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China Reform Monitor - No. 724

Taiwan mulling first military-to-military contacts with mainland;
India irked by China's support for insurgents in NE

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
November 25, 2008

October 14:

China’s telecom giant ZTE Corporation has secured a $400 million contract to expand cell phone coverage in India, The Hindu reports
. ZTE, which has developed mobile phone networks throughout China and the developing world, has said that India was its most important international market. In 2007, ZTE, which had a global revenue of $7 billion, sold eight million handsets in India for a revenue of $700 million. In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, ZTE India sold 3.5 million handsets. ZTE sees huge potential in the Indian market and aims to put one out of every five handsets it produces in the hands of an Indian.

October 20:

The official People’s Daily reports that from October 18th to 19th fifty members from the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) met in Cairo, Egypt to review Beijing’s report on the follow-up actions after the November 2006 summit. Since the summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo and top political advisor Jia Qinglin have all visited Africa and altogether 19 African presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers and high-level speakers have visited China. The meeting also established a preliminary agenda for the fourth FOCAC ministerial conference, which is scheduled for 2009 at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort on the Rea Sea. The FOCAC framework was started in 2000 by China and more than 40 African countries.

October 25:

At bilateral meetings ahead of the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of 27 EU member states and 16 Asian countries, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japan’s outspoken Prime Minister, Taro Aso, agreed to establish the first emergency ‘hotline’ between Beijing and Tokyo. In a speech at a ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a Japan-China peace and friendship treaty, Aso said, “I think we can have more confidence in the potential power of the Japan-China relationship and cooperation.” China replaced the U.S. as Japan’s top trade partner in 2007, with two-way trade totaling $236.6 billion, and the two export powers’ efforts could be crucial to steadying the world economy,
the Washington Post reports.

October 30:

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense is discussing the first-ever contacts between the self-governing island’s military and China's People's Liberation Army. Ministry of National Defense spokeswoman Lisa Chi said in comments
carried by the Taipei Times that bilateral contacts between retired and junior military officers would begin and "then move on to high-level meetings between senior officials." An official schedule would come "after the government holds discussions on economic and political issues with China," Chi said. Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min said meetings between both sides with senior officials would help reduce misunderstandings that could lead to the use of force.

October 31:

The United Wa State Army, a rebel group in Myanmar, acts as the "middleman" between Chinese arms manufacturers and insurgent groups in Northeast India with most weapons routed through China's Yunnan province,
the Times of India reports. In recent months, Indian intelligence sources say the Chinese have also increased the flow of funds into these insurgent groups. They claim senior members of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) visited Yunnan province and met with Chinese intelligence officials. India has raised the issue with the Chinese during almost every major diplomatic conversation, but the Chinese government, which says that they do not interfere in India’s internal affairs, has denied the accusation. Weapons captured by Indian security weapons have no country markings but almost certainly originate in China.

Related Categories: Military; China; International Economy; South Asia; East Asia; Taiwan; China and East Asia Program

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