9 August 2022

China’s Taiwan Saber-Rattling Is the New Normal

Jack Detsch and Anusha Rathi

China’s decision to drastically curb diplomacy with the United States in the wake of the top U.S. lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan—including nixing crisis communications channels that the Biden administration had worked assiduously to prop up—is an increasing sign that the relationship is set to hit a new low, experts and former senior U.S. officials told Foreign Policy.

On Friday, as 49 Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait—a new record for daily air incursions—less than 36 hours after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan and just one day after unleashing a barrage of ballistic missiles that cut off the island from two sides, Chinese officials laid out eight responses that appeared to set a dismal new normal for the relationship. They include cutting off talks between military theater commands, working meetings between the ministries of defense, and maritime security talks. Also taken off the table were climate talks and illegal migrant repatriations.

Experts who spoke to Foreign Policy said the moves indicated that China was trying to set a new normal in the relationship that would not be defined by new guardrails, which Chinese officials have mostly scoffed at while slowly raising the military temperature over Taiwan.

Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry

Zeyi Yangarchive page

China’s chipmaking industry descended into chaos last week, with at least four top executives associated with a state-owned semiconductor fund arrested on corruption charges. It’s an explosive turn of events that could force the country to fundamentally rethink how it invests in chip development, according to analysts and experts.

On July 30, China’s top anticorruption institution announced that Ding Wenwu, the chief executive of the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, nicknamed the “Big Fund,” had been arrested for “suspected serious violations of the law.” Ding is not the only person in trouble. Two weeks ago, Lu Jun, a former executive at the Big Fund’s management institution, was also taken into custody, along with two other fund managers, according to the Chinese news outlet Caixin.

Tracking the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis

As U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan on August 2-3, China responded with forceful and coercive military, economic, and diplomatic measures. Developments are still unfolding, but the large-scale and unprecedented military exercises taken by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) far exceed the operations China engaged in during the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis that took place in 1995-1996. Chinese escalation has precipitated the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis, leading to international calls for China to immediately halt its military activities. This page will track and analyze key Chinese activities as they develop.

Unprecedented PLA Military Exercises around Taiwan

The most significant step to date is a series of large military exercises and live-fire drills. On August 2, Chinese state media announced that the PLA would conduct military exercises from August 4-7 in six zones throughout the Taiwan Strait and around the island of Taiwan. State media detailed that the exercises would include:A series of joint military operations around Taiwan;

Beyond Agent vs. Instrument: The Neo-Coloniality of Drones in Contemporary Warfare

Niklas Balbon
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On the 7th of December 2021, a new coalition government in Germany took office that contractually agreed on equipping the German military with armed drones (Koalitionsvertrag 2021: 149). To people familiar with drone programs of countries like the US, this might not seem like a newsworthy decision. However, given the year-long—and in part bitterly held—debate around the acquisition of armed drones in Germany (Franke 2021), it underscores an important point: armed drones are a highly contested technology. In fact, evaluations of drones range all the way from the most humane and accurate mode of warfare (Strawser 2012) to “inherently colonialist technologies” (Gusterson 2016: 149). While far away from unanimity, there has been a recent shift in scholarship on drones, which increasingly investigates its ties to neo-colonialism (Shaw 2016; Gusterson 2016; Parks 2016; Vasko 2013; Akther 2019; Espinoza 2018). However, literature on the coloniality of drones remains unspecific on the question of whether drones should be seen as a tool or as a driver of neo-colonialism. For instance, Akther identifies drones as “the latest technological manifestation of a much older logic of state power” (Akther 2019: 69), which implies an instrumentalist view. In contrast, other scholars argue that the development of drones has influenced our understanding of what constitutes legitimate warfare (McDonald 2017: 21), thus offering a substantivist view on technology. These diverging claims raise a fundamental question about the relationship between military technology and neo-colonialism: can military technology be seen as more than a mere tool to achieve neo-colonial ambitions?

Supply Chains and War: The Importance of Baku’s Port

Wilder Alejandro Sánchez

As the world prepares for a new Cold War (or a second Cold War), the stress on global supply chains due to the war in Ukraine continues to affect international commerce. The flow of goods, particularly energy, from Central Asia to Europe has become a vital issue since the war commenced, with Europe looking for alternative routes that avoid Russian territory. The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), commonly known as the Middle Corridor, has emerged as a viable alternative. The infrastructural cornerstone of this route is Azerbaijan’s Baku International Sea Trade Port.

Let us understand the importance of the Port of Baku. The Middle Corridor is a joint venture composed of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey – due to historical and recent tensions and disputes with neighboring states (namely the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War), Armenia has not formally joined the Corridor. Thus, Azerbaijan’s importance becomes apparent as it is the only Caucasus country with a port in the Caspian Sea, to which goods arrive from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Russia, Ukraine, and the decision to negotiate

Steven Pifer

With an ugly war of attrition in Ukraine threatening to drag on for months, some fear possible escalation and suggest Washington should start talking to Moscow about a cease-fire and ending the war, or offer proposals to foster diplomatic opportunities.

Ending the fighting may well require talks, but the decision to negotiate should lie with Kyiv.

The Russian army launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on three fronts on February 24. However, by the end of March, it had to abandon its goal of capturing the Ukrainian capital and withdrew from much of northern Ukraine. The Kremlin said its forces would then focus on Donbas, consisting of Ukraine’s easternmost oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk.

By mid-July, Russian soldiers had occupied most of Luhansk. That represented a symbolic victory, but in reality three months of grinding fighting gained little new territory. The Russian army, which has seen roughly 15,000 to 25,000 soldiers killed in action and lost much equipment, appears exhausted.

How Fast Could China Take Over Taiwan? If Occupied by China, Could Taiwan Be Liberated?


With tensions potentially higher than they have been in years, and Chinese weapons, planes and warships conducting war drills encircling Taiwan, the possibility of a massive Chinese-US confrontation may now look more realistic, if not imminent.

Several Pentagon reports and think tank studies have in recent months raised the question of whether Taiwan could quickly be taken over by China, creating a “fait-accompli” circumstance wherein any effort to remove occupying Chinese forces by force could introduce potentially unprecedented and catastrophic consequences.

Much of this simply seems to pertain to a simple, self-evident question … could U.S., Japanese, South Korean and Australian forces get there fast enough? Could there be an effective, coordinated multi-domain response within the crucial, and likely quite small time window afforded during a Chinese attack? How quickly would a Chinese attack be detected? How far away are response forces?

IP22041 | From Pragmatism to Aggression: The Sources and Consequences of China’s Assertive Foreign Policy under Xi Jinping

 Anthony Toh,Lee Jonghyuk

Ever since China implemented its reform and open-door policy in the late 1970s, its leaders had venerated Deng Xiaoping’s taoguang yanghui approach to foreign policy, which meant “keeping a low profile until the opportune moment”. The Communist Party of China (CPC) was keen to avoid unnecessary confrontation with liberal democracies, which could have been sparked if China had launched any global initiatives. Moreover, the end of the Cold War provided the CPC with valuable lessons to learn and reflect on: the party directly witnessed how a chauvinistic and overbearing foreign policy had played a critical role in the downfall of the Soviet Union. Hence, China’s leaders were wary about being seen as hawkish actors on the international scene.

In order for the Chinese economy to be fully integrated with its advanced counterparts, China was required to prove itself as a peace-loving and trusted member of the international community. Deng Xiaoping’s successors, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, embraced his pragmatic approach in formulating their foreign policies. Liberating the CPC from ideological battles, this pragmatic approach allowed China the flexibility to pursue its national interests. In particular, the World Trade Organization entry in 2001 was considered a triumph of China’s pragmatism. This restrained and sober approach also underpinned Hu Jintao’s efforts in 2004 to anchor the international role of China in the concept of “harmonious rise”.

Despite repression, civilians resist their jihadist rulers

Isak Svensson, Daniel Finnbogason, Dino Krause

Between 2014 and 2019, the so-called Islamic State imposed an ultra-repressive proto-state in its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The group became infamous for its drastic attempt to implement what it regarded as a truly Islamic, Sharia-based form of governance. Civilians were exposed to drastic and brutal punishments when they disrespected the new regulations, ranging from public executions to floggings and amputations.

In a new book published with Oxford University Press, Isak Svensson (Professor at Uppsala University), DIIS PhD Candidate Dino Krause and three co-authors (Daniel Finnbogason, Luís Martínez Lorenzo and Nanar Hawach) investigate how Iraqi civilians in Mosul found ways to resist IS’s brutal reign of terror, despite the extremely repressive circumstances. The authors show that non-violent resistance against the group was widespread and highly diverse, ranging from a few cases of open, more confrontative acts of defiance to more common, hidden resistance such as listening to forbidden music, consuming alcohol, or refusing to pay taxes.

Beijing briefing: is the Belt and Road going nowhere?

Dr Yu Jie

Over the past two decades, China specialists around the world have tried to analyze Beijing’s approach to developing countries in the Global South, including Africa, Latin America, parts of Asia and the Pacific islands.

China’s relationships with nations in these regions vary considerably. In some, ideology or geography are the biggest influencing factors; for others, economic and commercial gains matter most. However, many of Beijing’s recent engagements have attracted more criticism than praise. A domestic economic downturn means that Beijing has tightened its belt, spending less on overseas development.

When President Xi Jinping came to power, he was keen to highlight how China’s power could shape and dictate the global agenda across multilateral platforms. His vision was for China to project discursive power and become an agenda-setter rather than a rule-follower. The Global South is the route to fulfilling his proposal.

Climbing out of the Chinese debt trap

Dr Alex Vines OBE

Poorer countries across the world – including many in Africa – are facing $35 billion in debt-service payments in 2022. According to the World Bank, around 40 per cent of this total is owed to China.

Across the African continent, the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have increased rates of extreme poverty and inequality. Since early 2022 the situation has worsened even further, due to the knock-on effects of spiking inflation and interest rates following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Shortages of fuel and foodstuffs have caused prices to leap upwards. Urban unrest is on the rise, and African governments are having to make tough economic choices as their budgets are squeezed ever more tightly.

Across the continent, progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is being jeopardized, and non-energy-producing lower and lower-middle income African governments are struggling to repay their loans.

The Folly of Pakistan’s China Gamble

Husain Haqqani

In July, a popular uprising in Sri Lanka toppled the government and sent its president scurrying into exile. The revolt had been brewing for months in the wake of the country’s economic implosion, but it still caught observers off-guard. In surreal scenes, protesters took over the presidential palace, swam in the pool, dined in the kitchen, traipsed around the bedrooms, and held stylized meetings in the conference rooms.

Such images from Sri Lanka stunned cash-strapped economies across South Asia, a turbulent region plagued by unstable governments, toxic nationalism, violent extremism, and the unsettling consequences of China’s expanding influence. From Dhaka to Islamabad, governments in the region have looked at the chaos in Colombo and wondered if they might be next.

US Congress Reaffirms Ties with India

Husain Haqqani & Aparna Pande

The US House of Representatives paved the way for removing a potential irritant in India-US relations last month when it called upon the Biden administration to issue an India-specific waiver under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Secretary of State Antony Blinken can now exempt India from CAATSA sanctions designed to impose restrictions on countries that buy military systems from Russia.

The purpose of CAATSA was to chasten the United States’ enemies, not punish its friends—a point made by supporters of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2023 that called for the waiver for India. Ro Khanna, the Indian-American Democratic congressman from California who moved the amendment, noted that India needs to maintain its Russian weapon systems as it faces “immediate and serious” threats from China.

The West’s Long-Lasting Enemies Cannot Be Cajoled

Michael Barone

Revisionist powers, nations whose leaders seek to undermine American leadership in the world, seem to be on the march.

Russia persists with its heavy bombardments in Ukraine. Its army holds on, at least for now, not only in eastern Ukraine but also on the Black Sea coast, shutting off Ukraine from supplies and trade with the rest of the world.

China is threatening retaliation for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. The regime of Xi Jinping may be mollified for the moment by the Biden White House’s hints that it wasn’t their idea, or deterred by the staging of U.S. naval forces nearby. But there’s no doubt that China has much more military capacity to attack Taiwan and inflict damage on U.S. forces than when Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997.

US-Israel-Palestine security role facing downgrade; can a colonel do a general’s job?


WASHINGTON and TEL AVIV: A below-the-radar American military liaison role between Israel and Palestine is facing a major change, one advocates and experts worry could further set back relations between the two sides.

On June 1, Axios reported that the Pentagon was looking to downgrade the role of the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority from a three-star general, which it has been since its creation in 2005, to a colonel-level position, as part of a Congressionally mandated requirement to cut the number of general officer roles at DoD. Despite pushback from a number of corners, including 32 US Senators, the Times of Israel reported Tuesday that the downgrade is still likely to happen by the end of the year.

The USSC serves a unique role: a military officer who reports both to the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Officially, its role is to help develop the Palestinian security forces, work with Israel’s security apparatus and have a “persistent presence [that] provides a positive and visible sign of the U.S. commitment to an enduring partnership with both Israel and the Palestinian people,” according to an official State document.

China’s military exercises are an intel bonanza — for all sides


China’s massing of ships, aircraft and missiles near Taiwan is giving the U.S. a never-before-seen glimpse of how Beijing might launch a military campaign against the island. But China is also learning plenty of lessons that could eventually prove more important in how it plans for any future strike against the island of 23 million people.

For all of China’s military might, the People’s Liberation Army has limited real-world experience outside of highly-choreographed domestic military exercises and hasn’t fired a shot in anger since border scraps with Vietnam that ended in the 1980s.

That makes these quickly assembled exercises around Taiwan a critical test for Beijing. China has brought dozens of aircraft, 13 ships, missile batteries and their crews to bear in the last days, signaling an ability to deploy quickly, even if it’s close to home. Its ability to sustain those operations over time, if that’s what Beijing decides, will be a critical test for the military, and closely watched.

Chinese Military Drills Aim to Awe, Both Abroad and at Home

Vivian Wang

China’s military continued on Saturday to menace Taiwan with a series of drills, a show of force intended not only to intimidate Taiwan and the United States, but also to appease a domestic audience that had seemed disappointed by what it perceived as an insufficiently bellicose posture.

In what has been as much a series of propaganda exercises as military ones, China over the past few days has threatened territory that Taiwan considers its own more directly than ever before. During the drills, announced in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan earlier this week, Chinese missiles have landed in the waters to the north, south and east of Taiwan, and dozens of military planes have repeatedly crossed the informal median line in the Taiwan Strait that divides the island from the mainland. Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Saturday that Chinese military aircraft and ships in the strait appeared to be simulating an attack on the main island of Taiwan.

Chinese state media covered the exercises breathlessly, and the response from much of Chinese social media was ecstatic. On Weibo, a Twitter-like social media platform, several of the top trending topics were about the military exercises. A hashtag about China having the total ability to compel reunification with Taiwan, started by the official People’s Daily, had been viewed more than 500 million times. Another hashtag, “What China says, it does,” had more than 50 million views.

Xi’s Great Leap Backward

Craig Singleton

China, often dubbed “the world’s factory,” accounts for around 30 percent of global manufacturing output. However, there is one commodity China cannot produce fast enough: jobs for its millions of newly minted college graduates.

Amid China’s worsening economic crisis, nearly one-fifth of those between the ages of 16 and 24 are now unemployed, with millions more underemployed. One survey found that of the 11 million Chinese students who graduated from college this summer, fewer than 15 percent had secured job offers by mid-April. Even as many U.S. and European workers are seeing their salaries surge, this year’s Chinese graduates can expect to earn 12 percent less than the class of 2021. Many will make less than truck drivers—if they are lucky enough to find a job at all.

China Firm Unveils Chip That Closes Gap on US Rival

China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) unveiled a new memory chip technology that helps it close the gap on rivals including America’s Micron and South Korea’s SK Hynix.

Wuhan-based YMTC’s fourth-generation 3D NAND chip, the X3-9070, is the first to feature 232 layers of memory cells, according to a report by the state-run Global Times on Wednesday.

SK Hynix has already developed its first 238-layer memory chip, boasting a new industry benchmark, while Micron last month said it plans to start mass production of its 232-layer chip by the end of the year

Industry experts say that while YMTC is unlikely to launch mass production of the chip anytime soon, it nevertheless marks a breakthrough for the company. A YMTC spokesperson declined to comment on the Global Times report.

The Age of Asia

Minhaz Merchant

IN 1960, THE world’s four largest economies were the US (GDP: $543 billion), West Germany ($176 billion), Britain ($73 billion), and France ($62 billion).

China ($59 billion) and Japan ($44 billion) didn’t make the cut. The top four nations were European or of European descent.

Fast-forward to 2027. That’s when, five years from today, India’s GDP is expected to overtake Germany’s GDP (currently $4.1 trillion) and become the world’s fourth largest economy. Thus, the economic pecking order in 2027: 1) The US; 2) China; 3) Japan; 4) India.

For the first time in over 300 years, not a single European country will feature in the top four. And for the first time too, three of the world’s four largest economies will be Asian.

Chinese chip IPO is bet on double self-sufficiency

Robyn Mak

HONG KONG, Aug 3 (Reuters Breakingviews) - A Chinese chipmaker is becoming Beijing's poster child for technological self-sufficiency. Hygon Information Technology (688041.SS) is readying a $1.6 billion float – the largest so far on Shanghai's STAR market this year. The company's controversial joint venture with U.S.-based AMD (AMD.O) formed back in 2016 gave it a leg-up in microprocessors, and the deal’s huge valuation premium spotlights its ongoing hope for success as it strikes out on its own.

Hygon may be little-known outside the People's Republic, but it is a rising star at home. The company in 2018 debuted a cutting-edge processor on par with Intel (INTC.O) and AMD. Its partnership with the latter allowed Hygon to license advanced chip designs and sell its production to local hardware manufacturers including Lenovo (0992.HK). Escalating U.S.-China tensions have dealt a huge blow to the business, however. In 2019, Washington added both Hygon and its joint venture’s units onto the Entity List restricting them from U.S. exports. AMD says it has stopped selling products, providing services or transferring technology to the joint venture.

The Marine Corps’ new plan will not beat China in a fight for Taiwan

Maj. Franz J. Gayl

Marine Commandant Gen. David H. Berger has elected to shed the time-tested potency of the Corps’ signature self-sufficient combined arms Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

His haste to do so appears to be his eagerness to secure a service role in defending Taiwan and containing China.

Yet, the commandant’s Force Design 2030 team members defend the changes. Their analyses of expeditionary advance base operations war games and experimentation prove the Marine Corps is a key contributor to victory in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Taiwan contingency.

However, information obtained from open-source literature reveals examples of how the new EABO doctrine is destined to fail.

Putin is banking on a failure of political will in the west before Russia runs out of firepower

Timothy Garton Ash

The Russo-Ukrainian war is coming down to a race between the weakening political will of western democracies and the deteriorating military means of Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship. But this race will be a marathon, not a sprint. Sustaining that political will requires the kind of farsighted leadership which most democracies are missing. It calls for a recognition that our own countries are also, in some important sense, at war – and a corresponding politics of the long haul.

Is this what you hear when you turn on your television in the United States (where I am now), Germany, Italy, Britain or France? Is this a leading topic in the Conservative party contest to decide Britain’s next prime minister, or the run-up to the Italian election on 25 September, or the campaign for the US midterm elections on 8 November? No, no and no. “We are at war,” I heard someone say recently on the radio; but he was an energy analyst, not a politician.

McMaster: Taiwan Could Prove Difficult for China to Invade

John Grady

Despite China’s recent aggression toward Taiwan, former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster argued this week that Taiwan “not an easy military problem” for Beijing to solve.

Speaking during a Hudson Institute online forum on Thursday, the retired Army lieutenant general added that Taipei could be difficult to attack across the 100-mile wide, often stormy Taiwan Strait. It’s a matter of “capability and will.”

To protest House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) 19-hour visit this week to the self-governing island, Beijing fired missiles into Japanese waters, sent military aircraft into Taipei’s air defense identification zone and conducted large-scale live-fire exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

But all these escalating military moves from the People’s Republic of China is a “signal to the world” that Beijing could blockade or invade Taiwan, said Patrick Cronin, Hudson’s Asia-Pacific chair. He mentioned threats by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that Pelosi’s visit could lead to a slippery slope of conflict as a means of intimidating other nations.

In the 'gray zone' outside Kherson, Ukraine's soldiers pay a terrible price


NEAR KHERSON, Ukraine — On a hot summer afternoon, NPR was interviewing soldiers near the front lines northeast of Kherson, when something happened that shows how perilous this sprawling combat zone can be.

Two Ukrainian fighters, who identified themselves only by their first names, Viktor and Serhiy, said they had detected a Russian drone overhead.

We were in a dense stand of forest, sheltered by the tree canopy. But the drone was apparently watching our location, possibly sharing our position with Russian artillery or other units.

"It's hovering above us as we speak," Viktor said. "It's nearby, while we are here. It's gonna fly away and then we can go back."

The Coming War Over Taiwan

The U.S. is running out of time to prevent a cataclysmic war in the Western Pacific. While the world has been focused on Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, Xi Jinping appears to be preparing for an even more consequential onslaught against Taiwan. Mr. Xi’s China is fueled by a dangerous mix of strength and weakness: Faced with profound economic, demographic and strategic problems, it will be tempted to use its burgeoning military power to transform the existing order while it still has the opportunity.

This peaking-power syndrome—the tendency for rising states to become more aggressive as they become more fearful of impending decline—has caused some of the bloodiest wars in history. Unless the U.S. and its allies act quickly, it could trigger a conflict that would make the war in Ukraine look minor by comparison.

Interview – David Lowe

Dr David Lowe is a senior research fellow at Leeds Law School, part of Leeds Beckett University, where he researches terrorism and security, policing, and human rights. Prior to being an academic, David served as a police officer in the UK where he carried out a number of uniform and CID roles. After retiring from the police, he began his academic career. His research has been widely published in books and journal articles. His latest book, Terrorism, Law and Policy: A Comparative Study, was published by Routledge in 2022. Due to his expertise David is constantly requested by the mainstream media to provide interviews on his research area, including the UK BBC television and radio and Sky News, and internationally CNN, France 24, ABC (Australia), TRT (Turkey), Al Jazeera, Al Arabyia (UAE) and AlGhad (Egypt).

David is an Expert Panel member of the UN’s UNESCO Chair on the prevention of radicalisation and extremism, an External Member of UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood where his input is in relation to the UK’s Prevent Strategy and how extremism impacts on children and young people. David is also a member of the UK’s Counter Terrorism Advisory Network and a member of the Academic Resilience and Security Community (Academic RiSC). Among his current projects, he is working with the Northern Ireland Assembly to introduce a bespoke version of the Prevent programme and on the Hate Crime Bill. He has recently started working with a German NGO, GIZ, that works with the African Union regarding the implementation of police co-operation in intelligence sharing and a bespoke version of a Prevent programme to minimise the impact extremist have on various African states’ populations.

China launches long-range airstrike drills around Taiwan on fourth day of military exercises

Wayne Chang and Simone McCarthy

(CNN)Chinese forces took part in drills focused on land attacks and long-range airstrikes around Taiwan on Sunday, its military said, on what was expected to be the final day of extensive exercises rolled out in response to a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese military said on Sunday around noon local time that it conducted live-fire drills in the waters and airspace around Taiwan "as planned."

A Taiwanese military vessel patrols near the east coast in Yilan county on August 7, 2022.
"The drills focused on joint fire land strikes and long-range air strike capabilities," the command said in a statement posted to its official account on the social media platform Weibo, without specifying whether the drills have ended.

This carmaker figured out how to beat the chip shortage—most others haven’t been so lucky


A two-year global chip shortage has plagued carmakers and demonstrated the fragile nature of supply chains, but one company says it’s past the worst of it.

Volvo Cars revealed in its second-quarter earnings this week that it has seen a “marked improvement” in its supply chains recently. And CEO Jim Rowan told CNBC on Wednesday that the company has now all but moved past the semiconductor shortage.

“In the first quarter, we were affected by one specific semiconductor [shortage], which hampered production across most of our range,” he said. “We had forecasted, by and large, that we would be through that by the end of the second quarter, and that’s what we’ve seen.”

Obituary: Gary Schroen, the CIA spy sent to get Osama Bin Laden

Bernd Debusmann Jr

As for Osama Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, and the rest of Al-Qaeda's inner circle, the orders were equally straightforward: "Their heads up on pikes".

Within days, Schroen and a motley crew of paramilitary officers became the first Americans on the ground in Afghanistan, armed with little more than satellite phones - but also millions of dollars in cash to curry favour with potential allies. Weeks later, on 7 October, the US begins its attack on Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, sparking a nearly 20 year-long war that ended in August 2021.

Bin Laden was taken out in 2011, but it took another decade to kill Zawahiri.

And on 1 August - just one day after a US drone finally caught up to him in Kabul - Gary Schroen died at the age of 80, reportedly of a stroke.