NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, march 1, 2000

I. United States

II. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Atomic Bomb Victims

The Associated Press ("JAPAN OFFERS EXPERTISE IN TREATING NORTH KOREAN A-BOMB VICTIMS," Tokyo, 3/1/00) reported that the Kyodo News agency said that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Wednesday offered to share Japanese medical expertise with the DPRK to help treat atomic bomb victims. Obuchi encouraged a seven-man delegation representing DPRK victims of the World War II atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to "learn from Japan's expertise" during its one-week visit to Japan. Kyodo said that the group, which included two doctors, reported that there are 1,300 officially recognized atomic bomb victims still alive in the DPRK. The report said that Japanese officials later told the delegation that the government must assess the situation before it can consider providing assistance.

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2. Anniversary of March 1 Movement

The Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, "SKOREA MARKS UPRISING AGAINST JAPAN," Seoul, 3/1/00) reported that ROK protesters marked the 81st anniversary of a popular uprising against Japanese colonial rule on Wednesday by trampling on a large Rising Sun flag in front of the Japanese Embassy. About 150 students and women who identified themselves as former sex slaves of Japanese soldiers during World War II demanded a Japanese apology and compensation. Hwang Kum-joo, a former sex slave, said, "I was only 19 when I was conscripted under a program to supply young maidens to the Japanese Imperial Army. Now I am 80 years old. And still the Japanese government is not apologizing." The DPRK also marked the anniversary with a demand for a Japanese apology and compensation for its colonial atrocities

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3. US Troops in Japan

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State (Jane Morse, "HOST NATION SUPPORT VITAL TO U.S.-JAPAN ALLIANCE, REGIONAL SECURITY," Washington, 2/29/00) reported that Rust Deming, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said on February 25 that financial contributions from Japan to maintain US troops, called "host nation support," is vital to the US-Japan alliance and to regional security. Deming said that the US and Japan must work harder to impress upon the general public the importance of the US -Japan partnership. He added that Japan's support for a US military presence is "now a model for U.S. allies around the world" and reference in Japan to host nation support as "the sympathy budget" is "not appropriate." He said that host nation support is tangible evidence of Japan's commitment to the US-Japan alliance. He stated, "Japan is not just protected by the 47,000 Americans in Japan. The alliance and the American presence mean the entire U.S. military is ready to protect Japan." Deming said that the US-Japan alliance is the most crucial in the region. When asked about the perception that close US-Japan security ties are a threat to the PRC, Deming replied, "we need to continue to work with our Chinese friends to make them understand that good US-Japan relations -- including good US-Japan security relations -- are not a detriment to China. Indeed, they are a benefit to China because they help preserve the stability in the region which is so important to China's economic development." Deming also said that the current DPRK threat should not be the center of post-Cold War security alliances. Deming said, "when the North Korean threat goes away, there still will be a very strong rationale for a U.S. presence in the region, for working with our allies."

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4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (William Foreman, "US TO MAKE TAIWAN ARMS DECISION," Taipei, 3/1/00) reported that a Taiwanese lawmaker and local newspapers with close ties to the Taiwanese military said that Taiwan wants to purchase upgraded Patriot missiles, Aegis guided missile destroyers, and advanced radar systems for an anti-missile shield. Taiwan has also wanted to buy submarines and supersonic AIM-120 air-to-air missiles from the US, but the US has repeatedly denied those two requests, saying the weapons could be used for offensive purposes. Pan Hsi-tang, a political science professor at Tamkang University in Taipei, said that Taiwan could be more successful this year because of increased threats from the PRC. Pan said, "the United States might think that China's new threats have created instability in the region and will evaluate more closely Taiwan's arms requests." Taiwanese legislator Parris Chang of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and a defense specialist within his party said, "with the Aegis ships, right now it's a 50-50 chance. We'll need more help from China. If they issue more threats, then we might get the ships."

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm and Steven Lee Myers, "TAIWAN ASKS U.S. TO LET IT OBTAIN TOP- FLIGHT ARMS," Beijing, 3/1/00) reported that the issue of the US selling weapons to Taiwan has become a major issue of debate in both countries. Major General Tyson G. Fu, director of strategic studies at the Armed Forces University in Taiwan, said that Taiwan wants the weapons because "we are not so confident that if we are attacked, the United States will be there. So we have adopted a stand-alone strategy." The PRC has opposed all weapons sales to Taiwan, but the Aegis-equipped warships are the most controversial because experts say it could someday be adapted for use in an upper-atmospheric missile defense. Officials at the US State Department and White House have argued that neither the Aegis system nor other ultra-sophisticated weapons can buy Taiwan real security, which they say ultimately depends on negotiations and US support. US experts said that the PRC is right in contending that the Aegis system could be adapted for use in a future, "upper-tier" defense. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March 1, 2000.]

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5. Taiwan Elections

Agence France Presse ("CHINA'S THREATS NOT YET A MAJOR ISSUE IN TAIWAN: SPOKESMEN," Washington, 3/1/00) reported that the candidates for the Taiwanese presidential election said on February 29 that PRC threats against Taiwan are not a major issue in Taiwan. Wu Ho-I, spokesman for the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), said, "China's White Paper had no significant impact in the last week." I-Chung Lai, director of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreed, noting that the document had not even made front page news. Lai said that since the presidential race is currently too close to call, any winning candidate is unlikely to be able to form a majority government. Stephen Yates, senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, said, "the greatest error of China's White Paper is its total misreading of Taiwanese politics." Yates added that, "the electoral math should have led people to conclude that drastic changes (in cross-Strait relations) are not likely." Wang Jianwei, associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, said however that the white paper was not aimed at the Taiwanese electorate. Wang said, "basically China is trying to influence whoever gets elected. The message was more aimed at the candidates than at the voters. The Chinese side was sending a signal to whoever gets elected that 'when you take power, you seriously have to put dialogue on the agenda'."

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6. PRC Military Posture

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN DENIES REPORTS OF CHINESE MILITARY ALERT," Taipei, 2/29/00) reported that Taiwanese military authorities on February 29 dismissed reports that the PRC army had been placed on alert. A spokesman for the Taiwanese defense ministry said that Taiwan had no evidence of unusual movements by the PRC military. Defense ministry spokesman Kung Fan-ding stated, "all the information we have suggested that there was no sign of unusual military movement in the mainland. Nor was there any signal of alert for the Chinese communist forces, least of all the upgrading of combat preparedness."

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7. US-PRC Military Talks

Agence France Presse ("US ADMIRAL EXPRESSES 'GREAT CONCERN' AT CHINA'S THREATS TO TAIWAN," Beijing, 3/1/00) and the Associated Press (Elaine Kurtenbach, "US ENVOY URGES PATIENCE FROM CHINA," Beijing, 3/1/00) reported that a US State Department statement Wednesday said that Admiral Dennis Blair, commander of US forces in the Pacific, expressed "great concern" to PRC military leaders over PRC threats against Taiwan. The statement said Blair "told Chinese officials that anything that raises tension across the Taiwan Strait does not help the goal of peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue and that a solution to the Taiwan issue must be approached with patience and moderation." US Embassy spokesman Bill Palmer said that Blair's visit was intended to re-establish contacts between the US and the PRC militaries. Palmer said that Asian-Pacific security issues such as tensions on the Korean Peninsula and separatist conflicts in Indonesia were also on the agenda, but Taiwan occupied so much of Blair's talks on February 29 with PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian and General Fu Quanyou that other issues were barely discussed.

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8. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "CHINA DISMISSES FUROR OVER ITS TAIWAN POLICY," Beijing, 3/1/00) reported that PRC state television said that Deputy Prime Minister Qian Qichen said on Wednesday that the white paper on Taiwan is consistent with PRC policy towards Taiwan. Qian said the report merely "reiterates the government's consistent stance" and does not represent a change in policy. Qian said, "some foreign media have regarded China as making a major change to its policy on solving the Taiwan issue. This view is incorrect." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March 1, 2000.]

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9. US Media Views of PRC

The Los Angeles Times carried an analytical article (Tom Plate, "THE PRESS SHARES BLAME ON CHINA," 3/1/00) which said that a conference was held last weekend at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), titled, "U.S.-China Relations at the Crossroads: A Summit Dialogue" to debate the effect of news media coverage on US-PRC relations. Orville Schell, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a PRC expert, said, "there are too many absolutist positions and not enough middle ground. If you're not for engagement with China, you're for isolation. If you're not for reunification of Taiwan, then you're for Taiwan's independence. But most of the sensible positions are in between, in the middle." Richard Baum, a UCLA professor and the conference director, said, "until the past few years, you could talk calmly about China. Now the discourse is so shrill." Some participants wanted the US media to be less pro-US in its reporting, some wanted it to be more so, but almost everyone agreed that the media needs to do a better job, which would help reduce tensions. However, Seth Faison, the Shanghai bureau chief of the New York Times, said, "when people talk about the role of the media in the Sino-U.S. relationship--and how, if the media were just a little better, a little more responsible or a little more restrained, then things would be better--I'm here to tell you, the media is not going to change; the media is a problem."

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10. PRC-Russia Talks

Reuters ("RUSSIA AND CHINA BOOST TIES, WARN U.S. OVER TAIWAN," Moscow, 3/1/00) reported that Russia and the PRC reaffirmed their commitment to building a strategic partnership in world affairs on February 29 and warned the US against interfering over PRC threats to use force against Taiwan. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan arrived in Moscow on February 28 for the second set of high-level talks between the two countries in three months. Tang met his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, and was due to hold talks with Acting President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Tang and Ivanov signed a series of minor agreements and said the work to form a strategic partnership between Russia and the PRC was progressing smoothly. Tang said, "we achieved a lot of important mutual understanding on all the topics we discussed: bilateral ties and urgent international and regional issues. The talks reflected a positive shift in deepening and extending the content of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership." Asked what his reaction would be if the US military intervened if the PRC invaded Taiwan, Ivanov said, "we are against any third- party interference ... especially by the means of extending one's military presence in the region."

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11. PRC Ratification of CTBT

Reuters ("CHINA SUBMITS N-TEST BAN TREATY TO PARLIAMENT," Moscow, 3/1/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on February 29 that the PRC government has submitted the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to its parliament for approval ahead of the National People's Congress's (NPC) full annual meeting on March 5. Zhu said, "our attitude is positive but as for when it is actually to be approved, that is for the NPC to decide."

II. People's Republic of China

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1. ROK-Japan-PRC Environmental Cooperation

People's Daily (Ding Wei, "CHINA, JAPAN AND ROK SIGN JOINT COMMUNIQUE ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION," Beijing, 2/28/00, P5) reported that Japan and the ROK will help the PRC develop its vast and underdeveloped western region by contributing to its environmental protection programs. Environmental ministers from the three countries held a two-day meeting in Beijing on February 26-27. The three countries discussed future cooperation and regional and global environmental protection and signed a joint communique.

China Daily ("PREMIER MEETS MINISTERS," 2/28/00, P1) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji met with Japanese Environment Agency Director-General Kayoko Shimizu and ROK Environment Minister Kim Myung-ja in Beijing on February 27. The Japanese and ROK guests were in Beijing to attend the meeting of the environmental ministers of the PRC, Japan and ROK. Zhu said that the PRC government highly stresses environmental protection, which is a fundamental national policy. Zhu said that the PRC, Japan and the ROK all belong to East Asia, and should work together to protect the environment. Zhu said that the PRC government supported cooperation among the three countries in this field, and hoped that such cooperation will become a model of regional cooperation in environmental protection.

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2. PRC-US Military Talks

People's Daily (Pan Xiaoying, "CHI HAOTIAN MEETS WITH US COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF," Beijing, 3/1/00, P4) reported that Chi Haotian, PRC Defense Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed on February 29 that the PRC's basic policy toward the Taiwan issue remains "peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems'," but that the PRC will never commit not to use force. Chi made the statement during his meeting with Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of pacific command of the United States armed forces.

People's Daily (Pan Xiaoying, "FU QUANYOU MEETS BLAIR," Beijing, 3/1/00, P4) reported that General Fu Quanyou, Chief of General Staff of the PRC People's Liberation Army, met with Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of pacific command of the US armed forces, on February 29. During the meeting, Fu expressed his hope that with a strategic view of maintaining peace and stability in the region, the US government will resolutely take effective measures to prevent the US Senate from passing the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act.

People's Daily (Li Mingjiang, "XIONG GUANGKAI MEETS US MILITARY DELEGATION," Beijing, 2/29/00, P4) reported that Xiong Guangkai, PRC deputy Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), met with Dennis Blair on February 28. The two had a wide exchange of views on international and regional security and bilateral relations of common concern. Prior to this, Shi Yunsheng, commander-in-chief of the PLA naval force, also met with Blair.

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3. PRC-US Dispute on Human Rights

China Daily (Xu Yang, "US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ON HK SLAMMED," 3/1/00) reported that the PRC on February 29 criticized the US State Department for giving a distorted assessment of Hong Kong's human rights situation in its annual report. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, "it is most inappropriate for the US to make uninvited remarks and unwarranted interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs." Zhu demanded that the US abort its attempt to sponsor another anti-resolution at this year's UN human rights conference in Geneva. Zhu said that the PRC was studying the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights because national leaders intend to introduce a related bill in the National People's Congress.

China Daily ("NATION REFUTES US RIGHTS CLAIMS," 2/28/00, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that the PRC is strongly displeased with and firmly opposed to US distortions of other countries' human rights situations. Zhu made the remarks on February 27 in Beijing in response to the US State Department human rights report for 1999. He said that the PRC government has consistently respected the universal principles on human rights and actively committed itself to promoting and protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Chinese people in line with its national conditions. After long-term and unremitting efforts, Zhu said, the human rights and basic freedoms enjoyed by the Chinese people have been upgraded to an unprecedented historical level. According to Zhu, there exist serious human rights violations in the US, yet those human rights conditions still continue to deteriorate.

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4. PRC Policy on Taiwan Issue

China Daily ("CHINA'S POLICY ON TAIWAN CONSISTENT," 3/1/00, P1) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said that the solution to the Taiwan issue cannot be delayed indefinitely, and that the position of the PRC government has not changed. Qian made the remarks during an annual meeting of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese held in Beijing on February 29. Qian denied any change in the government's Taiwan policy in the PRC's white paper on Taiwan. Qian said that there was no change in the policy of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" nor was there any change in the eight-point proposition put forward by PRC President Jiang Zemin. Qian said that the white paper was aimed at "pushing forward the development of the cross-Straits relations and urging the Taiwan authorities to sit down to hold talks with us."

People's Liberation Army Daily carried a commentary by Zhu Chenghu, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies of National Defense University of People's Liberation Army of China, ("DEFENDING 'ONE-CHINA' PRINCIPLE IS THE CORNERSTONE OF PEACE ON TAIWAN STRAITS," 2/28/00, P9) which refuted some US politicians' remarks that the publication of the PRC white paper on Taiwan is a "provocation." Zhu said that the timing of the publication indicates that there are some elements either on Taiwan islands or in international arena challenging the "one-China" principle. Zhu wrote, "That is very dangerous. The long-term procrastination for the solution of the Taiwan issue has caused many problems. Both sides across the Taiwan Straits have paid heavy costs for the temporary disunion and the Taiwan issue seriously hinders the development of relations between China and relevant countries." Zhu also said that if the US does not stop as soon as possible what it is doing on the Taiwan issue, it will destroy the external conditions for the PRC government to strive for peaceful reunification. Zhu wrote, "supporting Taiwan independence in substance is to incite Chinese to fight against Chinese." Zhu warned the US not to harm both others and itself. Zhu continued, "the plan of Taiwan separatists represented by Lee Teng-hui to separate the motherland is deliberate. To realize that set goal, the Taiwan authorities are trying to use the strengthening of arms to reach the purposes of refusing reunification and pursuing independence. It certainly will drag the two sides across the Taiwan Straits into a war. Taiwan separatists' method of using arms to refuse reunification and to pursue independence is doomed to failure." Zhu warned that whoever tries to separate the PRC will invite destruction.

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5. PRC-Russian Relations

People's Daily (Liu Gang, "CHINESE, RUSSIAN FMS HOLD MEETING," Moscow, 3/1/00, P6) reported that PRC Foreign Ministers Tang Jiaxuan met with his Russian counterpart on February 29. The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral ties and international issues with common interests. Tang expressed his satisfaction with the development of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership in recent years. Tang said that the partnership has kept a sound momentum as the world moves into the new millennium. Tang stated, "as two powers wielding major influence, the strengthened cooperation between China and Russia not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries, it is also of great significance to the progress of a multi-polar world and the establishment of a just and reasonable new world order." Tang also said that the PRC would work together with Russia to promote bilateral cooperation in various fields to a new high. Tang said that bilateral relations have reached a level of mutual trust and that both sides should make more efforts to implement the agreements reached by the top leaders of the two countries. Ivanov said that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov would visit the PRC shortly and discuss with his host bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and trade. Ivanov expressed the hope that Klebanov's trip will achieve positive results. Tang replied that the PRC attached great importance to Klebanov's visit and that he believes the visit will enhance the overall development of bilateral cooperation in various fields. Tang reiterated the PRC's support for the Russian government's stance on the Chechen issue and the actions taken in fighting separatism and religious extremism in Chechnya. Ivanov expressed his appreciation for the PRC's just stance on the Chechen issue. Ivanov repeated Russia's unswerving stance on its one-China policy. Ivanov said that Russia supports the early reunification of China and will cooperate with the PRC on the Taiwan issue. Both sides voiced their resolute rejection of such arguments as "limited sovereignty" and "humanitarian intervention," and believed that each country should be able to choose its social system and path of development in line with its own situation.

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6. PRC-Japanese Relations

China Daily ("ACCORD LAUDED," 2/29/00, P3) reported that the Japanese Government on February 28 welcomed a fisheries agreement signed on February 27 with the PRC. The agreement, effective in June, settled zoning differences in the East China Sea that had prevented the accord's implementation since it was signed in November 1997. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki said, "It is a step forward that this agreement established a new fishing order and the basis of controlling marine resources under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea."

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