Archive for ‘Huawei’

09/07/2019

Xi Jinping says China, Russia and India should take ‘global responsibility’ to protect interests

  • Chinese president also called for the three nations to uphold multilateralism in talks with Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi in Osaka
  • In a separate meeting with other BRICS leaders, he said Beijing opposed ‘illegal and unilateral sanctions’ and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’
(From left) Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday. Photo: EPA-EFE
(From left) Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday. Photo: EPA-EFE
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on the leaders of Russia and India to take “global responsibility” to safeguard the three countries’ interests and uphold multilateralism, as Beijing seeks to rally support amid its protracted trade war with Washington.
Xi made the remarks during a trilateral meeting with Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the annual 
Group of 20

summit of world leaders in Osaka, Japan.

The trilateral meeting was part of the Chinese leader’s efforts to marshal international support ahead of his 
high-stakes meeting

with US President Donald Trump, seeking to reach a truce on the year-long trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies.

“The rise of protectionism and unilateralism has severely affected global stability and economic growth, as well as the existing international order which emerging economies and developing countries have relied on,” Xi was quoted as saying by state broadcaster CCTV.

“China, Russia and India should take on global responsibility to safeguard the fundamental and long-term interests of these three countries and the world,” he said.

Xi also called for the nations to promote “a more multipolar world and the democratisation of international relations” – meaning with less reliance on a US-led world order.

During a meeting with leaders of the other BRICS countries – major emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – Xi also said Beijing opposed what it saw as “illegal and unilateral sanctions” and “long-arm jurisdiction”.

The efforts to forge closer ties among China, Russia and India come as all three nations are locked in disputes with the United States.

New Delhi, a key strategic ally in Washington’s Indo-Pacific policy to contain China’s rise, has been upset over tariffs imposed on Indian goods by the Trump administration. Meanwhile, geopolitical rivalry and the Kremlin’s alleged meddling in US elections has strained relations between Moscow and Washington.

Beneath the smiles and handshakes, tensions simmer as world leaders meet for G20

Wu Jianghao, director general of the Chinese foreign ministry’s Asian affairs department, said the trilateral meeting laid out a framework for future cooperation.

“The three countries have spoken with one voice on some major global issues, helping stability and injecting positive energy to the current international situation – which is filled with instability and uncertainties,” Wu said at a briefing on Friday.

Wu said that the leaders did not talk about Huawei Technologies or 5G networks, but that the three countries had maintained good communication on telecoms issues and would continue to cooperate.

Washington has banned US companies from selling American technology to Huawei and put pressure on its allies to block the Chinese tech firm over security concerns.

(From left) US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo before their meeting. Photo: AP
(From left) US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for a photo before their meeting. Photo: AP

Meanwhile, the United States is also seeking to build ties with India, with Trump holding trilateral talks with Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale described that trilateral meeting as “very good”, saying it was “short but very productive”.

“The main topic of discussion was the Indo-Pacific, about how the three countries could work together in terms of connectivity, infrastructure and ensuring that peace and stability is maintained, and working together to build upon this new concept so that it would benefit the region as a whole and the three countries,” Gokhale said.

On the Modi-Trump bilateral meeting, he said the two leaders had “a very warm discussion”. They also briefly discussed 5G, with the focus on business cooperation between the two countries to leverage their technology and the potential of the Indian market, according to Gokhale.

He said the discussion of how to develop 5G networks was “in terms of business, not in terms of governments”. “It’s an exciting new area that India and the US can work together [on],” he said.

Source: SCMP

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06/07/2019

New Delhi and Beijing cannot let differences turn into disputes: India’s ambassador to China

  • Ambassador Vikram Misri has called on China to balance its US$60 billion trade deficit with India ‘before the issue becomes politically sensitive’
  • He also says India will not take sides over its use of US-blacklisted Huawei, as ‘any decision taken over this will only be taken in our national interest’
Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri says that while the countries’ differences will not derail ties, there are still thorny issues to grapple with. Photo: CGTN
Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri says that while the countries’ differences will not derail ties, there are still thorny issues to grapple with. Photo: CGTN
India and China must actively manage their differences

so they do not get in the way of the Asian superpowers working together for global stability, India’s top diplomat in China said on Friday.

To emphasise his point, Ambassador Vikram Misri listed eight long-standing and new bilateral issues that required attention, including 
India

’s almost US$60 billion trade deficit with China, cooperation on counterterrorism and a

peaceful resolution to their border dispute

.

“This trade imbalance is not economically sustainable in the long run,” said Misri at an Asia Society event in Hong Kong. “It is in our mutual interest to find workable solutions before the markets react in unpredictable ways and the issue becomes politically sensitive.”
Frosty ties between two of the world’s largest economies have thawed in the past year following a 73-day 
military stand-off in the Himalayas

in 2017, with Beijing seeking to forge closer ties with New Delhi amid its ongoing trade and tech war with the United States.

Ivanka Trump, the unlikely messenger of India-US relations
In May, Beijing dropped its long-held objections towards United Nations sanctions on

Masood Azhar

, the founder and leader of terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which was behind the suicide bombing of Indian soldiers that brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war earlier this year.

Analysts said this would pave the way for a better relationship between India and China.
Misri said both countries enjoyed a “full-spectrum relationship” of economic, commercial and people-to-people ties, and this was reinforced by the “strong personal bond” Indian Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

and Chinese President

Xi Jinping

had, despite the “elements of competition”.

The leaders of the two nations met four times last year and twice in 2019, with Xi set to visit India later this year. Both men share an understanding that “our rise can be mutually reinforcing” and a mutual interest in “preventing differences from turning into disputes”, the ambassador added.

But while Misri, a career diplomat posted to Beijing at the start of this year, stressed that differences would not derail ties, he made no bones about the thorny issues both sides are grappling with.

Will Modi’s snub of Xi’s belt and road derail China-India ties?
Both nations are still engaged in the second of a three-stage process to settle their border dispute – the world’s largest in terms of area, he said.
The first stage was an agreement on the political parameters for a boundary settlement in 2005. The current stage involves agreeing on a framework for a boundary settlement, which Misri said would be translated “into a delineated and demarcated boundary” in the final stage.
Communication over water and shared rivers has also been a key area of cooperation for the two nations.
Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri speaking at the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Society
Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri speaking at the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Photo: Asia Society

They have established channels for information sharing on cross-frontier rivers, which last year enabled the Chinese side to warn the relevant Indian authorities of a landslide which would send a large amount of water to India. While in this instance the two sides were able to avert a loss of life, they can do more to broaden cooperation, Misri said.

He alluded to how China and India are vying for influence in the Indian Ocean, saying it was an area where both had “contiguous zones of maritime interest”.

The two sides need to work together to preserve peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region – which stretches from the Indian Ocean to the central Pacific Ocean – and ensure transparent economic and commercial cooperation, infrastructure and connectivity, he said.

As China, India and Russia draw close, has Trump overplayed his hand?

Misri, who served as the private secretary to Modi as well as former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and I.K. Gujral, said there were three areas of mutual interest for India and China.

Besides a “peaceful periphery”, they should cooperate to ensure there are open international systems regarding trade and technology, and that global governance is reformed so the voices of nations such as theirs can be heard.

The Russia-India-China trilateral meeting on the sidelines of last month’s 

G20

summit in Osaka, where leaders discussed issues ranging from energy security to climate change, was an opportunity to discuss alternative viewpoints on changing international issues.

This was crucial amid the economic instability caused by 
US-China trade tensions

, that were causing “generalised damage” to the global economy, Misri said.

In the question and answer session with the event’s 112 attendees, Misri was asked if India was feeling the pressure to choose in the face of US efforts to get its allies to reconsider using or ban Chinese tech firm 
Huawei

from their superfast 5G networks.

Washington says Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying and the US Commerce Department has placed the company on its entity list, effectively banning US companies from selling equipment and components to it.
When US President 
Donald Trump

and Xi met at the G20 summit, Trump announced American companies could resume sales to Huawei as long as the products involved did not threaten national security.

Misri referred to this, and said: “Let’s see how it shapes up.”
He added the issue was far from decided for India as it had only achieved 4G connectivity recently and was not yet ready to build out its 
5G

infrastructure.

Still, he said, “there’s no question on taking sides over this”. “Our leadership is very clear that any decision taken over this will only be taken in our national interest.”
Source: SCMP
04/07/2019

How US-trained telecoms entrepreneur Bill Huang turned to China for a wireless technology America couldn’t offer

  • ‘There’s no need for a confrontation in technology because science has no borders,’ says the founder of CloudMinds
  • Huang has watched from up close as the US gradually descended from its telecoms supremacy and China caught up
Bill Huang in 2018. Photo: YouTube
Bill Huang in 2018. Photo: YouTube
Bill Huang, a Chinese-American telecoms industry veteran, used to target China and its vast, untapped market with the technological know-how he had learned in the US.
But over the past few years, the tables have turned. In his latest business endeavour, the engineer turned entrepreneur is relying on China for a key technology that would transform mobile communication for the next decade – and it is a technology the US has fallen behind on.
As one of the first young mainland Chinese to attend graduate school in the US after diplomatic relations were resumed 40 years ago, and as one of the early participants in Beijing’s global recruitment programme to attract top talent in science and technology, Huang has a unique perspective on the current bilateral stand-off that centres on technology.
CloudMinds Technology, a privately held robotics sector company he founded in 2015, needs the superfast 5G network to support its cloud-based platforms for operating intelligent robots. The next-generation wireless technology has become a flash point in the escalating US-China tech rivalry, and Huang is at the forefront of it all.

“It’s kind of like a one-sided rivalry. Because the US doesn’t have the [5G] technology,” Huang said on the sidelines of a recent conference on China in Philadelphia.

For months, the US government has waged a campaign to block the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from dominating global 5G networks, lobbying allies to shun the company for what it says are risks of espionage or sabotage by Beijing.

Huawei is already ahead of its European rivals in market share thanks in part to its lower prices. But so far no companies in the US – which has long led the telecoms industry – can make the equipment needed to build the next generation of networks.

Huang, 57, who spent three decades in the mobile communication sector, has watched from up close as the US gradually descended from its telecoms supremacy and China quietly caught up.

Technology is not like martial arts, or Shakespeare’s book, it’s not like everything is copyrighted Bill Huang, CEO of CloudMinds Technology

In its heyday, US giants like AT&T sold network equipment to countries around the world. Huang himself once worked at AT&T’s research hub Bell Labs, a dominant leader in telecoms innovation known as “the idea factory” and arguably the most innovative scientific institution for a long stretch of the 20th century.
“In the last 20 years, the US went from [being] No 1 in the telecommunications industry to now almost exiting telecommunications equipment manufacturing,” Huang said, citing the acquisition of Lucent and Motorola by European counterparts.
It was a decline Huang witnessed with an initial sense of sadness. As a veteran of Bell Labs, he said, he had felt extremely proud of the company’s contribution not only to America, but to telecoms technology worldwide.
“But secondly I also felt a level of pride for China,” he said, “because it went from nothing in telecommunications to lead the world in telecommunications in less than 30 years.”
Huawei was under secret US surveillance, US fraud hearing told

Glenn O’Donnell, an analyst at Forrester Research, said the decline of major US telecoms providers had little to do with politics, but was a function of inadequate interest in innovatation because of their dominance in the field.

“The long lease cycles and until recently the relative maturity of the market really didn’t lend itself well for real innovation,” he said.

“And that’s now changing, and all of those players that decided not to play in telecommunications are now wishing they had a stake because there’s a lucrative new market.”

Also drastically different today is the state of relations between China and the US. As they fight their costly trade war, tensions and acrimony have spilled into other aspects of bilateral relations, from technology, defence and geopolitics to ideology. There are even warnings of “decoupling” – something almost unimaginable to Huang, whose personal trajectory has been shaped by the intertwined ties between his homeland and his adopted country.

Fifth-generation mobile telecommunications technology, or 5G, enables data to be transferred at a speed that is 20 times faster than current standards. Photo: Reuters
Fifth-generation mobile telecommunications technology, or 5G, enables data to be transferred at a speed that is 20 times faster than current standards. Photo: Reuters

He calls himself “a product of China-US relations”. Such was his proud conviction that he gave his son the middle name “Nixon”, after the president who put relations with China back on track in 1972 with a historic trip to Beijing that ended over two decades of antagonism and isolation since the Chinese Communist Party took power.

The visit by Richard Nixon – who died in 1994, the same year Huang’s son was born – not only mended bilateral relations, but created an opportunity for Huang and many others like him: to learn the most advanced science and technology from the world’s leading innovation powerhouse.

Born in 1962 into an intellectual family in southwestern China, Huang spent most of his childhood in the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.

“As professors, my parents had a very difficult time during the Cultural Revolution. But they insisted that we spend time to study,” he said.

Huang recalled being a “wild kid”, going to school to “have fun”. But when the time came to study, he was able to pick up the pace, which he attributed to the academic minds that run in his family.

Hailed as a “child prodigy”, he passed the country’s first university entrance exam in a decade at the age of 15. A year later, in 1978, he was in the first batch of students to enter university after the disruptions of the decade-long upheaval. He chose to major in electrical engineering, following in his father’s footsteps.

In his sophomore year at the Huazhong Institute of Technology, his parents told him to apply for graduate programmes in the US.

“They think the US has the best technology in the world, and they wanted me to come here to study,” he said. “I read everything about the US … and I was very eager to come.”

Arriving at the University of Illinois’ Chicago campus in 1982, at age 20, Huang was one of the first new Chinese graduates to further their studies in the US after the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979. He did not speak English (although he could read it), and had to enrol in a three-month language training program before he could attend lectures.

He studied computer science in addition to electrical engineering, working day and night on projects in the lab – a time he looks back on with fondness.

“It was some of the most intense time in my life, I suppose,” Huang said. “But I was young and relentless, and I could go on for three days without sleep. … I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

US to speed up 5G development plans as race with China accelerates

Despite their vastly different cultural backgrounds, Huang made friends with his American classmates and fellow foreign students, some of whom were from India and what was then the Soviet Union.

“I experienced zero racial prejudice,” he said. “That was Chicago in the 1980s. I don’t know what happened today, [but back then] it was thoroughly what I thought was the ‘melting pot’.”

In his computer science classes, Huang learned Unix – a state-of-the-art operating system developed by Bell Labs – from adjunct professors who had helped create the program.

Little did he know he would later become a researcher at Bell Labs. “That was the holy ground of telecommunications,” he said, still beaming with pride when speaking of his former employer, which invented, among other things, the communications satellite and the cellular telephone system.

Bill Huang as a graduate student in Chicago in the early 1980s. Photo: CCTV
Bill Huang as a graduate student in Chicago in the early 1980s. Photo: CCTV

In 1994, Huang joined 10 other former Bell Labs engineers at a California-based telecoms infrastructure provider that targeted the vast and underserved Chinese market. A year later, the company merged with a telecoms software company to become UTStarcom, with Huang as its co-founder and chief technology officer.

UTStarcom tapped into the fast-growing Chinese telecoms market with a low-cost, limited-range wireless service known as the Personal Access System (PAS). It went public on the Nasdaq exchange five years later. In 2001, China passed the US as having the most mobile phone customers. The rapidly expanding market propelled UTStarcom’s growth; its revenues increased tenfold between its IPO and 2003, when it controlled 60 per cent of China’s PAS market.

In 2007, having lived in the US for longer than he did in China and having become an American citizen, Huang moved from Silicon Valley to Beijing with his wife and son. China Mobile, the country’s largest telecoms operator, had asked him to help build a “Bell Labs for China” – a request he readily accepted.

“It was not only a simple job, but a responsibility, a challenge I thought I should accept no matter what,” he told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV in 2017.

Smartphone screen with resolution million times higher than iPhone: Chinese researchers make technology breakthrough

As the head of the China Mobile Research Institute, Huang led the carrier’s leap from 3G to 4G, and he was also at the centre of 5G research. “We put a lot of effort into researching what standards are required for the future network,” he said.
His return to China preceded the “Thousand Talents Plan”, a state-backed recruitment drive to lure the world’s brightest scientists and experts – especially those with roots in China – with lavish grants. But when the plan was set up in 2008, Huang was among the first batch of researchers to be enlisted.
“I express my heartfelt thanks to the state and the people for giving me such a good opportunity and condition to return home and serve the country,” Huang was quoted as saying at a forum for recipients of Thousand Talents awards hosted by People’s Daily in 2010.
“I worked for over 20 years abroad, and all my work was in the field of technology. I hope to bring the whole set of things I know back to China,” he added.
The recruitment scheme, much celebrated at the time, has become a sensitive subject today as tensions between the US and China escalate. It has drawn growing scrutiny and suspicion from the US, where investigators are looking for any connection to theft of American intellectual property. In response, China hushed up or deleted references to the programme in universities, companies and cyberspace.
A robot made by CloudMinds Technology showcased at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona in February. Photo: Handout
A robot made by CloudMinds Technology showcased at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona in February. Photo: Handout

When asked about US complaints regarding China’s alleged technology theft, Huang gave a vehement defence of China.

“I think these are just basically blatant accusations with no ground,” he said. “Ninety-nine per cent [of the technologies] are not stolen. There are industrial espionage cases … but they’re not systematic cases, and they’re not [the result of the] rivalry between China and the US – they’re the result of competition.”

Huang also dismissed accusations that Chinese scientists and experts have “stolen” US technology.

“Technology is not like martial arts, or Shakespeare’s book, it’s not like everything is copyrighted,” he said.

“Everyone in Silicon Valley in the last 50 years started from somewhere, and then they become an entrepreneur and they move [on] to start their own companies. So in the early days, everyone took a little bit from what they have worked on.”

“It was customary, and then it became very litigious. Then people started saying: wait a minute, you can do that? So there were many exemplary cases, then it became more and more refined in what you can take and what you cannot take; what is protected and what is not protected. All of these things are happening industry-wide, it’s not a single US and China issue.”

Can China meet US demands over IP theft and forced technology transfer?

But intellectual property theft is not the only American grievance. Many US companies have accused China of forced technology transfers, with foreign businesses required to hand over technology to their Chinese partners in exchange for access to the market.

Huang said that complaint “has been there since day one”.

“Chinese companies will always complain about American companies. American companies will always complain about Chinese companies. The reason is very simple: every company would want to use regulations and law to their advantage,” he said.

A trained engineer, Huang holds a “globalist” view of technology – at odds with the national security perspective that has become prevalent in Washington.

“There’s no need for a confrontation in technology because science has no borders,” he said.

“In Huawei labs, there are many American engineers. In Intel and Qualcomm’s labs, I can assure you there are many Chinese engineers, and there are many German, French, Swedish engineers in all of these organisations. The fact they’re sold by a Chinese company or they’re sold by an American company has no meaning because behind the technologies is an international effort.”

To make his point, Huang calls the technology created by CloudMinds a “US and China technology”.

“I mean, how do you categorise it? Is it created by China or the US? It’s created by both. Because we have engineers in Silicon Valley, and we have engineers in Beijing.”

Protecting IP in China is hard, but awareness is rising, thanks to Trump
The company has dual headquarters, with its global operation based in Santa Clara, California, and its China operation based in Beijing – a structure Huang says now “makes perfect sense”.
“That was by design, by our lawyers. They kind of foresaw, if there [are] going to be trade tensions, this would be the right way to do it.”
But Huang questions if these tensions – a large part of which he said had been “politicised” – are so deeply embedded in every corner of society.
“I come to the United States very often, and I talk to the industry. I still feel it is the same America.”
“I encountered no scrutiny, no warning, and everyone is encouraging us, both from the US and from China, to continue our practice,” he said, adding that he only felt the tension when speaking to lawyers and government officials.
“But I am worried by all these stories. I think that’s why I said earlier: in the media it all looks very scary, but in practice, it’s all business as usual.”
Source: SCMP
29/06/2019

‘Back on track’: China and U.S. agree to restart trade talks

OSAKA (Reuters) – The United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks with Washington holding off new tariffs on Chinese exports, signalling a pause in the trade hostilities between the world’s two largest economies.

Commenting on a long-running dispute over China’s Huawei, President Donald Trump said U.S. firms would be able to sell components to the world’s biggest telecoms network gear maker where there was no national security problem.
The truce offered relief from a nearly year-long trade standoff in which the countries have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s imports, disrupting global supply lines, roiling markets and dragging on global economic growth.
“We’re right back on track and we’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters after an 80-minute meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Osaka, western Japan.
Trump said while he would not lift existing import tariffs, he would refrain from slapping new levies on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods – which would have effectively extended tariffs to everything China exports to the America.
“We’re holding back on tariffs and they’re going to buy farm products,” he said at a news conference, without giving any details of China’s future agricultural product purchases.

“If we make a deal, it will be a very historic event.”

He gave no timeline for what he called a complex deal but said he was not in a rush. “I want to get it right.”

HUAWEI HOPES

On Huawei, Trump said the U.S. commerce department would meet in the next few days on whether to take it off a list of firms banned from buying components and technology from U.S. companies without government approval.

China welcomed the step.

“If the U.S. does what it says, then of course, we welcome it,” said Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese foreign ministry’s envoy for G20 affairs.

U.S. microchip makers also applauded the move.

“We are encouraged the talks are restarting and additional tariffs are on hold and we look forward to getting more detail on the president’s remarks on Huawei,” John Neuffer, president of the U.S. Semiconductor Association, said in a statement.

Huawei has come under mounting scrutiny for over a year, led by U.S. allegations that “back doors” in its routers, switches and other gear could allow China to spy on U.S. communications.

While the company has denied its products pose a security threat, the United States has pressed its allies to shun Huawei in their fifth generation, or 5G, networks and has also suggested it could be a factor in a trade deal.

RELIEF AND SCEPTICISM

In a lengthy statement on the two-way talks, China’s foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Trump he hoped the United States could treat Chinese companies fairly.

On the issues of sovereignty and respect, China must safeguard its core interests, Xi was cited as saying.

“China is sincere about continuing negotiations with the United States … but negotiations should be equal and show mutual respect,” the foreign ministry quoted Xi as saying.

Trump had threatened to extend existing tariffs to almost all Chinese imports into the United States if the meeting brought no progress on wide-ranging U.S. demands for reforms.

Source: Reuters

Slideshow (4 Images)

Financial markets are likely to breathe a sigh of relief on news of the resumption in U.S.-China trade talks.

“Returning to negotiations is good news for the business community and breathes some much needed certainty into a slowly deteriorating relationship,” said Jacob Parker, a vice-president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council.

“Now comes the hard work of finding consensus on the most difficult issues in the relationship, but with a commitment from the top we’re hopeful this will put the two sides on a sustained path to resolution,” he said.

Some, however, warned the pause might not last.

“Even if a truce happens this weekend, a subsequent breakdown of talks followed by further escalation still seems likely,” Capital Economics said in a commentary on Friday.

The United States says China has been stealing American intellectual property for years, forces U.S. firms to share trade secrets as a condition for doing business in China, and subsidizes state-owned firms to dominate industries.

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China has said the United States is making unreasonable demands and must also make concessions.

Talks collapsed in May after Washington accused Beijing of reneging on reform pledges. Trump raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, and China retaliated with levies on U.S. imports.

The U.S.-China feud had cast a pall over the two-day G20 gathering, with leaders pointing to the threat to global growth.

In their communique, the leaders warned of growing risks to the world economy but stopped short of denouncing protectionism, calling instead for a free, fair trade environment after talks some members described as difficult.

28/06/2019

Commentary: Xi-Trump meeting an opportunity to bring talks back on track

BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to sit down with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in the Japanese city of Osaka, igniting a flicker of hope to bring the China-U.S. trade talks back on track.

The meeting arrives at a time when Washington’s trade offensive against China is not only poisoning one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships, but also risking throttling the already frail global economic recovery. Its significance is thus too great to miss.

When the two presidents met each other at last year’s G20 summit in Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires, they reached an important consensus to pause the trade confrontation and resume talks. Since then, negotiating teams on both sides have held seven rounds of consultations in search for an early settlement.

However, China’s utmost sincerity demonstrated over the months seems to have only prompted some trade hawks in Washington to press for their luck.

Following its failure to coerce Beijing into swallowing a deal with unequal terms, a disappointed and enraged Washington returned to its tactic of tariffs by raising additional levies on 200 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, and threatening a new round of tariff hikes on another 300 billion dollars’ worth of goods.

Some ultra-conservative U.S. decision-makers, who have for many years seen in China a “threat” to Washington’s sole superpower status, have tried to extend the trade campaign into a broader operation to shut China out and contain its rise.

As a result, Washington is cracking down on Chinese high-tech companies including telecom equipment provider Huawei, while many Chinese students seeking to study in the United States are facing more restrictions like months-long visa delay.

Thanks to Washington’s relentless efforts, the two countries, which should have celebrated the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year, are seeing their relations slipping down the path to a possible all-out confrontation.

Despite Washington’s “in-your-face” style of maximum pressure strategy, China has been steadfastly consistent in its position. It has always been committed to settling trade frictions via dialogue and consultation and safeguarding its legitimate and sovereign rights at the same time.

Beijing, as it has on various occasions reaffirmed, does not want a trade war, but is not afraid of one, and will fight to the end if necessary.

Last week, Xi had a telephone conversation with Trump at the request of the U.S. leader, saying that he stands ready to meet Trump in Osaka to exchange views on fundamental issues concerning the development of China-U.S. relations.

Xi’s words reflect an alarming fact that the two countries are facing a challenge to the fundamentals of their relationship. The upcoming Xi-Trump meeting provides a unique opportunity for the two sides to find new common ground in easing trade tensions and bring the troubled ties back onto the right track.

If the two sides can reach an agreement to pick up the talks, the United States needs to place itself on an equal footing with China, and accommodate China’s legitimate concerns on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit in order to seek win-win results in the future negotiations.

Just one day ahead of the Osaka G20 summit, some U.S. politician again threatened to slap punitive levies on imported Chinese goods. Such cheap tactics to bring China down to its knees with pressure will get nowhere.

For more than a year, Washington’s spoils in its tariff campaign have so far only seen rising daily costs for ordinary American consumers, growing rejections from U.S. farmers, industry workers and business leaders, roller-coaster rides in U.S. stock markets, as well as China’s increasingly stronger determination to defend its rights.

The trade fight between the world’s two largest economies has already hit hard the global market and dented investors’ confidence worldwide. The latest World Trade Outlook Indicator reading of 96.3 remains at the weakest level since 2010, signaling continued falling trade growth in the first half of 2019, according to the World Trade Organization.

Trade wars produce no winner. In his latest telephone talk with Xi, Trump said he believes the entire world hopes to see the United States and China reach an agreement. To get an agreement, Washington’s hardliners need to know that Beijing will neither surrender to their pressure, nor permit Washington to deprive Chinese people of their rights to pursue a better life.

And for the agreement to be sustainable, Washington’s China policy should be rational. A rising China is not seeking to grab global hegemony. It will continue to work with nations around the world, including the United States, to boost common development and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The past 40 years of China-U.S. relationship have proved that when the two countries work together, they both win and the world gains as well. But when they fight each other, all are poised to lose.

China and the United States, as two major economies in the international community, bear special responsibility for the wider world.

Therefore, the two sides, just as what Xi said during his meeting with The Elders delegation this April in Beijing, need to manage their differences, expand cooperation and jointly promote bilateral relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability so as to provide more stable and expectable factors to the world.

Source: Xinhua

23/06/2019

China confirms President Xi Jinping’s three-day trip to Japan this week

  • Leader will arrive on Thursday, ahead of G20 summit in Osaka, foreign ministry says
  • He is expected to hold talks with Donald Trump on sidelines of meeting
China has confirmed that President Xi Jinping will travel to japan this week. Photo: AFP
China has confirmed that President Xi Jinping will travel to japan this week. Photo: AFP

China on Sunday confirmed that President Xi Jinping will attend the G20 summit in Osaka this week.

Xi will spend three days in Japan – his first visit to the country since coming to power in 2013 – the foreign ministry said.

He will travel to Japan on Thursday and is expected to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of the meeting of leading and emerging economies, which runs from Friday to Saturday, it said.

It is possible the pair will hold formal negotiations over dinner, as they did in Argentina in December at the last G20 summit.
Presidents Xi and Trump are expected to hold talks over dinner, as they did in Argentina in December. Photo: Kyodo
Presidents Xi and Trump are expected to hold talks over dinner, as they did in Argentina in December. Photo: Kyodo

On Saturday, People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party said in a commentary that the trade war between China and the US could be resolved only through “equal conversation”.

“For the talks to resume … the key is to address the primary concern of the other side. The tariffs already in place must be revoked,” it said.

Trade deal ‘within reach if Xi and Trump show courage’

Meanwhile, state broadcaster CCTV on Friday criticised Washington’s decision to add five Chinese companies to its list of entities considered a threat to national security.

“The US made this move to put more pressure China ahead of the trade talks,” it said, adding that it might produce a result opposite to the one desired by Washington.

The report came after the US commerce department said it had added five Chinese firms that manufacture supercomputers and their components to the entity list, restricting their ability to do business with the US.

The blacklist effectively bars American firms from selling technology to the Chinese organisations without government approval. Last month, the commerce ministry added telecoms giant 

Huawei

to the list, heightening tensions with Beijing.

Xi told Trump on Tuesday he was willing to meet in Japan. Photo: AP
Xi told Trump on Tuesday he was willing to meet in Japan. Photo: AP

In a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Xi told Trump he was willing to meet in Japan and said he “agreed that the two countries’ trade delegations should keep communications going to solve their differences”, CCTV reported.

Kong Xuanyou, China’s new envoy to Japan, said on Friday that he hoped Xi would make an official visit to the country soon, ideally during the cherry blossom season next spring. The foreign ministry statement made no mention of such a visit.

Source: SCMP

22/06/2019

Chinese ambassador believes UK will make independent decision

LONDON, June 21 (Xinhua) — Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming on Friday said he trusted that Britain will make its decision independently, in the UK’s national interest and in the interest of Sino-UK cooperation.

Liu said in an exclusive interview with Sky News that even though there have always been differences between China and Britain, these differences have not prevented the countries from working for the common good.

Liu said Huawei is a good company and it has made its contribution to the telecom industry in the country.

The Ambassador said Huawei is the leader in 5G technology. “I do hope that the UK will keep Huawei for the benefit,” he said.

Source: Xinhua

17/06/2019

Oil tanker attacks: did Iran’s ties with China just go up in smoke?

  • Washington has blamed Tehran for an attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, putting pressure on Iran’s allies like China
  • Beijing usually backs its trade partner – but experts say the trade war with the US and problems with Huawei may have changed the equation
A tanker burns in the Gulf of Oman after a mystery attack that the United States has blamed on Iran. Photo: AFP
A tanker burns in the Gulf of Oman after a mystery attack that the United States has blamed on Iran. Photo: AFP
When 
Shinzo Abe

headed to Tehran this week for the first visit by a sitting Japanese prime minister in four decades, some in the diplomatic world imagined he could be the man to bring

Iran

back to the negotiating table with the

United States

.

Those hopes were torpedoed on Thursday when, on the same day Abe was meeting Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, explosions ripped through two oil tankers, one Japanese and one Norwegian, near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically significant shipping lane.
The attack immediately overshadowed an earlier success for Abe, who had met President Hassan Rowhani a day before and was assured Iran would stick to the terms of a 2015 agreement limiting its nuclear activities.
Washington accused Iran of being behind the attack on the tankers, releasing a video on Friday that it said showed Iran’s revolutionary guard removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships, and warning that it would “defend its interests”.
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. Photo: Reuters
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. Photo: Reuters

Tehran, for its part, claimed to have been set up, with its foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying “suspicious doesn’t begin to describe” the incident. So much, then, for hopes of mediation.

US President

Donald Trump

, who had encouraged the Japanese leader’s visit, admitted on Twitter soon afterwards that when it came to negotiating, “they are not ready, and neither are we!”

Still, the incident exposed more than just the naivety of those hoping for an Abe-led breakthrough. In raising the stakes in Washington’s confrontation with Tehran, it also threw the spotlight on Iran’s dwindling number of allies – and perhaps most significantly on its largest trading partner, China – which face mounting pressure to rethink the relationship.

Tanker attacks: world divided over Iran role as Saudi prince breaks silence
The day after the attack, China’s President

Xi Jinping

said Beijing would promote its ties with Iran “however the situation changes” – a comment made during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kyrgyzstan – but diplomatic observers question just how far China can go in accommodating its controversial trading partner.

BEST FRIENDS FOREVER?

Iran has long been able to count on support from China, which accounts for 30 per cent of the Islamic republic’s exports and imports, and its willingness to defy US pressure is a gamble at least partly based on an assumption it can continue to count on Beijing’s support.

As Iran’s largest economic partner – Chinese direct investment in Iran hit a record high of nearly US$4 billion last year, according to data analysis project ChinaMed – Beijing already plays a key role in relieving US pressure on Iran, said Mohsen Shariatinia, assistant professor of regional studies at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

But experts warn that reliance will come into question as China becomes increasingly hamstrung by its own problems.

China has enough problems of its own, starting with US pressure on Huawei. Photo: EPA
China has enough problems of its own, starting with US pressure on Huawei. Photo: EPA
Chief among Beijing’s headaches are its

trade war

with Washington and the related assault on its

5G

giant

Huawei

– which, as analysts point out, originally ignited over allegations it was defying US sanctions on Iran. Beijing will also be well aware of the need to keep

Saudi Arabia

, its second-biggest oil supplier and Tehran’s critic-in-chief, happy.

On the other hand, analysts say, China will be wary of being seen to abandon its old friend, as doing so would send a message to other nations at odds with Washington that they could no longer look to China as a diversification strategy.
“This could mean Chinese investment is vulnerable to US interference,” said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder of Bourse Bazaar, a media company that supports business diplomacy between Europe and Iran.
Sanctions drive Iranian students away from US towards Asia
Doing so, Batmanghelidj said, would put a question mark over one of China’s most significant foreign policies of recent years – President Xi’s signature

Belt and Road Initiative

to fund infrastructure across Eurasia.

THE BELT AND ROAD QUESTION
Tensions between Iran and the US have reached boiling point in recent weeks, after the Trump administration last month ended waivers on sanctions for nations importing Iranian oil – a move the US says is aimed at making the republic “radioactive to the international community” and which Rowhani has described as an “economic war against Iran”.
So far, China has largely stuck by the Islamic Republic, continuing to buy fuel from it despite the latest wave of US sanctions on Iranian oil that followed Trump’s decision last year to withdraw the US from the landmark 2015 agreement curbing Tehran’s nuclear development.
The deal had been widely lauded as a triumph of multilateralism and the dawning of a new economic era for Iran.
US releases video of ‘Iranian forces removing unexploded mine’ from ship
Part of its eagerness to support Iran has stemmed from the Islamic Republic’s key position in the Belt and Road plan. In 2017 alone, China signed deals for more than US$15 billion in Iranian infrastructure investment, according to the

Chinese Communist Party

mouthpiece China Daily.

Planned projects include high-speed rail lines, upgrades to the nation’s electrical grid, and natural gas pipelines. The two nations have also vowed to boost bilateral trade to US$600 billion in the next seven years.
“China sees Iran as its Western gateway, where not only is it a big market in itself, but it will also be the gateway to the rest of the 
Middle East

and ultimately to Europe for China,” said Anoush Ehteshami, professor of international relations at Durham University in Britain.

Nisha Mary Mathew, at the Middle East Institute in Singapore, said that China’s relationship with Iran was not just economic – but primarily strategic, with both nations envisioning an international order that was no longer dominated by the US and its Western allies.
DEFIANCE, FOR NOW
If the belt and road gives China good reason to stick with Iran, there are plenty of voices urging just that action. As Andrea Ghiselli at Shanghai’s Fudan University pointed out, US sanctions until now have only strengthened the hardline factions in Iran’s government.
The combination of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal – which had the support of the international community – along with Europe’s tepid efforts to rescue it, may have emboldened those favouring resistance over negotiation.
Xi’s supportive comments in Kyrgyzstan were only the latest in a string of remarks from China that could encourage such factions.
If Trump kills off Huawei, do Asia’s 5G dreams die?
After China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Beijing last month, the ministry’s spokesman Lu Kang said China’s economic relationship with Iran was “reasonable and lawful”.
Two months prior to that, China’s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, while hosting his Iranian counterpart Farhad Dejpasand, had claimed China’s “determination to maintain and develop the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership is unshakeable”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani. Photo: AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani. Photo: AFP

Even so, the pressure is getting to some. In February, Foreign Minister Zarif temporarily resigned, in what Andrea Ghiselli at Fudan University in Shanghai called a clear sign of the “changing and precarious power balance with Iran’s