Sean King Park Strategies http://sean-king.net Thu, 29 Jun 2017 18:22:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 Keep The Disease of Democracy Out of Hong Kong – Sean King Park Strategies on Bloomberg Daybreak Asia http://sean-king.net/2017/06/28/keep-disease-democracy-hong-kong-sean-king-park-strategies-bloomberg-daybreak-asia/ http://sean-king.net/2017/06/28/keep-disease-democracy-hong-kong-sean-king-park-strategies-bloomberg-daybreak-asia/#respond Wed, 28 Jun 2017 18:22:21 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=559   Sean King, Senior Vice President, Park Strategies tells Bloomberg’s Bryan Curtis the Chinese leadership will deny democracy in Hong Kong “by hook or by crook.”   Originally posted here.

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Sean King, Senior Vice President, Park Strategies tells Bloomberg’s Bryan Curtis the Chinese leadership will deny democracy in Hong Kong “by hook or by crook.”

 

Originally posted here.

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China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Principle Won’t Ever Work In Taiwan http://sean-king.net/2017/06/26/chinas-one-country-two-systems-principle-wont-ever-work-taiwan/ http://sean-king.net/2017/06/26/chinas-one-country-two-systems-principle-wont-ever-work-taiwan/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:51:33 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=548 Originally designed for Taiwan, Beijing applied the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to Hong Kong on July 1, 1997 when sovereignty of the territory was passed from Britain to China. But “One Country, Two Systems,” which guarantees a degree of autonomy under Chinese supervision, isn’t applicable to Taiwan. The island has evolved into a self-ruled, […]

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Originally designed for Taiwan, Beijing applied the “One Country, Two Systems” principle to Hong Kong on July 1, 1997 when sovereignty of the territory was passed from Britain to China.

But “One Country, Two Systems,” which guarantees a degree of autonomy under Chinese supervision, isn’t applicable to Taiwan. The island has evolved into a self-ruled, hyper-democracy that enjoys de facto operational independence.

It also doesn’t share Hong Kong’s inherent Chinese lineage. Therein lies the real issue.

Taiwan under mainland control

Hong Kong was incorporated into China during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Meanwhile, Chinese migrants didn’t arrive in Taiwan until the 15th century—but still did not take it over. Europeans eventually found their way to Taiwan’s shores, resulting in Spanish and Dutch settlements.

Come 1661, China’s Japanese-born Ming Dynasty General Cheng Chen-kung (also known as Koxinga) retreated to Taiwan while fleeing Manchu invaders, leading to more Chinese migration. Koxinga eventually kicked out the Dutch and took Taiwan for himself. He died one year later in 1662, succeeded by his son and grandson.

Nearly 20 years later, China’s Qing Dynasty finally succeeded in overthrowing the Chengs. It annexed Taiwan in 1683, making it a prefecture of Fujian Province. This is the first time that Taiwan was ever under mainland control—almost 1,900 years after Hong Kong became Chinese.

Read more of the book chapter on Forbes here!

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Beijing Ramps up its Claim Over Disputed South China Sea http://sean-king.net/2017/06/19/beijing-ramps-claim-disputed-south-china-sea/ http://sean-king.net/2017/06/19/beijing-ramps-claim-disputed-south-china-sea/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:59:27 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=557 The Chinese government is working hard to gain control over the South China Sea. After building artificial islands for use by its military and pacifying its rivals, China has emerged as the dominant player in the area. To clinch that title, the Chinese navy recently participated in the first phase of “complex” and “lengthy” joint […]

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The Chinese government is working hard to gain control over the South China Sea. After building artificial islands for use by its military and pacifying its rivals, China has emerged as the dominant player in the area.

To clinch that title, the Chinese navy recently participated in the first phase of “complex” and “lengthy” joint military exercises with Russia in the South China Sea.

China wants control of the “nine-dash line,” an area comprising about 90 percent of the South China Sea, which it believes to be its territory. However, several other nations—Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines—claim rights to areas of the sea that overlap the nine-dash line. All of these nations value the South China Sea for its fisheries, fossil fuel reserves, and marine shipping lanes.

After the World Court ruled for the Philippines and against China’s claims of ownership of an area of the sea last July, China started practicing “checkbook diplomacy” rather than showing off its military might. It wooed the Philippines with $24 billion in aid and investment, brought tourists to Vietnam, and is viewed by Malaysia as its top investor and trading partner.

The U.S. seems to be stepping back from the South China Sea, leaving nations like Vietnam and the Philippines, which once looked to the United States for support, feeling like they have few options other than cooperating with China. Nonetheless, they aren’t pushing for the U.S. to develop a South China Sea strategy.

“There’s been no coordination among the non-Chinese claimants, and the only one among them that remotely had its act together on the issue, Vietnam, surely felt abandoned after America ditched the TPP, thus questioning how truly committed we are to the region,” said Sean King, Senior Vice President of political consultancy firm Park Strategies.

But the U.S. may be about to take a harder line on China’s maritime expansion. In May, the U.S. Navy sent a ship on a “freedom of navigation” operation in the South China Sea, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis recently said China’s claims need to be handled “peacefully through negotiations, not by island-building and placing weaponry on the resulting dry land.”

Southeast Asians may have been reassured by Mattis’s statement, but they are still hedging their bets. They’re keeping the option of asking Japan, India, and other countries for help in keeping China away, if that help is needed.

Read the full story here.

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U.S. Expected to Increase Pressure on China Over South China Sea Expansion http://sean-king.net/2017/06/19/u-s-expected-increase-pressure-china-south-china-sea-expansion/ http://sean-king.net/2017/06/19/u-s-expected-increase-pressure-china-south-china-sea-expansion/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:53:18 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=555 U.S. President Donald Trump has been going easy on China over its increasing control over the South China Sea. That leeway had allowed China and the U.S. to work together on containing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. However, Trump is now expected to start increasing pressure on Beijing in order to curb its expansionist moves in […]

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U.S. President Donald Trump has been going easy on China over its increasing control over the South China Sea. That leeway had allowed China and the U.S. to work together on containing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. However, Trump is now expected to start increasing pressure on Beijing in order to curb its expansionist moves in Asia’s most disputed sea.

China’s claims to the South China Sea overlap those of Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Some of those governments had sought help from the U.S. to contain China’s expansion into the South China Sea. However, now that Washington is drawing away, China is moving in with “checkbook diplomacy,” offering aid, trade, and investment in exchange for alliances.

When U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis meet Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi for a security meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C., the parties are expected to at least touch on the South China Sea issue.

The U.S. wants the sea open for free commercial navigation and made that point by conducting a “freedom of navigation” operation in late May. Analysts see this move as one sign that Washington is going to start taking a tighter stand against Chinese expansionist plans.

Another issue that will probably come up in Wednesday’s meeting is North Korea. U.S. officials are concerned that China is letting North Korea skirt economic sanctions by using its own procurement supply chain to get financing from Chinese banks. The discussion, the first in a series, will likely not result in anything substantive, observers say.

“There might be some general commitment to Korean denuclearization, but Beijing won’t do anything consequential on that front, as it wants to keep North Korea around more than it disapproves of Pyongyang’s nukes,” said Sean King, Senior Vice President of New York political consultancy Park Strategies. “Hopefully (the U.S. government) has put Xi on notice that we’re moving toward secondary sanctions against the mainland Chinese entities and banks that are fronting for North Korea if he doesn’t take real action.”

Read the full story here.

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Taiwan’s List of Allies Against China Keeps Getting Shorter http://sean-king.net/2017/06/14/taiwans-list-allies-china-keeps-getting-shorter/ http://sean-king.net/2017/06/14/taiwans-list-allies-china-keeps-getting-shorter/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:31:55 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=545 China has been so busy paying off Taiwan’s few diplomatic allies to switch allegiances to China that people in Taiwan are starting to bet on which country is next to go. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and says that nation has no right to set up relations with foreign countries. The latest casualty in the […]

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China has been so busy paying off Taiwan’s few diplomatic allies to switch allegiances to China that people in Taiwan are starting to bet on which country is next to go. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and says that nation has no right to set up relations with foreign countries.

The latest casualty in the China-Taiwan diplomatic game is Panama, which announced on June 12 that, after several decades of relations with Taiwan, it would break that relationship to sign with China instead.

“Panama’s move is a heavy body blow for Taiwan,” said Sean King, Senior Vice President of Park Strategies. “An obviously major shipping nation that uses the U.S. dollar, Panama has long been one of Taipei’s highest-profile diplomatic allies.” (The only higher profile one is the Vatican.)

Which countries are going to switch allegiances next? The bets are on these three:

Nicaragua. Although Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega gave Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen a warm welcome in January, Nicaragua has a history of breaking off diplomatic relations, having done so in 1985. There is also a question of Chinese control over the Interoceanic Canal, since Nicaragua gave responsibility for that canal to a Chinese businessman.

Paraguay. Paraguay established ties with Taiwan in 1957 and has never broken those ties. Taiwan has also offered a great deal of aid to Paraguay. However, changes in that nation’s leadership and the fact that Taiwan is no longer involved in “checkbook diplomacy” could make China’s invitations more enticing.

St. Lucia. This country was once an ally of China but signed on with Taiwan in 2007. However St. Lucia’s historic willingness to switch sides, plus the expiration of a 2012 truce between China and Taiwan, would make the island nation an easy target for China’s overtures.

Read the full story here.

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China Pitches “One Belt, One Road” to Canada http://sean-king.net/2017/05/23/china-pitches-one-belt-one-road-canada/ Tue, 23 May 2017 22:45:08 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=553 Lu Shaye, Chinese Ambassador to Canada, was in Vancouver on May 11 to pitch Canada on the idea of joining One Belt, One Road (OBOR). OBOR is a trade and investment initiative announced in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Its goal is to build a transportation infrastructure that would recreate the “Silk Road” to […]

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Lu Shaye, Chinese Ambassador to Canada, was in Vancouver on May 11 to pitch Canada on the idea of joining One Belt, One Road (OBOR).

OBOR is a trade and investment initiative announced in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Its goal is to build a transportation infrastructure that would recreate the “Silk Road” to link China and Europe. This would be done either by land over Central Asia or by sea via Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa.

The two-day OBOR summit in Beijing wrapped up on May 15. There, Xi pledged at least US $113 billion in new funding for the initiative. OBOR, in combination with the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), hopes to connect 60-plus Asian countries that account for about 30 percent of all global economic output.

Lu suggested that Canada’s technology industry might benefit from Chinese manufacturing as a way to reach developing markets in Central and Southeast Asia.

Some observers are hesitant about OBOR because of the geopolitical aspects of the initiative. First, India, one of the countries along the planned OBOR route, boycotted the Beijing meetings because the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor runs through the disputed Kashmir region. They also see OBOR as an expansion of Beijing’s political influence over its neighbors as the U.S. pulls back under the Trump administration.

However, there was a U.S. delegation at the Beijing OBOR summit, which some analysts see as a significant indicator of Washington’s changing position.

“Don’t rule out [the United States] joining AIIB at some point,” said Sean King, Senior Vice President at Park Strategies and a close observer of China’s relationships with Canada and other Pacific Rim countries. “It can happen….As am I, I suspect many other center-right U.S. foreign policy types are scratching their heads at Trump’s recent overtures to Beijing. Trump thinks Beijing can solve North Korea for us—which they won’t.”

Read the whole story here.

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TPP Could be Trump’s Next Policy Reversal http://sean-king.net/2017/04/18/tpp-trumps-next-policy-reversal/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:41:27 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=551 President Donald Trump has made a few notable policy reversals in the time he has been president, the most recent of which was last week, when a U.S. Treasury report did not name China as a currency manipulator. While on the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised he would formally accuse Beijing of currency manipulation if […]

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President Donald Trump has made a few notable policy reversals in the time he has been president, the most recent of which was last week, when a U.S. Treasury report did not name China as a currency manipulator. While on the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised he would formally accuse Beijing of currency manipulation if he were elected president.

What will Trump backtrack on next? It could be the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In January, Trump withdrew from the TPP on the claim that the agreement would harm U.S. manufacturing.

“Whoever thought that Trump would let China, a rival, off the hook on currency?” said Sean King, Senior Vice President of Park Strategies. “If he can do that with a country that’s clearly not a friend, maybe he could consider reversing himself on TPP for a friend like Japan.”

King said Trump still has time to change his mind on the TPP, as the treaty text remains valid until February 2018.

“He’s certainly made greater reversals and clamed victory,” King continued. “Why not do this for our friends who want to stand with us against countries like China and North Korea? I’m all for it.”

Vice President Mike Pence is going to hold talks with Taro Aso, Japan’s deputy prime minister, on May 16. He is expected to offer a U.S.-Japan free trade agreement (FTA).

“We are trying to offer them a poor man’s TPP with this FTA idea, but I don’t think Japan has any interest in pursuing that,” King said. “I think Taro Aso is just going to hear out Pence to be nice to Trump…I don’t expect much to come out of these talks. It’s going to be a bunch of niceties but no real deliverables.”

Read the full story here.

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Mar-a-Lago is Wrong Venue For Trump-Xi Meeting – Bloomberg Radio http://sean-king.net/2017/04/05/mar-lago-wrong-venue-trump-xi-meeting-bloomberg-radio/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 23:35:36 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=523 Sean King, Senior Vice President, Park Strategies joined Shery Ahn and Doug Krizner to discuss his concerns over the upcoming meeting between Trump and Xi at Mar-a-Lago. He started by looking at what impact yesterday’s missile launch by North Korea will have. Originally posted here.      

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Sean King, Senior Vice President, Park Strategies joined Shery Ahn and Doug Krizner to discuss his concerns over the upcoming meeting between Trump and Xi at Mar-a-Lago. He started by looking at what impact yesterday’s missile launch by North Korea will have.

Originally posted here.

 

 

 

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What to Expect From Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson’s Trip to China http://sean-king.net/2017/03/16/expect-secretary-state-rex-tillersons-trip-china/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 19:42:15 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=541 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to China on March 18 to meet with top-ranking Chinese officials and begin learning the intricacies of managing the U.S.’s complicated relationship with China. China is waiting for clarity and consistency from President Trump. Trump’s phone call Chinese President Xi Jinping in February eased some of the tensions […]

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to China on March 18 to meet with top-ranking Chinese officials and begin learning the intricacies of managing the U.S.’s complicated relationship with China.

China is waiting for clarity and consistency from President Trump. Trump’s phone call Chinese President Xi Jinping in February eased some of the tensions that arose after he took a call from Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, in January. However, China still wants to know how serious the U.S is about helping Japan and South Korea defend themselves against North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

Beijing officials will tell Tillerson and others that China will act responsibly to restrain North Korea, but they will most likely dispute the need for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system that the U.S. and South Korea are planning to build. They will also restate China’s claim to sovereignty in the South China Sea and remind Tillerson how economic agreements between the U.S. and China benefit American manufacturers, as well as importers on both sides.

Tillerson’s recent discussions on reaffirming a military alliance with Japan, not to mention his visit to South Korea to discuss THAAD and mutual defense against threats from the north, are not likely to sit well with China.

China will say it backs U.N. sanctions against North Korea but avoid agreeing to put more pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime.

“I think Secretary Tillerson will make the usual representations in Beijing, namely China’s unwillingness to rein in North Korea and its South China Sea islandbuilding,” says Sean King, Senior Vice President of New York political consultancy Park Strategies. “I suspect his hosts will listen politely but give no ground on either issue.”

Tillerson’s visit will lay the groundwork for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S. in April, during which he will presumably be meeting President Trump for the first time. Both parties want to avoid any surprises that will further set back U.S.-China relations.

Read the full story here.

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Interview on CNBC’s The Rundown 3/9/17: “South Korea Could be Torn Apart for Months” http://sean-king.net/2017/03/10/cnbc-the-rundown-south-korea-could-be-torn-apart-for-months/ Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:36:23 +0000 http://sean-king.net/?p=514 In an interview on 3/9/17 before courts decided officially on the impeachment of president Park Geun-hye, Sean King of Park Strategies is quoted as saying, among other things, “This could be just the beginning in many ways, I think the country could be torn apart for months to come.”   A follow-up article posted on […]

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In an interview on 3/9/17 before courts decided officially on the impeachment of president Park Geun-hye, Sean King of Park Strategies is quoted as saying, among other things, “This could be just the beginning in many ways, I think the country could be torn apart for months to come.”

 

A follow-up article posted on CNBC after the ruling to uphold the impeachment also quoted Sean King. When discussing public pressure on the courts he said, “The fact that judges were required to disclose their individual votes, unlike previous cases, also heightened the pressure on each justice.”

 

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