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
  07.11-11.11.2005, No. 88  
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Foreign Policy

Six-party talks endeavor to translate commitment into action
2005-11-11 People's Daily
The latest session of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue ended with a chairman's statement, which experts say signifies all parties endeavor to translate the commitments into actions. () The chairman's statement issued Friday said the parties reaffirmed that they would "fully" implement the joint statement in line with the principle of "commitment for commitment, action for action." "The statement shows that the talks have got a clearer focus and are drawing closer to the actual actions," said Liu Jiangyong, expert on international studies of Tsinghua University. The talks group China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea(DPRK), the United States, the Republic of Korea(ROK), Russia and Japan. Chief US negotiator Christopher Hill described the talks as "achieving benchmark," saying that the delegations of China, ROK, Japan and Russia have all made "good approaches and positive suggestions." China shared with other parties its "roadmap" at the beginning of the latest session Wednesday. Wu Dawei, China's chief negotiator, suggested that the fifth round be carried out in phases: the delegation heads of the six nations first table a general scenario and a working group or expert panel works out detailed rules and submit them to the delegation heads for consultations. Head of the Japanese delegation Kenichiro Sasae Friday hailed the chairman's statement, saying it gave full consideration to the interests of all parties and would help implement the joint agreement in a comprehensive and rapid manner. Earlier, Sasae proposed setting up "two working groups "specializing respectively in DPRK nuclear dismantlement and inspection, and economic and energy aid to the DPRK. Qin Gang, spokesman for Chinese delegation, told a press briefing Wednesday that it might be an "appropriate choice" to set up working groups or expert teams so as to implement the joint statement. "It will be easier to reach consensus within working groups than in the plenary session as working groups tend to be more efficient," said Ruan Zongze, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies. But the positions of the two primary actors, the DPRK and United States, remained widely apart. "We have raised very seriously the financial sanctions which were imposed by the U.S. on (North Korea),'' Kim Gye-Gwan, DPRK's chief delegate, told reporters after three-days of negotiations Friday. ()

Hu, Blair reach vital consensus on furthering bilateral relationship
2005-11-10 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reached vital consensus on Wednesday on promoting the existing comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level. During their talks at No. 10 Downing Street, the two leaders had thorough exchanges and expressed their satisfaction over the good momentum of China-British relations. Hu said the establishment of strategic partnership between China and Britain in 2004 ushers in a new stage for the development of bilateral relations. Since then, the two sides have sustained high-level political dialogues and consultations on sustainable development. Trade and economic co-operations have yielded new results and the two countries have maintained good coordination and collaboration. Hu reiterated that China attaches great importance to its relations with Britain, and China's development is an opportunity to Britain. He suggested that the two countries regard bilateral relationship from a long-term and strategic perspective by keeping the current momentum of high-level exchanges, particularly the annual meetings of the leadership and foreign ministers, as well as exchanges between legislative institutions and political parties. Political dialogue and co-operation on global issues such as sustainable development, poverty alleviation, climate change, free trade should also be enhanced within the multi-lateral framework of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and Asia- Europe Meeting, Hu said. The Chinese president also suggested that bilateral co- operation be further expanded from the current priority areas of trade and investment, finance, energy, science and technology, education and culture, environmental protection and sustainable development, to cover for instance bird flu prevention and the preparation for the Olympics. () On China-EU relations, Hu said, a closer overall strategic partnership is of major significance to world peace, stability and prosperity. "We hope to see European Union plays a more important role on issues pertaining to Europe and the world as a whole," Hu noted. Blair said the EU attaches much importance to further its relations with China, and will make further efforts to address issues of China's concerns. The two leaders also exchanged views on major regional and international issues. After the meeting, Hu and Blair attended the signing ceremony of the joint communique of the fifth meeting of Sino-British Trade and Investment Joint Committee as well as documents of aviation cooperation. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Britain's Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott were present at the meeting.

Chinese president concludes visit to Germany
2005-11-14 People's Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao concluded his three-day visit to Germany Sunday, and left the German city of Dusseldorf for Madrid for a state visit to Spain. During his visit to Germany, the first as a China's head of state, Hu exchanged views with German leaders over bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common interest. The two sides agreed to expand all-round cooperation between the two countries in the new century. China and Germany signed a series of cooperation documents during Hu's visit to the European country. The Chinese president had a wide range of contact with German celebrities from political, business, educational and other sectors. The Chinese president flew in from Berlin Saturday for a tour of Dusseldorf. In recent years, China-Germany relations have developed soundly. The two countries have maintained exchanges of high-level visits, and political mutual trust has been strengthened constantly. The two nations have kept close consultations on major international issues. Germany is China's largest trade partner in Europe while China is Germany's largest trade partner in Asia. In 2004, trade between the two countries recorded at 54.1 billion US dollars, a 29 percent increase over the previous year. By the end of last year, Germany's direct investment in China reached 9.9 billion dollars. ()

Hu in Spain for last stage of European trip
2005-11-14 China Daily
China's President Hu Jintao has arrived in Spain for the final leg of a European trip dominated by trade. Hu was met at Madrid's airport Sunday by Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos. Two days of official engagements were beginning on Monday, including meetings with King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. () Spain is no less eager than its EU allies to secure increasing amounts of business with the world's fastest-growing major economy. Madrid's key goal is to correct a growing imbalance in trade, which saw a deficit with the Chinese of seven billion dollars (six billion euros), Spain ranking just 30th in terms of worldwide exporters to China. Nonetheless, the Spanish are making inroads, with the wind turbine and aeronautics firm Gamesa having in recent month's inked contracts to supply 40 wind turbines to China. The firm is hoping to corner about one-third of China's renewable energy market. Telecoms giant Telefonica has meanwhile taken a stake in China Netcom Group as it diversifies out of Spain and Latin America.

Hu to take 'peaceful rise' diplomacy to APEC
2005-11-14 China Daily
Chinese President Hu Jintao will be aiming to portray China's growing regional and global strength as a "peaceful rise" at the upcoming APEC summit, officials and analysts said. During the two-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' forum in South Korea starting on Friday, Hu will pledge China's constructive contribution on issues such as trade, North Korea and fighting terrorism, they said. But he will likely snub a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "President Hu will exchange ideas about further promoting balanced, stable and sustained growth of the global economy and China's priorities for APEC," China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told journalists. "We hope that this meeting will achieve progress in supporting the healthy development of the multilateral trading regime ... while also addressing the question of high oil prices, bird flu and natural disasters." Hu arrives in South Korea on Wednesday for an official state visit before attending the APEC summit in the city of Busan. A series of bilateral meetings with APEC leaders are being arranged during the summit, officials said. Hu is currently on a tour of Europe. Before that he was in Vietnam and North Korea. At each stop he has attempted to emphasise his nation's peaceful rise as an economic and global power. ()

Beijing: Bush-Dalai Lama meeting negative
2005-11-11 Xinhuanet
China criticized US President George W. Bush yesterday for meeting the Dalai Lama this week, and dismissed Washington's annual report on religious freedom as groundless. "The Dalai Lama is not a simple or a pure religious figure. He is a political exile who undertakes secessionist activities abroad," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a regular news briefing. "We oppose meetings between him and other leaders." Bush's White House meeting with the Dalai Lama on Wednesday came just days ahead of his Beijing visit scheduled for November 19-21. "Other leaders should not provide a platform for him to separate the country," Liu said. On Tuesday, the Bush administration, in a report to Congress, labelled China a serious violator of religious freedom along with Myanmar, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Viet Nam, Iran, Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. Liu said the State Department's annual report on religious freedom, which said China restricts religious practice to State-sanctioned groups, made groundless accusations. "We urge the US Government to stop interfering in China's religious affairs under the guise of the religion issue," Liu said, adding all people in all regions in China enjoy religious freedom in accordance with the law. But Liu stressed the two incidents would not overshadow Bush's visit to Beijing. "The importance will not be diminished by a single incident," he said. "The visit will achieve its planned goals." In the face of a widening U.S. trade deficit with China, US President George W. Bush will pressure China to make good on a pledge of economic concessions on an Asia tour that will also focus on fighting bird flu and North Korea's nuclear program, a top aide said on Thursday, the Reuters reported. Bush, facing political turmoil at home over the Iraq war, soaring gasoline prices and a CIA leak probe, leaves on Monday for a week-long trip to Japan, South Korea, China and Mongolia. White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said Bush would try to advance cooperation on top priorities but did not expect to come home with specific agreements. Struggling to contain a U.S. trade deficit with China that is running at an annual rate approaching $200 billion, Bush wants Chinese President Hu Jintao to liberalize China's currency system and let the yuan rise in value. U.S. politicians and business lobby groups complain it has been kept at too low a level, harming U.S. manufacturers. ()

Beijing, Washington agree to resume Taiwan dialogue
2005-11-08 SCMP
Beijing and Washington have agreed to resume officially backed consultations on cross-strait affairs following the summit between President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart George W. Bush next week. Wang Zaixi, deputy director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, will head for New York to attend the two-day closed-door meeting scheduled for November 29 and 30, sources say. Several senior officials from the office, including two bureau heads, and leading think-tank academics will join Mr Wang in talks between politicians and academics from the US, the mainland and Taiwan. Mainland and US diplomats agreed to resume the consultation in recent talks to arrange Mr Bush's visit to the mainland, sources said, adding that the development suggested progress in relations between the two powers. ()

Beijing, Manila sign agreement to establish friendly relations
2005-11-14 Xinhuanet
The Chinese capital city of Beijing and the Philippine capital city of Manila Monday signed an agreement to establish friendly relations between the two cities. Visiting Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan and Manila Mayor Lito Atienza signed the agreement which calls for more exchanges and cooperation between the two cities in the fields of economy, culture, education, city construction, sports and health and sanitation. Wang said at the signing ceremony that he was deeply impressed by the warm reception given to him by the outstanding people of Manila. He also praised Mayor Atienza for his distinguished leadership of the city. Wang said Beijing and Manila share many common features and both of them are making achievements in the their economic and social development. He expressed his confidence that the two cities will further strengthen their relations through more exchanges and bilateral visits of personnel. The Beijing mayor, whose city will host the 2008 Olympics, also expressed his wish that someday Manila can play host to the Olympic Games as the city is fully capable of doing so with its good people and good municipal government. Atienza said that when he visited Beijing two years ago, he was deeply impressed by the city construction and economic and social development of Beijing. He said he has from then on regarded Beijing as an example of development for Manila. Atienza also thanked Wang for choosing Manila as the first foreign city to visit this year. The two mayors also congratulated the opening of Beijing- Manila direct flights by the Philippine Airlines.


Domestic Policy

23 provinces completely mobilized for bird flu prevention
2005-11-13 People's Daily
By Saturday, 23 provincial regions across China have held meetings on prevention and control of bird flu epidemics, and launched all-around mobilization, Ministry of Agriculture said Sunday. Many provinces have established quick-response mechanisms on major animal-related epidemics, and set up the 24-hour on-watch systems, the ministry said. These provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions all increase their fund and material investment so as to guarantee the demand of epidemic prevention and control work. Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Ningxia and Xinjiang allocated special fund for the prevention work of bird flu. These provinces have raised fund to buy and reserve bacterins, disinfection products, and equipment and exposure suits. North China's Shanxi Province injected bacterins to poultry raised by farmers free of charge, while east China's Zhejiang Province appointed one epidemic reporter in each village. Beijing Municipality enhanced the inspection and quarantine work on poultry products transported from other parts of China by railway, air and road. East China's Jiangsu Province sent inspectors to markets and set up temporary disinfection stations on road intersections. Local agricultural and sanitation departments have enhanced their cooperation and established information-exchange mechanism to jointly prevent the bird flu epidemic, the ministry said.

Wen: Situation in bird flu control 'serious'
2005-11-10 China Daily
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called on the nation to intensify efforts to fight bird flu as the country is facing a "very serious situation" in controlling the epidemic. Bird flu has not been totally controlled in China and the danger of its spread still exists in some areas, the premier said during an inspection tour of the bird flu-hit Heishan County in northeast China's Liaoning Province on Tuesday. About 1,100 chickens were killed in the latest outbreaks, which were reported to the provincial health authorities on November 6. The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory confirmed yesterday that the latest cases involved the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. Local governments have culled about 500,000 poultry within a 3-kilometre radius of the outbreak sites to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. On Tuesday, Premier Wen Jiabao called for intensified efforts to fight bird flu as the country faces a "very serious situation." Bird flu has not been brought under total control and is likely to spread, Wen warned on Tuesday during an inspection tour of Heishan County in Northeast China's Liaoning Province. He urged the local governments to focus on the prevention of human infections, a task he described as "arduous."

Roche halts Tamiflu sales in China
2005-11-08 China Daily
Swiss drug-maker Roche said Tuesday it had stopped selling the antiviral drug Tamiflu in China and was turning over supplies to the government as local officials were ordered to prepare to treat possible human cases of bird flu. Tamiflu supplies are "now being transferred to China's Ministry of Health for centralized allocation and distribution," the Chinese arm of Roche Holding AG said in a written statement. Sales were halted in China on Nov. 1, it said. There is no approved human vaccine for bird flu, which is almost always caught from close contact with infected birds. But Tamiflu is one of the few drugs believed to be effective against bird flu. In the event of a possible human flu pandemic, Roche said, "the government is in the best position to handle rapid response and distribution." The company didn't say how much Tamiflu it turned over to the government or whether it would be compensated. Concerns that private suppliers might be hoarding Tamiflu have prompted Roche to limit sales in other countries, including the United States, Switzerland, Germany and Canada. The World Health Organization advises governments to keep enough antiviral drugs and regular human flu vaccines for at least 25 percent of their populations. () Authorities fear that H5N1 could mutate into a form that is easily passed from human to human, sparking a possible pandemic. Health Minister Gao Qiang ordered local officials to step up efforts to prevent human infections and preparations to treat possible cases, Xinhua News Agency said. In a nationwide video conference, Gao told officials on Monday "to strengthen work at three key links, namely monitoring, control and treatment," Xinhua said. The government has ordered increasingly strict preventive measures. ()

China to produce Tamiflu if bird flu spreads
2005-11-09 China Daily
As the threat of bird flu grows around the world, a leading institute affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences declared that it would produce Tamiflu, the only drug said to be effective against the virus. "If the epidemic spreads, we will produce our own version of Tamiflu," Wu Jiarui, vice-president of the Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, said yesterday. Swiss-based Roche Holding AG holds the sole patent for Tamiflu but under Chinese law, it could be sidestepped in case of a public health crisis. Scientists agree it is easy to produce Tamiflu once the proper materials are available although the process is complicated. The institute has got the right materials, said Wu. The primary goal is to try to produce a Chinese version of shikimic acid, the active ingredient in Tamiflu, which is derived from star anise a spice widely produced and used in China but Wu said the acid is also found in other plants used in traditional Chinese medicine herbs. Meanwhile, Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd (SPG) expects a "very positive response" from Roche on its application to produce Tamiflu, which it submitted last week. Huang Yanzheng, vice-president of SPG and board chairman of Shanghai Roche a joint venture between Roche and SPG said it would take about six months for SPG to mass-produce Tamiflu once Roche gives the go-ahead. As public anxiety about bird flu grows in the country, all segments of the poultry industry have been hit hard. Prices for chicks have plummeted 90 per cent in some areas, from 2 yuan (US 25 cents) to 0.2 yuan (US 2.5 cents), the Information Centre of China Feed Association said. Supermarkets have cut down purchases of dressed chickens and ducks because of sluggish sales. Wumart, a Beijing-based chain supermarket, said it had cut purchases by half in the past two weeks. Shandong Liuhe Group, one of the country's leading suppliers of live fowl and poultry feed, said it suffered a loss of 4 million yuan (US$494,000) last month alone. The group's vice-chairman, surnamed Zhang, said the company has been forced to adopt a "zero profit" strategy this month in the live-fowl business. Sales of poultry feed dropped by 10 per cent last month and may see a 20-30 per cent drop in the next few months, he added. ()

6 missing, 70 wounded in chemical plant blasts
2005-11-13 Xinhuanet
Some 70 people were wounded and six others missing in blasts that occurred Sunday afternoon in a chemical plant in Jilin City of northeast China's Jilin Province, local authorities said. The wounded have been sent to two hospitals and two seriously injured are receiving emergent operations, rescuers said. More than 10,000 residents and students in a university nearby have been evacuated, the authorities said. The municipal government has asked hotels and restaurants in the city to provide rooms for the evacuated people. Taxies were called on to help the evacuation. The blasts took place at a workshop in No. 101 Chemical Plant under the Jilin Petrochemical Company about 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.Sunday in Jilin City, some 100 km east of Changchun, capital of Jilin Province. The fire caused by the blasts has been under control but is yet to be put out completely, rescuers said.

15 people dead in bridge collapse
2005-11-07 China Daily
Fifteen people died, three were injured and one remains missing after a 170-metre-high bridge collapsed on Saturday afternoon in Wuchuan County, Zunyi, and a city in Southwest China's Guizhou Province. The bridge, which was under construction, collapsed suddenly at around 2 pm. nineteen workers fell with the bridge and were buried beneath debris from the collapsed structure. Five workers were sent to the county hospital where two died, said Liu Qi, a doctor at the hospital. Of the three others wounded, Tan Po, 26, underwent brain surgery on Saturday, and was still in a serious condition, Liu said. Ding Chenghe, 46, and Chen Chaoyun, 48, suffered broken bones but are stable, he added. Bodies of 13 other victims were found by rescuers, with one still missing, according to Wang Feng, a senior officer with the local public security bureau, which has been in charge of search and rescue since the accident. The cause of the bridge collapse is still under investigation.

Officers punished for deaths of 85 Chinese armed police cadets in Typhoon Longwang
2005-11-14 People's Daily
China's State Council and Central Military Commission have decided to punish five officers accountable for the deaths of 85 armed police cadets caused by Typhoon Longwang on October 2. Yu Deshui and Chen Qingyao, the commander and the political commissar of the Fujian provincial unit of the Chinese People's Armed Police, were deposed and given records of serious demerits, said an order issued recently by the State Council and the Central Military Commission. President Zhou Xiaomeng and political commissar Shi Gongsheng of Fuzhou Armed Police Command School were removed from their posts both in the Communist Party of China and the Armed Police. Hou Yongjun, director of the cadets brigade, was to be prosecuted by law enforcement organs. Typhoon Longwang landed in southeastern China on October 2. It caused sudden downpours and a landslide, which destroyed the barracks with cadets inside, killing 85 of them.

China reports 132,545 cases of HIV infection
2005-11-08 People's Daily
China reported 132,545 accumulated cases of HIV infection by the end of August this year, announced Vice Health Minister Wang Longde in Zhengzhou on Monday. The cases include 30,158 AIDS patients and 7,643 deaths. The provinces and regions of Yunnan, Henan, Guangxi, Xinjiang and Guangdong reported more than 10,000 cases each, accounting for 77 percent of the total amount, said Wang at an AIDS conference held in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province. Drug abuse is still the main mode of transmission, accounting for 41.6 percent of infections. An unclear source of infection accounts for 22 percent, but Wang expected most were through sex. The infection rate in pregnancy increased from zero in 1997 to 0.26 percent in 2004, which indicates the epidemic is spreading from high-risk groups to ordinary people, he noted. The ministry at the end of 2004 reported 106,990 HIV infected cases including 23,955 AIDS patients. However, experts believe the reported cases only account for 12.7 percent of the real number, suggesting that China now has about 840,000 HIV carriers, including 80,000 AIDS patients.

UN environment agency to help China with 2008 Olympics
2005-11-09 Xinhuanet
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) announced here Wednesday it was signing on November 18 an agreement with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) to jointly promote environmental initiatives. "The memorandum of understanding is aimed at helping Beijing with its ambitious proposals in areas ranging from air, water and noise pollution up to transport, landscaping and the disposal of solid wastes," said a UNEP statement. UNEP will also be helping with public awareness campaigns which it is hoped will leave a lasting legacy among citizens in Beijing and China generally on the importance of the environment for long lasting and enduring development, according to the statement. "Without doubt, sports and sports men and women can be a power for good in the world inspiring by example and bringing together communities, nations and cultures in a common understanding of the principles of peace and fair play," said Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's executive director. In terms of the environment, the BOCOG is taking measures to make the upcoming summer games "a crucial guide for environmentally-friendly mass spectator events everywhere over the coming years", added Toepfer. Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and People's Olympics are the three concepts that Beijing uses to promote the 2008 Games. In line with the Green Olympics concept, the Chinese capital has been moving pollutant factories out of the city and promoting water-saving measures among hotels that will serve the Games. In another move, the China International Environment Logo Exhibition is scheduled for November 16-18, 2005 at the Beijing International Exhibition Center. ()



China 2005 GDP growth forecast at over 9%
2005-11-09 China Daily
China's central bank said it expects the economy to motor ahead with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) expected to surpass 9.0 percent, with a rise in inflation of about 2.0 percent. The third quarter monetary report from the People's Bank of China reiterated that it would maintain prudent monetary policy in the fourth quarter as consumption, investment and net exports were expected to push forward economic growth. "The central bank will ... continue its prudent monetary policy, maintain the continuity and stability of its policy in the fourth quarter, strengthening its fine-tuning (ability)," the report said Wednesday. China's GDP grew 9.4 percent in the first nine months of 2005, while its main inflation index, the consumer price index (CPI), rose 2.0 percent. It warned that it expected a rebound in fixed asset investment, which grew 26.1 percent in the first three quarters of the year, but played down the risk of deflation that some analysts have warned about as prices slipped over the year. Fixed-asset investment, which largely reflects government spending on infrastructure, totalled 5.71 trillion yuan (704 billion dollars) in the nine months to September. The broad measure of money supply growth was expected to expand by 17 percent in 2005, higher than its previous target of 15 percent. At the same time, new bank loans would amount to 2.3-2.5 trillion yuan (280-308 billion dollars) this year, just about on target with its full year forecast of 2.5 trillion yuan. The report, published one day after Washington and Beijing struck a deal to restrict Chinese textile exports, added that risks included trade protectionism and high oil prices. "The hike in international oil prices has had a negative impact on China's economy and so it is necessary to speed up the reform of the oil pricing mechanism," it said. While global economic growth would continue to support the growth of Chinese trade, "a rebound in trade protectionism in some countries will cause some uncertainties in our exports," it said It also reiterated that it would maintain a stable yuan at reasonable and balanced levels while allowing market forces to help determine the unit's value. Yuan appreciation pressure showed signs of weakening and indicated that the central bank could widen channels for capital outflows, allowing for domestic companies to invest more overseas. China revalued the yuan by 2.1 percent against the dollar in July and scrapped its long-standing peg to the US unit, linking the currency to basket a major currencies.

Mandelson on EU anti-dumping action against China
2005-11-07 China Daily
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson pledged to only take action against China on alleged dumping of footwear if it is "warranted" and "justified". In a joint news conference with Chinese commerce minister Bo Xilai, Mandelson said he expected the results of an EU anti-dumping probe opened at the end of June to "come in due course". "But I will not be taking action unless I'm absolutely convinced that it is justified and warranted," Mandelson added. The Financial Times reported that Brussels was preparing to slap tariffs on the country's leather and reinforced shoes exports for dumping them on the EU market -- selling them at below prices below the cost of production. Bo said he hoped the commission would stave off imposing the measures. "We don't want to see these industries facing anti-dumping measures by the EU. Our trading relationship is of a complimentary nature." Although Mandelson said his talks with Bo had touched on footwear only in passing, there were more focused discussions on China's cherished goal of gaining market economy status, which is important regarding how anti-dumping charges are handled. However, Mandelson would not be drawn into issuing precise timing on granting China market economy status, saying: "We are working on the substance and not deadlines." More broadly on anti-dumping, Mandelson said the number of EU cases lodged against China had been "slowing up over the last year but when we receive a complaint we are duty bound to investigate it." "If action is justified we take action, it's proportionate, it's not excessive, its reasonable and that's how it will continue," he added.

Banks uncover 894 corruption cases
2005-11-09 China Daily
Chinese banking institutions uncovered 894 criminal cases in the first three quarters of this year involving millions of yuan, despite an increase in the economic losses recovered, regulators said. The report by the China Banking Regulatory Commission released yesterday said the banking industry uncovered 84 cases that involve more than 1 million yuan (US$120,000) each between July and September. During the first half of this year, 240 cases of corruption were found in State-owned commercial banks alone, with losses totalling 1.6 billion yuan (US$197 million), according to Xinhua news agency. In addition to efforts to crack down on the crimes, the banking industry has strived to recover the losses. About 1.02 billion yuan (US$126 million) was recovered from the 84 cases with each involving more than 1 million yuan (US$120,000). It is an increase of 452 million yuan (US$55.7 million) year-on-year. About one-third of the losses resulting from corruption were recouped, up 1.8 per cent than the corresponding period. The report also said the major banks saw a decline in banking crimes and economic losses in the third quarter. In the third quarter, 199 cases were discovered at State-owned commercial banks and joint-stock commercial banks. The second quarter had 285 cases. Financial losses resulting from the crimes were reduced by 397 million yuan (US$49 million) to 246 million yuan (US$30 million). To crack down on corruption, 892 individuals involved in the banking crimes were punished from January to September 224 more than the corresponding period last year. Among those accused, 376 were former senior management officials from financial institutions, accounting for 42.15 per cent of the total. As of September, 189 banks and more than 30,000 credit co-operatives had a total assets of 30 trillion yuan (US$3.7 trillion). The big four State-owned commercial banks China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China had 55 per cent of the market.

Shanghai No 1 in industrial competitiveness
2005-11-07 Xinhuanet
Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangdong top an updated UN score sheet on regional industrial competitiveness in the country. The Chinese capital Beijing ranked fourth with its manufacturing ability accounting for around 60 per cent of China's economic hub, Shanghai. The report on the survey, conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), was made exclusively available to China Daily. Shanghai was graded 0.903 in competitive industrial performance (CIP) on an index value ranging from zero to one. Beijing scored 0.585 while Tibet was the worst performer, at 0.056. "To sum up, the eastern regions dominate the top half of the scoreboard, while central and western regions dominate the bottom half," said Sergio M. Miranda-da-Cruz, till recently the UNIDO Representative for China, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. Miranda-da-Cruz assessed 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions on the Chinese mainland by considering indicators such as per capita manufacturing value added (MVA), manufacturing exports and share of medium and high-technology industries in MVA. "This report focuses on the development of western China, and on measures that the central government and regional governments can take to reduce the disparities, which are, in fact, increasing between the coastal areas and the rest of China," said Sergio. He said expectations that China would outperform the rest of the world in the manufacturing sector within the next few years are realistic but the country also faces challenges. ()



Bird Flu Quarantine Cancelled
2005-11-10 UB Post
A strict quarantine on bird flu implemented in early August around Erkhel Lake in Alag-Erdene soum, Khovsgol aimag was cancelled early this week by order of the local administration. Since the end of July, 303 wild birds have died, mostly in or near Erkhel Lake, but there have been no new deaths since the last one 13 days ago, according to B.Batkhuu, governor of Khovsgol aimag. This was one of the final pieces of evidence that the threat had been contained, he explained. "The quarantine is canceled by a joint decision of State Professional Inspection Agency, State Veterinary Hospital, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and National Emergency Agency," said Batkhuu to Onoodor daily newspaper on Wednesday. There are few wild no migratory birds in the area.

Condoleezza Rice to Visit Mongolia U.S. Secretary of State
2005-11-10 UB Post
Condoleezza Rice will visit Mongolia, leading a delegation of over 300 people including around 50 high-ranking White House officials as they accompany U.S. President George W.Bush on his visit to Mongolia on November 21, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Ts.Monkh- Orgil at a press conference on Tuesday. This visit is scheduled to last for 5 hours. Monkh-Orgil made this announcement at the Press Institute, confirming the news broken by the Japan Today Web site on November 4. Rice's trip will take her to the Middle East, South Korea and China during November 10 to 21. Rice will spend a few days in the Middle East before travelling to Pusan, South Korea, to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum ministerial meeting, beginning November 15, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, according to Japan Today Web site. Bush will attend the November 18-19 APEC summit in Korea, and Rice will join him when he leaves Korea to visit China and Mongolia, McCormack said, according to Japan Today.


Julie Kong
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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