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Week of May 7, 1999

Week of May 7, 1999



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Fallout from Los Alamos Investigation

SUMMARY:

Evidence of lax security procedures and a break-down in communication between federal agencies involved in the investigation of possible espionage by scientist Lee Wenho, has been scrutinized at Congressional hearings this week. At an Energy Committee hearing chaired by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AL) directors of some of America’s nuclear labs admitted that security remains a concern despite efforts to tighten it since the espionage was uncovered. According to these witnesses, it is possible for scientists to download encrypted information on computer disks and carry them off lab premises. Such potential breaches alarmed the members of the committee. Poor coordination of an investigation into Mr. Lee that was initiated in 1982 between the Department of Energy, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. was also addressed at the hearing.


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China Berates NATO on Air Strikes

SUMMARY:

China continued its criticism of NATO air strikes in Yugoslavia. This week a Chinese human rights group, the China Society for Human Rights Studies, blasted NATO’s actions, comparing them to 19th century imperialism and asserted that a nation’s sovereignty could not be denied in the name of advocating human rights.


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May Fourth Observation Includes Detention of Dissidents

SUMMARY:

Tuesday marked the 80th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, a patriotic movement which began with student-led nationalist demonstrations and which sparked widespread interest and debate in Western science and democracy. There were many officially sponsored celebrations stressing patriotism. Democratic aspects of the movement were generally ignored, and authorities were quick to stop unauthorized meetings, detaining many activists. Chinese leaders are worried about social unrest in a year of politically charged anniversaries, including the 10th anniversary of another student movement, the June 4th Tiananmen Square Incident.


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DPP Tones Down Independence Rhetoric

SUMMARY:

At a party meeting last weekend, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) amended its platform to signal a retreat from its pro-independence rhetoric in preparation for upcoming elections. The decision was made in an effort to appeal to a greater number of Taiwan’s voters who have expressed concern that the election of a DDP candidate to the office of the president might provoke China. In an effort to demonstrate its moderation, the DPP has agreed to end its boycott of the island’s official name, the Republic of China. The DPP’s leader, Chen Shui-bian will run for the presidency in the year 2000 against a National Party (Koumintang) candidate and candidates from smaller parties.


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Chinese Accused of Espionage in Taiwan

SUMMARY:

On April 28, 1999 Taiwan arrested three men visiting the island from China on charges of spying at an air base that houses F-16 fighters. The three were working illegally on a construction project at the base, which allegedly gave them access to the F-16s. The men were identified as Wang Shengyeh, Wang Shengmao and Lin Guijieh. Taiwanese relatives of the Wangs stated that the two men were there to visit family members and were attempting to earn extra money to augment their meager income from farming.



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