Week of June 14, 2002
Week of June 14, 2002
The U.S. and China This Week
DOMESTIC: Chinese World Cup Coach Steps Down
After another disappointing loss to Turkey, 3-0, China's World Cup soccer
coach Bora Milutinovic stepped down, but vowed to continue on with his coaching
career after leading his fifth team to the World Cup finals.
Before returning home to a scoreless World Cup debut, the China Sports
Daily said Milutinovic had lost his immortal status in China after the team's
poor performance record. However, many fans still praised his effort to
introduce young blood into the team despite resistance from conservative
soccer officials. Milutinovic took over the team in January 2000 from a
British coach and found a team suffering from low morale, who regarded playing
soccer as a political duty. He thus introduced the new policy of 'happy
soccer,' which was quite different to the authoritarian and strict training
style previously practiced. "Our team is very young and I am sure they
have a future," Milutinovic said. "It was good to make the first
step to the finals. It would have been nice to have gotten a second step."
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INTERNATIONAL: China Takes Hard Line Against North Korean Refugees
As incidents of North Koreans entering foreign missions increase, China
has issued a notice to all foreign embassies requesting they hand over any
further North Korean seeking refuge, a foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jiancho
said. "Once they find people illegally breaking into the embassy and
consulates, staff members at the missions should notify the foreign ministry's
consular affairs department and also hand over the trespassers to China's
Currently China is negotiating with Canadian and South Korea officials
who have a total of 20 North Koreans seeking asylum holed up in their embassies.
Though China has so far allowed 45 such asylum seekers to leave China for
South Korea, via a third country, Beijing has recently taken a hard line
against future episodes. Barbed wire barricades and access to roads alongside
most diplomatic mission compounds have been set up to prevent further attempts
to enter illegally.
On Thursday, South Korean consulate staff fought with Chinese security
forces outside a Beijing security post after Chinese forces entered the
consulate in order to seize two North Korean, a father and son, asylum seekers.
The father was taken, but the son was not, making the total number of North
Koreans in the South Korean embassy to 18.
DOMESTIC: Floods Ravage Chinese Provinces
Provinces along the Yangtze river basin suffered heavy blows after torrential
rains caused flooding that has killed some 205 people and affected more
than 36 million others in Shaanxi, Sichuan, Hubei and Guizhou provinces.
Some 20 inches of rain fell over a two day period triggering mud and landslides
that covered roads and railway and damaged thousands of homes.
Premier Zhu Rongji has urged rural areas to stay on alert for additional
severe flooding later this summer that could be worse than the disastrous
1998 floods, which killed more than 4,000 people. Zhu also called on officials
to step up reinforcement projects and storing sufficient flood control equipment.
The U.S. and China This
Last updated: 17 January 2001