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Week of April 25, 2003

Week of April 25, 2003

The U.S. and China This Week


INTERNATIONAL: Beijing Begins Massive Quarantine

Chinese and world health officials continue to the battle against the spread of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In recent days, Chinese officials have quarantined over 4, 000 people and have sealed off at least two hospitals in Beijing, the hardest hit of mainland Chinese cities.

SARS, the mysterious flu-like sickness that has spread rapidly first throughout Southeast and East Asia and now North America, has reportedly killed over 200 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 thousands of people throughout the world, killing over 100 in China alone. 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.

WHO officials have issued various warning over the last several months advising against travel to SARS infected areas that have included Greater China, parts of Southeast Asia and Toronto, which is the only non-Asian area with reported SARS deaths.



INTERNATIONAL: China Plays Host and Diplomatist for Talks on North Korea

Although talks between the United States and North Korea, held in Beijing this week, did not well, with North Korea admitting it had nuclear weapons. They are seen as a success from the standpoint of China's assumption of a more prominent role in international affairs.

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. Hosting the three party talks in Beijing and committing itself to the goal of North Korea's nonproliferation is seen as a significant step. And, although China has reportedly blocked 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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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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