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

18 August 2018

India’s evolving response to China’s ‘stealth threat’


New Delhi has been alarmed by China’s deployment of J-20 aircraft near India’s sensitive northeastern border. Last January the Chinese Air Force – officially known as the People’s Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF – conducted extensive military exercises in Tibet with the Chengdu J-20 and other fighters, primarily the Chengdu J-10C and Shenyang J-11. The Chinese planes were using improved Tibetan airfields that China has made all-weather capable. There are now 14 important airfields in Tibet supporting PLAAF operations. Sometime in March, Indian SU-30MKI fighter jets were able to detect the J-20 stealth or low observable fighters on radar, according to senior Indian officials and even reported by Russian news agencies. India followed this up in April with a large-scale air exercise called Gagan Shakti 2018, covering the border with Pakistan, China and supporting maritime operations. (Gagan means GPS Aided Augmented Navigation; Shakti means power, ability and strength.) The Indian government said: “The aim of the exercise was real-time coordination, deployment and employment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario.”

The Pakistan-China relationship is likely to maintain a familiar trajectory.

As economic pressure mounts for Pakistan, it is becoming clear that the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan will have to borrow $12 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease pressure on dwindling foreign reserves and repay overseas loans. Pakistan is reeling from an economic crisis and the IMF is its savior of last resort. But there’s a twist in this tale. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that Washington would block an IMF bailout package for Pakistan if it is used to repay Chinese loans borrowed under the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pompeo underlined that U.S. taxpayer dollars were part of IMF funding and therefore the U.S. government would not allow a bailout package for Pakistan that could be used to repay Chinese creditors or the government of China.

Xi Jinping's Path for China

Editor's Note: This article is written by a member of Stratfor's Asia-Pacific team and is informed by their most recent visit to China. Since assuming power, Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken many steps to reshape his country, de-emphasizing growth to build a more sustainable economy and engaging in more proactive diplomacy. He has also been rewriting political rules to establish himself as a strongman. But as China's economy slows while the United States escalates its trade attacks, policy debates inside the country are intensifying and testing core pillars of Xi's economic and foreign policies — as well as his own political strength. Despite the challenges, China cannot afford to dial back its progress in economic development and global involvement, especially considering its growing strategic competition with the United States.

The Coming Chinese Storm


Mark Kelton, the CIA’s Former Deputy Director for Counterintelligence writes that “the Chinese intelligence storm bearing down on the U.S. has long since announced itself, building from that portentous breeze to a truly gale force. It is a secret assault on America that is without parallel since the assault mounted by Moscow in the 1930’s and 40’s.[1] As was the case during that so-called “Golden Age” of Soviet espionage, Beijing’s ongoing intelligence campaign has garnered no more than episodic public attention, and then only when a spy is arrested or a high-profile cyber-attack is detected.”

Myanmar: China-Myanmar Economic Corridor- Another “Hambantota” in the Making?

By Dr. S.Chandrasekharan
Source Link

In the first week of July, Myanmar formally announced that China and Myanmar have agreed to a 15-point Memorandum of Understanding on building a China-Myanmar Economic Corridor as part of the Belt Road Initiative. Formal signing of the agreement is expected to take place soon. The Corridor will run from Yunnan Province of China to Mandalay in Central Myanmar, then proceed east towards Yangon and then west to the already established Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on the Bay of Bengal. The two Governments have agreed to collaborate in many sectors that would include basic Infrastructure, Construction, Manufacture, Agriculture, Transport, Finance, Human Resources Development, telecommunications, Research and Technology. This would cover a wide spectrum of most economic and social activities. The real thrust is in developing a geo strategic infrastructure for the Chinese and the rest are mere dressings that will make it acceptable to the public.

A Reappraisal of China-Iran Ties After US JCPOA Withdrawal

By: Roie Yellinek
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On May 8, after weeks of negotiations with European leaders, US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal signed between Iran and several other world powers, citing concerns that the JCPOA had failed to constrain Iran’s progress in nuclear weapons development. Not all world leaders shared Trump’s approach. Apart from Iran’s leaders, who, naturally, objected to the imposition of renewed sanctions on their country, European and Chinese leaders both expressed discontent, and have since worked with Iran to preserve elements of the existing deal (Anadolu Agency, May 16). While Britain, Germany and France might find themselves adversely affected by US withdrawal, China and, to a certain extent, Russia, might gain. The reactions of each of the world powers following Trump’s announcement reflect this understanding.

Risky Business: A Case Study of PRC Investment in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

By: Danny Anderson
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China’s “New Silk Road” or “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) has reached Central Asia in resounding fashion. As a result, the republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have seen large increases in Chinese presence and investment. Although both countries have overlapping needs, the degree and character of PRC involvement in each has differed. PRC investment in Tajikistan is characterized by expensive loans on infrastructure investment and energy projects that the country may be unable to repay (, December 25, 2017). Kyrgyzstan, while having hosted similar projects, is also attempting to move the country into the twenty-first century by improving its transportation and digital infrastructure ( Development experts classify both countries as “high-risk” for debt distress given public debt projections ( However, despite the risk of such an outcome, both countries appear inclined to welcome PRC investment with open arms, as a way of funding needed investment like power generation and logistical links with the outside world.

‘No Such Thing’: China Denies U.N. Reports of Uighur Detention Camps

By Nick Cumming-Bruce
Source Link

GENEVA — China issued a blanket denial on Monday of accusations from United Nations experts that it had detained more than a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in re-education camps in the western region of Xinjiang. Beijing has progressively tightened security in Xinjiang since an eruption of violence there in 2009, but the crackdown has escalated since 2016, when a new Communist Party secretary for the region began widely expanding security services and surveillance. Gay McDougall, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, spoke of the region on Friday as becoming “something resembling a massive internment camp,” with mass detention, re-education and disappearances.

China Advances Signals Intelligence

Kimberly Underwood

For the last decade, “informatization” of its national civilian and military infrastructure has been a top priority for the People’s Republic of China. The country’s efforts to become a global power in information and communications technology include a focus on signals intelligence. Out of its $150 billion total defense budget, the country is spending an estimated $15 billion on signals intelligence, said David Stupples, professor of electronic and radio systems, City, University of London, at an August 9 Association of Old Crows (AOC) online event. Not surprisingly, China has the most extensive signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability of any country in the Indo-Pacific region. With increasing tensions in the South China Sea, China’s significant military presence is supported by “unprecedented levels of SIGINT activity,” Stupples noted. The professor ventures that, in particular, China is preparing a major SIGINT facility on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands to “give Beijing an unprecedented reconnaissance overview” of the South China Sea region. 

From laboratory in far west, China’s surveillance state spreads quietly

BEIJING (Reuters) - Filip Liu, a 31-year-old software developer from Beijing, was traveling in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang when he was pulled to one side by police as he got off a bus. The officers took Liu’s iPhone, hooked it up to a handheld device that looked like a laptop and told him they were “checking his phone for illegal information”. Liu’s experience in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital, is not uncommon in a region that has been wracked by separatist violence and a crackdown by security forces. But such surveillance technologies, tested out in the laboratory of Xinjiang, are now quietly spreading across China. Government procurement documents collected by Reuters and rare insights from officials show the technology Liu encountered in Xinjiang is encroaching into cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

17 August 2018

When China Rules the Web

By Adam Segal

For almost five decades, the United States has guided the growth of the Internet. From its origins as a small Pentagon program to its status as a global platform that connects more than half of the world’s population and tens of billions of devices, the Internet has long been an American project. Yet today, the United States has ceded leadership in cyberspace to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has outlined his plans to turn China into a “cyber-superpower.” Already, more people in China have access to the Internet than in any other country, but Xi has grander plans. Through domestic regulations, technological innovation, and foreign policy, China aims to build an “impregnable” cyberdefense system, give itself a greater voice in Internet governance, foster more world-class companies, and lead the globe in advanced technologies.

China-U.S. Trade Spat Is Just a Start to the Economic Cold War

Conor Sen

China is not just another front in President Donald Trump's war on trade. Unlike Mexico, Canada, Europe and other targets of the president, China will be a source of economic conflict for years to come, long after the tariff level on soybeans has been settled. Like the rivalry with the Soviet Union, economic competition with China may form a cold war that shapes American politics and economic policy for a generation or more. Until now, through flukes of timing, Americans have largely been distracted from China's economic development. China joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001, three months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. For the next several years, America's focus was terrorism and war in the Middle East, not China's ascension and its impact on the U.S. economy. Next came a financial crisis and the great recession, which became the national focus for the next several years. The post-recession political environment in the U.S. has largely been one of government dysfunction and partisan polarization.

Let’s Not Invite China to Invade Taiwan

by Gordon G. Chang

In “The United States Must Be Realistic on Taiwan,” Lyle Goldstein, writing on this site, misreads Taiwan’s history, portrays Chinese territorial ambitions as benign, and essentially argues Washington must do what China says because it has weapons. To makes these points, he neglects crucial facts and endorses pro-Beijing arguments that have now been discredited. In addition, he manages to misrepresent my views, sling epithets, resort to innuendo, and include an unrelated personal attack. Personally, I’m appalled, but I will put my feelings aside in order to address the most important geopolitical issue facing Goldstein, me, and everyone else on the planet: How does the world contain persistent Chinese expansionism? “Besides the usual platitudes about supporting democracy and relying on deterrence,” Goldstein writes, “Chang offers no specific policy prescriptions.”

Soviet Collapse Echoes in China’s Belt and Road

David Fickling

According to one influential view, it’s ultimately a question of investment. Great powers are the nations that best harness their economic potential to build up military strength. When they become overextended, the splurge of spending to sustain a strategic edge leaves more productive parts of the economy starved of capital, leading to inevitable decline. That should be a worrying prospect for China, a would-be great power whose current phase of growth is associated with an increasingly aggressive military posture and a tsunami of capital spending in its strategic neighborhood.

Malaysia is pushing back against a $20 billion Chinese debt trap

By Tripti Lahiri

Shortly before his first trip to China since taking office, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said in an interview that he would like to cancel a pair of Chinese projects he had earlier ordered suspended and probed for its ties to the scandal-ridden 1MDB state-development fund. “We don’t think we need those two projects. We don’t think they are viable. So if we can, we would like to just drop the projects,” Mahathir told the Associated Press today (Aug. 13). The projects include the $20 billion, 688-kilometer (430 miles) East Coast Rail Link, which would have linked ports on peninsular Malaysia’s east and west coasts, and was being built by the China Communication Construction Company. It was a key feature of the sprawling global infrastructure plan envisioned by China since 2013. Financed with loans and expected to take a decade to build, the project would have reduced China’s dependence on shipping via the narrowest reaches of the Malacca Strait for its energy needs. The other project involved a pair of gas pipelines to be funded by China’s Exim Bank.

China Doesn’t Want to Play by the World’s Rules


U.S. President Donald Trump’s most recent threat to target all $505 billion in annual Chinese imports to the United States is only the latest development in the looming U.S.-China trade war. While Trump and his team are preparing for an economic competition focused largely on tariffs, policymakers must prepare for a multi-domain competition rooted in Chinese political posturing, domestic propaganda, and economic coercion targeting American firms operating in China. These unconventional challenges will demand a comprehensive U.S. response.

While everyone obsesses over Russia, China is stealing our data blind

By Ned Ryun

With all the focus on Russian hacking, Russian ambition, and Russian threats to U.S. national economic security, another Red Threat continues seemingly unabated: China’s ongoing effort to compete as a global economic power equal to, if not exceeding, the United States. China has the population and the economic ability to compete, and has made its ambitions crystal clear with its Made in China 2025 plans. Part of the strategy is being played out now in the battle over tariffs and trade policy, but far more important to the U.S. innovation economy is the ongoing battle over forced technology transfers and Chinese efforts to steal U.S. intellectual property and control as much data online as possible. Over the past decade, Chinese hackers have launched cyber-attacks, stealing data from the U.S. Congress, the U.S Department of Defense, and the federal Office of Personnel Management, one of the largest data breaches and thefts of American worker identities in history. The Chinese have run sustained cyber operations against our oil industry, critical infrastructure and utility industries, and the entertainment industry. With trade tensions running higher, China’s interest in hacking U.S. private businesses for data, trade secrets and intellectual property has only increased

Space Force Is Trump’s Answer to New Russian and Chinese Weapons


The United States’ decision to establish a new military service to oversee American operations in space reflects a growing concern in Washington over the development of sophisticated new weapons by Russia and China. Our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already. And the United States will not shrink from this challenge,” said Vice President Mike Pence during a speech at the Pentagon on Thursday. The primary aim of establishing a sixth armed service—the others being the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy—is to accelerate the development and deployment of new technologies for space warfighting, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters during an engagement after the rollout.

Xi Jinping's Path for China

Since assuming power, Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken many steps to reshape his country, de-emphasizing growth to build a more sustainable economy and engaging in more proactive diplomacy. He has also been rewriting political rules to establish himself as a strongman. But as China's economy slows while the United States escalates its trade attacks, policy debates inside the country are intensifying and testing core pillars of Xi's economic and foreign policies — as well as his own political strength. Despite the challenges, China cannot afford to dial back its progress in economic development and global involvement, especially considering its growing strategic competition with the United States.

China's Belt and Road Initiative Finds Shaky Ground in Eastern Europe

As part of its Belt and Road Initiative, China will work to build economic and security ties with Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova in the coming years. A variety of factors, including insufficient infrastructure and competition in the region between Russia and the West, will complicate China's expansion in these states. Forging deeper relationships with China will give Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova more leeway for negotiating the standoff between Russia and the West, though Beijing will be careful not to encroach on Moscow's interests in the region.