NAPSNet Daily Report 14 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. ROK, PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. PRC Sanctions on the DPRK
- 4. UN Sanctions on DPRK
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 7. ROK Cyber Security
- 8. Japanese Politics
- 9. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
- 10. US-PRC Climate Change Collaboration
- 11. Sino-Russian Military Cooperation
- 12. Sino-Indian Security Relations
- 13. Cross Strait Relations
- 14. PRC Maritime Security
- 15. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 16. PRC Unrest
- 17. PRC Environment
- 18. US Nuclear Policy
- II. PRC Report
1. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap News (“CHINA LUKEWARM ON 5-WAY MEETING WITHOUT PYONGYANG”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the PRC wants to focus diplomatic efforts on bringing the DPRK back to the six-way talks on its nuclear program rather than holding a separate five-way gathering without the DPRK, according to Beijing’s top nuclear envoy. “We will maintain the six-way format,” the PRC Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei tersely told reporters. He reaffirmed Beijing’s position that it will seek the denuclearization of the DPRK through dialogue and peaceful means, but declined any further comments.
2. ROK, PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Agence France Press (“SKOREA, CHINA BID TO REVIVE NKOREA NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2009/07/13) reported that the ROK and PRC have agreed to try to revive six-nation talks on the DPRK’s nuclear disarmament, after the DPRK quit the forum and vowed to restart its atomic weapons programme. The accord came after top PRC nuclear envoy Wu Dawei held talks with Seoul officials in the wake of the the DPRK’s defiant May 25 nuclear test and missile launches. Wu met Unification Minister Hyun In-Taek, who handles relations with Pyongyang, before talks with his ROK counterpart Wi Sung-Lac and other officials. “Both sides agreed to maintain the framework of six-party talks,” Moon told a briefing.
3. PRC Sanctions on the DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA ‘PREPARING ITS OWN SANCTIONS ON N.KOREA'”, 2009/07/12) reported that the PRC is preparing to impose independent sanctions on the DPRK, according to a senior U.S. State Department official. The official in a press briefing said the PRC is in the process of developing its own implementation plan to impose sanctions on the DPRK. That suggests the PRC is willing to cooperate with the U.S.
Bloomberg News (“CHINA AGREES TO SANCTION OF NORTH KOREA OFFICIALS”, 2009/07/13) reported that the PRC has agreed for the first time to punish senior DPRK government officials for the nation’s defiance of United Nations resolutions barring nuclear and missile tests, the PRC’s deputy ambassador said. Ambassador Liu Zhenmin said his government would support imposing a travel ban and asset freeze on a “large percentage” of 15 DPRK officials proposed by the U.S. and other western nations as targets for UN sanctions. Liu, in an interview, declined to identify the officials, other than to say they hold “senior” government positions and are working on nuclear and missile programs.
4. UN Sanctions on DPRK
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “U.N. SANCTIONS COMMITTEE TO BLACKLIST N. KOREAN OFFICIALS”, Seoul, 2009/07/14) reported that about a dozen DPRK officials are expected to be banned from overseas travel under a U.N. Security Council resolution, diplomatic sources said Tuesday. “I think the 15 member countries will try to reach an agreement as early as possible to reduce the political burden,” an ROK Foreign Ministry source said. “If agreed, the list will include mostly technology-related officials and experts involved in North Korea’s development of missile and nuclear programs. The Council will not target top-level officials like leader Kim Jong-il.”
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA APPEARS INTENT ON AGGRAVATING, DIVIDING SOUTH: MINISTER “, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the DPRK seems intent on fomenting internal conflict among South Koreans by raising tension through its military and rhetorical provocations, Seoul’s point man on the DPRK said Monday. “North Korea appears to be focusing on ratcheting up criticism toward South Korea … They appear to be trying to create inner conflicts within the South by pressuring us through agitations,” Unification Minister Hyun In-taek said in a lecture in the southern port city of Busan. The minister, however, said the people are not shaken by “outdated and inflammatory rhetoric,” as they have matured through democracy.
6. Sino-DPRK Relations
Xinhua (“PYONGYANG ART TROUPE OPENS TOUR OF CHINA “, Beijing, 2009/07/13) reported that a student art troupe from the DPRK launched a tour of the PRC as part of the “Year of DPRK-China Friendship” with a performance to more than 1,000 people in Beijing. The Pyongyang Student Art Troupe, with 32 members aged between 8 to 14 years, performed folk songs, dances and musical pieces at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The troupe is in the PRC from July 10 to 29 at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
NKeconWatch (Michael Rank, “DIRECT FLIGHTS PLANNED BETWEEN PYONGYANG AND SHANGHAI”, 2009/07/13) reported that direct flights are planned between Pyongyang and Shanghai, as well as charter flights from PRC cities to the DPRK capital, a PRC website reports. It gives few details, but says the plans follow two visits by Shanghai tourism officials to Pyongyang in June. The report says there are hopes of attracting more tourists from the Shanghai region and mentions the possibility of charter flights from nearby Hangzhou.
7. ROK Cyber Security
Associated Press (Jae-Soon Chang, “SKOREAN POLICE: HACKERS EXTRACTED DATA IN ATTACKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/14) reported that hackers extracted lists of files from computers that they contaminated with the virus that triggered cyberattacks last week in the United States and the ROK, police in Seoul said Tuesday. That adds to concern that contaminated computers were ordered to damage their own hard disks or files after the Web assaults. Still, the new finding does not mean information was stolen from attacked Web sites, police said. It also does not address suspicions about the DPRK’s involvement, they said.
8. Japanese Politics
Associated Press (Jay Alabaster, “JAPAN’S RULING PARTY DEFEATS NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION”, Tokyo, 2009/07/14) reported that Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party defeated a no-confidence motion Tuesday against P rime Minister Taro Aso ‘s Cabinet 333 to 139. After the results were released Monday, Aso said he would dissolve parliament next week and call general elections for August 30. A censure motion against Aso, with little purpose other than to embarrass him, passed the upper house later Tuesday afternoon.
9. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
Japan Times (“DPJ TO DROP PLEDGE AGAINST INDIAN OCEAN FUEL MISSION”, 2009/07/13) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan ‘s manifesto for the Lower House election will not include a pledge to stop the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean that forms part of allied efforts to fight terrorism, party sources said. With the chance of taking power now in sight, the DPJ has modified its position to a more realistic stance, the sources said. The party sources said that if the DPJ takes power, the decision whether to continue the refueling will be made from a comprehensive viewpoint. But dropping the pledge from the manifesto for the Lower House race suggests the party is likely to shelve the matter.
10. US-PRC Climate Change Collaboration
Reuters (“U.S. TO PRESS CHINA ON TARIFFS ON CLEAN ENERGY TRADE”, San Francisco, 2009/07/13) reported that the United States will press the PRC this week to lower its tariffs on clean energy technology as one of many steps the two countries can take to fight global warming , U.S. officials said. “Both China and the U.S. have much to lose from potentially devastating impacts of climate change , but much to gain by partnering to develop clean energy technologies that will power our economy by cutting carbon emissions ,” David Sandalow, assistant secretary of energy for policy and international affairs policy , told reporters in telephone conference call.
11. Sino-Russian Military Cooperation
Xinhua News (“MORE RUSSIAN MILITARY FORCES ARRIVE IN CHINA FOR JOINT ANTI-TERROR EXERCISE”, Taonan, 2009/07/13) reported that a 92-member advance unit of Russia’s air force and two Il-76 air lifters arrived at a base in Qiqihar in northeast PRC’s Heilongjiang Province to prepare for a joint exercise with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The advance unit includes personnel responsible for commanding aviation, communications, weather service and mechanics. PRC and Russia, both members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), will jointly conduct the five-day anti-terrorism military drill code-named “Peace Mission-2009” beginning July 22.
12. Sino-Indian Security Relations
PTI (“NERVOUS CHINA MAY ATTACK INDIA BY 2012: EXPERT”, 2009/07/13) reported that a leading defence expert has projected that the PRC will attack India by 2012 to divert the attention of its own people from “unprecedented” internal dissent, growing unemployment and financial problems that are threatening the hold of Communists in that country. “China will launch an attack on India before 2012. There are multiple reasons for a desperateto teach India the final lesson, thereby ensuring Chinese supremacy in Asia in this century,” Bharat Verma, Editor of the Indian Defence Review, has said. Verma said the recession has “shut the Chinese exports shop”, creating an “unprecedented internal social unrest” which in turn, was severely threatening the grip of the Communists over the society.
13. Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“TAIWAN, CHINA AIM TO SIGN FTA-LIKE DEAL IN 2010”, 2009/07/13) reported that Taiwan and the PRC could sign a free-trade style agreement later than expected, a top Taiwanese official for cross-strait affairs said. His comments prompted the island’s stock market to drop sharply on Monday. Taiwan’s main TAIEX share index <.TWII> was down more than 3 percent by mid-morning after the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Lai Shin-yuan said the two sides could sign an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement next year. This was later than some market expectations for significant progress on the issue later this year, which had helped boost PRC-related financial and tourism stocks earlier this year.
14. PRC Maritime Security
The Financial Times (James Lamont and Amy Kazmin, “FEAR OF INFLUENCE”, 2009/07/13) reported that Hambantota, in southern Sri Lanka, was a sleepy seaside village devastated by the 2004 tsunami. Gwadar, likewise, until seven years ago, was a fishing town in Baluchistan on Pakistan’s south-western shoreline. Today these little-known towns are fast emerging on to a bigger political and economic map thanks to PRC finance and engineering, which is upgrading their ports into world-class facilities. They are part of the PRC’s so-called “string of pearls” – the ports, staging posts and hubs that analysts say describe expanding PRC interests and diplomatic initiatives in south Asia. The outreach – or, to some, apparent encirclement – is underpinned by infrastructure projects, arms supplies, energy routes and diplomatic protection.
15. PRC Ethnic Unrest
The New York Times (“2 UIGHURS IN TROUBLED REGION KILLED BY THE POLICE “, 2009/07/13) reported that p olice officers shot dead two armed ethnic Uighur men and wounded a third on Monday after the three resisted the officers during a violent dispute near the heart of the Uighur quarter here, the PRC’s official news agency said. The killings, as reported by the news agency, Xinhua, came a week after the worst outbreak of ethnic violence here by aggrieved Uighurs against Han Chinese. The three Uighurs were brandishing sticks and knives and chasing after another Uighur when the police tried to stop them at 2:55 p.m. on Liberation South Road, according to the Xinhua account, and the three turned on the police when confronted. Xinhua said “the police shot in accordance with the law.”
Reuters (“CHINA’S FAR-WEST STRIFE REVEALS A COUNTRY IN FLUX”, 2009/07/13) reported that the ethnic violence in Urumqi was also a product of the new PRC, with its increasingly mobile and sometimes assertive population. “There are deep faultlines behind the veneer of stability in China,” said Nicholas Bequelin, an Asia expert with Human Rights Watch who has long studied Xinjiang. “The Party is trying to hold things together, but social change has set in motion powerful undercurrents that prove uncontrollable with the old tools.”
Agence France Press (“RESOURCE-RICH XINJIANG CRUCIAL TO CHINA”, 2009/07/13) reported that resource rich and a buffer with Central Asia, Xinjiang is vital to the PRC’s economic and geopolitical interests. With an economy based on mining, agriculture and energy, the vast area has developed rapidly since the 1980s, attracting a wave of Han Chinese migrants but leaving many local Muslim Uighurs on the sidelines. Wenran Jiang, a China expert at the University of Alberta, said the strategic importance of Xinjiang — it takes up one sixth of the PRC’s land mass and borders Central Asia — meant any long-term unrest would not be tolerated.
16. PRC Unrest
Caijing Magazine (“OFFICIALS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR TRIGGERING OR MISHANDLING UNREST”, 2009/07/13) reported that o n July 12, the general offices of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council identified seven situations in which government officials would be held accountable for triggering or mishandling incidences of social unrest. The regulation punishes this abuse of power through removing offenders from office, and also places tough restrictions on the officials’ reappointment in other regions afterwards. These measures are being adopted in response to an increasing frequency of social unrest in the PRC in recent years.
17. PRC Environment
Economic Observer Online (“FROM STIMULUS TO RESTRUCTURING “, 2009/07/13) reported that the re-emergence of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) as a regulatory body with teeth, is an indicator that there has been a shift in the PRC government’s macroeconomic focus. After remaining conspicuously silent while investment surged into various high-polluting and energy intensive projects during the past 7 months, the MEP has recently stepped back into the fray by suspending construction of the Jinsha River hydroelectric dam. The Ministry also undertook other disciplinary action, placing limits on other construction projects being carried out by the dam’s investors, the China Huaneng Group and China Huadian Corporation and declaring a moratorium on the approval of any iron and steel construction projects in Shandong Province. The shift not only marks an end to the period of loose regulation that accompanied the recent surge in investment, but it can also be seen as an attempt to avoid the over-capacity that emerged in the wake of a similar stimulus package that was introduced to avoid the impact of the Asian Financial Crisis 10 years ago.
18. US Nuclear Policy
The Times (“BARACK OBAMA ADVISER WANTS URANIUM ENRICHMENT UNDER INTERNATIONAL CONTROL”, 2009/07/13) reported that all enrichment of uranium for nuclear power would be carried out by an international body to guard against nuclear proliferation, under a proposal to be considered by President Obama. Professor John Holdren, the White House’s chief science adviser, said yesterday that placing uranium enrichment under international control could eliminate one of the main avenues by which rogue states and terrorists could obtain material for making atomic bombs. While the plan is not White House policy, Professor Holdren said it was likely to be considered. “At the moment the Administration has not developed a policy on it,” he said. “But I think much of the world is now ready for this and I think it will be considered as a possible approach.”
II. PRC Report
19. PRC Rural Culture
Beijing Morning News (“300,000 MOVIES PLAYED IN RURAL AREAS FREELY”, 2009/07/13) reported that China Film Group (CFG) has sponsored a series of public movie activities recently. From middle of July 2009, CFG will play movies for free in rural areas of 26 provinces all around the country. A total of 300,000 movies are expected to be played.
20. PRC Environment
Dahe Daily (“UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TO RESEARCH YELLOW RIVER BY TREKKING”, 2009/07/13) reported that students from 9 domestic universities have started an environmental protection activity on July 9, to research the Yellow River by trekking. They will travel over 246 kilometers, and do research on the surrounding environment, water pollution, and the living status of local residents of the Yellow River.