NAPSNet Daily Report 4 May, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- Sino-DPRK Relations
- UN on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- Sinking of ROK Naval Ship
- US on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- PRC and ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- Inter-Korean Relations
- Israel on DPRK Arms Exports
- DPRK Public Health
- US-ROK Security Alliance
- USFJ Base Relocation
- Sino-Japanese Relations
- Sino-Indian Relations
- Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
- Cross-Strait Relations
- US and Cross Strait Relations
- PRC Internet
- PRC Security
- II. PRC Report
1. Sino-DPRK Relations
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “REPORTS: NKOREA’S KIM TO MEET CHINESE LEADERS”, Seoul, 2010/05/04) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was expected to meet top PRC officials Tuesday. Kim was seen by reporters in the port city Dalian on Tuesday getting into a car and then was driven away in a 10-vehicle motorcade. It was not known where he was going.
2. UN on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap News (“BAN URGES N. KOREA TO RETURN TO 6-WAY TALKS FOR DENUCLEARIZATION”, 2010/05/03) reported that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the DPRK to return to the six-party talks on its nuclear dismantlement, which Pyongyang has boycotted for over a year due to UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests. “Looking to Northeast Asia, I encourage the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible, without preconditions, to realize the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Ban told representatives of more than 150 members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
3. Sinking of ROK Naval Ship
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “LEE: WARSHIP SINKING WAS NO ‘SIMPLE ACCIDENT'”, Seoul, 2010/05/04) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak ordered a thorough review of the ROK’s military readiness Tuesday. “What is obvious so far is that the Cheonan did not sink due to a simple accident,” he said. “As soon as the incident occurred, I sensed it was a grave international and inter- Korean matter.” “After we find the cause, I will take definite, stern” action against those responsible, he said in a nationally televised speech.
4. US on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Yonhap News (“U.S. SEES NEED FOR U.N. ACTION ON SINKING OF S. KOREAN WARSHIP”, Seoul, 2010/05/03) reported that the US agrees with Seoul’s move to take the sinking of a ROK warship to the U.N. Security Council even if an ongoing investigation into the case does not provide any hard evidence proving who is responsible, an informed diplomatic source said. “We want to show our support to our Korean allies and show to the international community that an action like this is not without consequence,” the foreign diplomatic source said, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
5. DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Yonhap News (“PRO-N. KOREA PAPER WARNS S. KOREA AGAINST RETALIATION OVER SHIP SINKING”, 2010/05/03) reported that the DPRK will respond with its own counteraction, an apparent reference to arms, if the ROK holds the DPRK responsible for the deadly sinking of a warship near their sea border and retaliates, a pro-DPRK newspaper said. “Such ideas run completely counter to the intentions of the leadership” in Pyongyang that has put out peace treaty talks on offer, the Chosun Sinbo said. “Befitting counteraction will be taken if (retaliation is) carried out.” “It has become likelier that South Korea will be left out of the flow of multilateral diplomacy if it wraps up the situation to the effect that the escalation of tension is not avoided,” it said.
6. PRC and ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Korea Times (“NAVY SHIP SINKING PUTS BEIJING ON THE SPOT”, 2010/05/03) reported that as the ROK is likely to bring the matter of the deadly sinking of the warship Cheonan to the United Nations Security Council amid growing suspicions of DPRK involvement, the PRC is also becoming the focus of attention as a veto-wielding permanent council member. “Obviously, the incident puts South Korea on the spot. But it also puts China on the spot too because China has been endlessly indulging North Korea,” Aidan Foster-Carter, honorary senior research fellow in sociology told The Korea Times. An editorial of the local Chosun Ilbo newspaper echoed the view. “China is rising to become a leader in the world. If China takes sides with North Korea, which is threatening regional security, it will be a stain on China’s international reputation.”
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREAN ACTIVISTS SEND LEAFLETS DESPITE PYONGYANG’S THREAT”, 2010/05/03) reported that activists let loose 10 giant balloons filled with radios, DVDs money and leaflets into the DPRK in defiance of threats from Pyongyang. Around 200 hundred people, mostly defectors, gathered at a public park in Imjingak near the DPRK-ROK border to release the balloons, which carried slogans such as “Abolish gulags” and “Down with Kim Jong-Il ‘s Dictatorship.” The leaflets contained the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations and criticism about the DPRK.
8. Israel on DPRK Arms Exports
The Associated Press (“PERES: NORTH KOREA ‘DUTY FREE’ ARMS SHOP FOR IRAN”, 2010/05/03) reported that Israeli President Shimon Peres accused the DPRK of acting as a “duty free shop” for weapons that reach Iran and militants in Lebanon and Syria. Israel was observing the smuggling trend with “open eyes,” Peres said. “These weapons flow straight to Iran, who arms and strengthens the world’s global terror network, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and other groups in Syria,” Peres said.
9. DPRK Public Health
Reuters (“NORTH KOREA HAS PLENTY OF DOCTORS: WHO”, 2010/04/30) reported that the DPRK’s health system would be the envy of many developing countries because of the abundance of medical staff that it has available, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan , speaking a day after returning from a 2-1/2 day visit to the reclusive country, said malnutrition was a problem in the DPRK but she had not seen any obvious signs of it in the capital Pyongyang. “They have something which most other developing countries would envy,” Chan told a news conference, noting that her visit was a rare sign of the DPRK’s willingness to cooperate with outside agencies.
10. US-ROK Security Alliance
Yonhap News (“S. KOREANS BEGIN LEGAL BATTLE TO DETER EXPANSION OF U.S. AIR BASE”, 2010/04/29) reported that a group of South Koreans filed an administrative suit against the Korean defense minister, demanding the cancellation of approval for the construction of a second runway at the U.S. air base in Osan, south of Seoul. In the suit filed with the Seoul Administrative Court, the plaintiffs — a group of 200 residents of Pyeongtaek who live near Osan Air Base — accused the ROK government of approving the US air base’s runway expansion project without conducting an environmental impact assessment or consulting the local municipal authority or residents. “It is obvious that the local residents will suffer from even worse noise pollution,” the plaintiffs said in the suit.
11. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“OKINAWA PEOPLE UNHAPPY WITH MAY DEADLINE FOR FUTEMMA ISSUE: SDP HEAD”, 2010/05/03) reported that the people of Okinawa do not necessarily want the issue of where to relocate a major US Marine base in Okinawa Prefecture to be resolved by May 31 as promised by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, the head of a government coalition partner said. “Would the people of Okinawa really want a settlement by the end of May? I think they want the matter to be truly resolved,” said Mizuho Fukushima, head of the tripartite coalition member Social Democratic Party, alluding to lingering local expectations for a relocation outside Okinawa .
Associated Press (Malcolm Foster, “JAPAN PM: MOVING US BASE OFF OKINAWA ‘IMPOSSIBLE'”, Tokyo, 2010/05/04) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Tuesday that it will be impossible to move all parts of a key U.S. Marine base out of Okinawa. “We must ask the people of Okinawa to share the burden,” he said. “We have reached a conclusion that it is difficult to relocate all of Futenma’s functions outside the country or the island because of a need to maintain deterrence under the Japan-U.S. alliance.”
12. Sino-Japanese Relations
Kyodo News (“JAPAN TO ANALYZE CHINESE NAVY ACTIVITY, DEPLOY SDF IN SOUTHERN ISLANDS”, 2010/03/02) reported that Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said that Japan intends to gather and analyze information on the PRC Navy’s activities and work toward deploying a Ground Self-Defense Force unit in Japan’s southwestern islands as the PRC expands its defense budget and activities. Kitazawa met with his Indian counterpart Shri Antony and told him that Japan will gather information on the PRC Navy’s activities. The two defense chiefs agreed to keep pressing the PRC to disclose information on the country’s increasing defense budget, Japanese officials said.
13. Sino-Indian Relations
New Kerala (“INDIA-CHINA ARMIES MEET AT CHUSHUL, AGREE TO CONTRIBUTE FOR PEACE”, 2010/05/03) reported that India and PRC armies held a border personnel meeting opposite Chushul to celebrate International Labour Day and jointly agreed to contribute for peace, stability and development of the region, a Defence ministry spokesman said. ”The meeting held in atmosphere of cooperation and camaraderie, greetings were exchanged by both sides,” the spokesman said, adding both sides agreed to join hands in contributing to peace, stability and development of the region in consonance with Border Peace and Tranquility agreements.
14. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
United Press International (“RUSSIA INVITES CHINA TO EXPLORE ARCTIC”, 2010/05/03) reported that Russia is interested in joining PRC developers to exploit oil and gas reserves locked in the Russian section of the Arctic, regional officials said. Dmitry Kobylkin, the governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous region in the Russian Arctic, expressed interest in a Chinese partnership in oil and gas development during the World Expo 2010 Exhibition in Shanghai. He said he was ready to offer partners in the PRC a “mutually advantageous and constructive cooperation” in the regional natural resources sector, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency reports.
15. Cross-Strait Relations
The Associated Press (“US-TAIWANESE MAN HELD AFTER BOMB HOAX ON PLANE”, 2010/05/03) reported that a Taiwanese-American man has been detained in the PRC after falsely claiming his luggage contained explosives during a flight from Taipei to the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai , Taiwanese police said. Taiwan ‘s China Airlines had to divert the plane with 293 passengers and 22 crew on board to the PRC city of Hangzhou after 68-year-old George Lin told the cabin crew about the purported explosives. China Airlines Spokesman Bruce Chen said no explosive was found on board the plane after it was thoroughly searched on landing in the PRC city of Hangzhou, where Lin was taken away for questioning by PRC authorities.
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN WORKERS PROTEST AGAINST PLANNED CHINA DEAL”, 2010/05/03) reported that thousands of Taiwanese people took to the streets of the capital on Saturday for a labour day protest against a planned trade pact with the PRC that they say will threaten the island’s workforce. Trade unions and workers’ groups from across the island marched through the streets of Taipei, shouting slogans and waving placards against the government’s plan to sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). “We oppose ECFA and other free trade deals because they are intended for the benefits of large corporations rather than grassroots workers,” said Huang Yu-te, a lead organiser of the protest.
Associated Press (Tini Tran, “TAIWAN OPENS FIRST TOURISM OFFICE IN CHINA”, Beijing, 2010/05/04) reported that Taiwan opened a tourism office Tuesday in Beijing that represents the island’s first official presence in China’s capital since the two sides split amid civil war in 1949. The PRC will open a counterpart office in Taipei later this week as part of reciprocal steps aimed at opening up tourism links between the two. “The purpose is to introduce Taiwan’s scenery and landscapes to mainland people, and promote mutual understanding and interaction between the sides through tourism. That’s the most important goal,” said Yang Ruizong, head of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association office in Beijing.
16. US and Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“TAIWAN SAYS WILL NOT SEEK U.S. HELP TO FIGHT WARS”, 2010/05/03) reported that Taiwan will never ask the US to help fight a war, officials said in comments that could ease regional tension but shake views the island needs the world military superpower to battle the PRC. In a statement seen appeasing both Washington and Beijing , Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou had told a visiting television reporter over the weekend that the island would stand up for itself, suggesting the US was not obligated to send help and risk its own conflict with the PRC.
Associated Press (Peter Enav, “TAIWAN: NO CHANGE ON CHINA POLICY AFTER MA COMMENT”, Taipei, 2010/05/04) reported that Taiwan will maintain a robust defense to deal with a possible PRC attack, Vice Defense Minister Chao Shih-chang said Tuesday. “No matter how cross-strait relations change, our military will never change its stand on bolstering its capabilities and maintaining national security,” Chao told reporters in Taipei . Christopher Kavanagh, a spokesman with the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan, stated, “We believe continued cross-Strait dialogue furthers regional peace, stability and prosperity,” he said. “We hope these efforts continue.”
17. PRC Internet
The Associated Press (“CHINA TARGETS `FOREIGN FORCES’ IN WEB CRACKDOWN”, 2010/05/03) reported that the PRC will target online information from “overseas hostile forces” in its next crackdown to tighten Internet controls, a government spokesman said in comments reported. The announcement gave no details about which groups might be targeted but Beijing sometimes accuses political, human rights, Tibet and other activists abroad of trying to undermine communist rule. “We will strengthen the blocking of harmful information from outside China to prevent harmful information from being disseminated in China and withstand online penetration by overseas hostile forces,” Wang was quoted as saying.
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA’S ONLINE POPULATION PASSES 400 MILLION: STATE MEDIA”, 2010/05/03) reported that the number of Internet users in the PRC, already the largest in the world, has surpassed 400 million and accounts for almost a third of the country’s population, state media reported. The online population in the world’s most populous nation has reached 404 million, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the State Council Information Office.
18. PRC Security
Washington Post (“5 KINDERGARTNERS, TEACHER INJURED IN 3RD CLASSROOM ATTACK IN CHINA IN 3 DAYS”, ) reported that a farmer wielding a hammer injured five kindergartners and a teacher before setting himself on fire Friday, in the third classroom attack in the PRC in three days and the fourth since late March. State news media played down the latest assault, which occurred in Weifang, a city in the eastern province of Shandong, on the same day as the gala opening of Expo 2010 Shanghai China. The Education Ministry issued an emergency notice Friday requiring outsiders to register before entering schools and ordered school officials to cooperate with local governments to tighten security, Xinhua reported.
II. PRC Report
19. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
People’s Daily (“BEIJING VOLUNTEERS PAINT PRO-ENVIRONMENT CULTURE WALL”, 2010/05/03) reported that ten university volunteers and some community residents jointly painted a 100 square meters culture wall for promoting environmental idea in Zhengyilu community of Dongcheng District of Beijing recently. This kind of wall can both beautify community environment and promote the public’s environmental awareness.
20. PRC Disaster Relief
People’s Daily online (“600 MLN RMN ALLOCATED TO YUSHU”, 2010/05/03) reported that according to the website of Ministry of Civil Affairs, as at 4 pm of May 2, the whole country has received Yushu disaster relief fund and materials totally worth of 4.277 billion RMB, among which 3.591 billion is fund and 686 million RMB of materials. At present 604 million RMB has been allocated to the disaster areas, including 56 million of fund and 548 million of materials.
21. PRC Civil Society and Migrant Workers
Northeast China Net (“LIAONING LAUNCHES VOLUNTARY SERVICE FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN”, 2010/05/03) reported that the “Care for Children from Migrant Families” was formally launched in Shenyang city of Liaoning province April 30. The activity was sponsored by Liaoning Provincial Committee of the Communist Young League, and co-sponsored by many university associations in Liaoning province. The activity will provide allround voluntary services to children in migrant families for long time.