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• A Strategic Moment for Sino-Indian Relations
• China Wards Off Bird Flu Threat
• China Welcomes Uzbek Leader amid Controversy
• US Congressmen Pressure Chinese Opposition Leader
• Senators Author a Bill to Improve Sino-US Relations

A Strategic Moment for Sino-Indian Relations

Indian tech industry strategists see the recent tensions in Sino-Japanese relations as a window of opportunity for Indian tech firms hoping to invest in the China market .Sino-Japanese relations took a plunge on Monday, May 23rd when the Chinese delegation abruptly halted its visit and returned to China.

Sino-Indian trade has already experienced rapid growth. According to latest Chinese trade statistics, Sino-Indian bilateral trade for the first quarter of 2005 was US$4.46 billion, up 42.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2004.

Indian relations should continue to be healthy with both China and Japan. Indian analysts predict Japanese firms will withdraw from China, paving the way for India to establish an IT manufacturing base. Japanese technology firms would assume a lower profile in China through intermediaries and local brand strategies. Meanwhile, the Japanese companies leaving China will go to India for manufacturing as an alternative to China; the Japanese government is actively supporting India’s development as a base for its low-cost manufacturing. Because of its poor relations with Japan, Chinese industry currently risks losing its leading source of high technology; the US and Europe are expected to hike restrictions on high-tech exports.

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China Wards Off Bird Flu Threat

May 26th, 2005: In the western province of Qinghai, scientists have discovered that wild geese are dying from the same strain of H5N1 bird flu that killed more than 50 people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. To combat the threat, Chinese officials ordered 3 million doses of bird flu vaccine for Qinghai province.

Officials with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization say the Chinese government is taking the correct measures to bring the situation in Qinghai under control in a few days. The vaccines ordered by the government are not for people but for domestic birds. By preventing domestic birds from getting ill, Chinese authorities hope to be able to stop the disease from spreading to people.

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China Welcomes Uzbek Leader amid Controversy

On May 23rd, Uzbek President Karimov arrived in China for official meetings. China is among a few countries to support Mr. Karimov in his handling of protests in eastern Andijan on 13 May. Uzbek officials say 170 people, which the government labled as Islamic extremists, died, but witnesses say at least 500 were killed. The US and other countries have demanded an investigation into the crackdown, but Mr. Karimov has turned down calls for an international inquiry into reports that troops shot at unarmed civilians.

China said on Tuesday it agreed with President Karimov's use of force. Foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said: "We firmly support the crackdown on the three forces of separatism, terrorism and extremism by the Uzbekistan government." The Chinese government faces its own separatist situation in its western province of Xinjiang. The Chinese and Uzbek governments find common ground in dealing with Islamic separatists.

The Uzbek leader is due to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during his visit, which ends on Friday.

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US Congressmen Pressure Chinese Opposition Leader

According to the May 26th article in the Chinese-language press, The World Journal, several members of the US Congress have sent letters to the Taiwan opposition leader, Dr. Lien Chan, asking him to support a bill that would finance the purchase of US military technology. US lawmakers and the Democratic Progressive Party, led by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, argue that the purchase of US weapons technology is essential to Taiwan’s future security. The purchase would include Patriot missiles, anti-submarine technology, and other high technology.

Last month, Dr. Lien Chan, leader of the Kuomintang, made the first official contact with mainland China leadership in over 60 years, meeting with President Hu Jintao and paving the way for greater linkages between the Mainland and Taiwan. The Kuomintang and the People First Party are expected to block the bill’s passage because they favor increased cooperation and understanding with the Mainland to dispel cross-straight tensions.

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Senators Author a Bill to Improve Sino-US Relations

With the People’s Republic of China emerging as a major economic and military superpower, U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and Lamar Alexander have introduced the United States-China Cultural Engagement Act as a step to improve relations between the US and China.

The legislation authorizes $1.3 billion over five years to provide for Chinese language instruction in American schools, increase American consular activity supporting American commercial activity in China and allows for physical and virtual exchanges between the two countries.

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