Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

22 October 2017

The Weakest Link In The Cybersecurity Chain Is Sitting At The Keyboard

by Scott Stewart

One of the foundational precepts of Stratfor's security analysis is that as security measures become more effective, people increasingly become the weakest link in a security system. For example, when it comes to the U.S. border with Mexico, as walls have been lengthened and checks at entry points have grown more sophisticated, smugglers have increasingly resorted to bribery to circumvent the tighter security. Likewise, "office creepers" and other criminals who target workplaces have figured out ways to bypass the tighter access controls and other physical measures instituted by companies. Perhaps they will enter through a door blocked open by a worker taking a smoke break or follow a legitimate employee through a secured entry by pretending to have misplaced their credentials. This same principle applies to cybersecurity. As greater technical barriers are enacted to secure computer networks against external hacks, their human users have become the weakest link in cybersecurity.

The Guardian view on Xi Jinping: the life and soul of the party

“The capability of any one individual is limited,” Xi Jinping warned five years ago as he assumed China’s leadership. Those words were unnecessarily self-deprecating. As the Communist party regrouped for the next great conclave in Beijing on Wednesday, the man now known as “chairman of everything” laid out a vision for his nation so grand that it took over three and a half hours to delineate; more than twice as long as his predecessor spoke for at the last party congress.

Could a Local War in Asia Create a Superpower Showdown Between America and China?

Dave Majumdar

The risk of China and the United States going to war in the West Pacific is fairly small, but over time Washington will have to shift its deterrence posture in Asia as Beijing continues to become evermore powerful.Indeed, RAND Corporation researchers believe that the People’s Republic ofChina—which is expected to match America’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030—could be a far more capable adversary than either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union during its Cold War peak if Beijing so chose. However, China, thus far, does not seem to have such aspirations.

Future Of Asia Previous Social Media in China: The Great Distraction

By Andrés Ortega

Worried about social media helping to create popular movements, China runs an elaborate system of censorship and manipulation.Chinese authorities are worried less by criticism than by social media and networks helping to create popular movements.What the system simply cannot tolerate is the possible emergence of opposition movements or collective action.There are now an average of 500 demonstrations a day in China, albeit largely peaceful.

Grand Designs: Does China have a ‘Grand Strategy’?

By Angela Stanzel, Nadège Rolland, Jabin Jacob, Melanie Hart 

Do China’s leaders have a strategy for the long-term direction of their country? For a while now Chinese thinkers have been discussing this very question, even speaking about the parameters of an all-encompassing “grand strategy” (大战略 da zhanlue) for China.

When the revolution eats itself

by Buttonwood

WHEN a revolution happens, the consequences are not obvious straight away. The British referendum on EU membership in June 2016 was seen as a revolt of ordinary people against a globalised elite. The politicians who led the Leave campaign did not seem to expect to win. As wags remarked, they were like “the dog that caught the car”.

In China, a Strategy Born of Weakness

By George Friedman

Editor’s note: Every five years, the Communist Party of China holds its National Congress, an opportunity for leaders to tout their successes and lay out policy priorities for the next five years. It is where delegates approve amendments to the constitution and select members of the Central Committee, who in turn select members of the country’s most important political institutions: the Politburo, the Central Military Commission, the Politburo Standing Committee and the general secretariat.

Why China Is Leading the Fintech Race

The innovations of the U.S. tech sector are justly acclaimed, but China is racing ahead in the rapidly developing fintech sector, with India poised to follow, writes Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett in this opinion piece.When it comes to the tech sector, all the action — certainly all the innovation — is in America, right?

21 October 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Solution for China

Chinese President Xi Jinping is presiding over a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, called the National Congress. These meetings are held in China every five years. This year it is about crafting a new course for China. The congress opened with a speech delivered by Xi that was designed to fill the people with confidence in a bright future. It did that, and now the congress will proceed for several days, continuing to energize the country. It will not be out of place to remind us little bit of history of Chinese Communist Party and its leaders.

Communism in China has gone through two phases. The first was the Maoist phase, which had three goals which were: 

Ending the constant internal warfare that had torn China apart in the pre-communist era. 

End the constant foreign intrusions onto Chinese soil. 

To create a radically new and egalitarian society.

It succeeded in achieving all three goals, but the price was high. Regional conflict was suppressed by a brutal dictatorship. China in many ways withdrew from interaction with much of the world, and constant waves of assaults on Chinese society were carried out, from the Great Leap Forward to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Millions died of hunger and political oppression. But Mao had crafted a country that had not existed before. The new China was free of internal struggle and free of foreign imperialism. It was also staggeringly poor and filled with suffering.

When Mao died in 1976, a power struggle ensued. His faction was defeated by Deng Xiaoping, who recognized that Mao had succeeded in what he wanted but had led the country to the edge of disaster. Deng realized that Mao’s radical communism could not go on, and out of necessity he forged a new model for China. Deng understood that china’s problem was poverty and that only production could solve it. But China was too poor to consume what it produced, so it had to sell its products in other countries – the same strategy Germany, Japan and others had used to recover from their wars. China’s advantage was that it had a capable workforce and very low wages, and by opening its borders to trade, China grew rapidly for more than a generation. Deng created a China that unleashed the commercial expertise of its coastal regions and connected them to customers in the United States and Europe, opening borders while keeping a weakened Communist Party in place. . Deng’s strategy of aggressive exports had reintegrated China into the world economy, but it had also made its success heavily dependent on the appetites of other countries. If they stopped buying China would be dealt a stunning blow.

Deng’s reforms created vast regional wealth, but much of the country was left behind. This led to a wealthy China along the coast and an impoverished China in the interior, with an insufficient middle class, unable collectively to consume what China’s overbuilt industry produced. Amid rapid growth, corruption intensified the inequality.

China had entered the international arena but only as an economic power. Its military had developed but was still incapable of asserting and defending its interests. 

China could not adopt a Western-style democracy. It needed to retain a one-party system, and that party was the Communist Party. In fact, the Chinese model of development would become a major lever for Chinese global power as poor countries adopted China’s political system to combine a dynamic economy with one-party rule.

Promises of a Bright Future

In his speech, Xi said China’s economic strategy will now emphasize quality over quantity. He highlighted the importance of China’s technological capabilities – their advancement is essential. Most important, he promised to lift from poverty those who had been left behind. Since that includes much of China, this is a huge task. Without high growth rates, the only way to do this is to transfer wealth from affluent regions. This raises two problems. First, the coastal region, which will feel the pain of such social generosity, is sure to resist. Second, shifting capital to consumption raises the question of how to underwrite massive developments in technology. Xi promised to lift everyone out of poverty by 2020. 

Xi promised to build a world-class military by 2050. He therefore acknowledged that China doesn’t have a world-class military now and won’t for more than a generation. Creating a world-class military will require immense investment. 

Finally, Xi made clear that a single-party dictatorship must remain in place, and likely needs to be strengthened. Of course, what Xi has yet to make clear is whether he will anoint a successor to take his place in five years, or whether the party and Xi should now be seen as synonymous. This is something to watch for as the National Congress continues.

Meanwhile what China is quietly doing in between merits attention. China is quickly growing into the world’s most extensive commercial empire. By way of comparison, after World War II, the Marshall Plan provided the equivalent of $800 billion in reconstruction funds to Europe (if calculated as a percentage of today’s GDP). In the decades after the war the United States was also the world’s largest trading nation, and its largest bilateral lender to others.

Now it’s China’s turn. The scale and scope of the Belt and Road initiative is staggering. Estimates vary, but over $300 billion have already been spent, and China plans to spend $1 trillion more in the next decade or so. According to the CIA, 92 countries counted China as their largest exports or imports partner in 2015, far more than the United States at 57. What’s most astounding is the speed with which China achieved this. While the country was the world’s largest recipient of World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans in the 1980s and 90s, in recent years, China alone loaned more to developing countries than did the World Bank.

Unlike the United States and Europe, China uses aid, trade, and foreign direct investment strategically to build goodwill, expand its political sway and secure the natural resources it needs to grow. Belt and Road is the most impressive example of this In the next decades, China plans to build a thick web of infrastructure around Asia and, through similar initiatives, around the world.

Most of its funding will come in the form of loans, not grants. Chinese state-owned enterprises will also be encouraged to invest. This means, for example, that if Pakistan can’t pay back its loans, China could own many of its coal mines, oil pipelines, and power plants, and thus have enormous leverage over the Pakistani government. In the meantime, China has the rights to operate the Gwadar port for 40 years.

Belt and Road is China’s biggest foreign policy initiative to date, but it’s no Marshall Plan. China is too dependent on its eastern seaboard and the narrow Malacca Strait near Singapore to get goods in and out of its vast territory; for example, over 80 percent of its oil goes through the Strait. So building trade routes through Pakistan and Central Asia makes sense. Belt and Road also helps China invest its huge currency reserves and put its many idling state-owned enterprises to work.

Countries that trade more generally fight less, not just with their trading partners, but with the world in general. In its own way, China is thus helping to uphold international peace. China’s economic impact on the countries it lends to so far seems mixed at best. While the 20 percent or so that China gives in traditional aid does help local economies, most of its largesse comes as loans, which have not been as helpful. Scholars who looked at Chinese investment in Africa 1991 to 2010 found that Chinese assistance does not appear to help economic growth, and that inexpensive Chinese imports often displace African local firms, and thus hurt employment in small enterprises. China usually requires donee countries to use Chinese firms to build roads and ports, and so hasn’t in the past employed local firms or train local workers. In Pakistan, for example, 7,000 Chinese nationals are working on the economic corridor—they bring their own cooks, have separate housing, and don’t interact much with the locals. Relatively few Pakistanis are working on the actual road and rail-building (and thus developing skills)—but Pakistan has deployed nearly 15,000 security personnel to guard the Chinese. 

Also, while Chinese loans used to have low interest rates around 2.5 percent, they are now creeping up to near 5 percent or more. This will make them harder to repay. While those who receive Chinese funds are happy to fix their power shortages and improve their roads, they may be mortgaging their futures.

Perhaps the biggest challenge China’s efforts pose to the “liberal international order” is that, in contrast to most Western aid and loans, Belt and Road projects often encourage terrible governance, environmental, and human rights standards, although China’s record on this has improved somewhat over the past few years.

China is often the largest investor in countries that others ostracize—because they are run by dictators, don’t respect human rights, and are corrupt—such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Niger, Angola, and Burma. Of course, while the U.S. and Europe insist on high standards for their aid projects today, both their companies and governments also had terrible records on human rights and the environment when they ventured to India, Africa, Latin America in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

On worker safety and the environment, when China first ventured abroad, its standards were often abysmal. In some areas, Chinese firms still leave behind a mess of underpaid miners, devastated forests, and ruined rivers. Yet China is learning quickly. 

If China’s geoeconomic push continues, it will be its largest legacy and have a profound impact on the world—not necessarily all negative. Since the West doesn’t have $1 trillion to lavish on developing country infrastructure in a new great game, its best choice may be to coopt and shape this juggernaut

Reference : George Friedman, Xi’s Glittering Solutions for China, Oct 20, 2017, · Anja Manuel, China Is Quietly Reshaping the World, The Atlantic,

Tillerson Woos India to Offset China


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled the Trump administration will be leaning on India to offset China’s regional influence, hailing deeper defense cooperation with New Delhi in remarks Wednesday.

“Our defense ties are growing,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

In China, a Strategy Born of Weakness

By George Friedman
Source Link

Editor’s note: Every five years, the Communist Party of China holds its National Congress, an opportunity for leaders to tout their successes and lay out policy priorities for the next five years. It is where delegates approve amendments to the constitution and select members of the Central Committee, who in turn select members of the country’s most important political institutions: the Politburo, the Central Military Commission, the Politburo Standing Committee and the general secretariat.

After 4000 Years, China Eyes Truly Global Role

By Colin Clark

WASHINGTON: The president of China, seeming to cast aside the better part of four millennia of Chinese tradition, declared today that he sees “a new historic juncture in China’s development,” one that clearly calls for his country to flex its global muscles and change the rules that have guided the world since at least World War II.

Chinese artificial island in the South China Sea

China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem. So Who Can?

By Colum Hawken

Since 4 July 2017, when North Korea tested a ballistic missile, the world’s focus has been on North East Asia and how to resolve this current crisis. The North Korean nuclear program’s sudden successes came as a shock. However, it was simply a matter of time until these technological advancements were achieved, as the technology required is no longer cutting edge and the North’s nuclear ambitions and missile development program are already several generations old.[1] At this point, the U.S. and the North are locked in a war of words, while outside powers such as China and Russia urge calm and a return to civil relations. Some now see conflict on the Korean Peninsula as inevitable and believe only China can resolve this confrontation without bloodshed.[2] This is wrong.

How China Is Winning The South China Sea

In 2009, China asserted a claim to a huge swath of the South China Sea, including areas deep within other countries’ exclusive economic zones. It was a deft and calculated political move, leaving affected nations with a confounding set of retaliatory options almost none have been willing to implement.
Facts On The Ground

In 2009, China began moving research vessels into largely undefended portions of the South China Sea, particularly amongst the unpopulated archipelagos and submerged reefs and shoals off the coast of Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines. Those waters includes areas that, according to the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, constitute those countries’ 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), entitling them to the “exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from wind and water.”

20 October 2017

China: Towards the 19th Party Congress

By Bhaskar Roy

The 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is scheduled to start on October 18. The date was announced well in advance, indicating everything has been set, including personnel changes in the Politburo (PB) of the Central Committee, as well as its Standing Committee (PBSC). This suggests that power broking by heavy weighs, especially former senior leaders, have been reduced or eliminated by Xi Jinping. There are no contemporaries of Xi who can question him.

19 October 2017

Rise of China: An Enigma

By Col Anil Athale

Arnold J. Toynbee, a doyen of historian, in his multi volume magnum opus ‘Studies in World History’ had predicted rise of China and India and the challenge it will pose to the West dominated world order.

Toynbee wrote that when the process of industrialization going on in India and China reaches its conclusion, the huge populations of these countries will begin to weigh in the politico-military balance of the world. Such invigorated Giants will then seek their just share in resources of the world, currently skewed in favour of the West.

Special Report: Seven things to watch at China’s 19th Party Congress

by James Tunningley 

China’s 19th Party Congress (19PC) will answer some key questions that are preoccupying China-watchers: will Xi Jinping stay on as President? And how centralised will power become? In this Special Report, GRI’s James Tunningley presents a guide of what to expect during the coming weeks.

18 October 2017

China’s Strategic thinking: yesterday and today


'Strategic Leadership' often does not mean ‘Morals and Ethical leadership'. One of the best examples is Mao Zedong.

In Problems of War and Strategy, the Great Helmsman noted: “Some people have ridiculed us as the advocates of omnipotence of war. Yes, we are: we are the advocates of the omnipotence of the revolutionary war, which is not bad at all, but good and is Marxist.”

Chinese Drone ‘Swarms’ Could Overwhelm U.S. at Sea


Since the time of the first kinetic attack by an unmanned aircraft in October of 2001, the United States has relied heavily on drone technology for its relatively inexpensive loitering capabilities and the geographical reach it enables. Persistent surveillance and targeted drone strikes have become a central tenet of the U.S. global war on terror. However, over the years, the U.S. has slowly lost its monopoly on the use of military drones, with near-peer adversaries such as Russia and China quickly developing their own remotely controlled weapons platforms. China, in particular, has grown into a world leader in drone development, which could have strategic implications for the U.S. foreign policy around the globe, especially in the South China Sea. The Cipher Brief’s Levi Maxey spoke with Doug Wise, the former Deputy Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, about how China sees drone technology playing a role as part of its military doctrine of asymmetric warfare.

15 October 2017

China targets American technology in drive to become innovation leader

Bill Gertz

China has stepped up efforts to work with American businesses in a bid to acquire advanced technology, part of a drive to become a leading technology-innovation power.

China is pushing to further deepen technology collaboration with U.S. business and academic institutions as part of a national effort to transform its economy, including by putting China at the leading edge of global technological innovation,” said a U.S. intelligence official who provided a recent assessment of China.