Week of April 26, 2002
Week of Aril 26, 2002
The U.S. and China This Week
INTERNATIONAL: CHINA AND IRAN STRENGTHEN TIES
SUMMARY: (4/20) - In an historic meeting in Tehran, Chinese and Iranian
leaders have pledged greater cooperation between their two countries. President
Jiang Zemin's visit to Iran marks the first by a Chinese leader to Iran
since the Islamic revolution in 1979. His counterpart, Mohammad Khatami,
welcomed Jiang to the Sa'adabad Palace in north Tehran where the two leaders
discussed Sino-Iranian relations and their mutual concern about growing
US influence around the world. Jiang's stay in Tehran will be his last stop
on a five nation tour which has taken him to Libya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and
While in Iran, Jiang Zemin and his official delegation stressed China's
common interests with Iran. Beijing's ambassador to Iran, Sun Bigan, told
Iranian television that China wished to reestablish its golden Silk Road
ties with Iran. He also stated that China is critical of Israeli killings
and believes peace in the Middle East will not be achieved unless Israel
troops withdraw from occupied territories. President Jiang's visit to Iran
is being hailed by some as a turning point in relations.
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INTERNATIONAL: KOIZUMI'S VISIT TO WAR SHRINE UPSETS BEIJING
SUMMARY: : (4/22) - Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a surprise
visit to a war-related shrine, invoking the anger of Japan's neighbors.
The Yasukuni Shrine, dedicated to the 2.5 million soldiers who died in battle
since the 1800s, is the most controversial religious site in Japan. China
reacted swiftly to Koizumi's visit, summoning the Japanese ambassador to
Beijing to convey its outrage, calling the visit an "erroneous action
that damages ties between China and Japan." China has also postponed
a visit from Japan's defense minister, and will likely postpone a naval
vessel visit to Japan next month.
In a statement issued by his office, Koizumi detailed his reasons for visiting
the shrines, saying he made the visit during the spring festival to express
his genuine feelings, insisting that he did not want to cause anxiety in
Japan or abroad. Nonetheless, Koizumi's decision to visit the shrine comes
with considerable diplomatic and political risks. Controversy over the shrine
visit could jeopardize a series of high-level exchanges between Japan and
its neighbors this year, analysts have said.
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INTERNATIONAL: HU JINTAO BEGINS THREE NATION TOUR
SUMMARY: (4/25-4/26) - China's Vice President Hu Jintao arrived in Malaysia
on Tuesday, the first stop in his three nation tour which will also take
him to Singapore and the United States. The trip is considered Hu's most
visible move to present his credentials and underline his position to succeed
Jiang Zemin as head of the Communist Party this year and as China's president
In Malaysia Hu met with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi for talks addressing everything from trade and investment to
terrorism. On Wednesday, Hu addressed the Asian Strategy and Leadership
Institute in Kuala Lumpur, discussing China's independent foreign policy.
"(China) opposes the strong lording it over the weak and the big bullying
the small and has long pledged not to seek hegemony, not to join any military
bloc, and not to pursue its own spheres of influence," he said.
In Singapore, Hu met with Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, and the two leaders
discussed how a proposed free trade agreement between China and ASEAN could
be advanced. Both leaders agreed on the necessity of a quick start to talks
on the agreement. Goh's spokesman said Vice President Hu had assured Prime
Minister Goh that China is keen to launch negotiations as soon as possible.
Last year, China and the 10-members of ASEAN agreed to work towards a free
trade area within 10 years. Such a pact would be the largest in the world,
forming a trillion-dollar market of 1.7 billion people.
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US-CHINA RELATIONS: CYBERATTACKS CONCERN US OFFICIALS
SUMMARY (4/26) - A recent report by the CIA warned that the Chinese military
may be searching for ways to attack defense and civilian computer networks
in the United States and Taiwan. The assessment concludes however, that
China thus far lacks the ability to cause much disruption. A US government
official declared that although the Chinese military can not yet disrupt
key computer systems, "you have to be mindful of it and concerned they
might have that goal."
The report found Chinese students to be a more immediate threat to cybersecurity.
With the one year anniversary of the collision between a U.S. Navy surveillance
aircraft and a Chinese jet fighter over the South China Sea shortly approaching,
officials fear a series of cyberattacks similar to the widespread hacking
which occurred when the incident occurred. The CIA's report warned government
policymakers, the Defense Department, U.S. diplomats and law enforcement
agencies to be on the look out for Chinese student hackers trying to spread
computer viruses or deface internet sites.
Toshi Yoshihara, a research fellow with the Institute for Foreign Policy
Analysts, said that the Chinese military views cyberwarfare as "a way
to overcome America's military superiority." He also believes that
military officials could be seen as a means to keep the U.S. from becoming
involved in a conflict across the Taiwan straights.
The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 17 January 2001