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
  3-6.6.2019, No. 771  
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Foreign Policy

China, Russia chart closer ties, stability (China Daily)
China and Russia signed two important joint statements, one to develop the lately upgraded bilateral relations and the other to promote world stability during President Xi Jinping's state visit on Wednesday. The statements were signed by Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow. The two leaders decided on Wednesday to lift the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for new era, and the two governments issued a joint statement on developing the lifted partnership.In the other statement, the two governments focus on reinforcing global strategic stability. Xi and Putin also witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents covering such areas as investment, 5G technologies, e-commerce, natural gas, soybeans, nuclear power and the Belt and Road. In talks with Putin, Xi said that both countries are facing changes in the world that were not seen in the past century. The people of both countries and the international community have greater expectations of China and Russia, Xi said. There is no end to the development of China-Russia relations, Xi said, adding that China would like to make joint efforts with Russia to bring more benefits to the people of both nations. Noting that this is his first state visit to Russia since he was reelected president last year, Xi said that the two leaders have maintained close contact in recent years. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the bilateral relationship is at its best in history, Xi said.In a written statement released after his arrival in Moscow for the three-day visit to Russia, Xi said China and Russia have created a role model of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between neighboring countries as well as between major world powers.In a joint interview with the TASS Russian News Agency and the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper ahead of the visit, Xi said the two countries have always firmly supported each other on issues regarding their respective core interests and major concerns.The president called on the two countries to enhance support for each other, seek greater synergy between their development strategies, expand areas of cooperation, and play a more constructive role in international affairs.Two-way trade between China and Russia hit a record high of over $100 billion last year. Major strategic cooperation projects have been steadily carried out in such areas as energy, transportation, agriculture, aviation and space.Xi said that the notable results of the two countries' business cooperation are especially valuable given the current complex environment of sluggish global trade and investment and surging protectionism in the world.China and Russia are making proactive efforts to bring their trade volume to a higher level and promote high-quality development in bilateral trade, he added.Xi will also attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and address its plenary session during the visit. ^ top ^

Canada voices 'real concern' about human rights in China on 30th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown (SCMP)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on Tuesday by expressing "real concerns" about China's human rights record, prompting a swift reaction from Beijing. Diplomatic relations between the countries have deteriorated since December, when police in Vancouver detained Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou on a US arrest warrant. Trudeau said Canada continued to call on China to "respect human rights, to respect the right to protest, to respect freedom of expression" and to end its mass detention of Uygurs and other Muslims. "We have real concerns about China's behaviour in regards to human rights and will continue to … call for better respect of human rights on this anniversary and every day going forward," he said on a visit to Vancouver. The Chinese government imposed an information lockdown on Tuesday. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada wanted Chinese authorities "to break the silence on these events by openly accounting for the Chinese citizens who were killed, detained or went missing". "Canadians join others around the world in commemorating the 30th anniversary of the violent crackdown against unarmed and peaceful citizens in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989," she said. Freeland said that under the Chinese constitution, citizens should enjoy freedom of speech, assembly, association and belief. She said that 30 years later, the struggle for basic freedoms continued for human rights defenders in China, including lawyers and journalists. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa said the remarks by Trudeau and his government were "gross accusations" and flagrant interference in China's internal affairs. "The Chinese side firmly opposes it and has made stern representations to the Canadian side. Any attempt to … destabilise our country is doomed to fail," the mission said. Relations between Ottawa and Beijing were at their lowest ebb since the Tiananmen Square crackdown after Canada arrested Meng in December. Chinese authorities detained Canadian former diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on December 10, soon after the arrest of Meng, and formally charged them last month with espionage. China has also sentenced two other Canadians to death and suspended imports of Canadian canola. "We deplore the arbitrary detention of Canadians and other political prisoners in China and we have made that point directly to the Chinese leadership," Trudeau said. ^ top ^

2019 China-California Business Forum opens in Los Angeles (China Daily)
The 2019 China-California Business Forum opened in Los Angeles on Wednesday, with the participation of more than 500 entrepreneurs and officials from China and the US state of California. Sub-national cooperation is one of the important foundations to support China-US relations. China is California's largest trading partner and contributes the biggest amount of Chinese investment, tourists and students among all the states of the United States, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping said at the opening ceremony of the forum."To develop further China-California cooperation, we need to further strengthen the role of the existing intergovernmental mechanisms to provide a more effective platform for business communities to engage in cooperation," Zhang suggested."We need to explore more opportunities to unleash the potentials for cooperation in different areas where we have respective strength and advantages," he added. The two countries also need to promote more dialogues and mutual learning between different cultures and civilizations by encouraging more people-to-people exchanges, the diplomat said."We believe that with our joint efforts and unwavering commitments, we will be able to find ways to overcome the current difficulties and bring China-US relations back to a normal and healthy track," Zhang said. In a letter read at opening ceremony of the annual forum, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said the forum "fully demonstrates the strong expectations of sub-national governments, enterprises and people of both countries on the sound development of their relations."The ambassador noted that California has been deeply involved in close cooperation with China in fields of trade, investment, tourism, education and others, benefits from China-US economic and trade relations. Cui mentioned that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations. Bilateral relations have developed with the dedication and contribution of generations of people and deserve to be cherished by the two sides. Noting that trade and investment with China and Chinese tourists are important to the state, Kounalakis said, "There are some challenges right now in the trade relationship between the US and China. Although the power to regulate trade rests with the federal government, California will continue to work to develop relationships and programs to promote trade and investment with China."According to Kounalakis, last year California, which has six tourism offices in China. ^ top ^

US will sell 34 surveillance drones to allies in South China Sea region to keep closer eye on Beijing's activities (SCMP)
ScanEagle drones, made by Boeing, will be sold to governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam for a total of US$47 million.The drones would afford greater intelligence gathering capabilities potentially curbing Chinese activity in the region. The Trump administration has moved ahead with a surveillance drone sale to four US allies in the South China Sea region as acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Washington will no longer "tiptoe" around Chinese behaviour in Asia. The drones would afford greater intelligence gathering capabilities potentially curbing Chinese activity in the region. Shanahan did not directly name China when making accusations of "actors" destabilising the region in a speech at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Saturday but went on to say the United States would not ignore Chinese behaviour. The Pentagon announced on Friday it would sell 34 ScanEagle drones, made by Boeing, to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam for a total of US$47 million.China claims almost all of the strategic South China Sea and frequently lambasts the US and its allies over naval operations near Chinese-occupied islands. Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims.The Pentagon said Friday's sales included spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training and technical services and work on the equipment was expected to be completed by March 2022. As many as 12 unarmed drones and equipment would go to Malaysia for about US$19 million. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country would buy eight drones, the Philippines eight, and Vietnam six.In 2018, US President Donald Trump's administration rolled out a long-awaited overhaul of US arms export policy aimed at expanding sales to allies, saying it would bolster the American defence industry and create jobs at home.That initiative eased rules for exporting some types of lethal as well as non-lethal US-made drones to potentially dozens more allies and partners.There is no armed version of the ScanEagle, but Insitu, the division of Boeing that makes the drone, also makes the RQ-21A Blackjack which is an optionally armed drone used by US Navy and Marine Corps. ^ top ^


Domestic Policy

China issues 5G licenses today (SCMP)
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued commercial licenses for 5G on Thursday, according to China Central Television.Four major telecom carriers -- China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network -- received the first batch of four 5G commercial licenses, said the report.As of May, Chinese companies account for more than 30 percent of all essential patents related to international standards for 5G, according to a previous China Daily report. The next-generation tech is expected to be at least 10 times faster than 4G, and its huge capacity to connect things will enable smart factories, self-driving vehicles and other applications, the report said.China's big three telecom carriers are forecast to spend 900 billion to 1.5 trillion yuan ($134 billion to $223 billion) in total on 5G network construction from 2020 to 2025, according to a report from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology. China is set to become the world's largest 5G market by 2025, with 460 million 5G users, according to a forecast by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, an industry group. ^ top ^

China announces new measures to support mass entrepreneurship, innovation (China Daily)
China will take various measures to push mass entrepreneurship and innovation, according to a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. The costs for mass entrepreneurship and innovation should be lowered via more streamlined administration while implementation of tax incentives for research and development are accelerated, according to the meeting. Apart from increasing support for building entrepreneurship and innovation platforms, the country will promote the industrial Internet and accelerate the application of Internet in such areas as medicare, elderly care and education. The country will also urge financial institutions to reduce financing rates and costs for small and micro firms, and encourage venture capital investment in entrepreneurship and innovation.Meanwhile, the meeting stressed that the sufficient supply of agricultural products was crucial to expanding consumption and maintaining economic stability. Accordingly, more targeted measures will be unveiled to prevent pests and African swine fever,ensure the steady production of soybeans, and stabilize the prices of fresh agricultural products including fruits and vegetables. At the meeting, a work report on flood prevention and drought control was made, and related authorities were asked to strengthen real-time monitoring and warning, make scientific use of flood-control projects, and formulate contingency plans for relocation and evacuation. The meeting also passed a draft law for curbing solid waste pollution, and agreed to submit it to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for deliberation. ^ top ^

Belt and Road land-sea development forum held in Chongqing (Global Times)
A Belt and Road forum concerning land and sea development has been held in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. The Belt and Road Forum for Interconnected Land-Sea Development is co-hosted by the Silk Road Think Tank Association and the Chongqing municipal government on June 2-4. More than 200 people, including around 150 foreign political leaders, scholars and representatives from the business community from France, Russia, Spain, Cambodia and Tanzania attended the forum. Participants reached broad consensus on land and sea development under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and adopted the Chongqing Initiative. The Initiative called upon relevant parties to give play to the comparative advantages of land and sea transportation, promote synergy between land economy and maritime economy, accelerate the integration of countries within this region into the global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain. It also called for the promotion of economic integration, interconnected development and achievements sharing, so as to gradually build a global partnership based on connectivity. "Chongqing has an important strategic position and obvious geographical advantages, which will play a unique role in the interconnection of land and sea development of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Chen Min'er, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee. "Chongqing will strive to play a supporting role in promoting the development of western China in the new era, play a leading role in facilitating the construction of Belt and Road and the green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt," Chen said. ^ top ^

Xi sends letter to World Environment Day celebrations in Hangzhou (Xinhua)
Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory letter to the World Environment Day celebrations Wednesday in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang Province, calling for joint efforts to promote green, low-carbon and sustainable development. "We only have one Earth. Protecting ecological environment and pushing sustainable development are our joint obligations," Xi said in the letter.While the international community is actively pushing for the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, countries are facing severe challenges including environmental pollution, climate change and declining biodiversity, Xi noted.He stressed that China has attached great importance to environment protection, acted on the understanding that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, and sought harmony between human and nature.Remarkable progress has been made as China included the building of an ecological civilization in the country's overall development plan, Xi said, adding China is willing to work with other countries on the path of green growth and make positive contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.China is the global host of the 2019 World Environment Day celebrations, and the main event is being held in Hangzhou in east China. ^ top ^

China unwavering on expanding opening-up: official (China Daily)
A high-ranking Chinese official has reiterated the country's stance of expanding opening-up and improving its business environment. China will remain unwavering in expanding opening-up, and welcomes overseas companies to invest or expand businesses in the country, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during a recent seminar with representatives of overseas-funded companies in Shanghai. Ning said the country would continue its efforts to improve the business environment and enhance protection of overseas investors' rights and interests.He said U.S.-triggered economic and trade friction had cast varying impact on the global economy, including Chinese economy, and on global industrial chain, including overseas-funded companies operating in China.Speaking of rising protectionism, Ning said China would face up to the challenges, open up to the rest of the world, maintain a stable industrial chain and gradually move up the value chain.The country will release its 2019 negative list for overseas investment this month, which will be further shortened, according to Ning. Restrictions will be removed concerning sectors that are not subject to the negative list in order to ensure that Chinese companies and overseas firms enjoy equal treatment, he said.The country will also unveil its 2019 industry catalogue for overseas investment, opening up more sectors and industries to overseas investors, according to Ning.Ning noted that China had a vast market and sufficient conditions to maintain stable economic development. China has ample room for maneuver in the international and domestic markets as final consumption contributed 76.2 percent to China's economic growth in 2018, while the China-U.S. trade in goods accounted for one-seventh of China's total foreign trade, he said.Ning said China's industrial cluster, infrastructure and talent constituted a favorable environment for the manufacturing industry, especially for high-quality and high-efficiency production.Expressing their unshaken confidence in the Chinese market, overseas firm representatives said their companies would continue to tap into the market and grow together with China. ^ top ^

Chief justice stresses better judicial service for Xiongan New Area (People's Daily)
China's chief justice on Wednesday stressed providing powerful judicial services for the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the building of the Xiongan New Area. Courts in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei should deepen the integration of judicial cooperation, so as to push forward all-round reform and opening-up in the region, said Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, at a Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei judicial forum. Zhou called for efforts to innovate judicial concepts, support pilot projects of judicial innovation, and establish a more convenient and efficient institutional mechanism to meet the needs of Xiongan New Area. Xiongan New Area, covering Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties in Hebei Province, is about 100 km south of Beijing, and a new area of "national significance" following the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Shanghai Pudong New Area. ^ top ^



Business event aims to seal more deals in Guangzhou (China Daily)
China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair is set to open its 16th session in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, on June 24, with a special package of measures and activities aimed at improving services and increasing the agreements signed.
The fair, also known as CISMEF, which was first held in 2004, has developed into one of the largest of its kind in China and has become a platform for overseas SMEs to enter the Chinese market, as well as for domestic SMEs to go global. An approved event of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, or UFI, the fair will be held from June 24 to 27 at Area A of the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou. As of May 30, a total of 2,568 stands, including 1,062 booked by overseas exhibitors had been confirmed. Delegations from 35 countries and regions, 23 of which are involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, are set to attend, as well as international organizations, said Wu Hong, deputy director of the fair's organizing committee.Fiji will become the first Pacific island nation to exhibit at CISMEF, together with two other newcomers - Uruguay and Ethiopia, said Wu. "CISMEF has won high recognition from SMEs worldwide and attracted their wide participation, as our international cooperation has been expanded in both scope and content over the past 15 years," Wu said. Malaysia will act as the co-host country for the second time, according to the fair's organizing committee. A total of 50 companies from the country have booked an overall exhibition area of 1,500 square meters to display their specialty food, culture and tourism products as well as educational services, Wu said. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, which promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability, will also co-host the fair for the third year in a row. Guangdong, as the host province, will invite 10,000 companies to seize opportunities and carry out procurement at the fair. Meanwhile, nearly 20 industry and trade associations will bring their member companies to the fair, while 14 professional corporate partners selected by the secretary department will invite at least 6,000 professional buyers to the fair, according to the organizing committee. A total of 13 countries and international organizations will dispatch official delegations to attend CISMEF this year, including Mexico, Fiji, Malaysia, Iran and Vietnam. The United Arab Emirates, co-host of the session last year, will introduce its SME fair in Ras Al Khaimah in November this year. There will be three matchmaking activities specially designed for SMEs from home and abroad, according to the organizing committee. More than 200 companies from nine domestic and overseas delegations will attend the fair, covering business areas of packaged food, cosmetics, jewelry and more. Some of the overseas delegations, including Malaysia, Fiji, UAE, Sri Lanka and Russia will organize commercial promotion conferences during the fair. The Fijian and Nepali delegations will stage artistic performances and folk dances while the Thailand delegation will hold a food festival. ^ top ^



Tibet expands air rescue services to improve emergency response (China Daily)
Big steps are being taken to enhance air rescue services in the Tibet autonomous region, officials said. Lhasa Xueying General Aviation Co began a project in 2017 to build three rescue bases, each with a flight radius of 300 kilometers, and it is nearing completion. The company has five helicopters at its Lhasa base and plans to add two more in the second half of the year, in Shigatse and Lhokha. "Air rescue allows a quick response in emergencies involving tourists, fire control, medical conditions and car crashes in remote areas," said Songtsen, executive vice-president of Lhasa Xueying General Aviation. "Helicopters fill a regional gap. They are part of a key attempt to link ground rescue with air rescue." Like many in Tibet, Songtsen uses one name. The aviation company is a joint venture of the Lhasa government and Nanjing-based Ruoer General Aviation Development Group, based in Jiangsu province. The project is part of the region's efforts to fulfill a central government plan to have a helicopter emergency rescue system in place by 2020. The company also provides services such as charter flights, air tours, air patrols, pilot training, airborne advertising, fire prevention and aerial photography. Xiao Jian, general manager of Tibet Yunying Medical Rescue, a company working with Lhasa Xueying, said air rescue is a major step for the region. "With insufficient air ambulance service in the past, the death rate from automobile accidents was high because ground rescue services could not reach the sites in time," Xiao said. Gao Daiquan, a neurologist at Lhasa People's Hospital, said it was good to have air medical rescue services in Tibet because the region's transportation network is not highly developed. "It is crucial for transferring patients, especially people with traumatic injuries or childbirth emergencies," Gao said. "I hope it will work well with different hospitals and city emergency departments and play a key role in the city's overall first-aid service," Gao said. The Tibet Red Cross Society 999 Emergency Rescue Center established the region's first aviation rescue team in 2017 and has made many lifesaving flights. Ma Jun, the center's director, said teams have undertaken 23 mountain rescues in Tibet and helped local police in multiple operations in the Lhasa Kyichu River. Ma said Lhasa Xueying has the helicopters, while the center can provide professional medical crews, including air rescue doctors licensed in Europe and sophisticated air rescue medical equipment. "We will work with Lhasa Xueying to carry out professional air rescue work," Ma said. ^ top ^



Commemorating Tiananmen Square, US secretary of state condemns China's human rights record (SCMP)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a vehement condemnation of China's human rights record on Monday – just seconds after June 4 arrived in Beijing, marking three decades since Chinese troops opened fire on demonstrators calling for democracy. "We urge the Chinese government to make a full public accounting of those killed or missing to give comfort to the many victims of this dark chapter of history," Pompeo said in a statement issued at 12.01am Beijing time, almost 30 years to the hour after tanks rolled through the capital's centre to clear protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square. Since the crackdown – the death toll of which remains unknown but is estimated to be in the hundreds, if not thousands – the US had "hoped that China's integration into the international system would lead to a more open, tolerant society", Pompeo said. "Those hopes have been dashed," Pompeo, now on a tour of Europe, continued. "China's one-party state tolerates no dissent and abuses human rights whenever it serves its interests." Pompeo went on to insist that Beijing "release all those held for seeking to exercise these rights and freedoms, halt the use of arbitrary detention, and reverse counterproductive policies that conflate terrorism with religious and political expression." China's leadership has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing in its handling of the Tiananmen Square protests, and the subject remains taboo on the mainland. The country's authorities exercise a zero-tolerance policy to any mention or commemoration of the incident – a ban that extends to its social media platforms – with the only public honouring on Chinese soil of the weeks-long protests and their crackdown taking place yearly in Hong Kong in the form of huge candlelit vigils. In an unusual public acknowledgement Sunday of the events of June 4, China's defence minister supported Beijing's handling of what he characterised as "political turbulence". "The central government's measures to stop that turbulence was correct," General Wei Fenghe said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, in response to a question. "China has enjoyed stable development." Social stability and economic growth are frequently cited by Chinese officials whenever the government's human rights record is criticised, most recently concerning its policies in Xinjiang in northwest China, where around one million Uygurs and other largely Muslim ethnic groups are reported to be held in internment camps that Beijing calls "vocational training centres". Pompeo on Monday described those policies as attempts by the Chinese Communist Party "to strangle Uygur culture and stamp out the Islamic faith". In a statement marking the anniversary – and tying the Tiananmen Square crackdown to Beijing's current human rights policies – the Washington-based Uygur Human Rights Project called for "an end to the abnormality of the Communist Party's denialism through concerted action". "If there is one lesson we must learn from Tiananmen Square, it is we must not permit China to conceal its crimes against humanity," said Omer Kanat, the group's director. If Beijing were to issue a public account of those who lost their lives on June 4, said Pompeo, it would "begin to demonstrate the Communist Party's willingness to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms". Yet beyond tough talk from Pompeo and Vice-President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump's administration has not made human rights a prominent part of its dealings with China, even as tensions have grown on matters of trade and spread to numerous other fronts. Despite repeated calls from Congress and human rights advocates, for example, the administration has not issued any sanctions against Chinese officials under the Global Magnitsky Act, a tool introduced during the Obama administration that empowers the government to punish individuals deemed complicit in or responsible for human rights abuses. "What's uniquely concerning today is that unlike 30 years ago, when America stood with the brave Chinese people in the face of repression, we hear deafening silence from the White House at best, and voices fanning the flames at worse," Senator Bob Menendez said. The senator, a New Jersey Democrat and the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, accused the Trump administration of refusing "to stand up for human rights, the free press and democratic values", and vowed to "continue demanding Congress to step in to fill the void". Menendez is co-author of a bill now sitting in the Senate that if passed would demand, among other things, the creation of a Special Coordinator for Xinjiang at the State Department. Speaking in Washington at the National Endowment for Democracy, Menendez welcomed Trump's assessment of China as a "serious threat" and cited Chinese leader Xi Jinping's elimination of presidential term limits; Beijing's crackdown on civil society and human rights; the introduction of an "Orwellian system" of mass surveillance; and its military and economic advances across the world. "The China that challenges us today is the China that chose its path on those fateful days in June of 1989," he said. "Without a strategy, we risk letting China remake the developing world in its own repressive image." "Democracy will not defend itself," he said. "We must defend democracy." ^ top ^



Hong Kong's top court sides with gay civil servant in application for spousal benefit and tax assessment (HKFP)
The Court of Final Appeal has ruled in favour of a gay civil servant applying for spousal benefits for his husband – a major legal victory for Hong Kong's LGBTQ community. Angus Leung is an immigration officer who married his husband Scott Adams in New Zealand in 2014. The Civil Service Bureau refused to change Leung's marital status and grant benefits, such as medical coverage, to his husband, and Leung filed a judicial review in 2015. The top court on Thursday also approved another application from Leung that he and his husband be jointly taxed. In a unanimous decision, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma and four other CFA judges ruled that Hong Kong's civil service and Inland Revenue Department both failed to justify their policy towards Leung, and by extension other same-sex married couples.Differential treatment by a government body is lawful as long as it has a "legitimate aim," the policy is "rationally connected" to that aim and is proportionate. The judges wrote in a 32-page judgment that the protection of heterosexual marriage was a legitimate aim, but there was no connection between that and the policies of Hong Kong's civil service and taxation authority."How is it said that allowing Mr Adams medical and dental benefits weakens the institution of marriage in Hong Kong? Similarly, how does permitting the appellant to elect for joint assessment of his income tax liability under [tax law] impinge on the institution of marriage in Hong Kong?" The judges wrote. The government argued that the law should restrict financial benefits to opposite-sex married couples because Hong Kong laws only permit heterosexual marriage. However, on Thursday the judges criticised that reasoning as "circular."Despite affirming the Hong Kong's government stance on protecting heterosexual marriage, the top court did not take into account "the prevailing views of the community on marriage" because it said a majority consensus was irrelevant to whether a minority was entitled to fundamental rights.In 2017, the Court of First Instance sided with Leung in the spousal benefit application, with judge Anderson Chow writing that allowing benefits to same-sex partners would not constitute indirect legalisation of same-sex marriage. However, the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal last June, which said that the Basic Law favours heterosexual marriage and therefore it is not discriminatory for gay people to be excluded from marrying. Leung's appeal comes after the landmark Court of Final Appeal decision last July regarding lesbian expat QT. In a unanimous judgment, the court said that the differential treatment towards QT – namely denying her a spousal visa on the basis of marital status – amounted to unlawful discrimination.The decision on Thursday was met with jubilee from Hong Kong's LGBTQ community, with the first openly gay lawmaker Ray Chan quickly sharing the news with the hashtag "love wins."Advocacy group Pink Alliance congratulated Leung and Adams on their "hard-fought victory," saying that the government should do more to protect rights in the wake of the ruling."The judgement sends a clear message that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation will not be tolerated," Pink Alliance said."The government should stop burying its head in the sand and start working immediately with the LGBT community to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as to afford fair treatment to LGBT couples who are in committed loving relationships. Let's say no to prejudice and say yes to inclusion and marriage equality." ^ top ^

'More brutal than ever' China threatens Hong Kong freedoms, says wanted activist in Germany (SCMP)
A former Hong Kong independence activist now living with refugee status in Germany warned Tuesday, 30 years after the Tiananmen crackdown, that a "brutal" China is now eroding democratic freedoms in the former British colony. While the regime's bloody suppression of Beijing pro-democracy protests in 1989 shocked the world, "China is now more brutal than ever," asserted Ray Wong, 25, speaking in Berlin. "The free world must wake up… and defend the honour and dignity of Hong Kong," he said, arguing that the people of the special territory fear "becoming like Tibet or Xinjiang", two autonomous regions tightly ruled by Beijing.
Hong Kong enjoys freedom of speech and assembly rights unseen on the Chinese mainland under a 50-year handover agreement between former colonial power Britain and China, but many fear those liberties are being eroded. Wong and fellow activist Alan Li took part in Hong Kong's so-called "Fishball Revolution" of 2016 which saw the city's worst violence for decades, leaving scores of people injured and dozens arrested. The two men were due to stand trial on riot charges but fled Hong Kong in November 2017 and flew to Germany where they were granted refugee status about a year ago. Their asylum cases are among the first for dissenters from the semi-autonomous Chinese city, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.Wong said that the "one country, two systems" rule was under threat as Hong Kong looks set to pass a new law allowing extraditions to mainland China. "How can the Hong Kong government agree to extradite its own citizens if it knows they will likely be mistreated?" he asked. Wong was speaking at a German Greens Party event to mark 30 years since the Chinese pro-democracy protests were brutally quelled by tanks and soldiers on June 4, 1989, leaving hundreds, possibly more than 1,000, dead. Berlin-based Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, 61, praised Germany for taking in the "young democracy fighters" from Hong Kong.He too voiced concern that "recently the communist regime has applied pressure and Hong Kong has started leaning more and more toward mainland China".Ai said about Hong Kong that "in many, many ways they have started changing, even changing their law, which is very unfortunate", calling the proposed extradition law "extremely dangerous". The outspoken artist, who was detained by China's communist government in 2011, praised Germany for taking in dissidents despite its strong trade and investment ties with the world's second largest economy. "As we all know, Germany has strong relations with China, but at the same time Germany always acts with some principles, such as accepting me and also accepting the wife of (late Tiananmen protest veteran and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xia, and accepting these two refugees from Hong Kong."I think this sends the world a very positive message." ^ top ^



Hong Kong gov't's extradition bill concessions open can of worms over Taiwan's political status (HKFP)
Hong Kong's top officials appeared to be caught off guard after new concessions introduced to the government's controversial extradition bill renewed questions over Taiwan's political status. On Thursday, Secretary for Security John Lee announced amendments designed to reassure the city's business community and the general public following weeks of criticism. Lee said that extradition requests under the proposed bill must come from the central authorities in a jurisdiction, which – for mainland China – means the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate. Lee was immediately pressed to clarify which "central authority" may represent Taiwan, a self-ruling island whose sovereignty is disputed by China.
The Hong Kong government first proposed legal amendments in February to allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements. Officials claim the move was spurred by the case of Poon Hiu-wing, a pregnant 20-year-old Hong Kong woman who was killed during a trip to Taiwan last February. Her boyfriend Chan Tong-kai is now serving jail time for unrelated charges, and the government said it must quickly establish a legal basis to transfer Chan to Taiwan to avoid him walking free.On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that further discussion with Taiwan is needed to clarify the details: "After listening to the public's feedback, we adopted the international norm that [extradition] requests should be made by central authorities, instead of local ones.""We need to speak with Taiwan authorities to see which body would make such a request… we cannot say at the moment." Lee and the justice minister Teresa Cheng appeared at the legislature on Friday and were promptly challenged on the same point."Does Taiwan have a central government? Shouldn't you be treating Taiwan as a part of China?" asked pro-democracy camp convenor Claudia Mo.
Cheng replied that the legal mechanism must fall into place before deliberations with Taiwan can begin.Mo later criticised the officials for dodging the question, while People Power lawmaker Ray Chan said that the government knew full well that the revised bill could not deal with the Taiwan murder case.The pro-Beijing camp also seemed to be at a loss, with New People Party's leader Regina Ip saying she "was not familiar with Taiwan's system." Lawmaker Paul Tse added that Taiwan's situation is "very sensitive" and should not be "spelled out in black and white." Taiwan's body for handling cross-straits affairs, the Mainland Affairs Council, had already stated multiple times that it would not seek to extradite the murder suspect even if the bill was passed.The Council's deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng previously said that the extradition law may harm the rights and safety of Taiwanese people in Hong Kong, adding that the Council may go as far as issuing a travel alert for the city. ^ top ^

Taiwanese chip maker TSMC set to gain as others cut supplies to Huawei (SCMP)
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's biggest contract chip maker, is expected to gain from its decision to continue supplying to Huawei Technologies, according to analysts. The company on Tuesday reiterated that its shipments to the mainland Chinese telecoms giant "abide by the rules", after Washington blacklisted Huawei in a bid to cut off its access to American technology amid a deepening trade war between the two countries. Boosted by a sharp rise in demand from HiSilicon Technologies – Huawei's chip design subsidiary – TSMC should be able to achieve its second quarter revenue forecast of US$7.6 billion, up about 7 per cent from the previous quarter, market analysts said on Tuesday. The Taiwanese firm supplies advanced 7-nanometre chips to HiSilicon. But TSMC's performance in the second half of the year depended on whether Washington took issue with its decision – since the ban affects not just US companies but third-country suppliers – and if Huawei had difficulty finding suppliers of other key components for its products, they said. "TSMC's continued supply to HiSilicon and its advanced technology in mass-producing 7- and 5-nanometre products are the major reasons it could maintain an unchanged revenue forecast in the second quarter," analysts from Capital Investment Management Corp said in a note. According to Taiwanese media reports, Huawei accounted for 11 per cent of TSMC's total revenue in the first two quarters of this year and is among the chip maker's top three clients. Chips supplied by the Taiwanese firm are used in Huawei's home-grown Kirin processors for its smartphones. "But the Huawei case is not a short-term issue," the analysts said, adding more problems could emerge that might affect TSMC's profits. They included the possibility of mainland Chinese buying fewer Apple products over the Huawei issue, meaning TSMC – which supplies processors to both tech giants – could lose orders from companies involved in making Apple goods over the Taiwan Strait. Huawei is a leading developer of 5G technology, but if the US ban slowed progress it would also mean reduced demand for TSMC's chips, the analysts said. In addition, Huawei significantly increased its inventory before it was blacklisted by the US, and that could also affect orders from TSMC. The Taiwanese semiconductor firm on Tuesday said its decision to continue supplying chips to Huawei did not contravene the ban. "TSMC has comprehensive rules governing compliance management and due diligence for its shipments," said spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun, adding that the procedures had been carefully evaluated before the decision was made. She also dismissed media reports that a US commerce department representative had been sent to the TSMC headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan to check whether it had violated the Huawei ban. "It's absolute nonsense," she said. "How could it be possible that the US commerce department would directly visit a private company for something like that?" ^ top ^



China trade week opens in Kenya amid deepening economic ties (China Daily)
The fifth edition of China Trade Week Kenya opened in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi on Wednesday as more than 500 exhibitors showcased high-end manufactured products from the Asian nation.Eugene Wamalwa, Kenya's cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL opened the expo that is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors keen to purchase items ranging from textiles, electronic goods, home appliances to automotive parts."Kenya is a rising economy that is keen to strengthen bilateral trade with China through exhibitions as well as business to business forums," said Wamalwa."The China Trade Week presents a platform for us to exchange knowledge and ideas that can promote fruitful economic partnership," he added.The first phase of the China Trade Week which will run from June 5 to 7 and will showcase products used in the construction sector, textiles, packaging materials, furniture and water treatment technologies.Meanwhile, consumer goods, automotive parts, electrical appliances, IT solutions and agriculture machinery will be showcased during the second phase of China Trade Week to run from June 10 to 12.Zhao Xiyuan, minister counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya said that regular exhibitions are key to promote Sino-Kenya bilateral trade that has been on a growth trajectory in the recent past.David Wang, chairman of MIE Groups that organized this year's edition of China Trade Week said it will foster dialogue required to revitalize economic cooperation.He said the fifth edition of China Trade Week will also feature high-level workshops where experts will discuss innovative ways to boost China-Kenya trade in line with the Belt and Road Initiative.Zahoor Ahmed, vice president in charge of strategy and partnerships at MIE Groups said that Kenya is well placed to reap from the benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative that include enhanced trade, connectivity and cultural exchanges. ^ top ^

China's logistics services need to follow its manufacturing to expand overseas (Global Times)
US logistics giant FedEx, one of the world's top delivery brands, has surprisingly - and repeatedly - mishandled Huawei's packages. Regardless of whether there were any long-armed instructions behind the scenes, the incident should serve as an alarm bell to global companies about the safety of international delivery services.Courier services are different from other logistics services. If core technical documentation, business tenders and other business intelligence are stolen or damaged during delivery, it may cause irretrievable losses. As such, express delivery companies generally attach great importance to credibility, with emphasis on safeguarding customers' packages and information security. It would be shameless of a government to use state power to "hijack" corporate mail. Logistics is a basic link in the supply chain. Huawei may be able to switch to self-made chips after being cut off from US chips, but if something goes wrong with Huawei's logistics, will it have any contingency plan?At present, the international supply chain of consumer electronics products requires fast logistics like air delivery, but about 70 percent of the international delivery market in China is spread among the three major giants - FedEx, UPS, and DHL -with domestic courier companies like SF Express only accounting for a small share of China's international logistics market due to a lack of overseas service networks and air transport capacity. China's largest express delivery company SF Express has only 55 cargo aircraft, while FedEx, the world's largest, has a fleet of 680, and UPS has more than 500.Manufacturing is the soil that gives rise to the logistics industry, and the logistics industry is the guarantee for a strong manufacturing sector. However, during the past four decades, China's industrial development has been characterized by structural problems of valuing production over circulation and valuing manufacturing over service, leading to the country's relatively weak, small and scattered circulation services. Unlike Chinese manufacturers, most logistics companies are unable to tap the global market. China has maintained service trade deficits for 26 years, with transport and logistics being the industry with the second-largest deficit after tourism. Of course, a similar industrial imbalance also exists in other latecomer countries like India and Vietnam.Without the guarantee of modern logistics, it is difficult for China's manufacturing industry to move up the global value chain. In order to promote the joint development of the manufacturing and logistics industries, the National Development and Reform Commission in 2007 held the first joint development conference for the two industries. Yet the links between the two industries happen more at the domestic level, with little interactive development in going global. FedEx and UPS have worked with US tech giants like Microsoft and Google to explore the global market, thus staying strong together. By comparison, although China has well-known technology companies such as Huawei, ZTE, and DJI, it lacks the synergy effect from local logistics companies in terms of high-end logistics guarantees. Overseas collaboration between Chinese manufacturers and logistics services should first be reflected by strengthened cooperation in supply and demand as well as the supply chain. China is the largest buyer of international express logistics services, and its big market should give it a bigger voice in the industry. With more outsourcing orders from Chinese manufacturers, Chinese logistics companies will have more opportunities to grow. The two sides can build overseas warehouses together so as to enhance the synergy effect in the international supply chain. Meanwhile, the collaboration between Chinese manufacturers and logistics services could also strengthen security guarantees and emergency logistics support in overseas markets. China's private technology companies and express delivery companies have mostly grown up in a peaceful environment, with insufficient experience in crisis response. UPS, which was founded in 1907, has experienced World War I and World War II, while FedEx founder Frederick Smith participated in the Vietnam War. The advanced security systems and emergency logistics response of US companies offer lessons for Chinese companies. ^ top ^



North Korean official Kim Yong-chol, who was thought to have been sent to labour camp, appears at show, local media claims (SCMP)
The North's counterpart to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sent to a labour camp following the collapse of the Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi in February. A senior North Korean official reportedly purged after talks collapsed between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump appeared at an arts performance with the country's top brass, official media reported Monday. Kim Yong-chol, the North's counterpart to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in nuclear talks, was sent to a labour camp following the collapse of the Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi in February, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper had reported Friday. But late Sunday Kim Yong-chol was among the country's top leaders – including Kim Jong-un, his wife Ri Sol Ju, senior members of the ruling party and top military officers – at a "performance given by amateur art groups of the wives" of military officers, North Korea's official news wire KCNA said.A picture carried by the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed the official sitting five seats down from Kim Jong-un, with both his hands covering his face.South Korea's parliamentary intelligence committee in April said Kim Yong-chol had been censured over his handling of the Hanoi summit, despite the fact he had recently been named a member of the State Affairs Commission, a supreme governing body chaired by Kim Jong-un. But Kim Yong-chol's name was included among those named by KCNA as attending the Sunday event.Absent from the list, however, was Kim Hyok-chol, North Korea's special envoy to the United States who – according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper – was executed by firing squad for "betraying the supreme leader" after he was "won over to the US" during pre-summit negotiations.Kim Hyok-chol was the North's counterpart of US special representative Stephen Biegun in the run-up to the Hanoi summit.Some previous South Korean reports of North Korean purges and executions have later proved inaccurate ^ top ^

Defense chiefs of ROK, US hold talks over Korean Peninsula security situations (SCMP)
The defense chiefs of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States held talks in Seoul Monday over security situations on the Korean Peninsula, according to ROK's defense ministry.
During the dialogue, ROK's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan shared their assessment on the recent Korean Peninsula security situations, confirming their commitment to support for the bilateral diplomatic efforts for the complete denuclearization of and the peace settlement on the peninsula.Jeong and Shanahan agreed to strengthen close consultation and cooperation in various areas, including the sharing of information on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear and missile activities.The defense chiefs expressed worry about the DPRK's recent launch of short-range missiles, which came after the second summit between top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump ended with no agreement late in February in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.On May 9, the DPRK launched two unidentified projectiles, which ROK saw as short-range missiles, from an area in the northwestern region. It came five days after Pyongyang fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast.The Pentagon chief arrived here Sunday for a two-day visit after visiting Singapore to attend a regional security forum.On the sidelines of the forum, Jeong and Shanahan held trilateral talks with Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya over the peninsula security situations. ^ top ^



Mongolia-Canada roundtable meeting held in Ulaanbaatar (Montsame)
The 8th Roundtable Meeting on Intergovernmental Cooperation of Mongolia and Canada was held in Ulaanbaatar on June 4. The meeting was chaired by D.Sumiyabazar, Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry of Mongolia, and Donald Bobiash, Assistant Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada.The parties reviewed current state of bilateral cooperation in politics, defense, economy, trade, investment, mining, agriculture, construction, infrastructure, education, culture and humanities, discussing further actions. Minister D.Sumiyabazar emphasized that Canada has been actively supporting Mongolia's democracy and transition, becoming one of the major investors in Mongolia. It was also highlighted that Canada is an important part of the country's third neighbor policy.The sides noted that mining sector will remain as priority of bilateral cooperation and emphasized the importance of furthering diversification of economic cooperation, expanding agricultural cooperation and increasing bilateral trade.Mongolian side expressed gratitude for the fruitful programs implemented in Mongolia under the Development Program of Canadian Government. The parties exchanged views on improving effectiveness and expanding the scope of cooperation. Minister D.Sumiyabazar also expressed appreciation for the development of ice hockey in Mongolia, emphasizing the opportunities to expand relations and cooperation in winter sports and judo in the future, strengthening people-to-people relations through sports and cultural exchange.The parties have been organizing roundtable meetings alternately in two capitals every two years since 2003. ^ top ^

Training on human rights reporting held (Montsame)
In collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs organized a training themed 'Database on human rights reporting to international human rights mechanisms and monitoring implementation of the national guidance' on May 30-31 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government of Mongolia will introduce the third national report on human rights situation in Mongolia to the UN Human Rights Council in 2020 alongside submitting regular reports on implementation of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Convention against Torture and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the UN Committee between 2019 and 2020. Therefore, aim of the training targeted to strengthening capacity of officers of the ministries and agencies that are responsible for organizing works for ensuring implementation of the treaties and formulating reports. The training is significant to improve inter-sectoral coherence and coordination within ensuring implementation of guidance given by human rights treaty bodies. ^ top ^


Eleanore Sun
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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