NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, march 8, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. ROK Foreign Minister's US Visit

Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State ("REPUBLIC OF KOREA: VISIT OF FOREIGN MINISTER," 3/6/00) reported that US State Department Spokesman James P. Rubin announced on March 6 that US Secretary of State Madeline K. Albright will meet ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn in Washington on March 13. This will be Foreign Minister Lee's first trip to the US since being named to his position in January. Albright and Lee will consult on the DPRK policy coordination and other matters of bilateral concern, and discuss their close cooperation on a range of international matters such as the June 25-27 Community of Democracies meeting in Warsaw.

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2. US-Japan Arms Control Talks

Reuters ("JAPAN, U.S. SAY TO BOOST ARMS CONTROL COOPERATION," Tokyo, 3/8/00) reported that at meetings in Tokyo on Wednesday, Japanese and US diplomats agreed to keep pressure on India and Pakistan to sign a global treaty banning nuclear tests. The two countries released a statement which said that Japan and the US agreed to set up a joint commission for discussing global arms control, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. The statement said, "strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime and bringing about the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) are the immediate priority of items on the Commission's agenda." The commission will meet every six months to review and discuss related issues. The Kyodo news agency reported that John Holum, senior adviser for arms control and international security at the US State Department, said that the US would try to convince the US Senate to ratify the CTBT.

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3. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

Agence France Presse ("CHINESE ARMY ASKED TO PREPARE FOR TAIWAN WAR, AS LEADERS TALK PEACE," Beijing, 3/8/00) reported that the PRC's Liberation Army Daily said Wednesday that 12 senior military delegates attending the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) asked the PRC military to "prepare actively" for war with Taiwan. The report said that the delegates "called for active and detailed preparations for a military conflict against Taiwan." Fu Quanyou, the Central Military Commission member and Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Army, said, "we must absolutely strengthen the sense of the army's role and prepare with all out efforts for the military conflict. If pro-independence forces seek to divide the country, we will be obliged to take very drastic measures." However, PRC President Jiang Zemin said Wednesday that he was "optimistic" in the prospects for a peaceful reunification with Taiwan. Jiang refused to define what would constitute Taiwan independence and to set a time limit on negotiations, saying, "today I want to keep you guessing, I don't want to go into any detail."

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4. Alleged PRC Cyberwarfare Preparations

The London Times (Oliver August, "CYBERFORCE THREATENS TAIWAN," Beijing, 3/8/00) reported that Chang Kuang-yuan, a Taiwanese intelligence official, said on March 7 that the PRC was preparing a "cyberattack" on the island before its presidential elections on March 18. Chang said that state-sponsored Chinese computer hackers are said to be ready to attack election centers, financial institutions and military command posts. Chang said, "from the perspective of information safety, hacker attacks have become an issue of national security." A short cyber-war between the PRC and Taiwan broke out last year, in which Taiwanese government websites were vandalized. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March 8, 2000.]

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5. PRC-India Security Talks

Agence France Presse ("INDIA WARNS CHINESE OVER NUCLEAR AND MISSILE ASSISTANCE TO PAKISTAN," New Delhi, 3/8/00) reported that India and the PRC finished a first-ever, two-day meeting on security issues in Beijing on March 7. The India delegation was headed by the foreign ministry's joint secretary in charge of disarmament affairs, Rakesh Sood, and the PRC's was lead by director general of its foreign ministry Asian department, Zhang Jiuhuan. India's foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said Wednesday that India warned the PRC that its assistance to Pakistan's nuclear and missile program is threatening regional stability. Jassal said, "we did convey our concerns that China's assistance to Pakistan's nuclear and missile programme had an adverse impact on regional stability to which we have been obliged to respond in an responsible and restrained manner. We conveyed to the Chinese side our overall security objectives, including our nuclear policy." Jassal added that the Indian delegation had emphasized the importance of being "sensitive" to each other's sovereignty, "including the sovereign right of the country to determine its own security needs and to take whatever steps are essential for national security requirements." According to Jassal, both sides agreed that differences should not be an impediment to dialogue and that "the dialogue process should be sustained and strengthened." Analysts said the PRC has been taking the lead among the permanent members of the UN Security Council in pressing India to suspend its nuclear program.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US Defense Minister in ROK

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "DEFENSE SECRETARY COHEN TO VISIT SEOUL MARCH 17," Seoul, 03/08/00) and The Korea Times (Sah Dong-seok, "US DEFENSE CHIEF TO VISIT SEOUL," Seoul, 03/07/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry announced on March 7 that US Secretary of Defense William Cohen will make a two-day official visit to Seoul on March 17 to discuss pending issues with ROK officials. Leading a 40- member delegation of senior US military personnel, Cohen is expected to deliver a greeting from US President Bill Clinton to ROK President Kim Dae-jung during a courtesy call at Chong Wa Dae. During his stay in the ROK, Cohen is also scheduled to meet with ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae; Minister of foreign affairs and trade Lee Joung- binn, and head of the National Intelligence Service Lim Dong-won. Major General Cha Young-koo, director general of the ministry's policy planning bureau said, "the two ministers are expected to exchange opinions on the existing security situation on and around the Korean Peninsula as well as the threat posed by North Korea's military." Cha said the alleged Nogun-ri massacre and a proposed amendment of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) are also high on the agenda. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March 8, 2000.]

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2. DPRK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K., JAPAN TO RESUME DIALOGUE IN EARLY APRIL; RED CROSS TALKS SET FOR MARCH 13 IN BEIJING," Seoul, 03/08/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha-won, "JAPAN TO RESUME TALKS WITH NK IN APRIL," Seoul, 03/07/00) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry officials said on March 7 that the DPRK and Japan will resume their rapprochement talks in Pyongyang early next month, with Japan sending 100,000 tons of food aid to the DPRK. Prior to the normalization talks, the two sides are also scheduled to open Red Cross discussions on March 13 in Beijing to deal with humanitarian issues, including the DPRK's alleged abduction of Japanese nationals and further food assistance.

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3. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Park Doo-shik, "NOGEUN-RI SURVIVORS THREATEN CLASS ACTION SUIT," Washington, 03/08/00) and The Korea Times ("NOGUN-RI SURVIVORS WANT US TO START COMPENSATION TALKS," Seoul, 03/07/00) reported that four victims of the alleged Nogun-ri massacre case held a press conference at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, DC, on March 6 and pleaded for the US government to allow the victims' representatives to participate without restriction in the current investigation. The Nogun-ri victims warned that if their demands were not met, they would file a class action suit against the US government. Chung Eun-yong, chairman of the Nogun-ri Massacre Committee said, "the US government is not passing on copies of the documents related to the Nogun-ri massacre case even to the South Korean government and is also preventing the victims' representatives from participating in the investigation procedure." The committee revealed that it had hired Michael Choi, a Korean- American lawyer, and four US law firms that worked on international human rights cases such as the Holocaust, to be their US representative. The group said it had provided the lawyers with all documents on the 126 dead and 45 injured that they have confirmed as being victims on the specific day of the incident.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-Japan Talks

People's Daily ("DPRK, JAPAN TO RESTART NEGOTIATIONS ON NORMALIZING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS," 3/8/00, P7) reported that the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on March 7 that the DPRK and Japanese governments will restart their normalization talks. The negotiations will be held first in Pyongyang, then in Tokyo and finally move to Beijing or other third countries, the report said. Another report from the KCNA said that the talks between DPRK and Japanese Red Cross will be held in Beijing on March 13.

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2. ROK-Russian Military Exercises

China Daily ("RUSSIA, S. KOREA TO HOLD MILITARY EXERCISES," 3/7/00, P11) reported that a Russian expert said that the upcoming joint Russia-ROK naval drill would have a symbolic and practical significance for peace in Northeast Asia. ROK defense officials said that Russia and the ROK will hold their first joint naval military exercise in April. The week-long drills will involve warships and helicopters from the two nations off the Korean peninsula.

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3. DPRK-PRC Relations

People's Daily (Zhang Xinghua, "KIM JONG IL VISITS CHINESE EMBASSY IN DPRK," Pyongyang, 3/6/00, P1) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on March 5 expressed satisfaction with the development of DPRK-PRC relations. Kim and the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea visited the PRC Embassy at the invitation of PRC Ambassador Wan Yongxiang. In a friendly atmosphere, Kim held talks with Wan on the friendship between the two countries.

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4. PRC View of Missile Defense Sale to Taiwan

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "DEFENSE BUDGET SLIGHTLY HIGHER," 3/8/00, P2) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said at a news briefing on March 7 that the PRC was deeply concerned over the reported US sales of destroyers equipped with the "Aegis" and "Patriot III" anti-missile system to Taiwan. Zhu said, "we strongly urge the US to strictly honor the three joint communiques between China and the US and its relevant commitments and make clear its commitment of not selling destroyers with the 'Aegis' system and the 'Patriot III' anti-missile system to Taiwan. We also urge the US to refrain from doing anything that may cause tension in cross-Strait relations, anything that may obstruct China's peaceful reunification or anything that would not be conducive to the steady development of China-US relations."

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5. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily (Qian Tong, "JIANG ZEMIN MEETS GEORGE BUSH," Beijing, 3/3/00, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin stressed on March 2 that the policy of the PRC's central government on Taiwan is "consistent." Jiang made the remarks in his meeting with former US President George Bush at Zhongnanhai. He told Bush that certain words and actions recently taken by the US "could not but make us feel serious concerns." Jiang urged the US to properly handle the Taiwan issue so as to avoid another setback of PRC-US relations.

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6. PRC-Japan Relations

People's Daily (Wang Yan, "NO CHANGES ON COMMITMENT TO DEVELOP JAPANESE-CHINESE RELATIONS," Tokyo, 3/7/00, P6) reported that Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki said on March 6 that the Japanese Government will continue to develop bilateral ties with the PRC. Aoki told reporters that the Japanese Government remains committed to developing bilateral ties based on consensus reached by the two countries. He made the remarks after PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said on March 5 that the attempts by a handful of ultra-right forces in Japan to obstruct and undermine Sino-Japanese relations must be guarded against.

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "DEFENSE BUDGET SLIGHTLY HIGHER," 3/8/00, P2) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui has long engaged in activities aimed at undermining the PRC's friendly relations with other countries. Asked whether the PRC wanted Japan to bar Lee's visit after his presidency, Zhu said, "no matter in what capacity, Lee's visit to any foreign country to carry out activities for the purpose of creating 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan' will encounter opposition and condemnation of the Chinese people and the Chinese Government."

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7. PRC-Russian Relations

People's Daily (Zhang Jingyu, "JIANG ZEMIN MEETS RUSSIAN DEPUTY PM," Beijing, 3/4/00, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin told visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov that there are bright prospects for Sino-Russian cooperation as they forge a strategic partnership, push forward bilateral exchanges and cooperation, promote the multi-polarization process, and enhance the international standings of the two countries. Klebanov said that his visit was an important mission in preparation for the PRC visit of the new Russian president to be elected in the upcoming general election. He said that Putin valued the Russia-PRC relationship, and that Russia will adhere to the policy of maintaining friendly ties with the PRC. Klebanov said that Russia will firmly support the PRC's principled stand on the Taiwan issue, and will spare no efforts to push forward the multi-polarization process. He noted that Putin was looking forward to meeting Jiang. Jiang said that the PRC government backs Russia's position and actions on the Chechnya issue. He also said that he is looking forward to the Sino-Russian summit meeting this year.

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8. PRC Position on Taiwan Issue

People's Daily ("CHINA NOT TO TOLERATE SEPARATIST ACTIVITY," Beijing, 3/6/00, P3) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji reiterated the "one-China policy" on March 5 at the opening meeting of the Third Session of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC). Zhu said, "we will not sit idly by and watch any serious separatist activity aimed at undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, such as those advocating the 'two-state theory' or 'the independence of Taiwan'. We will, as always, keep to the basic principles of 'peaceful reunification', 'one country, two systems' and the eight-point proposal put forward by President Jiang Zemin, and continue to work hard to develop cross-straits relations and promote the peaceful reunification of the motherland. On the basis of the One China principle, we are willing to conduct cross-straits dialogue and negotiations on any matter. "We will continue to promote the exchange of visits of people in both directions and various cross-straits contacts, vigorously promote cross- straits economic and trade relations and conscientiously protect the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots, including their legal rights and interests related to investment and business operation on the mainland."

People's Daily (Chen Yao, "TAIWAN ISSUE CANNOT DRAG ON INFINITELY," Beijing, 3/8/00, P4) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said on March 7 that the Taiwan issue can be resolved with the joint efforts of the people across the Taiwan Straits. During a panel meeting of the PRC's National People's Congress (NPC) and deputies from Taiwan, Qian said that Hong Kong and Macao's successive returns to the motherland represent a decisive step that the PRC has taken toward its reunification. Qian said, "the task for the settlement of Taiwan issue and accomplishment of the country's reunification have been placed predominantly before all us Chinese people." Noting that the PRC's opposition against Taiwan's call for independence has been consistent, Qian said that the forces of "Taiwan independence," separatist forces, and foreign anti-China forces hope that the Taiwan issue will drag on infinitely and that this is the thing the PRC will never allow. The principle of "one county, two systems," which has successfully been put into practice in Hong Kong and Macao, is applicable to the settlement of Taiwan issue. He also said that the use of this principle in resolving Taiwan issue will definitely do good for Taiwan compatriots. Qian added that the pretext of Taiwan authorities in opposing this concept, in essence, is in opposition to reunification.

People's Liberation Army Daily (Zheng Shuyan and Gao Jiquan, "ANY ATTEMPT TO SPLIT MOTHERLAND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED," Beijing, 3/6/00, P1) reported that Zhang Wannian, vice-chairman of the PRC's Central Military Commission, said on March 5 that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is determined to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity with confidence, capability and effective means. Zhang said, "any attempt to split the motherland will not be tolerated. The PLA will not sit idly by and watch the development of any separatist plot." Zhang added that Taiwan independence would mean war and separatism means that peace will not prevail. He also said that the PLA, together with the people of China including Taiwan compatriots, will take any necessary means to steadfastly smash the political gamble of splitting the motherland. He said that peaceful reunification of the motherland is in the fundamental interests of the compatriots on the both sides of the Taiwan Straits and of the entire Chinese nation. Zhang said, "we will try our best to achieve peaceful reunification of the motherland in the course of solving the Taiwan issue. But if there occurs a major incident of separating Taiwan from the motherland under any pretext, if Taiwan is invaded and occupied by a foreign power, if the Taiwan authorities indefinitely reject peaceful settlement of the reunification issue through negotiations, then we will have to take all resolute measures possible to realize the reunification cause."

People's Liberation Army Daily ("TAIWAN INDEPENDENCE MEANS WAR," 3/6/00, P1) carried a commentary that said that putting an end to the separation across the Taiwan Straits and realizing the full reunification of the motherland was a fundamental interest of the Chinese nation and are irreversible historic trends. The editorial said, "we have the greatest sincerity for realizing peaceful reunification and will try every means possible and do our utmost to seek peaceful reunification. However, we must explicitly point out that 'Taiwan independence' means war and separation will not lead to peace since 'Taiwan independence' and separation can only undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, can only separate Taiwan from the motherland and can only make peaceful reunification of the motherland impossible. To safeguard the interests of all the Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, and to safeguard the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific Region, we firmly support our government's 'peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems' principle to resolve the Taiwan issue as well as the Eight-point Propositions by President Jiang Zemin promoting the peaceful reunification of the motherland and try every means possible to seek peaceful reunification. As for 'Taiwan independence' and separatist forces, the PLA's millions of troops stand in combat readiness and are on high alert and will never sit by idly while an attempt is being made to split China. We will adopt all measures to firmly crush any attempts to divide China and will realize the complete reunification of the motherland."

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9. Cross-Strait Business Relations

China Daily (Tang Min, "STRONGER TRADE TIES WITH TW ADVOCATED," 3/8/00, P1) reported that members of the PRC's National Committee of the Ninth People's Political Consultative Conference want Taiwanese investment to play more important roles in the nation's economy. Lin Yifu, the director of the PRC's Economic Studies Center of Beijing University, recommended that Taiwan businessmen should be allowed to make investments in all fields open to mainlanders. Lin also suggested that Taiwan businessmen should have the first crack at investing in fields opened to foreign companies when the PRC is admitted to the World Trade Organization. Lin also said that local governments should pass laws and regulations to protect the interests of Taiwan.

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10. PRC Defense Budget

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "DEFENSE BUDGET SLIGHTLY HIGHER," 3/8/00, P2) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on March 7 that the PRC's defense expenditures will not increase significantly, given that there is no serious threat to sovereignty or security. The defense budget was tagged at 120.5 billion yuan (US$14.5 billion), 12.7 percent higher than last year's. Confirming the continual growth in the sum of defense budgets since the 1980s, Zhu indicated that per capita defense expenditure is still at the lowest level in the world. Zhu said, "actually, the proportion of defense expenditures against China's GDP and national financial expenditures has dropped." He added that the higher budget will go for wage hikes of servicemen, their medical care and housing benefits, and the living costs for troops stationed in Macao. Zhu said that 5.6 billion yuan (US$67 million) was also allocated to the army to compensate for losses it incurred.

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11. PRC Foreign Strategy

China Daily (Yan Xuetong, "BEST FRIENDS NEXT DOOR," 3/7/00, P4) carried a commentary by Yan Xuetong, a research fellow with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, which said that the PRC's international relations have their own characteristics. Yan said that the PRC's priority should be to develop good relations, especially with Southeast Asian nations, because the PRC's national interest cannot be separated economically, militarily or politically from the interests of other Asian countries. Yan also said tighter regional relations would also help defuse international hegemonism. He wrote that East Asia should fall in Europe's footsteps and quickly regionalize its economy, but if regionalization in East Asia can expand to South Asia and the Mideast, Asia will become a stronger world presence.

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