Tuesday September 17, 2019

January 2019 News

 

December News | February News

 

Xi Jinping’s Speech on Taiwan Reunification
U.S. State Department Issues New China Travel Warning
Trade Talks Continue in Beijing
Tensions between China, the U.S. and Canada
U.S., UK Hold Military Drills in South China Sea
China’s Economic Growth Has Hit Its Lowest Level

 

Xi Jinping’s Speech on Taiwan Reunification

On January 2, President Xi made a speech calling for the peaceful reunification of China and Taiwan using the one-country-two-systems model. This was the way that Hong Kong was reintegrated with China in the 1990s. While President Xi advocated for a peaceful process, he reiterated that China reserves the right to force the reunification through any means necessary.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen responded that Taiwan would never accept a one-country-two-systems model, as Hong Kong’s freedoms have been steadily eroded since reintegration with China.

Read More:

BBC Xi Jinping says Taiwan ‘must and will be’ reunited with China
CNN – Xi Jinping warns Taiwan independence is ‘a dead end’
New York Times
Taiwan’s President, Defying Xi Jinping, Calls Unification Offer ‘Impossible’
Washington PostXi Offers Promises and Threats as he calls China’s unification with Taiwan inevitable​

 


 

U.S. State Department Issues New China Travel Warning

On January 3, 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel warning due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.” The warning cited new concerns about exit bans, but did not raise the warning level from the previous year. Travel warnings at this level are reviewed each year.

Exit bans have been used against several American citizens, prohibiting them from leaving the country in an effort to coerce participation in Chinese government investigations. The warning also stated that China does not recognize dual nationality and U.S.-Chinese citizens may not be allowed consular services from the U.S. embassy.

U.S. Department of StateChina Travel Advisory

Read More:

Business – The US government is warning Americans that if they visit China they may not be able to return home
CNN
US warns travelers of China’s ‘coercive’ use of exit bans
Reuters
U.S. issues China travel advisory amid increased tensions

 


 

Trade Talks Continue in Beijing

American and Chinese trade officials began in-person trade negotiations in Beijing on January 7. Originally scheduled to last two days, the talks have been extended through January 9. China’s top trade official, Vice Premier Liu He, is said to be planning a visit to Washington, DC in late January.

Since the beginning of the 90-period for negotiations, China has made several capitulations. Chinese state-owned-enterprises purchased American soybeans, tariffs on U.S. cars were temporarily lowered, and a law banning intellectual property theft was drafted. The continuation of these in-person negotiations is largely seen as a positive development.

Update, January 15: At the end of this month, Vice-Premier Liu He will be leading a delegation to Washington DC to continue trade negotiations. He is expected to meet with top officials, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from January 30-31.

Update, January 24:  Michael Pillsbury, President Trump’s adviser on China, said he does not expect a breakthrough during the upcoming trade talks. However, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was optimistic that the talks would have a good outcome.

Update, January 31: There were two objectives for the U.S. trade delegation in trade talks on January 30th and 31st. The first one was to request China to lower their trade deficit and buy more America-produced commodities, such as soybeans. The second objective is to pressure China to stop their “forced technology transfers” requesting U.S. companies entering Chinese market to hand over their technology secrets to their Chinese partners.

In the trade talks, the Trump administration demanded structural changes in China’s economic model along with a major reduction in its $375 billion annual deficit on trade with the country. While Chinese officials offered to buy substantially greater amounts of American soybeans and liquefied natural gas, they resisted calls to shrink the state’s role in the economy.

Trump said he would only make a big trade deal with China, or he may postpone the deadline set by the U.S. He also intends to meet President Xi to have further trade talks on his Asia trip.

Read More:

CNN – US, Chinese officials extend Beijing trade talks
Los Angeles Times –
U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing raise hopes that a deal may be reached
New York Times
China Offers Trump a Trade Peace Deal. It May Not Be Enough.
SCMP
US-China trade talks in Beijing to continue for third day on Wednesday, US Trade Representative’s office confirms

 


 

Tensions between China, the U.S. and Canada

China, Canada, and the U.S. have been embroiled in a tense situation over the December 1, 2018 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of the Chinese tech giant, Huawei. Meng was arrested in Canada on December 1 to be extradited to the U.S. on charges of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Several Canadian citizens were suddenly arrested in China in the weeks following Meng’s arrest.

On January 14, Canada issued a travel warning after a Canadian man convicted of drug smuggling in 2014 appealed his 15-year sentence and, after a one-day retrial, was given a death sentence. In response, China issued a travel warning for Canada, citing concerns about an “arbitrary detention” of a Chinese national.

China also reportedly asked some state-owned enterprises to refrain from traveling to the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. If the trip is necessary, extra security precautions should be taken with computers and files.

Update, January 22: The U.S. confirmed it plans to issue a formal request to Canada to extradite Meng Wanzhou. In response, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, urged Canada to release Meng, and the U.S. to withdraw its arrest warrant.

On January 22nd, more than 140 academic experts and former government officials from the U.S., Canada and other western countries wrote an open letter to President Xi, saying the detention of Canadian researchers makes them worry about traveling to China.

Update, January 24: Yang Hengjun, a Chinese-Australian writer, was detained in China on the suspicion of endangering China’s national security. Many analysts have drawn parallels to  China’s detention of two Canadians.

Read More:

BBC – Robert Schellenberg case: China accuses Canada of ‘double standards’
Bloomberg
China Asks State Firms to Avoid Travel to U.S. and Its Allies
CNN
Canada issues travel warning for China amid ‘crisis’ over death sentence
ReutersChina issues travel warning for Canada after ‘arbitrary detention’ of national

 


 

U.S., UK Hold Military Drills in South China Sea

On January 7, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS McCampbell conducted a “freedom of navigation” near the Paracel Islands. The following day, Chinese media announced that anti-ship missiles had been deployed to areas that put the South China Sea within their range.

From January 11 through 16, the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy conducted military drills in the South China Sea. The UK has recently been looking to increase their presence in the region as their future in the European Union remains unclear. In December 2018, the U.S. and UK conducted anti-submarine drills with Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force.

Read More:

CNN – US, UK hold rare joint drills in the South China Sea
The Japan Times
U.S. and British navies conduct first joint military exercises in disputed South China Sea
ReutersU.S. destroyer sails in disputed South China Sea amid trade talks
South China Morning PostUS and British navies carry out first joint drill in disputed South China Sea


 

China’s Economic Growth Has Hit Its Lowest Level

China’s 6.6% annual economic growth rate reported on January 21st is the country’s lowest in three decades. In  a speech at the World Economic Forum, Vice President Wang Qishan said growth remains substantial, and that it’s important for China to focus on the long term. According to experts, tax cuts could be the first step China takes to fight against the slowing economy.

Read More:

Wall Street Journal – China’s Annual Economic Growth Rate Is Slowest Since 1990

Page Updated: January 31, 2019
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