Group reports-critique, grades, Week 3



Rotating editor: Lanyu Feng


Nearly 1/3 Taiwanese support "One China Consensus": Survey

Taiwan—31.3% of respondents felt the “One China Consensus” should be recognized before rekindling interactions between the two sides of the strait, higher than the previous figure 29.7%, showed the public opinion poll released Friday by the Taiwan Brain Trust(TBT) think tank.

Taipei – Nearly one third of respondents in a poll released Friday held that a 25-year-old political concept called the One China Consensus, although shunned by Taiwan’s new leader, is critical to rekindling cross-Straits ties with the mainland, up slightly from the last such poll.

A total of 31.3 percent of those quizzed said that the consensus reached in 1992 should be recognized as a prelude to resuming normal interactions, compared with 29.7 percent in the previous poll, carried out before Tsai Ing-wen came to power in May.  

The One China Consensus affirms that both sides of the Strait (OR Straits) belong to a single China, though both sides have interpreted the meaning of that one China as it sees fit at least for now. It was reached by semi-official representatives of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China and the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. Critics of the term, including Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), argue that, because there was no agreement on the meaning and mutual understanding of China and which government, PRC or ROC, represents "China", it was not a "consensus" at all.


Taipei and Beijing split in 1949 at the end of the civil war.  Beijing regards Taiwan as an illegitimate breakaway province. It says Taiwan must return to China’s fold, by force if necessary.  

The victory of Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party in the 2016 elections ended a Kuomintang government on Taiwan that had sought closer economic ties with the mainland. Beijing has demanded that Tsai accept the “One China” formulation embraced  by a more Beijing-friendly Taiwan government some 25 years ago.  During the seven-day Golden Week holiday (the mainland National Day Holidays, from October 1st to October 7th), only 94,519 mainland tourists visited Taiwan, 70% lower than the figure of 181,087 people last year, the latest figures rom Taiwan’s Immigration Department showed.


Beijing distrusts the DPP because it has advocated formal independence for Taiwan, a self-governing offshore island with a population of about 24 million people.  

Tsai, in her inaugural address as president on May 20, said she aimed to maintain a consistent, predictable and sustainable relationship with Beijing.  

The poll also showed that 39.6% of respondents thought there was no need to recognize the One China Consensus, a drop of nearly 15 percentage points, compared with the previous survey. The figures were released by the Taiwan Brain Trust (TBT) research group

Wu Shi-chang, the general manager of the Trend Survey and Research Co. said, “Apparently, the public opinion has changed after Tsai Ing-wen taking office.”

In her inauguration speech, Tsai declined to acknowledge the "1992 Consensus." 

In response, a mainland spokesman for Taiwan Affairs Office said that recognizing the consensus remained critical to cross-Straits relations. Only by confirming an (not “the”) adherence to the common political foundation of the consensus  that embodies the one China principle can cross-Straits affairs authorities continue regular communication, the mainland spokesman said.


“Beijing has suspended all official contacts with Taipei and tried to put economic and political pressure on Taiwan to get the government to change its position,” said The China Post Taiwan.

(Why are you citing the China Post Taiwan for this? It would be much better to quote the authorities in Beijing and Taipei if possible. If they’re withholding comment on this, it would be good to go back to the statistics on declining mainland tourism to Taiwan. You’d need to do more reporting to shed more light on what’s going on, perhaps by speaking with academic experts or researchers who could summarize what they think is going on behind the scenes. As reporters, you’d have to check with the relevant authorities for their comments, even if only to quote them as declining to comment on any suspension of official contacts and any other economic and political pressure being brought to bear on Taiwan by Beijing.  Incidentally, what I take to be the original report about this came on Oct. 6 or 7 from Super Media, a monthly based in Hong Kong, which was citing unnamed authorities.  Your group’s previous reporting on this matter should fit in here even if you’re unable to confirm that Beijing has suspended all official contacts with Taipei.



“The figures indicate that people in Taiwan are not giving in to China's pressure. But because the survey also found that more people today think the "1992 Consensus" must be recognized than when Tsai took office, it could mean China's approach may be starting to have an impact,”  Wu said.


Group of mainland China and Taiwan

Rotating editor: Lanyu Feng


OK, but it would be much better to use the poll merely as a hook to grab readers' attention, then quickly pivot to a detailed rundown on the latest developments between Beijing and Taipei, including the sharp drop in mainland visitors to Taiwan on which you reported last week.

Grade: 80  



Chinese firm to recall webcams after Friday’s cyberattack

Chinese electronics manufacturer Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co will recall up to 10,000 webcams sold in the United States which were identified by security researchers as weapons in a cyberattack last Friday.

Chinese electronics manufacturer Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co said it would recall up to 10,000 webcams sold in the United States and identified by security researchers as weapons that knocked out a key gateway to the internet last Friday.

Hackers launched a denial of service (DDoS) attack against some of the world’s major websites like Twitter, Netflix and Amazon Friday morning to stop Internet users all over the United States logging in. The attack targeted Internet service company Dyn, which which monitors  and reroute internet traffic (sted controls the “address book” of the Internet) for many (instead of lots of) major companies 

It was not immediately clear (sted is still unclear) who launched the attack, but Dyn said Tuesday it had identified a notorious botnet (you need to explain what a botnet is or perhaps just say xxx a malicious software program) , Mirai, as the main tool to “Internet of Things” (you can’t introduce a term like Internet of Things without explaining it) devices like digital cameras and recorders, many of which were made by Xiongmai.

Xiongmai admitted that its webcam and digital video recorder products were partially responsible for the cyberattack due to its weak default passwords and vulnerable code which led to them to be infected by the Mirai botnet, ( Omit. Repetitive:    announcing a recall of some of its products sold in the US).

“Mirai is a huge disaster for the Internet of Things”, Xiongmai confirmed, “(We) have to admit that our products also suffered from hacker’s break-in and illegal use.” It said the biggest issue was users not changing default passwords.  (Here you’d need to explain what’s meant by the “Internet of Things” if not before)  

The company had patched the flaws in its products last September and requested customers to change the default passwords when the devices are first used. However, products of old versions are still susceptible to network virus. Xiongmai now is reminding customers to update their devices and to change users’ names and passwords.

Liu Yuexin, Xiongmai’s marketing director, said the company would recall the first batches of webcams made in 2014 that monitor rooms or shops for personal, rather than industrial, use. She added that Xiongmai devices were unlikely to suffer similar attacks in China because “most of our products in China are industrial devices used within a closed intranet only; those in the US are customer devices exposed in the public domain.”

Xiongmai may take further steps to beef up security by migrating to safer operating systems and adding further encryption, Liu said.


Rotating Editor: Zhao Tong (Betty)

Group: Cybersecurity


Good overall, but the lead needs a bit of work, rather than referring to a “massive” cyberattack, which lacks specificity. Also, you need to define all technical terms such as “Internet of things,” “botnet” and the description of what Dyn does as “address book of the Internet.”

Grade: 83
















 The United States claims China’s model out of step

US claims China’s model of out step (It’s OK to use US in headline)

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter published an article in the latest issue of US magazine Foreign Affairs to call on the rebalance of Pacific region, saying that China's model is “out of step with where the Asia Pacific wants to go”. 

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a newly published article that a rising China’s actions were at odds with its neighbors in a region of shared interests and “out of step with where the Asia Pacific wants to go.”

The United States is committed to building a principled and inclusive security network in the Asia-Pacific region, Carter added in the latest issue of U.S. magazine Foreign Affairs, referring to President Barack Obama’s “rebalancing” initiative announced in 2011.

The policy shift, known initially as the Asia ‘‘pivot,’’ is intended to be a coordinated effort across the whole of U.S. government focusing on security alliances, relationships with emerging powers, engagement with multilateral institutions, trade and investment, military presence, and promotion of democracy and human rights.

The article argued that the US is committed to building a principled and inclusive security network in the Asia-Pacific region while China does not reflect what US and many others want. It said the rising of China leads to concerns of neighbors and its actions are excluding it from this region of shared interests. 

In Singapore in June, Carter proposed to accelerate and deepen defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific by expanding a "security network” (sted in Singapore June, 2016).  But he also cited American complaints about China’s model of unnerving its neighbors (CAREFUL: You seem to be saying that China’s model is to unnerve its neighbors, rather than merely citing Carter as saying this) with expansive moves to build up reefs, islets and other land features in the disputed South China Sea. 

China urged the United States (sted US) to reflect on its own words and deeds before criticizing (sted accusing against)  other countries, Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday. 

Wu said that China sticks to the United Nations Charter as well as other international principles. The United States (sted US), on the contrary, has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which has been in force for over 20 years. 

Last Friday, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed through Xisha Island waters, part of the South China Sea (claimed by China? as Chinese territorial waters (you need to clarify this), without the approval of Chinese authorities. 

In May 1996, the Chinese government issued a statement on (what it defined as) its territorial sea baseline, which clearly announced the baseline of the territorial sea of the Xisha Islands. The Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone and other international laws also stipulates that all foreign warships need to gain approval from the Chinese government before entering Chinese waters. 

Wu said the illegal entry of US warships into Chinese waters without permission seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security interests, breaching both Chinese and international laws. The Chinese government resolutely opposed such provocative behavior and would take a series of effective counter-measures. 

 Rotating EditorTang ZhexiaoCherry


This piece omits a critical recent development -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s announced “separation” from the United States, a treaty ally, in favor of closer ties with Beijing.  Duterte’s move stands in stark contrast to Carter’s claim about China being “out of step.” In addition, you need to spell out the date of the edition of Foreign Affairs, for instance, the Winter 2016 edition (if that’s what it was. Better yet, try to find out the date of Carter’s piece itself, something perhaps available on the Pentagon’s web site).  Also, your lead is cluttered with the name of the magazine where Carter published his piece – something that should be woven in further down in the piece, for instance the second paragraph, as suggested in the revised version above.  Finally, you need some background on the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, a policy initiated by Obama in 2011.

Grade: 80



South China Sea Group

South China Sea issue, Duterte’s pawn to seek economic opportunities

(Duterte plays off China and Japan over South China Sea)  

The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region, including the South China Sea, said Duterte, Philippine president, who began his three-day state visit to Japan to discuss maritime defense cooperation, after a joint media appearance with Abe, Japanese prime minister, on Wednesday.

TOKYO -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte positioned himself between Japan and China on tensions in the South China Sea during talks here Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling for the rule of law in the region and for dialogue.

The Philippines will continue to work closely with Japan on issues of common concern in the region, including the disputed South China Sea, said Duterte, who began a three-day state visit to Japan to discuss maritime defense cooperation.

In Tokyo, Duterte discussed politico-social and defence cooperation, particularly in maritime domain awareness and maritime security with Abe, he said at a joint media appearance with Abe ?.  

The Philippines took Beijing to an international tribunal over its extensive claims in the region and won a resounding victory in July. But Duterte did not pressed the issue with Beijing during a (omit, as unnecessary, four-day) state visit to China last week, instead working to improve ties and attract billions of dollars in Chinese loans and investment, which fuels Japan’s worries about South China Sea issue.

Last month, Japan had also sought cooperation with India on maritime security at an (sted the) East Asia Summit, encouraging India to speak up on issues related to South China Sea. Japan is worried that China's aggression (CAREFUL: here you appear to be taking sides rather than merely citing what Japan views as Chinese aggressive behavior) in South China Sea in the wake of an international tribunal ruling dismissing Beijing's 9-dash line, which lays claim to almost 90 per cent of South China Sea waters, will eventually spill over to East China Sea.

Duterte attempted to calm worries in Japan over his trip to China, assuring that he was not seeking military ties with Beijing, just a closer economic relationship.

"We did not talk about arms, we did not talk about stationing of troops," he said, adding that alliances and military were not on the agenda during his state visit to China.

The highest priority is economic problems, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

Japan announced loans totally 21.3 billion yen ($204 million) to help improve the Philippines' maritime safety as well promote peace and agriculture on Mindanao, after Duterte received (promises of?) a total of $24 billion in economic cooperation from China.

"Through offering olive branches to both China and Japan, Duterte is pursuing the Philippines' maximum national interests, since both China and Japan could offer financial support to his country." said Jia Duqiang, senior researcher of Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that Duterte’s words “my visit to these countries is for trade and business "reflected that Duteret attempted to let the South China Sea issue be a pawn (not the right word) between Japan and Chinaresulting in a competition with each other, where Philippines will get economic cooperation opportunities.

Over (recent?) these years, Philippines has maintained a good momentum of development, it is expected to get a further economic development and a stable foundation of governance with more in flow of funds from China and Japan. – (This paragraph is very weak, lacking any solid, specific information such as the Philippines’ growth rate over recent years. You need to be more specific here. Also, ideally you should cite a specific source for such an analytical statement.   

Rotating Editor:Nicole


Your lead needs work. It doesn’t pull together the key point here – that Duterte positioned himself between Japan and China on tensions in the South China Sea during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling for the rule of law in the region and for dialogue.

It would have been better to add that Abe called on Duterte to stand by Japan on the dispute, calling it a "matter of interest to the entire international community that is directly tied to regional peace and stability.” Also, the use of the word “pawn” in the headline and in the body of the piece doesn’t work at all, probably because it doesn’t mean what you apparently meant to say.  In addition, please take a close look at this formulation of yours:

“And Japan is worried that China's aggression in South China Sea in the wake of an international tribunal ruling dismissing Beijing's 9-dash line, which lays claim to almost 90 per cent of South China Sea waters, will eventually spill over to East China Sea.”  Your use of the emotionally charged word “aggression” suggests that you are taking sides, rather than merely citing Japan’s view.  Remember to use neutral language or to make clear who’s charging whom with what.

Grade: 80  


Last modified: Saturday, 5 November 2016, 11:02 PM