I point out in my book Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s Tiananmen Syndrome:
Once Bitten by a Snake, One Is Scared All One’s Life at the Mere Sight of a Rope
The above is a popular Chinese saying often used as a metaphor to describe the persistent fear after a traumatic event.
It is understandable that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) felt threatened by mass protest of Falun Gong, an organization that popularizes a kind of qigong, a breathing technique to improve health and treat some diseases, and had to ban it. There were so many people practicing Falun Gong. They could be regarded as a political organization able to confront the Party.
It is still understandable that Liu Xiaobo, 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was jailed eleven years for his role in advocating Charter 08 that calls for greater freedom of expression, human rights and multi-party democracy though his campaign got nowhere in China. Within six months, only 8,600 of China’s over one billion people had put their signatures on the document. Since Liu had participated in the Tiananmen Protests and been jailed for that, it was only natural for CCP to punish him again when he continued such activities no matter whether he had violated the law or not.
However, it puzzled everyone that Zhao Lianhai, founder of Home for Kidney Stone Babies, a concern group for victims of melamine-poisoned milk, was brought to court in handcuffs and shackles for fighting for victimized babies’ rights. The handcuffs were not removed until his lawyers protested, but his feet remained in shackles for hours throughout the hearing. What felony did he commit so as to be humiliated like that?
According to his prosecutor, Zhao Lianhai “maliciously made the tainted milk incident an issue on the Internet, instigated and gathered people to shout slogans and hold illegal assemblies and thus seriously disrupted public order.” In fact, Zhao’s website helped families with babies poisoned by tainted milk share their experiences, maintained a database of medical records and provided practical help such as medical information about children sick due to tainted milk. Since the government itself made public the evils done by the enterprises that sold the tainted milk and the trials and verdicts of the cases of the managers of those enterprises, what was Zhao’s website wrong in doing so?
As reported by Hong Kong and Western media, the prosecutor knew well himself that the protests lead by Zhao Lianhai were entirely peaceful and gave rise to no serious disturbance. The protesters merely shouted some slogans and held some assemblies without permission. Article 290 of China’s Criminal Law provides, “Where people are gathered to disturb public order to such a serious extent that work in general, production, business operation, teaching or scientific research cannot go on and heavy losses are caused, the ringleaders shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years;” Since no work in general, production, business operation, teaching or scientific research was affected nor any losses caused, the disturbance was by no means serious. There is, therefore, no ground to prosecute Zhao!
As for holding some harmless assemblies without permission, Zhao Lianhai contacted government officials times and again but was pressured instead supported by them. Since government officials tried hard to cover up the evils done, how could Zhao get permission for the assemblies? Zhao and others were justified in holding peaceful assemblies without permission. They had such rights according to China’s constitution.
Having seen all the good things CCP has done for the people in providing medical insurance, pension, housing, etc. for workers and peasants and giving relief to earthquake-, mudslide- and draught-stricken areas, people cannot help but wonder why the government has no sympathy for parents of melamine-poisoned babies. The only baby a couple is allowed to have has been poisoned and no one knows how the poison will affect the baby’s health in the future. Thanks to Zhao Lianhai’s leadership, those parents restrained their anger and protested peacefully. Shall the government not make allowance for that?
Moreover, Zhao Lianhai’s own only baby had kidney stones due to the tainted milk. How can he be accused of maliciously exploiting the incident to make trouble? As a victim’s father, Zhao himself has the right to express his anger peacefully on the Internet and in the streets. Is CCP top leader Hu Jintao’s “putting the people first” in his Scientific Outlook on Development empty talks? No, judging by what Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao had done, they did have put the people first in lots of things they had done. Why Zhao Lianhai was treated so callously then?
CCP’s Tiananmen Syndrome
The attack that CCP suffered from Tiananmen Protests was like the bite of a snake, which threatened Party’s very survival. The protests led by Zhao Lianhai though quite harmless like a rope compared with the “snake” the Tiananmen Protests, CCP was scared just as described by the Chinese saying that served as the first subhead: “Once bitten by a snake, one is scared all one’s life at the mere sight of a rope.” That was why CCP made such a show to humiliate and punish Zhao Lianhai. I would like to call this CCP’s Tiananmen Syndrome. It makes CCP suppress any mass protest whatever in order to prevent such protest from growing into one like the Tiananmen Protests that may threaten CCP’s monopoly of state power.
Knowing the above, one will not be surprised that Reuters gives its report today the title “Hong Kong protests a ‘national security issue’ for China”.
The writer of the report is correct in mentioning the separatist trend in the Umbrella Movement. It is natural that those who fight for democracy may believe that they may achieve true democracy if Hong Kong is an independent state.
However, that will give democracy fighters a dangerous label as separatism is a heinous crime in Chinese law while democracy is citizen’s right advocated in Chinese constitution though such provision on democracy has not been implemented.
When Chinese troops fired at democracy fighters during Tiananmen Massacre, they killed democracy fighters for their “counterrevolutionary crime” instead of their fight for democracy!
Hong Kong democracy fighters, be careful to avoid that dangerous label!
The following is the full text of the report:
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have escalated into a national security issue threatening Chinese sovereignty over the Asian financial center, a delegate to China’s rubber-stamp parliament said on Thursday.
Businessman and lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun said support for Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was crucial to the city’s future stability and there was no longer any room to remain neutral.
The protesters have blocked key intersections for a month in their demand for fully-democratic elections for the city’s next chief executive in 2017. Beijing has said it will only allow a vote among pre-screened candidates.
While the protests have remained largely peaceful, flashes of violence and dramatic images of students dressed in raincoats and safety goggles using umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas and pepper spray have reared a new political consciousness in the city of seven million.
“Because China has declared there are foreign forces and political influence behind Occupy Central, it has been elevated to a national security issue,” Tien said, referring to one of the protest groups.
“They are not fighting for democracy. They are fighting for independence. We are dealing with a sovereignty issue… Occupy Central is asking for complete democracy, something that only an independent state can provide.”
Tien was speaking a day after his brother, James Tien Pei-chun, was expelled from China’s top parliamentary advisory body and resigned as leader of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Liberal Party after urging the Leung to step down. Beijing has said it fully supports Leung.
James Tien’s swift removal from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is a sign of how concerned Beijing is about the protests which, at their peak, drew more than 100,000 people into the streets.
Hong Kong’s increasingly charged political climate is also putting Chinese government officials on tenterhooks.
China’s liaison office in Hong Kong called an urgent meeting with Liberal Party leaders on Tuesday, calling them in the morning and asking them to attend a dinner meeting that night, said Liberal Party lawmaker Felix Chung.
China’s most senior official in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming, explained the CPPCC’s decision was specific to James Tien, Chung said. Zhang also said Beijing would continue to support the Liberal Party, according to Chung.
The party in Hong Kong is pro-establishment and comprised largely of businessmen.
Michael Tien said that the CPPCC was forced to act given the backdrop of the protests. CPPCC members are expected to fully support and promote its resolutions – or at least keep quiet once they are made, he said, adding that if the CPPCC had failed to respond to his brother’s comments, its bylaws and code of conduct risked becoming “a bunch of hot air”.
“Membership comes with a certain price tag,” Tien said. “I think my brother made the mistake of not recognizing that.”
While CPPCC officials have said they still consider James Tien loyal, his brother says there is still debate over how to categorize him.
“One camp calls him the ‘conscience of Hong Kong’ because he is willing to sacrifice his own political career to speak his mind. The other camp says he is not loyal and has betrayed his status as a pro-establishment member,” Michael Tien said.
“I think both camps are correct. That’s why it’s best for him not to be a CPPCC member. When you accept that appointment, it comes with certain obligations.”
James Tien declined to comment.
Source: Reuters “Hong Kong protests a ‘national security issue’ for China”
Related post at tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com:
- The Wise Way to Fight for Democracy in Hong Kong dated September 3, 2014
- Hong Kong Democracy a Model for China’s Democratization dated September 6, 2014
- China asserts paternal rights over Hong Kong in democracy clash dated September 12, 2014
- Hong Kong College Students Took the Lead in Fighting for True Democracy dated September 29, 2014
US intelligence community has been notorious for its incompetence.
It had got from Chinese intelligence information on Japan’s plan of stealth attack at Pearl Harbor but failed to make the US prepared for the attack.
It failed to follow up information about terrorists to prevent 911, a blunder that cost thousands American lives.
The most serious failure of US military intelligence was its failure to detect Chinese strategic nuclear submarines.
In a House defense appropriations subcommittee hearing in 2013, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert boasted, “we own the undersea domain.”
The Chinese navy is “not there yet” in terms of undersea power despite deploying a current force of 55 submarines, both diesel and nuclear powered, Greenert said.
Later Washington Times carried Bill Gertz’s post on July 23, 2013 titled “China deploys new class of strategic missile submarine next year” at The Washington Free Beacon, saying that US defense officials expect that China would “begin the first sea patrols next year of a new class missile submarine”.
It proved China’s success in keeping secret its strategic nuclear submarine capabilities.
However, at that time China was provoking Japan to fight a war with China. The US might be involved in the war but China was not afraid. It had DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles, and lots of anti-ship cruise missiles and three flotillas of Type 022 fast missile boats to conduct saturate attack to sink US aircraft carriers in the war.
The problem was that US ignorance of China’s submarine second-strike capabilities made it possible for the US to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
To show such capabilities, first, the next day, i.e. on July 24, 2013, Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing The Mirror monthly revealed to Taiwan’s Central News Agency in haste an article it was going to publish in its next issue, giving some shocking information about China’s strategic nuclear submarines. The Mirror’s report by Liang Tianren revealed that China’s third-generation strategic nuclear submarines had been in service but not detected by the US.
Later, China’s official TV station CCTV published footages of Chinese nuclear submarines and described their activities.
The Mirror and CCTV’s reports did not seem convincing enough as US military just could not believe that China had been able to develop advanced nuclear submarines.
To be more convincing China showed its submarines passing the Malacca Strait and then disappeared under the sea and reappeared in Indian Ocean.
Chinese submarines’ such activities are described in details in Wall Street Journal’s article on October 24, which I am going to give full text later.
Now, according to the article, the US is nervous in the face of Chinese submarine second-strike capabilities.
China also knows that. Huanqiu.com said in its report yesterday that in an interview with CCTV, Zhao Xiaozuo, deputy director of Sino-US defense relations research center, says that China’s development of submarine capabilities has made the US nervous. The US believes that it constitutes extremely grave challenge to its nuclear superiority.
In fact, the US had to be nervous long ago as Chinese nuclear submarines were able to cruise in the Oceans long ago. US failure to detect them did not mean that they did not exist.
It seems that the US is ignorant that China is conducting an arms race with it in earnest. China is surpassing and will surpass the US in military capabilities in quite a few areas of weapons and military technology. For details please refer to my book Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.
The following is the full text of the above-mentioned WSJ article:
China’s Submarines Add Nuclear-Strike Capability, Altering Strategic Balance
By Jeremy Page
One Sunday morning last December, China’s defense ministry summoned military attachés from several embassies to its monolithic Beijing headquarters.
To the foreigners’ surprise, the Chinese said that one of their nuclear-powered submarines would soon pass through the Strait of Malacca, a passage between Malaysia and Indonesia that carries much of world trade, say people briefed on the meeting.
Two days later, a Chinese attack sub—a so-called hunter-killer, designed to seek out and destroy enemy vessels—slipped through the strait above water and disappeared. It resurfaced near Sri Lanka and then in the Persian Gulf, say people familiar with its movements, before returning through the strait in February—the first known voyage of a Chinese sub to the Indian Ocean.
The message was clear: China had fulfilled its four-decade quest to join the elite club of countries with nuclear subs that can ply the high seas. The defense ministry summoned attachés again to disclose another Chinese deployment to the Indian Ocean in September—this time a diesel-powered sub, which stopped off in Sri Lanka.
China’s increasingly potent and active sub force represents the rising power’s most significant military challenge yet for the region. Its expanding undersea fleet not only bolsters China’s nuclear arsenal but also enhances the country’s capacity to enforce its territorial claims and thwart U.S. intervention.
China is expected to pass another milestone this year when it sets a different type of sub to sea—a “boomer,” carrying fully armed nuclear missiles for the first time—says the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, or ONI.
China is hardly hiding its new boomers. Tourists could clearly see three of them at a base opposite a resort recently in China’s Hainan province. On the beach, rented Jet Skis were accompanied by guides to make sure riders didn’t stray too close.
These boomers’ missiles have the range to hit Hawaii and Alaska from East Asia and the continental U.S. from the mid-Pacific, the ONI says.
“This is a trump card that makes our motherland proud and our adversaries terrified,” China’s navy chief, Adm. Wu Shengli, wrote of the country’s missile-sub fleet in a Communist Party magazine in December. “It is a strategic force symbolizing great-power status and supporting national security.”
To naval commanders from other countries, the Chinese nuclear sub’s nonstop Indian Ocean voyage was especially striking, proving that it has the endurance to reach the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s headquarters in Hawaii.
“They were very clear with respect to messaging,” says Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, a former submariner who commands the U.S. Seventh Fleet, “to say that, ‘We’re a professional navy, we’re a professional submarine force, and we’re global. We’re no longer just a coastal-water submarine force.’ ”
In recent years, public attention has focused on China’s expanding military arsenal, including its first aircraft carrier and stealth fighter. But subs are more strategically potent weapons: A single one can project power far from China and deter other countries simply by its presence.
China’s nuclear attack subs, in particular, are integral to what Washington sees as an emerging strategy to prevent the U.S. from intervening in a conflict over Taiwan, or with Japan and the Philippines—both U.S. allies locked in territorial disputes with Beijing.
And even a few functional Chinese boomers compel the U.S. to plan for a theoretical Chinese nuclear-missile strike from the sea. China’s boomer patrols will make it one of only three countries—alongside the U.S. and Russia—that can launch atomic weapons from sea, air and land.
“I think they’ve watched the U.S. submarine force and its ability to operate globally for many, many years—and the potential influence that can have in various places around the globe,” says Adm. Thomas, “and they’ve decided to go after that model.”
China’s nuclear-sub deployments, some naval experts say, may become the opening gambits of an undersea contest in Asia that echoes the cat-and-mouse game between U.S. and Soviet subs during the Cold War—a history popularized by Tom Clancy’s 1984 novel “The Hunt for Red October.”
Back then, each side sent boomers to lurk at sea, ready to fire missiles at the other’s territory. Each dispatched nuclear hunter-killers to track the other’s boomers and be ready to destroy them.
The collapse of the Soviet Union ended that tournament. But today, as China increases its undersea firepower, the U.S. and its allies are boosting their submarine and anti-sub forces in Asia to counter it.
Neither China nor the U.S. wants a Cold War rerun. Their economies are too interdependent, and today’s market-minded China doesn’t seek global revolution or military parity with the U.S.
Chinese officials say their subs don’t threaten other countries and are part of a program to protect China’s territory and expanding global interests. Chinese defense officials told foreign attachés that the subs entering the Indian Ocean would assist antipiracy patrols off Somalia, say people briefed on the meetings.
Source: Wall Street Journal “Deep Threat: China’s Submarines Add Nuclear-Strike Capability, Altering Strategic Balance”
Source: huanqiu.com “Chinese nuclear submarine appeared in deep sea, breaking US dominance: The US is quite nervous” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
In addition to the construction of seven artificial islands on the reefs in the South China Sea, according to a report at the website of Jane’s Defence Weekly on October 27, China is building floating docks for its exploitation of the sea areas.
Jane’s has interviewed officials at China Ship Science Research Center and leant from them that they are now developing various floating docks. In the 2014 International Shipbuilding Marine Equipment and Offshore Engineering Exhibition for China, they displayed the design drawings of their floating docks.
The floating docks will be built on the Chinese mainland and shipped to the destination island to assemble. There will be a bridge with loading capacity for 10-ton truck to link the dock with the island. A multi-functional dock provides berth for 1000-ton ship, maintenance of fishing boats, electricity, fresh water storage and supply, collection, storage and supply of rainwater, etc. There will be a variant to serve half-submerged oil rig.
The floating docks have engines to move on their own but not for a long distance. They can be used for light construction and maintenance of an island. They can also provide temporary residence for construction workers.
As they rely on fuel from outside for their operations, the center is developing small wind-mill generator for them. They certainly can also use the electricity generated by the large wind-mill generators on the island.
This blogger’s note: Such large-scale construction and development are certainly no merely for military purpose. China is to exploiting the energy, fishery, fish farming alga farming and tourism resources on a large scale in the South China Sea.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Janes: China plans to build floating docks to support its reclamation in the South China Sea” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
I have written some posts on the prospects for improvement in Chinese-Japanese relations through a quite possible summit meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sideline of the APEC summit in Beijing next month. Whether there will be the summit depends on how well Abe accepts China’s two conditions: Admitting there is dispute over the Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku in Japan) and Promising not to visit Yasukuni Shrine again.
As those conditions are difficult for Abe to accept, Abe sent Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, chairman of the Boao Forum, to bargain with Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 29, 2014. According to Reuters report today, it seems that China has been satisfied with the deal with Japan. The following is the full text of Reuters report:
China says will be good host to Japan during APEC
(Reuters) – China said on Wednesday it will extend all possible courtesy to Japan at next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing, but gave no indication it would agree to a leaders’ get-together.
Expectations have been growing in Japan for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for an ice-breaking chat next month on the sidelines of the gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders.
A one-on-one meeting would be a symbolic breakthrough in ties between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies, which have turned frigid in the past two years over a territorial row, regional rivalry and the bitter legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation of China.
Asked about the possibility of a Abe-Xi meeting in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that it was China’s duty to treat its guests well.
“China is the host, and there is a custom in China, which is that visitors are all guests. We will do all the necessary honors for our guests,” Wang told a conference.
“As for the problems and obstacles which are affecting the normal development of Sino-Japanese relations, this is objectively a reality that cannot be avoided,” added Wang, a former Chinese ambassador to Japan.
“We hope that the Japanese leader and Japan can face up to the existence of the problem and show sincerity to resolve it,” he said, without elaborating.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on Wednesday met Xi at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People as part of a delegation from the Boao Forum, which China likes to tout as its answer to Davos.
Xi and Fukuda shook hands, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported, without saying what they said to each other.
Fukuda went to China late in July on a “stealth mission” to broker a rapprochement and convey Abe’s call for dialogue, Japanese media have reported. During the visit, Xi voiced concern over two-way ties but showed his desire to mend them, the Nikkei business daily said, citing sources on both sides.
Source: Reuters “China says will be good host to Japan during APEC”
Related posts at tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com:
- China’s Diplomatic Victories in Dealing with India, Japan Loom dated September 27, 2014
- Strong Sign of Thawing in Relations between China and Japan dated September 26, 2014
- Can Japan, China, South Korea Resume Efforts on APT Free Trade Zone dated September 20, 2014
- China’s dream of a greater Asia co-prosperity sphere dated June 28, 2012
Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption has been quite successful at home. He has succeeded in prosecuting former Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Xu Caihou. However, lots of corrupt officials have fled abroad with their ill-gotten assets. He is now seeking international help at the APEC summit to catch those officials and recover the assets worth more than $1 trillion according to estimate.
The following is Reuters report on that today:
China says anti-graft accord to be signed at APEC summit
BEIJING Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:04am EDT
(Reuters) – Next month Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing will agree to a deal to fight corruption, China’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, appealing for more international cooperation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a sweeping campaign against deep-seated graft since assuming power two years ago, but has been hampered to an extent by difficulty in getting corrupt officials and assets back from overseas.
China announced in July an operation called Fox Hunt to go after dirty officials who have fled overseas with their ill-gotten gains, with Australia, a popular destination for such criminals, having already promised cooperation.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a conference in Beijing that the anti-corruption plan was one of the agreements set to be signed at APEC, though he did not give details of its contents.
“Anti-corruption is one of the topics up for discussion, which all parties care about. The world has already seen China’s determination and measures taken to fight corruption,” Wang said.
“We hope to get cooperation and support from the international community, especially in getting back those who have fled and ill-gotten gains from relevant countries, so your country does not become a haven for hiding criminals,” he added.
The United States, Canada and Australia are the three most popular destinations for suspected Chinese economic criminals, Chinese state media have said.
The sums of money believed to have been spirited out of China from all types of malfeasance are staggering. The Washington-based Global Financial Integrity group, which analyses illicit financial flows, estimates that $1.08 trillion illegally flowed out of China from 2002 to 2011.
Source: Reuters “China says anti-graft accord to be signed at APEC summit”
In my post “China Conducts Lunar Ship Return Test for Hypersonic Weapons” on October 23, I said: the lunar spaceship does not fall on the ground and then rest on its pit like a meteor. It hit the ground and then bounces back into the air and falls down again.
That was based on CCTV report on October 22.
However, Global Times said in its report on October 24: According to Zhang Wu, deputy chief designer of the lunar spacecraft launched this time, the spacecraft will go half a circle round the moon and then return to the earth.
Due to the acceleration caused by the gravity of the earth, the speed of the spacecraft increases to 11 km per second, i.e. Mach 36. After it goes lower into the atmosphere to slow down, the flight control will make it rise up above the atmosphere and then reenter the atmosphere so that it may land on the earth at an acceptable speed.
By so doing, China will obtain key technology and data related to the reentry with high speed, including the design and data related to orbit, pneumatics, heat resistance, navigation guidance and control.
The open purpose of the flight is to make preparations for the next lunar test to send a spacecraft to land on the moon to collect samples of the soil on the moon and bring them back to the earth.
However, the secret purpose is to achieve the hypersonic speed of Mach 36 and obtain the key technology and data related to the hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) at the speed that so far an HGV cannot achieved if launched from the earth.
The test is very useful for an aerospace bomber flying at a relatively high orbit around the earth diving down to hit targets on the earth. Due to gravity, its speed will be greater than the speed of March 23 when it flies on its orbit. The bomber shall be able to control its missiles at such high speed. The heat resistance materials shall be able to protect the bomber and its missile and enable them to remain intact when they hit their targets. Moreover, the bomber shall be able to rise back above the atmosphere to circle round the earth again.
From the above description, we can see that the test flight of the lunar spacecraft is highly related to China’s development of hypersonic weapons.
We have US media Foreign Policy’s report “Beijing, We Have a Problem: Is India surpassing China in Asia’s space race?” making comparison between Indian’s success in sending a spacecraft to Mars and China’s recent test of lunar spacecraft.
It shows American media’s mentality. The US incurred lots of expenditures in its lunar program for the only purpose to be better than the Soviet Union in landing people on the moon without bringing any economic benefits from the moon. So is India now. It wants to show that it is better than China by sending a spacecraft to Mars without bringing back any benefit.
China’s lunar program aims at obtaining practical benefits. First, it enable China to obtain technology for its weapon development. Second, the program will finally enable China to establish a colony on the moon to exploit the resources there.
That indicates Chinese leaders’ wisdom in refraining from pursuing the vanity to be the number one in the world or to show China is better than any other country. Just be practical to be benefited from what they do.
I hope that they will not be affected by India’s space race with China but persist in achieving their aims of weapon development and lunar colonization. They shall not have any Mars ambition now as so far there has been no technology at all to colonize Mars.
The following is the full text of Foreign Policy’s article:
Beijing, We Have a Problem
Is India surpassing China in Asia’s space race?
BY Kim Wall
OCTOBER 28, 2014
Call it a mark of maturity. Without much fanfare, China launched an unmanned, unnamed spacecraft on Oct. 24, possibly paving the way for a more sophisticated moon vehicle in 2017. But this milestone comes less than a month after India’s celebrated Mars mission reached its destination. In the court of public opinion at least, Beijing looks unlikely to top it.
Delhi’s first interplanetary probe Mangalyaan (“Mars craft” in Hindi) became a worldwide media darling, a classic underdog story. The odds were not in its favor: two-thirds of all Mars missions had failed, including China’s most recent attempt in November 2011. After six loops around earth, an innovative and inexpensive slingshot effect flung the satellite into orbit nearly a year ago, vaulting India into the global elite space club. While India’s main space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization, insisted the launch had nothing to do with Beijing’s extra-orbital attempts, merely getting off the ground was a victory: one small step for India’s shoestring space program, one giant leap for its self-esteem.
The scientific urgency of Mangalyaan is questionable: surveying the Red Planet’s atmosphere and surface (which the NASA spacecraft Mariner-4 photographed back in 1965) for just six months will likely add little to the world’s understanding of outer space. “It is as if the thirty-first scientist to voyage to the Galápagos Islands had stayed only a couple of days, sketched one or two of Darwin’s finches, and then left,” wrote Indian journalist Samanth Subramanian in the New Yorker.
And yet Prime Minister Narendra Modi (fittingly, in a red vest), basked in the glory: India, he said on the day Mangalyaan reached Mars, is a future “world guru” who had “achieved the near impossible” and become “a shining symbol of what we are capable of as a nation.” When NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in August 2012, congratulated Mangalyaan on Twitter, it replied confidently: “Howdy @MarsCuriosity? Keep in touch. I’ll be around.” The cheapest Mars mission ever, at $75 million — three-quarters the cost of Hollywood space blockbuster Gravity, and less than the first U.S. stealth-jet attack on Syria — Mangalyaan has boosted Modi’s “made-in-India” vision. And it’s an ideal time, as the new prime minister has come to power amid grand promises of an Indian renaissance.
India’s foray may be remedial and its scientific value sketchy, but it puts the country alongside the three superpowers — United States, the European Union, and Russia — that have reached Mars. The subcontinent’s press, convinced that India went to Mars to show China it was still a worthy rival, rejoiced in unabashed nationalism. They may have unwittingly launched a space race. But it’s relatively friendly for now.
Beijing wasn’t “jealous,” nationalist newspaper Global Times sulked in late September: “no country can claim to be a leader in every arena.” (Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, was more diplomatic, calling Mangalyaan a “pride of Asia” and refusing to rule out future cooperation.) China does not disclose its spending on space — “a black hole,” experts joke — but it likely far exceeds Delhi’s.
Space exploration, of course, is not the only geostrategic sphere in which India and China jostle. Their rivalry for influence, markets, and energy resources, plays out in Africa, Latin America, and the Indian Ocean, and their shared border along the Himalayas has been the site of recurring standoffs since the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Nowadays, China wins in most departments: its economy is bigger, its growth faster, its poverty levels lower, literacy rate higher, and military more powerful than India’s.
For India, haunted by inferiority complexes vis-a-vis its giant neighbor, space offers a chance at redemption: next up, a manned mission and a pan-South Asian satellite.
The space club, like the nuclear club, equals great power status: a PR-coup to wash off the “developing country” brand, with spin-off benefits for both the national economy and defense.
The space club, like the nuclear club, equals great power status: a PR-coup to wash off the “developing country” brand, with spin-off benefits for both the national economy and defense. The aerospace sector embodies national aspiration. Who could aim higher than the stars? “India and China have large populations that they are struggling to bring out of decades of poverty and underdevelopment,” said James Clay Moltz, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and author of the 2011 book Asia’s Space Race. “Space represents a symbol of modernity and advancement.”
If this is the Asian Century, its space age may well be Asian, too. Cash-strapped and overstretched, America’s pre-eminence in space is no longer a given. No human has been to the moon since 1972: the next time this happens, it seems increasingly likely to be an Indian or Chinese astronaut. Asia’s obsession with space is a logical extension of rapid economic growth, increasing power, and an appreciation for science, says Bharath Gopalaswamy, space analyst at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. “It’s communicating ‘you can do this too,'” to its own population, he adds. It encourages “people to embark on scientific projects that might seem impossible.” And, says Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Dean Cheng, space has great spinoff benefits for militaries, especially with regards to information systems and surveillance.
It isn’t just India trying to keep up. Other new kids on the block with recent launches of satellites and rockets include Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan, among others. Russia talks about another lunar mission. South and North Korea both dispatched satellites in 2013, the former setting a 2020 deadline for a lunar rover. And Iran propelled a monkey into orbit in preparation for a human spacecraft by 2020.
Outer space is currently collaborative: the International Space Station, the largest artificial satellite in orbit, has been manned since 2000 by a joint 14-nation effort, though most of the funding comes from the United States. But when the money dries up in 2020 — the same year India and China have hinted they would like to launch manned spacecrafts — this short era of international space cooperation may come to an end.
Asian ventures — unlike the 20-nation European Space Agency, the continent’s collaborative space program — are largely self-reliant and government-run. For now, they are intrinsically tied to nationhood and identity. For India and China, autarky was both a necessity and a choice, with the former suffering technology apartheid since its 1974 nuclear test and the latter banned by U.S. legislation from cooperating with NASA. Either way, their ability to reach space independently only amplifies bragging rights. (When they met in September, Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a memorandum of understanding on the “peaceful use of space,” though it’s difficult to see that handshake deal leading to actual cooperation between their countries.)
China’s own space station is set to become operational as the International Space Station reaches retirement in 2020. The Chinese outpost could then become, as the Global Times triumphantly noted, “mankind’s only foothold in space.”
Notoriously fond of mega-projects, Beijing’s gravitation towards the final frontier seems logical: inheriting space hegemony as ultimate proof of its arrival as a superpower.
Notoriously fond of mega-projects, Beijing’s gravitation towards the final frontier seems logical: inheriting space hegemony as ultimate proof of its arrival as a superpower.
And superpowers can get carried away by national pride. In a 2012 book, Indian space analyst Ajey Lele called Asia’s space competition “the most exceptional and widespread security dilemma in the world,” with risky constellations including India-Pakistan, China-India, and Sino-Japan, and the Koreas. The United Nations condemned North Korea’s space launch as a disguised ballistic missile test (attempts to condemn Iran’s on similar grounds were blocked by China and Russia); similarly, China’s decision to shoot down one of its own dead satellite in 2010 caused alarm in Washington and in neighboring capitals, over fears that space junk could litter near-earth orbit and concerns that the technology could be could lead to a regional arms race.
While space has always signaled not-so-subtle nuclear readiness (after all, what are rockets if not long-range missiles?) the real concern today, Cheng argues, is technology that can disrupt other countries’ space assets. Such technologies, so far only demonstrated by China, seem straight out a 1970’s James Bond film: satellites with robotic arms that could take out other probes, techniques to bump other satellites off course, shoot them down, or blind them with lasers. But other countries are not far behind. China’s decision to invest in offensive space technology, says Moltz, means India is now increasingly focusing on the military space realm as well.
Unsurprisingly, India and China downplay the military aspect. The Asian space age, Modi implies, is not like its the ones that came before it anyway. “In contrast with the linear nature of Western philosophy; there is no absolute ‘beginning’ or ‘end’ in our Eastern understanding of the cosmos,” the prime minister said after Mangalyaan reached the Red Planet — only “a continuous, unending cycle of dispassionate, detached perseverance.”
But watching this extraterrestrial competition from Europe or the United States, however, it’s hard to be dispassionate about its potential implications.
Source: Foreign Policy “Beijing, We Have a Problem: Is India surpassing China in Asia’s space race?
Source: Global Times “What are the difficulties in lunar spaceship’s landing on earth by playing ducks and drakes (lowering and rising movements): Both US and Soviet Union have conducted such tests but not so difficult” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
- China Conducts Lunar Ship Return Test for Hypersonic Weapons dated October 23, 2014
- China, Russian Sign Agreement on Cooperation in Space Technology dated October 20, 2014
Maintaining CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Dynasty’s rule is the Dynasty’s top priority. That is why Chinese legal system must be controlled by the Dynasty.
Unaware of that basic nature of the Chinese political system, Western China watchers and media want to see that China’s reform will lead to Judicial independence from the Dynasty. As long as the Dynasty remains, China’s judiciary will never be independent form the CCP. There will be CCP’s dominance in everything.
In my post on October 24, I pointed out the existence of the rule of CCP’s party discipline above China’s legal system. China’s legal system cannot touch a CCP member until the member is expelled from the CCP.
Rule of law or constitution? Only when rule of law and constitution is subordinate to CCP Dynasty’s rule can there be such rule. Remember, laws and constitution are formulated by the CCP. CCP may formulate laws to restrict its members, but it will never formulate laws or constitution to deprive it of its dominance.
The following is the full text of Reuters report today on China’s legal reform:
China unveils legal reform plans, but says party to remain in control
By Sui-Lee Wee
BEIJING Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:52am EDT
(Reuters) – China’s Communist Party pledged on Tuesday to speed up legislation to fight corruption and make it tougher for officials to exert control over the judiciary, even as it stressed full control over the courts.
The decision, released by the official Xinhua news agency, was reached at a four-day party meeting, or plenum, last week.
The party said it would “prevent extorting confessions by torture” and prevent miscarriages of justice with a “timely correction mechanism” following a series of corruption investigations involving torture that have outraged the public.
The plan to prevent forced confessions, which had been flagged last year, is aimed at preventing abuses under the party’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Some legal cases have illustrated the brutality of a secretive detention system for party members, known as “shuanggui”, and the drive to get confessions as President Xi Jinping presses on with an aggressive anti-corruption campaign.
Lawyers had raised questions about the legality of the process, calling it unconstitutional.
The party said it would “uphold” the Political and Legal Committee, a secretive body overseeing the security services that many lawyers have blamed for interference in legal cases.
“They are not ready to move forward with abolishing the institution and I think that will be a problem in future,” said Bo Zhiyue, an expert on Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute.
Legal scholars had hoped the party would reform the Committee, which they say would be a repudiation of former domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, who is under investigation for corruption and has been blamed for much of the abuse of the rule of law.
The party promised the separation of local powers from the courts through the establishment of courts spanning administrative regions but it stressed the judiciary would remain in its grip.
Xi said in a speech to the party that its leadership was “the most fundamental guarantee of socialist rule of law”.
The moves, made after last week’s closed-door meeting of the party’s elite, are pivotal to the workings of China’s market economy, the world’s second largest. They come as slowing growth raises the prospect of more commercial disputes.
The measures also reflect leaders’ worries about rising social unrest. Anger over land grabs, corruption and pollution – issues often left unresolved by the courts – have resulted in violence between police and residents in recent years, threatening social stability.
“The judicial system is the last defense for social justice,” Xi was quoted as saying. “If it fails, the people will widely question (the ability to realize) social justice and stability will hardly be maintained.”
The party would accelerate national anti-graft legislation and improve the system of punishing and preventing corruption.
The party also said it would promote pilot programs aimed at judicial independence and the separation of powers.
The party also said officials had to pledge allegiance to the constitution before taking office.
“We keep on talking now about ruling the country in accordance with the constitution, but I think we should not overdo this propaganda,” said Zhan Zhongle, a law professor at Peking University.
“These things are just formalities, the more important bit is the implementation. You know, China is a country that shouts slogans louder than any other country.”
Legal scholars are skeptical about significant change under one-party rule. For sensitive cases, such as high-level corruption or for prominent dissidents, the party will remain in charge.
Still, the announcements were emblematic of Xi’s agenda.
Since he took office in March 2013, Xi, who has a doctorate in law, has vowed to put “power within the cage of regulations” and waged a war against corruption, winning over many ordinary people. This year was the first time the party made “governing the country by law” the focus of the plenum.
He has abolished a system of labor camps and called for judicial independence under the party. But at the same time, his administration has detained dozens of dissidents in what some activists say is the worst suppression of human rights in years.
Despite the legal reforms, Xi has shown no interest in political change.
It is uncertain how much of an impact the plenum’s policies will have. Laws are often not enforced and can be abused by the police. Full details of the reforms will likely be unveiled in coming months.
Source: Reuters “China unveils legal reform plans, but says party to remain in control”
- Rule of Party Discipline above Rule of Law in China’s CCP Dynasty dated October 24, 2014
- Which reigns supreme – the Communist Party or China’s constitution? dated September 21, 2014
Quite a few Chinese believe a naïve Chinese girl’s prediction that China will fight a war with Vietnam for reunification. It will be one of the six wars she believes that China will fight within the coming five decades.
I would rather predict the contrary: Vietnam will become China’s best friend as it will become increasingly dependent on China due not only to the large volume of trade but more to fast growing Chinese investment and tourists.
Among the large number of Chinese neighbors, only North Korea and Vietnam provide easy and cheap access to Chinese low-budget tourists.
Compared with Korea, Vietnam is much more dependent on Chinese tourists as China is its only neighbor that is able to provide a large number of tourists. It is quite a remote and expensive tourist destination for rich Western countries.
Moreover, Vietnamese language and culture are close to Chinese ones, making Vietnam a much more acceptable destination for Chinese investors and tourists, especially from in China’s rich southern areas.
What Vietnam contends with China now is the rich energy resources in the disputed waters, but the economic interests related to trade, investment and tourism will grow and gradually exceed the income from energy exploitation in importance.
If China allows Vietnam to have a share in energy exploitation acceptable to Vietnam, the growth in the interests from trade, investment and tourism will make those from energy exploitation less significant.
For China, however, the South China Sea including disputed waters is much more important due to its potential in developing alga farming, fishing, fish farming and tourism. China’s massive construction of artificial islands on seven reefs proves that China has a long-term view to exploit such resources in addition to energy resources.
Other claimants, however, fail to see and lack the financial resources and industrial capabilities to exploit such resources. Maintaining friendly relations with Vietnam will enable China to gradually establish its monopoly of the fishery, farming and tourism in the South China Sea.
Compared with colonization of foreign land, which has been proved unsuccessful by Western colonialism, taking sea area is much safer and easier.
The following is the full text of Reuters report today on China and Vietnam’s efforts to mend ties:
China, Vietnam say want lasting solution to sea dispute
(Reuters) – China and Vietnam agreed on Monday to use an existing border dispute mechanism to find a solution to a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, saying they did not want it to affect relations.
The two countries have sought to patch up ties since their long-running row erupted in May, triggered by China’s deployment a drilling rig in waters claimed by the communist neighbors, which lead to confrontation at sea between rival vessels and violent anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam.
After a meeting between China’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, China’s foreign ministry said they had agreed to “appropriately handle the maritime problem”.
The two exchanged smiles and warm handshakes in contrast to Yang’s last visit in June, which ended in acrimony with Yang accusing Vietnam of “hyping up” their dispute, which was the worst breakdowns in their relations since a brief border war in 1979.
The rapprochement began in late August, a few weeks after Vietnam started courting other countries embroiled in maritime rows with China, including the Philippines and China’s biggest investor, Japan, which will provide boats and radar equipment to Vietnam’s coastguard.
Most significant for Vietnam has been improvements in its defense ties with former foe the United States, including an Oct. 2 U.S. decision to start easing a three-decade arms embargo, which would strengthen Vietnam’s coastguard capability and in future lead to weapons sales, ships and airborne systems.
China and Vietnam would “properly use a border negotiation mechanism between the two governments to seek a basic, lasting resolution both sides can accept”, the Chinese foreign ministry said.
They also agreed to “manage and control maritime disputes, not take any acts to complicate or expand the disagreement”.
“At present, Sino-Vietnam relations are at a crucial stage of improvement and development,” the ministry cited Yang, who outranks the foreign minister, as saying.
The Chinese statement made no mention of the $1 billion rig, Haiyang Shiyou 981, which China moved out of the contested waters on July 15, saying its activities were complete.
Last week, Chinese and Vietnamese leaders met on the sidelines of an Asia-Europe summit in Italy and agreed to “address and control” maritime disputes.
Communist parties rule both countries and their trade has swelled to $50 billion annually, but Vietnam has long been suspicious of its giant neighbor, especially over China’s claims to almost the entire South China Sea.
A warming of ties would be favorable to Vietnam’s leadership, which found itself in a tricky spot domestically, needing to contain simmering anti-China sentiment over perceived bullying while not provoking a neighbor crucial to its far smaller economy.
Analysts say the issue is likely to have been a hot debate within Vietnam’s secretive Communist party, where members are believed to have mixed opinions about ties with China.
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said it was important for both sides to “seriously” and “urgently” fulfill their commitments.
“Vietnam-China relations developing healthily and stably is suitable with the desire and fundamental interests of the two countries, benefiting peace, stability and development,” it said in a statement. “Both sides will together make an effort to seriously implement the agreements.”
The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the potentially energy-rich waters, and China has looked on with suspicion at what it sees as U.S. moves to “provoke” tension by supporting its regional allies, such as the notably the Philippines, as well as Vietnam.
Source: Reuters “China, Vietnam say want lasting solution to sea dispute”
- India May Join Vietnam in Exploiting South Sea Oil, Disregarding Chinese Concerns dated October 27, 2014
- China Turns a Rock into the Largest Island in the Spratly as Military Base dated October 22, 2014
- Chinese-Vietnamese Friendship Restored dated August 28, 2014
- China Uses Fishermen to Attack Vietnamese Fishing Boats at South China Sea dated August 25, 2014
It is really frustrating for Chinese people. In spite of government efforts since the 2008 Olympics, air pollution has much worsened. China has to adopt the drastic measures again that it adopted more than six years ago. What a shame! The Chinese Communist Party must be aware that it will one day be removed from power by the people if it proves incompetent in dealing with air pollution!
The following is the full text of Reuters report today on the serious air pollution in Beijing:
(Reuters) – China’s capital is expected to face more heavy smog from Wednesday as it battles to try to guarantee air quality ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit starting on Saturday, forecasters said.
Beijing, enveloped by thick smog over the past few days, has announced various long-term schemes over recent years to end the problem once and for all but none has worked.
According to forecasts from the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre published by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Monday, unfavorable weather conditions mean that central and southern parts of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region will face “severe pollution” ahead of APEC.
Beijing and nearby regions will impose their most stringent pollution controls since the 2008 Summer Olympics as they bid to maintain air quality during the summit, which will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders.
Workers will be sent home in early November, traffic will be restricted and hundreds of polluting industrial plants will be closed within a 200-km radius of the capital.
Beijing has already dispatched teams of “chengguan” – city security officials – to stop illegal activities and it will also impose more stringent restrictions if pollution readings rise beyond tolerable levels over the 12-day period.
Zhang Qingwei, the governor of neighboring industrial province of Hebei, said that curbing pollution during the meeting was vital for China’s “national image”, while vice-premier Zhang Gaoli described it as the “priority of priorities”.
Smog readings soared after the Oct. 1-8 National Day holiday, when industrial plants in northern China returned to full capacity, and pressures are likely to intensify in early November, with coal consumption about to jump as urban heating systems are switched on for the winter.
Source: Reuters “China says more heavy smog expected ahead of APEC summit”
Related posts at tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com:
- Beijing Hazardous Smog Again: Drastic Measures for APEC Summit dated October 10, 2014
- China: Choking smog over eastern provinces spreads into Beijing dated December 8, 2013
- Smog descends again on northeast China, closing roads, airport dated November 25, 2013
- China: Thick Smog Blocked Road, Train, Air Traffic for 2 Days in Three Northeast Provinces October 21, 2013
- Beijing and surrounding Regions blighted by smog yet again February 18, 2013
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will begin his India visit on Oct. 27. According to Indian media, India may exploit oil in the South China Sea at Vietnamese request despite Chinese concerns. On the same day, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi will visit Vietnam to make renewed efforts to improve Sino-Indian relations. In this regard, some Chinese experts told Global Times reporter that China had always support joint exploitation of the oil resources in the South China Sea. Concerning the joint exploitation of oil in that area, Vietnam and India must discuss with China.
According to an Indian media, during Prime Minister Dung’s visit, the two countries may conclude an agreement on oil exploitation to deepen their bilateral economic relations. Last November, Vietnam provided India with five pieces of sea areas for India to choose and India decided to choose two or three of them. In addition, Vietnam earnestly hopes to conduct more cooperation with India in security, defense and other areas.
An Indian newspaper reported that an Indian government official hinted that India was willing to accept Vietnamese request in spite of Chinese indignation. On October 24, a spokesman of Indian Foreign Ministry said that India was making an investigation regarding Vietnamese offer on the oilfields in the South China Sea. It will make further consideration if it is commercially profitable. Indian-Vietnamese relations do not depend on any other countries.”
India began its involvement in oil exploitation in the South China Sea in 1988. It got the right of exploitation on two oilfields in 2006, both of which were within the area claimed by China. India has given up one of them due to lack of oil but retained the other. It indicates India’s intention to maintain its strategic interests in that area.
On October 27, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will visit Vietnam and host the seventh meeting of Sino-Vietnamese Bilateral Cooperation Guiding Committee. Before that, the two countries agreed to open a military hotline. They are making efforts to manage and control the increasingly tense disputes between them over the South China Sea. In late August, Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary sent a special envoy to China to start a U-turn in Sino-Vietnamese bilateral relations. It indicated the importance Vietnam attached to the relations. After all, their bilateral trade exceeds $50 billion now. Yang’s coming visit shows the importance China attaches to its relations with Vietnam.
Does Global Times express Chinese official view by quoting experts’ view that China always support joint exploitation of oil in the South China Sea? Quite probably as it is an affiliate of Chinese government’s mouthpiece the People’s Daily. If Vietnam and India do not oppose Chinese involvement, there will not be trouble in the exploitation. Otherwise there will be standoff similar to that when China deployed an oil rig in the disputed waters.
Source: Global Times “India may join Vietnam in exploiting oil in the South China Sea in disregard of Chinese concerns” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)