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China Re-asserts it is against Self-Determination for Taiwan

China has regarded Taiwan as a wayward province, to be taken by force if necessary, ever since defeated Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949 after a civil war with China's Communists.

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Shipping containers at Keelung port, northern Taiwan. The new government wants to seek more diverse trade partners apart from China, in order to revive shrinking trade and boost a stagnating economy. Photo: Reuters
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1.3 billion people in China are resolute and united in their decision that they will never allow self-ruled Taiwan to come under Beijing’s ‘One China’ principle, China’s top official in charge of ties with the island said on Thursday, in Beijing’s latest blast at Taipei.

Leader Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party was repeatedly warned by China to join the ‘One China’ principle but the leader assumed that negative consequences might follow if they decide otherwise.

In an inaugural speech by Tsai on Friday, she urged China to keep aside the baggage of history and engage in a positive dialogue. She added that democratic principles will rule Taiwan’s ties with Beijing and peace and unity can be restored.

A meeting took place between Taiwan business representatives where the Head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Zhang Zhijun said, going against “One China” principle will only create an atmosphere of tension and have a negative influence on the ties.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen addresses during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen addresses during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

“There is no future in Taiwan independence, and this cannot become an option for Taiwan’s future. This is the conclusion of history,” Zhang said.

“Some people say you must pay attention to broad public opinion in Taiwan, and that one can understand the attitude and feelings of Taiwan’s people formed by its special historical experiences and social environment,” Zhang added.

“But, Taiwan society ought to understand and attach importance to the feelings of the 1.37 billion residents of the mainland,” he further added.

In 1949, ever since the defeated Nationalists have fled to Taiwan after a civil war with China’s communists, China has regarded Taiwan as a unruly province, to be taken by force if the situation demands so.

Foreign powers intruded and carved off bits of the declining Chinese empire for themselves in the late 19th and the early 20th century. People of China still have a painful and deep memory of the period of humiliation and national weakness.

“They have a rock-solid will that has remained consistent towards protecting national unity and not allowing the country to be split,” said Zhang.

In response to Zhang’s comments, the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s ministerial agency in charge of ties with China said, Tsai has committed to ensure the status quo in relations with China and to sustain peace and stability.

From 1895-1945, Taiwan was a part of the Japanese colony and gained the control of the island from imperial China. Therefore, China doesn’t permit the public discussion of views that will challenge the notion of Taiwan being a fragment of China.

Most of the Taiwanese feel that that the Japanese rule had a positive effect on their land. It brought progress to an undeveloped island where only agriculture prevailed. (Reuters)

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China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Donald Trump to accuse China and Russia as their currency manipulators

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday it is unacceptable that Russia and China are devaluating their currencies, days after the Treasury Department declined to label these countries as currency manipulators in its latest report.

Amid a possible new round of sanctions against Russia and a simmering trade war with China, Trump tweeted Monday morning, “Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!

In general, when a country artificially devaluates its currency, its exports become cheaper and more competitive in the global marketplace.

The currencies of U.S, China and Russia.
FILE – The U.S. dollar, Indonesian rupiah and Chinese renminbi currencies are displayed in the poster of a money exchange shop in Jakarta, June 12, 2013. VOA

During his presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly accused China of lowering the value of its currency and vowed to formally label China as a currency manipulator, but so far has failed to do so.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the administration is closely watching China’s currency practices. “That’s something that the Treasury Department is watching very closely and we’re continuing to monitor it,” she said Monday.

In a semiannual report titled “Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States” released last Friday, the Treasury Department did not designate China as a currency manipulator, but put it as one of the six countries on a monitoring list. The other five countries on the list are Japan, Korea, India, Germany, and Switzerland. Russia is not on the monitoring list. The Chinese currency, the renminbi, has appreciated over 3 percent against the dollar since the beginning of this year, after strengthening by over 6 percent in 2017.

Also Read: Trump: US ‘Being Stolen’ by Illegal Migrants

Brad Setser,a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Treasury Department official said in an interview with VOA he does not think it is an accurate complaint that Russia and China are playing the currency game.

“The Russian ruble was actually quite stable before the sanctions on Russia were intensified. It’s quite clear the volatility in the ruble is a function of the intensification of U.S. sanctions, a sign that the sanctions are biting,” he explained.

Setser said over the past several months, the Chinese yuan has actually appreciated, and China has not been intervening heavily.

“There are plenty of things to criticize China for on trade, but right now, there’s no real basis for criticizing China on currency,” he noted.

Russia's Central Bank Chief.
Russia’s Central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina presents the new 2,000 and 200 ruble banknotes in Moscow on Oct. 12, 2017. VOA

In the past three years, the Federal Reserve raised interest rate six times to a range between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent, and said they expect to raise the rate two or three more times this year.

Usually, when a country raises its interest rates, the value of its currency rises, making its exports more expensive and less competitive. However, higher U.S. interest rates have not raised the value of the dollar.

“The interesting puzzle that the market has been pondering for the past several months is that the dollar has actually weakened even as the U.S. has raised rates, and even as U.S. passed legislation to expand the fiscal deficit,” Setser said.

Also Read: This Way China Can Help India In The Terms of Artificial Intelligence

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Economic Analysis at the Treasury Department Setser stressed the United States should not label China as a currency manipulator at this moment.

“It would undermine the United States’ credibility to name China at a point in time when there is no plausible case that China is managing its exchange rate in a way that is adverse to the U.S. interest,” he said.  VOA