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
  17.1-21.1.2005, No. 48  
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Foreign Policy

China calls US sanctions of 8 Chinese companies "irresponsible"
2005-01-21 People’s Daily
China objected strongly Thursday to sanctions imposed by the United States this month on eight Chinese companies that the US government says were helping Iran with its missile programs, calling them "irresponsible." "The sanctions are extremely irresponsible and unproven and must be lifted," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan at a regularly scheduled press conference. China opposes the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their transport vehicles, Kong said. The Chinese government has set up intact law systems on prevention of WMD proliferation and does not allow any Chinese organization or individual to involve in it. Any violation of laws will be brought to justice, he said. The US government has posed sanctions on Chinese companies several times, which Kong said does not help cooperation in WMD proliferation. "The Chinese government is very unsatisfied and strongly opposes them and asks the US side to lift them immediately," said the spokesman.

China and Japan should seize correct orientation of bilateral relations
2005-01-19 People’s Daily
This year marks the 60th anniversary of China's victory in the Anti-Japanese War and the World Victory in the Anti-fascist Aar. Invited by Keio University and Chuo University, famous universities in Japan, Wang Yi, Chinese ambassador to Japan delivered his special addresses on the Sino-Japanese Relations at the symposiums held respectively by the two universities. He elucidated from the historical, realistic and futuristic point of view and in a deeper way on the rich content of "face up to the future with the history as a mirror", a directive of importance for the Sino-Japanese Relations in the new era. Present at the symposium held respectively by Keio University and Chuo University were experts and scholars from China and Japan. In his special addresses Wang Yi Pointed out, both China and Japan should seek for beneficial enlightenment, experiences and lessons from the traces in the evolution of history so as to grasp correctly the orientation for the development of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. China and Japan shared the tradition of learning and drawing for references from each other ever since ancient times, Wang Yi said, and the friendship between the two peoples has always been an important tie bridging up the relations of the two countries. In the cold war period the two countries, transcending the different social systems, realized the normalization of the diplomatic relations of the two countries. Now the Chinese and Japanese economy, complementary with and dependent on each other, has become an important factor promoting the development and prosperity of the two countries.( ) To realize the dual-win objective in cooperation under the mega-background at which the relations of the two countries are in a transitional period in history it is necessary to adhere to the basic rules and norms as follows: 1>To take to heart the "point of departure" in the normalization of the Sino-Japanese relations and persevere in the principles and spirits of the three political documents of the "Sino-Japanese Joint Statement", the "China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship" and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration" and should not waver at any moment. 2>To get to know and understand the changes of the other party and prevent from the happening of a strategic misjudgment. 3>To take a great account in handling properly the problems and issues the other party is concerned of. 4>To further strengthen the friendly exchanges in between the two peoples. 5>To take a calm and composed attitude in dealing with and solving frictions and differences on a consultation basis. This year marks the 60th anniversary after the ending of World War II, Wang Yi expressed. It is of great significance to the Sino-Japanese relations.( ) Prior to this, Wang Yi also delivered a long speech in Waseda University on the Sino-Japanese relations and the East Asia Cooperation. He elucidated fully the prospect for the development of East Asia Cooperation, the important role to be played by China and Japan and the orientation for the joint efforts and he met with welcome from teachers and students there.

Beijing steps up effort to secure release of Chinese hostages in Iraq
2005-01-19 People’s Daily
The Chinese government on Wednesday dispatched officials to contact mediators in Iraq in an attempt to secure the release of eight Chinese nationals kidnapped by Iraqi militants on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, the Chinese embassy contacted the Iraq Muslim Presbytery -- which helped in the release of seven Chinese hostages last April -- and expressed the hope that the organization would once again play a key role in obtaining the release of the eight now being held. Chinese officials later visited the chairman of the Presbytery, Harih Al-Dhari, to urge him to help locate the hostages and to appeal to the kidnappers for their release. A video tape from the pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV channel showed on Tuesday eight hostages holding Chinese passports being guarded by masked gunmen. The kidnappers asked the Chinese government to make clear its position on Iraq as a condition for the hostages' release.( ) "The Chinese people have always cherished friendly feelings towards the Iraqi people and sympathized and supported them," Kong said. The eight kidnapped people are ordinary Chinese citizens who travelled to Iraq to seek work. After failing to find employment, they rented a car to leave Iraq but were kidnapped en route, Kong said.

China asks DPRK, US to maintain contact
2005-01-19 People’s Daily
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the United States should continue all kinds of contact and exchanges with goodwill and flexibility to convene the next round of six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue as early as possible. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan made this remark at a routine news conference in Beijing Tuesday, when commenting on US Congressman Curt Weldon's recent visit to China and DPRK. Weldon headed a six-member US congressional delegation to visit Pyongyang from Jan. 11-14. After that, his delegation came to China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. Cheng Siwei, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress, conferred with Weldon on "overall Sino-US relations, exchanges between the two legislatures as well as other issues of common concern, including the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue," Kong said. Weldon's visit to DPRK is "conducive to the mutual understanding between DPRK and the U.S., and created a relatively good atmosphere for the early convening of next round six-party talks," Kong said. He also said China welcomes the outcome. "China will continue to make efforts in this regard as before," the spokesman said.

Substantial progress achieved in Sino-Vietnamese relations: FM spokesman
2005-01-19 PLA Daily
Sino-Vietnamese relations have advanced substantially over the past 55 years, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said in a regular press conference here Tuesday. Since China and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1950, the leaderships of the two countries have kept close contact, while understanding and trust among the two peoples have steadily improved, he said. In recent years, the two countries' leaderships have mapped out a guideline for securing long-term stability, looking to the future, boosting neighborly friendship and exploring all-around collaboration, he said, adding that historical problems such as border disputes are thus being solved in an active manner. Kong said a further strengthened relationship is in the interests of both countries and good for cooperation and development of the region. "China therefore, attaches a great importance to the progress of Sino-Vietnamese ties and is willing to boost it to higher level through common efforts," the spokesman said.

FM confirms Vietnamese bandits try to rob Chinese fishing boats
2005-01-15 PLA Daily
Chinese maritime police shot dead several armed robbers and captured eight others who were trying to rob Chinese fishing boats operating on Jan. 8 at the Chinese side of the Beibu Gulf, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday. According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, on the morning of Jan. 8, several Chinese fishing boats from Hainan Province were operating on the Chinese side of the Beibu Gulf, and three unidentified armed vessels came trying to rob and firing at the Chinese boats. Chinese maritime police rushed to the spot for rescue immediately after receiving report from the fishermen. The three armed vessels opened fire at the police boats and injured Chinese law enforcement personnel, Kong said. The Chinese maritime police were forced to take necessary actions. They shot dead several armed robbers, seized one of the armed vessels and eight robbers along with their weapons and ammunition and tools, he said. Calling it a "serious armed robbery case at sea," Kong said therobbers had confessed they were Vietnamese, and had committed four armed robberies of Chinese fishing boats in the Beibu Gulf before. The Chinese side has informed the Vietnamese side of the issue in detail in accordance with the Sino-Vietnamese consulate treaty,Kong said. "The Chinese has abundant and irrefutable human testimony and material evidence, and will handle the case according to Chinese law." The spokesman said since the agreements on demarcation and fishery cooperation in the Beibu Gulf between China and Vietnam took effect last June, the overall situation there is stable.( )



China opposes any country to provide place for "Taiwan independence" attempt
2005-01-21 People’s Daily
China opposes any country to provide a place for Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian to advocate "Taiwan independence", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Thursday. Taiwan authorities are using every possible chance including "transit diplomacy" to advocate "Taiwan independence." The international community, especially those which have diplomatic ties with China, must not provide a place for Chen to advocate "Taiwan independence," said Kong at a regular press conference. According to Taiwan media, Chen is planning to stop by Guam on his tour to southern Pacific nations later this month.

Cross-Straits jets ready for take-off
2005-01-17 China Daily
Airlines from the Chinese mainland are gearing up to operate charter flights across the Taiwan Straits following a landmark deal inked on Saturday. Air carriers -- including Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Shanghai Airlines and Xiamen Airlines -- confirmed to China Daily that they are all interested in conducting flights although they have not yet been given nod from the nation's industry watchdog. "We have made full preparations for non-stop, round-trip charters, including market investigations, crew arrangements and air services," Cai Zhizhou, an official from the China Southern Airlines said yesterday. Further negotiations about ground services, air control and air routes are to be held with related departments in Taiwan, said Cai with the Guangzhou-based airlines in South China's Guangdong Province. So far, which airlines will be designated to operate the charter flights is still not known. But insiders have listed Air China, China Southern, Xiamen Airlines and China Eastern as possible candidates from the mainland. Taiwan airlines could include China Airlines, EVA Air, TransAsia Airways and Far East Air Transport Corp, Mandarin Airlines and UNI Airways Corp, according to Taiwan media reports. ( ) According to Zhang, the air ticket price will be around 4,000 yuan (US$480) from Beijing to Taipei and 3,000-plus yuan (US$360) from Shanghai to Taipei for the direct flights, saving one-fourth the ticket expense. "Four hours will also be saved from the trip with the direct flight," Zhang said.



China stresses security of coal mine
2005-01-20 PLA Daily
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged government departments to take comprehensive security measures in coalmine work. Premier Wen Jiabao made the remark during an executive meeting of the State Council Wednesday in Beijing.The meeting asked governments and relevant departments to take measures on strengthening safety work in coalmines, improving work conditions, implementing the responsibility mechanism, as well as encouraging investment on safety work. Meanwhile, the meeting also announced that deputy governor of Henan Province Shi Jichun was given a penalty for a grim coalmine blast that claimed 148 lives last October.

China's top advisory body to hold annual session on March 3
2005-01-18 PLA Daily
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, will hold its third session on March 3. The proposal was submitted and passed at the 18th meeting of the chairman and vice-chair persons of the Tenth National Committee of the CPPCC held here Monday chaired by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee. They also decided the secretary-general, deputy secretary-general and spokesperson of the annual session. At the meeting, they decided that CPPCC subcommittees and departments started to research and submit proposals for the government to make the 11th five-year plan. China's 10th five-year plan (2001-2005) for economic and social development is coming to an end this year.

Complete abolishment of death penalty still hard in today's China
2005-01-18 People’s Daily
The reform of the punishment system is the key task for China at present. Through introducing lengthy terms of imprisonment that is longer than 20 years or 30 years, China will gradually reduce application of death penalty, said Zhang Jun, China's vice Minister of Justice and vice president of the China Law Society at a forum on "criminal law and protection of human rights" held on Jan 16. It is hard to abolish the death penalty in practice for the time being in China. The criminal laws should take unity of crackdown on crime and protection of human rights into consideration. One practical means is to reform the punishment system by adding lengthy terms of imprisonment that is longer than 20 or 30 years. According to statistics released by the Ministry of Justice, many criminals who are sentenced life imprisonment for violent crimes actually stay in prisons for just 15 to 16 years. He suggested that those who are sentenced life imprisonment should be kept in prison for at least 25 years. In this way, the criminal's desire to commit crimes will vanish as they are freed at about 55 years old. After the lengthy term of imprisonment is adopted, the courts will naturally reduce application of death penalty. The legislative organs will gradually take reduction of crimes punishable by death into consideration in the future, said Zhang.

Comrade Zhao Ziyang passes away
2004-01-17, 9.20 People’s Daily
Comrade Zhao Ziyang died of illness in a Beijing hospital Monday. He was 85. Comrade Zhao had long suffered from multiple diseases affecting his respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and had been hospitalized for medical treatment for several times. His conditions worsened recently, and he passed away Monday after failing to respond to all emergency treatment.


Patrick Dreher
Embassy of Switzerland

The Press review is a random selection of political and social related news gathered from various media and news services located in the PRC, edited or translated by the Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing and distributed among Swiss Government Offices. The Embassy does not accept responsibility for accuracy of quotes or truthfulness of content. Additionally the contents of the selected news mustn't correspond to the opinion of the Embassy.
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