NAPSNet Daily Report 1 February, 2010

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 1 February, 2010", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 01, 2010,

NAPSNet Daily Report 1 February, 2010

Contents in this Issue:

Preceding NAPSNet Report


I. Napsnet

1. DPRK Arms Shipments

New York Times (Thomas Fuller and Choe Sang-hun, “THAIS SAY NORTH KOREA ARMS WERE IRAN-BOUND “, Bangkok, 2010/01/31) reported that a large shipment of DPRK weapons seized in December was bound for an airport in Iran, according to a Thai government report submitted to the United Nations. But a Thai government spokesman in Bangkok said the report, which was prepared by the Thai Foreign Ministry, was not conclusive because investigations were continuing. “We don’t know exactly where the plane was going,” Panitan Wattanayagorn said in a telephone interview Sunday. The flight plan submitted by the crew of the aircraft listed several other airports, Mr. Panitan said. “The cargo could have been offloaded at any of those destinations.”

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2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program

Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “PRESIDENT URGES NK TO ACCEPT ‘GRAND BARGAIN'”, Seoul, 2010/01/31) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak urged the DPRK Saturday to accept his “grand bargain” proposal to end the impasse on its nuclear weapons program. Lee said that “the day draws near when North Korea should answer whether or not it will drop its nuclear program.” “Five of the member countries of the six-way talks understand the grand bargain. If North Korea has the intention to drop its nuclear program, it may have interest in the proposal,” Lee said.

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3. Inter-Korea Relations

Korea Times (Lee Tae-hoon, “‘NO PROGRESS ON INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT'”, Seoul, 2010/01/31) reported that Cheong Wa Dae dismissed speculation, Sunday, that the government was trying to hold an inter-Korean submit this year. “As of now, there has been no attempt to arrange an inter-Korean summit,” Lee Dong-kwan, senior presidential secretary for public relations, told reporters. “The President thinks he can forgo an inter-Korean summit during his tenure if it is arranged as a political event,” the secretary said. “President Lee intended to say that he was willing to have an inter-Korean submit, even within the year, if it is principled and meets with certain conditions.”

Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “MOOD RIGHT FOR INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT: PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that officials from the ROK presidential office Cheong Wa Dae noted that the DPRK has begun to show a different attitude toward Seoul as it seeks dialogue with the ROK. “North Korea seems to be seeking to resolve its internal problems by normalizing inter-Korean relations,” Park Sun-kyoo, spokesman at Cheong Wa Dae, told reporters. “The mood for progress (towards an inter-Korean summit) is ripening. No concrete preparations, however, are currently underway.”

Chosun Ilbo (“SECRET INTER-KOREAN MEETINGS OVER SUMMIT COLLAPSED”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that Seoul and Pyongyang held two rounds of secret meetings in Kaesong in November to discuss a possible inter-Korean summit but failed to narrow differences over the nuclear issue, ROK prisoners of war and abduction victims, and humanitarian aid. Won Tong-yon, the deputy director of the DPRK’s United Front Department who headed the DPRK delegation, had reportedly already prepared a draft summit agreement. The ROK delegation demanded that the term “denuclearization” be mentioned at the beginning of the summit agreement, but the North Koreans insisted it would be possible to use only the expression “progress in the nuclear issue.”

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4. US on Inter-Korean Relations

Yonhap (“U.S. SUPPORTS LEE’S PLAN TO MEET WITH N.K. LEADER”, Washington, 2010/01/30) reported that the United States on Friday expressed support for ROK President Lee Myung-bak’s plans to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. “We strongly support President Lee and the very clear path he set forward about what is necessary to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told a forum here at the Woodrow Wilson Center. “I am confident whatever form of engagement the South Korean government achieves, we will do this through close cooperation.” “We will be very supportive of the measures President Lee takes because we know that we are pursuing the same goal,” Steinberg said, noting both sides seek the DPRK’s “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.”

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5. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation

Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREANS IN NORTH FOR TALKS DESPITE CLASHES”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that the ROK and the DPRK held talks Monday on developing the Kaesong joint industrial complex. “I assume North Korea understands that today’s talks concern the issues of housing as well as commuting, communications and customs,” chief delegate Kim Young-Tak said before departure. “We will persuade North Korea to understand that a mood favourable to discussing the wages will be naturally created” once the issues are resolved.

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6. DPRK Military Exercises

Yonhap (“S. KOREA STILL ON ALERT OVER POSSIBLE N.K. ARTILLERY FIRINGS”, Seoul, 2010/01/31) reported that the ROK military is keeping tabs on the possibility of additional artillery shell firings by the DPRK near an inter-Korea sea border, a military official said Saturday. “We are maintaining readiness for countermeasures as there could possibly be additional firing of artillery,” the official said. The ROK military has detected several instances of “faint gunfire sound” in the DPRK’s region north of Yeonpyeong Island, according to the official.

Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREAN ARTILLERY FIRE ‘WAS TIME-ON-TARGET’ DRILL”, Seoul, 2010/01/29) reported that in firing artillery shells on Wednesday and Thursday from coastal batteries into waters near the Northern Limit Line, the DPRK was apparently testing its capability to hit selected targets simultaneously using a variety of artillery pieces. The DPRK deployed 130 mm cannons (27-34 km range) positioned along its western coast and islands, as well as 240 mm MLRS (approximately 60 km range) and 170 mm self-propelled howitzers (54 km range). The type of maneuver is referred to as “Time on Target,” involving simultaneous volleys of rounds landing on a single target.

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7. UN-DPRK Relations

Yonhap (“BAN’S ENVOY DUE IN PYONGYANG ON N.K. NUKE”, 2010/02/01 16:00:00 GMT+0) reported that a special envoy of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit the DPRK next month, Ban’s office said in a statement. “Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe will visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 9 to 12 February 2010 as a Special Envoy of the Secretary-General,” the statement said. “Pascoe will discuss with DPRK officials all issues of mutual interest and concern in a comprehensive manner. He will also meet with the U.N. country team, and members of the diplomatic corps, and will visit several U.N. project sites.”

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8. DPRK Detention of Americans

Korea Times (“DETAINED AMERICAN WANTS TO SERVE IN NK MILITARY”, Seoul, 2010/01/30) reported that an American citizen who illegally recently entered the DPRK reportedly told the DPRK authorities that he came to the country because he “hates capitalism.” Citing an unnamed DPRK source, the Donga Ilbo said the man said he said he did not “want to become a cannon fodder in the capitalist military,” and “wants to serve in the North Korean military.” Donga Ilbo said the American is 28 years old and entered the DPRK on Monday via the PRC’s border town of Tumen.

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9. DPRK Refugees

Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “66 NORTH KOREANS GIVEN REFUGEE STATUS IN CANADA”, Seoul, 2010/01/31) reported that Canada granted 66 DPRK defectors refugee status in 2009, which is almost 10 times higher than in 2008, a report said Saturday. Radio Free Asia, quoting a report from the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, said that more DPRK refugees are expected to receive the status as there are 59 defectors currently under review.

Korea Herald (Lee Ji-yoon, “‘BETTER JOB PROGRAM NEEDED FOR N.K. DEFECTORS'”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training questioned some 600 DPRK refugees aged over 15 in October and November last year. As of May last year, the number of working-age defectors here was 12,738, the institute said. Most of them were engaged in menial labor. 31.1 percent were engaged in the manufacturing industry, while others were working in lodging and food industries. “It seemed difficult for North Korean defectors to work for more than a year because they were engaged mostly in temporary jobs or experienced some troubles with their colleagues,” Song Chang-yong, a research fellow at the institute, said in the report. “While Hanawon (a state-run resettlement training center for the defectors) aims to equip the new settlers with the basic survival skills for living in the South, further education such as job training needs to be offered by separate specializing institutions.”

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10. DPRK Leadership

Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER SAID TO REITERATE VOW TO GIVE PEOPLE RICE”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has said his immediate ambition is to end his people’s dependence on corn for subsistence and feed them rice and wheat products, Rodong Sinmun said Monday. “I’m the most heartbroken by the fact that our people are still living on corn. What I must do now is to feed them white rice, bread and noodles generously,” he was quoted as saying.

Arirang News (“KIM JONG-IL ‘UNDERGOING REGULAR KIDNEY DIALYSIS'”, Seoul, 2010/01/29) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is reportedly receiving regular kidney dialysis. According to Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun Kim could be suffering from complications from diabetes.

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11. DPRK Trade

Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA TASKED WITH BUILDING AFRICAN LIBERTY MONUMENT”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that the African Renaissance Monument, a large bronze statue, is being made in the Senegalese capital of Dakar by a DPRK design company. The Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies is due to complete the monument by April to mark the 50th anniversary of Senegal’s independence from French colonial rule.

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12. ROK Military

Chosun Ilbo (“S.KOREA’S MILITARY CAPABILITY ‘INADEQUATE'”, Seoul, 2010/01/29) reported that in an article entitled “Managing Catastrophic North Korea Risks,” Bruce Bennett, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, said the ROK’s military capabilities are inadequate to handle a DPRK invasion or other DPRK military action or regime collapse there. He said the ROK could face a crisis if it fails to enhance its military capabilities through modernization of equipment and personnel capable of using and maintaining it. He cited the ROK’s outdated weapons, inadequate military budget, and reduced conscription period as the rationale for his claim.

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13. US Military in ROK

Korea Times (“FORMER US ARMY BASES FACE REDEVELOPMENT”, Seoul, 2010/01/31) reported that the Ministry of Public Administration and Security and local governments will use more than 1.5 trillion won this year in developing 16 former USFK bases and their surroundings into green technology complexes and cultural districts. The move is part of a 10-year, 38.7-trillion-won development project that started in 2008 on the former base sites.

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14. US-ROK Nuclear Agreement

Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “S. KOREA, U.S. AGREE ON FEASIBILITY STUDY OF PYRO-REPROCESSING”, Seoul, 2010/01/29) reported that the ROK and the United States agreed to conduct a feasibility study on pyro-processing, a new type of technology for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel that does not produce plutonium. ROK Vice Foreign Minister Chun Young-woo met with senior officials of the White House, U.S. State Department and Energy Department in Washington earlier this week to exchange views on amendment of the 1974 US-ROK nuclear agreement. “I agreed with U.S. officials on the need to conduct a technological and economical feasibility study by experts on pyro-processing prior to the negotiations on revising the ROK-U.S. Atomic Energy Agreement,” Chun said.

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15. US-ROK Free Trade Agreement

Yonhap (“OBAMA SAYS KOREA FTA’S RATIFICATION MAY TAKE SEVERAL YEARS”, 2010/01/31) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama Friday said he will move for congressional approval of the pending free trade deals with the ROK, Colombia and Panama. “It’s going to have to be trade that combines opening their markets with an enforcement mechanism, as well as just opening up our markets,” he said. “I think that’s something that all of us would agree on. Let’s see if we can execute it over the next several years.”

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16. ROK-Turkey Relations

Yonhap (“KOREA, TURKEY TO BOOST TIES IN NUCLEAR ENERGY, DEFENSE”, 2010/01/29) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu met Friday on the sidelines of a security forum in Britain and agreed to bolster cooperation in nuclear energy and defense trade, ROK officials said. The two also agreed that their governments should quickly launch talks aimed at forging a free trade deal to boost trade while promoting high-level exchanges, ministry officials said.

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17. ROK Climate Change

Korea Herald (Song Sang-ho, “SEOUL TO TEST-RUN CARBON TRADING SYSTEM”, Seoul, 2010/01/29) reported that the ROK will begin test-operating a carbon emission trading system in April in a bid to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The metropolitan government will run it for 54 public organizations in Seoul and encourage the private sector to voluntarily join the reduction efforts during the three-year trial period. Based on the amount of energy public organizations in Seoul consumed for heating or cooling their buildings from 2007-2008, the city will set a standard emission volume for each organization. The city will offer to the participating organizations carbon emission rights free of charge, which will allow them to emit 90 percent of their standard emission volume and enable them to seek a 10 percent emission reduction.

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18. PRC Immigrants in ROK

Los Angeles Times (Lina Yoon, “FOR CHINESE KOREANS, LIFE IS HARD BUT STILL BETTER IN SOUTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that there were 377,560 Korean-Chinese legally registered in the ROK by the end of 2009, according to the Korea Immigration Service, but untold others work here illegally. Korean-Chinese “make an economic contribution in sectors most Koreans don’t want to work in but need to be covered in society,” says Yoon In-jin, sociology professor at Korea University. “Their incorporation as foreign labor is smoother because they speak the language and are considered from the same race.”

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19. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes

Asahi Shimbun (Yoshihiro Makino, “PRIZED BOOKS OF KOREA’S JOSEON DYNASTY HELD IN JAPAN”, Seoul, 2010/02/01) reported that Japan’s Imperial Household Agency holds hundreds of historic books of Korea’s Joseon Dynast, a survey by the ROK Cultural Heritage Administration has confirmed. The books are believed to have been taken by Japan’s Government-General of Korea during Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. The 375 books from the Joseon Dynasty, on medicine, custom, military history and other themes, along with other books used for lectures to kings, were among the 61,409 properties confirmed in Japan.

Kyodo (“S. KOREA EYES DEMANDING JAPAN’S REPATRIATION OF BOOKS FROM JOSEON DYNASTY”, Seoul, 2010/02/01 16:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the ROK may officially demand that Japan return about 660 books that it took away during its 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, officials of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea said Monday. The officials said it would be the first time for the ROK to officially demand the return of such books, though it has asked for them back unofficially in the past.

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20. Korean Suffrage in Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun (“HARAGUCHI LUKEWARM ON FOREIGNERS’ SUFFRAGE”, Tokyo, 2010/01/31) reported that the government should not be hasty in submitting a bill to the ordinary Diet session to grant local voting rights to permanent foreign residents in Japan, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi said Saturday. “This issue affects the foundation of our democracy,” Haraguchi said on an NTV program. “It shouldn’t be discussed at an administrative body but in the Diet, the highest governing body. It’s important to thoroughly discuss the issue and avoid jumping to a hasty conclusion.” “Discussions on suffrage for special permanent residents who lost their Japanese nationality after the San Francisco Peace Treaty will be totally different from discussions on other permanent residents,” Haraguchi added.

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21. Russo-Japanese Territorial Disputes

Asahi Shimbun (“RUSSIANS FIRE FLARES AT FISHING BOATS”, Tokyo, 2010/02/01) reported that two Japanese fishing vessels were hit by flares fired from a Russian border patrol helicopter Friday while operating in disputed waters west of the island of Kunashiri in the Northern Territories, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said. The ministry has filed a protest with the Russian embassy in Tokyo. According to officials, none of the crew aboard the two vessels based in Rausu, Hokkaido, were injured, and the boats returned to port Friday night. Prefectural officials said the two vessels were trying to catch cod in an area where Moscow has agreed to allow Japanese fishing boats to operate when they were fired upon. Russian officials were quoted as saying Saturday that the ships had intruded into Russian territorial waters.

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22. USFJ Base Relocation

Associated Press (Jay Alabaster, “THOUSANDS IN TOKYO PROTEST US MILITARY PRESENCE”, Tokyo, 2010/01/30) reported that thousands of protesters from across Japan marched Saturday in central Tokyo to protest the U.S. military presence on Okinawa. Labor unionists, pacifists, environmentalists and students gathered for a rally at a park — under a banner that read “Change! Japan-U.S. Relations” — for speeches by civil leaders and politicians. “The Cabinet is saying that it will announce its conclusion in May. For this reason, over the next few months we must put all of our energy into achieving victory,” Cabinet minister Mizuho Fukushima said at the rally.

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23. Japanese Politics

Kyodo (“DPJ SECRETARY GENERAL OZAWA DOES NOT CONTROL DPJ OR GOV’T: HATOYAMA”, Tokyo, 2010/02/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama denied speculation Monday that Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa controls the ruling party and the government. ”We stick to a thorough democratic screening process (to choose executives) in our party,” he said in parliament. ”So the secretary general never controls either the party or the government.”

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24. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

New York Times (Helene Cooper, “U.S. ARMS FOR TAIWAN SEND BEIJING A MESSAGE”, Washington, 2010/01/31) some administration officials suggested privately that the timing of the arms sales and the tougher language on Iran was calculated to send a message to Beijing to avoid assumptions that President Barack Obama would be deferential to the PRC over American security concerns and existing agreements. “This was a case of making sure that there was no misunderstanding that we will act in our own national security interests,” one senior administration official said. A second Obama administration official, noted, “Unlike the previous administration, we did not wait until the end of our administration to go ahead with the arms sales to Taiwan. We did it early.”

New York Times (“U.S. DEAL WITH TAIWAN HAS CHINA RETALIATING”, Hong Kong, 2010/01/30) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry announced in a pair of statements Saturday that some military exchange programs between the United States and PRC would be canceled in addition to commercial sanctions against US companies involved in the sale of arms to Taiwan. Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei called in Jon Huntsman, the United States ambassador to China, to protest the sales. The American decision “constitutes a gross intervention into China’s internal affairs, seriously endangers China’s national security and harms China’s peaceful reunification efforts,” He said in the ministry’s statement.

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA MEDIA DECRIES US ‘ARROGANCE’ ON TAIWAN”, Beijing, 2010/02/01) reported that the PRC state media accused Washington Monday of “arrogance” and ” double standards ” in going ahead with arms sales to Taiwan. The state-run China Daily and the Global Times accused US President Barack Obama of being insincere when he said during a visit in November that he did not seek to “contain” the PRC. “China’s response, no matter how vehement, is justified,” the China Daily said, adding the US move “exposes the US’s usage of double standards and hypocrisy on major issues related to China’s core interests”.

BBC News (“US DEFENDS $6.4BN WEAPONS SALE TO TAIWAN”, 2010/01/30) reported that the US State Department on Saturday defended US weapons sales to Taiwan. “Such sales contribute to maintaining security and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said US State Department spokeswoman Laura Tischler, quoted by Reuters.

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25. US on PRC-Iran Relations

New York Times (Mark Landler, “CLINTON WARNS CHINA ON IRAN SANCTIONS”, Paris, 2010/01/29) reported that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned the PRC on Friday that it would face economic insecurity and diplomatic isolation if it did not sign on to tough new sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. Clinton said, “China will be under a lot of pressure to recognize the destabilizing effect that a nuclear-armed Iran would have” in the Persian Gulf, “from which they receive a significant percentage of their oil supply.” “We understand that right now, that is something that seems counterproductive to you, sanction a country from which you get so much of the natural resources your growing economy needs,” Clinton said. “But think about the longer-term implications.”

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26. PRC-Kazakhstan Relations

BBC News (Rayhan Demytrie, “KAZAKHS PROTEST AGAINST CHINA FARMLAND LEASE”, Almaty, 2010/01/30) reported that several hundred people gathered in the Kazakh city of Almaty to protest against what they call “Chinese expansionism”. The action follows remarks made by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in December that the PRC was interested in renting a million hectares of farmland from Kazakhstan.

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27. PRC Ethnic Unrest

BBC News (“UIGHURS RETURNED TO CHINA ‘DISAPPEAR’ SAYS RIGHTS GROUP”, 2010/01/29) reported that the PRC must account for the whereabouts of ethnic Uighurs forcibly repatriated from Cambodia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. “Uighur asylum seekers sent back to China by Cambodia have disappeared into a black hole,” said Sophie Richardson of HRW. “There is no information about their whereabouts, no notification of any legal charges against them, and there are no guarantees they are safe from torture and ill-treatment.”

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28. PRC Clean Energy

New York Times (Keith Bradsher, “CHINA LEADING GLOBAL RACE TO MAKE CLEAN ENERGY”, Tianjin, 2010/01/30) reported that the PRC vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year. The PRC has also leapfrogged the West in the last two years to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. And the country is pushing equally hard to build nuclear reactors and the most efficient types of coal power plants.

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29. PRC Climate Change

New York Times (Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield, “CHINA INSISTS THAT ITS STEPS ON CLIMATE BE VOLUNTARY”, Beijing, 2010/01/29) reported that the PRC is banding together with other major developing nations to stress that only the wealthier countries need to make internationally binding commitments on emissions reductions. The PRC is standing by targets it announced before Copenhagen, but previous climate change treaties say targets of developing countries are not internationally binding, said Pan Jiahua, an economics professor who advises the PRC negotiating team. “On this China will stand firm.”

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30. PRC Government Transparency

Associated Press (Tini Tran, “CHINA GOVT OPENS CRACKS IN ITS CULTURE OF SECRECY”, Shenzhen, 2010/02/01) reported that the PRC’s Open Government Information regulation took effect nationwide on May 1, 2008, allowing citizens to request information and get a response from the government within 15-30 days. “Clearly, nationwide, Chinese have become increasingly aware that they have legal rights and they are becoming more confident in using them,” said Katherine Wilhelm, senior fellow at Yale University’s China Law Center. “This is a starting point but it’s also a turning point,” said law professor Wang Xixin from Peking University . “Traditionally, China’s legal and political culture emphasizes keeping secrets inside government. The idea of open government or transparency is quite new. One of the most significant impacts of … (the new regulation) is that it helps to change that kind of bureaucratic ideology.”

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II. PRC Report

31. PRC Demographics

(“AGING POPULATION INCREASES 7.25 MILLION IN 2009”, 2010/01/31) reported that in 2009, the elder people aged over 60 years old has reached 167.14 million, accounting for 12.5% of the total population. Comparing with last year, this number has increased 7.25 million. The aging of population is speeding up in China now, said Chen Chuanshu, director of nation office of the elder people today in Beijing.

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32. PRC Environment

People’s Daily online (“CHINA’S FIRST LOW-CARBON CREDIT CARD ISSUED”, 2010/01/29) reported that China Industrial Bank jointly with Beijing Environment Exchange Center issued the first credit card with low-carbon theme today in Beijing. The credit card can provide bank transaction channel for individual purchasing, and establish “individual green document” to encourage low-carbon life.