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February 2019 News



January News | March News

Trade Talks Continue

Tensions between mainland China and Taiwan

Summit between the U.S. and North Korea

Dispute Between Pakistan and India


Trade Talks Continue

American and Chinese trade officials began in-person trade negotiations in Beijing on January 7. During the trade talks, the Trump administration demanded structural changes to China’s economic model along with a major reduction in the U.S. $375 billion annual deficit on trade with China. 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.

On February 6, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. would send a delegation to Beijing the following week for further trade talks. The first U.S. oil shipment since the beginning of trade conflicts would soon arrive in China, aligning with President Trump’s request of China’s buying more products from the U.S.

However, according to reports, as of February 8th, neither the U.S. nor China has put any plans of trade deals in writing yet.

Update, February 24: President Trump announced he would postpone the deadline of tariffs and would host a summit with the Chinese leader to finalize the decision regarding tariffs next month in Florida, which might be a “signing summit.” He was optimistic about China’s agreement to the U.S.’s demand for major changes in China’s government-interfered economic system as the ending of tariff.

Update, February 25: According to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, about two thirds of the U.S. companies in China are suffering from the trade war, but there still remains support for President Trump to make a substantial deal with China.

Read More:

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


Tensions between mainland China and Taiwan

During the Lunar New Year holiday, Beijing and Taipei released videos, showing their military strength. The videos clearly showed their opposed stances on cross-strait conflicts. Beijing titled the video as “My Fighting Eagles Fly Around Taiwan”, asking for a peaceful reunification. Taipei, in response, claimed that its armed forces will never be absent from protecting the country.

Read More:

BBC – Xi Jinping says Taiwan ‘must and will be’ reunited with China
 – China and Taiwan clash in Lunar New Year military propaganda videos


Summit between the U.S. and North Korea

On February 8, President Trump and Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, finished their two-day summit in Vietnam’s capital without a joint agreement or a clear plan for further talks, which raised doubts whether these two countries can push their diplomatic relations forward. A key area of contention between the two leaders is regarding acceptable trade-offs between the U.S.’s sanctions and North Korea’s closure of nuclear facilities. Trump said he couldn’t agree to lift up all sanctions on North Korea in exchange for only one nuclear facility closing.


Disputes between Pakistan and India

On February 14th, a young suicide bomber killed more than 40 Indian paramilitary troops in the disputed region of Kashmir, which was the region’s deadliest attack in past 30 years. India accuses Pakistan of aiding in the attack, which was claimed by the terrorist group, but Pakistan has denied it.

Indian aircraft responded by flying into Pakistan and firing airstrikes near the town of Balakot. The next day, Pakistani and Indian fighter jets engaged in a conflict over Indian-controlled territory. As a result, Pakistani forces downed an Indian plane and captured its pilot. Both China and the U.S., although typically on opposite sides of the Pakistan-India disputes, called for both countries’ de-escalation of the issue.

On February 28, Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan announced the government would release the captured pilot, ending days of military conflict.


Page Updated: February 28, 2019
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