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
  1-5.11.2010, No. 344  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea


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Foreign Policy

China, U.S. stress dialogue, trust, cooperation (People's Daily)
The two sides exchanged views on Sino-U.S. relations and issues of common concern in a "candid and friendly" manner, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said after the meeting.
According to the ministry, Dai and Clinton had positive evaluation of recent Sino-U.S. relations, and stressed the two sides would continue to seriously implement the consensus reached by the two state leaders. They pledged to enhance dialogue, mutual trust and cooperation, properly handle differences and sensitive issues on the basis of mutual respect, and make concerted efforts to contribute to a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship in the 21st Century. They also agreed that Chinese President Hu Jintao's scheduled visit to the United States early next year is of great significance to the development of bilateral ties, and the two sides would keep close contact and make preparations to create favorable atmosphere and ensure the success of the visit.
Clinton flew to Sanya from the 5th East Asia Summit in Hanoi, where she was invited to attend the summit as a special guest. She met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi earlier Saturday on the sidelines of the summit, exchanging views on bilateral relations and issues of common concern. ^ top ^

Ban's China rights stance draws critics (SCMP)
Rights groups criticised UN chief Ban Ki-moon for not raising the case of jailed Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo with China's leaders this week and some linked the silence to his personal ambition. Diplomats and observers say though that the UN secretary general faced enormous pressure in his Beijing encounter with President Hu Jintao, who will have a key say in whether Ban gets reelected next year. Human Rights Watch (HRW) called the lack of comment “shocking.” “Ban Ki-moon does not hesitate to demand the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, he should have done the same for Liu Xiaobo,” said HRW's UN specialist Philippe Bolopion. The secretary general had called for the release of the Myanmar opposition leader on Friday just two days before he arrived in China for talks with Hu and other leaders. (…). ^ top ^

China opposes US joining Japan talks (SCMP)
China on Tuesday denounced US efforts to help in improving relations between Beijing and Tokyo which have been poisoned by a spat over a group of disputed islands, saying the argument was strictly bilateral.US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who met her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in Hanoi last week, urged calm on both sides, and offered to host trilateral talks to bring relations back on an even keel Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said that this was only “a US idea”, adding that it was “totally wrong” to include the disputed islands in any US-Japan defence agreements. “It must be pointed out that the Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territory, and the dispute between China and Japan over them is one between the two countries,” he said in a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website. “The US side has suggested official talks between the United States, China and Japan. I want to stress this is only a US idea,” Ma said. “The United States has many times said that US-Japan security treaties can apply to the Diaoyu islands. This is totally wrong. The US side should immediately correct this mistaken position,” he added. (…). ^ top ^

China vows efforts with UN for fruitful climate summit (Global Times)
China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said Tuesday that China will join efforts with the United Nations and countries around the world to push for a fruitful year-end climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico.Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), made the pledge in his meeting with visiting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.Wu briefed Ban on the country's efforts to counter climate change, adding that China attaches great importance to the issue and the NPC had approved a resolution on climate change. […] With regard to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Wu said the international community had made positive efforts to implement the MDG, but there was slow progress and unbalanced development. […] He called on developed countries to fulfill their commitments, and enhance support for developing countries. […] He also vowed continued support for the key role of the United Nations in international affairs. Ban, who was in China for the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo, said China's support for the United Nations is of vital importance. He hopes to beef up cooperation with China in the areas such as realizing the MDG, countering climate change, and protecting the rights of women and children. Invited by the Chinese government, Ban arrived in Shanghai on Saturday to start his China visit. Before coming to Beijing, he attended the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo and delivered a speech at the Summit Forum there. ^ top ^

China calls on Japan to create appropriate conditions for bilateral ties ahead of APEC summit (Xinhua)
China on Tuesday called on Japan to make substantial efforts to create appropriate conditions for improvement of bilateral ties ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Yokohama. At a routine news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao exchanged greetings with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan prior to the start of the East Asian Summit last Saturday. Hong said China attached great importance to developing ties with Japan. Developing China-Japan strategic and mutually beneficial relations was in the fundamental interests of both nations and their people, Hong said.China stands for resolving the problems between the two countries through dialogue and consultation on the basis of the principles of the four political documents, he said, adding China's position in this regard remained unchanged. The four political documents, namely the China-Japan joint statement on comprehensively advancing strategic and reciprocal relations, the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration, serve as the bedrock for developing friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries. In reply to a question on the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, Hong reaffirmed that the Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent islets have been an integral part of the Chinese territory since ancient times.[…]. ^ top ^

Pragmatic path seen as Sarkozy, Hu meet (SCMP)
It was meant to be a walk in the park, but the Nobel Peace Prize is likely to bring a hint of uncertainty to the summit between President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy. Hu's second state visit to France, which starts today and will last for three days, will be followed by a trip to Portugal before he rushes back to Asia for the G20 and Apec summits next week. The trip was likely scheduled before the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo early last month, as well as before protests erupted across France regarding a controversial retirement reform measure, mainland analysts said. It was meant to be a gesture by both sides to patch bilateral relations, much-tested since Sarkozy met the Dalai Lama in December 2008, through the signing of contracts and other co-operation worth billions of euros. The G20 agenda will probably also be a key issue at the summit, given China's currency friction with the US and the fact that France assumes the presidency of the G20 in the middle of this month.However, Liu's Peace Prize means Sarkozy is likely to face pressure from rights groups to bring up this thorny topic amid aircraft deals and nuclear co-operation, especially given France's tradition in safeguarding democracy and liberty. Sarkozy has so far not commented on the award. […] According to Kong Quan, ambassador to France, Sarkozy is scheduled to meet Hu at least five times during the 45-hour trip, including visits outside Paris. […] United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, also in China, was much criticised by rights groups for not mentioning Liu while meeting mainland leaders. Other Peace Prize laureates have written an open letter calling on other state leaders attending next week's G20 to exert pressure on Hu during the summits. However, mainland analysts said he should be able to handle the situation, given his experience. "Sarkozy is now very cautious on delicate issues," said Professor Feng Zhongping, director of European Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. "Sino-French relations have been affected quite badly by such issues before, and he is clear what the consequences would be." The last time Sarkozy met the Dalai Lama in Poland, during France's presidency of the EU, Beijing cancelled one Sino-EU summit. […] China has also shown signs of cozying up to Europe in recent months, as Sino-American relations have cooled over arms sales to Taiwan, maritime sovereignty and the yuan. China just signed a strategic partnership agreement in July with Germany, before Premier Wen Jiabao made a special detour to Berlin for a dinner with German chancellor Dr Angela Merkel during a Brussels summit in September. […] The EU so far has not stood in line with the US on pressuring for the appreciation of the yuan. And China has just become the EU's second-largest market for exports. In an interview with French and Portuguese media, Hu said he hoped his visit to Portugal would further expand co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. ^ top ^

Hu's visit to EU will heighten relations (China Daily)
President Hu Jintao departs on Thursday for a four-day European visit to consolidate political and economic ties with the EU bloc while further coordinating China's stance with European counterparts ahead of the G20 summit. President Hu will pay a state visit to France from Thursday to Saturday - his first since Nicolas Sarkozy took office in 2007. Hu will later travel to Portugal on the far end of the Iberian Peninsula to accelerate ties between China and Southern Europe. Under a more multilateral agenda, as France is to take the chairmanship of the G20 group of powers in mid-November - and Portugal is to serve as a non-permanent UN Security Council member - the two bilateral visits are also expected to have a global impact, according to experts. While France became the first major Western power to establish diplomatic ties with China, and has long been a pioneer in building military and nuclear cooperation with China, Beijing and Paris have shared a common, independent diplomatic path. Yet ties between China and France had been tense in recent years following a number of diplomatic incidents. […] Hu Jintao recently told the pro-government French newspaper Le Figaro that China wants to go beyond simple commercial and investment issues to create a "partnership of equals" with Paris.[…] While France views China as a huge potential market for its high-tech industry, Paris also sees Beijing as a major world player whose support it clearly needs for a better G20 chairmanship, say experts. Chinese Ambassador to France Kong Quan told reporters on Monday that drastic changes in global politics and the economy have made France and China realize the importance of reinforcing mutual understanding and communication - as well as the necessity for deeper cooperation to safeguard world peace and development as well as the long-term interests of their respective countries. Hu and Sarkozy are expected to sign a joint declaration on bilateral ties, and witness the signing of a historically big trade bill that includes more than 100 Airbus planes and nuclear plant projects, diplomatic sources close with the visit told China Daily. […] Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva told the Xinhua News Agency in a recent interview that Hu's forthcoming state visit to Lisbon is of great significance to further consolidation of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership President Silva said that, on top of the remarkable progress made in the past 35 years of diplomatic ties, great potential still exists for the two countries to further realize their cooperation - in political, diplomatic, economic and other areas. Portugal will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2012 and 2013, which means Lisbon and Beijing will maintain closer contact to explore ways to handle global challenges, he said. […] A large Chinese business delegation will accompany Hu to Portugal. A series of trade deals will also likely be signed in Lisbon which would greatly help Portugal's sluggish economy, said diplomats. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official concludes fruitful visit to India (Xinhua)
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Zhou Yongkang on Tuesday concluded a visit to India that helped promote development of mutual trust and bilateral cooperation between the two Asian nations. Zhou, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also secretary of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, met Monday with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, India's capital. During the meeting, Zhou said strengthening political mutual trust with India was the key to deeper cooperation with the country and that the leaders of the two countries should often exchange views in great depth and with great frankness on major issues of mutual concern. Zhou said China and India had a combined population of 2.5 billion and there existed a great space for developing cooperation in the economy and trade, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. He said both China and India faced the heavy task of developing their own economy, improving people's living standards and safeguarding social stability. Zhou said, while China was making its 12th five-year plan for socioeconomic development in the 2011-2015 period and India making its 11th five-year plan, China wished to increase political trust with India, expand cooperation of mutual benefit, and deepen the strategic cooperative partnership with India. Prime Minister Singh said the friendly relations between India and China played an extremely important role in promoting peace, stability and development in Asia and even in the whole world. […] Both China and India believed the world was big enough to accommodate the common development of China and India, Zhou said, adding the Chinese side was happy for every achievement that India made in its development. […] During a seminar on China-India ties on Monday, Zhou asked for joint efforts to promote China-India relations. "It is an inevitable trend of history to consolidate and develop the peace and friendship between China and India," Zhou said. "We should extract nutrition and wisdom from history to persist in maintaining peace, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation, and to be good neighbors, good friends and good partners forever," he said. He made a five-point proposal on the further development of China-India relations, including promoting political mutual trust, expanding cooperation in economics and trade, boosting friendly exchanges, strengthening international cooperation, and promoting friendly consultation. Before wrapping up his three-day visit, Zhou on Tuesday visited India's IT bellwether Infosys Technologies in Bangalore, known as the Silicon Valley of India. ^ top ^

Russia keen to reopen talks on Su-33 fighter (SCMP)
Moscow is wooing Beijing to resume negotiations on the purchase of Su-33 fighters for future Chinese aircraft carriers after talks collapsed last year, a Macau-based military researcher with strong PLA connections says. Russia is keen to reopen the Su-33 production line after a 10-year hiatus but realises time could be running out after China successfully tested an indigenous carrier-capable fighter, the J-15, which many say is a copy of the Su-33, Macau International Military Association president Antony Wong Dong said, citing a mainland military insider. A Russian military website said on Wednesday that Beijing was returning to the negotiating table with JSC Sukhoi, Russia's major aircraft producer, about a deal for Su-33 fighters capable of operating from China's first aircraft carrier. Earlier reports said Russia had planned to sell China up to 50 Su-33 Flanker-D fighters. […] Research and development of the J-15 formally began in 2006, after Beijing revealed it was planning to develop an aircraft carrier battle group. […] In July, Colonel Igor Korotchenko, a member of the Russian Defence Ministry's Public Council, cast doubt on the J-15's capabilities. […] A Shanghai-based retired People's Liberation Army senior colonel familiar with Beijing's aircraft carrier project confirmed that the engine of the J-15 was still inferior to the Russian-made turbo engine. "The aircraft engine is the heart of a fighter jet, with Russia spending 20 years to develop its Su-33 engine," he said. "Buying Su-33s from Russia is possible, but not the first choice for Beijing because the timetable is quite tight." Ni Lexiong, another Shanghai-based military expert, also said that aircraft engine technology had been China's fatal weakness. "Our technology is still inferior and unstable just because our leadership spent only 600,000 yuan (HK$696,000) a year on engine research and development before 1990," he said. "But as aircraft play the key role on a carrier, and the engine is the heart of any plane, I think buying stable Su-33s is still another choice for us." China plans to launch its first indigenous 48,000-tonne aircraft carrier, based on Russian models, in 2012, and to build up its first aircraft carrier battle group before 2015. ^ top ^

Midterms bring challenges, opportunity for Sino-US ties (SCMP)
Beijing reacted to the US midterm elections, saying that stable Sino-US ties were in the "fundamental interest" of both nations, while analysts see the changes in American politics representing new opportunities and challenges."The long-term stable and healthy development of Sino-US relations is in the fundamental interests of the people of both countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a news briefing yesterday. It was China's first official response to this week's US elections, in which President Barack Obama's Democratic Party lost control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans and saw its majority in the Senate weakened.Hong added that healthy ties were also "conducive to global peace and development. This is also the consensus of both US parties and of US society". […] US ambassador Jon Huntsman said at a briefing on Wednesday morning in Beijing, before all the polls were closed in the United States: "When you wake up tomorrow morning, you won't see any differences in US-China policy from today's." […] Taiwan has been a key issue in Sino-US ties. Professor George Tsai Wei of the Sun Yat-sen Academic Research Institute at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei said a Republican takeover would be in Taiwan's interest as a Republican-led US Congress is traditionally seen as "friendlier" to Taiwan. But Tsai cautioned that whether a perceived Republican tilt in favour of Taiwan is accompanied by genuine acts of friendship would be viewed in the context of Sino-US relations."We are still waiting to see whether Washington will use upgraded ties with Taiwan as bargaining tools in dealing with Beijing or use their influence to press the mainland to be friendlier to Taiwan," Tsai said. Tao of the CASS said the Republicans' traditional pro-Taiwan stance might pose fresh challenges for improving Sino-US ties, as any US arms sales to the island would be explosive to Sino-US relations. Tsai said the Obama administration was unlikely to approve more sales of weapon systems to Taiwan. ^ top ^

Chinese, French presidents vow to boost bilateral ties (Xinhua)
Chinese President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday vowed to boost the comprehensive strategic partnership between their countries. In talks with Sarkozy, Hu said the China-France relationship has been characterized by its strategic and global nature and its ability to move with the times since diplomatic ties were forged 46 years ago. Political dialogue has increasingly deepened and political mutual trust strengthened, said Hu. Bilateral trade is expected to exceed 40 billion U.S. dollars this year, and mutual investment has continuously increased, he said. The two countries have carried out extensive exchanges and cooperation in education, science and technology, and culture, and have kept close communication and coordination on major international issues, he added. Sarkozy said it was a great honor to receive Hu in his second state visit to France. […]. Hu said China, against the backdrop of deep and complex changes in the international situation, hopes to further enrich the China-France relationship and develop the comprehensive strategic partnership, which is based on mutual trust and mutual benefit, which is mature and stable, and has a global perspective, to play a positive role in the development of equal partnerships between big nations in the new situation. The Chinese president put forward a four-point proposal on the development of bilateral ties. First, the two countries should strengthen mutual respect and strategic mutual trust. Both sides should continuously deepen mutual understanding by carrying out high-level visits and exchanges between governments, legislatures, political parties and regions. […]. Second, both sides should advance with the times and be creative in practical cooperation. China and France should expand their trade and try to double the trade volume by 2015. Efforts should be made to encourage mutual investment and to create favorable conditions accordingly, said Hu. The two countries should also promote cooperation in nuclear energy and aviation. They should tap potentials for cooperation in energy efficiency and environmental protection, new energy resources, new materials, electric cars, information and telecommunications, high-end product manufacturing and finance, he said. Third, both sides should enhance human-related exchanges by giving full play to each other's advantages. The two sides should continue to encourage cultural institutions to take part in each other's cultural activities, support long-term and stable cooperation between the Palace Museum of China and Le Louvre museum of France. The two countries could also strengthen exchanges and cooperation in film making and journalism, said Hu. […]. Finally, the two sides should enhance coordination and work together to deal with challenges. The Chinese side is willing to keep close communication and coordination with the French side on global issues, such as the reform of the global economic governance mechanism and climate change, and on international and regional hotspot issues. […]. Hu said the Chinese side is ready to maintain communication with France on efforts to push for cooperation among members of the Group of 20 (G20) as France is to take over the rotating G20 presidency.Sarkozy said the French side is ready to cooperate with China closely within the G20 framework and to enhance communication and coordination on issues such as raw material prices and climate change, and on efforts to push forward reform of the international monetary system. The two presidents attended a signing ceremony of several cooperation documents following their meeting.[…]. Hu, who arrived earlier in the day for his second state visit to France, also met with staff of the Chinese embassy in France, representatives of Chinese institutions in France, overseas Chinese and students. ^ top ^

Sino-Indian ties 'improving every day' (Global Times)
An Indian official Thursday rejected remarks made by a former US ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill, who said relations between Beijing and New Delhi have deteriorated in the past 18 months and are unlikely to get better."This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and China, and their relations are improving every day," an official at the Indian embassy in Beijing told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.According to India's PTI News Agency, Blackwill claimed that China is using its relations with Pakistan to slow the rise of India.[…] Blackwill's comments were made ahead of US President Barack Obama's three-day visit to India that starts tomorrow.[…] "China and India are big rising countries. We can't expect their relations to be smooth in every aspect, but they understand very well that it serves the interests of both Beijing and New Delhi to maintain a stable relationship," Hu said. He added that China's ties with Pakistan "are also conducive to regional peace and stability," and have no conflicts with Beijing's relations with New Delhi. […] Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday in Hanoi last week on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit. Both leaders agreed to maintain peace and stability in their shared border areas. "The world is large enough for the side-by-side development of both countries. It also offers enough areas in which both sides could cooperate," Wen told Singh, adding that China was willing to work with India to "jointly promote a continuous increase in trade and investment."Singh sounded a similar note this week as he told a gathering of business leaders in Malaysia that there are enormous possibilities for China and India to work together. Wen is also expected to pay a visit to India by the end of this year at the invitation of Singh. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Epic census launched (Global Times)
China kicked off a massive census on its more than 1 billion population Monday, and analysts said it would facilitate policymaking in a country where significant social and demographic structural changes have taken place. It is the sixth time China has carried out the nationwide census but the first time it will count people based on where they actually live, rather than where they are registered under the household registration, or hukou system. Foreign residents will also be included in the tally. More than 6 million uniformed government workers and volunteers were sent out Monday to go door-to-door to collect information from more than 400 million households across the country over the 10- day period. People will be asked to complete an 18-question survey, including details about their age, gender, education, marital status, social security and housing, while 10 percent of respondents, chosen randomly, will be asked to complete a 45-question form. Statisticians will sort out the census data and generate a report by the end of April. A total of 8 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) was allocated from both central and local governments for the census, according to Ma Jiantang, director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Ma referred to the census as "the largest social mobilization in peaceful times." "Given the large population and a transitional society undergoing tremendous changes, this is the most difficult census ever in the world," Song Jian, an associate professor with the School of Sociology and Population Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.[…] On Thursday, Vice Premier Li Keqiang called for citizens to cooperate with census takers and vowed that any personal information from the census would be kept confidential.Fines for violating the one-child policy will be reduced for those who report their true information during the census, Ma, the NBS director, said. In Beijing, residents received mobile-phone text messages over the weekend, asking them to cooperate in the census.Beijing alone has invested almost 600 million yuan in the census. In some districts where foreign residents are concentrated, census takers with bilingual skills were recruited. Questionnaires translated into foreign languages, including English, Japanese and French, were handed out to foreigners. The last census, which took place a decade ago, showed the population at 1.3 billion. Since then, the country has witnessed rocketing economic growth, rapid urbanization and a massive migration of migrant workers across the country, as well as an aging population.(…) While China still needs to stick to its family planning policy, a flexible approach, not necessarily a one-child policy, can be adopted in different regions to meet the actual local needs. In this way, we can both control the population and avoid losing our competitive edge, he added. ^ top ^



Beijing exerting pressure over Liu's peace prize ceremony, diplomats say (SCMP)
Beijing is pressuring European governments to avoid the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for imprisoned democracy activist Liu Xiaobo and not make any statements in support of him, several diplomats in the capital said yesterday. The Chinese embassy in Oslo has sent official letters to a number of European embassies in the Norwegian capital asking them not to attend the December 10 ceremony, two Western diplomats said. According to one of the diplomats who said he had seen the letter, Beijing cited its repeated position that Liu is a criminal for his advocacy of widespread political reforms and called the prize an interference in China's internal affairs. The letter also urged embassies not to issue any public statements in support of Liu on the day of the ceremony, he said […]. Numerous world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, as well as international rights groups have called for Liu's release. That has enraged the central government, which has been waging a campaign through state media to criticise both Liu and the prize. In Beijing in the past couple of weeks, diplomats from several countries have been called into meetings with officials, who made similar requests to the letters issued to the embassies in Oslo, said the first Western diplomat. "They have been quietly getting in touch, inviting people to small meetings and passing the message that way," the diplomat said[…]. Yesterday Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused to confirm or deny Beijing had sent the letters. "Our opposition to the awarding of the prize to Liu Xiaobo is clear. We oppose anyone making an issue out of this," Hong said. The increased pressure on Western governments comes amid a clampdown on activists, lawyers and NGOs who have supported Liu. Dozens of activists and luminaries have been invited by Liu's wife to attend the Nobel award ceremony on her behalf because she believed mainland authorities were unlikely to allow her to pick up the prize. "A great deal of attention is being paid to making sure none of these people will leave the country and pick up the prize," said the first diplomat. ^ top ^



Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao declares Shanghai World Expo closed (Xinhua)
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao declared the closure of the World Expo 2010 at the Expo Culture Center in Shanghai Sunday night. A ceremony was held here to celebrate the end of the Expo, which International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) President Jean-Pierre Lafon called an "astounding success." The first of its kind staged in a developing country, the event attracted 246 participating countries and international organizations and 73 million visitors. Both figures are records in the history of expos, the first of which was held in London in 1851. On an area of 5.28 square kilometers, the Expo Site has become a global village where people can not only see rare cultural treasures from around the world -- the bronze chariot and horse sculpture from China's Warring States period, the statue of Athena from Greece and French impressionist masterpieces, for example -- but also get a taste of the diversity of the world's cultures through more than 20,000 cultural events. The gala is eyed in China as another event of national splendor after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games showcased China's status as an economic and political power to the world. ^ top ^



Guangzhou opens Asian Games main media center (Xinhua)
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou Monday opened the Main Media Center (MMC) for the 2010 Asian Games to the world media. The MMC covers 40,000 square meters and houses the Main Press Center and the International Broadcast Center. The Main Press Center provides working spaces for 580 journalists and 130 photographers. It also offers telephone, Internet connections and printing services. The Main Press Center also has three press conference halls and provides multi-language services, including English, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Arabic. According to the Asian Games Organizing Committee, there are more than 10,000 registered journalists, photographers and cameramen covering the Games. The Asian Games runs from Nov. 12 to 27. ^ top ^



China's Tibet sees booming trade with Nepal, India (Xinhua)
[…] China's three leading airline companies -- China Eastern, China Southern and Air China -- all operate passenger flights to Kathmandu. Easier and cheaper transport has cut costs, offering a larger profit margin as well as discounted prices for the customers. As China steps up trade and economic cooperation between its southwestern region and the neighboring countries including Nepal and India, more businesspeople have invested in Tibet, said Su Yuanming, an official in charge of border trade at the regional commerce department. "Such cross-border cooperation is conducive to Tibet's economic development and the overall growth of China's underdeveloped western regions," he said. Tibet reported $254 million of border trade in the first eight months of this year, up 88 percent year-on-year, said Su. He said trade with Nepal took up 95 percent of Tibet's border trade. "Last year, Tibet reported $249 million of bilateral trade with Nepal." Meanwhile, trade with India totaled 16.3 million yuan ($2.44) last year, at least 10 times the 2006 volume, thanks to the 2006 reopening of Nathu La Pass, a historic trade route wedged between Yadong County of Tibet's Xigaze Prefecture and India's Sikkim State. ^ top ^



Yuan policy 'coherent, responsible' (Global Times)
Chinese President Hu Jintao this week defended Beijing's currency policy, as the US and EU continue to say the yuan needs to be allowed to appreciate. "China's currency policy is coherent and responsible. We have worked steadily to advance reform of the yuan exchange rate mechanism," Hu said in a written response to the Le Figaro newspaper published Tuesday, ahead of his visit to France tomorrow. "We continue to perfect, in accordance with the principles of independence, control and progress, our exchange rate mechanism... to allow a greater place for the law of supply and demand and to increase the flexibility of the yuan, so as to maintain relative stability for our currency at a reasonable and balanced level," he told the paper, noting that the currency has appreciated nearly 24 percent since 2005.The US and EU both say Beijing keeps the yuan undervalued so as to boost its exports at their expense, as reflected in the massive trade deficits they run with China. Beijing, in turn, says that the problem is of their own making, urging the US to loosen restrictions on exporting high-tech products to China. Global policies on currencies, particularly the yuan, will loom large at the G20 summit in South Korea later this month.US President Barack Obama is planning talks with his Chinese counterpart amid growing friction between the world's two largest economies on the issue, AFP reported. Asked what China expects to come out of the Seoul summit, Hu was quoted by the paper as saying, "To redress commercial imbalances, the parties concerned must change their pattern of development, restructure their economies and promote free and fair trade, fighting any form of trade protectionism.". ^ top ^

World should show more tolerance to Chinese companies: expert (Global Times)
At a forum held at the second China Overseas Investment Fair, Huang Xingyuan, secretary general of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, called for the global community to be more tolerant on their ever-increasing requirements for China's foreign investment in their respective countries. According to him, on one hand, many countries crave for a wider scope in foreign investment in their lands, while on the other hand, they adopt certain protectionism toward Chinese companies who venture out for their lot. He mentioned also that China's current situation, including weak and unbalanced development basis and so on, need to be given understanding by the international community. Huang also said that Chinese companies should learn from examples set by Japan and Korea: going out and overcoming cultural barriers as well as adapting to local environments, thus, winning the trust from governments and the public when expanding in the overseas market. Mario Amano, deputy secretary general of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said that the risk of protectionism is always lingering. According to him, international investment by China and other emerging economies opens new investment opportunities and creates jobs. Many companies at the OECD now are faced with a shrinking market at home, and a partnership with emerging investors will be of great value." However, new investors are not always welcomed in the marketplace. There have been national security concerns that sovereign wealth funds and foreign government-controlled investors should be motivated politically rather than commercially. Additional concerns have been expressed regarding unfair competition and even disrespect for international norms with respect to labor and human rights," Amano said during the speech. ^ top ^

China will gain 80 million non-agriculture jobs in next decade (People's Daily Online)
China's effective labor supply will remain abundant over the next decade, and a decline in the growth rate of the working-age population is unlikely to be a barrier to overall economic expansion in China, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley.An average GDP growth of 8 percent per year through 2020 is achievable, the report said.Wang Qing, Morgan Stanley's chief economist for greater China, predicted in the report that although China's working-age population is expected to increase by merely 20 million from 2010 to 2020, its urban and rural non-farm employment will increase by 80 million, lifting the share of urban and rural non-farm employment in total from 67 percent in 2010 to 75 percent in 2020. Wang wrote that several long-standing distortions in China's labor market have driven a wedge between the working-age population and the effective labor supply. This is shown both by the distinct disconnection between the growth of GDP and the working-age population over the past 20 years as well as the current disproportionately high share of the rural population and employment in the primary sector. Surplus rural labor force will remain a prominent problem in China. The primary sector represented as much as 35 percent of total employment in 2008. Although this ratio has already fallen sharply from 45 percent 10 years ago and 55 percent 20 years ago, it is still 1.7 and 2 times as high as the shares of South Korea and Japan, respectively. […] Wang said in recent years China has gradually relaxed the supervision of the labor force, allowing it to flow from rural areas to cities. China also accelerated the process of urbanization, promoted development in the western areas, launched large-scale public housing construction projects and provided better education. These policies can stimulate the labor supply as well as the rapid and substantial growth of labor capacity. ^ top ^

World seeking more cooperation with Chinese companies (Global Times)
At the second China Overseas Investment Fair held during November 1 and 2, representatives from several countries demonstrated willingness to the idea of establishing deeper cooperations in multiple areas with Chinese enterprises.M ario Amano, deputy secretary general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said at the fair that the performance of the Chinese economy in recent years has exceeded all expectation, and that the country's miraculous development pace was vital to the swift recovery of the global economy. He added that OECD and China have a history of cooperations in many fields; and that he hopes this cooperation can boost world-wide investments[…] Thousands of distinguished guests from more than 120 countries gathered in Beijing to take part in the fair, which had the presence of senior officials from domestic and international governments and organizations; entrepreneurs and scholars. The participators launched varied investment promotion campaigns in reach of closer ties with Chinese companies. 15 countries also held special seminars as a door-opening way for Chinese enterprises in search of varied opportunities. ^ top ^


DPRK and South Korea
No talks between Kim Jong-un and Chinese officials: report (Global Times)
There were no meetings between high-ranking Chinese officials and Kim Jong-un, the designated successor to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, during the latter's visit to China in August, South Korea's JoongAng Daily reported Wednesday. "Kim Jong-un may have accompanied his father on the trip, but there were no meetings with high-ranking Chinese officials," the report said, citing a Chinese official who conveyed this information to Gu Sang-chan, a representative of South Korea's Grand National Party."There has never been a political visit by Kim Jong-un to China," the source told Gu. When Kim Jong-il and his son paid a surprise visit to China in August, some reports said Chinese officials also greeted Kim Jong-un, suggesting Beijing's acceptance of Pyongyang's power transfer, according to the newspaper. The Chinese official ridiculed media outlets in South Korea and Japan for reporting "wrong facts with unconfirmed information," the paper added, citing Gu. "We have not received any news about whether Kim Jong-un has met with Chinese officials. So it is not appropriate to give any opinion on the issue," an official at the North Korean embassy in Beijing told the Global Times Wednesday. ^ top ^


Gabrielle Tschopp
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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