08 January 2017

The Explainer: List of disputes between U.S. & China

A seemingly innocuous phone call between the U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen ignited a war of words between China and Donald Trump.

In a series of short articles, I will focus on the historic and current status of the relationships between the U.S.-China, U.S.-Taiwan, and China-Taiwan.

The following are the major issues that characterize the uneasy relationship between the U.S. and China. 

(a) Tibet and the Dalai Lama;
(b) Taiwan, especially arms sales to the island nation;
(c) Xinjiang and Uighurs;
(d) China's claims over the South China Sea;
(e) Beijing’s abysmal human rights record, including denial of political freedom to political dissidents;
(f)  disagreement over climate change, especially on measures to tackle it;
(g) trade-related disputes like currency valuation;
(h) China’s behaviour in international forums, like in the UN on the Syria issue;
(i)  Chinese espionage, especially industrial and defence, and
(j)  cyber-attacks on American corporations;.

Of the above, there are two that cause China the greatest discomfort: Tibet and Taiwan. In the coming series of short posts, I will explain some of these disputes.

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