12 January 2019

Why China’s Military Wants to Beat the US to a Next-Gen Cell Network

BY ELSA B. KANIAADJUNCT 

The race for 5G — the next-generation cell-network technology that promises high speed, low latency, and high throughput — has emerged as a new frontier of rivalry in U.S.-China relations. The technological advances by Huawei, ZTE, and other companies may allow China to become the first country to deploy 5G on a wide scale, giving its economy an edge. But 5G’s dual-use and military potential introduces another dimension of geostrategic significance — one that the Chinese military and defense industry are avidly exploring.

The advancement of 5G in China is linked to its national strategy for military-civil fusion (军民融合). In November 2018, key industry players established the 5G Technology Military-Civil Fusion Applications Industry Alliance (5G技术军民融合应用产业联盟),including ZTE, China Unicom, and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). This new partnership aims to foster collaboration and integrated military and civilian development, while promoting both defense and commercial applications. In particular, the CASIC First Research Academy is focusing on the use of 5G in aerospace. There could be some notable synergies in 5G development among these and other notable players. For instance, 5G will require specialized communications equipment, such as certain antennas and microwave equipment, that the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state-owned defense conglomerate,has established particular proficiency in developing.

The era of U.S.-China cooperation is drawing to a close—What comes next?

Bruce Jones

U.S.-China ties must be managed to avoid clashes in 2019, especially with a volatile White House, argues Bruce Jones. This piece originally appeared in the Nikkei Asian Review.

The year 2018 has proved to be a time of turbulence in U.S.-China relations, with the Korean Peninsula, trade and the South China Sea all making headlines.

But 2018 will prove to be more than just a year of turbulence: We will look back on it as a turning point in U.S.-China relations, the closing of an era of expanding cooperation. That era dates from China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, and reached its most expansive phase in the wake of the global financial crisis, under U.S. President Barack Obama. There were even fears in the world of a “G-2,” of a U.S.-China condominium that would leave little room for anybody else. There is little risk of a G-2 now.

But if 2018 was an end of an era, what comes next and how rocky will the transition be?

How Is China Securing Its LNG Needs?


In 2017, China surpassed South Korea to become the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer. In a few years, it might overtake Japan. But how is China securing its LNG needs? This is an important question for several reasons. First, when Chinese companies go overseas, they often trigger geopolitical anxiety, so it is worth asking whether Chinese companies are going out more than before; and if so, where and doing what deals? Second, China is the main growth market for LNG, and so Chinese companies can set a tone for the market as a whole; is there a shift in buying behavior or risk? And third, some U.S. project developers worry that the trade war with China will hurt their ability to progress to final investment decision (FID), while others, like Alaska, place their hopes on China; how real are those hopes and concerns?

Why American Firms and Households Need China

SHANG-JIN WEI

NEW YORK – China will benefit from a normalization of its trade relationship with the United States, but it is important to realize that the same holds true for the US. When the US tech giant Apple recently slashed its sales forecast, CEO Tim Cook pointed to declining sales in China – where US President Donald Trump’s trade war is exacerbating the effects of a slowing economy – as a major contributing factor. Apple’s diminished performance highlights how important the Chinese market has become to the bottom lines of many US companies – and reveals the risks Trump’s protectionism poses to the American economy.

The truth is that Apple sells substantially more iPhones and iPads to the Chinese than US export statistics imply. Likewise, General Motors sells more cars in China than what is recorded in US export data – more, in fact, than in the United States and Canada combined. That is because these companies, like many others, operate in China and sell directly to Chinese consumers. Far fewer Chinese companies sell directly in the US.

Because US companies have increased their operations within China over time, bilateral trade statistics only partly reflect the Chinese market’s importance to the US economy.

Why the World Needs America and China to Get Along

By Robert E. Rubin

In the United States, support for a cooperative relationship with China is evaporating fast. I increasingly hear frustration from business leaders about structural trade issues. The military is concerned about aggressive geopolitical moves by Beijing. And prominent voices in both political parties are striking an increasingly confrontational tone. Legitimate concerns have led to a vicious cycle, with each negative development further poisoning an already shallow well of good will.

The cycle has to be reversed. In the United States, the business community, policy analysts and the media should create a climate that encourages elected officials to pursue a constructive relationship. The same is true in China, albeit in a different political system. Leaders in both countries should recognize our imperative self-interest in working together on hugely consequential transnational issues, especially two threats to life on earth as we know it: nuclear weapons and climate change.

Does China face a looming debt crisis?


After decades of near double-digit growth, Chinese leaders have turned to using turbo-charged stimulus financing to maintain moderate growth. A consequence of this strategy has been a dramatic and rapid rise in debt. As of 2017, China’s total debt amounted to 255.7 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). While a debt-to-GDP ratio exceeding 100 percent is not unusual, because China’s credit expansion over the past decade has risen so quickly, this trend has contributed to growing financial vulnerabilities that could threaten the long-term health of its economy.

Breaking Down the Types of Debt

Although China was less affected by the 2008-2009 global financial crisis than other countries, its economy still suffered from a sharp decline in exports and a major stock market correction that wiped out an estimated two-thirds of its market value. To stem the tide of the crisis, China pushed out a massive $600 billion stimulus package in late 2008 to boost domestic demand and spur economic growth. The value of the stimulus was close to 13 percent of China’s GDP in 2008, and was considerably larger than stimulus packages offered by the world’s first and third largest economies – the US and Japan pumped a comparatively meager $152 billion and $100 billion, respectively, into their much larger domestic markets.

China’s Economy in 2019: Is a Reality Check in Store?


First, the good news. Stock markets in China and Hong Kong strengthened on Monday with the start of the two-day talks between negotiators from the U.S. and China to iron out their trade conflicts. It helped symbolically that China’s vice-premier, Liu He, widely considered the country’s economic czar, “dropped by the talks to spur on the negotiators,” The Washington Postreported.

Yet, simmering below the surface are deep divisions between the two countries involving allegations of state-sponsored theft of intellectual property rights and discriminatory trade practices. Over the past year, a hardening China stance by the Trump administration and a defiant Chinese President Xi Jinping resulted in tit-for-tat tariff hikes until a temporary, three-month truce was arrived at before duties jump from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of U.S. imports from China. In fact, both the U.S. and China would lose in what looks more like a “cold war” rather than a trade war, as Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett wrote in Knowledge@Wharton recently.

What Does the US Troop Withdrawal Mean for Syria?

By Mona Yacoubian

On Wednesday, the White House announced that it will “fully” and “rapidly” withdraw the U.S. military presence in Syria, where approximately 2,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in the northeastern, Kurdish-controlled part of the country, near its border with Turkey. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian examines the implications of the troop withdrawal and its broader impact on the Syria conflict.

What are the implications of the recently announced U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria?

A precipitous U.S. troop withdrawal will undermine critical U.S. interests in Syria. The U.S. troop presence serves as a key pre-condition for a newly invigorated U.S. Syria policy focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS, the withdrawal of Iran from Syria, and the rejuvenation of the Geneva Peace Process. These objectives will be compromised significantly by an immediate U.S. military withdrawal:

Poland’s transformation is a story worth telling

By JAN CIENSKI

WARSAW — The first thing that hit you about the Poland of 1987 was the smell — a pungent mix of coal smoke leavened with coarse tobacco, a whiff of cabbage and rancid sweat overlaid with clouds of diesel exhaust. Lingering on the streets and alleys of cities, towns and villages, it was not the smell of a successful or a happy society.

The odor hit me in the southern city of Kraków in 1987, where I was taking a year off from university in Toronto to study in Poland. It was only one symptom of a decomposing country.

At Kraków’s Jagiellonian University, the first phrase the foreign students (mostly from Brazil and Argentina) who were studying Polish before beginning inexpensive medical and architecture studies would learn was Nie ma (“We don’t have it”). They heard it in shops when they tried to buy meat or wine. They heard it in kiosks when trying to buy luxuries like soap and razor blades. They heard it fired at them by surly waiters indicating a lack of almost every item on the menu, from beer to “exotic” dishes like beef cutlets and pork chops (no point in ordering on Monday, as meat was not sold on the first day of the week). At one point I remember tossing aside the menu and telling the waiter, “Just bring me whatever you have.”

Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus

By Anne Applebaum
Source Link

On Sept 10, 2001, I published a column about Belarus, the former Soviet republic squeezed between Russia and Europe. It described how the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko was stealing elections, keeping tight control over the media and the economy, harassing political opponents and occasionally murdering them. Lukashenko, I wrote, was Europe’s longest-standing dictator. Yet only a few months earlier, President George W. Bush had given a rousing speech on the need for Europe, whole and free. “No more Yaltas,” he had said — meaning no more agreements like the one Roosevelt and Stalin signed in 1945, dividing Europe in half. Belarus loomed large as an obstacle blocking that dream.

The day after that column was published — Sept. 11, 2001 — two airplanes hit the World Trade Center, a third hit the Pentagon, a fourth crashed into a Pennsylvania field, and the U.S. president abandoned the quest for Europe, whole and free. In the nearly two decades that have passed since, nothing in Belarus has fundamentally changed at all. Lukashenko is still Europe’s longest-standing dictator. He is still harassing the opposition, manipulating the media and keeping the economy under careful control. He still stays in charge partly with the help of his large eastern neighbor, which provides him with generous energy subsidies.

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

By Robert Malley
In a world with fewer rules, the only truly effective one is knowing what you can get away with. The answer today, it turns out, is: quite a lot.

As the era of largely uncontested U.S. primacy fades, the international order has been thrown into turmoil. More leaders are tempted more often to test limits, jostle for power, and seek to bolster their influence—or diminish that of their rivals—by meddling in foreign conflicts. Multilateralism and its constraints are under siege, challenged by more transactional, zero-sum politics.
Multilateralism and its constraints are under siege, challenged by more transactional, zero-sum politics.Instruments of collective action, such as the United Nations Security Council, are paralyzed; those of collective accountability, including the International Criminal Court, are ignored and disparaged.

No Matter Who Wins the Congo's Election, a Rough Road Awaits


A little more than two years after President Joseph Kabila's final term in office officially ended, the Democratic Republic of the Congo finally held its presidential election just before 2018 was over. But the country's voters must continue to wait to find out who won. Whether Kabila's hand-picked successor or the opposition candidate is named victor, the vote was only the prelude to the unfolding of a tumultuous and likely violent story in the mineral-rich Central African nation. As Stratfor noted in its 2019 Annual Forecast, while Kabila's clan and its allies maneuver to retain power and protect their financial and political gains (not to mention their physical security), the likelihood of bloodshed — and the corresponding effects on the country's business community and the mining industry — is high. To add fuel to the flames, the country's rich mineral resources — including its deposits of cobalt — play a key role in the production of new energy technologies such as lithium-ion batteries, which are central to long-term Chinese economic strategies. Consequently, as the country's electoral fate unfolds, the actions of China and other foreign powers may have a crucial impact.

What Happened

The World's Oil Producers Prepare for a New Era of Low Prices


The oil market is likely to remain oversupplied in 2019, leading OPEC and non-OPEC countries to cut production to prevent another collapse in prices similar to 2014-15. Prices are likely to remain weaker than what many of major producers anticipated just three months ago. Venezuela will find itself in a most difficult spot because lower revenue will drive competition among the country's political elites, exacerbating its political crisis.  For the United States, the domestic impacts will be both positive and negative, but Washington may now have the freedom to lean heavily on Iran's oil customers and force them to reduce those imports even further. 

Saudi Arabia will encounter difficulties because it must use state-led development — financed through oil revenue — to achieve Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious reforms.

Cyberattacks on Russia—the nation with the most nuclear weapons—pose a global threat

By M. V. Ramana, Mariia Kurando

Russia has experienced a number of cyberattacks in recent years. Such attacks could pose a risk to the command and control system for its nuclear weapons because of a high degree of reliance on computers and communication systems. Policies that call for quick launch of missiles accentuate this risk. The practice of cyberattacks, especially on military systems, should be stopped, and missiles should be taken off postures that allow them to be launched at short notice.

Russia has experienced a number of cyberattacks in recent years. Such attacks could pose a risk to the command and control system for its nuclear weapons.

Withdrawing From Syria Leaves a Vacuum That Iran Will Fill

By Colin P. Clarke and Ariane M. Tabatabai

One of President Trump’s final foreign policy decisions of 2018 was also among his most controversial: the withdrawal of the remaining 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. The order was an astonishing reversal of U.S. policy, and it raised concerns among Washington national security professionals that the Kurds—who have served as U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS—will suffer losses while the Assad regime, Russia, and Turkey gain. This weekend, the president’s national security advisor, John Bolton, seemingly reversed course again, announcing that U.S. forces would remain in Syria until ISIS was defeated and the Turks provided guarantees that they wouldn’t strike the Kurds.

The actor who perhaps benefits above all others from the administration’s back and forth on Syria is Iran. An American withdrawal would provide the Iranians with the operational space to expand their growing network of Shiite foreign fighters, who can be mobilized and moved throughout the Middle East. The recent announcements send Tehran the message that Washington will no longer be an obstacle in the way of these designs. Indeed, according to Bolton, the administration’s preconditions for withdrawal have to do with the Kurds and ISIS: the national security advisor made no mention of the presence or expansion of Shiite militias trained and equipped by Iran.

Why Haven't U.S. Exports of Manufactures Kept Pace with China's Growth?

by Brad W. Setser

China is a big country, and, at least until recently, it was growing relatively fast. So it stands to reason that it should have been among the most rapidly growing markets for U.S. exports. 

And it is often sort of implied in more recent articles that highlight the impact of China's slowdown on U.S. firms.

But, well, China wasn't actually a rapidly growing market for U.S. exports of manufactures even before its recent slowdown. The emphasis here is on "exports." I intentionally am not equating the sales of U.S. firms in China with U.S. production.

Obviously, China’s retaliation against U.S. tariffs has played a large role in the data for the last few months. But the trend here dates back to the start of Obama’s second term. It isn't new.

Who Secures the U.S. Border?


by Claire Felter and Zachary Laub

Safeguarding the U.S. border, primarily the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has become a contentious issue as many Central American migrants seek asylum in the United States. A battle between President Donald J. Trump and Democratic lawmakers over funding for a southern border wall has led to a government shutdown. Meanwhile, the deployment of active-duty troops to the southern border reflects a growing militarization of the area, though their role is constrained by U.S. law.
Who is responsible for U.S. border security?

Securing the borders primarily falls to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Alongside agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CBP is responsible for overseeing trade and travel in and out of the country. Its duties include preventing criminals, would-be terrorists, and contraband from entry. CBP’s work includes inspecting immigrants and cargo at ports of entry, patrolling thousands of miles of border to the country’s north and south, and helping investigate criminal networks. Of CBP’s more than sixty thousand employees, about one third are Border Patrol agents, who exclusively work between ports of entry.

Drones caused havoc at Gatwick, so why are governments still spending billions on tanks and aircraft carriers?

Roger Mac Ginty

The disruption caused by reports of drones flying over Gatwick airportin December 2018 was a magnificent illustration of the uselessness of the UK’s big-ticket defence spending. The United Kingdom is not short of high-end military kit. Apart from its nuclear deterrent (which may or may not be in working order), the nation’s £37 billion annual defence spending has allowed it to build, buy and maintain a formidable array of weapons systems. Britain’s new aircraft carrier provides a platform for F-35 fighter planes and, according to the UK defence secretary, the power “to strike decisively from the seas anywhere in the world”.

Yet, despite all this firepower, the country’s second busiest airport (a strategic asset if there ever was one) was immobilised for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded. In time a military grade jamming system was deployed, but by that stage the stable door was flapping in the wind and the horses had bolted.

Will this new Congress be the one to pass data privacy legislation?

Cameron F. Kerry

Congressional leaders in both parties have expressed an interest taking up privacy legislation and are doing serious work to that end. Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, who chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and now becomes the majority whip, led a pair of privacy hearings last fall which he opened by saying developing a privacy law “enjoys strong bipartisan support” and “the question is no longer whether we need a federal law to protect consumers’ privacy. The question is what shape it should take.” His view was echoed by committee members on both sides.

His successor as committee chair, Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi, has expressed support for “a federal law on the books by the end of 2019.” His incoming House counterpart, Democrat Frank Pallone of New Jersey, endorsed “comprehensive legislation” earlier in the year and, shortly after the election in November, announced that proposals for privacy and security will be part of the Democratic agenda.

Rewriting the Future of Work

BRUNO DOBRUSIN

TORONTO – Much has been written about the “future of work,” and much of it makes for gloomy reading. Study after study predicts that automation will upend entire industries and leave millions unemployed. A 2013 paper by two Oxford professors even suggested that machines could replace 47% of jobs in the United States within “a decade or two.”

Conclusions like these sustain the narrative that the future will inevitably be jobless. And yet this view is favored primarily by the corporate sector and supported by negative trends in the so-called gig economy; workers and trade unions have played little role in the conversation. If that were to change, the future of work could look very different.

Three common assumptions skew forecasts of automation’s impact on employment. Addressing each is essential to protect workers’ rights and change the fatalistic storyline of the prevailing narrative.

The Pitfalls of Policing the Dark Web

Cara Tabachnick 

Criminals on the dark web are compelling law enforcement agencies in the United States and Europe to alter the way they conduct investigations on the internet, opening up new possibilities for international police collaboration against cybercrime but also, critics warn, expanding the long arm of the law without a clear understanding of the impact. Since 2013, the proliferation of decentralized cryptocurrencies and online black markets has created countless new avenues for easy criminality. From the confines of a living room in China, a drug dealer using an anonymous browser can sell opioids to a user in the United States that are shipped through Malta, constructing a complex web of transactions around the world. 

“Cybercrime is borderless and criminals take advantage of it, so we have to make sure we are working together to catch these guys,” says Nan van de Coevering, who leads the Dutch national police’s Dark Web Team, which was instrumental in dismantling the dark web market Hansa in 2017. Almost 4,000 drug dealers were active on Hansa, selling heroin, MDMA and other substances.

DARPA’s plan for AI to understand the world

By: Mark Pomerleau

The Department of Defense hopes to use artificial intelligence to better understand global events In an increasingly complex world.

According to a new announcement from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for proposals to develop a semi-automated system that can identify and draw correlations between seemingly unrelated events to help create broad narratives about the world.

Here’s how DARPA is thinking about the problem: an event is a recognizable and significant change in either the natural world or human society. So-called “events of interest” can either create changes that have significant impact on national security, the notice stated.

3 ways the Navy wants to protect its weapons from cyberattacks

By: Justin Lynch   

The Navy is looking to support research in 36 areas that can help protect weapons systems from cyberattacks, Naval Air Systems Command said in a Jan. 7 update to a broad agency announcement.

“Its not necessarily cutting edge research, but it is the first step in cybersecurity quality control that should have already been done for mission systems,” said Bryson Bort, the founder and CEO of Scythe, a cybersecurity platform.

The Navy had admitted as much.

The U.S and China are in a quantum physics arms race that will transform warfare


WASHINGTON – In the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, American military planners began to worry about the threat to U.S. warplanes posed by new, radar-guided missile defenses in the Soviet Union and other nations. MIT Technology Review reports.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

8 Jan. 2019 -- In response, engineers at places like U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin’s famous Skunk Works stepped up work on stealth technology that could shield aircraft from the prying eyes of enemy radar.

This advantage is now under threat. In November 2018, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), China’s biggest defense electronics company, unveiled a prototype radar that it claims can detect stealth aircraft in flight. The radar uses some of the exotic phenomena of quantum physics to help reveal planes’ locations.

11 January 2019

Significant steps towards modernization of armed forces, but challenges remain


NEW DELHI: The bitter Doklam episode as well as the evolving regional security matrix forced India's defence brass in 2018 to hasten work on long-pending reforms and modernisation of the armed forces, resulting in a plethora of strategically key initiatives aimed at boosting India's military prowess 

The efforts, however, were marred by the political firestorm over the Rafale deal with the defence ministry and the Indian Air Force having to focus on rebutting charges of graft in the Rs 58,000- crore contract. 

As concerns mounted over Chinese infrastructure build-up in Tibet Autonomous Region and near Doklam tri-junction, the government expedited implementation of pending projects like laying of roads, construction of bridges, strengthening of key military airfields and enhancing surveillance along the nearly 3,600-km Sino-India border. 

India walking a tightrope with US and Russian defense systems

By EMANUELE SCIMIA

India is aiming to modernize its strategic arsenal with the introduction of advanced US and Russian defense systems. However, some military experts say that while the South Asian giant needs foreign technologies to become a self-sufficient arms manufacturer – and autonomous global geopolitical player – technical problems could limit their coexistence.

The Indian government finalized the acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defense missile system earlier this month and is said to be considering the purchase of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II(NASAMS-II) from the United States.

Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox

The US Isn’t Really Leaving Syria and Afghanistan

BY DOMINIC TIERNEY

President Donald Trump caused a political furor when he announced in December that he would quickly withdraw all 2,000 American troops in Syria, together with half of the 14,000 U.S.soldiers in Afghanistan. Democrats (and many Republicans) condemned the exit strategy as a boon for America’s enemies. Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned in protest, as did the special envoy for the counter-ISIS campaign, Brett McGurk, and the Pentagon chief of staff, Kevin Sweeney. Other prominent voices praised the drawdown. In The New York Times, for example, Robert Kaplan called the campaign in Afghanistan “a vestigial limb of empire, and it is time to let it go.” These critics and defenders of Trump’s decision have one thing in common: They share the assumption that Washington is actually getting out of Syria and Afghanistan.

In conventional campaigns against foreign countries, such as World War II, war and peace are clearly defined. The United States gears up for the fight and battles the enemy, there’s a surrender ceremony, and then the troops come home and Americans close the book. But in the modern era of complex civil wars and counterterrorism operations, a world power like the United States never really leaves.

Trump wanted a big cut in troops in Afghanistan. New U.S. military plans fall short.

By Dan Lamothe and Josh Dawsey

The U.S. military is drafting plans to withdraw a few thousand troops from Afghanistan while continuing all major missions in the longest war in American history, U.S. officials said, three weeks after President Trump sought options for a more drastic pullout.

The planning is underway after Trump ordered the Pentagon to prepare the withdrawal of up to half of the roughly 14,000 U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan, six officials said. The officials, who work in several parts of the government, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

Trump still wants to remove troops from Afghanistan — eventually all of them — but the current withdrawal probably will be far fewer than 7,000, two senior White House officials said. Military advisers have convinced him that a smaller, and slower, withdrawal is best for now — although officials cautioned that a final decision had not been reached and that the president could order a full pullout at any moment.

Sri Lanka: After the Crisis, What Next?

By Umesh Moramudali

2018 was a very dramatic year for Sri Lankan politics and it left the possibility of more surprises in 2019. The political and constitutional crisis that created so much uncertainty in Sri Lanka now seems to have settled temporarily, with the ousted prime minister being reappointed while most of his cabinet ministers were reinstated.

The crisis lasted for almost two months after President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister October 26, 2018 before also attempting to dismiss Parliament itself. Although Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as the prime minister once more, the fissure between the president and the prime minister’s United National Party (UNP) is very much still evident. Sirisena’s speech after the swearing in ceremony included a number of verbal attacks against Wickremesinghe and his cabinet.

The Parliamentary Tug-of-War

The United States and China - A Different Kind of Cyberwar

By Kevin Townsend 

China is Conducting a Low and Slow Cyberwar, Attempting to Stay Under the Radar and Maneuver the Global Economy

The potential for cyberwarfare between the United States and Russia is openly discussed, and – if not actually defined – is well understood. The British attitude is clear and defined, and the threat of retaliation – not necessarily cyber retaliation – is explicit.

But few people talk about China and cyberwar. The reason is simple. China is already engaged in its own form of cyberwarfare, but one that does not readily fit into the West’s perception of war and peace. China, the world’s oldest surviving civilization, is taking the long view. It has no interest in winning short-term battles; its focus is on winning the long-term war.

America’s Freedom of Navigation Operations Are Lost at Sea

BY ZACK COOPER, GREGORY POLING 

On Jan. 7, the USS McCampbell conducted a freedom of navigation operation near three features in the Paracel Islands chain. This was the ninth known operation conducted by the Trump administration, which has undertaken South China Sea excursions more regularly despite risky Chinese challenges. The operation followed Vice President Mike Pence’s assertion last November that “the United States is taking decisive action to protect our interests and promote the Indo-Pacific’s shared success.”

Yet a poll released this week showed that two-thirds of respondents in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) believe U.S. engagement with Southeast Asia has declined and one-third have little or no confidence in the United States as a strategic partner and regional security provider. In short, for all its tough talk on China and increased activity in the South China Sea, the Trump administration’s credibility in Southeast Asia is eroding.

A New Cold War Has Begun

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN 

In June 2005, I published a cover story in the Atlantic, “How We Would Fight China.” I wrote that, “The American military contest with China … will define the twenty-first century. And China will be a more formidable adversary than Russia ever was.” I went on to explain that the wars of the future would be naval, with all of their abstract battle systems, even though dirty counterinsurgency fights were all the rage 14 years ago.

That future has arrived, and it is nothing less than a new cold war: The constant, interminable Chinese computer hacks of American warships’ maintenance records, Pentagon personnel records, and so forth constitute war by other means. This situation will last decades and will only get worse, whatever this or that trade deal is struck between smiling Chinese and American presidents in a photo-op that sends financial markets momentarily skyward. The new cold war is permanent because of a host of factors that generals and strategists understand but that many, especially those in the business and financial community who populate Davos, still prefer to deny. And because the U.S.-China relationship is the world’s most crucial—with many second- and third-order effects—a cold war between the two is becoming the negative organizing principle of geopolitics that markets will just have to price in.

The three elements of China’s innovation model


In November 2018, the New York Times published a series that began with a story titled, The Land that Failed to Fail. The central argument of the piece is that defying Western expectations, the Communist Party has maintained its control in China while adopting elements of capitalism, eschewing political liberalisation, and pursuing innovation. The last of these three — innovation — is the subject of this piece.

What drives innovation in China? This is not merely a question about the mechanics of policy, the might of capital, the determination of dogged entrepreneurs, or the brilliance that is conjured up in university dormitories. Increasingly, it is a question that has acquired geopolitical significance, not just in the context of power politics but also in the debate over fundamental values about political and economic organisation. In other words, the question that China’s march towards becoming a “country of innovators” raises is whether a political system that prioritises control can foster genuine innovation.

Why China’s Military Wants to Beat the US to a Next-Gen Cell Network

BY ELSA B. KANIAADJUNCT

The race for 5G — the next-generation cell-network technology that promises high speed, low latency, and high throughput — has emerged as a new frontier of rivalry in U.S.-China relations. The technological advances by Huawei, ZTE, and other companies may allow China to become the first country to deploy 5G on a wide scale, giving its economy an edge. But 5G’s dual-use and military potential introduces another dimension of geostrategic significance — one that the Chinese military and defense industry are avidly exploring.

The advancement of 5G in China is linked to its national strategy for military-civil fusion (军民融合). In November 2018, key industry players established the 5G Technology Military-Civil Fusion Applications Industry Alliance (5G技术军民融合应用产业联盟),including ZTE, China Unicom, and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). This new partnership aims to foster collaboration and integrated military and civilian development, while promoting both defense and commercial applications. In particular, the CASIC First Research Academy is focusing on the use of 5G in aerospace. There could be some notable synergies in 5G development among these and other notable players. For instance, 5G will require specialized communications equipment, such as certain antennas and microwave equipment, that the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state-owned defense conglomerate,has established particular proficiency in developing.

A New Cold War Has Begun

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN

In June 2005, I published a cover story in the Atlantic, “How We Would Fight China.” I wrote that, “The American military contest with China … will define the twenty-first century. And China will be a more formidable adversary than Russia ever was.” I went on to explain that the wars of the future would be naval, with all of their abstract battle systems, even though dirty counterinsurgency fights were all the rage 14 years ago.

That future has arrived, and it is nothing less than a new cold war: The constant, interminable Chinese computer hacks of American warships’ maintenance records, Pentagon personnel records, and so forth constitute war by other means. This situation will last decades and will only get worse, whatever this or that trade deal is struck between smiling Chinese and American presidents in a photo-op that sends financial markets momentarily skyward. The new cold war is permanent because of a host of factors that generals and strategists understand but that many, especially those in the business and financial community who populate Davos, still prefer to deny. And because the U.S.-China relationship is the world’s most crucial—with many second- and third-order effects—a cold war between the two is becoming the negative organizing principle of geopolitics that markets will just have to price in.

The Geopolitics of the Quad

Arzan Tarapore

In the wake of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, meeting in Singapore on November 15, Arzan Tarapore considers how this informal grouping of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States could mount a response to China’s revisionism.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, met again in Singapore on November 15 on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit. An informal grouping of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, the Quad held its third meeting of officials since it was reformed in November 2017, after a decade-long hiatus. The meeting in Singapore covered a range of security and economic issues under the rubric of supporting a “free, open, and inclusive rules-based order”—in a veiled reference to China’s revisionist policies—and declared the group’s continued deference to “ASEAN centrality” in the region’s institutional architecture. Once again, the group stopped short of announcing any combined military maneuvers or measures that directly push back on Chinese military activities.

At the Dawn of Belt and Road

by Andrew Scobell

What is China's political and diplomatic, economic, and military engagement with the Developing World, region by region? What states in each region does China consider pivotal to its security and external relations? What are the consequences of the Chinese strategy toward the Developing World for the United States?

Since its establishment in 1949, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has viewed itself as an underdeveloped country — economically backward, physically weak, and vulnerable to exploitation by more powerful states. Even as the PRC has grown stronger economically and militarily, especially since launching the reform and opening policies of Deng Xiaoping in 1978, PRC officials continue to insist China is a developing country.

Japan Slams China for Unauthorized Research Around Okinotori Island

By Thisanka Siripala

The Japanese Embassy in Beijing has filed official protest with China after they admitted to conducting marine surveys around the Japan-held Okinotori island without permission. In mid-December last year, the Japanese Coast Guard intercepted a Chinese research vessel in waters surrounding Okinotori Island. Japan claims the uninhabited Okinotori island in the Pacific Ocean as its southernmost territory, which is 1700 kilometers south of Tokyo, and holds that Okinotori generates a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ)