Schwarzenegger Concludes Promotional Trip to China
11-18: After a drubbing at the California polls just weeks earlier, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger set off on a whirlwind six-day long trip to China.
Arriving first in Beijing on Tuesday, the Governor wasted no time in getting to work promoting California made products. At an elegant black tie event at Beijing’s Kerry Hotel, Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver hosted an exposition of California products featuring everything from California sauvignons blancs and California produce, to California high fashion. The next day, the first couple jetted off for Shanghai.
In Shanghai, Gov. Schwarzenegger toured China’s largest steel plant that relies on California-developed technologies to control wastewater pollution. The Governor touted Sino-Californian cooperation on pollution-reducing technology as “an amazing China-California success story.” At an American Chamber of Commerce meeting, Schwarzenegger brought up concerns over intellectual property rights, China’s human rights record, Taiwan, and China’s efforts to combat the spread of Avian Flu. Despite his busy schedule, the Governor walked down the red carpet for the Shanghai premiere of the latest Harry Potter movie.
Mrs. Shriver kept to a mostly separate schedule, visiting a battered women’s shelter in Beijing and the Half the Sky Foundation, an organization which works with children in China’s state-run welfare institutions.
California is a major gateway for US-China trade. The state exported nearly $6.8 billion in goods to China in 2004 alone, according to the California Chamber of Commerce.
| China Commemorates the Late Reformist Hu Yaobang|
11-18: On Nov. 17, 2005, China commemorated the 90th birthday of the late Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Hu Yaobang resigned from this position in 1987 and his funeral drew the crowds of students that eventually formed the demonstrations precipitating the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident.
Chinese President Hu Jintao was attending an Asia-Pacific summit in South Korea but wrote a tribute for the commemoration. Certain officials warned that this commemoration should not be interpreted as an official government approval of Hu Yaobang’s reformist efforts but as a tactic used by Hu Jintao to improve his own reputation with liberals in the Chinese Communist Party.
Western sources have speculated that the decision to move the event up by two days and downsize was to avoid social unrest. Government sources have contradicted these arguments and have argued that the move was necessary to avoid detracting from President Bush’s visit on Nov. 19-21.
| During Stop in Japan, President Bush Calls for Democracy in China|
11-17: During his weeklong trip to Asia, President Bush stopped in Japan where he delivered a speech calling on China to liberalize its economy, improve its human rights record, and embark on democratic reform by following the examples of South Korea and Taiwan. Bush emphasized that more economic and social freedom was in China’s interest and would improve already good relations between the U.S. and China.
In spite of the Chinese officials’ record of vehemently protesting such remarks, especially when delivered in Japan (which China sees as its competitor in Asia) Chinese officials immediate reactions did not express indignation or significant concern—a major change from the past.
| Chinese Spies Charged in the United States |
11-16: On Tuesday a Chinese-born defense contractor and two of his family members, who were previously charged with stealing naval secrets on warships, were also charged as acting as agents for the People’s Republic of China. Chi Mak, 65, an engineer with a California defense contractor, his brother Tai Wang Mak, 56, Chi Mak's wife Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, 62, and Tai's wife Fuk Heung Li are all in custody.
Although none of the defendants have been indicted with the greater charge of espionage, the FBI believes them to be foreign intelligence officers involved in stealing U.S. military secrets and delivering them to the Chinese government.
| U.S. Warns China about a Potential Security Threat|
11-15: China has increased its security level, following reports from the U.S. that there is a possible terrorist threat to Guangdong province in Southern China. The threat comes a week before President Bush’s planned trip to China.
The most recent security alert comes after a false alarm last Wednesday, when U.S. Missions in China informed Chinese police that Islamic extremists could be planning attacks on luxury hotels in China this week ahead of Bush's visit. The warning was withdrawn after Chinese security forces caught the suspect and proved that the threats were a ruse.
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