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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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