Week of November 3, 2000
Week of July 27, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
INTERNATIONAL: China Strikes Hard to Return North
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
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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,
serious threat to China’s national security,?according to the New
China News Agency. Qin had been a visiting scholar at various American
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
leaking “national secrets and intelligence?and received a 13-year
A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Sun Yuxi, said China had
“irrefutable evidence that Gao Zhan worked for Taiwan espionage agencies
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
Andrew. The latter two were released after 26 days. Less is known about
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
to get funding from Taiwan’s government or from academic foundations
Before Gao’s release, a senior State Department official said the Bush
administration was “quite dismayed?by her sentence and the way her trial
conducted. “We are concerned about the lack of transparency in the
process and the speed at which this was done,?he said. Representative
(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
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,
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
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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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 2 August 2001