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Week of September 13, 2002

Week of September 13, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week

DOMESTIC: Representatives of Dalai Lama visit China

Two senior representatives of the Dalai Lama arrived in Beijing on Monday in the first public visit by senior representatives of the Tibetan leader since 1984. Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, special envoy of the Dalai Lama in the United States, and Kelsang Gyaltsen, his envoy in Europe, will meet with Chinese officials in Beijing before traveling to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Their visit has ignited hopes that dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama might resume. However, Tsering Shakya, a Tibetan specialist at the School for Oriental and African Studies in London cautioned that the Tibetan delegation will face difficult talks. Compared to the last attempt at negotiation, he said, "The Chinese feel much more confident this time than in 1984 when they were weak and wanted international support." Still, Shakya and others say that allowing the Dalai Lama's envoys to visit China is a sign of Beijing's more flexible approach to Tibet.

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INTERNATIONAL: China remains wary of US action in Iraq

President Bush's speech to the United Nations appears to have been unsuccessful in generating Chinese support for drastic action against Saddam Hussein. China, a permanent Security Council member watched Bush's speech on Thursday with interest. In a meeting with European Union foreign ministers, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that earnest adherence to UN resolutions is necessary. However, analysts say Beijing has been relatively restrained in its diplomatic language, suggesting China might be willing to provide support for the US in exchange for later concessions. Analysts further speculate that President Jiang may suggest such an exchange when he meets with Bush in Texas this October, possibly offering assent for action against Iraq in return for US restraint in the Taiwan Strait.

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DOMESTIC: China destroys terrorist bases

Chinese forces smashed 44 bases of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said the Chinese police dealt a serious blow to the ETIM, destroying hid-out areas and bases, and seizing large quantities of firearms. According to Beijing, ETIM is behind massive terrorist activities in Xinjiang and aims to build up an independent East Turkestan Islamic state in the region. Kong claims that 166 people have been killed over the past few years due to assassinations, explosions and other terrorist acts perpetrated by ETIM.

The United Nations Security Council formally classified the ETIM as a terrorist organization earlier this week after joint lobbying by China, the US, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Diplomatic analysts predict Beijing will take advantage of this UN decision to crack down heavily on the ETIM as well as other separatist Uighur organizations. Beijing has also announced that it will participate in joint anti-terrorist military maneuvers with Kyrgyzstan along their mutual border this October. This will be the first time China has held joint army exercises with any of its Central Asian neighbors. Xinhua reported that other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will observe the exercises.


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

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