Tag Archives: China

China issues white paper on national defense to enhance transparency

(Illustration image) China issues white paper on national defense to enhance transparency

BEIJING, March 31 (KATAKAMI.COM) — China on Thursday issued a white paper on national defense, aiming to enhance its military transparency and boost the world’s trust in its commitment to peaceful development, XINHUA reported on Thursday.

The document, the seventh of its kind the Chinese government has issued since 1998, says China will never seek hegemony, nor will it adopt the approach of military expansion now or in the future, no matter how its economy develops.

It gives an overall picture of China’s national defense ranging from the security environment, national defense policy, to defense expenditure and arms control.

On security environment, the white paper says the world remains peaceful and stable at large, but the international security situation has become more complex and military competition remains fierce.

China is meanwhile confronted by more diverse and complex security challenges, it says.

China pursues a national defense policy which is defensive in nature, the white paper says. Such a pursuit is determined by China’s development path, its fundamental aims, its foreign policy, and its historical and cultural traditions.

The goals and tasks of China’s national defense in the new era are defined as safeguarding national sovereignty, security and interests of national development; maintaining social harmony and stability; accelerating the modernization of national defense and the armed forces; maintaining world peace and stability.

The white paper reviewed the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), saying it has grown from a single service into a strong military force featuring a range of services and arms, and is now beginning to make progress towards informationization.

The PLA laid down a three-step development strategy and adopted a step-change approach which takes mechanization as the foundation and informationization as the focus.

On defense expenditure, the white paper says the increase has been kept at a reasonable and appropriate level.

China’s defense expenditure mainly comprises expenses for personnel, training and maintenance, and equipment, with each accounting for roughly one third of the total.

In the past two years, the increase in the defense expenditure has been used to improve support conditions for the troops and accomplish diversified military tasks, ranging from earthquake rescue and escort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.

In view of the upward trend in purchasing prices and maintenance costs, China has moderately increased the funds for high-tech weaponry and equipment and their supporting facilities.

The white paper eyed military confidence-building as an effective way to maintain national security and development, and safeguard regional peace and stability.

China is promoting the establishment of equal, mutually beneficial and effective mechanisms for military confidence-building, via strategic consultations and dialogues, border area confidence-building measures, dialogues and cooperation on maritime security, regional security cooperation and military exchanges with other countries.

China attaches importance to and takes an active part in international efforts in the field of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, the white paper says.

The country adheres to the complete fulfillment of the UN’s role in this area, and that of other related international organizations and multilateral mechanisms.

It considers that existing multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation systems should be consolidated and strengthened, that the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be respected and accommodated, and that global strategic balance and stability should be maintained.

The white paper also reviewed the deployment of the Chinese armed forces, national defense mobilization and reserve force building, military legal system, as well as science, technology and industry for national defense.   (*)
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in World News



Chinese President Hu Jintao meets French President Sarkozy, saying force is no solution to Libyan issue

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Beijing, capital of China, March 30, 2011. Sarkozy arrived in Beijing Wednesday afternoon to attend a seminar on the international monetary system. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

BEIJING, March 31 (KATAKAMI.COM) — History has repeatedly shown that the use of force is not an answer to problems, but only makes them more complicated, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Beijing Wednesday in reference to the recent events in Libya, XINHUA reported.

“Dialogue and other peaceful means are the ultimate solutions to problems,” Hu said during a meeting with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Libyan situation has captured international attention and China is greatly concerned about the situation, Hu said, adding that China believes that the UN Security Council’s resolution on Libya aims to quell violence and protect civilians.

“If military action brings disaster to civilians and causes a humanitarian crisis, then it runs counter to the purpose of the UN resolution,” Hu said.

“We have noticed that some countries and regional organizations have raised proposals and suggestions in solving the Libya crisis, which did not lack constructive ideas,” Hu said.

Hu said China believes it is in the interests of all concerned parties to positively respond to these proposals.

Stressing China’s support of political efforts to ease the tension in Libya, Hu said China has called on relevant parties to immediately cease fire, seek peaceful ways to solve problems and avoid more civilian casualties.

Hu said China believes that the independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of a country should be respected and that China is against the use of force in international affairs.

Sarkozy said France also hopes to resolve the Libyan crisis through political and diplomatic means.

“As the meeting came on the heels of an international conference on Libya, President Hu took the opportunity of the meeting to elaborate China’s stance on the issue,” said He Wenping, a scholar with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Britain on Tuesday hosted a special international conference to discuss the situation in Libya and launch the political process for the country’s ongoing crisis. Over 40 foreign ministers and representatives from key regional organizations attended the conference.

He Wenping said Hu made clear China’s position to the international community and all the African countries.

“Without intervening in the issue, China appeals for political dialogue, and supports the negotiation made by such regional organizations as the African Union,” she said

Sarkozy arrived in Beijing Wednesday afternoon. He will attend a seminar on the international monetary system on March 31 in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province.

Sarkozy said France is willing to maintain contact with China in regard to reforming the international monetary system, and is looking forward to President Hu’s attendance at the G20 summit in Cannes later this year.

The two leaders also mentioned that this year is important for bilateral relations, and agreed to maintain forward momentum in the development of their relationship.

Hu made a state visit to France last year, during which the two sides issued a joint statement on strengthening their comprehensive strategic relationship.

During the meeting, Hu said China and France should expand cooperation in burgeoning industries such as new energy, recycling and nuclear safety while deepening cooperation in traditional fields such as trade and economics.

Hu added the two countries should enhance two-way investment and cultural exchange.

He said the two countries should work to enhance strategic mutual trust, while respecting and accommodating each other’s grave concerns.

Sarkozy said the French feel happy that China has become an indispensable force in recent years with its steadily developing economy and growing national strength.

He said France attaches great importance to promoting friendly cooperation with China.  (*)
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in World News


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Photostream : Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan

China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (R) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan during their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, March 29, 2011. REUTERS/China Daily

China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (R) gestures to his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan during their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, March 29, 2011. REUTERS/China Daily

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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in World News


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China Calls for Libya Ceasefire

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu responds to questions during a press briefing in Beijing where China reiterated its opposition to the use of force in Libya amid Western air strikes there and called for an immediate ceasefire in the country's conflict, March 22, 2011

CHINA, March 22, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — China Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, where a United Nations “no-fly zone” is being enforced.  After abstaining last week from the U.N. Security Council vote on military action, the Chinese government says it wants immediate talks to end the violence.

As reported by VOA on Tuesday, ever since it abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote on military action to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, China has been voicing its disapproval of the bombing raids launched by the United States, Britain and France.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says China is deeply concerned about civilian casualities caused by the air strikes and warns of a humanitarian disaster.

She says the original intent in passing the Security Council mandate was to protect the safety of the Libyan people.

But she says Beijing opposes was she describes as an abuse use of force and the unnecessary use of violence that could result in additional civilian casualities.

Jiang says the military action will cause a bigger humanitarian crisis and says China has serious reservations about parts of the U.N. resolution.

Western powers began strikes against Libya, last Saturday, in a U.N.-mandated campaign to target air defenses to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

But the Chinese government, which abstained from the U.N. vote along with fellow permanent Security Council member Russia, has kept up a critical commentary of the military action.

China’s official state media accuses nations backing the strikes of breaking international rules and courting new turmoil in the Middle East.

When pressed by journalists, Jiang refused to say why exactly China did not use its veto power to block the U.N. mandate.

She said the Beijing government took into consideration concerns among Arab countries and what she described as the special conditions in Libya.

She refused to elaborate further and would not say if China views the military actions by the other Security Council members as a breach of the U.N. rules.

Jiang said China always opposes the use of force in international relations.

And, she said the United Nations is still considering what long-term actions to take on Libya.

China’s Middle East envoy, Wu Sike, is to visit the region later this week.  (*)
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in World News


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Photostream : Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan visits Kenya

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) shakes hands with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 18, 2011. As reported by XINHUA NEWS on Friday, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan held talks with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Nairobi on Friday, during which he made suggestions on how to further expand bilateral pragmatic cooperation in the future. Wang said that China would like to work with Kenya to enhance traditional cooperative relations between the two countries. He said improvement in cooperation mechanisms should be made to further strengthen planning and guidance for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. China should expand its aid to Kenya to actively implement Kenya-related projects under the frame of Sino-African Cooperation Forum, he said. The vice premier vowed to encourage China's enterprises to enlarge the volume of imports from Kenya in a bid to promote balanced development of mutual trade, stressing that China should provide supports to more Chinese enterprises to invest in Kenya while Kenya should further improve its investment environment and put forward relevant incentive policies. He also relayed cordial greetings of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Odinga. Odinga said Kenya would never forget that China has been lending a helping hand when Kenya experiences its hard time. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) meets with Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, March 18, 2011. As reported by XINHUA NEWS on Friday, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan held talks with Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in Nairobi on Friday, exchanging in-depth views on further promoting China- Kenya relationship as well as major international and regional issues of common interest. During the talks, Wang noticed that the bilateral relations had been developing steadily since the establishment of China-Kenya diplomatic ties 47 years ago and in particular, since the establishment of the bilateral friendly cooperative relations of long-term stability and mutual benefit in 2005, such relations have maintained good momentum for progress. The depth and scope of China-Kenya cooperation has been on the forefront of Sino-African cooperation. Wang said that China attaches great importance to its relations with Kenya which has been treated as China's sincere friend and key cooperation partner. China would like to work along with Kenya to push the friendly cooperative relations to a higher level and also to deepen the new Sino-African strategic partnership through closer communication with the African countries including Kenya. Musyoka commended the Chinese government for its continuous financial support which he said has contributed tremendously towards developing the country's infrastructure, agricultural, education, water and health sectors. Musyoka stressed that Kenya resolutely pursues the one-China policy and attaches great importance to the relations with China. He called on the Chinese government to diversify their investment in Kenya and strengthen bilateral cooperation in trade, tourism, infrastructure construction. At the invitation of the government of Kenya, a delegation led by Wang arrived here for official visit to Kenya from Thursday to Sunday, which is also the first leg of the vice premier's three- African countries-visit followed by Zimbabwe and Angola. (Xinhua/Zhao Yingquan)

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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in World News


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China calls for peaceful dialogue with Libya as UN approves no-fly zone


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu



March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — China is against a forceful resolution to the Libyan crisis and warns against the escalation of the conflict, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Friday.

As reported by RIA NOVOSTI on Friday, the statement came after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Thursday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. The resolution stipulates possible military action against Libya except for ground forces unless Col. Muammar Gaddafi immediately stops violence against the civilian population.

China, along with Russia, Germany, India, and Brazil, abstained from the vote on the resolution, which was approved by the remaining ten UN Security Council members, including the United States, Britain and France.

“The Chinese side stresses that UN Security Council’s actions should be in line with the organization’s charter and existing international norms, respect Libya’s right for sovereignty, independence, indivisibility and territorial integrity, [and] resolve the existing crisis through dialogue and other peaceful means,” Jiang said in a statement.

“We are against using force in international relations,” the statement said.

The UN resolution, adopted after three days of consultations, authorizes “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.”

Under the resolution, the UN member states will not authorize Libyan planes to take off, land or fly in their airspace, if the flight was not approved by the Security Council’s sanctions committee.

The no-fly zone regime would not apply to planes delivering humanitarian cargo and evacuating foreigners from Libya.

The resolution also freezes assets of Libyan oil companies and the country’s Central Bank.

A British government source earlier said that British forces could be in action over Libya as early as Friday.

Mass riots demanding the end of Gaddafi’s 42-year rule have been raging in Libya since mid-February. Gaddafi said on Thursday the confrontation between authorities and the rebellious opposition would end very soon.   (*)


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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in World News


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China: 'Serious reservations' about a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya

US President Barack Obama (left) and British Prime Minister David Cameron. China was among five countries that abstained from Thursday’s vote on the U.N. resolution to allow “all necessary measures” to stop Gadhafi. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.

BEIJING, March 18, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM)  – China says it has “serious reservations” about a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya and military action to protect civilians against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, AP reported on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that China opposes using military force in international relations.

The ministry says China has consistently stressed respect for Libya’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and that the crisis should be resolved through dialogue.

China was among five countries that abstained from Thursday’s vote on the U.N. resolution to allow “all necessary measures” to stop Gadhafi. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.  (*)
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in World News


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Death toll rises to 25 in South West China earthquake

Rescuers search for survivors in a damaged building after the 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Yingjiang County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, March 10, 2011. The death toll has risen to 25 as of 0:00 a.m. Friday, at least 250 others were injured. (Photo : Xinhua/Qin Qing)

YINGJIANG, Yunnan, March 11, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — The death toll from an earthquake that hit Yingjiang County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province Thursday noon has risen to 25, local authorities said.

As reported by XINHUA on Friday, so far 250 people are confirmed injured in the 5.8-magnitude earthquake, with 134 in serious condition, the provincial civil affairs department said in a statement late Thursday.

The earthquake has toppled the homes of 1,039 families and left 4,994 others seriously damaged, mainly in the county seat near the border with Myanmar, it said.

The National Committee of Disaster Reduction, Ministry of Civil Affairs and Yunnan’s provincial government have dispatched 9,700 tents, 15,000 quilts, 15,000 clothes and other materials to the quake-hit region.  (*)
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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in World News


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19 dead as quake topples buildings in SW China

In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, citizens pass by a damaged building after a strong earthquake jolted Yingjiang county, southwest China's Yunnan province on Thursday March 10, 2011. The earthquake toppled houses and damaged a hotel and supermarket in China's extreme southwest near the border with Myanmar on Thursday, killing at least 14 people and injuring more than 150, officials and state media said. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Xiao Wenhui)


BEIJING, March 10, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / AP) – An earthquake toppled houses and damaged a hotel and supermarket in China’s extreme southwest near the border with Myanmar on Thursday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 150, officials and state media said.

Witnesses reported that people were buried under debris from buildings damaged by the quake, centered in Yunnan province’s Yingjiang county, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

China Central Television said the quake hit while many people, including students, were home for a customary midday rest. The report said at least two students were among those killed, but didn’t give details. The state broadcaster showed several buildings with concrete foundations that had cracked and buckled.

The website of the Chinese government earthquake monitoring station said the magnitude-5.8 quake struck just before 1 p.m. (0500 GMT) at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers). The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.4 and at a deeper 21 miles (35 kilometers).

At least 19 people were killed and 157 other people were hurt, said Ren Xueli, an official with the Yunnan Disaster Relief Center. China Central Television said 166 were injured.

CCTV reported that about 100 armed police, firefighters and soldiers were using three excavators to try to rescue a man and a girl trapped inside a four-story building that had partially collapsed.

He Shuhui, head of an armed police squad, was quoted as saying they were trapped in a stairway on the ground floor of the building.

Another official on duty at the center, Gao Shaotang, said many houses had been toppled. Xinhua said the army was sending 400 soldiers to the site for rescue efforts.

The epicenter was in Shiming Village, just over a mile (kilometer) from the county seat, but triggered a power outage across Yingjiang, which has a population of about 300,000 people, Xinhua said.

The mountainous area lies 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) southwest of Beijing, close to the border with Myanmar, and is home to many ethnic groups on both sides of the border, which sees heavy traffic in people and goods.

Xinhua said the quake-prone region has been hit by more than 1,000 minor tremors over the past two months.

The Myanmar Meteorological Department released a statement saying a quake had hit some 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city.

The statement did not mention injuries, damage or the specific area of Myanmar most affected by the quake. Authorities in the tightly ruled country tend not to immediately discuss the effects of natural disasters.

Much of the area on the Myanmar side been under the control of various armed ethnic groups, who have battled the Myanmar military to remain free from central government control.  (*)


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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in World News



China says it will tackle inflation, boost incomes

China's President Hu Jintao, left, and Premier Wen Jiabao arrive at the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Saturday, March 5, 2011. Premier Wen said Saturday there would be more assistance to working class and rural Chinese who have not benefited from the country's rapid growth. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)



BEIJING, March 5, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM /  AP ) – China’s government vowed Saturday to clamp down on inflation and urgently raise incomes as it pushes to spread the benefits of economic growth at a time when living standards are rising but so are popular calls for greater change, as reported by AP on Saturday.

In a speech that is China’s equivalent to the American president’s annual State of the Union address, Premier Wen Jiabao said there would be more assistance to working class and rural Chinese who have not benefited from the country’s rapid growth.

“Happiness” is a key theme for the authoritarian government this year, as it seeks to pull down inflation that has caused public grumbling and deliver more sustainable growth rather than the breakneck pace that has fouled the environment and widened a yawning rich-poor gap.

“We must make improving the people’s lives a pivot linking reform, development and stability … and make sure people are content with their lives and jobs, society is tranquil and orderly and the country enjoys long-term peace and stability,” Wen said at the opening of theNational People’s Congress, where the country’s social and economic goals will be laid out for the next five years amid lower growth targets and concerns about inflation and asset bubbles.

Security, always high during the congress, is extreme this year following anonymous calls posted on the Internet for Chinese to imitate the popular protests that unseated autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt. A new appeal called for more protests Sunday, the third in a row, though the previous two have attracted onlookers, journalists and swarms of police, but few outright demonstrators.

Police were seen Saturday taking away at least two woman from Tiananmen Square, possibly several of the many petitioners who flock to Beijing during the 10-day congress to seek help with their grievances.

In a country where many people spend a large part of their salaries on food, inflation is a serious concern, hitting 4.9 percent in January despite government efforts to reduce it.

“This problem concerns the people’ s well-being, bears on overall interests and affects social stability,” Wen told the nearly 3,000 national legislators, adding the government would impose price controls as needed and promote food supply, including building up reserves of key items to be released into the market when needed.

Price supports for wheat and rice will also be raised.

The centerpiece of Wen’s program — certain to be approved by the Communist Party-controlled congress — is a five-year plan that outlines an ambitious transformation: moving the economy from its dependence on state investment and exports to one driven by consumption.

If accomplished, the change would boost household spending power through higher wages, level the playing field for private companies and end policies that have effectively shortchanged consumers and channeled savings to the favored state-owned enterprises. The move would also likely reduce friction with the United States and other trading partners as China imports more.

Getting there, however, would require altering the successful formula that has helped propel China to the world’s No. 2 economy. It would also challenge deep-seated interests — from state companies and real estate barons who have benefited from cheap bank loans to politicians whose careers have benefited from the resulting high rates of growth.

Just when it needs cohesion, the leadership is also in the midst of an always contentious transition. Wen, President Hu Jintao and most other members of the Politburo Standing Committee are expected to begin stepping aside late next year for a new generation of technocrats.

In a sign of friction, Wen’s program sets economic growth for this year at about the normal 8 percent, but ratchets back the figure for the whole 2011-15 period to 7 percent annually, hoping to downshift to better quality growth. But most provincial and other local governments have set higher rates, some in double digits.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Beijing is empowering consumers without encouraging them to demand greater political rights. Protests have proliferated in pace with affluence over the past decade. Chinese scholars, extrapolating from state media reports, estimate that large-scale demonstrations, strikes and other mass disturbances reached 180,000 last year — a doubling in five years.

Wen said the government would move to stop illegal seizures of farm land and illegal demolitions of houses, common causes of protests as local governments try to boost growth through construction.

Aware of social fracturing, the government has spent heavily strengthening the military and police and other domestic security agencies. A spokesman for the national legislature told reporters Friday that defense budget would rise 12.7 percent this year, resuming the double-digit increases of much of the past decade.

A task force from elite Tsinghua University reported last year that spending on internal security nationwide was on par with the official defense budget and was expanding much faster. Some members of the task force have questioned that smothering security — evidenced in recent weeks in Beijing in response to calls for a Middle East-style “Jasmine Revolution” — saying it risks alienating the public and stifling appropriate demands for greater accountability and less government waste and corruption.

The government is not counting on muscle alone to forestall those demands.

“We will adjust the income distribution in a reasonable manner. This is both a long-term task and an urgent issue we need to address now,” Wen said, adding the government would steadily increase the minimum wage, pensions and welfare payments, and boost spending on health care.

“Through unremitting efforts, we will reverse the trend of a widening income gap as soon as possible and ensure that the people share more in the fruits of reform and development,” he said.

Behind the shift to greater economic and social fairness is a demographic change. State media have in recent days reported that China’s labor pool is expected to peak during the five-year plan before shrinking as the population ages. The reports note that when South Korea entered that phase in the late 1980s, the government and companies were forced to raise wages. The reports did not mention the labor strife and surge in democratic protests against the authoritarian South Korean government.   (*)

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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in World News