Week of November 3, 2000
Week of June 13, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
DOMESTIC: Chinese to Try American on Charges of
SUMMARY: (7/11/01) Li Shaomin,
a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, was scheduled to be tried by China on charges
of spying for Taiwan on July 14. Although the trial was not to be open
to the public, an American diplomat and an interpreter were to be allowed
to attend, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. Li, a professor
of business, has a P.H.D. from Princeton University. He was arrested in
February after going from Hong Kong to the mainland; he taught at City
University of Hong Kong. He is one of at least six Chinese-born scholars
having associations with the U.S. who have been arrested by Chinese authorities
for spying over the past year. In a telephone conversation with Chinese
President Jiang Zemin on July 4, U.S. President Bush asked that Li and
the other scholars be allowed to return home.
China claims Li has confessed to being a spy.
As espionage trials usually do not take place in China unless the government
is sure of winning, it is likely Li will be convicted. However, because
of the publicity his case has received in the U.S., he will likely be deported.
In the last year, many of China’s most outspoken
editors have been relieved of their jobs and several publications have
been closed. Scholars at the Academy of Social Sciences report being under
increased surveillance by the government. The reason for the crackdown
is unclear. But in a recently published interview, President Jiang said
Western nations used “ideological infiltration?to break up the Soviet
Union and that they were attempting to do the same to China.
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DOMESTIC: China Stages Large-Scale
SUMMARY: (7/11/01) The war games China has staged over the last few
weeks have involved a simulated Chinese attack on a Taiwanese island and
intervention by an American aircraft carrier battle group. Articles
about the war games in the July issue of International Outlook magazine
parts of China’s military working in integrated fashion for the first
time. The magazine is published by the Shanghai Institute for International
Affairs and is
associated with Wang Daohan, who oversees China’s relations with Taiwan.
“What is notable is the size, duration and efforts to combine elements
of navy, air force, army and artillery units,?said Bates Gill, an expert
on the Chinese
military at the Brookings Institution. Before these exercises, Chinese
exercises were performed concurrently but not under unified command. However,
expressed doubt as to whether the exercises contained the degree of
integration claimed in International Outlook.
The exercises have occurred over the last few weeks on and around Dongshan
Island off China’s southeastern coast. Many analysts say in a war with
Taiwan, China’s first move would be to take one of Taiwan’s outlying
islands. Zhang Wannian, China’s top general, was in charge of the exercises.
According to the magazine, a new electronic warfare unit was used for
the first time over the Taiwan Strait in coordination with surveillance
satellites in the
first stage of the exercises, which dealt with “information warfare.?
In the second stage of the exercises, Chinese forces launched a joint navy,
air force attack on Dongshan Island. In the third stage, Chinese forces
simulated a counter-attack against an enemy fleet, obviously representing
intervening in the war in the Strait.
The magazine reported the use of various sophisticated weapons in the
exercises, including a Russian anti-aircraft missile system like America’s
two new Sovremenny-class guided-missile destroyers for use against
U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups, SU-27 fighter aircraft and Kilo-class
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DOMESTIC: Taiwan’s Nationalists
Put Forth Confederation Option
SUMMARY: (6/29, 7/2. 7/9, 7/12) Taiwan’s main opposition
Nationalist Party (KMT) has suggested Taiwan could form a confederation
China. Lien Chan, head of the KMT, said such
an idea “is not the only option, but it is one option.?The proposal was
drafted by Su Chi, former chairman
of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council. “Nobody
talks about `special state to state?anymore,?Su said, referring to former
President Lee Teng-hui’s call in
1999 for Beijing and Taiwan to negotiate on a
“special state-to-state?basis. Su said the confederation idea would be
discussed at the Nationalist Party’s
annual congress July 29 and 30.
Lee has backed Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian
of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and has tacitly
approved of a new party
that will ally with the DPP. “It’s very clear
Lee Teng-hui and Lien Chan have gone their separate ways,?said political
scientist Emile Sheng of Soochow
University. Meanwhile, former Nationalist James
Soong, head of the People’s First Party, says he generally agrees with
the KMT’s China policy; his party
has jointly supported some candidates with the
KMT in provincial elections.
A recent poll found 33% of Taiwanese would be
able to accept reunification with China under the type of “one-country,
Beijing and Hong Kong. That number is up from
23 percent last December. Taiwan’s economy is at its lowest level in 19
years. About 50,000 Taiwanese
companies have invested more than $45 billion
in mainland China, and 2001 trade between China and Taiwan was projected
in January to total $30 billion.
In the confederation proposal, Taiwan and China
would retain separate central governments which would have control over
diplomatic, defense and
internal affairs, but would exist “under the
same roof.?Beijing and Taipei could then negotiate a more formal integration.
In March, Chinese President Jiang
Zemin ruled out a confederation between China
and Taiwan. Other Chinese officials have refused to regard Beijing and
Taipei as equals.
Taiwanese newspapers reported cabinet Secretary-General
Chiou I-jen as maintaining that the Taiwanese government would be willing
to let its Mainland
Affairs Council hold direct talks with China’s
Taiwan Affairs Office, if China agreed. However, Chiou did not say Taiwan
accepted the one-China principle,
which China has said Taiwan must accept for talks
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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 20 July 2001