China II
Other candidates’ and political leaders’ 
remarks go to this site.

Issues 2000

Monday, August 13, 2001; 10:10 AM

BEIJING –– In packed courtrooms, 23 defendants went on trial Monday for a Christmas shopping-center fire in central China that killed 309 people last year.

The Dec. 25 fire that swept through the Dongdu Commercial Building in Luoyang and into a fourth-floor disco was the second-worst fire since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, official media said. Many of the dead were part of the area's economic elite.

Former Taiwan President Leaves Party ( Many Taiwanese believe the Nationalist Party – which fled China in 1949 when the Communist Party seized the mainland – has drifted from Lee's course and become too pro-China. The party has also been cooperating with Lee's political enemies.

Washington Post Staff Writers Tuesday, August 14, 2001; Page A02 The U.S. government's investigation of nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee was a "slapdash" affair that ignored other potential suspects and was deeply flawed from the beginning, according to portions of a classified Justice Department report released yesterday.

Visiting U.S. senators blast China for arms sales SHANGHAI, Aug 7 (Reuters) - A visiting U.S. Congressional delegation blasted China on Tuesday for persisting in missile sales to countries like Pakistan, saying arms proliferation remained a key sticking point in Sino-U.S. relations. Of all the issues of concern that the United States has with the People's Republic of China, that is the most significant,'' Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter told reporters in Shanghai.

``Our CIA reports continue to say that China is one of the world's worst proliferators. They've gotten to the point where they make very few bones abut it,'' Thompson said, adding China ranked with Syria, Libya and North Korea.

Specter said his support for granting China permanent normal trade relations, which accords Beijing the same low tariffs as other countries, hinged on improvement in its arms sales record.

Biden told Reuters last week he would urge Chinese leaders to reaffirm their commitment to the November 2000 pledge and call for Beijing to abide by a voluntary accord that limits missile exports to unstable regions.

Biden replaced Republican Jesse Helms, a key advocate of the view that China is a rising economic and military threat, as foreign relations committee chief.

While Biden rejects that notion, he has criticised China on human rights, lack of press freedom and arms proliferation.

Last year, both the House and Senate approved a bill to end the annual review process of China's trade status and establish normal trade relations. But that hinged on China entering the World Trade Organisation, which now appears likely in early 2002.

An official report in China has predicted that unemployment in the countryside will more than triple by the end of the next decade to some 450 million people. The report called for changes in the decades-old system of restricting the migration of rural dwellers in order to allow surplus labour to be channelled into small towns. Our Chinese affairs analyst James Miles says the redistribution of China's rural labour force is one of the biggest social and political problems facing the country's leadership.

MEXICO CITY –– Mexico wants to extend duties on Chinese footwear and textile imports for eight years as part of a bilateral trade pact with Beijing, Mexico's economy minister said Monday.

The duties are a major sticking point in negotiations of a bilateral trade agreement between China and Mexico, the only World Trade Organization member that does not have such a pact with Beijing.

The lack of an agreement with Mexico could hold up China's 15-year fight to join the WTO, which sets global trade rules.