NAPSNet Daily Report 30 June, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- PRC on Sino-DPRK Relations
- ROK on Naval Ship Sinking
- US on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- ROK Military
- US-ROK Free Trade Agreement
- US-ROK Military Alliance
- US-ROK Joint Naval Exercises
- PRC Naval Exercise
- Russian Far East Military Drill
- Japan SDF
- Japan SDF Anti-Piracy Operations
- Japanese Civil Society and Nuclear Cooperation
- Japan Politics
- Japan Green Growth
- Japanese Nuclear Power
- Sino-Japanese Relations
- Sino-Pakistani Nuclear Cooperation
- Cross-Strait Relations
- PRC on Tibet Security
- PRC Development
- PRC Migrant Labor
- II. PRC Report
- PRC Social Welfare
- PRC Civil Society and Poverty Alleviation
- PRC Civil Society and the Environment
1. I. NAPSNet
2. PRC on Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA DEFENDS N.KOREA POLICY AFTER OBAMA COMMENT”, 2010/06/29) reported that the PRC defended its policy on the DPRK after US President Barack Obama suggested Beijing had turned a blind eye to Pyongyang’s actions following the sinking of a ROK warship. “We don’t favour either side and we decide our position on the merits of the issue. China’s position and efforts on this issue brook no accusations,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. “We don’t do anything to fan the flames.” The English-language Global Times said the US leader should have taken Beijing’s concerns into consideration before “making irresponsible and flippant remarks about China’s role in the region”.
3. ROK on Naval Ship Sinking
Yonhap News (“PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR STRONG RESPONSE TO N. KOREA’S NAVAL ATTACK”, 2010/06/29) reported that the National Assembly passed a resolution calling for a strong government measure to punish the DPRK for its torpedo attack on a ROK warship in March. The resolution was passed 163 to 70 with four abstentions in a vote by 237 out of 291 incumbent legislators. The attack was a “clear act of aggression that goes against the Korean truce agreement, inter-Korean basic agreement, and the U.N. Charter,” the resolution said. It also urged the government to demand a sincere apology and compensation, as well as a pledge by the DPRK not to provoke again.
Yonhap News (“SEOUL SAYS UNSC MEASURE SIMILAR TO G-8 STATEMENT ON NORTH KOREA WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE”, 2010/06/28) reported that the ROK will find acceptable a U.N. Security Council measure on the DPRK similar to the statement issued by G-8 leaders last week that condemns the attack on a ROK warship without naming the DPRK as the culprit, a high-ranking source here said. At the end of their two-day summit in Muskoka, north of Toronto, on Saturday, the G-8 leaders said they “deplore the attack on March 26 that caused the sinking of the Republic of Korea’s naval vessel, the Cheonan, resulting in the tragic loss of 46 lives.”
5. US on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
The Chosun Ilbo (“U.S.: N.KOREAN SHIP ATTACK VIOLATED ARMISTICE, NOT ACT OF TERRORISM”, 2010/06/29) reports that the Obama administration said Monday that it considers the sinking of a the ROK warship in March, attributed to the DPRK, to be a violation of the Korean War armistice and not an act of terrorism. Since the attack, there have been calls for the DPRK to be returned to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, which carries with it major sanctions. Obama administration officials say they will closely monitor DPRK activity for signs of a return to international terrorism. But they say they consider the sinking of the ROK warship the Cheonan to have been a military-against-military operation and not an act of terrorism. Forty-six ROK sailors died in the attack.
Joongang Ilbo (“D.C. DECLINES TO PUT NORTH ON TERROR LIST AFTER CHEONAN”, Washington, 2010/06/30) reports that the DPRK’s torpedoing of a ROK warship is a violation of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, but does not merit relisting the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism, the State Department said Monday. “The sinking of the Cheonan is not an act of international terrorism and by itself would not trigger placing the DPRK on the state sponsored terrorism list,” spokesman Philip Crowley said. “It was a provocative action, but one taken by the military of a state against the military of another state. We believe the Cheonan was in fact a violation of the armistice.”
7. ROK Military
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREA’S MILITARY WANTS BUDGET INCREASED SHARPLY”, Seoul, 2010/06/30) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry is seeking a sharp increase in next year’s budget to improve its fighting capability, an official said Wednesday. Defense Ministry officials have agreed to request about 31.6 trillion won ($25.8 billion) next year to introduce new weapons and improve military hardware and welfare facilities for troops. “The Cheonan incident was reflected” in the ministry’s request for a higher budget, the official said.
8. US-ROK Free Trade Agreement
Yonhap (“S. KOREA NOT TO REVISE FREE TRADE DEAL WITH U.S.”, Seoul, 2010/06/30) reported that the ROK will not amend a free trade accord with the United States. “Such things (revision of the text) will not take place,” ROK Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon said in a briefing Wednesday. “It would be working-level consultations as both sides have agreed on everything.”
9. US-ROK Military Alliance
Yonhap (“DELAY OF WARTIME COMMAND TRANSFER TO DETER N. KOREA: U.S. general”, Seoul, 2010/06/30) reported that and U.S. forces will be better ready to deter and defeat the DPRK’s provocations as they delayed Seoul’s retaking of wartime operational control (OPCON) over its troops from Washington, the top U.S. commander in the ROK said Wednesday. “The result will make our allied forces more agile, adaptive and able to defeat North Korea across the spectrum of conflicts, including provocations, terrorism, aggressions and invasions,” Army General Walter Sharp told an audience at Yongsan Garrison. “Our alliance will be even stronger as we synchronize emerging capabilities of the Republic of Korea armed forces and the changes of ROK-U.S. command and control structures,” Sharp said.
10. US-ROK Joint Naval Exercises
The Korea Herald (Song Sang-ho, “KOREA-U.S. JOINT EXERCISE PUT BACK TO JULY”, 2010/06/29) reports that the U.S. Defense Department has said that it expects a ROK-U.S. joint military exercise — which had been planned for late June — to be conducted next month. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Monday that a specific date for the exercise, which was planned as part of measures to respond to the March sinking of the ROK warship Cheonan, has yet to be determined. “I still don’t have a date for you. The details are still being worked out,” Whitman told reporters. “We’re still committed to further bilateral exercises with the Republic of Korea.”
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “N. KOREA WARNS OF ATTACK AHEAD OF S. KOREA-U.S. NAVAL DRILL”, Seoul, 2010/06/29) reports that the DPRK warned Tuesday it would attack “the stronghold of invaders” if the United States provoked a war in the process of a joint naval drill with the ROK.
12. PRC Naval Exercise
Reuters (“CHINA DENIES MILITARY EXERCISE AIMED AT U.S.”, 2010/06/29) reported that the PRC denied media reports that an artillery drill in the East China Sea was in response to a planned military exercise between the ROK and the United States. The 6-day, live ammunition exercise starting on Wednesday in the East China Sea off the PRC’s coast was seen by some analysts as a “response to a (planned) joint exercise between the United States and Republic of Korea navies in the Yellow Sea,” said the China Daily, the country’s official English-language newspaper. A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, said there was no such link and a PRC military officer said the timing was coincidental.
13. Russian Far East Military Drill
Global Times (“RUSSIA BEGINS MILITARY DRILLS IN SIBERIA “, 2010/06/29) reported that Russia’s Vostok-2010 military exercises in Siberia and the country’s far east, which began Tuesday and run through July 8, are of a solely defensive nature, a spokesman for the Far Eastern military district said. General Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said that Vostok-2010 is the biggest-scale military drill this year and will be a continuation of the “Osen-2009” drills conducted in western Russia and Belarus last fall, the Xinhua News Agency quoted Russian media reports as saying. “It has a purely defensive nature in ensuring the security and national interests of Russia in the far east,” Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
14. Japan SDF
Mainichi Shimbun (“TOKYO, WASHINGTON, OKINAWAN ISLAND WANT SDF TROOPS DEPLOYED, BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS”, 2010/06/29) reports that Japan, the United States and the local government on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa Prefecture are calling for deployment of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops to Japan’s westernmost island, but for different reasons. Tokyo and Washington believe SDF troops should be deployed to Yonaguni, the island on Japan’s boundary with Taiwan, to counter the PRC’s military expansion, while the Yonaguni Municipal Government wants troops as part of the revitalization of the local community.
15. Japan SDF Anti-Piracy Operations
Kyodo News (“MSDF TO JOIN MULTILATERAL ANTIPIRACY DRILLS”, 2010/06/29) reported that Maritime Self-Defense Force will join multilateral antipiracy drills under a U.S.-led Pacific Rim military exercise, the Defense Ministry said. It will be the first time that the MSDF participates in a multilateral session of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or RIMPAC, it said. The ministry said, however, that it views international antipiracy efforts as a policing action that is not categorized as collective defense. The planned drills are not aimed at military action against a specific nation, it added.
16. Japanese Civil Society and Nuclear Cooperation
Kyodo News (“TOKYO NGO CRITICIZES JAPAN-INDIA NUKE PACT”, 2010/06/28) reported that an anti-nuclear nongovernmental organization showed opposition Tuesday to the possible conclusion of a bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation pact between Japan and India. ”India has promoted nuclear development without signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,” the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center said in its statement. ”If the Japan-India nuclear cooperation pact is concluded, nuclear proliferation in the world will not be prevented.” The Tokyo-based NGO said even peaceful uses of nuclear power may damage peace and the sustainable future of human beings.
17. Japan Politics
Mainichi Shimbun (“PUBLIC APPROVAL OF KAN CABINET DROPS 14 POINTS TO 52 PERCENT”, 2010/06/29) reports that the public approval rate for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has dropped by 14 points to 52 percent, apparently due to his expression of support for a consumption tax hike, a Mainichi poll has shown. The results for the June 27-28 poll showed approval of the Kan government has dropped precipitously since the last survey conducted on June 8-9 put public support at 66 percent for the new Cabinet, which took office on June 8. Exactly half of the respondents were opposed to a consumption tax hike, while 47 percent approved of the idea in the latest poll. The previous survey had shown an opposite outcome, with tax hike supporters, at 52 percent, outnumbering opponents, at 44 percent.
18. Japan Green Growth
Japan for Sustainability (“JAPANESE CLIMATE LEADERS RELEASE PROPOSAL FOR CREATING A LOW-CARBON SOCIETY”, 2010/06/29) reported that a network of corporate leaders called the Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (Japan-CLP) released on April 2, 2010, its proposal “Towards a Sustainable Low Carbon Society: Our Recommendation.” Compiled by five of its member companies, Aeon Co., SAP Japan Co., Tokyo Steel Co., Fujitsu Ltd., and Ricoh Co., the network now consists of eight companies, including Tokyo Steel Co., which joined in March. In the proposal, directions and strategies for materializing the “five basic principles of a sustainable, low-carbon society” established by the organization, as well as some points concerning legislation, are organized under 12 categories designed to educate the public and decision makers.
19. Japanese Nuclear Power
Kyodo (“VESSEL CARRYING MOX FUEL REACHES TAKAHAMA NUCLEAR PLANT”, Takahama, 2010/06/30) reported that a vessel believed to be carrying plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, or MOX, for use in ”pluthermal” power generation arrived off Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture on Wednesday morning. This is the first delivery of the fuel since 1999, when the utility’s pluthermal, or plutonium-thermal, program at the plant was suspended due to a data falsification scandal. With the MOX from a French factory, Kansai Electric is aiming to implement its first pluthermal power output later this year, following similar operations undertaken by Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co.
20. Sino-Japanese Relations
Mainichi Shimbun (“OKADA NEGATIVE ABOUT G-8 EXPANSION TO INCLUDE CHINA”, Tokyo, 2010/06/30) reports that Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Tuesday expressed a negative view about expanding the Group of Eight forum to include the PRC as a member, saying the forum should maintain its principle of bringing together “developed countries that share the same (democratic) values.” Prime Minister Naoto Kan proposed during a working dinner of G-8 leaders in Canada on Saturday that the forum invite the PRC “in some cases” to help make Beijing more responsible in the international community. Okada told a press conference that the premier had no intention of asking the PRC to join the forum as an official member.
21. Sino-Pakistani Nuclear Cooperation
Reuters (“PAKISTAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT CHINA AS NUCLEAR DEAL ADVANCES”, 2010/06/29) reported that the PRC said that it will host Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari for top-level talks in early July, but would not say whether a controversial nuclear energy deal between the two nations will be discussed. Zardari is a regular visitor to the PRC, and his next trip from July 6 to 11 will include meetings with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference. The announcement of the visit follows signs that the PRC is moving forward with long-discussed plans to build two nuclear reactors at Pakistan’s Chashma atomic complex, expanding a project that has worried Washington and India.
22. Cross-Strait Relations
The Christian Science Monitor (“CHINA, TAIWAN FORGE STRONGEST TIES YET WITH SWEEPING TRADE DEAL”, 2010/06/29) reported that the PRC and Taiwan signed a landmark deal Tuesday that formalizes trade ties between Asia’s rising economic giant and one of its most successful high-tech “tigers,” and sidesteps a political dispute that once threatened to boil over into war. The deal, known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), will lower tariffs on two-way trade that’s now estimated at around $120 billion annually and improve mutual market access in services, among other benefits.
23. PRC on Tibet Security
Reuters (Ben Blanchard , “CHINA SAYS CAN GUARANTEE GRIP ON TIBET “FOREVER””, Lhasa, China, 2010/06/29) reports that the PRC can maintain its grip on Tibet “forever,” a senior official said on Tuesday, but conceded that a heavy security presence was still needed to ensure order in Lhasa two years after deadly riots. Hao Peng, deputy Communist Party boss and deputy governor in mountainous Tibet, fingered unidentified “anti-Chinese” forces and exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as the main threat to a region which has been hit by sporadic unrest since 2008. “We have the ability and confidence to maintain stability in Tibet forever, and we will ultimately achieve long-term order and stability,” Hao told visiting journalists.
24. PRC Development
Washington Post (“CHINA’S PUSH TO DEVELOP ITS WEST HASN’T CLOSED INCOME GAP WITH EAST, CRITICS SAY”, 2010/06/29) reported that ten years ago, the PRC’s leadership launched its “Go West” campaign, an ambitious plan to develop and modernize the country’s poor western hinterlands. The aim was simple: to close the region’s yawning income gap with the more prosperous east and assuage restive minority populations, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet. PRC officials rattle off all the statistical measures of the program’s success. But beneath the barrage of official statistics lies another reality. the PRC’s west — defined as the dozen provinces and “autonomous regions” stretching from Inner Mongolia to Xinjiang and Tibet — remains the poorest, least-developed and least-educated part of the country.
25. PRC Migrant Labor
People’s Daily online (“CHINA’S MIGRANT POPULATION REACHES 211 MILLION”, 2010/06/29) reported that the PRC has a migrant population of 211 million with an average age of 27.3 years old, according to a report released by the National Population and Family Planning Commission of the PRC recently. The migrant population has an average monthly income of around 1,900 yuan and most of them are engaged in high-risk industries, the report shows. They can not fully enjoy social security and public services.
26. II. PRC Report
27. PRC Social Welfare
Beijing Times (“BEIJING TO PROMOTE SENIOR IC CARD”, 2010/06/29) reported that age pension, free ride, free park entrance and some other functions will be integrated in one IC card, and the senior people can consume directly by swiping card, sources from The Senior People Career Report Conference held Monday in Beijing. It is said that by 2020, senior people over 60 years in Beijing will exceed 4 million, accounting for 20% of all the population.
28. PRC Civil Society and Poverty Alleviation
Jinghua Times (“JDB GROUP DONATES 6 MLN TO IMPOVERISHED UNIVERSITY STUDENTS”, 2010/06/29) reported that a love activity to assist impoverished university students was formally launched n Beijing recently. The activity is sponsored by JGB group (a well-known herbal tea producer in China) and All-China Charity Association, and will help 1200 impoverished university students with a total grant of 6 million RMB.
29. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Jinghua Times (“AMITY FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTES TO YUSHU RECONSTRUCTION”, 2010/06/29) reported that Amity Foundation has held a large charity activity recently in Nanjing. Through voluntary charity bazaar and performance, the activity raises fund for environmental protection projects in west China. according to statistics, this activity has raised fund of 29460.5 RMB and all the fund will be used on the photovoltaic power project in Yushu of Qinghai province supported by Amity Foundation.