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China Targets U.S. Firms for Taiwan Weapon Sales

The sanctioned companies will be prohibited from making further investments in China, and their managers will be banned from travelling….reports Asian Lite News

China placed three defence companies in the US on its list of “unreliable companies” for selling weapons to Taiwan, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday.

The three companies added to China’s list of “unreliable companies” are Boeing Defense, Space & Security, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems.

The sanctions are intended to penalise the US for supplying weapons to Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.

The sanctioned companies will be prohibited from making further investments in China, and their managers will be banned from travelling.

When the sanctions were announced, Lai Ching-te of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was being sworn in as the self-governing island’s new President.

The latest action adds to a series of sanctions Beijing has imposed on US defence companies for selling weapons to Taiwan.

In September last year, China had already sanctioned the US firms Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman due to such arms sales. Five more companies followed in January.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have been very tense for some time, as the US also repeatedly places Chinese companies on its sanctions list.

The Biden administration cites escalating pressure from China on Taiwan – including increased military activity both in the air and at sea – as justification for delivering arms to the island.

China considers the democratically governed island to be part of the People’s Republic and has threatened to invade on several occasions.

However, Taiwan maintains a strong sense of independence, and Lai has not signalled any intention to deviate from this stance

ALSO READ: Taiwan refutes China’s allegations about dollar diplomacy with Guatemala

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Taiwan refutes China’s allegations about dollar diplomacy with Guatemala

Taiwan Denies China’s Claim of Bribing Guatemalan Lawmakers…reports Asian Lite News

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Saturday rejected China’s allegations regarding dollar diplomacy with Guatemala and called it a ploy by China to use the occasion of the oath-taking ceremony of President-elect Lai Ching-te and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim on May 20 to try and disrupt Taipei’s foreign relations, Taiwan News reported.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry’s statement came after the Chinese foreign ministry alleged that Taiwan had maintained political support from Guatemala by paying off its lawmakers, according to Taiwan News report.

The statement released by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “China took advantage of the inauguration ceremony of its new president and vice president to once again resort to despicable tactics in an attempt to confuse the international community. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs severely condemned it and warned China that Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a sovereign and independent country. China has no right to comment on exchanges.”

Taiwan’s foreign ministry accused China of using money and corrupt practices to infiltrate other nations and termed the latest allegations made by Beijing a grave insult to the leaders of Guatemala, Taiwan News report.

In the statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said, “As we all know, China not only uses financial bribes to infiltrate other countries but also creates debt traps to cause fatal harm to the development of other countries.”

Taiwan expressed strong protest over China’s accusations and urged the global community to condemn China’s hypocrisy. In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs severely condemned it and warned China that Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a sovereign and independent country. China has no right to comment on exchanges.”

On May 12, Guatemala announced that it would send Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martinez to attend the inauguration of Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te. According to MOFA, mutual visits by Lai and by Guatemalan President Bernardo Arevalo would be arranged later.

Earlier in February, Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said that the country will continue to maintain ties with Taiwan. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the decision.

In a statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) welcomes the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala on February 7 reaffirming its resolute stance on maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan.”

“Based on the shared values of freedom and democracy and the foundations of the long-term partnership between the two countries, MOFA looks forward to Taiwan and Guatemala continuing to deepen cooperation and exchanges at all levels to jointly benefit the peoples of both nations,” it added. (ANI)

ALSO READ: US urges China to disclose Panchen Lama’s location

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China eyes economic integration with Taiwan’s Matsu Islands

The Taiwanese authorities have identified these measures as a threat to national security. …reports Asian Lite News

China has announced a raft of proposals that target Taiwan’s Matsu Islands, also known as Lienchiang County, for economic integration and to establish greater political influence over the island nation, reported Taiwan News.

The Taiwanese authorities have identified these measures as a threat to national security. As an outlying territory so close to China, Beijing hopes that economic links can be used to coerce the local government and population of the county to willingly accept Chinese administration.

10-point plan aims at increasing shipping and investment between Fuzhou and the Matsu Islands, which are about 20 km apart.

Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), along with the local government, organized the 26th Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade from May 16 to 19 in Fuzhou, the capital of China’s Fujian Province, Taiwan News reported.

The proposals would allow Matsu residents discounted rides on transportation and hotels in Fuzhou, free tours of Fuzhou’s major cultural attractions, housing benefits, and dedicated hotline consultation for children’s education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

There are also plans for an industrial cooperation zone that will make it easier for Taiwanese citizens in Matsu to establish businesses in Fujian. Additionally, China has pledged USD 1.38 billion each year to promote business links and offer Matsu residents the same property rights as Chinese citizens, reported Taiwan News.

Fuzhou aims to attract young Matsu residents with educational exchange opportunities and entice travelers with incentives related to tours and accommodation, like Fuzhou-Matsu city passes announced in February.

The Chinese authorities are also planning to create a cross-strait distribution centre in Fuzhou with an annual budget of USD 5.5 million to facilitate increased trade, shipping, and economic exchanges with Lienchiang County.

The proposals aimed at Matsu island are part of China’s plan to establish a Fujian Cross-Strait Integration and Development Demonstration Zone, announced last September.

China aims to use trade and finance strategies along with infrastructure projects to annex Taiwan’s outlying territories of Kinmen and Matsu initially, to be followed by Penghu and then the main island of Taiwan, according to Taiwan News.

Recently, Taiwan’s authorities have raised concerns about China’s efforts to target Lienchiang County.

Reportedly, more than 3,000 individuals have applied for the Fuzhou-Matsu City passes, which provide RMB 300 for free to people who travel to Fuzhou.

Additionally, the local Lienchiang County government is helping residents apply for prepaid cards, which some believe could directly violate Taiwan’s law governing cross-strait relations.

The Magistrate of Lienchiang County, Wang Chung-ming, has been vocal in promoting a 27.2-kilometre bridge directly linking Matsu to Fujian.

The magistrate also promotes the infrastructure project as a means to connect Matsu’s Nangan Island to Langqi Island and Fujian’s highway network. (ANI)

ALSO READ: US urges China to disclose Panchen Lama’s location

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US urges China to disclose Panchen Lama’s location

The press release of the US State Department underscored ongoing concerns about human rights and religious freedom in China…reports Asian Lite News

The United States has called on China to provide information about the 11th Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism after Dalai Lama, who was “abducted” at the age of six by People’s Republic of China 29 years ago.

The press release of the US State Department underscored ongoing concerns about human rights and religious freedom in China, particularly in Tibet and other areas with Tibetan populations.

On May 17, the press statement of the US State Department said, “Today marks 29 years since the People’s Republic of China (PRC) abducted the 11th Panchen Lama, one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism, as a six-year-old child”.

It added, “Gedhun Choekyi Nyima remains missing and has not appeared in public since that day. The PRC government is denying members of the Tibetan community access to this important religious figure and instead continues to promote a state-selected proxy.”

The statement further said, “The United States supports Tibetans’ human rights and their exercise of those rights in connection with their distinct religious, cultural, and linguistic identity. Tibetans, like members of all religious communities, should have the ability to select, educate, and venerate their own leaders, like the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, according to their own beliefs and without government interference.”

Taking to the social media platform X, Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the United States Department of State, and Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, also called for Beijing to be held accountable for the issue at hand.

The disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima on May 17, 1995 remains a deeply concerning issue. Days later, the Chinese government’s anointed its own Panchen Lama, Gyaincain Norbu, who has faced widespread rejection from Buddhists both in Tibet and around the world.

The Panchen Lama controversy is a poignant reminder of the ongoing tensions between China and Tibet, and the suppression of Tibetan religious and cultural autonomy by the Chinese government.

Despite international pressure and calls for his release, Panchen Lama’s whereabouts remain unknown. (ANI)

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US bars imports from 26 Chinese textile firms

US officials believe Chinese authorities have established labor camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in China’s western Xinjiang region….reports Asian Lite News

The United States blocked imports from 26 Chinese cotton traders or warehouse facilities on Thursday as part of its effort to eliminate goods made with the forced labor of Uyghur minorities from the US supply chain.

The companies are the latest additions to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List that restricts the import of goods tied to what the US government has characterized as an ongoing genocide of minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.

US officials believe Chinese authorities have established labor camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in China’s western Xinjiang region. Beijing denies any abuses.

Many of the cotton companies listed are based outside of Xinjiang but source their cotton from the region, the US Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

The designations help “responsible companies conduct due diligence so that, together, we can keep the products of forced labor out of our country,” Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, said in the statement.

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington criticized the move. “The so-called ‘Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’ is just an instrument of a few US politicians to disrupt stability in Xinjiang and contain China’s development,” the spokesperson said.

Washington has restricted imports from 65 entities since the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List law was passed in 2021, according to the department.

“We enthusiastically endorse DHS’s action today to nearly double the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s ‘Entity List’ — while recognizing that the current list remains only a fraction of the businesses complicit in forced labor,” Rep. Chris Smith and Sen. Jeff Merkley, chairs of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in a statement.

The lawmakers want DHS to blacklist Chinese companies in the polysilicon, aluminum, PVC and rayon industries and any company in other parts of Asia making goods for the US market with inputs sourced from Xinjiang.

ALSO READ: Trump, Biden set to debate in June, Sept

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US slams China for ties with Russia

Vedant Patel says China cannot have stronger ties with Europe and other countries while supporting Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

The United States said on Thursday that China cannot have stronger ties with Europe and other countries while supporting Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine.

“The People’s Republic of China can’t have its cake and eat it too. You cannot have it both ways. You want to have good, further stronger, deeper relationships with Europe and other countries. While simultaneously continuing to fuel the biggest threat to European security in a long time. It’s important of this is not just the US position, it is one that is shared by our partners in the G7, our partners at NATO and our partners in the EU,” State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said at a daily press briefing.

“Fuelling Russia’s defence base as the PRC has not only threatened Ukrainian security, it threatens European security. And Beijing can’t achieve better relations with Europe will also continuing to support something like this,” he added.

This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrives in Beijing for a state visit, China’s President Xi Jinping expressed readiness to work with the Russian leader to jointly steer the future direction of bilateral relations between the two countries, reported Xinhua.

During large-group talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China’s President said that the two sides should take the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties as a new starting point, further synergize development strategies, and continue to enrich bilateral cooperation, to bring greater benefits to the two countries and peoples.

Xi expressed his readiness to make new plans for cooperation between the two countries in various fields. China’s leader, Xi, noted that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of China and said that the country is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts and moving faster to foster new productive forces through high-quality development, which will add new drivers to global economic growth.

He further stressed that both China and Russia are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major emerging markets.

On May 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a five-day tour of Europe, after visiting France, Serbia and Hungary, where he touted Beijing’s vision of a multipolar world and held talks on trade, investments and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron feted Xi with gifts of luxury bottles of cognac and a trip to a childhood haunt in the Pyrenees mountains, while in Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic organised a grand welcome, gathering a crowd of tens of thousands of people, who chanted “China, China” and waved Chinese flags in front of the Serbian presidential palace.

Xi’s main aim with the visit, analysts say, was pushing for a world where the United States is less dominant, and controlling damage to China’s ties with the European Union as trade tensions grow amid a threat of European tariffs and a probe into Chinese subsidies for electric vehicles that officials say are hurting local industries, Al Jazeera reported.

‘Russians, Chinese are brothers forever’

Meanwhile, on the closing day of his two-day China visit, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke highly of the people-to-people ties between the two countries, saying that the Russians and the Chinese are “brothers forever.”

Weighing in on the relations between Moscow and Beijing, the Russian President compared it to a song from the 1940s.

Speaking ahead of a concert dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the start of the Cross-Cultural Years, Putin expressed confidence in the continuation of cordial ties between the two countries.

“The event is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. There is a famous song from that time, it was created 75 years ago, but is often sung today: there is a quite famous line in it: ‘Russian and Chinese are brothers forever,” Putin said.

He further expressed confidence in boosting the fraternal, spirit of the Russia-China partnership, according to TASS.

“I am sure that we will continue to strengthen the fraternal spirit of the harmonious Russian-Chinese partnership,” the Russian President said.

The audience, whom the Russian President addressed in Russian before a Chinese translation followed, applauded Putin’s speech on both occasions.

On Friday, Putin arrived in Harbin, the second city the Russian President was scheduled to be in on his State visit to China, reported TASS.

The Russian President opened the 8th Russian-Chinese Expo and the 4th Russia-China Forum on Interregional Cooperation in Harbin. The visit followed an extremely busy day in Beijing where Putin held several rounds of talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the state news agency reported.

The two leaders discussed Russian-Chinese relations and the pressing international issues, according to TASS.

The Russian President is also expected to visit the capital of China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province, where he will attend trade and cooperation forums.

The region, historically plagued by border tensions between China and Russia, has seen increased connectivity in recent years, fostering closer economic and cultural ties between the two neighbours, according to TASS. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Biden hikes tariffs on imports from China

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Uyghurs, Tibetans Speak Out at Geneva Summit

he activists collectively called for global intervention to halt China’s human rights abuses against the Uyghur and Tibetan communities…reports Asian Lite News

At the 2024 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy held on Wednesday, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Chinese political prisoners vehemently condemned Beijing’s repressive policies.

Abduweli Ayup, a Uyghur linguist and poet, declared, “It is genocide because of the population transfer. The Chinese government forcibly transfers Uyghurs as labourers to provinces across China. Approximately 900,000 Uyghur children are currently enrolled in boarding schools, which disconnects them from their families and culture.”

Ayup also accused the Chinese government of implementing forced sterilisations and abortions among the Muslim minority in Xinjiang, stating, “Up to 3 million people have been detained in camps, where women are subjected to sterilisation. This systematic sterilisation constitutes genocide.”

Demanding international action, Ayup urged the world to boycott products associated with Uyghur forced labour and refrain from engaging in economic transactions that support Chinese companies.

“We must cease accepting Chinese funding and selling infrastructure to Chinese firms. Enriching dictators who commit genocide against the Uyghur people is unacceptable,” he asserted.

Chemi Lhamo, a Tibetan-Canadian human rights activist, emphasised the biased nature of Chinese documents concerning Tibet, stating, “Any document issued by China regarding Tibet reflects the oppressor’s perspective. Such documents are filled with lies propagated by the Chinese government and Xi Jinping.”

Lhamo highlighted the dire situation in Tibet, where freedom scores have plummeted to zero.

Expressing gratitude to India for providing sanctuary to Tibetans and the Dalai Lama, she stated, “As a Tibetan born in South India, I am indebted to the Indian government. His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides in Dharamshala, and I hope India’s solidarity continues for the safety of Tibet and India alike.”

Rei Xia, a 27-year-old Chinese dissenter and human rights activist, recounted her harrowing experiences of detention. She revealed, “I was held in solitary confinement twice, once for 37 days and again for 28 days, for peacefully advocating for freedom of expression.”

Xia condemned China’s treatment of Uyghurs and Tibetans, describing Xinjiang as the “world’s largest open prison” and denouncing the pervasive censorship across China.

The activists collectively called for global intervention to halt China’s human rights abuses against the Uyghur and Tibetan communities. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Israel slams UNGA call for more rights for Palestine

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Xi, Putin laud ties as ‘stabilising force’

President Xi Jinping expressed readiness to work with the Russian leader to jointly steer the future direction of bilateral relations…reports Asian Lite News

Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin hailed the relations between China and Russia as a stabilising force in a chaotic world as they met in Beijing, where the latter is aiming for increased Chinese backing for his Ukrainian war effort and isolated economy.

President Xi Jinping expressed readiness to work with the Russian leader to jointly steer the future direction of bilateral relations between the two countries, reported Xinhua.

During large-group talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China’s President said that the two sides should take the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties as a new starting point, further synergize development strategies, and continue to enrich bilateral cooperation, to bring greater benefits to the two countries and peoples.

As Putin’s motorcade of nearly 20 vehicles, escorted by a formation of motorcyclists dressed in ceremonial white uniforms, arrived outside the Great Hall of the People, the two countries’ anthems were played to the accompaniment of a gun salute, before the two leaders walked along the red carpets, Al Jazeera reported.

Xi expressed his readiness to make new plans for cooperation between the two countries in various fields, as reported by Xinhua.

China’s leader, Xi, noted that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of China and said that the country is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts and moving faster to foster new productive forces through high-quality development, which will add new drivers to global economic growth.

He further stressed that both China and Russia are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major emerging markets.

It is the shared strategic choice of both countries to deepen strategic coordination, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and follow the general historical trend of multipolarity in the world and economic globalisation, Xinhua reported.

Xi highlighted that this is the Russian President’s first foreign visit after he began his new term as president, stressing that this shows the great importance President Putin and the Russian government attach to developing China-Russia relations.

Later, in discussions, the Chinese President greeted Putin as an “old friend” and said that China and Russia’s relationship had stood the test of time and that they had provided each other with “strategic guidance” in their more than 40 meetings over the past decade.

The national flags of China and Russia are seen on Red Square, Moscow.(Xinhua/IANS)

As part of Putin’s visit to China, he was scheduled to travel to Harbin, the capital of China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province, where he would attend trade and cooperation forums.

The region, historically plagued by border tensions between China and Russia, has seen increased connectivity in recent years, fostering closer economic and cultural ties between the two neighbours.

Additionally, Putin’s itinerary included a visit to the Harbin Institute of Technology, a university-sanctioned by the US government for its alleged involvement in supplying items to China’s military. This engagement underscored the importance of educational and scientific cooperation in enhancing bilateral relations between China and Russia, CNN reported. (with inputs from ANI)

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UK govt summons Chinese envoy over ‘interference’

The Hong Kong government said afterwards that one of the three men charged was the manager of its trade office in London…reports Asian Lite News

Beijing’s top diplomat in London on Tuesday (May 14) warned that the UK risked jeopardising relations with China, after he was hauled in by the government for a dressing down over spying claim.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office said it summoned Zheng Zeguang a day after three people were charged with assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service.

It made clear to him that “the recent pattern of behaviour directed by China against the UK, including cyberattacks, reports of espionage links and the issuing of bounties, is not acceptable”, a spokesperson said.

Zheng confirmed the meeting in a statement on his embassy’s website and said that during it he made “further, serious representations to the UK side on the UK’s wrongful behaviour”. That included its “unwarranted accusation” against the Hong Kong government, and other “groundless and slanderous” accusations against China, he added.

“The UK must stop anti-China political manoeuvring and not go further down the dangerous path of jeopardising China-UK relations,” he said. “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong. The UK has no right and is in no position to point fingers and meddle in Hong Kong affairs.”

The summons came after police in London on Monday charged three people with assisting Hong Kong’s intelligence service in a case that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman called “deeply concerning”. Chi Leung Wai, 38, Matthew Trickett, 37, and Chung Biu Yuen, 63, all from southeast England, were subsequently released on bail after a court hearing.

The Hong Kong government said afterwards that one of the three men charged was the manager of its trade office in London.

China’s foreign affairs commissioner in Hong Kong warned of a “firm and strong retaliation” against further UK claims.

London has been increasingly critical of Beijing since it handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997, accusing it of breaking its promise to rule the territory under the “one country, two systems” principle.

It has repeatedly condemned a national security law which it says erodes rights and freedoms, and a crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners in its former colony. Zheng said the UK was “harbouring … wanted criminals” by offering residency and a route to citizenship in the UK of dissident Hong Kongers.

The summons will do little to improve strained ties between the two countries, which have been made worse by UK criticism of alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in China.

Last month, two men, including a former UK parliamentary researcher, were charged with spying for China, which was again denied by Beijing. The head of the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency GCHQ meanwhile warned that China posed a “genuine and increasing cyber risk”.

“China has built an advanced set of cyber capabilities and is taking advantage of a growing commercial ecosystem of hacking outfits and data brokers at its disposal,” GCHQ director Anne Keast-Butler told a conference on Tuesday.

“Through their coercive and destabilising actions, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) poses a significant risk to international norms and values,” she added. Her agency now devotes “more resource to China than any other single mission”, she added.

In March, the UK, United States and New Zealand accused Beijing-backed cybergroups of being behind a series of attacks against lawmakers and key democratic institutions.

ALSO READ-Biden hikes tariffs on imports from China

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Biden hikes tariffs on imports from China

The White House said that the decision has come in response to China’s ‘unfair trade practices’ and to counteract the resulting harms…reports Asian Lite News

President Joe Biden has directed his Trade Representative to increase tariffs on $18 billion of imports from China, including semiconductors, solar cells, batteries, and critical minerals to ‘protect’ American workers and businesses, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.

The White House said that the decision has come in response to China’s ‘unfair trade practices’ and to counteract the resulting harms.

“China’s unfair trade practices concerning technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are threatening American businesses and workers. China is also flooding global markets with artificially low-priced exports. In response to China’s unfair trade practices and to counteract the resulting harms, today, President Biden is directing his Trade Representative to increase tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 on $18 billion of imports from China to protect American workers and businesses,” the White House statement read.

The statement on hiked tariffs on imports from China also noted that the Chinese government has used unfair and non-market practices for too long now.

“China’s forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft have contributed to its control of 70, 80, and even 90 percent of global production for the critical inputs necessary for our technologies, infrastructure, energy, and health care–creating unacceptable risks to America’s supply chains and economic security,” the White House said.

“Furthermore, these same non-market policies and practices contribute to China’s growing overcapacity and export surges that threaten to significantly harm American workers, businesses, and communities,” it added.

The US and the European Union have often expressed their concern over “industrial overcapacity” in China that is impacting their domestic companies.

US Treasury Secretary Janet L Yellen met with the Economic Working Group (EWG) and Financial Working Group (FWG) between the US and China in April this year following her trip to Beijing and Guangzhou. “The US delegation continued to express concerns about China’s non-market practices and industrial overcapacity,” the US Treasury Department had said after the meeting.

“Both sides agreed to further discuss these issues,” according to a readout on the meeting. In a meeting between Xi Jinping and President Emmanuel Macron of France, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, urged the visiting Chinese President to address “the wave of subsidized exports flowing from his nation’s factories into Western countries,” NYT reported.

“These subsidized products — such as the electric vehicles or, for example, steel — are flooding the European market,” von der Leyen said. “The world cannot absorb China’s surplus production,” von der Leyen was cited in the US daily.

China cries foul

“Firmly opposing” the new US tariffs, China warned that the trade barriers would affect the wider relationship between the two economic superpowers and Beijing will “resolutely work” to defend its interests, CNN reported.

China’s Commerce Ministry also said that the move is against US President Joe Biden’s earlier stand of not seeking to ‘contain’ or ‘decouple’ with Beijing.

This comes hours after Biden announced that tariffs on USD 18 billion worth of imports of Chinese electric vehicles and an array of other products would soar over the next two years.

The White House said the measures were designed to protect American workers and businesses in the face of China’s unfair trade practices, including “flooding global markets with artificially low-priced exports.”

China “firmly opposes” the new tariffs, the country’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

“The increase in…tariffs by the United States contradicts President Joe Biden’s commitment to ‘not seek to suppress and contain China’s development’ and ‘not to seek to decouple and break links with China,'” it said. “This action will seriously impact the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation.”

The Chinese Ministry further said Beijing would take “resolute measures” to defend its rights and interests and urged the Biden administration to “correct its wrongdoing.”

Following this move, EVs imported from China will see their tariffs more than quadrupled from 27.5 per cent to 100 per cent.

According to CNN, this policy lever is meant to challenge Beijing’s practice of encouraging aggressively low pricing by domestic EV manufacturers while levying a 40 per cent tariff on US car imports.

In addition to EVs, increased tariffs will apply to imports of Chinese steel and aluminium, legacy semiconductors, battery components, critical minerals, solar cells, cranes, and medical products.

Tariffs on solar cells and semiconductors will double to 50 per cent, while the remainder of the targeted imports will attract tariffs of 25 per cent.

“China opposes the unilateral imposition of tariffs which violate (World Trade Organization) rules, and will take all necessary actions to protect its legitimate rights,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters shortly before the announcement.

Notably, China’s global trade surplus in goods has soared in recent years and is now approaching $1 trillion, stoking tensions with the US and Europe. (ANI)

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