China: What kind of dragon?
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China: What kind of dragon?
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China’s odious manipulation of history is infecting the West

China’s odious manipulation of history is infecting the West | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
In China, the Global Times, a state-run newspaper, cast China’s demand that the content be removed as a battle over values. It said the only reason that Western values — of free discourse and academic freedom — sat at “the core of human society” was due to “the West’s strength.” When China becomes stronger, it vowed, China will call the shots.

China’s move to demand self-censorship is not an isolated case. It’s just one of many the Communist government has taken in recent years to mold history and historians to serve the needs of the Chinese Communist Party. Party boss Xi Jinping has led a campaign against what he calls “historical nihilism,” the party’s shorthand for attempts to write honestly about the past and mistakes committed by China’s Communist leaders. As part of that campaign, historians and writers have been silenced and jailed, books have been banned and party censors have launched a nationwide campaign to expunge any positive mention of Western political ideas from Chinese college textbooks.
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What is the story behind Trump's phone call with Taiwan?

What is the story behind Trump's phone call with Taiwan? | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
The Washington Post’s Jia Lynn Yang explains the backstory on relations between the U.S., China, and Taiwan, and the ramifications of Friday's telephone call between president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
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Japan scrambles jets over Chinese flight

Japan scrambles jets over Chinese flight | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
Japan says it scrambled fighter jets on Sunday after eight Chinese military aircraft flew between Japanese islands. The planes, thought to be bombers, surveillance planes and one fighter jet, flew along the Miyako Straits, between Okinawa and Miyakojima. China said about 40 of its aircraft had been involved in what it said was a routine drill. The planes did not cross into Japanese airspace, but the move is being seen as a show of force by China.
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Made in China: America’s Appetite for Assault Weapons

Made in China: America’s Appetite for Assault Weapons | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
In May 2000, Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, and Carolyn McCarthy wrote a letter to their House counterparts urging them to deny China a far-reaching and highly-coveted trade status called Permanent Normal Trade Relations. In their warning, the three Democrats didn’t mention the potentially damaging economic or political ramifications of such a relationship with China or even invoke the country’s infamous human-rights record. Instead, they focused on one specific issue: semi-automatic weapons.

From 1987 until 1994, some 42 percent of all rifles imported into the United States had come from China. The representatives noted that an embargo had been imposed in 1994 because, in just a few years, China “had exported almost one million Chinese rifles to the United States—more than made by all U.S. manufacturers combined in 1992.” Conferring this new trade designation, they argued, would effectively unravel the embargo and allow assault rifles like the SKS semi-automatic to become cheaply available again. “What made them attractive was their power and inexpensive price, only $55.95,” they wrote of the SKS, noting its popularity among neo-Nazis, gangs, and white supremacists. The letter concluded, “Don't give China the power to decide gun policy in the United States.” The bill was signed into law that October.
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Japan's East China Sea Military Buildup Continues

Japan's East China Sea Military Buildup Continues | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"He who lives by the military buildup, dies by the military buildup. Though the recent visit to Beijing by Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida suggests a thaw in Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, there remains a gulf—or more accurately, a sea—between the two Asian powerhouses. • China’s growing naval activism in the East China Sea has inevitably sparked reaction from Japan, as Tokyo is busy raising a defensive wall along its southern flank, coinciding with one of the most vulnerable sections of the so-called first island chain, to control and deter possible aggressive moves by the Chinese navy. • On the heels of new security legislation allowing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to engage in armed conflicts overseas for the first time since the end of World War II, evidence is mounting that Tokyo is intent on closing in on China through a variety of ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and antimissile facilities. Key to this strategy is the militarization of the Nansei Island Chain, Japan’s southernmost territories, which includes the prefectures of Okinawa and Kagoshima."
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A 'Gut Check' On U.S.-China Policy

A 'Gut Check' On U.S.-China Policy | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
No one wants to have one set of rules for how we deal with China and another for how we manage relations with everyone else. And no one wants to be irrationally fearful of China. However, these are not good reasons not to take a step back and acknowledge that the U.S. system may well be inadequate to the challenge at hand and that managing the uncertainty that China presents may necessitate rewriting the rules for everyone.
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China's military in bid for superpower status

"HONG KONG (CNN) - China's military is sending strong signals that it's gearing up to compete with the U.S. as a global superpower, engaging in a multi-faceted reform effort to modernize and professionalize its military One of the most significant developments is China's plans to establish an overseas military base---which would be contemporary China's first---in Djibouti. Construction started last month. There has been some speculation that China negotiated a 10-year contract, although China will not confirm details for what it carefully calls 'military support facilities.' The stated purpose is to provide 'better logistics and safeguard Chinese peacekeeping forces in the Gulf of Aden, offshore Somalia and other humanitarian assistance tasks of the U.N.' including anti-piracy missions, according to Ministry of National Defense spokesman Wu Qian. China's new base will be near the only U.S. military base in Africa, also in Djibouti. It is an extremely strategic location and would offer greater ability to protect oil shipments from and give greater access to the Arabian Peninsula."
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The Chinese Communist Party’s richest man is now the biggest owner of US movie theaters

The Chinese Communist Party’s richest man is now the biggest owner of US movie theaters | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
AMC Entertainment, the movie-theater chain owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, has purchased Carmike Cinemas, a rival 3,000-screen chain known as "America's hometown theater circuit," for $1.1 billion.
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Missing: The Search For A Sister In China

Missing: The Search For A Sister In China | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
Last summer, a Chinese-American woman contacted NPR's Frank Langfitt with an unusual request: to help find her troubled sister, who'd vanished in southwest China. A difficult journey followed.
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China's new anti-terror law to pass Sunday

China's new anti-terror law to pass Sunday | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"Law could require tech firms to install 'back doors' in products or hand over sensitive information to the government" • "China is set to pass its controversial new anti-terrorism law on Sunday, the largely rubber-stamp parliament said on Friday, despite U.S. criticism about its cyber provisions and concerns over human rights. • The draft law, which could require technology firms to install 'back doors' in products or hand over sensitive information such as encryption keys to the government, has also been criticized by some Western business groups."
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Don’t eat that shrimp

Don’t eat that shrimp | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"Last year, the Guardian shed light on an uncomfortable—and unfortunate—truth about much of the shrimp sold in North America, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere around the world. A six-month long investigation revealed that torture, wage-theft, beatings, and various other illegal practices were a reality in the production chain of the world's largest supplier. • 'If you buy prawns or shrimp from Thailand, you will be buying the produce of slave labor,' Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International, told the Guardian at the time. And many countries do, including the United States, which imports about half of the shrimp Thailand harvests."
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U.S. raises military aid to Philippines amid sea tension with China

U.S. raises military aid to Philippines amid sea tension with China | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region over China's new assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Since 2002, the United States has provided the Philippines with nearly $500 million in military assistance as well as various types of military equipment.

"We have upped our foreign military funding for the Philippines," Ambassador Philip Goldberg told ANC television, without giving a percentage. "It will be somewhere in the range of $79 million this year. It's increasing and what has been proposed is something called a maritime security initiative in the region."

China has overlapping claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.
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China Recalculates Its Coal Consumption: Why This Really Matters

"It seems like a distant memory now, but just one month ago, the international community was lauding China for stepping up its commitment to address climate change by pledging to initiate a cap-and-trade system for CO2 by 2017 and contributing $3.1 billion to a fund to help poor countries combat climate change. Now, however, the talk is all about the release of a new set of game-changing Chinese statistics on coal consumption. A New York Times headline blared: 'China burns much more coal than reported, complicating climate talks.'  And the Guardian reported: 'China underreporting coal consumption by up to 17%, data suggests.'"

 

"Once you head down the rabbit hole of what is fact in China and what is fiction, it is very difficult to crawl back out again. If one is looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, however, let me suggest two: first, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) had already released statistics on Chinese coal consumption in September that suggested that China had underreported its coal consumption by 14% during 2000-2013. It also, however, suggested that coal consumption was nearly flat in 2014. If the EIA is right on that score, then there may be some merit to all the reporting that China is turning the corner on its coal consumption, and the world could see a plateau in CO2 emissions (albeit at a much higher level) earlier than 2030. Second, the mere fact that the Chinese government actually reported the change in coal consumption is a positive. The timing of Beijing’s announcement, right before the Paris climate talks, may be unfortunate. However, greater transparency from a government that thrives on opacity is always welcome."

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Trump speaks with Taiwanese president, a major break with decades of U.S. policy on China - "'He’s well aware of what U.S. policy has been,' Kellyanne Conway said in an interview with CNN on Friday...

A senior adviser to Trump suggested that he knew about the long-standing U.S. policy toward Taiwan when the call occurred.

“He’s well aware of what U.S. policy has been,” Kellyanne Conway said in an interview with CNN on Friday night.

Conway bristled when asked whether Trump was properly briefed before the call on the government’s long-standing policy, questioning why President Obama did not receive similar queries about his knowledge of foreign affairs.

“President-elect Trump is fully briefed and fully knowledgeable about these issues . . . regardless of who’s on the other end of the phone,” she said.

Ric Grenell, a former George W. Bush administration spokesman at the United Nations, who was spotted visiting with Trump transition team officials at Trump Tower on Friday, said the president-elect’s call was planned in advance and that Trump took the call on purpose.

“It was totally planned,” Grenell said. “It was a simple courtesy call. People need to calm down. The ‘One China’ policy wasn’t changed. Washington, D.C., types need to lighten up.”
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Hollywood’s dangerous obsession with China - "The result is that Hollywood is allowing China to determine which movies get made."

Hollywood’s dangerous obsession with China - "The result is that Hollywood is allowing China to determine which movies get made." | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
American film studios are playing a leading role in the growing strategic and ideological competition between China and the U.S., and Washington is taking note. Sixteen members of Congress wrote a letter calling for scrutiny of Chinese investments in the U.S. film industry, and former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) wants a review of Hollywood’s pursuit of Chinese box office. “By controlling the financing and distribution of American movies [in China],” Wolf wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed, “and [by] subjecting them to censorship..., Beijing could effectively dictate what is and isn’t made.”

Government attention to these issues raises the specter of federal regulation of culture — a brand of McCarthyism that would be worse than the problem it seeks to solve — but the lawmakers’ warnings are on target. American filmmakers have already made common cause with Chinese censors in pursuit of profit. Writing scripts to satisfy the rulers of the People’s Republic doesn’t simply weaken the films the U.S. exports to China, it limits what plays at the multiplex on American soil, and it diminishes our understanding of the greatest geostrategic challenge America will face over the coming decades: the rise of China.
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South China Sea: China 'has right to set up air defence zone'

South China Sea: China 'has right to set up air defence zone' | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"Chinese official has said China has the right to set up an air defence zone over territory it claims in the South China Sea. • The statement from Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin comes a day after an international tribunal said there was no legal basis for China's claims. • China has overlapping claims with other countries to reefs and islands across almost all of the South China Sea. • It has already said it will ignore the tribunal's findings. • President Xi Jinping has said China's 'territorial sovereignty and marine rights' in the seas will not be affected by the ruling 'in any way'."
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South China Sea Tensions: How Do We Know What's Really Happening?

South China Sea Tensions: How Do We Know What's Really Happening? | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
Here is the problem, simply put: there are not enough analysts to make sense of every ship or activity at sea; nor enough government assets to persistently monitor them all. This reality is changing however, thanks to the rise of commercial space players who have already affected the national security landscape in significant ways.

The Asia-Pacific region is mostly water, which is why Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) gets a lot of attention in matters of peace, prosperity, and security. The importance of MDA surfaces in practice when, say, China maneuvers in the South China Sea and the U.S. and its allies assert principles of freedom of navigation, prevention of conflict and coercion, and the rule of international law.

One definition of MDA is the “effective understanding” of anything associated with the sea, ocean, or other navigable waterways, includ
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Singapore, Australia Expand Military Partnership With Eye on China

Singapore, Australia Expand Military Partnership With Eye on China | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"CANBERRA, Australia—Singapore will expand two military bases in Australia’s tropical north and rotate thousands of extra troops through the country each year as regional strategic tensions increase over China’s muscle-flexing in the South China Sea. • As part of a trade and defense deal, Singapore will spend US$1.7 billion upgrading Australian military bases at Townsville and Shoalwater Bay, near Yeppoon, while sending 14,000 troops to Australia each year for four-month training rotations, both governments said Friday. • Under the deal, the Southeast Asian city-state will follow the U.S. in beefing up military ties with Canberra and using Australia’s vast training areas to carry out military exercises. The U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force have been expanding their footprints in the northern Australian port of Darwin as part of Washington’s rebalance of forces to the Asia-Pacific region. The Marines are deploying in regular six-month rotations, alternating with improvement work being carried at the Australian bases."
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Faced With Threats From China And Russia, U.S. Taps Silicon Valley To Bolster Military Space Power

The United States is the world’s leading military space power. But the future of that status is not assured in an era characterized by a return to great power competition, which is reflected also in the counterspace race in which both China and Russia are moving rapidly to seek an edge. In the face of a foreseeable relative decline in its power, the United States is determined to not just reinforce but also distinguish its space-based advantages from its competitors.

Some of the ways the U.S. is doing so are clear. The Department of Defense (DOD) is dedicating over $2 billion on space control capabilities that “address potential threats” to U.S space assets. It is also talking openly about its Strategic Capabilities Office, with the mission of rapid development and fielding of capabilities.

Other ways are less evident, but have deeper long-term implications for sustaining an edge over rivals. The U.S. is tapping into the emerging commercial frontiers marked by the intersecting surge of small satellites and big data. There is the Defense Innovation Initiative, whose stated aim is to connect industry with DOD. This is not just about research and development planning. Under this initiative, the military is also reaching out to the industrial base in an effort to speedily leverage commercially-driven space technology products.
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Former CIA chief: Mishandling the rise of China 'will be catastrophic'

Former CIA chief: Mishandling the rise of China 'will be catastrophic' | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"'Now if you run the timeline out to the 10-year point, it's China. I'm not saying China's an enemy of the United States of America,' Hayden said. 'I'm just simply saying that if we do not handle the emergence of the People's Republic well, it will be catastrophic for the world.' China is currently pushing ahead on its claims to the South China Sea over the objections of Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the US. In mid-February, Beijing took a further step of militarizing the region by placing advanced surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island to solidify its claims. Beijing is also constructing man-made islands throughout the region. On these islands China has been building ports, seawalls, and airstrips that would allow the country to dominate the region. By 2030, a report by the Center for Strategic & International Studies notes that the South China Sea will essentially exist as a 'Chinese lake.'"
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South China Sea patrolled by U.S. aircraft carrier

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group is operating in the South China Sea, with the Chinese Navy apparently keeping close watch.
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Hawking: Humans at risk of lethal 'own goal'

Hawking: Humans at risk of lethal 'own goal' | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
"Nuclear war, global warming and genetically-engineered viruses are among the scenarios he singles out. • And he says that further progress in science and technology will create 'new ways things can go wrong'. • Prof Hawking is giving this year's BBC Reith Lectures, which explore research into black holes, and his warning came in answer to audience questions. He says that assuming humanity eventually establishes colonies on other worlds, it will be able to survive. • 'Although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years. • By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.'"
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China’s Military: What It Means for Markets

"Investors must prepare for the possibility of a Great Power conflict between the U.S. and China." "China’s factories are now rapidly producing military capabilities that will eventually rival those of the U.S. The only remaining debate is whether China will achieve parity by 2020, 2030, or later."
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Superpowers Show Their Cards with Military Units for Outer Space

"Given these trends, it will not be a surprise to find other up and coming space powers reconfiguring their institutional military missions. What would be a surprise with all this is if peace were still to prevail in the heavens."

 

"Whether the explicit recognition of the counterspace race by all governments will make it possible for them to seek a way out of it remains to be seen. For every space power involved, the counterspace race is serious, growing, foreign, and a threat. And so also an opportunity for forging a new order in the heavens."

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The most egregious examples from the Chinese government’s long, sordid history of data-doctoring

The most egregious examples from the Chinese government’s long, sordid history of data-doctoring | China: What kind of dragon? | Scoop.it
To many, China’s announcement of better-than-expected 6.9% GDP growth for the third quarter confirmed a growing conviction. No, not that China’s economy was hardier than it seemed. Rather, that the Chinese government’s GDP data are more or less made up.


Of all of China’s official statistics, GDP is probably among best-known for being, shall we say, internally consistent. But the history of China’s lower-profile economic data is littered with disappearing data, mixed-up methodologies, and freak aberrations. Here’s a roundup of the most notorious examples:"

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