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
  29.3-1.4.2005, No. 56  
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Foreign Policy

Zhou Wenzhong appointed ambassador to US
2005-03-31 China Daily
President Hu Jintao has appointed Zhou Wenzhong as China's new ambassador to the United States of America. The 60-year-old, father of one daughter, was in charge of affairs of America, Oceania, Latin America, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Translation and Interpretation, and foreign-related security in his former post as vice minister of foreign affairs. Based on the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, Hu also removed Yang Jiechi from the post of ambassador to the United States. Zhou, born in east China's Jiangsu Province in August 1945, began his diplomatic career as a staff member of the Beijing Diplomatic Service Bureau from 1970 to 1973.From 1973 to 1975, Zhou studied at Bath University and London School of Economics in the UK. After his return from Britain, he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was posted abroad on several missions, including as attach and then third secretary of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the United States from 1978 to 1983, consul general (Ambassadorial-level) of the PRC in Los Angeles from 1994 to 1995 and minister of the embassy of the PRC in the United States from 1995 to 1998. He was deputy director general of the Department of American and Oceanian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1994. Zhou became vice foreign minister in 2003.

Chinese ambassador calls for support for Annan
2005-03-31 People's Daily
Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya called on member states on Tuesday to continue supporting UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his work. Wang told Xinhua that it is very significant the secretary general was cleared of any personal wrongdoing in the oil-for-food corruption scandal, saying people should no longer focus all their attention on the secretary general. "This year is important both to the United Nations and to member states," Wang said. "We should continue to support the work of the secretary general, and to work together to reform the United Nations." "Volcker's report also shows that the United Nations has defects in its internal management, and should be improved by reforms in the future," Wang added. An independent inquiry panel led by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker released on Tuesday an interim report on its investigation into alleged corruption and fraud in the oil-for-food program. Annan was cleared by the independent inquiry team of any personal wrongdoing in the oil-for-food corruption scandal, but he was criticized for failing to detect and stop a conflict of interest with his son's employer in the bidding process.

China is reliable friend: Nepali King
2005-04-01 People's Daily
Nepali King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev said Thursday in Kathmandu, "China is a reliable friend of Nepal." "Our two countries need to strengthen the exchange and cooperation in various fields in order to push the Nepal-China friendship to a new height," King Gyanendra told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who arrived here Thursday on a two-day official visit to Nepal. "Nepal firmly supports the one-China policy of your government and will never allow any anti-China activities in Nepal's territory," the King said while receiving Li in audience at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. Nepal appreciates and supports the important role that China has been playing in the international affairs, Gyanendra added. Li Zhaoxing said, through his visit, the Nepalese friends will certainly realize how the Chinese government and people attach importance to the Sino-Nepali friendship and cooperation. He expressed appreciation for Nepal's longstanding support on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet. Earlier the day, Li held official talks with his Nepali counterpart Foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey on bilateral matters, including economic cooperation, trade and tourism, and matters of mutual interest. The nine-member Chinese delegation led by Li signed an agreement with the Nepali side on dispatching a Chinese team to study on the construction of the Conservation Research Center under the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation. Li will pay courtesy calls Friday morning on Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi Bista, vice chairmen of the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The Chinese foreign minister's visit is on the eve of the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Nepal on Aug. 1.

Chinese, Russian FMs talk over phone
2005-03-29 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing, spoke via telephone to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, Monday, exchanging views on situation in Kyrgyzstan and reform of the United Nations (UN). The two ministers said they hoped the situation in Kyrgyzstan will become stable as soon as possible and return to normal. On the topic of UN reform, the two sides agreed that all UN member countries should cooperate to find a concerted and consistent project through democratic consultations.

Chinese warned against Kyrgyzstan travel
2005-03-30 China Daily
China's Foreign Ministry has advised against travelling to Kyrgyzstan after 10 Chinese nationals were injured during last week's violent uprising. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said three were seriously injured and had been taken to local hospital and the economic loss has reached US$7 million. Liu told a weekly news briefing the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan has demanded the Kyrgyzstan side to take effective measures to protect the property and personal safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in the country. Liu said the civil air service between China and Kyrgyzstan is back to normal and those who want to evacuate will have no difficulties at present. Liu said the 10 Chinese were injured during looting but there is no evidence to suggest they have been targeted because of their race or nationality. China's border post with Kyrgyzstan in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region reopened Monday after a six-day closure amid the current political crisis in the country. The closure temporarily stranded more than 100 Kyrgyz business people on the Chinese side of the 1,000-kilometer-long border, Xinhua said. ( )

Kyrgyzstan participates in CIS' military drill
2005-03-30 Xinhuanet
Kyrgyzstan's Defense Ministry spokesman Murat Ashirbekov has announced that Kyrgyzstan will take part in a military drill of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The military drill will take place in Tajikistan from April 2 to 6. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the drill will go ahead as scheduled even if Kyrgyzstan can not participate. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and embassy in Kyrgyzstan have adopted emergency measures after ten Chinese nationals were wounded in the country's turmoil.

Chinese vice president meets Norway FM
2005-03-29 People's Daily
Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong met with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen Monday, vowing to further advance bilateral ties between the two countries. "Generally, Sino-Norwegian ties have progressed smoothly since we forged diplomatic ties more than half a century ago," Zeng told Petersen at the Great Hall of the People. One of the first Western countries to do so, Norway recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1954, about five years after PRC's establishment. "Sino-Norwegian relations are developing in all sectors and our cooperation in economics, science and technology and culture keeps deepening," Zeng said, conveying his congratulations at the 100th anniversary of Norway's independence. China appreciates the Norwegian government's adherence to the one-China policy, Zeng acknowledged. And his country will, along with Norway, exert more efforts to push forward the two countries' relations in a stable and sound manner. Petersen said that Norway-China ties were currently developing soundly with an frequent exchange of high-level visits, soaring trade and fruitful cooperation in other fields such as science, technology and other spheres. Norway will go on firmly adhering to the one-China policy and hopes to increase high-level visits and mutual political trust and stimulating cooperation in all fields so as to further increase its mutually beneficial, friendly and cooperative ties with China. Petersen was here for a five-day official visit to China, which started Sunday as guest of his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing. Besides Beijing, Petersen is scheduled to travel to the economic and business hub of Shanghai in east China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

China, Liberia to expand military ties
2005-03-29 Xinhuanet
China and Liberia agreed Monday in a talk between the countries' defense ministers to strengthen cooperation and exchanges between their militaries. Cao Gangchuan, told his Liberian counterpart, Daniel Chea, that since the resumption of Sino-Liberian diplomatic relations in 2003,the two sides conducted sound cooperation in various fields. Along with the development of the overall bilateral relations, the friendly cooperative ties between the two armed forces also had sound prospects for development, he said. Cao, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state councilor, said the Chinese armed forces value the development of its relationship with the Liberian military. It is willing to make joint efforts with its Liberian counterpart to promote the comprehensive development of friendship and cooperation. Cao also expressed appreciation for Liberia's support for China's reunification. Chea said the Liberian government firmly pursues the one-China policy. He expressed thanks for China's assistance to Liberia in the United Nations peacekeeping actions. Chea said he hoped the two countries as well as the two armies can conduct more mutual-beneficial cooperation in the future. Before the talks, Cao held a welcome ceremony for Chea's China visit. Chea arrived in Beijing Sunday for an eight-day official good-will visit as guest of Cao.

Millions click "no" to Japan's UNSC bid
2005-03-30 China Daily
Widespread opposition to Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council has seen millions take part in an online vote. Internet petitions in three major Chinese Internet portals -- Sina, Sohu and Netease -- surpassed 10 million signatures by Tuesday afternoon, reported Xinhua., however, said over 16 million, including about 170,000 overseas voters, had taken part by Sunday evening. More than 99 per cent of Chinese netizens who voted at -- Chinese youth online -- opposed Japan's bid for a permanent UNSC seat. "I wrote down my name on Sina several days ago," said Amy Li, a human resource manager who works in Beijing, Tuesday. "Under the requests of my mother and grandmother, I also signed signatures for them," he said. Li said he is from Northeast China, the first region invaded by the Japanese soldiers during War of Resistance against Japan (1937-45). In a letter written to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Tong Zeng, chairman of the China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, said he wants the UN chief to listen to the opposition calls from the mass of people in China, Republic of Korea and other Asian countries, which were invaded by Japan during the war. "I have never seen such a large-scale signing activity in which so many people are united in their opinions in the nearly 10 years the Internet has been developing in China," Chen Tong, editor-in-chief of popular portal, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. Chen said the petition on his website would be presented to the United Nations, the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and relevant Chinese Government departments, Xinhua said. Elsewhere, more than 10,000 people signed a 10-metre red banner bearing an anti-Japanese slogan in the southern city of Guangzhou, reported the Southern Metropolis Daily at the weekend. Protesters in two other large cities, Shenzhen and Chongqing, also took to the streets, some signing a banner that read "Smash Japan's vain hope to be a permanent member," the Legal Evening News reported. The signature drive began to appear on major domestic websites after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeared to back Japan's bid on March 21, reports said. About 35 million Chinese were killed or wounded by invading Japanese troops during the war, statistics indicated. But some in Japan deny the massacre.

President Hu appoints 5 new ambassadors
2005-03-30 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao announced on Tuesday the appointment of new ambassadors to five countries and organizations in accordance with a decision made by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. Wu Hailong was appointed Chinese representative and ambassador to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and other international organizations, replacing Zhang Yan. Xue Jinwei was appointed Chinese ambassador to Gabon, replacing Fan Zhenshui. Fan Zhenshui was appointed Chinese ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, replacing Cui Yongqian. Chen Gonglai was appointed Chinese ambassador to Niger, replacing Sun Zhaotong. Qian Hongshan was appointed Chinese ambassador to Grenada.



Police bust major human trafficking cluster
2005-03-29 China Daily
Police have arrested a triad human trafficking gang in South China's Guangdong Province. Boarder police swooped on the nine men who are charged with aiding 88 Chinese illegal immigrants seeking to flee China on false papers to developed countries from the city of Jiangmen, sources with the provincial frontier guards said. Zhen Mouhong, one of gang's leaders, was found in the possession of 54 passports for the human contraband and other documents including identification cards. He was stopped in his jeep by officers on August 4 last year. His arrest was part of day-long operation by frontier police who had launched a special campaign to fight organized crime. Zhen, 34, obtained the permanent resident rights of a foreign country, which the police refuse to identify its name, in 2002. Zhen was quoted as saying by police that other eight fellow "snakeheads" -- a Traid gang leaders are called -- joined him later and began organizing Chinese people to illegally immigrate to developed countries. The frontier police said an organized a special team to investigate the case in the several cities including Shenzhen, Shanghai and Fuzhou. After the five-month investigation, officers succeeded in cracking the human trafficking ring, in which more than 150 million yuan (US$18 million) were involved. Some of the gang's human contraband were to be sent to Europe and America illegally via Guangdong. Local police departments have conducted more patrols and supervision on key sections within the provincial land and sea border to prevent the exit and entry of illegal migrants. S.

China city refutes rumor of Ebola virus infection
2005-03-29 People's Daily
A Shenzhen official Monday refuted a rumor of Ebola virus infection causing customs staff's death in this coastal city of south China's Guangdong Province. Tang Jie, secretary-general of the city government, said the report of "China's first deadly Ebola-infected case occurred in Shenzhen", which was on a website,, and then printed by the Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao, was groundless. The report said some Shenzhen Customs staffs were contracted with Ebola virus from sailors aboard a foreign-registered ship when they were checking smuggling. The infection had caused "heavy casualties". An investigation was timely conducted by the local government after it received the relative document from the China Office of World Health Organization (WHO) via the Ministry of Health, said Tang. The investigation showed there had not been such an alleged contact between Chinese staffs and foreign smugglers. Another probe done by the Shenzhen Health Bureau also excluded any infected cases of Ebola in the city.

Fledgling NGOs told to raise the bar
2005-03-30 China Daily
Non-government organizations (NGO) have been praised for their environmental projects in China. The 10 best cases for implementing sustainable development projects won awards at a recent nationwide contest. The contest, launched last September by Beijing-based newspaper Economic Observer and Shell China, was open to government bodies, research organizations, companies, NGOs and individuals. Of the six winning NGOs, most were overseas funded. The judging panel of experts reviewed 118 projects involving economics, development research, sociology and other related fields. "The event highlighted the role now played by NGOs in pursuing sustainable development," said judging panel member Sun Liping, a professor in sociology with the Beijing-based Tsinghua University. NGOs in China have been growing and are becoming ever more vocal as the nation seeks to address its multiple pollutants. In the 1990s there were a handful of organizations -- today there are some 2000 registered NGOs, said Deng Guosheng, deputy director of the NGO research centre of Tsinghua University's School of Public Policy and Management. They employ nearly 100,000 staffs. The range of work carried out by NGOs varies from wildlife protection and academic studies, while the environmentalists have various backgrounds, from scholars to journalists. NGOs mainly focus on is promoting of environmental protection awareness among the general public. They help push forward the implementation of environmental policies, and act as supervising bodies to environmental problems. In recent years, they are becoming more united and have closer contact with the media. A giant hydropower project along the Nujiang River in Southwest China's Yunnan Province was put on hold early in the year due to environment concerns, raised by an NGO. The development was hailed by green groups such as Beijing-based Green Earth Volunteers and Yunnan Participatory Watershed Management Research and Promotion Centre, which had criticized the project fiercely and ignited a nationwide debate. Some say it was a milestone for environment NGOs in China because for the first time they achieved in changing a government-made decision. But Deng said domestic green groups are still in their embryonic stage. He added of the 2,000 environment NGOs in China, only 100 to 300 have serious influence. And Sun many domestic NGOs are largely dependent on funds from overseas, which shows that domestic organizations have yet to secure reliable fund sources. Liao Xiaoyi, president of the Global Village of Beijing, said Chinese NGOs need to find their own way while adopting international experiences. Liao founded the organization in 1996 and it is now one of the leading green groups in China. "In addition to a committed leader and a concerted team, NGOs need perfect managing systems and devoted targets," she said. And absorbing professionals is important, said Liao, adding: "Having only enthusiasm is far from enough...We need real know-how. And through that, we could become specialized partners of the government." Greenpeace staff Liao Hongtao said it is now a crucial time for domestic environment NGOs to raise the bar. In addition to strengthening team work and employing professional staff, he said the geographic distribution of China's environment NGOs should be more widespread. Existing green NGOs -- especially influential ones -- are mainly based in big large cities like Beijing. Wang Jianghong, of Beijing-based Friends of Nature, said NGOs should expand their membership across society. Officials from the State Environmental Protection Administration have emphasized at various occasions the importance of public participation in environmental protection and said they support the development of environment NGOs. "We believe the administration and NGOs should be co-operating and supplementary to each other," said Liu Youbin from the information office of the administration.



Electricity enters every county of Tibet
2005-03-29 People's Daily
Electricity has been extended into every county of the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China, with the region's total installation capacity nearing 500,000kw and an annual generation volume reaching 1.2 billion kw/h. By the end of last year, more than 1.6 million Tibetan people, or 57 percent, had been covered by power service. The electricity coverage in towns and administrative villages reached 71 and 41 percent respectively. There were only three power plants in Tibet when the autonomous region was founded in 1965, with a total installation capacity of 8,200kw and less than 100,000 people covered. The state strengthened its support to Tibet's power industry after the region was established, especially after the third and fourth national meetings to discuss the development of Tibet. Over 40 years, the state has put in a total of 8.8 billion yuan into Tibet's power industry.

Population reaches 2.73 million in Tibet
2005-04-01 People's Daily
By 2004, the population of China's Tibet Autonomous Region has reached 2, 736, 800, a net increase of 35, 100 from 2003. The birth rate and natural growth rate was 17.4 percent and 11.2 percent respectively, according to the latest figures from statistics bureau of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Tibet Autonomous Region has the least population among China's provincial-level administrative regions: 2.7 million plus people on over 1.2 million square kilometers or about one eighth of the country's total area -- fewer than three people per square kilometer on average. With Tibetans as the majority, Tibet has been home of some people of Hui, Menba, Luoba, Naxi, Nu and Dulong ethnic groups generation by generation, as well as Deng people and Sherpa people, who have not been determined as ethnic groups. Menba, Luoba and Naxi minorities have their own ethnic towns. The central government has been attaching much importance to the health of the women and children in Tibet: hundreds of millions yuan was input in the past three years into the obstetric and gynecologic departments in hospitals, facilities and vehicles for mobile services in family planning. The regional government also inputs over 10 million yuan to provide free medical care for farmers and herdsmen there. Healthy pregnancy and scientific nurture are advocated. The central government implements a special family planning policy in Tibet. Tibetan officials and urban residents can have two children and there is no limit on the number of children for Tibetan and other minority groups in the vast farming and pastoral area. Over five decades since liberation, the population in Tibet Autonomous Region has doubled. The infant mortality rate there dropped from 43 percent in 1959 to 3.1 percent in 2004. The average lifespan has risen from 35.5 years to 67 years.



Twelve results achieved in CPC and KMT dialogue
2005-04-01 People's Daily
Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee and representatives from the related departments held talks with Kuomintang (KMT) delegation led by vice-chairman Chiang Pin-kung on March 30 at the Diaoyutai State Guest House. The talks were focused on the promotion of the economic and trade exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Straits. At the night, Li Bingcai, deputy director of the Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Commerce, Customs General Administration, the State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine, the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China and part of the KMT's delegation members attended the meeting. Chen Yunlin said it is our consistent views to promote the economic exchanges and cooperation across the Straits in an extensive way. It is in accordance with the common happiness and benefits to strengthen cross-Straits economic and trade co-operation and to close the economic relations between the two sides of the Straits, which will also be favorable to the economic development of Taiwan. It has become an important factor for the across-Straits peace and stability to have a sustainable development in the economic and trade relations across the Straits under the common efforts of the across-Straits compatriots. The compatriots on the two sides of the Straits should join hands in creating a bright future for improving the relations and development across the Straits. Chiang Pin-kung said the mutual benefits of the across-Straits economy and trade will contribute to easing the strained tension between the two sides of the Straits and are in line with the expectations of the across-Straits people, which is also beneficial to improving the competitiveness for Taiwan's economy. The two sides should strengthen the economic and trade exchanges as well as non-governmental intercourses practically. During the talks, both sides exchanged views on strengthening the across-Straits economic and trade cooperation and the following initiative results have been achieved: -- Strive for the realization of regular cross-Straits charter flights for "festivals" and "normality" with the expansion of travelers' scope so as to meet the demand of the broad Taiwan business people, students and the across-Straits airlines. The Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee welcomes KMT to continuously come to the mainland for talks and to actively facilitate the relevant Taiwan departments to agree to send non-governmental organizations here for talks. The cargo charter flights are linked with the vital interests of the Taiwan-funded enterprises in their investment on the mainland. The non-governmental industries across the Straits should be encouraged to have views exchanged in line with the principle of "mutual participation, cooperative management, benefits sharing and win-win". -- Strengthen the across-Straits agricultural cooperation. The mainland side welcomes Taiwan farmers to the cooperative experimental zones of the across-Straits agriculture in the areas including Fujian, Hainan, Shandong, Heilongjiang, and Shaanxi for development. They will be offered with practical support and help and their legitimate right will be protected in accordance with the related laws. -- The sale issue of Taiwanese agricultural products to the mainland concerns the vital interests of the broad Taiwan farmers, especially the farmers in the central and southern part of Taiwan who grow fruit and vegetable, which should be solved as soon as possible. The mainland side is planning to make preferential policies and convenient measures in customs, inspection and quarantine and logistics in order to solve the sale issue. KMT is welcome to the mainland for talks. And KMT is asked to actively facilitate the relevant Taiwan departments to agree to send non-governmental farmer organizations for talks with the relevant mainland non-governmental industries so that the issue concerning the sale of Taiwanese agricultural products to the mainland should be arranged as soon as possible. -- It is an urgent need for Taiwan fishery circles to restore the cooperative businesses in fishing workers' exports to Taiwan. The non-governmental industries on the both sides of the Straits should be encouraged to hold talks as soon as possible on issues involving personal accident and medical insurance, risk guarantee money, wages, lawsuit system, ship-changing system, mutual notification mechanism, designating business firms, unified contracts, and onshore rest places for the mainland fishing workers. And the arrangement should be made as soon as possible. -- Encourage and promote wider access to the cooperation in the across-Straits service industries including financing, insurance, transportation and medical treatment. The across-Straits research and decision-making for the information industrial standards should be strengthened to boost the in-depth development of across-Straits economic cooperation. -- The mainland has worked out and implemented an investment protection law for Taiwan compatriots and a series of related laws, regulations and policies concerning how to implement the protection law have been enacted. The legitimate right of the mainland investment by Taiwan compatriots is protected in accordance with the related laws. It is advocated on the basis of mutual benefit that a non-governmental agreement on the protection of the legitimate right of investment by Taiwan compatriots will be discussed and signed. -- Promote the county-county and town-town exchanges across the Straits with the establishment of a relative stability and long-term exchange mechanism. Regional cooperation should be enhanced, aiming at increasing exchanges, mutual help and common development. -- Help send permanent correspondents by news media from the two sides as soon as possible through proper non-governmental negotiations in order to boost the across-Straits news exchanges. -- Allow students from both sides to pay the same school charges and set up scholarship for Taiwan university students. The related departments are planning for this and striving for early implementation. -- The mainland side gets to know that the tourism circles look forward to mainland tourists' visit to Taiwan and are actively making preparations for this. In the meantime it is in the hope that the Taiwan authorities should create necessary conditions for the goal. -- The mainland side is planning more convenient measures for Taiwan compatriots to come to mainland on the existing basis. -- Push forward common crackdown on crimes by both sides of the Straits. The Taiwan Work Office of the CPC Central Committee wish the Taiwan authorities to cancel the restrictions to the economic, trade and cultural exchanges and personal intercourses across the Straits so as to benefit the development of the across-Straits relations. ( )



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Russia to guarantee oil export to China
2005-03-31 People's Daily
Russia is willing to further expand oil export to China if there has oil surplus after meeting the needs of Taishet-Nakhodka pipeline, the Russian President's assistant Igor Shuvalov told press on March 29. Russia will firstly extend its oil pipeline to Skovorodino, a border city with China, from where Russian oil will be transmitted to China, but to get the oil China needs to build a pipeline to Skovorodino by itself. If there is still oil left upon oil export to China, as Russia promised, remaining oil will be transferred to Nakhodka, said Shuvalov.

Central bank: China won't follow US on rates
2005-03-31 Xinhuanet
China will keep a close watch on various economic and financial indicators before making further adjustments to key interest rates, its central bank governor said in remarks published Tuesday. Zhou Xiaochuan indicated that China was unlikely to follow the lead of the United States and other western economies in making frequent rate adjustments in line with shifting business cycles, the People's Daily said in an interview. Unlike the United States and other major industrial countries, China's developing economy does not follow such predictable cycles, Zhou said. "The Chinese economic cycles aren't so stable, so from the point of view of interest rates we can't even say what cycle we're in," he was quoted as saying. "The central bank will closely monitor economic changes and analyze the domestic economy, prices and other economic indicators before deciding on a future interest rate hike," Zhou said. China raised interest rates for one-year loans by 0.27 percentage points to 5.58 percent in late October, the first increase in more than nine years. The U.S. Federal Reserve's decision a week ago to raise its target for the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, to 2.75 percent, revived expectations China might also boost rates, pushing share prices on domestic markets sharply lower. Beijing has been tightening credit and adjusting lending rates for real estate-related borrowing as it attempts to slow investment in property and other sectors it fears may be growing too quickly, raising risks to the fragile financial system. But authorities have sought to keep growth at a brisk pace. A government think tank forecast Tuesday that China's economy would grow 8.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period a year earlier, down from 9.5 percent growth in 2004. A State Information Center research report said the forecast was based on double-digit growth for industrial output, fixed asset investment and foreign trade. Officials say they remain worried that investment in property construction and other projects might rebound, straining energy and transport and possibly igniting inflation.

Sinopec discovers large gas field in Sichuan
2005-03-31 Xinhuanet
The China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp) announced Tuesday it has discovered a large gas field in the northeastern part of southwest China's Sichuan province, with verified reserves topping 114.36 billion cubic meters. The newly-discovered Puguang Gas Field is regarded as the largest gas field ever discovered in the Sichuan Basin, and one ofthe largest gas fields in the country, the source said. The gas field has a workable gas reserve of 87.83 billion cubicmeters. Experts from the Ministry of Land and Resources have appraised and confirmed the reserves of Puguang Gas Field. Sinopec Corp is speeding up efforts to develop the large gas field, the source said.

Sponsors in starting blocks for 2008 Games
2005-04-01 China Daily
Organizers officially launched the second phase of the Beijing 2008 Sponsorship Programme yesterday, setting out how brands can tie their names to the event. Speaking at the launch, Executive Vice-President and Secretary-General of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) Wang Wei was confident sponsorship of the games was an attractive prospect. He said: "The great business potential presented by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will ensure that those who get involved will be rewarded with great investment returns." Potential sponsors are expected to use Beijing 2008 to strengthen brand recognition and raise their company profile. BOCOG Marketing Director Yuan Bin assured potential sponsors their official status would be protected from unaffiliated rivals wanting to jump on the Olympic bandwagon. She said: "The organizers have prepared a rights-and-benefits package for Beijing 2008 Sponsors." "We will also make clear commitments to protecting sponsors' rights through a sponsor recognition programme and anti-ambush marketing programme." According to Yuan, the package includes use of the names and emblems of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Chinese Olympic Committee, and all the Chinese Olympic Teams that are to participate in the Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Sponsors also get the opportunity to exclusively supply products to BOCOG and have the chance to take part in the Olympic torch relay as well as securing tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, accreditation, hospitality, transportation and accommodation. At present, categories available to sponsors include a broad spec-trum of industries, such as office supplies, dairy products, courier services, fast food, cooking oil, tyres, paper, Internet content services, nutritional supplements, wine, telecommunication systems and networks, travel and hospitality, beer and many others. "All products that fall in line with the Olympic spirit, the three concepts of the Beijing Olympic Games and Olympic marketing rules, will be considered for sponsorship opportunities," Yuan added. The BOCOG Sponsorship Programme consists of three tiers of support: Beijing 2008 Partners, Beijing 2008 Sponsors and Beijing 2008 Suppliers. Started in September 1, 2003, the Beijing 2008 Partners Programme has so far involved seven companies Bank of China, China Network Corporation, Sinopec, China Mobile, Volkswagen (China), Adidas and Air China. "The selection of partners is still on going and the Supplier Programme will start soon," Yuan said. "Most of the sponsors are scheduled to come on board by the end of this year and companies from home and abroad will have equal opportunity to take part." At the briefing, representatives from Lenovo Group, Volkeswagen (China), IOC Global Partner and BOCOG Partner, also made presentations to share their Olympic marketing experience.



DPRK confirms outbreak of bird flu
2005-03-29 Xinhuanet
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday confirmed an outbreak of bird flu in thecountry for the first time. "Bird flu has recently broken out at a few chicken farms including the Hadang Chicken Farm, hundreds of thousands of infected chickens have been burned before their burial at the relevant chicken farms. No one is reported to have been infected with this bird flu from among breeders of those farms," the KoreanCentral News Agency (KCNA) quoted the State Emergency Veterinary and Anti-Epizootic Committee as saying. "Upon its outbreak on those farms the committee lost no time to take emergency measures and meticulously organized veterinary and anti-epizootic work to prevent its spread to other poultry farms,"the KCNA added. Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Public Health have already set up mechanisms to prevent the spreadof bird flu and are mobilizing broad masses for this campaign, the KCNA said. The KCNA said on March 7 that it was "taking thoroughgoing preventive measures and setting up a watch system to bar bird flu from infiltrating into the country".

DPRK: Removal of nuke threat needed
2005-04-01 China Daily
PYONGYANG: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) yesterday said it is necessary to remove the growing US nuclear threat to the Korean Peninsula if the region is to be denuclearized. "If the peninsula is to be nuclear-free, it is necessary to clear the Republic of Korea (ROK) of all nuclear weapons of the US and root out every element that can help ROK have access to nukes," a spokesman for the DPRK's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The spokesman also added that "before anything else the US should roll back its hostile policy aimed at toppling the system of the DPRK through a nuclear war." He said the DPRK's consistent strategic goal is to achieve lasting peace and stability and realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. "The Six-Party Talks should provide a platform for seeking comprehensive ways of substantially and fairly realizing the denuclearization of the peninsula, not just as a bargaining ground where a give-and-take type way of solution is discussed," the spokesman said, referring to the talks attended by China, DPRK, Japan, Russia, ROK and the US. "Now that the DPRK has become a full-fledged nuclear weapons state, the Six-Party Talks should be disarmament talks where the participating countries negotiate the issue on an equal footing," he added. The talks are made unequal by the US issuing commands to the DPRK while the DPRK is expected to meet US demands, the spokesman said. This can never help find a solution to the nuclear issue, he concluded. "On the contrary, they will only escalate the confrontation and tensions. If the Six-Party Talks are to credibly fulfill their mission, it is necessary to convert them into the means of seeking to completely remove the US threat of nukes and a nuclear war from the peninsula and its vicinity," the spokesman stressed.


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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