Week of January 19, 2000
Week of January 19, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: Colin Powell Speaks on China
during Senate Confirmation Hearing
SUMMARY: During his Senate confirmation hearing as
incoming President Bush?nominee for secretary of state, retired general
Colin Powell answered questions on a variety of questions regarding the
future direction of U.S. foreign policy, and elaborated on the subject
of U.S.-China relations. Powell explained that the United States
should pursue a relationship with China that is “constructive, helpful,
and that is in our interest.?amp;nbsp; He defended the Bush position that
the United States should provide for the defense of Taiwan, but didn’t
specify the role the U.S. should intervene if a crisis was to break out
in the Taiwan straits. On Tibet, he explained that the United States would
continue to support the Dalai Lama and the solidarity of its people.
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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: U.S. Missile Defense Risks
Arms Race with China, Analysts Say
SUMMARY: President-elect George Bush’s support
of a National Missile Defense system (NMD) could cause an arms race between
America and its allies Japan and Taiwan on the one hand and China on the
other, analysts maintain. Wu Guoguang, a Sino-US expert at Chinese University
of Hong Kong, said missile defense is a sign of such a likely arms race.
“It’s obvious that if the United States develops the system, China will
have to spend a lot more on missile technology,?said Joseph Cheng, a China
observer at City University of Hong Kong. China fears a regional version
of NMD, a Theater Missile Defense system (TMD), could be used by Taiwan,
which it considers as a renegade province.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhu Bangzao
on Tuesday called on the U.S. to abandon NMD, which he said would “undermine
the global strategic balance.?amp;nbsp; Chu Shulong, a senior researcher at
the Modern International Relations Research Institute, a Chinese government
think tank, said there is a question over the feasibility of NMD, and questions
on whether there is domestic support for developing such a system in the
U.S. “Democrats in Congress may be even more reluctant to support it than
they were under Clinton,?Chu said.
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INTERNATIONAL: Li Peng Concludes India Visit, Coincides with India Missile
SUMMARY: Li Peng, China’s second most powerful leader, concluded
a visit to India on January 17, which raised hopes in the two countries
that they can move beyond their differences that have complicated their
relationship over the past several decades and cooperate in areas of mutual
interest. Border disputes that have been a source of tension since
border wars in the early 1960s have more recently headed towards resolution.
India’s May 1998 nuclear tests have strained Sino-Indian relations when
India cited Pakistan and China as threats to its national security.
However, Li’s visit to India and meetings with Indian Prime Minister
Atal Bahari Vajpayee, are considered by analysts to indicate a new direction
in bilateral ties toward a common perception of a new global order.
In addition, analysts see Li’s visit during a time when there has not been
any new breakthrough in relations as a signal of China’s recognition that
it can no longer continue to ignore India’s growing economic and military
influence in Asia and the world. Despite the positive prospects of
the visit, no concrete measures were taken to resolve remaining disagreements
on contentious issues.
Upon the conclusion of Li’s trip, India successfully test-fired its
nuclear-capable Agni-II intermediate ballistic missile for the second time.
Upon receipt of this news, China’s foreign ministry stated that they had
taken note of the launch and would work with the international community
to prevent an arms race in South Asia.
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INTERNATIONAL: North Korean Leader Visits China
SUMMARY: For the second time in less than a year,
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is visiting China, a Chinese official has
confirmed. Kim also visited China last May 29-31. South Korean sources
indicated that the purpose of Kim’s visit is to study Chinese economic
reforms, to coordinate strategy with China on dealing with the incoming
Bush Administration, and to discuss inter-Korean relations. A South Korean
diplomat said Kim could also be coordinating policy towards Russia, where
he will visit in February.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted Chinese
sources as maintaining that Kim arrived in Shangai on Monday, that he would
tour that city’s Pudong industrial zone, and that he would visit Shenzhen,
where China launched reform in the 1980s. A Seoul newspaper said Kim brought
about 20 officials with him, including Jo Myong-rok, head of the General
Political Department of the army. Jo visited Washington, D.C. in October.
Another South Korean newspaper said Kim would visit with Chinese President
Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji. On Wednesday, Kim visited a Shanghai
Buick plant operating in a joint venture with General Motors, and also
the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Kim’s last visit to China was understood by many
as having paved the way for his June summit in Pyongyang with South Korean
leader Kim Dae-jung.
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DOMESTIC: Chinese Government Defends Anti-Falun Gong
SUMMARY: The Chinese Government has issued statements
defending its crackdown on Falun Gong. The official New China News Agency
said the crackdown is supported by “people from all walks of life.?The
Chinese government also stated that since 1996 there has been widespread
complaint about Falun Gong “destroying families, endangering the physical
and spiritual health of followers, threatening social order and illegally
raising funds.?The government accuses Falun Gong of urging people to refuse
medical treatment and of being responsible for 1600 deaths.
According to the Hong Kong-based Information Center
for Human Rights and Democracy, up to 10,000 Falun Gong followers are being
held in Chinese labor camps and 98 members have died in police custody.
The Chinese government maintains that 242 Falun Gong followers are in jail
and an unspecified number are in labor reeducation camps for disrupting
social order by participating in illegal demonstrations. It maintains that
nobody is in a labor camp purely for being a Falun Gong follower.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong immigration officials last
weekend deported 13 Falun Gong members who tried to attend a conference
in the province, where Falun Gong is legal. A Hong Kong government official
said the authorities warned Falun Gong over “offensive?political statements
made at the conference, held in a government facility. The government says
the purpose of the conference was supposed to be to discuss culture and
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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 26 January 2001