Sunday, 26 March 2006

International Trade

A spokesman of China's Ministry of Commerce said that China was "unhappy" about the EU decision to impose duties of up to 19.4 percent on leather shoes. He maintained that Chinese shoemakers were not dumping and "have not caused substantial damage" to European shoemakers.

See previous post.

International Loan

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Japan should have consulted China before it decided to suspend an agreement on yen loans with China. Japan said the loans were frozen because of worsening relations between the two nations.

United Nations

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that China "firmly" opposes Japan's proposal to revise UN dues assessments that would set a minimum rate for permanent members of the Security Council. He said the principle of capacity to pay was the basic principle in allotting UN fees. "As China's economy grows, China is willing to make a greater contribution," he said.

See previous post.

Recognition -- Diplomatic Relations

Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said Vatican was ready to make concessions over the appointment of mainland bishops in exchange for diplomatic ties with Beijing. Taiwan's envoy to the Holy See said Cardinal Zen's remarks were "harmful" and "frustrated" Taiwan.

Sunday, 19 March 2006

United Nations

China offered a compromise on a UN statement aimed at reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions. China's UN ambassador suggested that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran's compliance to the IAEA board and the Security Council simultaneously. "We need to send a message ... that the Security Council is supporting reinforcing the role of the IAEA, not to replace or take it over from IAEA," he said.

Nationality -- Legal Consequences

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that China would accept illegal immigrants repatriated from other countries so long as they are Chinese nationals and originated from mainland China. Earlier, an American official said China had refused to accept as many as 39,000 Chinese illegal immigrants from US.

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Human Rights

China declared support for the creation of the new UN Human Rights Council. China's representative said that the human rights issue should be dealt with in an impartial and non-selective manner to avoid double standards and politicization and that should "become the guidelines for the future work of the council so as to avoid the reoccurrence of political confrontation at the Commission on Human Rights."

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

United Nations

US and Japan have made new proposals on the payment of UN membership fees, which would all increase China's share. The Chinese delegate said the Japanese proposal is politically motivated and unacceptable to China.

See previous post.

Territory -- Indian Border

China and India ended the seventh round of border talks, with the Indian representative saying, "If we make progress at the rate we are progressing, a solution will be found in two or three more rounds of talks." China and India make territorial claims against each other and analysts say that exchanging disputed territory is the only solution to the problem.

Monday, 13 March 2006

Human Rights -- Death Penalty

China's top judge ruled out the possibility of abolishing death penalty in China, but stressed the necessity to apply death sentences in a more prudent and cautious manner. He said Chinese courts will start from this year to open court sessions when hearing death sentence trials in second instance. A Chinese court spokesman said that China should preserve death penalty because it is still in its initial stage of socialism and a developing country, where many people still believe in the principle that "a killer should pay the victim with his life."

Environment -- Water Pollution

China and Russia agreed that the thawing of the Songhua River, which was heavily polluted by a benzene spill in November in China's Jilin province would not cause a second incident of pollution next spring.

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Recognition -- Taiwan

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said China was shocked by remarks made by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso, which called Taiwan a law-abiding "country." The Japanese Foreign Ministry denied there was any change in Japan's one-China policy.

Later, the Chinese Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest against Japan, demanding Japan to abide by the principles of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement.

Saturday, 11 March 2006

Reparation -- Japanese War Reparation

The Nagano District Court in Japan dismissed a civil claim filed by a group of Chinese who were forced to work on construction projects in Japan during World War II. The court said the Japanese government and companies had committed an illegal act by bringing the Chinese to Japan against their will and forcing them to work, but the deadline for filing compensation claims (usually 20 years under Japanese law) had expired.

See previous post.

Diplomatic Relations

China's ambassador Wang Yi ignored a summons to Japan's Foreign Ministry where Japan wanted to lodge a protest after China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing called Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's trips to Yasukuni Shrine as inexplicably "stupid." Wang said he was busy and the protest was eventually communicated over the phone.

United Nations

Japan proposed to the UN to cut its contribution to the UN budget and have China and Russia substantially increase their payments. A Japanese diplomat denied there is any link between the proposal and Tokyo's quest for a permanent Security Council seat. China currently pays 2.1% of the UN budget.

Human Rights

The US State Department published its annual report on human rights situations around the world and said that rights conditions had worsened in China in 2005, reversing a modest trend toward improved respect for rights that the department had observed earlier. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected the US report, claiming that Chinese people are "satisfied" with China's human rights progress.

In response to the American report, the Information Office of the Chinese State Council issued a 2005 report on the human rights record of the US, accusing the US of "hypocrisy and double standard on human rights issues". "The issue of human rights should become a theme of social development in all countries and of international cooperation, rather than a slogan for exporting ideologies or even a tool of diplomacy to fix others out of one's own political needs", the report concluded.

Law of the Sea

Japan rejected China's proposal to jointly develop gas fields near the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku) islands in the East China Sea. Japan has put forth its own plan to jointly develop gas fields in the East China Sea, but the plan does not include the contentious islands.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman later maintained that the Chinese proposal takes the actual situation of the East China Sea into consideration and is "very reasonable". He said that the drilling conducted by China on the East China Sea occurred in the Chinese waters not subject to any dispute with Japan.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Consular Protection

A Hong Kong resident who claimed she was falsely arrested in Pakistan alleged that the Chinese embassy refused to help her because she was using a British National (Overseas) passport. A Hong Kong Government spokesman said that any Hong Kong "citizen" could contact the Chinese embassy or the Hong Kong Immigration Department for help while abroad regardless of their passport.

Secession -- Taiwan

Xinhua reported that media and governments of several foreign countries and UN officials denounced Chen Shui-bian's secessionist move and reiterated their support for the one-China principle. But the countries that were involved do not appear to form an impressive list -- North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Afghanistan. A North Korean commentary declared the Taiwan secessionist move as "a criminal conspiracy" to damage regional peace and stability.

See previous post.

Tuesday, 7 March 2006


A senior Chinese official said that China made substantial progress over the past few years in judicial cooperation with foreign countries in apprehending and extraditing its corrupt officials. He said that Lai Changxing, the top fugitive in a US$10b smuggling case, would be extradited from Canada "in three to five months".

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Secession -- Taiwan

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian announced that the island's National Unification Council would "cease functioning" and the National Unification Guidelines would also cease to apply. Chen declared that "Taiwan has no intention of changing the status quo."

The Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of China issued a joint statement condemning Chen's move. "The level and danger of 'de jure independence' activities, pushed by Chen Shui-bian through 'constitutional reform', continues to rise," it warned. President Hu Jintao later denounced it as a "dangerous step" toward Taiwan independence.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman urged the US to stick to the commitments on Taiwan question and to take substantial efforts to oppose Taiwan independence.

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Air Law -- Carrier's Liability

China's General Administration of Civil Aviation issued new rules on limitations on air carrier's liability in domestic flights. The limit on the liability to passengers was raised to RMB400,000, which is still considerably lower than the international standard. A government official explained that that is because international flight passengers generally enjoy higher income than domestic flight passengers.