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

28 March 2017

*** China set to gain a decisive military advantage

Nitin Pai

More than a trillion yuans, the restructuring of the PLA calls for a wholesale review of India’s defence structure beyond what the Kargil Review Commission advised.

In my Business Standard column I draw attention to Beijing’s bold steps to restructure the Chinese armed forces and make them capable of modern warfighting.

The conventional view is that Xi Jinping’s moves, including PLA reform, are intended to grab as much power as possible. My own take is that as far as the PLA is concerned, the reforms are primarily intended to create a force that can meet and challenge the United States in the medium term. The structural reforms are bold and politically risky, and also ensure that no PLA general is too powerful.

It is a question for our strategists, high policymakers and national leaders to assess whether India can afford to delay the structural reforms that were deemed urgent in 2002.
The Asian Balance: Look at China’s defence reforms

Image: Li Chao, et al/Wikimedia Commons
What caught public attention last week was the announcement that China’s defence outlays have crossed a trillion yuan ($151 billion) for the first time, albeit growing at a slower 7 per cent in line with slower economic growth expectations.

*** China´s Kashmir Policies and Crisis Management in South Asia

By I-wei Jennifer Chang 


Since the 1980s, China’s policy on Kashmir has shifted from a strong pro-Pakistani stance to a more balanced one between Pakistan and India. 

Chinese diplomatic support for internationalizing the Kashmir issue in the United Nations has diminished over time, though Beijing also has blocked UN action against Pakistan-linked terror groups. 

During crises, Chinese concerns about preventing war between India and Pakistan outweighed political considerations to defend Pakistan, and Beijing worked closely with Washington to mitigate regional tensions. 

China’s Evolving Approach to Kashmir

China’s policies on the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan affect regional stabilization and crisis management efforts in South Asia. Following the September 2016 terrorist attack that killed nineteen Indian troops in India-administered Kashmir, China raised concerns about rising tensions in Kashmir and reiterated its calls for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute through dialogue and consultation.1 In recent decades, China has played an important third-party role in helping to deescalate tensions between its nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan, in stark contrast to its more belligerent foreign policy in the 1960s.

America Needs an "Engage and Contain" Strategy for China

Robert D. Blackwill

Will the Trump administration develop the right grand strategy to deal with China and protect U.S. vital interests?

For the United States, the headline concerning China should not be “engage and hedge” as it has been for decades. Given China’s systematic destabilizing external behavior, the time is past for hedging. Rather, for the foreseeable future, U.S. policy should be “engage and contain.”

With President Trump’s first meeting with President Xi Jinping of China scheduled for next month in Palm Beach, Florida, President Obama’s ambassador to China, Max Baucus, a longtime Montana Democrat senator, recently said that the United States needs to stop getting pushed around by China and work out a long-term strategy to deal with that country’s rise. Baucus expressed frustration with the Obama administration’s lack of strategic vision and its weakness when it came to China. China, Baucus said, has a long-term objective to build up its economic might and global influence at the expense of the United States. The United States, by contrast, often appears distracted by problems in the Middle East.

“The Washington foreign-policy establishment tends to put China on another shelf, to deal with it later,” he said. “We’re much too ad hoc. We don’t seem to have a long-term strategy, and that’s very much to our disadvantage.”

Breaking down China’s electronic warfare tactics

By: Mark Pomerleau

In the wake of Russia's demonstrations of advanced electromagnetic spectrum and communications jamming capabilities, most recently displayed in their incursion into Ukraine, China also is upping its game in this space, demonstrating similar capabilities in the Pacific.

The U.S. Department of Defense, in an annual report to Congress on China’s military and security developments, assessed that the country is placing greater importance upon EW, on par with traditional domains of warfare such as air, ground and maritime.

“The [People’s Liberation Army] sees EW as an important force multiplier, and would likely employ it in support of all combat arms and services during a conflict,” the 2016 report asserts. “The PLA’s EW units have conducted jamming and anti-jamming operations, testing the military’s understanding of EW weapons, equipment, and performance. This helped improve the military’s confidence in conducting force-on-force, real-equipment confrontation operations in simulated EW environments.”

According to the report, China’s EW weapons include “jamming equipment against multiple communication and radar systems and GPS satellite systems. EW systems are also being deployed with other sea- and air-based platforms intended for both offensive and defensive operations.”

27 March 2017

*** China's Urbancide in Tibet

By Rinzin Dorjee

China’s urbanization policies have a particularly telling impact on Tibet.

The State Council of China unveiled the National New Type Urbanization Plan (NUP) in 2014 to increase the percentage of urban residents in the total population of China from 52.6 percent in 2012 to 60 percent by 2020. The ratio of citizens with urban hukou (resident permit) will increase 35.3 percent to approximately 45 percent. After many decades of deliberations and halt in reforms to the strict urban hukou system, the Chinese government has finally loosened procedures for rural migrants to transfer their household registrations to urban areas.

This policy has a unique impact on Tibet, where urbanization has become a major burden. Ethnically Chinese migrants coming from China’s densely populated coastal provinces have started moving to Tibet and the reformed hukou system has made it easier to transfer their household registration in Tibet.

By “urbancide,” I refer to the extinguishing of Tibetan culture and identity through an influx of millions of Chinese migrants in Tibet. At the same time, Tibetans in rural regions are made landless through expropriation of their land. As suggested by Emily T. Yeh in her book, Taming Tibet, this is part of China’s state territorialization of Tibet.

Will China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative Deliver?

One-Belt-One-RoadAs advertised by Beijing, the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative, China’s grand scheme for knitting a network of roads, ports, railways and other links from East China through Southeast and South and Central Asia all the way to Europe exceeds both in scope and ambition the Marshall Plan used to rebuild Europe after World War II.

The “belt” of land-based links is paired with a 21st century “Maritime Silk Road” stretching from Australia to Zanzibar. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the OBOR initiative in 2013, two years after then-U.S. President Barack Obama initiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trading bloc across the Pacific region. Now that Obama successor Donald Trump has carried out his pledge to withdraw from the TPP, the expectations are that Chinese-backed strategies like the OBOR will gain momentum. China experts say that this is a positive development, but there is skepticism over whether Beijing will follow through with the gargantuan amount of funding needed, whether big debt-financed projects bankrolled by China will benefit the recipient countries, and whether those projects will actually make sense in the long run.

For many countries in the region, China is by far the biggest source of financing: Beijing’s Export and Import Bank of China alone lent $80 billion in 2015, compared with more than $27 billion from Asian Development Bank. Chinese involvement in building railways, ports, roads, dams and industrial corridors is helping to expand its economic and geopolitical sway across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

The Shocking Way a War Between China and America Could Begin

Chen Pokong

In the air, the American and Japanese pilots reigned supreme. Chinese fighters proved no match for American fifth generation F-22 and F-35 fighters. Below the seas, the Los Angeles-class submarines overwhelmed the Chinese navy. Tomahawk missiles, fired from the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, wrecked and ruined virtually all Chinese military airfields in the theater of conflict.

The turning point of the war came with the sinking of the Chinese aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. During early days of the new Sino-Japanese war, a Chinese fleet consisting of the Liaoning, four destroyers, four corvettes and other support vessels had played a key role in the East China Sea, destroying any Japanese warship it chanced upon, and forcing the retreat of Japan’s main naval force.

But the Liaoning-led Chinese fleet was soon repelled by continued assaults from American and Japanese aircraft and warships. One Chinese destroyer was sunk after being hit with a barrage of guided missiles, while two other destroyers were so badly damaged that they were rendered combat ineffective. The Liaoning was stripped of protection as the other Chinese warships were deployed for other sorties. During a bout of bitter fighting, a Lanzhou-class destroyer even broke formation and tried to escape the fighting altogether.

Caught between the dragon and the elephant

Rajrishi Singhal

Two large beasts cramp our geostrategic mindspace. One, China’s dragon refuses to vacate our imagination. The second one stirring about in the same space is expected to further cramp room for manoeuvrability. The current US administration, much like the Republican Party’s elephant symbol, is steamrollering global multilateral negotiations. Both these heavyweights present India with a difficult balancing act.

The first inkling of India’s expected high-wire act came from Chile last week when 11 members of the floundering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), all founding nations barring the US, met to revive the plurilateral agreement. An added twist was China’s presence at the meeting.

It is expected that China will step into the US’ large shoes. America’s withdrawal from the TPP was seen as a parting kiss of death since its stewardship had kept negotiations alive. Having invested time, resources and political capital—especially on beyond-the-border issues like labour standards, environment rules and intellectual property laws—many developing countries are loath to let all that work go to waste.

26 March 2017

*** Buddhism: A New Frontier in the China-India Rivalry


Summary: Buddhism has become part of a broader soft power rivalry between China and India for greater influence in Asia.

Jayadeva Ranade is a former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India and is presently president of the Center for China Analysis and Strategy.

For both China and India, Buddhism is a useful enhancer of cultural soft power. The religion has, over the past decade, increased in importance for India as New Delhi tries to re-energize the religious tradition and integrate it into the country’s cultural strength; for China, meanwhile, Buddhism is an important means of soothing domestic discontent and staving off risks to its territorial integrity. Buddhism, which China has begun describing as an “ancient Chinese religion” and allowing its citizens freedom to practice, is especially significant for China in preserving domestic social stability and diffusing restiveness in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Tibetan areas elsewhere in China. China is also using Buddhism to increase its influence in nearby regions by acquiring predominant access to powerful Buddhist organizations. Meanwhile India, which has been home to Buddhism since its birth, sees Buddhism as a way of strengthening its relationship with Southeast Asian nations and as a means of preserving the religious and cultural practices of the Tibetan Buddhist people who have sought refuge in India.

How China Lost the United States

By Kerry Brown and Meghan Iverson

Beijing misread Obama and set the relationship back. It must avoid repeating the same mistake. 

Historians often talk of the period in which the United States “lost” China. It was in the very early period of the People’s Republic of China, when there was a brief opportunity for the Unite States to bring the infant nation into their sphere of influence, through diplomatic opening and trade links. But thanks to intransigence on both sides, the moment soon passed. For the next two decades, the United States and PRC were mortal enemies, a situation made all the worse by the primacy Washington placed on Moscow, contributing to Beijing’s sense of injustice and unequal treatment. Now in analyzing the last decade, historians may say that China has lost the United States.

In the era of China’s emergence onto the global stage since 2000, the defensive, victimized posture that Beijing has taken historically overshadows and obscures that fact that these days it can make real decisions about its own fate. Power is increasingly in its own hands now, and Beijing has a world to lose or gain. The rest of the world can only restrict its space, if they feel it necessary – they cannot completely close it off, as some of them once tried to do. And while this creates a sense of prestige, China is still reticent to shoulder the burdens of a great power with a stake in the international order. Beijing’s predictable use of its position on the UN Security Council and refusal to work within a rules-based system to address territorial disputes suggest a less mature approach to engagement than its material capabilities intimate. Grand strategy and true diplomacy take a backseat to court politics, continuing an ancient narrative that is no longer useful.

How the U.S. Military Can Pushback Against China's Most Dangerous Weapon: Missile Swarms

Harry J. Kazianis

Protecting the aircraft is just a first step. Combat aircraft sortie generation can be thought of as an industrial process with the airfield as a “sortie factory.” The factory needs working aircraft, but the aircraft must be able to taxi to a runway that is long enough for them to operate from safely and when they return they must be able to be repaired, refueled and rearmed, and their crews must be able to receive orders and plan missions. This means other parts of the factory must be protected if the base is to function under attack. This means hardening maintenance, fuel storage and distribution and operations facilities. Building shelters to protect aircraft larger than fighters is possible, but cost obviously scales with shelter size.

As the United States continues to place tremendous time, energy and resources into its “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific, many are questioning the military and strategic aspects of this effort. Specifically, many analysts are concerned over the emphasis China has placed on its ballistic- and cruise-missile platforms. If a crisis were to occur, and with so many U.S. and allied bases now in range of Beijing’s growing missile forces, is there a case to be made to “harden” bases that might be in range? Harry J. Kazianis, then Managing Editor of The National Interest, spoke to CSBA Senior Fellow John Stillion in 2014, in an effort to break down this complex issue.

China and the US: an odd couple doomed to co-operation

by: Martin Wolf

It might take a communist leader to convince Donald Trump of the merits of free trade

The future of our world heavily depends on relations between the US, a young country and the incumbent superpower, and China, an ancient empire and a rising superpower. Making these relations particularly challenging have been the election in the US of Donald Trump, a populist xenophobe, and the ascendancy of Xi Jinping, a centralising autocrat, in China.

No less contrasting, however, are the perspectives of these two on the world economy. Forty years ago, Mao Zedong ruled China: his aim was autarky. Ever since 1978, however, the watchword of China’s economic policy has been the “reform and opening up” proposed by his successor, Deng Xiaoping. Meanwhile, the US, progenitor of post-second world war liberal internationalism, is consumed with self-doubt and so has elected as leader a man who considers this outstandingly successful policy inimical to his country’s interests. One of today’s ironies is this reversal of attitudes towards the open world economy. Nothing better illustrates this than the contrast between the strong support for globalisation offered by President Xi at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in January and Mr Trump’s egregious assertion, just three days later, that “protection will lead to great prosperity and strength”. The communiqué of the meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers in Germany last weekend duly dropped last year’s language vowing to “resist all forms of protectionism”. The implications of such US protectionism are still unknown. But they are highly disturbing. The very last thing our fragile world economy needs is a trade

Increasing Chinese investment in India can help enhance mutual political trust

By Hu Weijia 

It is likely to be a golden era for Chinese private enterprises investing in India over the next few years, and it is possible that increasing commercial blending could help enhance mutual political trust between Beijing and New Delhi. 

The Indian government is in talks with nearly 300 companies to channel investment into the country, with around half of the capital being pursued from China, the Times of India said recently. In 2016, China's direct investment to India was reportedly six times higher than the year before, despite a call for a boycott of Chinese goods. The rising investment is expected to continue in 2017.

A recent study from the US-based Brookings Institution said that "almost 90 percent of the next billion entrants into the global middle class will come from Asia," with India expected to contribute 380 million people, exceeding the 350 million expected in China. It is understandable that countless Chinese firms have shown an increasing interest in the burgeoning Indian consumer market.

India has reduced investment restrictions and further opened up its market for foreign investors, which is one of the reasons behind soaring investment from China. Some well-known Chinese private enterprises such as telecom giant Huawei have shown great enthusiasm for investing in the country after the Indian government adopted a more open mind in attracting Chinese private investment. The nation could see a faster growth in investment from China over the next few years if the Indian authorities can give more trust and further reduce restrictions on China's State-owned enterprises, where the Chinese government is the biggest shareholder.

25 March 2017

The Fires in Tibet

China has forced world attention away from its religious repression. 

A 24-year-old farmer set himself on fire this weekend in Tibet’s first reported self-immolation of the year, and approximately the 150th since 2009. Pema Gyaltsen intended to protest Chinese repression and call for the return of the exiled Dalai Lama. When relatives went to find him afterward at a local police station, they were beaten severely and detained overnight in harsh conditions. It remains unclear whether he has survived or succumbed to his wounds.

This report, from Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan Service, is a reminder of the rough authoritarianism that still dominates life for millions of people in China, especially in remote areas with minority populations such as Xinjiang and Tibet. Amid the glitz of Shanghai and the intrigue of Beijing, it’s easy to forget—which is how Chinese leaders want it.

Not long ago Tibet was a humanitarian cause and cultural reference world-wide. The movies “Seven Years in Tibet” (starring Brad Pitt) and “Kundun” (directed by Martin Scorsese) appeared months apart in 1997, the latter an epic about the life of the Dalai Lama. Today major studios duck such material for fear of angering China’s government and losing access to the Chinese box office. Disney CEO Michael Eisner apologized to Beijing for “Kundun,” calling it a “stupid mistake,” before earning permission to build a Disneyland in Shanghai.

How America Should Confront China's Unchecked Maritime Bullying

Rep. Ted Yoho

China is increasingly operating not as a strategic rival of the United States, but as a strategic opponent.

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific recently convened a hearing to discuss the U.S. policy response to China’s maritime push in the South and East China Seas. China has so far suffered no discernable cost for its destabilizing activities in these disputed waters. In Congress, there is growing desire to put a check on this belligerence, which Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis observed has “shredded the trust” of other nations and revealed China’s desire for “veto authority over the diplomatic, and security and economic conditions of neighboring states.” Underscoring the critical interests at stake, the hearing made evident that the United States has several unilateral tools available which could finally begin to impose costs on China’s destabilizing actions in the South and East China Seas. We should start using these tools.

Strategic Opponent?

China is increasingly operating not as a strategic rival of the United States, but as a strategic opponent, using force and coercion to consolidate control of these disputed maritime territories, which are vital strategic thoroughfares. More than $5 trillion in trade moves through these waters annually, including most of the energy supply of key U.S. partners like the Republic of Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Eight of the world’s ten busiest container ports are in the Asia-Pacific region, and nearly a third of the world’s maritime trade transits the South China Sea. Since World War II, the U.S. military has facilitated these trade flows and economic vibrancy throughout the region by maintaining security in East Asia.

What China’s PPP-Fueled Investment Boom Means for the Economy

By Spencer Sheehan

Public-private partnership infrastructure spending will boost China’s economy but increase local government debt. 

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are currently in vogue in China as a way to increase private investment in the economy and boost infrastructure spending. However, the growth of PPPs is raising concerns about local government debt, the central government’s commitment to genuine economic reform, and its ability to deliver sustainable growth.

In simple terms, PPPs involve private firms investing together with governments in projects and building and operating public facilities, with popular areas of focus including housing, road networks, rail lines, water utilities, and sewage systems.

Eager to reduce government spending, China’s government is pushing PPPs as a way to increase participation from the private sector in the economy and attract the technological expertise that established, experienced companies can bring to public services.

At the end of 2016, China had RMB 19.5 trillion ($2.8 trillion) of PPP infrastructure projects in the pipeline, according to research by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, up 62.5 percent compared with the RMB 12 trillion ($1.7 trillion) in projects registered in July 2016.

Indian and Chinese Engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Assessment

This monograph comparatively examines the content and country focus of high-level diplomacy for each of the two actors, as well as the volume and patterns of trade, the activities of Indian and Chinese companies in the region, and their relationship to their respective governments in eight sectors: (1) petroleum and mining; (2) agriculture; (3) construction; (4) manufacturing and retail; (5) banking and finance; (6) logistics and port operations; (7) technology such as telecommunications, space, and high technology; and, (8) military sales and activities.

This monograph finds that Indian engagement with the region is significantly less than that of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and concentrated on a more limited subset of countries and sectors. In the commercial and military sector, it finds that the efforts by the Indian government to support their companies in the region are generally more modest and less coordinated than those of the PRC. Nonetheless, despite such limitations, the nature of Indian companies and their engagement with the region create opportunities for significant advances in the future, in a manner that is relatively well received by Latin American governments and societies.

China outpaces India in internet access, smartphone ownership


India and China, the world’s two most populous countries, have long had a competitive relationship and have emerged as major economic powers. But in the digital space, China has a clear advantage. Since Pew Research Center began tracking advanced technology adoption in the two countries in 2013, the Chinese have consistently reported rates of internet and smartphone use that are at least triple that of Indians. That trend has continued through 2016.

In our latest poll, 71% of Chinese say they use the internet at least occasionally or own a smartphone, our definition of internet users. In contrast, only 21% of Indians say they use the internet or own a smartphone.

The gap between China and India is similarly large when it comes to smartphone ownership alone. Nearly seven-in-ten Chinese (68%) say they own one as of spring 2016, compared with 18% of Indians. Reported smartphone ownership in China has jumped 31 percentage points since 2013, but only 6 points in India over the same time period. And while virtually every Chinese person surveyed owns at least a basic mobile phone (98%), only 72% of Indians can say the same. 

The digital divide between the two countries mirrors differences in their broader economic trajectories. Between 2001 and 2011, the share of middle-income Chinese, those making $10.01-$20 a day, jumped from 3% to 18%. In India over the same decade, the middle class share of the population grew from 1% to 3%. In 2015, China’s gross domestic product per capita (PPP) was over five times that of India. Our own research has shown a strong correlation between per capita income and levels of internet access and reported smartphone ownership. Furthermore, some analysts have argued that Chinese investment in digital infrastructure accounts for China’s technological lead over India.

24 March 2017

** The US and China Make Nice

By Jacob L. Shapiro

March 21, 2017 Officials are striking a calmer tone but will this affect relations?

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited China over the weekend, meeting with China’s foreign minister on Saturday and President Xi Jinping on Sunday. By all accounts, the trip went well. Media in both countries pointed out that a spirit of cooperation emanated from the meetings. For those who follow U.S.-China relations, this is a marked difference from just a few months ago, when everyone was focused on the potential for a trade war and World War III in the South China Sea.

Two things must be addressed because of this change in tone. First, a little cold water needs to be thrown on the budding spirit of cooperation that has emerged between the two countries. Second, points of contention remain and will define the U.S.-China relationship no matter the optics. The two countries aren’t going to war, but they aren’t going to be best friends, either.

The U.S.-China relationship has always been a dizzying array of diplomatic protocol. When then-President Richard Nixon went to China in 1972, it took months of diplomatic legwork and interpretation of Chinese moves to realize that China was open to changing the nature of the relationship, and to come up with a diplomatic framework whereby China could consent to forge stronger ties. The thaw in relations was jump-started when the U.S. table tennis team was invited to China in 1972. The solidification of the relationship involved a complex word game where the U.S. recognized that there was only one China but still maintained an alliance with Taiwan.

Why History Proves a War Between China and America Would Be a Total Disaster

Robert Farley

In November 1950, China and the United States went to war. Thirty-six thousand Americans died, along with upwards of a quarter million Chinese, and half a million or more Koreans. If the United States was deeply surprised to find itself at war with the People’s Republic of China, a country that hadn’t even existed the year before, it was even more surprised to find itself losing that war. The opening Chinese offensive, launched from deep within North Korea, took U.S. forces by complete operational surprise. The U.S.-led United Nations offensive into North Korea was thrown back, with the U.S. Army handed its worst defeat since the American Civil War.

The legacies of this war remain deep, complex and underexamined. Memory of the Korean War in the United States is obscured by the looming shadows of World War II and Vietnam. China remembers the conflict differently, but China’s position in the world has changed in deep and fundamental ways since the 1950s. Still, as we consider the potential for future conflict between China and the United States, we should try to wring what lessons we can from the first Sino-American war.