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March 2019 News

 

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Trade Talks Continue

Philippines’ worries of war in South China Sea

Summit between the U.S. and North Korea

Tensions between China, the U.S. and Canada

Trade Talks Continue

In the trade talks last month, the Trump administration demanded structural changes in China’s economic model along with a major reduction in the $375 billion annual trade deficit the U.S. has with China. While Chinese officials offered to buy substantially greater amounts of American soybeans and liquefied natural gas, they hesitated to answer calls to shrink the state’s role in the economy. During the recent trade talks, both governments agreed to a broad outline that China buys more American goods and opens part of its market to foreign investments. According to President Trump, the next round of trade talks will happen in late March or early April in Florida. Update, March 4: The National People’s Congress of China approved plans to rewrite its laws on foreign investment in response to concerns by the U.S. and other trade partners. But there weren’t details on how these rules would be implemented. Update, March 7: While President Trump appeared optimistic  that both countries would sign a deal in the next round of meetings, Chinese government officials expressed doubt over whether  China would receive favorable final terms, especially given the possibility of President Trump’s unpredictable last-minute changes. The gap in attitudes  raised doubts regarding Xi’s purposed trip to Florida. According to Michael Pillsbury, a Trump adviser on China, Xi’s silence on trade issues should be treated as a sign that they may need another round of trade talks before signing the final deal.

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
CNBC  The US and China don’t even have a trade deal draft yet as deadline approaches
New York Times – U.S.-China Trade Talks Face Big Obstacle: Ensuring That Promises Are Kept
SCMP – US-China trade talks in Beijing to continue for third day on Wednesday, US Trade Representative’s office confirms


Philippines’ worries of war in the South China Sea

On March 5, the Philippines’ top defense official said  their government should review a decades-old treaty with the United States out of fear the treaty might automatically involve them in any armed conflicts between the U.S. and China in the disputed South China Sea. Since President Trump took office, the U.S. has been conducting more frequent military patrols in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Read More:

New York Times – Philippine Official, Fearing War With China, Seeks Review of U.S. Treaty


 

Summit between the U.S. and North Korea

On February 8, President Trump and Kim Jong Un finished their two-day summit in Vietnam’s capital without a joint agreement or a clear plan for further talks. On March 8, North Korea  publicly admitted the failure of the summit, and blamed the U.S. for the breakdown.

Read More:

New York Times – North Korea Admits Failure of Trump Summit, a Week After It Broke Down


 

Tensions between China, the U.S. and Canada

Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, was arrested in Canada on December 1 based on a U.S. extradition warrant on charges of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Several Canadian citizens were arrested in China in the weeks following Meng’s arrest. In January, American prosecutors released a statement of indictment against Meng and Huawei, describing what they said were activities by Huawei to steal commercial secrets, obstruct a criminal inquiry and evade unilateral American sanctions on Iran. Beijing continues pressing Canada to release Meng. Update, March 4: The Chinese government announced accusations against two Canadians, a former diplomat and a businessman with high-level contacts with North Korea, as spies. They were initially detained several days after Meng’s arrest in Canada, without any formal charges. Canadian officials have complained that China has begun suspending its imports of an agricultural product conalo from Canada. Update, March 6: The Chinese electronics giant Huawei sued the United States government on Wednesday, arguing that it had been unfairly banned from sales to U.S. government and institutions. The lawsuit, which was filed in a United States District Court in Plano, where Huawei has its American headquarters, argues part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act is unconstitutional because it singles out Huawei.

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
Reuters – China issues travel warning for Canada after ‘arbitrary detention’ of national

Page Updated: March 31, 2019 Top of Page