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Week of July 19, 2002

Week of July 19, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week

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U.S-CHINA RELAITONS: Pentagon Report States China Exploring Coercive Strategies

A U.S. Department of Defense report recently stated its belief that China's military is focusing its efforts towards the ability to use "surprise, deception, and shock" in a strike against Taiwan if the island continues down its road of independence. Moreover, though a direct conflict with the U.S. would be undesirable, China would opt for a quick negotiated solution with the United States, hopefully in positive terms and outcome. The report also stated that the People's Liberation Army is emphasizing its training in maritime and amphibious attack operations, as well as in improving its ability to transport ground forces by air. China's ballistic missile deployment opposite of Taiwan is also expected to increase over the next years. According the report, Beijing views the U.S. efforts to create and deploy a missile defense system, which theoretically could be extended to protect Taiwan, as degrading the mainland's nuclear deterrent and ballistic missile capabilities. However, Beijing is heavily focusing on national unity, stability, and sovereignty. Challenges to the ruling communist party are particularly sensitive where legitimacy is based on economic growth and control over social problems.

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U.S-CHINA RELATIONS: U.S. Seeks to Post Agents in Chinese Ports

In an attempt to expand it Container Security Initiative (CSI), Washington plans to ask China for permission to post U.S. agents at Chinese ports to observe the inspection of U.S.-bound consignments for terrorist threats, according to Hong Kong's South China Post. Assistant commissioner of U.S. customs, Dennis Murphy, stated that in this low-key initiative any custom officials posted there would have no powers to intervene in local law. Though it was reported that Washington would give their formal request to China next month, Chinese officials have stated that they have not yet received any notification from the U.S. saying they wished to send a delegation to China to discuss the CSI plan. Many in China fear that the extra inspection would cause exporting delays, which would be costly given the global economic slowdown. Sino-American relations have been stressful recently after a report to the U.S. Congress reported that China is expanding it military capabilities to retake Taiwan and an anonymous U.S source told the paper that "it will be quiet an unprecedented act of co-operation if we can pull if off and get China on board."

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The U.S. and China This Week
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