Week of March 15, 2002
Week of March 15, 2002
The U.S. and China This Week
U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: China "Deeply Shocked" By
U.S. Nuclear Documents
SUMMARY: (3/11; 3/13) - China has demanded an explanation
from the United States about a draft presidential directive and the Defense
Department review that it is based on. The classified Nuclear Posture Review
found that the United States should have contingency plans for use of nuclear
weapons against China and six other nations. The review was given to Congress
in early January, and an unclassified version was given to other individuals,
including journalists. Part of the classified material was leaked to the Los
Angeles Times, which published it March 9; the New York Times ran part of
the classified document the next day.
Chinese state television quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi March
11 as emphasizing that China and the United States have an agreement not
to target each other with nuclear weapons. "Like many other countries,
China is deeply shocked with the content of this report," Sun stated.
He added that China is peaceful and is no threat to other countries. Sun
said China believes all nuclear weapons should be destroyed, that all nuclear
powers should pledge no first use of nuclear weapons, and that nuclear powers
should pledge not to threaten non-nuclear countries with nuclear weapons
or utilize nuclear weapons against them.
In the Defense Department study, more likely "immediate" contingencies
for use of nuclear weapons were contrasted with less likely "potential"
contingencies. A conflict with China over Taiwan was placed in the former
category. Wars with North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria were also placed
in that category. In contrast, a war with Russia was placed in the latter
Zhu Qiangguo, a researcher at the China Defense Science and Technology
Information Center, wrote in the China Daily that the United States is seeking
"absolute military superiority." He linked the issues of the proposed
new nuclear doctrine and missile defense, stating, "Once the United
States gets rid of the fear of nuclear reprisal from countries with a few
nuclear weapons, the possible use of U.S. nuclear weapons in real combat
will be further augmented." Zhu also charged the United States is preparing
for new nuclear tests.
Hong Kong's Chinese-language daily, Ming Pao, editorialized March 11 condemned
America for "increasing the uncertainty of world peace."
Previous Summary ||
U.S. DOMESTIC: Bush Officials Say Nuclear Documents Are Routine
SUMMARY: (3/10; 3/11; 3/12; 3/13) - Bush Administration officials have
defended the controversial draft presidential directive on nuclear strategy
and the 56-page Pentagon Nuclear Posture Review it is based on. A classified
version of the review was quoted by the New York Times March 10th and by
the Los Angeles Times March 9th. The review contained contingency plans
to use nuclear weapons against the following nations: China, Russia, Iraq,
North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria. Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed
the Pentagon review on CBS' "Face the Nation" on the morning of
March 10th. "We should not get carried away with some sense that the
United States is planning to use nuclear weapons in some contingency that
is coming in the near future," he said. "It is not the case."
Vice President Dick Cheney, in London March 11th, said the report was required
by Congress to give it an idea of "the overall state of our capabilities
and [it] gives some idea of the directions we'd like to move in the future."
But, Cheney said, the idea that has been put forth in the press that "we
are preparing preemptive nuclear strikes ... I'd say that's a bit over the
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said on NBC's "Meet the
Press" March 10th that no one should be surprised that the United States
is very concerned about weapons of mass destruction. "The only way
to deter such a use is to be clear that it would be met with a devastating
response," she said. "That is the basis of this report."
But the Los Angeles Times reported the Pentagon laid out the following three
contingencies for using nuclear weapons: "against targets able to withstand
nonnuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or
chemical weapons;" or "in the event of surprising military developments."
The Los Angeles Times maintained the report said the Pentagon should be
prepared to use nuclear weapons in the event of an Arab-Israeli war, a conflict
between China and Taiwan, an attack on South Korea by North Korea, or an
attack by Iraq on a neighboring country or Israel.
Meanwhile, various nations have responded to the Pentagon study and the
directive. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said China was not
satisfied by the explanations offered by Rice and Powell. "We are now
waiting for the U.S. side to offer up more formal and clear explanations,"
Sun said. The Tehran Times, which is close to hard-liners in Iran, accused
the United States of seeking "hegemony and domination." Russian
Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, a former top Defense Department official
who is aligned with conservatives in the military, called on Russian politicians
to cease having "illusions that Washington wishes Moscow well."
Vyacheslav Nikonov, president of the Politka foundation that analyzes political
developments, also criticized the United States. He said, "Bush's directive
is a very negative signal, which I think will be perceived accordingly by
the Russian leadership."
U.S. allies, for their part, have given a muted response. The British Foreign
Office and the Italian defense minister said the report was nothing more
than normal strategizing.
Previous Summary ||
U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: Falun Gong, Chinese Government Battle in U.S
SUMMARY: Falun Gong members have brought cases
against Chinese officials in U.S. courts under the Torture Victims Protection
Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789. The latter legislation was intended
to prosecute pirates for acts committed outside U.S. territory. So far, four
Chinese officials have been issued court papers. Zhao Zhifei, head of public
security in Hubei province, was given a summons last July 17 by the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff Pang Liang claims his
brother and mother were killed for their religious convictions. According
to his lawyer, Peng disappeared after being arrested in China last August.
Zhao chose not to contest the charges, so the plaintiff won, but the court
issued no damages.
Zhou Yongkang, the top Communist Party official in Sichuan province, was
issued a court summons last August 27 for the alleged torture of a female
elementary school teacher. The teacher disappeared last June and is thought
by her family to be dead; the plaintiff is the sister of the alleged victim.
On February 7, cases were filed against Beijing's mayor, Liu Qi, and Xia
Deren, deputy governor of Liaoning province. Liu was given his papers on
the way to lead China's delegation to the Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has lobbied local American governments
to rescind proclamations supporting Falun Gong and to cancel commemorations
of the group. Various jurisdictions have complied. And China is using its
clout in Chinatowns across the United States to prevent Falun Gong from
marching in parades or being part of other organized activities.
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DOMESTIC: Laid-Off Chinese Oil Workers Demand More Compensation
SUMMARY: Tens of thousands of laid-off Chinese oil workers
have been protesting peacefully over a diminishment of severance benefits
from the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province, local officials reported
March 13. The protests have gone on since March 1, a Daqing official said.
Witnesses say at least 10,000 people have gathered each day of the protest,
and Han Dongfang, who runs a labor rights group in Hong Kong, said up to 50,000
individuals have shown up. According to witnesses, some protesters have called
for the right to organize unions outside the Communist Party.
Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau, which operates the oil field, laid
the workers off in 1999. Daqing is one of China's biggest state-owned firms,
employing 300,000 people. A local office worker nearby said the workers
told her they were protesting a slashing of benefits promised by the company
when they were laid off. Those payments included heating subsidies of around
$360 to help the workers make it through the region's harsh winters, the
woman reported. She also said protesters claim at the time the benefits
were slashed, officials received bonuses of $110,000.
A company official would not confirm any of the information about the protests.
The official said the protests were due to a misunderstanding that would
be resolved soon.
The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 17 January 2001