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Week of January 19, 2000

Week of January 19, 2001

The U.S. and China This Week


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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 Test-Fire

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 Measures

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 religion.
 


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

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