US – China Relations

Axios
Date: August 6, 2019
By:Erica Pandey, Jonathan Swan

Vice President Mike Pence has signaled that the Trump administration is open to using the Global

​Pence at the UN. Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Magnitsky Act to sanction top officials in Xinjiang, China, where more than 1 million Uighur Muslims are being held in internment camps, according to a Chinese religious freedom advocate who met with Pence at the White House Monday.

Driving the news: Bob Fu, founder of ChinaAid, said that Pence also told him that he planned to give a second speech about China in the fall to address religious freedom issues. Beijing has been paying close attention to Pence's plans for a second speech, as the vice president has been at the forefront of the administration's confrontation with China. So hawkish was a speech Pence gave in October that the New York Times framed it as a portent of a "New Cold War."

Behind the scenes: Fu told Axios he sat next to Pence at the meeting and handed him a list of 9 officials, including Chen Quanguo — the Chinese Communist Party's secretary of Xinjiang who has been dubbed the brains behind the detention camps. Fu said Pence made no commitments but told him he would personally follow up about the recommendation to sanction the individuals. Pence's office did not respond to requests for comment.

Why it matters: As we've reported, much of the world has shrugged as the Chinese Communist Party has detained over a million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang in "political re-education" camps. The Communist Party has posted 100,000 jobs for security personnel in Xinjiang in just the last year, reports Quartz. The province has turned into a police state, with officials surveilling Muslim residents, collecting their DNA and seizing their passports.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/08/06
By: CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — China said Tuesday that it “will not stand idly by” and will take countermeasures if the

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs arms control official Fu Cong.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs arms control official Fu Cong. (By Associated Press)
U.S. deploys intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, which Washington has said it plans to do within months.

The statement from the director of the foreign ministry’s Arms Control Department, Fu Cong, follows the U.S.’s withdrawal last week from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a move Fu said would have a “direct negative impact on the global strategic stability” as well as security in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Fu said China was particularly concerned about announced plans to develop and test a land-based intermediate-range missile in the Asia-Pacific “sooner rather than later,” in the words of one U.S. official.

“China will not stand idly by and be forced to take countermeasures should the U.S. deploy intermediate-range ground-based missiles this part of the world,” Fu told reporters at a specially called briefing.    [FULL  STORY]

The New York Times
Date: July 12, 2019
By: Raymond Zhong

Image
Taiwanese soldiers during an an antiaircraft combat confrontation drill in May. The United States Defense Department recently approved a $2 billion arms sale to Taiwan.CreditCreditRitchie B Tongo/EPA, via Shutterstock

BEIJING — China said on Friday that it would impose sanctions on American companies involved in the recently proposed sale of more than $2 billion in arms to Taiwan. The move could further strain ties between the two large powers, whose governments have been targeting each other’s businesses for punishment as a tariff war boils.

Beijing has threatened similar penalties after previous American weapons sales to Taiwan, a self-governing island that China considers a rogue part of its territory. The sanctions promised in those cases have not materialized so far.

But whether and how the Chinese government follows through this time could send a signal about officials’ willingness to inflict damage upon more American firms as the trade fight with Washington stretches into its second year.

“The United States’ arms sales to Taiwan constitute a serious violation of international law and the norms governing international relations,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Friday, without offering specifics on how and when the American companies involved would be penalized.    [FULL  STORY]

A response to the July 3 Washington Post op-ed 'China is not an enemy'

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/07/06
By Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On July 3, the Washington Post published an op-ed entitled “China is not an enemy” addressed to the White House and Congress, which was endorsed by 100 signatories representing the best and brightest of the United States’ pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligentsia.

The article, authored by five individuals who clearly should never have been in positions of authority capable of influencing U.S. foreign policy, serves as an apologist's reminder of how the corporatist and coastal elites of the United States cherish their privileged relationship with the Chinese government.

In the future, op-ed letters like “China is not an enemy” will likely be regarded for their ironic value in the same way that Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 “Peace in our time” address is viewed today.

The letter is authored by former diplomats J. Stapleton Roy, a former U.S. ambassador to China during the years 1991-1995, and Susan A. Thornton, the previous Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, appointed under the Obama administration. Additional authors are M. Taylor Fravel, an MIT professor, and Michael D. Swaine, both experts in the academic fields of China Security Studies, along with a Harvard Emeritus professor Ezra Vogel, a prolific scholar and specialist in East Asian history.

Of the five authors, three of them, Roy, Thornton, and Fraval, are members of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, an NGO and advisory group representing Henry Kissinger’s “Friends of China” approach to dealing with Beijing via consistent policies of economic appeasement.

And if there is one word that sums up the general attitude of the entire letter it is certainly “appeasement.”

The letter, despite its list of distinguished authors and signatories, is a cowardly argument from the conflict averse, those who would forsake moral obligation to do the right thing in an effort to salvage the benefits of a financially lucrative, but crumbling, status-quo.

The letter outlines seven items which are absurdly referred to as “propositions,” but are realistically just seven areas of the Trump administration’s foreign policy towards China which make these authors uncomfortable.    [FULL  STORY]

CNBC
Date: June 12, 2019
By: Yun Li@YUNLI626

KEY POINTS

  • “It’s a huge deal. I would say if they get implemented and we go to the $500 billion, I think certainly it’s possible it could tip us into recession,” Tudor Jones said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg TV.
  • President Donald Trump had threatened to put duties on another $300 billion in Chinese goods if a trade agreement is not reached soon.

Paul Tudor Jones
Photo By: Leanne Miller | CNBC

Hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones believes the market is underestimating the economic impact of tariffs.

“We’ll really have to see the impact they are going to have and if the next round of tariffs gets implemented. It’s a huge deal. I would say if they get implemented and we go to the $500 billion, I think certainly it’s possible it could tip us into recession,” Tudor Jones said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg TV.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in 75 years right? … There’s no playbook for this. You got this interconnected global economy that now all of a sudden for the first time in 75 years we are seeing free trade not being expanded but being diminished … I think it would have a bigger impact economically than what the market thinks,” he added.    [FULL  STORY]

Everyone else zigs on China. Biden zags. Will it work?

The Washington Post
Date: June 12, 2019
By: Daniel W. Drezner

Recently, Joe Biden has been doing and saying some slightly odd things. There were some flip-flops on the

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks during a fundraising event in Atlanta on Thursday. (John Bazemore/AP)
Hyde Amendment that seemed to cause consternation. He has repeatedly suggested that he will be able to work with a post-Trump GOP, suggesting that his victory would lead to a fever breaking within the Grand Old Party. None of this has really dented his front-runner status for 2020, although it is difficult to argue that it has strengthened it either. Mostly, one can chalk these things up to Biden’s being Biden.

There is one substantive area, however, where Biden genuinely seems to stand out from the pack, and that is his position on China. In Iowa last month, Biden said, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!… They’re not competition for us.” More recently, as Politico’s Nahal Toosi reported, Biden told a New Hampshire audience: “Our workers are literally three times as productive as workers … in Asia. So what are we worried about?”

As Toosi noted last week, President Trump’s campaign has been eager to castigate Biden over his comments playing down the China threat. But “several current and former Biden aides said his recent rhetoric calling fears of China’s rise overblown was no gaffe. They say Biden relishes going to battle with Trump over China, certain that his message of confidence in American might will prevail over Trump’s alarmist rhetoric and tariff-driven trade war with Beijing.”     [FULL  STORY]

Chinese tourists taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty in 2014. Chinese tourism to the United States was down last year, the National Travel and Tourism Office said.CreditÁngel Franco/The New York Times

The New York Times
Date: June 12, 2019
By: Martha C. White

Chinese tourists taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty in 2014. Chinese tourism to the United States was down last year, the National Travel and Tourism Office said.CreditCreditÁngel Franco/The New York Times

A new battlefront has opened in the trade war between the United States and China: the $1.6 trillion American travel industry.

A Los Angeles hotel long popular with Chinese travelers saw a 23 percent decline in visits last year and another 10 percent so far this year. In New York City, spending by Chinese tourists, who spend nearly twice as much as other foreign visitors, fell 12 percent in the first quarter. And in San Francisco, busloads of Chinese tourists were once a mainstay of one fine jewelry business; over the last few years, the buses stopped coming.

Figures from the Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office show a sharp decline in the number of tourists from China last year.

Industry professionals worry that the drop-off is picking up speed this year, affecting not just airlines, hotels and restaurants, but also retailers and attractions like amusement parks and casinos.
[FULL  STORY]

The Hill
Date: 06/12/19
By: Joseph Bosco

At least four times in recent decades, a U.S. president has been presented with opportunities and risks from a popular uprising against an oppressive foreign adversary that threatens American interests. Now President Trump, still addressing the consequences of the earlier unconsummated events, faces a new situation as the people of Hong Kong defy Beijing’s further erosion of their guaranteed rights of limited self-government.

Last week, we observed the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. In 1989, thousands were killed or wounded when millions of Chinese demonstrated peacefully in Beijing and other Chinese cities for political reform of the ruling Communist Party and were met by the guns and tanks of the People’s Liberation Army.

President George H.W. Bush kept an unseemly low profile during the horrific events that shocked the world, but sent his national security adviser to assure China’s leader, Deng Xiaoping, that U.S.-China relations would not change. Henry Kissinger, an informal Bush adviser and paramount U.S.-China hand, said Deng had acted to keep order in the nation’s most important public space as any leader would.
[FULL  STORY]

Market Watch
Date: May 10, 2019
By: Marketwatch and Associated Press

Nikkei stands out with 0.3% dropBloomberg News Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin greets Liu He, China’s vice premier, outside the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington on Thursday.

Asian shares saw a mostly positive session Friday, led by a rally for the Shanghai Composite as some investors grew hopeful that China and the U.S. would carve out a trade deal, though there was some speculation Chinese officials may have intervened to boost that market.

The Trump administration rose tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Still, President Donald Trump said Thursday he had received a “beautiful” letter from China’s President Xi Jinping and said a trade deal with China was still possible this week. U.S. and Chinese negotiators agreed to meet again Friday, in a positive sign following speculation that Thursday’s meeting in Washington was simply perfunctory.

The tariff hikes reportedly won’t hit goods that have already left Chinese ports before Friday’s deadline, so they won’t start taking affect until those shipments complete the three- to four-week voyage across the Pacific Ocean, in effect buying negotiators a little time to still work out a deal.

China has threatened to retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with the tariff hikes, adding to the heated rhetoric from both sides that was shaking stock markets around the world.
[FULL  STORY]

Washington Examiner
Date: May 05, 2019
By: Tom Rogan  

In his new book “The Shadow War,” CNN’s Chief National Security correspondent Jim Sciutto explores China and Russia’s secret war against the U.S.-led international order. Though readable and well-sourced, the book isn’t comfortable reading.

Because it makes clear that America’s top adversaries are winning silent but very significant victories.

“The pace and power of the Shadow War can be frightening,” Sciutto writes.

Sciutto’s first point is that we still haven’t sufficiently recognized the nature of the threat. He charts the delusion by which successive U.S. administrations have viewed China and Russia as states interested in compromising under the U.S.-led order. Sciutto shows how this delusion has allowed these top adversaries to fight us while telling us what we want to hear.

The shadow war, then, is one fought in the political margins between peace and war, and tactical arena between covert action and overt force. Charting a course around the world, “The Shadow War” takes us inside the war’s various theaters.

We see how Estonia responded to a dramatic Russian cyberattack with a societal mobilization to do better next time. “Cyber-hygiene, cyber-hygiene , and cyber-hygiene,” President Kaljulaid tells Sciutto, “We teach our people, it’s essential.”

We see how China engages in an industrial-level theft of U.S. intellectual and military secrets. Seeing the scale of what China is doing, the courageous FBI effort to counter these threats seems like a losing battle. But this book is also informed by Sciutto’s former service as chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from 2011-2013. The author explains how this service was instructive. He learned, for example, that, “U.S. firms — though aware of the theft — often refused to ask for [U.S.] government help, or to identify cyber-breaches, for fear of alienating their Chinese partners or losing access to the Chinese market altogether.” Sciutto points out that “China’s strategy relies on — and cultivates — that fear.”

Yet, while he served during the Obama administration, Sciutto isn’t biased. The CNN anchor offers particular criticism of the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s 2014 incursion into Ukraine, and its handling of Chinese militarization efforts in the South China Sea. Sciutto also rightly criticizes President Obama’s reliance on personal pledges made by President Xi Jinping.
[FULL  STORY]