Jul 24, 2019

China slams U.S., says it's open to using force to reunify Taiwan

China's Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian at a news conference in Beijing. Photo: AP Photo/Andy Wong

China criticizes the U.S. for undermining global stability and says it won't "renounce use of force" against Taiwan in a defense white paper published on Wednesday.

Details: Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news conference if "anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s sovereign unity and territorial integrity," according to AP. The white paper states "we will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked."

Why it matters: Taiwan is one of several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship. China regards the self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province. The State Department notified Congress this month that it has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan. The U.S. Navy has sent ships to the Taiwan Strait that divides the island with the Chinese mainland in recent months.

  • This is the first white paper China has issued since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sweeping 2015 military reforms, the Japan Times notes.

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U.S. warship in Taiwan Strait as trade talks set to resume with China

The U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Navy sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from China Wednesday, Reuters reports — hours after China warned it hadn't ruled out using force to reunify the island nation with the mainland.

Why it matters: Taiwan is one of several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, and this incident comes as American and Chinese officials are due to restart trade talks, per Bloomberg. The State Department notified Congress this month that it has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to the self-ruled Taiwan — which China regards as a breakaway province.

Go deeperArrowJul 25, 2019

Blacklisting foreign businesses in China

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's push to implement a national social credit system attracts rapt attention around the world, though it is in its earliest stages — not yet influencing the daily lives of most Chinese citizens and largely opaque to outsiders.

Why it matters: It's already affecting foreign businesses, which have been placed on blacklists or threatened with restrictions on market access.

Go deeperArrowAug 3, 2019

Trump says U.S. will hit remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports with 10% tariffs

Trump and Xi at the G20. Photo: Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

President Trump said in a series of Thursday tweets that 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of U.S. imports from China will begin September 1, accusing Beijing of reneging on a series of promises in this year's ongoing trade talks.

Why it matters: Trump had called a trade truce after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in June. He said that his administration elected to take the step announced today despite "constructive" trade talks this week in Shanghai led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

QuotesArrowAug 1, 2019