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---"Focused Coverage Informed Perspectives"---
Mon, Nov 3, 1997 edition
Summit Coverage:
ambiguity of Jiang's words prompts foreign minister to denies change on Tiananmen

Also in this edition . . .

1: Jiang leaves city of Angles having achieved his purpose
2: dissidents: working to influence China from abroad
3: Siew calls for agreements on cultural and journalism exchanges
4: despite 'no haste, be patient' Taiwan investment remains brisk
5: Taipei's mayor criticises President Lee's 'ignorance'
6: Taipei Economic Day is in Dusseldorf as Germany enhances economic ties
7: Taiwan ranks 4th for supplying foreign direct investment
8: Liberia's President leaves for Taiwan visit
9: murder investigation turns up new links

We're having problems with our server connection and are working to resolve it. Editions may be late in posting because of it.--Editor

Sunday: Jiang leaves city of Angles having achieved his purpose
( Analysis: U.S. Trip Is Everything Jiang Expected ) Jiang Zemin toured a satellite plant yesterday and met with local leaders in LA, wrapping up his eight day trip. Seth Faison in his New York Times article says Jiang departed the US having achieved his goals. In his own words Jiang described his trip like this: "The visit achieved the goal of enhancing new understanding," Jiang said Sunday, "broadening common ground, developing cooperation and building a future together, thus bringing China-U.S. relations into a new historical stage of development."

But Faison points out that the trip served a local audience---local, that is, in terms of Jiang's home. The president has left the US having proved to his comrades that despite the common perception of being wooden and bland, he does indeed have a sense of humour and, more importantly, can manage foreign relations with the US. It has been a rite of passage for the president who had to demonstrate an ability not only to be China's leader, but that he has the ability to do so. As Wang Chi, a professor of Chinese studies at Georgetown University, tells Faison: "This is Jiang's year."

Faison comments on the Saturday address before students and faculty at Harvard University (See the Sat, Nov 1, 1997 edition), noting a curious yet subtle use of words in Jiang's answer to a question about Tiananmen. The question and answer are reproduced here:

Q: "Jiang Zemin asked the West not to engage in confrontation but dialogue. However, why does he refuse dialogue with his own people? Why did the Chinese government order tanks in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, and confront the Chinese people?"

A: "In China there are various channels for us to learn about people's views. For instance, when I was the mayor of Shanghai, I got frequent contact with the people's deputies there, and after I went to work with the Party's Central Committee, I have been to almost all the thirty provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of China.

"China is a large country, with different levels of development in different parts of the country, and therefore, in some places in China I've been there even more than three times. I've been to many grassroots units in China's countryside, in the cities, and in the factories, and have had extensive contacts with people from different walks of life, and therefore, the people are very satisfied with achievements we have scored under the reform and opening-up program of China, and the policy of the government is to serve the people. Therefore, we have to reflect the people's requests and do everything that will meet the people's requests. And also, as a result of our effort along that line, we have enjoyed the support from our people. It goes without saying that, naturally, we may have shortcomings and even make some mistakes in our work. However, we have been working on a constant basis to further improve our work."

Faison suggests that the line, "It goes without saying that, naturally, we may have shortcomings and even make some mistakes in our work," might be an oblique reference to Tiananmen and the 'mistakes' of the government's handling of it. In Washington, Faison writes, Jiang acted strong and intransigent when standing next to Clinton, demonstrating his patriotic vigor. But in front of a wider audience---and in an 'intellectual' audience

Jiang need not appear so unyielding. Quoting Professor Wang, Faison suggests that this is the beginning of the government's re-assessment of the incident.

( No Tiananmen rethink implied' ) But Foreign Minister Qian Qichen today said Jiang meant no such thing from his statement, reports South China Morning Post. "This was a general statement made by President Jiang about existing shortcomings and mistakes in the work of the Government. He was not referring to a specific case. It goes without saying that, naturally, we may have shortcomings and even make some mistakes in our work. However, we've been working on a constant basis to improve our work," Mr Qian said. . . .

Readers will remember the party congress when news media reported on ousted leader Zhao Ziyang who circulated a petition to members of the congress, calling for a reassessment of Tiananmen. Of course such efforts would not stand, but the issue is still very much alive in China. There are plenty of mothers whose children died on June 4, and there are many who out of moral disgust understand the issue must be settled in a truthful and complete way. The interesting thing will be to watch how the reckoning unfolds. "See the" Tue, Sep 16, 1997 edition for more information.

Meanwhile. . . Faison pays particular attention to the Taiwan Question which he says Beijing will hold up as a particular victory for Jiang. Faison predicts the media will emphasize the US's reaffirmation of the One China policy and the quest for a peaceful solution to the problem. But of course the Clinton administration did not exactly say what the China Daily suggests it will. And being practical, Jiang and Clinton merely agreed to disagree on the issue.

And furthermore . . . ( Qian calls Sino-US link beneficial partnership ) Foreign Minister Qian Qichen said China and the US have begun a dialogue on building a strategic partnership, but that the partnership was by no means an alliance. The China Daily explains further:

    As the world develops towards multi-polarization in the post-Cold War days, Qian explained, all major countries have been trying to engage in co-operative, rather than confrontational, relationships. And in this sense, the establishment of a strategic partnership might well be considered as a new way of handling relations between major countries in the world.

    As a matter of fact, Qian added, China and Russia, as two big neighbouring countries, have established a strategic partnership featuring non-alignment, non-confrontation and without targeting any third parties. China and France have established a partnership relationship based on the common acknow-ledgement that the world is multi-polarized.

See also LA Times (this link will likely expire soon, so read it while its hot) ( Jiang Talks Up Sino-L.A. Ties )

New York Times: ( Jiang Does Business on Last Stop of U.S. Visit )

New York Times: ( American Urging on Rights Seems Merely to Harden Jiang )

New York Times: ( Jiang Draws Applause in His Talk at Harvard )

South China Morning Post: ( Protest street drama as red flags burned )

Dissidents: working to influence China from abroad
( Dissidents Hope to Influence China From the U.S. ) The New York Times has an interesting and informative article on Chinese exiles in the US. "The Chinese political exiles are an amorphous and disparate group, consisting of former students, former academic figures, former political prisoners and a few former senior government advisers and even Communist Party ideologists who, taken together, represent a remarkable assortment of some of China's best and brightest," Richard Bernstein writes.

Bernstein notes the work of Human Rights in China, a New York based group headed by Xiao Qiang and Liu Qing. It has become an important source of news and information on dissidents in China, and is often cited by newspapers around the world. Bernstein interviews Andrew Nathan, professor of political science at Columbia University and a leading scholar on China: "Human Rights in China is in a class by itself for impact both here and in China," Nathan said. "It has become the main channel for the way people in China get news out about themselves, about the fate of dissidents, worker protests and prison conditions."

See also ( Human Rights in China (HRIC) )


Cross strait relations: Siew calls for agreements on cultural and journalism exchanges
On the 10th anniversary of the opening of civilian contact with mainland China, the government yesterday urged Beijing to sign agreements on cultural and journalism exchanges to boost ties.

Speaking to a Taipei seminar on past and future cross-strait dialogue, Premier Vincent Siew said that the two sides should consider formally signing an agreement on cultural exchanges in order to broaden and deepen the exchanges in an institutional manner.

It has been 10 years since the government lifted a ban on people visiting the mainland for family reunion. Siew said such exchanges opened the door for cross-strait exchanges and brought bilateral ties to a new level. He added that the exchanges have not been interrupted for a single day regardless of the differences in political and economic systems and of the strained ties.

Since the ban was lifted, the total number of arrivals of Taiwan residents in the mainland has been recorded at 11 million, while some 226,000 arrivals were recorded by mainland residents heading to Taiwan. The ban was imposed in 1949 after the Chinese mainland fell to communist forces.

Siew said he deeply felt the need for the two sides to further expand their civilian exchanges in order to advance friendship and harmonious interaction between their people. He proposed that Beijing allows a free flow of information across the Taiwan Strait and let newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media freely report events. Taiwan's free press reports extensively on mainland China. But Taiwan reporters are limited to brief stays on the mainland and must work under tight control. On the mainland, the state directs media coverage of Taiwan and few mainland reporters visit the island. Siew called on Beijing also to broaden the categories of visitors it permits to come to Taiwan.

See also

Cross strait relations: despite 'no haste, be patient' Taiwan investment remains brisk
(sources: Central News Agency and the China Post) Commercial exchanges across the Taiwan Strait has remained brisk even though the government adopted a "no haste, be patient" policy toward mainland-China-bound investment more than a year ago.

Statistics released by the Central Bank of China (CBC) over the weekend show that foreign exchange settlement by local companies through off- shore banking units (OBU) for exports from their factories in mainland China reached a record US$226 million in September.

The amount marked a 64.96 percent year-on-year rise and a 40 percent increase from August this year, according to CBC tallies.

President Lee Teng-hui proposed the "no haste, be patient" mainland investment policy for the first time in September 1996, urging local enterprises to slow their mainland-bound investment because Beijing authorities had not made any positive response to Taiwan's call for resumption of regular cross-strait dialogue.

Lee's appeal resulted an immediate reduction in cross-strait commercial exchanges, with foreign exchange settlement by local companies through OBUs for their exports from the Chinese mainland dropped to US$137 million in September last year, down 19.13 percent from the same month of 1995.

However, the latest CBC count indicates that the effect of the "no haste, be patient" policy seems to have faded. According to statistics compiled by mainland authorities, mainland China received US$27.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of this year, with Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, South Korea and Singapore as the top six capital suppliers, in descending order. The tally indicates that Taiwan remained mainland China's major FDI source.


Election coverage: Taipei's mayor criticises President Lee's 'ignorance'
Taipei's Mayor Chen Shui-bian yesterday walked out from under the shadow of last month's tragic tug-of-war accident as he opened fire on President Lee Teng-hui while campaigning for a fellow Democratic Progressive Party member in Tainan.

Chen described Lee as someone who "eat rice every day but doesn't know the price of rice," criticizing Lee's remarks about offering pensions for the elderly and fares charged on Taipei's Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS). Lee had made the remarks during a recent campaign to support Hsieh Shen-shan, the Kuomintang's candidate for Taipei County commissioner.

Lee said in the speech that the Taipei County Government would only need to spend tens of millions of NT dollars to manage the elderly pension program every year. Lee also said it was cheaper to take a taxi than to ride on the city's mass rapid transit system.

Chen, who was in Tainan to campaign for fellow DPP member and Tainan mayoral candidate George Chang, accused Lee of ignorance as he spoke to Tainan crowds. Chen resumed his active involvement in election campaigning after a week of silence and inaction following a tragic accident at a Taipei tug-of-war contest.

Chen said he thanked Lee for endorsing the elderly pension program, which was initiated by the DPP. But to enforce the program in a district like Taipei County would cost much more than just tens of millions of NT dollars as Lee claimed, Chen said. Lee apparently was clueless about how much programs of the kind would actually cost, Chen said.

See also

Germany: Taipei Economic Day is in Dusseldorf as Germany enhances economic ties
(sources: Central News Agency and the China Post) Representatives from the economic and trade sectors of Germany and the Republic of China attended the sixth "Taipei Economics Day" program at the Congress Center Dusseldorf on Friday, discussing business and trade cooperation and investment opportunities in Germany for businessmen from Taiwan.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Martin Burkhardt, director of the Asian-Pacific Department of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, outlined the German government's Asian-Pacific strategy and its efforts for strengthened economic cooperation between Germany and Taiwan. He noted that German Economics Ministry Guenter Rexrodt had publicly expressed his support to Taiwan's entering in the World Trade Organization.

Charles Shu-chi King, the ROC's representative to Germany, emphasized the ever increasing economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. ROC Economics Minister Wang Chih-kang led a large trade mission to Germany in early June and the German economics minister visited Taipei in late September.

Investors from Taiwan were invited to speak on their own experiences with high technology investments in Germany and prospects for strategic alliances between German and Taiwan companies for the opening of the Asian-Pacific market. Experts from the ROC's Industrial Technology Research Institute and the Aachen Institute for Innovation and Technology also introduced their respective efforts and achievements in technology development and transfer.

Economy: Taiwan ranks 4th for supplying foreign direct investment
(sources: Central News Agency and the China Post) Taiwan was the fourth largest "foreign direct investment" (FDI) supplier among developing countries in 1996, according to a report released by the United Nations recently.

Taiwan trailed Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, but ranked ahead of No.5 mainland China. The U.N. report said global "foreign direct investment" amounted to US$34.7 billion in 1996, up two percent from the 1995 level, while global inbound foreign investment rose 10 percent to US$34.9 billion.

The top five developed FDI suppliers were the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan in descending order. Among developing economies, the top five FDI recipients were mainland China, Brazil, Singapore, Indonesia and Mexico.

The report said developing countries in Asia will be the most attractive investment destinations for multinational business groups over the next five years.

Diplomacy: Liberia's President leaves for Taiwan visit
(sources: Reuters and the China Post) Liberian President Charles Taylor will leave on Monday for an official visit to Taiwan, his office said in a statement.

Officials said that Taylor would be accompanied by a 40-strong delegation, including members of the National Investment Commission and the head of the Maritime Bureau, which oversees Liberia's lucrative flagging of non-Liberian ships. They expected the trip to last about a week.

Taylor, who launched Liberia's seven-year civil war, came to power in July's pluralist elections organized under a peace plan. Liberian government officials said Taylor's government received a US$25 million grant from Taiwan in September after recognizing Taipei. Beijing cut ties with Liberia.

Crime: murder investigation turns up new links
Police yesterday confirmed the discovery of more evidence connecting last month's triple murder at a Taipei plastic surgery clinic to April's kipnap- murder of a television celebrity's 17-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, an island-wide search has been launched for a nurse who worked at the clinic form March to April of this year, police said.

They said the nurse, who was not identified by police, could possibly have stolen a small vial of local anesthetic from the clinic and given it to the girl's kidnappers, since they had used a similar anesthetic in April when slicing victim Pai Hsiao-yen's smallest finger off.

Physician Fang, along with his wife and a nurse, was found dead in the clinic Oct. 23. Witnesses said a man resembling Pai case suspect Chen Chin-hsing rushed out of the clinic around the time of the killings.

On Saturday, the country's police force received a shoot-on-site order as the six-month search for Chen and his alleged accomplice Kao Tien-min continues.

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