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

13 July 2020

Could China Beat America in a War? China Thinks So.

by Zachary Keck

Here's What You Need to Remember: The overwhelming belief that the PLA would prevail in a conflict with the United States in the East or South China Seas could make it easier for Chinese leaders to gain support for aggressive policies.

The vast majority of Chinese citizens believe the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could seize islands in the East and South China Seas, even if the U.S. military were to intervene in the conflicts.

No less than 87 percent of respondents said that the Chinese military already possessed the capability to take back the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands from Japan, according to a public opinion poll several years back. When asked whether they still believed the PLA could achieve this objective if the U.S. intervened in the conflict, 74 percent said yes.

The numbers were much the same for the South China Sea. When asked whether they believed the PLA could militarily take back disputed islands in the South China Sea, 85.6 percent of respondents said that China’s military could achieve this objective. Even if the U.S. military intervened on behalf of the Southeast Asian nations, about 73 percent of respondents said they still believed the Chinese military would prevail.

How the US could ramp up its economic war on China

Jonathan Hackenbroich

There are at least 11 different ways the United States could use economic weapons to harm China in the coming years.

The United States could soon place sanctions on European officials. Last month, a leaked German economics ministry report warned that Congress’s proposed Protecting European Energy Security Clarification Act (PEESCA) could lead to sanctions on ministry staff involved in the inspection and certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The report rightly calls this “an entirely new development if it materialised”. For a long time, such a scenario was simply unimaginable – the United States would never move to sanction, directly or indirectly, government officials of allied countries, and certainly not Europeans. So thought many on both sides of the Atlantic. But, as with many of its economic coercion manoeuvres – from export controls to treating European cars as a potential national security threat – the US is breaking one taboo after the other.

There is now a long list of instruments the US could use in a new round of economic warfare with China and others. The selection below focuses on measures that have direct or great indirect relevance for Europe. It is in part based on an extraordinary new report compiled by Republican foreign policymakers in Congress calling for a vast expansion of US economic coercion. Not all of the following measures are necessarily likely to be implemented, but they are all possible over the course of the coming months.

The Political Logic of China’s Strategic Mistakes

MINXIN PEI

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – Some of the Chinese government’s recent policies seem to make little practical sense, with its decision to impose a national-security law on Hong Kong being a prime example. The law’s rushed enactment by China’s rubber-stamp National People’s Congress on June 30 effectively ends the “one country, two systems” model that has prevailed since 1997, when the city was returned from British to Chinese rule, and tensions between China and the West have increased sharply.

The worse economic fundamentals and forecasts become, the more mysterious stock-market outcomes in the US appear. At a time when genuine news suggests that equity prices should be tanking, not hitting record highs, explanations based on crowd psychology, the virality of ideas, and the dynamics of narrative epidemics can shed some light.

Hong Kong’s future as an international financial center is now in grave peril, while resistance by residents determined to defend their freedom will make the city even less stable. Moreover, China’s latest move will help the United States to persuade wavering European allies to join its nascent anti-China coalition. The long-term consequences for China are therefore likely to be dire.

Why China's Race For AI Dominance Depends On Math

by Michael Auslin

THE WORLD first took notice of Beijing’s prowess in artificial intelligence (AI) in late 2017, when BBC reporter John Sudworth, hiding in a remote southwestern city, was located by China’s CCTV system in just seven minutes. At the time, it was a shocking demonstration of power. Today, companies like YITU Technology and Megvii, leaders in facial recognition technology, have compressed those seven minutes into mere seconds. What makes those companies so advanced, and what powers not only China’s surveillance state but also its broader economic development, is not simply its AI capability, but rather the math power underlying it. 

The race for AI supremacy has become perhaps the most visible aspect of the great power competition between America and China. The world’s dominant AI power will have the ability to shape global finance, commerce, telecommunications, warfighting, and computing. President Donald Trump recognized this last February by signing an executive order, the “American AI Initiative,” designed to protect U.S. leadership in key AI technologies. In just a few years, American corporations, universities, think tanks, and the government have devoted hundreds of policy papers and projects to addressing this challenge.

Yet forget about “AI” itself. It’s all about the math, and America is failing to train enough citizens in the right kinds of mathematics to remain dominant.

Multilateralism With Chinese Characteristics: Bringing in the Hub-and-Spoke

By Deep Pal and Suchet Vir Singh

Shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that “neither had China entered our territory, nor occupied our posts,” on June 19, in reference to the tragic incident in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released their version of events. China turned Modi’s statement around to accuse India of transgressing and trying to alter the status quo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Although clarifications came from the Prime Minister’s Office a day later, this swift round of China’s infamous “wolf-warrior diplomacy” allowed them to capture the narrative surrounding the clash at Galwan Valley.

However, changing ground realities with neighbors only represents a small part of a much larger and ambitious set of goals for China. Beyond territorial ambitions, Beijing wants to control how states interact. The latest such instance that provides Beijing with this opportunity is the recent U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO). For China, this is an opportunity to add to its heft in the international order and fulfil its ambitions of redesigning multilateral arrangements. It also means replacing the current U.S. endorsed “liberal rules-based order” with a model that benefits Beijing and fulfills its self-interests.

China Is NATO’s New Problem

BY LAUREN SPERANZA
Source Link

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars throughout Europe—buying up critical infrastructure and increasing Beijing’s political clout across the continent. As Chinese firms, often with strong ties to the state and Chinese Communist Party (CCP), acquire parts of sensitive ports, pipelines, and telecommunication networks, China’s incursions into Europe’s security umbrella are drawing serious concern.

But NATO, long worried about Russia, has largely been silent on China. Now, that is changing. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently called on the alliance to stand up to Beijing’s “bullying and coercion,” underscoring how China’s rise is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power. It’s apparent that NATO can no longer ignore the threat. If the alliance hopes to remain competitive, it will need to develop a new strategy for dealing with Beijing.

First, NATO needs a common assessment of China’s hybrid threats—a mix of diplomatic, economic, security, information, and technological actions designed to quietly undermine democratic states and institutions to Beijing’s benefit while avoiding a traditional conflict. While China’s conventional military threat in the Indo-Pacific is far from NATO’s borders, its hybrid activities are happening in the alliance’s own backyard.

The Political Logic of China’s Strategic Mistakes

MINXIN PEI

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – Some of the Chinese government’s recent policies seem to make little practical sense, with its decision to impose a national-security law on Hong Kong being a prime example. The law’s rushed enactment by China’s rubber-stamp National People’s Congress on June 30 effectively ends the “one country, two systems” model that has prevailed since 1997, when the city was returned from British to Chinese rule, and tensions between China and the West have increased sharply.

The worse economic fundamentals and forecasts become, the more mysterious stock-market outcomes in the US appear. At a time when genuine news suggests that equity prices should be tanking, not hitting record highs, explanations based on crowd psychology, the virality of ideas, and the dynamics of narrative epidemics can shed some light.

Hong Kong’s future as an international financial center is now in grave peril, while resistance by residents determined to defend their freedom will make the city even less stable. Moreover, China’s latest move will help the United States to persuade wavering European allies to join its nascent anti-China coalition. The long-term consequences for China are therefore likely to be dire.

Is Taiwan the Next Hong Kong?

By Michael Green and Evan Medeiros

Pro-democracy protests have rocked Hong Kong for more than a year. Now, China has imposed a draconian national security law that will undermine the territory’s autonomy and, by extension, its identity. The new law is a profound tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, but unfortunately, there is little the international community can do to halt its implementation. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that it will dial up pressure on Hong Kong’s government. But doing so risks hurting Hong Kong’s economy more than Beijing’s and accelerating the territory’s absorption into southern China.

Some analysts have therefore counseled U.S. restraint, arguing that a softer touch could encourage Beijing to moderate its implementation of the law and avoid making the situation worse. But there are larger issues at stake. U.S. policymakers must consider more than Hong Kong when formulating their response. A tepid U.S. reaction could leave Beijing with the impression that it can proceed with relative impunity on other contentious issues in Asia. The shadow of Taiwan looms large in this context. Unless the United States demonstrates the resolve and ability to resist Chinese coercion and aggression, China’s leaders may eventually conclude that the risks and the costs of future military action against Taiwan are low—or at least tolerable.

12 July 2020

How Shared Distrust of China Is Fueling Closer India-Australia Relations

Ian Hall

Had Scott Morrison traveled to New Delhi as planned in January, it would have been the fourth such trip by an Australian prime minister in a decade, a testament to the considerable effort successive governments in Canberra have made to build a viable strategic partnership with India. But a bushfire crisis at home, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, forced Morrison and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, to settle for a virtual summit on June 4.

If the two leaders were disappointed by this outcome, they certainly did not show it. Both took to social media to make a show of bilateral friendship, with Morrison posting pictures on Twitter of homemade vegetarian “ScoMosas”—a play on his nickname, ScoMo, and samosas—and expressing regret that Modi could not taste one. On cue, the Indian prime minister replied that they looked “delicious.”

The High Risk of Learning the Wrong China Lessons

SCOTT LINCICOME
Source Link

Everywhere you look in Washington these days, you'll find a China hawk. Many, however, look upon China's recent and obvious economic, foreign policy, human rights, and public health offenses and point fingers not at Beijing but inward at U.S. policymakers from decades ago. In particular, a bipartisan chorus of politicians, think tankers and presidential advisers decry the 2000 U.S. law that granted China "permanent normal trade relations" (PNTR) and China's 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and blame it for both the country's rise and the now-famous "China Shock"—the period between 1999 and 2011 during which a sizeable increase in Chinese imports supposedly destroyed approximately 2.4 million U.S. jobs. They've in turn used this "mistake," to justify grand rethinks of current U.S. foreign and economic policy—including withdrawal from the WTO itself. Since we got China so wrong, critics argue, we clearly must abandon traditional U.S. positions on not only China but also trade agreements, industrial policy, labor policy, and international engagement more broadly. 

The trendy view of U.S.–China economic engagement errs repeatedly, and in doing so risks new U.S. policies that "fix" a "problem" of limited actual import and which could make things worse, not better, for both the United States and the world.

Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear

Kevin Frayer

Geremie Barmé is a historian, cultural critic, filmmaker, translator, and web-journal editor who works on Chinese cultural and intellectual history from the early modern period (1600s) to the present...

My thanks to Warren Sun who read over the draft translation of this essay and offered a number of insightful suggestions and to two other unnamed friends who helped me rid the text of various infelicities. I blame my obduracy for those that remain. For more essays by Xu Zhangrun in English, and for an account of his persecution by Tsinghua University, see the Xu Zhangrun Archive published by China Heritage.—Geremie Barmé

Subheadings have been added by the translator. The rule of Xi Jinping is officially hailed as China’s “New Era.“

Translator’s Introduction

Trump’s New Realism in China

BY MICHAEL AUSLIN

This summer, as the international travel industry began its struggle to rebuild after collapsing during the coronavirus pandemic, Beijing maintained a near-blanket ban on U.S. airlines flying into China while allowing Chinese carriers to fly freely from American airports back home. By the beginning of June, with Chinese flights increasing on American soil, Washington announced that it would block Chinese passenger air flights into the United States in retaliation for the prohibition. Within one day of the announcement, Beijing indicated that it would relax its restriction. The episode was the latest evidence that the Trump administration does have a coherent China policy—and it is based on reciprocity.

Critics of the president describe his White House as vacillating wildly or barreling toward an outright break in ties with China. In his new book, for example, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, at the moment the most visible of the critics, claims that President Donald Trump’s China policy is “chaotic,” reflects “incoherence,” and is “not grounded in philosophy, grand strategy or policy” but rather in domestic political calculations. Yet the example of the airline ban, among others, offers a different interpretation. And although it is too soon to judge the ultimate effectiveness of a reciprocity strategy, it represents a potentially fundamental shift in Washington’s approach to Beijing, overturning four decades of diplomatic practice.

Everyone Knows We’re Arming Up Because of China

John Lee
Source Link

Take with a large grain of salt the diplomatic denials that the 2020 Strategic Defence Update and commitment to spend $270bn on defence across the next decade is all about one country. There are other troubling developments in the region but only China’s coercive turn can account for the dramatic upgrade of our martial mindset, posture and capabilities.

That Beijing’s foreign ministry responded immediately in saying that all countries should avoid an arms race and refrain from purchasing unnecessary equipment is evidence it knows Canberra’s announcements last week is about China — which has caused some to question the Morrison government for poking the Chinese Communist Party in the eye when the bilateral relationship is deeply strained.

These are criticisms moved by a poor sense of history and strategy, and a poor understanding of the principles of negotiation and managing risk.

Since the early 1990s, the annual increase in spending on the People’s Liberation Army has been growing about twice as fast as the country’s gross domestic product and the increase in fiscal revenues collected by the regime. It has come to the point where China spends more on its military each year than the combined military outlays of all countries in East Asia, South Asia and Oceania — and the gap is widening. This is accompanied by a shift, which occurred two decades ago, from defending the homeland to developing offensive and power projection capabilities in the sea, air, cyber and space -domains.

China challenges U.S. to cut nuclear arsenal to matching level


Fu Cong, head of arms control department of Chinese foreign ministry, speaks at a news conference in Beijing, China July 8, 2020. REUTES/Shubing Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) - China would “be happy to” participate in trilateral arms control negotiations with the United States and Russia, but only if the United States were willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China’s level, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.

Washington has repeatedly called for China to join in trilateral negotiations to extend New START, a flagship nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia that is due to expire in February next year.

Fu Cong, head of the arms control department of Chinese foreign ministry, reiterated to reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that China has no interest in joining the negotiation with former Cold War-era superpowers, given that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is about 20 times the size of China’s.

“I can assure you, if the U.S. says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level, China would be happy to participate the next day,” he said. “But actually, we know that’s not going to happen.”

China ready to improve ties if US is willing, says Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Teddy Ng
Wang became the most senior Chinese official in recent months to voice a more positive message for ties between the two, stressing that China would not displace the US as a superpower, and suggesting three lists that he said could identify and resolve disputes.

The reconciliation message followed months of sabre-rattling and rising calls for a decoupling of the two nations, and after top diplomats from both sides laid out the sticking points in their disputes in high-level talks in Hawaii last month.

In those talks, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi expressed Chinese frustrations over Washington’s actions concerning Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Criticism Of China’s South China Sea Military Exercises Is Hyped And Hypocritical – Analysis

By Mark J. Valencia

On 1 July, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy and Coast Guard began exercises in the South China Sea that included practice of amphibious assaults. They were held in a declared temporary maritime exclusion zone (MEZ) southeast of Hainan and “in portions” of the China-controlled but Vietnam claimed Paracel Islands. 

The US Pentagon lambasted China saying that “conducting military exercises over (sic) disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to_ _easing tensions and maintaining stability.” It charged that “such exercises also violate the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea [DOC] to avoid activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability. It concluded by urging” all parties to exercise restraint and not undertake military activities that might aggravate disputes.” The Philippines and Vietnam also objected. These criticisms were both hyped and hypocritical.

The U.S. promptly demonstrated its lack of restraint by deploying two of its most prominent symbols of power –air craft carrier strike groups– into the South China Sea. According to a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet,” the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are conducting dual carrier operations in the South China Sea”. However, “the presence of two carriers is not in response to any political or world events”. https://www.channel3000.com/us-navy-to-send-two-aircraft-carriers-and-several-warships-to-south-china-sea/This is nonsense.

Impact Of AI On Nuclear Deterrence: China, Russia and The US – Analysis

By Lora Saalman
Source Link

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an increasingly important component of weapons systems, with both positive and negative implications for nuclear deterrence. Integration of AI into military platforms has the potential to allow weaker nuclear-armed states to reset the imbalance of power, but at the same time it exacerbates fears that stronger states may further solidify their dominance and engage in more provocative actions.

China, Russia, and the US are all engaged in developing and integrating AI applications into their military modernization programs. These applications include machine learning, neural networks, and autonomy that feature in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. They also include the deployment of unmanned weapons-delivery and defense platforms.
AI has both defensive and offensive applications

At the defensive level, AI has a strong allure for countries that have less capable early-warning systems and smaller and weaker nuclear and conventional arsenals. Machines have the capacity to make decisions based on objective criteria, avoiding the pitfalls of human error, and they can provide faster anticipation and response to an incoming attack. These capabilities are compelling for countries such as China and Russia that have concerns about deficiencies in their early-warning capabilities in the face of improving US capacity to mount high-precision, stealthy, and swift attacks.

China Says It Could Sink U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers. That Might Not Be Accurate.

by Kris Osborn

AChinese-government backed newspaper is reporting that U.S. carriers in the South China Sea are “fully within the grasp of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army…..which has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like the DF-21D and DF-26 ‘aircraft carrier missiles.’”

The Chinese report comes in response to U.S. dual-carrier training operations in the region using the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz. The U.S. drills involve decided efforts to prepare for the possibility of a coordinated, multi-carrier attack. These types of operations succeed by virtue of elaborate networking, and command and control and air-confliction efforts. They also deliver a massive advantage to maritime attack options by, essentially, doubling firepower, surveillance potential and weapons capability. 

Not only would a dual-carrier attack option extend the Navy’s ability to hit inland targets to a larger extent, extend target-searching dwell time and enable coordinated multi-platform strikes, but they also greatly improve destroyer-and-cruiser launched missile attacks. Each Carrier Strike Group consists of a carrier, cruiser and two destroyers, bringing a large, integrated combination of sea-launched assets.

China’s Second Wave of Coronavirus Censorship Is Here

BY TRACY WEN LIU
Source Link

My Weibo account was blocked on May 19. I had been using this account on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter for more than nine years, published thousands of posts, and accumulated around 90,000 followers. On the same day, five of my friends who are writers and influencers also lost their Weibo accounts. We were all familiar with China’s growing censorship and had avoided using words and phrases that the Chinese government didn’t like—but we fell victim to an expanding system anyway.

We certainly weren’t alone. A wave of new censorship has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, most of it focused on covering up the stories around COVID-19 itself. Since January, I have worked as an independent reporter in the United States writing coronavirus-related articles, and I also organized a volunteer group in Austin, Texas, to ship donations of medical gear to hospitals in Wuhan, China. While I helped dozens of doctors, nurses, and patients in recent months, I also tried to use my limited power to reveal the truth—and found myself repeatedly shut down by the authorities.

After the lockdown on Jan. 23, the situation in Wuhan was chaotic and horrific. I was told by Li, a doctor at Wuhan No. 4 Hospital, that “there’s insufficient manpower, limited treatment, and scarce [personal protective equipment].” In a Weibo group named “COVID-19 patients pleading for help,” there were more than 150,000 people—mostly patients and their families—asking for assistance. (I am providing only pseudonymous surnames in order to protect sources.] A lot of these patients were untested and untreated due to a shortage of medical resources.

China Is NATO’s New Problem

BY LAUREN SPERANZA
Source Link

Over the past decade, Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars throughout Europe—buying up critical infrastructure and increasing Beijing’s political clout across the continent. As Chinese firms, often with strong ties to the state and Chinese Communist Party (CCP), acquire parts of sensitive ports, pipelines, and telecommunication networks, China’s incursions into Europe’s security umbrella are drawing serious concern.

But NATO, long worried about Russia, has largely been silent on China. Now, that is changing. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently called on the alliance to stand up to Beijing’s “bullying and coercion,” underscoring how China’s rise is fundamentally shifting the global balance of power. It’s apparent that NATO can no longer ignore the threat. If the alliance hopes to remain competitive, it will need to develop a new strategy for dealing with Beijing.