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Snowden Documents Reveal Scope of Secrets Exposed to China in 2001 Spy Plane Incident

WHEN CHINA boldly seized a U.S. underwater drone in the South China Sea last December and initially refused to give it back, the incident ignited a weeklong political standoff and conjured memories of a similar event more than 15 years ago.

In April 2001, just months before the 9/11 attacks gripped the nation, a U.S. Navy spy plane flying a routine reconnaissance mission over the South China Sea was struck by a People’s Liberation Army fighter jet that veered aggressively close. The mid-air collision killed the Chinese pilot, crippled the Navy plane, and forced it to make an emergency landing at a Chinese airfield, touching off a tense international showdown for nearly two weeks while China refused to release the two-dozen American crew members and damaged aircraft.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/10/snowden-documents-reveal-scope-of-secrets-exposed-to-china-in-2001-spy-plane-incident/

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Asia, North America

 

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Australia Beckons a war with China

Australia is sleep-walking into a confrontation with China. Wars can happen suddenly in an atmosphere of mistrust and provocation, especially if a minor power, like Australia, abandons its independence for an “alliance” with an unstable superpower.The United States is at a critical moment. Having exported its all-powerful manufacturing base, run down its industry and reduced millions of its once-hopeful people to poverty, principal American power today is brute force. When Donald Trump launched his missile attack on Syria – following his bombing of a mosque and a school – he was having dinner in Florida with the President of China, Xi Jinping.

Source: AUSTRALIA BECKONS A WAR WITH CHINA

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Asia, Oceania

 

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It’s Not Communism Holding China’s Youth Back. It’s Their Parents. 

I am the son of a Chinese democracy activist. My father went into exile in 1988; I was born in China and raised in England. But today, my father and I find ourselves back in the motherland.My family’s struggle for freedom was a quest to escape what they saw as a narrowing reality. My father’s decision to seek refuge, and his independence from a brutal government, led to my upbringing in England. But having returned to China, in 2012, of my own free will, I have come to realize that the struggle for most young people in China isn’t a political one — it’s a generational clash against the stifling influence of parental expectations.Before he left China, my father was an assistant teacher of law at a university in the southern city of Guilin. In the late 1980s he started distributing pamphlets and writing letters calling for democratic reforms. In those days, the winds of change were blowing hard. The slaughter near Tiananmen Square in June 1989 was the culmination, a savage eradication of the democratic movement that had swept across China.

Source: It’s Not Communism Holding China’s Youth Back. It’s Their Parents. | Foreign Policy

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Asia

 

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Hopes and fears on people’s Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan 

Aisulu grimaces while talking about the gauntlet she has been thrown by foreign competitors. “The Chinese say, ‘You took away our market, we will find a way to bring it back. We will produce clothes that are even cheaper than yours.’ She owns a textile workshop in the outskirts of Bishkek. The sewing machines are made in China (“They cost much less than the Japanese ones,” she says) and a dozen young women are working away producing women’s padded coats, which are oversize for local consumption because Aisulu’s target customers are junoesque Russian buyers.

Source: Hopes and fears on people’s Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan | Asia Times

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Asia

 

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Asian collision course

Since the end of the US presidential campaign, Donald Trump and his team of advisers have made statements showing they seek to alter world politics in significant ways. None are quite as important, for world peace and global stability, as the adversarial pronouncements about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that are now upsetting bilateral relations and generating turbulence in East Asia. While not yet formalised in a coherent policy framework, official and semi-official discourses point to sharpening rivalry, and possibly to an unfolding, and risky, containment effort.At the economic level, the new administration is considering designating China a ‘currency manipulator’ for the first time since 1994, and is proposing punitive tariffs of up to 45% on Chinese-sourced imports. At the strategic level, prominent figures in or close to the new administration have been sending unusually unambiguous messages that the US will use force if necessary to curb China’s growing power and reach in East Asia and the Pacific. In confirmation hearings on 11 January, secretary of state designate Rex Tillerson warned that the US would interdict Chinese naval forces in the South China Seas: ‘We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to these islands also is not going to be allowed.’ It would be a ‘danger to the global economy’ if China were to ‘dictate access to the waterway’ (1). A few days later, Newt Gingrich, former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives (1995-9) and confidant of Donald Trump, told the German weekly Der Spiegel, ‘Well, frankly, on the South China Sea, I suspect we will try to communicate with the Chinese that they are not going to become the leading naval power in our lifetime’ (2).

Source: Asian collision course, by Philip S Golub (Le Monde diplomatique ⋆ Epeak . Independent news and blogs

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Asia

 

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Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?

When the hype surrounding the Trump-Xi summit turns into a Mar-a-Lago fact on the ground next month, both presidents are bound to agree fully on at least one issue: “radical Islamic terror” – as per Trump terminology.Donald Trump has relied on a controversial Muslim “no-ban” ban that – in theory – would restrict the inflow of potential radical Islamists to US territory; his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, meeting Xinjiang lawmakers on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, has launched a “Great Wall of Iron” to protect China’s Far West.

Source: Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock? | Asia Times

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Asia

 

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Chinese investment aid to Sri Lanka has been a major success—for China 

Every day as dusk falls on Colombo, residents flock to Galle Face Green, a vast esplanade facing the beach and Indian Ocean beyond. Snack sellers serve refreshments from rickety tables while families and couples stroll by, hair and dupattas (scarves) fluttering in the wind. One of the most popular parks in town, it’s a great place to people-watch, or just stare at the turbulent waters gleaming in the sunset.
https://qz.com/896219/chinese-investment-aid-to-sri-lanka-has-been-a-major-success-for-china/

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2017 in Asia

 

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Building a Community, and an Empire, With a Gay Dating App in China 

Ma Baoli was accustomed to secrets.
By day, he was a police officer in northern China with a wife and a knack for street chases. By night, he led a life as a gay man, furtively running a website for gay people across China at a time when many were viewed as criminals and deviants.
For 16 years, Mr. Ma kept his secret, worried that coming out would mean expulsion from the police force and estrangement from his family. Then in 2012, his superiors at a police department in Qinhuangdao, a coastal city in Hebei Province, uncovered his website and he resigned.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/world/asia/building-a-community-and-an-empire-with-a-gay-dating-app-in-china.html?referer=

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Asia

 

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Nei sotterranei di Pechino vive un’umanità distopica

La signora Lu raccoglie la spazzatura dello xiaoqu, il complesso residenziale dove sono andato a vivere, tra il secondo e il terzo anello delle circonvallazioni pechinesi. Ogni giorno, mentre tra i vialetti di questo quartiere perimetrato scorre indifferente la gente che ci vive, lei divide i rifiuti e li ammassa in buon ordine nello spiazzo dove c’è l’uomo del camion che li porta via. Lui, per non sporcarsi, indossa un camice blu da bidello. Lei no. C’è una grossa bilancia, li pesano e li caricano sul camion a cassone aperto. Plastica, cartone: la raccolta differenziata, in Cina, avviene a valle, non a monte. Poi il camion parte per qualcuna delle discariche che circondano la metropoli.

Source: Nei sotterranei di Pechino vive un’umanità distopica – Gabriele Battaglia

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Asia

 

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A “China First” and “Russia Second” Foreign Policy?

If there’s a single consistent aspect to Donald Trump’s strategic vision, it’s this: U.S. foreign policy should always be governed by the simple principle of “America First,” with this country’s vital interests placed above those of all others.  “We will always put America’s interests first,” he declared in his victory speech in the early hours of November 9th.  “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first,” he insisted in his Inaugural Address on January 20th.  Since then, however, everything he’s done in the international arena has, intentionally or not, placed America’s interests behind those of its arch-rivals, China and Russia. So to be accurate, his guiding policy formula should really be relabeled America Third.

Given 19 months of bravado public rhetoric, there was no way to imagine a Trumpian presidency that would favor America’s leading competitors. Throughout the campaign, he castigated China for its “predatory” trade practices, insisting that it had exploited America’s weak enforcement policies to eviscerate our economy and kill millions of jobs. “The money they’ve drained out of the United States has rebuilt China,” he told reporters from the New York Times in no uncertain terms last March.  While he expressed admiration for the strong leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, he decried that country’s buildup of advanced nuclear weapons. “They have gone wild with their nuclear program,” he stated during the second presidential debate. “Not good!”

Source: Tomgram: Michael Klare, A “China First” and “Russia Second” Foreign Policy? | TomDispatch

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Asia, Europe, North America

 

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