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Week of May 16, 2003

Week of May 23, 2003

The U.S. and China This Week


The infection rate of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) within China appears to be on the downturn, with only 26 new cases reported this last week. Most infections continue to be found in Beijing and have not, as feared, spread in any large scale to the countryside. With many workers fleeing the cities, officials had worried that SARS may spread unchecked through China's vast rural population, as they are not adequately equipped to handle the disease.The recent downturn has been a boon to China, with millions returning to their normal schedules of work and school.

In total, 300 people have died of SARS in China, the largest death toll of any country infected by the disease. Although the mortality rate of the disease has now been estimated at 15 percent, it has been, by far, less deadly than other more commonly known diseases like malaria and influenza.

World Health Organization officials have also expressed some optimism that China could contain the disease. It has been reported that officials were encouraged by both the recent drop in infections and the strong efforts the country has taken in mobilizing resources to deal with the disease.



INTERNATIONAL: Sikkim Issue May Be Resolved

In preparation of Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee's trip China, officials have voiced their expectations that the dispute between the two countries concerning the region of Sikkim will soon be resolved. Formal talks to resolve the issue were agreed to during a visit by the Indian foreign minister in March of 2002. Sikkim is just one of the areas involved in the longstanding territorial dispute between the two countries that dates back to the Sino-Indian War of the 1960s.

In recent years, with trade steadily increasing, there have been attempts to better bilateral relations. This often manifested itself by allowing such territorial disputes to fade into the background of bilateral relations. News that at least the issue of Sikkim may soon be resolved is expected to be a positive benchmark in the countries cooperative relationship and should be a positive influence in continued economic relations and trade.






INTERNATIONAL: Koizumi Set To Meet Hu In Russia

Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister of Japan, is scheduled to have his first meeting with newly appointed president of China, Hu Jintao on May 31st, in St. Petersberg. Both leaders are scheduled to be in Russia for the 300th anniversary of St. Petersberg's founding. The meeting is seen as a thaw in what had been icy bilateral relations since Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates Japanese war dead. The visit was controversial because of the Shrine's association with Japanese soldiers convicted of World War II war crimes.

It is speculated that the meeting is in prelude to the expected August Sino-Japanese summit in Beijing, which will be held in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the treaty of peace and friendship between the two countries.



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

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