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
  15-19.10.2018, No. 738  
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Swiss city bans display of human bodies, fearing they were Chinese convicts and Falun Gong members (SCMP)
A controversial exhibition which includes preserved human bodies was banned on Tuesday by the Swiss city of Lausanne over fears that the remains of tortured and executed Chinese prisoners were on display. The cancellation of the "Real Human Bodies" display – already shown in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Swiss capital Bern – followed a complaint by the Action by Christians Against Torture group (ACAT), the city authorities said in a statement. According to an ACAT statement "the bodies used in this exhibition are very probably those of Chinese prisoners who were tortured or executed and members of the Falun Gong movement which is banned in China". Bern authorities asked the exhibition's organisers to provide guarantees on the provenance of the bodies used in their displays, along with written consent forms from the deceased or their relatives. Without such proof the authorities refused to authorise the show, which had been scheduled for October 19-21 in a central Lausanne convention centre. The "Real Human Bodies" exhibition uses the technique of plastination, which allows body tissue and organs to be displayed and preserved. It had already sparked controversy when it opened in Bern, but the Swiss branch of ACAT was unable to prevent that show from taking place. According to the regional 24 heures newspaper, the man in charge of the exhibition in Switzerland, Hubert Huppertz, says he has the necessary paperwork for the show to go ahead. It's not the first time that a human bodies exhibition has raised controversy in the country. Last year in Geneva the "Body Worlds" show, put on by German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, raised some hackles but still went ahead. The travelling show is currently open in London. ^ top ^


Foreign Policy

China 'regrets' America's departure from Universal Postal Union (SCMP)
China has said it regrets the United States' decision to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), in a move some analysts said is further evidence of Washington trying to curtail Beijing's power. The White House said on Wednesday it planned to leave the 144-year old international postal alliance, which it described as a "flawed system" that allowed developing countries like China to ship goods around the world more cheaply and put American firms at a disadvantage. "We regret the US' decision to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing in Beijing on Thursday. "China has been calling for and upholding multilateralism and actively supporting the UPU," he said. "We will continue working with all sides to make our contribution to the development of the global postal service." Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, said that America's departure from the UPU was part of US President Donald Trump's strategy for the "all-out containment" of China but its significance, in comparison to the damage caused by US tariffs on Chinese imports, would be limited. "This won't affect China's e-commerce companies a lot because their principal business is domestic," he said. "I don't think it's that important at all, but it shows that Trump is obsessed with China's power and will do anything to limit it." Bruno Basalisco, a specialist in digital and postal commerce at Danish consultancy Copenhagen Economics, disagreed, saying that any increase in postal rates would hit smaller Chinese e-retailers. "US consumers are considerable buyers of cross-border e-commerce and they could face somewhat higher prices on goods imported via postal shipment," he said. Watch: Chinese hope for swift end to US-China trade war Meanwhile, Zhao Quansheng, director of the Centre for Asian Studies at American University in Washington, said the US' decision might have nothing to do with China. "Quitting this type of international group … is not necessarily targeted at China," he said. "The aim is to change and revamp [global governance]." Now under the control of the United Nations, the UPU is headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, and represents 192 member countries. Set up in 1874, it created the rules for international mail exchanges, including setting the fees that postal services can charge for delivering shipments from foreign carriers. While Washington's motives for quitting the agency are uncertain, the US has already turned its back on other global organisations and agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement, in the name of putting "America first". Under the UPU's "terminal dues" system, developing countries – a group that includes China – pay less to foreign carriers for delivering their overseas mail than their "developed" counterparts. As a result, it can cost more to send a small package – weighing less than 2kg (4.4lbs) – from one American state to another, than from China to the US. The US Postal Service said that in 2016 it lost more than US$135 million handling foreign mail. Washington said that on its departure from the UPU it would introduce its own rates for the handling of international shipments by "no later than January 1, 2020". The withdrawal process is expected to take a year, it said. Jim Campbell, a lawyer and consultant on postal issues, said the main problem with the UPU was that its pricing system did not reflect the massive rise in international e-commerce. "The low terminal dues rates have always been unfair and distortive, but the rise of e-commerce has … hurt merchants and created serious political problems in industrialised countries," he said. China is "now the largest source of e-commerce postal packages sent to the US", Campbell said. "China Post gets a larger discount on deliveries of inbound packages than Singapore or industrialised countries, so it is easy to use China as an example to stand for the whole problem." ^ top ^

China, Cambodia to enhance trade, investment cooperation (Xinhua)
China and Cambodia are ready to expand cooperation in areas including trade and investment, the two countries' leaders said Thursday. The message was sent from a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen. China is ready to continue consolidating traditional friendship with Cambodia and deepening cooperation with the country in various areas, so as to bring more real benefits to the people of both countries, Li said. Li is in Brussels for a working visit to Belgium and the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit. China will, as always, support the Cambodian people in following a development path in line with their national conditions, and support Cambodia's efforts to maintain stability, develop economy and improve people's livelihood, Li said. The premier called upon the two countries to enhance synergy of their development strategies and expand bilateral trade. China is willing to continue importing Cambodia's competitive agricultural products, and encourage competent Chinese companies to make investments in Cambodia, so as to achieve win-win results, he said. The premier also expressed China's support for Cambodia in hosting the next ASEM summit. For his part, Hun Sen said Li's visit to Cambodia and co-chairing of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) leaders' meeting earlier this year had injected new impetus into Cambodia-China relations and the LMC. Cambodia is willing to work with China to firmly support each other and enhance coordination in international and regional affairs, said Hun Sen. The prime minister said his country is also willing to expand practical cooperation with China in economy, trade and agriculture, adding that Chinese companies are welcome to make investments in Cambodia. With regard to the next ASEM summit, Hun Sen said Cambodia will enhance communication and coordination with China.  ^ top ^

Premier Li attends 12th ASEM for global governance (Global Times)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is scheduled to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM) in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, which a Chinese expert asserted would be a crucial turning point for global governance. Themed "Europe and Asia: Global Partners and Global Challenges," this year's summit is expected to bring together leaders and representatives of international organizations from more than 50 Asian and European countries and regions, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The theme shows that participants from Europe and Asia share great concern about the international situation and have great expectations for the summit, said Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of European Studies in Beijing. "US unilateralism is threatening China and Europe's core interests, which means the reform of global governance is at a crucial historic turning point" and the problem for the EU is even more serious, Zhao said. "Conservative right-wing political groups are also challenging the integration and unity of the EU and taking into account the problem of the immigrant crisis, the EU and the Eurozone members really need help from Asia." Premier Li will have in-depth discussions with national leaders, deliver a speech at the summit and elaborate on the significance of a strengthening Asia-Europe partnership and dealing with common challenges under new circumstances, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said at a briefing ahead of the summit earlier this month. Li will put forward Chinese initiatives to support practical Asia-Europe cooperation and express views on major international and regional hotspot issues, Zhang said. "China attaches importance to and supports the ASEM process and has, from the very beginning, been taking an active part in it," he said. Experts Zhao said that "boosting win-win cooperation with the EU at this time, there is no doubt that China is bringing good news to the EU and the Eurozone." Launched in 1996, the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit is the most influential comprehensive partnership between Asia and Europe, boosting connectivity in all dimensions between the two continents. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will attend it, according to the official summit website. Asian leaders participating in the summit include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. ^ top ^

China, Belt and Road countries seek deeper cooperation on energy (Xinhua)
China and over 10 Belt and Road countries Thursday pledged to build a cooperative partnership on energy to inject new impetus to energy development of various countries. The pledge was made in a joint declaration announced at the Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference, which was held in east China's Suzhou city. Energy cooperation has been a key field in jointly building the Belt and Road. Since the initiative was proposed five years ago, a set of energy projects have been successfully launched, bringing great social and economic benefits. To promote the utilization of clean, safe and efficient energy has become a common task worldwide. Participants at the meeting also said that countries need to tap potentials for energy cooperation, solve problems in green energy development, speed up global energy transition, and jointly promote high-quality development of green energy.  ^ top ^

South Korea and China relations warming but chilly restrictions remain (SCMP)
South Korean businesses in China are still feeling the chill of restrictions imposed by Beijing nearly a year after a diplomatic thaw in relations between the two Asian neighbours. While official exchanges between China and South Korea have steadily resumed, deep suspicions remain after last year's diplomatic row over a US-backed anti-missile system deployed by Seoul, according to South Korean diplomatic sources. "The restriction on tourism is not fully lifted and advertisements showing South Korean celebrities are still not shown on Chinese television," one source said. "Official interactions with the Chinese side are getting back to normal," said the source. "The attitudes from the Chinese side are not as cold as last year, but never as warm as before." Beijing ordered travel companies to stop selling popular group trips to South Korea as part of its protest against Seoul's decision to install the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system. South Korea said the installation was needed to keep it safe from the North Korean nuclear threat, but Beijing said the anti-missile system was unacceptable as it was capable of detecting China's military secrets. The tour ban saw Chinese tourists to South Korea drop 48 per cent last year to 4.2 million. In addition, South Korean television shows, pop stars and celebrities were reportedly banned or blocked from Chinese television and advertisements, although Beijing never officially announced these bans and has denied any clampdown. But officials from the two nations agreed last October to reset bilateral ties, with Chinese President Xi Jinping rolling out the red carpet for South Korean President Moon Jae-in in December. Since then, China has partially lifted the travel ban, with tour agencies in Beijing, Shandong, Hubei, Chongqing, and – most recently – affluent Shanghai and Jiangsu in eastern China now allowed to sell group trips to South Korea, according to earlier reports by South Korea's Yonhap news agency But a tour agent in Guangxi in southern China said bans on group tours to South Korea remained in place in the province. "Group tours to South Korea have been banned for quite a long time, and we haven't received any orders to lift it," the agent said. Even if the ban was lifted, visits to affiliates of Lotte Group, South Korea's largest retail conglomerate, would not be included in the travel plans for Chinese tour groups, according to a tour agent in Beijing. Lotte, which also operates hotels and duty-free stores, has been targeted by Beijing since it agreed a land-swap plan with the South Korean government to host THAAD. Lotte Group has said it will pull its retail business out of China, with Lotte Mart, its retailing affiliate, set to close its 12 remaining outlets in China before the end of this year. Chinese retail firms Wumei and Liqun took over Lotte Mart's other 93 outlets earlier this year. But governments from both sides continue stepping up their exchanges. About 400 local government officials, academics, and businessmen from China, Japan and South Korea gathered on Wednesday in the city of Kaifeng in central China's Henan province. Their purpose, according to Kaifeng Daily, is a three-day meeting to mark the continuing relations of the neighbouring countries' sister cities. And, earlier this week, an official delegation led by the Communist Party chief of southeastern China's Guangxi province visited South Korea, where Chinese officials called for more investment and tourists from South Korea, according to Guangxi Daily. ^ top ^

China, US defence chiefs meet on sidelines of Asean meeting in Singapore (SCMP)
China's Defence Minister Wei Fenghe held talks with his US counterpart James Mattis at a key regional security summit on Thursday, after a meeting between the two men scheduled for earlier in the month was cancelled due to growing tensions between the two countries. The officials talked for almost 90 minutes on the sidelines of the annual Association for Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) defence ministers' meeting in Singapore, the main focus of which was the disputed South China Sea. Randall Schriver, a US assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, told reporters after the meeting that Mattis described the meeting as "straightforward and candid" and that he had made clear Washington's views on China's increased militarisation of the strategic waterway. "That's an area where we will continue to have differences and talk through," Schriver said. On the possibility of Wei visiting the US for more talks, he said there "was a commitment on both sides to try to find a time". The high-level meeting came after planned talks between Mattis and Wei were cancelled by Beijing, apparently in retaliation for Washington sanctioning a unit of China's military for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles in September. It also came amid rising tensions between the two powers, the temperature of which rose still further when a Chinese warship and a US destroyer almost collided in the South China Sea last month. In another move that could escalate tensions, the US Pacific Air Force conducted "routine" exercises over the South China Sea on Tuesday, operations that have previously drawn Beijing's ire. China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing was "verifying the situation", but reiterated it would take "resolute measures when necessary to defend our sovereignty and security interests". "China always respects and safeguards freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea that all countries enjoy under the international law," he said. "But we firmly oppose any country taking moves that undermine the littoral countries' sovereignty and security interests, and disturb regional peace and stability." Shriver said earlier that the Chinese side had requested the meeting in Singapore with Mattis, which he cited as evidence Beijing was interested in "keeping things normal and stable, as are we". "We need to make sure that when we step on one another's toes it doesn't escalate into something that would be catastrophic," he said. "The Chinese are interested in having a military relationship that's a stabilising force in the overall relationship." Analysts said it was likely Beijing proposed the talks on Thursday as a "good faith gesture" to de-escalate tensions and return to dialogue mechanisms between the two militaries. Wei Zongyou, an international studies professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, said there was a recognition that the militaries needed to continue communicating to avoid accidents, after the recent near collision in the South China Sea. "The last meeting was cancelled because China wanted to show it was not happy with the US sanctions, but China does not want to see Sino-US relations head towards conflict and does not want their communication channels to be suspended," he said. "At the same time, China will communicate to the US that it is concerned and dissatisfied with the sanctions on China's military and the [United States'] freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea." Zhang Baohui, a Chinese security specialist at Lingnan University, said China was eager to restore communication channels particularly given reports that the US Pacific Fleet had proposed a series of exercises from the South China Sea to the Taiwan Strait as a warning to Beijing. "The recent escalation of tensions between the two sides is starting to worry the Chinese," he said. "The current confrontational posture from both sides may create a real crisis, so I think after cancelling Mattis' visit, the Chinese may have had second thoughts on their military to military relationship." But tensions would not easily abate, as US President Donald Trump's administration was unlikely to shift its "cold war posture" towards China, Zhang said. "The two countries are on a collision course," he said. "They were always on some sort of collision course, but now it looks as if the pace and intensity of the conflict are increasing. "The meeting between the two militaries won't affect anything unless Trump changes his mind, or else nothing will change." ^ top ^

China refutes U.S. allegation of "debt diplomacy" (Xinhua)
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday refuted the U.S. allegation that China uses so-called "dept diplomacy" to expand its influence globally, and urged the U.S. side to correctly view China's cooperation with developing countries. In a recent speech, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence charged China with using so-called "debt diplomacy" to expand its influence around the world. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, during his visit to Vietnam, said China adopted "predatory economic behavior" and piled massive debt on smaller countries that is difficult to repay. "The United States, presented with multiple facts and statistics, repeatedly fabricated lies and made irresponsible remarks out of its own political needs. This is disappointing," spokesperson Lu Kang told a routine press briefing. China understands the difficulties faced by developing countries and cooperates with them using its own development experience and within its own capabilities, and China assists them without any political conditions, Lu said. He said such cooperation has strongly promoted the economic and social development of relevant countries and improved the wellbeing of the people. "For example, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway, which was financed and built by China, has created nearly 50,000 jobs for Kenya. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor contributed 2.5 percentage points to Pakistan's GDP growth in 2016," Lu said, adding that such cooperation is welcomed in many developing countries. In fact, China-related cooperation projects only account for a very small part of the debt of the related regions and countries that the U.S. side has been hyping up recently, and not a single country is caught in the "debt trap" due to cooperation with China, Lu said. "By the end of 2017, China's loans accounted for only about 10 percent of Sri Lanka's foreign debt. China's total loans to the Philippines are less than 1 percent of its foreign debt." "The Sri Lankan ambassador to China recently said the allegation that the Chinese government had dragged Sri Lanka into the 'debt trap' was completely wrong. The Pakistani finance minister also refuted the U.S. statement that the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor triggered a debt crisis in Pakistan. I think these countries have the most say," Lu said. At the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, many African leaders also voiced their objections to the fallacy that China-Africa cooperation has worsened the debt burdens of the continent, Lu said, noting that they had expressed their desire for development, financing and cooperation. The United States will not receive support by indiscreetly pinning labels on China, he said. "We urge the U.S. side to correctly view China's cooperation with developing countries, and hope it does more practical things for the development of those countries, rather than stand idle and stir up troubles." It is unethical for some country to serve its own political needs at the expense of the wellbeing of the people in developing countries, Lu added. ^ top ^

President Xi meets Russian presidential administration chief (Xinhua)
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Anton Vaino, head of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, in Beijing Wednesday. Xi asked Vaino to convey his greetings and warm wishes to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he and President Putin had maintained close contacts, which played a guiding role in the in-depth development of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Sino-Russian relations are at their best period in history. Under the current world situation, China and Russia should cherish the bilateral mature and solid partnership and unswervingly deepen cooperation in various fields, said Xi. Xi called on the two sides to promptly implement the consensus reached between the two presidents, deepen the cooperation in such areas as energy and innovation, accelerate the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, and intensify communication and coordination in international affairs. The two sides should design and plan high-level bilateral exchanges in the next stage and push China-Russia relations in the new era to a new level, said Xi. Xi said the cooperation mechanism between the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation serves as a special channel in bilateral exchanges. The mechanism is very important and also reflects the particularity and importance of Sino-Russian relations. Expressing support to maintain that mechanism, Xi called on the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation to implement the cooperation consensus reached by the two leaders, so as to better serve the overall development of bilateral relations. Vaino conveyed President Putin's greetings and best wishes to President Xi, saying that Putin spoke highly of the in-depth talks with Xi during the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok in September and looked forward to meeting with Xi again. He said the strategic cooperation with China is a priority for Russia's foreign relations, as bilateral ties are at their best level in history and their cooperation could be considered as a model in the international relations. The Russian side was glad to see the two leaders maintain frequent exchanges and the governmental departments of the two countries have active cooperation, said Vaino, adding that the traditional friendship between the two peoples also provided a fundamental guarantee for the development of bilateral ties. Vaino said the cooperation mechanism between the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation and the General Office of the CPC Central Committee is an indispensable part of Russia-China cooperation. He said the Russian side will further strengthen cooperation between the two offices, earnestly implement the consensus of the two leaders, and make new contributions to the development of Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. ^ top ^

China bishops on historic Vatican visit invite pope to Beijing (SCMP)
The pope has been invited to visit China by two Catholic bishops from the mainland, attending their first Vatican meeting with the permission of Beijing, according to a Catholic newspaper on Tuesday. Joseph Guo Jincai and John Baptist Yang Xiaoting attended the first two weeks of the meeting of bishops from around the world, known as a synod, and saw Pope Francis daily in the first concrete sign of a thaw between the Holy See and Beijing after last month's landmark agreement on the naming of bishops China. "While we were here, we invited Pope Francis to come to China," Guo told Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops conference. "We are waiting for him," Guo said. The deal, which was signed on September 22 after more than 10 years in the making, gives the Vatican a long-sought say in the choice of bishops in mainland China, although critics have labelled it a sell-out to the Communist government. China's approximately 12 million Catholics have been split between an underground Church swearing loyalty to the Vatican and the state-supervised Catholic Patriotic Association.Guo was ordained into the Catholic Patriotic Association without papal permission and had been excommunicated by the Vatican. As part of the September 22 agreement, the pope lifted his excommunication and recognised his legitimacy, making Guo an important interlocutor between both sides. Guo said he did not know when a trip could take place but said he and his brother bishop Yang believed it was possible and were praying for it." Our presence here was considered impossible but it became possible," he said. The pope is expected to visit Japan next year and on Thursday he will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will be carrying an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for him to visit Pyongyang. Vatican officials have stressed that last month's deal between the Holy See and Beijing was pastoral and not political. But many believe it is a precursor to the restoration of diplomatic ties between the Vatican and Beijing after more than 70 years. That would mean breaking relations with Taiwan. The Vatican is the self-ruled island's last remaining diplomatically in Europe. Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province, has formal relations with 16 other countries, many of them small, less developed nations in Central America and the Pacific. The island's vice-president Chen Chien-jen also invited Pope Francis to visit Taiwan during an audience with the pope ahead of the canonisation of Pope John Paul VI on Sunday. Taiwanese media reported Chen said the pope "smiled" when he was invited to visit Taiwan. ^ top ^

Chinese premier meets Dutch king, calls for more cooperation (Xinhua)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met here Monday with Dutch King Willem-Alexander, urging the two countries to enhance cooperation in various areas and defend multilateralism and free trade. Li first conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping's cordial greetings to the Dutch king. In recent years, China-Netherlands relations have developed rapidly, Li said, noting that the exchange of visits by the two countries' heads of state has opened up broad prospects for bilateral ties. The development of China-Netherlands ties not only benefits both nations, but also bears major significance for China-Europe relations, he said. China, Li said, is willing to work with the Dutch side to deepen cooperation in various fields, including investment, financing and inclusive finance, and create favorable conditions for their companies, especially those small- and medium-sized ones, to conduct cooperation. Dutch companies, he added, are welcome to make investment in China. Speaking of the international trade system, Li said it is encountering some difficulties. He called upon the two countries, both being open economies and major global traders, to support the rules-based international political and economic order, abide by commonly accepted norms, work together to defend multilateralism and free trade, and inject more certainties into the world. For his part, King Willem-Alexander said close high-level exchanges over recent years have boosted bilateral ties and facilitated mutually beneficial cooperation and two-way corporate investment between the two countries. In face of the challenges besetting today's world, the Netherlands and China have even more reasons to enhance unity and cooperation, so as to jointly address risks caused by uncertainties and safeguard the international trade system and the world's stability and development, said the king. Li arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday for an official visit, the first by a Chinese premier to the European country in 14 years. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

China makes remarkable efforts to improve family planning: official (Xinhua)
China has made remarkable efforts to improve family planning work, especially in reforming its administrative approach towards a client-oriented approach in family planning, a senior official said on Thursday. Wang Peian, vice director of the population, resources and environmental committee under the CPPCC National Committee, made the remarks at a launch event of the State of World Population 2018 report, released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The report underlined the long-term complexities facing the global population and development issue, as well as the importance of rights of having sex and reproductive health for everyone, said Wang, also the standing vice president of China Family Planning Association and former Vice Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission of China. China has made extraordinary efforts to implement the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, especially in reforming its administrative approach towards a client-oriented approach in family planning, the UNFPA Representative in China Babatunde Ahonsi said. The new fertility policy announced in 2015 is a start to focus on the role of family planning in protecting the health of the population of reproductive age in China, he said. Family size is closely linked with reproductive rights, which, in turn, are tied to many other rights, the report says. However, most couples cannot have the number of children they want because they either lack economic and social support to achieve their preferred family size, or the means to control their fertility. The unmet need for modern contraception prevents hundreds of millions of women from choosing smaller families, according to the report.  ^ top ^

A simple guide to Xi Jinping Thought? Here's how China's official media tried to explain it (SCMP)
When Xi Jinping outlined his political blueprint for the next 30 years at the Communist Party congress last year, it took him three and a half hours to articulate his vision for the country. Now, to mark the first anniversary of his speech, the party's official mouthpiece has made a no less ambitious attempt to visualise the Chinese president's doctrines. The result, published on the WeChat account of People's Daily on Thursday, is a complex colour-coded "mind map" consisting of 30 separate elements, each broken down into multiple subsections that resemble the branches of a tree. Officially called "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era", the doctrine is now enshrined in both state and party constitutions. It laid out a series of national goals for 2050, such as making China a nation with pioneering global influence, turning the military into a "world class" force, eradicating extreme poverty, and reiterated a pledge to continue to open up the country's markets and provide a level playing field for businesses. Mind mapping is a visual thinking tool invented by the British author Tony Buzan, designed to convey information and ideas clearly by using structured branches, keywords, images and colour codes. In this case it is open to question how effective this infographic "study guide" will be, given the complexity and level of detail involved. In general, the study of Xi's guiding political principles is no laughing matter for cadres and officials amid the ongoing tightening of the party and the bureaucracy's political discipline and demands for loyalty. Dozens of institutes dedicated to the research and study of "Xi Jinping Thought" have been established in universities across the country, while school curriculums have also been revised to incorporate the new ideology into textbooks. ^ top ^

Chinese vice premier stresses clean energy use for winter heating (Xinhua)
Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday stressed the use of clean energy for winter heating in the country's northern region. Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a symposium held during his research trip to Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province. China should ensure that people in north China will be kept warm and safe in winter while at the same time making progress in improving air quality, Han said. To clear up the air, China has been encouraging the use of natural gas and electricity instead of coal for winter heating. Authorities must make sure of the source of natural gas before taking down old heating facilities, Han said, adding that efforts should be made to increase the natural gas supply. After decades of rapid development that left the country with a thick, gray haze, China declared a war against pollution, with intensified efforts to crack down on polluters and incentives for clean energy use. By the end of October 2018, a total of 3.62 million additional households in Beijing, Tianjin and 26 other cities in nearby regions will have had their coal-fired heating systems converted, according to an official plan released earlier this year. ^ top ^

People who attack medical staff to be blacklisted (China Daily)
People who attack medical staff will be placed on a blacklist, according to a circular released by China's top economic planner on Tuesday that is designed to deter illegal acts targeting medical staff and institutions. Those who receive punishments such as administrative detention from the public security authorities, or criminal punishment by judicial organs, for offenses such as purposefully injuring medical staff in hospitals or carrying weapons into hospitals illegally, will be put on the blacklist, said the circular, which was approved by 28 central government departments. Information about those on the list will be shared among the 28 departments, including the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Transport, the circular said. They will face punishment including restrictions in getting government subsidies, seeking government employment, and traveling in first-class sections on planes and high-speed trains. The National Health Commission will keep updating the list, and those removed from it will no longer be punished, the circular said. Deng Liqiang, director of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association's legal affairs department, applauded the new measure and said it will be an effective deterrent to violations against medical staff. "It will punish in every aspect those who seriously disrupt medical order, and greatly protect the security of medical staff," he said. "We also would like to call on all medical staff to do more to care for patients to honor their duty." Zheng Bin, a college teacher in Beijing, said incidents such as violence against medical staff should be punished, but hospitals should improve communication with patients when disputes occur. Patient-doctor relations have generally improved in recent years, but reports of medical disputes resulting in injuries to medical staff continue to make headlines. On Saturday, a 46-year-old man, surnamed Zheng, was detained by police for criminal investigation in Beijing for beating a gynecologist at Peking University First Hospital on Sept 22 after the doctor refused to give a C-section to his 44-year-old wife. China has taken measures in recent years to improve healthcare services in medical institutions and improve doctor-patient relations to reduce disputes. A regulation released in August by the State Council, China's Cabinet, said patients and doctors should seek legal means to resolve disputes, and medical institutions should improve management to provide safer and better services. Guo Yanhong, deputy chief for medical administration and supervision at the National Health Commission, told a news conference last month that the number of medical disputes in China had declined by 20 percent over the past five years due to improved service quality and intensified measures to fight crimes against medical staff. ^ top ^

China Focus: Party governance breaks new ground since key congress (Xinhua)
One year after the landmark 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, the CPC leadership has broken new ground and rigorous Party governance delivered real results. When delivering a report to the 19th CPC National Congress on Oct. 18, 2017, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, announced that "the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC, and the greatest strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC." In March 2018, the constitutional amendment was adopted at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress and the statement that "the leadership of the CPC is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics" was enshrined in the country's fundamental law, offering a strong legal guarantee for Party leadership to play its role better. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, new steps have been taken to uphold and strengthen overall Party leadership. Over the past year, efforts were made in systems and mechanisms to ensure the Party always provides overall leadership and coordinates the efforts of all involved, with strengthened CPC leadership in major areas including deepening overall reform, cyberspace affairs, financial and economic affairs, and foreign affairs. The inauguration of the National Supervisory Commission (NSC) has strengthened the Party's centralized and unified leadership on its anti-corruption work. During a panel discussion with delegates from Guizhou Province who attended the 19th CPC National Congress, Xi highlighted strict Party governance, saying the drive should not slacken or let up despite successful initial outcomes, and that the fight is not done. Shortly after the congress, Xi stressed that the efforts to address misconduct should not be stopped and the work to improve the Party's conduct and work styles should never end, warning about the intractability and recurrence of undesirable work styles -- formalities for formalities' sake, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance. Official statistics showed that more than 20 centrally-administrated officials have been placed under investigation by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the NSC since the 19th CPC National Congress. Meanwhile, institution building has been continuously improved and regulations have been increasingly strengthened. The CPC Central Committee published a revised regulation of the CPC on disciplinary action. The fundamental rule that regulates all Party organizations and its members had been amended twice in three years. As socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, the CPC is devoted to improving its ability to govern and lead. There has been an upsurge within the CPC that all of its cadres and members are studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress. One week after the 19th CPC National Congress concluded, Xi visited the sites in Shanghai and Zhejiang's Jiaxing where the first CPC National Congress was held, calling on the whole Party to remain true to its original aspiration, keep its mission firmly in mind, and continue striving. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at the core, the Marxist governing party is standing at the forefront of the times and leading hundreds of millions of people to strive for national rejuvenation.  ^ top ^

Advance poverty relief effort, president urges (China Daily)
President Xi Jinping called on Wednesday for solid, redoubled efforts in poverty alleviation to win the critical battle of poverty reduction before the end of 2020. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the call in a written instruction for poverty reduction work as the country observed the fifth annual National Poverty Relief Day on Wednesday. A conference in Beijing on Wednesday recognized people who made outstanding contributions in poverty reduction around the country. Xi's instruction was conveyed to participants at the conference. Xi said 40 years of reform and opening-up have seen consistent efforts in eradicating poverty as part of a gradual process. More than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty in the past four decades — a miracle in the history of poverty reduction, Xi said. Abject poverty that has existed in the country for thousands of years will be eradicated, so the battle against poverty is now at the toughest stage, he added. He called on government officials to assume their responsibilities, take concrete actions and make united efforts to strive for winning the critical battle against poverty. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Xi has placed poverty reduction at the top of the list of major tasks as the Party vowed to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. The country's target is that by 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line will have been lifted out of poverty, and poverty will be eliminated in all poor counties and regions. To achieve this end, China has adopted the strategy of targeted poverty alleviation, proposed for the first time by Xi in November 2013 during his visit to the village of Shibadong in Huayuan county, Hunan province. It was needed because the previous, one-size-fits-all poverty relief policy no longer worked when it came to the most-impoverished families. By the end of last year, the country had 30.46 million people in rural areas categorized as living below the poverty line, poverty relief officials said. In a separate instruction, Premier Li Keqiang said targeted poverty reduction efforts must be strengthened in alignment with the rural revitalization strategy. That will ensure the rural population under the current poverty line can shake off poverty before the end of 2020, he said. The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development said on Wednesday that another 85 counties have been officially taken off the country's list of impoverished areas, marking further steps toward eradicating poverty by 2020. In the past five years, more than 68 million people have been lifted out of poverty, including 8.3 million relocated from inhospitable areas, according to this year's Government Work Report. ^ top ^

China expels two ex-generals from Communist Party for corruption (Xinhua)
Fang Fenghui, former member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and former chief of staff of the CMC Joint Staff Department, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC). Fang's removal from the CPC has been approved by the CPC Central Committee, while the CMC has expelled him from the People's Liberation Army and stripped him of his rank of general, a CMC statement said on Tuesday. Investigators said that Fang had seriously violated discipline and law. Fang's case was transferred to the military prosecution authority for suspected bribery in January. At that time, soldiers and officers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) supported the decision. Meantime, Zhang Yang, a former CMC member and former head of the CMC Political Work Department, was also expelled from the Party for multiple violations. The property involved in Zhang's case will be confiscated, said a statement released by the military. The CMC had expelled Zhang from the military and strip him of his rank. Zhang died by suicide at his home in Beijing on November 23, 2017 after authorities launched an investigation into his alleged links to former senior military figures Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou.  ^ top ^

Social credit system expected to become law within three years (Global Times)
The China Law Society said that legislation on social credit in China has been incorporated into legislative plans. Data shows that the annual economic loss caused by a lack of integrity in honoring contracts is more than 600 billion yuan ($86.7 billion). Recent incidents of passengers forcibly occupying other's seats on the high-speed rail have rattled the public's nerves. However, the railway authorities have no further punishment except to suspend the violator from riding trains over a certain period. Experts suggest that the low cost of being dishonest encourages bad behavior. Legislation on a social credit system is now a part of the legislative plan of the National People's Congress. If it proceeds, China's basic laws and regulations on social credit are expected to be enacted and implemented within two to three years, reported. Data shows that more than 4 billion contracts are signed in China every year, but the probability of them being honored is only about 50 percent, which directly or indirectly causes an annual economic loss of more than 600 billion yuan. As of September 30, the country has ruled on a total of 12.11 million cases of dishonest people this year, subject to enforcement. Some 2.54 million of them - accounting for 20 percent of the total list - had their credit ratings reduced. Those people then fulfilled their obligations to restore their credit. The overdue payments on credit cards for the first half of the year totals 75.6 billion yuan. This has doubled compared with 35.7 billion yuan in 2014. Experts point out that at present, the punishment of dishonest people is mainly based on departmental regulations and local regulations. Speeding up social credit legislation is urgently required. Liao Yongan, the vice president of the Institute of Civil Procedure Law of the China Law Society, told, "During the current stage of social transformation and economic upgrading, a developed credit system is the foundation. Only with this improvement can we reduce transaction costs and improve economic efficiency." ^ top ^

Book of Xi's discourses on building a community with a shared future for humanity published (Xinhua)
A book of Comrade Xi Jinping's discourses on "promoting the building of a community with a shared future for humanity" has been published by the Central Party Literature Press. The book, which was compiled by the Party history and literature research institution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will be distributed across the country as of Sunday. The book includes 85 speeches on the subject between January 2013 and June 2018 delivered by President Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission. A statement provided to Xinhua Sunday said that since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi had thoroughly pondered major issues concerning the future of humanity, such as "what kind of the world to build and how," and profoundly expounded on key issues including the background, significance, connotation and approach of building a community with a shared future for humanity. "Xi's speeches led the innovation in diplomatic theory and practice in the pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and laid out a blueprint towards common development, sustainable prosperity and long-term stability for human society," said the statement, adding that it reflected "China's lofty goal of making greater contributions to world peace and development, as well as its global vision, internationally-mindedness and major-country commitment in integrating its own development with the world's development." Identifying "promoting the building of a community with a shared future for humanity" as an important content of Xi Jinping thought on the diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and an important component of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the statement also stressed the theory's significant guiding role in various areas. "The theory is of great guiding significance in keeping in mind both our internal and international imperatives, staying on the path of peaceful development, and continuing to pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up," the statement said. "It will also guide China in upholding justice while pursuing shared interests, and continuing its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development and uphold international order, to create a more favorable international environment for the delivery of the two centenary goals, and the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation."  ^ top ^



Chinese President Xi Jinping set to visit Guangdong to boost confidence in economic model (SCMP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon embark on what he hopes will be a confidence-boosting tour of Guangdong province, according to sources familiar with the matter, as the manufacturing and export base begins to feel the impact of the country's trade war with the US. While the leader's itinerary is a closely guarded secret, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday that he might attend the official opening ceremony for the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, which is set to take place on Tuesday. The bridge is key to country's connectivity plans for the Greater Bay Area, its tech-led economic zone that has aspirations to rival California's Silicon Valley. Guangdong is where China's economic liberalisation began 40 years ago, and while there, Xi might inspect some hi-tech firms, visit factories and talk to local people and officials in the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, the sources said. One of them said he may visit Sun Yat-sen University, which was founded in 1924 and whose library houses a display of Karl Marx transcripts and early publications. Coming as it does on the 40th anniversary of China's "reform and opening up", a dramatic policy shift that allowed China to transform itself from a closed communist backwater into an economic powerhouse, Xi's visit is symbolic. It also comes as doubts are growing over Beijing's commitment to becoming a more market-oriented economy. Liao Qun, chief economist at China Citic Bank International in Hong Kong, said Xi would use the trip to shore up economic confidence. "Xi will send a message that Beijing is committed to the road of reform and opening up and will do more in this regard amid the trade war with the US," he said. He might also stress the importance of hi-tech development and the Greater Bay Area, Liao said. Chinese economist Hu Xingdou said Xi's visit to Guangdong might be the catalyst for "the third round of ideological emancipation" in China, after a first round in 1978 and a second in 1992.China's former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping visited Guangdong in 1992 to restart the process of economic liberalisation, which was initiated in 1978 but halted by the 1989 pro-democracy movement and the bloody crackdown on June 4.His visit is remembered as a watershed moment for China as it ushered in capitalist ideals and the nationwide pursuit of wealth. Hundreds of thousands of government officials and state workers left the security of the public sector and opened their own businesses. At the same time, the red carpets were rolled out for foreign investors, the command economy system was dismantled and ties between China and US strengthened, partly thanks to lobbying by US business groups, which paved the way for China's economic boom and, a decade later, entry into the World Trade Organisation. Now, after four decades of almost uninterrupted economic growth, China's economy is slowing. Its gross domestic product for the third quarter of this year is estimated to have grown at its slowest rate for a decade. China is also grappling with structural problems, such as a widening wealth gap, serious pollution and a rapidly ageing population. Beijing is also facing fresh demands and criticism from the West. Earlier this month, US vice-president Mike Pence accused Beijing of paying "lip service" to reform and opening up and said Deng's policy "now rings hollow". Meanwhile, China's once-booming private economy is losing ground to the state sector, which benefits from preferential government policies and low cost loans from state banks. Many firms, including some in Guangdong, are considering relocating their operations outside China, just as the country's middle classes are trying to move their money overseas amid tighter government controls on capital outflows. Since Xi came into power in late 2012, he has led a campaign to bolster the party's authority in all walks of life, while overseeing the state's absorption of private firms and significant tax increases. "Hopes are high on Xi to clarify two issues: the relationship between the state and the private economy, and the one between the rule of law and the rule of man or party," Hu said. While in Guangdong, Xi might visit Shenzhen, a thriving city of 13.6 million people that was just a fishing village when Deng visited. Known as a world-class manufacturing base, it exemplifies how China has moved up in the value chain. Xi's father, Xi Zhongxun, was a senior official who helped to implement Beijing's reform and opening up policies in Shenzhen. However, the prevailing mood among businesses in the hi-tech hub is not good. A businessman in the city who asked not to be named but has close links to investors in the hi-tech sector, said the trade war and China's economic slowdown had seriously undermined investor confidence. "Everything seemed prosperous about half a year ago with ideas like 'Made in China 2025' and the Greater Bay Area lifting market expectations," he said. But that optimism quickly vanished due to the trade war and a slump in the share prices of technology firms. The value of shares in Tencent, one of China's internet giants, has fallen by about 40 per cent in Hong Kong since March. The benchmark Shenzhen component stock index, meanwhile, has fallen 60 per cent since its peak in June 2015.While Xi would not be able to pull rabbits out of his hat during his Guangdong trip, he could confirm Beijing's policies, a government adviser who asked not to be named said in an interview. "China is in defensive mode because of the trade war," the person said. New reform and opening up measures, if there are any, would be technical instead of strategic and could focus on "improving the business environment and modest tax cuts", he said. On a trip to northeast China's rust belt at the end of last month, Xi said the country must become more self-reliant. While in the region he visited state-owned factories and said they were important to China's economic future. Earlier this year, before the US imposed its first trade tariffs on Chinese imports, Xi visited the southern island province of Hainan and pledged to make it a free-trade zone and a new front in China's opening up to the outside world. However, the policy guidelines for such a move released this week fell short of expectations. The blueprint made no mention of allowing horse racing or casinos on the island, or of a local government plan for uncensored internet access. Xi visited Guangdong in December 2012 after taking over as general secretary of China's Communist Party. On that trip he visited Deng's statue in a Shenzhen park and pledged to continue the former leader's work. Zhao Xijun, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said Xi was trying to take China's opening up to "a new level with higher aims" but also ensuring it served its "own purposes". "Today's situation is very different from that in 1970s, 80s or 90s," Zhao said. "But the general direction of China won't change." ^ top ^



Buddhism encouraged to serve BRI (Global Times)
Tibetan monks and scholars began a two-day symposium in Northwest China's Qinghai Province on Tuesday to discuss how Buddhism could better serve China's Belt and Road initiative and resist separatism. Guided by the core socialist values, the symposium aims to encourage Tibetan Buddhism to adapt to the socialist society and teach the religion to serve the construction of the Belt and Road initiative, news site reported on Tuesday. Qin Yongzhang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told the Global Times on Wednesday that Tibetan Buddhism can serve as a bridge between Belt and Road initiative (BRI) countries to better communicate with each other, since the religious and cultural beliefs are similar in Central and South Asia. CASS and the China Tibetology Research Center attach strategic importance to the project to promote China's BRI through Tibetan Buddhism, Qin said. Soft power like religion, if used properly, will convert to hard power, Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times on Wednesday. During this year's International Buddhist Conference, Master Yin Shun, deputy head of China's Buddhist Association, noted that the construction of the China-proposed BRI has injected new energy into China-Nepal ties, China News Service reported in April. China also built a relationship with Mongolia through Tibetan Buddhism, Qin said, noting that Mongolia has sent monks to study at the Lama Temple and High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China, both located in Beijing. One immediate challenge of promoting BRI through Tibetan Buddhism comes from India, which has been holding back for geopolitical reasons, Qin said. The Dalai Lama has established a separatist base in India, and has been advocating the "traditional culture" as leverage to expand his influence, Qin said. Buddhism has a significant role in curbing separatism, religious extremism and terrorism while implementing BRI, because it pursues harmony and opposes violence, Xiong said. The Tibet Autonomous Region will benefit from the BRI, which will stabilize the region and boost its economy by developing border trade and cultural tourism, wrote Zhao Kejin, deputy director of Tsinghua University's Institute of International Studies in an article published on Tibet has more than 1,700 Tibetan Buddhist temples, 46,000 monks and nuns, Zhou Wei, chief of the China Tibetology Research Center's Institute for Religious Studies, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying in 2015. ^ top ^



Former Chinese internment camp detainee denied US visa (SCMP)
A former detainee of a Chinese internment camp for Muslims said on Thursday his application for a visa to visit the United States was rejected despite an invitation to speak at Congress about his ordeal. Kazakh national Omir Bekali was asked to travel to Washington in September by the chairs of the Congressional-Executive Committee on China. He said his application was rejected by the US consulate in Istanbul on October 2 after he was questioned about his employment status. Bekali was one of the first people to speak out publicly about his experience in a camp in China's Xinjiang region, where an estimated 1 million Muslims, mostly from the Uygur and Kazakh ethnicities, are being detained. "They kept going back and forth. Why did they invite me and then reject my visa?" he said. "I've received so many threats after speaking out, I feel like they should be able to do at least this simple request." Commission spokesman Scott Flipse confirmed the invitation and said the co-chairs had written to Bekali offering to assist him in seeking a visa. Flipse referred further questions about Bekali's visa status to the US state department, which handles consular issues. The department declined to comment on Bekali's case, saying US immigration law prohibits it from discussing individual visa applications. "We continue to urge China to reverse its counterproductive policies that conflate terrorism with peaceful religious and political expression, and to release all those arbitrarily detained in these camps," the department said in a statement. Bekali wants to take his family to Europe or the United States, where he feels they will be safe from China's reach. Last month, his wife and child were held up at a Turkish airport for more than three days and were nearly put on a flight back to Kazakhstan. He had earlier fled Almaty after he was interrogated by Kazakh police, who he said showed up at his home soon after he spoke out about the camps. Kazakh authorities did not respond to a request for comment. Bekali said that even though he had been reunited with his family in Turkey, he would not feel safe until his family moved to a country that could stand up to Beijing's influence, underscoring the deep anxiety that grips the diaspora of Muslims who once lived in Xinjiang under an intense security crackdown. "I'm scared China will find some way to hurt me or threaten me," Bekali said. "Every day I have nightmares, I cannot sleep at night." China has come under increasing pressure from Western governments about its mass internment of Muslims. The commission, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers, has proposed legislation that would urge Trump to condemn "gross violations" of human rights in Xinjiang. Bekali is named in the proposed legislation as among those who have testified to the indoctrination, humiliation and indefinite detention of internees. "In China, the government is engaged in the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities that is straight out of George Orwell," outgoing US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a speech on Monday. "It is the largest internment of civilians in the world today." China on Tuesday characterised its mass internment of Muslims as a push to bring into the "modern, civilised" world a destitute people who are easily led astray. ^ top ^

Xinjiang camps: China takes its defence of 're-education centres' overseas with Pakistan meeting (SCMP)
China has taken its defence of the mass detention of Muslim minorites to an overseas audience, with its diplomats holding a meeting with a group of Uygur Chinese people in Pakistan to try to garner support for Beijing's policies in the far-western region of Xinjiang. The meeting in Islamabad came as Beijing gave details for the first time about the sprawling network of internment camps in the region, which shares a border with Pakistan, amid rising international criticisms of human rights violations and forced indoctrination. The overseas efforts reflect changes in Beijing's account of the detentions, from denying the existence of the "re-education centres" to stressing the terrorism threat it claims is facing Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and how Muslim minorities are transformed in the camps, which Beijing said was aimed at removing extremist thoughts through vocational training. A meeting on Tuesday in the Chinese embassy in Pakistan, chaired by consul general Shen Zicheng and attended by leaders of overseas Chinese associations and Chinese Uygur organisations, extended the new narrative. Chinese diplomats have written to overseas media defending the policies in Xinjiang, but Tuesday's meeting in Pakistan's capital is the most high-profile evidence of Beijing stepping up its new narrative outside China. At the meeting, Shen explained the "counterterrorism and stability maintenance" efforts in Xinjiang as well as the "vocational skills education and training", a statement by the Chinese embassy said on Wednesday. He said that "currently the entire region of Xinjiang is stable and harmonious, everyone lives in peace and contentment, and all social activities are developing in an all-round way". Xinjiang's "struggle against terrorism", Shen said, had achieved "major milestones" under the "strong leadership of the [Communist] Party Central Committee with comrade [President] Xi Jinping as the core". Xinjiang governor Shohrat Zakir gave extensive details of the camps to state-run news agency Xinhua on Tuesday, in which he called them "professional vocational training institutions". Zakir said the facilities focused on "de-extremisation education", and that the trainees realised that "life can be so colourful" after training. But rights advocates and legal experts say the camps have no legal basis in Chinese law, despite the government's attempt to legitimise them. Former detainees have also said they were forced to denounce their faith and pledge loyalty to the ruling Communist Party. A UN human rights panel estimated China may be holding as many as 1 million people in the camps, in a review of the country's human rights record in August. China said the UN experts' analysis had "no actual basis". Xiao Qian, the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia, wrote in an opinion piece in The Jakarta Post in September that the government in Xinjiang fully respected religious freedom. He said harmony in Xinjiang could not be achieved without the ethnic and religious policy of the Chinese government. Pakistan's religious affairs minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri was last month quoted by newspaper The Nation as saying in a meeting with Chinese ambassador Yao Jing that China had to soften restrictions on Muslims living in Xinjiang. But Beijing denied the two officials had talked about the region. A row between a former Pakistan diplomat and a Chinese diplomat sparked widespread discussion over the weekend. China's deputy ambassador to Pakistan in Islamabad, Zhao Lijian, publicly lashed out at Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistan ambassador to Washington, who had tweeted a report about Xinjiang that said detainees in the camps were required to eat pork – which is commonly forbidden in Islamic practice. Zhao called Haqqani corrupt and "without soul", igniting a firestorm on social media. Pakistan and China regard each other as "all-weather friends", and China has made massive infrastructure investments in the Gwadar Port. Shen said at Tuesday's meeting that the Uygur Chinese citizens in Pakistan had a role to play in promoting friendly relations between the two countries, and supporting the work in Xinjiang. He also encouraged them to "seize the opportunities" of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor – a series of infrastructure projects – and make efforts to build a "harmonious community" of overseas Chinese citizens. ^ top ^



Hong Kong's freedoms will not be curbed, but city cannot be used as anti-China base, top Beijing official says (SCMP)
A top Beijing official in charge of Hong Kong affairs has sought to reassure the city that the central government has no intention of curbing its freedoms, and recent warnings against the city being used as an anti-Communist Party and anti-China base merely reflect a long-standing central government policy. Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) director Zhang Xiaoming told a delegation of senior news executives from the local media on Thursday that both the central and local governments must exercise "zero tolerance" when dealing with calls for the city's independence, which crossed the "red line" of undermining Chinese sovereignty. "It is nothing unusual for state leaders to send out kind reminders that Hong Kong should not be used as an anti-China and anti-Communist Party base," delegation leader Siu Sai-wo quoted Zhang as saying. Zhang recalled that late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping had emphasised this point as early as 1982, and stressed in 1987 that Beijing could not allow Hong Kong to turn into a base of opposing the mainland under the cloak of democracy. "The central government never intends to change the political system in Hong Kong, but some people in Hong Kong still adopt an antagonistic attitude towards the mainland's political system," Zhang reportedly said. Siu quoted Zhang as saying the fact that Hong Kong had yet to enact national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law more than two decades after the city's handover to China reflected its failure to implement the mini-constitution fully. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor vowed in her second policy address to "fearlessly" punish independence advocacy using existing laws, while continuing to cultivate an environment favourable for introducing the contentious legislation against acts of treason, sedition and secession. Lam has not given a timetable for moving on the legislation, given that the government's last attempt to introduce it in 2003 had to be shelved after it prompted half a million people to take to the streets in protest, fearing their rights and freedoms would be curtailed. Zhang was quoted as saying freedom must be exercised on the condition that it did not undermine national security. "We can't mix up those unlawful acts which go beyond freedom of expression and press freedom with those freedoms," he reportedly said. Zhang was speaking two days after Huang Kunming, head of the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department and a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party, told the same delegation he hoped the Hong Kong media would do its part to "prevent external forces from turning the city into a base for interfering with the mainland". The message was relayed by Siu in a late-night clarification on Tuesday after reports on Huang's remarks were retracted by some local news outlets, sparking concerns about self-censorship in some quarters. "[Huang] hopes Hong Kong media will not turn the city into a base for interfering in mainland politics," Siu originally told local media after the meeting with Huang. A source familiar with the meeting between Zhang and the delegation on Thursday said the HKMAO director had stressed that Hong Kong residents had been enjoying freedoms including that of speech and the press. "Where else in the world can the people enjoy such a broad scale of freedom? The central government has never thought of curbing freedoms in Hong Kong," Zhang was quoted as saying during his question-and-answer session with the delegation. He reminded the delegation that calls for Hong Kong independence had crossed the "red line" set by President Xi Jinping last year. When he oversaw Lam's swearing-in as the city's leader on July 1 last year, Xi warned Hong Kong against crossing the "red line" of undermining Chinese sovereignty and becoming a base of infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland. Zhang also expressed support for the local government's refusal to renew Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet's work visa, and the banning of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP). Mallet's visa application was rejected two months after he hosted a controversial talk at the Foreign Correspondents' Club by HKNP founder Andy Chan Ho-tin. Zhang also noted the role of his office had changed since the 1997 handover from "gatekeeper" to "guardian" of the city's "one country, two systems" governing formula along with national security and sovereignty, as well as the development interests of the country. ^ top ^

Journalist's visa refusal made Hong Kong 'look silly', and leader Carrie Lam wrong to say not explaining decision was accepted practice, says city's top lawyer (SCMP)
Hong Kong's leader was wrong when she said the government was following international practice in refusing to say why British journalist Victor Mallet was denied a work visa – the city's top lawyer said on Monday. Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes pointed to immigration authorities in Britain and Australia, which both issue written explanations when a visa or entry to the country is denied, as evidence of why Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was mistaken. The senior counsel said the requirement under British and Australian law to explain any decision ensured these were made on a "non-arbitrary basis", so visitors knew why they had been turned away. "You can't operate an immigration system ad hoc. Today chief immigration officer Wong made a decision, tomorrow chief officer Chan made a decision, that's completely different," Dykes said, speaking in a personal capacity. "You've got to have policies and rules, and have to make them known to achieve consistency and fairness." The British consulate in Hong Kong also said on its official Facebook page on Monday that individuals would be notified of the reasons for a visa refusal, so they could prepare an appeal. Without naming the pro-Beijing newspapers that drew comparisons between the British government actions in the past, and the decision not to renew the visa for Mallet, the Financial Times' Asia news editor, the consulate said: "Such comparisons are wrong." Under British immigration law, the government has to publish a "notice of immigration decision" when denying a foreign national a visa or entry to the country. Journalist Victor Mallet made himself unwelcome in Hong Kong Authorities have to explain to the applicant what evidence and law have been considered in making the decision. The British government also has published guidelines on its website for understanding why a visa might have been refused. Similarly, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is also under a statutory duty to provide unsuccessful visa applicants with a statement explaining why a visa has not been granted. While the Financial Times said the Immigration Department has not explained why the visa was refused, the move was linked to Mallet's moderation of a controversial talk at the Foreign Correspondent's Club in August by Andy Chan Ho-tin, founder of the now outlawed Hong Kong National Party. Despite Britain and the European Union pressing the Hong Kong government for an explanation, Lam backed the department's stance on not explaining its decision. "As a rule, not only locally, but internationally, the Immigration Department will not disclose the individual circumstances of the case," Lam said. In an interview with the Post, Dykes said although authorities are generally given broad discretion to handle immigration matters, offering an explanation as to why a visa was refused is only fair, so the applicant can prepare an appeal, or know if they will ever be welcome to return. While not speculating as to whether Mallet's participation in Chan's speech at the FCC led to his expulsion, Dykes said the decision made Hong Kong "look silly" internationally. "[The non-renewal] looks like retribution for doing something, that's not in breach of the law," Dykes said. Some Beijing loyalists claimed Mallet's role as FCC's acting president was to blame, and pressed the government to fulfil its constitutional duty by enacting a national security law under Article 23 of the Basic Law. The government has offered no concrete timetable for that happening. Dykes said all the FCC did in August was no different to their journalistic role, and had simply invited a newsworthy figure to explain his position on a contentious topic. On the enactment of Article 23, Dykes said any national security law maintaining an accepted level of human rights could not punish people for merely discussing the idea of independence. "The sooner the government engages with the society, the better it will be," he said. ^ top ^



Mainland spokesperson warns Taiwan against Olympics "referendum" (Xinhua)
A Chinese mainland spokesperson on Wednesday warned Taiwan against holding a so-called "referendum on a proper name" it would use at the Olympics, saying it would only undermine the interests of the people on the island. Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, stressed that the "Olympic model" was the principle that had been observed by international sports organizations as well as sports persons from the mainland and Taiwan. Under the model, established under International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, the island takes part in the Olympic Games under the name "Chinese Taipei." However, some political forces on the island are seeking a so-called "referendum" for the island to join the 2020 Tokyo Olympics "under a proper name," which is essentially a denial of the one-China principle. "A very small number of separatist elements advocating 'Taiwan independence' on the island, with the connivance of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, have disregarded the stern warnings issued by the IOC and the East Asian Olympic Committee, and insisted on seeking the 'referendum'," Ma said. "The move will only damage the interests of Taiwan residents, particularly Taiwan athletes." The spokesperson reiterated opposition to "Taiwan independence" separatist activities in any form. "The mainland and Taiwan belong to the one and same China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. Taiwan has never been and will never be a country," Ma said, adding "Taiwan independence" will lead nowhere. ^ top ^



China economic health check may show slowing GDP growth in wake of trade war (SCMP)
The world will be watching for signs of what toll the US-China trade war has taken on the world's second biggest economy so far when China releases its growth figures for the July-September quarter and other crucial financial data on Friday. The numbers, to be released by China's National Bureau of Statistics, will offer the first glimpse of the impact from the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods. Economists polled by Bloomberg and Reuters are forecasting a median 0.1 per cent drop in GDP growth from the April-June period to 6.6 per cent – the lowest reading since the last quarter of 2008 when China's growth tanked in the aftermath of a global financial crisis. The country's headline year-on-year GDP growth figure, released quarterly, had fallen into a narrow zone between 6.7 and 6.9 per cent for the previous 12 quarters. Analysts said a slight growth deceleration in the third quarter could be the start of a prolonged China growth slowdown, exacerbated by US President Donald Trump's trade war, with all three engines of Chinese GDP expansion – investment, consumer spending and exports – close to peak capacity. If they are right, it will pose a big challenge for the Chinese leadership headed by President Xi Jinping, as a broad-based economic slowdown would amplify financial and social tensions in China. In fact, Beijing has already tweaked its economic priorities to put debt reduction and even smog curbing onto the back burner. Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, said the deleveraging campaign had achieved initial success and the central bank was ready to act if necessary to help growth. Robin Xing, chief China economist at Morgan Stanley, said at a briefing in Beijing on Monday that the Chinese government had already switched to a "defensive" policy mode with accelerated fiscal spending and moderate monetary easing to manage fallout from the trade war. Xing said there were "downward signs and pressures" for China's US$12 trillion economy and things could turn worse if Trump goes ahead with plans to extend tariffs on Chinese products. "It may be a soft landing this year, but the real challenge will be next year," Xing said. In its latest global economic outlook report, the International Monetary Fund forecast a slowdown in China's GDP growth to 6.2 per cent in 2019, with ongoing trade tensions with Washington hurting China more than the US. While a growth rate of 6.6 per cent in this year's third quarter would be within range of Beijing's own target of "about 6.5 per cent", it would look less healthy in US dollars – the yuan has weakened about 4 per cent against the dollar in the third quarter as a result of the trade war. Washington fired the first shot in the trade dispute on July 6 with a 25 per cent additional levy on US$34 billion worth of Chinese products, and followed up with tariffs on a further US$16 billion of products a month later, with Beijing retaliating tit-for-tat each time. On top of that, on September 24, the US added a 10 per cent tariff – rising to 25 per cent from next year – on another US$200 billion of Chinese imports. China hit back with its own tariffs, US$60 billion of US imports. According to China's customs data, exports surged 14.5 per cent in September from a year earlier and its bilateral trade surplus with the US last month reached an all-time high of US$34 billion. However, Xing at Morgan Stanley cautioned that the strong growth could be a result of "front-loading" by exporters rushing to ship goods before the tariffs kicked in. Meanwhile, China's growth pillars at home are showing signs of cracks. Fixed asset investment, Beijing's usual tool to drive up the economy, has slowed to a record low of 5.3 per cent in the first eight months of 2018, with few companies willing to put money down in a gloomy economic outlook. Compare that figure to a decade ago, when China's fixed-asset investments were growing at more than 25 per cent. While the Chinese government is speeding up bond issues to bolster growth via infrastructure investment, Beijing has repeatedly said it will not repeat the all-out stimulus of 2008, when undisciplined spending left the country with massive debt. Chen Long, an analyst at Gavekal in Beijing, believes Beijing's moves, including the release this month of US$110 additional liquidity into the banking system, are aimed at "stabilisation rather than stimulus". In further bad news, growth in retail sales, a barometer of consumer spending, has slowed to single-digits in recent months despite Beijing's expectations that China's 1.4 billion consumers would help the country weather the slowdown. Zhou Hao, a senior economist of Commerzbank in Singapore, said the Chinese economy was already in a cyclical downturn and the escalated trade friction with the US had darkened people's expectations for the future. "The expectations on consumption [to help lifting growth] may be too high," Zhou said, adding that China's consumers may have already "overspent" in the years of surging household debt and a booming economy, when easy money and quick wealth had been widespread. Capital Economics, a London-based research firm, went a step further, saying the real situation of the Chinese economy could be bleaker than suggested by the official data, as the statistics bureau had a track record of "adjusting" official figures to make them look good. "You can't see much of a slowdown in the official data and probably won't over the quarters ahead either," its chief economist Neil Shearing wrote in an advice note. According to Shearing, Capital Economics' in-house indicator shows China's growth had already slowed "from 6 per cent a year ago to 5 per cent now". ^ top ^



Pope Francis will visit Pyongyang if invited, says South Korea's President Moon, as Vatican rules out Taiwan trip (SCMP)
Pope Francis is ready to visit North Korea if its leader, Kim Jong-un, extends a formal invitation, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday after meeting the pontiff, as the Vatican separately said a visit to Taiwan was not in the works. Moon briefed the pontiff about his visit to Pyongyang in September when Kim had "expressed his wish to welcome the Pope into his country" saying he would "ardently" welcome him, the South Korean leader's spokesman said. "When President Moon asked the Pope if it would be all right for Kim to send an invitation … the Pope said: 'What you just told me is enough, but it would be good if a formal invitation is sent'," he said, speaking in Korean. "If the invitation comes, I will definitely respond to that, and I can go," he quoted the Pope as saying. In a statement, the Vatican said: "Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development." And Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said: "I can confirm that a verbal invitation was made." Moon's spokesman also quoted the Pope as saying that he "strongly" backed the peace process, telling the South Korean leader to "march ahead without stopping," adding: "Do not be afraid." In a separate statement, the Vatican said the Pope was not planning a trip to Taiwan. Taiwanese Vice-President Chen Chien-jen made the invitation during a weekend audience with the Pope, later telling reporters that Francis had "smiled" when he made the offer. Last month, the Vatican forged a landmark deal with Beijing on the appointment of bishops, paving the way for a rapprochement. The Vatican has not had diplomatic relations with Beijing since 1951. That has raised questions over the future of official ties between Taiwan and the Holy See – the island's only official ally in Europe – as China makes a concerted effort to poach its dwindling number of diplomatic allies. ^ top ^

Koreas, US-led UN Command hold talks on demilitarising tense inter-Korean border (SCMP)
The two Koreas and the US-led United Nations Command held talks on Tuesday on demilitarising a section of the heavily fortified border dividing the peninsula, as a diplomatic thaw gathers pace. "The three parties examined the progress in removing landmines at the Joint Security Area (JSA) … and discussed other practical matters regarding steps toward disarming the area," Seoul's defence ministry said in a statement. The JSA, also known as the truce village of Panmunjom, is the only spot along the tense, 250-kilometre (155-mile) frontier where troops from the two countries stand face to face. It was a designated neutral zone until the "axe murder incident" in 1976, when North Korean soldiers attacked a work party trying to chop down a tree inside the demilitarised zone (DMZ), leaving two US army officers dead. South and North Korea – which are technically still at war -- agreed to take measures to ease military tensions on their border at a meeting in Pyongyang last month between President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un.Earlier this month, the two sides began removing landmines at the JSA -- which is now often used for talks between the two Koreas -- as part of the deal, and are due to withdraw "unnecessary" surveillance equipment once the landmine work is completed. The September summit was the third this year between the leaders as a remarkable rapprochement takes hold on the peninsula. Moon has advocated engagement with the isolated North to nudge it toward denuclearisation. During his summit with Kim last month, the two men also agreed to remove some guard posts at the border by the end of the year and to halt military drills in the area from November. Tuesday's talks were the first meeting of a trilateral JSA commission made up of the two Koreas and the UN Command, which is included as it retains jurisdiction over the southern half of the JSA. Its chief, US general Vincent Brooks, told reporters in August that as UN commander he supported initiatives that could reduce military tensions. But he added that as commander of the combined US-South Korean forces -- one of his other roles -- he felt there was a "reasonable degree of risk" in Seoul's plans to dismantle guard posts near the DMZ. ^ top ^

Koreas agree to connect rail (Global Times)
North Korea and South Korea reached an agreement on Monday to modernize and eventually connect their railways and roads across their border in late November or early December, media reported. Chinese experts said on Monday that although China and South Korea share many consensuses on rewarding North Korea for its sincerity to denuclearize, Seoul can't get rid of Washington's influence on sanctions against Pyongyang, because the US has very effective leverage over this issue. The agreement between the two Koreas was reached during high-level talks at the truce village of Panmunjom led by South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland of North Korea, Yonhap News reported on Monday. "The South and North will hold a ground-breaking ceremony on connecting and modernizing their rail and road systems along the eastern and western regions either in late November or early December," the two sides said in a joint press statement issued after their discussions, Yonhap reported. "We are at a very critical moment in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and advancing inter-Korean relations, and a second North Korea-US summit is forthcoming," Cho told reporters on Monday before leaving for the Demilitarized Zone, Reuters reported. Zheng Jiyong, director of the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Monday that "many facts have already proven that North Korea doesn't want to return to the confrontation era, which is against its interests and security. So, North Korea can be trusted on its promise to denuclearize, and it deserves a reward." "However, US President Donald Trump and his administration do not want to see the détente between the two Koreas going too fast," Zheng noted. Zheng added that Trump wants to continue to use the peninsula issue in US elections, "not just the upcoming midterms, but also the next presidential election. He wants the issue to sustain his political interests to win votes." A quick solution which could bring permanent peace and denuclearization in the short term does not fit in Trump's plans, even if South Korean President Moon Jae-in desperately wants to push for it, Zheng noted. Moon said Sunday that the international community needs to prove that North Korea has made the right decision to give up its nuclear ambitions, the Yonhap reported on Sunday. "As North Korea stands before the world after voluntarily coming out of isolation, it's the international community's turn to answer North Korea's tough decision and efforts," Moon said in a written interview with France-based daily newspaper Le Figaro. Prior to Moon's remarks, South Korea moved to smooth an emerging diplomatic row with the US on Thursday, disowning any plan to lift sanctions against North Korea after Trump's blunt remarks that Seoul could "do nothing" without Washington's "approval," the New York Times reported on Thursday. Unfortunately, South Korea cannot ignore the US, Zheng said. "The US could just destroy, in one night, everything the two Koreas have achieved so far. For instance, it could restart joint military drills," he pointed out. Zheng stressed that although China shares more in common with South Korea than the US on reducing sanctions against the North, this won't lead to deeper cooperation between China and South Korea on the issue. Chinese analysts also stressed that the UN Security Council should decide whether to maintain or reduce sanctions against North Korea, and that any unilateral action would have a negative impact on the progress made. ^ top ^



AmCham Mongolia hosts a Trade Mission certified by U.S. Department of Commerce (Montsame)
The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Mongolia hosted its first-ever incoming Trade Mission certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, on October 15-17, 2018, in Ulaanbaatar. Five American companies operating in agriculture, ICT and telecom, and environmental technologies took part in the AmCham Trade Mission. The Trade Mission was a first for AmCham Mongolia, and the first certified trade mission from the U.S. in almost a decade. The official trade mission was a key advancement for the commercial relationship between Mongolia and the U.S., and followed significant progress made in bilateral relations in recent months. The Trade Mission provided a rare opportunity for the participating American companies to develop strong networks; attend special events with influential policy makers and businesses; identify financing opportunities; and for AmCham Mongolia to advocate for Mongolia as a destination for American investment. The Trade Mission program included meetings with prominent public and private sector representatives, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry; Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the Intellectual Property Office; and AmCham member representatives. A key highlight of the agenda was a matchmaking session to enable one-on-one conversations between the participating companies and potential local partners, held with the ultimate goal of identifying future partnership opportunities. The delegation was joined by U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration officials Alan Turley, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for China and Mongolia, and Zhen Gong Cross, Head of Mongolian Affairs. The representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce and representatives from Ag World International, The Blueshirt Group, Danaher Corporation, Global Star Inc., and Waters Corporation held a series of productive engagements with key Mongolian stakeholders. The Trade Mission was made possible with strong support from the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, under the leadership of Chargé d'Affaires Manuel Micaller, and other stakeholders. The Trade Mission has laid a strong foundation for the participating companies to establish business relations in Mongolia, and for other American businesses to consider Mongolia as an investment destination in a range of other sectors in the future. ^ top ^

President of Mongolia awarded international Nicholas Roerich Prize (Montsame)
Each year, recipients of Nicholas Roerich Prize are announced by the Roerich Heritage Fund. Nicholas Roerich was famous painter, writer, archaeologist, philosopher, who made a significant contribution to culture. The President of Mongolia Kh.Battulga was awarded the international Nicholas Roerich Prize for 2018. It is the first time in 16 years for a state head to receive the award. President Kh.Battulga was awarded the prize for: Supporting archeological discovery of Xiongnu noble tombs from BC 110 at 'Gol Mod II', located at Undur-Ulaan sum of Arkhangai aimag Building the Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue complex and the 13th Century Mongolia complex Starting the 'Maidar' project in aims of creating cultural immunity for Mongolians through culture and beginning the creation of the 54-meter tall statue of Buddha Maitreya The award ceremony took place in Russia on October 13, 2018. The award was received by the Deputy Chief of the President's Office G.Baigalmaa on behalf of the President. ^ top ^

Deputy PM holds bilateral meetings (Montsame)
On October 11, while participating in the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO member states, Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin held bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the meeting with Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kokhir Rasulzoda, Deputy PM U.Enkhtuvshin emphasized Mongolia's policy of developing friendly relations and cooperation with Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan. The sides discussed on boosting bilateral ties, especially deepening trade and economic cooperation and exchanged views on cooperating in agricultural and energy sectors. At the meeting with the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Muhammetkaliy Abulgaziyev the parties highlighted achievements in relations and cooperation between the two countries, exchanging views on elevating bilateral friendly ties in all potential fields and deepening cooperation in the spheres of trade, economy, tourism and emergency. The views on the issues of expanding the scope of Mongolia-Kazakhstan relations and economic cooperation, intensifying political talks and increasing frequency of the mutual high-level visits were discussed at the meeting with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakhytzhan Sagintayev. The Deputy Prime Minister noted the significance of further close cooperation between corresponding bodies for realizing decisions made at the 7th Meeting of Intergovernmental Commission between Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Moreover, the sides touched upon specific issues such as increasing citizens' travel and sharing experiences regarding free zone operations.  ^ top ^


LEW Mei Yi
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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