NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, july 17, 2000

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. US-ROK Missile Talks

The Associated Press ("U.S. CLOSING IN ON A MISSILE DEAL WITH SEOUL," Seoul, 7/17/00) reported that Robert Einhorn, US assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, met with Song Min-soon, director-general of the ROK Foreign Ministry's North American affairs bureau, to discuss the issue of the ROK building missiles with increased range. Song said after the meeting that the two sides narrowed most of their differences and agreed to work out a formal agreement "within a few months." Officials said the US has agreed in principle to let the ROK build missiles capable of traveling up to 300 kilometers (185 miles). [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 17, 2000.]

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2. US Troops in Okinawa

Reuters ("6,500 OKINAWANS RALLY AGAINST US," Ginowan, 7/17/00) reported that more than 6,500 residents of Okinawa held their biggest rally in years on July 16 against the presence of US military bases, demanding a reduction in US forces in Okinawa and protesting against recent crimes allegedly committed by US servicemen based on the island. A speaker in the rally said that more than 50 years of sharing the island with the US military is enough. Suzuyo Takasato, a leading women's rights activist, told the crowd, "How many times do we have to hold rallies like this after terrible incidents? The people of Okinawa are tired of being treated as if they aren't humans." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 17, 2000.]

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3. Taiwan Independence

The Taipei Times (Lin Chieh-yu, "MOTION TO DITCH INDEPENDENCE CLAUSE DROPPED," 7/16/00) and Reuters ("TAIWAN RULING PARTY ASKS CHINA TO RENOUNCE THREATS," Taipei, 7/17/00) reported that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chen Zau-nan said on July 15 that the party withdrew a motion to drop the pro-independence clause from its platform. Chen said, "All along we have not received any goodwill response from Communist China." Therefore, he added, it would be "inappropriate and unfair" for the DPP to drop its pro- independence platform before the PRC renounces longstanding threats to invade Taiwan. He said that the pro- independence party guideline was "defensive" in nature, while the PRC's invasion threats were "offensive."

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4. US Defense Secretary's PRC Visit

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "COHEN PREDICTS EVOLUTION TOWARD FREEDOM IN CHINA," Shanghai, 7/16/00) reported that according to US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, the PRC's growing prosperity will produce a middle class that will eventually win democratic political reforms to complement economic changes. Cohen told a gathering of stockbrokers on the floor of the Shanghai Stock Exchange on July 15, "U.S. efforts to promote stability, peace and freedom have benefited all the nations of the region, and I would say most particularly China. Prosperity, given time, builds democracy, which in turn creates more stability and more security." Cohen predicted that the growing middle class in the PRC, primarily in large eastern cities like Shanghai, "will do what middle classes have done throughout history - seek a greater voice in governing. In short, a growing, stock-owning Chinese middle class in greater commercial and intellectual contact with the world will do more to keep Asia peaceful, stable, and eventually democratic than any actions other nations could possibly take. The United States seeks an Asia Pacific region characterized by cooperation where great nations focus on their mutual interests, where our energies are spent on promoting our prosperity, and where freedom and democracy and the rule of law are fully recognized as the birthright of all people." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 17, 2000.]

The Washington Post published an editorial ("CHINA DEMONIZES," 7/17/00) which said that it was refreshing to hear US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen remind the PRC that demonization can be a two-way street. The article argued that while Cohen conceded that US media distortions about the PRC do harm Sino-US relations, "the difference between the U.S. and Chinese media, of course, is that the former are independent, and therefore full of competing views of China, some upbeat, some grim. In China, however, the Communist Party permits only the official view--not to mention the regular blasts at U.S. foreign policy Chinese leaders deliver when addressing audiences in other countries. To some extent, the vilifications may be intended to fan nationalism within China or to puff up China's still modest international standing." Therefore, the article continued, "it's about time a senior U.S. official at least noted the anti-U.S. propaganda that permeates China's state-controlled media.... Ideas have consequences." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 17, 2000.]

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5. PRC View of Missile Defense

The Chicago Tribune published an opinion article by Steve Chapman ("WHY CHINA FEARS MISSILE DEFENSE…AND WHY WE SHOULD, TOO," 7/16/00) which said that the PRC is alarmed at the prospect that the US may erect a national missile defense (NMD), but US policymakers should also be alarmed. Chapman noted that an editorial in the Wall Street Journal claimed that the PRC wants to be able to threaten the US with a missile strike if the US should intervene to help Taiwan. However, Chapman argued, neutralizing the PRC's nuclear missile threat would also neutralize the concept of deterrence and cause the PRC to seek "whatever steps it must to preserve its nuclear deterrent." He noted that the PRC could fit its inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with multiple warheads, equip them with decoys to fool US radars and interceptors and "all these steps can be taken faster and cheaper than we can build an anti-missile system." Therefore, he continued, "after we've spent billions of dollars and they've responded, it's not clear that we would be any better off than we are right now. Missile defense would have to work not the hundredth time but the very first time, and it would have to work perfectly. A 90 percent success rate would be wonderful for any other weapon. For missile defense, 90 percent effectiveness--or 95, or 98--would bring about a catastrophe without parallel in human history. Defense policy means preparing for the worst, which is why it's not surprising that the Chinese would worry that we might neutralize their nuclear arsenal. What's surprising is that some Americans think we can count on it." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 17, 2000.]

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6. PRC-Russian Talks

Agence France Presse ("PUTIN ARRIVES IN CHINA SEEKING BOOSTED TRADE TIES, FRONT AGAINST US," Beijing, 7/17/00) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the PRC late Monday on a two-day mission aimed at cementing a strategic partnership against US domination and boosting flagging trade relations. Accompanying Putin to Beijing were Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov and Power Minister Alexander Gavrin. Diplomatic sources said that while underlining his new foreign policy oriented towards Asia, Putin will also be reiterating Russia's position that bilateral trade is lagging behind Sino-Russian political ties. Officials said that during the visit the two presidents will issue a major political statement opposing US plans to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. An official said that in the statement, Russia and the PRC will call the treaty a cornerstone of global strategic stability and warn of "negative consequences" to global security if the US is successful in scrapping the treaty and building the NMD. He said, "Undermining the ABM treaty will lead to the emergence of new elements for regional and international instability, will lend an excuse for the resumption of an arms race and erect new obstacles to the international disarmament process."

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

Leanne Payton:
Clayton, Australia

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