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US Embassy in China Posted Pompeo’s Speech on China Expelling Wall Street Journal Reporters

The United States Embassy in China placed a post on its own website in Chinese. It included excerpts from the speech that Secretary of State Pompeo made at the press conference held on February 25, 2020 (original English speech can be found at:

The original transcript is below:

“Expelling our journalists exposes, once again, the governance issue that led to SARS, and now, the coronavirus, namely censorship.  It can have deadly consequences.  Had China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge.

QUESTION:  On China, you have issued a strong statement to condemn China for expelling The Wall Street Journal reporters.  What other options being considered by the United States to respond?  And what is your take on this headline controversy that some of The Wall Street Journal’s China staff have asked the paper to apologize and that the headline was considered by the Chinese Government to be racist?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So with respect to the decision that the Chinese Communist Party made to expel three Wall Street Journal journalists, we made a statement; we’ve condemned it.  We’ve condemned it because it’s the wrong thing to do from a perspective of freedom.  We talk about reciprocity and what Chinese media outlets have access to or are permitted to do here in the United States.  That is not the case for U.S. media outlets or, for that matter, other non-Chinese media outlets inside of China as well.  So there’s an important principle there that we want to defend.

But second, it’s also incredibly important that we get accurate information about what’s taking place there. With respect to the coronavirus, this data set matters. This information matters. The tactical situation on the ground matters, not only to assist us in helping the Chinese people, which we are committed to continuing to do, but to make sure that we are helping citizens all across the world, including citizens right here in the United States.

So we think that information flow inside of China is at a critical moment.  It’s always important that we get good information, that there’s free press everywhere. But it’s especially essential at this time, where data and information matter because they provide things that go beyond anecdote so that we can respond in a way that meets the actual threat, not based on anecdote and rumor.

I don’t want to get ahead of what our policy options are that are being considered.  We’re looking at a broad range of things.  We will take the appropriate action and, if necessary, we’ll make sure that the President also gets a chance to weigh in on this decision as we move through our decision-making process.”

Source: US Embassy and Consulates in China website, February 25, 2020

UDN: The U.S. Plans to Restrict China’s Use of Chip-Making Equipment

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that the U.S. Trump administration is considering a new trade restriction. This time it points to banning China from using U.S. chip-making equipment for manufacturing. The U.S. Department of Commerce is planning to amend its policies around Country of Origin, which means if it is national security related, there will be more restrictions on foreign vendors who want to use U.S. technology based equipment. This may result in a requirement to obtain prior U.S. permission for foreign manufacturers to produce chips to supply Huawei. Analysts expressed the belief that the new policy aims to slow down China’s speed of improving its technologies. However, the plan may also bring the risk of disrupting the global supply chain of the U.S. giants in the semiconductor industry. The plan is still under debate within the U.S. federal government.

Source: UDN, February 17, 2020

The Paper: Bloomberg’s First Debate Performance a Major Disappointment

Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that the U.S. Democratic Party had its ninth TV presidential debate in Las Vegas on February 19. The much-hyped former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg made his first debate appearance. However, his performance was a major blow to those who had high hopes for him. The current Democratic presidential field is quite chaotic, though Senator Bernie Sanders has shown some lead. With this background, many saw Bloomberg as someone who could unite the party. However, the other five candidates attacked him heavily while he showed no capability of handling the situation successfully. It was widely expected that Bloomberg would face serious attacks on his wealth as well as previous his record during his time when he served as the New York mayor, such as his Stop and Frisk policy. Bloomberg could not address the issues confidently even with weeks of prior preparations, while Sanders demonstrated strong personality and aggressiveness. U.S. news site Politico described Bloomberg’s performance as a disaster. The Washington Post pointed out that, after seeing the debate, many voters gave up believing that Bloomberg would be the one who could actually challenge Trump. Bloomberg’s lack of charisma may have a big negative impact on his Super Tuesday performance in less than two weeks. Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden did not have a good performance in the same debate either.

Source: The Paper, February 21, 2020

Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson on Revoking Press Credentials of Three Wall Street Journal Reporters

Many questions were raised regarding China’s decision to revoke the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters at the press conference that Geng Shuang, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave on February 20.

One question asked was whether China’s action was a response to the United States designating five Chinese media companies as “foreign missions.” Geng didn’t give a direct answer.

Instead, Geng criticized the Wall Street Journal for publishing an article (“China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia”) that slandered China. He repeated exactly the same statement in his answers to four different questions, which seemed to indicate that Beijing was targeting the Wall Street Journal as a whole, though the three reporters may have had nothing to do with that article.

Question: The commentary department of the Wall Street Journal published the article insulting China. The three reporters are in the news reporting department. Before revoking the credentials of these three reporters, who had nothing to do with the insulting article, did China ask the Wall Street Journal for an apology or try other mediation measures?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (of different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions.

Question: What if those three reporters got their reporter credentials revoked?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (of different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions.

Question: It was reported that the CEO of Dow Jones, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal expressed that the article was from its Commentary department. Whether people agree with it or not, the newspaper can provide an opportunity to release all different opinions. How will China comment on it?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (of different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions. …

Question: These three reporters were from the news reporting department, not the commentary department and had not participated in the article which insulted China. Why did China revoke their reporter credentials? On which law did China base its measure?

Answer: … We are not interested in the internal work assignment (to different people) at the Wall Street Journal. There is just one Wall Street Journal in the world. They must be responsible for their actions. …

Source: The Foreign Affairs Ministry website, February 20, 2020

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

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

Leadership: Xi Explains His Role in Containing Coronavirus since January 7

Qiushi Journal, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee’s flagship bimonthly periodical, released a speech that Xi Jinping, the CCP General Secretary, gave at the February 3 meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee.

Qiushi published the full text of Xi’s speech on Saturday, February 15. In the speech, Xi explained his role since January 7, 2020, in containing the novel coronavirus. After consolidating power, Xi has made it a rule that different organizations, including the National People’s Congress, State Council, each headed by a Politburo Standing Committee member, all report their work to him. This is the first time he had to explain to others what he has been doing.

China experts observed that Xi has been under mounting domestic and international pressure because of the outbreak, as well as the spread of the coronavirus. In order to “gain international understanding and support,” Xi offered guidance on “communicating with WHO, and with relevant countries and regions, to promote information sharing and policy coordination.” Meanwhile, Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, revealed that the 15-member WHO delegation has no US experts in it.

Xi also wanted to “ensure societal control and security by stepping up law enforcement and mobilizing public security and the armed police in joint efforts.” Xi made no mention of the delayed or inaccurate reporting that the local leaders from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak had voiced.

Xi gave orders to “strengthen control and management of Internet media; push for clear organizational and individual obligations, management obligations, and supervision obligations; and strike against and handle those who spread rumors and stir up trouble.”

On February 4, the day after Xi’s speech, Zhao Kezhi, minister of China’s ministry of public security, told police personnel across the country through a teleconference to maintain a secure and stable environment to fight the virus. He said the police needed to place “political security” above everything else, and to crack down on “domestic and international hostile forces.”

Xi also emphasized adherence to the economic goals set for this year, including achieving “moderate prosperity.”

Related postings on Chinascope:

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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

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

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