Politics

Politics

China, US trade barbs at UN General Assembly
Tensions between the US and China overshadowed a high-profile United Nations meeting after Beijing hit back at US President Donald Trump’s fierce accusations over China’s coronavirus response and environmental record. Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN, said on Wednesday the US had abused the organization’s platform to spread “groundless accusations.” The comments were a response to Trump’s address at the General Assembly calling for accountability after China “unleashed this plague onto the world” and slamming the World Health Organization (WHO) as being “virtually controlled by China.” Zhang said China held an “open, transparent and responsible attitude” during the outbreak, while the
Judge denies bail to NYPD officer accused of spying for China
A New York City police officer charged with acting as an agent for China has been denied bail by a US federal judge in New York. Prosecutors said Baimadajie Angwang’s financial records showed “unusually large” wire transfers to and from China. They said the 33-year-old defendant – a naturalized US citizen who is accused of spying on fellow ethnic Tibetans – might flee to China’s consulate in New York. Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann of the US Justice Department’s Eastern District of New York granted the request for continued detention on Monday because “no credible sureties” were offered to assure that Angwang would appear for court proceedings. “Given that Angwang considered himself the ‘100 p
Chinese military spotted lifting footage from Hollywood films for propaganda
China’s latest military propaganda film appears to show, once again, that the People’s Liberation Army’s publicity team has a passion for Hollywood blockbuster action movies. According to some observers, several of the scenes in a new video produced for the PLA Air Force – showing a simulated bombing exercise on an American military base in the Pacific region – look like they were lifted directly from the 2008 Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker and the 1996 action-thriller The Rock. Inkstone is able to match at least three scenes from the video with those in the Hollywood productions, in addition to what appears to be a modified aerial shot from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. A military s
China and America’s rivalry heads to Manila
The United States and China have both stepped up their efforts to woo the Philippines as the two global powers fight for supremacy on multiple fronts, including the South China Sea. On Friday, the agriculture ministry in Manila announced that a US-funded animal disease laboratory had opened in the northern region of Luzon, The Manila Bulletin reported. Earlier in the week, Sung Kim, the US ambassador to the Philippines, said he had handed over 5,000 hygiene kits and 16 handwashing stations to Manila’s mayor to aid local efforts to combat Covid-19.  That donation came after the US last month provided the Southeast Asian nation with 100 new ventilators. The latest American charm offensive cam
Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?
China released a white paper on Thursday claiming that its far-western region of Xinjiang has provided “vocational training” to nearly 1.3 million workers every year on average from 2014 to 2019. It comes as Beijing is facing mounting criticism from Western countries and human rights groups over its policies in the region, where it is believed to have detained at least 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in internment camps. China has been accused of subjecting detainees to political indoctrination and forced labor in the camps, but it has denied the allegations and insisted they are “vocational training centers” where people learn language and job skills. Observers said the
Trump and Biden both vow to reduce reliance on China, but methods will be ‘night and day’
In his Mexico City office, while the coronavirus pandemic has raged, Samuel Campos’s phone has been ringing off the hook with firms looking to move their manufacturing to Mexico. “Since the trade deal this year, I think our volume is up around 30% to 40%,” said Campos, managing director at commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank, pointing to the revamped US-Mexico-Canada Agreement that went into effect in July. The callers used to be mainly European and American, looking to escape China to avoid trade war tariffs or to be closer to their consumer markets. But in recent months, Chinese firms have been calling too – all keen on managing the costs and volatility that come with
China-India border dispute: Beijing raised combat readiness to the highest level since 1987
Chinese troops on the country’s disputed border with India raised their combat readiness to the second-highest possible last week after an exchange of gunfire, but the alert was lowered after a meeting of the nations’ foreign ministers, military sources said. The increase, to second level, meant more weapons and troops were deployed to the front line, and training exercises were ramped up for commanders, officers and soldiers, a military source told the South China Morning Post. The last time such a high level was employed by troops in the restive region was in 1987, when a skirmish in the Sumdorong Chu valley pushed the two sides to the brink of war, said the person, who asked not to be nam
US sanctions Chinese firm for ‘seizure’ of Cambodian land
The US Treasury Department issued sanctions on Tuesday against a Chinese company developing a sprawling tourism zone in Cambodia. It is the latest sign that Washington’s increasingly heated competition with Beijing has now spread to Southeast Asia. The Treasury Department accused Union Development Group (UDG) of “seizure and demolition of local Cambodians’ land” for the construction of Dara Sakor, a coastal resort area that is planned to include golf courses, casinos, luxury housing, an airport, and a port large enough for cruise ships. In announcing the sanctions, the US cited reports that Dara Sakor could be converted to host Chinese military assets, which could “threaten regional stabilit
US presidential election: China, Trump and red lines on Taiwan
For Beijing, there is one very clear red line on Taiwan. If the self-ruled island moves toward independence, Beijing has said that it would be justified in “reunifying” Taiwan with the mainland by force, a position it spelt out 15 years ago in its Anti-Secession Law. Despite dramatic lows and opposing stands in their relationship, both sides of the Taiwan Strait have so far managed to avoid crossing that line and engaging in a direct confrontation. But in the last few months, in the lead-up to the US presidential election, Washington has tried to capitalize on anti-China sentiment by offering strong support for the island. Beijing has branded the actions “US provocations” and promised to def
The downward spiral of Australia-China ties
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. The relations between Australian and Chinese governments have gone into a downward spiral in 2020. Over the course of less than a month in the summer of 2020, Beijing announced its second inquiry into Australian wine imports, suspended barley imports from the country’s largest grain exporter and confirmed the detention of a prominent Australian journalist. Then, the Communist Party-run tabloid Global Times on August 31 borrowed late Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew’s words to warn Australia that it risked becoming the “poor white trash of Asia” if it decoupl