaging sensitive areas. Local government in Tibet is monitoring dozens
of river heads but the main focus is the vegetation, lakes, and glaciers
around Mount Everest. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is home to serveral of
China's major river heads, such as the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers.
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Energy use to double by 2020, report says
2004-11-26 China Daily
China plans to double its energy consumption as its economy quadruples by 2020, officials say. Up to 1.4 billion tons of standard coal, an amount nearly equal to energy consumed by the nation last year, should be saved by 2020 when China meets its target of an all-around well-off society. With an annual savings rate of 3 per cent, China's energy consumption is expected to reach 3 billion tons of standard coal in 2020. The goals are included in a medium- and long-term energy savings plan unveiled yesterday by National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a powerful State Council department that helps govern China's social and economic development. Officials and experts urged concrete measures to reach the energy-savings goals while maintaining robust economic growth. Zhao Jiarong, NDRC department director in charge of resources-savings, said energy-conservation efforts will by mainly involve sectors that include power generating, steel, petroleum, coal, communication and construction. In the plan, Zhao's commission also requires that coal, a major energy resource consumed by China, will be mainly used to generate power, oil will be used as a power for transportation and chemical resources, while cities will be encouraged to burn natural gas for heating and other household uses. Zhao said the plan has partly resulted from China's present worst energy crunch since the late 1980s. Two-thirds of the nation's area have been afflicted with brownouts and regular blackouts since last year. Supply failures are attributed to insufficient construction of new power plants over the past few years, and rampant consumption increases in energy-intensive sectors industries such as the steel, aluminum, cement and chemical industries. ( )
Court rules on property rights
2004-11-26 China Daily
The Supreme People's Court (SPC) yesterday issued a long-awaited judicial interpretation on auctions or sales of properties involved in civil cases. The action, expected to take effect next year, will regulate and improve court-ordered actions. Priority will be given to auctions involving debtors' properties after they are sealed, held or frozen during the course of court actions, according to the 36-clause interpretation. Some properties can be sold off if both parties involved in the cases agree to do so. ( ) Auctions should be characterized by openness, transparency and fair competition to help prevent illegal conduct and maximize prices of the properties, said Huang Songyou, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court at a news conference in Beijing yesterday. ( ) The interpretation also stipulates ways of identifying assessment agencies and auctioneers, saying the courts can help examine concerned agencies after both parties are in agreement. If parties fail to reach an agreement on the choice of auction agencies, courts can help determine one through random designation. Open tenders are another way to decide on auction agencies. ( ) The interpretation increases the transparency of the auction activities and helps prevent illegal conduct, he said. The interpretation also stipulates the auction cannot be conducted without bottom prices. Movable properties are not allowed to be auctioned more than twice and immovable properties are not allowed to be done more than three times. The Supreme People's Court mapped out judicial interpretations since the number of the civil cases involving property auctions has been increasing in recent years and the existing law of civil procedure cannot meet the current demand, Huang said.
Mongolia a haven for North Koreans
2004-11-23 Taipei Times
DELICATE TIES: The Stalinist state's reinvigorated relations with Mongolia are seen by some as an attempt to block it from becoming a destination for North Korean refugees North Korea's brand-new embassy, painted pink and protected by coils of barbed wire, opened three months ago on Revolutionaries' Avenue. "They are watching us very closely," Tsakhia Elbegdorj, Mongolia's new prime minister, said in an interview here, half joking. But to American and South Korean advocates for North Korean refugees, North Korea's new diplomatic presence here, after a five-year absence for economic reasons, is seen as an attempt to block efforts to make Mongolia a haven and processing center for defectors from the authoritarian state. () Bolstered by US President Bush's re-election and a new American law that calls for spending US$20 million a year to help North Korea's refugees, refugee advocates would like to see Mongolia, sandwiched between Russia and China, play roughly the same role as Portugal's during World War II; a neutral state where refugees could be processed for settlement in other countries, preferably by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Mongolia has plenty of room, foreign human rights advocates say. Twice the size of Texas with only 2.4 million people, Mongolia is one of the least densely populated nations on the planet. But Mongolia's government has yet to embrace the idea. "We are one of the few countries in the world that enjoys very good relations with both Koreas," Foreign Minister Tsend Munh-Orgil said in an interview here on Wednesday. "Frankly, I don't think we would look favorably on setting up camps of any nature on the territory of our country." Munh-Orgil, a Harvard-trained lawyer, said that Mongolia would continue its policy of receiving refugees at border crossings. If they are determined to be North Koreans, they are fed and housed until they can be sent on to a country that will take them, usually South Korea. "They cannot be pushed back into Chinese territory, no matter whoever they are," he said, emphasizing that Mongolia's border police have orders not to hand refugees over to the authorities in China, the most common transit territory for people fleeing North Korea. ( ) Last year, about 100 North Korean refugees were transferred from Mongolia to South Korea. The new American legislation eases the granting of asylum to North Koreans. In a survey of 100 North Korean refugees in South Korea conducted in September by the Segye Times, a Seoul newspaper, 69 percent said they wanted to proceed to Western countries rather than stay in South Korea.
China asks North Korea to curb flow of asylum seekers
2004-11-25 Japan Today - The Chinese government asked North Korea on Wednesday to curb the flow of North Korean asylum-seekers into China and urged South Korea to limit the granting of asylum to North Korean defectors already in China. "We want North Korea to take measures to limit these illegal people entering China," Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei told a press briefing.
China denies sending troops to N. Korean border
2004-11-25 Straits Times - Beijing - CHINA yesterday denied moving thousands of troops to its border with North Korea, dismissing suggestions of possible political instability in its communist ally and saying that economic reforms there are working. South Korea newspaper JoongAng Daily yesterday quoted sources in Washington as saying that satellite photos showed 10,000 Chinese troops preparing for deployment along the border, and speculated they could be preparing in case of sudden political change in the North. 'Such a report is completely groundless and unreasonable,' Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei said at a news conference. 'There is political stability and economic development, and the government and leaders are thinking seriously about economic reforms.' As a result, he foresaw relatively smooth developments in North Korea in the future. ( ) Meanwhile, media reports yesterday said that the Japanese government had drafted contingency plans a decade ago to cope with dangers of a regime change in North Korea. While officials declined to confirm the plans, apparently out of fear of upsetting Pyongyang, it includes the arrival of masses of North Korean refugees by boat. Analysts said that if North Korean leader Kim Jong Il lost his grip on power, the resulting regional chaos could pose a major threat to Japan's security. The sudden collapse of North Korea's government and the resulting power vacuum could spell disaster for neighbouring countries, possibly with thousands of refugees fleeing the North, and risks posed by its military. 'There could well be a situation which would be beyond our imagination,' said Mr Lee Jong Won, a professor of international politics at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. 'It could be a disaster in an uncontrollable form. It would be different from the threat of an attack, but still a threat indeed. The collapse of the leadership would not be the answer to everything.' ( ) Asahi. But Japan could not take steps to promote a change in North Korea's government, he said.
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