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---"Focused Coverage Informed Perspectives"---
Sat, Oct 4, 1997 edition
Saturday Edition

Also in this edition . . .

1: Petroleum: China's coup in Central Asia
2: information source on China's energy use
3: Taiwan calls for resumption of dialogue
4: General says US did not 'offer' missiles
5: Taipei mayor will stand for re-election
6: a case of health insurance fraud

No, this is not a typical edition of China Informed. I have been working on some behind the scenes 'maintenance' today and had a report prepared on Taiwan. So, here's an abbreviated edition of China Informed. . . .
1) Links to Bangkok Post and Asia Week articles listed in archived and current editions have been updated. Sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused.
2) The Search system is now in place on the News Index page.

Petroleum Report on China's coup in Central Asia
October 10 - THE BIG OIL SHOCK is an Asia Week article on a very important development in Central Asia by which the PRC has secured rights to Kazakstan's oil fields.

    China has won negotiating rights to exploit two of the largest oil fields in the Caspian Basin, a region some analysts believe conceals as many as 178 billion barrels of oil, making it second only to the Gulf. Moreover, Beijing has undertaken to build a 3,000-km pipeline that will play a key role in fueling China's industrial growth into the next century. Says Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, chief of Kazakstan's Agency for Strategic Resources Control: "We are talking here about a vitally important strategic super-project."

There's more to the article and we encourage you to read it.

Energy: China E-News is a news letter concerned with energy policies and conservation in China.

Human Rights: ( October 10 - VIEWPOINT ) Zhu Muzhi, former minister of culture and currently President of the China Human Rights Research Society, has written an Op-Ed piece in Asia Week on human rights and China. The piece offers interesting perspective in how the issue is seen from China and how advocates for 'human rights' in the 'West' might be contradicting themselves. . . . In any case, Mr Zhu makes some interesting remarks in that he is ultimately equating 'human rights' with the prosperity of the individual and nation:

    ". . . Are the human rights advocates truly on the side of the broad masses, or are they only for the very few? Through the system of people's congresses, the Chinese are practicing the democratic right to be the masters of their own house, helping decide important national policies. The country is thus able to develop vigorously and to realize gradually the people's greatest, most urgent demands: to have enough to eat and wear, a roof over their heads, productive employment, a stable and harmonious society and a strong nation. This makes for a truly sovereign state, one that possesses dignity and can stand up as an equal among the family of nations.

The article is well worth reading. It is short and re-caps the basic tenants of China's policy with regard to this contentious issue.


Cross strait relations: Premier calls on Beijing to resume dialogue
( Central News Agency, China Post, China Times, and others ) Premier Vincent Siew again called for restarting quasi-official dialogues with Beijing to set the basis for future political talks. Siew emphasized that no preconditions should be set for the talks, reports the China Post. He said that the government welcomes mainland China's recent proposal that both sides should start procedural arrangement for political negotiations. He described Beijing's move as a positive response to Taipei's call over the last two years for restoring cross-Taiwan Strait dialogue. He hoped that the talks between the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) can be resumed immediately. Siew instructed the Mainland Affairs Council to start planning for the immediate resumption of talks. The premier made the remarks when he addressed he Cabinet yesterday. He issued a similar talk at the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday.

See also: China Times ( and )

United States: General critiques media, says US is not prepared to give missiles
(The China Post ) We have a follow up from yesterday's story on the House's non-binding resolution to provide Taiwan with missiles.

According to a report by a leading researcher at the Armed Forces University, the top academic institution of the military, the local media has misinterpreted a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives to supply Taiwan with the latest anti-ballistic missile system, the theater missile defense (TMD) system. The report claims that the US never said it would use the TMD system to cover Taiwan.

As the China Post reports, "Maj. Gen. Liu Hsiang-ping, director of the strategic studies institute of the university, said the real U.S. government aim was to involve Taiwan in the system's development in order to eventually sell it to the ROC military." Liu said the local media had incorrectly stated the issue, for the non- binding resolution of the US House of Representatives did not indicate the Clinton Administration would include Taiwan into the TMD system, reports the paper.

United Nations: Taiwan's friends speak-up in world body
( Central News Agency ) The vice premier of Belize, Dean O. Barrow on Wednesday pointed out that the United Nation's policy to exclude the Republic of China is 'irrational' and 'unenlightened.' Currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Central American nation, Barrow made use of his address at the U.N. General Assembly debate to lend support for the ROC's bid to rejoin the world body, reports the Central News Agency.

Barrow said that the 21 million people of Taiwan live in a successful, robust and prosperous democracy, and they deserve to have a discussion of their circumstances, the news service reports. The UN General Assembly's steering committee on Sept. 17 rejected for a fifth straight year a request to consider the question of ROC representation. Barrow urged that the UN find a way to re- examine the situation in a manner consistent with the rights of the parties and the spirit of the UN Charter.

In addition to Belize, nine other UN members---Nicaragua, Fiji, Paraguay, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Swaziland and Burkina Faso---have also voiced support for the ROC's UN bid since the current General Assembly debate session started on Sept. 22, reports the Central News Agency.

Taipei: Mayor says he'll run for re-election, says people support his efforts
Sources: Associated Press, The Liberty Times, China Post Taipei Mayor Chen Shuo-bian confirmed on Thursday he would seek re-election in 1998, reports the China Post. However, he did not clearly state one way or another his intention to run in the 2000 presidential election, saying the questions was a 'sensitive' and 'premature' one to answer. He said he hopes to win the DPP nomination for a second term as mayor because it will demonstrate that the people of Taipei approved and supported his efforts made during his first term. He likened the next mayoral election to a referendum on his first term achievements and performance.

For a glimpse at some of the city's "effort's" of late, see yesterday's story on the storming of city hall.

Environment: Lee and Goodall tour Kending National Park
( China Post, The Liberty Times, Central News Agency, China Times) President Lee Teng-hui on Tuesday went with Dr. Jane Goodall, also known as the Mother of Chimpanzees, to visit the Kenting National Park at the southernmost tip of Taiwan. While they stopped over at the Kenting resources exhibition hall, Goodall presented President Lee with a citation to thank for his donation of NT$1 million (US$34,965) to the Jane Goodall Institute on Wednesday to help the wildlife conversation institute set up a branch in Taiwan, reports the China Post.

In the afternoon, Goodall toured the park's Sheting area to see for herself Taiwan conservationists' success in breeding the rare Siko, also known as the Formosan spotted deer. The special indigenous animal had been extinct in Taiwan's wilderness areas since 1969. The ROC government launched a rehabilitation program in 1984. After many years of efforts, specialists at Kenting have been able to increase the herd of Siko deer to 200, some 80 of which have been released into the wild.

Goodall said she was so touched when she saw the rare deer species roaming the woods freely. She was also excited when she unexpectedly spotted a large flock of migrant birds resting on the Kenting beach.

See also: China Times ( )

Public health: government cracks down on insurance fraud involving anti-aging placenta
( The Liberty Times, China times, Central News Agency, China Post ) Officials with the National Health Insurance Bureau said yesterday that doctors at two local clinics were caught for encouraging patients to have their health insurance cards stamped in return for illegal human placenta products. The human placenta products have become popular in Taiwan because many business people and doctors promoted them by boasting that they could help prevent aging.

The official said two local clinics were found to have allegedly made huge profits by offering their patients a small bottle of human placenta in return for some stamps on each person's health insurance cards.

See also: China Times ( )

(Note: the China Times is supported by paid-subscriptions. However, even if you have paid, you may not access an article directly from its URL; go to the front-page first at and from there access the article)

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China Informed

a news service focused on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
©1997 Matthew Sinclair-Day