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Briefings - 1038. page

Lower Domestic Product Standards Result in No Recalls inside China

VOA published an article that explored the reasons why there are no product recalls in China, while there have been constant recalls of China made products in other countries. According to Wang Hai from the Consumer Rights Group, one reason is that there is no recall system in China. Another reason is that the product safety standard, which is set by the manufacturers themselves, with little input from consumers, is lower than that in other countries. Moreover, the Consumer Rights Association is set up by the government and has only a limited ability to represent consumers. China is also lacking a 3rd party inspection agency that is independent from the existing ones run by the government. However, implementing the product safety policy may prove costly and the increased costs may result in many manufacturers not being able to survive.

Source: Voice of America, January 9, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-01-09-voa39.cfm

China’s National Defense Adopts a New Policy

In its January issue, the Mirror Monthly (Hong Kong) published an article titled, “China’s National Defense Adopts an All New Policy Of ‘Empower the Nation and Build Up the Military.’” The article reports the speculation about the “China threat theory.” It states that the Chinese military has ended its era of “endurance,” in which it let economic growth take the precedence. Thus military growth is naturally the next step. It is in line with the direction given by Hu Jintao in his report delivered at the Seventeenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to “grow the nation and military together.” The article used the GDP growth rate as the benchmark to justify the increase in military spending. It claimed that the military spending increase is far from meeting the existing demand and the western world ought to expect a larger increase in the future and shouldn’t be alarmed.

Source: Military China, January 8, 2008
http://www.milchina.com/Get/ping/010812165.htm

Hu Jintao: The Cultural Revolution was Ten Years of Internal Upheaval

“The Cultural Revolution was a ten-year-upheaval that brought tremendous defeat and loss to the party, the country and the people. China has lagged behind because of it. Only through the open door policy can China catch up and be equal with the rest of the world.” Hu spoke at a meeting held on December 17 in the Central Party School. Hu’s speech aimed at weakening the growing force that has been criticizing the open door policy due to the various social issues brought about since its inception 30 years ago. His speech further emphasized the direction of "following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics." Among the four generations of party top leaders, Hu is the only one who has openly shown his intolerance of the Cultural Revolution. His position is unlike that of his predecessors.

Source: The Dong-a Ilbo, Korea, January 2, 3008
http://china.donga.com/gb/srv/service.php3?bicode=060000&biid=2008010241398

China, S. Africa Establish Strategic Dialogue Mechanism

China and South Africa established a strategic dialogue mechanism on Monday, January 7, during Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi’s visit. Yang and his counterpart Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma agreed on the mechanism aimed to enhance high-level exchanges and promote long term political and economic cooperation. 10 years ago, S. Africa broke ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China. The visit marks the first African tour by China’s top diplomat in his post. It will be followed by trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.

Source: Voice of America, January 8, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-01-08-voa49.cfm

Bird’s Nest Designer Blasts Olympic Opening Ceremony

Ai Weiwei (艾未未), who contributed to the design of the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also known as the “Bird’s Nest,” said of the ceremony, “I’m afraid it’s going to be awful.” He was speaking in an interview for Friday’s issue of a German newspaper Hessische Allgemeine. “The Chinese government has chosen choreographers and directors who sacrificed their so-called art in favor of propaganda,” the artist and architect said. “They were taking part in a grand manipulation of the public.”

Source: Min Pao News, January, 5, 2008
http://www.mpinews.com/htm/INews/20080105/ca61452a.htm

Singapore and China Signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement

On Monday, January 7, 2008, in Beijing, Singapore and China signed a bilateral agreement on defense exchanges and security cooperation, formalizing on-going activities between Singapore’s Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). MINDEF says that it “marks a significant milestone in Singapore’s bilateral defense relationship and is a testament to the growing defense ties between Singapore and China.” The new agreement, written by Permanent Secretary for Defense Chiang Chie Foo and PLA’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General (LG) Ma Xiaotian, also includes new areas of cooperation such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. The deal was signed at the end of the inaugural China-Singapore Defense Policy Dialogue (DPD).

Source: Central News Agency, January, 7, 2008

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