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
  15.6-19.6.2009, No. 273  
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Table of contents

H1N1 flu

DPRK and South Korea


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Foreign Policy

Chinese president meets Pakistani leader on bilateral ties (Xinhua)
Yekaterinburg - Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and the two leaders agreed to push forward the China-Pakistan Strategic Cooperative Partnership. […] Currently, the China-Pakistan Strategic Cooperative Partnership has maintained a strong momentum of development and China always considers the development of relations with Pakistan as one of its diplomatic priorities, Hu said. […] China is ready to further push forward trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan on the basis of equality and reciprocity and common development, Hu said. […] China has decided to provide 60 million yuan (about 8.82 million U.S. dollars) in additional aid to help the Pakistani government settle the homeless civilians, he said. […] China appreciates Pakistan's support on issues concerning China's national security and core interests and is willing to work with the international community in tackling the threat and challenges of terrorism, he said. […]. ^ top ^

Afghan issues to top agenda as Shanghai bloc meets in Russia (SCMP)
Leaders from Central Asia, China and Afghanistan joined Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday at a summit that underscores Moscow's determination to maintain influence in its backyard and seek a stronger voice in global economic issues. Members of the six-nation Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) and leaders of observer nations met in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg for two days of talks expected to include extensive discussions about Afghanistan. […] On the sidelines of the summit, President Hu Jintao held talks with his counterparts, including Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Chen Yurong, director of SCO research centre at the China Institute of International Studies, said leaders of the grouping would use the summit to produce measures to overcome the financial crisis. Yet security would not be outdone by the economic agenda, as Professor Chen said the region faced looming threats from Afghanistan. "Security issues will be as important as the economic co-operation, because the situation in the East Asia is deteriorating," she said. […]. ^ top ^

Chinese president calls for closer cooperation, joint efforts to tackle financial crisis at BRIC summit (Xinhua)
Yekaterinburg - Russia, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao called for closer cooperation among BRIC countries and presented a proposal for dealing with the ongoing global financial crisis when he addressed the first BRIC summit here Tuesday. […] Firstly, to strengthen political mutual trust. He said the four are emerging countries with an impact on global affairs, and are the important forces to keep regional and international peace and stability. […] Secondly, to deepen economic cooperation. He noted that the four countries have advantages in resources, markets, labor force and technology, and are highly complementary to each other. […] Thirdly, to promote cultural cooperation. […] Fourthly, to encourage learning and drawing on useful experiences from each other. Hu said that each of the four countries has come up with a specific method of development, which is the common wealth of the human society. […] Meanwhile, Hu presented a four-point proposal for dealing with the ongoing global financial crisis. Firstly, BRIC countries should commit themselves to bringing about an early recovery of the world economy, Hu said. […] Secondly, BRIC countries should commit themselves to pushing forward the reform of international financial system, Hu said. […] Thirdly, BRIC countries should commit themselves to implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the president said. […] Fourthly, BRIC countries should commit themselves to ensuring the security of food, energy resource, and public health, he added. […]. ^ top ^

China urges diplomatic solution to nuclear issues (Xinhua)
Vienna - The Head of the Chinese delegation and Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Tang Guoqiang, stressed on Wednesday on behalf of the Chinese government that the nuclear issues of Korea and Iran should be solved in a peaceful way through diplomatic talks. In a speech at the board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday, Tang pointed out with regard to the Korean nuclear issue that the Chinese government "firmly opposes" another nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and requires the DPRK to "stick to the denuclearization commitments, stop relevant actions that may further deteriorate the situation, and return to the six-party talks." However, Tang also pointed out that "the sovereignty, territorial integrity, reasonable security concerns and development benefits of the DPRK, a sovereign state, and a member state of the U.N., should receive due respect. The DPRK should have the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy after it returns to the treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)." […]. ^ top ^

China, Russia sign five-point joint statement (Xinhua)
Moscow - China and Russia Wednesday signed a five-point statement on bilateral relations and mutual cooperation. […] The two leaders signed a draft plan of the China-Russia investment cooperation, pledging to earnestly implement the draft plan and encourage enterprises of the two countries to carry out pragmatic cooperation in such areas as mechanical manufacturing, construction, the light industry, transportation, agriculture, communication, bank and insurance, technology, energy, the chemical industry, forestry and mining. […] Hu and Medvedev said that under the leadership of the United Nations and with the active participation by the SCO, the two countries should reinforce regional cooperation on fighting against terrorism, drug trafficking and cross-border organized crime. […] China favors Russia's efforts to join the East Asia Summit and the Asia-Europe Meeting, and is willing to offer support for Russia in this regard. […]. ^ top ^

US lawmakers want Uygurs off terror blacklist - Intelligence from China questioned (SCMP)
American lawmakers are seeking a review of the US listing of a Uygur Muslim group in northwestern China as "terrorist", accusing the authorities of relying on intelligence from Beijing. The legislators' call came after the US, defying China, freed four Uygurs held for years at the "war on terror" camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Atlantic island of Bermuda took them in. Thirteen more Uygurs - all cleared of wrongdoing by US authorities - are awaiting release from Guantanamo. China has demanded them, saying they belong to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, charges that they and US officials deny. US Democratic congressman Bill Delahunt called a hearing on Tuesday to examine why the US had classified the movement as a terrorist group. […] "It appears to me that we took substantial intelligence information from the communist Chinese regime and then used that questionable evidence as our own," he said. He called for a review of how the US blacklisted groups, saying: "We should never forget that flawed intelligence played a key role in the decision to invade Iraq." […] But experts testifying in the hearing questioned the nature of the movement, accusing China of lumping together all critics under the name. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service said the group was first mentioned in 2000, but Beijing later blamed it for attacks in the 1990s. ^ top ^

China "dissatisfied" with ADB document involving China-India border dispute (Xinhua)
Beijing - China is "strongly dissatisfied" with the Asia Development Bank (ADB) in regard to a document that meddles in the China-India border dispute, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Thursday. […] "The ADB, regardless of China's grave concerns, adopted the Country Partnership Strategy for India (2009-2012), which involves disputed areas between China and India. China is strongly dissatisfied with it." Qin said the document "can not change the existence of the China-Indian territorial disputes, nor China's position on this issue." Qin urged the ADB, as a regional development agency, not to intervene in the political affairs of its members. […] On the border issue, Qin said China had been consistent in its position that China and India should seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through negotiations. ^ top ^

China to intensify crackdown on illegal export of labor services (Xinhua)
Beijing - China has launched a two-month, stepped-up campaign against illegal labor exports to protect the rights of overseas Chinese workers, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday. China had sent 4.77 million workers abroad as of the end of May, and 745,000 were still working abroad, the ministry said. Labor disputes were rising due to illegal labor exports and poor operations by some overseas contractors, said Chen Jian, vice minister of the MOC. […] Gao Hucheng, another vice minister, told a video conference that overseas contractors who engaged in severe rule violations should lose their licenses and illegal labor brokers should be driven from the market. […]. ^ top ^

China, Slovakia pledge efforts to enhance traditional friendship, cooperation (Xinhua)
Bratislava - Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Slovakian counterpart Ivan Gasparovic held talks here on Thursday and they agreed to take the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to consolidate their traditional friendship and enrich the contents of cooperation. […] Firstly, the traditional friendship should be consolidated and bilateral mutual political trust be enhanced, Hu said. […] Second, both side should enhance economic and trade cooperation and join efforts to cope with the ongoing financial crisis, Hu said, adding that this is the focus of bilateral cooperation at present. […] Different forms of cooperation should be encouraged in such fields as infrastructural construction, new energy, agriculture and environmental protection. […] Third, cultural exchanges and cooperation should be expanded with more substance and the two sides should learn from each other for common development, he said. Fourth, there should be strengthened coordination and consultation between the two countries in international and regional organizations such as the United Nations, as well as closer multilateral cooperation in efforts to make joint contributions to world peace and stability, he said. […]. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

China mulls national food safety risk assessment system to push tainted food off shelves (Xinhua)
Beijing - China is planning to set up its first national food safety risk assessment system, following a spate of tainted food incidents in recent years, officials said on Friday. The system includes a national committee, special regulation and food safety assessment offices nationwide, said Deputy Health Minister Chen Xiaohong at the China Food Safety Forum 2009 in Beijing. Chen did not give a specific timeline for the system but said "it would be implemented very soon", Saturday's China Daily reported. National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety senior researcher Chen Junshi said the latest system would be a "progressive improvement" to the new Food Safety Law that came into effect this month. […] The new committee will make independent risk assessments and provide scientific analyses as the central government regulates and amends national food safety standards, a draft regulation released on the Ministry of Health's (MOH) website stated earlier this week. […] All assessments, funded by the MOH, will be done independently to keep the process objective and transparent. […]. ^ top ^

Green Dam breached, patch-up in progress (China Daily)
The developer of a porn-filtering software has been ordered to rush software patches to address security problems which have cropped up. […] The firm developed the Green Dam-Youth Escort porn-filtering software, which will have to be installed on all computers sold in the country from July 1. The software has been downloaded 7.17 million times from the company's website up to last month, and 2.62 million computers in schools across the country have installed it. Zhang admitted that hackers could attack Internet users through the software due to systemic flaws, "just like any other software of this type". "We are specialists in producing Internet filtering software rather than security." The company's programmers are working non-stop in collaboration with domestic anti-virus program experts, such as Ruixing, to develop software patches that can be downloaded for free, Zhang said. "If Green Dam-Youth Escort is widely installed in its current form, it will be a disaster for computer security in China," J. Alex Halderman, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at University of Michigan, told China Daily yesterday. […] This problem seems to be a result of programming errors rather than a deliberate design choice, according to Halderman. […]. ^ top ^

Scrap compulsory filters for internet, academics say (SCMP)
Some mainland academics have called on the central government to scrap the compulsory installation of internet filtering software on all personal computers sold in the mainland, saying it would violate laws on competition and consumer rights. Professor Wei Yongzheng, a well-known mainland media law expert, and Zhou Ze, an associate professor with the China Youth College for Political Sciences, have jointly proposed that the State Council review and cancel the administrative regulation, issued on Thursday. […] The professors' letter says the regulation may have violated both the Anti-unjust Competition Law and the Anti-monopoly Law by forcing people into purchasing certain products. […]. ^ top ^

New dam another nail in the Yangtze's coffin - Projects push many fish species to extinction (SCMP)
Nearly 20 years of conservationists' opposition to a hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River near Chongqing will apparently come to naught, with stocks of rare fish set to be among the victims of its pending construction. The proposed Xiaonanhai Dam - at Luohuang town, around 30km upstream from the centre of the city and 700km upstream from the Three Gorges Dam - is a pet project of Bo Xilai, the municipality's Communist Party chief. His influence is a key reason local authorities have made important headway on the project in recent weeks. Sources said top fisheries experts on the mainland failed to block the project during a feasibility study meeting convened last month by the local government amid widespread concerns over its proximity to the last fishing reserve on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. "[…] Experts warned that with the building of the Xiaonanhai Dam and two other proposed dams on the Yangtze, the reserve would be reduced to about 40km long, far from enough to protect local fish populations. Sources said that even officials at China Three Gorges Project Corporation admitted the proposed dam would be largely cost-ineffective in terms of its power-generation capabilities. […]. ^ top ^

Think-tank urges Beijing to end frantic urbanisation - Downturn, environment spur call to alter focus on GDP (SCMP)
The mainland has reached a crossroads in its urbanisation drive, and now is the time to shift the focus to the environment and people's welfare, according to a report released yesterday by a central government think-tank. The obsession with industrial output and growth of gross domestic product was outdated, and the global economic downturn provided the perfect opportunity to change direction, said the Blue Book of Cities in China, the annual report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The report put the mainland's urban population at 607 million, an urbanisation rate of 45.7 per cent. It dubbed 2008 as the turning point and predicted the direction of development would alter from now on. The GDP growth rate dropped - in some cases significantly - in all major cities last year because of a sharp decline in exports and industrial output. […] The report suggested the government seize the opportunity to achieve sustainable development, a goal that has long been little more than a slogan. Beijing was also urged to increase investment in infrastructure, such as public transport, because the cost of the raw materials was decreasing. […]. ^ top ^

Tax on furniture trade sparks riot (SCMP)
Thousands rioted in Nankang, Jiangxi province, yesterday after the local government levied new taxes and clamped down on the city's furniture industry. Protesters took to the streets and paralysed traffic. They also attacked government offices and overturned police cars. A statement on the municipal government's website said hundreds of furniture shop owners started blocking National Highway 105, while nearly 100 petitioned outside the government's headquarters. The notice said a "misunderstanding" over a new tax on furniture products was the cause of the protest, and that the case was settled by 1pm. But Xinhua reported that all entrances to another highway, from Daqing, Heilongjiang, to Guangzhou, had been blocked since 1.50pm. The report said another batch of protesters attacked a local-administration complex and turned over several police cars. The boss of a workshop said he estimated 80 per cent of the 6,000 to 7,000 local furniture enterprises paid no tax when the cottage industry began thriving in 2003. […] A local woman said the cause of the problem was excessive tax demands at a time when business was suffering because of the global economic downturn. […] adding that excessive red tape was also causing anger. […]. ^ top ^

Court convicts, frees waitress who killed cadre (SCMP)
A hotel waitress from Hubei is getting her first taste of freedom in more than a month after being convicted yesterday over the killing of a government official who tried to force her to have sex with him. Although the judges at Badong County People's Court ruled that Deng Yujiao was guilty of intentionally causing bodily harm, they set her free for three reasons: she acted in self-defence, albeit with "excessive force"; she turned herself in to police; and she had only limited criminal responsibility because she was suffering from "a certain level of mental disorder". […] Zhang Zanning, a professor from Southeast University's law school, said the verdict was apparently a compromise the court had to make "to please the higher authorities with a guilty verdict and, at the same time, to heed public sentiment by letting the woman go. But the legal system will bear the brunt for losing public trust". […]. ^ top ^

Activists fear draft mental health law is flawed (SCMP)
The mainland's first mental-health law may be passed this year, but lawyers and activists are urging the government to conduct proper public consultation before passing a draft version that they call "flawed" and "dangerous". A mental health law has been on the country's legislative agenda since 1985, and more than 20 drafts have been discussed and rejected. But the latest draft has finally made it to the consultation stage, one of the key drafters, Liu Xiehe of Sichuan University, was quoted as saying in a report published yesterday by the Guangdong-based newspaper Southern Rural Village. National People's Congress Standing Committee chairman Wu Bangguo said in March that the Mental Health Law would be tabled during this legislative year, prompting hopes that the much-anticipated legislation would finally become reality. […] "Society's apathy towards mental-health patients leads to discrimination, which in turn leads to a great shortage of resources for dealing with mental health. The lack of resources then feeds into further ignorance and apathy, and room for exploitation in the system," said Shenzhen-based lawyer Huang Xuetao. […] One big problem, she said, is that the current system requires only one doctor's note to get somebody admitted into a mental hospital. The new draft calls for a second view, but it can be done by a doctor from the same hospital. […]. ^ top ^

Law chief warns of social stability threat (SCMP)
The top law official has warned that social stability is under increasing threat from labour and business disputes. Senior party leader Zhou Yongkang said security forces needed to step up their efforts to quell unrest and protect people's lives and property. "We must clearly realise that the country is still in a period where the internal conflicts among the public remain acute, criminal cases are peaking and the fight against hostile forces remains complicated," Mr Zhou said in a speech reported by Qiushi. ^ top ^

In bid to prevent product scandals, quality watchdog to set up public blacklist of firms (SCMP)
The mainland's quality watchdog will set up a public blacklist of companies that fail to reach acceptable standards in an unprecedented measure to stem the flow of product safety scandals. Sun Bo, the head of the quality management department of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said a national network would be established to provide information on supervision, food, measurements, standards, approval, quarantine and inspection, Xinhua reported. Product quality problems, records of infringement of regulations and warnings would be available on the blacklist, Mr Sun said. A similar list exists for imported products. The blacklist is part of the administration's effort to build a quality credibility system within three years. So far the administration has established quality profiles for 89,699 companies in 17 categories. The administration also said a national standard for quality credibility would be implemented in November, the report said. […]. ^ top ^

Firing squads to be phased out as Beijing moves to lethal injections (SCMP)
Beijing's judicial authorities have started to give special judicial police and medical staff the training required to administer lethal injections as the city prepares to change to this form of execution of condemned prisoners in place of shooting, state media said yesterday. The Beijing Municipal High People's Court plans to use lethal injections in executions by the end of the year, and firing squads will eventually be phased out across the country, the official China Daily said yesterday, quoting law officials. […] In January 2007, the Supreme People's Court regained the power of final approval of death penalties, which had been devolved to provincial high courts in the 1980s, and it promised to apply the ultimate punishment more carefully. ^ top ^

China launches free health programs for poor, rural population (Xinhua)
Beijing - China has started health and construction programs to improve rural residents' health, part of a drive to improve the grassroots medical care system, a health official said Thursday. Zhang Mao, vice minister of health, said the programs, part of the country's ambitious 850-billion-yuan (124 billion U.S. dollars) health care reform plan, ranged from vaccination drives to improved cooking and sanitary facilities in rural areas. Over three years, Hepatitis B vaccinations will be provided for those who were born between 1994 and 2001 but not inoculated. About 23.3 million people, or 31 percent of the target population, would be given shots, it said. Also, rural women will get free exams for cervical and breast cancer. […] The ministry also would strive to get prompt sight-restoration treatment for rural and impoverished cataract patients. About 200,000 operations are expected to be carried out this year, it said. […]. ^ top ^



Freelance army' to help police Web in Beijing - Authorities in the capital to set up pilot team of 10,000 new censors (SCMP)
The Beijing municipal government is to experiment with a new model of internet control that will see a team of 10,000 "freelance" censors monitor "unhealthy" Web content and name registration. Deputy Mayor Cai Fuchao, also head of the municipal propaganda department, said the capital would implement a series of internet monitoring measures in an effort "to purify the internet environment", the Beijing News reported yesterday. Mr Cai was quoted as saying the city would set up a database of the existing 370,000 Beijing-registered websites. Real name registration of website owners, editors and administrators would also be implemented. According to the Beijing Internet Administration Office, the team of at least 10,000 would be in place by the end of the year. […] When they spot offending content they will report it to police, and censorship authorities can delete it immediately. […] The move to formalise the role of the "volunteers" is in keeping with the increasingly sophisticated censorship approach on the mainland, where authorities no longer rely solely on firewalls to block information and instead actively drain off critical public opinion. […]. ^ top ^

Beijing's gay film festival makes quiet start, to relief of organisers (SCMP)
The mainland's biggest gay film festival got off to a smooth start amid concerns it would experience similar setbacks to those in Shanghai last week. The five-day Beijing Queer Film Festival, which started on Wednesday in the out-of-the-way Songzhuang Art Centre, is the fourth on the mainland and will feature more than 50 entries from filmmakers around the world. "What a relief to see the films finally getting started," co-organiser Yang Yang said. Ms Yang said organisers had tried to get a licence from the Ministry of Culture for previous festivals but had received no response, so this time they did not bother.[…] She said they chose Songzhuang, an emerging art district far from the heart of the capital, to keep the event as low-profile as possible, particularly amid the fallout from Shanghai Pride Week. Organisers in Shanghai cancelled a play, a film screening and a social function on the order of police - underscoring the delicate line the mainland's homosexual community has to tread to have its voice heard. […]. ^ top ^



Shanghai residency rules draw criticism for discrimination (China Daily)
Beijing - The local government in China's most populous city is cracking the door wider for those wanting to make it their permanent home. Shanghai unveiled new rules yesterday, elaborating on a policy that, for the first time, offers the option of permanent residency to talents from outside the city of 18 million. But the rules immediately drew criticism for discriminating against many migrant workers. The Shanghai municipal government announced in February it would approve permanent residency for qualified talents, easing its strict population control measures for the first time. […] To qualify for permanent residency, applicants must have held a Shanghai residency certificate and have been in the city's social security system for at least seven years. They must also be taxpayers, have obtained a vocational qualification at medium or high levels, have never violated family planning policies, and have clean credit and no criminal record. […] By the end of this year, Shanghai will have a population of 19 million, 6 million of whom will not have permanent residency. ^ top ^



DPP demands referendum on pact (SCMP)
Taiwan's main opposition party yesterday kick-started a campaign to push for a referendum on the Beijing-friendly government's plans to forge a comprehensive trade pact with the mainland. The Democratic Progressive Party insisted that since the pact - similar in scope to a free-trade agreement - would be far-reaching, it should be scrutinised by the whole country rather than the Ma Ying-jeou administration alone. "Whatever the content of the ECFA (Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement), it could decide the future of Taiwan. Therefore, we demand the issues be voted on by the people," DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said. It would be the first referendum since the pro-independence DPP lost power to the Kuomintang party in May last year. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan to increase Spratlys boat patrols (SCMP)
Taiwan's coastguard said yesterday it was likely to increase its presence in a disputed South China Sea archipelago in response to a significant rise in the number of foreign boats fishing there. […]. ^ top ^

Taiwan to receive new group of purchasers (SCMP)
Beijing will send to Taiwan another procurement delegation of mainland entrepreneurs in a bid to boost the island's economy through corporate purchases. So far, 60 enterprises had registered to join the group, Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said in Beijing yesterday. Mr Yao said the group going next month would focus mainly on food, drinks, daily consumer goods, clothing and crafts, but he did not make a forecast for the value of purchases. […]. ^ top ^

Ma aide denies drift towards reunification (SCMP)
A spokesman for mainland-friendly Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday dismissed suggestions the island was drifting towards reunification with the mainland. Wang Yu-chi said the president believed in maintaining "the status quo" under which the two territories are ruled separately, unless a majority of islanders vote for change. The spokesman's comments came after Mr Ma was quoted saying in a recent interview with the Taipei-based CommonWealth magazine that he would not "rule out" pursuit of a unified China. The remarks sparked speculation that Mr Ma was moving towards Beijing's goal of reunification, 60 years after the two sides split at the end of a bitter civil war. But Mr Wang said the comments had been taken out of context. "What he was trying to say was that Taiwan's future should be voted on by the 23 million people here," he said. "Like a great majority of the locals, he wants to sustain the status quo of the Taiwan Strait." […] Meanwhile, the de facto US embassy in Taiwan said its new facilities in Taipei would include quarters for security personnel - raising the possibility that serving US Marines would return to the island for the first time since Washington transferred diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979. […]. ^ top ^



Balance tilts in favor of local firms (China Daily)
[…] For the first time since the launch of the nation's 4-trillion-yuan economic stimulus package late last year, the government has responded favorably to rising protests about too many fat contracts awarded to foreign companies. On June 1, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planner, warned in a statement that Chinese products have suffered "illegal barriers" when bidding for government purchases paid for from the stimulus budget. It said the "discrimination" is particularly serious in industries including equipment manufacturing, which has "aroused wide concerns from industry associations and companies". On June 4, the NDRC and eight other ministries jointly released a notice requiring local governments to give priority to Chinese products when purchasing for government-invested projects. Lu Renqi, vice-president of the China Machinery Industry Federation, said many local governments favor imported products because of strong financial incentives. […] But even as local firms seem to be receiving some redress, foreign companies are complaining that they are the victims of unfair bidding practices. Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber, was quoted as saying by China Economic Weekly that "the Chinese government seems to have readily wiped foreign providers out of the country's 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package". […]. ^ top ^

Premier Wen: Chinese economy at critical moment of recovery (Xinhua)
Beijing - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday China's economy is at a critical moment as it begins to recover "steadily". Wen told an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, that economic performance had started to show positive changes, favorable factors were increasing, the overall situation had stabilized and was moving upwards. […] Government measures to fight the global economic crisis proved correct and effective, and should continue to be implemented and improved according to the changing situation, he said. But it should also be noted that the foundation for economic recovery was not stable and many uncertainties remained, said Wen, citing sluggish exports, the fiscal deficit and trade protectionism. […] Comprehensive efforts should be made to boost domestic demand to power economic growth, Wen said, singling out such measures as subsidies for home appliances and automobiles in rural areas. […]. ^ top ^

China's pre-installed filter software may face copyright charge (China Daily)
Beijing - A U.S. firm specializing in parental controls for computers may take Chinese developers of a controversial software to filter pornography to the court for copyright infringement. The California-based Solid Oak said it had "very solid evidence" to support copyright infringement against the Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co. and Dazheng Human Language Technology Co., Chinese developers of the Green Dam software, Thursday's China Daily reported. According to Jenna DiPasquale, the head of Solid Oak PR and marketing, programming codes within Solid Oak's Cybersitter had been found in the Green Dam software, for which the Chinese government paid 41.7 million yuan and required to be included in all computers sold on the mainland from July 1. […]. ^ top ^


H1N1 flu

Capital prepares special hospital as number of infections grows (SCMP)
Beijing is preparing a special hospital to handle swine flu cases as the number of infections grows. A former orthopaedics hospital near the city's airport was being renovated to meet the standards required to handle infectious diseases, The Beijing News reported, citing a city health official. It has more than 300 beds and will be put into service when the Ditan and Youan hospitals, two hospitals designated for the quarantine and treatment of swine flu patients, reach capacity. The capital has been reporting new swine flu cases every day since the beginning of this month. City health authorities have asked eight big general hospitals to set up quarantine wards and will mobilise two civil-aviation hospitals to quarantine those stopped at border points because they had flu symptoms. The mainland confirmed 41 new A(H1N1) flu cases yesterday afternoon, taking total infections to 226, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health. […]. ^ top ^

National strategy fine-tuned as community outbreaks threaten (SCMP)
The mainland is gradually adjusting its strategy to battle swine flu with its first potential community outbreak looming. Strict border checks ordered by Beijing currently identify virus carriers, and health officials try to limit the impact once swine-flu patients are confirmed after entering the country. But a leading disease-control expert said authorities would not focus on monitoring individual patients and those in close contact with them, but rather key groups such as students and the elderly. The Ministry of Health yesterday released a work plan to contain the disease once community outbreaks or epidemics appear that said combined measures would cut off infection sources and contain the virus. […] But once the authorities believe a community epidemic has begun, meaning a community has multiple swine-flu cases and many lack a clear infection trace, the work plan dictates that much stricter measures be implemented. Entertainment venues will be closed, and big rallies will be cancelled or postponed to limit or restrict personal contact. Companies will be told to ask employees to take leave or rotate to work, and schools and nurseries will be closed. […] Yesterday, 27 more cases of swine flu were reported on the mainland. They bring the total number of people infected with the virus to 264. […]. ^ top ^


DPRK and South Korea

North Korea warns of nuclear war in defying UN sanctions (SCMP)
North Korea's Stalinist regime has warned of a nuclear war on the peninsula while vowing to step up its atomic-bomb-making programme in defiance of new UN sanctions. That defiance presents a growing diplomatic headache for US President Barack Obama as he prepares for talks tomorrow with his South Korean counterpart on the North's missile and nuclear programmes. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told security ministers at an unscheduled meeting yesterday to "resolutely and squarely" cope with the latest threat, his office said. […] A commentary in the North's main state newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, claimed the US had 1,000 nuclear weapons in South Korea. Another commentary, published in the state's Tongil weekly, said the US had been deploying a vast amount of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan. North Korea "is completely within the range of US nuclear attack and the Korean Peninsula is becoming an area where the chances of a nuclear war are the highest in the world," the Tongil commentary said. Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman at the US military command in Seoul, called the latest accusation baseless, saying Washington had no nuclear bombs in South Korea. […] North Korea said it had been enriching uranium to provide fuel for its light-water reactor. It was the first public acknowledgment the North was running a uranium-enrichment programme in addition to its known plutonium-based programme. […] South Korea's defence ministry said it was unable to confirm the report. […]. ^ top ^

Beijing denies Kim Jong-un visited (SCMP)
Beijing has issued an explicit denial of reports that Kim Jong-il's youngest son and heir apparent had recently visited China and met President Hu Jintao, likening the claims to a James Bond novel. The comments by the Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Qin Gang, came two days after he failed to quell rumours about the supposed visit by the North Korean leader's son when he said: "We have no information on this." […] The Foreign Ministry initially refused to comment on the article carried by Japan's Asahi newspaper on Tuesday. The newspaper quoted sources saying that 26-year-old Kim Jong-un travelled to China, probably last week, on a secret trip to cities including Beijing and Guangzhou. During the trip, the Chinese leadership was supposedly told by a North Korean aide that Kim Jong-un was appointed heir and already held an important post in the Korean Workers' Party. ^ top ^



Moody's sees improvement, but retains negative outlook on Mongolia (
Moody's Investors Service is no longer reviewing Mongolia's sovereign B1 rating for a possible downgrade but has retained a negative outlook. In February, Moody's had put Mongolia's ratings on review for a possible downgrade, citing a rapid deterioration in the country's external payments position and strains on the government's finances. On Wednesday, the ratings agency said that Mongolia's balance of payments position had improved and confidence had been restored in its currency allowing for the government to gain access to financing from the IMF, multilateral development banks and the government of Japan. But it added concerns remained about the durability of the new policy stance and the ability of the authorities to implement far-reaching reforms. ^ top ^

Inauguration ceremony for new president (
Mongolia's new President Ts.Elbegdorj's inauguration ceremony was held on June 18, 2009. According to State Protocol Office, about 1,000 guests, including over 150 foreign guests were invited to attend the inauguration. Ts. Elbegdorj had intended to give his public address at Sukhbaatar Square, but according to the law he had to do at the Parliamentary Session Hall. Instead, a big screen was placed at the square so that people can see and hear him during the address. “Soon after taking the oath of office the newly elected President of Mongolia, Ts. Elbegdorj, gave a call for national unity, asserting that he would “work to fulfil the trust of those who supported me, and also work to gain the trust of those who did not”. Addressing dignitaries, both Mongolian and foreign, assembled at the Great Hall of Government House, he thanked people for electing him, saying democratic responsibility assumes more importance in times of crisis. […] “I want to tell everybody, ‘Stop corruption in state work right from this moment',' he said. His priority would be reforming the judicial system, as the fundamental basis of a truly fair society was that everybody was equal before the law. Mongolia did not need foreign advice or help to achieve this. What it did need was, he said, unity among the people to work for a common purpose. Turning to guests from abroad, Elbegdorj thanked them all for attending the ceremony and said Mongolia's traditional foreign policy to have friendship with all nations would be pursued with a new vigour and thrust. Mongolia will continue to have special ties with its two neighbours, but will also seek to be an active member of the world community” […]. ^ 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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