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Week of July 21, 2000

Week of July 21, 2000

The U.S. and China This Week

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INTERNATIONAL: Jiang and Putin Hold Summit Meeting

SUMMARY: China and Russia’s presidents held a summit this week to bring their countries relationship ties to a "new" and "higher" level. During their meeting a joint communiqu?was signed that clearly stated opposition to the U.S. proposed national missile defense system. The New China News Agency reported part of the communiqu as saying; "The nature of the [NMD] plan is to seek unilateral military and security advantages…Implementing this plan will have the most grave adverse consequences not only for the security of Russia, China and other countries, but also for the security of the United States and global strategic stability...Therefore China and Russia are firmly opposed to such a system."

Furthermore, the joint communiqu?also focused on China’s concerns over Taiwan. It warned against deployment of "non strategic missile defense system...[and] incorporating Taiwan in any foreign missile defense system in any way is unacceptable and will seriously undermine regional stability."

Both Putin and Jiang have repeatedly and openly opposed the US missile program, accusing it of damaging the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and threatening a new arms race.

The two leaders also signed accords on banking and energy cooperation in order to improve trade relations between the neighboring countries. According to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade with Russia in the first half of 2000 totaled $3.26 billion. Comparatively, trade with the US in 1999 totaled $94.9 billion.

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DOMESTIC: Renewed Conflict with Falun Gong Erupt

SUMMARY: As the one year anniversary of the Falun Gong crack down approached this week, protestors from all over China have been converging on Tiananmen Square to demonstrate against what they believe is the government’s over reaction to and illegal detention of Falun Gong followers. Because the authorities have recently heightened their smear-campaign and have beefed up security, many protestors are immediately grabbed when they display signs or banners.

According to a Communist Party official involved in security work, the police have picked up at least 200 religious followers from Tiananmen every day over this past week. Many protestors have refused to give their names or hometowns, making it difficult to file arrest forms.

A Hong Kong-based human rights group reported another two deaths of Falun Gong followers from mistreatment while in detention, bringing the death total up to 24.

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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: PNTR Vote held up in Senate until September

SUMMARY: It was reported that the US Senate vote for the landmark trade bill to grant China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) would mostly likely be delayed again until September. According to Senate Majority leader Trent Lott, who sets the chamber’s agenda, this delay would not be "dangerous" or threaten the eventual passage of the bill. However, even though the Senate vote has always been reassured, Lott has held up the scheduling of the PNTR vote for several weeks, stating that a top priority has been to pass two tax cutting measures and to review a proposal aimed at investigating alleged illicit arms transfer by China.

Business groups, President Clinton and Democrats, including Senator Max Baucus, have been urging Lott to set a date for the vote. Many fear, as time drags on, that extra amendments will be added to the bill, thereby forcing it back to the House for another potentially harmful vote.

However, Lott reassured critics that come September, "The headline is going to read...’Senate Passes China Trade Bill?#034; he said. "And I don’t think there’s going to be any significant change or any way to stop that."

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

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Last updated: 21 July 2000
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