Friday February 21, 2020

September 2018 News

August News | October News


President Trump Blames China for Lack of Progress with North Korea
Russia and China Conduct Joint Military Drills
U.S. Announces New North Korea Sanctions
U.S.-China Trade Negotiations
U.S. Sanctions China for Purchasing Russian Military Hardware


President Trump Blames China for Lack of Progress with North Korea

On August 29, President Trump released a statement accusing China of pressuring North Korea because of tensions in the U.S.-China trade relationship. This statement came a week after President Trump canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeos’ planned visit to North Korea citing a lack progress on denuclearization.

China has reportedly eased economic pressure on North Korea over the past few months. North Korean ships were observed purchasing coal from a Chinese port in May and June, the first time since January. Gas prices in North Korea, regularly used as an indicator of the state of their economy, have been steadily decreasing since March. Chinese tourism, often used as a political tool by the Chinese government, has increased significantly since June.

In addition to improved economic relations, North Korea and China are continuing to improve their diplomatic ties. It was originally speculated that President Xi would be visiting North Korea for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. However,  it has been announced that Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the National People’s Congress, will be representing China at the anniversary celebrations on September 9. Li is the 3rd ranking official in China and one of Xi’s closest allies.

U.S.-North Korea Summit – June

Read More:

The Diplomat – China’s Li Zhanshu to Visit North Korea As Xi Jinping’s Special Representative
China eases economic pressure on North Korea, undercutting the Trump admin
Trump Says China To Blame For Hurting U.S.-North Korean Relations
Washington PostChina’s Xi to send top ally to North Korea anniversary



Russia and China Conduct Joint Military Drills

On September 11, Russia began their biggest military exercises (Vostok-2018) since the fall of the Soviet Union. More than 3,000 Chinese troops joined the exercises, as well as an unspecified number of Mongolian troops. During this time, President Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Vladivostok. President Xi arrived in Vladivostok with a huge contingent of Chinese businessmen and officials to encourage Chinese investment in Russian regions bordering China.

These occurred at the same time as NATO exercises in Ukraine. Some experts claim these military exercises were conducted to remind the U.S. that China and Russia will cooperate against American pressure. The People’s Liberation Army Daily disavowed these claims.

Read More:

BBC – Russia launches biggest war games since Cold War
ReutersRussia starts biggest war games since Soviet fall near China
SCMP China’s military learns the art of the counter-attack at Russian war games as US tensions rise
Washington PostWar games and business deals: Russia, China send a signal to Washington



U.S. Announces New North Korea Sanctions

On September 13, the U.S. announced sanctions on two North Korean-controlled companies and one North Korean individual. The two information technology companies were based in Russia and China, but run by their North Korean CEO. The sanctions are due to the companies’ activities exporting workers from North Korea and for operating in the IT industry in North Korea.

CNN also reported that the U.S. and allies will soon reveal the names of companies who have violated sanctions and sold refined petroleum to North Korea.

Read More:

U.S. Department of the TreasuryPress Release

CNNUS announces new North Korea sanctions
ReutersU.S. imposes North Korea-related sanctions on Russian, Chinese tech firms



U.S.-China Trade Negotiations

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin sent an invitation to senior Chinese officials for a new round of trade talks. The U.S. is continuing the process to enact an additional $200 billion of tariffs on China, on top of the $50 million already in place. The two countries are discussing details, but no date has been announced.

Update, September 18: On September 17, President Trump announced that 10% tariffs will be levied on $200 billion of Chinese imports beginning on September 24. These tariffs will rise to 25% in 2019. President Trump also threatened to respond with tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese imports if China retaliated.

Undeterred, China responded on September 18 with 5-10% tariffs on $60 billion of American imports that will take effect on September 24. It was reported that China would not attend the previously announced trade talks if the U.S. went forward with the new round of tariffs, but Chinese officials have not yet confirmed the negotiations have been cancelled. On September 11, it was reported that China will be requesting permission from the World Trade Organization to sanction the U.S. on September 21.

USCPF Article on Tariffs

August’s Trade News

Read More:

Business Insider – Chinese stocks, yuan relieved after US offers exit ramp from tariffs on $200 billion in goods
Bloomberg – The Trade War Is On: How We Got Here and What’s Next [TIMELINE]
CNBC – Beijing is holding firm, but many Chinese firms acknowledge they’re worried about the trade war
China welcomes US offer of talks as tariffs loom on $200 billion of goods
Washington PostU.S. companies in China are suffering in trade war, survey says



U.S. Sanctions China for Purchasing Russian Military Hardware

On September 20, the Trump administration announced new sanctions authorized by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). This act was passed by Congress in response to Russia’s activity in Ukraine and Crimea, as well as meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.

China’s Equipment Development Department and it’s director have been sanctioned for purchasing Russian military aircraft and surface-to-air missile equipment. A spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that China and Russia would continue their exchanges and cooperation.

Update, September 25: In response to the U.S. sanctions, China’s Ministry of Defense and the Central Military Commission summoned top U.S. officials in China to protest the U.S. sanctions. China recalled a PLA Navy commander in the U.S. for a symposium with American military leaders.

In Hong Kong, an American amphibious assault ship was denied a planned port call. Chinese officials have not confirmed that it was the Chinese government that denied the request. China was further angered when reports came out that the U.S. is going ahead with a $330 million arms sale to Taiwan, the second since President Trump’s term began.

White HouseExecutive Order Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
Department of StateSanctions Under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRCForeign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang’s Regular Press Conference on September 21

Read More:

CNNUS sanctions Chinese military for buying Russian weapons
ReutersU.S. sanctions China for buying Russian fighter jets, missiles
South China Morning PostChina hits back at American sanctions over Russian fighter jet and missile purchases


Page Updated: September 25
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