NAPSNet Daily Report
 
tuesday, february 27, 2001
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CONTENTS

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-Russian Summit

Reuters (Peter Graff, "PUTIN, KIM SAY TRADE TIES WILL HELP BRING PEACE," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin promised ROK President Kim Dae-jung that Russia would support the ROK's efforts to improve relations with the DPRK. Putin stated, "We all saw on the screens of Korean television yesterday the meeting of families that had been divided by the geopolitical events of the last decades. I think this is a very good step." The two sides pledged to work to link the ROK to Russia's Trans-Siberian Railway. Kim stated, "Once the Korean railway is linked to the Siberian railway, Russia, North Korea and South Korea would stand at the center of an 'iron silk road' linking the three countries to the Asia-Pacific and Eurasian regions." Putin added, "All the states in the region are included in this project. They will be more transparent, more understandable, more predictable because it will be coordinated." Kim and Putin also pledged to cooperate on developing the Russian Far East, but Putin acknowledged that economic links between the two countries have been a disappointment. The Joint Declaration issued after the summit described the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty as the "cornerstone of strategic stability."

Reuters (Christopher Park, "S.KOREA, RUSSIA AGREE TO STRENGTHEN OIL, GAS COOPERATION," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday agreed to boost cooperation on development of a major natural gas field in Siberia and other oil and gas projects. A Joint Declaration issued after the talks stated, "The two parties agreed to closely cooperate on the gas development project in Irkutsk (Kovykta)." They also pledged "to continue to discuss issues of mutual concern such as Korea's participation in oil and gas development projects in Sakhalin and other areas of Russia as well as mineral resources trade." The Kovykta gas field near Irkutsk could yield 1.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, but would require some US$11 billion in investment, including a 4,115 kilometer (2,557 mile) pipeline to the ROK via the PRC and possibly the DPRK.


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2. Light-Water Reactor Project

The Newsletter of the Technology Center for Nuclear Control ("MOST PLANS TO ESTABLISH THE EXPORT CONTROL PROCEDURES," January/February 2001) reported rthat the ROK Ministry of Science and Technology is considering establishing a Nuclear Export Review Committee as an advisory group. The measure is being considered as the government expects to face a greatly increased workload for processing export licenses due to the coming transfer of two light-water reactors to the DPRK under the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization's project.


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3. Reunion of Separated Families

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, "KOREAN FAMILIES REUNITE," 02/27/01) reported that shouting and shoving broke out between about a dozen ROK and DPRK officials during family reunions in Seoul after one DPRK visitor showed a photograph of Kim Il-sung to his mother. An ROK official complained that the DPRK citizen was violating a deal between the two governments that prohibited political displays or comments. Both sides later shook hands and reconciled. In Pyongyang, a 90-year-old ROK man suffering from exhaustion was hospitalized after meeting relatives on Tuesday, according to ROK press pool reports.


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4. ROK-DPRK Talks

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA PROPOSES DATE FOR NEW NORTH TALKS," Seoul, 10/27/01) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry said on Tuesday that the ROK has proposed holding a fifth round of minister-level talks with the DPRK from March 13-16 in Seoul. The ministry said in a statement that it had sent the proposal through a telegram signed by Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu to DPRK Senior Cabinet Counsellor Jon Kum-jin. The ROK's Yonhap News Agency said that the two sides would discuss a variety of issues, including a proposed visit to Seoul this year by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il.


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5. DPRK Situation

Reuters ("FAMINE KILLS ONE MILLION IN NORTH KOREA, SAYS U.S.," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that the US State Department's annual human rights report, released this week on the State Department's web site (www.state.gov), said that one million DPRK citizens have died of starvation and related diseases since 1995. The report stated, "Famine has caused internal dislocation, widespread malnutrition and approximately a million deaths from starvation and related diseases." It added that economic and political conditions had caused thousands to flee their homes. The report claimed that economic recovery had been hampered by military spending, which it said amounted to perhaps a quarter of gross domestic product a decade ago and is probably an even larger share of national output today. The report also said that human rights groups had received reports of extrajudicial killings and disappearances. Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Parmly said Monday that the DPRK is one of the world's three worst human rights abusers along with Myanmar and Cuba.

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "NORTH KOREANS, BELTS TIGHT, COBBLE UP A FUTURE," Pyongyang, 02/25/01) reported that people in the DPRK rely on walking due to lack of transportation. On Fridays, citizens are mobilized into state work units to build monuments and other public works. The article said that visitors to hospitals and schools are told about the personal efforts made by Kim Jong-il in planning their work. It added that soldiers are ubiquitous throughout the countryside. However, it added, signs of change can be seen in the growth of farmers' markets and open use of foreign currency.


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6. DPRK-Japan Talks

Japan Economic Newswire ("NEW ROUND OF JAPAN-N. KOREA TALKS MAY BE HELD THIS SUMMER," Tokyo, 02/25/01) reported that Japanese government sources said Sunday that the next round of diplomatic normalization talks between Japan and the DPRK will likely not be held until this summer at the earliest. The sources said that the DPRK is apparently focusing on coordinating Kim Jong Il's reciprocal visit to the ROK and analyzing the DPRK policies of US President George W. Bush. An unnamed top Japanese Foreign Ministry source said that Japan should adopt a wait-and-see stance on the situation for the time being. Negotiation sources said that under current circumstances, holding a new round of talks would serve no purpose as both sides will likely repeat the same demands.


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7. US Troops on Okinawa

The Associated Press ("OKINAWA WANTS DRILLS MOVED," Tokyo, 02/27/01) reported that Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine said during a state assembly session on Monday that he would ask the central government's help in transferring some US military exercises from Okinawa to the US territory of Guam. Okinawa officials said that it was the first time that Inamine had raised the issue of shifting US military drills. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 27.]


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8. Japan-US Submarine Incident

The Associated Press (Joji Sakurai, "ADMIRAL DELIVERS APOLOGY TO JAPAN," 02/27/01) reported that US Admiral William J. Fallon on Tuesday delivered an apology from US President George W. Bush for the incident where a US submarine collided with a Japanese training vessel. Fallon stated, "By coming from Washington to be here in person, I seek not only to apologize, but to promote better understanding between the people of our two nations." Fallon held a 30-minute meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and conveyed the president's belief in the crucial role the US-Japan security relationship plays in maintaining world peace. Fallon was scheduled to meet Wednesday at US Ambassador Thomas Foley's residence with relatives of the nine Japanese lost at sea. He was also to meet Defense Agency Chief Toshitsugu Saito and other Cabinet ministers.

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "IN JAPAN, VICTIMS' FAMILIES EXPECT A PERSONAL APOLOGY," Tokyo, 02/27/01, 16) reported that families of victims of the Japanese training vessel sunk by a US submarine rejected the statement of "sincere regret" offered Sunday by the captain of the submarine, calling for him apologize in person. Kayoko Yoneda, head of a support group for the victims' families in Uwajima, stated, "You can call it a cultural difference. But for us, it's just obvious and common sense for someone to apologize if he does something wrong." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 27.]


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9. Alleged PRC Missile Sales

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINA AIDS PAKISTANI, 'ROGUE' MISSILE PROGRAMS, CIA SAYS," 02/27/01, 10) reported that the US Central Intelligence Agency's semiannual report to the US Congress on arms proliferation said that the PRC continued to send "substantial" assistance to Pakistan's missile program during the first half of 2000. The report said that PRC missile assistance is helping Pakistan move rapidly toward full-scale production of short-range ballistic missiles that are solid-fueled. It added, "In addition, firms in China provided missile-related items, raw materials, and/or assistance to several other countries of proliferation concern such as Iran, North Korea and Libya." Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, stated, "The Clinton administration refused to sanction China even in the teeth of overwhelming evidence of violations. The question now is whether the Bush administration will do anything about it." The report also said that US intelligence agencies "cannot rule out" intelligence reports that the PRC is continuing to assist Pakistan's nuclear-weapons programs. The report also said that the DPRK is continuing to buy material for its missile program. It stated, "During the first half of 2000, Pyongyang sought to procure technology worldwide that could have applications in its nuclear program. But we do not know of any procurement directly linked to the nuclear weapons program." Henry Sokolski, director of the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center, stated, "This report only highlights even further why we not only will need to strengthen defenses, including missile defense, but to renew our nonproliferation efforts." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 27.]


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10. PRC Report on US Human Rights

The Associated Press (Martin Fackler, "CHINA STRIKES BACK AT RIGHTS CRITICS," Beijing, 02/27/01) reported that the PRC Cabinet's information office on Tuesday issued a report criticizing democracy and human rights in the US. The report said that US democracy is a "game for the rich" that has grown so corrupt that few citizens even bothered to vote anymore. It stated, "the 2000 presidential election debacle further exposed the inherent flaws in the American electoral system." It added that 13 million US children live in poverty, 5,000 are killed every year by guns, and more than a quarter million work in factories and farms exposed to injury and poisonous pesticides. The report came a day after the US State Department issued its annual report on human rights conditions around the world, which criticized the PRC for imprisoning followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and intensifying a crackdown in Tibet. State Department deputy spokesman Philip T. Reeker announced Monday that the US would sponsor a resolution to criticize the PRC at the UN Human Rights Commission's annual meeting. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Tuesday, "The U.S. government does not talk about its own human rights situation, yet it makes gross distortions of human rights situations in other countries."


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11. PRC Accession to WTO

The Washington Post (Clay Chandler, "CHINA MAY DELAY JOINING WTO," Shanghai, 02/27/01, E02) reported that the China Business Times, a state-run financial daily, reported Monday that PRC Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng dismissed as "inaccurate" predictions that the PRC is likely to be admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by early summer. The newspaper said that Shi's remarks were prompted by comments from top European Union trade negotiator Pascal Lamy, who suggested in Hong Kong last week that final negotiations regarding terms of WTO entry for China could be concluded as early as March, with formal admission following a few months later. The newspaper quoted officials at the PRC Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation as saying that rewriting the PRC domestic legal code to conform with WTO rules would take a minimum of several months.


II. Republic of Korea


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1. Inter-Korean Working Talks

The Korea Herald ("N. KOREA STICKS TO MT. KUMGANG FOR TAEKWONDO TALKS," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that the DPRK insisted on Saturday that the proposed inter-Korean working talks on cooperation in the traditional martial sports of taekwondo be held at its Mt. Kumgang instead of Seoul or Pyongyang. In a telegraph sent to Kim Un-yong, chairman of the ROK Korea Taekwondo Association, Kim's DPRK counterpart, Hwang Bong-yong, made the counterproposal in response to Kim's initial proposal last week that the discussions be made in one of the two Koreas' capitals. Hwang, however, accepted Kim's suggestion that the meeting between officials from the two taekwondo groups open March 14 for a four-day schedule.


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2. DPRK-New Zealand Ties

The Korea Herald ("NEW ZEALAND DENIES REPORT ON NORMALIZATION OF TIES WITH N.K.," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that the New Zealand embassy in Seoul on Monday denied a media report that it will announce the normalization of relations with the DPRK as early as late this month. In a press release, the embassy said that the two countries negotiated the issue in Pyongyang last September, but no agreement on a normalization schedule was reached. The embassy, however, said that the diplomatic ties with the DPRK will be realized and its government supports the ROK's policy of reconciliation and cooperation with the DPRK. The ROK official also said that a joint announcement on the normalization of ties at the ambassadorial level will come within two weeks at the latest.


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3. Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Herald (Lee Joon-seung, "SECOND S-N SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON ENDING COLD WAR," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said Monday that the scheduled second summit meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas would focus on ending the Cold War environment on the peninsula. Answering questions from lawmakers during a session of the National Assembly's Special Committee on Inter-Korean Relations, the minister stressed that the government would do its best to reduce military tensions and facilitate greater exchange between separated family members.


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4. ROK-Russia Summit

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM, PUTIN TO ISSUE JOINT COMMUNIQUE ON N. KOREA, ECONOMIC COOPERATION," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that the joint statement to be issued following the ROK-Russia summit will contain the two leaders' commitment to working together toward peace on the Korean Peninsula and expanding economic ties between the ROK and Russia, ROK officials said. They said that the political and security situation on the Korean Peninsula, particularly relations between the two Koreas, would top the talks between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Kim wants the backing of Russia in his endeavors to make the fledgling detente with the DPRK take root and secure international support for plans to replace the Korean armistice with a permanent peace regime. On Russia's side, Putin wants to increase his country's influence on Korean affairs. "President Putin is likely to offer his views on the roles of the Koreas, Russia and the United States on the Korean peace issue," a senior ROK official said.


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5. Russian Arms Sales to ROK

The Korea Times (Kim Kwang-tae, "ROK ARMED FORCES REMAIN COOL TO PURCHASE OF RUSSIAN WEAPONS," 02/27/01) reported that an ROK Air Force official said that the ROK Armed Forces remain uncommitted to purchasing Russian weapons. The official stated, "No decision has been made on the purchase. Whatever Russian weapons the government decides to buy, they should be made compatible with our existing weaponry." An unnamed Defense Ministry official stated, "The deal depends on the outcome of on-site inspections of military equipment and price negotiations in Russia later this year." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 27.]


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6. US Missile Sales to ROK

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "U.S. DEFENSE FIRM OFFERS KOREA PRICE CUT FOR MISSILES," 02/27/01) reported that Ray Wauford, president of Raytheon International Korea, said Monday that the company is willing to reduce the prices of its Patriot missiles for the ROK's "SAM-X" surface-to-air missile project. Wauford stated, "We are also eager to transfer as much of our Patriot technology to the Korean government as possible so that about 90 percent of the items comprising the Patriot air defense system will be manufactured in Korea by local firms." Russia's Rosvoorouzenie, the producer of S-300 missiles, notified the ROK last August of its intention not to participate in the project. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 27.]


III. People's Republic of China


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1. DPRK-US Relations

Jiefang Daily ("DPRK COUNTERATTACK US'S TOUGHNESS," Pyongyang, 02/23/01, P3) reported that a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesperson made a statement on February 21 condemning the new US Government's "tough" policy toward the DPRK, saying that DPRK is likely to reconsider its stance on missile and nuclear issues. The spokesperson said that if the US actually adopts measures to eliminate antagonistic relations and guarantees not to threaten DPRK's security any longer, the DPRK would solve those problems that the US is concerned about. This, he said, is the DPRK's consistent policy. He criticized the US for terming the DPRK as a "rouge state," and condemned US development of the Nation Missile Defense system under the pretense of DPRK missile threat. He said that as the US new government ignored the appropriate proposals that DPRK drafted regarding trading satellites launches for missiles, the DPRK will not be bound by the proposals. The DPRK will also not shelve long-range missile launching plans indefinitely, he added.


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2. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("POWELL MEETS WITH PRC AMBASSADOR TO US," Washington, 02/23/01, P3) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell met with new PRC ambassador to the US Yang Jiechi on February 21, reaching consensus on the overall bilateral relations. Powell first gave his warm welcome to Yang. He said that, as two big countries, the PRC and US have wide common interests. The US is willing to strengthen cooperation and dialogue, and make appropriate arrangements over divergences with the PRC, he added. Yang echoed Powell's emphasis on bilateral relations. He said that the PRC government attaches great value to PRC-US relations and wishes to increase understanding and expand cooperation with the US on the basis of the three joint communiques.


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3. PRC-US Disputes Over Iraq

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "SPOKESMAN REFUTES US ACCUSATION," 02/23/01, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao responded to US reports that Chinese technicians helped Iraq to improve its military communications, saying that the accusation was driven by "ulterior motives." "The accusation is an attempt to mislead public opinion and divert public attention," Zhu said. The PRC, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), has always been serious about strictly implementing all the resolutions of the UNSC concerning the question of Iraq, he said. US and British air strikes against Iraq last week violated the UN Charter and other norms governing international relations, provoking wide-ranging condemnation from the international community, Zhu said. The PRC has consistently maintained that the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Iraq should be respected, Zhu said, noting that all relevant UNSC resolutions should be fully implemented.


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4. PRC-Russian Relations

People's Daily (Sun Zhanlin, "RUSSIAN PRESIDENT MEET WITH PRC MILITARY LEADER," Moscow, 02/23/01, P3) reported that on February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with a visiting PRC governmental delegation led by Vice Chairman of the Central Military Committee Zhang Wannian, exchanging views on international issues of common concern. Putin pointed out that the two countries had very good relations in 2000, during which Russia and PRC signed a series of cooperation documents. Zhang's visit, he emphasized, marks a favorable beginning of bilateral relations in 2001. Regarding the international situation, Putin said that the common task of the two countries is to protect the existing strategic stability from being undermined. Russia, he stressed, stands firm on this and will continue to contribute to maintain world strategic stability. After reviewing the frequent visits of the two countries' leaders and the cooperation that followed, he emphasized again that the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership can be attributed to the leaders' active diplomacy. He said that the partnership between the two countries, in the current international situation, is of vital significance, not only to the two countries themselves, but to world peace and stability.


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5. PRC and NMD

The People's Liberation Army Daily (Hu Guangyao, "PRC CALLS US TO GIVE UP NMD PLAN," Ottawa, 02/22/01, P5) reported that the Director of Arms Control and Disarmament Department of the PRC Foreign Ministry, Sha Zhukang, spoke at a seminar held by the Canadian Foreign Ministry on February 20, stating that PRC is opposed to US National Missile Defense (NMD) development and deployment, and wishes that the US would give up its NMD plan and return to the framework of collective security. He said that US NMD development is a big issue in international political life, which will have a negative influence on the international security environment. Ignoring the Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, he warned, will definitely undermine severely global strategic balance and stability. Commenting on the influence of power relations, he said that US unilateral action will jeopardize other powers' security interest, thus triggering doubts and mistrust and hindering cooperation and conciliation in international security affairs. NMD development will also set obstacles to the international arms control and disarmament process and trigger a new round of arms race. Besides, he argued, the NMD plan is, in fact, the US unilateral nuclear armaments plan, which, specifically speaking, may introduce war to outer space and shift the arms race from offensive weapons to defensive weapons. Sha added that the US NMD plan will weaken international nonproliferation regimes and efforts. The US has exaggerated missile threats from "states of concern," which can be settled by political and diplomatic means. Sha listed two reasons why the PRC objects to NMD: one is its desire to maintain international peace and stability, the other is the PRC's own proper security interest. He added that the PRC does not want to confront the US over missile shields, and has no intention to have an arms race with the US. However, he pointed out that the PRC should have enough self-defensive means for its own security.


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6. US-Russian NMD Talks

PLA Daily (Tan Weibing, "BUSH: SATISFIED WITH RUSSIA'S MISSILE SHIELD PROPOSALS," Washington, 02/24/01, P4) reported that US President Bush said on February 22 that he is "satisfied" with the proposals raised recently by Russia over missile defense issues, claiming that he will deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a frank way. The proposal to set up a non-strategic missile defense system was first raised on February 20 by the Russian Defense Minister. It consists of several phases. The first phase is to establish a group of experts to evaluate if a threat to European countries from non-strategic missiles really exists. The second phase is to work out schemes to prevent the threat. The third phase is to start to set up a non-strategic missile defense system. According to a US State Department spokesman, US State Secretary Colin Powell is willing to discuss this proposal with the Russian Foreign Minister over this weekend.


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7. US Troops in Japan

China Daily ("GOVERNOR WANTS US TROOPS CUT," Tokyo, 02/23/01) reported that Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine, not usually an outspoken critic of US bases on the southern Japanese island, said on Thursday for the first time that he wanted to reduce the number of US forces stationed there. His message was underscored when a group of about 20 activists opposed to the bases marched through the streets of central Tokyo, demanding the withdrawal of all Marines from Okinawa. The move could put even more stress on US-Japan ties, already strained by Japanese anger at the sinking of a training trawler by a US nuclear submarine that left nine people missing and presumed dead, and a series of incidents involving the US military on Okinawa, the newsletter said. "I would like to call on the state to raise it during talks between the Japanese and US governments," Inamine told the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly when asked his views on the several local assemblies that have passed resolutions demanding reductions in troops on the island. He said that he hoped to visit US before the end of next month to convey his views and the desires of the people of Okinawa to the US Government. A local government official was quoted as saying, "This is the first time the governor has talked about reducing the number of troops."


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8. Taiwan Question

PLA Daily (Ding Baozhong, "ONE-CHINA PRINCIPLE IS BENEFICIAL TO SOLVING TAIWAN QUESTION," New York, 02/22/01, P5) reported that deputy Director of Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of PRC, Zhou Mingwei when visiting New York on February 20, argued that the one-China principle and "one state, two systems" are favorable to Taiwan, as the former can avoid war and the latter allows Taiwan to keep the status quo. Zhou delivered his speech at a luncheon held by the National Committee on US-China Relations. He said that Vice Premier Qian Qichen last year raised the "New 3 Sentences": There is only one China in the world; Mainland China and Taiwan are part of China; and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity are not allowed to be split apart. Among these, the one- China principle is the most important. As long as it is in the one-China framework, everything can be brought to table and negotiated. Zhou stressed that the relevant agreements signed between the PRC and the US regulate that US arms sale to Taiwan should decrease year by year and finally stop. Currently, he noted, such rhetoric as arguing that arms sale to Taiwan can keep the cross-Straits military balance is totally Cold War thinking, which will mislead Taiwan and indirectly prop up the pro-independence forces.


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