Der wöchentliche Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic of China
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP de Chine
  29.9-5.10.2007, No. 185  
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Table of contents


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Foreign Policy

China urges restraint from all parties in Myanmar (People's Daily)
China on Tuesday called on relevant parties in Myanmar to exercise restraint and properly handle the current problems to avoid complication and escalation of the situation. "As a neighbor, China is greatly concerned about the situation in Myanmar," said Li Baodong, China's permanent representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva. "We hope Myanmar could commit itself to improving the living conditions of people, safeguarding the rapprochement among different ethnic groups so to resume stability as soon as possible, " Li told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council. (…) Li also called on the 47-state Human Rights Council to constructively promote the alleviation of the Myanmar situation and the rapprochement of different ethnic groups in the country. (…). ^ top ^

Chinese President meets Arroyo, calling for cemented trade ties (People's Daily)
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with his Philippine counterpart Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Shanghai on Tuesday, calling on the two countries' trade departments to reach accord on a five-year layout as early as possible to facilitate cooperation. China treasures its relations with the Philippines, and is ready to further step up the development of bilateral relations, Hu told Arroyo, who is here to attend the opening ceremony of Shanghai Special Olympics Summer Games scheduled to open on Tuesday evening. (…) Relevant departments of the two countries are working on an action plan for bilateral strategic cooperation, and the trade departments are making a five-year layout for trade cooperation, Hu said, calling on both sides to speed up negotiations to reach an agreement as early as possible. (…). ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

China celebrates National Day (Xinhua)
More than 100,000 people from across the country gathered at the Tian'anmen Square in the heart of the Chinese capital to watch the national flag raising ceremony in drizzle at dawn of Monday, the 58th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China. (...) Monday also marked the beginning of the "Golden Week" of the National Day holiday. Nationwide, more than 150 million people are expected to go on tour. In Beijing, local tourism authorities have predicted that about 1.7 million people will visit the Chinese capital during the period. About 5,000 urban management employees patrolled around major tourist sites and shopping centers in the city on Monday to stop uncouth behaviors such as spitting and littering to help polish the image of the national capital as it is preparing for next year's Olympic Games. ^ top ^

11% of China's fiscal expenditure goes to social security (Xinhua)
China used 11.5 percent of its annual fiscal expenditure for social security purposes last year, double the 5.52 percent in 1998, according to Vice Finance Minister Wang Jun. The Ministry of Finance earmarked 436.2 billion yuan (US$58.2 billion) for social security undertakings in 2006, up from 59.6 billion yuan in 1998, with an annual growth rate of 28.3 percent on average, Wang said at a recent forum on social security. Of the total, 147.5 billion yuan was used for the laid-off from state owned enterprises, retirees, low income earners and job hunters, 11.3 times the 1998 level, and 132 billion yuan went to health and medical care projects, up from 41.4 billion yuan in 1998. In 2007, the ministry set aside 11.4 billion yuan for the new cooperative medical care system for rural areas, up from 400 million yuan in 2003, according to Wang. ^ top ^

Farmers riot against army's cotton control - PLA-dictated price cap riles Xinjiang growers (SCMP)
Thousands of cotton farmers in Xinjiang laid siege to a police station last week, smashing doors and windows in a riot against price-fixing by the People's Liberation Army, a rights group said yesterday. They also overturned a police car and clashed with officers. The riot, which left at least 40 people injured, broke out on September 23 at a cotton farm under the administration of a PLA paramilitary division, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. The unrest was triggered by a police raid on the farmers' settlement at Ili, 600km from the regional capital, Urumqi. The police went there to seize cotton hidden by some farmers who had tried to sell their harvest directly on the market for higher prices, the centre said. The farmers, who were under the direct administration of the army, could sell their harvest only to the military, which set a fixed price for the cotton. (…). ^ top ^

Boycott of canteens surprises authorities (SCMP)
When Hu Lin and 18,000 other Guangdong university students boycotted canteens over price rises on September 17, they had no idea they were treading ground rarely trod since the Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989, or that their action would send shockwaves around the nation's seats of power. So threatened did authorities feel by the action by so many students that the Guangdong propaganda office banned all reports of the boycott and some of the mainland's biggest website portals, such as Sina and Netease, were ordered to delete all mention of it from their websites. But Mr Hu, 23, a final-year undergraduate at Guangdong University of Technology, had nothing political in mind when he took part in the boycott. All he wanted was a cut in canteen prices. In the second week after students returned from their summer holidays, Guangdong college canteens raised prices. "Some were up by half a yuan or even one yuan when they used to be only 1.5 yuan or 2 yuan each," Mr Hu said. (…) Students confirmed that most of those who ate in the canteens that day were first-year students doing their month-long military training who had no idea of where else to eat. […] Experts said they expected the government to tighten its control of the internet in the wake of the student boycott, especially given the ease with which it had been achieved. Other incidents have also sparked moves for tougher controls on modes of communication. For example, the local government was alarmed when mobile phone text messages brought out thousands of mostly white-collar citizens in Xiamen, Fujian province, on June 1 to demonstrate against plans for a toxic chemical plant. Yuan Weishi, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University, said the central government would be paying particular attention to the students' actions because of the Communist Party's 17th National Congress later this month. (…) "The student strike will threaten social stability, which is one of the government's biggest concerns." […] A Beijing-based expert on mass communication, who was shocked by the number involved in the boycott, said the government should be very worried because the boycott showed the power of the internet to reach and affect a large number of people at the same time. ^ top ^

Water-saving scheme announced (SCMP)
Officials announced a plan yesterday to step up water savings and pollution prevention efforts in a bid to increase the capital's water supply ahead of next year's Olympic Games. The plan, now being implemented, calls on farmers in rural areas of Hebei province - such as Chicheng, Luanping and Fengning counties - to save at least 100 million cubic metres of water annually, the report said. ^ top ^

China awards 100 mln yuan for excellence in rural science (Xinhua)
More than 430 organizations and individuals who helped spread science among rural population will receive awards totaling 100 million yuan (13.15 million U.S. dollars). The awards to be given by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Ministry of Finance honor rural science educational institutions and pioneers from Beijing to Inner Mongolia. The total is to double that of 2006. (...) "The increase will be mainly used to award rural science and technology associations and experts in central and western China where the development of science and technology lags behind coastal provinces," said a CAST source. (...) This year's award recipients included 210 agricultural technological associations, including an onion research institute in north China's Tianjin Municipality, 210 science promotion bases and 10 science promotion teams of ethnic minorities, such as a team in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia, who promoted scientific farming and herding among local Mongolians. According to the CAST, the 100 million yuan would be used for science education materials, equipment, lectures, exhibitions and the introduction and promotion of new agricultural technologies. (...). ^ top ^

China to boost potato production (Xinhua)
China will boost potato production and development of industries based on the crop as a way to improve the country's grain security and to increase income for farmers. While addressing a recent national experience-sharing meeting on development of potato-based industries in Dingxi City, northwest China's Gansu province, Wei Chao'an, Vice Minister of Agriculture, explained China, with hue population, limited land, shortage of water resources, it is very difficult to expand the area of irrigated farmland. Wei believed that potato, with such features as to resist drought, cold and wide adaptability, has great potential in expansion in sown areas and per-unit output. "(...) By 2010, the sown area of potatoes across China will total 6.67million hectares, 1.67 million hectares more that in 2006, and per-unit yield will top 1,200 kg, an increase of 200 kg than the 2006 figure, and potatoes being processed will make up 20 percent, a rise of five percentage points in comparison with the 2006 statistics. ^ top ^

200,000 rural officials punished over four years (China Daily)
China punished 207,214 officials in the countryside for breaking laws and regulations from 2003 to June this year, according to the Ministry of Supervision and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Only in the first six months this year, 671 rural officials were facing criminal charges while 10,822 were disciplined, the ministry and the commission said. The CCDI said it launched several campaigns in the past four years against misuse of subsidies to farmers, random fines and fees imposed on rural residents, land use contracts that harm farmers' interests and overspending in infrastructure development. (...). ^ top ^

New hospital blunder admitted - Unsterilised equipment used for neurosurgery on patient at Queen Elizabeth (SCMP)
Unsterilised equipment was used to perform neurosurgery on a patient at Queen Elizabeth Hospital after medical staff mistakenly rinsed an ultrasound probe in water instead of in an antiseptic solution. […]Tuesday's incident is the latest in a string of medical blunders, but the first to be revealed since the Hospital Authority revamped its system for reporting medical incidents. […]. ^ top ^

Less garbage at Tian'anmen Square as tourists improve behavior (Xinhua)
Beijing's sanitation workers had a much lighter workload during this year's National Day holiday as visitors swarming to the capital seemed to be dropping less litter. "The garbage left at Tian'anmen Square each day was about a third of the amount left by tourists last year," an official with the Beijing Environmental Sanitation Group said. (…) Chinese tourists were more civilized due to massive government campaign targeting uncouth behavior, like queue jumping, spitting, littering and speaking loudly in public. As the 2008 Olympics approach, the government is anxious to promote etiquette among Chinese travelers in case uncivilized behavior tarnish the country's image. The Civilization Office with the Spiritual Civilization Steering Committee and the National Tourism Administration jointly issued last October an etiquette guide telling Chinese travelers to pay attention to everyday etiquette and hygiene while abroad. The China National Tourism Administration has also issued a circular, making travel agencies and tour guides responsible for correcting tourists' bad behavior during the holidays. ^ top ^

Boom takes its toll on endangered species - Even the death penalty has failed to curb appetite for rare wildlife, says UN expert (SCMP)
The mainland's economic boom is fuelling demand for endangered species, ranging from tigers to African timbers, even though Beijing imposes the death penalty for wildlife crimes, the head of a UN watchdog said. Growing affluence means that more and more Chinese are able to afford exotic foods such as snakes and frogs or buy traditional medicines like tiger bone wine, believed by many to help lower blood pressure. […] Despite worries about smuggling, he said he was likely to recommend that China be accepted next year as an ivory importer alongside Japan, which is currently the sole legal destination for a planned sale of African ivory stocks. A vote on whether to let China import ivory will be made in July. ^ top ^



DPP urges Chen to again take charge of party - President asked to fill vacancy (SCMP)
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is likely to take the reins of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party once again following the resignation of Yu Shyi-kun, indicating that he is still the most powerful man in the pro-independence camp. At a Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, the DPP decided to invite Mr Chen to serve as the party's leader. Analysts said the arrangement would further weaken the voice of his long-time rival, Frank Hsieh Chang-ting, whose presidential campaign has been largely sidelined by a series of high-profile political moves by Mr Chen. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan tipped to unveil homemade cruise missile on its National Day (SCMP)
Taiwan's military is likely to unveil a cruise missile developed on the island during next week's National Day parade to show off its capability against a mainland attack, a defence official said yesterday. The military has been tight-lipped about the controversial Hsiungfeng IIE surface-to-surface missile, designed to counter an attack by the People's Liberation Army. The military display is the first and last time for President Chen Shui-bian to review the troops in his eight-year administration. Military experts said the demonstration was also aimed at winning support from Taiwanese voters for Mr Chen's campaigns, such as pushing Taiwan's bid to gain full United Nations membership. Taiwanese media have previously reported test-firings of the missile, but it has never been publicly displayed. The missile, which could carry a 400kg warhead, is believed to have a range up to 1,000km, putting Shanghai well within its reach. […] Taiwan is to hold its biggest military parade in recent years at its National Day celebrations next Wednesday, featuring a flyover by F-16 fighter jets and air-defence systems such as Patriot missiles. […]. ^ top ^

Taipei expert gloomy on strait relations - Island policy head admits frustration over not reaching deal on regular flights (SCMP)
The head of Taiwan's top body that plans mainland policy sees little chance of improvement in cross-strait relations ahead of the island's presidential election in March. While the island was trying to remove a long-standing ban on direct flights to the mainland to increase cross-strait exchanges, Beijing had dragged its feet on striking any deal for political reasons, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chairman Chen Ming-tong said. "It would have been a milestone if an agreement had been reached," said Dr Chen, referring to the cross-strait talks on regular passenger and cargo charter flights as well as visits to the island by mainland tourists. The two sides have held talks on the issue for nearly two years. But Beijing has grown increasingly annoyed by what it sees as pro-independence moves by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, resulting in a refusal to deal with him. (…) Asked whether he would expect a harsher policy on Taiwan to be adopted at the Communist Party's 17th National Congress, being held in Beijing from October 15, Dr Chen said: "We will give it a close watch." A recent MAC report said Beijing would hope to maintain relatively stable relations with Taiwan against the backdrop of the next year's Olympics. […]. ^ top ^



Teens held over a month over Tibetan independence graffiti (SCMP)
Authorities in Gansu have detained four Tibetan teenagers for more than a month on suspicion of scribbling graffiti calling for Tibet's independence and the return of the Dalai Lama, a rights group said yesterday. A fifth boy, 15, was admitted to hospital with possible head injuries stemming from beatings he suffered during detention, according to the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet. Dozens of students were detained early last month after the graffiti appeared on the walls of a middle school and a police station in Xiahe county in Gansu. All but seven were released after two days and two 14-year-olds were released about September 24, the group said. Four 15-year-olds remained in custody. A man at the Xiahe county government office called the report "nonsense and a rumour" when questioned by the press. ^ top ^



Pork prices drop by nearly 10% from peak level (China Daily)
The average pork price has dropped to 12.61 yuan this week, 9.61 percent lower than the peak price on August 9, said China's economic planner after pork prices nearly doubled in the past eight months due to short supply and mounting production costs. The prices have seen a consecutive drop for the eighth week, down 3.45 percent from the end of August, as the piglets raised since May and June grew ready for the market to add to the pork supply. Pigs daily butchered in 36 major cities have increased by 12.6 percent from August, and the supply is expected to keep rising, said the National Development and Reform Commission. But the Ministry of Commerce said the decline in the pork prices would probably stop as demand surges during the ongoing National Day holiday and feedstuff prices stay high. The soaring pork prices is a major contributor to the general food price hikes that drive up the consumer price index to a 6.5 percent increase in August. ^ top ^

Policies fail to curb soaring home prices (China Daily)
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) admitted the country has failed to curb soaring prices in the real estate sector and will introduce stricter measures. "The gap is big in light of (the target of) the '90-70' regulation," it said in a statement on its website. (...) House prices had risen by 5.4 percent, 6.4 percent, 7.1 percent, 7.5 percent and 8.2 percent year on year respectively from April to August. In Shenzhen and Beijing, cities that had witnessed the fastest growth, the annualized price rises had been higher than 10 percent in each of the five months, the NDRC said. Some middle-sized cities, such as Beihai in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Urumqi of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, had also registered strong growth of more than 10 percent in August, the NDRC said. (... The monetary and taxation policies targeted at stabilizing house prices have failed to work, it added. That some land set aside for building houses had not been developed in a timely manner is another factor, the commission said. Some developers had also hoarded land and houses to profit from rising prices, it said. Recent dips in the stock market had shifted some investors to the real estate market, which had stoked the fire, it said. The NDRC said it will strengthen implementation of existing policies and make lending and taxation policies more "targeted" at stabilizing house prices. ^ top ^

Anti-monopoly law not to affect foreign investment (China Daily)
An official with China's top legislature says the government will maintain its policy of encouraging foreign investment unchanged after the passing of the country's first anti-monopoly law. The official with the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress said the necessary security checks on foreign investment in domestic enterprises would pose no obstacles to the utilization of foreign capital. The legislature passed the anti-monopoly law on August 30 and it will come into effect on August 1, 2008. The law requires checks on mergers of foreign and Chinese enterprises to ascertain whether they affect national security. (...) A regulation issued by the State Council authorized government departments to initiate checks if the foreign firms "jeopardize national security or public interests" or "employ Chinese developed technology". Another rule jointly published by six ministries and departments requires foreign companies to submit to checks if they take control of a joint venture in one of China's key industries. (...) The official said the law would prevent SOEs in monopolistic industries such as petroleum, telecommunications, mail services and tobacco from abusing their market dominance to lower services and disregarding the public interests. (.... ^ top ^

Italian Gucci sues 2 Chinese companies over trademark infringement (Xinhua)
Italian fashion house Gucci is suing two Chinese companies, claiming they infringed its trademark, a Beijing court spokesman said on Thursday. Guccio Gucci S.P.A. was suing Shanghai Basto Shoes Co. Ltd. And the Beijing Hualian Hypermarket Co. Ltd. at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, the spokesman said. Gucci is demanding the two defendants immediately stop manufacturing and selling ladies shoes carrying logo very similar to that of Gucci -- a registered trademark featuring an interlocking "GG" pattern. The Italian company was also seeking compensation totaling 500,000 yuan (66,666 U.S. dollars) from the two Chinese firms, he said. (...). ^ top ^

PetroChina to invest US$1.3b in new energy by 2010 (China Daily)
PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, will invest 10 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) in building facilities for new energy production by 2010, a senior company official said. Hu Wenrui, vice president of PetroChina, told a recent forum that the investment is expected to reap three million tons of oil equivalent in new energy resources production capacity. "This will help guarantee the energy safety of the fastest growing economy and the world's largest energy consumer only second to the United States," he said. The oil giant's business on new energy sources covers non-conventional energy including coal-bed methane, oil shale, oil sands and renewable energy such as wind and solar power, bio- and geothermal energy. PetroChina's output of coal-bed oil, fuel ethanol and biodiesel and that of shale oil and sand oil are expected to account for 40 and 20 percent respectively of the nation's total by 2010, Hu said. He added the company will also take advantage of its resources, technology and funds to closely follow the latest developments in hydrogen energy and natural gas hydrate. ^ top ^

Mainland rules to prevent foreign control of brokers (SCMP)
Foreign investors might be prevented from taking control of mainland brokerages, a setback to Wall Street's ambitions to tap the world's fastest-growing stock market, sources said. Overseas companies would be limited to owning stakes in publicly traded brokerages, with the foreign holding capped at 20 per cent, the sources said. The China Securities Regulatory Commission had submitted the draft rules to the State Council, they said. Goldman Sachs Group and UBS are the only global securities firms that control mainland investment banking units, where 47 million new stock trading accounts have been opened this year. The new rules will prevent rivals such as JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch from obtaining controlling stakes in the mainland's brokerages. […]. ^ top ^

China's overseas investment rises 60% annually (China Daily)
China's net overseas investment hit $21.16 billion in 2006, with an annual average growth rate of 60 percent over the past five years, according to a newly-issued government statistical gazette. The gazette quoted an expert from the National Bureau of Statistics as saying that overseas investment by Chinese enterprises has developed from setting up offices and opening "window" branches only to building factories, purchasing and acquisition, equity swapping, listing on overseas stock markets, establishing strategic cooperation and other patterns. A prominent feature of overseas investment is the increasing cases of purchasing and acquisition, which accounted for some 40 percent of total overseas investment in 2006. Major acquisition cases include the acquisition of South African mines and British mining companies by China's Zijin Kuangye, Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's PC business, CITIC Group's acquisition of Kazakhstan oil fields, and China Mobile's acquisition of Pakistan telecommunications company, among others. Feng He, a researcher with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said that major reasons behind these overseas acquisition are that domestic enterprises want to seek more developing room overseas; the state loosened its control on overseas investment; and some large enterprises see overseas mergers and acquisition as the best way to become internationalized. Vice Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo said that China will actively explore international acquisition and other investment patterns to acquire famous brands, advanced management experiences and marketing network, and will gradually foster its own international giant companies. Assistant Minister of Commerce Chen Jian urged Chinese companies to increase their sense of social responsibility and actively redound upon the local society; actively develop localization and increase local employment; make efforts to cultivate talents to meet the needs of international development; and establish a risk control mechanism. ^ top ^


North Korea

China welcomes "positive results" of inter-Korean summit (Xinhua)
China welcomes "positive results" yielded from an inter-Korean summit on promoting peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao here on Thursday."China always supports two sides of the Korean Peninsula to improve bilateral relations and realize reconciliation and cooperation through dialogue," Liu said. "We welcomes the positive results of inter-Korean summit and believes that it is conducive to the peaceful progress of the Korean Peninsula and to the peace and stability in the region," Liu said. President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Roh Moo-hyun traveled to Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on Tuesday for the inter-Korean summit, the second of its kind since the Korean Peninsula was divided more than half a century ago. Roh's predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, traveled to the DPRK for the first inter-Korean summit in June 2000. Roh and the DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il signed a joint declaration in Pyongyang Thursday, reaffirming their commitment to promoting peace on the peninsula and economic cooperation between the two sides. ^ top ^

US hails China's role in six-party talks (China Daily)
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill spoke highly Tuesday of the role played by China as the host of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. China played an "excellent role" in planning and preparing the talks by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States, South Korea, Russia, Japan and itself, he said. He said Washington has informed China that it supports the joint statement that was hammered out in Beijing over the weekend and is now being reviewed by the other members of the talks. Hill expected China to announce the latest six-party joint statement in the next day or so. "As the Chinese canvass the other members of the six-party process, I am expecting that they will be in a position in the next day or two to announce and to release the joint statement," he said. He added that the statement "relates very directly to how we can move forward in the coming months on a certain timetable" on the DPRK providing a full declaration of its nuclear programs and disabling key elements of its Yongbyon nuclear facility that produces plutonium. Hill left Beijing Sunday soon after the delegation heads' meeting, with the comprehensive document for consultations with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the White House. He said at the airport before leaving that the United States believed the draft document was well prepared and very specific, and as it included very detailed contents, he had to take it back home for further study. The current stage of the six-party talks was aimed at creating the second phase action plan to implement the September 19 agreement, which includes commitments from the DPRK to declare its nuclear program and disable its nuclear facilities, as well as the other parties' aid to the DPRK. ^ top ^



Mongolian photographs capture globalization (Mongol Messenger)
An international photographic exhibition, ‘Tales from the globalizing world,' has been organized by the Swiss Agency for Development and Gamma Photo Studio from September 21 to 22 on Sukhbaatar square and September 24 to 28 in the Children's Book Palace. The exhibition displays 200 photographs of 10 world famous photographers and 40 creations of Mongolian photographers showing the impact of globalization including traffic chaos and urban poverty and more positive impacts in technology, information and communication. ^ top ^

Consuls negotiate border activities (Mongol Messenger)
A consultative meeting of Mongolian and Chinese Consuls was held in Zamiin Uud from August 23 to 25 to discuss combating human trafficking and drugs. Four of 15 Mongolian citizens have been serving sentences in China for drug-related crimes. On September 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, Consulate Department head O. Ochirjav said, “Drugs are believed to be transferred to Russia through Mongolia from China. ^ top ^

MPRP Congress Attracts Attention (Mongol Messenger)
The ruling party has decided to set the MPRP 24th congress on October 22. The party ‘s eighth conference was held on September 7 to discuss the convening of the congress, altering the party rules, estimating the fulfillment of the party program and defining further targets.The primary party organizations will meet on September 21 to 24 to elect delegates. ^ top ^

Laotian President's visit (Mongol Messenger)
The President of the People's Democratic Republic of Laos, Choummaly Sayasone and his wife, paid a state visit to Mongolia from September 17 to 19 at the invitation of Mongolian President N. Enkhbayar. In spite of a delayed flight and late arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the President's maintained his schedule including; laying a wreath on Sukhbaatar Square and signing the Honored Guests book after the welcome by Mongolian President N. Enkbayar and his wife Mrs. Tsolmon. On Monday, the Presidents held an official meeting in State House and concluded negotiations. Both countries officials signed several agreements. ^ top ^

Cyanide again (Mongol Messenger)
The contamination situation of soil, water and air of Khongor soum, Darkhan Uul aimag has reached disaster level. Environment Minister, I. Erdenebaatar and Natural Resources and Environment Department head, Ts. Banzragch gave approval to Buman Trade Company to use 5.2 tons of cyanide in gold mining in Dorvon teegiin khudag, Khan bogd soum, Omnogobi aimag. They approved the order on August 31 for the company to use chemicals accumulated to reduce hazardous chemical reserves during the legislature organisations' inspection. ^ top ^

MPs suspected of misspending bank funds (Mongol Messenger)
The State Prosecutor M. Altankhuyag has sent a proposal to suspend mandates of MPs, G. Zandanshatar, U. Hurelsukh and T. Badamjunai, all under police investigation for alleged involvement in Tgs14 billion lost from the Savings Bank, to the Parliamentary Speaker. Parliament chancellery general secretary, N. Luvsanjav said, “An official letter from the State Prosecutor to suspend three members' mandates was sent to the Speaker when the he returned from his official visit to three European countries, on September 21. ^ top ^

Registration inspection shows elections flaws (Mongol Messenger)
Inaccurate registration of voters can skew election results and impact on the election itself. To address this inconsistency, a nation-wide civil inspection of population registration is underway to help the General Election Commission (GEC) form accurate constituencies for elections and to submit a proposal on constituencies formation to the autumn parliamentary session. Parliamentary elections are due in 2008 on Sunday of the second half of June according to the new Election Law. ^ 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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