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

24 June 2017

Sounding The Warning: DoD Report Examines The Growing Security Challenge From China

by Dean Cheng

The annual Department of Defense report on Chinese military and security development makes clear that China’s military capabilities are steadily expanding in every potential warfighting domain: land, sea, air, outer space, and information space. The Chinese are clearly intent upon dominating the western Pacific in order to secure their environment. This will affect not only U.S. allies, but the United States itself. America needs to respond by reassuring our allies and deterring potential adversaries.

Key Takeaways

China is expanding in every potential warfighting domain: land, sea, air, outer space, and information space.

The Chinese are clearly intent upon dominating the western Pacific in order to secure their environment.

The PLA Strategic Support Force will likely undertake missions to help establish dominance of the key domains of outer space and cyber space.

Select a Section 1/0

Consistent with the fiscal year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Department of Defense (DOD) recently released its annual report to Congress on Chinese military and security developments. The report lays out the official views of the DOD and the U.S. intelligence community on the state of the Chinese military and Chinese security activities. Its issuance has been protested annually by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as furthering perceptions of a “China threat.”

23 June 2017

Why the West treats China with kid gloves

By DIEGO TORRES

ADRID — If you want to know why the European Union has shied from challenging China on its human rights record, look no further than what happened the last time a European country crossed Beijing.

In November 2013, a Spanish court ordered a prosecuting magistrate in charge of an investigation into an alleged genocide in Tibet to issue international arrest warrants for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, former Prime Minister Li Peng and three other retired top Communist officials.

The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed in 2006 by two Tibetan support groups based in Spain and a Tibetan exile with Spanish nationality. It took advantage of a local law that allowed Spanish judges to prosecute crimes against humanity committed outside the country — legislation that famously led to the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in the U.K. in 1998.

Beijing didn’t take long to respond. Two days after the ruling, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, expressed Beijing’s “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the investigation and warned Spanish authorities “not [to] do things that harm the Chinese side and the relationship between China and Spain.”

Behind the scenes, Beijing froze all high-level meetings with Spanish representatives, including a state visit by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, according to two sources in the foreign and economy ministries.

“They put us in the fridge for a while,” said a Spanish official who was working in Beijing at the time.

22 June 2017

China, Europe, and the US: Are Changes Coming to the World Order?

By Roie Yellinek

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The German Chancellor’s daily routine has been attracting wide attention of late. Angela Merkel met recently with US President Donald Trump, followed by meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Merkel expressed some of her colleagues’ thoughts after meeting Trump by saying, “Europe can no longer completely rely on its longstanding US alliance”. The timing of the Chinese visit, shortly after Trump’s visit, was not coincidental. China has a vision of joining forces with Europe to counterbalance the US, and President Trump’s reception in Europe made this vision more plausible.

US President Donald Trump’s visit to EU headquarters in Brussels on May 24-25, 2017 caused major discomfort among members of the Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the strongest leader in the EU, spoke for several of her colleagues when she said, “Europe can no longer completely rely on its longstanding US alliance.”

Merkel’s words caused a firestorm. Until recently, the strength of the transatlantic alliance had been largely taken for granted. Trump’s declaration that the US will not endorse the Paris climate treaty, signed in 2015, unless changes are made further destabilized US relations with Europe.

Balochistan: The Chinese Chequered

Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

The Islamic State (IS, also Daesh) on June 8, 2017, claimed the killing of two Chinese nationals who had been abducted from the Jinnah Town area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, in the afternoon of May 24, 2017. Amaq, the IS propaganda agency, declared, “Islamic State fighters killed two Chinese people they had been holding in Baluchistan province, south-west Pakistan.” The Chinese couple, Lee Zing Yang (24) and Meng Li Si (26), were studying Urdu in Quetta, where they reportedly also ran a Mandarin language course.According to Deputy Inspector General Police Aitzaz Goraya, unknown abductors, wearing Police uniforms, had forced the two foreigners into a vehicle at gunpoint and driven away. They also tried to overpower another Chinese woman but she ran away. A man present at the site attempted to resist the kidnapping, but was shot at by one of the abductors. So far no local group has claimed responsibility for the incident (abduction and subsequent killing). Reports speculate that the actual perpetrators were linked to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Alami (LeJ-A), the international wing of the LeJ, which believed to be affiliated to Daesh.

The claim came hours after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released details of a three-day operation (June 1-3) by the Pakistan Army against Daesh-affiliated terrorists in the Mastung area of Balochistan, in which Security Forces (SFs) had killed 12 suspected terrorists, including two suicide bombers. ISPR claimed, There were reports of 10-15 terrorists of a banned outfit Lashrake-Jhangivi Al-Almi (LeJA) hiding in caves near Isplingi ( Koh-i-Siah/Koh-i- Maran) 36 Kilometer South East of Mastung." And further, "The suicide bomber used against Deputy Chairman of Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haydri on May 12 was also sent by [the targeted group]." The ISPR statement asserted that SFs destroyed an explosives facility inside the cave where the terrorists were hiding, and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, including 50 kilogrammes of explosives, three suicide jackets, 18 grenades, six rocket launchers, four light machine guns,18 small machine guns, four sniper rifles, 38 communication sets and ammunition of various types.

21 June 2017

*** Countering China’s High-Altitude Land Grab


BRAHMA CHELLANEY

Bite by kilometer-size bite, China is eating away at India’s Himalayan borderlands. For decades, Asia’s two giants have fought a bulletless war for territory along their high-altitude border. Recently, though, China has become more assertive, underscoring the need for a new Indian containment strategy.

On average, China launches one stealth incursion into India every 24 hours. Kiren Rijiju, India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, says the People’s Liberation Army is actively intruding into vacant border space with the objective of occupying it. And according to a former top official with India’s Intelligence Bureau, India has lost nearly 2,000 square kilometers to PLA encroachments over the last decade.

The strategy underlying China’s actions is more remarkable than their scope. On land, like at sea, China uses civilian resources – herders, farmers, and grazers – as the tip of the spear. Once civilians settle on contested land, army troops gain control of the disputed area, paving the way for the establishment of more permanent encampments or observation posts. Similarly, in the South China Sea, China’s naval forces follow fishermen to carve out space for the reclamation of rocks or reefs. In both theaters, China has deployed no missiles, drones, or bullets to advance its objectives.

* The lost Sanskrit treasures of Tibet

Ananth Krishnan

When Ye Shaoyong, a prominent Chinese Sanskrit scholar, first came across the old yellowed palm leaves from Drepung, one of Tibet's most important monasteries, he was intrigued by the letters on the page. The 14 palm leaves he found bore ancient writing, older than anything that the Sanskrit professor from Peking University had ever seen. That day in 2003, Ye stumbled upon one of the oldest undiscovered Sanskrit texts from India-a 2nd century text, the Mulamadhyamakakarika, one of the founding texts of Mahayana Buddhism that had, until Ye's discovery, only ever been seen referenced in quotations in later commentaries. 

Chinese scholars say this rare palm leaf is among hundreds-possibly thousands-that still lie in Tibet's monasteries, carrying a trove of more than thousand-year-old information about Indian philosophical thought and history, from between the 2nd and 14th centuries. Ye spent a decade painstakingly translating the old manuscript, which was finally published four years ago and is among the first from this forgotten treasure to be made public. "Tibet might be the last treasure of Sanskrit manuscripts which has not yet been fully investigated," he wrote in his book. "Nonetheless," he lamented, "they are still gathering dust on the shelves of monasteries or in the drawers of museums." 

20 June 2017

*** “The Other Side of ‘the Biggest Political Story in China’”


New York Times has dubbed internet sensation Guo Wengui “the biggest political story in China this year.” The Chinese billionaire, also known as Miles Kwok, has been streaming online videos of himself making allegations of massive corruption against the Communist Party of China’s top figures. His newfound stardom is his way of reacting to his own brush with the authorities; he, too, has been accused (he claims unjustly) of corruption. According to Guo, his family members have been jailed and humiliated, his staff members rounded up and allegedly tortured in detention, for a crime he didn’t commit.

Guo’s claims, which have so far gone unchallenged, charge China’s most highly placed with new depths of lowly behavior. He has accused, for instance, “anti-corruption tsar” Wang Qishan of being far more corrupt than any of the officials he has punished for the same crime. Wang’s family reportedly controls assets worth hundreds of billions of yuan, and travels the world in the only Boeing 787 ever to be repurposed as a private jet.

** Did the US Just Abandon Tibet?

By Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Reversing its stand on Tibet policy and giving a huge jolt to the Tibetan aspirations, the Trump administration recently took a step away from precedent by proposing zero aid to the Tibetans in 2018. This move points to both the changing internal politics of the United States, especially after Trump’s election, and also the new geopolitics and emerging world order, which is overshadowed by the People’s Republic of China.

The U.S. “Tibetan Policy Act of 2002” clearly states that it is intended to “support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity,” including by supporting “projects designed … to raise the standard of living for the Tibetan people and assist Tibetans to become self-sufficient.” This act, a major piece of Tibet legislation, was enacted as law by President George W. Bush on September 30, 2002, as part of the U.S. Foreign Relations Authorizations Act.

Since the second half of the 20th century, the “Tibet Question” remained an important factor in the US-China relationship. The Tibet agenda of the United States was tactically inspired by a dual policy encompassing both a strategic and a pragmatic aspect. Strategically, the United States has consistently and explicitly supported the Chinese position that Tibet is a part of China. But at pragmatic level, Washington has been opportunistic in its dealing with Tibet and has been prone to wide fluctuations: the provision of financial and military aid to Tibetan guerrilla forces in the 1950s and ’60s; neglect and almost no official contact in the ’70s and ’80s; the enactment of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002; and most recently the Trump administration proposal to withdraw all monetary assistance to the Tibetan community.

** One Belt, One Road: Why Trump Should Get Behind China's Economic Growth Plan

Doug Bandow

Like Hong Kong, Macau enjoys special status within China. The Special Administrative Region is effectively governed by Beijing, but retains liberal freedoms reflecting its Portuguese heritage. Much smaller than neighboring Hong Kong, Macau relies on gaming rather than finance as its economic foundation.

The Special Administrative Region took a major economic hit in 2015 in the midst of the Xi government’s crackdown on corruption and ostentatious living. The flow of Chinese “whales” to Macau’s casinos slowed and the economy retrenched. Macau has since recovered, but its leaders hope to diversify for the future. To promote that end the territory hosted the international conference on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Macau’s development.

The initiative, also known as One Belt, One Road, was proposed by China’s President Xi Jinping four years ago. A priority for Beijing, it necessarily is a priority for anyone under Beijing’s sway. And while Western states have been understandably skeptical of the program, Xi’s plans have been boosted by the Trump administration’s retreat from the international marketplace.

Why the Belt & Road Initiative? Key drivers behind Xi Jinping’s grand project


“Belt and Road” is the most discussed phrase in Indian foreign policy circles over the last month or so. And yet, we have an incomplete understanding over the factors behind this grand project.

At a simplistic level, it is either seen as a Chinese project to encircle India or as a project to deploy China’s potentially crippling overcapacity in the infrastructure sector.

This is where I found Nadege Rolland’s China’s Eurasian Century? to be of great help. Chapter 3 of the book lists a number of drivers behind BRI.

To make greater sense, I have classified the factors listed by the author into 3 categories: domestic, geopolitical, and geoeconomic.

“Zhōngguó mèng” — The Chinese Dream — is China’s equivalent of Achche Din

Domestic drivers

19 June 2017

***China’s Cult of Stability Is Killing Tibetans


On the morning of May 19, 22-year-old Tibetan monk Jamyang Losal set himself alight in Qinghai province’s Tsojang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Losal, who died at the scene, was the 150th Tibetan to set himself on fire in protest against Chinese policy on the Tibetan Plateau since 2009. He had previously been detained for 10 days for posting a photo of the Dalai Lama on the heavily monitored messaging service WeChat. After this fiery act of protest, he was taken away again for the last time by police, who refused to return his body to his family.

Ever since 1989 and the Tiananmen Square protests, the Chinese state has explicitly prioritized “stability above all else” (wending yadao yiqie). The goal of this policy is an authoritarian feedback cycle combining political and cultural controls from the top with rapid economic growth from below that theoretically produces bottom-up support for the party-state. This stability drive targets any potential source of political, cultural, legal, or spiritual opposition and paints its foes, particularly in Tibet, as “cultic.” But this drive for stability has become a cult itself, one backed by the state: a totalitarian form of belief that refuses all counterevidence or opposition and that must be embraced regardless of consequences. This cult is locking people in Tibet, both Han Chinese and Tibetan, into a downward spiral of anger and pain.

China: Our Way And The Highway


June 13, 2017: China has a grand strategic plan and it’s no secret. For the last few years Chinese officials have been describing their economic and military expansion plan as Obor (One Belt, One Road). A new PR campaign for Obor describes it as a revival of the ancient “Silk Road” but that’s not accurate as the ancient Silk Road was only partially run by the Chinese. Most of it was operated by other major powers (Iranian, Indian and Arabs) and was largely put out of business after the 16 th century by European innovations in ship building and management of sea routes that presented a safer and cheaper way to move goods worldwide. Moreover, until the late 20 th century Chinese leaders never encouraged (and often banned) foreign trade. For most of Chinese history the leaders believed China had all it needed (largely true) and considered all non-Chinese and their products as inferior. The big change now is that China needs international trade and Obor is the Chinese plan to control as much of it as possible. This is essential for a prosperous economy because without that the communists are in big trouble. Obor means China owning or otherwise controlling as many of the new roads, railways, ports, pipelines and sea routes as possible. China is investing nearly $200 billion in Obor construction. This includes land routes through Central Asia to Europe and the Middle East, another through the Himalaya Mountains to the Indian Ocean (soon to be under new management if China has its way) and new land connections into Southeast Asia. The key to China’s new sea routes is asserting ownership of the South China Sea.

Another feature of Obor is that it offers business relationships that are more acceptable (than Western ones) to most of the nations Obor is investing in. The Chinese can, as they like to put it, be more flexible and respectful of local customs. In other words the Chinese don’t see bribes and corruption as a defect but an opportunity. This is great for the foreign political and business leaders but less so with most of the others and this is causing problems. Africans and Asiansliving near many Chinese foreign operations complain that

Chinese defence firm claims drone formation world record

Stephen Chen

China Electronics Technology Group Corporation said it has flown 119 fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles simultaneously, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The Chinese drone maker Ehang sent a squadron of 1,000 drones into the air earlier this year, state media reported, but they were powered by rotary wing technology.

No details were given in the report of where or when the Chinese company made its record attempt.

The company, one of the main suppliers of electronic equipment to the People’s Liberation Army, told Xinhua that the technological breakthrough put China in a leading position on the large deployment of drones.

The machines were launched in several batches using a power-assisted take-off system similar to those used by fighter jets on aircraft carriers, according to the report.

18 June 2017

*** Xi Jinping’s Marco Polo Strategy



CAMBRIDGE – Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a heavily orchestrated “Belt and Road” forum in Beijing. The two-day event attracted 29 heads of state, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and 1,200 delegates from over 100 countries. Xi called China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) the “project of the century.” The 65 countries involved comprise two-thirds of the world’s land mass and include some four and a half billion people.

Originally announced in 2013, Xi’s plan to integrate Eurasia through a trillion dollars of investment in infrastructure stretching from China to Europe, with extensions to Southeast Asia and East Africa, has been termed China’s new Marshall Plan as well as its bid for a grand strategy. Some observers also saw the Forum as part of Xi’s effort to fill the vacuum left by Donald Trump’s abandonment of Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

** Quest for an AI Revolution in Warfare

Elsa B. Kania

THE PLA’S TRAJECTORY FROM INFORMATIZED TO “INTELLIGENTIZED” WARFARE

China aspires to surpass the U.S. in artificial intelligence, seeking to take advantage of the unique opportunities that this critical emerging technology could confer to its economic competitiveness and military capabilities. To date, the scale of Chinese research in artificial intelligence, as reflected by the number of papers published and cited, has already exceeded that of the U.S., and China also ranks second in AI patent applications.[i] From speech recognition to computer vision, Chinese efforts in artificial intelligence are cutting-edge and evidently constitute a priority for China’s leadership at the highest levels. Within the past year alone, China has released a series of national science and technology plans that seek to advance artificial intelligence and established a national deep learning lab.[ii] In particular, China’s new national mega-project for artificial intelligence, known as “Artificial Intelligence 2.0,” will advance and direct an ambitious agenda for research and development, including economic and national security applications.[iii]

...THE RELATIVE TRAJECTORIES OF U.S. AND CHINESE ADVANCES IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL IMPACT THE FUTURE MILITARY AND STRATEGIC BALANCE...

Recent Developments in the Chinese Army’s Helicopter Force


By: Dennis J. Blasko

In November 2016, Chinese internet sources showed photos of a ceremony in the (former) 13th Group Army of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Army accepting the 1,000th helicopter into the force (NetEase, May 23). This nice round number demonstrates the growth of the Army Aviation Corps over the past decade. Along with Special Operations Forces (SOF), Army Aviation is one of the “new-type combat forces” given priority for development. The increase in the number of Army helicopters accompanies the expansion of the force in the latest round of reforms. [1] In roughly a month’s time, half of all Army Aviation units have experienced some sort of organizational change. However, even as the numbers of helicopters rise, the size of the Army Aviation force is still small for a ground force that will probably number around a million personnel by 2020. [2] The recent changes are an attempt to improve and expand a force that underpins a number of important capabilities from tactical mobility and special operations to logistics support.

Background

Safety on the New Silk Road Assessing Kazakhstan’s Highways

17 June 2017

** China Expanding on All Fronts


China has a grand strategic plan and it’s no secret. For the last few years Chinese officials have been describing their economic and military expansion plan as Obor (One Belt, One Road). A new PR campaign for Obor describes it as a revival of the ancient “Silk Road” but that’s not accurate as the ancient Silk Road was only partially run by the Chinese. Most of it was operated by other major powers (Iranian, Indian and Arabs) and was largely put out of business after the 16 th century by European innovations in ship building and management of sea routes that presented a safer and cheaper way to move goods worldwide. Moreover, until the late 20 th century Chinese leaders never encouraged (and often banned) foreign trade. For most of Chinese history the leaders believed China had all it needed (largely true) and considered all non-Chinese and their products as inferior. The big change now is that China needs international trade and Obor is the Chinese plan to control as much of it as possible. This is essential for a prosperous economy because without that the communists are in big trouble. Obor means China owning or otherwise controlling as many of the new roads, railways, ports, pipelines and sea routes as possible. China is investing nearly $200 billion in Obor construction. This includes land routes through Central Asia to Europe and the Middle East, another through the Himalaya Mountains to the Indian Ocean (soon to be under new management if China has its way) and new land connections into Southeast Asia. The key to China’s new sea routes is asserting ownership of the South China Sea.

Chinese Warships Visit Pakistan

By Franz-Stefan Gady

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has dispatched three surface warships on a four-day goodwill and training visit to the Pakistani port of Karachi, Chinese state-owned media reported on June 11.

The ships arrived in the port city on June 10 and were welcomed by Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah. The small PLAN fleet is commanded by Rear Admiral Shen Hao, the deputy commander of the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet.

The Pakistan Navy and PLAN will conduct a so-called passage exercise to enhance interoperability between the two navies, according to Pakistani military officials. The PLAN fleet consists of three ships, the Type 052C Luyang II –class guided missile destroyer Changchun, the Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided missile frigate Jingzhou, and the Type 903 Quiandaohu-class replenishment ship Chaohu.

The Luyang II-class, equipped with a four array AESA multi-function phased array radar system and armed with up to 48 vertically launched HQ-9 naval air defense missiles, was the first PLAN class of warships capable of long-range fleet air defense. The class is succeeded by the Type 052D Luyang III-class–dubbed the “Chinese Aegis.” As I explained elsewhere (See: “China Launches Yet Another ‘Carrier Killer’ Destroyer”):

Did the US Just Abandon Tibet?

By Pradeep Nair and Sandeep Sharma

Reversing its stand on Tibet policy and giving a huge jolt to the Tibetan aspirations, the Trump administration recently took a step away from precedent by proposing zero aid to the Tibetans in 2018. This move points to both the changing internal politics of the United States, especially after Trump’s election, and also the new geopolitics and emerging world order, which is overshadowed by the People’s Republic of China.

The U.S. “Tibetan Policy Act of 2002” clearly states that it is intended to “support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity,” including by supporting “projects designed … to raise the standard of living for the Tibetan people and assist Tibetans to become self-sufficient.” This act, a major piece of Tibet legislation, was enacted as law by President George W. Bush on September 30, 2002, as part of the U.S. Foreign Relations Authorizations Act.