||Last Updated: 25 Mar. 2008 - 7:18:47 PM
The State of China
Population (2001 est.): 1.3 billion GDP (2000 est.): $1.1 trillion (exchange rate based). China is the oldest continuous major world civilization, with records dating back about 3,500 years. Successive dynasties developed a system of bureaucratic control. The U.S. Government imposed trade sanctions on the China Metallurgical Equipment Corporation on September 1, 2001. The sanctions were imposed because CMEC transferred items controlled under Category II of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex to a Pakistani entity. This transfer contributed to Pakistan's MTCR Category I missile program.
7 July 2002, The Washington Post reported that "On paper, China is a unitary state and its local courts and police are controlled directly by Beijing. In reality, they are run by the local branch of the Communist Party and paid for by the local government. That means that although Communist China's founders sought to create a highly centralized state that would be immediately responsive to the leadership in the capital, they ended up with a fragmented power system in which the rights and obligations of each level of government are up for grabs."
9 July 2002 The Washington Post reported that "In China, HIV infection was for years confined to relatively small numbers of intravenous drug users on the country's southern border with Burma. It recent years, cases have been found elsewhere, spread not only by drug use but also by prostitution and, in one region, by procedures that infected a large number of peasants selling their own blood for money. Countrywide, the number of cases increased from 600,000 in 2000 to 850,000 last year."
The Chinese official paper The People's Daily reported 16 April 2003 that "Economists estimate that China's gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of this year grew between 9 and 10 percent, the highest rate in the last six years."
However SARS may have a negative effect on the economy in the first half of 2003 - see BBC report 17 April 2003.
The International Herald Tribune reported 28 April 2003 that, "The outbreak of SARS has inflicted the greatest blow to the Chinese economy since the massacre around Tiananmen Square in 1989, causing a plunge in retail sales, a slump in demand for some Chinese exports and a near collapse in domestic and foreign tourism." However the WHO now sees SARS as under control and SARS may have little long-term impact, international tourism in the beginning of 2003 was in any case impacted by the effects of the Second Gulf War.
The International Herald Tribute reported 25 June 2002 that "China is negotiating to buy eight submarines from Russia in a $1.6 billion deal that would significantly increase China's ability to blockade Taiwan and challenge U.S. naval supremacy in the seas near China, Western and Russian sources said."
Interpreting China's Grand Strategy: Past, Present, and Future, Michael D. Swaine, Ashley J. Tellis, MR-1121-AF, 2000 (PDF). (Rand Corporation paper).
Janes reported 10 September 2002 that China "is expected before year-end to buy a third batch of 38 to 40 Sukhoi Su-30MKK multirole fighter aircraft from Russia at an overall cost of more than $1.6 billion, according to sources in Moscow." Janes noted that, "The third batch of Su-30MKKs will feature new radars from Fazotron-NIIR Corp, allowing their use of precision air-to-surface weapons, including the Kh-31A supersonic anti-ship missile. Moscow had previously vetoed any export of the Kh-31A to the USA."
U.S. Arms Sales to Israel End Up In China, Iraq, Jonathan Reingold, May 9, 2002.
A report by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation (December 2002) said China has sought Israeli radar for its new J-10 Chengdu fighter-jet. The J-10 is said to make extensive use of foreign components, largely from Russia, Middle East Newsline reported.
Har'retz [Israel] reported 5 January 2003 that,"Beijing has sharply criticized the United States following a report in Ha'aretz that Washington has pressured Israel to end indefinitely its security ties with China, especially all exports of military systems and technologies."
The Jamestown Foundation reported 22 November 2002, that, "A newly poor Russia eager to sell its wares allowed the PLA to absorb useful numbers of many different weapon systems two to three generations ahead of what it had. The Air Force (PLAAF) received its first 4th generation fighters in the Sukhoi Su-27SK and its first modern anti-aircraft missile in the S-300."
The Washington Post reported December 10, 2002 that "President Jiang Zemin suggested during his meeting with President Bush in October that China could link its deployment of short-range missiles facing Taiwan to U.S. arms sales to the Taiwanese military." The paper also reported that, "Under Bush, the long-standing policy of "strategic ambiguity" about whether the United States would respond to an unprovoked attack on Taiwan has been replaced with a much clearer commitment to defend the island."
The Washington Times reported 11 December 2002 that, White House National Security Advisor Miss Condoleezza Rice and two aides met with Gen. Xiong and three other Chinese military officials in her office at the White House West Wing. 'She stressed that the United States does not support Taiwan independence but that we have the means and will to meet our commitments to Taipei,'" Miss C Rice also said that, "there is no justification for the continued buildup of Chinese missiles along the Taiwan Strait.'
General Xiong threatened to use nuclear missiles against LA in 1995.
Middle East and Oil
The Jamestown Foundation reported 24 October 2002, that, "Although current Chinese relations with Saudi Arabia are largely linked to Beijing's quickly growing appetite for imported energy resources, China's long-term goal may be to replace the United States as the Persian Gulf's security guarantor." The report added that, "China has already adjusted its foreign policy and energy strategy to accommodate its need for a larger share of the world's oil reserves. It has forged major oil deals with Sudan, Venezuela, Iraq and Kazakhstan. With these deals have come important military and security agreements." The report added that, "Saudi Arabia could be buying a nuclear capability from China through a proxy state with Pakistan serving as the cutout. If Riyadh's influence over Pakistan extends to its nuclear programs, Saudi Arabia could rapidly become a de facto nuclear power through a simple shipment of missiles and warheads."
Manned Space Flight
The Australian reported 9 October 2003 that: China plans to launch at least one man into space, possibly up to three, next Wednesday at 6am - at least according to the travel agent with exclusive rights to market tours to watch the historic launch.
"It's supposed to be a state secret, but anybody who responded to advertisements placed by the China Aviation International Travel Service in two Beijing newspapers this week was let in on it." The launch is scheduled on the 15th. It's still a secret," said a tour salesman.
CNN reported 2 January 2003 that China plans to become the third nation to put people in space later this year, following the successful launch of an unmanned spacecraft earlier this week. Official Chinese media reported Thursday that a manned flight of Shenzhou V is scheduled for the second half of 2003, with preparations for that flight having now entered the assembly and testing phase. Shenzhou IV, which boasts a complete system needed for human space flight, will orbit for a few days before landing, state media have said.
Janes reported 26 March 2002 that "The long-awaited and much-delayed third flight of what will become China's piloted spacecraft was finally launched from the Jiuquan site on 25 March at 14.15 GMT. The launch used the third CZ-2F ('Long March' 2F) rocket: the first launch vehicle the Chinese say has all of the requirements to be fully man-rated." Janes notes that the Chinese have built a satellite tracking station in Namibia. The report concludes that "The Chinese are already promising Shen Zhou 4 for later this year, and if there are no major failures we could see the first Chinese 'yuhang yuans' (astronauts) in orbit as early as next year on board Shen Zhou 5 or 6."
The Jamestown Foundation reported 7 November 2002 that, "China has been exposed by the pioneering research of Robin Munro of the London School of Oriental and African Studies as using psychiatric methods learned long ago from Stalin's psychiatrists to incarcerate several thousand political prisoners diagnosed with "political mania" in special mental institutions run by the security services. China is a member of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), which declares such political treatment illegitimate. Beijing's spokesmen wholly deny such malpractice and claim not to know that last February the WPA's president discussed the matter with China's deputy minister of health."
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