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Week of August 16, 2002

Week of October 4, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week


DOMESTIC: Suicide bomber injures kills one, injures 18

A suicide bomb blast in China's southwest city of Guilin left one man dead and 18 injured. The explosion occurred on Wednesday evening in Guilin's Central Square. Police said "an unidentified man who set off explosives to kill himself" caused the blast. No information as to the bomber's motive has been released thus far. Guilin is known for its hillside scenery, and attracts many domestic and foreign tourists. A Guilin police spokesman reported that none of those injured in the blast were foreigners. China is currently on maximum security alert due to the National Day holiday, which began this Tuesday, and in preparation for the 16th Party Congress, which is to take place this November.

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DOMESTIC: Snack shop owner sentenced to death after poisoning 38 people

Chen Zhengping, a snack shop owner in Nanjing, confessed Monday to adding rat poison to a rival's food, which resulted in the death of 38 students and workers two weeks ago. The Nanjing Number One Intermediate People's Court rapidly sentenced Chen to execution on Monday before breaking for the weeklong National Day holiday celebrations. A court official told the Associated Foreign Press that Chen has, "10 days to appeal the verdict. If he does not file an appeal, Jiangsu province's high court will review the verdict and then make a final decision on whether Chen will be executed." As one of China's worst public health disasters in recent years, it is highly unlikely that the court would reverse the verdict.

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INTERNATIONAL: China remains ambiguous on a potential Security Council vote

When asked Wednesday about China's stance toward public support from leaders of the House of Representatives for President Bush and for a new United Nations resolution on arms inspections in Iraq, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying, "the top priority at this moment is to let U.N. weapon inspectors return to Iraq as soon as possible and start work smoothly." He further stated that, "relevant actions of the Security Council should take this as the aim and be conducive to promoting a political resolution to the Iraqi issue." Although China has repeatedly reiterated that Iraq should obey existing resolutions that permit the return of weapons inspectors, it is assumed that China will abstain from a U.N. Security Council vote on a new resolution. Presumably, China's inherent tension is the need to balance positive ties to Iraq for future access to oil, with the greater need to maintain and improve relations with the United States, especially in lieu of Jiang Zemin's upcoming visit to Texas.

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INTERNATIONAL: Dalai Lama envoy completes trip to China

An envoy of the Dalai Lama, including the Dalai Lama's Washington representative Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, recently expressed optimism for the start of a greater dialogue with Beijing after an 18-day trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and areas within Tibet. In the first public visit to Tibet by exiled officials of the Tibetan spiritual leader since 1985, Gyari said, "We have made every effort to create the basis for opening a new chapter in our relationship and are fully aware that this task cannot be completed during a single visit." In the last year, in addition to Beijing's increased willingness for a dialogue with Dalai Lama representatives, the Chinese government has also indicated that it will direct larger amounts of money to improve education and the economy within Tibet.

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

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