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
  30.3-3.4.2009, No. 262  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea


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Foreign Policy

China objects to labeling Hong Kong, Macao tax havens (Xinhua)
Beijing, China opposed labeling Hong Kong and Macao as tax havens in a list proposed at the London G20 summit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Thursday. China actively supports the international community's efforts to tighten financial regulation, crack down on tax evasion, and international cooperation to prevent tax evasion," Qin told a regular press conference. However, "it is groundless to label China's Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao as tax havens, to which China expresses firm opposition," he said. […]. ^ top ^

Brown says China deserves more say in IMF (Xinhua)
London - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said here at a press conference following the G20 summit that China has deserves the right to demand more say and representation in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Brown told reporters that China pledged to contribute 40billion U.S. dollars to the international financial institutions, the European Union and Japan offered 100 billion dollars respectively. […]. ^ top ^

China to contribute to global economic recovery (Xinhua)
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) have issued their annual reports for 2008 recently. The economy in the Asia-Pacific region is generally better than in any other region on earth in spite of challenges it now faces, and China is sure to contribute positively to global economic growth. ADB, the region's development finance agency, on Tuesday, March 31 issued the Asian Development Outlook 2009, or the revised outlook for the region, just a few months after it predicted an average growth of more than five percent, and forecasted a trend of economic growth in China. Despite an economic slowdown in 2009 due to an impact of global financial crisis, ADB insists in its outlook report that China's economy would speed up in 2010 since the country with a solid economic foundation has resorted to a range of essential fiscal and monetary stimulus measures.[…] Thanks to a relatively benign economic performance of China and India, the overall aggregate real GDP growth of the Asia-Pacific region is still better than elsewhere in the world, so that the region would truly become a bright spot for global economic growth in 2009. ^ top ^

Chinese, Russian presidents meet on bilateral ties, economic crisis (Xinhua)
London - Chinese President Hu Jintao said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev here Wednesday that China and Russia should strengthen cooperation to jointly overcome the current difficulties under the complicated and grave conditions of the world economy. The two countries need to strengthen communication and consultation, coordinate their stands within the G20 framework in particular, and push forward reforms of the international financial system, Hu said. […] He said the two sides should strengthen practical cooperation by implementing existing cooperation agreements and pushing forward the major joint projects in natural gas, nuclear energy and other fields. Hu expressed his appreciation for Russia's consistent support for China on issues concerning Tibet. Medvedev said Russia will, as always, stick to its position in this regard. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese president: Mutual respect, consideration of core interests key to Sino-U.S. ties (Xinhua)
London - Chinese President Hu Jintao said during a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama here Wednesday that mutual respect for and consideration of each other's core interests are key to ensuring a sound and stable development of Chinese-U.S. relations. The Chinese president noted that the Taiwan issue remains the most important and sensitive core issue in China-U.S. relations. […] China appreciates the U.S. government's commitment to the one-China policy and the three Chinese-U.S. joint communiques, as well as its opposition to "Taiwan independence" and Taiwan's joining international organizations limited to sovereign states, Hu said. […] China hopes the United States will adhere to its recognition that Tibet is an inseparable part of China's territory and its opposition to "Tibet independence," and fully understand and respect China's stand in this regard, Hu said. Obama, for his part, said the U.S. government is committed to the one-China policy and the three U.S.-China joint communiques, and this stand remains unchanged. […] Both sides will join hands to ensure proper solutions to the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula and in Iran, humanitarian assistance in Sudan and the situation in South Asia. […]. ^ top ^

Hu and Sarkozy set to meet to seal resumption of ties (SCMP)
President Hu Jintao is to meet his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, today after the two countries signed a communique restoring much-troubled bilateral ties to normality. The communique released by both foreign ministries on their websites yesterday stressed the importance of the Tibet issue in bilateral ties, with France pledging that it would not support "any form of independence movement for Tibet". Both sides said they had agreed to resume high-level contacts and co-operation.[…]. ^ top ^

China pledges $75 mln in aid for Afghanistan (Xinhua)
The Hague - China announced on Tuesday that it would provide 75 million U.S. dollars of aid to Afghanistan in the next five years. […]Wu said China will continue to provide assistance in areas like capacity building at the request of the Afghan government and will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to take part in Afghan reconstruction. He also stressed the need to fight terrorism and to support the Aug. 20 presidential elections. […]We call on the international community to provide financial and security assistance and create favorable conditions for steady and smooth elections," he said. He noted that Afghanistan needs continued attention and assistance from the international community, and that it is the responsibility of all parties to act in coordination at both the international and regional levels. China hopes the United Nations will continue to play a leading role in coordinating international assistance efforts for Afghanistan. China, as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, favors an active role of the organization in Afghanistan, he said. […]. ^ top ^

Top Chinese negotiator urges developed countries to commit more in fighting climate change (Xinhua)
Bonn - Top Chinese negotiator Tuesday urged developed countries to give more commitments and support to developing countries in fighting climate change. Su Wei, Chinese delegation chief to the UN climate change talks in Bonn, made the call in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. […] Su said the success of the Copenhagen summit lies in whether or not the developed countries would make "substantial arrangements" for transferring climate-friendly technologies to and providing funds for developing countries. Su noted the establishment of three international "mechanisms" is very important among the "substantial arrangements." The first is to set up an international mechanism on climate-friendly technology development and transfer, to eliminate barriers hindering technology transfer, so that developing countries can get access to such technologies," he said. Secondly, we should set up an effective financing mechanism to ensure the developed countries provide adequate funds for developing countries in their bid to cut emissions and fight climate change," he added. Thirdly, Su said an "effective supervision mechanism" should beset up to monitor the above-mentioned technology transfer and funding. […] According to Su, the Copenhagen conference has two tasks. One is to set the mid-term emission reduction targets for developed countries, that is, developed countries as a whole should commit to making 25-40 percent cuts below 1990 levels by 2020. The other is to make substantial arrangements for the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in accordance with the Bali Roadmap. […]. ^ top ^

China to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights (Xinhua)
Beijing, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Wednesday the government would increase efforts to protect intellectual property rights (IPR). Wen was speaking in a meeting with Francis Gurry, director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). […] The Chinese government would continue to implement the IPR strategy to promote scientific innovation, economic growth, cultural prosperity and social progress, he said. Gurry spoke highly of China's big progress in IPR protection and said the WIPO would work with China to contribute to the global IPR protection efforts. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese navy to send new escort ships to Somali waters (Xinhua)
Zhanjiang - A second group of Chinese navy escort ships will set sail for the Gulf of Aden Thursday to replace a flotilla sent earlier to guard against pirates. […] With two helicopters and total crew exceeding 800, including navy special forces, it is mainly tasked with ensuring the safety of Chinese vessels passing through the gulf and waters off Somalia and those of international organizations like the World Food Program shipping humanitarian goods. […]. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

'Govt spending on welfare must rise' (People's Daily)
Government funding of social welfare systems needs to be enhanced, to the tune of about 35 percent of the financial revenue in 2020, according to a report released by the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) under the State Council yesterday. "A better social welfare system should cover more people with diversified policies, and help cushion the blow from the global economic downturn," Tang Min, the deputy secretary-general of CDRF, said at a symposium on Restructuring Social Security System yesterday in Beijing. Quoting the report, he said financial revenue should account for about 26 percent of the gross domestic product in 2020, as a promise of the enhanced investment in social welfare system. […] "China would like to share ideas with northern European countries having experience of successful development of the social welfare system," he said. Li Shi, one of the report's writers, said that the government could buy service from private institutions to help enhance the social welfare system's efficiency. […]. ^ top ^

Female fighter pilots get wings (SCMP)
The mainland's first class of female fighter pilots were given their wings yesterday and will take part in this year's National Day military parade, state media reported. […] The spokesman said the pilots, all Communist Party members, were carefully assessed on politics, military theory, aviation technology, leadership and physical fitness, Xinhua reported. "[We] started to train female fighter jet pilots because the latest aviation technology allows for this and the demand from military missions. The air force is expected to have more female fighter jet pilots in the future, and female pilots will cover all aviation positions in the military." […]. ^ top ^

Mainland the second-most heavily taxed country, according to Forbes (SCMP)
The mainland has been rated the world's second-most heavily taxed country last year and No 1 in Asia in an annual Forbes magazine survey released yesterday. Forbes said China's tax "misery score" rose seven points from last year to 159, just behind France at 167.9, and one place higher than its 2007 spot. The added burden was blamed on a rise in social security taxes following the new Labour Contract Law, the survey's compilers said. […] To lessen the impact of the global downturn, the mainland has launched a new round of fiscal reforms, led by a cutback in corporate value-added tax, which took effect in January. A debate has been raging over whether to raise the individual income tax threshold from 2,000 yuan to ease the burden on the lower-income population. Hong Kong, meanwhile, was ranked the most tax-friendly jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region, with a score of 41.5. It ranked third worldwide behind Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ^ top ^

Top official urges tighter security (SCMP)
The Communist Party's head of public order has demanded strengthened security amid spreading economic woes and upcoming sensitive political anniversaries. […] "Faced with the present international and domestic situation, particularly the deep change in the economic environment, it is imperative to soberly recognise the new scenario and new challenges facing public order," Mr Zhou was quoted as saying by state media yesterday. Mr Zhou called on security forces to ensure a smooth run-up to the October 1 celebrations of National Day, which mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. […]. ^ top ^

'No plans' for 12 years of compulsory schooling (SCMP)
The Ministry of Education dismissed suggestions yesterday that the nation would extend compulsory education from nine years to 12 as part of sweeping reforms of the system. Responding to media reports that the ministry would push for a 12-year compulsory education scheme - under planned education reform guidelines for the next 20 years - the ministry said it had no such plan. The top priority was to consolidate the nine-year, free education programme and eliminate illiteracy. "The country does not have the strength to realise the 12-year compulsory education proposal," a ministry official said yesterday. […]Gloomy job prospects for university graduates amid the financial crisis made schooling - even if free - less appealing to rural youth, [a programme director with the Beijing Cultural Development Centre for Rural Women] said. ^ top ^

Officials admit failure to hit targets for cutting pollution and energy use (SCMP)
The mainland falls far short of its own target in an anti-pollution campaign that has been billed as the country's battlefield in fighting global warming. Mainland analysts and officials said the nation's inability to meet the interim target of cutting energy use has further aggravated the difficulties in honouring Beijing's global commitments on tackling pollution and climate change. Industry and Information Technology deputy minister Lou Qinjian said the country had failed in recent years to reduce energy use per unit of gross domestic product by at least 4 per cent a year, Xinhua reported. […]According to Hou Shiguo, a deputy chief of the industrial policy department at Mr Lou's ministry, over-reliance on heavy, polluting industries and the global financial crisis have impaired the government's efforts to improve energy efficiency. […]. ^ top ^

Suspicious deaths of inmates spur crackdown on prison conditions (SCMP)
Law enforcement authorities will crack down on conditions in detention centres and prisons across the mainland starting today, vowing that there will be no more suspicious deaths of inmates. The three-month operation is in response to the fatal beating of a Yunnan man, 24, in February. […] The ministry said law enforcers should improve their work ethic and be more aware of laws and respect for rights, which it described as some of the chief failings of the police force. […] A special working team from the ministry's detention centre administration department would follow up on the campaign by conducting anonymous inspections of detention centres and prisons. Deputy procurator general Jiang Jianchu has admitted that torture is common during investigations and detentions, and is so deep-rooted that it will be difficult to eradicate. Zhou Guangquan, legislator of the National People's Congress, suggested authorities tackle the problem at its root by separating prison administration from police duties and handing over custody management to a third party. […] In many cases, police officers running detention facilities use torture to extract confessions or evidence because of the immense pressure to resolve cases. The conflicting roles and police abuse of power were blamed for detainees' deaths. ^ top ^

Dissident detained over Tiananmen article (SCMP)
A dissident writer and a Charter 08 signatory was detained and interrogated by Beijing police yesterday for writing an article commemorating the 20th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen crackdown. Jiang Qisheng, 61, deputy chairman of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre and a frequent inmate for his role as a Tiananmen Square student leader, was taken from his Beijing home at about 9am by 15 officers from the Beijing Public Security Bureau. The officers read a subpoena that gave no indication of his alleged crime and raided his home. He was released at about 3.30pm, after a six-hour interrogation. […] Mr Jiang said the authorities were trying to frighten him away from commemorating the anniversary. "They said not a single article was allowed this year for the 20th anniversary. I have told them, you confiscated my computer, but my head is still on my shoulders. I will continue writing my article." […]. ^ top ^

Chinese Vice Premier calls for faster construction of affordable housing (Xinhua)
Changsha - Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Monday called for faster construction of affordable housing. In the affordable housing projects lie the immediate interests of the people, especially low-income families," said Li at a working conference on the issue in Changsha, capital of the central Hunan Province. He said affordable homes could increase investment and stimulate consumption, and were an important measure to deal with the global financial crisis and to maintain economic growth. The government has pledged that 7.5 million affordable homes will be provided in cities, and 2.4 million in forest districts, reclamation areas, and coal-mining regions by the end of 2011. This year, 2.6 million urban and 800,000 rural homes would be built. Another 800,000 rural homes in poor condition will be renovated. ^ top ^

Revamp to streamline IPR battles (People's Daily)
Special tribunals will be set up to handle intellectual property rights (IPR) disputes and an appeal court in a bid to improve efficiency, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) announced yesterday. The move will see complex cases relating to civil, administrative and criminal matters dealt with by a "unified" tribunal, rather than spread across different ones, according to the newly issued Guideline on Implementing the Compendium of National Intellectual Property Strategy. […]The guideline released by the SPC also states it will look to "set up an IPR appeal court" to deal with invalid patent and trademark affirmation disputes, while Jiang Zhipei, vice-president of the IPR association of the China Law Society, said the SPC may establish such a court in Beijing. […]An appellate court will unify standards in judicial practice, particularly patent infringements and the granting of trademark rights, he said, adding: "It will also help save costs for small and medium-sized enterprises in maintaining IP rights and create a sound environment for innovation." […]. ^ top ^

Vast cyber spy network 'operating from China' (SCMP)
A vast electronic spying operation out of the mainland has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices worldwide, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have found. In their report, the researchers said the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively on the mainland, but that they could not say conclusively that the government was involved. […]The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. […]But working with the Tibetans, they found that specific correspondence had been stolen and that the intruders had gained control of the e-mail servers of the Dalai Lama's organisation. The electronic spy game has had at least some real-world impact. After an e-mail invitation was sent by the Dalai Lama's office to a foreign diplomat, the mainland government made a call to the diplomat discouraging a visit. Although the Canadian researchers said that most of the computers behind the spying were in China, they cautioned against concluding that the Chinese government was involved. The spying could be a private, profit-making operation or one run by private citizens in China known as "patriotic hackers". A spokesman for the Chinese consulate in New York dismissed the idea that China was involved. "These are old stories and they are nonsense," the spokesman, Wenqi Gao, said. "The Chinese government is opposed to and strictly forbids any cybercrime.". ^ top ^



Shanghai boosts jobless benefits (People's Daily)
The unemployment allowance for residents has been raised to help the jobless cope as they look for new work, the municipal government has said. Starting this month, the maximum monthly unemployment allowance will be 600 yuan ($88), an increase of 50 yuan, while the minimum allowance the jobless can receive will be 435 yuan, a 20 yuan increase, the Shanghai municipal human resources and social security bureau said in a notice on Wednesday. "The changes were made to help maintain the aid given to the unemployed and motivate them to look for new work," the bureau said. […] As of mid-March, more than 70 percent of Shanghai's 158,000 upcoming university graduates have not yet secured a job. Usually, more than 70 percent would have found a job by then.[…]. ^ top ^

More land to turn Shanghai into global financial hub (SCMP)
Shanghai has pledged more land for the development of its financial sector to bolster its ambition to become an international finance hub. According to a draft rule published by the city's legislature yesterday, land authorities and district-level governments will be required to give priority to the financial sector when they draw up annual land-use plans. The city government will also conduct building-swap deals and resort to other administrative measures to meet the rising demand for office space in the city's financial zones. The rule, aimed at developing the city into a global financial centre by 2020, is viewed by economists as a precursor to further drastic market liberalisations on the mainland. The rule also included some generalities on financial innovation and co-operation with Hong Kong. […] The draft rule followed high-profile guidelines released by the State Council last week, under which the central government vowed to help Shanghai evolve into a global financial and shipping hub by 2020. […]. ^ top ^

Shanghai sees big jump in requests for information (SCMP)
The Shanghai government looked into nearly 9,400 requests for information made under rules for open government last year, an increase of nearly 45 per cent over 2007, data released yesterday showed. However, the figures also showed the city did not process more than a third of the nearly 15,000 information requests it received, and it rejected four in every 10 of those that it did handle. In the end, 5,320 inquiries resulted with a positive conclusion. More than 1,000 requests were for information that did not exist, the report said, and 972 were rejected because they had been made to the wrong department. But of the 502 cases where the municipal government refused to make the information public, 304 were given the cover-all excuse that they touched on "state secrets". No information was made available in the report as to the nature of the requests. […]. ^ top ^



Report: HK economy projected to shrink by 3% (Xinhua)
The Hong Kong economy is projected to shrink by 3 percent in 2009, following the 2.5 percent growth last year, says a report released here Thursday by the University of Hong Kong. Being a small and open economy dependent on trade and financial services, Hong Kong cannot possibly escaped from being battered by the financial crisis which has severely dampened global activity," says the report. Hong Kong's economy is forecast to contract by 5.8 percent in the first half of this year, with real GDP estimated to be falling by 6.4 percent and 5.1 percent in the first and second quarter respectively. […]The continued weakness of both external and domestic demand will weigh down the labor market further, with the unemployment rate forecast to increase to 6.0 percent in the current quarter, he said. ^ top ^



KMT wins by-election but support declines (SCMP)
Taiwan's ruling party won a by-election in Taipei but suffered a sharp decline in support in a traditional stronghold, officials said yesterday. The Kuomintang won just under half the votes in the by-election for the Daan district, where it took 66.8 per cent of the ballots in legislative polls in January last year. The by-election was seen as a test for the KMT, whose popularity has been affected by rising unemployment as the global economic downturn hits exports, and the party had said it would listen humbly to the people.[…]. ^ top ^



Beijing hails its record in Tibet - 20,000-word report dismisses overseas criticism, infuriates exiles (SCMP)
Beijing continued its propaganda offensive on Tibet yesterday, dismissing international criticism over its migration, environmental and economic policies in the Himalayan region. In a lengthy document on Tibet's social and economic development over the past five decades, it defended Communist Party rule and blamed overseas interference and separatist forces for heightened tensions in Tibet over the past year. Xinhua said the 20,000-word report, in both Chinese and English, had been prepared by a group of Tibetan and Han Chinese scholars from the government-linked China Tibetology Research Centre to mark the 50th anniversary this month of what Beijing says was democratic reform in Tibet. For Tibetans in exile, however, the controversial anniversary marks an unsuccessful uprising 50 years ago against China's rule, which ended with the Dalai Lama's flight to India. The report acknowledged that a large number of migrant workers had moved to Tibet "to seek employment and business opportunities" since the late 1970s, but said it did not alter the demographic composition. "Yet the Tibetan population remains the overwhelming majority in the region, accounting for a steady 90 per cent or more of the total population," it said. It attributed the boom in Tibet's population, which rose from 1.74 million in 1978 to 2.87 million last year, to Beijing's relaxed controls on the ethnic population and the high birth rate […]. ^ top ^

Crackdown vow at ceremony marks Serfs Emancipation Day in Tibet (SCMP)
Beijing marked 50 years of Communist Party rule in Tibet yesterday with a ceremony beneath the walls of Lhasa's Potala Palace - and a vow to "crack down severely on any separatist activity". The Chinese flag was raised before 13,000 carefully chosen Tibetan representatives, most wearing traditional costumes, as they stood for the national anthem and waved Chinese flags, silk scarves and flowers. CCTV broadcast the ceremony live as Beijing marked the first Serfs Emancipation Day - a compulsory holiday in Tibet. The ceremony began with people the authorities described as former serfs talking about the misery of life under the Dalai Lama's pre-1959 rule. Then Tibet Communist Party secretary Zhang Qingli issued his warning of a crackdown on separatism and vowed to "consolidate the first front of the war against separatists". The Tibetan government-in-exile issued a statement describing Serfs Emancipation Day as provocative and said Tibet would see the anniversary as "a day of mourning". The holiday was endorsed by the legislature in the Tibet Autonomous Region two months ago to mark the failure of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Communist Party rule and the end of the Dalai Lama's reign. […]. ^ top ^



China's PMI of manufacturing sector rebounds above 50% in March (Xinhua)
Beijing, The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of China's manufacturing sector rose for the fourth straight month in March to 52.4 percent, up 3.4 percentage points from a month earlier, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) announced Thursday. It was the first time the PMI rebounded above 50 percent since July 2008, when the index fell to 48.4 percent. A reading of above 50 suggests expansion, while one below 50 indicates contraction. […] March indices measuring new orders, output, purchasing and new export orders all increased more than 4 percentage points from February, according to the CFLP. […]. ^ top ^

Marketers bullish on China's recovery (Xinhua)
Beijing, Top marketers based in China believe that the country's economy will recover more quickly than the West, and is likely to turn around by 2010, according to a survey conducted by market research firm Millward Brown-ACSR and communications agency Hill & Knowlton. The survey of 59 chief marketing officers and senior marketing directors (85 percent of whom are from multinationals) indicated that cautious optimism exists in marketing departments, with 75 percent of correspondents believing the economy would return to a booming state next year, as Chinese consumers had been less affected than those in the West. […] Sixty-three percent of interviewees said they will increase or maintain their marketing spending this year compared to 2008, while only 18 percent indicated that their budgets would be cut by over 20 percent. The survey also revealed that "retaining existing clients" was the top priority for marketers (50 percent), while "retaining talented employees" was of the least importance (5 percent). […]. ^ top ^

Vice Premier warns of "grave" employment prospects for China's graduates (Xinhua)
Beijing, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang Thursday warned the need to find jobs for college graduates was "crucial". […]More than 6 million college students were leaving school in just three months and the employment rate was generally lower than previous years, Zhang said without elaborating. China has 6.11 million college students due to graduate this year, and 1 million from last year are still looking for jobs, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. […]Zhang urged government organs, government-sponsored institutions, and state-owned enterprises to hire as many people as last year, and small and medium-sized and private companies to employ college graduates. […]. ^ top ^

Expert: Longer foreign bank holding lock-up to help China manage fund flows (Xinhua)
Beijing, China's bank regulators will require that foreign banks taking stakes in domestic commercial banks hold those stakes for at least five years, rather than three as at present, to reduce risks for the local banks. Yi Xianrong, a finance researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, told Xinhua Wednesday that such rules were one way the country could manage cross-border investment and capital flows. The change was announced Tuesday by China Banking Regulatory Commission chairman Liu Mingkang at a CASS seminar. Liu said the longer lock-up was meant to ensure the safety of the country's banking system. […]. ^ top ^

China to launch growth enterprise board on May 1 (Xinhua)
Beijing, China has announced the launch of a long-awaited growth enterprise board on May 1 as a new direct financing platform for innovative companies. Companies that seek listing at the new Nasdaq-like second board should have net assets of at least 20 million yuan and be open for business for more than three years, the country's securities regulator said in a set of guidelines that was made public in the small hours Tuesday and take effect on May 1. The China Securities Regulatory Commission also requires the issuer stay in the black for the recent two consecutive years with combined profits of at least 10 million yuan, or report profits of at least 5 million yuan for the most recent year on revenues of at least 50 million yuan, with annual revenue growth of at least 30 percent in the recent two years. A CSRC spokesman called the move "an important measure to improve the structure of China's capital market and expand the market's depth and width." […]. ^ top ^

China's Jan.-Feb. industrial output growth slows to 5.2% (Xinhua)
Beijing China's industrial output rose 5.2 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2009, with the growth slowing from December, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said here Sunday. The figure was 0.5 percentage point lower than in December, dragged down by plummeting exports and high inventories, according to MIIT.In February alone, however, industrial output expanded 11 percent from a year earlier, showing that the downtrend appeared to be easing. […]. ^ top ^


DPRK and South Korea

Final launch preparations begin in N Korea: report (SCMP)
North Korea had begun fuelling a long-range rocket for an impending launch, a report said yesterday, as US President Barack Obama warned the liftoff would be a "provocative act" that would generate a UN Security Council response. North Korea says it will send a communications satellite into orbit on a multistage rocket some time from tomorrow to Wednesday. […] Regional powers have begun to deploy ships to monitor the launch, and Japan is preparing to intercept any debris that might fall if the launch goes awry - moves that have prompted several threats of retaliation from Pyongyang, including one yesterday. CNN reported that Pyongyang had started to fuel the rocket. The report, citing an unidentified senior US military official, said the move indicated final preparations for the launch. Experts say the missile can be fired about three to four days after fuelling begins. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said his and the US governments had not confirmed that fuelling had begun. South Korea's Defence Ministry declined to comment on the report. […] "If Japan imprudently carries out an act of intercepting our peaceful satellite, our People's Army will hand a thunderbolt of fire to not only interceptor means already deployed, but also key targets," said a report yesterday by Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency, quoting the general staff of its military. KCNA also said: "The United States should immediately withdraw armed forces deployed if it does not want to receive damage.". ^ top ^

China says nations obligated to secure Korean Peninsula peace, stability (Xinhua)
Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Thursday called on parties involved in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue to safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula and northeast Asia. […]China has paid close attention to the development of the issue. Parties involved should stay cool-headed and show restraint at the current stage, and avoid any action that may further complicate the situation," he said. […]. ^ top ^

Military response to launch ruled out (SCMP)
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has said his country opposes any military response to North Korea's planned launch of a rocket, while Washington's defence chief also said the US would not try to shoot it down. The remarks by Mr Lee and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates appear to reflect concerns that any tough reaction could send tensions rising out of control at a time when Pyongyang is warning that even UN sanctions would prompt it to quit nuclear-disarmament talks. […] As a precaution, one Aegis-equipped destroyer was dispatched yesterday and another one was expected to be sent later in the day from the South Korean port of Pusan, a US military spokesman said. […]. ^ top ^

China urges restraint on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue (Xinhua)
Beijing, China on Tuesday urged parties involved in the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue to show restraint and do more to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing that China would keep close contacts with concerned parties. […]"China has paid close attention to the development of the issue. Parties involved should stay cool-headed and show restraint at the current stage, and avoid any action that may further complicate the situation," Qin said. "We hope parties concerned could do more to promote the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia, as well as the six-party talks," Qin said. ^ top ^



Central Bank Auctions US Dollars (Mongol Messenger Newspaper)
For the first time in its history, the Mongol Bank has resolved to offer foreign currency for sale on auction, with its first auction taking place on March 24, 2009. The Bank believes that auctioning will be important to balance currency demand and supply on the market, bring foreign currency to a targeted, accurate and official reserve level, stabilize currency rates, and raise togrog's value. The Mongol Bank Governor, L.Purevdorj said, “With its effect on economic needs and business activities, the togrog's rate is an important price indicator. Ineffective attempts by the Mongol Bank to control the Togrog's rate have led to a decision to conduc foreign currency trading to open auction.”. ^ top ^

ADB report says Mongolia's growth will slump to 3% this year (
In its just released Asian Development Outlook report, the Asian Development Bank has forecast that Mongolia's economic growth will slump to 3% in 2009, rising to 4.5% next year. The slump will be a fact of life all over developing Asia. The report indicates that the ADB has slashed its previous projections. The Manila-based bank expects developing Asia to expand 3.4% in 2009 before recovering to 6.0% growth in 2010. This year's forecast was cut from the 5.8% projection made December. The ADB said the downside risks to its latest outlook are overwhelming.Economic growth in East Asia -- defined as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Mongolia -- will slow to 3.6% in 2009 before rising to 6.5% next year. The growth projection for this year compares with actual expansion of 6.6% in 2008 and 10.4% in 2007. ^ top ^


Evelyne Freiermuth
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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