Archive for China

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Ambassador to China Max Baucus, Press Roundtable, Lost Heaven Restaurant, Beijing, China | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in China

“Press: I have three questions.  The first is, the Obama administration has continued saying that the United States, not China which is not a party to the TPP, will write the rules of the global economy — for Beijing and other countries too.  So, is the conclusion of the TPP intended to encircle and contain China?  And is it part of the U.S. pivot to Asia strategy?

And the second question is, what is your comment on the outcomes of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the U.S., and what’s your comment on the biggest achievement of his visit?  And what’s your comment on the future of the China-U.S. relationship?

Deputy Secretary Blinken: Thank you very much.

Press: And my third question is, you know China is taking a more active role in global affairs, such as setting up the AIIB and the proposal of the One Belt, One Road initiative.  I’d like to know what’s the U.S. attitude towards that?

Deputy Secretary Blinken: Thank you very much.  A lot of good questions there.

First, with regard to TPP.  It’s very simple.  It is not designed to contain China or encircle China in any fashion.  To the contrary, we would welcome China’s participation in TPP if it is willing to meet the standards that are established in the agreement.  And TPP offers I think tremendous potential to further expand trade and investment and that, in turn, can fuel growth, which fuels jobs, and it will be very good for the countries involved.  But it’s doing it in a way that meets the highest standards when it comes to protecting workers, protecting the environment, protecting intellectual property, having transparency.  In other words, it’s what we would call a race to the top, not a race to the bottom.

And any countries in the region that want to be a part of it and are able to meet these standards would be welcome, and certainly  if China decides that it’s interested in TPP, we would welcome that, and we would certainly pursue those conversations.

More broadly, I have to say that I know that there are people who think that our policies somehow are to contain or hold back China, and I must tell you it’s exactly the contrary.  We have a profound stake in a successful, prosperous China.  And not only from an economic perspective because we’re so connected and we want China and, indeed we need China, to succeed.  But it also makes sense for the United States to enlist China to play a role in the world commensurate with its significant power and influence because there are too many problems and challenges for any one country to tackle alone, and the United States and China have demonstrated that when they work together they can lead the world in a positive direction.

The best example of that recently is climate change.  So that’s our general approach.

When it comes to outcomes of President Xi’s visit, again I would say that what we’ve seen the visit underscore was what we’ve been trying to do together which is deepen and broaden our cooperation.  So, if you look at what we’ve done just in the last year, some of which came to fruition during the visit.  As I said, leading together on climate change, and during the visit we advanced that effort as well.  The work that we are doing together for example in Afghanistan, where the United States and China together are trying to play a role in advancing reconciliation in Afghanistan, training Afghan diplomats together.  We’re doing a lot.

We’ve worked together to fight the scourge of Ebola.  That’s significant.  We were partners in the effort to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and the agreement that resulted from there.  And all of those things I think were underscored during the visit.  We’re working on a bilateral investment treaty that can be very significant.

So, I think the visit highlighted those areas of cooperation and others that demonstrate to our own citizens, to Chinese citizens, and people around the world that when we work together in a cooperative way we can produce results.”

Source: Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Ambassador to China Max Baucus, Press Roundtable, Lost Heaven Restaurant, Beijing, China | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in China

David Lindsay: Tony Blinken keeps repeating the same good talking points on the TPP, without explaining how any one them might actually work. This PR is not that impressive, unless, it was all too new what would work and what wouldn’t.

Posted in: China, David Lindsay, Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy

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Opinion | Cooperative Competition Is Possible Between China and the U.S. – By Fu Ying – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  A well crafted op-ed. It has many excellent points. But what about self-determination for the Uigers, the Taiwanese, or the other countries, the ASEAN countries, that also call the South China Sea home?  Hopefully Joe Biden will bring the US back into the TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership.

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Ms. Fu, a former ambassador and vice foreign minister of China, is the director of the Center for International Security and Strategy and an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University. She is a vice chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress.

Credit…Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

Acting editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury wrote about the decision to publish this Op-Ed in Tuesday’s edition of the Opinion Today newsletter.

BEIJING — The domestic politics of major countries are never kept within their borders — and the future policy orientation of the United States has become a hot topic for many people in China.

There is no denying the fact that China-U.S. relations have suffered serious damage over the past four years. Each country has expressed much complaint and concern about the other.

The United States believes that China craves world hegemony. China sees the United States as trying to block China’s way forward and as hindering its people’s pursuit of a better life.

It seems that both sides are convinced it is always the other party that is in the wrong; any initiative one of them undertakes is invariably seen by the other as an attempt to undermine it.

Source: Opinion | Cooperative Competition Is Possible Between China and the U.S. – The New York Times

Posted in: China, David Lindsay, United States

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After Trump, Biden Faces Pressure to Stand Up to China by Embracing Taiwan – The New.S York Times

“TAIPEI, Taiwan — President Trump has made cultivating closer ties with Taiwan a critical part of his efforts to counter China’s rising influence. He has significantly increased weapons sales to Taiwan’s military, vowed to step up economic cooperation, and generally bolstered relations with the self-ruled democratic island — even in his waning days.

His successor, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., will most likely continue on a similar path, albeit without Mr. Trump’s characteristic pugnacity.

As concerns grow about China’s increasingly aggressive behavior on the global stage, Mr. Biden will face pressure from Democrats and Republicans to strengthen ties with Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.

While Mr. Biden said little about Taiwan on the campaign trail, he has said the United States should get “tough with China” and described its top leader, Xi Jinping, as a “thug.” His transition team has already reached out to Taiwanese officials.”

Source: After Trump, Biden Faces Pressure to Stand Up to China by Embracing Taiwan – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy

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Opinion | Xi Jinping’s Strength is China’s Weakness – By Richard McGregor – The New York Times

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Mr. McGregor is the author of “The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers.”

Credit…Pool photo by Andy Wong

“SYDNEY, Australia — President Xi Jinping has accumulated legions of powerful critics in China since he took office in early 2013. There are the once-powerful officials who have been felled by his sweeping anti-corruption campaign. There are the economists who resist his statist instincts. There are the academics who have objected to his authoritarian measures, such as his decision to abolish presidential term limits.

Yet the latest meeting of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, held in late October, suggests that Mr. Xi is stronger than ever. Unlike any Chinese leader since the C.C.P. took power in 1949, he has no identifiable rivals and no likely successors.

Some of Mr. Xi’s detractors have fallen silent; others have come on board with his program, reluctantly or after taking an intellectual leap. Those who dared to keep criticizing him have been punished.

Mr. Xi’s ascendancy is remarkable on many counts, especially considering that at the beginning of the year the new coronavirus took hold in Wuhan, then quickly spread elsewhere in China and to the rest of the world. “

“. . .   Deng Xiaoping, China’s paramount leader from the 1970s through the late 1980s, had said that China should become an advanced state by 2050. Now that timetable has been accelerated. The new target for completing the “socialist modernization” of China — code for building it into a wealthy and powerful country on par with the United States — set out at the recent plenum is 2035.

Mr. Xi will be 82 then, but he could quite conceivably still be in office, or at least in power behind the scenes.

According to the conventions of Chinese politics, Mr. Xi already should have named his successor and be preparing to step down at the next party congress, scheduled for late 2022. He has not done so. Instead, he has removed formal constraints on the length of his tenure, such as term limits.

And here lies the paradox of Mr. Xi’s rule. Now that he is so firmly in charge of the party, with no clear rivals and no known succession plan, he is also setting the stage for a full-blown crisis of leadership in the future. The greatness of Mr. Xi’s power is its greatest weakness.”

Source: Opinion | Xi Jinping’s Strength is China’s Weakness – The New York Times

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China

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Opinion | John Kerry: China’s Chance to Save Antarctic Sealife – By John F. Kerry – The New York Times

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Mr. Kerry served as U.S. secretary of state from 2013 to 2017.

Credit…Liu Shiping/Xinhua, via Getty Images

“Even as the United States and China confront deep disagreements, there is a global challenge that simply won’t wait for the resolution of our differences: climate change.

While some have decided that we are entering a new Cold War with China, we can still cooperate on critical mutual interests. After all, even at the height of 20th-century tensions, the Americans and the Soviets negotiated arms control agreements, which were in the interests of both countries.

Climate change, like nuclear proliferation, is a challenge of our own making — and one to which we hold the solution. We have an opportunity this month to make clear that great power rivalries aside, geopolitics must end at the water’s edge — at the icy bottom of our planet in the Southern Ocean, which surrounds the entire continent of Antarctica.

The first post-World War II arms limitation agreement — the Antarctic Treaty signed in 1959 at the height of the Cold War — banned military activities, created a nuclear-free space, set aside territorial claims and declared the continent a global commons dedicated to peace and science. Now we have the opportunity to extend that global commons from the land to the sea.”

Source: Opinion | John Kerry: China’s Chance to Save Antarctic Sealife – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Climate Change Remediation, Environment

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China Is Expanding Detention Sites in Muslim Region of Xinjiang – By Chris Buckley and Austin Ramzy – The New York Times

“As China faced rising international censure last year over its mass internment of Muslim minorities, officials asserted that the indoctrination camps in the western region of Xinjiang had shrunk as former camp inmates rejoined society as reformed citizens.

Researchers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on Thursday challenged those claims with an investigation that found that the Xinjiang authorities had been expanding a variety of detention sites since last year.

Rather than being released, many detainees were likely being sent to prisons and perhaps other facilities, the investigation found, citing satellite images of new and expanded incarceration sites.

Nathan Ruser, a researcher who led the project at the institute, also called ASPI, said the findings undercut Chinese officials’ claims that inmates from the camps — which the government calls vocational training centers — had “graduated.” “

Source: China Is Expanding Detention Sites in Muslim Region of Xinjiang – The New York Times

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China

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Opinion | China Has a New Plan to Tame Tibet – By Adrian Zenz – The New York Times

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Mr. Zenz is an expert on China’s ethnic policies.

Credit…Purbu Zhaxi/Xinhua, via Getty Images

“Before Xinjiang, there was Tibet. Repressive policies tested there between 2012 and 2016 were then applied to the Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in northwestern China: entire cities covered in surveillance cameras, ubiquitous neighborhood police stations, residents made to report on another other.

Now that process also works the other way around. Xinjiang’s coercive labor program — which includes mandatory training for farmers and herders in centralized vocational facilities and their reassignment to state-assigned jobs, some far away — is being applied to Tibet. (Not the internment camps, though.)

Call this a feedback loop of forcible assimilation. It certainly is evidence of the scale of Beijing’s ruthless campaign to suppress cultural and ethnic differences — and not just in Tibet and Xinjiang.

I analyzed more than 100 policy papers and documents from the Tibetan authorities and state-media reports for a study published with the Jamestown Foundation this week. Photos show Tibetans training, wearing fatigues. Official documents outline how Beijing is rolling out for them a militarized labor program much like the one in place in Xinjiang: Tibetan nomads and farmers are being rounded up for military-style classes and taught work discipline, “gratitude” for the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese-language skills.”

Source: Opinion | China Has a New Plan to Tame Tibet – The New York Times

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China

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Opinion | Trump Is Wrong About TikTok. China’s Plans Are Much More Sinister. – By Yi-Zheng Lian – The New York Times

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Mr. Lian is a former chief editor of The Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Credit…Torsten Blackwood/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Trump administration says it wants to ban the popular short-video app TikTok in the United States, because TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is Chinese. Washington is worried that the personal data of the many millions of Americans using the app could be siphoned off to China and misused.

To some, that concern may seem excessive or its timing politically opportunistic, but the danger posed by TikTok is real: In fact, it is only a stand-in for far greater risks.

The problem isn’t just TikTok. The tech giant Huawei — which the U.S. government blacklisted last year, calling it a threat to America’s national security — is another company with close connections to China. So is Zoom, the U.S.-based teleconferencing service provider established by a billionaire Chinese immigrant, which uses software partially developed in China.

Credit…Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images — LightRocket, via Getty Images

There are also the Confucius Institutes, purportedly just a vast network of Chinese-language teaching centers but really also an instrument of Beijing’s propaganda and pressure tactics.

And there are many more smaller, but no less dangerous, Chinese entities or entities with strong Chinese backgrounds operating in the United States.

All are thoroughly embedded there, reaching deep into offices and homes — shaping how Americans work, learn and play. Companies with ties to China or its government now occupy critical choke points of American society.

This is no accident. President Xi Jinping has a dream — a “Chinese Dream” of global dominance — and his strategy for achieving that has two main prongs.

The first is the traditional and tangible hard-power push to set up military bases and seaports controlled by Chinese interests around the world, and it has been much discussed by China observers.

Source: Opinion | Trump Is Wrong About TikTok. China’s Plans Are Much More Sinister. – The New York Times

Posted in: Bullies and Scoundrels, China, Military Affairs and Espionage

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Opinion | The Two China Fires – by Bret Stephens – The New York Times

“. . .  What stands out now is just how brazen Beijing has become. Take one detail from Wray’s speech: “We have now reached the point where the F.B.I. is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours,” he said. In one case, a single scientist, Hongjin Tan, pleaded guilty to stealing an estimated $1 billion in trade secrets from an Oklahoma-based energy company.

But this brings us to the second blunt fact. U.S. power in East Asia is waning. Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the single best hedge the U.S. had against Chinese economic dominance of the region — may, in hindsight, prove to be his single worst policy mistake. He has tried to shake down both South Korea and Japan to pay more for basing U.S. forces: penny ante politics that only raise doubts about America’s reliability as an ally.

And then there’s the degraded state of the U.S. Navy, epitomized by the fire on the Bonhomme Richard (itself the latest in a string of corruption, leadership, cost over-run and competency scandals to bedevil the service). Trump came to office with grand plans to build a 355-ship Navy, up from the current 300. The Pentagon all but admits it has no hope of reaching that goal. Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy — which isn’t stretched around the world — has 335 ships, a 55 percent increase in 15 years,

If the U.S. and the People’s Republic were to come to blows after some incident over some atoll in the South China Sea, are we confident we’d prevail?

When (fingers crossed) Joe Biden is president, he needn’t ask his cabinet members to deliver philippics against Beijing. But, as George Kennan once wrote about another regime, he must be prepared to confront China with “unalterable counter force at every point where they show signs of encroaching upon the interests of a peaceful and stable world.” “

Source: Opinion | The Two China Fires – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy

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Opinion | My Relatives in Wuhan Survived. My Uncle in New York Did Not. – By Yi Rao – The New York Times

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Dr. Rao is a molecular neurobiologist in China.

Credit…Taechit Taechamanodom/Moment, via Getty Images

“BEIJING — Eight is thought to be a lucky number in China because in Chinese it sounds like the word for “fortune”; 444 is a bad number because it rings like “death”; 520 sounds like “I love you.”

Having always disliked superstition, I was dismayed to receive a message by WeChat at 4:44 p.m. on May 20, Beijing time, informing me that my uncle Eric, who lived in New York, had died from Covid-19. He was 74.

Uncle Eric was a pharmacist, so presumably he contracted the virus from a patient who had visited his shop in Queens. Infected in March, he was sick for more than two months. He was kept on a ventilator until his last 10 days: By then, he was deemed incurable and the ventilator was redirected to other patients who might be saved.

The medical trade runs in my family. I now preside over a medical university in Beijing with 19 affiliated hospitals. I studied medicine because my father was a doctor, a pulmonary physician. He decided to study medicine after losing his mother to a minor infection when he was 13. My father did not expect to lose a brother 15 years his junior to a disease in his own specialty: the respiratory system.”

Source: Opinion | My Relatives in Wuhan Survived. My Uncle in New York Did Not. – The New York Times

Posted in: China, Public Health, United States

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