China media: China, US and Asean

  • 21 November 2012
  • From the section China
US President Barack Obama (L) holds a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Phnom Penh, 20 Nov 2012
Image caption Mr Obama (left) has urged Asian nations to ease tensions over maritime disputes

Newspapers report Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Phnom Penh.

China Daily, the Global Times and People's Daily say Mr Obama promised Mr Wen the US would not take sides in the South China Sea and East China Sea disputes.

People's Daily also reports Mr Wen reiterated China's territorial claims over the Scarborough Shoal "in response to comments made by some state leaders", without specifying who.

The Scarborough Shoal, known as Huangyan islands in China and Panatag Shoal in the Philippines, were at the centre of a stand-off between China and the Philippines earlier this year.

The summit saw Chinese and Filipino officials clashing over who owns the shoal. China has also been accused in the past of using its clout to persuade Asean chair Cambodia to keep the territorial row off the summit agenda.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post says Beijing's Foreign Ministry praised Cambodia's bid to limit discussion of the South China Sea dispute.

"Actually Cambodia's efforts are to safeguard Asean," the Post quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang as saying in Phnom Penh.

Also on Wednesday, People's Daily publishes a lengthy article by the official Xinhua news agency setting out how the Communist Party Central Committee report to the party congress was drafted. The congress concluded last week.

Although it was President Hu Jintao - the outgoing general secretary - who delivered the report to the congress, the Xinhua article reveals it was drafted by a team led by Vice-President Xi Jinping - the new general secretary - and new Politburo Standing Committee members Li Keqiang and Liu Yunshan.

The paper also publishes another lengthy article by Li Keqiang appealing for party members "to study earnestly the spirit of the congress".

Shanghai Daily and the Chongqing Times report the municipalities' party leadership reshuffles, with Sun Zhengcai replacing Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang as the Chongqing party chief, and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng taking up the Shanghai party chief post concurrently, with Yu Zhengsheng promoted to the Politburo Standing Committee.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News says Sun Zhengcai is regarded as the only "successor" of Premier Wen Jiabao in the new politburo, while Han Zheng can be regarded as the new representative of the "Shanghai Gang", seen as led by former President Jiang Zemin.

It also says Mr Sun will have to tackle "a huge debt" in the municipal government left behind by his disgraced predecessor Bo Xilai.

China Daily, Shanghai Daily and People's Daily report China's liquor industry guild has confirmed that most locally produced Baijiu, distilled white liquor made of sorghum, contains concentrations of plasticisers - a group of chemicals that can harm human immune and reproductive systems, after a media report revealed a particular brand contained "excessive amounts".

The statement published by the China Alcoholic Drinks Association sent share prices of companies that produce Baijiu into a major slump on Monday, said the reports. The statement also insisted China had no legislation limiting the amount of plasticiser in Baijiu.

People's Daily and Shanghai Daily report eight local officials - including a head teacher - have been sacked or suspended after five street children died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Guizhou province.

The five children were identified as cousins, said the reports, whose fathers are brothers. The children dropped out of school and went missing together three weeks ago.

The Beijing Times' editorial says an urgent review is needed of social welfare systems to see how they could serve children like these better, as children of migrant workers left behind at home are becoming a social problem in China.

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