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Week of November 01, 2002

Week of November 01, 2002

The U.S. and China This Week

 


INTERNATIONAL: Jiang positions China as a major player in terror war

 

Attending the annual APEC summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, President Jiang Zemin spoke on the need to improve international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Such cooperation, he argued, was necessary to ensure transport and harbor safety, and to combat money laundering and internet crimes. Speaking on counter-terrorism measures, President Jiang also emphasized the importance of reconciling differences among people of different races and religions. Xinhua quoted Jiang as saying, "In the struggle of terrorism, we should focus on both remedies to cure symptoms of terrorism and solutions to address its root causes." Jiang also restated Beijing's official position that the root causes of terrorism include suspicion between Muslim and Christian countries, as well as the income gap between rich and poor countries.

During the summit, Taiwan expressed concern that it not be left out of the global anti-terrorism effort. Taiwan's representative at the meetings, Lee Yuan-Tseh, said that Taiwan has already contributed a significant amount of money and other material to the campaign against terrorism. He also mentioned his regret that Taiwan's representatives had not been included in a special meeting on the subject held by APEC foreign ministers as part of the summit proceedings.

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DOMESTIC: Jiang steps down, transferring power to 4th generation

Jiang Zemin, while in the U.S. last week, gave a "high assessment" of Russia's use of hardball tactics to combat the Chechen terrorists. Chinese leaders have expressed support for Moscow's controversial handling of the hostage crisis, calling it a successful model to be emulated in similar situations in China. Diplomatic sources in Beijing report that the Chinese embassy in Moscow was under instructions to prepare an hour-to-hour run down of the crisis. Since the conclusion of the crises, Beijing has instructed its officials in various security related departments to study the Russian special force's response. A western diplomat reports that senior officials are particularly interested in learning more about the gas used by the Russian forces. "A senior Politburo member also gave instructions that Beijing sound out the Russian authorities with a view to importing the chemicals," the source recounted. Official Chinese media has downplayed the fact that many of the victims who died in last weeks standoff were killed as a result of gas poisoning.

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CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS: Taiwan offers cool response to direct links proposal

Officials in Taipei have shown little enthusiasm for Beijing's most recent proposal to begin talks for establishing direct flights and business links between Taiwan and the Mainland. Earlier this week, Beijing dropped the condition that both sides had to agree on the "one China" principle before talks could begin. The cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) in Beijing said that discussions could be held without interference from political factors, but insisted that "the three links can never be referred to as being between country and country." Responding to TAO's offer, Chen Ming-tong, Vice-Head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said Taipei would respond to the new proposal after first studying it thoroughly. While hosting a delegation of visiting Europeans, President Chen Shui-bian was quoted as saying Beijing must not impose any "additional preconditions" prior to negotiations on the three links.


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

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