Archive for the ‘domestic’ Category

China: Protecting domestic economy is top priority

November 11, 2008

China’s government indicated Tuesday it would resist pressure to contribute to a global bailout fund, saying that ensuring the country’s economic stability is the most important step it can take to tackle the financial crisis.

President Hu Jintao is due to attend next weekend’s summit in Washington of leaders from 20 major economies to discuss a response to the crisis. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on China, which has nearly $2 trillion in reserves, and oil-rich Middle Eastern nations to fund the bulk of an increase in an IMF bailout fund.

Associated Press

“We should put our own house in order and we should stabilize our own financial market and maintain market order,” said a foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang. “I believe this is the most effective contribution China can make to tackling this financial crisis. It will help to maintain the sound and steady development of the world economy.”

Graphic charting China's consumer price index, which hit ... 
Graphic charting China’s consumer price index, which hit a 17th-month low of 4.0 percent in October(AFP/null)

China, the world’s fourth-largest economy, unveiled a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package Sunday, which Premier Wen Jiabao said was its “biggest contribution to the world.”

The plan calls for higher spending through 2010 on airports, highways and other infrastructure, more aid to the poor and farmers and tax cuts for exporters.

Economic growth slowed to 9 percent in the last quarter, down from last year’s stunning 11.9 percent rate and the slowest growth in five years. Export orders have fallen sharply as global demand weakens, leading to layoffs and factory closures.

Rights groups push China on press freedom for local media

October 18, 2008

Rights groups and media experts on Saturday gave a cautious welcome to China’s decision to allow foreign reporters greater freedom and urged Beijing to extend the same rights to domestic journalists.

By Marianne Barriaux, AFP, Beijing

China announced late on Friday that greater freedoms introduced for the Olympic Games for foreign reporters would be extended, giving them the right to interview consenting Chinese without first seeking government permission.

The rules were first introduced on January 1 last year as part of China’s Olympic media freedom commitments, but had been due to run out on Friday.

Domestic journalists, however, were not affected by the rules and were still laden with strict reporting restrictions — a fact deplored by rights groups and media experts.

Human Rights in China, a New-York based activist group, urged the Chinese government to also extend these freedoms to domestic reporters.

“The Chinese government should answer the calls of its own people,” said group executive director Sharon Hom.

“It should respect its own constitution which guarantees press freedom, a right that many Chinese journalists and writers have paid — and are paying — a great price to exercise.”

David Bandurski, a researcher for the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong, said the issue of press freedom in China was determined by domestic media policy rather than rules governing foreign reporters’ work.

“This is not going to have any appreciable impact on domestic journalists,” he said.

“This is really about China’s international image. China has decided that the international benefits they are going to get in terms of their image of openness are sufficient to outweigh any negative coverage they might get.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081018/wl_afp/china
mediarightsoly2008_081018094742

China extends Olympic media freedoms for foreign press

October 17, 2008

China has extended the openness rule for international media put in place for the Olympics…but domestic news people will still be under tight restrictions…

Chinese journalists from Xinhua News Agency work at their office ... 
Above: Chinese journalists from Xinhua News Agency work at their office in the Main Press Centre (MPC) in Beijing in August 2008. China on Friday announced it had extended rules introduced for the Olympics allowing foreign reporters greater freedoms, but there was no easing of restrictions for domestic press.(AFP/File/Jewel Samad)

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Friday announced it had extended rules introduced for the Olympics allowing foreign reporters greater freedoms, but there was no easing of restrictions for domestic press.

The move means that foreign journalists will continue to be able to carry out interviews and travel around China with greater ease, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters at a late night press conference.

“This is not only a big step forward for China in opening up to the outside world, for the foreign journalists it’s also a big step,” Liu said.

The previous rules, introduced on January 1 last year as part of China’s Olympic commitments to give foreign reporters more freedoms, were set to expire on Friday, two months after the end of the Beijing Games.

As was the case during the Olympic period, foreign reporters will have the freedom to conduct interviews with consenting Chinese, rather than having first to seek government permission, Liu said.

Journalists will also be allowed to report outside the city in which they are officially based, rather than having to get authorisation.

However, reporters will continue to have to seek permission from local authorities to gain access to the sensitive Himalayan region of Tibet, where the military quelled protests against Chinese rule in March.

Liu also confirmed that, as was previously the case, the rules did not apply to domestic media and Chinese nationals would remain barred from working for foreign media organisations as journalists.

“We have to say that the conditions are not mature for Chinese citizens to become journalists alongside foreign journalists,” Liu said.

China’s ruling Communist Party seeks to maintain strict controls on the flow of information within the country, and the domestic press are kept on a tight leash.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081017/wl_afp/china
mediarightsoly2008_081017180029

Tibet unrest colors Taiwan elections

March 22, 2008
By PETER ENAV, Associated Press Writer 

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Voters were deciding Saturday whether to stick with a party that has struggled to improve ties with rival China or switch to one promising peace with the island’s giant neighbor.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou shakes hands with supporters as he parades through neighborhoods of Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, March 21, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential candidates Ma and ruling party Democratic Progressive Party’s Frank Hsieh are canvassing the island one day before Taiwan will hold its fourth directly-elected presidential poll on Saturday, March 22, 2008.(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Just two weeks ago, opposition candidate Ma Ying-jeou seemed ready to cruise to victory, promising to improve relations with China and even work toward a common market with the Communist country.

But ruling party candidate Frank Hsieh appears to have been closing the gap. His party used the last day of campaigning to fan outrage over China’s crackdown in Tibet.

Hsieh warns that China’s crackdown in Tibet could be replicated in Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949. Beijing still considers the island to be part of its territory and has threatened to attack if Taiwan rejects unification and seeks a permanent break.

“If Ma is elected, Taiwan’s future will be in danger,” Hsieh told a cheering crowd at a rally Friday in the southern city of Chiayi. “It will be the same for China to attack Tibet or Taiwan because it will be China’s domestic issue.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_re_
as/taiwan_presidential_election;_ylt=AhO
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