US – China Relations

The exiled Chinese real estate tycoon says he has been meeting with US officials, and that he advised Mike Pence on the recent address regarding US-China policy

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/10/05
By: Duncan DeAeth,Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Screen grab from Guo Wengui’s Youtube account

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The controversial Chinese real estate tycoon Guo Wengui (郭文貴), living in exile in New York, claims that the U.S. government is preparing to further escalate their trade war with China in the coming weeks.

According to Guo, the Trump Administration is preparing to seize the overseas financial assets of several top officials of the Chinese government, and some former leaders.

Guo has named current Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), former party chairman Jiang Zemin (江泽民), and former Premier Zhu Rongji (朱鎔基) as individuals likely to have assets seized by the U.S. government, according to CMM Media.

He claims Washington is conducting as many as 18 secret investigations into communist party officials, and that he expects them to be completed within the next three weeks. China’s Hainan Airlines Corporation and its leadership are reportedly a target for some of the investigations.
[FULL  STORY]

Why Beijing Will Not Imperil U.S. Hegemony

Foreign Affairs
Date: September 21, 2018
By: Michael Beckley

The United States is a deeply polarized nation, yet one view increasingly spans the partisan divide: the country is at imminent risk of being overtaken by China. Unless Washington does much more to counter the rise of its biggest rival, many argue, it may soon lose its status as the world’s leading power. According to this emerging consensus, decades of U.S. investment and diplomatic concessions have helped create a geopolitical monster. China now boasts the world’s largest economy and military, and it is using its growing might to set its own rules in East Asia, hollow out the U.S. economy, and undermine democracy around the globe. In response, many Democrats and Republicans agree, the United States must ramp up its military presence in Asia, slap tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, and challenge China’s influence worldwide.

But this emerging consensus is wrong and the policy response misguided. China is not about to overtake the United States economically or militarily—quite to the contrary. By the most important measures of national wealth and power, China is struggling to keep up and will probably fall further behind in the coming decades. The United States is and will remain the world’s sole superpower for the foreseeable future, provided that it avoids overextending itself abroad or underinvesting at home.

The greatest risk for U.S. strategy, accordingly, lies not in doing too little but in overreacting to fears of Chinese ascent and American decline. Instead of hyping China’s rise and gearing up for a new Cold War, Washington should take more modest steps to reinforce the existing balance of power in East Asia and reinvigorate the U.S. economy. To keep the peace, U.S. leaders should seek to engage rather than alienate Beijing, safe in the knowledge that long-term geopolitical trends will favor the United States.    [FULL  STORY]

US State Dept. has imposed sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department and its director Li Shangfu

Taiwan News  
Date: 2018/09/22
By:  Deutsche Welle

(Deutsche Welle) — Chinese officials demanded on Friday that the United States cancel its economic sanctions against a Chinese military agency over a Russian weapons purchase.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing was “strongly outraged” over the decision and had logged several formal complaints.

“We strongly urge the US to immediately correct the mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions; otherwise the US must bear the consequences,” he warned.

Russia also criticized the move, accusing Washington of attempting to suppress economic competition, particularly as Russia is the world’s second-largest weapons exporter behind the US.

The economic sanctions are “chiefly due to the fact that we produce large volumes of competitive products,” Russia’s trade minister, Denis Manturov, told reporters.    [FULL  STORY]

A report published by the DC-based Wilson Center outlines Chinese interference and censorship on US campuses in recent years 

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/09/13
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Washington D.C. based think tank released a report last week detailing how the Chinese government is influencing U.S. universities and curtailing academic freedoms on college campuses.

The report entitled “A Preliminary Study of PRC Political Influence and Interference Activities in American Higher Education” was published by the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

The author, Anastasya Lloyd-Damnjanovic, provides a rigorous analysis of the current situation of Chinese influence on U.S. university campuses in an effort to demonstrate that the phenomenon of Chinese government interference with, and infringement upon academic freedoms and institutional autonomy is a verifiable phenomenon in the U.S. today.

Her research does not seek to quantify the precise extent, or even qualify precise aims of particular instances of Chinese influence. Her research only gathers evidence, a lot of it actually, that such infringement and coercive activities are in fact taking place.    [FULL  STORY]

CNN
Date: August 29, 2018
By Steven Jiang, CNN

Beijing (CNN)China’s top drug control body has hit back at recent claims by US President Donald Trump that Chinese suppliers are fueling America’s opioid crisis.

Yu Haibin, a senior official with China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, said in a press briefing Wednesday that Trump’s comments were “unacceptable” and “irresponsible.”
Trump tweeted last week that it was “outrageous” that China-produced fentanyl, a cheap and deadly synthetic opioid at least 50 times stronger than heroin, continued to “pour into the US” through international mail.

Yu said the Chinese government found Trump’s tweet “completely unacceptable.”

“The United States has no proof that most fentanyl in the country comes from China,” he said. “It’s highly irresponsible to draw such a conclusion based on some individual cases.”
[FULL  STORY]

The New York Times
Date: Aug. 29, 2018
By: Steven Lee Myers

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, at sea in April. First launched by the Soviet Union in 1988, it was sold for $20 million to a Chinese investor who said it would become a floating casino, though he was in reality acting on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.CreditCreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

DALIAN, China — In April, on the 69th anniversary of the founding of China’s Navy, the country’s first domestically built aircraft carrier stirred from its berth in the port city of Dalian on the Bohai Sea, tethered to tugboats for a test of its seaworthiness.

“China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier just moved a bit, and the United States, Japan and India squirmed,” a military news website crowed, referring to the three nations China views as its main rivals.

Not long ago, such boasts would have been dismissed as the bravado of a second-string military. No longer.

A modernization program focused on naval and missile forces has shifted the balance of power in the Pacific in ways the United States and its allies are only beginning to digest.    [FULL  STORY]

CNN
Date: August 10, 2018
By Brad Lendon, Ivan Watson and Ben Westcott, CNN

Above the South China Sea (CNN)High above one of the most hotly contested regions in the world, CNN was given a rare look Friday at the Chinese government’s rapidly expanding militarization of the South China Sea

Aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, CNN got a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs turned into garrisons with five-story buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft.

During the flight the crew received six separate warnings from the Chinese military, telling them they were inside Chinese territory and urging them to leave.

“Leave immediately and keep out to avoid any misunderstanding,” a voice said.

The US Navy jet flew past four key artificial islands in the Spratly chain where China has built up fortifications: Subi Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, Johnson Reef and Mischief Reef.

On Subi Reef, the Poseidon’s sensors picked up 86 vessels, including Chinese coast guard ships, moored in a giant lagoon, while on Fiery Cross Reef rows of hangers stood alongside a lengthy runway.
“It was surprising to see airports in the middle of the ocean,” said Lt. Lauren Callen, who was leading the air combat crew aboard the Navy flight.    [FULL  STORY]

Sputnik News
Date: July 30, 2018

© AIT

If US Marines are sent to guard the de facto US embassy in Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), it could be treated by Beijing as “severe subversion” and “even an invasion of the US military on Chinese soil,” a Sunday op-ed in Chinese state media warned.
A new report indicates US military personnel are set to deploy to the large new AIT building in Taiwan to safeguard US personnel there. Beijing would consider such a move a “subversion of the one-China policy,” the Global Times op-ed warned, and grounds for Beijing to deploy “an increasing number of countermeasures which Washington will have to confront.”

The US State Department has yet to decide whether US Marines will in fact be stationed at AIT, notes David An, senior research fellow at the Global Taiwan Institute, as they are at other other US embassies around the world. The AIT, however, though it performs the functions of a US embassy, is not technically an embassy building — an important distinction in the delicate diplomatic dance between Washington, Taipei and Beijing. Other questions, like whether or not the US service members would be dressed in military uniforms or casual clothing, also have yet to be answered.

Based on these facts, An told Sputnik News Monday, “My sense is that the final decision is still under consideration inside the US State Department.” An served as a political military affairs officer covering the East Asia region for the State Department from 2009 to 2014.

That the decision is still up in the air didn’t stop the Global Times from issuing a stern condemnation against potential provocations: “If the US Marines publicly station at the AIT in their uniforms, that would be treated by Beijing as a severe subversion of the one-China policy or even an invasion of the US military of Chinese soil.”    [FULL  STORY]

 

CNN
Date: July 1, 2018
By: Brad Lendon, CNN

Hong Kong (CNN)The Pentagon kicked off the world’s largest naval war games last week, the biennial, month-long Rim of the Pacific exercises, known as RIMPAC, bringing together 46 ships and submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 troops from 25 nations.

Missing from that contingent is China, which was disinvited from RIMPAC over its militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

But as ships were arriving in Hawaii for RIMPAC, China was completing naval exercises of its own, with a series of live-fire naval drills off Taiwan that began on June 17.
That the two sets of exercises overlap only serves to reinforce the differences between the two super powers, as both countries vie for military influence in the Pacific.

RIMPAC is about “building relationships,” US military leaders said at a press conference in Hawaii on Thursday, pointing out Indo-Pacific nations making first-time or upgraded contributions to the exercises, including Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, which all have claims in the South China Sea.    [FULL  STORY]

Clashes over South China Sea, Taiwan and trade have plunged Trump and Xi into the diplomatic deep freeze

The Guardian
Date: 5 Jun 2018
By: Simon Tisdall 

The US and China may be heading for a collision over Trump’s attempts to cut a denuclearisation-for-normalisation deal with North Korea. Photograph: Andy Wong/AP

The US and China may be heading for a collision over Trump’s attempts to cut a denuclearisation-for-normalisation deal with North Korea. Photograph: Andy Wong/AP
China’s expanding efforts to impose its will on neighbours through diplomatic, commercial and military pressure – the so-called Xi doctrine – have drawn the sharpest riposte to date from the Trump administration, with Taiwan once again the main flashpoint in a sea of accelerating Sino-American rivalry.

Following recent verbal clashes over US “freedom of navigation” patrols in disputed South China Sea waters, officials in Washington say they plan to send a US aircraft carrier battlegroup into the Taiwan Strait separating the island from mainland China. The move was in response to China’s military “turning up the heat” on Taiwan, an official said.

Such a US deployment, if it goes ahead, would be seen as highly provocative by China’s president, Xi Jinping, who has vowed to reunify China with its “renegade province” in his lifetime. It would potentially bring the US navy into contact with Chinese surface and submarine forces and hundreds of People’s Liberation Army missile batteries lining the shores of the strait. Xi warned Taiwan’s pro-independence government in March that it would face the “punishment of history” if it pursued a separatist course.

On Tuesday, a foreign ministry spokeswoman cautioned Washington not to jeopardise peace. “We have repeatedly emphasised that the Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive core issue in the China-US relationship,” she said.

Although the US does not recognise Taiwan as an independent country, it is, to all intents and purposes, its principal defender and guarantor against attack. Donald Trump outraged Beijing after he was elected by talking directly to Taiwan’s president by phone. Washington has sold Taiwan more than $15bn (£11.2bn) in arms since 2010, and Trump has increased bilateral contacts, including with the Pentagon.    [FULL  STORY]

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