NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, august 8, 2002

I. United States

II. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence-France Presse ("China threatens war with Taiwan if Chen pushes for referendum," 08/08/02) reported that the PRC stepped up the pressure on Taiwan with a warning from its military that Taiwan risked attack if President Chen Shui-bian went ahead with a referendum on the island's future status. In the first direct reference to military action since Chen's call for a referendum Saturday sparked a crisis between the rivals, an unnamed "senior military source" told the state-run China Daily that the comments were "provocative". Chen's remarks highlighted the growing possibility that "peace will have to be safeguarded and won through the use of force", the source was quoted as saying. "If we want to strive for peace, we have to be fully prepared for military actions," they said. "We have enough confidence and determination to settle the question." Chen's remarks "especially underscore the need for the mainland to proceed with military preparations as a backup to encouraging a peaceful reunification," the military source added. A senior PRC-based analyst warned Wednesday that the issue was not going to go away. "The Taiwan bomb is ticking ... the trend is moving away from peaceful reunification and tensions will rise in the 2003, 2004 period," said Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies at Beijing's elite Tsinghua University.

The Associated Press (William Foreman, "TAIWAN NOTES DIFFERENCES WITH CHINA," Taipei, 08/08/02) and Reuters (Alice Hung and Brian Rhoads, "TAIWAN BACKPEDALS ON INDEPENDENCE, CHINA SKEPTICAL," Taipei, Beijing, 08/08/02) reported that Taiwan said on Thursday it may forge ahead with legislation for a referendum on formal independence from the PRC, but sought to soften the blow with an assurance it would not hold a vote unless forced into a corner. Taiwan canceled war games on Wednesday scheduled for August 15 in an effort to defuse tensions. But the PRC's military warned that Chen risks attack if he pressed ahead with a vote on independence. The US signaled Chen was on his own in the latest flare-up of cross-Strait tension, saying bluntly it will not support formal independence for the democratic island of 23 million people. In response, Taiwan said it would "ready, but not use" legislation for a referendum. Polls show a majority in Taiwan oppose unification with the mainland, but also do not support any move that would provoke war with the PRC. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said in a policy paper the government was preparing referendum legislation, but would not use it unless Beijing forced the island to reunify under the "one country, two systems" formula used for Hong Kong and Macau.

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2. DPRK-US Relations

The Associated Press (Choe Sang-hun, "NORTH KOREA SAYS IT'S READY TO RECEIVE US ENVOY," Seoul, 08/08/02) reported that the DPRK confirmed Thursday that it was ready to receive a special US envoy to discuss resuming dialogue on the DPRK's missile exports and other security threats. After meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell last week on the sidelines of an Asian regional reform, DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun told reporters the US would send a senior envoy to Pyongyang. Powell said a decision would be made after he returned to Washington as to what the next step should be. Their 15-minute talk was the first high-level contact between the two countries since the administration of former US President Bill Clinton. DPRK state media reiterated Thursday the country's readiness to accept an envoy from the US. "Our stand is to receive him," the KCNA news agency quoted an unidentified spokesman of the North Korean Foreign Ministry as saying.

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3. ROK Flag Flying Law

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA MULLING WHETHER TO IGNORE ITS OWN LAW AND FLY NORTH KOREAN FLAG DURING ASIAN GAMES," Seoul, 08/08/02) reported that ROK officials are jubilant that the DPRK will send athletes to the Asian Games. But they're uncertain about whether games organizers should fly the DPRK flag, a crime in the ROK. Another dilemma is whether to play the DPRK national anthem at the quadrennial event in the port city of Busan. That would also violate the National Security Law. The ROK is eager to welcome DPRK athletes as part of efforts to promote reconciliation on the divided peninsula. But the law is still on the books, and conservative lawmakers have stalled efforts by President Kim Dae-jung to reform it. "This is a very complex issue. We must consider relations with the North as well as our legal system and public sentiment," said Kang Jong-seok, an official at South Korea's Unification Ministry. Under the National Security Law, praise for or open sympathy with anti-state groups can lead to a maximum of seven years in prison.

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4. DPRK Missile Moratorium

Reuters ("N.KOREA SHOULD KEEP MISSILE MORATORIUM -US OFFICIAL," Tokyo, 08/08/02) reported that the DPRK should extend its voluntary moratorium on missile testing beyond 2003 for its own sake and for regional stability, a State Department official stated on Thursday. The reported comments come as the DPRK makes fresh diplomatic overtures to the ROK, the US, and Japan. "The North Koreans hopefully realize that it's very much in their interest to maintain that moratorium and maintain it indefinitely," Vann H. Van Diepen, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation controls said. "If they chose not to, clearly it would be a very destabilizing thing and I don't think the consequences of that would be in their interest," he said.

II. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK LWRs Construction

People's Daily (Zhao Jiaming, "LWR CONSTRUCTION WORK STARTS IN DPRK," Pyongyang, 08/08/02, P3) reported that a ceremony was held in Kumho, DPRK on Aug. 7 to mark the start of construction work on a landmark reactor project. Charles Kartman, Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and DPRK officials concerned attended the concrete-pouring ceremony, said the report.

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2. DPRK-ROK Relations

People's Daily (Gao Haorong, "KIM HOPES DPRK-ROK TALKS SUCCEED," Seoul, 08/06/02, P3) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said in Seoul on Aug. 5 that he hopes the seventh minister-level talks between the ROK and DPRK to be held in Seoul on Aug. 12-14 will be a success and lay a solid foundation for peace and stability on Korean Peninsula. The report said when hearing ROK unification minister's reports on the contacts with DPRK on the minister-level meeting, President Kim instructed that ROK should keep consistent on pushing forward the Inter-Korean relations and should not just pursue short-time effects. Kim said, according to the report, through the re-start of Inter-Korean dialogues, satisfactory results on exchanges issues such as the reunion of the separated families and the connection of the Inter-Korean railways should be achieved.

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3. DPRK-Japanese Relations

China Daily ("RED CROSS TALKS IN PYONGYANG," Seoul, 08/08/02, P11) reported that Japanese and DPRK Red Cross officials will meet in Pyongyang on Aug. 18-19 to discuss the missing Japanese nationals whom Japan accuses the DPRK of kidnapping. According to what Japanese Red Cross said in a news release, it reported that the Red Cross officials will also discuss possibly arranging for Japanese wives of DPRK men to travel to their homeland, as well as other humanitarian issues.

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4. DPRK-US Relations

People's Daily (Wang Linchang, "DPRK, US DISCUSS THE PREVENTION OF ARMED CONFLICTS," Seoul, 08/07/02, P3) reported that the DPRK military and the US troops in ROK held general-level talks in Panmunjom on Aug. 6. DPRK army's representative at the truce village, Lt. Gen. Ri Chan-bok and the Deputy Chief of Staff of US troops in ROK Maj. Gen. James Soligan attended the talks, said the report. It said during the meeting they mainly discussed measures on preventing armed conflicts and building mutual trust. It said, Gen. Soligan also used the chance to inform the DPRK about the on-going investigation of the naval clash and the information of the South Korean salvage operation for the sunken boat in the clash. According to an ROK official attending the talks, the report said the atmosphere of the meeting was "quite good." The two sides agreed to resolve the problems through dialogues, the ROK official said.

China Daily ("AMERICAN ENVOY TO VISIT PYONGYANG," Bandar Seri Begawan, 08/02/02, P12) reported that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun said on Aug. 1 that DPRK and US had agreed to reopen a dialogue and US Assistant Secretary of state James Kelly is planning to visit DPRK. "We agreed with the United States to reopen the dialogue and the specific date, maybe, the United States will inform us very soon. And he will come," Paek told reporters when asked about Kelly's trip, postponed after a naval clash between the DPRK and the ROK in June.

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5. PRC Commentary on DPRK Diplomacy

People's Daily (Xu Baokang, "NEW STEPS OF DPRK'S DIPLOMACY," 08/04/02, P1) carried a commentary saying that DPRK recently took a series of active steps in diplomacy and attracted international attention. The beginning of the round of diplomatic activities was the regret DPRK expressed on July 25 on the naval clash with ROK, the commentary said. It said, the outstanding characteristics of the new steps taken by DPRK is to comprehensively resume dialogues and contacts with ROK, Japan and the US on the basis of further consolidating friendship with the PRC and Russia. The commentary said, the PRC is glad to see the improvement and development of ROK-DPRK relations on the Korean Peninsula and hopes that DPRK will continuously improve its relationship with the US and Japan. The PRC hopes that Korean Peninsula can maintain the tendency of relaxation and dialogue, which will be helpful to keep peace and stability in this area, said the article.

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6. PRC-ROK Relations

China Daily ("FRIENDLY MEETING," 08/05/02, P2) reported that visiting PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan paid a courtesy call on ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Aug. 3 morning at the Presidential Office in Seoul. Tang mentioned the amicable and fruitful talks on Aug. 2 with his ROK counterpart Choi Sung-hong, saying that they both think bilateral ties have entered a new stage and that cooperative partnership relations have also advanced overall since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. ROK President Kim Dae-jung welcomed Tang's visit which came around the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the PRC-ROK diplomatic ties.

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7. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("CHINA LODGES FORMAL REPRESENTATION WITH US ON TAIWAN CONTENT IN US ACT," Beijing, 08/05/02, P4) reported that He Yafei, director general of the North American and Oceanic Affairs Department of PRC Foreign Ministry, met with Michael W. Marine, minister of the US Embassy in the PRC on August 3 and lodged a formal representation over the US 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act with provisions concerning Taiwan. He said that a few US lawmakers had stuffed provisions relating to Taiwan into the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act to meddle in the PRC's internal affairs. The US government recently signed the above act in defiance of repeated serious representations lodged by the PRC. This gravely violated the principles enshrined in the three joint communiques between the PRC and US, also contravened the "One China" policy the US government had reiterated time and again, and grossly interfered in the PRC's internal affairs, he said.

China Daily ("TEXAS AWAITS PRESIDENT JIANG," 08/05/02, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on Aug. 3 in Beijing that PRC President Jiang Zemin and his wife will visit the US in October at the invitation of US President George W. Bush and his wife. Kong said Jiang and his wife would visit the US before 10th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders Meeting in October. Jiang is looking forward to exchanging views with Bush on Sino-US relations and international and regional issues of mutual concern, the spokesman said. According to the report, the White House said on Aug. 2 Bush would greet Jiang at his Crawford ranch in Texas on Oct. 25.

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8. Across Taiwan Straits Relations

People's Daily ("ARATS REFUTES CHEN SHUI-BIAN'S GAMBIT," Beijing, 08/08/02, P1) reported that a top leader of Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) said on Aug. 7 that Chen Shui-bian's statement is just further preaching for his separatist "Taiwan Independence" gambit. The ARATS leader criticized Chen for not accepting the one-China principle and still trying to deny, distort and evade the 1992 consensus reached by the ARATS and its Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation, which will make it difficult for the two sides to resume negotiations. The ARATS leader indicated that Chen's comments exposed his "true pro-independence stand." Chen's performance over the past two years has proved his adherence to splitting China, the official said. The PRC's consistent policy is to oppose Taiwan independence and bring about the goal of the PRC's reunification, and this will never change, the ARATS leader stressed. "We will never sit and watch a handful of Taiwan separatists impose their separatist attempts," he said.

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "ARMY BLASTS PRO-INDEPENDENCE COMMENT," 08/07/02, P1) reported that a senior military source warned on Aug. 6 that the chances of Beijing using military force to settle the Taiwan question may be heightened if Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian moves on his call for a referendum on Taiwan's future. Although the PRC Government remains firm in adhering to peaceful reunification and is doing its utmost to achieve that object, rampant pro-independence activities on the island are threatening to undermine conditions for the realization of the goal, the source said. The high-level military source, who would not to be identified, said according to China Daily that Chen's recent provocative and controversial moves especially underscore the need for the mainland to proceed with military preparations as a backup to encourage a peaceful reunification. The source said people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are Chinese and that achieving peaceful reunification is their common aspiration. But there is a growing possibility that "peace will have to be safeguarded and won through the use of force" if separatist forces continue to stir up tensions in cross-Straits ties by resorting to radical pro-independence moves, the military source said. He noted that the Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of the PRC and will be solved sooner or later.

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "BEIJING FIRES STRONG WARNING," 08/06/02, P1) reported that Beijing on Aug. 5 fired strong warning to Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, saying his pro-independence moves are leading the island to disaster. "Chen Shui-bian has ignored the will of the people by advocating Taiwan independence, imposing the attempts of a handful of die-hard separatists onto the brad masses of Taiwan people," said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the PRC, "This will affect the Taiwanese economy, harm the immediate interests of Taiwan compatriots and lead Taiwan to disaster." The spokesman made the comments at a press conference on Aug. 5. It is the first official response to Chen's call for a referendum to decide Taiwan's future, said the report. It reported the spokesman said that Chen's separatist move goes against the will of the majority of the Taiwan people who are in favor of peace, development, stability and improving relations between the two sides. Li reiterated the one-China principle. "We solemnly warn the separatist forces in Taiwan not to mischaracterize the situation, to see the danger in these moves and stop all separatist activities," Li said.

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9. Japan's Nuclear Policy

China Daily ("JAPAN VOWS IT WON'T HOLD NUCLEAR ARMS," Hiroshima, 08/07/02, P12) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reiterated on Aug. 6 that Japan will not allow nuclear arms on its soil, as he and the country remembered the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 57 years ago. "This position will not change," Koizumi said at a ceremony in Hiroshima, referring to the policy forbidding the production and possession of nuclear weapons in Japan. In an address, it reported that Hiroshima's Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said threats of a repeat of the bombing, the first such bombing in history, were increasing. He in particular urged US President George W. Bush to be aware of the effects of nuclear weapons and not engage in further wars, said the report.

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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
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Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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