BOTSCHAFT IN BEIJING
EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND IN BEIJING
AMBASSADE DE SUISSE EN CHINE
| Der wöchentliche
Presserückblick der Schweizer Botschaft in der VR China
The Weekly Press Review of the Swiss Embassy in the People's Republic
La revue de presse hebdomadaire de l'Ambassade de Suisse en RP
DPRK and South
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Euro zone woes set to dominate Beijing talks (SCMP)
[…] The second Sino-US strategic and economic dialogue meeting, in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, will be a two-track affair. The economic track will be chaired by Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, with the strategic track to be chaired by State Councillor Dai Bingguo and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. […] In a briefing on the talks, Zhu said the global economy's priority should be to steady financial conditions in Europe after Greece's debt crisis. […]
"We hope that the US fiscal deficit will fall as a proportion of GDP as the economy recovers and reaches a sustainable level," Zhu said. The US budget deficit hit a record US$1.4 trillion last year, roughly 10 per cent of the economy. The White House projects the deficit this year will reach US$1.6 trillion. Diplomats familiar with the talks said negotiators from both countries had agreed to focus on co-operation in dealing with global financial challenges. […]
Analysts said China seemed less likely to revalue the yuan, given the global financial uncertainty. Shen Jianguang, an analyst with Mizuho Securities Asia, said the fresh financial woes suggested that the yuan's exchange rate and trade deficit issues would be less important at the talks. "Now the worry for the US government is the decline of the euro and losing competitiveness to euro-area producers," Shen said. Tom Orlik, an analyst with Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, said the US might have hoped for progress on the exchange rate before the talks. But the euro zone woes could delay progress. "The European sovereign debt crisis has thrown a spanner in the works of the global recovery, and a resumption of the yuan's stalled appreciation may now be delayed," Orlik said.
Ticking off a long list of priorities proposed by negotiators ahead of the talks, the diplomat said the top Chinese concern was still the safety of the country's massive holdings of US dollar-denominated assets. China is the world's largest holder of US Treasuries, with US$895.2 billion. "Beijing wants a more specific guarantee from the Obama administration that it is their [the administration's] responsibility to safeguard the dollar," the diplomat said.
The US top priorities are market access to the Chinese market, demanding that Beijing scrap discrimination against foreign firms in government procurement and in its protection of indigenous innovation. US companies would like more access to China's US$82 billion government procurement market. ^ top ^
Chinese FM urges closer co-op with Britain (People's Daily Online)
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday held a pre-arranged telephone conversation with his new British counterpart William Hague, and expressed hope for closer bilateral coordination and cooperation. While extending his congratulations to Hague once again, Yang stressed that it is of particular significance that China and Britain, as two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, strengthen coordination on international politics, security, economy and other important issues. China is ready to join hands with Britain to give fresh impetus to the comprehensive strategic China-Britain partnership for further and larger achievements, said Yang, who is currently in Ukraine for an official visit.
For his part, the British foreign secretary said that his country is willing to establish strong ties with China and stands ready to boost bilateral cooperation and mutual understanding. He added that Britain expects to strengthen bilateral exchange and collaboration in various fields and enhance communication and coordination with China on international affairs, including those concerning the Group of 20 and the United Nations. ^ top ^
UN agrees on diluted Iran draft sanctions (Global Times)
[…] Capping months of negotiations, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany agreed Tuesday on the US-introduced 10-page draft resolution, which had been already circulated to the full 15-member body and awaits voting. Its content includes sanctions such as banning Iran from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons and freezing the assets of nuclear-related companies linked to the Revolutionary Guards, as well as barring Iranian investment in activities such as uranium mining and prohibiting Iran from buying several categories of heavy weapons, according to a report carried by the AP.
Li Baodong, China's representative at the UN, said, "Circulating a draft resolution on Iran does not mean the door of diplomacy is closed, and we believe that the dialogue, diplomacy and negotiations are the best way to address the Iranian nuclear issue."
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the resolution would give "greater teeth" to existing sanctions and add "strong" new measures to intensifying pressure on the Iranian government to resolve concerns that its nuclear program is peaceful and not aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
Originally, the US and its European allies had hoped to impose a total arms embargo against Tehran and blacklist its central bank, but diplomats said Russia and China had opposed those moves, according to a Reuters report. Many of the measures in the resolution are non-binding and diplomats said the European Union and the US would treat calls for "vigilance" against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and other firms as bans and would pass regulations that go beyond any new UN measures, the report said. […]
Wang Feng, a researcher at the Institute of West Asia and Africa at CASS, said China's agreement over the US-led resolution came at a time when its diplomatic efforts didn't seem to have produced a tangible outcome. […] Laurie Dundon, an expert on Iran at the Bertelsmann Foundation in Washington, DC, told the Xinhua News Agency that it was now up to Iran to decide how to respond in the face of possible new UN sanctions. "Major powers need to see detailed pledges and verifiable actions before pulling options off the table," Dundon said. […]. ^ top ^
Yuan seen being revalued (Global Times)
[…] Democratic Senator Charles Schumer led a group of bipartisan lawmakers, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, in writing a letter Tuesday to Geithner, asking the treasury chief to urge China to release the IMF report, just days before he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are scheduled to leave for economic talks in Beijing. […] Some Chinese analysts said that they didn't believe the exchange rate issue would be a focus of the coming economic talks, but they predicted that a yuan rise is likely to occur either this month or in June. […] "The fact that China insists on keeping the report under wraps is reason to believe they have something to hide. The administration should press for the report's release at next week's summit," Schumer added. […]
Eswar Prasad, a former head of the IMF's China division, who said he is familiar with the contents of the latest report, said the IMF avoided using the "M" word. "They did not use the term 'currency manipulation,' they used the term, 'substantially undervalued,'" Prasad […] told Reuters. Prasad said "substantially undervalued" implies that the yuan is at least 20 percent undervalued, adding that, coupled with the report's assessment of a rapid rate of reserve accumulation, the report "could be interpreted as suggesting that China could be manipulating its currency."
[…] China has kept the yuan pegged at around 6.83 to the dollar since July 2008 to boost its exports and employment and maintain the stability of its economy. However, many critics see the yuan as the key to addressing trade imbalances, arguing that a weak yuan gives Chinese exporters an unfair advantage by making their products relatively cheaper. In recent weeks, there have been some signs that China may be ready to move on the yuan. Last week, the People's Bank of China said that it would manage the currency "with reference to a basket of currencies," but it didn't give a specific timeframe. […]
Zhao Xijun, vice dean of the School of Finance at Renming University of China, said Wednesday that the European debt crisis, which is evolving, has added instability to the financial and investment environments.
[…] A sudden appreciation of the Chinese currency is neither good for China nor for the US, as it might cause tremendous job losses in China and inflation in the United States, David Wu, a Chinese-American congressman told Xinhua Sunday. […]. ^ top ^
Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency in southern city (Global Times)
Kyrgyzstan's interim government on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in the troubled southern city of Jalalabad in an attempt to curb violent local clashes. A curfew was to be imposed every night during the special period lasting until June 1, according to a statement from the interim government, which said the measure was aimed to ensure the security of citizens and an early return to public order. The move came on the heels of fresh clashes between supporters of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and security forces loyal to the newly established interim government. The most recent violence left two people dead and dozens of others injured. The Central Asian country plunged into unrest when a revolt in early April resulted in Bakiyev's ouster. Ensuing violence has claimed around 100 lives and left over 1,500 injured. ^ top ^
Wen to visit Japan for top-level talks (SCMP)
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao will visit Japan for three days from May 30 for the highest-level official visit from Beijing since 2008, Japan's foreign ministry said yesterday. Wen will arrive the day after a summit with Japan, China and South Korea on the South Korean island of Jeju. He is to meet his counterpart Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo on May 31, and Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on June 1. President Hu Jintao last went to Tokyo in May 2008, and Wen joined a three-way summit with South Korea in Fukuoka in December that year. Hatoyama visited Beijing in October and plans to visit the World Expo in Shanghai next month. Wen will also visit Mongolia and Myanmar on what would be a four-nation tour until June 3.
Relations between Asian giants Japan and China, the world's number two and three economies respectively, have warmed but are still often strained by their wartime history and ongoing disputes over territory and resources. Hatoyama, a centre-left leader who took power last September, has promoted closer bonds between Japan and its East Asian neighbours. Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said yesterday that Japan would relax visa requirements for Chinese tourists starting this summer in a bid to boost the number of visitors to the country. But ties between Tokyo and Beijing have suffered again in recent weeks because of incidents on the seas, where both countries have long disputed island chains and territorial waters rich in resources. ^ top ^
US indicts 2 Chinese over illegal exports (Global Times)
[…] Wu, a Harvard MA graduate and founder of Shenzhen Chitron Electronics, was arrested December 5, 2008, at Chicago's O'Hare Airport while on his way to a Yale CEO leadership summit. His ex-wife, Wei, an accountant at Chitron-US, and company manager Li Bo were also arrested the same day. Both Wu and Wei were charged in a 32-count indictment with conspiring to violate US export laws, illegally exporting defense articles and commerce-controlled electronics to China as well as filing false shipping documents with the US Commerce Department. Wei was also charged with immigration fraud. Both Wu and Wei said that they would appeal. According to the US attorney's office, sentencing is set for August 17. Both Wu and Wei could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and Chitron-US could face up to a $1 million fine. […] For Shi, the verdict was disappointing. He said he was discouraged by the way the US court system operates. "The judge said in the court this has been the most complicated case in her 20-year legal practice. How could the jury, selected from common citizens without legal background, understand the whole case and deliver a fair verdict?" he said. […]. A Global Times reporter visited Wu at the Wyatt Detention Facility on May 9 […] "I'm proud of being here (detained in a US detention center) because I know the US government fears China catching up," he said. […] Liu Luxin, a professor with the Asian Studies Department at La Trobe University in Australia, told the Global Times "The Chitron case shows that regulations on US export of high-tech products to China appear to be loosened but actually they are tightened even further, and it also highlights the hostility of the conservatives in the US government to China." The US government has been on high alert to China's economic activities and a small incident could trigger big frictions between the two countries, Liu added. ^ top ^
Sino-German pledge to boost ties (SCMP)
President Hu Jintao said yesterday that the world economic recovery was not firm and urged his German counterpart to step up co-operation on advancing reform of the global financial system. Hu met visiting President Horst Koehler and agreed to push forward the countries' trade ties, while increasing co-operation and consultation on international issues, China Central Television reported.
[…] "China is willing to work with Germany to strengthen co-operation within the G20 framework and push forward further progress in the reform of the international financial system" the report quoted Hu as saying. China fully supported the huge 110 billion euro (HK$1.05 trillion) rescue package put forward by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help Greece overcome its debt crisis, Hu said.
Koehler said: "Germany is willing to work with China to address the international financial crisis, to ensure that the global economy is open and to oppose all protectionist measures." Koehler, on a five-day visit to China, is due to meet Premier Wen Jiabao, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, the German embassy said. The German president, who is a former head of the IMF, could raise the issue of the value of China's currency.
Late last month, European trade commissioner Karel De Gucht told Chinese officials in Beijing that the yuan was undervalued and it would be in China's interest to allow the currency to appreciate. On Wednesday, Koehler is scheduled to visit Shanghai, where he will tour the German pavilion at the World Expo. ^ top ^
China, US wrap up two-day dialogue on human rights (Global Times)
China and the United States wrapped up a two-day dialogue on human rights here on Friday and agreed to hold the next round of dialogue in China next year. During the dialogue meetings, the two sides briefed each other on new progress made in the field of human rights in their respective countries and had an in-depth exchange of views on issues of mutual concern, including cooperation on human rights at the United Nations, the rule of law, freedom of expression, labor rights and anti-racism, according to a press release by the Chinese delegation. Both sides shared the view that the dialogue has been candid, open and constructive.
The Chinese side briefed US officials on China's efforts in recent years to promote democracy and the rule of law and improve people's well-being, and stressed that judicial authorities in China will continue, as always, to handle cases according to law. The Chinese side said China is ready to have further dialogue and exchanges with the United States on the basis of equality and mutual respect so as to increase mutual understanding, narrow differences and expand consensus. The US side spoke positively of the new progress China has made in human rights, saying that the United States is ready to strengthen dialogue and exchanges with China on the issue.
The two-day dialogue in Washington is the first of its kind between the two countries since the Obama administration took office. The Chinese delegation was led by Chen Xu, director-general of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, while the US side was headed by Mike Posner, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor. ^ top ^
Graft took bite out of 4 trillion yuan stimulus (SCMP)
[…] Yesterday's announcement confirmed public fears that the flood of spending and a stimulus-linked easing of curbs on real estate development would fuel the chronic corruption that Communist Party leaders admit is the most serious threat to their power. Deputy Supervision Minister Hao Mingjin told a news conference that 3,058 officials, including several mayors, had received penalties ranging up to life in prison for offences related to the stimulus spending or to construction projects. […]
The stimulus is credited with helping to revive the mainland's economic growth, which jumped to 11.9 per cent in the first quarter. It pumped money into the economy through spending on building airports and other public works. But Beijing also tried to spur growth by ordering local officials to step up approval of real estate projects. […]
The news conference was told an official in Chengdu, Sichuan, Zhou Xuewen, received a suspended death sentence in November for taking 22 million yuan to approve land sales. Such sentences are usually converted after a few years to lengthy prison terms. Officials from Suzhou and Chifeng received life sentences for taking bribes to approve land transactions. Meanwhile, a deputy mayor of Zhengzhou, Henan, Wang Qinghai, was prosecuted for taking 19 million yuan to approve land sales. No verdict has been announced. […]. ^ top ^
Farmers blame govt for floods (Global Times)
Farmers in Central China's Hunan Province whose crops are severely damaged by recent floods said the local government should pay compensation for their economic losses because it failed to properly maintain drainage trenches. The farmers accused the government of not acting quickly to alleviate the damage caused by heavy rainstorms. "The flood water was not drained off quickly. That is because the only trench in the village has become narrower and narrower due to lack of maintenance," said Liu Qingping, a vegetable farmer in the outskirts of Xiangtan. […] Heavy rains are expected to continue in South and Central China over the next few days.
[…] Watermelon farmer Huang Dade said the heavy rains may soon leave him bankrupt because his 13 mu (0.86 hectare) of farm produce has been rotting under water. […] Huang said it took two days to pump water out of the greenhouses, and he still lost an esti-mated 80,000-yuan ($12,000) in crop damage. […]
China News Service re-published a report by China Newsweek Thursday saying that the drainage system is weak in rain-drenched Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, and that the problem is common in other cities. An official from the local township government told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that there were no flaws in the government's flood relief efforts. "The government has dispatched experts to the village to plan some new trenches after the flood," the official said. […]. ^ top ^
Respect those who fight for rights, says American law don (SCMP)
America's foremost expert on Chinese law, Professor Jerome Cohen voiced support for China's rights lawyers yesterday and said they should be respected and protected by their own country. […]
A panel of heavyweight mainland Chinese criminal law scholars and practitioners, including another 80-year-old professor, Cheng Guangzhong, from the Chinese University of Politics and Law, gathered at Tsinghua yesterday afternoon to speak on the topic of "The role of criminal lawyers in a budding criminal judicial reform" - a topic pushed to a new height of controversy since the jailing of defence lawyer Li Zhuang in Chongqing's anti-triad campaign. […]
Mo was originally listed in the seminar's programme as a commentator entitled to five minutes of speech time. However, the Beijing lawyer, known for his defence of sensitive figures from Liu Xiaobo to Falun Gong practitioners, was told by organisers on Tuesday afternoon that he had better not attend due to pressure exerted on Tsinghua. […]
Cohen also cited the example of Shanghai rights lawyer Zheng Enchong, who was jailed for three years for leaking state secrets but still put under house arrest after he was released, as an example of how the legal profession should pay attention to extrajudicial punishments that persist on the mainland. He also called attention to the situation of foreign citizens who face criminal prosecutions in China, one such defendant being American geologist Xue Feng. Such people were often barred from meeting their families because their cases were said to concern state security. ^ top ^
Bean counters have PLA brass in sights (SCMP)
A high-profile special team […] - which answers directly to President Hu Jintao and the PLA's supreme command body, the Central Military Commission - would first focus on the costs of all drills carried by regiment commanders or higher level leaders in the land, naval and air forces since 2006, the PLA Daily said. […]
"Besides general audits on site, individual discussions, on-site inspections and forums, our special team will also invite at least 80 per cent of ordinary PLA cadres from the unit being audited to join in a secret assessment of their superior officers," […] "Commanders need at least 85 per cent approval ratings from their subordinates or they will fail the assessment." The special team also welcomes public participation, setting up complaint hotlines, special mail boxes and e-mail addresses, the PLA Daily said. […]
A Shanghai-based retired PLA senior colonel said the audit was also in response to anger expressed by soldiers over big-spending on military drills when they receive low pay for participating in earthquake and other relief missions. […]
Xu Guangyu, a Beijing-based retired PLA major general, said military drills were a key armed forces expenditure, behind wages and weapons purchases. […] "But military drills, which involve procurement and logistics functions in the army, have become a hot bed of corruption. That's why President Hu vowed to stamp it out when he took over as chairman of the CMC in 2004." Hu ordered a five-year audit against more than 4,000 military officials, including 100 senior officers. ^ top ^
Retail tycoon gets 14 years for graft (Global Times)
China's home appliances retail tycoon and one-time richest man, Huang Guangyu, was sentenced by a Beijing court Tuesday to 14 years in prison, convicted of illegal business dealings, insider trading and corporate bribery. […] In all, he earned more than 309 million yuan from stock manipulation. Huang was also accused of offering bribes totaling 4.56 million yuan to an unidentified number of officials. Gome and the Beijing Pengrun Real Estate Development Company, which used to be controlled and managed by Huang, were fined 5 million and 1.2 million yuan, respectively, for giving bribes, the court statement said. […] Huang's wife, Du Juan, and one of his business partners, Xu Zhongming, who stood trial late last month, were also convicted of insider trading.
[…] Under China's Securities Law, stock investors who have suffered from Huang's insider trading can raise civil lawsuits against him and ask for compensation, after the criminal sentence is enforced, Song said Tuesday.
Huang is famous for setting up Gome from almost nothing after dropping out of school. He topped the China Rich List published by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report in 2008 with an estimated income of 43 billion yuan. […]
During the investigation against him, official-business collusion came to light, and several senior officials were punished. […] And according to the Hurun Report, 19 of 1,330 executives on the rich list in the past decade are in jail or awaiting sentences on bribery charges, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The Guangdong-based Time Weekly reported before the sentence that Huang set up a political network by using millions of yuan to bribe more than 1,000 officials at different levels from central government departments, courts to local governments. […]. ^ top ^
Second trial bid to dodge death (SCMP)
The highest-ranking official in Chongqing caught during a crackdown on organised crime has reversed his testimony about bribe-taking and rape in an apparent attempt to avoid the death sentence. Wen Qiang, 54, former municipal justice chief, had a second trial on Friday and Saturday at the Higher People's Court. He had been given the death penalty on April 14 by the No 5 Intermediate People's Court for crimes that also included shielding criminals and possessing assets he could not account for.
During the second trial, Wen reportedly expressed his discontent over the amount of money he was found guilty of taking in the first trial. Instead of accepting graft totalling 12.1 million yuan (HK$13.8 million) as the court found, Wen admitted on Friday that he had merely taken a bag of 500,000 yuan, according to China Business View, based in Xian. Wen also distanced himself from the promotion of a low-level correctional official, even though he had taken his money. His […] Apart from that, Wen also shrugged off the allegation that he raped a college girl, the Wuhan Evening News reported. Wen insisted the girl had neither rejected him nor tried to escape from the hotel room before they had sex in August 2007. […]
[…] The Wuhan Evening News quoted an unidentified official of the procuratorate on Saturday evening as saying the grounds for appeal cited by Wen and his legal representative during the second trial were weak, saying the facts were clear, the evidence was tangible, the judgment accurate and the measurement of penalty appropriate in the first trial. […] Wen was the top official brought down in a sweeping campaign waged against crime syndicates and police officers allegedly protecting them in the municipality, which had begun in June. ^ top ^
Trial puts spotlight on organ trade (SCMP)
A Beijing court is prosecuting four men for illegal organ trafficking, putting the spotlight on a grisly black market in body parts in a country where demand for transplants far outstrips supply. Half a liver can be bought for 45,000 yuan (HK$51,400), while an entire transplant including operation and recovery costs, can be completed for 150,000 yuan, according to a defendant from another organ trafficking trial prosecuted at the same court last month.
[…] Nearly 1.5 million people on the mainland need organ transplants each year but only 10,000 can get one, according to the Health Ministry.
The defendants in the Beijing trial face up to five years for acting as go-betweens between donors and buyers, which could "damage society and moral values". […] "The donors were free. They were not controlled by us. They sold their organs voluntarily," it quoted Yang saying. ^ top ^
Expo marshals editors to drum up enthusiasm (SCMP)
Dozens of chief editors of mainland newspapers have gathered in Shanghai for a four-day summit on promoting the city's World Expo, local media reported. The conference appears to be a crisis meeting to find ways to boost the event's visitor numbers, which are languishing at less than half the predicted figure. […] The summit is intended to establish an "expo reporting association" to provide "more exceptional materials to be broadcast across the nation and worldwide" and help promote "a successful expo", the paper reported. However, mainland journalists privately admit that interest is flagging in the multibillion-dollar fair, in line with the lower-than-expected visitor numbers. […] Just under 2.4 million people have visited during the expo's first 14 days, less than 45 per cent of the number originally expected. The expo will need to maintain a daily average of almost 400,000 for the remaining 170 days if it is to hit its target of 70 million visitors. […]. ^ top ^
Police probe suspected baby-trading scam (SCMP)
Police are investigating a suspected baby-trading scam after a posting offering twins for adoption appeared on a popular website for expatriates in Hong Kong. The message was posted on GeoExpat.com by a woman claiming to be the disabled mother of the twins. She said she wanted them to have a good home and family. […] It appeared alongside items for sale such as tables and sofas, with a "best offer" asking price.
[…] A Social Welfare Department spokesman said it was illegal for any person apart from the department's director or the city's three accredited bodies to arrange adoptions of children. Any person found guilty of the offence is liable to a fine of between HK$50,000 and HK$100,000 and six months' imprisonment. Police are investigating the case. […] Shriram Chaubal, the chief operating officer of GeoExpat, said yesterday he was working with police on the case and that he suspected the message - which he had found on other overseas websites - was part of a global scam to extort money. Chaubal said scammers operating out of African countries such as Nigeria used proxy servers in countries including the US and Britain to post messages on overseas websites. But it was the first time he had seen a child adoption scam on the site. […]
Social Welfare had received 106 local and 24 overseas applications for adoption in 2009, and 28 local and five overseas in the first quarter. […]. ^ top ^
HK tourism industry hit by Bangkok unrest (SCMP)
The city's tourism industry is losing millions of dollars each day as civil strife in Bangkok turns a favorite destination for Hong Kong holidaymakers into an off-limits zone. Joseph Tung Yao-chung, the executive director of the Travel Industry Council, said even during off-peak seasons there was on average between 20 and 30 tour groups leaving for the Thai capital every day from Hong Kong, bringing in over HK$1 million for the industry. […] Figures from the industry body for April show the first decrease in outbound tour group revenue this year, down over 12 per cent year on year to HK$650 million as a result of the ban on tour group travel to Bangkok as well as the volcanic ash situation in Europe. The Security Bureau upgraded its outbound travel alert for Thailand from red to black on April 10, the most severe level, meaning residents are urged to avoid all travel to the city. […]. ^ top ^
Ma wants to meet Hu... sometime (SCMP)
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has expressed his willingness to meet his mainland counterpart Hu Jintao and hold peace talks with Beijing amid warming cross-strait ties. […] "Basically I do not reject this, but I don't have any plan at the moment or a timetable for this yet," he said. […] Ma said the time would not be ripe for political or peace talks even after the signing of the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement - a semi-free trade pact that he hopes to sign with Beijing next month. […] Ma said it was more important for the two sides to first deal with economic and investment issues. Before they resolved their economic differences, it would be meaningless for them to hold political talks. […]
Beijing has been co-operative with Ma, hoping it could speed up progress towards political and unification talks. Ma has tried to resist such pressure in the face of criticism by Taiwan's pro-independence opposition that his engagement policy was aimed at selling the island out to the mainland. Ma reiterated yesterday that he would not touch on independence or reunification issues as long as he remained in office. ^ top ^
Secret Beijing-Taipei link (SCMP)
Beijing and Taipei have set up secret, backdoor channels to work towards improving ties between the longtime foes, the island's former security chief said in a report yesterday. Su Chi, who headed the National Security Council from 2008 to February and helped shape President Ma Ying-jeou's policy of improving relations with Beijing, told United Daily News that Taiwan and Beijing used secret channels for discussions on "non-administrative" issues, including sensitive military affairs. With the secret channel, Su said, "the sides are now able to handle immediately incidents in the Taiwan Strait". He did not elaborate on what other issues the pair discuss through backdoor communications. Nor did he say when they started. Taiwan's presidential spokesman, Lo Chih-chiang, said only that the island deals with official mainland matters transparently. ^ top ^
Dalai Lama to tweet with Chinese public (SCMP)
In an effort to reach out to the mainland public, the Dalai Lama will chat online today with Twitter users. It is the first time the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader will interact with a large number of the Chinese, whose knowledge of the Nobel Peace Prize winner is largely derived from the authorities' frequent condemnations of him as a separatist.
The roughly hour-long session between 8pm and 9pm will be broadcast on Twitter via the account of Wang Lixiong, a mainland critic of China's Tibet and Xinjiang policies who has close ties with the Dalai Lama. […] "Over the years, only the official scenario of the Tibet problem exists inside China, and this unquestionably makes it difficult [for the Chinese people] to know the truth of the issue," Wang wrote in the letter, which was posted on his blog. […] "More than 80,000 mainland Chinese have skirted internet censorship and established a free Chinese Twitter community," Wang wrote to the Dalai Lama. "Many of them are opinion leaders and communicators among the Chinese public. Your direct interaction with them would amount to interaction with the Chinese public." The Dalai Lama and Wang are both in the US and will meet in New York for the online chat.
Wang said on his blog he would hand a list of the most popular questions to the spiritual leader. His answers would be excerpted on Twitter, and a full transcript would be uploaded on Wang's Twitter account later. Among the questions most asked are those about Tibet's future and the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. "The dialogues between the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Chinese Communist Party have been going on for 10 years without yielding any result. What are the major sources of divergence?" one says. […]. ^ top ^
Tibetans beaten during angry protests (SCMP)
Tibetan villagers clashed with armed police in a Tibetan-populated town in Gansu at the weekend during a protest over pollution problems generated by a nearby cement factory. […]
The villager, who is a Han Chinese and refused to give her name, said armed police and regular police were soon called in to control the crowd. She said four protest organisers were arrested. […] The Tibetans gathered outside the factory in an attempt to submit a petition letter to the authorities. It said 15 protesters were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds after police fired at the villagers. Whether there was shooting could not be independently verified and the authorities in Madang could not be reached for comment. […]
[…] The villagers demanded tougher control of the dust emitted by the factory. They also asked the factory to withdraw from a religious site and an old road that it had forcibly occupied. […] Villagers complained that after the factory increased production last year, they had found it difficult to open their eyes because of the tremendous amount of dust it spewed. "For those who live near the cement factory, our agricultural yields have dropped significantly, by more than 60 per cent, because of the huge amount of dust emitted by the factory," […] "The cows and sheep no longer eat the grass growing on contaminated slopes, forcing us to buy pasturage somewhere else. […]
The central government has stepped up security in Tibetan-populated areas since the deadly protests in 2008, especially during the anniversary of those protests each March. […]
Environmental degradation has become a huge source of social tension across the mainland. […] Environmental experts have expressed concern at excessive mining and economic development on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, where the ecological system is fragile. Wang Yongchen, a Beijing-based environmentalist, said the government should reconsider the development pattern on the plateau because it was not sustainable. ^ top ^
Lhasa tightens rules for printing shops (Global Times)
[…] The Lhasa Evening News reported Tuesday that the public security bureau ordered printing places to adopt real name registration for individuals and companies before they print or make photocopies. Customers must provide their name, address, identification card number, description of the documents to be printed or photocopied and the number of copies.
New regulations will also tighten the rules for anyone trying to open a printing shop. A printing and copying shop license may soon be required. […]. ^ top ^
Crackdown fails to silence Tibet's dissenting voices (SCMP)
On the morning of April 23, a half-dozen police entered the office of influential Tibetan writer Shogdung. […] He has not been seen since. The arrest of the editor, who worked for the state-run Qinghai Nationalities Publishing House in the provincial capital, Xining, was the latest in a crackdown against Tibetan writers, artists, singers, bloggers and intellectuals, who have got into trouble for expressing views, or simply sharing information about central government policies and their impact on Tibet. Their story has been compiled in a report released yesterday by the International Campaign for Tibet, entitled "A 'Raging Storm': The Crackdown on Tibetan Writers and Artists after Tibet's Spring 2008 Protests". The report includes details of the cases of more than 50 Tibetans, including 13 writers, involved in the arts and public sphere who are either in prison, have disappeared or faced torture or harassment after expressing their views.
[…] "Despite, and because of, the severity of Beijing's response, dissent continues to be openly expressed, particularly through the written word," said the report. […]
"At the forefront of this resurgence of Tibetan cultural identity is a new bicultural, bilingual generation of educated Tibetans familiar with digital technology, with Chinese writings and official policies, and often too with unofficial accounts of Tibetan history that are banned in China," the report said. […] "For the first time since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, singers, artists and writers have been the target of a drive against Tibetan culture in which almost any expression of Tibetan identity not validated by the state can be branded `splittist'," the report said.
[…] According to the ICT, ordinary Tibetans have also been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for just speaking about the crackdown via e-mail or telephone […]
Shogdung's case marks a significant change in the attitude of many Tibetan intellectuals who were once willing to co-operate with the government. Robbie Barnett, director of Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia University, says Shogdung was once able to see a balance between Tibetan culture, modernisation and the Communist Party, but that all changed in 2008. "It's astonishing that he wrote this book. It's extraordinary," says Barnett, who blames Beijing's policy in Tibet for the disillusionment of Tibetan intellectuals who were once seen as close to the government position. […]
Barnett says the most striking aspect of the new trend is that many people, including Tibetans who formerly worked as government officials, have written horrifying secret histories that describe events never before written about in the West. "Over the last few years we've seen this striking decision by people to publish unofficial, well produced, books about what happened in those areas in the late 1950s," Barnett says. "If you read these histories that have privately been produced, it really is all so chilling that it's hard to read - descriptions of torture and mass executions in the late 1950s." […]
Tibetans detained during the crackdown over the past two years have been treated with extreme brutality, the report says, citing what it calls numerous reliable and eyewitness reports. It concludes that there will likely be many more cases of writers and artists being detained as Beijing tries to silence Tibetans and prevent this news from leaking to the outside world. ^ top ^
Beijing sets out 10-year strategy to end poverty in Xinjiang (SCMP)
[…] At a conference chaired by President Hu Jintao and attended by top Communist Party officials that ended on Wednesday, the central government pledged to raise the per capita gross domestic product in Xinjiang to the national average by 2015, and eliminate poverty throughout the region by 2020. Xinjiang's per capita GDP last year was US$2,898, compared with the national average of US$3,600, and ranked higher only than Inner Mongolia in China.
To achieve the goals, Premier Wen Jiabao announced that the much-anticipated fuel tax reform would be carried out in Xinjiang first. Beijing will double the amount of fixed-asset investment in the region in the next five years and offer tax breaks to a number of enterprises. […] That means the Xinjiang government's revenue from oil and natural gas production would increase substantially in the future. […] "By reforming the fuel tax, we can increase [the Xinjiang government's] fiscal strength so that it will have resources to improve people's livelihoods. Resources exploration will directly benefit Xinjiang people," Hu was quoted by Xinhua as saying. […] "The central government will continue increasing our investment in Xinjiang," Wen said. […] More than 10 billion yuan (HK$11.4 billion) will be poured into the region from next year by the 19 provinces and cities in what is being described as the biggest investment drive in history. Beijing alone will invest 7.2 billion yuan in the next five years. […]
Behind all of this is Beijing's determination to end ethnic strife in the restive region. Xinjiang was rocked by a spate of ethnic violence in the past two years that pitted the Uygur minority against the Han, who have become the majority there. The central leadership is worried that lack of development in Xinjiang would turn the region into a hotbed for radicals - which could seriously threaten security and stability. Critics overseas disagree with Beijing's premise, blaming the central government's religious and ethnic policies for the strife between Uygur and Han. Those policies, they argue, cannot be fixed simply by focusing attention on economic growth regardless of how much money is infused there. "We must clearly realise this: Just as in other parts of China, the chief source of social conflicts in Xinjiang is rooted in the imbalance between people's [growing] desire for a better livelihood and the lack of development there," Hu was quoted by Xinhua as saying. […]. ^ top ^
'Great Firewall' a trade barrier too, top EU official says (SCMP)
China's censorship of internet sites constituted a trade barrier and should be dealt with by the World Trade Organisation, European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes said yesterday. Kroes, who is in charge of charting the future of the European Union's digital agenda, raised the issue in Beijing last week in a meeting with Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang. "It is one of those issues that needs to be tackled in the WTO, and I'm aware it is at stake," Kroes said in Shanghai as she concluded a five-day visit to China. She said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht was highly involved in discussions of what action the EU should take.
Kroes spoke during a visit to the Shanghai headquarters of Tudou.com, a popular video-sharing website founded by Chinese and Dutch entrepreneurs. The government blocks access to Web content it deems unacceptable, including pornography and political dissent, in a vast censorship system known as the "Great Firewall of China". Kroes said the system was a trade issue "as long as that is a real barrier for communication". "I am pushing wherever I can to get the European enterprises in a fair and level playing field in China - and the other way around," said Kroes, a former EU competition chief.
In March, internet giant Google stopped censoring its Chinese- language search engine to protest against government censorship and mainland-based cyber-attacks. The issue touched off a war of words between Beijing and Washington over internet freedom. ^ top ^
Revaluing yuan would hurt US, World Bank's top economist says (SCMP)
Justin Yifu Lin, chief economist for the World Bank, said that if China were to revalue its currency it would actually hurt rather than help the US economy. […] He acknowledged that if China stopped selling yuan and buying foreign currencies, the policy that critics say keeps the currency artificially undervalued, Chinese exports would become more expensive. But he said because most of the products China exports to the United States are labour-intensive goods US manufacturers stopped making years ago, the US would only have two choices: buy the products from other countries or from the Chinese. Either way, Lin said, the cost of those goods would rise for US consumers and that would depress both consumer spending and job creation in the United States. He argued that goods made in other parts of the developing world were more expensive than Chinese-made goods because, if they were not, the United States would already be buying them.
Many economists - including some from the World Bank's sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund - think revaluing the currency is just one of several steps Beijing needs to take in order to shrink its massive reserves. It would also need to adopt policies to encourage domestic consumption, such as improving health care and other social safety net services so that households would save less and spend more. Economists have warned for years that China's large reserves, now more than US$2 trillion, and large deficits in countries such as the United States posed a threat to global economic stability.
Lin joined the World Bank, which provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries, in 2008 from the China Centre for Economic Research at Peking University. A Chinese national, he is the first non-Westerner to serve as the organisation's top economist. Lin said he was not worried that China's economy, which is expected to grow by double digits this year, was in any danger of overheating. "I think the Chinese government - in general they have weekly meetings, monthly meetings, watching all signs of the macroeconomy - and in the past, we see the Chinese government is able to do that kind of fine-tuning quite well." Meanwhile, Singapore's finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said China should allow its currency to rise to help damp down inflation. At the height of the financial panic in 2008, it made sense for China to halt the yuan's appreciation, he said, but now it was in the country's best interest to let it rise. ^ top ^
and South Korea
Torpedo report poses dilemma for Beijing (SCMP)
It may have been the worst kept secret in the region, but the official conclusion that it was a North Korean torpedo that sunk a South Korean warship in March brings fresh and potentially damaging complications for China. In Seoul, South Korean officials insist they are now pushing Beijing for far greater involvement in pressuring Pyongyang, China's fraternal but prickly ally. In coming days that is certain to mean pressure for China's acceptance of tough new sanctions via the UN Security Council and/or a swift apology from North Korea, a recalcitrant state hardly known for its mea culpas in the past.
And while China, together with the US, is likely to be cautioning South Korea against any action that provokes escalation from their North Korean enemies, Seoul has deliberately not taken a possible military response off the table. "I'm sure China would like to swiftly smooth things over and return to the status quo, something that is of course in their favour," one official said from Seoul. "But it is not that simple. They have to understand that this is a massive issue for South Korea, even bigger than a nuclear test. Forty-six naval sailors have been killed. This is an act of war that demands a robust response," the Seoul official said. […]
Beijing officials have already suggested to their Seoul counterparts that not only does China have limited leverage over its hermit neighbour despite being its sole ally, but it is also constrained by its traditional policy of non-interference in countries' affairs. Even to push too hard for an apology - an act which could ease tensions until a longer-term response is found - would risk breaching those principles. "At the moment, any such explanation is not really acceptable. We are still talking and still pushing for something harder. We urge China, and the rest of the region for that matter, not to underestimate the pain the act has caused," an official said.
[…] The investigators yesterday cited overwhelming evidence that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo at the corvette Cheonan on March 26, tearing it apart. […]
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu urged parties involved to remain "restrained and calm" over the handling of the sinking of the warship. […] Ma evaded repeated questions on whether China would condemn North Korea if it proved to be responsible for the sinking of the Cheonan.
North Korea dismissed the sinking report as sheer fabrication and threatened "all-out war for justice" if there was any attempt to punish it. […]
Instinctively, China would prefer to continue to prop up Kim rather than back any action that would risk the North imploding in chaos that would spill into its territory and, perhaps, drive South Korea and its ally the United States to its border. […] "This is a big dilemma for China, but it would be unrealistic to expect China to line up behind South Korea so soon after Kim Jong-il's visit," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international security at Renmin University who follows Korean affairs, Reuters reported. "The price that China will pay will be its regional influence, especially over South Korea. It will have some impact on that influence... now regional governments may feel that Chinese foreign policy is out of balance." Other analysts have noted that China is unlikely to be convinced by the multinational investigation and Seoul could struggle for sensible options if China exercises its veto over any fresh UN Security Council move, as is widely expected. […]
China is also aware that the crisis has so far pushed the South Koreans and the US even closer together. Both Seoul and Washington, traditional allies, have reported exceptionally close discussions over the best way forward. […] US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is due to arrive in Beijing tomorrow before heading to South Korea and Japan in her fifth trip to Asia - a trip now set to be dominated about finding common regional ground on an adequate response to South Korean concerns. […]. ^ top ^
DPRK warns retaliation will triger 'all-out' war (Global Times)
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday rejected a conclusion drawn by a multinational team of investigators over warship Cheonan's sinking and warned that any retaliation will lead to an "all-out" war. A spokesman from the National Defense Commission of the DPRK rejected the conclusion as a "fabrication." The commission said it will dispatch inspectors to South Korea to verify the claim announced by a multinational team of investigators. […]. ^ top ^
N.Korea 'obviously' behind sinking (Global Times)
[…] Asked by reporters whether the North had sunk the ship, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan replied, "I think it's obvious." Seoul has "enough evidence" to bring the issue to the UN Security Council, he added. […] The Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency, citing unnamed military officials, said Wednesday that investigators had collected a sizeable piece presumed to be part of the axle of a torpedo, with a serial number written in a North Korean font. The discovery, if confirmed, would be the latest and strongest piece of evidence pointing at Pyongyang.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Wednesday that Seoul had indisputable evidence of who was responsible. […]
However, Pyongyang's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea released a statement Wednesday accusing Seoul of taking advantage of the disaster to push north-south relations to a catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the Seoul-based Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported that a draft of the investigation results was released at a meeting Wednesday to more than 30 countries and parties to the Six-Party Talks. The newspaper quoted a South Korean official as saying, "Defense Minister Kim Tae-young briefed the results and circulated the first draft of the announcement, asking the advice of other participants." Zhang Xinsen, China's ambassador to South Korea, didn't attend the meeting, but sent the minister of the embassy to hear the briefing, the Seoul-based Chosun Ilbo newspaper cited the Chinese embassy's website as saying Wednesday.
The paper said Beijing's cooperation is essential for Seoul if it wants sanctions against North Korea to be effective. Ed Royce, a US Republican Representative, also said Wednesday that this issue is a "clarifying moment" for "all of those who have hoped to see the rise of a 'responsible' China."
Lü Chao, director at the Center of Korean Studies of Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that China's stance will be clear after today's announcement of investigation results. "Beijing's response is likely to stress the safeguarding of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, urging all parties to keep actions under restraint," he said. Wang Weimin, a researcher of the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University, said that South Korea and the US may stage joint naval maneuvers in the Yellow Sea if Pyongyang is proved to be the perpetrator. ^ top ^
S. Korea suspends funding for Pyongyang (Global Times)
[…] Unification Ministry of South Korea, which is in charge of cross-border relations, said it has asked 10 ministries or other organizations to suspend funding for government-level exchanges with North Korea. Last week the ministry urged South Korean companies to refrain from signing new deals or supplying resources to the North.
Relations between the two sides have worsened since an explosion sank the 1,200-ton corvette Chonan near the disputed inter-Korean border on March 26, killing 46 sailors. […]
The South's Yonhap News Agency quoted a source as saying that soon after the investi-gation concludes, Seoul will send a letter to the chairman of the UN Security Council, the first step in seeking punishment by the world body for those responsible. On Sunday, Pyongyang's military threatened to stop South Koreans crossing the land border and to take other "substantial" measures if leaflets criticizing its government keep arriving from the South.
Any border closure would deal a heavy blow to a jointly run industrial estate at Kaesong just north of the frontier. ^ top ^
S.Korea fires warning shots to drive away North's ships (Global Times)
The South Korean navy fired warning shots to drive away North Korean patrol boats from the disputed inter-Korean sea border, officials said Sunday. The warning shots were fired late Saturday when two North Korean patrol boats violated the Northern Limit Line (NLL) border and strayed into South Korean waters, according to the office of the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). Pyongyang has never recognized the NLL border drawn by the US-led UN Command after the Korean War (1950-53) ended in an armistice. But the South has maintained it as a de facto inter-Korean border. A spokesman for the JCS told AFP Sunday that the North's patrol boats retreated without responding to the fire. No casualties were incurred.
This is the first time that shots have been fired at the tense sea border since the mystery sinking of South Korean warship Cheonan on March 26 in the region that killed 46 South Korean sailors. Baek Seung-joo, an analyst at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul, told AFP that the Pyongyang's latest breach of the alleged sea border aimed to cement its territorial claims. "The North is saying that tension caused by the Cheonan disaster does not affect its policy of seeking to nullify the NLL," Baek said. "Especially when the June crab-catching season is just around the corner.". ^ top ^
Beijing makes bid to ease Korean tensions (SCMP)
Beijing sought yesterday to cool South Korea's exasperation with Pyongyang, which is widely believed to have torpedoed one of the South's warships two months ago, killing 46 sailors. Officials are being tight-lipped about blame until the result of an investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan is announced this week. In the South, unofficially there is little doubt that its isolated neighbour attacked the navy corvette near their disputed sea border in March. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said all sides must exercise "calm and restrain to appropriately deal with the issues concerned," Xinhua said. The talks were held on the sidelines of an East Asia conference between the top diplomats from China, Japan and South Korea in Gyeongju, South Korea. ^ top ^
Mongolia plants 500 thousand trees (Montsame)
On the National Day of Planting Trees, which is announced by the State Head, 500 thousand trees have been planted nationwide.
Co-organized by the Presidential Office, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Administration of Ulaanbaatar city, the Forest Authority, the Khan Bank and Environment and Tourism Authorities of all aimags, the public action has involved 5,799 organizations and 93 thousand people.
For instance, Khan Bank has actively participated in the event to protect environment by organizing many kinds of activities. Omnogobi aimag have planted the largest number of trees including bushes and shrubs.
The planting tree campaign will last until June 20. ^ top ^
D.Dorligjav: No mercy to corrupt prosecutors (News.mn)
Parliament last Friday approved the appointment of D.Dorligjav as Prosecutor General, with 92 percent of MPs accepting his nomination by the President. Talking to reporters after the Parliament vote, Dorligjav said his priority will be to ensure that prosecutors at all times abided by the law. The goal of the proposed judicial reforms is to encourage those who work competently and according to proper practice, but at the same time “to show no mercy” to those who bring disrepute to the judiciary and abuse their power. The reforms program will cover some 20 interrelated laws, as indicated by the President. Piecemeal or ad hoc amendments to individual laws are not being favored. Instead, the emphasis will be on changing the big overall picture. He admitted it will not be easy to change entrenched mindsets but people's faith in the judiciary must be restored by enforcing that cases are decided strictly on a legal basis, and on no other consideration. Born in Uvs aimag in 1959, Dorligjav trained as a veterinarian and a lawyer in Mongolia and also attended the Military Politics Institute in Moscow from 1980 to 1983. Among the important positions he has held are Minister of Defense, Chairman of Erdenet Mining Concern, head of the Democratic Party, Advisor to Prime Minister, Secretary General of DP, and head of the President's Office. ^ top ^
Joint project of Government and Central Bank to increase capital (UB Post)
Representatives of banking sector largely unfavored the recently disclosed US$ 500,000 program reform plan that the whole industry was not aware of it.
So-called “Banking Reform and Recapitalization”, a joint project of the Government of Mongolia and the Bank of Mongolia (central bank) may require private commercial banks to increase their capitals with a certain threshold within certain months, if not, those may fall into subject of forced liquidation, consolidation or bankruptcy. Mongolia has recently observed fall of two private commercial banks: Zoos Bank have come under receivership of state, while Anod Bank is now being ruled by a special governor appointed by the central bank.
Two South Korean advisors were hired as consultants to the program, whose goal was described as “capacity building” of commercial banks. The Bank of Mongolia increased its 10 percent policy rate up to 11 percent on 10 May In a effort to ease down soaring inflation into double digits. It is still unclear when the Parliament would approve the plan “in a hurried manner” as detailed information is not publicly available. ^ top ^
Head of presidential office appointed (Montsame)
In accordance with an order of the President Ts.Elbegdorj, Dashjamtsyn Battulga has been appointed the head of the Presidential Office. The former head of the Office D.Dorligjav, as we informed before, has been appointed the Prosecutor-General.
One of the pioneers of the Democratic revolution in Mongolia D.Battulga was born 1961 in Ulaanbaatar. In 1984-1985, he worked at the #4 power plant as an economist, in 1985-1989--as an expert in Ministry of Fuel and Energy, in 1989-1990--as an economist in the power plant of Darkhan city, in 1990-1992--as a member of State Conference, in 1992-1996--as the president of the Mongolian Democratic Union, in 1996-2000--as a member of the State Great Khural and a head of the Standing committee on state structure. In the years 2000-2005 he worked in private sector, and then, from 2005, he has worked as executive directors of UB's Electricity Distribution Station and of a state-owned company. ^ top ^
Embassy of Switzerland
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