Saturday, 28 February 2009


Jackie Chan comes out fighting for China's
sculptures after YSL sale

The Times, Feb 17 2009

Jackie Chan, the action film star, has thrown his weight
behind Beijing’s efforts to shame France over the sale of
two looted Chinese sculptures that were part of the Yves
Saint Laurent collection.

The bronze rat and rabbit, removed when British and French
forces sacked the Old Summer Palace in 1860, were sold for
¤14 million (£12.5 million) each to two anonymous bidders
last night, despite Chinese objections.

Mr Chan said France had behaved disgracefully in allowing
the sale. “They remain looted items, no matter whom they
were sold to. Whoever took it out [of China] is himself a
thief,” he said . “It was looting yesterday. It is still
looting today.”

The Rush Hour star accused Western countries of stealing
cultural relics from nations with ancient heritages such as
China, Egypt and Cambodia, while insisting they were doing
so only to preserve them. He said that he was planning to
make a film about the return of some of China’s stolen
national treasures, with filming scheduled to start next

China, mindful of President Sarkozy’s support of Tibet and
the Dalai Lama at the Beijing Olympics, has been eager to
highlight the issue. The bronzes were among 12 animal head
sculptures that formed a zodiac-themed water clock in the
palace of Emperor Qianlong. China has bought back 5 of the
12 but said yesterday that it did not plan to buy any more.
“That would give the ‘stolen’ goods a coat of legitimacy,”
the Old Summer Palace museum said.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


China help for Vietnam nuke power plant likely

By Xiao Wan (China Daily)

The Daya Bay nuclear power station operated by the China
Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co. [Bloomberg News]

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG), one of the two
main nuclear power plant operators in the country,
yesterday said it was in talks with Vietnam to help build
its first nuclear power project.

The company has signed a letter of intent with Vietnam's
main power company for the project, the Shenzhen-based
company said on its website, without giving details.

The project is to be located in Ninh Thuan, a southern
coastal province in Vietnam. It is designed to have two
1,000-mW reactors, said a CGNPG executive who declined to
be named.

The project is at an early stage now as it is still
awaiting the final approval of the Vietnamese government,
he said.

Vietnam, which has no nuclear power plants at present,
plans to build nuclear power projects with a total capacity
of 4,000 mW by 2021.

"Now we are competing with others, including companies from
Japan, for the construction of the project," said the

"Besides the Vietnam project, we are also in talks with
other countries such as Belarus," he said.

CGNPG started building the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in
December. The plant is expected to generate 45 billion kWh
of electricity each year.

The 70-billion-yuan plant will have six 1,000-mW units. The
first unit will start operating in 2013. All the units will
be finished by 2017.

China began building three nuclear power plants, at
Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong, last November.

This year, it will start constructing four nuclear power
plants, Zhang Guobao, vice-Minister of the National
Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an article
published in People's Daily. Of the four, two are in
Shandong, one in Zhejiang and the other in Guangdong.

Monday, 23 February 2009


China, Vietnam settle land border issue

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China and Vietnam Monday
marked the final demarcation of their land border at the
Youyiguan border gate in Pingxiang City in south China's
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The completion of the demarcation would be conducive to
peace and stability of the border area, promote trade and
exchanges, and push forward their comprehensive and
strategic partnership of the two countries, said a
statement from China's Foreign Ministry.

The 1,300-kilometer border starts at the junction of China,
Vietnam and Laos and continues along the Beilun River to
the coast. Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous
Region are on Chinese side, and Cao Bang, Lang Son, Dien
Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Guang Ninh are in

In the late 19th Century, China's Qing Dynasty and the
French colonial administration in Vietnam concluded a
treaty delineating the border. The border negotiations
started in the 1970s and were suspended later that decade.

In the early 1990s, China and Vietnam resumed negotiations,
and agreed to discuss a new treaty based on that signed in
the 19th Century. They finalized the land boundary treaty
on Dec. 30, 1999.They started demarcation work in 2001 and
finished late last year.

The China-Vietnam joint committee for land border
demarcation was established by both governments in November
2001. The committee was in charge of border demarcation and
marker planting as well as drafting a protocol on border
demarcation and marker planting.

The joint committee comprised 12 joint working teams. These
teams were responsible for on-site demarcation work. In
December 2001, the first marker on the border was installed
at the Mong Cai-Dong Xing border gate.

The two sides reached an agreement on the remaining issues
related to the land boundary survey on Dec. 31, 2008. The
agreement achieved the goal set by leaders of China and
Vietnam to complete the survey and the erection of boundary
markers this year.

During the eight-year effort, Chinese and Vietnamese
officials worked almost one million days on the demarcation
work and held 14rounds of meetings between the heads of the
two governmental-level delegations, 34 rounds joint
committee's meetings and 15 rounds of expert group
meetings, which enabled the completion of the demarcation
along the entire length of China-Vietnam land border with
2,000 border markers erected.

Advanced technologies were applied in the demarcation work,
such as the geography information, global positioning and
remote sensing systems, which ensured the accuracy of the
demarcation work and a clear borderline.

The outcome was achieved under the direction of leaders of
the two countries, said the ministry statement. It was also
the result of concerted efforts of government delegations,
experts, departments such as ministries of foreign affairs,
national defense, public security, finance,
survey-cartography and provinces along both sides of the

Working staff from the joint survey teams also contributed
to the success, working with extraordinary difficulties
caused by complicated landscapes and bad weather

The two sides resolved complicated issues in a frank and
friendly manner, said the statement.

By taking into account mutual concerns and trying to
mitigate negative impacts on the lives and production of
residents along the border, they finally achieved a
mutually beneficial result.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


UN: China on track for human rights

(Morning Star, Thursday 12 February 2009)

CHINA claimed victory on Thursday after a UN panel examined its human rights record and found it to be on track despite complaints over Beijing's use of labour camps.

Western countries had expected the 47-member Human Rights Council to slam China over allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners.

But the panel acknowledged China's ongoing efforts to boost human rights and it recommended that Beijing share its positive experience in promoting poverty reduction and human rights with other developing countries.

Valery Loshchinin, the Russian ambassador to the UN office in Geneva, applauded China's "big leap forward" in human rights protection, particularly by improving the social and economic conditions of ordinary people.

A representative from Pakistan described China's achievements as "unprecedented" and the representative from Gabon said that the review had enabled China "to show its progress."

Commenting on the UN panel's report, which was published on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu noted that most countries had endorsed China's human rights record.

"A majority of countries spoke highly of China's human rights policies and achievements and support China continuing along this path in line with its national conditions," Ms Jiang said.

But Britain, Mexico and Germany called on China to end torture and the sentencing of people to labour camps without trial, to abolish the death penalty, to guarantee freedom of religion and to respect ethnic minorities.

Ms Jiang accused them of attempting "to politicise the review" by making accusations that had been "rebuked by most countries."

Cuba also lambasted the "self-appointed human rights defenders" for "attacking the interests of the state and the people of China," while Sri Lanka rejected "malignant criticisms by those who tore China into little pieces in the period of colonialism" and noted that China had achieved independence and self-determination for its people.

Pakistan blamed the clashes during last year's anti-government protests in Tibet on criminals who had "disturbing links to external perpetrators with ulterior motives."

But Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a network of activists within China and overseas, said in a statement that it was "distressed by China's dismissive attitude towards critical comments by some UN member states and the general unwillingness of most member states to confront the human rights record of the Chinese government."

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Chinese premier ends European tour in London

LONDON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday left London, and flew back to Beijing, ending his week-long five European countries trip.

Wen arrived in London on Saturday for his three-day official visit. During his visit, Wen had talks with his British counterpart Gordon Brown on various issues, mainly focusing on the financial crisis. And Wen had broad contacts with people from political, business and financial circles of Britain, and he also delivered a speech at the University of Cambridge. Full story

Chinese premier expresses confidence in weathering crisis, calls for cooperation

LONDON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that he is confident China will weather the global economic crisis, calling for cooperation to tackle the financial storm.

The confidence comes from a correct judgment of the current situation, Wen said in an interview with the Financial Times. Full story

Wen: co-op top priority to tackle financial crisis

CAMBRIDGE, Britain, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday that cooperation to tide over global financial difficulties is a "top priority" and urged people to "see China in the light of development."

"To work together and tide over the difficulties has become our top priority," Wen said in his speech at the University of Cambridge, Britain, the last leg of his weeklong "trip of confidence" to Europe. Full story

Wen calls for serious reflection on existing economic systems, theories

CAMBRIDGE, Britain, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday called for serious reflection on existing economic systems and theories in the face of the current financial crisis.

The international financial crisis "fully demonstrates that a totally unregulated market economy cannot work," Wen said. "We must strike a balance between financial innovation and regulation, between the financial sector and real economy and between savings and consumption." Full story

Wen: Argument of big power bound to seek hegemony does not apply to China

CAMBRIDGE, Britain, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Monday during a speech at the University of Cambridge that the argument that a big power is bound to seek hegemony does not apply to China.

"Seeking hegemony goes against China's cultural tradition as well as the will of the Chinese people," Wen said, adding that China's development does not harm or threaten anyone. Full story

China, Britain issue joint statement on closer cooperation amid int'l financial crisis

LONDON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- China and Britain on Monday issued a joint statement, agreeing to strengthen cooperation and actively deal with the international financial crisis.

As two of the world's leading economies, China and Britain are crucial players in addressing the unstable economic climate, according to the joint statement issued after talks between visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Full story

Wen confident that China to keep growth at about 8% in 2009

LONDON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday he is confident that China will maintain economic growth at "about 8 percent" this year.

"China's GDP was at 9 percent as a whole last year, but in the fourth quarter of 2008 we also had a big decline and it fell to 6.8 percent," Wen told the Financial Times. "Our economy is under increased downward pressures and all this means that we are now facing great difficulties." Full story