monday, january 3, 2000
1. PRC-Taiwan Confrontation
Relations between the PRC and Taiwan have been strained by the recent statement by Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui defining cross- Straits relations as “special state-to-state relations.” The PRC subsequently announced that it possessed neutron bomb technology.
Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper reported that analysts said that the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can succeed in an amphibious landing against Taiwan. The analysts added that Taiwan would face a bigger problem if the PRC instituted a naval blockade or launched missiles.
Taiwanese sites containing background on China-Taiwan relations include the Cross-Strait Interflow Prospect Foundation and Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council.
For guides to the PRC’s nuclear weapons, see the Federation of American Scientists and the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
2. DPRK Missile Test
Reports in the US, Japan, and the ROK have all discussed the DPRK’s apparent preparations to test-launch a Taepondong-2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and the governments of those three countries have warned against the consequences of such a test.
For background on the DPRK’s missile program, see the Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/missile/index also, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute: http://www.cns.miis.edu/research/korea/index.htm and DPRK Missile Characteristics, by Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. http://www.asia-research.com/Missile.html
3. Japanese Plutonium Shipment
Two ships recently left Great Britain and France bound for Japan with shipments of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, raising environmental, proliferation, and security concerns.
For the latest Greenpeace press release on the shipment, see: http://www.greenpeace.org/pressreleases/nuctrans/1999jul22.html
“THE MOX MYTH: The dangers and risks of the use of mixed oxide fuel,” by Loeke Pam, Joop Boer and Dirk Bannink, is available at: http://antenna.nl/~wise/mox0.html
For information about the Canadian Foreign Ministry’s Plutonium MOX Fuel Initiative to burn surplus US and Russian MOX fuel in Canadian reactors, see: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/agence-nand/nnpdia/english/nnpdia-4.html
4. US-Russian Nuclear Talks
Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin is visiting Washington, where he will meet with US Vice President Al Gore on July 27 to discuss nuclear issues and other items of bilateral concern.
Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation argues that Stepashin’s visit offers the US an opportunity to improve relations with Russia by addressing substantive issues: http://www.nyu.edu/globalbeat/nuclear/Cohen072699.html While Paul J. Saunders, of the Nixon Center says that several obstacles to more cooperative ties between the two countries remain: http://www.nyu.edu/globalbeat/nuclear/Saunders072399.html
The recent “Joint Statement between the United States and the Russian Federation Concerning Strategic Offensive and Defensive Arms and Further Strengthening of Stability” is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/Europe- 9906/html/Statements/990620.html
5. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
US Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has thus far refused to schedule hearing on the ratification of the he Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers has a number of resources on CTBT, including: a news release, an analysis of poll results, statements by Senators calling for action by the Senate, a transcript of the briefing where the Senators spoke, remarks by the President on the CTBT, and a letter from all 45 Democratic Senators to Senator Helms calling for hearings on the CTBT. It is available at: http://www.clw.org/pub/clw/coalition/relb072099.htm
6. NGOs and Nuclear Weapons
Cathleen S. Fisher, Senior Associate of the Stimson Center, has written a new report on “Nongovernmental Organizations and the Future of Nuclear Weapons.” The paper analyzes the origins, evolution, and accomplishments of the campaign by non- governmental organizations (NGOs) for radical changes in nuclear doctrine and policy. After reviewing the three phases of the 1990s debates on alternative nuclear futures, the report explains why NGOs succeeded in scoring important nonproliferation victories, but fell short of their ultimate goal: a fundamental change in the nuclear doctrine and broader nuclear policy of the United States and other nuclear powers. The report concludes with a discussion of important lessons for future civil society campaigns to set a new nuclear agenda. The report is available at: http://www.stimson.org/pubs/cosec/report29/index.html