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’s Xi says won’t let anyone make ‘fuss’ about its territory


A picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a billboard behind soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army marching during a training session for a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, at a military base in Beijing, China, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a billboard behind soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army marching during a training session for a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, at a military base in Beijing, China, August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

China will never allow anyone to “make a great fuss” about its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, President Xi Jinping said in his New Year’s address, while China’s top official in charge of Taiwan ties warned of risk ahead in 2017.

China’s increasingly assertive moves to push its territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, including building artificial islands, has unnerved its neighbors.

“We adhere to peaceful development, and resolutely safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” Xi said, in comments carried by state media late on Saturday.

“Chinese people will never allow anyone to get away with making a great fuss about it,” he said, without elaborating.

China claims most of the South China Sea. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

While Xi made no direct mention of self-ruled Taiwan, aside from extending New Year’s greetings to them, the head of China’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office in his New Year’s message said that 2017 would see uncertainty.

“Looking ahead to 2017, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is complex and serious, and the development of relations are facing many uncertain factors and risk,” Zhang Zhijun said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China hopes that people on both sides can show resolve and courage, to ensure the “correct direction” of the peaceful development of ties and work to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, he added.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday that Taiwan will be “calm” when dealing with China, but uncertainties in 2017 will test the island and its national security team, even as she recommitted to maintaining peace.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump angered China last month when he spoke to Tsai in a break with decades of precedent and cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

China’s military has become alarmed by what it sees as 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.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: “China’s Xi says won’t let anyone make ‘fuss’ about its territory”

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


Taiwan announces U.S. itinerary for president, upsetting China


Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen waves her hand as she boards the nation's first domestically built Tuo Jiang twin-hull stealth missile corvette at Suao Naval Base in Yilan, Taiwan June 4, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen waves her hand as she boards the nation’s first domestically built Tuo Jiang twin-hull stealth missile corvette at Suao Naval Base in Yilan, Taiwan June 4, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

By J.R. Wu | TAIPEI Fri Dec 30, 2016 | 6:29pm EST

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will transit through Houston and San Francisco during a January visit to allies in Latin America, her office said Friday, prompting China to repeat a call for the United States to block any such stopover.

Tsai’s office declined to comment on whether she would be meeting members of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s team, but the U.S. mission in Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said the visit would be “private and unofficial”.

Trump angered China when he spoke to Tsai this month in a break with decades of precedent and cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

An adviser to Trump’s transition team said he thought “further high-level engagement for the foreseeable future is unlikely” when asked if any meetings were planned. The adviser did not want to be identified by name.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations.

China’s Foreign Ministry repeated a previous call for the United States not to allow the transit and not send any “wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces”.

“We think everyone is very clear on her real intentions,” the ministry said, without explaining.

The United States, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan is part of it.

Tsai is transiting through the United States on her way to and from visiting Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. She will leave Taiwan on Jan. 7 and return on Jan. 15.

Tsai will arrive in Houston on Jan. 7 and leave the following day. On her return, she will arrive in San Francisco on Jan. 13, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang told a regular news briefing.

The AIT said the transit did not contradict the “one China” policy.

“President Tsai’s transit through the United States is based on long-standing U.S. practice and is consistent with the unofficial nature of our relations with Taiwan,” Alys Spensley, acting AIT spokeswoman, told Reuters.

“There is no change to the U.S. ‘one China’ policy,” she added.

Spensley said Tsai’s transits would be “private and unofficial”. The U.S. State Department said AIT chairman Ambassador James Moriarty would greet Tsai in Houston and San Francisco.

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.

Speaking to members of China’s largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said next year China would make “unremitting efforts” at unification and developing peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait, state news agency Xinhua said.

Taiwan had as many as 30 diplomatic allies in the mid-1990s, but now has formal relations with 21, mostly smaller and poorer nations in Latin America and the Pacific and also including the Vatican.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and James Dalgleish)

Source: Reuters “Taiwan announces U.S. itinerary for president, upsetting 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.


China warns U.S. against allowing stopover for Taiwan’s Tsai


Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks on the phone with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at her office in Taipei, Taiwan, in this handout photo made available December 3, 2016. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks on the phone with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at her office in Taipei, Taiwan, in this handout photo made available December 3, 2016. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS

By J.R. Wu | TAIPEI Thu Dec 29, 2016 | 4:56am EST

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will pass through the United States when she visits Latin America next month, the Taiwan Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, angering China which urged the United States to block any such stopover.

China is deeply suspicious of Tsai, who it thinks wants to push for the formal independence of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province, ineligible for state-to-state relations.

Details of the stopovers will be disclosed before the end of this week, the ministry said.

China said Tsai’s intentions were clear and urged the United States not to let her in.

“We hope the U.S. can abide by the ‘one China’ policy…and not let her pass through their border, not give any false signals to Taiwan independence forces, and through concrete actions safeguard overall U.S. China relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan strait,” Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told a briefing in Beijing.

The transit details are being closely watched as Taiwan media has speculated Tsai will seek to meet President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team ahead of his January 20 inauguration.

Trump angered China when he spoke to Tsai this month in a break with decades of precedent and cast doubt on his incoming administration’s commitment to Beijing’s “one China” policy.

The United States, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan is part of it.

China’s sole aircraft carrier, accompanied by several warships, sailed close to Taiwan this week, which followed on from air force exercises also close to Taiwan.

Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun repeated that the drills were routine, but added that such drills did have Taiwan in mind.

“The military’s holding of exercises is beneficial to raising our ability to oppose Taiwan independence and protecting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and beneficial to protecting the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations and peace and stability there,” he told reporters.

Tsai’s office earlier this month said she would visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador in that order. She will leave Taiwan on Jan. 7 and return on Jan. 15.

Taiwan had as many as 30 diplomatic allies in the mid-1990s, but now has formal relations with just 21, mostly smaller and poorer nations in Latin America and the Pacific and including the Vatican.

The American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy of the United States, had no immediate comment on Tsai’s itinerary.

(Additional reporting by Jake Spring and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: Reuters “China warns U.S. against allowing stopover for Taiwan’s Tsai”

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


PLA Air Force to Keep on Patrol of East, South China Seas


Chinese H-6K bomber warplanes conducting regular combat patrol of South China Sea

Chinese H-6K bomber warplanes conducting regular combat patrol of South China Sea

I really wonder why the Philippines and Australia are worried by China’s deployment of defensive weapons on its artificial islands according to Reuters’ report today “China defends its right to ‘ready slingshot’ in South China Sea” that I reblogged less than an hour ago.

Does the Philippines or Australia want to attack China’s artificial islands?

If they want to worry, they have to worry about Chinese air force’s training in and patrol of the South China Sea. As China’s H-6K bombers are patrolling the sea fully armed, they may attack the Philippines or Australia at any time if they have received such orders.

SCMP says in its report “PLA air force vows to continue training and patrols over East and South China seas”, “The mainland Chinese air force said on Thursday it would continue training and patrols in the air space over the East and South China seas, following recently intensified drills that have rattled Taiwan and Japan.”

“Such flights have became more frequent since a telephone call between Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen and US president-elect Donald Trump on December 2,” says the report. Obviously, China is exploiting Trump’s use of Taiwan as a bargaining chip to pressure Taiwan and enhance tension to scare away the investment that Taiwan urgently needs.

A shrewd US president will soon replace stupid Obama. It is interesting to watch the competition of shrewdness between Trump and China’s Xi.

So far Xi is the winner. He is exploiting Trump’s trick to create difficulties for Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in improving Taiwan economy. If Tsai fails to improve economy, she will lose to pro-Beijing KMT in the next presidential election.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2054845/pla-air-force-vows-continue-training-and-patrols-over.


Both Trump and China’s Xi gain in Graver Tension across Taiwan Strait


Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks on the phone with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at her office in Taipei, Taiwan, in this handout photo made available December 3, 2016.   Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks on the phone with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at her office in Taipei, Taiwan, in this handout photo made available December 3, 2016. Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Trump is regarded as inexperienced in diplomacy when he questioned US one-China policy. There is fear that China may, therefore, take Taiwan by force. China’s military threat is real and it has sent fighter jets to fly around Taiwan.

Reuters says in its report “U.S. urges Taiwan to increase defense spending given China threat” yesterday, “Defense spending in Taiwan has not kept pace with the threat posed by China and should be increased, a senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday, days after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump touched off a storm by questioning American policy over the island.”

The US official meant that Taiwan should buy more weapons. That will certainly enable US weapon producers to make more money as the US is Taiwan’s only weapon supplier.

Trump need not send US troops to heighten tension across Taiwan Strait. A few words are quite enough. China will respond with military threat at Taiwan and Taiwan has to buy more US weapons resulting in Taiwan having less funds to seek economic growth.

China will, on the other hand, greatly reduce its preferential treatments for Taiwan to aggravate Taiwan’s economic difficulty while the tension caused by Trump and China will scare investors away and cause them to refrain from investing in Taiwan or even withdraw their investment. Taiwan’s economic difficulties may cause pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen to lose the next presidential election to pro-Beijing KMT. Peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue will be facilitated by the KMT if its is in power.

Some analysts are afraid that Trump’s hawkish words may encourage Tsai to declare Taiwan independence. Is Tsai so stupid when she is not sure that the US will support and succeed in supporting Taiwan independence? She must have the common sense that China is much more important than Taiwan for the US. The US only wants to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip. It has no intention to fight a war with China for Taiwan as it will gain nothing in the war even if it wins the war.

Therefore, China’s Xi will laugh in his sleeve at Trump’s use of Taiwan as a bargaining chip as it helps Xi in his efforts for a peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be found at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan-defense-idUSKBN1422TT.