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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

USIS Foreign Media Reaction 

26 August 1997


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As they have since the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty on July 1 of this year, commentators from all corners of the globe continued to speculate on the role of China as an increasingly important player on the world scene. There was widespread concurrence that, with the demise of the Cold War, China was poised to become the world's next military and economic "superpower," challenging what a number of writers termed the "unipolarity" of the U.S. Although many observers noted that Sino-U.S. ties were the "key" relationship to watch in the run-up to the 21st century, others underscored China's increasingly active role vis-a-vis the ASEAN grouping and its attempts to come to grips with the "strategic triangle" in Asia involving itself, the U.S. and Japan. Most saw the recent "smooth" handling of such issues as Taiwan President Lee Teng- hui's request for a transit visa and the Hong Kong port call of the U.S. Navy's flagship, the USS Blue Ridge, as positive signs of Sino-U.S. cooperation. Looking forward to the planned October summit between Presidents Clinton and Jiang Zemin, Beijing's official Communist Party People's Daily noted that the occasion represented an opportunity to build a "healthy and stable relationship for the 21st century." A German paper, however, was less sanguine, predicting that, given the Chinese leader's track record from the 1993 APEC meeting in Seattle, he could prove to be "a difficult guest." Following are the major themes of the commentary: OFFICIAL CHINESE MEDIA: Among the issues discussed in China's official media, the ongoing review of the 1978 U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines took center stage. Shanghai's official Jiefang Ribao argued that the relationship between China, the U.S. and Japan "is an unbalanced triangle, in which the U.S. and Japan are allied countries whose relationship is stronger than the China-U.S. or the China-Japan relationship." The revised defense guidelines "will make the unbalanced triangle...even more unbalanced, and this is obviously not good for Asian-Pacific stability," the paper charged. The question of whether the guidelines would include Taiwan moved two official dailies to remind their readers that "the Taiwan question is purely an internal affair." Other Chinese papers took issue with Congressman Frank Wolf's recent statements on Tibet and with Secretary Albright's announcement earlier this month that the U.S. would appoint a "special coordinator for Tibetan affairs." "The U.S., as the single superpower in the world, just decided to do this, ignoring another country's sovereignty and its people," charged the English-language China Daily. The view of intellectually-oriented Guangming Daily was that "a few American religious rightists...worry that a China that is growing ever stronger will become a barrier that prevents the U.S. from (carrying out) its hegemonic expansion." Such persons should abandon their "cultural egomania" and the "illusion that they can interfere with the internal affairs of another country through cultivating pro-Western religious forces," the paper insisted. NEW BI-POLARISM?: Editors on several continents noted the emergence of a "new bipolarism" involving the U.S. and China. Although few saw the emerging relationship as problem-free, many perceived grounds for optimism based on shared needs. Some editors echoed the view of Seoul's conservative Segye Ilbo, which contended that China would require "U.S. assistance" in its modernization. "Inevitably, China will have to adopt a more pro-U.S. line of policy, and maintain it at least for the next 10 years," the paper maintained. In India, the nationalist Hindustan Times likewise noted that economic liberalization would foster Sino-U.S. cooperation, but predicted "political friction" between the two "for quite some time to come." U.S.-CHINA-ASEAN: A number of pundits seized upon the notion that, although China needs the U.S. as an economic partner, it has yet to come to terms with how to deal with the ideological differences separating the two. The chair of a prominent Indonesian think tank, whose column ran in Singapore's pro- government Straits Times, saw ASEAN as playing a "constructive role" in contributing to the "stability" of the U.S.-China relationship. Some, however, viewed the ASEAN arena as a forum for competition. Tokyo's business-oriented Nihon Keizeiconcluded that Beijing was "trying to use the ASEAN Regional Forum to contain the U.S. and establish a dominant position in ASEAN diplomacy." More recently, Premier Li Peng's indications that China would support the Malaysia-backed East Asian Economic Cooperation (EAEC)--a rival to APEC--and China's willingness to attend a proposed meeting of the heads of state of China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN this December, moved editors to warn that ASEAN nations might soon have to "choose" between the U.S. and China. Papers in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines signalled a wariness of their powerful neighbor to the north and contended that ASEAN's decision to admit Burma into the regional grouping was guided by "fears" that otherwise Burma might fall "into the claws of the dragon." This survey is based on 75 reports from 24 countries, July 3 - August 26. EDITOR: Kathleen J. Brahney EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC CHINA: "Western Scholar Refutes Congressman's Remarks" Official English-language China Daily carried this Xinhua New Agency piece (8/26): "Leading Western scholars on Tibetan studies expressed their shock at U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf's remarks that 'Tibetan language and culture are being destroyed' and criticized Congressman Wolf as being 'arrogant and ignorant.' 'Wolf's remarks are nonsense...absolute nonsense. He must be blind,' said Professor Colin Mackerras, a professor of Tibetology in Australia. 'He pretends to know everything, but his remarks obviously show he knows nothing of the Tibetan culture nor has he traveled to Tibetan rural areas,' Mackerras said. 'It would be economically unsound and dangerous to split Tibet from China,' said Mackerras, 'and it would devastate the local cultural tradition." "Sino-Japanese Relations Are Bound To Go Forward" Top-circulation, official Communist party People's Dailycommented (8/23): "Ross Munro [co-author of The Coming Conflict With China] has once again managed to turn the affiliation of China, the United States and Japan into a hostile relationship. This is real nonsense.... Munro gives two prospects to Japan: Either accept China's control of Asia and become its subordinate, or maintain close ties with the United States. Japan must choose between the two. This idea virtually forces Japan to pursue the interests of the United States even more and therefore become a 'subordinate country' to the United States. China, the United States and Japan are three major powers and Sino-U.S. and Sino-Japanese relations are bound to go forward. No one can hamper this forward growth, least of all a public agitator such as Munro, who routinely talks nonsense." "Clarity In Japan-U.S. Security Links Urged" Sun Wang wrote for official, English-language China Daily(8/20): "The Chinese government yesterday expressed serious concern over recent remarks by a top Japanese official relating to the scope of Japan-U.S. security cooperation (which he said includes the Taiwan Straits). 'We demand that the Japanese government issue full clarification of this statement,' Foreign Ministry Spokesman Shen Guofang said in a press release. Shen reaffirmed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and the Taiwan question is purely an internal Chinese affair. 'This is the consensus of the international community.'" "China And U.S. Work Together To Ensure Visit's Success" Liu Yunfei wrote in the official, Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao, 8/15) and other dailies: "The steady influx of U.S. political figures to China and the warm reception they have received is an indication that both China and the United States are hoping to use President Jiang Zemin's visit to America to build a stable and healthy bilateral relationship for the 21st century.... President Jiang Zemin's upcoming state visit to the United States reflects not only a resumption of high-level dialogues in both capitals, but also that the two countries have entered a new stage in their relationship." "Undercurrents That Interfere With U.S.-China Relations" Lu Shi wrote in official, intellectually-oriented Guangming Daily (Guangming Ribao, 8/12): "A few American religious rightists...worry that a China which is growing ever stronger will become a barrier that prevents the United States from (carrying out) its hegemonic expansion. These American religious rightists are afraid and are attempting to prevent the U.S. government and China from forging close ties.... There is a kind of 'cultural egomania' in the minds of a few Americans. Since the Cold War, a few people in Western countries have asserted that their democratic system, 'Christian civilization' should be the desired goal of mankind. Under (the banner of) this theory, they attempt to spread their 'Christian civilization' throughout the world, (and to) China in particular, under the guise of 'religious freedom.' They cling to the illusion that they can interfere with the internal affairs of another country through cultivating pro-Western religious forces." "Argument Surrounding The Limits Of Defense Cooperation" Zhang Guowei wrote in official Communist party People's Daily(Renmin Ribao, 8/7): "Recently, an argument about defense limits has gotten a lot of attention in Japan's news media and political circles. The heart of the matter is whether the Taiwan Straits will be included within the scope of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation. Some people in Japan retain a Cold War mentality and want to bring China's Taiwan Straits within the realm of the U.S.-Japan joint defense cooperation. People in Japan should realize that in today's world, the security of a country rests on coordination and cooperation with neighboring countries rather than on military alliances. Under the pretext of self-protection, the military alliance may actually be a violation of another country's sovereignty." "U.S. Meddles In Tibetan Affairs" Chen Yali said under the headline above in the official, English-language China Daily (8/6): "According to...(Secretary) Albright, the United States will soon appoint a special coordinator for Tibetan Affairs tasked with 'protecting the unique religious, cultural and linguistic heritage of Tibet.' The United States, as the single superpower in the world, just decided to do this, ignoring another country's sovereignty and its people. It seems unlikely that the Americans care more about Tibet than the country of which Tibet is a part. What they really care about is whether they have the power to direct another country to do whatever (the United States) wants it to do. Those who dare to ignore the United States and challenge its authority become the 'bad guys,' accused of bullying the weak and carrying out 'cultural genocide' in a minority region. The powerful U.S. news media try to persuade people to believe the 'made in America' view. Indeed, the legend created by United States 'white knights' hides the true ambition of gaining control over any developing country and spreading influence worldwide." "ASEAN Cooperation With China, Japan And South Korea" Gu Qi penned this for Shanghai's official Jiefang Ribao (7/30): "In the dialogue meeting between China and the ASEAN yesterday, Vice Prime Minister and concurrent Minister of Foreign Affairs Qian Qichen responded positively to the ASEAN suggestion to hold a meeting with the heads of state of China, Japan and South Korea this December. This indicates a new level in the cooperative relationship between China and ASEAN.... Although the situation in East Asia is relatively stable, we cannot conceal the fact that elements still exist which might cause instability or conflict.... With the increased level of dialogue among various nations, people can expect an East Asia with flourishing economic development and social progress. This should be good news for the world as it enters the 21st century." "Trilateral Relations Among China, U.S. And Japan" Researcher Feng Shaokui of the Institute of Japanese Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences wrote in Shanghai's official Jiefang Ribao (7/27): "The relationship between China, the United States and Japan is an unbalanced triangle, in which the United States and Japan are allied countries whose relationship is stronger than the China-U.S. or the China-Japan relationship.... IThe U.S.-Japan Joint Declaration on Security...will make the unbalanced triangle...even more unbalanced, and this is obviously not good for Asian-Pacific stability. While the relationship between the United States and Japan has been strengthened, some people in the two countries energetically advocate the 'China threat' theory, which makes people eager to push China into sitting in the 'major challenger's' chair, regardless of whether there is a 'challenger.' Their intention is not to 'favor' China, but to see China follow in the footsteps of all major challengers in history, to see it weakened or defeated in the confrontation with a still-powerful 'leader' able to muster a strong alliance." HONG KONG: "A Skillful Arrangement Of C.H. Tung's Visit" Pro-PRC Hong Kong Commercial Daily (8/15) wrote: "The meaning of Chief Executive C.H. Tung's opting to visit Malaysia and Singapore first goes without saying. C.H. Tung had once planned to visit the United States some two months before the handover in order to bring a positive message about Hong Kong's handover to the United States. However... President Clinton received Martin Lee in a very high profile [call]. On top of that, the U.S. media and the Congress were all anti-China at that time. Hence, Chief Executive Tung gave up the idea of visiting the United States. It has been one and a half months since the reversion of Hong Kong to China. The reality is that Hong Kong experienced a smooth transition and everything is normal. The U.S. media cannot but admit the fact. Hence, it is appropriate for C.H. Tung to arrange a visit to the United States two weeks after visiting Singapore and Malaysia to demonstrate Hong Kong's present pride and confidence in Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong and one country, two systems." "The Special Meaning Of U.S. Navy Ship Visit To Hong Kong" The Hong Kong Economic Times said in an editorial (8/6): "We believe that the Chinese move of allowing U.S. Navy ships to continue coming to Hong Kong for reprovisioning and maintenance and allowing the crew members to go onshore for tourism and entertainment without any restriction are due to improving Sino- U.S. relations and the upcoming visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin to the United States.... The port call (of the USS Blue Ridge) shows Beijing's respect for 'the one country, two systems' policy...(and) has set an example for how Beijing will handle Hong Kong's external affairs, especially defense and foreign affairs, after the setting up of the Special Administrative Region. Hence, this port call has a significant meaning." "U.S. Navy Ships Visit Hong Kong" Pro-PRC Ta Kung Pao asserted (8/6): "The U.S. Navy has...come to Hong Kong, and it will continue to come, too.... If the Chinese and U.S. military can make use of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to make more contact, to promote understanding and to improve their mutual relationship, it will definitely be good for maintaining peace and stability in the Asian region. Of course, we (in) Hong Kong are glad to play such a role." "Lee U.S. Trips Head Towards Acceptance" The English-language Hong Kong Standard (8/1) editorialized: "A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman yesterday stopped short of demanding that Washington withdraw its decision to issue a transit visa (to Tawian's President Lee Teng-hui).... This, of course, represents a perceptible change in attitude. Having vociferously opposed two years ago the decision to allow Mr. Lee into the U.S., Beijing is now urging Washington to ensure that he does not conduct himself in a manner that is prejudicial to China's territorial integrity by advocating independence for Taiwan.... Whatever the reasons for this new approach, we believe it is the right and reasonable attitude to adopt. Good, strong Sino-U.S. ties are important not just for the region, but the whole world. Such relations need be built on reasonable expectations and mutual respect." "Smart Compromise" In the editorial view of the independent South China Morning Post (8/1): "The United States' decision to grant a transit visa to Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui en route to his visit to Panama indicates that Washington is at pains to tread a delicate diplomatic path, in which no party need feel itself aggrieved.... Last night's relatively mild reaction from Beijing suggests that it will not engage in sabre rattling if Mr. Lee's brief transits are conducted in a low-key fashion." "Schools Of Thought" According to the independent South China Morning Post (7/7): "Few decisions of the new Special Administrative Region government are likely to receive a warmer welcome than the news that there will be no political interference in the education system.... Misgivings (had) surfaced in March when Foreign Minister Qian Qichen claimed that the contents of some textbooks did not accord with 'history or reality,' and decreed that they should be revised.... The government has not previously imposed controls on the education system and it would cause grave alarm if there was an attempt to do so now. Schools are not political nurseries and too much emphasis on 'patriotic education' may 'suggest to parents that a process of indoctrination is 'under way. The word education comes from a Latin root meaning 'to lead out,' not to 'put in.' In all subjects, children should be given the facts and taught the powers of reasoning which will lead them to ask questions and to form their own opinions." TAIWAN: "Believing Japan Is Scheming, China's Discontent Rises" Wang Cho-chung wrote in the centrist, pro-status quo China Times(8/25): "As a matter of fact, the United States' interference in the 'Taiwan issue' is already a headache for Beijing. But now, even high-ranking officials from Japan, which has never wanted to offend Beijing regarding the Taiwan issue, have said in public that the Taiwan Straits will be included in the U.S.- Japan defense treaty. The move has made Beijing believe even more that Japan 'is scheming for something,' which will increase Beijing's difficulty in handling the 'Taiwan issue' in the future. It is no wonder Beijing would believe that Tokyo's recent 'abnormal' moves show that Japan has sent out a clear message that 'Tokyo is attempting to interfere militarily in the Taiwan issue.' In the meantime, [these moves] also revealed Tokyo's conspiracy to work with the United States to obstruct Chinese unification." "Taipei's Thoughtfulness And Good Will" Washington correspondent Norman Fu wrote in the centrist, pro- status quo China Times (8/1): "Taipei's choice to have President Lee stop over in Hawaii, a move made to show thoughtfulness and good will toward the United States, greatly pleased Washington.... It is not important which city Lee chooses to stop over (though Washington D.C. is of course an exception); the treatment Lee receives and greater freedom he can enjoy are what really matters." JAPAN: "The Folly Of Making An Enemy" An editorial in liberal Asahi observed (8/25): "Chinese Premier Li Peng has criticized as unacceptable Chief Cabinet Secretary Kajiyama's remarks that the (revised) U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines will cover (possible) future military emergencies between China and Taiwan. With Prime Minister Hashimoto's visit to Beijing close at hand to mark the 25th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China relations, China's strong reaction threatens to cast a dark shadow over relations of mutual trust between the two countries. Both Japanese government and LDP officials are trying desperately to soothe the Chinese by saying, 'Kajiyama's remarks just meant the coverage of defense guidelines will not be limited to emergencies on the Korean peninsula alone, but we will give no heed to the Taiwan Strait.'... But it is clear that the United States is revising the guidelines, while assuming conflicts on the Korean Peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait, as well as keeping close tabs on the eventual rise of China's hegemony.... Beijing will not be able to overlook any U.S. policy of using the U.S.-Japan security system to intervene militarily in the Taiwan Strait in a bid to contain China." "Kajiyama's Remarks: 'Warning China'" Conservative Sankei editorialized (8/21): "Repercussions have been created both at home and abroad over Chief Cabinet Secretary Kajiyama's remarks that the (revised) U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines will cover possible crises in the Taiwan Strait.... China's vice foreign minister has formally criticized the remarks (as an interference in China's internal affairs). This could develop into a diplomatic hot potato between Beijing and Tokyo.... Prime Minister Hashimoto, who is scheduled to visit China in September, should be careful enough not to make any speeches that would be detrimental to Japan's national interest.... Japan should not forget that the United States dispatched two carrier task forces to the Taiwan Strait (in March 1996) to check Chinese military exercises aimed at 'intimidating' Taiwan.... It is only natural that Japan should keep in mind that it will give rear-area support to the American military in times of a conflict between China and Taiwan. Japan should 'warn' China with it. This is, as it were, one of the strategies Japan should employ toward China." "Japan-U.S. And Taiwan" Liberal, second-largest circulation Asahi front-paged this (8/15): "The Japan-U.S. security arrangement and the Taiwan issue are once more coming up as a major points at issue between Japan and China.... A quarter century after diplomatic relations were normalized, the source of trouble between Japan and China, though suppressed during the Cold War period, is now reigniting in reaction to changes in the international environment, such as the end of the Cold War, the disappearance of the Soviet Union, and China's growing power. China is becoming more alarmed, suspecting the Taiwan area may be covered under the 'areas surrounding Japan' as stipulated in the new guidelines." "China's Seeks 'Containment' Of U.S." In the view of business-oriented Nihon Keizai's Kuala Lumpur correspondent (7/28): "China is promoting a policy of reconciliation with ASEAN while at the same time trying to direct criticism toward the United States.... Beijing is trying to use the ARF to contain the United States and establish a dominant position in ASEAN diplomacy." AUSTRALIA: "Asian Rights" The liberal Sydney Morning Herald remarked (8/25): "(Chinese Prime Minister) Li Peng endorsed not only the call for a review of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights but also Dr. Mahathir's proposal for an exclusively Asian regional grouping--a rival to APEC--which would exclude the United States and Australia....the East Asian Economic Caucus (EAEC).... In Malaysia, Mr. Li observed: 'Politically speaking, inequality exists. Some countries attempt to lead the world and some...attempt to bully the weak and the poor.' As the EAEC emerges...a question that will come sharply into focus for most ASEAN members will be whether they have more to gain from continuing a steady engagement with the United States and other countries in APEC or from distancing themselves from the United States in an exclusivity and regionally assertive EAEC." INDONESIA: "West Split On Burma In ASEAN" According to Muslim intellectual Republika (7/25): "Both the United States and the EU believe that Chinese hegemony can be deterred by the addition of Indochina to ASEAN. Meanwhile, Burma's membership in ASEAN would eliminate the possibility of a Beijing-Rangoon axis.... As always, the West has a dual attitude on the matter of Burma, that is, pretending to hate Burma, yet secretly wanting its [inclusion]." PHILIPPINES: "Beijing Using Hong Kong To Woo Taiwan" Writing from Hong Kong, columnist Manny Benitez said in liberal Today (8/9): "If Beijing succeeds in winning Taiwan back as an integral part of the mainland but with a high degree of autonomy, China, or 'Greater China,' as some contemporary political scientists love to call the world's most populous nation, looms as the most powerful country on earth, not only in manpower but in real economic strength.... This is one reason for Washington's currying the favor of Beijing in more ways than one. Next week, President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, will be going to China for talks in preparation for a summit meeting between Clinton and President Jiang Zemin. In all likelihood, the Taiwan issue will be at the top of the agenda for the summit, particularly in the wake of the controversy over Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui's stopover next month in Honolulu on his way to Panama and back." "Saying 'No' To Clinton" Under the above headline, Nelson Navarro wrote this for the independent Manila Standard (7/28): "Had ASEAN buckled down in the face of U.S. opposition to Myanmar, how would China have perceived the move? Isn't it clear that ASEAN's rejection could have only driven Myanmar and China closer into each other's arms?... In accepting Myanmar into its fold, ASEAN displayed political maturity and courage. It stood up to Washington and gave Beijing no reason to step into the fray." SINGAPORE: "ASEAN's Ties With China, Japan And U.S." Jusuf Wanandi, chairman of Indonesia's Centre for Strategic and International Studies, wrote this op-ed piece in the pro- government Straits Times (8/15): "The debate in the United States over a new national security and foreign policy after the end of the Cold War--which includes future relations with China- -will continue for some time before a consensus can be reached.... On the other side, although China is developing very fast economically, it is faced with some real domestic constraints in formulating a stable, constructive, and positively policy towards the United States. Having a 'Middle Kingdom' psychology with substantial achievements in its reforms and modernization, but experiencing increased discrepancies and unevenness, and having a certain complex vis-a-vis the West because of history, China has problems of how to behave properly toward the United States. It needs the United States as an economic partner for modernization, but the ideological bias and great power status of the United States also cause a lot of pressure for China. This is compounded by the capriciousness of U.S. policy, and the fact that the president is not focusing his attention on foreign policy, especially not that on East Asia or China. For the region, a stable strategic relationship between the United States and China is a prerequisite for peace and stability as well as prosperity and economic dynamism in the future, especially for small- and medium-sized countries that are adjacent to China, such as the ASEAN countries. This is why it is imperative for ASEAN to play a constructive role in contributing to the stability of this relationship, however, limited this contribution might be." "Admit China Into The WTO" In the opinion of the pro-government Business Times (8/12): "Despite...internal pressures in both capitals, the core interests of China and the United States should compel the two to overcome their differences and agree on a formula for Chinese membership (in the WTO.)... If anything, a refusal by the United States to allow China to join will only strengthen the power of the protectionist forces in Beijing, retard economic reform in China, and reignite new trade and diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China. The most effective way to make sure that China becomes 'essentially responsive' to American concerns is to integrate Beijing into the multilateral trading system." SOUTH KOREA: "China Embraces U.S." Conservative Segye Ilbo held (8/16): "Beginning to realize that the United States is too important to keep at a distance, Chinese leaders have moved to embrace the United States. They now know that cooperation with the United States is imperative in achieving its primary goal of becoming a political and economic power by 2010. They also realize that China will be on the losing side if diplomatic clashes with the United States increase, and also know that they will especially need U.S. assistance in modernizing China's scientific technology. Their reform plan will require China to open up more, and that will demand a closer relationship with the United States. Inevitably, China will have to adopt a more pro-U.S. line of policy, and maintain it at least for the next ten years." "Holding China In Check" According to anti-establishment Hankyoreh Shinmun (7/31): "The United States and ASEAN are confronting each other over human rights. The confrontation heated up last week when China backed the Asian association, with the EU siding with the United States. It all began when Malaysian prime minister questioned the fairness of the UN human rights charter...and developed into a heated confrontation which will affect the Cambodia issue.... ASEAN's pre-emptive strike came about because U.S. opposition is delaying Cambodian membership in the association.... The United States sees human rights as the Achilles' heel of the association. In addition, the issue is one way to maintain Washington's influence in the region and to hold China in check. Obviously, it is an issue that the United States and ASEAN have to resolve before Cambodia's membership becomes possible." "U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines: Measures We Need" In the view of anti-establishment Hankyoreh Shinmun (7/29): "(South Korea) should make clear its position on the guidelines before they are finalized. According to (the defense guidelines), Japan will have a greater capacity to conduct military operations if and when an emergency breaks out in Korea. That, and other new measures, point to a major change in Japan's concept of self-defense.... The vagueness in defining 'Japanese territory' also makes us uncomfortable.... (South Korea) is unbelievably calm about all these sensitive aspects. We must make all the effort necessary to protect our interests, and it is we--who would most likely be the primary party in an emergency--who deserve the best attention. The bottom line is that there has to be a limit to the increase in Japan's role and the limit has to be made very clear. Not only because of China but because ASEAN countries are concerned." "Hun Sen Approaches China, Hoping To Break Isolation" Conservative Segye Ilbo (7/29) remarked: "Cambodia and China, former enemies, are hurrying to build an alliance.... Analysts say China is escorting Cambodia as part of its effort to stand tall as a regional power.... Already on good terms with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, it will have all of Indochina as its ally as soon as Cambodia comes along. Rejected by ASEAN, Cambodia will use China's influence to pave the way to ASEAN membership and to garner support for the Hun Sen-led government. Because it is in ASEAN's interest to hold Chinese influence in check, the association may not have a choice but to expedite Cambodia's admission." THAILAND: "Peaceful Coexistence Then, Economic Cooperation Now" Kavi Chongkittavorn commented in the independent, English- language Nation (8/25): "China's five-point policy toward Southeast Asia in the 21st century announced in Kuala Lumpur last Friday during Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng's official visit was very significant. It demonstrated the confidence and pro-active approach of a post-Hong Kong China in taking a leading role in this part of the world.... With the new policy, China will work closer with ASEAN in international and regional forums, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Asia-Europe Meeting and ASEAN Regional Forum, in order to 'safeguard shared rights and the interests of developing countries.'... By continuing to identify itself as part of the developing world, Beijing seeks to mitigate fears that would arise from its growing economic and political influence in the future. It recognizes that the trappings of a looming superpower status must be downplayed to take into consideration regional sensitivities. In short, China is willing to be humble with ASEAN." "The Tripartite Game" Trairat Soontornprapat told readers of mass-circulation Daily News (8/16), "Cambodia has now become a tripartite political game played out by China, the United States and ASEAN. If everyone concerned play strictly by the rules, Cambodia is likely to benefit from the situation. However, if they all play selfishly, aiming mainly at reaping benefits from the country, Cambodia will once again descend into an utterly chaotic state.... Hun Sen now has the upper hand, having had the Funcinpec endorse the substitution of Ung Huot for Prince Ranariddh.... While Ung Huot seems to have gained almost worldwide recognition as Cambodia's first prime minister, the United States, despite its public opposition to his appointment, has increasingly softened its stance and shown signs of willingness to talk with him." "China A Winner In Cambodian Crisis" Kavi Chongkittavorn put forth this view in the independent Nation (7/30): "China is emerging as the most powerful foreign player in the current Cambodian crisis as each of the rival leaders has connections with the Chinese leadership.... With China strongly embedded in the Cambodian equation, other major players such as Japan, Australia, the United States and ASEAN have to stay put and remain engaged with the victorious Hun Sen.... Without joining ASEAN, Cambodia is susceptible to China's influence as never before, since Beijing has kept its options wide open, allowing it to either support Hun Sen or the Sihanouk-led effort. After all, it was ASEAN's fear of China's southward movement through Burma that served as a raison d'etre for the grouping to take in the pariah state and integrate rather than isolate it." "Keeping Burma From The Claws Of The Dragon" Jupiter commented in largest-circulation Thai Rath (7/27): "There are pros and cons to every ASEAN state, making it difficult for any one member to conscientiously criticize another. Although Burma, for instance, may be stained with a dark spot, it nevertheless glows invitingly with abundant natural resources. If ASEAN were to follow the dictate of the United States, the EU and other Western countries by isolating Burma...Burma might eventually fall into the claws of the dragon, much to the chagrin of these (Western) hypocrites who ostensibly preach ASEAN." EUROPE BRITAIN: "Song And Dance Routine" The independent weekly Economist noted in a report from Malaysia (8/1): "The countries of Southeast Asia share, in varying degrees, worries about China's rising political and military might. Most, partly for that reason, welcome American involvement in the region's security. So it is strange that whenever meetings of ASEAN bring all these countries together, the ASEAN countries routinely squabble with the Americans. "(At) this year's ASEAN meetings...the participants managed to widen the range of their disagreements, discovering new ones: the role of an American currency speculator and whether or not to revise the UN Declaration on Human Rights. Both rows were started by Malaysia's prime minister, Mahathir Mohammed, just back from two months' holiday in the West with his anti-Western batteries apparently recharged.... Some Asian diplomats were apparently taken aback by Mrs. Albright's forthright style. Many, however, preferred her active--if combative--participation to the starchy detachment of her predecessor, Warren Christopher." GERMANY: "U.S.-China--Difficult Rapprochement" Washington correspondent Dietrich Zwaetz filed this editorial comment for business Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf (8/19): "Washington and Beijing have economically similar aims. While the Americans are intrigued by the giant market of 1.2 billion Chinese, Beijing politicians know that they can irritate U.S. political opponents just so far in order not to lose the U.S. market, which has thus far resulted in Chinese trade surpluses of more than $30 billion.... In October, the tense relations between the two nations are to end at a summit meeting between the two state leaders. Clinton is more experienced in foreign policy and has made his contribution to granting the MFN status for China. But did Jiang Zemin also learn his lesson? Does he realize that the memory of the bloody unrest at Tiananmen has not faded in the United States?... However, the experience from (the APEC meeting in) Seattle in 1993 taught Clinton that China's highest representative can reject the interference in domestic using almost unpleasant words.... In October, Bill Clinton will receive a difficult guest." "New U.S. Course Toward China" Petra Kolonko judged in an editorial in right-of-center Frankfurter Allgemeine (8/1) under the headline above: "A few weeks before the American-Chinese summit in Washington, the U.S. government is giving its policy towards China a new turn which is tantamount to a rebuke for China. Washington has granted Taiwan's President Lee Teng-hui a transit visa, although Lee's latest visit resulted not only in tensions with China but also in threatening Chinese military gestures toward Taiwan. At the same time, the State Department appointed a coordinator for Tibetan questions who is to promote the dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Beijing. It is certainly right that the United States cannot allow Beijing to tell it whom to grant an entry visa, but the U.S. coordinator on Tibet could hardly be of any advantage for the United States. What is to be coordinated? There is no dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama. The United States, too, has recognized Tibet as part of China. The more it now turns to exiled Tibetans, the more Beijing will feel confirmed in its view that secessionism in Tibet is promoted by countries abroad." ITALY: "Washington-Beijing: New Bipolarism Excludes Tokyo And Moscow" A brief piece in provocative, classical liberal Il Fogliostressed (8/23): "American opposition to China's entry into the WTO does not seem to have damaged relations between the two Clinton's National Security Adviser Samuel Berger went to the Chinese capital to work out details of President Zemin's visit to the United States. Berger tried to explain that questions being raised by U.S. media and congressmen on the hot issues of human rights, Taiwan and Tibet are part of the American political tradition and are not the focus of the White House. The latter tends to underline the importance of the meeting between the leaders of the two biggest countries on the Pacific: a recognition of China as opposed to Japan and Russia.... For Zemin the meeting will represent an opportunity to present his country's candidacy for special relations with the United States in a sort of new bipolarism." BELGIUM: "Beijing Cautions Tokyo" Freddy De Pauw commented in independent Catholic De Standaard(8/25): "The Chinese government is very nervous because of the possibility that a revised U.S.-Japan security treaty would officially affect Taiwan. 'This is totally unacceptable,' Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng said last week. He was reacting to a Japanese statement which said that Taiwan was part of an area which would be covered by the treaty.... It is not only this Taiwanese aspect of the new security treaty that worries Beijing. China is simply afraid that the revision of the agreements concluded between Japan and the United States in 1978 would give Japan an increasingly strong military profile in (the) region.... Tokyo and Washington are well aware that they are treading on very sensitive Chinese toes whenever they question China's claims to Taiwan. Japan and the United States agree that there is only one China, and that Beijing represents it, even though this position is contradicted by their statements of last week with reference to the revision of their defense agreements. This is hard for Beijing to accept at the very moment when the Communist Party is in full preparation for its 15th congress. Anyone who would appear weak on the Taiwanese question is likely to be the target of heavy criticism at this congress." CANADA: "Sailing Into The Setting Sun" Foreign affairs analyst Eric Margolis observed in the conservative Ottawa Sun (7/7): "The return of Hong Kong to China marks a sea change in the Asian strategic balance. China is now clearly emerging as a major world power.... As a result, China must inevitably challenge America's hitherto undisputed military superiority in East and North Asia.... We should not be overly alarmed by China's ambitions. It is normal and inevitable for all great powers to influence their regions. However, China's military modernization does threaten three nations--Taiwan, Japan and Russia.... Competition for dwindling energy, mineral and food resources will likely dominate world affairs in the next generation. It is arrogant, narrow-minded and downright dangerous to think the United States alone has a unique right to these resources.... America must learn to accept China's inevitable entry onto the world stage with good grace and tact. Its current churlish behavior threatens to lay the seeds of a new Asian Cold War." "After Hong Kong, Taiwan?" According to the leading Globe and Mail (7/7): "Having secured the return of Hong Kong this year...the return of Taiwan has become China's top priority. It is the dream of making China whole again. But there is no calendar compelling the return of Taiwan.... Still, that doesn't mean there isn't a sentimental impulse among the Taiwanese to rejoin China some day, some way.... If China and Taiwan can come to a meeting of minds, reunification will happen.... Reconciliation and remarriage presume that China becomes more like Taiwan, not the other way around.... Hence (Taiwan's) consuming interest in Hong Kong. For them, it is a test of faith. It is there that China can prove itself." RUSSIA: "China Emerging Economic Giant" Writing on the occasion of ASEAN's 30-year jubilee, Dmitry Kosyrev of centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (8/8) described the association as "the main political and economic forum of the Asia-Pacific region," and China as an "emerging economic giant with a role in Asia similar to that of the United States, that is, a very big power." "The Challenge Of Beijing" Yevgeny Bazhanov said in reformist weekly Obshchaya Gazeta (# 31, 8/7): "Now that Russia is weak, America, it would seem, could try for global leadership. It really could but for China's fast-growing economic and military might. Beijing has in fact become a threat in the eyes of American strategists. The Chinese threat myth has also become ever more popular because 'the superpower' needs a serious challenge abroad. As for Russia, we don't have to fear China. True, China has made fast progress, but it has a host of difficult problems at home. So it is better to sell arms to China than not to do so, especially since its military potential is still relatively low and geared mostly to the purposes of defense. But as we are engaged in this business, as in any other business, we must use discretion, if only because we don't want to scare China's neighbors along with the United States." "Russia More Attractive To ASEAN, Japan" Andrei Grachev remarked in reformist weekly Moskovskiye Novosti(# 31, 8/5): "Russia, now less scary and menacing, draws ever greater interest, including among ASEAN member-nations, as a welcome counterbalance to China (and to the United States).... With China's strategic potential growing by the day, even Japan, snug as she is under the U.S. umbrella, is willing to change the tone of relations with Moscow." SOUTH ASIA INDIA: "Conflict, But No Crisis" The nationalist Hindustan Times ran this analysis (8/25) by Washington correspondent N.C.Menon: "Republican Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia created a bit of a stir here last week with a news conference revealing details of his clandestine fact-finding mission to Tibet, during which he had found that China was 'swallowing' Tibet through 'cultural genocide, boot- heel subjugation and vicious repression.' That is hardly the backdrop the U.S. administration would welcome prior to the proposed October summit in America between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and President Clinton. Such maverick attempts at mobile diplomacy, and the numerous pieces of China-related legislation coming up in Congress--most of them negative-- will only widen the growing gap in the approaches of the administration and the American legislature towards Beijing.... It is that duality between the administration and the U.S. Congress that has been bedeviling America's China policy.... In a relationship that is as complex and multi-faceted as the one the United States has with China, it is totally impossible for the Clinton administration to make progress in the absence of a firm political consensus behind it.... "Both the Bush and the Clinton administrations have propagated the view that if China is meaningfully engaged politically and economically, the resulting social changes will persuade Beijing to be pluralistic. The way administration spokesmen keep reiterating that mantra indicates almost a yearning on their part for such a dandy development. But Chinese analysts have clearly held that formulation to be just a dream. China is willing to work with the United States...but if anyone in the United States thinks they can change China, they must be hallucinating. China will certainly continue to liberalize its economy. But political changes? These will...arise exclusively from China's own controlled internal dynamic. In fact, the Singapore model is more than conceivable for mainland China. And that means continued friction with the United States for quite some time to come." "China Set To Emerge As Superpower" Calcutta's centrist Telegraph ran this analysis (8/8): "China looks all set to emerge as a military and economic superpower in the next 10 years.... The Chinese army and the Communist Party look likely to continue to be in control, and Beijing's economic expansionism will be buttressed by its economic strength.... China has (also) begun to display imperial ambitions. All those who felt that Tibet and Vietnam were aberrations, that Beijing had not demonstrated expansionist tendencies, should observe the inroads that China has made into Myanmar. A relationship which began on a commercial now translating into a close political and military bond.... Recent Chinese aggressiveness over the disputed Spratly Islands, or in the Taiwan Straits or even over the Senkaku Islands reveal that there are now other markers along the way." "The New Great Game" Pundit K. Subramanyam penned this for the pro-economic reforms Economic Times (8/7): "The Chinese arms relationships and their nuclear and missile proliferations to Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia would appear to be their countermove against the U.S. thrust into Central Asia. This is the 'great game' already being played; Washington may not choose to take note of it but other nations in the region do. China has discovered that so long as Washington is hooked on China trade, it cannot be penalized for its transgressions of non-proliferation treaty or missile technology control regime. China can use its proliferation as a bargaining leverage vis-a-vis the United States and to acquire a hold over the Islamic countries of West and Southwest Asia.... The name of the game is the U.S. attempt to sustain its unipolarity and Chinese ambition to emerge as the foremost power--the Middle Kingdom--of the world." "ASEAN'S Balancing Act With China, Cambodia" An analysis in the centrist Times of India by contributor Siddharth Varadarajan concluded (7/25): "China views Cambodia as a useful place to relocate production facilities for exports to the United States and ASEAN. And just as ASEAN sees expansion to Myanmar and the former socialist states of Indochina as a way of countering Chinese influence, China is trying to do the reverse. That is why ASEAN's holier-than-thou attitude toward Hun Sen will ultimately prove to be self- defeating. The more the Cambodian leader is spurned, the more he will turn to China." "Hong Kong Handover Will Change Global Power Balance" This analysis by columnist Siddharth Varadarajan ran in the centrist Times of India (7/7): "Hong Kong' return to China on July 1 marked one of those rare and momentous turning points which alter forever the course of human history. The handover itself was more than an act of decolonization. It was a pointer to the enormous shift occurring in the global balance of power and an indicator of that which is yet to come--the ineluctable rise of China as an economic and military superpower and the inability of the 'West' to do anything about it.... The Opium War was fought in order to ensure that China traded with the West on the West's terms. The China of today trades with the West largely on its own terms." PAKISTAN: "Border Fences Disturbing" The radical, pro-Iran Muslim opined (8/13): "In its report on Sunday, a paper opined that China had decided to fortify its border to check cross-border support for Islamic militants within its northwestern region of Xinjiang. Beijing is locked in a struggle against separatism in the Muslim-dominated region. The fencing operation could forever change the complexion of relations between China and Pakistan, this paper has feared.... If China thinks Pakistan is not doing anything to prevent infiltration of Islamic fundamentalists into its Xinjiang region, steps should be taken now and every effort made to prevent relations with a proven ally from deteriorating any further." BANGLADESH: "Will China Forgo Authoritarianism?" In the view of conservative Ittefaq (7/3): "Taiwan can never follow the Chinese economy or politics. If it does it will go bankrupt. So is the case for China to forgo authoritarianism. The inevitable must happen. Perhaps the Hong Kong model will change Beijing internally, which may one day change its political system also." NEPAL: "Hong Kong, China And Taiwan" In the view of government-owned Gorkhapatra (7/5): "The world community now appears to be waiting to see what kind of change Hong Kong, with highly advanced capitalist economy and political freedom, can help bring about in China's future, rather than the form China will mold Hong Kong into in years to come.... The answers to questions such as what the attitude of Britain and America towards China will be, whether China can move on progressing in conformity with the modern world or remain isolated, whether Taiwan will remain independent or return to China, will be provided by the Hong Kong of the future.... The political freedom of Hong Kong is like the Trojan horse of the Greek legend. It can neither be left outside, nor can it be allowed to go inside and create disturbances." SRI LANKA: "The Dragon Yawns, And Waits" Readers of the independent, English-language Sunday Times saw this commentary by Mervyn de Silva (7/6): "Taiwan would never accept communism or the one-party system, declared (Taiwan's) Vice-President Lian Chen. For him, multi-party democracy is non-negotiable. And he can rely on an American flotilla to back his answer--as we saw last year. And in Tibet the Dalai Lama maintains a deafening silence. But China can wait. It has its own sense of time." MIDDLE EAST KUWAIT: "China Throws Its Weight Around" Abdullah Al-Sheikh wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-Aam (7/28): "(China) insists on blackmailing Kuwait, in that either we buy weapons valued at $300 million or (it) will take action against us during the next meeting of the UN Security Council.... Why not pay (us) the $300 million so that we can build a university, or hospitals... instead of accumulating weapons that will benefit only the superpowers?" AFRICA SOUTH AFRICA: "Potential For Conflict Remains Great" Centrist, Afrikaans-language Die Burger (8/14) commented: "China is indeed militarily not as strong as the USSR was at the height [of its power] but the general expectations are that it will probably be the case in a decade or two. That makes it even more imperative that the two superpowers [the United States and China] understand each other well. Fortunately the two governments have begun a series of contacts which could well fulfill this role.... Nevertheless the potential for conflict remains great. History teaches that changes in the international power balance often are accompanied by war, and the possibility in this case cannot be ruled out, even in the long term. Many influential Americans distrust Chinese expansion. The Chinese harbor suspicions that the Americans want to prevent them from becoming a superpower. Under the circumstances there needs to be greater understanding and tolerance than is usually the case in order to keep matters from getting out of hand." LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN HONDURAS: "China's Pandora's Box" Gloria Leticia de Lazarus wrote in conservative La Prensa(7/11): "Politically, it is inevitable that there will be different dynamics at play. The Hongkongese have enjoyed the taste of liberty and democracy and they will not now renounce it, which may turn out to be a 'bad example' for the mainland Chinese. China talks of 'one country-two systems.' But the Hongkongese have been free as birds. Will things be left the same or will the new owners clip their wings?... We Hondurans have viewed this historic transfer as something distant, with little to do with us, but one should look at it as the beginning of the 'China-ization' of the world which will reign in the 21rst century.... Let's hope that the Chinese will be prudent and will not open their recently acquired Pandora's Box." ## For more information, please contact: U.S. Information Agency Office of Public Liaison Telephone: (202) 619-4355 8/26/97 # # #

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