News & Reports 2012-11-11

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2012-11-11

Hello and Welcome to News and Reports on China Radio International.

In This Edition

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming asks the United States not to start trade wars with China.
China's top economic planner says China is able to achieve the target of 7.5-percent economic growth this year despite the current slowdown.
Politicians in the US continue to debate on the best way to avoid steep tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for January - which could trigger another recession.
And thousands of members of Portugal's military gather in a rare protest against the austerity measures of the 2013 Budget.

Hot Issue Reports

Chinese FM: China Committed to Peace and Prosperity in Asia-Pacific

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi says China is committed to building a stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific region with all the countries concerned on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Yang made the comments in a meeting with the press as part of the ongoing National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.

"Asia and the Asia-Pacific region are the most dynamic regions in the world. In the 21st century, the Asia-Pacific region should belong to all the Asia-Pacific nations. So we would like to work with all the nations to build a prosperous, stable, and developmental Asia-Pacific based on equality and mutual benefit."

The Asia-Pacific region has been a shining spot of economic growth amid the world economic slump since the global financial crisis in 2008.

The global balance of power is also shifting toward the region along with its increasing economic importance.

Under this context, the United States has been re-focusing its military resources on the region and attempting to meddle in regional disputes.

With regard to that, Yang Jiechi urges Washington to contribute to peace in the Asia-Pacific.

"There exist important common interests as well as certain differences and conflicts in principle between the US and China. We hold that both sides should have in mind the fundamental interests of our two peoples and the common interests of people around the world. We must abandon the notion of zero-sum game and the Cold-War mindset. I believe that China-US relations will continue to make progress as long as we observe the spirit and principles of the three Sino-US communiqus and the joint statement between our leaders."

In January 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama issued the US-China Joint Statement to guide the development of bilateral relations in the second decade of the 21st century.

In the document, the two countries said they "reaffirmed their commitment to building a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive US-China relationship for the 21st century."
Chinese Commerce Minister: Economy Stablizing

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming says China's recent trade data suggests that the world's second largest economy is stabilizing, and Washington should avoid starting trade wars with Beijing.

Chen's comments came on the sidelines of the ongoing National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

"Our country's total trade grew by 6.2 percent this year by September. Both monthly exports in September and October have grown at a faster pace. This suggests that our economy is stabilizing and slowly growing."

China's newly released trade data showed that exports grew 11.6 percent in October from a year earlier. The figure beats market expectations and is stronger than the 9.9 percent increase recorded in September.

But Chen added that it would still be difficult for China to meet its target of full-year export of 10 percent.

Concerning the rising wave of trade disputes between China and the US, Chen said Beijing would try its best to avoid getting into a trade war with Washington.

"Someone asked me, 'Are you entering a trade war with the United States just like this?' I said, 'No.' I hope we can sit down and discuss and try our best not to get involved in a trade war. But I must say, when others attack our businesses and invade our interests I have to protect our businesses."

Earlier this week, the US gave final approval to punitive duties on billions of dollars of solar-energy products from China for the next five years.

Beijing has protested the case continually, calling it a protectionist move that threatens the future of solar energy by driving up costs for consumers.
Top Economic Planner: China to Attain 7.5 Percent GDP Growth in 2012

China's top economic planner says China is able to achieve the target of 7.5-percent economic growth this year despite the current slowdown.

Zhang Ping, head of China's National Development and Reform Commission made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

"Statistics indicate that Chinese economy is showing signs of stabilizing and recovering in the past two months. However, we cannot say we have already had a solid foundation in economic revitalization. We must make long-term preparations for all the potential risks in the context of a lasting global economic slowdown and financial crisis."

Zhang Ping also stressed the need to boost economy by means of expanding domestic demand and consumption.

Meanwhile, he added the Chinese government has launched preemptive fine-tuning of policies and adopted targeted measures to stabilize the economy while keeping the macroeconomic policies stable.

China scaled down its GDP growth target to 7.5 percent for 2012 early this year. It was the first time in eight years the country had ever planned an economic growth below 8 percent.
Debate on Tax Increase Plan Continues in the US

Politicians in the US Democratic and Republican parties continue to debate the looming US fiscal calamity.

The two sides have disagreed on ways to avoid steep tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for January.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he insisted a tax increase for the rich must be part of any bargain and he would veto any deal that did not include an extra contribution from the wealthiest.

"Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars' worth of spending, and I intend to work with both parties to do moreBut if we're serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue - and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. That's the only way we can afford to invest in education and job training and manufacturing - all the ingredients of a strong middle class and a strong economy."

Obama said he has already put forward a detailed plan in a bid to reducing the deficit by 4 trillion US dollars over the next decade.

However, John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, repeated his party's commitment not to raise anyone's tax rates warning the move would cut jobs.

"Raising those rates on January 1 would, according to the independent firm Ernst & Young, destroy 700,000 American jobs. That's because many of those hit by this tax increase are small business owners - the very people who are the key to job creation in America."

Boehner stressed the need to solve the debt crisis through tax reform and entitlement reform.

Obama said he will invite leaders from both parties next week to discuss a feasible solution to the debt crisis. He added he was prepared to compromise with Republicans on the tax increase plan.

Light News
CIA Director Resigns Due to Extramarital Affair

The Director of US central intellegence agency, CIA, David Petraeus has resigned after admitting he had an extramarital affair.

President Barack Obama accepted the resignation, and praising Petraeus' outstanding service to the US for decades.

Petraeus, a retired four-star general, served over 37 years in the US army and became the CIA director in September, 2011. He had overseen all coalition forces in Iraq and led the military campaign in Afghanistan.

Obama said that CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell would serve as acting director.

However, Julie Pace, Associated Press White House reporter, said that there will be questions about his resignation.

"You know, one of the questions will be C was the affair something that compromised the intelligence community? Was the affair something that made it impossible for him to stay in that job? The statement that Petraeus released today simply stated that it was an extra-marital affair and that he felt that, given his prominent role, that was unacceptable behavior and he could no longer lead the agency."

Senior officials from the US authorities say revelations about the affair that led to Petraeus' resignation were discovered in the course of an FBI investigation. But it was unclear what the FBI was investigating or when it discovered the Petraeus affair.

Portuguese Military Members Protest against Austerity

Thousands of members of Portugal's military, retired and active, and their relatives have gathered in the capital Lisbon to protest against the austerity measures of the 2013 Budget.

Facing a higher tax rate on income, property and medical care, Jos Paulo Leit?o, a sergeant in the Portuguese military, says it doesn't make any sense.

"The 2013 Budget wants to impose us a higher payment for medical care, although the service is worst. We pay more for less - that can't be positive."

Higher taxes and less salary are not the only issues the protesters are raising.

They are also appealing for better equipment and training.

"Forty years ago I was out on the street participating on the Carnation Revolution of April 25, 1974. Today I am no longer a military but I will help them fight if it has to be."

Portugal was granted a 78 billion euro international bailout last year and is imposing a slate of austerity measures in return.

The 2013 budget unveiled last month proposed deep spending cuts and sharp rises in taxes, which have led to widespread protests and strikes.

Prison Riot under Control in Sri Lanka

A riot at a Sri Lankan prison, which led to fatal armed clashes between prisoners and security forces, has been brought under control.

A shootout between inmates and army and police commandos broke out on Friday after the rioting prisoners broke into the armoury and briefly took control of at least part of the Welikada prison in Colombo.

At least 27 prisoners were killed and 42 people were wounded in the violence.

Police said the fighting began when police commandos went to the prison to conduct a search and were attacked by inmates hurling stones.

Officials often conduct raids for narcotics and communication devices.

Anura Senanayake, Deputy Inspector General of Police, says the situation there is back to normal.

"The situation at the prison has returned to normal and all the prisoners are in their cells."

The prison was still surrounded by police, soldiers and members of the special forces early on Saturday.

A police spokesman said authorities recaptured five inmates who had escaped from the prison.

Police did not say how many inmates may have escaped, but search operations were underway to find others who may have fled.

Lawyers' Rights Guaranteed in China's Judicial Reform

In recent years, China has provided a new legal guarantee for criminal defense lawyers to practice in courts and reduce barriers to evidence collection as a response to problems they have encountered in the past. CRI's Shen Ting tells us what China is doing to make lawyers' jobs easier.

Reporter: Zhang Zhiwei works at Beijing Bairui Law Firm. He has been engaged in criminal proceedings for more than 10 years.

Zhang says criminal defense lawyers in the past used to complain about sometimes being denied the right to meet with suspects accused of crimes.

"Lawyers had limited rights in defense when cases were already in the investigation or trial stage, and they often got involved in the cases after the procurators had indicted the suspects. But by then, it was too late for the lawyers to collect evidence."

Following the passage of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law earlier this year, Zhang found that the situation had changed for the better.

"Lawyers could provide legal advice to suspects during the investigation stage. Meanwhile, starting from the date of the review by the people's procuratorate, a defense attorney could inquire about the charges against the suspects and have access to, extract and copy filed materials concerning the case."

Earlier this year, Zhang agreed to represent some of the suspects in an illegal fund-raising case involving millions of yuan and hundreds of people in north China's Hebei Province. He said the terms of the new amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law made it much easier for him to handle such a case.

"Because I hold a valid attorney's license and certificate from my law firm, I met with the suspects about 10 times during the entire trial. And whenever we met, all the conversations were unmonitored. Meanwhile, judges from the court also helped me obtain and copy the case files."

The current law stipulates that lawyers for the prosecution or defense will not be subject to prosecution for the opinions they express in court as long as their opinions do not compromise national security, maliciously defame others or seriously disrupt court order.

Zhang says timely meetings with clients in police custody, access to case materials and the ease of obtaining evidence through investigations have a direct bearing on how defense attorneys do their jobs in criminal litigation. He says the new measures have effectively promoted the exercise of the defense function of lawyers.

Tong Lihua, one of the three lawyer delegates to this week's 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, says the public should be aware of the function of lawyers.

"Lawyers are a group whose profession is to give legal advice and assistance to clients in modern legal society. Lawyers should not only protect clients' rights, but also protect the rights of the national legal system."

Tong says he hopes lawyers' rights can be further guaranteed by the state in the future.

"Lawyers' legal rights to practice and defend clients should be safeguarded. To guarantee the legal practice of lawyers and safeguard their legitimate rights and interests is to defend the justice system."

China's judicial bodies have been taking effective measures in accordance with the law in an attempt to materialize efforts in human rights protection in the sphere of criminal justice.

For CRI, I am Shen Ting.

Del Potro Beats Federer to Reach Semis at World Tour Finals

In tennis, Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro has reached the semi-finals at ATP World Tour Finals after beating defending champion Roger Federer. CRI's London correspondent Tu Yun has more.

Reporter: It's not a life-or-death match for the defending champion as Federer is already in the final four after the first two straight-set victories.

But for the Argentine, it's crucial.

Del Potro, who defeated Federer in the final of the Swiss Indoors in Basel last month, made it again.

"I'm so happy to beat Roger once again. I know he's the favorite for you. But the crowd respected me also. I'd like to say thank you for cheering for both."

Del Potro, ranked second in his group, will meet World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, and Federer will take on home favorite Andy Murray.

In another match on Saturday, Spain's David Ferrer, who won the most ATP World Tour titles this year, came back from one set down to beat Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, though neither can reach the final four.

For CRI, I'm Tu Yun reporting from London.

[Media Digest]

China Daily: Hu's Vision for Development Highlights the Modern Path

The ongoing 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has received huge media attention since its opening on Thursday.

Observers are now looking for clues about China's future development strategy by examining a work report delivered by CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao on the first day of the conference.

An editorial in China Daily says the message from the ruling party of the world's second largest economy is clear and that the Party will stride ahead on the path of "socialism with Chinese characteristics".

Domestically, the newspaper cites the report as saying that development remains the key to "the resolution of all problems" facing China.

The article says that's why economic reform, transformation of the development model and expansion of domestic demand occupy a high place on CPC's policy agenda.

Meanwhile, the editorial says the Party positively responds to growing public discontent with inequity by proposing a system to guarantee fairness that incorporates equality in rights, opportunities and rules.

Internationally, the newspaper says the world has nothing to worry as Hu reiterated that China will stick to its peaceful path of development despite its growing economic and military power.

In conclusion, China Daily expresses its confidence in the country's future given the ruling Party's maturity in governance and cool-headed judgments of world situation, which are embodied in the all-important report made by Hu.

Xinhua: No Winner Will Emerge from Solar Trade War

Both the United States and the European Union have decided to impose penalty duties and launch a new investigation into Chinese solar power products. The penalty measures include anti-dumping and countervailing probes.

China has also decided to take some anti-dumping measures to safeguard the interests of Chinese solar products manufacturers.

A commentary from Xinhua News Agency warned that the EU and US' move would certainly further complicate their trade ties with China and there would be no winner in the trade battle.

It adds the entire solar industry risks a breakdown if things get worse in the future.

However, the article points out that it is unwise to blame domestic economic woes in the US and EU on trade because when the penalty moves fail to work in the end, the governments will draw wider criticism from the public.

The commentary said from another perspective that the external pressures can help Chinese solar product manufacturers to reshuffle the industry, pushing companies to tap emerging markets and some less competitive players to give up on the game. They could also force Chinese producers to cooperate with their counterparts in other developing countries.

In summary, the commentary suggests governments should think through the consequences before they make further moves when it comes to trade frictions as there is no winner in a trade war.