NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday september 17, 2003

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. US on Anti-Terrorism Connections

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "RUMSFELD SEES NO LINK BETWEEN IRAQ, 9/11," Washington, 09/16/03) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday he had no reason to believe that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a hand in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US. At a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld was asked about a poll that indicated nearly 70 percent of respondents believed the Iraqi leader probably was personally involved. "I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that," Rumsfeld said. He added: "We know he was giving $25,000 a family for anyone who would go out and kill innocent men, women and children. And we know of various other activities. But on that specific one, no, not to my knowledge." The Bush administration has asserted that Saddam's government had links to al-Qaida, the terrorist network led by Osama bin Laden that masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks. And in various public statements over the past year or so administration officials have suggested close links. Vice President Dick Cheney said on Sunday, for example, that success in stabilizing and democratizing Iraq would strike a major blow at the "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for many years, but most especially on 9-11." In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney was asked whether he was surprised that more than two-thirds of Americans in the Washington Post poll would express a belief that Iraq was behind the attacks. "No, I think it's not surprising that people make that connection," he replied. Rice, asked about the same poll numbers, said, "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9-11." "What we have said," she added, "is that this is someone who supported terrorists, helped to train them, but most importantly that this is someone who, with his animus toward the US, with his penchant for and capability to gain weapons of mass destruction, and his obvious willingness to use them, was a threat in this region that we were not prepared to tolerate."

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2. US Senate on Bush Nuclear Weapons Plan

Reuters (Andrew Clark, "SENATE WON'T BLOCK BUSH NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANS," Washington, 09/16/03) reported that the US Senate on Tuesday rejected an effort to block President Bush's plans to study new types of small nuclear weapons, which critics say may spur a new arms race and heighten the risk of nuclear war. The Senate voted 53-41 against including the ban in a $27 billion measure funding energy and water programs next year, including the US nuclear stockpile. It later voted 92-0 to pass the annual spending bill. A similar effort also failed in May, when the Senate voted to lift a decade-old prohibition on the study and development of so-called mini nukes -- although it did require Bush to get congressional approval before building any. The administration has said it is only interested in researching smaller nuclear weapons, not in deploying them. But some Democrats say opening the door to such weapons will spur other countries to start developing them. "How can we demand that North Korea and Iran abandon their nuclear weapons programs while we develop a new generation of those weapons ourselves?" said Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, one of the sponsors of the effort. The amendment would have cut from the spending bill $6 million Bush has sought for research into nuclear weapons with a yield of less than 5 kilotons -- a little under half the size of the bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima. Critics argue such small weapons are dangerous because policy-makers may see them as a usable adjunct to conventional weapons, heightening the risk of nuclear escalation. The amendment would also have cut an additional $15 million that the Pentagon wants to develop an earth-penetrating nuclear warhead for use against deeply buried bunkers.

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3. US on PRC WTO Commitments

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA MUST DO MORE TO MEET WTO COMMITMENTS: US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE," 09/17/03) reported that the PRC must improve upon "uneven and incomplete" adherence to market-opening obligations demanded by its entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the US Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday. In a new report, issued as anger mounts here at China's currency and trade policies, the Chamber did however compliment Beijing on taking initial steps to comply with the long list of WTO requirements. And it praised Beijing for not using the damaging SARS outbreak, or generational changes in the leadership of the Communist Party, as an excuse to slow compliance to WTO rules. "Expectations in the business community are rising, and this report clearly shows that China must do more to meet those expectations," said Myron Brilliant, vice president of the Chamber's Asia operations. The Chamber, which represents around three million US businesses, warned China's WTO compliance had been "uneven and incomplete," and if not improved, could cause an "increasing crescendo" of complaints about Beijing's record. But Raymond Sander, co-chair of the Chamber's Asia task force, said US business leaders still believed Beijing was sincere about toeing the WTO line. "We believe the PRC have the capability of implementing a world class trading regime," he said, and praised Beijing for not using SARS or political upheaval to forestall compliance. "These have not been offered as an excuse, these have not been offered as a reason for not proceeding," he said. So far, areas of non-compliance with WTO commitments appeared to be a symptom of slow implementation at local levels, or misunderstandings of what needed to be done and the huge task of opening the PRC market, the chamber said. "I don't think right now we have seen what you would call stonewalling," said Sander.

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4. DPRK-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, "N. KOREA ACCUSES JAPAN OF 'AGGRESSION,'" Tokyo, 09/17/03) and Agence France-Presse ("HOSTILITY OVERSHADOWS JAPAN-NORTH KOREA SUMMIT ANNIVERSARY," 09/17/03) reported that one year after the DPRK and Japan moved to bring an end to decades of hostility with a historic summit, the goodwill has evaporated and relations are marked by suspicion and hostility. "Nothing is more insincere than their (DPRK) attitude," said Toru Hasuike, whose brother Kaoru, 45, was among five Japanese kidnapping victims permitted their first home-coming in 24 years last October after the summit. "I thought the summit was a new start ... but I greatly regret there has been no progress since the five returned home," Hasuike told the Japan Broadcasting Corp. "The Japanese public has never felt this much threat from and distrust of a single nation," the influential and liberal Asahi Shimbun said in an editorial. "Japan has changed greatly over the past year due to North Korea and nurtured an intolerant, irritated society as if it was countering extreme remarks by North Korea," the newspaper said.

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5. PRC-Japan Relations

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, "MILLION PRC SIGN ANTI-JAPAN ONLINE PETITION," Beijing, 09/17/03) reported that more than one million PRC have signed an online petition demanding that Japan compensate victims poisoned by recently unearthed World War II-era chemical weapons and apologize, organizers said on Wednesday. The signature drive, launched by seven PRC Web sites and signed by 1.12 million people within a month would likely fuel anti-Japanese sentiment and give Beijing more leverage when dealing with Tokyo. Six activists planned to present the petition to the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Thursday, Zhou Wenbo, a spokesman for the group, said, adding that the signature response was unprecedented in the PRC's online history. The petition demanded that Japan apologize, compensate victims and dispose of chemical weapons left behind by the Japanese imperial army at the end of World War II. "The Japanese government refuses to admit guilt," Zhou told Reuters. "It also has no intention of disposing of chemical weapons to prevent further casualties. "Japan may be a responsible member of the international community, but it has been very irresponsible toward PRC nationals," the 24-year-old software engineer said. "We are very angry," Zhou added. He conceded that petition organizers did not have the manpower to check the identities of signatories, but added that thousands of duplicate names had been filtered out daily. The Japanese Embassy in Beijing had no immediate comment.

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6. ROK Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("ROK PRESIDENT FIRES TRUSTED CABINET MEMBER," 09/17/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun sacked his home affairs minister who had been targeted in a no-confidence motion in parliament over his handling of anti-US protests. Roh bowed to opposition demands to accept the resignation of trusted ally Kim Doo-Kwan, a 44-year-old former dissident, whose ministry controls the ROK national police. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Suh Sung-Kwan will replace him, the president's office said. The National Assembly voted two weeks ago to oust Kim, the youngest member in the cabinet formed in February when Roh took office. The conservative Grand National Party which controls parliament accused Kim of taking a soft line on anti-US protests after a dozen activists stormed a US shooting range and burned American flags in early August in Pocheon, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Seoul, provoking strong protests from US officials. "I feel sorry for quitting at a difficult time," Kim said in a farewell statement, attributing his resignation to a political attack by opposition parties on Roh's administration. The GNP's campaign against Kim was seen as a thinly veiled attack on Roh.

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7. ROK on DPRK Humanitarian Aid

The Washington Times ("S. KOREAN CALLS FOR CUTTING FOOD TO NORTH BY SHARON BEHN," 09/17/03) reported that the top opposition leader in the ROK called yesterday for tightening a noose around the DPRK by restricting food and energy aid to the Stalinist nation if six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear arms program fail. "It would be great if we could find a solution just through dialogue, but the nuclear issue is not one we can just drag on," Choe Byung-yul, chairman of the Grand National Party (GNP), said during a breakfast meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Times. "They are too obsessed with the fact that they need to find a solution to this nuclear program issue only through negotiations and talks." Choe also blamed former ROK President Kim Dae-jung's government of indirectly funding the DPRK's arms program. Under Mr. Kim's "Sunshine Policy," the ROK paid the DPRK $500 million for a historic inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang on June 13, 2000. Choe said he believed an additional $500 million had been funneled through tourism projects into the DPRK since then. "We cannot but suspect that North Korea developed nuclear weapons with that hard currency," he said. Despite the appearance of friendly relations between the US and ROK governments, Choe said he felt Washington was not very confident in Roh's government. "I believe at times you need to apply pressure and there are many forms of pressure that can be applied that do not go as far as military force," he said.

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8. PRC Self-Immolation Protest

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA REPORTS SECOND SELF-IMMOLATION PROTEST," 09/17/03) reported that a disgruntled PRC farmer who tried to set himself on fire this week was the second person in three weeks to resort to the extreme protest over a controversial government eviction scheme, state media said. Zhu Zhengliang, 45, from eastern Anhui province, suffered light injuries after he tried to ignite himself Monday close to a famous portrait of former leader Mao Zedong near central Beijing's Tiananmen Square, police said. The People's Daily website on Wednesday said the incident was preceded by a similar protest three weeks ago. On August 22, Weng Biao, 39, from eastern Nanjing city charged into an office in charge of demolitions and relocations and killed himself by lighting his gasoline-doused body. Both Zhu and Biao were ordered to vacate their home and relocate so that the government can tear down their homes and construct buildings in their places. The incidents are the most extreme examples of citizens' frustration over the government's requisition of land in recent years, one of the most controversial topics in both urban and rural areas as new roads, factories, housing and office developments spring up nationwide. Locals evicted from their homes often complain of poor government compensation and forceful removals, while many accuse the government of cashing in on a real estate boom at the expense of impoverished residents.

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9. PRC Domestic Labor Force

Agence France-Presse ("PRC WOMEN TAKE DOMINANT ROLE IN AGRICULTURE," 09/17/03) reported that women are now the main power in agricultural production in China, accounting for more than 60 percent of the rural workforce. Statistics from the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) show that women have accounted for over 50 percent of laborers in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery since the 1990s and the proportion is increasing, the Xinhua news agency said. In 1990, women made up 52.4 percent of the agricultural workforce. In 2000, the figure rose to 61.6 percent, according to the SDRC. Despite the massive flows of rural laborers to the cities, 90 percent of female farmers have not left their crops or turned to other jobs, SDRC research shows. Dual burdens of family and work have restrained rural PRC women from better jobs opportunities and career development, according to a research project headed by Ma Xiaohe, director of the industrial development research institute under SDRC. Women seek jobs mainly to help their families financially. Rural married women who find jobs in cities usually return to the countryside to take care of their school-age children later. Among China's migrant workers, the number of women returning to their rural homes is higher than that of men, and females withdraw from the labor market earlier than males, the research shows. After China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, the importation of more agricultural products has driven men out of their jobs on the land to other work. Low profits in agriculture have hindered investment and employment, discouraging male laborers from returning to farms.

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10. PRC City Water Pollution

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA'S BOOMING CITIES POLLUTING LIMITED WATER SUPPLIES," 09/17/03) reported that the PRC's rapidly growing cities are not only short of water but are polluting their scarce water supplies and costing the economy dearly, the China Daily reported. Beijing, for example, discharges 1.2 billion tons of sewage, almost half of which are untreated, into the city's waterways each year, the report said. With higher living standards, however, urban dwellers are demanding a cleaner environment, and local governments are beginning to invest in protecting their local water resources. By 2008, Beijing will have built 30 sewage treatment plants to process over 90 percent of sewage before discharge, according to Liu Hangui, director of the Urban Committee of China Hydraulic Engineering Society. Elsewhere, in Shanghai, over seven billion yuan (846 million US dollars) has been spent cleaning up Suzhou Creek and other waterways, the report said. "The city still faces a great challenge in improving its water quality and we hope to treat 80 percent of sewage by 2010," said Wang Songnian, deputy director of Shanghai Water Authority.

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International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Monash Asia Institute,
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Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
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Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
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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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Clayton, Australia

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