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Week of November 3, 2000

Week of July 27, 2001

The U.S. and China This Week


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INTERNATIONAL: China Strikes Hard to Return North Korean Refugees

SUMMARY: (7/23/01) - The international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders has expressed “grave concern? that North Korean refugees China is in the process of forcibly repatriating will be harmed when they return to their homeland. The group says in a new report that the Chinese government has put up posters on the border between China and North Korea asking Chinese to turn in refugees, who China calls “economic migrants.?The posters reportedly threaten Chinese with heavy fines if they harbor a refugee. The Chinese government is also rewarding its citizens for turning in refugees, Doctors Without Borders maintains.

The group estimates thousands of refugees have been repatriated since China began its crackdown in May as part of its Strike Hard campaign against crime. The group claims that the returning refugees face retaliation ranging “from interrogation, reeducation and imprisonment to capital punishment.?China has signed a United Nations covenant guarding against forcible repatriation of U.N.-designated refugees. U.N. officials accused China of violating the covenant when it sent back a North Korean family last year.

Tens of thousands of North Koreans have gone to China, mostly to find food. North Korea has had a famine since 1994, which has led to an estimated one to two million deaths. Various Western aid agencies say the ruling Korean Workers?Party allocates food aid to Party officials, the military and workers seen as vital to the reign of leader Kim Jong Il, and not to the neediest individuals.

China and North Korea have an agreement in which China pledged to send back refugees, but it has only been implemented sporadically. One resident in a border city claimed 50 people are being sent back to North Korea every other day, compared to 20 per week before the repatriation campaign started.
 


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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: China Convicts, Frees Two U.S. Residents

SUMMARY: (7/25/01-7/26/01) - A day after a Chinese court convicted two Chinese individuals who are permanent residents of the United States of
espionage and sentenced them both to ten years in prison, China released the two scholars on medical parole. Gao Zhan, 39, an American University
sociologist and Qin Guangguang, a pharmaceutical company executive, were found to have “collected intelligence for spy agencies in Taiwan, causing a
serious threat to China’s national security,?according to the New China News Agency. Qin had been a visiting scholar at various American universities
before going back to China.

Both Gao and Qin were convicted July 25; Gao arrived in Washington D.C. July 26. A third individual, local Chinese scholar Qu Wei, was found guilty of
leaking “national secrets and intelligence?and received a 13-year jail sentence.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Sun Yuxi, said China had “irrefutable evidence that Gao Zhan worked for Taiwan espionage agencies and
received funds from them.?Sun said Gao had confessed to such activities. Gao apparently was punished for collecting speeches, book excerpts and
magazine pieces about Taiwan and China-Taiwan relations from Qu and giving them to Li Shaomin, a Chinese-born American who was recently convicted
of espionage by China and deported to the U.S. July 25. Gao was arrested February 11 along with her husband, Xue Donghua, and their five-year-old son
Andrew. The latter two were released after 26 days. Less is known about Qin’s case.

Scholars who perform research in China are concerned by the trials of Gao and Li, as it is common for such individuals to collect photocopied materials and
to get funding from Taiwan’s government or from academic foundations in Taiwan.

Before Gao’s release, a senior State Department official said the Bush administration was “quite dismayed?by her sentence and the way her trial was
conducted. “We are concerned about the lack of transparency in the process and the speed at which this was done,?he said. Representative Tom Lantos
(D-Calif.), called Gao’s conviction a “diplomatic slap in the face? to America given that it came on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit to
China.

Also before the release of Gao and Qin, Powell said the Bush administration was following the situation closely. He said that China’s government should
realize that becoming a “full fledged member of the international community? requires more than just economic achievement. He maintained the
international community is one of human rights, individual rights and increasing democratization. China’s ambassador to the U.S., Yang Jiechi, said Beijing
and Washington should “concentrate on the big picture, and some things should not be played up way out of proportion.?After the release of Gao and Qin,
Powell said U.S.-China relations were “on the upswing now, now that these irritations are behind us ??


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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: Powell Upbeat On U.S.-China Relationship

SUMMARY: (7/26/01) - As Secretary of State Colin Powell toured Asia, he sounded upbeat about U.S.-China relations. Following the release of U.S.
residents Gao Zhan and Qin Guangguang, who had been convicted by China of espionage, Powell said he knew China was “anxious to move forward.?#060;/font>
Powell met with Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on July 25 in Hanoi, Vietnam, where both were attending the annual gathering of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations. Bush administration officials said that Tang had told the foreign ministers of ASEAN that China supported the “constructive role
of the United States in Asia and the Pacific.?#060;/font>

According to Powell, the Chinese “are anxious to work with us. They believe that we have a role to play in the region. They are not trying to squeeze us
out.?Before his Asia trip, Powell did not refer to China as a “strategic competitor,?as President George W. Bush did during his campaign. At a State
Department news conference, he said China is an “important and powerful country that is going through a transformation, an economic transformation, a
political transformation. It is trying to control that transformation and trying to control transforming forces that are within the society.?#060;/font>
 


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