NAPSNet Daily Report 25 January, 2010

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 25 January, 2010", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 25, 2010,

NAPSNet Daily Report 25 January, 2010

Contents in this Issue:

Preceding NAPSNet Report


I. Napsnet

1. Six-Party Talks

Yomiuri Shimbun (Keiichi Honma, “BASIC DEAL REACHED ON LURING N. KOREA BACK TO 6-WAY TALKS”, Washington, 2010/01/25) reported that the other five countries involved in the six-party talks have reached a basic agreement to make a new joint proposal to the DPRK if it returns to the negotiations, it was learned Sunday. According to sources, the United States is considering including in the proposal a plan to realize three goals–denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, conclusion of a peace treaty and economic assistance for the DPRK. The new proposal will include concrete steps to realize the commitments made in a joint statement in September 2005 as part of the six-party talks, the sources said.

Korea Times (“NK PROPOSES CONDITIONS FOR NUKE TALKS”, Seoul, 2010/01/23) reported that Kim Yong-nam, president of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, told a visiting Italian delegation on Thursday that the country is willing to return to the six-party talks on conditions that include the launching of a peace treaty talks with the PRC and the U.S., Nihon Keizai Shimbun said on Saturday. Other conditions include a bilateral negotiation between the DPRK and the PRC to offer a security guarantee to the DPRK and the lifting of economic sanctions, it said.

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2. US on Six Party Talks

Yonhap (“U.S. URGES N.K. TO RETURN TO 6-WAY TALKS”, Seoul, 2010/01/24) reported that the United States Friday reiterated that it will discuss the removal of sanctions or any other issues with the DPRK only after it returns to the six-party talks. “Our focus with our partners in the six-party talks is denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and, once that happens, we can start looking at other things,” Mike Hammer, spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a news briefing at the Foreign Press Center here to mark the first anniversary of U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

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3. Inter-Korea Relations

Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “NKOREA THREATENS WAR AFTER SOUTH’S STRIKE WARNING”, Seoul, 2010/01/24) reported that the DPRK military said Sunday it would take prompt and decisive military action against any ROK attempt to violate the DPRK’s dignity and sovereignty and would blow up major targets in the ROK, including its command center. “Our revolutionary armed forces will regard the scenario for ‘pre-emptive strike,’ which the South Korean puppet authorities adopted as a ‘state policy,’ as an open declaration of war ,” the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

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4. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

Korea Times (Kim Se-jeong, “NK PROPOSES TALKS ON S-N INDUSTRIAL COOPERATION”, Seoul, 2010/01/22) reported that the DPRK proposed military talks with the ROK to discuss the “three main problems” of free communication, the passage of people and customs clearance at the inter-Korean industrial park in Gaeseong, the Unification Ministry said Friday. “The North requested the talks be held Tuesday,” ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said. “We are carefully examining the proposal considering recent changes in inter-Korean relations,” Chun said. “No decision has been made yet as to whether we’ll accept it.”

Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “SEOUL SUGGESTS FEB. 8 TALKS WITH NK ON TOURS”, Seoul, 2010/01/25) reported that the ROK government agreed Monday to hold talks on resuming cross-border tours with the DPRK on February 8 in Kaesong. “We suggested Feb. 8 as we need more time for preparations, and Gaeseong because it is closer and therefore convenient for both sides,” ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said. Three ROK officials led by Kim Nam-shik, chief of inter-Korean exchange and cooperation at the ministry, will attend the talks, according to Chun.

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5. DPRK Weapons Shipments

Arirang News (“N.KOREA’S WEAPONS EXPORTS ‘DOWN 90%’ SINCE UN SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2010/01/25) reported that DPRK weapons exports have dropped 90 percent since the UN Security Council imposed sanctions banning all arms exports from the country, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says. Even African countries and Vietnam, which used to import small weapons from the DPRK, have stopped their transactions with the country. However, the institute said Iran may still be receiving weapons from the DPRK.

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6. DPRK Leadership

Asahi Shimbun (Kenji Minemura, “KIM JONG IL’S MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY REVEALED”, Beijing, 2010/01/22) reported that the DPRK leadership is believed to have established a temporary command center near the PRC border, apparently to prepare for a military emergency, the Kanwa Information Center in Hong Kong reported. It said its analysis was based on satellite photos and informed sources. It also said more than 10 helicopters, likely for use in evacuation, are stored in an underground facility of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces in Pyongyang. According to the center, the wartime command headquarters is located at DPRK leader Kim Jong Il’s “guest house” on Mount Baekdusan.

Joongang Ilbo (Jeong Yong-soo, “PHOTOS INDICATE THE DEMOTION OF A NORTH GENERAL”, Seoul, 2010/01/22) reported that General Kim Myong-guk, 70, a high-ranking official in charge of military operations under the DPRK’s general political bureau of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, appears as a colonel general in pictures released by Korean Central Television in Pyongyang last Monday. ROK government sources said Kim seems to be retaining his position at the Defense Ministry. The colonel general was promoted to general in 1994, and the Rodong Sinmun had called him a four-star general until last September.

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7. DPRK Economy

Yonhap (“CURRENCY REFORM HELPED FILL STATE COFFERS: N.K. ECONOMIST”, Seoul, 2010/01/24) reported that Kim Chol-jun, chief economist at the DPRK’s Academy of Social Sciences, said Saturday in an interview with Chosun Sinbo, a pro-Pyongyang paper in Tokyo, that the country secured a monetary base that will underpin efforts to raise living standards when it carried out a currency reform last year. The revaluation helped “implement socialist economic principles better and create a monetary base that can bring about a leap in the standard of living for people,” he said.

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8. ROK Reportage of DPRK

New York Times (Choe Sang-hun, “NIMBLE AGENCIES SNEAK NEWS OUT OF NORTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/01/24) reported that Daily NK is one of six news outlets that have emerged in recent years specializing in collecting information from the DPRK. These Web sites or newsletters hire DPRK defectors and cultivate sources inside the country. The reports are sketchy at best, covering small pockets of DPRK society. Many prove wrong, contradict each other or remain unconfirmed. But they have also produced important scoops, like the currency devaluation and a recent outbreak of swine flu in the DPRK. “Technology made this possible,” said Sohn Kwang-joo, the chief editor of Daily NK. “We infiltrate the wall of North Korea with cellphones.”

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9. ROK Peacekeeping Operations

Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “SEOUL TO SEND SURVEY TEAM TO HAITI”, Seoul, 2010/01/25) reported that the ROK will send a 10-member team of officials to Haiti this Friday to survey the island ahead of dispatching peacekeeping troops. The group will conduct an on-site survey of the candidate areas for the military post and other details, according to the Foreign Ministry. The survey team will consist of officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are planning on a five-day trip.

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10. ROK Energy Security

Yonhap (“GOV’T PLANS TO BUILD NATIONWIDE ‘SMART GRID’ BY 2030”, Seoul, 2010/01/25) reported that the ROK government has come up with a final plan to establish a nationwide “smart grid”, government officials said Monday. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the plan is expected to cost the country 27.5 trillion won ($23.9 billion) and calls for the expansion of low-carbon infrastructure, starting in major cities.

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11. US Military in ROK

Korea Times (Bae Ji-sook, “US SPARED FROM HIALEAH CLEANUP COSTS”, Seoul, 2010/01/22) reported that the United States Forces Korea (USFK) will not pay for the cleanup of Camp Hialeah in Busan, parts of which are heavily polluted. The duty will be handed over to the city on January 27, and civic groups are blaming the government for failing to get the USFK to share cleanup costs. The USFK said through its spokesman that it followed all relevant agreements with the ROK. “The U.S. met all its obligations and returned Camp Hialeah to Korea,” the spokesman said.

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12. ROK Defense

Yonhap (“PRIME MINISTER CALLS FOR INTEGRATED DEFENSE POSTURE”, Seoul, 2010/01/22) reported that ROK Prime Minister Chung Un-chan called Friday for the country to establish a full-scale integrated defense posture to safeguard itself from various types of security threats. “The security environment on the Korean Peninsula demands response to various types of security threats besides North Korea’s military threats,” Chung said. “The (country’s) entire people should focus their capability on ensuring national security in this age of a comprehensive security,” he said at a regular meeting on integrated defense. Chung, in particular, asked for a watertight security ahead of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit set to open in Seoul this fall.

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13. ROK Nuclear Exports

Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “KOREA-INDIA SUMMIT TO DISCUSS NUCLEAR PACT”, New Delhi, 2010/01/24) reported that President Lee Myung-bak arrived in New Delhi Sunday for a summit Monday with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on boosting bilateral relations and partnerships on the global stage. At the planned summit, Lee and Prime Minister Singh are expected to sign a pact on nuclear technology exchange for peaceful purposes, opening the way for ROK firms to participate in India’s project to build nuclear reactors. In an interview with The Times of India published Sunday, Lee said his government wants to participate in India’s construction of new nuclear power plants, adding there is great potential for the two nations to cooperate economically and on the global stage.

Korea Herald (Song Sang-ho, “NUCLEAR PACT WITH UAE TAKES EFFECT”, Seoul, 2010/01/25) reported that a cooperative agreement between the ROK and the United Arab Emirates on peaceful use of nuclear energy took effect on January 12, the government said Sunday. The accord, which offers the legal framework for construction of nuclear power plants and nuclear technology cooperation, came into effect after ROK companies won a nuclear power plant deal estimated to be worth $40 billion in the UAE late last month.

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14. US-ROK Nuclear Agreement

Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “S. KOREA SEEKING TO AMEND NUCLEAR ACCORD WITH US”, Seoul, 2010/01/24) reported that the ROK is moving to hold behind-the-scenes discussions with the United States in a bid to amend an agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy. Second Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo is scheduled to meet senior U.S. officials who deal with nuclear-related issues in Washington, Monday, ministry officials said. They include Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Chun will exchange views on the bilateral agreement concerning atomic energy and the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty slated for May, the officials said. In particular, the vice minister will explain the government’s firm stance on nuclear non-proliferation and difficulties involved with keeping spent nuclear fuel.

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15. ROK Diplomacy

Yonhap (“LEE SAYS INDIA KEY TO SEOUL’S ‘NEW ASIA DIPLOMACY'”, Seoul, 2010/01/25) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Monday his ongoing India trip highlights Seoul’s push to improve ties with Asian countries under his so-called “New Asia Diplomacy” campaign. In his biweekly radio address, Lee pointed out that it is his first overseas trip this year about a month after visiting the United Arab Emirates, the last of his trips abroad in 2009. “It means I am with Asian countries for both the closure of a year and the beginning of the new year,” he said.

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Yonhap (“SPANISH FM PLEDGES TO REACH SIGNING OF EU-KOREA FTA”, Cordoba, 2010/01/25) reported that Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos says he will make efforts to have the ROK-EU free trade agreement signed within the first half of this year. The minister said in an interview on Saturday that he will push governments and related ministries to ink the trade deal as soon as possible. The agreement is currently in the process of translation, he added.

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17. ROK-Japan Relations

Korea Times (Do Je-hae, “KOREA-JAPAN TUNNEL PROJECT FACES HURDLES”, Seoul, 2010/01/24) reported that The Korea Japan Tunnel Project Association in Busan and the Japan-Korea Tunnel Research Institute, a non-profit foundation in Tokyo, have been leading the research into a Japan-ROK tunnel that would connect the two countries in 50 minutes by high-speed rail. “The tunnel will stimulate business, ease tension and promote political stability in East Asia. It will also have a positive impact on the reunification of the Korean Peninsula,” Prof. Shin Jang-cheol of Soongshil University in Seoul said. Opponents have said the Korea-Japan project is untimely due to lingering anti-Japanese sentiment. Some have warned that the ROK would gain little from the tunnel, while it would ultimately “end up helping Japan advance into the Eurasian continent.”

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18. USFJ Base Relocation

Associated Press (Tomoko A. Hosaka, “OKINAWA VOTE PRESSURES JAPAN ON US MARINE BASES”, Tokyo, 2010/01/25) reported that residents of Nago on Sunday elected as mayor Susumu Inamine — who campaigned against any expansion of U.S. military presence in the area — over incumbent Yoshikazu Shimabukuro. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Monday the results reflected the will of the people, and that Japan would completely re-examine its accord with the U.S. “The country will start from scratch on this issue and take responsibility to reach a conclusion by the end of May,” he told reporters.

Kyodo (“HIRANO SAYS ELECTION RESULTS NOT TO AFFECT BASE RELOCATION REVIEW”, Tokyo, 2010/01/25) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Monday that when considering where to relocate a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa the central government does not need to take into account Sunday’s mayoral election in Nago. He said a government committee studying the relocation issue will not exclude the current plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Ginowan to Nago from its options, adding that the panel will search for ”the best place” from a clean slate.

Kyodo (“INAMINE TO SEEK CITY RESOLUTION OPPOSING FUTENMA RELOCATION”, Nago, 2010/01/25) reported that Nago mayor-elect Susumu Inamine said Monday he will seek passage of a resolution opposing the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station to the city. ”I want to convey the will of the Nago residents to the central and prefectural governments”, he said. ”So many military bases are concentrated in Okinawa. I expect the government to examine national security as an issue for the whole country, rather than seeking an alternative relocation site (for the Futemma facility) within Okinawa Prefecture,” he said.

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19. Japanese Politics

Yomiuri Shimbun (“LDP TURNS UP HEAT ON OZAWA”, Tokyo, 2010/01/25) reported that the opposition Liberal Democratic Party is planning to put the screws on Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa by seeking a Diet resolution that would call on him to step down as a lawmaker if he cannot prove his hands are clean, according to LDP sources. The LDP and other opposition parties hope the resolution would keep the pressure on Ozawa after what they have branded as prosecutors’ “extraordinary” questioning of Ozawa over his funds management body’s allegedly false funds report.

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20. Japanese Politics

Yomiuri Shimbun (“SURVEY: HOPES FOR DPJ WANE”, Tokyo, 2010/01/23) reported that the proportion of people who said they have high expectations of the Democratic Party of Japan dropped to 55 percent from 72 percent four months ago in an opinion poll jointly conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Waseda University. Those who said they were disappointed with the performance of the DPJ so far rose from 37 percent in the previous survey to 59 percent in the latest survey. The survey was conducted on 3,000 eligible voters through face-to-face interviews, with 1,788, or 60 percent, providing valid answers.

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21. Japanese Peacekeeping Operations

Kyodo (“JAPAN CONSIDERING HAVING SDF JOIN UN PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN HAITI”, Tokyo, 2010/01/25) reported that the Japanese government is considering having the Self-Defense Forces join the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti in view of the tremendous damage the earthquake inflicted on the Caribbean nation, several government sources said Monday. As the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution January 19 to boost the number of personnel for the mission, known as MINUSTAH, by 3,500, Tokyo believes it should make its due contribution to extending humanitarian and reconstruction support to Haiti, the sources said.

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22. Japanese Role in Afghanistan

Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN, U.K. SET 500 MIL. DOLLARS INTL FUND FOR TALIBAN”, 2010/01/24) reported that the Japanese and British governments have agreed with the Afghan government to establish an international fund of 500 million dollars for a program to help draw former Taliban insurgents back to civilian life, sources said. Japan is expected to contribute about 20 percent to 25 percent of the fund, the sources said.

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23. US-Japan Relations

Yomiuri Shimbun (Satoshi Ogawa, “OBAMA: I’D LIKE TO VISIT HIROSHIMA”, Washington, 2010/01/23) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama said that he would like to visit Hiroshima, the city’s mayor, Tadatoshi Akiba, said Thursday. At a press conference, Akiba said he briefly met Obama at the White House and asked the president to visit his city. Akiba had been attending the United States Conference of Mayors as a guest participant since Wednesday to call for cooperation in eliminating nuclear weapons.

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24. Japanese Relations with US, PRC

New York Times (Martin Fackler, “IN JAPAN, US LOSING DIPLOMATIC GROUND TO CHINA”, Tokyo, 2010/01/23) reported that political experts say Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ’s greater willingness to engage Beijing and the rest of Asia reflects a broad rethinking of Japan’s role in the region at a time when the United States is showing unmistakable signs of decline. It also reflects a growing awareness here that Japan’s economic future is increasingly tied to the PRC, which has already surpassed the United States as its largest trading partner. “Hatoyama wants to use Asia to offset what he sees as the declining influence of the United States,” said Yoshihide Soeya, director of the Institute of East Asia Studies at Keio University in Tokyo. “He thinks he can play China off the United States.”

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25. Cross Strait Relations

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN LETS CHIP FIRMS INVEST IN CHINA: REPORT”, Taipei, 2010/01/25) reported that the Taipei-based Commercial Times said Monday Taiwan will allow its chip makers to invest in their counterparts in the PRC in response to growing calls from the island’s business community for closer high-tech ties. The paper did not provide details on the size of stakes local chip makers will be allowed to acquire in Chinese companies, or when the new measure will take effect.

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26. Sino-Burmese Relations

Reuters (Ben Blanchard, “CHINA CASTS NERVOUS EYE AT ERSTWHILE ALLY MYANMAR”, Ruili, 2010/01/24) reported that behind the bonhomie and poems of friendship, the PRC’s relationship with Myanmar is deeply troubled. “I wouldn’t characterize them as friends, in the way Britain and America or Australia and New Zealand could be regarded as friends. It’s often a tense and difficult relationship,” said Ian Storey, a fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies . “It’s basically a marriage of convenience. The Burmese rely on China for money and armaments, and China uses its position at the U.N. Security Council to protect Burma to some extent, in return for which China gets access to the country’s natural resources, and it gets a voice in ASEAN,” he added.

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27. PRC Internet

Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA SAYS INTERNET CONTROL HERE TO STAY”, Beijing, 2010/01/25) reported that the PRC has every right to punish citizens using the Internet to challenge Communist Party power and ethnic policies, a spokesperson for the State Council Information Office said Monday. The spokesperson said the country “bans using the Internet to subvert state power and wreck national unity , to incite ethnic hatred and division, to promote cults and to distribute content that is pornographic, salacious, violent or terrorist.” “This is completely different from so-called restriction of Internet freedom,” the spokesperson added.

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28. US on PRC Internet

BBC News (“OBAMA ‘TROUBLED’ BY GOOGLE CYBER-ATTACKS IN CHINA”, Washington, 2010/01/22) reported that US President Barack Obama continues to be “troubled” by alleged cyber-attacks originating in the PRC on Google, officials say. A White House spokesman said Obama wanted “some answers” and agreed those responsible should “face consequences”.

Associated Press (Gillian Wong, “CHINA REJECTS CLAIMS OF INTERNET HACKING ATTACKS”, Beijing, 2010/01/25) reported that the PRC denied involvement in Internet attacks Monday. “Any accusation that the Chinese government participated in cyber attacks, either in an explicit or indirect way, is groundless and aims to discredit China ,” an unidentified Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesman said. “We are firmly opposed to that,” the spokesman said.

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29. PRC Tibet Issue

Times of India (“CHINA WORRIED DALAI LAMA MIGHT SEEK INDIAN CITIZENSHIP”, Beijing, 2010/01/24) reported that the state-run China Tibet Information Centre has said that the Dalai Lama’s recent statement describing himself as “son of India” show he has become subservient to his “Indian masters” while trying to deny his PRC citizenship. The article pointed out that an Indian businessman, Bhupendra Kumar Modi, had claimed that the Dalai Lama would try to obtain Indian nationality if the conditions were right. “Later, the Dalai Lama’s remarks and actions bore out Modi’s words,” the article, which is also circulated by the state-run People’s Daily, said. It accused the Tibetan leader for giving away Arunachal Pradesh, which it describes as “south Tibet”, to India.

New York Times (Edward Wong, “CHINA TO SEEK ‘STABILITY’ IN TIBET VIA DEVELOPMENT”, Beijing, 2010/01/23) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao and other leaders at a Tibet planning conference decided that “more efforts must be made to greatly improve living standards of the people in Tibet, as well as ethnic unity and stability,” Xinhua news agency reported. The emphasis on economic development indicates that PRC leaders still see the solution to the problem of Tibet as one of supplying creature comforts. If the region can develop fast enough, the reasoning goes, then Tibetans will buy into PRC rule.

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30. PRC Human Rights

Associated Press (Anita Chang, “SENIOR CHINESE CADRES CALL FOR DISSIDENT’S RELEASE”, Beijing, 2010/01/24) reported that four senior Communist Party officials known for their liberal views are pushing for the release of imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo one of the group said Sunday. “These four are senior cadres that have been quite an open-minded force within the party for many years,” said Patrick Poon, vice president of the Independent Chinese Pen Center, which posted the letter on its Web site. “They have been always very supportive for pushing forward political reforms while the economic reform has been going well in China .” While the letter did not call specifically for Liu’s release, He Fang, a cadre who signed the letter and is honorary member of the academic committee at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences , was direct when asked what its purpose was. “To reverse the verdict and to find that Liu is not guilty and to release him,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “Also, to safeguard the constitution and the rights of freedom of speech .”

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II. PRC Report

31. PRC Earthquake Reconstruction

(“1.4 MILLION PEOPLE GET EMPLOYED IN WENCHUAN DISASTER AREAS”, 2010/01/22) reported that from the occurrence of Wenchaun earthquake in May 12, 2009 to the end of that year, the organized export of labor services in disaster areas is 677,000 people, and 1.4 million people get employment in the local areas.

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32. PRC Civil Society

China News Net (“OVERSEAS CHINESE ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL FOUNDATION RECEIVES 10 MILLION RMB DONATION”, 2010/01/22) reported that Beijing Yihai Group donated 10 million RMB to Overseas Chinese Economic and Cultural Foundation yesterday in Beijing. And the fund will be specially used on the construction of Beichuan Middle School in Sichuan earthquake disaster areas.

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33. PRC Civil Society and the Haiti Quake

China Youth Daily (“NEW ORIENTAL DONATED 1 MILLION RMB TO HAITI”, 2010/01/22) reported that New Oriental Education Group donated 1 million RMB to Haiti through China Red Cross Society recently. Some of the fund will be used as a pension for the families of the 8 Chinese police victims in Haiti earthquake disaster and as a support to Chinese peacekeeping force in Haiti.