I. United States
1. PRC-US Trade
Reuters (“CHINA’S EXPORTS TO U.S. RISE 19.3 PERCENT,” Beijing, 07/29/02) Reported that the PRC’s exports to the US rose a year-on-year 19.3 percent in the first half of 2002 to $29.87 billion, the China Securities Journal reported on Monday. Two-way trade with the United States was $41.97 billion in the first six months of this year, up 11.7 percent from a year earlier, the newspaper said. “The United States retained its position as China’s largest export market,” the newspaper quoted the Foreign Trade Ministry as saying. The PRC’s exports to the US were dominated by electrical and electronic products, furniture, lamps, toys, textile products, it said. Imports from the United States included electric products, medical equipment, optical instruments, chemical products, farm products and aircraft, it said.
2. PRC-ASEAN Ties
Reuters (Brian Rhoads, “CHINA SEEKS TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH ASEAN,” Bandar Seri Begawan, 07/28/02) reported that the PRC wary about US influence in Southeast Asia, will seek in Brunei this week to strengthen ties with its southern neighbours while fending off US accusations it exports weapons of mass destruction, diplomats said. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan arrives in Brunei late on Monday for two days of talks with the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a security forum including 13 other partners, from the US and the Koreas to Russia and Japan.
3. DPRK-US Relations
Reuters (Elaine Monaghan, “POWELL SIGNALS OPENNESS TO MEETING N.KOREA MINISTER,” Sigonella, 07/27/02) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Saturday he was open to the possibility of meeting DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun at an Asian forum in Brunei next week. Powell was speaking during a refuelling stop in Italy en route to India. “I’m not ruling anything in or out. It’s an open question right now. We’ll see,” Powell said aboard his plane on the first leg of an eight-nation Asian tour. “In the last couple of days they’ve made some…very positive statements, that we have welcomed, acknowledging responsibility for the naval incident…and also once again indicating receptivity to a dialogue with the United States,” Powell said. “We welcome that. We’ll be following up on it. But whether there’s an opportunity for me to pursue that in Brunei remains to be seen,” he said.
4. Russia-DPRK Relations
Reuters (“RUSSIAN FM DELIVERS MESSAGES IN N.KOREA-REPORTS,” Seoul, 07/29/02) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov gave DPRK leader Kim Jong-il a message from President Vladimir Putin during his visit. Ivanov met with his ROK counterpart Paek Nam-sun Sunday, and talked with the DPRK’s Kim as well. The DPRK’s official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim’s talks with Ivanov took place in a “cordial and friendly atmosphere” but gave no details on the talks. Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency said Ivanov met Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and handed him a letter from Putin. Ivanov told his hosts that personal contacts between the leaders of the two countries had given a “major boost” to ties. KCNA quoted Paek as telling Ivanov that bilateral ties “based on the close friendship between leader Kim Jong-il and Putin are favorably developing as the days go by”. Putin visited the DPRK in 2000 and Kim went to Moscow last year.
The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, “REPORT: NORTH KOREA READY FOR TALKS,” Seoul, 07/29/02) and Reuters (“U.S. REVIEWING ITS OPTIONS ON NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 07/29/02) reported that the DPRK is ready to meet with US officials to discuss Korean reconciliation and other issues “without any preliminary conditions,” Russia’s foreign minister was reported as saying Monday. Igor Ivanov said he got the impression after talking to DPRK officials that they may meet with American and Japanese officials at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei this week, according to Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency.
5. Cross-Straits Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE FISHERMEN’S ATTEMPT TO HIJACK TAIWAN BOAT TO GUAM FOILED,” 07/28/02) reported that an attempt by eight PRC fishermen to hijack a Taiwanese fishing boat to smuggle themselves into Guam has been foiled by the United States coastguard, the Taiwan foreign ministry said. The fishermen hired to work on the Suao-based “Ta Lung Hsin 7” hijacked the ship when it was fishing in waters off Iwo Jima islet on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said in a statement released late Saturday. The fishing vessel was forced to sail for the US territory of Guam, but the human smuggling attempt was foiled after the US coast guard was tipped off by the foreign ministry. “The fishing boat is currently placed under the US control,” it said, adding that the two Taiwanese crew were not injured. The ministry gave no further details.
6. US PRC Plane Wreckage Discovert
The Associated Press (“U.S. FINDS PLANE WRECKAGE IN CHINA,” 07/29/02) reported that an aging witness led the US Army team to a crash site, and officials planned to test debris found there to see if it was from the C-47 that was shot down on November 29, 1952, during a mission to pick up an anti-communist Chinese agent. Team members said they would take the debris and photos and measurements of the site back to the United States for study, and decide later whether to continue the search in China. “We will need more investigation,” said Aaron Lehl, a civilian analyst for the eight-member team from the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii. Lehl said he knew of no other American planes missing in that hilly, wooded area. So if the debris is shown to be U.S.-made aircraft parts, “then we are very hopeful that this is the aircraft that went down on that evening,” he said at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
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