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Duowei: Trump’s Miscalculation in the ZTE Crisis

Duowei News, a Pro-Beijing Chinese media in the U.S., published an article commenting on U.S. President Trump’s change of attitude toward the Chinese tech company ZTE Corporation. Below is an excerpt from the article:

On May 13, Trump said on Twitter that he is working together with Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the plight of China’s ZTE Corporation. In response, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs answered on May 14, saying that China appreciates the positive attitude of the U.S. on the issue of ZTE Corporation and is maintaining close communication with the U.S. on the implementation of specific details. Indeed, this tweet suddenly showed an appearance of goodwill toward ZTE. However, if we review the entire ZTE event, we can see that this “play” performed by Trump has ulterior motives. The ZTE incident itself is not a trade issue, but it was forced to wear a trade war hat because of the timing of the U.S. review.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs “appreciated” this (Trump’s reversal of ZTE’s punishment). Trump could use it to tout his ability to “be able to make friends with China and protect the interests of the United States at the same time.” However, Trump’s “miscalculation” lies in the structural contradiction between China and the United States. Whoever laughs until the end is the one who laughs the best. The so-called “China-U.S. trade war” continues to this day. The issue of trade between China and the United States is no longer the core issue. The prominent structural contradictions will be the biggest crux of Sino-U.S. relations for a considerable period of time into the future. This “war” is a protracted war. It not only requires strength but also patience. From the first severe punishment to the sudden change in the attitude of the United States, it will not be so important whether it will eventually bring about the rebirth of ZTE. What is important is that this move of the United States completely awakens the Chinese scientific and technological community. Due to the economic take-off and some achievements in the field of science and technology, many people in China have indeed forgotten that there is still a huge gap remaining with the United States. The issue of “China Chip” has exposed China’s problem of independent research and development. It has become a catalyst for China’s scientific and technological research and development.

After the ZTE incident, not only did China’s official media People’s Daily surprisingly express that China had to “increase chip investments at all cost.” Xi Jinping also emphasized in the inspection tour in Hubei at the end of April that “we must speed up major breakthroughs in chip technology.” We must “climb to the peak of semiconductor storage technology in the world.” In his newly published book, “Xi Jinping’s excerpt on the overall national security concept,” he recorded “winning the battle of science and technology” as one of the most important issues.

If Trump thinks that “hitting a slap, then giving a sweet date” is a way to make Chinese companies give in, then he may be wrong. Even if the ZTE problem can be resolved with his help, Chinese companies will certainly continue with the sense of crisis and urgency at this moment. They will no longer be willing to have others control them in the area of core technology because the ZTE event allows them to understand that this can determine the company’s life or death.

Source: Duowei News, May 14, 2018

China’s State Media Asks South Korea President Moon Jae-in Not to Be Too Obedient to (the United States)

On April 27, China’s state media, the Global Times published an editorial entitled, “The Korean Summit Achieved Progress; the United States Should Follow the Trend.” The article stated that the Kim-Moon Jae-in meeting wrote about the goal of denuclearization and in “the Panmunjom Declaration,” was striving for an end to the (Korean) war.  However, all the writings were visions; they were not exact plans. The fundamental reason is that these issues ultimately require the United States to come out and talk directly with North Korea. South Korea can only convey its willingness. Its bargaining power is limited.

One cannot help but say that South Korea has played an important role in breaking the deadlock on the peninsula and ushering in today’s negotiations. The situation in the past few months has proved that Seoul will take the initiative to guide the situation as long as it can create and fight for the opportunity. It used to be too obedient to Washington. In the future, Seoul should be more courageous in upholding (and acting on) its own opinions.

For example, President Trump said more than once that he may meet Kim Jong-un or he may not. However, whether Trump will meet Kim Jong-un should not merely be a unilateral decision of the White House. The Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) should have the right to participate fully in forming opinions. Because what the United States will do is closely related to the interests of South Korea, Seoul is not an outsider, no matter whether Kim and Trump will meet and how they will meet.

Source: Global Times, April 27, 2018

Mainland Uses a Three Step Strategy to Infiltrate Taiwan’s Media

On May 3, Taiwan Broadband Communications, a major cable TV provider, cut the transmission of the FTV news channel following its failure to reach agreement over increases in content authorization fees. The decision affects around 750,000 households including 250,000 in southern Taoyuan. In the statement that FTV news issued, it alleged that Terry Gou, owner of Taiwan Broadband Communications, has vast interests in its investments in the mainland and could be under pressure to make the “proper” decision. In an interview with Epoch Times about this topic, Su Ziyun, CEO of the Tamkang University Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) commented that there is no sound evidence to prove that this speculation is correct but he did acknowledge that China has deeply infiltrated Taiwan’s media. According to Su, the approach that the mainland uses can be summarized as involving a three step strategy. The first step is to make an equity investment in a media in order to acquire it. The second is to make use of marketing channels to gain control of or cut off any other media that they have not been able to acquire or that are unfriendly to China. The third is to invest in a media’s content and to influence the selection of the programming. Su said that the third one is the most concerning because the mainland can select the information that benefits it the most and, in addition, that it can filter out any programs that are unfriendly to China.

Source: Epoch Times, May 8, 2018

China Sends Export Shipment to Iran – Signaling Its Challenge to Washington

According to an article that Deutsche Welle published, President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal on May 8. Two days later, China sent a freight train carrying 1,150 tons of sunflower seeds heading to Tehran, the capital of Iran. The article commented that it is hard not to conclude that the timing of the shipment was a signal that China and Iran sent to challenge the decision that the Trump administration made. The article stated that China entered into a trade agreement with Iran two years ago with a trade target to grow to US$600 billion over the next ten years. For China, Iran is a major component of its “One Belt One Road” project in opening up the middle Europe and China – Africa economic corridor. Meanwhile China buys 1/3 of its oil from Iran and is the largest oil buyer for Iran. In the first quarter of 2018, China’s imports from Iran averaged 658,000 barrels of oil each day, up 17.3 percent from the same period in 2017. The article also mentioned that the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China opposes the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Source: Deutsche Welle, May 11, 2018

China Forms Federation of Internet Societies

People’s Daily reported that the China Federation of Internet Societies (CFIS), a national confederation of internet social network organizations, was formed on Wednesday May 9. The group consists of 300 Internet organizations and enterprises, including 23 national organizations and 277 local ones. The management team includes Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group and Huateng Ma, founder of Ten Cent. According to the article, the mission of the Federation is to “work under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and government to promote social network development utilizing numerous social resources.” The president of the Federation vowed that the Federation will “adhere to the correct political direction; advocate for the social network organizations to play a functional role, be a defender for their interests, promote party organizational development work within the organizations; oversee the operation of the organizations and promote the healthy and orderly development of social network organizations with the assurance of following the rule of law.”

Source: People’s Daily, May 10, 2018

Article with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s Byline Published in Japan

Before his visit to Japan, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang published an article with his byline in a Japanese mainstream media. The article was titled, “Let the Sino-Japanese Peace, Friendship and Cooperation Restart.” The article started with mentioning the short distance between China and Japan. Li said he regretted that it took a long time to push the development of a better relationship. As the second and the third largest economies in the world, it will truly benefit Asia and even the world if the two nations have a healthy relationship. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty. Given the global challenges and the regional situation changes, cooperation among China, Japan and Korea will benefit the regional integration process of establishing the East Asian Economic Community. China is committed to peace and openness, which are required to ensure sustained economic growth. The economic complementarity between China and Japan is very strong. Li expected that his visit would witness the signing of a series of mutual economic cooperation agreements, as well as a local currency swap agreement. China will announce the grant of Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) status to Japanese investors. Li also called for exchanges in culture, tourism and youth activities.

Source: Official Website of Chinese Central Government, May 8, 2018

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