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Week of September 20, 2002

Week of September 27, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week

INTERNATIONAL: Chinese naval vessels conclude first global voyage

Two Chinese ships returned to Qingdao on Monday after completing China's first naval voyage around the world. The two ships left May 15th on a trip that included port calls in ten countries on five continents including the United States and Russia. The trip set new distance and duration records for the People's Liberation Army Navy. Rear Admiral Ding Yiping said the voyage was meant to show off China's "powerful and civilized" navy and its outward-looking policies. "We were carrying out an important diplomatic and military task on a trip of peace and friendship," Ding said. Robert Karniol, Asia Pacific editor of Jane's Defense Weekly, said the voyage marked a significant step in China's effort to acquire a "blue water" navy. The voyage also signifies Beijing's desire to use its military to strengthen China's national reputation, as "the PLA navy has been a strong advocate of defense diplomacy," he said.

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DOMESTIC: Falun Gong again hijacks TV transmission

Falun Gong members have hijacked one of China's main television satellites on several occasions throughout the month of September. The hijackings occurred on and off for eight days beginning on September 8th, and most recently on September 21st. The Falun Gong undertakes the hijackings to broadcast part of a video promoting the organization, and its transmissions are delivered to over 70 million people throughout China.

Chinese state media claim that its technician have been able to trace the pirated transmissions and say that the signals disrupting the service originated in Taipei. Although official news media have stopped short of accusing the Taiwanese government of being involved in the hijackings, Chinese officials have demanded that authorities in Taiwan arrest those responsible for the crime. China argues that the Falun Gong is guilty of violating international regulations on satellite communications, and a Xinhua editorial said, "Those who shield or support the evil cult…should halt at the brink of the precipice, or they will suffer from their actions in the end." So far there has been no response from officials on Taiwan, or from Falun Gong members in the U.S.

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INTERNATIONAL: Indication that China may back resolution on Iraq

As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the Chinese government has continued to oppose unilateral American military action and to urge that Iraq honor existing U.N. resolutions. But following British Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech to the British Parliament on Tuesday, the Chinese government has indicated that it may not slow a new United Nations resolution mandating that Iraq permit arms inspectors. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue in consideration of the United States' proposal for such a Security Council resolution said, "I think if there is such a resolution draft, we would be willing to study it."

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

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