We Are Not Fooled By The Hong Kong Protests


By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

August 24, 2019 | Educate!

Agnes Chow and Nathan Law accept the 2018 Lantos Human Rights Prize on behalf of Joshua Wong in Washington, DC. Facebook.

Update: Protests continued in Hong Kong this weekend. The protesters returned to the use of violence and the police responded. The South China Morning Post reported: “In a now familiar pattern, the protesters threw bricks, petrol bombs, corrosive liquid and other projectiles at the police, who responded with tear gas, pepper balls and sponge grenades. Twenty-eight people were arrested, including an organiser of an approved protest march. At least 10 people were hospitalised, including two men in serious condition.”

Some people in the United States are confused about the protests going on in Hong Kong. Whenever the corporate media and politicians, especially people like Marco Rubio, applaud a social movement, it is a red flag that the protests are not a progressive people’s movement, but serve other purposes. Is this really a democracy movement? Are workers protesting the deep inequality and exploitation there? If not, what are these protests really about?

Fortunately, a more complete narrative of what is happening in Hong Kong and how it relates to the geopolitical conflict between the United States and China is developing among independent and movement media. The following is a description of what has been learned recently.

Hong Kong Protests: Not a Democracy Movement, but an Anti-China Tool

What is happening in Hong Kong is not actually a people’s uprising for democracy, but a tool for anti-China rhetoric and “Great Power Conflict.” Many Hong Kong protesters are pro-capitalist and racist in nature, referring to mainland Chinese as locusts, and are calling for the United States to intervene. Many of the same tactics employed by Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Ukrainian regime change operations are re-appearing in Hong Kong. For example, demonstrators have used violence as a tactic to entice police to respond with violence in order to put out a false narrative of state repression against them.

Fight Back News describes the problem: “There’s a tendency among progressives in the United States to support big crowds of people protesting in other countries. No doubt, the corporate media assists in this process by labeling certain movements ‘pro-democracy’ or ‘freedom fighters.’”

Just because there are people in the street does not make protests progressive, worker-based or for the people’s interests. Fight Back News reports how Hong Kong has been used by China as a way to attract foreign investment, but also as a way to make the Renminbi (RMB) a more powerful currency as well as to advance China’s Belt & Road initiative. These are major threats to US dominance.

Controversial American political activist Joey Gibson, founder of the group Patriot Prayer, holds up an American flag while attending an anti-extradition rally in Hong Kong on July 7, 2019. Facebook Live screengrab

Dan Cohen of the Grayzone mentions the ties between the protest movement and right-wing racist groups in the US. This is an issue requiring further reporting as it is strange that pro-Trump, racist groups are supporting the protests and the protesters are using US racist symbols.

Cohen’s major focus is the capitalist ties of the Hong Kong protesters. He describes the Rubert Murdoch of Hong Kong, Jimmy Lai, the self-described “head of opposition media,” who has been spending a lot of money, millions, to build the movement and giving a lot of media time to the anti-China rhetoric. And, he shows the connections between these capitalists and the Trump administration, i.e. he has had meetings with Bolton, Pence, and Pompeo as well as with neocons in the Senate, Marco Rubio, and Tom Cotton.

The goal of the Hong Kong protests is only unclear because they are trying to hide their true purpose. The real goal is preventing the full integration of Hong Kong into China in 2047 when the transition agreement between China and the United Kingdom is finished. The United States, the United Kingdom, and billionaires in Hong Kong want it to be integrated into the western capitalist economy and fear China’s state-planned economy. If they succeed, Hong Kong will become a base of economic, military and political operations for the US at the Chinese border, a critical position for the West’s ‘Great Power Conflict’ with Russia and China.

The US is investing in an anti-China movement to make integration of Hong Kong into China difficult. China is already hedging its bets by building Shenzhen across the bay, a state-planned, market-based economy, which will become an alternative to Hong Kong and shrink Hong Kong’s importance. The people of Hong Kong will be the losers if this occurs.

The Hong Kong Protest Is Not A Working-Class Revolt

Even though there are good reasons for workers in Hong Kong to revolt, these protests are not focused on the issues of economic insecurity, i.e. high levels of poverty, the exorbitant cost of housing, low wages, and long hours. As Sara Flounders writes, “For the last 10 years wages have been stagnant in Hong Kong while rents have increased 300 percent; it is the most expensive city in the world.”

But, as Fight Back News explains, “The Hong Kong protests are absolutely not driven by or in the interests of the working class, whether in Hong Kong or mainland China.” In fact, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions is not backing the demonstrations and called on its members to reject the call for a strike on August 5 put out by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, which is backed by the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

If the protesters were focused on workers rights, they would be demanding an end to, or at least reform of, the neoliberal capitalism of Hong Kong that is dominated by big financial interests and corruption. In fact, half of the seats in the legislature are set aside for business interests who vote to protect their profits and not basic needs such as housing, but there is no criticism of this by the protesters.

In Popular Resistance, we wrote: “Hong Kong has the world’s highest rents, a widening wealth gap and a poverty rate of 20 percent.” These are crisis-level problems for the vast majority of people in Hong Kong, but they were not the focus of the protests.

Fight Back News writes: “In actuality, the protests in Hong Kong serve the interests of finance capital, both in the city itself and around the world,” and makes the important point that “Hong Kong’s working class has nothing to gain from worse relations with mainland China, much less from ‘independence.’ They suffered greatly under British colonial rule – no minimum wage laws; no labor protections; barbaric legal punishments like flogging and more.”

The Role of the United States is Evident to Anyone Who Looks

The NED has spent millions of dollars to build this anti-China movement over the years in a place with a population of 7.3 million people, over a million fewer people than New York City. The first to report on NED involvement in the current protest was Alexander Rubinstein of Mintpress News, who wrote: “the coalition cited by Hong Kong media, including the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Free Press, as organizers of the anti-extradition law demonstrations is called the Civil Human Rights Front. That organization’s website lists the NED-funded HKHRM [Human Rights Monitor], Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Civic Party, the Labour Party, and the Democratic Party as members of the coalition.” HKHRM alone received more than $1.9 million in funds from the NED between 1995 and 2013.

The Viable Opposition blogger, in How Washington is Meddling In the Affairs of Hong Kong, describes NED’s history as a regime change agent for the United States and the recent NED funding in Hong Kong, pointing to a total of $1,357,974 on grants to organizations described as promoting freedom, democracy and human rights in Hong Kong over the period from 2015 to 2018.

This is not short-term funding but a long-term commitment by the United States. NED has been doing mass funding in Hong Kong since 1996. In 2012, NED invested $460,000 through its National Democratic Institute, to build the anti-China movement (aka pro-democracy movement), particularly among university students. Two years later, the mass protests of Occupy Central occurred.

Sara Flounders points out US funding goes beyond NED, writing: “Funding from the NED, the Ford, Rockefeller, Soros and numerous other corporate foundations, Christian churches of every denomination, and generous British funding, is behind this hostile, subversive network orchestrating the Hong Kong protests.” The US-funding of NGO’s confuses political activists, media and commentators because they fund a myriad of NGO’s in Hong Kong. As a result, there are human rights, democracy, youth and other Hong Kong spokespersons whose NED funding is not disclosed when they talk in the media.

Martin Lee, Benny Tai and Joshua Wong speak at Freedom House, 2015.

Hong Kong protesters are not always secret about their ties to the US. In 2014, Mintpress News exposed US involvement in Occupy Central. They pointed out that Martin Lee, a Hong Kong protest figure, was in bed with NED. They gave him an award and had his bio on their website. He came to Washington, DC in 2014 along with Anson Chan, another protest figure, and met with Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Lee took part in a NED talk hosted specifically for him. In 2015, Lee and others were applauded for their leadership by Freedom House, which, as the now-deceased Robert Parry described in 2017, works hand in hand with the NED.

In this Popular Resistance story, we point out that during the current protests, participants were meeting with Julie Eadeh, of the US Consulate at a hotel. And, when Nathan Law and Agnes Chow visited the US they met with the China-hawk Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel. They also met with Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and Senator Marco Rubio.

Protesters carry US and UK flags, and sing the Stars and Stripes Forever and the US national anthem, displaying their connection to western nations. In one of the most iconic moments, demonstrating how these protests are really a microcosm of the conflict between the US and China, a protester used a US flag to beat a Chinese reporter, Fu Guohao of Global Times, who was tied up and assaulted at the Hong Kong airport.

Some believe the protests are too big for the US to control and point to the amount of money being spent by the NED. If the populations of Hong Kong and the US are compared, $1 million in funding for the movement in Hong Kong is equivalent to $60 million in the US. Additional funds are also being provided by billionaires. That level of resources is gigantic for popular movements that typically run on shoestring budgets.

The only way not to see US involvement in the Hong Kong protests is to close your eyes, ears, and mind and pretend it does not exist.

Challenging the Dominant Western Narrative

Although Western backing and political ambitions are the reality, it is a challenge to get this narrative out more widely. Too many in the US are confused by the messaging coming from the Hong Kong billionaires, NED-funded NGO’s, bi-partisan politicians in DC and the military-intelligence establishment, all made larger by the corporate mass media.

Corporate powers are banning social media accounts and YouTube Channels from China to suppress social media activism that tells a different narrative. For example, an article in the China Daily documents US involvement in detail with photographs of meetings between US officials and Hong Kong opposition, as well as the role of NED and Voice of America.

Independent media outlets, such as the ones cited above, are exposing who is behind the protests and their pro-capitalist, imperialist agenda. They are starting to change the dominant western narrative. This is critical because it is easy for activists to be drawn into supporting movements that are counter to our goals for social and economic justice as well as peace.

Hong Kongers have also been manipulated pawns in the US Great Power Conflict with China. They are advocating against their own interests by seeking what will essentially be re-colonization by the West. If the US is successful, it will not be good for the people of Hong Kong, Asia or the world.

Source: popularresistance.org “We Are Not Fooled By The Hong Kong Protests”

Note: This is popularresistance.org’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China’s J-20 ‘Heavy’ Stealth Fighter: Can It Kill F-22 and F-35 Fighters?


Let us take a look.

by Sebastien Roblin

Image: Chinese Internet

J-20 pilots also are equipped with helmet-mounted sights that allow them to target high-off-boresight PL-10E heat-seeking missiles within a 90-degree angle of the plane’s nose simply by looking at the target. The short-range missiles are stored in small side-bays but can be cunningly rotated outside prior to launch, as depicted here.

In January 2011, the maiden flight of a large, dagger-like grey jet announced that China had developed its first stealth aircraft—the Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon.” Six years later, after several substantial revisions, J-20s entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force.

(This first appeared late last year.)

As radar-guided missiles from fighters and ground-based launchers threaten aircraft from dozens, or even hundreds of miles away, stealth capabilities are increasingly perceived as necessary for keeping fighter pilots alive on the modern battlefield.

But just how good is the J-20? And what is its intended role? After all, America’s first stealth fighter, the F-117 Nighthawk, was not even really a fighter and lacked any air-to-air capability whatsoever.

The PLA has, true to custom, kept its cards close to the chest, and has not shared performance specifications to the public. Thus, there are broad estimates of the J-20’s top speed (around Mach 2), and considerable-seeming range (1,200 to 2,000 miles), but those remain just that—estimates. For years, analysts even over-estimated the aircraft’s length by two meters. It’s broad but relatively shallow weapons bay can accommodate four to six long-range missiles or bombs, though not munitions with especially heavy warheads.

International observers generally concluded the large twin-engine jet possessed high speed and long operational range, but that the Mighty Dragon lacked the maneuverability necessary to prevail in close engagements with enemy fighters. Relatively modest aerobatic displays in the Zhuhai 2016 and 2018 airshows (you can see some of the latter here) reinforced the narrative in certain quarters that the J-20 isn’t optimized for gut-wrenching air combat maneuvers.

Given the above premises, observers mostly speculate the J-20 would either serve as long-range supersonic strike plane, or a hit-and-run interceptor used to slip past fighter screens and take out vulnerable supporting tanker and AWACS planes.

However, Rick Joe of The Diplomat argues these theories of the J-20’s supposedly specialized role might be a case of group-think, ignoring both design features and statements by Chinese sources suggesting the J-20 was intended as a multi-role fighter with “competitive” dogfighting capability.

For example, a brochure distributed at Zhuhai 2018 explicitly stated the J-20 was capable of “seizing & maintain air superiority, medium & long range interception, escort and deep strike.” In other words, a multi-role fighter.

A commonly insinuated premise is that the Chinese aerospace industry was not capable of producing a fifth generation air superiority fighter, and would have to “settle” for a less technically challenging interceptor or striker instead,” Joe argues.

He points out that the lengthy J-20 is still shorter than the Russian Su-35 Flanker-E, one of the most maneuverable jet fighters ever designed. He further cites a 2001 study by Song Wecong, mentor of the J-20 designer Yang Wei, which you can read translated here. Wecong wrote that stealth aircraft “must have the capability to supercruise and perform unconventional maneuvers such as post-stall maneuvers.”

Song concluded the ideal stealth fighter would incorporate canards (a second, small set of wings close to the nose of the plane), leading-edge root extensions (or “strakes,” a thin surface extending where the wing emerges from the fuselages), and S-shaped belly intakes, in order to balance stealth, speed and maneuverability. These are all design characteristics evident in the J-20.

While details on the J-20’s radar remains elusive (presumably a low-probability of intercept AESA radar), it also mounts arrays of electro-optical and infrared sensors with 360-degree coverage, reportedly designed to fuse sensor data to form a common “picture” and even share it with friendly forces via a datalink—technology seemingly modeled on the advanced sensors found on the American F-35. Such sensors could be particularly useful for detecting radar-eluding stealth aircraft.

J-20 pilots also are equipped with helmet-mounted sights that allow them to target high-off-boresight PL-10E heat-seeking missiles within a 90-degree angle of the plane’s nose simply by looking at the target. The short-range missiles are stored in small side-bays but can be cunningly rotated outside prior to launch, as depicted here.

These by no means unprecedented capabilities nonetheless suggest that the J-20 may be designed to hold its own in a close-range encounter, not just sling long-range hypersonic PL-15 missiles from its fuselage bay from dozens of miles away. Particularly when engaging agile fighters, short-range missiles (which might still threaten targets over a dozen miles away) have a much higher probability of a kill—by some estimates, up to 80 percent.

Chinese designers have also expressed interest in incorporating vector-thrust engines in the J-20. These have moving exhaust nozzles to assist in pulling off tight maneuvers. The PLAAF recently acquired Su-35 fighters from Russia with vector-thrust engines, and also reportedly tested domestic vector-thrust turbofans on a J-10B two-seat fighter.

Despite the awesome maneuvers enabled by vector-thrust engines, they are far from being automatically included in modern fighters. This is because they significantly add to weight, cost, and difficulty in minimizing radar cross section (RCS). Moreover, when vector-thrust engines are over-used in combat, they can bleed off energy rapidly, leaving the aircraft sluggish and vulnerable to enemy fighters (as occurred in one exercise in Nevada pitting U.S. F-15s against Indian Air Force Flankers). For this reason, few Western fighters incorporate vector-thrust technology, the F-22 being a notable exception. China’s interest in thrust-vectoring again suggests it sees relevance in agility.

The J-20’s short-range capabilities naturally lead to the question—what exactly happens when two stealth fighters clash? If their stealth qualities are robust, both aircraft may only be able to detect each other within 50 miles or less—at which point air combat maneuvers could prove important. As U.S. stealth aircraft are one of the chief military threats to China, it seems reasonable to assume the J-20 would be designed to have a fighting chance against them.

While the J-20 would likely remain outclassed by the F-22, it could potentially prove a dangerous adversary to the F-35, which is not as optimized for within-visual-range engagements. However, both the F-22 and F-35 are believed to have a significantly lower all-around RCS than the J-20, though the Chinese fighter still appears to be significantly stealthier than the Russian Su-57.

A 2011 analysis by Australian aviation expert Carlo Kopp concluded that J-20 probably had strong stealth from a frontal aspect, but a larger radar cross section (RCS) when scanned from the side or rear—a limitation also found in the Russian Su-57 stealth fighter.

But as the extent and type of the radar-absorbent materials used affect RCS, visual analysis alone cannot determine how stealthy an aircraft is. This has not dissuaded the U.S. Marine Corps from a building a full-scale mock-up of a J-20 in Georgia for study and training purposes. The Indian Air Force has boasted its Su-30 Flankers have tracked J-20s on radar, but as stealth fighters often employ emitters called “Luneburg Lens” to enlarge their RCS on routine flights, and thus conceal their true capabilities, it’s difficult to infer much from this either.

Another issue confusing analysis of the J-20 is that it doesn’t yet have the high-thrust WS-15 turbofans the PLAAF envisioned for them, and are making do with Russian AL-31F engines instead. Even China’s fourth-generation jets have been frustrated by deficient jet engines. The WS-15 generates 23 percent more thrust than the AL-31FN, and would enable the J-20 to super-cruise, or sustain supersonic speeds without resorting to fuel-gulping afterburners. Thus, certain more aggressive projections of J-20 performance, such as a top speed of Mach 2.5, may be premised on engines that have yet to be fully developed.

As long as the PLAAF has only a few dozen J-20s in service, it may make sense to reserve them for hit-and-run tactics and special deep strikes. But as the article in the Diplomat points out, there’s ample evidence the J-20 may be intended to grow into a capable all-rounder that can hold its own in a dogfight.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

Source: National Interest “China’s J-20 ‘Heavy’ Stealth Fighter: Can It Kill F-22 and F-35 Fighters?”

Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


BRI for China’s National Security


Pandapawdragonclaw.blog’s article “Empty trains on the modern Silk Road: when Belt and Road interests don’t align” says that it was rare for Chinsee media to probe into China’s projects; therefore, it regards Depth Paper’s probe into China-Europe Railway Express as exceptional.

It’s not exceptional but very normal but not known by media outside China as due to lack of people with knowledge of the Chinese language, foreign media can only monitor a small percentage of Chinese media. Moreover, the results of such probe often are not published but sent directly to related government agency for improvement. I had a post titled “Self-improvement, That’s the Secret of China’s Success” on July 21, 2019. How can China improve itself? It attached importance to such probes and people’s comments on government activities to enable it to be aware of its problems and make improvements; therefore such probes and comments are indispensable.

The article also reflects that. It says, when problems of excessive local subsidies for the projects has been found, “The Ministry of Finance is reportedly determined to pierce the bubble by enforcing a schedule for phased subsidy reduction. Subsidies by local government are to be no more than 40% of a route’s total cost in 2019. The ceiling will be further lowered to 30% in 2020 and zero by 2022. The Ministry is hoping that by then the trains running up and down routes would be completely market driven and China Railway Express will stand on its own two feet.”

As the China-Europe Railway Express provides alternative trade routes in case China’s trade lifelines are cut by US Navy, it has to be kept running smoothly for national security. Therefore, China has to keep it running even if the freight is not cost effective. There are certainly other strategic routes in BRI such as the Arctic shipping route along Russian coast that may shorten shipping route to Europe by 5,000 kilometers and that is safe with Russian military protection. Still the Express shall be maintained and cost be reduced as an alternative. China is rich enough to cover the costs for national security even if cost reduction cannot make the routes break even.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on pandapawdragonclaw.blog’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://pandapawdragonclaw.blog/2019/08/23/empty-trains-on-the-modern-silk-road-when-belt-and-road-interests-dont-align/.


Indonesian Muslim group upholds Xinjiang condition


By Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi

Source:Global Times

Published: 2019/8/23 18:20:45

Muslims from Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region embark on their journey from Urumqi to Saudi Arabia for the annual hajj on July 23. Photo: Courtesy of the Xinjiang pilgrimage group

China’s Xinjiang issue is a separatist one, rather than religious, Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

“China’s religion policy is more democratic than other Muslim countries, even our country, Indonesia,” Siradj told the Global Times. “You can see this from Article 36 in China’s Constitution and the white paper of China’s policies and practices on protecting freedom of religious belief.”

Hoping to inform more Indonesian people about Islam in China as well as the real situation in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which has been twisted by some Western countries, NU released a book titled Indonesian Muslims’ China Studies last month, which details what the organization members have seen and experienced in China.

This is the first book in the world that systematically introduces the development and real situation of Islam in China, Siradj said. He hopes the book will change “the negative perceptions of a small group of Indonesian Muslims.”

NU, which enjoys more than 90 years of history, has about 40 million members. Former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid once was chairman of NU.

According to Siradj, 23 members from NU wrote this book together which includes their personal experiences and research. He noted that the idea of penning this book came naturally as they wanted to share the truth they have seen.

The organization’s members have frequently paid visits to China over the past few years, particularly to places that boast a rich Islamic culture and heritage. They also met with Chinese Islamic scholars to share their experiences during the trips. “We found they are treated by the [Chinese] government very well,” he said.

He noted that, after visiting China, he found the Western narrative that “Islam is suppressed in China” could not hold water. “Our finding is Islam is growing in China. They live in peace with other Chinese people and they receive support from the government, such as building mosques, schools and offices.”

He added that it’s easy for Muslims in China to practice their religion.

During their stay in China, they once joined the Friday prayers in an old mosque with a capacity of 20,000 people. As too many people participated in the prayers that day, some even went outside to pray, according to Siradj.

Western media have said that the government of Indonesia, the country that hosts the largest Muslim population in the world, remains silent on the issue of China’s Xinjiang policies. Siradj believes the opinions of the NU can represent the majority of Indonesian Muslims. Siradj has said in previous media reports that Xinjiang is very good and safe, and there is no need for the Indonesian government to interfere.

Source: Global Times “Indonesian Muslim group upholds Xinjiang condition”

Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


US Losing Space Race due to Government Inefficiency


CNN says in its article “The second space race is underway. America is already losing it”, “Today, the space industry is largely an extension of the government itself and massively inefficient in how it allocates capital to promote commercial growth. Instead of encouraging free-market innovation and private investment, current government policy discourages commercial-type competition, reinforces incumbency and opposes reforms to improve. While expedient in the near term to win the technology race of the Cold War, this narrowminded approach has ultimately inhibited innovation, and we are now falling behind.”

Why inefficient? Because US political system is inefficient. For example, it cannot provide funds for maintenance and reconstruction of 5,000 bridges in poor conditions despite its being the wealthiest nation in the world. Without reform, the US will lose competition in lots of areas instead of space race alone.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on CNN’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/17/perspectives/moon-landing-space-race/index.html.


Chinese ship inches closer to Vietnam coastline amid South China Sea tensions


Khanh Vu August 24, 2019 / 1:42 PM / Updated 3 hours ago

HANOI (Reuters) – A Chinese survey vessel on Saturday extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam’s coastline, ship tracking data showed, after the United States and Australia expressed concern about China’s actions in the disputed waterways.

The Haiyang Dizhi 8 vessel first entered Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) early last month where it began a weeks-long seismic survey, triggering a tense standoff between military and coastguard vessels from Vietnam and China.

The Chinese vessel continued to survey Vietnam’s EEZ on Saturday under escort from at least four ships and was around 102 kilometers (63 miles) southeast of Vietnam’s Phu Quy island and 185 kilometers (115 miles) from the beaches of the southern city of Phan Thiet, according to data from Marine Traffic, a website that tracks vessel movements.

The Chinese vessel group was followed by at least two Vietnamese naval vessels, according to the data.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

A country’s EEZ typically extends up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers or 230 miles) from its coastline, according to an international UN treaty. That country has sovereign rights to exploit any natural resources within that area, according to the agreement.

Vietnam and China have for years been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters and a busy shipping lane in the South China Sea.

China’s unilaterally declared “nine-dash line” marks a vast, U-shaped, expanse of the South China Sea that it claims, including large swathes of Vietnam’s continental shelf where it has awarded oil concessions.

On Friday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart expressed their concern about China’s activities in the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

Earlier in the week, the United States said it was deeply concerned about China’s interference in oil and gas activities in waters claimed by Vietnam, and that the deployment of the vessels was “an escalation by Beijing in its efforts to intimidate other claimants out of developing resources in the South China Sea”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, in response to the U.S. statement, said Washington was “sowing division and had ulterior motives”.

The aim is to bring chaos to the situation in the South China Sea and damage regional peace and stability. China is resolutely opposed to this,” Geng told a daily news briefing on Friday.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by James Pearson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Source: Reuters “Chinese ship inches closer to Vietnam coastline amid South China Sea tensions”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Explosion of Hongkongers’ Racism against Mainlanders


SCMP reflects quite obvious Hongkongers’ racism against mainlanders in its article “Hong Kong protests: young, educated mainland Chinese are questioning their place in the city” yesterday   in the following passages:

Geng Chunya, president of the Hong Kong Association of Mainland Graduates and a permanent resident since 2001, is not about to leave but he has felt the hostility first hand.

My 70-year-old father and I returned to Hong Kong after a day trip to Shenzhen in early July. Almost as soon as my father sat down in the MTR and began to speak in Mandarin, the man next to him shouted obscenities and told my father to get out of Hong Kong,” Geng said.

No wonder two mainlanders were beaten up by Hong Kong protesters at Hong Kong airport for no reasons other than that they were mainlanders as proved by the language they spoke.

Western media even politicians such as US President Donald Trump regard the chaos of violence in Hong Kong as China’s trouble and are telling China not to use troops to suppress protests.

However, Hong Kong is no longer a goose that lays gold eggs. It can satisfactorily be replaced by Shenzhen and Shanghai. The chaos in Hong Kong does not hurt Mainland economy but hurts Hong Kong itself. Why shall Mainland send troops to end the protests? I see no such reasons at all.

Therefore, I said in my post “Competition of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, HK Liberal Democracy” on August 19, since in his report to the 19th CCP Congress Xi Jinping “stressed that China now has road self-confidence, theory self-confidence, system self-confidence and culture self-confidence (four self-confidences) and put forth Chinese model as an alternative to Western democracy”, why shall Hong Kong not have Western democracy?

The competition between Shenzhen’s socialism with Chinese characteristics and Hong Kong’s Western democracy will prove which system is better.

However, I do not know whether Western democracy can overcome Hongkongers’ racial hostility against mainlanders. Racism remains quite serious in the United States, a model nation of Western democracy.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3023896/disillusioned-drifters-why-young-educated-chinese-wonder.


It’s Time for Pentagon to Catch Up with China’s Weapon Development


CNBC says in its article “China’s ability to spend on weapons has the Pentagon eager to develop hypersonics as the US tries to catch up” that according to Mike Griffin, the Pentagon’s top engineer,

the US is lagging behind Russia and China in hypersonics. It quotes Griffin as saying, “We need to be able to not only match but to overmatch, especially the Chinese,”

How?

China has abundant funds while the US is hard up.

Chinese scientists and engineers are working 9 hours 6 days a week voluntarily. Do US ones have such enthusiasm in developing technology for their country?

However, CNBC says in the report, “The United States does not have a defense against hypersonic weapons, which can travel at least five times the speed of sound, or a little more than a mile per second. Combined with blistering speed, maneuverability and long-range flight, these weapons are difficult to track, target and defeat. Russia and China have sprinted to develop a variety of weapons of this caliber, sparking concerns that the U.S. will be outpaced on this front.”

The US is in trouble. It wants to attack Russia and China but now it will be unable to defend the counterattack of hypersonic weapons from Russia and China.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on CNBC’s article.


Huawei Threatens to break Google’s Monopoly of Mapping Survice


Forbes says in its report “Huawei’s New Google Maps Rival ‘Launches In October’ As Battle Commences” on August 17, “According to Chinese media, Huawei is stepping up its rivalry with Google with plans to launch its own mapping service as soon as October.”

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei warned the U.S. this week, that if its hand is forced by a U.S. blacklist which denies access to Google’s full-fat Android operating system, then it will set out to break Google and Apple’s global dominance of the smartphone ecosystem. This would be a clear part of that strategy. “

I said in my previous posts that Chinese engineers and technicians will strike back hard if insulted and cited as an example of China’s development of AEW&C airplanes as advanced as American ones when the US forced Israel to cancel its sell of AEW&C airplanes to China.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Forbes’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/08/17/watch-out-google-huawei-maps-could-launch-as-soon-as-october/#5dbd2dbb633f


Competition between Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Western Democracy


At Chinese Communist Party’s 19th Congress, Xi Jinping put forth his Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. In his report to the Congress, he stressed that China now has road self-confidence, theory self-confidence, system self-confidence and culture self-confidence (four self-confidences) and put forth Chinese model as an alternative to Western democracy.

Therefore, analysts believe current US trade and tech wars, provocations at the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait and attacks at China’s Belt and Road initiative are in fact a war between two ideologies.

Since China has the four self-confidences why does China not let Hong Kong have Western democracy to compete with socialism with Chinese characteristics?

China indeed has advantages in competing with Western democracy in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong now is a split city like the US where there are messy politics that have caused the president unable to do what he wants due to obstacles from Congress and courts.

Previously I said in my posts that Xi is a person of quick decision and quick action.

True enough, he now sets Shenzhen as a pioneer demonstration zone for the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

I believe that Xi is wise to see that Hong Kong people’s pursuit of Western democracy cannot be suppressed even by force. Then it is better to let them have Western democracy to compete with socialism with Chinese characteristics in its close neighbor Shenzhen.

SCMP says in its editorial “Shenzhen experiment could shape China’s future growth”, “Shenzhen recently announced tax incentives to attract talent in hi-tech industries, offering a rate lower than Hong Kong. Innovative ideas for growth could include focusing on fintech, legal reforms and easing up on restrictions on the free flow of capital and information, all of which would cut into Hong Kong’s advantages.”

In addition, a chief executive elected by universal suffrage like US president may be hindered by the legislative council. Those who oppose universal suffrage may conduct non-cooperation activities to block train and road traffic and cause commercial areas to close

Moreover, Shenzhen has abundant financial and other supports from the Central government but Hong Kong has none. Its people will be fully cooperative with the government to ensure the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics as they have the above-mentioned four self-confidneces.

If so, Hong Kong will certainly lose in the competition.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s editorial, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3023307/shenzhen-experiment-could-shape-chinas-future-growth.