China morning round-up: Hong Kong chief apologises

Donald Tsang at the chamber of Hong Kong's Legislative Council, 1 March 2012
Image caption Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said he is willing to cooperate with investigations

National and regional newspapers in mainland China examine the ongoing political saga in Hong Kong in their Friday coverage.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang apologisedas he attended an extraordinary question and answer session at the Legislative Council - the city's mini-parliament.

He has been criticised for accepting invitations to use private jets and yachts belonging to businessmen with commercial interests in Hong Kong.

Shanghai Dailysays the scandal adds to growing worries about the integrity of public officials in the city that prides itself on clean government.

Guangzhou's Southern Metropolis Dailyreports Mr Tsang's pledge to give up renting a luxury penthouse in neighbouring Shenzhen that he planned to move to after he steps down on 1 July.

Shanghai's China Business Newsdescribed the moment when Mr Tsang almost broke down in tears in the chamber, and briefly profiled the businessmen reported to have offered him hospitality.

Hong Kong'sMing Pao Daily Newscriticised the chief executive for "apologising but not admitting wrongdoing", while the pro-BeijingWen Wei Posays Mr Tsang offered a sincere apology and therefore the legislature should not "abuse" its right to impeach.

Back in the capital, aftera series of warningsfrom local officials on Tibetan stability, a state official has joined the war of words.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, says the "Dalai Group" is trying to stir up disturbances in Tibetan communities, reports thePeople's Daily.

He was referring to the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama.

"We should consider both internal and external situations and firmly follow the gist of 'making progress while maintaining stability',"China Dailyquoting Mr Jia as saying, "striving for steady economic growth in Tibet and the Tibetan-inhabited areas in the four provinces."

Beijing Newsand others report on theresolutionpassed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva which condemned the Syrian government for violating the human rights of the country's people.

Both China and Russia voted against the resolution, as thePeople's Dailyfought back with a commentary in its domestic edition.

It accused "relevant countries" of making use of the UN platform to pave the way for military intervention in Syria "in the name of protecting human rights".

Relations between the US and North Korea are still in focus.The Global Timessays some Western analysts were amazed by Pyongyang's announcement that it would halt nuclear tests, describing it as a "leap-year miracle".

China Daily's editorialsays the agreement, from Pyongyang's point of view, "signals not only the consolidation of the new leadership, but also its policy flexibility".

The Global Times' bilingual editorialsays: "China must help build up trust on the Korean Peninsula and believe its ties will never be overridden by US ties with North Korea."

The Global Timestranslated an article published in Time Magazine, which raised doubts over the sustainability of China's economic development.

People's Daily Overseas Editionpublishes a front-page commentary in response to the Time article, criticising it as the latest representation of "bad-mouthing China", which "bears no credibility".

China Dailyand Southern Metropolis Daily also report the announcement by the Chinese cabinet that forced labour for people in police detention has now been outlawed.

The administrative regulations issued by the State Council also protect detainees from insults and abuse, reports say.

Beijing Newssays the regulation has further required detention centres to inform family members that they are holding detainees.

Previous complaints from family members of political dissidents and right activists suggest that some of them were not notified of their relatives' detention.

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