Group reports-critique, grades, Week 4

Cybersecurity Group

China Adopts Cyber Security Law, to Dismay of Foreign Business

Shanghai, Nov. 13--China adopted its first cyber security law on Monday to counter what Beijing said are growing threats such as hacking and terrorism, which triggered concerns among foreign business and rights groups.

The law requires internet operators to cooperate with investigations involving crime and national security, and imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment. Companies must also give government investigators full access to their data if wrong-doing is suspected. 

More than 40 global business groups petitioned Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in August, urging Beijing to amend what they said were controversial sections of the law. Chinese officials claimed that the adopted rules, without interfering with foreign business interests, would help stop cyber attacks and prevent acts of terrorism, while critics said they would further erode internet freedom. 

The law could freeze multinational banks and companies out of key economic sectors. Those sectors deemed subject to review are: communication infrastructure, energy, transport, water supply, finance, public utilities and e-government services, while the law’s ambiguity also leaves the door open for inspections of areas that might affect “national security”, the “citizens’ well-being” or “public interest”. Some experts warn that tech companies might be forced to reveal their source code to the Chinese government. 

Companies could be forced to evaluate whether the benefit of selling tech products to Chinese SOEs and banks outweighs the potential cost of sharing their intellectual property with the Chinese government.

Given that the critical sectors include transport and finance, companies involved in China’s domestic Belt and Road plans could be affected, as could banks working in the transactional stage.

Restrictions on the flow of data across borders “provide no security benefits but will create barriers to Chinese as well as foreign companies operating in industries where data needs to be shared internationally,” James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, wrote in an emailed statement.

Meanwhile, Zhao Zeliang, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China's cyber security coordination bureau, said that every article in the law accorded with rules of international trade, and China would not close the door on foreign companies. The law is to make a “secure and reliable” environment to ensure “trade protectionism”.

The law's adoption comes amid a broad supervision by President Xi Jinping on civil society, including rights of lawyers and the media.

The Standing Committee of China’s legislature and the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the Cyber Security Law of 2016 after two drafts in July 2015 and June 2016. The law will be effective on June 1, 2017.

Rotating Editor:Ma Yufei(Phoebe)


 News Sources:

Jim Wolf - Sun, 13 Nov 2016, 3:08 PM

Nice job. But the lead would have been better if you'd hardened it with a few words about the nub of the foreign companies' complaints about the new law. Thus, you could perhaps say xxx "Bejing adopted its first cybersecurity law on Monday, over the objections of foreign companies concerned about a requirement to store data on servers in China and to submit to security reviews." Adding these few words tells readers why they should take the time to read the rest of your piece. And you deliver on the controversy further down by quoting, as you've done, James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. It would be good to dig a bit deeper even into the foreign companies' objections, especially since you say more than 40 gobal business groups had urged Beijing to reconsider. As a reader, I'd like to know more about why they may consider the requirement to store data on servers in China a bad idea along with more details on their other objections. As the world's second-biggest economy after the United States, a lot is riding on the issues sparked by this law, including potential foreign investments and partnership with Chinese companies.


Grade: 85


Taiwan-Mainland Group

Is the wind of change in Taiwan-USA relations after Trumb`s victory in USA presidential elections will be exist?

TAIPEI, Taiwan -

November, 9th

  Taiwan was no different from the rest of the world Wednesday. When Donald Trump steamed toward victory in the United States presidential election in Taiwan time, reactions ranged from shock to disbelief to dismay.

President Tsai Ing-wen congratulated US president-elect Donald Trump on his victory and reaffirmed the Taiwan-US relationship, saying the two nations will continue to build a strong relationship based on common values. Tsai sent her congratulations to Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

United States-Taiwan relations will continue to thrive whether the U.S. has a Republican or Democrat president, the de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan said Wednesday in Taipei before the election was called. While many are concerned that the election result will pose challenges to U.S.-Taiwan relations, some analysts are less concerned.

On U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, Trump is likely to continue to allow them in line with the Taiwan Relations Act, enacted by the U.S. 1979, The Congress has substantive relations after braking diplomatic ties between Washinghton and Taipei. Then established them with Beijing, said Yen Chen-shen, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at National Chengchi University. However, Taiwan may suffer economically as the U.S. Congress is now all the more unlikely to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Taiwan had hoped to benefit from. Trump has come out against it. Taiwanese businesspeople may also suffer because Trump has floated the idea of imposing double-digit tariffs on goods from such countries as China and Mexico where they have operations, Yen said.

“The US is the most important democracy in the world as well as Taiwan’s most solid partner. We are looking forward to working with Trump’s administration in deepening the US-Taiwan relationship and turning a key foundation for maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Tsai said in a statement issued by the Presidential Office.

Relations between Taiwan and the U.S. can be approached from different dimensions: politics and diplomacy, defense, and trade. On the diplomatic front, there seems to be a feeling that Trump will be tough on China, and therefore he might automatically favor Taiwan.

 In the military field, early comments in Taiwan, after the election result expressed optimism that Trump would be more likely to sell weapons to Taiwan, though there was no direct evidence in statements by the president-elect. The drive to sell arms might also be motivated by the new administration’s wish to ramp up exports and let partners of the U.S. pay more for their defense.

Jim Wolf - Sun, 13 Nov 2016, 4:48 PM

Taiwan could have plenty to fear from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who prides himself on being a consummate deal maker. A big new cross-straits question would be whether Trump might seek some kind of grand bargain with Beijing that could spell an end to Taiwan's de facto independence and remove a major irritant in relations between the world's two biggest economies. But your piece barely skims the surface of this issue, beating around the bush instead. Also, you'd be in danger of losing your readers from the get-go with a lead that says xxx "Taiwan was no different from the rest of the world Wednesday" xxx That's a sure-fire way to get readers to click on to something else on the assumption that your piece has nothing interesting to say. Contrast this with a possible lead along these lines, IF BORNE OUT BY YOUR REPORTING : xxx Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing deems a rogue province, reacted warily to the election this week of Donald Trump, fearful that its interests could be compromised in any new drive for a U.S.-China grand bargain. xxx 

Grade: 80


Trump’s Victory Fuels Concern over Sino-US economic relations

Uncertainty has been aroused about the future of China-US economic and trade relations, after Donald Trump’s victory as US president-elect, who said that “China is cheating the United States out of millions of jobs and will be forced to behave” during his campaign.

On his campaign trial, Trump given his 45% tariff-on-China speech, said that China is "killing us" on trade policy. If implemented, his ideas could lead to "devastating" results, from global trade wars to higher costs of living, and "spell the end of globalization," according to Darrell West, a vice-president at the Brookings Institution.

"If there are disruptions in trade, it would impact the willingness and likelihood of US brands and retailers to take an active part on Tmall.” said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. Alibaba, one of Chinese top e-commerce operator, could suffer the biggest threat, for its significant part of business tied to trade with the US if Trump's policies implemented.

The US Treasury Department also has repeatedly said that China is not manipulating its currency since last year. The threat to impose tariffs of up to 45 percent on goods from China would be "unrealistic," said Tu Xinquan, director of the China Institute for WTO studies

The Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP), an ambitious trade deal involving a dozen Pacific Rim countries, would represent "the death blow" for American manufacturing, according to Trump. The first pledge in his seven-point plan to rebuild the American economy is to withdraw from that deal.

“Bilateral trade had brought benefits to the two peoples and increased employment in the United States."Stated Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang on a routine press briefing on Nov,9th, who mentioned that trade volume had surged from over 2 billion U.S. dollars in the 1970s to more than 500 billion U.S. dollars last year. “China became the largest trading partner of the United States in 2015”, added Lu.

"If his goal is to bring jobs back to the US, his first and foremost job is not to be tough on others, but to improve the US economy and industries first," said Xu Gao, chief economist at China Everbright Securities Co."Trump's win might help ease pressure on the yuan exchange rate and capital outflows.

Rotating Editor: Wang Qi (Mira)

Jim Wolf - Sun, 13 Nov 2016, 5:12 PM

Good job. You've hit important points on trade and economic issues, but have left out military, security and strategic aspects of the multi-faceted U.S.-China relationship. For an idea of how you might handle some of these, please take a look at the Washington Post news analysis that I'm posting to this web site shortly.

Grade: 88


South China Sea Group

India, Japan stand in line on South China Sea

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his counterpart Shinzo Abe in Japan on Nov.11. Despite China had warned other countries against any dalliance over South China Sea, India and Japan issued a joint statement between the two heads of state referring to the case of the South China Sea arbitration in the meeting.

"Regarding the South China Sea, the two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of resolving the disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law including the UNCLOS," said the joint statement. They stressed the significance of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in resolving South China Sea disputes.

Before Modi's visit to Japan, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Tokyo has been encouraging the India to voice in the South China Sea issue. Modi in Japan will sign a landmark nuclear energy pact and strengthen ties with Japan as China's regional influence is increasing and Donald Trump's election has increased the uncertainty of the future of Asia’s political situation. India hopes to obtain nuclear and military technology from Japan, and at the same time use Japan's capital to construct the high-speed rail, Japan is hoping to pull India into the containment of China's plan.

Last month, India has suggested that Singapore should mention the results of the South China Sea arbitration, and refute the claims of the historical rights of China in the South China Seabut this proposal was finally rejected by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He suggested that Singapore is not the claimant country of the South China Sea, and Singapore did not want to take sides on the “controversial” South China Sea issue.

Different from Singapore, Japan has a different response. Japanese officials have recently told the India Times that Japan has encouraged India to voice over the disputed South China Sea issue. And in the East China Sea, Japan is increasingly warning of China's strong power. The two countries’ joint statement will certainly lead to more hostile reaction from China.

In response to the questions about Modi's visit to Japan, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, "we would like to see the normal development of bilateral relations between the neighboring countries, of course, we also hope that in the process of the development of bilateral relations they should in respect of other countries especially the legitimate concerns of the countries in the region in order to keep the stabilization of the region".

Rotating Editor: Tian Tian

Jim Wolf - Sun, 13 Nov 2016, 5:25 PM

Interesting report, but I think it would be better to angle it on the uncertainty introduced by the surprise election this week of Donald Trump as president of the United States. As you've reported in your piece, xxx as China's regional influence is increasing and Donald Trump's election has increased the uncertainty of the future of Asia’s political situation." xxx In other words, it's important to refer to the elephant in the room, not just the details of India-Japan talks on tensions in the South China Sea. For an example of the kind of questions that a reporter might address in her coverage of the South China Sea tangles, please take a look at the analysis on U.S.-China relations by The Washington Post newspaper, to be posted on this website shortly.
  • Jim Wolf - Sun, 13 Nov 2016, 5:26 PM
    Also, your lead fails to throw the story forward or spell out the significance of the Modi-Abe meeting and what they discussed. You need to think harder about what you're trying to say.

  • Last modified: Sunday, 13 November 2016, 6:22 PM