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»Gelbe Gefahr« in Australien
Mrz 28th, 2018 by Gao

Das Buch Silent Invasion von Clive Hamilton (nicht zu verwechseln mit dem Buch Silent Invasion, Untertitel: The Truth About Aliens, Alien Abductions, and UFOs von Debra Marshall) ist symptomatisch für ein China-Bild in Australien und in anderen Ländern. In Australien soll jedoch ein Gesetz über die Nationale Sicherheit gegen die »gelbe Gefahr« verabschiedet werden, das Anlass zur Sorge gibt.
David Brophy: ‚Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia‘ by Clive Hamilton (Australian Book Review)

Lawyers, media organisations, human rights NGOs, and unions have been lining up recently to warn us of a serious threat facing civil liberties in Australia. It comes in the form of Malcolm Turnbull’s new national security laws, which, in the name of combating foreign influence, would criminalise anyone who simply ‘receives or obtains’ information deemed harmful to the national interest. Yet there, in the midst of this chorus of opposition, stood economist and public intellectual Clive Hamilton, with his Chinese-speaking collaborator Alex Joske, to tell us that to resist the threat of Chinese authoritarianism we would have become more authoritarian ourselves.
A notable contributor to 2017’s crop of ‘Chinese influence’ reportage, much of Hamilton’s new book will be familiar to readers of that genre. Yet in Silent Invasion: China’s influence in Australia, he has not missed the opportunity to turn things up a notch.
The loss of Australia’s ‘sovereignty’ has been a common, if slippery, talking point in the debate so far. Here, Hamilton cuts through the confusion: the ‘invasion’ in the book’s title is no mere flourish. The People’s Republic of China is laying the groundwork in order, one day, to make territorial claims on our nation. Failure to heed the author’s prescient warnings ‘would see Australia become a tribute state of the resurgent Middle Kingdom’.

China Scholars Issue Open Letter to Protest Australia’s Draft Spy Bill Amendment (News Lens)

As scholars of China and the Chinese diaspora, we write to express our concern regarding the proposed revision of Australia’s national security laws. We do so on two grounds; first, the new laws would imperil scholarly contributions to public debate on matters of importance to our nation; and second, the debate surrounding ‘Chinese influence’ has created an atmosphere ill-suited to the judicious balancing of national security interests with the protection of civil liberties.

Kirsty Needham: China influence debate needs to calm down amid stigma (Sydney Morning Herald)

More than 30 China scholars in Australia, including world-renowned sinologist Geremie Barme, have urged the Turnbull government to delay its foreign influence legislation amid warnings that Chinese Australians are being stigmatised.

China’s influence in Australia: Maintaining the debate (Asia & the Pacific Policy Society)

We the undersigned are scholars of China, the Chinese diaspora, China-Australia relations and Australia’s relations with Asia. We are deeply concerned by a number of well-documented reports about the Chinese Communist Party’s interference in Australia. We strongly believe that an open debate on the activities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in this country is essential to intellectual freedom, democratic rights and national security. This debate is valuable and necessary.
It is vital that the debate is driven by fact-based research and reporting rather than sensationalism or racism. It is also vital that this debate is not stifled by self-censorship. We firmly believe the current debate is not characterised by racism and that it is crucial for Australia to continue this debate…
[T]he Australian government and civil society must remain vigilant…

Überwachung
Mrz 19th, 2018 by Gao

国务院关于印发社会信用体系建设规划纲要(2014—2020年)的通知
State Council Notice concerning Issuance of the Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020)
(China Copyright and Media)

社会信用体系是社会主义市场经济体制和社会治理体制的重要组成部分。它以法律、法规、标准和契约为依据,以健全覆盖社会成员的信用记录和信用基础设施网络为基础,以信用信息合规应用和信用服务体系为支撑,以树立诚信文化理念、弘扬诚信传统美德为内在要求,以守信激励和失信约束为奖惩机制,目的是提高全社会的诚信意识和信用水平。 A social credit system is an important component part of the Socialist market economy system and the social governance system. It is founded on laws, regulations, standards and charters, it is based on a complete network covering the credit records of members of society and credit infrastructure, it is supported by the lawful application of credit information and a credit services system, its inherent requirements are establishing the idea of an sincerity culture, and carrying forward sincerity and traditional virtues, it uses encouragement to keep trust and constraints against breaking trust as incentive mechanisms, and its objective is raising the honest mentality and credit levels of the entire society.

Mareike Ohlberg, Shazeda Ahmed, Bertram Lang: Central planning, local experiments. The complex implementation of China’s Social Credit System (PDF; MERICS)

Even if the full vision of the system is not realized, the scope of this project is massive and will transform China’s legal, social, and economic environment significantly…
Several social credit pilot projects are already operational, testing new approaches of collecting data and using it to sanction undesirable behavior on a limited scale. These punishments offer unprecedented possibilities to surveil and steer the behavior of natural and legal persons and therefore would have far-reaching consequences if adopted nationwide.
National implementation is still at an early stage: many of the measures put in place are establishing foundations for sharing information between different departments of government…
The relationship between government and commercial actors will be a key factor to watch: Government agencies clearly depend on private companies’ technological know-how to roll out such a large-scale system. Conflicts and rivalry between bureaucratic and commercial players, however, could delay or even derail its implementation.

Mara Hvistendahl: Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking (Wired)

In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald’s, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see, had been largely replaced by two smartphone apps: Alipay and WeChat Pay. One day, at a vegetable market, he watched a woman his mother’s age pull out her phone to pay for her groceries. He decided to sign up.
To get an Alipay ID, Liu had to enter his cell phone number and scan his national ID card. He did so reflexively. Alipay had built a reputation for reliability, and compared to going to a bank managed with slothlike indifference and zero attention to customer service, signing up for Alipay was almost fun. With just a few clicks he was in. Alipay’s slogan summed up the experience: “Trust makes it simple.”

Anna Mitchell, Larry Diamond: China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone (Atlantic)

Imagine a society in which you are rated by the government on your trustworthiness. Your “citizen score” follows you wherever you go. A high score allows you access to faster internet service or a fast-tracked visa to Europe. If you make political posts online without a permit, or question or contradict the government’s official narrative on current events, however, your score decreases. To calculate the score, private companies working with your government constantly trawl through vast amounts of your social media and online shopping data…
The new social credit system under development will consolidate reams of records from private companies and government bureaucracies into a single “citizen score” for each Chinese citizen. In its comprehensive 2014 planning outline, the CCP explains a goal of “keep[ing] trust and constraints against breaking trust.” While the system is voluntary for now, it will be mandatory by 2020.

Adam Greenfield: China’s Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious (Atlantic)

[T]he Chinese government has become convinced that a far greater degree of social control is both necessary and possible. It now has access to a set of tools for managing the complexity of contemporary life that it believes will deliver better, surer, and more reliable results than anything produced by the model of order from below.
Known by the anodyne name “social credit,” this system is designed to reach into every corner of existence both online and off. It monitors each individual’s consumer behavior, conduct on social networks, and real-world infractions like speeding tickets or quarrels with neighbors. Then it integrates them into a single, algorithmically determined “sincerity” score. Every Chinese citizen receives a literal, numeric index of their trustworthiness and virtue, and this index unlocks, well, everything. In principle, anyway, this one number will determine the opportunities citizens are offered, the freedoms they enjoy, and the privileges they are granted.
This end-to-end grid of social control is still in its prototype stages, but three things are already becoming clear: First, where it has actually been deployed, it has teeth. Second, it has profound implications for the texture of urban life. And finally, there’s nothing so distinctly Chinese about it that it couldn’t be rolled out anywhere else the right conditions obtain. The advent of social credit portends changes both dramatic and consequential for life in cities everywhere—including the one you might call home.

Rene Chun: China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech (Atlantic)

Dystopia starts with 23.6 inches of toilet paper. That’s how much the dispensers at the entrance of the public restrooms at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven dole out in a program involving facial-recognition scanners—part of the president’s “Toilet Revolution,” which seeks to modernize public toilets. Want more? Forget it. If you go back to the scanner before nine minutes are up, it will recognize you and issue this terse refusal: “Please try again later.”
China is rife with face-scanning technology worthy of Black Mirror. Don’t even think about jaywalking in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Last year, traffic-management authorities there started using facial recognition to crack down. When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

Konfuzius-Institute
Mrz 19th, 2018 by Gao

Rachelle Peterson: Outsourced to China:

Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education (National Association of Scholars, April 2018)
Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted Confucius Institutes that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world—including more than 100 in the United States.These Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and educate a generation of American students to know nothing more of China than the regime’s official history. This is a study of the 12 Confucius Institutes in New York and New Jersey. It examines China’s soft power influence through American higher education, and reveals new data on China’s funding, hiring, and academic freedom policies.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: House Proposal Targets Confucius Institutes as Foreign Agents (Foreign Policy, 14. März 2018)

A new draft proposal in the House of Representatives seeks to require China’s cultural outposts in the United States, the Confucius Institutes, to register as foreign agents.
The effort, spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), targets any foreign funding at U.S. universities that aims to promote the agenda of a foreign government.
The draft bill does not single out Confucius Institutes by name, but according to Wilson it will apply to the Chinese government-run programs, which offer language and culture classes on more than 100 American college and university campuses. The institutes have come under increasing scrutiny in recent months due to their sometimes heavy-handed attempts to censor discussion of topics that the Chinese Communist Party deems off-limits, leading to growing concerns about academic freedom.

Südchinesisches Meer
Feb 6th, 2018 by Gao

Frances Mangosing: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea (Inquirer)

China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.
Most of the photos, taken between June and December 2017, were snapped from an altitude of 1,500 meters and they showed the reefs that had been transformed into artificial islands in the final stages of development as air and naval bases.

Hyperschallgeschwindigkeitsgleitfluggeräte
Jan 1st, 2018 by Gao

Ankit Panda: Introducing the DF-17: China’s Newly Tested Ballistic Missile Armed With a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (Diplomat)

China carried out the first flight-tests of a new kind of ballistic missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) in November…
China recently conducted two tests of a new missile known as the DF-17.
The first test took place on November 1 and the second test took place on November 15. The November 1 test was the first Chinese ballistic missile test to take place after the conclusion of the first plenum of the Communist Party of China’s 19th Party Congress in October…
Hypersonic gliders, by virtue of their low-altitude flight, present challenges to existing radar sensor technology enabling missile defenses. By flying at a low altitude instead of reentering from a much higher apogee on a ballistic trajectory, adversary radars would detect HGVs with less time for an interception to take place before the payload can reach its target.

China fires up advanced hypersonic missile challenge to US defences (South China Morning Post)

China’s new “hypersonic” ballistic missiles will not only challenge the defences of the United States but also be able to more accurately hit military targets in Japan and India, according to Chinese military specialists.
The assessment comes after Tokyo-based The Diplomat magazine reported that China’s rocket forces conducted two tests late last year of a new “hypersonic glide vehicle”, or HGV, known as the DF-17, citing US intelligence sources.
HGVs are unmanned, rocket-launched, manoeuvrable aircraft that glide and “skip” through the earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds.
Compared to conventional ballistic systems, HGV warheads can travel at much higher speeds, lower altitudes and less-trackable trajectories. The approach leaves defence systems less time to intercept the warhead before it drops its payload…
HGVs could also be used to target and destroy a US anti-missile system known as THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defence.

Richard H. Speier, George Nacouzi, Carrie Lee, Richard M. Moore: Hypersonic Missile Nonproliferation (RAND)

Hypersonic missiles — specifically hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles — are a new class of threat because they are capable both of maneuvering and of flying faster than 5,000 kilometers per hour. These features enable such missiles to penetrate most missile defenses and to further compress the timelines for a response by a nation under attack.
Hypersonic missiles are being developed by the United States, Russia, and China.

Alternativen zum US-Dollar?
Dez 29th, 2017 by Gao

Pepe Escobar: China plans to break petrodollar stranglehold (Asia Times)

Petrodollars have dominated the global energy markets for more than 40 years. But now, China is looking to change that by replacing the word dollars for yuan.
Nations, of course, have tried this before since the system was set up by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud back in 1974
Vast populations across the Middle East and Northern Africa quickly felt the consequences when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein decided to sell oil in euros. Then there was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi’s pan-African gold dinar blueprint, which failed to create a splash in an oil barrel.
Fast forward 25 years and China is making a move to break the United States petrodollar stranglehold. The plan is to set up oil-futures trading in the yuan, which will be fully convertible into gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong foreign exchange markets.

(Andere Version dieses Artikels: The Petro-Yuan Bombshell, CounterPunch)

CIA- und GMD-Drogenschmuggel
Dez 4th, 2017 by Gao

Jeffrey St. Clair, Alexander Cockburn: The US Opium Wars: China, Burma and the CIA (CounterPunch)

You won’t find a star of remembrance for him on the wall of fallen “heroes” at CIA HQ in Langley, but one of the Agency’s first casualties in its covert war against Mao’s China was a man named Jack Killam. He was a pilot for the CIA’s proprietary airline, Civil Air Transport, forerunner to the notorious Air America which figured so largely in the Agency’s activities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Killam’s job was to fly weapons and supplies from the CIA’s base in Bangkok, Thailand, to the mountain camps of General Li Mi in the Shan States of Burma. Li Mi, Chinese in origin, was the leader of 10,000 Chinese troops still loyal to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who had been driven off the Chinese mainland by Mao’s forces and was now ensconced on Taiwan.
Under the direction of the CIA, Li Mi’s army was plotting a strike across Burma’s northern border into China’s Yunnan province. But Li Mi’s troops were not just warriors in Chiang’s cause: they had also taken control of the largest opium poppy fields in Asia. The CAT pilots working for the CIA carried loads of Li Mi’s opium on their return flights to Bangkok, where it was delivered to General Phao Siyanan, head of the Thai secret police and a long-time CIA asset.

Simbabwe
Nov 27th, 2017 by Gao

Grant Newsham: Coup in Zimbabwe: A win-win for China – for now (Asia Times)

Did Beijing give the go-ahead to remove Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe? Nobody is saying. But it is suspicious that Zimbabwe’s army chief General Chiwenga visited China a few days before he moved against Mugabe. Presumably, nobody in Beijing told him ‘no.’
China has huge investments in Zimbabwe – including tobacco, diamonds, and power generation – and is by far the country’s largest benefactor.

Yash Tandon: Robert Mugabe: A political epitaph (Pambazuka)

He is an emblematic, historical figure. He is a giant, whose boot steps inaugurated a revolutionary era in the early years – boots that, sadly, became too heavy for him, and too painful for the ordinary people for whose liberation he had fought.

David Seddon: Zimbabwe: Popular protest, social movements and class struggle (Pambazuka)

The ordinary people of Zimbabwe, who have experienced decades of repression and hardship, are rejoicing and are optimistic following the dramatic removal of Robert Mugabe from power. But very soon there will be a renewed struggle for the future of Zimbabwe. And the outlook remains very uncertain.

Cameron Doudu: Oh Comrade Bob, did it have to come to this? (Pambazuka)

As Frantz Fanon had prophesied, President Mugabe was impelled by his associates to become chairman of the business entity known as Zimbabwe. There were super-shareholders in that enterprise. In-fighting between the various groups with bank notes hidden in their revolutionary berets led to disillusionment and even rebellion.

Theogene Rudasingwa: Mugabe fall an indictment of Africa’s ruling elite (Pambazuka)

Robert Mugabe belongs to the generation of Africans who fought for Africa’s self-determination only to finally succumb to the selfish pursuit of power that has left a country with tremendous opportunity on its knees.But he is not the only big man who has betrayed the aspirations of African peoples for authentic peace, prosperity, unity and healing.

Bahnverbindungen
Nov 27th, 2017 by Gao

Sandor Peto: Hungary launches rail link tender as CEE-China summit starts (Reuters)

Hungary will publish a procurement tender on Monday for a modernised railway link with Serbian capital Belgrade to ship Chinese goods into Western Europe, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Sunday.

Luise Ungerboeck: Österreich zweigleisig zwischen China und Russland (Standard)

Während China auf der Balkanroute massiv Investitionen in Bahn und Infrastruktur anschiebt, blickt Wien besorgt gegen Osten.

Xiang Bo: Ever expanding Chinese rail network boosts German „China city“ (Xinhua)

The city of Duisburg, Germany’s biggest inland port, is on one end of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe rail line, which opened in 2011 from the Chinese southwest city of Chongqing.
In recent years, more and more trains operated by the China Railway Express (CRE) from Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Suzhou, Yiwu and other Chinese cities are arriving here.
It takes only 13 days for goods to arrive in Duisburg from Chongqing by rail, 30 days less than by sea, and at a fifth of the cost of air freight.

Lorenz Storch: Oberfranken will Güterzugverbindung nach China (Bayerischer Rundfunk)

Die IHK für Oberfranken in Bayreuth und der Landkreis Hof arbeiten an einer neuen Güterzugverbindung vom Hofer Containerterminal nach China. Der Grund: Viele oberfränkische Unternehmer exportieren nach Fernost und wünschen sich eine solche Verbindung.

Slovakia may benefit from Chinese transport corridors (Slovak Spectator)

A Chinese train with 41 containers dispatched from Dalian port in China to Bratislava’s cargo port in late October arrived in the capital on November 13, carrying goods for customers in central Europe. The railway transport from China to Slovakia was restored after more than one year.

Trump und Goldman Sachs in Beijing
Nov 14th, 2017 by Gao

Thomas Hon Wing Polin: China’s Overture to Wall Street (CounterPunch)

For all the pomp and circumstance of Donald Trump’s Beijing trip, its most interesting outcome was a Chinese overture to the titans of global finance, currently ensconced in Wall Street and London…
Specifically, the watershed has two components. The first is the accord between CIC, China’s top sovereign wealth fund, and Goldman Sachs to set up a USD 5-billion fund to invest in US companies exporting to China. The choice of American partner is significant, of course. Goldman is the most powerful bank in the US and probably the world, the quintessential Wall Street player. Its alumni routinely occupy top positions in the US government, including the present Treasury Secretary. Where Goldman goes, the US power structure often follows.
Beijing’s other move is to open financial institutions to 51% ownership by foreign entities — something Western global banks have long been clamoring for. The CPC leadership is only too aware of the potential disruption, even sabotage, that could result from a too-fast opening of the supremely strategic finance sector. Over the years, Beijing has never hesitated to slow or suspend the process whenever circumstances warranted. That it is now taking this step means China is confident that domestic and international conditions are ripe.

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