Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 189598 times)

DougMacG

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US: Breaking the China dependency
« Reply #850 on: August 09, 2019, 06:24:15 AM »
"Chinese manufacturing, much of which migrated to it from Japan via South Korea, is already moving on to Vietnam, India, and Mexico (now America’s biggest trading partner)."
------------------------------------------

I have been watching for the great conclusion of the tariff trade war with China and anticipating how that will help our economy, Trump's reelection and the advancement and winning of free market ideas and policies that I see as in the best interests of the country and the globe. 

I've been watching for problems and chokepoints in China and the Chinese economy wondering when they will finally give in, drop their trade barriers and stop stealing our technology. 

Maybe I have this wrong.  Maybe a fabulous trade deal with an oppressive totalitarian regime that enriches and empowers both sides forever is a) not going to happen and b) not the ideal outcome anyway.

Without a doubt, the trade war is disruptive to the otherwise healthy US economy. This has political, not just economic consequences, at home. 

On the other side, the trade war has thrown the leaders of China on their ear.  They have lost market share, lost economic growth, lost manufacturing and export jobs.  People are losing confidence in their leaders and the leaders risk losing control.  I have opined and quantified that China is 5 times more dependent on exports to us than we are on exports to them.  The disruption is taking its toll.

China has responded by devaluing their currency (devaluing their country) and dropping their prices, and profits.  Add to Xi and the politburo concerns, the Hong Kong protests that risk spilling over into the mainland. 

Meanwhile the adversarial policies and rhetoric on both sides escalate.

My reaction to each new chapter in this deteriorating drama is that now we must now be close to a deal.  But maybe we aren't.  Maybe the outcome of this is the endless struggle we see now.  It occurs to me now that maybe more good comes out of it without a settlement. 

Instead of legitimizing this regime and pretending to approve of them as we rely on them to supply our consumer economy, under this more adversarial relationship, we can more freely call them out and oppose their egregious acts.

New suppliers in other countries are replacing our economic dependencies on Communist China.  Vietnam, Mexico and India are mentioned above.  Maybe we can start pulling rare earth elements out of the ground elsewhere.  Also, Chinese military oversteps in the South China Sea are causing us to form new alliances in the region. 

Back to US politics which is what the Chinese are watching in negotiations, maybe President Trump would rather have the issue of China in reelection than have the win over China.

ccp

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #851 on: August 09, 2019, 07:42:33 AM »
"Back to US politics which is what the Chinese are watching in negotiations, maybe President Trump would rather have the issue of China in reelection than have the win over China."

Trump should start looking being able to hold an all out war against the crats

if he loses the election claiming he lost due to outside foreign power interference - the Chinese!

no doubt they will do whatever they can to get him to lose.
 :wink:


Crafty_Dog

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #852 on: August 09, 2019, 10:32:46 AM »
They already have Goolag hard at work for them.



Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: China messing with Philippines
« Reply #855 on: August 09, 2019, 07:08:23 PM »
second post

Highlights

    Washington is hesitant to react to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's informal call for the U.S. Navy to act against China in line with the country's Mutual Defense Treaty.
    But in the wake of Chinese aggression against Philippine interests in the South China Sea, Manila is likely to continue questioning the utility of the pact unless Washington provides more forceful backing.
    Ultimately, a lack of action to oppose China will allow Beijing to fortify its position in the South China Sea.

Floating in the South China Sea near Recto Bank, or Reed Bank as it is also known, the crew of the Philippine vessel F/B Gimver 1 braced for impact as the Chinese-flagged Yuemaobinyu 42212 steamed directly toward their craft. Ignoring the Philippine crew's entreaties to rapidly change course, the Chinese captain plowed his ship into the smaller vessel, seemingly oblivious to his responsibilities under international collision regulations to avoid the crash. Crippled and sinking, the Gimver 1's crew abandoned ship, confident their Chinese counterparts would pick them up. That, however, was not what happened: Ignoring his responsibilities for a second time, the Yuemaobinyu's captain abandoned the Filipinos to their fate. Though the 22 mariners were eventually rescued by a Vietnamese ship, the incident early on the morning on June 9 increased tensions between Beijing, on one side, and Manila and its allies on the other.

The reaction from the United States was as forceful as it was expected. Without mentioning the incident directly, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, made reference to a militarized fishing fleet, or maritime militia, when suggesting an attack by "government-sanctioned militias" could trigger the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). His comments served as a warning to China — going further than those made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who tried to reassure a skeptical Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in February that the 1951 treaty remained in Manila's best interests. Though Duterte is more vocal than his predecessors about his concerns surrounding the deal, his skepticism toward the treaty is not new among the country's leaders. Both sides in the long and occasionally troubled U.S.-Philippine alliance have used the MDT to shape each other's behavior, most recently with regard to its applicability to the South China Sea. But as foreign policy experts around the world mull the content of Kim's statements about Recto Bank, some key wording suggests the intended audience may be Manila — rather than Beijing — and that Washington isn't all too eager to dive into a battle with China.

What's in an 'Armed Attack'?

Pompeo and Kim were both very careful with the terms they used to describe the incident. The phrase "if an armed attack occurs" refers to Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which codifies states' inherent rights to self-defense in the event of an armed attack. But understanding the U.S. response to the Recto Bank incident and how it affects the MDT requires an understanding of what the Chinese maritime militia is and what it is not.

The Recto Bank incident amounts to a deliberate attempt to avoid classification as an "armed attack," making it a classic indicator of hybrid warfare.

According to U.S. Naval War College professor Andrew Erickson, the People's Armed Forces Maritime Militia is a "state-organized, -developed, and -controlled force operating under a direct military chain of command to conduct Chinese state-sponsored activities" — which makes it anything but a group of zealously patriotic fishermen. The militia is trained, manned and equipped with vessels purpose-built for ramming other craft and armed with non-lethal munitions that allow the organization to avoid designation as a naval unit. According to Erickson, the militia is a component of the Chinese military that responds through the chain of command to President Xi Jinping himself. Despite this, the militia falls through the cracks of Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and other international agreements — including the MDT — that govern the use of force between states because it is not, officially, a naval unit. In this respect, the militia resembles other emerging and poorly regulated tools of state power such as teams that engage in cyberattacks and information warfare on behalf of a country. The Recto Bank incident amounts to a deliberate attempt to avoid classification as an "armed attack," making it a classic indicator of "hybrid warfare." When packaged into a coherent hybrid warfare campaign, these tools can present a significant threat to international peace and stability as occurred in Crimea in 2014.

Friendly Deterrence

Following the Recto Bank incident, Washington intimated that Chinese provocations in the South China Sea could result in the application of the MDT. In time, however, the United States has somewhat muddied the waters on the MDT: While the United States certainly wishes to maintain access to the Philippine bases identified in the treaty, it is less eager to invoke the pact's Article IV — which spells out the defense relations between Washington and Manila — over a wrecked Philippine fishing vessel. Perhaps the United States' hedging is what prompted Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to demand clarity about the MDT's applicability to these types of incidents. Without clarity, he argued, Manila ought to review the treaty to determine its relevance to the country's defense.

Lorenzana's point is a valid one. Reading between the lines of the U.S. ambassador's statements revealed that Washington is more interested in deterring the Philippines from questioning the utility of the MDT than in preventing China from employing hybrid warfare in the South China Sea. The American tactic, however, appears to have worked a bit too well: During the periodic U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, held July 15-16 in Manila, the Philippine ambassador to the United States, Babe Romualdez, announced the two countries were in talks to "strengthen" the decades-old treaty. Duterte took it a step further the next day, informally invoking the MDT and inviting the United States to send its 7th Fleet to protect the Philippines from China.

Having called America's bluff, the skeptical Duterte may decide the Mutual Defense Treaty is actually as hollow as he has previously suggested it is.

The request presents a dilemma for the United States. Duterte made his surprise demand without following a formal consultative process (he made it abruptly during a TV interview), while his call also lacked any of the coordinating details necessary to invoke the constitutional requirements stipulated in the treaty. Still, Washington is under pressure to demonstrate the pact's credibility after previously communicating verbal guarantees regarding its viability. But almost two months since the Recto Bank incident, there does not appear to be any appetite to commit U.S. naval forces in response to an incident that China presented as an accident between two fishing vessels.

At a certain point, however, China's repeated coercion in the region cannot go unanswered. Manila's perception that Washington is dragging its feet gets to the heart of the MDT. Having called America's bluff, the skeptical Duterte may decide the MDT is actually as hollow as he has previously suggested it is. At stake is a strategic effort to maintain American access to the South China Sea amid an ongoing Chinese consolidation of its position there. And unless the United States and the Philippines reconcile their views of mutual defense in the face of such "unarmed attacks," they will soon find themselves faced with an unbreakable chain of heavily fortified Chinese islands immune to any pressure short of war.


Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Michael Yon
« Reply #859 on: August 15, 2019, 10:32:56 PM »



"Satellite Photo Shows China's Military Buildup in Response to Hong Kong Protests"

If you live in Hong Kong, wise to prepare for invasion. Nobody knows what is coming next, including China.

Possible that the airport will be stuffed again but this time with people scrambling for flights out.

Nobody knows. I do know that if Hong Kong had a second amendment, 12,000 troops would sustain massive casualties if there were serious resistance. Stuff like this is what the second amendment is all about. It's not about deer hunting.

China is not in a position of ultimate power over Hong Kong. These things do not happen in a vacuum.

One massive advantage that Hong Kongers have is that they generally are very likable and intelligent, while ChiComs tend to be the opposite and savage.

Watch the comments from ChiCom trolls on my page. They will talk about "white dogs," "jap dogs," and on and on. Very crass people, and extremely savage. The absolute last people you would want to see armed while you are disarmed.

A lot of Japanese have not woken up to this yet, but Hong Kong and Taiwan's futures are barometers for Japanese future. The unrest today between Korea and Japan is caused by China exploiting Korean psychological vulnerabilities. Chinese information experts hacked the collective-Korean mind and installed a virus.

The general plan in bare, bare bones:

1) Split Korea-USA-Japan. (Korea has no passwords on their brains. They are easy.)

2) Control vast swaths of land and sea such as the South China Sea

3) Extend reach to Africa, etc, (including around Thailand -- knock knock)

4) Take complete control of Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc.

5) Extend influence in Europe/USA -- through places like Hollywood (Jackie Chan, one example of many)

6) Attack Japan economically/politically, and eventually militarily. (Most Japanese seem to be in denial, and those who see the monster are labeled in the normal ways.)

7) Contain India -- which is not difficult. India can barely contain itself and the IAF aircraft fall out of the sky practically monthly, and the Indian navy is not ready for much. Many Indians seem in denial and besieged with false pride about their ability to stand up to China. My bet: within 30 years, China will mostly control Nepal and Bhutan, as examples. (Unless we take out CCP, and then all this likely is moot.) India is being constricted on all sides.

8) Exercise control/influence in places like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar. Thailand is sleeping or in denial about where Thailand stands with China.

9) Much more, such as influence in Philippines, Australia, NZ, Central America.

10 ) Mitigate and heavily influence USA through economic, military, political containment including using our own democracy to elect influencers.
===

The penultimate goal is to take USA out of the equation. Ultimate goal is China as the lone superpower.

Hong Kong is a D-Day to Taiwan and a lot more.

Hong Kong is a major battlefield. That's how I ended up in this cheap hotel waiting for invasion.

G M

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Re: Michael Yon
« Reply #860 on: August 15, 2019, 10:47:07 PM »
Damn. I love Hong Kong. I really dread what is coming.





"Satellite Photo Shows China's Military Buildup in Response to Hong Kong Protests"

If you live in Hong Kong, wise to prepare for invasion. Nobody knows what is coming next, including China.

Possible that the airport will be stuffed again but this time with people scrambling for flights out.

Nobody knows. I do know that if Hong Kong had a second amendment, 12,000 troops would sustain massive casualties if there were serious resistance. Stuff like this is what the second amendment is all about. It's not about deer hunting.

China is not in a position of ultimate power over Hong Kong. These things do not happen in a vacuum.

One massive advantage that Hong Kongers have is that they generally are very likable and intelligent, while ChiComs tend to be the opposite and savage.

Watch the comments from ChiCom trolls on my page. They will talk about "white dogs," "jap dogs," and on and on. Very crass people, and extremely savage. The absolute last people you would want to see armed while you are disarmed.

A lot of Japanese have not woken up to this yet, but Hong Kong and Taiwan's futures are barometers for Japanese future. The unrest today between Korea and Japan is caused by China exploiting Korean psychological vulnerabilities. Chinese information experts hacked the collective-Korean mind and installed a virus.

The general plan in bare, bare bones:

1) Split Korea-USA-Japan. (Korea has no passwords on their brains. They are easy.)

2) Control vast swaths of land and sea such as the South China Sea

3) Extend reach to Africa, etc, (including around Thailand -- knock knock)

4) Take complete control of Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc.

5) Extend influence in Europe/USA -- through places like Hollywood (Jackie Chan, one example of many)

6) Attack Japan economically/politically, and eventually militarily. (Most Japanese seem to be in denial, and those who see the monster are labeled in the normal ways.)

7) Contain India -- which is not difficult. India can barely contain itself and the IAF aircraft fall out of the sky practically monthly, and the Indian navy is not ready for much. Many Indians seem in denial and besieged with false pride about their ability to stand up to China. My bet: within 30 years, China will mostly control Nepal and Bhutan, as examples. (Unless we take out CCP, and then all this likely is moot.) India is being constricted on all sides.

8) Exercise control/influence in places like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar. Thailand is sleeping or in denial about where Thailand stands with China.

9) Much more, such as influence in Philippines, Australia, NZ, Central America.

10 ) Mitigate and heavily influence USA through economic, military, political containment including using our own democracy to elect influencers.
===

The penultimate goal is to take USA out of the equation. Ultimate goal is China as the lone superpower.

Hong Kong is a D-Day to Taiwan and a lot more.

Hong Kong is a major battlefield. That's how I ended up in this cheap hotel waiting for invasion.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: George Friedman: China and a Global Economic Contraction
« Reply #861 on: August 17, 2019, 01:47:16 PM »
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Aug. 15, 2019



By George Friedman


George Friedman’s Thoughts: China and a Global Economic Contraction


The protests in Hong Kong must be understood in the context of a global economic slowdown.


There has been much talk recently about economic problems in key economies around the world. Early Wednesday morning, for example, I spoke on Bloomberg Surveillance about the situation in China. Before I went on air, Bloomberg News was covering multiple stories on the decline in bond yields and its effect on the U.S. economy, weakness in the German economy, and so on. I then realized how closely this issue is linked to the protests in Hong Kong.

It has been about 10 years since the last U.S. recession, and we would expect to see another one soon. Since the United States is the world’s leading importer, an American recession always leads to a weakening of the global economy. Massive exporters like Germany and China are particularly vulnerable to such downturns. China’s economy was significantly weakened by the 2008 financial crisis. It has, until recently, managed to stave off U.S. attempts to try to level the imbalance between Chinese exports to the U.S. and U.S. exports to China. But it has now lost the ability to manage the United States. And at the same time, Hong Kong is rising.


 

(click to enlarge)


The uprising occurred because China was increasing its control over Hong Kong, including taking much greater control of the criminal justice system. In 1997, when the United Kingdom relinquished control of Hong Kong to China, Beijing was willing to allow Hong Kong to have a high degree of independence because Hong Kong was the financial interface between China and the world. China could not afford to undermine Hong Kong’s dynamism.

But China is in a very different position today, and it can no longer accept a strong and independent Hong Kong. Even before the U.S. trade actions, the Chinese economy was in serious trouble, and its banking system was nearly in shambles. The introduction of new tariffs by its largest customer has created deeper problems in the economy, which are seen in industrial production data and other sector statistics. The accuracy of these statistics is always uncertain to me, but that China is publicly revealing its economic weakness is significant. When it admits that it has problems, it likely means the problems are serious indeed.

Today’s China was built on economic growth and the promise of prosperity. Maoism still exists, but it is on the margins. Chinese elites, like elites everywhere, expect greater wealth and, at minimum, that the wealth they have already accumulated will be protected. And the public expects a better life for themselves and especially their children. The Communist Party of China, therefore, now derives its legitimacy not from communist ideology but rather from the promise to deliver prosperity to the people, coupled with national pride. But as the economy weakened, China engaged in major international initiatives to try to encourage pride in its global standing, from exaggerating its military power, to lending money to other countries, to building a route to Europe. The more concerned China was about delivering prosperity, the more it leaned on pride in Chinese power and the idea that the U.S. would be bypassed by the Chinese in every way possible.

But the Chinese realize that their relationship with the United States has gotten out of control. On one hand, they depend on the U.S. to buy their goods. On the other hand, they want to show that they are pushing back against the United States. In the end, national pride goes only so far in a country that is divided into many social classes, with millions left out of the economic boom and others having benefited but remaining resentful of the avariciousness of the elite. The foundation of China is prosperity; national pride is just a substitute.

Right now, that prosperity is threatened not only by U.S. demands to redefine economic relations between the two countries, but also by the last thing China needs: a global economic slowdown. It is always the exporters who are hurt the most by such downturns.

China tried to dramatically increase its control of Hong Kong, not out of confidence but out of fear. If the Chinese economy contracts, Hong Kong doesn’t want to be taken down with it. But the people of Hong Kong couldn’t predict how far they would be able to separate the island from China’s problems, so they wanted to ensure their security apparatus had control of Hong Kong. The Chinese resistance to these steps was what really led to the uprising. From my point of view, it also points to a critical Chinese weakness. China relies on its internal intelligence system to maintain order, but it failed to anticipate the uprising in Hong Kong. That raises the question of whether a pillar of the Chinese system, its internal controls, is weakening.
Another major concern for Beijing is that the unrest in Hong Kong may spread to the rest of the country. People in other Chinese cities might sense Beijing’s weakness and, facing tough economic conditions, take their concerns and resentments into the streets. This is why Beijing cannot appear to have lost control of Hong Kong. If it does, China’s global image as a confident, leading power would be transformed into one of a brutal and repressive regime, fighting its own people.

Hong Kong has not triggered a reaction on the mainland, but Chinese President Xi Jinping has been wrong on several fronts, so the Central Committee may not be in the mood to let him handle this problem. But it is caught between its need to suppress the protests in Hong Kong and its fear of the consequences if it does. When decisive action becomes a threat, it’s a sign that a regime is in trouble. China has tried to appear patient, but it is increasingly appearing impotent to its own people. And that is the one thing it can’t tolerate.

Economic downturns have a tendency to trigger political responses. Consider 2008 and how the political landscape changed in many countries in the following years. While 2019 may not be as intense as 2008, many countries’ economies are struggling, having never fully recovered from the global financial crisis. It is in this context that I am beginning to think of China. It’s easy for an exporter to prosper in a robust global economy. It’s much harder to sell to a world facing an economic downturn. Such exporters are battening down the hatches – China’s approach to Hong Kong is one example. Having encountered resistance, it fears the consequences of decisive action. And it fears not acting. China doesn’t know quite what to do, and that is not the behavior of a formidable rising power.






DougMacG

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US China trade War, China's currency devaluation
« Reply #864 on: August 21, 2019, 06:19:09 AM »
One thing missing in China's prosperity through devaluation strategy is the phenomenon of capital flight. If you know your wealth will be devalued, out it goes. Before they announce devaluation they need to lock the exits.

https://www.ft.com/content/28c9bd82-c27a-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 06:22:19 AM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

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Re: US-China, Hong Kong Protests
« Reply #865 on: August 22, 2019, 07:26:01 AM »


scmp.com  South China Morning Post

This is the defining issue of our time.  Not transsexual bathrooms.

DougMacG

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China universities deploy facial recognition for student registration
« Reply #866 on: August 22, 2019, 07:34:54 AM »
China’s elite Tsinghua University is among the first batch of large academic institutions that have implemented face scans to expedite the enrollment process this month
https://www.techinasia.com/day-university-china-means-face-scan-enrol
----------------------------

Yes, it's to "expedite the enrollment process", wink, wink.

We could merge our liberal fascism, Communist China and Goolag threads any day now.  What's the difference, location?

G M

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Re: China universities deploy facial recognition for student registration
« Reply #867 on: August 22, 2019, 08:55:47 AM »
China’s elite Tsinghua University is among the first batch of large academic institutions that have implemented face scans to expedite the enrollment process this month
https://www.techinasia.com/day-university-china-means-face-scan-enrol
----------------------------

Yes, it's to "expedite the enrollment process", wink, wink.

We could merge our liberal fascism, Communist China and Goolag threads any day now.  What's the difference, location?

What? No DNA swabs and forensic scans of cell phones as part of the enrollment process?

Slackers.

Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: A decisive moment draws nigh
« Reply #868 on: August 22, 2019, 09:47:25 PM »
A Decisive Moment for China Draws Nigh
The 2019 Beidaihe meeting of Chinese officials was thought to have started on Aug. 3.
(SIMON SONG/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Highlights

    Following this year's annual gathering of political elites in Beidaihe, China’s response to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, as well as the next phase of its trade war with the United States, could soon take shape.
    China's tougher stance in trade negotiations is likely an attempt by its leaders to appear strong against Washington — the country's most formidable external threat for the foreseeable future.
    That approach risks drawing even more U.S. trade salvos, which could further damage China's already slowing economy and increase the likelihood of social instability in the country's wealthier coastal and urban areas.
    Domestic economic and political unease will compel China to further solidify control over its buffer regions, a driver that could tempt Beijing to directly intervene in Hong Kong's political crisis.

Nearly 70 years after its founding, China has once again found itself at a historic crux. As Beijing's rivalry with the United States grows increasingly hostile, its future relations with Hong Kong hang in the balance — all while the country grapples with an economic slowdown that risks blunting 30 years of unrestrained expansion. Suffice it to say, China's political leaders had their plates full when they gathered in Beidaihe this year for their annual meeting, which reportedly just wrapped up.

But while China has faced similar internal threats over the decades, its leaders are unlikely to find answers in precedent this time around. And that's because the economic and political challenges the country faces today are occurring in a vastly different domestic context. Any speculation or leaks from this year's summit won't cover all the solutions to the complex challenges Beijing's leaders now face both at home and abroad. But any decision made behind closed doors during the summer retreat could very well dictate not only China's trajectory in the coming decade but also the rest of the world's.

The Big Picture

For decades, the summer resort of Beidaihe, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of Beijing, has served as the site of numerous historical decisions — as well as a microcosm of factional struggles among China's ruling elite. Amid Hong Kong protests and a trade war with the United States, coupled with a 30-year ebb in economic growth, this year's meeting took place at a particularly crucial moment for the world's second-largest economy. 

A Perfect Storm

The U.S.-China trade war — punctuated by a cycle of negotiation, truce and retaliation — recently entered its 18th month. Since the last round of talks broke down in late April, Beijing has notably hardened its negotiating position. China, for example, has frozen its purchases of U.S. agricultural goods until Washington extends export licenses or reduces controls on the Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies. But such a stringent position risks further escalating the trade war — the effects of which have already taken a sizable toll on China's domestic economy. This raises the question of whether Chinese leaders will be able to maintain their tough stance without exacerbating the country's economic slowdown.

Even with the trade war bubbling in the background, the unfolding situation in Hong Kong undoubtedly garnered its share of attention in Beidaihe. Protests — drawing anti-government demonstrators and members of radical and more violent cells to Hong Kong's streets — have entered their third month with no immediate end in sight. The demonstrations, sparked by the city's now-tabled extradition bill, have evolved into a symbol of Hong Kong's anxiety over deepening economic and cultural integration with China, mixed with antagonism over Beijing's tightening political influence there.

That said, the prospects of seeing an independent Hong Kong in the near future remain unlikely. But the ongoing protests nonetheless risk undermining the city's 50-year transition under China's one country, two systems policy. At the bare minimum, Chinese leaders will have to figure out some sort of short-term solution to quickly de-escalate the volatile issue — ideally before the People's Republic of China celebrates its 70th anniversary on Oct. 1. But the high-profile and unrelenting unrest will also continue to pose critical questions about what red line must be crossed before Beijing ultimately takes matters into its own hands and directly intervenes.

More Money, More Problems

Compared with other eras, China's current economy is in much better shape. After all, both the massive push to reform state-owned sectors in the late 1990s and the global financial crisis in 2008 put tens of millions of Chinese citizens out of work. And even the most pessimistic estimates project that the costs of the current trade war will pale in comparison to those inflicted by post-1989 international sanctions, which virtually isolated China from Western economies for more than a year.

There's only so much more that China's cooling economy can absorb before U.S. tariffs begin to generate greater domestic pressure.

Unlike past economic crises, though, the issue this time around won't be the scope of the damage itself, but rather how that damage is perceived by the country's now wealthier population — and whether that perception leads to a significant backlash against the government. China's economic transformation over the past 30 years has made its citizens more affluent, on the whole, than they've ever been. But that also means they'll be much less tolerant of any disruptions of the lifestyles to which they've grown accustomed. Thus, should China's economic slowdown start to directly affect jobs and pocketbooks, it could increase the likelihood of social instability — particularly in the country's urban and coastal economic hubs — by bringing brewing political grievances to the surface.

Keeping Up Appearances

Beijing's tougher stance in trade talks could risk making that a reality by drawing further retaliation from the United States — something Chinese leaders surely want to avoid. But at the same time, with their global rivalry only set to grow, Beijing's current position against Washington could very well set the tone for how the country will be perceived — and positioned — as international power shifts in the coming decades. And thus, the Chinese leadership will hesitate to let down its guard for fear of appearing weak against the United States.

China's political leaders have always been highly sensitive to perceived external threats, even when internal challenges linger. This mindset likely stems from an astute understanding of the difficulties that come with ruling such a geographically massive and socially diverse country whose position also makes it uniquely vulnerable to outside influence.

There's a chance, then, that Beijing will bet on its authoritarian strength and still-intact nationalist support to give it room to maintain its hard line against the United States. But with more U.S. tariffs set to take effect Sept. 1., and more trade pressures likely to follow, there's also only so much more that the country's already cooling economy can absorb before the repercussions start to generate greater domestic problems.

Peripheral Power Grabs

Meanwhile, China's economic slowdown is propelling its leaders to diversify trade routes and develop new financial footholds in more remote regions of the world. Combined with the subsequent risk of domestic social instability, this outreach will compel Beijing to grasp its buffer regions even tighter.

This could increase the likelihood of Beijing intervening in Hong Kong's political crisis, should the situation continue to escalate before the national day in October. But in the longer term, it also means that Beijing will likely further tighten its already heavy security and surveillance regimes along its Western periphery. For decades, China had pursued a much more hands-off approach to Tibet and Xinjiang's incremental assimilation. But the need to develop its peripheral states amid economic restructuring has worn Beijing's patience thin — hence its decision to pursue a more ruthless and discriminatory approach in recent years, including the establishment of re-education camps. And as external and internal threats continue to rise, ensuring that these two historically restive buffers remain firmly under control will become all the more important to Beijing.

With Bated Breath

The measures Beijing takes in response to these challenges will undoubtedly have significant implications for China and elsewhere. And as a result, the importance of this year's Beidaihe summit has been elevated. For decades, the rumored policy and personnel decisions made at the private gathering have closely intertwined with the country's political path. Many of its key national strategies — including the Great Leap Forward, the hallmark economic and social campaigns of the Mao era — had their genesis at Beidaihe.

Over the intervening years, the annual meeting had become more of an informal forum. But at a time when so much affecting China's future remains in flux, the world will be waiting with bated breath to see what decisions the elite leaders made to respond to the myriad challenges that lie at their feet.


DougMacG

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« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 01:44:40 PM by DougMacG »

DougMacG

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Almost nobody in Hong Kong under 30 identifies as “Chinese”
« Reply #871 on: August 27, 2019, 07:10:55 AM »
Three-quarters of 18- to 29-year-old residents of Hong Kong self-identify as Hongkongers, not Chinese, twice the share that did so in 2006. The data show that the younger the respondents, the more negative their sentiments towards mainland China.
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/08/26/almost-nobody-in-hong-kong-under-30-identifies-as-chinese


DougMacG

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Google to shift Pixel smartphone production from China to Vietnam as sales soar.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Tech-scroll-Asia/Google-to-shift-Pixel-smartphone-production-from-China-to-Vietnam
-----------------
China doesn't feel that?

It's time for the endgame of the trade war.

G M

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Google to shift Pixel smartphone production from China to Vietnam as sales soar.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Tech-scroll-Asia/Google-to-shift-Pixel-smartphone-production-from-China-to-Vietnam
-----------------
China doesn't feel that?

It's time for the endgame of the trade war.

I don't think the PRC feels like it is winning. I think the fact that Hong Kong hasn't been crushed yet demonstrates this.


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ Stop the bully in the South China Sea
« Reply #875 on: August 28, 2019, 08:52:40 PM »

Stop the Bully in the South China Sea
Beijing must pay a price for allowing its coast guard and proxies to impede freedom of the seas.
By Gregory B. Poling and
Murray Hiebert
Aug. 28, 2019 7:02 pm ET
A Chinese coast guard ship attempts to block a Philippine vessel in the South China Sea, March 29, 2014. Photo: Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

The State Department weighed in forcefully last week on China’s harassment of Malaysian and Vietnamese oil and gas operations in the South China Sea. Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus blasted Beijing’s “continuing interference with Vietnam’s longstanding oil and gas activities,” which “calls into serious question China’s commitment . . . to the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes.” The department was right to fire diplomatic shots across Beijing’s bow, but the U.S. and its partners need to do more to persuade China to rein in its coast guard and militia ships before they cause a deadly collision that could spark a wider crisis.

The situation off the Vietnamese coast has attracted the most attention, but China’s bullying started in May on the other side of the South China Sea. Two vessels contracted by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell had finished one of their regular runs from Malaysia’s Sarawak State to a drilling rig operating off its coast in the South China Sea on May 21 when things went awry. A large Chinese coast guard ship, the Haijing 35111, appeared on the horizon. Sailing at high speed, the Chinese ship circled the commercial vessels, approaching to within 80 meters.

These maneuvers were tracked by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies using the identification signals transmitted by the ships. The incident was one episode in a two-week effort by the Haijing 35111 to harass and impede Shell’s drilling operations. At the end of May, the Chinese vessel gave up and returned to port in China’s Hainan province, but not for long.

By June 16 the Haijing 35111 had made its way to Vietnamese waters, where the Russian energy company Rosneft had contracted a Japanese rig to drill a new offshore well. The coast guard ship and others like it began harassing the rig and vessels servicing it—and still are. The Chinese ships have been using the same risky maneuvers seen off the Malaysian coast to create a threat of collision to pressure Vietnam and Rosneft to halt drilling.

Natural gas from offshore drilling in this area provides as much as 10% of Vietnam’s energy needs. And keeping Rosneft from folding to Chinese pressure is critical to Vietnam’s offshore energy industry. Beijing has coerced most other major foreign companies—BP, Chevron , ConocoPhillips and most recently Repsol —out of their investments in Vietnamese offshore energy blocks. If Rosneft is forced to halt its work, the last holdouts—especially Exxon Mobil , which is preparing to undertake a large natural gas project dubbed “Blue Whale” in waters farther north—will likely rethink the wisdom of their investments.

The Haijing 35111 has failed to stop the drilling in the Vietnamese and Malaysian cases, but the resistance hasn’t been without cost. A Chinese government vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, arrived off the coast of Vietnam on July 3 and began conducting its own survey for oil and gas. That survey, which continues, covers the seabed over which Vietnam has indisputable rights under international law.

Transmissions show numerous Chinese coast guard ships and members of the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia—an official paramilitary force that operates from fishing ships—escorting the survey ship. Vietnam quickly dispatched its coast guard vessels to protect its rig and to shadow the Chinese survey ship. This creates a volatile situation in which collisions, intentional or not, could easily occur. That could lead to an overt military standoff.

Another Chinese state-owned survey vessel, the Shi Yan 2, spent a week in early August surveying Malaysian waters, including areas in which the oil and gas rigs contracted by Shell and others are operating. Since Aug. 14, a third Chinese survey vessel, the Haiyang 4, has been surveying an area of the continental shelf jointly claimed by Malaysia and Vietnam.

There are no military solutions to this pattern of Chinese coercion. If Washington wants to avert a crisis and prove it is serious about upholding freedom of the seas, it will need a robust diplomatic and economic strategy in lockstep with international partners. The goal should be to raise the costs to Beijing for its behavior and convince Chinese leaders they will lose more on the global stage than they will gain locally from their campaign of coercion.

Such a strategy must begin with the State Department recruiting other countries—including European states, Japan, India and Australia—to call on China to abide by its legal obligations. The broader the coalition calling on Beijing to alter its behavior, the higher the reputational costs China will pay for staying its current course.

The U.S. and allies should couple this with the imposition of direct economic costs. If China wants to rely on civilian actors and paramilitaries to coerce its neighbors, then those forces should be unmasked. The U.S. and partner countries should publicly identify Chinese civilian actors and their owners who engage in militia activities targeting China’s neighbors.

Washington should block those entities from doing business in the U.S. or accessing international financial markets through a vehicle like the South China Sea Sanctions Act, currently before both houses of Congress. There is a precedent: The U.S. and Europe responded similarly to Russia’s use of paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

China is engaged in a long-term campaign of bullying, intimidation and paramilitary violence against Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Its aggressive pursuit of claims that flout international law at the expense of the rights of Southeast Asian nations is a serious challenge to the international maritime order and regional stability.

Mr. Poling is director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Mr. Hiebert is a senior associate at CSIS’s Southeast Asia Program.

G M

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Re: WSJ Stop the bully in the South China Sea
« Reply #876 on: August 28, 2019, 08:58:00 PM »
When China's pirates start getting sunk, that will put this garbage to an end.



Stop the Bully in the South China Sea
Beijing must pay a price for allowing its coast guard and proxies to impede freedom of the seas.
By Gregory B. Poling and
Murray Hiebert
Aug. 28, 2019 7:02 pm ET
A Chinese coast guard ship attempts to block a Philippine vessel in the South China Sea, March 29, 2014. Photo: Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

The State Department weighed in forcefully last week on China’s harassment of Malaysian and Vietnamese oil and gas operations in the South China Sea. Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus blasted Beijing’s “continuing interference with Vietnam’s longstanding oil and gas activities,” which “calls into serious question China’s commitment . . . to the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes.” The department was right to fire diplomatic shots across Beijing’s bow, but the U.S. and its partners need to do more to persuade China to rein in its coast guard and militia ships before they cause a deadly collision that could spark a wider crisis.

The situation off the Vietnamese coast has attracted the most attention, but China’s bullying started in May on the other side of the South China Sea. Two vessels contracted by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell had finished one of their regular runs from Malaysia’s Sarawak State to a drilling rig operating off its coast in the South China Sea on May 21 when things went awry. A large Chinese coast guard ship, the Haijing 35111, appeared on the horizon. Sailing at high speed, the Chinese ship circled the commercial vessels, approaching to within 80 meters.

These maneuvers were tracked by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies using the identification signals transmitted by the ships. The incident was one episode in a two-week effort by the Haijing 35111 to harass and impede Shell’s drilling operations. At the end of May, the Chinese vessel gave up and returned to port in China’s Hainan province, but not for long.

By June 16 the Haijing 35111 had made its way to Vietnamese waters, where the Russian energy company Rosneft had contracted a Japanese rig to drill a new offshore well. The coast guard ship and others like it began harassing the rig and vessels servicing it—and still are. The Chinese ships have been using the same risky maneuvers seen off the Malaysian coast to create a threat of collision to pressure Vietnam and Rosneft to halt drilling.

Natural gas from offshore drilling in this area provides as much as 10% of Vietnam’s energy needs. And keeping Rosneft from folding to Chinese pressure is critical to Vietnam’s offshore energy industry. Beijing has coerced most other major foreign companies—BP, Chevron , ConocoPhillips and most recently Repsol —out of their investments in Vietnamese offshore energy blocks. If Rosneft is forced to halt its work, the last holdouts—especially Exxon Mobil , which is preparing to undertake a large natural gas project dubbed “Blue Whale” in waters farther north—will likely rethink the wisdom of their investments.

The Haijing 35111 has failed to stop the drilling in the Vietnamese and Malaysian cases, but the resistance hasn’t been without cost. A Chinese government vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, arrived off the coast of Vietnam on July 3 and began conducting its own survey for oil and gas. That survey, which continues, covers the seabed over which Vietnam has indisputable rights under international law.

Transmissions show numerous Chinese coast guard ships and members of the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia—an official paramilitary force that operates from fishing ships—escorting the survey ship. Vietnam quickly dispatched its coast guard vessels to protect its rig and to shadow the Chinese survey ship. This creates a volatile situation in which collisions, intentional or not, could easily occur. That could lead to an overt military standoff.

Another Chinese state-owned survey vessel, the Shi Yan 2, spent a week in early August surveying Malaysian waters, including areas in which the oil and gas rigs contracted by Shell and others are operating. Since Aug. 14, a third Chinese survey vessel, the Haiyang 4, has been surveying an area of the continental shelf jointly claimed by Malaysia and Vietnam.

There are no military solutions to this pattern of Chinese coercion. If Washington wants to avert a crisis and prove it is serious about upholding freedom of the seas, it will need a robust diplomatic and economic strategy in lockstep with international partners. The goal should be to raise the costs to Beijing for its behavior and convince Chinese leaders they will lose more on the global stage than they will gain locally from their campaign of coercion.

Such a strategy must begin with the State Department recruiting other countries—including European states, Japan, India and Australia—to call on China to abide by its legal obligations. The broader the coalition calling on Beijing to alter its behavior, the higher the reputational costs China will pay for staying its current course.

The U.S. and allies should couple this with the imposition of direct economic costs. If China wants to rely on civilian actors and paramilitaries to coerce its neighbors, then those forces should be unmasked. The U.S. and partner countries should publicly identify Chinese civilian actors and their owners who engage in militia activities targeting China’s neighbors.

Washington should block those entities from doing business in the U.S. or accessing international financial markets through a vehicle like the South China Sea Sanctions Act, currently before both houses of Congress. There is a precedent: The U.S. and Europe responded similarly to Russia’s use of paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

China is engaged in a long-term campaign of bullying, intimidation and paramilitary violence against Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Its aggressive pursuit of claims that flout international law at the expense of the rights of Southeast Asian nations is a serious challenge to the international maritime order and regional stability.

Mr. Poling is director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Mr. Hiebert is a senior associate at CSIS’s Southeast Asia Program.

G M

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Laowhy86 on China vs. Hong Kong
« Reply #877 on: August 28, 2019, 09:03:29 PM »

DougMacG

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Re: Laowhy86 on China vs. Hong Kong
« Reply #878 on: August 29, 2019, 06:55:48 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4wbx9hIN4E

Being afraid to speak up is one thing, but hard for me to understand how people in the mainland actually support the oppression. 

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Re: Laowhy86 on China vs. Hong Kong
« Reply #879 on: August 29, 2019, 10:41:25 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4wbx9hIN4E

Being afraid to speak up is one thing, but hard for me to understand how people in the mainland actually support the oppression.

The Chinese public knows communism is garbage. The CCP uses nationalism to fill the void.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #880 on: August 30, 2019, 04:00:47 PM »
 

Where Do Hong Kong's Protests Go From Here?

What Happened
With new protests and potential violence in Hong Kong a distinct possibility in the weeks ahead, the city's police force is striving to stay a step ahead of its competition. Authorities detained seven prominent activists, including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Andy Chan, on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 on charges that they were organizing protests. The arrests coincided with a ban on a major rally that the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), a key organizer against the contentious extradition bill that first ignited Hong Kong's protests, had scheduled for Aug. 31. As a result of the prohibition, the CHRF called off the rally, during which it had planned to demand universal suffrage on the fifth anniversary of Beijing's controversial white paper that effectively rejected the request.
The Big Picture
________________________________________
Now nearing its 14th week, anti-government protests in Hong Kong have escalated violently and dramatically in recent weeks, putting the city's all-important business and transportation activities at risk and raising the prospect of a harsher crackdown or direct intervention by Beijing. The general course of the protest movement and the demonstrators' deep — and still unaddressed — grievances make the chances of a de-escalation remote.
________________________________________
China in TransitionAsia-Pacific: Among Great Powers
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong airport authority said it would strictly enforce an earlier court injunction to ban demonstrations at the hub amid some protesters' plans to conduct another nearby "stress test" (efforts that have, in effect, disrupted the airport for several days since earlier this month). At present, the situation on the street remains volatile, as protesters plan new rounds of industrial strikes and class boycotts and the police prepare for a harsher crackdown with advanced equipment, including water cannon. At the same time, Hong Kong's authorities have been in discussion about making a final roll of the dice — a far-reaching emergency ordinance that would further restrict people's ability to protest — in an effort to head off the nuclear solution: direct intervention by Beijing.
Why It Matters
Despite the ban on the Aug. 31 rally, the detentions and the ongoing crackdown, the authorities' actions are unlikely to quell the situation on the ground due to the fluid nature of the opposition movement and the demonstrators' deep-seated grievances against Hong Kong's government and Beijing over their refusal to meet protesters' demands. In fact, the measures could provoke more radical protesters to resort to more aggressive tactics, inflaming the situation.
 
With a political settlement a remote possibility and the police unable to suppress the unrest at this point, Hong Kong's authorities are increasingly looking into legal options to beat back the demonstrators. One such means that has attracted heated debate is the potential invocation of the 1922 Emergency Regulations Ordinance, which could grant Chief Executive Carrie Lam near-unrestrained power to control the internet, seize key transport hubs and arrest and deport demonstrators.
But given the potential legal hurdles to such a step, as well as the disruptions it would cause to businesses and the wider public, Hong Kong authorities are likely to apply the ordinance only in a small geographic area and avoid censoring the internet too much. In the end, however, the law might be Lam's last chance to quell the protests on their own — and preempt Beijing, which would intervene reluctantly, though heavy-handedly. And given that Oct. 1, China's National Day, is just a month away, Hong Kong will be under unprecedented pressure from Beijing to stabilize the situation, which China's central authorities believe Lam's government made on its own. At this stage, however, it is unclear whether the Hong Kong police are powerful enough to halt the protests even if authorities invoke the ordinance, meaning Beijing's foreboding presence will continue to loom over proceedings.
 
What to Watch for Next
Protest movement: The success of the upcoming protests and strikes will be critical in gauging the trajectory of the movement and, in turn, evaluating the government's options. If the protests remain peaceful, there will be less need for the emergency ordinance or Beijing's intervention — something that would help restore business confidence, which has been shaken by the crisis. But a further escalation in which protesters overwhelm the airport, key transport links or politically symbolic buildings such as Beijing's liaison office will strengthen the hand of those advocating a harsher crackdown through the imposition of the ordinance.
Internal debates: The Hong Kong government remains extremely divided over the emergency ordinance, with some in the administration even unclear as to which authority would approve the move. A possible legislative process to impose the act would likely have to wait until the Hong Kong Legislative Council reconvenes in October, but Lam's government could take the unilateral step to invoke the act if it deems it necessary, although that would ignite a firestorm of controversy and risk further splitting the government. At the same time, the administration is debating the scope of the possible ordinance, with some recommending the implementation of an anti-mask law (such laws exist in the United States and Canada) to discourage violence.
Coordination with Beijing: Beijing, which does not want to take blame for the crisis, would certainly prefer that Lam's government and police handle the unrest instead of conducting an intervention that would immediately result in U.S. sanctions and disrupt its efforts at maintaining its "one country, two systems" with regard to Hong Kong. Given the high stakes in Hong Kong and the prospect that Beijing may feel compelled to intervene if local police fail to enforce the emergency ordinance, signs of coordination between the central government and Lam's administration will be critical in tracking Beijing's position. Other signposts would include the mobilization of the Chinese People's Armed Police, the security forces just over the border in Shenzhen, as well as the military in the Hong Kong garrison to see whether these forces could play an assisting role.
Reaction from the business community and foreign governments: Foreign and domestic businesses are stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they have no desire to see the ongoing crisis or a possible state of emergency — let alone an intervention from Beijing. Besides the toll on Hong Kong's economy, sentiment among the all-powerful business community and foreign governments, particularly the United States, will be key to follow regarding a possible emergency ordinance – since their opposition could go a long way to restraining both Lam's government and the one in Beijing.
Read on Worldview




Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Naval cooperation
« Reply #881 on: September 03, 2019, 09:55:55 AM »


Maritime security in the Asia-Pacific. This week will see several significant developments in Asia-Pacific security. The U.S. kicked off its first-ever military exercises with the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The location of the exercises, jointly led by the U.S. and Thai navies, will range from the Gulf of Thailand to the South China Sea. Japan and India’s defense ministers met yesterday in Tokyo to advance their talks on security cooperation, in particular on establishing a bilateral acquisition and cross-servicing agreement. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha signed a memorandum of understanding on military intelligence cooperation. While such memorandums themselves do not carry much weight, it is notable that South Korea is pursuing intelligence sharing with its neighbors after scaling back such cooperation with Japan. Last but certainly not least, there are signs that the government of the Solomon Islands may be rethinking its relationship with China. A Solomon delegation of eight ministers recently paid visits to both Taiwan and Beijing. The Solomon Islands have recognized Taiwan for the past 36 years, and a shift toward Beijing would raise concerns for both the U.S. and Australia, for whom the islands play a strategic role in maritime security objectives

DougMacG

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Re: GPF: Naval cooperation
« Reply #882 on: September 03, 2019, 10:18:58 AM »
Maritime security in the Asia-Pacific. This week will see several significant developments in Asia-Pacific security. The U.S. kicked off its first-ever military exercises with the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The location of the exercises, jointly led by the U.S. and Thai navies, will range from the Gulf of Thailand to the South China Sea. Japan and India’s defense ministers met yesterday in Tokyo to advance their talks on security cooperation, in particular on establishing a bilateral acquisition and cross-servicing agreement. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha signed a memorandum of understanding on military intelligence cooperation. While such memorandums themselves do not carry much weight, it is notable that South Korea is pursuing intelligence sharing with its neighbors after scaling back such cooperation with Japan. Last but certainly not least, there are signs that the government of the Solomon Islands may be rethinking its relationship with China. A Solomon delegation of eight ministers recently paid visits to both Taiwan and Beijing. The Solomon Islands have recognized Taiwan for the past 36 years, and a shift toward Beijing would raise concerns for both the U.S. and Australia, for whom the islands play a strategic role in maritime security objectives

Winning. 

I thought our allies were all turning against us.  Oops, another false narrative.

DougMacG

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China human rights dissident writes, Trump gets China
« Reply #883 on: September 04, 2019, 07:34:44 AM »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/trump-has-the-right-strategy-on-beijing-as-a-chinese-dissident-id-know/2019/08/30/2579b5ba-ca81-11e9-8067-196d9f17af68_story.html

Presidents before Trump naively believed that China would abide by international standards of behavior if it were granted access to institutions like the World Trade Organization and generally treated as a “normal” country. But that path proved mistaken, and Beijing ignored Western pressure on matters from human rights to the widespread theft of intellectual property. Trump, whatever his flaws, grasps this reality.

Unlike many of his predecessors in the White House, Trump appears to understand innately the hooliganism and brutality at the heart of the CCP. He comprehends that — whether in the realm of trade, diplomacy or international order — dictatorships do not commonly play by the rules of democratic nations. While past administrations have curried favor with the CCP (“appeasement” is not too strong a word), Trump has made excising the party’s growing corrosion of U.S. society — from business and the media to education and politics — a focus.

Which past administrations failed to understand China?

Think of Richard Nixon marveling at staged supermarkets and shoppers in Beijing, and paving the way for the severing of ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) in favor of the communist regime. Or Bill Clinton, after talking tough, declining to make “most favored nation” status for China conditional on human rights reviews, effectively eliminating any leverage the United States had over China with respect to fair trade, not to mention rights. As China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization moved toward reality, in 2000, Clinton described it as “the most significant opportunity that we have had to create positive change in China since the 1970s.” He said there would be no downsides to freer trade: It was “the equivalent of a one-way street.”

Following the attacks of 9/11, George W. Bush turned a blind eye when Beijing used the U.S. war on terror as cover for persecuting ethnic minorities; Barack Obama repeatedly shied away from mentioning human rights to CCP officials, notably during a visit in 2009.

...
It is different with Trump:

During his administration, the Justice Department has ordered that CCP-run media companies operating in the United States register as foreign agents. His is the first administration to subject Confucius Institutes at U.S. colleges and universities — which serve as the eyes and ears of the CCP — to intense scrutiny, leading to the closure of several.

Trump is the first American president to take a call from a Taiwanese president since the United States cut off formal diplomatic ties with the island in 1979. He has placed sanctions on Chinese nationals, including a CCP official responsible for the death of a human rights activist and three people involved in trafficking fentanyl. He has met with persecuted people of a broad range of religious beliefs in the Oval Office, including Uighurs, Tibetans and Christians from independent Chinese “house churches.” He’s said that a deal on tariff depends on China working “humanely” with Hong Kong.
...
China is a deep-pocketed, rapacious regime that poses a significant threat not just to American interests but to the entire civilized world. Yet after decades of empty talk about nudging China toward reform, we’re at a point where it is American companies, news outlets and universities that feel pressured to play by Beijing’s rules or risk losing access to its markets and resources.

Trump, with an admittedly unorthodox style, is trying to break down the systems, and the concessions, that have allowed the CCP to operate unchecked for too long. He deserves credit, not criticism, for saying: Enough.

-----------------

Trump has not yet attacked China's human rights abuses, but by attacking their power and control he is arguably helping that cause.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 07:39:35 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Duterte's trip to China
« Reply #884 on: September 07, 2019, 06:56:50 AM »


Duterte’s trip to the Middle Kingdom. For the fifth time in three years, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting China, where he will hold talks with President Xi Jinping and meet various other officials during a four-day visit. A few hours before Duterte was due to arrive, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent an apology letter from the Guangdong Fishery Mutual Insurance Association to the Philippines’ Foreign Ministry regarding an incident in which a Chinese ship collided with a Philippine fishing boat in June near Reed Bank. The conciliatory move is a nice touch but hardly enough to provide much of a release on the internal domestic pressure Duterte is facing over his government’s pursuit of a closer relationship with China. Duterte and Xi are reportedly set to sign a number of impressive-sounding deals. The two countries have signed many deals totaling billions of dollars in recent years, but their execution has been less impressive. Meanwhile, the Philippine navy announced earlier today that it will acquire multiple new ships, including two submarines.

DougMacG

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US-China, Hong Kong protesters sing Star Spangled Banner, appeal for Trump to...
« Reply #885 on: September 08, 2019, 03:56:31 PM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/hong-kong-protesters-sing-star-spangled-banner-appeal-trump-liberate-n1051166

Hong Kong protesters sing Star Spangled Banner, appeal to Trump to 'liberate' city

HONG KONG — Thousands of Hong Kong protesters on Sunday sang the Star Spangled Banner and called on President Donald Trump to "liberate" the Chinese-ruled city, the latest in a series of demonstrations that have gripped the territory for months.

Police stood by as protesters, under a sea of umbrellas against the sub-tropical sun, waved the Stars and Stripes and placards appealing for democracy after another night of violence in the 14th week of unrest.

"Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong," they shouted before handing over petitions at the U.S. Consulate. "Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong."

Hong Kong has been rocked by a summer of unrest kicked off by a proposed law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Many saw the extradition bill as a glaring example of the Chinese territory’s eroding autonomy since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.

Hong Kong’s government promised last week to withdraw the bill — an early demand of protesters — but that has failed to appease the demonstrators, who have widened their demands to include other issues, such as greater democracy.

Sunday’s rally followed overnight violent clashes between protesters and police at several metro stations.

Image: Anti-Government Protest Movement in Hong Kong
Police have responded to violence in recent weeks with water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas.Carl Court / Getty Images
The unrest has become the biggest challenge to Beijing’s rule since Hong Kong’s return from Britain.

Beijing and the entirely state-controlled media have portrayed the protests as an effort by criminals to split the territory from China, backed by hostile foreigners.

Protesters on Sunday urged Washington to pass a bill, known as the Hong Kong Democratic and Human Rights Act, to support their cause.

The bill proposes sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials found to suppress democracy and human rights in the city, and could also affect Hong Kong’s preferential trade status with the U.S.

Related

NEWS
Pro-Hong Kong rallies in U.S. met with pushback from China supporters
The State Department said in a travel advisory Friday that Beijing has undertaken a propaganda campaign “falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.” It said U.S. citizens and embassy staff have been the target of the propaganda and urged them to exercise increased caution.

Some U.S. lawmakers have spoken out strongly in support of the Hong Kong protesters and voiced concern about the potential for a brutal crackdown by China.

Trump, however, has indicated the U.S. would stay out of a matter he considers between Hong Kong and China. He has said he believes the U.S. trade war with China is making Beijing tread carefully.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday urged China to exercise restraint in Hong Kong.



DougMacG

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China's economy is worse than they admit
« Reply #886 on: September 09, 2019, 06:18:30 AM »
Official numbers have long exaggerated growth but more so now to hide the decline.  Auto sales down 15 of the last 16 months.  As growth slows, the private sector share of the economy in China is shrinking making the economy more state-run and less dynamic.  This is a prescription for failure, IMHO, becoming less like Silicon Valley and more like the Soviet Union.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-says-growth-is-fine-private-data-show-a-sharper-slowdown-11567960192?mod=hp_lead_pos5
https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-state-driven-growth-model-is-running-out-of-gas-11563372006?mod=article_inline

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Chinese purchase of Duterte paying off
« Reply #887 on: September 11, 2019, 09:44:51 AM »
The snark in the subject line about having bought Duterte is mine, not GPF's, but note well the Chinese strategy here:

else, it’s clear that he’s keeping communication open with his erstwhile ally.
China and the Philippines at sea. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that Manila intends to move forward with a contentious maritime oil and gas exploration deal with China – and that his government would ignore The Hague’s landmark 2016 arbitration ruling invalidating China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea, including waters around the resource-rich Reed Bank in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Duterte said that, during last week’s visit to Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to a 60-40 revenue sharing scheme favoring the Philippines. As we’ve previously noted, China’s primary goal here is not to take the hydrocarbons for itself but to force regional states into joint exploration agreements that implicitly acknowledge China’s distended territorial claims. As a result, it has repeatedly blocked Manila’s attempts to launch joint exploration with firms from other countries. The Philippines needs the gas, and thus it’s reluctantly going along with China. But the deal may run afoul of the Philippine constitution, not to mention nationalist political forces in the country. Indeed, attempts at energy cooperation with China have contributed to the downfall of a Philippine leader in the past



DougMacG

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Re: Grim analysis from Spengler
« Reply #890 on: September 13, 2019, 07:34:49 AM »
https://www.lawliberty.org/2019/09/12/we-need-our-mojo-back-vis-a-vis-china/?utm_source=LAL+Updates&utm_campaign=01145ca698-LAL_Daily_Updates&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_53ee3e1605-01145ca698-72519097

We aren't winning.

The 5G thing is mystifying. 

"Huawei owns 40 percent of the patents related to fifth-generation broadband, largely because it spent twice as much on research and development as its two largest rivals (Ericsson and Nokia) combined."

None of these three are American.  Where is Qualcomm?  Where is Silicon Valley?  While we were f*ing around with solyndra and windmills, cash for clunkers and "shovel-ready jobs", they were changing the nature of espionage and war.

The one thing worse than being the world's only superpower is to have a brutal, hostile, repressive totalitarian regime take that place.
.......
"As we examine the details, the picture of a Soviet-style communist regime bent on world domination falls apart. China’s concept of world domination is so different from what we imagine that it has halfway come to fruition before we noticed it."
...
"Foreign students earn four-fifths of all doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer science at U.S. universities"

But we direct our best and our brightest to become lawyers, social justice warriors and gender and climate non-scientists.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2019, 07:46:40 AM by DougMacG »


G M

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DougMacG

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Re: US-China, pork, soy, protein shortage
« Reply #893 on: September 14, 2019, 07:15:37 PM »
Michael Yon via Instapundit

”There is a tiny, tiny notice in the news today that China has backed off on its tariffs on US soy and pork.

Ya don’t say…

First of all, soy and pork are protein, which is a chronic problem in all national food chains, but more so in China. Between their traditional plant based diet and the cultural prestige of eating pork (the middle class literally measures its affluence by how many nights a week they eat pork and the lower classes and villages use pork as a celebratory meal), China’s protein consumption is very narrowly restricted to soy and pork (fish is common, but not nearly as available as soy and pork).

Second, by lifting the tariffs, China has just admitted it cannot produce enough protein for national consumption, both as a staple or as a preferred meat. Imagine a US shortage of wheat and chicken, with no real access to corn or beef, and a couple dozen urban areas of 20 millions or more with just a third arable land as now. That’s China.

So, what’s the problem with China’s agricultural industry? Basically, they simply do not have enough land to grow the volume of soy they need; and, their pork production is highly diffused and is ravaged by a massive and seemingly uncontrollable swine flu epidemic. In fact, it is estimated that up to 60% of China’s pigs are infected with the flu.

To compound a bad situation to worse, Chinese officials are both incapable of enforcing a quarantine and too corrupt to stop the spread of the flu.

While this seems to have little to do with defense or military matters, I would suggest it is a huge red shift event offering insights into both the underlying economic and organizational civilian support system of the Red Army and suggestive of a wider indigenous structural and organizational condition of the military and government writ large.

I believe we can draw significant conclusions from closely studying China’s responses to this food supply crisis and extrapolating our observations to the military to understand what they do under stressful conditions, what resources they deploy, and how they organize their response. Not to mention, how the civilian population responds to the military’s demands.

“Stipulated: The food supply chain is in fact a national security issue and it is a function of the military’s most basic needs. A lot can be learned by studying this issue.”

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #894 on: September 14, 2019, 09:19:10 PM »
Interesting thinking there , , ,

Crafty_Dog

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The Spengler piece is dead on.