Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

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Singha
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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Singha » 24 Jul 2018 12:31

empires of the silk road book

*Tumen,12 the first great ruler13 of the Hsiung- nu,14 built a strong nation in
the Eastern Steppe. He had a son named Mo- tun,15 who was the crown
prince. Later, *Tumen had a son by his favorite consort and wanted to get rid
of Mo- tun so he could make his new son the crown prince. He made a treaty
with the *Tokwar (Yüeh- chih)16 and sent Mo- tun to them as a hostage to
guarantee the treaty, as was the custom. Aft er Mo- tun arrived, *Tumen attacked
the *Tokwar. Th e *Tokwar wanted to execute Mo- tun according to
the terms of the treaty, but he stole one of their best horses and escaped back
home.17 *Tumen praised his strength and made him a myriarch, the commander
of ten thousand mounted warriors.

Mo- tun then made a whistling arrow with which to train his riders to
shoot. He ordered them to obey him, saying, “Whoever does not shoot what
the whistling arrow shoots will be decapitated.” Th ey went hunting, and as
Mo- tun said, he cut off the head of whoever did not shoot what he shot with
the whistling arrow. Th en Mo- tun used the whistling arrow to shoot his best
horse. Some of his men were afraid to shoot it. Mo- tun immediately decapitated
them. Next he shot his favorite wife. Some of his men were terrifi ed and
did not dare to shoot her. He cut their heads off like the others. Again he went
hunting, and used the whistling arrow to shoot the king’s best horse. All of his
men shot it. Th en Mo- tun knew they were ready. He went hunting with his
father the king and shot him with the whistling arrow. His men, following the
whistling arrow, shot and killed *Tumen. Mo- tun then executed all officials and
family members who would not obey him, and he himself became
king.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Deans » 24 Jul 2018 19:57

The book `China's great wall of debt' by Dinny McMahon, is available as a free download.
http://oceanofpdf.com/pdf-epub-chinas-great-wall-of-debt-shadow-banks-ghost-cities-massive-loans-and-the-end-of-the-chinese-miracle-download/
Its an interesting view of China's unsustainable economic model.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby rsingh » 24 Jul 2018 20:18

I see such articles from time to time. Problem is; almost all of these writers apply laws of economics and finances that are good for free and fare trade. But China is a special case. These laws do not apply in China. They can do anything. They play with GDP figures,Export Import data . Chinese goods are exported via other countries to overcome quotas. Local CP leaders are forced to complete production data etc. IMO such repots and articles are useless.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby nam » 24 Jul 2018 20:23

The thing with Chinese economy is that it has jumped a threshold. It is 12 trillion now. Even if their economy collapses and reduces 50% (which is not going to happen), they will still be 6 trillion. Bigger than Japan & Germany.

So waiting for the Chinese economy to go in a meltdown is a pointless exercise. The world is buying, what they produce. They will continue, until the buying continues.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby nam » 24 Jul 2018 20:31

The timing of the visit is significant because of the elections and also because China has been piling pressure on Bhutan to accept a land-swap deal which could see Bhutan cede the Doklam plateau, the site of China-India military standoff last year, to China.


It is very simple. Bhutan can do any deal it wants with any country it wants. At the same time, we have within our rights to tell both of them that Chinese access to the ridge, where they can have clear view to chicken's neck will be considered a threat to our security and action will be taken.

It is up to Bhutan & China to decide if they can handle a threat from world's largest army backed up a population of 1.2 billion. We will not run of men in a fight.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 24 Jul 2018 20:42

nam wrote:So waiting for the Chinese economy to go in a meltdown is a pointless exercise. The world is buying, what they produce. They will continue, until the buying continues.

China's economic demise has been predicted for over two decades now.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Prasad » 24 Jul 2018 20:54

Come on. Not even porkistan has caved. Even the americans dont want the chinese economy to collapse even in their wildest dreams.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jul 2018 14:06

Why this could be the best time for Pakistan to send Xi a wishlist - Bloomberg
With China’s fiscal, monetary, currency and credit policies all taking a pro-growth turn, President Xi Jinping’s deleveraging campaign is clearly over. Or, at the very least, it’s going into the freezer for as long as there’s no letup in trade tensions with the US.

But what about Xi’s other pet idea? In Southeast Asia, the ambitious belt-and-road project witnessed a 36 percent year-on-year decline in investment commitments and construction contracts in the first half. The setback is temporary, according to Citigroup, which expects Beijing will yield to its partners’ concerns for the sake of its “overarching geostrategic imperatives.”

Maintaining the region’s confidence in belt-and-road may be a crucial defense against domestic fragility. The yuan is at its weakest in more than a year; banks’ reserve ratio has been cut three times; and now, following a meeting of the State Council, authorities are vowing a “more proactive” fiscal policy. The People’s Bank of China will extend credit via a medium-term lending facility for lenders to buy corporate bonds — the funding could be twice the size of purchases if the securities are rated AA or below.

All this is clearly aimed at reining in rising distress.
Including the recent cross-defaults on 13 of coal miner Wintime Energy Co.’s bonds — totaling about 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) — the default rate in China may now be running at 0.52 percent, higher than the 2016 peak of 0.45 percent, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s calculations.

Southeast Asia and Pakistan may use the opportunity to shave a few billion dollars off interest costs. To the extent Beijing’s attention is diverted to fighting fires in the domestic economy, overseas recipients of Beijing’s infrastructure financing are bound to demand — and get — sweeter terms.

Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has sent an emissary to China to renegotiate loans and contracts. In Thailand, there’s nervousness about a five-year plan to redevelop the country’s eastern seaboard as a trade and transport hub — and link it with belt-and-road.

There’s no guarantee the next civilian government will continue to back the $51 billion makeover, or that it won’t spend the money instead on farmers in the landlocked northeast.

A bigger and more immediate test for China, however, may arrive after Wednesday’s elections in Pakistan.
Opposition leader Imran Khan, while not repudiating his country’s growing dependence on Beijing, hasn’t ruled out re-examining the loans for a $62 billion China-backed trade corridor if his party forms a government. {But, we know that Pakistani opposition leaders talk brave words only to somersault upon assuming the chair. It has happened in Sri Lanka too recently. Besides, the Army cannot allow any U-turn with China. I am even surprised that Immy was allowed to speak like this in election campaign. At another level, since political leaders only promise what they feel the pulse of the people, does it show that the commonfolk Pakistanis feel cheated by China?} Imports of machinery and transport equipment to set up the corridor have sunk the Pakistani rupee by 18 percent over the past year, leaving Islamabad in the unenviable position of managing its hard-currency shortfall by taking yet more loans from its regional neighbor.

With its own competitiveness under threat from U.S. President Donald Trump’s hawkish policies and posturing, China has an increasing need of its Asian allies {Pakistan is even more special for strategic reasons and also for the fact that the success of BRI is predicated upon the CPEC which is both a pilot and a template for China for replicating in other countries. Other countries would be very nervous when they see failures in Pakistan. Then, all the horror stories of bribes, illegal funding, arm-twisting etc would pour out damaging China. It has already happened in Sri Lanka but it could become a torrent} — for everything from relocating low-cost manufacturing to sourcing chemicals, clothing and soybeans. Deleveraging at home can be allowed to be a casualty of a global trade war. But leaving marquee Chinese projects stranded overseas, with partners complaining about high debt and low returns? That simply won’t do.

Pakistan’s next prime minister should aim to show up in Beijing with a list of demands. Odds are, he won’t return empty-handed.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby chola » 25 Jul 2018 14:19

^^^ There is no such thing as a “bad time” for pakis to send a wishlist to someone — China, Amreeka, Saudis. Begging is a 24x7x365 thing for them.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby chetak » 25 Jul 2018 14:21

^^^^^^^
@SSridhar

Pakistan’s next prime minister should aim to show up in Beijing with a list of demands. Odds are, he won’t return empty-handed.


or maybe, he won't return at all. :)

If it is im the dim, he is going to be very troublesome for India.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 25 Jul 2018 16:07

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diploma ... emand-stop
US airlines make concessions towards Beijing’s demand to refer to Taiwan as part of China
Major US airlines appear to be making concessions towards China’s demand that they refer to Taiwan as part of China in their flight schedules, with American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines making changes to their websites ahead of Beijing’s Wednesday deadline.

At least three unnamed sources told Reuters and Bloomberg that Delta and United Continental would also make changes, after coordination between the carriers and the US government.

See how stlong Khan saahib is! Now compare that to the wimp that goes by the name of India. Inspite of this news, I still hold that we shouldn't be in the business of matching America or China every step of the way given the resource/power differential.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jul 2018 18:58

chola wrote:^^^ There is no such thing as a “bad time” for pakis to send a wishlist to someone — China, Amreeka, Saudis. Begging is a 24x7x365 thing for them.


:rotfl:

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Trikaal » 25 Jul 2018 19:47

pankajs wrote:https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2156718/us-airlines-are-complying-beijings-demand-stop
US airlines make concessions towards Beijing’s demand to refer to Taiwan as part of China

See how stlong Khan saahib is! Now compare that to the wimp that goes by the name of India. Inspite of this news, I still hold that we shouldn't be in the business of matching America or China every step of the way given the resource/power differential.


I admit I was among those who believed that US won't budge. I guess I was wrong. Also, u r right about not matching anyone. However, we Indians often underestimate our own strength while overestimating that of the enemy. Need to guard against that attitude too.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 25 Jul 2018 19:58

https://twitter.com/sidhant/status/1022033771028197376
Sidhant Sibal @sidhant

JUST IN: US to codify Quad Cooperation under FY19 National Defense Authorization Act; Senate and House Armed Services Committees recomm Quad cooperation

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby nam » 25 Jul 2018 21:37

chetak wrote:^^^^^^^

If it is im the dim, he is going to be very troublesome for India.


Irrespective of which dimmer is in power, the trouble tap is controlled by PA. This dimmer is probably going to be busy visiting London, with the title of PM adding to his kitty of pick up line.

PA would expect him to beg for money from other countries.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby chetak » 26 Jul 2018 04:36

nam wrote:
chetak wrote:^^^^^^^

If it is im the dim, he is going to be very troublesome for India.


Irrespective of which dimmer is in power, the trouble tap is controlled by PA. This dimmer is probably going to be busy visiting London, with the title of PM adding to his kitty of pick up line.

PA would expect him to beg for money from other countries.


It is a ploy to get India to deal directly with the paki army instead of the civilians. Hence the catspaw in the form of IK.

IK is not only totally controllable but also easily disposable when the time comes.

Now, there will be no more inconvenient proceedings/resolutions in their senate when contentious issues come up. It will all be one big happy family against India.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 26 Jul 2018 15:49

China quietly resumes its activities in Doklam area: US official - PTI
China has quietly resumed its activities in the Doklam area and neither Bhutan nor India has sought to dissuade it, a top US official has said while comparing Beijing's actions in the Himalayan region with its manoeuvres in the disputed South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over all of South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital to global trade.

"I would assess that India is vigorously defending its northern borders and this is a subject of concern to India," Alice G Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing while responding to a question on China's increased road-building activities along the border.

India and China have clashed repeatedly over territories in the Himalayas. Most recently Chinese and Indian troops faced off on the disputed Doklam plateau between Bhutan and China after the Chinese People's Liberation Army began building roads through the area, Wagner said.

"Although both countries back down, China has quietly resumed its activities in Doklam and neither Bhutan nor India has sought to dissuade it. China's activities in the Himalayas remind me of its south China Sea policies. How should our failure to respond to the militarisation of the South China Sea inform the international response to these Himalayan border disputes?" Wagner asked.

As the US looks to the Indo-Pacific strategy put forward by the Trump administration, Wells said it has been taken in light of the 'South China Sea's Strategy'.

"How do we maintain the region to be open, to have maritime security, to not have militarisation that would imperil the 70 per cent of global trade?" she asked.

"We need to do that by giving authority to sovereign nations to have choices in how they develop, to have choices in their partnerships," Wells said.

Congressman Ted Yoho, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Asia and the Pacific, raised the issue of China's aggressive posture in South Asia.

"What are your thoughts on what is the best way to counter China in that region?" Yoho asked.

US should not be seeking to compete with China dollar for dollar, Wells responded, adding that instead of a state lending on terms that may not be to the benefit of countries or their citizens, the US and its companies are providing $850 billion in foreign direct investment in the region, which is far more than what has been injected by China.

"We're trying to gather likeminded countries who can bring resources to the table, who can coordinate assistance and an effort so as to provide countries with meaningful alternatives," Wells said.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2018 07:44

Trade deficit: India wants concrete steps from China over mere delegation visits - Amiti Sen, Business Line
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Johannesburg on Thursday, made a case once again on the need to increase Indian exports to China to bridge the widening trade deficit with the country.

The leaders agreed on the visit of two trade delegations from India to China in August to secure market access for sugar, soya, non-basmati rice and pharmaceuticals, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said at a press briefing after the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting.

It is, however, time for Beijing to move beyond just lip-service and take concrete measures to remove non-tariff barriers
to exports to substantially dent the annual $63-billion trade deficit with New Delhi. Over the last few years, the Chinese Premier and other senior officials, including the Trade Minister, have been continuously acknowledging the need to address the trade deficit with India and have also been signing memorandums of understanding to increase exports of items such as buffalo meat, pharmaceuticals, soya and IT.

Despite the MoUs and the promises, precious little has been done by China to import larger quantities from India of any product. As a result, while over the last decade India’s imports from China increased by $50 billion, the country’s exports to its neighbour rose by a mere $2.5 billion, according to a Parliamentary Committee report.

“Across the board on trade related issues where India had problems, we are seeing forward movement in terms of delegations visiting China to discuss imports,” Gokhale said at the press conference.

But, Beijing clearly needs to do more than just facilitate delegation meets. While Chinese leaders have been expressing their intention to change things positively for India since the beginning of this year, nothing substantial has moved on the ground yet. Beijing promised to start import of certain items such as rice, soya, meat and sugar from India, but orders haven’t started coming in.

Experience shows that till orders are placed, it doesn’t pay to start rejoicing where China is concerned. A bitter example would be the case of buffalo meat. While in the last two-three years, China has sent a number of quality inspectors to inspect export houses in India, none have passed muster and buffalo meat is still not exported from the country.

Very recently, China sent its team of quality inspectors to examine rice plants, but there is no confirmation yet on whether orders would be placed.

While it is important for Modi to impress upon the Chinese leadership the need to address the trade deficit every time there is a bilateral meeting, New Delhi’s growing impatience at the lack of result-oriented action also needs to be adequately communicated.


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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2018 08:45

No plan to acquire stake in Sri Lankan airport: AAI - The Hindu
There is no proposal by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to acquire a controlling stake in Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, the government said in Parliament. To a question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday on whether the AAI would buy a stake in the airport at Hambantota as well as build a flying school and a mainten-ance, repair and overhaul facility, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, “No”. The $210-million loss-making facility is dubbed the world’s emptiest airport because of a lack of flights.


Innumerable Indian reports by all media houses as well as the Sri Lankan minister have said before that talks were in final stages. I don't understand this curt "No", therefore.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2018 08:53

India to operate “world’s emptiest airport” in Sri Lanka - PTI, July 6, 2018
India would operate Sri Lanka’s loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, the Civil Aviation Minister has told Sri Lankan Parliament in Colombo.

The $210 million facility, 241km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the “world’s emptiest airport” due to a lack of flights.

India would operate the airport as a Sri Lanka-India joint venture. The joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport, Minister of Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Parliament.

“We need to revive this dying airport which caused a massive loss of rupees 20 billion,” he said.

The final terms of the agreement, however, remains to be worked out, the minister said.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2018 09:01

Modi, Xi reaffirm promise of peace - Kallol Bhattacherjee, The Hindu
India and China held talks on Thursday on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in a statement that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also discussed plans to hold multiple, high level meetings during the rest of the year.

“Both leaders have reaffirmed once again their readiness to give the necessary directions to their militaries to enhance communications between them and to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,”
said Mr. Gokhale in a statement to the media at the end of the bilateral meeting, which he described as “very productive”.

The Indian statement closely resembles the understanding reached at the informal summit in Wuhan in April, where both the leaders had “directed” their militaries to execute “confidence-building measures”.

The official said both sides firmed up a round of defence and security related talks in August. The talks would be held in the backdrop of the first anniversary of the Doklam standoff.

“Chinese Ministers of Defence and Public Security will visit India this year and these two visits will take place in August and October respectively. The high level people-to-people mechanism to be established between two sides and which will be headed by the External Affairs Minister on the Indian side and the State Counsellor and Foreign Minister on the Chinese side, will also be in this year, most likely in October in India,”
said Mr. Gokhale.

Mr. Modi conveyed to the Chinese leadership about India’s plans to send National Security Advisor Ajit Doval for the Special Representative talks in Beijing to be held later this year.

The discussion also included possibilities of export of urea among other items from India to China.
The official said an Indian trade delegation will travel to China during August 1-2 to explore export possibilities for soya, non-Basmati rice and pharmaceutical products.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 29 Jul 2018 13:44

A glaring geopolitical contest - Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu
The geopolitical contest between India and China in Sri Lanka is no secret, but it has never been as blatant as was seen in developments last week.

Cabinet spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne, in a recent media briefing, spoke of Sri Lanka having to “balance” the two powers, in the context of China holding a majority stake in the southern Hambantota port, and a proposed joint venture giving India a 70% stake in running the nearby Mattala airport.

Sri Lankans were hardly surprised by Mr. Senaratne’s comments, which simply reflected Colombo’s challenge in this “balancing act”
with its immediate neighbour and a willing lender. How this played out at the Cabinet meeting the previous day is more significant.

In the wake of India raising concern with Sri Lanka about a Chinese project to build 40,000 homes in the north, President Maithripala Sirisena is said to have advised the Cabinet to take a decision after consulting India and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which represents northern Tamils. New Delhi had earlier complained about the “opaqueness” in choosing the builder, reportedly without a competitive bidding process.

Days after the Cabinet meeting, the TNA urged the government to award the contract to India
, sources in Colombo told The Hindu . The TNA conveyed to the Indian mission here that the people of the north would like brick-and-mortar homes, rather than the controversial pre-fabricated homes that they rejected when the Resettlement Ministry earlier pushed the idea.

India, which has already built 46,000 houses in the north through a grant of $270 million, has suggested the option of a loan through its Export-Import Bank for the alternative it can offer.

As many as 1,65,000 houses are still needed in the north and east, nearly 10 years after the war.
As for the people living there, all they need is a suitable home after decades of displacement and destruction. Who builds it is hardly their concern.

From their point of view, it would be rather unfair if Colombo further delayed addressing this basic requirement, that too because of a geopolitical tussle.

In recent times, India and China appear keen on a wider presence in the island. While Prime Ministers Ranil Wickremesinghe and Narendra Modi (who joined him through video-conferencing) flagged off the expansion of an India-aided ambulance service in Jaffna last weekend, President Sirisena launched the construction of a China-funded hospital in his constituency Polonnaruwa, some 300 km away, in the North-Central province.

New gift

While Mr. Modi said that “In good times and bad, India has been, and will always be the first responder for Sri Lanka”, Mr. Sirisena announced receiving “another gift” — a fresh $290 million grant — from China for “any project of my wish”.

With the coming projects and new grants, the strategic competition is no longer confined to the Southern Province, home to Hambantota and Mattala. China has begun moving northward and India southward
, building 1,200 homes, in addition to model villages, though negotiations on New Delhi’s ‘pet projects’ of further developing the Trincomalee oil tank farm and the East Container Terminal in Colombo have not progressed.

As Mr. Senaratne noted, it is surely a balancing act for the government. However, it is not just about managing the two powers. Balancing the people’s interests and its own foreign policy priorities is the real challenge. {Sri Lanka will burn a hole if it thinks that it can 'smartly' pit one against another}

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jul 2018 11:59

From a space station in Argentina, China expands its reach in Latin America - NYT
The giant antenna rises from the desert floor like an apparition, a gleaming metal tower jutting 16 stories above an endless wind-whipped stretch of Patagonia.

The 450-ton device, with its hulking dish embracing the open skies, is the centerpiece of a $50 million satellite and space mission control station built by the Chinese military.

The isolated base is one of the most striking symbols of Beijing’s long push to transform Latin America and shape its future for generations to come — often in ways that directly undermine the United States’ political, economic and strategic power in the region.

The station began operating in March, playing a pivotal role in China’s audacious expedition to the far side of the moon — an endeavor that Argentine officials say they are elated to support.

But the way the base was negotiated — in secret, at a time when Argentina desperately needed investment — and concerns that it could enhance China’s intelligence gathering capabilities in the hemisphere have set off a debate in Argentina about the risks and benefits of being pulled into China’s orbit.

“Beijing has transformed the dynamics of the region, from the agendas of its leaders and businessmen to the structure of its economies, the content of its politics and even its security dynamics,” said R. Evan Ellis, a professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College.

For much of the past decade, the United States has paid little attention to its backyard in the Americas. Instead, it declared a pivot toward Asia, hoping to strengthen economic, military and diplomatic ties as part of the Obama administration’s strategy to constrain China.

Since taking office, the Trump administration has retreated from that approach in some fundamental ways, walking away from a free-trade pact with Pacific nations, launching a global trade war and complaining about the burden of Washington’s security commitments to its closest allies in Asia and other parts of the world.

All the while, China has been discreetly carrying out a far-reaching plan of its own across Latin America. It has vastly expanded trade, bailed out governments, built enormous infrastructure projects, strengthened military ties and locked up tremendous amounts of resources, hitching the fate of several countries in the region to its own.

Even with parts of Latin America shifting to the right politically in recent years, its leaders have tailored their policies to fulfill China’s demand. Now Beijing’s dominance in much of the region — and what it means for America’s waning stature — is starting to come into sharp focus.

“It’s a fait accompli,” said Diego Guelar, Argentina’s ambassador to China.

Trade between China and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean reached $244 billion last year, more than twice what it was a decade earlier, according to Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center. Since 2015, China has been South America’s top trading partner, eclipsing the United States.

Perhaps more significantly, China has issued tens of billions of dollars in commodities-backed loans across the Americas, giving it claim over a large share of the region’s oil — including nearly 90 percent of Ecuador’s reserves — for years.

China has also made itself indispensable by rescuing embattled governments and vital state-controlled companies in countries like Venezuela and Brazil, willing to make big bets to secure its place in the region.

Here in Argentina, a nation that had been shut out of international credit markets for defaulting on about $100 billion in bonds, China became a godsend for then-President Cristina Fernández.

And while it was extending a helping hand, China began the secret negotiations that led to the satellite and space control station here in Patagonia.

Argentine officials say the Chinese have agreed not to use the base for military purposes.
But experts contend that the technology on it has many strategic uses.

Frank A. Rose, an assistant secretary of state for arms control during the Obama administration, said he spent much of his time worrying about China’s budding space program. U.S. intelligence and defense officials watched with alarm as China developed sophisticated technology to jam, disrupt and destroy satellites in recent years, he said.

“They are deploying these capabilities to blunt American military advantages, which are in many ways derived from space,” Rose said.

Antennas and other equipment that support space missions, like the kind China now has here in Patagonia, can increase China’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, experts say.

Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said U.S. military officials were assessing the implications of the Chinese monitoring station. Chinese officials declined requests for interviews about the base and their space program.

Beyond any strategic contest with the United States, some leaders in Latin America are now having doubts and regrets about their ties to China, worried that past governments have saddled their nations with enormous debt and effectively sold out their futures.

But Guelar argued that hitting the brakes on engagement with China would be shortsighted, particularly at a time when Washington has given up its long-standing role as the region’s political and economic anchor.

“There has been an abdication” of leadership by the United States, he said. “It surrendered that role not because it lost it, but because it doesn’t wish to take it on.”

The Argentine government was in crisis mode in 2009. Inflation was high. Billions of dollars in debt payments were coming due. Anger was swelling over the government, including its decision to nationalize $30 billion in private pension funds. And the worst drought in five decades was making the economic situation even more bleak.

Enter China. First, it struck a $10.2 billion currency swap deal that helped stabilize the Argentine peso, and then promised to invest $10 billion to fix the nation’s dilapidated rail system.

In the middle of all this, China also dispatched a team to Argentina to discuss Beijing’s ambitions in space.

The Chinese wanted a satellite-tracking hub on the other side of the globe before the launch of an expedition to the far side of the moon.


If successful, the mission, scheduled to launch this year, will be a milestone in space exploration, potentially paving the way for the extraction of helium 3, which some scientists believe could provide a revolutionary clean source of energy.

China Satellite Launch and Tracking Control General, a division of the country’s armed forces, settled on this windswept 494-acre patch in Argentina’s Neuquén province.

Flanked by mountains and far from population centers, the site offered an ideal vantage point for Beijing to monitor satellites and space missions around the clock.

Félix Clementino Menicocci, secretary-general of Argentina’s National Space Activities Commission, a government agency, said the Chinese had pitched officials with promises of economic development and the prospect of enabling a history-making endeavor.

“They’ve become major players in space in the span of a few years,” Menicocci said of China’s space program.

After months of secret negotiations, Neuquén province and the Chinese government signed a deal in November 2012, giving China the right to the land — rent free — for 50 years.

When provincial lawmakers caught wind of the project after construction was underway, some were aghast. Betty Kreitman, a lawmaker in Neuquén at the time, said she was outraged that the Chinese military was being allowed to set up a base on Argentine soil.

“Surrendering sovereignty in your own country is shameful,” Kreitman said.

When she visited the construction site, she said, she pressed Chinese officials for answers but walked away feeling even more concerned.

“This is a window to the world,” she recalled the Chinese supervisor at the site saying. “It gave me chills. What do you do with a window to the world? Spy on reality.”

Ellis said the Chinese had also probably pursued relationships with Latin American nations with an eye toward any possible confrontation with the US.

“China is positioning itself in a world that is safe for the rise of China,” he said. “If you’re talking about the 2049 world, from the perspective of Latin America, China will have unquestionably surpassed the United States on absolute power and size. Frankly, if it was a matter of sustained conflict, you reach a point where you can’t deny the possibility of Chinese forces operating from bases in the region.”

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby TKiran » 30 Jul 2018 14:11

Brahma Chellaney
@Chellaney

Even as the Indian government seeks to play down PLA's recurrent intrusions into Indian territory, including withholding information about them, incursion-related news occasionally gets into newspapers. One example:


Army blocks Sikkim 'incursion' by China
telegraphindia.com


https://t.co/vzXzOJlPNw?amp=1

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jul 2018 14:31

United Nations with Chinese Characteristics: Elite Capture and Discourse Management on a global scale - Sinopsis and Jichang Lulu
The PRC’s involvement in UN affairs has been on the rise in recent years. It has become one of the largest contributors to the organisation, in terms of both funds and soldiers. Now it wants influence.

True to its attention to propaganda, the CCP has made it a major goal of its UN work to maximise its ‘discursive power’ at the organisation, seeking to redefine ‘human rights’ and get Xi Jinping’s pet initiatives institutionally endorsed by an international body. These goals, repeatedly stated by authoritative sources, are being pursued through both diplomacy and other means.

Specialised CCP organs like the United Front Work Department and party-linked entities like CEFC employ some unorthodox tactics. These tactics, including elite capture and bribery, are applied both locally in vulnerable countries, and globally at the world’s foremost multilateral body. Some actors flawlessly span the whole range from individual East European and African states all the way to top UN officials. Evidence from recent court cases suggests a pattern of global interference combining both local and global “political work”.

The UN talks the Xi-Talk

Growing Chinese influence has made UN officials more and more willing to explicitly support the CCP’s political, economic and purely propagandistic projects. The PRC has managed to pass two resolutions at the Human Rights Council (HRC). The most recent one, in March, promoted “mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights” together with such illustrious champions of said field as Eritrea, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela. The first resolution invoked a favourite concept of Xi Jinping’s, the “community of shared future”, thus officially making Xi-speak (习语) part of the UN lingo.

Controlling discourse at the UN human-rights system has been a priority for the CCP since the PR-debacle it suffered post-Tian’anmen. Tactics to impose “human rights with Chinese characteristics” have ranged from usual diplomacy to more characteristic intimidation. A central goal is to obstruct the work of NGOs within the UN system, embedding the CCP’s abhorrence of civil society into a new global ‘human-rights’ normal.

In what a former HRC special rapporteur has called a “Trojan horse”, the vague ‘win-win’ language in the UN resolutions channels a state-centric approach that sees human rights as primarily the rights of rulers. Not long ago, the CCP had to rely on a few bizarre characters to promote its ‘human rights’ redefinition: from Tom Zwart, a Dutch academic who finds talk of repression “unfair to the progress in human rights under Xi”, to a mysterious “Human Rights Co., Ltd” of New South Wales. The HRC is now part of that club and this language infiltrates its resolutions. The US withdrawal from the Council will further accelerate this process.

Xi Jinping’s ‘discursive power (话语权)’ isn’t limited to the human-rights system. International endorsements of Xi’s pet ‘Belt and Road’ initiative (BRI) are a major goal of propaganda efforts involving media, domestic and foreign like-minded think tanks, and various multilateral organisations. “Multilateralist” language has indeed been recognised as a tool to “dispel misgivings” about Xi’s geopolitical project. {This is the media warfare, one of the ‘Three Warfares (or 3Ws, psychological, legal and media warfare, san zhong zhanfa) that China wages during ‘peace times’} When conducting “external propaganda [对外宣传, exoprop]”, instead of haranguing countries to “participate in the construction of the ‘Belt and Road’”, implying a leading role for China, one should call for countries to “cooperate” in such construction: with China, but also “with each other, multilaterally”. China’s Belt and Road should not be called “China’s Belt and Road”; “let us stress ‘us’, not ‘me’”. The predilection for the term ‘initiative’ over ‘strategy’ in external propaganda reflects this: although we don’t deny that the Belt and Road is part of the national strategy, when “propagandising and explaining it” abroad we can’t call it “a national strategy led by one country”: “would a country want to participate in another’s national strategy?” In this quest for multilateral-sounding backing, the UN was the big prize.

Discourse management at the UNDP

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) provided a suitable avenue. In early 2015, in a journal under the State Council Development Research Center (DRC, 国务院发展研究中心), Wang Yiwei 王义桅, a senior BRI-proselytising academic with his own column on the CCP News website, advocated “integrating the Belt and Road into the [UNDP] Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, implementing the 18th Party Congress ‘Five-in-One’ [五位一体] concept” and “building a green Silk Road”. Propaganda portal Zhongguo wang 中国网 reposted Wang’s article on 4 May, coinciding with a Beijing visit by the head of the UNDP, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark. Talking to state media, Clark was at that point still non- committal about BRI. She was more receptive towards efforts to associate BRI with the UNDP 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Less than a month after the Agenda’s adoption, she told Xi and others in Beijing that China’s “commitment” to his BRI project helped make the country “a major contributor to development co-operation”.

On the same trip, she had a chance to discuss BRI and an attendant discourse-management endeavour, the Silk Road Think-Tank Network (丝路国际智库网络), at the signature of an agreement with the DRC. By early 2016, an SIIS paper was already celebrating the expected propaganda milestone: the convergence between BRI and the Sustainable Development Agenda “helps China obtain more discursive power and influence within the new international system of development governance and even the entire global governance architecture.” Mid-year, Xi himself linked BRI to the Agenda at a meeting with secretary general Ban Ki-moon. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), a UN department described by a European diplomat as “a Chinese enterprise”, endorsed the BRI-Agenda link in a study commissioned by the PRC State Information Center (SIC, 国家信息中心) and written by a DESA employee who began his career at the SIC’s predecessor entity.

In September, now campaigning for UN secretary general, Clark signed a memorandum with the National Development and Research Commission “to enhance collaboration” for the “implementation” of BRI and the Agenda, this time literally pledging the organisation’s “support for the Belt and Road Initiative”. Clark praised Xi’s Initiative, a “powerful platform” that “can serve as an important catalyst and accelerator for the sustainable development goals”. Clark would later deny any connection between her support for BRI and her campaign for the top UN job, during which her successor as New Zealand prime minister helpfully opined she was “recognised as a friend of China”. She lost (ironically blocked by, among others, China), but the winner, António Guterres, endorsed BRI at the 2017 Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Post-Clark, UNDP has preserved her Xiist legacy.

Guterres’ promotion of BRI as a useful tool to fight poverty blissfully disregards multiple studies warning that the Initiative can lead poor countries into a “debt trap”. Perhaps the same logic lies behind his praise for the PRC’s diplomatic efforts in solving the Korean crisis, despite its violation of UN sanctions by shipping oil to North Korea.

CEFC at work locally and globally

The CCP presumably owes these propaganda victories at the UN to good old diplomatic horse trading, sheer economic size and some harassment. But its growing influence has also been accompanied by a striking, unprecedented phenomenon: a series of corruption scandals reaching to the top levels of the organisation. Surfacing cases of bribery raise suspicions that China is effectively buying the UN, top down.

This approach appears to mirror at a global level the PRC’s tactics in its bilateral relationships with individual states, especially the more vulnerable ones in Africa, Latin America, SE Asia and Eastern Europe. “Elite capture” in many of these countries has been accompanied by reports of and court indictments for outright corruption at the highest political level.
Moreover, reported cases of global and local corruption intertwine, linked by specific actors operating both at the level of nation states and the UN system. Among these, perhaps the most curious is a mysterious Chinese conglomerate called CEFC. Various parts of the company have been connected with elite capture in Eastern Europe, top-level political corruption in Africa, and bribery at the UN headquarters in New York.

The director of CEFC’s non-profit subsidiary, former Hong Kong official Patrick Ho (何志平), was indicted last year in the US, accused of bribing several African politicians, including Ugandan foreign minister Sam Kutesa, former president of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Coinciding with his arrest, CEFC donated 1 million USD to the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA, the UN organ described as “a Chinese enterprise”). Just a day after Ho’s arrest, both the UN secretary general and UNGA president excused themselves from attending the ceremony to award a $1m DESA grant with “funding support” from CEFC. But DESA still kept the money.

According to the indictment, Patrick Ho had 500 000 USD wired to an account chosen by Kutesa, months after making CEFC chairman Ye Jianming, Ho’s boss, his “special honorary advisor” as UNGA president. (Kutesa denies the allegation.) Ho has been quoted as claiming that the case is not just against him, but against CEFC and the Belt and Road.

Earlier that year, in April 2015, Ye had been appointed “economic advisor” to Czech president Miloš Zeman. (Except for one news item on the Chinese internet, Ye’s Czech appointment would remain unreported until September that year.) Ye Jianming is currently being held by the Chinese authorities at an unknown location.

Serial Corruption at UNGA

Remarkably, these accusations against CEFC are already the second case of a UNGA’s president bribed by Chinese entities. Last May, Macau tycoon Ng Lap Seng 吴立胜 was sentenced to 4 years in prison for bribing Kutesa’s predecessor as UNGA president, the Antiguan John Ashe, and a Dominican deputy ambassador to the UN, Francis Lorenzo. The indictment claimed that Ng spent more than $1.3m to get the UN to support the construction of a large UN conference centre in Macau; in exchange for bribe money, Ashe and Lorenzo submitted to the UN secretary general a document stating that the conference centre would “support the UN’s global development goals”. In other words, Ng’s bribery had similar goals to those pursued by the PRC through usual diplomatic channels (with the addition of direct profit for Ng’s company). Ashe died while awaiting trial. Ng claimed the case was politically motivated. He was found guilty on all counts.

At the time he bribed Ashe and Lorenzo, Ng was a sitting member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an advisory body part the United Front system that did not expel him despite his arrest. He was not reappointed last January.

CEFC also interacted with Ashe. In 2014, DESA and CEFC’s think tank co-organised an event about China’s urbanisation plans, with PRC academics as speakers, Patrick Ho as moderator and Ashe as “officiating guest”. An announcement for the event published by DESA, written in a style somewhat resembling Ho’s own, asserts CEFC’s dedication to “the post-2015 development goals”. The event was hailed by PRC state media. Not three months earlier, Ashe had attended a CEFC-organised “Luncheon talk” in Hong Kong, where he delivered a speech titled “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!”.

CEFC has also cultivated Ashe’s predecessor, Vuk Jeremić, former Serbian minister of foreign affairs. After he left office in 2013, the Chinese company hired him as a consultant. His cooperation with CEFC included “[d]iscussing […] China and the New Silk Road” with Patrick Ho, who lectured at Jeremić’s think tank on BRI and the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda. Jeremić also moderated a CEFC event with Wang Yiwei, the BRI-UN harmonisation advocate cited above, and a Silk and Road forum with DRC director Li Wei as keynote speaker. Serbian media claim CEFC has donated money to Jeremić’s think tank.

The Australian connection

Two consecutive UNGA presidents being bribed is hardly a coincidence. Moreover, the Ashe and Kutesa cases are personally linked: Kutesa’s wife was a board member at the Global Sustainable Development Foundation, an organisation used by Sheri Yan, the “Queen of the Australia-China social scene”, to bribe Ashe “in exchange for official actions […] to benefit several Chinese businessmen”. The arrangement, which began before Ashe’s presidency, and continued through and after it, involved Ashe’s appointment as (remunerated) “honorary chairman” of the Foundation and its later reincarnation, the Global Sustainability Foundation. She pled guilty in 2016 and was handed a 20-month sentence.

In China, Yan’s Foundation enjoyed a disproportionate degree of access given its novelty and vacuity. Two months before Yan’s arrest, Chinese media reported, the Foundation bestowed an appointment to a former Shenzhen propaganda chief and counsellor to the State Council at no less a venue than the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Sheri Yan was there, accompanying not Ashe but his successor Kutesa. Yan has used her CCP connections to facilitate Australian access in China, and, allegedly, vice versa: an Australian media investigation claims she “introduced an alleged Chinese spy to her Australian contacts”.

Yan’s Ashe-pampering included arranging for the dignitary to attend a private conference in his official capacity, hosted by “a real-estate developer” whom the indictment names only as “C[o-]C[onspirator]-3”, who was not himself charged. “One of [CC-3]’s companies” paid Ashe a $200k fee for his attendance. Although it doesn’t name him, the indictment (p. 33 ff.) provides sufficient information to identify CC-3. As open, authoritative sources show, the date for the conference (17 Nov 2013), where Ashe “gave a speech”, points to the event held at a venue provided by Kingold Group (侨鑫集团), owned by Chinese-Australian billionaire Chau Chak Wing 周泽荣. Its official agenda, in Chinese and English, shows both Ashe and Chau spoke at the event; the official Kingold website also bilingually summarises his speech. The event was widely reported online by state media, in Chinese (CCP News) and English (China Daily). In short, if the quotes in the US indictment are correct, CC-3 is indeed Chau.

Chau has sued local journalist John Garnaut for defamation over a piece that reached similar conclusions. Based on the reasoning above, however, Chau’s identification, which Garnaut claims to have confirmed with additional sources, can only be called solid journalism. Moreover, Andrew Hastie, chairman of the Australian parliament’s joint intelligence and security committee, recently confirmed he had learnt “from US authorities” that CC-3 is Chau, and that he had not been indicted for “reasons that are best not disclosed”. Chau, whose links to the links to the United Front system are well-documented, has generously donated to both sides of Australian politics, as well as to various causes.

As quoted in the US indictment, “CC-3” seemed to share the PRC’s interest in UN affairs: Ashe’s “sincere friend” in Guangdong “has the pleasure to offer you a permanent convention venue for the UN meetings on the sustainability and climate changes [sic] in the efforts to fully realize the Millennium Development Goals.”

New world a-comin’…

Despite charges of high-level bribery, the non-profit subsidiary of CEFC, China Energy Fund Committee, 中华能源基金委员会), still holds the title of special consultant to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), whose current chair is Czech diplomat Marie Chatardová.

Czech President Zeman has supported Chatarodová both for the ECOSOC position and as possible minister for minister of foreign affairs in discussions on cabinet formation. Zeman, known for his pro-Beijing stance, has not dismissed his own honorary advisor, the ex-chairman of CEFC, Ye Jianming, who is now detained by the Chinese authorities at an unknown location. Similarly, the non-profit wing of CEFC remains in ECOSOC even as its leader Patrick Ho lingers in US custody on corruption charges.

Chatardová and other high-ranking UN officials had been declining to comment on the situation despite repeated requests from Inner City Press, a project specialised in investigative journalism within international institutions such as the UN or the World Bank.

After repeated inquiries from both Inner City Press and Czech media, the UN finally released a statement on June 5 explaining that Chatardová could not have done anything to dismiss CEFC, as that power lies with member states. Further communication with the Czech mission at the UN clarified that the corruption charges against one of their associates have not even been discussed at ECOSOC. The only official body interested in the corruption at the top of the UN seems to be the FBI.

It is hard not to see a connection between the corruption cases in the United Nations and the rise of China’s “discursive power” in the organisation. As top UN officials get arrested for corruption by Chinese actors, the global body increasingly adopts Beijing’s narrative on a new “Globalisation 2.0”, epitomised by the Belt and Road Initiative. The strange happenings at the UN could indeed offer glimpses of this new world coming.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 30 Jul 2018 14:43

The Sam Kutesa & John Ashe guys in the UN-China report above have been involved in blocking India at China's behest also.

This is the story.

In mid-September 2015, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) passed a historic resolution to continue further discussions on the expansion of the UNSC in the Intergovernmental Negotiation Group (ING) on the basis of a ‘framework document’ that has been arrived at over a long period of time. China tried to trip it by stealthily trying to introduce in the UNGA Resolution a paragraph on un-necessary technicalities in order to delay the process by several more years. India saw through the game and reversed it by even launching a protest at UNGA president, Sam Kutesa's residence over the weekend. China contacted several nations to force the issue but India’s strength prevailed upon in the end and China had to beat a retreat.

Then China began working on the Jamaican government to remove its UN representative, Courtney Rattray, who drafted the text based on which future negotiations would take place so that a new incumbent would be unaware of the intricate and lengthy process behind drafting the text and China can leverage him/her to have its way. In fact, the arrest of former president of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe, on charges of bribery by the Chinese has vindicated India's suspicion that key top level officials in the UN system were being paid off to delay or scuttle the Security Council reform process.

In early October 2015, John Ashe, former envoy from Antigua & Barbuda was charged by US attorney Preet Bharara for accepting a bribe of $1.3 million from Chinese businessmen and officials for support for a multi-billion dollar "south south" UN-sponsored conference centre in casino capital Macau. Bharara's complaint also stated that other Chinese nationals paid Ashe hundreds of thousands of dollars to facilitate their businesses in Antigua. While only some of the details of the bribery processes have been made public, they are enough to provide a clue to the methods China uses to influence UN processes. A part of this, they believe, has to do with influencing the progress of UN Security Council reform which China has steadfastly opposed. As president of UNGA between 2013-2014, Ashe started out by setting up an advisory body which drafted a 'non-paper' on the negotiations for UNSC reform. This, Indian officials say, was a simplified version of the 300-page draft negotiation document that was agreed to later in September 2015. India was an enthusiastic supporter of the 'non-paper' which they hoped would later become the draft text, because the advisory body was representative of the major world groups. However, mysteriously for Indians, Ashe backed out from making this the text at the last moment. This came as a blow to India's hopes, and it took a couple more years before the text was adopted. In a reprise, the last UNGA president Sam Kutesa, also wavered at the last moment, inserting paragraphs (inspired by China, say Indian officials) that would have dealt a big blow to the UN process. But this time the G4 and other countries prevailed on Kutesa, and the text went through.

With the above report, more pieces are falling into place.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 30 Jul 2018 15:52

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society ... ake-chinas
Artificial intelligence, immune to fear or favour, is helping to make China’s foreign policy

Several prototypes of a diplomatic system using artificial intelligence are under development in China, according to researchers involved or familiar with the projects. One early-stage machine, built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is already being used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry confirmed to the South China Morning Post that there was indeed a plan to use AI in diplomacy.

“Cutting-edge technology, including big data and artificial intelligence, is causing profound changes to the way people work and live. The applications in many industries and sectors are increasing on daily basis,” a ministry spokesman said last month.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 30 Jul 2018 16:00

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/diplomac ... hilippines
China donates small boats and RPG launchers to Philippines
China has donated four 12-metre-long boats and 30 rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers to the Philippines, continuing the closer relations between the two countries under President Rodrigo Duterte.

The donation, which follows the provision last year of about 6,000 assault rifles and hundreds of sniper rifles, also included small arms and ammunition, said Navy spokesman Commander Jonathan Zata.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 30 Jul 2018 16:47

People's Daily,China @PDChina

Two Chinese enterprises have won the bid of 4th bridge over the #PanamaCanal with a contract price of $1.42B --- one of the most important engineering programs in Panama & Central America and also the biggest bridge project that Chinese enterprises have ever won in the regionpic.twitter.com/U2yNKFQm5d

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby chola » 30 Jul 2018 17:12

pankajs wrote:https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2157223/artificial-intelligence-immune-fear-or-favour-helping-make-chinas
Artificial intelligence, immune to fear or favour, is helping to make China’s foreign policy

Several prototypes of a diplomatic system using artificial intelligence are under development in China, according to researchers involved or familiar with the projects. One early-stage machine, built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is already being used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry confirmed to the South China Morning Post that there was indeed a plan to use AI in diplomacy.

“Cutting-edge technology, including big data and artificial intelligence, is causing profound changes to the way people work and live. The applications in many industries and sectors are increasing on daily basis,” a ministry spokesman said last month.


Years ago, a well respected Wall Street technology analyst told me at a black-tie event that if there was ever a nation who will build “Skynet” it will be China.

Skynet was the computer system in Hollywood’s “Terminator” who became sentient and ordered the extinction of the human race.

The reason being:
1) a commie government with no checks
2) a brutal dog-eat-dog private sector with no checks
3) a science sector with no ethical barriers that is massively funded by the first two

And he was just one top analyst at our table. The stuff we talked about are horrific for a layman like me because for most of history the West had led in science and a humanistic set of ethics had kept the worst of our imagination in check.

That set of ethics is not in place in Cheen. Machine AI was only one of the nightmares. Artificial suns and black holes. DNA altering. Nanotech (for something as stupid as a better detergent with artificial material so small that they are incorporated into our cells.)

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 31 Jul 2018 14:57

China launches high-resolution Earth observation satellite to monitor BRI - PTI
China today successfully launched an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project which will also provide data for the Belt and Road Initiative, official media reported. The Gaofen-11 satellite was launched on a Long March 4B rocket at 11 am (local time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 31 Jul 2018 18:41

Why is Saudi Arabia halting oil shipments through the Red Sea - Reuters
Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.

To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait. That would risk deeper involvement in a war seen as a proxy battle for regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

THE YEMEN WAR

The threat to shipping in Bab al-Mandeb has been building for some time, with the Houthis targeting Saudi tankers in at least two other attacks this year. It is not unusual to re-evaluate security after such an incident, but Riyadh’s announcement also carries a political dimension.


If this is what a rag-tag Houthi militia could do . . .

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 31 Jul 2018 18:55

I always reminded of the USS Cole incidence ... It has a powerful pointers for anyone who wants to learn. India, Sri Lanka, Colombo and Hambantota.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Arima » 31 Jul 2018 19:19

SSridhar wrote:Why is Saudi Arabia halting oil shipments through the Red Sea - Reuters
Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.

To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait. That would risk deeper involvement in a war seen as a proxy battle for regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

THE YEMEN WAR

The threat to shipping in Bab al-Mandeb has been building for some time, with the Houthis targeting Saudi tankers in at least two other attacks this year. It is not unusual to re-evaluate security after such an incident, but Riyadh’s announcement also carries a political dimension.


If this is what a rag-tag Houthi militia could do . . .



no information about how they attached. did they attack similar to somali pirates, Guns, RPG coming with small boats?

sanjaykumar
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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby sanjaykumar » 31 Jul 2018 19:29

For most of history the west has led in science and humanistic ethics?

Is this what they teach in India’s schools?

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Lisa » 01 Aug 2018 01:57

SSridhar wrote:Why is Saudi Arabia halting oil shipments through the Red Sea - Reuters
Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.

To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait. That would risk deeper involvement in a war seen as a proxy battle for regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

THE YEMEN WAR

The threat to shipping in Bab al-Mandeb has been building for some time, with the Houthis targeting Saudi tankers in at least two other attacks this year. It is not unusual to re-evaluate security after such an incident, but Riyadh’s announcement also carries a political dimension.


If this is what a rag-tag Houthi militia could do . . .


It does not make sense. They have a pipeline going to Yanbu which bypasses Yemen issue. Why say no supplies?

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby SSridhar » 01 Aug 2018 07:35

Lisa wrote:It does not make sense. They have a pipeline going to Yanbu which bypasses Yemen issue. Why say no supplies?

I think that size or draft restrictions require Bab-al-Mandeb and then Cape of Good Hope route.

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby yensoy » 01 Aug 2018 08:25

SSridhar wrote:...In early October 2015, John Ashe, former envoy from Antigua & Barbuda was charged by US attorney Preet Bharara for accepting a bribe of $1.3 million from Chinese businessmen and officials for support for a multi-billion dollar "south south" UN-sponsored conference centre in casino capital Macau. Bharara's complaint also stated that other Chinese nationals paid Ashe hundreds of thousands of dollars to facilitate their businesses in Antigua...


No diplomatic immunity for him, SSridhar sir? I wonder if the Indian delegation had something to do with seeding this investigation :-?

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Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby Peregrine » 01 Aug 2018 15:23

As China’s Woes Mount, Xi Jinping Faces Rare Rebuke at Home

BEIJING — China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, seemed indomitable when lawmakers abolished a term limit on his power early this year. But months later, China has been struck by economic headwinds, a vaccine scandal and trade battles with Washington, emboldening critics in Beijing who are questioning Mr. Xi’s sweeping control.

Censorship and punishment have muted dissent in China since Mr. Xi came to power. So Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, took a big risk last week when he delivered the fiercest denunciation yet from a Chinese academic of Mr. Xi’s hard-line policies, revival of Communist orthodoxies and adulatory propaganda image.

“People nationwide, including the entire bureaucratic elite, feel once more lost in uncertainty about the direction of the country and about their own personal security, and the rising anxiety has spread into a degree of panic throughout society,” Professor Xu wrote in an essay that appeared on the website of Unirule Institute of Economics, an independent think tank in Beijing that was recently forced out of its office.

“It’s very bold,” Jiang Hao, a researcher at the institute, said in an interview. “Many intellectuals might be thinking the same, but they don’t dare speak out.”

Professor Xu urged Chinese lawmakers to reverse the vote in March that abolished a two-term limit on Mr. Xi’s tenure as president. That near-unanimous vote of the party-dominated legislature opened the way for Mr. Xi, in office since late 2012, to retain power for another decade or longer as president, Communist Party leader and chairman of the military.

The essay appeared as a burst of troubles has given a focus for criticisms of Mr. Xi’s strongman ways, and it has spread through Chinese social media, despite censors.

Other less damning criticisms, petitions and gibes about Mr. Xi’s policies have also spread, often shared through WeChat, a popular social media service. But this long, erudite jeremiad from a prestigious professor has carried more weight.

“Xu has written a challenge from the cultural heart of China to the political heart of the Communist Party,” said Geremie R. Barmé, an Australian scholar of China who is translating Mr. Xu’s essay. “Its content and culturally powerful style will resonate deeply throughout the Chinese party-state system, as well as in the society more broadly.”

Over recent months, China has been grappling with a growing trade dispute with the United States. Some Chinese foreign policy experts have suggested that the trade fights with the Trump administration could have been contained if Beijing had been more flexible and moved faster to douse triumphalist statements about its goals.

“China should adopt a lower profile in dealing with international issues,” Jia Qingguo, a professor of international relations at Peking University, said at a recent forum in Beijing. “Don’t create this atmosphere that we’re about to supplant the American model.”

Revelations about faulty vaccines given to hundreds of thousands of children have ignited public anger and protests, especially because the government promised to clean up after similar previous scandals.

On Tuesday, Mr. Xi convened a meeting of the Politburo — a 25-member party leadership council — that warned of economic tests while promising to keep growth steady.

The trade battle with Washington has fueled some criticism of Mr. Xi. At a port in Jiangsu Province, China, steel pipes awaited export in May.

The economy was sound but “faces some new issues and challenges, and the external environment has undergone clear changes,” the meeting concluded, according to an official summary from Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

The undercurrent of discontent does not pose any immediate threat to Mr. Xi’s hold on power. He and the Communist Party remain firmly in control. And many Chinese people endorse his tough campaign against corruption and his vows to build China into a great power that will not compromise over territorial disputes.

But party insiders and foreign experts said misgivings about Mr. Xi’s hard-line policies appeared to be building among intellectuals, liberal-minded former officials and middle-class people after the recent misfires. A former official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that many former colleagues had shared Professor Xu’s essay.

Over time, he and others said, such criticism could coalesce into deeper disaffection that erodes Mr. Xi’s authority and gives other senior officials more courage to question his decisions.

“In recent weeks, the signs of a nascent pushback against Xi’s absolute power have started to emerge,” Richard McGregor, a former journalist in China who is now a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, wrote recently.

“The harder question then becomes what that actually means in practice,” Mr. McGregor said in emailed answers to questions. “If it means heightened infighting in elite politics, it might result in policy paralysis and instability, rather than just a freer and more open debate.”

In his essay, Professor Xu challenged another political taboo, urging the government to overturn its condemnation of the pro-democracy, anticorruption protests that erupted in Chinese cities in 1989 and ended after the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Next year is the 30th anniversary of that bloody upheaval, and promises to be a tense time for the government.

“As things continue in this direction, the question arises whether reform and opening up will come to a halt and totalitarian rule will return,” Professor Xu said in the essay, written in a densely classical style speckled with recondite phrases and historical allusions. “At this time, no other anxiety weighs most heavily on most people.”

Professor Xu did not answer messages and phone calls, and he is listed as being a visiting scholar in Japan. He may face censure back in Beijing. Some opponents of Mr. Xi have been detained and imprisoned for online protests, but the authorities may act more cautiously against an academic from a major university.

Intellectuals and ex-officials skeptical of Mr. Xi’s agenda are also likely to seize on the 40th anniversary of a party meeting in 1978 that is now seen as inaugurating Deng Xiaoping’s era of “reform and opening up.”

Party leaders still revere Deng, even though Mr. Xi has jettisoned some of his pragmatic policies. But more liberal-minded former officials have also embraced Deng as an icon, casting him as a more moderate leader to highlight the swaggering overreach that they say Mr. Xi has brought.

“Even though the reality is much more complex, Deng’s popular image often boils down to one word: reform,” said Julian Gewirtz, a scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University who is studying China’s changes in the 1980s.

“Today Xi is clearly parting ways with elements of what Deng supported, such as more open intellectual debate, greater separation of party and state, and ‘biding time’ in international relations,” he said. “And for critics of Xi, Deng may be a useful symbolic weapon because of his stature as a particular type of reformer.”

Some signs suggest that the trade tensions and domestic criticisms may have already prompted Mr. Xi’s government to cool the public tone. A series of articles in The People’s Daily scornfully mocked Chinese scholars and pundits who have claimed that China has surpassed the United States as a technological power, and warned the news media to curb cocky boasting.

“It’s too soon to see if this type of criticism could constrain the leadership, but it is interesting that there has been some recalibration of the foreign policy rhetoric,” said Susan Shirk, the chairwoman of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California, San Diego, and a former deputy assistant secretary of state. That, she said, “suggests that there is some ability to self-correct, at least on the rhetorical level.”

Others see signs that the Communist Party has been cooling its glorification of Mr. Xi. In his essay, Professor Xu said that the propaganda echoed the cult of personality that surrounded Mao Zedong, and he called for “slamming on the brakes.”

“The propaganda system has been put on the defensive for contributing to the cult and also messing up the messaging concerning the U.S.-China trade conflict,” said Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago who studies Chinese politics.

But speculation shared among some of Mr. Xi’s critics in Beijing and on the internet that unhappy party officials and elders had forced a full-scale retreat from the adulation appears to be unfounded.

Mr. Xi’s name has appeared on the front page of the People’s Daily as often as ever; the frequency of appearances in July was not markedly down, according to counts made by Qian Gang, a media expert at the University of Hong Kong. As well, a party campaign to study Mr. Xi’s years as a youth in Liangjiahe Village in northwest China has continued to inspire rhapsodic reports.

Professor Xu’s future may now become a test of whether Mr. Xi will display greater tolerance of criticism.

“I have said what I must and am in the hands of fate,” he wrote at the end of his essay. “Heaven will decide whether we rise or fall.”

Cheers Image

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Re: Neutering & Defanging Chinese Threat (15-11-2017)

Postby pankajs » 01 Aug 2018 18:14

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diploma ... spoil-91st
China’s military veterans warned not to spoil 91st anniversary party for People’s Liberation Army

On the eve of the 91st anniversary of the founding of China’s military, a senior official on Tuesday issued a clear warning to the nation’s millions of veterans not to use the event as an excuse to air their grievances regarding welfare rights.

Speaking at the first ever press conference held by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, vice-minister Fang Yongxiang said there was no place for large-scale protests that were prone to being infiltrated by “people with ulterior motives”.

“We oppose the use of extreme moves to petition, and the staging of mass gatherings,” he said. “We hope every veteran can respect the law and not threaten the stability of our society because of an impulse.
China’s former servicemen and women have staged numerous rallies in recent months calling for better welfare rights. Many protesters have also claimed to have been assaulted by groups of thugs hired by local officials.

In June, thousands of veterans took part in a five-day rally in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, which some protesters said ended only when armed police were sent in to disperse the crowd.


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