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Graham Perry
Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.

GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON 

#1   US SQUEEZES CHINA KEY IMPORTS

#2   GAZA ON THE BRINK

#3   FIVE EYES INTELLIGENCE ON CHINA

#1    GIZMOCHINA   16  OCTOBER 2023

MORE ON KEY ISSSUE – SEMICONDUCTORS

China has experienced a significant 14.6% decline in semiconductor imports from the United States during the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year. This drastic reduction, amounting to 355.9 billion units of integrated circuits (ICs), is attributed to stringent US export controls imposed due to concerns about China’s rapid advancements in the AI sector through American technology infusion.

Remarkably, despite export bans, China’s demand for advanced semiconductors for AI projects has given rise to an underground market for smuggled graphics processing units (GPUs). Notably, Nvidia’s A100 and H100 devices have been making their way into the country, circumventing official channels.

Analysts are now eyeing the potential revitalization of China’s smartphone industry, despite US sanctions, with the imminent release of new 5G handsets by Huawei Technologies. This development could breathe new life into an industry that has experienced declining manufacturing activity, providing a glimmer of hope amidst the prevailing challenges.

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS; – SEMICONDUCTORS ARE A KEY ISSUE AS THE US SEEKS TO ORGANISE AN ANTI-CHINA IMPORT SQUEEZE. CHINA/US LEADERS MAY SMILE WHEN THEY SHAKE  HANDS BUT THROUGH GRITTED TEETH ALWAYS. TENSIONS INCREASE.

 

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#2  PEARLS AND IRRITATIONS

JEFFREY D SACHS WRITES

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS

PROFESSOR SACHS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IS A RECOGNISED SANE VOICE ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. HIS WORDS ARE A PLEA TO THE COMBATANTS TO PULL BACK FROM THE BRINK.  PROFESSOR SACHS IS JEWISH.

 

Following Hamas’s heinous attack on innocent Israeli civilians, senior Israeli military strategists are threatening the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. This would be another Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe), akin to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948. If Israel commits massive war crimes in Gaza in the face of global calls for restraint, Israel would put its fundamental national security at risk.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has spoken clearly, persuasively, and eloquently about the need for a cease fire, the release of hostages, the protection of the civilians of Gaza, support for Israel’s security, and the decisive move to a Palestinian state in line with previous UN agreements… All five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council – the US, UK, France, Russia, and China — have a common interest in a cease fire followed by a comprehensive agreement including Palestinian statehood. All the P5 nations desire good relations with both Israel and the Arab world. All have a strong national interest in peace, including security for Israel and statehood for Palestine.

This is true even of the United States. If the US backs ethnic cleansing in Gaza, American influence in the Muslim world, already in decline in recent years, will irrevocably collapse.

Secretary-General Guterres has charted the framework for peace:

“All hostages in Gaza must be released. Civilians must not be used as human shields. International humanitarian law — including the Geneva Conventions — must be respected and upheld. Civilians on both sides must be protected at all times. Hospitals, schools, clinics and United Nations premises must never be targeted…

“But any solution to this tragic, decades-long ordeal of death and destruction requires full recognition of the circumstances of both Israelis and Palestinians, of both their realities and both their perspectives…

“Israel must see its legitimate needs for security materialised, and Palestinians must see a clear perspective for the establishment of their own state realised, in line with United Nations resolutions, international law and previous agreements. If the international community truly believes in these two objectives, we need to find a way to work together to find real, lasting solutions.”

There should be no geopolitical divide among the major powers with regard to this crisis. Russia has very strong ties with Israel, not least because of the hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews living in Israel. The UK, EU, and US also have strong economic, technological, cultural, and historical ties with Israel. China too has long and solid relations with Israel, albeit with fewer cultural and historical ties.

Yet none of these major power wants to alienate the Arab and Muslim worlds. Every major power has a significant Muslim population: 1-2 percent in the US and China, around 7 percent in the UK and EU, and approximately 10 percent in Russia. Moreover, all have significant economic, security, and cultural ties with the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The P5 should work urgently together towards a UN Security Council resolution charting the path to peace and a Palestinian state (or even to one state based on equality and democracy, if the Israelis and Palestinians prefer that to a division of the land.). Russia is reportedly on the verge of submitting a peace resolution. The US should resist a knee-jerk reaction of opposing a Russian initiative, and work with Russia and other P5 members in the common cause of peace.

Israelis and Palestinians, alas, are each deeply divided into three camps, which might be called the peacemakers, the skeptics, and the fundamentalists. The peacemakers believe that peace is possible through negotiation. The skeptics are so deeply distrustful of the other side that they do not believe in peace. The fundamentalists, a decided minority on both sides, believe that God granted them the land – whether to the Jews or the Muslims – so the other side has no rights at all.

The peacemakers are ready for peace. The skeptics can be won over with sufficient respect, diplomacy, and realism in the negotiations, and UN Security Council backing for a negotiated peace (including peacekeepers, financing, and other instruments of enforceability). Fundamentalists on both sides will be disappointed. Yet they should be reminded that human rights and dignity for all are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and backed by the UN Charter.

From time to time, brave leaders have arisen who have convinced the skeptics to try for peace, and who have told the fundamentalists that both sides deserve respect and justice. Egypt’s Anwar Sadat was such a remarkable figure. So too was Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin. Both were assassinated by fundamentalists of their own nation…

The Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, before the current “unity” government, was the most right-wing in its history. Several extreme right-wingers are in the current cabinet. The Israeli media carry calls to make Gaza a place where “no human being can live.” There must no place in the affairs of nations, least of all at the United Nations, for ideologies of hate.

The nations of the world, operating under the UN Charter and defending the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, must move urgently to help save both Israel and Palestine. If Israel attempts another Nakba, it would suffer horrendous deaths of its own young men and women in the fighting, kill thousands and displace hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians, and stain the name of Israel for future generations. The UN Security Council should head off this calamity by giving urgent and timely support to the millions of Israeli and Palestinian people who yearn for a lasting peace with security and justice for all.

First published in Common Dreams October 16, 2023

 

 

#3   FIVE EYES VIEWS CHINA

BEIJING TO BRITAIN

For the first time in history, the intelligence leaders of the Five Eyes countries (Australia, Canada, the UK, USA and New Zealand) have gathered together in public. The quintet met in California for an unprecedented event at the Hoover Institute to discuss innovation and emerging technology, and to launch the Five Principles. Opening the event, FBI Director Chris Wray was frank, saying:

“[This] unprecedented meeting is because we’re dealing with another unprecedented threat, and there is no greater threat to innovation than the Chinese government. And it is a measure of how seriously the five of us and our services take that threat that we have chosen to come together to try to highlight that and raise awareness, raise resilience, and work closely with the private sector to try to build better protection.”

Over the course of an hour, Secretary Condoleezza Rice interviewed:

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray
  • Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Director-General Mike Burgess
  • British Security Service (MI5) Director General Ken McCallum
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Director David Vigneault
  • New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) Director-General Andrew Hampton

Today’s short note sets out the key remarks from MI5’s McCallum, and the actions rolling out of the event.


KEY QUOTES

On China and MI5’s focus

“[We] shouldn’t be necessarily…foaming with moral outrage that states look to gain advantage. But our job is to look to protect what we see as the crucial advantages that our democratic nations enjoy today. Emerging Technologies have such potential to change our world in quite fundamental ways that I think we should all care about where that power flows and goes.”

On Geopolitics and technology

“If you are working at the cutting edge of technology today, you might not be interested in geopolitics. But geopolitics is certainly interested in you.”

On what areas are being targetted by the Chinese Government

“But these days [MI5’s protection role]… it is no longer about government and a small number of large companies. It is about raw research taking place at universities just like Stanford, it’s about promising start up companies, it’s about innovative spin out doing things off the back of research taking place on our universities. And so lots of people – who perfectly understandably may not previously have thought that national security had anything to do with them – do need to think about this in a new way.”

On the role of the National Protective Security Authority

“There’s a special part of MI5 – National Protective Security Authority – that looks to share guidance and advice with our private sector with our universities. And the point of that advice is, it’s not a list of things that we sort of draw up in our own bunker in MI5: those bits of guidance are co-created with people in the sectors to be pragmatic, to be workable, to avoid stifling thevery openness and innovation that you’re trying to protect in the first place.”

On how the group’s adversaries use AI

“When it comes to AI use by our adversaries, I think there’s a limited extent to which I want to give ideas to bad people. But as Chris [Wray, FBI Chief] has reflected there, there is real concern amongst our organisations that AI over time and potentially sooner than we might think will give various of our adversaries – both sophisticated adversaries and less sophisticated new ideas, new access to dangerous knowledge.”

On MI5’s “legal” use of AI

“Coming back to something you mentioned towards the start of our conversation, the flip side of course, is that used ethically, lawfully, intelligently, AI can help organisations like ours protect our societies. You know, in MI5, for example, just to use an example that’s not right at the cutting edge but that gives a flavour:

We collect thousands and thousands of hours of audio data in lots of interesting places every, every week, every month. I won’t get into – you can imagine the tiny microphones that we might plant – lawfully – in certain locations to achieve that. But what that means is we end up with a lot of audio product that we need quickly to translate into knowledge that is searchable. And the best means of doing that is to have AI scan across the material that you have, translate into the language that you need to analyse it in, and rapidly pick out the things that might be clues to activity of concern. So all of these things, even in our particular domain, present real opportunities as well as risks.”

On how MI5 recruits talent

“So at MI5, and its partner agencies in the UK, we look to recruit the best talent based on the compelling nature of our mission. We are there to keep our country safe. When people join MI5 on their first day and I get the chance to talk to them, I say look, you are not going to be a billionaire working here. You’re certainly not going to be famous. But you will have the chance to spend your time working alongside other dedicated, selfless people in a noble cause and that is the primary way in which we manage to reach very talented people who undoubtedly could earn more in other walks of life. But we do succeed in managing to recruit and retain some really capable talented people and it’s a pleasure for me to have a moment here to pay tribute to them. Alongside which, we also work in close partnership with talented people in other contexts: in universities, in startups, in larger companies, because we don’t always need to have all of the talent locked into our permanent workforce. And so that ability to partner is central both to the way in which we try to help our economy protect itself, but it’s also central to how we harness the best innovation.”

Via The Times, on operating in a new world

“We are in a different world now than the world we’ve all lived in since the end of the Cold War. Authoritarian states are behaving much more aggressively. We are at a historic moment where emerging technologies — AI, quantum computing, synthetic biology — are leaping forward in ways that will change our world at a pretty fundamental level. Of course, there is lots of hype around these technologies. But the nations that lead the way on them will command immense power and authoritarian states are laser focused on this.”

Via The Times, on catching spies

“Typically on state threats work over the last many years, we’ve often had to disrupt activity because it has been damaging but it has not always been possible to prove a serious criminal offence…We are now in a different position.”

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS – OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS THE FIVE EYES NATIONS – US, UK, AUSTRALIA, CANADA AND NEW ZEALAND – HAVE REVIVED THE PHRASE POPULAR AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COLD WAR AND THE 1950’S MACARTHY PERIOD IN THE US – “REDS UNDER THE BEDS”. THIS CHANGE IN EMPHASIS IS A REALISATION THAT THE FIVE COUNTRIES FULLY RECOGNISE THAT CHINA’S PROGRESS AND ADVANCE IS A FUNDAMENTAL CHALLENGE TO THE DOMINANCE AND SWAY THE FIVE COUNTRIES HAVE HITHERTO EXERCISED IN WORLD POLITICS.

CHINA IS A CHALLENGE BECAUSE IT WILL SOON BECOME THE LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD. “THE LARGEST BUT NOT THE RICHEST”. CHINA AIMS TO BECOME A MODERATELY PROSPEROUS COUNTRY AND ITS GOAL IS TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE LIVING STANDARDS OF ITS PEOPLE. WEALTH WILL COME LATER, BUT CHINA’S PROGRESS – “THE SICK MAN OF ASIA” AS RECENTLY AS 1949 – HAS WORRIED FIVE EYES BECAUSE OF THE CHANGE THAT IT WILL BRING IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF WORLD POWER AND INFLUENCE.

SO SIGNIFICANT IS CHINA’S RISE THAT THE PHRASE “IS IT BETTER TO WAR-WAR THAN TO JAW-JAW?” HAS EXERCISED THE MINDS OF THE FIVE EYES COUNTRIES. THERE IS MOMENTUM TOWARDS CONFLICT BECAUSE THE US, THE LEADER OF THE FIVE EYES MOVEMENT, IS DETERMINED TO HOLD CHINA IN CHECK. THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE (BRI),  THE BRAZIL/CHINA/RUSSIA/INDIA AND SOUTH AFRICA INITIATIVE (BRICS), THE RISE OF THE ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE  INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB) ARE FUNDAMENTAL CHALLENGES TO THE STATUS QUO AND CHINA’S RISE IS A CHALLENGE TO THE STATUS QUO. 

I AM GRATEFUL TO THE PUBLICATION  FROM BEIJING TO BRITAIN  FOR THE EXTRACTS FROM THEIR MEETING HELD ON 17 OCTOBER 2023

<beijingtobritain@substack.com>

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