China’s Defense Buildup Effective Deterrence of US Aggression


Washington Free Beacon’s article “China Speeding Up Large-Scale Military Buildup” says China’s military modernization “undermines deterrence and increase risk of war”

The article is based on the recently published annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

It tries to make others believe that there will be risk of war if the US has lost its military superiority.

The fact is precisely the contrary. When there was military balance between the US and the Soviet Union in the Cold War period, the US was very careful not to fight a war for fear of Soviet involvement. Its defeat in Vietnam has taught it a humiliating lesson.

When the US became the only superpower in the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US became arrogant. It recklessly invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and boasted its ability to fight two conventional wars simultaneously.

It is a pity that in spite of its superiority in weapons and military technology, it is unable to win the wars. It has to keep its troops in Afghanistan to deal with Taliban that it cannot conquer after more than a decade of fighting.

Its occupation of Iraq gave rise to ISIS that it had to eliminate by its proxies.

Economically, the two wars have left the US heavily in debt and made it realize that it cannot afford a war in a relatively large country such as Iraq, let alone China.

China’s military buildup is precisely the deterrence of US wars of aggression it works as a balance to US aggressive military power.

It first of all aims at deterrence of US military intervention in China’s Taiwan issue.

Taiwan is a province of China, but the article regards it as a country. It shows some Americans’ ambition to separate Taiwan from China. China has to make its military much stronger than the US to prevent that.

The US manipulated to have the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague to give an arbitration award that entirely deny China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea. China rejected the award and the UN issued a statement that the arbitration court is not a UN agency. In spite of that the US sent two aircraft carrier battle groups to force China to accept the award.

If China had not built up its air force and navy, constructed its artificial islands and deployed defensive weapons there, it would not have effectively deterred US military intervention in China’s disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea.

China’s military buildup is entirely legitimate and necessary for its national security and defense.

The above facts prove that contrary to what the article claims, China’s military buildup deters and decreases the risk of war.

The article shows that the US is scared by China’s military buildup but that is only the beginning. I have pointed out in my previous posts that China’s military buildup is still far from enough. Only when China has developed the capability of strikes of US homeland can entirely deter US attack of Chinese homeland. That will take a decade or two.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Free Beacon’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-speeding-large-scale-military-buildup/?utm_source=Freedom+Mail&utm_campaign=577f6fb70d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_14_10_55_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5e6e0e9ea-577f6fb70d-46069085.

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War of Words before Trade War Truce?


Reuters describes the oral war between US and Chinese high officials at their joint press conference after their talks in its report “U.S. presses China to halt militarization of South China Sea” yesterday.

The two sides argued about Taiwan, South China Sea, human rights, etc. but not trade.

The report says, “While Pompeo spoke little about trade in his public comments, Yang (Yang Jiechi, Politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party) said he hoped the two sides would find a mutually acceptable solution on the issue ‘before long.’”

It seems there will be a truce in their trade war as neither of them wants to be hurt by it, but the conflicts on other issues will remain and be the major themes of their cold war in the future as cold war is unavoidable since the US has fallen deep in Thucydides trap.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china/u-s-presses-china-to-halt-militarization-of-south-china-sea-idUSKCN1NE2C4.


U.S. warships pass through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions


Yimou Lee, Idrees Ali, Phil Stewart October 22, 2018

TAIPEI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Monday in the second such operation this year, as the U.S. military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.

The voyage risks further heightening tensions with China but will likely be viewed in self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support by President Donald Trump’s government, amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

Reuters was first to report U.S. consideration of the sensitive operation on Saturday.

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Commander Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a statement.

“The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” he added.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said it closely monitored the operation and was able to “maintain the security of the seas and the airspace” as it occurred.

There was no immediate comment from China.

The U.S. Navy conducted a similar mission in the strait’s international waters in July, which had been the first such voyage in about a year. The latest operation shows the U.S. Navy is increasing the pace of strait passages.

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island’s main source of arms. The Pentagon says Washington has sold Taiwan more than $15 billion in weaponry since 2010.

STATUS QUO?

China views Taiwan as a wayward province and has been ramping up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the island. It raised concerns over U.S. policy toward Taiwan in talks last week with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Singapore.

As the United States prepared for a fresh passage through the strait, it told China’s military that its overall policy toward Taiwan was unchanged.

Mattis delivered that message to China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe personally on Thursday, on the sidelines of an Asian security forum.

“Minister Wei raised Taiwan and concerns about our policy. The Secretary reassured Minister Wei that we haven’t changed our Taiwan policy, our one China policy,” Randall Schriver, a U.S. assistant secretary of defense who helps guide Pentagon policy in Asia, told reporters traveling with Mattis.

“So it was, I think, a familiar exchange.”

Taiwan is only one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a bitter trade war, U.S. sanctions, and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.

Taiwan’s relations with China have deteriorated since the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party swept to power in 2016.

Beijing, which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, responded to the July passage with a warning to the United States to avoid jeopardizing “peace and stability” in the strategic waterway.

It has also viewed U.S. overtures toward Taiwan with alarm, including its unveiling a new de facto embassy in Taiwan and passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages U.S. officials to visit the island.

Military experts say the balance of power between Taiwan and China has shifted decisively in China’s favor in recent years, and China could easily overwhelm the island unless U.S. forces came quickly to Taiwan’s aid.

China has also alarmed Taiwan by ramping up military exercises this year, including flying bombers and other military aircraft around the island and sending its aircraft carrier through the narrow Taiwan Strait separating it from Taiwan.

Reporting by Yimou Lee in Taipei and Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore; Writing by Phil Stewart in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Bill Berkrot

Source: Reuters “U.S. warships pass through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions”

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


Exclusive: U.S. weighs new warship passage through Taiwan Strait


Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali October 20, 2018

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering a new operation to send warships through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. officials tell Reuters, a mission aimed at ensuring free passage through the strategic waterway but which risks heightening tensions with China.

The U.S. Navy conducted a similar mission in the strait’s international waters in July and any repeat would be seen in self-ruled Taiwan as a fresh expression of support by President Donald Trump’s government.

The U.S. military declined comment and U.S. officials who discussed the deliberations, which have not been previously reported, did so on condition of anonymity. They did not discuss the potential timing for any fresh passage through the strait.

China views Taiwan as a wayward province and has been ramping up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the island. It raised concerns over U.S. policy toward Taiwan in talks this week with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Singapore.

Even as Washington mulls ordering a fresh passage through the strait, it has been trying to explain to Beijing that its policies toward Taiwan are unchanged.

Mattis delivered that message to China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe personally on Thursday, on the sidelines of an Asian security forum.

“Minister Wei raised Taiwan and concerns about our policy. The Secretary reassured Minister Wei that we haven’t changed our Taiwan policy, our one China policy,” said Randall Schriver, a U.S. assistant secretary of defense who helps guide Pentagon policy in Asia.

“So it was, I think, a familiar exchange.”

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island’s main source of arms. The Pentagon says Washington has sold Taiwan more than $15 billion in weaponry since 2010.

U.S.-CHINA FLASHPOINTS

Taiwan is only one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a bitter trade war, U.S. sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.

Mattis told Wei on Thursday that the world’s two largest economies needed to deepen high-level military ties so as to navigate tension and rein in the risk of inadvertent conflict.

Some current and former U.S. officials say U.S. warship passages in the Taiwan Strait are still too infrequent, and note that a U.S. aircraft carrier hasn’t transited the Taiwan Strait since 2007, during the administration of George W. Bush.

When the last two U.S. warships, both destroyers, sailed through the Taiwan Strait in July, it was the first such operation in about a year.

Beijing, which has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, responded to the July passage with a warning to the United States to avoid jeopardizing “peace and stability” in the strategic waterway.

It has also viewed U.S. overtures toward Taiwan with alarm, including its unveiling a new de facto embassy in Taiwan and passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages U.S. officials to visit the island.

Military experts say the balance of power between Taiwan and China has shifted decisively in China’s favor in recent years, and China could easily overwhelm the island unless U.S. forces came quickly to Taiwan’s aid.

China has also alarmed Taiwan by ramping up military exercises this year, including flying bombers and other military aircraft around the island and sending its aircraft carrier through the narrow Taiwan Strait separating it from Taiwan.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said last week the island will increase its defense budget every year to ensure it can defend its sovereignty, including resuming domestic development of advanced training aircraft and submarines.

“At this time, China’s intimidation and diplomatic pressure not only hurts relations between both sides, but seriously challenges the peaceful stability in the Taiwan Strait,” she said in a National Day speech in Taipei on Oct. 10.

Her remarks came ahead of island-wide local elections in late November that are seen as a bellwether for her ruling party’s performance in presidential elections due in 2020.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: U.S. weighs new warship passage through Taiwan Strait”

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 says U.S. arms sales to Taiwan interfere in its affairs


October 14, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China accused the United States on Sunday of going on the offensive by sending U.S. Navy vessels into the South China Sea and described U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as interference in Chinese internal affairs.

“It’s not Chinese warships that are going to the coast of California or to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s so close to the Chinese islands and it is so close to the Chinese coast. So who is on the offensive, who is on the defensive? This is very clear,” Ambassador Cui Tiankai told the “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” program, apparently referring to a U.S. destroyer sailing near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sept. 30.

Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Source: Reuters “China says U.S. arms sales to Taiwan interfere in its affairs”

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


Taiwanese engineers lured to mainland China as chip makers go into overdrive


Skilled workers finding it hard to resist fat salaries and perks, raising concern on the island that it could lose a key economic engine to political foe

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 4:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 10:57pm

A huge pay rise, eight free trips home a year and a heavily subsidised flat. It was a dream job offer that a Taiwanese engineer simply could not refuse.

A veteran of Taiwan’s top-tier chip makers, including United Microelectronics Corp (UMC), the engineer took up the offer from a mainland China state-backed chip maker last year and now oversees a small team at a wafer foundry in eastern China.

The engineer joined a growing band of senior Taiwanese professionals working in the mainland’s booming and fast-developing semiconductor industry.

Attracting such talent from Taiwan has become a key part of an effort by Beijing to put the industry into overdrive and reduce the country’s dependence on overseas firms for the prized chips that power everything from smartphones to military satellites.

That drive, which started in 2014, intensified this year as US-China trade tensions escalated, according to recruiters and industry insiders, exposing what China feels is an overreliance on foreign-made chips.

China imported US$260 billion worth of semiconductors in 2017, more than its imports of crude oil. Chinese-made chips made up less than 20 per cent of domestic demand in the same year, according to the China Semiconductor Industry Association.

More than 300 senior engineers from Taiwan have moved to mainland chip makers so far this year, joining nearly 1,000 others who have relocated since Beijing set up a US$22 billion fund to develop the chip industry in 2014, according to estimates from H&L Management Consultants, a Taipei-based recruitment firm.

The battle for skilled engineers has raised concerns in Taiwan that the island could lose a key economic engine to its political foe, Beijing. Analysts say mainland China is still years behind Taiwan in terms of chip design and manufacturing, however, even as it moves ahead in terms of the production of lower-end chips.

China’s semiconductor plans accelerated this year after the United States banned sales of chips to the Chinese phone vendor ZTE, senior mainland officials familiar with the matter told Reuters in April.

Tariffs imposed by Washington on US$16 billion worth of China’s imports have hit Chinese semiconductors, which are now subject to tariff rates of 25 per cent.

That will make Chinese chips less competitive compared to those from Taiwan and South Korea, and could disrupt China’s semiconductor ambitions. Beijing’s aim is to have local chips comprise at least 40 per cent of China’s semiconductor needs by 2025.

Underscoring the talent crunch, two state-run institutions in August said that about 400,000 professionals were working in China’s integrated circuit sector at the end of 2017 – far short of the estimated 720,000 workers needed by 2020.

While Beijing has also targeted engineers from South Korea and Japan to address that shortage, it has had the most success in Taiwan thanks to a common language and culture, recruiters say.

Lin Yu-Hsuan, a manager at the recruitment firm H&L, said engineers from Taiwan were lured by high pay, perks and more senior positions at Chinese chip makers like Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) that are flush with cash from China’s multibillion chip fund.

“Many of them said: ‘The money I will earn in China in three years is equivalent to what I could get in Taiwan in 10 years. I could retire earlier’,” Lin said.

Steve Wang, vice-chairman and president of Novatek Microelectronics, a Taiwanese integrated chip designer, said a small percentage of its employees had left for mainland China over the past two years, and acknowledged that it would be difficult to match offers from Chinese rivals.

The engineer at the wafer foundry, who declined to be named as the details of his contract were not public, said his mainland Chinese employer offered him a new three-bedroom flat with a 40 per cent discount on the condition that he worked for the company for more than five years, in addition to a 50 per cent pay rise. He declined to give the exact figure.

“China dares to burn money, whereas Taiwan companies have limited resources,” he said.

COUNTER-OFFER

A senior executive at a newly established chip maker in northeastern China, SiEn (QingDao) Integrated Circuits Co, said about one-third of its recently recruited 120 engineers were from Taiwan.

“There is not a lack of money. What we need is talent,” said the person, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

He said the company, led by Richard Chang, the founder of SMIC, China’s leading chip maker, offered new hires discounted property and attractive subsidies for bilingual schools in the port city of Qingdao.

“Taiwanese engineers are most experienced and could help us cultivate local talents,” the executive said. “The movement will continue to escalate.”

Industry watchers said Taiwan’s widely respected chip design houses and foundries were among the hardest hit by the outflow of engineers, and had been forced to ramp up spending to lure workers.

The island’s leading integrated circuit designers and chip makers have seen a 35 per cent jump in labour costs, including salary and benefits from two years ago, compared with a 21 per cent rise in revenue, according to Reuters calculations based on corporate filings from Taiwan’s 10 largest listed companies by market value.

TRADE SECRET

Taiwan has been watching the mainland Chinese recruitment efforts with growing anxiety.

It has long barred chip makers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, a key supplier to Apple, from moving their most advanced technology to manufacturing operations in mainland China to keep it from falling into the hands of mainland rivals.

Many in Taiwan are also concerned that the rapid development of mainland China’s chip industry could lead to the sort of oversupply and plunging prices that came with efforts to develop other key industries like solar panels and liquid crystal displays.

Mainland China’s integrated circuit design firms have already surpassed their Taiwan rivals in terms of revenue, with US$31 billion in 2017, compared with Taiwan’s US$22 billion, according to Mark Li, an analyst at Bernstein.

The fears are that the battle for talent will widen that gap further.

In a move to retain top talent, Taiwan’s cabinet in July pledged to relax tax regulations on employee stock ownership.

“The Chinese Communist Party has been poaching our talent,” said Chen Mei-ling, minister of Taiwan’s policy-planning National Development Council. “The government has amended regulations to help companies keep talent.”

Ho Chan-cheng, legal affairs director at Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office, said “inappropriate poaching” could lead to the leaking of trade secrets and that the government was working to protect the island’s core technology – namely the capacity to increase chip yield per wafer.

Taiwanese companies are also trying to offer their own incentives.

Antonio Yu, spokesman for the Taiwan-based chip design house Phison Electronics Corp, said that while the company “does not have the capital to play such a money game”, it has tried to create a “reassuring environment” for its employees.

He cited long-standing cash bonuses and programmes such as free legal counselling, as well as a monthly town hall meeting with Phison’s chairman, Khein-Seng Pua.

“We treat our employees like family,” he said.

Despite such efforts, Taiwanese engineers are finding incentives from mainland China hard to resist.

Tommy Huang, a 37-year-old Taiwanese chip engineer who in 2016 joined United Semiconductor in southern China – a joint venture between Taiwan’s UMC and mainland Chinese state-backed partners – said Taiwanese efforts to retain talent did not work for him.

“You don’t have any chance if you stay in Taiwan,” said Huang, whose mainland Chinese employer offered him an annual school subsidy of up to 60,000 yuan (US$8,700) for his five-year-old child and a salary more than double what he earned in Taiwan.

“We are buying hope by coming to China.”

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Mainland chip makers lure Taiwanese tech talent

Source: SCMP “Taiwanese engineers lured to mainland China as chip makers go into overdrive”

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


El Salvador says economy prompted diplomatic switch to China from Taiwan


Nelson Renteria August 22, 2018 / 6:34 AM

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – El Salvador said on Tuesday it hoped its economy would get a lift from China after it broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing, reducing the dwindling group of allies the Asian island has in Latin America.

A man waits to visit the Taiwan embassy a day after the Salvadoran government announced that it has broken off diplomatic relations with Taiwan, in San Salvador, El Salvador August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

El Salvador was the third Latin American country in the past two years to switch alliances, and presidential spokesman Roberto Lorenzana said attracting investment and developing the economy were key goals behind the decision.

“Fundamentally, it’s an interest in betting on the growth of our country with one of the world’s most booming economies,” he said in a television interview following Monday’s announcement. “El Salvador can’t turn its back on international reality.”

Monday’s move left Taiwan with only 17 allies, and came shortly after its president visited Belize and Paraguay, aiming to shore up diplomatic ties in the face of Chinese pressure to stamp out the island’s international recognition.

The decision prompted an outcry from Taiwan, which has accused China of luring smaller countries to its side with offers of generous aid.

Taiwan’s foreign minister has said that Taiwan will not engage in “money competition,” and did not give El Salvador funds for a port development after deeming the project “unsuitable.”

It was unclear if China had offered any specific aid or economic incentive to El Salvador.

Taiwan’s formal relations are now mostly with small nations in Central America and the Pacific.

Panama ditched Taiwan for China in 2017, and Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic followed early this year.

The United States keeps unofficial relations with Taiwan, a source of tension with China, whose “one China” policy stipulates that Taiwan is part of the bigger nation.

U.S. relations with El Salvador have been strained over President Donald Trump’s threats to cut aid from countries that “do nothing” to stop MS-13 gang members from crossing illegally into the United States.

The U.S. ambassador in El Salvador, Jean Manes, said at an event on Tuesday that Salvadorans should demand transparency about how their government resolved to swap diplomatic partners.

“I think you should know, exactly, all the details of the negotiation,” she said.

Manes also posted on Twitter that the United States was analyzing the “worrisome” decision, and that it would impact relations between the two countries. She did not elaborate.

Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said in a televised address on Monday that a “careful analysis” including consultations with diverse sectors led to the decision.

Representatives were already in Beijing to establish ties, he said, and would immediately begin talks on trade, investment, infrastructure, science, health, education, tourism and support for small and medium-size companies.

“They will generate tangible benefits for the whole population,” Sanchez Ceren said.
Reporting by Nelson Renteria, writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by James Dalgleish
Source: Reuters “El Salvador says economy prompted diplomatic switch to China from Taiwan”

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