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Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread

Interesting, at the time this was posted the election was still in progress:


Chinese yuan tanking



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An article on how diplomacy is changing the balance of forces in the Indian Ocean away from China, with the "Quad" (US, Japan, India, Australia) holding joint exercises. The fact this goes unremarked in the US press is also an interesting data point:


On Point: India's Naval Exercise Indicates Trump Administration's China Policy Improved Indo-Pacific Security
by Austin Bay
November 3, 2020

Perhaps in five years, an honest historian will publish an honest history assessing the positive diplomatic effects of President Donald Trump's administration's decision to challenge the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship's pervasive spying, economic trickery and utter disregard of international law.

The Trump administration has employed tough diplomatic and legal initiatives, and implemented economic and military policies that reduced the CCP's freedom of action. It rejected China's expansionist territorial claims.

I think the concrete U.S. response has had a powerful moral effect in Indo-Pacific nations that felt vulnerable and victimized by Beijing's one-on-one (bilateral) economic and military bullying. Big China versus a Small Neighbor was the CCP's preferred fight.

The Indian Navy's Malabar 2020 exercise, which began this week in the Indian Ocean, is a telling example of a major shift in India's public attitude toward China.

Sailors refer to India's "Malabar" fleet maneuvers as high-end maritime exercises. The first Malabar was held in 1992, when India invited the U.S. to participate in bilateral naval training.

India's diplomatic preparations and information campaign indicate Malabar 2020 is designed to send a message.

In October, the Indian Department of Defence made certain that everyone knew that, for the first time in 13 years, Australian warships would participate in a Malabar exercise -- along with India, Japan and the U.S. That announcement called attention to the Quad, shorthand for the Quadrilateral Security Dialog, which consists of India, Japan, Australia and the U.S.

China's actions have certainly invited pushback, but until 2016, the Americans really didn't provide a great deal of leadership, allowing China to continue pushing the other nations in the region. If American foreign policy remains steady, China can be constrained in a 21rst century version of "containment strategy". If not, then who knows where this might go?
China claims it has now successfully tested the DF-21 against a moving ship. If true, this could mean a major change to the balance of power in the Western Pacific


China’s military expansion will test the Biden administration
Opinion by
Josh Rogin
Dec. 3, 2020 at 5:50 p.m. EST

The tectonic plates of the military balance in Asia are shifting underneath our feet. It’s happening slowly and inexorably, but over time the magnitude of the change is becoming vividly apparent. As the United States prepares to change its leadership, China’s military advancement and expansion are now a problem too glaring to ignore.
Adm. Philip Davidson, who is nearing the end of his tour as the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, has been warning about the changing military balance in Asia throughout his tenure. But his warnings have often fallen on deaf ears in a Washington mired in partisanship and dysfunction. The Trump administration talked a big game about meeting the challenge of China’s military encroachment, but Davidson’s calls for substantially more investment to restore the regional balance that has deterred Beijing for decades have gone largely unanswered.

China’s military has moved well past a strategy of simply defending its territory and is now modernizing with the objective of being able to operate and even fight far from its shores, Davidson told me in an interview conducted last month for the 2020 Halifax International Security Forum. Under President Xi Jinping, Davidson said, China has built advanced weapons systems, platforms and rocket forces that have altered the strategic environment in ways the United States has not sufficiently responded to.

“We are seeing great advances in their modernization efforts,” he said. “China will test more missiles, conventional and nuclear associated missiles this year than every other nation added together on the planet. So that gives you an idea of the scale of how these things are changing.”
Davidson confirmed, for the first time from the U.S. government side, that China’s People’s Liberation Army has successfully tested an anti-ship ballistic missile against a moving ship. This was done as part of the PLA’s massive joint military exercises, which have been ongoing since the summer. These are often called “aircraft carrier killer” missiles, because they could threaten the United States’ most significant naval assets from long distances.

While AA/AD is essentially a reactive posture, it still means that traditional force projection and the right of innocent passage that are the cornerstones of American Grand Strategy are certainly going to be constrained in the Western Pacific without some major changes to strategy, tactics and even technologies. I have my doubts that any putative Biden Administration is going to make the necessary changes - I think we all remember the Obama Administration's "Pivot to Asia" was more theatrical than substantive, and the Democrats as a whole are certainly not going to take the aggressive measures necessary to root out Chinese influence in US politics, business and academia, much less continue aggressive trade actions and bolstering US allies in the region.
He may not have much of a choice if China pushes too hard against Japan, Australia, Phillipines, Indonesia, etc etc.

It'll be interesting to see just how much the dems bend & tippy toe before it becomes too much of a problem to ignore.  :dunno:
Latest on the two Michaels.

China says 2 Canadians have been indicted, tried

The Associated Press

Published Thursday, December 10, 2020 6:10AM EST

BEIJING -- China's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that two Canadians held for two years in a case linked to a Huawei executive have been indicted and put on trial, but gave no details.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been confined since December 10, 2018, just days after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of the Chinese global communications equipment giant.

China has said Kovrig and Spavor were indicted June 19 by the Beijing prosecutor's office on "suspicion of spying for state secrets and intelligence.

Neither China or Canada has released specifics about their cases.

At a daily briefing Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the two had been "arrested, indicted and tried," in what appeared to be the first public mention that they had been brought to court.

She reiterated that their cases and Meng's were "different in nature," with Meng's being a "purely political incident." Despite that, China has consistently linked the fate of the two Canadians to its demands that Meng be released immediately.

Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne issued a statement Wednesday marking their two years of captivity, saying; "These two Canadians are an absolute priority for our government, and we will continue to work tirelessly to secure their immediate release and to stand up for them as a government and as Canadians."

"I am struck by the integrity and strength of character the two have shown as they endure immense hardship that would shake anyone's faith in humanity," Champagne said.

The U.S. is seeking Meng's extradition from Canada on fraud charges. Her arrest severely damaged relations between Canada and China, which has also sentenced two other Canadians to death and suspended imports of canola from Canada.

Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, is living in a luxury Vancouver home while her extradition case continues in a British Columbia court. The U.S. accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to deceive banks and do business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

It's not publicly known where Kovrig and Spavor are being held or under what conditions, although Canada's ambassador to China testified to a House of Commons committee this week that they were "robust."

Canadian diplomats had been denied all access to the two men from January to October because of coronavirus precautions cited by the Chinese side. On-site visits were banned and not even virtual visits were permitted.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has described China's approach as coercive diplomacy, spoke last month with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden about the case of the two men and said he expects Biden to be a good partner in persuading Beijing to release them.

Canada's Foreign Ministry did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment on Hua's remarks.

One has to ask why they would invest money in this, unless they intend to push the Arctic routes?

Colin P said:
One has to ask why they would invest money in this, unless they intend to push the Arctic routes?


They call themselves a 'near arctic' nation, whatever that means.  All the better to manage their 'belt and road' trade routes tentacles.  Perhaps they just want to ensure safe air and ship passage to their upcoming property on Canadian soil.

A story to keep an eye on and follow up as they happen:


Major leak 'exposes' members and 'lifts the lid' on the Chinese Communist Party
A major leak containing a register with the details of nearly two million CCP members has occurred – exposing members who are now working all over the world, while also lifting the lid on how the party operates under Xi Jinping, says Sharri Markson.

Ms Markson said the leak is a register with the details of Communist Party members, including their names, party position, birthday, national ID number and ethnicity.

“It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world,” the Sky News host said.

“What's amazing about this database is not just that it exposes people who are members of the communist party, and who are now living and working all over the world, from Australia to the US to the UK,” Ms Markson said.

“But it's amazing because it lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping”.

Ms Markson said the leak demonstrates party branches are embedded in some of the world’s biggest companies and even inside government agencies.

“Communist party branches have been set up inside western companies, allowing the infiltration of those companies by CCP members - who, if called on, are answerable directly to the communist party, to the Chairman, the president himself,” she said.

“Along with the personal identifying details of 1.95 million communist party members, mostly from Shanghai, there are also the details of 79,000 communist party branches, many of them inside companies”.

Ms Markson said the leak is a significant security breach likely to embarrass Xi Jinping.

“It is also going to embarrass some global companies who appear to have no plan in place to protect their intellectual property from theft. From economic espionage,” she said.

Ms Markson said the data was extracted from a Shanghai server by Chinese dissidents, whistleblowers, in April 2016, who have been using it for counter-intelligence purposes.

“It was then leaked in mid-September to the newly-formed international bi-partisan group, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China - and that group is made up of 150 legislators around the world.

“It was then provided to an international consortium of four media organisations, The Australian, The Sunday Mail in the UK, De Standaard in Belgium and a Swedish editor, to analyse over the past two months, and that's what we've done".

Ms Markson said it, “is worth noting that there's no suggestion that these members have committed espionage - but the concern is over whether Australia or these companies knew of the CCP members and if so have any steps been taken to protect their data and people”.

I wonder how many names from Canada will be on that list?
Lots more at Daily Mail, I'd bet Canada and Canadian interests are as infiltrated as anyone:

Leaked files expose mass infiltration of UK firms by Chinese Communist Party including AstraZeneca, Rolls Royce, HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover
*Loyal members of Chinese Communist Party are working in British consulates, universities and for some of the UK’s leading companies, The Mail on Sunday can reveal
*Leaked database of 1.95m registered party members reveals how Beijing’s malign influence now stretches into almost every corner of British life, including defence firms, banks and pharmaceutical giants
*Some members, who swear oath to ‘guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard, fight for communism throughout my life…and never betray the Party’, are understood to have jobs in British consulates

While there is no evidence that anyone on the party membership list has spied for China – and many sign up simply to boost their career prospects – experts say it defies credulity that some are not involved in espionage. Responding to the findings, an alliance of 30 MPs last night said they would be tabling an urgent question about the issue in the Commons.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday today, former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith says: ‘This investigation proves that members of the Chinese Communist Party are now spread around the globe, with members working for some of the world’s most important multinational corporations, academic institutions and our own diplomatic services.

‘The Government must now move to expel and remove any members of the Communist Party from our Consuls throughout China. They can either serve the UK or the Chinese Communist Party. They cannot do both.’..[read on]

PRC nuking up, though not that much (yet?)--note hypersonics:

Note this nuke angle (and hypersonics):

Report estimates Chinese nuclear stockpile at 350 warheads

A paper published by the Chicago, Illinois-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has estimated that China has 350 nuclear warheads, significantly more than that estimated by the U.S. Defense Department.

The report, written by Hans Kristensen, the director at the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, and Matt Korda, a research associate at FAS, arrived at the number by counting both operational warheads and newer weapons “still in development.”

These weapons include hypersonic missiles, silo-based and road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles, and their submarine-launched equivalents, bringing the total number of nuclear warheads to more that the “low 200s” estimated by the Pentagon in its 2020 report on China’s military.

The think tank’s report also said an estimated 272 of the 350 warheads in the People’s Liberation Army are operational. That estimate includes 204 land-based missile warheads, 48 submarine-launched warheads and 20 aircraft-delivered gravity bombs.

The latter mission had been dormant for a while, although it has recently been reconstituted with China said to be developing an air-launched ballistic missile with a possible nuclear capability. A Chinese Xi’an H-6 bomber was recently seen carrying what is believed to be a mock-up of a hypersonic boost-glide missile, although its development status is unclear.

The estimate of 350 nuclear warheads does not include the suspected air-launched ballistic/hypersonic missile, nor does it include the multiple, independent warheads that will be fitted on the DF-5C ICBM, potentially further increasing the size of China’s nuclear stockpile even after accounting for the retirement of older systems.

Nevertheless, the report noted that the size of the Chinese nuclear stockpile is still significantly below that of the United States and Russia, which have thousands of nuclear weapons in their respective stockpiles. The authors wrote that claims by the Trump administration’s special envoy for arms control, Marshall Billingslea, that China is striving for a form of “nuclear parity” with the U.S. and Russia “appears to have little basis in reality.”..


Chinese propaganda news site on Trudeau training the PLA. Comments section is something else.
“Quality may be better than quantity, but quantity has a quality all of its own.” V.I. Lenin 😊

The battle of Chosin Reservoir

Lessons from the battles between America and China, 70 years on

When America and China went to war

Seventy years ago this month, Mao Zedong’s peasant army inflicted one of the worst military defeats on America in the country’s history. Over two weeks his “volunteer” fighters drove an army of 350,000 American soldiers and marines and their Korean allies the length of North Korea, from the Chinese border to hasty evacuations by land and sea. Though the Chinese suffered terrible casualties in the process and the war would continue for another three years (and technically has not ended), the American-led un force never again threatened to reunify the peninsula.

This humiliation was made worse by the fact that General Douglas MacArthur, the force’s megalomaniacal supremo, had only weeks before assured Harry Truman that the Chinese would not cross the Yalu river. His commanders duly denied that they had. When that became incredible, they claimed the cruelly ill-equipped Chinese—wearing cotton uniforms and canvas shoes for a high-altitude war fought at minus 30°C—were not a serious foe. An American general called them “a bunch of laundrymen”.

It was classic superpower hubris, deserving of the contempt expressed by Xi Jinping at a grand 70th-anniversary event in October. Having emerged victorious from the second world war, with fewer casualties than any other major participant (America’s covid death-toll is almost equal to its second-world-war combat toll), America in 1950 had a dangerous sense of impregnability, a racially infused contempt for Asian capability and a few generals with absurdly inflated status, including MacArthur. It might seem little wonder that America, consumed by the contemporary embarrassment of its president’s effort to steal an election, is barely commemorating its first and only war with China.

That does not denote shame, however. Notwithstanding Americans’ dewy-eyed view of their forces, public knowledge of their victories and defeats is similarly thin. American schools do not teach much military history and democracies do not mobilise people through a militaristic view of the past. In the case of the Korean war, the first “limited” war of the nuclear age, before that concept was well-understood, the forgetting has merely been especially pronounced. Yet the war retains cautionary lessons for both sides.

On one level it encapsulated the superpower’s enduring ability to self-correct. This was apparent even amid the debacle—as illustrated by the battlefield recollections Lexington heard this week from Jack Luckett, a 91-year-old retired marine. He was occupying a ridge above Chosin Reservoir, close to the northernmost point of MacArthur’s advance, on the night of November 27th 1950. Awakened by explosions, he saw a column of Chinese—eight men across—advancing in the glow of the defensive flares they had triggered. “We were vastly outnumbered,” he said. “We opened fire but they kept on coming. They were blowing bugles and firing on us while pouring down both sides of the ridge.”

Mao’s intelligence chiefs had assured him that, for all their superior technology, American soldiers lacked the belly for a fight. The ensuing 17-day battle, which Mr Luckett fought through until frostbite laid him low, gave the lie to that. Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese, the 1st Marine Division broke out and made a heroic fighting retreat through the frozen mountains. The marines—and a small British contingent fighting alongside them—suffered terrible casualties; only 11 of Mr Luckett’s company of 250 survived unscathed. Yet they evacuated their wounded and equipment while inflicting a far heavier toll on the Chinese. Mr Luckett’s marine division was reckoned to have disabled seven Chinese ones.

For a military institution whose small size, relative to the us army, has fuelled a tradition of mythologising and introspection, “Frozen Chosin” ranks alongside “Iwo Jima” in importance. “It’s not an overstatement to say marines credit the marines who fought in Korea with ending the debate about whether there should be a marine corps,” says General Joseph Dunford, a former marine-corps commandant (and recently retired chairman of the joint chiefs of staff). His father celebrated his 20th birthday at Chosin reservoir on the day of the Chinese attack.

In the soul-searching that followed the American retreat, notes Max Hastings, a British historian, it is possible to see a familiar debate about the kind of superpower America should be. Deaf to the entreaties of allies, MacArthur refused to accept the limits to American power that his incompetence had helped display. He wanted to nuke the Chinese. Truman resisted and, after MacArthur sneakily appealed to his Republican backers in Congress, sacked the revered general. It may have cost him a second term. It also set a gold standard for civil-military relations that has since prevailed.

Truman’s multilateralism and restraint were also vindicated when his Republican successor, Dwight Eisenhower, maintained his conduct of the war. Better military leadership had by then stabilised the situation. America and China would both settle for their initial aims: respectively, securing South Korea, which would become one of the big successes of the late 20th century, and securing a Korean buffer against America’s presence in Asia. America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.

First know your enemy

That Americans are not more interested in this momentous past ultimately reflects their restless democracy, which is too consumed by contemporary dramas to dwell on history. Current appearances notwithstanding, it is the source of American strength. Yet it is important to underline two lessons from America’s war with China. In a fog of misunderstanding, each side fatally underestimated the other. And each had a flawed idea of the other’s red lines, the tripwires that turn competition into conflict. The situation today might look very different. The two countries’ interdependence and mutual awareness are on another plane. But their potential for underestimation and misunderstanding is still hauntingly present; and perhaps growing with their rivalry.

Anybody ever consider the security side of some things? Globe and Mail summary of full article behind paywall:

Morning Update: Chinese state-owned fund among backers of company handling Canadian visa applications

Good morning,

One of China’s largest state-owned investment funds is among the biggest backers of a company the Canadian government uses to collect and process personal information from visa applicants around the world.

Here’s the chain of ownership: TT Services runs visa application centres for the Canadian government in 24 countries, offering services that include collecting fingerprints, photos, biographical information and other personal data. TT Services is owned by VFS Global, which began processing visas in China in 2008. Documents filed with Britain’s corporate registry show Chengdong Investment Corp. is a major contributing partner to VFS Global. And Chengdong is a subsidiary of China Investment Corp., a Chinese state-run giant.

This ownership structure has prompted some of Canada’s former foreign intelligence leaders [CSIS has only a minor foreign intelligence role] to warn that Ottawa should think carefully about trusting sensitive information to a company partly owned by the Chinese state. Chinese national law also requires any organization operating inside the country to co-operate with intelligence services.

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

Full story:

Chinese state-owned fund among backers of company handling Canadian visa applications


The United States reacts to joint Russian/Chinese patrols in the Pacific and Arctic. Of course this calls into question our ability to respond, especially in a meaningful way over a prolonged period of time:

Air Force shows off might in Arctic​

By Mike Glenn - The Washington Times - Thursday, December 24, 2020
The U.S. Air Force flexed its muscle in a dramatic show of force this month, amid heightened concern at the Pentagon over the prospect of expanding great power military competition with nations such as Russia and China.

In a World War II-style expression force, the Air Force‘s 354th Fighter Wing and the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Wing engaged more than 30 aircraft in a massive runway formation on December 18 at Eielson Air Force Base.
The formation — known in military parlance as an “elephant walk” — was meant to test the rapid readiness of every flying unit at the base about 25 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Air Force officials said.

“The elephant walk isn’t only to practice our abilities to respond quickly,” Col. David Skalicky, operations group commander for the 354th Fighter Wing, was quoted as saying on an Air Force website. “This is to show our airmen who work behind the scenes what Eielson (Air Force Base) is about. It’s about showing our strength in the Arctic arena.”

While an Air Force statement on the event made no mention of China or Russia, the exercise occurred just four days before Russian and Chinese military forces made global headlines by flying a joint patrol mission over the Western Pacific.

Remainder of story at link
I hate to sound overly simplistic, or crass. But the Chinese government really are some of the ultimate forms of scum in the modern world.

No need to elaborate here, and I wouldn't even know where to begin if I started.

Tentacles in everything, trying to influence governments, educational institutions, local politicians, national politicians, etc etc. And for what purpose?

Let governments decide what is best for their people, without coercion. Allow educational institutions to be just that, places to learn & grow.

All this 'shadow coercion' is really starting to piss me off. Ever think the rest of the world doesn't want to emulate you China, for obvious reasons?

I hate to sound overly simplistic, or crass. But the Chinese government really are some of the ultimate forms of scum in the modern world.

No need to elaborate here, and I wouldn't even know where to begin if I started.

Tentacles in everything, trying to influence governments, educational institutions, local politicians, national politicians, etc etc. And for what purpose?

Let governments decide what is best for their people, without coercion. Allow educational institutions to be just that, places to learn & grow.

All this 'shadow coercion' is really starting to piss me off. Ever think the rest of the world doesn't want to emulate you China, for obvious reasons?

They have been playing the long game, recently it was exposed that party members had become deeply involved in major political and corporate entities around the world include the defense and pharmaceutical industries. It is no wonder they are able to control information as well as they do. We really need to up our counter espionage game as they have agents of the Chinese state everywhere.
They have been playing the long game, recently it was exposed that party members had become deeply involved in major political and corporate entities around the world include the defense and pharmaceutical industries. It is no wonder they are able to control information as well as they do. We really need to up our counter espionage game as they have agents of the Chinese state everywhere.
I'm pretty sure Dick Fadden (former Director CSIS and DM of DND) was saying this years ago. I met him briefly, and he was probably the sharpest senior official I ever encountered. None of this should be a shock to anyone that's been paying attention over the last decade or so. Unfortunately, too many in Ottawa choose to turn a blind eye to reality and continue to ignore what was written in their introduction to international relations textbooks back in university. That, or they are complicit...
Why would Russia or China need to pay 'non-state actors' to engage American forces in Afghanistan, when the Taliban have been doing so for almost 20yrs now out of their own ideology?