Beijing says North Korea killed three Chinese at border

Originally published by Reuters, 08 June 2010

BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korean border guards shot and killed three Chinese suspected smugglers and wounded a fourth last week, prompting a complaint from Pyongyang’s only major ally, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

China formally complained to Pyongyang, and the incident was being investigated, ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing in the Chinese capital.

“In the early morning on June 4, North Korea’s border defense troops fired at some citizens of Dandong in Liaoning province, because they were suspected of illegally crossing the border to trade,” Qin said.

“Three people were killed, and one was wounded.”

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In Chinese admiral’s outburst, a lingering distrust of U.S.

Originally published by Washington Post, 08 June 2010

By John Pomfret

On May 24 in a vast meeting room inside the grounds of the state guesthouse at Diaoyutai in Beijing, Rear Adm. Guan Youfei of the People’s Liberation Army rose to speak.

Known among U.S. officials as a senior “barbarian handler,” which means that his job is to deal with foreigners, not lead troops, Guan faced about 65 American officials, part of the biggest delegation the U.S. government has ever sent to China.

Everything, Guan said, that is going right in U.S. relations with China is because of China. Everything, he continued, that is going wrong is the fault of the United States. Guan accused the United States of being a “hegemon” and of plotting to encircle China with strategic alliances. The official saved the bulk of his bile for U.S. arms sales to China’s nemesis, Taiwan — Guan said these prove that the United States views China as an enemy.

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U.S.-China Cooperation: Strengthening the U.S. Hand

Originally published by Heritage Foundation,04 June 2010
Dean Cheng

In the midst of the Obama Administration’s effort to corral Chinese support for international action against Iran and North Korea, it has been widely recounted—including by no less than the Secretary of Defense himself—that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) rebuffed his interest in visiting the PRC for consultations.

Speculation is that the Chinese decision not to meet with Secretary Gates is due to their continued pique with U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, although the Chinese themselves have simply relied on the oft-used phrase that such a meeting “is not convenient” (bu fangbian).

This incident suggests that military-to-military relations between the PRC and the United States remain at a low point despite efforts by the Obama Administration to “reset” Beijing–Washington relations. It also suggests that the Chinese view military-to-military talks and other U.S. interests as somehow irrelevant to their own. Taking back some of the concessions the Chinese have pocketed over the years would be a good way of rebalancing the relationship to U.S. advantage.

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U.S. appeals to China to restore military ties

Originally published by Reuters,05 Jun 2010

By Adam Entous and Harry Suhartono

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The United States appealed to China on Saturday to restore military ties despite discord over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and said it was considering options beyond the United Nations to punish North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean ship.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said China’s decision to break off military-to-military contacts between the Pacific powers earlier this year could undercut regional stability.

He urged Beijing to accept the “reality” that Washington is committed to arming Taiwan, like it or not.

“It has been clear to everyone during the more than 30 years since normalization that interruptions in our military relationship with China will not change United States policy toward Taiwan,” Gates told a security conference in Singapore.

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Australian-Chinese man deported after Shanghai protest

 Originally published by Reuters 03 Jun 2010

By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese-born Australian activist, who changed his name to get round a ban on his return to China, was deported to Sydney after making a one-man protest in Shanghai, a campaign organizer said on Thursday.

Zhang Xiaogang, originally from China’s southern province of Guangdong, is a computer engineer who became a human rights and democracy campaigner after 1989. He now works as a taxi driver in Australia to give him more time for activism.

He was in China as part of the “Gongmin Walk 2010,” an international project to promote human rights and civil society in China, said Yang Jianli, a fellow exile and president of Initiatives for China, which is organizing the walk.

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US bill targets Kingdom over Uighur case

Originally published by The Phnom Penh Post,26 May 2010

TWO American lawmakers have submitted legislation designed to punish Cambodia for last year’s deportation of 20 Uighur asylum seekers by barring the reduction or elimination of more than US$300 million in debt as well as the extension of duty-free status to Cambodian garments imported into the country.

The bill, dubbed the Cambodian Trade Act of 2010, was introduced before the US house of representatives on Thursday by William Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts, on behalf of himself and Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California.

In an email to the Post, Rohrabacher said Tuesday that he could not comment on the likelihood that the bill will be passed, and added, “Whether it passes or not is less important than drawing attention to the misdeeds of the Cambodian dictatorship.”

Last December, Cambodia deported 20 Uighur asylum seekers back to China, drawing criticism from observers who expressed concern that the Uighurs would face persecution there. Almost immediately after the deportation, China signed US$1.2 billion worth of economic aid agreements with Cambodia, fuelling speculation that the Uighurs had been returned to please Beijing.

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Remarks at the Closing of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Great Hall of the People
Beijing, China
May 25, 2010

 SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. On behalf of all of the American delegation, I want to thank our generous hosts, Vice-Premier Wang and State Councilor Dai, for their excellent preparation and the extraordinary time that has been given to this dialogue, along with the Chinese team and the American team. This dialogue is the premier forum for one of the most important and complex relationships in the world. And the breadth and depth of our delegation continues to grow, because it reflects the agenda that we are working on together.

 Earlier this year, our relationship faced uncertainty, and many questioned the direction we were heading. Now, in an earlier era, we might have experienced a lasting set-back. But this dialogue mechanism, and the habits of cooperation it has helped create, along with the confidence it has built, helped put us rapidly back on a positive track. This strategic and economic dialogue (inaudible), and it reflects the maturity, durability, and strength of our relationship. So, over the last days we discussed a wide range of the most complex bilateral, regional, and global challenges.

 Now, as we have said many times, we do not agree on every issue. We don’t agree even sometimes on the perception of the issue. But that is partly what this dialogue is about. It is a place where we can discuss everything, as State Councilor Dai said, from Taiwan to universal human rights. And in the course of doing so, we are developing that positive, cooperative, and comprehensive understanding that leads to the relationship for the 21st century that both President Obama and President Hu Jintao put into motion when they agreed to do this dialogue.

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Summit Shows Superpowers’ Shifting Dynamic

Originally published by The Wall Street Journal, 25 May 2010 


By BEIJING—The most wide-ranging dialogue in the history of modern U.S.-China relations ended with some accord on contentious issues of currency and trade, but underlined a fundamental shift in the relationship between Washington and a newly assertive Beijing.

Although China offered few major concessions in two days of discussions at the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which ended on Tuesday, the U.S. praised the outcome.

China pledged to gradually reform its currency-exchange rate, but without offering any timetable. On Beijing’s drive to promote “indigenous innovation,” which foreign companies fear is a protectionist ploy, China held out hope of a resolution within the World Trade Organization—repeating a pledge it had made before. And Beijing promised to “work together with the U.S. and other parties” to resolve the crisis over allegations that North Korea torpedoed a Southern patrol vessel, but it gave no specifics.

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