Week of November 30, 2001
Week of November 23, 2001
The U.S. and China This Week
INTERNATIONAL: Foreign Falun Gong Adherents Arrested
in Tiananmen Square
SUMMARY (11/21; 11/22; 11/23) - Thirty-five foreigners,
including six Americans, were arrested in Tiananmen Square for demonstrating
in support of Falun Gong November 20. They were subsequently deported from China.
Some members of the group, which also included Europeans and Australians, unfurled
a banner with the Falun Gong slogan: “truth, benevolence, forbearance.?Others
sat in the lotus position, eyes closed, praying. In the United States, Falun
Gong members released a statement on behalf of those arrested which said they
were appealing “on behalf of tens of thousands of innocent people who suffer
imprisonment, torture or even death at the hands of their own government in
China.?The statement added that the protesters wanted the leadership of China
to end its crackdown on Falun Gong. A few Western reporters were told in advance
of the demonstration, and witnesses asserted it appeared the Chinese government
may have known about it as well.
Police forced the protesters into vans, dragging several
of them on the ground, and roughly hoisting others. One protester escaped
the police briefly and ran toward pedestrians shouting “Falun Gong is good?
in Chinese. At least one protester was hit in the back by a police officer
several times and kicked and battered before the van he was in pulled away.
But the police used less force than they have in stopping demonstrations by
domestic Falun Gong members, despite the fact that some passersby urged the
police to hit the protesters.
Sweden protested what it deemed the harsh physical
handling of the 35 detainees, and said Swedish diplomats were not allowed
to meet soon enough with those who were Swedish. But Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said China had dealt with the Falun Gong members with
“humanity and fairness,?and said China briefed the governments of the nationals
involved the next day and asked diplomats to instruct their nationals to respect
In the past few weeks, Falun Gong spokesmen in New
York have alleged several fatalities of Falun Gong members from police torture
in China. Rights groups claim as many as 300 Falun Gong members may have died
while in custody in China. Falun Gong maintains that the teachings of their
New York-based leader Li Hongzhi lead to health, good citizenship and even
supernatural abilities. China claims Falun Gong is an “evil cult?and that
more than 1,000 Falun Gong adherents have died from suicide or refusal of
needed medical help.
Meanwhile, permanent U.S. resident Teng Chunyan has
renounced Falun Gong membership, according to the official New China News
Agency. She was quoted as saying that the conditions in her labor camp were
decent and that she had not been abused. In May 2000, she was given a three-year
sentence for aiding foreign reporters who were investigating the crackdown
on Falun Gong.
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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: China Again Asserts Opposition
to Submarines Sale
SUMMARY (11/21) - China again asserted its opposition
to the U.S. sale of submarines to Taiwan after a Taiwanese newspaper reported
U.S. manufacturers may be vying to supply the vessels. “We firmly oppose the
American sale of arms, especially submarines, to Taiwan," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Zhang Qiyue told reporters. She also said, “We have urged the American side
to recognize the serious consequences of selling arms to Taiwan." China considers
Taiwan a renegade province. The Taipei-based China Times reported seven U.S.
firms were set to bid for the right to build eight diesel submarines. Beijing
does not want Taiwan to acquire a modern fleet of submarines which could resist
a Chinese blockade.
Unnamed U.S. officials said Northrup Grumman Corp.
and General Dynamics were two firms set to bid; the bidding is thought to
be scheduled for January. The officials declined to name the other firms.
Earlier this month, another Taiwanese newspaper reported U.S. military officials
as maintaining that the Pentagon supported the submarines sale.
The United States does not build diesel submarines
anymore; all of its subs are nuclear. Jane’s Defense Weekly maintained this
week that U.S. firms were looking for blueprints for diesel submarines from
other nations. Holland and Germany make such submarines but have said they
will not enter into this deal for fear of upsetting China. Last month, Taiwanese
legislators said the island will begin receiving the diesel submarines from
the United States in 2010 as part of its military build-up in response to
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DOMESTIC: Taiwan Will Allow Chinese Tourists to
SUMMARY (11/23) - In a further thawing of mainland-Taiwan
relations, Taiwan’s top mainland policymaker has announced that Taiwan will
allow mainlanders living or studying overseas to visit the island. The new policy,
approved by the Executive Yuan, or cabinet, will go into effect next year.
"It is a crucial step towards normalizing ties between
the two sides of the Strait," Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the cabinet's Mainland
Affairs Council, said to reporters. She added that Taiwan would be prepared
for further liberalizing measures depending on China’s reaction. According
to a Taiwanese government statement, 1,000 visitors a day will be allowed.
Presently, mainlanders can only come to Taiwan to report news, visit relatives
or participate in cultural and educational exchanges. All applications are
handled on a case-by-case basis.
Johnson Tseng, chairman of the Taipei Association of
Travel Agents, said Chinese tourists would bring in T$100 billion (US$2.9
billion) annually to the island. "It'll be a boon to the whole tourism industry
during this period of recession," he said. Taiwan’s economy is in the midst
of what is expected to be its first full-year contraction. Tseng said the
liberalization was restricted to Chinese currently overseas so "Visitors jumping
ship and repatriation problems can be avoided." Beijing considers Taiwan a
renegade province, and there are currently no political talks ongoing to resolve
the Taiwan issue.
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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: Chinese Premier Says U.S.
Doesn’t Favor Reunification
SUMMARY (11/23) ?Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji was reported
to have told a Japanese economic delegation visiting Beijing November 23 that
the United States is not really interested in the reunification of the mainland
and Taiwan. The Chinese language New York newspaper the World Journal reported
Zhu maintained the United States is giving the wrong message to Taiwan: that
it will protect the island no matter what transpires. This gives Taiwan the
impression there is no need to negotiate reunification, Zhu said. Zhu implied
that the actions of the United States mean it is being insincere when it says
it maintains a one-China policy.
This is the first time that a leading Chinese official
has accused the United States of not supporting Chinese reunification and
is an important indication of the attitude of the Chinese government.
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The U.S. and China This
Last updated: October 05, 2001