Sunday, July 25, 2010

CHINasia Update 16 - June / July 2010

CHINAsia Update 16 is out and can be downloaded here:

The 16th issue has undergone a complete redesign in structure and visual appearance.

Our feature Rich Man, Poor Man is about the widening gap between rich and poor in China.

Other Articles are:
SOUTH KOREA: Halting Corporal Punishment in School Met with Opposition
WORLD: When China Rules the World
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Web and Sex Censorship
AFGHANISTAN: Kabul Conference Highlights Pakistan’s role

U.S., S Korea start military drills amid concerns of neighboring countries

The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington leaves for joint naval and air drills with South Korea at a naval port in Busan, South Korea, July 25, 2010. South Korea and the United States on Sunday began their large-scale joint military drills off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula as scheduled. (Xinhua/Yonhap)

BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The United States and South Korea launched their large-scale military drills in the Sea of Japan on Sunday, a move that is feared may further complicate security situation in the region.

Many analysts expressed the concern that the war games, which involve the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 20 ships and submarines and 200 aircraft, with about 8,000 troops on board, could highten tension on the Korean Peninsula, thus making dialogues more difficult in the near future.

In the wake of the sinking in March of a South Korean warship, the United States and South Korea announced new sanctions against Pyongyang and a series of joint military exercises in the waters off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.

The hardline stance incurred fierce response from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north, which was blamed for the incident by Washington and Seoul.

The DPRK's National Defense Commission threatened on Saturday to mount a nuclear deterrence to counter the muscle flexing of the United States and South Korea.

Labeling the maneuvers as "nothing but outright provocations aimed to stifle the DPRK by force," a spokesman of the defense commission said it is a natural option of the army and people of the DPRK to take corresponding all-out retaliatory measures.

At a Southeast Asian security forum concluded Friday in Hanoi and attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a DPRK spokesman warned a "physical response" to the U.S.-South Korean drills.

"There will be a physical response against the steps imposed by the United States, militarily," DPRK delegation spokesman Ri Tong Il told reporters.

Editor: Tang Danlu

Prepare for more serious flooding of Huaihe River: Chinese Premier

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L, front) visits soldiers at a stone storing site at Huaihe River dike, east China's Anhui Province, July 24, 2010. Wen Jiabao Saturday visited Anhui Province to inspect the flood control operations along the Huaihe River. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

HEFEI, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has told local authorities to be fully aware of the "grave flood-control situation" and to prepare for more serious flooding of the Huaihe River, the third longest waterway in China.

Wen made the remarks during an inspection tour in east China's Anhui Province on July 24 after concluding an inspection of flood control operations along the Yangtze, China's longest river, in Hubei Province.

Water levels on the Huaihe's main stream and tributaries have risen above the warning levels after extensive heavy rains in the river's upper reaches this month.

Although water levels have dropped in recent days, weather forecasters are predicting more heavy rain along the river and areas to its south in the next two days.

Nepali House again fails to elect PM, House session postponed

KATHMANDU, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Speaker of Nepali House Subash Nemwang Friday announced to hold another round of election on Aug. 2 to elect new executive Prime Minister out of two candidates who failed to gain simple majority votes during the second round election.

Nemwang made this announcement after two candidates -- Chairman of the largest party Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) ( UCPN-M) Prachanda and another candidate from the second largest party Nepali Congress (NC) Deputy President Ramchandra Paudel got rejected by majority of negative votes.

Out of 572 CA members presented at the House, Prachanda got only 241 votes in his favor while 113 voted against him. Similarly, 218 remained neutral. Likewise, Paudel got only 123 votes in his favor while 241 voted against him and 214 remained neutral.

According to Speaker Nemwang, House will again hold election on Aug. 2 at 04:00 p.m. local time to decide on these two candidates.

The first round election was held on Wednesday and failed to elect new prime minister as no one of the candidates got simple majority votes -- 300 votes out of 599 Constituent Assembly (CA) members as per Interim Constitution of Nepal-2007.

During the first round election, three candidates had proposed their nominations for the election -- Prachanda, Paudel and the third candidate Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) (CPN-UML) withdrew his candidacy.

Amid political turmoil in Nepal, PM re-election is also witnessing standoff after caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned from his post on July 30 following the pressure from single and the largest opposition UCPN-M to from national consensus government under its leadership.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Saturday, July 17, 2010

CHINAsia Update 15

CHINAsia Update 15 is out and can be downloaded here:

Our focus for this issue is Nepal is waiting for its Constitution

Some key articles are:
- Prime Minister of Nepal Agrees to Resign
- Nepal’s young lawmakers want more say in constitution drafting
- Thailand: Arson in Bangkok, protests spread to other provinces
- Thoughts of a Buddhist Monk on Conflict and Peace in Sri Lanka

Friday, June 11, 2010

Images From Around Asia May

Fisherman in Quang Nam. Vietnam Photo by FlckR User: Nganguyen

An old women is bowing down to an image of Buddha at Boudhanath
Stupa in East Kathmandu. On the 27th of May Buddhist around the
world celebrated 2554th birth anniversary the Buddha.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update

One of the lights displayed at Ganga Mata in in Colombo.
Throngs of visitors passed by the hundreds of lights on display.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update.

NANJING, May 29, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Children show colored patterns drawn
on their faces in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, May 29,
2010. A facial drawing activity with the theme of “My World Expo” was held
in Nanjing on Saturday. Children drew colorful patterns on face which in
their eyes represent the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Bangkok burning. Photo by BKKApologist
An accrobat performs stunts during the stage show CHA at the En-
tertainment Hall at the World Expo Park in Shanghai, east China,
on May 1, 2010. As the spectacular stage show designed exclu-
sively for World Expo, CHA takes Chinese tea as its theme, and
integrates martial arts, magic, stunts, dancing and other art forms to
represent Chinese traditional tea culture in an artistic way. [Xinhua]

Photo Editor: Ingmar Zahorsky

16th SAARC summit concludes

April 29: The 16th SAARC summit ended today with the adoption of the “Thimphu Silver Jubilee Declaration- Towards a Green and Happy South Asia.”

In his closing speech, the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley described the deliberations as most instructive and productive. But he said the true test of the success of the summit lies in the difference the decisions will make to the lives of the millions of the poor and deprived in SAARC countries.

The summit decided to develop a vision statement by a South Asian Forum. The forum will provide a platform to debate, discuss and exchange ideas on South Asia and its future. It came out with the Thimphu Statement on Climate Change which is expected to provide a strong impetus to the SAARC efforts to address issues relating to Climate Change. The SAARC Foreign Ministers signed two instruments, the Convention on Cooperation on Environment and the Agree- ment on Trade in Services.

The agreement on trade in service will help boost trade and promote people to people contact. The agreement on envi- ronment will help address issues related to climate change. It will also enable SAARC to have a common voice in climate change negotiations in national, regional and international level.

The SAARC Development Fund has become operational and its First Chief Executive Officer appointed. It will finance regional and sub-regional socio-economic development pro- grammes and projects.

The South Asian University in New Delhi has also become operational. The university will open in August and will become the Centre of Excellence for Higher Learning in South Asia.

The Prime Minister also thanked the delegates for allowing Bhutan to introduce the concept of Gross National Happiness. An inter-governmental workshop will be organised later this year to look at the relevance of this concept in our region. The President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed said that there are sufficient ingredients to achieve the SAARC objectives. There was a sense of togetherness and commitment from the countries to achieve the common goal. However he said there are also challenges that need to be overcome. The next SAARC summit will be held in the Maldives. - Bhutan Broadcasting Service

Bridging the China-India gap

A recent survey conducted by Beijing-based Horizon Research, though by no means comprehensive, should sound alarms that China and India need to do more to deepen mu- tual understanding, especially at the people-to-people level. According to the survey, 45 percent of Chinese view India favorably, while 43 percent of Indian respondents view China as a partner. More disturbingly, most Chinese still perceive India, along with the US and Japan, as posing the most threat to China.

Findings about whether Indians perceive China as a threat are unavailable. But there is ample evidence that a consider- able number of Indians do consider China a threat. Suspicion and even hostility toward China also run rampant in Indian society.

The plight of Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh offers an immediate example of this judgment. No sooner had he made some remarks in favor of China during his visit to Beijing earlier this month than the Indian official came under immediate attacks from his own countrymen.

The common practice of India applying stricter terms on imports from China than from Western countries also bears witness to the country’s distrust of its neighbor to the north. Many Chinese experts believe trade protectionism is behind India’s suspension of importing telecom equipment from Apparently, there is a huge gap between how our two coun- tries are perceived by each other and how our two countries wish to be treated.

Due to issues left over from history, the bond between our two peoples is not as close as it was in the Mao-Nehru era. In recent years, the two largest developing countries have both undergone profound social changes while coping with the changing international situation. The West-dominated media machine has also amplified disputes and fuels rancor be- tween us. All that has sowed the seeds of misunderstanding and estrangement.

Beijing and New Delhi vowed to push bilateral ties to a new high while marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations last month. More people-to- people level exchanges should be conducted to expand mutual understanding, update our knowledge about each other and improve our perceptions.

The two countries also should tackle their differences in a more constructive and forward-thinking way.

It is in our two peoples’ interests to forge a friendly relation- ship featuring robust trade ties and deeper political trust. Only when the two Asian giants feel a genuine closeness between them will the world treat our two nations with more awe and respect. - Wang Hui /China Daily

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nepal House passes interim constitution amendment bill to extend CA term

KATHMANDU, May 29 (Xinhua) -- An emergency meet- ing of the Legislature Parliament early Saturday passed the 8th Amendment Bill of Interim Constitution of Ne- pal-2007 which will extend Constituent Assembly (CA) term by one year.

Out of the 585 lawmakers who attended the meeting, 580 voted on support of the Amendment Bill while only five voted against it.

Finalizing the result of majority votes cast by lawmakers, House Speaker Subash Nemwang announced that the 8th Amendment Bill has been passed with two-thirds majority of the Parliament.

Concluding the emergency meeting of House, he also added that the next session of House will sit on Monday afternoon. Now, the deadline for Nepal to promulgate new national constitution is also extended for one year. The two-year CA term was meant to expire by Friday midnight, if Parliament would not have passed the Bill by two-thirds majority. The government on Monday regis- tered the Interim Constitution Amendment Bill to extend the term of CA by one year.

However, the single and the largest opposition party Uni- fied Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) who filed a dissent note against the Bill took back its under- scoring the agreement between major parties to form new national unity government.

“The three parties have agreed to form a new national unity government, parties have also agreed for logical end of peace process, so in this situation I would like to take back the dissent note,” Dev Gurung, lawmaker from UCPN-M and former Minister for Law and Justice, said, when addressing the House.

The Amendment of the Bill to extend CA term was made possible after the three big parties -- the ruling communist party, Communist Party Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML), Nepali Congress (NC) and UCPN-M forged consensus after an-hour-long bilateral and multi- lateral meeting late Friday night.

The big three parties agreed to extend the CA by one year and passed agreements will be implemented and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will resign within a few days to pave way for a national unity government. However, it is not clear that within how many days PM will resign.

“This opportunity will be utilized to conclude the peace process, complete new constitution drafting process and begin a new chapter of consensus politics,” M.K. Nepal told reporters right after the House meeting concluded.

Nepal faces bigger food deficit problem

KATHMANDU, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Nepali government data shows that the size of the population facing food deficit in Nepal has tripled compared with last year.

According to Hari Dahal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC), the country faces nearly 316, 000 tons food deficit this year, compared with 132,000 tons last year.

“Nearly 1.6 million people have been suffering from food deficit this year due to acute supply shortage while nearly 500, 000 people suffered the same problem last year,” Dahal, who is also spokesperson at MoAC, told Sunday’s

According to him, agricultural production including rice output decreased hugely last year due to a late monsoon and drought, thereby causing an acute food deficit in the country. “Rice production decreased nearly 500,000 tons last year,” Dahal added, “That has largely contributed to the food deficit problem this year.”

People from remote districts have been directly affected by the food shortage. A government team led by Joint Secretary Chandra Ghimire at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies had also conducted a field study on food deficit recently.

Ghimire said about 30 districts face food deficit problem every year. Of these, about 15 districts face severe food crunch.

“The problem of food is mainly due to lack of local productivity,” he said, adding, “The government should identify fertile land within districts facing food deficit and invest in a package program including irrigation, supply of fertilizers, technology input, sending in of technicians and other supportive projects in a bid to get rid of the problem in the long run.”

The report prepared by the Ghimire-led team also concluded that the food deficit problem in the country is worsening. Editor: Bi Mingxin

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CHINAsia Update 14

CHINAsia Update 14 is out and can be downloaded here:

Our focus for this issue is Global Terrorism

Some key articles are:
- Communist Party of Nepal Maoists
- India Reviews Security Apparatus to Fight Naxal Rebels
- Nuclear Security Summit
- How dire is the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism?

Images From Around Asia April

A martial arts performance held in Kaifeng, Central
China’s Henan province, April 3, 2010. [Photo/CFP]

Little India is an ethnic neighborhood found in
Singapore that has Indian cultural elements. Little
India lies to east of the Singapore River—across f
rom Chinatown, located west of the river—
and north of Kampong Glam. The Little India area
is reported to have developed around a former
settlement for Indian convicts. Its location along
the Serangoon River originally made it attractive
for raising cattle, and trade in livestock was
once prominent in the area. Eventually, other
economic activity developed, and by the turn
of the 20th century, the area began to look like an Indian ethnic
neighbourhood. Photo by FlickR User williamcho

SHANGHAI, April 30, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on
April 30, 2010 shows the fireworks show of the
opening ceremony for the 2010 World Expo
held in Shanghai, east China.

ANQING, April 11, 2010 (Xinhua) -- The pupils enjoy
their happy leisure time during the classes interval,
at the Sinopec Elementary School of Project Hope,
sponsored by the China Petrochemical Corp.,
inside the landlocked mountainous Shuikou Village,
Toutuo Town, Anqing City, east China’s Anhui
Province, April 8, 2010. There are 4 teachers in the
school teaching some 44 pupils at 7 grades in this school.
Project Hope is a Chinese program aiming at financing
education for poverty-stricken students. (Xinhua/Yang Xiaoyuan)

Photo Editor: Ingmar Zahorsky

First day of indefinite strike in Nepal peaceful

KATHMANDU, May 2 (Xinhua) -- People’s life all over Nepal was affected by indefinite general strike and shutdown on Sunday.

The strike was called by UCPN (Maoist) as part of its agitation demanding the step down of the incumbent government.

General lives of people were affected by the strike. Local shops, private offices, industries, factories, education institutions, transportation all came to a halt due to the strike.

Few cars, ambulances, hospital buses, journalist’s motorcycles could be seen on the road.

The party workers were staging demonstrations at major thoroughfares, chanting slogans calling for the government to step down.

The Home Ministry on Saturday had issued directives to all the concerned people and professionals to carry out their general lives as it were as the security was beefed up.

However, few shops and markets are open.

The Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) postponed all examinations of Grade 12 ( High School ) for an indefinite period on Sunday due to the Maoist’s strike.

Security personnel were deployed at the various places in the capital city and around the country as well.

The indefinite strike Sunday ended peacefully without any re- ports of violence. The Maoist cadres were singing songs and merry making by gathering in the streets.

Ram Bahadur Chettri, 53, a farmer from Sindhupalchowk, was a little furious, saying he is ready to sacrifice his life for the country.

“We are fighting for constitution, we want our constitution and we want this government to be down at any cost,” he exclaimed.

Kanchi Maya Tamang, a tenth grader, told Xinhua that she came all the way from Sindhupalchowk, some 40 kilometers away from the capital, to participate in the strike and demonstration.

Kumar Lama, an icecream seller, was very happy that his business was up compared to other day. Talking to Xinhua he told that his business rose as many people on the streets are eating his ice-creams.

Apart from blocking roads the Maoist cadres were singing and dancing singing anti-governmental songs and merry making.

The roads in the Kathmandu valley were crowded with people dancing and singing in all the joyful ways.

The announcement of the general strike was made on Saturday following a mammoth rally in Kathmandu valley on the occasion of the 121st International Labor Day.

The strike was pretty much peaceful and there were no reports of violence. Enditem

Chinese Ambassador Qiu guohong Attends the Inaugura- tion Ceremony of Nepal-China Friendship Center

On March 24, 2010, Mr. Qiu Guohong, Ambassador of
the People’s Republic of China to Nepal attended the In-
auguration Ceremony of Nepal-China Friendship Center.
Together with Mr. Bajracharya, the Chairman of the
Nepal-China Friendship Center and all the members, as
well as the distiguished guests from Nepal, the Ambas-
sador expressed his congratulations and hope for the
newly-established center as an NGO to promote people-
to-people exchange and cooperation between China and

Reacting to Climate Change: Vision, Action Plans & Media Involvement

BEIJING, April 8 (China Daily )The 2010 ANN Annual Meeting and Asia Forum co-organized by China Daily and the Asia News Network was held at the Kempinski Hotel, Beijing on April 8th.

The forum covered progress on battle against climate change in Asia. It was joined by top Chinese environment officials and their international counterparts, business leaders and chief editors of 21 leading newspapers in 19 Asian countries.

Climate change is the biggest threat to the world today. Asia, as the fastest developing and the most populated region, will need to respond appropriately to this greatest challenge.

After the Copenhagen meeting, the role of Asia will be one of the most important in deciding how the world will develop. How will Asian governments act in building a sustainable and energy efficient society? What will Asian companies do in meeting the challenges and develop a sustainable model? What roles should the media play in building a more environmental friendly world?

The conference was not only a gathering of government officials, business people, academics and media to share their works and ideas with 120 participating audience, but will serve as the start of a series of efforts to promote united actions against climate change which Asia has a crucial role to play. Asia News Network, an alliance of 21 newspapers in 18 Asian countries, hopes to be pivotal in this endeavor.

The conference is designed to share knowledge of climate change trends among Asian countries and the future of green Asia, look at the policies and action plans, and efforts from the various organizations.

Edited by: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update Reacting to Climate Change: vision, Action Plans & Media Involvement

India reviews security apparatus to fight Naxal rebels

RANCHI, India, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government is reviewing the security apparatus in Naxal-infested states including Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, following the deadliest Naxal rebel attack on security forces in central India on April 6, said high level sources of the Home Ministry on Monday.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will now sanction more Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel to the rebel-affected areas of the country. In Raipur of Chhattisgarh and Midnapore of West Bengal, the security forces will be redeployed to take on the Naxals, said the sources.

Meanwhile, special commandos will be in charge to tackle Naxalites in these places who are found to be armed with state-of- the-art weapons and ammunitions.

Although there have been talks of roping in the Army and the Air Force to crush the rebel, both Army Chief General V.K. Singh and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik have declared that the military has been trained to fight the enemy from across the border and not launch offensive operations against the citizens of the country.

Air Chief Marshal Naik said on Monday that any use of Indian Air Force against Maoists should avoid collateral damage. “We have the capability to conduct strikes with utmost precision. If at all a situation arises where the use of Air Force becomes inevitable, there has to be clarity on the magnitude of the force we are supposed to use,” he said in the national capital of New Delhi.

“After all, we are dealing with our own people in our own terri- tory. So far we have not been approached by the Home Min- istry for any type of help in combating Naxalites,” he added.

However, the Indian Air Force has deployed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to track the rebels. “We had deployed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the tribal areas of the states a couple of years ago and provided inputs at that time. The Air Force is not conducting any reconnaissance in the region at the moment,” said the air chief.

But he said it also needs to be understood that the reconnaissance by UAVs will have some limitations.

“UAVs can give information about a number of people gath- ering at a spot but it cannot tell you whether it is a group of armed insurgents or ordinary tribals and villagers,” Naik said. “Aerial survey may not be possible in dense jungles as the devices cannot see through a canopy of trees, bushes and shrubs.”

At least 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men and one local police official were killed in the Dantewada massa- cre of April 6. Editor: Lin Zhi

Earthquake rocks Tibet

Yushu ,Tibetan Autonomous Province APR 14 - On April 14, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Yushu County of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai Province, causing huge casualties and losses of property. The quake so far has left at least 2000 dead, 294 missing, 11,486 injured, 15,000 residential buildings toppled and 100,000 residents to be relocated.

Most dwellings in the region collapsed due to the poor con- struction of the tenement-style mud-and-timber houses that most Tibetan’s in the region live in.

The Chinese President Hu Jintao cut short a trip to South America and traveled to the disaster site to console the surviving victims.

Many international aid agencies pledged to send supplies and mergency teams into the region to support the Chinese aid workers already in place.

Hundreds of monks and nuns were led by the Dalai Lama in prayer in Dharamsala, India. The exiled Tibetan leader ex- pressed a desire to travel to affected region which he has not visited for over 50 years. - Edited by Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CHINAsia Update 13

CHINAsia Update 13 is out and can be downloaded here:

Our focus for this issue is National Peoples Congress.

Some key articles are:
- Golden time to make it right
- Shanghai EXPO to be platform for the world to know China better
- Nepal sad over loss of national guardian
- Middle East no paradise for Chinese women
- Indian surrogate mothers in demand for pregnancy out

Images from Asia March

JIUJIANG (JIANGXI), March 10, 2010
(Xinhua) -- Photo taken on March 9, 2010
shows the snow view of the Hanpokou scenic
spot on the Lushan Mountain, a famous tourist
destination in east China’s Jiangxi Province.
Heavy snowfall hit the Lushan Mountain area
on Monday and Tuesday.

KATHMANDU, March 21, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Indian
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (C) pays his last
respects to late Nepali Congress President and former
prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala in Kathmandu,
capital of Nepal, March 21, 2010. Political leaders paid
their last respects to the remains of Koirala at the
National Stadium in capital Kathmandu on Sunday
morning. Koirala died on March 20 at the aged 86.
(Xinhua/Bimal Gautam) (zcq)

JAKARTA, March 20, 2010 (Xinhua) -- A
boy sits on steps in a slum in jakarta, captial
of Indonesia March 20, 2010. According to
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
report released on Friday, Indonesia has reduced
its slum population from more than 50% of
Indonesia in 1990 to about 15%-25% in 2010 in
the last two decades, the fastest among Southeast
Asian countries.(Xinhua/ Yue Yuewei)

The closing ceremony of the Third Session of the 11th
National Committee of the Chinese
People’s Political Consultative
(CPPCC) is held at the Great Hall of the
in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2010.
(Xinhua/Chen Jianli)

Masses of people moving across the busy
intersection at Shibuya station, Tokyo.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky/ CHINAsia Update

Photo Editor: Ingmar Zahorsky

Shanghai Expo to be platform for world to know China better

by Li Xueqing Wee Song Ying

SHANGHAI, March 27, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on
March 26, 2010 shows the bird’s-eye view of the Expo
Park at night in Shanghai, east China. The Expo Park
will be put into trial operation in the end of April.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Expo 2010 Shang- hai China is expected to reflect today’s real picture of China’s economic development and national strength and help rectify the wrong perception others have on it.

Koong Heng Sze, chairman of the coordination committee of Malaysia’s Seven Clan Associations, told Xinhua here on Wednesday that the expo could serve as a platform for for- eigners to gain better understanding about China.

Koong, who was invited by China to join the grand event in May, said that China has been involved in international affairs all these while and can certainly contribute to globalization. He also said that besides promoting economic and trade development under the concept of “prosper thy neighbor”, China can also drive the world towards building a peaceful and harmonious society.

Formed in 2002, the coordination committee of Malaysia’s Seven Clan Associations is tasked to coordinate operations of seven Malaysian clan association and protect their rights and benefits.

During the interview, Koong said that he was proud for being invited to visit the expo by China.

He said that after a few decades of development and con- tinued opening-up, China has achieved much in terms of economic development, creating excitement among many overseas Chinese.

Koong said that a few Chinese associations in Malaysia, including the Associated Chinese Chambers of Com- merce, Federation of Chinese Associations, Malaysia-China Friendship Association and Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce,will organize group trips to the expo.

Each delegation is believed to comprise 80 to 100 delegates, added Koong.

Themed “Better City, Better Life”, many pavilions at the expo focus much on going green, emphasizing elements such as energy efficiency, water conservation and carbon-free. Koong said the Chinese pavilion at the expo, which highlights being environmental friendly, showed that China is actively pursuing the environment agenda drawn by the United Na- tions.

As China has put in much effort to develop green technology, Koong hoped that the Chinese associations in Malaysia could bring back the relevant knowledge from China.

Meanwhile, Koong said that the business community in Ma- laysia would actively search for business opportunities dur- ing the expo, pushing the bilateral trade between China and Malaysia further upwards.

On people-to-people interaction, Koong said that the coordi- nation committee would look into the feasibility to cooperate with the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia to arrange for student visits to the expo.

The returning students from the expo could share their experi- ence with Malaysians of other races, raising their understand- ing about China, added Koong.

Toyota to change production structure to boost profitability

TOKYO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Toyota Motor Corp. is to change its production structure to let each plant produce specific vehicles, in an attempt to increase the com- pany’s efficiency and profitability, said reports from the central Japanese city of Nagoya on Thursday.

Under the plan, the automaker will produce vehicles in a single plant. Currently, Toyota in certain cases produces its models in stages at a number of different factories. The new production models will also see the produc- tion of the company’s various types of vehicles, such as compact cars and minivans, consolidated into specific factories.

According to the reports, the company will look to equip a number of plants with the hardware to produce com- pact cars, for which it expects demand to grow in the future.

The announcement of the plan comes in the aftermath of a series of recalls due to faults with cars that could cause fatalities that caused the company’s senior man- agement to reflect on their business model.

Recently, Toyota President Akio Toyoda publicly apolo- gized for the faults and said that his company’s massive international expansion over the past few years went against the corporate ethos that Toyota had developed over the years.

UN chief hails major advance on global disarmament agenda

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday said that the world body received the 30th instrument of ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), and hailed it as a “major advance on the global disarmament agenda.” Ban, in a statement issued here by his spokesman, said, “The United Nations received today the 30th instrument of ratification for the Convention on Cluster Munitions. With this step, the Convention will enter into force on Aug. 1, 2010, in keeping with the Convention’s provi- sions.”

“The secretary-general welcomes this major advance on the global disarmament agenda, and notes that the Con- vention’s entry into force just two years after its adop- tion demonstrates the world’s collective revulsion at the impact of these terrible weapons,” the statement said. “Cluster munitions are unreliable and inaccurate,” the statement said. “During conflict and long after it has ended, they maim and kill scores of civilians, including many children. They impair post-conflict recovery by making roads and land inaccessible to farmers and aid workers.”

“The United Nations is firmly committed to ending the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster muni- tions and mitigating the suffering they cause,” the state- ment said. “The secretary-general calls on all States to become a party to the Convention without delay.” The CCM, negotiated and adopted at the Dublin Diplo- matic Conference on May 30, 2008 by 107 countries, is a legally binding international treaty that prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster mu- nitions and is in accordance with international human rights and international humanitarian law.

Cluster munition is controversial weapons that have been blamed for needlessly killing and maiming civilians, often long after a battle has ended.

Cluster bombs have been used in countries like Cam- bodia, Afghanistan and Lebanon. They are made up of a big container which opens in mid-air, dropping hun- dreds of smaller individual sub-munitions, or “bomblets,” across a wide area.

Source: Xinhua

Geithner’s dash on yuan

If you think United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithn- er’s impromptu visit to Beijing will give a clear picture of where the renminbi rate will go, think again. It only adds to the unpredictability of China’s currency.

Few are expecting that his visit will produce any immedi- ate breakthroughs on China’s currency policy. On the other hand, as economic relations between the two countries mend following Washington’s step back from naming China as a currency manipulator, Geithner’s visit does offer hope that the two sides might be reaching a common understanding on China’s currency policy.

Due to domestic concerns over the impact of a hasty appre- ciation on both the trade sector and the overall economy, the Chinese government has insisted on keeping the renminbi stable at a balanced and reasonable level.

A key message for the US treasury secretary is that if China is to change its currency policy, these domestic problems must be properly addressed first.

In other words, the pace of domestic adjustment will largely determine whether China will let the renminbi appreciate and how fast it does so.

The recent easing in Sino-US economic ties also indicates that the US government has recognized how unproductive it was in politicizing the exchange rate issue.

Hence, another message for Geithner is that if the US wants to see a speedy change in China’s currency policy, it actually has a lot to do before blaming the renminbi for all of its eco- nomic woes once more.

A rapid appreciation of the Chinese currency will not only cause a loss in the value of China’s foreign exchange re- serves but also incur undesirable fluctuations in the global commodities markets.

One obvious way to minimize, if not avoid, such conse- quences will require the US to open its door wider for Chinese importers and investors.

Can Geithner take that message home quickly? - China Daily

Chinese ambassador Mr. Qiu Guohong provided assistance to Dvya Deep Secondary Boarding School in upper Mustang of Nepal

On March 5th, 2010, Chinese Ambassador Mr. Qiu Guohong, on behalf of Chinese Embassy in Nepal, signed a Memorandum of Un- derstanding with Mr. Bista, Chairman of Management Committee of Divya Deep Secondary Boarding School to provide Rs. 5.7 million assistance to the school in Jomsom, capital city of Mustang district.

The assistance will be used to establish meeting rooms, computer rooms and laboratories for the school. The Chief District Officer Mr. Dhakal and more than 100 representatives from the government and parties attended the signature ceremony.

Street children in Nepal facing poor condition

Street children sleeping together with dogs in the tourist
neighborhood of Thamel, Kathmandu.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update

KATHMANDU, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Street children in Nepal are seen sniffing glue and sleeping aimlessly in the street.

They are not more than 15 years of age who are always in a group or if not in the group they are found sleeping in the street.

The children mostly belong to the rural areas and they have runaway due to various domestic problems in the village.

The family problems, lack of education, food, security and moreover they ran away due to poverty to take shelter in the streets of the capital Kathmandu and other urban areas.

Talking to Xinhua on Tuesday, Tarak Dhital, Spokes- person of Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Center (CWIN), a private organization working for children’s rights, said there are 5,000 street children in Nepal basi- cally in urban area who are into glue sniffing. He said the main problem of children choosing street is being an orphan, no care in family, abandonment, rise in domestic violence, exploitation at work places, growing trend of migration in general are also leading children coming to streets.

Street children are very vulnerable to the exposure to alcohol, drugs and tobacco, he added.

Furthermore, sheltering in the streets they are not safe because they are into smoking cigarettes, sniffing glue or dendrite that intoxicates them. Most of them are ad- dicted to it and the addiction leads to them to do different crimes as well.

There are child care centers and organizations, however the children don’t want to stay there where they can’t sniff dendrite and smoke cigarettes or be in freedom like they have in the streets.

Dhital said they term it as “street addiction” where they find freedom from sex to drugs so they are addicted to street and once they are in street they rarely come back to the society.

Street children are among the high risk and insecure groups and they are vulnerable to various forms of exploitation and abuses. They do have negative impact over the society in every form.

CWIN has rehabilitated more than 6,000 children up to now and has even formed networks that is helping in reintegrating the children.

“It is really hard to bring those children back to normal, they have to be corrected and they have to be educated for their rehabilitation,” said Dhital.

Additionally, he said that different programs from the governmental level and the private level should be brought because the number of street children can be easily rehabilitated.

Editor: Lin Zhi

Saturday, March 6, 2010

CHINAsia Update 12

CHINAsia Update 12 is out and can be downloaded here:

Our focus for this issue is Global Energy Demands.

Some key articles are:
- Energy problems looming for ever-growing China
- U.S. Nuclear Power: A dying industry or growing powerhouse?
- Solar energy expo seeks lighting solution to rural India
- Iran pursuing plan of 20% uranium enrichment, still ready for fuel swap

Nepal in Power Crisis

Nepal by Candlelight. By Flickr user Ron Layters,
Creative Commons

Finally, amidst mounting power crisis, the government of Himalaya country has declared a status of nation-wide electricity crisis and has adopted various measures to tackle the problem. Unveiling the government’s National Power Crisis Action Plan, the government has banned the use of electricity on hoarding boards. The government has also launched an awareness campaign for the use of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) -- power-saving lamps -- to save power. The government has planned to increase the load-shedding period from Sunday up to 12 to 14 hours a day from the current 10 hours. Nepal’s electricity authority has announced that the power cut will increase for 18 hours on March. Negligence towards electricity consumption and maintenance of equipments has led country to the dark situation by which all of the sectors are directly affected.

- Mukunda Nepal / Ground Report / Creative Commons 3.0

Images from Asia February

The Tori Passage at the Fushimi Shrine in Kyoto, Japan .The columns
symbolize Inari the god of wealth. Each passage has been donated by
a Japanese business. Photo: FlickR User Stéfan / Creative Commons.

Dhaka (Bangladesh) traffic has been called one of the 7 wonders of
the modern world. To be fair, this is a street adjacent to New Mar-
ket and isn’t really a normal traffic road. For example, rickshaws
are prohibited. Bangladesh has been promoting the use of natural
gas (CNG) for over a decade resulting in significant reduction in
smog. Photo & Text: FlickR User: joiseyshowaa / Creative Com-

Two Babas at Bashantapur, Kathmandu waiting for tourists to bestow a blessing onto them. Locals call these Babas commercial Babas as they only approach foreigners for a blessing. Many have left their jobs as they can make more money putting on the garment of a Baba every day posing for photographs with tourists and giving flowers. These two have been depicted in multiple travel guides as their career has been spanning over a decade. Photo: FlickR User ilkerender / Creative Commons

Citizens walk in the blossoming river bank park in Chengdu,
capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Feb. 25, 2010.
Flowers bloom as the temperature rises in Chengdu.(Xinhua/
Jiang Hongjing)

For more images visit our monthly e-magazine at:

Photo Editor: Ingmar Zahorsky

China power consumption in January grows by 40pct

Xinhua quoted the National Energy Administration said in a statement that China electricity consumption in January 2010 grew 40.14% YoY to 353.1 billion kilowatt hours.

The NEA said the electricity con- sumption volume was 2.7% higher than that in December 2009. Con- sumption in the primary industry sector topped 7 billion kWhs last month up by 23.5%YoY.

Secondary industry consumption rose 45.99% to 262.4 billion kWhs and the tertiary sector demand was up 25.61% to 39.8 billion kWhs.

According to the statement resi- dential power use rose 25.9% to 44 billion kWhs. - Xinhua

Reception held on occasion of Chinese Spring Festival in Nepal

A grand dinner reception was hosted by Nepal's Araniko Society in the Nepali capital Kathmandu on Thursday to mark the Chinese Spring Festival.

The program was attended by Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Vice-Chairman of the Nepali Constituent Assembly Purna Kumari Subedi, Minister for Education Ram Chandra Kuswaha, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong, among others.

Speaking at the program, Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said, "Like in Nepal, various festivals are celebrated and observed in China. New Year celebration is one of them."

"Each year the whole Chinese people whether they live inside or outside China, celebrate this festival as a first traditional holiday of the year," he added, wishing the warmth of New Year to all Chinese people.

According to Chinese lunar calendar, there are 12 animals to symbolize the year in which a person is born, and the coming year is Tiger year.

"I was told that there is a tradition and belief that those who born in Tiger Year are true friends, wary of strangers, fighting spirits, quite decisive, sensitive and deep thinking, courageous and troublesome temper," M.K. Nepal added.

Highlighting bilateral relation between the two nations, Nepal said, "Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955, we have been enjoying close relations based on five principles of peaceful co-existence. From the first day of establishment of our bilateral diplomatic relations, Nepal and China have continuously enjoyed cordial and satisfactory bilateral relations."

Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal (R) draws prize for
participants during a grand dinner reception hosted by Nepal’s
Araniko Society to mark the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival in
Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, Feb. 11, 2010.(Xinhua/He Xianfeng)

Lauding the role played by China in the process of Nepal's development, M.K. Nepal said that during the last five decades of bilateral diplomatic relations, China has extended generous supports to Nepal in areas like infrastructural development, education, health, hydropower, industrial development.

"China has made tremendous progress in the fields of economy, social and technology in the last 30 years. The Nepali people take China's such remarkable achievements positively and seek to take advantage from it to for our economic development and social advancement," he said.

He said that Nepal expects China's support particularly in the areas of infrastructural development, hydropower generation, tourism and human resource development would be very important for laying down basic foundations to achieve our aims of rapid economic growth and social transformation in Nepal.

Chinese ambassador to Nepal Qiu Guohong said, "The year 2010 marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and China. The Chinese side is ready to make joint efforts with the Nepalese side to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, strengthen the neighborly friendship, and further promote the mutual benefit cooperation and enhance the comprehensive relationship of cooperation."

"At the juncture point of bidding farewell to year of Ox and embracing the new year of Tiger, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and best wishes to those Nepalese people who are engaged in promoting the friendship between the two countries for many years, " Qiu added.

Likewise, President of the Araniko Society Harish Chandra Shah Shah said that every year Nepal marks Chinese New Year by organizing various programs with the leadership of Araniko Society. "Araniko Society is the alumni organization of Nepalese individuals who studied in China and can speak Chinese language.

According to Shah, Araniko Society aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and promote various level of exchange programs in education, health and cultural sectors.

During the program, Nepalese students studying Chinese performed cultural instance of both countries.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kim inspects army unit stressing enhancing combat capability

PYONGYANG (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), inspected the command of Korean People’s Army Large Combined Unit 630, the official news agency KCNA reported on Monday.

Kim said all the soldiers of the unit have discharged their duty in a responsible manner, guarding with high vigilance, against possible aggression by enemies. He also set tasks for the unit as guidelines to increase its combat capability.

Kim visited the library and other entertainment and cultural facilities. He was very pleased to hear that all the soldiers of the unit have become avid readers. “The revolutionary habit of reading established in the whole army is an unusual feature which can be found only in our army,” he said.

Kim also praised the unit as an exemplary unit not only in military training, but political and ideological education as well.

Kim also inspected the renovated Hyangsan Hotel and enjoyed an art performance given by KPA Itinerant Youth Art Squad, the KCNA reported.

China-ASEAN free trade area starts operation

NANNING (XINHUA) China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off the world’s largest free trade area (FTA) embracing developing countries Friday as businessmen and trucks loaded with vegetables and fruits thronged border markets.

Dozens of trucks, mostly carrying dragonfruit from Vietnam, were waiting to be unloaded Friday morning at the Tianyuan Fruit Trade Market, one of China’s largest market for fruit import, at the Pingxiang Port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

“The establishment of the free trade area is really good news for me,” said Liu Yuzhen, who has been trading fruits for 16 years.

She now sells more than 10 tonnes of apples, pears, oranges and other fruits to southeast Asia every day, and hopes her business will expand as the FTA will facilitate the customs clearance and reduce the logistics cost.

The China-ASEAN FTA covers a population of 1 billion and involves about $450 million of trade volume.

The average tariff on goods from the ASEAN countries is cut down to 0.1 percent from 9.8 percent. The six original ASEAN members, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, will slash the average tariff on Chinese goods from 12.8 percent to 0.6 percent.

By 2015, the policy of zero-tariff rate for 90 percent of traded goods is expected to extend between China and four new ASEAN members, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said earlier the establishment of the FTA will promote the regional economic integration, benefiting companies and consumers.

China and the ASEAN launched their cooperation dia- logue in 1991 and signed the China-ASEAN Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Cooperation in 2002.

India to set up National counter terrorism center by 2010

NEW DELHI (XINHUA): In the wake of terror threats looming in the country, India Wednesday expressed the need of bifurcation of its Home Ministry to deal with internal security better and set up National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) by the end of 2010.

“Subjects not directly related to internal security should be dealt with by a separate ministry or should be brought under a separate department in the Ministry of Home Af- fairs and dealt with by a minister, more or less independently, without referring every issue to the home minister. The home minister should devote the whole of his time and energy to matters relating to security,” Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in the national capital.

Stressing that terror attacks or even threats are mostly hurting civilians, the minister proposed the formation of National Counter Terrorism Center by the end of 2010, and suggested sweeping powers for it to be the nodal agency tackling terror in India.

“Such an organization does not exist today and it has to be created from scratch. I am told that the United States was able to do it within 36 months from September 11, 2001. India cannot afford to wait for 36 months. India must decide now to go forward and India must succeed in setting up the NCTC by the end of 2010,” Chidambaram said.

“Twelve to 13 terror attacks neutralized in 2009 which could have been like Mumbai or Delhi attacks. Sooner than you think, there might be another crisis like the hijack of IC-814 and we need to restructure the security apparatus to avert such tragedies, “ he added.

The minister also said India needed more foot soldiers to fight terrorism as the response during last November’s Mumbai terror attacks, which claimed the lives of over 170 people, was inadequate.

“We need to recruit 400,000 policemen. They all need to be well trained and equipped. It’s better to have no policeman rather than having a bad one,” he said.

Nepal to face critical shortage of doctors

KATHMANDU, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Nepal is likely to face a critical shortage of doctors due to medical brain-drain out of the country.

According to Monday’s THT Online report, dissatisfied with the salary and perks, a physician in the capital Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital is packing off to the Philippines.

“The remuneration provided by the government hospital has failed to attract me to stick in the job,” said the residential doctor at the hospital requesting anonymity.

The doctor said that she was unable to survive in the insignificantly low salary. She works 12 hours a day in the hospital and pockets 11,000 Nepali rupees (some 148 U.S. dollars) as monthly salary.

Bir Hospital is located in central Kathmandu.
It was the first hospital in Nepal. Some of the
finest doctors of the country work at Bir Hospital.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update

Two months ago, the government had hiked the salary of doctors by 3,500 rupees (some 47.2 dollars), following a string of protests. But the physicians consider the amount too paltry to motivate them.

In addition to the low salary and perks, doctors cite wanton behavior of the public including the recent incidences of attacks on hospitals and medical personnel as a de-motivating factor for doctors to stay in the country.

Senior physicians say the rush for greener pastures could have debilitating impact on the country’s ability to fight diseases.

“If the exodus continuous at the present level in 10 years the government hospitals will be emptied of doctors,” warned Dr Kedar Narsingh KC, president of Nepal Medical Association (NMA).

The brain-drain figures unveiled by the NMA are staggering. If the latest statistics is anything to go by, out of the registered 9,000 doctors, only 4,000 are currently serving the nation. The remaining ones have either left the country or are in a process to emigrate.

According to the report, among those 4,000 doctors currently in the country, 75 percent of them are serving in the private hospitals and clinics. The government hospitals are virtually dry with merely 900 doctors, many of them already heading for greener pastures.

According to NMA, the medical drain is fuelled largely by the state inability to tap qualified and trained human resource through salary and perks and that it lacks a clear-cut policies in health sector.

“The government has not reviewed its health policy since 1985 and the posting of medics is based on the old provision,” he added.

The doctor-patients ration in the countryside, outside the Kathmandu Valley is even more worrisome with a doctor having to serve at least 30,000 patients. In the urban areas, the doctor- patients ratio stands at 1:1000.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” must never be compromised

COPENHAGEN, Dec. 18, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks at the leaders’ meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Wu Wei) (zhs)

COPENHAGEN (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here on Friday the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” was the core and bedrock of international cooperation on climate change and must never be compromised.

In his speech, delivered at the opening session of the final summit segment of the U.N. climate change conference here, Wen said developed countries account for 80 percent of the total global carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution over 200 years ago.

“If we all agree that carbon dioxide emissions are the direct cause for climate change, then it is all too clear who should take the primary responsibility,” the Chinese premier said.

Developing countries only started industrialization a few decades ago and many of their people still live in abject poverty today, Wen said, “It is totally unjustified to ask them to undertake emission reduction targets beyond their due obligations and capabilities in disregard of historical responsibilities, per capita emissions and different levels of development.”

Developed countries, which are already leading an affluent life, still maintain a level of per capita emissions that is far higher than that of developing the countries, and most of their emissions are attributed to consumption, Wen said.

In comparison, emissions from developing countries were primarily survival emissions and international transfer emissions, the Chinese premier said.

“Today, 2.4 billion people in the world still rely on coal, charcoal and stalks as main fuels, and 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity,” so any action on climate change must be taken within the framework of sustainable development and should by no means compromise the efforts of developing countries to get rid of poverty and backwardness, he said.

Wen urged developed countries to take the lead in making deep quantified emission cuts and provide financial and technological support to developing countries as “this is an unshirkable moral responsibility as well as a legal obligation that they must fulfill.”

Developing countries should, with the financial and technological support of developed countries, do what they can to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change in light of their national conditions, Wen said.

Nepali cabinet meeting on top of world concludes with Everest Declaration

KATHMANDU (Xinhua) -- The historic high-altitude cabinet meeting of Nepali government held to draw the global community’s attention toward climate change and its impact on melting Himalayas has come up with a 10-point “Everest Declaration” Friday.

The cabinet meeting presided by Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was held at Kalapatthar, the Base Camp of Mt. Everest (Qomolangma) at a height of approximately 5,164 meters.

“We have successfully conducted our historic cabinet meeting. We would like to thank all the people who have assisted us, supported us and given us help and support to make this event a grand success,” said Prime Minister Nepal in a press conference organized at Syangboche near Everest Base Camp after cabinet meeting.

Nepali Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal (C) waves as he attends the cabinet meeting at the foothills of Mt. Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) Base Camp at Kalapatthar which is approximately 5,164 meters high above the sea level on Dec. 3, 2009. The Nepali Government’s historical high-altitude cabinet meeting, attended by altogether 24 ministers, is held on the base to draw the global community’s attention toward climate change and its impact on melting Himalayas. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)

“Mt. Everest (Qomolangma) is an icon of world environment. The 2,700-km East-West range of Himalayas and 1.3 billion people’s civilization, their culture and tradition, natural heritage and tourist development has contribution.”

He added that he would urge the developed countries to look at the impact of the climate change on the poor countries while attending the Climate Change summit in Copenhagen.

Global issue of climate change has negative impact not only on Himalayas and millions of lives living in this arena but also the environment, social-economic development, natural vegetation and tourist development sector, said Nepal addressing the press conference.

Due to climate change, threat of natural calamities like drought, flood, landslide, famine, and glacial outburst is increasing, he added.

“Through Everest Declaration-2009, we would like to express our collective commitment to climate change and open the financial support sector,” Nepal said.

To protect the Mt. Everest (Qomolangma) and rest of the Himalayan range from melting down due to the global warming, Nepali government has declared “Everest Declaration-2009”.

To conserve the vulnerable Himalayas form climate change, to draw the attention of global community, Nepal will cooperate with South Asian nations and the rest of the world, the prime minister said reading the first point of “Everest Declaration-2009”.

To launch a public awareness campaign in the national level to highlight the adverse impact of climate change on local habitants and life style, especially the marginalized people.

The cabinet also decided to extend the territories of Api-Nampa conservation area in Darchula district, Gauri Shankar conservationarea in Ramechhap and Dolakha districts as well as to extend Bardiya National Park.

With the Everest Declaration, the government has committed to increasing the conservation areas in the country from 20 percent to 25 percent and consolidating 40 percent forest area. It also focuses on raising awareness on climate change issues and seeking international commitment and support to address the issues.

The cabinet also decided to add the Banke National Park as a new national park.

A team of around 110 people comprising the 24 Nepali ministers including Prime Minister Nepal, national and international journalists, health and technical teams attended the event.