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
  1.9-8.9.2007, No. 181  
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Table of contents

Beijing Olympics

North Korea- Six-Party Talks


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Foreign Policy

President Hu: China, U.S. each other's stakeholders, constructive cooperators (Xinhua)
Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Thursday that numerous facts have proved China and the United States are each other's stakeholders and constructive cooperators. Hu made the remarks in a meeting with his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush on the sidelines of the economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in the coastal city of Australia. (…) On the Taiwan issue, Hu stressed that this and next year will be "a highly dangerous period" of cross-strait situation (…) On bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Hu said the cooperation has shown strong developing momentum with rapidly climbing bilateral trade volume. China remains the most rapidly growing export market for the United States, he said. "It is natural that some problems occurred amid a rapidly developing process," he said, calling on both sides to endeavor to address these problems with constructive attitudes. (…) The U.S. side appreciates the active measures adopted by the Chinese government to guarantee food safety and product quality, he said, adding that the U.S. side opposes protectionist measures and believes no barrier should be set up for U.S.-China trade. The two leaders held in-depth exchanges of views on the WTO's Doha round talks, climate change, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Iran's nuclear issue and Sudan's Darfur issue. (…). ^ top ^

Resources top agenda as Hu arrives in Australia (SCMP)
President Hu Jintao arrived in Australia yesterday for a seven-day state visit focused on finding mineral resources to power the mainland's booming economy. Mr Hu, accompanied by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Commerce Minister Bo Xilai , arrived in the western city of Perth for a one-day visit on his way to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum summit in Sydney. His visit is focused on the mineral and mining industry, and today he will visit the Australian Resources Research Centre near Perth, where he will hear a presentation by mining giant BHP Billiton. (…). ^ top ^

Dissident shares the limelight (SCMP)
President Hu Jintao's arrival in Sydney yesterday for the Apec forum was marked with relative calm. But a public forum that included a high-profile 1989 dissident went ahead despite objections from Beijing. Rights groups also said rallies had been arranged for different causes over the next three days. Former Tiananmen dissident leader Wang Juntao spoke last night at a forum at Sydney's Parliament House called "Balancing the scales with China". The forum coincided with a state dinner hosted by New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma at Mr Hu's hotel, just a five-minute walk from Parliament House. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese hackers 'attack British parliament' (SCMP)
Chinese hackers had been attacking key British government computer networks, a newspaper reported on Wednesday – the second such attack on a Western military power reported this week. Chinese attackers had launched online assaults against the network at Britain's Parliament and the Foreign Office, The Guardian said, citing unnamed government officials. It added that some of the hackers were believed to be from the Chinese military, without citing sources. The British government refused to comment on the claim. (…). In the United States the Pentagon on Tuesday said several nations and groups were trying to break into the US military's computer system after the Financial Times reported that China's military had successfully hacked into the network in June. US President George W Bush on Wednesday said he may bring up the issue of suspected Chinese cyber-attacks on the United States defence department when he met President Hu Jintao later this week. “(…). ^ top ^

Pentagon hacking charge denied (China Daily)
China Tuesday described as "groundless" and a product of "Cold War mentality" reports claiming hackers, on the instructions of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), had broken into a Pentagon network. (…) "The Chinese government has consistently opposed and vigorously attacked all Internet crimes, including hacking," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news briefing in Beijing yesterday. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese defense minister arrives in Manila on official visit (People's Daily)
Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan arrived in Manila Sunday for a five-day official visit at the invitation of his Filipino counterpart Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (…) Cao is scheduled to meet with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and hold talks with Teodoro on Monday. ^ top ^

Admiral calls for military ties with Tokyo (SCMP)
The lack of trust between Beijing and Tokyo was the main obstacle to a strategic military relationship, a mainland admiral said yesterday. "There exists a serious absence of trust between China and Japan on the military front," said Admiral Yang Yi , director of the Strategic Research Institute at the National Defence University. The "structural contradictions" between the neighbors would take time to smooth over, Admiral Yang told China News Service, emphasizing the need for a gradualist approach to build a mutually beneficial relationship. He said Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan's visit to Japan last week, the first by a mainland defence chief in nearly a decade, was a step towards this end. […]. ^ top ^

Sanctions `will not help Darfur' (SCMP)
The ambassador to Sudan yesterday said dialogue, not threats of sanctions, will help create peace and stability in Darfur. This came after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday revived the threat of sanctions on Khartoum if the crisis in Darfur is not resolved. "Sanctions cannot help to solve the problem," Li Chengwen said in a rare interview, noting US sanctions imposed since 1997 had prevented railways from upgrading old trains. ^ top ^

Sino-Russian anti-terror exercise kicks off (Xinhua)
The Sino-Russian joint anti-terror exercise "Cooperation-2007" kicked off here on Tuesday. China and Russia are expanding cooperation in combating illegal immigration, smuggling and international crime, Wu Shuangzhan, Commander of Chinese People's Armed Police Force told reporters at the opening ceremony of the drill. The exercise, carried out within the framework of the "Year of China in Russia," was not targeted at any third country and did not infringe on the interests nor pose any threat to any third state, Wu said. (…). ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

The date is set, now the guessing game is about the players (SCMP)
Last week, the mainland leadership finally ended months of speculation over the opening date of the Communist Party's 17th congress, settling on October 15. Because it said preparations went smoothly, many overseas media and analysts have taken this as a signal that consensus has been reached over the leadership which will emerge at the end of the congress to lead the country until 2012. This has, in turn, spawned another round of intense speculation over the new lineup, including the members of the Politburo and, more importantly, the Politburo Standing Committee - the party's highest decision-making body. But the word from the corridors of power in Beijing is that the new lineup has yet to be finalised, that jockeying for power is still in full swing and will remain so until the party leadership holds one final plenary session of the Central Committee before the congress on October 9. The speculation has focused on whether Standing Committee membership will be cut to seven from nine and which officials are likely to become new committee members. Analysts have argued that if the number is reduced to seven, it could be seen as a victory for President Hu Jintao. (…). ^ top ^

Former Shanxi governor named culture ministry party chief (SCMP)
Former Shanxi governor Yu Youjun has been appointed the Ministry of Culture's party chief in an apparent move to pave his way to succeed Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng. The arrangement emerged yesterday when the ministry included Mr Yu, 54, on its list of representatives to the Communist Party's 17th National Congress on its website. Mr Yu was also named a vice-minister. Known for his sharp tongue and astute public relations skills, the Jiangsu native has been widely tipped to take over from Mr Sun, who will reach the retirement age of 65 next year, amid a wave of reshuffles in the run-up to the congress. (…). ^ top ^

China appoints new provincial Party chief (People's Daily)
The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has appointed Zhang Yunchuan as secretary of the CPC's Hebei Provincial Committee. Before the nomination, Zhang was minister in charge of the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. Zhang's predecessor Bai Keming was appointed on Thursday as vice chairman of the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature. ^ top ^

Minister heads anti-graft bureau (SCMP)
Ma Wen was named the head of the national corruption prevention bureau in an attempt to bolster the fight against widespread graft, Xinhua reported. Ms Ma was last week named Minister of Supervision. Her appointment came the same day that Premier Wen Jiabao highlighted promises to make government more transparent. ^ top ^

Real estate, women common factors in downfall of officials (SCMP)
More than 60 per cent of disgraced senior communist officials in recent years were involved in illegal real estate deals and nearly 90 per cent kept mistresses, state media reported yesterday. A total of 16 officials at the ministerial level or above had been brought down for corruption since the party caucus five years ago - an average of three officials per year - the China News Service reported yesterday, citing material from an anti-corruption exhibition in Beijing sponsored by the Supreme People's Procuratorate. But the number of party members punished for breaches of discipline had dropped - from 170,000 in 2003 to 110,000 in 2005 and 90,000 last year - because of the central government's strong anti-graft drive, the report said. […]. ^ top ^

Beijing plans national panel to tackle human trafficking - State Council to spearhead drive involving 21 ministries and commissions in long-term effort to eradicate abuse (SCMP)
Beijing plans to set up a national panel to curb human trafficking, especially that involving women and children forced into labour or prostitution, state media reported. The effort by 21 ministries and commissions, including the ministries of public security, labour and social security and education, and the women's federation, would be led by the State Council and aim to provide sustainable and long-term solutions for human trafficking, China Daily reported. The Ministry of Public Security said in July that forced labour and sexual exploitation had become a new feature of human trafficking and the number of such cases was rising. The number of women between 16 and 20 abducted for the "entertainment business" was also climbing. (…) Tao Wenzhong , assistant professor at Capital University of Economics and Business, said tougher control of the employment market had to be imposed to stop human trafficking in the guise of jobs. "The situation improves when there is a national crackdown but gets back to usual when there isn't, which is unacceptable," he said. (…). ^ top ^

New regulations for juries (SCMP)
The Supreme People's Court will soon issue regulations requiring juries, along with the judges, to participate in proceedings during the first trials of criminal, civil and administrative cases that have "relatively high social impact", The Beijing News reported after the first working conference of jurors across the mainland. The report also quoted Supreme People's Court president Xiao Yang as saying jurors should be chosen randomly instead of having a small, fixed group of them. ^ top ^

New rule reserves land for farmers - Developers to lose 10pc in each deal (SCMP)
A new land policy in Guangdong that requires developers to reserve 10 to 15 per cent of farmland acquired in land deals for affected farmers could provide them with a sustainable living, experts say. While admitting the new measure would not completely solve the problems faced by farmers, they say it would at least provide a means of living for those unable to switch to other jobs because of age or other reasons. The new policy, which could be extended nationwide, is part of a series of initiatives unveiled by the Guangdong government this week to offer social security to farmers who lose their land in property deals. About 1.4 million farmers in the province are expected to benefit from the new policy. (…). ^ top ^

Crackdown by police ahead of party congress - Security to be tightened to guard against threats to nation's stability (SCMP)
Police authorities say they will tighten security ahead of the Communist Party's five-yearly congress next month, citing mass protests, the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, and Tibetan and Uygur separatists as main threats to stability. Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang warned daunting challenges remained for "creating a harmonious and stable social environment for a successful 17th party congress", Xinhua said yesterday. Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday to discuss security, Mr Zhou stressed that ensuring political and social stability was the top priority for police at all levels. (…) Police in Hebei have been ordered to carry out a crackdown on serious crimes and prevent people who might pose security threats to the congress, including petitioners, from entering Beijing. ^ top ^

Blood still poses HIV risk: report (SCMP)
The mainland's blood supply is still not being properly monitored for HIV/Aids a decade after a blood-selling scandal, and it needs international help to tackle the problem, a report said yesterday. The central government has tried to clean up the sector after thousands of farmers in Henan province were infected in the 1990s through schemes in which people sold blood to unsanitary health clinics. Then health minister Gao Qiang admitted earlier this year that the mainland's blood donation system was far from perfect and that safety worries remained. (…) The report recommended the central government set up a compensation fund for those infected by transfusions, and order courts to accept all lawsuits from victims. (…). ^ top ^

Sex talk ordered off airwaves (SCMP)
The broadcasting watchdog has issued a scathing criticism of two radio stations and ordered a blanket ban on radio or television programmes on sex, sex toys or contraceptives as part of its campaign to clean up the airwaves before next month's Communist Party Congress. A circular posted on the website of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television on Wednesday singles out Sichuan Radio and Chengdu Municipal Radio for broadcasting programmes of "indescribably squalid, erotic and indecent content". Sarft ordered the programmes off air immediately and recommended severe punishment for the staff responsible. […] Sociologists criticised the campaign, saying the mainland was in urgent need of open discussion on various issues, including sexual matters, and that a civilised society is "ruled by law rather than by random administrative orders". (…). ^ top ^

Newspaper urges SMS controls (SCMP)
People's Daily has called for a crackdown on text messages on the mainland by proposing the introduction of a real name registration system similar to the one used to control internet forums. It dedicated a full page to the issue yesterday, calling on experts to support the idea. The move - coming as preparations for the all-important 17th party congress next month enter full swing - is apparently designed to curb the spread of political rumours as well as tackle rampant scams that spread through the mobile phone messages. […] While text messages have become a social problem, they are also seen as an important channel for people to bypass government censors and pass sensitive information. ^ top ^

Migrant victory over school fees (SCMP)
Schools may no longer charge higher fees for immigrant workers' children, Anhui Daily reports. The provincial government has decreed that all pupils undergoing compulsory education in cities shall pay the same amount for tuition. ^ top ^

30 mln poor rural residents to be supported by subsistence allowances (Xinhua)
A minimum living standard system is expected to support some 30 million poor villagers by the end of this year, said an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA). The State Council has recently issued a circular, saying the minimum living standard system should be introduced to cover rural areas all over the country by the end of 2007.(…) He said a comprehensive supervision system will be established to ensure the money is really spent in helping poor villagers. Official statistics showed that China had 21.48 million rural people with annual income less than 85 U.S. dollars at the end of 2006. ^ top ^

No buses, so no school (SCMP)
Hundreds of pupils at Yuying Primary School, a school for migrant workers' children, are planning to drop out because their school buses are scrapped for being in poor condition, the Beijing News reports. ^ top ^

Boost for pig disease vaccine (SCMP)
The monthly production of a blue-ear pig disease vaccine will be boosted by 50 million ml to 300 million ml this month. More than 257,000 pigs have died as a result of the disease, Xinhua reports. ^ top ^

Beijing pledges greater military transparency (SCMP)
Beijing has decided to submit an annual report on its military spending and imports and exports of conventional arms to the United Nations, as part of efforts to dismiss growing international concern over its rapid military build-up, analysts said. (…) Beijing would take part in the UN Military Budget Transparency System and provide the UN secretary-general with data for the UN Register of Conventional Arms each year, the statement said. The move was apparently intended to burnish Beijing's international image and to ease mounting pressure, especially from the United States and Japan, to make public more information about its military build-up, analysts said. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese leader stresses development of areas inhabited by ethnic minorities (People's Daily)
Senior Chinese leader Jia Qinglin said on Tuesday that special measures and policies should be taken to boost the development of areas dominated by ethnic minorities. (…) "Local governments should improve the infrastructures in the areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups and help them develop industries fit to local conditions," Jia said. He said local government should develop recycling economy for energy saving and emission reduction to ensure the harmony between economic development and environmental protection. He also said the capability of independent innovation should be enhanced to improve the quality of economic development. ^ top ^

Number of death penalty drops "remarkably" after SPC retrieves review right (People's Daily)
The number of death penalty has "remarkably" dropped in China since the Supreme People's Court (SPC) retrieved the review right of death sentence on Jan. 1, according to an SPC senior official. "As people's courts across China have been strictly controlling and cautiously applying death penalty over the past dozen of years, the number of death penalty kept declining and reached the lowest point last year. In the first half of 2007, the number of death sentences continued to drop compared with the figure a year ago," said Jiang Xingchang, vice president of the SPC. (…). ^ top ^

Govt officials to be given less coverage (People's Daily)
Local newspapers will carry fewer and shorter reports about city leaders from next week as a result of new regulations introduced to improve conference arrangements and simplify official documents. From Tuesday, Guangzhou authorities will not allow any government meetings to be held in tourist resorts, nor will they permit meeting organizers to give out souvenirs or organize sightseeing trips. In addition, the number of city-level Party and government meetings will be reduced, while the length of each will be cut to no more than two days, with the exception of the annual municipal Party congress. (…)While hailing the attempts to improve working practices, a professor with Sun Yat-sen University, who asked not to be named, said he wondered whether the plan would be fully implemented. (…). ^ top ^

Use of child labor in China is increasing, monitoring group says (IHT)
Child labor is a growing problem in China, a monitoring group said Monday, adding to long-standing concerns voiced by human rights groups and even the International Olympic Committee. A combination of poverty, weak laws, and defects in the education system are allowing the practice to flourish, the Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin said. Authorities need to strengthen enforcement against using children, boost education spending and allow non government organizations a freer hand to help child workers, the group said in a report. (…). ^ top ^

172 trapped miners in east China "will not return alive" (Xinhua)
The 172 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in east China's Shandong province will not be found alive, according to a statement released by the provincial government on Thursday. After 20 days of rescue efforts, the statement quoted "life scientists" as saying the miners "will not return alive". (…). ^ top ^

Senior lawmaker executed for car bombing mistress (China Daily)
A senior lawmaker and his accomplice, a local policeman, were executed in Jinan on Wednesday for killing the official's young mistress with a car bomb. Duan Yihe, 61, former chairman of the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress of Jinan, capital of Shandong Province in East China, was convicted of murder, along with policeman Chen Zhi, also his nephew-in-law, in July. Duan was also convicted guilty for taking bribes and asking for money with a total value of 1.69 million yuan (US$223,800). (…). Duan was arrested on July 16. He was expelled from the Communist Party and removed from Party posts soon after the case was exposed. ^ top ^

China's new rich not healthy: survey (China Daily)
The high-living, high-pressure lifestyles of China's wealthy are catching up with their health, according to a recent survey that shows many are paying a high cost for their affluence. The survey of medical checks of 183 middle-aged company owners showed they were suffering from disproportionate diets and a lack of exercise. (…) The survey, conducted by Ciming Health Physical Examination Company, showed 41.5 percent suffered from hyperlipidemia, or excess fats in the bloodstream, 21.8 percent from high blood pressure and 12.5 percent from hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. (…) After the health checks, 83 percent said that they would rather regain their health than make more money. (…) "The survey was aimed at reminding the public that health is the biggest asset and could not be bought with money," Han said. ^ top ^



Hong Kong remains world freest economy (Xinhua)
Hong Kong remains the world's freest economy, according to a 2007 annual Economic Freedom of the World Report released Thursday by the Cato Institute, a U.S. think tank based in Washington, D.C. This marks the 11th consecutive year Hong Kong has topped the ranking. Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom with a score of 8.9 out of 10, followed by Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland. The United States ties for fifth along with Canada and Britain. The report uses 42 different measures to construct a summary index and to measure the degree of economic freedom in five broad areas -- size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation of credit, labor and business. (…). (…). ^ top ^



It's time to 'get tough on Taiwan' (China Daily)
Beijing has to send tougher warnings to the Taiwan authorities as the situation across the Taiwan Straits has entered a "highly dangerous period", President Hu Jintao told his US counterpart George W. Bush Thursday. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the annual economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Australia. "This year and next year are going to be a highly dangerous period for the situation in the Taiwan Straits," Hu said. Regardless of warnings from different quarters, the island authorities have flagrantly pursued secessionist activities, such as proposing a "referendum on UN membership" and "seeking to join the UN under the name of Taiwan".

"We must issue harsher warnings to the Taiwan authorities that any secessionist attempt aimed at 'Taiwan independence' in any form will be doomed," Hu said. Bush said Washington firmly adheres to the one-China policy, observes the three US-China joint communiques and opposes any unilateral act to change the status quo across the Taiwan Straits.(…) On Taiwan's "referendum on UN membership", Bush said US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte had promptly and clearly stated the US government's opposition to the move by the Taiwan authorities. (…). ^ top ^

Taiwan upbeat as US raps Ban for comments (SCMP)
The Taiwanese government is upbeat over reports that the US has told the UN that a statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon saying the island was a part of the People's Republic of China was unacceptable. But it is also nervously watching a meeting between President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao today to see if Mr Bush will criticise Taipei's defiance of Washington's warning against holding a referendum on joining the United Nations as "Taiwan". […]. ^ top ^

Chinese FM slashes a "Taiwan-Africa summit" plan by Taiwan authorities (Xinhua)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu on Thursday slashed the plan of the Taiwan authorities to hold a "Taiwan-Africa summit", saying the so-called "summit" is unpopular. (…)"The friendship between China and Africa is the trend of the times, the vast majority of African countries are opposed to the secessionist activities by Taiwan authorities, and any attempt that is against the trend of history is doomed to fail," said Jiang. ^ top ^

Taiwanese protesters trample on US flag (SCMP)
Dozens of protesters burned and trampled on the Stars and Stripes outside the de facto US mission in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, yesterday after a senior White House official said Taiwan was not a state. A crowd chanting slogans set fire to the US flag outside the mission and unfurled protest banners, including one that read, "Oppose US bullying of Taiwan", television footage showed. Police then moved in to douse the flames. […]. ^ top ^

KMT's Ma vows to end military conscription (SCMP)
Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou has vowed to end military conscription on the island and replace it with an all-volunteer force within four to six years. In his defence policy, revealed by his party yesterday, Mr Ma said that while seeking to ease tension with the mainland, he would push for the all-volunteer force if elected. […] But to maintain a solid reserve force, males of the draft age of 18 would need to receive military training for three months and would be mobilised in wartime, according to his plan. […]. ^ top ^

Mainlanders, Taiwanese have more contact (China Daily)
An official with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council revealed on Wednesday that people traveling between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan reached 2.3 million person-times in the first six months. Dai Xiaofeng, director of the communication bureau of the office, told Xinhua that admission to the mainland from Taiwan have accounted for 2.2 million person-times, an increase of 5.4 percent year-on-year. (…) The director said the mainland hoped Taiwan authority could permit tourism entry for mainland citizens to the island as soon as possible. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese mainland issues relaxed policy on small-scale trade with Taiwan (Xinhua)
Chinese mainland will exert a more relaxed policy on part of small-scale spot trade with Taiwan to promote economic and trade exchanges on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.(…) The small-scale trade, initiated in 1993, is the only type of trade in the form of direct shipping between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. small-scale trade with Taiwan is an import supplement of economic exchange across the Taiwan Straits and plays an active role in communications between the two sides. (…). ^ top ^



From Davos to Dalian: China gains increasing sway in world arena (Xinhua)
As the global meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) comes from the Swiss ski resort Davos, where it has been held for decades, to an oriental port city, the world once again casts its eyes to China. (…) "It has been 36 years since the inception of the forum in 1971.Starting from this year, the forum will hold an annual Summer Davos in China. This shows the world's increasing interest in China's economic development and the growing cooperation between China and the forum," said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the opening session of the Dalian meeting. (…) Tianjin, another port city in north China about 120 km from Beijing, will be the next host of Summer Davos. Schwab said the third session might go to an inland Chinese city. ^ top ^

Europe mulls goods ban (SCMP)
The European Commission said yesterday that it may ban mainland-made goods deemed unsafe unless Beijing demonstrated it was effectively dealing with dangerous products. Brussels was not satisfied with Beijing's response when alerted by the European Union about dangerous mainland-made goods, commission consumer issues spokeswoman Helen Kearns said. […]. ^ top ^

Beijing lashes out over WTO probe into trade barriers (SCMP)
Beijing said yesterday that "domestic politics" had motivated the bid by the United States and Mexico to make the World Trade Organisation open a formal investigation into whether the mainland was providing illegal subsidies for a range of industries. In an online statement, the Ministry of Commerce said the two countries had "huge misunderstandings" of Beijing's policies towards companies and the mainland's economic reform and development. The spokesman stressed the actions would not change Beijing's efforts to improve its tax laws and regulations. The WTO established an investigation panel on Friday to look into the allegations. ^ top ^

'No threat of big rise' in inflation (China Daily)
There is no threat of high inflation despite recent steep rises in food prices, a senior planning official said Tuesday. The rising consumer price index (CPI), driven up largely by more expensive food, will become stable when pork prices stabilize, Bi Jingquan, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference in Beijing. The CPI - a key gauge of inflation - hit a 10-year high of 5.6 percent in July and rose by an average of 3.5 percent in the first seven months of the year, of which 2.9 percentage points were contributed by rising food costs, he said. (…) The country produced 53 percent of the world's total pork last year. (…). ^ top ^

Top 500 Enterprises 2007 take up 84% of GDP (Xinhua)
The combined business revenue of China's top 500 companies accounted for 83.5 percent of the gross domestic product in 2006, almost six percentage points higher than the previous year. The China Top 500 Enterprises 2007 List released here on Saturday said that the top 500 gained 17.49 trillion yuan (2.3 trillion U.S. dollars) of business revenue last year, up 23.7 percent over 2005. Sinopec maintained its No.1 position with a business revenue of 1.06 trillion yuan, up 29 percent year-on-year, according to the report issued by the China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) and China Enterprise Directors Association (CEDA) on Saturday. Second to fifth rankings went respectively to China National Petroleum Corporation, State Grid, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Mobile. A total of 349 enterprises, or nearly 70 percent of the total in the list, were state-owned or state-controlled. (…). ^ top ^

China's major state-owned firms report 34 percent rise in profits (Xinhua)
China's major state-owned enterprises (SOEs) reported a 33.5-percent rise in profits for the first seven months, said the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council on Monday. Total profits of the 417 major enterprises rose to 661.5 billion yuan (88.2 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-July period, from 495.5 billion yuan a year earlier. The power, metallurgical, transportation, automotive and foreign trade sectors rose by more than 67 percent, contributing 59.7 percent to the increased profits of the 28 sectors surveyed by the commission. (…) With restrictions on exports of natural resources, the oil and petrochemical sector saw its exports drop 28.3 percent, while exports in the coal sector declined 15 percent. ^ top ^

China-Russia trade expects to surpass $40 bln this year (Xinhua)
Trade between China and Russia is expected to surpass 40 billion U.S. dollars this year, after it reached a record high of 33.4 billion dollars last year, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo said here on Sunday. "The two-way trade has kept increasing since 1999, with an average annual growth of 28.6 percent," Wei told an opening ceremony of the 3rd Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo opened on Sunday in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province(…). Currently, China is Russia's third largest trading partner, while Russia is China's eight largest trading partner. (…). ^ top ^

China becomes largest foreign supplier of parts for Boeing (Xinhua)
China is now Boeing company's largest foreign supplier of parts, with 2.5 billion U.S. dollars of live contracts for aircraft products, a senior Boeing official said here on Thursday. John Burns, vice president China operations of Boeing, said at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress held Monday through Thursday that China is an "exciting proposition", and offers greater opportunity for OEMs than "just selling airplanes". (…) The Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2007 closed on Thursday in Hong Kong. It is the first time the Expo moves its venue from Singapore to Hong Kong. ^ top ^


Beijing Olympics

Visits to Beijing cultural relics restricted during Olympics (Xinhua)
Beijing will restrict the number of daily visits to cultural relics during the Olympic Games next year so as to ensure a sound visiting order and protect cultural relics, according to the Beijing Cultural Heritage Administration. "All cultural relics of the capital are to undergo a thorough "facelift" in the coming few months before next August, and any renovation, except for emergency repair, will suspend during the Games," said Kong fanzhi, director of the administration. (…). ^ top ^

Beijing vows rapid action against errant security officers (SCMP)
Beijing authorities will respond within three days to any complaints against public security officers in the city as part of a 13-month crackdown on rogue police ahead of the Olympic Games, according to media reports. The campaign, launched on Saturday, marks the start of enforcement of Olympics security measures and covers officers' on-duty appearance, use of police vehicles and bans on police gambling, drinking alcohol, smoking and misusing their firearms, Beijing Daily reported yesterday. Punishment will also be doled out to officers who extract confessions through torture or who drink and drive, the report said. […] Dissatisfied residents were urged to take down an offending officer's number and file a complaint at a police station or by dialling a hotline. Undercover inspectors will visit police stations and traffic police branches to monitor behaviour. […]. ^ top ^


North Korea

Pyongyang arrests foreigner and citizens for spying (SCMP)
North Korea's intelligence agency has arrested some citizens and a foreigner for spying, the official news agency said yesterday. An unnamed overseas spy agency hired North Koreans who frequently travelled abroad to carry out espionage on major military facilities and strategic locations in North Korea, the Korean Central News Agency said. (…). ^ top ^

N Korea says it's off terrorist-sponsor list (SCMP)
The US has decided to remove North Korea from a list of terrorism-sponsoring states and lift sanctions against it, a spokesman for the North's Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The decision came in a weekend meeting with North Korean representatives in Geneva, the spokesman said in comments carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. A spokeswoman for the US State Department said she did not have confirmation of the report. (…). ^ top ^



Bulgarian Presidential visit to Mongolia
Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov accompanied by the First Lady, Ms Zorka Parvanova visited Mongolia by invititation from the Mongolian President, N.Enkhbayar from August 28 to September 1. On the first day, August 28, he visited Bogd Khaan Palace Museum and the Garden of God. On the second day, August 29 a welcoming ceremony took place outside State House and President Parvanov signed the guest book. (…). ^ top ^

Media ban dampens champion's homecoming (Mongol Messenger)
News that that sumo grand champion D. Dagavdorj would arrive at Chinggis Khaan Airport 5pm on August 29 caused a media frenzy. About 60 Mongolian and Japanese reporters and cameramen gathered to report the homecoming, but the champion eluded the media pack. Four vehicles waited in a protected zone to collect Dagvadorj creating confusion among the media after a plane touched down. ^ top ^

Poland opens doors to Mongolian students (Mongol Messenger)
Mongolia and Poland signed the first agreement of two executive treaties to regulate Mongolian debt to the Republic of Poland, concluded between Mongolia and Polish Governments on November 9, 2006, in Warsaw on July 18. ^ top ^

Visa free travel to Turkey (Mongol Messenger)
Mongolian citizens who have ordinary foreign passports have the possibility to travel the Republic of Turkey without visas from August 1, 2007. Mongolian citizens who travel to Turkey without visas should prove their financial capacity in Turkey by carrying USD30 per day during the period in Turkey and stating their travel goals. Those who wish to stay in Turkey more than 30 days still visas from the Turkish Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. ^ top ^


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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