NAPSNet Daily Report 13 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US Sanctions on the DPRK
- 2. Inter-Korean Relations
- 3. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 4. DPRK Economy
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
- 7. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 8. US, Japan on Nuclear Abolition
- 9. US-Japan Energy Cooperation
- 10. Sino-Indian Relations
- 11. Sino-Russian Relations
- 12. Cross Strait Relations
- 13. PRC Security
- 14. PRC Energy Supply
- 15. PRC Environment
- 16. PRC Climate Change
- 17. PRC H1N1 Outbreak
- II. PRC Report
1. US Sanctions on the DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. AT WORK ON STRANGLING KIM JONG-IL’S CASH FLOW”, 2009/11/12) reported that the US envoy charged with UN sanctions, Philip Goldberg, is still trying to block DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s cash flow, even as Washington has agreed to talks with Pyongyang aimed at persuading it to return to nuclear negotiations. The DPRK invited US envoy Stephen Bosworth on Aug. 4. The same day, Goldberg was on his way to Moscow, where he met Russian Vice Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin and reportedly asked Russia to crack down on a mafia gang based on a tip-off that it had been involved in the laundering slush funds for Kim Jong-il.
2. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA TO AWARD SAILORS FOR REPELLING N. KOREAN PATROL BOAT”, 2009/11/12) reported that the ROK plans to award its Navy servicemen who repelled a DPRK patrol boat after it crossed the western sea border and attacked them earlier this week, an official said. “What types of medals will be given to which servicemembers is currently under examination,” Won Tae-jae, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul, said.
3. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Yonhap News (“S. KOREAN WATCHMAKER SHOWS NO INTENT TO INVEST MORE IN KAESONG”, 2009/11/12) reported that Romanson Co., a ROK watchmaker, said it has no intention to further invest in an inter-Korean industrial complex because of the political risks. Romanson operates a plant in the industrial park in the DPRK border town of Kaesong, which turns out 40,000 watches per month. In 2005, the company invested 6.1 billion won (US$5.3 million) to build the factory.
4. DPRK Economy
Radio Free Asia (“GRAFT MARS NORTH KOREAN TRADE”, 2009/11/12) reported that the DPRK is launching a crackdown on official corruption in its key mineral export sector, a crucial source of foreign exchange for a country where millions go hungry and the ruling party has total control of resources. “[North Korea] is currently restructuring mineral exporting companies, because such trading entities have been found to be corrupt and inefficient and involved in various abuses,” said the PRC-based representative of a company importing minerals from the DPRK. The source added that many importers dealing with DPRK exporters had been negatively affected by their lack of professionalism and reliability.
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK HIGH-RANKING OFFICIAL MEETS CHINESE TRADE UNION DELEGATION”, 2009/11/12) reported that Choe Thae Bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party to the DPRK, met the delegation of the All-China Federation of Trade Union (ACFTU) led by Vice-Chairwoman Qiao Chuanxiu here on Thursday. Choe introduced the current political and economic situation of the DPRK to the PRC delegation, and said it’s the DPRK government’s unswerving stand to keep improving the DPRK-PRC relationship. This year is the DPRK-PRC friendship year, said Choe, and the two countries have been holding a series of celebratory activities. He believes the friendship between the two trade unions will also improve.
6. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
Korea Herald (Tony Chang, “SEOUL MULLS SAFETY MEASURES FOR KOREAN RESIDENTS IN AFGHANISTAN “, 2009/11/12) reported that the ROK is considering comprehensive protection measures for its residents in Afghanistan following recent armed attacks against them by insurgents in the war-torn nation, the government said. A ROK construction firm engaged in reconstruction of Afghanistan recently sustained three separate rounds of armed attacks from unidentified insurgents, the foreign ministry said. “The government is reviewing comprehensive safety measures for our people residing in dangerous areas (in Afghanistan), including issuing evacuation advisories,” said Moon Tae-young, the ministry spokesman.
7. US-Japan Security Alliance
Kyodo News (“ANTI-BASE OKINAWANS EXPECT HATOYAMA TO END CARROT AND STICK POLICY”, 2009/11/12) reported that Anti-base protesters in Okinawa, which hosts about 75 percent of the land area used for U.S. military facilities in Japan and half of the around 50,000 U.S. service personnel in the country, are increasingly hopeful that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will end Tokyo’s longstanding carrot and stick policy, which has divided locals and made the small island economically dependent on subsidies. Denny Tamaki, a DPJ lower house member, said the previous government led by the Liberal Democratic Party had long conducted ”checkbook politics” in Okinawa and ignored ”human rights violations” in the form of crimes committed by US service personnel and accidents linked to bases. ”We now face an epoch-making chance to transform Japan’s subservient relationship with the United States into more equal one,” Tamaki said.
Reuters (“JAPAN TO REASSURE U.S. ON ALLIANCE AT SUMMIT”, 2009/11/12) reported that Japan will reassure the United States that their alliance is in good shape, Tokyo said, as a feud over a Marine base strains relations ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he wanted to allay such concerns in talks with Obama, who will make his first visit to Japan as president. “One big purpose of the Japan-U.S. summit is to tell those who are concerned that there is nothing to be worried about, that things are all right.”
8. US, Japan on Nuclear Abolition
Agence France-Presse (“US, JAPAN TO CALL FOR NUKE-FREE WORLD: REPORTS”, 2009/11/12) reported that US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama plan to issue a joint statement calling for a world without nuclear weapons when they hold talks Friday, reports said. In the statement, tentatively entitled the US-Japan joint initiative for a nuclear-free world, they would welcome rising international momentum toward arms reduction and non-proliferation, the Yomiuri said. In their joint effort, the United States would seek to raise the global momentum, while Japan would push the message from its perspective as the only country to have been hit with atomic bombs.
9. US-Japan Energy Cooperation
Bloomberg News (“JAPAN, U.S. TO WORK TOGETHER ON ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES, NIKKEI SAYS”, 2009/11/12) reported that Japan and the U.S. are likely to agree to cooperate in developing environmental and energy technologies at a summit meeting in Tokyo on Nov. 13, Nikkei English News said, without citing anyone. Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and US President Barack Obama may agree to work together on smart power grids, carbon capture, nuclear power and renewable energy, the report said.
10. Sino-Indian Relations
Xinhua News (“INDIA, CHINA VOW TO DEEPEN AND WIDEN COOPERATION”, 2009/11/12) reported that Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna met in New Delhi with Liu Qibao, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the PRC and Communist Party Secretary of Sichuan Province, both sides agreed to further develop friendly and cooperative relations. Liu said the PRC wishes that the both sides can put to work the important consensus already reached by the leaders of the two countries and maintain relations of good friendship and good neighborliness, while deepening and widening cooperation of mutual benefits.
11. Sino-Russian Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINESE DIPLOMAT OPTIMISTIC ON PROSPECTS OF CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC COOPERATION”, 2009/11/13) reported that a lthough the PRC-Russia trade and economic cooperation was affected by the global financial crisis and economic downturn in the short term, expectations for its future development remain high, a PRC diplomat in Russia told Xinhua. Gao Xiyun, Economic Minister Counselor of the PRC Embassy in Russia, said that due to the shrinking demand amid the global financial crisis, the bilateral trade volume between PRC and Russia in the first nine months of the year declined 34.8 percent as compared with the same period last year. Gao also noted that the PRC and Russia have taken joint measures in dealing with the crisis and have seized new opportunities to expand economic and trade cooperation.
12. Cross Strait Relations
Kyodo News (“TAIWAN MOBILIZES AGAINST FRAUD AMID BID TO STAMP OUT CROSS-STRAIT CRIME”, 2009/11/12) reported that Taiwan mobilized some 30,000 police officers to stand guard at automatic teller machines island-wide as part of a crackdown across the Taiwan Strait on telecommunications and ATM fraud. Fraudsters often divide their workload among ”cells” in the PRC and Taiwan. In April, Taipei and Beijing signed the Agreement on Joint Cross-strait Crime-fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance, whose focus has been law enforcement cooperation with a view to cracking down on telecommunications fraud. The crime-fighting accord is apparently bearing fruit, with local media reporting on busts of fraud cells in both PRC and Taiwan as a result of cross-strait information sharing and other forms of cooperation between law enforcement authorities.
13. PRC Security
The Associated Press (“CHINA ‘BLACK JAILS’ SHIELD LEADERS FROM COMPLAINTS”, Beijing, 2009/11/12) reported that kidnapping people on their way to lodge complaints with the PRC ‘s central government has evolved into a lucrative cottage industry that mainland police refuse to acknowledge or crack down on, a human rights group said. The report by New York -based Human Rights Watch on China ‘s “black jails” is based mainly on interviews with 38 people who said they were nabbed by thugs while trying to bring grievances to the central government . They reported being held for days or months in makeshift detention centers , deprived of food and sleep, beaten and threatened. Police allegedly aided the captors or refused to intervene in several cases, it said.
14. PRC Energy Supply
Caijing Magazine (Li Qiyan, “WIND POWER DILEMMA: MONEY BLOWS AWAY”, 2009/11/12) reported that a cold front swept across northern the PRC’s Inner Mongolia region in early November, forcing a wind energy farm at Xilin Gol to curtail operations – even as a brisk breeze whistled through idle turbine blades. “When that much wind is moving through, the generators can’t make electricity,” explained Ma Zhanxiang, vice president of the Inner Mongolia Electric Power Industry Association (EPIA). “Money just blows by.” The turbines were forced to shut down not because the Mongolian wind was too strong, or for mechanical reasons, but because the system for distributing power from Xilin Gol and other wind farms built in recent years in northern PRC is simply too weak. And that wastes money. Nationwide, some 5 million gigawatts of wind power generating capacity never made it to the grid during the first half of 2009.
15. PRC Environment
Bloomberg News (“CHINA SAYS HONG KONG DROUGHT SUPPORT NOT YET NEEDED”, 2009/11/11) reported that Hong Kong offered to reduce the amount of water taken from southern PRC to help ease the region’s worst drought in six decades and has been advised it doesn’t need to do so at present. The director of Hong Kong’s Water Supplies Department, Ma Lee Tak, told a news conference today he toured reservoirs in neighboring Guangdong province and said Hong Kong would cut back on the water it takes if China needs the help. “The Guangdong officials appreciated our offer, but said they would agree to it only when it’s necessary,” Ma said.
16. PRC Climate Change
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA SEEKS ‘FAIR’ CLIMATE DEAL”, 2009/11/12) reported that the PRC said it would seek a “fair and reasonable” result at world climate talks next month but insisted rich nations must bear most of the burden for tackling global warming . ” Climate change is an enormous challenge faced by all of mankind and requires a cooperative response by all countries,” Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. However, Yang reiterated Beijing’s position that nations must stick to previous UN agreements that place most of the burden for cutting greenhouse gas emissions on developed nations.
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA SHOULD REDUCE CARBON INTENSITY: STATE MEDIA”, Beijing, 2009/11/12) reported that the PRC should cut its carbon intensity by four to five percent each year from 2005 baseline levels, state media reported, citing a proposal by a leading government-led think tank. The proposal comes ahead of a key meeting in Copenhagen next month where the PRC — now the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases — will face pressure from rich nations to make firm commitments to combat climate change . President Hu Jintao told the UN General Assembly that the PRC would reduce carbon intensity — greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP — by a “notable margin” by 2020 from their 2005 levels, without giving a figure.
17. PRC H1N1 Outbreak
The New York Times (“CHINA’S TOUGH FLU MEASURES APPEAR TO BE EFFECTIVE”, 2009/11/12) reported that quarantines and medical detentions are among the aggressive measures that PRC officials have taken to slow the transmission of H1N1, which quickly spread worldwide after being diagnosed first in North America. Now, PRC and foreign health officials say that some of those contested measures — more easily adopted by an authoritarian state — may have helped slow the spread of the disease in the world’s most populous country. The PRC has not had to cope with a crush of cases, and it began administering a vaccine for swine flu in early September, the first country to do so.
II. PRC Report
18. PRC Environment
China Daily (“WWF: YANGTZE BASIN FACES CLIMATE DISASTERS”, 2009/11/12) reported that a rising number of extreme storms and droughts are expected to hit the Yangtze River Basin in the coming decades as a result of the rising temperatures globally, according to the report released by WWF yesterday. The basin, home to 400 million people, is an economic powerhouse and the site of the country’s largest port and city, Shanghai.
19. PRC Civil Society and the Media
Urban Times (“VOLUNTEERS TO OVERSEE THE MEDIA”, 2009/11/12) reported that 100 citizens aged from 17 to 66 in Kunming and other Yunnan cities are acting as “voluntary media supervisors,” responsible for overseeing the province’s 10 newspapers, targeting flaws such as paid coverage, fake news, indecent reports and bad advertisements. The activity is organized by Yunnan Publicity Department and assisted by The Association of Journalists in Yunnan.