NAPSNet Daily Report 26 February, 2002

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 26 February, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 26, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-26-february-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Hu US Visit
2. PRC-US Weapons Proliferation
3. Cross-Straits Relations
4. Taiwan’s Domestic View of US and PRC
5. PRC Domestic Politics
6. US-Philippines Anti-terror War
7. Inter-Korean Lunar Celebration
8. DPRK-ROK Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK–DPRK New Year Celebration
2. PRC Strategies for Korean Peninsula
3. DPRK–US Relations
4. Dorasan Station

I. United States

1. Hu US Visit

Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE HEIR APPARENT HU JINTAO LIKELY TO VISIT US BEFORE END-JUNE,” 02/26/02) reported that PRC Vice President Hu Jintao is likely to visit the US within the next four months. At a press briefing, PRC foreign ministry spokesperson Kong Quan announced, “He will make the trip in the not-too-distant future. It’s my own understanding that it will be within the first half of the year.” Hu received an invitation from US Vice President Dick Cheney to visit the US late last week during a visit to Beijing by US President George W. Bush. At the time it was not announced when Hu would visit. Bush last week also invited PRC president Jiang Zemin to visit the US in October, ahead of a regional Asia-Pacific summit in Mexico. Kong said Bush personally handed over Cheney’s invitation to Hu Friday morning, before the US president delivered a speech at Hu’s alma mater, Beijing’s Qinghua University.

2. PRC-US Weapons Proliferation

The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, “CHINA WANTS U.S. ACTION ON TALKS,” Beijing, 02/26/02) reported that the PRC is sending a negotiator to Washington next month for arms control talks, but expects the US to drop its complaints that the PRC has exported weapons technology, a PRC official said Tuesday. The PRC wants an end to US sanctions that include a ban on launches of US commercial satellites on PRC rockets. The trip to Washington next month by China’s chief arms control negotiator, Liu Jieyi, comes after two visits by senior officials to argue the PRC’s case, said an unnamed foreign ministry official. He said the PRC wants a response before taking any more steps. “The ball is in their court,” said the official, who spoke to a group of foreign reporters on condition that he not be identified further. He wouldn’t specify what steps the PRC wants the US to take to move the talks ahead. But he pointed to one area of conflict: the PRC’s contention that it can supply arms technology under deals signed before the November 2000 agreement. US officials reject that. “The agreement is for the future, not the past,” the Foreign Ministry official said. “But we did nothing wrong in the past, so you should not be worried about that.” He said that the PRC is committed to curbing the spread of weapons technology, though he acknowledged that it hasn’t published a long-promised list of banned exports. The official also said the two sides should “respect each other’s concerns.” He said that includes the PRC’s opposition to US weapons sales to Taiwan. Such sales, he said, are “also a kind of proliferation.”

3. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (“TAIWAN PREMIER MAKES OVERTURE TO CHINA,” Taipei, 02/26/02) reported that Taiwan Premier Yu Shyi-kun, in his first state-of-the- nation address, said on Tuesday that envoys from Taiwan and the PRC should exchange visits. “The two sides face many common challenges and opportunities,” said Yu, who took office on February 1 after his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) emerged as the biggest party in parliament in elections last December. “We suggest envoys from the two sides exchange visits and have a wide-ranging exchange of views on issues of mutual concern,” Yu told parliament in his speech, echoing offers by President Chen Shui-bian. Taiwan and the PRC should “join hands and cooperate, get along peacefully, co-exist and prosper together”, he said, adding that the two sides needed “mutual understanding and respect.”

4. Taiwan’s Domestic View of US and PRC Agence France-Presse (“TAIWANESE BELIEVE UNITED STATES IS ON THEIR SIDE: POLL,” 02/25/02) reported that a survey conducted by the United Daily News after US President George W. Bush’s recent visit to Beijing showed that a majority of Taiwanese people are confident that the US will help defend Taiwan against PRC provocation. 54 percent of the 829 people polled believe the US would stick to its pledge of helping the island defend itself against threats from the PRC. Only 26 percent thought the US word could not be relied on. Meanwhile, 67 percent of the respondents thought that the cross-strait issue would eventually be settled peacefully, up 12 percentage points over a similar poll in July 1998 following a Beijing summit between then US president Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin. Only 14 percent were pessimistic about the prospects of a peaceful resolution, down nine percentage points from four years ago. The poll also showed a significant rise in the number of people who saw a friendlier US policy towards Taiwan since the Clinton-Jiang summit. About 37 percent said US-Taiwan relations were warmer, sharply higher than the 13 percent in 1998. Only 34 percent thought the US had got closer to the PRC, down 22 percent four years ago.

5. PRC Domestic Politics

Reuters (“SHANGHAI APPOINTS CHEN LIANGYU AS NEW MAYOR,” Shanghai, 02/26/02) reported that Chen Liangyu formally became mayor of Shanghai on Tuesday. Chen, had served as Shanghai’s acting mayor since December 7, when Xu Kuangdi, widely credited for masterminding Shanghai’s economic success over the past 20 years, announced his surprise resignation. “Chen Liangyu was elected Mayor of Shanghai at a session of the Shanghai People’s Congress this afternoon,” said a statement published on the city government’s web site. Chen vowed that Shanghai would be one of the first PRC cities to open its doors wider to foreign investment after the PRC’s entrance into the World Trade Organization. Shanghai’s economy was likely to expand nine to 10 percent this year, Chen said on Friday. Shanghai reported 10.2 percent growth in 2001. Many diplomats were surprised that Xu quit to join a Beijing-based research institute, but some speculated that could be a temporary posting and he could re-emerge in central government.

6. US-Philippines Anti-terror War

Agence France-Presse (“CLASHES ON SOUTHERN PHILIPPINE ISLAND WHERE US TROOPS DEPLOYED,” Zamboanga, 02/26/02) reported that local security forces have clashed with Abu Sayyaf gunmen on the southern Philippine island of Basilan, where US commandos are advising Filipino troops fighting the Muslim rebels, the military said Tuesday. A 12-man Alpha team of US Green Berets is deployed with the army batallion involved in Monday’s clash near the town of Tuburan, “but they were not involved in the encounter,” southern command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Servando said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The clash occurred about 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the headquarters of the 18th Infantry Batallion where the American Special Forces unit is deployed, Servando said. The rebels were “trying to escape from Basilan because of the presence of the US forces,” he added.

Agence France-Presse (“ANTI-US PROTEST HITS PHILIPPINES LEADER’S VISIT TO SOUTH,” Zamboanga, 02/26/02) reported that riot police on Tuesday broke up an anti-US protest outside a Philippines military base being used by hundreds of US troops. The protest came as Philippine President Gloria Arroya flew into the base for talks with senior officers and local officials. Riot police stopped the young protesters near the Edwin Andrews Air Force Base and confiscated placards and streamers. They later forced about 50 demonstrators to disperse. “War is Terrorism. Stop War Now,” read one of the placards held up by one of the protesters. “Bush No. 1 Terrorist,” read another, while a third one read: “Gloria, Lover of Terrorists.”

7. Inter-Korean Lunar Celebration

The Associated Press (Yoo Jae-suk, “S.KOREANS TRAVEL TO NORTH FOR FESTIVAL,” Seoul, 02/26/02) reported that the ROK allowed 302 religious and civic group members to sail to the DPRK on Tuesday for another joint celebration to mark the new lunar year. The trip was permitted after the government screened out 46 activists it feared might have tried to embarrass the ROK. After a similar trip in August, six activists were arrested on charges of defying government orders not to visit communist monuments, hold secret meetings with DPRK officials or praise the DPRK leadership. All these activities are banned under the ROK’s anti- communist National Security Law. The DPRK suspended all government dialogue with the ROK after President Bush included the DPRK in what he said was an “axis of evil” with Iran and Iraq. But the DPRK has kept open private exchanges, such as the three-day Lunar New Year’s festival from Tuesday to Thursday at the Mount Kumgang.

8. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Associated Press (“S. KOREAN PRESIDENT: TENSIONS HIGH,” Seoul, 02/25/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung stressed Monday the need for dialogue with the DPRK to avoid war, saying that tensions reached a “critical” point after President Bush said the DPRK was part of an “axis of evil.” Tensions eased slightly after Bush stated in in Seoul last week that the US has “no intentions of invading North Korea.” He renewed an offer to start talks with North Korea but officials in Pyongyang rejected it. “We had faced a critical moment. North Korea must have felt a great threat after President Bush’s axis-of-evil remarks. A war can erupt if two parties reject each other,” Kim said Monday during a luncheon with government and civic leaders.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK–DPRK New Year Celebration

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “2 KOREAS TO TOAST NEW YEAR,” Seoul, 02/26/02) reported that a joint celebration of the new lunar year by private organizations in the two Koreas begins Tuesday at the DPRK’s Mount Kumgang. The ROK government is hoping that the three-day event will bring a breakthrough in stymied inter-Korean relations. Significant numbers of influential DPRK, including An Kyong-ho, secretary-general of the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, will attend the celebration. The Unification Ministry and the organizing committee of the event said 100 ROK representatives of private organizations and 202 spectators will depart for Mount Kumgang from Sokcho harbor Tuesday and will attend the main celebration event and a banquet Wednesday and return home on Thursday. From the DPRK, 100 representatives will attend the event; no spectators are invited. The inter-Korean celebration had been scheduled for last week, but the event was postponed due to US President George W. Bush’s visit to Seoul.

2. PRC Strategies for Korean Peninsula

Joongang Ilbo (“CHINA HINTS ITS DELIVERY OF BUSH’S WORDS TO NORTH,” Seoul, 02/26/02) reported that the PRC indicated it has delivered US President Bush’s message to the DPRK regarding the resumption of dialogue. Wang Yi, vice minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC indirectly confirmed that the PRC has delivered the US message to the DPRK since the US-PRC summit last week by stressing that the PRC maintains close contacts with the DPRK on Tuesday.

3. DPRK–US Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH CALLS BUSH’S ‘KINGPIN OF TERRORISM,'” Seoul, 02/26/02) reported that the DPRK called US President George W. Bush a “typical rogue and kingpin of terrorism.” Regarding, Bush’s two-day summit meeting in ROK last week, the DPRK Central News Agency said, “It was, in a word, a war junket to finally examine the preparations for a war on the spot. We are not willing to have contact with his clan, which is trying to change by force of arms the system chosen by the Korean people.”

4. Dorasan Station

Joongang Ilbo (“SEOUL LOOKS TO TRAIN FOR ‘MESSAGE OF PEACE,” Seoul, 02/26/02) reported that the ROK government said Monday that they will move ahead with plans to turn Dorasan Station into a tourist attraction and meeting place for separated families. “We shall start by building the needed facilities around Dorasan Station, such as a meeting place for separated families, to help this region develop into a hub of inter- Korean exchange and cooperation,” said Jeong Se-hyun, ROK minister of unification. “The government is also looking into extending the existing railway by connecting the Imjin River train station with the one at Dorasan,” said Representative Lee Nak-yeon. “We’ll make effective use of the Dorasan observatories and the Third Infiltration Tunnel to bring in foreign tourists and showcase the collaboration of the two Koreas for the world.”

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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

Kim Young-soo: yskim328@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy84@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata: saiko@akira.ne.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

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

Wu Chunsi: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
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< /a>
Clayton, Australia

 


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