Posts Tagged ‘Wang Yi’

Apple phones still sold in China despite ban — “Law is very flexible here, sometimes”

December 11, 2018

 

China: Apple stores in China continued with business as usual Tuesday despite a court-ordered ban on iPhone sales, but the US tech giant faces a growing nationalist backlash over the US-sought arrest of a Huawei executive.

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According to US chipmaker Qualcomm, which requested the ban, the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court ordered four Apple subsidiaries to stop selling older models of the iPhone, including the 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus.

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But Apple stores contacted by AFP in Beijing, Shanghai and Fuzhou said they were still selling those older models — confirming a company statement that all remain available.

Shoppers check out the iPhone X at an Apple store in Beijing, China. (File/AP)

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Sales staff at a Beijing Apple store said they had not yet received any internal notices about the court injunction on iPhone sales.

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“If the ban is ultimately imposed, there will be no Apple products under 6,500 yuan ($940) in China,” noted Wang Xi, a senior market analyst at research firm IDC.

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That would give Chinese smartphone brands, such as Huawei, “more opportunities in the high-end market,” he told AFP.

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Qualcomm’s request to halt iPhone sales is part of a long-running patent dispute with Apple.

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Separately, Apple is also the target of nationalist sentiment over the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada at the behest of the United States on alleged Iran sanctions violations.

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The Chinese government has condemned the arrest and demanded her release.

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Some Chinese netizens and companies have also turned against Apple.

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“What if China banned Apple the way the US has banned Huawei?” wrote one user on Twitter-like Weibo in a post that garnered more than 500 likes. “What if Apple lost its manufacturing center in China?“

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Leaked company documents announcing rewards for Huawei purchases and penalties for owning Apple products are also circulating on Chinese social media.

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A tech firm based in southwestern China, Chengdu RYD Information Technology, said it would reward employees who bought Huawei products with subsidies in an internal notice that it later confirmed via its official WeChat account.

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The Shanghai Nanchong Chamber of Commerce confirmed that it too was offering subsidies for Huawei smartphones, and that staff and executive members of the business group would “lose their positions” if found with Apple products.

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It seems that “general sentiment is gradually turning to against Apple and support Huawei now,” due to recent events, such as Meng’s arrest and the US-China trade war, said Wang.

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China is a crucial market for Apple, but is has been overtaken by Chinese competitors in recent years.

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According to a 2018 financial report, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were together Apple’s third largest market by net sales, after the Americas and Europe.

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Apple chief executive Tim Cook has also made regular visits to China, and has touted the company’s inroads in the Chinese market as well as its manufacturing there.

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But Apple’s premium-priced products remain out of reach for many users, increasing the appeal of more affordable phones produced by local companies.

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Apple has the fifth largest market share in China, trailing behind Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, according to data from IDC.

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Qualcomm, the leading supplier of chips for mobile devices, serves several Apple competitors in China, including Huawei, and has been in a prolonged legal battle with Apple in recent years.

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Many consumers in China connect their Apple accounts to online-payment systems, including those run by Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Many consumers in China connect their Apple accounts to online-payment systems, including those run by Alipay and WeChat Pay. PHOTO:DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

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Apple has claimed that Qualcomm is abusing its market power over certain mobile chipsets in order to demand unfair royalties, joining a string of antitrust actions against the chipmaker.

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Qualcomm has countersued Apple and earlier this year escalated its legal fight, claiming the iPhone maker stole trade secrets and shared them with mobile chip rival Intel.

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According to Qualcomm’s US lawsuit, Apple’s goal was to buy mobile chips from Intel instead of depending on Qualcomm.

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An Apple statement to AFP called Qualcomm’s effort to ban iPhone sales in China a “desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” and added that “we will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”

AFP

 — (Wang Yi hints that human rights laws are being violated)

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China warns against ‘bullying’ of its citizens — after arrest of a Huawei executive

December 11, 2018

 

Canada is probably not the new Xinjiang — (Even the Uighurs could agree to that!)

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China’s foreign minister warned Tuesday against the “bullying” of any Chinese citizen, amid a diplomatic fracas over the arrest of a Huawei executive on a US warrant in Canada.

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecommunications behemoth Huawei, was on December 1 arrested in Vancouver on US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran, infuriating China.

“The safety and security of Chinese compatriots are our priority, China will never sit idly by and ignore any bullying that violates the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a speech in Beijing, without directly referring to the Huawei case.

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“We will fully safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese citizens and return fairness and justice to the world,” he said at the opening of a diplomatic symposium.

The detention has raised tensions following a truce in the US-China trade war, with Beijing summoning both the Canadian and US ambassadors over the weekend.

Meng, who faces a possible extradition to the United States, is seeking her release on bail from a court in Vancouver.

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China has accused Canada of treating Meng in an “inhumane” manner, citing reports in Chinese state-run media alleging she was not given adequate medical care.

Beijing has also claimed that the Chinese embassy was not immediately notified of her arrest.

“The Canadian government did not do this and the Chinese government learned this through other channels,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily briefing.

In his speech, Wang also touched on tensions with the US, calling on Washington to stop seeing trade between the countries as a “zero-sum game”.

“Take a more positive look at China’s development, and constantly expand the space and prospects for mutual benefit,” he said.

“There is no need to artificially create new opponents, and an even greater need to avoid self-fulfilling prophecies.”

AFP

Related:

See:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/business/huawei-meng-arrest-travel.html

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Ex-Prisoner Says China’s ‘Vocational Training Centers’ a Complete Lie

December 7, 2018
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The ongoing repression in China is about “protecting the Chinese Communist Party.”
Uyghur Reveals Chinese Communist Party’s Crimes in Xinjiang
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December 6, 2018

China’s claims that Xinjiang’s mass internment camps—where at least one million predominantly ethnic Uyghurs are being held—are “vocational training centres” are completely “fake and made up,” a former Uyghur camp detainee has told The Epoch Times.

Countering claims made by the China’s ruling Communist Party, who in October described the facilities as “free vocational training centers” that make life more “colorful,” the former detainee, Gulbukhar Jalilova, said “they are lying through their teeth,” adding that she “never saw a single classroom.”

Xinjiang governor Shohrat Zakir told state-run Xinhua news agency that people detained in the camps “will advance from learning the country’s common language to learning legal knowledge and vocational skills.”

Xinjiang governor Shohrat Zakir

But 54-year-old Gulbukhar said instead of learning vocational skills, “I moved from camp to camp, room to room, and never saw anybody spending any time learning something.”

Gulbukhar, a Kazakhstan national and businesswoman, was held in an all-female camp in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, for just over 15 months before she was released in September this year. She was detained after being falsely accused of transferring $17,000 into a company called Nur. She was released by officials after they said they had been told she was innocent.

She was tricked into traveling to Urumqi after receiving a phone call from her business associate’s daughter. She was told there were “big problems” and that she needed to come to the capital immediately from her home in Kazakhstan. She was arrested upon her arrival.

Uyghur woman Gulbukhar Jalilova who was released from Xinjiang reeducation camp
Businesswoman Gulbukhar Jalilova, 54, a former Uyghur detainee in Xinjiang, China. (Gulbukhar Jalilova)

The CCP’s narrative of providing detainees with “vocational skills” to help with employment does not add up, the 54-year-old said, because the types of women held in camp with her were “very rich, educated people,” such as “businesswomen, doctors, nurses and teachers.”

“They weren’t homeless people or those with no money who needed training—that’s a lie from the CCP,” she told The Epoch Times.

“They could afford to go overseas and then when they came back, they were detained.”

But amongst the claims Zakir made, as the CCP moved to legalize the facilities, is that detainees are offered “practical opportunities,” such as learning about “businesses in garment making, mobile phone assembly, and ethnic cuisine catering.”

The CCP has long justified its measures against Uyghurs, the majority of whom are Sunni Muslim, saying the facilities aim to “educate and transform” those that it deems at risk of the “three evil forces” of “extremism, separatism, and terrorism.”

Uyghurs, alongside other ethnic minorities like the Tibetans, as well as faithful believers who remain outside state control, including house Christians and Falun Gong, have long been targeted by the CCP for transformation through “re-education.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV aired a 15-minute segment in October, offering a glimpse into life inside one of the centers—the Hotan City Vocational Skills Education and Training Center.

The “trainees” can be seen reading from large textbooks in the clip and are shown learning various skills such as baking, woodworking, sewing, and cosmetology.

“Whatever the CCP shows on TV and videos—it’s all fake and made up. There are no classrooms. We just sit in our rooms and stare at the wall. The door only opens to punish you, that’s it,” Gulbukhar added.

While China’s state TV footage showed rooms with air conditioning, decorated with bunting and balloons, Gulbukhar said it is a depiction far from reality. Detainees are confined to their rooms, poorly treated, and kept in shackles in overcrowded conditions, she said.

Those in her camp were forced to ingest unknown medicine daily and were injected with a substance every month which “numbs your emotions.” They were also subject to various forms of torture including food and sleep deprivation, physical punishments, while some were even killed, she said.

Chairing a Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing on Nov. 29, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said given the daily realities in communist China, where “Uyghur Muslims are rounded up and interned in camps, Tibetan monks and nuns are forced to undergo political re-education sessions, Falun Gong practitioners are reportedly sent to legal education centers for indoctrination, and Christian believers are harassed and imprisoned,” many observers are describing the current wave of repression in China as “the most severe since the cultural revolution.”

Rubio added he believes the CCP’s motivation behind the escalating crackdown “is an obsessive desire … to create a sort of unified, national identity, which must be stripped of anything that competes with it—ethnicity, religion, ethnic cultural tradition.”

China analyst Dr. Samantha Hoffman from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute added at the hearing that the ongoing repression in China is about “protecting the Chinese Communist Party.”

The CCP’s “concept of what we would call national security I think is better translated as party state security,” she said. “[T]here are dimensions … dealing with the internal struggle for power … and then dealing with everything outside the party; controlling the narrative, controlling the ideological space.

“That means that the state security methods extend far beyond China’s borders and that’s why you see the harassment of overseas Chinese.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/ex-prisoner-says-chinas-vocational-training-centers-a-complete-lie_2731988.html

US will hold off on raising China tariffs to 25% as Trump and Xi agree to a 90-day trade truce

December 2, 2018

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  • Xi Jinping and Donald Trump discussed a range of issues — among them the trade dispute that has left over $200 billion worth of goods hanging in the balance.
  • “President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10 percent rate, and not raise it to 25 percent at this time,” the White House said.
© AFP | US President Donald Trump (R) and China’s Xi Jinping (L-center) and their delegations met at the conclusion of the G20 summit for their key trade talks

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump put their bilateral trade war on pause momentarily, striking an agreement to hold off on slapping additional tariffs on each other’s goods after January 1, as talks continue between both countries.

In a White House readout of a dinner at the G-20 summit in Argentina, Xi and Trump discussed a range of nettlesome issues — among them the trade dispute that has left over $200 billion worth of goods hanging in the balance.

“President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10 percent rate, and not raise it to 25 percent at this time,” the statement read. Over the next 90 days, American and Chinese officials will continue to negotiate lingering disagreements on technology transfer, intellectual property and agriculture.

“Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days. If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, “China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately,” the White House said.

Xi also plans to designate Fentanyl as a controlled substance, according to the statement. As the U.S. opioid crisis continues to rage, it would suggest that people selling the drug to parties in the U.S. would be subject to stiff penalties in China.

The Trump administration had threatened to more than double the tariffs it has already slapped on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, while Xi’s government has put targeted tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods. The standoff has raised fears among investors and businesses that the global economy could be dragged down by the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump, who made U.S. trade policy a central plank of his platform as a presidential candidate in 2016, wants to address specific gripes with China’s trade practices, especially its alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property.

Trump touted the G-20 meeting thus far as a “great success” in a pair of tweets Saturday. But he postponed a press conference, which was scheduled to follow a summit meeting, until after the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush, who died at age 94 on Friday.

In a joint declaration, the group of nations said the current multilateral trading system is “falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement,” and supported reforms to the World Trade Organization.

–CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/01/us-china-wont-impose-additional-tariffs-after-january-1-report.html

US, China agree to trade war ceasefire, more talks

December 2, 2018

US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed Saturday to suspend any new tariffs in the escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies, even if huge existing duties will remain in place.

Following more than two hours of dinner talks between the two leaders, the White House said an increase of tariffs from 10 to 25 percent due to kick in on January 1 would now be put on hold, providing room for intense negotiations.

The agreement, hashed out over steak in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, lowers the temperature in a conflict that has spooked world markets.

© AFP | US President Donald Trump (R) and China’s Xi Jinping (L-center) and their delegations met at the conclusion of the G20 summit for their key trade talks

The two leaders, who were in Buenos Aires for a summit of the G20 countries, called it “a highly successful meeting,” the White House said.

“The principal agreement has effectively prevented further expansion of economic friction between the two countries and has opened up new space for win-win cooperation,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

– Partial truce –

Under the agreement, Trump is shelving a plan to raise existing tariffs of 10 percent to 25 percent from the start of next year.

However, the truce is only partial.

Some $50 billion worth of Chinese imports already face 25 percent tariffs while the 10 percent tariffs, which target a massive $200 billion in goods, will also remain in effect.

Meanwhile, China has targeted $110 billion worth of US imports for tariffs.

If there is any further retaliation, Trump has warned, he will slap punitive duties on the remaining $267 billion in Chinese goods coming to the United States.

And Saturday’s truce also contained an ultimatum.

The White House made clear that the 10 percent tariffs would still leap up to 25 percent if China doesn’t meet US demands in 90 days.

These include China stopping a host of trade barriers, intellectual property theft and other actions that Washington say make fair trade impossible.

Tough negotiations lie ahead, but Trump was upbeat.

“This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi,” he said in a statement.

– Steaks and high stakes –

Trump and Xi expressed optimism the moment they and top aides sat down in Buenos Aires at a long hotel table adorned with flowers.

“Only with cooperation between us can we serve the interest of both peace and prosperity,” Xi said.

The meeting — featuring a menu of sirloin steak, caramel rolled pancakes and Argentine wine — went on longer than scheduled.

And while it may have been tacked on to the end of two days of G20 diplomacy, it was in many ways the main event of the weekend.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was also attending the G20, spoke for many when she urged progress.

“We all realize that we are indirectly influenced by the fact that Sino-American economic relations are not running as smoothly as a world order needs,” she said.

– Personal chemistry factor –

On the US side at the dinner, Trump was accompanied by advisers such as Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are widely seen as wanting a deal.

But hawkish advisers like Peter Navarro and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were also present. Navarro’s inclusion in particular was a surprise as he has harshly criticized China, accusing its leadership of duplicity.

Trump, as often in his diplomatic dealings, appears to consider his personal chemistry with Xi the most important factor in the success of the negotiations.

He has prided himself on building a good relationship with the Chinese leader, even though he acknowledges it may have trouble surviving the growing crisis.

“He may not be a friend of mine anymore but I think he probably respects me,” Trump said in September.

At the dinner, however, he was more upbeat, saying that his ties to Xi were “a very primary reason” for considering a deal possible.

AFP

Hundreds of scholars condemn China for Xinjiang camps — “Psychological torture of innocent civilians.”

November 27, 2018

Countries must hit China with sanctions over the mass detention of ethnic Uighurs in its western Xinjiang region, hundreds of scholars said on Monday, warning that a failure to act would signal acceptance of “psychological torture of innocent civilians.”

Beijing has in recent months faced an outcry from activists, academics and foreign governments over mass detentions and strict surveillance of the Muslim Uighur minority and other ethnic groups that live in Xinjiang.

In August, a United Nations human rights panel said it had received many credible reports that a million or more Uighurs and other minorities are being held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy” in the region.


Uighur security personnel patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in western China’s Xinjiang region. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

Representatives from a group of 278 scholars in various disciplines from dozens of countries called on China at a news briefing in Washington to end its detention policies, and for sanctions directed at key Chinese leaders and security companies linked to the abuses.

“This situation must be addressed to prevent setting negative future precedents regarding the acceptability of any state’s complete repression of a segment of its population, especially on the basis of ethnicity or religion,” the group said in a statement.

Countries should expedite asylum requests from Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities, as well as “spearhead a movement for UN action aimed at investigating this mass internment system and closing the camps,” it said.

China rejects criticism of its actions in Xinjiang, saying that it protects the religion and culture of minorities, and that its security measures are needed to combat the influence of “extremist” groups that incite violence there.

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China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi

The country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said the world should ignore “gossip” about Xinjiang and trust the government.

But after initial denials about the detention camps, Chinese officials have said some people guilty of minor offences were being sent to “vocational” training centers, where they are taught work skills and legal knowledge aimed at curbing militancy.

Michael Clarke, a Xinjiang expert at Australian National University who signed the statement, told reporters that China sought international respect for its weight in global affairs.

“The international community needs to demonstrate to Beijing that it will not actually get that while it’s doing this to a significant portion of its own citizenry,” Clarke said.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Reuters

See also:

China is creating concentration camps in Xinjiang. Here’s how we hold it accountable.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/china-is-creating-concentration-camps-in-xinjiang-heres-how-we-hold-it-accountable/2018/11/23/93dd8c34-e9d6-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0d09103d7a08

Philippines: Lawmakers Want “Full Transparency” on Deal With China For Joint Oil and Gas Exploration

November 22, 2018

The Duterte administration has the obligation to fully disclose the government’s agreements with China for a joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), progressive lawmakers from the House Makabayan bloc asserted Thursday.

ACTS Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Emmie de Jesus, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago called for a “full transparency” on the 29 agreements. 

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of said deals during the latter’s two-day visit in the Philippines on Monday to Tuesday.

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Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wave to the media before their one on one meeting at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, November 20, 2018.Erik De Castro, Reuters

READ: PH, China sign MOU on oil and gas development, 28 other deals

“Pinananawagan ng Makabayan na obligasyon ng Malacañang na ipaalam sa publiko ano ba talaga ang pinirmahan nyo?” Tinio said in a press briefing.

(The Makabayan is urging Malacañang that it’s the obligation of the government to inform the public whatever they have signed.)

De Jesus meanwhile said a full copy of the joint oil exploration deal should be divulged to ensure that not only a few people would benefit from the agreement.

“We care kasi alam natin na ‘yan ay hindi sa kagustuhan ng pinakamaraming mamamayan kundi sa kagustuhan lang ng iilan,” she said.

(We care because we know that this is not the liking of many but the liking of the few.)

Tinio also said that the deals, especially the one involving the WPS, should be scrutinized and its constitutionality should be questioned before the Supreme Court.

Philippines and China are locked in a territorial dispute in the WPS but Duterte has chosen to set aside this and the historic Hague ruling favoring the Philippines during the bilateral talks.

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled Beijing’s claim to almost the entire WPS as invalid. /jpv

READ: Duterte optimistic of even warmer China-PH ties

RELATED STORIES:

Maranao leader wants ‘judicial scrutiny’ of PH-China fuel search deal

PH, not China, should draft oil, gas exploration deal – Locsin

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Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/171581/house-makabayan-bloc-demands-full-transparency-on-ph-china-deal#ixzz5XZResL3M
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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Philippines Does Not Have China’s Permission To Release Oil and Gas Memorandum of Understanding to the Public

November 22, 2018

Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Thursday clarified that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on oil and gas development with China was just an agreement on how to cooperate in exploring resources in the West Philippine Sea.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Manila earlier this week, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the agreement.

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Neither the Department of Foreign Affairs nor the Department of Energy has released a copy of the memorandum of understanding with China.

Cusi clarified that there is no agreement yet on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea, where the two countries have overlapping claims.

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A Chinese coast-guard vessel passes near the Chinese oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam on June 13, 2014. Reuters photo

“If you are referring to the MOU that was signed, that was memorandum of cooperation to explore ways on how we can harness the resources, indigenous resources at the West Philippine Sea,” Cusi said in a press conference Thursday.

The Energy secretary added that there is no agreement yet on the proposed 60-40 sharing between the two countries.

The DFA and the DOE would have to talk with its Chinese counterparts first to further discuss on how to move forward in exploring resources in the contested area.

Locsin bares MOU in television interview

Locsin, on the other hand, has revealed the copy of the MOU in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source Thursday morning.

The DFA chief agreed on Cusi’s description of the agreement as a “memorandum of understanding to agree to arrive at an agreement.”

Locsin also clarified that the supposed Chinese draft which the camp of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV released was not the signed agreement.

He said he would have to ask permission from Beijing first before releasing the copy of the agreement to the public but he read the content of the deal in the interview.

“The two governments will endeavour to agree on cooperation arrangements, endeavor within 12 months of this memorandum of agreement,” Locsin said.

“This memorandum of understanding, in all discussions, negotiations and activities of the two governments, other authorized enterprises under or pursuant to this memorandum of understanding will be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of both governments. This memorandum of understanding does not create rights or obligations under international or domestic law,” he added.

Malacañang earlier promised that all documents in relation to Xi’s visit would be released as soon as they are complete.

“We assure everyone that the government would release all pertinent information for public consumption once President Xi’s visit has culminated, and as soon as the complete, proper, and correct documents become certified and available,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/22/1870805/mou-oil-development-china-agreement-agree-cusi#Wg4ELfKXQykCCHUp.99

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In Race for Global Power, U.S. and China Push Nations to Pick a Side

November 22, 2018

The escalating brinkmanship between the United States and China as they race to quash each other’s global influence is forcing other nations to pick sides between the two superpowers, putting at risk future cooperation on geopolitical threats and a resolution to the economic standoff.

The rivalry, which has reached a new pitch and scope, is now centered on the trade war that President Trump started this year. But tensions have also sharpened over a broad range of diplomatic and military issues, like Taiwan, the South China Sea and economic sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

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Across the globe, the United States and China are jockeying to build alliances or partnerships and shut out the other power. The hard-nosed competition surfaced over the weekend at an Asian economic forum that pitted Vice President Mike Pence against President Xi Jinping of China. The dispute threatens to disrupt the Group of 20 summit meeting that starts Nov. 30 in Argentina.

The United States again vented its frustration on Tuesday, accusing China of continuing to engage in unfair trade practices despite Mr. Trump’s tariffs. “China fundamentally has not altered its acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation, and indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in a report.

By  Edward Wong and Alan Rappeport
The New York Times

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A robotic assembly line demonstration during an expo in Shanghai this month. China and the United States have been courting other countries to pick a side over their trade dispute.Credit Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

Mr. Trump has repeatedly said China “wants to make a deal very badly,” but continues to warn that he will tax nearly all Chinese imports if Beijing does not open its markets to American companies and end its unfair practices.

“China has been ripping off our country for many, many years,” the president told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. “And they don’t rip us off with me.”

In Beijing on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, responded to such criticisms by pointing to a paper previously issued by the government that rebutted similar accusations. “It is quite normal to have economic and trade frictions,” he said at a news conference. “The key is to resolve them through dialogue and consultation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and good faith.”

At the economic forum in Papua New Guinea over the weekend, the United States and China openly clashed over trade in their most explosive diplomatic standoff of the Trump administration. Mr. Pence and Mr. Xi each led delegations that sought to corral the other nations in attendance to side with his country.

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Elsewhere, the two nations are forging bilateral and multilateral trade pacts in parallel that limit options for the other. During his visit to the Philippines this week, Mr. Xi signed 29 trade and investment deals, though many were broad and vague.

Some countries are bristling at the economic demands that the two superpowers have made.

Canada’s agriculture minister said Monday that his country could freely enter into formal trade negotiations with China, despite an apparent attempt by the United States to exercise leverage over any such action.

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Vice President Mike Pence facing President Xi Jinping of China at an economic forum over the weekend in Papua New Guinea. The United States and China openly clashed over trade in what was their most explosive diplomatic standoff of the Trump administration. Credit Mick Tsikas/EPA, via Shutterstock

On Tuesday, in a blow to China, the European Union announced a proposed law to coordinate scrutiny of foreign investment in strategic sectors, such as ports and technology.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi are both expected to attend the Group of 20 meeting. While they could come to some mutual understanding, “it is becoming increasingly difficult for both sides to reconcile their competing perspectives,” said Ryan Hass, a China analyst at the Brookings Institution.

“Both countries are becoming entrenched in their narratives and having increasing difficulty finding common ground,” Mr. Hass said. But virtually no country in Asia wants to be exclusively aligned with either power, he added.

On the issue of recognition of Taiwan, China and the United States are pushing nations and private companies. Since 2016, China has campaigned, often with promises of loans and investments, to persuade a small number of nations to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Three Central American countries did so over the last two years, infuriating top American officials, even though the United States cut formal ties with Taiwan in favor of Communist-ruled China in 1979.

American officials are trying to deter nations from taking Chinese loans, often for infrastructure projects, by talking about Beijing’s “debt-trap diplomacy.” In their global propaganda push, they promise that American private investment will flow throughout the world, in part because of a new program to aid businesses with up to $60 billion in loans and loan insurance.

Officials in Washington are also trying to rally Southeast Asian nations to stand firm against Beijing over its expansive territorial claims and military buildup in the disputed South China Sea. Mr. Pence criticized China’s moves as “empire and aggression” in a speech at an annual regional forum last week in Singapore.

China, for its part, has signaled to other nations that they should push back against Mr. Trump on one of his signature foreign policy actions — withdrawing the United States from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The Obama administration forged the deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program in 2015 with other world powers, including China; backing out of it was one of Mr. Trump’s campaign promises. A top Chinese foreign policy official said in Washington this month that the agreement should “be implemented and observed.” China is continuing to buy oil from Iran, as are some other nations.

China’s moves to strengthen its global standing have received a big boost from Mr. Trump’s denunciations of multilateral institutions, alliances and treaties.

Mr. Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which shook the confidence of Asian nations. After Mr. Trump announced in June 2017 that the United States would leave the Paris climate accord, China has presented itself as the new standard-bearer on addressing climate change. Earlier that year, in a speech in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Xi said China would defend the globalized economy in the face of criticism by Mr. Trump.

Some Trump administration officials are optimistic that the two leaders will emerge from the Group of 20 meeting with the framework of a trade agreement that would reduce America’s bilateral trade deficit with China and protect the intellectual property of American companies who do business there. Treasury Department officials have been in frequent contact with their Chinese counterparts in hopes of building the groundwork for a deal.

However, the latest lurch toward a détente has renewed division among Mr. Trump’s economic team.

This month, Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s top trade adviser, warned that a weak agreement would have the “stench” of Wall Street. In a public rebuke days later, Larry Kudlow, the National Economic Council director, called Mr. Navarro “way off base.” Mr. Navarro’s comments also frustrated Mr. Trump who, according to a person familiar with his thinking, felt boxed in by the remarks.

The dissonance has left China uncertain of the Trump administration’s goals and cast a shadow of uncertainty over their negotiations.

“It feels to me like the administration doesn’t quite have one strategy toward China,” said Jon B. Alterman, a global security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Not only do you see administration leaders saying different things, but it feels like they’re not integrated, especially in the absence of something like the TPP, which was a genuine long-term strategy to deal with China’s rise.”

On Monday, the Commerce Department began drawing up new regulations on export controls, outlining potential industries to protect — such as artificial intelligence and quantum robotics — from Chinese theft of intellectual property. In early November, the Justice Department charged a Chinese state-owned company with stealing trade secrets  from an American technology company. And last month, the Trump administration outlined a more aggressive system for policing foreign investment, using the expanded powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Trump administration has also embarked on bilateral trade deals with other countries with the intention of exerting pressure on China. Despite abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the administration is forging ahead with negotiations with Japan and the Philippines, and officials are eyeing possible talks with Vietnam and India.

Criticism of China’s trade practices was at the center of the blowup at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum over the weekend.

In several meetings, Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, and his colleagues objected to a draft of the forum’s closing statement that asserted, “We agree to fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices.”

Raising his voice, Mr. Wang accused American officials of trying to insert a veiled reference to China, said one American official who was there. At one point, Chinese officials barged into the office of the foreign minister of Papua New Guinea to demand changes.

Only China objected to the draft. The forum closed without a consensus statement from the 21 member economies for the first time since 1989.

“It was truly a stupid move by the Chinese,” said Bonnie S. Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I guess we should all conclude that China will do whatever it takes to continue to pursue unfair trade practices.”

“And they will also continue to put their narrow self-interests first at the expense of multilateral institutions,” she added. “What’s next?”

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/us/politics/usa-china-trade-war.html
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: U.S. and China Push Nations To Pick a Side.

China Foreign Minister Blames U.S. Protectionism and Unilateralism for APEC Failure

November 20, 2018

Foreign minister Wang Yi  blames protectionism and unilateralism for summit impasse after ‘reasonable advice for revision proposed by China’ — Beijing had also opposed the inclusion in Apec’s draft statement of a reference to unfair trade practices

South China Morning Post
November 20, 2018

Image result for wang Yi, photos

Wang Yi (FILE photo)

China’s foreign minister has said Beijing was frustrated that its proposed amendment to a draft statement by leaders at the Apec summit was rejected by nations he accused of imposing a protectionist and unilateralist agenda on trade.

Wang Yi said China had suggested the amendment at the weekend’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Papua New Guinea, but that other countries “insisted on imposing their own text”.

Although he did not name any individual country, the statement followed Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence’s exchange of barbs at the summit over trade practices and their countries’ increasingly geopolitical rivalry.

For the first time, the 21 Pacific Rim leaders failed to reach a consensus on a joint statement to wrap up the economic dialogue in Port Moresby.

“It is by no means accidental that the meeting did not release the communiqué,” Wang said in a statement.

“It is mainly because some individual economies insisted on imposing their own text for a communiqué on other parties, excusing protectionism and unilateralism, and refused to accept reasonable advice for revision proposed by China and other parties.

“The practice led to the dissatisfaction of many economies including China, and apparently is not in line with the principle of consensus of Apec.” Consensus, he added, was the “basic rule for Apec”.

On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said many developing nations opposed trade protectionism. He also denied that China’s stance was the reason there was no agreement. “Power politics and economic bullying is opposed by most Apec members,” Geng said.

Diplomatic observers said the rancour over the weekend reflected a hardening geopolitical rivalry between China and the United States, and that Washington would be seeking to maximise pressure on Beijing ahead of a crunch meeting between Xi and US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina in two weeks’ time.

As reported previously by the South China Morning Post, a government source said Beijing opposed the inclusion in the draft statement of a line about “unfair trade practices”.

The US has used the term in complaints and accusations about China’s market restrictions, forced technology transfers, alleged industrial espionage, government subsidies and intellectual property theft.

But the source said it was far-fetched to say that this line alone had caused the impasse.

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[Our own experience at Peace and Freedom is that China always tries to strong-arm whomever is responsible for the final report of an international meeting. Many have come to expect that from the Chinese. Many call it “arm twisting.” It is just the way China operates in the international arena.]
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  (Monday’s Asian Markets Up)

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