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Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, one of the most notorious “wolf warrior diplomats.”

At a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo study meeting held on the afternoon of May 31, Xi Jinping instructed his colleagues that they must “tell a good Chinese story,” “propagate the voice of China,” ensure that China has an “international voice” that matches its “comprehensive national power and international status,” “grasp the right tone,” “be modest and humble,” “pay attention to the strategy and art of the ‘public opinion struggle,’” and “make Chinese discourse more persuasive.” This seems to indicate that the Chinese government has realized that “wolf warrior diplomacy” has placed China in a more difficult state of affairs on the international scene.

Consequently, Xi Jinping wants to make certain adjustments to China’s so-called “wolf warrior diplomacy.” However, it was Xi Jinping himself who initiated China’s wolf warrior diplomacy. It originated from Xi’s concepts of the self-confidence of a great power,” the Chinese model,” the Chinese plan,” and a community with a shared future for mankind.” Moreover, it was Xi himself who bolstered the Chinese public’s sense of nationalism as part of a strategy to further consolidate his power and increase his prestige.

Read more at “Why China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy Is Here to Stay”

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Promoting Atheism

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in its 100 years of existence has killed Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, practitioners of folk religions and of Falun Gong, democrats, peasants, workers, professionals, dissident Party members, and pretty much everybody else. There is, however, somebody they have not managed to kill, God. But not for lack of efforts, as we were reminded during the celebration of the CCP’s 100th anniversary.

Because of the celebration, a particularly solemn “9th Scientific Atheism Forum” was held at Nanjing University. It was co-organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Marxist Theoretical Discipline Construction and Theoretical Research Project Leading Group, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Marxism, Nanjing University’s School of Marxism, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Science and Atheism Research Center, and the Chinese Atheism Society, on the theme of “One Hundred Years of the Communist Party of China and Marxist Atheism.”

Xue Hailin, from Nanjing University, offered a useful summary of Xi Jinping’s “thought on atheism.” Xi, Xue said by quoting from different speeches, not only emphasized that atheism is “a basic requirement” for being a CCP member, it is also “a mandatory feature of a Socialist country.” Therefore, every Party member should be “a firm atheist and actively promote Marxist atheism.”

Read more at “Chinese Communist Party: 100 Years of Promoting Atheism”

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Technological War

Beijing’s crackdown on initial public offerings by Chinese companies in the US stock market denotes a turn to hard-edged economic nationalism, signaled by President Xi Jinping’s July 6 denunciation of American “technology blockades.”

In an online address to friendly political parties around the world, Xi declared, “We must jointly oppose anyone engaging in technological blockades, technological division and decoupling of development.”

He added that no country had the right to “obstruct the development of other countries and harm their people’s lives through political manipulation.”

The Trump administration banned US investors from owning shares of 35 Chinese companies that Washington says are linked to the Chinese military. The Biden administration expanded the list to 59, which Americans must divest by August 2.

By discouraging Chinese companies from listing in the US, Beijing has said in so many words that it doesn’t need America’s capital markets to finance Chinese companies because it has plenty of capital at home.

Xi’s address “clearly establishes a position where China does not feel inferior to the US,” semiconductor industry guru Handel Jones told Asia Times. Jones is CEO of International Business Strategies, a consulting firm that advises top-level global technology companies.

In a related action, the Chinese government announced strict controls on exports of Chinese data, a critical resource for artificial intelligence applications in several industries including pharmaceuticals.

Read more at China to US: Two can play at technological war

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Xi Jinping’s Faustian Moment

Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution caught up with the 15-year-old Xi Jinping, as Edward Luttwak recounted recently in the London Review of Books.

The young Xi, son of a Communist luminary disgraced by the Red Guards, was sent to work in Liangjiahe, a miserably poor mountain village of windowless cave houses in a barren landscape of deforested hills in northern Shaanxi.

It was there that another teenage exile lent him a copy of Goethe’s “Faust”, which Xi read again and again till he knew it by heart, as he credibly boasted on meeting Angela Merkel.

That is the single most important data point we have about a man whose public persona consists of Brobdingnagian billboard images and speeches in turgid officialese. The second data point, of course, is that he married Peng Liyuan, a popular singer of sentimental “Heimatslieder.”

Goethe’s great drama is the definitive work of modern literature. Virtually all of it is in rhymed verse, in a language at once so colloquial and so sublime that it defies translation.

Read more at Xi Jinping’s Faustian Moment

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Beyond The Anniversary

When Chinese intellectuals Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao co-founded the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1921, it likely would have been hard for them to imagine that the party would preside over the world’s second-largest and fastest rising economy a century later.

The CPC, currently the world’s largest political party with 95 million members, was founded by a group of magazine editors led by Chen.

In September 1915, Chen published the first edition of “Qingnian Zazhi”, which literally means “Youth Magazine”, to promote the so-called “Six Spirits,” namely anti-slavery, progressiveness, initiative, openness, pragmatism and science, to the public.

Significantly, the publication also initiated the “New Culture Movement” between 1915 and 1924, calling for democracy, equality and socialism. Today  the CPC opens a new chapter by celebrating its 100th anniversary in a gala spectacle aimed to show the world the party’s strength, unity and staying power.

CPC General Secretary and national President Xi Jinping awarded the “July 1 medals” to 29 people and praised them for their contributions to the party and the nation. Xi urged all party members to continue to fight for the “China Dream” – the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the second centenary goal.

It hasn’t been all peaches and cream for the CPC. China has endured especially tough times under its rule, not least the 1959-61 “Great Chinese Famine” that killed tens of millions, the self-destruction of the 1966-76 “Cultural Revolution” and the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” in 1989.

Read more at China’s Communist Party flexes a century of staying power

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China’s Next 100 Years

As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) turns 100, the late Milton Friedman is trending in cyberspace. The reason: “the spectacular ways in which the Nobel laureate had Asia’s now biggest economy wrong.”

In particular, his strong belief that capitalism would give China no choice but to go the way of Western democracies was dead wrong. Here’s how Friedman put it in 2003, less than two years after Beijing entered the World Trade Organization (WTO): “I predict that China will move increasingly toward political freedom if it continues its successful move to economic freedom.”

The exact opposite has happened. Rather than WTO rules changing China, the nation bent global trade to its own will. Ditto for the internet, which Friedman and his ilk argued would put the CCP out of favor.

President Xi Jinping reminded the globe in dramatic terms of the party’s indisputable role in China’s success – and in continuing its trajectory toward the ranks of advanced world powers. Speaking from Tiananmen Square before thousands of party officials, Xi struck a defiant tone about China’s broader ambitions.

“Nobody should underestimate the staunch determination, firm will and powerful capacity of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said.

The Chinese people, he added, “will never allow foreign forces to bully, oppress or enslave us. Whoever nurses delusions of doing that will crack their heads and spill blood on the Great Wall of steel built from the flesh and blood of 1.4 billion Chinese people.”

Read more at China’s next 100 years relies on the next 10

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If China Ruled the World

In a recent speech at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged not to interfere in other countries’ affairs. He also criticized unnamed countries for bossing others around. (China Global Television Network YouTube video screenshot)

One day in the late 1990s, I had the good fortune to witness an extraordinary dialogue in Beijing. A group of students from Tsinghua University, China’s Harvard, was exchanging views with some very senior American businessmen.

At one point one of the Americans asked the students about their ambitions for their country. Without hesitation, unemotionally and in perfect English, a student responded that he wanted China to be “the most powerful country in the world.”

And what, the American continued, equally unemotionally, “would you have your country do with its power?” That question left the students tongue-tied.

It was, perhaps, an unfair follow-up. These were students, after all, not statesmen. They weren’t responsible for their country’s policies. They would have had no occasion to think about the uses of power. Power is good for its own sake, isn’t it? Besides, back then China was a long way from being the world’s most powerful country.

A paramilitary policeman gestures under a pole with security cameras, US and China’s flags near the Forbidden City ahead of the visit by US President Donald Trump to Beijing, China November 8, 2017. Photo: Agencies

It’s closer today. Some think it’s basically there. In a Pew Research poll of people in 14 developed countries last year, 48% said China is the world’s dominant economic power. Dominant economic power is not exactly the same as world’s most powerful country, but it’s close. Only 35% picked the United States.If not the most powerful country in the world, China is certainly a contender for that title. So the question is worth asking again: “As a great power, if not the greatest, what uses will China make of its power?”

In centuries past great powers colonized and governed other lands. After World War II the Soviet Union installed governments of its choosing in Eastern Europe and sent in troops to squash revolutions against those governments. There’s no reason to think China will follow either of these precedents.

A man uses his mobile phone to take a picture of a big screen showing China’s President Xi Jinping attending the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2021. Photo: AFP/Stringer

China is, to be sure, fiercely protective of its own territorial integrity. Were Taiwan to declare itself independent, no one can doubt China would invade its “renegade province.” Some fear it might invade even if Taiwan doesn’t declare independence.

Although it’s wrong to talk of a US-China Cold War – the two countries trade with and invest in each other as well as compete – that doesn’t preclude a hot war over Taiwan. The US could find itself forced to defend Taiwan if China invades.

China does not, however, seem to have territorial ambitions beyond its historical borders. Nor is it like the post-World War II Soviet Union, which was both ideologically committed to spreading Communism to other countries and fearful of having hostile neighbors on its western frontier.

If China has an ideological commitment, that commitment is as much to spreading autocracy as a form of government as to communism. China gladly works with autocratic governments, even particularly nasty ones like Myanmar’s after that country’s recent military coup. China doesn’t seem interested in installing such governments, however.

None of this means superpower China is without ambitions. It is, for example, trying to use the United Nations to reshape cyberspace. It has teamed up with Russia in several efforts to impose new cyberspace rules. “It’s breathtaking, really,” writes David Ignatius in the Washington Post. “The nations that have subverted the Internet most aggressively now want to police it, setting their own standards.”

In a world with a dominant China, then, information and ideas would not flow as freely.

The world will certainly have to get used to a great power with a thin skin. When China’s rulers have leverage, they punish criticism. When Australia’s prime minister called for an independent investigation of the origins of the coronavirus last year, China responded by throwing up barriers to Australian exports.

And China is working to increase the leverage it has over other countries. If its 2025 industrial strategy is successful, it will increase the world’s reliance on China for key high-tech products and materials.

If its digital yuan takes hold, more of the world’s trade will be conducted in a currency China controls. Its Belt and Road Initiative also has a leverage-increasing tendency.

A sign for China’s new digital currency is displayed at a shopping mall in Shanghai on March 8, 2021. Photo : AFP / Stringer

It’s too early to predict that China will intervene militarily abroad when it perceives its interests threatened. History suggests that’s what great powers do.

The United States did, in Iraq and Afghanistan among other places. Will China’s concern about Uighur terrorists in Xinjiang province stop at the border, for example? Or if Uighur terrorists started to cause real trouble in China, could we see China’s military chase them into Central Asia?

In a recent speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping laid out a vision of a China interested only in peace and international cooperation. He promised China will never seek hegemony. He pledged not to interfere in other countries’ affairs. He criticized unnamed countries for “bossing others around.”

He meant the United States, of course. China’s complaint is that the US tries to impose its values – human rights, for example – on the world.

Whatever Xi says, it’s hard to believe that if China were the world’s most powerful country it wouldn’t try to export its values. Great powers have been known to do that. It’s fine to preach peace and non-interference but the world will judge China on what it does, not on what Xi says.

As an American, I naturally prefer my country’s values. I am not anti-Chinese. I have tremendous respect for what China has accomplished. Having lived in Hong Kong for nine years and traveled to the mainland frequently, I know and like many Chinese people.

Still, I think the world would be a less happy place if the values of today’s Chinese regime were to win out.

Blocking China’s rise is unrealistic; too many countries have deep economic ties with it to recruit a containment brigade. War would be disastrous – for China, the US and the world.

But if China’s rise seems inevitable, America’s decline isn’t. One of the keys to keeping the peace in the future will be curing China’s rulers of the dangerous misunderstanding that it is.

The world has two great powers, China and the United States, and is likely to have two for some time. What China would do if it were the world’s dominant power is still a theoretical question.

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China Avoiding War For Now

A Chinese warship is seen docked at Garden Island naval base in Sydney on June 3, 2019. Photo: AFP / Peter Parks

Talk of war has become louder in recent days, but the “drumbeat” has been heard for some time now as China’s military capabilities have grown. China does not want war, at least not yet. It’s playing the long game and its evident intentions have become more unnerving.Scholars such as Brendan Taylor, associate professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, have identified four flashpoints for a possible conflict with China, including Korea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and Taiwan, but conventional war is not likely at this stage.

The armistice between North and South Korea has held for nearly 70 years. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely constrained North Korea’s economy and its testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles has ceased, for now. China has a stake in keeping Kim Jong Un’s regime in power in the North, but the prospects of reverting to a hot war have flowed and ebbed.

Just south of Korea, in the East China Sea, China has intensified its military activities around the Japanese-claimed but uninhabited Senkaku Islands. China appears to be wearing down Japan’s resolve to resist its claims over what Beijing calls the Diaoyu Islands.

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force surveillance plane flies over the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Kyodo News/AP

The United States has assured Japan the islands fall under their mutual defense security guarantee. But a confrontation with China could test US backing and possibly set the stage for escalated confrontation elsewhere.

Similarly, China’s industrial-scale island-building in the South China Sea has resulted in extensive military hardware and infrastructure. This will enable the Chinese to consolidate their position militarily and assert control over the so-called nine-dash line, its vast claim over most of the sea.

The US Navy continues to conduct freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the sea to challenge China’s claims. With thousands of marked and unmarked Chinese vessels operating there, however, the risk of an accident triggering an escalation is real.

A Philippine coast guard boat patrols past Chinese vessels in the South China Sea last month. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout/EPA

In 2016, an international tribunal rejected China’s claims to the waters in a case brought by the Philippines. Despite being a signatory to the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China has ignored the tribunal’s ruling and continued to intrude on islands claimed by both the Philippines and Indonesia.

Chinese vessels anchored at the Whitsun Reef, around 320 kilometers (175 nautical miles) west of Bataraza in Palawan in the South China Sea on March 23, 2021. Photo: Handout / Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies / AFP

Recently, 220 Chinese vessels were anchored for months at a reef inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. China’s actions appear premised on the dictum that possession is nine-tenths of the law.Like China’s seizure of the Scarborough Shoal in 2012 that preceded its massive island construction further south, China could conceivably take the unwillingness of the US to challenge its latest moves as a cue for more assertive action over Taiwan. This is, after all, the main prize Beijing seeks to secure President Xi Jinping’s legacy.

Taiwan presents the US and its allies with a conundrum. It is a liberal open democracy and the world’s leading computer-chip maker. It also sits in the middle of what military strategists refer to as the first island chain stretching from Japan in the north to the Philippines in the south. Its strategic significance is profound.

Having adopted a “one China” policy since 1979, the US security guarantee for Taiwan is conditional and tenuous. Reflecting growing unease over China’s actions, polls show strong US public support for defending Taiwan.

So far, ambiguity has served US interests well, providing some assurance to Taiwan while discouraging the People’s Republic of China from invading.

This guarantee has been important for Japan, as well. With its pacifist constitution, and occasional concern over US commitment to its defense, Japan would be closely watching how the US approaches its Taiwan policy.

Meanwhile, China has metamorphosed both economically and militarily. An exponential growth in China’s military capabilities has been matched by a steep rise in the lethality, accuracy, range and quantity of its weapons systems. On top of this, Beijing has ratcheted up its warlike rhetoric and tactics.

Last month, Xi made a muscular speech to the Boao Forum Asia, calling for an acceptance of China not only as an emerging superpower but also as an equal in addressing global challenges.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews a military display of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea on April 12, 2018. Photo: Xinhua

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. And China’s actions so far have avoided crossing the threshold into open warfare, refusing to present a “nail” to a US “hammer.” This is for good reason. If war did break out, China would be vulnerable. For starters, it shares land borders with 14 countries, bringing the potential for heightened challenges, if not open attack on numerous fronts.

Then there are the economic concerns. China has significant Japanese, US and European industrial investments, and is also overwhelmingly dependent on energy and goods passing through the Malacca Strait between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the Indo-Pacific region’s jugular vein.

This reliance on the Malacca Strait – referred to by one analyst as the Malacca dilemma – helps explain why China has invested so much capital in its Belt and Road Initiative and studiously avoided open conflict, at least until it is more self-reliant. To avoid outright war, China evidently reckons it is better to operate a paramilitary force with white-painted ships and armed fishing vessels in the thousands to push its claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea and constrict Taiwan’s freedom of action.

China has significantly upgraded its navy since Xi took power eight years ago. Li Gang/Xinhua/AP

It also recently passed a new law allowing its coast guard to act more like a military body and enforce maritime law – again in violation of the UNCLOS.

China is also expanding its “gray zone” warfare against Taiwan, which includes cyber attacks, repeated incursions of its airspace and territorial waters, and diplomatic isolation to undermine Taiwan’s resolve and ability to resist.

This persistent and escalating challenge by Chinese forces has demonstrated Taiwan’s inability to control its waters and airspace fully. Beijing is continuing to build a fleet of amphibious capabilities to enable an invasion of Taiwan. US pundits are also no longer confident the Americans would win in an outright war over Taiwan, with Washington’s top military officer in the region arguing one could happen within six years.

Taiwan lacks allies other than the United States, but Japan is mindful of the consequences of a US failure to defend Taiwan. Its ocean surveillance and coastal defense capabilities would be exposed if China took Taiwan. But Japan’s constitution precludes direct involvement in defending Taiwan.

Taiwanese soldiers applaud as Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (not in picture) arrives at a military base in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan on September 10, 2019. Photo: AFP/Sam Yeh

Under its ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty) obligations, the US could call on Australia for military support to defend Taiwan. The mutual assistance provisions are not automatically invoked, but the implications of Canberra standing on the sidelines would be profound.

Warnings about rhetorical drumbeats of war remind us the US is no longer the world’s only superpower and suggest Australia should prepare for a more volatile world.

Rather than rely solely on the US, Australia should bolster its own defense capabilities. At the same time, it should collaborate more with regional partners across Southeast Asia and beyond, particularly Indonesia, Japan, India and South Korea, to deter further belligerence and mitigate the risk of tensions escalating into open war.

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Growing Too Cozy with China

For the last three decades, the world has been drawing closer to China. Of all major Western nations, Australia has gotten closer than any other. And now it is realizing the fearsome consequences of that embrace. It may be too late for Australians to pull out of the relationship. But their fate is a powerful warning to the rest of the world.

Money, Money, Money. It started with a business relationship. After growing at an astonishing annual rate of around 10 percent for some 30 years, China is now, by some measures, the world’s largest economy. It takes a massive amount of raw materials to fuel such growth, making Australia a perfect trade partner.

In 2017, one third of Australia’s exports went to China, and nearly a quarter of its imports came from China.

Soon the economic relationship went beyond trade. China started buying up huge tracts of Australia. Chinese companies own more than 1 percent of Australia’s land area, including coal mines, energy companies, cattle farms, tourist resorts and even tens of thousands of private homes. By the end of 2019, China was officially Australia’s ninth-largest foreign investor. However, much Chinese investment is also funneled through Hong Kong, Australia’s fifth-largest investor.

The flourishing economic relationship affected other areas of Australian life. In 2015, a Chinese company closely tied to China’s Communist government signed a 99-year lease of Australia’s northernmost port in Darwin. The port is vital to the Australian military and also hosts a United States military base. Chinese companies also signed contracts for a 99-year lease on the port of Newcastle, a share in the port of Melbourne, and a 100-year lease on Western Australia’s Merriden airport. All this trade necessitated a close political relationship. In 2014 the Australian government invited President Xi Jinping to address Parliament.

Undercover. But this political relationship developed a dark side. China is being credibly accused of bribing Australian politicians and interfering with Australian elections. In 2017, Australia’s public television station, ABC, released a report showing that billionaires affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party were donating millions to Australia political parties and building close relationships with Australia’s political elites. In 2018 Charles Sturt University ethics professor Clive Hamilton published an explosive book titled Silent Invasion. It documents the governing Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of Australian corporations, universities, government and even religions.

Hamilton warns that China is turning Australia into a puppet state. China, he says, has received a wave of “billionaires with shady histories and tight links to the party, media owners creating Beijing mouthpieces, ‘patriotic’ students brainwashed from birth, and professionals marshaled into pro-Beijing associations set up by the Chinese Embassy.” He alleges that Chinese spies coordinated a penetration into all levels of Chinese society. In the aftermath of these allegations, Australian Sen. Sam Dastyari resigned, and the nation had to change its rules on politicians receiving donations from abroad.

Other politicians appear to have received thinly disguised bribes. Special Envoy Andrew Robb, for example, was the man who signed off on China leasing Port Darwin for a century. And what was waiting for him immediately upon leaving political office? An estimated $2 million plus expenses over three years—at the company to whom he had just leased the port.

But Chinese influence on Australian governance has been even more aggressive than all this. Three months prior to Australia’s 2019 elections, someone hacked the computer systems of the Australian Parliament and all major Australian political parties. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the time that the attack was “sophisticated” and probably the work of a foreign government. It has since emerged that this sophisticated foreign government was China.

Trade War. Chinese infiltration and aggression has caused Australians to change their position toward their large, wealthy northern neighbor. The turnaround started gradually. In 2016 the Australian government blocked Chinese investment in the nation’s energy infrastructure over national security concerns. In 2018 they blocked Huawei Technologies from developing Australia’s 5G network. But the real break came this year. Australia tried to hold China responsible for the spread of covid-19, and conducted investigations into the origins of the virus.

China reacted with fury. The Chinese Communist Party placed tariffs on Australian barley, wheat and coal. They found a sudden increase of “defects” in Australian copper, cotton, lobster, sugar and timber. It blocked imports of Australian lamb for fear of covid contamination, while meat from countries with much higher rates of covid sail on through. About 40 percent of Australian wine exports went to China. In November, the party imposed massive tariffs as high as 200-plus percent on that wine. Week by week, China is ratcheting up the economic damage with more tariffs.

Other strikes by China have been more below-the-belt. On Nov. 30, 2020, an official Twitter account of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a fake photo showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a gory knife at the throat of an Afghan child with the caption, “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!” Australian inquiries into its troops’ conduct in Afghanistan have found no evidence of Australian soldiers killing children. But China is spreading the lie—an accusation that could easily lead to a terrorist attack against Australia.

As the trade and political skirmish has worsened, China has issued Australia a 14-point ultimatum. Australians can go back to buying and selling with the Chinese the way they used to only if the Australian government opens up the country to Chinese investment and stops criticizing the governing Chinese Communist Party. How will Australia hold up under this pressure? Chinese infiltration has been so thorough that Australia is sailing into a trade war divided. Some of Australia’s own top politicians actually favor China!

Divided We Fall. Some of this is surely from bribery and other nefarious activity that we don’t even know about. But a lot of it is from the fact that Australia has put itself in the position where one third of its exports go to one country. Engaging in a trade war with that country will affect hundreds of thousands of jobs, with some political districts facing little consequence but others being devastated.

In 2019 the state of Victoria signed an agreement to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative—a group of countries that receive Chinese investment in their transportation and business infrastructure in exchange for being drawn closer into China’s orbit. Thus far, China has avoided industries that would harm Victoria. State Premier Dan Andrews has criticized the national government’s opposition to China—and Beijing seems to have rewarded him for taking its side. Others, such as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, have also urged the government to quickly end hostilities with China for the sake of Australian jobs.

Business leaders also have a lot to lose, and have taken China’s side. Andrew Forrest, a mining billionaire, brought one of China’s top diplomats to speak alongside him at an official event—without informing the Australian government minister who was also attending. Forrest said, “Australia needs to walk that line where we have a best friend in America, a best friend in China, best friends across Southeast Asia.”

Media mogul Kerry Stokes used the front pages of his The West Australian newspaper to call for an end to the conflict, writing, “If we’re going to go into the biggest debt we’ve had in our life and then simultaneously poke our biggest provider of income in the eye it’s not necessarily the smartest thing you can do.” He said China “probably owes the world an explanation on the origins of covid-19,” but “we need to stop making accusations.”

He rightly pointed out the massive economic cost that will come if the confrontation with China continues. Between that and the destruction wrought by Australia’s covid lockdowns, Australia’s economy risks being broken. This is the choice Australia now faces. Stand up to China and watch it use its power, influence, hackers and economic realities to devastate the Australian economy and more. Or submit to The Chinese Communist Party’s 14 points.

A Warning for America. America is well down the path Australia is taking. China and America are each other’s primary trading partners. America is also waking up to scandals involving Chinese agents and Chinese money going to powerful politicians. American universities have also been compromised. And China is also using trade wars very specifically—choosing what they put tariffs on based on which U.S. states they want to target.

Australia’s fraught relationship with China is what America’s will become if it continues down this path. After years of infiltration and influence, it already is beginning to face the same choice: “Stand up to the Chinese Communist Party, its 1 billion subjects, its world-leading economy, and its proven willingness and ability to exploit your open economy and society, or comply with its continued infiltration and however many points it imposes.”

In fact, the Bible prophesies this is exactly where America is heading. Isaiah 23 describes a “mart of nations”—a trading alliance in which “Chittim,” a biblical name for China, plays a major role.

America is a much larger economy than Australia, and China cannot take the Americans down alone. This same prophecy shows that China will work together with other Asian nations under its power, and with Europe!

This is what happens when you let a rival power infiltrate your economy, your education, your society and your policy. China will use all these levers against America. Just like Australia, America will soon face economic destruction. The prophecies are clear, and so is the reality on the ground for Australians and Americans.

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China’s Manufacturing Industry

Laborers working at a clothes factory in Hefei, in east China’s Anhui Province. China’s garment manufacturing industry is experiencing a downturn. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official recently admitted that because China’s manufacturing industry was limited by China’s social system, a lack of talents, and other factors, and because key technologies were controlled by “others,” China needs at least 30 years to achieve the goal of becoming a “manufacturing powerhouse.”

The statement was made by Miao Wei, deputy director of the Economic Committee of the “Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference” (CPPCC) and former Minister of “Industry and Information Technology.”

 

He said at a CPPCC meeting that in terms of global manufacturing industry, there are four different levels.

The first level is led by the United States because it is the global science and technology innovation center. The European Union and Japan belong to the second level since they are at the high-end of manufacturing. China and some other emerging countries belong to the third level, which is at the low- and mid-range of the manufacturing industry. The fourth level mainly consists of resource exporting countries, including OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), Africa, Latin America, and other countries.

According to Miao Wei, China’s manufacturing industry is “big but not strong, comprehensive but not good,” with weak basic capabilities, while key technologies are still controlled by “others.” Because of this, it will take at least 30 years for China to become a manufacturing powerhouse.

Si Zefu, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Harbin Electric Corporation, also admitted on the same day that China’s manufacturing industry was “not as good as others” in three “soft strengths”: innovation capability and innovation level; product quality and brand; management level and efficiency; “The poor profitability is particularly prominent,” he said.

Miao Wei also stressed that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP recently fell very fast. This not only dragged down China’s economic growth, but also affected urban employment. “It will also bring industrial safety risks, weakening China’s economy’s ability to resist risks and international competitiveness,” he said.

Miao Wei said that as China’s economy shifted to a service-based model, factories with polluting chimneys had been closed and manufacturing output as a share of the economy had declined. In 2020, China’s manufacturing share of GDP was just over a quarter, the lowest level since 2012.

As to the problem of China’s social system, Miao Wei believes that a “lack of market-oriented reforms” is the fundamental problem limiting the development of China’s manufacturing industry.

He also thinks that apart from a lack of key technologies, China also lacks talents in emerging industries, and this has become an obstacle for improving the overall status of the manufacturing industry.

In 2015, the CCP proposed the 10-year Made in China 2025 project, envisioning that by 2025, China would have transformed from a big manufacturing country to a manufacturing power, and that by 2035, the country’s manufacturing industry would surpass that of industrially advanced countries like Germany and Japan. The CCP hopes it will lead innovation in key manufacturing sectors by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the CCP’s regime.

However, after the “Made in China 2025” project became a sticking point in the trade war with the United States, Beijing has stopped talking about it publicly. The project disappeared from CCP’s 2019 government work report.

In the meantime, according to the Wall Street Journal, the CCP has replaced its “Made in China 2025” with the 14th “5-year plan” drafted by Vice Premier Liu He.

In addition to the trade war, the Trump administration had imposed sanctions on the CCP’s state-owned technology companies such as telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC).

As a result, the CCP has publicly admitted that China is suffering from a choke-hold in the field of technology.

When hosting the CCP’s Central Economic Work Conference in November last year, Xi Jinping admitted that innovation in China’s manufacturing industry was far from enough. He said the country’s strategic science and technology forces should be strengthened to enhance China’s capability to stay independent and take control of its’ own industrial chain in order to solve the choke-hold problems with key technologies.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also stressed at the economic work conference in December last year that “efforts should be made to solve the major problems that constrain national development and security,” and China should “focus on the weak links in the industry, implement core technology tapping projects, and solve a number of choke-hold problems as soon as possible.”

Current affairs commentator Zhong Yuan said in an article from the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times that Li Keqiang’s speech revealed the reality that the CCP is lagging behind in science and technology.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang.

Yuan said, although the CCP had stolen a lot of technology, it wasn’t able to master the most important key technologies. It was eager to engage in the so-called “Made in China 2025” plan, and even dreamed about monopolizing the world market. But all those dreams had proven to be for naught.

In recent years, China has become the world’s largest manufacturing country driven by domestic and international demand, but its industry’s dependence on U.S. high-tech products such as semiconductors has become a strategic weakness.

For example, although Huawei has been backed by the CCP with full force, it was hit hard by the U.S. sanctions. As a result, the CCP has started to promote “scientific pig farming.” Many high-tech enterprises have entered the pig farming industry.

Since the first case of African swine fever was confirmed in China in August 2018, the price of pigs has risen steadily. Recently, when it became difficult to maintain its main cell phone business, Huawei was forced to announce its move into “smart pig farming” due to a cut-off in chip supply.

According to Sina.com, Huawei’s “smart pig farming” solution includes providing dashboard monitoring, big data analysis, and digital management. It also supports AI identification, AI learning, AI prediction, AI decision making, robot inspection, and remote control through standardization and programming.

In addition to creating identity cards for pigs, facial recognition technology was also applied to pigs. Facial recognition of pigs, or “pig face” identification and other technologies have also been adopted in Huawei’s “smart pig farming” solutions.

An article by Radio Taiwan International mockingly says that what’s disastrous for Huawei is, even after Huawei struggled to hold on until the White House changed hands, the Biden administration hasn’t loosened the sanctions.

Huawei’s Chairman Ren Zhengfei.

In February this year, Huawei’s Chairman Ren Zhengfei vowed to “survive without cell phones,” and launched the “Nanniwan” projects to save itself.  The projects include making breakthroughs in various fields such as coal and steel production, music, smart screens, PC computers, and tablets.

Nanniwan was the “revolutionary base” of the CCP located near Yan’an in Shaanxi Province in China. In March 1941, the Eighth Route Army of the CCP carried out military reclamation in Nanniwan to provide supplies for the CCP.

Since then, Nanniwan has become a symbolic “sacred” place that saved the CCP. “The spirit of Nanniwan is an important part of the spirit of Yan’an,” reads Baidu.com’s entry about Nanniwan.

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