Week of November 3, 2000
Week of August 24, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
DOMESTIC: 45 Falun Gong Members Jailed; Adherent
Sentenced to Death
SUMMARY: (8/20; 8/22) - A total
of 45 Falun Gong members were jailed within a few day period, according
to the Beijing Daily. Zhang Hongli was given a sentence of 13 years for
renting a safe house used by Falun Gong members, making banners, and printing
leaflets for the group. Two other individuals, Shao Qiang and Qiu Xiuxin,
were given 10-year sentences for producing banners and organizing members
to fly them in Tiananmen Square. The Beijing Daily referred to those sentenced
The official New China News Agency quoted senior
judge Gao Jinghong as indicating that Falun Gong members who turn on their
comrades would receive lenient treatment, but “organizers, plotters, helpers
and instigators?would receive harsh punishment.
Meanwhile, the Liuzhou District Intermediate People’s
Court in the southwestern region of Guangxi sentenced Lan Yunchang of Rongan
county to death for murder, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Lan
was convicted of using an axe to kill fellow villager Wei Shaoming because
Wei would not give him arsenic so he could commit suicide. The murder occurred
April 16, and Lan turned himself in the following day. Lan was given a
two-year reprieve; such death sentences often are commuted to life in prison
if the convict behaves well in prison. Xinhua referred to Lan as a “diehard?
Falun Gong adherent.
On August 17, eight Falun Gong members initiated
a hunger strike outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. in solidarity
with 130 comrades who went on hunger strike three weeks ago in the northeastern
Chinese province of Liaoning.
Also on August 17, four people accused of organizing
the January 23 self-immolations in Tiananmen Square were convicted of murder.
A woman and her 12-year-old daughter died in that incident. One defendant
was sentenced to life in prison, while the others got sentences of up to
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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: China
Permits Carrier Group to Stop in Hong Kong
SUMMARY: (8/20) - A U.S. aircraft carrier group stopped in Hong Kong
August 20, the most significant U.S. military group to visit China since
the controversy over the airplane collision in early April. However, according
to the Xinhua news agency, Beijing recently declined an offer to host a
U.S. long-range reconnaissance plane.
The U.S.S. Constellation, a frigate, two destroyers, a nuclear submarine
and another ship stopped northwest of Hong Kong island for a six-day visit.
The carrier group and another carrier group led by the U.S.S. Vinson held
military exercises in the South China Sea August 17. While some defense
analysts drew significance from the fact that the exercises were held at
the same time as Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, Rear
Admiral Terrance Etnyre said it was simply a good time to hold exercises
because the carrier groups were in the same area. The Constellation was
returning from Singapore, while the Vinson was going to the Middle East.
According to the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong, the Chinese denied a visit
to a P-3C Orion plane, similar to the EP-3E spy plane that collided with
a Chinese fighter jet April 1. China denied entry to a U.S. minesweeper
in May but subsequently allowed two other minesweepers to stop in China
in late July.
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DOMESTIC: Monk Reportedly Taken
From Buddhist Center
SUMMARY: (8/21) - A frail 68-year-old monk was reportedly
taken away from his isolated mountain center, the Serthar religious academy
in Larung valley in western Sichuan province, by Chinese authorities. The
stated reason was that he needed medical treatment, according to the London-based
Tibet Information Network. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog is reputed to be the reincarnation
of the tutor of the 13th Dalai Lama, who preceded the current Dalai Lama.
Phuntsog had been forced to stay in his residence since June, when the
Chinese government began a campaign to make as many as 5,000 monks and
nuns vacate the academy. TIN maintained that Phuntsog originally resisted
efforts to take him away.
TIN reported new witnesses as claiming that as
many as half the 3,000 nuns at the academy have been forced to vacate it,
some of them after being required to denounce the Dalai Lama. Some monks
and nuns have said they will commit suicide before leaving the academy,
according to TIN.
The United Front Work Department, a Communist
Party organization, is overseeing the crackdown on Serthar, according to
various sources. Between 6,000 and 7,000 monks and nuns reside at Serthar.
The goal of the UFWD is reportedly to lessen the number to 1,000 monks
and 400 nuns by October. An official with the Sichuan Religious Affairs
Bureau said in June that the campaign to lessen the numbers of monks and
nuns at the academy was undertaken “because of concerns about social stability
and at the order of central authorities.?#060;/font>
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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: U.S., China Hold One-Day
Talk On Missile Control
SUMMARY: (8/23) - The U.S. and China held one-day
discussions on missile control August 23, after which neither country would
talk about the outcome. In November, China signed an agreement with the
U.S. in which it pledged it would not help any other nation develop ballistic
missiles that could carry nuclear weapons. China also said it would implement
export controls on missiles and missile-related technology. The U.S. in
return indicated it might resume talks on topics such as launching satellites
from China, a practice that garners China significant profits. After the
agreement, the U.S. discarded the threat of sanctions against Chinese companies
thought to be selling missiles and missile technology to Pakistan and Iran.
This month the Washington Times quoted intelligence individuals as saying
that a Chinese state enterprise recently shipped 12 bunches of missile
components to Pakistan. China called the report “baseless.?China’s foreign
ministry did not mention technology exports in its statement about the
negotiations with the U.S., apparently indicating the matter should not
block greater cooperation between the U.S. and China. China urged a swift
return to launching U.S. satellites from China.
The U.S. side in the talks featured Assistant Secretary of State Vann
Van Diepen. The talks were arranged by Secretary of State Colin Powell
in his recent visit to China. China temporarily postponed the negotiations
after the April 1 plane collision between the American intelligence plane
and the Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea. The August 23 meeting
was also supposed to deal with the issue of Chinese companies shipping
fiber optic materials to Iraq, which appear to have broken U.N. Security
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DOMESTIC: China Admits Serious AIDS Problem
SUMMARY: (8/23) - China admitted August 23
that it has a “very serious?AIDS problem, with HIV cases having increased
by 2/3 in one year. Vice Minister of Health Yin Dakui said, “Like many
other countries in the world, China is also faced with a very serious epidemic
of HIV/AIDS.?Reported HIV infections in China went up 67.4% year-on-year
to 3,541 cases in the first six months of 2001. Earlier this year, state
media reported certain villages in the northern province of Henan had HIV
infection rates of 65 percent. Dr. Sun Xinhua, director of Division II
Department of Disease Control, said the government thinks the AIDS problem
is confined to Henan but is not sure. He said there would be surveys of
According to health ministry experts, China could
have more than 600,000 people who are HIV positive. The official cumulative
number of HIV infected individuals that China reports is 26,058. The U.N.
says China will have 10 million or more HIV positive individuals by 2010
if it does not take firm action. Of China’s reported total, 69.8% are from
intravenous drug use, 6.9% are from heterosexual contact, and 21% are from
unknown causes, according to the Xinhua news agency.
China is going to examine whether mobile blood
banks like the kind that infected villagers in Henan infected people in
other areas. A particularly dangerous practice of extracting plasma and
then returning mixed blood to donors in order to prevent anemia is said
to have ended around 1996. But 996 HIV infections are said to have been
caused by blood plasma donations between 1998 and June 2001.
This month, China announced 100 million yuan ($12
million) would go to combat the spread of AIDS; many think this is too
small. Vice Minister of Health Yin said, “The leaders and the general public
there do not fully realize the hidden dangers of a large scale epidemic
of HIV/AIDS as well as the harm it may bring about to the local social
development and general public in those places.?#060;/font>
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Cheng Feng, project manager of China-U.K. HIV/AIDS
Prevention and Care Project, said while the Beijing government has a good
AIDS policy, some local governments “have a very low commitment,?and some
are even trying to hide their AIDS problem.
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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 16 July 2001