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Media Report
March 25 , 2019
  • Reuters reports, "The United States sent Navy and Coast Guard ships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the U.S. military said, as part of an increase in the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China. The voyage risks raising tensions with China further but will likely be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from Washington amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing. The two ships were identified as the Navy destroyer Curtis Wilbur and the Coast Guard cutter Bertholf, a U.S. military statement said. 'The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,' the statement said. 'The U.S. will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,' it added. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing that China had already lodged 'representations' with the United States, and that it had paid 'close attention' to the U.S. ships." 
  • Bloomberg reports, "Italy's agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping to join the Belt and Road development project is triggering new tension between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and its rightist coalition partner the League. Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League who has warned about potential security threats from China, didn't attend the signing ceremony in Rome on Saturday. At an event in northern Italy the same day, he cautioned about the lack of a free market in China. 'I'm happy that the Chinese president is here for a visit because the more the markets are opened for our companies, the better it is -- on equal footing,' Salvini told a conference along Lake Como. 'Don't tell me that China is a country where the free market prevails, where the state doesn't interfere in the economy, in the legal system, in information.'"
  • The New York Times reports, "President Xi Jinping of China has found one country in Europe that isn't worried about his country's growing global clout or its ambitions to dominate the future of technology: Monaco. Mr. Xi visited the tiny Mediterranean principality on Sunday as part of a European tour that is clouded by mixed feelings about how to engage with China and benefit from its trade — while setting limits on its appetite for greater economic and diplomatic influence. The president's appearance alongside Prince Albert II of Monaco represented the first state visit here by a Chinese president. The palace said Monaco was interested in increased trade and economic cooperation with China and 'boosting China's image in the principality.' Monaco clinched a deal last year with the Chinese tech company Huawei to develop its 5G telecommunications network — a thorny issue for several European countries." 
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