News & Reports 2012-12-02

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Broadcasting Time: 07:00-08:00, GMT+08:00, 2012-12-02

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

In This Edition

?Syrian opposition forces agree on the parameters of a selective transitional government in the conflict ridden country.
?Thousands of Islamists rally in major Egyptian cities in support of President Mohammed Morsi as he faces massive opposition over a new draft constitution.
?Activists from across the Arab region march in Doha, Qatar, to demand urgent action on climate change.
?And HIV-infected migrant workers in south China's Guangdong receive treatment and enjoy free medicine.

Hot Issue Reports

?Syrian Opposition Agrees on Parameters of a Transitional Govn't

Syrian opposition forces have agreed on the parameters of a selective transitional government.

The group, named the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces has met for the first time in Cairo since their inception, saying that the transitional government would be tasked with dealing with the international community on behalf of the Syrian people.

Khaled Saleh, member of Syria opposition coalition said the group had struggled to unify its ranks and agree on a transitional government.

"We now have a clear mechanism for forming the transitional government. We've also worked on mechanism to unite all the different fighting units on the ground in Syria, that has been a demand of the international community, something that we were very eager to accomplish. Also we've established a legal committee that is going to be responsible to follow up on prosecuting more criminals, more crimes against humanity that are taking place in Syria."

Saleh said the transitional government would have up to 10 ministers.

Among the criteria decided on in the Cairo meeting is that the ministers would be above 35 years old, revolutionaries, technocrats and from outside the coalition.

A minister of defense and a minister who would be in charge of bridging gaps between the opposition abroad and opposition leaders in areas in Syria under rebel control will come about.

?UN Syria Envoy Urges Action to End Conflicts

The UN-Arab League envoy for Syria has warned the international community that the Mideast nation will become a failed state unless there is a negotiated political solution to the 19-month conflict.

Lakhdar Brahimi told the UN General Assembly that nobody wants this to happen because it would have disastrous consequences across the region.

"Military confrontations in Syria have continued unabated. Indeed, fighting has expanded geographically to almost all parts of Syria and intensified very significantly. Anti-government forces have reportedly achieved gains on the ground in several areas this past few weeks."

After speaking to the government and opposition and visiting Syria's neighbors, Brahimi said he believes that only the UN Security Council can put together a peace plan.

He urged the UN's most powerful body to overcome its deep divisions and adopt a resolution aimed at ending the Syria crisis.

Activists have claimed that the conflict in Syria has killed at least 40,000 people since March 2011.

?Morsi Supporters Rally to Counteract the Opposition

In Egypt, more than 100-thousand Islamists have held rallies in major cities in support of President Mohammed Morsi as he faces massive opposition over a new draft constitution.

The demonstrations - the largest turnout of Morsi supporters since he came to office in June - were seen as a test of strength.

They were designed to counteract mass opposition protests, denouncing Morsi's decision to seize near absolute power and the approval of the constitution by an Islamist-led assembly.

Crowds chanted "The people support the president's decision!" outside Cairo University, where tens of thousands had gathered by midday.

"We ask Morsi not to fear any decisions he makes, the people and legitimacy are with him."

"I'm here today to support President Mohammed Morsi and his constitution decree, somebody always comes out and denies all the decisions he declares so we have to support him."

Morsi's supporters stayed away from central Tahrir Square, the birthplace of last year's anti-Mubarak revolution and the site of the opposition protests.

Pro and anti-Morsi protests also occurred in the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria with hundreds of riot police deployed to prevent clashes.

The opposition has vowed to bring down the draft constitution and demanding Morsi repeal his decrees.

?Clinton Warns against Israel and Palestine Moves

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned against the latest moves by Palestine and Israel, saying they are detrimental to a peace process in the region.

"We have to convince Palestinians that direct negotiations with Israel representatives, not just the best, but the only path to the independent state they deserve. America supports the goal of a Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. But this week's vote at the UN won't bring Palestinians any closer to that goal; it may bring new challenges for the United Nations system and for Israel."

Palestinians won UN recognition of their claim to a non-member observer state on Thursday, and Israel retaliated by approving 3,000 new homes on Israeli-occupied territory.

Clinton also criticized the move by Israel.

"Let me reiterate that this administration, like previous administrations, has been very clear with Israel that these activities set back the cause of a negotiated peace."

The Palestinians have said they won't enter direct talks until Israel halts the construction of new Jewish homes on Palestinian lands.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government says there can be no preconditions on negotiations.

Despite repeated pleas from Washington, both sides have pressed on with actions that have only made peace less likely and arguably strengthened the position of hardliners on both sides.

?Arab Activists March to Demand Action on Climate Change

A few hundred people demonstrated peacefully for "climate justice" in Doha on Saturday, where negotiators from across the globe are debating about how to slow the onset of global warming.

Crowds marched along the Qatari capital's Corniche, a waterfront walkway lined by gleaming skyscrapers, waving banners saying "stop climate change".

The march drew activists from dozens of countries, including Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Sudan.

It was billed as the first ever environmental rally in Qatar, which is hosting the two-week UN talks aimed at forging a global deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Fahad Bin Mohanmmed Al-Attiyah is head of Qatar National Food Security Program, one organizer of the march.

"We want to be free from hunger. We want to be free from fear. We want to be free from all the impacts that climate change could cause upon us. I hope and I very much would love to see that delegates take up their responsibilities and come up with a responsible decision addressing the issues of climate change."

Many of those taking part in the March said Arab leaders need to look beyond the political turmoil in the region and address the broader challenge of climate change.

The vast majority of climate scientists say human activity, primarily emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, is to blame for the rise in global temperatures seen in recent decades.

Both rich and poor countries say emissions have to be reduced, but don't agree on how to divide the burden.

Light News

?Aid to HIV-infected Migrant Workers Encouraged in South China

Saturday marked World's AIDS Day, and HIV-infected migrant workers in south China's Guangdong Province are receiving treatment and enjoying free medicine.

Since most of them lack the education to protect themselves against HIV, the migrant worker group is more vulnerable to AIDS.

"If I got such serious illness as AIDS, I would go back to my hometown, where things are cheaper, including hospitals."

Chen Dehui, director of the Guangzhou Disease Control Center, says most of the AIDS-infected migrant workers were diagnosed too late. They are often reluctant to see doctors until the symptoms have become more serious.

Chen added that favorable policies have been put in place.

"Starting from 2011, we have made changes to the medical policy so that every AIDS patient who lives in Guangdong Province will receive treatment, regardless of their origin, and they can enjoy the free medicine."

Early treatment of AIDS is mainly down to taking antiviral medicines, which can be sponsored by the government. But if left unchecked, the body's immune system will shut down and become vulnerable to many infections, driving up the cost of treatment.

The Ministry of Health says China reported a little over 490 thousand cases of HIV/AIDS by the end of October, including 68 thousand new ones this year.

The country has established a free voluntary counseling and testing network that operates from counties to cities.

?Ukraine Urged to Increase Funding for HIV/AIDS Prevention & Treatment

Ahead of World AIDS Day on Saturday, international organizations have urged the Ukrainian government to increase funding for treatment and prevention of HIV.

An estimated 230,000 Ukrainians, or about 0.8 percent of people aged 15 to 49, are living with HIV, making it the country with one of the world's fastest growing HIV infection rates.

However, due to a lack of funds, less than a quarter of them are receiving anti-retroviral drugs.

Ukraine's AIDS groups mainly include drug users, sex workers, homosexuals and prisoners. However, the virus is increasingly affecting the general population.

The Global Fund, an international financing organization, is committed to spending 640 million US dollars through 2016 to fight AIDS and tuberculosis in Ukraine.

Nicolas Cantau, the organization's Country Portfolio Manager, explains.

"We counted about 8,000 new MDR-TB (multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis) cases each year, in the Ukraine. Together with the spreading of Tuberculosis HIV-TB and more than HIV-TB, it's HIV and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and in some cases extreme-drug-resistant tuberculosis."

Alla Shcherbinska, deputy head of the Ukrainian AIDS Centre responsible for treating all HIV-positive people in Ukraine, said the government is taking steps to combat the deadly disease despite the difficulties.

"Of the people who asked us for medical help and treatment for anti-retroviral therapy, 80 percent of them are getting it. As of the end of the year we helped 42,000 people. Today they are 36,000, and we have one month to increase the number of people to 42,000 and supply them with a treatment. This is a very difficult process."

Also, the All-Ukraine Network has developed into a nationwide organization to provide treatment, counseling and support to over 40,000 people with HIV across the country.

?Bus Crash at Miami Airport Kills 2

A bus hit a concrete overpass at Miami International Airport in the US state of Florida, killing two people on board and leaving three others critically injured.

The large, white bus carrying more than 30 people was too tall for the 2.6 metre entrance to the arrivals area.

Police said the driver was not familiar with the area and entered the airport by mistake before smashing into the concrete overhang.

Three people were taken to hospital in critical condition following the accident.

The other 27 passengers had been hurt, but their injuries were less extensive.

Osvaldo Lopez, an officer with Miami-Dade aviation, said he went inside the bus to help and found several passengers thrown into the centre aisle.

"There were a couple of people on the floor that had flown out of their seats. And there were a couple of people sitting still in their seats that had been wedged in by the roof of the bus. Some appeared to be injured more seriously than others. We applied gauze bandages to the ones that were bleeding. And we tried just to aid the other ones as much as we could until the fire department got here and was able to get everybody out."

He said the passengers, many of whom were elderly, remained calm after the wreck.

Police say the body of one dead passenger was pulled from the bus late on Saturday morning; the second person died after being taken to a hospital.

?Indian Films Highlight Int'l Film Festival in Morocco

The 12th Marrakech International Film Festival is now underway in Morocco.

Each year, the festival pays a special tribute to a country through the celebration of its cinema. This year, Marrakesh will be in Hindi mood as Indian cinema is celebrating its centenary next year.

Melita Toscan du Plantier, the festival director said Moroccans are expecting the debut of Indian films.

"The Indians are well loved in Morocco and the Moroccan public adores them. We organized many tributes in the past and it is time we pay tribute to India. It will be a magical moment despite the rain."

The Indian delegation, led by Bollywood's veteran star Amitabh Bachchan, will be honored during a tribute ceremony on Saturday.

"Very obliged, very grateful and very happy to be here. I was here last time in 2003 and there was a tribute paid to me. Now I am leading a delegation with 100 years of Indian Cinema. We are very honored, very honored."

The festival will also pay tribute to icon of Indian cinema, director Yash Chopra, who passed away earlier this year, and will screen his last film "Jab Tak Hai Jaan".

More than 80 films representing 21 nationalities will be screened during the week long festival.

?Multinational Corporations Highly Interested in China's Real Estate

Real estate entrepreneurs gathered recently in Beijing, to analyze the challenges that multinational corporations face concerning their investments in China. At the Multinational Corporate Real Estate Strategy Seminar, the entrepreneurs also discussed some of the new trends in foreign investment in China's industrial real estate. Wei Tong has more.

Reporter: Nearly 60 percent of multinational corporations which build their headquarters in Asia do so in Hong Kong or Singapore. But according to Qiu Guoming, President of Beijing Kuntin Investment Management Group, mainland cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will become the new favorites in the coming years.

Qiu Guoming, who operates a company which facilitates investments made by European and American international enterprises in China, based his estimation on the high profits these international companies have earned from the Chinese market. He cites General Electric as an example.

"GE, a typical example of American as well as European companies which have made great gains in their overseas operations, has provided us with data regarding the average annual growth rate of their profits in Asia. It is 3.5-percent. GE also says the rate in the Chinese market alone has reached as high as 23 percent for four consecutive years."

However, it's not easy for multinational corporations to find suitable locations for office buildings to conduct business in China, Qiu says. He lists some of the challenges they must face.

"Before these multinational corporations enter China, they consider where they can locate their manufacturing center. They usually first evaluate whether the local production materials, human resources, institutions, climate, environment and preferential policies are conducive to their business development before finding a suitable location. Other problems include looking for a reliable business partner in China. Also, these international corporations appear unfamiliar with efficient and effective ways to contact local governments."

To meet this increasing demand for industrial real estate in China, Qiu recommends that multinational corporations custom lease their property rather than purchasing it in order to save costs.

His proposal won support from another participant at the seminar ?C Laurent Fischler, Director of Investment Properties with CBRE, a leading international company that offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing.

Statistics show rentals of Grade-A office towers in downtown Beijing have grown 21.3 percent year on year, now reaching 312.6 yuan per square meter per month. This has led foreign corporations to re-locate their operation bases to the outskirts of major cities or even further to second-tier cities, Fischler told the seminar.

"Recently, especially in the past 2 to 3 years, we've see the speeding-up of development of new business parks in the suburbs of Beijing BS Shanghai, which is a new trend in China although it's well-established overseas. And increasingly corporate occupiers are considering moving to less pricy locations, and their second move is transferring their headquarters to second-tier cities like Dalian or Shenyang and others."

Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce show that from January to April this year, there were 7,016 newly established ventures with foreign investments in China, making the total number of foreign ventures 745,000.

The Multinational Corporate Real Estate Strategy Seminar, held recently in Beijing, was aimed at addressing the challenges that multinational companies face in their development of a suitable corporate real estate strategy in China.

For CRI, I'm Wei Tong.

[Media Digest]

?China Daily: Doha Climate Talks Need to Make Progress

New rounds of international climate talks are now underway in Doha, Quatar, aiming to reach a new global deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

But hopes for a breakthrough at the negotiations are low among observers across the globe.

An editorial in China Daily says negotiators should still do all they can to make progress on the climate talks, as global warming concerns the well-being of mankind.

The newspaper notes that the two camps in the negotiations - developed and developing nations - both face rising difficulties in making new promises to cut emissions.

It says the United States, with a poor record of fighting climate change, may continue to shun its obligations given its domestic economic troubles.

Also, the European Union, a key advocate of combating global warming, is pressured by its debt crisis and may lose its momentum.

At the same time, China Daily says developing countries cannot cap their emissions anytime soon as they need to grow their economies to lift millions of people out of poverty.

Developing countries once pinned high hopes on the developed nations leading the way towards the new global climate accord meant to be negotiated by the end of 2015 and to start in 2020.

The article says such a situation surely allows no optimism.

But the China Daily editorial stresses that negotiators in Doha still need to overcome the lack of determination and make concerted efforts to combat global warming.

?People's Daily: Free Trade Area to Promote World Trade Development

China, Japan and South Korea recently announced the launch of formal negotiations on a trilateral Free Trade Area, or FTA.

A commentary in the People's Daily newspaper says the implementation of the FTA is significant to China's opening to the outside world. Under the European debt crisis and gloomy world economic prospects, it is urgent and necessary for China to further strengthen economic ties with Japan and South Korea.

The article points out the FTA plays a vital role in pushing forward economic integration in the East Asian region, jointly resisting the risks brought by economic globalization and the increasing status of Asian countries in international trade and economic affairs.

The commentary says the FTA will create a win-win situation for the three countries, enlarging the scale of the trilateral trade and cooperation and improving the overall competitiveness. The three nations can make full use of their competitive advantages in technology and industry from Japan and South Korea and labor-intensive industries in China.

Also, according to the commentary, the trilateral FTA will also reduce trade and investment barriers, lower costs, give full play to the role of the integrated market and further improve trilateral trade, the scale of production and economic benefits.

The commentary boasted of an ideal geographical location: China's east coastal city of Qingdao, which is favored for the strategic implementation of the China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Area with regard to the cooperation in marine science and technology, new energy, energy saving technology and environmental protection.