Week of November 3, 2000
Week of November 2, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
INTERNATIONAL: China Will Allow U.N. to Conduct Investigation
SUMMARY - China will allow the
United Nations to investigate whether Chinese authorities routinely use torture,
European Union diplomats reported. The announcement was made after an
E.U. human rights delegation met with Chinese officials October 25. The E.U.
delegates said the Chinese maintained the U.N. special rapporteur on torture
could make a fact-finding visit to China by the end of the year; no special
conditions or ground rules were reportedly put forth. It was unclear whether
China meant the U.N. would be able to make unrestricted visits to China’s large
network of prisons and labor camps.
Two years ago, China made an offer
for the U.N. to investigate torture, but it was turned down because the Chinese
would not allow unmonitored talks with prisoners and unannounced inspections
of police stations and detention centers. The U.N.’s representative on torture,
Nigel Rodley, will step down next month. He was known for demanding private
visits with prisoners, and it could be that China hopes his successor will take
a different attitude. The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not answer immediately
a request for comment.
China also told the E.U. that it
was considering allowing a U.N. investigation into religious intolerance. “I
think it’s a breakthrough,?said Rita De Bruyne, a senior diplomat from Belgium,
which currently holds the E.U.’s rotating presidency. De Bruyne said up until
now, China had always refused the E.U.’s request to let the special rapporteur
on torture into the country. China also reportedly gave the E.U. information
about 35 of 47 political prisoners who the E.U. asked about, a significantly
better response than in previous years. European diplomats maintained they hope
China is intent on improving human rights by working more closely with the U.N.
However, De Bruyne said the E.U.
made no progress with China on Falun Gong, treatment of ethnic minorities, and
the frequent recourse to the death penalty.
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INTERNATIONAL: China’s Vice President Tours Europe for
the First Time
SUMMARY - Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao has been traveling
to European countries this week to meet with heads of state, discuss international
terrorism, and to step out onto the world stage.
Chosen by Deng Xiaoping to be President Jiang Zemin’s
successor, little else is known about Hu outside of China. So far Hu has
avoided being associated with any faction and his position on economic and political
policies are also unclear.
A five-nation European tour to Russia, Britain, Spain
and Germany, all of which he has never visited before, is meant to be Hu’s diplomatic
debut. Many people, both friend and foe, are watching his every move during
his trip for future scrutiny.
For his meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair, Hu was
led into Downing Street through a side entrance to avoid the group of demonstrators
protesting his human rights records in Tibet. As a Communist Party Chief
in Tibet, Hu adopted a hard-line and was responsible for crushing the 1988 and
1989 pro-independence Tibetan protests.
Vice President Hu is the first Chinese leader to visit
the West since the September 11 terrorist attacks. During his talks with
leaders, issues such as fighting terrorism and the allied military response
have dominated his discussions.
Hu is scheduled to replace President Jiang in 2003.
At 59, Hu is young enough that he could rule China for 15 years.
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INTERNATIONAL: Philippine’s President Visits China
SUMMARY - Philippine President
Gloria Arroyo visited China for three days in order to discuss international
crime and a raise the issue of a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
Arroyo, who arrived in Beijing on Monday after visiting Hong Kong, met with
President Jiang Zemin, Premier Zhu Rongji and legislative chairman Li Peng.
During a previous press conference,
Arroyo said her agenda would include trade and investments, cultural exchanges
and the common goal of the two countries to fight transnational crimes.
Ultimately, the Philippines and China signed three landmark agreements on extraditing
fugitives and fights drugs and other crimes.
Also discussed was the recent kidnapping
involving Chinese engineers working in the southern Philippines. Last
week, one Chinese hostage held for months by Muslim gunmen was released after
separatists finally negotiated for his freedom.
However, the tricky Spratly Islands
issue was largely glossed over. “Both China and the Philippines have agreed
that this one irritant should not be the main characteristic of our relationship
with each other,?Arroyo said about the South China Sea islands.
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CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS: Taiwan President Says He Intends
to Improve China Ties
SUMMARY - Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has said
in an interview with Associated Press Television News that he intends to improve
cross-Taiwan Strait relations. In the interview on October 26, Chen said as
Taiwan’s president he has ?#034;the duty and obligation to bring peace to the Taiwan
Strait as well as promote and complete
the normalization of cross-strait relations."
While he spoke in support of the anti-terrorism message
emanating from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, he expressed
deep regret that Taiwan was not included in the forum, which he blamed on Chinese
interference. He rebuked China for not following protocol by sending an official
to bring a formal invitation to Taiwan’s representative to the conference. Chen
was originally planning to attend the summit himself, but then chose Vice President
Li Yuan-zu as his delegate. Taiwan’s delegation left Beijing because the Chinese
government refused to allow Li to represent the island, arguing that APEC protocol
called for Taiwan to send an economic official.
Chen praised U.S. President George Bush for reminding
Beijing in Shanghai it should not use anti-terrorism as an excuse to oppress
minorities. He also said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security
Adviser Condoleezza Rice have emphasized that the United States will not sacrifice
Taiwan’s interests in order to cooperate with Beijing against international
Chen said if given the opportunity to visit the mainland,
he would like to discuss “the universal values of democracy, freedom and human
rights?with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. He also said China and Taiwan should
“promote cross-strait relations on the principles of democracy, equality and
peace." He said he would continue to ease controls on trade and investment with
Chen maintained that he expects his Democratic Progressive
Party to win 13-14 counties and cities of the 23 magistrate and city mayor positions
up for election December 1. He also said the DPP might replace the Kuomintang
as the biggest party in the 225-seat Legislative Yuan after elections are held
at the end of the year.
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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: October 05, 2001