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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

Epoch Times Commentary: China Is Afraid Major Economic Restructuring Would Endanger Communist Regime

The Epoch Times published  a commentary titled, “The U.S. China Trade War: the Reason for the Deadlock and Beijing’s Bottom Line.” The article proposed that what China is most afraid of is a major change in its economic structure because that would endanger the communist regime. The article quoted a number of comments from scholars. Li Ruogu, the former president of the China Export-Import Bank, expressed the belief that this is a serious misunderstanding because many people regard the current Sino-US trade dispute as a pure trade or deficit problem. He said that this dispute is entirely about the direction of China’s development. Huang Yasheng, a professor at the MIT Sloan School, said that the essence of the Sino-US trade dispute is institutional conflict. The only way to resolve an institutional conflict is to accelerate market-oriented reforms and establish a sound legal system.  He stated, “It would be tantamount to abandoning the party’s leadership to business, and to the judicial and legal system.” An Epoch Time commentator believed that Beijing is still playing “order diplomacy.” That is, China can buy more things from the United States; it can even place orders in the hundreds of billions of dollars with the U.S. and it can also lower some tariffs, but it will never agree to “economic restructuring.” If the U.S. really continues to push hard, Beijing might give in. Even if Beijing were to make limited trade concessions in the future, it would do everything possible to delay the implementation of any economic structural reforms.

Source: Epoch Times, June 7, 2018

RFA Commentary: China Paid a Big Price to Lure Diplomatic Allies into Not Recognizing Taiwan

RFA published a commentary article about China’s actions in dealing with Taiwan’s allies. Chen Pokong, a well-known Chinese commentator wrote the article which was titled, “Chinese People Pay Big Price When China Lures Away Taiwan’s Diplomatic Allies.” The article stated that China has lured away four of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies since Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016. The last one was Burkina Faso, an African country with a population of 20 million. Burkina Faso claimed that China had offered it US$50 billion in January 2017, but that it declined the offer. Chen estimated that if China paid a minimum US$50 billion per country, it would have cost China US$200 billion for four countries or an average of US$156 per Chinese citizen. If China were to be successful in luring away the rest of 18 countries that have diplomatic ties to Taiwan, it would cost China an amount that is greater than the entire “One Belt One Road” project and the equivalent of 10 percent of China’s annual GDP while the Chinese people have no say in any of these decisions.

Chen suggested that Taiwan does not need to compete with China in spending the money but rather it should put more effort into building a stronger relationship with the U.S., Japan, the European countries, India, and other countries. Chen listed a number of recent events in which Taiwan gained international support when it faced continuous threats from China. They include the following situations. When China tried to stop Taiwan from attending the World Health Organization conference, many countries stood up to support Taiwan. When China lured countries away from having diplomatic relations with Taiwan, more U.S. congressional members and politicians voiced their support.  When China increased the presence of its military airplanes and warships near Taiwan, the U.S. increased military cooperation with Taiwan. Because China increased its threats against Taiwan over the past two years, in July 2016, the U.S. Congress passed “Six Guarantees for Taiwan.” Trump signed the “Taiwan Travel Act” in March 2018. When Congress initiated the “Taiwan Defense Evaluation Commission Act” in May of 2018, Congressmen Cory Gardner and Ed Markey co-sponsored the “Taiwan International Participation Act of 2018” that same month. Chen concluded that (if China goes too far on Taiwan) it is very possible that Trump, who is known for his unique style and unpredictability, could decide to invite Tsai Ing-wen for a visit at the White House, which could be quite embarrassing for Xi and his administration.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 28, 2018

Huanqiu: France and Britain to Sail Warships to South China Sea to Satisfy their Sense of Presence in the Region

On June 4, the South China Morning Post reported that France and Britain would sail warships into the contested South China Sea to challenge Beijing. The announcement was made at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore “echoing the latest U.S. plan to ramp up its freedom of navigation operations to counter Beijing’s militarization in the region and its stance that territorial disputes should be a matter between China and its Asian neighbors.” An article, which Huanqiu published on June 5, quoted comments that a Chinese scholar made. He stated that the move that France and Britain took was just trying to “satisfy their sense of presence” in the region. “This is an obvious proactive move. What do Britain and France have to do with anything in the South China Sea? … China has never interfered with properly exercising Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea. …  The Asia Pacific region is a hot topic. Perhaps Britain and France want to gain advantages on certain political issues.  … They don’t want to be left alone and lose their ‘influence.”

1. Huanqiu, June 5, 2018
2. South China Morning Post, June 4, 2018

RFI: Air China to Resume Direct Flights between Beijing and Pyongyang

Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported on Air China’s announcement that it will resume direct flights three times a week between Beijing and Pyongyang out of a “business consideration.” RFI quoted an article that the Korean Associated Press published which stated that the reason that Beijing wants to resume direct flight was, “China felt that it was often neglected during the preparation for the upcoming U.S. and DPRK summit. China hopes to send a friendly signal so its diminishing influence on Korean Peninsula affairs will be restored.”

Source: Radio France Internationale, June 5, 2018

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