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

6 July 2020

India Shows the World How to Use ‘Cyberspace Sovereignty’ Against China

By Chauncey Jung

On Monday, the government of India announced its decision to ban 59 Chinese mobile applications within its borders. In a statement from the country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, governing authorities from India accuse these Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok, WeChat, and Weibo, of mining user data and transferring data to servers outside of the country.

The ban on Chinese mobile applications was not appreciated by the Chinese government. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concerns over the decisions and urged India to “uphold the legitimate rights of international investors.”

Despite showing concerns about another country restricting the use of certain mobile applications within its domestic network, China has consistently blocked foreign apps, websites, and other internet services using its “Great Firewall,” which stops internet users in China from accessing websites such as Google, the New York Times, and The Diplomat. Smartphone users are also not allowed to use mobile applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Chinese regime also has strict restrictions on the distribution of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which can be used to get around the restrictions. In 2018, a software engineer faced criminal charges and received a suspended prison sentence for selling software that helped internet users to bypass the Chinese government’s Great Firewall to visit prohibited websites.

China’s Own Documents Show Potentially Genocidal Sterilization Plans in Xinjiang

BY ADRIAN ZENZ
Source Link

These are direct quotes from the 2019 family planning budget of Hotan, the capital city of a prefecture with a population of 2.53 million in in southern Xinjiang, China. The neighboring county of Guma, population 322,000, set a similarly precise “performance target” figure of 5,970 intrauterine contraception device (IUD) placements and 8,064 female sterilizations for that year.

These two counties, predominantly home to members of the Uighur ethnic minority, planned to sterilize approximately 14 and 34 percent of women between 18 and 49—in a single year. Per capita, that represents more sterilizations than China performed in the 20 years between 1998 and 2018 combined. Documents from Xinjiang’s Health Commission indicate that this is part of a wider project targeting all of Xinjiang’s southern minority regions in 2019 and 2020.

Since 2017, up to 1.8 million Uighurs, Kazaks, and other Turkic minority groups in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang have been swept up in what is probably the largest incarceration of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust. Exile Uighurs and China researchers have described this campaign as a “cultural genocide.” Now, new research I published this month with the Jamestown Foundation provides strong evidence that Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang also meet the physical genocide criterion cited in Section D of Article II of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the [targeted] group.”

Deng To Xi, The Troubling "Sovietization" Of China


In the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and on the eve, 30 years ago, of the collapse of the USSR, Chinese leaders emphasized the fundamental differences between the choices of Moscow and those of Beijing.

Under Gorbachev, the USSR favored political openness over economic reform. Deng Xiaoping's China took the exact opposite route. The USSR was on the verge of collapse, a victim of its contradictions and inability to follow the United States in an arms race that it could not afford to maintain. The Chinese regime stressed economic growth and maintained a low profile in its relations with the world. Following the lessons of Bismark, if not the advice of Henry Kissinger, China saw self-confidence and self-restraint as going hand in hand.

A re-emerging empire, China had some time to kill and could have humble success. With the uninterrupted growth of the economy, the main thing was to maintain the confidence of a society that lived better and longer. And yet, it now seems that China has forgotten these wise precepts, the very ideas that kept it so long from meeting the same fate as the USSR.

The parallels between today's China and yesterday's USSR are as fascinating as they are disturbing. 

Renewing America’s Commitment to the Indo-Pacific

By Jim Inhofe and Cory Gardner

As China brashly tries to impose its own system of rules and order in the Pacific, the United States and our allies in the Indo-Pacific confront a time for choosing. We must choose to advance our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. We must choose to ensure the success of the principles of regional and global order that remain essential to our shared security and prosperity. These are difficult choices that will come at increasingly greater cost. Beijing will do its best to make sure that the right choice and the easy choice are never the same, but we believe Americans and our allies are up to the task.

For instance, U.S. allies like Australia are already making the tough choices, while braving Beijing’s bluster and bullying. By standing by its calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus and by remaining open to trade while refusing to trade away fundamental values, Australia has set a proud example for all the world. As Beijing lashes out across the region from the Himalayan Mountains to the South China Sea, Australia’s actions serve as a reminder for our other allies that in a free and open Indo-Pacific, right makes might — and not the other way around.

Australia should not be alone in this effort. The United States stands with our allies, and we are prepared to make our own tough choices.

COVID-19 Complicates the US-China Cyber Threat Landscape

By Lee Clark

In February 2020, in an article for The Diplomat, I argued that the U.S.-China Phase One trade deal would not prevent future cyberattacks from China. At the time, the full scale and implications of the coronavirus outbreak was difficult to forecast and integrate into cyber strategy. A month later, COVID-19 was designated a global pandemic, and the crisis went on to generate mass shutdowns, economic chaos, and increased geopolitical tensions worldwide. The central argument of my earlier piece — that some level of Chinese cyberespionage activity will continue regardless of the success of trade negotiations, because the risks are low and the rewards great — remains true. However, events involving the pandemic have overshadowed any potential fallout of the trade negotiations.

U.S.-China relations have deteriorated under the stress of COVID-19 despite hopes for a trade deal and a focus on a warm interpersonal relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the past few months alone, tensions have been exacerbated by widespread misinformation on the origins of the virus from both Chinese and U.S. official representatives and racist language from the U.S. administration. Trump also decided to end the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over accusations that the global body was complicit in China’s misleading reporting in the early stages of the outbreak.

5 July 2020

India’s Great Firewall Against China Could Backfire

By Mohamed Zeeshan

In an unprecedented move this week, India banned 59 Chinese smartphone apps, including popular applications such as TikTok and CamScanner. The government justified the decision on the basis of “data security” and “privacy” concerns which, the Ministry of Information Technology said, also pose a threat to India’s “sovereignty and security.”

Privacy concerns have been buzzing around India’s digital economy for years, but the timing of the move suggests that its impetus lies elsewhere. The Modi government hopes that this decision will serve as retaliation against Beijing for the long-running border tensions between the two countries.

During the course of the ongoing standoff, many Indians have repeatedly called for economic boycott measures against China. The problem is that India’s share in Chinese trade is far too small to make much of a dent (by some estimates, Vietnam is statistically more influential on this count).

But the internet is a different battlefield. Chinese apps have proven increasingly popular in India’s massive market in recent years: According to one report, they accounted for over 60 percent of the Indian market in 2019, after having been only a fraction of that in 2015. Last year, TikTok clocked over 300 million downloads in India – nearly 80 million more than the second-placed WhatsApp. And six out of the top ten most popular apps in India were Chinese.

Why a Trade War With China Is a Bad Idea for India

BY JAMES CRABTREE
Source Link

Relations between the United States and China have sunk to such lows in recent years that it is now easy enough to imagine the two nations eventually going to war. Yet this month’s deadly Himalayan skirmishes suggest China is far likelier to usher in a new era of military conflict with its neighbor India.

Both nations now face dilemmas as they seek to avoid that prospect, after their monthlong standoff degenerated into a bloody fracas in mid-June, leaving 20 Indian soldiers dead alongside an unknown number of Chinese. Deescalating the crisis will be hard enough. More important will be how each side rethinks the countries’ long-term relationship as strategic competitors. Of the two, India faces tougher challenges: With limited military options, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing growing pressure to boycott Chinese goods as part of a more general turn toward self-reliance and protectionism—a strategy that would be precisely the wrong way to tackle the long-term threat of a rising China.

China’s dilemma is simpler: namely, whether it is wise to antagonize all of its competitors at once. That Beijing is riling its neighborhood is obvious. Australia complains about Chinese cyberattacks, albeit without directly naming China. Japan is alarmed about Chinese patrols near the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands. And now China is clashing with India, a country whose security establishment increasingly views its northern neighbor as a threat, and is currently puzzling through how to respond.

Why Russia’s relations with India and China will survive Galwan border clash

Danil Bochkov

The rise in tensions along the China-India border in the Himalayas began in early May and resulted in bloodshed earlier this month with violence in the Galwan valley. This border stand-off bears similarities to the skirmish in 2017, with the only exception being a lack of fatalities three years ago.

The intensification of this dispute has spurred concern among Nepal, Japan and other regional players who have to balance their foreign policy between China and India. It has also drawn the attention of larger powers such as the United States and Russia, with the former offering mediation but to no avail.

China and India’s current impasse poses a huge political challenge for Russia, which has established long-term strategic ties with both countries.

Russia-India relations are officially described as a “special and privileged strategic partnership”, a formula that was originally promulgated during President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to India in 2010. The special nature of their bilateral relations has been underscored several times in recent years, such as Putin’s 2018 state visit to India and a 2019 meeting between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The two sides adopted “India-Russia: an Enduring Partnership in a Changing World”, a 2018 joint statement in which they recognised the importance of adjusting relations in a new global reality.

China’s Indian Ocean ambitions Investment, influence, and military advantage

Joshua T. White
Source Link

China has significantly expanded its engagements in the Indian Ocean region over the past three decades, raising fears among American and Indian strategists that its growing naval presence, together with its use of so-called “debt-trap diplomacy,” might provide it with meaningful military advantages far from its shores.

Although China’s ultimate aims in the Indian Ocean remain somewhat ambiguous, it is clear that the Chinese leadership is actively pursuing capabilities that would allow it to undertake a range of military missions in the region. This paper explores five such mission objectives — ranging from relatively “benign” activities to those that would be more alarming to U.S. and Indian policy planners — and describes the kinds of defense and economic investments that China would require to carry them out. These objectives are: 1) conduct non-combat activities focused on protecting Chinese citizens and investments, and bolstering China’s soft power influence; 2) undertake counterterrorism activities, unilaterally or with partners, against organizations that threaten China; 3) collect intelligence in support of operational requirements, and against key adversaries; 4) support efforts aimed at coercive diplomacy toward small countries in the region; and 5) enable effective operations in a conflict environment, namely the ability to deter, mitigate, or terminate a state-sponsored interdiction of trade bound for China, and to meaningfully hold at risk U.S. or Indian assets in the event of a wider conflict.

Taiwan Opens Office to Help People Fleeing Hong Kong in Wake of National Security Law

By Nick Aspinwall

A Hong Kong protester in Taiwan waves a flag to mark the first anniversary of a mass rally in Hong Kong against the now-withdrawn extradition bill at Democracy Square in in Taipei, Taiwan, June 13, 2020.Credit: AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying

Taiwan on Wednesday opened an office to help people fleeing Hong Kong, its strongest response yet to calls to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers leaving the city due to ongoing pro-democracy protests and a newly imposed national security law.

The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchange Office will serve as a hub for a task force established last month to provide direct assistance to Hong Kongers who wish to stay in Taiwan.

“China’s disregard for the will of Hong Kong’s people proves that ‘one country, two systems’ is not viable,” President Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday on Twitter. “Taiwan’s commitment to supporting those HKers who want freedom and democracy has never changed.”

China’s Approach to Global Governance


For more than two millennia, monarchs who ruled China proper saw their country as one of the dominant actors in the world. The concept of zhongguo—the Middle Kingdom, as China calls itself—is not simply geographic. It implies that China is the cultural, political, and economic center of the world. This Sino-centrist worldview has in many ways shaped China’s outlook on global governance—the rules, norms, and institutions that regulate international cooperation. The decline and collapse of imperial China in the 1800s and early 1900s, however, diminished Chinese influence on the global stage for more than a century.

In the past two decades, China has reemerged as a major power, with the world’s second largest economy and a world-class military. It increasingly asserts itself, seeking to regain its centrality in the international system and over global governance institutions.

These institutions, created mostly by Western powers after World War II, include the World Bank, which provides loans and grants to developing states; the International Monetary Fund, which works to secure the stability of the global monetary system; and the United Nations, among others. President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, has called for China to “lead the reform of the global governance system,” transforming institutions and norms in ways that will reflect Beijing’s values and priorities.
Journalists watch an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April 2019.

What Is the World Doing to Create a COVID-19 Vaccine?

by Claire Felter

A global race is underway to develop and mass-produce an effective vaccine to counter the new, deadly, and highly infectious coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which has brought much of the world to a standstill. Many governments have warned that daily life cannot return to normal until their populations have built up antibodies to fend off the virus. Accelerated clinical trials are already underway, but vaccine development often takes years.

Developing a successful vaccine is not enough. Many countries also face the looming challenge of producing quantities necessary to provide immunity to all their citizens, and competition is already emerging over who will have access once a vaccine is ready.
What is the status of a COVID-19 vaccine?

There are more than one hundred vaccines in preclinical development by pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, government agencies, and others. More than seventy of these are being tracked by the World Health Organization (WHO) [PDF]. Seventeen vaccine candidates, across at least ten countries, are already undergoing clinical trials. One of these has been approved for limited use by the Chinese military. While several of these candidates are already spurring hope, experts warn that it’s too early to determine which, if any, will be successful on a large scale.

Xi Jinping’s Internal Great Wall

by Rep. Mark Green

If the Great Wall of China was the symbol of its past reclusiveness from the rest of the world as some have asserted, then Xi Jingping’s thought policing has created an Internal Great Wall that still exists today.  

Before building the Great Wall, China was technologically advanced. The Chinese people had accurate clocks, crossbows, compasses, and even successfully deep-drilled for natural gas. Yet when China built the Great Wall for protection during the Ming Dynasty, they began to lag increasingly further behind. By decreasing their interaction with the rest of the world, they wound up missing out on the Industrial Revolution. Their own only started some forty years ago.  

Since China began to open its economy in the 1980s, it has made incredibly rapid steps and become a near-peer economically to the United States. Yet though China appears technologically advanced today, since Xi Jinping’s arrival as president and paramount leader, the Chinese Communist Party’s increasing thought suppression of its own citizens—Xi’s Internal Great Wall—has driven the country further backward, not forward.  

COUNTERING RUSSIAN & CHINESE INFLUENCE ACTIVITIES

Heather A. Conley, Cyrus Newlin and Tim Kostelancik

Introduction

The impact of Russian and Chinese malign influence activities within democratic states has come into sharp focus in recent years. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has created new opportunities for Moscow and Beijing to advance geopolitical goals through disinformation and other influence activities. Despite greater public awareness of the challenge, governments have struggled to respond.

The “3 Cs” framework, coined by former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, defines “malign” influence activities as covert, coercive, or corrupting. These influence activities disrupt the normal democratic political processes in a targeted country by:

Manipulating public discourse;
Discrediting the electoral system;
Biasing the development of policy; or
Disrupting markets for the purpose of advancing a political or strategic goal.

These activities are typically non-transparent, outside the rule of law, and run counter to liberal democratic norms. Activities that are covert, coercive, or corrupting differ from legitimate or benign public diplomacy efforts conducted in a transparent and open manner.

EXPLORING CHINA’S UNMANNED OCEAN NETWORK


China has deployed a network of sensors and communications capabilities between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands in the northern South China Sea. These capabilities are part of a “Blue Ocean Information Network” (蓝海信息网络) developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state-owned company, to aid in the exploration and control of the maritime environment using information technology. The network constructed in the northern South China Sea between early 2016 and 2019 is referred to as a demonstration system. However, future plans for the Blue Ocean Information Network involve expanding the sensor and communications network to the rest of the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and other ocean areas far from Chinese territory. While the Blue Ocean Information Network is largely cast as an environmental monitoring and communications system, the military utility of its sensing and communications functions makes its development important to monitor.

The most visible elements of this network are two types of “Ocean E-Stations” dubbed “floating integrated information platforms” (IIFP) (浮台信息系统) and “island reef-based integrated information systems” (IRBIS) (岛礁信息系统). AMTI previously identified one of the latter systems after it was deployed to Bombay Reef in the Paracels in mid-2018.

4 July 2020

India’s Chinese App Ban Is Just the Beginning

By Pallavi Shahi

While the jury is still out on whether there has been a Chinese incursion in the Galwan Valley or which country rightfully lays claim to the disputed stretch of land along the Sino-India border, within India, digital and real borders are being hurriedly drawn. On June 29, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps including WeChat and TikTok citing the “threat to sovereignty and integrity” that these apps pose through the misuse and transmission of user data to servers outside India. As an immediate reaction, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the Chinese government was “strongly concerned” about the ban and that it is India’s responsibility to “uphold the legitimate rights of international investors.” On the telecommunications front, the Indian government is reportedly mulling barring Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE from providing equipment to state-run telcos in their 5G upgrade, an action that could eventually include private players too.

Even prior to this official intimation, many Indians were ready and roaring to boycott anything Chinese. What began as a call to boycott Chinese apps such as TikTok immediately, and all Chinese products eventually, quickly engulfed various sectors. On June 25, the Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association announced that Chinese nationals were no longer welcome in over 3,000 hotels and guesthouses across the capital city. This came close on the heels of the Confederation of All India Traders’ (CAIT) decision to boycott Chinese products. On June 17, CAIT released a list of over 450 Chinese categories of products that were to be boycotted over “continued border skirmishes.”

India’s Great Firewall Against China Could Backfire

By Mohamed Zeeshan

In an unprecedented move this week, India banned 59 Chinese smartphone apps, including popular applications such as TikTok and CamScanner. The government justified the decision on the basis of “data security” and “privacy” concerns which, the Ministry of Information Technology said, also pose a threat to India’s “sovereignty and security.”

Privacy concerns have been buzzing around India’s digital economy for years, but the timing of the move suggests that its impetus lies elsewhere. The Modi government hopes that this decision will serve as retaliation against Beijing for the long-running border tensions between the two countries.

During the course of the ongoing standoff, many Indians have repeatedly called for economic boycott measures against China. The problem is that India’s share in Chinese trade is far too small to make much of a dent (by some estimates, Vietnam is statistically more influential on this count).

But the internet is a different battlefield. Chinese apps have proven increasingly popular in India’s massive market in recent years: According to one report, they accounted for over 60 percent of the Indian market in 2019, after having been only a fraction of that in 2015. Last year, TikTok clocked over 300 million downloads in India – nearly 80 million more than the second-placed WhatsApp. And six out of the top ten most popular apps in India were Chinese.

Hong Kong And Tibet Should Be Liberated From China’s Occupation – OpEd

By N. S. Venkataraman

Hong Kong was under British rule for as long as 150 years. During this period, on and off, China has been claiming that Hong Kong should be part of China. However, there were equally strong arguments as to why Hong Kong should not be part of China and should be independent region.

In 1997, the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made a historical mistake by handing over Hong Kong to China, even after knowing that China has a dictatorial regime with personal liberty and freedom of speech severely suppressed. It was shocking that British government did not care to remember the atrocities carried out by China in Tibet after occupying the region and could not anticipate that similar condition would happen in Hong Kong also.

While handing over Hong Kong to China, the British government did not care to ascertain the views of the Hong Kong citizens but took them for granted. If Britain would have cared to conduct a complete poll in Hong Kong, the citizens of Hong Kong would have voted to remain as an independent nation. Hong Kong is now paying the price for Britain’s careless and thoughtless decision to hand over Hong Kong to China.

COVID-19 Complicates the US-China Cyber Threat Landscape

By Lee Clark

In February 2020, in an article for The Diplomat, I argued that the U.S.-China Phase One trade deal would not prevent future cyberattacks from China. At the time, the full scale and implications of the coronavirus outbreak was difficult to forecast and integrate into cyber strategy. A month later, COVID-19 was designated a global pandemic, and the crisis went on to generate mass shutdowns, economic chaos, and increased geopolitical tensions worldwide. The central argument of my earlier piece — that some level of Chinese cyberespionage activity will continue regardless of the success of trade negotiations, because the risks are low and the rewards great — remains true. However, events involving the pandemic have overshadowed any potential fallout of the trade negotiations.

U.S.-China relations have deteriorated under the stress of COVID-19 despite hopes for a trade deal and a focus on a warm interpersonal relationship between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the past few months alone, tensions have been exacerbated by widespread misinformation on the origins of the virus from both Chinese and U.S. official representatives and racist language from the U.S. administration. Trump also decided to end the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over accusations that the global body was complicit in China’s misleading reporting in the early stages of the outbreak.

Hong Kong Through Water and Fire

By Sebastian Veg

It has been a year since the beginning of the anti-extradition law movement, and it seems safe to say that Hong Kong will never be the same. The movement began as a massive pushback across Hong Kong society to resist the government’s proposed bill allowing extradition to mainland China and more generally the growing erosion of Hong Kong’s constitutionally guaranteed “high degree of autonomy.” It therefore began as a “reactive” (in the framework of Charles Tilly) movement, whereas the 2014 Umbrella Movement was arguably more “proactive” in trying to advance a deeper form of democratization.

After the unprecedented 1- and 2-million strong peaceful marches that took place on June 9 and June 16, respectively, millions of people mobilized over the course of six months, punctuated by hundreds of marches and gatherings, as well as a number of violent confrontations. At the same time, the movement morphed into a massive if inchoate attempt to resist the “restructuring” of Hong Kong’s basic institutions by Beijing. The government’s unwillingness to make concessions or engage in dialogue fueled a spiral of mutual escalation, in which outraged protesters, whose main claims were supported for most of the period by around 80 percent of Hong Kongers, faced off with a police force that was left alone to deal with political issues that it was not equipped to address and that the government refused to confront. Although withdrawal of the bill was officially announced on September 4 and completed on October 23, the confrontation continued unabated, with growing involvement from the Central Government, further complicating any resolution. Finally, the District Council elections in late November brought an overwhelming though arguably symbolic victory to the pro-democracy camp, allowing for a tentative though fragile, and ultimately short-lived, de-escalation.