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<-Back to WTN Archives China accuses Western Governments and Media
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World Tibet Network News

Monday, January 29, 1996

2. China accuses Western Governments and Media

BEIJING, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The Communist Party accused Western governments and
news media Friday of fomenting a new Cold War in the Asia-Pacific region under a
propaganda campaign advocating China's "containment."

In a lengthy front-page commentary, the People's Daily denounced what it
described as a Western conspiracy to "curb China's development" and sow discord
among its regional neighbors by exploiting concerns over Beijing's policies
toward Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, nuclear testing and military expansionism.

"Although their numbers are few, they are using outdated Cold War thinking
and language, poisoning an atmosphere of international trust," said the
newspaper, the party's mouthpiece.

"Preaching about the containment of China will inevitably lead to tension,
confrontation and war," it added.

The commentary came two days after an article in the New York Times said
China had warned the United States it has plans to launch a missile attack on

The U.S. State Department denied the report while China's Foreign Ministry
refused to comment, preferring instead to criticize U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

"We have pointed out repeatedly that whether a country constitutes a threat
to other countries is not necessarily related to its size, economic strength or
speed of development, but is determined by what kind of foreign policies it
pursues," the commentary continued.

"China has maintained social stability and has not created any tensions
abroad in the present turbulent world," it said. "This fact, acknowledged by the
whole world cannot be distorted by anyone or by any tricks."

While the commentary did not specifically identify countries involved, the
United States was clearly a main target. The European Union was exempted from
criticism for publicly rejecting in a policy statement containment of China in
favor of "all-around cooperation."

The newspaper's harshest criticism, however, was reserved for the Western
news media, cited as the main purveyor of "measures to contain China."

The party and cabinet-level State Council stepped up control over the foreign
media Jan. 16, ordering economic information vendors to submit to regulation and
censorship by the Xinhua news agency.

The move followed a joint cabinet and party decree mandating new rules
governing links to global computer networks in what was seen as an attempt to
clamp down on pornographic and political content on the Internet.

"The media has schemed to estrange China from the international community by
thwarting China's bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games, frustrating its entry into
the World Trade Organization" and favoring a greater international posture for
Taiwan, the newspaper said.

The most serious accusation, however, was the media's alleged advocacy of
moves to "subvert China's state power."

The charge has become a catch-all used by the Chinese government to
intimidate and arrest Chinese dissidents, labor activists and religious and
ethnic minority groups as well as expel foreign journalists.

China has come under increased media scrutiny since June, when U.S. President
Bill Clinton, under strong pressure from Congress, decided to grant a visa to
Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to attend his U.S. college reunion.

Beijing angrily withdrew its ambassador from Washington, postponed
semiofficial discussion with Taipei and conducted two series of guided missile
tests in the sea north of Taiwan in July and August.

Lee is expected to win Taiwan's first direct presidential elections March 23.
China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province, has accused him of leading
the island toward de facto independence.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing remain high over human rights, arms
sales and nuclear testing but have eased considerably since the dispute over
Lee's visit.

Diplomats in Beijing believe the expulsion of an American and a Japanese
military attache earlier this month were part of China's retaliation against
Washington for issuing a transit visa to Taiwanese Vice President Li Yuan-zu so
he could attend a presidential inauguration in Guatemala.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Snowstorm Leaves 13 Tibetans Dead
  2. China accuses Western Governments and Media
  3. China mounts relief effort in snowbound northwest

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