Bloomberg published a stupid article “China’s Military Seeks New Islands to Conquer” on February 22 by its opinion columnist James Stavridis who Bloomberg holds in high esteem as he is a retired U.S. Navy admiral, former military commander of NATO and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates.
However the writer’s quite impressive past and present positions, especially his previous high military ranks do not mean that that his opinions are wise; therefore, Bloomberg has to attach a disclaimer to the end of the article: This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
First the title of the article is stupid. China has not conquered any island. Perhaps, the writer means the artificial islands China has built in the South China Sea but the artificial islands are built on the reefs China has already had control. Even if the reefs had been conquered by China, China would only have conquered some reefs instead of islands as the artificial islands simply did not exist when China had conquered the reefs
The article mentioned five island chains hinting that China has ambition to conquer any of them but without the least evidence to prove its allegations.
It cannot but conclude with the stupid self-contradiction in its last paragraph. “None of this means the U.S. is locked into an inevitable war with China, despite some foreign-policy mandarins’ predictions to the contrary.” … “But in today’s world, both the U.S. and China have broader global ambitions and larger international trade empires to defend.”
US global ambition for world hegemony is clear to all. If China has the same broader ambition, the two countries might well be locked into an inevitable war contrary to what the writer states.
Fortunately, China is not so stupid as to seek replacement of the US as world hegemon. That is why in fact China is not locked into an inevitable war with the US.
The US itself has found its world leadership (in fact world hegemony) too heavy a burden so that US President Trump has been demanding US allies to increase military spending for their defense to reduce US military expenditures. It is also the reason why Trump has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and threatened trade war with its allies as the US finds that its allies exploit US economic leadership to benefit themselves at US expense. Trump is now pursuing isolationism but lots of US elite like the writer of the article still pursue US world hegemony. As a result, they fear that China will rise to replace the US and have spoken and written a lot about their fear of China. The Bloomberg article is a typical example.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Bloomberg’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/china-military-threat-seeking-new-islands-to-conquer.
Why shall I devote an entire post to the subject of US sinophobia since I have already written quite a few posts on that?
US sinophobia has givern rise to quite some ridiculous rhetoric and actions so that I believe elaboration on that topic will not only make readers better informed but also entertain them.
Former US President Obama had the vision to see that China’s rise will put an end to US world hegemony. He fell into the Thucydides trap and began to contain China with his pivot to Asia. Quite bold!
There were two prongs of Obama’s pivot to Asia: Military and economic.
Militarily the US began to interfere with China disputes with its neighbors over the South China Sea. And in order to contain China Obama planned to increase US military in Asia from 50% to 60% of US world military deployment.
China has responded with the establishment of de facto alliance with Russia. The development of combined military strength of China and Russia has put an end to US military hegemony in the world.
To deter US interference, China has started an arms race with the US with the achievements in building its aircraft carriers, Type 055 large missile destroyers, J-20 stealth fighter jets, DF-21D and DF-26 mobile ballistic missiles, advanced nuclear submarines, DF-41 mobile ICBMs, etc.
In addition, China has built large artificial islands with airstrips capable of deployment of its best warplanes to enhance its geographical advantages in the South China Sea that have entirely prevented US attack of Chinese homeland with submarine-launched cruise missiles from the South China Sea.
As a result, when the US sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to force China to accept Hague arbitration ruling that deprives China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea, China challenged the US with war, but the US refused to fight.
Economically, with great efforts Obama succeeded to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) adopted by its members to contain China, but before US Congress adopted TPP, Obama’s successor President Trump scrapped TTP as it benefits other TPP members at US expense.
The US cannot afford Obama’s bold economic containing of China with TPP.
However, it is surprising that the bold containing has been replaced by sinophobia so quickly.
Washington Free Beacon’s report “Made in China 2025, and Beijing’s Bid to Become the Global Superpower” describes US elite’s ridiculous sinophobia.
US Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) must be among US best elite as he chairs the Senate Small Business Committee. However he released the committee’s ridiculous new report on China’s Made in China 2025 plan on February 12.
Since China is switching from export- and investment-geared to innovation- and creation-led economic growth, it certainly has to make greater efforts to develop its technology. Its Made in China 2025 plan is not quite ambitious as it only wants to enable China to replace 70% imports of high-tech products with domestic ones by 2025.
China now imports high-tech products from not only the US but also Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Europe, etc. If the US keeps its technology leadership, China will only be able to replace the high-tech imports from other sources and as US restricts high-tech exports to China now, it may, on the contrary, increase its exports to China of those restricted products as due to fast development of technology, restriction to lots of such products will not be necessary by 2025.
Moreover, as China’s imports grow in the decade to 2025, the amount and value of its 30% of imports of high-tech products will grow correspondingly. Why shall the US be unable to grab a larger share in the 30% in its competition with other high-tech exporters?
The plan is about reduction of imports instead of increase of exports but Rubio’s report says, “Americans would need to spend more on imported (underline by this blogger) goods and make less on exports, putting the United States in a vulnerable position—less wealth, less freedom, less power and influence.”
Does the report means that the US will not be able to make and have to import quite a few high-tech products from China by 2025?
It seems that China’s rise has scared Rubio and his fellow senators in the committee out of their wits.
Washington Free beacon says in its report on the committee’s report “With its industrial plan, ‘China aims to become the global leader in innovation and manufacturing,’ Rubio writes in the introduction. ‘This would be an unacceptable outcome for American workers.’
Replacing 70% imports with domestic products aims to become global leader in innovation and manufacturing? Can a country that has to import 30% high-tech products it needs be regarded as global leader of innovation and manufacturing?
Poor Rubio, I did not expect he is so timid with sinophobia.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Free Beacon’s report “Made in China 2025, and Beijing’s Bid to Become the Global Superpower”, full text of which was reblogged here on February 15.
BY: Aaron Kliegman
February 13, 2019 2:51 pm
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) on Tuesday released a new report by the Senate Small Business Committee, which he chairs, on Made in China 2025, the Chinese government’s initiative to transform the country into an advanced manufacturing economy. The ambitious plan, first issued in 2015, seeks to move 10 Chinese industrial sectors—aerospace, robotics, advanced railway, new materials, biotechnology, new energy vehicles, high-technology shipping, agricultural machinery, energy and power generation, and artificial intelligence and new-generation information technology—up the global value chain, first to become competitive with other advanced economies, and then globally dominant. To reach this pinnacle, China aims to become less dependent on foreign production, with the goal of increasing the domestic content of core materials to 70 percent by 2025, among other measures.
The report describes Made in China 2025, or MIC2025, as an existential threat to American industry. With its industrial plan, “China aims to become the global leader in innovation and manufacturing,” Rubio writes in the introduction. “This would be an unacceptable outcome for American workers.”
The report later explains why that outcome would be so detrimental. “A common defense of expanded trade with China is a claim of advantageous value chain position: in theory, the production of cheap mass-market consumer goods in China would produce an increase in the standard of living for American consumers and allow the United States to increase high-value exports to China and the rest of the world,” the document states. “But what happens if, in reality, China makes these high-value products instead? That is the future envisioned by the ‘Made in China 2025′ plan.”
In other words, if Beijing’s plan comes to fruition, Americans would need to spend more on imported goods and make less on exports, putting the United States in a vulnerable position—less wealth, less freedom, less power and influence.
To counter this threat, Rubio proposes several policy recommendations, including legislation that would restrict and tax Chinese investment in the United States and raise import duties on goods produced by industries that MIC2025 supports.
Rubio is right to identify China’s plan as an effort to compete with, and ultimately supplant, the United States as a manufacturing power. But that is only a partial view of what the initiative represents. Made in China 2025 fits into Beijing’s broader efforts to achieve the Chinese Dream, which President Xi Jinping has described as the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” The implications of this vision go far beyond manufacturing or economics, encapsulating military might, culture, even the very makeup of society.
China is vying to supplant the United States as the center of power in international affairs. This desire stems from China’s imperial history as the central power in Asia, during which states and territories in the region were deferential to the Middle Kingdom. China enjoyed self-reliance, which the country now seeks to recapture. In centuries past, Chinese leaders could put their feet up and watch Western powers beg for access to their market. Today, like then, many Chinese leaders, especially Xi, see themselves as rulers of a great civilization superior to other societies, deserving of deference by virtue of its very existence.
Beijing’s various activities—from MIC2025, to its Belt and Road initiative across Eurasia, to its island-building in the South China Sea—betray its claims about a peaceful, innocent rise. China’s near- and medium-term goal is to dominate east Asia, but China clearly has grander, global ambitions in the long run.
Beyond yearning for the imperial glory of old, China’s industrial plan is “influenced by intense concerns about the dangers of lagging behind or remaining reliant upon foreign technologies, informed by the historical memory of China’s past weaknesses and technological backwardness,” writes Elsa Kania, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Kania’s statement brings to mind the century of humiliation from 1839 to 1949, when foreign powers, especially in the West, intervened in China at will and subjugated the country to their imperial desires. Xi and his comrades are well aware of this history and do not want their country to relive that moment, and fostering greater self-reliance and global economic power is a way to avoid such a fate.
Critics will say this description of China creates a dangerous zero-sum game with the United States. After all, China, like other countries, naturally wants to develop, so why should Washington have a problem? The issue is that China represents a different kind of vision for the world that is much darker, less free, and less prosperous. America’s economy and security would suffer accordingly.
American supremacy has meant an open global economic system, international institutions meant to foster cooperation, and liberal political norms. It would be the great folly of modern history for American leaders to let that order dissolve away into the history textbooks, to be replaced by a corrupt Chinese system that is based on economic coercion, political submission, and ruthless brutality in the name of keeping some kind of “harmonious order” at home and abroad.
The Made in China 2025 initiative is not just a plan to become a manufacturing superpower, but also a plan to become the global superpower, period—meaning at America’s expense.
Source: Washington Free Beacon “Made in China 2025, and Beijing’s Bid to Become the Global Superpower”
Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Washington Free Beacon’s report “U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup” yesterday shows US Pacific commander’s sinophobia.
I Reblog the report below with my comments to help readers understand how China’s rise scares the US.
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup
Pacific commander calls China ‘greatest long-term threat’
BY: Bill Gertz
February 13, 2019 5:00 am
The U.S. military is adding forces and bases in Asia to counter a “massive” buildup of Chinese military forces and aggressive efforts by Beijing to expand Chinese communism. (Note: Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared that China will not export its model and there is no evidence that China is expanding communism. However, US failure in expanding its messy liberal democracy and the great popularity of Chinese model fill the commander with fear and pressure so that he has the nightmare of the expansion of communism. The expansion of communism exists only in his nightmare but he regards it as reality.) the commander of the Indo-Pacific Command told Congress on Tuesday.
Adm. Philip Davidson, the new Pacom commander, testified that China’s military buildup includes significant numbers of advanced missiles, aircraft, ships, submarines and nuclear forces and he called China “the greatest long-term threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” (Note: Long-term threat to US hegemony in the region Without US hegemony the region can really be free and open. China’s military buildup threatens no one, not even the US that is located far away from the region.)
“Through fear and economic pressure, Beijing is working to expand its form of communist-socialist ideology in order to bend, break, and replace the existing rules-based international order,” Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Countries in the region are benefited by their win-win cooperation and trade with China. Only the US has fear and feels economic pressure so as to start a trade war with China. If the countries had fear or felt pressure, they would join the US in the trade war against China. The fact is they oppose the trade war as they fear their economies may suffer.)
“In its place, Beijing seeks to create a new international order led by China and with Chinese characteristics,” he added, an outcome that will replace the over 70 years of U.S.-backed peace and stability. (In the 70 years, the US fought and lost wars in Korea and Vietnam in the region instead of backing peace. The region has peace as the US is no longer able to fight a war there.)
Davidson testified that new U.S. weapons and forces will be added to respond to the Chinese buildup of its conventional, nuclear, and “gray zone” warfare capabilities—information and influence operations below the level of traditional armed conflict. (Note: He forgets that former US President Obama had decided in his policy of pivot to Asia to enhance US military deployment from 50% to 60% of its world forces. China’s military buildup has been its response to US military buildup. Now Adm. Davidson regards US military buildup as US response to China’s buildup. How absurd!)
The command currently is staffed with around 375,000 military and civilian personnel, about 200 ships, including five aircraft carrier strike groups, and around 1,100 aircraft.
“Over the last 20 years, Beijing has undertaken a massive effort to grow and modernize the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” Davidson testified. “The PLA is the principal threat to U.S. interests, U.S. citizens, and our allies inside the first island chain—a term that refers to the islands that run from northern Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia—and the PLA is quickly increasing its ability to project power and influence beyond the first island chain.”
The Chinese military buildup includes both qualitative and quantitative efforts to modernize forces and boost both numbers and lethality of its weapons.
Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the military needs “urgent change at a significant scale” to deal with China.
“Our military advantage and deterrent edge in the Indo-Pacific is eroding,” Inhofe said. “The Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing senses weakness. They are testing our resolve, and if we do not act urgently, they may soon conclude that they can achieve their goals through force. We can’t take that peace for granted.”
Davidson said Pacific forces currently are oriented toward responding to threats in Northeast Asia and are being repositioned to better respond to conflicts further south, such as in the South China Sea. The objective is for U.S. forces to “regain the advantage” militarily in the region, he said.
New military bases are being sought in that region along with closer cooperation with regional allies, he said.
Other areas for strengthened military forces include bolstering special operations forces for both irregular and unconventional warfare, and bolstering anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
New long-range mobile land-based missiles are needed to better deter China’s large force of intermediate-range missiles, Davidson said.
One new flashpoint for the United States and China is the South China Sea, where Beijing has built up some 3,200 acres of islands and is now deploying advanced missiles on some of the new islands.
U.S. trade with regional states in Southeast Asia totaled more than $1.8 trillion in 2017 and more than $1.3 trillion by the third quarter of 2018.
Davidson testified last year during his confirmation hearing that Chinese militarization in the South China Sea had effectively given the PLA control over the strategic waterway “short of war.”
Pacific Command forces have countered the attempted takeover by conducting more frequent naval warship passages and military flights to challenge the Chinese claims.
The most recent freedom of navigation operation took place Monday when two U.S. warships passed close to the disputed islands called Second Thomas Shoal and Mischief Reef.
U.S. military operations to establish freedom of navigation and overflight are critically important for the United States, Davidson said.
“This is about the free flow of communications,” Davidson said. “That’s oil. That’s trade. That’s economic means. It means the cyber connectivities on the cables that travel under the South China Sea, which are deep and profound coming out of Singapore, and it includes the free passage of citizens between all the great nations of the world.”
Davidson said the dangers of miscalculation have increased as a result of Chinese militarization. Large numbers of commercial airline flights regularly transit the sea.
“And each time that happens, there is somebody with a surface-to-air missile and a Chinese soldier evaluating whether that traffic can go on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I think it’s quite hazardous to the global security, and I think it’s quite pernicious that China would take such action.” (Note: Those are pure lies to demonize China. Chinese military threatens no one there. It has military presence there as it is located there. The US is located far away from the region and its military presence there is not requested by any countries there.)
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska) asked Davidson whether China had violated a pledge made in 2015 by Chinese President Xi Jinping to then-President Barack Obama not to militarize the South China Sea islands.
“So President Xi … he obviously didn’t keep his word when he made that statement in the Rose Garden next to President Obama, is that correct?” Sullivan asked.
“That’s correct, sir,” Davidson said. “In the most liberal interpretation (Note: Davidson as a military professional certainly knows deployment of defensive weapons and construction of civilian airstrips are not militarization so that he has to resort to “most liberal interpretation”) of militarizing those islands, China in April 2018 populated those islands with anti-ship cruise missiles, with surface-to-air missiles, and electronic jammers,” Davidson said, noting some islands with 10,000-foot-long runways were already in place.
“But now they have the weapons, they’ve got sufficient military cadre and they’ve stepped up their operations both in the maritime and with bomber sorties and fighter sorties in a way that makes it clear that those islands are to support them militarily.”
Beijing is asserting maritime claims in the South China Sea that are contrary to international law. The expansive claims “pose a substantial long-term threat to the rules-based international order,” Davidson said. (Note: What rule? the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? The US has not even signed it but wants to use it to accuse China. China declared when it signed UNCLOS that it is not subject to arbitration under the UNCLOS! China conforms to the rule but the US does not regard it as rule by refusing to sign UNCLOS!)
China ignored a 2016 ruling from an international tribunal, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, that ruled China’s claims of historic rights over most of the South China Sea are illegal. (Note: As point out in the preceding note, China declared when it signed UNCLOS that it is not subject to arbitration under the UNCLOS.)
Davidson declined to discuss during the open session how the U.S. military would respond to a Chinese military incident in the South China Sea. (Note: He would not tell the truth that US warships were driven away by Chinese military instead of persisting in remaining within China’s territorial waters to continue their freedom of navigation operations within China’s territorial waters.)
Asked if U.S. military logistics could support a military surge to Asia to counter Chinese aggression, Davidson said military sealift capabilities need to be improved.
“One of the other key needs for the region, is … the need to recapitalize our sealift fleet,” he said. “It is decades old now [and] needs to be replaced nearly desperately.”
Further north, Beijing is using its military forces to press similar expansive maritime claims to Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Davidson said. (Note: The US has stated that it did not take side in the territorial dispute between China and Japan over the islands. It only returned the administration of the islands to Japan instead of the sovereignty over the islands. Now Adm. Davidson regards the islands as Japan’s. Such US position makes it necessary for China to develop its military force in case that the US joins Japan in fighting for the sovereignty over the islands. China wants to resolve the dispute peacefully, but it has to be prepared for the worst.)
Chinese economic pressure in the Asia can be seen in offering short term loans that produce “unsustainable debt, decreased transparency, restrictions on market economies, and the potential loss of control of natural resources” for states in the region. (Note: No such pressure at all. The debts are all long term low interest ones and the countries have taken the loans willingly instead of being forced by China to take them.)
For example, in December 2017 Sri Lanka gave China control of its newly built Hambantota seaport with a 99-year lease because Sri Lanka could not afford debt payments on Chinese loans. (Note: Pure lie. The Chinese company paid and has to pay nearly one billion US dollars for 80% of the shares of Sri Lanka government’s company that has the lease. The Chinese company is a Hong Kong listed company. It disclosed that to its shareholders. In fact, Sri Lanka is thus able to have funds to repay the debts it owed other countries.)
As a result of China’s so-called “debt diplomacy,” Malaysia cancelled three projects with China worth $22 billion in August 2018 over concerns about Beijing’s corrupt practices and denouncing the loans as Chinese “colonialism.” (Note: “colonialism” was election rhetoric. When the new government was set up, it discussed with China and obtained China’s consent to cancel the projects. It blamed its preceding government for concluding the projects instead of China. You call China’s such cooperation with Malaysia’s new government “debt diplomacy”? You are unhappy that China and Malaysia remain good friends despite the projects had been canceled but you cannot help that as the two countries keep on seeking win-win cooperation.)
China also is seeking to control areas of the arctic and Antarctica. “Beijing recognizes the growing strategic significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and has signaled its plans to assert a greater role in these regions,” Davidson said, noting the encroachment is part of a “polar Silk Road” economic plan. (Note: Arctic and Antarctic are international areas. China’s greater role there threatens no one. Davidson seems to regard those areas as America’s.)
Another threat posed by China comes from exports of the opioid fentanyl and precursor chemicals that are fueling the opioid crisis in the United States. China’s Xi pledged to regulate fentanyl in a meeting with President Trump in December.
“We look forward to seeing tangible progress,” Davidson said of the Chinese promise to curb fentanyl. (Note: Opioid crisis is America’s own problem. However good China’s control of the drug, the US cannot resolve the problem if it is unable to maintain social order in its own house. Has the US been able to control crimes or put an end to criminals’ massacre of innocent people with easily available guns?)
Davidson outlined several newly deployed weapons systems by China (Note: He is certainly scared by that, but there will be more advanced weapons to come.):
•China deployed its first aircraft carrier group and has a second carrier that will join the fleet this year.
•Supporting the carrier group are new Renhai-class guided-missile cruisers.
•Fuyu-class fast combat support ships are also backing the carriers.
•Advanced J-20 stealth fighters entered service in February 2018 and a more advanced fighter is underway.
•A new heavy-lift transport, the Y-20, is now deployed with significantly larger payload and lift capability.
•Advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile, with a 250-mile range, will expand the PLA air coverage over the Taiwan Strait and other high priority facilities.
•New weapons with next-generation technologies and advanced weapons systems are being built including hypersonic glide vehicles, directed energy weapons, electromagnetic railguns, counter-space weapons, and unmanned and artificial intelligence-equipped weapons.
•Nuclear forces are being expanded with new ballistic missile submarines.
•A new DF-26 intermediate-range missile is deployed capable of striking Guam, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and other Pacific targets. (Note: and sinking US aircraft carriers. See SCMP’s report “Next stop Guam? China shows off its next generation DF-41 and DF-26 ballistic missiles” on February 2.)
•A new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-41 with multiple warheads is being tested.
Regarding Taiwan, Davidson said there are growing concerns about Chinese military intervention based on harsh rhetoric from Xi toward the island.
“We continue to be concerned with China’s military buildup across the strait, Beijing’s opaqueness about its military capability and capacity, and its unwillingness to preclude the use of force to resolve the cross-strait issue,” Davidson said.
Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said the Trump administration’s diplomatic outreach to North Korea has cooled tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
“Today is day 440 since the last strategic provocation from the DPRK, the last time since we have had a flight—missile flight test or a nuclear weapons test,” he said, using the acronym for North Korea.
“The reduction in tension on the peninsula—it is palpable.”
Source: Washington Free Beacon “U.S. Bolstering Pacific Military Forces to Counter ‘Massive’ Beijing Buildup”
My comments indicate that I disagree with the report’s views.
(Comment: China is stupid if it competes with the US for young minds as described in the article by the writer Kristine Lee out of sinophobia. As China enhances its trade, investment and other economic relations with other countries in the world, it has to help develop human resources there, especially in Southeast Asia where the labor-intensive enterprises it moves there need managers, engineers and technicians. US development of education there will help provide such human resources for China instead of the US as the Trump’s “America First” policy focuses on investment and employment at home instead of aboard.)
Kristine Lee |Friday, Feb. 8, 2019
Business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month warned that China has overtaken the United States in the development of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, such as fifth-generation wireless or 5G. “There’s almost an endless stream of people who are showing up and developing new companies,” Blackstone’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman told one panel of his frequent trips to China. “The venture business there in AI-oriented companies is really exploding with growth.” (Comment: It results from Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era that unswervingly supports private enterprises.)
The attention on China’s rapidly evolving tech sector has overshadowed another area of competition between Beijing and Washington, which may be moving more slowly but is just as consequential: the battle for young minds. (Comment: No such battle for China as China’s model is so attractive that it wins without fighting but a hard battle for the US as in spite of its great efforts, it is difficult for the US to market its model of messy liberal democracy.) Nowhere is this competition to educate and attract younger generations more pronounced than in Southeast Asia, with its youthful demographics, fast-growing economies and array of geopolitical flashpoints.
Countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, where the median age hovers at around 30, are looking to harness their young and well-educated workforces for economic growth and become innovation hubs in their own right. In the aftermath of their country’s tightly contested 2014 presidential election, young Indonesian entrepreneurs developed a crowdsourcing platform to tally votes and safeguard against electoral fraud. For the past two years, talented Vietnamese university students have been vying for Samsung-sponsored science and technology scholarships.
But with this entrepreneurial push comes a need for investment, while the infusion of Chinese capital into the region is increasingly seen as perpetuating high-level corruption without strengthening local capacity. (Comment: Demonizing China without evidence. For example, does the Philippines switch from pro-US to pro-China due to corruption? No, it is because the US wants the Philippines to help contain China at Philippines’ expense but China wants win-win cooperation to benefit both the Philippines and China. ) This is where the United States and its key allies, notably Japan, can step in—developing human resources to expand trade and investment in order to maintain a significant but narrowing competitive advantage in the region, where the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development projects 5.4 percent annual economic growth over the next four years. Japan is at the forefront of the movement to build partnerships across government, private industry and local universities that not only expand technical know-how in Southeast Asia, but also provide Japanese companies with a ready-made workforce to feed into their supply chains (comment: as well as China’s supply chains). The governments of Vietnam and Japan, for example, recently established postgraduate programs at Vietnam National University in Hanoi through which Vietnamese students can earn master’s degrees in public policy, environmental sciences, nanotechnology, and other technical subjects under the auspices of the Vietnam-Japan University project.
Although American universities retain an enduring allure in the region, U.S. efforts have been more halting and under-resourced (comment: because the US is hard up with disputes over $5 billion funds for a border wall causing government shutdown), with a few exceptions. In 2017, Carnegie Mellon University and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, a leading engineering university in Thailand, announced a long-term collaboration for joint research and education programs in information technology, computing and autonomous technologies. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Global Startup Workshop—which brought entrepreneurs, students, investors and other stakeholders from around the world to Bangkok last year—is also a leading example of a prestigious American university using its convening power to elevate the work of Southeast Asian entrepreneurs.
While the U.S. remains popular among Southeast Asians, Washington has been punching below its weight in the region.
But if the growing presence of Chinese universities in Southeast Asia is any indication, Beijing is quickly trying to rebrand itself as a top-tier source of higher education. As China deepens its ties with the region, including through the infrastructure and development projects of its marquee Belt and Road Initiative, it will increasingly use education as a policy tool to win over younger generations. Beyond a commitment to raising standards of education within its own borders, China has initiated a multidimensional campaign to export its model of education across Southeast Asia. China’s Ministry of Education has pledged to set up 10 science and research centers in countries across the region by 2022, and has already established three university campuses in Laos, Malaysia and Thailand. In April 2017, Beijing’s elite Tsinghua University launched the Asian Universities Alliance with an initial membership of 15 universities across Northeast and Southeast Asia. Pooling resources and strengthening scientific research cooperation across Asian universities in this way could incentivize students to stay in the region, rather than apply for scholarships in the United States. Beijing has also actively tried to curb U.S. influence in Chinese universities, including barring visits by American officials and cultural groups (comment: similar to US curb of Chinese influence in US universities).
While the United States remains popular among Southeast Asians—particularly in Vietnam, where a recent Pew survey indicates that 84 percent of the population views America favorably (comment: but America does not view Vietnam’s communism favorably)—Washington has been punching below its weight in the region. The U.S. government, private industry and universities are all well-positioned to partner with local universities to offer business and public administration, engineering and other technical and vocational training programs. The State Department’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative and other consortium-based initiatives, such as Fulbright University in Vietnam, have been successful models, but the U.S. needs to expand its investments in these types of programs (comment: but lacks financial resources). These initiatives should be part of a sustained, concerted effort to educate and train the next generation of leaders from Indonesia to Vietnam who are committed to good governance and maintaining democratic institutions. (Is there good governance and democratic institutions in the US to be model for the next generation of leaders? Good governance with government shutdown? Good governance with lack of funds to fix 50,000 bridges in poor conditions?)
Pushing regional allies and partners to pick sides between the U.S. and China is counterproductive, given the potential costs. Most Southeast Asian countries are focused on sustaining their economic growth, and they can’t afford to cut off China, which remains the No. 1 trading partner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the main regional bloc. Instead, the United States should develop a whole-of-government strategy—involving educational initiatives, business outreach, and coordination with close allies like Japan and South Korea—that focuses on deepening relationships with key Southeast Asian countries over the course of the next decade. Building domestic support, particularly among the growing constituency of young students and entrepreneurs, could help determine the long-term success of U.S. strategy in Southeast Asia.
Kristine Lee is a research associate with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University.
Source: World Politics Review “How China and the U.S. Are Competing for Young Minds in Southeast Asia”
Note: This is World Politics Review’s article I reblog here for readers’ information. My comments indicate that I disagree with the article’s views.
Stratfor’s article “An Arrest at Apple Shows How Corporate Spies Worm Their Way Into the System” shows America’s confused concept about corporate spy. The criminals mentioned in the report Chen Jizhong and Zhang Xiaolang were but individual thieves that stole corporate technology for personal gains. There has been no evidence that they had been told to steal technology by any Chinese company. They stole for the Chinese companies that may employ them due to what they have stolen.
That was why they kept what they have stolen in their computers and other devices that can be used as evidence to prosecute them. If they had stolen for some Chinese company they would have sent what they stolen to the company without leaving them to be evidence of their crimes. No one would have been so stupid.
Therefore, their cases are not what Stratfor’s article describes as “corporate spies worming their way into the system”.
Strictly speaking, such thefts cannot be regarded as corporate espionage but the security measures taken by Apple tell us why American companies are unable to compete with Chinese ones.
There is a well-known Chinese saying: “Trust those you have employed; do not employ those you doubt.” Otherwise, a company cannot find true talents or given play to the talents of those it has employed. Without trust, the employed certainly want to gain knowledge and skill in the employment and then switch to another employer to serve him with the knowledge and skill gained.
That is precisely what Chen and Zhang had tried to do.
Chinese culture of studying hard to excel enable the emergence of lots of talented people. China’s old practice only allows political talents to excel and become successful officials so that China could not give play to lots of other talents.
Now China has carried out a thorough reform to enable all kinds of talents to excel especially the talents of engineers and scientists. The US has trained a lot of Chinese engineers and scientists so that it has the advantage to employ them first, but due to sinophobia, US employers fail to trust the Chinese they employ.
All talented Chinese want to study hard further to improve themselves. Their employers shall train them to enable them to excel and become the employers’ precious assets. Therefore, employers shall allow the Chinese they have employed access to all their technological secrets in order to facilitate their growth in technology.
By so doing the employers will not only be able to give full play to their employees’ talents but also gain their loyalty as Chinese scholars are willing to die for those who cherish their talents and integrity.
For over one thousand years, Liu Bei’s trust of Zhuge Liang and Zhuge Liang’s loyalty to Liu have been Chinese scholars’ best models.
Now, China’s wise leaders know that so that they are supporting private enterprises unswervingly to give play to the talents of excellent employers and their talented employees.
The US does not seem to have such a culture to trust the large number of Chinese talents it has employed. On the contrary, it is driving Chinese talents back to China with its sinophobia.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Stratfor’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/arrest-apple-shows-how-corporate-spies-worm-their-way-system?utm_campaign=B2C%20%7C%20Newsletter%20%7C%20060818&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=69629435&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9Vn8YIOwb5YcWIrWAmPOu3XonVDjDLkh-bbsxd_Y6oACvdk3zg3eBWOp6vkXh4vj7XfPvPg6YTdeSbDP2Eibb4ELBzUg&_hsmi=69630133.
I have just reblogged two reports on China’s space station in Argentina that show US paranoid to entertain readers.
A person with some scientific knowledge knows that the antennae at the station though large is not worth the millions dollars investment to collect information from satellites.
Reuters’ report quotes Tony Beasley, director of the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, as saying that the station could, in theory, “listen” to other governments’ satellites, potentially picking up sensitive data. But that kind of listening could be done with far less sophisticated equipment. He says, “Anyone can do that. I can do that with a dish in my back yard, basically. I don’t know that there’s anything particularly sinister or troubling about any part of China’s space radio network in Argentina.”
Why then are there concerns about the space station? Sinophobia. US experts and officials are afraid that China may have some technology unknown to them to collect intelligence with the station!
The US claims that China steals its technology, but knows well China is developing independently what the US is developing and may have already surpassed the US. Reuters says in its report “U.S., China take the lead in race for artificial intelligence: U.N.” yesterday that China accounted for 17 of the top 20 academic institutions involved in patenting AI and was particularly strong in the fast growing area of “deep learning” – a machine-learning technique that includes speech recognition systems.
Reuters quotes WIPO (U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization) Director-General Francis Gurry as saying,“The U.S. and China obviously have stolen a lead. They’re out in front in this area, in terms of numbers of applications, and in scientific publications.”
The US knows that China may soon surpass it so that it has started a trade war to force China to scrap Made in China 2025. But can trade war stop China’s rise?
The US knows it cannot; therefore, the Sinophobia and paranoid.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on New York Times’ and Reuters’ reports, two of which have been reblogged here today and the third titled “U.S., China take the lead in race for artificial intelligence: U.N.” by Reuters can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tech-un/u-s-china-take-the-lead-in-race-for-artificial-intelligence-u-n-idUSKCN1PP0U6.