Archive for ‘Renmin University’

15/06/2019

Lessons from an old trade war: China can learn from the Japan experience

  • In the last half of the 20th century US worries about a rising Japan led to tariffs and technology mistrust
  • Differences in the Chinese experience may predict a different outcome
Toshiba was one of the companies affected by US actions to prevent the rise of Japan in a trade war that echoes in today’s tensions between the US and China. Photo: Reuters
Toshiba was one of the companies affected by US actions to prevent the rise of Japan in a trade war that echoes in today’s tensions between the US and China. Photo: Reuters
If history is a mirror to the future, the similarities between the spiralling technology stand-off between China and the US and the economic wars waged by the US with Japan – which peaked in the 1980s and 1990s – may be instructive. But there are differences between the two which may predict a different outcome.
The US-Japan economic tensions started in the 1950s over textiles, extended to synthetic fibres and steel in the 1960s, and escalated – from the 1970s to 1990s – to colour televisions, cars and semiconductors, as Japan’s adjusted industrial policy and technology development moved it up the industrial chain.
Boosted by government support, Japan’s semiconductor industry surpassed the US as the world’s largest chip supplier in the early 1980s, causing wariness and discontent in the US over national security risks and its loss of competitiveness in core technologies.

The Reagan administration regarded Japan as the biggest economic threat to the US. Washington accused Tokyo of state-sponsored industrial policies, intellectual property theft from US companies, and of dumping products on the American market.

The US punished Japanese companies for allegedly stealing US technology and illegally selling military sensitive products to the Soviet Union. It also forced Japan to sign deals to share its semiconductor technologies and increase its purchases of US semiconductor products.

“The Trump administration is using similar tactics against China that were used against Japan in the 1980s and 1990s,” said an adviser to the Chinese government, on condition of anonymity, adding that the US was continuing its hegemony to curtail China’s tech development and was trying to mobilise its allies to follow suit.

After talks to end the US-China trade faltered last month, Huawei – a global leader in the 5G market – is now standing at centre stage of a protracted technology stand-off between Beijing and Washington, which has grown increasingly wary of the rising competitiveness of Chinese tech companies.

Zhang Monan, a researcher with the Beijing-based China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, does not foresee an easing of the rivalry between the US and China.

“The current US-China conflicts are more complicated than those between the US and Japan,” she said.

“The US will only get more intense in its containment of China and the tech rivalry won’t ease, even if China and the US could reach a deal to de-escalate the trade tensions.”

Huawei is at the centre of a technology stand-off between Beijing and Washington. Photo: AP
Huawei is at the centre of a technology stand-off between Beijing and Washington. Photo: AP

Back in 1982, the US justice department charged senior officials at Hitachi with conspiracy to steal confidential computer information from IBM and take it back to Japan. IBM also sued Hitachi. The two companies settled the case out of court and Hitachi paid 10 billion yen (US$92.3 million) to IBM in royalties in 1983, while accepting IBM inspections of its new software products for the next five years.

Toshiba, a major electronics producer in Japan, and Norway’s Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk secretly sold sophisticated milling machines to the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1984, helping to make its submarines quieter and harder to detect. This transfer of sensitive military technology in the middle of an arms race between the US and the Soviet Union was not revealed until 1986.

The US issued a three-year ban on Toshiba products in 1987 and the company ran full-page advertisements in more than 90 American newspapers apologising for its actions.

In 1985, the US imposed 100 per cent tariffs on Japanese semiconductors. A year later, in its five-year semiconductor deal with the US, Japan agreed to monitor its export prices, increase imports from the US, and submit to inspections by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

A display of chips designed by Huawei for 5G base stations on show at the China International Big Data Industry Expo. Photo: AP
A display of chips designed by Huawei for 5G base stations on show at the China International Big Data Industry Expo. Photo: AP

This was followed by a second five-year semiconductor deal in 1991, in which Japan agreed to double the US market share in Japan to 20 per cent. In yet another bilateral semiconductor deal in 1989 Japan was required to open its semiconductor patents to the US.

Meanwhile, the US government boosted its efforts to help American businesses cement their industrial leverage in the chip sector and unveiled rules to protect its domestic chip industry.

The two countries were irreconcilable in 1996 on how to measure their respective market share. Overall market circumstances had also changed by then, with the US becoming competitive in microprocessing, and South Korea and Taiwan emerging as strong rivals to Japan.

Its dominance in semiconductors lost, Japan reached out to Europe for a range of cooperative technology deals.

Cooperate, don’t confront: academic advises Beijing on trade war tactics

“History can tell that high technology matters greatly to national security strategies. It is not a process of mere market competition. It follows the law of the jungle,” Zhang said.

The US has intensified its investment scrutiny by rolling out the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernisation Act last year, which extends the regulation to key industrial technology sectors.

Zhang predicted the US would continue to contain China’s technological development in key sectors such as AI, aerospace, robots and nanotechnology – all of which are of great importance to Beijing.

The US has said Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE present a national security risk. Last April it cut US supplies to ZTE, citing violations of sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The ban was removed three months later after ZTE paid US$1.4 billion in fines.

It was a wake-up call for China to develop its own core technologies. The subsequent US ban on Huawei added to the urgency to do so, observers said.

Wang Yiwei, a professor in international relations with Renmin University, said China had to develop its own hi-tech know-how while continuing the opening up process.

“China has paid a price to learn whose globalisation it is,” he said.

“We may see some extent of disengagement with the US in technology and dual-use sectors, but China can speed up cooperation with European countries, and other countries such as Israel, to offset the risks from the US.”

In December, the US filed criminal charges against Huawei and its chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, alleging bank fraud, obstruction of justice and technology theft.

The squeeze continued last month with the US blacklisting Huawei, restricting its access to American hi-tech supplies and putting pressure on its allies to freeze the company out of the 5G market. So far, those allies, including Germany and Japan, have remained hesitant about meeting the US request and refrained from siding with either country.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday that Huawei had obtained 46 commercial contracts in 30 countries as of June 6, “including some US allies and some European countries that the US has been working hard to persuade out of the contracts”.

For Zhang, the differences between Japan’s experience of US concerns of technological advancement and China’s may offer some hope for Chinese ambitions.

“Dependent on US for security protection, Japan was limited in [its ability to] push back and was already a developed country,” she said.

“But China has huge domestic market potential to address the imbalance [between] economic and technology development. This remains a big attraction to multinational companies, which would enable China to integrate into global innovation and technology cooperation, but China has to figure out how to dispel the doubts on its growth model.”

Source: SCMP

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21/05/2019

China’s green efforts hit by fake data and corruption among the grass roots

  • Local officials have devised creative ways to cover up their lack of action on tackling pollution
  • Falsified monitoring information risks directing clean-up efforts away from where they are needed most
China’s efforts to cut pollution are being hampered by local officials who use creative methods to hide their lack of action. Photo: Simon Song
China’s efforts to cut pollution are being hampered by local officials who use creative methods to hide their lack of action. Photo: Simon Song
China’s notoriously lax local government officials and polluting companies are finding creative ways to fudge their environmental responsibilities and outsmart Beijing’s pollution inspectors, despite stern warnings and tough penalties.
Recent audit reports covering the past two years released by the environment ministry showed its inspectors were frequently presented with fake data and fabricated documents, as local officials – sometimes working in league with companies – have devised multiple ways to cheat and cover up their lack of action.
Local governments have been under pressure to meet environmental protection targets since Chinese President Xi Jinping made it one of his top three policy pledges in late 2017.
The performance of leading local officials is now partly assessed by how good a job they have done in cleaning up China’s much depleted environment.
According to the reports released this month by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, pollution inspectors have found evidence in a number of city environmental protection bureaus of made-up meeting notes and even instructions to local companies to forge materials.
Cao Liping, director of the ministry’s ecology and environment law enforcement department, said many of the cases uncovered were the result of officials failing to act in a timely manner.
“In some places, local officials didn’t really do the rectification work. When the inspections began, they realised they didn’t have enough time, so they made up material,” he said.
China ‘still facing uphill struggle in fight against pollution’

While some officials are covering up their inaction, others are actively corrupt. According to Guangzhou’s Southern Weekend, since 2012 there have been 63 cases involving 118 people in the environment protection system involved in corruption.

In the southwest province of Sichuan, 32 current and former employees of Suining city’s environmental protection bureau were found to be corrupt, raking in illicit income of 6.32 million yuan (US$900,000).

Fabricated notes

The party committee of Bozhou district in Zunyi, Guizhou province in southern China, was found to have fabricated notes for 10 meetings – part of the work requirement under the new environmental targets – in a bid to cheat the inspectors.

The case was flagged by the environment ministry in a notice issued on May 10, which said party officials in Bozhou lacked “political consciousness … the nature of this case is very severe”.
Watering down results
Environmental officials in Shizuishan, in the northwest region of Ningxia, tried to improve their results in December 2017 by ordering sanitation workers to spray the building of the local environmental protection bureau with an anti-smog water cannon.
The intention was to lower the amount of pollutant particles registered by the building’s monitoring equipment.
The scheme may have gone undetected if the weather had been warmer but the next day a telltale layer of ice covered the building and the chief and deputy chief of the environmental station in the city’s Dawokou district were later penalised for influencing the monitoring results.
1 million dead, US$38 billion lost: the price of China’s air pollution
Similar tactics were deployed in Linfen, in the northern province of Shanxi in March 2017, when former bureau chief Zhang Wenqing and 11 others were found to have altered air quality monitoring data during days of heavy pollution.
The monitoring machine was blocked and sprayed with water to improve the data and Zhang was also found to have paid another person to make sure the sabotage was not captured by surveillance camera.
According to the environment ministry, six national observation stations in Linfen were interfered with more than 100 times between April 2017 and March 2018. In the same period, monitoring data was seriously distorted on 53 occasions.
Zhang was sentenced to two years in prison in May last year for destroying information on a computer.
Bad company
A ministry notice on May 11 flagged collusion by local officials and businesses in Bozhou in southeast China’s Anhui province. Companies were given advance notice of environmental inspections, with instructions to make up contracts and temporarily suspend production in a bid to deceive inspectors.
In Henan province, central China, inspectors found a thermal power company had been using a wireless mouse to interfere with the sealed automatic monitoring system. They were able to remotely delete undesirable data, eliminating evidence of excessive emissions, and only provided selective data to the environment bureau.
Officials in Shandong reprimanded for failing to cut pollution
In another case, from 2017, an environmental inspection group in Hubei province, central China, found a ceramics company had been working with the data monitoring company to alter automatically collected data on sulphur dioxide emissions.
Criminal offence
Cao said that while the cheating by grass-roots officials was serious, the involvement of companies in falsifying data was a major issue that made the work of inspectors even harder.
“Some fraudulent methods are hidden with the help of high technology, so it’s hard for us to obtain evidence. Besides, the environment officials are not totally familiar with these technologies,” he said.
The environment ministry was working on solutions to the problems, he said, adding that falsifying monitoring data was now a criminal offence.
Fake data was particularly serious, he said, because it could directly influence his department’s decisions about where to deploy resources.

Wang Canfa, an environmental law expert at the China University of Political Science and Law, said the problem of fake data could damage the government’s credibility but also prevent it from taking measures in time.

“If the water pollution or air pollution is severe in one place but the local government has said it’s not a big deal, then the investment needed to control the situation might go to other places,” he said.

Zhou Ke, a professor of environment and resources law at Renmin University, said there was an incentive for local officials to cheat because the inspection results were directly related to their career prospects.

Officials ended up cheating or forging materials to protect local interests or their own political achievements, he said.

Source: SCMP

20/05/2019

Xi Jinping visits rare earth minerals facility, amid talk of use as weapon in US-China trade war

  • China produces 90 per cent of the world’s rare earth minerals, used in hi-tech production such as electric vehicles
  • Rare earth minerals one of the few goods not hit by incoming US tariffs on US$300 billion of Chinese goods as trade war escalates
President Xi Jinping paid a visit to the country’s rare earth mining base in Jiangxi province on Monday, according to the official Xinhua news agency, in his first domestic tour after the trade talks between Beijing and Washington ended without a deal. Photo: Xinhua
President Xi Jinping paid a visit to the country’s rare earth mining base in Jiangxi province on Monday, according to the official Xinhua news agency, in his first domestic tour after the trade talks between Beijing and Washington ended without a deal. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited one of the country’s major rare earth mining and processing facilities on Monday, in his first domestic tour since the 
recent escalation

of the US-China trade war.

Xi’s visit, reported by the official Xinhua news agency, comes amid growing discussion in China that Beijing could consider banning the export of such minerals as a weapon 
in the trade war

with the United States.

Rare earth minerals were among the few items excluded from the latest US government plans to implement tariffs on almost all of China’s remaining exports to the United States, highlighting their strategic importance. These tariffs, which are set to be levied on Chinese goods worth an estimated US$300 billion, 
could go into effect

as early as July, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The state media report, which includes one sentence of text and two pictures, made no mention of the trade war, but speculation is mounting that rare earth minerals could form a key part of China’s retaliation.

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rare earth minerals, which contain at least one of the 17 rare earth elements, many of which are vital to a number of low-carbon technologies, such as high-performance magnets and electronics. Photo: Xinhua

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of rare earth minerals, which contain at least one of the 17 rare earth elements, many of which are vital to a number of low-carbon technologies, such as high-performance magnets and electronics.

It accounts for 90 per cent of global production, however the government has been carefully managing mining levels and it was reported last year that amid production quotas, the country became a net importer of rare earth minerals last year.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, wrote an article last week suggesting that China could ban rare earth exports to the US as a way to punish the US for

imposing additional tariffs

. China does not import enough goods from the US to retaliate in pure tariff terms.

The Chinese government has weaponised the trade of rare earth exports before, slashing the export quota by 40 per cent in 2010. The US, Japan and the European Union filed a compliant against the Chinese quota at the World Trade Organisation in 2012, with the WTO ruling against China. Beijing dropped its export restrictions in 2015.

According to the report, Xi visited JL Mag Rare Earth Co, a major rare earth processing company based in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province and “studied” the local rare earth industry. Ganzhou is the heartland of China’s rare earth mining and processing industry.

Xi was accompanied by vice-premier Liu He, who has been China’s top trade negotiator in the long-running talks with the US and who is Xi’s most trusted economic adviser. Also on the trip was a delegation of company officials and local cadres.
JL Mag is a leading supplier of high-performance rare earth magnets, which are widely used in intelligent manufacturing operations, energy-saving applications, and in the production of robots and new energy vehicles, according to the company’s website.

Images of Xi’s trip show a sign saying that the company is trying to build up “a rare metal industry base of tungsten with strong international competitiveness”.

Banning rate earth exports to the US is one of several ideas percolating in Chinese public discussions of possible trade war 

retaliation measures.

Other analysts have suggested that China could sell its $3 trillion stockpile of US dollar-denominated securities, or allowing the yuan exchange rate to depreciate significantly, which would make Chinese exports cheaper for overseas buyers, helping to mitigate the effect of tariffs.

Source: SCMP
13/05/2019

China not to compromise on major principles, capable to cope with challenges: think tanks

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) — Facing U.S. tariff hike threats, China has adhered to its bottom line, defended national dignity and people’s interests, experts with domestic think tanks said Sunday at a symposium on China-U.S. trade relations.

Imposing new tariffs goes against the will of the people and the trend of the times. China has the resolution, courage and confidence to rise to all sorts of challenges, they said.

The United States on Friday increased additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

At the 11th round of economic and trade consultations that ended in Washington the same day, the Chinese delegation made clear its consistent and resolute stance: problems can not be solved by increasing tariffs and cooperation is the only right choice for the two sides, but it has to be based on principles. China will never make concessions on major issues of principle.

RAISING TARIFFS MORE DETRIMENTAL TO U.S. ECONOMY

“Increasing tariffs will impact enterprises of both countries, but harm American businesses more,” said Gao Lingyun, a researcher with the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The additional tariffs can not change U.S. demand for Chinese goods and will be eventually passed on to American consumers and retailers by U.S. importers, Gao said.

“If the United States insists on going its way to raise tariffs on all Chinese imports, its domestic prices would be dramatically pushed up, resulting in inflation,” Gao said.

A wide range of U.S. industry associations have expressed strong opposition to imposing additional tariffs on Chinese imports. Raising tariffs to 25 percent could cost nearly one million American jobs and increase volatility of financial market, said the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign.

Of the Chinese goods already under higher tariffs, more than 70 percent are intermediates and investment goods. Such a higher proportion means that the tariffs will be eventually be passed on to American businesses, consumers and farmers, said Chen Wenling, chief economist with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Chen said the trade war provoked by the United States is ineffective. The United States wanted to fix the problem of trade deficit but its trade deficits to China, European Union and other economies rose rather than fell. In addition, the corresponding industry chain restructuring did not benefit the U.S. either. Auto makers Tesla and Ford are moving to the Chinese market instead.

“Some U.S. enterprises may find it difficult to survive if quitting the Chinese market as a very large share of their profits come from China,” said Liang Ming, a researcher with a research institute of the Ministry of Commerce.

Based on an estimate of the effect of having additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars worth of Chinese goods, Liang said the United States still needs to import a majority of the goods from China. But most of the Chinese products involved are less dependent on the U.S. market, and can be exported to other markets, Liang noted.

Experts said that the spill-over effect of trade wars can reach the whole world, posing severe challenges to the global order, rules, trade systems, supply chains and even bringing negative impact on the peaceful development of the world.

“What China emphasizes, such as avoiding raising tariffs and a balance in the appeals of both sides, is not only the requests of China but also the rational choice for any country when facing unreasonable trade demand,” said Dong Yan, a researcher with the CASS’s Institute of World Economics and Politics.

Analysts agreed at Sunday’s symposium that cooperation benefits China and the Unites States, while conflicts hurt both; cooperation is always the right path to resolve the China-U.S. trade dispute.

NO YIELDING ON PRINCIPLES, FIGHT AND TALK ALTERNATELY

Experts said that the U.S. accusation of China’s “backtracking” for the unsuccessful talks is untenable and irresponsible as the two are still in the process of negotiation. As a matter of fact, the U.S. side is to blame for the negotiating setback as it has been exerting pressure on China and upping the ante.

“The U.S. requests involve China’s core interests and major concerns. They touch the bottom line and China will not compromise,” said Wei Jianguo, executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

He noted that a successful agreement must ensure both sides are satisfied for the most part and have both sides to make compromises.

If an agreement satisfies only one side with the concerns of the other side not respected or not taken care of, it can hardly sustain during the implementation and may even be revoked, he said.

After more than a year, both sides have conducted 11 rounds of economic and trade consultations, which experts said fully displays that the consultation is a continuing battle. Taking it easy is necessary while preparations must be fully made psychologically and at working level.

“It’s normal for major countries to have frictions. China must adapt to it,” said Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.

Chen Wenling said Chinese negotiators have stuck to their principles and stance during the consultation. “It will be normal for both sides to fight and talk alternately. China must not be vague in resolutely safeguarding its core national interests and major concerns and upholding national dignity,” Chen said.

Experts noted that China’s position on upholding the overall interests of the China-U.S. relations and consolidating bilateral economic and trade cooperation remains unchanged. The two countries should meet each other halfway in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and resolve their core differences through dialog rather than confrontation.

Dong Yan said that the Sino-U.S. economic and trade friction is a long-term problem, complicated and arduous. Before everything, China and the United States should continue to build mutual trust, step up coordination in bilateral and multilateral areas, and expand common interests.

“We believe that in the face of huge cooperative interests, the U.S. side is also very clear that a trade war will not solve the economic and trade differences between the two countries,” said Liang Ming.

Although the tariff escalation is regrettable, Liang said he believed both sides had hope for the future of their economic and trade relations. A win-win cooperation between China and the United States is in line with the aspirations of the two peoples and the world at large, Liang said.

FACING CHALLENGE WITH CONFIDENCE

“Above 8,000 meters, it is the stratosphere, where the air gets thin. For mountain climbers, this requires extra efforts to overcome, which is similar to the phase that China’s economy has to overcome in order to achieve high-quality development.”

Wang Wen, citing mountain climbing as a metaphor, said the current stage requires China to stay patient and make hard work persistently according to a set route.

With both solid strength and huge potential as well as a strong capability to cope with risks and strikes, China has the confidence, resolution and ability to face all kinds of risks and challenges, said Zheng Shuiquan, deputy secretary of the Party Committee of Renmin University of China.

“No matter how the situation goes in the future, we need to manage our own affairs well,” said Zhang Yansheng, chief research fellow with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Since last year, a series of measures have been taken by the central government to consolidate the growth momentum of the Chinese economy. Wang Jinbin, deputy dean of School of Economics, Renmin University of China, said that stabilizing expectation and confidence is very essential.

Starting this year, transition towards new growth engines from the traditional ones has accelerated, with new industries and businesses constantly emerging, said Yan Jinming, executive director of the National Academy of Development and Strategy of the Renmin University of China.

He said that the Chinese economy has strong resilience and flexibility, a huge market and promising prospect.

“The key is to manage our own affairs now, so as to constantly increase the potential for economic development,” said Yan.

“A win-win cooperation is an unstoppable trend of development. Trade development needs to be aligned with major national strategies. By deepening Belt and Road economic cooperation, China will see its high-quality development path getting broader and broader,” said Chen.

Source: Xinhua

24/02/2019

China’s military build-up just starting – a lot more to come, expert warns

  • Military watchers can expect ‘something new’ at this year’s National Day parade in October, Professor Jin Canrong tells forum in Hong Kong
  • As tensions rise over Taiwan, Beijing is building a naval and missile force as powerful as any in the world, he says

Beijing’s military build-up just starting – a lot more to come, expert warns

24 Feb 2019

Submarine arms race seen heating up in Indo-Pacific amid China ‘threat’

16 Feb 2019

The US could send more nuclear attack submarines, such as the Virginia-class, to the region. Photo: AFP
Military vehicles carrying DF-16 ballistic missiles take part in China’s National Day parade. Taiwan says Beijing has such missiles trained on the self-ruled island. Photo: Handout
Military vehicles carrying DF-16 ballistic missiles take part in China’s National Day parade. Taiwan says Beijing has such missiles trained on the self-ruled island. Photo: Handout

Beijing will show the world “something new” when it rolls out its arsenal of short- to medium-range ballistic missiles at its National Day military parade in October, according to a Chinese expert on international relations.

Speaking at a seminar at the University of Hong Kong on Saturday, Professor Jin Canrong, associate dean of the school of international studies at Renmin University in Beijing, said China had made great strides in expanding its military capability, but there was a lot more to come.

US commander pushes for more funding to counter China’s influence in Indo-Pacific

While he did not elaborate on what the “something new” might be, he said the country was gearing up for a possible conflict over Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as a wayward province awaiting reunification.

Over the next five or 10 years, Taiwan could provide the “biggest uncertainty” for Beijing, he said, especially if the United States decided to “ignite” the situation.

Known for being outspoken on sensitive issues, Jin said that while Beijing wanted a peaceful reunification, it was wary of “pro-independence factions [on the island] and right-wing American [politicians] creating trouble”.

In a speech on January 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of Beijing’s call to end military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that “the political division across the strait … cannot be passed on from generation to generation”, apparently signalling his determination to bring it to an end.

Xi said China would not abandon the use of force in reunifying Taiwan, but stressed the military would target only external elements and those seeking independence for the island.

In 2017, Taipei said that it had detected the deployment of DF-16 ballistic missiles on the mainland that were aimed at Taiwan.

Jin said China was rapidly expanding its missile capabilities. The People’s Liberation Army had already stockpiled about 3,000 short- and medium-range missiles, he said, even though it had been using just 15 per cent of its production capacity.

“Just imagine if we were running at 100 per cent,” he said.

Beijing will show the world “something new” when it rolls out its ballistic missiles at its National Day military parade in October, an expert says. Photo: Xinhua
Beijing will show the world “something new” when it rolls out its ballistic missiles at its National Day military parade in October, an expert says. Photo: Xinhua

Under its plan for military modernisation China had achieved “great advancements in space, electronics and cyberwarfare”, the academic said, but its achievements to date were only the beginning.

As well as the expansion of its missile force, Beijing was investing heavily in its navy, he said.

Is China about to abandon its ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy?

With the deployment of the new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer – which some Chinese military experts have said is as good as anything in the US Navy – the balance of power was shifting, he said.

“For the first time in 500 years, the East has combat equipment that is at least as good as the West’s.”

With the deployment of the new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, the balance of power between China and the US is shifting, according to Jin Canrong. Photo: Handout
With the deployment of the new Type 055 guided-missile destroyer, the balance of power between China and the US is shifting, according to Jin Canrong. Photo: Handout

And as the navy continued to modernise and expand, the US might be forced to rethink its position in the region, he said.

“When we have dozens of destroyers and four or five [aircraft] carriers the US will not be able to meddle in Taiwan.”

China’s first aircraft carrier may become test bed for electromagnetic warplane launcher

Jin said that China would also soon have all the scientific, academic and research personnel it needed to achieve its military ambitions.

“China had nearly 30 million university students in 2018, which is twice as many as the US. More than half of them are studying science or engineering,” he said.

“Every year we produce about 4 million science and engineering graduates, while America produces just 440,000.”

Professor Jin Canrong speaks at a forum in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout
Professor Jin Canrong speaks at a forum in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout

Beijing also had the money to support its plans, Jin said. Based on his own calculations, he said China allocated about 1.4 per cent of its gross domestic product to military spending, which was lower than “Germany’s 1.5 per cent”, and less than half the “3 per cent in Britain and France”.

“The tax paid by Chinese smokers is more than enough to cover [the country’s] military expenses,” Jin said.

According to figures from Nato, Britain spent 2.1 of its GDP on defence in 2017, France 1.8 per cent and Germany 1.2 per cent. Both the World Bank and the United Nations put China’s military spending in 2017 at 1.9 per cent of its GDP.

Source: SCMP

12/02/2019

Next stop Xinjiang for one of China’s rising political stars Wang Junzheng

  • Trusted senior cadre tipped for leadership role in implementing Beijing’s ‘stabilising measures’ in the Uygur region
  • His career so far has been a fast track of rotation and promotion
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2019, 6:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2019, 6:53pm

Beijing has sent a trusted senior cadre – with a track record of versatility and economic development – to join the highest decision-making body of China’s highly sensitive Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Wang Junzheng, 56, has been appointed to Xinjiang’s 14-member Communist Party standing committee, according to an official statement on Monday. His new role was not specified in the two-paragraph announcement.

 

Analysts said he was expected to assume a leadership role in the party’s regional political and legal affairs commission – a critical body in the implementation of China’s “stabilising measures” in Xinjiang, which include the controversial “re-education camps” where up to 1 million people from the Muslim ethnic minority group are reportedly being held.

In a move that may have paved the way for such a role for Wang, the incumbent head of Xinjiang’s political and legal affairs commission – Zhu Hailun, 61 – was elected deputy head of Xinjiang’s People’s Congress in January. It is standard practice in China for deputy provincial level cadres to step down and take up such positions on reaching 60.

Dr Alfred Wu, an associate professor at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said that while there were other vacancies in both Xinjiang’s political and legal affairs commission and its united front work department, Wong’s legal experience made it likely he would take up the role vacated by Zhu.

A source familiar with Wang told the South China Morning Post he was among a group of cadres who had won the trust of President Xi Jinping.

Wang’s career has been on a fast track of rotation and promotion. He reached vice-provincial level when he was only 49 and, five years later, became an alternate member of the Central Committee – the party’s highest organ of power – at the 19th party congress in October 2017.

He moves to Xinjiang from the northeastern province of Jilin, where he was a member of the provincial party standing committee and party chief of Changchun, the provincial capital.

It was not all smooth sailing for Wang in Jilin, where his career was tainted by last year’s Changchun Changsheng vaccine scandal.

National outrage followed the revelation that one of China’s biggest vaccine makers, Changsheng Bio-tech, had systematically forged data in its production of rabies vaccines and had sold ineffective vaccines for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus that were given to hundreds of thousands of babies – some as young as three months old.

Heads rolled. Sackings included Jilin vice-governor Jin Yuhui, who had overseen food and drug regulation; Li Jinxiu, a former Jilin food and drug chief; Changchun mayor Liu Changlong; and Bi Jingquan, deputy director of the State Market Regulatory Administration in Beijing.

In a farewell speech published in People’s Daily on Monday, Wang apparently made a veiled reference to the scandal and admitted some shortcomings.

“Because of my constraints, I could have done better on some issues … and have failed to meet the expectations of the Party and people,” he said.

Alfred Wu said the Xinjiang posting showed Wang’s career had not been tainted by the Changchun vaccine scandal.

“Going to Xinjiang is both an opportunity and a challenge for Wang. If he can prove himself in stabilising Xinjiang, he will go further [in his career],” Wu said.

Xinjiang is Wang’s fourth provincial posting. He began his political career in Yunnan, southwestern China, where he spent nearly two decades working with many ethnic minority groups.

He was the legal chief of Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, from 1988 to 2000 and also served as vice-president of the Yunnan Higher People’s Court from 2005 to 2007.

In 2009 Wang became party chief of Lijiang, a tourist city in Yunnan where the economy thrived under his watch.

“More importantly, he struck a balance between tourism development and environmental conservation and was noticed by the leadership,” a source said.

Wang left Yunnan in 2012 when he was promoted to provincial vice-governor of Hubei in central China. He later became party chief of the city of Xiangyang in Hubei province and was promoted to provincial party standing committee member in 2013.

After three years in Hubei, Wang headed north to Jilin, becoming Changchun party chief in January 2016.

Wang was born in the eastern province of Shandong. He graduated from Shandong University with a bachelor’s degree in socialism studies and a master’s in the same subject from Renmin University in Beijing in the 1980s. He attained his doctorate in management from Tsinghua University in 2006.

Source: SCMP

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