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China

Taiwan must be ready for a Chinese invasion ‘at any time,’ experts say

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China’s invasion of Taiwan is only a matter of time, a former Taiwanese army chief has warned, as the island’s defense minister vowed that the armed forces will fight to the end against the Chinese troops.

“The question is not whether China will attack Taiwan but when,” said Huoh Shoou-yeh, formerly Taiwan’s Chief of General Staff and currently serving as a strategic advisor to the Office of the President and chairman of a Defense Ministry think-tank.

“Taiwan must be ready for a conflict at any time,” Huoh told the audience at the annual Taipei Security Dialogue, hosted by the think-tank the Institute for National Defense and Security Research on Wednesday.

The four-star general added that Taiwan “has been on alert” for 70 years but since China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping came to power, Beijing’s pressure on the island has intensified.

Meanwhile Taiwan’s minister of national defense Chiu Kuo-cheng told lawmakers in Taipei that the island “absolutely has a chance of winning” a war against China but it will be an act of national defense and not provocative.

“As long as the enemy can’t land troops or plant its flags on top of the buildings of Taiwan’s central government ministries, it has not won,” Chiu said.

When asked about the Taiwanese army’s readiness, the minister said he was confident that “we are capable of mobilizing 200,000 people within 24 hours” and vowed that Taiwan “will fight to the end.”

Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng attending a meeting of the Legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Oct. 31, 2022.
CREDIT: Taiwan Ministry of National Defense

Asymmetric warfare

U.S. officials have suggested various dates for an invasion of Taiwan. Adm. Philip Davidson, former Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told a Congressional hearing last year that China may attack in 2027.

Most recently, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday said that “a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window… cannot be ruled out.”

Experts attending the Taipei Security Dialogue, however, cast doubt on this timeframe. 

Bonny Lin, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said she personally doesn’t “see any clear indication for an invasion in 2023 or 2024,” but there may be more coercion or some other actions. 

In October, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also warned that China is pursuing unification with Taiwan “on a much faster timeline.” Again, Lin said that Blinken did not attach any time schedule and there was no mention of China’s imminent invasion of Taiwan in his statement, which was more about Xi Jinping asserting his hardline stance before the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Congress.

Gen. Huoh Shoou-yeh spoke of the current war in Ukraine, which he said has helped the world notice the Taiwan issue, too.

Ukrainian people have successfully fought off Russian troops thanks to “the will to resist the enemy, as well as the assistance provided by its neighbors and other democratic countries,” he said.

Some participating experts such as Sarah Kirchberger from the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University in Germany said that learning from the Ukraine war, China should “think twice” about its intention of subduing Taiwan.

“Russia has proved that overlooking the capabilities of the invaded country as well as its will to defend itself can lead to serious miscalculations,” Kirchberger told RFA.

The expert spoke of the brief Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1939-1940 when, in just three months, the Soviet army suffered big losses despite superior military strength.

There are similarities between Finland then and Taiwan now, according to Kirchberger, and Taiwan can use its “democratic resilience” to take advantage of the asymmetric warfare against China.

Some other analysts suggest that the Taiwanese military should improve its intelligence and public affairs mechanisms, especially as Chinese cognitive warfare and cyberattacks became common practice.

Read the rest of this article here >>> Taiwan must be ready for a Chinese invasion ‘at any time,’ experts say

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Foreign Tourist Groups on Cruise Ships Fully Permitted Visa-Free Entry in China

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China will allow visa-free entry for foreign tourist groups arriving by cruise ship at 13 ports along the coast, starting May 15, 2024. Visitors must stay with the same ship and in permitted areas for up to 15 days. This policy aims to boost tourism and facilitate high-quality development in the cruise industry.


China’s immigration agency announced that it will grant a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups to enter China by cruise at all cruise ports along the coast of China, starting May 15, 2024. The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within permitted areas for no more than 15 days.

Effective May 15, 2024, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) has officially implemented a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships. This progressive move aims to enhance personnel exchanges and foster cooperation between China and other nations, furthering the country’s commitment to high-level openness.

Under this policy, foreign tourist groups, comprising two or more individuals, who travel by cruise ship and are organized by Chinese domestic travel agencies, can now enjoy visa-free entry as a cohesive group at cruise ports in 13 cities along the Chinese coast.

The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within China for no more than 15 days. The eligible areas for this policy are coastal provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and Beijing.

Furthermore, to support cruise tourism development, seven additional cruise ports—Dalian, Lianyungang, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beihai—have been included as applicable ports for visa-free transit.

The recent implementation of the visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships is poised to have several significant effects. The policy will provide crucial support for the cruise economy and the overall cruise industry. By facilitating smoother travel for foreign tourist groups, it acts as a catalyst for high-quality development in this sector.

Additionally, under this policy, international cruise companies can strategically plan their global routes by designating Chinese port cities, such as Shanghai, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, as docking destinations. This move is expected to attract more cruise ships to Chinese ports, ultimately bringing in a larger number of international visitors to the Chinese market.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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China’s New Tariff Law: Streamlining and Standardizing Current Tariff Regulations

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China’s new Tariff Law consolidates import and export duties, clarifies rules for imposing counter-tariffs, and sets a December 1, 2024 effective date. It codifies existing practices on cross-border e-commerce and rules on the origin of goods into law, impacting trade relations.


China’s new Tariff Law consolidates rules on import and export duties that were previously implemented via several legal documents and makes important clarifications and additions to prior regulations. Among other changes, it stipulates provisions for the Chinese government to impose counter-tariffs on imported goods, codifying these powers into law for the first time. We outline all the notable updates to the China Tariff Law and discuss the implications for the country’ current trade relations. 

On April 26, 2024, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, adopted the Tariff Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Tariff Law”) after several rounds of revisions.

The new Tariff Law will replace the Import and Export Tariff Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, which fall under the purview of the State Council, and adopts many of its provisions.

Previously, Chinese law had not stipulated legislative powers to implement countervailing tariffs, although China was nonetheless able to impose counter-tariffs on trade partners through other means.

China’s new Tariff Law comes into effect on December 1, 2024.

China’s Tariff Law elevates several existing provisions and practices to the level of law. For instance, Article 3 of the Tariff Law clarifies the obligations of cross-border e-commerce platforms for tariff withholding and implementing consolidated taxation.

The Tariff Law also solidifies the rules and regulations on the origin of goods, stipulating that the application of tariff rates shall comply with the corresponding rules of origin. Although this has been previously implemented in practice, it is the first time this has been codified into law.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Outlook on Bilateral Trade and Investment between China and United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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The UAE and China have a strong partnership, with the UAE being China’s top trade partner in the Arab world. Both countries collaborate on various sectors like logistics and technology, showcasing mutual commitment to economic growth and global cooperation. High-level trade and investments continue to drive their relationship.


The UAE and China share a robust partnership integral to both countries’ development and foreign policy goals, exemplifying a model of collaboration. Bilateral trade thrives, with the UAE as China’s top trade partner in the Arab world, while investments span key sectors like logistics and technology. This comprehensive strategic partnership continues to evolve, showcasing mutual commitment to economic growth and global cooperation.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) holds a significant position in China’s trade and commercial connections within the Middle East, particularly in the Arab Gulf region. This partnership is integral to China’s broader strategic initiatives, including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which the UAE actively supports.

Additionally, the UAE plays a crucial role in advancing China’s foreign policy objectives, such as enhancing South-South cooperation, particularly in technical collaboration among developing nations and the Global South in areas like resources and technology.

In this article, we delve into the dynamics of bilateral trade and investment between the UAE and China, exploring the key factors driving their economic relationship and the opportunities it presents for mutual growth and prosperity.

China and the UAE first established their diplomatic relations in 1984. While China has an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate general in Dubai, the UAE has a consulate general in Hong Kong and an embassy in Beijing. China and the UAE have long been close partners, collaborating extensively on economic, political, and cultural fronts.

In 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping went on a state visit to the UAE, making history as the first Chinese head of state to visit the country in the previous 29 years. The visit was instrumental in lifting bilateral relations to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’.

High-level trade has always been the foundation of bilateral ties. Bilateral commerce between China and the UAE reached new heights in 2021, surpassing US$75.6 billion. Additionally, as of 2022, about 6,000 Chinese businesses operate in the UAE, with a sizable Chinese population working primarily in the infrastructure and energy sectors. The UAE is also China’s second-largest economic partner in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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