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Geo-Strategic Trend

LTN: Chinese Official Media Downplayed the Singapore Summit

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that the Chinese media heavily downplayed the global focal point – the Singapore Summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The official Chinese newspaper People’s Daily did not even publish a photo on its official website. There was no report of the news on the front page other than a link on the right side that led to a short report. The historic event of the Singapore Summit attracted over 2,000 journalists from around the world to spread the news. The paper version of the People’s Daily also had only a short article with no photo. The short report provided a brief idea of the agreement between the U.S. and North Korea, but there was no mention of the responses from different countries in the world. People’s Daily is the biggest newspaper group in China. It is the primary official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party and provides direct information on the policies and viewpoints of the Party. It is very obvious the Chinese leadership had no interest in giving Trump or Kim much credit for improving the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Liberty Times Network, June 13, 2018

RFI: North Korean Media Described Kim Jong-un as a Supreme World Leader

Radio France International (RFI) Chinese recently reported that North Korean media swiftly and massively covered the story of the historic Singapore Summit immediately after its completion. The media described North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a supreme world leader who even U.S. President Donald Trump admires greatly. When Kim was walking along the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, the streets were filled with people praising him. The 40-minute North Korean Central Television program suggested that President Trump showed Kim the presidential ride (nick-named the Beast) to express his “infinite admiration” towards Kim. The general tone that the North Korean media pushed hard was that Kim has successfully led the advancement of the global political forces with his extraordinary political wisdom. Some international political critics expressed their belief that President Trump was a bit too generous to the North Korean dictatorship, which has a long-standing record of human rights abuse.

Source: RFI Chinese, June 15, 2018

Sinchew: Myanmar Worried about Losing Port of Kyaukpyu to China

Major Singapore newspaper Sinchew recently reported that the Myanmar government is in the middle of re-evaluating a Chinese investment project to develop a deep-water port at the Port of Kyaukpyu. The project is part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative; the total investment was estimated to be US$9 billion. The Myanmar government is deeply concerned about the high cost and what a potential debt default could lead to. Based on what has happened elsewhere, Myanmar may lose control of Kyaukpyu. Sources inside the Myanmar government reported that negotiations are going on with China to reduce the cost of the project. Kyaukpyu is located in west Myanmar’s Rakhine Province. That port offers China a direct path to the Indian Ocean from Southwest China, bypassing the Strait of Malacca. If started, the Port of Kyaukpyu development project will be the largest infrastructure project in Myanmar’s history. The project is also located at the starting point of an oil and gas pipeline station leading to China’s Yunnan Province.

Source: Sinchew, June 4, 2018

China Has Slowly Obtained South China Sea Control

The well-known Chinese newspaper in North America, the World Journal, recently published a commentary on the South China Sea. The commentary started with pointing out that, while the world’s attention has been on trade wars and the North Korean nuclear talks, China has consistently been increasing its military presence in the South China Sea. Analysts expressed the belief that China must have surmised that, no matter how upset the United States became, it would not start a real war with China over the South China Sea issues. China has been deploying military equipment in the South China Sea for quite some time now. That includes communication equipment, radar interference facilities and air defense missiles. Although the U.S. warned about “serious consequences” on China’s continuous militarization activities, China did not seem to stop its plan. China’s ultimate goal has been to change the status quo in the South China Sea. Quietly, it has largely achieved that goal in a short period of time – to the point that China has obtained actual control of that region without winning a naval war against the U.S.

Source: World Journal, June 3, 2018

RFI: Beijing Issued “Alert” to U.S. If it decides to Send Warship through Taiwan Strait

According to an article in Radio France Internationale, if the U.S. sends a warship through the Taiwan Strait, it would be seen as blatant support for Taiwan, which is constantly threatened by China’s warships and warplanes. The article stated, “It would be a blow to Beijing. This means that the Trump administration is taking more actions to limit Beijing’s maritime ambitions.” On Tuesday, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserted, “The Taiwan issue is the most important and most sensitive core issue in Sino-U.S. relations. The U.S. should earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and carefully handle the Taiwan issue so as not to damage Sino-U.S. relations and the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” Huanqiu published an opinion article on Tuesday which was titled, “It Is Better for the U.S. Warship to Stay Away from the Taiwan Strait.” The article claimed, “The Chinese people will definitely not be happy about it. … The United States military had best not get too close to the Taiwan Strait, especially if it doesn’t want to stir up the water there.” The paper threatened that otherwise, “It would put the U.S. into the position of risking confrontation with China’s military.”

Source: Radio France Internationale, June 5, 2018

Oriental Daily: China Objects to Korean War Peace Treaty Saying it Is Invalid without China’s Involvement

Hong Kong Oriental Daily News reported that it is very likely that the Korean War that has lasted for 68 years will officially end during the Trump-Kim Summit on Tuesday, June 12, in Singapore. A peace treaty is expected to be signed by the U.S., South Korea, and North Korea during the Summit. It will include a non-aggression pact between the North and South and include a security guarantee to North Korea. As to whether China, which participated in the Korean War, might object to the peace treaty, the article quoted Hankyoreh, the South Korean newspaper, which stated that the South Korean government was not aware that China might object to the peace treaty. It will work with China during the execution of the treaty to end the war, but the U.S., North and South Korea will initiate the peace treaty while the denuclearization agreement will be a joint effort to include China, the U.S., and North and South Korea. On June 4, China’s official media Huanqiu published an article that stated, “If China is excluded from the peace treaty, the treaty will be deemed invalid and could be revoked at any time.” The article claimed, “China’s participation in producing and signing the peace treaty would not only make the treaty legally valid and historically grounded; it would also provide an extra share of stability.” The Huanqiu article stated that without China’s arduous efforts, no peace treaty would exist. Therefore, it is undeniable that China should be part of the peace treaty discussion.

1. Oriental Daily, June 5, 2018
2. Sina, June 4, 2018

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