US, China Trade Criticism in Testy Beijing Meeting
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his Chinese counterpart the United States has "grave concerns" about China's actions, in a meeting that underscores worsening relations between Washington and Beijing.
"We have a fundamental disagreement," Pompeo told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Monday in Beijing, which saw both sides use unusually blunt language for such a diplomatic setting.
Wang accused the U.S. of escalating trade tensions with China and said Washington was dealing with Taiwan in a way that "harms China's core interests." Beijing considers the self-ruled island its own.
The meeting comes days after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a speech accusing China of military aggression, commercial theft, rising human rights violations and electoral intervention against Trump.
A U.S. readout issued after Monday's meeting said Pompeo "directly addressed areas where the United States and China do not agree, including on the South China Sea and human rights. He emphasized the importance of maintaining cross-Strait peace and stability."
Both men also spoke of the need for greater cooperation.
"We believe China and the U.S. should stick to the correct path of cooperation and win-win rather than be mired in a wrong path full of conflicts and confrontations," Wang said.
One area of cooperation is North Korea, a Chinese ally, which the U.S. is trying to convince to give up its nuclear weapons.
The State Department says Pompeo and Wang "reaffirmed their shared resolve to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK, as agreed to by Chairman Kim (Jong Un) in Singapore." The North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump met for the first time there in June for a historic summit.
"The United States and China remain unified on our pressure campaign, and are committed to a bright future for the DPRK if Pyongyang denuclearizes quickly," the statement added.
Study Reveals First Big look at Chinese Investment in Australia
For the first time, researchers have been able to track the amount of Chinese investment in Australia. From the purchase of large cattle properties to residential real estate, the scope of Chinese money has led to fraught discussions about the scale of foreign influence in Australia. The results of the research may have some surprises for some Australians who have been wary of China's influence and the size of Chinese investments in their country.
The comprehensive new database shows how much Chinese investors are pouring into Australia. Between 2013 and 2017 the figure was more than $28 billion (U.S. dollars).Most of the money was spent on mining projects and real estate, although increasingly larger amounts are being invested by the Chinese in tourism in Australia.
Academics from the Australian National University say this is proof that Chinese investment is maturing and becoming more sophisticated.
Working with business representatives and the Australian government, researchers are for the first time charting the real value of Chinese investment.The flow of money from China has been politically sensitive, with concerns that valuable Australian farmland and real estate have become foreign-owned.
Professor Peter Drysdale, researcher at the Australian National University, says his work will help to foster a more accurate debate about China's role.
"Getting an accurate picture of what is going on is half the battle in having a sensible public discussion," said Drysdale. "Making it possible to have a better informed discussion about what Chinese investment actually does in Australia and what its effect is on the Australian economy."
The database was compiled by painstaking analysis of thousands of transactions from sources such as the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The research highlighted that Chinese investment in Australia was at its highest in 2016, at $10.5 billion, but dropped to $6.2 billion in 2017.
While the report does not offer explanations for the sharp fall, bilateral business relations between Beijing and Canberra have been under increasing pressure because of diplomatic friction over alleged Chinese meddling in Australia's domestic politics and the media.