Trump backs “One China” policy in call with China’s Xi


FILE PHOTO -  Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the guests during a gift handover ceremony at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 18, 2017.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

FILE PHOTO – Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the guests during a gift handover ceremony at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

By Ben Blanchard and Steve Holland | BEIJING/WASHINGTON Fri Feb 10, 2017 | 12:52am EST

U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to honor the longstanding “One China” policy during a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, taking steps to improve ties after angering Beijing by talking to the leader of Taiwan.

Trump further unnerved Beijing over the self-ruled island in December saying the United States did not necessarily have to stick to the policy. The United States has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.

A White House statement said Trump and Xi had a lengthy phone conversation on Thursday night Washington time.

“President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘One China’ policy,” the statement said.

The two leaders had not spoken by telephone since Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing say China had been nervous about Xi being left humiliated in the event a call with Trump went wrong and the details were leaked to the media.

Last week, U.S. ties with staunch ally Australia became strained after the Washington Post published details about an acrimonious phone call between Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The two sides also signaled that with the “One China” issue resolved, they could have more normal relations.

“Representatives of the United States and China will engage in discussions and negotiations on various issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

In a separate statement read out on Chinese state television, Xi said China appreciated Trump’s upholding of the “One China” policy.

“I believe that the United States and China are cooperative partners, and through joint efforts we can push bilateral relations to a historic new high,” the statement cited Xi as saying.

“The development of China and the United States absolutely can complement each other and advance together. Both sides absolutely can become very good cooperative partners,” Xi said.

“EXTREMELY CORDIAL”

China wants cooperation with the United States on trade, investment, technology, energy and infrastructure, as well as strengthening coordination on international matters to jointly protect global peace and stability, Xi said.

“China is proactively dedicated to harmonious coexistence with all countries in the world,” he added.

The White House described the call as “extremely cordial” with both leaders expressing best wishes to their peoples.

“They also extended invitations to meet in their respective countries. President Trump and President Xi look forward to further talks with very successful outcomes,” the White House statement said.

Also In South China Sea
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The call came hours before Trump plays host to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

China has repeatedly said it has smooth contacts with the Trump team. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said last week the two countries were remaining “in close touch”.

That contact has been led by China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister.

Yang told Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, last week that China hopes it can work with the United States to manage and control disputes and sensitive problems.

No issue is more sensitive to Beijing than Taiwan.

The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, but is also Taiwan’s biggest ally and arms supplier and is bound by legislation to help the island defend itself.

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communist forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the island. China has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.

There was little or no mention in either country’s statements of other contentious issues – trade and the disputed South China Sea – and neither matter has gone away.

A U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday that a U.S. Navy P-3 plane and a Chinese military aircraft came close to each other over the South China Sea, though the Navy believes the incident was inadvertent.

China on Friday reported an initial trade surplus of $51.35 billion for January, more than $21 billion of which was with the United States.

Trump broke the ice with Xi earlier in the week in a letter offering belated greetings for last month’s Lunar New Year, a move broadly praised by Chinese state media as a positive sign.

In a front page commentary, the overseas edition of the People’s Daily said the letter was an opening to help manage friction.

“There’s a saying in China – good food is worth waiting for.”

(Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Source: Reuters “Trump backs “One China” policy in call with China’s Xi”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s second aircraft carrier ‘takes shape’: media


China’s second aircraft carrier is “taking shape” after two years and nine months of construction, local media reported, a move likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbors about Beijing’s growing military assertiveness.

Construction of The Shandong, named after a province in China’s east coast, began in 2014, the APP of Shandong television and radio said in a report seen on Tuesday.

The Shandong, China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, is “taking shape”, the report said. It did not give a date for completion or further details.

It was being built in the northeastern port of Dalian, the Defense Ministry has said.

The country’s first aircraft carrier, The Liaoning, was bought from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.

In January 2017 a group of Chinese warships, led by The Liaoning, tested weapons and equipment in the South China Sea in what the Chinese Foreign Ministry described as routine exercises that comply with international law.

The group of warships sailed through waters south of Japan and then rounded east and south of Taiwan in December on their way to the southern Chinese province of Hainan.

But China is years away from perfecting carrier operations similar to those the United States has practised for decades.

The eventual launch of The Shandong would further rattle self-ruled democratic Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, as well as Asian neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam with disputed claims in the South China Sea.

China and Taiwan have been diplomatic and military rivals since 1949 when Nationalist, or Kuomintang, troops lost the Chinese civil war to the Communists on the mainland and fled to the island.

Bilateral trade, investment and tourism have grown significantly in the past three decades, but tensions have been simmering since the island elected President Tsai Ing-wen from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party last year.

China has vowed to attack if the island declared de jure independence.

(Reporting by Judy Hua and Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: Reuters “China’s second aircraft carrier ‘takes shape’: media”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Count Your Wallet before You Bet


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari greets China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian during their visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria January 11, 2017. REUTERS/ Stringer

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari greets China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian during their visit to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria January 11, 2017. REUTERS/ Stringer

In its report “Nigeria trims ties with Taiwan as it courts China”, Reuters says, “Taiwan objected on Thursday to an ‘unreasonable’ Nigerian request to move its representative office out of the capital Abuja, a day after China announced plans to invest a further $40 billion in the African country.”

Obviously, China is using its huge financial resources to put diplomatic pressure on Taiwan.

Reasonable or unreasonable, China has the financial resources to do so while Taiwan does not have the financial resources to fight back.

US president-elect Donald Trump seems willing to help Taiwan, but being heavily in debt, does the US has the resources to counter that?

Count your wallet before you bet!

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

Nigeria trims ties with Taiwan as it courts China

Taiwan objected on Thursday to an “unreasonable” Nigerian request to move its representative office out of the capital Abuja, a day after China announced plans to invest a further $40 billion in the African country.

The protest highlighted Taiwan’s frustration with Beijing’s use of diplomatic and economic power to isolate it internationally. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had been asked to move the office, which handles business affairs, to the former capital Lagos.

It urged Nigeria to reconsider, saying: “The foreign ministry seriously objects and condemns the unreasonable actions by the Nigerian government.”

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations and to be taken back by force if necessary. The sensitivity of the issue was underlined last month when China protested after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump accepted a congratulatory phone call from the president of the island.

On Wednesday, after meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Abuja, Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama was quoted by state news agency NAN as saying: “Taiwan will not have any diplomatic representation in Nigeria and also they will be moving to Lagos, to the extent that they function as a trade mission with a skeletal staff.”

NAN quoted Wang as saying China planned to invest $40 billion in Nigeria, in addition to current projects already worth more than that amount.

A statement on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website said the two sides had agreed to stick to Beijing’s “one China” policy, that Taiwan is a part of China.

Nigeria’s presidency issued a statement on Thursday in which it said media reports that Nigeria had cut ties with Taiwan were incorrect.

“The correct position is that the official relationship between Nigeria and Taiwan has been at the level of trade representation and this has not changed from what it used to be,” said a statement by the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu.

The emailed statement did not refer to Taiwan being asked to move its Abuja office.

Taiwan has 21 formal allies, only two in Africa. Last month, former African ally Sao Tome switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.

In countries with which Taiwan has no formal diplomatic relations it often sets up trade and commerce offices, in capitals and major cities.

While economic ties between the mainland and Taiwan have grown considerably in recent years, their relations have worsened since Tsai Ing-wen, who heads a pro-independence party, was elected president of the island last year.

(Reporting by Damon Lin and J.R. Wu; Additional reporting by Paul Carsten and Felix Onuah in Abuja; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

Note: This is Reuters report I reblog here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Chinese state tabloid warns Trump, end one China policy and China will take revenge


By Brenda Goh and J.R. Wu | SHANGHAI/TAIPEI Mon Jan 9, 2017 | 10:25am EST

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would “take revenge” if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan’s president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met senior U.S. Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Tsai will stop in San Francisco on Jan. 13, her way back to Taiwan.

China had asked the United States not to allow Tsai to enter or have formal government meetings under the one China policy.

Beijing considers self-governing Taiwan a renegade province ineligible for state-to-state relations. The subject is a sensitive one for China.

A photograph tweeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott shows him meeting Tsai, with a small table between them adorned with the U.S., Texas and Taiwanese flags. Tsai’s office said on Monday she also spoke by telephone with U.S. senator John McCain, head of the powerful Senate Committee on Armed Services. Tsai also met Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“Sticking to (the one China) principle is not a capricious request by China upon U.S. presidents, but an obligation of U.S. presidents to maintain China-U.S. relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific,” said the Global Times editorial on Sunday. The influential tabloid is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.

Trump triggered protests from Beijing last month by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai and questioning the U.S. commitment to China’s position that Taiwan is part of one China.

“If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining,” said the Global Times.

Cruz said some members of Congress had received a letter from the Chinese consulate asking them not to meet Tsai during her stopovers.

“The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves,” Cruz said in a statement. “This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend.”

Cruz said he and Tsai discussed upgrading bilateral relations and furthering economic cooperation between their countries, including increased access to Taiwan markets that would benefit Texas ranchers, farmers and small businesses.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Monday urged “relevant U.S. officials” to handle the Taiwan issue appropriately to avoid harming China-U.S. ties.

“We firmly oppose leaders of the Taiwan region, on the so-called basis of a transit visit, having any form of contact with U.S. officials and engaging in activities that interfere with and damage China-U.S. relations,” Lu said.

In a dinner speech Saturday to hundreds of overseas Taiwanese, Tsai said the United States holds a “special place in the hearts of the people of Taiwan” and that the island via bilateral exchanges has provided more than 320,000 jobs directly and indirectly to the American people, her office said on Monday.

Tsai said Taiwan looked to create more U.S. jobs through deeper investment, trade and procurement.

Tsai’s office said James Moriarty, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, which handles U.S.-Taiwan affairs in the absence of formal ties, told the Taiwan president in Houston that the United States was continuing efforts to persuade China to resume dialogue with Taiwan.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of the island.

The Global Times, whose stance does not equate with government policy, also targeted Tsai in the editorial, saying that the mainland would likely impose further diplomatic, economic and military pressure on Taiwan, warning that “Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes”.

“It should also impose military pressure on Taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force, so as to effectively affect the approval rating of the Tsai administration.”

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, J.R. Wu in Taipei, and Michael Martina in Beijing; Editing by Michael Perry, Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “Chinese state tabloid warns Trump, end one China policy and China will take revenge”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China Considering Strong Measures To Contain Taiwan: Report


Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen arrives before an interview in Luque, Paraguay, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrives before an interview in Luque, Paraguay, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

“If Trump challenges ‘one China’ after becoming president, this would cross our red line.”

China’s military has become alarmed by what it sees as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s support of Taiwan and is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence, sources with ties to senior military officers said.

Three sources said one possibility being considered was conducting war games near the self-ruled island that China considers as a breakaway province. Another was a series of economic measures to cripple Taiwan.

It was not clear whether any decisions had been taken, but the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Taiwan issue had become a hot topic within the upper echelons of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in recent weeks.

Trump, due to take office on Jan 20, angered Beijing this month by speaking to Taiwan’s president by telephone, breaking decades of precedent and casting doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy. Beijing fears this could embolden supporters of independence in Taiwan.

“If Trump challenges ‘one China’ after becoming president, this would cross our red line,” said another source, who has ties to China’s leadership.

China’s defense ministry declined to comment. An official at the ministry’s news department said China’s position was clearly laid out in the 2005 Anti-Secession Law, which authorizes the use of force against Taiwan in the event China judges it to have seceded.

Asked about any possible aggressive moves from China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-shi said: “We are fully prepared, and plan for the worst while preparing for the best.”

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its sacred and inviolable territory and is deeply suspicious of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose ruling Democratic Progressive Party espouses the island’s independence. Tsai, who took power this year, says she wants to maintain peace with China, but China is unconvinced.

Tsai said on Saturday that Taiwan will be “calm” when facing issues to do with China, but uncertainties next year will test the self-ruled island and its national security team.

Beijing has also been angered by a trip planned by Tsai in January to Latin America in which she will transit through Houston and San Francisco. China has urged the United States to block the stopovers.

Chinese officials have blamed Taiwan for creating trouble rather than Trump, and many of them believe he will be more accommodating to China once in office.

“We’re ready. If Taiwan wants to make trouble so can we. Let’s hit them hard,” said an official in Beijing who meets regularly with China’s most senior military officers, including those who work directly with President Xi Jinping.

“We can hold exercises close to Taiwan, and show them the damage we could cause. Taiwan will have to give in then,” the official added, citing a recent conversation with one of the military officers.

ONE CHINA POLICY

The United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, but it’s unclear if the United States would send troops in the event of war between China and Taiwan.

Washington also acknowledges Beijing’s position that there is only one China and Taiwan is its territory.

A retired senior officer who maintains contacts with the PLA told Reuters that China probably wouldn’t need to fire any missiles to bring Taiwan to its knees. China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner, and Taiwan runs a huge trade surplus with China, worth $27 billion in 2015.

“We can just cut them off economically. No more direct flights, no more trade. Nothing. Taiwan would not last long,” the officer said. “There would be no need for war.”

In addition, any Western economic blockade of China put in place in the event of war with Taiwan would also be damaging to China, already dealing with a slowing economy.

A U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Chinese actions had been more provocative in the past month, since Trump won the U.S. election and made comments about Taiwan.

This month, a Chinese naval flotilla headed by its sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, took part in drills that took it around Taiwan.

Chinese air force jets have performed similar drills in recent weeks, flying close to the island, though China has officially called the air force and naval exercises routine.

China also scored a diplomatic victory when tiny Sao Tome and Principe switched recognition to Beijing from Taiwan.

(Additional reporting by J.R. Wu in Taipei and David Brunnstrom and Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: Huffington Post “China Considering Strong Measures To Contain Taiwan: Report”

Note: This is Huffington Post’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Taiwan Feels the Threat of Chinese Aircraft Carrier’s Drill around It


China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea in this undated photo taken December, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea in this undated photo taken December, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

China has been unhappy since the pro-independence Tsai Ing-wen was elected Taiwan president and Tsai’s refusal to accept the one-China 1992 Consensus.

It has been bringing political, economic and military pressure on Taiwan.

US President-elect Trump helped China to aggravate the tension China wants with his telephone talks with Tsai. China now has better excuse to threaten Taiwan with its military force.

First, Chinese warplanes cruised around Taiwan and then China’s only aircraft carrier battle group sails around Taiwan.

Reuters says in its report “China says aircraft carrier testing weapons in South China Sea drills”, “Taiwan’s defence minister warned at the time that ‘the threat of our enemies is growing day by day’”.

Worried, Taiwan media have speculated that the carrier could sail north up the median line of the Taiwan Strait to threaten Taiwan on its way to its home port of Qingdao.

Taking Taiwan by force will give rise to aftermath difficult to deal with but economic pressure and creation of tension will cause grave difficulties to Taiwan economy and enable the pro-Beijing KMT to come to power in Taiwan in the next presidential election.

That is China’s wise strategy. Trump is helping China with his telephone talk and other moves that encourage Taiwan independence.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-carrier-taiwan-idUSKBN14O0ZX.


Vietnam Pleases China by Sending Taiwanese Fraudsters to China


Quite a few media are fond of describing Vietnam as China’s enemy due to the disputes over South China Sea between Vietnam and China, but Vietnam’s action reported by Reuters today in sending Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects to China in spite of Taiwan’s objection shows that Vietnam does not entertain such serious hostility as those media desire.

Poor media, they cannot transfer their hostility against China onto Vietnam. However, they have not to be sad about lots of countries’ respect of the one-China doctrine. They still has the hope that US president-elect Trump will discard that doctrine and cause serious confrontation between the US and China. Some of them are so bold as to predict a war between the two countries.

However, I do not think Trump is so stupid as to hurt US interests by hurting China’s. As far as I know, he is a shrewd businessman and will attach great importance to US interests. He must be aware that win-win cooperation with China will be much better than confrontation.

Two stupid presidents in a row have caused enough troubles to the US. I hope that they will not be followed by a third one even stupider.

Comment on Reuter’s report, full text of which is reblogged below:
Taiwan objects to deportation of telecom fraud suspects from Vietnam to China

Tue Jan 3, 2017 | 10:05am EST

Taiwan on Tuesday strongly objected to the deportation from Vietnam to China of four Taiwanese nationals suspected of telecommunications fraud, saying the move was carried out under pressure from Beijing.

The latest deportation followed a series of similar cases this year where Taiwanese nationals in Kenya, Malaysia, Armenia and Cambodia have been arrested for alleged involvement in cross-border telecom scam groups and sent to China.

The deportations arose from the “one-China” policy of most countries under which they maintain formal relations only with the People’s Republic of China rather than Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing regards as a renegade province.

The four suspects, along with one Chinese national, were arrested in the northern Vietnamese city of Haiphong in December. Despite repeated requests from Taiwan envoys in Vietnam to have the four deported to Taiwan, they were “forcibly” sent to China, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.

“China said that in this case the victims were mostly in China and demanded Vietnam to repatriate all of the suspects to China (based on a bilateral legal treaty), obstructing our efforts to understand the case and visit the Taiwanese suspects,” it said in a statement.

Taiwan’s China policymaker, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), urged Beijing on Tuesday to open dialogue as soon as possible, saying its actions were unhelpful in tracing the source of the cross-border fraud groups and affected mutual trust in joint Chinese-Taiwanese crime-fighting efforts.

China has suspended dialogue with Taipei since June, a month after pro-independence Thai Ing-wen took office as Taiwan’s president, because Tsai has refused to accept Beijing’s “one China” principle that deems Taiwan a part of China.

According to MAC officials, there are over 200 Taiwanese suspected of telecom fraud who have been deported from third countries to China this year.

Chinese authorities have sought to contain an explosion of telecom crime it says has led to huge financial losses, with callers often impersonating officials or authority figures and preying on the elderly, students or the unemployed.

The fraud has spread overseas, with Chinese speakers recruited in neighboring self-ruled Taiwan increasingly setting up operations in East Africa or Southeast Asia.

(Reporting by J.R. Wu; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Note: This is Reuters report I reblogged here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.