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

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

Postby Peregrine » 01 Aug 2018 18:22

X Posted on the OBOR, Chinese Strategy and Implications Thread

After US announces big Indo-Pacific investment, Chinese media warns it against 'imperialism', 'power games'

NEW DELHI: Chinese language state media has been ramping up its rhetoric towards the US’s new India-Pacific technique saying “imperialism is deeply rooted in Western nations’ political pondering” so Washington higher watch out to “not interact in energy video games with (its) large funding” within the area.

In an editorial a day after the US introduced $113 million in new infrastructure initiatives within the Indo-Pacific area, the hardline Chinese language state-backed publication International Occasions, additionally crowed that this US funding would not in any respect have an effect on Beijing’s personal One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiatives within the geopolitically strategic area.

“Washington might hope to disrupt the Belt and Highway initiative, however it’s extremely unlikely the US’ $113 million funding initiative will collide with the Belt and Highway initiative,” mentioned an editorial within the International Occasions, which is run by Communist Get together of China (CPC) mouthpiece Folks’s Every day.

China’s media has additionally been concentrating on India – an enormous a part of the US’s Indo-Pacific imaginative and prescient – saying that for New Delhi, “any advantages from this technique could also be drastically outweighed by the prices” when it comes to improvement. So, India, too, must be cautious, mentioned the publication final week.

The US is after all pitching to counterbalance China’s OBOR initiatives, which Washington sees as making an attempt to swamp the area. In reality, the entire cause the US now refers back to the area as Indo-Pacific, reasonably than Asia-Pacific, is to undertaking its counter-front – with India, Japan and Australia – as equal to that of China’s juggernaut.

However what are the US and the West so fearful about, wonders the Chinese language editorial. That, it believes, has one thing to do with what it calls the West’s imperialist tendencies.

“What’s necessary is that China has not interfered in any nation’s politics nor sought to increase its sphere of affect. These nations take part within the initiative to increase their overseas cooperation. What are the US and different Western nations fearful about? The primary cause could also be that imperialism is deeply rooted in Western nations’ political pondering they usually perceive the period otherwise from rising nations,” the Chinese language editorial posits.

It mentioned that in areas aside from the West main powers are impartial from one another.

“The Shanghai Cooperation Group and BRICS are clearly extra equal than NATO and the G7. The consideration for rising nations is mutual improvement and cooperation, not conquest. The Belt and Highway’s unique intention was not an expedition, however for co-prosperity,” provides the editorial.

The Chinese media outlet, mentioned in one other article, that the US, like some other nation “is welcome” to spend money on the area.

“Any nation, the US included, is welcome to spend money on infrastructure initiatives within the Indo-Pacific area, however improvement applications needs to be vigilant to mounting strategic confrontation amongst Indo-Pacific nations,” it mentioned.

The article graciously mentioned that US funding within the Indo-Pacific area would afford US corporations extra alternatives even when it declines to work with China.

“Benign competitors will probably be conducive to improvement within the Indo-Pacific area, however we do not need any improvement program to evolve right into a strategic recreation amongst huge powers,” mentioned the editorial.

Cheers Image

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

Postby SSridhar » 01 Aug 2018 20:10

yensoy wrote:No diplomatic immunity for him . . ?

yensoy, he was 'charged', not arrested. But, then he died of choking while doing bench press.

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

Postby AdityaM » 01 Aug 2018 23:26

The Chinese operate a Tamil language radio service! Wonder who all tune in. Must be used for peddling influence amongst the Tamil populations of Srilanaka, Southeast Asia as well

https://twitter.com/spatranobis/status/ ... 71521?s=21

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

Postby SSridhar » 02 Aug 2018 06:38

Trump administration adds to China trade pressure with higher tariff plan - Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump sought to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration said on Wednesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Mr. Trump directed the increase from a previously proposed 10 percent duty because China has refused to meet U.S. demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

“The increase in the possible rate of the additional duty is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens,” Mr. Lighthizer said in a statement.

There have been no formal talks between Washington and Beijing for weeks over Mr. Trump's demands that China make fundamental changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers and subsidies for high technology industries.


Two trump administration officials told reporters on a conference call that Mr. Trump remains open to communications with Beijing and that through informal conversations the two countries are discussing whether a “fruitful negotiation” is possible.

“We don't have anything to announce today about a specific event, or a specific round of discussions, but communication remains open and we are trying to figure out whether the conditions present themselves for a specific engagement between the two sides,” one off the officials said.
Public comments extended

The higher tariff rate, if implemented, would apply to a list of goods valued at $200 billion identified by the USTR last month as a response to China's retaliatory tariffs on an initial round of U.S. tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese electronic components, machinery, autos and industrial goods.

The USTR said it will extend a public comment period for the $200 billion list to Sept. 5 from Aug. 30 due to the possible tariff rate rise. The list, unveiled on July 10, hits American consumers harder than previous rounds, with targeted goods ranging from Chinese tilapia fish and dog food to furniture, lighting products, printed circuit boards and building materials.

China said on Wednesday that “blackmail” would not work and that it would hit back if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, including applying the higher tariff rate.

“U.S. pressure and blackmail won't have an effect. If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global economic growth, and prominent U.S. business groups, while weary of what they see as China's mercantilist trade practices, have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

In early July, the U.S. government imposed 25 percent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with matching tariffs on the same amount of U.S. exports to China.

Washington is preparing to also impose tariffs on an extra $16 billion of goods in coming weeks, and Trump has warned he may ultimately put them on over half a trillion dollars of goods, roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China last year.

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

Postby nandakumar » 02 Aug 2018 12:04

AdityaM wrote:The Chinese operate a Tamil language radio service! Wonder who all tune in. Must be used for peddling influence amongst the Tamil populations of Srilanaka, Southeast Asia as well

https://twitter.com/spatranobis/status/ ... 71521?s=21

It has been around for a long time. I remember as a college student back in the 70s our old radio (assembled set!) would pick up news broadcast in Tamil on short wave with the news caster intoning "Beijing Vanoli Nilayam'. The interesting thing back in those days the Chinese capital was officially known only as Peking. It used to confuse me back then. I put it down to the fact that the newscaster did not know his Chinese all that well!

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

Postby chetak » 02 Aug 2018 13:24

SSridhar wrote:
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.


But then again, no one has ever gone after them on this grand a scale or has been willing to cause such a huge disruption.

It needed a Trump to do that. He may not be after a "demise" per se, but a somewhat large scale disruption and the resulting slowing down of the han economy may well serve his purpose.

The timing is very bad for the chinese given the extremely rough patch that they are going through presently. It may not be a mere coincidence that the ameriki trade sanctions just happened to kick in now.

Everything is now at risk for the chinese, the BRI/OBOR delays, interest payments piling up, costs escalating exponentially and their influence and image taking a hit internationally. Their internal situation is also very delicately poised and Xi may have more than just economics to deal with, if his enemies at home decide to play their cards collectively. His reforms of the PLA could well boomerang as vested interests dig in.

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

Postby souravB » 02 Aug 2018 15:09

to add onto the excellent point made by Chetakji
The CCP has never fully cultivated the internal market as consumers. We always talk about surplus but that happens when you don't have a proper market inside own country to roll its own currency and that's one of the way CCP controls the RMB valuation. Almost all the major Chinese brands are cajoled to focus on export so inside China they sell shitty products with inferior components at cheap prices with less profit margins compared to the same model in Europe.
CCP can sustain this model because countries are buying their products, in turn these companies employ loads of people taking them out of poverty and they also in turn let CCP do as it please.
If major countries like USA or India stop buying their products this link breaks and it going to get uncomfortable for CCP to say the least because they will be in a catch 22 situ. They will either have to get people to buy things more which can take the control of currency from their hands or incentivise companies through it's own coffers which impacts it's international claims and military ambitions. It will be interesting to see how they react.
Meanwhile India like US is also taking steps towards this although baby ones.
PP looks into Chinese imports

Time to get the popcorn and enjoy the show. :D

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

Postby chetak » 02 Aug 2018 15:46

souravB wrote:to add onto the excellent point made by Chetakji
The CCP has never fully cultivated the internal market as consumers. We always talk about surplus but that happens when you don't have a proper market inside own country to roll its own currency and that's one of the way CCP controls the RMB valuation. Almost all the major Chinese brands are cajoled to focus on export so inside China they sell shitty products with inferior components at cheap prices with less profit margins compared to the same model in Europe.
CCP can sustain this model because countries are buying their products, in turn these companies employ loads of people taking them out of poverty and they also in turn let CCP do as it please.
If major countries like USA or India stop buying their products this link breaks and it going to get uncomfortable for CCP to say the least because they will be in a catch 22 situ. They will either have to get people to buy things more which can take the control of currency from their hands or incentivise companies through it's own coffers which impacts it's international claims and military ambitions. It will be interesting to see how they react.
Meanwhile India like US is also taking steps towards this although baby ones.
PP looks into Chinese imports

Time to get the popcorn and enjoy the show. :D


I was reading just the other day that the chinese top honchos are in absolute awe of Trumps ability to cause disruptions.

I can't, for the life of me remember where I came across it.

The chinese have always had to deal with and are used to the semi supplicant sort of US president(s) who are cautious and go out of their way to maintain the show of peace and calm without overtly ruffling many chinese feathers.

This is the first time that they have seen a pugnacious, openly combative and aggressive US president who is totally unpredictable and likes to play only hardball.

I suspect that they are having a really hard time coming to terms with this new avatar because any action against the amerikis will result in the most unpredictable of reactions and many of the scenarios that the chinese are able to see unfolding are not even in Trump's playbook.

Black swan is probably one of several doomsday type phrases that the Politburo Standing Committee is becoming familiar with these days.

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

Postby souravB » 02 Aug 2018 17:43

The Chinese have the concept of Face. It is actually a very petty view of Honour in life. Previous POTUS understood it and tried to save them from it. PSC made its policies reg USA keeping that in mind. DT doesn't/couldn't understand anything which requires one to think for more than a few seconds so he is the unknown element for them.
The election win of DT was perfect for US establishment agenda. Almost too perfect.
The below video explains the concept of Face in China too well so couldn't stop myself :D

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

Postby abhik » 02 Aug 2018 18:47

It doesn't matter how hard Trump kicks the lizard in the the nuts, it's already too late now, they have more or less achieved economic parity with US (and let us far behind). Now all US can do is fight not to get relegated to #2 position or at least delay it as much as possible.

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

Postby chetak » 02 Aug 2018 19:47

abhik wrote:It doesn't matter how hard Trump kicks the lizard in the the nuts, it's already too late now, they have more or less achieved economic parity with US (and let us far behind). Now all US can do is fight not to get relegated to #2 position or at least delay it as much as possible.


It is more a question of taking them on and making them lose face. It is also to prove that the US has not lost its mojo even after f(uk##s like obama sold the country down the river.

Economic parity maybe but soft power and sheer military might including a nimble and gigantic MIC, not a chance in hell.

The most important resources for the future are water and arable land. The US is more than abundantly blessed with both while being energy secure in the medium term of the next 50 to 100 years while the hans are scouting country after country to steal land for themselves.

They have also never been really tested in battle.

Prettily dressed goose stepping soldiers do not always an effective army make.

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

Postby SSridhar » 02 Aug 2018 20:11

China's $2 billion Pakistan loan shows desire to keep Imran Khan close - Bllomberg
If there were any doubts about China’s intent to keep ties close with its all-weather ally Pakistan, Beijing demolished them with a reported USD 2 billion loan just days after the election of a new Pakistani premier.

While cricketing legend Imran Khan attempts to form a coalition government, China has stepped up to reinforce a geopolitical alliance that shapes the South Asian nation’s policies toward the U.S. and India. The announcement caused Pakistan’s rupee to jump the most in nearly a decade as Khan takes power with an economy in chaos.

The gesture speaks to Pakistan’s overwhelming reliance on China as a source of financial, diplomatic and military support at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has cut military aid to Islamabad. Ultimately, Khan may not have a choice. Pakistan’s powerful military has continued to push its civilian counterparts for close ties with China in order to ensure the flow of more than $60 billion in loans for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor infrastructure projects.

“There is a deep, far-reaching political consensus in Pakistan for a continued strong partnership with Beijing,” said Michael Kugelman, a senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. “This is especially true now, with Pakistan’s relationship with America facing an uncertain future.”

Image

Closer to China

Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Movement for Justice, won the most seats in an election last week that was marred by allegations of military interference. Like China, Khan acted quickly to send a public message.

“Our neighbor is China, we will further strengthen our relations with it,” Khan said as he declared victory in a televised statement. “The CPEC project which China started in Pakistan will give us chance to bring in investment to Pakistan.”


Speaking at a regular press briefing on July 30, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said China welcomed the new government. Khan “will likely try to balance the U.S. and China, but China and Pakistan are mutually dependent," said Wang Yiwei, director of Renmin University’s Institute of International Affairs in Beijing. "He won’t be able to change that.”

While China was initially focused on former premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or PML-N, Beijing has “diversified its contacts and investments” in Pakistan, said Dhruva Jaishankar {which simply means that China funded Imran Khan just as it did for Mahinda Rajapakse in Sri Lanka}, a foreign policy fellow at Brookings India. At the same time, Pakistan’s military -- which has ruled the country outright for much of its 71-year history -- defines the country’s policy toward CPEC projects.

Khan “does not have a lot of wiggle room,” Jaishankar said. “We may continue to see a gradual trend of Pakistan drifting closer to China and more distant from the United States. But that would have to do with a number of factors beyond Imran Khan’s election.”

Indeed, the political consensus on China is especially important now, said Kugelman. “Pakistan needs powerful friends, and China is one of the few that Islamabad can depend on -- Khan knows this, and he’ll do what’s necessary to ensure that the China-Pakistan relationship remains strong,” he said.

China Debt

One of the most crucial tasks ahead of Khan is Pakistan’s ailing economy, which analysts say is likely to push Pakistan toward yet another International Monetary Fund bailout.

Over the weekend, Karachi’s Express Tribune newspaper, citing unnamed finance ministry officials, reported that Beijing authorized a $2 billion loan to help Islamabad weather the economic crisis. The Islamic Development Bank, a multilateral lender based in Saudi Arabia, also activated a three-year $4.5 billion oil-financing facility {Ohh. . . they are back to the old ways then} , the paper said. A finance ministry spokesman didn’t respond to calls or messages seeking comment on Tuesday.

The amount of Chinese loans given to Pakistan over the last 13 months alone comes close to the IMF’s last loan of $6.2 billion. Those vast debts to China have prompted worries from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who told CNBC that he would be watching to see if Khan’s new government uses IMF funds to pay off Chinese loans.

“We want the U.S. to see our ties without mixing it up with China,” Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for Khan’s party, said by phone on Wednesday. “We haven’t yet taken a final decision to go to the IMF, though we hope the U.S. won’t hinder if we seek the fund’s support.”

The new Chinese loan will help Pakistan shore up falling foreign exchange reserves, said Najam Rafique, director of the Islamabad-based Institute of Strategic Studies. He added that Khan leans toward boosting ties with China.

“China isn’t a distant power, it’s a neighbor,” Rafique said. Khan “will be trying to improve and build upon what’s already in process.”

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

Postby Prem » 03 Aug 2018 03:31

https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinese-amer ... nance.html
Chinese-American engineer charged with stealing GE technology

The GE proprietary technologies on which Zheng works would have economic value to any of GE's business competitors," FBI Special Agent MD McDonald said in an affidavit.GE monitored Zheng as he allegedly transferred files containing turbine technology to his personal email account while hiding the data within the binary code of a digital photograph of a sunset, a process known as "steganography," according to McDonald.Following a search of Zheng's home in Niskayuna, New York, FBI agents said they retrieved the reward handbook and a passport showing five trips to China in the past two years.FBI agents questioned Zheng on Wednesday and say he acknowledged taking GE's proprietary information using steganography on around five to 10 occasions.

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

Postby SSridhar » 03 Aug 2018 07:32

India concerned over China’s rising investments in Sri Lankan port projects - Amrita Nair Ghaswalla, Business Line
As China rushes to invest in more ports in Sri Lanka, India views with concern the Asian neighbour’s bid to increase its footprint in the Indo-Pacific region. China also recently gifted a naval frigate to the island nation.

“Sri Lanka has started to emerge as the new battleground for the two Asian super powers, India and China. China, Sri Lanka Ports Authority and India are to invest over $700 million for the development of three key ports over the next three years in Sri Lanka,” said a government official.

Though no details have been released about the recent frigate that was gifted to Sri Lanka, market observers believe it could be a Type 053 frigate, or even a Type C28A or C13B corvette, since these three classes are the most common Chinese warships exported to other countries.

The official pointed out that though China’s inroads into the Indian Ocean region need to be carefully monitored, vessels are regularly handed over as part of military aid packages, and that India, too, has done so in the recent past. Apart from ports in Sri Lanka, India has committed an investment of $500 million towards the management and operation of two dedicated berths at the Chabahar port in Iran, and has been assisting Myanmar with infrastructure improvement projects at the Sittwe and Paletwa ports.

Sources said China could “gain exponentially” through extending financial aid for the development of Sri Lanka’s ports.

Though several of China’s projects in Sri Lanka have faced censure, concerns have been raised by the US, India and Japan that China might use Sri Lanka as a military base.

The next three years are set to see fresh investments in Sri Lanka, both from China and India. While India is to invest $40 million to upgrade the Kankesanthurai Port in northern Sri Lanka into a commercial port, and has extended financial assistance from the Export Import bank, the Sri Lankan Treasury has reportedly received aid of $974 million for the Hambantota port project from China, which has already invested $146 million for port development work.

In January, the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) approved $45.27 million in credit for the reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s Kankesanthurai Port, which was devastated by the December 2004 tsunami and Cyclone Nisha in 2008. Reports indicate that this brings India’s aid for various infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka to $1.4 billion.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority is to invest $100 million for the construction of the East Container Terminal, which is part of the master plan of the Colombo Port Expansion Project. Plans are also afoot for the conversion of Galle Harbour into a tourism port.

Sri Lanka’s maritime sector master plan, developed by Maritime and Transport Business Solutions, a consultancy firm from the Netherlands, and funded by the Asian Development Bank, is said to be nearing completion. As the government looks to promote Sri Lanka’s cruise liner business, more infrastructure facilities are also to be added to the Colombo Port, to get more cruise liners to dock there.

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

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2018 08:43

China, SE Asian states hold naval drills - AFP
China and Southeast Asian states held simulated naval exercises this week for the first time, Singapore’s Defence Ministry said in a statement, as they seek to lower long-running tensions in disputed waters.

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

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2018 11:35

‘Mattala project with India is on’ - Meera Srinivasan, The Hindu
Days after Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told Parliament that there was no proposal for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to acquire a controlling stake in Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, a Sri Lankan Minister said talks on the project are “progressing” with India.

Mr. Sinha’s remarks last week came at a time when three rounds of official negotiations were completed on a likely joint venture between the AAI and the Airport & Aviation Services in Sri Lanka
, to run the loss-making Mattala airport, located in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province. The Minister’s response to a question raised in Parliament, saying there was no such proposal, sent confusing signals to Colombo, where top government officials are under the impression that the deal is nearly final. The Indian government is yet to respond to the Minister’s remarks.

Queried by the local media on the development, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the discussions on the development project of Mattala Airport are still under way. “Most probably, the Indian Minister of State for Civil Aviation would have made such a statement to the Indian Parliament since the agreement between two parties is yet to be finalised,” he said, according to a report published in the State-run Daily News on Friday.

The two governments, after detailed negotiations, have agreed that India, with a 70% stake in the joint venture, will contribute $225 million to revamp and run the airport, while the Sri Lankan side will invest the balance. India will operate the airport on a 40-year lease, as per the draft agreement, a top Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry official in Colombo told The Hindu , clarifying that “nothing has changed”.

Following an experts’ report that will look into technical aspects of the joint venture, the draft agreement will be presented for Cabinet clearance. Minister Siripala de Silva earlier told Parliament that he would table the agreement in the House, and act with “utmost transparency”. It is an open secret that New Delhi’s strategic interests in running the airport, located near the China-controlled port in Hambantota, outweighs commercial considerations.

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

Postby Lisa » 04 Aug 2018 14:20

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... over-china

Rumours have swirled in Beijing in recent weeks that China’s seemingly invincible leader, Xi Jinping, is in trouble, dogged by a protracted trade war with the US, a slowing economy and a public health scandal involving thousands of defective vaccines given to children.

Xi’s name seemed to have disappeared for a while from the cover of the People’s Daily, replaced with articles about his deputy, Li Keqiang, and large portraits of him were said to have been taken down after a young woman filmed herself throwing ink at his image.

On 13 July, online reports claimed there was gunfire in central Beijing as a coup unfolded. A cryptic slogan emerged online: “No. 1 will rest while Ocean takes over the military,” a reference to a rival politician taking power.

For now, Xi remains in full control of the government and party, and mentions of him in state-run media are as frequent as ever, but the hearsay is a sign all is not right with China’s most powerful leader in decades.

“Such rumours may well lack credibility, but they do offer some indication that the disharmony within China’s party elite is increasing ,” the Hong Kong political analyst Lee Yee wrote in in the online journal China Heritage.

This week, an essay by a law professor at Tsinghua University, one of the country’s top schools, made the rounds on Chinese social media. The essay - Our dread now and our hopes - by Xu Zhangrun offered one of the most direct criticisms of the Chinese government under Xi’s direction.

Referring to Xi only as “that official”, Xu accused him of reversing years of reforms, effectively returning China to an era of totalitarian politics and a style of dictatorship last seen under Mao Zedong.

“After 40 years of reform, overnight we’re back to the ancien régime,” he wrote, calling for the return of term limits, abolished under Xi earlier this year, the rehabilitation of those punished for the 4 June pro-democracy protests crushed by the government and an end to the cult of personality surrounding Xi.

“The party is going to great lengths to create a new idol, and in the process it is offering up to the world an image of China as modern totalitarianism,” he wrote.

Xu is one among several intellectuals voicing dissent. Zi Zhongyun, an international politics scholar, blamed the US-China trade war on the Xi administration’s failure to implement reforms in an article in June. Wenguang Sun, a retired professor at Shandong University published an essay in July urging Xi to stop spending money abroad on projects such as the Belt and Road initiative, and spend it at home instead.

“For the first time since Xi Jinping gained power in 2012, he is facing a pushback from within the party, from liberal intellectuals and so forth,” said Willy Lam, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation and adjunct professor at the Center for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The pushback is also emerging in other ways. A group of alumni from Tsinghua published an open letter on Wednesday calling for the sacking of a professor over his claims China had emerged as the world’s top superpower.

Hu Angang, who claimed in a series of speeches that China had surpassed the US in economic strength and technological know-how, is one of many who have echoed Xi’s claims that China has entered a new era of power on the world stage, reversing his predecessors’ more muted global aspirations.

“[Hu] misleads government policy, confuses the public, causes other countries to be overly cautious about China and for neighbours to be afraid of China. Overall, it does harm to the country and its people,” the former students said, according to images of the letter posted online.

Such criticism is an indirect rebuke of Xi’s more assertive foreign policy, and comes as his opponents use economic troubles and failed trade negotiations with the US as pretext to question him, according to analysts.

That dissent, while very unlikely to push Xi from power, could impede what had appeared to be his absolute hold over the party and the government. “His position is safe,” Lam said. “It’s just his authority has been dented to some extent. His authority has suffered.”

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

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2018 17:55

US announces US$300 million to fund security cooperation in Indo-Pacific region - Straits Times
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday (Aug 4) announced US$300 million (S$409 million) in funding for security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, on the back of America's US$113 million economic initiatives unveiled earlier in the week.

Mr Pompeo, who is in Singapore for Asean-related meetings this week, said: "As part of our commitment to advancing regional security in the Indo-Pacific, the US is excited to announce US$300 million in new funding to reinforce security cooperation throughout the entire region."

This new security assistance will advance shared priorities, he said, particularly in maritime security, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping capabilities, and countering transnational threats.


"Throughout my Asean engagement I've conveyed President Trump's commitment to this vital part of the role that continues to grow in importance," he said at a press conference.

Mr Pompeo had earlier said the US$113 million investment for technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives was "a downpayment on a new era of US economic commitment to the region".

Part of this US$113 million includes US$10 million in funding to support economic programming, much of which will fall under the US-Asean Connect programme.


Addressing this initiative again at the press conference on Saturday, he said: “Economically, President Trump recognises the long-term strategic importance of one of the world’s most competitive regions. The Indo-Pacific has been and will be a major engine of economic growth.”

The US “seeks partnership, not dominance”, he said as he made the case for US businesses’ engagement in the region being crucial to America’s mission of peace, stability and prosperity.

The Trump administration is working with Congress to encourage the passage of a Bill, in the US Senate, that will more than double the US government’s development finance capacity to US$60 billion to support US prime investment strategic opportunities abroad.

“These initiatives are strategic investments designed to spur our partners’ engagement with American companies, the greatest force for prosperity in the world,” said Mr Pompeo.

Turning to security challenges and regional issues, Mr Pompeo said he had pressed his Asean counterparts to maintain diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to achieve denuclearisaton.

He also raised concerns about the Chinese militarisation of the South China Sea and the importance of a rules-based order in the region, and discussed advancing cooperation on cybersecurity and counter-terrorism, including addressing the threat of terrorist fighters returning to the region.

The US also “addressed important steps to resolve the humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine state”, while it supported Myanmar’s ongoing democratisation transition, said Mr Pompeo.

“The progress of these and other critical security issues is essential to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Asean will remain at the centre of this effort,” he said.

“Regarding the issue of good governance, we regret the election in Cambodia were neither free nor fair. The Cambodian people deserve better,” he said.

But precisely what Asean centrality would mean in practice, Mr Pompeo said in response to a question later, “will be up to each of the Asean countries, to see how they will choose to participate”.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China welcomes both the US$300 million and US$113 million security and economic programmes, when asked about it at his own press conference hours later.

“If the US wants to help with regional countries for faster development and enhanced security, I think these moves are to be welcomed,” he told reporters.

“China as a developing country has been doing what it can in providing support and help. If the US so wishes, we would be willing to work with the US towards the same end,” he said.

But the Chinese top diplomat could not resist a dig at the US, saying: “The US is the sole superpower in today’s world, with a GDP totalling US$16 trillion. So when I first heard this figure of US$113 million I thought I heard wrong. At least it should be 10 times higher, for a superpower with US$16 trillion of GDP.”

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

Postby SSridhar » 04 Aug 2018 18:00

China's militarisation of South China Sea done in self-defence: Foreign Minister Wang Yi - Straits Times
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday (Aug 4) defended China's military build-up in the South China Sea, calling it actions taken in self-defence in response to security pressure from the United States and other non-regional countries.

"Certain non-regional countries, mainly the United States, have been sending massive strategic weaponry into this region, especially to the South China Sea, as a show of military might and putting pressure on regional countries, China included."

"I'm afraid that is the biggest force behind China's push for militarisation in this region," he said at a press conference on the sidelines of the Asean-related meetings hosted by Singapore this week.

Citing aircraft carrier fleets, strategic heavy duty bombers and other advanced weaponries, Mr Wang said: "In the face of such mounting military threat and pressure, regional countries, including China, have naturally resorted to self-preservation and self-defence, and have put in place defensive facilities.

"Yet such defensive acts have been labelled as acts of militarisation. That is confounding right and wrong, and I don't think anyone aware of basic facts on the ground will come to such a conclusion."


Asked if other countries were taking action because of China's own militarisation in the South China Sea, Mr Wang said: "China is fully entitled to these measures because China needs to defend its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. And because there is more pressure on China, it is only natural that China takes more measures to defend itself."

But he emphasised that no matter how the situation evolves, China will continue to work with other countries to fulfil its international obligations, including upholding the freedom of navigation in international waters and upholding regional peace and stability.


"We believe these are the common duties and obligations for countries in this region," he added.

Fresh from the back-to-back Asean Plus Three meeting between Asean, China, Japan and South Korea, and the East Asia Summit, Mr Wang drew a sharp line between "non-regional" countries and regional ones, saying there was a clear contrast in their attitudes.

He accused "non-regional countries" of trying to stir up trouble at the East Asia Summit, a meeting of Asean and eight non-member countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States.

Speeches delivered by foreign ministers from regional countries, he said, were all about cooperation and friendship.

But non-regional countries at the East Asia Summit "pointed fingers and tried to stir up trouble", he said without naming specific countries.

"This is deeply regrettable. We believe the main players in these regional countries are the best judges of what has been happening in this region."

"We hope that these non-regional countries can change their mindset of believing they should be the only judge of the situation in this region. We hope they will show greater understanding and support for the positive efforts made by regional countries, China and Asean included, for peace and stability," he said.


These efforts include the single draft negotiation text for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, announced on Thursday and agreed on by Asean and China in June.

These negotiations can be placed on the fast-track if there are no disturbances from outside, said Mr Wang, a stance he has taken repeatedly in his comments made over the week.

Commenting on Mr Pompeo's policy statements made during his trip through South-east Asia this week, Mr Wang said: "What has impressed me the most from what I've heard is that the US believes no country's sovereignty should be threatened and seeks no dominance in this region."

He added: "But we hope the US truly means what it says and will back up what it says with concrete action."

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

Postby Neshant » 05 Aug 2018 04:51

^^ one great weakness of China is weak control of the narrative.
Nobody including their local population trusts the govts version of news.

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

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2018 08:09

Within China, there has always been hundreds of protests all over the country every day; unlike open societies, they don't get reported. I am also convinced ever since Xi took over power that the PLA was not on the same page with him, at least some sections of it. That is why there has been frequent exhortations to it to maintain discipline and obey the Supreme Leader. The many large-scale revisions of its, the reconstitution of the CMC (the three service chief were excluded for the very first time) along with a reduction in its strength (from 11 to 7), the appointment of known Xi proteges to positions of significance (the Chief of the Rocket Force, the fourth service line introduced by Xi in c. 2016 was inducted into CMC) and the dismissal of several top Generals like Gen. Fang Fenghui, Gen. Zhang Yang et al are indicative of this.

Overall, the Xi speech in the 19th Congress where he announced the plan to make CPC intrude everywhere (as in Cultural Revolution days) and his quick action in strengthening the party's propaganda apparatus especially within the PLA through a more intrusive political commissars. Xi had already promulgated the (in)famous "Document No. 9, more properly the Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere” which forbade any activity that would challenge CPC in any sphere of activity. In the 19th CPC Congress, he continued in the same vein even more forcefully vowing that nobody undermined the hold of the CPC. Of course, he needed that in order to perpetuate his power. But, being also a strong party man whose faith in the CPC never wavered even with the incarceration of his father, humiliation and the dispersal of his family and the consequent suffering, his delayed acceptance into the Party etc., his actions on the Party front are not surprising.

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

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2018 18:17

Australia, at a time of rapid change - Mini Kapoor, The Hindu

Excerpts

Australians have been, at the popular and official levels, remarkably adept at getting on top of situations — dominating all kinds of sports and global rankings; and punching above their weight as a “middle power” by throwing their lot earnestly with the post-war international order, while growing the economy as a trading nation, a destination for migrants, and more lately a higher education hub. But now, with the assertive rise of China in the “Indo-Pacific” and fears of its growing influence in Australia’s domestic affairs, and the global retreat of Donald Trump’s U.S., there is anxiety swirling in government offices, think tanks and seminar halls about the rules of the game shifting or dissolving.

At a conference titled ‘Australia and the Rules-Based Order’ at the lush campus of the Australian National University, with participation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the problem was put forth in all of its dimensions. Allan Gyngell, a former intelligence chief, opened the proceedings with a reminder that the phrase “rules-based international order” was not much used historically and has been used with greater velocity since Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership. At a time of Chinese assertiveness, he spoke of the other side of the challenge: “the rising uncertainty about American purpose.” That Australia has had a lucky stretch since Second World War was underlined by professor Nick Bisley, who noted that “the rules of the order were written by our friends”. And by the conference’s end, John McCarthy, a former High Commissioner to India, left the gathering with something to think about: what if Mr. Trump were to be as distracted at a meeting of, say, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as he was at the NATO summit recently? And beyond Mr. Trump, he noted, it is important to assess the American electorate’s “fatigue with overseas engagement”.

Post-WTO world

The concerns are shared across conversations elsewhere in Canberra. As trade wars rage, there is talk of reckoning with the possibility of a post-WTO world. There is concern about the implications of U.S. obstruction to appointments on the WTO’s appellate body. There is deep worry about the U.S.’s commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region, specifically in the South China Sea. In sum, they keep circling back to the need to ensure an Indo-Pacific region where disputes are solved by international law.

These concerns find iteration, in more circumspect terms, in the Australian government’s Foreign Policy White Paper of 2017, which aims to “chart a clear course for Australia at a time of rapid change”. The engagement it envisages with other democracies, especially India, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia, in this regard will likely be a work-in-progress — but in working out the possible eventualities to brace themselves for, Australians are clearly determined to leave nothing to chance.

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

Postby SSridhar » 05 Aug 2018 18:47

US-China trade war can make Indian products competitive: CII - PTI
With the US imposing additional 25 per cent duty on imports worth USD 34 billion from China, certain Indian products may become more competitive, CII said today.

An analysis by the industry chamber revealed that India should focus on the US market for items in the categories of machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and transport parts, chemicals, plastics and rubber products.


"India can focus on numerous goods for expanding its exports to the US and China markets following the hike in duties by both countries on imports from each other," CII said.

Top exports from India to the US which are covered in the list of items for which tariffs have been hiked include pumps, parts of military aircraft, parts for electrodiagnostic apparatus, passenger vehicles of 1500-3000 cc, valve bodies and parts of taps, said the chamber.

Exports of these items stood at over USD 50 million in 2017, according to CII, and can be increased with concerted efforts.


Countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia have increased their exports of these products to the US in recent years, the chamber noted.

Based on India's current exports to the US in these categories, products such as intermediate parts for the defence and aerospace sector, vehicles and auto parts, engineering goods, etc. have a higher potential for export, it said.

"Sectors like apparel and textiles, footwear, toys and games and cell phone manufacturing are becoming competitive industries in India and need to be encouraged," CII said.

The chamber suggested that the trade dialogue with the US should be strategised taking into account India's competitive advantage in these products.

Moreover, foreign direct investments from the US should be encouraged by boosting confidence of US firms in India's business climate, said CII, adding that this might necessitate addressing their concerns regarding non-tariff barriers in India for better long term outcomes.

In the domestic industry, it stated that it is important for India to enhance productivity while adding technology to its domestic production in the identified products.

CII examined 818 product lines where the US has raised tariffs for imports from China. Between 2012 and 2017, China's exports to the US have moved up the value chain with accelerated growth in high-technology items such as telecommunications equipment, automotive, cell phones, etc.

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

Postby SSridhar » 06 Aug 2018 08:27

Hotline to figure in talks with Chinese Minister - PTI
India and China will attempt to resolve differences in the setting up of a hotline soon between the armies of the two countries, during Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe’s upcoming visit here [New Delhi], official sources said.

After the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, both sides revived the hotline proposal — first mooted in 2013 — to avoid flare-ups on the border. But, the initiative hit a roadblock over differences on issues relating to protocol and technical aspects of the hotline.

China’s Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe is to visit India later this month.

While the Indian Army wants the hotline to be between its Director General of Military Operations and his equivalent official in the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), Beijing proposed that the deputy commander of its Chengdu-based Western Theatre Command would engage with the Indian DGMO {We should say with the Deputy Commander of our 'Eastern Command'}, the sources said.

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

Postby Hari Seldon » 06 Aug 2018 09:36

India is threatening the made-in-China industry (in smartphones, appliances and consumer electronics)

The following article is an adapted translation of this article, written by Wang Xinxi and published by Sina Tech.


Article seems tad overly pessimistic reg PRC and overly worried about India, IMVHO.

Fun read nonetheless. Sample this:
A mobile phone manufacturing shift away from China could cause serious problems. China’s manufacturing industry is an important part of the country’s economic power. And like India, China is a populous country. Without the stability provided by the manufacturing industry, China’s economy could experience a massive capital outflow.

India does have a comparative shortage of skilled laborers, but the movement of Chinese phone manufacturers to India will provide an opportunity for the country to both attract and train more skilled workers, speeding the development of the entire Indian mobile phone industry, including related sectors like R&D.

We have seen this effect before in China. When Foxconn established a massive presence in Zhengzhou, an entire vertical mobile phone supply chain took shape in the region. As mobile phone manufacturing becomes more established in India, the country will have a chance to become a more influential player in the global mobile phone industry as related businesses spring up around manufacturing hubs.

The current global climate, with America shouting about the return of domestic manufacturing and firms like Foxconn, Apple, and Samsung moving manufacturing to India, is a serious warning to the “made in China” industry.

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

Postby SSridhar » 06 Aug 2018 19:15


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

Postby Peregrine » 06 Aug 2018 20:02

Group of ministers to look at reservations on joining RCEP

New Delhi: Divisions within the government over a free trade pact with 16 nations including China has prompted the Centre to set up a group of ministers (GoM) to decide the course of action, a senior official said.

Cabinet secretary PK Sinha has called an urgent meeting this week after most ministries and departments expressed reservations about joining the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). An order setting up the GoM will be issued shortly, said the person cited above.

There is concern across ministries that joining the accord could severely dent local manufacturing and jobs and that China’s $60-billion trade surplus with India will swell even further as it floods the market with cheap goods at zero tariff. The August 7 meeting will discuss the pact as pressure grows on New Delhi to seal the deal amid an escalating trade war between China and the US.

The RCEP includes the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. “Most ministries have reservations... A GoM will now look at the pact,” a senior government official told ET. The pact proposes to eliminate import tariffs on 90% of goods. India already has trade pacts with Asean, Japan and South Korea.

The RCEP participants want New Delhi to conclude the RCEP pact this year, reasoning that it is the last window of opportunity as India will get into election mode soon.

There is a view in some quarters of the government that India should instead look at concluding trade pacts separately with Australia and New Zealand. Moreover, New Delhi's experience with trade pacts hasn't been very good. The view is that it got a raw deal on services, its core strength, under the Asean trade agreement while losing out on market access in goods that is hurting domestic manufacturing.

India has a trade deficit with as many as 10 RCEP countries, including China, South Korea and Australia, among others. It has so far maintained that a speedy and successful conclusion of the agreement would be possible only with the inclusion of a higher level of services and investment in the India-Asean trade basket.

The country is not part of any major trade group and wouldn’t want to get left out of this one, especially now that future of the World Trade Organization is under a cloud as a global trade war gets under way.

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

Postby Peregrine » 07 Aug 2018 14:31

Mods : X Posting on the Ātaṅkavadīsthani Thread as it draws the Most Readers.

First it was Islam in Xinjiang - Not a Dickie Bird from the OIC or the other Guardians of Islam. Now it is with the Christians. China has Successfully and Totally "Controlled the Two Proselytizing Religions" of our World. Again not a Dickie Bird from His Eminence the Pope or any other Christian Nation! THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING!

'We must pay so dearly': China's churches raided, silenced

The 62-year-old Chinese shopkeeper had waited nearly his entire adult life to see his dream of building a church come true — a brick house with a sunny courtyard and spacious hall with room for 200 believers.

But in March, about a dozen police officers and local officials suddenly showed up at the church on his property and made the frightened congregants disperse. They ordered that the cross, a painting of the Last Supper and Bible verse calligraphy be taken down. And they demanded that all services stop until each person, along with the church itself, was registered with the government, said the shopkeeper, Guo.

Without warning, Guo and his neighbors in China's Christian heartland province of Henan had found themselves on the front lines of an ambitious new effort by the officially atheist ruling Communist Party to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in the country.

"I've always prayed for our country's leaders, for our country to get stronger," said Guo, who gave only his last name out of fear of government retribution. "They were never this severe before, not since I started going to church in the 80's. Why are they telling us to stop now?"

Under President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.

The crackdown on Christianity is part of a broader push by Xi to "Sinicize" all the nation's religions by infusing them with "Chinese characteristics" such as loyalty to the Communist Party. Islamic crescents and domes have been stripped from mosques, and a campaign launched to "re-educate" tens of thousands of Uighur Muslims. Tibetan children have been moved from Buddhist temples to schools and banned from religious activities during their summer holidays, state-run media report.

This spring, a five-year plan to "Sinicize" Christianity in particular was introduced, along with new rules on religious affairs. Over the last several months, local governments across the country have shut down hundreds of private Christian "house churches." A statement last week from 47 in Beijing alone said they had faced "unprecedented" harassment since February.

Authorities have also seized Bibles, while major e-commerce retailers JD.com and Taobao pulled them off their sites. Children and party members are banned from churches in some areas, and at least one township has encouraged Christians to replace posters of Jesus with portraits of Xi. Some Christians have resorted to holding services in secret.

A dozen Chinese Protestants interviewed by the Associated Press described gatherings that were raided, interrogations and surveillance, and one pastor said hundreds of his congregants were questioned individually about their faith. Like Guo, the majority requested that their names be partly or fully withheld because they feared punishment from authorities. After reporters visited Henan in June, some interviewees said they were contacted by police or local officials who urged them not to discuss any new measures around Christianity.

The party has long been wary of Christianity because of its affiliation with Western political values. Several Chinese human rights lawyers jailed for their work, including Jiang Tianyong and Li Heping, are outspoken Christians. So too are many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, not least among them 2014 protest leader Joshua Wong.

"Chinese leaders have always been suspicious of the political challenge or threat that Christianity poses to the Communist regime," said Xi Lian, a scholar of Christianity in China at Duke University. "Under Xi, this fear of Western infiltration has intensified and gained a prominence that we haven't seen for a long time."

———

Guo, who keeps a small storefront selling ornate doors in a riverside district, once had eyesight so poor that he could not distinguish the sky from the earth. But after finding God at 27 years old, he made a seemingly miraculous recovery that he attributes to his faith.

For decades, he, like many Christians in China, shuttled from one unregistered house church to another, where folding chairs served as pews and coffee tables as lecterns. Two years ago, he and 10 other Christians pooled their money to erect a permanent church on his property.

They are part of what experts describe as a spiritual awakening in China.

The number of Chinese believers of all faiths has doubled in two decades to an estimated 200 million, by official count, as the hold of the Communist party has weakened. Among them are an estimated 67 million Christians, including Catholics — a number that is expected to swell to become the world's largest Christian population in a matter of decades. This rapid growth has reinvigorated the party's longtime mission to domesticate a religion traditionally aligned with the West.

Historians believe that Christianity was known to China as early as the seventh century, and was later propagated by Jesuit missionaries starting in the 1500s. In recent decades the religion has faced by turns heavy persecution and tacit acceptance.

During the Cultural Revolution, when Mao sought to eradicate all religions, Christians were jailed, tortured and publicly humiliated. But they survived by operating covertly and grew steadily in number after Mao's death in 1976, when a populace disillusioned with the Communist Party began to seek moral guidance elsewhere.

Chinese Christians say the Bible gives them a sense of right versus wrong and the strength to endure in a country where power often trumps justice. While China's rapid growth has brought prosperity to many, others despair at what they see as a deterioration of public morals. The deaths of children in scandals involving tainted infant formula and shoddily-built schools in recent years have led to the sense that modern China was in the midst of an ethical crisis.

"After the 'collapse' of communist ideology, no value system has been in place to fill the spiritual vacuum," said writer Zhang Lijia. "China has witnessed a religious revival in recent decades precisely because of this vacuum and relaxed control."

Officials once largely tolerated the unregistered Protestant house churches that sprang up independent of the official Christian Council, clamping down on some while allowing others to grow. But this year they have taken a tougher approach that relies partly on "thought reform" — a phrase for political indoctrination. Last November, Christian residents of a rural township in southeast Jiangxi province were persuaded to replace posters of the cross and Jesus Christ inside their homes with portraits of Xi, a local official said.

"Through our thought reform, they've voluntarily done it," Qi Yan, a member of the township party committee, told the AP by phone. "The move is aimed at Christian families in poverty, and we educated them to believe in science and not in superstition, making them believe in the party."

The poster campaign appears to symbolize what analysts see as the underlying force driving the change in the party's approach to religion: the ascendance of Xi.

"Xi is a closet Maoist — he is very anxious about thought control," said Willy Lam, a Chinese politics expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "He definitely does not want people to be faithful members of the church, because then people would profess their allegiance to the church rather than to the party, or more exactly, to Xi himself."

Various state and local officials declined repeated requests to comment. But in 2016, Xi explicitly warned against the perceived foreign threats tied to faith, telling a religion conference: "We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means." And in April, the religious affairs department published an article saying that churches must endorse the party's leadership as part of "Sinicization."

"Only Sinicized churches can obtain God's love," the article stated.

The government is even cracking down on Christians more aggressively through legal means. In March, a prominent Chinese house church leader with US permanent residency was sentenced to seven years in prison after he built Christian schools in Myanmar. And half a dozen Christians were sentenced last month to up to 13 years in jail for involvement in a "cult," according to U.S.-based Christian non-profit ChinaAid.

The pressure has pushed several dozen pastors and their families to flee to the United States in recent years, ChinaAid says. The wife of one pastor under house arrest left for Midland, Texas about a year ago, after authorities warned that their children might have trouble getting an education in China. She said members of their church in China were barred from being baptized, and even a simple Christmas service was interrupted.

"The government says that we have religious freedom, but really there is no freedom at all," said the pastor's wife, who asked to remain anonymous for her husband's safety. "Many of our Christian brothers and sisters are upset and fearful."

Those who resist pay the price.

After Jin Mingri, a prominent pastor who leads Zion Church in Beijing, refused local authorities' request to install surveillance cameras inside his house church, police individually questioned hundreds of members of the 1,500-person congregation, he said. The congregants faced veiled threats, Jin said, and many were asked to sign a pledge promising to leave Zion, which the government agents called illegal, politically incorrect and a cult. Some people lost their jobs or were evicted from rented apartments because police intimidated their bosses and landlords.

For 11 years, the church has been housed on one floor of an office building, but the property management informed Jin in May that they would have to move out at the end of the summer. Jin said the management admitted to being influenced by external "pressures."

"A lot of our flock are terrified by the pressure that the government is putting on them," he said. "It's painful to think that in our own country's capital, we must pay so dearly just to practice our faith."

At the epicenter of the drive to control the Christian community in China is Henan, the cradle of Chinese civilization and the entry point for many of the earliest foreign missionaries. Today, the province is one of the most populous in the country and a key part of Xi's fight against poverty, as proclaimed by red banners across acres of peanut farms and oil fields.

Around the time authorities ordered Guo's church to stop congregating in March, his district announced a crackdown on private Christian meeting spots. On a single Sunday morning, the announcement said, 700 religious banners were removed, 200 religious texts seized and 31 illegal Christian gathering places shut down. Officials went door-to-door stripping decorative scrolls bearing the cross from home entrances.

In Zhengzhou, Henan's capital, all that is left of one house church is shattered glass, tangled wires and torn hymnbooks, strewn among the rubble of a knocked-down wall. Pegged to another wall is a single wooden cross, still intact.

The church inside a commercial building had served about 100 believers for years. But in late January, nearly 60 officials from the local religion department and police station appeared without warning. Armed with electric saws, they demolished the church, confiscated Bibles and computers and held a handful of young worshipers — including a 14-year-old girl — at a police station for more than 10 hours, according to a church leader.

The authorities called the church illegal. The church leader said they had brought documentation to the religion department three or four times in an attempt to formally register it, but never received a response. Now, they have ceased to congregate.

The church leader prays that the government will change its mind.

"We support President Xi," he said. "All we ask for is a space for our faith."

That space for Xu Shijuan, a 63-year-old Seventh-Day Adventist, was her living room, where she held house church gatherings for four years. She stopped in March, after a group of men led by a local official ordered her to disband the meeting of about two dozen elderly Christians.

"If you don't heed our orders, the next group to come will be law enforcement," he said, according to Xu. "They will use force to disband you."

Xu readily complied. "The people have dispersed, but our faith has not," she told the AP at her home in Zhengzhou. "God's path cannot be blocked. The more you try to control it, the more it will grow."

Even Protestant churches already registered with the state have not been spared greater restrictions. When reporters visited five such churches in Henan this June, all bore notices at their entrances stating that minors and party members were not allowed inside. A banner above one church door exhorted members to "implement the basic direction of the party's religious work." Another church erected a Chinese flag at the foot of its steps.

Some congregations now sing the national anthem during services, according to a house church pastor named Liu. Another pastor said his government-approved church shut down its Sunday school and cancelled all activities for children after receiving orders in February.

Across Henan, house churches that once hosted gatherings of hundreds have now sealed their doors and split into groups of no more than a handful. Services are announced last-minute and held in different locations each week, often under the cloak of darkness.

For a time, Guo's church did the same. They avoided congregating on Sundays to escape authorities' notice.

But the church members were scared, and the group dwindled to 30. Authorities appealed to Guo to help gather information on his fellow Christians. He was given a form, reviewed by the AP, which asked for churchgoers' names, educational background and addresses, as well as the length of time they had been faithful and whether they were baptized.

The brick house was largely deserted this summer. Around the door frame, tattered red outlines remained of a scroll that once read "God's love is as deep as the sea."

Inside, Guo has refused to remove the cross and other decorations, telling authorities they are within his private property.

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

Postby souravB » 07 Aug 2018 15:08

^^ can we really blame them if they saw the world's two most destructive religions through smart glasses? look at what people are doing in the name of religious freedom in our own country.
The darkest periods in human history are those when religion ruled the politics :)

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

Postby A_Gupta » 07 Aug 2018 16:25

The personality cult of Xi.
Twitter thread starting here:
https://twitter.com/bfcarlson/status/10 ... 5613052928

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

Postby SSridhar » 07 Aug 2018 18:21

India not to join US-led counter to China’s BRI - Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, Economic Times
India has stayed away from a joint initiative launched by the United States, Japan and Australia to fund infrastructure projects to counterbalance China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Indo-Pacific region.

The decision not to join the US-led trilateral initiative, launched on July 30, is in keeping with India’s emphasis on multipolarity in the Indo-Pacific region and non-bloc security architecture, said people aware of the matter.

India continues to harbour serious reservations against the BRI and is keen to foster greater stability in the Indo-Pacific region, they said. But as Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear at the Shangri La dialogue in Singapore on June 1, India never viewed the region as “a strategy or as a club of limited members”. Earlier, during his informal summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Modi emphasised on a non-bloc security architecture for the Indo-Pacific region.

The latest US-led trilateral partnership is aimed at funding projects to “build infrastructure, address development challenges, increase connectivity and promote economic growth” in the countries in the Indo-Pacific region. The US has separately committed $113 million to support digital economy, energy and infrastructure development projects in the region. It has also committed funds for security initiatives in the region.

Although India is part of the so-called quadrilateral or ‘Quad’ that was revived in November last year, the Modi government is simultaneously working to stabilise ties with China. India and China had a series of engagements over the past few months, beginning with Modi’s “informal summit” with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in central China on April 27-28.

The two leaders had two other meetings on the sidelines of the summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Qingdao on east coast of China in June and the BRICS at Johannesburg in South Africa in July. India also lined up a series of engagements involving the ministers of defence, external affairs and home affairs of the two countries.

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India had joined Japan, Australia and the US in November 2017 and re-launched a Quad for “consultation on Indo-Pacific”. The second meeting of the Quad was held in Singapore a couple of months ago.

India has also been holding two separate trilateral dialogues – one with the US and Japan and another with Japan and Australia – with “peace, prosperity and security” in a “free and open” Indo-Pacific being among the issues discussed in both.

India, Japan and Australia discussed “strengthening regional connectivity” when they held the most recent threenation talks in Delhi in December 2017.

Besides, when the senior diplomats of India, US and Japan held the last trilateral dialogue in Delhi on April 4, they also “reviewed the outcomes of the Trilateral Infrastructure Working Group, which had met in Washington in February, and agreed to continue to collaborate to promote increased connectivity in the Indo-Pacific”.

The next round of the India-Japan-Australia trilateral is also scheduled this year and the Indo-US 2+2 dialogue in Delhi on September 6 would also focus on the Indo-Pacific region, among other issues. The US may nudge India at the 2+2 dialogue on joining the trilateral infrastructure initiative. India will also hold a separate dialogue with Russia on the Indo-Pacific region.

India maintains that its approach in the Indo-Pacific region would remain inclusive and not hostile to any particular country.

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

Postby Peregrine » 07 Aug 2018 23:18

China says no to Winnie the Pooh film over comparisons with president

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Chinese censors have banned Christopher Robin, an adaptation of Winnie the Pooh ostensibly over many using the fictional character nationwide to take potshots at President Xi Jinping, The Hollywood Reporter claimed in a report.

The trend first started in 2013 when Jinping visited the United States and an image of him walking alongside then American president Barack Obama was likened to one featuring Pooh and Tigger, according to The Guardian.

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Jinping was compared to the fictional character again in 2014 while pictured meeting Japan’s Shinzo Abe with the latter taking the form of Eryore.

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Censors began cracking down on such images after comparison grew and memes went viral. Last month, the website of US television station HBO was blocked in the wake of comedian John Oliver repeatedly making fun of Jinping by comparing him to Pooh. The segment also shed light on the state’s dismal rights record.

According to Global Risks Insights, The Chinese government views the comparisons and mockery as “a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself.”

Robin’s is the second Disney film to be denied release in China this year. Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time was rejected earlier.

Cheers Image

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

Postby chola » 07 Aug 2018 23:27

^^^ LOL. Eleven does look like Pooh. LOL

India BTW has gotten some good soft power ratings from the chini box office. Their $450M blockbuster “Dying to Survive” flick is about chini cancer patients smuggling drugs from India to survive. Bharat is depicted as medical Nirvana.

Bollywood might grab a chunk of the chini movie market from Hollywood as the Eagle-Lizard trade tussle deepens.

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

Postby SSridhar » 08 Aug 2018 17:47

China’s Hydro Ambitions and the Brahmaputra - Shreya Bhattacharya, IDSA (Instt. for Defence Studies and Analyses)

Longish but very comprehensive.

Water covers almost 71 per cent of the earth’s surface. Yet, only three per cent of that water is potable, out of which two per cent is held in glaciers and ice caps. Even this percentage is rapidly shrinking due to growing human population, increased economic activity and rapid pollution. When increase in population is read together with demands arising from prevalent consumption patterns, it presents a bleak future scenario. It has been projected that two out of three people in the world will live in water-stressed conditions by the year 2030.1

The indispensability of water combined with scarcity creates a fertile breeding ground for potential conflict. The fact that rivers, which are an important source of fresh water, do not follow political boundaries and are more often than not trans-boundary in nature, makes the situation more complex. In fact, 46 per cent of the world’s river basins are trans-boundary in nature.2 While it is important for a nation to ensure water security for itself, yet it cannot be achieved unilaterally since rivers run through tricky terrains rife with issues of sovereignty and rights of usage and sharing with other nation states.

In this context, it becomes imperative to explore the unique advantage China has as a complete upper riparian power. China’s bid to achieve water security as well as ambitions to establish itself as a hydro-hegemon in the region is examined here, through the case of mighty Yarlung Tsangpo/Brahmaputra River, especially focusing on the implications for India.

China’s Inner Compulsions

Asia comprises 60 per cent of the world's population (4.4 billion in 2016) and also has the highest growth rate today, with its population almost quadrupling during the 20th century.3 However, Asia’s water resources have remained constant. The two most populous countries of the world – China and India – comprising 20 and 17 per cent of the world’s population, contain only seven and four per cent of the world’s water resources, respectively.4

In 1998, then Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had stated that the very “survival of the Chinese nation” was threatened by looming water shortages.5 According to Barry Naughton, a leading expert on the Chinese economy, “China’s greatest development challenges…are in the areas where a dense population pushes up against the limits of water and what the land can provide.”6 Securing continued access, supply, and control over water resources has been a fundamental element of China’s national interest. The country is faced with some crucial internal challenges which serve to explain its drive towards achieving water security through building of dams and water diversion projects.

First, the demand for water has been increasing given its large population size concomitant with economic growth and rising standards of living. China’s per capita water supply is only 28 per cent of the world average, which is precariously below international standards for human sustainability.7

Second, China has been historically a water scarce country with uneven distribution of its water resources. The inter-regional disparity in water resources is stark. Four-fifths of the water resources in China are located in the south. The north, home to about half of the total population and the arable land, making it the centre of economic and agricultural activity in the country, contains only 20 per cent of China’s water resources. This is exacerbated by the fact that the agricultural sector, which uses 70 per cent of China’s water, and the coal industry, which utilises 20 per cent of the water resources, are both largely concentrated in the extremely water stressed northern China.8 While residents of the sparsely populated south have access to 25,000 cubic meters of freshwater per person annually, residents of the populous arid north, which includes China’s biggest and fastest growing urban areas such as Beijing and Tianjin, have less than 500 cubic metres per person annually.9 The increasing pressure on water resources, particularly in north China, is of major concern to the Chinese Government. In 2011, China’s vice-minister for water resources had declared that the country is facing an “increasingly grim” water scarcity situation.10

China’s water resource challenge consists of both quantity and quality issues. According to the Chinese Government, nearly 60 per cent of its groundwater is polluted.11 Reports from China’s ministry of environmental protection (now, ministry of ecology and environment) have indicated that less than half of China’s water can be treated to the point where it is safe for drinking, and a quarter of surface water is so polluted that they are unfit even for industrial use.12

Third, as per China’s 12th Five Year Plan (12th FYP), hydropower is being promoted as the centrepiece of China’s plan to expand renewable energy by 2020. Hydropower already accounts for six per cent of its power supply.13 China intends to triple its hydropower capacity to 300 GW. China’s 12th FYP also calls for an increase in the use of hydroelectric power, as under the 11th FYP only two-third of the hydroelectric projects could be completed. China, therefore, is increasingly damming trans-boundary rivers to achieve its hydropower targets.14

China’s 12th FYP recognises that China’s water crisis could be a choking point for its economic development.15 The Chinese Government has taken two major policy initiatives. Internally, there has been a move to improve the efficiency of water use and limit the rising demand through actions such as the “Three Red Lines” policy promulgated by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council. In addition, China has undertaken gigantic water diversion projects such as the South-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP) to address its regional water distribution imbalance. The SNWTP aims to transfer some 45 billion cubic meters of water per year from central and southwest China to augment the flow of Huang He (the Yellow River) and meet the water demand in the Beijing-Tianjin region. The final cost of this project is estimated to exceed $62 billion. It would also require resettlement of thousands of people.16 The western line of this project is most controversial of the three lines as it includes building a dam on the Great Bend of Yarlung, where the river curves into the Assamese plains of India, which would entail diverting 200 billion m3 of water from Yarlung to Yellow River. However, China’s exact plans for the western line are difficult to ascertain due to conflicting information from different sources.17

Chinese Moves to Harness Brahmaputra

China’s unique position as the only country in the region which is completely upper riparian, lends it an unparalleled advantage and power to influence the flow of water to nations downstream. As an upstream state, China shares 42 major transboundary watercourses (including lakes) with its neighbouring countries. As a result, China’s international water policy is at the core of Asia’s water security.18 India functions as a middle riparian state. It is a lower riparian state in relation to China, but an upper riparian state vis-a-vis Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The upper and lower riparian nations often make incompatible claims about their rights over river waters. The upper riparian nations base their claim on the principle of ‘absolute territorial sovereignty’, meaning the right to use the river waters unilaterally regardless of lower riparian concerns. This is often called the Harmon Doctrine.19 According to this doctrine, an upstream nation can freely utilise a river's flow within its boundaries without considering the effect on a downstream state.20 The lower riparian states, on the other hand, base their claims on ‘absolute territorial integrity’ which argues that upper riparian actions should not affect the water flowing downstream.21

China has been seen to act in a manner typical of an upper riparian nation. Its distinctive position as a completely upper riparian nation allows it to act as a hydro-hegemon in the region. China’s hydro-hegemony is made possible by its control over Tibet. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau extends over a vast area spanning 2.5 million square kilometres. This Plateau, often referred to as the ‘third pole’ and ‘roof of the world’, is home to the largest fresh water reserves outside north and south poles. It is the source of some of the Asia’s most important river systems including the Indus, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Irrawady, Slaween, Mekong, Yangtze and Huang He. All these rivers are trans-boundary in nature, with the exception of Yangtze and Huang He.


As per the estimates of the Chinese ministry of water resources, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has 448.2 billion cubic metres of water, which is strategically important since it gives China an enormous edge over India in terms of control over water resources. Chinese scientists have discovered that Tibet has 40,000 times more water resources than China.22 The Chinese occupation of Tibet, wherein the most important rivers originate, de facto assures China’s hydro hegemony. The de jure control over water resources is aided by the fact that China has made huge investments in dams and has not entered into any water sharing agreement with India.23

China is no stranger to massive dam projects. The Three Gorges Dam on Yangtze River is by far the biggest in the world. However, unlike the Three Gorges Dam, where impact is restricted to areas within China, the several dam projects on Yarlung Tsangpo assumes significance since India (as well as Bangladesh further down) will be directly affected and will have to bear externalities emanating from it.24

The Yarlung Tsangpo enters India after passing the Great Bend, through Arunachal Pradesh where it is known as Siang/Dihang, then onto Assam where it is called Brahmaputra, and thereafter to Bangladesh where it is named Jamuna. China completed the Zangmu Dam (510 MW capacity) built on the upper reaches of Brahmaputra in 2010. Three more dams at Dagu (640 MW), Jiacha (320 MW) and Jeixu are at present under construction. The work on Zam hydropower station, which will be the largest dam on Brahmaputra, too commenced in 2015.25 Although the Indian allegations about Chinese dam building activities on Brahmaputra date back to more than a decade, Beijing admitted to the construction of Zangmu Dam only in 2010 and that too after a series of denials. China has not yet officially communicated anything about the construction of the other three dams – Dagu, Liacha and Jiexu – on Brahmaputra. Lack of communication by China has created an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust in India, especially in its north-eastern region.

Chinese Unilateralism


China seems to have chosen a policy of absolute sovereignty rather than one of national integrity over shared water resources (where states have the right not to be negatively affected by activities of upper-riparian countries).26 China has built more dams on its rivers than the rest of the world combined,27 and yet has no water sharing agreement or treaty with any of its neighbours including India. For instance, China has built eight of the proposed 15 dams along the Lancang section of the Mekong River, with very little consultation with downstream countries. China’s Yunnan Provincial Government is proposing one of the world’s highest dams on the Salween River, which flows into Myanmar and Thailand. This dam would be situated in an environmentally sensitive area according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), but neither Myanmar nor Thailand have been consulted.28

China has been repeatedly invited to participate in multilateral consultations by downstream states comprising the Mekong River Commission (MRC), which it has refused to join. Chinese reluctance to participate in MRC could be attributed to growing water scarcity within the country and the possibility of similar demands by other downstream states. However, back in 2010, a severe drought in the country had pushed China to participate in MRC discussions and data sharing.29

China has also been reluctant to ratify the 1997 UN Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses which provides a framework for multilateral cooperation on water. Article 11 of this UN Convention mentions the need for states to share information regarding use of international water courses; Articles 21 and 23 elaborate on pollution, prevention and protection of the marine environment.30 China believes that the Convention does not adequately considers the interests of upstream states. India too has not ratified it probably because the Convention has no force over non-party countries such as China. According to Srinivas Chokkakula, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, the “Geopolitical and strategic imperatives do not justify a state becoming a party to the Convention unless other states with transboundary water associations also become parties.”31

China had refused to sign and ratify the Helsinki Rules too. In 1966, a codification of the principles of international law relating to transboundary water resources was completed through the International Law Association's (ILA) Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers. The gist of the Helsinki Rules is that each state within an international drainage basin has the right to a reasonable and equitable part of the beneficial use of the basin waters. The two basic principles can be briefly summed up as reasonable usage and an obligation to do no harm. However, the enforceability of the Helsinki Rules is undermined by the ILA's status as an unofficial organisation. Thus, these resolutions cannot be legally binding in international law unless they are adopted in the form of a multilateral convention or followed by states as state practice.32

Implications for India

The Chinese decision to build more and more dams on Yarlung/Brahmaputra and continued evasiveness on its long-term plans, the number and kind of dams it intends to build, has been an issue of major concern for India. China, on its part, insists that the dams are and will continue to be run-of-river projects, wherein water will be returned to the river after use. As such there ought to be no fears of diversion, hoarding, and release of water later. This claim was taken with a pinch of salt by the Indian Government. In fact, in February 2014, the then External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid admitted that the ministry of water resources has been asked to verify whether the dams built on Yarlung are run-of-river or storage dams.33

In December 2015, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, responding to a question on steps taken by the government with regard to Chinese dam building activities on Brahmaputra, had stated that, “Government, in close cooperation with various State Governments including Government of Assam, which are users of the waters of river Brahmaputra, continues to carefully monitor the water flow in river Brahmaputra for early detection of abnormality so that corrective and preventive measures are taken to safeguard livelihood of peoples of these States of Union of India.”34

What further adds to India’s concerns is that these dams are large enough to be converted and used as storage dams, especially if the purpose is flood control and irrigation (as is the case with Zangmu Dam). In the absence of a water treaty, China depriving India of water during lean seasons becomes a possibility. According to Chandan Mahanta, who heads the Centre for Environment at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, the Chinese hydropower projects could convert Brahmaputra into a seasonal river implying water scarcity in India.35 Another risk is the release of flood waters during the monsoon season, which could inundate the already flooded Brahmaputra river basin in Assam. There is much apprehension that the Brahmaputra may lose the silt, which makes the plains in its basin fertile, because of sediment trapping in the dams.

Additionally, all hydropower projects, particularly around the Great Bend, are located in a highly volatile tectonic zone. Their proximity to known geological fault lines, where Indian Plate collides with the Eurasian Plate, makes them extremely earthquake-prone. In 2008, the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River gave way under the stress of an earthquake (7.9 on the Richter scale) in the eastern rim of Tibet, resulting in loss of many lives.36 This raises serious concerns about risks posed by big dams built in such seismically sensitive areas.37

In building its dams, China has also polluted its rivers. The quality of water that flows downstream into India needs to be taken into account. The disruption of natural flood cycles of the river could also adversely affect the rich geo-environmental and bio-physical settings in India’s Northeast. These multifarious factors could also severely impinge on the economy of the region.

It is important to mention here the principle of prior appropriation, which favours neither the upstream nor the downstream State but the one that puts the water to first use, thereby protecting the right to first use of water as in the past.38 China has priority rights since it was the first to build dams on Yarlung Tsangpo. By building dams especially near the Great Bend, after which the river flows into India through Arunachal Pradesh, China could be seeking to leverage its position over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Around the time China started working on this dam project, India too decided to commence construction of 14 hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh, most of which were located lower down on Brahmaputra. This might be viewed as India’s effort to establish its ‘lower riparian right’ to counter China’s first use priority rights. The idea might be to ensure a strong bargaining position to detract China from building hydel projects on the river’s upper reaches. However, except for one project, all other projects are currently stuck due to lack of necessary environmental clearance.39 The only project cleared so far is the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric power project, which too is languishing due to scarcity of funds.40

Some experts have pointed out that the volume of precipitation varies across the Brahmaputra sub-basin substantially. It receives primarily two types of precipitation, rainfall and snowfall. In this respect, the Tibetan part of the basin along the stretch of Yarlung, being located on the northern aspect of the Himalayas, receives much less rainfall as compared to the southern part of the basin, that is, the stretches in India and Bangladesh.41

According to a study by Chinese scholars, the total annual outflow of Yarlung from China is about 31 billion cubic metres (BCM), while the annual flow of Brahmaputra at Bahadurabad, the gauging station near the end of the sub-basin in Bangladesh, is 606 BCM. Around 80 per cent of the flows of Brahmaputra emerges within the Indian boundary.42

According to some Indian experts, the Brahmaputra gets mightier as it flows downstream because of the flow contribution of tributaries such as Dibang, Lohit and Subansiri. In terms of sediment flow, the flow volume and discharge is not sufficient to generate and transport the large sediment load that is characteristic of Brahmaputra downstream.43 Despite China having 50 per cent spatial share of this 3,000 km-long water system, low precipitation and desert conditions mean that Tibet generates only 25 per cent of its total basin discharge, while India, with 34 per cent of the basin, contributes to 39 per cent of the total discharge.44 This refutes the thinking that the flow of a river is proportional to its expanse within the country. Even then, the fact that intentional flooding and degradation of water upstream remain serious issues of concern for India, cannot be summarily dismissed.45

As of now, there is no institutionalised mechanism on water cooperation between India and China. China has signed no such treaty with India or any of its neighbours and continues to act in a unilateral manner in the region. However, in 2002, India and China had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) wherein China agreed to share hydrological information about Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) including its discharge at Nugesha, Yangcun and Nuxia stations from June 01 to October 15 every year. This was helpful in the formulation of flood forecasts by the Central Water Commission. When this provision ended in 2007, it was renewed for another five years. In 2006, a Joint Expert Level Mechanism was set up between the two countries in order to exchange hydrological information and ensure a smooth transmission of flood season hydrological data. In 2013, this provision was renewed with the change that 2014 onward sharing of data would take place twice a day from May 15 to October 15. However, China had refused to share hydrological data during the Doklam standoff last year.46Although hydrological data sharing resumed in 2018,47 the Doklam face-off showed how China could use water for political leverage. By refusing to share data which is crucial for flood control and planning during the monsoon period in India, China demonstrated that it is not averse to using water as a political weapon to control and force compliance on its downstream neighbours.

Any forward movement on ensuring hydro security in the Brahmaputra basin would require a long-term understanding between the two countries. India’s hydro-diplomacy thus faces the daunting challenge of engaging China in a sustained dialogue and securing a water sharing treaty that serves the interests of both the countries.

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

Postby SSridhar » 08 Aug 2018 19:07

Worries Grow in Singapore Over China’s Calls to Help ‘Motherland’ - Amy Qin, New York Times
SINGAPORE — Growing up in Singapore, Chan Kian Kuan always took pride in his Teochew heritage — the dialect, the cultural traditions and the famous steamed fish. But after visiting his ancestral village in Teochew, in Guangdong Province, China, and seeing the progress there, he became truly proud to be not just Teochew, but also Chinese.

“It’s very messy. We are Chinese, but we are Singaporean, too,” said Mr. Chan, vice president of the Teochew Poit Ip Clan Association in Singapore. “When China becomes stronger, we feel proud. China is like the big brother.”

As a young country made up mostly of immigrants, Singapore has for decades walked a fine line between encouraging citizens like Mr. Chan to connect with their cultural heritage and promoting a Singaporean national identity.

But there are growing concerns here that a rising China could tip that carefully orchestrated balance by seeking to convert existing cultural affinities among Singaporean Chinese into loyalty to the Chinese “motherland.”


Confident in its fast-growing political and economic clout, China has become increasingly assertive in its efforts to appeal to the vast Chinese diaspora to serve the country’s national interests and gain influence abroad. Already, there has been evidence of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to manipulate political activity among Chinese populations in countries like Canada, the United States and Australia.

And with ethnic Chinese constituting nearly 75 percent of Singapore’s population of 5.6 million, some scholars and former diplomats worry that this island nation could be an especially tantalizing target for the Chinese government’s influence efforts.

“For us, it is an existential issue; the stakes are extremely high,” said Bilahari Kausikan, a former permanent secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one of the most outspoken voices in the country on the subject of Chinese interference.

“China’s rise is a geopolitical fact that everyone must accept,” Mr. Kausikan said. “But it’s a very small step in my mind from cultural affinity for China to the idea of Chinese superiority. We are only 53 years old. It’s not guaranteed that every Singaporean Chinese would not be tempted either consciously or unconsciously to take that step.”

Last month China’s ambassador to Singapore took the rare step of publicly rebutting recent remarks made by Mr. Kausikan in which he raised an alarm about what he called China’s covert “influence operations.”

“We uphold the principles of peaceful coexistence and champion global fairness and justice,” the ambassador, Hong Xiaoyong, wrote in an op-ed in The Straits Times, an English-language newspaper. “We oppose the big bullying the small and interference in others’ internal affairs. This is what China has said, and this is also what China has been doing.”

“China respects Singapore’s achievements in maintaining racial and religious harmony,” he added. “It has no intention of influencing Singaporeans’ sense of their national identity and will never do so.”

One example of how on-edge Singaporean officials have been came to light last year when the government expelled Huang Jing, an American academic born in China, for what it said was his covert effort to influence Singapore’s foreign policy on behalf of an unnamed foreign government — widely believed to be China. The expulsion came amid heightened tensions between Singapore and China over territorial issues relating to the South China Sea.

Mr. Kausikan and others are also concerned about China’s subtler influence efforts in Singapore, including appeals to sentimental “flesh and blood” ties to China.

In recent years, China has stepped up people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, helping to organize conferences bringing together overseas Chinese, arranging visits for Singaporean Chinese to their ancestral villages and coordinating study abroad programs and “roots-seeking camps” for young Singaporeans.


These kinds of programs are not unique to China, of course. The camps, for example, bear some similarity to Israel’s popular Birthright program. They are often arranged and paid for in part by Chinese government agencies like the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.

In a description of one such camp held this year, participating Singaporean students were promised a full itinerary of activities including lessons in Chinese calligraphy and history. At another camp, in 2014, the schedule included learning the martial art of tai chi and singing Communist “red” songs.

In recent years, officials affiliated with the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department — a powerful Chinese agency responsible for winning hearts and minds abroad — have also visited Singapore with the aim of strengthening ties with the local Chinese.

“My cellphone is on 24 hours a day,” Hong Guoping, then head of the United Front in the Xiang’an district in Fujian Province, told a group of Singaporean Chinese affiliated with that district in 2013. “My fellow countrymen can call me at any time. I’m happy to serve everyone.”

In a sign of the growing emphasis on building diaspora ties, it was announced this year that the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office would come under the purview of the United Front Work Department.

“A more generous reading is that these are people-to-people exchanges,” said Ian Chong, an associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, “and a more skeptical reading is that it’s an effort by China to exert soft-power influence.”


Some scholars have highlighted what they call a worrying trend that has seen China increasingly blurring the distinction between huaqiao (Chinese citizens overseas) and huaren (ethnic Chinese of all nationalities).

At an overseas Chinese work conference last year, President Xi Jinping stressed the need to bring together people of Chinese descent around the world — up to 60 million ethnic Chinese in more than 180 countries — to enjoy the “Chinese dream.”

“The realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation requires the joint efforts of Chinese sons and daughters at home and abroad,” said Mr. Xi, according to Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.

Scholars say the focus on strengthening ties with overseas Chinese signals a major shift away from Beijing’s previous, more hands-off approach to diaspora relations.

“There is a sense that the emphasis now is on how all ethnic Chinese share a similar origin and therefore should be more sympathetic to a P.R.C. perspective,” said Professor Chong, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

In some Western countries, China has already successfully mobilized local groups like Chinese businessmen, Chinese students and Chinese-language media, using them as proxies to rally against anti-Chinese views or to whip up support for Beijing’s line on contentious issues like the Dalai Lama or Taiwan.

Frequently, the result has been a negative and often xenophobic anti-Chinese backlash. Many overseas Chinese have said they are now being unfairly subject to a cloud of suspicion simply for being associated with China.

“When you start reaching out to people on the basis of race and blood, it becomes unacceptable to other governments,” said Wang Gungwu, a former chairman of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore. “On the other hand, Beijing thinks it is natural to do so. And that is where the conflict lies, however unintended the consequences may be.”

As the only country outside China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to have a majority-Chinese population, Singapore is in a unique position.

Wary of being seen as a fifth column of China, the country under Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew went out of its way after gaining independence in 1965 to assert its sovereignty — making it a point to be the last country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to establish diplomatic ties with China.

At the same time, the government sought to build a Singaporean national identity based on multiracialism, equality and meritocracy. English is the country’s official working language.

But Singapore finds itself continually needing to remind officials in Beijing that it is not a Chinese country. Last year, for example, not long after China unveiled a gleaming new center to promote Chinese culture here, Singapore countered by opening a sprawling $110 million, 11-story Singapore Chinese Cultural Center in the heart of the financial district.

The message was clear: Singaporean Chinese culture is not the same as Chinese culture.


And China’s efforts to gain influence in Singapore are by no means one way. Recognizing the economic potential after China’s opening up in the 1980s, Singapore has also gone out of its way to play up its shared Chinese heritage.

In the late 1970s, for example, the government started a language campaign to encourage young Singaporean Chinese to learn Mandarin — China’s official language — instead of their native Chinese dialects, with an eye to facilitating greater business opportunities. Every year, the country also hosts numerous performances by Chinese entertainers, particularly during the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

Last year, Singapore was China’s top foreign investor — a status many here proudly attribute to the country’s ability to act as a gateway between China and the West.

“You could say Singaporeans are even more proactive than the Chinese” in building ties between the two countries, said Mr. Chan of the Teochow Poit Ip Clan Association.

Not everyone is convinced that China will succeed in winning the loyalty of Singaporean Chinese, which are a large and fragmented population.

Young Singaporean Chinese as well as those who studied in the country’s former English education system, for example, often have only a vague notion of China and limited Chinese-speaking abilities. Then there is the large influx of immigrants from China in recent years, which has sharpened the perceived differences between the two countries.

“Maybe some people who go back to their ancestral village and see all the progress being made might feel their heartstrings being tugged, but at the end of the day, they would never look at it and think this is home,” said Pang Cheng Lian, the editor of the book “50 Years of the Chinese Community in Singapore.”

Then again, when it comes to strengthening its influence abroad, China has proved that it is both patient and persistent.

“They are not eager to have immediate results,” said Leo Suryadinata, a visiting senior fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, “because Beijing’s view is always the long-term view.”

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

Postby Hari Seldon » 08 Aug 2018 21:07

Chinese People Hope ‘Powerful Grandpa Trump’ Ends the Chinese Communist Party

This one's a laugh riot. Illuminating too. Recommended read. Some gem-my excerpts:
A deeper meaning underlying the nickname is the fact that, in the eyes of some Chinese people, Trump is daring to stand up against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has been suppressing its own people for decades.

As they themselves might not have the courage or ability to fight against the CCP, many Chinese netizens are happy to see Trump doing so.

For example, when a vaccine scandal broke out recently in China, with hundreds of thousands of children being exposed to ineffective DPT vaccines, many angry Chinese parents flooded the Chinese social media accounts of the U.S. Embassy in China. They left numerous comments and asked the Trump administration to “get rid of this evil government.”

Some even marked on maps the coordinates of the two factories that falsified data and sold ineffective vaccines and asked the United States to destroy these factories that produce “chemical weapons” with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

People remembered that no justice had followed the 2008 baby formula scandal in China, which, according to official numbers, sickened 300,000 babies, hospitalized 54,000, and killed six.


Like I said, read it all...

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

Postby TKiran » 09 Aug 2018 16:01

Brahma Chellaney
@Chellaney

Aug 7
Once the present Dalai Lama passes away, China is likely to install a puppet as his successor. India, instead of working to foil China's plan, is reportedly doing the opposite: Modi has apprised Xi of India's "position on Tibet after his death."...


Absolutely no clue for this govt. how to handle China.

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

Postby Peregrine » 09 Aug 2018 19:52

How US-China trade war may bring cheaper oil to Indian shores

NEW DELHI: The trade war between China and the US has shown enough signs of escalation, with the two economic powerhouses employing tit-for-tat tactics for imposing tariffs in the last few months.

China is the largest buyer of US crude and gas in Asia. But its biggest trading house has already stopped buying US crude and Beijing looks set to slap retaliatory tariffs on US crude and LNG. A boycott of US oil indicates Beijing’s continued purchase of Iranian oil, keeping Tehran in play in the global oil market.

The tension between US and China however, may partially blunt the effect of Iran sanctions on India’s oil sourcing.

India has booked a total of 9.94 million barrels of crude, about 319,000 barrels per day (bpd), to arrive from the United States this month, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts.

This would be almost triple the 119,000 bpd India imported from the United States in July, and well above the 190,000 bpd for November last year, the previous record for a month.

The August total is also likely to be just above the 9.65 million barrels imported over the first seven months, showing the scale of acceleration in India’s imports of US crude.

Industry players say India may enjoy a better bargaining power to argue for a US waiver as it will be the only big buyer of US crude in Asia after South Korea. This will also help moderate the impact on crude prices, something that has been worrying policymakers. The expected paring of India’s imports from Iran after this month and the increase in purchases from the United States also raise questions about the politics of oil. India is the world’s third-largest crude importer, and if it cuts its purchases from Iran, another likely major beneficiary besides the United States is Tehran’s regional rival and Trump ally Saudi Arabia. (With Reuters inputs)

Cheers Image

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

Postby pankajs » 09 Aug 2018 22:32

Cross-posting because I have a followup and this material is not directly related to OBOR thread.
---------------------------------------------->>
pankajs wrote:<snip>

Generally: The Chinese were coasting along nicely and with time would have taken their rightful place without much of a ripple. They got cocky a bit too early. Perhaps they should have waited another 10-20 years before they ditched the Deng dictum and bared their fangs. In a short period of time they have managed to ruffle feathers across the board and they are not ready for prime-time.

If this haste was a small mistake or a big one only time will tell.

I might have choosen other threads to post this but for my comments of a few days back in this very thread and page.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-s-moment-of-truth
China's moment of truth [August 07, 2018]
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not have to worry about elections, it was said. By contrast, Donald Trump's Republican Party would likely suffer from a backlash from voters hurt by Chinese retaliations.

Unfortunately for President Xi Jinping, such wisdom seems wrong. Even though Chinese trade retaliations against the U.S. have concentrated pain on the heart of Trumpland, the American farm belt in particular, the adverse impact on Trump is muted at best. Except for the faint complaints of a few Republicans, Trump's party has largely stuck by him. Indeed, the unfolding U.S.-China trade war has barely registered on America's political radar screen ahead of the fall mid-term elections.

But the story in China is entirely different. Its leaders may not have to run for office, but they are still held accountable by both public opinion and the fierce rivalry within the regime. The trade war with the U.S., to almost everybody's surprise, has triggered a heated but healthy debate on Chinese foreign and domestic policies under Xi's leadership.

On the surface, much of the debate revolves around the wisdom of responding in kind to Trump's trade war. Many in China are rightfully concerned that their country would end up much worse off in a full-blown war than the U.S. But underneath such economic worries is a comprehensive critique of President Xi's foreign policy since he assumed power in late 2012. Instead of blaming Trump solely for initiating the trade war, Xi's critics, both in society and within the party, attribute the trade war to the collapse of the foundations of U.S.-China relations caused by his expansive foreign policy in the last five years.

Directionally, they point to Xi's abandonment of Deng Xiaoping's grand strategy of "keeping international low profile" and "shying away from leadership" as the source of China's current external woes. In particular, Xi's signature foreign policy initiatives, such as the $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), island-building in the South China Sea, and strategic partnership with Russia, are now seen as too costly, ambitious, risky and confrontational. In hindsight, a growing consensus among Chinese elites is that the totality of these policies has fundamentally altered how the West in general, and the U.S. in particular, perceives China's rise. If the U.S. had an agnostic view on whether a powerful China constitutes a threat to its global leadership and interests, that has now changed entirely. The shift in Chinese grand strategy under Xi has clarified Washington's strategic thinking about China -- and directly led to the end of its long-standing engagement policy toward Beijing.

The realization that the trade war merely presages a long-term Sino-American strategic conflict appears to have shocked Chinese political and economic elites. It has finally dawned on them that the "golden age" of Chinese development is over. If Sino-American relations continue to spiral downward, the "China dream" championed by Xi would turn into a geopolitical nightmare. Notably, critics of Xi refer to the famous question Deng asked four decades ago: Why have America's friends grown rich but its enemies have grown poor? The implication is devastatingly clear -- by making China an adversary of the U.S., Beijing's current foreign policy risks dooming its economic future.


https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-op ... as-rise-so
Beijing is right to see an opportunity for China’s rise. So what’s gone wrong? [08 August, 2018]
At the epicentre of public criticism has been China’s proactive foreign policy, crystallised in the Belt and Road Initiative and efforts to expand Chinese influence abroad, including China’s developmental paradigm. Western think tanks have called on their governments to contain China’s “sharp power”, which they say not only aims to appropriate the West’s technological crown jewels but also subvert Western nations. Washington and the European Union have listened.

In a recent essay, Luo Jianbo, the head of the China policy centre at the Central Party School, openly challenged China’s zeal to be the “saviour of the world”, arguing for a return to Deng Xiaoping’s “keep a low profile” strategy instead. China, Luo said, is still a developing country which needs to focus on domestic structural economic issues, deepen reform – and not spend strategic resources frivolously on sensational global undertakings.

More strikingly, Tsinghua University graduates wrote an open letter demanding that Hu Angang, director of the Institute for Contemporary China Studies, be sacked for having misled China’s senior leadership with his evaluation of the country’s “composite national power”, an indicator designed by political scientists to quantify a country’s aggregate economic, military, cultural and political strengths. Guided by Hu, the petitioners said, leaders had overestimated China’s strength and locked the country into an avoidable trade war with the United States.

Hu let the dogs out!

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

Postby pankajs » 09 Aug 2018 23:05

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... KU0TU?il=0
Handling of U.S. trade dispute causes rift in Chinese leadership: sources
A backlash is being felt at the highest levels of the government, possibly hitting a close aide to Xi, his ideology chief and strategist Wang Huning, according to two sources familiar with discussions in leadership circles.

A prominent and influential academic whose views have found favor in some party quarters has also come under attack for his strident views on Chinese power.

Wang, who was the architect of the “China Dream”, Xi’s vision for China to become a strong and prosperous nation, has been taken to task by the Chinese leader for crafting an excessively nationalistic image for the country, which has only provoked the United States, the sources said.

“He’s in trouble for mishandling the propaganda and hyping up China too much,” said one of the sources, who has ties to China’s leadership and propaganda system.


<snip>

There is a growing feeling within the Chinese government that the outlook for China has “become grim”, according to a government policy advisor, following the deterioration in relations between China and the United States over trade. The advisor requested anonymity.

Those feelings are also shared by other influential voices.

“Many economists and intellectuals are upset about China’s trade war policies,” an academic at a Chinese policy think tank told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. “The overarching view is that China’s current stance has been too hard-line and the leadership has clearly misjudged the situation.”

That view contrasts with the thinking at the beginning of the year of many Chinese academics who had touted China’s ability to withstand the trade row in the face of Trump’s perceived political weakness at home.

<snip>

“The evolution from a trade conflict to trade war has made people rethink things,” the policy advisor said. “This is seen as being related to the exaggeration of China’s strength by some Chinese institutions and scholars that have influenced the U.S. perceptions and even domestic views.”

One official who is familiar with China’s propaganda efforts said the messaging had gone astray.

<snip>

Under Xi, officials have become increasingly confident in proclaiming what they see as China’s rightful place as a world leader, casting off a long-held maxim of Deng Xiaoping, the former paramount leader who said the country needed to “bide its time and hide its strength”.

That confidence has been apparent as the government pushes its Belt and Road initiative to develop trade routes between East and West and takes a hard line on territorial issues such as the South China Sea and Taiwan.

Hu Angang, an economics professor at Tsinghua University and an expert in the field of “Chinese exceptionalism”, is one prominent advocate for the view that China has achieved “comprehensive national power”.

In recent weeks, Hu has faced a public backlash, with critics blaming him for making the United States wary of China by trumpeting and exaggerating its relative economic, technical and military might.

<snip>

Though official media has in recent days been filled with defiant commentary regarding the United States and the trade war, there have been signs of a shift in China’s messaging.

Beijing has begun downplaying Made in China 2025, the state-backed industrial policy that is core to Washington’s complaints about the country’s technological ambitions.

<snip>

But the thinking in Chinese government circles is that the damage has already been done - and that China has learned the hard way that its domestic propaganda is now being scrutinized abroad in a way it never was before.

“It’s impossible for China to ‘bide its time and hide its strength’, but at least we can control the volume of our own propaganda and tell China’s story the proper way,” the policy insider said.


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