Week of September 21, 2001
Week of September 21, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
INTERNATIONAL: U.S. Reportedly
Expels Chinese Journalists
SUMMARY: (9/17; 9/19) ?Some State Department officials
maintain that the United States expelled a group of Chinese journalists
who were visiting Washington, D.C. as part of the International Visitor
Program because some of them publicly lauded the terrorist attacks in New
York and D.C. that took thousands of American lives. “Under the current
circumstances, it was decided not to continue the tour,?a State Department
official said, without giving the reason. But other sources confirmed there
were reports that some of the journalists celebrated news reports of the
attacks with applause and cheering.
Chinese deputy chief of mission in Washington,
D.C. He Yafei denied the Chinese delegation had been expelled at a press
conference. He said the journalists had been informed that their visit
had to be curtailed because of the “unexpected and unusual circumstances?
of the terrorist attacks. He said members of the delegation denied there
was any applauding of the attacks.
There were 14 journalists on the 28-day program
financed by the State Department. The International Visitors Program allows
foreign professionals to come to the U.S. to meet with American counterparts.
The Chinese journalists had also been scheduled to visit New York. The
State Department official said other similar groups are being reviewed
“on a case-by-case basis.?A senior State Department official has verified
that other groups have been allowed to stay on their visits.
Under the 40-year-old International Visitor Program,
more than 186 current and former heads of state and more than 1500 senior
foreign government officials have come to the U.S. Meanwhile, in China,
the government has limited state-media to basically reporting death numbers
and official pronouncements. The Chinese public is reportedly split between
nationalists and isolationists who believe the U.S. is acting as an international
policeman and who want China to eschew military intervention and internationalists
who want China to help in the fight against terrorism.
“Since America bombed our embassy, most Chinese
have felt the U.S. should reap what it sows,?said Ms. Wan, a 24-year-old
who herself felt the act of terror was a tragedy. Chinese analysts have
indicated the government of China will be in a difficult position in coming
weeks because it will want to be seen as voicing strong words against terrorism
but also has close ties to states America says sponsor terrorism, such
as Iraq and Libya.
“From the word go, major state media have been
under orders not to play up the story too much,?commented a journalism
scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “State regulators want
the media to draw attention away from this matter.?#060;/font>
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INTERNATIONAL: China Wants
U.S. Help Against Separatists
SUMMARY: (9/19) ?A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that
given that the U.S. wants help in the fight against terrorism, it should
back China in its efforts against separatists in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang
province. Zhu Bangzao also maintained that if the U.S. retaliates for the
acts of terrorism in New York and Washington D.C. that claimed thousands
of lives on September 11, retaliation should be based on “concrete evidence,?
be in accordance with international law, and not harm innocent civilians.
“The United States has asked China to provide assistance in the fight
against terrorism,?Zhu said. “China, by the same token, has reasons to
ask the United States to give its support and understanding against terrorism
and separatists. We should not have double standards.?However, Zhu said
China was not asking for a quid-pro-quo in giving help against international
terrorism. “The fight against terrorism is a different issue,?he said.
“We are not making bargains here.?
The Associated Press quoted China’s official New China News Agency as
saying that Chinese President Jiang Zemin spoke by telephone with President
Jacques Chirac of France and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to emphasize
China’s position before the British and French leaders met with U.S. President
George W. Bush.
There is a strong belief among Beijing leaders that the U.S. must involve
the United Nations Security Council during its global fight against terrorism.
In a phone conversation with Prime Minister Blair, President Jiang stated
that U.S. military actions “must conform with the principles of the United
Nations Charter and international norms and the UN Security Council must
According to Paul Harris, associate professor of politics at Hong Kong’s
Lingnan University, “China remains obsessed with the idea of sovereignty
and non-intervention into other nations’s affair,?he said.
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DOMESTIC: Six Falun Gong Members
Alleged to Have Died In Custody
SUMMARY: Falun Gong’s U.S.-based information center
claims six more Falun Gong adherents have died in custody in China due
to physical abuse. The alleged victims, four women and two men, were said
to have been either in police custody or in labor camps. Relatives of the
deceased say they had been beaten or tortured, although three of the bodies
have not been recovered.
The family of one woman, whose spine was broken
and lower limbs paralyzed, was made to sign a statement claiming she died
of suicide and that her death had nothing to do with other deaths. Falun
Gong claims 278 of its members have died from torture in Chinese custody
since the government’s crackdown on the movement began in 1999. Falun Gong
estimates the real total of deaths in custody amounts to more than 1,000.
The Chinese government admits to some deaths of Falun Gong members in custody,
but says they were due to suicide or illness.
China maintains that Falun Gong is a cult and
that it has led to the deaths of at least 1,800 people from suicide or
refusing to accept needed medical assistance. China also says Falun Gong
is trying to overthrow Communist Party rule in China. Around 50,000 Falun
Gong followers are in Chinese prisons, labor camps and mental hospitals,
the group claims.
Police and government officials in most of the
six cities where the six deaths were announced were unavailable for comment.
However, one police officer in Daqing city, in the northeastern province
of Heilongjiang, commented, “When you ask about these matters, nobody is
ever quite clear.?A female Falun Gong follower in Daqing was said by police
to have flung herself out of a train.
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DOMESTIC: China’s First
Lawsuit Against Tobacco Industry is Rejected
SUMMARY: (9/19/01) ?A lower-level Chinese court
has rejected China’s first ever lawsuit case directed against its tobacco
regulator and 24 cigarette companies concerning health issues related to
A seventeen-year old Chinese smoker, who began
smoking at the age of 13, and his lawyers unsuccessfully pleaded their
case alleging that tobacco company Web sites did not carry health warnings
about the dangers of smoking. They announced their campaign called
“For Kids?Sake?in hopes of protecting children and young adults against
tobacco company advertising and sales techniques.
In a country where some 300 million people smoke
and one third of all future deaths among Chinese men will be related to
smoking, the legal defeat may have been disappointing, but a small victory
seemed to be evident when new tobacco warnings were posted on the tobacco
regulator’s Web site. According to lawyer Tong Lihua, raising public
awareness on the issue is an important step in his pursuit to protect minors
against the dangers of smoking.
Though Chinese law requires that health warnings
be printed on cigarette packages, it does not require Internet sites to
do the same. China prohibited consumption of tobacco products by
minors in 1999, but it is difficult to enforce and only on rare occasions
do shopkeepers ask teenagers to provide proof of their age.
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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 16 July 2001