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
  7.7-13.7.2007, No. 173  
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Beijing Olympics


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Recognition of China as full market economy a historic step, says Swiss Federal Councilor (People's Daily Online)
Swiss Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard said on Monday recognizing China as a full market economy is "a historic step" for Switzerland. (…) "China has made a number of market adjustments and its legal framework is moving in the right direction," said Leuthard. (…) At present, China is the largest source of imports and the second largest export market in Asia for Switzerland. Bilateral trade totaled 6.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2006. A free trade agreement is highly appropriate in this context, said Leuthard. She called for more feasibility studies about the opportunities and risks relating to a free trade agreement. "We hope this can be done quite fast on both sides", she added. ^ top ^

Some Statements of Chinese and Swiss Officials on Sino-Swiss Cooperation (International Business Daily)
In the special issue on Sino-Swiss Trade and Economic Cooperation, Doris Leuthard gives a letter on China and Swiss cooperation. Both Swiss and Chinese officials stated their opinions on Sino-Swiss cooperation, including Mr. Dante Candido Martinelli, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mr. Edgar Christoph Dörig, Swiss Economic Counsellor, Sun Yongfu, general director of Europe affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Wang Heliang, Chinese Economic Counsellor in Switzerland, and Xia Yang.

Link to the full article: Some Statements of Chinese Officials on Sino-Swiss Cooperation

Switzerland participates actively in China's economic growth, interview (People's Daily Online)
To most Chinese, the name of Switzerland would bring a combined feeling of strangeness and familiarity. Strange in that it is located at the opposite side of the globe, and familiar in the sense that it is widely known among different groups of people(…). How could a small state like Switzerland, with a land area of the approximate size of half of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, become so uniquely successful? (…) With all these questions in mind, People's Daily staff editor Dr. Liu Chao recently conducted an exclusive interview in Switzerland with Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation.

Link to the full article: Switzerland participates actively in China's economic growth, interview

Two Thirds Swiss Enterprises en China Enjoy no Profits (Mofcom)
Mr. Kurt Haerri, Chinaman of Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Executive Committee, Schindler Elevators Ltd.Ebikon, said in an interview that, according to the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, one third Swiss enterprises in China obtains profits, one third does not, and one third suffer from loss. He also stated that Sino-Swiss FTA is a good agreement.


Foreign Policy

China airs its opinion about IMF chief choice (People's Daily online)
China on Thursday said the voices of developing nations should be heard when appointing the new chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). When it comes to naming the IMF head, the concerns and demands of the developing countries should be fully accommodated," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular briefing. (…) Qin said China will study the EU's decision and consult with other IMF members on the choice of the chief. (…). ^ top ^

Late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping honored in Egypt (Xinhua)
Late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping on Wednesday night was honored by Egypt's Afro-Asia Writers Organization for his outstanding contribution to China and the world peace. Deng was one of the five people who were honored and awarded a medal. (…) The awarding of medals aimed to honor the great people for their contribution to social development and world peace, the organization's President Magdy Morgan told Xinhua. "Deng was a great man and China is a great country. (…) "Deng devoted his life to China's cause of revolution, opening up and reform to find a suitable way for China's development, which ensures China to realize prosperity and development and makes China an example for developing countries," said Wu Sike, Chinese ambassador to Egypt. (…). ^ top ^

Mandelson blames Chinese barriers for low EU exports - Political roadblocks cost bloc €20b a year in lost commerce (SCMP)
Politically driven barriers are shackling European Union exports to China and cost the bloc as much as €20 billion (HK$215.03 billion) a year in lost commerce, according to EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson. […] The eurozone had its first annual trade deficit in six years last year because of the worsening trade positions with Japan and China, the two biggest economies in Asia. Both the EU and the US have been trying to pry open the Chinese market and sway the country's leaders to ease trade barriers. […] "I'm not sure what barriers he is talking about," said Wang Xinpei, spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce "We will not bar imports from the EU as long as there is market demand and the quality of the products is good." (…) China's trade surplus soared 87 per cent last month to a record US$26.9 billion. […]. ^ top ^

Nepali-China Contemporary Dialogue held in Kathmandu (People's Daily Online)
The Nepali Institute of Foreign Affairs and the China Study Center-Nepal jointly organized a program on "Nepal-China Contemporary Dialogue" in Kathmandu on Friday. Speaking at the program, Nepali Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan said Nepal is fortunate to have the world's largest economic giant like China as its immediate neighbor. (…) Visiting Vice President of China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) Li Shaoxian said China is glad to witness the progress Nepali people made in her peace process. (…). ^ top ^

China protests unfriendly FBI advertisements (People's Daily Online)
China on Tuesday expressed indignation and resolute opposition to advertisements run by the San Francisco bureau of the FBI in local Chinese language newspapers. The advertisements purportedly asked readers to report on any foreign power trying to gather information that could harm the United States, and specifically mentioned China, implying that the Chinese Ministry of State Security had infringed on U.S. security interests. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese official hopes new 7 wonders poll will protect Great Wall (People's Daily Online)
China's government body in charge of the nation's historic sites is hoping the Great Wall's topping of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" list will raise public awareness of the need for its protection. After Saturday's announcement of the new wonders in Lisbon, Portugal, a spokesman of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) said the administration "neither participates in, nor objects to" the poll. The vote was launched by New Open World Foundation, a non-governmental organization started by a Swiss businessman and adventurer Bernard Weber. More than 90 million people around the globe voted by Internet and phone. After the Great Wall came Petra in Jordan, Brazil's Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Peru's Machu Picchu, the Chichen Itza Pyramid in Mexico, Rome's Colosseum and Taj Mahal in India. ^ top ^

Chinese-sponsored economic zone debuts in Russia (Xinhua)
The first phase of a Chinese-funded economic and trade cooperation zone that has gone into operation in Russia's Far East will simplify trade procedures and provide mutual benefits. The zone, located in the city of Ussuriysk near the border of Heilongjiang Province in northeast China, is one of six zones to be established in foreign countries -- the others are Zambia, Mauritius, Thailand, Pakistan and Cambodia. (…) More than 60 large and medium-sized domestic and overseas companies specializing in a large variety of manufacturing and processing industries, including shoes, apparel, timber, household appliances, automobiles and components, are expected to set up offices and plants in the zone. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese FM expounds China's proposals to promote SCO development (People's Daily Online)
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi submitted in Bishkek Monday China's proposals to promote the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Yang is in the Kyrgyz capital for the SCO's foreign ministers meeting, which forms part of the preparations for the upcoming SCO summit in the city in mid-August. On the security front, member states of the SCO should speed up work on drafting an anti-terror pact and enhance their ability to jointly fight terrorism. Deals on anti-drug cooperation should be implemented effectively and a cooperation mechanism established, the minister said. (…) The six members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, should also intensify their contact with countries which enjoy SCO observer status and other regional or international organizations. Cooperation in various fields with Afghanistan, in particular, should be strengthened, the minister said. (…). ^ top ^

SCO members to launch joint anti-terror drill (Xinhua)
The six member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will stage a joint anti-terrorism drill from August 9 to 17, China's Ministry of Defense announced here Thursday. The exercises, dubbed "Peace Mission 2007", will be carried outin Chelyabinsk in Russia's Ural Mountains region and in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (…) Altogether 1,600 soldiers from China's army and air force -- including airborne and logistic units -- will take part in the drill, the ministry said in a press release. (…) This is the first time China has sent airborne units to drills abroad (…) "More units will take part in joint military drills in the future." The exercises will explore ways of combating terrorism, separatism and extremism. (…). ^ top ^

China, Kyrgyzstan pledge to reinforce friendly ties (Xinhua)
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, at a meeting held here Monday, pledged to enhance cooperation and promote the development of friendly ties. (…) On the same day, Yang also met Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin and Tajik Foreign Minister Kamrokhon Zarifi. ^ top ^

Australia understands China's efforts on military mordernization, says Australian DM (Xinhua)
Visiting Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson said on Monday that his country supports China's efforts to modernize its armed forces which are "understandable" and "reasonable". Australia is very supportive of Chinese economic development and China's efforts to modernize the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and happy to see China joining more multilateral dialogue mechanisms, said Nelson when meeting with Xu Caihou, Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC). (…). ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Beijing-friendly British editor facing ban (SCMP)
A Briton who has spent years trying to convince foreigners that the mainland is not as repressive as western media often portray it to be has been ordered to stop publication of his politically sensitive newsletter. Beijing authorities have threatened to deport newsletter editor Nick Young and ban him from visiting the mainland for five years, he said in an e-mail without naming what he called "credible sources" for the information. […] "I have always been able to cite the example of China Development Brief, which, although closely watched by state security officers, has been allowed to publish continuously for the last 12 years," Mr Young wrote. The newsletter chronicles the work of non-governmental organisations .(…). ^ top ^

Over 1,900 officials breach birth policy in Central China (China Daily)
As many as 1,968 officials in central China's Hunan Province have been found breaching the nation's one-child policy between 2000 and 2005, the provincial family planning commission said Friday. Also exposed by the commission are 21 national and local lawmakers, 24 political advisors, 112 entrepreneurs and six senior intellectuals. (…) The Hunan provincial governor, Zhou Qiang, had in April ordered local authorities to "expose the celebrities and high-income people who violate the family planning policy and have more than one child." (…) In some cases, the fine could be as high as over one million yuan (130,000 U.S. dollars). (…). ^ top ^

Single-child parents in China can have second child: official (People's Daily Online)
A Chinese spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that in all Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, except for Henan Province, couples in which both parents are only children can themselves give birth to two children. "Those couples can choose to have one or two children or no children at all," Yu Xuejun, spokesman with China's National Population and Family Planning Commission said in an interview with the central government website. (…) Yu said media reports of a single-child policy across the country were mistaken, saying that different practices obtained in different regions. (…). ^ top ^

China may export labour to ease population pressure (China Daily)
China may encourage more of its 1.3 billion people to work overseas as a way of easing population pressure, a senior official said on Tuesday, adding it would not significantly alter family planning rules. Yu Xuejun, spokesman for the National Population and Family Planning Commission, told a Web cast on the central government's Web site that its job was as much about tackling these pressures as preventing new births. "Family planning is of course not the only way to cut the population, it can only be one way," he said. (…). ^ top ^

China allocates another 11 bln yuan for resettlement of Three Gorges residents (People's Daily Online)
The State Council has approved an additional investment of more than 11 billion yuan to resettle residents in Three Gorges, officials said in Yi Chang on Monday. The new investment is needed to complete the massive resettlement of 1.35 million people launched in 1993, said officials attending a conference of the Office of the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee under the State Council. (…). ^ top ^

Transport chief gets life sentence for graft (SCMP)
Zhejiang's former transport chief has been sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption, Xinhua reported yesterday. Zhao Zhanqi, 58, former head of the provincial transport department, deputy director of the provincial development and planning commission and deputy head of the Xiaoshan airport project, was found guilty of taking 6.2 million yuan in bribes through his mistress and his son in the name of "consultation fees" and "business loans" between 1994 and last year, the report said. […]. ^ top ^

Former head of China's drug watchdog executed (Xinhua)
Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), was executed on Tuesday morning with the approval of the Supreme People's Court. Zheng was the country's fourth senior official of his rank to be sentenced to death in recent years, following former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Cheng Kejie and two former provincial deputy governors Hu Changqing and Wang Huaizhong. (…) Zheng, 63, was sentenced to death on May 29 by the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court after being found guilty of taking 6.49 million yuan (850,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes and dereliction of duty (…). ^ top ^

2.86 mln Communist Party members work in China's private sector (Xinhua)
About 2.86 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were working for private enterprises by the end of 2006, according to the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee. There were also 810,000 CPC members among the ranks of the self-employed, said a document released by the department here Thursday(…). Early this year the organization department said that about 330,000 Party workers have been sent to private enterprises to help organize party organs and recruit members. The CPC now has 70 million members. ^ top ^

'Red line' is drawn in fight for farmland - Land chief pledges crackdown on illegal conversion of land (SCMP)
The mainland faces a tough battle in its quest to retain enough arable farmland to ensure its food supply because of the illegal seizure of farmland by local officials who convert the land to commercial use. The newly appointed Land and Resources Minister Xu Shaoshi delivered that warning at his first press conference yesterday. He vowed to boost measures to defend the mainland's farmland and reach its target of maintaining a minimum of 120 million hectares of arable land for agriculture. […] The mainland investigated 24,000 such cases involving 14,000 hectares in the first five months of this year alone. This actually represented a decrease of 12 per cent in the amount of land involved in similar cases during the same period last year. […]. ^ top ^

Former village head jailed for 20 years for gang crimes in north China (People's Daily Online)
Duan Yanli, a former village committee director in north China's Hebei Province, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Thursday for gang crimes. Duan, 36, was convicted of organizing illegal gangs to commit crimes including bribery, possession of guns, organising prostitution rings, racketeering and gambling from 1997 to 2006, according to the Intermediate Court of Chengde City. (…). ^ top ^

New rules to protect major lakes (SCMP)
The mainland's environment chief has spelled out measures for tackling the pollution of three major lakes after a series of algal blooms over the past two months. At a meeting yesterday in Hefei, Anhui province, State Environmental Protection Administration chief Zhou Shengxian said tough measures had to be introduced to reassure an increasingly concerned public about water safety, an issue he feared could ignite social unrest. […] Mr Zhou introduced a number of measures designed to protect the lakes. These included stricter industrial emissions criteria, more stringent approval and renewal requirements for industries with factories near the lakes, harsher punishment for violations of environmental regulations, gradual elimination of fish farming, and a total ban on farming and animal husbandry within a kilometre of the lakes' peak waterlines. […] Jiang Wenlai, a water resources researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, said Sepa's proposed measures were necessary but would not solve all the problems. […]. ^ top ^

Developer, employees arrested in beating of homeowners' activist (SCMP)
A Guangzhou real estate developer and several of his employees have been arrested for beating a homeowner in January over plans to set up a residents' committee, mainland media have reported. Haizhu district police detained Guangzhou Yinrui real estate company general manager Shi Heli and four employees in April over an attack on Liang Wenxiang, the owner of a property in a residential community developed by Yinrui, the New Express reported yesterday. […]The conflicting interests of developers and owners have been a major issue on the mainland in recent years, and dozens of owners have been assaulted trying to set up committees or vote out ones that developers appoint. […]. ^ top ^

Students riot over fees and qualifications (SCMP)
Hundreds of students rioted after a graduation ceremony at a private college in Fujian in protest at expensive fees and a lack of recognition of their qualifications, a local resident and a human rights group said yesterday. Students burned and destroyed furniture in more than 100 rooms of a dormitory building at Yangen University, a private college in Majia township, Quanzhou, on June 30, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said. It said students, who had each paid 60,000 yuan in fees over the past four years, had found their certificates were not recognised by the authorities or employers. A student who claimed to have taken part in the riot and who posted more than 10 riot pictures in a chat room, said revelry after the graduation ceremony turned into a revolt. He said angry students even set off fireworks to celebrate, while they burned furniture and bedding in the dormitories. […]. ^ top ^

131 killed in South China floods (China Daily)
The death toll in seven flood-hit provinces in southern China has risen to 131, the Ministry of Civil Affairs reported on Tuesday. Another 31 people are missing as a result of torrential rain which began lashing the Huaihe River valley, the eastern area of Sichuan Province and the southern area of Shaanxi Province on June 28. Nearly 1.2 million people in Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Chongqing and Shaanxi had been evacuated by 5:00 pm on Tuesday. (…). ^ top ^

Karaoke parlor blast caused by explosives (Xinhua)
Investigators said Wednesday's karaoke bar explosion which claimed lives of 25 people in Benxi, northeast China's Liaoning Province, was caused by explosives secretly stored by the bar owner Qu Yijie. "After more than three days' efforts, we found self-ignition of the explosives led to the explosion," the investigators of the July 4 karaoke bar explosion concluded in a terse brochure made available to Xinhua Sunday. No more details were given. The explosion occurred at the Tianying karaoke bar in Tianshifu Township of Benxi Autonomous County of Manchu Nationality in Liaoning on Wednesday night, killing 25 people on the spot and injuring 41 more (…). ^ top ^



Press freedom declining, says media body (SCMP)
Hong Kong's press freedom has diminished in the past decade, with Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen using the media to his advantage more effectively than his predecessor, according to the Hong Kong Journalists' Association. (…) It said media self-censorship had increased while the government tightened control on the flow of information. (…)Mr. Tsang had also expanded government media briefings to include columnists and programme controllers, a tactic seen as an attempt to influence the public through opinion formers. Such briefings, the association argued, were tools to make the media less critical of the government, since those who did not toe a favorable line might not be invited to future briefings. ^ top ^

Top advisor urges HK political advisors to contribute more (Xinhua)
China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin on Monday called on Hong Kong delegates to the country's top advisory body to continue to promote exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remark when he met more than 100 CPPCC members based in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). (…). ^ top ^

HK pork supplies return to 85% of normal(China Daily)
The daily supply of live pigs in Hong Kong is back to 85 percent of its normal level following the recovery of supplies on the mainland in recent days, according to the Hong Kong government. Cheuk Wing-hing, acting permanent secretary for food and health, said at a meeting of a Legislative Council panel on food safety and environmental hygiene yesterday that government officials had met with a live pig dealer to ensure a stable supply of live pigs from the mainland following the recent shortage. (…) The decline was due to a pork shortage on the mainland, resulting in higher wholesale prices in Hong Kong. (…). ^ top ^

Public invited to solve the democracy question - Green paper offers multiple choice on universal suffrage (SCMP)
The people of Hong Kong were yesterday invited to choose from hundreds of options for achieving universal suffrage - by 2012 or later - in an unprecedented consultation aimed at achieving consensus on the way forward. Unveiling a much-awaited green paper on ways to achieve universal suffrage, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen reiterated the government's determination to settle the question once and for all. (…) Some legislators and academics said the question-and-answer approach was confusing and open to government manipulation; others believed it would help gauge public opinion on the various options. […]. ^ top ^



Taiwan's June exports rise on strong demand from mainland (China Daily)
Taiwan's exports in June rose a faster-than-expected 11.0 percent from the same month last year to a record US$20.1 billion on strong demand from the Chinese mainland and Europe, the "Ministry of Finance" said in a statement Monday(…). The June total gave Taiwan a trade surplus of US$1.41 billion, largely on the strengths of sales to the mainland and Hong Kong. Exports to that destination, its largest overseas market, rose 14.6 percent to US$8.07 billion. Exports to Europe rose 17.8 percent to US$2.25 billion. (…) Taiwan's imports in June rose 10.7 percent to US$18.68 billion, also a record high. (…). ^ top ^

Taiwan to allow 'tourist' surgery (SCMP)
Taiwan will allow mainland and overseas Chinese to visit the island for surgery from next month as part of an ambitious NT$7 billion (HK$1.66 million) "medical tourism" programme designed to increase revenue and job opportunities. Premier Chang Chun-Hsiung announced yesterday that, from August 1, mainlanders and overseas Chinese would be welcome to visit the island to undergo five categories of operations. […] The new measure represents a relaxation of the restrictions, which were imposed after the civil war in 1949. […] He [Mr. Chang] was certain the programme would work, he said, because of the island's advanced medical standards and relatively low costs in the five categories involved: organ transplants, brain and facial surgery, vascular surgery, artificial insemination and knee joint replacements. […] Asked how competitive Hong Kong would be, since it is a major medical centre for mainland tourists, the officials said Hong Kong lagged Taiwan in the five categories. ^ top ^



Nestle inaugurated new milk product factory (China Daily)
Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle yesterday inaugurated a new milk product factory in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in a move to take bigger share of the Chinese market. With an initial investment of 130 million yuan, the Nestle Hunlunbuir facility is the company's third dairy factory in China, following one in Shuangcheng, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and an operation in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province. (…) In another development, the company expects to open its second research and development center in China next year. According to Brabeck, the new center in Beijing will feature research, as its first in Shanghai is focused on product development. ^ top ^

Three more on Global 500 list (Xinhua)
Three more mainland companies made it onto the 2007 Fortune Global 500 List, the largest increase among all economies, published results from the United States business magazine showed yesterday. A total of 22 companies on the mainland are among the world's 500 largest companies, in addition to two from Hong Kong and six from Taiwan. Four years ago, only 11 companies on the mainland made the list. State-owned oil and chemical giant Sinopec had the highest ranking - 17th, the first time that a mainland company broke into the top 20. (…). ^ top ^

China to be third largest economy (China Daily)
The National Bureau of Statistics raised its estimate of China's 2006 growth rate from 10.7 percent to 11.1 percent. It nudged up its estimate of total output by 146.4 billion yuan ($18.8 billion) to 21.1 trillion yuan ($2.705 trillion). The revision brought China closer to Germany, the world's third-largest economy after the United States and Japan. Germany's 2006 output was $3 trillion but its 2.5 percent growth rate was well below China's. (…). ^ top ^

Yuan likely to be more flexible: central bank official (People's Daily Online)
The Chinese currency yuan will gradually become more flexible, Yi Gang, assistant Governor of the People's Bank of China said at a forum on Saturday. China will improve the RMB exchange rate formation system, said the official, echoing a joint statement from the third EU-China Economic and Financial Dialogue held in Brussels on Wednesday. In the statement, China promised to carry out appropriate macroeconomic policies including a prudent fiscal policy as well as a prudent and moderately tight monetary policy, deepen structural reforms and speed up the transformation of economic growth patterns so as to achieve sustainable growth. The official did not reveal when and to what extent the floating band of yuan would be widened. (…). ^ top ^

PetroChina to build oil base in Xinjiang (China Daily)
PetroChina plans to build a commercial crude oil reserve base in Shanshan County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a company source said on Friday. The company plans to invest 6.5 billion yuan ($844 million) in the project, which will have a storage capacity of 8.1 million cubic meters, according to the source. Other top Chinese oil companies, such as Sinopec and Sinochem, have also embarked on the construction of their commercial crude oil reserve bases in order to meet the rising demand, said the source from PetroChina. " (…). ^ top ^

Forex reserves top US$ 1.33 trillion, up 41.6% (China Daily)
China's foreign exchange reserves increased by $40 billion in June, pushing the total figure to $1.33 trillion, the central bank said yesterday. It was a 41.6 percent increase year-on-year, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website. The rise could mainly be a result of capital influx in anticipation of a rising yuan and the strong growth in foreign trade surplus, said Zhao Xijun, a finance professor at Renmin University of China. The central parity rate of the yuan hit a new high yesterday, standing at 7.5712 against the greenback. The central bank also said household deposits in banks reversed a declining trend, rising by 167.8 billion yuan ($22.2 billion) after a big fall in May. Analysts said it indicates that people have stopped shifting their bank savings to the stock market, which has seen drastic fluctuations recently." (…). ^ top ^

Officials labor over grain target (SCMP)
The mainland faces an uphill battle to increase grain output despite another bumper summer harvest, Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai has said. Although grain output has grown for the fourth consecutive summer despite a drought in corn-growing areas in the north and flooding in southern rice areas, unfavourable weather and pest damage could still cut the full-year total, Mr Sun told Xinhua yesterday. […] Mr Sun said the major difficulties in hitting the ministry's target included the decreasing amount of farmland, declining water resources, insufficient agricultural technology and worsening pollution. […] He said the bottom line to meeting the 11th five-year goal and guaranteeing the country's food security was retaining 120 million hectares of arable land. (…). ^ top ^

Russia to pipe natural gas massively to China, says energy chief (People's Daily Online)
Russia will pipe 68 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China each year by 2020, Russian energy chief Viktor Khristenko said on Tuesday. "Russia will use two pipelines for the deliveries," Khristenko told a press briefing in Beijing, following his talks with Chinese officials on energy cooperation. The western pipeline which connects Siberia with China's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will start delivering gas in 2011 while the eastern line which traverses China's northeastern border with Russia will be in operation by 2016, Khristenko said. (…). ^ top ^

China to tax offshore oil exports by foreign partners in joint ventures (People's Daily Online)
China will impose duties on oil exported by foreign partners in offshore oil production joint ventures if contracts with Chinese partners are signed after August 1, said sources with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) Tuesday. Contracts already signed will be free from export duties until August 1, 2012, according to a circular jointly released by the MOF and the General Administration of Customs on Tuesday. The announcement is a new move by the Chinese government to curb exports of crude oil after the country imposed a five percent export duty starting last November. The export duty rate on foreign companies' interest oil shares will be the same as domestically produced crude oil, which is five percent at present, said sources with the MOF. Export duties reduced China's crude oil exports by 36.6 percent year-on-year to 1.6 million tons in the first five months. (…). ^ top ^


Beijing Olympics

China says food safety for 2008 Olympics fully guaranteed (Xinhua)
The Chinese government on Tuesday said that it has set up a rigorous food tracking and monitoring system for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and food safety for the games was fully guaranteed. "All the procedures involving Olympic food, including production, processing, packaging, storing and transporting, will be closely monitored," said Sun Wenxu, an official with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. (…) The panel has also drawn up a draft list of 30 performance-enhancing drugs to be closely monitored as well as their allowable volumes in Olympics food. (…) Cai, a nutrition professor with the China Agricultural University, said after careful selection, the panel has recommended 1,000 Chinese dishes to the International Olympic Committee. "We are waiting for the approval of IOC". ^ top ^


North Korea

Chief delegates to Six Party talks to reconvene in Beijing next week (Xinhua)
The chief delegates to the Six Party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue are to meet in Beijing on July 18 and 19, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced on Thursday. "The delegates will discuss issues related to the initial actions for denuclearization and explore arrangements of steps that will follow,'' Qin said (…). ^ top ^

South Korea delivers 6,200 tons of heavy fuel oil to DPRK (Xinhua)
A South Korean ship with 6,200 tons of heavy fuel oil left South Korea's Ulsan port for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday. It was the first delivery of heavy fuel oil to the DPRK under an agreement adopted in February's six-party talks on the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula. (…) The DPRK government announced last week that it will shut down nuclear reactors after receiving the first delivery of heavy fuel oil. Under an earlier agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang, South Korea will deliver a total of 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil within 20 days after the first delivery of the oil. Under the joint agreement reached during the six-party talks in February, the DPRK promised to shut down its nuclear facilities as initial steps of denuclearization, while other parties will provide a total of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil to the DPRK.^ top ^



Iran-Mongolia-Congratulations (Islamic Republic News Agency - Tehran, Iran)
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a message on Monday congratulated the Mongolian president, government and nation on the occasion of the country's Independence Day. According to the Press Department of the Presidential Office, Ahmadinejad in his message pointed to the longstanding relations between Iran and Mongolia. He expressed hope that bilateral ties will expand thanks to efforts of officials of both countries. ^ top ^

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito arrives in Ulaanbaatar, honored at dinner by President Enkhbayar (Mongolia-Web)
Arriving on an eight-day state visit to Mongolia today, Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito met with Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar in Ulaanbaatar. President Enkhbayar hosted a banquet for Prince Naruhito following welcoming ceremonies. In a prepared speech, Prince Naruhito noted how fully bilateral relations between the two countries have matured in recent years. On a lighter note, the Prince mentioned the success achieved by two Mongolian wrestlers who have attained the highest title in Japanese sumo competitions. (…) The visit of the Crown Prince is to commemorate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia.


Joel Baumgartner
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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