Wednesday September 20, 2017

 

 

News from 2012

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December 18, 2012 NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES SATELLITE

 

On Wednesday, December 12, North Korea successfully launched its first satellite, sparking international condemnation and complicating security issues in the already tense Northeast Asian region. While North Korea has repeatedly invoked its right to the peaceful use of outer space as justification for this and past attempted satellite launches, American, Japanese, and South Korean government officials believe the satellite launch is a cover for ballistic missile testing, which would be a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions. Read more…

 

 

November 16, 2012 CHINA UNVEILS NEW LEADERSHIP AT 18TH NATIONAL PARTY CONGRESS

 

On Thursday, November 15, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded in Beijing with the unveiling of the new generation of China’s top leadership. The newly elected members of the Politburo Standing Committee, who hold the highest positions of authority within the Chinese Communist Party, were revealed as they filed onstage in the Great Hall of the People. The CCP’s National Congress convenes every ten years to pick the new generation of Party leadership. Read more…

 

 

November 8, 2012 CHINA REACTS TO OBAMA’S REELECTION

 

On November 6, the long-awaited U.S. presidential election took place, with incumbent Barack Obama winning another four-year term in the White House. The election cycle was followed closely around the world. China was no exception; both China’s mainstream media outlets and its informal online communities kept interested Chinese citizens abreast of each new event in the presidential campaigns. In Chinese media, reactions to Obama’s reelections were mixed, ranging from official congratulations to deep skepticism. Read more…

 

 

October 25, 2012 THE CANDIDATES’ CHINA POLICIES: DIGGING DEEPER

 

To help clarify the candidates’ positions on China policy, the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Committee of 100 co-sponsored a recent “China Policy Debate” between representatives of the two campaigns. Jeffrey Bader, a member of the National Security Advisory Committee of President Obama’s Re-election Campaign, represented the Obama campaign. Aaron Friedberg, the Co-Chair of Mitt Romney’s Asia-Pacific Working Group, represented the Romney campaign. Through the remarks of these two speakers, those interested in a more detailed picture of China policy can glean information on how a second Obama term or a Romney presidency would engage China. While it is important to remember the views summarized below come from representatives, and not the candidates themselves, they do represent the views of important advisers to Romney and Obama. As such, these views will likely be influential in shaping future policy. Read more…

 

 

September 19, 2012 U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY PANETTA VISITS CHINA

 

United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was in Beijing this week for a three-day tour, his first visit to China as Secretary of Defense. On Tuesday, he met with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie for what was described as a candid discussion of difficult issues confronting the United States and China. Panetta then met with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, expected to be named China’s next party chief and president at the upcoming 18th Party Congress, on Wednesday in Xi’s first public meeting with a foreign official since he disappeared from the public eye two weeks ago. Read more…

 

 

September 14, 2012 NEWS ANALYSIS: THE CANDIDATES ON CHINA

 

As the United States presidential election draws nearer, the candidates’ foreign policy platforms have come under close scrutiny from observers abroad, including China. This week, the Chinese official news agency Xinhua criticized presidential candidate Mitt Romney for “China-bashing”. A week earlier, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s trip to China evoked similarly critical responses from Chinese media. In this news brief, we will look at campaign rhetoric and actions to examine the U.S. presidential candidate’s policies towards China. Read more…

 

 

September 4, 2012 CHINA AND INDIA PLEDGE TO STRENGTHEN DEFENSE COOPERATION

 

On September 4, Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie paid a visit to his Indian counterpart in New Delhi. General Liang’s meeting with Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony was the first trip by a Chinese defense minister to India in eight years. In a statement on Tuesday, the two defense ministers agreed to resume joint military exercises between India and China that have been suspended since 2008. They also pledged to conduct high-level military exchanges, joint maritime search-and-rescue exercises, and to strengthen anti-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia to protect shipping lanes. Read more…

 

 

August 30, 2012 JAPAN SEEKS TO EASE TENSIONS WITH CHINA OVER ISLAND DISPUTE

 

On August 28, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda wrote a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao in a diplomatic effort to ease escalating tensions between Japan and China over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea. The letter was delivered to Beijing following an incident on Monday in which the car of Japanese Ambassador to Beijing Uichiro Niwa was stopped and its Japanese flag torn off by an unidentified assailant. According to Japanese chief cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura, the Japanese government hopes the letter from Prime Minister Noda will help to smooth relations with China and encourage the “stable development of Sino-Japanese relations”. Read more…

 

 

August 7, 2012 CLINTON’S AFRICA TRIP PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON CHINA-AFRICA RELATIONS

 

At the start of her 11-day visit to Africa last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks about American engagement with African nations spurred criticism from Chinese media, and drew attention to Chinese ties to the continent. The Secretary, speaking August 1 in Senegal, contrasted the United States’ commitment to democracy and human rights in Africa with the behavior of other countries that “look the other way and keep the resources flowing”. Her remarks were widely interpreted to be a criticism of China.  Read more…

 

 

 

July 26, 2012 U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR VISITS BEIJING

 

U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon concluded a three-day visit to Beijing this Wednesday, July 25. During his visit, he held talks with China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, and met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, and Chinese general Xu Caihou. This week’s trip was the first visit of an American National Security Advisor to China in eight years, and Donilon’s first visit since becoming National Security Advisor, after he cancelled a trip planned for late 2011. The visit was significant as a reaffirmation of the importance of U.S.-China relations ahead of the leadership transitions that will take place in both countries later this year. Read more…

 

 

July 12, 2012 ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM HELD IN CAMBODIA

 

On May 12, foreign ministers and senior officials from 27 countries met in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh for the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). The ARF is an annual multilateral dialogue between representatives from the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nation states and 17 other countries, including the United States, Canada, Russia, and the European Union. It is a key forum for security dialogue in the region, aimed to encourage discussion of regional security issues between its members and promote peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific. Read more…

 

 

June 29, 2012 U.S. EXEMPTS CHINA FROM IRAN OIL SANCTIONS

 

On June 28, the United States granted China a six-month renewable exemption from newly implemented U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil imports. The U.S. sanctions will deny access to the American financial system to the banks of any foreign country that purchases Iranian oil. Under the law, formally enacted yesterday, countries that import Iranian oil can receive exemption from the sanctions if they significantly reduce the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. The United States previously granted exemption to eighteen of the twenty major buyers of Iranian oil, exempting China and Singapore yesterday before the sanctions went into effect. Read more…

 

 

June 14, 2012 CHINESE DELEGATION ATTENDS CONFERENCE ON AFGHANISTAN’S FUTURE

 

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying attended an international conference on Afghanistan’s future held in Kabul on June 14. The conference was aimed at building confidence between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional allies as the country prepares to regain sole responsibility for its security after the planned withdrawal of NATO troops at the end of 2014. China’s participation in the conference is just one of a number of recent steps it has taken to deepen ties with the Afghan government and to demonstrate its interest in the stability of its neighbor. Read more…

 

 

 

June 7, 2012 RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN VISITS BEIJING

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on June 5 for a three-day visit to China, during which he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit meeting. The talks between President Putin and President Hu were aimed at strengthening relations between Russia and China, and focused particularly on topics of foreign policy and economic cooperation. Putin described China as Russia’s “strategic partner” and has set enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries as a foreign policy priority. Read more…

 

 

 

May 31, 2012 U.S. IMPOSES DUTIES ON CHINESE CLEAN-ENERGY EXPORTS

 

On Wednesday, May 30, the United States Commerce Department imposed preliminary duties on wind turbine towers imported from China. The announcement followed a decision two weeks earlier to place tariffs of 31 percent on Chinese-manufactured solar panels exported to the United States. The duties on Chinese wind turbine towers, ranging from 13.74 to 26 percent, are still preliminary and will not take effect until October, contingent on an investigation and final decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission. Read more…

 

 

 

May 23, 2012 CHINA TO RAISE PRIVATE INVESTMENT LEVELS

 

As Premier Wen Jiabao addressed a meeting of the Standing Committee of the State Council, his remarks focused heavily on the economy. With China in the midst of an economic slump, the Chinese government is seeking to boost growth by “fine-tuning” economic policy. One of the reforms receiving the most attention was the announcement that China will raise the level of private investment allowed in the energy sector. This is seen as part of an attempt to reduce the dominant role that state-owned companies currently play in the Chinese economy. Already, the railway and health sectors, traditionally dominated by the state, have opened up to private investment. A similar move towards the private sector is expected soon in the telecommunications industry. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 2012 CHINA, JAPAN HOLD TALKS ON MARITIME ISSUES

 

On May 16, Chinese and Japanese officials responsible for foreign relations, national defense, and maritime issues gathered in Hangzhou, China to discuss maritime security. The talks represented the first round of what are expected to be regular meetings between China and Japan on maritime issues, according to a plan laid out in December, 2011 by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Additional talks are expected to be held in Japan later in 2012. While the talks were not officially limited to any one topic, much discussion is expected to center on a disputed island chain in the East China Sea, called the Diaoyu Islands in Chinese and the Senkaku Islands in Japanese. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

May 8, 2012 CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS AMERICA

 

On May 7, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon. Talks between the two high-level officials were a highlight of Liang’s week-long visit to America. Liang’s trip marks the first high-level military visit since Obama took office, and the first visit to Washington by a Chinese Defense Minister in nine years. Liang, who was accompanied by senior officers from the Chinese navy, army, and air force, arrived as part of a larger effort to boost military ties between America and China. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

April 30, 2012 U.S., CHINA SEEK PRODUCTIVE FOURTH STRATEGIC AND ECONOMIC DIALOGUE

 

On May 3 and 4, 2012, 200 American officials will attend the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Beijing. The forum was established by the joint announcement of Chinese President Hu Jintao and American President Barack Obama in 2009. Since then, the S&ED has become the largest and most important of the over 60 dialogue platforms that exist between the U.S. and China. This year marks the fourth S&ED, which is hosted each year by four “special representatives”: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo on the strategic side and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan on the economic side. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

April 24, 2012 SOUTH SUDANESE PRESIDENT VISITS BEIJING

 

On Tuesday, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing, amid escalating tensions between South Sudan and its northern neighbor. During Kiir’s visit to Beijing, technical agreements for economic cooperation were signed and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and Kiir attended the opening ceremony of South Sudan’s new embassy in Beijing. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2012 CHINA, PHILIPPINES IN STALEMATE OVER DISPUTED REGION

 

China and the Philippines continued a stalemate over the Scarborough Shoal today, with both sides keeping vessels in the area to back up their competing claims to the disputed region. The stalemate began on April 10, when a warship from the Philippines confronted eight Chinese fishing vessels anchored off Scarborough Shoal. The Philippines accused the fisherman of illegally harvesting coral, giant clams, and live sharks, and sought to detain them. Chinese surveillance ships arrived to block the Philippine ship from the fishing vessels, leading to a tense stalemate that is now in its eighth day. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2012 YUAN’S TRADING BAND WIDENS AGAINST THE DOLLAR

 

On Saturday, the People’s Bank of China announced its decision to widen the currency trading band from 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent, allowing the renminbi to rise or fall by that amount from the official rate set by the bank, to be effective starting April 16. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

April 11, 2012 BO XILAI SUSPENDED FROM TOP PARTY POSITIONS; WIFE UNDER INVESTIGATION

 

At 11 pm Beijing time on Tuesday, April 10, China’s state-run media outlet announced that Bo Xilai, a well-known politician in China, had been suspended from membership in the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau and the CPC’s Central Committee. Bo, who was relieved of his post as Party chief of Chongqing last month, has now been stripped of his membership in two of China’s highest governing bodies. Further, the CPC Central Committee confirmed that Bo is under investigation for “serious discipline violations.” In a surprising twist, the media concurrently announced that Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, and one of Bo’s aides, Zhang Xiaojun, have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a British national, Neil Heywood. Read more…

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2012 CHINA LAUNCHES PILOT PROGRAM FOR FINANCIAL REFORMS IN WENZHOU

 

Wenzhou, known as a hub for private entrepreneurship, has become the first city in China to allow private investors to directly invest overseas. The Chinese government has recently approved Wenzhou’s proposal for financial reform, and requested the city to “research and initiate the experiment of direct overseas investment, and set up a standard and convenient channel for direct investments.”Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

April 2, 2012 U.S. MOVES TO EASE RESTRICTIONS ON HIGH-TECH EXPORTS TO CHINA

 

U.S. officials say that they plan to bring a delegation of high-tech companies to Shanghai for discussions with potential Chinese customers in May. In a speech given to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai near the end of March, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke made the announcement during a discussion on U.S. export controls. According to Locke, the U.S. is now “in the midst of a major reform and simplification that will enable more hi-tech goods to be exported to China.” He also announced that 46 of the 141 high-tech items requested by China had been approved by the U.S. for export. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

March 29, 2012 CHINA, US AMONG PARTICIPANTS IN NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT IN SEOUL

 

March 27 marked the end of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. The Summit, a follow-up to the first Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC in 2010, aims to help prevent nuclear terrorism by developing a strategy to secure nuclear and radioactive materials, as well as strengthening the international framework for investigating nuclear security. The Summit was attended by the leaders of over 50 countries, including China and the United States, as well as the leaders of the European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Interpol. Read more…

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2012 HU JINTAO, KMT CHAIRMAN WU PO-HSIUNG MEET IN BEIJING

 

On Thursday, March 22, honorary KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung of Taiwan held a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The annual forum between KMT and CCP officials began in 2005, after then-KMT Chairman Lien Chan’s ground-breaking visit to Beijing. These meetings are seen as crucial to helping both sides develop a political relationship. This year’s meeting was the first since Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT was re-elected as Taiwan’s president in January. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

March 19, 2012 BO XILAI STEPS DOWN AS CHONGQING PARTY CHIEF

 

On March 15, China’s Xinhua news agency released a short statement announcing that Zhang Dejiang is replacing Bo Xilai as the Chinese Communist Party chief in Chongqing, one of China’s major metropolitan areas. The announcement sparked a firestorm of media coverage, blog entries, and microblog posts with both analysis of and speculation about the move and its possible motives. Bo Xilai’s ouster, despite the brief nature of the official announcement, is being seen in some quarters as a substantial political change with potential implications for China’s upcoming leadership transition.  Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

March 16, 2012 WEN JIABAO’S FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE

 

On March 14, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gave his final press conference in the Great Hall of the People. After serving as Premier for nine years, Wen is expected to retire later this year as part of a larger leadership change in the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party. Much has been written, and will continue to be written, about the political implications of Wen’s final speech, which continued Wen’s career-long emphasis on the need for gradual political and economic reforms in China. Yet it seems to me his political views as expressed in that final press conference are but a reflection of his deep-seated desire to improve the lives of his fellow Chinese citizens. For that reason, I would like to approach Wen’s legacy from a more personal angle. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

March 13, 2012 US FILES SUIT OVER CHINA’S RARE EARTH EXPORT QUOTAS

rare earth mine in China

 

On March 13, 2012, the United States, the European Union, and Japan filed a joint suit with the World Trade Organization, claiming that China’s restrictions on rare earth exports violate WTO rules. Rare earth metals are used in many high-tech industries, especially in the manufacture of “green” products such as electric cars and wind turbines. The joint complaint argues that, by restricting exports of rare earths, China is giving an unfair competitive advantage to its domestic industries. China rejects this claim, saying that WTO regulations provide for its right to protect its natural resources and prevent environmental damage from over-mining. Read more…

 

 

 

 

February 29, 2012 WORLD BANK REPORTS ON CHINA’S ECONOMIC PROSPECTS

 

On February 27, 2012, the World Bank and China’s Development Research Center (a Chinese think tank) released a report entitled “China 2030” with both predictions about and recommendations for China’s future economic situation. The report called for far-reaching but gradually implemented reforms to the Chinese economy, aimed at promoting a free market system. Read more...

 

 

 

 

 

February 24, 2012 CHINA’S CONCERNS OVER OIL IMPORTS FROM IRAN

 

China’s state-owned oil company Unipec last week reached an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Co. to renew a crude supply contract that had lapsed at the end of the year. Negotiations were primarily over price and commercial, rather than political, in nature. China’s imports of Iranian oil had fallen earlier by about half in the two months of price negotiations. It led to some speculation that China might seek to shift its purchases to more stable Russian and Saudi Arabian suppliers to make up the difference. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

February 14, 2012 OPINION: TREATING XI JINPING’S VIST AS A NEW START IN U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS

 

This week, Mr. Xi Jinping of China will visit Washington, D.C., Iowa, and California. He comes as China’s vice president, but China-watchers around the globe are well aware that Xi is the president-in-waiting, and the man who will quite likely be China’s head of state for the next ten years. His visit to the U.S. is an opportunity to push the reset button on the often contentious Sino-American relationship. By making Xi feel welcomed and respected now, we can increase the odds that he will have a cordial working relationship with the American government in the future. Read more…

 

 

 

 

February 14, 2012 CHINESE VP XI JINPING ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON FOR FIRST WHITE HOUSE VISIT

 

 

Vice President Xi Jinping of China arrived in Washington, D.C. on February 13 to begin his official visit, which included meetings with President Obama, Vice President Biden, several cabinet and congressional leaders, and the Chamber of Commerce. Because Xi is expected to take Hu Jintao’s place as president later this year, the trip also serves as Xi’s introduction in America, and a chance for American officials and China enthusiasts to get their first impressions of the man who will guide China through the next decade. Read more…

 

 

 

 

February 10, 2012 CHINA, RUSSIA VETO U.N. MEASURE ON SYRIA

 

On February 4, Russia and China issued a joint veto of a UN Security Council Resolution on Syria. The resolution backed an Arab League plan which called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, recall his troops, and begin dialogues that would lead towards democracy. The veto of the resolution, which had the support of the thirteen other members of the Security Council, sparked strong reactions from countries all over the world. Read more…