US – China Relations

Market Watch
Date: May 10, 2019
By: Marketwatch and Associated Press

Nikkei stands out with 0.3% dropBloomberg News Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin greets Liu He, China’s vice premier, outside the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington on Thursday.

Asian shares saw a mostly positive session Friday, led by a rally for the Shanghai Composite as some investors grew hopeful that China and the U.S. would carve out a trade deal, though there was some speculation Chinese officials may have intervened to boost that market.

The Trump administration rose tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Still, President Donald Trump said Thursday he had received a “beautiful” letter from China’s President Xi Jinping and said a trade deal with China was still possible this week. U.S. and Chinese negotiators agreed to meet again Friday, in a positive sign following speculation that Thursday’s meeting in Washington was simply perfunctory.

The tariff hikes reportedly won’t hit goods that have already left Chinese ports before Friday’s deadline, so they won’t start taking affect until those shipments complete the three- to four-week voyage across the Pacific Ocean, in effect buying negotiators a little time to still work out a deal.

China has threatened to retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with the tariff hikes, adding to the heated rhetoric from both sides that was shaking stock markets around the world.

Washington Examiner
Date: May 05, 2019
By: Tom Rogan  

In his new book “The Shadow War,” CNN’s Chief National Security correspondent Jim Sciutto explores China and Russia’s secret war against the U.S.-led international order. Though readable and well-sourced, the book isn’t comfortable reading.

Because it makes clear that America’s top adversaries are winning silent but very significant victories.

“The pace and power of the Shadow War can be frightening,” Sciutto writes.

Sciutto’s first point is that we still haven’t sufficiently recognized the nature of the threat. He charts the delusion by which successive U.S. administrations have viewed China and Russia as states interested in compromising under the U.S.-led order. Sciutto shows how this delusion has allowed these top adversaries to fight us while telling us what we want to hear.

The shadow war, then, is one fought in the political margins between peace and war, and tactical arena between covert action and overt force. Charting a course around the world, “The Shadow War” takes us inside the war’s various theaters.

We see how Estonia responded to a dramatic Russian cyberattack with a societal mobilization to do better next time. “Cyber-hygiene, cyber-hygiene , and cyber-hygiene,” President Kaljulaid tells Sciutto, “We teach our people, it’s essential.”

We see how China engages in an industrial-level theft of U.S. intellectual and military secrets. Seeing the scale of what China is doing, the courageous FBI effort to counter these threats seems like a losing battle. But this book is also informed by Sciutto’s former service as chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from 2011-2013. The author explains how this service was instructive. He learned, for example, that, “U.S. firms — though aware of the theft — often refused to ask for [U.S.] government help, or to identify cyber-breaches, for fear of alienating their Chinese partners or losing access to the Chinese market altogether.” Sciutto points out that “China’s strategy relies on — and cultivates — that fear.”

Yet, while he served during the Obama administration, Sciutto isn’t biased. The CNN anchor offers particular criticism of the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s 2014 incursion into Ukraine, and its handling of Chinese militarization efforts in the South China Sea. Sciutto also rightly criticizes President Obama’s reliance on personal pledges made by President Xi Jinping.

Can it be avoided?

The National Interest
Date: May 4, 2019  
By: James Holmes

The Black Sea bumping incident amounted to little as diplomatic fracases go. In part that’s because the setting differed markedly from the Western Pacific today. The U.S. task force cruised along mainland Soviet shores where no one disputed Moscow’s sovereignty. This was not contested turf like China’s South China islands—ground wrested from China’s neighbors or manufactured wholesale. That muted tempers. So did the slight damage to Yorktown. Nor was there any loss of life. There was little to fire a public outcry in either capital.

What would happen should a U.S. Navy warship collide with a Chinese vessel while demonstrating on behalf of freedom of the sea?

(This first appeared late last year.)

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This hasn’t been a trivial or hypothetical question since at least April 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet hotdogging near a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance plane slammed into the American aircraft, kindling a diplomatic crisis between the Chinese Communist Party leadership and the newly installed administration of President George W. Bush. This aerial encounter furnished advance warning of what might happen on the surface below.

Last weekend the question took on new urgency. On Sunday morning a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 052C destroyer cut across the bow of the destroyer USS Decatur as Decatur made a close pass by Gaven Reef in the South China Sea. Estimates vary, but it appears the PLAN ship passed somewhere within 45 feet and 45 yards of its American counterpart—compelling the Decatur bridge crew to maneuver to avoid collision. The imagery is striking. Whatever the actual range, terming this conduct “unsafe and unprofessional”—in the U.S. Pacific Command’s anodyne phrasing—understates how close the vessels came to disaster.

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Most such incidents involve the rules of the maritime road: who gets to steam and fly where, and what may seafarers and aviators do along their way? Think of the encounter off Gaven Reef as an exchange of point and counterpoint in an armed conversation about who makes the rules governing the use of sea and sky and who obeys them. And the point of this conversation isn’t merely to impress Chinese and American audiences. It’s to make an impression on foreign audiences able to influence the outcome of the U.S.-China struggle over freedom of the sea.

Audiences such as Vietnam and the Philippines, stakeholders in the maritime disputes roiling the region. Such as Australia and India, friends that incline to stand beside a resolute America but might stand aside should Beijing successfully brand Washington as vacillating and untrustworthy. And such as France and Great Britain, extraregional players whose governments are increasingly vocal about the common and whose navies increasingly share the burden of upholding nautical liberty. Europeans are speaking up—and showing up in embattled waters to back their words with steel.

BBC News
May 5, 2019

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Donald Trump has said he will raise tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods this week, because talks on a US-China trade deal are moving “too slowly”.

The US president tweeted that tariffs of 10% on certain goods would rise to 25% on Friday, and $325bn of untaxed goods could face 25% duties “shortly”.

“The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!” he tweeted.

The countries have seemed near to striking a trade deal in recent weeks.

For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars….

Mr Trump delayed further tariff increases earlier in the year, citing progress in talks.

The move increases pressure on China as Vice Premier Liu He prepares to travel Washington this week to resume negotiations.    [FULL  STORY]

WW3 is a concern for many Britons as tensions between key global powers escalate. The relationship between the USA and China is particularly fraught right now – so where are the safest countries with bunkers to escape to in the event of World War Three?

Date: May 4, 2019
By: Harriet Mallinson

WW3 is a huge worry and with global tensions rising between the USA and China, World War 3could be around the corner. The relationship between the two superpowers has become increasingly strained in recent weeks. This follows the transit of two US Navy destroyers through the Taiwan straight and a threat by the head of the US Navy to target unarmed Chinese vessels. The Assistant Secretary of Defence has responded by saying a new Indo-Pacific strategy will be launched in May.

So as concerns about the threat of World War Three augment – where are the safest countries in the world which have bunkers?    [FULL  STORY]

“Essaying some foresight into these matters now could pay off handsomely if China tries to put General Chang’s—and Mao’s—strategic concept into practice.”

The National Interest
Date: May 2, 2019
By: James Holmes

By all means, let’s review China’s way of war, discerning what we can about Chinese warmaking habits and reflexes. But these are not automatons replaying the Maoist script from the 1930s and 1940s. How they might transpose Maoist doctrine to the offshore arena—and how an unruly coalition can surmount such a challenge—is the question before friends of maritime freedom.

Last year China’s defense minister, General Chang Wanquan, implored the nation to ready itself for a “people’s war at sea.” The purpose of such a campaign? To “safeguard sovereignty” after an adverse ruling from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The tribunal upheld the plain meaning of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ruling that Beijing’s claims to “indisputable sovereignty” spanning some 80-90 percent of the South China Sea are bunk.

A strong coastal state, in other words, cannot simply wrest away the high seas or waters allocated to weaker neighbors and make them its own.

Or, at any rate, it can’t do so lawfully. It could conceivably do so through conquest, enforced afterward by a constant military presence. Defenders of freedom of the sea, consequently, must heed General Chang’s entreaty. Southeast Asians and their external allies must take such statements seriously—devoting ample forethought to the prospect of marine combat in the South China Sea.    [FULL  STORY]

Business leaders and intellectuals say one of Beijing’s toughest critics could force the country to change. Still needed: voices of support from the inside.

The New York Times
Date: April 16, 2019 
By: Li Yuan

Image CreditCreditJun Cen

Donald J. Trump has referred to China as “our enemy.” He has called it “a major threat.” “Remember,” he once wrote on Twitter, “China is not a friend of the United States!”

Some people in China have their own label for the polarizing American president: savior.

At dinner tables, in social media chats and in discreet conversations, some of the country’s intellectual and business elite are half-jokingly, half-seriously cheering on the leader who has built a large part of his political career on China-bashing.

“Only Trump can save China,” goes one quip. Others call him the “chief pressure officer” of China’s reform and opening.

Their semi-serious praise reflects the deepening despair among those in China who fear their country is on the wrong track. An aggressive outsider like President Trump, according to this thinking, can help China find its way again.    [FULL  STORY]

The Daily Signal
Date: April 17, 2019
By: James Carafano / @JJCarafano

“If our European allies decide to use 5G technology from Chinese telecom giant Huawei, it will leave them—and us—more vulnerable to the predations of both Beijing and the terrorists,” James Carafano writes. (Photo: Christophe Gateau/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

China is an adversarial power. It seeks to advance at our expense, leaving America—and our friends and allies—less free, less prosperous, and less safe.

The same can be said of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other transnational Islamist terrorist organizations. Beijing is not colluding with these groups, but that doesn’t matter.

If our European allies decide to use 5G technology from Chinese telecom giant Huawei, it will leave them—and us—more vulnerable to the predations of both Beijing and the terrorists.

Don’t for a moment think that the fall of the ISIS “Caliphate” means the end of terrorism. Those folks are still trying to kill us all.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Last month, officials busted a suspected ISIS terror cell in Europe. Two Islamist terror plots were disrupted here in the U.S. in just the last few weeks. Captured ISIS computer files reportedly indicate the organization is planning a fresh wave of attacks in Europe and the Middle East—strikes similar to the 2015 atrocity in Paris that killed 130 people.

Fox Business News
Date: April 14, 2019
By Charlie Kirk

China is our greatest enemy.

When I first said this at an event a few years ago I was met with laughs and protests of disgust from collegeOpens a New Window. students. I was doubted and considered to be “fringe” for having this belief.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discusses China IP theft, tariffs and the crisis on the US-Mexico border.

Now, as we stand today, when I say this on campus or at GOPOpens a New Window. meetings, I am instead met with agreement and applause. There is now widespread agreement that China is our biggest and most formidable enemy that should by no means be underestimated. They are hacking our cybergridOpens a New Window., building a massive armyOpens a New Window., purchasing assets around the globe and implementing spies throughout our country.

It begs the question, what else are they doing that we aren’t noticing?

Difficult as it may be to imagine, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)Opens a New Window. may soon allow a group of foreign satellite companies – one of whom is partially owned by our unyielding adversary, Communist China – to reap billions selling strategic American assets given to them for free.  If Republican lawmakers don’t immediately intervene, U.S. interests, and American taxpayers – especially those who reside in the rural interior – are going to lose. Big time.

At issue is the FCC’s laudable goal of increasing America’s capacity for faster and more reliable internet by freeing up the 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz band – commonly referred to as “C-Band” – for internet services. This repurposing of the C-Band spectrum for mobile broadband deployment could ensure America wins the race to 5G. The timing is especially welcome, given that Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, is poised to shortly dominate half of the global 5G market – posing massive national security risks for the U.S. as we build out 5G domestically.

What isn’t welcome is the profiteering scheme recently hatched by the four satellite companies that currently own 100 percent of the C-Band spectrum over the United States, and which was licensed to them for free by our government back in the 1960s. The one firm proviso? Wield this power in the American public interest. Now those four companies – Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat – have conspired to manufacture their own lobbying vehicle named the “C-Band Alliance” (CBA). The CBA’s sole mission is to convince the FCC to permit a dramatic subversion of the American public interest by allowing them (the CBA) to privately sell off their C-Band spectrum, reaping billions – potentially tens of billions – that rightly belong to the American people.

Compounding the outrage is the very nature of these companies, which, while nominally “American,” are in reality, anything but; they are, in fact, based on foreign soil, and owned and run by foreign investors. These include the massive Bank of Luxembourg, a myriad French and Canadian interests, as well as our committed adversary, China, through its sovereign wealth fund – the China Investment Corporation (CIC), otherwise known as the wholly-owned investment arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

It is safe to conclude that none of these entities would feature “America’s public interest” at the top, or even on, their priority list.    [FULL  STORY]

The New York Times
By Jane Perlez
April 14, 2019

Image Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, warned at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last year that China presented “a whole-of-society threat on their end” that required a “whole-of-society response.”CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

BEIJING — Just as he had on previous trips, Zhu Feng bolted down his lunch at a Los Angeles airport before sprinting to catch his Air China flight back to Beijing.

Suddenly, two F.B.I. agents blocked the Chinese scholar at the boarding gate and ordered him to hand over his passport. They flipped to the well-used 10-year visa to the United States and crossed out the page with a black pen.

“‘Go back to China,’” Mr. Zhu, a professor of international relations, recalled an agent telling him during that visit in January last year. “You will receive a notification.”

In the four decades since China and the United States normalized relations, Washington has generally welcomed Chinese scholars and researchers to America, even when Beijing has been less open to reciprocal visits. Republican and Democratic administrations have operated on the assumption that the national interest was well served by exposing Chinese academics to American values.

Now, that door appears to be closing, with the two nations ramping up their strategic rivalry and each regarding academic visitors from the other with greater suspicion — of espionage, commercial theft and political meddling.    [FULL  STORY]