NAPSNet Daily Report 17 July, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 17 July, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 17, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-17-july-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-Cambodia Relations
2. US Bases in ROK
3. Korean War Dead in Japanese Shrine
4. Japanese Aid to PRC
5. PRC-Russian Friendship Treaty
6. US View of Beijing Olympics
7. US-Taiwan Military Relations
II. People’s Republic of China 1. PRC-DPRK Relations
2. PRC-Russian Relations
3. US Missile Test
4. Cross-Straits Relations
5. Cross-Straits Reunification Proposal

I. United States

1. DPRK-Cambodia Relations

Agence France-Presse (Luke Hunt, “NORTH KOREANS GET MASS WELCOME IN CAMBODIA,” Phnom Penh, 07/17/01) reported that a DPRK delegation headed by Kim Yong-Nam arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday. Thousands of school children were given the morning off and handed DPRK flags. Organizers said that some 125,000 people ringed the road from the airport to the royal palace. Kim was met at the airport by King Norodom Sihanouk and his son Prince Norodom Ranariddh. He was to spend the next four days meeting top government officials. Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said the relationship between King Sihanouk and the DPRK leadership was “in the spirit of strengthening relations, friendship and cooperation between the two countries. That’s why his excellency Kim Yong-Nam is paying a visit here.” He said a joint communique would be signed later Tuesday and would include Cambodia’s support for national reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. King Sihanouk frequently visited Pyongyang in the 1970’s and most of his bodyguards come from the DPRK. An unnamed western diplomat stated, “The numbers that turned out today, and King Sihanouk being there to greet someone who is effectively a number two head-of-state is reflective of the relationship.”

2. US Bases in ROK

Pacific Stars and Stripes (Franklin Fisher, “US MAY CLOSE 15 MAJOR BASES IN KOREA, CONSOLIDATE TROOPS AT ONE LOCATION,” Taegu, 7/17/01) reported that Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for the Combined Forces Command, Colonel Robert E. Durbin, said that the US military will close 15 as-yet-unnamed major installations (more than one-third) in the ROK and return thousands of acres of land to the ROK government under a 10-year Land Partnership Plan now in the final stages of negotiation. However, Durbin said, there will be no cuts in US troop strength in the ROK. He also said that as early as next year, new lands could be given to the US as lands are being returned to the ROK. The US military would then begin renovations and new construction at its existing facilities and new construction on newly acquired lands. The investment will combine US and ROK construction funding. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 17, 2001.]

3. Korean War Dead in Japanese Shrine

Agence France Presse (“SEOUL TO ASK TOKYO TO REMOVE KOREAN NAMES FROM CONTROVERSIAL SHRINE,” Seoul, 7/17/01) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that the ROK will ask Japan to remove names of Korean war dead from a shrine in Tokyo. It was not known until 1991 that more than 21,000 tablets supposedly carrying spirits of Korean war dead were preserved at the Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo, where 2.46 million Japanese war dead are venerated. Fourteen war criminals convicted by the Allies after World War II are also enshrined there. Relatives of the Korean war dead have been demanding the return of the tablets so that the war dead could come back to their homeland more than 50 years after being conscripted as forced labor. An official of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said, “It is nonsensical that the memorial tablets of Koreans are kept in the Yasukuni Shrine alongside the tablets of A-class Japanese war criminals.”

4. Japanese Aid to PRC

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN’S FINANCE MINISTER URGES AID CUT TO GROWING MILITARY POWERS,” Tokyo, 7/17/01) reported that Japanese Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa on Tuesday urged his government to cut back on development aid to emerging military powers, including the PRC. Shiokawa said, “At a time when the Japanese economy is in severe straits, we are giving (ODA) out to countries which own atomic bombs and missiles while they strengthen their military power. I want it to be better utilized.”

5. PRC-Russian Friendship Treaty

The Associated Press (Vladimir Isachenkov, “CHINA LEADER: SECURITY IS TREATY GOAL,” Moscow, 7/17/01) and Reuters (Oleg Shchedrov, “CHINA’S JIANG: NEW TREATY NO THREAT TO RUSSIA,” Moscow, 7/17/01) reported that visiting PRC President Jiang Zemin told students at Moscow State University on Tuesday that the new 20- year friendship treaty between Russia and the PRC was aimed at protecting global security. Jiang said, “The goal of signing the treaty was to deepen mutual confidence. If we firmly and unfailingly implement this treaty, we will make Russian-Chinese relations an example of friendship.” He also said, “China will consistently support Russia’s efforts to revive its economy and defend its rights and interests. China will never do anything which could harm Russia’s interests.” Jiang told the students that the PRC shared Russia’s opposition to NATO’s plans to expand eastward through incorporating Russia’s former allies in Central Europe. He said, “Strengthening and expanding military blocs can only bring about more destabilizing factors and harm the interests of international security.” However, many experts in Russia believe that the new friendship with the PRC carries potential long-term threats to Russia. Economic cooperation with the PRC currently focuses on the arms trade, including supplies to the PRC of modern Russian warplanes. Military experts believe that the Russian military, unable to pay for more arms, may soon face a better equipped and numerically stronger PRC army across the border. Another worry, expressed by economists, is that Russia’s far eastern regions, with a population of less than five million, could become subject to economic expansion by the PRC, whose border provinces are home to several hundred million people. Political analysts say the interests of the PRC, which is seeking a status of a world power to match its economic might, will sooner or later clash with those of Russia, keen to keep its political status despite economic weakness.

Agence France Presse (“CHINA AND RUSSIA MAKE CONVENIENT BED-FELLOWS AGAINST US: ANALYSTS,” Hong Kong, 7/17/01) reported that analysts said Tuesday that the Sino-Russian friendship treaty signed Monday is a fragile alliance between two uneasy neighbors bound mainly by the desire to thwart any US ambitions of global military domination. US political commentator Joseph Cheng said, “China and Russia only share a common interest in denying the US any dominant role in the world. They are merely trying to increase cooperation in order to exert pressure on the United States. Both sides have no intention of forming a military alliance. What concerns Beijing and Moscow most is that the US anti-missile defense system could force both into an arms race, which will create a huge financial burden and in turn handicap their economic development.” Jean-Pierre Cabestan, director of the Centre for Studies of Contemporary China, agreed that the new Sino-Russian treaty was merely “diplomatic posturing” to unite weak nations against the US. However, Cabestan said it was not similar to the days of the Cold War between the then Soviet Union and the US. He said, “China and Russia don’t share everything at all–militarily or economically. Today, it’s vice versa. China and Russia are forming convenient allies to balance the domination of the United States. It is a fragile alliance.” The US on Monday gave a cautious welcome to the accord, saying it posed no particular threat and might even be in US interest. Ari Fleischer, spokesman for US President George W. Bush, stated, “Just because Russia and China have entered into an agreement does not necessarily mean it’s something that would be adverse to the interests of the United States.” US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher also noted that Russia and China “have a long border in the region, and it’s important for them to get along, so we don’t see it as any particular threat to us or to our plans.”

6. US View of Beijing Olympics

USA Today (Bill Nichols and Barbara Slavin, “POWELL: ALL EYES ARE ON BEIJING,” Washington, 7/17/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that the PRC’s selection as the site for the 2008 Summer Olympics will put the country under “seven years of supervision” by the international community and could prod the PRC government toward more openness and democracy. Powell stated, “I hope they know what they got. Anytime there is a problem that draws the attention of the international community in a negative way toward China, the Olympics will come up again.” Powell will visit the PRC next week, his first trip there since the mid-1980s, to prepare for US President George W. Bush’s state visit in October. Powell said that by the time of the 2008 Olympics, he hopes the PRC leaders “will find that you can’t continue with economic democracy without political democracy.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for July 17, 2001.]

7. US-Taiwan Military Relations

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN MAY PARTICIPATE IN US MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM,” Taipei, 7/17/01) reported that Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Huang Suey-sheng said Tuesday that Taiwan may participate in the US missile shield project and also hold joint military maneuvers with the US amid the perceived PRC military threat against the island. Huang said, “As of now we have not been invited to join the US arms programs, but once we are invited and reach a consensus among the people, the defense ministry will cautiously evaluate the feasibility. Any plans that would help reduce the military threat from the Chinese communists would be assessed.” In an article published on July 16, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian stated, “Maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait and avoiding a PRC threat against Taiwan is something that the US, Japan and Taiwan must jointly deal with.” Echoing Chen’s call for closer military exchanges with the US, Huang also hinted the possibility of joint military exercises with the US despite a lack of diplomatic ties. He said, “The military always gave priority to military exchanges with friendly countries including the US, and the possibility of engaging in joint military exercises with the US cannot be ruled out.”

II. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC-DPRK Relations

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “KIM JONG-IL: DPRK-PRC RELATIONS MOST IMPORTANT,” Pyongyang, 07/13/01, P3) reported that on July 12 DPRK leader Kim Jong-il met with PRC delegation led by PRC Political Bureau member Jiang Chunyun. Kim expressed his warm welcome to the Chinese delegation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between DPRK and PRC. Kim said that strengthening and developing DPRK-PRC bilateral friendly cooperative relations is an unswerving policy of the Korean Workers’ Party. The DPRK puts relations with the PRC on the first place among its foreign relations development, he stressed.

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “SINO-DPRK FRIENDSHIP HAILED,” Beijing, 07/11/01, P1) reported that on July 10, PRC President Jiang Zemin met with a DPRK delegation headed by Kim Yun-hyok, Secretary-General of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, to remind the world of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the two countries. The treaty, signed by the elder-generation leaders of the two countries, laid a solid foundation for the advancement of bilateral relations, he said. That treaty has served to further the hopes and dreams of both peoples and maintain peace and stability in the region, Jiang said.

2. PRC-Russian Relations

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “JIANG ARRIVES IN MOSCOW,” Moscow, 07/16/01, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin arrived in Moscow on July 15 to kick off a four-day state visit aimed at opening a new chapter in Sino- Russian ties. “The consolidation and strengthening of a new type of inter-state relations between China and Russia is fundamental to the interests of both countries and to peace, stability and development,” said Jiang in a written statement issued upon his arrival. The new era would be characterized by being helpful, equal neighbors who value trust and common development. Jiang is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 and will sign the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. Jiang said the treaty will lay a solid foundation for the bilateral ties in the distant future. Russian Ambassador to China Igor Rogachev said, “President Jiang’s visit will be one of the central events in bilateral contacts this year and the most important event in terms of the dynamically expanding strategic partnership and joint action shared by Russia and China.” Rogachev described Jiang’s visit as “historic and marking the start of a new era.”

People Daily (Liu Shuiming, Sun Yongjun, and Ma Jian, “PRC AND RUSSIA SIGN TREATY,” Moscow, 07/17/01, P1) reported that the PRC and Russia signed a treaty that legalizes the peaceful philosophy for lasting friendship between the two countries. The two nations agreed in the 25-article treaty to base their relations on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and pledged to develop the strategic partnership of coordination characterized by good- neighborliness, cooperation, equality and trust. During his meeting with Russian President Putin before the signing, PRC President Jiang Zemin hailed the treaty, saying it completely discarded the Cold War mentality that inter-state relations could only be ones of alliance or antagonism. Highlighting the guiding role of the treaty in Sino-Russian relations in the 21st century, Jiang told the press after the signing ceremony that it provides an example for new inter- state relations. According to the treaty, China and Russia will not resort to force in any disputes. They also pledged not to launch nuclear strikes against each other and not to target strategic nuclear missiles against the other. They will enhance cooperation in the military field, but said this would not target a third country. The PRC and Russia pledged to join hands in safeguarding the global strategic balance. Jiang was quoted as saying by a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman, “The treaty reflects the new type of nation-to-nation relations that seek security through trust and cooperation through mutual benefit.”

3. US Missile Test

Jiefang Daily (“US TESTS NMD AGAIN,” Shanghai, 07/16/01, P4) reported that US Defense Department officials testified on July 14 that the US military succeeded in the fourth test of missile intercepting technology. On July 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the US missile test in the Pacific Ocean, saying that this threatens the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty signed between US and the former Soviet Union. According to a Russian media report, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that this test further threatens nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, including the ABM treaty. The Russian spokesman stated Russia’s position that the maintenance and strengthening of ABM treaty is very important. Russia has some liability on the ABM treaty and prepares to discuss all relevant issues on the basis of this liability, the spokesman added.

4. Cross-Straits Relations

PLA Daily (Xinhua News Agency, Chen Binhua, “SIX PIECES OF COMMON UNDERSTANDING REACHED,” Beijing, 07/12/01,P4) reported that the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee held talks with the visiting Taiwan “New Party Mainland Affairs Committee Delegation”(MACD) in Beijing on July 11, exchanging views on major issues in cross-Straits relations and reaching six items of common understanding. Firstly, both sides expressed that they share common proposals and knowledge over many key issues in the cross-Straits relations, which include the one China principle and peaceful reunification. Secondly, people in the PRC and Taiwan are all Chinese. Thirdly, the two sides considered that after the PRC and Taiwan both join the WTO, agriculture will face challenges, for which both sides should strengthen agricultural exchange and cooperation. The PRC side encourages Taiwan farmers to invest in the PRC. Fourthly, the New Party delegation proposed that the PRC should encourage and support the Taiwan communities and individuals who wish to develop education in the PRC. Fifthly, the TAO and the New Party MACD will exchanges views on cross-Straits relations and reunification issues irregularly on the basis of mutual respect and equal negotiation, for the incremental setup of a routine dialogue mechanism. Finally, the MACD will establish a special department that will collaborate with relevant departments of the TAO to deal with issues concerning compatriots’ rights across the Straits.

5. Cross-Straits Reunification Proposal

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “QIAN MEETS TAIWAN’S NEW PARTY DELEGATION,” Beijing, 07/13/01, P1) reported that on July 12, PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen met with an eight-member delegation representing the New Party of Taiwan headed by Hsu Li-nung. Qian said he appreciated the New Party’s stance in upholding the one- China principle and pursuing the goal of national reunification. He said that the PRC has long been devoted to exchange and dialogue with parties from Taiwan that agree to the one-China principle, oppose “Taiwan independence” and strive for the development of cross-Straits relations. Qian said that the current dialogue between the New Party delegation and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee is a good experiment. Qian pointed out that the opposition on the part of the Taiwan leader to the one-China principle has not only hindered the improvement of cross-Straits relations, but also aggravated the political turbulence and economic plight on the island, which hurts the interests of Taiwanese people.

Global Times (Zhang Bochen, “QIAN QICHEN EXPLAINS ‘ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS’,” 07/17/01, P1) carried an article listing PRC Vice-Premier’s 7 points on the “one country, two systems” policy to Taiwan. While meeting with the Taiwan New Party delegation on July 12, according to media reports, Qian listed seven items to elaborate the “one country, two systems” policy: 1) Taiwan continues to use the existing currency; 2) Taiwan continues to keep its armed forces; 3) Taiwan is an independent custom region; 4) Taiwan continues to maintain its government structure; 5) Chinese mainland will not take one penny from Taiwan, and will not transfer Taiwan capital; 6) Taiwan people and entrepreneurs continue to possess their property; and 7) Taiwan is independent in personnel arrangement, and the mainland will not send any officials to Taiwan. Analysts said that as long as Taiwan accepts one country, the two systems are quite open, which gives Taiwan highly autonomous rights. Sensitive Taiwan media analyzed that the PRC propose the Party-to-Party consultation form to be the future cross-Straits communication channel, but explicitly eliminates the possibility of contacting with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This shows that the PRC has ended its policy toward Taiwan authorities of “listening to its rhetoric and watching its behavior,” the analysis said. If the Taiwan authorities refuse to acknowledge the one-China principle, it will be not only impossible for the resumption of talks between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), but also impossible for the Chinese Communist Party to conduct Party-to-Party contact with the DPP.

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