India and China Have Eased Border Tension


Friendly meeting between Indian and Chinese border troops
Times of India’s photo

China and the US both have tried hard to win India to its side.

The US has been exploiting India’s border disputes with China to draw India into its quad to confront China. It promised to provide India with high weapon technology to attract India to participate in its quad, especially to play a major role in containing China.

Indian Prime Minister is very shrewd. He certainly wants to get US weapon technology, but refuses to be in the forefront of quad to confront China; therefore he refused Australia’s requests to join India’s naval drill with the US and Japan.

Sorry there can be no quad to contain China as a part of it Australia is missing. The US is now playing quad as sadly as playing bridge with only three people! Moreover, the other two Japan and India wanted quad to prevent the threat of a rising China while anxious to benefit economically from China’s rise. It seems that only the US sincerely wants the quad.

China has been trying hard to solve its border disputes with India and win over India to participate in its Belt and Road initiative.

Now, according to Times of India report “India, China hold border personnel meet at Chusul in Ladakh”, Chinese and Indian troops have been making efforts to ease border tension since the recent informal summit between Indian Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which the two leaders agree to ease border tension.

The report says, “Armies of India and China on Tuesday held a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) during which both sides resolved to maintain peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control, besides agreeing to work on additional confidence building measures.”

The BPM was held at Wacha border post in Kibithu, Arunachal Pradesh on Labor Day where the two sides celebrated the festival and exchanged gifts.

The report says, “The two sides hold BPM at five points — Daulat Beg Oldie in northern Ladakh, Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Chusul in Ladakh, Bum-La near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Nathu-La in Sikkim.

In fact, the border disputes are easy to resolve as the disputed area are poor barren areas with few natural resources. Sandwiched between China and its iron brother Pakistan, India will find itself lucky if the two iron brothers earnestly want peace with it. In fact, India is very clear that the other three of the quad will not join India in resisting the two iron brothers if they attack it.

Xi and Modi are successful in their efforts to ease border tension.

On the other hand, China’s Belt and Road initiative is very attractive. Can India keep on opposing it when the initiative has brought prosperity to its neighbors Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives?

The US wants to make others believe that China’s Belt and Road is predatory to make its neighbors heavily in debts in order to control them. What will China benefit from such an outcome? It will suffer huge financial losses but get nothing but the troubles to deal with the political instability caused by their insolvency. Only the US wants such control but has ended up in financial difficulties in both itself and the countries under its control.

China wants the countries that have joined its Belt and Road to prosper so that they will provide huge markets for Chinese goods. Moreover, Chinese investments there will bring China windfall returns if they become prosperous.

India will finally join the Belt and Road when it sees with envy the prosperity brought to its neighbors by China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Times of India’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-china-hold-border-personnel-meet-at-chusul-in-ladakh/articleshow/63990171.cms.

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Australian businesses air concerns as China strain threatens trade fair


Byron Kaye April 13, 2018

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian businesses which trade with China criticized their government on Friday as the looming cancellation of an event designed to encourage cross-border trade heralded a “low point” in diplomatic relations between the countries.

Relations between Australia and its A$170 billion ($132 billion) a year partner have been tested just two years into a Free Trade Agreement after Australian concerns about Chinese influence led to legislation banning foreign political donations.

As business leaders warned anti-China sentiment was hurting trade with the country’s top trade partner, small exporters and service providers said the prospect of the Australia Week trade fair not going ahead was a sign the tough rhetoric was translating into lost opportunities.

“Australia should look after its national security concerns but the way we present it is not the most diplomatic way,” said Helen Sawczak, chief executive officer of the Australia China Business Council.

“Every relationship has its ups and downs and we’re in a low point at the moment, there’s no doubt.”

The Australian Financial Review reported this week that China denied visas to Australian government officials to attend Australia Week, a biennial event. Sources with knowledge of the event told Reuters it was unlikely to go ahead.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged relations are strained, without confirming the visas being denied. He has said he expects the trading partners of half a century to resolve their differences.

But Australian businesses said they were concerned the government’s attempts to calm local concern about China was closing doors.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Chris Gregory, managing director of Sydney-based Emu Tracks, which sells emu oil-based health products to China via the internet and is awaiting for regulatory approval to sell the product in mainland stores.

Gregory said he went to Australia Week in 2016 and the event provided “a wealth of experience for potential new suppliers to find potential distributors in China”.

Cancelling the show this year “could well impact us in terms of trying to find our way in dealing with finding new distributors,” he added.

Lisa Hee, an aged care specialist who spoke at Australia Week 2016, said the event offered her many meetings with Chinese businesses interested to learn about the Australian aged care system.

“It would be very interesting to find out why these relationships are strained and whether or not it is directly related to the publicity that’s going out that doesn’t seem to be backing China,” she said by telephone from the aged care facility where she works about 80 kms (50 miles) north of Sydney.

Richard Yuan, chairman of the Australia China Entrepreneurs Club, a trade group for high net worth businesses, said Australia’s anti-foreign influence policy was never directed specifically at China, but that it had been misinterpreted by some media and public figures in both countries.

“All these could impact the decisions and choices of Chinese students, visitors and investors,” Yuan said in an email.

“The Australian economy could feel the pain in not too distant future.”

Still, some industries reported no effects of diplomatic strain, with winemakers experiencing a boom in sales to the mainland, up nearly two-thirds in the past year.

“A fair word is ‘ferocious’ in terms of the appetite for Australian wines,” said Mike Brown, owner and winemaker of Gemtree Wines.

Brown just returned from a major wine show in China and plans to attend several more this year.

“I’ve never seen consumer and trade interest like it.”

Reporting by Byron Kaye. Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Source: Reuters “Australian businesses air concerns as China strain threatens trade fair”

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


Floating Artificial Island Better than Military Base Abroad


Reuters says in its report titled “Vanuatu and China deny holding military base talks”, “Vanuatu and China on Tuesday denied a media report that Beijing wanted to establish a permanent military presence in the Pacific island nation.”

Reuters quotes Vanuatu’s foreign minister as saying,“No one in the Vanuatu government has ever talked about a Chinese military base in Vanuatu of any sort” and Chinese foreign ministry spokesman’ description of the report as fake news.

However, the fake news shows how nervous Australia is about China’s rise. However, it cannot help that and is disappointed that the US is unable to contain China’s rise.

In my opinion, a military base in remote Vanuatu is useless for protection of China’s trade lifelines across the Pacific. Better build a few floating islands in the Pacific. Such islands can be deployed wherever China wants and may earn income from fish farming and tourism while China has to pay expensive rent for a military base abroad.

A floating island will make Australia really nervous, and perhaps the US too, but they cannot oppose as they advocate freedom of navigation. China has surplus shipbuilding capacity and lots of funds for such investment. Why does China not use them for island building? The US only knows to build its navy that costs a lot in patrolling the Pacific. China shall build artificial islands not only for defense but also for exploiting the fishery and tourism resources in the Pacific!

I mentioned China’s “Made in China 2025” program and water diversion project in Tibet that may make the US unhappy. The island building project perhaps will make the US even more unhappy. Poor America, It only knows to waste huge funds on its military that scares nobody but lacks funds even to fix its domestic infrastructure, let alone island building abroad.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-defence-vanuatu/vanuatu-and-china-deny-holding-military-base-talks-idUSKBN1HH019.


Australian media report China proposes military base in South Pacific


Reuters Staff April 10, 2018

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China has approached Vanuatu about establishing a permanent military presence on the tiny Pacific island, Australia’s Fairfax Media reported on Tuesday, a plan that would likely stoke regional tensions.

The report, citing unnamed sources, said no formal proposal had yet been made, but preliminary talks have been held about locating a full military base on Vanuatu. It added that the prospect of a Chinese military outpost so close to Australia has been discussed at the highest levels in Canberra and Washington.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday said she had been assured by Vanuatu officials that there was no formal proposal from Beijing, but she stopped short of addressing whether there had been any unofficial talks.

“The government of Vanuatu has said there is no such proposal, but it is a fact that China is engaging in infrastructure investment activities around the world,” Bishop told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

“I remain confident that Australia is Vanuatu’s strategic partner of choice,” she said.

A spokesman for Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment, telephone calls to the Vanuatu High Commission in Canberra were not answered, and the Chinese Embassy in Canberra did not comment.

The Fairfax Media report said the preliminary discussions involved an initial access agreement, under which Chinese naval ships would dock to be serviced, refueled and restocked, and that would eventually lead to a full military base.

Such a plan would mark an expansion of China’s military aspirations beyond its controversial activities in Asia, particularly the South China Sea, where it has been building artificial islands on reefs, some with ports and airstrips.

Several international nations have accused China in recent months of seeking to buy influence in the South Pacific through international aid, stoking fears that Australia’s long-time influence in the region is being eroded.

China opened its first overseas military base in August 2017 in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. It is China’s first overseas naval base, but Beijing describes it as a logistics facility.

Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fueled worry in India that it would become another of China’s “string of pearls” military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

China has boosted its naval power in recent years to check U.S. dominance of the high seas and increase its projection of power around the globe.

Reporting by Colin Packham. Editing by Jane Wardell and Michael Perry

Source: Reuters “Australian media report China proposes military base in South Pacific”

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


Why Is Quad Encirclement Inferior to China’s Encirclement of India?


Quad encirclement of China is a military encirclement. China’s gifted military strategist Sun Tze says, “If your troops are ten times of your enemy’s, then encircle it.” It means in modern warfare that one shall have overwhelming military superiority to encircle one’s enemy.

That is military encirclement and quad is precisely a military one as without participation of Russia, ASEAN, South Korea, Central Asia, etc. it is utterly impossible for India, the US, Japan and Australia to encircle China geopolitically or economically.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership may encircle China economically to its east and southeast but only partially not fully and China can counter TPP with its free trade agreements with the countries in that area including TPP members.

Now, US President Trump has already scrapped TPP and begun a trade war with almost all other countries, He may end up in having the US encircled economically in the world.

Militarily, the four quad members the US, India, Japan and Australia obviously lack the overwhelming superiority to China and its de facto ally Russia; therefore, the encirclement is meaningless.

China’s encirclement of India is a geopolitical one instead of a military one. China has no intention to take any land from India by force. That has been proved by China’s retreat and return of captured Indian troops and weapons in its previous triumphant war with India.

India has already been sandwiched by Pakistan and its iron brother China geographically. Now China’s Belt and Road initiative has been drawing Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal from India’s geopolitical influence. China has increasingly great geopolitical superiority to encircle India, which India is utterly unable to break however much military support it can get from other quad members.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


US, Australia Found No Common Ground on Trade, China


U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Reuters was disappointed that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not found common ground on trade or containment of China as shown in its report “Trump, Australia’s Turnbull seek common ground on trade, China”.

US ex-president Obama tried hard to have almost set up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in order to set rules to contain China, but US current president Trump has withdrawn from TPP as it is detrimental to US interests. Turnbull failed to persuade Trump to change his mind.

In their joint press conference, Trump said TPP was not a good deal for the US but if TPP has been amended to be better for the US, Trump will rejoin it. However Trump said that he preferred bilateral deals over pacts involving many countries.

Without TPP, how can Australia and the US contain China’s rise?

Trump simply expressed no desire to contain China. What he desires is better trade deals with China to benefit the US. That was why Trump said in the joint press conference about US-China relationship, “That (trade disputes) can be the only thing that can get in the way of a truly long-term great relationship, because we have all the ingredients for friendship,”

Australia though regards China’s rise as a threat and wants US participation in TPP to contain China dare not oppose China openly as China is its largest trade partner. That was why Turnbull said in the joint press conference, “There are people that want to try to paint the United States and its allies like Australia as being against China in some sort of rerun of the Cold War. But … that is not accurate.”

It is obvious that Trump will not fall into Thucydides Trap in spite of Turnbull’s hard efforts to make him fall into the Trap for Australia’s security. Trump wants US-China relationship to benefit the US. As win-win cooperation between the US and China will benefit both countries, I am optimistic about the future of US-China relations.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-australia/trump-australias-turnbull-seek-common-ground-on-trade-china-idUSKCN1G72FY.


The anxiety of Chinese influence


Jeremy Goldkorn February 20, 2018

In September 2017, Anne-Marie Brady, a scholar of China at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, published a report titled “Magic Weapons: China’s Political Influence Activities Under Xi Jinping.”
•Last week, Brady spoke to the Australian Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, according to the New Zealand Herald. She told them that her office was broken into in December, and that in the last week, she received a “warning letter” that she was about to be attacked, followed by a burglary at her house — only laptops and mobile phones were taken.
•“People I’ve associated with in China, just last year, were questioned by the Chinese Ministry of State Security about their association with me,” Brady added. She suspects these events are connected with her work on influence activities.
•Yesterday, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, ordered her country’s intelligence agencies to investigate Brady’s claims, according to the Herald.

Ardern is not the only high-level political leader in an English-speaking country to raise alarm over Chinese influence recently.
•Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull in December declared — in Mandarin, to boot — that his country would “stand up” to Chinese influence in December, and his government introduced legislation to restrict the activities of foreign political donors and lobbyists. This legislation has still not been formally debated, but Beijing immediately reacted to Turnbull’s remarks with fury. (Read more on China-Australia relations here.)
•There are “increasing signs that China is using its $9 billion annual spend by international students as leverage” to pressure Australia over these and other issues, the Australian reports (paywall). The Chinese consulate in Sydney posted a safety warning to Chinese students in the country on February 14, while a number of education exchanges between the two countries have been postponed or canceled in the past month.
•“New Zealand risks becoming a ‘Western ally with Chinese characteristics’ because it has embraced a less strident tone towards Beijing’s assertiveness,” according to an Australian think tank, as reported by the Australian Financial Review (paywall). The report urges Australia to step up military engagement with its smaller neighbor “to shore up the alliance.”
•The American FBI director, Christopher Wray, last week warned of a “whole-of-society” espionage threat from China to the U.S., particularly via “non-traditional collectors” such as students and academics.
•The remarks were harshly criticized by Asian-American advocacy groups in the U.S., including the Committee of 100, which mobilizes Chinese-American leaders to advance U.S.-China relations, and cautioned that Wray’s warning “fans the flames of hysteria.”

Source: SubChina “The anxiety of Chinese influence”

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