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3 Types of Chinese Reactions to Mike Pence’s China Speech

Last week at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered the Trump administration’s first major policy speech on China. The speech was highly anticipated in both the United States and China because of its significance and the context in which it was delivered. Indeed, the Trump administration, since it took over in January 2017, has been criticized (rightly) for lacking a coherent China policy or even any China policy.

The once relatively smooth relationship between the two powers in 2017 suddenly turned into an ugly trade conflict in 2018, and, for the foreseeable future, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. In recent months, the United States has also stepped up its pressure on China in all realms including cybersecurity, human rights, and the South China Sea, thus rendering the U.S.-China relationship the most vulnerable it has been in recent decades.

Then came Pence’s big speech on China. This was supposed to be the defining approach to China for the Trump administration, and it was perhaps overdue. Pence’s speech can be divided into three parts, with the first part summarizing the long history of U.S.-China relations and emphasizing U.S. contributions to China’s rise; the second part detailing how China has seemingly betrayed the United States’ benign intentions and actions by actively hurting U.S. national interests in fields like economics, security, and even political interference; and the final part outlining a new U.S. approach to China, which prioritizes competition instead of cooperation. For those of us who regularly follow U.S.-China relations, nothing in Pence’s speech is surprising. At times, the speech felt like a good literature review done by a graduate student, with lots of stories that can also be found in major newspapers. Even the new allegation that China was trying to influence U.S. domestic politics was not much more than a few sweeping claims without much substantive proof, a point that actually is supported by the U.S. secretary of homeland security.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/10/3-types-of-chinese-reactions-to-mike-pences-china-speech/

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Posted by on October 12, 2018 in Asia, North America

 

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China Would Be Smart to Heed Asia’s Wise Man

Visiting Beijing in August, Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s recently elected prime minister, startled his hosts by boldly warning against a “new version of colonialism.” He was referring to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan which aims to put the People’s Republic at the heart of a global commercial web.

Mahathir’s invocation of colonialism could only have wounded leaders in Beijing, for the Chinese nation-state has built its self-image on anti-colonialist rhetoric. In its official historical narrative of its “century of humiliation,” devious Westerners imposed blatantly unequal treaties on China, cruelly curtailing its sovereignty. Japan then subjected the country to savage invasions and harsh exploitation, turning large parts of China into a Japanese colony.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-09-30/china-should-heed-mahathir-mohamad-s-belt-and-road-warnings

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2018 in Asia

 

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MAD About Sino-American Trade

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – Now that US President Donald Trump has imposed a 10% tariff on yet another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, the US-China trade war has entered a costly new phase. As China follows through on its pledge to retaliate, the casualties will include more than half the bilateral trade between the two countries, with China itself suffering the most losses.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/china-trade-war-us-tariffs-by-minxin-pei-2018-09

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2018 in Asia, North America

 

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China Is Cheating at a Rigged Game

A new attitude toward China is rapidly taking shape across the U.S. political spectrum. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) echoes President Donald Trump’s talking points, decrying the transfer of “our” technology to China and condemning investment there. Fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is lining up with former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon calling for an “aggressive” policy. Establishment Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are endorsing Trump’s trade war with China. Free-trade stalwarts like the Wall Street Journal editorial board and establishment bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations are finding common ground with protectionist unions like the United Steelworkers and trade critics like Global Trade Watch. While there are still significant differences of policy and strategy, seemingly everyone agrees that the Chinese are conducting trade in a predatory manner that hurts American business and workers, and that the time for confrontation has arrived.

China Is Cheating at a Rigged Game

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2018 in Asia, Economy, North America

 

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What Happens If China Makes First Contact?

Last January, the Chinese Academy of Sciences invited Liu Cixin, China’s preeminent science-fiction writer, to visit its new state-of-the-art radio dish in the country’s southwest. Almost twice as wide as the dish at America’s Arecibo Observatory, in the Puerto Rican jungle, the new Chinese dish is the largest in the world, if not the universe. Though it is sensitive enough to detect spy satellites even when they’re not broadcasting, its main uses will be scientific, including an unusual one: The dish is Earth’s first flagship observatory custom-built to listen for a message from an extraterrestrial intelligence. If such a sign comes down from the heavens during the next decade, China may well hear it first.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/what-happens-if-china-makes-first-contact/544131/

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Asia, Reportages

 

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The US-China Cold War is now playing out in Pakistan

On Sept. 01, days before US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, were due to arrive in Islamabad, a Pentagon spokesman announced that the department of defense intended to permanently cut $300 million from funds allocated to support Pakistan in the fight against America’s enemies in Afghanistan.

So does this mean America and Pakistan are finally breaking up?

The short answer is no. As much as both states are fed up with each other, they remain far too co-dependent to simply walk away.

https://qz.com/india/1377225/the-us-china-cold-war-is-now-playing-out-in-pakistan/

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2018 in Asia, North America

 

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A Surveillance State Unlike Any the World Has Ever Seen

These days, the city of Kashgar in westernmost China feels a bit like Baghdad after the war. The sound of wailing sirens fills the air, armed trucks patrol the streets and fighter jets roar above the city. The few hotels that still host a smattering of tourists are surrounded by high concrete walls. Police in protective vests and helmets direct the traffic with sweeping, bossy gestures, sometimes yelling at those who don’t comply.

But now and then, a ghostly calm descends on the city. Just after noon, when it’s time for Friday prayers, the square in front of the huge Id Kah Mosque lies empty. There’s no muezzin piercing the air, just a gentle buzz on the rare occasion that someone passes through the metal detector at the entrance to the mosque. Dozens of surveillance cameras overlook the square. Security forces, some in uniform and others in plain-clothes, do the rounds of the Old Town with such stealth it’s as if they were trying to read people’s minds.

Journalists are not immune to their attentions. No sooner have we arrived than two police officers insist on sitting down with us for a “talk.” The next day in our hotel, one of them emerges from a room on our floor. When we take a walk through the city in the morning, we’re followed by several plain-clothes officers. Eventually, we’re being tailed by some eight people and three cars, including a black Honda with a covered license plate — apparently the secret police. Occasionally, our minders seem to be leaving us alone, but already awaiting us at the next intersection are the surveillance cameras that reach into every last corner of Kashgar’s inner city. The minute we strike up conversation with anyone, officials appear and start interrogating them.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/china-s-xinjiang-province-a-surveillance-state-unlike-any-the-world-has-ever-seen-a-1220174.html

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in Asia

 

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The Rise of China and the Fall of the ‘Free Trade’ Myth

‘America first does not mean America alone,” President Trump declared last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This sudden burst of pragmatism from an avowed nationalist showed what a difference a year can make. Denouncing the “false song of globalism” during his presidential campaign, Trump, on his third full day in office, canceled the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade deal with Japan and 10 other countries. He then denounced Canada, Germany and South Korea for exporting more to the United States than they import. He promised to renegotiate trade pacts with Europe, Canada and Mexico and get a better deal for American workers. In Davos, however, he reached out with conciliatory words to the very free-trading and globalizing elites he has consistently maligned.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/magazine/the-rise-of-china-and-the-fall-of-the-free-trade-myth.html

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2018 in Asia

 

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How Dyslexia Remains Invisible in Chinese Schools

In a classroom at Weining Dyslexia Education Center, several kids around 10 years old excitedly grab colored pens and begin highlighting patterns in a series of Chinese characters. The exercise is one of many designed to help the children overcome dyslexia. Inside the classroom, they are surrounded by peers who struggle with the same disorder, but outside, they are often seen as bad students and called “stupid” or “lazy” by teachers.

The need for recognition of the learning disability in China is pressing: An estimated 11 percent of the country’s primary school students have dyslexia, a total of about 10 million children, according to research published in 2016 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Despite this staggering number, there is little understanding of and barely any support for dyslexic students on the Chinese mainland — the Weining center, located in southern tech hub Shenzhen, is one of few organizations dedicated to the cause. Dyslexia is well-known and well-researched in many Western countries, but awareness of the disability remains low across the Chinese mainland; without support, those affected are unable to compete in school, stifling their future potential.

http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1001806/how-dyslexia-remains-invisible-in-chinese-schools

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2018 in Asia

 

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Asia’s new ways to say goodbye

On a recent Saturday afternoon on the roof deck of a small ship in Tokyo Bay, 13 passengers sat in somber silence as the vessel chugged its way to the middle of the inlet. The tortured lyrics of John Lennon’s 1970 song “Mother” wafted faintly from a speaker inside the boat as jets roared against a deep blue sky above.

In the water below, hundreds of brightly colored flower petals floated on the surface, marking the spot where a paper bag containing the cremated remains of a passenger’s family member had been tossed into the bay.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Features/Cover-story/Asia-s-new-way-of-dying-Funerals-for-the-21st-century-Asia-s-new-ways-to-say-goodbye

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2018 in Asia

 

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