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
  6.6-10.6.2005, No. 66  
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Foreign Policy

China says economic aid cannot offset Japan's wartime past
2005-06-08 People's Daily
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Tuesday Japan's economic assistance to other countries cannot offset the harm it caused to Asian countries in the past. "Japan does not face up to history. It is trying to gloss over its past," Liu said in response to Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura's remarks on Monday. Machimura called China's criticism of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, "outrageous" on Monday, and Japanese officials have complained China was ignoring Tokyo's economic assistance to developing countries. ( ) Liu said that while it is good of Japan to offer development assistance, its "wartime past cannot be erased just because the country offers assistance to developing countries."

China refutes Rumsfeld's remarks on military spending
2005-06-09 Xinhua News
( ) "The remarks that China's military expenditure has grown to be the largest in Asia and the third largest of the world is rootless," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao at a regular press briefs. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, while speaking last Saturday at the fourth Asia Security Conference, also known as Shangri-la Dialogue, said he could not understand why China increased its military expenditure with no threats from other countries. Liu said in recent years, along with its economic development, China slightly increased its national defense expenditure. The increased part was mainly used to improve the living condition of the officers and soldiers. ( ) "China is a peace-loving developing country, and pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and a defending national defense policy," Liu said.( ) "In order to reply to complicated international situation and safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, it is reasonable for China to update its armament," Liu said. "Any words or deeds that create and exaggerate China's military threat will do harm to regional peace and stability," he added. He expressed the hope that the United States will respect truth and do more that conducive to the healthy development of Sino-US ties and regional peace and stability.

China supports Pakistan, Iran, India becoming SCO observers
2005-06-09 People's Daily
At the press conference, Liu also said that China welcomes and supports Pakistan, Iran and India becoming observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At a SCO foreign ministers' meeting held last Saturday in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, SCO member states agreed in principle to give the three countries SCO observer status. The SCO will make a formal decision on the issue at the forthcoming SCO summit, scheduled to be held in Astana in July. Liu said the three are influential countries in the region, and China believes for them to become SCO observers will further promote mutual-beneficial cooperation between them and the SCO. Foreign ministers from China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan, and vice foreign ministers from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan attended last Saturday's meeting, with Mongolian foreign minister attendingthe meeting as an observer. The foreign ministers discussed furthering SCO cooperation and preparations for the forthcoming SCO summit, and they also exchanged views on other international and regional issues. ( )

Six-party talks may resume in weeks
2005-06-08 China Daily
The United States said on Tuesday North Korea said it would return to six-party talks on ending its suspected nuclear weapons programs and China said the negotiations could resume in Beijing within weeks. "I think it will be pretty soon, in the next few weeks," Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya told reporters. "I understand that it will be in Beijing." State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "The North Koreans said they would return to the six-party process but did not give us a time certain when they would. U.S. chances of punishing North Korea with economic or political sanctions likely would be minimal, since China, which opposes sanctions generally, could veto a U.S. proposal. Pyongyang has said sanctions would be tantamount to a declaration of war. The Bush administration tried to raise the North Korea nuclear issue in the Security Council in April 2003, but China and Russia objected to Washington's proposal that the council adopt a statement condemning Pyongyang for reviving its nuclear program.



China starts highway construction on Taklimakan desert
2005-06-10 People's Daily
At a cost of 0.8 billion yuan (about 100 million US dollars), the Chinese Ministry of Communications is building China's longest domestic highway across the Taklimakan desert in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to People's Liberation Army Daily on Wednesday. The "Aral to Hotan desert road" will be 424 kilometers in length. It will start at the city of Aral and end at the Hotan prefecture in the county of Lop. 180 of the planned 424 kilometers of the road will be constructed by the People's Armed Police Force. The rest will be constructed by other organizations. The highway is intended to shorten the distance of transportation between Aksu prefecture and the Hotan area. The technologically sophisticated project faces a challenging and hostile desert environment. The Chinese Communication Authority will transfer experts from across the country to assist the armed police forces.

China remains firm in carrying out family policy: official
2005-06-10 People's Daily
China will not revoke its three- decade-long family planning policy but will try to put more emphasis on its rewards, said a senior family planning official Thursday in Beijing. Pan Guiyu, deputy director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), said at a press conference here that China will continue the program of "rewarding some rural households practicing family planning", while collecting fines from those who violate the family planning policy. Last year a program was initiated in certain areas to give cash rewards of no less than 600 yuan on an annual basis to the rural elderly with only one child or two daughters after they turn 60 years old. Although China has successfully reduced its population by 300 million since the family planning policy was introduced in the late 1970s, it still faces a "grave population picture", she said. According to statistics form the NPFPC, China's net population increases by eight to 10 million people -- half of the Australian population -- a year, exerting great pressure on the society. ( ) Pan said. China will extend the cash-rewarding program to 23 provinces, covering the whole country next year, to help farmers change their age-old preference of boys to girls and keep the birth rate low.

China confirms bird flu in NW city
2005-06-10 People's Daily
The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture Thursday confirmed a bird flu outbreak in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, saying the situation was under control. The national bird flu reference laboratory confirmed that the latest death of geese in Tacheng City of Xinjiang was caused by the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. A total of 1,042 geese were affected and 460 of them had died, the laboratory said. The local government has taken emergency measures, having the affected areas isolated and slaughtering 13,457 fowls. ( )

Little sex knowledge means more abortions
2005-06-09 China Daily
More than half of the women in Shanghai who had abortions last year did not use any reliable form of contraception. So says a recent study of 800 women from the city. At least 60 per cent of the 200,000-plus Shanghai women who had at least one abortion last year did not use contraception, said Dr Yan Fengting, an expert on reproductive health. The figure was higher among unmarried women. Dr Yan said: "Chinese women never really have the chance to learn about contraception." "We do have some lessons on physiology in high school, but they never really cover this sensitive topic." Fifty-four per cent of married women who had an abortion did not use effective contraception and the figure soared to 80 per cent among unmarried women, according to the study. Yan said many women have their own methods of contraception by counting the days when they think they are "safe," which is not reliable. More than 44 per cent of them had at least two abortions. "We have even seen women become pregnant 10 days after an abortion," said the doctor. In Shanghai, 66 in every 1,000 women have had an abortion. The city has about 4.2 million women aged between 19 and 45, the childbearing age. Abortions can damage women both psychologically and physically. ( )

Trading of human organs prohibited
2005-06-05 Xinhua News
China is preparing to issue "in the near future" a document to regulate the developing organ transplant operation market, and the trading of human organs would be prohibited, according to a senior Ministry of Health official. The upcoming regulations would highlight eight principles on organ transplant operations, covering the patient's will to take the operation voluntarily, his right to know in advance about the operation, the technological standards for access and non-commercialization, said Vice Minister Huang Jiefu. Stressing the non-commercialization requirement, he reiterated the World Health Organization's guiding principle on organ transplants -- the human body and any part of it should not be subjected to trade. Putting up ads for buying organs for transplants and selling organs should be prohibited. The world health body also forbids any individual or institution involved in organ transplants to claim payment other than a service charge. ( ) The regulations would also outline that only medical institutions enjoying certain technological capabilities, staff and equipment will be allowed to enter the market. Township clinics will be prohibited from performing organ transplants, Hu said. "We'll not say that only one hospital can do the operation in one region, but we'll only allow those who are capable to do it by introducing a market access system." The regulations will adopt two criteria to determine whether a person is dead and it is safe to transplant organs to others: the heart stopping or brain death, according to the official.



Nestle China apologizes for unsafe iodine infant milk powder
2005-06-06 China Daily
Swiss foodmaker Nestle has made an apology to the public after admitting one of its infant milk powder formulas contains iodine higher than the national standard, according to a report from the China Central Television (CCTV) on Monday. The milk powder for child growth, produced by a Nestle joint venture in China, was recently found by a food quality report to be "unqualified for containing iodine higher than the national safety standard" set by east China's Zhejiang provincial industrial and commercial bureau. Mu Li, chief executive of Nestle China, announced that the company apologizes to consumers for its milk powder "unfortunately " containing iodine and deviating from the national safety standard. ( ) The sale of the milk powder has been suspended in Hangzhou, Shanghai and Guangzhou.


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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