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Week of October 27, 2000

Week of October 27, 2000

The U.S. and China This Week

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DOMESTIC: More Demonstrations by Falungong

A second large-scale demonstration by Falungong followers was attempted this week on Tiananmen Square.  Members of the religious sect scattered leaflets and held up banners before they were violently stopped by large groups of plainclothes police.

The demonstration was to coincide with the legislature’s decision a year ago to use an anti-cult law to imprison its group leaders.  However, due to an embarrassing protest on Oct. 1, police have seemed better prepared to quickly quell any outbursts that may sporadically pop up on the Square.

Many of the leaflets, which were scooped up by the police, read, “Justice is clear.  Good and evil will be repaid in kind?or “Jiang Zemin’s blood debts are piling up.  He’s guilty of monstrous crimes.?#060;/font>

Also this week, according to the Information Center on Human Rights and Democracy, two more Falungong followers have died in police custody, bringing the total number of detained-related deaths to 59.

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INTERNATIONAL:  China Carefully Monitors Korean-US Thaw

China has carefully monitored the warming relations between North Korea and the United States.  Many analysts believe Beijing is nervous about losing its influence with Pyongyang as it moves closer to South Korea and the U.S.

In a bold diplomatic move, China sent its Chinese Defense Minister, Chi Haotian, to Pyongyang 24 hours before the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  Chi stayed throughout her visit and met Kim Yong-Nam, North’s defacto head of state, after her departure.

“That was no simple coincidence.  The Chinese are shadowing every move by the Americans to ensure they keep playing an important role on the Korean peninsula,?said a European diplomat.

China also has marked the 50th anniversary of it entrance into the Korean War with lots of publicity and fanfare.  Many articles praised the soldiers who fought against South Korean and U.S.-led troops.  “No matter how things change, our gratitude to their contribution to peace at home, on the Korean Peninsula, in the Far East and the world as a whole shall never abate.?The official China Daily said.

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INTERNATIONAL: Jiang and French President Chirac Meet in Yangzhou

French President Jacques Chirac and President Jiang met for a day in Yangzhou to discuss bilateral relations and international concerns.

One touchy issue brought forward by Chirac was human rights, especially the plight of Roman Catholics in China and religious freedom in Tibet. Chirac’s spokeswoman Catherine Colonna explained that the French leader had encouraged Beijing to ratify two United Nations human rights covenants.  Jiang also received a list of individual cases of particular concern to France.

Though China has signed UN conventions on economic, social, civil and political rights, the National People’s Congress has yet to ratify them.  Vice Premier Qian Qichen, who also participated in the talks, said the NPC would reexamine the pacts and that the government backs ratification.

Both leaders also discussed China’s anger over the French sale of an observation satellite to Taiwan.  While the French have insisted the satellite is only for commercial uses, China believes it has military capabilities, therefore the sale violated the 1994 agreement with France not to sell arms to Taiwan.

Chirac then spent time in Beijing where he chaired the third Sino-EU summit as President of the European Council.  The issue of China’s entry into the WTO was discussed.

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

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Last updated: 27 October 2000

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