“Clinton Crisis Worries Asians”
by Thomas Wagner
AP September 11, 1998
Chinese officials have insisted that the scandal concerning U.S. President Bill Clinton will not affect U.S.-China relations. However, there are indications Chinese leaders are worried that the achievements of the recent Clinton-Jiang summit will be undone by the incident. Jin Canrong, an American expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, commented that “China is very concerned. Many people here consider that steady bilateral relations need a strong president.”
“China’s Army Facing Battle for Survival” by John Pomfret
Washington Post August 19, 1998
While the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has announced that 500,000 troops will be deactivated, it is unclear where these troops will find work in the now-ailing economy. A further financial blow will come when the PLA, hounded by complaints of smuggling, will be forced to relinquish many of its money-making enterprises. Finally, the security threat in South Asia poses a serious challenge to the army in its efforts to modernize as it now faces threats on multiple fronts.
“Chinese Destroy Dikes in Effort to Divert Flood Waters From City” by John Pomfret
Washington Post August 10, 1998
Several dikes were dynamited in order to prevent the Yangtze’s flood waters from reaching Wuhan, a major industrial city in central China. Flooding in China has already affected over a quarter of China’s population (240 million people), and the death toll is at least 2,500. While Wuhan was saved, the diverted water wiped out entire villages in outlying regions. The flooding has led some to question official policy that has permitted heavy logging, as well as the ongoing Three Gorges Dam project, which lies downstream.
“Chinese Ambassador Snubs Hearing” by Laura Myers
Washington Post August 6, 1998
In an apparent miscommunication, Chinese Ambassador Li Zhaoxing decided not to appear for what he termed a “meeting” with the House Subcommittee on Human Rights chaired by Congressman Christopher Smith, (R-N.J). The ambassador’s absence was labeled a snub by the committee chairman, who had planned to ask him detailed questions on China’s human rights practices and policies.
Spokesmen from the embassy claimed that the committee did not honor its agreement to structure the session as a meeting and place the ambassador on an equal footing with legislators. Once the event was publicized as a hearing and Li listed as a witness, the embassy informed the committee that the ambassador was willing to discuss the issue with them but would not appear at the hearing.
“No Policy Turn, U.S. Assures Taiwan Again” by Philip Shenon
New York Times July 10, 1998
In a meeting with Richard Bush of the American Institute in Taiwan, Taiwan’s President Lee Teng-hui stated that the U.S. should not engage in bilateral talks with China concerning Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Bush then told reporters that Clinton’s declaration of the “Three Nos” during his recently concluded trip to China was not a change in American policy or an attempt to bolster Chinese reunification demands.