No US Leadership Even in the West


According to Reuters’ report “’The West is winning,’ U.S. tells China; France wary” US Secretary of State claims that there is no crisis in Western leadership at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 15, 2020 despite the troubles caused to Europeans by U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America first”, ambivalence over the NATO military alliance and tariffs on European goods.

French President Emmanuel Macron said at the conference of international leaders, lawmakers and diplomats “We cannot be the United States’ junior partner” i.e. Europeans do not regard the US as their leader. In addition, he said that while he supported NATO, Europe needed to be able to tackle threats in its neighborhood and at times act independently of Washington.

In fact US President Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord have undermined European priorities. His recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have weakened European diplomacy.

Europe differs from the US on so many major issues so that it is impossible for Europe to regard the US as its leader.

Macron would not even follow the US’s defiance against Russia but advocates dialogue with Russia.

The report says “Macron said the West’s policy of defiance toward Russia in recent years had failed and, as nobody wanted to confront Moscow directly, the only option was to have a closer dialogue to resolve differences.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke immediately after Pompeo and focused his remarks on accusing China through his lies about China’s telecommunications firm Huawei.

However, Britain has said that it would allow Huawei a limited role in building its 5G network while the EU would not ban Huawei. Pompeo and Esper’s speeches merely proved that there is no US leadership even in the West, let alone world leadership.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-security/the-west-is-winning-u-s-tells-china-france-wary-idUSKBN20908M.


Will US Regret in Helping China’s Further Rise with Trade War?


There is the Chinese saying: “It is going to rain; Mother is going to remarry; there is nothing one can do to stop that.”

To entertain my readers, I would rather rephrase the saying as follows: “It is going to rain; China is going to rise; there is nothing the US can do to stop that.”

It is a sad world full of undesirable events, even wars to kill people. Even if the US had not launched its prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan leading to the death of hundreds of thousands people there, there would still have been terrorist attacks and even accidents causing death and injuries.

We need some fun in our life. As what the US has been doing to stop China’s rise is ridiculous, I want to make fun of that in order to entertain my readers.

I said yesterday in my post “US Regrets Helping China’s Rise by Getting It into WTO” that the US believed Gordon Chang’ prediction of China’s collapse when China had jointed WTO so that the US got China into WTO. However, it now regrets that because China’s accession to WTO, on the contrary, has helped China’s rise.

As I said in the beginning, the US cannot stop China’s rise. That is because China relies on itself instead of the US to rise. In fact, what the US and other Western countries have done has only helped instead of enabled China’s rise. Without such help, China would still have risen but only a little slower.

Now, what the West, especially the US, is doing facilitates China’s rise again.

Western Pressures Facilitates Removal of Opposition to Further Opening-up
US current administration must be cleverer: It is conducting a trade war to force China to make concessions of opening its market wider, reducing US trade deficit with China, stopping “forced transfer” of technology, protecting intellectual property and preventing devaluation of Chinese currency.

China no longer needs the protective measures it has kept since it began to open up as Chinese enterprises have grown strong enough. In fact, such measures protect local industries from competition with outsiders. They reduce instead enhance Chinese enterprises’ incentive to improve themselves in order to win competition.

Protectionism only protects backward enterprises.

China’s labor costs have risen to the level that it is no longer able to maintain its labor-intensive products competitive on world market. There are two measures to resolve that problem:

1. Improve technology to reduce number of workers employed in production in order to reduce labor costs. That will cause enterprises to lay off some workers; and

2. Move labor-intensive industries to countries with lower labor costs. It will also result in unemployment of some workers.

Local governments certainly oppose such measures as both may give rise to the problem of unemployment.

Moreover, as moving factories abroad incurs some costs in moving equipment and training local workers, enterprises affected also oppose that.

Therefore vest interests in enterprises and local governments affected strongly oppose further opining up. However, US tariff hikes force them to adopt the above-mentioned measures. Removal of their opposition also facilitates China’s investment abroad, especially investment in and even takeover of foreign high-tech enterprises. Trump’s trade war and EU’s demand for further opening-up helps China overcome the opposition.

West Restriction to China’s acquisition of Foreign High Technology
The US has already imposed some strict restriction to Chinese investment and other Western countries have also been planning to do so. China has to further open up so as to enjoy other countries’ opening up to its investment there. US and Western pressure helps Chinese leaders overcome the opposition to further opening up.

In the past, China obtained lots of quite advanced technology through transfer of technology to its joint ventures with foreigners, but none of the technology is the best in the world as foreign companies are not willing to transfer their best technology for fear of losing their competitive edge. China has grown rich and is able to pay for the best technology or takeover of foreign companies that own the best technology. It also has surplus capital to invest in other countries.

The US strictly restricts China’s takeover and investment in high technology for fear that China’s further rise may make China a rival world hegemon or even surpass the US as the only hegemon in the world. Other developed countries that have some of the most advanced technology also fear China’s rise as they do not know what China will do when it becomes another hegemon.

Trade War Helps China Obtain High Technology
As mentioned above, China is no longer able to obtain the best technology through joint ventures. It has to buy technology from or take over foreign enterprises of high technology.

US trade officials want China to allow foreign enterprises set up enterprises or joint ventures without the requirement for technological transfer.

That is really stupid. A wholly owned foreign enterprise in China has to employ Chinese staff and workers as foreign ones are too expensive to employ in China. Chinese employees there will soon learn the technology of the foreign enterprise.

That is why international lawyers help foreign parties get Chinese joint venture partners and their employees to sign non-disclosure agreements to keep the technology they leant confidential. For joint ventures the agreements aim at preventing competitors not the joint venture partners from learning the secret as the technology has already been transferred or licensed to the Chinese partners.

A wholly foreign owned enterprise, however, can only sign non-disclosure contracts with its technical personnel, but a real expert may get employed in the enterprise as a common worker and learn the technology when he has only seen it with his professional eyes.

China can selectively provide preferential treatment for foreign enterprises to attract them to set up wholly owned high-tech enterprises in China. That will enable China to learn their high technology.

The US Helps China Protect Its Intellectual Property
China is now able to develop lots of its own intellectual property so that it has great need for protection of intellectual property. How can it expect other countries’ protection of its intellectual property if it cannot protect others’; therefore, US trade war demand for protection of intellectual property provides China precisely what China wants for reciprocal protection.

The US Helps China Reduce Financial Dominance of US Dollar
In the past, China might have the desire to reduce the exchange rate of its currency in order to stipulate its exports to earn foreign exchange it needs for import of foreign advanced technology, but there are no such needs now. China has already been able to earn trade surplus and accumulated world largest foreign exchange reserve. However, due to the financial dominance of US dollar, most of China’s foreign reserve has to be kept in US dollar. It is unable to get enough return as the US keeps interest rate very low to support its economy. There is also the risk of devaluation of US dollar due to the decline of US economy and US excessive issue of money for its excessive spending.

China needs to maintain the exchange rate of its currency stable and even make it rise a little to facilitate turning its currency into an international currency in order to reduce US financial monopoly. US President Trump’s trade war demand for China not to reduce the exchange rate of its currency is precisely what China wants.

From the above, we see what the West, especially the US, is pressurizing China to do will benefit China. Will the US regret what it is doing now later?

We know the US will be benefited by what it may get from China in forcing China to conduct further reform and opening-up, but China will also be benefited. If what the US wants is to stop China’s rise, it will regret even though it has been benefited. However, such regret is stupid, just as it was stupid to regret having China join WTO. China’s rise has enabled China to provide lots of cheap goods for US consumers. That has enabled them to make ends meet in spite of the hardship they encounter due to America’s declining economy.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


East-West aerial confrontations heat up due to Chinese-Russian Alliance


Reuters says in its report “From Baltic to Asia, East-West aerial confrontations heat up”, that Russia and China is pitting U.S. and allied pilots against their counterparts on a scale greater than that in the Cold War, but still wise US politicians and other experts and journalists believe that there is no alliance between Russia and China.

Do they think that the tensions in the air in both west and east are mere coincidences?

The following is the full text of Reuters report:

From Baltic to Asia, East-West aerial confrontations heat up

From the skies of the Baltic to the South China Sea, a new era of confrontation with Russia and China is pitting U.S. and allied pilots against their counterparts on a scale not seen since the Cold War era.

It is, current and former officials say, a major shift for air crews who by and large have spent more than a decade flying largely uncontested missions over Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lying behind the aerial sabre-rattling are high tensions between the West and Russia over Moscow’s perceived role in Ukraine’s separatist conflict.

And China, as it builds up its military on the back of economic growth, has become more assertive over multiple maritime boundary rows with neighbors, some of them allied by treaty with the United States.

With Sweden complaining that a Russian military aircraft nearly hit a civilian airliner, the risk of an accident, perhaps even of conflict, is on the rise.

In August, a U.S. reconnaissance plane and Chinese fighter jet had their own near miss over the South China Sea, while Chinese and Japanese fighter pilots increasingly spar over disputed islands.

“There’s been a very significant escalation, particularly in the last year,” says Christopher Harmer, a former U.S. Navy pilot and now senior fellow at the Institute for Study of War in Washington. “These incidents are now happening on a scale we have not seen in 25 years.”

The shooting last July down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, where government forces have been fighting pro-Russian separatist rebels, was a reminder of the dangers to civil aircraft flying over contested air space.

NATO said earlier this month that its jets had scrambled more than 400 times this year as Russian air force jets approached its air space, twice the level from 2013.

Baltic and Nordic countries in particular – all members of NATO or the European Union or both – have reported increased Russian air force activity.

Both Sweden and Denmark summoned the Russian ambassadors to complain about the near miss near southern Sweden.

“It’s not only the question of increased flights… but the way they are conducting them,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference on Monday.

Russian aircraft, he said, are not registering with air traffic control, filing flight plans or activating their transponders, a communications instrument that makes it easier for an aircraft in flight to be located.

Aviation experts say the advent of budget airlines has markedly increased the number of civilian flights through the Baltic region, at least doubling it since the Cold War ended.

“NATIONAL HONOR”

During the Cold War, ex-U.S. Navy pilot Harmer said all sides were mindful of accident risks. Most squadron commanders on both sides had been flying such missions for years.

Some of the more aggressive actions by Chinese jets in particular might be the result of impetuous junior officers rather than a central directive from Beijing, former U.S. air force intelligence officer Christian Lin-Greenburg wrote in September in the National Interest journal.

“The recklessness of the pilot may be more representative of the risk seeking behavior of relatively junior year ego-driven commanders,” he wrote.

Beijing should introduce better risk management training for its officers, he said, or risk a repeat of an incident in 2000 when one of its jets collided with a U.S. spy plane. The Chinese pilot died and the U.S. plane was forced to land in China.

Outside the Baltics, experts say they worry about incidents around the Senkaku Islands between China and Japan, known as the Diaoyutai in Chinese. Centuries of ethnic divisions could supercharge matters, they say.

“You’re talking about sometimes hot-headed young pilots who believe that national honor is at stake,” said one Western official on condition of anonymity.

Ultimately, the risks of an accident may diminish over time.

In the Gulf, officials say Iranian and U.S.-led forces, at odds since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, have become increasingly adept at keeping clear of each other.

Source: Reuters “From Baltic to Asia, East-West aerial confrontations heat up”


China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

China’s foreign ministry on Monday restated its opposition to placing sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, after leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major economies agreed to swiftly impose further punitive measures.

Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China had “maintained communication” with all sides since the outset of the Ukraine crisis, including the G7 countries, and explained its position.

“On the issue of international relations, China has consistently opposed threatening or imposing sanctions. We believe that sanctions are not conducive to an issue’s resolution, and may worsen tensions,” he told a daily news briefing.

“We call on all sides to keep using dialogue and negotiation to appropriately resolve disagreements, to push for a political resolution to the Ukraine crisis. Sanctions are not in any party’s interests.”

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking in the Philippines, said Washington would announce new sanctions on Russia later in the day. He said the United States and its allies were keeping in reserve further measures against Moscow.

China has adopted a cautious response to the crisis, not wanting either to alienate key ally Russia or comment directly on the referendum in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, lest it set a precedent for its own restive regions, like Tibet.
But China has also said it would like to continue to develop “friendly cooperation” with Ukraine and that it respects the ex-Soviet state’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China said in March, after Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia, that sanctions were not the best way to resolve the situation.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, since ousted after three months of sometimes violent protests, visited China in December in the hope of winning much-needed financial aid, but China did not say it would provide any loans.

Source: Reuters “China restates opposition to sanctions on Russia over Ukraine”

Related posts:

  • China Wins Advantages from All Sides in Ukraine Crisis dated March 16, 2014
  • China: Xi Jinping Skillfully Pleases Russia, US, EU, etc. Concerning Ukraine dated March 11, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation the West 2” on March 9, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation with the West dated March 8, 2014
  • Cold War Again: Russia Plus China v. US dated March 7, 2014
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China paper slams West’s ‘Cold War mentality’ over Ukraine dated February 27, 2014
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012

Russia’s Top Diplomat to Visit China to Seek Xi Jinping’s Support in Ukraine Issue


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: EPA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: EPA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing next week and will discuss with him the situation in Ukraine, the Russian foreign ministry said Sunday.

Lavrov will visit China on Tuesday, ahead of four-way talks between diplomats from the European Union, United States, Ukraine and Russia planned in Geneva on Thursday. Those talks are now in doubt amid violent clashes between supporters of Kiev and pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine.

In meetings with the Chinese leader and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Lavrov plans to “devote special attention to the situation in Ukraine,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

“As is known, China in its approach sticks to a balanced and objective position, demonstrating understanding of the entire totality of factors, including historical ones, leading to new realities in this region,” Moscow said.

China on March 27 abstained from voting as the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Ukraine-backed resolution condemning Crimea’s referendum on joining Russia and refusing to recognise Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.

Source: expatica.com “Russia’s top diplomat to discuss Ukraine in China visit”

Related posts:

  • China takes no sides on Ukraine crisis, Xi tells Europe dated March 29, 2014
  • China Wins Advantages from All Sides in Ukraine Crisis dated March 16, 2014
  • China: Xi Jinping Skillfully Pleases Russia, US, EU, etc. Concerning Ukraine dated March 11, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation the West 2 on March 9, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation with the West dated March 8, 2014
  • Cold War Again: Russia Plus China v. US dated March 7, 2014
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012

China takes no sides on Ukraine crisis, Xi tells Europe


President Xi Jinping said on Friday China would not take sides with the West or Russia over Ukraine, disappointing any hopes Beijing might add its weight to international pressure on Moscow for annexing Crimea.

“China does not have any private interests in the Ukraine question,” Xi told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “All parties involved should work for a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

China has adopted a cautious response to the Ukraine crisis, not wanting to alienate its ally Russia or make comment directly on a referendum in which Crimea voted to join Russia, lest it set a precedent for restive regions of its own such as Tibet.

In an U.N. Security Council vote earlier this month on a draft resolution to condemn the Moscow-backed referendum in Crimea, China’s abstention effectively isolated Russia.

“If I were Russia, I would not be satisfied with the number of votes in favor of Russia,” said Merkel, who despite her country’s close trade ties with Moscow and heavy reliance on Russia gas exports has backed European Union and U.S. sanctions.

The chancellor, who has tried to use her influence on Russia President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate the crisis, called the U.N. vote a clear sign “that the international community is not very happy with what Russia has done”.

China has signaled understanding for Russia’s position, saying what is happening “has historical reasons”. Chinese state media has also expressed sympathy for Moscow.

DELICATE DIPLOMACY

But China has also said it wants to develop “friendly cooperation” with Ukraine. Its foreign ministry said this week Beijing would play a “constructive role” on international financial aid for Ukraine, though it stopped short of saying whether Beijing would participate directly.

“We support the constructive efforts the international community has made to de-escalate the situation and are open to any concepts which serve to calm the situation and to bring about a political solution,” Xi said in Berlin.

“The Chinese side always respects the principles of international relations and non-intervention in the internal business of other states,” he said.

The Chinese leader’s first visit to Germany since becoming president last year saw the signature of business deals that will add to bilateral trade that was worth about 140 billion euros last year.

But business considerations did not prevent Merkel from publicly raising China’s patchy record on human rights and free speech with the visiting president.

“Broad and free expression of opinion is of course a very important element to promote the creativity of a society, be it in research, culture or civil society,” said the chancellor.

There was no official comment on reports that Xi might visit a monument to the Holocaust in Berlin during his visit. China likes to contrast Germany’s profound atonement for its World War Two atrocities with what it sees as Japan’s reluctance to do so.

Ties between the Asian rivals took a turn for the worse in December last year when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a Tokyo shrine China sees as a symbol of Japan’s militaristic past because it honors wartime leaders and millions of war dead.

But Xi did use a speech in Berlin on Friday evening to recall Japan’s wartime invasion of the Chinese city of Nanjing and say that such atrocities “are still fresh in our memory”.

Source: Reuters “China takes no sides on Ukraine crisis, Xi tells Europe”

Related posts:

  • China Wins Advantages from All Sides in Ukraine Crisis dated March 16, 2014
  • China: Xi Jinping Skillfully Pleases Russia, US, EU, etc. Concerning Ukraine dated March 11, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation the West 2” on March 9, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation with the West dated March 8, 2014
  • Cold War Again: Russia Plus China v. US dated March 7, 2014
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012

China Wins Advantages from All Sides in Ukraine Crisis


Ukrainian Ambassador to China Oleg Dyomin. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Ukrainian Ambassador to China Oleg Dyomin. Photo: Li Hao/GT

In my post “The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation with US 2” on March 9, I analyzed Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi words: development of the situation in Ukraine to what it is today is regrettable. I pointed out the reasons why he said so. I said in the post, “China regrets that China’s interests may be gravely harmed as China has signed lots of agreements involving $8 billion investment when Yanukovych visited China last December especially for import and joint development of advanced weapons and technology. With those agreements, China will get the technology to build the largest transport aircraft in the world, advanced engines for its light stealth fighter jet, the technology for production and welding of wide thick steel plates for the new aircraft carriers China is building, etc., which are vital for China’s military modernization. In addition, China has already had investment in about 10% of Ukraine’s farm land. All those may be seriously affected.”

However, there is no need to regret now. In his interview with Global Times reporter Li Qian, Ukrainian Ambassador to China Oleg Dyomin said, “The cooperation between Ukraine and China is based on the principle of mutual benefit. We never had disputes in economic or other forms of cooperation. The new government of Ukraine, upon taking power, immediately notified China it would continue all contracts between the two sides.”

Why? Dyomin said, “Here we want to emphasize that the Ukraine values China’s consistent stance on supporting Ukrainian territorial integrity and independence.”

While giving Russia the impression China’s stand is close to Russia’s, China has given Ukraine that it is on Ukraine’s side and support Ukrainian territorial integrity. That is really wonderful.

Ukraine “hopes China, one of the world’s leaders and a partner of Russia, will assist with talks between Ukraine and Russia as an intermediary to tackle issues through negotiations,” Dyomin added.

Now, China’s close stand to Russian is an advantage in maintaining good relations with Ukraine as China can play the role of intermediary.

What about Russia? Has it be offended by China’s attitude towards Ukraine?

Not at all. According to Global Times reporter Li Qian’s exclusive interview with Russian Ambassador Andrey Denisov, Denisov believed that recently the cooperation between China and Russia has reached “new highs” “in all fields.”

He said, “Leaders and foreign ministers of our countries have discussed the current crisis in Ukraine. We are very grateful to China for its balanced and principled position on this issue.”

The US and EU are also happy as China has given vague support to their stance and abstained in UN Security Council’s vote for the resolution against Russia.

Since the US is busy now in Europe, China can put some pressure on Japan and the Philippines. It recently expelled Philippine from a disputed shoal. On March 15, it sent three coast guard ships to form a formation to patrol the sea areas around disputed islands.

China is a sure winner no matter what the outcome of the Ukraine crisis will be.

Sources: Global Times “Ukrainian Ambassador: Build an economy open to East and West” and “Russian Ambassador: Russia not the only victim of sanctions”

Related posts:

  • China: Xi Jinping Skillfully Pleases Russia, US, EU, etc. Concerning Ukraine dated March 11, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation the West 2” on March 9, 2014
  • The Mystery of China’s Support for Putin’s Confrontation with the West dated March 8, 2014
  • Cold War Again: Russia Plus China v. US dated March 7, 2014
  • China Is Definitely on Russia’s Side but Refrains from Making Its Stance Clear dated March 5, 2014
  • China paper slams West’s ‘Cold War mentality’ over Ukraine dated February 27, 2014
  • The beginning of a new Cold War: On Putin’s Beijing visit dated June 6, 2012