05 Oct 2007

News Meeting on 5 October 2007

Keywords : central leadership, SOE, energy, Olympic, migrant, Three Gorges Dam, Tibet, anti-corruption, Article 23 Security Bill


  • Leftists have launched a fierce attack against former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and former president Jiang Zemin in a letter signed by 170 retired cadres. The lengthy letter submitted to the Politburo Standing Committee calls for the removal of The Theory of the Three Represents developed by the Jiang from the party’s constitution at the 17th National Party Congress that will open on October 15.
  • Two animated cyber police officers are patrolling internet users’s screens across guangdong, and police say those browsing illegal websites can expect to receive virtual warnings. Guangdong police also announced that members of the public who reported pornographic, gambling or swindling websites run from the province would be offered cash rewards ranging from 1000 yuan to 2500 yuan.
  • China has replaced the head of its air force and other military chiefs, official news media reported. The moves came ahead of party congress at which President Hu Jintao is expected to fill several top post with younger leaders loyal to his rule. Lieutenant General Xu Qiliang, 57 a former deputy chief of the general staff of the PLA has succeeded General Qiao Qingchen as air force chief, The China Daily reported. New chiefs were also appointed to five of seven main military regions among them the one surrounding Beijing and the Nanjing Military District, according to Xinhua.


  • Beijing is tightening the leash on state-owned companies selling shares overseas, with plans to ban simultaneous initial public offerings on the mainland and in Hong Kong. West Mining, a state-owned producer of non-ferrous metals,, and Bank of Beijing, scrapped their Hong Kong listing plans this year and switched to the A-share market. Beijing has encouraged A-share offers since informal guidelines on IPOs were unveiled late last year. Skyrocketing markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen have also helped win the argument for listing at home.
  • Beijing formally launched a state-run investment company. The China Investment Corp will initially have US$200 billion invest from total reserves of US$1.4 trillion, the largest held by any country in the world. Senior government leader Lou Jiwei, deputy general of the State Council, is the company’s chairman, Xinhua reported, but the company says it will be run solely on commercial lines.
  • The world’s largest toymaker, Mattel, apologised for damaging China’s reputation after its recent massive recalls of mainland-made toys, and admitted some had been recalled needlessly. Mattel has come under scrutiny following the recall of 21 million items in five weeks, many because excessive levels of lead in paint.


  • While Beijing has earned plaudits for its decision to phase out incandescent bulbs within 10 years, promoting the high-priced low-energy lamps to the public will be no easy task. The mainland makes more than 70 per cent of the world’s energy-saving bulbs, but the domestic market has remained weak because of their high price compared with that of conventional bulbs.
  • Beijing’s change in attitude towards the Three Gorges Dam project will win it political points, but the dilemma between the hydropower project’s economic benefits and environmental costs remain.Changjiang Hydraulic Research Institute senior engineer Gao Jin said serious problems since the dam began to fill last year had forced the government’s rethink. Massive landslides, rapid spreading of algae, drinking water crises in nearby villages and townships are things that can no longer be covered up he said.


  • The federal authorities in the United States have announced the exposure of a sprawling underground distribution network for steroids, human growth hormone and other illicit bodybuilding drugs supplied by 37 companies in China. The drug agency estimates that 99 percent of the illegal steroids orginate with chemicals from China. David Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees testing of the Olympics, said he was optimistic that any athletes connected to the investigation could be disciplined before next summer’s Olympics.
  • Shenzhen began a pilot scheme to issue migrant workers with a smart residency card. The card would enable their activities to be tracked through an integrated information platform linked to about 20000 surveillance cameras installed across Shenzhen. Computer chips embedded in the cards store a wealth of personal information from name, religion and marital status to address, educational background, job and medical insurance status, one-child policy conditions and contact number. The system was need to help curb crime and manage the migrant population.

Foreign Relation

  • China has urged foreign leaders not to meet the Dalai Lama after he met the Austrian chancellor during his week of overseas trip. Foreign Ministry spokewoman repeated the position stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel should not receive Dalai Lama. The Tibet issue was highlighted when Human Rights Watch reported seven Tibetan boys, aged 14 and 15, had been detained in northwest China after graffiti calling for the Dalai Lama’s return was found on the walls of a village police station and schools.
  • Authorities had not given hope of extraditing smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing, a senior legal official said, despite news last week that the Canadian government had dropped its appeal against a court ruling blocking his deportation. Chinese officials had urged the early conclusion of extradition agreements with more western countries to help repatriate fugitive corrupt officials, China Daily reported. Of the 29 countries with which Beijing has signed such treaties, only three – Spain, Portugal and France – are developed countries.


  • The controversy over whether the island would allow the torch relay ended – for now, at least when the International Olympic Committee announced in Taipei that the torch would not go to Taiwan. Taiwanese Sports Affairs Council chairman Yang Chung-ho refer to Beijing demand – when the two sides were about to sign an agreement – that the island not display national flags, its emblem or play its anthem while the torch was in Taipei.
  • The chairman of Taiwan’s ruling party resigned after prosecutors indicted him on graft charges, while the island’s vice-president – facing similar charges – said she would fight the allegations.

Hong Kong/ Macau

  • A policy paper published by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, a think-tank closely associated with the administration, said Hong Kong had been polarised between cultural preservation and economic development. The paper proposes forming creative clusters such as in the Central and SoHo areas. Creative clusters can also mean areas where production of the arts is concentrated, like the Dashazi 798 arts district in Beijing.
  • Thousands took the streets of Macau in a peaceful but politically charged National Day protest against government corruption, illegal labour and enactment of a deeply unpopular traffic law.
  • Regina Ip apologised to the public for personally making mistakes in her promotion of the controversial Article 23 Security Bill – but insisted she had just been doing her job – as she formally announced her intention to contest the Hong Kong Island by-election on December 2.