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