Taiwan News’ article “Beijing fails to congratulate Taiwan KMT’s new chairman” yesterday speculates the reason for the breaking of the convention to congratulate the election of KMT’s new chairman. The failure to congratulate may mean that Beijing is unhappy that KMT may abandon the “1992 Consensus” that Beijing regards as the basis for peaceful reunification with Taiwan.
KMT abandons the consensus as it has to win over Taiwan’s young voters who tend to advocate independence. This trend will grow if Taiwan remains separate from China.
That being the case, arms reunification will be the only alternative. The Chinese Communist Party will never allow Taiwan’s separation from China to be permanent as it will be very unpopular among Mainland people and will make it a criminal in Chinese history.
For thousands of years, China is a united country. I was split occasionally for some time but was always reunited ultimately.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Taiwan News’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3893545.
It’s not simple hostility but hatred that Putin lets oil price tumble to kill US shale oil industry in retaliation of US sanctions on Russia’s North Stream II Pipeline and Russian oil giant Rosneft for transporting Venezuelan oil.
CNBC’s commentary “Putin just sparked an oil price war with Saudi Arabia — and US energy companies may be the victims” describes Americans’ concerns about the oil price war that may hurt US shale oil industry.
However, Trump may use what the US has received from tariff hikes to defend US shale oil industry with subsidies so that Putin may fail to really hurt the US by reducing oil price that also hurts Russia itself.
Putin shall have some alternative to attack the US. What about China taking Taiwan by force to force US to give Taiwan military support? Putin will have real chance of retaliation by hitting US military. US navy and military bases in Asia are all within the range of Russian bombers to say the least.
Anyway, low oil and gas prices will greatly benefit China as it is the largest oil and gas importer. Russian support may deter US military interference when China takes Taiwan by force.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on CNBC’s commentary, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/08/putin-sparks-an-oil-price-war-and-us-companies-may-be-the-victims.html.
February 9, 2020 / 5:56 PM / Updated 15 hours ago
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s air force scrambled on Sunday to intercept Chinese jets that flew around the island claimed by Beijing as its own, in a move denounced by Taiwan’s Defence Ministry as a threat to regional peace and stability.
China has been flying what it calls “island encirclement” drills on-off since 2016 when Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen first took office.
Beijing believes Tsai, who won re-election last month, wishes to push the island’s formal independence. She says Taiwan is an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name.
In a statement, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said Chinese J-11 fighters and H-6 bombers flew into the Bashi Channel to the south of Taiwan, then out into the Pacific before heading back to base via the Miyako Strait, located between Japan’s islands of Miyako and Okinawa, to the northeast of Taiwan.
“During this period, the national military appropriately used air reconnaissance aircraft and air defense forces in accordance with combat readiness regulations,” it said.
The ministry provided a picture of a Taiwan air force F-16 shadowing one of the Chinese H-6 bombers.
“The Chinese Communist’s long-range far-out-at-sea missions have impacted regional security and stability and endanger the peace and welfare shared by all parties in the region,” the ministry said.
There was no immediate comment from China’s Defence Ministry. China has brushed off such drills in the past as nothing out of the ordinary.
Relations between Taipei and Beijing have further plummeted in the past few weeks following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, with Taiwan accusing China of preventing the island from accessing full information from the World Health Organization (WHO) or attending its meetings.
Taiwan is not a WHO member due to China’s objections, which says the island is merely a Chinese province whose interests in the health body are adequately represented by Beijing.
But in one small diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan, the WHO said Taiwanese experts will participate this week in an on-line meeting of experts about the virus.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said in a Sunday statement this was a “good start” and that they would strive to take part in more WHO events.
Taiwan’s WHO troubles last week became another flashpoint in Sino-U.S. ties, with the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva telling the agency to deal directly with Taiwan’s government, drawing a sharp rebuke from China.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard: Editing by Neil Fullick
Source; Reuters “Taiwan scrambles jets as Chinese air force flies round island”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Chinese president hails leader of South Pacific nation after it severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan
Tue 7 Jan 2020 05.42 GMT
Last modified on Tue 7 Jan 2020 05.46 GMT
China’s president Xi Jinping has praised Kiribati for being “on the right side of history” after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in China on Monday.
The agreement, which signs the Pacific nation up to China’s belt and road initiative, comes after Kiribati severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established them with China in September last year.
Xi met Kiribati’s president, Taneti Maamau, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and thanked him for visiting China.
“Last September, China and Kiribati restored diplomatic relations based on the one-China principle and have ushered in a new chapter of bilateral cooperation,” said Xi, according to video of the meeting released by the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN. “We welcome Kiribati back to the big family of China-Pacific island cooperation.”
“Mr President and the Kiribati government stand on the right side of history,” Xi told Maamau, according to CGTN.
Maamau told Xi: “Kiribati is grateful for the support we have received from China in the last recent months following the normalisation of our diplomatic relations in September 2019.
“Allow me also to take this opportunity to reaffirm my government’s commitments to the ‘one China’ principle and now our deepest respect of your government’s sovereignty to maintain peace and harmony among your people and the world at large.”
Kiribati’s switch in support from Taiwan to China meant Taiwan lost its second diplomatic ally in less than a week, following an announcement from the Solomon Islands that it was breaking away from Taiwan.
Over the decades, dozens of countries – including the US and most western nations – have switched recognition to Beijing, leaving just a handful of countries loyal to Taiwan, largely in Latin America and the Pacific.
The south Pacific has been a diplomatic stronghold for Taiwan, where, until this week, formal ties with six island nations made up more than a third of its total alliances.
The Solomon Islands and Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) were the largest of Taiwan’s Pacific allies, with populations of 600,000 and 115,000 respectively.
The decision of the two nations to establish relations with China has left Taiwan with four remaining Pacific allies: Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and Marshall Islands, as well as allies in the Caribbean and Latin America.
China’s concerted attempt to peel allies away from Taipei could be seen as putting pressure on Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, who is pro-Taiwanese sovereignty, ahead of elections in Taiwan this weekend.
Tsai is favoured to win a second term in Saturday’s election, an outcome that would likely intensify Chinas economic, diplomatic and military pressure over her refusal to accept its insistence that Taiwan is a part of China. Since her election, China has increasingly sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically while ramping up its threat to use force to annex the self-governing island republic.
Source: The Guardian “’On right side of history’: Xi Jinping praises Kiribati for switch to China”
Note: This is The Guardian’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
China’s first amphibious assault ship, a Landing Helicopter Dock known as Type 075, was launched in Shanghai today.
Xavier Vavasseur 25 Sep 2019
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy), the customer of the vessel, said in a statement that after a brief ceremony starting at 9:20 am at a CSSC’s Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard, waters began to be pumped into a dry dock in which the ship’s hull was built.
Participants at the ceremony – officials from the central and Shanghai governments, officers from the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department and the PLA Navy, executives of the State-owned conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corp as well as the vessel’s designers and construction workers – applauded as they watched the launch process, the statement said, without providing more details about the event.
According to the PLAN, the new class of ship was domestically developed and constructed. It will have a strong capability to carry out amphibious combat and other tasks.
The Chinese navy added that in the next phase, engineers will start outfitting and fine-tuning the vessel’s equipment and then conduct mooring tests and sea trials.
The Chinese Navy officially started in 2011 development work on the Type 075, a helicopter carrier project displacing more than 30,000 tonnes. Its aim is likely to increase the “vertical” amphibious assault capability with the very mountainous East Coast of Taiwan in mind.
As for its specifications, rumors speak of “36,000 tons of displacement”, “capacity of 28 helicopters”, “diesel engine with the 9,000 kW 16PC2-6B” and “four CIWS including two HQ-10 and two H/PJ-11”.
While the Type 075 appears to slightly smaller than the U.S. Navy’s LHA, it is larger compared to French or Spanish/Australian LHD equivalents. It is actually pretty close in size to Italy’s future Trieste LHD.
The first Type 075 was constructed in record time (this has become the norm nowadays, for Chinese shipbuilding: extremely fast construction pace that no one can match). A second vessel of the class is already under construction while a larger version is rumored to be planned.
When fully operational, the new Type 075 LHD will bolster the PLAN’s amphibious capabilities, which today rely on the Type 071 LPD design.
Source: Naval News “China Launches 1st Type 075 LHD for PLAN”
Note: This is Naval News’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
31 July 2019
by Ludovic Ehret with Amber Wang in Taipei
China stepped up pressure on Taiwan on Wednesday as it announced the suspension of individual travel permits to the self-ruled democratic island “due to current cross-strait relations”.
Relations between Communist-ruled Beijing and Taipei have plummeted since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016 because her party refuses to recognise the idea that Taiwan is part of “one China”.
As punishment, Beijing has cut official communications, ramped up military exercises, poached diplomatic allies and ratcheted up economic pressure on the island.
The latest move comes as Taiwan prepares to hold a presidential election in January, with Beijing-friendly candidate Han Kuo-yu of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party hoping to defeat Tsai.
A programme had allowed Chinese citizens in 47 mainland cities to apply for permits to visit Taiwan on their own instead of visiting on group tours.
But the tourism ministry said in a brief statement that their issuance would be suspended from Thursday “due to current cross-strait relations” — a move that could hurt the island’s economy. The statement did not mention any restrictions on group tours.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the island’s top policy-making body on China, issued a statement to “sternly protest and condemn” the move, saying it was done unilaterally.
Tsai’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said that by blocking mainland tourists, “the Chinese Communists act like they are afraid that the Chinese people will experience the sweet fruits of freedom and democracy.”
For his part, Tsai’s rival Han, who is mayor of Kaohsiung, urged China to “not equate” Taiwan’s people with the DPP, his city government said in a statement.
‘Weaponisation of tourism’
Taiwan experienced a sharp drop in mainland tourists after Tsai took office in 2016.
Tourism operators attributed the decline to a more negative portrayal of Taiwan in Chinese media, along with scaled-back promotion of tours by major Chinese travel agencies.
“Since 2016 China has kept using its tourists as a weapon to threaten the DPP,” Tsai’s party said in its statement.
“Taiwan will not bow to such political pressure and Taiwan will open its arms wider to embrace tourists from more countries,” the DPP said.
Mainland arrivals rebounded by around 30 percent in the first half of this year after the KMT won local elections in 2018, according to the Taiwan Visitors Association.
J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based senior fellow with the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington, said Beijing had hoped that the drop in tourism in 2016 would lead to protests against Tsai, but it had not prevented individuals — who tend to be wealthier — from travelling.
“This likely constitutes another round of ‘weaponisation of tourism’ by Beijing to put pressure on the Tsai administration,” Cole told AFP.
“It’s reasonable to conclude that this is meant to add to President Tsai’s challenges as she seeks re-election in January, facing off against an opponent from the KMT who claims he will seek better, closer relations with Beijing and thereby help improve the economy.”
Han is looking to unseat Tsai in a presidential election dominated by relations with China.
Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Chinastill views the island as its territory and has vowed to seize it — by force if necessary.
Han, 62, said in a speech Sunday that the election would be a choice between “peace or crisis” with China.
Tsai, also 62, has described the election as a “fight for freedom and democracy”, setting herself up as someone who can defend Taiwan from an increasingly assertive Beijing.
The Chinese defence ministry issued a white paper last week reiterating Beijing’s willingness to use force to “resolutely defeat anyone attempting to separate Taiwan from China”.
Beijing has also lashed out at Washington over its close ties with Taipei and its plans to sell more weapons to the island.
An American warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait last week. The Chinese military, meanwhile, is holding military exercises southwest and north of Taiwan this week.
Source: HKFP “China halts individual travel to Taiwan”
Note: This is HKFP’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
J-20 now ‘combat-ready’ in PLA’s Eastern Theater Command before US could formally approve F-16 sale
ByK.G. Chan July 29, 2019
Chinese party mouthpieces including the Global Times and PLA Daily have again talked up the might of the J-20, the People’s Liberation Army’s fifth-generation stealth fighter.
They warned that the fighter jet designed for supremacy in the air could fly close to Taiwan to fend off “adversaries from near and far” and reclaim and guard the “Chinese island.”
The warning came after the PLA confirmed the combat-ready deployment of the J-20 in the air wing of the force’s Eastern Theatre Command, a military region headquartered in Nanjing tasked with recapturing Taiwan, which Chinese media often describe as a renegade province that must be put back under Beijing’s rule.
The Eastern Theatre Command encompasses Taiwan and the East China Sea. The distance between Nanjing and Taipei is a little more than 800 kilometers and the J-20 could also be based and serviced on a number of strategically-located airbases in Shanghai, Ningbo and along the coastline of southeastern Fujian province.
A white paper on China’s defense policy published last week also contained a salvo of similar threats: secessionists in Taiwan are the PLA’s bete noire, more so than those troublemakers in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, and the PLA has been ready for a swift takeover of the self-ruled island in the eventuality of a war.
A day after the paper was released, however, a US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait, amid continuing overflights above strategic areas such as the South China Sea.
Stationing the J-20 close to the frontier facing Taiwan would give more substance to Beijing’s protest against Washington’s upcoming sale of 66 F-16V fighters to beef up Taiwan’s air-defense.
The fourth-generation F-16V is seen as “outmoded” and would hardly stand a chance in a dogfight against the more advanced, highly maneuverable J-20, according to the Chinese media.
Previous reports have hinted that one or two J-20s could have already buzzed vessels in the Taiwan Strait close to a tacit line delineating Chinese and Taiwanese airspace.
An F-16 fighter in service with the Taiwanese Army takes off from a highway in Changhua country during an anti-PLA invasion drill. Photo: Reuters
Meanwhile, in Taiwan, some observers have lashed out at President Tsai Ing-wen’s “silly” decision to shell out billions of dollars on the F-16s, a deal that not only irked Beijing but also drew the closer deployment of the J-20 and other PLA assets.
But sources close to the island’s defense ministry noted that Taiwan had first opted for the F-35, arguably the most formidable fifth-generation aircraft from Lockheed Martin, a proposal snubbed by the Pentagon.
The ministry insisted that Taiwan would never sit idle and let itself be bludgeoned into “reunification” with China and that its army had the capabilities to defend itself should hostilities break out in the Taiwan Strait.
Source: Asia Times “China’s J-20 deployed as Taiwan waits for F-16s”
Note: This is Asia Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.