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Week of Septeber 9, 1999

Week of September 9, 1999



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POLITICS: Kuomintang Chooses Presidential Candidate for 2000 Election

SUMMARY:Last week the Kuomintang, currently the ruling party on Taiwan, formally endorsed present Vice President Lien Chan as their presidential candidate for the 2000 election. His running mate is current Premier Vincent Siew. At least one other senior Kuomintang member, who was not chosen as a candidate, will run independently. James Soong, who had high approval ratings when he was Governor, is expected to pull quite a few voters away from the KMT. The KMT recently incorporated Li Teng-hui’s ‘state-to-state?relations clause into its party charter, by means of which it aims to establish an equal position in negotiations with the PRC. The other three contending parties (the Democratic Progressive Party, the Chinese New Party and the Taiwan Independence Party) have not yet endorsed official presidential candidates.


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US-CHINA RELATIONS: Admiral Prueher Approved by China as New Ambassador

SUMMARY:China said it had approved the US nomination of Admiral Joseph Prueher of Pacific Command as the new Ambassador to Beijing. Admiral Prueher will replace Ambassador James Sassar, who returned to the States in July after the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia. He will work for Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign. Previously, Admiral Prueher had been annouced by the US as the new Ambassador, but was not approved by the Chinese.


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SOCIETY: China Prepares for the 50th Anniversary of the PRC

SUMMARY:In addition to a parade around Tiananmen Square, Chinese plans for the October 1 anniversary celebration include heightened security for a radius of 4 miles around central Beijing beginning lasting from noon, Sept 30 until after midnight on October 1. Security measures include a ban on the use of cooking gas and the dispersal of snipers on rooftops during the morning parade. Most buildings along the Chang An Road parade route will be closed and emptied. These elaborate security precautions have frustrated central Beijing businesses, many of which have decided to shut down entirely for the anniversary. Chinese security forces have been on the lookout for disruptive forces across the county on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic.


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US-CHINA RELATIONS: Clinton and Jiang to meet Saturday in New Zealand

SUMMARY:Chinese president Jiang Zeming and President Clinton will meet at the annual APEC summit, held this year in Aukland, New Zealand, on Saturday. Among other topics, their meeting will certainly include discussion on China’s entrance into the WTO and the US position on Taiwan, the two most sensitive topics in US-China relations in recent weeks. China has just re-entered negotiations over entry into the WTO, suspended since the May 8 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia. Jiang is expected to seek reassurance that the US does not support Taiwanese independence, although Clinton has been under some pressure to urge China’s leaders to renounce the use of force against Taiwan. The KMT, Taiwan’s ruling party, recently incorporated into their party charter a theory of ‘state to state?relations, demonstrating their belief that China and Taiwan should be negotiating from equal positions. China has condemned this action, and warned Taiwan not to consider holding a referendum on independence.


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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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