Biden-Xi San Francisco Meet On The Cards Amid US-China Tensions Updated 33 minutes ago

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Nov 09, 2023

President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to meet on November 15 in the US city of San Francisco, marking the first summit between the rival powers in a year.

Both Washington and Beijing have not formally announced the date but have made arrangements to hold the meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) in the US, AFP reported, citing a US official and a Washington-based diplomat.

The two governments have not yet publicly confirmed the Xi-Biden summit but have given wide indications that they expect it to take place. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on October 31 that Washington hoped for a “constructive conversation in San Francisco” between the two presidents.

US-China ties have been tense for years between the world's top two economies as they vie for influence in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, and as Beijing boosts cooperation with Russia in a bid to reduce US dominance.

The latest summit would be the first between the two leaders since they held lengthy talks in November 2022 in Bali on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit. Biden and Xi spoke positively about those talks, saying they were looking for ways to avoid conflict.

But tensions have repeatedly resurfaced, with the United States protesting earlier this year what it described as a Chinese surveillance balloon over US soil. China in turn has been outraged by growing US pressure including restrictions on high-tech chips, which Washington fears Beijing will put to military use.

Tensions are particularly high over Taiwan, the self-ruling democracy that Beijing claims and has not ruled out taking by force. China has staged major military exercises in response to pro-Taiwan actions by leaders in the US Congress.

During Wednesday's press conference, when top White House official John Kirby was asked if Biden sees the new “Axis of Evil” (Russia, Iran, and China), he replied, “We're not slapping bumper stickers on countries.” However, he added that “China represents a strategic competitor challenge in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.”

(With agency inputs)

Source: News18
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China Navy Ships Arrive in Myanmar for Joint Drills Amid Ongoing Border Conflict Published 4 minutes ago

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 28, 2023

Three Chinese navy ships have arrived in Myanmar for joint drills with its navy, the country's junta said, as a border conflict strains ties between the Southeast Asian nation and its most important ally.

A destroyer, frigate and a supply vessel carrying hundreds of sailors arrived at Thilawa port on Monday ahead of “naval security exercises between Myanmar and China”, the junta's information team said. It did not give details about the drills or when they would begin but state media reported the Chinese “naval task force” was 700 sailors strong.

Beijing is a major ally and arms supplier of Myanmar's junta and has refused to label its 2021 power grab a coup. Relations have been tested recently as the junta battles an alliance of ethnic minority groups across a swathe of territory near the China border. The junta has said the groups are using drones made in China in their offensive that has seized trade hubs and dozens of military outposts in northern Shan state.

Earlier this month protesters gathered at a rare demonstration in Yangon to accuse China of backing the armed groups, in what analysts say was a move sanctioned by junta authorities. Beijing has expressed “strong dissatisfaction” over the clashes in northern Shan state, home to oil and gas pipelines that supply China and a planned billion-dollar railway link.

China has said the fighting has caused Chinese “casualties” on its side of the border, without giving details. Beijing has also been frustrated by the junta's failure to crack down on online scam compounds in Myanmar's lawless borderlands that target Chinese citizens.

On Saturday, China kicked off military exercises near the Myanmar border, days after an attack on a compound in the Myanmar border hub of Muse destroyed more than one hundred vehicles. The offensive launched last month by an alliance of three ethnic minority armed groups has galvanised other opponents of the junta. Clashes have spread to the east and the west of the country and forced nearly 335,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

Source: News18
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Lose in Final

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Nov 26, 2023

India's top men's doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 19-21, 21-18, 21-19 to second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang of China in the final of China Masters 2023 in Shenzhen on Sunday.

They played their fourth final on BWF World Tour this year having previously won all three of them at Swiss Open 2023, Indonesia Open 2023 and Korea Open 2023 earlier this year.

Satwik and Chirag have won also won the Badminton Asian Championships and the Asian Games gold medal in a stellar year.

The Indian star pair had got the better of home favourites He Ji Ting/Ren Xiang Yu 21-16, 22-20 in the semi-final. While their Chinese opponents had defeated compatriots Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi 21-17, 14-21, 21-15 in the other semi-final.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Source: News18
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India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Enter Men's Doubles Final

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 26, 2023

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dished out another attacking masterclass to outwit the Chinese duo of He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu and storm into the men's doubles final at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Saturday.

The former world No. 1 Indian pair, which had won its first BWF World Super 750 title at the French Open last year, notched up a 21-15 22-20 win over the newly-formed Chinese pair of He and Ren, which had a title-winning run last week at the Japan Masters.

READ: Novak Djokovic Angered Over Doping Test Request At Davis Cup

The top seeds will face another Chinese pair in the summit clash, the winner of the other semifinal between Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi and second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.

Satwik and Chirag have won the Badminton Asian Championships, Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500, Swiss Super 300 and the Asian Games gold medal in a stellar year.

The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One more category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.

Each of these tournaments offers different ranking points and prize money. The highest points and prize pool is offered at the Super 1000 level.

Source: News18
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India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Enter Men's Doubles Final Published 35 minutes ago

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 25, 2023

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dished out another attacking masterclass to outwit the Chinese duo of He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu and storm into the men's doubles final at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Saturday.

The former world No. 1 Indian pair, which had won its first BWF World Super 750 title at the French Open last year, notched up a 21-15 22-20 win over the newly-formed Chinese pair of He and Ren, which had a title-winning run last week at the Japan Masters.

READ: Novak Djokovic Angered Over Doping Test Request At Davis Cup

The top seeds will face another Chinese pair in the summit clash, the winner of the other semifinal between Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi and second seeds Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang.

Satwik and Chirag have won the Badminton Asian Championships, Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500, Swiss Super 300 and the Asian Games gold medal in a stellar year.

The BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300. One more category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.

Each of these tournaments offers different ranking points and prize money. The highest points and prize pool is offered at the Super 1000 level.

Source: News18
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Nvidia delays launch of new AI chip in China amid US export rules

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Nov 25, 2023
File: Nvidia had expected to launch its new AI chip H20 by November 16 (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Nvidia has informed its Chinese customers about a delay in the release of a new artificial intelligence (AI chip, as per a Reuters report citing sources. The chip, known as H20 is among a range of new products designed by the California-based chip giant to comply with tightened United States export regulations, it added.

Touted as the most potent among three China-targeted chips developed by Nvidia, the H20 faces a setback in its market debut. This delay may potentially impact Nvidia's competitive stance in China against local contenders such as Huawei, as per the report.

Also Read: Nvidia's AI boom almost blows past politics

Launch Rescheduled

While it was earlier expected to be unveiled as early as November 16, the H20's launch has been rescheduled for the first quarter of next year, sources told Reuters. One source hinted that the launch might occur in February or March.

Sources revealed that the postponement stemmed from challenges faced by server manufacturers in integrating the H20 chip into their systems. Alongside the H20, Nvidia has been strategising the launch of two other chips, the L20 and L2, to comply with the revised US export regulations. While the L20 remains unaffected by delays and is set for its original schedule, information regarding the status of the L2 remains undisclosed.

Also Read: Nvidia share price falls on downbeat China sales outlook

Nvidia has declined to comment, the report added.

Impact on Market Strategy

Nvidia's reliance on these chips as a means to retain its market presence in China became crucial after it was restricted from shipping products to China, including the advanced A800 and H800 AI chips, due to Washington's tightened export regulations.

Introduced as alternatives for Chinese consumers in November 2022, the H20, L20, and L2 incorporate many of Nvidia's latest AI features but have seen reductions in computing power to align with the new US regulations, as reported by SemiAnalysis.

Also Read: How Nvidia got huge and almost invincible

However, the export restrictions have provided openings for competitors such as Huawei to seize orders that would typically have been bagged by Nvidia. Case in point: Chinese tech giant Baidu reportedly placed a substantial order for Huawei AI chips, a move speculated to have occurred prior to the US export constraints, foreseeing potential limitations in procuring from Nvidia in the future.

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China’s Best Hope for the Taiwan Presidential Election Just Fell Apart

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Nov 25, 2023
A supporter of the opposition Nationalist Party waves a Taiwanese flag outside the Central Election Commission.

TAIPEI—A last-minute effort by Taiwan’s opposition parties to combine forces in a coming presidential election has crumbled in spectacular fashion, increasing the likelihood that the island democracy will continue as a central flashpoint in ties between the U.S. and China.

Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party, also known as the Kuomintang, struck a surprise deal last week with the Taiwan People's Party to unite in a coalition ticket favoring friendlier ties with China that political analysts said had a real shot of coming out on top in the island's presidential contest in January.

The agreement began to unravel almost immediately after it was announced and appeared to fully fall apart at a press conference on Thursday evening, during which the parties' candidates traded veiled insults with each other and another opposition candidate, Foxconn founder Terry Gou, before walking out in front of several dozen reporters.

The Kuomintang's nominee, Hou Yu-ih, and Ko Wen-je, the TPP candidate, separately registered with Taiwan's Central Election Commission within an hour of each other on Friday—the last day for officially declaring a candidacy—confirming the death of the deal.

“Things have evolved to this point today, it's like ‘brothers climbing the mountain each in their own way,'" Ko said Friday, quoting a popular saying about two people separately pursuing the same goal. He also apologized for what he called the “absurd comedy" of the previous night's meeting.

The failure of the opposition candidates to coalesce changes expectations for an election that has weighty implications for security in the Asia-Pacific region as well as strained ties between the U.S. and China.

Both Hou and Ko favor a friendlier posture toward Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of China. Both have trailed in the polls behind Vice President Lai Ching-te, the nominee of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. A seasoned politician and campaigner, Lai is seen by Beijing as a more aggressive advocate of Taiwan independence than his boss, President Tsai Ing-wen, who is scheduled to leave office in May due to term limits.

Lai has said he would continue Tsai's policy of maintaining the status quo in relations with China. He formally registered for the election on Tuesday with his running mate, Hsiao Bi-khim, who has served for the past several years as Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Washington.

In one development that is likely to please Beijing, Gou's spokeswoman said Friday that the billionaire didn't have plans to register, meaning he would drop out of the race and avoid diverting votes from either of the other two opposition candidates. Foxconn, one of the world's top assemblers of iPhones, is facing an investigation of some of its China operations for alleged tax and land-use violations in what political analysts said was a move by Beijing to force Gou to withdraw from the election.

Still, with Gou polling last among the major candidates, his decision isn't expected to have a major impact on the dynamics of the race, political analysts said.

“The presidency is the DPP's to lose," said Wen-ti Sung, who teaches Taiwan studies at Australian National University. He said, however, that the ruling party could struggle to hold on to its legislative majority, resulting in a split government that would complicate relations with both Washington and Beijing.

The deal between the opposition parties fell apart as they fought over how to decide which of their candidates would lead the combined ticket. In announcing the deal on Nov. 15, the two sides said they would rely on a panel of experts to choose the order based on recent public opinion polls and internal polling conducted by both parties.

Political analysts expressed surprise at how much Ko had given up in the deal, with some speculating he would lose. The sides failed to agree on final terms before their self-imposed deadline, and Ko publicly criticized the negotiations as unfair.

“Next time I definitely won't negotiate with them on my own because I say ‘OK, OK' too easily," he said at a press conference. “That catchphrase of mine was used by the other side to deceive me."

The chaos reached its climax on Thursday night, when Gou hosted a public meeting with the other opposition candidates at the Grand Hyatt in Taipei. The bickering began almost immediately, with the host chastising the KMT's Hou for bringing along the KMT chairman and former president Ma Ying-jeou, whom he described as one of the event's “distinguished uninvited guests."

With cameras rolling and reporters watching, one candidate protested as another read out private text messages they had exchanged. A fierce argument then ensured over the margin of error in polls before the KMT faction finally walked out of the room.

“This day will go down as one of the most dramatically silly moments in Taiwan's history since democratization," Lev Nachman, a political scientist at Taipei's National Chengchi University, wrote on X, the social-media site formerly known as Twitter.

The fracas marked a contrast with a press conference held by the ruling DPP earlier in the day to introduce Hsiao as its vice-presidential pick. Seated on stage, she calmly fielded a series of questions, including one from a Wall Street Journal reporter about how she navigated political divisions in the U.S. while serving in Washington.

“We cannot afford to let Taiwan become an issue of partisan difference in American politics," she said, referring to herself as a “cat warrior," a nickname meant to evoke her constant need to walk with delicate balance. “Everything we do, we do it in a bipartisan way."

Write to Joyu Wang at joyu.wang@wsj.com

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Satwik-Chirag Enter Semifinal

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Nov 25, 2023

India's HS Prannoy made unforced errors galore to make an exit but Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the men's doubles semifinal at the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Friday.

Top seeds Satwik and Chirag dished out an attacking game to outwit world no. 13 Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin of Indonesia 21-16 21-14 in 46 minutes.

However, World No. 8 Prannoy had a bad day in office as he struggled to curb his errors and went down 9-21 14-21 against Japan's world championships silver medallist Kodai Naraoka in a lop-sided contest later in the day.

Satwik and Chirag, who won the Indonesia Super 1000, Korea Super 500 and Swiss Super 300 this year, will face Chinese pair He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu next.

The former world number one Indian duo showed coordination. They interchanged their positions frequently and also altered the direction of their stinging attack which made life difficult for their Indonesian rivals, who wilted under pressure.

The match started on an even keel with both the pairs fighting tooth and nail. But the Indian combination soon started dominating the proceedings with an onslaught of attacking shots to break off at 14-14.

Chirag made some right judgements and they were 19-16 up soon and then the Mumbaikar displayed his attacking intent once again, coming to the front court after serving to quickly close out the issue with a quick return.

The Indians kept up the tempo to surge to a 5-2 lead early in the second game. A few taps went to the net from but they ensured a two-point lead at 7-5 with Satwik unleashing a stiff return.

A flurry of smashes took the Indians to a healthy 11-6 advantage at the interval.

The Indonesians couldn't match the attack of their rivals, who were relentless from the first point. The Indians quickly moved to 17-10. The longest rally of the match ensued next with Marthin producing a precise smash to end the 48-shot rally.

A lucky net chord put the Indians three points away and Marthin next went to the net as they grabbed seven match points.

Satwik and Chirag squandered one before winning a video referral to seal their last four place.

A mistake-filled evening for Prannoy

Prannoy had a forgettable start. He struggled with his length in the opening game, triggering a slew of unforced errors, which put paid to his hopes.

The 31-year-old, however, seemed to have got back his bearing in the second game. In a much better effort, the Indian started matching his rival and played some good shots to put rival in awkward position but his net play was not polished.

In a battle for survival, Prannoy kept himself afloat though he conceded a slim one-point lead to Naraoka at the mid-game interval.

There was also a bit of drama when at 9-8, the chair umpire ruled a decision against Naraoka, saying his racquet was over the net when he went for a close net shot but the Japanese protested, leading to a brief halt in play.

After resumption, Prannoy starting putting pressure on his rival's forehand corner before sending a cross and it helped him to gather a few points.

Naraoka, however, established a 15-12 lead with Prannoy falling into a pool of errors as his jump smash went into the net, return went long and then he faltered in his net dribbles.

The downfall was fast as another shot sprayed into the net by Prannoy took the Japanese to 19-13. A lucky net chord gave Naraoka six match points and he sealed it when Prannoy smashed wide.

Source: News18
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Tennessee Zinc Smelter Is at the Center of U

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Nov 24, 2023
Casting operators perform the zinc-smelting process at the Nyrstar plant

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.—An obscure zinc smelter in Tennessee is sitting on two minerals vital to producing chips for smartphones and radar systems, landing it in the middle of a global trade war.

The plant's Dutch owner and local officials are looking to fund an expansion so the smelter can process the sought-after materials, germanium and gallium, which are supplied to the rest of the world primarily by China.

Beijing recently restricted exports of germanium and gallium to the U.S., setting up a potential shortage that could leave numerous industries in the lurch—and put Clarksville, the fifth-biggest city in the country's 15th-largest state, at the center of geopolitical tensions.

Backlighting LEDs for smartphone screens and chips that handle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are made partly of gallium. Germanium is used in critical defense and outer-space applications: NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers were powered by germanium solar cells.

For now, that mineral wealth is packed into enormous burlap bags full of chunky mud glistening with flecks of unrefined metal. The goal is to have the plant's expansion done in about two years. The effort could help protect jobs at the plant and yield a payoff for Nyrstar, the Dutch company that owns it—though it is also a risky bet that China won't resume exports and send prices plummeting.

The U.S. is racing to catch up with China, among other countries, on rare-earth minerals and other scant resources, in response to the growing threat of natural-resource protectionism and ever-greater demand for a variety of emerging uses. The U.S. government supports such efforts, including with an Energy Department program that uses data and artificial intelligence to predict unconventional deposits of crucial resources.

Tennessee is currently the only known place in the continental U.S. where gallium and germanium can both be extracted at grades suitable for electronics manufacturing. The plan afoot at the smelter on the banks of the Cumberland River—a tangle of giant hoppers, conveyor belts, pipes and furnaces—is for an expansion upward of $190 million to extract the metals.

“It's in our backyard and let's utilize it," said Jay Reedy, a Tennessee state representative who has championed the project. “Let's not give it to another city or another country."

The U.S. efforts over the long run may not fully pan out. The U.S., for example, has struggled to respond to China's growing dominance in both polysilicon, a material used to make solar cells, and the broader solar-panel supply chain. U.S. polysilicon manufacturer Hemlock Semiconductor decided to scale back after China imposed tariffs on its products, including closing a $1.2 billion facility in Clarksville in 2014. Now the huge campus houses a Google data center.

“Trade wars and tariffs aren't good for all," said Mike Evans, a retired industrial-development executive in Clarksville who brought in the Hemlock investment, the largest the region had ever seen. He learned the company was pulling the plug while on vacation. “I couldn't believe it."

The latest Clarksville project is expected to add a couple dozen jobs, and new life for the zinc smelting operation. New revenue streams protect against swings in zinc prices that have closed Tennessee mines before—including in October, when Nyrstar paused production at its zinc mines in the middle of the state, after a long-term slump in zinc prices.

During the pause, the company plans to do more drilling for zinc, germanium and gallium in the mines, preparing to increase supplies to the smelter when the zinc market springs back or the germanium and gallium operation is up and running.

“If you look at the price history of zinc, there haven't been too many times it has been very good," said Gregory Belland, a mining technology expert at Nyrstar who oversaw the design of the complex chemical process to extract the metals. “Germanium and gallium follow a different price cycle."

As Washington engages in an intensifying exchange of economic blows with Beijing, each side is leveraging their technical and natural resources.

China's restriction on exports of the metals started in August. That was preceded by U.S. bans on exports to major Chinese technology companies, alongside curbs on China's access to artificial-intelligence chips and advanced semiconductor-manufacturing equipment.

Such pressures are pushing forward a return of long-neglected industries to the American heartland, driven both by geopolitics and market forces.

Intel, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. are building new chip plants in Ohio, Texas and Arizona after a decadeslong shift toward Asia. Other companies are expanding mining of lithium, critical for electric-vehicle batteries and dominated by China, in North Carolina, Arkansas and Nevada. And in Texas and Wyoming, companies are pursuing mining of rare-earth elements used in batteries and magnets.

Exxon Mobil recently started drilling for lithium in Arkansas and aims to become a major U.S. supplier for makers of EV batteries by 2030. Exxon purchased drilling rights on 120,000 acres in southwest Arkansas earlier this year as it positions itself for an expected increase in electric vehicles.

Elsewhere in Tennessee, a company called IperionX wants to mine titanium to supply the U.S. defense industry, which today largely gets the metal from Japan. Those reserves, built up on the foothills of the Appalachians, are some of the largest in North America and are completely untapped.

“It's the Saudi Arabia of titanium out there in west Tennessee," says IperionX's Chief Executive Taso Arima, an Australian who wears an American-flag patch on the sleeve of his polo shirt and has written a children's book about titanium called “From Tennessee to Mars."

At the zinc smelter, Nyrstar, a subsidiary of commodities giant Trafigura, hopes to make about 40 tons of gallium and 30 tons of germanium a year, which it reckons could fill as much as 80% of the U.S.'s needs. Today, those metals come almost entirely from China, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a result of that country's efforts to dominate the supply chain in recent decades that went largely unnoticed by U.S. officials.

Efforts by the U.S. government to support such projects have been brewing for years. The pandemic heightened an existing sense among many American policy makers that a hands-off, free-market strategy in the U.S. gave the upper hand to China, where government investments built up domestic industries and pushed out foreign competition with lower prices.

Three years ago, the White House singled out gallium and germanium—among other critical minerals—as vulnerabilities China might one day exploit. The Biden administration conducted its own review that reinforced the earlier conclusion, but none of the minerals highlighted had been a target of Beijing until recently.

“We could see this coming a mile away," says Keith Krach, a former Trump administration official who helped draft the executive order. “The big thing is that a lot of these rare-earth minerals are not so rare, it's just that China has all the processing plants and the key thing is we've got to build it in our country."

Nyrstar is still looking to secure funding for its gallium and germanium project, and is asking for help from the Energy, Commerce and Defense departments, all of which have financing mechanisms for national-security critical projects.

State support is possible, too. The company pushed for funding or tax breaks last year and could only secure a resolution of support from the state legislature. But that was before China put in its restrictions.

“We didn't get too far, but I would imagine this time around it will be a bit easier," said Tennessee Sen. Bill Powers, who represents Clarksville in the state legislature.

Write to Asa Fitch at asa.fitch@wsj.com

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China Tried Using Economic Ties to Bring Taiwan Closer

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Nov 24, 2023
Fishermen prepare for the harvest at a fish farm in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

TAIPEI—For years, Beijing hoped to win control of Taiwan by convincing its people their economic futures were inextricably tied to China.

Instead, more Taiwanese businesses are pivoting to the U.S. and other markets, reducing the island democracy's dependence on China and angering Beijing as it sees its economic leverage over Taiwan ebb.

In one sign of the shift, the U.S. replaced mainland China as the top buyer of Taiwanese agricultural products for the first time last year.

Electronics firms such as chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. are also selling more goods to American and other non-Chinese buyers, thanks in part to Washington's chip restrictions and Apple's bets on Taiwanese chips.

Overall, Taiwanese exports to the U.S. in the first 10 months of 2023 were more than 80% higher than in the same period of 2018, Taiwanese government data shows. Taiwanese exports to the mainland were 1% lower—a major change from a decade or so ago when China's and Taiwan's economies were rapidly integrating.

Taiwan's outbound investment has also shifted. After flowing mostly to mainland China in the early 2000s, it has now moved decisively toward other destinations, including Southeast Asia, India and the U.S.

Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, which assembles iPhones in mainland China, is expanding in India and Vietnam after Apple began pushing its suppliers to diversify.

Chinese state media recently reported that China had opened tax and land-use probes into Foxconn. Though Taiwanese officials and analysts interpreted the probes as a sign that China wants Foxconn founder Terry Gou to drop plans to run in Taiwan's presidential election in January, some have said Beijing may also be trying to pressure Foxconn into resisting decoupling with China.

“Any attempt to ‘talk down' the mainland's economy or to seek ‘decoupling' is driven by ulterior motives and will be futile," said a spokeswoman for Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office in September. “The mainland is always the best choice for Taiwanese compatriots and businesses."

Fully decoupling from mainland China's economy likely isn't possible, and would be disastrous for Taiwan, not to mention China, even if it were.

Foxconn and other major Taiwanese companies depend heavily on China for parts, testing and buyers. Some 25% of Taiwan's electronic parts imports still come from the mainland.

If China's weakened economy returns to strong growth, it could shift the calculus back in favor of the mainland, where the Communist Party claims Taiwan despite never having ruled it. About 21% of Taiwan's total goods trade this year has been with mainland China, versus 14% for the U.S., though the U.S. share has risen from 11% in 2018.

“My hunch is that the large manufacturing sectors will try to stay in the Chinese market, even with harsh conditions," said Alexander Huang, director of the international affairs department of the opposition Kuomintang Party, whose supporters include business people with mainland ties. “If you talk to those business owners, they say, ‘Nah, no way will I give it to my competitors.'"

Even so, many forces are pushing Taiwan to rewire its economic relationship with China.

Trump-era tariffs and Biden administration export controls have raised the cost of sourcing from China, and in some cases prohibited it. U.S. firms are pushing their Taiwanese suppliers to diversify sourcing, and rising wages in China have made it less attractive than before.

Long-running shifts in Taiwanese sentiment toward China—and China's own efforts to punish the island using its economic leverage—are also factors. China has banned Taiwanese agricultural products such as pineapple and, in 2022, grouper fish, and restricted outbound tourism to Taiwan.

Those restrictions to some degree have backfired, pushing Taiwanese businesses to look elsewhere.

Casting for new markets

Chang Chia-sheng, who runs a fish farming operation in Taiwan, said his main export target a decade ago was mainland China. But as geopolitical tensions climbed, he looked elsewhere. Sales to Americans have jumped fivefold since 2018, he said. “In the U.S., things just seem to work out more easily," Chang said.

The U.S. and Taiwan reached an agreement in May on a number of trade and investment measures to deepen ties, though the deal stopped short of reducing tariffs.

In the June quarter of 2023, 63% of revenues at TSMC, which makes most of the world's most cutting-edge logic chips, came from the U.S., up from 54% in the same period in 2018, according to S&P Global data. Just 12% of TSMC's revenue now comes from Chinese buyers, down from 22% in the second quarter of 2018.

Taiwan's government is also encouraging closer economic links with Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Its “New Southbound Policy," rolled out in 2016, has been the subject of fierce debate in Taiwan, with the Kuomintang Party saying steps to boost relations—like handing out scholarships—aren't worth the cost.

Exports to “New Southbound" partners have risen, however, to $66 billion in the first nine months of 2023, about 50% higher than the same period in 2016.

“Frankly speaking, we're responding reactively" to the need for more diverse trading partners, Taiwan's Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua said in an interview. “Taiwan needs to manage the risks on its own, but we also need our allies to join us more in mitigating these risks."

Together, the U.S. and the six largest Southeast Asian economies accounted for 36% of Taiwanese exports in the third quarter of 2023, according to data from CEIC, surpassing the percentage sent to mainland China and Hong Kong on a quarterly basis for the first time since 2002.

In September, Taiwan sent less than 21% of its exports to the mainland, the lowest percentage since the global financial crisis.

Taiwanese foreign investment into mainland China, steady at around $10 billion a year for most of the early 2010s, plummeted in late 2018 and has since been running at about half that level, according to Taiwanese government data. In 2023 so far, just 13% of Taiwan's investment went to mainland China; 25% went to other Asian locations, and nearly half went to the U.S.

A survey of Taiwanese businesses conducted last year on behalf of The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, found that nearly 60% had moved or were considering moving some production or sourcing out of China—a significantly higher rate than European or American firms.

Jay Yen, chief executive of Yen and Brothers, a Taiwanese frozen-food processing company, said his firm received a government subsidy of around $75,000 to market his products to American consumers. China now only accounts for about 3% of its revenue, he said.

That said, “if you really have to consider the risks of a war between the U.S. and China and its potential impact on Taiwan, you might want to place your bets on a third country—neither China nor the U.S.," Yen added.

Reversing the tide

After China began to open up its economy in the late 1970s, Taiwanese businesses were among the first investors.

By the 2000s, China seemed to be succeeding in its strategy of integrating the two economies, with more than 28% of Taiwan's exports going to the mainland in 2010, from less than 4% a decade earlier.

Direct flights between the two sides were normalized for the first time in decades. Mainland tourists were allowed to visit Taiwan on their own.

By 2014, the tides were turning as more Taiwanese grew worried about overdependence on China. Student demonstrators protested against a trade pact, later abandoned, which would have deepened ties with China. President Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in 2016, has pushed to diversify Taiwan's economy.

China has responded by moving trade issues more into the spotlight.

In April, it opened an investigation into Taiwanese trade restrictions which it says limit exports of more than 2,400 items from the mainland to the island in violation of World Trade Organization rules. In October, China's Ministry of Commerce announced the probe would be extended until Jan. 12—the day before Taiwan's coming election.

Taiwan's government has called the probe politically motivated.

Chinese officials have implied that Beijing could suspend preferential tariff rates for some Taiwanese goods in China under a 2010 deal signed when Kuomintang's Ma Ying-jeou was president. Beijing has also reacted angrily to Taiwan's recent trade agreement with the U.S.

For Taiwanese companies, building and operating new factories in places other than China isn't cheap or easy. Protests have at times disrupted operations at Indian plants operated by Foxconn and Wistron, another Apple supplier. In September, a fire halted production at a Taiwanese facility in Tamil Nadu.

Still, some Taiwanese businesspeople have clearly soured on China.

“The electronics industry has already become a Chinese empire, not a Taiwanese one," says Leo Chiu, who worked in mainland China in quality control for an electronics manufacturer for 14 years before concluding he couldn't move up further there and returning to Taiwan in 2019. Many of his old colleagues have left, he said.

“If Xi Jinping steps down, there's still a chance it could change," says Chiu. “But I think it's very hard."

Write to Joyu Wang at joyu.wang@wsj.com and Nathaniel Taplin at nathaniel.taplin@wsj.com

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HS Prannoy, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty Enter Quarters

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 23, 2023

Ace Indian shuttler HS Prannoy and Asian Games gold winning pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty entered the quarterfinals in their respective events at the China Masters badminton tournament here on Thursday.

World championship bronze medallist Prannoy, the only surviving Indian in the men's singles event, registered a comfortable 21-12 21-18 win over Magnus Johannesen of Denmark in the pre-quarterfinal match that lasted exactly 40 minutes.

Prannoy, seeded eighth here, will now take on third seeded Japanese Kodai Naraoka in the last eight round.

Besides Prannoy, world no.5 and top seeds Satwik and Chirag also kept the Indian flag flying by progressing to the quarterfinals of men's doubles event with 21-15 21-16 win over Japanese duo of Akira Koga and Taichi Saito.

They will next play Indonesian combination of Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin.

Against Johannesen, Prannoy started on a bright note and used his smart play to race to a 6-1 lead in the first game before the Dane reduced it to 8-6 and then to 14-11.

But the Indian used all his experience and engaged his opponent in long rallies to tire him out and pocket the first game.

The second game was an intense affair as both the shuttlers fought tooth and nail till 15 points and then were tied at 18 apiece before Prannoy got the better of his opponent to close out the contest and seal his quarterfinal spot.

Source: News18
Related Posts: BADMINTON,BADMINTON NEWS,CHINA MASTERS,CHIRAG SHETTY,HS PRANNOY,SATWIKSAIRAJ RANKIREDDY

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