Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

27 June 2019

Integrating the Eurasian Union and China’s Belt and Road: A Bridge Too Far?

Vladislav Inozemtsev

The 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which convened on June 6–8, was, as every year, pronounced a huge success by the Russian authoriti­es. Certainly, the 19,000 participants from 145 countries and the 3.1 trillion rubles’ ($49 billion) worth of contracts announced marked new records for this enterprise (, June 10). But of course, much of the attention was focused on Russia-China relations, both because the two countries now look to be en­gaged in a full-scale confrontation with the collective West and because China’s President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Russia just prior to the Forum (see EDM, June 10).

Russia and China have continued to deepen their cooperation in recent years, with bilateral trade exceeding $100 billion for the first time ever in 2018 (TASS, January 13). While add­ressing the St. Petersburg Forum, President Vladimir Putin admitted, “We [Russia] have absolutely concrete plans for joint work, and we are comfortable with them [the Chinese]; I am sure we will be moving forward successfully” (TASS, June 7). Both Putin and Xi reiterated this point in even greater detail at the Russia-China Energy Business Forum, whe­re several flagship cooperation projects were presented (, June 7). But all the rhetoric failed to assuage doubts about the success of Russian-Chinese co­operation in what would theoretically be their most ambitious undertaking—a seamless and economically profitable integration of the Moscow-backed Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China’s People’s Armed Police: reorganised and refocused

Now with a more centralised command structure and enhanced use of new technology like uninhabited air vehicles, China’s People’s Armed Police is being transformed into a more reliable and effective force focused on three core missions – internal security, maritime security and supporting the People’s Liberation Army in times of war. 

On 2 June, at the 2019 Shangri-La Dialogue, the Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Feng He, defended China’s handling of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, and stated that China has enjoyed stability and development after properly handling the ‘Tiananmen incident’ through its ‘correct policy’. Thirty years after the events of Tiananmen, the internal security mission remains of central importance to the Chinese government. However, it is the People’s Armed Police (PAP,中国人民武装警察部队) and not the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that now has primary responsibility for this task, and it is a force – like the PLA – undergoing significant change.

The PAP’s role in Tiananmen in 1989 is thought to have been limited, in part because of its perceived weaknesses and lack of capability, forcing the Chinese government to turn to the PLA instead. In the intervening period, substantial amounts of time and investment have been put into improving the PAP’s capabilities and transforming it into a more reliable and effective force.

China, North Korea: Xi and Kim Meet With the U.S. in Mind

What Happened

As China's trade war with the United States shows no sign of abating, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea on June 20 for a two-day state visit — the first by a Chinese premier in 14 years. Xi's visit with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang comes a week before he is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the June 28-29 G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The crucial G-20 meeting will provide an opportunity for the world leaders to gauge a potential cease-fire in the U.S.-China trade war. The timing of Xi's visit to North Korea is key, however, because it also coincides with a prolonged impasse in nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington following the breakdown of Kim's February summit with Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam — something Xi may seek to leverage in trade negotiations.

The visit was a ceremonious affair, with Kim and his wife greeting Xi — accompanied by top economic and foreign affairs officials — and the Chinese first lady at Pyongyang's airport. The two leaders reportedly held talks in their first person-to-person meeting in 15 months, with denuclearization and economic development on the agenda. Although Xi's full itinerary is unknown, he attended a welcome banquet, is scheduled to visit the Sino-Korean Friendship Tower, and could oversee mass games at the Rungrado May Day Stadium.

26 June 2019

The Longer the US Sino-Tariff Wars Go On, the Harder It Will Be to Undo the Damage

By Dan Steinbock

Since spring 2017, the US-led tariff wars have effectively undermined the global recovery. In the past years, global economy has navigated across several scenarios. Now it is approaching the edge.

I have been following four generic scenarios on the prospects of global economic growth since the U.S. 2016 election. The first two scenarios represent variants of “recoupling.” In these cases, global integration prevails, despite tensions. In the next two scenarios, global integration will fail, either in part and regionally or fully and globally.

What should worry us all is that, during the past few years, real global growth prospects have slowly but surely moved from the ideal and preferable scenarios toward the worst and darkest.

The Return to Cooperation Scenario

In this scenario, U.S. and China achieve a trade agreement. Both agree to phase out additional tariffs, renounce trade threats and establish working groups to defuse other friction areas in intellectual property rights, social and political issues, and military matters. Global growth prospects could – in the best scenario – even exceed the old OECD/IMF baselines at more than 4%.

US blacklists 5 Chinese tech firms

The five blacklisted organizations placed on the so-called Entity List includes supercomputer maker Sugon, which is heavily dependent on U.S. suppliers.

The United States is blacklisting five Chinese organizations involved in supercomputing with military-related applications, citing national security as justification for denying its Asian geopolitical rival access to critical U.S. technology.

The move by the U.S. Commerce Department could complicate talks next week between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, aimed at de-escalating a trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

The five blacklisted organizations placed on the so-called Entity List includes supercomputer maker Sugon, which is heavily dependent on U.S. suppliers, including chipmakers Intel, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices.

The Central Asian nodes in Belt and Road project

Atul Aneja

Ahead of the recently concluded summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Chinese state media provided extensive coverage of Beijing’s recent forays into Central Asia, including into Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

On its website, the state-run Xinhua news agency splashed pictures of the Irkeshtam pass, one of China’s gateways to Kyrgyzstan, a few days before planes ferrying leaders of the eight SCO member countries, apart from observers, flew into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital.

Infographic Of The Day: In One Chart - A Decade Of The U.S. Trade Deficit With China

Since 2010, the United States and China have had the world's largest economies by GDP. But one interesting difference is that the U.S. is the world's biggest importer while China is the world's biggest exporter. The U.S. is currently China's biggest trade partner, but recent talks about tariffs have highlighted the imbalance of imports and exports between the two countries. As economic tensions continue to rise, here is a look at how the trade deficit between the U.S. and China has changed over the past ten years.

Qihoo 360, China’s biggest cybersecurity firm, wants to become China’s cyberwarfare defender

Qihoo 360 is the biggest cybersecurity company in China, but few people in the rest of the world know the name. These days, however, it’s taking an increasingly important role in China’s cybersecurity efforts.

On June 19, 2019, as the tech war between China and US raged on, Qihoo 360 CEO Zhou Hongyi announced that the company has been developing a cyberspace radar system to fight sophisticated cyberwarfare attacks. During a talk at the China Internet Security Conference (ISC), Zhou said that Qihoo 360 had discovered 40 intrusions from hackers in other countries and regions.

The company has been vying to become a key member of the country’s national cybersecurity strategy since it abandoned the US stock market to perform a backdoor listing in China in 2018.

“(Cybersecurity) is a very special industry, no matter if it’s Chinese or Russian or American, as long as a cybersecurity firm grows big enough, it needs to be aligned with national interests,” Zhou said at the time.

25 June 2019

Hong Kong is in danger. China’s promise of democracy was a lie | Anonymous

The ninth of June 2019 was a Sunday. Any other Sunday in summer at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, old men and women would do their usual walkabouts and maids would gather, spread out groundsheets, cover them with spicy delicacies and listen to Filipino pop songs. But it was not like any other Sunday, at least not for me. Filled with anxiety, hope and anger, I joined the protest against Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law, alongside three classmates from my evening Spanish class. We were hopeful because perhaps there was a slim chance that our government would listen to us, for once. We were angry because our government had repeatedly lied to us.

I had not taken part in any demonstrations since 2004, at which time I still had not yet completely lost faith in the sincerity of China’s promise of democracy for Hong Kong. But this time I just felt I had to.

We were anxious that if we did not stop the impending extradition bill, all foreign firms and multinationals would leave Hong Kong in droves, property prices and the stock market would plummet and lots of people would be without jobs or worse. It all started in 1997, when the sovereignty of Hong Kong was returned to Beijing. We were promised a high degree of autonomy with a democratically elected legislature and a chief executive. After 22 years, there is still no sign of a legislature elected by universal suffrage, promised to us under the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s constitution.

Huawei saga is no good for anyone – Nokia UK CEO

Jamie Davies

Some might assume the suspicion which is being placed on Huawei might work out well for its competitors, but that is certainly not the case.

In certain markets, there are clear benefits to having Huawei as the political punching bag of the technology world, the US is a prime example. Huawei is banned in the US, but it has never really made a profitable charge in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave and look at Ericsson’s wins with Verizon in the pre-standard 5G world. But it can also be a negative.

“It’s bad for us as well,” said Nokia UK CEO Cormac Whelan. “It throws a cloud over technology, networks rollout and security.”

Whelan’s example to demonstrate this point is an effective one. When Volkswagen got caught red-handed in the emissions scandal, it wasn’t too long before questions were asked about others in the automotive industry. The Huawei security issue is not directly comparable, but Nokia and Ericsson are certainly being caught in the wake of this scandal, especially in the UK.

What a High-Pressure College Entrance Exam Reveals About China

Matthew Chitwood

GEJIU, China—Luo Xing stood on the sidewalk outside Gejiu Third High School reviewing her Chinese language and literature test prep guide. She and hundreds of classmates were cramming last-minute for China’s high-stakes college entrance exam, known as the gaokao, as if 12 years of preparation were not enough. The bell finally rang and the school gates opened, allowing Luo Xing and the mass of students to push past throngs of anxious parents, SWAT police and a brigade of motorcycle cops. They disappeared into the school compound to face one of the hardest tests in the world. 

More than 10 million Chinese students took this year’s gaokao, five times the record-breaking 2.1 million students in the United States who took the SAT last year. In China, the test falls on the same two days every year, June 7 and 8, which many regard as the most important time in a Chinese person’s life—“more important than your wedding day,” one parent told me. The single score from this test is the sole criteria for university admissions in China. A good score, many believe, leads to a good school, and with it the right networks, career opportunities and, of course, the right spouse. “The higher your score, the more options you have,” Luo Xing’s mother told me matter-of-factly. But a bad test day is the start of a lifelong uphill battle. ...

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to North Korea serves as a reminder that Kim Jong-un still needs friends on the world stage

Ankit Panda

Well over a year since accepting Kim Jong-un’s invitation to Pyongyang in March 2018, Xi Jinping has arrived in the North Korean capital.

The Chinese president’s visit is the first of its kind since his predecessor’s trip to see the North Korean leader’s father, Kim Jong-il, in 2005.

The relationship between China and North Korea has been through a fair bit in the 14 intervening years. Kim, like his father in the mid-to-late 1990s, spent his first years in control of the monolithic North Korean system by consolidating his rule.
It was only once this project was completed, alongside the attainment of what Kim termed a “complete” nuclear deterrent by the end of 2017, that the turn towards diplomacy began.

Xi was Kim’s first overseas call, underscoring that despite being stuck in the doldrums between 2011 and 2017, the diplomatic relationship with China is the most important one for Kim’s North Korea.

Are the U.S. and China on a war footing in space?


Trump wants a Space Force, Beijing is developing weapons it could use in orbit, and ‘there is not a lot of dialogue’ between the two countries.

A top Chinese general has a warning for any U.S. leaders planning an arms race in space: Be prepared to lose.

Outspending a rival power into economic exhaustion might have helped the U.S. win the Cold War, said Qiao Liang, a major general in the Chinese air force who co-wrote a book called "Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America." But he said it won’t work against a wealthy manufacturing powerhouse like China.

“China is not the Soviet Union,” Qiao said in an interview with the South China Morning Post, a news partner of POLITICO. “If the United States thinks it can also drag China into an arms race and take down China as it did with the Soviets … in the end, probably it would not be China who is down on the ground.”

Where will it end? The US-China trade war and the threat to the global economy

Kevin Rudd

Making sense of the U.S.-China trade war is difficult in itself. Making sense of how it may provoke a wider economic "decoupling," and impact the long-term strategic relationship between Beijing and Washington, is more difficult again.

I wrote earlier this year in a report entitled "The Avoidable War" that in 2018, a major new inflection point was passed in the postwar relationship between the U.S. and China. Phase one covered the quarter century of strategic hostility from the founding of the People's Republic until rapprochement under Nixon and Kissinger.

Phase two covered the next 20 years of Sino-U.S. strategic collaboration against Moscow until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Phase three spanned 20 years of economic engagement, highlighted by China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001-2, China's emergence as the global factory, until the end of the global financial crisis.

24 June 2019

China's Rare Earth Monopoly Is Diminishing

Some while ago, precious rare earths important in the production of microchips, electronics and electric motors were almost exclusively sourced in China. In recent years, several nations have picked up production again while new players entered the market, diversifying it at least to some degree.

A Mid-2019 Guide to Chinese Aircraft Carriers

By Rick Joe

What is the future trajectory of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy carrier program?

In recent months, a number of new developments and interesting pictures and rumors have emerged in relation to the Chinese Navy’s (PLAN’s) aircraft carrier projects. Pictures tracking CV-16 Liaoningover the past year as well as carrier 002 at Dalian shipyard demonstrate both vessels have reached various milestones in recent months. Pictures of carrier 003 being built at Jiangnan shipyard similarly give new insights into its potential final size.

This piece will review these recent developments in context of what has been previously rumored for the PLAN carrier program. Projections of future carrier development and procurement trajectories will also be considered, including the topic of carrier airwings.

Which carrier is which?

It is first necessary to understand which name refers to which carrier. In the past, a number of English language publications have used the names “001A” to refer to the ski jump carrier built in Dalian, and “002” to refer to the catapult equipped carrier currently being built in Jiangnan. Indeed, these names have continued to be used, even among some Chinese state affiliated media.

China in Tajikistan: New Report Claims Chinese Troops Patrol Large Swaths of the Afghan-Tajik Border

By Catherine Putz

On June 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon agreed to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership, shaking hands over more than a dozen deals after meeting on the sidelines of the fifth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Dushanbe.

According to Xinhua’s description of the joint statement issued by the two leaders, “China and Tajikistan will continue to support each other on issues concerning their core interests, such as national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and give priority to the development of bilateral ties in each side’s foreign policies.”

The two sides, Xinhua says, are committed to boosting security cooperation “to build a China-Tajikistan community of security step by step.”

A report today from the Wall Street Journal gives body to such statements. While the WSJ’s focus is on the grand strategic positioning between Russia and China as the United States creeps toward exiting the Afghan theater, details from an unnamed Tajik source further bolster reporting done earlier this year by the Washington Post’s Gerry Shih, underscoring that there is much more Chinese activity along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border than Beijing admits to publicly.

It's Time for America to Break with Beijing

by Gordon G. Chang

Xi Jinping has rejected the concept of comparative advantage, the very notion underpinning the system of international commerce. Why should America sign a trade agreement with a country that does not believe in trade?

SOME MISTAKES are repeated over the course of generations. For more than four decades, American presidents sought a closer relationship with China, working to “engage” that country so as to “enmesh” it into the international system. Richard Nixon, in his landmark Foreign Affairs article in 1967, provided the rationale for engagement, arguing the Chinese state could not be isolated. “Taking the long view,” he famously wrote then, “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors.”

Since the early 1970s, American policymakers believed they could avoid such nurturing, cherishing and threatening by making the success of the Communist Party of China a goal of U.S. foreign policy. With interests defined this way, American presidents helped China’s communists at crucial moments.

Comfortably Reelected, Indonesia’s Jokowi Opens the Door to China’s Belt and Road

Nithin Coca

The ballots hadn’t even been counted yet when the deals were announced. On April 26, just two days after Election Day, Indonesia signed 23 memorandums of understanding with China, worth $14.2 billion in all, for several major infrastructure projects. They came after months of silence about Chinese investment in Indonesia—by design, as President Joko Widodo feared attempts by the opposition to paint him as being too pro-China. It worked, as, in the end, the issue of Chinese investment did not play the same divisive role in Indonesia that it did in elections in Malaysia, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Instead, Jokowi, as Widodo is widely known, easily won reelection.

The news about the investments are welcome, from a purely economic standpoint. Jokowi initially ran in 2014 promising to upgrade Indonesia’s woeful infrastructure, and he has been able to deliver on some of his pledges. Indonesia’s ranking on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Indicator—a kind of index of a country’s infrastructure—rose from 53 in 2014 to 46 in 2018, ahead of Mexico, Turkey and Brazil. Nevertheless, Indonesia still has a long way to go to ensure its ports, roads and railways are able to meet the demands of its 260 million people and the government’s own ambitious development plans. Five years just wasn’t enough for Jokowi to fix decades of under-investment. ...

Seizing Core Technologies: China Responds to U.S. Technology Competition

Adam Segal

While the Trump administration has caused a fair degree of uncertainty in Beijing about its ultimate strategic and economic objectives through an unconventional policy process, shifting personnel, and conflicting messages emanating from the President’s tweets, there is a widespread consensus among Chinese policy makers and analysts about the motivations of U.S. technology policy. Officials and academics are convinced that Washington is pursuing a strategy of containment, designed to slow China’s rise as a science and technology power, or, as Fudan University Professor Zhou Wen argues, “The United States’ real intention is to suppress the development of China’s high-tech industries.”[1]

To be sure, over the last several years both China and the United States have acted to reduce vulnerabilities created by the interconnectedness of their science and technology systems. President Xi Jinping has continued to implement the techno-nationalist policies introduced by his predecessors. The 2017 National Cybersecurity Law and Made in China 2025 as well as large investments in artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and quantum computing are the most recent efforts to free China from dependence on the West for critical technologies. Washington, anxious about China’s rising technological capabilities and its program of military-civil fusion, has limited Chinese investment in U.S. technology sectors, blocked Chinese telecommunications companies from doing business in the United States and other markets, and tightened controls on the sale of technologies.