- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2002

China acquires missile submarines
BEIJING China and Taiwan are taking their military rivalry underwater.
China is building up its ability to menace trade-dependent Taiwan at sea, acquiring eight new missile-armed Russian submarines in a deal military analysts say strengthens the Chinese as a maritime force.
"The enhanced sub operation will definitely provide China the advantage to conduct a blockade in the Taiwan Strait," said Andrew Yang, secretary-general at the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies.

S. Korea protesters demand U.S. go home
SEOUL About 400 people marched outside a U.S. military base yesterday demanding that American troops withdraw after two South Korean teen-age girls were killed by a U.S. armored vehicle last month.
"Let's drive out the U.S. soldiers," they chanted, pumping clenched fists in the air outside Camp Red Cloud, headquarters of the U.S. Army's 2nd Infantry Division at Uijongbu, north of Seoul.
The deaths occurred June 13 when an armored bridge carrier on a training operation hit the girls while rounding a curve.

Vietnam seeks to end female-fetus abortions
HANOI Vietnam is working on new legislation aimed at preventing abortions of unwanted female fetuses, a government official said yesterday.
An official at the Committee for Population and Family Planning said an ordinance to be submitted to the National Assembly's Standing Committee would make clear it was illegal to abort fetuses because of their sex.
An existing ordinance makes diagnosis to determine the sex of unborn babies illegal, but this had not prevented the abortion of unwanted female fetuses, said Dinh Cong Thoan, head of the drafting team.

Japanese aide flays fish-greedy whales
TOKYO Agriculture Minister Tsutomu Takebe, defending Japan's scientific whaling program, suggested yesterday that the huge ocean mammals are taking food from the mouths of starving people worldwide.
"I wonder whether you know that whales consume more than three to five times the maritime resources [that humans do]," he told a news conference.
Mr. Takebe later qualified his remark, saying he was not arguing whales are to blame for hunger.

Weekly notes
China signed an $8.5 billion joint-venture deal yesterday with three international energy companies for a pipeline linking gas fields in western China to Shanghai in the east. PetroChina Co. signed the agreement with Royal Dutch/Shell Group, ExxonMobil Corp. and Russia's Gazprom for the 2,440-mile pipeline project. A bodybuilding champion burst into government offices in northern Taiwan yesterday, smashing computers and igniting a box of firecrackers in a bathroom to protest reputed corruption. Lin Chih-cheng told police he won several bodybuilding titles in Taipei County, but sports officials kept his award money.

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