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
  21-25.10.2013, No. 498  
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Table of contents

DPRK and South Korea


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Foreign Policy

India's Singh heads to China to address 'areas of concern' with Beijing (SCMP)
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left on Sunday for a four-day trip to Russia and China aimed at strengthening trade ties and addressing a festering border dispute with Beijing. The prime minister will also look to secure energy, defence and other economic deals in both countries. In a statement before leaving India, the 81-year-old spoke of the longstanding defence and trade ties with Russia. “The scope of our relationship with Russia is unique, encompassing strong and growing cooperation in areas such as defence, nuclear energy, science and technology, hydrocarbons, trade and investment,” he said in a statement. Singh added he would try to address “areas of concern” during his visit to Beijing. “India and China have historical issues and there are areas of concern,” he said, adding they would not affect “the overall atmosphere of friendship and cooperation”. India seeks a breakthrough in a border row with China that has soured relations for decades, after the leaders of the two Asian giants pledged earlier this year to build trust. Singh will meet President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday with the focus on arms purchases. India, which is spending billions of dollars upgrading its military, has been Russia's top weapons buyer for years. Both countries will also be looking to seal accords on the next phase of a Russian-built nuclear power project on India's south coast. The project is designed to help meet India's surging demand for electricity, but has been dogged by delays and protests over safety. Singh will head to China on Tuesday looking to forge closer economic ties and ink a pact to ease tension along their disputed border in a remote Himalayan region, following a flare-up in April. India accused Chinese troops of intruding nearly 20 kilometres into Indian-held territory, sparking a three-week standoff that was only resolved when troops from both sides eventually pulled back. China and India fought a brief war in 1962 and the border between the two nations has never been properly demarcated, although they have signed accords to maintain peace. Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang will hold talks on Wednesday on the issue, after both pledged to resolve the dispute during Li's visit to India in May. Singh will also seek progress on closing the trade gap, including through increased Chinese investment through Chinese industrial parks in India. China is India's biggest trading partner, with two-way commerce totalling US$67.83 billion last fiscal year, up from US$2.1 billion in 2001-02. But India's trade deficit with its neighbour soared to US$40.77 billion last year from just US$1.08 billion in 2001-02, Indian figures show. Singh said the world's two most populous countries have a “growing congruence of regional, global and economic interests”. “The list of areas of our bilateral cooperation is impressive - trade, investment, infrastructure, trans-border rivers, energy, agriculture, science and technology... we hope to take forward our engagement in many of these areas during my visit,” he added. ^ top ^

New China-Myanmar pipeline opens (Global Times)
A China-Myanmar gas pipeline has gone into full operation on Sunday. It will fuel China's Southwest regions with piped natural gas for the first time and decrease gas price in these areas. Some 1,727 kilometers of the 2,520-kilometer pipeline are in China, running through provincial regions in Southwest China's Yunnan, Guizhou and Chongqing, and South China' s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Starting from Myanmar's Kyaukpyu Harbor and ending in China's Guigang, Guizhou Province, the pipeline is expected to send 12 billion cubic meters of gas each year to Myanmar and the Chinese regions, according to the China National Petroleum Corporation, the builder of the project. In Guizhou Province, four cities including Guiyang will be supplied 1 million cubic meters of piped gas each day, Liu Qilong, a vice general manager of Guizhou gas group, told the Global Times on Sunday. The piped gas will improve local air quality as 90 percent of local factories in Guizhou rely on coal and most residents' cooking fuel is also refined from coal, said Liu. The pipeline will also change the energy structure in these regions. For example, the amount of industrial-use piped gas will increase from the current 5 million cubic meters to 500 million cubic meters by the end of 2014, reported China National Radio (CNR). "Local companies don't have to worry about the gas limit anymore," Liu said. This pipeline will relieve China's energy risks and will also reduce the price of gas, Lin Boqiang, a professor with the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times. "Currently, China's piped gas is mainly imported from areas around the Malacca Strait. Now, we have one more pipeline from the land instead of the seabed, which will decrease dangerous factors," Lin said, adding that gas price in these areas is expected to go down as piped gas is the cheapest gas. Gas price for residents' use in Guangxi will decrease by 13 percent, reported CNR. But some residents reached by the Global Times said the falling price has no influence on their lives and some said they want environmentally-friendly fuel. Jiang Hui, a worker in Guiyang, said he prefers to use electricity instead of piped gas as the former is more convenient. ^ top ^

Li-Medvedev meeting to boost cooperation (Xinhua)
The upcoming meeting between the Chinese and Russian heads of government will promote implementation of bilateral pragmatic cooperation, Russian ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told Xinhua. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will pay an official visit to China from Oct. 22 to 23 as a guest of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. During Medvedev's stay in Beijing, he and Li will co-chair the 18th regular meeting between the Chinese and Russian heads of government. The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral cooperation in the economy, trade and cultural exchanges, and exchange views on major political affairs, according to Denisov. Discussions on topics including energy, investment and cooperation at local levels would be especially important, he said. In his first foreign trip since taking office, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russia in March. Xi and President Vladimir Putin have drawn a blueprint for the development of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Xi and Putin made it clear that a major task for the two sides is to turn high-level political relations into fruitful results of pragmatic cooperation. The major task for the upcoming Li-Medvedev meeting is to carry out consensus reached during the Xi-Putin meeting, including further developing bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, discussing detailed measures to realize goals in trade, expanding energy cooperation, deepening cultural exchanges, and facilitating personnel exchanges, Denisov said. During Xi's visit in March, the two countries agreed to boost their annual trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 200 billion dollars by 2020. Apart from maintaining close consultation and coordination in major international affairs in the past half year, the two countries also cooperated in flood control and disaster relief with regard to floods that hit Russia's far east region and northeast China. In addition, the two countries are preparing for the China-Russia Year of Youth Exchanges in 2014 and 2015. Chen Yurong, scholar on European-Central Asian studies with the China Institute of International Studies, said the China-Russia relations have entered a new phase during which pragmatic cooperation is carried out comprehensively. "Upholding the principle of mutual trust and mutual benefit, the two sides are boosting pragmatic cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, infrastructure, high and new technologies, and such cooperation has manifested momentum," Chen said. ^ top ^

Historical issues concerning Japan's neighbors: FM spokeswoman (Xinhua)
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Monday again urged Japan to honor its statement and commitment on historical issues. Hua made the remarks in response to media reports that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to visit the Yasukuni Shrine before the end of the year. Abe has said he regretted not visiting the shrine in person when he first served as prime minister in 2006 to 2007, according to media reports. About 160 Japanese lawmakers and several Abe's cabinet worshipped at the shrine during its autumn festival regardless of opposition from China and the Republic of Korea(ROK). China has repeatedly stated its attitude and position on the Yasukuni Shrine. Hua described the shrine as a spiritual vehicle and symbol of Japan's wartime militarism. The worship of the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese leaders is about how Japan understands and deals with its history of invasion and colonization, she said. Whether Japan can correctly understand and reflect on its history of invasion and colonization not only relates to Japan's future development, but also concerns Japan's future relations with its Asian neighbors as well as peace and stability in North East Asia, said Hua. If Japan does not meditate on its history of aggression, and clings to the spirit of militarism, there can be no future for Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors, she said. She again urged the Japanese side to honor its statement and commitment on reflecting on historical issues and take concrete actions to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community. ^ top ^

China receives three PMs (Global Times)
China Tuesday simultaneously received prime ministers from neighboring countries Russia, India and Mongolia, underlining an emphasis on peripheral diplomacy in its overall diplomatic strategy against the backdrop of the US pivot to the Asia-Pacific. Tuesday's packed diplomatic activities started with the 18th regular meeting between the Chinese and Russian heads of government in Beijing, which saw the signing of an array of deals, followed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Beijing on Tuesday evening for a three-day visit. He is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and meet Xi on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag visited Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Tuesday, before heading to Liaoning Province to improve economic ties and Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders, according to Mongolian media. It's rare to have three foreign leaders make simultaneous visits. "In recent months, China's efforts in peripheral diplomacy have been way more significant than I had imagined," Jin Canrong, a deputy dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times. The simultaneous visits came after President Xi and Premier Li's relayed visits to Southeast Asian countries earlier this month, signifying China's emphasis on relations with neighbors. Shi Yinhong, a professor with the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that the receiving of the leaders is also a response to the US pivot. The US strategic pivot to Asia has put great pressure on China and triggered some problems in its neighboring region, Su Hao, director of the Asia-Pacific Research Center at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times. "Therefore, China needs to stabilize its neighboring environment and strengthen its relationship with neighboring countries, especially those big powers," he said. During the meeting with Medvedev, Xi spoke highly of fruitful bilateral cooperation in global and regional affairs, adding they had safeguarded common interests and justice. "Both Russia and China feel pressure from the US and the consolidation of China-Russia relations will contain the US' pivot to Asia," said Su. As for India, the US has been trying to draw it to its side so as to establish a strategic circle from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, the expert noted. "India is an independent power and the strengthening of Sino-Indian relations will help reduce the pressure from the US, and contain Washington's pivot," Su said. After the meeting with Medvedev, Li said, "(We) reached many new consensuses on further advancing practical cooperation, especially on large-scale projects," adding they had witnessed the signing of 21 bilateral cooperation agreements. Among the deals, energy cooperation is one of the most important achievements. "(We) will supply an additional 10 million tons of crude oil each year (to China), which will be done by Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft. It means 100 million tons in the next 10 years, worth a total of $85 billion," said Medvedev in an online chat via In a separate deal, Rosneft and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) agreed on supplies to a planned oil refining joint venture in Tianjin, Reuters reported. Novatek, Russia's largest independent natural gas producer, agreed to supply 3 million tons per year of liquefied natural gas to CNPC, one of the partners in its $20 billion project on the Arctic Yamal peninsula. The deal covers a period of 15 years. Meanwhile, Gazprom, the world's largest gas company, said that it had reached an agreement on a price formula to supply 38 billion cubic meters per year of gas by pipeline to China. However, final price terms were not agreed, meaning talks are likely to run into 2014, according to Reuters. Separately, in a written reply to a question raised by the Global Times, Manmohan Singh said India welcomes Chinese investment and the Chinese proposal to establish a Chinese Industrial Park in the country. The prime minister said India faces an unsustainable imbalance in its trade with China and one of the ways of overcoming the trade deficit is for India to attract larger flows of foreign direct investment from China. ^ top ^

Chinese premier meets UNESCO director-general (Xinhua)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova on Tuesday afternoon. Li said the Chinese government attached great importance to the development of education, science and culture. China gives a priority to the development of education and implement compulsory education, trying to provide the people with fairer and better education opportunities. He spoke highly of the contribution of UNESCO to world educational, scientific and cultural development, and pledged China's greater support to and closer cooperation with UNESCO. Bokova said China has made remarkable achievements in promoting educational equality, reducing poverty, protecting cultural heritage and promoting innovations in science and technology. She said UNESCO would like to apply to other countries the successful model of cooperation between China and UNESCO, in a bid to expand international cooperation in educational, scientific and cultural areas. ^ top ^

Turkish PM defends seeking China arms (SCMP)
The Turkish prime minister yesterday defended a controversial decision to enter talks with China to buy Turkey's first long-range anti-missile system, but said no deal had yet been finalised. Ankara's announcement last month that it was launching discussions with the China Precision Machinery Import-Export for the deal - worth US$4 billion, according to Turkish media - irritated Turkey's allies in Nato, particularly the United States. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists that "for the moment, China is offering the best conditions" - including meeting Turkey's demand to produce the missiles jointly. He said talks are continuing between Turkish and Chinese authorities and he would make a "final decision" together with his defence minister and army chief of staff. He did not give a date for the decision. The US said it had "serious concerns" about its key regional ally's decision to go with China Precision, and Nato - of which Turkey is a member - said it wanted a say in the final decision because the alliance's missile systems must be compatible with each other. Erdogan, dismissed Nato's concern, saying its member countries routinely had Russian arms in their inventories. ^ top ^

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop talks up China trade pact (SCMP)
Australia is "very keen" to conclude a free-trade agreement with China, says the country's new foreign minister, Julie Bishop, whose conservative coalition government has been accused of seeking to stifle foreign investment since coming into office last month. "We have a significant trading relationship with China. We are looking to broaden, deepen and diversify that trading relationship," Bishop told the South China Morning Post. It was Bishop's first visit to Hong Kong as Australia's foreign minister since her government was elected on September 7. One sticking point in the new government's plan to deepen trade ties with Beijing is its proposed policy to increase scrutiny of foreign investment. Foreign investment, especially from China, is a point of contention in Australian politics. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's coalition vowed during the election to lower the amount at which foreign investment from certain countries triggers an automatic review. Abbott pledged to take the current A$248 million (HK$1.9 billion) threshold to A$15 million, and anything above that amount would be reviewed by the Foreign Investment Review Board, which assesses whether a proposed investment is in the "national interest". Beijing has told Canberra it wants the limit raised to A$1 billion - the threshold for US and New Zealand investors, according to a recent report by the Sydney Morning Herald. The proposal was described as "xenophobic" by the opposition and it is still unclear whether the new government will go ahead with it. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey was equivocal on the issue on his US trip last week, saying: "It's a balancing act and I'm very confident that we will get it right if we are to conclude a free trade negotiation with China." China is Australia's biggest export market, followed by Japan and South Korea. Abbott's coalition government has pledged an "Asia first" foreign policy, meaning Canberra would make ties with Asian countries, especially China, a priority. However, in early October, less than a month after the new government was elected, Beijing was enraged by a trilateral statement issued by the US, Japan and Australia that condemned China's "coercive or unilateral actions" in the disputed waters in the East China Sea. Bishop said the statement was not aimed at Beijing. "We do not take sides on the merits of the claims, but believe that that coercive or unilateral action on any side can be detrimental to stability and peace in the region," she said at the weekend. The "Asia first" foreign policy faces mounting pressure from international organisations to put the issue of human rights at its forefront. The framework has been criticised as ineffective and WikiLeaks cables have revealed Australian dignitaries felt frustrated by what they saw as unco-operative and dismissive behaviour by China. However, Bishop said the "framework of the ministerial-level human rights dialogue" was adequate to address human rights concerns in China. ^ top ^

China wants to strengthen cooperation with EU: Chinese Vice Premier (Global Times)
China is willing to work with the European Union (EU) to boost exchanges and cooperation in various fields, to "inject new impetus into the sound growth of China-EU business ties," Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai said in an article published Thursday in the French newspaper Les Echos. Pointing to challenges in the face of a slow global economic recovery, Ma, who is currently leading a Chinese delegation to participate in the fourth High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue between China and the EU, said the two sides "need to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, which is essential not just for both sides but also the world at large." "The recent settlement of the China-EU trade dispute over the photovoltaic products indicates that we have the capability and wisdom to manage trade frictions and to achieve win-win outcomes," said Ma. He emphasized that the Chinese government "will continue to place importance on its relations with the EU, firmly support European integration and endeavor to promote continued growth of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership." "China-EU economic cooperation and trade have given a strong boost to the growth of both Chinese and European economies, bringing real benefits to our peoples," said Ma. "The accelerated urbanization and industrialization in China will unleash huge development potentials, and offer a bigger market and more business opportunities to EU countries and other countries around the world," he wrote. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

Bo Xilai prepares for his 'last stand' against life verdict (SCMP)
Disgraced politician Bo Xilai will make a court appearance on Friday to hear the outcome of his appeal against his conviction on three charges and sentence to life imprisonment last month, according to sources. "Bo is preparing to make a statement in court, but the authorities may not allow him to do that," said one of the two sources, who did not want to be named. "He is in good health and mental condition at Qincheng prison." The Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court said on its website yesterday that it would "announce a decision regarding the bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power case of the appellant Bo Xilai" on Friday morning. The court said the hearing would be "open", but gave no details. The two sources, who have direct knowledge of the case, said Bo (pictured) would make what could be his last public appearance at the hearing, a rare act under the mainland's court system, which commonly handles appeals in secret. The higher court is expected to uphold the decision made by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court last month. In theory, Bo still has the right to seek redress after Friday's ruling by complaining to the Supreme People's Court, but his chances of success are extremely slim, said prominent rights lawyer Mo Shaoping. More than 100 people attended the hearing at the Jinan court on September 22, including Bo's family members and reporters from state media. As the court announced the verdict, Bo erupted in anger and yelled "Unfair!" and "Unjust!" in an explosive ending to the country's most politically charged trial in decades. Right after the ruling the former Politburo member filed an appeal, which the high court accepted earlier this month. Beijing-based political analyst Chen Ziming said a final open hearing in the case would serve to show how much progress the country had made in improving its judicial system and to project an image of legal transparency and fairness. He Weifang, a law professor at Peking University, said it was nearly impossible for Bo's appeal to succeed because the final verdict had been predetermined by the top leadership. "The higher court is very much likely to affirm the original sentence of life in prison," said He. "For such a politically sensitive case, neither the higher court nor the lower-level court has the right to make the final call." Bo, 64, put up a robust defence and denied all three charges against him at his trial in August. The charismatic politician had widely been seen as a top candidate for a seat on the Politburo Standing Committee until his fall from grace, triggered by a flight to the US consulate in Chengdu by his then right-hand man Wang Lijun. ^ top ^

Harbin smog shuts down schools (Global Times)
The environmental protection bureau in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, explained Monday that large amounts of straw burning and coal heating are the main reasons for serious smoggy weather in recent days. The choking pollution covered the city famous for its annual ice festival from Sunday, the first day that public heating was provided, with the reading of PM2.5 - a most hazardous airborne particle - reaching 554 in some areas on Sunday. Statistics from the China National Environmental Monitoring Center showed that the reading even hit 1,000 in some areas of the city on Monday, 40 times the World Health Organization's healthy standard, reported the China News Service. Local government has launched an emergency inspection into excessive discharge of pollutants and coal-burning heating facilities while requesting suburban residents to stop burning straw in the fields. Local meteorological agency said Monday that the smog is expected to start dispersing around noon Tuesday. The smog has exerted great impact on traffic and schooling, causing visibility to plunge to 10 to 15 meters in some parts of the city, according to local news portal A staffer from the city's education bureau told the Global Times that all elementary and high schools have been suspended on Monday for safety concerns. School will be resumed on Tuesday, but all outdoor physical education classes will be cancelled, the staffer said. Harbin transport bureau issued an urgent notice on Monday, stopping six coach stations from selling tickets and all coaches from operating, reported. Several highways in Heilongjiang Province were shut down and some bus routes were cancelled in the city. At the same time, dozens of flights have been delayed since Sunday night, China National Radio reported on Monday. The heavy smog is even affecting Heilongjiang's neighboring Jilin and Liaoning provinces. Highways, railways and flights in Jilin and Liaoning were also been impacted on Monday. The Liaoning provincial meteorological authorities have released multiple alerts on the smoggy weather and said it will last until Tuesday morning, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The latest serious air pollution in Northeast China gained national attention and posed harsh challenges as the country has vowed to solve the problem based on an Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (2013-17), which was released in September by the State Council, setting the most stringent air pollution control target in history. A draft amendment to the environmental protection law was submitted to the top legislature on Monday, stipulating that government at all levels should increase financial input in pollution control. ^ top ^

China's record on human rights under UN scrutiny for first time since Xi Jinping came to power (SCMP)
China defended its human rights record to the United Nations yesterday, insisting it has undertaken sweeping reforms, as Tibetan activists said more must be done to hold Beijing to account. Yesterday's session in Geneva was the first time that Beijing's human rights record under President Xi Jinping had come under international scrutiny. Special envoy Wu Hailong told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that China had lived up to a pledge made in 2009 when it was last under scrutiny by the watchdog. "The Chinese government made a solemn commitment when China undergoes the next review, the world will see a China with a more prosperous economy, improved democracy and the rule of law, a more harmonious society and people living in greater happiness," Wu said. In 2009, the council had urged China to make more efforts in areas including poverty reduction, judicial reforms and ethnic minority rights. "Four years have passed, and I want to tell you that the above recommendations either have been implemented or are being carried out, and our commitment has been basically fulfilled," Wu said. All UN member states are meant to undergo similar reviews every four years. In the run-up to Tuesday's review, human rights campaigners raised the alarm about the disappearance of Chinese activist Cao Shunli, who had been due to attend the session. In a statement on Monday, the European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, urged Beijing to clarify what had happened to Cao, and to do nothing to hamper the participation of campaigners at the UN Human Rights Council. Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, said China must demonstrate its commitment by ending a crackdown on human rights activists, including harassment, arbitrary arrest and torture, as well as stop muzzling the media and halt abuses against its Tibetan and Uygur minorities. Some experts in China and abroad had thought Xi would be less hardline than his predecessors after he became president almost a year ago. Instead, critics say Xi has presided over a clampdown that has moved beyond the targeting of dissidents calling for political change. For example, authorities have detained at least 16 activists who have demanded officials publicly disclose their wealth, as well as scores of people accused of online "rumour-mongering". "Xi Jinping has definitely taken the country backwards on human rights," rights lawyer Mo Shaoping said in Beijing. "Look at the number of people who are being locked up and the measures that are being taken to lock them up." The council has no binding powers. Its rotating membership of 47 states does not include China, although Beijing is expected to run for a spot next month. Before the meeting, Maya Wang, an Asia researcher at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said diplomats were likely to raise questions over China's crackdown on dissent, the death penalty and the use of torture among other topics. Of special concern, Wang said, was the arrest in August of activist Xu Zhiyong, who had called for officials to reveal their wealth. Wang also cited the September disappearance of Cao Shunli, who had helped stage a sit-in this year outside the Foreign Ministry to press for the public to be allowed to contribute to a national human rights report. On Sunday, Chinese police arrested Wang Gongquan, a well-known venture capitalist, Wang's lawyer, Chen Youxi, said on his microblog. Wang had helped lead a campaign for the release of another activist. Rights lawyer Li Fangping did not believe China was ready for a seat on the human rights council. "There is still a huge number of citizens for whom a lack of human rights is a growing problem." ^ top ^

27 policemen injured in SW China villagers' attack (Global Times)
Twenty-seven policemen were injured after they were attacked by villagers after summoning two suspects in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, said local government on Wednesday. Policemen with the Public Security Bureau in Jinning County summoned two people allegedly involved in illegal detention and intentional injury in Jincheng township on Tuesday afternoon. After police summoned the suspects, about 200 residents in Guangji Village in the township stopped and held 11 police officers and their three vehicles on the highway near the village. More police arrived to handle the situation, but were attacked by the villagers. Police maintained maximum restraint during the conflict. The incident left 27 police injured, including three in serious condition. All the injured were sent to hospitals in Kunming, the provincial capital, for treatment. One remains in critical condition. There has been no report of injuries among the villagers, police and health authorities said. Seven policemen surrounded by residents managed to leave the village on Tuesday night and the remaining 13 others also left safely on Wednesday afternoon. The Kunming city government said the authorities will respect the demands of residents in land deals to protect their legal interests and deal with the aftermath of the incident according to law. ^ top ^

Paper calls again for journalist's release (Global Times)
A Guangzhou-based newspaper on Thursday again called on its front page to release one of its reporters, who is under criminal detention for allegedly fabricating facts about a partly State-owned enterprise, while the legality of the detention has been under national scrutiny. New Express, the newspaper, stated in its front page editorial that the Changsha police should not have detained the reporter without solid grounds. Chen Yongzhou, a journalist with New Express, published a series of reports about the Changsha-based Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Development (Zoomlion), a leading construction machinery company, since September 2012, accusing the company of hiding severe financial problems. Chen was captured in Guangzhou last week by police from Changsha, Hunan Province. The Changsha Public Security Bureau replied on Thursday through its official Sina Weibo that the case is under investigation in accordance with the law, and the police will make timely updates to the public. New Express also asked to resolve the issue under legal procedures. The All-China Journalists Association, an organization to protect the legal rights of reporters, has also started an investigation to the case. A Thursday statement released on the official website of the association said that they would keep paying close attention to the case, hoping the Changsha authorities release a convincing statement with a solid judicial basis. An official with the association also told the Global Times earlier that they would punish Chen according to relevant regulations if they found him to have violated professional ethics. Zoomlion claimed that Chen was implicated in fabricating facts, including accusing the company of loss of State assets and financial fraud, without solid investigation. The reports motivated the company to make a report to local police and had Chen detained for "allegedly damaging business reputation." Many people and social organizations showed their support for the paper and Chen. Capital Week, a leading finance magazine, released a statement on its website Wednesday, saying that incorrect news reports would harm the media's reputation. However, they added, public security authorities should not confuse professional and personal behaviors of a reporter and interfere with media's supervision rights across the legal boundary. "It is rare to see media posing such a challenging attitude to authority in China," Song Jianwu, dean of the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times, adding that despite the overwhelming concerns over the case, both sides should behave according to the law. "The police should release the reporter as soon as possible if Chen is found not suitable for prosecution under the Criminal Law," Song noted. ^ top ^



120th anniversary of Mao's birth marked by descendants in Beijing (Global Times)
More than 300 descendants of old revolutionaries of the People's Republic of China gathered recently in Beijing to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Mao Zedong, amid a series of activities being held across the country. Daughters of Mao Zedong, Li Min and Li Ne; son of Marshal Luo Ronghuan, Luo Dongjin; and niece of Zhou Enlai, Zhou Bingde, took part in the memorial convention among others. "Our generation grew up reading Chairman Mao's books and listening to his instructions. Mao Zedong Thought has become our fundamental work principles," said Su Xisheng, vice president of the China Yan'an Spirit Research Society, at the convention. "When sitting beside Chairman Mao and other first generation leaders, I felt their charisma. They were the real proletarian revolutionaries," Wang Huaizu, who used to be a Spanish translator for Mao, said at the convention. The convention is among various commemorative activities across the country. A 10,000-person chorus of patriotic songs and a long distance run will be held in Shaoshan, Hunan Province, the birthplace of Mao, reported the Hunan Daily. Large-scale galas, research seminars and reciting activity of Mao's poems will also take place for the commemoration. "All the memorial ceremonies show us that his thoughts are still closely related with people's interests. Many people nowadays are not satisfied with social morality, like corruption and inequality. People cherish the time of Mao when people lived equally and were proud of the country," Sima Nan, a renowned Maoist scholar, told the Global Times. "The current public policies actually still lead to the direction of market economy," Huang Weiping, director of the Contemporary Chinese Politics Research Institute at Shenzhen University, told the Global Times earlier, adding that it is not essentially a clash as Mao's thoughts can help ease social conflicts and prevent ideological disputes while economic reforms are deepened." ^ top ^

Beijing adopts emergency response for air pollution (Global Times)
The Beijing municipal government officially adopted an emergency program on Tuesday to respond to the capital city's heavy air pollution. According to the Beijing Municipal Heavy Air Pollution Emergency Response Program, drivers in the city will only be allowed to use their cars every other day when a red alert, the highest warning level, is issued for air pollution. Cars with odd- and even-numbered license plates will be allowed on roads on alternating days according to the program, which was adopted by the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China last Wednesday. Meanwhile, 30 percent of municipal government cars will be banned from streets on an odd-even alternating basis. Fang Li, deputy chief of the city's environmental protection bureau, said the bureau would try its best to issue warnings 24 hours before heavy air pollution days. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, an air quality index (AQI) of over 300 is defined as "serious pollution" and an AQI between 201 and 300 is considered "heavy pollution." Vehicles have been considered a major contributor to Beijing's heavy smog in recent years. A research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences estimated that vehicle exhaust fumes contribute 22.2 percent of PM 2.5 particles in the city, exceeding the figure for industrial emissions. PM 2.5 are airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can pose health risks. ^ top ^



Shanghai finance sector 'in shape'(China Daily)
Active, growing financial markets and innovations in the sector are making Shanghai more prosperous as a financial hub for the world's second-largest economy, a report released on Monday suggests The 2013 H1 Shanghai Financial Prosperity Index, released by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the Shanghai Financial Association, shows that the city's financial industry is in good shape to grow. The analysis covers six dimensions of the industry: markets, institutions, internationalization, innovation, talent and environment. "Financial markets in Shanghai maintained relatively fast development in the first half of 2013 with a booming fund market, gold market and insurance market "The financial innovation index also surged, with more financial products designed and the Free Trade Zone approved by the State Council," said Lian Ping, an executive member of the Experts Committee of the Shanghai Financial Association and chief economist of the Bank of Communications Ltd. Shanghai's financial industry "has become more stable since 2010, and the growth rate of this sector slightly improved in the first half of 2013", the report said. The report said that Shanghai achieved more progress than other financial centers, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, New York, London and Seoul, in the past six years in terms of the "development index". The index incorporates indicators of financial markets and the development of the financial environment. ^ top ^



Quake-hit Tibetan county upgraded to China's newest city (Xinhua)
China has upgraded the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous County, epicenter of a deadly 2010 quake, from a county-level administrative division to a city in order to boost the area's development. The new People's Congress of Yushu City is about to hold its first meeting, at which government leaders will be appointed, Wu Dejun, the city's newly-elected Communist Party chief, told Xinhua on Monday. With an average altitude of 4,493 meters, the new city covers 15,700 square kilometers. It has a population of 120,000, of which about 93 percent are Tibetans. The administrative promotion showed the central government's concern and support for the underdeveloped area, which is inhabited by a large Tibetan population, said Wu. With the upgrade, the city is expected to be given more financial and policy support from upper-level governments, though its administrative area and population remain unchanged. Located on the plateau area of northwest China's Qinghai Province, Yushu was hit heavily by a 7.0 magnitude quake three years ago, which left 2,698 people dead, 270 others missing and many towns flattened. Reconstruction sponsored by the central government and other provinces began soon after the quake. In the education sector alone, three high schools, 13 primary schools and 15 kindergartens have been rebuilt. With all reconstruction projects expected to be completed this year, a brand new city is taking shape. "It's a great leap forward for Yushu in appearance over the past three years, but the operation and management of such a new city poses a challenge for us, too," said Wu. "We will work hard to make Yushu City an example of city management, eco-tourism development, and cultural conservation in the Tibetan areas," he said. ^ top ^

Commentary: Tibet's progress shows victory of China way (Xinhua)
The Chinese government on Tuesday issued a white paper on "Development and Progress in Tibet". It shows the region's development over the past 60-plus years and the path to a better future for Tibetans. Progress in modern Tibet comes from its social and historical environment, and has its roots in China's progress in a larger context. The fate of Tibet has always been closely linked to the fate of China, and as part of China, must follow the general pattern of national social reform. A society of feudal serfdom under theocratic rule will never bring progress, nor will so-called "Tibetan independence." Believers in the "Shangri-La" myth wish to keep Tibet in a backward primitive state forever. They intentionally distort both the past and present of Tibet due to ideological bias or to serve their own interests. Six decades of development in Tibet show socialist China, under the rule of the Communist Party of China, has rendered the region prosperous with ethnic unity and democracy. It is the Tibetan people who have benefited most from Tibet's development and progress. Tibet's gross regional product has grown from 129 million yuan (21 million U.S. dollars) in 1951 to 70.1 billion yuan last year, representing an annual growth of 8.5 percent on average. Democratic reform lifted Tibet out of theocratic feudal serfdom and put in place systems of people's congress and regional ethnic autonomy, under which people of all ethnic groups have become the true masters of the country, society and of their own fate. Tibetan culture has been preserved and developed. Freedom of religious belief has been respected and protected. Study and use of the Tibetan language and script are protected by law in China, and bilingual education, with Tibetan as the principal language, is widespread in Tibet. Moreover, Tibet is one of the world's cleanest areas, thanks to its efforts to preserve its ecological system by limiting grazing and protecting natural resources. Behind the "Tibet miracle" lies the firm adherence to the China road, which respects Tibetans. Tibet has experienced more than six decades of transformation from the dark ages to modern socialism, a journey that took human society hundreds of years. The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique in exile continue their separatist activities, sabotaging the development and stability of Tibet, plotting violent attacks and inciting Tibetans to self-immolate. This clique owes the international community an account of the "Tibetan orphans" incident, exposed by a Swiss newspaper that shows their callousness and hypocrisy. Tibet's miracle over the past 60 years means Tibetans have equal rights to enjoy the achievements of modern civilization, to improve the quality of their lives, and to choose their own way of life. ^ top ^

Tibetans protest at UN against China rights abuses (SCMP)
Tibetan activists scaled scaffolding on the UN headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday and unfurled a banner demanding the world address Chinese rights abuses, as diplomats began gathering to examine China's human rights record. At dawn, four protesters from the groups “Students for a Free Tibet” and the “Tibetan Youth Association in Europe” climbed up scaffolding on the UN building, currently under renovation, before jumping down to the middle of the facade using climbing ropes. They then unfurled a massive banner reading: “China human rights, UN stand up for Tibet,” and shouted: “Free Tibet!” UN security acted swiftly to cut down the banner and arrest the protesters, but also to grab journalists' press accreditation and usher them away from the scene. “The protest went really great,” Pema Yoko, the deputy director of Students for a Free Tibet, said. It was important to draw attention to Tibet's plight, she insisted, stressing that “we expect China to blatantly lie about their rights record in Tibet.” At least 122 Tibetans have set themselves alight since February 2009 in protests against what they see as Chinese oppression, Yoko said. The protest took place just before China was set to undergo a widely anticipated review of its rights record before the UN Human Rights Council – something required of each of the UN's 193 member states every four years. ^ top ^



Gov't boosts Xinjiang's cultural development (Xinhua)
The Chinese government has been carrying out assistance programs, injecting funds, and training personnel to promote cultural development in the far western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the past years, Culture Minister Cai Wu said on Monday. The Ministry of Culture has launched more than 80 projects to strengthen cultural heritage protection, build cultural service facilities, and boost the culture industry in Xinjiang, said Cai at a national audio-video conference. Central government spending on transfer payments given to Xinjiang to implement major cultural projects reached 519 million yuan (85.18 million U.S. dollars) in the past three years, according to Cai. Local governments have so far injected funds of 1.12 billion yuan into the initiative, he said. In March 2010, the Chinese government initiated a "pairing assistance" support program, asking local governments in 19 relatively-prosperous provinces and municipalities to help to promote Xinjiang's development. Cai called for more efforts to enhance public cultural service facilities and to expand cultural exchanges and cooperation in Xinjiang. Relevant authorities should conduct research and work out general plans for cultural development in the region, boost growth, enhance conservation of intangible cultural heritage, and cultivate a batch of art performance brands, he said. ^ top ^



HK Chief Executive to visit Beijing (Xinhua)
Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung will leave here for Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the 17th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Co-operation Symposium next Wednesday, the local government's website said Friday. Leung and representatives from Hong Kong's industrial and commercial sectors attending the symposium will meet with leaders of the Beijing Municipal Government. Leung will also call on central government officials responsible for financial and monetary matters and leaders of financial institutions in the mainland, including the People's Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of China. While in Beijing, Leung will also meet Hong Kong people who are studying or doing business in Beijing to learn better about their living conditions. Leung will return to Hong Kong next Thursday. During his absence, Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam will serve as acting chief executive. ^ top ^

Thousands protest to 'defend Hong Kong's core values' after failed HKTV licence bid (SCMP)
Tens of thousands of protesters in black T-shirts marched to the government headquarters in Admiralty yesterday claiming that the decision to deny Hong Kong Television Networks (HKTV) a free-to-air TV licence was a threat to the city's core values. HKTV chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay, who did not take part in the rally, said the issue was no longer about giving viewers more choice but whether the authorities respected people's needs and whether Hong Kong was still governed by the rule of law. About 100 HKTV staff formed a "justice alliance" and said they would camp at the Tamar site until an explanation was given to the company, which lost out last week when the government granted only two licences, to i-Cable's Fantastic TV and PCCW's Hong Kong Television Entertainment. The staff protesters will show HKTV shows on large projectors every night at 8pm. Police said 36,000 people joined the rally. HKTV suggested 80,000 may have taken part, but this was only an estimate as there had not been an official count. The march was organised via a Facebook page that has attracted nearly 500,000 "likes". Some protesters called on the government and Executive Council to explain the rationale behind the issuing of licences as documents leaked to the media revealed there were no reasons not to issue three. When the government decided to open the TV market in 1998 it said there would be no cap on licence numbers. Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching compared the rally with last year's movement against plans for a national education curriculum, which the government eventually shelved. HKTV staff and artistes made tearful speeches asking why their efforts to raise the TV industry to a new level were denied without reasons. Members of the public accused the government of crushing the city's core values. "Under the Lion Rock, we believe if we endeavour, we succeed. But the government has made it a myth now," said Jean Tsang, a housewife in her 50s. Exco convenor Lam Woon-kwong and the president of the Legislative Council, Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, called on the government to explain its criteria in granting free-to-air licences. Tsang said the government could reveal "the assessment of the applicants' competitiveness". Lam and justice secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said procedural justice was upheld during the vetting process. Labour Party lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan wrote to Legco's information technology and broadcasting panel requesting Exco to disclose secret papers about the recommendation. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau repeated that no political considerations or desire to protect existing market players were involved." ^ top ^



Taiwan's political rivals call truce in a fierce battle that went nowhere (SCMP)
After an intense month and a half of legal manoeuvring and scandalous revelations, the fierce political battle between Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and speaker of the legislature Wang Jin-pyng seems to have been resolved, with all players emerging unscathed. Ma and Wang recently staged a so-called grand reconciliation, with Ma dropping his planned pursuit of a final appeal against a court injunction that had allowed Wang to stay on as speaker. In return, Wang joined fellow party legislators in voting down a no-confidence motion initiated by the opposition against Premier Jiang Yi-huah, who heads the cabinet and is an ally of Ma's. The actions, coming after numerous pacification efforts by Kuomintang leaders, ended - on the surface at least - the showdown between Ma and Wang. The strife began on August 31, when Prosecutor General Huang Shih-ming reported to Ma on information gathered through wiretapping that allegedly showed illegal lobbying by Wang on behalf of Ker Chien-ming, the legislative caucus whip of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. Believing that Wang had tried to use his influence to stop a prosecutor from appealing to a high court's not-guilty verdict on a criminal breach-of-trust case involving Ker, Ma held a news conference on September 8, demanding that Wang - who was recommended by the KMT as an "at-large" legislator - step down. Days later, Ma, in his capacity as KMT chairman, ordered the party disciplinary committee to revoke Wang's KMT membership so that he would be removed as speaker. But Wang twice won a court injunction to temporarily freeze the KMT action. The clash spilled into another political scandal, with Huang being accused of illegally wiretapping the legislature. Ma was summoned as a witness to testify on his role in the scandal after he admitted in several news media interviews that Huang showed him the wiretapping transcript a week before government investigators ended their probes into the influence-peddling case. The scandal threatened to become a crisis, with the DPP tabling a motion in mid-October for a vote of no-confidence in Jiang's cabinet. During the vote, Wang voted against the DPP's motion, a move he had already announced the day before. The KMT, which dominates the legislature, outnumbered the DPP during the vote and quashed the motion. With Wang expected to be able to complete his term as speaker, which ends in 2016, there was little Ma or the KMT could do now but welcome him back. As long as Wang is speaker, Ma and his party will still need his support on bills, budgets and agreements such as the cross-strait service trade pact that Ma hopes to pass. It seems the dust has settled, and the newly unified KMT can concentrate on next year's local government elections. But with no one on the hook for any wrongdoing, some questions that have arisen - over the speaker's lobbying in the legislature and government investigators' inappropriate use of wiretapping - are left hanging, at least for the time being. ^ top ^



US-China trade talks a 'turning point' in relations (China Daily)
The Bilateral Investment Treaty talks between China and the United States can be an "inflection point" in economic cooperation, a high-profile diplomat said on Wednesday. Beijing is ready to work with Washington to advance the BIT negotiations, and it welcomes foreign companies to "share the dividends" of China's new round of reform and development, said Xie Feng, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's department of North American and Oceanian affairs. "China also hopes the US will take measures to provide a fair and sound investment environment for Chinese companies and facilitate healthy development of two-way investment," Xie said during a seminar co-sponsored by Fudan University and the US-based Brookings Institution. The 10th round of talks is being held this week on the BIT, which would boost two-way direct investment. The talks were put on the fast track after a meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama. Xie said the talks were being conducted on the basis of pre-establishment national treatment, accompanied by a "negative list" approach. China is taking concrete steps to facilitate the talks, Xie said. The upcoming Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will draw up a master plan for deepening reform, including a time frame and road map. He also referred to the pilot free trade zone in Shanghai, which is intended to broaden investment access and the service sector, with trade facilitation measures introduced to boost both imports and exports. He estimated that over the next five years, China's merchandise imports will exceed $10 trillion and its overseas investment will reach $500 billion. Outbound trips by Chinese people will reach 400 million. Another area of cooperation is in the energy sector, Xie noted. He called for an early start of liquefied natural gas exports from the US to China and more collaboration on shale gas development. Xie also urged the loosening of US high-technology export controls, which he said had long undermined the otherwise swift growth in bilateral trade. The BIT is probably the most important trade negotiation since the WTO talks, as it complements both the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. These are two parallel free trade pacts in which the US is engaged across the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, said Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. "I think the BIT opens new doors for a deeper and richer economic relationship, and it would actually be a good steppingstone to include China in future TPP talks," he said. Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said the BIT will benefit US businesses in China by addressing market access issues. ^ top ^

Investment deal a work in progress (China Daily)
Vice-Premier Ma Kai and his European counterparts are expected to start preparatory work in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to pave the way for a long-awaited investment agreement next month, when leaders from the two sides will hold a summit in China. Ma — the most senior Chinese leader visiting Brussels this year — will also chair the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue on Thursday, a key bilateral exchange platform. He will also meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, and is scheduled to hold talks with Belgian leaders on Friday while visiting the factory of automaker AB Volvo in Belgium. Ma's visit to the European Union headquarters will spur a series of high-level talks between Beijing and Brussels, in a bid to boost bilateral relations. Next month, both sides will hold a summit in Beijing, in which they're expected to launch the investment agreement talks. Last week, EU member states gave a mandate to the EC to start the investment agreement talks with China. Sources said the two sides are also comparing notes to hold high-level political and strategic talks between State Councilor Yang Jiechi and European foreign and defense chief Catherine Ashton soon in Brussels. Analysts said that the intensive and high-profile arrangements can help boost trade and economic flow and build up mutual trust, which China said has been dented by Europe's punitive trade measures, the bloc's decision to not give the country market-economy status, and not lifting an arms embargo. Although China's overseas investment potential is generally estimated to be very high, until now it represents only a small fraction of the EU's incoming foreign direct investment. China's cumulative share of FDI in the EU from non-EU member countries was less than 0.4 percent in 2011. "This extremely low percentage should certainly assuage the fears expressed by some politicians and media about the growing influence of China on the European market and industries," said Zhang Haiyan, a professor at the Antwerp Management School. Peter Ho, professor of Chinese economy and development and co-director of the Modern East Asia Research Center at Leiden University in the Netherlands, said economic and trade relations between China and Europe are solid and getting more intensive. Ho said that challenges remain in the recurrent issues of the market-economy status and trade disputes. "However, for China it might be important to see that from the EU's perspective there are also concerns over China's huge challenges in dealing with environmental problems, food safety, and product quality," said Ho. "These issues might have a huge effect on China's trade with the EU, if not properly addressed by China." Giles Merritt, secretary-general of Friends of Europe, said that Brussels should embrace China's learning curve, as the country is now the bloc's second-largest trade partner behind the United States. "I don't think there's very much that Europe can do to advise China. The story of the past decades has been how quickly China learns and adapts, much more quickly than others," said Merritt. Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Center for International Political Economy, said both sides need to team up to boost mutual understanding. "It's a fantasy to believe they (Europe and China) have a good understanding. Both sides don't really have excellent knowledge of each other," he said. "We know from the European Commission what they want to achieve, but we don't know so much what China wants to do." ^ top ^


DPRK and South Korea

DPRK's reasonable concerns should be addressed: Chinese FM (Xinhua)
China on Thursday responded to a Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) statement giving conditions for nuclear disarmament by saying that its reasonable concerns should be addressed in order to properly settle the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the parties concerned should seek a comprehensive approach to solve the nuclear deadlock, address both the symptoms and root causes, and resolve concerns including those of the DPRK in a balanced way. The DPRK said in a statement on Wednesday that it would not unilaterally dismantle its nuclear deterrence unless outside nuclear threats were removed. Denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and safeguarding peace and stability meets the common interests of all parties, Hua said. Stressing that dialogue is the only correct solution to calm Korean Peninsula tensions, she said China is ready to make joint efforts with the parties concerned to promote early resumption of the six-party talks and implement the objectives of the Sept. 19 Joint Statement. In this document, signed on Sept. 19, 2005, the DPRK promised to abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. The six-party talks, convening the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, China, the United States, Russia and Japan, have been stalled since late 2008. ^ top ^



Mongolian prime minister expects improvement of relations with China (Global Times)
Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altanhuyag, in a recent interview with Xinhua prior to a scheduled visit to China, said he expects improvement of relations between his country and China in multiple fields. Mongolia and China will strengthen cooperation in trade, political, security and other areas while bilateral economic and trade cooperation are expected to reach a new level, said Altanhuyag. At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Altanhuyag will officially visit China on October 22-26. On future cooperation between two countries, Altanhuyag said Mongolia and China will formulate long-term strategic partnership development outlines, and strengthen cooperation in the fields of trade, politics, defense, security, etc., especially economy and trade. Altanhuyag believes that Mongolia is located in a junction between Asia and Europe, and closely connects China with Europe and other parts of Asia by railways, roads and other links. Mongolia supports China in strengthening economic and trade ties with Central Asian countries, and will also actively participate in the construction of a "Silk Road Economic Belt", according to Altanhuyag. Altanhuyag expects Chinese entrepreneurs to choose to invest in Mongolia. He said that tax rates in Mongolia are lower, and the new investment law passed by the State Great Hural (Parliament) this month will help to stabilize the level of taxation and the investment environment, which will relieve investors from worries about possible uncertainties arising from the investment environment in Mongolia. In June 2011, China and Mongolia set a strategic partnership. Statistics show that in 2012, bilateral trade volume reached $6.6 billion. China has been Mongolia's largest trade partner and investor country for many years. ^ top ^

Mongolia at UN expresses position on child rights (Montsame)
A Deputy Director of the Department of International Organizations of the Foreign Ministry V.Olziibayar Monday delivered a report on our government's policy towards children's rights, at the 3rd Committee debate on "Promotion and Protection of the rights of children" of the 68th UN General Assembly. Ms Olziibayar noted that a progress has been made in the world community towards implementing the Convention of the Rights of Child and Millenium Development Goals but expressed a concern about a range of challenges the world countries are still facing in protecting the rights of children. She also said Mongolia pays a particular attention to forming a child-friendly environment through revising its legal acts in accordance with international standards, and highlighted the actions our government is running in spheres such as education and health, conditions of disabled children, also social welfare and gender. After this she expressed the country's positions on poverty, worst forms of child labor and infant mortality. ^ top ^

Premier: My country is full of Business opportunities (Montsame)
Invited as the key guest, the Prime Minister of Mongolia N.Altankhuyag has taken part in the 14th Western China International Fair /WCIF/ at the Century City International Convention and Exhibition center. The event has been running in Chengdu of China October 23-27. Addressing the gathered, Mr Altankhuyag said the WCIF widens in important way the regional and international arenas to boost the economics cooperation, and expressed a satisfaction with the participation in the WCIF as a start of his official visit to China. He underlined that Mongolia is full of business opportunities, and is open for investments not only in the minig sector but also in light industry, "also, our government is ready to collaborate in developing a long-term mutually beneficial and win-win ties." Co-sponsored by China's 16 ministries/commissions, 12 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the WCIF--a state-level international expo in western China--has attracted high delegates from 70 countries such as Australia, Canada, Belarus, Macedonia, Tanzania and others. ^ top ^

Postponed official visit of the French Foreign Minister to Mongolia will take place on October 25-26, 2013 (Infomongolia)
At the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia L.Bold, the Foreign Minister of the French Republic Laurent Fabius is conducting a pledged official visit to Mongolia on October 25-26, 2013. This visit to Mongolia was arranged earlier in September of this year, but was suddenly postponed due to Syria's crisis. Syria had filed documents at the United Nations seeking to join the international convention banning chemical weapons. Thereof, Minister Laurent Fabius was obliged to cancel his visit to Mongolia instead to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Paris. Nevertheless, French Foreign Minister's visit to Mongolia is being marked first at its level since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries inked on April 27, 1965. During his visit, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Laurent Fabius will be received by the President and Prime Minister of Mongolia, and to have bilateral talks with his counterpart L.Bold, where list of matters to be discussed at the meetings are remained. ^ 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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