Texas Republicans meet with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen, plus the risks of the new Silk Road and more


Top politics and current affairs news for January 9, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup, "Trump’s son-in-law has been courting ‘shadowy’ Chinese investor."

  • Ted Cruz, Texas governor meet with Taiwan president / AP
    While meetings between the Taiwanese president and U.S. lawmakers are not unusual, these particular talks followed a month of especially high tension in U.S.-Taiwan-China relations. The Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, sent a letter asking members of Congress to avoid meeting with visiting Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen, to which Senator Ted Cruz replied, “China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves…. The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet.” Within hours of the meeting, Chinese state media warned the incoming Republican administration that if it “reneges on the one-China policy,” China would “take revenge.”
  • Opinion: China’s new silk road is getting muddy / Foreign Policy (registration required)
    Joshua Eisenman and Devin Stewart explain why there are sometimes underreported risks involved in the regional construction projects costing Beijing nearly $1 trillion. Reasons include: Financial backing from China is less secure during this time of domestic economic slowdown; some may have been rushed for fear of a U.S.-China trade war; and due diligence was likely lacking for many of them because often Chinese agencies and companies “have little or no understanding of political or financial risk analysis,” and projects are frequently located in “some of the world’s most precarious economic and political environments.”