Goodwill message from Xi to Trump shows major country attitude despite rivalry


By GT staff reporters Source: Global Times

Published: 2020/10/3 18:06:52 Last Updated: 2020/10/3 21:06:52

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on Saturday sent a message of sympathy, wishing an early recovery for US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania from the COVID-19.

Analysts said the message, out of humanitarianism, “shows the decency of a major country,” and it is hoped that it could also serve to kick-start positive interactions between leaders of China and US, allowing a buffer to bilateral confrontations.

Xi said in the message that “my wife Peng Liyuan and I express sympathy, and hope you get better soon.”

After the Trump couple confirmed their infection on Friday, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying also expressed good wishes on Twitter.

Analysts said the message is humanitarian regards to the couple who suffered from the virus. Kind wishes to the patients are not affected by political frictions or Trump’s hostility.

Chinese netizens said that Xi and the diplomats’ messages show the decency of a major country. “With the goodwill to Trumps, and pledges of making vaccine a public good, China is doing what we should do in the international community,” a net user said on Sina Weibo.

This was the first message between the two leaders in months, amid the continuous spreading of the coronavirus and the US whole-of-government approach against China. Before the message, Xi and Trump’s most recent reported communication was in late March on the phone, after which the US ordered the closure of a Chinese consulate and accelerated oppression of Chinese tech companies on top of its continuous smears on the coronavirus, Hong Kong and Xinjiang affairs. He also attacked China over the pandemic at the UN general assembly in September.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Xi expressing sympathy and regards to Trump is in line with international norms. “No matter what situation the two governments are in, disease is tragic.”

President Xi said at the general debate of the UN 75th assembly, “major countries should act like major ones.” Lü said sending the message of sympathy is what a leader of a major country should do.

Xi had sent many messages to leaders who fought the pandemic with their people, but a message of sympathy in a personal tone is rare.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the message, more in a personal tone, also carries deeper meaning. “It shows goodwill from China’s top leader, and expectations for positive person-to-person interaction with the leader of the US, despite the difficulties between the two countries.”

It is hoped that such goodwill from a leader, if it develops into positive interactions, will smoothen diplomatic relations and allow a buffer as bilateral relations face challenges, Li said.

Li noted that the ball is in Trump’s court, but he is not optimistic about American reactions. It is more likely the Trump administration will continue its hostility, smears and attacks despite Chinese goodwill.

Source: Global Times “Goodwill message from Xi to Trump shows major country attitude despite rivalry”

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


‘Asian Century’ may bring forth a green civilization


Xi Jinping’s UNGA speech outlined a goal to move forward by shunning reliance on fossil fuels

By BHIM BHURTEL

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Photo LNG port

An LNG terminal in Yangkou Port in Nantong, Jiangsu province. President Xi Jinping claims to foresee an economy based on renewable energy. Photo: AFP

What will human civilization look like in an “Asian Century”? Chinese President Xi Jinping recently answered that question. He outlined the Chinese vision of Asian civilization in the second half of this century and beyond. He unveiled his plan at the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 23.

Xi’s speech recalled the Point Four Program US president Harry S Truman announced in his inaugural address on January 20, 1949. The global dominance the US has sustained politically, economically, and intellectually was presaged in Truman’s address. But in my opinion, Xi’s UNGA speech went further than Truman’s.

The Chinese president’s plan for civilization in the “Asian Century” is in stark contrast to Samuel P Huntington’s ideas depicted in his famous essay “The Clash of Civilizations?” Xi’s blueprint for civilization is material cultural evolution, and it is conciliatory, not confrontational. It resembles the disposition of civilization proposed by American anthropologist Leslie A White.

White proposed two fundamental laws of civilizational/cultural evolution in his 1943 article “Energy and the Evolution of Culture.” He wrote: “The first law of cultural development: Other things being equal, the degree of cultural development varies directly as the amount of energy per capita per year harnessed and put to work.

“The second law of cultural development: Other things being equal, the degree of cultural development varies directly as the efficiency of the technological means with which the harnessed energy is put to work.”

He went on: “Culture develops when the amount of energy harnessed by man per capita per year is increased, or as the efficiency of the technological means of putting this energy to work is increased; or, as both factors are simultaneously increased.”

If one carefully considers the third point of Xi’s speech, White’s idea of civilization is echoed in his Asian Century civilization plan. Xi said that “humankind should launch a green revolution and move faster to create a green way of development and life, preserve the environment, and make Mother Earth a better place for all.… We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

“We call on all countries to pursue innovative, coordinated, green, and open development for all, seize the historic opportunities presented by the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, achieve a green recovery of the world economy in the post-Covid era, and thus create a powerful force driving sustainable development.”

The Chinese leader seems mindful that energy has been the main force driving human civilization, from the time Homo sapiens first appeared on the planet to humans’ invention of the internal combustion engine.

The Chinese are aware that British colonialism expanded after the invention of the steam engine as an enhanced energy harness per capita and as technology developed to put it to work.

Today’s Western civilization is based on the energy extracted from fossil fuels. The US in particular has sustained its global domination by developing technology to tap this energy source more efficiently than the steam engine could – the internal combustion engine – and thereby further enhanced energy consumption per capita.

Xi said in 2019 in the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations that no civilization is destined to clash with any other. Now, he said, “China has no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country.” Thus in Xi’s schema, human society’s advancement can be achieved by a carbon-neutral economy.

Such a premise looks ambitious and challenging, but it is doable if the Chinese leadership look at their past experiences, and retain their commitment and political will.

For instance, according to World Bank data, the size of the Chinese economy in 1980 was US$191.149 billion, and after 39 years, it reached $14.343 trillion in 2019. Meanwhile, the Chinese patterns of energy consumption changed. In 1990 the pattern was coal 76.2%, crude oil 16.6%, natural gas 2.1%, and renewables 5.1%. By 2018, the patterns had changed to coal 59%, crude oil 18.9%, natural gas 7.8%, and renewables 14.3%. Some economists predict that by 2025, China’s consumption of renewable energy will reach 20%.

Thus the Chinese plan is a step ahead of the concept of White’s cultural evolution. The Chinese focus is on increasing energy harness per capita annually and planning for future energy-consumption quality.

Why did Xi announce the goal of a carbon-neutral economy by 2060? The answer is that Chinese strategists want to kill two birds with one stone. They want to maintain the country’s economic growth path on the domestic front, but also want to overcome the US global domination based on fossil fuels.

There are several reasons behind China’s surprise vow to go for a carbon-neutral economy.

First, Chinese strategists have realized that global economic growth has not been sustainable because it is affected by volatile prices of fossil fuels. Economists agree that irrespective of a particular country’s pace of development, oil-price volatilities have an inverse effect on economic growth. A steep rise in the oil price is the primary cause of financial crises and economic contraction in developed, developing, and least developed economies.

The oil price directly affects the costs of production of goods and services. For example, a direct axiomatic causal link is found between the price of petroleum products and the cost of transportation of goods and people.

Additionally, fossil fuel is itself an unsustainable energy source. Sooner or later, China has to replace fossil fuel with clean energy.

Politicians’ and policymakers’ biggest dilemma in the contemporary world is their paradoxical expectation of sustainable economic growth by depending on unsustainable energy sources whose prices are unstable. Chinese strategists have concluded that sustainable economic development can be realized by relying solely on sustainable energy at a stable price.

Second, China’s decision to move to a carbon-neutral economy is both a means and an end in itself. In the first sense, going green is a means to obtain higher and sustained economic growth. In the second sense, by going green, China wants to ensure more investment, job creation, the harnessing of talent, entrepreneurship development, more innovation, and consequently higher and sustained economic growth in the future.

It is a strategy for escaping from the middle-income trap. Many projections suggest that by 2050, China will control one-fifth of the world economy, with a gross domestic product of $80 trillion. A carbon-neutral economy is a new investment opportunity to propel higher growth to avoid falling into the middle-income trap.

Third, going carbon-neutral is a pivot for Chinese foreign policy and strategy for the future. China wants to end American domination without fighting a single battle with the US. Instead, it will do this by tapping new energy sources through technological innovations and research and development in energy-harnessing technology.

In 1973, US secretary of state Henry Kissinger reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia to underwrite that country’s security in exchange for pricing oil in US dollars. Since then, oil has been the critical factor for America’s geopolitical sphere of influence globally. Thus its primary goal is to maintain the petrodollar agreement.

US hegemony has been sustained not because of the country’s military and strategic arms capabilities but by way of the petrodollar accord. The US economy has benefited from petrodollar recycling. It also uses petrodollars as a powerful tool to enforce its foreign policy. China wants to make US domination based on fossil fuels futile with clean energy.

Besides, China wants to overcome the burden of the “Malacca Dilemma” soon. About 70% of China’s crude-oil imports pass through the Malacca Strait. So that sea lane’s security has become the main worry for Chinese strategists since the country’s economic takeoff. The disruption to the free flow of oil into China through the Malacca Strait could ruin the country’s prosperity. Thus the Chinese concluded that they could overcome this risk if they switched to clean energy.

Moreover, China’s economic cooperation and partnership will be based on a green alliance. This will enhance Beijing’s policy of technical assistance and economic aid to underdeveloped and developing countries. It will also help to grow China’s foreign trade based on technology and high-tech goods.

Fourth, going for a carbon-neutral economy is a pivot for China’s technological innovation, industrial development and job creation. The smart grid, an energy-efficient semiconductor industry, grid-level large-scale electrical energy storage (GLEES) batteries, electric vehicles and other technological innovations will propel the carbon-neutral economy in the future.

Xi’s initiative not only could cut emissions, but could result in a spillover effect in the rest of the world. That would result in growth in China’s export of high-tech goods, technology, and services.

Where it could lead

If all this comes about, the Asian Century will be dominated by carbon-neutral energy and will be known as a “Green Century.”

Some 80 years ago in the article cited above, White wrote: “A return to a cultural level comparable to that of China during the Ming dynasty is neither inconceivable nor impossible. It all depends upon how man harnesses the forces of Nature and the extent to which this is done.”

Xi wants not only China’s return to the Ming dynasty-level of material cultural development but will take it forward, into the “green civilization.”

Before concluding, I want to quote White again: “Eventually, no matter how much we conserve, this sponging off past ages for fossil energy must cease…. What then? The answer is, of course, that culture will decline unless man is able to maintain the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year by tapping new sources.”

The US considers Russia, Iran and China as its primary adversaries. However, the main threat to the US is from within. The primary foe of US global prominence in the future will be its fossil-fuel-based energy policy.

Western civilization will definitely decline unless it can maintain the existing energy harness per capita per annum, not from fossil fuel but from clean energy. The US should join hands with China if it wants to hold on to its vanguard leadership position in the future multipolar world.

Source: Asia Times “‘Asian Century’ may bring forth a green civilization”

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


China’s President Xi says Xinjiang policies ‘completely correct’ amid growing international criticism


This CNN report precisely proves what this reblogger said about Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era meaning China can say no.

By Isaac Yee and James Griffiths, CNN

Updated 0326 GMT (1126 HKT) September 28, 2020

Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese President Xi Jinping believes his policies in the far-western region of Xinjiang are “completely correct,” despite growing international criticism of alleged human rights abuses and mass internment.

Up to 2 million Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, as well as other minorities, are believed to have passed through detention centers in the region in recent years, according to the US State Department, where they have allegedly been subject to political indoctrination and abuse under the guise of de-radicalization efforts.

Speaking at a two-day work conference on Xinjiang that ended on Saturday, Xi said that China’s Xinjiang strategy was correct “and must be adhered to in the long term.”

“The whole party must treat the implementation of the Xinjiang strategy as a political task, and work hard to implement it completely and accurately to ensure that the Xinjiang work always maintains in the correct political direction,” Xi added, according to state media.

“We must also continue the direction of Sinicizing Islam to achieve the healthy development of religion,” Xi said. The Chinese leader added that “it is necessary to tell the story of Xinjiang in a multi-level, all-round, and three-dimensional manner, and confidently propagate the excellent social stability of Xinjiang.”

Even before the mass detention policy, Muslims in Xinjiang faced growing restrictions on practicing their religion, from limits on wearing the veil or growing beards, to pressure not to fast during Ramadan.

Xi claimed current policies in Xinjiang have brought “unprecedented achievements” in economic growth, social development, and improvement in peoples’ livelihoods. He added that “the sense of gain, happiness, and security among the people of all ethnic groups has continued to increase.”

His remarks come amid rising condemnation from Western nations including the United States over alleged human rights abuses in the region. Last week, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill called the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” which aims to prohibit certain imports from Xinjiang and impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations in the region.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly this month, French President Emmanuel Macron called for an official investigation into Xinjiang.

Growing international pressure comes as many human rights groups have begun describing the situation in Xinjiang as a genocide, amid reports of mass sterilization of Uyghur women as part of state-driven efforts to push demographic change. Last week, Chinese authorities confirmed there had been a drop in birth rates in Xinjiang since 2018, but denied this was the result of sterilizations.

The Xinjiang government said in a statement to CNN that the birth rate in the region had dropped from 15.88 per 1,000 people in 2017 to 10.69 per 1,000 people in 2018. The statement said that the drop was due to “the comprehensive implementation of the family planning policy.”

Former internees who spoke to CNN testified to receiving or being aware of forced sterilizations. Numerous other witnesses have spoken about widespread abuse and forced indoctrination in the camps.

Source: CNN “China’s President Xi says Xinjiang policies ‘completely correct’ amid growing international criticism”

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


South China Sea: Manila and Beijing agreed to shelve dispute, ambassador says – despite Duterte’s vow to uphold ruling


  • Presidents Xi and Duterte had already reached a ‘consensus’ to ‘put aside’ their competing maritime claims, said Chinese envoy to Manila Huang Xilian

  • His comments came just days after Duterte vowed to uphold a 2016 arbitration ruling, and led one retired judge to say the president had been ‘taken for a ride’

Raissa Robles

Published: 8:36pm, 28 Sep, 2020

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pictured with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last April. Photo: AP

China and the Philippines have agreed to shelve their dispute over the South China Sea, according to the Chinese ambassador to Manila – who spoke mere days after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won praise from critics for vowing before the United Nations General Assembly to uphold a 2016 arbitration award that had invalidated many of Beijing’s controversial maritime claims.

Source: Excerpts from SCMP’s report “South China Sea: Manila and Beijing agreed to shelve dispute, ambassador says – despite Duterte’s vow to uphold ruling”, full tex of which can be found at https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3103394/south-china-sea-manila-and-beijing-agreed-shelve-dispute

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


At the UN, China’s Xi showed he understands the system better than Trump


The US is ceding leverage, which is giving China the influence it craves.

By Jen Kirbyjen.kirby@vox.com Sep 22, 2020, 4:00pm EDT

President Donald Trump spent most of his United Nations speech blasting China — for its handling of the coronavirus, for its contributions to pollution, for its trade policy.

China’s President Xi Jinping, who spoke shortly afterward, did not mention the United States directly. Instead, he talked about Beijing’s commitment to global cooperation and the humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both speeches misrepresented the realities of their countries, and the world, right now. But 75 years after the United Nations was founded, China, not the United States, has shown it knows how to work the multilateral system to its advantage.

Trump’s dismissiveness of international cooperation has been a theme of his presidency, culminating in his fourth (and maybe final) United Nations speech, where he once again revisited the greatest hits of “America First.” Or as Trump put it in his short, prerecorded address: “But only when you take care of your own citizens will you find a true basis for cooperation. As president, I have rejected the failed approaches of the past, and I am proudly putting America first, just as you should be putting your countries first.”

Even if expected, Trump’s tone was at odds with the UN’s 75th anniversary, which is all about member states renewing their commitment to multilateralism. His attacks on China were in sharp contrast to the warnings from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who warned earlier Tuesday morning against the start of a “new Cold War” and a world where “the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture.”

We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” Trump said, referring to the coronavirus. “In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China — and infect the world.”

He accused the World Health Organization, which the Trump administration announced this summer it was withdrawing from, of being too greatly influenced by China. He demanded the “United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.”

A representative for China, speaking to introduce his leader Xi, rejected the US’s characterizations, but in contrast to Trump’s adversarial tone, China tried to paint a picture where they were the good guys just trying to defeat the pandemic responsibly. “We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization, and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic,” Xi said in his address, through an interpreter. “Any attempt of politicizing the issue of stigmatization must be rejected.”

Of course, China silenced whistleblowers who spoke out in the early days of the pandemic, it delayed reporting the outbreak, and there are still questions about China’s level of cooperation with the WHO investigation into the origins of the virus. China has also deployed propaganda to try to blame the US for the coronavirus, too.

We will never seek hegemonic expansion or sphere of influence,” Xi said in his speech, clearly a nod to Trump’s accusations. “We have no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country. We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.”

Xi is framing China as a sort of responsible global partner and humble participant in the global order; he didn’t try to go tit-for-tat with the US. Instead, the leader of a country that is interning 1 million of its Uighur Muslim minority population, and has stifled democracy in Hong Kong, talked about the need “to join hands to uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom shared by all of us.”

The Trump administration isn’t wrong to call out China its misdeeds. (Trump did not mention Hong Kong or the Uighurs directly, though he warned against “religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.”) But the US also failed to offer an alternative vision of global leadership other than everyone looking out for themselves.

In rejecting global institutions, Trump then wants these global institutions to change — a proposition that seems doomed to fail. At least for the United States.

China’s influence in multilateral institutions is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy

The UN and its agencies like the WHO are really the sum of their parts, which is a collective of member states. That makeup is also reflective of the geopolitical realities of the world: The richest and most powerful states tend to have the most leverage. That is, still, the United States, even as it doesn’t always claim to have that role.

The United States, for example, is far and away the largest donor to the UN. While China’s contributions are increasing, in fiscal year 2019, the US’s commitments to the UN’s regular budget were nearly double China’s. (China is the biggest donor to UN peacekeeping missions.) As for the World Health Organization, in 2018 and 2019, the US’s contributions dwarfed China’s in both assessed and voluntary contributions.

There’s no doubt China’s influence is growing, but it is slightly overblown. But when the United States walks away from cooperative bodies — from the Paris climate accord to the WHO — it leaves behind a vacuum. China has hastened to fill it, and that, more than anything, is bolstering Beijing’s rise and influence. It gives China a chance to be a good guy — say, pledging $30 million to the WHO when the US threatened to withdraw, a fraction of the money the US provides annually. The Trump administration, in abandoning institutions for being too China-centric, is allowing them to become just that. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Again, this is not to say the US doesn’t have legitimate criticisms of the WHO, or China. But by refusing to work within the system, it is actively ceding leverage and losing credibility. Last week, in a discussion with reporters about the implications of the US leaving the WHO, Elizabeth Cousens, the president and CEO of the UN Foundation, said that even as the US is trying to push the WHO to reform, it’s “losing influence in that conversation because they’ve stepped off the field.”

The US can’t officially withdraw from the WHO until July 2021 because it must fulfill certain financial commitments through then. But that undermines trust in the United States as a reliable partner. China is happy to try to fill that gap.

And Trump’s anger at some of these multilateral institutions is somewhat misplaced. For all his “America is the best” rhetoric, he’s suggesting the United Nation has powers that it just doesn’t have, in part because powerful member states don’t want it to. It’s not as though the US likes supranational bodies getting involved in its affairs.

The UN system is far from perfect. But as Stewart Patrick, an expert on global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me before Trump’s speech, past presidents used to criticize the United Nations “more in sorrow than in anger” — in other words, this body is imperfect and needs to be reformed. But Trump’s wholesale rejection doesn’t achieve those ends. If America wants UN bodies to work for its interests, then it has to work within them, rally support, defend, and make the case for them. That’s what China tried to do on Tuesday.

China might not succeed in this because global cooperation is as much a means to an end, in this case to build up China as a great power.

Take the quest for an effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine. In Trump’s speech, he said: “We will distribute a vaccine. We will defeat the virus. We will end the pandemic. And we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation, and peace.” What he notably didn’t mention were any specific commitments to the rest of the world.

Alternatively, Xi claimed China had a “safe and effective vaccine,” then added that “there is a particular need in terms of leadership for the leaders of this movement to cooperate and collaborate with the most vulnerable countries.” He also pledged $50 million to help the UN’s Covid-19 humanitarian response.

But here’s the thing: Neither the United States nor China is among the 156 countries participating in a WHO-linked initiative to invest in Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and distribute them equitably around the world. You might understand that from Trump’s speech, but not necessarily China’s.

And that’s the point: Actions matter. If the US wanted to make the case that China isn’t a good global partner, putting its weight behind a vaccine project would show China isn’t the responsible actor it claims to be. It would also be using multilateral institutions in the US’s interests. But the Trump administration has not done so — and it’s not stopping China from doing it, either.

Source: vox.com “At the UN, China’s Xi showed he understands the system better than Trump”


Xi’s remarks at UN high-level meeting send ‘another stern message opposing US unilateralism, hegemony’


By Zhang Han Source: Global Times

Published: 2020/9/22 18:18:40 Last Updated: 2020/9/22 22:58:33

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks at a high-level UN meeting on Monday, which stressed that “No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself,” sent a strong warning against US hegemony and bullying practices that threaten to upend the world order and stability, observers said on Tuesday.

In his speech at a high-level meeting to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations on Monday, Xi noted that the UN must stand firm for justice, uphold the rule of law, promote cooperation and focus on real action.

Relations between countries and coordination of their interests must only be based on rules and institutions, and they must not be lorded over by those who wave a strong fist at others, Xi said.

Cold War mentality, ideological lines or zero-sum games are no solution to a country’s problems, still less an answer to mankind’s common challenges, Xi noted.

Chinese analysts noted it was a clear message to the US, which is stubbornly heading to the dead end of unilateralism in the hope of safeguarding its own privilege while exploiting the development opportunities of others.

“This is a clear message opposing the Trump administration’s recklessly quitting international organizations and pushing a unilateral agenda with hegemonic power,” Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“It is an ironic contrast that the US was a fervent advocate of a multilateral world when the UN was established, and today it has become the biggest troublemaker for the world order when it thought the order no longer meets its own needs,” he said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Tuesday’s press conference also noted that Xi’s address to the UN’s high-level meeting shows China’s firm determination in upholding UN-centered multilateralism and the world order based on international law, and safeguarding UN’s core role in international affairs while always acting as a practitioner of multilateralism.

Xi has recently called for the upholding of multilateralism and opposition to hegemony multiple times. In early September, when the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the victory of the anti-Fascist War, Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged messages and Xi said he was ready to work with his Russian counterpart to join efforts with the international community to resolutely safeguard international fairness and justice.

At a symposium commemorating the victory, Xi noted “the Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to jeopardize their peaceful life and right to development, obstruct their exchanges and cooperation with other peoples, or undermine the noble cause of peace and development for humanity.”

Xi, in a speech delivered via video at the Global Trade in Services Summit of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services, pledged that China will promote greater harmonization of rules for the services sector at the multilateral and regional levels, and work for continued improvement in global economic governance and more inclusive growth of the world economy.

Source: Global Times “Xi’s remarks at UN high-level meeting send ‘another stern message opposing US unilateralism, hegemony’”

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


China’s economy remains resilient despite external risks, says Xi


By Reuters Staff

SEPTEMBER 19, 20207:21 PMUPDATED 14 HOURS AGO

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economy remains resilient and there are ample policy tools at Beijing’s disposal despite rising external risks, President Xi Jinping said in remarks published on Saturday.

The world’s second-largest economy has steadily recovered from a virus-induced slump, but analysts say policymakers face a tough job to maintain stable expansion over the next several years to turn China into a high-income nation.

The basic characteristics of China’s economy with sufficient potential, great resilience, strong vitality, large space for manoeuvre and many policy instruments have not changed,” Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

China has strong manufacturing capacity, very large domestic markets and huge investment potentials, Xi said.

Xi reaffirmed a “dual circulation” strategy that would help steer the economy towards greater self-reliance, as U.S. hostility and a global pandemic increase external risks.

China still enjoyed “strategic opportunities” in its development, although the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated global challenges as globalisation slows and unilateralism and protectionism are rising, Xi was quoted as saying at a meeting on the country’s 14th five-year plan (2021-2025).

We must seek our development in a more unstable and uncertain world,” he said.

Xi urged calmness amid rising difficulties and challenges.

The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation can never be achieved easily with the beating of gongs and drums,” he said.

Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Alex Richardson

Ssource: Reuters “China’s economy remains resilient despite external risks, says Xi”

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


Systemic rivals: How China’s Belt and Road challenges the EU


The monumental project isn’t about infrastructure but the creation of a new economic and political order.

By BRUNO MAÇÃES

9/15/20, 12:13 PM CET Updated 9/15/20, 10:26 PM CET

Bruno Maçães, a former Europe minister for Portugal, is a senior adviser at Flint Global in London and the author most recently of “History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America” (Hurst, 2020). The paperback edition of his “Belt and Road: a Chinese World Order” will be published this month.

In Pakistan, the Belt and Road project is everywhere. A dinner at the Islamabad Club quickly turns into a reminiscence of different visits to China. After a lecture in Lahore, a group of young men from Baluchistan want to know if China’s monumental economic initiative will develop their region — or cause it to lose its identity.

The acronym for the corridor linking China and Pakistan can be heard in hotel lobbies and restaurants; it stands out for those who cannot understand Urdu. There are young people who have come of age since the beginning of the initiative and for whom it constitutes the only possible horizon for professional advancement. But there are also a few who hope to reduce its impact and fear for a world where Pakistan has become a Chinese colony.

Earlier this year, I spent three weeks traveling in Pakistan, the crown jewel of the Belt and Road project, the country where the initiative first took root and therefore the most plausible candidate for the place where its future can be surmised and understood.

There are many in the country who worry Pakistan is climbing too deep into China’s lap.

So central is the Belt and Road to Pakistani politics that it should not be thought of as a specific enterprise. Rather, it provides the overarching framework for every economic policy and project. In short, the initiative is something that should feel very familiar to policymakers in Brussels and other European capitals.

In my discussions with economic authorities and think tanks, it quickly became obvious that the main debate in Pakistan today is about the best way to adapt policy decisions and reforms to the Belt and Road framework. The Belt and Road can thus be compared to the European Union and the role it played for countries in Central and Eastern Europe after the 2004 and 2007 enlargements. Which decisions should these countries make in order to better occupy their place within the given political and economic order?

For countries on the periphery of the new Chinese empire — but also in Africa — the Belt and Road project provides a path capable of saving them from painful isolation, but it also threatens to prevent any future links to Western societies. You cannot integrate with two different and opposing models.

That many in the West still think of the Belt and Road purely in terms of infrastructure is something I find deeply perplexing. In the project’s inaugural speech that Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered in Astana in 2013, infrastructure was no more than one of the five pillars of the Belt and Road — and very obviously not more than an ancillary one. The real action was clearly elsewhere.

At the time of Xi was giving his speech in Astana, it was common to hear from different officials and intellectuals in Beijing that the Belt and Road was meant to be completed in 2049, around the time of the first centennial of the new China.

Last year, while living in Beijing, I started hearing that the temporal horizon was even longer. Many spoke openly of a 100-year project. This is not the time-scale of an infrastructure plan. The Marshall Plan was concluded in just a few years.

Interestingly, in Pakistan this idea — that the Belt and Road is a project of economic and technological development, culminating in a new global political and economic order — is clearly understood.

There are many in the country who worry Pakistan is climbing too deep into China’s lap. An officer in one of the state policymaking bodies wanted me to have a trove of documents suggesting staggering levels of corruption in two Belt and Road contracts. He alleged they had been overcharged by something like $3 billion. The documents were public, but no newspaper had shown any interest.

It is revealing too that the infamous Inter-Services Intelligence, the country’s top intelligence agency, has a special unit dedicated to collect critical information about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The political establishment in Pakistan may be enthusiastic about the initiative, but the country’s security apparatus has many doubts. That explains why it is still possible to voice public criticisms of the initiative or why security measures continue to hamper its development.

It also explains why some in Pakistan are eagerly looking for alternatives. When I met with the ruling party in Islamabad, its chief organizer Saifullah Khan Nyazee seemed surprisingly interested in the idea of deepening the relations between Pakistan and the EU.

This would follow a diversification strategy. As the country’s elites are quickly learning, Pakistan cannot rely on China alone. The benefits that can be extracted from Beijing will actually diminish as Pakistan becomes too dependent on China.

There is logic to a strategy of addition, a multivector foreign policy — but there is also a problem. As Pakistan becomes fully integrated with the Belt and Road, it will align itself with China on a wide range of political and economic standards: rules and principles ranging from internet governance to financial supervision, state aid and environmental standards, among many others. Relations with the EU will become increasingly difficult and often impossible.

The question is certainly not limited to Pakistan or even to Asia. It is being raised everywhere. On March 12, 2019, the very same day the EU published a document calling China a “systemic rival” — could it be a coincidence? — European Commissioner Johannes Hahn tweeted his opinion about a recent decision by lawmakers in Bosnia’s Federation, one of the two political entities comprising Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lawmakers in the country had approved a public guarantee for a large loan from state-funded Export-Import Bank of China. The loan would help Bosnian utility EPBiH build a 450-megawatt unit at the Tuzla coal power plant and replace three aging units. China Gezhouba Group and Guandong Electric Power Design would construct the new unit.

To Hahn, this showed that Bosnian authorities were not committed to a European path for the country. The loan guarantee violated rules on state aid and subsidies, while sharply deviating from European environmental principles and guidance.

One day, in the near or distant future, when it becomes a question of deciding whether Bosnia can join the EU, it may already be too late: The country will have a legal and economic order mirroring that of China and opposed in every way to the fundamental principles governing the EU.

Because of the economic and legal nature of the Belt and Road — its character as a political and economic order — the initiative operates in the very same areas where the EU likes to think of itself as a global giant. China and the United States may be actively competing on geopolitics — but there is a second great game going on and in this one Beijing and Brussels are direct rivals.

Two separate universes are being carved and the only question is where the border will eventually be drawn: Pakistan, the Balkans or somewhere in between.

This article has been updated.

Source: Politico “Systemic rivals: How China’s Belt and Road challenges the EU”

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


American Submarines Are in the Crosshairs of China


China will deploy a force of aerial drones to stalk American submarines in the Western Pacific.

by Lyle J. Goldstein

November 17, 2019

China has been steadily improving its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities to cope with a perceived, major asymmetry in undersea warfare capabilities. Additionally, when Beijing began filling out its navy with major surface combatants, including aircraft carriers, cruisers and now large amphibious attack ships, there has been a rather visible and understandable uptick in Chinese attempts to protect these new investments from submarine attack.

Some of these developments in Chinese ASW over the last decade have included building a formidable force of light frigates that are equipped with towed sonar arrays, fielding a vertically launched “rocket torpedo” as a standard weapon in its fleet, deploying a new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) that is optimized for ASW and developing ocean bottom sensor networks in and around its key naval bases. Some coming attractions in this area will include a new generation of Chinese ASW helicopters (both Z-18 and Z-20), as well as a system of unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) that will perform various missions, including especially surveillance and laying sea-mines, at least at the outset.

Now, a new threat to the dominance of the U.S. submarine force in the Western Pacific lies over the horizon. A series of recent articles published in China implies that the PLA Navy is hard at work on developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that will take up the ASW mission. That could eventually pose a major problem for the undersea forces of the United States and also for the forces of its allies.

One article, published in the Chinese journal Fire Control & Command [火力与指挥控制] in mid-July, is a collaborative research project between the Naval Command College in Nanjing and the Naval Aeronautical University in Yantai. The research focuses on the potential for UAVs to support an MPA in the “cooperative use of sono-buoys for the purposes of conducting a submarine search.” The article explains that sono-buoys are one of the main tools for hunting submarines, especially over a large sea area. These authors project that “Given the wide array of possibilities to employ UAVs, it’s quite possible that they will play a large role in the future of anti-submarine warfare [随着无人机的广泛运用在未来反潜作战中很可能发挥重要角色].”

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This analysis begins by discussing various advantages and disadvantages of manned MPAs for ASW, such as the U.S. Navy’s vaunted P-8 Poseidon. Not only can that aircraft carry 120 sono-buoys, but it is capable of monitoring 60 of these buoys simultaneously, according to this Chinese rendering. Such aircraft are capable of “independent” missions against submarines, as they can conduct search, track, and attack functions. However, there is a fly in the ointment, of course, and this analysis emphasizes that such lumbering aircraft themselves have minimal self-defense capability and thus “may very easily become targets of attack [很容易被作为攻击目标]” by enemy interceptors. Another problem is that the length of the missions can be exceedingly taxing for the crews, so that the overall submarine search efficiency of the aircraft may decrease.

The argument is made in this Chinese analysis that unmanned aircraft can be of considerable assistance in such circumstances. It is said that UAVs frequently fly for more than forty hours but are capable of flights that last over days or even weeks. While generally not fast moving, they are still considerably faster than surface ships that are also employed for the ASW mission. It is projected, moreover, that they may sometimes be able to fly over air defenses. But the biggest selling point for UAVs in this role is that they are so much cheaper than both submarine-hunting large MPAs, and quite obviously also their quarry, the submarines. In other words, such economical approaches to the undersea rivalry in the Western Pacific could put Beijing on the right end of a “cost-imposition” strategy. This Chinese analysis, moreover, implies that unmanned aircraft need not accomplish all aspects of the ASW mission. They could play the reasonably simple role of information relay platforms. They could also help to reduce the complexity of the daunting tasks that currently confront MPA crews. Of course, they could also take greater risks by entering “situations of contested airspace [敌空中威胁情况].” Lower costs, naturally enough, also mean that many airframes, coordinating together, could be deployed for any given search operation. Mathematical modeling of ASW operations in this piece yields the conclusion that UAVs do significantly increase the efficiency of submarine hunting.

A second article, from a late 2018 edition of Chinese Journal of Ship Research [中国舰船研究], endeavors to explore the “search/attack submarine integration [搜攻潜一体化]” functions of a fixed-wing UAV for ASW by studying the issue of optimizing payloads. This author, from the Jiangsu Automation Research Institute, asserts that “all navies are reforming ASW models.” He contends that there is an “urgent need for greater range, larger search areas, longer search periods, as well as cheaper methods of sensing, detection, tracking, and prosecuting submarines.” The paper discusses some foreign designs, including the U.S military’s MQ-9 UAV.

Owing mostly to the cost issue, this analysis also holds that UAVs for ASW have “obvious advantages” over manned aircraft. Interestingly, this Chinese study asserts that “weaponization is the basic trend for fixed-wing unmanned ASW aircraft [武器化是固定翼反潜无人机的基本特点].” But the most remarkable part of this particular discussion is the recognition that these UAVs might well operate from Chinese aircraft carriers. That is a rather bold call given that China has yet to demonstrate success in operating UAVs from aircraft carriers, but it does neatly illustrate Beijing’s priority on protecting its new capital ships, as noted in this paper’s introduction. Reviewing sample flight profiles, this analysis sees an ASW UAV that is capable of a patrol radius of six hundred kilometers for its land-based variant and perhaps three hundred kilometers for its carrier-based variant.

The above articles offer a glimpse of yet more coming attractions from the Chinese Navy. Indeed, the naval air arm of the PLA Navy is now starting to make rapid progress in line with its subsurface and surface forces. This news is quite disturbing as it fits a developing pattern of Beijing employing its new prowess in artificial intelligence to solve difficult battlefield dilemmas. What’s still more troubling is that if Chinese missiles and aircraft succeed in destroying U.S. and allied airbases in the Western Pacific during the initial phase of any military contingency, whether over Taiwan or the South China Sea, that might well leave myriad Chinese drone aircraft the freedom to roam and aggressively stalk previously nearly invulnerable American submarines.

Source: National Interest “American Submarines Are in the Crosshairs of China”

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


China threat: Don’t dare interfere, Xi says in veiled warning to Trump


CHINA’s President Xi Jinping has thrown down the gauntlet to US counterpart Donald Trump, warning his country would “never” accept foreign interference, in a thinly veiled warning to the US.

By CIARAN MCGRATH

22:39, Thu, Sep 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 22:57, Thu, Sep 3, 2020

Xi was speaking at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of his country’s victory over Japan in World War 2. In it, he singled out possible threats to the Chinese Communist Party, which has ruled the People’s Republic of China since its inception in 1949.

He warned: “The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to separate the CCP and Chinese people, and to pitch them against each other.

“The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to distort the CCP’s history, and to vilify the CCP’s character and purpose.”

There was no specific mention of either the US or Donald Trump in his speech, ostensibly aimed at a domestic audience.

Xi Jinping has said his country will tolerate no interference (Image: NC)

However, his remarks will be widely interpreted as a reference to tensions with Washington in a number of areas.

Beijing is deeply unhappy and ongoing freedom of movement exercises being undertaken by US naval ships in the South China Sea, the vast majority of which China claims sovereignty over.

In addition, China is locked in an ongoing and wide-ranging trade dispute with the US which has seen punitive lobbies slapped on billions of pounds of exports going in either direction.

China is also angry at ongoing contacts between the US and Taiwan, which it regards as part of its territory.

Xi’s speech, which was unusually combative by Chinese standards, underlines how seriously the superpower views the prospect of external interference.

In particular, Mike Pompeo, who regularly refers to the CCP, and not China, as a nation recent months, has been singled out for criticism.

Chinese officials also have threatened “consequences” to countries ranging from Czech Republic, whose speaker, Milos Vystrcil, visited Taiwan this week, to the UK for perceived provocations.

Chinese leaders have repeatedly emphasied the Communist Party’s ability to stand up to foreign aggression.

Xi has frequently sought to whip up nationalist sentiment as a way of consolidating his grasp on power.

South China Sea

On the subject of Taiwan, Tobias Ellwood MP, the chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told Express.co.uk yesterday: “I think the gloves have come off.

“I think it is very clear now that China is not maturing into this responsible, global stakeholder that we hoped they would be.

“They are now an economic powerhouse following their own rules.

“What we saw in Hong Kong is just a wake-up call for what we should anticipate happening in Taiwan if we ignore their advances.”

Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing: “The one-China principle is the political basis and fundamental precondition for the establishment and development of China-US diplomatic ties.

“We urge the United States to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques, to stop lifting its substantial relationship with Taiwan and to cease any forms of official contact with Taiwan, so as not stray further down an erroneous path.”

Source: EXPRESS “China threat: Don’t dare interfere, Xi says in veiled warning to Trump”

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