Mrz 20th, 2017 by Gao

Mel Gurtov: Diplomatic Remedies for THAAD Madness: The US, China and the Two Koreas (Japan Focus)

The US decision, supported by the South Korean government, to deploy an antimissile system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) may be one of the most thoughtless strategic moves in a generation. The official US justification is that close-in defense against North Korean missiles is necessary to protect South Korea. But the deployment is having more than a few negative repercussions: an argument in China for increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile; an incentive in North Korea for continuing to develop its long-range missile capability; a deep fissure in China-South Korea relations; a roiling of South Korean politics at a time when its corrupt president has been impeached; and a new source of tension in already fraught Sino-US relations.

U.S. Deploys Missile System Amid Rising Tensions with N. Korea (Democracy Now)

Tensions are rising between the United States, North Korea and China, threatening to create the first significant national security crisis of the Trump presidency. This week, the United States began deploying a missile defense system to South Korea, sparking warnings from Chinese officials who say the U.S. is escalating a regional arms race. The U.S. says the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, known as THAAD, seeks to protect South Korea amid a series of recent missile tests launched by North Korea…
The deployment of the U.S. missile system is widely opposed by both South Koreans, who have been protesting against U.S. militarization, and by Chinese officials, who say the missile system actually aims to counter China’s military power in the region, not to contain North Korea.
Chinese officials are calling for both an end to North Korea’s nuclear program and an end to joint U.S. and South Korean military drills.

Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: North Korea Timed Recent Missile Test to Take Place During Trump-Abe Dinner (Democracy Now)

North Korea tested a ballistic missile last month, sparking widespread international condemnation. The test was a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. North Korea claimed the test was a successful launch of an intermediate-range missile. The test came while Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Christine Ahn, Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: China Warns U.S. & North Korea Are Set for „Head-On“ Collision Amid Rising Tensions & Provocations (Democracy Now)

The political upheaval in South Korea comes shortly after North Korea test-fired several ballistic missiles. In response, the Trump administration announced it would deploy a missile defense system to South Korea. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops, backed by warships and warplanes, are currently engaging in a massive military exercise. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that the U.S. and North Korea are like two „accelerating trains coming toward each other.“ He called on both sides to de-escalate tensions.

David E. Sanger, William J. Broad: Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles (New York Times) / 트럼프가 물려받은 유산: 북한 미사일에 대응하는 비밀 사이버戰 / 特朗普接手的秘密计划:网络攻击破坏朝鲜导弹?

Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds…
An examination of the Pentagon’s disruption effort, based on interviews with officials of the Obama and Trump administrations as well as a review of extensive but obscure public records, found that the United States still does not have the ability to effectively counter the North Korean nuclear and missile programs…
In two meetings of Mr. Trump’s national security deputies in the Situation Room, the most recent on Tuesday, all those options were discussed, along with the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to South Korea as a dramatic warning…
The White House is also looking at pre-emptive military strike options, a senior Trump administration official said, …

Überproduktion | Inselstreit
Feb 29th, 2016 by Gao

The march of the zombies (Economist)
China’s surplus capacity in steelmaking, for example, is bigger than the entire steel production of Japan, America and Germany combined. Rhodium Group, a consulting firm, calculates that global steel production rose by 57% in the decade to 2014, with Chinese mills making up 91% of this increase. In industry after industry, from paper to ships to glass, the picture is the same: China now has far too much supply in the face of shrinking internal demand. Yet still the expansion continues: China’s aluminium-smelting capacity is set to rise by another tenth this year. According to Ying Wang of Fitch, a credit-rating agency, around two billion tonnes of gross new capacity in coal mining will open in China in the next two years.

Daniel Hurst, Oliver Holmes, Justin McCurry: Beijing places missile launchers on disputed South China Sea island (Guardian)

China has deployed surface-to-air missile launchers on an island in the South China Sea, satellite images appear to show, dramatically upping the stakes in a territorial dispute involving the US and its regional allies.
Tensions in the South China Sea, a vital shipping route, could rise after two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system were deployed to Woody Island in the past week, according to images taken by the private company ImageSat International.
The images were first published by Fox News. The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, did not deny that missile launchers had been installed but said the reports were an attempt by certain western media to create news stories.

Daniel Hurst: Julie Bishop says missile launchers shouldn’t deter flights (Guardian)
Reuters: South China Sea: US may consider sending more destroyers to patrol islands (Guardian)
Shalailah Medhora: China expresses ‚dissatisfaction‘ at Australia’s defence white paper (Guardian)

China has expressed “concern and dissatisfaction” with Australia’s defence white paper, a multibillion-dollar framework for military acquisition and strategy over the coming decades that was released on Thursday.
The white paper noted “a number of points of friction”, including over China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea.

声援无名政治犯,海外发起“我是张海涛”运动 (Voice of America)
Appeal Begins of Harsh 19-Year Prison Term Given Xinjiang-based Activist Zhang Haitao (China Change)

Konfuzius-Institut an der Universität Chicago
Sep 29th, 2014 by Gao

Magnus Fiskesjö: Confucius about-face: „Chicago to Close Confucius Institute“ (H-Asia)
 on the Confucius Institute at the University of Chicago (UChicagoNews)

The University of Chicago has informed Madame Xu Lin, director-general of Hanban and chief executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, of the University’s decision to suspend negotiations for the renewal of the agreement for a second term of the Confucius Institute at the University of Chicago (CIUC).

Elizabeth Redden: Chicago to Close Confucius Institute (Inside Higher Ed)

The decision follows a petition, signed by more than 100 faculty members this spring, calling for the closure of the institute.

Elizabeth Redden: Rejecting Confucius Funding (Inside Higher Ed)
Te-Ping Chen, Fanfan Wang: Thanks, But No Thanks, University of Chicago Tells Confucius Institute (Wall Street Journal)

[I]n a report published on September 19 by the state-backed Jiefang Daily, Ms. Xu [the director-general of the Hànbàn] appeared to have revealed details about her conversations with university administrators. After the professors protested the university’s relationship with the Confucius Institute in April, the paper said that Ms. Xu wrote a letter to the college president containing one sentence: “If your school has made the decision it wants to pull out, then I agree.” She said the same thing in a phone call to the university’s representative in Beijing, the report said.



About-face (Economist)
Confucius says (Economist)
Didi Kirsten Tatlow: University of Chicago’s Relations With Confucius Institute Sour (New York Times)

Cynthia Ning: Reflections on the first decade of the Confucius Institute Program (People’s Daily)

Of course there have been many challenges that come along with the boon of the CI. Many CI directors groan in frustration as the latest „anti-Confucius Institute“ volley is levied against us, generally in the media. Most U.S. directors of CIs are academics with decades of experience, and none of us takes „academic freedom“ lightly. Therefore, my answer to the often-asked question „Does Confucius Institute funding threaten academic freedom at U.S. universities?“ is a categorical “No; if Confucius Institute (or any other external) funding were to seriously threaten academic freedom, we would cease to accept that funding.”

Zhang Jianfeng: Rejecting Confucius Institutes not helpful to understand China (Xinhua/CCTV)

Recently, the University of Chicago announced it had suspended negotiations to renew its agreement to host a Confucius Institute, meaning Chinese language study in the university would cease soon. [sic!]
Though the university did not detail the reasons behind the suspension, many believed it was linked to the American Association of University Professors boycott of CI.
By shutting the door of a Confucius Institute, the University of Chicago not only denied students an opportunity to learn Chinese and Chinese culture, but also a channel to reduce misunderstandings.

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