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People’s Daily: Party Leadership is the Key for Realizing Socialist Democracy

This commentary article praised the speech given by General Secretary Hu Jintao regarding the path of the political reform in the Second Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China as "the intellectual foundation and political guarantee" for the two congressional conferences currently being held in Beijing. "Developing a socialist political system with Chinese characteristics is the correct path for achieving socialist democracy", the article cited the view emphasized by Hu. The perseverance of the Party’s leadership is the fundamental guarantee that the people are the masters of the country and that the country is ruled by law. In the end, the article states that China shall learn from the positive results of other forms of political culture, but shall never model the political system of the west, nor shall China abandon the essence of the country’s current political system.

Source: People’s Daily, March 2, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newmedia/2008-03/02/content_7698743.htm

CAAC Strengthens Olympic Background Check

The Epoch Times reports that General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC)’s public security department issued a “Notice on Reporting the Administrative Work of Purifying the Internal and Airport’s Controlled Area Pass.” The “Notice” demands to have a background check on those people with airline crew boarding pass and airport controlled area pass. The scope of the check includes the involved person, spouse, parents, parents-in-law, and children above 18 years old, investigating whether these people have criminal records, their behavior during “Cultural Revolution,” actions during “6.4” (1989 student-led democratic movement), whether or not practicing “Falun Gong,” and whether or not having overseas connections.

Source:The Epoch Times, March 4, 2008
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/8/3/4/n2031337.htm

China Continues Africa Courtship

President Umaru Yar’Adua from Nigeria met with China’s Hu Jintao at People’s Hall in Beijing on the afternoon of February 28, 2008 as part of his four-day trip in China.  Both leaders attended the ceremony to sign documents on exchanges and cooperation in culture and education.

Trade between Nigeria and China reached 3.13 billion dollars in 2006, up from 1.1 billion dollars in 2001, according to the latest data from China’s commerce ministry. Aside from oil deals with Nigeria, China has helped the country build railways and hydroelectric dams, while last year it launched a telecommunications satellite for the nation. Chinese media last month also reported that state-controlled China Development Bank was in talks to buy a five-billion-dollar stake in Nigeria-based United Bank for Africa.
 
Source: Xinhua, February 28, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-02/28/content_7689378.htm

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

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