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
  7.3-11.3.2005, No. 54  
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Foreign Policy

Li Zhaoxing, Rice talk over phone
2005-03-08 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing had phone conversation with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the latter's request on Tuesday. The two sides exchanged views on the six-party talks, Taiwan issue and the consultation and coordination between China and the United States in the international organizations.

Rice to make Asia trip, talking about N. Korea
2005-03-11 China Daily
WASHINGTON - Condoleezza Rice will make her first trip to Asia as U.S. secretary of state next week to discuss with the Chinese and others how to resume talks on North Korea's nuclear program and to encourage India-Pakistan peace moves, the US State Department said on Wednesday. US President George W. Bush has pledged to stress diplomacy in his second term and is sending Rice to the region on what will be her fifth foreign trip since taking up her post in late January. After travel that has focused on Europe and the Middle East, where she was well-received, Rice will visit India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea and China on a March 14-21 trip, the State Department said. "In South Asia, the secretary will highlight positive momentum in the region, including our transformed relationship with India, our continuing commitment to Afghanistan's reconstruction and our long-term engagement with Pakistan," the department said in a statement. It said Rice would also review efforts to reconvene the six-party talks aimed at stopping South Korea's nuclear weapons programs. ( )

US-Japan security alliance should not include Taiwan
2005-03-07 China Daily
Beijing yesterday warned that the US-Japan security alliance should be restricted solely to bilateral issues and not encompass Taiwan, an inalienable part of China. "The Taiwan question is China's internal affair and should by no means be deliberated in the framework of the security alliance between the United States and Japan," Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said yesterday. He spoke at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual full session of the top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC). "Any move to include Taiwan directly or indirectly in the scope of US-Japan security co-operation constitutes an encroachment on China's sovereignty and an interference in China's internal affairs," Li said, adding that the Chinese Government and people are firmly against such action. Beijing last month voiced strong opposition to a US-Japan joint statement which described Taiwan as one of their "common strategic objectives." Describing the US-Japan military alliance as an arrangement reached under special circumstances of the Cold War, Li said it would definitely arouse uneasiness on the part of Asian countries and complicate the regional security situation if it goes beyond its bilateral scope. ( ) Some analysts say the concern expressed about Taiwan in the US-Japan statement is a reaction to China's proposed anti-secession law, which they fear would change the "status quo" across the Straits. "It's just an excuse," said Yin Chengde, a senior researcher with Beijing-based Institute of International Studies. "The US-Japan statement shows their potential willingness to expand their involvement in other countries' internal affairs or regional issues," Yin told China Daily yesterday. Li Zhaoxing stressed yesterday that the anti-secession law was aimed at preventing the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces from taking any action to undermine peace in the Taiwan Straits region. "This legislation once again reflects our consistent stance to make the greatest efforts with utmost sincerity to seek the prospect of peaceful reunification," he said. He added that the Chinese people will never tolerate the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces making Taiwan secede from China in any name or by any means. ( )

Foreign Minister Li to visit Europe
2005-03-11 People's Daily
( ) The spokesman also announced that Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will pay an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Luxemburg, Italy, Albania, and the European Union Headquarters. Li is also to co-preside with the Italian Foreign Minister the first Joint Meeting of the China-Italy Governmental Committee. During his visit to Brussels, Li will also meet with the Belgian leaders, he said. Chinese envoy's trip to US Kong also briefed the press on Chinese Ambassador to Korean Peninsula Affairs Ning Fukui's ongoing US trip. Ning left here Tuesday for the United States to consult with US officials about the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Kong said Ning will meet with Michael Green, US National Security Council's senior director for Asia, Joseph R. DeTrani, a US State Department special envoy for Korean affairs, and Christopher Hill, US top nuclear negotiator to exchange views on how to resume six-party talks at an early date.

Argentine FM starts Beijing visit
2005-03-08 Xinhuanet
Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Antonio Bielsa arrived in Beijing Tuesday morning for a working visit to China from March 8 to 10. Bielsa, who is also in charge of international trade and worship, was invited by his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing.

L. American diplomats vow to further economic ties with China
2005-03-10 Xinhuanet
Diplomats from Latin America said their nations pledged further economic and trade ties with China, especially to boost logistic services, at a seminar this week. Miguel A. Velloso, Argentine consul general to Shanghai, told aseminar that Latin American countries hopes to enhance cooperationwith China in high-tech, education and tourism rather than only provide raw industrial materials. Hosted in Taizhou, a coastal city in East China's Zhejiang Province, the week-long seminar was aimed at promoting trade linksbetween Latin American countries and the mid-size city, which enjoys a booming export-oriented economy. Latin American consumers are familiar with Chinese commodities,but there are no direct flights and the sea transportation has to be transferred via North America, which increased costs, Velloso said. "Argentina was trying to launch direct flights with China and a draft plan was under discussion," he said. Consul General Mauricio Escanero from Mexico and Consul GeneralJose M. Gonzalez from Chile also recommended their sea ports to Chinese entrepreneurs. Mexico could be a gateway for Chinese businesses into the NorthAmerican market, Escanero said. Lu Guozeng, Chinese assistant foreign minister said that China will further deepen economic and trade ties with Latin American countries on the basis of mutual-trust, mutual-beneficial, mutual-support, equality and common development. Sino-Latin American trade surged more than 50 percent in 2004 to hit 40 billion US dollars on the basis of 2003. Chinese investment there was about 1.6 billion US dollars.

Switzerland expects 300,000 Chinese tourists in 2005
2005-03-11 People's Daily
Switzerland expects to receive 300,000 Chinese tourists in 2005, a record high, said Roger Zbinden, regional director Asia of Switzerland Tourism Bureau. He said Swiss tourism operators believe Chinese travelers will become the new focus of Swiss inbound tourism. Last year the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Switzerland reached 120,000. Overnight stays increased 120 percent over the previous year. Zbinden led more than 50 representatives from Switzerland to Beijing and Shanghai, promoting the beautiful scene of the European nation. Many tourist destinations planned to increase investment in China this year, said Zhang Wenjia, representative of Switzerland Tourism Bureau in Beijing. They have designed new routes, hoping to satisfy the different demands of Chinese tourists. Switzerland established a tourism office in China in 1998.



China proposes 12.6% defense budget increase
2005-03-07 Xinhuanet
China proposed a 12.6 percent increase in the defense budget for 2005, according to the government annual budget report submitted for review Saturday to members of the parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC). "Expenditures for national defense will total 244.656 billion yuan (29.58 billion US dollars), 12.6 percent more than last year," said the report drafted by the Ministry of Finance. It is the first that the report was distributed to NPC deputiesfor review instead of being read out at the parliament annual session as in the past years. The report added that the increase in defense spending is aimed"to improve the defensive combat readiness and ability of the armed forces to respond to emergencies under hi-tech conditions and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity." Chinese lawmakers and defense experts say China's expenditure in the military ranks was defensive and not threatening. "This is still a fairly small amount compared with (the military spending) of other major countries in the world, in terms of its proportion to total financial expenditures and gross national product," said Jiang Enzhu, a NPC deputy and spokesman for the NPC session. The budgeted money will be mainly used for the raise of paymentand social security guarantee for the servicemen, the arrangement of officers and soldiers discharged in China's latest move to cut its troops by 200,000, and the military's armament upgrading to promote the modernization of China's national defense, Jiang said. China released a white paper on its national defense last December, and stressed that "it is the sacred responsibility of the Chinese armed forces to stop the 'Taiwan independence' forces from splitting the country." The 10-day NPC session, beginning Saturday, will deliberate a draft anti-secession law aiming to prevent 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces from making Taiwan secede from China. The law, said Jiang, is by no means a so-called "law on the use of force against Taiwan", nor a so-called "war mobilization order." "On the contrary, this is a law which will promote the development of cross-Straits relations and promote peaceful reunification," he said. Chen Zhou, a professor with the Chinese PLA Military Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that China's increase in defense spending will not constitute a threat to its neighbors. "More than two-thirds of the spending would go to personnel and maintenance, and only a small part of the military budget would beused for equipment procurement, which demonstrates that China's troops are defensive rather than offensive," he said. "China and its neighbors have been on good terms and that testifies to China's friendliness."

Medical service to be extended to farmers
2005-03-09 China Daily
He Zhonghua, a farmer in central China's Henan Province, was overjoyed to receive 5,000 yuan ( approximately 602.4 US dollars) of medical subsidies when he left hospital. It meant the financial burden on the family would be much alleviated. The benefit comes from a rural medical cooperative system under construction across the country. Under the system, each farmer pays 10 yuan to a medical fund. Correspondingly, the state and local governments each pay 10 yuan to the fund. When a farmer receives medical treatment, he could have a certain proportion of the medical expenses refunded. "This is a significant project," said Jiang Zhongpu, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), at a meeting during of the committee's annual session being held in Beijing. He said in the past, rural residents will be dragged into abyss once they get ill. "Illness causes poverty and poverty in turn deprives them of medical service. That land them forever in a vicious circle." Jiang said the average annual income of a farmer in Henan (a little more than 1,000 yuan) is less than the total medical coverage for an appendectomy, a very ordinary medical operation. The current medical insurance system in China mainly targets the urban population. Statistics from the Ministry of Health show half of the 900 million rural residents cannot afford medical treatment for various financial reasons. In 2003, the Chinese government initiated the program to build a rural medical cooperative system in eight years. A medical assistance system for rural residents is being built across the country. At the end of 2004, 1,003 counties have started to provide medical aid to rural residents out of a pool of fund already amounting to 1.18 billion yuan. The system has benefited 5.49 million rural needy residents. In north China's port city of Tianjin, the municipal health bureau started to offer farmers free medical checkups from March 2004.

Two men sentenced to death for killing three Japanese 11 years ago
2005-03-09 People's Daily
Two Chinese men, who were charged with murdering three Japanese tourists in Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, more than 11 years ago, were sentenced to death by the Xi'an Intermediate People's Court on Tuesday. The court had also confiscated all the personal property of Hai Ting and Cao Xiude, the accused. The court found that Hai and Cao, both were natives of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south China, robbed and murdered the three Japanese tourists at a hotel in Xi'an at the night of June 7, 1993. They returned to Guilin, a scenic city in Guangxi, by train with more than 200,000 Japanese yen they had robbed from the three Japanese tourists.

Police arrested Hai and Cao on July 9 last year. Suspended death for drug mailer
2005-03-11 Xinhuanet
Chinese Australian Henry Chhin, who attempted to mail drugs from Shenzhen to Australia, was given the death penalty with two years' suspension by the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court on Thursday. Chhin, brought to court by the people's procuratorate, was convicted of drug trafficking. The court initially heard the case Jan. 5 without giving a sentence. Chhin, 35, concealed 269.12 grams of methamphetamine, a drug known as "ice," into four recordable discs, put the discs with computer software into a box and sent it via FedEx on May 7 last year. The box was intercepted by Shanghai police the following day. Chhin was caught by Shenzhen police May 10 last year with another 700 grams of the same drug found in cabinets in his kitchen and sitting room.

China hints at death penalty reform
2005-03-10 China Daily
China hinted at reform of the death penalty on Wednesday in a supreme court report to parliament that also touched issues ranging from corruption to social order in the face of rapid change. "The Supreme People's Court will ... further perfect second-instance judgments for criminal cases and death penalty review procedures," Chief Justice Xiao Yang said on Wednesday. The top court relinquished the power of final review in death penalty cases during a crime-fighting campaign in the 1980s, but the leadership has been studying how to restore that power to help regulate use of the death sentence. Officials say the move would simplify an irregular process and some estimates say it could quickly reduce the number of executions by 30 percent. Lower courts have been criticised for lack of professionalism and consistency in meting out the death penalty, but some have been reluctant to relinquish the power. An unidentified supreme court official said in the Beijing News last week the court was likely to take back the right to review death penalty sentences next year. To handle the extra work load, the central government suggested the top court consider setting up a special death penalty review tribunal. "Currently, the suggestion that has formed is hoping that there can be branches set up in areas around the country, and the branches would be responsible for death penalty review in large administrative regions," the official was quoted as saying. Delegates to the National People's Congress, or parliament, welcomed the reform that Xiao referred to in his report. "That way the cases would be handled more rigorously and correctly, said Xu Zhihui, deputy of the northeastern province of Liaoning. "The high courts have better grasp and the cases would be handled in a more standard way," she said. Currently, 68 crimes can merit the death penalty in China and most are non-violent. Experts had called for a "kill fewer, kill carefully" policy towards suspects of non-violent crimes, state media said in August. In a second report to parliament on Wednesday, China's top prosecutor, Jia Chunwang, said more than 800,000 people were arrested for corruption last year. Tens of thousands had been convicted in cases of embezzlement or dereliction of duty, avoiding potential economic losses of an estimated 4.56 billion yuan ($551 million), Jia said.

China's parliament to deliberate list of nominee for chairman of State CMC
2005-03-11 People's Daily
China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), will deliberate on the list of nominee for chairman of the State Central Military Commission (CMC), according to a decision of by the presidium of the NPC session Thursday. The name of the nominee has not been revealed, but it is widely expected that President Hu Jintao, who succeeded Jiang Zemin as chairman of the CMC of the Communist Party of China last September, would take over the State CMC chairmanship. The parliament will also deliberate on the list of nominees for members of the NPC Standing Committee. The list was also adopted by the presidium Thursday. The election of the State CMC chairman and the by-election of members of the NPC Standing Committee will take place this coming Sunday, according to the schedule of the meeting. Also on Thursday, the presidium adopted a revised edition of the draft Anti-Secession Law, and decided to put the revised edition before NPC deputies for further deliberation. The NPC Law Committee amended on Thursday the draft law after careful study of the views of deputies and the opinions formed at the 13th session of NPC Standing Committee at the end of last year. The committee also scrutinized the draft law article by article, according to a source with the presidium. The presidium adopted a resolution Thursday to accept a revised report on the work of government before submitting it for further deliberation and final approval. China's cabinet, the State Council, made 21 modifications, including eight major ones, to the government work report according to proposals of parliament members.



Qinghai-Tibet railway project steams ahead
2005-03-08 China Daily
The long-awaited Qinghai-Tibet Railway that will connect Tibet with the rest of China will start trial operations next year. "The Qinghai-Tibet railway, the world's highest, is to complete track laying by the end of this year and start trials on July 1, 2006," said Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun. Liu made the remarks during deliberations by deputies from the Tibet Autonomous Region attending the ongoing third plenum of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature. ( ) The route will begin in Golmud in Northwest China's Qinghai Province and travel to Lhasa, the regional capital. It will be 1,142-kilometres long. About 960 kilometres of the railway are above 4,000 metres above sea level, with its most elevated sections reaching 5,072 metres above sea level," Liu said. After it opens, the railway is expected to link Lhasa with Qinghai Province's capital Xining and other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai in East China, Guangzhou in South China and Chengdu in Southwest China. The railway project will contribute enormously to the region's economic growth and allow people to travel, said Wang Taifu, an economic researcher from the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences. "The railway will greatly reduce transport costs for material entering and exiting Tibet, which will help both domestic and foreign enterprises that want to set up in the Tibetan market," Wang said. Traffic has been one of the major obstacles to economic development of Tibet, which makes up about one-eighth of China's territory and is the only provincial-level region without a single inch of operating railtrack. More than 95 per cent of the cargo transported in and out of Tibet, and 85 per cent of the passengers, go by road from Qinghai or Sichuan, according to the Ministry of Communications. Because of high cost of transportation, raw materials in Tibet cannot easily be transported out of the province, and there is a big imbalance in the cargo entering and exiting the region. ( )



Draft Anti-Secession Law provides for 5 measures for cross-Straits peace: lawmaker
2005-03-08 Xinhuanet
The draft Anti-Secession Law provides for five measures China is to take to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and promote cross-Straits relations, said a senior Chinese lawmaker here Tuesday. "Maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and promoting common development and common prosperity is an aspiration shared by the compatriots on both sides of the Straits and serves their common interests," said Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, at a parliament session. In this connection, he said, the draft legislation provides forthe five measures as follows: -- to encourage and facilitate personnel exchanges across the Straits for greater mutual understanding and mutual trust; -- to encourage and facilitate economic exchanges and cooperation, realize direct links of trade, mail, and air and shipping services, and bring about closer economic ties between the two sides of the Straits to their mutual benefit; -- to encourage and facilitate cross-Straits exchanges in education, science and technology, culture, health and sports, andwork together to carry forward the "proud Chinese cultural traditions"; -- to encourage and facilitate cross-Straits cooperation in combating crimes; -- to encourage and facilitate other activities conducive to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and stronger cross-Straits relations.

Peace paramount in anti-secession law
2005-03-09 China Daily
Beijing will use non-peaceful means to stop Taiwan's secession from China only as a last resort, according to Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee yesterday. ( ) It is the first time China's top legislature has unveiled details of the proposed law, which is scheduled for a final vote on March 14. The draft is considered short and to the point, reportedly containing less than 1,000 Chinese characters. Wang said the draft provides for the deployment of non-peaceful means and other necessary measures only: Should "Taiwan independence" forces act to secede from China; Should major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China occur; Should the possibility of a peaceful reunification be completely exhausted. The draft also hands power to the State Council, China's cabinet, and the Central Military Commission to decide on and execute "non-peaceful means and other necessary measures." It also stresses any decision be promptly reported to the Standing Committee of the NPC. Wang told national lawmakers any use of force would only target "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces rather than Taiwan compatriots. The draft says "the State shall exert its utmost to protect the lives, property and other legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan civilians and foreign nationals to minimize losses" in the event of using force. "At the same time, the State shall protect the rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots in other parts of China in accordance with law," Wang said. "The formulation of the law is both necessary and timely as the Taiwan authorities have intensified their 'Taiwan independence' activities," he added. ( ) Despite his warning of the worst-case scenario, Wang stressed that China will refrain from using non-peaceful means. "No one is more desirous of achieving a peaceful reunification than we are," he said. "So long as there is a glimmer of hope for peaceful reunification, we will exert our utmost to make it happen rather than give up," he added. Wang said the law provides concrete measures for developing cross-Straits relations and the resumption of cross-Straits consultations and negotiations. Li Jiaquan, a senior researcher from the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the legislation fully demonstrates China's "sincerity to strive for cross-Straits peace." He told China Daily: "China needs a peaceful environment more than any other country to concentrate on developing its economy."

PLA deputies vow to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity
2005-03-10 PLA Daily - On March 8, 2005, after listening to the explanations on the Anti-Secession Law (draft) by Wang Zhaoguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, PLA delegation attending the Third Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC) was divided into groups to review the Law (draft). The PLA deputies said that the Anti-Secession Law (draft) has given full expression to China's consistent position of doing the utmost with maximum sincerity for a peaceful reunification, demonstrated the common will and strong resolve of the entire Chinese people to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity while never allowing the “Taiwan Independence” forces to make Taiwan seceded from China under any name or by any means. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is determined, confident and capable to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to crush any scheme and provocation to split China.   ( ) Deputies unanimously held that upholding “one China” principle is the unshakable foundation for solving the Taiwan issue. The “Peaceful Reunification and One Country, Two Systems” are the basic guideline adopted by the Chinese Government to solve the Taiwan issue. It is our consistent position that national reunification should be realized by peaceful means. Thus as long as there is a glimmer of hope for achieving peaceful reunification, we will exert our utmost to do so and will never give up. At the same time, it must be made clear that it is the core interests of China and her people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will not hesitate, or be ambiguous or make concession on the question of anti-secession. We have never committed ourselves to renounce the use of force. Any sovereign state will not tolerate the secessionist activities, and has the right to adopt necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will be forced to use any possible drastic measures including non-peaceful means to defend the Chinese national security and integrity if the “Taiwan Independence” forces make Taiwan seceded from China under any name or by any means, or any major event leading up to separating Taiwan from China occurs or the conditions for peaceful reunification have been completely exhausted.

China opposes US official's remarks on China's anti-secession bill
2005-03-11 People's Daily
China's foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday at a press conference that China opposes United States official's recent "irresponsible" remarks about the anti-secession law being made by the National People's Congress. A US White House spokesman recently said that China's anti-secession law is "unhelpful" towards cross-Strait relations between China's mainland and Taiwan. When asked to comment on this remark, Kong said this law reflects "Chinese people's greatest sincerity to fulfill the reunification through peaceful means." It also demonstrates "their determination of not allowing Taiwan independence forces to separate Taiwan from China in any excuses and through any means." "This has been understood and supported extensively by the international community," he said. US officials should not make such irresponsible remarks on "China's relevant law-making actions," Kong said. He also said that China "demands" that the United States abide by international relations principles, understand and support China's law-making actions and not do anything that will "foster Taiwan independence separatist activity" and harm China-US relations. "The United States should safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region and the healthy development of China-US relations through actual practice," he said. Under the proposed law, "non-peaceful means" will be used only as a "last resort" when all efforts to seek a peaceful reunification prove to be futile.

History shows island is inalienable part of nation
2005-03-09 China Daily
History books show Taiwan has long been part of China. It was known as Yizhou or Liuqiu at different times throughout history and many records and annals document the development of Taiwan by the Chinese people. References to this effect are to be found, among others, in "Seaboard Geographic Gazeteer" compiled by Shen Ying of the State of Wu during the period of the Three Kingdoms. This was the world's earliest written account of Taiwan. As early as in the mid-12th century, the Song Dynasty had set up a garrison in Penghu, putting the territory under the jurisdiction of Jinjiang County of Fujian's Quanzhou Prefecture. In the 13th century, the Yuan Dynasty installed a patrol and inspection agency in Penghu to administer the territory. During the mid- and late-16th century, the Ming Dynasty reinstalled the agency, which had been abolished, and sent reinforcements to Penghu to ward off foreign invaders. In 1624, Dutch colonialists invaded and occupied the southern part of Taiwan. Two years later, Spanish colonialists seized the northern part of Taiwan. In 1642, the Dutch evicted the Spaniards and took over north Taiwan. In 1661, General Zheng Chenggong (known in the West as Koxinga) led an expedition to Taiwan and drove away the Dutch colonialists from the island the next year and set up the Chengtian Prefecture on Taiwan. The Qing government expanded the administrative structure in Taiwan, strengthening its rule over the territory. In 1885, the Qing government formally made Taiwan a full province, covering three prefectures and one sub-prefecture and incorporating 11 counties and 5 cantons. In 1894, Japan launched a war of aggression against China and the next year, the Qing government was forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding Taiwan to Japan. On December 1, 1943, the Cairo Declaration issued by China, the United States and Great Britain, stated: "It is the purpose of the three great Allies that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the World War I in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from China, such as Manchuria, Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores (Penghu), shall be restored to China. On October 25, 1945, the ceremony accepting Japan's surrender in Taiwan Province of the China war theatre of the Allied powers was held in Taipei.

Draft Anti-Secession Law revised on proposals of parliament members
2005-03-11 People's Daily
A revised edition of the draft Anti-Secession Law was adopted Thursday by the presidium of the current session of China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), and will put before NPC deputies for deliberation. The NPC Law Committee amended the draft law after careful study of the views of deputies and the opinions formed at the 13th session of NPC Standing Committee at the end of last year. The committee also scrutinized the draft law article by article, according to a source with the presidium. Yang Jingyu, chairman of the NPC Law Committee, reported the result of deputies' deliberations on the draft Anti-Secession Law to the presidium. "The presidium voted to present the revised version of the draft law to the plenum of the NPC session for deliberation," said the source, without talking further about the revisions. According to him, NPC deputies put forward their views after careful deliberations on the draft law on March 8 shortly after Vice Chairman Wang Zhaoguo of the NPC Standing Committee made explanations on it. The deputies also studied the March 4 speech of President Hu Jintao, who set forth a four-point guideline on relations across the Taiwan Straits under the new circumstances, when he attended a joint panel discussion of China's top advisory body members representing the Taiwan region. According to Hu, who also heads the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Central Military Commission, China will never sway in adhering to the one-China principle, never give up efforts to seek peaceful reunification, never change the principle of placing hope on the Taiwan people, and never compromise in opposing the "Taiwan independence" secessionist activities.


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Facts & figures: China's major targets set for 2005
2005-03-07 People's Daily
Following are the main targets for China's economic and social development in 2005, which are available in the report on the work of the government delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao <> Saturday at the annual session of China's national legislature:

  • GDP growth is set at around 8 percent;
  • There will be 9 million new jobs for urban residents;
  • Registered urban unemployment rate will be controlled within 4.6 percent;
  • The rise in the consumer price index will be no more than 4 percent;
  • international payments will be kept in basic balance;
  • The deficit in the central budget will be 300 billion yuan, 19.8 billion yuan less than that was budgeted in 2004;
  • The central government plans to issue 80 billion yuan worth of long-term treasury bonds, 30 billion yuan less than last year, while allocations from the 2005 central budget for investment in regular development projects will be increased by 10 billion yuan;
  • The agricultural tax will be exempted in 592 key counties included in the national plan for poverty alleviation through development;
  • Additional expenditures of 14 billion yuan from the central budget will be needed to offset revenue decreases in local budgets brought about by reduced or exempted taxes on agriculture and livestock, raising the total expenditures to 66.4 billion yuan;
  • The central government will allocate an additional 15 billion yuan to increase transfer payments to major grain-producing counties and to counties with financial difficulties;
  • Some 10.9 billion yuan will be allocated from the central budget for reemployment work, 2.6 billion yuan more than last year;
  • A fund of 3 billion yuan will be arranged to support the technical upgrading for the safety of state-owned coal mines.




Special peninsula envoy heads for US
2005-03-09 China Daily
China's special envoy for Korean Peninsula nuclear question yesterday headed for Washington to try to revitalize six-party talks aimed at easing tension in the region. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a media briefing yesterday the visit by Ning Fukui was part of China's ongoing diplomatic effort to resume negotiations. Liu did not reveal what message Ning, who accompanied Chinese Communist Party envoy Wang Jiarui on his Pyongyang visit last month, might deliver to the Americans. Last week Beijing urged Washington and Pyongyang to hold direct bilateral talks under the framework of six-party talks in order to restart negotiations as soon as possible. China has so far hosted three rounds of talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea, the United States, Russia and Japan. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday on the six-party talks and the Taiwan question, the second such communication within five days. In response to reports that China warned Australia not to use its treaty with the United States to confront China over the Taiwan question, Liu said China maintained that bilateral alliances should be strictly bilateral, calling on both countries to honour their commitments on Taiwan by adopting actual measures. Under a US-Australian defence treaty signed after World War II, the two countries agreed to help each other in the event of an attack from or conflict with a third country. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urged Japan and US to lay off Taiwan earlier. Groundless Liu Jianchao yesterday criticized recent comments by Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura that China should improve what he defined as anti-Japanese education, saying the comments were "totally groundless." "We're astonished and dissatisfied with the remarks," Liu said. Japanese militarists waged a war invading China in the 1930s and 1940s, bringing not only "irrecoverable damage" to the Chinese people but also lots of suffering to the Japanese people, Liu said. The Chinese Government always advocates "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future" and educates its people in the spirit of keeping friendship between the Chinese people and Japanese people generation after generation, he said, saying it is totally groundless for the Japanese side to criticize China's history education. "On the contrary, the Japanese side should correctly handle the historical issue, so as to make positive efforts to enhance friendship between the two peoples and improve bilateral ties," he said.


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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