Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

26 April 2017

The Benefits and Risks of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor


Traditionally, China and Pakistan have cooperated closely at the strategic and political levels. Now the two nations are making efforts to expand their bilateral collaboration economically as well. The construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a milestone that signifies this shift.

At its core, the CPEC is a large-scale initiative to build energy, highway, and port infrastructure to deepen economic connections between China and Pakistan. This initiative has been well-received in both countries, although it is not without its problems.1 Nevertheless, China and Pakistan regard the CPEC as a new source of potential synergy between their respective national development strategies, which may help the two countries translate their close political cooperation into multifaceted economic cooperation, attain mutual benefits, and achieve win-win outcomes. For the economic corridor to reach its potential, however, there are security and political challenges in Pakistan that must be addressed.

The Other Side of the World: China, the United States, and the Struggle for Middle East Security

As China looks westward for energy security, it finds the United States in a dominant position in the Middle East. China faces fundamental choices as to how it will manage its own rise without either clashing with the United States or creating undue burdens for itself as the largest Asian power. As the United States seeks to commit more attention to the Pacific, it must decide how it will seek to shape the Chinese role in the Middle East and how much of a role it wants to reserve to itself. The challenges for both countries manifest themselves especially in the space between East Asia and the Middle East, a space that, from a U.S. perspective, is truly the other side of the world.

In this Brzezinski Institute report, Jon Alterman considers the ways in which the U.S. and Chinese governments have approached the Middle East and the Asian space leading to it and the implications that potential shifts would have not only for their bilateral ties but also for the future of geopolitics more broadly.

This report is available for download in English, Arabic, and Mandarin.


by RC Porter 

Five years after commissioning its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, China is now primed to launch its second carrier – the Type 001A. Unlike its Soviet-built predecessor, the Type 001A is China’s first domestically built carrier. Both carriers are similar in size and use a STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) system for the launch and recovery of aircraft. Although similar to the Liaoning, the Type 001A features some notable enhancements and represents an important step in China’s developing aircraft carrier program.

Key Facts 

The control tower island of the Type 001A is expected to be 10 percent smaller than that of the Liaoning. 

It will displace roughly 65,000 – 70,000 tons, a few thousand more tons than the Liaoning. 

It will feature the advanced Type 346 S-band AESA radar system. 

Its airwing will be slightly larger than that of the Liaoning, featuring around 8 additional aircraft. 

The Type 001A may have an internal arrangement that is better optimized than the Liaoning’s. 

It is expected to be commissioned around 2020. 

Comparing the Type 001A and the Liaoning

Outlines derived from satellite photos demonstrate the similarities between the carriers.

Key Characteristics of the Type 001A

This Is China’s Biggest Problem With North Korea

By Simon F. Reich,

China’s leadership has repeatedly demonstrated a sophisticated capacity to adeptly wade through awkward diplomatic situations. But since North Korea’s failed missile test this week, China faces a unique dilemma. Despite his seemingly erratic behavior, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has made a cold calculation familiar to enemies of the United States. If his scientists can manufacture a nuclear missile that can hit the continental United States, or at least if he can give the impression that they have done so, then he has bought himself the insurance he needs against any American attack.

As long as he appears irrational enough to be willing to sacrifice millions of his compatriots, then his threat of a reprisal if the North is attacked is credible. But he is taking a grave risk on the way to that point: that the United States and maybe its allies will launch a preemptive attack before North Korea can develop a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit the US.

In year of big political decisions, Chinese economy appears stable

David Dollar

David Dollar interprets China's newly released first quarter macro economic data and concludes that China’s growth and financial stability look assured. This piece originally appeared in The Hill.

China’s first-quarter economic numbers were mostly good news, with GDP growth (year-on-year) accelerating modestly to 6.9 percent, up from 6.8 percent in the previous quarter and 6.7 percent for all of 2016.

The GDP growth is based on domestic consumption, rather than investment, as in the past. The China story of the past few years is that investment growth has been slowing after a binge in the period following the global financial crisis.

The result of the investment boom was excess capacity in real estate (especially third- and fourth-tier cities), heavy industry and local government infrastructure. Investment growth has naturally slowed down in the face of excess capacity, declining returns and diminished new investment opportunities.

Consumption growth, on the other hand, has held up well. The accompanying chart shows the contributions of consumption and investment to China’s GDP growth (each series is a four-quarter moving average to address seasonality and smooth the trend). Since 2011, consumption has been the main source of demand.

25 April 2017

Chinese Jihadis’ Rise In Syria Raises Concerns At Home


BEIRUT — Many don’t speak Arabic and their role in Syria is little known to the outside world, but the Chinese fighters of the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria are organized, battled-hardened and have been instrumental in ground offensives against President Bashar Assad’s forces in the country’s northern regions.

Thousands of Chinese jihadis have come to Syria since the country’s civil war began in March 2011 to fight against government forces and their allies. Some have joined the al-Qaida’s branch in the country previously known as Nusra Front. Others paid allegiance to the Islamic State group and a smaller number joined factions such as the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham.

But the majority of Chinese jihadis are with the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria, whose vast majority are Chinese Muslims, particularly those from the Turkic-speaking Uighur majority native to Xinjiang in China. Their growing role in Syria has resulted in increased cooperation between Syrian and Chinese intelligence agencies who fear those same jihadis could one day return home and cause trouble there.

The Turkistan Islamic Party is the other name for the East Turkistan Islamic Movement that considers China’s Xinjiang to be East Turkistan.

Comparative Assessment of China and U.S. Policies to Meet Climate Change Targets

China and the United States together emit more than 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) according to the latest available data.[1] Therefore any successful global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must include meaningful contributions from both countries. Each country has started down this path by committing to reduce CO2 emissions and both have announced plans, policies, and programs to meet those commitments. However, the character of the carbon problem in each country is different and so while the plans, programs, and policies they are pursuing have some similarities, the emphasis is different.

China and the United States have different fundamental energy supply potential. China’s energy resource base is coal-intensive, while the United States has large oil and gas reserves. China does not have the option of dramatically increasing natural gas or oil supplies unless it chooses to import them. In fact, China has become the world’s largest importer of oil—importing 6.71 million barrels per day in 2015.[2] Energy security, which has historically been a political priority in the United States, now receives less attention due to the recent boom in shale oil and gas. The opposite is true for China, which faces no significant growth in domestic oil and gas production, forcing it to import more oil and gas. Due to a combination of logistical obstacles and slow growth in coal reserves, China is now a net importer of coal, and thus energy security is becoming more of a concern.

24 April 2017

** China’s Secret Weapon In South Korea Missile Fight: Hackers

By Jonathan Cheng 

Chinese state-backed hackers have recently targeted South Korean entities involved in deploying a U.S. missile-defense system, says an American cybersecurity firm, despite Beijing’s denial of retaliation against Seoul over the issue.

In recent weeks, two cyberespionage groups that the firm linked to Beijing’s military and intelligence agencies have launched a variety of attacks against South Korea’s government, military, defense companies and a big conglomerate, John Hultquist, director of cyberespionage analysis at FireEye Inc., said in an interview.

The California-based firm, which counts South Korean agencies as clients, including one that oversees internet security, wouldn’t name the targets.

While FireEye and other cybersecurity experts say Chinese hackers have long targeted South Korea, they note a rise in the number and intensity of attacks in the weeks since South Korea said it would deploy Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, a sophisticated missile-defense system aimed at defending South Korea from a North Korean missile threat.

China opposes Thaad, saying its radar system can reach deep into its own territory and compromise its security. South Korea and the U.S. say Thaad is purely defensive. The first components of the system arrived in South Korea last month and have been a key issue in the current presidential campaign there.

China’s new military structure emphasizes cyber ops

by Philip Wen and Michael Martina
Source Link

China's President Xi Jinping inspects honour guards during the welcoming ceremony for Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, October 26, 2015. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon) 

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a restructure of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to transform it into a leaner fighting force with improved joint operations and cyber capabilities, state media said.

Centered around a new, condensed structure of 84 units, the reshuffle builds on Xi’s years-long efforts to modernise the PLA with greater emphasis on new capabilities including cyberspace, electronic and information warfare.

As chair of the Central Military Commission, Xi is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

“This has profound and significant meaning in building a world-class military,” Xi told commanders of the new units at the PLA headquarters in Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency said in a report late on Tuesday.

All 84 new units are at the combined-corps level, which means commanders will hold the rank of major-general or rear-admiral, the official China Daily reported on Wednesday, adding that unit members would likely be regrouped from existing forces given the military was engaged in cutting its troop strength by 300,000, one of a range of reforms introduced by Xi in 2015.

Standing Up To China: Modi Govt Has Changed The Terms Of Engagement With Beijing

Harsh V Pant

Sino-Indian relations have entered uncharted territory as New Delhi seeks to engage Beijing strictly on reciprocity.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi consolidates his power over the Indian political landscape, his government should not lose sight of the fact that China poses the most significant strategic challenge to India. India and China continue to be at loggerheads on a range of bilateral issues, as China shows no signs of budging on key issues that matter to India. Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar visited Beijing recently for the China-India Strategic Dialogue but nothing much came out of it. Though Jaishankar suggested that he came with “a very strong sense of commitment to maintaining our relationship” and China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, underlined that he believed relations had seen “positive growth” in 2016, it was evident at the end of the dialogue that the two sides have failed in bridging their fundamental differences.

There was no change in Beijing’s stance on blocking efforts to get Pakistan-based militant Maulana Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist under UN norms as well as its opposition to India gaining entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. New Delhi has also been left asking Beijing to explain how it can take part in the Silk Road summit being held in China when the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through PoK violates India’s sovereignty. And rather provocatively, Dai Bingguo, who served as China’s boundary negotiator with India from 2003 to 2013, recently suggested that the border dispute between China and India can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing’s claim over the strategically vital Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh. This was done knowing fully well that India would never agree to such a proposition and without specifying what concessions Beijing would be willing to make.

The Fight In Arunachal Is Not Just Territorial, It’s Cultural Too

Aravindan Neelakandan
The battle in Arunachal is not just between two sovereign states, but also between two ideas and cultures. Does India have its own house in order to fight this one?

The recent renaming of six towns in Arunachal Pradesh by China, in Mandarin, has shown the world that it has always been Han racism which has been the animating force of the Maoist-Marxist regime. The Chinese call this exercise ‘standardizing’ of the names.

At one level this is both propaganda war and staking of claims against India in Arunachal Pradesh. At another level, it is the denial of the cultural identity of Tibet, which has been the official policy of China. The sustained genocide and cultural cleansing of Tibetans by the Chinese is now being illegitimately extended to Arunachal Pradesh. The renaming of the towns in Mandarin is part of the decades long Sinicizing exercise, which has been justified by ideologues of the Maoist doctrine.

Dan Smyer Yu, anthropologist from the Yunnan Minzu University points out in his work on Tibetan Buddhism, that in the context of China, the Maoist-Marxist evolutionary paradigm reinforced the traditional Han Chinese prejudice of the non-Han populations being savage and barbarian.

23 April 2017

*** China's Embattled Military Modernization

By Stratfor

China's sweeping military reforms are proceeding apace. In a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday with the country's top military leadership, President Xi Jinping announced the start of the next phase in the effort to thoroughly modernize the Chinese military. The program, launched in late 2015, aims to enable China to wage modern warfare by updating the military's structure, its command and control, and, in particular, its service branches' ability to conduct joint operations. Xi's latest announcement highlights his administration's progress with the plan, expected to be in place by 2020. Nevertheless, it will be a hard-fought campaign for Beijing.

Reforming the military's structure hasn't been easy. Many components of the modernization campaign put personnel and even branches of the armed forces at a disadvantage. As the country moved to develop a capable joint force, it had to elevate other services such as the navy and air force to the detriment of the army, traditionally China's pre-eminent military branch. Beijing upgraded the Second Artillery Corps (now known as the Rocket Force) to a full service branch, reorganized China's four military departments into 15 agencies, and consolidated the People's Liberation Army's seven command areas into five regions. In addition, the government said it would retire a projected 300,000 troops, including generals and headquarters units, to streamline its force structure. The country's leaders braced for opposition, which some worried might derail the endeavor.

*** The Politics of Reincarnation: India, China, and the Dalai Lama

By Tshering Chonzom Bhutia

The Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh from April 7 to 11 garnered plenty of media attention. One of the most prominently discussed questions centered around the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation.

The Chinese side was unequivocal in not only objecting to the visit but also commenting on the reincarnation issue. The Chinese position, as encapsulated in remarks by scholars from important Chinese think tanks, is that the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation has to be approved by the Chinese government and selection has to be based on a combination of not just “historical rules” but also current “Chinese laws.” The reference to Chinese laws is with respect to the 2007 State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) regulation delineating procedures for the selection of reincarnated monks, including eligibility conditions, application procedures and the government and religious institutions to be approached for approval. The regulation basically excludes “any foreign organization or individual” from the reincarnation selection process, obviously in an attempt to legitimize China’s authority and exclude the Tibetan Diaspora (and others) in the selection of the next Dalai Lama.

The Chinese have consistently maintained that any reincarnation must be determined on the basis of the late 18th century procedure instituted by the Manchu Qing rulers of China. Under this “golden urn system” of selecting reincarnations, the names of prospective candidates would be placed in an urn, from which lots would be drawn to pick the real incarnation. Therefore, any other method being suggested by the Dalai Lama is seen as contrary to established rules and illegitimate, for it denies the Chinese government’s authority in the process.

ASIA DEFENSE What’s Behind China’s Big New Drone Deal? Image Credit: Flickr/Times Asi What’s Behind China’s Big New Drone Deal?

By Ian Armstrong

When China recently revealed it had secured the “biggest overseas purchase order” in the history of Chinese foreign drone sales, it did so in mysterious fashion — by withholding both the value of the sale and the recipient of the arms.

The peculiarly offhand, one-sentence announcement belied the gravity of the deal, now reported as either a notable 30 or an unparalleled 300 Wing-Loong II attack drones to be sold to Saudi Arabia. Quickly following this revelation, it was more widely circulated that an agreement to establish a Saudi Arabian production line for China’s comparatively powerful CH-4 reconnaissance drone had also been secured.

This drone-fueled courtship emerged with a speed and subtlety that has obscured its full scale. Yet, make no mistake — the sudden, momentous drone diplomacy established between Beijing and Riyadh since February raises the stakes of present and future conflict in the Middle East.

China Restructures Military, Enhances Cyber-Warfare Capabilities


Chinese media reported on Wednesday that President Xi Jinping has announced a major restructuring of the People’s Liberation Army to create what he called a “world-class military.”

In addition to modernizing the PLA’s command structure and deploying more advanced equipment, the restructure is intended to put “greater emphasis on new capabilities including cyberspace, electronic and information warfare,” as Reuters puts it.

China is already in the process of reducing the size of its military by about 300,000 troops. The restructuring plans announced by Xi will leave the PLA with 84 military units, grouped into five regional commands instead of the current seven.

Newsweek reports another feature of the military reform plan will be the devotion of Chinese military resources to building and protecting the “New Silk Road” trade route, known formally in China as the “One Belt, One Road” program, a major national project for the Chinese.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency predictably gushes that “Chinese military servicemen have unanimously voiced strong support for President Xi Jinping’s instruction on a major military reshuffle.”

China Reveals Its Cyberwar Secrets


In an extraordinary official document, Beijing admits it has special units to wage cyberwar—and a lot of them. Is anybody safe?

A high-level Chinese military organization has for the first time formally acknowledged that the country’s military and its intelligence community have specialized units for waging war on computer networks.

China’s hacking exploits, particularly those aimed at stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies, have been well known for years, and a source of constant tension between Washington and Beijing. But Chinese officials have routinely dismissed allegations that they spy on American corporations or have the ability to damage critical infrastructure, such as electrical power grids and gas pipelines, via cyber attacks.

Now it appears that China has dropped the charade. “This is the first time we’ve seen an explicit acknowledgement of the existence of China’s secretive cyber-warfare forces from the Chinese side,” says Joe McReynolds, who researches the country’s network warfare strategy, doctrine, and capabilities at the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis.

McReynolds told The Daily Beast the acknowledgement of China’s cyber operations is contained in the latest edition of an influential publication, The Science of Military Strategy, which is put out by the top research institute of the People’s Liberation Army and is closely read by Western analysts and the U.S. intelligence community. The document is produced “once in a generation,” McReynolds said, and is widely seen as one of the best windows into Chinese strategy. The Pentagon cited the previous edition (PDF), published in 1999, for its authoritative description of China’s “comprehensive view of warfare,” which includes operations in cyberspace.

22 April 2017

China’s Xi Restructures Military, Consolidates Control

By Philip Wen,

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a military restructure of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to transform it into a leaner fighting force with improved joint operations capability, state media said.

Centered around a new, condensed structure of 84 military units, the reshuffle builds on Xi’s years-long efforts to modernize the PLA with greater emphasis on new capabilities including cyberspace, electronic and information warfare.

As chair of the Central Military Commission, Xi is also commander-in-chief of China’s armed forces.

“This has profound and significant meaning in building a world-class military,” Xi told commanders of the new units at the PLA headquarters in Beijing, according to the official Xinhua news agency report late on Tuesday.

All 84 new units are at the combined-corps level, which means commanders will hold the rank of major-general or rear-admiral, the official China Daily reported Wednesday, adding that unit members would likely be regrouped from existing forces given the Chinese military was still engaged in cutting its troops by 300,000, one of the wide-ranging military reforms introduced by Xi in late 2015.

Those reforms include establishing a joint operational command structure by 2020 and rejigging existing military regions, as well as streamlining troop numbers particularly in non-combat facing roles.

The previous seven military area commands were regrouped into five, and the four military departments – staff, politics, logistics and armaments – were reorganized into 15 agencies last year. The 84 units will come under the 15 agencies.



The United States and China are strategic competitors, but the idea that China "tests" new U.S. presidents risks exaggerated responses and is backed only by flimsy evidence.

For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out the new War on the Rocks membership.

China is poised to test the Trump administration with some new challenge or provocation, just as it supposedly tested Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush in the first year of their presidencies. Or at least, so says a widely popular narrative in news analysis and commentary, academia, and think tanks. Illogically, this narrative has also been used to claim that China already tested President Trump with provocations that preceded his inauguration.

Neither Bush nor Obama let ostensible Chinese “tests” spiral out of control, but then again, neither entered office with the same adversarial, zero-sum view of the U.S.-China relationship that President Trump and his advisors have articulated. The stakes could hardly be higher, as China approaches near-peer (or peer) status with the United States and with the future of U.S.-China relations in the Trump era a bigger mystery than at any point since the world started thinking seriously about the rise of China. But the “test” narrative is wrong and, to the extent the national security community uses it to advocate forceful responses against China, it is needlessly dangerous for tensions between the two countries.

21 April 2017

China’s Maritime Trap

By Wei Zongyou

China’s recent vocal assertions and activities over its maritime disputes have harmed its relations with neighbors and others, including the United States. Nevertheless, the July 2016 Hague ruling may have provided a window of opportunity to de-escalate tension as well as a possible way out for all parties.

20 April 2017

War Control: Chinese Writings on the Control of Escalation in Crisis and Conflict

This report takes stock of Chinese military analysts' recent thinking on escalation control in crisis or conflict situations. To do the topic justice, the text approaches it from various angles, including how escalation control might fare in limited wars, space and cyberspace operations, and nuclear deterrence. One obvious take-away from the review is that Chinese thinkers now treat crisis and war control with a seriousness and depth that had been missing in previous discussions of the topics.



Burgess Laird