NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, april 4, 2001

I. United States

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

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I. United States

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1. US-PRC Spy Plane Collision

The Associated Press (Martin Fackler, "CHINA LEADER DEMANDS U.S. APOLOGY," Haikou, 04/04/01) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin demanded that the US apologize for a collision between a US spy plane and a PRC fighter jet. Jiang said that the US "should bear all responsibilities for the collision incident. The U.S. side should apologize to the Chinese people." PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan summoned US Ambassador Joseph Prueher to make a formal protest, but added that the PRC "hopes to see the collision incident resolved appropriately as soon as possible." White House spokesman Ari Fleischer responded, "The United States government doesn't understand the reason for an apology. Our airplane was operating in international airspace and (the crew) did nothing wrong." The White House ruled out any apology. US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday stated, "We regret the loss of life of that Chinese pilot but now we need to move on. We need to bring this to a resolution and we're using every avenue available to us to talk to the Chinese side to exchange explanations."

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2. Analysis of US-PRC Standoff

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Mike Allen, "U.S. SEEKS TO AVOID A TEST OF WILLS," 04/04/01, A19) reported that the difference in US and PRC positions on culpability for the spy plane collision may be pushing the two sides into a test of wills that neither wanted. An unnamed senior US administration official stated, "No one wants to see this accident become an incident. We're going to take it one step at a time." The official said that an apology by the US has been firmly ruled out and a statement of regret is "not even in question" at this point. The official intimated that the US would be willing to discuss the PRC's grievances, as "nobody wants to see this situation happen again," but the crew needed to come home first. The official added, "All the decisions are being driven by what is most likely to be effective with the Chinese government. One of the things you want to do is give them time to come to the right decision and not lock them into a position opposed to you. A call from the president might force ... a more intractable position." Douglas H. Paal, president of the Asia-Pacific Policy Center, stated, "The administration has kept its rhetoric moderate and each time it has been met with a Chinese escalation of rhetoric. If this keeps up, we're heading for some real tension." An unnamed person familiar with the administration's deliberations stated, "I don't see how you can avoid making this a tone setter." One administration official said that the PRC "can look for indications of weakness and indications of hostility. Calibrating it right is important. Both considerations have to be kept in mind all along."

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "NEW NATIONALISM DRIVES BEIJING," Beijing, 04/04/01, A01) reported that the PRC's response to the spy plane incident appears to be affected by nationalistic public opinion and disagreement among competing ministries over how to deal with the US. An unnamed senior Chinese academic stated, "The government is being smarter this time" than it was following the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. "They want to control the debate better than they did two years ago. That scared them. Now they are trying to take the lead." Anonymous PRC officials said that any US ultimatum will cause problems because PRC leaders do not want to be perceived as caving into the US. An unnamed Chinese political analyst stated, "If President Jiang [Zemin] gives into this, people are going to say he's soft, weak and that's deadly in China. It's not the right tactic. No one here wants to be seen as soft." Chu Shulong, director of the North American division at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, stated, "The leadership is concerned about the reactions of ordinary Chinese and their anger about the incident. They are trying to satisfy public opinion to get the American government to apologize and explain.... We lost a pilot, remember. There will be no way for us to release the crew at least until our search for him is over." Chu added, "To ordinary Chinese it seems like U.S. planes are coming into Chinese territory to kill our pilots. There is a feeling that we are being invaded."

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3. International Airspace Rules

The Associated Press ("RULES REGARDING COUNTRY'S AIRSPACE," Tokyo, 04/04/01) reported that the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea says that a coastal country's sovereign territory extends 12 nautical miles from its land borders, both in the sea and airspace. While both the US and the PRC agree that Sunday's collision occurred outside that area, the PRC said that the spy plane violated its airspace by landing on the island without first asking permission. While the PRC has signed the Law of the Sea convention, the US has not.

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4. Asian Reactions to US Spy Plane Incident

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "JAPAN AND THE KOREAS STAND BY THEIR RESPECTIVE ALLIES," Tokyo, 04/04/01) reported that the US-PRC spy plane incident has highlighted growing tensions in northeast Asia. ROK businessman Bae Jong-tae said that the PRC "are telling the United States not to provide modern equipment to Taiwan. They may use the captured American reconnaissance plane in exchange for concessions, and North Korea will also use it to criticize the United States." An unnamed ROK military officer said that the PRC had overreacted to the incident because of "frustration over the selling of destroyers to Taiwan." The Joong Ang Ilbo commented, "Just as 'a whale fight breaks shrimps' backs,' U.S.-China discord will inevitably chill the reconciliatory and cooperative spirit on the Korean peninsula." An editorial in Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun warned that the incident could "put a strain on Japanese and U.S. efforts to maintain their security setup in the region." Terumasa Nakanishi of Kyoto University stated, "There is a feeling here that the Chinese are becoming more and more of a threat, and this is causing Japanese to feel that they must do something. Certainly relations with the United States remain the most important thing, but this kind of incident could encourage unilateral actions by Japan as well."

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5. US Scholar Detained in PRC

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "CHINA CHARGES SCHOLAR BASED IN THE U.S. WITH SPYING," Beijing, 04/04/01) reported that Gao Zhan, a US-based Chinese scholar, was formally charged Tuesday with being a spy for an overseas organization.

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6. PRC-Russian Friendship Treaty

The Associated Press ("RUSSIA, CHINA TO SIGN NEW FRIENDSHIP TREATY," Moscow, 04/04/01) reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said Wednesday that Russia and the PRC plan to sign a new friendship treaty during PRC President Jiang Zemin's visit to Moscow this summer. Losyukov said that the 10-year treaty will underscore "the relations of partnership and strategic cooperation" developed by Russia and the PRC after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He added that the text has been tentatively approved already.

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7. South China Sea Accord

The Associated Press ("CHINA, PHILIPPINES AGREE TO EASE TENSIONS IN S CHINA SEA," Manila, 04/04/01) reported that the PRC and the Philippines agreed on Wednesday to take a number of steps to avoid escalating tension arising from territorial disputes in the South China Sea. A joint statement said that the PRC and the Philippines agreed not to take any action that "might complicate and escalate the situation" in the Scarborough Shoal. Agreements also were reached to expand military dialogue and cooperation, study a mechanism for settling fishing disputes, discuss three projects proposed by China on environmental protection, and prepare for a computer-generated joint search-and-rescue exercise. Willy Gaa, who headed the Philippine side to bilateral talks, stated, "We're trying our best to ease tension in the area and we're trying to build confidence. It's of course tough." Fu Ying, the PRC delegation head, stated, "We are neighbors and the differences are normal, but with a friendly people like you, I'm quite confident that there is nothing we cannot resolve."

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8. DPRK View of US Policy

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "NORTH KOREA SAYS US SUPPORTS WAR," Seoul, 04/04/01) reported that the DPRK's Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday accused the US of trying to undermine the Korean reconciliation process. The paper stated, "There is a problem to be tackled by the U.S. in strengthening the alliance. That is South Korea. The present U.S. ruling quarters are becoming increasingly assertive before South Korean officials." It added, "What the U.S. seeks is to incite enmity toward the DPRK among Japanese and South Koreans in a bid to strengthen the triangular military alliance and use it as a springboard from which to provoke a new war of aggression."

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9. German Beef Exports to DPRK

The Associated Press ("GERMAN GOVT APPROVES BEEF DELIVERY TO NORTH KOREA," Berlin, 04/04/01) reported that the German government on Wednesday approved shipments of beef to the DPRK from cattle being slaughtered in the wake of a mad cow crisis. Up to 400,000 older German cattle are being slaughtered as part of a program to raise European beef prices after sales dropped due to mad cow concerns. Government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye stated, "It's been decided in principle." No date was set for a first delivery, although officials said it would not be made before the end of the month. Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said that the government plans to ship up to 30,000 tons of meat, which will be tested for mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. She added that the UN World Food Program will organize the distribution inside the DPRK.

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10. Japanese History Textbook

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "S. KOREA, CHINA OBJECT TO TEXTBOOK," Seoul, 04/04/01) reported that the ROK and the PRC filed formal complaints to Japan on Wednesday over a new middle school history textbook. ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo met Japanese Ambassador Terusuke Terada to file a formal protest about the textbook. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan summoned Japanese Ambassador Koreshige Anami to demand that Japan take immediate steps to "safeguard the general situation of Sino-Japanese relations." Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono told the Diet that "political intervention in the adoption of textbooks is impossible" in Japan.

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA DISCUSSES RESPONSE TO NEW JAPANESE HISTORY BOOK," Seoul, 04/04/01) reported that ROK government officials met Wednesday to discuss ways of protesting against a new Japanese history textbook. On KBS-TV Tuesday night, ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo stated, "The alarming rise of militant right-wing groups in Japan is a problem that can be solved only by the Japanese themselves."

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11. US Submarine Port Visit in Japan

The Associated Press ("U.S. APOLOGIZES TO JAPAN AFTER CRITICISM OF SUBMARINE'S UNANNOUNCED PORT CALL," Tokyo, 04/04/01) reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that the US apologized to Japan after a nuclear submarine entered a Japanese port without informing authorities. An unnamed Foreign Ministry official said that James Foster, acting deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Tokyo, on Tuesday told the ministry that the US Navy had mistakenly informed Japanese authorities that the submarine would stay outside the bay and called the mistake inexcusable. The official said that Foster's response satisfied the Japanese government.

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12. Japanese Prime Minister

The Wall Street Journal ("MORI MOVES CLOSER TO A RESIGNATION," Tokyo, 04/04/01) reported that Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Makoto Koga quoted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori as saying that he will quit as head of the LDP in the middle of his term. Koga stated, "Prime Minister Mori will resign once a new head of the LDP is decided." Mori also told Koga to convene an LDP committee in charge of presidential elections to study the timing of the race. Koga said that the committee will hold a meeting on Thursday.

II. People's Republic of China

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1. PRC-US Air Collision

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, PRC GIVES FULL ACCOUNT OF AIR COLLISION," 04/04/01, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Tuesday remarked on the mid-air collision between US and Chinese military planes. Zhu said that on the morning of April 1, a US EP-3 electronic reconnaissance plane flew southeast of China's Hainan Island. At 8:36 am, Beijing time, the US plane approached the airspace over PRC territorial waters off the city of Sanya to conduct surveillance. A unit of the PRC Navy sent two F-8 fighters to follow and monitor the US plane, Zhu said. At 9:07, the Chinese planes made a normal flight in an area 104 kilometers from the baseline of Chinese territorial waters. The course of the Chinese planes was at 110 degrees, and the US plane was flying parallel with the right side of the Chinese planes in the same direction. The US plane suddenly veered at a wide angle towards the Chinese planes, which were closer to the baseline of the Chinese side. The US plane's nose and left wing rammed the tail of one of the Chinese planes, causing it to lose control and plunge into the sea, Zhu said. The pilot, Wang Wei, parachuted from his stricken plane, while the other Chinese plane returned safely and landed at 9:23 am, he said. The US plane entered Chinese airspace without approval, and landed at Lingshui Airport in Hainan at 9:33. The Chinese side made proper arrangements for the 24 crewmembers aboard, in a spirit of humanitarianism. After the incident, relevant Chinese departments immediately sent search-and-rescue planes and ships to look for pilot Wang Wei. PRC President Jiang Zemin, deeply concerned about Wang's safety, gave repeated instructions to search for and rescue him at any cost, Zhu said. Up till 14:00 hours April 3, a total of 37 planes and 29 boats had been sent to the collision area. The search and rescue mission is continuing, Zhu said.

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2. PRC Government's Response to Collision

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "CHINA PROTESTS US JET'S INTRUSION," 04/04/01, P1) reported that the PRC has made solemn representations and protested to the US about a US military plane bumping into a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea and causing it to crash on Sunday, according to the PRC Foreign Ministry. PRC Assistant Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong made the protest during a meeting with US Ambassador to the PRC Joseph Prueher on Sunday night. The Chinese side is very much concerned about the missing Chinese pilot from the crashed jet, and is busy searching for him. Zhou noted that the Chinese people are demanding an explanation from the US on the following questions: Why did the US military plane approach a place so close to China? Why did the US plane take a sudden turn, bump into and damage the Chinese jet? Zhou reiterated that the US plane's intrusion into PRC airspace and its emergency landing without permission from the Chinese side were gross violations of China's national sovereignty. China reserves the right to further negotiate with the US side on both the losses resulting from the incident and the US plane's intrusion into China's airspace and its landing at a Chinese airport without permission, Zhou said. According to the foreign ministry, PRC Ambassador to the US Yang Jiechi met with relevant officials from the US Department of State the same day and also made solemn representations and protests to the US side over the issue. Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts are underway for the missing pilot of the Chinese fighter, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi on April 2.

Jiefang Daily (Yang Guoqiang, Gu Ming, "JIANG ZEMIN: US SHOULD STOP ITS SURVEILLENCE FLIGHT OFF CHINESE COASTAL AREAS," Beijing, 04/04/01, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin said Tuesday that the US should "bear full responsibilities" for the collision between Chinese and US military planes. "We have sufficient evidence," Jiang said while meeting with visiting Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of the State of Qatar. "It is the US plane that violated flight rules by displaying dangerous moves, bumped into and destroyed our plane, and as a result the pilot is missing," Jiang said. Meanwhile, Jiang urged the United States to stop reconnaissance flights in the airspace off China's coastal areas, to prevent recurrence of the air collision incident. Only by doing so will it be favorable to the development of Sino-US relations, Jiang said. "What is the most precious is human life," he said. "I am deeply concerned about the safety of the pilot and have time and again given instructions to search for and rescue the pilot at all costs and with utmost efforts," he said. "We cannot understand why the United States often sends its planes to make surveillance flights in areas so close to China," Jiang said. "And this time, the US plane bumped into our plane, invaded the Chinese territorial airspace and landed at our airport in violation of international laws and practices," he said.

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, PRC GIVES FULL ACCOUNT OF AIR COLLISION," 04/04/01, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Tuesday said that it was proper and in accordance with international law for Chinese military fighters to follow and monitor the US military surveillance plane within the airspace over China's exclusive economic waters. By veering and ramming the Chinese jet at a wide angle, against flight rules, the US surveillance caused the crash of the Chinese jet, he argued. The surveillance flight conducted by the US aircraft overran the scope of "free overflight" according to international law, he said. The move also violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which stipulates that any flight in airspace above another nation's exclusive economic zone should respect the rights of the country concerned, he said. Thus, the US plane's actions posed a serious threat to the national security of China, he said. Such an action was also against the consensus reached by the two countries in May last year on avoiding risky military actions in sea areas. According to the consensus, when military airborne vehicles encounter each other in international airspace, both sides should properly observe the current international law and practices, and take into consideration the flight safety of the other side so as to avoid dangerous approaches and possible collisions, Zhu said. He also pointed out that after the incident the US surveillance plane intruded into China's airspace and landed at a Chinese airport without permission from the Chinese side. He labeled this move "a further violation of the regulations set forth by international and Chinese law, and thus constituting a gross encroachment upon China's sovereignty and territorial airspace." The PRC Foreign Ministry lodged a solemn representation and protest to the US government on April 1 concerning the US plane's act of clashing into the Chinese warplane and infringing upon China's sovereignty and airspace, he said. The Foreign Ministry has pointed out that the US should bear full responsibility for the incident, and demanded that the US government make an explanation to the Chinese government and people on the US plane's actions, Zhu said. China also demanded that the US take effective measures to prevent such an incident from recurring. The Chinese Foreign Ministry lodged a solemn representation once again on April 2. Zhu said that after the collision, the front part of the nose of the US jet dropped off, and the airscrew of its second left engine was deformed, evidence that the US plane veered into, approached and collided abruptly with the Chinese plane, adding that this can not be denied. He urged the US side to face up to the facts, bear full responsibility, apologize to China, and not seek any excuse to shirk its responsibility. Zhu also said that according to both international law and Chinese domestic laws, the PRC has the right to investigate the plane which caused all this trouble, and the incident as a whole, as China is the victim, the country where the incident occurred and the country where the culprit aircraft landed. He said that the most urgent matter for the US side is not to table all manner of requests, but to make a thorough review of the incident, apologize to the Chinese side and respond to China's concerns and demands. He reiterated that the Chinese government and people have the right to know the answers to the following questions: Why does the US side frequently send its military surveillance planes on spy flights over sea areas close to China? Why did the US warplane make an abrupt turn and ram the Chinese jet in violation of operation rules? Why did the US plane intrude into China's airspace and land at a Chinese airport without approval from the Chinese side? The US is fully responsible for making a clear explanation of these questions to the Chinese people, he said. Zhu said that the Chinese side is conducting an investigation into the incident. Although the process is not yet complete, Zhu said, China lost no time in allowing US diplomats in the PRC to meet the US plane crewmembers, after taking into consideration humanitarian concerns and the relevant agreements between the PRC and the US. "This demonstrates China's sincerity and humanitarian spirit in handling the issue", he said, adding that the PRC will deal properly with the US crew and plane on the basis of the results of the investigation. Zhu once again demanded that the US side solemnly consider China's solemn representations and rational requests, and sincerely cooperate with China in the investigation. He also urged the US side to make a prompt explanation to the Chinese government and people about the US plane's ramming of the Chinese jet and its infringement upon China's sovereignty and airspace, apologize to the Chinese side and shoulder all the responsibility arising from the incident.

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3. Media Reaction to Plance Collision

China Daily (Jin Zeqing, "US EXCUSES BETRAY ITS WEAKNESSES," 04/03/01, P4) carried an opinion article on the plane collision and responses from the US side. The article said that shortly after the collision, US officials appeared all hot and bothered, and rushed to shrug off responsibility for the incident. It quoted Admiral Dennis Blair, head of the US Pacific Command, as saying at a press conference in Hawaii, "It was probably an accident caused by the fighter bumping into the American plane. If I had to guess right now, I would say it was an accident. It is not a normal practice to play bumper cars in the air, it is too dangerous for everybody." The writer argued that Blair's words may be partly true. The "game" is dangerous because the collision is likely to fray already strained Sino-US relations. It commented, however, that Blair's rhetoric seems more dangerous than the collision itself. Anyone with common sense can clearly see who should take responsibility for the collision, the article said. It noted that the US plane was doing surveillance over Chinese waters and that it was only natural for Chinese military jets to track the US surveillance plane. Without permission from Chinese side, the US surveillance plane intruded into China's airspace and made an emergency landing in Hainan. The Chinese side has every reason to lodge a solemn protest, and it has the right to seek compensation from the US for damages caused by the "mistakes" of its pilots, it stressed. Commenting on US claims that the collision was a result of the Chinese jet bumping the US plane accidentally, it said this only attests to US arrogance in managing bilateral relations. When the collision occurred, he added, US did not express any willingness to join Chinese efforts in rescuing the Chinese pilot, who is still missing, nor did it show any concern for him. [Ed. Note: US reports quoted US President George W. Bush as offering US aid in the search for the missing pilot.] The only concern of officials in US is how soon the Chinese Government will return the US Navy surveillance plan and its 24 crewmembers, whom the Chinese side have taken good care of.

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4. PRC-DPRK Relations

China Daily ("PRC VOWS TO FURTHER RELATIONS WITH DPRK," 04/01/01, P1) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen affirmed in Beijing on March 31 that it is a consistent policy of the Chinese Government to further promote relations with the DPRK. This policy is not only in the fundamental interests of the people of the two countries, but also conducive to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific region, said Qian during a meeting with DPRK Vice-Foreign Minister Pak Gil-you. Qian said that PRC-DPRK relations have taken on a new look this year, citing the successful visit to the PRC in January by General Secretary Kim Jong-il of the Central Committee of the DPRK Worker's Party, and the upcoming visit to the DPRK by PRC President Jiang Zemin. Qian expressed the hope that through the concerted efforts by the two countries, the bilateral friendship will advance further. On the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Qian said that the PRC supports all efforts by the DPRK and the ROK to seek better ties and to realize a peaceful unification. The PRC also supports the DPRK in improving and normalizing relations with the rest of the world, he said, stressing that the PRC will, as always, play an active role in helping maintain the peace and stability, and push ahead the peace process on the Peninsula. Pak said General Secretary Kim Jong-il attaches great importance to DPRK's friendly relations with China, citing the fact that Kim has visited PRC twice over the past year. The DPRK is steadfast in its determination to further consolidate and develop bilateral relations, he said, adding that his foreign ministry will, in line with Kim's guidance, make more practical efforts in this respect. Pak also stressed that the DPRK would continue to independently promote the unification cause and contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

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5. Direct Links across Taiwan Straits

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "NEW APPROACH TO DIRECT LINKS," 04/03/01, P1) reported that the PRC is stepping up its pressure on Taiwan to give Taiwan's non-governmental organizations the right to negotiate and link agreements on full cross-Straits links with their mainland counterparts. The move, which came on April 2, highlighted a major mainland effort to speed up the establishment of the "three direct links," which would allow for a full opening-up of trade, transportation and postal services across the Taiwan Straits without the involvement of Taiwan authorities. "The Taiwan authorities should approve the deals that would be reached between related industries on both sides of the Straits (concerning the three direct links)," said Sun Yafu, vice-president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), after meeting with a People First Party delegation from Taiwan that is visiting the mainland for talks on cross-Straits links. He stressed that leaving the negotiations to non-governmental organizations would be a good way to start the ball rolling and ensure that the full implementation of the three direct links would happen sooner rather than later "under current cross-Straits conditions." Liu Sung-pan, who led the delegation, said that his group and representatives from the mainland "frankly exchanged views to find better solutions to effectively push ahead with the three links" across the Taiwan Straits. The establishment of the three direct links is inevitable and it needs the joint efforts of people of both sides of the Straits, according to Liu. Sun noted that the establishment of the links should conform to three key principles. They should be "direct and bilateral," "mutually beneficial and reciprocal" and be in line with the one-China principle. He quoted PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen as saying on January 22, "As long as the three links are taken as an internal affair within one country, they may be pushed forward through people-to-people, industry-to-industry and company-to-company consultations.

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6. PRC-Philippines Relations

PLA Daily (Li Mingjiang, "PRC PREMIER MEETS WITH PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL ENVOY," 03/30/01, P4) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said on March 29 in Beijing when meeting with Alfonso Yuchengco, the Philippine President's special envoy, that the PRC Government is willing to work with the new Philippine Government to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas. He said that the visit by Yuchengco, soon after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was sworn in, demonstrates the importance that the Philippine Government attaches to its relations with China. On the issue of the South China Sea, Zhu said that the heads of state of the two countries have reached an important consensus on solving their existing differences. The Premier said that he hopes the two sides would proceed from the overall friendly relations between the two countries and seek ways to solve the differences through consultation, instead of taking actions that will make the issue more complicated. Yuchengco said that his country is willing to further deepen bilateral exchanges in various areas in accordance with the joint declaration on bilateral cooperation in the 21st century. He stressed that the Philippines will honor its commitments and solve the differences over the South China Sea through dialogue and consultation and peaceful means.

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7. Military Reform in Russia

Jiefang Daily ("RUSSIAN NEW DEFENCE MINISTER TALKS ON MILITRY REFORM," 04/02/01, P3) reported that Russia's newly appointed Defense Minister Ivanov made remarks on Russian military reform when interviewed by the Times Program of the Russian Public TV Station on March 31. He pointed out that Russia should develop national strategic nuclear weapons and conventional armed forces with due consideration of balance. The Russian strategic rocket force forms the Russian nuclear shield, and a reliable protection against external nuclear invasion as well, he said. Meanwhile, he added, Russia in recent years has ignored the development of conventional force and the Army. In the future, the Russian Army should grow to be an armed force that is well-armed with rapid-reaction capability. Regarding the different functions between Defense Ministry and Department of General Staff (DGS), he said that the military should have unified command and that the DGS should be the backbone of military.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US Spying on DPRK

The Korea Herald ("N. KOREA DENOUNCES U.S. ESPIONAGE," Seoul, 04/04/01) reported that the website of the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday claimed that the US sent reconnaissance and spy aircraft over the DPRK 180 times last month. The report said that the planes came from bases both overseas and in the ROK, undertaking various missions designed to obtain information and disrupt the DPRK's military. The website said that aerial espionage against the DPRK had increased, and attributed it to the "present U.S. ruling quarters' call for a hard-line policy" towards the DPRK.

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2. Inter-Korean Summit

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "NK INDICATES FURTHER DELAY IN KIM'S VISIT," Seoul, 04/04/01) reported that a DPRK delegate identified as Ma Il-young, a representative of the DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly, said Monday that Kim Jong-il will visit Seoul in 2000, but probably not in the first half of the year, according to Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday. This is the first time an official from the DPRK has mentioned the timing of Kim's visit to the ROK.

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3. Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin-hwan, "KIM YONG-SUN SECRETARY TO WORKER'S PARTY MAKES A COMEBACK," Seoul, 04/04/01) reported that Kim Yong-sun, secretary to the DPRK's Workers' Party and chief of the United Front, has finally unveiled himself toward the public after going through a hermit-period for 2 months. State-run TV showed Kim's attendance at a school ceremony during the regular news time at 8 P.M. on Sunday, April 1. This is the second time this year for Kim to be shown on television since his participation to the 50th commemoration ceremony of late political commissioner Kim Chaek on January 31. Pyongyang TV managed to make only a single report on secretary Kim since his disappearance, the one on March 24 regarding his paying respects on the death of Hyundai Chairman Chung Ju-yung. "There are unconfirmed reports that secretary Kim has received some kind of pressure from the military during the first two months of this year." another DPRK watcher said. If the report were true, it would not be the first time for Kim to be hauled off to so-called re-education camp. He went through a similar process back in the 80s to get himself filled with "revolutionary spirit."

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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

Yunxia Cao:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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