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US-China Relations - 4. page

World Journal: University of Michigan Announced the Closure of Its Confucius Institute

Well-known U.S. Chinese language newspaper World Journal recently reported that the University of Michigan (UM) just officially announced the discontinuation of its Confucius Institute located in Ann Arbor. The announcement was made after the Confucius Institute had been established for nearly ten years. According to the official headquarter records of the Confucius Institute, the UM Institute is a “unique” organization and was recognized in 2013 as an “Advanced Confucius Institute” by the Chinese central government. The University explained that it will merge the Chinese performing arts materials into its regular curriculum and there is no longer a need to operate under the Confucius Institute. UM is one of the several universities that discontinued their Confucius Institute programs not long ago. These universities are the University of Iowa, the University of North Florida and North Carolina State University. There are around 100 Confucius Institutes operating in the United States.

Source: World Journal, December 11, 2018

China Times: Primary iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn Setting Up Operations in Vietnam

Major Taiwanese newspaper China Times recently reported that, based on Vietnamese media reports, the primary Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn started a cooperative process with the City of Hanoi to establish its manufacturing operations in Vietnam. The move is reportedly in response to the on-going China-U.S. trade war. In fact, in October, the company’s subsidiary Foxconn Interconnect Technology had already completed a US$130 million acquisition of the Vietnamese company named New Wing Interconnect Technology, which is located in Bac Giang Province. Another possible reason for the Foxconn move could be the weakness of the new Apple iPhone sales trend, which has caused concern about reduced supply chain profits. Foxconn refused to validate this Vietnam move, citing its company policy of not commenting on matters directly related to its clients.

Source: China Times, December 4, 2018

Lianhe Zaobao: China Had to Buy U.S. Pork to Fight Swine Fever

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that China has been importing a massive amount of U.S. pork although China is charging punishing tariffs on pork originated from the United States. Highly infectious swine plague is sweeping across China, putting heavy damage on the pork market and industry in China. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, very recently, Chinese entities placed the largest order for U.S. pork since the beginning of the trade war. The active purchasing moves gave the observers the impression that the Chinese pork market is seeing a significant shortage. This may actually ease the tension between China and the U.S. that the trade war introduced. China is currently charging a 62 percent tariff against U.S. pork. For the week of November 22, purchases of 9,384 tons of 2019 U.S. pork originated from China. This represents a 72 percent share of all U.S. pork export deals during that week. U.S. pork futures increased by four percent.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, November 30, 2018

Global Times: Three Signals from the China-U.S. Presidential Agreement

Global Times published a commentary immediately after the historic dinner that Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump had in Argentina at the G20 Summit. The presidential agreement can be summarized as follows: one, no more escalation of the trade war; two, no increase of the U.S. tariff to 25 percent on January 1; and three, the two countries should speed up the negotiations on removing the current tariff. This outcome sends three concrete signals. The first is that China’s determination to defend its interests didn’t change; the second is that head of state diplomacy plays a critical role in the China-U.S. relationship; and third, China should remain calm when facing new challenges and should focus on solving internal problems. The commentary concluded that China is no longer the old China of 40 years ago. It is now the second largest economy in the world and no one wants to lose the Chinese market. However, there will still be tough days in the near future and China cannot take the upcoming challenges for granted.

Source: Global Times, December 2, 2018

LTN: Morris Chang Met with U.S. VP Pence at APEC

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that, in the afternoon, after U.S. Vice President Pence made a speech to the full conference at APEC, Morris Chang, the Taiwanese representative to APEC, had a high-profile bilateral dialogue with him. This meeting became the highest ranking public official meeting in the history of the US-Taiwan relationship. The conversation focused on the world economy and trade topics. Pence mentioned after the meeting that he will bring back Chang’s suggestion of establishing a US-Taiwan free trade agreement to Present Trump. There have been rumors of a meeting between Chinese President Xi and U.S. Vice President Pence. However, that didn’t materialize. Morris Chang is a Taiwanese businessman and the founder, former chairman, and CEO of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s first and largest silicon foundry.

Source: LTN, November 17, 2018