NAPSNet Daily Report 14 March, 2001

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 March, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, March 14, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-14-march-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Talks
2. DPRK View of US
3. Japan-US Talks
4. US-PRC Military Exchanges
5. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan
6. PRC View of US Missile Defense
7. One-China Principle
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-US Talks
2. ROK Policy towards DPRK
3. US View of ROK-DPRK Policy
4. ROK View of Policy towards DPRK
5. Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks
6. ROK Aid to DPRK
7. Inter-Korean Labor Body
8. DPRK Missiles
9. Landmine Issue
III. People’s Republic of China 1. ROK-US Relations
2. ROK View of US-DPRK Relations
3. PRC Military Budget
4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
5. Taiwan Question
6. US Missile Defense
7. Denmark, Canada on NMD
8. PRC-Russian Relations
9. US-Japan relations

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Talks

The New York Times (Don Kirk, “NORTH KOREA SUDDENLY CANCELS CONCILIATION TALKS WITH SOUTH,” Seoul, 3/14/01) and The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “N.KOREA CANCELS TALKS WITH S.KOREA,” Seoul, 3/14/01) reported that the DPRK on March 13 postponed meetings planned for this week between DPRK and ROK cabinet members on major topics affecting inter- Korean relations. An ROK official said that in a telephone message to the inter-Korean liaison office at Panmunjom, a DPRK official said only that “a number of circumstances” were responsible for causing a “delay” in the talks. ROK unification minister Park Jae-kyu responded by saying he hoped that the two sides would agree on another date “as soon as possible.” There was speculation in the ROK that the DPRK, by canceling the meeting, was sending a signal that its leader, Kim Jong-il, was unhappy about comments in the US last week by US President George W. Bush after his meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-jung. ROK officials searched for reasons other than DPRK anger with Bush for the cancellation of the meetings. One theory was that the man who was to head the DPRK delegation, Jon Kum-jin, might be severely ill. Analysts also suggested that the DPRK might be in a policy quandary. Kim Sung- han, professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, an adjunct of ROK foreign ministry, said, “The North needs time to think about its strategy about how to deal with the United States as well as South Korea.” Some analysts believed that the DPRK’s cancellation of the talks might have reflected negotiations on a lesser level between the ROK and the DPRK over payment by the Hyundai group for tours to the Mount Kumkang area of the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 14, 2001.]

2. DPRK View of US

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA STRONGLY DENOUNCES NEW US GOVERNMENT,” Seoul, 3/14/01) reported that an ROK news agency said that the DPRK strongly denounced the new US administration of President George W. Bush on Wednesday, saying that it has adopted a hostile policy toward the country. The DPRK’s Radio Pyongyang said in a commentary, “We have watched the United States’ attitude toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since the inauguration of the Bush administration, and we have found that it is assuming a defiant attitude toward us.” The ROK Yonhap News Agency said that the DPRK radio commentary accused the US of increasing the degree of its “provocative and imprudent anti-DPRK behavior” by making an issue out of “nonexistent” threats from the DPRK and referring to the DPRK as a supporter of terrorism. The commentary also denounced the US for criticizing the DPRK’s poor human rights record and accusing DPRK agents of having kidnapped Japanese citizens. According to Yonhap, the commentary also said, “All this shows that the United States has no intention to improve ties with the DPRK and rather hopes to squeeze us to death with its hostile policies,” adding that the DPRK will respond resolutely if the US continues with its hawkish stance.

3. Japan-US Talks

Kyodo News Service (“JAPANESE PREMIER TO RAISE NORTH KOREA, CHINA POLICIES IN TALKS WITH BUSH,” Tokyo, 3/13/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry sources said on March 13 that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is expected to raise policies regarding the DPRK and the PRC in his first summit talks with US President George W. Bush on March 19. However, experts in the two countries have voiced concerns over the results of the US meeting as Mori has signaled his intention to resign and is expected to leave office in April. Although a major goal of the summit is to mend bilateral ties after the collision of a Japanese training ship and a US Navy submarine off Hawaii, Mori also plans to raise regional security issues in the talks. Sources said that Mori will propose holding a meeting of experts from Japan, the US and the ROK to coordinate the three countries’ policy towards the DPRK. Mori plans to tell Bush that although Japan is not against partial changes to the US-DPRK policy, it believes that efforts should be made so that current frameworks do not collapse and trigger nuclear development and missile tests by the DPRK. On the PRC, Mori is expected to urge dialogue between the US and the PRC, including the issue of Taiwan. The premier plans to tell Bush that stability and prosperity in the PRC are important for the stability of Asia.

4. US-PRC Military Exchanges

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “TOP U.S. OFFICER IN PACIFIC VISITS CHINA IN EXCHANGE,” 3/13/01) reported that US Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of the Pacific Command, was to arrive in Beijing on Wednesday for the first of about 30 high-level military exchanges and “events” between the US and PRC militaries set for this year. US Army Lieutenant Colonel Christy Samuels, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Command in Hawaii said, “He is going to seek clarification of Chinese military activities and plans, while explaining the Pacific Command’s activities and plans.” The visit will end on March 17 and will include stops in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai. Samuels said that the visit is aimed at “exchanging views on matters of mutual interest and working toward greater mutual understanding.” She added that Blair will discuss the contentious issue of “U.S. policies on the peaceful resolution of issues involving the future of Taiwan. Lastly he will emphasize that we seek to include China, not exclude China, from participation in multilateral activities common to the interests of all nations.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 13, 2001.]

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “RUMSFELD REVIEWING CHINESE EXCHANGE DEAL,” 3/14/01) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said on March 13 that US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has limited the previous US administration’s program of military-to-military exchanges with the PRC to three months and is reviewing its benefits before continuing beyond that. Quigley said, “The secretary has approved the planned activities for the military-to- military program through the end of May. He has directed an internal review of the ‘mil-to-mil’ program and will consider several issues, such as how the program has been conducted to date, and assessing its goals.” He added that Rumsfeld wants to look closely at “whether the program is meeting its objectives. And when he looks at that, it will help to determine future activities of the U.S.-China military-to- military program.” Quigley said that a key criterion will be whether the program is reciprocal and is providing “mutual benefit.” The US Defense Department has until March 31 to provide the US Congress with a blueprint of the program for 2001. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 14, 2001.]

5. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal (Greg Jaffe and Charles Hutzler, “U.S. WEAPONS SALES TO TAIWAN TURN INTO POLITICS-DRIVEN DEBATE,” Washington, 3/14/01) reported that in the next few weeks, the US administration will decide what kind of weapons to sell to Taiwan. Neither Taiwan nor the US has publicly disclosed what the Taiwanese are asking for this year. US Defense Department officials, however, said that the list includes more than 30 different types of weapons systems. At the top of the list are four destroyers, equipped with Aegis radars that can simultaneously track more than 100 targets. Kurt Campbell, a former senior US Defense Department official said, “The whole Aegis issue has taken on extraordinarily symbolic overtones. It determines whether you are for or against Taiwan.” However, many US officials doubt whether Taiwan’s unsophisticated and outdated military could operate the destroyers. There are also questions as to whether Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s administration is trying to prove that it can work with the PRC in a bid to placate the local business community, and does not seem to want to anger the PRC. However, there is widespread agreement within the Bush administration that Taiwan’s military must be upgraded to counter a growing PRC threat. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace stated, “We have encouraged [the PRC] to believe that if they keep pushing and keep threatening that we will gradually give way.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 13, 2001.]

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN SAYS IT NEEDS ADVANCED WEAPONRY AMID GROWING CHINESE THREAT,” Tahsi, 3/13/01) reported that Taiwanese Lieutenant-commander Hsu Ming-huang said on March 13 that Taiwan faces its biggest military threat from the PRC’s growing missile arsenal. Hsu said, “The biggest Chinese communist threat would come from their ballistic missile DF-15s and DF-21s.” He added that the PRC had deployed at least 200 DF-15 and DF-21 missiles in the southeastern provinces facing Taiwan, and he expected the number to increase to 650 in the next five years. Hsu said that the PRC “would double their menace towards the island” after land-based cruise missiles were deployed in the near future. Military analysts in Taiwan also said that Taiwan could not defend itself against such a threat. Hsu said, “The sabre-rattling in the 1996 missile crisis also underscored the island’s Achilles’ heel in national defense.”

The Washington Times (James Morrison, “EMBASSY ROW: DEFENDING TAIWAN,” 3/14/01) reported that US ambassador to the PRC Joseph Prueher on March 13 defended US arms sales to Taiwan and US criticism of the PRC’s human rights record. Prueher told students at Beijing University that any reunion of democratic Taiwan with the PRC “must be peaceful,” saying “we do not want Taiwan to get run over.” He also explained that the US is legally bound to sell Taiwan enough weapons to defend itself and cited the Taiwan Relations Act among other commitments. Prueher also said that the Bush administration’s decision to sponsor a resolution at the United Nations condemning the PRC’s human rights record is aimed at “improving human rights in China, not criticizing China. What we have done in the past is critique without dialogue. In the future, I hope we can critique, probably both ways, and dialogue to effect positive change in human rights.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 14, 2001.]

6. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Reuters (“CHINA SAYS OPEN TO MISSILE SHIELD TALKS WITH U.S.,” Beijing, 3/14/01) reported that Sha Zukang, director general of the PRC Foreign Ministry’s Department of Arms Control, on Wednesday criticized the US National Missile Defense (NMD) proposal as “a U.S. program of unilateral nuclear expansion.” Sha, said, “We hope the U.S. will give up the idea, just as they have done with … Star Wars.” Sha added, however, that the PRC was willing to talk with the US to “narrow our differences.” He said, “We noted and we appreciated the statement from the new administration in the US saying that NMD is not targeted at China. China welcomes the statement and we are ready to have dialogue and discussions with the Americans.” Sha reiterated the main point of the PRC opposition, saying the PRC feared it would negate its modest strategic arsenal. He added that the US was overstating the ballistic missile threat from hostile states such as the DPRK and Iraq. An unnamed Western diplomat said, “diplomatically the issue has progressed, and Russia has taken a more sophisticated, proactive approach even as its bottom-line opposition hasn’t changed. China recognizes that the issue has moved to a new stage. China is open-minded and we have a series of proposals on the table, including those by Russia.”

7. One-China Principle

Reuters (“U.S. ASSURES CHINA ON REPUBLIC OF CHINA ‘SLIP,’ ” Washington, 3/14/01) reported that US spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US has reassured the PRC that US Secretary of State Colin Powell did not imply any change in policy when he referred to Taiwan as the Republic of China last week. Boucher added that US officials are unlikely to use the expression again. Powell used the term twice in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 8 when talking about US arms sales to the island. The official PRC news agency Xinhua said that the PRC “voiced strong concern and dissatisfaction” at Powell’s use of the expression, which could imply US recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign political entity independent of the PRC. Boucher said that PRC officials had telephoned the US State Department to ask about Powell’s comments. He said, “We replied very clearly that U.S. policy has not changed regarding unofficial relations with Taiwan.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “S. KOREA, U.S. TO COORDINATE N.K. POLICIES,” Seoul, 03/13/01) reported that the ROK and the US plan to hold working-level talks in Seoul later this month to coordinate differences over their DPRK stances, ROK officials said Monday. The opening of the senior-level meeting is a follow-up measure to the summit talks between Presidents Kim Dae-jung and George W. Bush in Washington last week. “Both sides are discussing the concrete schedule for the talks through diplomatic channels. It will probably take place March 26,” said a government official. He also said that the Bush administration hopes to open a three-way consultative meeting including Japan on the DPRK following the ROK-US talks. Other officials said that the ROK and the US are expected to focus on narrowing the differences over their perspectives on the DPRK revealed at the summit meeting.

2. ROK Policy towards DPRK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, “KIM TO PUSH N.K. TO BE MORE FORTHCOMING ON MISSILE, NUCLEAR ISSUES,” Washington, 03/13/01) reported that President Kim Dae-jung will soon formulate his new approach toward the DPRK on the basis of his talks with US President George W. Bush and other US leaders, aides said Monday. The aides said that overall, there will be no significant change in Kim’s reconciliatory policy on the DPRK, but that the relatively hard-line US position will be a minor factor in his future approach. “The President’s North Korea policy from now on should be two-pronged, one toward the United States and the other toward North Korea,” a senior Chong Wa Dae aide said. The aide, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said that Kim was a little embarrassed by Bush and his aides’ public mention of their suspicion and skepticism on the DPRK, but that he does not believe that it would damage the inter-Korean thaw seriously. “On the contrary, the President believes that the Bush administration’s hard-line attitude toward North Korea will provide him with greater leverage in dealing with the North,” the aide said.

3. US View of ROK-DPRK Policy

The Korea Herald (“U.S. ENVOY STRESSES RECIPROCITY IN DEALING WITH N.K.,” Seoul, 03/14/01) reported a top US envoy to the ROK advised the ROK not to continue providing unconditional aid to the DPRK, a report said Tuesday. Evans Revere, acting US ambassador to the ROK, made these and other recommendations during a meeting with a research group of ROK lawmakers, the Yonhap News Agency said. Revere also stressed the need for the ROK to adopt a policy of reciprocity, in which he said the ROK would give an incentive only after receiving something “significant” from Pyongyang, according to the report. He did not, however, reveal the US position on a proposal for “comprehensive reciprocity” made by President Kim Dae-jung during his visit to the US last week.

4. ROK View of Policy towards DPRK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KIM-BUSH SUMMIT REKINDLES DOMESTIC DISPUTE OVER N.K. POLICY,” Seoul, 03/13/01) and Chosun Ilbo (Oh Young- jin, “KIM’S FOREIGN POLICY TEAM UNDER FIRE FOR POOR SUMMIT PERFORMANCE,” Seoul, 03/12/01) reported that last week’s summit talks between the ROK and the US and its ambivalent results have rekindled friction within domestic political circles over the ROK government’s DPRK policy. The ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) on Monday called for supra- partisan cooperation to enable the government to continue engagement with the DPRK, while the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) demanded the reshuffle of the foreign policy team and an overall review of the government’s DPRK policy. The ruling party said that the concerted support from the political circle will help the government successfully fine-tune US and ROK positions toward the DPRK. However, the opposition argued that Kim and Bush revealed differences over their DPRK stances at summit talks. “We cannot help but worry about the perceived gap between top leaders from South Korea and the United States toward North Korea,” GNP leader Lee Hoi-chang said. He said that the government should use the revealed differences as an opportunity to review its DPRK policy. Lee also noted Kim’s repeated regrets and apology made during his visit to Washington for the controversy surrounding the ROK position on the US missile defense system. “President Kim’s foreign policy and security team should be replaced as it caused confusion over Korea’s stand on Bush’s National Missile Defense (NMD) plan ahead of the Washington summit,” he said.

5. Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N. KOREA CALLS OFF CABINET-LEVEL TALKS,” Seoul, 03/14/01) reported that just hours before their scheduled opening Tuesday, the DPRK postponed the inter-Korean ministerial talks indefinitely, triggering strong protest from the ROK as well as rampant speculation over the reasons for the sudden cancellation. Jon Kum-jin, chief DPRK delegate to the high-level talks, sent the telegram regarding the postponement without presenting any reason or new timetable, ROK officials said. Jon’s ROK counterpart, Unification Minister Park Jae- kyu, expressed strong regrets about the last-minute cancellation and called for the DPRK to resume the meeting, the fifth of its kind since last June, as early as possible, they said. The abrupt delay appeared to stem from the DPRK’s “internal problems,” the officials added. Some ROK analysts, however, believed that the DPRK’s decision reflects its displeasure with last week’s summit between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and US President George W. Bush.

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “INTER-KOREAN MINISTERIAL TALKS OPEN TODAY,” Washington, 03/13/01) reported that another round of inter- Korean ministerial talks were to open Tuesday. ROK government sources said Monday that ROK officials would brief their DPRK counterparts about last week’s summit between President Kim Dae-jung and US President George W. Bush, while seeking to schedule the planned visit to the ROK by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, probably in the first half of this year. ROK Unification Ministry officials said that the ROK would place its top priority, among a number of agenda items, on how to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula and establish military confidence. In addition, he said, the ROK will propose that the two sides allow separated family members to see each other through big screens to be connected by fiber optic cables crossing the border line. Other topics will also be discussed, including measures to promote economic cooperation in earnest and plans to boost social and cultural exchanges, the official said.

6. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SEOUL UNVEILS $6.3-MILLION AID PLAN FOR N. KOREA,” Seoul, 03/13/01) reported that the ROK government on Monday decided to provide about US$6.3 million worth of humanitarian aid, including winter underwear and surplus fruits, to the DPRK this month, officials said. At a meeting presided over by Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu, participants decided to send 1.5 million pairs of underwear as well as 12,000 tons of apples, pears and potatoes. Officials said that the aim is to help ease the commodity shortage in the DPRK, while rescuing ROK farmers reeling from plunging fruit prices stemming from overproduction.

7. Inter-Korean Labor Body

The Korea Herald (“SOUTH, NORTH KOREA AGREE ON JOINT LABOR BODY,” Seoul, 03/14/01) reported that major labor groups from the ROK and the DPRK have agreed to set up a joint consultative body to promote exchanges and cooperation between inter-Korean workers, labor officials said Tuesday. They said that the agreement came during a meeting of representatives of the ROK’s two umbrella labor groups–the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) and the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)–and DPRK’s General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea. Through the standing conference, he said, workers from both Koreas could activate their inter-Korean projects for the reunification of the divided peninsula.

8. DPRK Missiles

The Korea Herald (“N.K. SAYS U.S. BASES IN GUAM, OKINAWA WITHIN ITS RANGE,” Seoul, 03/13/01) reported that a gazette put out by a DPRK organization has recently warned that US military bases in the ROK and neighboring areas will suffer huge damages if the ROK is invaded. The February 21 issue of “Youth Front,” published by the Kim Il-sung Youth League, said, “If another war takes place on the Korean Peninsula, all U.S. bases in the South and in the areas surrounding the Peninsula, including Guam and Okinawa, will be blown sky-high.” It went on to accuse the US of disrupting the DPRK-ROK and DPRK-Japan talks in May 1991 by providing Japan with the “absurd misinformation” that the DPRK had almost completed the construction of nuclear reprocessing facilities. It called the 1994 Agreed Framework the result of an unsuccessful US attempt to create an international furor over the DPRK’s suspected nuclear development in early 1993. The daily also blasted the US for disseminating its Operation No. 5027, under which ROK and US soldiers are set to attack and occupy the whole of the DPRK in the event of an all-out war with the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for March 13, 2001.]

9. Landmine Issue

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, “ANTILANDMINE CRUSADER TO VISIT SEOUL AND PYONGYANG IN OCT.,” Seoul, 03/14/01) reported that Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, is expected to visit both Koreas in October to discuss landmine issues on the Korean Peninsula, an official from a local civic group said on Tuesday. Williams, founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), served as a coordinator for the global nongovernmental organization (NGO) between 1991 and 1998, campaigning for the removal of antipersonnel landmines around the world. “While in Washington D.C. last week, I met with Williams, who expressed her intention to come to Seoul and Pyongyang in late October to talk about the Korean landmine issue and asked us to arrange the visits,” said Cho Jai-kook, coordinator of the Korea Campaign to Ban Landmines (KCBL). In meetings with the two Korean leaders, Williams was quoted as saying that she would urge them to simultaneously join the 1997 Ottawa convention, which calls for an all- out ban on antipersonnel landmines.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. ROK-US Relations

People’s Daily (Yan Feng, “US-ROK SUMMIT TALKS,” Washington, D.C., 03/09/01, P3) reported that on March 7, US President George W. Bush held two rounds of talks with visiting ROK President Kim Dae-jung, reiterating the alliance relations between US and ROK but ruling out the possibility of resuming dialogue with the DPRK in the short term. At the press conference after the first round of talks with Kim, Bush said that he expected to negotiate closely with ROK and to contribute to peace on the Peninsula. He further pointed out that the new US government is preparing to hold dialogue with the DPRK at some time, but on the precondition that US can verify comprehensively the possible agreements borne out of the negotiation. US Secretary of State Colin Powell was quoted as saying that Bush is currently inspecting the relationship with the DPRK. Only after that will the US consider setting down timetables for engaging the DPRK.

2. ROK View of US-DPRK Relations

People’s Daily (Liu Jiang, Yan Feng, “US CONFRONTS DPRK: UNWISE,” Washington, D.C., 03/11/01, P4) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said at a luncheon on March 8 that the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been alleviated significantly and he hoped that the tendency would continue to be maintained. He stressed that the peace treaty associated with the Peninsula should be borne out of the framework of Four-Party Talks among the US, the PRC, the ROK, and the DPRK, which should be signed by ROK and DPRK, and supported and witnessed by the US and the PRC. In his speech, Kim denounced US criticism over the so-called DPRK human rights problem, saying that it is unwise to confront DPRK using the human rights issue. However, he pointed out, the biggest human rights problem on the Peninsula is the over 10 million separated families.

3. PRC Military Budget

China Daily (“FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS WITH THE PRESS,” 03/07/01, P2) reported that at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth Session of the Ninth National People’s Congress on March 6, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan commented on the PRC’s new military budget. He said that the budget increase has nothing to do with US NMD development or threatening Taiwan. However, he stressed, two major factors contribute to the increase of the military budget. First, with continued progress in the PRC’s economic development, and with the continued rise of the living standards of our urban and rural residents, particularly with the rising per capita income levels among people in the PRC, it is most natural that there is the need also to maintain a rising income for PRC servicemen in tandem with other rising incomes. Secondly, this defense increase comes from the need to modernize the PRC’s national defense system and to introduce reform to its military structure. So these two factors have basically contributed to the relatively big rise in defense spending. Besides, he added, putting the PRC’s defense budget in the context of the defense spending of other major countries in the world, you will realize that the PRC’s defense budget is the smallest. It is only 5 percent of the US budget this year and 30 percent of Japan’s.

China Daily (“PRESIDENT SAYS ARMY NEEDS TO MODERNIZE,” Beijing, 03/10- 11/01, P1) reported that speaking at a panel discussion among People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deputies to the National People’s Congress on March 9, PRC President Jiang Zemin urged the PLA to subject itself to the absolute leadership of the Party while also speeding up its own modernization processes and enhancing defense combat effectiveness under high-tech conditions. Jiang praised the PLA for its achievements in military modernization over the past five years and for its excellent performance in major military exercises and flood relief. He called on the PLA to make new contributions to the modernization of the country during the 10th Five-Year Plan period from 2001 to 2005. The PLA must have a clear understanding of its historic mission in safeguarding national security, unity and social stability, Jiang said. He urged the PLA to retain its sense of political responsibility and remain aware of its historical mission while expending greater efforts to enhance its defense combat effectiveness. “The PLA should closely monitor changing situations, prepare itself well for various military tasks and help local authorities maintain social stability.” Jiang stressed the importance of strengthening political education in the PLA to ensure the absolute loyalty of the armed forces to the Party. To accelerate the pace of military modernization, Jiang said that the PLA must give priority to the development of advanced defense technologies. “The enhancement of the PLA’s combat effectiveness should rely mainly on progress in science and technology,” he said.

4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

China Daily (Sun Shangwu, “US WARNED ABOUT ITS ARMS SALES TO TAIWAN,” 03/07/01, P1) reported that at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth Session of the Ninth National People’s Congress on March 6, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan warned that the US should realize the serious danger of continuing to sell advanced military hardware to Taiwan. The sale of advanced weapons, such as AEGIS missile destroyers and the Patriot anti-missile defense system, will send “a very wrong signal” to the Taiwan authorities, he said. “It will encourage a very small number of people—the Taiwan independence elements—to continue to engage in separatist activities, he added. The move will also endanger PRC-US relations and aggravate the tension across the Taiwan Straits and is not in the interests of US, said Tang, who urged the US to “rein in its wild horses.” When asked how the PRC would response to a sale, he answered, “we have to look at the attitude of the US, because it is dependent on the US.”

5. Taiwan Question

China Daily (“FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS WITH THE PRESS,” 03/07/01, P2) reported that at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth Session of the Ninth National People’s Congress on March 6, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan answered questions about Taiwan question. He said, “The Taiwan question has not been resolved until this day. There are mainly two categories of contributing factors. Firstly, within the island Chen Shui-bian has failed to recognize the one-China principle to this day. And the second factor relates to the outside factors, mainly coming from the US. If the US as an outside factor had not acted as a roadblock, then the Taiwan question would have been resolved a long time ago.

China Daily (“ONE-CHINA PRINCIPLE MUST UNDERPIN ALL DIALOGUE,” 03/09/01, P1) reported that PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen reiterated on March 8 that the one-China principle is the foundation for talks on any subject between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. At a group discussion with deputies of Taiwan origin to the Ninth National People’s Congress, in session in Beijing since last Monday, Qian said the one-China principle can neither be evaded nor blurred. The leader of the Taiwan authorities does not even accept the “one-China” principle and even refuses to recognize he is Chinese, Qian said. This is the root cause of the current tensions across the Straits, he said. Acceptance of the principle by Taiwan’s top authority will be conducive to stability in Taiwan and the development of cross-Straits relations, and the earlier the acceptance, the better, the vice-premier said. According to Qian, the Taiwan question is not only a problem left over by China’s civil war, it is also the result of US military intervention, as the US has continued selling advanced weapons to Taiwan since establishing diplomatic relations with the PRC. There is only one China, both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China, and China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity can never be separated. This is the common point which the two sides of the Straits must adhere to, said Qian. “We understand the aspirations of Taiwan compatriots to maintain the status quo, and the principle of ‘peaceful reunification and one country, two system’ is the best way to safeguard the benefits of Taiwan compatriots and the status quo,” he said.

6. US Missile Defense

Jiefang Daily (Tan Weibing, “BMD WILL PROTECT ALLIES,” Washington, D.C., 03/10/01, P4) reported that on March 8, US Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld held talks with the NATO Secretary-general and his German counterpart, discussing the US missile defense plan. At the conference after the talks, Rumsfeld said that he is considering renaming the “National Missile Defense (NMD)” system as the “Missile Defense” (MD) system, to show US allies that the planned system can not only protect the US homeland, but its forward-deployed forces and allies. The US used to call missile shields that protect its homeland NMD, and those protecting its abroad-deployed forces and allies Theater Missile Defense (TMD). Concerning this, Rumsfeld said he does not think it is necessary to draw lines between NMD and TMD, which, he thought, may bring differences in terms of defensive capability between the US and its allies. According to analysts, Rumsfeld’s declaration is intended to eliminate concerns among its European allies over NMD.

7. Denmark, Canada on NMD

Jiefang Daily (“DENMARK AND CANADA TAKE WAIT-AND-SEE ATTITUDE TO NMD, Ottawa, 03/12/01, P4) reported that the Danish Foreign Minister and his Canadian counterpart during their talks on March 9 expressed that both sides are concerned with the US NMD plan, and wish the US to continue to negotiate with Russia. The Danish foreign minister said that the US requested Denmark and Canada to be involved in the missile shield, but Denmark and Canada are still taking a wait-and-see attitude on it.

8. PRC-Russian Relations

China Daily (“FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS WITH THE PRESS,” 03/07/01, P2) reported that at a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing Fourth Session of the Ninth National People’s Congress on March 6, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan talked about PRC-Russian relations. He said that the PRC and Russia have maintained very good exchanges and cooperation in the economic, scientific, and technological fields, and in many other fields, including in military technological fields. Such exchanges and cooperation have yielded positive progress. The PRC- Russia relationship now is a new type and normal state-to-state relationship. It is neither an alliance nor targeted at any third country or third party. It is just a normal country-to-country relationship. The two sides also share a strong desire to be each other’s good neighbor, good partner, and good friend, and the “Good Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation” which is going to be signed between the two countries exactly embodies such a spirit.

9. US-Japan relations

China Daily (“JAPAN, US TO REVIEW KEY MILITARY PACT,” Tokyo, 03/09/01, P12) reported that Japan and the US agreed on March 8 to begin talks on reviewing part of a military pact on the status of US forces in Japan, a move that may give Japan more say in handling crimes committed by US servicemen. The decision was also an attempt to mend ties between the two allies, strained by a series of alleged crimes involving US military personnel in Japan and the sinking of a Japanese training trawler by a US nuclear submarine off Hawaii that left nine lost at sea, including four 17-year-old students. The two decided to open discussions aimed at reviewing the section of their Status-of-Forces (SOF) Agreement that deals with criminal court procedures for US military stationed in Japan. “Japan and the US reached an agreement to start discussions as soon as preparations are made,” the Foreign Ministry said. He did not elaborate. Under the current agreement, only US servicemen who are suspected of serious crimes, such as rape and murder, can be handed over to Japanese authorities prior to being charged. In the most recent incident, a marine stationed on Okinawa faces charges in connection with a series of arson attacks. Japanese media said that Japan was seeking to include such crimes as kidnapping, arson and violent robbery.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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