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Week of April 11, 2003

Week of April 11, 2003

The U.S. and China This Week


INTERNATIONAL: South Korean Foreign Minister in China

In an effort to resolve the brewing crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young-Kwan is scheduled to visit China this week. Foreign Minister Yoon is scheduled to meet with Chinese Foreign Minisiter Li Zhaoxing and has requested meetings with both Hu Jintao and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan.

Foreign Minister Yoon's visit to China follows visits by both South Korean national security advisor Ra Jong-Yil and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, both of whom discussed their concerns over the North Korea issue with various Chinese officials.

Because China is seen as North Korea's closest ally, its support for diplomatic initiatives aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear program is seen as essential. And, although China has reportedly been blocking efforts to issue a U.N. statement calling for multilateral negotiations to end the crisis, it has also exerted diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea in an attempt to push for a resolution to this standoff.

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INTERNATIONAL: SARS Cases Greater than Reported

Dr. Jiang Yanyong, a retired Chinese military doctor, has come forward with accusations that the Chinese government has been underreporting cases of SARS. According to Jiang, figures for SARS cases in Beijing alone were five times more than government reports indicated.

SARS, the mysterious flu-like sickness that has spread rapidly first throughout Southeast and East Asia and now North America, has reportedly killed over 100 people worldwide. The disease, which is suspected to have originated in Guangdong, a province in southern China adjacent to Hong Kong, has quickly spread infecting close to three thousand people throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a global warning for the disease, calling it a "worldwide health threat" and has attempted to work with the Chinese government to investigate the origins of the disease.

In addition, it has been reported that at least two Americans have died after contracting the disease in China. James Salisbury, an English teacher working in Guangzhou was the latest fatality.




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

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Last updated: 17 January 2001

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