Trump Launched Trade War as He Is Scared by China’s Rise


According to White House, US President Donald Trump called former US President Jimmy Carter in April 2019 in reply of Carter’s letter to him.

There has been no information about what Carter wrote to Trump about, but as revealed by White House Trump discussed with Carter on phone about his fear of China ‘getting way ahead’ of the US, it seems now that like lots of Americans, Trump has also fallen into Thucydides trap. Then Carter must have written to Trump about China’s rise. He perhaps tried to persuade Trump not to assault China with the trade war.

Carter knows that the trade war is not about trade deficit or the fabricated China’s theft or compulsory transfer of technology but China’s rise to surpass the US.

Carter said, “The main thing that he (Trump) emphasized to me was, the main purpose of his call, was to say very frankly to me on a private line that the Chinese were getting way ahead of the United States.”

Carter was not surprised by Trump’s words and gave the explanation that China focused on its own development without fighting any war since 1979 but in that period the US is always at war to impose its values on other countries.

Now, as the US is not able to attack China militarily, it attacks China with a trade war, which is aimed at stopping China’s rise instead of imposing US values on China.

Regarding China’s rise, Carter, a devout Christian, said in church on Sunday, “As you have heard to your concern perhaps, the Chinese are likely to be number one superpower economically within the next few years.”

He then asked what being a superpower meant? According to him, it’s “not just who has the most powerful military, but who is a champion of the finer things in life”, which should include peace, the environment, human rights and equality that all Christians should believe in.

With that view, Carter is certainly unhappy that Trump has broken peace in fighting a trade war with China and has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on global warming.

He said China is investing its resources into infrastructure projects while the US has stayed at war. Obviously, he gave Trump the advice to withdraw from war and focus US resources on construction to make US economy grow. Will Trump, deep in Thucydides trap, listen to him?

Trump knows that he has not much ammunition to subdue China with his trade war. His threat of further tariff hikes reflects his weakness. As China does not want the trade war, there may be some agreement to end the trade war, but to win votes for his reelection, Trump has to maintain his hostility against China; therefore, Trump and other Americans are bound to create further trouble for China. Judging by what Trump did at the beginning of his administration, perhaps he really wants to be China’s friend in order to exploit China’s vast market, but he has to wait until being reelected. By that time there may be another honeymoon between him and President Xi Jinping Who knows!

Article by Chan Kai Yee


China’s first Hualong One nuclear reactor starts commercial operation


By Reuters Staff

JANUARY 30, 202112:16 PM UPDATED 20 HOURS AGO

FILE PHOTO: A model of the nuclear reactor “Hualong One” is pictured at the booth of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) at an expo in Beijing, China April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

FILE PHOTO: A model of the nuclear reactor “Hualong One” is pictured at the booth of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) at an expo in Beijing, China April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) – China National Nuclear Corp said the first of its Hualong One units, third-generation pressurised water nuclear reactors, began commercial operations on Saturday.

The reactor in Fuqing in China’s southeastern province of Fujian was first connected to the grid on Nov. 27 last year, following more than five years of construction work.

“This marks that China has mastered independent third-generation nuclear power technology following the United States, France, Russia and others,” the company said in a statement on its official WeChat account.

The Hualong One units, designed to have a 60-year lifespan, have an installed capacity of 1.161 million kilowatts each, CNNC said.

Construction of a second Hualong One unit at the Fuqing site is due to be completed this year.

CNNC said the project would help China secure its national energy safety and to reach carbon neutrality.

Reporting by Min Zhang and Norihiko Shirouzu; editing by Jane Wardell

Source: Reuters “China’s first Hualong One nuclear reactor starts commercial operation”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.China’s first Hualong One nuclear reactor starts commercial operation is now live.

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China National Nuclear Corp said the first of its Hualong One units, third-generation pressurised water nuclear reactors, began commercial operations on Saturday.

The reactor in Fuqing in China’s southeastern province of Fujian was first connected to the grid on Nov. 27 last year, following more than five years of construction work.

“This marks that China has mastered independent third-generation nuclear power technology following the United States, France, Russia and others,” the company said in a statement on its official WeChat account.

The Hualong One units, designed to have a 60-year lifespan, have an installed capacity of 1.161 million kilowatts each, CNNC said.

Construction of a second Hualong One unit at the Fuqing site is due to be completed this year.

CNNC said the project would help China secure its national energy safety and to reach carbon neutrality.

Reporting by Min Zhang and Norihiko Shirouzu; editing by Jane Wardell

Source: Reuters “China’s first Hualong One nuclear reactor starts commercial operation”

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


China’s Strategy to Defeat the US in the Non-military Wars


Plan for Long-term Victory

In the long run, China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) will bring economic growth to developing countries and expand China’s market there. It will enable China to switch lots of its exports from the US to those countries. Moreover, BRI will enable China to move the industries that produce goods for export to the US to the industrial parks built by BRI in those countries to avoid US tariff hikes and reduce labor costs. China will thus establish its invincible position in its trade war with the US.

According to Sun Tzu, in a war one has to establish one’s invincible position and do not miss the opportunity to defeat one’s enemy (立於不敗之地而不失敵之敗也)。.

Regarding to trade war, China is an entirely different country. Its government has centralized power to ban the import of enemy’s goods without tariff hikes. Its reduction in purchase of US agricultural products can do much greater damages than US tariff hikes on Chinese exports.

Trump’s Ingenious Move without Surprise

Seeing that tariff hikes are unable to subdue China, US President Trump tries another way to attack China. He remembers well that China’s telecom giant ZTE would have been killed by US Congress if he had not interfered in its favor. He saw his opportunity to subdue China through attacking Huawei, another Chinese telecom giant.

Americans have already been jealous at Huawei’ leading position in 5G in the world. Trump took the lead in banning Huawei’s 5G in the US and has been telling other countries also to boycott Huawei’s 5G with the lie about Huawei’s espionage on behalf of the Chinese government. Failing to make all other countries ban Huawei’s 5G, Trump invents a much more evil way to kill Huawei by placing Huawei in US trade blacklist to cut US supplies of components and technology that Huawei needs for its survival.

Now tariff hikes are the frontal engagement in Trump’s trade war with China, but banning and placing Huawei in US trade blacklist are indeed an ingenious move that may do real harm to China..

US government’s large amount of tariff revenue from the hikes proves that the tariff hikes have failed to reduce Chinese exports to the US. It proves that the harm caused by tariff hikes to China is limited. Killing Huawei and threatening further killing of other major Chinese tech companies might have really made China suffer.

China has been prepared for Trump’s Ingenious Move

No surprise!

However, the Huawei move though Ingenious lacks surprise. At the very beginning of Trump’s trade war last year, Xi Jinping told Chinese firms to rely on themselves. He made Chinese firms realize the danger of dependence on US supplies of technology and components. Since then Chinese enterprises have been working hard to free from their dependence on US supplies.

It has especially been the case for Huawei. Trump’s banning and telling others to ban Huawei and US efforts to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou have caused Huawei to develop substitutes for US supplies since long ago. When Trump placed Huawei on the blacklist, Huawei had already developed substitutes for US supply of components and been developing its own operation systems so that Trump is unable to win with that ingenious move.

China’s Ingenious Surprise Move

Banning supply of rare earth materials for the US may be China’s ingenious move but it also lacks surprise. There has now been too much media report on that now to warn the US about that. China bought rare earth technology from the US so that I do not think it is difficult for the US to develop the technology to produce substitutes.

In his recent visit to Russia, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart President Putin concluded an agreement to develop bilateral trade and cross-border payments using ruble and yuan in order to bypass US dollar. That is an ingenious surprise move that hits the US where it is most vulnerable.

US economy will soon be surpassed by China. Its military is being caught up by China and Russia. The financial dominance of US dollar is the only strong point that still maintains. If the US has lost that dominance, there will be no US hegemony at all.

The agreement between China and Russia may set an example for other countries so that trade balance settlement everywhere may gradually be conducted through other currencies not only Russian and Chinese currencies. As a result, US dollar will no longer be the major currencies for trade and financial reserve.

In fact, most countries in the world want to put an end to US dollar’s dominance now. EU has developed Euro for trade settlement in EU. Malaysian PM Mahathir has suggested the use of gold as substitute for US dollar.

The US is hard up now. It does not have enough revenue to make ends meet so that it has to borrow lots of funds from other countries. However, it has no financial problem as it can issue as much US dollars as it needs due to the financial dominance of US dollars.

If US dollar is no longer the dominant trade and reserve currency in the world, the US will not be able to borrow as much as it wants for its excessive military spending to maintain its military hegemony.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


Chinese officials begin crackdown on real-estate speculation


Housing bosses stress the ‘homes are for living’ mantra as they hammer the message into the heads of local officials that the sector must be strongly regulated to ensure the market remains stable at a time when the banks are laden with bad loans

by Chris Gill Chris Gill

Chinese officials begin crackdown on real-estate speculation

Photo Banks

Banks have raised mortgage prices in Shenzhen to cool a real estate market that regulators feared could rock the country’s financial stability. File photo by AFP.

(ATF) As has been said at numerous high-ranking meetings, China is entering a ‘new era,’ and one of the key goals of this is affordable housing, starting with tier-1 cities.

Land sales have been a cash cow for local governments, as shown on Thursday when the Ministry of Finance announced the fiscal revenue and expenditure for 2020. The statistics show that local governments reaped 9.7 trillion yuan from land sales, a year-on-year increase of 11.7%, while income from the transfer of state-owned land use rights was 8.414 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 15.9%.

News on the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development website early this week said Deputy minister Ni Hong led a team to Shanghai, Shenzhen and other places to review and oversee the real estate market.

Ni Hong ordered officials in these cities to “conscientiously implement the main responsibility of the city,” which is to get housing for residents. In line with this goal, officials in Shanghai and Shenzhen issued measures the previous week to promote steady and healthy development of the real estate market.

But it’s not just Shanghai and Shenzhen that need to implement the plan, China Youth Daily reported. On Tuesday (Jan 27), the “new first-tier city” Hangzhou also announced it would be doing “Further Strengthening the Regulation of the Real Estate Market.”

“Solving the outstanding problems of housing in big cities” is one of the key tasks this year for the CCP. The Central Economic Work Conference in December listed eight key tasks for 2021, one of which was housing.

The meeting emphasized the message from the top – houses are for living, not for speculation, which means adopting measures suited to local conditions and many strategies to promote a stable and healthy real estate market.

In December, Han Zheng, Vice Premier of the State Council and a member of the Central Committe’s Politburo, who was once the Mayor of Shanghai, held a forum at the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Real estate, he said, should not be used as a short-term means to stimulate the economy, and regulations governing the market should be tightened, and the policy ‘toolbox’ constantly improved promote a stable real estate market.

This is the responsibility of city officials. But Han stressed it was not a “one size fits all” plan; city governments had to adapt to local conditions, improve housing security methods, and implement their main responsibilities.

The team sent from Beijing had a mission to resolutely stamp out speculation in real estate.

The Deputy Minister Ni Hong said that the city government must fully grasp the importance of the issue. “If problems are discovered, we will act in a timely manner, take targeted measures, guide good expectations, and resolutely curb speculative real estate. We need to stabilize land prices, house prices, and expectations as the goal, and enhance work enthusiasm, initiative…”

Fears of a year-end ‘tail-up’

One of the reasons for this is because housing prices often “tail-up” with prices rising at the end of the year in many domestic cities.

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in December 2020 showed that, out of 70 large and medium-sized cities, Shenzhen’s growth rate (14%) was far ahead of most major cities.

The average unit price of a secondhand home in Shenzhen reached 87,957 yuan per square meter last month, which was 1.36 times prices in Beijing, 1.5 times prices in Shanghai, and 2.2 times the prices in Guangzhou.

Shanghai and Shenzhen introduced policies to increase supply to meet demand.

On January 21, Shanghai issued a paper on its real estate policy, which said that restricting the purchase of homes must be strictly implemented. “If a couple is divorced, if either party purchases commercial housing within three years from the date of divorce, the number of units owned by the couple shall be calculated based on the total number of units in the family before the divorce.”

Officials in Shanghai said they would increase the period for exemption on value-added tax on individual home sales from two to five years.

Straight after, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Housing issued a notice saying it would boost supervision of the real estate market, and crack down on “illegal real estate behaviour” to maintain order in the market.

The southern city requires citizens to register when they want to buy a home. Buyers who purchase new commercial housing need to log in to the “House Purchase Intention Registration System” to notify officials of their intention. The details provided must be true, valid and consistent with written materials provided when they do that.

Local municipal officials are also working hard to ensure supply. The Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee vowed that housing supply would increase, with large-scale construction of public housing continuing this year – with 80,000 units planned, plus a further 100,000 for long-term rental housing.

Rise in mortgage rates pours cold water on hot market

Meanwhile, the four major banks in Guangzhou have said they will increase their mortgage prices across the board, according to a report by “21st Century Business Herald” on January 27.

The interest rate on first home loans with the four major industrial and agricultural banks has been adjusted – it will be 5.2%, while the second is set is 5.4%. So, the rising price of home loans has poured cold water on the hot real estate market.

On December 31, the central bank and banking regulators issued a notice on managing loans for real estate, which divided banks into five tiers, and provided real estate loans and personal housing loans to various banks. But the proportion of a bank’s total loans was capped.

Judging from the price index released by the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2020, the price of new commercial housing in Beijing will rise by 3.5%, and the price of secondhand housing will rise by 2.6%; both considered within a reasonable range.

On January 25, Wang Fei, director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, told the TV program “Citizens’ Dialogue With Top Leaders”, the compared with the four top-tier cities, Beijing’s price increase was at the middle and lower end, as the goal was “stabilizing housing prices and expectations.”

Wang Fei stressed that this year the focus is on adhering to the national policy “housing to live without speculation”, in accordance with local rules, preventing risks, “maintaining unwavering control”, with a scientific and reasonable residential land scale, and protection against violations of laws and regulations. He warned that a high-pressure law enforcement posture would be rolled out.

“This year we will strictly investigate the illegal flow of funds into the real estate market and intermediary real estate speculation, strictly investigate speculation, and will launch special actions in the near future to resolutely crack down on various violations of laws and regulations.”

All of this stems from a belief among the country’s leaders that the real estate market could be a source of grave financial instability if the sector is not strongly regulated to prevent it from overheating or causing widespread social unrest. Real estate developers have spectacular levels of debt – China Evergrande $110 billion alone – and still represent a serious risk to the national economy, although top officials are trying to ensure that threat is contained and that the country does not suffer a ‘hard landing’.

Source: Asia Times Financial “Chinese officials begin crackdown on real-estate speculation”

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


Pakistan must aim for self-reliance, rather than pleasing other nations: PM Imran Khan


By Web Desk Thursday Jan 28, 2021

  • PM Imran Khan says “when a country loses self-confidence, it begins to think of how to please others”
  • Says Pakistan suffered due to “fighting others’ wars”
  • Says past governments only thought of elections, not planning ahead, and 2008-2018 was a “decade of darkness”

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that Pakistan must always aim to be self reliant and not be afraid to have lofty dreams.

“People talk about projecting a soft image for Pakistan. What does a soft image even mean? […] Will the world begin to think very highly of us then?” said the premier.

He said that Pakistan must not fall for this misconception. “This is having an inferiority complex. When a country loses self-confidence, it begins to think of how to please others,” the prime minister said.

He was addressing a gathering in Islamabad held to showcase a docu-drama “Paani ke pankh” that highlights the importance of Pakistan harnessing its hydropower capabilities.

Pakistan ‘suffered’ when it chased Western ideologies

“We must never think of doing something that the West wants. Like when Musharraf spoke of ‘enlightened moderation’. […] No one knew what it was. People thought the more they look like people from the West, the more they will seem moderate,” PM Imran Khan said, adding that a nation only does such things when it lacks confidence.

He said that Pakistan need only project one image — that it is an independent nation, one that is standing on its own feet, has confidence, and believes in its future and does not rely on any other nation. “It is only then that the world respects such a nation.”

PM Imran Khan said it was a major mistake to take part in “someone else’s war”, referring to Pakistan supporting the US post 9/11 in the fight against terrorism.

“We fell under pressure and took part in their war […] First we took part in the [Soviet-Afghan War] in the 80s and glorified the mujahideen […] And then after 9/11, we labelled them terrorists and at their bidding began fighting them,” said the premier, adding that of course Pakistan then “suffered”.

Nation must realise that strength comes from within

“So what lesson have we learnt from the past? We have to strengthen the nation and make it stand on its own feet. We have to ready the nation to pay taxes, without which we won’t be able to educate our citizens, take care of their health or improve the infrastructure,” the prime minister continued.

He said it is the nation that has to pay taxes “so we don’t beg for grants elsewhere”. “As our mindset begins to change, believe me I say this as a man who has seen the world, Pakistan’s tremendous potential will begin to unlock.”

The prime minister said the country is blessed with countless bounties, saying that “we undersell ourselves and lack belief”.

“The day we have the confidence we can compete against any other country, the nation will reach great heights.”

‘Decade of darkness’

PM Imran Khan also spoke of previous governments, saying that they “only thought of their own election campaigns instead of planning ahead” for resources.

“They thought of their elections instead of making dams.”

The prime minister said it is owing to the past government’s mismanagement that electricity rates are high. The past deals were such that whether or not there is power utilisation, payments had to be made, he said.

He characterised the 2008-2018 period as the “decade of darkness”.

The prime minister said the secret to China’s progress is long-term planning.

PM Imran Khan said that in Pakistan, after 50 years two new dams are being built, whereas this should have been an activity that took place “from time to time”.

“Had we built dams timely, we would have a 70,000 MW electricity generation capacity,” he said.

Criticising the Opposition for saying that the incumbent government had gathered more debt for Pakistan, he reminded them that when PTI came into power, the country had a debt of Rs25,000 billion. Of the Rs11,000 settled, Rs6,000 went in the way of interest payments, he said.

He went on to say that due to a rupee depreciation, the debt rose by Rs3,000bn.

PM Imran added that of a Rs2,000bn goal in tax collection, there was a deficit of Rs800bn because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Geo.tv “Pakistan must aim for self-reliance, rather than pleasing other nations: PM Imran Khan”

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


US Poor Strategy in Its Trade War with China


Chinese Gifted Strategist Sun Tzu’s Teaching

This blogger has mentioned Sun Tze’s teaching: In any war, one shall win with ingenious surprise move while conducting frontal engagement. (凡戰者,以正合,以奇勝。)”

The surprise ingenious move can be but a part of the frontal engagement. For example, the D-Day Normandy landing operations on June 6, 1944. The frontal engagement was across the strait between allied and German troops. The allied troops might invade Calais or Normandy. The choice of Normandy for the site of landing operations was ingenious as German defense there was weaker as Germany believed that Calais would have more probably been the site of invasion. As the time and date of the move were kept well in secrete, there was full surprise in the ingenious move.

In this case, the frontal engagement was across the entire English Strait Calais and Normandy while the ingenious surprise move to land in Normandy was a part of the frontal engagement.

Therefore, Sun Tzu says that there is unlimited variation in the relations between frontal engagement and ingenious surprise move. A specific commander in a specific combat shall have the talent to design his ingenious surprise move in his specific combat.

Trump’s Poor Strategy

According to Sun Tzu, one shall calculate his factors to win and lose a war before engaging in a war. Only when his factors to win exceed those to lose can he start the war.

Trump believes that his tariff hikes on Chinese exports will subdue China as China is unable to retaliate with equivalent hikes as US exports much less to China.

That is a naive calculation.

What counts is not the scale of tariff hikes but the extent of damages to one’s enemy compared with that of the enemy’s counterattack. That is very simple. In real war, what counts is not the comparison of the extent of fire power but the damages the fire power can do.

For example, in the last battle in Korean War, US troops kept on air raids and artillery bombardments on the Chinese troops stationed on hills. A unit of the Chinese troops hid in their tunnel and suffered no casualty. The only casualty brought about by US troops’ strong fire power was the death of three of the four members of an artist group who went to the tunnel through a long ditch to entertain the troops with their performance.

My older schoolmate Yu, the surviving artist, arrived at the tunnel alone. He did not know that his co-performers had all been killed but assumed that they had retreated as enemy shelling was too heavy. Yu, a lively boy 15 years old then, gave singing, dancing, rapping and joking performance alone and greatly pleased the troops. At that time, US air and artillery fire was so fierce that Chinese troopers were all confined in their tunnel like prisoners for days. It was really boring to stay in tunnel like that. Yu’s courage and performance greatly heightened Chinese troops’ morale. He was honored as a war hero later.

When US army attacked after repeated air raids and bombardments, they suffer much more casualty from the much inferior fire power of Chinese troops’ mortars, guns and grenades.

US Tariff Hikes Fail to Hit

US troops’ problem then was that its much stronger fire power did not hit while Chinese troops much weaker fire power hit.

It is the same with Trump’s tariff hikes. Most of the goods under tariff hikes are indispensable for US consumers and there are no alternative sources of goods of similar quality at similar low prices. China’s exports of those goods have not been affected because the prices of the goods increased to include the tariff hikes remain attractive. The US has to keep on importing such goods. As a result, US tariff hikes do not hit China. They, on the contrary hit the US itself by hiking American people’s living costs.

China’s Retaliation Hits US Farmers Hard

China’s retaliation of tariff hikes, on the contrary, hurt its enemy without harming its own people. Its tariff hikes on US agricultural products, especially soybean hit US farmers hard but do not harm its own as it can find alternative sources for such imports.

Belt and Road Became an Ingenious Surprise Move

In addition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and China-Myanmar Economic Corridor for China’s trade security to its west, China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) aims at building railways, roads, power plants and other infrastructures to facilitate removal of its labor intensive export-oriented enterprises to developing countries with lower labor and land costs. Xi Jinping launched that initiative for China’s transformation from export- and investment-geared to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic growth, but when Trump launched his trade war with China, it became China’s move to counter US trade war attacks.

Is it an ingenious move? Certainly it is, as it will shift China’s trade surplus to the countries China has moved its export-oriented enterprises to.

Is it a surprise move? It depends. As the West, especially the US, regards BRI as a move to enhance China’s geopolitical influence instead of a trade war move, it is then a surprise move indeed.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


What Has Turned Trump from Friend to Enemy of China?


What Trump Initially Wanted Are the Transformation China Has to Undergo. As mentioned in my previous posts “Trump’s Trade War Attacks, Xi’s Golden Opportunities” on January 16, initially, Trump only wants reduction of trade deficit, equal treatment for US enterprises in China, protection of technology and intellectual property and no significant devaluation of Chinese currency.

If such had been the case, the trade war negotiations should have ended with a deal satisfactory to Trump long ago. China has promised to substantially increase its imports from the US, better protect intellectual property and allow the exchange rate of its currency to be determined by market. In particular, China has made great efforts to have quickly replaced its three laws on foreign investment with a new foreign investment law that allows foreign parties majority equity holding in their joint ventures with Chinese partners, etc.

The above concessions China has made are in fact what China has to do for its transformation from export- and investment-geared economic growth to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led economic growth. The difficulties the transformation may cause to enterprises and their employees prevent Chinese leaders from conducting the transformation as fast as they want. They have been forced to do so gradually step by step.

Trump’s trade war forced China to give the US the above-mentioned concessions immediately so that it enables Chinese leaders to overcome the resistance and carry out immediately at one stroke the transformation that is indispensable for China’s further growth.

Therefore, there must have been a happy ending of the trade war as the two sides each get what they want. It would have been a win-win cooperation.

The Diametrical Change in Trump’s Attitude toward China

Before the trade war Trump showed his sincere desire for good relations with China. His daughter and granddaughter’s visit to Chinese embassy in Chinese New Year, Trump’s satisfactory telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, his hospitality to Xi when Xi visited the US and his grandchildren’s performance of Chinese song and poem when he visited China all proved that. As he wanted to be China’s friend there had been a honeymoon between China and the US since his Beijing visit.

However, the honeymoon did not last long.

At the beginning of his trade war against China, Trump refrained from large tariff hikes on most Chinese exports to the US. At that time, US Congress wanted to ban US supply of components to Chinese telecom giant ZTE due to its violation of US sanctions against Iran. As US supplies are indispensable for ZTE’s operation, the ban might have killed ZTE, Trump interfered and allowed ZTE to survive by paying a large amount of fine. He did so in spite of the prevailing hostility against ZTE in US Congress.

Later, however, Trump not only imposed large tariff hikes on lots of Chinese exports to the US. He even places great pressure on Huawei in order to subdue China. His attitude towards Huawei was in sharp contrast to what he has done to ZTE. Huawei is a Chinese telecom giant similar to ZTE in scale and weight, but it has not done anything as serious as ZTE to upset the US. Trump, however, has tried hard to ban Huawei’s 5G not only in the US but throughout the world.

Moreover, he has even put Huawei on a blacklist to ban US supplies of components and technology to Huawei in order to kill Huawei. In the last year of his administration, he put over 60 major Chinese enterprises in his blacklist to ban their sales to and purchases from the US and even delist those that have been listed in New York stock exchange.

What Has Caused the Diametrical Change in Trump’s Attitude

While Trump was making efforts to improve relations with China in order to exploit China’s vast market for US economic growth, Americans’ hostility toward China was growing drastically as US media’s propaganda has spread the mentality of Thucydides trap widely among Americans.

There has emerged the widespread hostility against China in the US as described by US China expert Orville Schell, director of the Center on US-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, that Democrats, Republicans, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, senators and representatives’ offices have all joined together to target China.

Trump’s Tragedy

Every US president’s greatest concern in his first term is reelection for his second term. According to US constitution, a president can only serve two 4-year terms. Four years seem quite a long time for common people, but not for a president who shall have some impressive achievements to convince voters to give him a second term.

In fact, a president does not have 4 years as the reelection will be held in November of the fourth, i.e. last year of his 4-year term so that he has to begin his efforts to campaign for reelection well before November of the last year. Therefore, usually to be reelected a president has to have impressive achievements within three years of his first term. He cannot count on an achievement in the fourth year unless the achievement is so sensational as to attract most voters. That was especially true for Trump as he won the first term with an elector instead of popular majority. He must be sure of more votes than his first election to ensure his reelection.

Anxiety for Quick Achievements

Perhaps, Trump wished that his good relations with China would soon obtain concessions promised by China’s Xi on trade, investment, intellectual property and currency and North Korea’s denuclearization. Seeing no immediate results, he resort to maximum pressure as the US always does but always fail to attain its goal by so doing.

However, according to Jesus Christ’s teaching in Christian Bible, one should be kind to one’s enemy. After defeating Germany and Japan in the Second World War, the US did do so to win over its enemies Japan and Germany and turn them into US allies.

Arrogant Way of Extreme Pressure

In spite of the teachings in Christian Bible, Western leaders, however, have long acted on a race-based colonial mindset in treating non-white peiople in Asia, and Africa. It is precisely due to such a mindset that Trump imposes extreme pressure in dealing with other nations, especially China, Iran and North Korea. Extreme severity without any kindness, that is Trump’s approach.

Iran

Iran has accepted the six-nation agreement to restrict its nuclear development but Trump has unilaterally withdrawn from the agreement and imposed severe sanctions as extreme pressure to bring Iran down to its knees. Iran defied the pressure and allied with Russia and China to benefit Russia in the Middle East and facilitated China’s CPEC.

North Korea

One may say that US extreme pressure fails in Iran as Iran is quite a rich country with much oil and gas resources in demand in the world. Then what about North Korea? It is a very poor small and weak country that suffers greatly under US-led UN sanctions. When Trump was working for denuclearization of North Korea, North Korea had developed enough nuclear weapons for its security and wanted to switch its efforts to economic development to feed its people. It accepted US demand for denuclearization but asked for lifting of the sanction in return. Again Trump is obsessed with extreme pressure. He believed that he would be able to get everything he wanted from North Korea without giving anything in return, but ended up in getting nothing.

Trump Loses Votes due to His Trade and Tech Wars with China

As pointed above, Trump’s trade war facilitates China’s transformation from export-and investment-geared economic growth to innovation-, creation- and consumption-led growth. His tariff hikes have not reduce US trade deficit with China as most of China’s exports to the US are goods needed by Americans at low prices and with good quality. Americans simply cannot find alternative sources of such goods. They have to pay the high tariffs for import of such goods. No wonder, it made Trump lose some of voters’ support for his reelection.

As a result, Trump has failed to attract voters by exploiting their hostility at China. He has launched tech war to attack some Chinese enterprises but American voters are not benefited by such attacks. For example, Trump’s attacks at China’s Huawei merely slow and make more expensive US 5G development, which may create some jobs for Americans. His restriction to exports of high technology goods will reduce US exports to China and make US high-tech enterprises suffer. In all, his trade and tech wars have failed to please voters by bringing jobs back to the US.

Since he has failed to get the achievements he has tried hard to obtain, he failed to win enough votes for his reelection. It is sad that he fell among the few losers who failed to serve a second term as president.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


F-35 Pilot Reveals the Disappointing Truth About the Fighter’s Cockpit


“I haven’t met anyone who uses it,” the pilot says about one pointless feature.

BY KYLE MIZOKAMI

JAN 26, 2021

  • An F-35 pilot says the Joint Strike Fighter’s cockpit is a technological wonder, using helmet-mounted displays, voice recognition tech, and touchscreens.
  • Unfortunately, while all of those features sound great in theory, in practice, they come up short.
  • At least one of the features is so useless, the pilot doesn’t know anyone who actually uses it.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is probably the most advanced fighter jet flying today. The F-35, a.k.a. the “Panther,” is the first jet to use a number of new technologies designed to make it the most lethal and survivable warplane around. The problem? Some of those bells and whistles have landed with a resounding thud.

In an interview with the excellent aviation magazine Hush-Kit, an anonymous Panther pilot describes the F-35’s cockpit and interface system. The pilot says the cockpit itself is “beautiful,” full of screens that allow you to bring up an incredible amount of information about the fighter with just a few finger swipes, and customize the data to tailor it for the particular mission.

The F-35 is the first to use touchscreen technology. Unlike switches, which take up permanent cockpit space, touchscreens allow the same LCD screen space to be instantly repurposed. One minute, a display could be used to pull up data on an aircraft’s fuel reserves, and the next, it could help target an enemy position on a mountainside. That goes a long way toward simplifying the cockpit and not overwhelming a pilot with wall-to-wall physical switches, dials, and single-use displays.

But the problem with touchscreens, the pilot explains, is a lack of tactile feedback. Switches have a nice, satisfying click that instantaneously lets the user know they were successfully flipped. Almost everyone with a smartphone has touched a virtual button on a touchscreen, expected a result … and then nothing happens. The anonymous pilot reports failing to get a result from a touchscreen about 20 percent of the time: At present I am pressing the wrong part of the screen about 20 [percent] of the time in flight due to either mis-identification, or more commonly by my finger getting jostled around in turbulence or under G. One of the biggest drawbacks is that you can’t brace your hand against anything whilst typing—think how much easier it is to type on a smartphone with your thumbs versus trying to stab at a virtual keyboard on a large tablet with just your index finger.

Other problems include the $400,000 custom-fitted “magic helmet”, which replaces the heads-up display (HUD) as well as sensor displays. The F-35 pilot believes old-fashioned HUDs are superior due to their ability to better display information without the need to “shrink” it to fit the helmet’s field of view. The voice recognition feature also apparently goes completely unused: Voice input is another feature of the jet, but not one I have found to be useful. It may work well on the ground in a test rig, but under G in flight it’s not something I have found to work consistently enough to rely on. I haven’t met anyone who uses it.

Read about the F-35’s cockpit problems, as well as the pilot’s experiences flying the Panther compared to other aircraft, at Hush-Kit.

Source: Popular Mechanics “F-35 Pilot Reveals the Disappointing Truth About the Fighter’s Cockpit”

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


How Trade War Developed into Tech War


China’s development may make it world leader in technology. That is what the US fears the most. However, China’s transformation to innovation- and creation-led growth may precisely make China world leader in technology. Trump unknowingly helps China conduct such a transformation with his trade war with China

At first, the US was not afraid of China’s advance in technology as China only strived to obtain transfer and licensing of the technology that was not most advanced and the acquisition of which may not enable China to compete with foreign enterprises that had or were developing more advanced technology.

China certainly wanted the most advanced ones but could not get it as no foreign enterprises were so stupid as to lose their competitive edge by allowing China to be as advanced as them. As a result, China has to invest much financial resources and talent to obtain the most advanced technologies on its own. That is certainly very difficult as such top technologies was very difficult to develop.

The US has been obsessed with the mindset that only the West is able to develop top technologies so that it believes that if the West refuses to transfer top technologies to China, it will be impossible for China to obtain them.

However, China has indeed obtained more and more top technologies. As the West, especially the US due to its pride and racism, does not believe that China is capable of doing so and as China has got the ideas for its development of such technologies through study of open Western books and documents or the photos and videos about the technologies, naturally the US assumes that China has obtained the top technologies by stealing or copying Western ones through hacking Western websites.

However, US experts, especially those in US military are clear about that but they are pleased with the fabrications developed by US politicians and media about China’s stealing and hacking to copy Western technologies.

A typical example is China’s stealth fighter jet J-20. As J-20 looks roughly like US stealth fighter jets F-22 and F-35, American media is fond of regarding it as the product developed by China through copying F-22 or F-35. They even invented the story of China hacked F-35’s developer Lockheed Martin to obtain the technology for development of J-20. However, it is clear to any expert that J-20’s canard structure is entirely different from F-22 and F-35.

Unfortunately, US dream about its technology superiority was soon broken by China’s success in developing technologies more advanced than America’s. For example, quantum communications. China has established quantum communications network much larger and even launched a quantum satellite.

It is sad for Trump as his predecessor Obama still regard the US as much stronger than China so that Obama believes that the deployment of 60% of US military in his pivot to Asia will be quite enough to contain China’s rise, but China’s fast development made Trump realize that China has to be regarded as America’s major competitor and may soon surpass the US.

Technology-related Demands Become Major Themes of Trade War Talks

Trump has tried hard to contain China’s rise in technology. He spreads the lies that China has been stealing US technology but for many years, I have been involved as a paralegal in some international law firms in establishing China-foreign joint ventures.

At the early stage of China’s reform and opening up, Chinese parties to joint ventures wanted acquisition of foreign capital and advanced technology, exports of joint ventures’ products to earn foreign exchange and provision of jobs for their employees. Foreign parties including American ones were shrewd businessmen very careful in their negotiations with the Chinese parties in setting up joint ventures. They believed that their in-house lawyers were not experienced enough; therefore, they usually hire International law firms as their advisers in the process. Anxious to protect their clients, the law firms would have collected lots of necessary information so that foreign parties knew well what the Chinese parties wanted. They were certainly not willing to allow China to get their best technologies for fear of losing their competitive edge.

During the negotiations on transfer or licensing of foreign party’s technology, I often heard Chinese engineers asking specific questions about more advanced technologies. The foreign parties usually would avoid revealing anything about such technologies. When they were cornered, they would give the straightforward replies that those were their trade secret that they could not reveal.

However, as China was very backward at that time, the Chinese parties were satisfied if the technology they were to get was better than what China had and the price or fee the foreign parties asked was less than their own potential research and development costs in obtaining the same technologies on their own. Moreover, it takes time to develop the technologies on their own but through the joint venture, the Chinese parties might get the technology much sooner.

As foreign parties had got more advanced and were developing even better technologies, they were willing to provide China with their less advanced technologies at reasonable prices or fees. Usually, they transfer their technology to the joint ventures as their capital contribution to the joint ventures or license the joint ventures’ use of their technology for reasonable fees. Therefore, negotiation on the transfer or licensing of technology was not difficult. On the other hand, foreign parties usually had no objection to the provision in joint venture contract that the joint ventures should employ the Chinese parties’ employees unless employees of required expertise were not available among those employees.

What foreign parties wanted was the access to China’s vast fast-growing market, for which the joint ventures shall sell substantial parts of their products on China’s domestic market but the Chinese parties wanted to export as large a percentage of the joint ventures’ products as possible in order to earn more foreign exchange. As a result, it was often difficult in the negotiation to decide the percentage of export in the joint ventures’ sales.

As China’s exports had gradually increased and as China’s private enterprises had mushroomed, exports and provision of jobs had become less important so that the focus had almost entirely turned onto acquisition of advanced technology.

Change in Trump’s Goal of Trade War

At first, Trump seemed to please instead of upset China. He withdrew from TPP that aims at containing China and started daughter diplomacy to improve US relations with China. China’s leader Xi Jinping was anxious to maintain good relations with the US, he treated Trump with exceptional hospitality when Trump visited China and as mentioned in my previous posts, thus began US-China honeymoon. Later, Trump complained China’s massive trade surplus with the US and started the trade war

Trump’s change from being friendly to troublesome and hostile seems quite strange for a man of his age and makes people believe that he is capricious. In fact, he is unfortunate instead of capricious.

At first, like his predecessors, Trump knows China may finally catch up the US economically but may not technologically unless China can obtain technology from the West.. He has taken measures such as the “America first”, control of immigration to restore US economic leadership so as to counter China’s rise. But he was so confident in US technology dominance as to believe that even if China’ economy has grown larger than America’s, China will remain backward with lots of low-tech enterprises. As a result, he did not think that the US needs any urge to develop new technology. Therefore, as soon as he took office, he told Pentagon not to replace steam catapults with electromagnetic ones However, He was shocked later to learn that China was also developing electromagnetic catapult and seems with better success.

As a result, in trade war negotiations, Trump demands that China gives up its plan of Made in China 2025 and stops providing funds for development of science and technology in order to contain China’s rise in science and technology. That is certainly unacceptable to China.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


COMAC Gets Close To First C919 Deliveries


by Chris Loh

January 26, 2021

COMAC – the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China – is set to make its first commercial delivery of its C919 by the end of 2021, according to state media. This will make it the company’s second commercial aircraft brought to market after the ARJ21 regional jet. The C919 is designed to compete with the popular Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 Family of single-aisle planes.

2020 saw the C919 conduct numerous test flights as well as attend its very first air show to demonstrate capabilities. Photo: Getty ImagesTURPAN, CHINA – JUNE 28, 2020 – The local people welcomed the C919 plane landing at Turpan Jiaohe airport. Turpan, Xinjiang, China, June 28, 2020. China’s first civil airliner C919 with independent intellectual property rights has begun to conduct high temperature special flight test.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

The finish line is in sight

It’s been a long journey to get the C919 to market. The first C919 actually flew back in 2017, which was already three years later than originally planned. By mid-2018, COMAC began intensive flight testing, and by 2019, four working prototypes were in service.

Despite these setbacks, Bloomberg is reporting that COMAC will deliver its first C919 by the end of the year. The news first emerged in state media, citing a COMAC engineer.

However, the company and its second product have one more important step to overcome before the first delivery is made. While Simple Flying, as well as a number of other sources, reported in November 2020 that certification was near, we know that this step has yet to be completed.

In fact, just last week, the C919 completed its extreme low-temperature testing, undergoing rounds of experiments over 23 days at negative 35 degrees Celcius.

The C919 will accommodate about 158 passengers to a maximum range of about 3,000 nautical miles. In comparison, the A319neo, with a similar capacity, can fly over 3,600 nautical miles, while the Boeing 737 MAX 7 can fly over 3,800 nautical miles. Photo: Ken Chen via Wikimedia Commons

Following the path set by the ARJ21

The C919 follows the path set by COMAC’s first commercial aircraft project: The ARJ21. This “Advanced Regional Jet” entered service with Chengdu Airlines in 2016 – a shocking 10 years late, as the aircraft was intended to be ready for customers by 2006.

The ARJ21 is at least picking up a little bit of momentum, with COMAC delivering 24 of the aircraft to customers over the course of 2020. That brings the total number of ARJ21s delivered to 46.

The ARJ21 is China’s first short- to medium-range turbofan regional aircraft built to international aviation standards. Configured to fit 78 to 90 seats, this plane has a range of 2,225 to 3,700 kilometers. COMAC reports taking a total of 616 orders for the plane from 23 airline customers.


Years in development and testing, COMAC must be eager to get the aircraft to market. Photo: Getty Images

Will there be buyers?

COMAC has already accumulated an impressive number of orders, reporting that airlines and aircraft-leasing firms have placed orders for 1,065 C919s, with the vast majority of demand coming from Chinese carriers.

While the C919 is similarly sized to popular Airbus and Boeing products, the aircraft’s range and efficiency are lacking in comparison. However, this may not be the deciding factor for potential customers.

Aircraft price, as well as an earlier availability, may be key to the competition. With China’s economic influence in Africa and other parts of the world, there may also be some pressure on dependent countries to maintain good relations and buy Chinese.

Source: simpleflying.com “COMAC Gets Close To First C919 Deliveries”

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