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Beijing calls for a ‘people’s war’ against the US as Trump threatens tariffs against another $300 billion of Chinese goods in all-out trade battle

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Chinese state media — which function as Communist Party mouthpieces — issued a series of rabble-rousing statements on Monday, accusing the US of “greed and arrogance” and calling for a “people’s war” against it

Chinese state media — which function as Communist Party mouthpieces — issued a series of rabble-rousing statements on Monday, accusing the US of “greed and arrogance” and calling for a “people’s war” against it

The US-China trade war continues to heat up as Beijing calls for a “people’s war” against Washington, and President Donald Trump threatens to impose tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In a series of editorials and op-eds published on Monday, Chinese state media slammed the Trump administration’s “greed and arrogance,” and called for a “people’s war” against it. Beijing’s state-run media effectively serve as mouthpieces for the Communist Party.

“The most important thing is that in the China-US trade war, the US side fights for greed and arrogance … and morale will break at any point. The Chinese side is fighting back to protect its legitimate interests,” the nationalistic Global Times tabloid wrote in a Chinese-language editorial carried by Xinhua News Agency.

“The trade war in the US is the creation of one person and one administration, but it affects that country’s entire population. In China, the entire country and all its people are being threatened. For us, this is a real ‘people’s war.'”

Read more: Asian stocks are following Wall Street’s bloodbath as the US-China trade war heats up

Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in December 2017. REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool

The rabble-rousing statements come amid an intense escalation of the trade war over the past week. Here’s what happened:

If the Trump administration were to impose the new tariffs on $300 billion of additional goods it would mean that $500 billion of Chinese goods coming into the US would be subject to tariffs.

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China hits back in trade war with US

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China has said it will raise tariffs on $60bn (£46bn) of US goods from 1 June, extending a bilateral trade war.

China hits back at Donald Trump’s ‘zero-sum mentality’ on trade, threatens retaliation

The “bonhomie” seen as US$250 billion worth of trade deals were struck between China and the US during Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing in November was fading away, Xinhua said. Photo: AFP

London (CNN Business)China is striking back at the United States as the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies continues to escalate.
Beijing said Monday that it will increase tariffs on roughly $60 billion worth of US goods on June 1, including American cotton, machinery, grains and aircraft parts. More than 4,000 items are affected, most of which will carry tariffs of 25% — up from 10% when they were first levied last September.
The move follows Friday’s increase in US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports from 10% to 25%. The Trump administration, which has accused China of backtracking on previous trade commitments, sought to turn up the pressure on Beijing after months of talks failed to produce a breakthrough. But it’s not clear whether the return of tit-for-tat penalties will push Beijing toward a deal.
US and Chinese negotiators ended another round of talks on Friday without an agreement to resolve American concerns on market access and intellectual property theft.
It’s up in the air when they’ll meet again. Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, said Sunday there is a “strong possibility” Trump will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 economic summit in Japan next month. Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, said last week there would be another round of talks in Beijing.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has begun the process to apply tariffs of 25% to the remaining $300 billion worth of goods China exports to the United States.

China’s trade surplus with the US in the first 11 months of 2017 was bigger than that for the whole of 2016. Photo: AP

High stakes

The trade dispute, which began last July, has hurt Chinese exporters, damaged companies on both sides and slowed global growth. Apple (AAPL) partially blamed the trade war for a revenue decline in the first three months of 2019, and construction company Caterpillar (CAT) said that Chinese tariffs cost it more than $100 million in 2018.
The latest actions are poised to make things worse. Experts have said that tariff hikes could hit growth in both economies, and that Beijing may be forced to step in with new stimulus measures. Global markets have also been whipsawed by the trade fight. The Dow on Monday fell by more than 600 points.
Last week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted their worst weekly drops since December, while the Dow had its worst week since March. Analysts fear there could be worse to come if the trade war escalates further. If the US presses ahead with its plan to apply tariffs to all of China’s exports, Beijing’s options to respond are limited as it has already targeted the vast majority of American exports.

US hikes tariffs on Chinese goods, Beijing vows retaliation

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In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, photo, a barge pushes a container ship to the dockyard in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province. President Donald Trump’s latest tariff hikes on Chinese goods took effect Friday and Beijing said it would retaliate, escalating tensions in fight over China’s technology ambitions and other trade strains. (Chinatopix via AP)

American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations –

BEIJING (AP) — President Donald Trump’s latest tariff hike on Chinese goods took effect Friday and Beijing said it would retaliate, escalating a battle over China’s technology ambitions and other trade tensions.

The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%. China’s Commerce Ministry said it would impose “necessary countermeasures” but gave no details.

The increase went ahead even after American and Chinese negotiators began more talks in Washington aimed at ending a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and shaken global financial markets.

In this Wednesday, May 8, 2019, photo, a delivery man bearing U.S. commerce giant Amazon’s brand is seen in downtown Beijing. China said Thursday it will retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with more tariff hikes in a fight over technology and trade, ratcheting up tensions ahead of negotiations in Washington. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

“The risk of a complete breakdown in trade talks has certainly increased,” said Michael Taylor of Moody’s Investors Service in a report.

American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations.

The talks were due to resume Friday after wrapping up Thursday evening with no word on progress.

“China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures,” said a Commerce Ministry statement.

Shares in Asia were mixed Friday amid renewed investor jitters that global growth might suffer in the battle between the two biggest economies and international traders.

Business groups appealed for a settlement that will resolve chronic complaints about market barriers, subsidies and a regulatory system they say is rigged against foreign companies.

Companies disagree with tariff hikes but “are supportive of the idea in the short term if it helps us get to a strong, enforceable, long-term agreement that addresses structural issues,” said Greg Gilligan, the deputy chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China

This April 23, 2017, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, shows a container dock of Yangshan Port in Shanghai, east China. U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest tariff hikes on Chinese goods took effect Friday, May 10, 2019 and Beijing said it would retaliate, escalating tensions in fight over China’s technology ambitions and other trade strains. (Ding Ting/Xinhua via AP)

The latest increase extends 25% duties to a total of $250 billion of Chinese imports. Trump said Sunday he might expand penalties to all Chinese goods shipped to the United States.

Beijing retaliated for previous tariff hikes by raising duties on $110 billion of American imports. But regulators are running out of U.S. goods for penalties due to the lopsided trade balance.

Chinese officials have targeted operations of American companies in China by slowing customs clearance for them and stepping up regulatory scrutiny that can hamper operations.

The latest U.S. increase might hit American consumers harder, said Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, an industry group. He said the earlier 10 percent increase was absorbed by companies and offset by a weakening of the Chinese currency’s exchange rate.

A 25 percent hike “needs to be passed on to the consumer,” said Parker. “It is just too big to dilute with those other factors.”

Despite the public acrimony, local Chinese officials who want to attract American investment have tried to reassure companies there is “minimal retaliation,” said Parker.

“We’ve actually seen an increased sensitivity to U.S. companies at the local level,” he said.

The higher U.S. import taxes don’t apply to Chinese goods shipped before Friday. By sea, shipments across the Pacific take about three weeks, which gives negotiators a few more days to reach a settlement before importers may have to pay the increased charges.

The negotiators met Thursday evening. Then, after briefing Trump on the negotiations, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dined with the leader of the Chinese delegation, Vice Premier Liu He.

Liu, speaking to Chinese state TV on his arrival in Washington, said he “came with sincerity.” He appealed to Washington to avoid more tariff hikes, saying they are “not a solution” and would harm the world.

“We should not hurt innocent people,” Liu told CCTV.

At the White House, Trump said he received “a beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would “probably speak to him by phone.”

The two countries are sparring over U.S. allegations Beijing steals technology and pressures companies to hand over trade secrets in a campaign to turn Chinese companies into world leaders in robotics, electric cars and other advanced industries.

This week’s setback was unexpected. Through late last week, Trump administration officials were suggesting that negotiators were making steady progress.

U.S. officials say they got an inkling of China’s second thoughts about prior commitments in talks last week in Beijing but the backsliding became more apparent in exchanges over the weekend. They wouldn’t identify the specific issues involved.

A sticking point is U.S. insistence on an enforcement mechanism with penalties to ensure Beijing lives up to its commitments. American officials say China has repeatedly broken past promises.

China wants tariffs lifted as soon as an agreement is reached, while U.S. officials want to keep them as leverage to ensure compliance.

“A real enforcement mechanism is critical,” said the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai in a statement.

Also Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Trump in a phone call to press China to release two Canadians who have been held for five months.

The men were detained in apparent retaliation after Canada arrested an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei on U.S. charges of bank fraud.

___

AP videojournalist Dake Kang contributed.

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Xi’s China is replacing the U.S. as the dominant military force in Asia

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The American victory over China?

How China is replacing America as Asia’s military titan

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has refashioned the People’s Liberation Army into a force that’s rapidly closing the gap on U.S. firepower — and in some vital areas has surpassed it. The American victory over China in a regional war is no longer assured.

For the first time since Portuguese traders reached the Chinese coast five centuries ago, China has the military power to dominate the seas off its coast. The conflict between China and the United States in these waters would be destructive and bloody, particularly a clash over Taiwan, according to serving and retired senior American officers. And despite decades of unrivalled power since the end of the Cold War, there would be no guarantee America would prevail.


ReutersFILE PHOTO: A frontier soldier from the People’s Liberation Army jumps through a ring of fire as part of training in Heihe, Heilongjiang province,

“The U.S. could lose,” said Gary Roughead, co-chair of a bipartisan review of the Trump administration’s defence strategy published in November. “We really are at a significant inflexion point in history.”



President Barack Obamas half-brother, Mark Obama-Ndesandjo; It was the loss of his job that pushed him to a life in China, he decided he needed a fresh start, and this is well before his brother ascended to the presidency.

Roughead is no armchair theorist: A retired admiral, as former Chief of Naval Operations he held the top job in the U.S. Navy until 2011. His alarm reflects a growing view across the American defence establishment. In their report, he and his colleagues issued a dire warning. The United States faces a “national security crisis,” principally arising from growing Chinese and Russian military power. “U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe,” the panel concluded.

It is clear that Xi wants to bring the era of U.S. dominance in Asia to an end. “In the final analysis, it is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia and uphold the security of Asia,” he said in a 2014 speech to foreign leaders on regional security.

China’s Ministry of National Defense, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Pentagon did not respond to questions for this article or detailed summaries of its findings.

This account of Xi and the PLA – which despite the “army” in its name comprises all military branches – is based on interviews with 17 current and former military officers from China, the United States, Taiwan and Australia. Many would only speak on condition of anonymity. It draws on the accounts of Chinese officials and people with ties to the senior leadership in Beijing who have known Xi Jinping and his family for decades and are familiar with his career as he rose through the party and government bureaucracy. It also relies on Chinese government publications describing Xi’s political thinking, his speeches and official documentaries showcasing his leadership of the military.

In Washington, the world’s pre-eminent military power is mobilizing to respond. After decades of seeking engagement in the expectation that Beijing would become a cooperative partner in world affairs, the United States is treating China as a strategic competitor bent on displacing it as Asia’s dominant force.

Largely in reaction to this challenge, Washington is boosting defence spending, rebuilding its navy and urgently developing new weapons, particularly longer-range conventional missiles. It is expanding military ties with other regional powers, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore and India. And it’s conducting an international diplomatic and intelligence campaign to counter China’s cyber-attacks, traditional espionage and intellectual property theft. This campaign includes efforts to contain the global reach of Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE Corp.

The confrontation comes as the administration of President Donald Trump is waging a tariff war aimed at reducing China’s massive trade surplus with the United States. However the trade conflict is resolved, a grave risk is a possibility that the deeper tensions could boil over into an armed clash between Beijing and Washington and its allies in the hotly contested maritime zones off the Chinese coast.