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
  23-27.9.2013, No. 494  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea


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Foreign Policy

China's FM meets UN chief on Syria, development (Xinhua)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Syria and development issues at the United Nations headquarters here in New York. During their meeting, Wang stressed that China supports the United Nations, which is the most universal and representative international organization in the world, to play an important role in defending world peace and development. On Syria's chemical weapons, Wang said at present it is important for the international community to reach consensus on the issue as soon as possible and for the UN Security Council to send out a message of unity. China supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to carry out its work in an objective, fair and professional manner and is willing to send experts to join the process of inspecting and destroying Syria's chemical weapons, he said. Meanwhile, Wang added, the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and the political settlement of the Syria issue should be advanced parallelly. With regard to development, the Chinese foreign minister said as the theme of this year's UN General Assembly, development is very import for all countries in the world, especially the developing countries. China believes that sustainable development should be pursued with a view to eradicate poverty and promote development, with a focus on balancing the three pillars of economy, society and environment, Wang said. He reiterates China's firm stand in taking the road of sustainable development, which not only benefits the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also complies with the trends and directions of global development. Wang and Ban also exchanged views on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, climate change, among other. ^ top ^

Chinese FM calls for greater efforts to build new model of China-U.S. relations (Peoples Daily Online)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday called for "sustained political resolve, persistent commitment and tireless efforts" by both China and the United States to turn the proposed new model of major-country relations into reality. In a speech to the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution, Wang hailed the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama at their June summit at the Annenberg Estate in California on building a new model of major-country relations as "strategic, constructive and path-breaking." "It has charted the future course for our relations. It will surely produce a positive and profound impact on the Asia-Pacific and, indeed, the evolution of the international landscape," the Chinese minister said. Wang elaborated on the essential features of the new model of major-country relations, which include "no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation." He interpreted "no conflict or confrontation" as the prerequisite, "mutual respect" as the basic principle, and "win-win cooperation" as the only way for turning the vision of building a new model of major-country relations into reality. Wang said that making the vision a reality will be "a systemic project" that requires ideas and efforts of people from all walks of life in both countries. "It also needs the sustained political resolve, persistent commitment and tireless efforts of both sides," he said. The top Chinese diplomat proposed five ways for building the new model of major-country relations, including enhancing strategic trust, promoting practical cooperation, increasing people-to-people and cultural exchanges, strengthening cooperation on international and regional hotspots and global issues, and prioritizing cooperation on Asia-Pacific affairs. He highlighted the importance of the China-U.S. cooperation in maintaining regional and international stability and promoting sustainable development of mankind. Wang added that China is willing to work with the United States to ensure cyber security, fight climate change, defuse the Syria crisis, push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and solve the Iranian nuclear issue. He suggested China and the United States turn the Asia-Pacific into a "testing ground" for building the new model of relations, as they have more converging interests and frequent interactions in the region than anywhere else. For that end, the minister said the two nations should "genuinely respect and accommodate each other's interests and concerns in the Asia-Pacific," and work together to produce substantive results in the cooperation over hotspot regional issues, such as the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the transition in Afghanistan. While reiterating that China has no intention to push the United States out of the Asia-Pacific, Wang urged Washington to respect China's efforts to oppose separation of the island of Taiwan and to seek peaceful reunification. Wang is on a two-day official visit to the United States, the first since he took office in March. He has held talks with top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. He is to travel to New York on Saturday to attend the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. ^ top ^

China's FM meets UN chief on Syria, development (Xinhua)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Syria and development issues at the United Nations headquarters here in New York. During their meeting, Wang stressed that China supports the United Nations, which is the most universal and representative international organization in the world, to play an important role in defending world peace and development. On Syria's chemical weapons, Wang said at present it is important for the international community to reach consensus on the issue as soon as possible and for the UN Security Council to send out a message of unity. China supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to carry out its work in an objective, fair and professional manner and is willing to send experts to join the process of inspecting and destroying Syria's chemical weapons, he said. Meanwhile, Wang added, the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and the political settlement of the Syria issue should be advanced parallelly. With regard to development, the Chinese foreign minister said as the theme of this year's UN General Assembly, development is very import for all countries in the world, especially the developing countries. China believes that sustainable development should be pursued with a view to eradicate poverty and promote development, with a focus on balancing the three pillars of economy, society and environment, Wang said. He reiterates China's firm stand in taking the road of sustainable development, which not only benefits the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also complies with the trends and directions of global development. Wang and Ban also exchanged views on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, climate change, among other. ^ top ^

China signs 12 deals with Venezuela (China Daily)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is proudly recording every achievement of his first trip to China since being elected on his new Sina Weibo account. The achievements, ranging from multibillion-dollar oil deals to agricultural deals, were signed on Sunday by companies and government agencies from the two countries as President Xi Jinping hosted Maduro for a state visit in Beijing. The meeting, the first between the two leaders after they both took office this year, marked a smooth transition of close ties between the countries, analysts said. Throwing a warm welcoming ceremony for his Venezuelan counterpart, Xi told Maduro after the ceremony that his visit to China "will certainly promote China-Venezuela relations to new heights". Maduro, though, is no stranger to Beijing. He played a big role in facilitating the expansion of ties with China, serving as Venezuela's foreign minister from 2006 until the beginning of this year. The main goal of the trip is to consolidate and expand the strategic partnership between Venezuela and China that former president Hugo Chavez began with Chinese leaders, Maduro told Xi. Maduro said that China's development has benefited Venezuela. The meeting on Sunday witnessed the signing of 12 cooperation agreements on energy, education, agriculture and construction. Among them, Venezuelan oil giant Petroleo de Venezuela SA reached a $1.4 billion deal with China Petrochemical Corp to develop Venezuela's Junin 1 heavy oil bloc, which will produce 200,000 barrels a day. The country has also secured an agreement with China Development Bank on a $5 billion line of credit for social development. The Export-Import Bank of China will lend Venezuela's state petrochemicals company Pequiven $390 million for the construction of a port. Venezuela has also secured funding from Chinese banks for a mining survey around the country and has agreed with China's CITIC Group to move forward with gold mining projects in Venezuela's Las Cristinas deposits. According to Wang Zhen, former ambassador to Venezuela, Maduro's first trip to China after being elected president can be regarded as continuing Chavez's policy on China. "The decision helps fuel economic development of Venezuela, and will help increase its international status. It can also help secure the government of Maduro," Wang said. In the post-Chavez era, Maduro is facing great challenges, especially the imbalance of social and economic development. His narrow electoral win will prompt him to advance social reform and improve the economy. According to Wu Baiyi, a researcher specializing in the Latin American economy with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China, as the major oil export market of Venezuela, is very important for the country. Venezuela needs to guarantee close and increasing economic cooperation to gain more money for its domestic reforms, Wu said. According to Wang Zhen, China has invested a large sum of money to build refineries and related industries. "The future of resource cooperation between the two countries is rather optimistic," Wang said. Venezuela, with 297 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the nation with the largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. As one of the main pillars of OPEC, Venezuela also takes an important role in ensuring China's energy security and balance. Venezuelan Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez said earlier that Venezuela exported 626,000 barrels of oil per day to China in the first four months of this year and the figure is expected to reach 1 million barrels per day within two years. In 2012 China imported a total of 5.1 million barrels of oil per day from abroad. Beijing is now Caracas' second-largest trading partner in Latin America. Bilateral trade was only $350 million in 2000, but it reached $23 billion in 2012 after the two sides initiated several multibillion projects. During the talks on Sunday, the two leaders also pledged to enhance China-Latin America cooperation. Since Maduro has just assumed the rotating chair of the South American regional bloc Mercosur, Venezuela is expected to strengthen the dialogue between Mercosur and China through the visit. ^ top ^

China willing to join inspecting, destroying process of Syria chemical weapons (Global Times)
Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has said China is willing to send experts to join the process of inspecting and destroying Syria's chemical weapons. The remark was made during the talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Syria at the United Nations headquarters in New York. During their meeting, Wang said China supports the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to carry out its work in an objective, fair and professional manner. Wang said at present it is important for the international community to reach consensus on the issue as soon as possible, to send out a message of unity. He has also stressed that the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons and a political settlement for its ongoing crisis should be advanced at the same time. ^ top ^

Govt bans nuclear related exports to NK (Global times)
A list of technologies and goods were banned from export to North Korea for their possible use in building nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, said the Ministry of Commerce in an interdepartmental statement on Monday. The 236-page list names dozens of products known as "dual-use technologies," meaning that although ostensibly meant for civilian purposes, these products can also be used in military programs. "The dual-use products and technologies that are forbidden from being exported to North Korea delineated in this list have uses in weapons of mass destruction," the ministry said. It did not mention if the document was a comprehensive list of banned goods. Released by the commerce ministry along with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the China Atomic Energy Authority, the document describes items that could be used to build nuclear and chemical weapons, as well as technology that could build and fuel nuclear reactors. The ministry said the latest move is in accordance with some related resolutions made by the UN Security Council and China's foreign trade law. It also explicitly bans the export of several biological agents, including the Ebola virus. Ties between China and North Korea have been strained since Pyongyang carried out its third nuclear test in February, sparking a tougher round of sanctions. But recent months have brought a thaw. ^ top ^

China, France to further strengthen military exchanges (Xinhua)
Chinese and French military leaders agreed here on Tuesday that the armed forces of China and France should further strengthen their exchanges and cooperation. Both China and France are permanent members of the UN Security Council and play important roles in international and regional affairs, said Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), when he met here on Tuesday with Edouard Guillaud, Chief of Staff of the French Armed Forces. Based on mutual respect and mutual trust, China is willing to work together with France to further strengthen high-level military communications, strategic dialogues, and cooperation, to constantly make new contributions to the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, said Wang. Guillaud said the Sept. 22-24 France-China defense strategic dialogue in Paris is very important for the two sides to enhance their strategic mutual trust, deepen mutual understanding and boost military cooperation. France is satisfied with the development of relations between the armed forces of the two countries, and is willing to further strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side, he said. The 12th strategic dialogue between the two countries' defense ministries focused on the development of the two-way military ties, as well as international and regional issues of common concern. ^ top ^

Senior CPC official meets Mexican delegation (Xinhua)
Liu Yunshan, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met with a Mexican delegation of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) on Tuesday, pledging to boost cooperation between the two political parties and the two countries. The delegation was headed by Cesar Camacho Quiroz, president of the PRI. Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said Mexico is a good friend and partner of China in Latin America and the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership has led the China-Mexico friendship into a new phase. In June, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Mexico, where he and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto announced that bilateral relationship would be upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership. During Tuesday's meeting, Liu said the Chinese side stands ready to work with Mexico to implement the important consensus reached by the two leaders in pursuit of more cooperative achievements in various fields. The CPC is facing similar tasks of development to those of the PRI, and is willing to increase exchanges of experience on party management and country governance with the Mexican party, and promote bilateral ties by deepening the inter-party relationship to benefit the people of the two countries, according to Liu. Quiroz praised the unprecedented quality of the Mexico-China relationship, which he said was thanks to close interactions between the presidents of the two countries. He added that the PRI admires the CPC's capability and achievements in ruling the country, and looks forward to more exchanges with the CPC to lay a sound political foundation for the bilateral relationship and boost practical cooperation with China in various fields. ^ top ^

China urges Security Council to adopt resolution on Syria's chemical weapons as soon as possible (Global Times)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday that UN Security Council should reach a consensus and pass a resolution regarding chemical weapons in Syria as soon as possible.
"By doing so, we send forth a message of unity and in turn provide political support to the work of inspecting, verifying and destroying of chemical weapons in Syria," said Wang when he attended a luncheon together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo and four other foreign ministers of the five permanent members of UN Security Council. Wang reiterated that the Syria issue could only be solved through political means, not a military solution. He therefore called on the international community to make greater efforts to solve the Syrian issue via political means and urged to convene the second international conference on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland, with participation of people representing all parties in Syria and important regional countries concerned. ^ top ^

China, Russia seek closer legislative ties (Xinhua)
China and Russia pledged Monday to strengthen cooperation between the two countries' legislative bodies. The commitment came during top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang's official visit on Sept. 22-25 at the invitation of Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council, and Sergei Naryshkin, chairman of the State Duma. Meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said China and Russia were each other's most important strategic partners. He said Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russia during his maiden foreign tour as president, during which the leaders of the two countries jointly decided the direction for China-Russia relations in a new era as well as key areas of cooperation. Recalling the recent consensus reached by Xi and Putin at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Zhang said his current visit was aimed at implementing the consensus at the legislative level and translating the high-level advantage of bilateral political ties into more cooperation. Putin agreed with Zhang's remarks, saying Russia and China were real strategic coordination partners, and relations between the two countries and cooperation between the two legislative bodies were growing fast. Hailing the two sides' close cooperation in international affairs, Putin said it had vigorously advanced the progress of addressing major international issues and exerted positive influence on the development of the international situation. Russia had a firm desire to further deepen the strategic cooperation. Putin said cooperation between the two legislative bodies had created a favorable environment for promoting bilateral state-to-state ties and he hoped the two legislative bodies wold make a greater contribution to maintaining the high-level relations between the two countries. ^ top ^

China, UK set to resume high-level dialogue (China Daily)
China and Britain will resume high-level visits and dialogue soon, the Chinese ambassador to the UK said. "The prospect of China-UK relations is good after going through some difficulties over the past year," Ambassador Liu Xiaoming told China Daily on Wednesday. The countries are preparing for high-level talks, including the China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, cultural and educational exchanges and a summit meeting, Liu said. His words came on the sidelines of a reception for the 64th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, held by the embassy in London. "China and the UK have maintained cooperation in many fields," Liu said, adding that bilateral relations have returned to normal after being affected by the Dalai Lama issue over the past year. China is the UK's second-largest trading partner outside the EU. Bilateral trade is expected to hit $100 billion by 2015. Chinese investments in Britain are impressive. Since the beginning of last year, Chinese investment in Britain has totaled more than $12 billion and the two central banks signed a currency swap agreement worth 20 billion British pounds ($32.11 billion). It was the first of its kind between China and a major developed economy. "This summer we witnessed a really exciting series of China-UK cultural exchanges," Liu said. "We have enjoyed the ballet production of Jane Eyre in London by the Shanghai Ballet Company. Then there was the premiere of The Tragedy of Coriolanus by the Beijing People's Art Theatre at the Edinburgh International Festival." In education, Britain has launched the Generation UK program, which aims to send 15,000 young Britons to study or work in China over the coming three years. "Just this week, Britain will have one more Confucius Institute opened at Aberdeen University," Liu said. Famous museums from both countries will also cooperate in the near future, he added. In his speech at the reception, Liu told the story of a Briton named Tony Day who started a charity program called the Yellow River Soup Kitchen in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province. "He and Chinese volunteers give out food to people in need every week. Tony Day has been running this program for eight years," Liu said. In China Lei Feng is a household name for someone who is always ready to help, and Day is now known as the "British Lei Feng", he said. British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Today the relationship of the two nations is more important than ever. The UK and China are both countries that bear focus on the future, on advising our economies, on opening up opportunities for both." The UK was the top destination for Chinese overseas investment in Europe last year, McLoughlin said, adding, "The stronger potential for us is to work together for the countries to develop a high-speed network in years to come." Liu stressed the two countries should truly respect each other's core interests and main concerns, work together to enhance political mutual trust and strengthen practical cooperation, which will bear fruit and allow them to write more touching stories. McLoughlin said, "For the future, the next stage of UK-China development, we want China to succeed, and that is good for China, good for the UK and good for the world." Wang Mengzhen contributed to this story. ^ top ^

Chinese FM meets with U.S. Secretary of State (Xinhua)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the 68th UN General Assembly. Applauding the remarkable progress in the UN Security Council consultations over the Syria issue thanks to joint efforts from all parties, Wang said China appreciates the united and flexible manner demonstrated by all parties in the process. He also expressed hope that the process of resolving Syria's chemical weapons crisis through peaceful means rather than military action will move forward smoothly. China, Wang pledged, will continue with its constructive role to that end and join hands with other parties to push for a political solution to the Syria issue. The two foreign ministers also discussed the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Iran's nuclear program, and situations in the Asia-Pacific regions. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Verdict of Bo Xilai: Life in prison (China Daily)
Former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power by a court in Jinan, Shandong province, on Sunday. Bo was deprived of political rights for life, with all of his private assets confiscated, under the verdict issued by Wang Xuguang, chief judge of Jinan Intermediate People's Court.Bo, 64, also a former member of the political bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee, did not appeal the sentence on Sunday, but he has the right to do so within 10 days. "What Bo did has caused great losses to the interests of the country and people, and the circumstances were especially serious," Wang said as he read the verdict in court. Bo stood trial from Aug 22 to 26. The verdict said Bo took bribes of 20.44 million yuan ($3.34 million) either personally or through his wife Bogu Kailai and their son Bo Guagua from 1999 to 2012, when he was mayor and Party chief of Dalian, governor of Liaoning province and minister of commerce. In return, Bo helped Tang Xiaolin, general manager of Dalian International Development Co Ltd, take over the Dalian city liaison office in Shenzhen and also helped Tang obtain quota licenses for importing cars. In return, Tang gave Bo 1.1 million yuan, the court said. According to the court's investigation, Bo granted favors to Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group, for a sightseeing hot-air balloon project and its bid for a petrochemical project. He was aware that his wife and son accepted money and properties worth 19.33 million yuan from Xu, the court said. Bo was also found to have embezzled 5 million yuan in a government project in 2002. The money was transferred to a bank account designated by his wife, of which Bo was aware, according to the court verdict. The court found that Bo abused his power when the police were probing a murder case, in which his wife killed British citizen Neil Heywood in November 2011. Bo also abused power by removing Wang Lijun from his post as police chief of Chongqing, which led to Wang fleeing to the US consulate in Chengdu last year. The court said there was a lack of evidence for one of the allegations, in which prosecutors accused Bo's family members of asking Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group, to reimburse air tickets and other costs totaling 1.34 million yuan with Bo's consent. All other accusations were endorsed by the court. Bo denied all the charges during the trial last month, but the court said the evidence was solid and Bo had admitted some of it during interrogations. Although Bo said during the trial that he admitted some of the accusations because he was "under great mental pressure", the court said the pressure does not count as illegal under the rules of forced confession. Liu Yanjie, spokesman for the court, said the verdict was based on the facts of Bo's criminal activities and the harm that he has done to society. "The court has taken careful consideration of the opinions of both the prosecutors and Bo, and the evidence raised by both parties has been thoroughly investigated," Liu said at a news conference after the verdict was announced. The full version of the verdict has been released on the court's micro blog. The verdict was heard by 116 people, including three of Bo's relatives and 22 journalists, according to the court's micro blog. Mo Yuchuan, a law professor at Renmin University of China, said the public trial of Bo, one of the highest-ranking officials tried in about three decades, has made clear the top leadership's resolve to fight corruption. "The verdict came as the Party is gearing up for the upcoming Central Committee meeting in November. It is a sign that the leadership's unwavering determination to fight corruption will be continued," he said.". ^ top ^

Unremitting, lawful effort against corruption: People's Daily (Xinhua)
A commentary in the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has called for a persistent, "high voltage" campaign against corruption to correct the Party's style and win people's support. Stressing that probity is the chief principle in self-discipline while law is a precondition for governing a country, the article, which will be released on Monday, says that firmly dealing with corruption showcases the power of the Party and is the common wish of all Party members and citizens. "Sentencing Bo Xilai in accordance with law fully reflects that nobody is exempt from Party discipline and national law, and whoever is involved must be thoroughly investigated and severely punished in accordance with law," the commentary says. Bo Xilai, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the CPC and a former member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Sunday for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. The article notes that the anticorruption drive is still in a difficult state as "corruption is still rampant and the soil nurturing it still exists." It called for maintaining a "high voltage" crackdown on graft as well as severe and lawful punishment to straighten the Party's style and win public support. The article urged all Party officials to serve the people, be responsible to the people and voluntarily subject themselves to the people's supervision. "Always stay on high alert to resist corruption... and guard the bottom line when living one's life, handling things, wielding power and making friends," the commentary told Party officials. ^ top ^

Bo Xilai to appeal life sentence for corruption: sources (SCMP)
Bo Xilai decided to appeal hours after a court sentenced him to life in jail for corruption, two separate sources with direct knowledge of the case said. The fallen princeling erupted in anger when the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Shandong found him guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power on Sunday. He yelled that the court decision was not fair and was not based on facts, another witness told the South China Morning Post on Sunday. The two sources said the 64-year-old informed the court on Sunday afternoon of his request for an appeal when receiving the official verdict. "He was forcibly taken away by the court's guards and didn't get a chance to make an appeal inside the courthouse," said one. "So he made the appeal right after the hearing." The other source said that Bo was anxious to make the appeal, which is likely to be heard by the Higher People's Court of Shandong behind closed doors. Bo mounted a robust defence during his five-day trial in August and contested all three charges. The court on Sunday rejected nearly all of the defence arguments, but granted that a small portion of the bribes alleged by the prosecution - 1.34 million yuan of air travel offered by Dalian businessman Xu Ming to Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, and son Bo Guagua - had not been proven for lack of evidence. Bo's chances are slim. Former Beijing party chief Chen Xitong, a Politburo member like Bo, was jailed for 16 years in 1998 for taking 555,000 yuan in bribes and other crimes. His appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. He was released in 2004 on medical parole. Mainland media yesterday used reports of Bo's trial to trumpet both the rule of law and the leadership's drive against corruption. Both state-owned media and the more liberal press defended the sentence. From the case's investigation to the open and transparent trial and verdict, everything was guided by the rule of law, said a widely published commentary in People's Daily, the party's mouthpiece. "Sentencing Bo Xilai in accordance with law fully reflects that nobody can be exempted from party discipline and national law, and whoever breaches those must be thoroughly investigated and severely punished in accordance with law," the commentary said. It was read out on prime-time news on China Central Television and carried by other popular newspapers such as the Guangzhou Daily, the Southern Metropolis News and in the official Chongqing Daily. Bo was Chongqing party secretary. The China Daily praised the trial as "exemplary" and said it showed "the political will of the central authorities to tackle corruption with an iron fist". "The manner in which the trial was conducted has left a far more significant legacy," it said in an editorial. The editorial noted that the use of weibo feeds to broadcast court proceedings was unprecedented on the mainland. "Subjecting court proceedings to public scrutiny is a big step forward in the construction of rule of law," it declared. The Global Times said Bo's sentence of life in jail - as opposed to the fixed term of imprisonment many had assumed he would get - and the fact the trial proceedings were made public, contrary to the expectations of some, showed the trial "was not plotted, but strictly followed the law". The Beijing Times said the trial not only marked a significant milestone in the country's judicial history, but provided an important lesson in enhancing awareness of the rule of law. ^ top ^

China to lift ban on Facebook – but only within Shanghai free-trade zone (SCMP)
Beijing has made the landmark decision to lift a ban on internet access within the Shanghai Free-trade Zone to foreign websites considered politically sensitive by the Chinese government, including Facebook, Twitter and newspaper website The New York Times. Government sources informed of the decision told the South China Morning Post on condition of anonymity that the authority in charge of the Hong Kong-like free-trade zone in Shanghai, the first such zone on the mainland, would also welcome bids from foreign telecommunications companies for licences to provide internet services within the new special economic zone. The mainland's three biggest telecommunications companies China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, which are all state-owned enterprises, have already been informed of the decision to allow foreign companies to compete with them for business in the free-trade zone in Shanghai, said the sources. The Big Three didn't raise complaints as they knew it was a decision endorsed by top Chinese leaders including Premier Li Keqiang, who is keen to make the free-trade zone a key proving ground for significant financial and economic reforms, the sources added. “In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can't get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China,” said one of the government sources who declined to be named due to the highly political sensitive nature of the matter. However Beijing's decision to open up internet access only applies to the free-trade zone and not anywhere else in the country, the sources said. In late August the State Council, China's cabinet, approved the launch of the free-trade zone in Shanghai, which will span 28.78 square kilometres in the city's Pudong New Area, including the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone, Yangshan deepwater port, and the international airport area. Government sources told the Post earlier this month that the free-trade zone could be eventually expanded over the next few years to include the entire Pudong district, which covers 1,210.4 square kilometres, if the first-phase launch is proved a success in helping China to restructure its economy. The government hopes the free-trade zone will attract more foreign investment and liberalise the nation's foreign exchange and interest rate system, making capital flow much more easily. Cai Mingzhao, head of China's State Council Information Office, meets Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in Beijing on Sept. 10, 2013. Photo: SCIOFacebook and Twitter – banned on the mainland since 2009 – have played important roles in political movements in the Middle East in recent years, and Beijing is concerned about the impact of new media on social stability. Although China's economy is now already the world's second largest, just behind the United States, Beijing keeps tight control over the media. It blocks access to several internet websites through the Great Firewall of China, the colloquial name for the Golden Shield project which is operated by the Ministry of Public Security. Dozens of major foreign news sites including the online edition of The New York Times, which last year alleged that family members of former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao had accumulated massive wealth through secretive investments that may have involved bribery, are also currently banned on the mainland. Foreign visitors and many foreigners who reside on the mainland for work and study have complained about difficulties in accessing those news sites. Occasionally even the world's No 1 search engine Google and its email service Gmail are unavailable. Bosses at social media networks and major media companies whose websites are banned on the mainland have lobbied Beijing for years to lift these bans. More recently, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg met Cai Mingzhao, the head of the State Council Information Office in Beijing, and an official photograph of the meeting was published on the Chinese government's website, though Facebook said Sandberg's visit to China was mainly to promote her new book. Allowing foreign telecommunications companies to compete with state-owned telecommunications enterprises is a long-awaited breakthrough that would be welcomed by several former top leaders, including former premier Zhu Rongji, but there has been little progress in the past partly due to domestic political pressure. Wen succeeded Zhu as premier, and was in turn succeeded by Li just earlier this year, in the mainland's No 2 most powerful job after President Xi Jinping. State media has described the Shanghai Free-trade Zone, which has won direct and decisive support from Li despite open opposition from some industry regulators, just as important as Deng Xiaoping's decision to open up the Shenzhen special economic zones to foreign investors about three decades ago. ^ top ^

China cleans up Internet for youth (China Daily)
China is to tighten supervision of websites and cell phone applications to fight lewd content and aggressive remarks aimed at young people. Dubbed "Green Web," the two-month action will start in late September and target online information deemed lewd, pornographic or violent as well as posts that reveal personal information about youngsters or carry defamatory or bullying remarks. Online posts that flaunt wealth or showcase extreme obsession with celebrities will also be deleted. The campaign is jointly initiated by the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Education, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and the All-China Women's Federation. "The move aims to further cleanse the Internet environment, provide a healthy and positive online environment for young people and protect their legal interests," said a statement released Monday by the office. According to the statement, web operators are asked to voluntarily clean up the aforementioned harmful information while students, parents and social workers are encouraged to report questionable websites and online applications. The statement urged Internet information management departments to supervise the progress of the action while punishing violators who allow harmful content. ^ top ^



Beijing to invest heavily to treat air pollution (Xinhua)
Beijing will invest nearly 1 trillion yuan (162.6 billion U.S. dollars) to treat air pollution in the next five years, a senior municipal environmental official said on Tuesday. The figure is the total of all public and private investments, including 200 billion to 300 billion yuan from the city government, said Fang Li, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. "Beijing is an open city. All social forces will be mobilized and international advanced technologies and enterprises are welcome," said Fang, who is also the bureau's spokesman. Earlier this month, Beijing municipal authorities unveiled a five-year plan to improve air quality through measures such as cutting coal consumption, promoting clean energy use and reducing production capacities with heavy pollution. The capital's 2013-2017 plan aims to reduce PM 2.5 density by 25 percent or more by 2017. PM 2.5 particles are airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter that caused hazardous smog earlier this year. ^ top ^



Shanghai regulates government-funded overseas training (Xinhua)
Shanghai has issued a circular on overseas training of government and Communist Party of China (CPC) officials, forbidding all unnecessary government-funded programs. No training at public expense should take place overseas if it can be completed at home, according to a circular on the 2014 overseas training application plan issued by Shanghai Municipal Foreign Expert Affairs, a government body in charge of introducing foreign experts and controlling overseas training. The circular, issued on Sunday, also stipulated that group sizes and the length of overseas stays should be strictly controlled. Overseas tours in the name of training should be prohibited. Overseas training for CPC officials and reserve cadres should be directly organized by the Organization Department of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee. Organization departments at district and county levels should not directly organize overseas training, it said. ^ top ^

China to inaugurate Shanghai FTZ on Sept. 29 (Xinhua)
China will officially launch the pilot free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai on Sept. 29, taking a solid step forward to boost reforms in the world's second-largest economy. Preparation work is going smoothly, sources with the Shanghai municipal government said on Tuesday. Covering almost 29 square kilometers, the zone will be created modeled on existing free trade businesses in the country's economic hub -- Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said earlier this month that for the pilot FTZ, a negative list approach will be explored and priority will be given to easier investment and greater openness. China's legislature has given the green light to the State Council, or the Cabinet, to modify laws related to foreign enterprises in the zone. As authorized by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the State Council will suspend administrative approvals covering foreign-funded enterprises, Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures and contractual joint ventures.The State Council approved the pilot Shanghai FTZ on July 3. In the pilot zone, goods can be imported, processed and re-exported without the intervention of customs authorities. ^ top ^



Typhoon Usagi kills 29 in China's Guangdong (Xinhua)
At least 29 people have been killed since typhoon Usagi, the most powerful this year, made landfall in south China's Guangdong Province on Sunday evening, authorities said Tuesday. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, more than 530,000 residents in the province had been relocated after the typhoon landed at the costal area of Shanwei City, said a written statement issued by the provincial civil affairs department. The typhoon has disrupted lives of 9.23 million people, damaged 152,000 hectares of crops of and demolished 15,000 houses. Direct economic losses have reached 17.76 billion yuan (2.9 billion U.S. dollars), it said. The department, together with the provincial financial department, allocated 10 million yuan for disaster relief. Tents, quilts and clothes have been sent to the affected area. The typhoon also cut off water and electricity supplies in areas of Shantou and Shanwei cities. Eight people were killed and eight others injured at the construction site at the Shanwei section of the Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway Line as wind toppled the house they were sheltering in. Yu Jian'er, president of the No. 2 People's Hospital of Shanwei City, said one worker died in hospital on Tuesday when water shortage affected his treatment. Water and power supply did not resume until 10 p.m. Tuesday in the city, and repair work in other areas is still under way. ^ top ^



Govt to boost Xinjiang region (China Daily)
The central government will take measures that include improving employment and education to boost the development of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to a high-level conference. The development and stability of Xinjiang still faces challenges, and the autonomous region still needs aid across the nation, according to the fourth national work conference on "pairing assistance" projects to support Xinjiang development, which was held on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing. Yu Zhengsheng, China's top political adviser, said at the conference that more job opportunities should be created for people in Xinjiang, especially for those who live in the southern part of the region. Southern Xinjiang is densely populated by members of China's ethnic groups, mainly the Uygur ethnic group. Yu urged support for education, especially bilingual and occupational training, in the region, so as to improve the local people's abilities to start businesses. More experts should move to Xinjiang to train local government officials as well as specialists, Yu said. Excellent officials should also be selected and sent to aid the development of the region, he added. People from Xinjiang are also encouraged to seek jobs in other parts of China. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said at the conference that the region has advantages in its geographic location and rich natural resources and should become a strategic energy base for the country. "Xinjiang should be established as a western port for China's foreign trade given the fact that it is located at what has been an important merchant route, the 'Silk Road', since ancient times," Zhang said. The government should also attach great importance to environmental protection, modern industrial development and harmonious development of ethnic relationships, Zhang said. Private enterprises should be encouraged to invest in Xinjiang, Zhang added."Pairing assistance" projects, first unveiled by the central government in March 2010, involve 19 provinces and municipalities in support of the development of Xinjiang. ^ top ^



Travellers face chaos at Chek Lap Kok as Severe Typhoon Usagi skirts city (SCMP)
Typhoon Usagi swept across Hong Kong and Guangdong last night, killing three people and injuring at least four others.Typhoon Usagi swept across Hong Kong and Guangdong last night, killing three people and injuring at least four others. Air travellers will face another day of chaos today as airlines struggle to clear a backlog of passengers at Chek Lap Kok airport. By yesterday evening, hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport after flights were cancelled or delayed. Yesterday, at least 370 flights were cancelled and 76 delayed. A woman was injured by a falling sign on Au Pui Wan Street in Sha Tin. She was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital with minor injuries and released. Later, a car carrying a Now TV news team crashed near the Cross Harbour Tunnel entrance in Wan Chai. A male driver and a male passenger were hurt. They were taken to Ruttonjee Hospital with minor injuries. In Guangdong yesterday, Xinhua reported at least three people died and another was reported missing. In Huilai county of Jieyang city in eastern Guangdong, a villager who was staying home to avoid the strong wind was killed by shattered window glass that pierced his heart, Xinhua reported. Meanwhile, a couple's boat capsized in Huilai county yesterday afternoon. The husband was rescued but his wife remains missing. In nearby Shantou city, two men were killed and another injured by falling trees. Despite the damage and casualties, the storm could have affected Hong Kong worse, but the killer typhoon's path turned north and hit landfall at Shanwei at 7.40pm. A Cathay Pacific spokesman yesterday said it would try its best to offer help to affected passengers, but would not comment on the possibility of providing free accommodation. The airline urged passengers without confirmed bookings or whose flights had been cancelled not to go to the airport, saying "the chance of securing a seat on standby basis at the check-in counters is very low". "The airline plans to gradually resume services today when weather and safety conditions permit," the spokesman said. However, the airline said passengers with flights scheduled for today should consider rearranging them. The Observatory hoisted a No 8 typhoon signal at 6.40pm yesterday. Severe Typhoon Usagi made landfall near Shanwei, according to China's National Meteorological Centre. At 7am, Usagi was about 180 kilometres northwest of Hong Kong and was forecast to move across the western Guangdong and further weaken. ^ top ^

US will keep its nose out of Hong Kong poll, says envoy Clifford Hart (SCMP)
The top US envoy in Hong Kong said yesterday Washington would not support any political parties or give any prescription on reform when it came to the city's democratic development. Clifford Hart's cautious approach in his maiden public speech came a month after Foreign Ministry Commissioner Song Zhe warned him to stay out of the city's affairs. Speaking at a lunch hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce, the US consul general said Washington supported Hong Kong's progress towards genuine universal suffrage, but it had "no prescription". "The United States will always stand for our core democratic values," Hart said. He said soon after his arrival on July 30 that he was looking forward to Hongkongers' move towards "genuine democratic suffrage". He has also met various political parties in the past two months."The United States does not take a position for or against any particular formulation on how genuine universal suffrage is achieved," Hart said yesterday. "We will always advocate the fundamental principles that underlie every successful democracy - open dialogue and debate, the rule of law, free and fair elections, and choice among candidates." Asked about the Occupy Central democracy movement, Hart said the US "does not support" any political groups or movement. Asked by a chamber member about his reaction to the criticism provoked by his earlier comments, Hart said he would be satisfied if the attention over the past two months could be maintained during the rest of his tenure. "I feel I am received quite warmly. I have no complaints," he said. Hart refused to talk about the controversy over US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, which his predecessor Stephen Young said had damaged trust between the US and Hong Kong. Hart said he stood by Young's statement. Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said he hoped the US and Britain would adopt "quiet diplomacy" or it might deepen misunderstandings between Beijing and pan-democrats in Hong Kong. "I just hope they can help facilitate mutual trust in the political reform process," he said. Separately, Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, told the city's political appointees that the debate on constitutional reform must stay rational and stick to the law. Top mainland officials have said the "public nomination" of chief executive candidates would violate the Basic Law. Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, who joined Wang and 16 undersecretaries and political assistants at a closed-door meeting in Beijing yesterday, said the government would not make a quick decision. ^ top ^



Taiwan opens 4th mainland trade promotion office (Global Times)
The Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), Taiwan's leading trade promotion agency, opened its fourth mainland office on Monday in Qingdao City in East China's Shandong Province. The Qingdao office will serve the provinces of Shandong, Henan and Shaanxi, said Wang Chih-Kang, chairman of the center."The booming city of Qingdao is an international shipping center of northeast Asia," said Wang. TWTC opened its first office on the Chinese mainland in Shanghai in December 2012. It later opened offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. "The opening of the Qingdao office means TWTC has connected the four major economic belts in the Chinese mainland," said Wang. The office will strengthen its cooperation with local governments as well as economic and trade organizations and hold trade promotion events, he said. ^ top ^

Mainland to open sea passenger-cargo route to Taiwan (Xinhua)
The Chinese mainland will open a sea passenger-cargo route to Taiwan to facilitate cross-Strait ferry service, said a spokesman from the Chinese mainland on Wednesday. A ro-ro passenger-cargo vessel named "Cosco Star" will set sail from Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian Province to Kaohsiung on Sept. 30, and the service will be offered once a week in the future, Yang Yi, spokesman with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, told reporters at a press briefing. Another ship will set sail from Pingtan in Fujian Province to Taipei twice a week starting Oct. 9, the spokesman added. Both routes are the first of their kind and will play a positive role in promoting cross-Strait communication, said Yang. ^ top ^

Taiwan's navy launches first surface-to-air missile in six years (SCMP)
Taiwan's navy launched its premier surface-to-air missile from the deck of a warship on Thursday, its first test of the weapon in six years, destroying a drone simulating a Chinese air attack. The US-made Standard II missile, fired from the Kidd-class Makung destroyer, soared into the skies over the ocean dozens of miles east off Hualien, eastern Taiwan, hitting the drone, according to the navy. Artillery were also used in the drill, codenamed “Sea Standard”, that simulated a Chinese strike on the Taiwanese fleet. “Standard II is very stable. There is no need to fire the costly weaponry every year to verify its reliability,” Admiral Wen Chen-kuo said from the nearby Su Ao destroyer, citing its success six years ago in a similar naval manoeuvre. Each Standard II missile costs around US$3 million. With a range of over 130 kilometres, it provides warships with a more comprehensive and longer-range air defence capability. Currently, only four 10,000-tonne Kidd-class destroyers, the biggest warships of Taiwanese navy, are armed with the regional air defence weaponry. Due to bad weather, Taiwan's military had to call off some of the exercises. Taiwan and China split in 1949 at the end of a civil war. Tensions between them have eased markedly since 2008, after Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power. He was re-elected in January last year. China has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare independence, prompting Taiwan to keep modernising its forces and conduct regular military drills. ^ top ^



News Analysis: Capital outflow pressure eases in China (People's Daily Online)
Increases the bookmark digg Google Delicious buzz friendfeed Linkedin diigo stumbleupon Qzone QQ Microblog Capital outflow pressure in China is easing as the country's economy stabilizes, according to analysts. Newly-released data showed that China's total yuan funds outstanding for foreign exchange (forex) reversed two consecutive months of decline and rose in August. The funds stood at 27.39 trillion yuan (4.48 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of August, up 27.32 billion yuan month on month, the central bank said. The funds, a major indicator of international capital movement into or out of China, declined in June and July, raising concerns of massive capital outflows. However, Lian Ping, economist at the Bank of Communications, said,"Cross-border capital has begun to return to China as the economy shows signs of stabilizing." Analysts believed that the slow growth of foreign trade in the first half, and the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to taper off quantitative easing three (also known as QE3) are the main reasons behind the capital outflows. Cai Hongbo, an economic expert at the Beijing Normal University, said an improvement in August exports and a strengthening yuan have pushed up demand for Chinese currency. He added that August forex data follows a series of economic figures pointing to a firming Chinese economy. China's manufacturing activities posted a strong recovery in August, with the official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rising to 51.0 percent last month from 50.3 percent in July, according to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. The country's exports rose 7.2 percent year on year in August, accelerating from 5.1 percent in July, according to customs figures. An increase was also seen in retail sales, industrial production and investment in the manufacturing sector, according to official figures. "A rebound in forex data indicates strengthening confidence in the Chinese economy against the backdrop of currency devaluation and tumbling stocks in some emerging markets," said Lian Ping. "Looking ahead at the next few months, the forex data will see either a slight increase or a moderate decline," said Zhao Qingming, a researcher at China Construction Bank. Zhao believed that the country's economic growth is still considered high for any major economy in the world. Although there are uncertainties brought by Fed's plan to taper off its quantitative easing, he ruled out the possibility of any large capital inflows and outflows taking place in China. ^ top ^

Silk Road economic belt focus of Euro-Asia forum (Xinhua)
The fifth Euro-Asia Economic Forum opened here on Thursday with the Silk Road economic belt high on the agenda. Chinese President Xi Jinping's proposal for the Silk Road belt has brought unprecedented opportunities for regional development, said Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang at the opening ceremony of the forum. Eurasian countries should push forward with more, higher level, broader regional cooperation, with a firmer resolve and more practical measures, to make the idea a reality as soon as possible for the benefit of the people, said Wang in his keynote speech. He stressed mutual political trust and common development in the region, calling for opening up and fighting protectionism in all forms, promoting mutual understanding and deepening friendship by expanding exchanges in education, culture and tourism. The three-day conference in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, attracted about 2,000 delegates from 75 countries, regions and international organizations, including foreign leaders such as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Ukrainian First Vice Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov. Themed "deepening pragmatic cooperation and promote common prosperity", the forum features eight main seminars on cultural heritage, ecological safety, economic growth, education, energy development, financial cooperation, new technology and tourism development. Afghanistan supports Silk Road economic belt proposal and wants to be part of regional cooperation, said Karzai at the opening ceremony. During his visit to Kazakhstan in early September, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the proposal of a Silk Road economic belt to deepen cooperation and make economic ties closer among European and Asian nations. The Silk Road refers to the land trade route opened when Zhang Qian was sent west on a diplomatic mission more than 2,000 years ago. Starting from the city known today as Xi'an, the ancient Silk Road ran through northwest China's Gansu Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Central and Western Asia, before reaching the Mediterranean. China remains a developing center to the whole world and China's development brings opportunities to other countries, said Serhiy Arbuzov. Shaanxi, near the geographical center of China, plays an important role in China's opening up to the West, said Governor Lou Qinjian. The province will focus on its distinctive industries and realize win-win outcomes with Eurasian countries, said Lou. Xing Guangcheng, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Silk Road economic belt could take a long time and it is important to strengthen exchanges and build mutual trust. The Silk Road is not only a trade route, but also a route of culture and peace. The Euro-Asia Economic Forum serves as a good platform for communication, but more exchange and cooperation are necessary, said Sun Zhuangzhi, another expert in Central Asia studies. Currently, infrastructure along the Silk Road such as roads and pipelines have been initially completed, but more effort in mechanisms for trade and investment are needed, said Feng Zongxian, an professor of economics at Xi'an Jiaotong University. A vital precondition is for countries to have an open, inclusive and win-win mindset, said Feng. ^ top ^


DPRK and South Korea

Russia demands explanation from DPRK over ship inspection incident (People's Daily Online)
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday demanded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) explain a latest ship inspection incident taking place in the Sea of Japan. A DPRK warship on Friday shot at a Russian fishing vessel without warning in the Sea of Japan before boarding the vessel, the ministry said in a statement. DPRK coast guards onboard the warship allowed the vessel, Altai, to continue its voyage after questioning the captain, said the ministry. No one was injured in the shooting, and the fishing boat was not damaged, the fishing company that owns Altai told RIA Novosti news agency. Altai, loaded with crabs, was heading from the port of Zarubino in the Far Eastern Primorye Territory to South Korea, local media reported. According to the spokesperson of the fishing company, coast guards from the DPRK "grossly violated international law on maritime traffic," as they started shooting without warning. ^ top ^

Pyongyang has technology to build uranium-based bombs, experts say (SCMP)
North Korean scientists are able to build crucial equipment for uranium-based nuclear bombs on their own, according to evidence gathered by two American experts. That would reduce its need for imports, which have afforded one of the few ways for outsiders to monitor the country's secretive atomic work. The experts say material published in North Korean scientific publications and news media shows that Pyongyang is mastering domestic production of essential components for the gas centrifuges needed to make the bombs. The development further complicates long-stalled efforts to stop a nuclear bomb programme that Pyongyang has vowed to expand, despite international condemnation. If Pyongyang can make crucial centrifuge parts at home, outsiders will not be able to track sensitive imports. That could spell the end of policies based on export controls, sanctions and interdiction that have been the centrepiece of international efforts to stop North Korea's nuclear programme over the last decade, Joshua Pollack, a Washington-based expert on nuclear proliferation, said in remarks prepared for delivery today at a Seoul symposium. "If they're not importing these goods in the first place, then we can't catch them in the act," said Pollack, who gathered the evidence with Scott Kemp, an expert on centrifuge technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We won't necessarily see anything more than what the North Koreans want us to see." The state of North Korea's nuclear programme is of vital concern to Washington because Pyongyang says it wants to build an arsenal of nuclear-armed missiles that can reach American shores. The North has conducted three nuclear tests of apparently increasing power since 2006, most recently in February, and it is believed to have a handful of crude plutonium-based bombs. Many experts estimate, however, that Pyongyang has not yet mastered the miniaturisation technology needed to mount a warhead on a long-range missile. Restrictions on imports to North Korea are tightening thanks to China, which is a key ally of Pyongyang but has also been pressing it to give up nuclear weapons. A notice posted on the Commerce Ministry's website yesterday listed 236 pages of items and technologies banned from export to North Korea because of their potential use in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. It's not clear whether North Korea has made bomb-grade uranium, and Pyongyang says its uranium enrichment programme is for peaceful, energy-generating purposes. But analysts strongly suspect that Pyongyang could be producing large amounts of weapons-grade material. ^ top ^



Minister of Mining meets with CEO of China's Chalco Company (Info Mongolia)
Minister of Mining D.Gankhuyag met with Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO) delegation led by CEO of the Company Xiong Weiping on September 24, 2013. During the meeting, Minister D.Gankhuyag expressed his gratitude for the successful cooperation in the Mongolia-China economic sector and the changes made in the agreement beneficial for Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC. He also stated that the Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC is a company which holds all of the Mongolian people's shares and increasing the value of this company with infrastructure, building railways and power plants. CEO of Chalco Xiong Weiping specified, “The 70% of the state owned Chalco Company is owned by the Government of China. Operating in the aluminum market, Chalco is a company leading in its sector with an asset of over 70 billion USD”. Minister D.Gankhuyag stated, “We will supply with quality products. We are hopeful you will purchase our products at international market price. It is right to improve the agreement to an offtake agreement at a transparent and international level”. ^ top ^

Domestic sheep wool being used for building insulation (UB Post)
Mongolia is now able to not only produce cotton fleece from sheep wool but also building insulation material. The Mongolian Wool Products Manufacturers Association signed a contract with a Japanese company in building insulation material with domestic sheep wool.
A team of five Japanese experts in manufacturing will land in Mongolia today. They will decide what equipment is required to start insulation manufacturing here, after studying our domestic sheep wool and equipment in Mongolia. The insulation material will be used for building a wooden building of the administrative boards, business entities, and public service centers of provinces in the frame of the “Soum” Project of the New Government for Changes. In the first stage, the buildings will be constructed and the insulation material will be used for them. The government allocated 50 billion MNT for the work. ^ top ^

World Tourism Day to promote National Tourism (
World Tourism Day is marked annually on September 27th. To celebrate this day Mongolia has organized a State Olympiad "Grand Tour" between 21st and 27th September. Currently over 100 students from 14 different national universities and institutes will compete in the State Olympiad with their talents and abilities. The State Olympiad will conclude with a students' academic conference on Friday September 27th. Mongolia joined the World Tourism Organization in 1990. Mongolia has since celebrated World Tourism Day with certain themes around the sector from 1997. World Tourism Day 2012 was celebrated last year in Mongolia under the theme of Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development. This year the theme of the day will be "Development of National Tourism”. The World Tourism Organization is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of developing sustainable and eco-friendly tourism, trends, markets, marketing and human resources. It`s membership includes 155 countries across the world. In 1979 the 3rd session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly issued a resolution to mark September 27th as World Tourism Day. Member countries have been celebrating the occassion since 1980. ^ top ^


Ludivine Candiotti
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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