China ready to work with others at G20 – FM
Updated: 2009-03-07 12:05Comments(17)PrintMail
China is ready to work with the United States and other countries at the Group of 20
summit in London in April in an effort to put the world economy back on track, Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi said Saturday.
Yang made the remarks at a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on
the sidelines of the ongoing session of the National People's Congress, China's parliament.
"The pressing task now is that all countries must work together to make the upcoming
financial summit in London a success," Yang told the reporters.
The top Chinese diplomat hoped the summit can boost confidence, strengthen
coordination on macroeconomic policies, stabilize financial markets, and kickstart
necessary reforms in the global financial system and regulatory regime.
President Hu Jintao will meet Barack Obama for the first time since his US counterpart took
office in January on the sidelines of the April summit in London, according to Yang.
Beijing is ready to work with the new Obama administration to improve bilateral ties,
especially against the backdrop of worsening international financial crisis, he added.
"China and the United States share broad common interests."
Dalai Slammed for "Greater Tibet" Attempt
The minister warned against secessionist activities by the Dalai Lama and called for an
international understanding of Beijing's position on this matter.
The Dalai Lama attempted to establish the so-called Greater Tibet on a quarter of the
Chinese territory, driving away all the Chinese people of other ethnic groups who have
been living in Tibet for generations, Yang told the reporters.
"Would Germany, France or other countries accept that a quarter of their territory be
separated," asked he.
Yang went on to urge other countries not to allow the Dalai Lama to visit their countries.
"It's not a matter of doing a favor to China, but rather an obligation under the basic
principles of international relations."
Beijing's difference with the Dalai Lama has nothing to do with religion, human rights,
ethnic relations or culture, he said, adding that Dalai is "by no means a religious figure, but
a political figure."
The self-claimed Buddhist was behind the violent riots, which killed at least 18 civilians and
caused tremendous trouble to the people's life in Lhasa last March.
France Urged to Make Positive Steps
Turning to ties with France, Yang urged the European country to make 'positive' signs to
mend the soured bilateral relations, saying China was not to blame for the current
But he said he is fully confident about the long-term development of the Sino-French
Bilateral relations suffered a setback after French President Nicolas Sarkozy met the Dalai
Lama in Poland in early December, despite strong protest from China.
The recent auction of the looted bronze rabbit and rat heads sculptures by Christie's in
Paris 'added more salt to injuries' when the two counties were acting cautiously to repair
"China has the right to recover them," the Yang claimed, reiterating the Chinese
government's opposition to the relics' auction.
Such an auction was "immoral", he said.
The bronze rabbit and rat heads sculptures were looted from Yuanmingyuan, or the Old
Summer Palace, by Anglo-French allied forces during the Second Opium War in 1860.
China had tried repeatedly to dissuade Christie's from auctioning them. But the efforts
Stronger ties with Russia
On relations with another major world power Russia, Yang pledged practical cooperation
cooperation in various fields, including energy, and science and technology, as the two
countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
He called a recent agreement on oil pipeline project a "mutually beneficial and win-win
result". Under the deal signed in February, China will lend US$25 billion to Russia in
exchange for a 20-year oil supply starting from 2011 with a total volume of 300 million tons.
Two countries, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, should
join hands to promote world multi-polarity and greater democracy in international order, he
"We should make greater contribution to promoting world peace, stability and
Sound Africa Ties
Responding doubts about China's foreign policy in Africa, the minister said China-African
cooperation is mutually beneficial.
He refuted speculations that China's relations with Africa are 'energy- or wealth-oriented'.
"You could ask those African countries that have no oil or natural gas, would they evaluate
China higher or other countries higher," he said.
The two sides' cooperation in the energy industry helped African countries translate their
resources into economic advancements, according to Yang. The two sides should continue
it, he added.
On the Darfur issue, Yang urged all parties concerned should make positive contributions
to facilitate the solution instead of doing the opposite. China hopes to see an early solution
to the Darfur issue through dialogue and peace talks.
China-Japan Food Safety Cooperation
Talking about last year's tainted dumpling case, Yang called for the launch of a long-term
cooperation mechanism on food safety between China and Japan, saying China took food
safety issue very seriously.
Ten Japanese suffered stomachaches and vomiting last January after consuming frozen
dumplings made in China, reportedly tainted by pesticide residue. A probe last February
indicated that the poisoning is an individual, deliberate incident only.
The Chinese side is determined to continue the investigation until the case is resolved,
Yang said, adding that the Japanese side's cooperation is important.
Other Highlights of the Press Conference include:
Six-party Talks on Korean Nuclear Issue
Minister Yang urged concerted efforts to advance the six-party talks on the Korean
Peninsula nuclear issue, saying the most important task now was to advance the talks to a
He admitted the talks encountered difficulties at present. "Having difficulties is normal in
handling a complicated problem."
"The important thing is that all parties should act according to the agreement made on
September 19, 2005, and join hands to fulfill the second phase action plan at an early date,
and advance the talks to the third phase."
Yang also noted that China is following the development after Pyongyang announced the
test fire of a communication satellite.
"We express our concern ... We hope that all parties will do more things that are helpful,"
FTA Talks with ROK
The minister said that Beijing and Seoul should start negotiations on launching Free Trade
Area as early as possible.
A further expansion of the bilateral market would be helpful to boosting Asia's confidence in
combating the global financial crisis.
China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) should set an example of opposing
protectionism on trade and investment.
Beijing to Help HK, Macao through Crisis
With strong support from the central government, people in Hong Kong and Macao will
succeed in combating against the financial crisis, Yang claimed.
He said his ministry is committed to supporting the regions in their multilateral exchanges
in the combat against the financial crisis.
Hong Kong officials will join the Chinese delegation for the London summit after their
presence at the Washington financial summit last year, he said. "Beijing support
government officials and people in the two regions to participate in overseas multilateral
China's top legislature ends annual session
Updated: 2009-03-13 09:12Comments(2)PrintMail
Beijing -- The Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top
legislature, concluded here Friday morning after completing its nine-day agenda.
The meeting was presided over by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing
Committee. President Hu Jintao and other top leaders attended the closing meeting.
Nearly 3,000 deputies throughout the country attended the annual legislative session
during March 5-13 which called for unison actions to combat downturn amid the global
Observers believe the regular annual session is by no means "common" as it has issued a
nationwide "mobilization order" and deployed work for the nation in a year with the severest
It was the first parliamentary full session for China since the worldwide financial meltdown
started last year.
Lawmakers endorsed a government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao on
March 5 that called on the nation to promote economic and social development and
outlined an all-around stimulus plan to shore up economy amid global downturn.
Wen's report was approved with 2,824 votes from the 2,898 NPC deputies present at the
Wen said in the report that the country is "able to achieve" an economic growth at about 8
percent as long as right policies are implemented.
Prior to the ratification, the State Council, or cabinet, made 17 modifications, including
seven major ones, to the government work report according to the opinions of legislators
and political advisors.
While delivering a closing speech, Wu Bangguo hailed this NPC session as a "complete
He said NPC deputies have "earnestly" performed their duty according to the law and
actively put forward proposals.
The NPC session received 518 motions, covering economy, politics, culture, society and
ecology, according to Wang Wanbin, vice secretary-general of the legislative session.
Wu said, "The resolutions adopted by the session fully embody the unity of the (Communist)
Party's outlook and the people's will, and reflect a shared wish of people of all ethnic
The nation is still facing "hardships and challenges", he said, adding people should work
hard and strive to embrace the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China with new
At the closing meeting, the legislators also adopted resolutions on the national
development plan, budgets, and the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the
Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
The NPC is the highest institution through which the Chinese people exercise their state
In 1953, China held people's congresses at different levels. In 1954, the First National
People's Congress was convened, marking the establishment of the people's congress
system in China.
Wen: China ready to put forward new stimulus package
Updated: 2009-03-13 10:33Comments(0)PrintMail
BEIJING -- China has prepared plans to cope with even bigger difficulties amid the financial
crisis and is ready to put forward new stimulus package at any time, said Premier Wen
Jiabao here Friday.
Wen, while meeting press after the annual parliament session, said China has made
long-time preparations to tackle the impact of the international financial crisis.
The country has formulated plans to cope with even worse conditions and has reserved
plenty of "ammunition", he said.
"We are ready to put forward new stimulus policies at any time," Wen said.
All investment plans in China's four-trillion yuan stimulus package have been fully debated,
and would be open for public supervision, Wen said.
He said the stimulus package included many new projects, such as the housing projects for
low-income urban residents.
"We will provide housing to 7.5 million low-income Chinese in three years, and provide
better shelter for 2.4 million Chinese who still live in shacks," the premier said.
Meanwhile, he admitted that some projects in the stimulus package, such as roads and
railways, were included in the country's 11th five-year plan.
The 1.18 trillion yuan from the central government is totally new investment in China's
stimulus package, said Premier Wen.
He that the central government fund will be spent on promoting the people's well-being,
environment protection, key facilities and technology upgrading.
Wen said Friday that China's stimulus package plan was not fully understood by the world.
"Rumors and misunderstanding set the world stock market on a roller coaster ride," Wen
told reporters after the National People's Congress closed its annual session.
China has announced a 4 trillion-yuan (585 billion US dollars) two-year economic stimulus
package to boost growth and domestic demand, 1.18 trillion yuan of which will be funded
by the central government.
Employment top issue for NPCBy He Bolin and Xiao Yang
Updated: 2009-03-09 10:45 Comments(1) PrintMail
It looked at first like an acrobatic show.
On a chilly morning last week, a large crowd gathered in front of the National Agricultural
Exhibition Center in Beijing to watch 40 students from a Henan martial arts academy
perform traditional Chinese boxing and sword-dancing routines.
But the performers had not come to Beijing to entertain. They were looking for jobs.
Led by Party chief Xu Guangchun, in Beijing to attend the National People's Congress
(NPC), Henan was showcasing its talents: construction workers and security guards
trained by masters from Shaolin Temple, China's martial arts Mecca.
The reason for the first-ever exhibition was lost on no one. Some 2.5 million workers from
Henan are among the 20 million who have lost their jobs in China's coastal areas due to
the global economic slowdown.
The layoffs come at a particularly bad time for China, as a record 6.1 million college
students prepare to graduate and join the army of jobseekers.
Like Xu, the nearly 3,000 NPC deputies and the 2,237 delegates to the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) have one thing on their minds: jobs. Proposals
on employment account for about a third of all the proposals CPPCC members have put
In his report to the NPC on Thursday, Premier Wen Jiabao promised to add 9 million new
jobs this year and keep the urban registered jobless rate below 4.6 percent.
The registered urban jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent at the end of 2008, rising from 4
percent in 2007. However, that figure did not include the 20 million migrant workers who
lost their jobs last year.
Many experts have warned that the employment issue will be a hard nut to crack - perhaps
even harder than securing an 8 percent GDP growth during the global downturn.
"There are various means of raising the GDP, such as building infrastructure. But how
many permanent jobs can railway and road projects create? Probably not many," said He
Keng, a member of NPC's Standing Committee. Small businesses far outnumber colossal
infrastructure projects and can create many more jobs, he said.
"I know the central government is very concerned with employment and has taken many
measures. But if local governments focus only on GDP, without paying attention to
employment, they will miss the mark," He added.
Cai Fang, another member of the NPC Standing Committee, also warned of the danger of
a "jobless recovery". He said the government's US$586-billion stimulus package and its
plan to bolster 10 major industries will not necessarily solve the employment crisis.
"Most of the industries that will get government support are not labor-intensive. The central
government's incentives seem more attentive to big companies than small ones, which are
the mainstay of employment," Cai said.
Local governments are expected to map out their own stimulus plans, complementing the
central government's package. Cai called on local governments to focus on the service
sector, particularly small firms.
Meanwhile, China's labor minister Yin Weimin promised that his ministry will "make all
efforts" to address the country's tough employment picture this year.
Yin told China Youth Daily the ministry has planned a handful of measures to stimulate
employment, including tax cuts and subsidies for small employers, favorable loans for
individuals starting up new businesses, and training programs for job seekers and
Policy makers are already looking past the current crisis.
"Normally, a crisis like this leads to a new period of growth, which demands more and
better workers. If our country can manage to position its labor forces correctly now, we will
be ready to take advantage of new opportunities when they arrive," said Cai, the NPC
Standing Committee member.
While the debate rages in Beijing, millions of unemployed migrant workers face bleak
prospects at home. Many have started small groceries or poultry farms in their hometowns,
hoping to weather the economic storm.
At least, these workers have homes to return to and in many cases, plots of land to till. For
the estimated 6.1 million students who will graduate college this spring, the prospects are
Colleges have advised their graduates to lower their income expectations and consider job
offers in second-tier cities or even rural areas. Job services are warning clients to think
twice before switching jobs, lest they find themselves at the bottom of the employment
"I think it will take a while before the government's employment policies take effect. The
economy is not good, and we have to wait for employers to recover," said Hu Jie, who
holds an MBA from Peking University's Resource College. She graduated last summer and
just landed a job as an accountant after a half year's search. About one-third of her
classmates now have jobs, Hu said.
"My classmates started looking for jobs six months before graduation. I've heard the
graduates this year have to start a full year ahead," she said. "Hopefully in the future things
won't be so tough so that students can spend more time learning."