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China’s enduring core values.
Posted on 20 December 2019
China. The public health care system is getting better and Australia can help.
The health care system in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was once a grave social concern and a major reason behind public disapproval of the government, but recent policy change that emphasises fairness, efficiency and strong government involvement has significantly elevated public confidence in the system and support of the government.
Australia’s health care system is a good model in which the Chinese health authority has shown strong interest. China is also a major market for Australian pharmaceutical and health products. Cooperation between Australia and the PRC will benefit both countries and their people.
In the three decades following the launch of economic reforms, the PRC government undertook health reform that featured withdrawal of the State. Public hospitals were given less funding but more freedom to commercialise services and charge mark-ups on drug sales to compensate the loss of government funding. Hospitals became increasingly profit-driven. Medical staff were encouraged or pressured to carry out fraudulent and corrupt activities that significantly drove up health care costs.
To make things worse, the State also retreated from another front – health insurance.
At the end of the 1970s when the economic reforms had just started, ninety percent of the population in both rural and urban areas were covered by publicly funded health insurance schemes. By the end of the 1980s, less than five percent of the rural population was covered with some form of health insurance. In the urban areas, the collapse came later but was nonetheless phenomenal. In 2003, only 43 percent of urban residents were covered by some type of publicly funded health insurance, a sharp drop from seventy percent in 1993.
By the early 2000s, the corrupt, inefficient and exploitative health care system was one of the policy areas that the public was most dissatisfied with.
[Health] [Neoliberalism] [Australia] [China]
A South China Sea cauldron in 2020?
17 December 2019
Author: Swee Lean Collin Koh, RSIS
If events in the South China Sea (SCS) in 2019 provide any indication of what is in store for the coming new year, there seems to be little to be sanguine about.
China's Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea, December 2016 (Photo: Reuters/Stringer).
One might have thought that the standoff between China and Vietnam in 2014 over the oil rig HYSY981 would be the last major incident, especially following the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) award two years later. ASEAN and Beijing injected further impetus into the process for a Code of Conduct (CoC), reaching a draft framework in 2017 and a Single Draft Negotiating Text (SDNT) in 2018, representing noteworthy progress.
But the standoff between China and Vietnam over the Vanguard Bank in the southern Spratly Islands in July and November 2019 shattered this illusion. All concerned parties continue to express their willingness to engage in dialogue, albeit each having its own reason for doing so. Negotiations should rightfully take place in an atmosphere where mutual confidence and trust can be engendered.
This was not the case in 2019. The Vanguard Bank incident demonstrated that China has no qualms about utilising coercion to assert its SCS interests while at the same time engaging in talks. China’s actions in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) showed that its revisionist nine-dash line claim, invalidated by the PCA award, remains alive and well. Most importantly, it showed that Beijing would not tolerate challenges to its interests.
[South China Sea] [China Vietnam]
China urges U.S., North Korea to resume talks as tensions escalate
Huizhong Wu, Se Young Lee
BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Thursday urged the United States and North Korea to resume dialogue and work to resolve disagreements as soon as possible amid renewed tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over the latter’s nuclear and missiles programs.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrives for a meeting with South Korea's 'special representative for Korean peninsula peace and security affairs' Lee Do-hoon (not pictured) at the foreign ministry in Seoul, South Korea December 16, 2019. Ed Jones/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui and U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun met in the Chinese capital on Thursday and exchanged views on achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula in stages, China’s foreign ministry said.
It added in a statement that the two sides agreed to continue communication on the matter.
Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests and waged a war of words with U.S. President Donald Trump in recent weeks, stoking fears the two countries could return to a collision course.
Biegun’s public call to Pyongyang for renewed dialogue during a visit to South Korea earlier this week went unanswered, underscoring the reclusive state’s discontent at a lack of concessions in response to its decision to halt nuclear tests and long-range missile launches.
China and Russia on Monday introduced a joint proposal that calls on the U.N. Security Council to lift some sanctions on exports and foreign workers to “break the deadlock” in the stalled talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
“This is the best plan in the current situation to resolve the stalemate in the denuclearization of North Korea and for its peace and stability,” Luo told reporters at a separate briefing earlier on Thursday, adding that a political solution is still achievable despite a recent rise in tensions.
The U.S. holds veto power in the 15-member council and remains opposed to any sanctions relief, however, making the China-Russia resolution unlikely to go through.
Biegun did not speak to reporters as he entered a Beijing hotel late on Thursday. It was unclear whether he would hold any further meetings on Friday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Trump met for the first time in Singapore in June 2018 and have met twice more since, but scant progress toward denuclearization has been made and Kim has given Trump until the end of this year to show flexibility.
North Korea’s U.N. envoy declared this month that denuclearization was off the table, and some analysts say Pyongyang could soon conduct a test for a major strategic weapon such as an intercontinental ballistic missile.
“We hope that the concerned parties will practice restraint and meet each other halfway, and work through dialogue to realize positive interactions and quickly find a meeting point to find a resolution,” Luo told reporters at the briefing.
Reporting by Huizhong Wu, Roxanne Liu, Stella Qiu and Se Young Lee in Beijing, Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong; Editing by Tom Hogue and Lincoln Feast/Mark Heinrich
[US NK Negotiations] [Stalemate] [China] [False balance]
Chinese Consumers Ditch Korean Cosmetics for Japanese
By Han Kyeong-jin
December 13, 2019 12:56
The popularity of Korean cosmetics in China is waning due to an onslaught by Japanese beauty products. Korean cosmetics companies reigned at the top of the Chinese market over the last three years but are thought to have been overtaken by Japan this year.
Information provider Global Trade Atlas (GTA) said Thursday that Japanese cosmetics topped the Chinese market in the first 10 months of this year with US$2.47 billion. Korean cosmetics slunk to second place with $2.43 billion followed by French with W1.86 billion.
Industry watchers say Japanese beauty products offer trusted quality backed by cutting-edge materials. Shiseido is the best-known brand among Chinese consumers and sells 24 different labels in China, half of them premium ones like SK-II and Clé de Peau Beauté.
Shiseido's sales grew 32.3 percent in China last year and it invested almost W400 billion in marketing there this year (US$1=W1,188).
Korean cosmetics became all the rage in China after the 2013 TV series "My Love from the Star" became a megahit there, which brought about a huge demand for a Korean lipstick the heroine played by Jeon Ji-hyun used.
But they have plummeted amid the unofficial boycott of Korean products since 2017 and Japanese companies used that to their advantage.
[China market] [Cosmetics] [THAAD]
China Railway Express crosses Europe via Marmaray
The first Chinese freight train traveling the China Railway Express line from Xi'an, China to Europe crossed under Istanbul's Bosporus Strait on Nov. 7 morning after setting off from Ankara a day earlier.
The train crossed into Europe using Istanbul's Marmaray subsea tunnel, reaching the Kazlıçeşme railway station in Zeytinburnu, Istanbul.
The containers were transported in two parts, with 21 of them pulled by a locomotive of Turkish State Railways and the remainder by a Chinese locomotive.
On Nov. 6 Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan said the line, which has been in operation since Oct. 30, 2017, has reduced cargo transportation time between China and Turkey from a month to 12 days.
Turkey has become a central link in a "middle corridor", which extends between Beijing and London as well as the "Iron Silk Road" -- a rail track between Turkey and Kazakhstan, Turhan noted.
Turhan said with the integration of Marmaray in the route, transportation time between the Far East and Western Europe has been reduced to 18 days.
"The Iron Silk Road, which benefits approximately 5 billion people and 60 countries, has become a new and very important alternative for global trade networks," Turhan said.
The China Railway Express line is carrying an electronic product load equivalent to 42 tractors.
The train is traveling over two continents, 10 countries, two seas and 11,483 kilometers (7,135 miles) of road in 12 days with 42 container-loaded wagons.
[China Europe] [Railways] Eurasian landbridge] [Turkey]
Two must-see documentaries on terrorism in Xinjiang
8 December, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
Two recently released videos on terrorism in Xinjiang, with much material not seen until now. The first concerns the ‘East Turkistan Islamic Movement’ (ETIM), with close connections to the Washington-funded ‘World Uyghur Congress’ (WUC).
The second concerns the complex and long-term counter-terrorism work in Xinjiang, which is made even more complex by some ‘Western’ countries supporting such terrorism.
It is worth noting that when the security bodies of Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and East Asia meet, one of the common items on the agenda is dealing with the way some ‘Western’ countries complicate the problems by fostering terrorism in some parts of the world.
[Xinjiang] [Terrorism] [Separatism]
China's 70th Anniversary Parade: Beijing Determined to Become Third Nuclear Superpower
The 70th Anniversary celebrations of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, held on 1 October, showcased the country’s unprecedented number of technological innovations and new military equipment.
Beijing, on Tuesday, held one of its largest-ever military parades, where the Chinese People's Liberation Army rolled out a formidable array of highly-advanced weaponry unlike any other in the world. The commemorative state event, where strategic weapons systems were put on full display, served as an opportunity for Beijing to demonstrate its firm commitment to defend its interests amid a deepening conflict with the United States, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin says.
Making its debut at the China Day parade was the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) intercontinental ballistic missile, which is capable of reaching any point in the continental United States in 30 minutes at Mach 25 carrying as many as 10 independently-targetable warheads. Beijing rolled out 16 transporter erector launchers of the new solid-fuelled road-mobile systems.
The missile, with a launch mass of up to 80 tonnes, has been in development since the late 1980s and is a fundamentally new strategic weapon for China. The 16 units on display at the parade represent Beijing's ability to launch 160 warheads; China's total nuclear arsenal was until recently thought to include only 300 warheads.
Let us remember that in the early 2000s, the entire Chinese nuclear arsenal consisted of less than 200 deployed warheads; only 20 of them were deployed on DF-5 missiles, two-stage liquid-propellant ICBMs capable of reaching the continental United States. Even if, in reality, each DF-41 carries a much smaller number of warheads (for example, 4-6, which some consider more likely), the introduction of these weapons of mass destruction by a US rival other than Russia remains impressive and sobering.
[China rise] [Military balance]
Huawei chips away at US ‘security’ ban
China’s high-tech giant eyes up 5G infrastructure deals in Germany and France
By Gordon Watts
Huawei might be persona non grata in the United States but not in the capitals of the European Union.
The heavyweight high-tech group has edged closer to playing a key role in 5G infrastructure projects planned by France and Germany despite Washington pressure on Paris and Berlin.
“We do not target one equipment maker,” Agnes Pannier-Runacher, a junior economy minister in French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s government, said earlier this week. “There are three equipment makers active in France.
“Huawei has a 25% market share, there is also Nokia and Ericsson. Samsung is not active yet in France but is interested by 5G. The government will not exclude anyone. We are not following the position of the United States. We will proceed on a case by case basis,” she added.
[China competition] [Huawei] [France]
China has more posts overseas than US: report
Reach of Beijing’s diplomatic power has surpassed Washington measured by total number of posts
By KG Chan
China boosted its number of diplomatic allies to 180 as of September, with the Republic of Kiribati the latest to establish ties with the Communist republic that month, following the tiny Pacific nation’s decision to switch its allegiance from Taipei to Beijing.
Beijing also added five additional embassies and consulates to its long list of overseas missions since 2017, and has added new allies in recent years, mostly by poaching them from Taiwan. The self-ruled island lost six since 2016, when its pro-independence president took office.
A recent report studying the international presence of major powers says Beijing has the world’s largest diplomatic network, while Washington still has a number of “blank spots” in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean – for instance, North Korea, Iran, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica etc – where Beijing runs embassies and consulates.
[China rise] [Diplomacy] [Softpower] [Decline]
Hong Kong research in 2013 warned of student violence
Posted on 25 November 2019
Research by social scientists at City University in Hong Kong in 2013 could help explain why in 2019 some young Hong Kong protesters have turned to violence in their anti-China campaign. This 2013 article by Dennis Chong of the South China Morning Post summarises the research findings.
“Monster” parents in Hong Kong are turning out a generation of spoiled brats who have an inflated view of their abilities and may resort to aggression to get ahead, a City University study warns.
Annis Fung, associate professor in the department of applied social studies, said Hong Kong children rated themselves a lot more highly than youngsters in the West – to an extent that some are at risk of developing disorders that could turn them into violent offenders.
“The city is at high risk as it is producing spoiled children who are overconfident about themselves,” Fung said yesterday.
[Hong Kong] [Protest]
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The Nature of the Hong Kong Protests
November 26, 2019
Democratic freedoms aside, many nations in the world but particularly the U.S., Britain and China have interests to protect in Hong Kong, writes Mary Beaudoin.
By Mary Beaudoin
Should peace and justice advocates support pro-democracy efforts whenever they arise in the world? Even some U.S. alternative media identifying as liberal and progressive have joined the chorus, portraying the protests in Hong Kong as the noble pursuit of democratic freedoms, brave resistance to the authoritarian Chinese government oppressing the people.
Democratic freedoms aside, many nations in the world but particularly the U.S., Britain and China have interests to protect in Hong Kong. The island-city is a special administrative district within China with a unique history. It was subject to British colonial rule for approximately 150 years but, under an agreement with the People’s Republic of China, in 1997 it was returned to China and governed as “one country, two systems” with its own legal and administrative systems. Hong Kong’s special status enabled it to become a leading financial center and tax haven for international corporations. Its free market is so free from regulation and accountability that the conservative American think tank, the Heritage Foundation, has consistently ranked the city as No. 1 in its Index of Economic Freedom.
How anti-China stories are concocted
25 November, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in Australia, China
The gossip-scoop formula of a few media outlets in a small number of former colonising countries seems to have developed a fondness for anti-China stories. We know well enough at a general level that they are based on selective misinformation, but recently two clear examples of how such a process functions came to light.
The first concerns a former employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong, who claimed to have been ‘tortured’ but was actually arrested for visiting a massage parlour and imprisoned for the standard period of time in China, before being released. You can find the story here and here, including video evidence.
The second concerns a convicted fraudster from China, who has already served time and is wanted for another fraud case. He skipped China on fake passports and turned up in Australia, where he is trying to pass himself off as a ‘spy’ with inside information. Although I do not read Australian papers, you can bet that they are doing their best to tell another tall tale. You can find the whole story here, here and here.
[China confrontation] [China bashing]
US, China sea tensions hit new boiling point
Pentagon chief’s regional tour aimed overtly to build a coalition against China in South China Sea
By Richard Javad Heydarian, Manila
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s just concluded Asian tour came amid fast spiking tensions in the South China Sea, with China deploying its newest aircraft carrier while warning Washington against “flexing its muscles” in the contested waters.
Beijing’s threat came in response to the US Navy’s deployment of two littoral combat ships, namely the Independence-class USS Gabrielle Giffords and USS Montgomery, officially launched to “bolster attack strength in the South China Sea” and ensure China will “abide by international rules.”
Both powers have expanded their naval presence and deployed an ever larger armada of military assets to regional waters, whether through conducting joint exercises with regional allies or unilateral deployment of their most advanced warships.
[China confrontation] [South China Sea] [FON]
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy parties sweeping pro-Beijing establishment aside in local elections
Tiffany Liang and Anna Kam
November 25, 2019 at 1:42 p.m. GMT+13
Voters took to the polls in record numbers to cast ballots in the only fully democratic election in the Chinese territory, an early sign that they wanted to send a strong message to their government and to the Communist Party in Beijing.
Early results compiled by the South China Morning Post showed pro-democracy parties winning 278 of the first 344 seats to be declared, pro-Beijing parties taking 42, and independents 24. Many prominent figures in the protest movement won; many leading pro-establishment figures were unseated. Pro-democrats look to be able to secure 12 of 18 district councils available in Hong Kong — before this vote, they did not have a majority in any.
Pro-democracy parties had comfortably surpassed the number of seats they won in 2015 and were on course for their strongest showing ever in district council elections. They also appear to have secured all 117 seats afforded to them on the 1,200-member election committee that votes for Hong Kong’s leader — a system designed to give an upper hand in the process to pro-Beijing groups and business interests.
Hong Kong] [Election]
How Tsai has disappointed Taiwan’s voters
By Kent Wang
The Taiwan presidential election is less than two months away, but the chances of incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen and the governing Democratic Progressive Party staying in power are far from assured.
As the election approaches, the stakes for the DPP and the opposition Kuomintang party are extremely high. It may be premature to predict how the election will play out, as Tsai is garnering consistent double-digit leads over KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu in the polls. Whether Tsai’s strength in the polls is more a reflection of an actual resurgence in the DPP’s popularity or the weakness of her KMT opponent is hard to tell.
[Taiwan] [Tsai Ing-wen] [Election]
Is China an Imperial Power in the Image of the West?
Unlike the West, modern China has seldom used brute force to access resources or expand markets — except, notably, in the South China Sea.
By Walden Bello, November 13, 2019.
This article is the first part in a series on China as a global power.
Owing to geography and geopolitics, my country the Philippines finds itself in the middle of an escalating conflict between the United States and China.
Like the trench lines that stretched from the North Sea through France to Switzerland during the First World War, the front lines of this conflict stretch across both land and sea for over 4,200 kilometers — from Korea and Japan to Taiwan and the East China Sea, and on to the Philippines and the South China Sea.
Like most other people in Southeast Asia, Filipinos know much about one actor in this conflict: the United States, an imperial superpower whose troops we host in nominally Philippine bases. Though they are much closer geographically to the other actor, China, they know much less about it.
What Is China? And What Is It Up To?
What is clear, though, is that Filipinos don’t like the People’s Republic of China. They know it mainly as a powerful country with a Communist government that claims 90 percent of a body of water traditionally called the South China Sea — and, lately, the West Philippine Sea — and says “fuck you” to the claims of the Philippines and four other countries which border it.
In particular, Filipinos feel — justifiably — that China is a bully that has seized two maritime formations that belong to us, Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal, that lie much closer to the Philippines than they do to China, and that it has done so in violation of international law.
But while Filipinos don’t have much affection for the People’s Republic of China — and much of the rest of the world doesn’t either — there are questions for which they must find credible answers so they can arrive at the appropriate strategy for dealing with it.
The big why for Filipinos, Vietnamese, Malaysians, and Indonesians is: Why is China behaving in this crude, big power fashion in the South China Sea? This brings up a related question: Is China an imperial power like the United States and other western powers that preceded it as powers on the world stage?
[China confrontation] [Philippines] [South China Sea] [Territorial disputes]
US NGOs, local tycoon funding HK protests: report
Report in Chinese media alleges US organizations have been funding the protests in Hong Kong
By Frank Chen
A government-run magazine in China has run a report alleging that money was being paid to young people in Hong Kong to take part in rallies and clash with police.
Earlier this month, the Liaowang Weekly (瞭望周刊), a current affairs magazine owned by the People’s Daily, ran a report on its WeChat account based on a widely-circulated post about how much the marauding mobs of thugs and anarchists rampaging through Hong Kong could get from agents implanted by the United States as well as their local fixers.
The magazine claimed HK$30,000 (US$3,830) was the sum a teenager received from his “escort” after joining other youngsters in recent anti-government rallies that usually ended in running battles with the police in the protest-weary Hong Kong.
According to the Beijing-based magazine, payouts would be determined by the size and level of the violence and whether a black-clad participant would dare to provoke or even assault sergeants and other police officers during the clashes. The more chaotic the rally became, the more they could expect to make.
The average amount for showing up at a rally was said to be HK$5,000 per person, and after fatigue started to kick in and a ban on masks was gazetted by the city’s government in early October, the “honorarium” had been raised to as much as HK$15,000 per day to woo more to join.
[Hong Kong] [Protest] [Funding]
Is Hong Kong OK with man being set on fire?
Pan-democratic lawmakers have condemned police shooting of protester, but appear intent on downplaying horrific torching by rioters
Published: 9:30pm, 12 Nov, 2019
Updated: 10:13pm, 12 Nov, 2019
11 Nov 2019
A man who argued with a group of rioters in Ma On Shan was doused with a flammable liquid and set alight. He suffered 40 per cent burns to his body.
A black-clad suspect was shot by a police officer while the latter wrestled with another rioter.
Both potentially deadly incidents were caught on film, but pan-democratic lawmakers only condemned the police shooting.
[Hong Kong] [Protest]
A “Blue Dot” Barely Visible from China’s “New Silk Roads”
US-Australia-Japan alternative to Belt and Road helps explain why the US sent a junior delegation to Thailand and why India opted out of RCEP
By Pepe Escobar
Global Research, November 09, 2019
Chinese President Xi Jinping six years ago launched New Silk Roads, now better known as the Belt and Road Initiative, the largest, most ambitious, pan-Eurasian infrastructure project of the 21st century.
Under the Trump administration, Belt and Road has been utterly demonized 24/7: a toxic cocktail of fear and doubt, with Beijing blamed for everything from plunging poor nations into a “debt trap” to evil designs of world domination.
Now finally comes what might be described as the institutional American response to Belt and Road: the Blue Dot Network.
Blue Dot is described, officially, as promoting global, multi-stakeholder “sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.”
It is a joint project of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
[Belt and Road] [China confrontation] [Blue Dot]
US Coast Guard churns South China Sea tensions
Coastal defense force is increasingly being deployed to counter and contain China’s assertiveness in the contested waterway
By Richard Javad Heydarian, Manila
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the US Coast Guard (USCG) is actively joining the US Navy to constrain the maritime ambitions of a rival superpower in the Indo-Pacific, broadening America’s reach in disputed waterways.
China’s deployment of increasingly sophisticated naval forces to the South China Sea has driven the US to reassess its strategy, a recalibration of force that could tilt the contested maritime region towards more near-term instability.
[China confrontation] [South China Sea] [Coast Guard] [Hubris]
President Tsai reiterates firm commitment to US ties
Publication Date: November 01, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) welcomes Brookings Institution fellow and former AIT Chairman Richard Bush Oct. 31 at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. (Courtesy of PO)
President Tsai Ing-wen said Oct. 31 that Taiwan will continue working closely with the U.S. to further the countries’ long-term partnership as both sides celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.
Ties between the two countries have gone from strength to strength under the government’s leadership, as evidenced by growing support from both the U.S. executive and legislative branches for Taiwan’s international participation, the president said.
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VP Chen returns from Holy See visit
Publication Date: October 15, 2019 |
Vice President Chen Chien-jen (right), his wife Lo Fong-ping (left) and Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Wu-chiao Hsieh (second row, center) attend a canonization ceremony Oct. 13 in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City. (Courtesy of Presidential Office)
Vice President Chen Chien-jen has wrapped up a successful four-day visit to the Holy See designed to foster exchanges across a variety of fields.
At a news conference following his return to Taiwan Oct. 15, Chen said bilateral cooperation between the allies in recent years has yielded significant results in areas such as combating human trafficking and delivering humanitarian assistance. Taiwan will continue to support Pope Francis in his efforts to promote religious freedom, democracy and human rights worldwide, he added.
Serving as the special envoy of President Tsai Ing-wen, Chen presented the pontiff with two gifts: a documentary on Matteo Ricci, one of the leading figures of the Jesuit China missions, and a Taiwan magazine spotlighting Catholic priests and nuns working in the country’s remote areas.
Pope Francis in turn asked Chen to convey his greetings to Tsai, adding that he would pray for Taiwan.
China Is Exporting Its Anti-Muslim Strategy to India
Muslims in Kashmir may find themselves in a Xinjiang-style dystopia thanks to Chinese technology and Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalism.
By Nithin Coca
October 16, 2019
The US has blacklisted 28 Chinese public security bureaus and companies over Beijing’s treatment of Uighur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. (Reuters file)
In July 2009, days after violent riots in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang and homeland of the mostly Muslim Uighurs, Chinese authorities took the drastic move of shutting down the Internet and all other communications. For 10 months, the entire region—larger than Texas and home to more than 20 million residents—was cut off from the world.
A decade later, just across the border, Indian authorities cut Internet, mobile, and even postal communication in Muslim-majority Kashmir as they stripped the state of its special autonomy. Despite their allowing, on October 14, a limited number of mobile phones to function, Kashmir for the most part remains isolated to this day, and no one knows when communication will be restored.
[China bashing] [Kashmir] [Bizarre]
Huawei clicks on all the right numbers
China’s high-tech giant reports a 24% surge in revenue for the first nine months to US$86.2 billion
By Jimmy Yee
Despite a United States campaign to isolate China’s high-tech giant, it announced on Wednesday that revenue for the first nine months of the year surged 24.4% compared to the same period in 2018.
The privately-owned smartphone and 5G infrastructure company reported that profits jumped by 8.7%, without revealing further details, while revenue topped 610.8 billion yuan (US$86.2 billion).
[Huawei] [China confrontation] [Decline]
China’s $3.6 bn bailout insulates Turkey from US
Beijing’s biggest support package ever for President Erdogan arrives at a critical time
Despite the US threat to “obliterate and destroy” Turkey’s economy, the Turkish lira and Turkish interest rates barely have budged in the past week (Turkish stocks, especially banks, are down sharply, in part due to the US criminal charges against Halkbank for aiding Iran sanctions violations). That is remarkable given the fragility of Turkey’s currency earlier in 2019. Between February and May, the Turkish lira fell from 5.2 to the US dollar to 6.2 in response to US sanctions, before recovering to 5.88 to the dollar today. The Turkish central bank leaned on Turkish banks to refrain from offering liquidity to short-sellers, but Turkish money markets remained orderly.
[Turkey] [China] [Decline] [Xinjian] [Pan-Turkism]
AMERICAN DUPLICITY Editor’s Log: NYTimes says many big US firms are rethinking their pro-Hong Kong posture
Editor’s Log: NYTimes says many big US firms are rethinking their pro-Hong Kong posture
October 17, 2019
Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.
ABOVE: An Apple store in a shopping mall in Hong Kong. (Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times)
Lenin famously quipped that capitalists would happily sell anyone the rope with which to hang them. The revolutionary leader was obviously betting on the fact that for the big industrialists profits always came first, way ahead of principles, and even at the risk of their own lives. In the midst of a large (second) insidious color revolution against China, this time anchored in Hong Kong, a test of such ideas is under way, as major American firms begin to realise that their eagerness to support America’s Deep State and its hybrid war against China may come at a high price. As NYT technology editor Jack Nicas reports, Apple, which, like many tech giants, had already jumped onto the “pro-democracy” propaganda wagon without thinking much about the possible consequences, (the firm furnished the Hong Kong rioters with an app [“HKmap.live”] to track police movements), is now beating a quick retreat, as Tim Cook, the company’s chief honcho, sheepishly eats double portions of humble pie in order to preserve Apple’s enormously profitable foothold in mainland China:
[China confrontation] [Hong Kong] [China market]
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils property measures
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveiled a package of property measures on Wednesday aimed at restoring confidence in her administration after more than four months of anti-government protests in the Chinese-ruled city.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam stands at the podium as pro-democracy lawmakers shout slogans, disrupting her annual policy address at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China, October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Here are some highlights of Beijing-backed Lam’s pre-recorded speech:
[Hong Kong] [Media] [Housing]
Military Lied About Vulnerable Huawei Equipment
By Yang Seung-sik
October 15, 2019 13:23
Military officials knew of the vulnerability to hacking of Huawei and other Chinese equipment they use as early as last year, it was revealed Monday.
Faced with concerns over such weaknesses, the military had previously remained silent about vulnerabilities and claimed it was using no Huawei equipment anyway.
But according to a document obtained by the Chosun Ilbo, military authorities last November sent out official notifications to troops warning against an expected escalation in cyber security threat from outside the country including North Korea.
[Dilemma] [Huawei] [US dominance] [Cybersecurity]
Behind Hong Kong’s black terror: Deciphering who’s behind the violence leads to a long list of possibilities
October 12, 2019
Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.
by Pepe Escobar, Hong Kong
CNN report, clearly sympathetic to the protesters (this is the same network that has reported practically zilch on France’s Yellow Vests) features images calculated to elicit support for the anti-Beijing movement.
“If we burn, you burn with us.” “Self-destruct together.” (Lam chao.)
The new slogans of Hong Kong’s black bloc – a mob on a rampage connected to the black shirt protestors – made their first appearance on a rainy Sunday afternoon, scrawled on walls in Kowloon.
Decoding the slogans is essential to understand the mindless street violence that was unleashed even before the anti-mask law passed by the government of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) went into effect at midnight on Friday, October 4.
By the way, the anti-mask law is the sort of measure that was authorized by the 1922 British colonial Emergency Regulations Ordnance, which granted the city government the authority to “make any regulations whatsoever which he [or she] may consider desirable in the public interest” in case of “emergency or public danger”.
Perhaps the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was unaware of this fine lineage when she commented that the law “only intensifies concern over freedom of expression.” And it is probably safe to assume that neither she nor other virulent opponents of the law know that a very similar anti-mask law was enacted in Canada on June 19, 2013.
[Hong Kong] [Protest]
Trump may have secured re-election today
President’s decision to call armistice in trade war with China could be milestone on his way to second term
ByDavid P. Goldman
Investors greeted a prospective US trade deal with China by bidding for stocks that had suffered the worst in this year’s economic slowdown, including energy equipment, retail and transportation names. The small-capitalization Russell 2000 Index, which had lagged the S&P 500 all year, handily outperformed. The stock market is saying that the economy’s problem during the past year was the trade war, and that a resolution of trade will lead to faster economic growth.
It’s not over until it’s over, but President Donald Trump might have secured his re-election on Friday by calling an armistice in his trade war with China.
[Trade war] [US_Election20] [China competition]
Hong Kong lecturer replaced after anti-protester comments prompt heckling
Posted : 2019-10-10 14:28
Updated : 2019-10-10 17:20
Chan Wai-keung, a lecturer at Hong Kong Community College, was surrounded by student protesters on Tuesday following anti-protest remarks. Facebook
By Chan Ho-him
A veteran lecturer at Hong Kong Community College has been replaced after his criticism of anti-government protesters prompted more than 100 students to surround and heckle him in his classroom.
The school's management confirmed the move to replace Chan Wai-keung on Wednesday during a dialogue session with students at its West Kowloon campus in Yau Ma Tei. Simon Leung Tak-wing, the director of postsecondary school, told students that Chan's teaching duties would be immediately taken over by another instructor.
But Chan, a lecturer at the school for 14 years and a newspaper columnist, remained defiant on Wednesday, saying he would not be silenced. He declined, however, to comment on being replaced by Hong Kong Community College, which is a self-financed extension of Polytechnic University.
The dispute started last Saturday when Chan's remarks were quoted in the Oriental Daily News. He told the Chinese-language newspaper that the punishment for breaking the government's new anti-mask law ― of up to one year in prison and a maximum HK$25,000 (US$3,187) fine ― was "not enough". He also said the city courts should "give heavy sentences to violent protesters".
[Hong Kong] [Academic Freedom]
Who's who in the high-level Chinese trade delegation in Washington
Ryan Woo, Echo Wang
5 Min Read
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese and U.S. officials are negotiating this week in Washington to try to end a debilitating 15-month trade war, with talks set to culminate on Friday when the head of Beijing’s delegation meets U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.
China's Vice Premier Liu He gestures as he arrives for U.S.-China trade negotiations in Washington, U.S., October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
The Chinese team includes a deep bench of economists and veteran government officials, many of them Western-educated and with decades of experience in policy-making and managing China’s vast banking, agriculture, and infrastructure-building state owned entities.
They’re meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, and their deputies. The United States is pushing for Beijing to make structural reforms to the way it manages its economy, while China wants an end to tariffs that have been slapped on billions of dollars in Chinese goods imports.
Here are the key members of the Chinese delegation:
VICE PREMIER LIU HE
Liu, a 67-year-old Harvard-trained economist and trusted confidant of Chinese President Xi Jinping, has been leading the Chinese delegation in the trade talks. Liu speaks fluent English, is well-regarded for his deep understanding of China’s economic issues, and is often seen following Xi on regional tours and meetings with foreign leaders.
[China competition] [Trade War] [Expertise] [US China Negotiations]
Huawei helped bring Internet to small-town America. Now its equipment has to go.
Pine Telephone’s purchase of its Huawei network was a big boost to the local economy
Jerry Whisenhunt checks his Huawei network equipment on Oct. 2 at Pine Telephone Company headquarters in Broken Bow, Okla. (Joseph Rushmore/for The Washington Post)
By Jeanne Whalen
BROKEN BOW, Okla. — Jerry Whisenhunt has spent years climbing towers and pouring concrete to extend cellphone and Internet service to this rural community, connecting a region overlooked by bigger companies.
Several years ago, the general manager of the family-owned Pine Telephone Company discovered a secret weapon to speed his expansion — the Chinese equipment supplier Huawei, which charged much less than rivals for wireless network gear and software.
Pine spent $32 million to upgrade its network with Huawei equipment, allowing Whisenhunt to expand wireless phone and Internet service to thousands of new users. The investment provided a vital boost to the local economy, helping launch new businesses and a vibrant tourism industry in a region suffering from a downturn in the timber industry.
Pine’s purchase is looking like a bad bet now, however. The U.S. government has called Huawei a threat to national security, saying the Chinese government could tap into Huawei equipment to spy on the West or disrupt critical infrastructure.
[China competition] [Huawei] [Collateral]
Myanmar Turns to China’s Huawei Despite US Pressure
The Southeast Asian state of Myanmar, despite pressure from Washington, has decided to work with Chinese telecom company Huawei to develop its national 5G communication network.
The move by Myanmar is just one among many by the entire region to build ties with China despite extensive efforts by the US and some Western European nations to encircle and isolate Beijing economically, politically and even militarily.
If ever there was an indicator of just how real the delcine of US primacy was particularly in Asia, it is this steady march of joint progress being made between the nations of Asia and China.
US State Department-funded media platform Voice of America (VOA) in its article deceptively titled, “Myanmar to Keep Huawei Despite Security Concerns,” would complain:
Myanmar has decided to keep using Chinese technology company Huawei to develop its new mobile communications system.
The decision comes despite national security concerns about Huawei by the United States and some other countries.
Huawei Technologies is currently working on building the next generation in wireless technology in countries around the world. The development of 5G has caused tensions between the United States and China. U.S. officials have long suspected the Chinese government could use Huawei network equipment to help carry out spying activities. Huawei has rejected such accusations.
It is only well into the third paragraph that the VOA article begins to admit “security concerns” regarding Huawei are in reality simply accusations made up by the United States and based on nothing resembling evidence or documented impropriety.
VOA finally admits that beyond alleged concerns regarding “national security,” the US has targeted Huawei because it conflicts with US “foreign policy interests.”
In other words, Huawei is outcompeting US corporations abroad and rather than look inward at the shortcomings of American industry and fixing them, the US is instead attacking Huawei politically through accusations and economically through sanctions.
For those wondering what genuine concerns over security should be based on, the BBC in its 2014 article titled, “Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme,” covers irrefutable, documented evidence of the US government abusing its monopoly over telecommunication networks to carry out unprecedented spying at home and abroad.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Myanmar] [Decline]
Trump’s Trade War: a Report From the Front
by Dean Baker
Donald Trump is bravely carrying on a trade war, not just with the bad guys with China, but with longtime allies like Canada and the European Union. Incredibly, the media just don’t seem that interested in reporting on the ongoing progress.
Last week the Commerce Department released trade data for August, and it got almost no attention whatsoever. The report showed that the trade deficit increased modestly from $54.0 billion in July to $54.9 billion in August. This is virtually identical to the deficit from August of 2018, so comparing these two months year over year, at least the trade deficit is not expanding.
Looking at a slightly bigger picture, in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration, the trade deficit was $518.8 billion, or 2.8 percent of GDP. The trade deficit expanded in both 2017 and 2018, reaching $638.2 billion in 2018, or 3.1 percent of GDP. It looks to come in slightly higher in 2019, with the deficit averaging $648.3 billion in the first half of 2019.
There are many factors behind the rise in the trade deficit. Growth in the U.S. has been somewhat faster than in major trading partners like the EU and Japan. The dollar has also risen in value, although most of that rise pre-dates Trump. But putting these aside, if Trump’s goal was to bring the trade deficit closer to balance, he’s been going the wrong way in the first two and half years of his administration.
[Trade balance] [Trump]
Samsung Shuts down Last Factory in China
By Kim Seong-min
October 08, 2019 11:39
Samsung has shut down its last smartphone factory in China.
Samsung said Monday that it halted production at the plant in Huizhou, Guangdong Province on Sept. 30 due to extremely weak sales in China and rising labor cost.
Samsung started laying off workers at the plant in June of this year and gave them their severance pay in late August.
[Samsung] [China SK]
Taiwan’s Pacific losses
1 October 2019
Author: Michael Mazza, AEI
In late September 2019, Solomon Islands and Kiribati severed their diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan). The moves are, at once, largely insignificant and of great importance to Taiwan’s national security interests.
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu attends a news conference announcing Taiwan's decision to terminate diplomatic ties with the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, in Taipei, Taiwan, 20 September 2019 (Photo: Reuters/I-Hwa Cheng).
They are insignificant because Solomon Islands and Kiribati are small countries with little international heft. Taiwan has far more important relationships with unofficial partners, namely with the United States, Japan, the European Union, Australia and India. All are among Taiwan’s top 15 trading partners.
The United States has long held a national security interest in the Taiwan Strait. These interests are laid out in the Taiwan Relations Act and evidenced by major arms sales to Taiwan and the island’s designation as a major non-NATO ally.
[China confrontation] [AEI] [Taiwan] [Diplomatic War]
To Ban or Not to Ban? Masked Protesters in Other Countries
By The Associated Press
Oct. 4, 2019
Updated 10:27 a.m. ET
HONG KONG — Hong Kong's government, faced with months of pro-democracy protests that have spiraled into violence, on Friday invoked emergency powers to ban masks from public gatherings.
A look at how some other countries have dealt with masked protesters:
[Protest] [Masks] [Hong Kong] [Double standards]
China showcases fearsome new missiles to counter U.S. at military parade
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s military on Tuesday showed off new equipment at a parade in central Beijing to mark 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, including hypersonic-glide missiles that experts say could be difficult for the United States to counter.
In a speech at the start of the nearly three-hour, highly choreographed spectacle, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that his country would stay on the path of “peaceful development,” but that the military would resolutely safeguard the country’s sovereignty and security.
China says the parade, the country’s most important political event of the year, which featured more than 15,000 troops marching through part of Tiananmen Square as jet fighters trailing colored smoke soared overhead, is not meant to intimidate any specific country.
But defense experts see it as a message to the world that China’s military prowess is growing rapidly, even as it faces mounting challenges, including months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong and a slowing economy.
As expected, China unveiled new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and showcased its advancing intercontinental and hypersonic missiles, designed to attack the aircraft carriers and bases that undergird U.S. military strength in Asia.
A state television announcer called the missile arsenal a “force for realizing the dream of a strong nation and strong military.”
Among the weapons were the “carrier killer” Dongfeng-21D (DF-21D), unveiled at military parade in 2015, designed to hit warships at sea at a range of up to 1,500 kilometers, and the DF-26 intermediate range missile, dubbed “Guam killer” in reference to the U.S. Pacific island base.
[Military balance] [Deterrence]
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While you were looking elsewhere … China now builds the best bridges in the world
26 September, 2019 by stalins moustache
While you may have been distracted by the way ‘Western’ countries (that is, a small group of former colonisers) are tearing themselves apart, China has quietly become a world leader in another area: bridge building.
You may know that the best and most advanced mobile phones are designed and contructed here (Huawei Mate 30), or that China is now the leading innovator and constructor of high-speed rail in more and more places throughout the world, or that China leads the world in re-afforestation and consistently wins awards for environmental protection, or that it offers a more stable model of governance, or that … the list could go on and on and it increases at a stunning rate.
But bridges? Given that most of China is quite mountainous, bridges are an absolute must (as are tunnels). And since a crucial feature of the poverty alleviation program, let alone the Belt and Road Initiative, is the construction of rail and road, bridges cannot be avoided. The outcome is that China is now the world leader in bridge technology and construction.
For example, China has recently constructed the world’s longest sea bridge in Fujian province connecting five islands and the mainland.
It will not be long before the island of Taiwan is connected with the mainland by such a bridge.
2019 | Volume 18, Number 1
One of the benefits of being a member of the China Research Center is ready access to colleagues possessing wide-ranging expertise on Chinese affairs. Five years have passed since I last drew upon these resources in a China Currents special edition examining policy trends under the new Chairmanship of Xi Jinping post 18th Party Congress. (https://www.chinacenter.net/category/china_currents/13-2/) In introducing those essays, I boldly proclaimed Xi to be “no cypher.” Read more....
Stephen Herschler, Guest Editor
What is your unpopular opinion about the popular Hong Kong protest?
September 23, 2019
Please make sure these dispatches reach as many readers as possible. Share with kin, friends and workmates and ask them to do likewise.
This essay is part of our special series on disgusting imperialists
Hong Kong is already dead. The elite in both Hong Kong and Mainland China already know it. The people who are pumping out optimistic wishful thinking are just providing cover for those who need time to make an orderly exit.
This “protest” will last for many years, and when it ends, it will not end in a big, explosive bang, but in a whimper of tens of thousands of people lining up at the customs, waiting to cross over to Shenzhen for a job.
The Chinese government has zero interest in stopping Hong Kong’s “popular protest” or riot. The big picture is that Hong Kong has been viewed as an increasing case of cancerous growth since 2008, for two reasons. Both are “long-term fatal”-kind of diseases. One is that it’s a prime case of “rentier economy” that Mr. Martin Wolf just wrote about in Financial Times. Martin Wolf: why rigged capitalism is damaging liberal …Basically rent-seekers (real estate cartel) squeezing blood out of rocks and choking off healthy competition and innovation. The other is that it’s too big of a Tax Haven for Mainland cash.
Dr. Brad Setser wrote about this phenomenon for the US, where the US companies now book 7 times of their corporate profit in offshore tax heavens than in the US itself. China’s case is not as extreme, but the Chinese government hates it more, and also it typically prefers solving problems early, instead of kicking the can down the road and allowing the mess to grow even bigger.
Google to 'suffer' if it abandons Huawei
Posted : 2019-09-22 16:00
Updated : 2019-09-22 19:30
Karl Song, right, president of Huawei's public affairs and communication department, and Huawei Korea CEO Shawn Meng speak during a press conference on the sidelines of Huawei Connect 2019 in Shanghai, Thursday. / Courtesy of Huawei
By Jun Ji-hye
SHANGHAI ― Google will take a hit if it severs ties with Huawei, because the Chinese smartphone maker has contributed greatly to expanding Google's Android ecosystem, services and apps, according to Karl Song, president of Huawei's public affairs and communication department.
Song made the remarks during a press conference with Korean journalists Thursday on the sidelines of Huawei Connect 2019 in Shanghai.
He admitted that its Google problems would be an obstacle to Huawei's efforts to keep increasing its share in overseas smartphone markets, but noted, "Crisis could turn into an opportunity."
Song said, "Huawei has contributed a lot to Google. If Google abandons Huawei, it will suffer damage as well. Huawei and Google have worked together well. We have mutual trust. I look forward to further cooperation."
The comments came amid concerns that Huawei's smartphone business will be hampered by the prolonged trade war between the U.S. and China, with Google pulling its apps and services from the Chinese company's new smartphones.
[China competition] [Huawei] [Google] [Interdependence]
Chinese-Thai Military Cooperation Expanding
Recent news of Bangkok signing a 6.5 billion Thai Baht deal with China to procure a naval landing ship (a landing platform dock or LPD) further illustrates growing ties between Beijing and Bangkok in the sphere of military matters.
The Thai Royal Navy’s only other ship of similar capabilities is the HTMS Angthong, built by Singapore, Bangkok Post reported.
The deal comes in the wake of several other significant arms acquisitions made by Bangkok in recent years including 39 Chinese-built VT-4 main battle tanks (with another batch of 14 being planned), China’s Type-85 armoured personnel carriers and even the nation’s first modern submarine made by China expected to be in service by 2023.
These are more than merely arms deals. The purchasing of sophisticated weapons systems like submarines and ships will require closer military cooperation between Beijing and Bangkok in order to properly train crews, transfer critical knowledge of maintaining the vessels and operate them at sea.
There are also joint Thai-Chinese weapon development programmes such as the DTI-1 multiple rocket launcher system.
The interoperability that is being created between Thai and Chinese armed forces (and arms industries) ensures ample opportunity for joint training exercises and weapon development programmes in the future, several of which have already been organised, with many more on the horizon.
The Myth of Thai Subservience to Washington
Thailand is often labeled a close “non-NATO ally” of the United States by both the United States itself and many analysts still clinging to Cold War rhetoric.
[China Thailand] [Arms sales]
MOFA Minister Wu announces Taiwan’s termination of diplomatic ties with Kiribati
Publication Date: September 20, 2019 |
MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu (right) announces Taiwan’s termination of diplomatic ties with Kiribati Sept. 20 in Taipei City. (CNA)
The ROC (Taiwan) has ended diplomatic relations with Kiribati to uphold national dignity following the Indo-Pacific country’s decision to establish official ties with China, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu said Sept. 20.
Taiwan’s embassy staffers, as well as those serving with the medical and technical missions, are to be recalled and all cooperation projects ended with immediate effect, Wu said. The government also demands Kiribati immediately recall its personnel, he added.
[Taiwan] [Kiribati] [Diplomatic relations] [Aid weapon]
MOFA Minister Wu announces Taiwan's termination of diplomatic ties with Solomon Islands
Publication Date: September 17, 2019 |
MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu (center) announces Taiwan’s termination of diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands Sept. 16 in Taipei City. (CNA)
Taiwan has terminated diplomatic relations with the Solomon Islands to uphold national dignity and sovereignty following the Indo-Pacific country’s decision to establish official ties with China, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu Sept. 16.
The staff of the country's embassy and technical missions is to be recalled, and all cooperation programs ended with immediate effect, Wu said. The government also demands the Solomon Islands immediately recall its personnel, he added
[Taiwan] [Solomon Islands] [Diplomatic relations] [Aid weapon]
Huawei unveils 'fastest' AI training platform
Posted : 2019-09-18 17:01
Updated : 2019-09-18 20:45
Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu gives a keynote speech on the opening day of Huawei Connect 2019 at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, Wednesday. / Courtesy of Huawei
By Jun Ji-hye
SHANGHAI ― Huawei has released the world's "fastest" artificial intelligence (AI) training platform that helps make AI more readily available for different fields of scientific research and business innovation, the company said Wednesday.
At Huawei Connect 2019 held in Shanghai, Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu called the new platform, dubbed Atlas 900, "the world's fastest AI training cluster."
"Atlas 900 is a powerhouse of AI computing," Hu said during his keynote address, noting that the new platform combines the power of thousands of Ascend processors.
Ascend processors for AI make up one of Huawei's lineup of processors, along with Kunpeng for general purpose computing, Kirin for smart devices and Honghu for smart screens.
Hu said it takes only 59.8 seconds for Atlas 900 to train ResNet-50, the industry standard for measuring AI training performance.
"This is about 10 seconds faster than the previous world record," Hu said. "Atlas 900 will bring new possibilities to different fields of scientific research and business innovation ― anything from astronomy to oil exploration."
Hu also announced his strategy for the computing market, calling it a massive blue ocean market that will be worth more than $2 trillion by the end of 2023.
On David Harvey’s Neoliberalism (with Chinese Characteristics)
16 September, 2019
The is the third part of my lecture text on why foreign scholars as yet do not understand China’s socialist market economy. This part focuses on David Harvey’s influential yet deeply flawed book, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005).
The reaction to state monopoly capitalism was – as indicated already on a few occasions – the rise of neoliberalism at the end of the 1970s and its aggressive promotion in 1980s and 1990s. It may be defined as a ‘theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade’ (Harvey 2005, 2). I have taken this definition from David Harvey, since his work is the main focus of this section. The elaboration on this definition sounds very much like a reiteration of Adam Smith (1776 ) as interpreted through the neoclassical economists (Alfred Marshall, William Stanley Jevons, and Leon Walras): minimal state presence, except for guaranteeing the basic institutional environment for a capitalist market economy, the inherent value of ‘self-interest’ and so the primacy of the private individual, with the addition that any state with too many possessions should ‘privatise’ them. In fact, for Harvey the process of privatisation is enough to designate a government’s project as neoliberal.
A Brief History traces the way this liberalism was rediscovered as neoliberalism (Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and others) and applied with gusto first in the UK and the United States under Thatcher and Reagan, two of the places where Western liberalism itself first arose (Losurdo 2011). In the 1980s and 1990s it was copied by like-minded countries and forced on others not so like-minded, through the standard mechanisms of United States colonial power play – known as ‘regime change’. Of course, states enacting neoliberal policies are bound to be quite ‘interventionist’, as Harvey notes, as were the international bodies such as the IMF and World Bank, which were tasked with the authoritarian imposition of such policies on less-than-willing countries.
All this is reasonably well-known, although Harvey is keen to emphasise the regular crises generated by neoliberal policies. The book was published before the major Atlantic crisis of 2008, so he was unable to realise that the crises were not merely due to internal causes, but also external ones. I mean here the cumulative effect of China’s Reform and Opening Up, which was beginning to have a global effect by the 1990s. Countries following the neoliberal agenda could not help being affected by the Chinese return to being a global power of some weight. This point, of course, brings us to Harvey’s most wayward chapter, ‘Neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics’ (2005, 120-51).
On State Monopoly Capitalism
15 September, 2019 by
This is the second part of a lecture I am preparing on why foreigners are still unable to understand a socialist market economy. This part examines state monopoly capitalism, which was a significant part of Soviet and European Marxist debates up to the end of the 1980. The text is as follows:
State monopoly capitalism is first and foremost a Marxist category, arising in Soviet thought (abbreviated as stamocap) and gaining widespread usage after the Second World War. Notably, in this tradition ‘state monopoly capitalism’ is used almost exclusively to speak of capitalist countries in light of the evolving stages of capitalism. With one exception: I have been able to find one example – an implicit one – where a certain type of state monopoly capitalism has been used more recently in relation to socialist countries (among others). I will deal with this exception towards the end.
State monopoly capitalism may be defined as a ‘distinct stage of capitalism characterised by the fusion of monopoly forces with the bourgeois state to form a single mechanism of economic exploitation and political domination’ (Jessop 1982, 32). I have taken this definition from Bob Jessop, who provides what is arguably the most comprehensive critical overview of the theory. The date of publication is also telling, for in 1982 the theory was still relatively widespread. There were two main components: a new stage of capitalism in light of its internal crises, which entailed a closer alignment of monopoly capital and the bourgeois state; a development of communist strategy to exploit the contradictions through popular front activities.
The theory initially arose in the Soviet Union (Varga 1964, 1964 , 1934) and became dominant from the 1950s to the 1980s, so much so that The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia has a major 1979 entry (Cheprakov 1979). The origins may be traced back to Marx and Engels, concerning the contradiction between competition and monopoly, and Lenin’s relatively undeveloped observation that imperialism entails the growth of state monopolies (Lenin 1916 , 1917 -b), so much so that – and here he quotes a resolution – ‘monopoly capitalism is developing into state monopoly capitalism’ (Lenin 1917 -a, 305; 1917 -b, 443).
During its heyday, the theory of state monopoly capitalism developed in a number of directions, depending on the emphasis and context. Jessop identifies four, with copious references:
1) General crisis approach, in which the capitalist world faced yet another stage of crisis, generated by the increasing number of socialist countries, the collapse of European colonialism in light of anti-colonial liberation struggles. The response of a decaying capitalism was to find new domination through the merging of the state and monopoly capitalism.
2) Monopoly-theoretical tradition (strong in the Soviet Union and Germany), in which the contradiction of competition and monopoly leads to a permanent domination of the latter. This was seen as a new stage of capitalism, beyond imperialism – as Lenin had initially argued (Lenin 1916 , 1916 ). Here too we find the challenge of socialism, but now seen primarily in class terms: the international challenge of socialism leads to the fusion of monopolies and state, with resultant militarism and a focus on technological development.
3) The capital-theoretical tradition (England, but also in Germany and the Soviet Union), which focuses on the basic laws of capitalist motion. This approach emphasises that state monopoly capitalism is a crisis-driven response to the contradiction between the increasing socialisation of the forces of production and private nature of the relations of production. The state’s active role at multiple levels effectively further socialises the relations of production through the state. On the British side (Fine and Harris 1979, 120-45), this entails not a new stage of imperialism (see above), but a third stage in the capitalist mode of production, after laissez-faire and monopoly capitalism. The state’s active role – through nationalisation, taxation, and state credit – not only negates working class access to real state power through direct control, but also internationalises productive capital by working with multi-national companies and establishing international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
4) The French ‘overaccumulation’ approach, which was framed in terms of the contradiction between private monopoly capital’s overaccumulation and its revalorisation through the state. Basing its approach on the cyclical crises of capitalism, which at times reach a crescendo so that structural changes are needed, the French approach identified the increasing role of the state in ensuring that the falling rate of profit (which leads to overaccumulation) is arrested for a time by comprehensive structural changes. Thus, state monopoly capitalism becomes a necessary development to ensure, through the state’s central role, that private monopoly capital is able to produce surplus-value. And it does so through reorganising the relations of production, with the resultant increase in exploitation and polarisation of classes.
HK must also tackle social issues
By Wang Cong in Hong Kong Source: Global Times Published: 2019/9/9 20:23:40
Ending violence priority, tackling problems key to stability
The "Tong Lau" apartment buildings in the Kowloon area in Hong Kong. Photo: Wang Cong/GT
As the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government takes concrete measures to end months of political unrest in the city, it must also tackle an array of deep-seated social problems to ensure long-term stability, some local residents and community and business leaders said.
While persistent violence and vandalism on the streets underscored the dangerous rise of radical and secessionist voices in the city that must be contained, the protests over the past few months also reflected the accumulation of social problems ¬ from housing to employment ¬ that also require urgent attention and cooperation with the mainland, the people noted.
In visits to various communities in the city and interviews with dozens of residents and community and business leaders, the Global Times found that one of the most prevalent and challenging problems facing the city is housing, which is also the main source of public grievances, and even anger.
[Hong Kong] [Protest] [Housing]
Wang’s visit key to reviving NK peace process
By Zhang Yun Source: Global Times Published: 2019/9/4 23:26:12
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's three-day visit to North Korea has an important role to play in reviving the Korean Peninsula's diplomatic process and promoting diplomacy with North Korea.
First, it is important to advance the diplomatic process within US President Donald Trump's term of office, while China's constructive role weighs a lot in reviving US-North Korea diplomacy. President Trump's remaining term is less than one year and a half, and Washington is preparing for the 2020 presidential election. Thus, it is important to fix a general direction of the Korean Peninsula issue's political solution within Trump's tenure.
Although North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Trump met at Panmunjom by the end of June, diplomacy on the Peninsula had become somewhat staid. History has told us that the change in US internal politics, especially the presidential transition, could have a huge impact on the US policy on the Korean Peninsula. Trump is the first sitting US president to meet a North Korean head of state after WWII. In other words, Trump is more likely to break the stalemate on the peninsula. If Trump is re-elected, current talks may continue. If the general direction of peace talks is fixed, it may also be a binding force for the next US administration even if Trump is not re-elected.
[China NK] [Wang Yi] [Chinese IR]
N. Korean and Chinese foreign ministers stress stronger cooperation between two countries
Posted on : Sep.4,2019 16:13 KST Modified on : Sep.4,2019 16:13 KST
Ri Yong-ho expresses support for China’s position on Hong Kong protests
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho shake hands in Pyongyang on Sept. 2. (provided by the Chinese Foreign Ministry)
During a meeting in Pyongyang on Sept. 2, the top diplomats from China and North Korea — which are celebrating the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year — stressed stronger cooperation and closer communication on Korean Peninsula issues. The North Korean foreign minister used the meeting to express public support for China’s stance and action regarding the ongoing antigovernment protests in Hong Kong, remarking that “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong.”
[China NK] [Wang Yi] [Ri Yong Ho]
[News analysis] Chinese foreign minister visits Pyongyang
Posted on : Sep.3,2019 17:16 KST Modified on : Sep.3,2019 17:16 KST
Speculation on whether Wang Yi’s visit prefigures Kim Jong-un’s fifth China visit
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi departs from Beijing Capital International Airport for Pyongyang on Sept. 2. (Yonhap News)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who also serves on China’s State Council, paid a visit to Pyongyang on Sept. 2. While announcing Wang’s arrival in the North Korean capital on Monday, Korean Central Television reported that officials from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry and from the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang had greeted Wang at Pyongyang International Airport.
There is speculation about whether Wang’s visit to North Korea, which comes shortly before the 70th anniversary of China and North Korea’s establishment of diplomatic relations on Oct. 6, prefigures North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s fifth visit to China. If Kim visits China next month for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, it could have an impact on North Korea-US dialogue and other aspects of Korean Peninsula affairs.
Many believe that Wang, who is staying in Pyongyang through Sept. 4 on the invitation of North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, will be meeting with Kim and Ri to discuss the idea of Kim visiting China in early October. There seems to be a strong possibility that Kim will highlight North Korea’s friendly relations with China by paying a visit on Oct. 1, while China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its communist government on Oct. 1 and the 70th anniversary of North Korea and China’s diplomatic relations on Oct. 6.
[China NK] [Wang Yi]
Maintaining the US edge in the Freely Associated States
2 September 2019
Authors: Derek Grossman and Michael Chase, RAND
In August 2019 Mike Pompeo became the first US secretary of state to visit the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). He announced the start of negotiations to extend the Compact of Free Association (COFA) — an international agreement that provides the US military with unfettered land, air, and sea access to FSM in part through yearly economic assistance. Just before Pompeo’s arrival, China donated US$2 million to Micronesia’s Trust Fund. This was also a first.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo after they placed wreaths at a memorial to fallen Micronesians who served in the U.S. military, at Pohnpei International Airport in Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia 5 August 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst).In the geo-strategically vital region of the Freely Associated States (FAS) — comprised of FSM, Palau and the Marshall Islands — China is increasingly competing with the United States for influence. Beijing seeks to incorporate the FAS into its signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by boosting investment and economic assistance.
This effort is designed to heighten China’s role in the Pacific and potentially reduce the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic partners. Out of Taipei’s six remaining allies in the Pacific, two are Palau and the Marshall Islands.
[China confrontation] [Aid weapon] [Militarisation] [Pacific] [bases] [Taiwan] [Diplomatic relations]
Hong Kong police fire tear gas as clashes erupt after thousands appeal to Trump
Sumeet Chatterjee, Joe Brock
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the upmarket Causeway Bay shopping district on Sunday, after demonstrators had rallied at the U.S. Consulate calling for help in bringing democracy to the Chinese-ruled city.
Police moved on protesters from the Central business district who dispersed to nearby Admiralty, the bar district of Wan Chai and on to Causeway Bay in a now familiar pattern of cat-and-mouse clashes over three months of unrest.
Activists set barricades, smashed windows, started street fires and vandalised the MTR metro station in Central, the smartest district of the former British colony.
Central district, home to banks, jewellery shops and top-brand shopping arcades, was awash in graffiti, broken glass and bricks torn up from pathways. Protesters set fires from cardboard boxes, building barricades with metal fencing.
“We can’t leave because there are riot police,” said protesters Oscar, 20, in Causeway Bay. “They fired tear gas from the station. We are heading to North Point.”
North Point is east of Causeway Bay.
Thousands of protesters earlier sang the Star Spangled Banner and called on U.S. President Donald Trump to “liberate” the city. They waved the Stars and Stripes and placards demanding democracy.
“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” they shouted before handing over petitions at the U.S. Consulate. “Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong.”
[Hong Kong] [Protest] [Pawn] [Pro-Americanism]
Hong Kong’s Enemy Within
by Thomas Hon Wing Polin
September 2, 2019
The bedrock of any nation is its government — the manifestation of its sovereignty and protector of its people. But what if the personal loyalties of a substantial portion of civil servants do not lie with the sovereign? Worse, what if these allegiances are actually more to other powers — forces that are at odds with the sovereign and working to undermine its interests?
Naturally, such a situation would never be tolerated in any normal jurisdiction. Hong Kong, under One Country, Two Systems (OCTS), is not a normal jurisdiction. Its sovereign is China, but large swathes of the special administrative region’s power structure are not only alienated from it, but also feel attached to the Western values and worldview of their former colonial masters. That’s because under OCTS, decolonization has been merely nominal.
[Hong Kong] [Decolonisation]
An interview on China and Hong Kong
Minxin Pei –
(Project Syndicate 26-8-2019)
Posted on 4 September 2019 by Louisa Gunning
Many Chinese are deeply conflicted: they may not like the CPC, but they are proud of their country and resent outside criticisms.
Project Syndicate: In your latest PS commentary, you argue that a Tiananmen-style crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong would only make matters worse, rendering the city instantly ungovernable and demolishing a vital bridge between China and the global economy. China’s government would thus be far better off making some concessions. What concessions would be palatable to China’s government and yet succeed in appeasing the people of Hong Kong?
[Hong Kong] [Diaspora] [Anti-Communist] [Patriotism]
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Time for education reform in Hong Kong
31 August, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in China, socialist governance
Time for some long-term reforms in Hong Kong, especially in terms of education and responsible internet use, journalism and social media.
More immediately, attention is increasingly focusing on what many are describing as a terrorist cell in Hong Kong, numbering no more than a couple of thousand and funded by external (primarily US) forces. They are the ones escalating violence, calling themselves the ‘valiant‘ and following the script of a ‘colour non-revolution’. It would be better to call them the ‘neo-colonials’, since they want Hong Kong to be re-colonised by the UK or the USA.
Obviously, they and their sympathisers are a small minority in Hong Kong.
Further, more and more groups are urging the local government to invoke emergency legislation to ensure a return to the much-cherished Chinese values of stability, security and harmony. The latest is the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions. Thus far, the local government has held off, since the regular police force has been very disciplined, patient and restrained, but it may yet do so – no secret here.
Hong Kong Crisis: Made in America
August 25, 2019
Ensconced in the British colonialist mentality, Hong Kongers never expanded their revolutionary political consciousness. Now they are losers on both sides of the equation.
Claims that Western interests are driving unrest in Hong Kong to undermine China have been decried across the Western media as “fake news,” “disinformation,” and even grounds for censorship from platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Yet a look at the organizations directly involved in leading the unrest and those supporting it reveals unequivocally that it originates in Washington DC – not organically from within Hong Kong itself.
In order to conceal this fact, the Western media has attempted to portray the unrest as “leaderless.” Yet coordinated protests most certainly have both leaders and organizations directing the majority of the movement’s decisions as well as providing the logistical support necessary for the sustained unrest Hong Kong now faces.
Who is Leading Hong Kong’s Unrest
Despite repeated and unrealistic claims that Hong Kong’s recent protests are “leaderless,” they are clearly being led by a combination of opposition political parties, supporting fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and foreign-funded media organizations.
Even partial admissions of this fact can be found throughout Western coverage of these supposed “leaderless” protests.
[Hong Kong] [Protest] [Subversion]
Follow the money behind Hong Kong protests
By Sara Flounders posted on August 16, 2019
The demonstrations in Hong Kong, now an open confrontation with the People’s Republic of China, have a global impact. What are the forces behind this movement? What provides the funds and who stands to benefit?
Protests in Hong Kong routinely carry the US flag and photos of Donald Trump
The increasingly violent demonstrations in Hong Kong are completely embraced and enthusiastically supported in the U.S. corporate media and all the imperialist political parties in the U.S. and Britain. This should be a danger sign to everyone fighting for change and for social progress. U.S. imperialism is never disinterested or neutral.
The disruptive actions involve helmeted and masked protesters using gasoline bombs, flaming bricks, arson and steel bars, random attacks on buses, and airport and mass transit shutdowns. Among the most provocative acts was an organized break-in at the Hong Kong legislature where “activists” vandalized the building and hung the British Union Jack flag.
U.S., British and Hong Kong’s colonial flags are prominent in these confrontations, along with defaced flags and other symbols of People’s China.
[Hong Kong] [China confrontation] [Subversion] [NED]
Hong Kong, Kashmir: A Tale of Two Occupations
By Pepe Escobar
Global Research, August 08, 2019
Strategic Culture Foundation 7 August 2019
Readers from myriad latitudes have been asking me about Hong Kong. They know it’s one of my previous homes. I developed a complex, multi-faceted relationship with Hong Kong ever since the 1997 handover, which I covered extensively. Right now, if you allow me, I’d rather cut to the chase.
Much to the distress of neocons and humanitarian imperialists, there won’t be a bloody mainland China crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong – a Tiananmen 2.0. Why? Because it’s not worth it.
Beijing has clearly identified the color revolution provocation inbuilt in the protests – with the NED excelling as CIA soft, facilitating the sprawl of fifth columnists even in the civil service.
There are other components, of course. The fact that Hong Kongers are right to be angry about what is a de facto Tycoon Club oligarchy controlling every nook and cranny of the economy. The local backlash against “the invasion of the mainlanders”. And the relentless cultural war of Cantonese vs. Beijing, north vs. south, province vs. political center.
[Hong Kong] [Kashmir] [Colour revolution] [Double standards]
Hong Kong: a failed palace coup by spoilt rich kids
21 August, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in China, socialist governance, socialist market economy
Palace coup: when a disgruntled section of the ruling class attempts to seize power. This assumes that it no longer has power, but in the past used to have it.
I have drawn the term from Ernst Bloch and it describes very well what has been happening in Kong Kong. How so?
Let me begin with a certain Nathan Law, a leader of the protests, riots and violence in Hong Kong, who jetted off to Yale University while urging others to stay on the streets. Less than impressed, many young Chinese in Hong Kong began a series of takes on his brave act.
‘I go to Yale, you go to jail‘ is one.
‘Blockheads boycott lectures, but I must first go to class’ is another, as in the following:
Such elitism is always popular:
But underlyng this effort by spoilt rich kids is the reality that Hong Kong’s moneyed elite has lost the power it once had. The cosy deal with British imperial governors, who never allowed street protests let alone any type of parliament, is over. Now there is a parliament, elections and way more free expression. So they are anxious and worried, as this article points out.
And who is out on the streets, waving US and British colonial era flags, calling on the UK to restore the colonial past, if not urging Donald Trump – believe it or not – to ‘liberate’ Hong Kong?
Spoilt rich kids and those they have duped. They are mightily annoyed they will not have the influence once enjoyed by their parents.
Problem is that it is not working, despite the deliberate misinformation being peddled in a small number of former colonial countries (known as the West). Most people in Hong Kong are singularly unimpressed, and as for the rest of the mainland, they can see right through it. As can most people outside the old colonial cabal.
Now, the Hong Kong government is in control and busy charting a way forward, and we can expect a spate of reforms to secure Hong Kong’s future and minimise the corrosive effects of Western liberalism. Meanwhile, it will need to learn to play second fiddle to nearby Shenzhen, which has been designated as a model socialist city to drive the economic powerhouse of the Pearl River delta.
Inside the world of the Chinese shoppers who are unnerving Australians.
Posted on 13 August 2019
Reports on daigou (personal shoppers) in Australia have evoked mixed feelings about Chinese presence and influence in Australian everyday and economic lives.
From the moral panic about Chinese invading and disrupting Australian way of economic life to the recent call to ‘embrace them’ by cross-border e-commerce and business communities, daigou continues to evoke both fear of and fascination with Chinese pursuit and display of economic power. As the scale and murky nature of daigou is better known today, it is time that we got to understand daigou beyond the economic dimension.
[China rise] [Daigou] [Parallel imports] [Diaspora] [Australia]
Huge rally shows Hong Kong residents want peace
By Chen Qingqing, Lu Wenao and Zhao Juecheng in Hong Kong Source: Global Times Published: 2019/8/17 22:12:38
About 476,000 Hong Kong residents attended a Safeguard Hong Kong assembly at Tamar Park despite rain on Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to violence and chaos after weeks of anti-government protests that turned into riots.
While waving China's national flags and holding banners reading "safeguard Hong Kong" and "support the police," hundreds and thousands people vowed to fight violence and save the city. "We support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's government. We support Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and we support the Hong Kong police."
The silent majority has spoken and their message is: Hong Kong has had enough.
[Hong Kong] [Public opinion]
China And the Zombies Of The Past
The hybrid war, being conducted against China by the United States and its gaggle of puppet states from the UK to Canada to Australia, has entered a new phase. The first stage involved the massive shift of US air and naval forces to the Pacific and constant provocations against China in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. The second stage was the creation of disinformation about China’s treatment of minority groups, especially in Tibet and west China. That this propaganda campaign has been carried out by nations such as the US, Canada and Australia who have the worst human rights records in the world with respect to their indigenous peoples, subjected to centuries of cultural and physical genocide by those governments, and who refuse to protect their minority peoples from physical attacks and discrimination despite their human rights laws, shocks the conscience of any objective observer.
But not content with that, the propaganda was extended to China’s economic development, its international trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, its Silk and Belt Road Initiative, its development bank, and other facilities and trade initiatives, through which China is accused of trying to control the world; an accusation made by the very nation that threatens economic embargo or worse, nuclear annihilation, to anyone, friend or foe, who resists its attempt to control the world.
The fourth phase is the US attempt to degrade the Chinese economy with punitive “tariffs,” essentially an embargo on Chinese goods. That the objective is not better trade deals but to bring China to its knees is the fact that the negative effect of these tariffs on American consumers, farmers and manufacturers is considered secondary to the principal objective.
Last year it moved to a fifth phase, the kidnapping and illegal detention of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of China’s leading technology company Huawei, in synchronicity with a massive campaign by the USA to force its puppets to drop any dealings with that company. Meng Wanzhou is still held against her will in Canada on US orders. Chinese have been harassed in the US, Australia and Canada.
The latest phase in this hybrid warfare is the insurrection being provoked by the US, UK, Canada and the rest in Hong Kong, using tactics designed to provoke China into suppressing the rioters with force to amplify the anti-Chinese propaganda, or pushing the “protestors” into declaring Hong Kong independent of China and then using force to support them.
[China confrontation] [Hybrid war]
Trump’s Trade War Could Make the Trump Recession a Reality
By John Cassidy
August 14, 2019
The longer the President persists in his trade war with China, the greater the chances are of an outright slump developing in the U.S. economy.
Photograph by Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty
Economic forecasting is a bit of a mug’s game. Mature capitalist economies tend to plod along, growing at modest rates, until they don’t. Despite extensive efforts, nobody has discovered a reliable way to predict when that moment will arrive and, subsequently, a recession will begin. Sometimes there are warning signs, such as asset-market bubbles developing, inflation picking up, the Fed raising interest rates, and trade deficits soaring. But, even if some of these signs are flashing amber, as they were in the late nineteen-nineties and the period between 2005 and 2007, it’s hard to know when they are going to turn red. The lesson of recent U.S. history is that expansions tend to last longer than many people expect.
It would be a mistake, therefore, to get too alarmed—or too excited, depending on your politics—about the big fall in the U.S. stock market on Wednesday. Sparked by negative news regarding the international economy and an unusual development in the bond market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged eight hundred points. Despite the sell-off, most Wall Street economists still think it is unlikely that #TrumpRecession, the hashtag trending on Twitter during the Dow’s slide, will become a reality before the 2020 election. The truth is that no one can be certain of what is going to happen.
What we do know for sure is that, the longer Donald Trump persists in his trade war, the greater the chances are of an outright slump developing.
[Recession] [Trump] [Trade war] [China competition] [Collateral] [Consequences]
China: One of the world’s most attractive countries
By Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth (People's Daily) 09:21, August 15, 2019
Dr. Ralf Speth explains traffic safety knowledge to Chinese children at a public benefit activity.
I visited China for the first time in the early 1980s. Back then, China had just started reforming and opening up, and was in an early stage of accelerated urban construction. There were not many cars, but the people there, many of whom were riding bikes on the streets, were showing energy in their eyes.
About 10 years later, I went to China again. The country was showing even greater signs of change, with a rapid development of infrastructure. The living standard of the Chinese people was improving everywhere you looked. There was a tremendous momentum all throughout the country.
To put it simply: one noticed right away that the roads were wider, and that automobiles were getting more affordable for average families. I started to realize that, as China’s automobile market took off, the country was seeing huge market demand. This demand would soon make China the world’s fastest-growing and largest auto market.
Subsequent visits to China gave me a more comprehensive understanding of the country’s development potential. After I became the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover in 2010, I immediately led the company to enter the Chinese market. We soon achieved leapfrog growth after entering what had indeed become the world’s largest auto market.[Economic growth] [Automobiles] [IJV] [India] [Tata] [Globalisation]
President Tsai vows to boost Taiwan-UK ties
Publication Date: July 31, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) talks Taiwan-U.K. relations with British parliamentarian Baroness D’Souza at the Presidential Office July 30 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of PO)
President Tsai Ing-wen said July 30 that the government it committed to expanding Taiwan-U.K. exchanges across a broad spectrum of potential-laden areas such as artificial intelligence, renewable energy and trade.
Cooperation between the like-minded partners has delivered impressive results over the past few years, Tsai said. The Taiwan-U.K. Innovative Industries Researcher Placement Scheme is one such shining example, she added.
[Taiwan UK] [China confrontation]
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US-Cambodia Relations: Growing Strategic Mistrust?
By Sek Sophal
Sek Sophal (firstname.lastname@example.org), a writer for The Bangkok Post and The Japan Times, is an affiliated researcher of the Democracy Promotion Center, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu, Oita Prefecture.
US-Cambodia relations, particularly military-to-military relations, have dwindled over the last few years. Diplomatic tensions between the two countries flared once again in early June 2019, when the Ministry of National Defense of Cambodia sent a letter to the US Department of Defense declining US military assistance to Cambodia as “no longer necessary.” On July 15, the House of Representatives adopted H.R. 526, the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019, a bill that would further sanction high-ranking Cambodian officials for undermining democracy and violating human rights. While the bill must be approved by the Senate to become a law, it is a sign of rising tensions. On July 21, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cambodia and China have signed a “secret agreement” that allows China to establish a naval base in Cambodia for 30 years. Gen. Socheat, a spokesman for Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defense rejected the report, calling it “fake.” These latest developments reflect the growing strategic mistrust between the two countries.
Ruined by chronic human-rights violations, rampant corruption, and decays in democracy in Cambodia, US-Cambodia relations have never been warm. Tensions reached new heights in late 2018 when Vice President Mike Pence wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen raising concerns over an alleged Chinese military base in Koh Kong. Referring to its so-called ‘policy of permanent neutrality’ and article 53 of its constitution prohibiting any foreign military from setting up bases on its territory, Cambodia has repeatedly denied that it would host any foreign military, including that of China, on its sovereign territory.
[US Cambodia] [China confrontation] [Bases]
Chinese white paper: Beijing military 'lags behind' other countries
Posted : 2019-07-25 11:55
Updated : 2019-07-25 17:45
Chinese National Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian, right, at a news briefing in Beijing on July 24 after China released its defence white paper. Kyodo
By Liu Zhen
The People's Liberation Army lags far behind the world's leading militaries but Beijing says it is still up to the task of defending the nation against those seeking independence for Taiwan.
In a 52-page white paper titled "China's National Defense in the New Era" released by the State Council on Wednesday, Beijing said the PLA still had work to do to achieve its modernisation goals, and appealed for more reforms and greater investment.
The document highlighted the challenges faced by the military, including the threat from pro-independence forces in Taiwan, and separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang ? two of China's most restive regions ? but said it would always defeat those fighting for Taiwanese independence.
"The Taiwanese authorities, led by the Democratic Progressive Party, stubbornly stick to 'Taiwan independence'," it said. "They have gone further down the path of separatism by stepping up efforts to sever the connection with the mainland in favour of gradual independence, pushing for de jure independence, intensifying hostility and confrontation, and borrowing the strength of foreign influence."
It said also that while Beijing had not renounced the use of force against Taiwan, it was "by no means targeted at our compatriots in Taiwan, but at the interference of external forces and the very small number of 'Taiwan independence' separatists and their activities".
The report also blamed "external separatist forces" for Beijing's troubles in Tibet and Xinjiang, claiming they posed "threats to China's national security and social stability".
[China Rise] [PLA] [Military balance]
President Tsai makes 2nd US stopover in Denver on Journey of Freedom, Democracy, Sustainability
Publication Date: July 22, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (second right) and (from left) U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, AIT Chairman James F. Moriarty and NCAR Director Everette Joseph are all smiles during a tour of the National Center for Atmospheric Research July 21 in Colorado. (MOFA)
President Tsai Ing-wen made her second U.S. stopover July 20 in Denver after completing the Journey of Freedom, Democracy, Sustainability to Taiwan’s Caribbean allies Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia.
Upon touching down at Denver International Airport, Tsai was welcomed onboard the presidential charter by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James F. Moriarty and Stanley Kao, head of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.
After deplaning, Tsai held discussions with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on arms sales to Taiwan, as well as cross-strait and regional security issues. The pair also exchanged views on the situation in Hong Kong and the challenges and effects of disinformation and misinformation.
[China confrontation] [Tsai Ing-wen] [One China policy] [Arms sales]
Chinese company agrees to supply S. Korea hydrogen fluoride, Japanese press reports
Posted on : Jul.17,2019 17:42 KST Modified on : Jul.17,2019 17:42 KST
The Japanese press has reported that a Chinese firm has agreed to supply South Korean companies with hydrogen fluoride, a key material for manufacturing semiconductors that has been subject to recent export controls from Tokyo. On July 17, the Asahi Shimbun reported that a Chinese firm called Banghua Jituan, based in Shandong Province, took an order for hydrogen fluoride from a South Korean company. The article did not reveal the name of the South Korean company that put in the order. The photo shows working-level talks between South Korea and Japan regarding the export controls in Tokyo on July 12.
[Japan SK] [Forced labour] [Sanctions] [China]
Criticism of Three Gorges project continues despite lack of evidence
Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/14 18:03:39
? Recent photo posted on social media gives inaccurate portrayal of dam and is quickly refuted by experts
? Dam has been subject of wild claims, including one that it led to Wenchuan earthquake of 2008
? Criticism also rooted in changing modern attitudes toward construction projects, with focus nowadays on environmental protection
Three Gorges Dam at Yichang, Central China's Hubei Province Photo: VCG
Rumors and criticism surrounding China's Three Gorges Dam have been constant since its construction began in 1994.
The dam recently raised concerns worldwide after a Google map screenshot showed an apparent deformation in the dam's body along with a tweet saying that half of the Chinese population would face misery once the dam breaks.
Initially, experts did not take the absurd rumor seriously as it obviously went against the facts. However, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation then responded to the rumor on July 4 with an image taken by the high-resolution Earth observation satellite Gaofen-6, which shows that there is no abnormality in the Three Gorges Dam, according to China Central Television (CCTV).
[Three Gorges] [Environment]
30 years after Tiananmen Square, the U.S. is still trying to destabilize China
Last month marked three decades since the conclusion of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations in China. The anniversary is opportune for Washington and its Western partners to ramp-up their Sinophobic smear campaign while recycling the hoax they have propagated ever since the June Fourth incident occurred.
Coverage of the commemoration has been wedded with the ongoing propaganda and wild accusation that the People’s Republic has currently detained up to 1 million Turkic Uyghur Muslims from the autonomous Xinjiang province in “concentration camps.”
Simultaneously, opposition marches have erupted in the former British colony of Hong Kong with the financial backing of astro-turfing NGOs against a controversial extradition bill with the mainland.
Like Tiananmen Square thirty years ago, the “pro-democracy” gatherings in the self-governing territory have become increasingly violent as rioters have stormed legislative buildings while hoisting the colonial-era dragon and lion flag as their emblem.
The adoption of the Union Jack is reminiscent of the Syrian opposition’s appropriation of the French Mandate-era flag as its ensign — and we all know how “peaceful” those protests turned out to be.
[China confrontation] [Human rights] [Manipulation] [Tiananmen]
Can the China–Laos railway keep on track?
12 July 2019
Author: Selina Ho, NUS
Of all the railway projects that Chinese companies are constructing in Southeast Asia, the China–Laos railway has proceeded most rapidly. Construction began in December 2016 and swung into full gear by mid-2017, involving six Chinese contractors from subsidiaries of the state-owned China Railway Group.
Workers build on a Chinese-funded bridge. (Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring).
Early this year, it was reported to be half-finished and is on schedule to be completed by December 2021. The 414-kilometre railway line stretches from Boten, on Laos’ northern border with China, to Vientiane. It is slated to connect with Thailand to the south as part of a pan-Asia railway that will run from Kunming in Yunnan province to Singapore.
Laos lobbied hard for a slice of the pan-Asia railway. Officials calculated that the alternative — being left out of markets, trade and investment along the route — would be detrimental to the government’s plans to lift its people out of poverty. The railway’s ultimate goal is to transform Laos from a ‘landlocked’ to a ‘land-linked’ country.
China Says U.S. Should Not Allow Visit by Taiwan's Leader
July 13, 2019 08:05
China is criticizing a short visit by Taiwan's president to the United States, saying it violates the "one-China" principle.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged the U.S. on Friday to cease official exchanges with Taiwan and not allow stopovers by President Tsai Ing-wen.
Photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office shows Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen waving as she leaves for the Caribbean from Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan on July 11, 2019. /AP
Tsai is already in New York on a two-night stay en route to an official visit to four Caribbean nations. She was scheduled to deliver a speech to a U.S.-Taiwan business summit on Friday and attend a dinner with members of the Taiwanese-American community.
The United States recognizes Beijing as the government of China, but provides military and other support to Taiwan. The self-governing island split from China during a civil war in 1949.
[Taiwan] [Tsai Ing-wen] [China confrontation] [Escalation] [One China policy]
Ambassadors from 37 countries issue joint letter to support China on its human rights achievements
Source: Xinhua Published: 2019/7/13 10:20:56
Xinjiang residents dance in a square at the Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Thursday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT
Ambassadors of 37 countries on Friday sent a joint letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to show their support for China on its "remarkable achievements in the field of human rights".
"We commend China's remarkable achievements in the field of human rights by adhering to the people-centered development philosophy and protecting and promoting human rights through development," the joint letter said.
"We also appreciate China's contributions to the international human rights cause," it said.
The ambassadors expressed their "firm opposition" to relevant countries' practice of politicizing human rights issues, by naming and shaming, and publicly exerting pressures on other countries.
"We urge the OHCHR, Treaty Bodies and relevant Special Procedures mandate holders to conduct their work in an objective and impartial manner according to their mandate and with true and genuinely credible information, and value the communication with member states," the joint letter said.
The letter was signed by the ambassadors to UN at Geneva from Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Cuba, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Nigeria, Angola, Togo, Tajikistan, Philippines, Belarus and a number of other countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the world.
RESPECTING HUMAN RIGHTS IN COUNTER-TERRORISM
As for issues related to China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the UN envoys said that terrorism, separatism and religious extremism have caused enormous damage to people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, which has seriously infringed upon human rights, including right to life, health and development.
[Xinjiang] [Human rights] [Softwar]
Xi trumps Trump with just minor concessions
Trade war eases as US leader caves on everything, angering Congress with timid backpedal on Huawei
At 2.50am on March 2 this year Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good and easy to win.” As President Xi travelled home from the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last weekend he could well have been smiling gently and humming to himself: “Yes indeed. Yes indeed.”
For at the end of the 80-minute meeting between the two leaders on the fringes of the summit, Trump had made major concessions to Xi, deflecting the gathering trade war between the world’s top two economies. Meanwhile, the Chinese president offered nothing except the promise to buy more agricultural produce from hard-pressed United States farmers.
A well-established Trump behavior pattern is to swiftly dream up some dramatic diversion when he realizes he has just made an utter fool of himself, been outsmarted, is about to be confronted with unconscionable past behavior, or has told a monumental lie.
After the Xi meeting, Trump’s diversionary tactic was his tweet inviting North Korean leader Kim Jung Un to meet him “just to shake hands and say Hello” at the demilitarized zone dividing the peninsula.
It worked a treat, as it usually has for Trump. Public attention swiftly swung from the grey text of the meeting with Xi to the jolly, but essentially meaningless photo op of two tubby men in badly fitting suits and the world’s worst haircuts performing a kafkaesque pas de deux against the backdrop of one of the most hauntingly awful temples of the Cold War.
But the Panmunjom charivari is over and the fall-out from the Trump-Xi meeting remains.
[China confrontation] [Trade war] [Trump_Kim_DMZ1906]
Chinese governance highly distinctive, remarkably effective: Martin Jacques
By Kou Jie, Xian Jiangnan, He Zhuoyan (People's Daily Online) 13:18, July 05, 2019
In When China Rules the World, an insightful book published in 2009, author Martin Jacques, a senior fellow at Cambridge University, predicted that China would remain highly distinctive from the western world, showcasing more influence on the global economy. A decade later, the scholar has proposed a new question: what kind of great power is China going to be?
"The big change since I wrote the book is that in a decade, the world no longer thinks of China in primarily economic terms, but sees it taking the shape of a great power politically, intellectually, culturally and so on. China has arrived in a big way," Jacques told People's Daily Online.
[China rise] [Softpower] [Governance]
Can the 2016 arbitration ruling avert a marine environment disaster in the South China Sea?
By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
Lucio Blanco Pitlo III (email@example.com) is a research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University, and contributing editor for the Asian Politics & Policy Journal.
A 2012 standoff over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine (South China) Sea led Manila to take Beijing to arbitration over maritime claims and activity in the region. July 12 marks the third year anniversary of the landmark award issued by the arbitral tribunal convened under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). When the decision came out, the Philippines, by then under a new administration, went for a soft landing with China, which helped calm tensions. But continued degradation of the marine environment and the recurrence of maritime incidents involving both government and private vessels have led Philippine citizens to challenge President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to shelve the ruling. The development of norms and standards for maritime safety and environmental protection offers both countries, as well as other claimant states, platforms to pursue functional cooperation and dispute management.
The 2016 arbitration decision made a big splash in the contested waters. It invalidated China’s claims of historic rights and its infamous nine-dash line as contrary to UNCLOS. It ruled that none of the features in the semi-enclosed sea qualifies as an island capable of generating extended maritime zones and affirmed Manila’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in its western seaboard. It judged China’s interference in Filipino fishing and petroleum exploration, construction of artificial islands, and failure to prevent its nationals from fishing in the Philippines’ EEZ as unlawful. It also cited the unsafe maneuvers of Chinese law enforcement vessels that risked collision with Philippine vessels. The ruling also considered serious damage to the marine environment associated with Beijing’s artificial island building and its failure to rein in its fishermen from capturing endangered marine species. The tribunal also upheld the aggravation of the dispute by the commencement of reclamation works while the case was being heard.
[South China Sea]
Beijing Tears Down Samsung, Hyundai Billboards Overnight
By Lee Kil-seong
July 01, 2019 13:09
Beijing authorities abruptly took down all billboards for Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors on the major thoroughfare of Changan Avenue overnight on Saturday.
The billboards were the Korean conglomerates' property, but they were taken down without notice or offer of compensation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping made a commitment to "a fair, just and non-discriminatory market environment" at the G20 Summit in Osaka over the weekend and asked Washington for "negotiations based on equality and mutual respect." But in reality China often rides roughshod over contracts with foreign companies and shamelessly promotes its own.
From Idlib to Xinjiang: Uyghur Fighters Trained for Terror
September 26, 2018 By 21wire 2 Comments
21st Century Wire
It all began in 1995, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then mayor of Istanbul, named a section of the Sultan Ahmet Park in honor of Alptekin. At the official opening of the park, he declared, “Eastern Turkestan is not only the home of the Turkic peoples but also the cradle of Turkic history, civilization and culture. To forget that would lead to the ignorance of our own history, civilization and culture. The martyrs of Eastern Turkestan are our martyrs”.
These people are known by the name Uyghur, and they live in the far Western province of Xinjiang, China. They are Chinese citizens, but from an ethnic minority. In 2009 deadly violence erupted there; however, the Chinese authorities had mentioned earlier in 2002, that a radical Islamic terrorist group, which was supported by foreign sources and under the umbrella of al Qaeda, had been carrying out terrorist attacks in China.
Who are these terrorists and how did they manage to form a base of operations in Idlib, Syria?
[Uyghur] [Xinjiang] [Turkistan] [Erdogan]
Tanzania’s Decision to Suspend the Bagamoyo Port Project: A Surprise Blow against China’s Silk Road Vision for East Africa
By Andrew Korybko
Global Research, June 29, 2019
The East African country has the proud distinction of hosting China’s first modern-day Silk Road, the 1970s TAZARA railway, which is why Tanzania’s decision to suspend the $10 billion Bagamoyo port project that was supposed to be built by the People’s Republic is such a big deal and could greatly hamper Beijing’s regional strategy.
Tanzania’s nationalist leader John Magafuli just dealt a surprise blow to China’s Silk Road vision for East Africa by suspending the $10 billion Bagamoyo port project that was supposed to figure prominently in the regional connectivity vision being pursued by the People’s Republic. His reasoning was that “they want us to give them a guarantee of 33 years and a lease of 99 years, and we should not question whoever comes to invest there once the port is operational. They want to take the land as their own but we have to compensate them for drilling construction of that port”, which he described as “exploitative and awkward”. This decision was all the more unexpected because the East African country has the proud distinction of hosting China’s first modern-day Silk Road, the 1970s TAZARA railway, and its Foreign Minister was just in Beijing a few days prior where his counterpart praised their historical cooperation as an example for other Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) countries to follow.
[Belt and Road] [Tanzania] [China Africa] [Friction]
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Photos of Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, Pyongyang June 2019
'I Love Thee, China': North Korea woos Xi in lavish state visit
Joyce Lee, Josh Smith
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed that strengthening bilateral ties, at a time of “serious and complicated” international affairs, was good for regional peace, North Korean state media said on Friday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 21, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS
Xi arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday for a two-day visit, the first by a Chinese leader in 14 years, and received a lavish welcome that included a performance of the song “I Love Thee, China” and thousands of people holding up placards that formed a picture of Xi’s face and the Chinese flag.
China is the North’s only major ally
Seoul, Beijing skipped Huawei issue
Posted : 2019-06-19 16:56
Updated : 2019-06-19 17:56
Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho, left, and China's Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang leave before holding their annual talks on economic cooperation at the Seoul Government Complex, Wednesday. Yonhap
By Park Ji-won
South Korea and China didn't discuss issues related to a possible ban on Huawei products during ministerial-level talks, Wednesday.
The two countries' diplomats led by Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho and China's Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang held the 23rd Joint Economic Committee session where they talked about ways to boost economic cooperation on personnel and cultural exchanges.
"I hope our bilateral cooperation will lead to another level, by strengthening personnel, cultural and environmental exchanges," Lee said at the start of the session, according to pool reports.
[China SK] [Dilemma] [Huawei]
Xi 'to Watch N.Korea's Notorious Mass Games'
By Lee Kil-seong, Ahn Jun-yong
June 19, 2019 12:32
Chinese President Xi Jinping could watch North Korea's notorious mass games when he visits Pyongyang on Thursday and Friday, U.S. website NK News said Tuesday.
North Korean performers last November created a huge mosaic picture of Xi's face when a Chinese art troupe was watching a performance, so he could end up admiring his own face.
Xi is to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and visit the China-North Korean Friendship Tower dedicated to the Chinese army's participation in the Korean War.
His visit seems intended to show off the friendship between the two countries amid China's trade war with the U.S., as well as distracting attention from pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Pyongyang could secure support from Beijing in its denuclearization talks with Washington and get food and fertilizer aid.
[Xi_NK_visit1906] [China NK] [Chagrin] [Sidelined]
China completes outer dome on overseas Hualong One reactor in Pakistan
China has finished building the outer safety dome at its first overseas “Hualong One” nuclear reactor in Pakistan, with the project scheduled to be finished by the end of 2020, the China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said late Tuesday.
China is hoping to use its third-generation Hualong One design to boost its presence in the overseas nuclear power sector and it is already making plans to build projects in Argentina and Britain.
CNNC described the completion of the double-layered steel dome on the containment building of the Karachi 2 nuclear power plant in Pakistan as a milestone that would help demonstrate China’s Hualong One technology worldwide. The firm is building two Hualong One units at the site.
China developed the Hualong One reactor as a rival to the Westinghouse-developed AP1000 and Europe’s “Evolutionary Pressurised Reactor”, with both models beset by cost overruns and construction delays.
The world’s first Hualong One reactor is set to go into operation ahead of schedule in the southeast Chinese province of Fujian late next year.
CNNC said its four demonstration projects in China and Pakistan are progressing in an orderly manner, noting that they “are the only third-generation pressurized water reactor projects in the world that are being constructed on schedule.”
[China rising] [Nuclear energy]
MAC urges HK government to revoke extradition bill
Publication Date: June 17, 2019 |
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council calls on the government of Hong Kong to listen to the voice of the people and revoke the extradition bill. (Courtesy of MAC)
The government of Hong Kong must listen to the voice of the people and revoke its extradition bill, according to Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council June 16.
Allowing residents to be sent from Hong Kong to China infringes on the rights of the people in the special administrative region and Taiwan’s sovereignty, the MAC said.
The legislation is rejected by the people, ethnic Chinese the world over and the international community, the council said, adding that it also demonstrates the abject failure of Beijing’s “one country, two systems” model.
The MAC’s statement follows a series of large-scale protests against the bill in the former British colony involving more than a million residents.
According to the council, the legislation attempts to place Taiwan-Hong Kong crime-fighting under the auspices of the “one China policy.” The government and people of Taiwan absolutely oppose this political maneuvering under the guise of judicial assistance, the MAC said.
A stable and prosperous Hong Kong is the expectation of its residents and democracy-loving societies around the globe, the council said. The government and people of Taiwan stand shoulder to shoulder with those taking to the streets of Hong Kong in defense of freedom, human rights, free speech and rule of law, the MAC added. (SFC-E)
[Hong Kong] [Taiwan] [Extradition]
Korean Telecoms Bought Billions Worth of Huawei Equipment
By Kim Seong-min
June 18, 2019 12:47
Korea's three major telecoms SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus have all bought large amounts of communication equipment from Huawei over the last four or five years. Most of the equipment was used to establish fixed-line backbone networks that also link to the mobile infrastructure.
That puts Korea in an awkward position amid increasing U.S. pressure to join its boycott of Huawei as part of its trade war with China. But most of the 36 member nations of the OECD also use Huawei equipment, so Washington may be playing a losing game in the 5G mobile race.
Analysis of global communications equipment data from market researcher Ovum shows the Chinese tech giant sold products to 530 telecom companies around the world. They include 33 OECD members, except only Israel, Estonia and Slovenia.
In Korea, SK Telecom and SK Broadband have W150 billion worth of Huawei equipment, while KT bought W200 billion worth (US$1=W1,187). Huawei started aggressively marketing products in Korea five years ago and now dominates the communications backbone networks here along with Cisco, accounting for around 20 to 25 percent.
An industry insider said, "Communications networks are connected like spider webs, and that level of market share means most phone calls and Internet connections pass through Huawei equipment at least once."
Nelia Sancho: The beauty queen turned activist bats for Comfort Women
Nelia Sancho: The beauty queen turned activist brings WWII comfort women to center stage
For a woman of her status, beauty queen and all with a bright future ahead of her to give everything up just to follow what her conscience dictated her to do to fight for justice in this world, I believe, borders on the saintly.#
In 1971, Nelia Sancho was on top of the world. She has just been crowned “The Queen of the Pacific” in a beauty pageant held in Melbourne, Australia where she bested 29 representatives of countries in the Pacific Rim. At the prestigious University of the Philippines, she was the Grand Archon of her sorority, Sigma Delta Phi, and a Corps Sponsor of the ROTC.
She was a much sought after fashion model and it seemed that the world was for her asking. All she needed to do was coast along, enjoy the adulation of the public, maybe do a movie or two, perhaps settle down with one of the rich eligible bachelors wooing her, and she got it made.
Four years later, however, she found herself languishing in jail, emaciated by the hunger strikes she and her fellow detainees staged; the dreaded “communist” label clearly stamped on her forehead. Time Magazine tagged her as the “Guerilla Queen,” with a picture of her clad in a bikini placed side by side with a file photo of a pile of guns. The guns, according to Nelia, did not even belong to her. She was lucky she got caught alive after two years of being underground at the height of the infamous martial law rule in the Philippines. Otherwise, she would have been killed. What went wrong? Or, as the other side would put it, what went right?
[Philippines] [Marcos] [Repression] [Nelia Sancho] [Philippines NK]
Works: 12 works in 23 publications in 2 languages and 43 library holdings
Genres: Claims History Conference papers and proceedings Graphic novels Comic books, strips, etc
Roles: Author, Other, Editor
[Nelia Sancho] [Philippines NK]
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation supports China’s anti-terrorism actions in Xinjiang
19 June, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
The Xinjiang Autonomous Region has developed what is arguably the most effective anti-terrorism and de-radicalism program in the world. Since 2016, no further terrorist attacks have occurred, a notable achievement in light of the multitude of incidents incited by ‘East Turkistan’ forces since the 1990s. Recently, the UN’s under-secretary of counter-terrorism, Vladimir Koronkov (see here, here and here), visited Xinjiang and indicated strong support for the local and central government approaches to dealing with the problem of terrorism in Xinjiang.
Perhaps even more important are the resolutions of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has well over 50 members and represents the voice of the Islamic world.
Most recently, the foreign ministers of the OIC met on 1-2 March 2019 and adopted a series of resolutions, the most pertinent of which are the following:
Welcomes the outcomes of the visit conducted by the General Secretariat’s delegation upon invitation from the People’s Republic of China; commends the efforts of the People’s Republic of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens; and looks forward to further cooperation between the OIC and the People’s Republic of China.
Korean monk pleads Dalai Lama to return to Tibet
Posted : 2019-06-17 16:50
Updated : 2019-06-17 17:35
Ven. Dongbong, chief monk of Daegaksa Temple, poses at his temple in Seoul, on June 12. He wrote a letter to Dalai Lama in March, marking the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan spiritual leader's exile. / Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk
By Park Jin-hai
With the news that the aged Dalai Lama is being treated for various illnesses, revered Korean Buddhist monk urged the Tibetan spiritual leader to end his 60 years of life in exile and go back to his old Tibetan home under the rule of China.
In his letter to Dalai Lama, Ven. Dongbong, of Daegaksa Temple, home to the Korean independent fighters under the tyranny of Japanese colonial rule, wrote: "Relinquish all attachment to life as the Buddha taught and please go back to your homeland Tibet… To live among Tibetans is the way you should walk to the end of your life, even though it may seem humbling to you. Rather than speaking in front of millions while in exile, this would be much more beautiful and sublime."
[Dalai Lama] [Tibet] [China] [Return][Buddhism]
U.S. chipmakers quietly lobby to ease Huawei ban: sources
Stephen Nellis, Alexandra Alper
Huawei’s American chip suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, are quietly pressing the U.S. government to ease its ban on sales to the Chinese tech giant, even as Huawei itself avoids typical government lobbying, people familiar with the situation said.
FILE PHOTO: A Huawei company logo is seen at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
Executives from top U.S. chipmakers Intel and Xilinx Inc attended a meeting in late May with the Commerce Department to discuss a response to Huawei’s placement on the black list, one person said.
The ban bars U.S. suppliers from selling to Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment company, without special approval, because of what the government said were national security issues.
Qualcomm has also pressed the Commerce Department over the issue, four people said.
Chip makers argue that Huawei units selling products such as smartphones and computer servers use commonly available parts and are unlikely to present the same security concerns as the Chinese technology firm’s 5G networking gear, according to three people.
“This isn’t about helping Huawei. It’s about preventing harm to American companies,” one of the people said.
China watchers say U.S. suppliers are essentially trying to thread the needle - not wanting to be seen as aiding an alleged spy, thief and sanctions violator, but fearful of losing a good client and encouraging it to develop supplies elsewhere
[Huawei] [Embargo] [Corporations] [Lobby] [Petard]
Colonial Policy by Other Means: Losurdo on Hong Kong’s Supposed ‘Self-Determination’
18 June, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in China, socialism in power
A small number of former colonial powers are fond of trotting out the mantra of ‘self-determination’ for parts of the world they would like to control. Hong Kong and Taiwan are good examples (even though the USA has the world’s strongest measures against self-determination of its own states). In the last few days, deliberate misinformation concerning Hong Kong has been peddled in a small number of places. If you want to get a fuller picture, see the reports here, here, here, here and here.
So it is worth recalling Losurdo’s observations on such a matter. The first comes from his essay, ‘Lenin and Herrenvolk Democracy’ (2007):
Colonial domination has left its mark: on the economic level, the inequality of development among different regions has been accentuated; while the hegemonic presence at every level of the great powers and the policy of ethnic engineering, often promoted by them, has accentuated cultural, linguistic, and religious fragmentation. Secessionist tendencies of every kind are once again lying in wait, regularly fed by the ex-colonial powers. When it wrested Hong Kong from China, Great Britain certainly did not conceive of self-determination, and it did not remember it even during the long years in which it exercised its dominion. But, suddenly, on the eve of Hong Kong’s return to China, to the motherland, the governor sent by London, Chris Patten, a conservative, had a species of illumination and improvised conversion: he appealed to the inhabitants of Hong Kong to claim their right to ‘self-determination’ against the motherland, thus remaining within the orbit of the British Empire.
[Hong Kong] [Separatism] [UK]
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
June 14, 2019
by Michael Hudson
President Trump has threatened China’s President Xi that if they don’t meet and talk at the upcoming G20 meetings in Japan, June 29-30, the United States will not soften its tariff war and economic sanctions against Chinese exports and technology.
Some meeting between Chinese and U.S. leaders will indeed take place, but it cannot be anything like a real negotiation. Such meetings normally are planned in advance, by specialized officials working together to prepare an agreement to be announced by their heads of state. No such preparation has taken place, or can take place. Mr. Trump doesn’t delegate authority.
Trump opens negotiations with a threat. That costs nothing, and you never know (or at least, he never knows) whether he can get a freebee. His threat is that the U.S. can hurt its adversary unless that country agrees to abide by America’s wish-list. But in this case the list is so unrealistic that the media are embarrassed to talk about it. The US is making impossible demands for economic surrender – that no country could accept. What appears on the surface to be only a trade war is really a full-fledged Cold War 2.0.
America’s wish list: other countries’ neoliberal subservience
At stake is whether China will agree to do what Russia did in the 1990s: put a Yeltsin-like puppet of neoliberal planners in place to shift control of its economy from its government to the U.S. financial sector and its planners. So the fight really is over what kind of planning China and the rest of the world should have: by governments to raise prosperity, or by the financial sector to extract revenue and impose austerity.
U.S. diplomacy aims to make other countries dependent on its agricultural exports, its oil (or oil in countries that U.S. majors and allies control), information and military technology. This trade dependency will enable U.S. strategists to impose sanctions that would deprive economies of basic food, energy, communications and replacement parts if they resist U.S. demands.
[Trump] [Negotiating] [China confrontation]
Tiananmen in context
Posted on 12 June 2019
There has been feverish interest in the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen incident, in Australia with some focus on repression in China, fuelling antagonism towards China. In this essay I want to provide context that is lacking: in the evolution of economic reform and liberalism in China, in the evolution of Sino-Soviet relations and regional strategy and China’s united front with the US (and Australia) against Vietnam and the Soviet Union.
On the morning of Sunday 4 June 1989 I was woken early in Canberra by a request from the Sydney Morning Herald to write their editorial page background article on why this event was happening right then in Beijing, focused in Tiananmen Square. So I did, for the 5 June issue, setting out background of the enormous transformation under way in China, indebted for perspective to a comment made to me some days earlier by a middle level Chinese official, a friend from Beijing, trailing behind a senior visitor, buttonholing me to press upon me not to be complacent as in his view (which in the SMH I adopted as my own view) the leadership in Beijing did not have the capacity to comprehend or manage the situation.
Tsai seeks expanded Taiwan-US-Japan cooperation in Indo-Pacific
Publication Date: June 14, 2019
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) welcomes Richard C. Bush and a delegation of scholars from the U.S. and Japan at the Presidential Office June 13 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of PO)
President Tsai Ing-wen said June 13 that Taiwan is determined to ramp up cooperation with the U.S. and Japan in countering rising challenges to rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.
Taiwan will deepen trilateral ties and work closely with the like-minded partners in promoting regional peace, stability and prosperity for the benefit of all, Tsai said. This approach is in line with the U.S.’s visions and principles for a free and open Indo-Pacific, she added.
[Taiwan] [Imperialism] [FOIP] [Ingratiation]
U.S., others object to U.N. counterterrorism chief visit to China's Xinjiang
The United States and other western countries have objected to a visit by the United Nations counterterrorism chief to China’s remote Xinjiang, where U.N. experts say some one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centers.
FILE PHOTO: A Chinese police officer takes his position by the road near what is officially called a vocational education centre in Yining in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
Vladimir Voronkov, a veteran Russian diplomat who heads the U.N. Counterterrorism Office, is in China at the invitation of Beijing and is due to visit Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, according to an email sent by his office to countries that raised concerns.
Diplomats said that along with the United States several other countries, including Britain, also complained.
[Russia confrontation] [China confrontation] [Terrorism] [Outsourcing] [Xinjiang]
Tsai touts Taiwan’s contributions to global law enforcement
Publication Date: June 11, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen addresses participants in the 22nd retraining conference of the FBINAA Asia-Pacific Chapter June 10 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of Presidential Office)
President Tsai Ing-wen said June 10 that Taiwan is strengthening global law enforcement and is willing and able to play an even bigger role in combating international crime.
Taiwan boasts strong law enforcement capabilities and occupies a strategic position in the heart of the Indo-Pacific, Tsai said. This uniquely qualifies the country to stand on the front line of global policing efforts, she added.
Tsai made the remarks during her opening address at the 22nd retraining conference of the FBI National Academy Associates Asia-Pacific Chapter in Taipei City.
Hosted by the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, the five-day event involves more than 170 high-ranking law enforcement officials from 20-plus countries such as FBI Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate.
[Taiwan] [US] [Crime]
China maintains stable trade growth against external headwinds
June 11, 2019
BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade registered steady growth in the first five months this year despite growing external uncertainties.
The country's foreign trade of goods rose 4.1 percent year on year in the first five months of this year to 12.1 trillion yuan (about 1.76 trillion U.S. dollars), data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed Monday.
Exports increased 6.1 percent year on year to 6.5 trillion yuan during this period, while imports grew 1.8 percent to 5.6 trillion yuan, resulting in a trade surplus of 893.36 billion yuan.
In May alone, the country's exports and imports totaled 2.59 trillion yuan, up 2.9 percent from one year earlier.
Li Kuiwen, director of the GAC's statistics and analysis department, said although faced with the slowdown of global economic growth and international trade, the Chinese economy has continued an overall stable upward trend.
The fundamentals of China's economy, in that it is resilient and full of potentials, have not changed either, he added.
Cheong Wa Dae: 'Chinese leader won't visit Seoul around G-20 summit'
Posted : 2019-06-07 17:00
Updated : 2019-06-07 17:00
Korea Times file
Chinese President Xi Jinping won't visit South Korea on the occasion of the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan, a government official here said Friday.
"President Xi is not coming to South Korea" just before or after his trip to Osaka for the June 28-29 G-20 session, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The confirmation came amid multiple news reports here that Xi is expected to travel to South Korea on his way to Osaka or after travelling there.
A Cheong Wa Dae official indicated that President Moon Jae-in instead has a plan to sit down with Xi on the sidelines of the G-20.
There will be various summit-level meetings involving Moon in Osaka, he said.
The presidential office earlier told reporters that "(the two sides) are closely communicating" in connection with the possible summit.
No decision, however, has been made yet on the "timing, venue and formality" of a possible meeting between Moon and Xi, he added.
A final decision is expected to be made after Moon's eight-day tour of Finland, Norway and Sweden from Sunday, according to the official.
A major daily, the JoongAng Ilbo, reported that working-level officials of South Korea and China have already begun preparations for Xi's trip here.
[Xi Jinping] [China SK]
Chinese leader Xi may visit Seoul this month
Posted : 2019-06-06 15:43
Updated : 2019-06-06 17:03
President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a summit in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Dec. 14, 2017. Yonhap
By Lee Min-hyung
Chinese President Xi Jinping is rumored to be visiting Seoul this month for a summit with President Moon Jae-in.
The JoongAng Ilbo, citing an unnamed diplomatic source, reported Thursday that Xi will visit Seoul to meet Moon before going to Osaka, Japan, in late June to participate in the G20 meeting, scheduled for two days from June 28.
Cheong Wa Dae and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "nothing has been decided" on Xi's possible trip to Seoul. They did however, say Seoul and Beijing have been working closely to realize his visit.
"The Chinese government is known to be preparing a schedule for Xi's visit to South Korea on the last week of this month before he participates in the G20 summit," the newspaper quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying.
If realized, this will be the first time for Xi to make his way to Seoul since July 2014 when he had a summit with then-President Park Geun-hye during a state visit.
Authorities from Seoul and Beijing are also reportedly fine-tuning the agenda for discussions during the possible summit between Moon and Xi. It remains to be seen whether the meeting will take place, but chances are both sides are engaging in working-level talks to decide on a location and timeline.
The potential summit comes amid an escalating trade war between China and the United States. Against the backdrop, Xi may call on Moon to support Beijing.
[Xi Jinping] [China SK] [Dilemma] [China confrontation]
China Warns Korea to Make 'Right Judgment' in Trade Wars
By Ahn Jun-yong
June 05, 2019 12:06
A Chinese Foreign Ministry official has warned Korea to make the "right judgment" in siding with the U.S. or China as a trade war between Washington and Beijing intensifies.
The warning seems to be aimed at a U.S.-led boycott of Chinese IT giant Huawei. The official told Korean reporters in Beijing "no new variables must arise" in bilateral relations after a row over Seoul's decision to let the U.S. deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here.
The official referred to reporters that the U.S. is leaning on Korea to join the Huawei boycott and efforts to contain China's territorial ambitions in the East China Sea, and added Seoul must decide what is "right and wrong" rather than taking part simply because the U.S. wishes it.
He warned it would be "advisable" for Korea and China to avoid problems. Although the official said he respects the Korea-U.S. alliance, he added that Seoul must "not cross the line" when it comes to the interests and security of China.
The warning comes amid an increasing prospect of Korea caving in to U.S. demands. The defense ministers of the U.S., Korea and Japan met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday and issued a joint statement calling for "freedom of passage" in the South China Sea.
Diplomatic experts say Chinese President Xi Jinping may visit Korea in order to push President Moon Jae-in the other way. The Chinese official said Beijing is "actively considering" the prospects and "continuing negotiations" with Seoul.
He added that a visit from Xi would be an "important opportunity" for bilateral relations and North Korean denuclearization.
Already Beijing seems to be yanking Seoul's chain, telling prospective Korean business visitors to submit detailed itineraries. But the Foreign Ministry here downplayed such concerns and said China is merely stepping up screening due to a rise in submissions of forged documents in visa requests.
[Dilemma] [China confrontation] [Collateral] [Tribute] [Warning] [China SK]
China Issues Warnings for Tourists, Students Traveling to U.S.
June 05, 2019 08:12
China has issued a pair of travel warnings for the United States, warning its citizens that they could be subjected to police harassment and fall victim to criminals.
The Foreign Ministry warned citizens Tuesday that Chinese nationals traveling to the U.S. are "repeatedly harassed" by law enforcement agencies through "border interrogations, "drop-in visits and various other means." The ministry urged Chinese citizens to step up the safety awareness and respond "actively and appropriately."
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a separate travel warning citing a high frequency of shootings, robberies and thefts in the U.S.
Tuesday's alerts were issued a day after the education ministry warned that Chinese students and academics are facing strict visa restrictions imposed by the U.S. government, including delays or even rejections in receiving a visa.
[China confrontation] [Harassment]
‘June 4’: A Thwarted ‘Colour Revolution’ (Losurdo)
4 June, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in China, communist party, socialist human rights
In some corners of former colonising countries, it has become a habit to resuscitate around this time some of the old fabrications concerning ‘June 4’, or the Tiananmen incident in 1989. I have written elsewhere that the notion of a ‘massacre’ in the square was a slick MI5 ‘black ops’ effort – based mysteriously vanishing ‘eye-witnesses’ – to tarnish China and whip up pressure from the usual quarters. Of course, the underlying narrative is that the CPC is a secretive and paranoid bunch bent on world domination – a narrative all too easy to rebut, since the vast majority of Chinese people trust and support the CPC. Sovereignty, stability, security and the core human right to socio-economic wellbeing are the underlying reasons why Deng Xiaoping and those around him made the correct decision to act in 1989. For an updated statement on June 4, see the recent piece in the Global Times.
However, here I would like to copy an insightful analysis by Domenico Losurdo. It appears in his book, Non-Violence: A History Beyond the Myth (pp. 191-94). In his typical style, he pulls apart ‘Western’ colonial materials to show that even these sources contradict what they are ostensibly trying to achieve.
Tiananmen: The Massacre that Wasn’t
June 13, 2014
Twenty-five years ago today, every U.S. media outlet, along with then President Bush and the U.S. Congress were whipping up a full scale frenzied hysteria and attack against the Chinese government for what was described as the cold-blooded massacre of many thousands of non-violent “pro-democracy” students who had occupied Tiananmen Square for seven weeks.
Photo: Tank set on fire by protesters outside of Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989
The hysteria generated about the Tiananmen Square “massacre” was based on a fictitious narrative about what actually happened when the Chinese government finally cleared the square of protestors on June 4, 1989.
The demonization of China was highly effective. Nearly all sectors of U.S. society, including most of the “left,” accepted the imperialist presentation of what happened.
At the time the Chinese government’s official account of the events was immediately dismissed out of hand as false propaganda. China reported that about 300 people had died in clashes on June 4 and that many of the dead were soldiers of the Peoples Liberation Army. China insisted that there was no massacre of students in Tiananmen Square and in fact the soldiers cleared Tiananmen Square of demonstrators without any shooting.i
The Chinese government also asserted that unarmed soldiers who had entered Tiananmen Square in the two days prior to June 4 were set on fire and lynched with their corpses hung from buses. Other soldiers were incinerated when army vehicles were torched with soldiers unable to evacuate and many others were badly beaten by violent mob attacks.
These accounts were true and well documented. It would not be difficult to imagine how violently the Pentagon and U.S. law enforcement agencies would have reacted if the Occupy movement, for instance, had similarly set soldiers and police on fire, taken their weapons and lynched them when the government was attempting to clear them from public spaces.
Chinese cooperation with Islamic countries around the world
4 June, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in China, Xi Jinping
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation began its 14th summit on 31 May, 2019, in the city of Mecca. Since China has a Muslim population of 23 million, spread across a number of minority nationalities (in order of size: Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Uzbek, Tajik, Tatar, Kirgiz, Salar, Dongxiang and Bonan), China too is focused on cooperation with Muslim-majority countries. In that light, Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the summit, with significant responses – as this Xinhua News article indicates:
Experts in the Islamic world spoke highly of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s message on enhancing cooperation between China and Islamic countries.
Xi sent a congratulatory message on Friday on the opening of the 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi city of Mecca.
In his message, Xi said China attaches great importance to the friendly relations with Islamic countries and looks to the OIC as an important bridge for cooperation between China and the Islamic world.
Xi also said that China stands ready to work with the Islamic countries to enhance political mutual trust and promote practical cooperation and dialogue among civilizations, to jointly create a better future for the friendly ties between China and the Islamic world and to contribute to advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Abdullah Al-Salloum, a Kuwaiti economist, said Xi’s message is “classic in diplomacy.”
“Xi’s message speaks of values that we all should encourage,” he said.
Iraqi political analyst Nadhum al-Jubouri said “China is a country that respect its commitments and abide by its neutrality.”
He said the message shows the Chinese president’s “wisdom and successful leadership.”
China Eats—Innovation, E-Commerce and Food Safety at the Hangzhou Food Forum
Thomas David DuBois and Alicia E
June 1, 2019
Volume 17 | Issue 11 | Number 2
Abstract: Since 2000, the driving force behind China’s booming food industries has shifted from state planning to consumer demand. This shift has powered the growing importance of food branding, as consumers rely increasingly on known brands in the search for safe and wholesome food. While earlier eras of food branding strongly favored multinationals like Coca Cola and Nestlé, Chinese brands appear to be gradually regaining the trust of consumers, who increasingly rely on online ecosystems that seamlessly combine e-commerce, e-payment and home delivery into a self-contained purchasing environment. The 2019 Food and Beverage Innovation Forum suggests that future trends may include increasing reliance on data informatics, a domestic shift to focus on free spending GenZ consumers, and branded export of China’s unique strength in logistics.
Keywords: China, food industry, branding, multinationals, consumption
Chinese Intellectual Property Theft: The Indictment of Huawei Is an Embarrassment
by Moshe Adler
May 31, 2019
With its criminal indictment at the beginning of the year the US government has successfully made Huawei the poster child for technology theft by China. But the indictment is an embarrassment. Huawei is not a thief.
Huawei is charged with stealing technology for a robot that T-Mobile-USA uses to test phones. The robot, “Tappy,” taps phones repeatedly to determine their durability. Huawei wanted T-Mobile to offer its phones to its subscribers, and eager for its phone to pass the test, sent engineers to T-Mobile’s lab to learn how Tappy works. One of the conditions T-Mobile set for permitting Huawei to examine Tappy was that the robot would not be photographed. But a Huawei engineer did photograph it, and the indictment alleges that this was a breach of a trade secret. It first tells to what length T-Mobile went to keep Tappy a secret, and then it recounts how the Huawei engineer went about photographing it secretly. Reporting about the indictment NPR told its readers “[w]e would like to include a photo here of Tappy, but photographing the robot is expressly prohibited by T-Mobile, and Tappy is kept under very tight security in a lab at T-Mobile headquarters in Bellevue, Wash.” What the indictment does not say is that Tappy is not a secret but a sales-prop. T-Mobile invites customers to “Say Hello to T-Mobile Tap Happy” in a video that displays it in operation. Huawei did sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibited it from photographing Tappy, but when it did, it was not photographing a secret.....
It is perhaps understandable why Huawei’s engineers became desperate: The problem was not that they did not understand how Tappy works, the problem was that Tappy did not work and that T-Mobile was reluctant to acknowledge it because it did not want to lose this prop.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [IPR]
Preventing China from growing neither possible nor wise: Singaporean PM
Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-31 23:33:06|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers a keynote speech at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, May 31, 2019. The 18th Shangri-La Dialogue opened here Friday evening to discuss the security situation and its challenges in the Asia-Pacific. In a keynote speech to open the event, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for building a broader regional cooperation and multi-lateral arrangements, reaffirming Singapore's support to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said here Friday that countries need to accustom themselves to a larger role for China, and it is neither possible nor wise to prevent the world's second-largest economy from growing.
"Countries have to accept that China will continue to grow and strengthen, and that it is neither possible nor wise for them to prevent this from happening," Lee said during his keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in this city-state.
China has totally changed since it started opening up 40 years ago, and its gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by more than 25 times in real terms, Lee said.
"On many counts, China's growth is a tremendous boon, both for itself and the world," Lee told the participants at the annual security dialogue.
"China has become a massive production and manufacturing base, lowering costs for the world's producers ... It is also a huge market, importing everything from commodities and electronic components to aircraft and fine wines," he said.
New international rules need to be made in many areas, Lee said. "China will expect a say in this process, because it sees the present rules as having been created in the past without its participation. This is a reasonable expectation."
[China rise] [Singapore] [Lee Hsien Loong]
MOFA unveils new name for Taiwan’s AIT counterpart, lauds robust two-way ties
Publication Date: May 27, 2019 |
The MOFA views the new name of Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs as more representative of the healthy state of Taiwan-U.S. relations. (Staff photo/Chin Hung-hao)
Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs is the new name of the organization responsible for handling official exchanges with the American Institute in Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs May 25.
Formerly known as Coordination Council for North American Affairs, TCUSA will continue carrying out all CCNAA functions, the MOFA said. The renaming better reflects the organization’s functions and underscores the strength of Taiwan-U.S. ties in the 40th year of the Taiwan Relations Act, the ministry added.
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U.S. Pushes Korea to Complete THAAD Installation
By Yang Seung-sik
May 30, 2019 13:35
The U.S. urged Korea to finish the incomplete setup of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery and facilities here during defense talks in Washington in late April, a military spokesman here said Wednesday.
Completion of the U.S. Forces Korea project, which brought heavy economic retaliations from China for Korea, has been in limbo since 2017 amid protracted protests from locals and activists and a government reassessment.
"The U.S. several times in the course of the two-day talks demanded that Korea help finish the setup," the spokesman said. "But Korean delegates only said that it needs to follow democratic process, including an assessment of its environmental effects on the region."
The Park Geun-hye administration hastily pushed through the stationing of the THAAD battery in 2016, bypassing the regulatory process which requires an environmental impact assessment.
[THAAD] [Dilemma] [China confrontation] [China SK] [US dominance]
China Breaks Diplomatic Protocol with Belt and Road Propaganda
BY Roh Suk-jo
May 30, 2019 12:27
China's Foreign Ministry in a major gaffe Tuesday used the accreditation of several new ambassadors as an occasion for propaganda about its Belt and Road development initiative.
The ministry in a statement claimed all seven ambassadors, who included the new Korean envoy as well as the representative of faraway Colombia, expressed "their countries' hope to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and expand mutually beneficial cooperation."
Apart from being a flagrant breach of diplomatic protocol, the gaffe also stands to embarrass U.S. allies like Korea because the initiative is in conflict with U.S.' Indo-Pacific Strategy and it comes just as a trade war between Beijing and Washington is heating up.
Seoul was quick to deny that Jang Ha-sung said anything of the sort.
[China SK] [Dilemma] [Belt and Road]
Korea should brace for US-China currency war
Posted : 2019-05-29 17:03
Updated : 2019-05-29 17:41
By Lee Kyung-min
Korea should prepare for the possibility of the ongoing China-U.S. trade dispute developing into a full-fledged currency war, experts said Tuesday.
They believe Korea needs to come up with a contingency plan as it is one of the countries that stands to lose the most amid the power struggle between the world's two largest economies.
"The possibility is always there," said Sung Tae-yoon, an economist at Yonsei University.
"The ongoing trade dispute is on a continued path of escalation with truces in between, and the issue will continue affecting the economies of many other export-reliant countries."
The comments came after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said May 23 in a statement: "The Department of Commerce can countervail currency subsidies that harm U.S. industries. Foreign nations would no longer be able to use currency policies to the disadvantage of American workers and businesses."
Antonio Fatas, an economics professor at INSEAD
Beijing has been allowing the Chinese yuan to lose value against the U.S. dollar in a tit-for-tat move against Washington's series of tariff measures. The yuan is now hovering around 6.9 per dollar.
[China confrontation] [Currency] [Collateral]
China threatens to restrict rare earths exports to US
Posted : 2019-05-29 16:03
Updated : 2019-05-29 16:03
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcoming ceremony for Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 14. Fuming over Washington's latest tariff hike in an escalating trade battle, Beijing has an array of options for retaliating, from limiting exports of rare earths to disrupting operations of Apple and other American companies in China. Reuters
By Jung Min-ho
China has threatened to use its position as a leading exporter of rare earths ? raw materials that are crucial for electronics ? in the escalating trade war with the United States.
"If any country wants to use products made of China's rare earths exports to contain China's development, the Chinese people would not be happy with that," said a spokesperson from the National Development and Reform Commission, China's state planner.
[China confrontation] [Trade war] [Response] [Rare Earths]
Is it time to dump Google?
29 May, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in China, economics
Last week my gmail account was cancelled without notice. Why? No reason was given.
But it happened the day after the United States regime announced it had blacklisted Huawei from engaging with the United States – arbitrarily and on the basis of vague and groundless accusations. The regime has also been using ham-fisted tactics to try and stop others from working with Huawei, although this will only mean that the USA will have even fewer friends in the world.
Interestingly, a number of US companies – including Google – enthusiastically threw themselves into the fray, indicating that the US regime actively intervenes in, directs and is supported by the major tech companies in the United States. The irony is obvious: they are actively doing what the regime is accusing Huawei of doing. A Danish saying comes to mind: a thief always thinks everyone else is a thief.[Google] [Huawei] [China confrontation] [Response]
Huawei Turns to Korean Firms for Parts as U.S. Boycott Bites
By Lee Ki-moon
May 28, 2019 10:50
Huawei is turning to parts suppliers in Korea, Japan and Taiwan as a U.S. boycott bites and crisis envelops the Chinese tech giant.
Some market research agencies expect Huawei to suffer up to a 24-percent decline in smartphone sales this year.
According to Huawei Korea on Monday, executives from headquarters in Beijing came here last Thursday and Friday to meet executives at Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Samsung Display and LG Display to discuss long-term supply contracts for memory chips, OLED panels and camera modules.
Korean manufacturers sold US$10.7 billion worth of parts to Huawei last year.
"Now Google, Qualcomm and ARM have stopped doing business with Huawei, a halt in supplies from Korean manufacturers could deal an irrecoverable blow," an industry insider here said. "Huawei seems to be getting desperate and looking to strengthen ties with Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese suppliers."
The first sign of the U.S. boycott hitting home was that prices of second-hand Huawei smartphones plunged. At British used-phone vendor musicMagpie on Sunday, a second-hand Huawei P30 Pro cost 100 pounds just one month after hitting store shelves, one-ninth the price of a new one, while the price of a second-hand Samsung Galaxy S10 Pro dropped less than 50 percent. In Singapore, a used P30 Pro costs only 100 Singaporean dollars.
Samsung is already swooping on Huawei users in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia by offering discounts of up to 755 Singaporean dollars to Huawei users who turn in their phones and buy a Galaxy S10 instead.
Jittery Investors Park Money in Safe Havens
By Lee Joon-woo
May 28, 2019 12:05
Investors are increasingly turning to safe-haven assets as the intensifying trade war between the U.S. and China is rattling stock markets around the world.
Jittery investors are pulling their cash out of stock markets and parking it in gold, U.S. dollars and bonds.
Demand for gold bars is soaring because they are not easily swayed by market volatility and can be readily exchanged for cash. Sales of gold bars at Korea's four major banks -- KB Kookmin, Woori, KEB Hana and NH Nonghyup -- reached W10.74 billion in May (US$1=W1,186).
In January, they stood at W2.46 billion but had risen to W8.2 billion in April. Some banks have even stopped selling small gold bars of less than 100 g after supplies ran out.
The won has plummeted against the dollar, causing gold prices to soar. The price reached W49,270 per gram at the Korea Exchange last Friday, rising 10.4 percent in just six months. On May 16, it hit the highest in two years and 10 months at W49,700.
Investors are also snapping up dollars for fear that Korea's current account surplus will shrink as exports decline due to the U.S.-China trade war. The amount of dollar deposits in the four banks reached $12.9 billion as of May 22, up $64 million from a month ago.
Until last month, most financial experts forecast the won to fall no further than W1,180 against the greenback, but even that proved optimistic. On May 17 the won closed at W1,195.7, and last Friday it still stood at W1,188. Many analysts expect the dollar to strengthen even further.
Dollar-denominated bonds are also booming since the value of debt products tends to rise at times of economic turmoil as U.S. interest rates decline.
[Trade War] [Collateral]
Koreans Embrace Chinese Apps
By Lee Ki-moon
May 27, 2019 12:28
Over 10 million Koreans or one in five use Chinese smartphone apps.
According to market researcher Rankey.com on Friday, 10.19 million people in Korea were using one or more of the most popular 15 Chinese apps last month, up 21.7 percent on-year.
"Chinese companies have accumulated technological advances in their domestic market, proved that they are no longer copycats, and emerged as a powerhouse in the global market," said one IT industry insider.
TikTok, a video making and sharing app by China's Bytedance, now has over 1 billion users across the world, 3.2 million of them in Korea, making it the frontrunner here. TikTok produces a 15-second video clip and shares it, and its popularity among teens helped the number of subscribers jump fivefold in just a year.
Online shopping mall AliExpress' app was second with 2.12 million users here, more than double the number a year ago as more and more people embraced cheap electronics from China.
Clean Master, a smartphone optimizer and space cleaner, had 1.52 million users, and Tencent's mobile messenger WeChat and Baidu's photo editing app Photo Wonder 1.47 million and 1.29 million.
Mi Home, an app that allows users to control Xiaomi appliances with a smartphone, has 770,000 users in Korea, and Mi Fit, which keeps track of exercises and sleeping patterns through Xiaomi's smart watch and scale, has 600,000.
[China competition] [Smartphones] [Apps]
Xi Calls off June Visit to Seoul
May 27, 2019 10:08
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called off plans to visit Korea in June as a trade war with the U.S. intensifies. The government here had hoped that Xi would visit either before or after the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29.
A diplomatic source in Seoul said Friday, "China feels there is very little to gain from a visit to Seoul for the time being."
The tides changed abruptly after the Trump administration cut off all trade with Huawei and pressured allies to join its boycott of the Chinese electronics and telecom giant. "China wants to focus all its efforts on dealing with the U.S. for now," the source said.
Beijing also took stalled denuclearization talks with North Korea into account, and since Xi will not be visiting the North he would consider it a breach of protocol to visit the South, according to Shin Jung-seung, South Korea's former ambassador to China.
But the move could also be seen as a warning to South Korea against siding with the U.S. in the trade war and other points of contention.
Seoul has refrained from commenting on China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea and merely urged all sides to seek a "peaceful solution." It has also told the U.S. that it cannot interfere in private businesses' dealings with Huawei.
The cancelation throws a spanner in the works of President Moon Jae-in's hopes to kick-start the stalled nuclear talks through summits with the U.S. and China.
[Xi Visit] [China SK] [Trade war] [Huawei] [Dilemma] [Warning]
Samsung goes after Huawei smartphone users
Posted : 2019-05-27 17:28
Updated : 2019-05-27 17:28
Samsung Singapore is carrying out a trade-in program, putting an additional value of 200 Singapore dollars on Huawei smartphones swapped for its Galaxy S10s. / Captured from Samsung Singapore website
By Jun Ji-hye
Samsung Electronics is moving to take smartphone users away from Huawei as the Chinese tech giant struggles amid U.S. restrictions aimed at it.
Samsung Singapore has been hosting a special event this month, offering potentially massive discounts of up to 755 Singapore dollars ($550) to customers who trade in their Huawei smartphones for Galaxy S10s.
In its program, Samsung offers an additional trade-in value of 200 Singapore dollars on Huawei smartphones. The firm's program covers the Huawei P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and Nova 3i models.
Intentional or not, the special offer coincides with President Donald Trump's administration implementing sanctions on Huawei amid the escalating U.S.-China trade war, which has raised uncertainty among Huawei users.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Samsung]
Self-harm by the United States, or, why Chinese news services are the most reliable
25 May, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in Australia, China, economics
The following article is copied from Xinhua News, which I have for some time now found the most reliable, well-resourced and balanced of the many news services I have read over the years. The article is good example. Why? To begin with, it is based on careful research, with contributions from a number of journalists. Further, they see no need to rush in with some ‘scoop’, which usually turns out to be unverified rumour and gossip.
But I also like it since it shows how the Unites States is accelerating the process of its own decline through what can be called self-harm. And this process is based on stunning ignorance and misunderstanding of the rest of the world. Once you do this, you make one mistake after after another – note especially the section called ‘Groundless Accusation’.
(As an aside, this groundless accusation against Huawei was originally made in Australia, but there is a clear reason: Australian telephony has always been woeful and overpriced, so much so that people have become used to this situation. So you cannot have telephony and internet services that actually work, are efficient and relatively low-cost. That would be too much of a shock to the system. How will Australia roll out 5G? It will simply rename 3G as ‘5G’ and charge the earth for it.)
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Embargo] [Consequences] [Australia]
Samsung still no. 1 in global TV industry, but Chinese competitors quickly gaining traction
Posted on : May.23,2019 15:39 KST Modified on : May.23,2019 15:39 KST
Samsung Electronics came out on top in the global TV market for the first quarter of 2019, but Chinese competitors like TCL are quickly closing the gap. For the first time, TCL beat Samsung for the top share of the North America market, one of Samsung’s major targets. According to HIS Markit, Samsung Electronics had a share of 18.8% of the global TV market for the first quarter of 2019, down from 21.5% in 2017 and 19.2% in 2018. Samsung’s share of the global TV market has remained under 20% for seven consecutive quarters now. TCL, with its competitive prices, achieved a global market share of 10.8%, the first time the company achieved a share above 10%, closely following the heels of LG (12.8%). (provided by Samsung Electronics)
[China competition] [Samsung] [TV]
S. Korean companies see mixed fortunes after US sanctions against Huawei
Posted on : May.22,2019 17:02 KST Modified on : May.22,2019 17:02 KST
Samsung Electronics currently battling with Chinese firm for dominance in smartphone industry
South Korean companies are enjoying mixed fortunes in the wake of the US government’s sanctions against the Chinese company Huawei.
The ripple effects were visible in the South Korean stock market, where Samsung Electronics – which is currently battling with Huawei for dominance in the global smartphone market – experienced a boost to its share prices on May 21, while LG U+, which relies on Huawei for supplies of communication equipment, saw its share prices fall.
According to accounts on May 21 from capital market and IT industry sources, many are predicting “reflexive gains” for Samsung Electronics, which is currently working to spur sales of its 5G smartphone.
“Huawei has had a major impact on Samsung Electronics’ declining smartphone market share in Western Europe and emerging markets,” said Hyundai Motor Securities analyst No Geun-chang.
“The Huawei issue is going to be an excellent opportunity factor for Samsung Electronics and its affiliates in terms of growing market share,” he predicted.
Huawei smartphone volumes
Analysts anticipate the negative impact of suspended transactions with US companies such as Google on Huawei smartphones represents an opportunity for Samsung Electronics.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Embargo] [Tribute]
Air China asks Boeing compensation for MAX 8 delays
Posted : 2019-05-22 14:55
Updated : 2019-05-22 14:55
In this Aug. 29, 2007, file photo, Air China passenger airliners park at the Beijing International Airport in Beijing. Air China, one of China's three major state-owned airlines, is joining carriers that are asking Boeing for compensation for the grounding of their 737 Max jetliners following two fatal crashes. AP
Air China Ltd., one of China's three major state-owned airlines, is joining carriers that are asking Boeing Co. for compensation for the grounding of their 737 Max jetliners following two fatal crashes.
An employee of Air China's publicity department said Wednesday the carrier also has asked Boeing for compensation for disruption due to delays in delivery of new aircraft.
The employee declined to give his name or details of the claim.
Air China becomes the second Chinese carrier to ask Boeing for compensation following state-owned China Eastern Airlines Ltd. last month.
China was among the first governments to order carriers to suspend use of the 737 Max in March following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed a total of 346 people. (AP)
Singer-actor Rain in China: Is China loosening restrictions on hallyu?
Posted : 2019-05-17 17:31
Updated : 2019-05-17 17:53
Singer-actor Rain, in a pink suit, sings during the Asian Culture Carnival ? a celebration event for the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations ? at the Beijing National Stadium on May 15. Yonhap
By Dong Sun-hwa
Is China loosening its restrictions on hallyu, or the Korean wave?
The expectation has grown after Korean singer-actor Rain was invited Wednesday to perform at a national event attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and 47 representatives from around Asia.
It was reportedly the first time a Korean singer has performed in China since the dispute with Korea over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system erupted in 2016.
But an expert said the invitation did not seem to be a "big deal."
"It is yet to say Korean-China relations have fully recovered," Hwang Jae-ho, director of the Global Security Cooperation Center at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, told The Korea Times. "If the THADD problem remains unsolved, the alleviation of the restrictions is still hard to expect." [THAAD] [China SK] [Hallyu]
New road linking Hong Kong with China to open this month
Posted : 2019-05-17 13:41
Updated : 2019-05-17 17:31
The new Heung Yuen Wai Highway will connect to the Fanling Highway. Photo from South China Morning Post
By Ng Kang-chung
A major road linking Hong Kong's new border crossing to Shenzhen will open to traffic this month, with the HK$33.7 billion Liantang-Heung Yuen Wai control point also expected to open by the end of the year.
The Heung Yuen Wai Highway, which connects the new border control point with the Fanling Highway, is expected to open from 8am on May 26, a Development Bureau spokesman said on Thursday.
At about 11km long the road also has two tunnels, including the 4.8km Lung Shan Tunnel, which is the longest road tunnel on land in Hong Kong.
The road is one of the core works of the Liantang-Heung Yuen Wai control point project, a key infrastructure project included in the Hong Kong and Macau chapter of China's 12th five-year plan.
The border crossing aims to strengthen Hong Kong's connectivity within the Greater Bay Area, a development blueprint aimed to link Hong Kong, Macau, and nine mainland cities in Guangdong province to form a innovation and technology hub
[Greater Bay Area]
China in 70 years: China’s planted forests ranks first in the world
By He Zhuoyan (People's Daily Online) 16:39, May 17, 2019
China's afforestation and greening projects have achieved remarkable results. The forest coverage rate has increased from 8.6 percent in the early days of the founding of the People's Republic of China to 21.66 percent. The forest area has reached 208 million hectares, while planted forest reserves have reached 69.33 million hectares, ranking first in the world.
Escalating US-China trade war harms Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese smartphone parts suppliers
Posted on : May.16,2019 15:25 KST Modified on : May.16,2019 15:25 KST
US to impose 25% tariffs on nearly all Chinese products
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China
The announcement by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on May 13 that it’s moving to impose up to 25% in tariffs on nearly all Chinese products, including smartphones and laptop computers, is a big blow for IT companies in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, which export a large percentage of their electronic parts to China. The growing uncertainty in the export market caused by the trade war between the US and China is likely to make matters even worse for Samsung Electronics, which already saw its profits plunge in the first quarter of the year.
[Trade war] [Collateral] [Tribute]
Rain becomes first S. Korean singer to perform at Chinese government event since THAAD
Posted on : May.16,2019 15:20 KST Modified on : May.16,2019 15:20 KST
The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations kicked off in Beijing on May 15. South Korean singer Rain performed during as part of the conference’s opening ceremony at the National Stadium, marking the first time a South Korean artist has performed at a Chinese government event since the deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system in Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province, in 2016. Rain was the only Korean singer invited to perform at the event.
[THAAD] [China SK] [Culture]
Trump issues order apparently aimed at China's Huawei
Posted : 2019-05-16 09:32
Updated : 2019-05-16 09:32
In this March 7 file photo, a logo of Huawei is displayed at a shop in Shenzhen, China's Guangdong province. U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order on May 15, apparently aimed at banning equipment from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from U.S. networks. AP
U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning equipment from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from U.S. networks.
It declares a national economic emergency that empowers the government to ban the technology and services of ''foreign adversaries'' deemed to pose unacceptable risks to national security _ including from cyberespionage and sabotage. While it doesn't name specific countries or companies, it follows months of U.S. pressure on Huawei. It gives the Department of Commerce 150 days to come up with regulations.
[Huawei] [China confrontation] [China competition]
Korea Overtaken by China in Global Shipbuilding Orders
By Choi Hyun-mook
May 15, 2019 09:51
Korea has slipped behind China in global shipbuilding orders.
U.K.-based Clarkson Research Services said Tuesday that Korea accounted for 23 percent or 280,000 compensated gross tons of global shipbuilding orders last month, sliding into second place behind China with 66 percent or 770,000 CGT.
Despite a drop in the overall number of new orders, Chinese shipyards were buoyed by an increase in domestic orders. Of the 28 orders they bagged, 16 were for bulk carriers from China's state-run companies.
China also led in terms of cumulative orders for the first four months of this year, with 344,000 CGT (45 percent), followed by Korea with 202,000 CGT (26 percent), Italy with 111,000 CGT (14 percent) and Japan with 71,000 CGT (9 percent).
Korea took the lead for the first time in seven years last year, only to be beaten by China again.
[China competition] [Shipbuilding] [Domestic demand]
Huawei stamps 'no-spy agreements' amid US pressure on allies over 5G fears
Posted : 2019-05-15 11:47
Updated : 2019-05-15 13:38
Huawei advertising is displayed on a street in Shanghai on May 10, 2019. AFP-Yonhap
By Owen Churchill, Nectar Gan
Huawei Technologies is prepared to include provisions in its government contracts not to facilitate "back door" espionage by Beijing, the chairman of the Chinese telecommunications giant said on Tuesday.
"We are willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments, including the UK government, to commit ourselves to making our equipment meet the no-spy, no-back-doors standard," Liang Hua said at a company-sponsored business conference in London.
The concession from the smartphone maker comes as the US seeks commitments from its allies to not use Huawei as they build their next-generation 5G telecommunications infrastructure.
[Huawei] [5G] [Cybersecurity] [China confrontation]
Tsai breaks ground on indigenous submarine facility in Kaohsiung
Publication Date: May 10, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen greets well-wishers before breaking ground on an indigenous submarine production facility May 9 in Kaohsiung City, southern Taiwan. (Courtesy of Presidential Office)
President Tsai Ing-wen broke ground May 9 on an indigenous submarine production facility in Kaohsiung City, southern Taiwan.
The government is beefing up national defense capabilities to safeguard cross-strait and regional peace and stability, Tsai said. Development of homegrown weapons systems is a core component of this undertaking, she added.
According to Tsai, promoting Taiwan’s defense industry also pays dividends in terms of heightened activity in related sectors. No stone will be left unturned in protecting the nation and its 23 million people, as well as creating new opportunities for local R&D talents, she said.
Given Taiwan is an island country, Tsai said, the government is working tirelessly to bolster and integrate the military’s asymmetric combat capabilities.
Submarines greatly increase Taiwan’s capacity in this regard, Tsai said, adding that deployment of the vessels off the northeastern and southwestern coastlines will deter hostile forces from attempting to blockade or attack the country.
At present, the ROC (Taiwan) navy operates four diesel-electric submarines. The Haihu and Hailung were purchased from the Netherlands and commissioned in the late 1980s, while the Haipao and Haishih are former U.S. Navy boats acquired in the early 1970s
[Taiwan] [Submarine] [Self reliance] [Arms embargo]
Tsai meets with SKN Foreign Minister Brantley, pledges to strengthen bilateral ties
Publication Date: May 08, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) and Mark A. G. Brantley, minister of foreign affairs and aviation for St. Kitts and Nevis and premier of Nevis, share a lighter moment at the Presidential Office May 6 in Taipei City (MOFA)
President Tsai Ing-wen said May 6 that the government is working to deepen friendship and expand exchanges across the board between Taiwan and Caribbean ally St. Kitts and Nevis.
Agriculture, education, information communications technology, medical services and tourism are just some of the many potential-laden areas in which the like-minded countries can advance existing cooperation, Tsai said. This will create more mutually beneficial opportunities for the younger generations while strengthening bonds among the people, she added.
[Taiwan] [Diplomatic relations]
Pentagon Report on China’s Military Expansion: ‘Hypocrisy,’ Says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson
(Text & Video)
May 8, 2019
A Dispatch from the Real News Network (TRNN)
Two U.S. Navy warships sailed near disputed islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Monday. The Navy called this a “freedom of navigation” operation, used to reinforce that the area in question is still governed by international law.
This comes at a time of tense relations between China and the United States: On Monday, the Trump administration announced they would impose additional trade tariffs on Chinese goods, and late last week, the Pentagon released a report that said China is using espionage to try to become a leading global military power.
Col. Larry Wilkerson spoke with The Real News Network’s Sharmini Peries and described the current focus on China as another strategy for maintaining the military-industrial complex left over from the Cold War. “We found terrorism, and terrorism we milked, and milked, and milked, and we’re still milking it to a certain extent, but terrorism doesn’t last. And besides that, terrorism is a tool. It’s not an animate enemy. China is an animate enemy. And so everything China does, is gonna be perceived by the Pentagon as threatening.”
“This is all about money,” said WIlkerson, referring to the recently released Pentagon report describing China’s use of industrial espionage, and renewed shows of force in the South China Sea. “This is a budget ploy just like the missile gap, just like the Soviets are 10 feet tall, just like the Soviets are well ahead of us in this or that category of armaments.”[China confrontation] [Military idustrial complex]
Exclusive: Analysts - Images show construction on China's third - and largest - aircraft carrier
Greg Torode, Ben Blanchard
HONG KONG/BEIJING(Reuters) - Construction of China’s first full-sized aircraft carrier is well under way, according to satellite images obtained and analyzed by a U.S. think tank.
A satellite image shows what appears to be the construction of a third Chinese aircraft carrier at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China April 17, 2019. CSIS/ChinaPower/Maxar Technologies 2019/Handout via REUTERS
The images from April, provided to Reuters by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, reveal considerable recent activity during the last six months on a large vessel at the Jiangnan shipyard outside Shanghai.
China has not formally confirmed it is building a third carrier, despite recent hints in state media, and the timing and extent of its carrier program remain state secrets.
The Pentagon said last week that work had begun, but no images have emerged until now.
Both Asian and Western militaries, and regional security analysts, are seeking information on the carrier, which is expected to be China’s first large, modern platform capable of leading a full range of strike group operations.
The effort to build a large, locally designed carrier is seen as a core part of China's extensive military modernization drive. A series of recent Reuters Special Reports showed how that effort is challenging decades of U.S. strategic superiority in East Asia. (Click this link to read the series: here)
The CSIS images show a bow section that appears to end with a flat 30-metre (98-foot) front and a separate hull section 41 meters wide, with gantry cranes looming overhead.
That suggests a vessel, which China has dubbed Type 002, somewhat smaller than 100,000-tonne U.S. carriers but larger than France’s 42,500-tonne Charles de Gaulle, analysts say.
[China confrontation] [Military balance] [Carrier]
In abrupt turn, Trump vows higher U.S. tariffs on China goods
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday dramatically increased pressure on China to reach a long-sought trade deal by announcing he will markedly increase U.S. tariffs on certain Chinese goods.
Trump had previously delayed the tariff increases earlier in the year, citing productive talks with China.
Sunday’s announcement casts into doubt previous expectations that China and the United States were closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.
Trump said on Twitter that tariffs will increase to 25% on Friday and that more Chinese goods will face additional tariffs.
“The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!” Trump tweeted.
[China competition] [Trade war] [Tariffs] [Trump negotiating]
Pentagon warns on risk of Chinese submarines in Arctic
Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali
Deepening Chinese activities in the Arctic region could pave the way for a strengthened military presence, including the deployment of submarines to act as deterrents against nuclear attack, the Pentagon said in a report released on Thursday.
The assessment is included in the U.S. military’s annual report to Congress on China’s armed forces and follows Beijing’s publication of its first official Arctic policy white paper in June.
In that paper, China outlined plans to develop shipping lanes opened up by global warming to form a “Polar Silk Road” - building on President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.
China, despite being a non-Arctic state, is increasingly active in the polar region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013. That has prompted concerns from Arctic states over Beijing’s long-term strategic objectives, including possible military deployments.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend the meeting of the eight-nation Arctic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland, starting on Monday, which comes amid concerns over China’s increased commercial interests in the Arctic.
The Pentagon report noted that Denmark has expressed concern about China’s interest in Greenland, which has included proposals to establish a research station and a satellite ground station, renovate airports and expand mining.
“Civilian research could support a strengthened Chinese military presence in the Arctic Ocean, which could include deploying submarines to the region as a deterrent against nuclear attacks,” the report said
[China confrontation] [Denmark] [Submarines] [Artic] [Belt and Road] [Polar route]
U.S. to Deploy State-of-the-Art Warships in Japan
By Yang Seung-sik
April 30, 2019 12:58
The U.S. Navy will deploy the amphibious assault ship USS America and stealth landing platform USS New Orleans in japan.
The U.S. 7th Fleet said Monday that the vessels will be deployed at Sasebo naval base in order to replace an Aegis destroyer and landing vessel.
The USS New Orleans (top) and USS America
The 45,000-ton USS America was built in 2014 and is 257 m long. It can carry up to 20 F-35B stealth fighter jets. The 25,000-ton USS New Orleans took part in a major joint military drill with South Korea in 2016.
"The security environment in the Indo-Pacific requires that the U.S. Navy station the most capable ships forward," the Navy said in its statement. "This posture allows the most rapid response times possible for maritime and joint forces and brings our most capable ships with the greatest amount of striking power and operational capability to bear in the timeliest manner."
A military source here said the warships are probably being deployed to deal quickly with threats from North Korea while sending a strong signal against any rash maritime maneuvers by China.
[Escalation] [China confrontation]
Trade war and sagging prices push U.S. family farmers to leave the field
Shuffling across his frozen fields, farmer Jim Taphorn hunched his shoulders against the wind and squinted at the auctioneer standing next to his tractors.After a fifth harvest with low grain prices, made worse last fall by the U.S.-China trade war, the 68-year-old and his family were calling it quits. Farming also was taking a physical toll on him, he said; he’d suffered a heart attack 15 months before.
It took less than four hours to sell off all the tractors, combines and other farm equipment at the Taphorn retirement sale, ending a family tradition that had survived nearly a century.
“We went through the bad times in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” said Jim, 68, broad-shouldered and stocky. “In some ways, this is worse.”
Across the Midwest, growing numbers of grain farmers are choosing to shed their machinery and find renters for their land, all to stem the financial strain on their families, a dozen leading farm-equipment auction houses told Reuters. As these older grain farmers are retiring, fewer younger people are lining up to replace them.
The trend has created boom times for the auction houses, which report that their retirement business has grown 30 percent or more over the past six months, compared to the same period a year earlier.
But it is expected to put a strain on the agricultural supply chain: It means fewer customers for seed and chemical companies, fewer machine buyers, and fewer suppliers for grain merchants.
The revival of the family farming tradition proved short-lived.
[Agriculture] [Trade war] [Consequences] [China confrontation]
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President Tsai vows to strengthen Taiwan-US ties
Publication Date: April 26, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) exchanges views on Taiwan-U.S. relations with members of the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program delegation at the Presidential Office April 25 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of PO)
President Tsai Ing-wen said April 25 that the government will continue strengthening ties with the U.S. as the two sides mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.
Taiwan-U.S. exchanges are expanding in frequency and scope, Tsai said. The third arms sale package announced earlier this month under the administration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump underscores the deep friendship and high level of mutual trust present in the relationship, she added.
Tsai made the remarks while receiving a delegation from the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program run by Washington-based think tank Center for a New American Security at the Presidential Office in Taipei City
According to Tsai, Taiwan and the U.S. are assisting like-minded partners in tackling issues of mutual concern via the Global Cooperation and Training Framework.
[Taiwan] [Alliance] [Subservience] [China confrontation] [Think tanks]
US Coast Guard vessel sailed all the way to East China Sea in March
Posted on : Apr.22,2019 17:33 KST Modified on : Apr.22,2019 17:33 KST
USCG’s operational expansion illustrates US response to China’s growing influence
A US Coast Guard vessel partakes in a joint operation with the US Navy. (USCG website)
How far does the operational scope of the US Coast Guard (USCG) extend?
It has been revealed that USCG vessels have been travelling across the Pacific Ocean to as far as the East China Sea for purposes of “naval support.” In an Apr. 20 report, the Washington Post cited USCG officials as saying the USCG cutter Bertholf had sailed to the East China Sea in March while Chinese vessels “shadowed it on the high seas.”
“It was a reminder to the Americans of where they were: in a strategic area a couple hundred miles from China’s shores,” the report continued.
The USCG makes up one of the five arms of the US federal armed forces alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, although it is affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Department of Defense. But the Bertholf is under the command of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, which has jurisdiction in the Asia-Pacific region. Last month, it passed through the Taiwan Strait with a Navy destroyer; on Apr. 15, it docked at Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China.
The expansion in the operational range of the USCG – which ordinarily operates along the coast of the mainland US – illustrates the “evolving US response” to China’s expansion, the Washington Post said.
[China confrontation] [Coast Guard] [Hubris]
N.Korea Steps up Surveillance on Chinese Border
By Kim Myong-song, Yoon Hyung-jun
April 23, 2019 13:32
North Korea has installed barbed-wire fences and state-of-the-art surveillance cameras along the border with China even as locals still labor with ox cars and draw water from wells by hand.
The measures are aimed at stemming defections across the Apnok (or Yalu) River by North Koreans desperate to escape hunger and squalor at home. They also include ostentatious firing targets in the shape of people tied to posts.
Shooting targets are set up in a field near North Korea's border with China.
The misery of North Koreans in the border region is depicted in a photo exhibition by Kang Dong-wan of Donga University, who is also in charge of the Busan branch of Hanawon, which helps North Korean defectors settle in South Korea.
Huawei’s threat to democratisation in Africa
15 April 2019
Author: Emeka Umejei, American University of Nigeria
The US-led global campaign against Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei has gained traction in some countries in the Global North. US allies such as New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom have all raised concerns about the pliability of Huawei’s 5G network for espionage and surveillance. But little unease is apparent in Africa, with potentially serious consequences for the continent’s political development.
Small toy figures are seen in front of a displayed Huawei and 5G network logo 30 March 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic).
Concerns hinge on China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law that mandates private companies with ‘headquarters in China to cooperate with intelligence services’. In addition, the arrest of Huawei executive Wang Weijing for espionage activities in Poland has added fuel to the fire within the European Union.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Cybersecurity] [Africa] [Functionary]
Standing on the shoulders of science above the South China Sea fray
19 April 2019
Authors: James Borton, University of South Carolina and Jackson Ewing, Duke University
The waters of the South China Sea face environmental peril that is ‘inseparable from the territorial disputes that plague it’. As claimants solidify their positions through artificial island construction, with China driving the most ambitious builds, habitats with wide-ranging ecological and economic value are being destroyed.
Lan Tay gas platform, operated by Rosneft Vietnam, in the South China Sea off the coast of Vung Tau, Vietnam, 29 April 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov).
Calls for regional science-based cooperation to overcome these environmental threats were recently taken to task in an article in the Eurasia Review. The positions outlined misunderstand the case for scientific cooperation in several ways.
According to the author, this call for action was a polemic screed that romantically ignores the nationalist realities that define policymaking in the South China Sea. The author contends that while environmental cooperation is potentially laudable, it may be a pipedream and is a distraction from the realpolitik game being played in the South China Sea.
The author goes on to point out (correctly) that the causes of environmental destruction in the maritime zone are due to actions by many other claimants and actors in addition to the Chinese, challenge the wider importance of the affected habitats, and pillory previous environmental cooperation efforts to the point of saying, ‘why bother?’
[China confrontation] [South China Sea] [Environment]
Huawei Chooses Seoul as Asian 5G Hub
By Oh Rora
April 22, 2019 13:23
China's Huawei will open a 5G service development center in Seoul next month.
The center will provide equipment and technological support for Korean businesses to test 5G communications systems and serve as a test bed for other Asian businesses seeking to commercialize the high-speed service.
A Huawei Korea staffer said Sunday, "The mobile communication landscape is changing rapidly after Korea became the first country to introduce 5G early this month."
But the staffer declined to elaborate on the amount of investment that will go into the center, its size and location in the capital.
Early this year, Huawei announced plans to set up 5G service development centers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and seek tie-ups with regional companies.
Huawei has already signed deals to supply 5G equipment to around 40 global telecoms.
Chinese firms unwelcome on Seoul bourse
Posted : 2019-04-21 16:48
Updated : 2019-04-21 16:48
The Korea Exchange office on Yeouido / Yonhap
By Jhoo Dong-chan
Concerns are mounting among investors as more listed Chinese firms in Korea are failing to get the green light from auditors. If auditors call a company's annual report "unqualified" in their opinions, the Korea Exchange (KRX) could delist these firms from the bourse.
According to the KRX, China Great announced Thursday a Korean auditor gave an audit opinion calling the firm's 2018 corporate financial statement "unqualified."
The KRX immediately suspended the Chinese sport fashion wear firm's stock trading the following day in a bid to protect investors.
A “Holy War” Against China: Beijing and the Turkic Uyghur Threat
F. William Engdahl
Newsletter 40: Beijing and the Turkic Uyghur Threat
In this issue of my periodic newsletter I want to go into the deep background to a little-known role of US intelligence, the CIA to be more precise, in infiltrating China’s Uyghur Muslim population over a period of decades. Recent Western mainstream media and US Congress members have made allegations that Beijing has created internment camps in China’s western Xinjiang Province where an estimated 11 million Muslim Uyghurs live. While Beijing vehemently denies interring one million Uyghurs, the charges are serving to increasingly demonize China as an “enemy regime,” along with Russia, in Western media. The recent chorus of attacks on Beijing over treatment of its Muslim minority in Xinjiang conveniently ignores the relevant background to why Beijing is very alarmed about its Muslim Uyghurs. One major reason is that there are an estimated 5-18,000 Uyghurs fighting as Islamic Jihadists in Syria, and reportedly being groomed to return to China to wage Jihad against the government in the region which is the heart of China’s oil and gas pipeline networks and a hub for the New Silk Road. The role of Turkey and the Erdogan government in supporting what he calls “East Turkestan peoples” is at best unclear, at worst, malicious. At this juncture, what is clear is that China’s Uyghur problem has its roots in the decades of Saudi Wahhabite oil money financing CIA projects across Asia on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and their terrorist spinoff groups including Al Qaeda, Al Nusra Front in Syria and ISIS.
The following is taken from my recent best-selling book, “The Lost Hegemon: Whom the Gods Would Destroy…” The book is available as are my other titles on Amazon and in Kindle format as well.
[Xinjiang] [Uygur] [CIA]
Balikatan 2019 and Philippine Policy on the South China Sea
By Christian Vicedo
Christian Vicedo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a security analyst based in Manila. His writings have appeared in PacNet, East Asia Forum, and The Diplomat.
The United States and the Philippines conducted the 35th iteration of the Balikatan (Shoulder-to-Shoulder) military exercises at multiple locations in the Philippines on April 1-12, 2019. Conducted under the auspices of the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 (MDT), Balikatan seeks to strengthen the US-Philippine alliance by promoting interoperability and exchanges in expertise across a spectrum of operations including mutual defense, maritime security, counter-terrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief (HADR). This year, 3,500 American, 4, 000 Filipino, and 50 Australian personnel participated in 28 interoperability events, including an amphibious landing exercise (AMPHIBEX), a combined arms live-fire exercise (CALFEX), counterterrorism operations, aviation operations, and urban operations. However, operational exercises are only a part of the overall solution to improving the relationship. The allies also need to expand defense cooperation to develop a sustainable partnership in protecting mutual interests in the South China Sea (SCS).
[China confrontation] [Philippines] [Joint US military]
Block China Mobile from U.S., FCC Chairman Says
April 18, 2019 08:03
The chairman of the top U.S. telecoms regulator on Wednesday announced his opposition to allowing China Mobile to operate in the United States, citing risks to American national security.
The statement from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai could mark the beginning of the end for the Chinese telecoms giant's eight year effort to crack the U.S. market.
China Mobile -- the world's largest mobile operator with nearly 930 million customers as of February -- first filed an application for permission to operate in the United States in 2011.
Customers are seen at a China Mobile flagship store displaying smart home experience with 5G network in Shanghai, China on March 10, 2019. /Reuters
Composed of Democrats and Republicans, the five-member FCC next month is due to vote on an order that, if approved, would deny China Mobile's request to operate. Safeguarding our communications networks is critical to our national security," Pai said in a statement.
Evidence, including that submitted by other federal agencies, Pai added, made it "clear that China Mobile's application to provide telecommunications services in our country raises substantial and serious national security and law enforcement risks."
Chinese tech firms -- such as Huawei and ZTE -- have faced stiff resistance from U.S. government agencies, which have described them as security threats.
Washington has barred the Chinese networking equipment company Huawei from developing the new ultra-fast 5G mobile network in the United States and has blocked U.S. government purchases of its services. American officials have sought to persuade allied countries to do likewise.
[China confrontation] [Imperial dilemma]
China’s assertive maritime policy is older than Xi
9 April 2019
Author: Andrew Chubb, Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program
The toughening of China’s policies in the South and East China Seas is widely regarded as a defining characteristic of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. But while it is true that the PRC has become more assertive in its maritime disputes under Xi, China had already been on such a trajectory since 2006. Many changes in China’s maritime dispute behaviour under Xi may be better understood as continuities.
[China confrontation] [South China Sea] [Xi Jinping]
Xi Jinping at work: Two photographs, 30 years apart
13 April, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
This photograph was taken in 1989 when Xi Jinping was working as local CPC party head in Ningde, Fujian Province.
And this one is from 8 April, 2019, 30 years later. Here, Xi Jinping is heading out to celebrate China’s tree-planting day.
As an aside, it is worth noting that China leads the world in re-afforestation. It has been a decades-long national project greening cities and the countryside, so much so that desertification is retreatng in many of the more arid regions.
[Xi Jinping] [Reforestation]
President Tsai delivers special address at CSIS TRA40 conference
Publication Date: April 10, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (left) and Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu are all smiles during the TRA40 conference staged April 9 by CSIS, Brookings Institution and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. (MOFA)
President Tsai Ing-wen addressed a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA40) staged April 9 by U.S.-based think tanks Center for Strategic and International Studies, Brookings Institution and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Moderated by Richard L. Armitage, CSIS trustee and former U.S. deputy secretary of state, the special TRA40 event in Washington involved academics, experts and officials like Bonnie Glaser, CSIS senior adviser for Asia; Michael Green, CSIS senior vice president for Asia and Japan chair; and American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James F. Moriarty.
Tsai, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu and National Security Council Secretary-General David Tawei Lee during her speech delivered from the Presidential Office in Taipei City, said the government is committed to safeguarding Taiwan’s democratic way of life. It is also determined to continue working closely with the U.S. and other like-minded partners in building a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific, she added.
[China confrontation] [Taiwan] [Taiwan Relations Act] [Tsai Ing-wen]
West Finds New Anti-China Puppet in Wake of Thai Elections
By Tony Cartalucci
Global Research, April 08, 2019
Western political meddling abroad faced another serious setback – this time in the Southeast Asian country of Thailand.
With a population of 70 million people, the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia, and transforming into a key regional partner for Beijing and its One Belt, One Road initiative, the US and its partners sought to propel opposition parties into power during recent elections held in March.
However, the military-linked Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) won the popular vote, delivering US-backed opposition parties their first serious defeat at the polls since rising to power in 2001.
The US-backed Thai opposition is led by fugitive billionaire, ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He was ousted from power in 2006 after a series of corruption scandals, human rights abuses, and attempts to illegally consolidate power.
Shinawatra has since attempted to return to power through a series of nepotist proxies including his sister Yingluck Shinawatra who served as prime minister from 2011-2014 until likewise being ousted by judicial and military intervention.
In addition to Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai political party, he also maintains a violent street front known as the “red shirts,” and is bolstered by US-funded nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), “student activist” groups, and extensive support throughout the Western corporate media.
In the most recent election, Shinawatra divided his political forces into multiple parties in a hedging strategy meant to preserve at least one party against disbanding for serving illegally as the fugitive’s proxies.
In addition to Pheu Thai, Shinawatra also fielded Thai Raksa Chart, Pheu Tham, Pheu Chart, and Future Forward.
[Thailand] [China confrontation]
Korea Slips to 2nd Place in Global Shipbuilding Orders
By Choi Hyun-mook
April 10, 2019 11:11
China has moved past Korea to take the lead in the global shipbuilding market. U.K.-based Clarkson Research Services said Monday that Korea accounted for 28 percent or 1.62 million compensated gross tons of global shipbuilding orders in the first quarter of this year.
China took the top spot with 45 percent or 2.58 million CGT. Italy was third with 14 percent and Japan fourth with 8 percent.
Chinese shipyards benefited from Chinese companies' tendency to favor domestic builders, with 10 new such orders for container vessels of 15,000 TEU. One TEU is equivalent to one 6-m container.
Korean shipbuilders were also hit by a decline in orders for LNG tankers, which fell to 13 from 19 in the same period of last year.
[China competition] [Shipbuilding]
China to Tighten Curbs on N.Korean Defectors with 5G Tech
By Lee Kil-seong
April 10, 2019 13:20
China will set up its first 5G mobile technology-assisted checkpoint to tighten curbs on North Korean defectors and smugglers in the border region.
The move comes amid fears of a large influx of North Koreans fleeing their repressive country due to a worsening food shortage there.
According to China's State Immigration Administration on Tuesday, border guards in Tonghua, Jilin Province have signed a deal with the country's largest mobile operator China Mobile to set up the checkpoint at Yunfeng Reservoir in Jian, where it is normally difficult to watch and control a maze of road networks in the vast mountainous region.
It said the network, which is some 20 times faster than 4G technology, will make it possible to collect a vast amount of data including images from ground patrol vehicles, surveillance cameras, drones and satellites, and to operate state-of-the-art devices like virtual-reality glasses to monitor every nook and cranny of the area in real time with super hi-res monitors.
Jian, which sits midstream of the Yalu River from North Korea's Manpo, is a major smuggling route for people, goods and black money.
A bus carrying Chinese tourists crosses a new bridge linking the Chinese city of Jian, Jilin Province with North Korea's Manpo on Monday. /Yonhap
Meanwhile, a new bridge linking Jian with Manpo opened on Monday. The bridge was completed in 2016 but the opening was delayed amid international sanctions against the North. It has now opened to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Chinese travel agencies started selling one-day trips to Manpo the same day, though it remains to be seen how much official business will be allowed to flow across the bridge.
[China NK] [5G] [Tourism]
N.Korea 'Tried to Sell Sub Technology to Taiwan'
By Yu Yong-weon
April 10, 2019 13:23
North Korea submitted a bid for a Taiwanese military submarine program last year, the island country's UPmedia reported Tuesday.
Sources told UPmedia that 16 countries including the U.S. and EU took an interest in the project, and to the Taiwanese military's surprise North Korea was among them.
Taipei launched the sub program with a budget of US$1.6 billion in 2016. UPmedia said a Taiwanese trading company submitted a letter of intent on behalf of the North, which is in dire need of hard currency amid international sanctions.
It offered to transfer design technology for air-independent propulsion (AIP) as well as for the North's homegrown 130-ton Salmon-class sub and 330-ton Shark-class sub.
A Salmon-class sub sank the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010.
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un (left) waves at sailors on a ballistic missile submarine on June 4, 2015, in this grab from [North] Korean Central Television.
That North Korea has the AIP technology at all came as a surprise to some.
The first contact came in August 2016, when a Taiwanese submarine expert visited the Chinese border town of Dandong to find out if the North was serious and really had the capability it was advertising.
It is likely that Pyongyang acquired or stole the AIP technology from Russia's Amur-class sub or China's Yuan-class sub.
In the end Taipei decided not to buy the technology since it was unlikely that the North would have been allowed to sell it under the UN sanctions.
[NK Taiwan] [Submarines] [Sanctions] [US dominance]
Delegation of DPRK-China Friendship Association Leaves
Date: 09/04/2019 | Source: KCNA.kp (En) | Read original version at source
Pyongyang, April 9 (KCNA) -- A delegation of the DPRK-China Friendship Association led by Chairman Pak Kyong Il, vice-chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, left here on Tuesday to take part in a Korean photo, book and art exhibition to be held in China to mark the first anniversary of the historic first visit to China by Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the DPRK and China. -0-
[China NK] [Kim_XiMarch2018]
Pacific Odyssey: Port Moresby and the Greater Chinese Co-Prosperity Zone
by Matthew Stevenson
April 5, 2019
This article is Part IX of a series that describes a journey from the Philippines to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. For Part I, please click here.
All Roads Lead to Beijing: Part of the work done around the parliament in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, by the Chinese government. Photo by Matthew Stevenson.
With another day in Rabaul, I decided to shift the road show across the harbor to Kokopo, where there was a war museum and a commonwealth cemetery that I wanted to visit. I would also be in better position to catch the early morning flight on the following day to Port Moresby. In Papua New Guinea, I had come to learn, it helps to keep an eye on the exit.[China bashing] [PNG] [ODI] [False analogy] [Racism]
Huawei allegations driven by politics not evidence: U.N. telecoms chief
U.S. security concerns about 5G mobile networks built by Chinese telecoms giant Huawei appear to be driven by politics and trade rather than any evidence, the head of the U.N. internet and telecoms agency said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: Houlin Zhao Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) attends a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
Houlin Zhao, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), told reporters in Geneva that security of 5G networks was in everybody’s interest but so far he had not seen anything to substantiate claims about Huawei.
“Those preoccupations with Huawei’s equipment, up to now there is no proof so far,” Zhao said.
[Huawei] [China confrontation]
Exclusive: United States sets sights on China in new electric vehicle push
U.S. government officials plan to meet with executives from automakers and lithium miners in early May as part of a first-of-its-kind effort to launch a national electric vehicle supply chain strategy, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
FILE PHOTO: Brine pools from a lithium mine, that belongs U.S.-based Albemarle Corp, is seen on the Atacama salt flat in the Atacama desert, Chile, August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo
While Volkswagen AG, Tesla Inc and other electric-focused automakers and battery manufacturers are expanding in the United States and investing billions in the new technology, they are reliant on mineral imports without a major push to develop more domestic mines and processing facilities.
For a graphic, click tmsnrt.rs/2Azl09N
China already dominates the electric vehicle supply chain. It produces nearly two-thirds of the world’s lithium-ion batteries - compared to 5 percent for the United States - and controls most of the world’s lithium processing facilities, according to data from Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, which tracks prices for lithium and other commodities and is organizing the Washington, D.C., event.
[China confrontation] [China completion] [Batteries] [Electric vehicles]
A necessary revolution in discussing China’s Cultural Revolution: an 8-part series (1/8)
March 26, 2019
by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog
Perhaps the most important unresolved dichotomy in the West today is not the male-female divide but the urban-rural divide. The #MeToo Movement is making advances towards better gender equality – a direct result of the election of US President Donald Trump – but city and country remain locked in a most ungratifying combat.
In the US this is known as the “red state-blue state” socio-political war, which essentially pits liberal metropolitan areas against allegedly-backwards conservative rural areas; in the UK it’s sovereignty-demanding Leavers versus allegedly more intelligent anti-Brexiteers; in France it is the Yellow Vest movement engaging in civil disobedience on the Champs-Elysées due to the dismissive neglect and icy snobbery of those who can afford to live in the major centre-villes.
This is all explains why I feel that studying China’s Cultural Revolution (CR) is more important than ever: no modern nation has made such sincere and drastic efforts to correct this rural-urban imbalance, an imbalance which exists in all nations and which is as fundamental to human existence as female/male or yin/yang.
However, especially for developing countries, in places like India, Africa and Latin America, where rural farming is still often done in a manner similar to pre-21st century China, the incredible rural gains – economically, politically and culturally – which were the explicit goal of the CR are not just important but staggeringly inspirational. This article will quickly prove why that is not hyperbole, because the facts of these “incredible rural gains” will get a rare unveiling instead of another heaping of obfuscating capitalist-imperialist propaganda.
Why the unhappy legacy of US colonialism in Southeast Asia should be a lesson to China
Mark J. Valencia
Southeast Asian nations, because of their colonial experience, are sensitive to real or imagined slights. Although China is different from their former colonial masters, it must tread carefully in expanding its influence in the region
Updated: 8:12am, 1 Apr, 2019
As China’s power and influence grow, so does the glare of the spotlight on its behaviour towards other nations and cultures. The conduct of nations and their citizens overseas is part of their soft power: the capability to assert their economic or cultural influence and shape the preferences of others. The management of hard power, including military might, and soft power constitutes political influence.
China has achieved considerable success increasing its soft power in Southeast Asia
. But there are some early warning signs that it may eventually repeat some of the worst mistakes of the West there. Indeed, it must be careful that the goodwill it covets does not dissipate through neglect or mismanagement of its soft power.[Southeast Asia] [Colonialism]
[China] [Southeast Asia]
China’s growing presence in the Gulf
26 March 2019
Author: Jonathan Fulton, Zayed University
In February 2019 Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman paid a much-publicised visit to China where 35 memorandums of understanding were signed, including an oil deal worth a reported US$10 billion.
Some saw this as a reflection of worsening US–Saudi ties in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi murder in 2018. It is actually part of a growing bilateral relationship between China and Saudi Arabia that has been deepening since diplomatic relations began in 1990. This in turn is part of China’s growing relations with the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
[China Gulf] [Saudi Arabia] [Decline]
60 years of democratic reform in Tibet
2 April, 2019 by stalinsmoustacheThe Chinese State Council has released a white paper celebrating 60 years of democratic reform in Tibet. You may find the full text in English here.
The facts speak for themselves: from 1959, Tibet (along with a number of other minority nationality areas) has been liberated from an archaic form of serfdom. Since then, the basic human right of socio-economic wellbeing has been fostered, the forces of production have been liberated (so much so that the Tibet Autonomous Region now has one of the highest growth rates in China), the common people of Tibet have taken control of their own future, the ‘third pole’ of Tibet has developed significant environmental protection policies, and Tibetan culture and religion have thrived. You can read the details for yourself.
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Trump allies help bring Cold War back from dead
The reincarnation of a Soviet Union-era committee, aimed at countering China, lends credence to Beijing’s claims that Washington has a ‘Cold War mentality’
By Christopher Scott
As the United States and China get ready for another round of trade talks, a group of US foreign policy experts gave a reminder that the two countries’ differences are not limited to trade.
Earlier this week, a cadre led by Trump administration allies and advisors launched the Committee on the Present Danger: China, calling for a hardline foreign policy to challenge the “existential threat” posed by China under the “misrule” of its current government.
Borrowing the name of a Cold War-era institution, which was established and disbanded twice before the fall of the Soviet Union, speakers during the launch ceremony warned that – even if a trade deal is reached with China – the US is “still facing a world of hurt at their hands.”
The less-than-subtle allusion to the competition between the post-World War II spheres of influence reflects an emerging consensus in Washington that China’s rapidly growing economic clout, and comparatively less significant military expansion, somehow resembles the path of the Soviet Union.
[China confrontation] [NCW]
Huawei Phones Now More Expensive Than Samsung
By Shon Jin-seok, Kang Dong-cheol
March 29, 2019 12:38
Samsung smartphones in some segments now cost less than Huawei's, which had been viewed as a cheap alternative until quite recently. The reason is that Samsung is increasingly targeting low-end developing markets as the technology matures.
According to U.S. market researcher Strategy Analytics on Thursday, the average price of a Samsung smartphone was US$225 in the fourth quarter of last year, the second lowest among the top 10 handset makers.
Huawai's average price was $243. This is the first time Samsung has been overtaken by Huawei in terms of price.
[China competition] [Huawei] [Samsung]
A Missed Opportunity To Protect Muslims In China
MARCH 27, 2019GUEST LEAVE A COMMENT
by Farida Deif
News of a major new crackdown on Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, including locking up as many as a million people without charge in “political re-education” camps, has made major headlines around the world in recent weeks.
So when the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, it seemed unfathomable that they would ignore the plight of fellow Muslims.
The Chinese government, after all, has effectively outlawed the practice of Islam in this predominantly Muslim part of the country. And the organization, despite an overall weak record on human rights, has in the past expressed concern about the situation in Xinjiang. Surely the OIC, the collective voice of Muslim governments around the world, would bring its full weight to bear to condemn these abuses.
But, instead, the OIC praised China.
[China confrontation] [Xinjiang] [Uyghur] [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] [Islam] [Liberal] [HRW]
Airbus wins China order for 300 jets as Xi visits France
Airbus signed a deal worth tens of billions of dollars on Monday to sell 300 aircraft to China, coinciding with a visit to Europe by Chinese President Xi Jinping and matching a China record held by U.S. rival Boeing.
FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
The deal between Airbus and China’s state buying agency, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company, which regularly coordinates headline-grabbing deals during diplomatic visits, will include 290 A320-family jets and 10 A350 wide-body jets.
French officials said the deal was worth some 30 billion euros at catalog prices. Planemakers usually grant significant discounts.
The larger-than-expected order, which matches an order for 300 Boeing planes when U.S. Donald Trump visited Beijing in 2017, follows a year-long vacuum of purchases in which China failed to place significant orders amid global trade tensions.
It also comes as the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has left uncertainty over Boeing’s immediate hopes for a major jet order as the result of any warming of U.S.-China trade ties.
There was no evidence of any direct connection between the Airbus deal and Sino-U.S. tensions or Boeing fleet problems, but China watchers say Beijing has a history of sending diplomatic signals or playing off suppliers through state aircraft deals.
[China EU] [Aviation] [737 max] [Trade war]
China to push 5G as Huawei faces US-led resistance
Posted : 2019-03-25 15:38
Updated : 2019-03-25 15:38
China, the U.S., Japan and South Korea are the countries competing in the global race to launch commercial 5G mobile services. Photo from South China Morning Post
By Meng Jing
China plans to accelerate commercialisation of 5G as development of the advanced wireless technology enters a "final sprint" phase, with winners poised to achieve accelerated economic development, according to a senior Chinese government official.
Wang Xinzhe, chief economist at China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said the ministry has set a number of priorities to speed up the commercialisation of 5G as the next generation wireless technology enters what he called the "final sprint".
"The ministry will speed up commercialisation of 5G, building a telecommunication infrastructure that has high speed and with full coverage, as well as growing a stronger and bigger 5G industrial chain," Wang said at the China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday, without disclosing a detailed timetable for the construction of a 5G network.
[Huawei] [5G] [China confrontation]
The Greening of Beijing
24 March, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
For the past two weeks I have walked well over 100 kilometres – in Beijing.
Until now I have regarded my little corner of the city as an oasis, outside of which is the bewildering maze of one of the largest cities in the history of human civilization. To be sure, I am accustomed to taking the massive metro system to all corners of the city. But this practice makes no difference to the sense of living in a maze. One speeds along underground, emerging at one’s destination in another part of town.
Walking is completely different.
Above all, I was most struck by the greening of Beijing. Not so long ago Beijing was a leitmotiv of the worst of city living. Row upon row of high-rise building, with an air quality that had become proverbial. Indeed, some foreigners and Chinese people from other parts assume that Beijing is still like that.
Not any more: the city government has been fully aware that residents would no longer put up with such conditions, so it had set about for many a long year to clean up the city. Some of the strictest environmental laws in the world are enforced ever more strongly, but this is only a beginning. Whole new standards have been set for a greening of the city. The air quality would be tackled through many policies that has seen it gradually improve year upon year. Green spaces would abound, with designer planning and implementation, as only the Chinese know how. And water quality would be at a level where sensitive animals would feel at home, whether turtles or the fabled ducks – not the type of Beijing Duck that you eat at a restaurant.
How is all this possible, especially in a city that had become a parable for environmental degradation?
Long-term planning is the answer. A stable government that is able to implement five-year plans. This is of course a communist local government that is committed to a green Beijing. Forget the ‘Greens’ of bourgeois democracies, with their liberal policies that have become political footballs. Only a communist government committed to ‘ecological civilisation’ can achieve what I experience here in Beijing.
[Beijing] [Environment] [Governance]
Terrorist acts by ‘East Turkistan’ forces in Xinjiang from 1990 to 2016
22 March, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
The following is a partial list of terrorist acts perpetrated in Xinjiang by various elements of the ‘East Turkistan’ movement, from 1990 to 2016. The first date marks the beginning of an upsurge in such attacks and the last date – 2016 – indicates that last time a terrorist act occurred in Xinjiang.
After you have read through the list, which remains partial, you will realise why the Chinese government had to act, focusing on short-term security measures and long-term measures determined by the basic human right to socio-economic wellbeing.
The following is quoted from the white paper, published in March 2019 by the Chinese State Council:
[Xinjiang] [Jihadist] [Terrorism]
Chinese State Council White Paper: The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang
19 March, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
The much-awaited white paper on Xinjiang from the Chinese State Council was published today (18 March 2019). It is called ‘The Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection in Xinjiang’ (download in English here). Various newspaper articles have highlighted parts of the document, although the best is this article from the Global Times, which also mentions one of the visits by representatives from Muslim majority countries that are singulalry unimpressed by the efforts of a few former colonisers to slander China over Xinjiang.
As for the white paper itself, please note section 3, which lists many – but not all – of the terrorist acts that have taken place in Xinjiang, especially during the escallation of such acts in the 1990s. Sections 4 and 5 explain how anti-terrorism and de-extremism measures have been developed, through careful study of practices in other parts of the world.
[Xinjiang] [Jihadist] [China confrontation]
The New Zealand shooter finds support in Islamophobic corners of China’s internet
By Isabella Steger & Echo HuangMarch 18, 2019
Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian gunman who carried out the deadly mosque shooting in New Zealand on Friday (March 15), said in his screed that “the nation with the closest political and social values” to his own is China, and that he admired “non-diverse” nations.
While Tarrant, who now faces one charge of murder, didn’t elaborate on his views of China—which was one of many global references (paywall) he dropped that investigators are now examining—his hatred of Islam certainly has support from corners of China’s internet.
One anonymous post (link in Chinese) on social network WeChat titled “The words on the New Zealand shooter’s guns reflect the deep anxiety of European white men”—a reference to the white supremacy markings on Tarrant’s rifles, and his grievances over Muslim immigration to western countries—has garnered at least 100,000 views at the time of writing, the maximum number of views on a post displayed by the platform. The piece lays blame on Christchurch officials for allowing the construction of mosques, and claimed this resulted in more Muslims coming to the city. It even alleged that the shooting was staged by left-wing politicians.
Some of the comments under the post suggest that followers of the “green religion“—a sometimes derogatory term often used on the Chinese internet to refer to Islam because of the significance of the color to the faith—brought the attack upon themselves. “The green religion launches terrorist attacks everywhere, and now the attack finally comes to them… Green religion is backwards, stupid, barbaric, and violent,” said one such comment.
[Tarrant] [China bashing] [Islamophobia]
Trump's China scandal: An entire new wave of sleaze and corruption surfaces in Florida
Behind the Robert Kraft arrest lies a tangled web of sex, money and corruption, with Trump once again at the cente
March 11, 2019 12:15PM (UTC)
It has seemed odd from the very beginning that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a billionaire several times over, would patronize a massage parlor called the Orchids of Asia for a little quickie on his way to the AFC championship game. After all, men like Kraft can easily hire high end escorts and they often have mistresses on the side. Why go to a cheap strip mall?
But Kraft wasn't the only vastly wealthy john who got caught in the sting that has put him in the headlines. Private equity mogul John Childs and former Citigroup president John Havens were also arrested. There is obviously more to this sordid story of Chinese sex trafficking to come out in the days to come. With the recent re-evaluation of the extremely disturbing Jeffrey Epstein case from the previous decade, it seems that an illegal sex trade has been thriving in the ultra-rich enclaves of South Florida.
[China bashing] [Anti-Trump]
Kia Also Mulls Shutting China Plant
By Kim Kang-han
March 11, 2019 12:37
Kia is also mulling downsizing in China, which includes closing a plant in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province.
Plummeting sales in China has already forced its sister company Hyundai to stop operation of its oldest plant in Beijing.
"Something has to be done because the plant in Yancheng is operating at only 40 percent of capacity," an industry insider here said. "They are talking about restructuring including selling off equipment and a temporary shutdown."
The reason is a sharp decline in sales in China and failure to adapt to rapidly changing trends in the market there. Hyundai and Kia failed to launch a new lineup of SUVs that are popular in China.
Kia's sales there fell from 480,000 cars in 2012 to 350,000 in 2018, which is about 40 percent of what the Yancheng plant is capable of producing.
In 2002, Kia built the Yancheng plant for a capacity of 890,000 cars per year. It now has three plants in China, and the Yangcheng plant employs 6,500 people, who now face redundancy.
[China SK] [THAAD]
Eye on China, Singapore splurges on top-line arms
Big-ticket procurements will enable the island state to operate with the US in any South China Sea conflict
ByNile Bowie, Singapore
For global arms companies looking to ply their wares in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a sought-after client. And American and German hardware suppliers are poised for windfall profits as the island nation moves to shore up its defenses.
Last month, the wealthy city-state passed its biggest ever defense budget worth US$16.7 billion, or around 30% of the government’s total planned expenditure for 2019, with rich earmarks for defense, security and related diplomacy.
Singapore allocates between 3% and 5% of its gross domestic product on defense, well above the global average, while most regional states spend closer to 1-2% or lower, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute data.
[Singapore] [Arms sales] [Militarisation]
Hyundai to Close Oldest China Factory
By Ryu Jung
March 07, 2019 13:41
Hyundai will close its oldest plant in China as early as next month due to plummeting sales in the world's biggest market. The automaker has suffered from declining performance since China's unofficial boycott of Korean products two years ago, which led to its factory operation being cut to half of capacity.
Beijing Hyundai, a joint venture of BAIC and Hyundai, recently took voluntary redundancies of over 2,000 workers at its three plants in Beijing, and the workforce left at the doomed plant will be moved to the other two.
"We don't have an exact timeline yet, but we are in the process of closing the outdated plant to adjust our capacity," a Hyundai spokesman said. "We haven't made a firm decision on whether to shut it down completely or not and will review what we're going to do with it."
Built in 2002, the factory has a production capacity of 300,000 cars a year. Beijing Hyundai increased production capacity to 1.65 million cars by building two additional plants in Beijing, and more in Changzhou and Chongqing.
Its prime were the years between 2013 and 2016, when it sold over 1 million cars for four years in a row. But then the boycott hit, and sales plunged to 785,000 in 2017 and remained at 790,000 last year, less than half its production capacity, even though the boycott was gradually lifted.
Even if Beijing Hyundai achieves this year's goal of selling 900,000 units, the operation rate is still on half.
Lee Hang-gu at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, said, "To avoid making losses, plants should operate at more than 70 percent of capacity, so Hyundai has no choice but to close one or two plants in China."
[THAAD] [China SK] [Hyundai]
Vietnam’s new view of an old war
Posted on 1 March 2019
Hanoi marked the 40th anniversary of its bloody 1979 border war with China with unprecedented candor, a revisionist reflection of declining contemporary ties
By late 1979, Vietnam’s fighting forces could be forgiven for hubris.
In a matter of decades, they had thrown off French colonialism, defeated American troops, unified the country’s north and south, overthrew the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, foiled an anti-communist insurgency in Laos and, finally, defeated a Chinese border incursion in just three weeks.
This February 7 marked the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Vietnam-China border war, a short but fierce struggle that took the lives of tens of thousands of Vietnamese and Chinese soldiers, although the exact number of casualties is contested by both sides.
Armed border spats recurred throughout the 1980s, including a naval battle over a contested reef in the South China Sea, until the two sides formally ended tensions and restored full diplomatic relations in 1991.
The 1979 border war has since been a taboo subject in Vietnam. While commemorative statues and monuments dot the countryside, state media and ruling Communist Party officials have traditionally played down the conflict’s anniversary, paying only lip service to those who perished in the fighting.
The reasons behind the silence are as political as they are economic. China, while still a bête noire for much of the Vietnamese public, is Hanoi’s second-largest trading partner, trailing only the US.
The two sides’ common communist links have also militated against jingoistic flag-waving on the anniversary, as has a mutual desire not to re-open a historical debate over who was the aggressor and who the victor.
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The US cannot crush us, says Huawei founder
9 hours ago
The founder of Huawei has said there is "no way the US can crush" the company, in an exclusive interview with the BBC.
Ren Zhengfei described the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, as politically motivated.
The US is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei and Ms Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets.
Huawei denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Ren spoke to the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in his first international broadcast interview since Ms Meng was arrested - and dismissed the pressure from the US.
"There's no way the US can crush us," he said. "The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit."
However, he acknowledged that the potential loss of custom could have a significant impact.
[Huawei] [Ren Zhengfei]
MOFA thanks ASDC for resolution supporting Taiwan
Publication Date: February 15, 2019 |
A resolution in support of Taiwan passed by the Executive Committee of the Association of State Democratic Committees was welcomed Feb. 14 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The statement—coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act—underscores the firm support for Taiwan from the U.S. Democratic Party, the MOFA said, adding that it is sincerely appreciated by the people and government.
[China confrontation] [Democratic Party] [Taiwan]
Better City, Better Life? Urban Modernity at the Shanghai Expo
February 15, 2019
Volume 17 | Issue 4 | Number 3
This paper examines exhibits at the Shanghai Expo and the urban improvement schemes undertaken for the Shanghai Expo for what they reveal about the ideals for and experiences of urban modernity in contemporary China. Rather than focus on the experiences and perceptions of a global audience, this paper examines how the Expo sought to speak to a domestic audience about state legitimacy through its messaging about urban citizenship and urban modernity. It argues that the manner in which the Expo promoted certain forms of sustainability and the domestic audience’s experiences with Shanghai urban improvements revealed tensions in the nation’s development model and excluded sectors of the population from participation.
China 'greatest long-term strategic threat,' to US, top Pacific commander warns
By Ellen Mitchell - 02/12/19
The top U.S. commander in the Indo-Pacific warned lawmakers on Tuesday about the threat China poses to the United States.
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command head Adm. Philip Davidson said China represents the “greatest long-term strategic threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific and to the United States.”
“Those who believe this is reflective of an intensifying competition between an established power in the United States and a rising power in China are not seeing the whole picture,” Davidson said in his opening statement during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“Rather, I believe we are facing something even more serious: a fundamental divergence in values that leads to two incompatible visions of the future."
Davidson added that Beijing uses “fear and coercion” in an attempt to “expand its form of ideology in order to bend, break and replace the existing rules-based international order.”
[China confrontation] [Hypocrisy] [Rules-based international order] [Chutzpah]
US, Southeast Asian Nations Mull American Bases Near South China Sea - Adm. Davidson
Kainat Bashir 1 day ago
Chinese militarization of the South China Sea has prompted the United States to begin discussing the possibility of relocating US forces and opening bases in the region, US Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. Philip Davidson said in a congressional testimony on Tuesday
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 13th February, 2019) Chinese militarization of the South China Sea has prompted the United States to begin discussing the possibility of relocating US forces and opening bases in the region, US Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. Philip Davidson said in a congressional testimony on Tuesday.
"We have to accept the fact that the environment is changing so drastically in the South China Sea that it's going to require new approaches," Davidson told the US Senate Armed Services Committee. "It's going to require us to think about some places, if not bases... We are in conversations with partners and allies about what some of the opportunities might be there."
[China confrontation] [Bases] [Imperialism] [Alliance]
China Overtakes Korea in LCD TV Sales
By Kang Dong-cheol
February 11, 2019 13:41
China overtook Korea for the first time in terms of global LCD TV sales last year. LCD models account for more than 80 percent of global TV sales.
According to U.K. market researcher HIS Markit on Sunday, global LCD TV sales totaled 152.2 million units last year. Chinese manufacturers accounted for 31.9 percent of sales (48.6 million sets), while Korean makers accounted for 30.6 percent (46.6 million sets).
Coming in third were Japanese players (22.2 million), European makers (4.21 million) and American manufacturers (3.6 million).
TV industry watchers attributed Chinese makers' rise to a decline in large LCD panel prices after China's largest display maker BOE began full-fledged production of 10.5-generation panels.
As a result, TCL, Skyworks and other Chinese players slashed their prices as well. China led Korea by a small margin until the first half of last year but then surged ahead by more than 3 million sets in the third quarter after selling almost 19 million.
Korean TV makers are willy-nilly focusing on high-end products to thwart the onslaught, selling QLED and OLED TVs. An industry insider said, "Korean companies remain unrivaled in the high-end TV market. They have to focus on premium TVs using their technological lead."
New fire on the water in the South China Sea
China’s construction of a rescue center on contested Fiery Cross reef is making big political waves in the Philippines
Richard Javad Heydarian, Manila
Reports of Chinese construction of a maritime rescue center on the Fiery Cross reef, a contested land feature in the Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea, are making political waves and widening fault lines in the Philippines.
Fiery Cross, part of the so-called “big three” along with Mischief and Subi reefs, is widely seen as the commander-and-control center and a key intelligence hub for Chinese naval activities in the southern portion of the hotly contested maritime region. China has reportedly spent over US$11 billion to build Fiery Cross into the largest island in the Spratlys.
According to the Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, China first placed sensors and communications facilities on the contested land feature in 2017. Now, China seems to be forging ahead with building a myriad of dual-purpose civilian and military facilities on the reclaimed island.
Concerns are rising among rival claimants and others that China may soon use the burgeoning facilities in the area to impose an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, a move that would restrict the aerial and maritime access to the sea region.
[South China Sea] [China confrontation] [ADIZ] [Media]
Why Asia isn't hanging up on Huawei
Karishma Vaswani Asia business correspondent @BBCKarishma on Twitter
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is facing a global backlash but for many telecom operators in South East Asia, it is still among the preferred 5G partners.
Several Asian telecom firms have told me it is "business as usual" for Huawei in their countries.
That's despite the US pressuring its allies to hang up on Huawei, over concerns that the firm is spying for the Chinese government.
Huawei has consistently denied that it is a security threat, and says it would never hurt its customers.
o Timeline: What's going on with Huawei?
o The Huawei exec trapped in a gilded cage
The firm has also been accused by the US Justice Department of stealing trade secrets and breaking US sanctions on Iran.
But that hasn't dented its appeal for Asian customers.
Huawei is among the main providers of telecoms equipment for operators conducting 5G trials in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Industry sources say competitors can't match Huawei on cost and technological capability.
[China competition] [Huawei]
Chinese Military Planes Keep Buzzing Korean Identification Zone
By Yang Seung-sik
February 01, 2019 13:22
Chinese military planes flew into Korea's air defense identification zone 140 times without notifying Seoul last year, often near Heuksan and Ulleung islands, where there is no overlap with any other zones.
It was the first time that Chinese military aircraft entered the zone at a point without overlap, and the repeated disregard for international aviation protocol is raising concerns that China is deliberately flexing its military muscle in the region.
Until 2017, China's aerial incursions were mainly focused in the skies over the submerged rocks of Ieo, where the zones of Korea, China and Japan overlap.
Air defense identification zones are not territorial airspace but require incoming planes to identify themselves to the county that claims them. International practice is for foreign military and civilian aircraft to seek permission from military authorities of the other country 24 hours in advance.
According to Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Baek Seung-joo, who was briefed by the Defense Intelligence Agency, Chinese military aircraft flew into Korea's zone in the West Sea 65 times last year. In some instances they flew as far north as Heuksan and Jindo islands.
They also intruded into airspace over the East Sea in addition to the southeastern zone over the Dokdo islets. The number of violations rose from around 50 in 2016 to 80 in 2017.
Where the Korean and Japanese zones overlap, both countries scrambled fighter jets, resulting in 10 to 20 Korean, Chinese and Japanese fighter planes converging over Ieo, Jeju and Daema islands for hours at a time.
One intelligence source the coat-trailing appears to be aimed at gauging Korea's military readiness and response. "China is trying to expand its military clout in the West Sea as well as the East Sea, so it’s only going to get worse," Baek said.
One military source said, "China's incursions into KADIZ in the East Sea happen almost every month. It looks like China is holding regular training exercises along that route."
China also placed buoys near Korea's exclusive economic zone in the West Sea. "The incursions are in effect a violation of our territorial rights," Baek said. "We should take a calm approach, but firm steps need to be taken if they continue."
North Korean media highlight friendship in art troupe's Beijing performance
Posted : 2019-01-31 16:04
Updated : 2019-01-31 17:07
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping feature on a big screen during the North Korean art troupe's performance at the Chinese National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The troupe performed from Jan. 26-28. KCNA-Yonhap
North Korea's state media reported in detail on a North Korean art troupe's recent performance in Beijing on Thursday, highlighting the two countries' friendship before Pyongyang's planned summit with the United States late next month.
The artists performed in Beijing from Saturday to Monday and Chinese President Xi Jinping attended Sunday's show. The delegation led by Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the ruling party's Central Committee, headed home Wednesday after a week-long stay.
"The art delegation achieved a rich success under the special care of the supreme leaders of the two parties and the two countries of the DPRK and China," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
[China NK] [Culture]
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Xi and his wife meet senior DPRK official, watch art performance
Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/1/28 8:08:54
Xi Jinping (C), general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan meet with Ri Su Yong, a member of the Political Bureau of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the party's International Department, who led an art troupe from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan pose for a group photo with artists of an art troupe from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) after watching their performance in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 27, 2019. Xi and Peng met with the art troupe led by Ri Su Yong, a member of the Political Bureau of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee and director of the party's International Department, before its performance. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan on Sunday met with Ri Su Yong, a senior official from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and watched a performance by DPRK artists.
[China NK] [Culture]
Huawei denies committing violations cited by US
Posted : 2019-01-29 15:29
Updated : 2019-01-29 15:29
This Dec. 18, 2018, file photo shows company signage on display near the Huawei office building at its research and development center in Dongguan in south China's Guangdong province. A U.S. federal indictment accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, in the form of a robot designed to automatically test phones for problems. AP
Chinese tech giant Huawei on Tuesday denied committing any of the violations cited in a U.S. indictment accusing the company of stealing technology, violating trade sanctions and lying to banks.
The Justice Department unsealed criminal charges Monday that allege the company used extreme efforts to steal trade secrets from American businesses _ including trying to take a piece of a robot from a T-Mobile lab that was used to test smartphones.
''The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments,'' Huawei Technologies Ltd. said in a statement. It said Huawei is ''not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.''
The company said U.S. prosecutors had rejected a request it made to discuss the investigation following the arrest of its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada in December. It also noted that the allegations in the trade secrets charge were the subject of a U.S. civil lawsuit that already has been settled.
The U.S. is seeking to extradite Meng, alleging that Huawei did business in Iran through a Hong Kong company called Skycom and that she misled U.S. banks into believing the two companies were separate.
Meng is out on bail in Vancouver and her case is due back in court Tuesday as she awaits extradition proceedings to begin. Her case has set off diplomatic spats between the United States, China and Canada.
The latest charges could dim prospects for progress in a two-day round of trade talks between the United States and China scheduled to begin in Washington on Wednesday.
[China confrontation] [Huawei] [Extraterritoriality]
Xiaomi Beats Samsung Smartphones in India
By Park Soon-chan
January 28, 2019 12:16
Chinese tech giant Xiaomi's cheap and cheerful smartphones topped the Indian market last year, beating Samsung into second place.
Xiaomi grabbed a 28 percent share of the world's third largest market last year compared to Samsung's 24 percent, according to market researcher Counterpoint Research last Friday.
Xiaomi had overtaken Samsung in some quarters in the past, but it was the first time it finished first for an entire year.
Samsung's market share was the same as in 2017, but Xiaomi overtook it by gaining nine percentage points.
Overall, Chinese firms took nearly half of the burgeoning market in India, where everyone always seems to be glued to their phone, with Vivo taking a 10 percent share and OPPO eight percent.
India is nearly the only big country in the world whose mobile phone market is still growing. Some 145 million smartphones were sold there in 2018, up 10 percent on-year, and another 185 million feature phones were sold, up 11 percent.
Last year Samsung reopened a plant in Noida that is now the country's biggest mobile phone factory, and the ribbon was cut by President Moon Jae-in and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
But Xiaomi has six mobile phone plants in India and increased the number of customer service centers to about 100.
[China competition] [Mobiles] [India]
North Korea's friendship art delegation arrives in Beijing
Posted : 2019-01-24 14:58
Updated : 2019-01-24 14:58
North Korea's friendship art delegation to China, led by Ri Su-yong, a member of the Political Bureau and vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, is seen off by senior committee officials including Kim Ki-nam, Kim Yo-jong, Kwon Hyok-bong, Ri Chang-gun and others on Wednesday in Pyongyang, in this photo released by the country's state-run Korean Central News Agency. KCNA-Yonhap
By Jung Da-min
North Korea's top art delegation arrived in Beijing on Thursday.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) Thursday morning reported that the delegation, led by Ri Su-yong, a member of the Political Bureau and vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, left Pyongyang Wednesday afternoon.
The delegation includes the State Merited Chorus and leading artistes in Pyongyang.
The official performance schedule is yet to be announced.
The art troupe's visit is the first in three years after the cancellation of the Moranbong Band's performance in December 2015.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to watch the performance.
[China NK] [Art]
Local elections strike a heavy blow for Taiwan’s DPP
16 January 2019
Author: Jean Yu-Chen Tseng, Fo-Guang University
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a significant defeat in the country’s November 2018 ‘nine-in-one’ local elections. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party won 15 of the 22 local chief elections, including in three of Taiwan’s six special municipalities — New Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen announces her resignation as chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after local elections in Taipei, Taiwan, 24 November 2018 (Photo: Reuters/Ann Wang).
The results of the 2018 local elections reflect growing public dissatisfaction with the DPP administration’s performance over the past two years. They foretell a challenging future for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose approval rating has remained low at around 30 per cent for years, as she readies for her 2020 re-election campaign.
There are three major reasons that explain the DPP’s local election debacle.
First, although Tsai Ing-wen claims that she has made significant reforms — to labour laws, to the implementation of transitional justice and to pension systems for civil servants, teachers and military personnel — voters are yet to recognise these reforms as a success. Those affected by the pension cuts have become one of the strongest protest groups against the Tsai administration.
Second, the KMT’s Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Han Kuo-yu, ran a very successful campaign. Kaohsiung is a port city in southern Taiwan that has been ruled by the DPP for more than two decades. In this election, Han not only turned Kaohsiung from a green (DPP) to a blue (KMT) column, but also exerted a strong coattail effect on other races. His nationwide popularity, the so-called ‘Han tide’, mobilised KMT supporters while his ‘economy first’ platform persuaded non-partisan voters to vote for the KMT.
Relatedly, while the KMT focussed on economic growth and livelihood issues such as energy security and pollution to attract non-partisan voters, the DPP appealed to voters to preserve democratic values and fight against a possible ‘China threat’. The KMT tended to attract ‘practical’ or economic voters while the DPP launched a value-based, ideological campaign to consolidate its base. The final verdict was that the majority of voters sought a strong economy and quality of life.
[Taiwan] [DDP] [Tsai Ing-wen] [1992 Consensus]
The Avoidable War: Reflections on U.S.-China Relations and the End of Strategic Engagement
Collection of Speeches by the Hon. Kevin Rudd
Donald Trump with Xi Jinping at Welcoming Ceremony in China
The year 2018 represented a fundamental turning point in U.S.-China relations. While the trade war between the world’s two largest economies drew much of the headlines, a deeper rift was brewing. After 40 years of strategic engagement, during which the United States welcomed China into the international order and supported its economic development, the Trump administration called for a new era of “strategic competition.” Simultaneously, much of the Chinese political establishment was adopting the view that the United States sought to contain China’s rise.
Expert: Wildly successful Mao Era is airbrushed out of Western media and history books.
Pictured above: the phenomenal success of China’s progress and development during the Mao Era, 1949-1978 has to be censored and denied in the West, and the leader behind it all, Mao Zedong must be demonized and dehumanized. Why? The West’s capitalist elites cannot allow any communist-socialist country to be seen in a positive light, past, present or future. Otherwise, their citizens may start demanding beneficial change for the 99%, at the expense of the 1%. They are thus inundated with a relentless tsunami of mainstream lies, distortions, fake news, propaganda and false flags to hide the truth.
I was sent a good mainstream article about China’s development (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/looking-back-last-40-years-reforms-china-ray-dalio/). Ray Dalio, a billionaire hedge fund manager talks about all of China’s successes since 1978, which is the end of the Mao Era. As usual, you would never know that China’s many developmental successes started in 1949, when the Communist Party of China (CPC) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA), defeated and kicked out Japanese and Chinese fascists, along with their partners in crime, Western capitalists and drug cartel dealers, mainly Americans, British and French.
In books #2 (China Rising, https://www.amazon.com/China-Rising-Capitalist-Socialist-Destinations/dp/0996487042/) and #3 (China Is Communist Dammit, https://www.amazon.com/China-Communist-Dammit-Dawn-Dynasty/dp/6027354380/) of The China Trilogy (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/19/the-china-trilogy/), I wrote extensively about the amazing success story of Mao Zedong and his government’s leadership, in freeing their people from foreign exploitation, while transforming the nation into an industrial, agricultural, military and technological powerhouse. This, in spite of Uncle Sam’s illegal and cruel blockade of the country, just like what it is still doing to other communist-socialist countries such as Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Eritrea and Venezuela today.
I thought it would be interesting to take the statistics table from Mr. Dalio’s article and add a column for 1949 (see below). The results from the beginning to the end of the Mao Era are remarkable. After 110 years of Western rape, plunder and unlimited importation of illegal opium, per capita income in China was only $23/year when its people gained their freedom from imperialism. Virtually the entire population was living in poverty, except the elites. Life expectancy was an unbelievable 35 years of age. One-fifth of infants were dying, due to Western/Japanese colonialism. Only one in five citizens could read and the country had no spoken lingua franca, with thousands of regional and local dialects keeping citizens separated. Few people went to school and not for very long.
[China rise] [Mao Zedong]
Huawei fires executive charged with espionage in Poland
Posted : 2019-01-13 13:09
Updated : 2019-01-13 13:09
A security guard stands near the Huawei company logo during a product launch in Beijing this month. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Jan. 11 that it was closely following the detention of Wang Weijing for allegedly spying for China. AP
By Jung Min-ho
Huawei has sacked the Chinese executive arrested on espionage charges in Poland last week, as the Chinese tech giant tries hard to distance itself from the incident.
The move came after Polish authorities arrested Huawei sales director Wang Weijing, also known as Stanislaw Wang, in Warsaw on charges of spying on Poland for Beijing along with a former Polish security official.
The news has deepened international concerns about Huawei, the world's largest telecom equipment manufacturer, which is facing problems amid growing suspicion over its ties to the Chinese government.
Huawei claimed Wang acted alone, saying his actions had no relation to the company.
"Huawei has decided to terminate the employment of Mr. Wang Weijing, who was arrested on suspicion of breaking Polish law," Huawei said in a statement on Saturday.
"In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei's labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute."
The Chinese government also denied its involvement. A spokesman for China's embassy in Warsaw told Chinese state media that Beijing "attached great importance" to the case and was following it up with the Polish foreign ministry.
Meanwhile, Poland's internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudzinski, said the European Union and NATO should work on whether to exclude Huawei from their markets.
"There are concerns about Huawei within NATO as well. It would make most sense to have a joint stance, among EU member states and NATO members," the minister reportedly said.
Wang, who had worked for Huawei's Polish division since 2011, was an attache to the Chinese General Consul in Gdansk from 2006-2011.
Huawei, founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer at the People's Liberation Army, denies that the company has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party or has any intention to design equipment to facilitate eavesdropping.
But many experts say no Chinese company is fully independent of its government, which can legally require companies to assist with gathering intelligence.
[Huawei] [China confrontation] [Poland]
'Xi Jinping may visit North Korea in April, South in May'
Posted : 2019-01-11 17:11
Updated : 2019-01-12 14:08
Lee Hae-chan, head of ruling Democratic Party of Korea, center, holds hands with new presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min, right, and Kang Gi-jung, presidential secretary for political affairs, during their meeting at the National Assembly, Friday. / Yonhap
By Lee Min-hyung
Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to visit North Korea in April in an apparent move to play a part in the peace overtures on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's ruling party head said Friday.
"It is likely that Xi will visit the North in April and come to the South in May," Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, said in a meeting with new presidential secretaries.
"Leaders in Northeast Asia are looking to meet frequently in the first half of this year," he added without citing any sources. The peace momentum in the region will further improve after the second Washington-Pyongyang summit and inter-Korean summit, possibly scheduled in the near future, he said.
It is very important for South Korea to take advantage of the rare momentum for peace in a way to vitalize the local economy, Lee said. The remark came at a time when the two Koreas are on track to resume their economic engagements and a series of economic partnerships.
The remark was made Friday when new presidential secretaries paid a courtesy visit to leaders of the ruling and opposition parties, asking for cooperation from the National Assembly on state management.
Presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min and Kang Gi-jung, presidential secretary for political affairs, met with Lee, minor opposition Bareunmirae Party Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu and a group of ranking officials from opposition parties.
This came three days after Noh and Kang were named as the new ranking Cheong Wa Dae secretaries on Tuesday.
At the Assembly visit, they particularly focused on ways to partner with lawmakers on revving up the local economy.
"President Moon Jae-in urged me to meet as many businesspeople as possible in his first order," Noh said in a meeting with Sohn. Even if the President is widely known as a former human rights lawyer, he also understands how important the economy and business is for state management, Noh said.
"The President also underlined the need for me to play a more active role in building an ecosystem where businesspeople can enjoy their corporate management and continue to invest, as this will allow the local economy to grow," the new presidential chief of staff said.
China Races Ahead of Korea in AI Technology
By Ahn Joon-ho
January 11, 2019 13:19
China has seven times more artificial intelligence experts than Korea and 40 times more companies specializing in the promising high-tech field, according to a study by the Korea International Trade Association on Thursday.
China has 18,232 AI experts, second only to the U.S.' 28,536, but Korea has only 2,664. China is also home to 1,040 businesses that work in the field of machine learning, accounting for 21 percent of global AI companies. But there are only 26 in Korea.
China accounted for a whopping 37 percent of the 100,000 AI-related patents that were registered around the world between 1999 and 2017, outpacing the U.S.' 24.8 percent and Japan's 13.1 percent, while Korea accounted for 8.9 percent.
China published 370,000 AI-related research papers during that period, the U.S. 327,000, the U.K. 97.000, Japan 94,000 and Korea 52,000.
[China competition] [AI] [Patents] [Hysteria]
Kim Jong-un confirms commitment to denuclearization during summit with Xi Jinping
Posted on : Jan.11,2019 16:13 KST Modified on : Jan.11,2019 16:13 KST
N. Korean leader mentions improving relations with US
The Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s state newspaper, offered extensive coverage of leader Kim Jong-un’s fourth visit to China in its Jan. 10 edition. The photo shows Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a luncheon on Jan. 8, which happened to be Kim’s birthday. (Yonhap News)
During his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un once again confirmed his commitment to denuclearization. Kim also appears to have shared his plan for the denuclearization negotiations with Xi leading up to the second North Korea-US summit and to have put the final touches on that plan. Another notable point was the emphasis on China’s role.
In its coverage of the outcome of Kim’s visit to China on the morning of Jan. 10, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim said during his summit with Xi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 8 that North Korea continues to support “the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the faithful implementation of the joint statement produced in its summit with the US in Singapore, and the pursuit of a peaceful resolution through dialogue.”
At the same time, Kim also mentioned “improving relations with the US, difficulties and concerns that have come up in the process of negotiations, and prospects for resolution.”
“The fundamental issues brought up by the North Koreans are appropriate requests. We fully agree with the need for the North Koreans’ reasonable interests to be appropriately resolved. Paying attention to this and dealing with these issues appropriately is the right choice for the related parties,” Xi said in response.
No details have been released about the “prospects for resolution” that Kim reportedly mentioned. But considering that Kim’s quoted remarks about denuclearization reaffirmed the points made in his New Year’s address, some think that Kim proposed a way to break out of North Korea’s deadlock with the US and to move forward to a second summit between the two sides.
This is consistent with remarks that Kim was quoted as making by China’s state-run Xinhua News on Jan. 10: “Efforts will be made so that the second North Korea-US summit will achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community.”
“[Kim] appears to have brought some kind of additional scheme to his discussion with President Xi. The reason that President Xi made clear his plan to visit North Korea is because the two sides reached an understanding about the nuclear issue,” said a former senior official in the South Korean government who is familiar with affairs on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim and Xi apparently discussed US corresponding measures
Kim and Xi also appear to have had a detailed discussion not only about Kim’s plan for denuclearization but also about the US’ corresponding measures. Xi’s remarks about an “appropriate request” and “reasonable interests” that should be “appropriately resolved” are connected with Xinhua News quoting Kim as saying he hopes that “related countries will pay attention to North Korea’s reasonable concerns and respond positively.”
Though these reports did not elaborate on North Korea’s concerns either, in light of the North’s basic stance, including what was expressed in the New Year’s address, this was presumably a reference to the steps the North wants the US to take in exchange for the North’s series of actions. These steps include the US easing sanctions on the North and guaranteeing security for its regime by setting up a peace system.
Kim and Xi were quoted by the KCNA as having “engaged in candid, in-depth communication about jointly guiding research on the process of negotiating denuclearization and on managing affairs on the Korean Peninsula,” which further clarifies the framework shared by the two leaders. The fact that North Korea used the expression “jointly guiding research [with China]” suggests the extent to which China’s role is being emphasized in the denuclearization negotiations.
“The brevity of the meeting means that the issues were worked out in advance by North Korea and China. China may also have gone over [Kim’s visit to China] quite a bit with the US,” said Lee Gwan-se, director of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University.
China also declared that it intends to be more involved in the North Korea-US denuclearization negotiations. “[China] wants to play an active and constructive role in realizing the peace and stability of the peninsula, its denuclearization and the long-term stability of the region,” Xi said. His remark was inspired by the multilateral negotiations for setting up a peace regime that Kim mentioned in his New Year’s address, some experts believe.
By Kim Ji-eun, staff reporter
[Kim_Xi_Jan19] [Denuclearisation] [Conditionality] [Reciprocity]
President Tsai names Su Tseng-chang as premier
Publication Date: January 11, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen (center) is joined by outgoing Premier Lai Ching-te (left) and his replacement Su Tseng-chang during a news conference at the Office of the President Jan. 11 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of Office of the President)
President Tsai Ing-wen named Su Tseng-chang as replacement for outgoing Premier Lai Ching-te during a news conference at the Office of the President Jan. 11 in Taipei City.
At this critical juncture, Su, who previously served as premier from 2006 to 2007, is the right candidate to assume the position given his abundant executive experience, strong resolve and lifelong devotion to public service, Tsai said.
According to the president, Taiwan will face significant challenges in 2019 such as the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and Beijing’s continued attempts to belittle the nation. Su has the leadership skills and determination to spearhead government efforts in boosting the local economy, defending democracy and safeguarding national sovereignty, she added.
The appointment of Su followed the resignation of Lai alongside the rest of the Cabinet ahead of a reshuffle.
[Taiwan] [Reshuffle] [Trade war] [Collateral]
S.Korea's Diplomacy Is a Shambles
January 10, 2019 13:30
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday in a show of brotherly harmony. Kim needs China's backing ahead of another summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and stands to gain crucial leverage in overcoming sanctions if China simply opens its backdoor to trade. At a time like this, South Korea, which suffers the greatest threat from North Korea's nuclear weapons program, should have concentrated all its diplomatic resources on keeping up with what Kim and Xi are up to. But the South Korean ambassador to China made an unceremonious exit on Tuesday just as Kim was arriving in Beijing because he has a new job as President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff, and now the post is vacant.
Noh Young-min (66) claimed he "wrapped things up" before vacating his post, but it remains a mystery what he is talking about. Noh also suffered a barrage of criticism in June last year when he went on holiday just as Kim was on his third visit to China. The communist Chinese government is a stickler for rank, and it is extremely difficult for diplomats of even major countries to meet high-ranking Chinese officials. They will certainly not want to talk to some acting chargé d'affaires, so the embassy will have to content itself with reading the tea leaves.
China does not exactly support a nuclear-armed North Korea, but it is more interested in increasing its dominance in Asia, weakening the Seoul-Washington alliance and decreasing or ending U.S. troop presence in the South. China has shown it is willing to pull out all the stops to tame South Korea, snubbing Moon by putting his special envoy in low-ranking seats twice, to say nothing of its devastating boycott of South Korean goods and services over the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here. South Korea has never protested.
[Kim_Xi_Jan19] [Chagrin] [Sidelined] [Conservatives] [Anti-Moon]
What’s actually happening in Xinjiang
The escalating trade war against China, threats of sanctions over allegations of Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang, threats of sanctions if China buys Russian defense equipment, all is aimed at disruption of the sole emerging threat to a Washington global order. How China’s authorities are trying to deal with this full assault is illustrated by events in Xinjiang.
Image distributed by ChinaAid—and organisation probably created and funded by the CIA—supposedly depicting a terrible Chinese concentration camp for dissenters.
America and its allies, under the guise of the War on Terror and humanitarian intervention, have droned, bombed and killed millions of Muslim children, women and civilians in a dozen of countries from Afghanistan to Yemen, and displaced millions more. In 2011 President Obama ordered the execution of Anwar al Awlaki, an American extremist preacher, for preaching the same kind of Wahabbist extremism [as that endorsed by the Saudis], and separately executed al Awlaki, his sixteen-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, without trial. This is why Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim mass organization, and the world’s Muslim governments have not condemned China’s actions: they know that the US stirs up trouble in every Muslim country. The West is engaged in full-scale irregular war to destabilize China. The US created the Uyghur problem in Xinjiang by sponsoring terrorists there–the same tactics it used in Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.
[China confrontation] [Xinjiang]
Xi Fetes Kim Jong-un with Lavish Birthday Banquet
By Yoon Hyung-jun
January 09, 2019 09:43
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was given a lavish welcome in the Chinese capital on Tuesday, which was his birthday.
Kim emerged from his quarters around 4 p.m. to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, where Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju joined them later. Xi then threw a lavish banquet for Kim to celebrate his birthday, but state-run CCTV made no mention of Kim's visit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong (red-dotted) wave aboard a train to Beijing on Monday.
The official Global Times newspaper said Kim's visit on his birthday demonstrates the "close relationship" between the two leaders.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang only said, "It is very normal for the two parties and two states to maintain friendly exchanges."
Asked if China is seeking to use Kim's visit as leverage in trade negotiations with the U.S., he added, "China's diplomacy incorporates rich and diverse contents... I don't think we need to resort to any maneuvers to get our message across to the U.S. side."
A car carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un heads to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Tuesday. /Yonhap
Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae said it hopes Kim's visit to China "lays the groundwork" for a second U.S.-North Korea summit and expressed hopes of further improvements in diplomatic ties and steps toward denuclearization of North Korea.
A Cheong Wa Dae spokesman declined to say whether Seoul was informed of Kim's visit by either North Korea or China. "We have maintained close communication and shared information," he added.
[Kim_Xi_Jan19] [China NK]
Why China Tiptoed onto the Far Side of the Moon
January 9, 2019
Xi Jinping’s state media was strangely quiet about its historic lunar landing, writes Patrick Lawrence in this look at the U.S. effort to maintain primacy over advanced technologies.
By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News
When China landed a space probe on the far side of the moon last week, it was a first for humanity. The Chang’e 4 spacecraft touched down on Thursday and then sent a rover to explore and photograph lunar terrain we Earthlings had never before seen. This feat is up there with the U.S. moon landing in 1969. But while the scientists who designed the Chang’e 4 probe were properly proud, China’s state-controlled media buried the story beneath the day’s more mundane news. As one space analyst put it, the silence was deafening.
Why would this be? Why would Xi Jinping’s hyper-ambitious China go quiet after demonstrating that its swiftly developing technological capabilities are making the nation the global leader its president thinks it is destined to be?
Colored topo image of the far side of the moon from a 2010 image provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
NASA’s lunar far side topo map from 2010, highest elevations above 20,000 feet in red and the lowest areas down below -20,000 feet in blue. (NASA/Goddard)
Mike Pompeo suggested an answer the same day the Chang’e 4 touched down on lunar soil. President Donald Trump’s secretary of state chose last Thursday to warn the Iranians to drop their plans to launch three satellites into space over the next several months. Pompeo dismissed these projects as nothing more than a cover to test intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of bearing warheads.
These events are not unrelated.
Yes, the Trump administration has started a trade war with China. But Washington’s quarrels with Beijing are about far more than trade. The U.S. proposes to sanction Iran to kingdom come so as to limit its leverage as an emerging power in the Middle East. But the U.S. administration’s dangerously aggressive policies toward Tehran are about more than the Islamic Republic’s regional influence.
There is a larger theme here that is not to be missed: Maintaining America’s lead in advanced technologies is now essential to preserving U.S. primacy. And China and Iran are among those middle-income nations whose scientific and technological advances will at some point challenge this lead.
[China confrontation] [Iran confrontation] [Primacy] [Technology] [China US policy]
North Korea's Kim Jong Un visits China, state media reports
Published 2 Hours Ago Updated 1 Hour Ago Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018.
KCNA | Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
Kim's visit, his fourth summit with Xi, comes amid reports of advanced negotiations for a second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Kim travelled to China three times to meet with Xi last year before and after summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
South Korea's Hankyoreh newspaper first reported late on Monday that Kim will meet Xi in Beijing.
[Kim_Xi_Jan19] [China NK]
Kim Jong-un Visits China Again
By Lee Min-seok, Yoon Hyung-jun
January 08, 2019 10:21
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning for a four-day visit at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has confirmed.
A train presumably carrying Kim was spotted late Monday night in the Chinese border city of Dandong, where security was suddenly tightened.
Kim is expected to meet with Xi just as North Korea and the U.S. try to pinpoint a location for their next summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) and his wife Ri Sol-ju leave Pyongyang on Monday to take a train for China. /Newsis
Kim also traveled by train to Beijing when he visited China for the first time last March. He has since met Xi in China two more times, in May and June before and after his historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
There is speculation that he is seeking advice from Xi as he prepares for further denuclearization talks with Trump.
In his New Year's address, Kim Jong-un warned that North Korea may choose a "different path" if the U.S. continues with sanctions and pressure.
[Kim_Xi_Jan19] [China NK]
If China is Suffering So Much From Trump’s Trade War, Why is Its Surplus Up So Much?
by Dean Baker
January 7, 2019
Donald Trump has made his tariffs against China and other countries a big part of his agenda as president. He even went so far as to dub himself “Tariff Man” on Twitter.
The media have been quick to assume that Tariff Man is accomplishing his goals, especially with regard to China. It is standard for news articles, like this one, to assert that China’s economy is suffering in large part because of Trump’s tariffs.
In fact, through the first ten months of 2018 China’s trade surplus with the United States on trade in goods has been $344.5 billion. This is up 11.5 percent from its surplus in the same months last year.
The tariffs surely are having some effect, and China’s surplus would almost certainly be larger if they were not in place. But it is difficult to believe that China’s $13.5 trillion dollar economy (measured at exchange rate values) could be hurt all that all that much by somewhat slower growth in its trade surplus with the United States. (For arithmetic fans, the surplus is equal to 2.5 percent of China’s GDP. We are talking about slower growth in this surplus.)
It is worth noting that we will not be getting new trade data until the government shutdown is over since the Census Bureau is one of the government agencies without funding for fiscal year 2019.[Trade war] [Trade balance] [Trade War]
[Interview] Chinese foreign affairs expert says US-China relations are at all-time low
Posted on : Jan.5,2019 12:51 KST Modified on : Jan.5,2019 12:51 KST
Increased interdependence of both sides minimizes possibility of serious clashes
Su Hao, Professor of China Foreign Affairs University
Professor Su Hao of China Foreign Affairs University rated US-China relations at the moment as “the worst they’ve been since diplomatic relations were established.” An international relations expert at the university – which is affiliated with the Chinese Foreign Ministry and trains experts in the field of foreign affairs – Su predicted that Beijing is capable of making numerous concessions, but argued that Washington’s demands have been excessive. At the same time, he said the two sides’ increased interdependence means they will not rush into any serious clashes.
“Whereas China-US relations in the past followed an upward curve of gradual development, strengthening, and fusion, we’re now seeing the opposite downward curve,” Su said of the two sides’ relationship as it marks its 40th anniversary. According to Su, the past four decades saw the US helping China in an effort to expand its own economy, while the less-powerful China used the US to develop its own economy. Cooperation with China also played a part in the US curbing the Soviet Union during the Cold War and pursuing strategic goals such as a response to terrorism after the Cold War ended.
[US China] [Chinese IR]
North Korea's Kim to visit China for fourth summit: newspaper
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on his way to China for his fourth summit with China’s Xi Jinping, South Korean media said on Monday.
FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses for photos in Pyongyang in this January 1, 2019 photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS.
South Korea’s Hankyoreh newspaper, citing an unidentified source with close knowledge of North Korea-China affairs, reported that Kim was traveling to Beijing late on Monday to meet with Xi.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unspecified source familiar with North Korea issues, said a North Korean train possibly carrying a “high-level” official had crossed the border into China.
The source told Yonhap it had not been confirmed whether a senior official was on board, but that dozens of security vehicles and officials had blocked the roads around a station in the Chinese border city of Dandong as the train passed.
Last year Kim traveled to China three times to meet with Xi, before and after Kim held other summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Kim is expected to meet again with both the U.S. and South Korean presidents in the near future, and another visit to China has been seen as a possible move before those summits.
Earlier on Monday the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported that U.S. State Department officials recently met multiple times with North Korean counterparts in Hanoi and discussed planning a second summit between Trump and Kim, fuelling speculation that Vietnam could host the event.
At their landmark June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump pledged to work toward denuclearization, but the pact was light on details and talks since have made little headway.
China is the North’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite anger over its neighbor’s nuclear and missile programs. Ties have warmed in the last year as Pyongyang’s relations with both Seoul and Washington have also improved.
China also played a role in Trump’s meeting with Kim, lending the North Korean leader an airliner for his trip to Singapore.
China slams 'provocative' U.S. navy move amid trade talks
Diplomatic sources say Xi will probably go to North Korea at some point soon, which would make him the first Chinese leader to do so since 2005.
In early December, Xi told North Korea’s foreign minister during a visit in Beijing that he “hoped North Korea and the United States meet each other halfway and address each other’s reasonable concerns, allowing positive progress on the peninsula’s nuclear talks.”
[Kim_Xi_Jan19] [China NK}
President Tsai affirms Taiwan will not accept ‘one country, two systems’
Publication Date: January 03, 2019 |
President Tsai Ing-wen details the government’s stance on cross-strait relations at the Office of the President Jan. 2 in Taipei City. (CNA)
President Tsai Ing-wen said Jan. 2 that Taiwan has never accepted the “1992 Consensus” because the definition of it used by the Beijing authorities is “one country, two systems” and this is resolutely opposed by the vast majority of the people.
The nation will absolutely not accept “one country, two systems” and public opposition to it forms a Taiwan consensus, Tsai said.
Taiwan is willing to engage in negotiations with China, but all political consultations must be authorized and monitored by the people, and no individual or group has the right to represent the public in such talks, she added.
The president made the remarks in response to a speech delivered by Chinese leader Xi Jinping earlier the same day in which he proposed further exploration of a “one country, two systems” scenario for Taiwan.
[Straits] [Tsai Ing-wen] [1992 Consensus]
Rewards and risks in Philippines' China gambit
By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
Lucio Blanco Pitlo III (email@example.com) is a research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation; lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University; and contributing editor for the Asian Politics & Policy Journal.
Renewed ties between the Philippines and China are bearing fruit, but questions about the sustainability of this policy, especially after 2022, linger. Notwithstanding delays in agreed infrastructure projects, the upswing in relations spurred trade, tourism, investments and other functional areas of cooperation, including law enforcement. China can have a transformative impact on the Philippine economy. The challenge is ensuring such engagement does not diminish the country’s foreign policy independence and harm its interests in the West Philippine Sea. Manila is not alone in this dilemma: it is also debated in other Southeast Asian capitals. While good-neighbor relations are critical, a diversified trade and security portfolio remain effective cushions against coercive economic statecraft.
[Philippines China] [Allegiance]
The Socialist Market Economy: Philosophical Foundations
2 January, 2019 by stalinsmoustache
This is the text of a paper, to be delivered at a conference in a month or so. It is the fullest expression of my thoughts on a socialist market economy, forming the framework for an eventual monograph.
A personal example, to begin with: in 2018, I purchased a Xiaomi laptop and a second Xiaomi phone. It soon became apparent that the laptop was far superior to my earlier Apple Macbook (that I had unfortunately come to use) and that the phone was simply a better device than any Apple or indeed other phone you can find. But who or what is Xiaomi? It is a Chinese hi-tech company that aims at producing the best quality products at reasonable prices. Most will probably have heard of Huawei, which now leads the world in its technological prowess. But Xiaomi is arguably better still. And both are increasingly better than anything you can find elsewhere. At a Marxist philosophical level, this development may be described not as mere ‘catching up’, but as one element of a dialectical leap into the future.
[Socialist market economy]
Unification Is the Goal and Force Is an Option, Xi Jinping Says of Taiwan
China’s president, Xi Jinping, in Beijing on Wednesday. “We make no promise to abandon the use of force,” he said in a speech about Taiwan.CreditCreditPool photo by Mark Schiefelbein
By Chris Buckley and Chris Horton
Jan. 1, 2019
BEIJING — China’s president, Xi Jinping, warned Taiwan that unification must be the ultimate goal of any talks over its future and that efforts to assert full independence could be met by armed force, laying out an unyielding position on Wednesday in his first major speech about the contested island democracy.
Mr. Xi outlined his stance one day after Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, urged China to peacefully settle disputes over the island, whose 23 million people, she said, want to preserve their self-rule. But Beijing treats Taiwan as an illegitimate breakaway from Chinese rule, and Mr. Xi said unification was unstoppable as China rose.
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