}

China’s Hong Kong headache


Facing weeks of protests against Beijing’s overreaching in Hong Kong, China now says that the West is behind their Hong Kong headache. In the statement blaming the West, China also failed to mention any specific individuals or countries.

Confucius Institutes close


Security concerns over Confucius Institutes have led several US universities to close their chapters. The Institute is seen as a base of operations for China to conduct espionage and keep tabs on Chinese students at US universities.

China’s economy slows


China’s economic growth slows to 6.2%, the slowest in nearly 30 years. While Trump takes credit, the slowdown is likely due to China’s development. Economic growth is expected to slow as economies get stronger.

China’s subtle espionage campaign


China’s subtle influence and espionage campaign deepens in Europe. Students living abroad are taught to “turn patriotic feelings into patriotic deeds … tightly tie your own ideals to the destiny of the motherland!”

China eyes the South Pacific


China is continuing to pump millions of dollars of loans and grants into the country of Tonga. Tonga’s debts to China now have reached $108M, or the equivalent of 25% of Tonga’s GDP. While it is not clear what China wants in the South Pacific, it may be eyeing Tonga as a foothold to project power to the West.

US aims to restart China trade talks


The United States hopes to re-launch trade talks with China after President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping meet in Japan on Saturday, but Washington will not accept any conditions around the U.S. use of tariffs in the dispute, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

President Xi arrives in North Korea


Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea for a historic visit Thursday, becoming the first Chinese leader to travel to the country in 14 years. His two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un comes days before Xi is scheduled to meet with President Trump during a Group of 20 summit in Japan, leading some experts to interpret the Pyongyang trip as a means to strengthen China’s hand in its trade war with Washington.

Xi you at the G20


Could a trade agreement with China be on the horizon? Maybe. President Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an “extended meeting” next week at the G-20 summit in Japan. Trump tweeted that he and Xi “had a very good telephone conversation,” and that “our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.” Xi has said he hopes the U.S. treats Chinese companies “fairly”—possibly a reference to the U.S. ban of telecommunications giant Huawei over national security concerns.

China warns US: Don’t open “Pandora’s Box” in Middle East


China on Tuesday warned against opening a “Pandora’s box” in the Middle East after the United States announced the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the region amid escalating tensions with Iran. Foreign minister Wang Yi also urged Tehran to not abandon the nuclear agreement “so easily” after Iran said it would exceed its uranium stockpile limit if world powers fail to fulfil their commitments under the agreement in 10 days.

Hong Kong leader signals end to extradition bill but refuses to quit


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday signaled the end of a controversial extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed after some of the most violent protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. In a closely watched press conference, Lam apologized for the turmoil but refused to say the bill would be “withdrawn,” only that it wouldn’t be re-introduced during her time in office if public fears persist.

China’s President Xi to visit North Korea this week


Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea for two days from Thursday, state media in both countries reported on Monday, making him the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years. Neighboring China is reclusive North Korea’s only major ally, and the visit comes amid renewed tensions between the United States and North Korea over efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

U.S. chipmakers quietly lobby to ease Huawei ban


Huawei’s American chip suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, are quietly pressing the U.S. government to ease its ban on sales to the Chinese tech giant, even as Huawei itself avoids typical government lobbying. Chip makers argue that Huawei units selling products such as smartphones and computer servers use commonly available parts and are unlikely to present the same security concerns as the Chinese technology firm’s 5G networking gear.

Hong Kong: Support for extradition bill wavers following protests


Cracks appeared to emerge on Friday in the support base for a proposed Hong Kong law that would allow extraditions to China as opponents of the bill vowed further demonstrations after hundreds of thousands took to the streets this week. Opposition to the bill on Sunday triggered the former British colony’s biggest political demonstration since its return to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal.

Expectations low for Trump-Xi talks


With under three weeks to go before proposed talks between the Chinese and U.S. leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low and sources say there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.

Hong Kong police fire rubber bullets, teargas at demonstrators


Mass protests in Hong Kong turned ugly on Wednesday after police hit marchers with tear gas and pepper spray. The violent scenes came after the government postponed a debate over an extradition bill after thousands of demonstrators blocked entry to government headquarters to protest the proposed legislation.

China accuses US of interference


Unable to fathom natural public protest, China is blaming the U.S. for interference. China is saying that U.S. opposition to Hong Kong’s extradition bill is interfering in its internal affairs.

Huawei appears to be hurting following US action


Shao Yang, Huawei’s chief strategist, suggested that the company would have become the number one smart phone producer in the world this year if it was not for “unexpected” circumstances. It is believed that Yang is referring to U.S. action taken against Huawei, including the placement of Huawei on the U.S. exports blacklist and banning its sale in the very lucrative, U.S. market.

Apple’s tech rebound


Foxconn, an electronics industry company, is making it clear that should the trade war between the U.S. and China worsen, forcing Apple to move its supply chain out of China, Foxconn is large enough to fill in and help Apple.

NY Times: The Hong Kong protests are about more than an extradition law


“[The protestors] understand very clearly that the measure making its way through the local legislature, where pro-Beijing deputies hold sway, has nothing to do with bringing murderers to justice, and everything to do with breaking down the firewall between Hong Kong’s rule of law and mainland China’s thoroughly politicized judicial system. They understand that the legislation represents a further encroachment by Beijing into the ‘high degree of autonomy’ Hong Kong was promised when Britain returned the territory to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.”

Hong Kong protests continue


While protests are nothing new in Hong Kong, the scale of the current outcry is unusual, with hundreds of thousands protesting a new extradition law on Sunday in what may have been the largest marches since the city’s handover to Chinese rule.

Trump’s trade tantrum


In true Trump tantrum fashion, President Trump is demanding that Chinese President Xi meet with him at the upcoming G-20 summit to talk trade. If he refuses, Trump threatened to impose more tariffs on Chinese imports.

Despite protests, Hong Kong sides with China


Despite protests in Hong Kong reaching more than 1 million people strong, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam says that a bill that would allow for extradition to China’s mainland will proceed. China’s legal system is very different from that of Hong Kong, and Hongkongers fear an abuse of the extradition process.

Hong Kong to push ahead with extradition changes that sparked massive protest


The leader of Hong Kong’s government has said she remains determined to pass a proposed extradition law despite a huge protest march against the legislation on Sunday that drew hundreds of thousands of people. Opponents of the law say it is being pushed by the Chinese government, and fear that Beijing will use it to extradite activists, dissidents and other political opponents.

Moving away from Huawei


Huawei smartphones and devices will no longer come with Facebook apps, like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp pre-installed. Users will be able to download the apps themselves, but this move by Facebook is the latest move by Silicon Valley to move away from Huawei.

Russia, China call out US in show of unity


U.S. retaliation for Russia’s interference efforts around the world and Trump’s trade war with China have left both Russia and China quite upset with the U.S. While in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both reaffirmed their commitment to each other’s countries and called out the United States’ practice of “economic raiding”.

Vietnam and others benefiting from US-China trade war


Trump’s trade war with China is doing little to bring jobs back to the U.S., but it is doing a lot for China’s neighbors. U.S. imports from Vietnam, Taiwan, and South Korea have all increased by 38 percent, 22 percent, and 17 percent respectively. Amid the trade war U.S. imports from China have dropped by 12 percent.

Australian National University hit by massive Chinese hack


Australia is pointing the finger at China for a massive hack of the Australian National University. Hackers obtained 19 years worth of personal information of students and staff. Experts speculate that the information could be used by China to try to find Australians to “groom” before they move into Australian public service.

Google warns Trump administration that Huawei block threatens national security


Google executives reportedly told government officials that they risk compromising U.S. national security if they push ahead with strict export restrictions on Huawei, and have asked to be exempted from restrictions on trade with the company. Google fears it would not be allowed to update its Android operating system on Huawei smartphones under the ban, meaning the Chinese company would develop its own version of the software which could be more susceptible to hacking.

Trump admin kept Saudi missile program quiet


Despite bipartisan criticism over Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and its role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the White House has sought an even closer relationship with the Saudis. Now, lawmakers have learned that the Trump administration did not initially disclose to key members of Congress its knowledge that the Saudis have expanded their missile arsenal with help from China. And they’re not too happy about it.