Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

22 October 2021

How China Uses Development Finance Strategically in South Asia

Mohamed Zeeshan

Ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) a few years ago, Beijing’s role in global development finance has driven both admiration and paranoia around the world. Now, a new report by AidData has finally attached numbers to the phenomenon – and it’s likely to drive further global debate.

Using data on over 13,000 Chinese-financed projects, committed between 2000 and 2017 in 165 countries, AidData explains how China has redefined the idea of development aid around the world.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), development projects are classified as Official Development Assistance (ODA) if they are concessional in nature. This includes grants, technical assistance, and concessional loans. Non-concessional loans and export credits, which add a heavier financial burden on the recipient country, are classified as Other Official Flows (OOFs).

China’s Overseas Coal Pledge Is Not a Climate Change Gamechanger

Mathias Lund Larsen

To great fanfare at the U.N. General Assembly, Xi Jinping promised that China would not build more coal plants overseas. The global response, including from heads of states, was that this is a historic turning point in the fight against climate change. But it’s most likely not.

In fact, the pledge has already been gradually fulfilled over the last few years as part of broader tendencies that have little to do with Chinese climate policies. The climate impact of the pledge is, therefore, likely to be minimal. Problematically, overly praising the pledge reduces pressure on China to make a similar commitment where it really counts – domestically rather than overseas. With COP26 scheduled to begin in two weeks in Glasgow, international pressure needs to be upheld for China to increase its climate ambitions. Keeping up the pressure requires curbing the enthusiastic response to Xi’s coal pledge and seeing it as part of an underlying context of four main areas.

First, four weeks after his speech, we still don’t know exactly what Xi meant. His pledge was made with a brief sentence, promising that “China” would increase support for green energy and not “build new coal-fired power projects abroad.” Does “China” only refer to state-owned or also private companies? Does “build” also include finance? Does the ban on “new” coal projects include those already planned but not yet constructed? These questions remain unanswered.

China's progress in strengthening measures to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing


The FATF Plenary adopted the mutual evaluation report (MER) of China in February 20191 and its 1st enhanced follow-up report (FUR) with technical compliance reratings in October 2020. 2 This 2nd enhanced FUR analyses China’s progress in addressing the technical compliance deficiencies identified in its MER relating to Recommendations 3, 8, 16, 18, 29, 35 and 38. No Recommendations have changed since the adoption of its 1st enhanced FUR.

Re-ratings are given where sufficient progress has been made. Overall, the expectation is that countries will have addressed most if not all technical compliance deficiencies by the end of the third year from the adoption of their MER. This report does not address what progress China has made to improve its effectiveness.


Camille Boullenois

In 2019 and 2020, the European Union (1), the United Kingdom (2) and the United States (3)issued strategy papers on data governance acknowledging the importance of data to their economic development and national security. With different emphases, four competing objectives dominate these data strategies: innovation (using data to create new business models and boost economic growth); security (ensuring that sensitive data is not used by a hostile foreign power); privacy (protecting citizens from abusive use of personal data); and surveillance (using data to monitor and control citizens’ and companies’ behaviour).

In the past two years, China has been defining its own data strategy and governance regime and, while juggling the same four competing objectives as its Western counterparts, is taking an innovative approach. While the specific data governance framework is still being debated among scholars, policymakers, industrial lobbyists and state institutions, local pilot regulations on data and stakeholders’ public positions have already hinted at its future characteristics.

China's Hypersonic Missiles: How Worried Should the U.S. Be About Futuristic Weapons?


Arecent propaganda video released by the Chinese military has brought one of the country's most advanced and threatening technologies back to the fore—hypersonic weaponry.

Hypersonic weapons travel at incredible speed and—unlike even the most advanced ballistic missiles—can maneuver in flight. This gives the weapons enormous range and makes them much harder to track and stop.

The U.S., Russia and China are all investing heavily in hypersonic technologies. However, the Pentagon has been the slowest to jump on the bandwagon and military chiefs are warning that the U.S. could be left behind by its authoritarian adversaries, at least when it comes to nuclear-capable hypersonics.

The U.S. still maintains by far the most powerful military on Earth, supported by a military budget larger than that of the next seven biggest spending nations combined. As such, America's rivals must consider intelligent methods of leveling the playing field and—at least on a local or regional level—upending long-held U.S. military hegemony.

Bombshell leak reveals China's new hypersonic weapon: 'Game changer'

Nick Whigham

China has reportedly made a major leap in its nuclear-capable weapons technology program, testing a missile with capabilities that have caught political adversaries by complete surprise.

According to a bombshell leak reported in the Financial Times on Sunday, the Chinese Communist Party tested a new nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that went around the globe before making its way towards the intended target.

After cruising through low-orbit space, the missile ultimately missed the target by some 38 kilometres, three people briefed on the intelligence told the paper.

However the sources said the August test showed China has made surprisingly rapid and "astounding" gains when it comes to hypersonic weapons.

"We have no idea how they did this," one official told the Financial Times.

‘Integrated deterrence’ taking shape against China


MANILA – The Biden administration’s “integrated deterrence” strategy against China has gained momentum in recent weeks amid more military cooperation and expanded naval drills with key regional allies and strategic partners.

This month alone saw two major drills between the US and like-minded powers in the Indo-Pacific. First came the joint naval exercises between two US carrier strike groups as well as the United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), along with a Japanese big-deck warship, in the waters off the coast of Japan’s Okinawa prefecture.

A week later, the US kicked off the second phase of the massive Malabar 2021 exercises with fellow Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) powers Australia, India and Japan in the Bay of Bengal.

Shortly after that, the Philippines, a US treaty ally, also announced the restoration of ‘full scale’ Balikatan joint exercises, with thousands of troops from both sides expected to take part in major war games amid rising maritime tensions in the region.

Washington Hears Echoes of the ’50s and Worries: Is This a Cold War With China?

David E. Sanger

When Kevin Rudd, the former Australian prime minister and longtime China expert, told a German newsmagazine recently that a Cold War between Beijing and Washington was “probable and not just possible,” his remarks rocketed around the White House, where officials have gone to some lengths to squelch such comparisons.

It is true, they concede, that China is emerging as a far broader strategic adversary than the Soviet Union ever was — a technological threat, a military threat, an economic rival. And while President Biden insisted at the United Nations last month that “we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs,” his repeated references this year to a generational struggle between “autocracy and democracy” conjured for some the ideological edge of the 1950s and ’60s.

Yet the question of whether the United States is entering a new Cold War is about more than just finding the right metaphor for this odd turn in superpower politics. Governments that plunge into a Cold War mind-set can exaggerate every conflict, convinced that they are part of a larger struggle. They can miss opportunities for cooperation, as the United States and China did in battling Covid-19, and may yet on the climate.

Nato to expand focus to counter rising China

Roula Khalaf

Countering the security threat from the rise of China will be an important part of Nato’s future rationale, the alliance’s chief has said, marking a significant rethink of the western alliance’s objectives that reflects the US’s geostrategic pivot to Asia.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said China was already having an impact on European security through its cyber capabilities, new technologies and long-range missiles. How to defend Nato allies from those threats will be “thoroughly” addressed in the alliance’s new doctrine for the coming decade, he said.

The military alliance has spent decades focused on countering Russia and, since 2001, terrorism. The new focus on China comes amid a determined shift in the US’s geopolitical orientation away from Europe to a hegemonic conflict with Beijing.

“Nato is an alliance of North America and Europe. But this region faces global challenges: terrorism, cyber but also the rise of China. So when it comes to strengthening our collective defence, that’s also about how to address the rise of China,” Stoltenberg said. “What we can predict is that the rise of China will impact our security. It already has.”

21 October 2021

China tests new space capability with hypersonic missile

Demetri Sevastopulo

China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise.

Five people familiar with the test said the Chinese military launched a rocket that carried a hypersonic glide vehicle which flew through low-orbit space before cruising down towards its target.

The missile missed its target by about two-dozen miles, according to three people briefed on the intelligence. But two said the test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realised.

The test has raised new questions about why the US often underestimated China’s military modernisation.

“We have no idea how they did this,” said a fourth person.

China Tested A Fractional Orbital Bombardment System That Uses A Hypersonic Glide Vehicle: Report


Areport from Financial Times' Demetri Sevastopulo and Kathrin Hille states that China has tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle that goes into space and traverses the globe in an orbital-like fashion before making its run through the atmosphere toward its target. There would be huge implications if such a system were to be operationalized, and according to this story, which says it talked to five officials confirming the test, the U.S. government was caught totally off-guard by it.

The trial flight is said to have occurred around August, with the boost-glide vehicle being lifted into space by a Long March 2C rocket. The launch of the rocket, the 77th of its kind, was undisclosed by Beijing, while the 76th and 78th were—the latter of which occurred in late August. The Financial Times says that the tested hypersonic glide vehicle missed its target by a couple of dozen miles, but that is hardly reassuring considering the capabilities that are apparently in development here.

After 9/11, China grew into a superpower as a distracted U.S. fixated on terrorism, experts say

Dan De Luce

WASHINGTON — Twenty years ago, White House officials were worried about China, and tensions were rising.

On April 1, 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance plane off China's coast, forcing the Americans to make an emergency landing on Chinese territory. The Chinese detained the U.S. crew for 11 days and carefully inspected the sophisticated aircraft before they handed it over. Washington accused the Chinese fighter pilot of reckless flying. Beijing demanded an apology.

The incident reinforced the Bush administration's view that China was America's next major adversary.

But on the morning of Sept. 11, Al Qaeda extremists hijacked four airliners and crashed three of them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia. America's attention abruptly shifted to the "war on terror."

Op-ed: Why the U.S.-China duo is the most significant, and potentially the most perilous, bilateral relationship in human history

Frederick Kempe

The U.S. and China represent the most significant – and potentially most perilous – bilateral relationship in human history. Given that reality, neither side is managing their rising tensions with adequate skill or durable strategy.

That’s the way Stephen Heintz of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund put it in a conversation with me a couple of days ago. It is also the subtext of conversations I’ve had with world leaders visiting Washington, D.C. this week for the IMF and World Bank meetings.

U.S.-Soviet relations defined the Cold War, with both sides fielding the unprecedented nuclear capability to devastate each other, and much more. Before that, the Anglo-American relationship was decisive, from intense U.S.-British competition in the 19th century to an alliance that prevented fascist victory during World War II in the 20th century.

Yet Heintz’s argument is compelling that U.S.-Chinese relations have a historically unique significance, based on their multi-dimensional nature that touches on just about every aspect of global affairs now and into the foreseeable future.

China is no threat to people in the US; Wall Street, CIA & the Pentagon are: Analyst

American political analyst and activist Bill Dores says China is no threat to the people in the United States; Wall Street, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Pentagon are.

Dores, a writer for Struggle/La Lucha and longtime antiwar activist, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday after the CIA launched a new mission center to address what it calls “the most important geopolitical threat” posed by China.

CIA Director William Burns said in a statement last week that the new unit, called the China Mission Center, will “further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government.”

Burns said that his agency will still focus on other threats as well, including those emanating from Russia, North Korea and Iran.

The CIA’s renewed attention to China is the latest evidence of the Biden administration’s focus on Beijing as its main foreign policy target.

The U.S., China, and Artificial Intelligence Competition Factors

As technology continues to progress rapidly, so does its impact on modern warfare. As the world moves deeper into the era of great power competition, this becomes an even more important area to watch. The United States and China are both pursuing high technology very rapidly and with substantial resources. We describe this as a race, but it is one without end (hopefully) and will require endurance, stable policies, and steady funding if the U.S. is to continue to stay ahead of China and all the other competitors around the globe. The field of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, exemplifies this requirement. AI is more than just science fiction, it is science fact, and it progresses every single day. And while a ‘generalized AI’ is far off in the future, practical applications of AI continue to grow. From rapidly combing through imagery, deciphering information for pattern recognition, and controlling swarms of UAVs, the applications for AI in the military and security realm abound. That is why CASI is so pleased to present Ryan Sullivan’s work in this field.

Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan is an Army pilot by trade, who lived and studied at the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, China, as an Olmsted Scholar. He was one of just five Army officers selected that year. Ryan has taken his experience in and knowledge of China and combined that with graduate-level work in the field of Artificial Intelligence to deliver an in-depth study of the critical elements of U.S.-China competition in Artificial Intelligence.

Already recognized and receiving attention from the technologists within the military, up to the most senior levels, we are excited to make this work available to a broader audience, who are concerned with all manner of issues that AI will affect, now and in the future. We know you will find this study useful, and potentially a little unsettling, which is just what we are aiming for.

20 October 2021

Violence Undermines China’s Plans in Afghanistan, Risks Luring it Into Quagmire

Paul D. Shinkman

China's top national security decisionmakers are stunned by a devastating suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan last week reportedly carried out by a Uighur Muslim, sources say, provoking Beijing to either disrupt its march toward greater investments in the Taliban government or to commit further to the quagmire that has stymied other superpowers for decades.

The Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan, known as ISIS-K, quickly claimed responsibility for the deadly attack at a Shiite Muslim mosque in Kunduz on Friday. But in an even more brazen and rare move, it also provided a crucial detail about the attacker, specifying that the bomber was of the ethnicity that largely originates from China's restive Xinjiang Province. Beijing's attempts to stamp out violent extremists among its Uighur population has emerged as perhaps its most sensitive problem at home and nearby, as shown through the lengths it's willing to go to quash the threat it perceives.

The Flawed Tzu of ATP 7-100_3 Chinese Tactics

Thomas G. Pledger

Applying Sun Tzu’s sage advice about knowing your enemy, the U.S. Army recently published ATP 7-100.3 Chinese Tactics. Unfortunately, rather than an honest assessment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), it appears the U.S. Army was looking at a dirty mirror and seeing a distorted version of itself. These include such simple misunderstandings of internal processes as stating the PRC is moving towards a capitalistic free market system.[i] Or more dangerous mirroring that the PRC wants to be a good neighbor endeavoring for cooperation with India and other neighbors.[ii] The 7-100.3 more dangerously discounts our shared history when the U.S. military fought the PLA during the Korean War. Although poor claims are made, the 7-100.3 cannot be wholly discounted; valuable insights exist. The 7-100.3’s failure to honestly represent the PRC and the PLA could have severe implications on the U.S. Army’s professional education, the design of training events, and leader development with the possibility of serious repercussions.[iii]

One aspect of a nation’s character extends from the interaction of its political and economic systems; these two systems influence everything from business and industry to international relations. ATP 7-100.3 alleges that the PRC is moving towards a capitalistic free market system.[iv] The 7-100.3’s claim that the PRC is moving towards a capitalistic free market system is outdated and harkens back to a misunderstanding and Western aspiration over thirty years old. The PRC instead established and operates under a system of state-directed capitalism.[v] State-directed capitalism is a system in which the government directs, influences, and resources the nations and business economic planning and development.[vi] Though the 7-100.3 bypasses a discussion on the PRC’s political structure, it does address the complex interplay between the PLA, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the PRC; reinforcing the PLA’s support of the CCP, with the PLA’s goal of maintaining the stability of the PRC.[vii] The interplay of the PLA support to the CCP and state-directed capitalism gives the CCP and arguably the PLA an immense amount of direct control in guiding and directing business.

Why Is China Looking to Establish Banks in Nigeria?

Oluwatosin Adeshokan

During the commemoration of the 2021 Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun announced that he was in talks with some of China’s big banks to establish operations in Nigeria. Cui talked up Nigeria and China’s growing links and spoke about the importance of banking and banking systems in the development of both countries. He then spoke about potential conversations with Nigeria’s Central Bank and the Nigerian central government in Abuja about establishing a substantial banking presence in Nigeria.

This new proposal of deeper financial links is a solidification of China-Nigeria relations. In 2018, Nigeria and China signed an initial three-year currency swap agreement that saw Nigeria move some of its foreign reserves to China. The size of the swap deal was put at 15 billion renminbi or 720 billion naira.

The University of Hong Kong Takes a Page From the Taliban’s Playbook

Eli Lake

The Chinese Communist Party — with the help of an international law firm headquartered in the United States — is erasing the history of the Chinese democracy movement and the countless students, writers, artists and underground activists who gave their lives for the cause of freedom.

Today, the sculpture Pillar of Shame, a monument to the victims of the Tiananmen Square Massacre that rises more than 26 feet and features the bodies of 50 protesters mowed down by Chinese troops, is slated to be removed by the University of Hong Kong, where it is housed.

The university, which is state-run and, for all intents and purposes, an extension of Beijing, is represented by the Hong Kong office of Mayer Brown, headquartered in Chicago.

Most American firms that do business in China sell things like cars or iPhones or sneakers or movies to ordinary Chinese. By contrast, Mayer Brown is selling its services to a university bending to the will of the Chinese state.

Can the U.S. and Chinese Militaries Get Back on Speaking Terms?

Chris Li and Eric Rosenbach

Nearly nine months into the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, Washington’s relationship with Beijing has sunk to a historic low. After a high-level diplomatic meeting in March that devolved into an ugly exchange of insults, fruitless visits to China by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and virtual climate talks that failed to produce clear deliverables, the world’s two great powers have reached a dangerous impasse.

By forming a new trilateral security pact with the United Kingdom and Australia, the United States has made it clear that it is serious about defending its allies in Asia and countering China’s territorial claims. But while the move has been hailed by some Western commentators as a stroke of strategic brilliance, it has also sharply increased military tensions in the Indo-Pacific.

During a phone call last month, Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the “responsibility of both countries to ensure competition does not veer into conflict.” History suggests that open communication is the best way for the two great powers to uphold that responsibility, but Xi and Biden’s recent call was their first conversation in seven months. More alarming, neither U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin nor Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has yet met with his or her Chinese counterpart. Although the Pentagon’s first reported contact since Biden’s inauguration took place on August 27 and was followed by video conferences at the deputy assistant secretary level in September, no communication has occurred at the senior-most levels of military leadership.