U.S.–China Week: Trump personnel and China ties, Tsai Ing-wen in U.S., THAAD (2017.01.17)

It’s been almost a month since the previous edition, so there is no way to cover everything. Below I provide a healthy crop of links and some summaries, but this is a good time to note that the daily e-mail newsletter from SupChina (sign up here) has emerged as a great resource for China news junkies and U.S.–China relations followers. Bill Bishop’s Sinocism, the seminal China wonk e-mail blast, is also back to frequent publication as of this month. So with their archives as recommended references, welcome to Issue 83 of U.S.–China Week—a roundup of recent events. Next week’s edition will return to the usual format including more analysis.

As always: Please encourage friends and colleagues to subscribe to U.S.–China Week. Here is the web version of this issue, ideal for sharing on social media. You can also find U.S.–China Week on Medium and on Facebook, and you can follow me on Twitter at @gwbstr. Please send your comments, quibbles, and suggestions to [email protected].

Trump team takes shape and China-related controversies continue

THAAD developments, North Korea’s ICBM bluster, Tsai transits U.S.

THAAD missile-defense issue

Kim Jong-un says long-range missile test in preparation

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visits U.S. over Beijing’s objection

U.S.–China relations marches on even as speculation about the future steals the show

Two tech highlights

  • Apple removes New York Times app from its China store –FT “Apple has removed the New York Times app from its app store in China at the request of mainland authorities, furthering a clampdown on foreign media outlets that has worsened since President Xi Jinping came to power. … Apple has long had to balance its access to the Chinese market — which accounted for a fifth of its sales, or $8.8bn, in the last quarter — with a string of requests from the Chinese government. These include placing data centres in the country to store Chinese users’ information, which Apple agreed to in 2014. Apple also announced last year that it would open a research and development facility in China, a move praised by the country’s vice-premier.”
  • China’s Cybersecurity Efforts Could Pose New Challenge for Foreign Firms –NYT on a new document from the Cyberspace Administration of China

Regional and economic

‘Rusk Wary of Talk of a “War” in China’

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 12[, 1967] — Secretary of State Dean Rusk said today that it was possible the political turmoil in Communist China would lead to civil war but that it was too soon to tell. ‘It’s possible,’ Mr. Rusk said, ‘but we ought to be very cautions about saying that it’s headed that way at this time.’ He emphasized that he regarded some of the day-to-day reports for Peking as exaggerated. His comments, made during an interview on the National Broadcasting Company’s program ‘Today,’ marked a slight departure from the Administration’s policy of refraining from direct comment on the power struggle in China. The Administration has sought to avoid the appearance of interfering or of siding with one faction or another. Mr. Rusk said it was evident that ‘a considerable debate on policy’ lies beneath the surface of what he called ‘an authentic struggle of leadership among the top 12 or 15 people in that system.’ But he did not identify any of the rival factions with any particular policy lines, nor indicate what he thought the implications of the power struggle were for the United States.”

(Source: The New York TimesThis entry is part of an ongoing feature of U.S.–China Week that follows U.S.–China relations as they developed in another era of change and uncertainty, 50 years ago.)


U.S.–China Week is a weekly news and analysis brief that covers important developments in U.S.–China relations and features especially insightful or influential new policy analysis.

Graham Webster is a senior research scholar, lecturer, and senior fellow of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, where he specializes in U.S.–China diplomatic, security, and economic relations through research and Track II dialogues. He is also a fellow for China and East Asia with the EastWest Institute. His website is gwbstr.com.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are my own (and I reserve the right to change my mind).

Subscription to U.S.–China Week by clicking here or e-mailing me is free and open to all, and an archive of past editions appears at my long-running website on East Asia and the United States, Transpacifica.

Contact: Follow me on Twitter at @gwbstr. Send e-mail to [email protected].






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *