November 14, 2017 / 1:21 PM / Updated 4 hours ago
Steve Holland, John Ruwitch
MANILA/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting were headed back to the United States on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the case.
Staff for Delta Air Lines Inc confirmed that the players had boarded a Delta flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump told reporters earlier in Manila. He said the trio, who have been held since last week, could have faced long prison sentences, and described Xi’s response as “terrific.”
“They’re working on it right now,” Trump said.
Trump had raised the issue with Xi during a dinner held during the U.S. leader’s Nov. 8 to 10 state visit to Beijing. Trump was in the Philippines capital for a summit of Asian leaders.
Asked about the trio and Trump’s discussing the issue with Xi, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing he was unable to provide any further information.
The three basketball players from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were detained by police on Nov. 7 in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou over allegations of shoplifting. They were not on the team’s return flight to the United States on Saturday.
A senior White House official said the players had been given relatively light treatment due to Trump’s intervention.
“It’s in large part because the president brought it up,” the official told Reuters.
The UCLA team had been in China for a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, which UCLA won 63-60. The teams had traveled to Hangzhou earlier in the week to visit the headquarters of the game’s sponsor, Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
The three students – freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – were taken in for questioning by police about alleged shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store.
They were released from police custody early on Wednesday and had been confined to a luxury hotel pending legal proceedings.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who had not spoken with the three players, said what had occurred was a “very regrettable situation.” Pac-12 is a college athletic conference in which UCLA participates.
“I‘m just glad it’s resolved and that they’re on the way home safely,” he told Reuters by telephone from an Anti-Defamation League Sports Leadership Council event in San Francisco.
Since the matter didn’t occurred on the court, it was up to UCLA whether the players would be punished, Scott said.
Reporting by Steve Holland in Manila and John Ruwitch in Shanghai, additional reporting by Philip Wen in BEIJING; Writing by James Pomfret and Susan Heavey; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Bernadette Baum
Source: Reuters “UCLA players depart China after Trump asked for Xi’s help”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
There is the rumor that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calls US President Donald Trump “moron”. Trump’s success in business proves that he is certainly not a moron so that it is said that Trump challenged Tillerson to an IQ competition.
Trump is certainly not less clever than Tillerson, but Tillerson as a diplomatic professional must be wiser in diplomacy to regard Trump a moron in his profession. There have perhaps been the following conversations between the “non-moron” and “moron”.
Non-moron (referred to as “N” below): You have withdrawn from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and thus scrapped the economic arm the Obama’s pivot to Asia. Do you want to entirely scrap the pivot?
Moron (referred to as “M” below): What good is the pivot to my “America first” for our economic growth and our people’s benefits?
N. But we will lose ASEAN and the South China Sea.
M. We lost ASEAN long ago. Their economic relations with China are much closer than with us. They now even refuse to take side between China and us.
N. What about the Philippines our long-term ally?
M. We lost it long ago when they drove away us by taking back our military bases there.
N. But they need our military protection.
M. Military protection? Forget that! All the countries we protect have been taking advantage of us. We have incurred heavy costs in protecting them, but they are unwilling to share the costs. They have taken advantage of our protection to maintain incredibly low military budgets. What is the result? They are prosperous while we are heavily in debt.
N. But without the pivot we cannot contain China.
M. Why shall we contain China in the first place?
N. If we do not stop its rise, it may one day replace us as world leader.
M. Can we stop China’s rise? No, we simply cannot stop its rise unless we fight a war with it. We will suffer a lot even if we win. China may still rise after the defeat. See Japan and Germany. They rise again after being defeated.
N. Whether China can be contained or not, you have to contain it. Otherwise lots of people will be unhappy. They want us to prevent our world leadership from being taken by China.
M. Since we cannot contain China and keep on declining, we will certainly lose world leadership to China. We simply cannot help that. Instead of containing China, I want to exploit China’s rise. Its expanding market will provide us with lots of opportunities to increase our exports to China. Xi has promised on phone to help us increase export to China.
N. If you fail to do anything to contain China, you may make lots of people unhappy and thus lose votes in the next election. Moreover, our allies and friends in Asia will lose confidence in us.
M. That is perhaps true, but to make our country prosperous, I have to do so.
N. No, we shall keep containing China while exploiting its rise.
M. You call me moron. You are a moron yourself. How can we contain China while exploiting its rise? You are self-contradictory.
N. You are a moron in diplomacy. Diplomacy is always characterized by tricks. Certainly, we have to strive for better relations with China in order to exploit its rise, but we have to keep on containing China. We can do that.
M. How can we do that?
N. That’s why you need me as your secretary of state. We shall replace Obama’s hopeless Asia-Pacific strategy of pivot to Asia with an Indo-Pacific strategy to contain China. Indo-Pacific means both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, much larger than Asia-Pacific. That shows that we are expanding our containment of China to the two oceans. It will certainly please lots of people at home who want to contain China.
Moreover, we will make India, Japan and Australia happy as they are scared by China’s rise. We will conduct drills of the military of us four countries seemingly directed at China, but you will tell Xi by phone the drill is not directed at China. You will be the good guy while I will be the bad guy. That will be the game we will play to satisfy everyone.
M. There seems not enough pressure to make others believe that we are really containing China.
N. We can make that believable. We will supply India with weapons to enable it to have enough military strength in the Indian Ocean to scare China and make that believable. India has the ambition to dominate the Indian Ocean with its geographical advantages and our advanced weapons.
M. Our weapons are very expensive. Can India afford them?
N. India needs our advanced weapons for its security as it feels very much unsafe being sandwiched between China and Pakistan. Therefore, it will dedicate all its available financial resources to the purchase of our advanced weapons. Our Indo-China strategy will not only pit India against China to divert China’s attention but also enable us to make lots of money from sales of weapons.
As a result, the “non-moron” Tillerson gave a speech for US-India alliance in Indo-Pacific titled “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century” at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on October 18. The alliance aims at containing China but Tillerson did not make it directly clear.
CSIS CEO John J. Hamre quoted Tillerson’s words in the speech, “We need to collaborate with India to ensure the Indo-Pacific is increasingly a place of peace, stability, and growing prosperity, so that it does not become a region of disorder, conflict, and predatory economics.” Then he wanted Tillerson to make clear whom the alliance is directed at by asking him “Would you – what do you see as being the example of predatory economics that we should be alert to ourselves, between us?”
Tillerson said in his reply, “We have watched the activities and actions of others in the region, in particular China, and the financing mechanisms it brings to many of these countries, which result in saddling them with enormous levels of debt.”
He made it crystal clear that US alliance with India aims at containing China so as “to ensure the Indo-Pacific is increasingly a place of peace, stability, and growing prosperity”. He has thus played the bad guy that wants to contain China and hinder China’s Belt and Road initiative, accusing the initiative of saddling other countries with enormous level of debt.
Since then, Trump repeatedly mentioned the term “Indo-Pacific” and talked about ensuring peace, stability and growing prosperity there to give the impression that what Tillerson said about Indo-Pacific is his idea to contain China. He has thus pleased lots of people and US allies and friends.
The US Indo-Pacific initiative has made India so excited that it neglects its long-term friend Russia and has even showed US military the advanced nuclear submarine that Russia has rented it. (See Global Times report in Chinese on November 10 titled “租我核潜艇却请美军进入！俄对印度很愤慨 (Rent my nuclear submarine but invite US military to enter the submarine! Russia very much upset by India)” at http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-11/11370855.html.)
However Trump plays the good guy when he visited China to make China believe he wants to be China’s friend. That will enable him to benefit from China’s rise.
Good trick, Indo-Pacific! Make India contain China and profit by weapon sales to India in the course of the containment while the US benefiting from improved relations with China. Wonderful!
Article by Chan Kai Yee
The US instigated the Philippines to file an arbitration case at Hague and enabled the Philippines to obtain an arbitration award to entirely deny China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea. It sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to force China to accept the arbitration but China was not scared. It responded with the resolution to fight a war to defend its rights and interests.
The US had to give up as it does not want a war with China for others’ rights and interests.
Entirely disappointed, Philippine President Duterte sought recovery of friendship with China at the expense of the US.
To contain China with the South China Sea disputes, US hope lies on Vietnam as China has forced it to stop drilling for oil and gas in the disputed waters and thus upset it.
However, Vietnamese media’s good response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s article on Vietnamese Communist Party’s mouthpiece quashed US hope in pitting Vietnam against China.
Seeing that no countries in Southeast China support US stance on enforcing Hague arbitration, US President Trump was wise to quickly change its stance. According to Reuters’ report “Trump offers to mediate on South China Sea” yesterday, the US has now thrown Hague arbitration award to the rubbish bin and offered its mediation or arbitration to resolve South China Sea disputes specifically the disputes between Vietnam and China when Trump met with his Vietnamese counterpart.
Trump’s offer was soon indirectly rejected by Chinese and Vietnamese communist party general secretaries Xi Jinping and Nguyen Phu Trong according to Reuters’ another report “Vietnam, China avoid quarrel over South China Sea during visit” the same day. Since quarrel is to be avoided, there certainly will be no quarrel to be resolved by mediation or arbitration.
There will in fact be no quarrel on disputes in the South China Sea when US President Trump does not interfere just like the time when Trump’s predecessor had not started his interference.
Obama interfered in order to contain China. Does Trump not want to contain China?
I will give an answer in my next post “Non-Moron’s Advice to Moron: Replacing Asia-Pacific with Indo-Pacific”.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ reports, full text of which can respectively be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-asia-vietnam/trump-offers-to-mediate-on-south-china-sea-idUSKBN1DC04H and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-china/vietnam-china-avoid-quarrel-over-south-china-sea-during-visit-idUSKBN1DC0P7.
Alwyn Scott November 9, 2017 / 6:40 PM / Updated 13 hours ago
(Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) said it signed an agreement on Thursday to sell 300 planes to China Aviation Supplies Holding Company worth $37 billion at list prices, one of several deals announced during a state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing.
General Electric Co (GE.N) said it had signed jet engine deals worth $2.5 billion and a $1 billion agreement for power plant equipment and services.
State-run China Aviation Supplies, which leases planes to Chinese airlines, said the Boeing agreement covered 260 B-737s and 40 B-777s and B-787s. The breakdown between firm orders and non-binding commitments was not immediately available.
Analysts said, however, that some of the orders may be among more than 300 from undisclosed buyers posted this year, and it was not clear how much of the China deal was new business.
The new agreement also may overlap substantially with a similar, 300-plane agreement Boeing signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to the United States..
That deal, valued at $38 billion at the time, included orders and commitments for 190 B-737s and 50 Boeing wide-body planes, as well as leases for an additional 60 B-737s.
A spokesman for the planemaker declined to comment on what proportion of the new China agreement represented new or existing orders, but it was believed that some of the orders were already in Boeing’s backlog. Boeing typically lets plane buyers determine what details to reveal about orders.
Boeing shares were down 1.4 percent at $260.30.
Boeing says one out of every four jetliners now rolling off its assembly lines is being delivered to Chinese customers, suggesting Chinese demand is strong, despite vagueness about how many actual Chinese orders it has won.
Plane makers also acknowledge a multi-step wooing process with customers such as China. The government first determines how many airplanes its airlines will need, allowing detailed contract discussions to take place. After talks conclude, the government must give final approval to the contracts before the orders become firm.
Some customers ask Boeing to not identify them as buyers even on firm orders, and China is typically among those, according to industry experts. Boeing had 323 orders by unidentified customers as of Nov. 7, of which 282 were for its 737 narrow body family.
Separately on Thursday, Boeing said it had received orders for 42 B-737 MAX jets and 10 B-787-9 Dreamliners from CDB Aviation, a unit of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co (1606.HK). The order was worth $7.4 billion at list prices.
Boeing and European rival Airbus (AIR.PA) have been jostling for market share in China, the world’s fastest growing aviation market, with both opening assembly plants in the country.
China’s owned aircraft fleet is currently equally split between Boeing and Airbus, but going by order book trends, Boeing seems to have gained a big lead in terms of the number of aircraft orders from China, said Corrine Png, chief executive of transport research firm Crucial Perspective.
China Aviation Supplies has also played a prominent role in deals announced during previous government exchanges.
In July, it agreed to buy 140 aircraft from Airbus in a deal worth $23 billion at list prices during a visit by Xi to Germany. It also was among three Chinese companies involved in the 2015 Boeing order.
Boeing’s latest signing in China follows an order for 39 wide-body jets from Singapore Airlines last month.
Earlier on Thursday, General Electric said it had signed deals worth $3.5 billion in China.
They included a $1.4 billion agreement for GEnx engines for 10 B-787-9 Dreamliners, signed with Juneyao Airlines Co Ltd (603885.SS) and ICBC Leasing, the leasing arm of state bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (601398.SS).
It also included an order valued at $1.1 billion for 80 LEAP engines made by CFM International, a joint venture between GE and Safran SA (SAF.PA) of France.
GE’s power division also signed a partnership agreement with China Datang Group to provide gas- and steam-powered turbines and components, plus services and digital technology for power projects in China. It valued that deal at $1 billion.
A GE spokesperson said its engine orders were new, and deferred to Boeing on how much of aircraft order was new.
Reporting by Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI, Ben Blanchard and Stella Qiu in BEIJING, Additional reporting by Jamie Freed in SINGAPORE and Alwyn Scott in NEW YORK; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Bernadette Baum
Source: Reuters “Boeing signs deal to sell 300 planes worth $37 billion to China”
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 Xi Jinping was so eager to please US President Donald Trump that he treated Trump with a State Visit +, an honor no foreign leader has ever enjoyed in China.
Trump was certainly pleased and said and wrote something in return.
However, SupChina’s report “An ‘incredible welcome ceremony’ for Trump but few results” today described how many US media are upset by such mutual currying of favor as those media have fallen deep in Thucydides Trap and will not be pleased unless the US has done something to effectively contain China or at lease fight a trade war, if no military war, with China.
The report says that there are few results in Trump’s visit in its title.
In fact, there has been tremendous achievement, first of all and most important of which is the two leaders have got mutual understanding that they want win-win cooperation instead of falling into Thucydides Trap.
China and the US have signed deals worth $250 billion. The report says that there are no details. Certainly, if one has taken part in the discussion of such large deals, they certainly know that it takes time for conclusion of contracts for such deals. However, at least, the signing of the deals showed the intention for win-win cooperation.
In the US, a John Pomfret published an open letter to Xi in Washington Post to worn Xi that there are lots of people deeply in Thucydides Trap who want to fight a trade war with China. Perhaps Trump could not stop them or may even be impeached by them and replaced with someone deeply in Thucydides Trap.
There are also quite a few people deeply in Thucydides Trap in China such as Colonel Liu Mingfu, who advocates China’s military rise to replace the US as world number one in his book “China Dream: The Great Power Thinking and Strategic Positioning of China in the Post-American Era”. The book became a bestseller as soon as it was published. It proved that there were lots of Chinese people who have also fallen deep in Thucydides Trap.
China is lucky to have a leader who has the wisdom to see the disaster that Thucydides Trap may bring to both China and US and who has gained the authority as the core of leadership to silence the opposition from the large number of stupid Chinese who have fallen deep into Thucydides Trap.
China’s Xi is prepared for a trade war so that he has launched China’s Belt and Road initiatives to take great risks in investing in poor countries in order to make them rich to be able to buy Chinese goods so that when China has lost US market, those countries will provide substitute market.
That takes time, but it also takes time for Trump’s enemies to remove him, if possible. China is now fully centralized so that Xi, a leader characterized by quick decision and quick action, is able to make and implement decisions quickly. There is no centralized power in the US. Decisions, if ever be possible, are made very slowly. Perhaps, by the time opposition has grown strong enough to remove Trump, with joint efforts Xi and Trump have to a great extent overcome the trade imbalance between the two countries so that no trade war will be necessary or practical.
In addition, by that time, China and Russia may have succeeded in establishing the Asian Union like the EU to enable all those in the Union to grow rich through win-win cooperation.
The US wants to be world leader. Look at the mirror, do you look like a world leader with declining economy, dilapidated infrastructures, disability to control drugs, crimes and flood of illegal immigrants?
In the past, ASEAN regarded the US as its leader, but now it does not want to take side between the US and China. Is US still its leader?
How many countries obey US leadership now?
China shall be regarded by the US as the country among all countries in the world that respects US world leadership the best. Look, what grand welcome China gave to Trump. That is precisely the honor China has ever given to a world leader.
I would like to ask: Will the Americans deep in the Trap be happy if Xi starts a trade war to drive away McDonald’s hamburgers, Kentucky’s chicken, Pizza Huts’ pizzas, Ford and General Motors’ cars, Iphones, Coca-cola and Pepsi’s soft drinks, etc. that are popular in Chinese market due to China’s open-door policy? American companies produce those goods in China so that they are not regarded as US export to China. If the sales of US goods produced in China are taken into account in the trade balance between the US and China, there is no Chinese trade surplus at all in the trade between China and the US.
Are those goods indispensable in China? Are there no alternative sources for those goods in the world?
Stupid people whether Chinese or American are arrogant. That is why they have fallen into Thucydides Trap.
Comment by China Kai Yee on SubChina’s report, full text of which is reblogged below:
An ‘incredible welcome ceremony’ for Trump but few results
Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief
Donald Trump enjoyed his treatment in Beijing. He changed the main image on his Twitter account to a photo of himself and Xi Jinping standing together with their wives, and tweeted the following on November 9:
15:08 Beijing time: President Xi, thank you for such an incredible welcome ceremony. It was a truly memorable and impressive display!
21:58 Beijing time: In the coming months and years ahead I look forward to building an even STRONGER relationship between the United States and China.
Both tweets are accompanied by short videos that are similar in style and content to Xinhua News Agency productions.
What was the result of Trump’s two day stay in Beijing? It’s perhaps best told in a series of headlines, abridged for easy reading:
- Trump praised China and blamed past U.S. administrations for the trade deficit, but while he was having a “beyond terrific” time, human rights lawyers faced harassment and house arrest. —The Guardian
- The American president placed his bets on flattering Xi Jinping, producing no visible structural changes. Trump said he was looking to President Xi Jinping to “do something” about America’s opioid epidemic, but China’s online opioid bazaar is booming. —The New York Times (paywall)
- Air Force One took off from Beijing leaving behind nice optics but few gains on trade or North Korea. The $250 billion worth of deals announced by the U.S. administration feature little of substance — many are “memorandums of understanding…with few details, rather than contracts.” Another example of hype is that the Boeing China order hawked by Trump is said to be mostly old news. —Bloomberg
- Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US ties, Xi Jinping told Trump. —Reuters
- Trump and Xi took no questions at an event on Thursday billed as a news briefing, as the American president cooperated with Beijing’s sweeping efforts to control the message of his heavily choreographed visit. —Associated Press
- Trump has given Xi Jinping a pass on the South China Sea. —Quartz
- While Trump was in Beijing, the People’s Daily reported that China has plans to test launch a Long March rocket in the South China Sea soon, for commercial purposes.
So the visit went smoothly and media reports talk of a bromance between Xi and Trump. But the bros may not be able to maintain the bonhomie:
- The Economist says (paywall) that while Xi and Trump look friendly now, anti-U.S. feeling is stirring in China, and that “the anti-American strain now seems to run from the top of the Chinese state (Messrs Xi and Wang [Huning 王沪宁]) to the bottom (Xinhua and internet trolls).”
•In the Washington Post, John Pomfret has published an open letter to Xi Jinping, which warns that “a backlash is brewing against your country in the United States, and it goes well beyond Trump,” and many of Pomfret’s colleagues, “even those from the Democratic Party, are in complete agreement with Trump’s former aide, Stephen K. Bannon, that the United States is in an economic war with China and that Americans have done far too much to facilitate your nation’s rise.”
SCMP gives full text of Trump’s first tweet from Beijing on his first day in Beijing in its report “Donald Trump tweets from Beijing about his ‘unforgettable afternoon’ with Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan” today as follows:
“On behalf of @FLOTUS Melania and I, THANK YOU for an unforgettable afternoon and evening at the Forbidden City in Beijing, President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan. We are looking forward to rejoining you tomorrow morning!”
I have already reblogged SupChina’s report on Trump’s first day of State Visit + to China. Footages of the visit can be found in YouTube
Obviously, Chinese President Xi Jinping has shown his earnest desire for friendship with the US and got enthusiastic response from US President Donald Trump so that there shall be bright future for US-China ties. However, there are lots of influential Americans falling deep in Thucydides Trap. They are certainly unhappy with Trump and will try their best to change or even remove Trump. We have to wait and see what they can do. Anyway, with his wisdom, Xi will be able to maintain peace even if they have removed Trump.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2119016/trump-tweets-beijing-about-his-unforgettable-afternoon-xi-jinping
By Jeremy Goldkorn
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania spent many hours in Beijing’s Forbidden City on November 8, hosted in grand style by Xi Jinping 习近平 and his wife, Peng Liyuan 彭丽媛.
• The visit included a tea-drinking session, Peking opera performances, and Trump trying to pick up a solid gold antique urn. CCTV has a video.
• Trump’s granddaughter Arabella sang and recited poetry in Mandarin during the tea session.
• The two presidents and their wives dined inside the Forbidden City. CNN says this was the first time a foreign leader has been hosted for dinner at the Forbidden City since 1949.
Coverage worth noting:
There are hundreds of hot takes and commentaries on the visit. Here a few recommendations:
• Veteran journalist and China-watcher Orville Schell is accompanying the Trump team on its tour of Asia, and is writing a diary on ChinaFile. Yesterday’s installment covered the second day of the trip, in South Korea. Schell notes that “President Trump has stuck to the script handed him, done a reasonably good job, and seems to be coming away for our flight to Beijing tomorrow with a deeper conviction than ever of the importance of Japan and Korea to the U.S.’s Asian alliance against not only North Korea, but, in a far less explicit way, China.”
•The New York Times says (paywall) that American business executives are frustrated and expect few outcomes from the visit, which is focused on individual deals rather than long-term trade agreements.
•The Times also has a video (paywall) showing the contrast between Trump’s China-bashing rhetoric and his recent effusive praise of Xi Jinping.
•An announcement from JD.com timed for the Trump visit says the company — China’s second-largest ecommerce player — intends to buy $2 billion worth of American goods, according to Bloomberg.
• Bloomberg also reports that the “White House expects to announce upwards of $250 billion in business deals in China this week,” but that “many of the deals are expected be in the form of nonbinding memorandums of understanding, not contracts.”
• CNBC has the full list of the 29 business executives joining Trump in Beijing.
Source: SupChina “Donald Trump goes to China”
Note: This is SupChina’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.