NAPSNet Daily Report 24 August, 2001

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks
2. DPRK Famine
3. ROK National Security Law
4. US-Taiwan Relations
5. Cross-Straits Relations
6. PRC Military Exercises
7. PRC in South China Sea
8. US-PRC Nonproliferation Talks
9. PRC View of ABM Treaty
10. US-Russia Talks
11. US Security Policy in Asia

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

Reuters (“N.KOREA DEMANDS U.S. CLEAR WAY TO RESTART TALKS,” Seoul, 08/24/01) reported that the DPRK’s state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) called on the US to remove hurdles to restarting talks. KCNA stated, “It is still the U.S. side’s turn to kick the ball.” It added, “The U.S. has not yet withdrawn those agenda items for negotiations it had unilaterally put up before both sides sit together.” It said that those items are “unacceptable as they are unilateral and hostile in their nature.” It stated, “It is quite clear that the dialogue can hardly be resumed unless those agenda items are withdrawn,” demanding that US President George W. Bush return to a policy “identical” to that of former President Bill Clinton. KCNA said that the DPRK was “honestly keeping its promises” including the 1994 Agreed Framework.

2. DPRK Famine

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “U.N. SAYS AID AVERTED N. KOREAN FAMINE,” Yokohama, 08/24/01, A21) reported that Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program, said that international food aid to the DPRK has been “absolutely a success.” While Bertini said that the DPRK government has done little to relax controls on aid workers, she disputed charges that significant amounts of the food are being diverted to members of the military and Communist Party. She stated, “Ultimately, we have to appeal to the publics [of donor countries] to say there’s enough food in your country to keep these children alive, and it’s your responsibility not to let the children starve.” Bertini said that during her recent trip to the DPRK, she visited a pediatric hospital where “the children were really in sad shape. A large number of them were malnourished. It was primarily little kids under 2. Their mothers were very thin. A lot of the mothers didn’t have enough milk to give, and there wasn’t enough baby food.” She added, however, “In 1997, there was incredible desperation. Just looking at the children and adults, many of them were skin- and-bones, lots of distended bellies and orange hair. Now, we really can see the progress. The children are healthier. They are more active.” She concluded that while there are “still people in a very precarious situation, this is a success story. Without these massive amounts of aid, we would be reading dire reports of millions of people every year dying of starvation.”

3. ROK National Security Law

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “SEVEN SOUTH KOREAN ACTIVISTS JAILED,” Seoul, 08/24/01) and Reuters (Paul Eckert, “SOUTH KOREAN LEFTISTS ARRAIGNED FOR TRIP TO NORTH,” Seoul, 08/24/01) reported that seven ROK activists were jailed Friday on suspicion of violating the National Security Law by engaging in pro- communist activities during a visit to the DPRK. Prosecutors accused Kim Kyu-chul and five other activists of exchanging unauthorized e-mails with DPRK officials and holding a secret meeting with them during the trip. The main opposition Grand National Party introduced a motion in the National Assembly on Friday seeking to dismiss Unification Minister Lim Dong-won for approving the activists’ visit to the DPRK. ROK President Kim Dae-jung said that he would not replace Lim and that the minister acted after full intergovernmental consultations.

4. US-Taiwan Relations

The Washington Post (Alan Sipress, “HYDE URGES STRONG SUPPORT FOR TAIWAN,” 08/24/01, A24) and the Associated Press (William Foreman, “TAIWAN SAID KEY TO CHANGING CHINA,” Taipei, 08/24/01) reported that US Representative Henry J. Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, delivered a speech on Friday in Taipei at the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce calling for the US to strengthen ties with Taiwan. He said that the dispute over a US spy plane detained on Hainan Island earlier this year is one of several “troubling signs” of the PRC’s aggressive intentions. Hyde stated, “If Beijing’s ambition is to unilaterally revise the status quo in East Asia or elsewhere to its liking, it must first target the influence of the United States.” He added that the US can counter the PRC by promoting the development of a democratic government that would focus on improving domestic living conditions rather than on “foreign adventures.” He stated, “A free and uncoerced Taiwan is of immense strategic importance to the U.S. and to the world as a whole, perhaps an irreplaceable one. Taiwan’s mere existence as a prosperous and stable Chinese democracy is a challenge to the regime in Beijing because it is proof that its propaganda about the impossibility of democracy in China is false.”

5. Cross-Straits Relations

The Associated Press (Ted Anthony, “CHINA, TAIWAN FACE DILEMMA,” Beijing, 08/24/01) reported that China Daily encouraged PRC consumers to return new Panasonic mobile phones that were programmed with a prefix codes for “ROC” [Republic of China]. The newspaper called on Panasonic to “rewrite the name of Taiwan, which is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.” Jonathan Adelman of the University of Denver stated, “The language tells a story. It reflects the complexity in Chinese politics. They want the psychological acknowledgment by Taipei that it is the younger brother and Beijing is the older brother.” Philip Yang, a political science professor at National Taiwan University, stated, “The words may confuse outsiders, but to us they represent the continuing struggle for a proper solution or arrangement in dealing with Beijing.” He added, “It puts us at a disadvantage. People listen to Beijing.” Stephen J. Hood, a China expert at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, argued, “The new generation [in the PRC] is starting to realize that you have to have a new tone, that it can’t just be saber-rattling all the time. That language time and time again, that the bad guys are just out to get them, it’s not working anymore. They have to use the language of diplomacy as well.”

6. PRC Military Exercises

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA TESTS MISSILE IN WAR-GAME FINALE,” 08/24/01) reported that PRC military forces carried out a flight test of a CSS-2 medium-range ballistic missile. US military satellites tracked the missile from a test facility in northern China on Tuesday to an impact area near the Mongolian border. US officials familiar with intelligence reports said that while Dongshan Island near Taiwan was the scene of most of the PRC’s recent military exercises, exercises were also conducted in other coastal locations and inland. One unnamed intelligence official stated, “We have been seeing military operations all along the Chinese coast.” A US defense official said that the exercises have been watched “extremely carefully” by the US military and that they were significantly larger than past maneuvers. The official argued, “This has been an unprecedented use of military exercises to send a propaganda message to Taiwan.” The article said that one unique feature of the exercises was the use of commercial ships in military operations. Richard Fisher, a specialist on the PRC military with the Jamestown Foundation, stated, “The public display of artillery and tanks on merchant ships may look silly, but its not. It is meant to exercise unconventional invasion methods, such as the conscription of hundreds or thousands of civilian merchant and fishing ships for an invasion of Taiwan. It conveys serious intent.” [Ed. Note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 24.]

7. PRC in South China Sea

The Washington Times carried an analytical article (Mark J. Valencia, “SOUTH CHINA SEA BEIJING’S BUFFER?,” Honolulu, 08/24/01) which said that the PRC sees the South China Sea as containing sea lanes that are vital to its security. The article argued, “in China’s view, the United States is intent on encircling it with military alliances, bases and military-access arrangements involving Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. To China’s dismay, even India is extending its naval presence into the South China Sea, possibly with the tacit encouragement of the United States.” It added, “Also related is U.S. insistence on absolute freedom of navigation and overflight, even of reconnaissance planes, close to China’s coast.” The article maintained that the PRC “is determined to consolidate its borders and control its claimed areas as part of its drive to re-establish a ‘greater China’ and its historical role as the dominant power in Asia. More immediately, to defend itself from perceived threats, China wants to establish a protective sphere in its surrounding seas and has embarked on an aggressive campaign to acquire and develop conventional weapons and capabilities that will allow it to assert control over the islands — and eventually the entire South China Sea.” It added that there are also domestic factors, as “Beijing must demonstrate to its increasingly assertive provinces, as well as to the democracy movements in China and Hong Kong and the independence movement on Taiwan, that it is firmly in control of national policy.” It stated, “Another prime motive for China’s behavior in the South China Sea is oil — real or imagined.” The article noted that the PRC is cautious about multilateralism, fearing “that the agenda and process may be manipulated by the United States or others.” The author concluded that given the inevitability of the PRC’s economic and military growth, “if its political makeup remains unchanged and it continues to press its expansive claims in the South China Sea aggressively, the islands and their attendant maritime space may simply fall into its hands like ripe fruit.”

8. US-PRC Nonproliferation Talks

Reuters (Jeremy Page, “U.S. AND CHINA AT ODDS ON MISSILE PROLIFERATION,” Beijing, 08/24/01) and the Washington Times (Nicholas Kralev and David R. Sands, “MISSION RETURNS WITHOUT DEAL,” 08/24/01) reported that the PRC said on Friday that it had stuck by its commitments to nonproliferation after talks with the US ended. PRC state radio quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao as saying, “The Chinese government has always taken a sincere and responsible attitude toward the question of non-proliferation and strictly abides by relevant policies.” Zhu said that at non-proliferation talks on Thursday, “The Chinese side urged the U.S. side to implement the policies it announced last November and take timely and concrete measures to help Sino-U.S. cooperation in the field of satellite launching to return to a normal track at an early date.” A US embassy spokesman said that a US delegation led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Vann Van Diepen canceled tentative plans to continue talks for a second day. US State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said on Thursday, “We have not yet been fully satisfied in our discussions with them … we need to have more discussions on the subject.” He added, “We will need to do additional work to clarify China’s willingness to implement fully the terms of the November 2000 missile agreement, so that will continue to be a topic in our bilateral dialogue.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 24.]

9. PRC View of ABM Treaty

The Associated Press (“CHINA URGES BUSH ON MISSILE DEFENSE,” Beijing, 08/24/01) reported that the PRC urged US President George W. Bush on Friday to heed international concerns and act cautiously before withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The PRC Foreign Ministry said Friday, “China’s position on missile defense is clear-cut and consistent. We hope the U.S. government will seriously consider the position of the international community and proceed with caution.”

10. US-Russia Talks

Reuters (Peter Graff, “RUSSIA, U.S. KEEP TALKING DESPITE BUSH ABM REMARKS,” Moscow, 08/24/01) and the Associated Press (Deborah Seward, “U.S. ENVOY MEETS RUSSIAN MINISTER,” Moscow, 08/24/01) reported that US Under-Secretary of State John Bolton visited Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to wrap up the latest round of high-level consultations on missile defense. Bolton said that the US has set no deadline for agreement with Russia about the future of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. He stated, “We discussed most significantly the preparations that we’re making for Foreign Minister Ivanov’s trip to Washington to meet with Secretary [of State Colin] Powell on September 19 and the further preparations that they will make for the meetings for the two presidents.” In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that bilateral ties had shown a “positive dynamic” since US President George W. Bush met Russian President Vladimir Putin in June and July. The statement said that consultations on strategic stability would continue, but it described the aim of the future talks as “to clarify positions, and possibly bring them closer together.” It added that Ivanov had “expressed hope that Russia and the United States can reach a mutual understanding in the fields of strategic offensive and defensive arms, which, as the two countries’ presidents charged, should be discussed in their unbreakable linkage.” Andrei Kokoshin, a former head of Russia’s advisory Security Council, stated, “The Americans will search for some way of reaching an agreement with Moscow until the last moment. There is still a field for battle, for maneuvers. It’s not big, but it’s still there.”

11. US Security Policy in Asia

The Washington Times (“MILITARY COOPERATION SEEN AS VITAL IN ASIA,” Honolulu, 08/24/01) reported that Admiral Dennis C. Blair, commander in chief of the US Pacific Command (CINCPAC), said in a speech this month at the East-West Center that Asian nations are realizing more and more that regional military cooperation is a “vital component of a durable security structure.” Blair stated, “No framework for security in the Asia-Pacific region will be complete without unprecedented cooperation among regional armed forces. In many cases, insurgency and communal violence are closely tied to transnational terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy and other criminal activities. No nation can deal with these transnational challenges alone.” He added, “There is an increasing realization that heavy- handed military tactics against insurgencies not only create international infamy, but are counterproductive – they build support for insurgents, and undermine trust in the efficiency and skill of armed forces.” He said that “holdovers of past conflicts,” such as Korea, the Taiwan Strait and Kashmir should not “dominate our security agenda.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 24.]

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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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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