NAPSNet Daily Report 11 March, 1999

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 March, 1999", NAPSNet Daily Report, March 11, 1999, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-11-march-1999/

IN TODAY’S REPORT:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

III. People’s Republic of China

IV. Announcements

I. United States

1. Alleged DPRK Enrichment Technology Acquisition

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “PYONGYANG SETTING UP FOR NUKE FUEL,” 03/11/99, 1) reported that a US Department of Energy intelligence report said that the DPRK is trying to acquire uranium enrichment technology. According to the report, the technology sought is a clear sign that the DPRK, “is in the early stages of a uranium enrichment capability.” The report said, “On the basis of Pakistan’s progress with a similar technology, we estimate that the DPRK is at least six years from the production of [highly enriched uranium], even if it has a viable centrifuge design. On the other hand, with significant technical support from other countries, such as Pakistan, the time frame would be decreased by several years.” US Defense Department officials familiar with the report said that the close ties between Pakistan and the DPRK on missile development make it likely that Pakistan is assisting the DPRK uranium enrichment program. According to the report, the DPRK’s Daesong Yushin Trading Company recently ordered two centrifuge-related items called “frequency converters” from a Japanese company. Officials said that the trading company has been linked by US intelligence to the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction program. One official said that US intelligence agencies are convinced the converters will be used in a “gas centrifuge cascade to enrich uranium.” The report said that the DPRK, with only two of the converters, is probably setting up a small-scale uranium enrichment process in preparation for a larger program. US Defense Department officials said that the Japanese company is still considering the sale of the converters and an effort is underway within the US government to block it quietly. An unnamed US Defense Department official stated, “Daesong is a known entity seeking weapons technology. This shows the utter failure of this administration’s policy.” An unnamed senior administration official said, “In cases like these, our normal practice is to raise these matters with other governments and try to block shipments of this type. And normally we are successful.” Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, said that the DPRK’s interest in enrichment technology “shows they are considering the enrichment route, whereas their present capability is based exclusively on plutonium from reactors.” He added that a Pakistani link to the DPRK nuclear program would mark a “sea change” in Pakistan’s stance on nuclear weapons proliferation. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 11.]

2. US Policy toward DPRK

Reuters (“US ADVISER SUGGESTS STERNER STEPS AGAINST N.KOREA,” Washington, 03/11/99) reported that former US Defense Secretary William Perry said on Thursday that he would recommend “sterner measures” against the DPRK if it did not cooperate with efforts to curb its nuclear and missile programs. Perry stated, “Any recommendation that I give to President Clinton will deal both with the possibility that North Korea will respond to positive proposals and the possibility that they may not. If they do not, then sterner measures will be necessary.” He added that if such measures were required, “we would expect to have the United States, Japan and South Korea united in both the need for them and the way in which we carry them out.” Perry said that he expected to present his review of US DPRK policy to Clinton in a few weeks and said he was “open to the idea” of also making a trip to Pyongyang once the study was completed.

The Washington Times (Willis Witter, “JAPAN WILL BACK U.S. AGAINST KOREA,” Tokyo, 03/11/99, 1) reported that former US Defense Secretary William Perry was chosen to lead the review of US policy toward the DPRK in part because of his rapport with the Republican-led Congress. Stephen Noerper, a professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, said that Perry is “the only one who can sell this on Capitol Hill, and he’s going to take a harder-line approach because that’s the only thing that will sell.” Noerper said that in the ROK, on the other hand, voters are more worried about their economic crisis than any immediate military threat from the DPRK. In contrast, the Japanese public is afraid of the DPRK and likely to press leaders for a tougher stance. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 11.]

3. Japan-DPRK Talks

Reuters (“JAPAN AND NORTH KOREA HELD INFORMAL TALKS – KYODO,” Tokyo, 03/11/99) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news agency said Thursday that Japan and the DPRK held informal talks in Singapore last weekend. Japanese officials were quoted as saying the talks were attended by senior officials at the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the DPRK’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee. Chief Japanese government spokesman Hiromu Nonaka said Thursday, “I would like to refrain from commenting specifically on informal negotiations, but I will not deny that unofficial talks took place.” He added, “Unofficial contacts between Japan and North Korea should be held at all possible places and times.” An unnamed senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying that Japan and the DPRK are continuing informal contacts to “figure out ways to begin preparatory talks” for resuming negotiations on normalization of diplomatic ties. He added that the two sides are also addressing issues related to the DPRK’s missile development.

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN, S KOREA TO START EMERGENCY CONTACT SYS IN JULY -KYODO,” Tokyo, 03/11/99) reported that Japanese lawmaker Akiko Domoto said Thursday that she will pay a six-day visit to the DPRK starting next Monday at the invitation of the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee. Domoto is a House of Councilors member belonging to the Sangiin Club and vice chairperson of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, an association of governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Domoto stated, “Japan-North Korea relations are at a very delicate point, so from a humanitarian point of view, an exchange of opinions is very important.”

4. ROK Fertilizer Aid for DPRK

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “S. KOREA OFFERS FERTILIZER TO NORTH,” Seoul, 03/11/99) reported that an anonymous senior ROK government official said Thursday that the ROK would give the DPRK up to 100,000 tons of fertilizer this spring. The fertilizer will be donated through the Red Cross and will arrive in the DPRK by late April. Other unnamed officials said that the amount of fertilizer could be increased to 500,000 tons if the DPRK responds positively to the gesture. The ROK Red Cross Society issued a public appeal on Thursday for cash donations to buy the fertilizer. Officials said the government would subsidize the effort if the appeal falls short. ROK Red Cross chief Chung Won-shik stated, “The dire food problem in North Korea is not improving at all…. Increasing the North’s agricultural productivity is just as important as direct food aid.”

5. DPRK Famine

UN Wire (“NORTH KOREA: CHILD MALNUTRITION HIGHEST IN ASIA, STUDY FINDS,” 03/10/99) reported that a study by UN agencies and the European Union concluded that children in the DPRK are suffering from the highest malnutrition rates in Asia. The DPRK government cooperated with the UN World Food Program, UNICEF, and the European Union to survey children under age seven in selected areas of the country last September and October. 63 of those surveyed were suffering from moderate to severe stunting of growth. Sixty-one percent were moderately to severely underweight. According to the study’s authors, widespread malnutrition will result in children with long-term impairment of mental and physical abilities. They stated, “These losses cannot be recovered; consequently, the future of an entire generation is damaged.”

6. Asylum of DPRK Diplomat

The Associated Press (“KIDNAP VICTIM FEARED IN LAOS,” Bangkok, 03/11/99) reported that police in northeastern Thailand said Thursday that they feared the son of a DPRK diplomat had already been kidnapped and taken to Laos. An anonymous police officer in Nakhon Ratchasima stated, “We don’t have absolute proof, but we think the kidnappers may have already made it into Laos.” The diplomat, Hong Sun-kyong, and his wife were being guarded by police after escaping kidnappers on Tuesday night that they said were DPRK agents. Their son had been traveling in a separate car. Hong told police that he wrestled with the driver of the van he and his wife were traveling in. During the struggle, the van blew a tire and flipped over. Police responding to the accident said five of the people in the van refused medical treatment but Hong and his wife insisted on being taken to a hospital. Only after arriving at the hospital did Hong reveal to police that he was the fugitive diplomat and claim that the other passengers in the van had been kidnapping him. Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai said that DPRK agents had no permission to operate in Thailand and doing so would violate Thai sovereignty. Chuan said that if the DPRK sought to have Hong returned for trial in his own country, it would have to be done according to the law. The Thai Foreign Ministry has said it will deport Hong only to a third country, not the DPRK. Thai TV Channel 7 reported that Hong has requested refugee status from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

7. ROK-Japan Emergency Contact System

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN, S KOREA TO START EMERGENCY CONTACT SYS IN JULY -KYODO,” Tokyo, 03/11/99) reported that Japan’s Kyodo news reported Thursday that Japanese and ROK defense officials decided Thursday to launch an emergency contact system as early as July, to enable the two countries to exchange information in the event of a crisis. Japanese Defense Agency head Hosei Norota and ROK Defense Minister Chun Yong-taek agreed to establish the contact system in January. Japanese officials were quoted as saying that three contact routes for telephone and fax machine will be established between the Japanese Defense Agency and the ROK Defense Ministry, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the ROK Navy, and the Air Self-Defense Force and the ROK Air Force. The officials said that, after creating the contact system, the two countries will work on the possibility of installing a hot line between their defense chiefs. The working-level defense officials also confirmed that the two countries will hold a joint naval search and rescue exercise around July in the Sea of Japan/East Sea, which would be the first ever such drill between the two countries.

8. PRC-Russian Reaction to US Missile Defense

Reuters (“CHINA, RUSSIA IN TALKS ON U.S. MISSILE PLAN,” Beijing, 03/11/99) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Thursday that the PRC has held talks with Russia on a US plan for a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system. Zhu stated, “Both China and Russia have expressed their respective stands on the issue of TMD. On this issue, both sides have held talks.” Zhu said that the PRC and many countries, including Russia, were “very concerned” about the TMD because it had to do with global and regional security and stability.

9. Spaced-Based Weapons Ban

Reuters (Stephanie Nebehay, “CHINA URGES U.N. TO PREVENT ARMS RACE IN SPACE,” Geneva, 03/11/99) reported that PRC Ambassador Li Changhe proposed in a speech to the UN Conference on Disarmament on Thursday that the UN negotiate a ban on weapons in outer space. Li stated, “Given the fact that some country in recent years has been intensifying its efforts in developing and testing weapons and weapon systems in outer space, and in particular in view of the latest disturbing developments, prevention of an arms race in outer space has become more pressing and present.” He added, “China believes that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, should take concrete actions in this regard. It should re-establish an ad hoc committee to negotiate and conclude international legal instruments on prevention of an arms race in outer space.” Pakistan’s envoy Munir Akram and that Egypt’s ambassador Mounir Zahran backed the PRC’s proposal. Diplomats said that the US delegation was the only member opposed to setting up a committee to negotiate on outer space. The forum takes decisions by consensus.

10. Nuclear Weapons Freeze

Reuters (Stephanie Nebehay, “CHINA URGES U.N. TO PREVENT ARMS RACE IN SPACE,” Geneva, 03/11/99) reported that Akira Hayashi, Japanese Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament, on Thursday called on the three smaller official nuclear weapons states — Britain, the PRC, and France — to freeze their nuclear arsenals as a contribution to nuclear disarmament. Hayashi also backed launching negotiations to halt production of nuclear bomb- making fissile material.

11. US Policy on PRC

The New York Times (Eric Schmitt, “ALBRIGHT DEFENDS POLICY ON CHINA AS G.O.P. ATTACKS,” Washington, 03/11/99, 1) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright defended US policy toward the PRC in testimony before the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Albright said that the alleged PRC theft of nuclear secrets from a US nuclear laboratory was a “very serious issue” that the CIA was assessing. She argued, however, that it should not dominate efforts to remain engaged with the PRC on a variety of issues that the administration is trying to negotiate separately. Albright stated, “It is a very important for us to engage with a country of 1.3 billion people that has a huge land mass, and that has an influence within its region, and that is also a permanent member of the Security Council.” She added, “We have made some progress in terms of their cooperation on nuclear proliferation on rogue countries. They’re not supplying things to unsafeguarded facilities.” She also noted that the PRC was important to the administration as it tries to “sort out what’s going on in North Korea.” Albright pointed out that that during the Cold War, the US continued to engage with countries like the Soviet Union that spied on the US. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 11.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Policy to DPRK

Korea Times (“US ASKED TO BE GENEROUS TOWARDS NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 03/11/99) reported that the top foreign policy advisor to ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday called on the US to be more magnanimous toward the DPRK. Lim Dong-won, senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security, recommended that the US, as one of major superpowers in the world, be more generous to the DPRK by making good on the Agreed Framework. He said the major task in removing the Cold War structure on the Korean Peninsula is for the US and Japan to normalize diplomatic ties with the DPRK. He said no DPRK policy can exist without endorsement from the ROK, noting that it is the 70 million Koreans who are the main players on the Korean Peninsula. His remark is regarded as a signal to the US to pay attention to what the ROK says in formulating its policy toward the DPRK.

2. Asylum of DPRK Diplomat

Korea Times (“BANGKOK URGED TO RESPECT NK DIPLOMAT’S FREE WILL,” Seoul, 03/11/99) reported that with a runaway DPRK diplomat and his wife in the custody of Thai authorities, the ROK government has called on Bangkok to “respect” his free will in handling the case. Hong Sun-kyong, counselor at the DPRK Embassy in Bangkok, and his wife, who went into hiding with their son last month, were found following a mysterious car crash, which may have aborted a kidnapping attempt by DPRK agents. They are reportedly seeking political asylum to a third country. However, the ministry official said that he had no information on whether the DPRK diplomat is seeking to defect to the ROK. “We told the Thai government that when his free will is confirmed officially, we hope that his opinions are respected,” said an ROK foreign affairs and trade ministry spokesman. He did not rule out the possibility that Hong may undergo court trials in Thailand. The DPRK Embassy in Bangkok alleged that Hong had embezzled millions of dollars from the embassy’s rice purchasing scheme with Thailand.

Korea Herald (“SEOUL TO ALLOW N.K. DIPLOMAT IN BANGKOK TO SEEK ASYLUM,” Seoul, 03/12/99) reported that the ROK may allow political asylum for the DPRK diplomat and his wife who managed to escape a kidnapping attempt by DPRK agents in Thailand. “We hope that their free will be respected,” a ranking Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the ROK sent the message to Thailand. His remarks was seen as an indication that the ROK is ready to allow Hong Sun-kyong, 61, the former counselor for science and technology at the DPRK Embassy in Bangkok, and his wife, to come to the ROK if they request to do so. “Now is an initial stage of investigation (by the Thai authorities) into the case,” he said. “The process will likely take considerable time.” The official indicated that the ROK is now waiting for the Thai government’s investigation results, saying, “It is in the hands of the Thai authorities.”

3. Hyundai Founder’s Visit to DPRK

JoongAng Ilbo (“HYUNDAI PLANS ON EXPANDING KUMGANG SITES,” Seoul, 03/11/99) reported that this summer, ROK citizens will be able to visit the DPRK’s Mt. Kumgang area beaches. Chung Ju-yung, the honorary chairman of Hyundai Group, returned from his fifth DPRK visit this year, on March 11, and said, “I have reached an agreement project with North Korea for expanding Kumgang tours, and we will soon be having further talks at Chanjon Port.” He added, “Hyundai is propelling efforts to enlarge the Mt. Kumgang resort area and develop hot spring sites with the cooperation of the North.” Chung tried to meet with some old friends he has not seen since before the Korean War but DPRK officials said that they all had died long ago.

Korea Times (“HYUNDAI INVITES NK FIGURES TO SEOUL,” Seoul, 03/11/99) reported that the Hyundai Group has invited DPRK officials to an inaugural ceremony for Asan Corporation, which will handle the conglomerate’s inter- Korean economic projects, slated for next Thursday in Seoul. A member of a Hyundai delegation, led by Chung Ju- yung, who returned from a three-day visit to the DPRK, said Thursday, “We’ve invited North Korea figures to the Asan’s inaugural meeting and received positive responses from them.” In a press conference at the truce village of Panmunjom, Chung said, “We’ve basically agreed with the North to open beaches near Mt. Kumgang to South Korean tourists from this summer and develop new tourist courses in the scenic mountain.”

4. Russian View of 4-Party Talks

Korea Herald (“RUSSIA NOT AGAINST 4-PARTY TALKS, SAYS ENVOY,” Seoul, 03/12/99) reported that Russian Ambassador Evgeny Afanasiev on Wednesday denied Russia’s presumed opposition to the four-party talks between the ROK, the DPRK, the US, and the PRC for discussing peace on the Korean peninsula. “We are not against the four- party talks, it is a very wrong notion that we oppose these talks,” he said at a luncheon meeting with ROK lawmakers at the National Assembly. It had been speculated among ROK officials that Russia favored a six-party format, which also would include Russia and Japan, for the talks aimed at bringing about permanent peace on the divided peninsula. Afanasiev instead took the six-party proposal one step further, calling for a more comprehensive mechanism that would include many countries in the area and address a wider range of problems on the Korean Peninsula. “Actually, we are not thinking of six-party dialogue on Northeast Asia, but are thinking of multilateral dialogue,” he said. Afanasiev said that Russia supports the ROK’s engagement policy toward the DPRK, but maintained that tensions on the peninsula have been “grossly exaggerated” to justify plans by the US to implement a theater missile defense system in Japan.

5. ROK-Japan Fishery Talks

Korea Herald (“KOREA, JAPAN TO HOLD HIGH-LEVEL FISHERIES TALKS IN TOKYO TODAY,” Seoul, 03/12/99) reported that Kim Sun-kil, ROK minister of maritime affairs and fisheries, will meet today with his Japanese counterpart, Shoichi Nakagawa, in Tokyo to help resolve the deadlocked fisheries talks. “As the ongoing working- level talks made no progress over the double-boat dragnet fishing issue, the ministry is expecting a breakthrough from Kim’s negotiations with Nakagawa,” the ministry spokesman said. “If today’s talks produce no breakthrough, then the negotiations could last until Saturday,” he added. ROK and Japanese officials have been holding talks in Tokyo from Monday over the ROK’s strong call that Japan allow ROK fishing vessels engaging in double-boat dragnet fishing and swellfish jig fishing to operate in Japanese waters.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. Possibility of Japanese Airstrikes on DPRK

China Daily (“ROK RAPS JAPANESE THREAT OF FIRST STRIKE,” Seoul, 3/6/99, A8) reported that the ROK opposes the idea of Japan launching preemptive strikes on the DPRK if it sees signs of an imminent attack. ROK Minister of National Defense Chun Yong-taek said on March 5 that “such preemptive attacks are feared to develop into an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula and so we determinedly oppose preemptive attacks without prior consultation.” Chun said that the ROK Government had not detected any sign that the DPRK was preparing a missile launch. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) lashed out at “a naked revelation” of Japan’s intentions towards the DPRK. “This blackmail is very foolish and dangerous,” KCNA said. “It is also a rash act of getting on the nerves of the DPRK.”

2. PRC-Japanese Relations

China Daily (“FM WORRIED AT JAPANESE ATTITUDE,” 3/9/99, A1) reported that the PRC expressed “surprise” on March 8 at recent remarks by Taichi Sakaiya, director-general of the Japanese Defense Agency, who said Japan might take preemptive measures against the military bases of any enemy country intending to attack Japan with missiles. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, “we are quite surprised at the comments of Taichi Sakaiya, which obviously run counter to the current trend of maintaining peace and stability.” Such remarks will only lead to new confrontations and tensions in the region and be disturbing for Japan’s neighbors, he added. The PRC hopes that Japan will abide by its defense policy, earnestly implement its commitment not to seek to be a military power, and engage itself more in affairs that serve peace and stability in the region, the spokesman said.

People’s Daily (“WATCH OUT FOR JAPAN’S DEFENSE TREND,” 3/11/99, A6) carried a commentary saying that the remarks by Taichi Sakaiya, director-general of the Japan’s Defense Agency, cause concerns of many people that some elements in Japan are trying to change its defense policy from focusing on defense to “active attack.” Then Japan would become an “offensive” country, which would add a new uncertain element to peace and stability in the Asia- Pacific area. According to the commentary, Japan is assuming a more and more overbearing posture on defense issues. The escalation of Japan’s defense has to cause alarm in Asia-Pacific countries.

3. PRC-US Relations

People’s Daily (“ZHU RONGJI MEETS WITH US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE,” 3/5/99, A1) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji met with US trade representative Charlene Barshefsky in a “serious and pragmatic” manner on March 4. The two sides agreed to continue their joint efforts to narrow gaps and to reach an agreement on the PRC’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

China Daily (“CHINA, US CONSIDER MORE HUMAN RIGHTS TALKS,” 3/8/99, A1) reported that the PRC and the US may have another round of talks on human rights later this year and set up a non-government organization (NGO) forum to explore ways to solve this issue complicating the two countries’ relations. Yu Shuning, minister- counselor and spokesman for the PRC Embassy, told a press conference on March 5 that the human rights report released by the US State Department recently has distorted the real situation in the PRC, where people have enjoyed many more political, economic, social and cultural rights since the founding of the republic, and more especially since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy. He stressed that the PRC and the US should handle the differences on human rights through dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

People’s Daily (“CHINA RESENTS US DECISION,” Beijing, 3/11/99, A4) said that Sino-US economic and trade exchanges and cooperative efforts have been harmed by the US decision to block the sale of a telecommunications satellite to Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecommunications. Hu Chusheng, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that “the deal, under which Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecommunications would purchase the satellite to conduct civil mobile telecommunications services, was conducive to economic development in the Asia- Pacific region.” This is a normal international business transaction and complies with the interests of both the PRC and the US, Hu said. The US Government’s tightened export control against the PRC will not help solve the trade imbalance issue between the countries, Hu said. The PRC hopes that the US Government will address its wrong decision and do some practical work for the trade balance between the two countries.

4. William Perry’s Visit to the PRC

People’s Daily (“JIANG ZEMIN AND ZHANG WANNIAN MEET WITH PERRY RESPECTIVELY,” 3/6/99, A1 and A5) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and former US Defense Secretary William Perry agreed on March 5 that more non-governmental exchanges would be helpful in promoting bilateral ties. During his meeting with Perry, Jiang said that the PRC hopes that all people of insight in the US will keep up their positive efforts in promoting bilateral relations. Perry agreed that sound relations between the PRC and the US are in the fundamental interests of both countries, adding that he was glad at the increase in the exchange of high-level visits. People in the US are looking forward to the visit of Premier Zhu Rongji in April, he said. Perry and his group also met with Zhang Wannian, vice-chairman of the PRC’s Central Military Commission on March 5. Zhang reiterated that the PRC’s refusal to abandon the use of force against Taiwan was because of the independent force on the island and outside force attempting interference. It is indisputable that the Taiwan issue is China’s internal affair, Zhang said.

5. PRC-US Seminar on Security Issues

People’s Liberation Army Daily (“SINO-US SECURITY SEMINAR HELD IN HANGZHOU,” Hangzhou, 3/6/99, A3) reported that the second Sino-US Security Seminar, jointly sponsored by the PRC’s Foundation for International Strategic Studies (FISS), and the US-based Harvard University and Stanford University, was held over the last four days in Hangzhou. The seminar was attended by many prominent specialists from both countries as FISS’s senior consultant Wang Daohan, former PRC ambassador to the US Li Daoyu, and top US military officials headed by former defense secretary William Perry. All the delegates agreed that in 1999 Sino-US diplomatic ties have entered a new era of development as both countries are making efforts to enhance bilateral dialogues through various flexible channels, and seeking common ground while reserving divergence, so as to play constructive roles in stabilizing bilateral ties. PRC delegates pointed out that at the present stage, factors affecting stability and security are far from being diminished either within the regional or the global sphere. Moreover, regional turmoil and conflicts are deteriorating. The key to solving these problems is to establish a kind of active and equal multilateral security cooperation so as to dissolve contradictions through mutual trust and understanding. The delegates stressed that the Taiwan issue is the center of Sino-US relations. Both the arms sales to Taiwan and the inclusion of Taiwan into the theater missile defense system would severely harm the stability of the region, and finally threaten bilateral relations. The Chinese side called on the US to pay full attention to the issue and take appropriate measures to achieve a durable solution. The US delegation affirmed that the US will neither participate nor interfere in relations across the Taiwan straits, and will welcome any efforts that are conducive to a peaceful reconciliation.

6. Theater Missile Defense

People’s Daily (“TANG JIAXUAN ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL SITUATION AND CHINA’S FOREIGN POLICY,” Beijing, 3/8/99, A1) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said at a press conference on March 7 that the development and research of theater missile defense (TMD) does not go with the trend of the times. Nor is it conducive to international disarmament efforts, and it will exert negative impacts on the global and regional strategic balance and stability in the next century. The PRC is very much concerned about it. The joint development and research of TMD by the US and one of its main allies will greatly enhance their overall offensive and defensive posture, which will go far beyond the legitimate defense needs the relevant country has repeatedly indicated. It will also prejudice the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. He pointed out emphatically that if some people intend to include Taiwan in TMD, it would amount to an encroachment on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will be an obstruction to the great cause of peaceful reunification of the motherland. This will inevitably meet strong opposition from the Chinese people, including compatriots in Taiwan. When answering the question “does this opposition include military action,” the foreign minister said that if one day, there should be such a situation, the PRC Government and people will of course make the due and strong reaction to that.

China Daily (“TAIWAN’S INCLUSION IN TMD OPPOSED,” 3/10/99, A1) reported that PRC Foreign Spokesman Zhu Bangzao said at a routine news briefing on March 9 that the PRC opposes any attempt to include Taiwan in the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) system that the US and Japan are proposing. Such a move reveals the covert motives of some people to block China’s reunification, Zhu said. Some Taiwan authorities are enhancing efforts to join the defense system, he added. Their efforts are aimed at receiving foreign aid and splitting the motherland. “We hope the two sides across the Taiwan Straits will start formal negotiations and dialogues as soon as possible,” Zhu said. According to him, the PRC hopes that Association for Relations President Wang Daohan’s visit this year to Taiwan will help the process.

7. Across Taiwan Straits Relations

People’s Liberation Army Daily (“QIAN: TAIWAN PROBLEM CANNOT BE PROCRASTINATED INDEFINITELY,” Beijing, 3/9/99, P2) reported that when meeting deputies to the National People’s Congress of China, PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said on March 8 that to realize the peaceful reunification of the motherland on the basis of “one country, two systems” is the common aspiration and urgent demand of all Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots. Hong Kong has come back to the motherland, and so will Macao at the end of this year. The Taiwan problem cannot be procrastinated indefinitely, he said. He called for intensified efforts to promote cooperation and exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, to pave the way for early cross-Straits political negotiations and the ultimate realization of China’s reunification under the “one China” principle.

8. Alleged PRC Espionage in the US

People’s Daily (“TANG JIAXUAN ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON INTERNATIONAL SITUATION AND CHINA’S FOREIGN POLICY,” Beijing, 3/8/99, A1) reported that when answering the question about the New York Times’ report alleging that the PRC conducted espionage activities in US nuclear facilities in the 1980s, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said on March 7 that the report is irresponsible and unfounded. Tang thinks that this also reveals there are always some people who try to obstruct normal relations between the US and the PRC, and normal US exports of high-tech products to the PRC. Such practices, in his view, will not serve the national interests of the US.

IV. Announcements

1. World Affairs Council Korea Conference

The World Affairs Council will sponsor the 53rd Annual Conference at Asilomar, Pacific Grove, CA on April 30 – May 2, 1999 on the subject “Korea: One Land, Two Worlds.” Confirmed speakers include Former ROK Deputy Prime Minister Seung-Soo Han, Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, and David Steinberg of Georgetown University. The World Affairs Council of Northern California is offering 100 student and 20 teacher scholarships to attend the conference. All full-time high school, undergraduate and graduate students and K-12 teachers in Northern California are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is March 15, 1999. Scholarships cover registration for programs, meals, lodging and a one-year membership to the World Affairs Council. Scholarship recipients will be responsible for transportation to and from Asilomar and a US$25 non-refundable deposit (US$50 for teachers). The deposit should be sent only after a scholarship has been awarded. For more information or application please contact the World Affairs Council at (415) 434-5157, or by e-mail at scholarship@wacsf.org, or visit the web-site at http://wacsf.org.

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China


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