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News Briefs 1

China to Send Ambassador Back

Los Angeles Times

In another sign of improvement in U.S.-Chinese relations, China has told the United States that it will soon send its ambassador back to Washington after a three-month hiatus, U.S. officials said Monday.

The decision was relayed in the weekend discussions between top Chinese officials and U.S. Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff. The two sides worked out compromises on several key issues dividing them.

There was no immediate indication when Li Daoyu, the ambassador, would return to Washington but officials are assuming that the reposting will take place within a few weeks.

China recalled Li last June to protest the Clinton administration decision to let Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to make a private visit to the United States. Relations were further worsened when the Chinese arrested American human rights activist Harry Wu, whom they had accused of being a spy.

American officials campaigned for his release, while also assuring the Chinese that the U.S. still supported a "one China policy." China considers Taiwan a breakaway province, not an independent nation.

Last weekend, U.S. officials confirmed the administration may now be ready to go further and is considering a meeting between President Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

U.S. Foreign-Born Population At Highest Percentage in 50 Years

The Washington Post

After a surge in immigration over the past 20 years the foreign-born population of the United States reached 22.6 million people in 1994, making up 8.7 percent of the total population, the highest proportion since World War II and nearly double the percent in 1970, the Census Bureau reported Monday.

The report says the largest group of foreign-born came from Mexico, more than 6.2 million, with the Philippines next at 1 million. Cuba, El Salvador, Canada, Germany, China, Dominican Republic, Korea, Vietnam and India range from 805,000 down to 494,000.

The census survey, which covers legal and illegal immigrants, calculated there are 8.3 million people living in the United States who entered in the 1980s, which makes that the decade with the highest levels of immigration since the turn of the century. The report shows the flow increased during the early 1990s with 4.5 million people entering the country during the first four years of the decade.

In general, immigrants improve their economic standing the longer they live in the United States. Both in Monday's report, based on a survey taken in 1994, and in the 1990 census about a quarter of the immigrants of the 1980s lived below the poverty level.

The problem was particularly acute among those who came from Mexico. Forty percent of the Mexicans who came north in the 1980s lived in poverty according to the most recent report. By comparison four percent of the Filipino immigrants of the 1980s live in poverty. About 14 percent of the native born live in poverty.

Israel Moves to Close Palestinian Offices in West Bank

Los Angeles Times

Israel moved on Monday against the Palestinian self-governing authority in the West Bank and in Jerusalem, even as it edged closer to signing a long-delayed agreement to extend Palestinian self-rule throughout the West Bank.

In Jerusalem, police served notice on three offices that Israel says are associated with the Palestinian Authority, warning that they must cease operation in 96 hours or be shut down.

Offices of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp., the Health Council and the Bureau of Statistics were all ordered to close, said police spokesman Rafi Levy.

In the West Bank, Israel delayed the exit from Jericho, the only city in the West Bank now under Palestinian rule, of a senior Palestinian negotiator who was heading for talks under way in Eilat.

The Palestinians responded by breaking off negotiations for several hours, until Col. Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service in the West Bank, was allowed to leave Jericho.

The moves could be seen as an effort by Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to reassure Israelis that he will continue a crackdown on Hamas militants and make no concessions on the status of Jerusalem as he prepares to hand over control of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, Israeli analysts said. "Rabin is saying: Look, I may give the Palestinians more water rights in the West Bank, but I am hanging tough in Jerusalem," said a Foreign Ministry official.