US – China Relations

The Telegraph
Date: 9 APRIL 2018
By:  Neil Connor, beijing,  Nicola Smith, taipei
Photo credit: CREDIT: AFP

Aconflict between China and Taiwan is becoming “more probable” after Donald Trump agreed to help Taipei build its own submarines, Chinese media said.

The US gave the go ahead for defence contractors to help Taiwan build an indigenous fleet after repeated appeals from Taiwan for help to bolster its defences against an increasingly assertive China.

The decision has prompted Chinese officials to warn the US against playing the ‘Taiwan card’ amid an escalating trade war between the two countries.

Taiwan first sought help from the US to build submarines in 1969, but Washington and European nations were reluctant to assist Taiwan in building a 12-boat fleet because of Chinese objections.

George W Bush’s administration said it would help Taiwan acquire diesel electric submarines, but after little progress, Taipei launched a plan to manufacture its own submarines last year.

The office of Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen thanked the US for its recent decision, while the defence ministry described the go ahead as a “breakthrough.”

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) get ready for the military parade to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the army at Zhurihe military training base  CREDIT: REUTERS
However, media and officials in China – which considers Taiwan a renegade province which will be reunited with the mainland – expressed anger at US interference in Taiwan.

The nationalist Global Times newspaper said: “The mainland needs to continue to prepare for a possible military clash across the Straits.

“A military showdown with Taiwan is becoming more probable and may take place sooner rather than later.”

Liu Jieyi, the director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said “some Americans indeed intend to play the Taiwan card”.

“This will not only harm the entire Chinese people, but harm rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots,” he said, according to Xiamen TV.    [FULL  STORY]

China is warning President Trump that it will take action if he puts heavy tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

Date: February 17, 2018
By: Jethro Mullen

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Friday recommended that Trump impose measures against foreign suppliers of the metals in the name of national security, the latest sign of a tougher stance on trade by the administration.

Trump has until mid-April to decide what to do.

“If the United States’ final decision affects China’s interests, we will take necessary measures to defend our rights,” said Wang Hejun, a senior official at China’s Commerce Ministry, according to a report Saturday by state-run news agency Xinhua.

The short article didn’t provide further details on how Beijing might respond. Ross’ recommendations came in the middle of China’s Lunar New Year holiday when government offices and businesses largely shut down for a week.

Experts have warned that trade tensions are likely to rise this year between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, as Trump decides how to act on a series of investigations his administration launched last year.    [FULL  STORY]

Navy Times
Date: Feb. 17, 2018
By: Jim Gomez, The Associated Press

ABOARD USS CARL VINSON, Philippines — A Navy officer aboard a mammoth U.S. aircraft

Fishermen on board a small boat pass by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier at anchor off Manila, Philippines, for a five-day port call along with guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. U.S. Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins told The Associated Press that American forces will continue to patrol the South China Sea wherever international law allows when asked if China’s newly built islands could restrain them in the disputed waters. (Bullit Marquez/AP)

carrier brimming with F18 fighter jets said Saturday that American forces would continue to patrol the South China Sea wherever “international law allows us” when asked if China’s newly built islands could restrain them in the disputed waters.
Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins told The Associated Press on board the USS Carl Vinson that the Navy has carried out routine patrols at sea and on air in the strategic waters for 70 years to promote regional security and guarantee the unimpeded flow of trade that’s crucial for Asian and U.S. economies.

“International law allows us to operate here, allows us to fly here, allows us to train here, allows us to sail here, and that’s what we’re doing and we’re going to continue to do that,” Hawkins said on the flight deck of the 95,000-ton warship, which anchored at Manila Bay while on a visit to the Philippines.

When President Donald Trump came to power, Southeast Asian officials were uncertain how deep the U.S. would get involved in the issues in the South China Sea, where his predecessor, Barack Obama, was a vocal critic of China’s increasingly aggressive actions to assert its territorial claims.    [FULL  STORY]

NBC News
Date: Feb 17 2018

BEIJING — The Chinese New Year began with the traditional lighting of firecrackers on Friday,

The J-20 is China’s first homemade stealth jet. CCP/ColorChinaPhoto / AP file

but the country’s military has been working on incendiaries on an entirely different scale.

Over the past year, the nation that invented gunpowder has been rolling out an array of high-tech weapons that some experts say could threaten the global superiority of the United States.

“The U.S. no longer possesses clear military-technical dominance, and China is rapidly emerging as a would-be superpower in science and technology,” said Elsa B. Kania, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army “might even cut ahead of the U.S. in new frontiers of military power,” she added.

The J-20 is China’s first homemade stealth jet. CCP/ColorChinaPhoto / AP file
Despite the recent sharp rhetoric from President Donald Trump, analysts say an open conflict between Beijing and Washing is unlikely. Others dismiss the idea that China might soon outpace the U.S. in military power.    [FULL  STORY]

Trump administration steps up its attack on rival, saying terms for Beijing’s membership of the WTO were too lenient

The Guardian
Date: January 19, 2018
By: Reuters

The United States mistakenly supported China’s membership of the World Trade Organisation

WTO rules are ‘not sufficient’ to constrain China’s market-distorting behavior, a report to US Congress says. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

in 2001 on terms that have failed to force Beijing to open its economy, the Trump administration has said.

As the White House prepares its long-promised crackdown on what it sees as China’s unfair trade practices, the administration said in a report to Congress: “It seems clear that the United States erred in supporting China’s entry into the WTO on terms that have proven to be ineffective in securing China’s embrace of an open, market-orientated trade regime..

“It is now clear that the WTO rules are not sufficient to constrain China’s market-distorting behavior,” the report said.

While the US trade representative’s office has long taken China to task for unfair trade practices, the first such review under Donald Trump’s presidency takes a harsher tone against Beijing.

It comes amid worsening trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies and as the administration prepares actions to curb China’s alleged theft of intellectual property. A decision in the so-called “section 301” investigation is expected in the coming weeks.

Fox News
Date: January 20, 2018
By: Herb London | Fox News

Is a new Cold War with China brewing?
China continues to build up its military force in response to the administration’s America First policy; Jennifer Griffin reports for ‘Special Report.’
The “new world order” espoused by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama assumed that if the world’s major powers welcomed China as a major player in global affairs it would become a well-behaved member of the international community. Unfortunately, the assumption was wrong.

China has made clear that it has its own agenda and will pursue its objectives aggressively, regardless of what others think. So much for all the post-Cold War optimism about changing China’s behavior.

China’s immediate goal is regional mastery, achieved by driving the U.S. out of the western Pacific. Chinese ships and planes have harassed American ships and planes operating in international waters and airspace to achieve this goal – despite the risk of a collision and a possible military confrontation.

And despite its dubious territorial claims in the South China Sea – including some rejected by the United Nations’ International Court of Justice – China has continued to dominate its region and infringed on territorial claims of some of its neighbors, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

In addition, China has applied its self-righteous policies with muscle-flexing to advance its Silk Road Initiative and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The Silk Road Initiative (also known as the One Belt, One Road Initiative) is an ambitious plan to build a $1.4 trillion network of modern trading routes connecting China and parts of Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa with new high-speed trains, roads, ports, airports, pipelines and telecommunications.    [FULL  STORY]

Foreign firms have been slow to realize the substantial changes in China’s protection of IP rights.

The Diplomat
Date: January 20, 2018
By: William Weightman

China has long been seen as the “world’s factory,” churning out low-quality manufactured goods and imitating products and business models from abroad. Whether it is due to heavy-handed government interference or some cultural argument about Confucian educational values, China — or so the story goes — is a land of copycats incapable of innovation with no respect for intellectual property rights (IPR).

This, of course, is not accurate.

Yet many U.S. companies still believe this story. According to a 2017 survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, member businesses are split on their views of China’s IPR laws and regulations; however, more than half of the respondents remain largely skeptical that laws protecting intellectual property will be properly enforced in China.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.Foreign firms have long complained that enforcing their intellectual property rights in China is difficult due to local judicial protectionism, challenges in obtaining evidence, small damage awards, and a perceived bias against foreign firms.

However, over the past decade, China has become increasingly innovative and has demonstrated a serious resolve to enforce an effective IPR regime. Indeed, as Chinese firms focus on global expansion abroad and high-tech innovation at home, they have increasingly demanded effective IP protections from the government. In fact, many of the concerns raised by foreign companies operating in China have been addressed by legal reforms and new enforcement mechanisms.    [FULL  STORY]

The United States vs. China was the 2017 trade battle that never materialized. But 2018 could be a different story.

Date: December 20, 2017
By: Jethro Mullen 

President Trump hammered China on the campaign trail, promising to get tough on trade. But his tune changed once in office, with fiery rhetoric giving way to a budding bromance with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump didn’t follow through on his promise to label China a currency manipulator, and instead opened talks with Beijing on improving economic ties. He also put potentially inflammatory investigations on the back burner.

“Despite strong language a year ago, the U.S. administration has been remarkably restrained in its usage of measures to restrict imports from China,” said Louis Kuijs, the top Asia economist at advisory firm Oxford Economics.

But experts predict things are going to get nasty in 2018.

‘I expect a trade war’

Trump’s patience appears to be running out, especially with his idea to cut Xi some slack on trade in the hope China would pressure North Korea into backing down on its nuclear weapons program.

Trump and his trade lieutenants are expected in the coming months to announce results from some of their big investigations — on issues like steel and intellectual property theft — that could result in tariffs on Chinese goods.

“I expect a trade war to emerge in the first part of the year, and it could spiral into a serious conflict that threatens other elements of the relationship,” said Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Al Jazeera
Date: December 7, 2017
By: John Pilger 16 hours ago

In his film The Coming War on China, John Pilger warns that nuclear war is no longer unthinkable. China’s building of airstrips in the South China Sea has become a flashpoint for war between China and the US.

Part One of The Coming War on China:

But China itself is under threat. The US “pivot to Asia”, announced under former US President Barack Obama, encompasses the biggest military buildup since the Second World War.

Part Two of The Coming War on China:

“American bases form a giant noose encircling China with missiles, bombers, warships – all the way from Australia through the Pacific to Asia and beyond,” Pilger says.

Al Jazeera spoke to the award-winning journalist about what inspired him to make the film. And what has changed since Donald Trump took office.    [READ INTERVIEW]

The New York Times
Date: NOV. 29, 2017

SHANGHAI — D.J.I., the popular drone maker, stands as a symbol of China’s growing technology

A drone made by D.J.I. in a demonstration at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, last year. The company said accusations by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that it shares sensitive information on American infrastructure with the Chinese government were false.CreditQilai Shen/Bloomberg

prowess. Its propeller-powered machines dominate global markets and buzz regularly over beaches, cityscapes at sunset and increasingly, power plants and government installations.

Now D.J.I. is fighting a claim by one United States government office that its commercial drones and software may be sending sensitive information about American infrastructure back to China, in the latest clash over the power of data in the growing technological rivalry between the two countries. It also shows how consumer technology companies have become increasingly central to debates about national security.

The company, formally named Da Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Company, put out a statement this month contesting the allegations made in a dispatch from United States customs officials. The memo, from the Los Angeles office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, was dated in August but had begun to circulate online more recently.

It said officials had “moderate confidence” that the D.J.I.’s commercial drones and software are “providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.” It cited what it called a reliable source, who it did not identify, in the drone industry “with first and secondhand access.”

In a statement, D.J.I. said the report was “based on clearly false and misleading claims.”

“The allegations in the bulletin are so profoundly wrong as a factual matter that ICE should consider withdrawing it, or at least correcting its unsupportable assertions,” the company said.

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