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
  28.9-30.9.2009, No. 288  
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H1N1 flu

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Foreign Policy

Rise in number of Chinese abroad puts them at risk, minister warns (SCMP)
Chinese citizens overseas have become increasingly vulnerable to terrorist attacks and violence as growing numbers travel for business or tourism, a deputy foreign minister has warned. Song Tao told the People's Daily that Chinese people had become direct targets of terrorist attacks, kidnapping, piracy and other incidents. […] "With the financial crisis and the resulting recession in other countries, overseas Chinese nationals and businesses are surviving in a tougher environment." In July, the South China Morning Post […] reported that al-Qaeda had vowed to target Chinese workers and projects in northwest Africa to avenge the deaths of Muslims during rioting in Urumqi, Xinjiang. […] Chinese vessels have also fallen prey to piracy in hot spots such as the waters off Somalia. Although most such incidents were triggered by unstable political or social situations in other countries, Song said an increasing number of cases were a result of Chinese nationals' ignorance of foreign legal systems or cultures. […] In some other cases, Song said, Chinese citizens failed to respect local religions and traditions, fanning misunderstanding with residents. […] He said the ministry had handled an average of 30,000 cases involving consular assistance to Chinese nationals annually in recent years, as the number of Chinese going abroad increased from 280,000 between 1949 and 1979 to 45.8 million last year. […]. ^ top ^

Minister backs Japan's idea of 'Asian Union': Yang Jiechi first high-level supporter of proposal (SCMP)
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has thrown his weight behind Japanese plans to establish an Asian answer to the European Union, the first time a top state official has publicly backed the proposal. "China was among the first batch of countries to advocate and support the construction of an East Asian community, and has actively engaged in East Asian co-operation and its integration process," Yang said in a statement released late on Monday. His statement followed a meeting with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Shanghai. […] The concept of a unified East Asian community along the lines of the European Union was floated by newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama last month, marking a significant change of tack for the country, which had shied from entering a formal regional bloc. The concept would tie China, Japan and South Korea into a union with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, although members of the pact had yet to be agreed. The long-term goal would be to have a common currency adopted across the new pan-Asian trade bloc. […] Disputed territorial issues over resources in the East China Sea are one of the potential sticking points that could bog down negotiations over establishing the proposed union. […]. ^ top ^

Putin, Wen to hold talks ahead of regional security meeting (SCMP)
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will visit China next month for bilateral talks and a six-nation regional security meeting, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. "At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Putin of the Russian Federation will pay an official visit to China on the 12th-14th of next month," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. She said Putin would hold bilateral talks with Wen during an official visit before attending an October 14 meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) in Beijing. […] Jiang said the leaders would discuss ways of addressing the global financial crisis and deepening regional economic and humanitarian co-operation. […]. ^ top ^

SCO prime ministers' meeting to be held in Beijing (Xinhua)
The annual prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will be held in Beijing on Oct. 14, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu announced here on Tuesday. Jiang told the regular press conference Tuesday that leaders or their representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the SCO observer nations and other relevant countries would attend the meeting at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. They will exchange views in depth on implementing the consensus reached at the annual summit of the SCO in Russia's Yekaterinburg this June, tackling global financial crisis and deepening cooperation on culture and regional economy. ^ top ^

China, DPRK to sign deals amid Premier Wen's visit (Xinhua)
China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will sign a package of deals ranging from economy and trade to education and tourism during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pyongyang, said China's Foreign Ministry. […]. ^ top ^

Wen to visit North Korea (Global Times)
Premier Wen Jiabao will embark on an official visit to North Korea next week, China's foreign ministry announced Monday. […] Wen will visit North Korea from Sunday to next Tuesday and attend activities pertaining to the "China-North Korea Friendship Year," which coincides with the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement. North Korean Premier Kim Yong-il visited China in March. The last Chinese premier to travel to Pyongyong was Li Peng in 1991. President Hu Jintao and former president Jiang Zemin visited Pyongyang in 2005 and 2001, respectively. Kim Jong-il last visited China in 2006. […]. ^ top ^

East Asia's big three weigh trade bloc, North Korea (SCMP)
Foreign ministers from China, Japan and South Korea met in Shanghai yesterday to discuss the North Korea nuclear issue and a Japanese proposal for a European Union-style East Asian community. The ministers - Yang Jiechi, Katsuya Okada of Japan and Yu Myung-hwan of South Korea - were also to prepare for an October 10 summit in Beijing, likely to bring together Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, officials said. Atop the agenda at yesterday's two-hour meeting was North Korea's nuclear programme, as well as Hatoyama's proposal for an East Asian free-trade bloc, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said. Seoul also asked Beijing and Tokyo to support its hosting of the next Group of 20 summit. […] South Korea's Yonhap news agency said North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could announce some concrete denuclearisation measures during Wen's visit. Citing unnamed diplomatic sources in Beijing, Yonhap reported that Wen might promise food and fuel aid in return for disarmament measures. Japan was also eager to use the meeting as a testing ground for its future diplomacy with regional partners by the newly sworn-in administration under Hatoyama, whose Democratic Party of Japan won by a landslide in elections last month that ended more than half a century of nearly uninterrupted rule by the Liberal Democratic Party. […] The three countries have outlined more than a dozen areas for deepening co-operation, including disaster prevention, trade and investment. ^ top ^

China's seventh UN peacekeeping squad leaves for Haiti (Xinhua)
China's seventh peacekeeping squad, an 17-strong team, left Beijing Thursday to take part in the United Nations mission in Haiti. The team has been selected from police forces in eight provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities including Beijing, Tianjin, Gansu and Guangxi, the Ministry of Public Security said Friday. China has so far sent 1,571 police on UN peacekeeping missions to East Timor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liberia, Afghanistan, Haiti and Sudan. ^ top ^

China steps up regional cooperation against "East Turkistan" forces (Xinhua)
China has reached a "common understanding" with countries in Mid, West and South Asia to curb "East Turkistan" forces, anti-terrorist departments said Sunday. The joint work aims to guarantee the safety of the 60th National Day celebrations and effectively counteract "East Turkistan" forces headed by the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)," they said. The law enforcement departments of the countries involved will step up intelligence exchanges, share information, tighten border controls and boost protection measures around "Chinese targets abroad." […]. ^ top ^

China to start anti-dumping, anti-subsidy investigations into imported U.S. chicken (Xinhua)
Sunday started anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into chicken products imported from the United States, the Ministry of Commerce said. The ministry had carefully evaluated applications from domestic chicken producers, and found grounds for investigation. It will make a final judge based on law and facts, it said. The United States is the largest chicken products exporter to China, comprising 90 percent of the 407,000 tonnes of chicken China imported in the first half of 2009. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Han, minorities urged to work towards unity: President says every ethnic group is valued (SCMP)
President Hu Jintao called for Han Chinese and ethnic minorities in the country to work together on the eve of the 60th anniversary celebration, state media reported. A grand ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in the presence of all nine members of the powerful Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee, marked the climax of a recent streak of ethnic-related events apparently aimed at dispelling tension hanging over tomorrow's 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. "Every ethnic group is a valuable, integral member of the great family of the motherland," Hu said. Only ethnic unity could guarantee development and economic growth. "If there is no struggle for ethnic unity, then there can be no prosperity […]. Promoting progress in ethnic unity is every citizen's sacred responsibility and glorious mission." But he also stressed there would be no changes in government policy. "The facts eloquently prove that our country has been successful at solving ethnic issues... the party's ethnic policies are totally correct," he said. […]. ^ top ^

Top official of China's Xinjiang stresses development to ensure stability (Xinhua)
A top official of northwest China's Xinjiang said Tuesday the problems in the autonomous region, which has been scarred by a deadly riot, should be resolved by faster and scientific development. Wang Lequan, secretary of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China made the remarks at a conference celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. […] Wang vowed to ensure and improve people's livelihood by improving educational condition, creating more jobs, encouraging population control and relocating people to better houses. Looking into the future, the official believed that stability is the premise and guarantee of development. "Without stability, we could do nothing," he said. "Development is our paramount goal, while stability is our chief responsibility.". ^ top ^

Mainland draws up its own 3D map of moon (SCMP)
Mainland officials have completed a high-resolution, three-dimensional map of the entire surface of the moon, in an important step towards a future lunar landing. After putting its first man into space in 2003 - only the third nation to do so - China is aiming to launch an unmanned rover on the moon's surface by 2012 and a manned mission to the moon by around 2020. The map was made using image data obtained by a camera on the first lunar probe - the Chang'e 1 - launched in 2007, Xinhua said. Quoting Liu Xianlin, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, the report said the map would help scientists study the features of the moon's surface and deepen understanding of lunar geology and its evolution. Chen Yong-qi, a professor in the department of land surveying and geo-informatics at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said the map was an important step towards a future lunar landing. […]. ^ top ^

Direct polls for party officials on the way: Document promises checks and balances (SCMP)
Direct elections of Communist Party officials at the local level are coming, and so is a parliamentary-style checks-and-balances system on grass-roots organs, party leaders say. In a document approved on September 18 at the fourth plenary session of the 17th party Central Committee, but not published until Sunday, leaders pledged to guarantee the "democratic rights of party members" to improve party building. The leadership said it would "gradually expand direct elections in the selection of leading members in grass-roots party organs". "All party members have the right to supervise and obtain information about party affairs and participate in party elections," said the document, posted on the central government's main website. The moves will apply only within the party, not to government offices. Direct elections are allowed on the mainland but only at village level. The document said both party members and members of the public had the right to nominate candidates in grass-roots party elections. It also said it would select some counties or urban districts for pilot experiments on establishing a permanent party congress which, according to some analysts, is to introduce parliamentary-style checks and balances on powerful local party organs. […]. ^ top ^

HK petitioners detained on arrival in Beijing (SCMP)
Five Hong Kong petitioners hoping to air grievances to the central government ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic were questioned on arrival in Beijing yesterday. The two businessmen and three businesswomen arrived at Beijing West railway station and found state security officers waiting for them. They were taken to the station's customs area and questioned individually by about 20 officials from the security and petitions departments and representatives of the courts. They were detained for nearly four fours, then escorted to the Jingshun Hostel hotel in Xuanwu district. The five were members of the Hong Kong (China) Investment Rights Concern Group, and some had travelled to Beijing last year during the Olympic Games. Most hope for justice in overturning or implementing court orders to recover financial losses. […]. ^ top ^

China issues white paper stressing harmony, equality among all ethnic groups (Xinhua)
The Chinese government Sunday published a white paper on its ethnic policy, stressing harmony and equality among all ethnic groups. The paper, released by the State Council Information Office, reviewed the country's basic situation of ethnic issues, the government policies over the past six decades and the economic, social and cultural progress in ethnic minority regions. It was the third white paper on China's ethnic policy after two reports were issued respectively in 1999 and 2005, said an official with the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. […] The 58-page document is divided into seven sections: A Unified Multi-Ethnic Country and a Nation with Diverse Cultures; Full Equality among Ethnic Groups; Consolidating and Developing the Great Unity of All Ethnic Groups; Upholding and Improving Regional Ethnic Autonomy; Accelerating the Economic and Social Development of the Ethnic Minorities and Minority Areas; Protection and Development of Cultures of the Ethnic Minorities; Striving to Foster Cadres and Talented People of the Ethnic Minorities. ^ top ^

No major changes to ethnic minority policy (SCMP)
Mainland officials have reaffirmed there will be no major shift in ethnic minority policy in the wake of the recent unrest in Xinjiang, but the level of economic assistance will be increased. It was the second time in a week the central government has defended its policy on ethnic autonomy, which was criticised after last year's Tibetan riots and again this year for failing to ensure stability. Yang Jing, minister of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, said the ethnic autonomy policies had stood the test of time, and occasional disturbances were inevitable. "Through the past six decades, our ethnic polices have proved to be correct and effective and we must stick to them for a long time to come," Yang said. […]. ^ top ^

Xinjiang to undergo tighter Net scrutiny: Region issues rules on web, phone messages (SCMP)
The people of Xinjiang will be subjected to more stringent surveillance of their online activities under a new set of regulations issued by the government of the restive region. Under the changes to rules on the spreading of information, the regional People's Congress outlawed using the internet or text messages for seven types of unlawful activities related to separatism, the China News Service reported yesterday. They included: endangering national security; sabotaging interests of the country and the public; undermining ethnic solidarity; inciting ethnic splitting and sabotaging social stability; and endangering information networks and system security. Also, providing, making, releasing and spreading false information; making and distributing obscene, pornographic, violent, horrible, murderous or crime-instigating information were banned, the report said. […] The legislation also targets supervising departments and internet and mobile service providers. The latter have been urged to improve monitoring systems and they must report any users breaking the rules. […] Yesterday also saw nearly 900 public buses in Urumqi installed with GPS in preparation for any "emergency incident", according to Xinhua. […]. ^ top ^

Spending on festivities cut amid hard times - except on security measures (SCMP)
Frugality is the order of the day as the preparations for the 60th anniversary celebrations reach a climax. In a recent circular, the government said extravagance would give way to austerity, and the money saved would be diverted to reconstruction projects in earthquake-hit areas of Sichuan and to efforts aimed at helping the economy rebound from the financial crisis. […] The circular, issued by the general offices of the party's Central Committee and the State Council, and cited by a provincial party official in charge of publicity affairs, ordered local officials to resist any opportunities for personal profit. It banned local agencies' using the anniversary as an excuse to raise funds from businesses. […] The circular also banned government agencies' being involved in the production of souvenirs and gifts. […] But the extravanganza is still aimed at outdoing last year's Olympics opening ceremony. […] Events will include a gala and fireworks, plus a highly anticipated military parade including never-before-seen weaponry. […] "Frugality? That is their way of saying they have not spent enough," said a Beijing office worker, citing simple anniversary celebrations in the US and France. […] Security is the one area where no expense has been spared, with the Olympics blanket security back in place. […]. ^ top ^

21 suspects involved in Urumqi riot prosecuted (Xinhua)
The local procuratorate on Friday brought charges against 21 suspects in the Urumqi riot. The July 5 riot in the capital city of northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured. The city's procuratorate said it has instituted public prosecutions in the Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi against 21 suspects involved in six cases including homicide, arson and robbery. The six cases are: Alleged intentional homicide and arson committed by Abdukerim Abduwayit; Alleged intentional homicide, arson and robbery committed by four suspects whose leader was Gheni Yusup; Alleged intentional homicide, arson, robbery and intentional damage to properties, committed by 11 suspects led by Ahmatjan Moming; Alleged intentional homicide, robbery and arson committed by Alim Metyusup and Tayirejan Abulimit; Alleged intentional homicide and arson committed by AzizijanYasin; Alleged intentional homicide committed by Han Junbo and Liubo. Further public prosecutions are to be instituted against other suspects in the Urumqi riot, said the Procuratorate. ^ top ^



New Subway line to accelerate Beijing life (China Daily)
A new subway line will start operation in Beijing just before China's National Day on October 1. But the exact date remains unannounced. With a total length of 28.2 kilometers, the Subway Line 4 runs through the city from the northwest to the south. It will help relieve the pressure of old tube lines by offering an alternative access point to some of the most crowded stations such as XIDAN, which is the center of many shopping malls and is also a rising financial centre.The new line will also for the first time service many other key places of the city where traffic is not so efficient. For example, it will shuttle people to Beijing's IT centre ZHONGGUANCUN, which is known for its enduring traffic jams. A subway station will also be located inside the Beijing South Railway Station, allowing riders to take the tube right after getting off the train. […]. ^ top ^

Capital Museum hosting exhibition of origin of Chinese civilization (Xinhua)
An exhibition depicting the origin and early stages of China's civilization will open Saturday in the Capital Museum ahead of the country's eight-day National Day holiday. The event, jointly organized by ministries of culture, finance, science and technology, will be the first time for China to showcase the origin of its civilization in the form of exhibits. The exhibition will cover China's history from 3,500 B.C. to 1,400 B.C. […] The show will last until Oct. 30. ^ top ^



Rebiya Kadeer banned from Taiwan visit (Xinhua)
Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the World Uygur Congress (WUC), has been banned from visiting Taiwan, Jiang Yi-huah, the internal affairs head of the region, said Friday. Jiang said the WUC is closely related to a terrorist organization and many countries are wary of its secretary general. The proposal to ban Kadeer's visit, made "in consideration of Taiwan's interests", has been supported by the region's administrative authorities. Taiwan secessionist groups recently invited Kadeer to visit the island at the end of the year, and whether the authorities would approve her visit has since attracted close attention. The WUC was widely blamed for the deadly riot in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on July 5. The riot killed nearly 200 people. ^ top ^



China to continue loose monetary policy, stressing domestic consumption (Xinhua)
The monetary policy committee of China's central bank said Tuesday the government will continue the moderately easy monetary policy while highlighting the role of domestic consumption in pushing the economy. The People's Bank of China (PBC), the central bank, will try to keep both the sustainability and stability of the policy, the committee heard at its third-quarter meeting Tuesday. The PBC would guide reasonable growth in money and credit and maintain sufficient liquidity in the banking system, committee members agreed. The committee decided to optimize credit structure by supporting the development of rural areas, and small and medium-sized enterprises. They also agreed to expand credit for consumption on the premise that domestic consumers could play a great role in pushing economic growth. Meanwhile, credit to high energy-consuming and environment-polluting industries would be strictly controlled, they agreed. ^ top ^

China boosts int'l use of RMB with sovereign bond sale in Hong Kong (Xinhua)
The launch of Renminbi sovereign bonds in Hong Kong on Monday shows China's efforts to boost the international use of the yuan step by step, officials and analysts said. The bond issue, worth only 6 billion yuan (878.5 million U.S. dollars), marked a key milestone in the internationalization of the RMB. Hong Kong was chosen for, and will benefit from, the milestone bond sale thanks to its unique position as the international financial center providing desired cushion against the potential risks when the program was launched, analysts said. […]. ^ top ^

Energy giants launch expansion (Xinhua)
BASF SE, the world's biggest chemical maker, and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec), the nation's dominant refiner, began construction yesterday on a 1.4-billion U.S. dollars expansion of their petrochemical joint venture in east China. The second phase of BASF-YPC Co in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, is scheduled to begin operation in 2011. BASF-YPC is equally owned by both companies. […]. ^ top ^

Bank to give HK a miss for IPO (SCMP)
Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the only unlisted bank among the mainland's top four lenders, intends to launch its long-awaited initial public offering in Shanghai only, according to mainland banking sources briefed on the matter. The move will probably be perceived as a snub to Hong Kong and dash the hopes of international investment banks eyeing handsome underwriting fees. […]. ^ top ^

Stimulus on track but at cost to the environment (SCMP)
Beijing's much-touted stimulus measures lifted the economy during the global slump, but it came at a cost to the battered environment, senior officials have admitted. The resurgence of energy intensive and heavy polluting industries as a result of the 4 trillion yuan stimulus package since November is threatening to derail the government's efforts to meet ambitious pollution-control targets by the end of next year. "We still have tremendous difficulty in meeting the goal of [cutting energy intensity] by 20 per cent and it remains an arduous task," said Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a briefing in Beijing yesterday. […] But according to the Ministry of Environment Protection, energy intensive and polluting industries, which had been the targets of macroeconomic control, have emerged as the biggest winners of the stimulus package as the mainland strained to maintain a high growth rate. […] Some regions had relaxed their efforts to control emissions due to poor government supervision and inconsistent policies, it added. […]. ^ top ^


H1N1 flu

Capital gets ready for H1N1 inoculations (Xinhua)
Beijing is gearing up for a mass H1N1 flu inoculation of young students as its previous vaccination of hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationwide proved to be safe. No "serious adverse reactions" were detected among the recipients, the country's health minister, Chen Zhu, said yesterday at a press conference, without elaborating on the definition of serious adverse reaction. After the National Day holiday, Beijing will vaccinate all primary and middle school students against the H1N1 flu, said local health authorities yesterday. The mass inoculation, which is free and voluntary, will be carried out from Oct 8 to 30 in the capital, according to a joint notice by the municipal health and education bureaus. Each school is required to follow the principle of voluntary vaccination, said the notice. Inoculation can only be given after getting written consent from the students' parents, it stipulates. […]

An epidemic report by the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that among new infections in September, 90 percent occurred at schools as the new semester kicked off. Nearly 100,000 National Day celebration performers, mainly students from the capital, have already been vaccinated against H1N1. Health authorities previously reported 14 cases of mild adverse reaction. […]

About 16,000 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu have been reported on the Chinese mainland. Of those, more than 71 percent have recovered. There have been nine severe cases with no deaths reported, said the Ministry of Health. […]. ^ top ^


Véronique Billeter
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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