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.


Not Trade War but Real War between US and China


Rex Tillerson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U.S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Rex Tillerson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U.S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

When the US wanted China to respect Hague arbitration ruling to give up China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea, Chinese troops conducted its largest drill there and Chinese navy chief pointed his finger at his US counterpart in his talks with him. Soon afterwards Chinese air force began to conduct combat patrol in the South China Sea especially on the disputed Scarborough Shale.

Now, Reuters says in its report “Trump nominee says China should be denied access to South China sea islands”, “U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing on Wednesday, saying China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.”

What does that mean?

It means the nominee Rex Tillerson wants a real war instead of trade war with China.

The US is preparing for that as it has been sending a squadron of F-35, its most advanced fighter jets, to Japan for the war.

China is not less prepared as it has been stepping up the development, production and deployment its most advanced fighter jet J-20s so that if the US hurts China’s core interests of its rights and interests in the South China Sea, China has to fight. The Chinese ruling party the CCP will become extremely unpopular if it is afraid to fight.

We hope it will be a limited war between the two powers as the US cannot send its army to invade China given China’s huge modern army and US experience of defeat in Korean War. China, on the other hand, is utterly unable to send its army to the US.

China is now able to win the naval war as China’s J-20 is superior to F-35 in a war of defense and China can sink US aircraft carriers with saturate attack of its large number of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles.

What will follow then? Attack China with nuclear weapons in retaliation? That will be the end of human race.

Do Trump and his nominee Rex Tillerson want that?

Let’s hope that Rex Tillerson’s hardline statement is but rhetoric.

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

Trump nominee says China should be denied access to South China sea islands

By David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick | WASHINGTON January 11, 2017

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing on Wednesday, saying China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

In comments expected to enrage Beijing, Rex Tillerson told his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China’s building of islands and putting military assets on those islands was “akin to Russia’s taking Crimea” from Ukraine.

Asked whether he supported a more aggressive posture toward China, he said: “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

The former Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) chairman and chief executive did not elaborate on what might be done to deny China access to the islands it has built up from South China Sea reefs, equipped with military-length airstrips and fortified with weapons.

Tillerson also said Washington needed to reaffirm its commitment to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province, but stopped short of Trump’s questioning of Washington’s long-standing policy on the issue.

“I don’t know of any plans to alter the ‘one China’ position,” he said.

Tillerson said he considered China’s South China Sea activity “extremely worrisome” and that it would be a threat to the “entire global economy” if Beijing were able to dictate access to the waterway, which is of strategic military importance and a major trade route.

He blamed the current situation on what he termed an inadequate U.S. response. “The failure of a response has allowed them just to keep pushing the envelop on this,” Tillerson said.

“The way we’ve got to deal with this is we’ve got to show back up in the region with our traditional allies in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration conducted periodic air and naval patrols to assert the right of free navigation in the South China Sea. These have angered Beijing, but seeking to blockade China’s man-made islands would be a major step further and a step that Washington has never raised as an option.

Tillerson’s words also went beyond Trump’s own tough rhetoric on China.

Obama has sought to forge a united front in Southeast Asia against China’s pursuit of its territorial claims, but some allies and partners who are rival claimants have been reluctant to challenge Beijing.

Tillerson called China’s South China Sea island-building and declaration of an air defense zone in waters of the East China Sea it contests with Japan “illegal actions.”

“They’re taking territory or control, or declaring control of territories that are not rightfully China’s,” he said.

Tillerson also said the United States could not continue to accept “empty promises” China had made about putting pressure on North Korea over that country’s nuclear and missile programs.

He said his approach to dealing with North Korea – which recently declared it is close to carrying out its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile – would be “a long-term plan” based on sanctions and their proper implementation.

Asked if Washington should consider imposing “secondary sanctions” on Chinese entities found to be violating existing sanctions on North Korea, Tillerson said: “If China is not going to comply with those U.N. sanctions, then it’s appropriate … for the United States to consider actions to compel them to comply.”

He accused China of failing to live up to global agreements on trade and intellectual property, echoing past remarks by Trump, who has threatened to impose high, retaliatory tariffs on China. But Tillerson also stressed the “deeply intertwined” nature of the world’s two biggest economies.

“We should not let disagreements over other issues exclude areas for productive partnership,” he said.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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 Moves Abroad Labor-intensive Industries through One Belt One Road


Hambantota deep water port

Sri Lanka’s Hambantota deep water port for China’s One Belt, One Road

Hambantota airport for China's One Belt, One Road

Hambantota airport for China’s One Belt, One Road

There will be quite a few advantages for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Silk Road economic belt and 21-century maritime Silk Road (One Belt, One Road) initiative.

The most important is trade security by establishment of land trade route to Europe through Russia and Central Asia and safer maritime route through Indian Ocean with ports in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The other also very important advantages include:
Finding an outlet for China’s overcapacity in its industries of construction, construction material, energy, transport, etc.;

Exploiting investment opportunities for China’s surplus capital; and

Moving China’s labor-intensive industries through development of infrastructures in the belt to the countries in the Belt where labor and other resources are much cheaper.

Reuters says in its report “Sri Lanka launches China-led investment zone amid protests” that the zone will create 100,000 jobs, which undoubtedly will mostly be jobs in labor-intensive enterprises moved from China.

According to Reuters, China’s port, airport and investment zone make “some countries, including India and the United States, nervous with Sri Lanka’s proximity to shipping lanes through which much of the world’s trade passes en route to China and Japan.

Those are trade passes to China and Japan not US or India, why shall they be nervous?

Anyway, we see from the developments Xi’s wisdom and vision. US president-elect Trump’s threat of a trade war may create difficulties for the export of China’s labor-intensive industrial goods, but Xi has taken a step earlier in building infrastructures abroad for China to move such industries to poor countries for export to the US. Xi has been subduing the US with his wise One Belt One Road strategy before the US starts the trade war.

The best way in military conflict is to subdue the enemy with strategy, the next, with diplomacy, the next, with fighting…                                                                                                                      Sun Tzu

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-china-investment-idUSKBN14R0JG.


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.


US Lacks Weapon, Ammunition in Trade War with China


Reuters’ report “Trump names China critic Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative” gives the impression that with Lighthizer’s track records in stemming the tide of imports from Japan in the 1980s with threats of quotas and punitive tariffs, Trump will win his trade war with China by employing him.

The China now is quite different from the Japan in the 1980s when Japan’s market was much smaller than the US and depended on export to the US for Japan’s economic prosperity.

Chinese market is now much bigger than the US and is expanding fast. China is now switching to relying its own market from its dependence on export.

Reuter says in another report titled “GM’s China vehicle sales rise 7.1 percent year-on-year in 2016” that China has been GM’s top market for five consecutive years. In last December alone, GM sold 434,799 vehicles in China.

Will Trump fight a trade war to cause US companies to lose their major market?

The US is a big market for Chinese goods, but most of Chinese exports are products of low technology that China can easily transfer the production to other Asian countries where labor and land resources are much cheaper.

Does Trump want China to drive away from China popular American soft drinks, fast food, cars, airliners, medicines, mobile phones, etc.? Does he believe that China is unable to produce similar products to fill its domestic market?

Trade war will certainly hurt China but China will enjoy long-term benefit from taking back the parts of its domestic market monopolized by the US.

Without strong weapons and ammunitions, Trump will lose his trade war with China sadly.

I do not think Trump is so stupid as to launch a trade war with China to hurt the US. I believe that Trump will gain from win-win cooperation with China as it is unthinkable that a great nation may have three stupid presidents in a row.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can respectively be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-trade-idUSKBN14N0YA and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-china-sales-idUSKBN14P145.


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.