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

16 February 2019

Although Washington should not sacrifice Taiwan to placate Beijing, it must also refrain from using it as a stick for beating China.

by Eric Heginbotham Rajan Menon

With the U.S.-China relationship descending rapidly into acrimony and indeed frequently characterized as a new Cold War, Taiwan remains a particularly dangerous flashpoint. Although maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait has never been easy, it has now become even more challenging for several reasons. Taiwan’s economic prosperity and dynamic democracy have endowed it with increased confidence and an increasingly separate identity. The leadership in Beijing, for its part, has acquired an unprecedented measure of self-assurance, thanks to China’s growing economic and military power. The United States and China have come to view each other as “strategic competitors,” and the Sino-American trade war shows few signs of fading. To complicate matters, the U.S. Congress, reflecting a broader bid for foreign policy leadership, has inserted itself squarely into the Taiwan issue.

China's Limited Role in the Indian Ocean

By David Brewster

Among the many questions raised by the massive modernisation and expansion of China’s Navy in the last few years is its future role in the Indian Ocean. China has gone from essentially zero presence in the Indian Ocean around a decade ago to a fairly sizeable fleet averaging perhaps four to five surface vessels (plus submarine deployments), although this number fluctuates during crossovers between transiting vessels. China now operates a naval base in Djibouti and no doubt has plans for additional bases in the region.

The geographical fact of (a potentially hostile) India, sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean would make this an extraordinary challenge for China.

This expansion, together with the growth of China’s economic and political influence in the region, has led many to assume that China intends to displace the U.S. Navy as the predominant navy in the Indian Ocean.

China’s Digital Silk Road

Matthew P. Goodman: Good morning, everyone. My name is Matthew Goodman. I hold the Simon Chair in political economy here at CSIS. Delighted to welcome you here to our humble abode for this event on the Digital Silk Road. We’re delighted to have you. We’re also delighted to have, as always, our big online audience. Nice to have you with us as well. Hope this isn’t getting distorted because it’s loud.

Matthew P. Goodman: So we are here to talk about the Digital Silk Road. And I’ll introduce that in a second, and our – and our initial speakers, but let me just first do some administrative things. First, as usual, please turn off your phones, or at least mute them so they don’t disturb the discussion. If we have any kind of security event, I’m your warden, or just follow me basically – obviously we can go down front, if that’s appropriate, or there are emergency exits at either end here. There’s an alley in the back. And the rally point is by National Geographic down on M Street. Unlikely, we’ve never had such a thing, so.

Matthew P. Goodman: And finally, let me thank our sponsors, JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organization, which has been a supporter of us for a long time, and really appreciate their support that enables us to do this kind of programming. And we really appreciate it.

High-Tech Domination and the US-China Trade War: AI Is Cheapening Authoritarian Governance

By Stephen Nagy

China is pursing AI hegemony at the domestic and regional level. It will have consequential impacts for the consolidation of CPP and President’s Xi Jinping’s power. In particular, successfully deploying a nationwide AI-based technology will promote social stability in China. It will also facilitate the leapfrogging of China’s economic development. Simultaneously, pervasive AI-based monitoring significantly lowers the cost of authoritarian governance resulting in the consolidation of the CCP’s position as the central and enduring politic unit in China.

The long-term objective of AI’s nationwide deployment is to allow the CCP leadership to achieve its twin goals of realizing “socialist modernization” by 2035, and to “build a modern socialist country that is strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious” by 2049.

Where Is China’s Foreign Policy Headed?

Zha Daojiong

In testimony last week before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats asserted that “China’s actions reflect a long-term strategy to achieve global superiority.” With China’s global influence and tensions between Washington and Beijing growing apace, what is the best way to understand how China envisions itself in the world? Some contend China’s leaders seek global preeminence; others, that they are principally focused on restoring China’s dominant position within the Asia-Pacific; and yet others, that the country’s engagement abroad is still primarily rooted in fulfilling domestic imperatives. Which conclusion is correct? Which documents, statements, and actions should observers pay attention to in rendering their judgments? —The Editors

What can China’s long-term foreign policy objectives be? An honest answer ought to be: “only time can tell.” But, for reasons practical and political, that can hardly suffice.

Russia and China Can Cripple Critical Infrastructure in United States

Nicole Lindsey

According to the new U.S. Worldwide Threat Assessment, a 42-page report prepared by top security and intelligence agencies in the United States, both Russia and China are capable of launching cyber attacks against critical infrastructure targets in the U.S. Moreover, say top U.S. intelligence officials, both Russia and China appear to be aligning their operations in cyberspace, primarily as a way to challenge U.S. geostrategic dominance in regions such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Threats to critical infrastructure from Russia and China

15 February 2019

The Middle Kingdom Is Dead; Long Live A Global China


It’s one of the fundamental questions about China and its future place in the world: does the great civilization still view the world through the traditional lens of the Middle Kingdom or does the world face a new China, unbound by many of the structures under which it has operated for most of the last 2,000 years. The answer offered here is by Dickson Yeo, a Singaporean scholar steeped in Chinese history, culture and politics. Dickson is a Ph.D candidate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.Read on! The Editor.

Even as as China marches towards economic dominance in Eurasia, the realities of global competition have created a briar patch for China’s central planners. 

Historically, China’s Confucian planners have preferred to view the world through a Middle Kingdom paradigm, favoring self-sufficiency and a coordinated economy which sought to expand domestic production. But the stuggle for natural resources and global chains of supply have forever shattered this stucture, forcing Beijing to rethink its model.

China's Problems Hit It All at Once

Mark Gongloff

Mark Gongloff is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. He previously was a managing editor of, ran the Huffington Post's business and technology coverage, and was a columnist, reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.

The most-read story on the Bloomberg Terminal today is about how two big Chinese companies apparently failed to make key debt payments this month, as bond defaults and corporate failures surge across the country. This is happening while trade negotiators are in Beijing trying to hammer out a deal to avert big U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods starting next month. J. Kyle Bass and Daniel Babich of Hayman Capital Management – the hedge fund that made big, correct bets on subprime mortgages ahead of the crisis – write this is a golden opportunity for President Donald Trump to wring concessions from China.

Do Huawei and Chinese High-Tech companies pose a threat?

Chinese telecom firm Huawei has repeatedly been in the headlines, and not just because of the pending extradition case of its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the USA. In fact, numerous countries are expressing fears over national security threats that Chinese firms, such as Huawei, pose.

As an example, the Australian Parliament reported an effort to hack into its computer network. A statement on February 8 said, "Following a security incident in the parliamentary computing network, a number of measures have been implemented to protect the network and its users. All users have been required to change their passwords."

No culprit has been named, but the media was quick to report that a foreign government might have been behind the Australian attack. Nevertheless, the event illustrates the danger that the computer networks are facing theats from hostile state actors.

China’s Aging Population Is a Major Threat to Its Future


A passing typhoon has just tickled southern China’s Hainan Island, churning the sea into angry peaks. One glance is enough for Li An Xiao and Zhao Zhi Ping to cancel their customary 7 a.m. swim, the kind of unspoken agreement that comes with half a century of happy marriage.

Instead, they join dozens of other retirees performing calisthenics at the adjacent exercise park, where one silver-haired gent nonchalantly hangs upside down from the monkey bars.

Li was once a hydro-engineer in China’s arid northwestern province of Gansu. Today, the 85-year-old is enjoying a leisurely retirement with Zhao, 75, on the volcanic island that is Asia’s closest equivalent to Florida. Lunch at noon, a 3 p.m. dip in their apartment complex’s hot tub, perhaps a nap and, typhoon permitting, back to the beach for a sunset swim. “We love it here,” he says. “Just look at all the trees and flowers! The sea air means we’ve never felt healthier.”

“We must be prepared for clearer Chinese presence in our neighborhood”

By Thomas Nilsen

Presented in Oslo on Monday, the annual military intelligence report assesses threats and security analyses seen with Norwegian eyes. Chief Director of the intelligence service spent much of his time on the rapid changing security situation in the Arctic.

“The focus on military-power development and the conflict with the West, makes Russia to a larger extent turns towards China for support to development of infrastructure,” Morten Haga Lunde said and pointed to Yamal LNG and shipping along the Northern Sea Route.

He underlined the growing military cooperation between Russia and China.

“In the long term, we must be prepared for a clearer Chinese presence also in our neighboring areas,” Haga Lunde said in his presentation.

A U.S.-China Trade Deal Is Coming, but How Big Will It Be?

Kimberly Ann Elliott

Washington and Beijing are a little over two weeks away from their self-imposed March 1st deadline to reach a sweeping trade agreement that addresses China’s alleged unfair trade practices. If they fail, and the current truce in their trade war ends with no deal, the costs will be substantial for both sides. The United States imports more goods from China than any country in the world—roughly $500 billion in 2017—and a breakdown in the talks could lead to even higher tariffs on at least half of that. Right now, under the tariffs steadily imposed by President Donald Trump, the U.S. Customs Service is collecting additional duties of 10 percent on $200 billion in imports from China and 25 percent on another $50 billion. If no deal is reached by March, the 10 percent tariffs will also rise to 25 percent. 

China does not import enough goods from the U.S.—$130 billion total in 2017—to match Trump dollar for dollar. But Beijing retaliated with an equivalent 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in American exports in the first round of this fight, and tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on another $60 billion in the second round. The Chinese authorities also have many other ways to make life miserable for companies operating in China or trying to export there. Since the trade war began, some American firms have reported shipments being held up in Chinese ports and having to undergo far more extensive inspections than before. 

14 February 2019

Beijing’s Olympics Paved the Way for Xinjiang’s Camps


As the Year of the Pig begins, in Beijing and the mountainous Yanqing district just 50 miles from the capital, construction is well underway for the 2022 Winter Olympics, now just three years away. Meanwhile, at the other end of the country, another form of construction is going on. Beijing’s internment camps for Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to hold around a million inmates. As China’s oppression of minorities and civil society grows, so should questions about whether the Olympics should be hosted by Beijing at all—especially as Beijing’s 2008 Summer Olympics marked a turning point in renewed oppression.

Historically, the Olympics have always turned a blind eye to atrocity, most infamously with the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Historically, the Olympics have always turned a blind eye to atrocity, most infamously with the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The Dachau concentration camp was opened in 1933, and the Nuremberg race laws, which set the legal framework for anti-Semitism, were passed a year before the Olympics. Germany’s growing terror was so well known that there were strong calls for the United States and other nations to boycott the games. Despite this, in the end, a record number of nations—including the United States­—attended.

Responsible competition and the future of U.S.-China relations

Ryan Hass and Mira Rapp-Hooper

While there is little doubt that China’s domestic turn toward authoritarianism and its foreign policy assertiveness pose growing challenges to American interests, the gathering momentum toward thinking about U.S.-China relations in the context of inescapable confrontation raises more questions than it answers.

As observers of and participants in these quickly-evolving debates on the future of U.S.-China relations and the role of the United States in Asia, we believe that an important set of questions remains to be answered. Below we identify seven questions that the China-facing policy community is now debating as it grapples with how the United States should respond to challenges being posed by China’s rise. In many cases, these major questions beget research agendas of their own. If the United States seeks to craft a durable and comprehensive strategy for its role in Asia and relationship with China, experts and policymakers must interrogate these debates.

1What are China’s national ambitions?

China's cybersecurity law update lets state agencies 'pen-test' local companies

By Catalin Cimpanu

Any company that provides an internet-related service with more than five internet-connected computers is susceptible to these inspections.

The Chinese government agency tasked with carrying out these penetration tests is the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the same agency which also maintains China's Great Firewall and its nationwide facial recognition system and surveillance cameras network.

MSP officials received these new powers on November 1, 2018, in the form of new provisions to China's Cybersecurity Law, first adopted in 2017.

These new provisions, named "Regulations on Internet Security Supervision and Inspection by Public Security Organs" (公安机关互联网安全监督检查规定) give the MSP the following new powers:

U.S. Military Warns of Threat From Chinese-Run Space Station in Argentina


Senior U.S. defense officials are growing increasingly concerned that the Chinese military can monitor and potentially target U.S. and allied satellites from a new deep space ground station in the Western Hemisphere, located in the deserts of Patagonia.

In wide-ranging testimony before the U.S. Congress on Feb. 7, Adm. Craig Faller, the newly confirmed commander of U.S. Southern Command, warned lawmakers about China’s accelerated expansion into Latin America. Not only does China support the autocratic regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua and employ predatory lending practices across the region, but it is also investing in key infrastructure such as a deep-space tracking facility in Argentina, Faller told lawmakers.

China’s Rapid AI Development Has Its Limits: Report


Chinese artificial-intelligence researchers are aware of ways their work lags the United States’ — and Beijing is working to fix those.

If China’s leaders start hearing “I’m sorry, Xi, I can’t do that,” it’s probably not because the country’s various artificial-intelligence projects have become sentient. It’s because Chinese scientists and policymakers realize there are obstacles to achieving the government’s ambitious goal of “AI dominance” by 2030.

That’s one contention of a new report from the Center for a New American Security, whose author, Gregory C. Allen, says Chinese scientists and leaders are now aware of ways their research and development programs are lagging those of the United States. Put another way, China is not hurtling past the United States in AIdevelopment — yet. For Allen also writes that Beijing is working to remove the obstacles to that goal.

US shift on South China Sea ‘grey zone’ aggression signals stronger response ahead

Laura Zhou

The assessment follows a call on Wednesday by US Navy chief Admiral John Richardson for tougher action against “grey zone” aggression from Russia and China, as a way to prevent maritime tensions from escalating into full-blown conflicts.

A conceptual space between peace and war, grey zone tactics involve coercive actions below a threshold that could typically prompt a conventional military response.

Richardson said the US should seek to enforce rules on China’s coastguard and maritime militia fishing boats – two examples of grey zone non-military vessels with which the US Navy may have close and unprofessional encounters.

How China and the U.S. Are Competing for Young Minds in Southeast Asia

Kristine Lee 

Business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month warned that China has overtaken the United States in the development of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, such as fifth-generation wireless or 5G. “There’s almost an endless stream of people who are showing up and developing new companies,” Blackstone’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman told one panel of his frequent trips to China. “The venture business there in AI-oriented companies is really exploding with growth.” 

13 February 2019

Does Beijing grasp the portent of embracing Afghanistan and the Taliban?

Raffaello Pantucci 

During that time, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his colleague, Ambassador Deng Xijun, have racked up the air miles doing shuttle diplomacy between Kabul, Islamabad and hosting people in Beijing.

The result of all this manoeuvring was a successful trilateral meeting in Kabul between the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Pakistan and China – a parley which appears to have helped accelerate the latest round of peace negotiations in Afghanistan’s seemingly endless conflict.

Yet amid the positive mood, it is still not clear what China’s expectations and plans are for Afghanistan. Nor is it clear that Beijing has fully appreciated the central role into which it is increasingly stepping.

The first question to ask is: What has spurred this new surge of Chinese diplomacy?