China morning round-up: Party congress preparations

A security guard stands on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, 29 Oct 2012
Image caption Security in Beijing is being tightened as the party congress approaches

Newspapers report increased security in Beijing with the Communist Party congress fast approaching.

China Daily and Shanghai Daily publish a report by the official Xinhua news agency saying the municipal government has initiated an emergency response programme that requires supplies such as water, electricity and central heating to be restored within 15 minutes if any outage happens.

Vehicles carrying toxic or dangerous chemicals will be banned from entering Beijing between 1 November and 18 November, said the Xinhua report.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News says national security authorities have stepped up surveillance on dissidents, activists and lawyers, forcing some of them to leave the capital until after the congress.

People's Daily and regional papers that are under the direct control of local Communist Party committees publish a multi-page chronology of major events since the last party congress in 2007.

More former Chinese leaders appear in the press as well. People's Daily and Shanghai's Jiefang Daily publish an article by former Vice-Premier Li Nanqing praising the musical talent of former President Jiang Zemin.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post and Ming Pao Daily News report former Premier Li Peng sent a telegram praising the beginning of construction at a hydro-power station and donated some 3m yuan ($480,700; £298,900) in book royalties to a university.

Papers say the reports on Mr Li came just days after his successor Zhu Rongji reportedly met the advisory board of Tsinghua University's business school together with Vice-Premier Wang Qishan - a front-runner for one of the Politburo Standing Committee jobs at the upcoming congress.

Also on Wednesday, Chengdu's West China City Daily publishes an interview with US Consul General Peter Haymond. The report made no mention of Wang Lijun's flight to the Chengdu US consulate, which led to the downfall of his ex-boss, top politician Bo Xilai.

The Global Times and Beijing News say Chinese marine surveillance ships "expelled" a few Japanese Coast Guard vessels from the water near the disputed East China Sea islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

The Chinese reports say the surveillance ships "radioed" and "took photos [of the Japanese vessels] as evidence". Japan's Coast Guard said ships from both countries told each other to leave and flashed signs warning the ships they were in their territorial waters.

The Global Times' bilingual editorial says: "This is a milestone in efforts to overthrow the so-called 'practical control' of the Diaoyu Islands by Japan since the escalation of the crisis."

A front-page commentary in the People's Daily Overseas Edition says Japan should not "shirk its responsibility for its history of aggression" and act as a "regional trouble-maker".

Beijing News and the Beijing Times report the Public Security Ministry has published a code of practice requiring police agencies to report progress in investigations to the public if the case is deemed to have public interest.

People's Daily Overseas Edition reports 18 giant pandas moved into the new sanctuary in Wolong National Natural Reserve.

The original Wolong sanctuary was destroyed in the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and the report says this is the first time the pandas have come home since the disaster.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Daily reports a panda born on 28 July - the first day of the London Olympics - has been named Oreo after a public vote.

But it says the name has provoked controversy, as some netizens say they do not like the name which is also a brand of cookies.

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