NEPSnet Daily Report - March 1, 2000

2000-03-03 23:58
For Wednesday, March 1, 2000, from Berkeley, California, USA

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In today's Report:
I. United States
1. DPRK Atomic Bomb Victims
2. Anniversary of March 1 Movement
3. US Troops in Japan
4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
5. Taiwan Elections
6. PRC Military Posture
7. US-PRC Military Talks
8. PRC Policy toward Taiwan
9. US Media Views of PRC
10. PRC-Russia Talks
11. PRC Ratification of CTBT
II. People's Republic of China
1. ROK-Japan-PRC Environmental Cooperation
2. PRC-US Military Talks
3. PRC-US Dispute on Human Rights
4. PRC Policy on Taiwan Issue
5. PRC-Russian Relations
6. PRC-Japanese Relations

I. United States

1. DPRK Atomic Bomb Victims

BOMB VICTIMS," Tokyo, 3/1/00) reported that the Kyodo News agency said
that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on Wednesday offered to share
Japanese medical expertise with the DPRK to help treat atomic bomb
victims. Obuchi encouraged a seven-man delegation representing DPRK
victims of the World War II atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to
"learn from Japan's expertise" during its one-week visit to Japan. Kyodo
said that the group, which included two doctors, reported that there are
1,300 officially recognized atomic bomb victims still alive in the DPRK.
The report said that Japanese officials later told the delegation that
the government must assess the situation before it can consider providing

2. Anniversary of March 1 Movement

The Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, "SKOREA MARKS UPRISING AGAINST
JAPAN," Seoul, 3/1/00) reported that ROK protesters marked the 81st
anniversary of a popular uprising against Japanese colonial rule on
Wednesday by trampling on a large Rising Sun flag in front of the
Japanese Embassy. About 150 students and women who identified themselves
as former sex slaves of Japanese soldiers during World War II demanded a
Japanese apology and compensation. Hwang Kum-joo, a former sex slave,
said, "I was only 19 when I was conscripted under a program to supply
young maidens to the Japanese Imperial Army. Now I am 80 years old. And
still the Japanese government is not apologizing." The DPRK also marked
the anniversary with a demand for a Japanese apology and compensation for
its colonial atrocities

3. US Troops in Japan

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of
REGIONAL SECURITY," Washington, 2/29/00) reported that Rust Deming,
principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific
affairs, said on February 25 that financial contributions from Japan to
maintain US troops, called "host nation support," is vital to the US-
Japan alliance and to regional security. Deming said that the US and
Japan must work harder to impress upon the general public the importance
of the US -Japan partnership. He added that Japan's support for a US
military presence is "now a model for U.S. allies around the world" and
reference in Japan to host nation support as "the sympathy budget" is
"not appropriate." He said that host nation support is tangible evidence
of Japan's commitment to the US-Japan alliance. He stated, "Japan is not
just protected by the 47,000 Americans in Japan. The alliance and the
American presence mean the entire U.S. military is ready to protect
Japan." Deming said that the US-Japan alliance is the most crucial in
the region. When asked about the perception that close US-Japan security
ties are a threat to the PRC, Deming replied, "we need to continue to
work with our Chinese friends to make them understand that good US-Japan
relations -- including good US-Japan security relations -- are not a
detriment to China. Indeed, they are a benefit to China because they
help preserve the stability in the region which is so important to
China's economic development." Deming also said that the current DPRK
threat should not be the center of post-Cold War security alliances.
Deming said, "when the North Korean threat goes away, there still will be
a very strong rationale for a U.S. presence in the region, for working
with our allies."

4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Associated Press (William Foreman, "US TO MAKE TAIWAN ARMS DECISION,"
Taipei, 3/1/00) reported that a Taiwanese lawmaker and local newspapers
with close ties to the Taiwanese military said that Taiwan wants to
purchase upgraded Patriot missiles, Aegis guided missile destroyers, and
advanced radar systems for an anti-missile shield. Taiwan has also
wanted to buy submarines and supersonic AIM-120 air-to-air missiles from
the US, but the US has repeatedly denied those two requests, saying the
weapons could be used for offensive purposes. Pan Hsi-tang, a political
science professor at Tamkang University in Taipei, said that Taiwan could
be more successful this year because of increased threats from the PRC.
Pan said, "the United States might think that China's new threats have
created instability in the region and will evaluate more closely Taiwan's
arms requests." Taiwanese legislator Parris Chang of the opposition
Democratic Progressive Party and a defense specialist within his party
said, "with the Aegis ships, right now it's a 50-50 chance. We'll need
more help from China. If they issue more threats, then we might get the

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm and Steven Lee Myers, "TAIWAN ASKS U.S.
TO LET IT OBTAIN TOP-FLIGHT ARMS," Beijing, 3/1/00) reported that the
issue of the US selling weapons to Taiwan has become a major issue of
debate in both countries. Major General Tyson G. Fu, director of
strategic studies at the Armed Forces University in Taiwan, said that
Taiwan wants the weapons because "we are not so confident that if we are
attacked, the United States will be there. So we have adopted a stand-
alone strategy." The PRC has opposed all weapons sales to Taiwan, but
the Aegis-equipped warships are the most controversial because experts
say it could someday be adapted for use in an upper-atmospheric missile
defense. Officials at the US State Department and White House have
argued that neither the Aegis system nor other ultra-sophisticated
weapons can buy Taiwan real security, which they say ultimately depends
on negotiations and US support. US experts said that the PRC is right in
contending that the Aegis system could be adapted for use in a future,
"upper-tier" defense. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top
Story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March
1, 2000.]

5. Taiwan Elections

SPOKESMEN," Washington, 3/1/00) reported that the candidates for the
Taiwanese presidential election said on February 29 that PRC threats
against Taiwan are not a major issue in Taiwan. Wu Ho-I, spokesman for
the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), said, "China's White Paper had no
significant impact in the last week." I-Chung Lai, director of the
opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreed, noting that the
document had not even made front page news. Lai said that since the
presidential race is currently too close to call, any winning candidate
is unlikely to be able to form a majority government. Stephen Yates,
senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, said, "the greatest
error of China's White Paper is its total misreading of Taiwanese
politics." Yates added that, "the electoral math should have led people
to conclude that drastic changes (in cross-Strait relations) are not
likely." Wang Jianwei, associate professor of political science at the
University of Wisconsin, said however that the white paper was not aimed
at the Taiwanese electorate. Wang said, "basically China is trying to
influence whoever gets elected. The message was more aimed at the
candidates than at the voters. The Chinese side was sending a signal to
whoever gets elected that 'when you take power, you seriously have to put
dialogue on the agenda'."

6. PRC Military Posture

Taipei, 2/29/00) reported that Taiwanese military authorities on February
29 dismissed reports that the PRC army had been placed on alert. A
spokesman for the Taiwanese defense ministry said that Taiwan had no
evidence of unusual movements by the PRC military. Defense ministry
spokesman Kung Fan-ding stated, "all the information we have suggested
that there was no sign of unusual military movement in the mainland. Nor
was there any signal of alert for the Chinese communist forces, least of
all the upgrading of combat preparedness."

7. US-PRC Military Talks

THREATS TO TAIWAN," Beijing, 3/1/00) and the Associated Press (Elaine
Kurtenbach, "US ENVOY URGES PATIENCE FROM CHINA," Beijing, 3/1/00)
reported that a US State Department statement Wednesday said that Admiral
Dennis Blair, commander of US forces in the Pacific, expressed "great
concern" to PRC military leaders over PRC threats against Taiwan. The
statement said Blair "told Chinese officials that anything that raises
tension across the Taiwan Strait does not help the goal of peaceful
resolution of the Taiwan issue and that a solution to the Taiwan issue
must be approached with patience and moderation." US Embassy spokesman
Bill Palmer said that Blair's visit was intended to re-establish contacts
between the US and the PRC militaries. Palmer said that Asian-Pacific
security issues such as tensions on the Korean Peninsula and separatist
conflicts in Indonesia were also on the agenda, but Taiwan occupied so
much of Blair's talks on February 29 with PRC Defense Minister Chi
Haotian and General Fu Quanyou that other issues were barely discussed.

8. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "CHINA DISMISSES FUROR OVER ITS
TAIWAN POLICY," Beijing, 3/1/00) reported that PRC state television said
that Deputy Prime Minister Qian Qichen said on Wednesday that the white
paper on Taiwan is consistent with PRC policy towards Taiwan. Qian said
the report merely "reiterates the government's consistent stance" and
does not represent a change in policy. Qian said, "some foreign media
have regarded China as making a major change to its policy on solving the
Taiwan issue. This view is incorrect." [Ed. note: This article was
included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for
March 1, 2000.]

9. US Media Views of PRC

The Los Angeles Times carried an analytical article (Tom Plate, "THE
PRESS SHARES BLAME ON CHINA," 3/1/00) which said that a conference was
held last weekend at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),
titled, "U.S.-China Relations at the Crossroads: A Summit Dialogue" to
debate the effect of news media coverage on US-PRC relations. Orville
Schell, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a PRC
expert, said, "there are too many absolutist positions and not enough
middle ground. If you're not for engagement with China, you're for
isolation. If you're not for reunification of Taiwan, then you're for
Taiwan's independence. But most of the sensible positions are in
between, in the middle." Richard Baum, a UCLA professor and the
conference director, said, "until the past few years, you could talk
calmly about China. Now the discourse is so shrill." Some participants
wanted the US media to be less pro-US in its reporting, some wanted it to
be more so, but almost everyone agreed that the media needs to do a
better job, which would help reduce tensions. However, Seth Faison, the
Shanghai bureau chief of the New York Times, said, "when people talk
about the role of the media in the Sino-U.S. relationship--and how, if
the media were just a little better, a little more responsible or a
little more restrained, then things would be better--I'm here to tell
you, the media is not going to change; the media is a problem."

10. PRC-Russia Talks

3/1/00) reported that Russia and the PRC reaffirmed their commitment to
building a strategic partnership in world affairs on February 29 and
warned the US against interfering over PRC threats to use force against
Taiwan. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan arrived in Moscow on February
28 for the second set of high-level talks between the two countries in
three months. Tang met his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, and was due
to hold talks with Acting President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Tang
and Ivanov signed a series of minor agreements and said the work to form
a strategic partnership between Russia and the PRC was progressing
smoothly. Tang said, "we achieved a lot of important mutual
understanding on all the topics we discussed: bilateral ties and urgent
international and regional issues. The talks reflected a positive shift
in deepening and extending the content of the Sino-Russian strategic
partnership." Asked what his reaction would be if the US military
intervened if the PRC invaded Taiwan, Ivanov said, "we are against any
third-party interference ... especially by the means of extending one's
military presence in the region."

11. PRC Ratification of CTBT

reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on February
29 that the PRC government has submitted the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty (CTBT) to its parliament for approval ahead of the National
People's Congress's (NPC) full annual meeting on March 5. Zhu said, "our
attitude is positive but as for when it is actually to be approved, that
is for the NPC to decide."

II. People's Republic of China

1. ROK-Japan-PRC Environmental Cooperation

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION," Beijing, 2/28/00, P5) reported that Japan and
the ROK will help the PRC develop its vast and underdeveloped western
region by contributing to its environmental protection programs.
Environmental ministers from the three countries held a two-day meeting
in Beijing on February 26-27. The three countries discussed future
cooperation and regional and global environmental protection and signed a
joint communique.

China Daily ("PREMIER MEETS MINISTERS," 2/28/00, P1) reported that PRC
Premier Zhu Rongji met with Japanese Environment Agency Director-General
Kayoko Shimizu and ROK Environment Minister Kim Myung-ja in Beijing on
February 27. The Japanese and ROK guests were in Beijing to attend the
meeting of the environmental ministers of the PRC, Japan and ROK. Zhu
said that the PRC government highly stresses environmental protection,
which is a fundamental national policy. Zhu said that the PRC, Japan and
the ROK all belong to East Asia, and should work together to protect the
environment. Zhu said that the PRC government supported cooperation
among the three countries in this field, and hoped that such cooperation
will become a model of regional cooperation in environmental protection.

2. PRC-US Military Talks

CHIEF," Beijing, 3/1/00, P4) reported that Chi Haotian, PRC Defense
Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed
on February 29 that the PRC's basic policy toward the Taiwan issue
remains "peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems'," but that
the PRC will never commit not to use force. Chi made the statement
during his meeting with Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of pacific
command of the United States armed forces.

People's Daily (Pan Xiaoying, "FU QUANYOU MEETS BLAIR," Beijing, 3/1/00,
P4) reported that General Fu Quanyou, Chief of General Staff of the PRC
People's Liberation Army, met with Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of
pacific command of the US armed forces, on February 29. During the
meeting, Fu expressed his hope that with a strategic view of maintaining
peace and stability in the region, the US government will resolutely take
effective measures to prevent the US Senate from passing the Taiwan
Security Enhancement Act.

DELEGATION," Beijing, 2/29/00, P4) reported that Xiong Guangkai, PRC
deputy Chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), met
with Dennis Blair on February 28. The two had a wide exchange of views
on international and regional security and bilateral relations of common
concern. Prior to this, Shi Yunsheng, commander-in-chief of the PLA
naval force, also met with Blair.

3. PRC-US Dispute on Human Rights

China Daily (Xu Yang, "US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ON HK SLAMMED," 3/1/00)
reported that the PRC on February 29 criticized the US State Department
for giving a distorted assessment of Hong Kong's human rights situation
in its annual report. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said,
"it is most inappropriate for the US to make uninvited remarks and
unwarranted interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs." Zhu demanded
that the US abort its attempt to sponsor another anti-resolution at this
year's UN human rights conference in Geneva. Zhu said that the PRC was
studying the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
because national leaders intend to introduce a related bill in the
National People's Congress.

China Daily ("NATION REFUTES US RIGHTS CLAIMS," 2/28/00, P1) reported
that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that the PRC is
strongly displeased with and firmly opposed to US distortions of other
countries' human rights situations. Zhu made the remarks on February 27
in Beijing in response to the US State Department human rights report for
1999. He said that the PRC government has consistently respected the
universal principles on human rights and actively committed itself to
promoting and protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the
Chinese people in line with its national conditions. After long-term and
unremitting efforts, Zhu said, the human rights and basic freedoms
enjoyed by the Chinese people have been upgraded to an unprecedented
historical level. According to Zhu, there exist serious human rights
violations in the US, yet those human rights conditions still continue to

4. PRC Policy on Taiwan Issue

China Daily ("CHINA'S POLICY ON TAIWAN CONSISTENT," 3/1/00, P1) reported
that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said that the solution to the Taiwan
issue cannot be delayed indefinitely, and that the position of the PRC
government has not changed. Qian made the remarks during an annual
meeting of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese held in
Beijing on February 29. Qian denied any change in the government's
Taiwan policy in the PRC's white paper on Taiwan. Qian said that there
was no change in the policy of "peaceful reunification and one country,
two systems" nor was there any change in the eight-point proposition put
forward by PRC President Jiang Zemin. Qian said that the white paper was
aimed at "pushing forward the development of the cross-Straits relations
and urging the Taiwan authorities to sit down to hold talks with us."

People's Liberation Army Daily carried a commentary by Zhu Chenghu,
deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies of National
Defense University of People's Liberation Army of China, ("DEFENDING
2/28/00, P9) which refuted some US politicians' remarks that the
publication of the PRC white paper on Taiwan is a "provocation." Zhu
said that the timing of the publication indicates that there are some
elements either on Taiwan islands or in international arena challenging
the "one-China" principle. Zhu wrote, "That is very dangerous. The
long-term procrastination for the solution of the Taiwan issue has caused
many problems. Both sides across the Taiwan Straits have paid heavy
costs for the temporary disunion and the Taiwan issue seriously hinders
the development of relations between China and relevant countries." Zhu
also said that if the US does not stop as soon as possible what it is
doing on the Taiwan issue, it will destroy the external conditions for
the PRC government to strive for peaceful reunification. Zhu wrote,
"supporting Taiwan independence in substance is to incite Chinese to
fight against Chinese." Zhu warned the US not to harm both others and
itself. Zhu continued, "the plan of Taiwan separatists represented by
Lee Teng-hui to separate the motherland is deliberate. To realize that
set goal, the Taiwan authorities are trying to use the strengthening of
arms to reach the purposes of refusing reunification and pursuing
independence. It certainly will drag the two sides across the Taiwan
Straits into a war. Taiwan separatists' method of using arms to refuse
reunification and to pursue independence is doomed to failure." Zhu
warned that whoever tries to separate the PRC will invite destruction.

5. PRC-Russian Relations

People's Daily (Liu Gang, "CHINESE, RUSSIAN FMS HOLD MEETING," Moscow,
3/1/00, P6) reported that PRC Foreign Ministers Tang Jiaxuan met with his
Russian counterpart on February 29. The two ministers exchanged views on
bilateral ties and international issues with common interests. Tang
expressed his satisfaction with the development of the Sino-Russian
strategic partnership in recent years. Tang said that the partnership
has kept a sound momentum as the world moves into the new millennium.
Tang stated, "as two powers wielding major influence, the strengthened
cooperation between China and Russia not only conforms to the fundamental
interests of the two countries, it is also of great significance to the
progress of a multi-polar world and the establishment of a just and
reasonable new world order." Tang also said that the PRC would work
together with Russia to promote bilateral cooperation in various fields
to a new high. Tang said that bilateral relations have reached a level
of mutual trust and that both sides should make more efforts to implement
the agreements reached by the top leaders of the two countries. Ivanov
said that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov would visit the PRC
shortly and discuss with his host bilateral cooperation in the fields of
politics, economy and trade. Ivanov expressed the hope that Klebanov's
trip will achieve positive results. Tang replied that the PRC attached
great importance to Klebanov's visit and that he believes the visit will
enhance the overall development of bilateral cooperation in various
fields. Tang reiterated the PRC's support for the Russian government's
stance on the Chechen issue and the actions taken in fighting separatism
and religious extremism in Chechnya. Ivanov expressed his appreciation
for the PRC's just stance on the Chechen issue. Ivanov repeated Russia's
unswerving stance on its one-China policy. Ivanov said that Russia
supports the early reunification of China and will cooperate with the PRC
on the Taiwan issue. Both sides voiced their resolute rejection of such
arguments as "limited sovereignty" and "humanitarian intervention," and
believed that each country should be able to choose its social system and
path of development in line with its own situation.

6. PRC-Japanese Relations

China Daily ("ACCORD LAUDED," 2/29/00, P3) reported that the Japanese
Government on February 28 welcomed a fisheries agreement signed on
February 27 with the PRC. The agreement, effective in June, settled
zoning differences in the East China Sea that had prevented the accord's
implementation since it was signed in November 1997. Japanese Chief
Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki said, "It is a step forward that this
agreement established a new fishing order and the basis of controlling
marine resources under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea."

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