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People’s Daily: The Japanese Factor in Cross-Strait Relations Will Exist for a Long Time

Wang Jian, a scholar at the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, published an article in the Japanese Journal (2017, No. 2 issue) titled, “The Evolution of Taiwan-Japan Relations in the 21st Century,” with the subtitle, “The Structural Contradictions between Taiwan and Japan and the Factors Impacting Future Trends.” The article pointed out that since the start of the 21st century, the relationship between Taiwan and Japan has undergone a series of changes. In Chen Shui-bian’s administration, there were frequent interactions in the political and security areas. The tendency toward “jurisprudential independence” made the Taiwan crisis even more prominent. After Ma Ying-jeou took office, he started the “flexible diplomacy” and initiated the “special partnership between Taiwan and Japan Year” program. The relations between Taiwan and Japan showed an upward trend which continued after the East Japan earthquake. Today difficult-to-reconcile structural contradictions between Japan and Taiwan still remain, including fishing rights in the Douglas Reef (Okino Tori Shima), the export ban on food from five Fukushima counties to Taiwan, and the Taiwan-Japan EPA negotiations. After Tsai Ing-wen came to power, the contradictions started to “intensify.” Taiwan-Japan relations gradually come down to the reality of interests from the too high “expectations” from the past. The factors affecting the relationship such as the Sino-U.S., Sino-Japanese, Japan-U.S. and the cross-strait relations are also being adjusted accordingly, but they will have more uncertainty. From the perspective of the Taiwan DPP authorities’ choice of foreign policy, the future relationship between Taiwan and Japan will be closer. Their alliance for common interests to compete against China’s mainland is still the biggest variable.

Source: People’s Daily, May 28, 2017
http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0528/c1002-29305819.html

People’s Daily: U.S. Tax Cuts Provoke “Tax War”

People’s Daily published an article commenting on the U.S. tax cuts reform program. The article stated that (the purpose of) the tax cuts is to start a tax war (in the world). It said, “With U.S. tax reform, taxpayers will benefit. Who will lose? Apparently it is the U.S. federal government and other countries that will possibly be affected.”

From the perspective of other countries, the U.S. tax cuts are actually provoking a tax war. In response, some powerful countries will join the competition. They will either be competing with their tax cuts, offering benefits at the expense of their neighbors, or setting up tax havens. At present, such signs are showing in Britain, France, and other developed countries. This will not only throw the international tax order into chaos; it will also diminish the results of the anti-international tax vicious competition that the ‘tax base erosion and profit transfer (BEPS) action plan’ under the G20 and other international economic policy coordination framework previously achieved. In addition, the U.S. tax reform will directly damage the export-oriented countries that are unable to engage in tax competition.”

“Overall, even if the U.S. tax reform program passes in Congress and moves forward smoothly, it will need to work well with other countries in international tax coordination so as to prevent mutual harm and endangering the global economy.”

Source: People’s Daily, April 28, 2017
http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2017-04/28/nw.D110000renmrb_20170428_2-21.htm

Global Times Editorial: The Boundary and Focal Point of Sino-U.S. Cooperation in the Korean Peninsula

China’s State Media Global Times recently published a series of editorials on the North Korea nuclear crisis. Below is an excerpt from one editorial discussing the boundary of Sino-U.S. cooperation on this issue.

“Some of the strategic factors of the DPRK nuclear issue have changed, including that the scope of cooperation between China and the United States is expanding. China has not only strengthened the intensity of sanctions against the DPRK, but also will further strengthen the sanctions if the DPRK takes new important actions that violate the UN Security Council resolution. In addition, the United States has given up its ‘strategic patience’ policy and openly talks about the possibility of launching military attacks against the DPRK. It seems that this is not just a verbal threat.”

“China and the United States seem to have made a determination to become more active on the DPRK nuclear issue. The possibility of a DPRK nuclear issue is declining sharply. Pyongyang faces a strategic choice between confrontation to the end at the risk of survival and coming back to the negotiation table by abandoning its nuclear program.”

“Cooperation between Beijing and Washington will not be without principles. Beijing will insist on limiting Sino-U.S. cooperation to the goal of restraining North Korea’s nuclear-led activities. However, with the development of the situation, it is estimated that Beijing will agree to resort to the severe means of bringing down North Korea’s entire economic activities, such as stopping the majority of oil exports to the DPRK. If the United States implements the financial blockade, Beijing will also likely agree to cooperate.”

“In any case, Sino-U.S. cooperation will not be extended to the military threat to the DPRK. Beijing will never support or cooperate with the United States in taking military action against the DPRK; it will not support the United States in “expanding” its goal of overthrowing the Pyongyang regime.”

Source: Global Times (Huánqiú ) April 18, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/strategysituation/2017-04/10493109.html

Chief Economist: China’s Housing Market Will Always Go Up Unless Supply and Demand Are Balanced

On April 15, Chen Dongqi, Chief Expert and former Vice President of the Macroeconomic Research Institute which is under the National Development and Reform Commission spoke at the 2017 Top Chinese Economists Forum. Chen said that the imbalance between the supply of and demand for land and money is the root cause of housing prices being pushed up.

Chen said, “If you do not solve the supply and demand issue, prices for housing will continue to go up. Of course, they will not go up every day, every month, or even every year, but overall they will steadily go up … stabilizing for some time and then rising again.”

Chen implied that the local government should increase the supply of land to balance the demand for housing. Regarding the supply and demand for money, he said that the money supply has increased by a wide margin since the beginning of the century. Most of the money has gone to the construction business including the housing market.

Chen also dismissed the idea of introducing a real estate property tax to curb the price of housing. He believes that, before the institutional mechanism of the real estate market improves fundamentally, tax increases may lead to a new boost in the price of housing.

Source: Caixin, April 16, 2017
http://economy.caixin.com/2017-04-16/101079053.html

Shen Zhihua: North Korea Has Changed from an Ally to China’s Potential Enemy

On March 19, China’s famous Korean War historian Shen Zhihua gave a lecture at the Dalian Foreign Language University. Shen expressed in the lecture that China has screwed up its North Korean policy. He believes that North Korea is China’s potential enemy.

Shen Zhihua recommended that China should abandon the soured brotherhood myth (with North Korea), give up its support for North Korea, and turn to South Korea.

He believes that, judging from the current situation, North Korea is China’s potential enemy, whereas South Korea may be China’s friend. He also said that China and North Korea are not comrades anymore. Sino-Korean relations cannot be improved in the short term.

Shen stressed that intimate Sino-Korean relations are the product of the Cold War. After several decades of confrontation and the change in the international environment, this relationship has changed. Once the Korean Peninsula war breaks out because of the DPRK nuclear issue, China and South Korea will eventually bear the greatest consequences, although the United States and the DPRK are the responsible parties.

Shen Zhihua’s view sparked the anger of Chinese super-nationalists who accused him of betraying China’s ally with his attitude toward Pyongyang. China’s national news media did not cover his views and the related debates.

Shen said that, so far, his views have been tolerated, indicating that the government may be willing to tolerate greater criticism of North Korea, as well as a debate on Sino-DPRK relations. However, Shen Zhihua also admitted that a change in direction toward the DPRK may harbor risk.

It is noteworthy that, despite China’s implementation of the United Nations sanctions against the DPRK, China’s imports from North Korea in the first quarter increased by 10.8 percent year on year. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press conference that, although China will adhere to the sanctions resolution, outside of the sanctions framework, China also maintains a “normal relationship” with North Korea.

Source: Duowei News, April 19, 2017
http://global.dwnews.com/news/2017-04-19/59811385.html

Local Chinese Mined the World’s Oldest Fossils and Sold Them as Phosphate Fertilizers

Guizhou Weng’an County’s phosphate mining area of the Ediacaran stratigraphy, which was discovered 19 years ago, has been found to have the world’s oldest paleontological fossils (about 106 million years old). In recent years, however, large-scale mining activities have been developing the area. As a result, the fossils have been sold as phosphate fertilizer. The scientists from many countries in the world were stunned; they stood up and issued the most serious warnings (about such mining).

“Weng’an Biota not only belongs to Weng’an; it also belongs to China and to all of mankind. The whole world’s attention is on it. The action is irreversible and the fossils are an irreplaceable and precious natural heritage. The outcome should not just be a few bags of phosphate fertilizer.” Top archaeological and paleontology scholars from China, the United States, Britain, and other countries recently gathered at the Beidou Mountain phosphate mining site in Weng’an County and appealed to the Chinese authorities.

Zhu Maoyan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, said, “Last November we already found the problem very serious. We located three sites still having research value as retention sites, but when we had an onsite inspection on April 1, one of the sites had already disappeared. It’s completely gone.”

Source: Kwong Wah Daily, April 11, 2017
http://www.kwongwah.com.my/?p=301673

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