China Watch Thread-I

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NRao
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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 30 Mar 2016 05:32

Grumbling mounts in China, even in the party. Is President Xi losing his grip?

By Simon Denyer March 29 at 1:00 PM

BEIJING — A series of extraordinary outbursts of public criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping in recent weeks has raised the question of whether his crackdown on dissent is backfiring.

The sniping has come from the highest levels of the business community and the media, but most tellingly from within the Communist Party itself.

At its core is a growing unhappiness with Xi’s attempts to centralize power and crush dissent, both within the party and outside.

No one is predicting that China’s president is about to be toppled or even that he is about to change course. More likely is that Xi will be so preoccupied with internal politics that he continues to shy away from the painful changes needed to resuscitate China’s slowing economy. He may also continue to take policy in a more nationalist direction to bolster his support.

One criticism, reported by The Washington Post this month, came in the form of a letter by “loyal Communist Party members” calling on China’s president to resign for gathering too much power into his own hands and provoking a series of political, economic, ideological and cultural crises.

But a second essay was equally explosive — because it was posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the anti-corruption body that has been at the center of Xi’s efforts to reform the party, eliminate rivals and crush internal dissent.

The CCDI is run by Wang Qishan, generally regarded as Xi’s right-hand man.

The essay, “A thousand yes-men cannot equal one honest adviser,” cited imperial Chinese history, Confucian teaching and the Communist Party’s traditions to argue for the benefits of honest counsel and open debate.

“The ability to air opinions freely and to accept suggestions frequently determined the rise or fall of an empire,” it read. “We should not be afraid of people saying the wrong things; we should be afraid of people not speaking at all.”

Ever since taking office in 2013, Xi has been cracking down — on corruption within the party and on free speech and civil society outside it.

In the past few months, he has tightened the screws further, outlawing “improper discussion” of government policy within the party and demanding state media toe the line even more rigorously than they already do.

[China’s Xi tells grumbling party cadres: ‘Don’t talk back’]

But instead of shutting up, people are plucking up the courage to speak out.

Property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang’s social-media accounts were shut down late last month after he criticized Xi’s clampdown on the media. In the days that followed, he faced virulent criticism from the party but also won support from some unlikely quarters. A professor at the Central Party School warned that cracking down on different opinions was dangerous for the party; the influential financial magazine Caixin staged an online protest over the lack of free speech; and a staff member at Xinhua, the state news agency, published a widely shared denunciation of the crackdown, likening it to Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

On Monday, Yu Shaolei, an editor at the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, announced he was resigning in protest.

[China’s ‘Donald Trump’ is latest victim of government crackdown]

That there is grumbling within the party should perhaps come as no surprise. Xi’s anti-corruption campaign was at least partly designed to undercut local-level cadres who have gorged for years on the fruits of graft and to appeal directly to the Chinese people.

But that the elite are prepared to risk their careers — and perhaps even their freedom — by speaking out suggests more than the usual griping.

The party had long prided itself on its ability to conduct internal debate and rule by consensus. These outbursts suggest serious concerns that the system is broken under the personalized, centralized rule of Xi.

There are also substantive concerns about the direction in which China is headed.

The letter purportedly signed by loyal party members appeared on several websites simultaneously just before the annual meeting of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, in Beijing, and took aim at many of Xi’s perceived failings.

His assertive foreign policy, it argued, had antagonized China’s Asian neighbors and allowed the United States to win influence, while alienating the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan. His mismanagement of the economy led to last year’s stock market crash, caused mass layoffs at state-owned firms and brought the national economy “to the verge of collapse,” it said. His anti-corruption campaign has left officials too scared to work and was motivated by a power struggle, it argued.

About 20 people are reported to have been detained for questioning in relation to the letter. According to the BBC, they include staff members from the website on which it was posted and employees of a related technology company. Two Chinese dissidents based in New York and Germany say they have had several close relatives taken away.

[‘Progressive, tolerant and diverse’: Taiwan is moving farther from China]

The question is what all this grumbling portends. Xi appears to have consolidated power significantly and elevated his own supporters during the past three years, and the chances of his not being returned for a second five-year term in 2017 remain extremely slim. But the composition of the Politburo’s Standing Committee after 2017 will be closely examined to see how much power rival factions have retained.

Rumors of coup plots occasionally circulate in Beijing, but experts say the most obvious internal challenge to Xi’s power appeared to have been crushed when former security chief Zhou Yongkang and Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai were jailed for corruption in 2015 and 2013, respectively.

Although independent polling is impossible in China, every indication suggests Xi remains popular with the Chinese people. The party wanted a strong leader in 2013 to confront the nation’s mounting problems, and even if Xi has taken things too far, there is no hint yet of any change in course.

In an essay on the ChinaFile website, Columbia University professor Andrew Nathan argued that there is a Chinese tradition of “loyal remonstrance” from within the leader’s camp: The fact that some of the criticism appeared on the CCDI website suggests Xi’s most fervent supporters are among those most worried about the path he has taken.

“I do not, however, expect Xi to back down,” he concluded. “More often than not in Chinese history the remonstrator lost his head. When his warnings came true, so did the leader who ignored them.”

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Malayappan » 01 Apr 2016 07:43

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/pavlovian-conditioning-and-correct-thinking-on-the-south-china-sea

Plenty of interesting insights!

Apart from a great overview, some thought nuggets -

No one can ignore or shun China. Vietnam is the prime example. Quite apart from the SCS disputes, Vietnam has a long and troubled history with China, but a senior Vietnamese official once told me: "Every Vietnamese leader must be able to stand up to China and get along with China. If anyone thinks this cannot be done at the same time, he doesn't deserve to be a leader."

Military planners must prepare for all contingencies but I doubt that China's actions in the SCS are primarily intended to gain military advantage...Beijing has carefully kept each of its actions in the SCS below a threshold that would compel even the most reluctant of US administrations to respond kinetically.......If, for example, the People's Liberation Army sinks a US naval vessel or shoots down a US military aircraft, the US will certainly retaliate. This will confront the Chinese leadership with a very invidious choice: a token or ineffectual response will expose the hollowness of the CCP's legitimating narrative of having led the "Great Rejuvenation" of China, which will at least complicate, if not jeopardise, the CCP's hold on power; but escalation risks being forced to follow the highly jingoistic Chinese public opinion the CCP has cultivated down a path that Beijing does not really want to travel because it leads to the same outcome as the first choice. The Chinese leadership will strenuously avoid being placed in such a situation.
(some lessons?)

Worth reading in full!

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby SSridhar » 01 Apr 2016 17:18

The above is certainly worth reading in full. I have posted the entire article in the 'Chinese Threat' thread with suitable emphasis. A great article.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby SSridhar » 01 Apr 2016 17:23

Some more information on the opposition to Xi that seems to be growing.

Call for Xi Jinping to quit: Growing unrest in ruling party? - Esther Teo, Straits Times
A series of criticisms of President Xi Jinping and his policies - the latest in the form of an explosive anonymous letter calling for his resignation - could be a sign of growing frustrations within the Communist Party amid the leader's bold moves to consolidate power.

Experts say although Mr Xi is typically portrayed as the most powerful leader after the late Deng Xiaoping, a significant part of the establishment with strong vested interests is increasingly unhappy - and showing signs of resistance.

"It indicates a fierce struggle among Chinese leaders over various issues and reflects resistance and opposition from some quarters, especially in the light of Mr Xi's anti-corruption campaign," Professor Huang Jing of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy told The Straits Times.

"While I think the letter reflects the opposition's desperate efforts to hold on to power rather than a sign of strength, it still shows Mr Xi has yet to achieve a decisive victory in consolidating power," he added.

The letter, which calls for Mr Xi to resign for the good of China and his own safety, has led to at least 11 arrests, including that of relatives of two exiled writers, the New York Times (NYT) reported. Signed by "loyal Communist Party members", it accuses Mr Xi of amassing too much power and making bad decisions that led to China's stock market turmoil, among other charges. His declaration that the press should serve the party, not the people, also "stunned the whole nation", it added.

The letter was first published on a Chinese-language website based in the United States on March 4 before China's annual legislative session kicked off. It later appeared on a small Chinese news site Wujie before it was quickly taken down. The news site's editors and technicians have since been reported missing and are believed to be under investigation, NYT said.

The letter comes even as respected magazine Caixin challenged government censors last month for demanding it take down an article in which an academic urged the authorities to heed a wider range of views.

Some experts point to Beijing's sweeping efforts to root out those behind the anonymous letter as betraying Mr Xi's insecurities.

"If Mr Xi were the strongman many say he is, he could have just ignored (the letter)... Instead, he took it seriously and now the whole world is paying attention," said political analyst Steve Tsang at Nottingham University.

Also, given that Mr Xi was the target, the response would have been made with his knowledge, he added.

"Mr Xi probably overreacted as he did not feel sufficiently secure about his hold on power, and thus felt he had to be seen punishing those responsible, not least to deter others from trying to challenge him," said Prof Tsang.

But others say there is too little information to draw a definitive conclusion on what is likely a highly complex scenario. For instance, Peking University political analyst Zhang Jian said it is unclear if Mr Xi himself ordered the response.

Added Prof Huang: "It could be those opposed to Mr Xi trying to sell the story that he's in trouble. The strong reaction to the letter could also be engineered by those trying to set him up. We can't just simplify a complicated situation."

If Mr Xi, who is in Washington to attend a nuclear security meeting, were truly in trouble, he would not have left China, he noted.

Still, China has placed a growing group of activists under stricter control as it seeks to rein in activities that go against the party line. Human rights lawyer Ni Yulan said yesterday she had been denied a passport to travel to the US to receive an award, Agence France-Presse reported.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Philip » 08 Apr 2016 11:56

XI-Gin's familia exposed in Paper-Gate.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/a ... ives-named

China steps up Panama Papers censorship after leaders' relatives named
Websites ordered to purge all reports related to documents following publication of political elite’s offshore secrets

The Panama Papers revelations come at a time when Xi Jinping is facing growing resistance to his rule. Photograph: Ng Han Guan/AP
Tom Phillips in Beijing
Thursday 7 April 2016
Chinese censors have stepped up their censorship of websites, ordering all content related to the Panama Papers to be scrubbed as new revelations emerged of how relatives of some of the country’s top leaders had used secretive offshore companies to store their wealth.

Documents from the leaked Mossack Fonseca database showed the relations of three of the seven members of the Communist party’s elite ruling council, the politburo standing committee, had companies that were clients of the offshore law firm. They included relatives of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

A Communist party censorship directive instructed news organisations to purge all reports, blogs, bulletin boards and comments relating to this week’s highly sensitive revelations.


“Please self-inspect and delete all content related to the ‘Panama Papers’ leak,” the order said according to China Digital Times, a website run by the University of California, Berkeley.

BBC and CNN broadcasts about the revelations have been blocked all week in mainland China.

The Guardian’s website appeared to have been partially blocked on Thursday afternoon, with stories including those relating to the Panama Papers inaccessible in mainland China without the use of a virtual private network. The Economist and Time magazine have also been blocked in China in recent weeks after both magazines published prominent articles that were critical of Xi Jinping.

China’s foreign ministry had already dismissed some reports of the Panama Papers on Tuesday as “groundless accusations”.

On Thursday, when asked about the revelations by the Guardian, a foreign ministry spokesman said: “My colleague has already taken this question. We have no comment on this.”

Asked why Chinese state media had avoided covering the leaks, the spokesman added: “You can ask the media, not me, for an answer.”

Mossack Fonseca papers

China’s foreign ministry has dismissed reports of the leaks from the Mossack Fonseca database as ‘groundless accusations’. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Sarah Cook, a China specialist from the Freedom House advocacy group, said the intense censorship operation under way reflected Beijing’s fears that disclosures about the wealth of its political elite could spark public anger or even fuel opposition to Xi from within the party itself.

“These are methods of storing assets and money that are really for the super, super rich. From that perspective I think there is a fear and a sensitivity among Communist party leaders that this exposes the degree to which the political and economic elite are so closely intertwined and so far above your average citizen in terms of wealth,” she said.

Xi Jinping has launched a high-profile crackdown on corruption since taking power, cautioning party members that the continued pillaging of public funds could topple the party. “Many worms will disintegrate wood,” Xi warned in a 2013 speech.

The Chinese president has also ordered party officials to avoid public demonstrations of wealth in an attempt to improve the party’s image.
“This kind of blows a big hole in that effort because it exposes how the top political leaders and their families are, at the very least, super, super rich – even if this money had been obtained legally, which of course is a big question mark as well,” said Cook.

Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility
Disclosures show how havens such as British Virgin Islands hide links between Chinese big business and relatives of top politicians
Read more
The relatives of eight of China’s most powerful politicians were named in the Panama Papers, including those of three members of the current politburo standing committee.

They include the brother-in-law of Xi Jinping, the daughter-in-law of propaganda chief Liu Yunshan and the son-in-law of vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, China’s seventh most powerful man.

Deng Jiagui, who is married to Xi’s sister, Qi Qiaoqiao, was identified as a shareholder in two British Virgin Island companies: Wealth Ming International and Best Effect Enterprises.

Jia Liqing, who is married to Liu Yunshan’s son, Liu Lefei, was the director and shareholder of a British Virgin Islands company called Ultra Time Investments Ltd.

Jia’s father is China’s former minister of public security and chief prosecutor, Jia Chunwang, the New York Times reported.

Li Xiaolin, daughter of former premier Li Peng, is among those named in the Panama Papers. Photograph: Feng Li/Getty Images
Lee Shing Put, Zhang Gaoli’s son-in-law, was linked to three companies in the British Virgin Islands: Zennon Capital Management, Sino Reliance Networks Corporation and Glory Top Investments Ltd.

Other relatives named in the leaked documents include Li Xiaolin, the daughter of former premier Li Peng, and Hu Dehua, the son of former party chief Hu Yaobang.

Chen Dongsheng, the grandson-in-law of Mao Zedong, was also tied to a British Virgin Islands incorporated company called Keen Best International Limited, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

There is no indication of any wrongdoing on the part of any of the Chinese names found in the leaked documents.

But Cook said the revelations came at an unfortunate moment for Xi, who has been facing growing signs of resistance to his rule, including a recent public letter calling for his resignation.

Last month Chinese security agents launched a manhunt to catch those behind the anonymous letter – signed by “loyal Communist party members” – detaining more than two dozen people suspected of involvement in its publication.

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“I think there is particularly a sense that [the Panama Papers revelations] could be damaging for him and his authority at a time when he is already facing challenges to his authority both from critics within the party and people outside of the party,” said Cook.

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“You already have this undercurrent of people both outside the party and inside the party questioning his leadership and then something like this comes along that adds another chink in his armour in terms of the persona and the authority he has tried to create for himself.

“It might almost be that this is more dangerous for Xi and for the higher leaders in terms of internal party credibility as much as the broader public.”

Willy Lam, an expert in elite Chinese politics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said he also believed revelations involving Xi’s brother-in-law could cause real political damage to the Chinese president although Beijing would paint the Panama Papers as “a western conspiracy to damage the reputation of the party”.

“Xi Jinping is under a lot of pressure, including calls for his resignation. It is possible that his enemies within the party – some of them in quite senior positions – could use this material to damage his reputation. We won’t be able to see from the outside but within the party the backstabbing and infighting could be exacerbated,” Lam said.

“It doesn’t seem that Xi is vulnerable so far but they are waiting for a chance to pounce on Xi. They are all waiting for him to make a mistake.”

Chinese newspapers and television channels have almost totally ignored the Panama Papers following censorship orders, although the state-run Global Times has attempted to portray the revelations as an American conspiracy.

“Very few US public figures were exposed by the Panama Papers, which may be related to the political awareness of the forces behind the leak,” the newspaper wrote.

Man reads a newspaper featuring a photo of Chinese leaders attending a tree planting ceremony.
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A man reads a newspaper featuring a front-page photo of Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping attending a tree planting ceremony. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In a short dispatch about the activities of the politburo standing committee, state news agency Xinhua said China’s seven top leaders had gathered this week to plant saplings to promote environmental protection.

“People plant trees so their offspring can enjoy the shade,” Xi, citing a Chinese proverb, reportedly told his colleagues.

In another story Xinhua reported the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, but made no mention of the Panama Papers.

Analysts predicted Chinese censors would fail to completely block out the news.

“The Great Firewall tends to have a lot of holes in it,” said Andrew Wedeman, a China expert from Georgia State University who is writing a book about Xi Jinping’s war on corruption.

Writing on the China File website, Columbia University scholar Andrew J Nathan said the revelations about offshore assets suggested members of China’s political elite harboured doubts over the Communist party’s future.

“They don’t feel secure at home, but what exactly do they fear? Is it political strife within the regime or the fragility of the regime itself?” Nathan wrote.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 12 Apr 2016 03:44

Oh boy!!

The challenges of growing too fast. Unmanaged growth.

80 Percent of China's Well Water Not Fit for Drinking, Data Show

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby ramana » 12 Apr 2016 23:26

Last night (11 April 2016) BBC had a segment about nearly 60 million children left with old grand parents in rural areas while the parents search for work in the cities. This number is constant but the locations are constantly shifting as some regions gain prosperity and the poorer sections migrate looking for work. This will have some impact on society was the consensus.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 13 Apr 2016 06:54

Meanwhile, the eyes are everywhere ....................... And, perhaps India can export a few F-16s to Indonesia and others.

How China’s fishermen are fighting a covert war in the South China Sea

TANMEN, China — In the disputed waters of the South China Sea, fishermen are the wild card.

China is using its vast fishing fleet as the advance guard to press its expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea, experts say. That is not only putting Beijing on a collision course with its Asian neighbors, but also introducing a degree of unpredictability that raises the risks of periodic crises.

In the past few weeks, tensions have flared with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam as Chinese fishermen, often backed up by coast guard vessels, have ventured far from their homeland and close to other nations’ coasts. They are just the latest conflicts in China’s long-running battle to expand its fishing grounds and simultaneously exert its maritime dominance.

“The Chinese authorities consider fishermen and fishing vessels important tools in expanding China’s presence and the country’s claims in the disputed waters,” said Zhang Hongzhou, an expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

“Fishermen are increasingly at the front line of the South China Sea disputes,” Zhang said, “and fishing incidents could trigger even bigger diplomatic and security tensions between China and regional countries.”
A fisherman performs maintenance tasks during a refit of a boat near the port of Tanmen in Hainan Island, China on April 7. (Adam Dean/For The Washington Post)

Here, in the fishing port of Tanmen in the southern island of Hainan, 50-year-old captain Chen Yuguo was in the wheelhouse of his trawler last week, carrying out minor repairs after a six-week fishing trip to the disputed Spratly Islands.

A portrait of “Comrade” Mao Zedong hung in a place of honor behind him, alongside an expensive satellite navigation system supplied by the Chinese government. Chen said catches are much better in the Spratlys than in China’s depleted inshore waters, but the captain said he is also fulfilling his patriotic duty.

“It is our water,” he said, “but if we don’t fish there, how can we claim it is our territory?”

Experts say the battle for fisheries resources, an often overlooked destabilizing influence in the South China Sea, is a source of unpredictability, volatility and risk.

At the end of March, Malaysia’s maritime authorities spotted about 100 Chinese fishing boats, accompanied by a Chinese coast guard vessel, in its waters. They were close to Luconia Shoals, less than 100 nautical miles from Malaysian Borneo but 800 nautical miles from China’s southern island of Hainan.

Early this month, Vietnam seized a Chinese ship that it said was supplying fuel to Chinese fishing boats in its waters.

Image

The biggest flare-up came on March 20, when Indonesian officials boarded a Chinese fishing vessel close to Indonesia’s Natuna Islands . As an Indonesian vessel began towing the boat to shore, a Chinese coast guard ship intervened to ram the fishing boat, pushing it back into the South China Sea — until the Indonesians released the tow line.

Indonesia sets great store in its friendly relations with China, but its government responded angrily, saying it felt that its efforts to maintain peace in the disputed waters had been “sabotaged.” Defense officials vowed to send bigger naval vessels to defend its patrol boats in the region, to consider introducing military conscription to remote islands in the archipelago, and even to deploy U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to the Natunas to ward off “thieves.” :)

China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, drawing a “nine-dash line” around its claims that passes close to the shores of the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam — and the Natunas.

The fishing vessel, Beijing’s Foreign Ministry said, was operating in China’s “traditional fishing grounds,” though the incident occurred just a few nautical miles from the Natunas and around 900 nautical miles from Hainan.

China’s claim to the South China Sea is based partly on the idea that its fishermen have worked there for centuries. But China is also trying to create facts on the ground by expanding its fishing industry’s zone of operations, experts say.

After the fishing boats clear the way, coast guards are next, often followed by land reclamation on rocks and reefs and finally militarization and control, said Alan Dupont, professor of international security at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

“I call the strategy ‘fish, protect, occupy and control,’ ” he said.

China blames the United States for militarizing the South China Sea, citing President Obama’s strategic rebalance to Asia, a recent deal to post U.S. conventional forces on five military bases in the Philippines for the first time in decades, and ongoing military exercises between the two countries.

But China, Dupont said, is pursuing its own strategic plan to dominate the Western Pacific and push the United States out, trying to take advantage of an Obama administration it believes to be distracted by other global crises. But Beijing’s “opportunist” policy is already backfiring, he said, uniting many countries in the region against China.

But it is not just about nationalism. Economics is a major driving force for the expansion, Zhang and Dupont say — to satisfy China’s ever-growing appetite for fish and its profitable and rapidly expanding fish export industry, already the world’s largest.

China’s per capita fish consumption was estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization at nearly 80 pounds in 2010, nearly double the global average, and is growing by roughly 8 percent a year. The fish industry employs nearly 15 million people.

Compared with inshore waters, the Spratlys are much richer grounds, fishermen say, with valuable giant clams, corals and lobsters to be harvested — although competition is growing as more boats arrive.

The government is also pushing the fishermen further from shore. It provides fuel subsidies, with higher rates for bigger boats and journeys to the Spratlys. The Hainan government heavily subsidizes the construction of larger, steel-hulled trawlers, and an expensive satellite system was provided virtually free of charge to about 50,000 vessels.

With it, Chinese fishing crews can send emergency signals to coast guard ships with their exact location if they run into trouble.

Fishermen said the government often organizes trips to the Spratlys, with coast guard vessels in attendance, especially when tensions are high.

“When our country needs us, we will go without a second thought to defend our rights,” Chen said.

Rodger Baker, the lead Asia-Pacific analyst for the global intelligence firm Stratfor, said these maritime “rights protection” voyages are China’s version of the U.S. Navy’s freedom-of-navigation exercises in the South China Sea. They are, he said, designed to underline China’s possession of “its waters.”

Embedded within the fishing communities and often organizing these trips are what China calls its “maritime militia” — civilians trained in small-arms use whose job it is to help defend the country’s maritime claims.

The Tanmen Maritime Militia is the most celebrated of the groups. It was honored with a visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2013, just after he took office.

Its members played a leading role in encouraging fishermen to travel to the Spratlys as far back as 1985. Their repeated trips to Scarborough Shoal culminated in a standoff with the Philippines in 2012 that ultimately saw China seize control of the submerged coral feature, and they sparred with their Vietnamese counterparts in 2014 when China towed an oil rig into disputed waters.

Their fishing boats also helped deliver construction materials for China’s land reclamation and construction program in the Spratlys. Last October, when the USS Lassen conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation near Subi Reef, the Chinese navy kept a respectful distance, but smaller merchant or fishing vessels came much closer and even crossed the destroyer’s bow, Defense News reported. Experts say those boats were probably manned by militia members.

Andrew S. Erickson, at the U.S. Navy War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, calls them China’s “little blue men,” comparing them to Russia’s “little green men,” the armed men in unmarked uniforms who played a leading role in the takeover of Crimea from Ukraine.

As well as giving Beijing a degree of deniability, their quasi-civilian status also complicates the rules of engagement for U.S. naval vessels.

But if China is pulling many of the strings through its maritime militia, no country in the region has full control of its fishing fleets, with captains quite capable of exploiting nationalist sentiments to expand their fishing grounds.

“There is a big risk for China in this policy,” Stratfor’s Baker said. “Fishing boats will go where the fish, clams and crabs are.

“As you urge them on with assertions of rights, nationalism and claims, fishing captains know they can take greater risks, because they know they are going to be bailed out. So they know they can push the limits fairly strongly.”

That, he said, means that more crises in the disputed waters are almost inevitable

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby SaiK » 13 Apr 2016 15:52

How are the Taiwanese? They don't seem to be bothered to befriend India at all.

Some simple signs would enable Modiji to invite them for a RD parade show.

SCS needs proxy services.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 13 Apr 2016 18:55

Taiwan is no different than China on border issues. Taiwan also claim Arunachal Pradesh.


China Summons G7 Envoys Over South, East China Seas Statement

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby SaiK » 13 Apr 2016 23:21

what! that is the first time I am hearing. when did they do that claim?

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby ramana » 14 Apr 2016 02:25

SaiK wrote:what! that is the first time I am hearing. when did they do that claim?


I assume you are asking about Taiwan?

They have claimed that all along since 1962.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Karan Dixit » 16 Apr 2016 07:35

Apparently, deeper than ocean and taller than mountain romance between Pakistan and China is no longer a secret.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdbMGxaLf0M

Melwyn

Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Melwyn » 20 Apr 2016 05:24

SaiK wrote:How are the Taiwanese? They don't seem to be bothered to befriend India at all.

Some simple signs would enable Modiji to invite them for a RD parade show.

SCS needs proxy services.


I have met quite a number of Taiwanese people while traveling. Trust me they are as Chinese as they come. Their attitude towards India and rest of the world is same if not worse than the mainland Chinese.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby ramana » 21 Apr 2016 03:19

Gagan, Twitter is agog with some 60 DF21s based on Tibet.

Where could these be from google chacha?

Organization of a Chinese missile brigade:

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htart/20160114.aspx

The Rocket Force is spread over most of China, has about 100,000 personnel and is organized into six “Missile Divisions” which have between them over 30 missile brigades. The most common ballistic missile is the DF-21 and the ten DF-21 brigades each have up to six missile battalions (with two mobile launchers each), two maintenance and repair battalions, a site management battalion, a signal battalion and an electronic countermeasures (ECM) battalion. The basic DF-21 is a 15 ton, two stage, solid fuel missile that is 10.7 meters (35 feet) long and 140cm (4.6 feet) in diameter. Range varies (from 1,700-3,000 kilometers) depending on model. These missiles are carried and launched in TELs (transporter erector launcher vehicles). The Second Artillery Corps also controls most of China’s nuclear weapons, although many of the smaller ballistic missiles also have non-nuclear warheads available.

The Rocket Force also controls the new ballistic missiles for nuclear submarines. In 2014 China revealed (apparently by accident) the existence of the DF-26 IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile.) This one appears to have a range of 3,500 kilometers and based on the earlier DF-21. There have been reports of such a missile since 2007 and the DF-26C appears to have been in service for several years. The DF-26C is notable because it has the range to hit American military bases on the Central Pacific island of Guam.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby ramana » 21 Apr 2016 04:23


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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby SSridhar » 22 Apr 2016 06:22

Xi becomes commander in chief of China's armed forces - Saibal Dasgupta, ToI
Chinese president Xi Jinping appeared in military fatigue at a military facility in Beijing on Wednesday after acquiring the title of commander in chief of the armed forces, the official Xinhua reported on Thursday.

He also ordered creation of a joint military command to prepare the forces for future wars, driven by information technology as well as risks posed in the conflict over islands in the South China Sea.

"The current situation requires battle command to be highly strategic, coordinated, timely, professional and accurate," Xi told military officers at the joint battle command center of the Central Military Commission.

As general secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi already commands the highest power status in the country. The addition of a military title would make little difference to his position but send out signals about the importance of the military in the eyes of the present government.

Military analysts said coordination among different segments of the military has been regarded as a weak point in the Chinese war machine, and Xi has now set out to change the situation by taking over the joint command himself.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby vivek.rao » 22 Apr 2016 15:36

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/chi ... =also-read
China seething after India issues visa to Uyghur ‘terrorist’

If China has its way, India is likely to have its very own “Masood Azhar” moment soon.

Beijing has reacted with seething anger after India issued a visa to a Germany-based Uyghur activist, branded a terrorist by the Chinese government, to attend a conference on democracy and China in Dharamsala later this month.
The man in question, Munich-based Dolkun Isa from the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) has been accused of terrorism and conspiracy to kill people in Xinjiang in China’s remote northwest region. The WUC is grouping of Uyghur community outside China.

The Xinjiang region has seen rioting and frequent violence between the local Uyghur population and government forces.


“I would like to enjoy India culture. East Turkistan and India had a long and very good relationship in the history. Uyghurs love India’s people,” he said.

Talking about India and China, Dolkun said: “India is the world’s largest democratic nation and second big population after China. But China is still under totalitarianism rule. India has the responsibility to teach democracy to China”.
About problems in visiting other countries because of the Interpol notice against him, he said he has to be careful with his travel plans.

“The Chinese government has made me an accused with Interpol and my name is on Red (corner) notice. Because of this, I have faced troubles in some countries’ immigration. I was detained at the border of some countries. I have to be careful about travelling except in the European Union,” he said.
World Uyghur Congress, spokesperson, Dilxat Raxit told HT that he hoped that the Indian government was following the situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang and voices its solidarity with their fight for justice.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 22 Apr 2016 16:34

China to Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plants

All the radar systems, lighthouses, barracks, ports and airfields that China has set up on its newly built island chain in the South China Sea require tremendous amounts of electricity, hard to come by in a place hundreds of miles from the country’s power grid.

Beijing may have come up with a solution: floating nuclear power plants.

A state-owned company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, is planning to build a fleet of the vessels to provide electricity to remote locations including offshore oil platforms and the contentious man-made islands, the state-run newspaper Global Times reported on Friday.

The paper quoted an executive at the company, Liu Zhengguo, as saying that “demand is pretty strong” for the floating power stations, which would be built by one of its subsidiaries.


In January, Xu Dazhe, the director of the China Atomic Energy Authority, told reporters in Beijing that China was planning to develop offshore floating nuclear energy plants, saying they “must undergo a rigorous, scientific evaluation,” but also linking these to China’s desire to become a “maritime power.” Mr. Xu said at the time that developing China’s nuclear power-generating capacity was part of the country’s five-year economic development plan, which runs through 2020. China has more civilian nuclear power stations under construction than any other country.

China would not be the first country to employ floating nuclear power plants. In the 1960s, the United States Army installed a nuclear reactor inside the hull of a World War II freighter to provide electricity for the Panama Canal Zone. And nuclear power has been on vessels since 1955, when the commanding officer of the Nautilus, an American submarine, sent word that the craft was “underway on nuclear power.” Since then, nuclear reactors have provided propulsion — and electrical power — for ships like American aircraft carriers and Russian icebreakers.


Typhoons regularly cross the South China Sea, and ships and submarines that run on nuclear power generally have the means to quickly sail away from a storm. It is unclear how mobile or seaworthy these reactor ships will be. Safety regulations for the seaborne reactors are being drawn up and reviewed, Global Times said, quoting Tang Bo, an official at China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration.

A rendering of a possible Chinese floating nuclear power station was published on the English-language website of Global Times’s parent company, the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily. The image showed the small ship or barge next to a pier, surrounded by what looked like floating ice.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Gagan » 22 Apr 2016 18:17

ramana wrote:Gagan, Twitter is agog with some 60 DF21s based on Tibet.

Where could these be from google chacha?

I've located them, like 6-7 years ago, most of the sites.
Problem is google does not have updated images and in a lot of cases no high res images. I know its there, google is running behind...

There are two main areas. One in the middle of the Gobi desert, which is northwest-west from Daulat beg oldi and pretty close to India. and the other is closer to the china mongolia russia border in north-central china

In both instances one can see silos with heavy silo covers, which slide sideways and associated support infrastructure.
What is of interest to me is the progress and location of the Tibet railway, which I have been watching with a lot of interest lately.

Overview
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Gobi Desert Site
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Unit 812 Missile Brigade
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Typical Launch Site: Not much to see, but these are sites with a hardened base which have precise pre-surveyed locations
Image

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Lop Nor Test Site
Lop Nor has 4 main test areas.
Area A: Nanshan - Horizontal shafts dug into hills. Several tunnels and old closed shafts are visible.Total 6 N tests
Area B: Quinggir - 13 boreholes used for underground tests
Area C: Beishan - Vertical shafts dug into the ground. These are sealed now.
Area D: Drop Area - over ground testing site with a tower similar to US's first ever N test (China's 596 first tower test site) and ground marking for air drop
Image

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Bhaskar_T » 22 Apr 2016 20:55

India does a China :rotfl: :rotfl:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/ind ... 78674.html

India issues visa to Uyghur 'terrorist' Dolkun Isa; China angry

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Gagan » 23 Apr 2016 03:11

ramana wrote:Older report with some pictures:

http://claudearpi.blogspot.com/2010/10/ ... ation.html

The two sites pictured in this blog have been removed after this report was published. It is in the area I have described.

Image

Image

Site 1 in 2010
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Same site in 2013
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Site 2 in 2010
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Same site in 2013
Image

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Cosmo_R » 23 Apr 2016 03:34

Finally!. I had mentioned these levers a few years ago. Engagement with the Uighur is one. Another is inducting an India born Tibetan as a MoS in the MEA. I cant find my earlier posts. Will try.

Religiosity is the other asymmetric lever. Th Chinese Han can be split based on religion. They yearn for faith based solutions :)

"Beijing has reacted angrily after India granted a visa to a Germany-based Uyghur activist, branded a terrorist by the Chinese government, to attend a conference on democracy in Dharamsala later this month.

Munich-based Dolkun Isa, from the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), has been accused of terrorism and conspiracy to kill people in Xinjiang in China’s remote northwest. The WUC is a grouping of the Uyghur community outside China.

The moves comes against the backdrop of China blocking an Indian bid to sanction Pakistan-based Masood Azhar, the head of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the UN Security Council. China imposed a “technical hold” on the move, saying more information is needed on the matter.

“Dolkun Isa is a terrorist on red notice of Interpol and the Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is a due obligation of relevant countries,” China’s foreign ministry told Hindustan Times in an emailed response late on Thursday.

The brief reaction was couched in diplomatic language but reflected Beijing’s anger.

The conference to which Dolkun Isa has been invited will be held between April 28 and May 1 at Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, and this has added to Beijing’s unease."

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/chi ... IwxaJ.html

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 23 Apr 2016 04:54

He needs to be protected. Too many jihadists around to oblige China.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Gagan » 23 Apr 2016 07:33

Too many Jihadists, too many CONgressis around

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Sen_K » 25 Apr 2016 09:07

News coming in that India has denied visa to the Uyghur activist. Very quick policy change. Wondering what lever China used to make India do such a quick u-turn

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Ashokk » 25 Apr 2016 09:49

After China's protest, India cancels visa for dissident Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa
NEW DELHI: After China's strong protest, India has cancelled its visa to dissident Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa, citing Interpol's red corner notice against him.

Isa, a leader of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) who lives in Germany, had been invited to a conference being organised by the US-based 'Initiatives for China'. Uyghurs and many other Chinese dissidents in exile were expected to attend the conference in India and discuss democratic transformation in China.

India's decision to permit WUC leaders whom China regards as backers of terrorism in its volatile Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province was reported to be in response to Beijing blocking India's bid to get Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN.

China's unhappiness about reports that Dolkun had been given the visa was reflected in Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying saying, "What I want to point out is that Dolkun is a terrorist in red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obligation of relevant countries."

When asked about the issue, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said,"We have seen the media reports and external affairs ministry is trying to ascertain the facts."

Xinjiang, which has over 10 million Uyghurs of Turkik origin Muslims, has been on the boil for several years. Uyghurs have been protesting the large-scale settlements in Xinjiang by Han Chinese.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby uddu » 25 Apr 2016 10:01

Seems Chinese communists must have got the message and agreed not to intervene to support Pakistan any more.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby member_27581 » 25 Apr 2016 10:45

^^^ not so easy, who knows we might have wilted under the chinese pressure. As of now there is no evidence to support either of the two arguments. chinese are not the ones to give in so easily.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby uddu » 25 Apr 2016 11:20

Agree, but this is something that if ignited, will be a big trouble for China for a long long time. So if they are wise they will ensure that it's stopped in the initial stage itself and never let it go get any attention of any sort from anyone. So hopefully they were quick to respond and agree about terrorism and terrorists deserve to be punished.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby SaiK » 25 Apr 2016 16:09

Substandard Chinese milk and mobile phones banned!

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Guddu » 25 Apr 2016 17:54

I guess we should watch if masood loses Chinese protection. If GOI pressure has worked, or whether we have been pressured by Chinese.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 25 Apr 2016 19:16

Home Ministry confirms cancellation of Uighur-Chinese leader's visa

Indian visa for Dolkun Isa, exiled Uighur-Chinese leader wanted by Beijing, has been cancelled, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) confirmed to The Hindu on Monday.

Officials said that the visa was cancelled on finding out that the Electronic Tourist Visa that Mr. Isa had applied for and received was invalid for addressing public meetings in India. However, they said that they would issue him a fresh visa if he applied under appropriate category.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby member_23370 » 25 Apr 2016 21:54

Is this guy a jihardi or moderate freedom fighter? How beneficial is it to let any jeehardi speak in public in India.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Screambowl » 25 Apr 2016 22:02

Bheeshma wrote:Is this guy a jihardi or moderate freedom fighter? How beneficial is it to let any jeehardi speak in public in India.


activist for India

In china he is a terrorist. But for china Mashood Azhar is also activist.

Any how in China they are capable of controlling religious based crowds. But in India every political party sees it's interest first.

So it was not a good decision to invite him like that openly.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby rkhanna » 26 Apr 2016 09:28

Sadly this just retraction of Visa just demonstrates how much the Chinese have us by the B@lls. (irrespective of the Govt in power).

(and the Pakis know that)

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby ramana » 28 Apr 2016 02:35

What happens if Dawood Ibrahim is shifted to China for his health?

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby Gagan » 30 Apr 2016 22:39

An update and erratum
The site marked as the Gobi desert site has been updated on google earth
It does NOT appear to be a missile brigade...
It appears to be part of an oil field, the Tazhong oil field

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby NRao » 02 May 2016 00:28

Land grab, second time, a cool 1% of land of oz!! Rejected for a second time.

Australia Is Blocking China From Buying 1% of Its Landmass

Little China.

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Re: China Watch Thread-I

Postby chetak » 05 May 2016 08:52

HAS IT BEEN INDIA’S SUN TZU MOMENT?


HAS IT BEEN INDIA’S SUN TZU MOMENT?
Thursday, 05 May 2016 | Claude Arpi


Observers were of the view that by denying visa to Dolkun Isa, the Modi sarkar retreated before China. But it may not be the case. Beijing has got the message: India can do it again and next time, with ‘conference visas'

In November 1949, the Tibetan Cabinet in Lhasa wrote to the American Secretary of State, requesting the US’ support for Tibet’s admission to the UN: “As Tibet being an independent state, we have no dangers from other foreign countries but in view of the spread of communism and their successes in China, there is now an imminent danger of communist aggression towards Tibet.”

Lhasa was advised by the Americans not to ‘rock the boat’. Later, an officer of the Ministry of External Affairs told Loy Henderson, the US Ambassador to India: “(India) feels that making issue of Tibetan question at present might precipitate communist decision invade pursuant their declared intention liberating country.”

Around the same time, a cable from Henderson to Dean Acheson, the US Secretary of State stated, “During the conversation, Graves (of the UK High Commission in Delhi) showed me a Hansard report (verbatim report of proceedings of the British Houses) of December 14, 1949, “to which was attached a 1943 memorandum mentioning the British position with respect to Tibet; the memorandum stated that Tibet was a ‘de facto independent’ country.”

However, the British too did not want to rock the boat. This came back to mind, when the controversy erupted regarding the cancellation of a ‘tourist visa’ for Dolkun Isa, executive chairman of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress. Isa was to attend a ‘conference’ at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The media immediately took up the issue: Why was the visa suddenly revoked without reason? Soon the Modi sarkar was accused of behaving like its predecessors.

Most observers saw a retaliation against China’s decision to put on hold India’s request to add Masood Azhar, head of the Pakistani-based group Jaish-e-Mohammed, to the UN’s blacklist.

On the Isa issue, China was quick to respond: The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the Uyghur leader was under a ‘red-corner’ Interpol notice and should be arrested as he was a terrorist. The restive Province of Xinjiang is an extremely sensitive issue for China, as Beijing believes that Islamist militants and Uyghur dissidents are colluding to establish an independent state, eastern Turkestan.

Though the Ministry of External Affairs was apparently not aware of the conference and the visa given to Isa, most observers first thought that Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally decided to ‘rock the boat’. It may not be that simple.

First, could Isa have attended the ‘conference’ on a tourist visa (or e-visa)? Whoever organised this type of event in India, knows that foreign participants need a ‘conference visa’ which is not easy to obtain. Further, the Dharamsala ‘conference’ was bound to be controversial; it was organised by the US-based Citizen Power for China, a group led by Yang Jianli, one of the protagonists of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests (incidentally Yang was present in Dharamsala).

Granting Isa an electronic visa made it easier to cancel the permission to visit Dharamsala at short notice. The Ministry of External Affairs could show its ignorance of the event. Cancelling the visa while still holding the meet, even in camera, indicates that the Indian Government was keen to convey the message to Beijing, ‘don’t play with fire concerning terrorism’, and at the same time, allowed Delhi a strategic retreat.

Delhi wanted to ‘rock the boat’ to a certain extent only. It is why visas granted to other Chinese dissidents like Lu Jinghua and Ray Wong were also cancelled.

Lu, also a participant in the Tiananmen protests, figures on a Chinese list of ‘major criminals’. She learnt of the withdrawal of her visa only after reaching John F Kennedy International Airport to enplane for India on April 25. The visa for Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Ray was also reportedly withdrawn around the same time.

Delhi later said that Lu’s visa was withdrawn because her documents were ‘ineligible’ and there was an ‘inconsistency’ about the purpose of her visit. Obviously, she was not going to Himachal for ‘tourism’.

According to the Chinese website Radio Free Asia, several other activists were banned from the meet, in particular five individuals associated with the World Uyghur Congress. Hong Kong activist Alex Chow, who co-organised the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014, told Quartz that he too was denied a visa. But it is not the point; the important point is that the gathering took place.

One may well ask: Has Delhi become an adept of Sun Tzu’s Art of War? The Chinese master in one of the 13 chapters of the book, writes about ‘variations and adaptability’, emphasising on flexibility during a conflict.

Mao himself explained: “People may ask if there is contradiction to abandon a territory gained by heroic battle. This is to put the wrong question. Does one eat to no purpose simply because he relieves himself later?”

Delhi needed to use flexibility after the high profile visits of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to China (and before President Prabab Mukherjee’s trip to Beijing later this month).

To cancel a ‘tourist visa’ was abandoning a bit of territory, but the main ‘battle’ was won; the ‘conference’ was held, though informally and amidst media blackout. And before that, 60 participants were granted a two-hour audience with the Dalai Lama to discuss …China and democracy.

Edward Leung Tin-kei of Hong Kong Indigenous was one of them. Hong Kong radical activist described the encounter with the Tibetan leader as a ‘rare opportunity’: “I never thought I could meet Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader. This doesn’t happen every day”, Leung told The South China Morning Post.

Chow Hang-tung, working for an alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China was another Hongkonger attending the closed-door meet. “It was very inspiring”, Chow said.

Ursula Gauthier, the French correspondent of L’Obs, who was recently expelled from China for questioning China’s interpretation of ‘terrorism’ and Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, were also present. In the meantime, Beijing is nervous about the democratisation of the Tibetan society.

The Global Timescommented on the recent Tibetan elections for a Prime Minister and Deputies: “Although the (Tibetans) resorted to ‘democratisation’ after fleeing, this did not mean they would give up their original characteristics. …After all, feudal serfdom under theocracy has long been abandoned by Western countries.”

Who takes this Cold War language seriously today? Participating in the fifth Moscow Conference on International Security, China’s Defence Minister Chang Wanquan also lectured on terrorism: “a comprehensive approach should be taken through political, diplomatic, economic and cultural means in order to eliminate the root of terror.”

General Chang obviously forgot ‘democratic means’ in his list. Though the perception in India was that the Modi sarkar had retreated, it may not be the case. Beijing has got the message loud and clear: India can do it again and the next time, with proper ‘conference visas’. Beijing knows this.


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