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Week of March 01, 2002

Week of March 1, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week

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U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: China Says U.S. Must Make Move for Arms Agreement

SUMMARY: (2/26) - A senior Chinese foreign policy official told a group of American journalists February 26 that it is up to the United States to take action if there is to be an agreement between China and the United States on weapons proliferation. However, the official, who declined to be identified, did not say what specifically the United States must do.

In November 2000, China and the United States reached an agreement in which China agreed not to export ballistic missiles and technologies. It also agreed to publish export control rules and to form a list of sensitive "dual-use" items, which might help the government stop proliferation by arms companies. The United States was to once again permit American satellites to be launched from China. However, the agreement was never implemented, because there was a disagreement over whether the arms sales provisions applied only to future sales or to past contracts as well.

America maintains it received a verbal commitment from China to halt pre-existing sales. The official did not show any willingness by China to accept such a provision. "That agreement was for the future, and now the United States is
saying it was for the past," he said. But he added that his comment should not be construed to mean that any past sales by China carried a risk of weapons proliferation.

The official acknowledged some companies in China might have exported weapons technology without the government's knowledge. He added that those companies that violate export regulations will be punished. However, the government has not issued such regulations and, according to the official, China is still preparing a list of controlled export items; Western diplomats have maintained the list was ready months ago.

Over the past year of talks, China has demanded that American satellites first be allowed to be launched from China and that America end sanctions against a Chinese arms company China says were unfounded. The company sold sensitive missile parts to Pakistan; China maintains the sales were not dangerous and anyway occurred before the November 2000 agreement.

"I think we have made great efforts," the official said. "We think the ball is in your court." Liu Jievi, director general of the arms control department at the Foreign Ministry, is scheduled to come to the United States this month for negotiations. China is widely held to have sent Pakistan a nuclear device. It has exported missile technology to Pakistan and has been linked by the CIA to weapons sales to Iran and North Korea, among other nations. The United States has also accused China of boosting Iraq's military communications.


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DOMESTIC: Yang Yang (A) Wins Second Gold Medal

(2/25) - Electrifying Yang Yang (A) of China became the first short track speed skater to capture two individual Olympic gold medals when she out-sprinted Ko Gi-Hyun of South Korea to win the 1,500 meters February 23 at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Yang Yang (A), from Heilongjiang province, also had won the 500 meters race.

The Olympic champion almost got kicked off the Chinese team as an adolescent due to her tenacious nature, her mentor and trainer said. "Even I had to submit to that girl," trainer Jin Meiyu commented. Jin said in 1991 at age 15, Yang competed in a national championship race despite suffering from a high fever and won in a surprise upset.

Yang Yang (A)'s two gold medals are China's only victories ever in Winter Olympic competition. Yang Yang (S) of China, no relation to Yang Yang (A), captured bronze in the women's 1,500 meters, her second of the Olympics. China finished the Olympics with two golds, two silvers and four bronzes. At the Nagano games in 1998, from which Yang Yang (A) was shut out, China won six silvers and two bronzes.

In China, champions often peak at a young age and retire early to allow room for young prodigies. But Yang Yang (A) said while she probably would have retired had she won gold four years ago, she is not sure now because, in her words, "I'm loving my profession more and more." She has won the last five world titles in the 500 meters competition.


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DOMESTIC: Three Chinese Managers Killed by Employees or Employees' Relatives Last Year

SUMMARY:   (2/25) - Frustrated ex-employees or their relatives murdered three managers at struggling state-owned firms last year, Chinese state media and local officials have reported. Company officials said there was no link between economic reforms and the murders, but state media, including the official Xinhua news agency, maintained all three killings occurred due to insufficient redundancy and welfare benefits. In July, 19-year-old Yi Luo killed the general manager of Huanggang Aluminum Group Corporation in the victim's home, a company executive told Reuters. Xinhua reported the crime occurred because Yi was angry at his father's redundancy and by the general manager's wealth. The executive reported the company has laid off about 200 of 2,000 employees, and is paying them 150 yuan ($18) a month, the minimum allowed by the local government. However, she said the killing was a random act of violence.

In October, Xu Yudong, a laid-off worker, stabbed to death the chief of the Xianning City Chemical Fibre Factory because the company would not give him his job back or pay him higher severance benefits, a company executive said. The executive said although about 100 of the 500-strong employees of the firm had been laid off, only Xu complained. Xu was executed in January, the executive reported.

The other killing occurred in December. The son of a worker at a bankrupt subsidiary of Xiangfan Xiangyang Resources Co. murdered the company's deputy general manager as the victim closed the enterprise's books, according to state media.

China's official urban unemployment rate was 3.6% at the end of last year, state media contended earlier this month. But analysts point out those figures do not include "xiagang", or laid-off workers, being paid diminutive salaries. Unemployment is expected to go up this year because of China's entry into the World Trade Organization, which will lead to increased foreign competition and cheaper imports.

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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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