NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, October 11, 2005

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"NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, October 11, 2005", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 11, 2005,

NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, October 11, 2005

NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I. NAPSnet

Preceding NAPSNet Report

I. NAPSnet

1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program

Agence France Presse (“US CONGRESS SCEPTICAL OVER NUCLEAR ACCORD WITH NORTH KOREA”, 2005-10-06) reported that the US Congress expressed skepticism over a tentative nuclear deal reached with the DPRK and warned that legislators might find it difficult to approve energy aid to the country. Mentioning that the DPRK had reneged before on its promise to give up nuclear weapons, US legislators demanded a solid final agreement with Pyongyang to ensure that it kept its side of the bargain. “Such a final deal must be air tight to ensure that we have not given away the farm with little in return beyond more broken promises from Pyongyang,” said Henry Hyde, the chairman of the House’s international relations committee.

(return to top) Reuters (“NEW U.S. PROPOSAL ON N. KOREA NUCLEAR PROGRAMS: KYODO”, 2005-10-08) reported that the US has drafted a proposal that would call on the DPRK to declare all its nuclear weapons and programs within six months. According to US administration sources, the draft proposal calls for Pyongyang to make a preliminary declaration once an agreement is reached at the next round of six party talks. Based on this declaration, the DPRK would immediately shut down all nuclear-related facilities and development activities, while nuclear materials would be brought under international administration. The DPRK would then be required to make a “comprehensive” declaration within three to six months. The proposal is also expected to call for securing the right for challenge inspections. (return to top) Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. WARNED OF ‘CONCRETE MEASURES’ IF N. KOREA SHIPS NUKES”, 2005-10-09) reported that US envoy Christopher Hill reportedly told a closed-door seminar after the last round of six party talks that if Pyongyang were to engage in the proliferation of nuclear weapons or technologies, the US would be forced to take “concrete measures” to protect itself and its allies. The “concrete measures” could include not only economic sanctions through the UN Security Council but also military action. (return to top)

2. DPRK on Nuclear Program

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA INSISTS ON ATOMIC REACTOR”, 2005-10-07) reported that the DPRK will not rejoin nuclear arms control treaties or allow international nuclear inspections until it receives an atomic reactor for power from the US, a top diplomat said on Thursday. “In order to recover relations of trust between North Korea and the U.S., the U.S. should show its intent to turn words into actions,” said Kim Yong Guk, section chief of the European department of the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry. “The physical foundation of consolidating trust between our nations is a light water reactor,” Kim told the Associated Press.

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3. Inter-Korean Nuclear Inspections

The Korea Herald (“SOUTH WILLING TO ALLOW MUTUAL NUCLEAR INSPECTION WITH NORTH”, 2005-10-11) reported that the ROK is willing to conduct a mutual inspection of nuclear facilities with the DPRK as part of efforts to facilitate a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, Unification Minister Chung Dong-young said yesterday. The minister said the government will closely discuss the details and facilities with the US when it pushes the joint inspection. National Security Adviser Kwon Chin-ho said on Monday that Seoul will have talks on the provision of light-water reactors to the DPRK only if the country rids itself of all its nuclear weapons and related programs and rejoins nuclear arms control treaties.

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4. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (“LOTTE SAYS ‘NO’ TO TOURS IN THE NORTH”, 2005-10-11) reported that the DPRK’s hunt for a new tour business partner may have been derailed. Lotte Tours said yesterday that it had rejected Pyongyang’s overtures to begin running tours to the ancient capital city of Kaesong. “Until the current conditions improve, we will not engage in an independent North Korea business,” Lee Sun-nam, an executive with Lotte Tours, told a news conference. “It is difficult to conduct a tour business with the North without following market principles and with unreasonable demands attached. Conditions are not ripe yet,” Lee said.

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5. Inter-Korean Relations

Chosun Ilbo (“NEW INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT LIKELY: PRESIDENTIAL AIDE”, 2005-10-11) reported that the ROK President’s special advisor on political affairs has said a second inter-Korean summit could happen, although it was not certain whether President Roh Moo-hyun will visit the DPRK leader Kim Jong-il or vice versa. Appearing on a CBS radio program on Tuesday, Kim Doo-gwan said, “The president has said he will meet with Kim Jong-il anytime once the North’s nuclear issue is resolved, and six-party talks on the North’s nuclear weapons program have made progress even though follow-up measures still need to be taken. So the second inter-Korean summit can happen.”

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6. DPRK Involvement in APEC Summit

Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL GIVES UP ON WOOING N. KOREA TO APEC MEET”, 2005-10-07) reported that the ROK government has apparently dropped plans to invite the DPRK’s Kim Young-nam as an observer to APEC summit in Busan. Asked if the government was planning to invite senior DPRK officials to the November summit, a high-ranking ROK official said, “We are not currently investigating the possibility.” “The North has not showed any willingness to take part in the APEC meeting, and APEC members did not seem keen on the idea of inviting the North,” a government official said. The official added that the government wanted to invite the DPRK to the summit in order to draw the country out into the international community, but even within the government many think that would have been hasty.

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7. US on Inter-Korean Relations

Donga Ilbo (“HILL: “SEOUL’S ASSISTANCE IS SPOILING PYONGYANG””, 2005-10-07) reported that US envoy Christopher Hill allegedly criticized the ROK’s massive assistance policy for the DPRK during a closed-door speech made to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies on September 29. When asked, “Is South Korea spoiling North Korea by devising a massive assistance plan for North Korea after an agreement was reached in the six-party talks?” he answered, “Yes, the South’s announcement (of assistance for Pyongyang) is making the six-party talks difficult.” Learning of Hill’s remarks through unofficial channels, the ROK Embassy to the US immediately reported it to the ROK government.

(return to top) Joongang Ilbo (“U.S. ENVOY, AT A FORUM, SENDS SEOUL A MESSAGE”, 2005-10-07) reported that US envoy Christopher Hill voiced his displeasure at the ROK delegation during a seminar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on September 29. Mr. Hill complained that Seoul had moved ahead too quickly in the negotiations on some issues, particularly in its invitation for Pyongyang to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Busan next month and a leak from Seoul about Hill’s interest in a visit to Pyongyang. (return to top)

8. DPRK-US Relations

Chosun Ilbo (“‘HILL SAID U.S., N. KOREA TIES DEPEND ON HUMAN RIGHTS’”, 2005-10-09) reported that US envoy Christopher Hill reportedly said the DPRK must discuss its human rights record, plans to develop biochemical weapons, support for terrorism, and other illegitimate activities before the US is ready to normalize ties. Reports on Sunday said Hill made the remark in a closed-door address right after signing a statement of principles that ended the fourth round of six party talks.

(return to top) International Herald Tribune (“OFTEN GLOOMY NORTH KOREA SHOWS A SUNNIER SIDE”, 2005-10-09) reported that according to a DPRK official, the removal of anti-American slogans in Pyongyang is part of the DPRK’s effort to cultivate a favorable atmosphere amid six party talks. “It is true that we have removed anti-American slogans,” said Hong Sung Chul, one of the DPRK officials who recently escorted a group of RO Koreans on a tour of the country. According to Park Sang Kwon, president of Pyeonghwa Motors of South Korea, which runs a factory in the DPRK, “You always hear two voices here. On one hand, they lash out at the United States; on the other hand, they are conciliatory.” “As a person who has dealt with the North Koreans more often than any other from the outside, I can say with certainty that the North Koreans really want to be accepted by, and live with, the Americans,” said Park. (return to top)

9. DPRK-PRC Relations

The Korea Times (“CHINA DISCUSSES NUKE DEAL WITH N. KOREA”, 2005-10-09) reported that PRC Vice Premier Wu Yi met with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il over the weekend for discussions that are believed to have included the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program. The Korean Central News Agency described Wu’s trip as an “official goodwill visit,”, but diplomatic sources said the visit was focused on the nuclear standoff. According to an unidentified diplomat quoted by Yonhap News, the PRC official planned to urge the DPRK to stick by the multilateral agreement and promised increased economic aid to the country.

(return to top) Agence France Presse (“CHINA AND NORTH KOREA HAIL RELATIONSHIP IN ‘NEW ERA’”, 2005-10-10) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao vowed to deepen ties with the DPRK after the DPRK used a new PRC-funded glass factory to hail its relationship with Beijing “in the new era”. In a congratulatory message to DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il on the 60th founding anniversary of the Workers Party, Hu said he wanted to take cooperation to “a new high.” Hu also said the relationship served the fundamental interests of both sides and was “conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the region”. (return to top)

10. DPRK-PRC Economic Cooperation

Asahi Shimbun (“RESOURCE-HUNGRY CHINA LOOKS TO NORTH KOREA”, 2005-10-08) reported that PRC investment in the DPRK continues to grow despite a range of social, financial, and technological issues in the country. A DPRK official who attended an investment seminar in Beijing in February boasted that 120 PRC companies have invested in the country so far. “China is trying to control North Korea economically,” said Nam Sung Wook, a professor of economics at Korea University in Seoul. “By doing so, it hopes to increase its influence over North Korea.” Nam says the PRC wants to occupy DPRK markets before the country opens up to the international community and other countries rush to invest in this virtually untapped market.

(return to top) Reuters (“NORTH KOREA OPENS FIRST BICYCLE FACTORY”, 2005-10-07) reported that the DPRK began production on Friday of the country’s first domestic-built bicycles. With annual production of up to 300,000 “Peony Peak” bikes a year, the PRC-invested plant will cut reliance on the second-hand imports from neighbours Japan and China, reports Xinhua news agency. The energy-starved country needs up to 7 million bicycles, a company source is quoted as saying. PRC investors own a 51% stake in the $650,000 Pyongyang factory, with the DPRK holding the rest. (return to top)

11. DPRK Military

Agence France Presse (“NKOREA VOWS STRONGER MILITARY AS IT FETES MAJOR ANNIVERSARY”, 2005-10-10) reported that the DPRK pledged to strengthen its military as it celebrated the 60th birthday of its ruling Workers Party, according to the state media. DPRK official, Kim Yong-Nam, urged DPR Koreans to stick to a policy of “songun,” or military first. He also called for efforts to strengthen the country’s military and develop the defense industry “to consolidate the military position of our revolution as firm as an iron wall,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.

(return to top) Yonhap News (“N.K. SPENT US$10 MLN ON CHINESE, RUSSIAN WEAPONS IN 2004: REPORT”, 2005-10-11) reported that the DPRK spent an estimated $10 million in 2004 to purchase PRC and Russian defense products, the ROK’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. In a report to parliament, the ministry said the DPRK sought to improve its conventional war capabilities by importing components of military trucks, ship engines, and war vessels. (return to top)

12. DPRK-US Military Relations

Yonhap News (“U.S. STORED NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN S. KOREA UNTIL 1991: LAWMAKER”, 2005-10-09) reported that the US deployed hundreds of nuclear weapons at 16 military facilities in the ROK until 1991 as deterrence against the DPRK, a ROK lawmaker claimed on Sunday. The 11 types of weapons systems included aerial gravity bombs, atomic demolition mines, nuclear-tipped Nike Hercules, Sergeant Lance, and Honest John missiles as well as several types of artillery, said Choi Sung, a member of the ruling Uri Party, citing declassified US defense and diplomatic documents.

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13. DPRK Food Aid

The New York Times (“NORTH KOREA SAYS BUMPER CROP JUSTIFIES LIMITS ON AID”, 2005-10-06) reported that DPRK officials claim that the country’s overall crop yield is up 10% over last year’s yield. This year’s bumper rice and corn crops are now being used to justify new restrictions on foreign aid and foreign aid workers. The attention given to the fate of a dozen European aid groups, said Stephen W. Linton, chairman of the Washington-based Eugene Bell Foundation, overshadows “the absolute boom” in private aid from the ROK, which has a much greater and more fundamental impact on the DPRK “than foreigners who run around in S.U.V.’s and do not speak the language.”

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14. DPRK Food Rationing

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA SAID INCREASES FOOD DISTRIBUTION”, 2005-10-08) reported that the DPRK is stepping up efforts to resume full-scale distribution of food across the country, a sign the situation in the nation is improving, a UN relief agency said. “Government plans to revive the public distribution system are becoming more apparent, although steps in this direction do not seem to be happening uniformly across the country,” Richard Ragan, the World Food Program’s country director, said in a report published on the agency’s website.

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15. DPRK Defections

Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA DEPORTS N. KOREANS SHELTERING AT INT’L SCHOOL”, 2005-10-10) reported that seven DPRK defectors who entered the compound of a ROK international school in the PRC city of Yantai on August 29 and requested safe passage to the ROK have been returned to the DPRK. The group consisted of two men and five women, four of them from the same family. The Foreign Ministry on Friday confirmed they were repatriated. “Despite our request for a transfer of custody, Chinese security forces apprehended them and returned the group to the North a month later,” a ministry official said. “This is a deviation from China’s usual practice,” added the official.

(return to top) Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA SOFTENS ON N. KOREAN DEFECTORS”, 2005-10-11) reported that PRC authorities have agreed to let eight DPRK women who made their way into a ROK international school in Qingdao to seek shelter at the ROK Consulate. The ROK Foreign Ministry summoned the PRC ambassador on Tuesday after learning of the group and insisted Beijing must not deport them to the DPRK but let them decide where they want to go. In the meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, the PRC’s Ambassador to Seoul Ning Fukui reportedly showed willingness to cooperate, saying the defector issue should not overshadow relations between Seoul and Beijing. (return to top)

16. Hyundai Probe

The Korea Herald (“GNP DEMANDS PARLIAMENTARY PROBE OF HYUNDAI ASAN SCANDAL”, 2005-10-08) reported that the Grand National Party (GNP) called on Friday for a parliamentary probe of Hyundai’s use of a government inter-Korean economic cooperation fund following allegations of embezzlement by a former company official. “As the fund spending was what the National Assembly agreed, a parliamentary probe is needed to find out whether or not the money was misappropriated,” the GNP’s deputy spokesman Kim Dae-un wrote in a column on the GNP website.

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17. Japan Returns Korean Monument

Korea Times (“JAPAN RETURNS CHOSON MONUMENT”, 2005-10-10) reported that the ROK will bring back “Pukkwan Taechop-bi,” a 300-year-old stone victory monument, from Japan later this month, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said Monday. Japan took it from the northern part of the Korean Peninsula a century ago. The monument will first be displayed in the ROK for a while and will be delivered to the DPRK “at an appropriate date,” the Seoul official said.

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18. Japan Postal Reform

The Associated Press (“REPORT: JAPAN COALITION TO PUSH ON REFORM”, 2005-10-10) reported that Japan’s ruling coalition is expected to achieve a key ambition of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi this week by passing legislation to privatize the country’s sprawling postal service and create the world’s largest private bank. Parliament’s lower house could approve the bills as early as Tuesday, setting up a vote in the upper house by week’s end, the Nihon Keizai newspaper said Monday.

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19. Japan Development Policy

Kyodo (“JAPAN, WORLD BANK CALL FOR GREATER DEVELOPMENT POLICY TIE-UPS IN ASIA”, 2005-10-11) reported that Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz agreed Tuesday that Japan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank should strengthen policy coordination in the development of Asia, a Finance Ministry official said.

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20. Japan Iraq Contribution

Reuters (“JAPANESE PUBLIC OPPOSES KEEPING TROOPS IN IRAQ-POLL “, 2005-10-11) reported that three out of four Japanese people oppose extending the non-combat mission of their country’s 600 troops in southern Iraq beyond its planned end in December, a newspaper poll showed on Monday. The daily Mainichi Shimbun said 77 percent of those surveyed opposed keeping Japan’s military in Iraq beyond the end of Japan’s self-imposed mandate on December 14, while 18 percent were in favor.

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21. Bird Flu Funding

The New York Times (“THE FRONT LINES IN THE BATTLE AGAINST AVIAN FLU ARE RUNNING SHORT OF MONEY”, 2005-10-10) reported that as the Bush administration and Congress prepare to spend billions of dollars to improve the US’s ability to combat avian flu, crucial needs are being left unmet on the front lines of the world’s defenses against the disease, in some cases for lack of a few million dollars, international health officials said Saturday.

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22. Russo-Indian Joint Military Exercises

MosNews (“RUSSIA, INDIA START JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES”, 2005-10-10) reported that Russian-Indian joint military exercises will take place in India on Oct. 10-20. The Indra-2005 exercises were set up by a protocol signed by the Russian and Indian defense ministries and by agreements concluded during a Russian military delegation’s visit to India in May.

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23. Russian Far East Trade with Asia

The Vladivostok News (“RUSSIA’S FAR EAST BUILDS METALLURGICAL, MACHINERY TIES WITH ASIA “, 2005-10-10) reported that in an effort to boost international relations in heavy industries, Russian Far Eastern cities of Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk are actively establishing business contacts with neighboring Asian countries.

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24. Cross Strait Relations

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN MUST STOCKPILE BETTER WEAPONS AGAINST CHINA: PRESIDENT “, 2005-10-10) reported that Taiwan’s independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian intensified calls for a massive arms build-up to thwart what he said was a growing military threat from the PRC. Taiwan badly needed more sophisticated weapons to defend itself as the PRC might not resolve the conflict with the island peacefully, Chen said.

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25. US-Cross Strait Relations

Kyodo (“TAIWAN’S LEE TO MAKE 1ST VISIT TO WASHINGTON, CHINA PROTESTS”, 2005-10-11) reported that Taiwan’s former President Lee Teng-hui embarked on a trip to the US on Tuesday, a move that has already sparked criticism from the PRC. During the two-week trip he will go to Anchorage, New York, Washington and Los Angeles, where he is set to meet with US-based overseas Taiwanese and local politicians.

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26. PRC Historical Revisionism

Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA CONTINUES TO ERASE KOREAN HISTORY”, 2005-10-10) reported that ever-vigilant over what it sees as Japan’s distortions of history, the PRC is pushing ahead with some rewriting of its own to suppress mention of a separate Korean identity in its textbooks. The PRC Foreign Ministry in August last year erased reference to some pre-1948 Korean history on its website, and now all accounts of pre-modern Korean history, including the Koguryo kingdom, are gone from a world history textbook for ethnic Korean- students.

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27. PRC Five Year Plan

Agence France Presse (“CHINA’S COMMUNIST PARTY OPENS KEY ANNUAL MEETING”, 2005-10-10) reported that nearly 200 members of the central committee of the PRC’s Communist Party have opened a four-day meeting in Beijing which is arguably the most important event on the nation’s political calendar. The ruling Party’s core members are expected to endorse the “11th five-year plan” for economic and social development for the PRC — the blueprint for the country for the next five years, from 2006 to 2010.

(return to top) Washington Post (“CHINA’S PARTY LEADERS DRAW BEAD ON INEQUITY”, 2005-10-10) reported that senior leaders of the Communist Party opened a crucial Central Committee session focusing on ways to narrow a gap between rich and poor. Hu, who is also the party leader, has largely endorsed the concerns about social equity and made them his own, calling for a “harmonious society” with increased attention to people who have failed to benefit from economic liberalization. (return to top) People’s Daily Online (“CHINA’S DEVELOPMENT MODE TO CHANGE IN “11TH FIVE-YEAR PLAN” PERIOD”, 2005-10-10) reported that judged from the information disclosed before the opening of the session, the PRC’s 11th Five-Year Plan will continue to adhere to the strategic thinking that “development is the absolute principle”, at the same time it will lay special emphasis on commanding the overall situation with the “scientific outlook on development”. (return to top)

28. PRC Legislator Missing

Agence France Presse (“CHINESE LEGISLATOR MISSING AFTER BEATING: JOURNALISTS “, 2005-10-10) .reported that a PRC legislator is missing after he and a foreign journalist were attacked by thugs at a village in southern PRC at the center of a bitter land dispute, reporters say. Lu Danglie, a delegate to the local People’s Congress from Hubei province’s Zhijiang city, was badly beaten Saturday as he tried to enter Taishi village in southern Guangdong province, journalist Jonathan Watts, told AFP

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29. Hong Kong WTO Preparations

The New York Times (“HONG KONG NOW PLANS TO ALLOW PROTESTS NEAR WORLD TRADE TALKS”, 2005-10-10) reported that faced with objections to its initial plans, the Hong Kong government announced Friday that it would seal off a relatively small area around the site of the World Trade Organization ministerial conference when it is held here in December. The government also offered to let protesters hold demonstrations at two sites within view of the convention center where 6,000 trade officials from 180 countries are scheduled to gather Dec. 13-18.

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30. Hong Kong Executive

Agence France Presse (“HONG KONG CHIEF’S MAIDEN POLICY SPEECH SETS RE-ELECTION BALL ROLLING “, 2005-10-11) reported that Hong Kong’s political leader will deliver his maiden state-of-the territory address this week in a speech analysts believe will effectively launch his re-election campaign. Analysts expect Donald Tsang to take no chances with risky initiatives that could backfire and sink his chances of re-election.

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31. PRC Environment

Agence France Presse (“GLOBAL WARMING DRYING OUT SOURCE OF CHINA’S MIGHTY YELLOW RIVER “, 2005-10-10) reported that Global warming is leading to widespread ecological decline at the headwaters of the Yellow River, threatening water supplies to 120 million people, an environmental group said. In a study commissioned by Greenpeace, scientists said Monday global warming was melting glaciers and permafrost, which in turn was breaking up and drying out the land, turning grasslands into deserts and leaving lakes and rivers without water.

(return to top) Xinhua (“NATION PUBLISHES 1ST MAP OF DESERT, DESERTIFICATION”, 2005-10-10) reported that the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has for the first time published a map of deserts and desertification, which shows that the total area of the PRC’s sand, gobis and stone deserts is 1.57 million square kilometers. Wang Tao, a leading desertification control scientist in northern PRC and chief editor of the map, said that a large area of arid land in northern PRC has entered the initial stage of desertification. (return to top)

32. PRC Child Malnutrition

The Associated Press (“REPORT: CHILD MALNUTRITION VARIES IN CHINA “, 2005-10-10) reported that nearly one-third of children living in the PRC’s poorest areas suffer from malnutrition, the government said Saturday, underscoring the country’s growing economic divide.

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33. PRC Space Program

Agence France Presse (“CONFIDENT CHINA PREPARES FOR SECOND MANNED FORAY INTO SPACE “, 2005-10-10) reported that the PRC is expected to launch its second manned space mission on Wednesday from a remote desert region, swelling national pride and leaving many foreign observers in awe at what the country has achieved. The launch of Shenzhou VI has been shrouded in secrecy and is subject to weather conditions, but an official from the technical department of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center said it will happen on Wednesday.

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34. PRC Succession

Reuters (“CHINA’S COMMUNISTS EYE ECONOMY, LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION “, 2005-10-11) reported that the PRC’s ruling Communist Party wraps up a four-day closed-door meeting on Tuesday that charts a course for the world’s seventh-biggest economy and could see party chief Hu Jintao further cement his grip on power. One focus will be on whether Hu can maneuver protégé Li Keqiang, 50, who cut his teeth in Hu’s power base, the China Youth League, into the decision-making Politburo, which currently has 24 full members and one alternate member.

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35. PRC Income Disparity

Reuters (“CHINA’S WEALTH GAP REACHING CRITICAL LEVEL “, 2005-10-11) reported that persistent poverty in the PRC’s countryside, against the backdrop of fast-growing cities, has sparked social unrest in some spots and elicited sympathy from the wider populace. But the wealthiest 10 percent of the PRC’s urban households now own 45 percent of the urban wealth while the poorest 10 percent have less than 1.4 percent, PRC statistics show.

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36. PRC Graft

Agence France Presse (“AUDIT SHOWS GRAFT WIDESPREAD IN CHINESE GOVERNMENT “, 2005-10-11) reported that a national audit has found that graft remains widespread in the PRC government, with ministries including finance, education and health all misusing funds last year, a report said. The details were revealed by the National Audit Office, which said 38 government bodies improperly used budget funds in the 2003-04 fiscal year.

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37. PRC Unrest

Knight Ridder Newspapers (“THUGS TRY TO CRUSH PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTS IN CHINESE VILLAGE “, 2005-10-11) reported that thugs trying to crush pro-democracy protests in a village in southern PRC have beaten a grassroots elections expert nearly to death and are terrorizing foreign journalists who approach the village. Political activist Lu Banglie, 34, was dragged from a taxi that was taking a journalist for Britain’s newspaper The Guardian to Taishi Saturday night. People in police and army uniforms dispersed, allowing several dozen thugs to beat Lu unconscious.

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