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Beijing Hires PR Firm to Handle “Olympic Crisis”

According to an article published by International Herald Leader, a newspaper under Xinhua, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) hired a public relation firm to handle "crisis management," although the name of the firm was not mentioned. The job of the firm was to respond to negative media reports about Olympic Game, arrange media to conduct interviews in Beijing or other places of China. The article stated three challenges faced by China before the Beijing Olympics: international critiques on Beijing’s support for Sudan’s dictator regime; quality of China exports; and large scale domestic social unrests.

Source: International Herald Leader, February 26, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/herald/2008-02/26/content_7669584.htm

Xinhua: Western Enemy Forces Who Are Pressuring Beijing Olympics Will Be The Losers

On February 21, Xinhua posted an article titled “Western Enemy Forces Who Are Pressuring Beijing Olympics Will Be The Losers”. The article was originally published on February 19 by Lian He Zaobao, the highest circulating Chinese daily in Singapore and the region, titled “What can the West Gain From Politicizing The Olympics” written by Zheng Yongnian.

Zheng claimed that “the West forces that are politicizing the Olympics will not gain any political values and the reforms in China will not follow the expectations set by the western world.” The article criticized the western democracy system and said “the democratic system is often accompanied by social turmoil and slower economic development or even endless racial conflicts in many countries.” Zheng wrote: “Holding the Olympics will help China to strengthen its soft power in the world.”

Zheng Yongnian, Columnist for Zaobao since 2004, is a professor at China Policy Institute of Nottingham.  He graduated from Beijing University in the 1980’s and went to Princeton University for his graduate program in 1995.

Source: Xinhua, February 21, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2008-02/21/content_7641296.htm

China Pressed Vatican to Ditch Ties with Taiwan

Ye Xiaowen, director-general of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, met with the Vatican’s Ambassador to the United States during his visit to Washington DC. Ye Xiaowen emphasized that Beijing’s terms were for the Vatican to switch diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan and for Rome to accept Beijing’s control over the Chinese church.

Beijing and the Vatican broke formal diplomatic relations after the Chinese Communists took power in 1949. Eight to twelve million Catholics in China are split between a state-sanctioned church, and an "underground" one. “Underground church” rejects government control and answers only to Rome.

Source: news.ifeng.com and Reuters, February 21, 2008-02-21
http://www.sara.gov.cn/GB//xwzx/xwfb/db5828f9-e047-11dc-adc6-93180af1bb1a.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080221/wl_nm/china_vatican_dc_1;_ylt=AsGanRTaQhiGOglueNo_KGRPzWQA

Hu Jintao Speak on Fundamental Tests to the Party

On February 18, China’s chief of Communist Party Hu Jintao gave a speech at a workshop attended by delegates from the Party’s Organization Department in Beijing. He stressed that the Party are under "fundamental tests on whether it could lead the people, whether it could maintain a close ties with the people, and whether it could become the core leadership of China’s socialistic course." The meeting was presided by Xi Jinping, a new member of the Standing Committee of the Polibureau. The meeting was also attended by He Guoqiang, another new member of the nine-member Committee.

Source: Xinhua, February 20, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-02/20/content_7633734.htm

Beijing Expresses Deep Concern over Kosovo Independence

China’s foreign ministry issued a statement on February 18 that expressed "deep concern" over Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. "The unilateral approach by Kosovo may cause a series of consequences and lead to severe negative influences on the peace and stability of the Balkan region," and “China always believes that reaching an agreement acceptable to both sides through negotiation is the best avenue to solve the problem,” said the statement.

Source: Xinhuanet, February 18, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-02/18/content_7621802.htm

Former Prime Minister Suffered Stroke

According to people close to the source, Li Peng, the 80-year-old former Prime Minister, suffered a stroke on February 3 and was sent to the 301 PLA hospital for emergency treatment. Li regained conscious after 48 hours of urgent rescue but is still listed in critical condition. He is reportedly to appear facial paralyzed.

Li’s name is closely linked to the Tiananmen Square Movement in 1989, when Li backed the use of force to suppress the student protest.  His last public appearance was at the opening ceremony of 17th National Congress in October 2007.

Source: New Century Net
http://2newcenturynet.blogspot.com/2008/02/blog-post_2004.html

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