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FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing, China May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Michael Martina and David Lawder

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China must prepare for difficult times as the international situation is increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in comments carried by state media on Wednesday, as the U.S.-China trade war took a mounting toll on tech giant Huawei.

The world’s two largest economies have escalated tariff increases on each other’s imports after talks broke down to resolve their dispute, and the acrimony has intensified since Washington last week blacklisted Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The listing, which curbs Huawei’s access to U.S.-made components, is a potentially devastating blow for the company that has rattled technology supply chains and investors, and saw several mobile carriers on Wednesday delay the launch of new Huawei smartphone handsets.

During a three-day trip this week to the southern province of Jiangxi, a cradle of China’s Communist revolution, Xi urged people to learn the lessons of the hardships of the past.

“Today, on the new Long March, we must overcome various major risks and challenges from home and abroad,” state news agency Xinhua paraphrased Xi as saying, referring to the 1934-36 trek of Communist Party members fleeing a civil war to a remote rural base, from where they re-grouped and eventually took power in 1949.

“Our country is still in a period of important strategic opportunities for development, but the international situation is increasingly complicated,” he said.

“We must be conscious of the long-term and complex nature of various unfavorable factors at home and abroad, and appropriately prepare for various difficult situations.”

The report did not elaborate on those difficulties, and did not directly mention the trade war or of the United States.

No further trade talks between top Chinese and U.S. negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended on May 10, the same day President Donald Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and took steps to levy duties on all remaining Chinese imports.

Negotiations between the United States and China have stalled since early May, when Chinese officials sought major changes to the text of a proposed deal that the Trump administration says had been largely agreed.

However, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, speaking to the Fox News Channel, said on Tuesday that Beijing was still open for talks.

Repercussions of the blacklisting mounted for Huawei, with some mobile operators, including the Ymobile unit of Japan’s Softbank Corp and rival KDDI Corp putting launch plans for Huawei’s new P30 Lite smartphone on hold.

Another big Chinese tech firm, video surveillance equipment maker Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd, could also face limits on its ability to buy U.S. technology, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter, sending the firm’s Shenzhen-listed shares down 5.54 percent.

RETALIATION

While China has not said whether or how it may retaliate to the measures against Huawei, state media have taken an increasingly strident and nationalistic tone.

U.S. firms said in a survey released on Wednesday they were facing retaliation in China over the trade war. The American Chamber of Commerce of China and its sister body in Shanghai, said members reported that they faced increased obstacles such as government inspections, slower customs clearances and slower approval for licensing and other applications.

It also said that 40.7% of respondents were considering or had relocated manufacturing facilities outside China. Of the almost 250 respondents to the survey, which was conducted after China and the United States both raised tariffs on each other’s imports this month, almost three-quarters said the impact of tariffs was hurting their competitiveness.

To cope, about one third said they were increasingly focusing their China operations on producing for Chinese customers and not for export, while one third said they were delaying and cancelling investment decisions.

Long considered a solid cornerstone in a relationship fraught with geopolitical frictions, the U.S. business community has in recent years advocated a harder line on what it sees as discriminatory Chinese trade policies.

The United States is seeking sweeping changes to trade and economic policies, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of U.S. trade secrets. Washington also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and increased access for U.S. firms in Chinese markets.

China for years has blocked major U.S. tech firms, including Google and Facebook, from fully operating in its market. Those and other restrictions have fueled calls from within the U.S. business community for Washington to pursue more reciprocal policies.

Cui told Fox News Channel that U.S. restrictions on Huawei “are without any foundation and evidence” and could undermine the normal functioning of markets.

“Everybody knows Huawei is a privately owned company. It is just a normal Chinese private company,” Cui said. “So all the action taken against Huawei are politically motivated.”

(Reporting by David Lawder and Stella Qiu; Additional reporting by Makini Brice and Eric Beech in Washington and Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard; writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: China's ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai answers reporters questions during an interview with Reuters in Washington
FILE PHOTO: China’s ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai responds to reporters questions during an interview with Reuters in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By David Lawder and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing is ready to resume trade talks with Washington, China’s ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said, as a top U.S. business lobby in China said nearly half its members are seeing non-tariff barrier retaliation in China due to the trade war.

No further trade talks between top Chinese and U.S. negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended in a stalemate on May 10, the same day U.S. President Donald Trump sharply increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and took steps to levy duties on all remaining Chinese imports.

Acrimony has intensified since Washington last week blacklisted Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a potentially devastating blow for the company that has rattled technology supply chains and investors.

Another big Chinese tech firm, video surveillance equipment maker Hikvision Digital Technology Co Ltd, could also face limits on its ability to buy U.S. technology, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter, sending the firm’s Shenzhen-listed shares 10 percent lower at the opening on Wednesday.

Negotiations between the United States and China have soured dramatically since early May, when Chinese officials sought major changes to the text of a proposed deal that the Trump administration says had been largely agreed.

But speaking to Fox News Channel, Chinese Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai said Beijing was still open for talks.

“China remains ready to continue our talks with our American colleagues to reach a conclusion. Our door is still open,” Cui said on Tuesday.

He blamed the U.S. side for frequently “changing its mind” on tentative deals to end U.S.-China trade disputes.

Cui turned the tables and said it was U.S. negotiators that had abruptly backed away from some previous deals that had been tentatively agreed over the past year.

“It’s quite clear it is the U.S. side that more than once changed its mind overnight and broke the tentative deal already reached.” Cui said. “So we are still committed to whatever we agree to do, but it is the U.S. side that changed its mind so often.”

In June 2018, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held negotiations with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on an offer by China to increase its purchases of U.S. goods by around $70 billion, U.S. officials said at the time. But U.S. President Donald Trump did not accept the offer, choosing instead to begin imposing tariffs on Chinese goods.

This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged people to prepare for “a new Long March”, evoking the patriotic spirit of the 1934-36 route march of Communist Party members fleeing a brutal civil war to a remote rural base, where they re-grouped and eventually took power in 1949.

Xi did not draw a direct connection to the trade war, but financial market analysts interpreted his remarks as a sign that Beijing was girding for a protracted dispute with Washington.

U.S. firms are beginning to face retaliation in China for the trade war.

The American Chamber of Commerce of China and its sister body in Shanghai, citing a recent survey of members on the impact of tariffs, said on Wednesday that members said they face increased obstacles such as government inspections, slower customs clearance and slower approval for licensing and other applications.

It also said that 40.7% of respondents were considering or had relocated manufacturing facilities outside China.

Of the almost 250 respondents to the survey, which was conducted after China and the United States both raised tariffs on each other’s imports earlier this month, almost three-quarters said the impact of tariffs was hurting their competitiveness.

To cope, around one third of companies said they were increasingly focusing their China operations on producing for Chinese customers and not for export, while another one-third said they were delaying and cancelling investment decisions.

Long considered a solid cornerstone in a relationship fraught with geopolitical frictions, the U.S. business community in China in recent years has advocated a harder line on what it sees as discriminatory Chinese trade policies.

The United States is seeking sweeping changes to China’s trade and economic policies, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of U.S. trade secrets. Washington also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and increased access to U.S. markets.

Cui told Fox News Channel that U.S. restrictions on Huawei “are without any foundation and evidence” and could undermine the normal functioning of markets.

“Everybody knows Huawei is a privately owned company. It is just a normal Chinese private company,” Cui said. “So all the action taken against Huawei are politically motivated.”

(Reporting by David Lawder and Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Makini Brice and Eric Beech, and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

A surveillance camera is seen next to containers at a logistics center near Tianjin Port
A surveillance camera is seen next to containers at a logistics center near Tianjin Port, in northern China, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

May 20, 2019

By David Lawder and Ben Blanchard

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – Worries that the United States and China were digging in for a longer, costlier trade war weighed on financial markets on Monday as Beijing accused Washington of harboring “extravagant expectations” for a deal to end their dispute.

Investors added up the costs of higher tariffs on Chinese and U.S. goods as well as the effects of severe U.S. restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies for the U.S. technology sector, sharply driving down shares of suppliers Qualcomm, Micron Technology and Broadcom Inc.

Apple Inc shares fell 3.3 percent, hurt by a warning from HSBC that higher tariffs on Chinese goods would force the tech company to raise prices, with “dire consequences” on demand for its products.

Morgan Stanley analysts warned that a collapse of the trade talks and a lasting breakdown with higher tariffs on all U.S.-China trade would push the global economy toward recession.

In a note to clients, they said such a scenario would prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to slash interest rates back to zero by the spring of 2020, but lags in policy transmission “would mean that we might not be able to avert the tightening of financial conditions and a full-blown recession.”

SOURED TONE

Negotiations between the United States and China have soured dramatically since early May, when Chinese officials sought major changes to the text of a proposed deal that the Trump administration says had been largely agreed.

A subsequent round of talks ended with no movement as U.S. President Donald Trump increased tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports and threatened to impose duties on all remaining Chinese goods sold in the United States.

China imposed a retaliatory tariff increase and the Trump administration followed up on Thursday by adding telecom equipment giant Huawei to a trade blacklist that restricts its ability to purchase American components and software and do business with other U.S. companies.

No new talks have been scheduled, and a sterner tone from Beijing suggested that negotiations were unlikely to resume soon and raised questions about a possible meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping next month at a G20 Summit in Japan.

WHAT AGREEMENT?

In an interview with Fox News Channel recorded last week and aired on Sunday night, Trump said the United States and China “had a very strong deal, we had a good deal, and they changed it. And I said ‘that’s OK, we’re going to tariff their products.’”

U.S. officials had previously said that China had given ground on some core “structural” issues, including U.S. demands for improving intellectual property protections, ending forced technology transfers and increased access to China’s markets. Curbing state subsidies has proven a more difficult issue.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang denied on Monday that China had agreed to anything.

“We don’t know what this agreement is the United States is talking about. Perhaps the United States has an agreement they all along had extravagant expectations for, but it’s certainly not a so-called agreement that China agreed to,” he told a daily news briefing.

The reason the last round of China-U.S. talks did not reach an agreement is because the United States tried “to achieve unreasonable interests through extreme pressure”, Lu said. “From the start this wouldn’t work.”

HUAWEI CUT OFF

The U.S. restrictions on Huawei began to bite hard on Monday. Alphabet Inc’s Google suspended business requiring the transfer of hardware, software and technical services to premier Chinese technology firm, except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

Shares in European chipmakers Infineon Technologies, AMS and STMicroelectronics fell sharply on Monday amid worries the Huawei suppliers may suspend shipments to the Chinese firm.

The official China Daily newspaper said in an editorial that the U.S. government had “revealed all its ugliness” in the restrictions on Huawei.

“It seems as if the U.S. takes it for granted that it has the absolute say over everything in its dealings with the rest of the world, which has to take whatever the U.S. dishes out no matter how arbitrary and despotic that is,” China Daily said.

“But China will not take it and neither will Huawei.”

Adding to U.S.-China tensions, the U.S. military said one of its warships sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sunday, the latest in a series of “freedom of navigation operations” to anger Beijing.

(Reporting by David Lawder and Ben Blanchard; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Robert Birsel, Mark Heinrich and Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump speaks at the National Association of Realtors' Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the National Association of Realtors’ Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, U.S., May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

May 20, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said his tariffs on Chinese goods are causing companies to move production out of China to Vietnam and other countries in Asia, and added that any agreement with China cannot be a “50-50” deal.

In an interview with Fox News Channel recorded last week and aired on Sunday night, Trump said that the United States and China “had a very strong deal, we had a good deal, and they changed it. And I said that’s OK, we’re going to tariff their products.”

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Source: OANN

Former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert has been picked by President Donald Trump to serve on the panel that helps oversee the White House’s prestigious fellowships, The Hill reports.

Nauert in February withdrew from consideration as the United States’ next ambassador to the United Nations, as her impending nomination had been considered a tough sell in the Senate. A potential issue involving a nanny she and her husband had employed might also have been a factor in her decision to withdraw, according to one aide.

Trump picked Nauert for the UN role.

Nauert, a former Fox News channel reporter, joined the State Department two years ago while Rex Tillerson was secretary of state.

Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump has signed off on a new immigration plan being spearheaded by senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner that appeared to receive a positive reception from Republican senators briefed on it Tuesday.

A senior administration official told reporters after the meeting that the president had approved the effort to overhaul America’s immigration system and increase border security last week and that it should now be considered “the President Trump plan.”

Kushner is working to finalize a plan with two major components: Border security measures that would include efforts to secure ports of entry and a package of immigration proposals that would create a more “merit-based” system giving preference to those with job skills rather than relatives of immigrants already in the country. Under the plan, the same number of immigrants would be permitted to enter the country, but the composition would change.

The White House is also working with Sen. Lindsey Graham on additional legislation that would address the nation’s asylum system in an effort to stem the flow of migrants across the border, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline the plan.

Several GOP senators who attended complimented the effort, which the White House deemed “productive.” Democrats were not in attendance.

“The president and senators discussed a potential plan that would secure the border, protect and raise wages for the American worker, and move toward a merit-based immigration system,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a written readout of the meeting.

Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona complimented Kushner and the White House.

“They have done substantial work,” she told Fox News in an interview at the White House after the meeting.

After he returned to the Capitol, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas described a “very good productive conversation. … I heard large areas of agreement from everyone in the room.” Cotton said he still needs to see the details but things are “moving in the right direction.”

And Sen, Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota called it a “good starting point” that could be appealing to Democrats in the right situation.

“I think the environment right now with the booming economy, workforce demands, a crisis at the border that’s no longer deemed manufactured presents an opportunity for discussion,” he said.

Any immigration plan will be an uphill challenge on Capitol Hill where lawmakers have struggled for decades to pass comprehensive immigration legislation. Conservative Republicans are likely to oppose a plan that does not cut rates of legal immigration, while Democrats have made clear they will not accept changes without new protections of “Dreamer” immigrants brought to the country as children and are here illegally. Some Republicans, especially those from election swing states, would like to see protections for Dreamers as well.

Some have also reacted skeptically to Kushner’s involvement, given he has no previous background on the contentious subject. Kushner has nonetheless spent months meeting with various Republican groups, hoping to put together a proposal he believes can unite party members, following the playbook he used to help pass bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation last year.

Grassley, who favors stricter immigration enforcement, kept expectations in check before the meeting.

“Well I think anything I’m looking for they probably won’t have any chance of getting passed,” he told reporters.

Kushner said during an interview at the TIME 100 Summit two weeks ago that he would present a revised version to Trump “probably at the end of this week, next week” and that the president would then “make some changes, likely, and then he’ll decide what he wants to do with it when he wants to do with it.”

“My hope is that we can really do something that unifies people around what we’re for on immigration,” he said.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday described the plan as “fairly comprehensive” and said it could include changes to the diversity visa lottery, which Trump has long criticized.

She also told Fox News Channel that Trump might be open to a deal that would address the plight of hundreds of thousands of “Dreamer” immigrants who were brought to the country as children and are here illegally.

“We’ll see,” she said, later telling reporters, “The president made very clear in January 2018 in the Cabinet Room that he was willing to do a deal on DACA and the Dreamers.”

A previous attempt by Trump to reach a comprehensive immigration deal with Congress collapsed last year and there is deep skepticism in Washington that there is any appetite on Capitol Hill for a wide-ranging agreement.

Trump put immigration at the center of his presidential campaign, including a promise to build a wall along the U.S-Mexico border. He is expected to continue to hammer the issue in his re-election campaign as he tries to energize his base of supporters.

At a lunch meeting of GOP senators, Vice President Mike Pence said support is growing for the White House’s approach on border security.

“He thinks that’s really turned in our favor,” said Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana.

Source: NewsMax Politics

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for an event honoring 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for an event honoring 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

May 1, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump fired off dozens of retweets from purported firefighters, their families and acquaintances on Wednesday in his latest assault on Joe Biden, the newest Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential nomination.

Trump unleashed the firestorm two days after the country’s largest union of firefighters endorsed Biden, the former vice president and current frontrunner in the race to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

Trump began his tirade at dawn by quoting a personality from the Fox News Channel, Dan Bongino, who said he knew no firefighters who would vote for Biden.

“I’ve done more for Firefighters than this dues sucking union will ever do, and I get paid ZERO!” Trump wrote, reiterating a complaint about unions.

As president, Trump receives a salary, but has said he donates it to various agencies and causes.

He followed the complaint by retweeting nearly 60 accounts who responded to Bongino by either criticizing Biden or professing support for Trump.

“This career firefighter will not be voting for any Democrat on the ticket. I will be voting for @POTUS again,” one Twitter user, Corey Bates, said.

“I’m a retired volunteer firefighter and I’d be PISSED if my dues were going to this,” said another user, Brad Turner.

Though Trump, a Republican, has publicly stated he would handily beat any Democratic opponent, some of Biden’s supporters believe he may be uniquely able to capture votes from the same Midwestern states that steered Trump to victory in 2016.

Biden officially entered the race last week with a video that directly placed a target on Trump, painting him as a “threat to this nation.”

Considered a frontrunner before he even declared his intention to seek the Democratic nomination, Biden has surged in the polls in the past week, with one CNN poll showing him 15 percentage points ahead of the closest competition.

Biden has not responded to the stream of tweets. But a campaign spokeswoman replied to Trump’s retweets with a quip of her own.

“No, he doesn’t seem concerned at all,” Kate Bedingfield wrote on Twitter.

(This story has been refiled to correct day of firefighters’ union endorsement.)

(Reporting by Makini Brice and Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Gregorio)

Source: OANN


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