Global Times, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People’s Daily, reported that a spokesperson from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council referred, on February 22, to the China foreign ministry spokesperson’s position regarding U.S. marines to be posted at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei. The AIT is the U.S. de facto diplomatic mission on the island in the absence of official ties. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, when answering a question on the AIT on February 17, stated, “China has always objected to U.S.-Taiwan connections through official and military channels.”
In an earlier commentary on February 17, Global Times reported that Stephen Young, a former director of the AIT, said Washington would send marines soon to guard the new compound.
Wang Jianmin, a research fellow with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said this move from Washington is a critical part of enhancing U.S.-Taiwan relations, but it would cause significant harm to Sino-U.S. relations. It would also negatively impact the already impaired relations across the Taiwan Strait.
On February 16, Wang told Global Times that the current Taiwan administration has been pushing pro-Japan and pro-U.S. policies. The U.S. takes this opportunity to enhance its military exchanges with Taiwan, so as to solidify its political commitment to Taipei. However, such a political commitment is itself a mistake. Offering special protection from one sovereign country on land within another sovereign country highlights U.S. hegemony.
Sources: Global Times, February 23, 2017
Global Times, February 17, 2017
On February 17, China Times published an article discussing China’s investments to stimulate the economy. According to the statistics that each province has released, the total investment to stimulate the economy in 2017 amounts to more than 40 trillion yuan (US$5.82 trillion). Twenty-three provinces so far have announced their 2017 fixed asset investment targets. Taking into account the provinces that have yet not published their data, the total investment in fixed assets this year will be at least 45 trillion yuan (US$6.54 trillion).
In addition to the large provincial budget targeted for infrastructure investment, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also announced the latest progress on major investment projects. On February 15, NDRC spokesman Zhao Chenxin said at a press conference that in January, NDRC approved 18 fixed asset investment projects with a total investment of 153.9 billion yuan (US$22.38 billion). These projects are concentrated mainly in water conservancy, transportation, and energy fields.
Beijing Fushengde Economic Consulting Firm Chief, Economist Feng Delin, told the China Times reporter, “These investments are mainly to cope with the economic slowdown.”
Source: China Times, February 17, 2017
Caixin reported that, on February 17, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the second Chief Executive of Hong Kong after China took over, was convicted of a crime.
He faced three charges and was found guilty on the second charge, misconduct in public office. Tsang had deliberately concealed his plans to lease a three-story penthouse from Wong Cho-bau at the same time that Wong’s company was filing several applications with the Hong Kong government, including one for a digital audio broadcasting license. Wong’s applications were approved.
On February 22, the Hong Kong court sentenced Tsang to 20 months in prison. The Judge said that the sentence should have been a 30-month prison term, but he gave Tsang a 10 month reduction because of his 40 years of public service.
1. Caixin, February 18, 2017
2. VOA, February 22, 2017
Xi Jinping has been talking about focusing on “a few key people” to improve how his policies are carried out and to prevent corruption. According to Xinhua, the term “a few key people” mainly refers to the Politburo members.
After China understood that the South Korea Company Lotte would remain firm in its position with the Korean government on the exchange of land for the deployment of the “THAAD” anti-missile system, China’s state media Global Times published an article threatening that Lotte should prepare for the consequences. Continue reading