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Briefings

Global Times: Why Is the United States So Eager to Send Its “Experts on Anti-Epidemic Diseases” to China?

China’s state-run media Global Times published an article asking why the United States is very eager to send its experts to China (to help control the epidemic of Wuhan pneumonia.) The article listed three possible reasons that are being discussed:

1. China is concerned that the U.S. experts may grab the “first-hand data” and place the research results from China in their research papers.

2. American politicians are concocting the threat theory of a “China-made-virus.” If China allows American experts to come to China to investigate, it may provide “ammunition” to those politicians.

3. Some experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have military missions. They may probe the information about China’s capabilities in biochemical research, such as virus research.

The article vehemently defended China and dismissed the first two reasons. Regarding the third one, the article said that China has always welcomed cooperation in the face of fighting disease epidemics. However, it is also necessary to guard against people with vigilance. The article further elaborated that the CDC was related to the military when it was established. Even now, the CDC is still cooperating with the military. For example, the United States Army Institute of Infectious Diseases Medicine (USAMRIID), the United States Army’s main agency for the defense and response to biological warfare, also has the only BL-4 laboratory that studies high-risk viruses under the U. S. Department of Defense.

Therefore, the article concluded, it is necessary to conduct an investigation on personnel (who come to China from the U.S.).

Source: Wenxuecity, February 10, 2020
https://www.wenxuecity.com/news/2020/02/10/9118426.html

CAAM: China’s January Automobile Sales Declined Significantly

Xinhua recently reported that, according to the data that the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) just released, January Chinese national automobile manufacturing volume declined 33.5 percent, month-over-month, and 24.6 percent, year-over-year. The sales volume declined 27 percent, month-over-month and 18 percent, year-over-year. Passenger car sales declined 27.1 percent month-over-month and 20.2 percent, year-over-year. New energy source automobile sales declined 54.4 percent year-over-year. According to CAAM officials, the coronavirus impact started later in January, so the numbers do not yet reflect the pandemic. February numbers are expected to be much worse, as they will start to show the impact of the virus on market activities, manufacturing capacity, export limitations, financial bottlenecks and tougher government regulations. In the near term, the Chinese automobile market may have further significant landslides.

Source: Xinhua, February 13, 2020
http://www.xinhuanet.com/auto/2020-02/13/c_1125568965.htm

UDN: Historic Chinese-Vatican Foreign Minister Meeting Signals Warning to Taiwan

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that, according to the Mainland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi met with the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Paul Gallagher (also known as the foreign minister of the Holy See), in Munich. This is the first time in 70 years. The Vatican described the talk that took place in a cordial atmosphere. On behalf of the Pope, Gallagher expressed his respect and support for China’s fight against the coronavirus and expressed the Vatican’s belief in China’s wisdom and courage. The Vatican issued a statement later affirming China’s effort in the virus battle and the Vatican sided with the people in pain. Given this is the first time the two Foreign Ministers met, it should be considered an important alarm to Taiwan’s foreign affairs work.

Source: UDN, February 15, 2020
https://udn.com/news/story/6809/4347675

RFA Chinese: The U.S. Filed Suit against Huawei with 16 New Charges

Radio Free Asia (RFA) Chinese Edition recently reported that, while Europe gave Chinese telecommunications company Huawei multiple green lights, the United States did not rest. The U.S. Department of Justice filed another lawsuit against Huawei with 16 new charges, mainly focusing on stealing trade secrets. The new suit went against Huawei, four Huawei subsidiary companies, and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. The prosecution alleged that Huawei has been stealing intellectual properties from six U.S. companies on the Internet router source code, cellular antennas, robotic testing technologies, and other issues. Huawei typically performed the stealing via breaching NDAs (non-disclosure Agreements), obtaining knowledge from former employees of competitors, penetrating via proxies like professors, and establishing awards to encourage its own employees to steal from competitors. Huawei also exports to Iran and North Korea, who are under sanctions from the U.S., Europe, and the United Nations. The White house is working with U.S. technology giants like Microsoft and Dell to establish a new 5G network without Huawei.

Source: RFA Chinese, February 14, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/jingmao/cc-02142020121105.html

Chinese Military Aircraft Circle Taiwan Region

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that the Mainland military has been sending multiple aircraft to circle the areas around Taiwan. The rising new Taiwanese party, the New Power Party (NPP), published an official post on Facebook, accusing the Mainland authorities of wasting time threatening Taiwan, when the whole world is expecting the Communists to report honestly about the status of the coronavirus and to control the virus to keep it from spreading. The NPP also pointed out that the military activities may be one way to “release the Mainland’s internal pressure.”

The Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) later reported that, after Mainland aircraft circled the Taiwan region on February 9 and 10, the U.S. military sent MC-130J multi-mission combat aircraft and B-52 bombers on February 12 to patrol east and west Taiwan. On February 15, the U.S. also sent a combat warship to pass through the Taiwan Strait. This is the second time this year that the U.S. Navy dispatched a warship to the Taiwan Strait. The last time was on January 17. Strategists pointed out that the U.S. activities should be considered as a response to the Chinese operations.

Sources:

(1) LTN, February 10, 2020
https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/politics/breakingnews/3063118
(2) CNA, February 15, 2020
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/202002150253.aspx

Locust Plague, the Next Disaster to Hit China?

The desert locust (scientific name “Schistocerca gregaria”), the type of locust that is most destructive to human beings, has been spreading in Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has warned about a possible food crises in countries that they have invaded.

Two of China’s neighboring countries, Pakistan and India, are suffering from its attacks. Pakistan has entered a state of emergency; its government expressed that the country will end up with no harvest at all this year if it doesn’t get the pest under control. Some Indian scholars predicted the locust plague will cause a 30 to 50 percent reduction in India’s food growth this year.

Kang Le, an Ecologist and Entomologist, and an Academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Science News, during his interview with the newspaper, that the desert locusts will not impact China.

Kang said, “The current Locust plague is caused by the Schistocerca gregaria type. Its distribution region does not include China. Some scientists reported that the Schistocerca gregaria type was discovered in Yunnan Province in the early 1900’s but that claim was not confirmed. Therefore, Schistocerca gregaria will not create a severe threat to China.”

Kang also said that China has had a good experience in treating types of migratory locusts in China. However, that experience cannot easily be applied to the desert locust. “Since the desert locust has different characteristics and lives in a different environment from China’s types of locusts, it is not practical to apply China’s experience to the desert locust directly.”

On the other hand, Twitter has posted that the desert locusts have already arrived in Xinjiang.

Sources:
1. 163.com, February 15, 2020
https://news.163.com/20/0215/16/F5EJFM1M0001899O.html
2. Twitter

Chinese Foreign Minister: The United States is Threatening China

On February 14, 2020, in an interview with Reuters in Berlin, Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister since March 2013 and State Councilor since March 2018, responded to a questions about whether China poses a threat to the United States. Wang stated that the U.S. is actually threatening other countries.

Xinhua reported Wang’s remarks as follows:

“Wang Yi said that China is willing to follow the five principles of peaceful coexistence with the United States and establish and develop long-term stable friendly cooperative relations. This is China’s established policy, but the United States, on the contrary, is constantly putting pressure on China and frequently blaming and discrediting China. The facts are very clear as to who is threatening whom. For example, the National People’s Congress of China has never passed any resolution involving the domestic affairs of the United States. Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress has reviewed and passed, one after another, a number of resolutions that grossly interfere with China’s domestic affairs. Chinese warships and aircraft have never shown their strength around the United States. It is precisely the United States that has continuously dispatched warships and aircraft to China’s gate to show off its strength. China has never sanctioned any U.S. company and always welcomes U.S. companies to invest in China. It provides them with a good business environment, but the United States has done everything possible to impose so-called unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction on Chinese companies to restrict China’s rights to develop and grow. Therefore, when it comes to threats, it is not China that threatens the United States. It is exactly that the United States is threatening China. The problem to be solved is also how to eliminate this threat from the United States.

Source: Xinhua, February 15, 2020
http://www.xinhuanet.com/2020-02/15/c_1125578363.htm

HK01: U.S Manufacturing Sector Returned to Expansion

Popular Hong Kong new online media HK01 Network recently reported that, according to the just-released U.S. Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) Report, starting in January, the U.S. manufacturing sector stopped its five-month decline and returned to expansion. The January PMI number recorded was 50.9, which is the highest since last July. The new number beats the general expectation of 48.5 from economists. The much needed manufacturing boost injected significant positive energy to Wall Street since the sector had been a drag on the U.S. economy, which showed strong growth on employment and consumer spending. PMI is an indicator of financial activity reflecting purchasing managers’ acquisition of goods and services. A PMI number below 50 typically reflects a decline.

Source: HK01, February 4, 2020
https://bit.ly/2SdQD2h

DW Chinese: China May Delay Purchasing U.S. Goods

Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that China may delay the schedule for purchasing U.S. goods as agreed in the recent U.S.-China Trade Agreement (Phase One). According to the agreement, the promise of acquiring U.S. goods starts to take effect on February 15. However, with the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Chinese authorities effectively closed down a large number of factories and even entire cities in response to the disease. Larry Kudlow, Whitehouse Director of the National Economic Council, confirmed this potential delay on Tuesday, February 4. Based on estimates, China is expected to purchase US$76 billion additional U.S. goods in the first year of the Agreement schedule and a US$123 billion additional purchase is scheduled for year two. The agreement does not have clear details on how to resolve issues caused by a reasonable delay. So far, the coronavirus has caused widespread delays for Chinese manufacturers to be able to reopen their factories after the Chinese New Year.

Source: DW Chinese, February 5, 2020
https://bit.ly/37aSKru

RFA Chinese: China Protested against Taiwanese Vice President Elect

Radio Free Asia (RFA) Chinese Edition recently reported that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a “solemn” statement protesting against the visit of Lai Ching-te to the United States. Lai is the current Vice President Elect of Taiwan which, not long ago, just had its presidential election. Lai attended the February 6 National Prayer Breakfast, which President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, Defense Secretary Esper and House Speaker Pelosi also attended. Lai also visited the White House National Security Council one day earlier. Lai declined to comment on the details of his visit. Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai did not attend the Breakfast. This is the first time a Taiwanese Vice President Elect has visited the White House since the U.S. ended its formal relationship with Taiwan. The Whitehouse also declined to comment on Lai’s visit. China asked the U.S. to “stop sending wrong signals” to the representatives of the Taiwanese Independence Movement.

Source: RFA Chinese, February 6, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/junshiwaijiao/jt-02062020110459.html