Jul 25, 2019

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.

The big picture: The U.S. Navy has sent ships to the Taiwan Strait several times in recent months. China warned against foreign interference in the region in a defense white paper earlier Wednesday.

  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to travel to China Monday for the first high-level, in-person negotiations between American and Chinese officials since since talks stalled in May, Bloomberg notes.

What they're saying: Taiwan said Thursday, after the guided missile cruiser the USS Antietam had sailed through the strait that the U.S. Navy is free to take such action, per AP.

  • A spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet told AP the voyage was conducted "in accordance with international law."

Go deeper: U.S.-China trade war to blame for the continuing global slowdown

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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

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

China denies U.S. Navy request for warships to visit Hong Kong

The USS Green Bay near the Thai coast in 2017. Photo: Roberto Sschmidt/AFP/Getty Images

China denied a U.S. Navy request Tuesday to make scheduled port visits to Hong Kong, amid trade tensions and massive pro-democracy protests in the Chinese-controlled territory, Bloomberg reports.

Details: U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesperson Cmdr. Nate Christensen referred the media to the Chinese government for information about why it denied port visit requests for the USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, which were due to arrive on Aug. 17 and in September, respectively, per the National Review.

Go deeperArrowAug 14, 2019