NAPSNet Daily Report 24 April, 2001

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 24 April, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 24, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-24-april-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-ROK Security Talks
2. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
3. PRC Response to US Arms Sales
4. Taiwan Response to US Arms Sales
5. Analyses of US Arms Sales
6. PRC-Japan Relations
7. Japanese Prime Minister’s Election
II. People’s Republic of China 1. US Policy on Korean Peninsula
2. PRC-US Talks on Plane Collision
3. PRC Response to US Travel Warning
4. PRC-US Human Rights Dispute
5. Lee Teng-hui’s Japan Visit
6. Lee Teng-hui’s US Visit
III. Correction 1. DPRK Agricultural Visit to US

I. United States

1. US-ROK Security Talks

The Korea Times (“‘2 PLUS 2’ SECURITY TALKS SET FOR THURSDAY,” 4/24/01) reported that ROK government officials said on Monday that senior security policymakers from the ROK and the US will hold a “two plus two” meeting in Seoul on April 26 to exchange views on a wide range of pending issues, including the strengthening of US- ROK coordination in formulating DPRK policies. The meeting will be attended by ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Han Seung-soo, ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin, US charge d’affaires Evans Revere and US Forces Korea (USFK) commander General Thomas Schwartz. The four are expected to hold consultations over a luncheon at the foreign minister’s residence in Hannam-dong. It would mark the first gathering of the four since Han and Kim took office. During the meeting, they are expected to assess the DPRK’s current political and military situation and exchange opinions on the forthcoming trip to the ROK by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, set for early next month. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 24, 2001.]

2. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal (Neil King Jr., “BUSH DEFERS SALE OF AEGIS TO TAIWAN, WILL OFFER FOUR KIDD-CLASS DESTROYERS,” Washington, 4/24/01), the Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Dana Milbank, “TAIWAN TO GET VARIETY OF ARMS,” 4/24/01), the Los Angeles Times (Edwin Chen, “BUSH WON’T SELL ADVANCED RADAR SYSTEM TO TAIWAN,” Washington, 4/24/01), and the Washington Times (Joseph Curl and Bill Gertz, “US WILL SELL DESTROYERS TO TAIWAN,” 4/24/01) reported that US President George W. Bush has deferred selling Taiwan destroyers equipped with the Aegis combat-radar system. In place of the Aegis system, the administration is offering four Kidd-class destroyers, but an unnamed senior White House official said that the administration would “keep open the possibility” of a future Aegis sale, depending on developments in PRC missile and air threats toward Taiwan. The Kidd-class destroyers were built for the Shah of Iran in the late 1970s, but they were never delivered and have been used by the US Navy until recently. They would be outfitted with an upgraded fleet-defense radar system and could be delivered to Taiwan at a cost of about US$185 million a ship. The cost of the entire arms sale package could amount to more than US$4 billion, the biggest since Bush’s father sold Taiwan 150 F-16 fighter jets in 1992. The White House said that the decision was meant neither as a way to threaten the PRC nor as part of a campaign to contain the PRC military. The White House official said, “This is a robust package that gives Taiwan what it needs to defend itself.” The official said the Kidd-class ships will be available in 2003 after they are retrofitted, years sooner than it would take to build the Aegis-equipped ships, adding that Taiwan’s navy is not ready for anything more advanced. The US also put off sales of 70 Apache Longbow attack helicopters as well as tanks requested by Taiwan. US Defense Department officials also will brief Taiwan on the technical details of the new PAC-3 version of the Patriot air-defense missile, but are not prepared to sell the system. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 24, 2001.]

Agence France Presse (“PENTAGON NOTIFIES TAIWANESE OF ARMS PACKAGE,” Washington, 4/24/01) reported that US officials said that a visiting Taiwanese military team received formal approval in Washington on Tuesday for its request to buy arms from the US. US Defense Department officials said that the list of items approved by US President George W. Bush went well beyond those disclosed by the White House, acknowledging that the administration was keeping the details secret in the face of the PRC response. US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said that a US delegation led by Fred Smith, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian affairs, briefed a Taiwanese delegation on the package at a three-hour meeting at Fort McNair. Questions remained about where the US will get the eight diesel-electric submarines promised, as Quigley said that the US neither owns nor builds diesel-electric submarines and has not asked any countries that do to either license US shipbuilders or sell them directly to Taiwan. He added, “We are reasonably sure that if the Taiwanese wish to come through us to obtain submarines, … we will find a way to make that work.” He cited Germany, the Netherlands and Italy as possible sources of diesel-electric submarines. But he said there had been no advance contacts with their governments “because it’s premature to do so at this point.” In Berlin, a government spokesman said that Germany was not interested in selling submarines to Taiwan. White House officials said that the US also is prepared to sell Taiwan 12 P-3 Orion submarine hunting patrol planes to beef up its naval defenses.

3. PRC Response to US Arms Sales

Agence France Presse (“CHINA FORMALLY PROTESTS US ARMS SALES TO TAIWAN,” Washington, 4/24/01) reported that US State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said that PRC ambassador to the US Yang Jiechi on Tuesday lodged a formal diplomatic protest at US President George W. Bush’s plans to sell arms to Taiwan. Yang delivered the protest in a meeting with Marc Grossman, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number three official in the State Department hierarchy.

Reuters (“CHINA SAYS SERIOUSLY CONCERNED OVER U.S. ARMS SALES,” Beijing, 4/24/01) reported that the PRC said on Tuesday that it was seriously concerned about the US package of sophisticated arms for Taiwan. The initial PRC response was measured, although several analysts predicted that the PRC would retaliate, particularly over the submarines that one said crossed a strategic “red line.” Yan Jiann-fa, the top PRC expert in President Chen Shui- bian’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), downplayed fears that the PRC may be tempted to lash out at Taiwan. Yan said, “We will weather any crisis. We’re happy we’ll be getting what we want.” He added, “But it’s not just the weapons. It’s U.S. commitment to and concern for Taiwan.” Wu Xinbo, a professor at the Fudan University Center for American Studies in Shanghai, predicted that the PRC response would go beyond words because of the submarines, which could also target PRC cities. Wu stated, “At this stage protest is too mild an action, given this break of the red line. I think there will be some substantive actions and this will come very soon.” He declined to speculate on what actions the PRC might take but said that they would “make the U.S. acutely aware of the cost of its behavior on this issue and remind the U.S. about the relative gain or loss from its Taiwan policy.” Yan Xuetong, executive director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies at Tsinghua University, said that the US used the threat of an Aegis sale as a “bluff card” to provide other weapons to Taiwan. He added, “China will feel hopeless to maintain the international regime of non-proliferation if the United States tries to undermine that regime.” A Western diplomat said that the PRC would probably avoid “obvious, high-profile acts of retaliation” in favor of a “revenge-by-stealth process” in non- proliferation policies.

Agence France Presse (“US REJECTS CHINA’S ANGER OVER TAIWAN ARMS SALES,” Washington, 4/24/01) reported that the US on Tuesday rejected the PRC’s reaction over its arms sale to Taiwan. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said that the PRC had only itself to blame for the sales. Fleischer said, “The best way to address this issue … is for China to take fewer actions rather than more in terms of its military presence across the strait from Taiwan so there is less of a threat to Taiwan. The presence of Chinese missiles across the strait is a reflection of what Taiwan faces and a factor the United States considers in determining what Taiwan’s defense needs are.” PRC foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said in Beijing, “If the US side disregards Chinese opposition to the sale of (these) weapons to Taiwan, it will constitute a serious violation of China’s sovereignty and gross interference in China’s internal affairs.” Fleischer also suggested that the White House next year would revisit the issue of providing Taiwan the Aegis radar system, but strongly denied that any of the weapons systems that the US agreed to provide to Taiwan posed an offensive threat to the PRC. Taiwan’s top military spokesman, Huang Sui-sheng, declined to comment on the arms deal but said that the island was menaced by the PRC.

4. Taiwan Response to US Arms Sales

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN GIVES LOW-KEY RESPONSE TO US ARMS SALE,” Taipei, 4/24/01) reported that Taiwanese authorities adopted a low-profile response Tuesday to the reported approval by US President George W. Bush of the sale of submarines and destroyers to the island. Taiwan’s military spokesman Huang Sui-sheng, said, “Communist China’s missile build-up has posed a great threat to Taiwan…. We would try to obtain whatever advanced arms that would help defend the nation’s safety,” but declined to comment the reported arms deal. Ou Si-fu, assistant researcher of the private Institute for National Policy Research, said that Taiwan had not expected the US to sell it the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers equipped with the Aegis system, but approval of the submarines was a surprise. Ou said that the Kidd-class destroyers would significantly upgrade Taiwan’s anti-air and anti-submarine capability. He added, “The arms sales to Taiwan complies with the US stance in maintaining Taiwan’s naval and air defense advantage.”

5. Analyses of US Arms Sales

Agence France Presse (“US ARMS PACKAGE TO TAIWAN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IN A DECADE: ANALYSTS,” Beijing, 4/24/01) reported that defense experts said Tuesday that the new US arms package being offered to Taiwan is bound to alarm the PRC. Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, said, “It’s the most significant weapons package in a decade. And it will give cause to yet another crisis in Sino-US relations.” Jia Qingguo, a professor at Beijing University’s School of International Studies, said, “It’s definitely counter- productive. The more you arm Taiwan, the more separatists on the island will step up their activities, and the more necessary it will be for the Chinese government to upgrade its own weapons systems.” Robert Karniol, Bangkok-based Asia-Pacific editor of Jane’s Defense Weekly, said, “Kidd-class destroyers are much larger vessels than anything Taiwan has at present. They are more stable in the water and provide a larger platform for various kinds of weapons systems.” Analysts also pointed out the arms package does little to address the menace of the 300 missiles deployed on the PRC that are capable of reaching Taiwan.

6. PRC-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (“JAPAN FACES CHINA HEAT OVER TAIWAN,” Beijing, 4/24/01) reported that the PRC said Tuesday that it has canceled some official visits to Japan. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue did not say which visits were canceled. However, she said that the “political foundation” for ties has been undermined. Zhang stated, “Some of the visits by Chinese leaders have been canceled because we think that so far on the question of the history textbooks the Japanese side has not given a convincing explanation to the Chinese side and then it issued a visit to Lee Teng-hui, creating trouble on the question of Taiwan. Normal relations, normal contact, cannot but be affected to some extent.” An anonymous Japanese diplomat said that the PRC canceled a trip to Japan by a group of provincial governors and a May visit by the Communist Party head of Chongqing. However, he added that the PRC so far has not said it will cancel a May visit by Li Peng, the head of the PRC legislature.

7. Japanese Prime Minister’s Election

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “REFORMER CHOSEN JAPAN’S NEXT LEADER,” Tokyo, 4/24/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister candidate Junichiro Koizumi defeated Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto 293- 155 to win the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidency Tuesday. Koizumi said, “This election was held against an unprecedented headwind. I promised to change the party and to change Japan, and fortunately, many party members supported my call.” Koizumi is certain to be formally named prime minister later this week by the LDP- dominated Parliament. Koizumi, a former health minister, is pushing economic and structural reforms, including the privatization of Japan’s postal system, which offers savings accounts and insurance policies to the public.

II. People’s Republic of China

1. US Policy on Korean Peninsula

Wenhui Daily (Liu Min, “PEACE PROCESS ON KOREAN PENINSULA: A DYNAMIC COURSE,” 04/24/01, P4) stated that the Bush administration shelved the US engagement policy toward DPRK soon after assuming power. It withdrew the position of Korean Issue Policy Coordinator and let US Assistant Secretary of State Kerry be in charge of the envoy position for the Four-Party Talks. In mid-March, when ROK President Kim Dae-jung visited Washington, Bush directly expressed his policy adjustment by saying that the DPRK is mainly a threatening state. He thought that the US cannot trust DPRK, because of its covert policymaking and actions. Due to the difficult of verification, the US could not be certain that the DPRK would observe international agreements it has signed. The Bush administration is unhappy with Clinton’s and Kim Dae-jung’s DPRK policy, for he thought it was too tolerant without producing mutual benefit. The US side has advised the ROK not to aid the DPRK unconditionally, and to seek transparency and mutual benefit. The US was also opposed to supplying electricity by the ROK to the DPRK, arguing that doing so would undermine the US position in re-negotiating the Agreed Framework. Kim Dae-jung left the US without much regret and frustration. His meeting with Bush was termed by some in the ROK as the end of the most active stage of the “sunshine policy.”

2. PRC-US Talks on Plane Collision

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “TWO SIDES CONTINUE TALKS,”04/19/01, P1) and China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, Shao Zongwei, “SINO-US TALKS CONCLUDE,”04/20/01, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on April 19 that after two days of negotiations regarding the ramming and destruction a Chinese fighter jet by a US reconnaissance plane, the two sides have agreed to keep in contact and resolve the issue through diplomatic channels. Lu Shumin, head of the PRC delegation, was quoted as saying that this was a serious incident, a violation of international law and an infringement upon the PRC’s sovereignty. He said that the US should bear full responsibility for the incident, give an explanation to the Chinese people, stop sending planes on reconnaissance missions into areas near China’s coast and adopt effective measures to avoid the recurrence of similar incidents. During the negotiations, the PRC side also presented a large amount of evidence that adequately proved that it was the US plane that destroyed the Chinese plane and perpetrated the incident, Zhang said. Zhang showed reporters some of the evidence shared during the negotiations, including a snippet of a video, animated simulation and three pictures of the US aircraft after the incident. Lu Shumin, who is also the director-general of the Department of the North American and Oceanic Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, emphasized that the PRC hopes that a proper resolution to the incident can be reached without further damage to Sino-US relations, but whether such a result can be achieved mainly depends on the US side. The US side should fully realize the seriousness of the incident and address it earnestly, Lu said. According to Zhang Qiyue, Peter F. Verga, the head of the US delegation, stated that the US does not see the PRC as an enemy and that the development of a constructive and fruitful Sino-US relationship is also the desire of the US side. The US side hopes to resolve the incident properly, but Verga claimed that the responsibility of incident does not lie with the US side. He defended the US practice of sending reconnaissance planes on the excuse that the US planes enjoy freedom of flight, but the Chinese side rebuffed his argument. The US side also brought up the issue of the EP-3 plane, urging the PRC to return it. The spokeswoman said at the briefing on April 17 that the PRC has the right to investigate the plane according to international and Chinese laws and said that the PRC will decide how to handle the aircraft based on the result of the investigation.

3. PRC Response to US Travel Warning

People’s Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “PRC REQUESTS US TO MODIFY MISTAKES,” Beijing, 04/21/01, P4) and China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “TRAVEL WARNING ‘IRRESPONSIBLE’,” 04/21-22/01, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on April 20 that the US State Department’s warning on Thursday against traveling to the PRC was extremely wrong and irresponsible. The news story said that the US State Department claimed on April 19 that at least two US citizens had been detained by PRC on charges of espionage and activities endangering the PRC’s national security. It warned US citizens, particularly those originally from China and those engaged in activities criticizing China or in contact with the Taiwan authorities, that they face the risk of being detained if they go to the PRC. Commenting on the warning, Zhang expressed the PRC’s strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the announcement. “The Chinese side demands that the US correct their mistake immediately and take measures to counter the negative impact brought about by the so-called warning,” she said. The PRC has always welcomed foreigners, including those from the US, to visit and has protected their legitimate rights according to law, said Zhang. But she pointed out that foreigners should abide by the PRC’s laws during their stay in the country. Zhang said that the US side knows full well that a few of its citizens are being handled according to Chinese law because they have broken the law. She criticized the US for their unwarranted criticism of the PRC judicial organ’s lawful handling of the relevant cases, for fabricating so-called risks and for attempting to incite Chinese Americans, as well as other people, against the PRC.

4. PRC-US Human Rights Dispute

PLA Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “PRC SPEAKS ON HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE,” Beijing, 04/19/01, P5) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on April 18 made remarks on the PRC’s human rights victory in Geneva. Zhang said that on April 18 an anti-China vote, concocted by the US, was foiled once again as a China-tabled “no-action” motion was passed at the 57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). She pointed out that this is the PRC’s tenth victory over the US-led anti-China bid since 1990. The PRC Government has always put human rights issue high on its agenda, and has made great achievements in economic development and social progress to improve and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Chinese people, which has been thought of highly by the international community, said Zhang. The US anti-China votes are totally products of political need, aiming to intervene in China’s internal affairs under the pretence of human rights and damage the PRC’s international image.

5. Lee Teng-hui’s Japan Visit

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “LEE’S VISA PROMPTS STRONG PROTEST,” 04/21-22/01, P1) reported that after the Japanese Government decided to issue a visa for Lee Teng-hui, PRC Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi urgently met with Japanese Ambassador to the PRC Koreshige Anami on April 20 and lodged solemn representations with the Japanese Government about its decision. Wang said that the PRC has, through various channels, repeatedly expounded the serious political nature of Lee’s visit to Japan and demanded that Japan observe the fundamental principles of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration and prevent Lee from visiting Japan. However, Wang said, it is regrettable that Japan is adamant about permitting Lee to visit. Wang argued that Lee, the chief representative of the “Taiwan independence” forces, has never stopped his activities aimed at trying to split China. He has been attempting to visit Japan using all sorts of excuses, and this time it is on the pretence of his needs for “medical treatment,” Wang said. This time, some members of the Taiwan authorities have also given their support to Lee, claiming that this is a so-called issue for the whole nation, Wang said. This demonstrates that Lee’s visit is neither “civilian” nor a so-called “humanitarian issue,” but a pure and simple political issue, he said. The Japanese Government made clear commitments in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement that it fully understands and respects the PRC Government’s stand on the Taiwan question, and it has said on many occasions that it will abide by the one-China principle and not support “Taiwan independence,” according to Wang. There is nothing, he noted, more important than keeping one’s word in dealing with the relations between two countries. Wang also stressed that the Japanese side has yet to give a proper explanation regarding the new Japanese history textbook to the Chinese people, and has now caused a disturbance on the Taiwan question as well. Anami said that he would report the stance of the PRC side to his government immediately, adding that Lee’s visit to Japan will be strictly limited to his medical treatment. The ambassador said that Japan will not change its stand on adhering to the principles of the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement.

Wenhui Daily (Wang Dajun, “GIVING VISA TO LEE MEANS A LOT,”04/21/01, P2) carried a commentary on the Japanese Government’s grant of entry permission to Lee Teng-hui, the formal Taiwan leader. The story concluded that there were three reasons for Japanese Government’s decision. The first is that in Japan there always exists forces in various circles that adopt a hostile attitude towards China, especially in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. They do not want to see a strong and unified China. As recently as last fall, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori promised to give Lee visa permission sooner or later. Another consideration of the Japanese Government is its intent to distract people’s attention from its history textbook issue, the article argued. Besides, the Japanese Government did not keep its promise due to an ulterior motive, namely that with the situation of Japan’s “dead-end” economy, Japanese authorities deliberately aggravated the tensions between PRC and Japan to seek excuse for arms expansion and military manufacturing, which in turn will stimulate economic growth.

6. Lee Teng-hui’s US Visit

People’s Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “PRC SPEAKS ON LEE’S US VISIT,” Beijing, 04/22/01, P2) reported that on April 21 PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao commented on the US permission for Lee Teng-hui to visit the US. He said that this is another US mistaken action on the Taiwan question. It has violatedthe three joint communiques and the US relevant commitments, he noted. The PRC has expressed its strong dissatisfaction and opposition, he added, and has made serious representations with the US concerning this issue. He stressed that Lee is always the representative of Taiwan independence forces, and a complete “troublemaker,” but not an ordinary citizen. Though he has stepped down, Lee is still engaging splitting China in the international arena. The US permission for him to visit could only boost Taiwan independence activities and damage cross-Straits relations and Sino-US relations.

III. Correction

1. DPRK Agricultural Visit to US

[Ed. Note: Randall Ireson, DPRK Development Assistance Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, sent the following response to a Korea Herald article summarized in the ROK section, item 3, of the Daily Report for April 24.] “The Korea Herald news article published on April 23 (“Pyongyang’s Delegation Finds Obstacles in Agricultural Cooperation with U.S.”) considerably understated the success of the agriculture delegation which American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)recently hosted in the U.S. Rather than finding “obstacles,” the delegation noted many practices of U.S. pig and poultry farmers which could be adapted in the DPRK, including for example age-specific feed formulations, building and pen construction details, and automated ventilation and environmental control for animal barns. The delegation was also extremely appreciative of the wholehearted cooperation received from Iowa State University, the University of Missouri, Washington State University and Heifer Project International, as well as the many individual farmers, government animal health officials, and agribusiness companies who shared their technical and managerial experience. AFSC noted that the members of the delegation were all specialists with wide practical experience in their respective fields. They did not expect to simply transfer US production systems to the DPRK, but rather to identify what aspects of the US agriculture system can best be adapted to conditions at home. AFSC and its counterparts in the DPRK will continue to develop opportunities for future technical exchange.”

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