China Reform Monitor No. 372, April 3, 2001
American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, D.C.

Iran-Russia-China axis seeks to limit US power;
Chinese nuclear scientists visit Pakistan military

Editor: Al Santoli

March 21

Iran has expanded relations with China and Russia to limit the role of Washington in Middle Eastern affairs, reports the Cairo Al-Ahram newspaper. Iran has relied on China and North Korea to develop strategic missile capabilities to confront Israel and rebuild its power, both in conventional and nuclear arms. Iran President Khatami's recent visit to Moscow, where he signed new economic and defense agreements, represents a reaction to the United States' efforts to isolate to contain and isolate Iran. Russia is striving to restore its influence exercised before the fall of the Soviet Union, the paper adds, "particularly after Washington did not hesitate to accept Eastern Europe into NATO' If we add this to the emerging Chinese giant, we will find that global transformations in the next few years will not give unipolar powers [US] much chance to enjoy its hegemony over world resources."

March 26

China's logging trade is ravaging the forests of northern Burma, stripping bare hundreds of square miles of ancient tropical forests, the Washington Post reports. The ecological damage in Burma is indicative of the mounting appetite of the Chinese economic giant is spreading to threaten the resources of Asia and other parts of the world. The unregulated logging boom in Burma is the result of a deal between the Burmese military dictatorship, tribal warlords and China, which supplies most weapons and military materiel to the regime. Since the 1949 Communist victory, China's environment has been severely damaged. Fifty years ago, half of Yunan province [which borders Burma] was forested -- today it is less than 10 percent. In 1998 Beijing imposed a logging ban. Conservationists say environmentally beneficial policies in China have created incentives for Chinese loggers to destroy forests in other parts of Asia.

March 27

Twenty-three Chinese nuclear scientists have arrived in Pakistan for week-long talks with the newly restructured Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, armed forces Services Chiefs, and the head of Pakistan's military-run regime reports the Islamabad Pakistan Observer. Led by Liu Jibin, Minister for Science, Technology, Industry and national Defense, the Chinese delegation will take part in the formal inauguration of the Chasma Nuclear Plant, built with Chinese assistance. The delegation will also visit Wah, Kamara and other nuclear and defense installations. They will pay a special visit to the Pakistan naval dockyard in Karachi.

March 28

The National Security Advisor to Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said that China was the biggest source of illegal drugs into the Philippines and that Chinese military officers are involved in narcotics trafficking, Reuters reports. Some 95 percent of the $5.3 billion drug trade in the Philippines is comprised of meth-amphetamines, called "ice," coming from China. Speaking to the Foreign Correspondence Association of the Philippines, Roilo Golez said, "PLA (People's Liberation Army} officers are the ones running the drug manufacturing plants in four or five coastal provinces of China." Asked what the involvement of the PLA men was, Golez said, "Manufacturing and trafficking."

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