- The Washington Times - Friday, July 19, 2002

Taiwan official 'hopeful' on China
TAIPEI, Taiwan The ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party's top man for China affairs, who will play a pivotal role in relations with Beijing, said yesterday that he is hopeful about ties between the two sides.
"Our fundamental differences remain, but the atmosphere has improved. The two sides are willing to be pragmatic," said lawmaker Chen Chung-hsin, director of the China affairs department.
Talks between China and Taiwan have been suspended since 1999 when Taiwanese leader Lee Teng-hui riled Beijing by redefining ties as "special state to state."
Since ignoring Mr. Lee's successor, Chen Shui-bian, for two years, China has signaled it was taking a softer line toward the island.

Japan uses Russia as bridge to Pyongyang
TOKYO Japan called on Russia yesterday to help build dialogue with North Korea as the relationship between the Asian neighbors remained frozen.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi made the request with her Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, who is scheduled to visit the two Koreas on July 26, a Foreign Ministry official said.
Mr. Ivanov is to convey the message that Tokyo wants to take a "forward-looking" approach in its dialogue with Pyongyang.

China makes 2008 Olympics plans
BEIJING China is taking pains to make sure its 2008 Olympics venues are innovative, environmentally sound and, most importantly, can be put to good use by Beijing residents long after athletes go home, a top planning official said yesterday.
"We have to be concerned about long-term urban growth," said Huang Yan, deputy director of the Beijing Planning Commission and the city's liaison with Beijing's Olympic organizing committee. "We have to consider after the games: How can we use this area?"
This week, Olympic organizers awarded prizes to the best preliminary designs for the Olympic green and cultural village.

Weekly notes
Nepal's King Gyanendra returned to Katmandu yesterday from a weeklong state visit to neighboring China, which pledged moral support for the embattled kingdom's crackdown on rebels who claim inspiration from communist China's founder, Mao Tse-tung. "I hope my visit strengthened bilateral relations and mutual understanding," the king said in an arrival message. Britain rejected an asylum bid by two teenage Afghan brothers who escaped last month from a remote Australian detention camp and walked into a British consulate yesterday, their attorney said. The British response was "inhumane and barbaric," lawyer Eric Vadarlis said as the boys, ages 12 and 13, were taken to a detention center in Melbourne. Australia also has refused them asylum. Attorneys for East Timor's former governor, Jose Osorio Abilio Soares, who could face a long jail term or even death if convicted of human rights violations during militia bloodshed in 1999, told a court yesterday he had worked hard for reconciliation. Mr. Soares is accused of failing to halt five massacres in which more than 100 people died.

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