The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Wednesday, April 2, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

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NOTE: From March 24 through April 6, the Daily Report will be on an abbreviated schedule. There will be three reports the week of March 24 and two reports the week of March 31, while our regular NAPSNet staff is out of the country at a conference. Your understanding is appreciated.

In today's Report:

I. United States

II. People's Republic of China III. Dr. Jeremy J. Stone, "Pointless Political Haggling While A Nation Starves"

I. United States

1. DPRK Food Crisis

Reuters ("RED CROSS WARNS OF CATASTROPHE IN N KOREA," Seoul, 4/2/97) reported that Red Cross officials Wednesday warned of imminent famine in the DPRK. Red Cross official Yasuo Tanaka, who visited the DPRK last week, stated that "in some kitchens, there was no rice, no food at all. I asked them what they ate and they showed me natural grasses." Tanaka also noted that "the children look weak and tired." Red Cross Asia-Pacific region chief Johan Schaar warned that "without urgent international aid programs, a large number of North Koreans will face starvation. Food stocks in North Korea can run out any time now."

Reuters ("JAPAN SAID MULLING OVER FOOD AID FOR NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 4/2/97) reported on UN World Food Program director Catherine Bertini's appeal to Japanese officials for an immediate $87 million UN emergency food aid package for the DPRK. Bertini noted after the appeal that the officials "heard what we had to say and replied that they will consider it." She warned that "if there are not massive amounts of food arriving in the country, people are going to be dying this summer."

United Press International ("RED CROSS SAYS N KOREA AID PICKING UP," Seoul, 4/2/97) reported that the ROK Red Cross Wednesday announced that it will send $1.2 million in additional food aid to the DPRK. The shipment of potatoes, powdered milk, radish seed, and cabbage seed is aimed at meeting the needs of 130,000 North Koreans and marks the largest such effort in two years. The shipment is a result of the ROK's decision this week to permit the Red Cross to distribute rice aid donated by private organizations.

Kevin Sullivan reported in the Washington Post ("SOUTH KOREA LIFTS BAN ON RICE TO NORTH," Seoul, 4/1/97) on the ROK's decision to lift its ban on private rice donations "as a move apparently designed to coax the DPRK into the peace talks." O Je Shin of World Vision's South Korea office observed that "until now, rice aid has been Kim Young Sam's most important North Korea policy tool." A senior south Korean official indicated that the ROK's decision was due partly to suggestions from the "slew" of US officials visiting Seoul in recent weeks.

2. US Senators' DPRK Visit

In an earlier feature, Kevin Sullivan reported in the Washington Post ("NORTH KOREAN OFFICIALS WARN US SENATORS OF RESTIVE MILITARY," Seoul, 3/30/97) on the visit of five US Senators to the DPRK and their varying statements on the DPRK's situation. New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici's stated that the North Koreans "were quite clear in saying that if they were unable to get food supplies, they were not sure how the military would respond to them going to the four-party talks." However, Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye emphasized that the repeated DPRK references to the problem merely were "part of their negotiating posture." Alaska Senator Ted Stevens suggested that "we are going to have a difficult time in Congress obtaining support for funding for food aid if it's looked at as a precondition" for the four-party talks. In commenting on a "total mobilization" drill taking place in Pyongyang during the visit, Domenici suggested that the North Koreans "live in a very different reality than we do. There's nobody ready to attack them, but this is just part of the way they live, as far as I could tell."

3. Hwang Defection

The Associated Press ("RAMOS EXTENDS DEFECTORS STAY," Manila, 4/2/97) reported that Philippine President Fidel Ramos Wednesday agreed to extend the stay of DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop. AP and Reuters ("MANILA MIGHT SHELTER KOREA DEFECTOR FOR MONTH," Manila, 4/1/97) reported that Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon stated on Tuesday that the PRC and ROK had requested that Hwang remain in the Philippines for thirty days.

4. Gingrich's Asia Visit

Christopher Bodeen of the Associated Press ("GINGRICH REPEATS TAWIAN PLEDGE," Taipei, 4/2/97) reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, "ending his Asian tour with more strong talk," reiterated his pledge that the US would defend Taiwan from PRC attack. After meeting with Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui, Gingrich told reporters that "it is important to be explicit... that should Beijing seek to unify Tawian with the mainland by force or intimidation, the United States will use all means necessary to prevent it." PRC officials Tuesday accused Gingrich of making "indiscreet" remarks about PRC-Taiwan relations. Reuters ("CHINA WARNS US NOT TO INTERFERE IN TAIWAN," Beijing, 4/1/97) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang responded by stating that "the issue of Taiwan between China and the United States has one purpose, that of non-interference in China's internal affairs." White House officials have sought to play down Gingrich's remarks.

Patrick Tyler reported in the New York Times ("CHINA AGREES WITH SOME OF WHAT GINGRICH SAID," Beijing, 4/2/97) that the PRC indicated Tuesday that it was, in Tyler's words, "essentially pleased" with Gingrich's remarks last weekend. The US House Speaker had asserted that the US would defend Tawain if attacked militarily, but indicated that he accepted a "one-China" policy. Shen Guofang observed Tuesday that "Gingrich mentioned several times in Beijing that he opposed Taiwan's independence and approved the principle of one China. He also expressed that the American government and the American Congress will stick to the principle of one China."

5. USIA Foreign Media Reaction Daily Digest (4/2/97)


Media commentary from abroad following the conclusion of Vice President Gore's trip to Asia focused intently on the meaning of the visit as embodying overall US views and policy toward the region. ROK analysts said the trip "confirmed US-ROK solidarity" at a difficult time in its relations with the DPRK and demonstrated a "desire to find out whether Korea is...ready to fight" if necessary. The ROK's moderate Hankook Ilbo saw US concern about the "new phase" of the four-party talks and the aftermath of the Hwang Jang-yop defection in the timing of the vice president's visit. Anti-establishment Hankyoreh Shinmun perceived the sojourn as "part of the second Clinton administration's overall effort to reaffirm its focus on Asia." Commenting that "Vice President Gore's remarks on a northern collapse caught our attention," conservative Chosun Ilbo interpreted these as "how President Clinton must see the situation." While discussing the DPRK and its tactical "cunning," Singapore's pro-government Straits Times offered the observation that "Gore...needed little reminder of how accomplished DPRK has become in extracting huge gains for little outlay." With respect to the visit tothe PRC, Karachi's centrist News saw it as a "mission to give more effective demonstration of high level US concern for the human rights situation in that country." Russia's centrist Krasnaya Zvezda, however, viewed the Vice President's PRC visit in terms of overall US global strategy and asserted that "it is an instance of rapid reaction to new symptoms of rapprochement between Asian giants which, certainly, can't but worry the US. Especially so, as Russia and the PRC never miss a chance to reiterate their joint opposition to Washington becoming the focus of global authority."

The close of House Speaker Newt Gingrich's tour of Asia elicited mixed reviews, focusing mainly on the Taiwan and Hong Kong questions. Mr. Gingrich's "warning" to PRC regarding Hong Kong and his declaration that the US would defend Taiwan from a PRC attack reassured an independent paper in Hong Kong and won the applause of observers in Indonesia and Denmark. Jakarta's leading, independent Kompas suggested that the speaker made his remarks "because he is not convinced that the PRC's current leaders really understand the concept 'one nation, two systems.'" Dailies in Beijing and those owned by the PRC in Hong Kong, on the other hand, dropped the glowing tones they adopted during Vice President Gore's visit for more negative ones. The official, English-language China Daily of Beijing quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that "the PRC does not need any foreigners to make improper [sic] remarks on the [Taiwan] issue." The paper also denounced the US policy "of containing China" and claimed that "the military alliance between the U.S. and Japan has alarmed Asian nations." In Hong Kong, pro-PRC Wen Wei Po cautioned regarding Taiwan and its importance to US-PRC ties: "Though the relationship between the two nations is like the first beam after the rain, it does not mean that it will not rain from then on."

This survey is based on 46 reports from 18 countries, March 24-29.

EDITORS: Bill Richey and Mildred Sola Neely


CHINA: "U.S. Threatens Asia's Security"

Former director of the Institute of Japanese Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences He Fang declared in the official, English-language China Daily (4/2), "Unfounded concerns about the PRC's strength caused the United States to shift its foreign policy emphasis in the region to matters of national security. Since the United States views the PRC as a potential threat in Asia, it strengthened its military ties with Japan and embarked on a policy of containing the PRC. The aim of the United States is to take the lead role in the Asia-Pacific region. The military alliance between the United States and Japan has alarmed Asian nations, who fear it might lead to military confrontation and an arms race.... The United States often accuses other countries of threatening Asian security. In fact, U.S. policy is the principal determinant of security in Asia. "What the United States wants is to establish a security system in Asia led by the United States. Hardly any Asian country will accept such an arrangement."

"China Does Not Need Foreigners Making Improper Remarks On Taiwan"

The Gingrich statement on Taiwan sparked this response in an article by Xie Liangjun on the front page of the official, English-language China Daily (4/2), "Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said...that during his visit to Beijing, Gingrich has stated many times he opposes Taiwan independence and backs the 'one-China' position.... Shen said what methods the PRC will adopt to resolve the Taiwan issue is the PRC's internal affair, and the PRC does not need any foreigners to make improper (sic) remarks on the issue."

"The Human Rights Club"

In another article in the official, English-language China Daily (4/2), Si Nan praised the French decision not to take part in the proposal directed against the PRC's human rights conditions at the UN Human Rights Commission, adding, "For years, some Western powers have been turning the...Commission...into a human rights court. Posing as human rights judges, they blindly point accusing fingers at developing countries on the human rights issue. The human rights issue thus becomes a club to force developing counties to give in on other issues.

"Safeguarding human rights should be a holy pursuit of all humanity. But this vocation now is obviously desecrated by power politics and hegemony in international relations."

"Man-Made Obstacles"

Xinhua News Agency wrote in the official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) (4/2): "Li Tieying, chairman of the State Commission on Structural Reform told former U.S. National Security Advisor Scowcroft that while Vice President Gore and Speaker Gingrich were visiting China, they had extensive and substantive discussions with PRC leaders. So long as both countries proceed with an eye on the future, earnestly observe the principles of the three joint communiques and proceed from the fundamental interests of their two peoples...they will be able to eliminate man-made obstacles (to good relations) and allow the bilateral relationship to remain stable and continue to develop over the long term."

"Trio Refute U.S. Media's Donation Allegations"

Xinhua News Agency editorialized in the official, English-language China Daily (3/31), "Recently, media in the United States have been spreading news about China's alleged involvement in (making) political donations to the Democratic National Committee. To verify the truth and notify the world of the facts, Xinhua News Agency interviewed persons from three organizations mentioned in media accounts: the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) and China Ocean Shipping Corporation (COSCO).

"U.S. media claim these three organizations have been involved in the political donations case. By doing so, the media are taking aim at the PRC. Wang Jun, CITIC president, said U.S. media have recently fabricated slanderous stories about CITIC and himself.... Zheng Hongye, former chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, expressed great indignation at some U.S. media's groundless fabrications and vilifications that the Council was involved in 'political donations.'... The essence of the PRC's so-called involvement in the 'political donations' case is that a handful of people are attempting to place new obstacles and undermine the development of bilateral relations by taking advantage of some anti-PRC forces and news media in the United States. The three interviewees...expressed the hope that all people of insight will resist these evil innuendoes."

"Jiang Zemin Meets U.S. Senators"

Xinhua correspondent Zhang Yijun on the front page of official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) wrote (3/29): "While meeting with Senators Connie Mack, Joseph Lieberman and James Jeffords, President Jiang Zemin said that maintaining a healthy relationship with the United States would bring about many opportunities for economic development... He also said that 'we are happy to see that more members of Congress support steady development of the bilateral relationship.'"

"Li Peng Meets House Speaker Gingrich"

Xinhua News Agency correspondent Luo Hui in the official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) wrote (3/29): "While meeting with House Speaker Gingrich, Premier Li Peng said that...the visits by many members of Congress will help to increase understanding between our two countries.... Li said is in the fundamental interest of both countries to maintain a stable and normal relationship, avoid confrontation and strengthen dialogue and cooperation. World peace and development would also benefit from this state of affairs. Li said that the PRCand the United States should develop their common points and resolve areas of disagreement through dialogue and engagement. It does not matter if some differences cannot be resolved for the time being.... Those people who speak of a 'China threat' do not understand the PRC or are just plain ignorant. The PRC does not threaten anyone, nor does it seek to establish a sphere of influence. The PRC is an important factor in safeguarding global peace and stability. Gingrich expressed admiration for the PRC's economic achievements. All of mankind would benefit if the United States and the PRC establish stronger, more effective relations in the 21st century. He also said that this visit had given his delegation a more comprehensive understanding of the PRC's domestic and foreign policies. 'I do not think that the PRC would constitute any threat to other countries.'"

"Zhu Rongji Meets House Speaker"

Xinhua News Agency correspondent Lu Jin in official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) wrote (3/29): "Zhu Rongji told House Speaker Gingrich that he was the second speaker of the house to visit the PRC since the establishment of diplomatic relations. This is an important event.... Zhu said that Sino-U.S. relations should be based on mutual understanding, respect and trust. 'We hope this visit by the speaker will be helpful to increasing mutual understanding and trust between the PRC and the United States.' Gingrich said that the PRC's economic development and raising the national standard of living were among mankind's greatest achievements in the past 20 years. Congress and the American people seek to establish a cordial long-term and stable relationship with the PRC, rather than one fraught with uncertainty."

"Jiang Zemin Meets Gingrich"

Xinhua News Agency correspondent Zhang Yijun's dispatch ran on page one of the official, Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao, 3/29) and other major Chinese papers: "While meeting with the speaker of the House of Representatives on March 28, President Jiang Zemin compared Sino-U.S. relations to a sky 'beginning to clear after rainfall.' He hoped that the United States would strictly observe the three joint communiques and not allow the Taiwan issue to interfere in the improvement of bilateral relations.... Jiang said that Vice President Al Gore's visit to China as well as the speaker's current visit are positive developments in the bilateral relationship."

"Tian Jiyun Meets U.S. Guests"

Xinhua News Agency correspondent Liu Yunfei in Beijing, March 28, official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) said (3/28): "Tian Jiyun, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) told Speaker Gingrich that the national legislatures of both countries should increase their exchanges and strengthen their cooperation. Increasing contact between legislators will help to deepen mutual understanding....Gingrich said that exchanges and cooperation between our two countries will promote the development of friendly bilateral relations."

HONG KONG: "Invite More International Leaders To Hong Kong"

An editorial in the independent Sing Tao Daily News said (3/28), "Gingrich remarked after meeting with Governor Chris Patten and Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa yesterday that he was cautiously optimistic' about Hong Kong's future after 1997. Such a remark made by U.S. conservative leader almost shows that Hong Kong's future is certain. If there are more political figures like him that make positive remarks on Hong Kong's future, it will be conducive to eliminating some of the worries in the international community."

"Hong Kong Does Not Need To Be Caught In U.S.-China Differences"

The independent, English-language South China Morning Post observed (3/30), that "the US and the PRC are bound to have fundamental differences stemming from their different systems. The last thing that Hong Kong needs is to be caught in that gap for U.S. political reasons. Trade with America is one of the key international links to Hong Kong, and should remain so. That makes it all the more vital for the territory both that the US steers a clear policy path with the PRC, and that Hong Kong does not become a domestic political football in the approach to the next Congressional elections."

"Taiwan: Litmus Test Of Sino-U.S. Relations"

Pro-PRC Wen Wei Po's column held (4/1), "The Taiwan issue can be treated as a litmus test of Sino-U.S. relations. Though the relationship between the two nations is like the first beam after the rain, it does not mean that it will not rain from then on. U.S. political figures' China visits are conducive to scattering the clouds. The PRC's international status is becoming more and more important, thus the United States cannot act rashly against the PRC. However, if the stone of Taiwan does not move away, it will still be a stumbling block.... It is hoped that Gingrich, after this China visit, will have a better understanding of the PRC."

SOUTH KOREA: "Gore's Remarks On Northern Collapse Caught Our Attention"

The conservative Chosun Ilbo commented (3/31): "Vice President Gore's remarks on a northern collapse caught our attention. His remark is especially significant in that his thoughts indicate how President Clinton must see the situation.... In Korea, studies on the prospect of a northern collapse have increased. Even those who have looked at collapse with skepticism are beginning to have different views. There of course exist other opinions rejecting the prospect of the north's early collapse. The basis of their opposition is that the its military is still formidable and strong, and that the north remains a tightly closed society which prevents foreign influences from seeping in."

"U.S.-ROK Relations Reassessed"

The conservative Segye Ilbo editorialized (3/31): "The recent series of visits by U.S. officials have provided us with an opportunity to correct and fine-tune U.S.-ROK relations. That opportunity was useful for both sides, especially with the start of the Clinton administration's second term. . . with east Asia going through a major strategic change in the wake of Hong Kong' s return to the PRC, the United States will need a stable Korean peninsula more than ever.... As for the four-party talks, the ROK did the right thing by insisting that food aid cannot be provided in exchange for the four-party dialogue. It will be even better if we can make full use of U.S. influence on the issue of Taiwan's transfer of nuclear waste."

"Positive Atmosphere For Talks With North Korea"

Pro-business Joong-Ang Ilbo (3/31) commented, "South Korea's (ROK) new policy of allowing civilian-level rice aid is openly aimed at enticing the DPRK into the four-party talks. The DPRK has begun to take, for the first time, a positive stand toward us, going so far as to officially make rice requests to the ROK. The provision of food aid now looks inevitable -- that is, before the four-way dialogue. Although both the United States and the ROK still insist on their earlier position, the North's repeated requests have created a positive atmosphere. A government official has described this latest switch as a signal for a major policy change towards the DPRK."

"Gore's Visit Confirmed U.S.-ROK Partnership"

An editorial in independent Dong-A Ilbo (3/30) said: "The truth is that the special relationship of our two countries -- strategic partners and allies 'bonded in blood' -- must be maintained.... Mr. Gore's visit, made at a time when the DPRK and the ROK are facing a difficult situation, confirmed U.S.-ROK solidarity. That was significant."

"U.S. Wants To Look Inside Korea"

The visits by Gore and U.S. congressmen sparked this editorial in moderate Hankook Ilbo (3/30): "What is at the core of these visits seems to be a desire to find out whether Korea is politically and militarily ready to fight, should an unexpected situation break out in North Korea. The ROK should show its readiness and its strong solidarity with the United States."

"Vice President Demonstrates U.S. Concern"

Moderate Hankook Ilbo (3/30) concluded, "The primary significance of the vice president's visit was its timing, when the four-party talks are moving into a new phase. It was also appropriate for the vice president to demonstrate the U.S.'s concern over the DPRK in the aftermath of Hwang Jang-Yop's defection. His confirming that the United States will maintain its current military force level in Korea was just as important. Although the PRC was the focus of his Asia tour this time, visiting Korea provided him with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about the peninsula, which is the U.S.'s "Achilles heel" in the region. Additionally, his confirmation that the United States does not approve giving food aid to the DPRK in exchange for the four-party talks was important. Sharing the view that the Korean Peninsula should not return to a period of tension, President Kim and Mr. Gore confirmed the importance of U.S.-ROK joint defense readiness."

"What Is The Real Purpose Of Vice President Gore's Visit?"

The anti-establishment Hankyoreh Shinmun commented (3/29): "After U.S. Congressmen paid a series of earlier visits, Vice President Al Gore came to Korea. On the surface, their visits do not appear to be linked to one another. In fact, both the ROK and the U.S. explained that the purpose of Gore's visit was part of the second Clinton administration's overall effort to reaffirm its focus on Asia. Additionally, the vice presidential visit also seems meant to give him a break from the 'China-connection'-related criticism that he faces at home. Nevertheless, the list of those accompanying the Vice President, one being Charles Kartman, draws our attention. Against the backdrop of a series of rapidly developing events, such as the March 26 New York meeting and the visits to the DPRK by U.S. Senator Stevens and KOTRA Director Hong, this vice-presidential visit (accompanied by no other than Charles Kartman) tells us that there may well be a 'consistent flow' behind these seemingly unrelated visits. The New York meeting failed to move one step forward in the discussion of which should come first -- food aid or the four-party talks. The parties at the meeting, however, may have agreed on how to avoid a 'dead-end,' and this conjecture has led us to speculate that Kartman's and Senator Stevens's visits may not be totally unrelated to what went on at the New York meeting. Accompanying the Vice President, Kartman must already have discussed the issues with the PRC and Japan. What is at the heart of the North Korea issue at this point is how to bring the DPRK to the table for the four-party dialogue without hurting its pride. As government officials have said, all U.S. officials during their visits focused on that aspect. In this context it seems that the ROK has lately adopted a flexible attitude on the food aid issue."

"A Series Of Visits By U.S. Officials: Why?"

The conservative Chosun Ilbo stated (3/29): "According to the Foreign Ministry, the timing of the visits by U.S. officials -- including Vice President Gore -- was only 'by chance,' bearing 'no flow beneath the surface.' The Ministry further explains that House Speaker Gingrich and Senator Stevens, both Republicans traveling during an Easter break, were not on a mission for the Clinton administration. Vice President Gore's visit, too, is only an occasion for the United States to express interest in Asia, says the Ministry, adding that during his visit with President Kim, Mr. Gore is not expected to demand anything, and that issues do not exist that he has to address at this point."

JAPAN: "U.S.-China Relations And Japan"

Liberal Asahi editorialized (4/1), "During his visit to Beijing, Foreign Minister Ikeda told President Jiang Zemin and other PRC leaders that the further improvement of relations among Japan, the United States and the PRC is indispensable for the development of East Asia. What Japan, the United States and the PRC have in common is the influence each has on the peace and economic development of the region. It is, therefore, extremely important that these nations establish a relationship of trust. Economic strength is the source of Japanese influence. Although Japan is an economic power, it does not intend to become a military power. The Japanese people should be more confident that this philosophy has earned Japan a 'special place' in the international community.... Japan should have a more active diplomatic doctrine and the political ability to bring itself into harmony with the situation in Asia. Then Japan could strengthen Japan-U.S. relations and Japan-PRC ties and help the United States and PRC build more stable relations... When Japan blindly follows in the footsteps of the United States, it only weaken its own case."

"China Demonstrates Flexibility During Gore, Ikeda Visits"

Liberal Asahi's Beijing correspondent Kato observed (3/31), "In Beijing's first full-fledged diplomacy since the death of Deng Xiaoping, the PRC leadership opted for cooperation rather than confrontation, and reacted in an extremely flexible manner to the visits to Beijing of Vice President Gore and Japanese Foreign Minister Ikeda. The PRC believes it necessary to have a peaceful international environment in place for the approaching return of Hong Kong. The PRC leadership, led by President Jiang Zemin, also wishes to give the international community the impression that the PRC will continue the reform and open-door policies left by Deng and will pursue a stable and reasonable diplomacy."

AUSTRALIA: "Clinton's China Balance"

The national, conservative Australian Financial Review opined (4/2), "Last year, the newly elected Howard government moved to 're-invigorate' Australia's security alliance with the United States, suggesting it could be used to deal with 'regional contingencies' -- read by the PRC to be any belligerence towards Taiwan. But, in response to Beijing's annoyance, Mr. Howard now tells the PRC that Australia's foreign policy is based on 'a clear-headed and independent assessment of the region.' He also states that "Australia is not an East Asian tool of U.S. foreign policy efforts to 'contain' the PRC's emerging might. ... The only nation capable of influencing the PRC's engagement into the polite international community is the world's sole superpower -- the United States. ... Fortunately, the Clinton administration itself now appears to have properly balanced its PRC policy towards the engagement goal after its first four years of neglect and confusion.... President Clinton has correctly rejected the linkage of human rights and trade policy.... the PRC also must be clear that another Tiananmen Square would call all these bets off."

INDONESIA: "Gingrich's Warning"

Leading, independent Kompas (4/2) observed in an editorial, "Although Gingrich is more candid in talking about human rights, he is generally a proponent of the U.S. administration's policy to engage China. Besides his warning over Taiwan, Gingrich also warned the PRC to guard the freedom of Hong Kong, which he called a 'gentle orchid' in a giant's hand. ... Why did Gingrich say this? Because he is not convinced that the PRC's current leaders really understand the concept 'one nation, two systems.' According to Gingrich, honoring the pledge to leave Hong Kong's autonomous way of life in place is beyond the PRC'sexperience, like a person who has never seen the sea giving sailing lessons."

MALAYSIA: "China Knows It Has To Maintain Good Relations With Congress"

In the view of government-influenced, Chinese-language Kwong Wah Yit Poh (3/31), "The visit of Newt Gingrich which followed that of Vice President Al Gore was received as an important event in the PRC, because Gingrich is one of the most influential Republicans leaders.... Experiences in the past have made the PRC understand that maintaining good relations with the U.S. government alone is insufficient. This is because the Congress is controlled by the Republicans. Therefore the PRC invited many congressmen to visit Beijing so that the government could correct any misconceptions about the PRC, especially about her human rights practices. Most recently there are accusations that the PRC attempted to influence the U.S. government through 'political donations.' But all this had been denied by the PRC, and this should not damage the relations of the two nations. The next question is: The U.S. government and its leaders must understand that Taiwan is the most sensitive issue to the PRC, and that she may resort to war in order to protect her interests and authority over Taiwan."

SINGAPORE: "Gore Needed Little Reminder"

The pro-government Straits Times' editorial held (3/31), "North Korean cunning in turning adversity to tactical advantage knows no bounds. This much is clear from the DPRK's demand last week that it would attend four-party peace talks...only on condition that it received food supplies to relieve a serious grain shortage.... Gore, who discussed the talks with PRC and ROK leaders on his visit to East Asia last week, needed little reminder of how accomplished DPRK has become in extracting huge gains for little outlay.... The allies should not embarrass themselves again. They have never been in a stronger position to bring Northern acquiescence. They need not be fearful that a DPRK with its back to the wall might lash out -- with a limited strike against the ROK, say. This can be calibrated by beating the DPRK at its own game: Give a little but get a big bite in. They should thus hold firm to the line that no government-to-government food aid will be given as a pre-condition for talks."

THAILAND: "China's Importance"

The independent, English-language Nation's Kavi Chongkittavorn remarked on Thai Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's scheduled Wednesday visit to the PRC, saying (3/31), "Thailand wishes to utilize the growing status of the PRC, which is moving toward realizing the reformation of a greater China with the return of Hong Kong on July 1, for its own commercial and security interests.... The Thai leadership, including Chavalit, has recognized the PRC as a superpower that has a global role because of its tremendous economic, potential, and military clout. Moreover, both sides share similar strategic thinking. For instance, while the two countries see the importance of the U.S.' stabilizing influence in the region, they also feel that the U.S. presence is not the only factor that keeps the region safe.... (Thai) leaders believe that a rich and prosperous China will do more good for the region than an impoverished giant. That explains why Bangkok is a strong supporter of the PRC's bid to join the World Trade Organization and other international organizations and forums."


INDIA: "No Such Remark Made To Gore"

Tokyo correspondent F.J. Khergamvala: wrote in the centrist Hindu (4/2): "President Jiang Zemin's offer to have a Taiwanese figure as the PRC's Vice President to ease the unification of Taiwan with the mainland has some significance and purpose.... In the immediate context there is unlikely to be any major impact in Taiwan because by some careful crafty wording, the PRC seems to have ruled out offering the vice president's job to the elected Taiwan leader, Lee Teng-hui.... There are certain dimensions to this statement. First,Jiang could be setting out additional parameters for the 'one-country, two systems' approach which is an experiment yet to begin. Moreover, the fact that no such remark was made to Vice President Al Gore, during their meeting just seven days earlier, but made to Japan suggests two motives. One, to keep the contentious Taiwan issue out of high level U.S.-PRC dialogues but yet to obtain some regional publicity not only for a softer line on Taiwan but also for portraying Jiang as a statesman in the post-Deng era. The subject of Taiwan does not arouse as much passion in the Japanese establishment as it does in the United States."

PAKISTAN: "Gore's Customary Sermon On Human Rights"

The centrist News wrote (4/1): "Nothing poses a bigger dilemma to the United States than its failure to somehow fit the People's Republic of China into a pattern that would conform with its perception of a politically correct state.... Communists and capitalists are not supposed to make good bedfellows.... The lack of democracy in the bcountry as it is perceived is of fundamental concern to the United States because it is the most obvious of all the evils that can be heaped on PRC. Over five weeks ago, Madeleine Albright undertook the journey vowing to take a tough stand on the issue, only to commit a grave diplomatic faux pas. She ignored the fact that the Chinese were in deep mourning for their much revered leader Deng Xiao-ping. Vice President Al Gore recently visited the PRC on a similar mission to give a more effective demonstration of high level U.S. concern for the human rights situation in that country. He met the leaders, signed some agreements, saw the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, praised the ancient civilization of China, and returned home after delivering a customary sermon on human rights. The PRC politely heard him, offered their explanation, and forgot all about it."

BANGLADESH: "Gore's Mission"

The centrist, English-language Independent (3/28), in an editorial, stressed that the disagreements over Hong Kong, Taiwan and speculation about illegal campaign contributions "have not been significant factors capable of disorienting Gore's mission for better relations with the growing Asian economic giant.... Improved U.S.-PRC relations are bound to have far-reaching implications for peace and prosperity of Asia, and for the shift of the focus of economic and military power balance from the Atlantic to the Pacific."


RUSSIA: "Beijing Benefits By Moscow-Washington Rivalry"

According to Dmitry Kosyrev of centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (4/2): "One would be ill- advised to believe that Washington's chief concern is over a too fast rapprochement between Beijing and Moscow after the U.S.- Russian summit in Helsinki. No doubt, Russia is a factor prompting America to settle its Chinese dilemma through wider cooperation. But Russia's much-publicized 'fall-back' option providing for an alliance with Eastern giants as compensation for a failure to integrate into Europe is primitive and illusory. Things aren't that simple in reality. Alliances take more than just wishes to build. In the stable triangle ofRussia, the PRC, and the US, the PRC needs both of the other sides and, more importantly, profits by their rivalry."

"Gore Trip Not A Routine Thing"

Centrist, army Krasnaya Zvezda (4/1) ran this comment by Vadim Markushin: "The Gore trip is not just another in the series of moves the Americans started a few years ago to improve their relations with PRC and iron out kinks in the operation of their various agencies vis-a-vis their PRC counterparts. It is an instance of rapid reactionto new symptoms of rapprochement between Asian giants which, certainly, can't but worrythe US. Especially so, as Russia and the PRC never miss a chance to reiterate their joint opposition to the US becoming the focus of global authority."

DENMARK: "Gingrich's Fears Could Be Justified"

An editorial in center-left Politiken (4/2) supported Gingrich's recent comments condemning the PRC's totalitarian regime: "Beijing's totalitarian regime has promised to respect Hong Kong's more liberal system when the former British colony is handed over to the PRC on July 1...but, Newt Gingrich's fears could be justified.... In addition Gingrich condemned the PRC for refusing to promise that it would not use military power against Taiwan. The PRC has indicated that it would like to swallow Taiwan after it has regained control of Hong Kong.... The world ought to make the PRC realize that it is not open to making concessions with regard to its totalitarian geopolitical vision of the future."


Conservative, influential, El Mercurio editorialized (3/30): "In a complete turnabout, during the past two years the Clinton administration has changed its confrontational policy towards the PRC, by moving toward a cooperative relationship with an eye on the next century, when the Asian giant will have even more political clout, owing to its territory, population and important advances accomplished through economic development.... The U.S. Vice President's recent visit to PRC shows how the power of trade interests has moderated (the U.S.) concerns over the violation of human rights in PRC, and (the PRC's) production and sale of arms of mass destruction to other countries such as Iran that the United States regards as 'dangerous.'...

"The Gore visit, though, has also allowed PRC leaders to underscore what constitutes for them the most critical issue in the bilateral relationship: Taiwan. Regarding the latter, (the PRC) made the gesture of accepting that the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong remain open after that region returns to Chinese sovereignty next July 1.... In this new relationship, in which both countries agree to disagree, other issues remain pending such as the PRC's entry into the World Trade Organization (and) the U.S. trade deficit with the PRC, which are matters that possibly will be included in the agenda of both presidents' meetings planned for the present and the coming year."

6. USIA Text (4/1/97): Gingrich 3/27 Remarks at AmCham Hong Kong

Washington -- A successful transition to Chinese sovereignty in Hong Kong will depend on China's respect for civil rights and the rule of law, according to Newt Gingrich (Republican of Georgia), Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Following is the as-delivered text of Gingrich's remarks:

Text of address by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Conrad hotel - March 27, (Following introduction by Mr. Douglas Henck, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce)

Thank you very much, Doug. Let me say first of all that, as a Georgian, I am delighted to be here, as you can imagine. If you're from Atlanta, you sort of wake up every morning with a certain worldwide sense of curiosity, partly based on CNN, partly based on Coca Cola, partly based on Delta Airlines -- I have now done my constituent duty...(laughter)...and, of course, the Olympics last year brought it all home in a dramatic way. So in that sense, I'm delighted to be here.

It occurred to me, we had a very good meeting with your board of directors a few minutes ago and I want to share a little bit of the way we're approaching this. I think we are a little different than a lot of congressional delegations. This is the beginning of what we believe, will be a long-term commitment to look at a number of issues in a positive way and to frame things in a way that we think will be effective. And I'll talk about that more when we're done. But we also approach this, I think, with a very different approach at a human level. We recognize that America is a remarkable country but that we have much to learn. I mentioned the other night in a meeting we had in talking about imperfections. We were in South Korea at the time, the Republic of Korea. And I mentioned that two of colleagues on this trip, Congressmen Hastings of Florida and Congressmen Jefferson of Louisiana, in their lifetime, would have found it difficult, if not impossible, to go across America comfortably because they could not, when they were young, have found hotels in many towns to accommodate them. Jay Kim, our Congressman from California, who has very close family relations and friends in Korea, commented in a way that I think moved all of us that night. That he and his family, he was very young, when Seoul was overrun by North Korea in 1950. Then Seoul was liberated by the United Nations Command, and then Seoul was overrun a second time and his family fled that time. And he came to America. And his first job was working as a janitor in a hospital, cleaning the hospital. And he recently went back to that hospital, where his son, I believe it is, is now a doctor. And one of the older doctors looked at Jay for a moment and said: Didn't you use to scrub the floors here? And he said "yes." He of course is now quite successful and has decided that, while he is successful, he is willing to go through the complexities of public life and so he is also a congressman. And it occurs to us, I think, that we've come on this trip to engage in a dialogue between an imperfect America which has been open to all people of all backgrounds and which seeks to illustrate the best in the human spirit and a variety of countries with whom we desire nothing but friendship and goodwill. For part of the genius of America has been to seek everywhere to extend and exalt the human spirit, so that everyone can have the opportunities that Jay Kim found and to recognize that we need to keep looking at our own imperfections and to reach out to correct those that in our lifetime still exist.

In that sense, I am particularly pleased to have an opportunity to be with you here today to share some observations at this historic moment of transition for Hong Kong. We are particularly delighted to visit Hong Kong, because the people of Hong Kong have created a prosperity that is a tribute to endeavor. Your energy, your courage, your vision, and your creativity have built a standard of living admired throughout the world.

Expanding economic growth is a goal of our agenda in the US Congress. We are about to begin a historic debate between a flat income tax and the replacement of the income tax with ~a sales tax, two choices that will dramatically improve the current Internal Revenue Service 110,000-agent very complex system. As we discuss Hong Kong's future, we also want your advice about America's future. We have been asking questions beyond just the reversion question. We have been asking about economic growth, about tax codes. Hong Kong has a binding commitment to a balanced budget. It has no outstanding government debt. It has a remarkably low tax rate.

Not surprisingly, Hong Kong has remarkable economic growth. Ten years of Hong Kong's growth rates would transform the American economy and prove to the world that freedom and free enterprise are the model for 21st century success. So, we Americans have much to admire and to learn from you who have helped make Hong Kong a jewel for the entire planet.

I am also here to use this moment to reflect on some enduring American values, values that I believe can serve as a guide for the transition that faces Hong Kong this summer. I am told the overall view from Hong Kong, as the July 1 deadline approaches, continues to be upbeat but cautious. Confidence and uncertainty often exist together, especially for a society faced with momentous change.

As an American, I believe that the confidence to face that future begins with a commitment to freedom. No American leaders would be true to our tradition it they came here and congratulated you on your economic achievements without also saying we believe that economic vitality ultimately depends upon political and personal freedom.

For that reason, America cannot remain silent about the lack of basic freedom -- speech, religion, assembly, the press -- in China. Were we to do so, we would not only betray our own tradition, we would also fail to fulfill our obligation as a friend of both China and of Hong Kong. For no one can be considered a true friend if that person avoids the truth.

As Americans, we take seriously a country's commitment to human rights. And I say this in the context of having already said: There are failures in America, there are weaknesses, and there are places where we can legitimately be criticized. And our answer should be to listen to those critics and to look at those criticisms, and to try to improve our performance. But we cannot look the other way when the People's Republic of China ignores Article 35 of its own Constitution by depriving a citizen of his free speech; we cannot disregard its failure to uphold Article 36 of its own Constitution every time it denies the free exercise of religion.

The truth is that any effort to provide a partial freedom to any people, to tell them that they can be free in one sphere but not in another, will ultimately fail. China needs to understand that political freedom must accompany economic freedom. If it attempts to restrict the freedom Hong Kong already enjoys, it will have political -- and economic -- consequences.

We support the Sino-British Joint Declaration which governs the peaceful reversion of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China, and we fully expect China to honor its pledge of "one country, two systems." We are concerned that China has taken steps to weaken Hong Kong's Bill of Rights. In addition, it has decided to dissolve the elected legislative council on June 30.

As July 1 approaches, the leaders of Congress would look with deep concern on any action that would undermine the Sino-British Joint Declaration. We believe that preserving key elements of Hong Kong society -- the rule of law, an independent civil service and judiciary, respect for civil liberties, freedom of religion, a free press -- is essential to Hong Kong's future.

If Hong Kong loses the things in which its society is grounded, both American values and American interests will suffer, and the people of Hong Kong will lose opportunity.

It is our strong view that China must maintain Hong Kong's current laws regarding civil rights. These laws are necessary to ensure its future prosperity. Even minor changes or seemingly minor changes in these laws could undermine confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong which would significantly affect Hong Kong's attractiveness as a regional center for commerce. Any unilateral changes would indicate that China values power over keeping its word.

A smooth transition in Hong Kong, consistent with the Joint Agreement and Basic Law, will be a key test for Beijing. Reversion will test Chinese standards of governance and international conduct. How that transition is managed will be critical to the future of Taiwan, to China's international standing, and to China's relations with the United States.

Ultimately, we believe the transition for Hong Kong will succeed if it leads to broader economic and political freedom for both "systems." And as Americans, we believe that freedom strengthens both the individual and society.

Our country reacts faster to crises, rectifies its mistakes more rapidly, and maintains a more dynamic national consensus precisely because it has a freely elected government based upon "We the People." Those three words are the first three words of our Constitution, and they frame our view of government.

People who are free to work anywhere come to America because they know that America offers greater opportunity. People who are free to study anywhere come to America because they know that there is more creative research going on in our universities and corporations than in any other country in the world. This freedom and creativity derives from the deepest convictions of our people, and it is built into the political and economic system that has made us a great nation. The legislature invented by American's Founding Fathers is a wonderful protection from any government that would attempt to ignore or thwart the will of the people. That's why the Constitution begins in Article I by establishing the branch of government closest to the people, the United States Congress.

That branch is closest to the people because it is most sensitive to any change that might infringe upon our liberty. Because the founding fathers feared dictatorship, they wanted a government designed to preserve freedom.

They deliberately created a system that dispersed the power of the federal government widely: two legislative bodies, the executive branch the judiciary. And they reserved all other powers to the state and to the people. They recognized that while God gives us freedom, governments all too often are ready to take that freedom away.

Now America's history has been one of permanent tension between order and freedom between government and the individual, between selfishness and selflessness, between idealism and cynicism. For over 200 years, Americans have worked, fought, sweated and bled, to preserve and extend freedom to all people of all backgrounds from all races and every country of the world.

Look around the world today. We are in the third decade of a global democratic revolution. From Portugal and Spain in the mid-seventies, to Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union and its allies, the old oppressive regimes have been replaced with new democracies.

In some cases -- like the former Soviet Union -- the political change preceded the creation of free markets, while in others -- like South Korea and Taiwan -- there was a substantial transformation of the economic system before political freedom was achieved.

But at the end of the day all found that freedom was indivisible. It was not possible to grant one form of freedom -- whether political or economic -- without finally granting it all.

And I want to suggest to you that beginning on July 1, Hong Kong has a duty that is historic, because its great economic endeavor can have a moral purpose -- the expansion of freedom.

As Americans, we believe our freedom is not the gift of any government. It is a right bestowed by our Creator. With the liberty we receive from God, we can work together and live together to achieve remarkable things.

If you visit the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, you will find etched in stone the Second Inaugural Address Lincoln delivered near the end of our civil war. It is short enough to be one wall, yet it refers to God twelve times. If you walk across to the Jefferson Memorial, you will read on the wall, "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy but cannot disjoin them."

If you read our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, you will find the fundamental belief that our Creator has given us the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And at the conclusion of that great declaration of freedom, you will read that the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They viewed their "sacred" honor as their most valuable collateral, and they put it at risk in order to secure the blessings of liberty that we hold as our inalienable right. As Americans, we still recognize today that we cannot be successful if we do not recognize that our rights come from our Creator.

This American system of Creator-endowed rights based on self-evident truths is as current as Microsoft, biotechnology, and the space shuttle. However, its roots go back through our Founding Fathers, to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, the creation of Roman law 300 years before Christ, the rise of Greek democracy 500 years before Christ, the founding of Jerusalem by King David 3,000 years ago, and ultimately, to the statement of God's law given to Moses in the earliest period of recorded history.

It all relates to East Asia. The Chinese word for crisis combines the characters for "danger" and "opportunity." In that sense, Hong Kong faces a "crisis" today. It has danger and opportunity. There could be problems or there could be a greater Hong Kong of even greater prosperity, of even greater importance, to the world. On the one hand, Hong Kong confronts challenges and even dangers as it approaches reversion to China. On the other hand, it has enormous opportunities in technology, in entrepreneurship, in the sheer level of human talent dedicated to dynamic economic growth.

For its part, China also faces a "crisis," meaning "danger" and "opportunity." Mishandling reversion would endanger China's relationship with Taiwan, the region, and the broader international community. Honoring the commitments of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, on the other hand, would not only enhance economic growth in China; it would also strengthen China's standing in the international community.

If you, as leaders in the Hong Kong business community, can continue to harness the energy aroused by danger and opportunity, and, I believe, virtually every entrepreneur every morning senses both of those, we will all stand in admiration at the excitement you continue to produce and the further progress you achieve as you enter the 21st century.

Free societies rely on the courage, creativity, and commitment of each individual citizen. Dictatorship may marshal the obedience of their unthinking subjects, but democracies rely on the unique spark of each person's God-given talent. It may be a far less orderly society, but it is a vastly superior one.

Since each of us is uniquely endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights, there is not and cannot be a single dream. A free society has as many dreams as there are people. The power of those dreams has made America a great country filled with good people. The power of those dreams has made Hong Kong a uniquely successful community admired and studied all around the world.

We want to see the continued fulfillment of the dream of each citizen of Hong Kong. We want to be helpful and making sure that the opportunity outweighs the danger. We recognize that this is a long-term process, that true friendship and good neighbors require much talking over a long period of time and, whenever possible, require avoiding arguments in favor of having discussions. One of the steps we are going to take, after talking with a wide range of leaders here, including Mr. Tung, the current governor, the members of the legislative council, members of the business community, is that Congressmen Bereuter, who was the chairman of our Asia subcommittee, will be regularly coming back at the advice and suggestion of a very broad range of folks to visit here and to visit Beijing in a positive way, to seek positive understanding, to have a positive dialogue. We leave tonight to go to Beijing. We hope to meet with members of the National People's Congress to talk about the idea of a long-term relationship between our two legislative bodies, to develop the understanding and the dialogue.

Now, creating freedom didn't happen overnight anywhere. Having a healthy, open, free society is hard and going through transitions is difficult. We have more than enough examples of pain and failure in American history to not look on anyone with a judgmental sense of superiority. But we also know that, in the end, adhering to the great virtues of individual freedom and seeking to protect the right of the maximum number of people pursuing the maximum amount of happiness, because they get to define their lives is, in fact, the ultimate destiny of the human race. And in that calm optimism we can afford to reach out a helping hand to everyone, to have a dialogue with anyone, and it is in that spirit of learning from your successes, coming to understand your situation, and hopefully having a genuine exchange in the next few days in Beijing and beyond that, in Tokyo and in Taiwan, that we've started this trip. I think just to tell you that we have all found Hong Kong to be fully as remarkable as everyone always told us it was. Those of us who are here for the first time, just as you would expect, are overwhelmed by the achievement of the people of Hong Kong. And we look forward to helping you build on that to a even better 21st century.

Thank you very, very much.

II. People's Republic of China

1. ROK Food Aid to DPRK

ROK Government ("ROK LOOSENS FOOD AID LIMITS TO DPRK," Wen Hui Daily, Seoul, A4, 4/1/97) announced on March 31st that it will allow private groups to provide food aid including rice for the DPRK. Seoul will also allow business groups to join the food aid programs for the DPRK through economic organizations, the report said. However, according to ROK officials, the aid, which can include food, must be purchased abroad.

2. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("JIANG PUTS FORWARD THREE PRINCIPLES OF SINO-US RELATIONS," Beijing, A1, 3/27/97) reported that when meeting with US Vice President Al Gore in Beijing on March 26, Chinese President Jiang Zemin put forward three principles of bilateral relations. According to the newspaper, Jiang pointed out that Chinese and US leaders should unswervingly hold on the common interests of their countries and deal with bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term view. In addition, the to-the-letter implementation of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, which govern the US relationship with Taiwan, is also important to the development of Sino-US relations.

On March 28, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Premier Li Peng and Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji respectively met with US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich in Beijing. During his meeting with Gingrich, Jiang described current Sino-US ties as "clearing up after a rain," and stressed the importance and sensitivity of the Taiwan issue. He said, China hopes the US Congress will play an active and constructive role in promoting bilateral relations. When Li Peng met with Gingrich, he denounced the so-called "China threat" as alleged by some people, saying that China poses no threat to anyone and does not seek a so-called "sphere of influence." People's Daily ("CHINESE LEADERS MEET WITH GINGRICH," Beijing, A1-2, 3/29/97)

At a regular news briefing on April 1, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said that the US is now selling large amounts of advanced weapons to Taiwan. This has, to some extent, appeased and backed the separatist forces in Taiwan Island, and placed obstacles to the peaceful reunification of China. Shen said, China hopes that the US Government could adopt a policy of non-interference into China's internal affairs, stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan and observe the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués. China hopes for a peaceful reunification with Taiwan under a "one country, two systems" formula, Shen said, and the pressing matter at present is to start high-level political talks between the mainland and Taiwan to resolve all outstanding cross-Straits issues, which he said would help realize the peaceful reunification of the motherland. Commenting on a statement by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich that the US would defend Taiwan if Taiwan was attacked militarily, the spokesman said, what methods China will adopt to resolve the Taiwan issue is China's internal affair, and China does not need any foreigners to make improper remarks on the issue. China Daily ("US URGED NOT TO STEP IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS," A1, 4/2/97)

3. PRC-Russian Relations

At a joint press conference after meeting with his Russian counterpart Evgeny Primakov, Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen expressed satisfaction with the results of his talks with Yeltsin and Primakov. Qian expressed his belief that "the two things -- the creation of strategic partnership between China and Russia and reductions of armed forces in the border areas of the countries concerned -- would put forward a new concept that is different from the thought of the `cold war', and would have a deep influence in Asia and Pacific areas, as well as the entire world." Qian stressed that the strategic partnership between China and Russia is not an alliance against other countries. China Daily ("JIANG, YELTSIN WILL SIGN ACCORD AT MOSCOW SUMMIT," Moscow, A1, 3/27/97)

4. PRC-Japan Relations

Jie Fang Daily ("JIANG, LI MEET WITH JAPANESE FM," Beijing, A1, 3/31/97) reported that Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Li Peng respectively met with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Ikeda Yukihiko on March 30. Regarding the issue of Taiwan, Jiang said during the meeting that the crux of the issue is that foreign countries should not interfere in China's internal affairs by taking any action which will harm the reunification of China and hurt the felling of the Chinese people. Ikeda reaffirmed the Japanese Government's deep retrospection and sincere apology for its history of aggression, pledging that this position will never change. On the issue of Taiwan, he noted that Japan will adhere to the "one Chine" policy and hopes that the two sides across the straits will settle the issue of reunification peacefully. In another meeting with Ikeda on March 29, Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen reiterated China's stand on the Diaoyu Islands issue, saying that the Japanese Government should restrain right-wing groups in Japan from causing more trouble on the issue to prevent them from hindering the general situation of Sino-Japanese relations. Ikeda agreed that territorial disputes should not affect the overall situation of Sino-Japanese relations. The Japanese Government will deal with the issue with a somber mind and endeavor to prevent another outbreak of trouble, he added. It will also carry out a further study of possible measures to be taken in this regard, Ikeda said.

5. Dalai Lama's Visit to Taiwan

A meeting between the Dalai Lama and Lee Teng-hui was condemned by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Cui Tiankai on March 27. Cui said that Taiwan and Tibet are inalienable parts of China and it is well-known that the Dalai Lama has been conducting separatist activities in many places in the world. According to him, Dalai's Taiwan trip had political motives. He said, China is firmly opposed to any activities that could split the motherland. China Daily ("TAIWAN, TIBET SEPARATISM DENOUNCED BY FM OFFICIAL," A1, 3/28/97)

6. Commenting on US Role to Asia's Security

HE Fang, the former director of the Institute of Japanese Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Science, said on China Daily ("US THREATENS ASIA'S SECURITY," A4, 4/2/97) that it is US foreign policy that has the most direct bearing on security in Asia. According to him, another unstable factor in Asia is Japan. He said, Japan may not become a major military power by the turn of the century. But its future development is a key issue in Asian security. In the field of regional security, HE said, Asian countries have, in fact, begun actively exploring cooperation through channels such as the ASEAN forum. Security cooperation is totally different from bilateral military alliances stemming from the Cold War, like the one between the US and Japan. Such a bilateral military alliance can by no means safeguard security in Asia, he said.

III. Dr. Jeremy J. Stone, "Pointless Political Haggling While A Nation Starves"

[The following editorial opinion is by Dr. Jeremy J. Stone, President of the Federation of American Scientists. Comments may be submitted directly to Dr. Stone, and/or to the NAPSNet Forum, Submissions to the NAPSNet forum may be published on the Nautilus Virtual Forum Web site unless the author indicates that the remarks should not be published. The opinions in this article do no necessarily reflect those of the Nautilus Institute or the underwriters of the Institute's work.]

Pointless Political Haggling While A Nation Starves

As North Korea declines economically, it is far more likely to collapse into the arms of its Northern neighbor, China, rather than into the arms of its brethren in South Korea. But South Korea, assuming that a collapse would mean Korean unification, is using its influence to discourage large scale food aid from Japan and the United States. This geopolitical misunderstanding is causing needless suffering and could cause many deaths.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will likely collapse to the North because China -- unlike South Korea -- is willing and, indeed, eager, to keep North Korea in business. In 1950, China spent one million Chinese lives, and even risked its newly minted revolution, to support North Korea. China likes weak, and preferably socialist, states on its periphery. And a disaster means many refugees crossing the Yalu river into China. So leaders in Pyongyang know they can always get a relatively friendly reception from big brother in Beijing.

By contrast, calling in the South Koreans would be politically suicidal and unthinkable for the North's leader Kim Jong Il or for the North Korean military. And unless the South is called in, the tightly controlled DPRK army, which has better rations than the population at large, will man the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea right up to the end with weapons in reserve that can reach the South's capitol, Seoul. This will deter the South Korean Army from entering, even if the Chinese army has crossed the Yalu to distribute food.

Under these circumstances, Seoul should put aside its fully justified hate for the North's government, which has invaded it, and threatened it, and should try to help, rather than hinder, food aid to the North and stop insisting on prior political concessions.

Meanwhile, the Chinese, who are already providing 500,000 tons of grain annually, should be asking for market reforms, and liberalization, in return for further food aid. If the Chinese delay too long in working out the terms of constructive change in return for further help, the North will become an albatross around China's neck. The North's ever more exhausted population, led by the world's most ideological -- and hence highly incompetent -- Government will, in time, become unable to function effectively to help itself.

These and other necessary negotiations are hampered by the three-year mourning period of Kim Jong Il for the death of his father, Kim Il Sung, a period expected to end in July. During this period, Kim Jong Il has not met with foreigners. But since he has asked the population to "put aside its grief" during this emergency, perhaps the Chinese Government, and others, could ask him to put aside his own grief long enough to receive high-level emissaries.

And the emergency is coming up fast. Food supplies are thought to be running out this Spring, some reports say next month. The next real harvest is in September-October. The World Food Program is struggling to get subscriptions for a mere 100,000 tons of food when all agree a minimum of 1,000,000 tons is needed to fill the gap. There is concern among experts as to whether the exhausted population will emerge from the winter with enough energy to do the very heavy work required in the Spring planting.

A UN Development Program leader, Arthur Holcombe, reported in Beijing, last week, that malnutrition is widespread in flood devastated areas, that infants are not growing properly and that night-blindness, rickets and scurvy are common, especially among children. Experts fear a generation of North Korean children permanently weakened not just physically but mentally by malnutrition. There are now rumors of the North applying a "tourniquet" strategy of triage in which seriously deficit regions are simply being allowed to die without any food distributions.

Since the North will not provide pictures, or permit surveys, even to the food-aid groups who need them to sound the alarm, these North Koreans are starving as voicelessly and helplessly as Jews died in Hitler's concentration camps.

And not just starvation is at issue but the possibility of war. Fifty years ago, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor despite studies in their files showing they could never win a war against the United States. In a similar display of oriental determination and fatalism, encouraged by intense indoctrination, one cannot preclude an irrational last-ditch attack by the North's army on the South and that would, of course, involve our forces.

The time has come for an intense series of bilateral consultations, between the U.S., South Korea, Japan and China to discuss, explicitly, last-ditch contingencies and trends. One might well wish that Pyongyang's Orwellian regime, which has caused so much repressed suffering to its gagged population, would disappear. But today China is unlikely to permit this to happen even if the North were willing to go quietly into the night, which it likely will not. And the costs and risks are such that regional planning is in order for the time, clearly coming in years if not months, when North Korea goes into some kind of collapse or receivership.

-- Jeremy J. Stone is President of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS)

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Wade Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

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