News Updates

8 July - 16 July, 2019
  • Trade war to drag on as Trump says long way to go and China strikes hard-line tone
    The U.S. and China have restarted their trade talks, but signs are showing a comprehensive deal could be a long way off, if it happens at all. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that there’s still a long way to go to reach a deal with China, threatening to slap tariffs on another $325bn of Chinese goods. (CNBC, July 16 2019)
  • China GDP growth slows to 27-year low as trade war bites, more stimulus seen
    Workers are seen at a production line manufacturing tyres at a factory in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China on April 28, 2019. — Reuters China's economic growth slowed to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter, its weakest pace in at least 27 years, as demand at home and abroad faltered in the face of mounting United States trade pressure. (Dawn, July 15, 2019)
  • China Protests Possible $2 Billion U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan
    China denounced a possible U.S. weapons sale to Taiwan as a violation of international law, after the State Department approved a weapons package including tanks, missiles and other armaments for the island. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the country had lodged “stern representations” with the U.S. and urged it to immediately withdraw the sale. His comments came in response to a Pentagon statement Monday announcing the State Department’s determination and saying the sale would help Taiwan “maintain a credible defensive capability.” (Bloomberg, July 9, 2019)
  • Thousands back on Hong Kong streets to keep up pressure
    Protests' focus veers from extradition bill to broader issues increasing tension between HK people and mainland Chinese. Tens of thousands of people have again rallied in Hong Kong, in their latest effort to grow their protest movement against what they see as mainland China's growing influence on the semiautonomous territory. (Aljazeera, July 15, 2019)
  • Hong Kong leader says extradition bill is dead, but critics unconvinced
    Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the extradition bill that sparked the Chinese-ruled city’s biggest crisis in decades is dead and that government work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics accused her of playing with words. (July 9, 2019, Reuters)
  • Pentagon condemns ‘truly disturbing’ Chinese missile tests in South China Sea
    The Pentagon called the continued Chinese militarization of the South China Sea “truly disturbing” on the heels of a CNBC and NBC News report. Over the weekend, the Chinese carried out an anti-ship ballistic missile test and fired at least one missile into the South China Sea. Home to more than 200 specks of land, the South China Sea serves as a gateway to global shipping routes where $3.4 trillion of trade passes annually. (CNBC, July 3, 2019)
  • Donald Trump accuses China of ‘letting us down’ by not keeping G20 promise to buy US farm goods
    US president says Beijing had agreed to buy more agricultural products as part of trade war ceasefire. But data released by US Department of Agriculture shows China actually slowed purchases of American agriculture products following meeting with Xi Jinping. (South China Morning Post, China, July 12, 2019)
  • China poses top threat for decades ahead, says General Mark Milley, Donald Trump’s pick to head Joint Chiefs of Staff
    China learned to fight more effectively by watching American wars in Middle East, candidate for top military adviser tells US lawmakers. Top general says Chinese military ‘went to school’ on US and is mimicking its military doctrines and organisations. China may remain the “primary threat” to the US military for as long as a century after learning how to fight more effectively by watching American wars in the Middle East, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. (South China Morning Post, China, July 12, 2019)
  • China assures foreign firms amid tensions
    The Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that there is no massive withdrawal of foreign investment from China, and vowed that the country will firmly protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign enterprises in the country. (People’s Daily, China, July 12, 2019)
  • U.S. attempts to play off Taiwan against China will be in vain
    Facing the U.S. State Department’s approval of the sales of a package of weapons worth $2.22 billion to Taiwan on July 8, China expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition. The move of the U.S. has seriously violated the international law, the basic norms of international relations, the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. In addition, it is a flagrant interference in China’s domestic affairs that harms China’s sovereignty and security interests, poisons the development of military relations between China and the U.S., and gravely undermines the cross-strait relations and the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. (Global Times, China, July 12, 2019)
  • China-Turkey ties revolve around Xinjiang
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to China on July 2 revived some confidence in the Turkish stock market and led to an uptick in the value of a weakening lira. In Beijing, Erdogan met with President Xi Jinping. Erdogan's whirlwind visit not only led to a snapback in bilateral ties after remarks on Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region made by a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman had soured relations, but also marked political consensus between China and Turkey on a deeper level of understanding. (Global Times, China, July 9, 2019)
  • India support crucial for BCIM economic corridor
    China and Bangladesh have agreed to advance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but in order to reach its full potential in the region, it will need support from New Delhi. Bangladesh's geographical location is attractive to investors. The country holds an important geopolitical position along the BRI, making it a springboard to Indian markets. Last week, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid an official visit to Beijing, reaffirming the country's intent to push forward the BRI and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor. (Global Times, China, July 9, 2019)
  • EU-Vietnam free trade agreement won’t affect China’s ties to its Southeast Asian neighbor
    In recent years, Vietnam has signed bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with a number of economies or economic unions. On June 30, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement were officially inked in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. Hanoi views the deal as an important milestone for its global trade. (Global Times, China, July 9, 2019)
  • West can’t fool Chinese on human rights
    Some Western countries have increased their attacks on China's human rights affairs. Their focus is still on the old issues involving dissidents and the Xinjiang question. The West's accusation has never considered the livelihood of most of the Chinese people. They overlook the core part of China's human rights issue and defend very few Chinese people's freedom of political confrontation. In addition, they point a finger at China's governance in Xinjiang. (Global Times, China, July 9, 2019)
  • US trade war top threat to multilateral system
    Even as the world is worried about the US trade war with China and other countries, there is another potentially consequential commercial battle brewing between two other major economies in Asia. Tensions between South Korea and Japan are running high, after Tokyo vowed to impose new restrictions on high-technology exports to South Korean companies, citing "significantly undermined" bilateral trust. The move has drawn harsh criticism from Seoul, where President Moon Jae-in warned on Monday that South Korea will retaliate if Japan carries out the curbs. (Global Times, China, July 12, 2019)
  • 22 nations biased on governance of Xinjiang
    Eighteen European countries, plus Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand sent an open letter on Wednesday to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) president. They recklessly attacked China's governance of Xinjiang, smearing Xinjiang's vocational education and training centers as "large-scale places of detention." These countries requested that the letter become an official document of the ongoing 41st session of the UNHRC. (Global Times, July 11, 2019)
1 July - 7 July, 2019
  • US should start manipulating the dollar, Donald Trump says, accusing China and Europe of playing ‘big currency manipulation game’
    US President Donald Trump accused China and Europe of playing a “big currency manipulation game” and said the United States should match that effort – a move that directly contradicts official US policy not to manipulate the dollar’s value to gain trade advantages. (South China Morning Post, China July 4, 2019)
  • China’s ‘disturbing’ missile tests contradict vow not to militarise South China Sea, says US
    Launch undermines claim to want peace in the region and is designed to intimidate other claimants of the disputed waters, Pentagon says Chinese government had warned ships not to enter area between Spratly and Paracel islands for five days while military drills took place. (South China Morning Post, China July 4, 2019)
  • South China Sea missile tests aimed at boosting Beijing’s bargaining power, analysts say
    By test-firing anti-ship ballistic missiles in the South China Sea over the weekend, Beijing was flexing its military muscle and boosting its bargaining power ahead of the next round of negotiations with the United States, analysts said. (South China Morning Post, China July 4, 2019)
  • All eyes on Huawei ban as US and China try to break trade war deadlock
    Beijing wants to see if Washington will ease supply restrictions on Chinese tech giant before it commits to buying American soybeans, source says Amid confusion on both sides, fragile truce could ‘fail immediately’ if no movement on tech embargo. (South China Morning Post, China, July 5, 2019)
  • China insists US must remove all trade war tariffs as part of deal, says commerce ministry spokesman
    US President Donald Trump previously said that he wanted some tariffs to remain in place for a ‘substantial period of time’, even extending beyond any agreement Washington also urged to fulfil its promise made at the G20 summit to allow American firms to resume selling products to telecommunications firm Huawei. (South China Morning Post, China, July 5, 2019)
  • China raises alert for Malacca Strait as regional tensions threaten global shipping lines
    The Chinese government has raised the security level for its ships passing through the Strait of Malacca to the highest level, Level 3, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) told the Global Times on Thursday, as tensions in the Middle East cast dark clouds over global strategic shipping lines. The ministry advised that starting at 10 pm Beijing time on Tuesday, Chinese vessels heading toward the Strait of Malacca, one of the world's busiest trade waterways, should take precautionary security measures to ensure their navigational safety. (Global Times, China, July 5, 2019)
  • China and Bangladesh agree to expand BRI cooperation
    China and Bangladesh agreed on a series of bilateral cooperation documents in fields including investment, water resources, culture and tourism on Wednesday in Beijing, witnessed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. (Global Times, China, July 5, 2019)
  • All additional US tariffs must end if trade deal reached, says China's Commerce Ministry
    China said that all additional US tariffs will have to be removed if there is to be a trade deal between China and the US.
    At a press briefing, Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), emphasized the importance of equality, mutual benefit and two-way balance in the negotiations. (Global Times, China, July 5, 2019)
  • India faces setbacks if it shuns Huawei in 5G era
    Principal scientific adviser to the Indian Government K Vijay Raghavan seems to hope India can suffer more setbacks in the development of 5G wireless communication. Setbacks can teach India, make the nation stronger, he seemingly believes. (Global Times, China, July 5, 2019)
  • Sino-US trade talks expected to resume next week
    China is unlikely to soften its position on issues concerning its core interests in upcoming consultations with the United States, experts said, as both countries are reportedly looking to resume talks sometime next week.
    Following the top leaders' meeting at the G20 summit last month, Reuters reported that top representatives of the US and China are planning an imminent return to the negotiating table to try to resolve their trade differences. (People’s Daily, China, July 6, 2019)
  • Taiwan separatists warned against helping HK secessionists
    Experts warned secessionists from the island of Taiwan to abandon their illusion of colluding with secessionists from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) to justify their separatist actions and attempt to subvert the "one country, two systems" framework for national reunification. (Global Times, China, July 4, 2019)
  • China denies US accusations of South China Sea missile tests
    US official says China appeared to have tested multiple anti-ship ballistic missiles over the weekend China’s Defence Ministry denies this, saying it had held routine drills that involved firing of live ammunition. (South China Morning Post, China, July 6, 2019)
  • US-China trade war: hardliners in Beijing are gaining influence
    Chinese urging concessions for Washington have been attacked by the media Businesses and residential complexes are being forced to change foreign-sounding names, and the war film The Eight Hundred has been cancelled. (South China Morning Post, China, July 6, 2019)