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Papiertiger Trump
Feb 11th, 2017 by Gao

Tom Phillips: ‚Brutal, amoral, ruthless, cheating‘: how Trump’s new trade tsar sees China (Guardian, 22. Dezember)

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.
Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

The Chinese government is a despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power that reigns over the world’s leading cancer factory, its most prolific propaganda mill and the biggest police state and prison on the face of the earth.
That is the view of Peter Navarro, the man chosen by Donald Trump to lead a new presidential office for US trade and industrial policy, a move likely to add to Beijing’s anxieties over the billionaire’s plans for US-China relations.

Benjamin Haas: Steve Bannon: ‚We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt‘ (Guardian, 2. Februar)
Tom Phillips: Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts (Guardian, 7. Februar)

For the last 18 months a taskforce of prominent China experts, some of whom have dealt with Beijing for more than 50 years, has been formulating a series of recommendations on how the incoming White House should conduct relations with the world’s second largest economy.
The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

AFP: South China Sea: US reports ‚unsafe encounter‘ with Chinese military aircraft (Guardian, 10. Februar)

A Chinese military aircraft had an “unsafe” encounter with a US navy surveillance aircraft near a contested reef in the South China Sea, according to the US Pacific command.
The two planes came within 1,000ft (300 meters) of each other during Wednesday’s incident near the Scarborough shoal, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Und dann löst sich alles in Wohlgefallen auf?

Tom Phillips: Trump agrees to support ‚One China‘ policy in Xi Jinping call (Guardian, 10. Februar)

Donald Trump has held his first telephone conversation with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, since entering the White House, telling the Communist party leader he will not challenge Beijing by upending longstanding US policy towards Taiwan.
In a brief statement the White House said the leaders of the world’s two largest economies had held a “lengthy” and “extremely cordial” telephone call on Thursday evening in which “numerous topics” were discussed…
The cordial encounter follows an “unsafe” one on Wednesday in the South China Sea between a Chinese aircraft and a US Navy patrol plane. US Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said on Friday the “interaction” between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a US Navy P-3C plane happened in international airspace but did not say what was regarded as unsafe.

Simon Tisdall: China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger (Guardian)

Is Donald Trump turning out to be a paper tiger? China’s rulers might be forgiven for thinking so after the US president performed a U-turn on Taiwan, but the shift did not come out of the blue.
Trump’s approach to a range of key international issues has softened significantly since he took office, suggesting a lurch towards conformity and away from disruption. His acceptance of the One China policy, under which Washington does not challenge Beijing’s claim to what it deems a breakaway province, was a stunning reversal, contradicting previous suggestions he would pursue closer ties with Taiwan.

Südchinesisches Meer
Dez 17th, 2016 by Gao

Julian Borger: Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters (Guardian)

The Chinese navy has seized an underwater drone in plain sight of the American sailors who had deployed it in international waters, in a seemingly brazen message to the incoming Trump administration.
According to a US defence official, the unmanned glider had come to the surface of the water in the South China Sea and was about to be retrieved by the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic and surveillance ship, when a Chinese naval vessel that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat in the water…
As China develops a strategic submarine fleet, with the potential to carry nuclear missiles out into the Pacific Ocean, the US has built up a monitoring network designed to spot Chinese submarines as they leave their bases. Drones are key to the network, and there is a race under way between major naval powers to develop drones that can work together in swarms and “see” long distances through the water. Underwater gliders are drones that can stay underwater on the lookout for submarines for long periods of time.

AP: China and US in talks over seized drone, officials say (Guardian)

The device was being operated by civilian contractors to conduct oceanic research, according to the Pentagon.

AP: Philippines to ’set aside‘ South China Sea tribunal ruling to avoid imposing on Beijing (Guardian)

The Philippine president has said he would “set aside” a ruling by an international arbitration tribunal that invalidated Beijing’s claims to most of the South China Sea, because he doesn’t want to impose on China.
“In the play of politics, now, I will set aside the arbitral ruling. I will not impose anything on China,” Rodrigo Duterte said at a news conference on Saturday.

Tom Phillips: Images show ’significant‘ Chinese weapons systems in South China Sea (Guardian)

China appears to have positioned “significant” weapons systems, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, despite vowing it had no intention of militarising the archipelago, a US thinktank has claimed.

Xinhua: China says deployment of defensive facilities on South China Sea islands legitimate (Global Times)
Tom Phillips: ‚Friends forever‘? China wary of Rex Tillerson wooing away Russia (Guardian)

Rex Tillerson’s controversial nomination as secretary of state has delighted Moscow where the Texan oilman has deep and long-standing ties. Donald Trump’s choice of the ExxonMobil chief was “100% good news” for Vladimir Putin, one opposition politician claimed.
But in Beijing, already reeling from Trump’s early forays into foreign policy, the move has inspired no such celebration, instead fuelling fears that the president-elect’s courtship of the Kremlin could be part of a bold strategic bid to isolate China.

Hongkong | Arzneimittel | Internet
Nov 9th, 2016 by Gao

全国人民代表大会常务委员会:关于《中华人民共和国香港特别行政区基本法》第一百零四条的解释(新华社)

《中华人民共和国香港特别行政区基本法》第一百零四条规定相关公职人员“就职时必须依法宣誓”,具有以下含义:
  (一)宣誓是该条所列公职人员就职的法定条件和必经程序。未进行合法有效宣誓或者拒绝宣誓,不得就任相应公职,不得行使相应职权和享受相应待遇。
  (二)宣誓必须符合法定的形式和内容要求。宣誓人必须真诚、庄重地进行宣誓,必须准确、完整、庄重地宣读包括“拥护中华人民共和国香港特别行政区基本法,效忠中华人民共和国香港特别行政区”内容的法定誓言。

Huang Zheping, Heather Timmons: Two democratically elected Hong Kong lawmakers have been banned from taking office by Beijing (Quartz)

China’s top law-making body issued a rare interpretation of the Basic Law that governs Hong Kong on Monday (Nov. 7) that effectively ousts two democratically elected officials from office permanently. The action by Beijing, which has increasingly tightened its grip on free speech and demonstrations in Hong Kong after 2014’s Umbrella Movement protests, could spark widespread protests in a city where demonstrators have already taken to the streets over the issue.
Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung, who represent the Youngspiration political party, won seats in September elections to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo), but after using a derogatory term to refer to the mainland and declaring Hong Kong was not part of China during their swearing-in session in October, were barred from office. The Hong Kong government has legally challenged the validity of their oaths, but the interpretation by Beijing effectively supersedes Hong Kong’s local judicial system.
The interpretation, issued by Beijing’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Monday morning, states that when assuming office, lawmakers and principal officials others must “correctly, completely, and solemnly” swear according to the scripted oath, including the part saying “I will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.”

Raymond Yeung, Danny Mok, Josh Ye, Clifford Lo, Elizabeth Cheung: Four arrested after violence at thousands-strong rally over Beijing’s review of Basic Law (South China Morning Post)

Traffic resumed early Monday on Des Voeux Road, marking the end of a tense stand-off overnight between police and protesters outside the central government’s liaison office in Sai Wan.
The clash between officers and the 4,000-strong crowd gathered in the area to protest against Beijing’s intervention in the oath-taking saga saw the use of pepper spray by police, while one officer was allegedly injured by protesters hurling bricks.
Police said in total four people were arrested, including two men and a woman, aged from 39 to 65, for allegedly obstructing police officers. League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen said on his Facebook account that he was among the arrested and had been released on bail.

Ellie Ng: ‘Protect the rule of law’: Beijing defends ruling that effectively bans pro-independence politicians (Hong Kong Free Press)
Editorial: A necessary intervention to keep separatists out of public office (South China Morning Post)
Eric Cheung, Tom Phillips: Hong Kong: lawyers and activists march against Beijing ‚meddling‘ (Guardian)

More than 2,000 lawyers and activists have paraded through Hong Kong in silence and dressed in black to protest against Beijing’s unprecedented intervention in the former British colony’s supposedly independent legal system as a means of ousting two democratically elected pro-independence politicians.

Ellie Ng: ‘World city no more’: Hong Kong professionals censure Beijing’s intervention in local laws (Hong Kong Free Press)

CRI: 324 arrested in China’s vaccine scandal so far (China Daily)

Another 27 suspects have been arrested for the vaccine scandal revealed last March in east China’s Shandong province, adding the total number of the arrested to 324.
The number is released by Cao Jianming, procurator-general of China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
100 officials have been put under investigation under suspicion of taking bribes, abuse of power, and negligence, according to the authority.
The scandal which shocked and stunned the public was first unveiled in March, 2016.
The main suspect Pang Hongwei, a former pharmacist at a hospital in Shandong, and her 21-year-old daughter were found illegally selling 12 different kinds of vaccines, 2 kinds of immune globulin and one kind of therapeutic product across the country.

Sue-Lin Wong, Michael Martina: China adopts cyber security law in face of overseas opposition (Reuters)

China adopted a controversial cyber security law on Monday to counter what Beijing says are growing threats such as hacking and terrorism, but the law triggered concerns among foreign business and rights groups.
The legislation, passed by China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament and set to take effect in June 2017, is an „objective need“ of China as a major internet power, a parliament official said.
Overseas critics of the law say it threatens to shut foreign technology companies out of various sectors deemed „critical“, and includes contentious requirements for security reviews and for data to be stored on servers in China.
Rights advocates also say the law will enhance restrictions on China’s Internet, already subject to the world’s most sophisticated online censorship mechanism, known outside China as the Great Firewall…
Contentious provisions remained in the final draft issued by the parliament, including requirements for „critical information infrastructure operators“ to store personal information and important business data in China, provide unspecified „technical support“ to security agencies, and pass national security reviews.

Paul Mozur: China’s Internet Controls Will Get Stricter, to Dismay of Foreign Business (New York Times)

In August, business groups around the world petitioned China to rethink a proposed cybersecurity law that they said would hurt foreign companies and further separate the country from the internet…
Officials say the rules will help stop cyberattacks and help prevent acts of terrorism, while critics say they will further erode internet freedom. Business groups worry that parts of the law — such as required security checks on companies in industries like finance and communications, and mandatory in-country data storage — will make foreign operations more expensive or lock them out altogether. Individual users will have to register their real names to use messaging services in China.

Kaiser Kuo: Why are so many first-generation Chinese immigrants supporting Donald Trump? (SupChina)

Landwirtschaft | Hongkong | Korea | Philippinen
Okt 19th, 2016 by Gao

Robert B. Marks: Modern China’s agricultural contradictions / 现代中国的农业矛盾 (ChinaDialogue)

The People’s Republic had to overcome massive environmental degradation and poor quality farmland to drive its industrial transformation

Francesco Sisci: Expect a power struggle at China’s next party plenum (Asia Times)

It is a strange situation: Xi sits on all the power—none of his opponents has enough strength to topple him—but the antagonists can muster enough force to slow down or stop Xi’s plans for change. The vested interests in the country and the party are well rooted, widespread, and unwilling to give up all of their privileges and money for the general benefit of the country – or what they may believe are Xi’s personal ambitions. It is almost a political deadlock, and for both Xi and his opponents, it may be a fight to the bitter end.

Tom Phillips: Rebel Hong Kong politicians defy China at chaotic swearing-in ceremony (Guardian)

Pro-democracy politicians cross fingers and make protest signs and subversive references to Beijing’s authoritarian rulers.

Benny Kung: HK pro-independence lawmakers prevented from retaking oath (Asia Times)

Two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers were denied the chance to swear themselves into office on Wednesday after their pro-Beijing peers walked out of the chamber in protest at the duo’s anti-China sentiment.

Hong Kong lawmakers walk out to block swearing-in of democracy activists (Guardian)

Reuters: US and South Korea will ‚pay the price‘ for missile system, China paper says (Guardian)

Noel Tarrazona: Did the US end military drills over Duterte’s China pivot? (Asia Times)

Last Tuesday (Oct 11) was significant for the Philippines. The day marked the early end to the US-Philippines military drills which was supposed to go on till Oct 12…
There may be genuine reasons for this change of plans but many Filipinos and the outside world immediately linked it with Duterte’s recent statement that this would be the last military drill between the two countries.

Wahlen in Hongkong
Sep 7th, 2016 by Gao

Hong Kong election: Youth protest leaders win LegCo seats (BBC)

A new generation of pro-democracy activists has won seats on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo).
The young leaders want greater autonomy and changes to the way Hong Kong is governed by China. Voter turnout reached a record high of 58%.
Among those elected is Nathan Law, 23, who helped lead the „Umbrella Protests“ in 2014 for self-determination.
Despite the gains, China’s supporters will continue to hold the majority of seats on the 70-seat council.

Tom Phillips, Eric Cheung: Hong Kong elections: anti-Beijing activists gain foothold in power (Guardian)
Hong Kong election: Who are the new faces in politics? (BBC)
Tom Phillips, Eric Cheung: Hong Kong election: who are the young activists elected to the council? (Guardian)
Jason Y Ng: Hong Kong’s political class shaken up by new kids on the block (Guardian)

The Labour party, an established name in the pro-democracy camp, lost two of its three seats. Other so-called “pan-dems”, such as the Neo Democrats and the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, failed to secure a single seat and now face political extinction.

Michael Radunski: Jung, gebildet und wütend auf Peking (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Nach der Wahl in Hongkong zieht eine Reihe von Aktivisten ins Parlament ein. Auch wenn sie keine Mehrheit erreichen – sie sind bereit, es mit Peking aufzunehmen.

APA: Unabhängigkeitsaktivisten schaffen Sprung in Hongkongs Parlament (Standard)
Manuel Escher: Hongkong-Wahl als Denkzettel für Peking (Standard)
Helier Cheung: Hong Kong’s elections explained in five insults (BBC)
中國國務院港澳辦:「港獨」違法 堅決反對 (BBC)

中國國務院港澳事務辦公室周一晚間就選舉結果發表談話,表示當局注意到在選舉期間,有個別組織和參選人借機公開宣揚「港獨」,重申「港獨」違反《中華人民共和國憲法》及《中華人民共和國香港特別行政區基本法》。堅決反對在立法會內外任何形式的「港獨」活動。

Obama in Hangzhou
Sep 6th, 2016 by Gao

Pepe Escobar: The G20 Meets in Tech Hub Hangzhou, China, At an Extremely Tense Geopolitical [something] (CounterPunch)

[A]t the heart of the G20 we will have the two projects which are competing head on to geopolitically shape the young 21st century.
China has proposed OBOR; a pan-Eurasian connectivity spectacular designed to configure a hypermarket at least 10 times the size of the US market within the next two decades.
The US hyperpower – not the Atlanticist West, because Europe is mired in fear and stagnation — “proposes” the current neocon/neoliberalcon status quo; the usual Divide and Rule tactics; and the primacy of fear, enshrined in the Pentagon array of “threats” that must be fought, from Russia and China to Iran. The geopolitical rumble in the background high-tech jungle is all about the “containment” of top G20 members Russia and China…
Deng Xiaoping’s maxim – “never take the lead, never reveal your true potential, never overstretch your abilities” – now belongs to the past. At the G20 China once again is announcing it is taking the lead. And not only taking the lead – but also planning to overstretch its abilities to make the hyper-ambitious OBOR Eurasia integration masterplan work. Call it a monster PR exercise or a soft power win-win; the fact that humanitarian imperialism as embodied by the Pentagon considers China a major “threat” is all the Global South – and the G20 for that matter — needs to know.

Full Text: Chinese Outcome List of the Meeting Between the Chinese and US Presidents in Hangzhou (Xinhua)
Tom Phillips: Barack Obama ‚deliberately snubbed‘ by Chinese in chaotic arrival at G20 (Guardian)

China’s leaders have been accused of delivering a calculated diplomatic snub to Barack Obama after the US president was not provided with a staircase to leave his plane during his chaotic arrival in Hangzhou before the start of the G20.

Roberta Rampton, Michael Martina: Row on tarmac an awkward G20 start for U.S., China (Reuters)

A Chinese official confronted U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security adviser on the tarmac on Saturday prompting the Secret Service to intervene, an unusual altercation as China implements strict controls ahead of a big summit.

Mark Landler: Confrontations Flare as Obama’s Traveling Party Reaches China (New York Times)

As the reporters who traveled to the Group of 20 summit meeting with President Obama from Hawaii piled out and walked under the wing to record his arrival, we were abruptly met by a line of bright blue tape, held taut by security guards. In six years of covering the White House, I had never seen a foreign host prevent the news media from watching Mr. Obama disembark.
When a White House staff member protested to a Chinese security official that this was not normal protocol, the official shouted, “This is our country.”
In another departure from protocol, there was no rolling staircase for Mr. Obama to descend in view of the television cameras. Instead, he emerged from a door in the belly of the plane that he usually uses only on high-security trips, like those to Afghanistan…
At the West Lake State House, where Mr. Obama met President Xi Jinping, White House aides, protocol officers and Secret Service agents got into a series of shouting matches over how many Americans should be allowed into the building before Mr. Obama’s arrival.

Tom Phillips: Barack Obama ‚deliberately snubbed‘ by Chinese in chaotic arrival at G20 (Guardian)
Matthias Müller: Gespannte Atmosphäre zwischen China und den USA (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
Zhou Xin, Nectar Gan: G20 ‘staircase snub’ for Obama was United States’ decision, reveals Chinese official (South China Morning Post)

It was Washington’s decision to have US President Barack Obama disembark from his plane through a small bare metal stairway instead of the usual rolling red-carpet staircase that state leaders get, a Chinese foreign ministry official has revealed…
“China provides a rolling staircase for every arriving state leader, but the US side complained that the driver doesn’t speak English and can’t understand security instructions from the United States; so China proposed that we could assign a translator to sit beside the driver, but the US side turned down the proposal and insisted that they didn’t need the staircase provided by the airport,” the official told the South China Morning Post on Sunday.

Sun Xiaobo: China chides media’s hype of G20 spat (Global Times)

The skirmishes between Chinese and US officials when US President Barack Obama arrived in Hangzhou for the G20 summit on Saturday have been exaggerated by some US officials and attracted undue attention from Western media outlets, dismaying Chinese netizens and observers who viewed the hype as fresh evidence of the arrogance of some in the West.

Tom Phillips: Ghost town: how China emptied Hangzhou to guarantee ‚perfect‘ G20 (Guardian)

Thomas C. Mountain: The CIA’s ‚Dirty War‘ in South Sudan (TeleSur)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the USA is funding a dirty war in South Sudan. The war in South Sudan is little different than the wars the CIA funded in Angola and Mozambique, to name two of the most infamous.
It is in the “national interests” of the USA to deny China access to African energy resources and the Sudanese oil fields are the only Chinese owned and operated in Africa. It’s that simple – the war in South Sudan is about denying China access to Africa’s oil.

Murtaza Hussain: How Obama’s Asia pivog nudged China toward Pakistan but helped aggravate India (Intercept)

Haager Inselstreit-Urteil
Jul 12th, 2016 by Gao

Bill Gertz: US, China wage legal warfare over control of the South China Sea (Asia Times)

The United States is stealing a page from China’s strategic playbook in using international law as a means to counter expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.
The three-year old case between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea at the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague will end Tuesday when the court’s ruling is announced.
US officials say the ruling is expected to favor the Philippines in the maritime dispute and provide a solid basis in traditional international law for pushing back against China’s claims.

Tom Phillips: Beijing defiant ahead of court ruling on its claims in South China Sea (Guardian)

China has refused to recognise the five-judge court’s authority and on Tuesday morning the country’s Communist party-controlled press lashed out at what it claimed was a United States-sponsored conspiracy to stifle its rise.

Law-abusing tribunal issues ill-founded award on South China Sea arbitration (Xinhua)

The tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government issued its final award on Tuesday, amid a global chorus that as the panel has no jurisdiction, its decision is naturally null and void.

Unlawful arbitration cannot negate China’s sovereignty over South China Sea (People’s Daily / Global Times)
Arbitration award more shameless than worst prediction (Global Times)
China’s reaction to arbitration depends on provocation (Global Times)

The award of the South China Sea arbitration will be issued at 5 pm Beijing time Tuesday. The US and Japan have claimed that relevant countries, including China, should comply with the arbitration result. They stand in sharp confrontation with China, which has announced that the award would be „nothing but a piece of paper.“ Whether the arbitration will lead to a severe geopolitical crisis has come under the global spotlight.

Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes, Owen Bowcott: Philippines wins South China Sea case against China (Guardian)

China has lost a key international legal case over strategic reefs and atolls that it claims would give it control over disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The judgment by an international tribunal in The Hague is overwhelmingly in favour of claims by the Philippines and will increase global diplomatic pressure on Beijing to scale back military expansion in the sensitive area.
By depriving certain outcrops – some of which are exposed only at low tide – of territorial-generating status, the ruling effectively punches holes in China’s all-encompassing “nine-dash” demarcation line that stretches deep into the South China Sea. It declares large areas of the sea to be neutral international waters.

Oliver Holmes, Tom Phillips: South China Sea dispute: what you need to know about The Hague court ruling (Guardian)
What you need to know about The Hague arbitration, the China-Philippines sea dispute (Global Times)

The U-shaped, nine-dash line encircling most of the South China Sea is the core of China’s claim. It was first published on a map drawn by the Kuomintang’s Republic of China government in 1947 and then inherited by the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea was never officially disputed until the 1960s.

Zhao Minghao: South China Sea chaos would only add to global woes (Global Times)
Statement of the Government of the People‘ s Republic of China on China’s Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights and Interests in the South China Sea (Xinhua)
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on the Award of 12 July 2016 of the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration Established at the Request of the Republic of the Philippines (Xinhua)
Thomas Escritt, Ben Blanchard: Tribunal says China has no ‘historic’ title over South China Sea (Asia Times)
Taiping, an island not rock, says Taiwan; Philippines, Vietnam hail sea ruling (Asia Times)

While the Philippines and Vietnam welcomed the international tribunal’s ruling on South China Sea, Taiwan rejected the court’s view that defined a Taiwan-controlled island in the waters as a “rock.”

Liu Zhen: Questions of neutrality: China takes aim at judges in South China Sea case (South China Morning Post)

China confident of ability to deal with provocation in South China Sea, says Defense Ministry spokesperson (Global Times)
Lies of Philippines‘ Aquino administration on South China Sea (Xinhua)
Why will China never respect U.S. over South China Sea? (Xinhua)

Shortly after UNCLOS was unveiled in 1982, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan refused to sign, claiming the convention undermined his country’s sovereignty.
In 1994, after UNCLOS was revised to take into consideration American worries about losing control of valuable underwater oil and natural-gas deposits, then U.S. President Bill Clinton signed an updated UNCLOS agreement, although not the entire treaty.

Li Kaisheng: Washington can’t steer Manila’s path (Global Times)
Liu Haiyang: Tribunal award could impair UNCLOS (Global Times)
Graham Allison: Of Course China, Like All Great Powers, Will Ignore an International Legal Verdict (Diplomat)
Wang Wen: Debunking 10 myths about China and the South China Sea (South China Morning Post)
Bill Hayton: China’s ‘Historic Rights’ in the South China Sea: Made in America? (Diplomat)

The current understanding of “historic rights” in the South China Sea in China can be traced back to a U.S. diplomat.

Bill Hayton: China’s South Sea claims were always about emotion, not history (National Interest)

The tribunal’s award is 501 pages long. I’m still reading it, but my favorite line so far comes in Paragraph 270, where the judges say, “The Tribunal is unable to identify any evidence that would suggest that China historically regulated or controlled fishing in the South China Sea, beyond the limits of the territorial sea.” This destroys the implicit misunderstanding at the heart of China’s attitude towards the region—that it, and only it, has been the sole user of the waters between its coast and those of its neighbors.
No one can deny that Chinese traders or fishing communities based along the coast of what is now China made extensive use of the sea. But so did traders and fishers from all the other countries around it. So did merchants from India, Persia, Arabia and Europe. The history of the South China Sea has always been a shared one. Muslim traders built a mosque in Guangzhou in the eighth century, Chinese shipwrights borrowed design ideas from Malay vessels, and the region grew rich on the profits of exchange. The chauvinism about China’s superior and exclusive claim to the sea only emerged in the dying years of the Qing Empire and the chaotic early years of the Republic of China.

Thomas Eder: „China hat Völkerrecht gebrochen“ (8MRD)
Richard Javad Heydarian: China may dispute South China Sea verdict, but it’s a huge setback (Guardian)
Pepe Escobar: Between a Rock and a Hard (South China) Place (CounterPunch)

Beijing is open for talks, as long as Manila sets the ruling aside. Jay Batongbacal, from the University of the Philippines, cuts to the heart of the issue: “Publicly stating that junking the arbitration is a condition for resuming negotiations gives no room for face-saving on either side.”

Alfred Gerstl: Recht oder Macht im Südchinesischen Meer (Standard)

Auch wenn in China die Wogen nach dem Schiedsspruch des Ständigen Schiedshofs hochgehen: Nun gibt es die Chance, den Konflikt unter dem Dach der Assoziation südostasiatischer Nationen zu lösen.

Wahlausgang in Taiwan
Jan 17th, 2016 by Gao

Mao Yi Yu: New president, old elite – assessing Taiwan’s forthcoming 2016 election from a working class viewpoint (China Labour Net)

Taiwanese capitalists … urgently need the future government to help them increase their profits and competitiveness. Concerning the growing profitability of China’s market, Taiwanese capitalists wish the cross-straits relationship could remain “stable.” …
The KMT candidate Eric Chu proposed a policy that the future administration should raise the minimum wage from NT$20008 to NT$30000 in four years. He said that this is new strategic thinking in economic development; to take increasing wages instead of increasing profits as a motor for growth. There is no doubt that this is a relatively progressive measure, but if we consider the long history of KMT’s policy of suppressing labor then this announcement seems extremely deceitful. In the past eight years of the KMT being in power, it has strongly opposed the increase of the minimum wage on more than one occasion. The KMT, as an old right-wing political party, cannot convince Taiwanese people that this sudden change of tone is sincere. As for Tsai Ying Wen, by refusing to make any promises she avoided the challenge of Eric Chu on the minimum wage issue. This demonstrates the pro-capitalist and conservative stance of Tsai Ying Wen. She believes that the state should mobilize resources to strengthen Taiwanese firms’ competitiveness. If the firms get more profitable, then it will be able to raise the employees’ wages. This is nothing but right-wing Reaganomic thoughts with a new face…
Tsai Ying Wen’s cross-straits relations policy is more than worth mentioning. Stating that she will maintain the status quo, use Taiwan Consensus as her guiding principle and abide by the Republic of Taiwan’s current constitutional system, Tsai Ying Wen’s stance on cross-straits relations has rapidly shifted from pro-independence to maintaining the status quo during the 2016 campaign. It is now hard to distinguish her cross-straits policy from that of the KMT. Why is this happening? Because Tsai Ying Wen knows that if she stands for Taiwanese capitalists, she should not be hostile towards the CCP regime. Insisting on Taiwanese people’s right to self-determination against the CCP endangers Taiwanese capitalists’ profits. This is a dilemma for administration. We are convinced that both the KMT and DPP as capitalist political parties will favor the latter. They will make concessions to the CCP to protect the bloodline of Taiwanese capitalism, even if that cost the country’s sovereignty…
The result of the presidential and congress elections held on January 16, 2016 is unsurprising. Tsai Ying Wen got 56.1% of the vote, surpassing Eric Chu’s 31.0%. The DPP is going to be the new ruling party of Taiwan. It is worth mentioning, the voter turnout hit its historical lowest record this year, which is only 66.2%. Since Taiwan’s first presidential election, the voter turnout was never lower than 70%. This might be a sign that people are becoming disappointed with both the KMT and the DPP more than ever. As for the result of the congress election, the new structure of congress seats is – DPP 68, KMT 35, NPP 5, PFP 3. The NPP got 6.1% of the vote. For a newly formed political party such as the NPP this result was a great victory. Unfortunately, the SDP got only 2.5% of the vote, below the 5% threshold, meaning that they did not get any seats. The political structure and voter’s mindset is still constrained by the KMT-DPP system.

Julian Ryall, Richard Spencer: The Thatcherite about to take over Taiwan (Telegraph)

As a British-educated admirer of Margaret Thatcher, the woman set to become leader of China’s fierce rival Taiwan was always likely to be regarded with suspicion by Beijing’s Communist Party apparatus.
The fact that she is head of a party dedicated to promoting the island’s independence from the Chinese mainland only makes matters worse.
Beijing duly met expectations yesterday by firing a warning shot across the bows of Tsai Ing-wen, favourite to become first woman leader of Taiwan – the first woman leader, in fact, in the modern Chinese world.

杜關山:從「周子門」看兩岸三地的「民族主義」亂鬥(QUASI-《跨時》)

在依附帝國主義霸權、以反共反中為核心價值的港台分離主義群眾的「對面」,我們看見黃安和陳淨心一類人高喊「不要佔了便宜又賣乖」、「不承認自己是中國人就不要來中國賺錢」之類的語句;某些自稱得到當局加持的「愛國人士」,更會在私底下意淫,北京該如何武力鎮壓和經濟制裁各種「漢奸」,「一統天下」。
很明顯,這種祭出「大家都是中國人」的空洞口號,或「更進一步」訴諸物質利益或暴力威脅的民族主義份子,只能徒增反感、火上加油,進一步惡化兩岸三地人民的關係。這一類自稱「愛國少壯派」的人物,似乎搞不懂的是,他們的所作所為,不過是「漢奸」的同一套戲碼:只不過,對方自稱是「自由的普世公民」,號召以美國為首的「自由世界」,通過利誘或制裁或暴力的各種手段,推翻中共政權,如此等等。

Tom Phillips: Tsai Ing-wen: former professor on course to be most powerful woman in Chinese-speaking world (Guardian)

Gerrit van der Wees, a Taiwan expert who has spent time with Tsai during her frequent trips to the United States, says she likes to compare herself to Angela Merkel, “[who is] also a very decisive person, a person who has an open government, who is in favour of an open society.” …
After leaving London in 1984, Tsai returned to Taiwan to take up a series of teaching positions at universities in the city where she was raised.
By the early 90s she had gone into government, working as a key trade negotiator involved in Taiwan’s in entry into the World Trade Organisation, and then as a national security adviser to the KMT president Lee Teng-hui…
A leaked US diplomatic cable, written in 2006, shows Tsai the technocrat built a reputation as “a tenacious negotiator” and “a savvy insider” with “impressive economic experience”. “Tsai is viewed as extremely capable and very persuasive,” it said…
The introverted scholar will also seek to reshape relations with Beijing although she has promised to uphold the uneasy status quo between democratic Taiwan and one-party China.

Brian Hioe: What happens now that Tsai Ing-wen is president? (New Bloom)

Xinhua: “Missing” Hong Kong Bookseller Turns Himself in to Police (China Radio International)

Recycling-Arbeiter | Börsen
Aug 28th, 2015 by Gao

Tom Phillips: China’s workers abandon the city as Beijing faces an economic storm (Guardian)

Labour disputes are rising and some workers are leaving for the country amid fears a crashing economy could cause political and social unrest.

Peter Lee: Making Sense of China’s Stock Market Meltdown (CounterPunch)

I suppose much of the journo commentariat was born since 2008 and therefore has no memory of TARP, Too Big To Fail, or Jamie Dimon rolling around naked inside a gigantic vat of taxpayer money, so there has been a considerable amount of handwring about how the CCP defiled the purity of the stock market by flinging a trillion or so RMB at the markets in a faltering attempt to moderate the collapse of share prices on the Shanghai exchange.
“Purity of the stock market”. Chew on that a while.

Hongkong | Ramadan | Wirtschaft
Jun 26th, 2015 by Gao

China’s plans for Hong Kong backfire (Washington Post)

For 79 days last year, thousands of protesters occupied major roads in Hong Kong in an attempt to force Chinese authorities to grant the territory genuine democracy. They failed. Local leaders and their overlords in Beijing refused to negotiate over an electoral plan that would allow for a popular vote for Hong Kong’s next leader but would limit candidates to nominees approved by the Communist regime. That left opposition representatives in Hong Kong’s legislature with an unappealing choice this month: Sign off on the inadequate reform or block it at the risk of freezing the current, even less democratic, system in place. “To kowtow, or to veto,” was the way opposition leader Alan Leong summed up the dilemma.
In the end, the opposition voted down the electoral system, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass the legislative council. The rebuff to the regime was amplified when pro-Beijing legislators walked out in a failed attempt to delay the vote; the final tally was 28 to 8. It was a moral victory for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which has made clear it won’t accept China’s attempt to gut its promise to allow universal suffrage.

Tom Phillips: Hong Kong parliament defies Beijing’s insistence and rejects ‚democracy‘ plan (Guardian)
Sad moment for Hong Kong democratic process (Global Times)

According to Beijing’s August 31 decision, if the reform plan fails to pass, Hong Kong will maintain the current election system and its chief executives will be elected by the 1,200-member election committee.
The pan-democratic lawmakers must accept this fact since they have rejected the reform. If they don’t stop but organize more drastic street demonstrations, they will push Hong Kong to a dead end and mean a life and death struggle with the Basic Law. In that case, Hong Kong will face dismal prospects.
We are concerned that a Pandora box is being opened in Hong Kong and various devils are released to ruin the region’s future. People who love Hong Kong should work to keep the box tightly closed so that Hong Kong won’t degenerate from the capital of finance and fashion to a total mess.
The Hong Kong opposition camp shouldn’t overestimate their power. The high yardstick under which the reform plan needs to win a two-thirds majority has enabled a minority of pan-democrats to kidnap the opinion of the mainstream. They are misguided if they think they represent the mainstream public and can indulge themselves in doing whatever they like.

Dai Weisen, Xin Lin: Last Occupy Central Die-Hards Face Eviction From Hong Kong Street (Radio Free Asia)

China bans Ramadan fasting in mainly Muslim region (AlJazeera)

China has banned civil servants, students and teachers in its mainly Muslim Xinjiang region from fasting during Ramadan and ordered restaurants to stay open.

Shohret Hoshur: At Least 18 Dead in Ramadan Attack on Police Checkpoint in Xinjiang (Radio Free Asia)
Richard Javad Heydarian: China’s illusion of harmony (AlJazeera)

For decades, much of China’s economic boom was concentrated in its south and eastern coastal regions, with mega-cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai experiencing stratospheric growth rates. It didn’t take long before Mao’s China was transformed from one of the world’s most egalitarian nations into a highly stratified capitalist society, with income inequality levels rivalling those in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Recognising the gravity of the country’s growing geographical and class-based divide, China’s Communist Party, beginning in 2006, endorsed a political doctrine, at a closed-door plenary session held by the party’s Central Committee, which focused on the creation of a „harmonious society“…
The problem, however, was that the development of interior regions went hand in hand with growing sociopolitical repression of the Uighur population as well as a massive influx of Han Chinese population into autonomous regions such as Xinjiang.

Qiao Long, Hai Nan: Beijing Police Detain Hundreds of PLA Veterans As Thousands Protest Lack of Pension (Radio Free Asia)

Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained hundreds of former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers after thousands of them staged a sit-in outside China’s central military command on Tuesday in protest over a lack of pension and other benefits, protesters said.
The protesters, mostly veterans of China’s brief 1979 border war with Vietnam and the Sino-Soviet border conflict of March 1969, converged on the Central Military Commission (CMC) headquarters in Beijing on Tuesday morning.
Zhejiang-based veteran Sun Enwei said he had counted around 3,000 retired PLA soldiers outside the complaints department of the CMC before the authorities took some of them to the Jiujingzhuang unofficial detention center on the outskirts of Beijing.
„More than 800 people have been forcibly taken to Jiujingzhuang,“ Sun told RFA. „They have informed the local governments that … they have to send people to Jiujingzhuang to pick them up.“

Charlotte Middlehurst: Robotics revolution rocks Chinese textile workers (AlJazeera)

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk as manufacturers plan to employ hi-tech gadgetry in factories to cut costs.

Marc Bain: US fashion companies are starting to look beyond China for sourcing apparel (Quartz)

China’s clothing manufacturing capabilities are so advanced, and still so relatively cheap for US fashion labels, that right now there are few good substitutes for producing there. But as Chinese production costs begin to creep up, American brands are scouting out other options, primarily in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and even the US itself.

Christoph Jehle: Elektronikfertigung in Thailand (Telepolis)

Elektronische Produkte kommen in der allgemeinen Wahrnehmung heute mehrheitlich aus der Volksrepublik China (PRC). So steht es auch vielfach auf den Typenschildern der Produkte, weil die Endmontage oft im Reich der Mitte stattfindet und die großen chinesischen Auftragsfertiger bei ihren Auftraggebern einen guten Ruf besitzen. Die Fertigung vieler Baugruppen und Einzelkomponenten wurde jedoch inzwischen in Länder verlagert, die mit günstigeren Löhnen, größeren Steuervorteilen, geringerer Organisierung ihrer Arbeitskräfte und nach Möglichkeit auch staatlicher Unterstützung bei der Werksansiedelung noch attraktiver sind als Mainland China.

Michael Lelyveld: China Pushes Production Abroad With ‚Capacity Cooperation‘ Initiative (Radio Free Asia)
Carrie Gracie: The village and the girl (BBC)
Trying to hit a moving target: The Lide shoe factory workers’ campaign for relocation compensation (China Labour Bulletin)
Noch immer lesenswert:
Eli Friedman: China in Revolt (Jacobin, 2008)

The Chinese working class plays a Janus-like role in the political imaginary of neoliberalism. On the one hand, it’s imagined as the competitive victor of capitalist globalization, the conquering juggernaut whose rise spells defeat for the working classes of the rich world. What hope is there for the struggles of workers in Detroit or Rennes when the Sichuanese migrant is happy to work for a fraction of the price?
At the same time, Chinese workers are depicted as the pitiable victims of globalization, the guilty conscience of First World consumers. Passive and exploited toilers, they suffer stoically for our iPhones and bathtowels. And only we can save them, by absorbing their torrent of exports, or campaigning benevolently for their humane treatment at the hands of “our” multinationals.
For parts of the rich-world left, the moral of these opposing narratives is that here, in our own societies, labor resistance is consigned to history’s dustbin. Such resistance is, first of all, perverse and decadent. What entitles pampered Northern workers, with their “First World problems,” to make material demands on a system that already offers them such abundance furnished by the wretched of the earth? And in any case, resistance against so formidable a competitive threat must surely be futile.

Feng Zhang: Beijing’s Master Plan for the South China Sea (Foreign Policy)

China has far greater ambitions for the region than just reclaiming some tiny islands. In late 2013, Beijing started taking a very different approach to sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea — although few outside China noticed the change. Instead of directly confronting the other regional claimant states, Beijing began the rapid consolidation of, and construction on, the maritime features already under its control. And it did so on a scale and pace befitting China’s impressive engineering prowess.

Heather Timmons: Russia’s importance to China is overblown (Quartz)

Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s largest source of oil in May, shipping a record 3.92 million metric tons, a 20% increase from April.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened (although the last time was more than 10 years ago), and Russia isn’t the only country to ship more oil to China than the Saudis. Angola also sold more oil to China than Saudi Arabia in May.
Still, it is the latest sign of the growing ties between Russia, suffering under sanctions and increasing international isolation, and China, which is investing heavily to bolster its slowing economy, namely by building a global infrastructure network.

Shen Hong: China’s Plan for Local Debt Amounts to a Bailout (Wall Street Journal)

Beijing had promised to let market play a greater role; banks take bonds in place of higher-rate loans

Melvyn Backman: China’s stock market fell hard this week—really hard (Quartz)
Leslie Shaffer: China manufacturing remains mired in June (CNBC)
China Intensifies Steel Cuts as Iron Bull Market Drives Up Costs (Bloomberg)

Jonathan Fenby: What the West should know about Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao (New Statesman)
Andrew Browne: The Whiplash of Xi Jinping’s Top-Down Style (Wall Street Journal)
Tom Phillips: China’s Xi Jinping says poverty is ’nothing to fear‘ after pesticide deaths (Guardian)

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has told villagers in one of the most deprived areas of the country, where four children killed themselves last week by swallowing pesticide, that poverty is nothing to fear.
He made the comments in Huamao, a village in the south-western province of Guizhou, according to China’s official news agency.
The president was quoted as saying: “A good life is created with one’s own hands, so poverty is nothing to fear. If we have determination and confidence, we can overcome any difficulty.”

Anders Hove: What Do Beijing’s Blue Skies Really Mean? It’s Too Soon to Say (Paulson Institute)
Eric Bellman: China’s Air is Much Worse Than India’s, World Bank Report Shows (Wall Street Journal)
Richard Smith: China’s Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse (TruthOut)

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: American Students in China: It’s Not as Authoritarian as We Thought (Asia Society)

For some American students about to embark on a study abroad trip to China, the U.S. media reports of Chinese Internet censorship, jailing of dissidents, and draconian population control laws may dominate their perception of the country. But after more than 30 years of reform and opening, the nominally communist country now combines economic liberalization, lumbering social and legal reforms, and spurts of ideological entrenchment to create a dynamic mix of restriction and freedom that’s hard to parse.

Julian Baggini: Is it OK to eat dogs? (Guardian)

Whenever western meat-eaters get up in arms over barbarous foreigners eating cute animals, it’s easy to throw around accusations of gross hypocrisy. Easy, because such accusations are often true. But responses to the dog meat festival in Yulin, China, which draws to a close today, merit more careful consideration. The double standards at play here are numerous, complicated, and not always obvious.

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