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

16 October 2019

Behind the Second Modi-Xi Informal Summit, the Wuhan Spirit Is Fraying

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
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The second informal summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to take place in Mamallapuram, a coastal town in south India from October 11-12. The meeting between the leaders of the two Asian giants will be closely watched, with consequences not only for their countries but the wider Indo-Pacific region and the world as well.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made a formal announcement of the visit just a couple of days before the visit. The statement added that the agenda was discussing “issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership.” The two sides appear to be setting expectations low, with good reason.

Prior to the announcement, the Indian media was full of speculation that the summit could even be cancelled. Despite the Wuhan Summit in 2017 and the so-called “Wuhan spirit,” India-China relations have been characterized by a growing number of disputes.

The most serious of these, at least from Delhi’s perspective, is the strengthening Chinese support for Pakistan. Just days before the summit, the Chinese ambassador in Pakistan, Yao Jing, expressed strong support for Pakistan’s position on the Kashmir dispute, saying, “We are also working for Kashmiris to help them get their fundamental rights and justice. There should be a justified solution to the issue of Kashmir and China will stand by Pakistan for regional peace and stability.” This was a red flag for India and led to India lodging a strong protest with China and seeking clarification on what appears to be a change in Beijing’s stated stand on Jammu and Kashmir.

China, India, Pakistan: Who’s really pulling the strings in Jammu and Kashmir?

Brahma Chellaney
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The media spotlight on India-Pakistan tensions over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has helped obscure the role of a key third party, China, which occupies one-fifth of this Himalayan region. Kashmir is only a small slice of J&K, whose control is split among China, India and Pakistan.

Sino-Indian border tensions were exemplified by a reported September 11-12 clash between troops from the two countries in the eastern section of J&K, where Beijing’s territorial revisionism has persisted for more than six decades.

Meanwhile, ever since India revoked the statehood and autonomy of its part of J&K in August, Pakistan has stepped up its bellicose rhetoric, with military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan vowing to “teach India a lesson” and promising a “fight until the end”. Khan has even raised the threat of nuclear war with India.

Himalayas Leveled: How China-Nepal Relations Have Defied Geopolitics

By Krzysztof Iwanek

Years ago, I undertook the journey from Beijing to Delhi by land, with three legs. The first involved a quick one by trains and buses from Beijing to Lhasa. This was followed by two longer ones: by jeep from Lhasa to Kathmandu and finally by bus from Kathmandu to Delhi. The middle leg of this trip made me witness how much the Himalayas served as a formidable barrier between Nepal and China-controlled Tibet. It also made me skeptical about the idea of the Nepal-China train one hears about from time to time.

Don’t stop reading here; this is not just another article by a guy-that-has-seen-a-region-once-and-thinks-he-now-understands-its-politics. I am aware that “I’ve been there, I’ve seen that” does not count as a proper sampling. What I want to discuss is in fact counter-intuitive: the reality of Nepal’s current international position is largely opposite to what I could have concluded only by observing the country’s geographic position.

If there is one country that admirers of geopolitics should love as an example of the importance of geography to politics, it is Nepal. Being a landlocked, relatively small country with two giant neighbors, completely open to India through its southern plains, and seemingly closed to China through the highest mountains in the world to the north, Nepal should serve as a perfect example of how much geography matters. And, of course, it does matter tremendously. And yet Kathmandu’s relations with Beijing have defied geopolitics and geography.

Stunning Huawei Confirmation—1 Million Cyberattacks Every Day

Zak Doffman

China’s under fire Huawei is being attacked by more than just the U.S., says a company exec. The Chinese tech giant endures around a million cyberattacks per day on its computers and networks—and that’s according to its security chief, John Suffolk. This will be the most unexpected Huawei cyberattack story of the year so far.

As reported in the Japanese press, Suffolk implied such attacks are focused on IP-theft, which given Huawei leads the world for 5G network innovation and files more patents than any other company in the world, will come as little surprise. That said, the company has also accused the U.S. government of mounting cyberattacks as part of its concerted campaign against them.

In September, Huawei alleged in the media that U.S. law enforcement has "threatened, coerced and enticed" existing and former employees, and has executed "cyberattacks to infiltrate Huawei's intranet and internal information systems."

Hong Kong Is the Latest Tripwire for Tech Firms in China

On Wednesday morning, Mark Kern sat down with his 12-year-old son to tell him the guild was breaking up. Kern had been involved with World of Warcraft from the very beginning—a game developer himself, he was the original team leader for the title when Blizzard Entertainment launched it in 2004—and was a steadfast player of WoW Classic, a throwback version of the game that launched in August. Yet, things had changed. Over the weekend, an esports player for another Blizzard title, Hearthstone, had shouted a Hong Kong protest slogan on the game's official Taiwanese livestream; in response, Activision Blizzard suspended the player from high-level competitive play for a year and said it would not pay out his past winnings, claiming that he had violated rules barring acts that "offend a portion or group of the public."

For Kern, who was born in Taiwan and spent time in Hong Kong, the studio he'd called home for nearly eight years had changed. He told his son that he had decided to cancel his WoW subscription, putting an end to their family tradition. "I explained how … people [in Hong Kong] were very concerned about their freedom and China's history of human rights abuses," Kern tells WIRED on Discord. "I told him that Blizzard had punished a Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong and what that punishment entailed." His son decided to do the same.

China's stealth drones and hypersonic missiles surpass — and threaten — the U.S.

By Sébastien Roblin
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The celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the beginning of this month promised plenty of pomp and power projection. In the days leading up to the grandiose parade through Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Chinese citizens began sharing photos of tarp-covered vehicles and missiles being rolled into Beijing for a rehearsal.

The event Oct. 1 didn’t disappoint. The People’s Liberation Army unveiled brand new high-tech drones, robot submarines and hypersonic missiles — none of which have an equivalent in operational service elsewhere on the planet.

China’s new military capabilities are tailored to its plans to become the dominant military power in Asia and the western half of the Pacific.

China’s rapid modernization is increasingly forcing the Pentagon to face the sclerosis in its own procurement pipeline arising from shifting program goals, endemic cost overruns and delays. Despite starting technologically well behind the United States, China has developed new systems faster and more cheaply.

Quantum USA Vs. Quantum China: The World's Most Important Technology Race

Paul Smith-Goodson

Many analysts, researchers, politicians, and military leaders believe as I do - the United States has allowed China to take the lead in many areas of quantum research. Once quantum technology matures, it will have a profound effect on almost every facet of our lives. A Chinese lead in quantum science could also tilt the future strategic military balance in their favor.

The January 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment report to the Senate conceded the United States’ lead in science and technology had been significantly eroded, mainly because of Chinese gains.

Over the past two years, China has aggressively stepped up its pace of quantum research. In 2016, President Xi Jinping established a national strategy for China to become technologically self-reliant. One of China’s main goals is to surpass the United States and to become the global high-tech leader.

Russia Exports Its Missile Early-Warning Knowhow to China

By: Pavel Felgenhauer

Russo-Chinese relations continue to improve (see EDM, July 25, 30) as both countries’ ties with the United States have grown increasingly strained. Moscow and Beijing describe their bilateral relationship as a “strategic partnership,” constantly adding new adjectives to emphasize its evolving strength. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has insisted it does not formally ally with anyone. But recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun publicly speaking about an “alliance”—first in front of a domestic audience on September 6, 2019, in Vladivostok, and then, on October 3, 2019, in Sochi, in front of an international gathering of the so-called Valdai Club (see EDM, October 7).

During the Valdai proceedings, Putin lauded the “unprecedented level of mutual trust and cooperation in an allied relationship of strategic partnership.” Moreover, the Kremlin leader listed a number of prominent Russo-Chinese joint technological projects, pointed to growing trade, and notably disclosed that the Russian defense industry is helping the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) build a modern missile-attack early-warning system (Systema Preduprezdenya o Raketnom Napadenii—SPRN). According to Putin, only Russia and the US have a fully developed SPRN; and now, the PLA will, too, with Russian help, “seriously expanding the PRC’s defense capabilities.” Putin denounced as hopeless US attempts to constrain China by economic pressure and by building up Asia-Pacific alliances with other local states (, October 3). According to the pro-Kremlin news site Vzglad, Moscow and Beijing will not be signing a formal military/political alliance treaty anytime soon; but de facto the two countries are allies already, closely coordinating their activities in different areas, building together a new world order that may lead to the eviction of US influence from Asia (Vzglad, October 3).

High Expectations as China’s Xi Lands in Nepal

By Peter Gill

Over the past week, Kathmandu’s streets have been transformed. Potholes have been fixed and whole roads repaved. An empty, trash-strewn lot was turned into a public park overnight. Streetlamps were adorned with portraits of Nepal’s ceremonial head of state, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, due to arrive on October 12.

Xi’s visit to Nepal — following on the heels of his unofficial summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and Friday — will be the first from a Chinese head-of-state since Jiang Zemin in 1996. The large-scale, feverish preparations for Xi’s arrival indicate the importance the Nepali government has placed on the visit. Kathmandu hopes to sign a number of agreements to begin infrastructure projects funded under Xi’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

To date, Chinese funding for Nepal has been small compared to the billions of dollars it has invested in other South Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. But that could soon change. In preparation for Xi’s visit, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) released a draft of 11 priority infrastructure projects for joint consideration with the Chinese. The projects are primarily related to transportation and hydro-electricity, with top priority placed on a railroad connecting Kathmandu to the Chinese border. Nepal officially joined the BRI several years ago, but projects have been delayed because of disagreement about the funding modality — Nepal wants mostly grants, while the Chinese prefer to recoup their investments through loans. 

15 October 2019

What Will Xi and Modi Really Talk About?



Less formal summits, such as these, are designed to offer space for the two leaders to engage in candid conversations to develop a deeper understanding for each other, unencumbered by administrative formalities. For Modi, three broad objectives stand out.

First, he is expected to reinforce that administrative changes within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter for India. On August 5, 2019, the Indian government passed a presidential order to make changes to Article 370 of the Indian constitution, a provision that gave Jammu and Kashmir special status. In the middle of August, the Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) called for a closed-door Security Council meeting to discuss the changes. This has, without a doubt, irked the Indian leadership. Chinese officials, both in Beijing and elsewhere, had been briefed in detail about the changes and were told that these changes had no effect on India’s external borders. Making sure that Xi appreciates and absorbs India’s position in full will be of paramount importance for the Indian prime minister.

Second, Xi and Modi meet at a time of shifting geopolitical realities. China-Russian ties grow stronger by the day, while there is little to cement fraying U.S.-China relations. What is increasingly clear is that the trade war between the United States and China is only a symptom of a new normal that licenses unfettered geostrategic competition. While Indian officials search for opportunities to leverage these geopolitical cracks—such as the possibility of shifting U.S. supply chains from China to India—it will be left to Modi to assess the extent to which Xi’s China is prepared to accommodate, if not accept, Indian interests and concerns. There is no better time than the present to press Xi. China is very clearly reeling from the United States’ combative methods.

Belt and Road Tests China’s Image in Pakistan


When Lijian Zhao, China’s former No. 2 diplomat in Pakistan, tweeted in July to announce the completion of a 244-mile motorway from Punjab to Sindh province, he began with “Masha Allah,” or “God has willed it.” It was a striking use of language for an atheist Chinese official, especially to describe an infrastructure project.

The Chinese diplomat’s use of the everyday Arabic term mashallah was deliberately casual, aimed at endearing China to Pakistanis in a country where Beijing’s growing presence has often caused problems. Zhao, who left Pakistan in August for a position in the foreign ministry’s information department, was perhaps the most active Chinese diplomat in the country—inaugurating projects, speaking at ceremonies, and defending China’s policies. But his controversial tweets occasionally strained a relationship that may be one of the trickiest challenges for China in future decades.

In some ways, this is a problem of success. The Multan-to-Sukkur section of the Peshawar-Karachi motorway that Zhao announced represents another apparent triumph for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), seen as the flagship of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. CPEC is the first major economic venture in Pakistan and China’s “all-weather” friendship, which for decades was focused on defense and strategic ties.

The End of Asylum

By Nanjala Nyabola

Asmall tent city is taking shape in Tapachula, on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, and its inhabitants are living proof of the systematic erosion of one of the foundational principles of the post–World War II international order. The residents are primarily refugees and migrants from African countries who fled political persecution, social upheaval, and economic uncertainty, taking one of the longest and most perilous migration routes in the world in the hope of reaching the United States. 

Until recently, most would have been granted a 21-day grace period to either normalize their residency status in Mexico or continue on to the U.S. border. But since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that the administration of President Donald Trump can deny asylum to anyone who has crossed a third country en route to the U.S. border, Mexico has started denying Africans free passage through its territory. And so the migrants arriving in Tapachula have nowhere to go. They are trapped between hard-line U.S. asylum policies, Mexico’s acquiescence to those policies, and a growing global backlash against anyone seeking asylum.

Infographic Of The Day: Which Goods Are Most Traded Between U.S. And China?

Trade talks between the United States and China are ongoing, with another round of talk set to launch soon. The standoff remains with just over a year to go before the 2020 presidential election. Two-thirds of voters said in a recent poll that tariffs on Chinese goods will increase prices on U.S. goods. But what are those goods, anyway? Likewise, what does the U.S. export to China?

China vs. America: Communism vs. Democracy

by Frank Li

Despite her dramatic comeback over the past few decades, China remains essentially communistic (The People's Republic of China at Age 70). In contrast, America is becoming more and more democratic (Elizabeth Warren Calls for Ending Electoral College). Yet, China has been rising rapidly, while America has been declining precipitously. Why is that? Is communist China actually better democratic America?

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1. What is communism?

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Communism.

In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis, "common, universal")[1][2] is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money,[3][4] and the state.[5][6]

Want to prevail against China? Prioritize democracy assistance

Patrick W. Quirk and David Shullman

Supporting democracy abroad is essential to winning U.S. strategic competition with China, argue Patrick Quirk and David Shullman. This piece originally appeared in The Hill.

The United States is reshaping how it uses foreign aid in order to compete with China. The executive branch and Congress are exploring efforts — some controversial and still few on details — to better leverage foreign aid as a tool to prevail in an era of great power competition.

This competition is one over resources, influence and nothing short of the world order’s future contours — or, as the 2017 National Security Strategy aptly proclaims: “between those who value human dignity and freedom and those who oppress individuals and enforce uniformity.”

The strength of democracy in places where the United States and China are competing will be a key determinant of the competition’s result. Authoritarian countries are more vulnerable to Beijing’s coercion or cooptation because their regimes are less constrained by independent media, free elections, and other institutional checks that would otherwise control against such subversion. The numbers are not in America’s favor. Over the last decade, democracy has declined globally while the ranks of authoritarian states have swelled.

Latin America and China: Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of the PRC


October 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the People´s Republic of China (PRC). The date is symbolic for several reasons: the regime surpassed the late Soviet Union (which lasted for 69 years) and Beijing celebrated with a display of military power and unity among rising international tensions with the United States and domestic unrest due to protests in Hong Kong. It is also an important watershed for Latin America.

Chinese trade and investment are now key for the economic recovery of the region, which is suffering the impacts of a decade of recessions and political crisis. However, China is increasingly controversial in Latin America. There are nationalistic reactions to its growing influence and diplomatic concerns about the Sino-American trade war and its impacts in the region.

Brazil is the most important case study. In November 2018, Jair Bolsonaro became the first president since the establishment of ties with the PRC in 1974 to have a hostile view of Beijing. He wants a special relationship with Donald Trump and the United States. How will that play out?

Latin America and China Since the 1970s

14 October 2019

Balakot, China ‘incursions’ prove OSINT images are new threat for democracies and military


With widely and easily available open-source intelligence today, basic information about military intent and movements, strategies and tactics is just a click away. Despite the various names used for it, this kind of intelligence is as old as warfare itself. But the internet, particularly the social media, poses a new challenge for democracies and militaries.

Governments and the military disseminate information to highlight successes and cover-up failures and, at times, even indulge in deception and disinformation. Social media delights in shattering the credibility of this information using open-source intelligence (OSINT). The adversary also uses OSINT to discredit governments. In India, OSINT was in the news during the Balakot strikes and the air skirmishes that followed on 26 and 27 February.

OSINT and multiple versions 

OSINT has been the primary source of basic intelligence with respect to a target country and its armed forces. Its collection and collation are a long-term process. Based on this data bank, intelligence resources are deployed to collect specific information to decide when, where and how the threat will manifest.

Defeat: In 1979, Vietnam Gave China's Army a Beating

by Charlie Gao

Chinese operations against Vietnam in the 1980s are often divided into four phases. In the first, the Chinese and Vietnamese further entrenched their positions along the border. This lasted until 1981. The second and third phase consisted of escalating offensive operations across the border from 1981 to 1987, gradually increasing in intensity. The last phase involved the PLA’s withdrawal from the border region. The political objectives of the Chinese incursions were to “punish” Vietnam for its continued belligerence towards Thailand and Cambodia. Since Vietnamese troops were going into Cambodia, Chinese troops would continue to do the same. Militarily, China saw the border conflict as a way to evolve the PLA from an antiquated fighting force to a modern one, by testing new doctrines and equipment on the border.

The PLA’s performance in the 1979 war was so bad, even Vietnamese commanders were surprised, according to some sources. This was a result of its reliance on Korean War–style infantry assault tactics, due to the operational inflexibility and stagnation of military thought in the PLA. The layout of the command structure, and the infrastructure that supported it, could not support maneuver warfare by smaller units of higher-quality forces.

Looking for a unicorn? Head to Hong Kong

By Brand Hong Kong

One look at the Hong Kong skyline and it is obvious: This is a place where big business thrives. Soaring skyscrapers are topped with the signs of international banks, insurance companies, and global hotel chains. But the city is also a prime spot for startups.

With access to impressive local and international talent, efficient company registration systems, and even government support, entrepreneurs flourish. And today, this hyper-connected city is seeing rapid growth in technology and innovation companies, eight of which have reached unicorn status.

So while many Hongkongers see the city as dominated by finance, tourism, and trade, plenty are gaming for it to be the next hot tech hub. We talked with three. 

The Incubator

What China’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations Really Tell Us

Howard W. French

When the Chinese Communist Party recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of its rule, it predictably pulled out all the stops. These included stepped up censorship of already tightly controlled domestic media for weeks before the event, extraordinary security measures in Beijing designed to prevent even the slightest disturbance, and the largest military parade in the country’s history.

Responses to China’s celebrations have been equally predictable, too, and although they fall into two broad and opposing camps, there is no real contradiction between them.

On one hand, some observers focus on China’s achievements since the early 1980s, starting with the rapid and prolonged economic growth that has “lifted” hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty. From the evidence on display in the parade, it has also created a world-class military that is quickly becoming a peer rival of the United States, despite vastly greater spending by the Pentagon.