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MEDIA EXTRACTS ON CHINA #486

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

GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON

MEDIA EXTRACTS ON CHINA

#1    CHINA’S JOINT MILITARY DRILLS

#2    CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

#3    PROGRESS IN CHINA-BHUTAN RELATIONS

#4    PRESIDENT XI ADDRESSES CHINA’S PROSECUTORS

 

#1    CHINA’S JOINT MILITARY DRILLS

         SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

China launched the 10-day joint military drills on November 13 in Guangdong Province with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the most countries to take part in the exercise called “Aman Youyi”. The drills, which end on Wednesday, involve more than 3,000 military personnel.

While China has regularly conducted bilateral military training with several Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, it is rare for countries that have overlapping claims in the South China Sea – such as Malaysia and Vietnam – to join a multilateral military exercise in Chinese territory.

Xi Jinping, Joe Biden hold talks on sidelines of 

After starting in 2014 as a bilateral military drill between China and Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, the Aman Youyi exercise series was expanded in 2018 to a trilateral exercise after adding Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam joined this year.

While China has regularly conducted bilateral military training with several Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, it is rare for countries that have overlapping claims in the South China Sea – such as Malaysia and Vietnam – to join a multilateral military exercise in Chinese waters.

The drill comes amid confrontations between Chinese and Philippine coastguards in the South China Sea. Beijing tried to blockade Manila’s resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal using water cannons on Philippine ships in August and November, and vessels collided in October.

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS; THE MEDIA PORTRAYS CHINA AS A MILITARY THREAT TO ITS NEIGHBOURS. CHINA IS “EXPANSIONIST” WITH A GROWING NAVY, ARMY AND AIRFORCE. CHINA IS “COERCIVE” AND THREATENS THE COUNTRIES OF SOUTH EAST ASIA WITH INVASION. THESE COUNTRIES, SAYS THE WEST, NEEDS THE PRESENCE OF THE US AND ITS ALLIES IN ORDER TO “MAINTAIN THE PEACE AND THE FREE RIGHT OF NAVIGATION” IN THE TAIWAN STRAITS AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA.” WHY, THEN, ARE CAMBODIA, LAOS, MALAYSIA, VIETNAM AND THAILAND JOINTLY TAKING PART IN TEN DAYS OF MILITARY DRILLS IN CHINA? 3,000 MILITARY PERSONNEL FROM THE SIX COUNTRIES SPENT TEN DAYS UDERGOING MILITARY EXERCISES TO IMPROVE SECURITY IN THE REGION.

WHY DID THE FIVE COUNTRIES CO-OPERATE WITH A SIXTH, CHINA, IF CHINA WANTS TO INVADE THEIR COUNTRIES? WHY MEET FOR TEN DAYS IN CHINA TO ENGAGE IN MILITARY DRILLS WITH 3,000 ARMED FORCES DRAWN FROM THE FIVE COUNTRIESS AND CHINA IF CHINA IS A THREAT TO PEACE?

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#2  CHINA AND THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS

       SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Israel should stop imposing “collective punishment” on the people of Gaza and Hamas must release civilian hostagesChinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday in his first public speech on the conflict.

Addressing an online summit of the BRICS group, Xi said only a two-state solution could bring lasting peace.

“China supports the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state,” he said, renewing calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. “There can be no security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine.

I have emphasised on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in a two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent state of Palestine,” Xi said.

He called for an international conference to be convened to build international consensus for peace and to work for a “comprehensive, just and sustained” solution to the question of Palestine as soon as possible.

He also said China had sent humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, including US$2 million in emergency funds through the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority and 15 million yuan (US$2 million) in food and medical supplies via Egypt into the war zone.

Throughout the Gaza conflict, China has also highlighted its preference for diplomatic negotiations as the solution, countering the Western narrative of China being a “revisionist power” that undermines the “rule-based international order”.

To that end, China held talks with foreign ministers from Arab and Muslim-majority countries in Beijing for two days this week. The delegation – including diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – was in the Chinese capital on the first stop of an international trip to enlist support from the members of the United Nations Security Council for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS;- CHINA CAUGHT THE WORLD BY SURPRISE WHEN IT NEGOTIATED EARLIER THIS YEAR A DIPLOMATIC RECONCILIATION BETWEEN TWO LONG STANDING OPPONENTS – SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN. IN THE SAME VEIN, CHINA WILL BE FOCUSING ITS ATTENTION ON ENCOURAGING ISRAEL AND HAMAS TO LOOK TO LONG TERM SOLUTIONS AND NOT JUST PATCHED-UP CEASEFIRE AGREEMENTS AND THE MOVEMENT OF HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES.

A MEDIATOR NATION HAS TO MOVE SENSITIVELY BETWEEN WARRING PARTIES IF THEY ARE TO MAKE PROGRESS IN BRINGING ABOUT A MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT. THERE ARE THOSE IN THE UK – WELL DISPOSED TOWARDS CHINA  – WHO WILL BE DISAPPOINTED THAT CHINA HAS NOT FOLLOWED THE US AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES AND MADE WHOLEHEARTED ONE-SIDED DENUNCIATIONS OF HAMAS. A MEDIATOR NEEDS TO BE ABOVE THE FRAY IF THEY ARE TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO BOTH SIDES TO THE CONFLICT AND PRESIDENT XI JINPING HAS MAINTAINED A BALANCE BY CALLING UPON HAMAS TO RELEASE ALL HOSTAGES AND AT THE SAME TIME HAS ALSO CRITICISED ISRAEL FOR ITS POLICY OF “COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT”.

SINCE 1917 AND THE BALFOUR DECLARATION, MANY HAVE TRIED AND FAILED TO BRING ABOUT LONG TERM PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. AND CHINA IS ENTITLED TO DRAW UPON ITS OWN DEEP-SEATED NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE KUOMINTANG – WHICH LED TO A UNITED FRONT DEFEAT OF JAPAN IN WORLD WAR II – IN SEEKING TO REPLACE WAR WITH PEACE IN GAZA.

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#3  PROGRESS IN CHINA-BHUTAN RELATIONS

      NIKKEI-ASIA

Signs of possible progress in long-running boundary talks between China and Bhutan have caught India’s attention as Beijing steps up efforts to establish diplomatic ties with the tiny Himalayan nation.

Bhutan, a landlocked kingdom nestled between nuclear-armed India and China, held a 25th round of boundary talks with Chinese officials in late October, during a rare visit to Beijing by Bhutanese Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Tandi Dorji.

Now Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and senior officials are on a weeklong visit to India, which started Friday, amid a flurry of diplomacy in the region. The visit will “provide an opportunity to both sides to review the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation,” India said in a statement.

Bhutan, which is due for national assembly elections in the coming weeks, started formal border talks with China in 1984. They had been largely stalled after a 73-day military standoff in 2017 between India and China over the Doklam Plateau, where the boundaries of the two countries and Bhutan meet. China and Bhutan did agree in 2021 to expedite the negotiations. The outcome could have major strategic implications for New Delhi.

Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong led the Chinese delegation in the talks with Dorji. A joint news release issued afterward said the two sides “noted the progress made” by a series of expert meetings and “agreed to build on the positive momentum.”

Separately, Dorji met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice President Han Zheng. Han said Beijing “is willing to strengthen exchanges at all levels” with Thimphu and “accelerate the boundary demarcation process and the establishment of diplomatic relations,” according to state news agency Xinhua.

Pankaj Jha, a professor of defense and strategic studies at India’s O.P. Jindal Global University, worries that the talks could ultimately lead to land swaps.

“If China gives select northern territories to Bhutan in exchange for a few of the territories closer to Doklam, this would be a challenge for India,” Jha said.

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS;-  BHUTAN HAS A POPULATION OF APPROXIMATELY 730.000 AND A TERRITORY OF 38,394 SQQUAREE KILOMETRES. ITS WORLD RANKING IS 133rd IN LAND AREA AND 160TH IN POPULATION. IT IS A LANDLOCKED SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRY SITUATED IN THE EASTERN HIMALAYAS BETWEEN CHINA TO THE NORTH AND INDIA TO THE SOUTH. AS THE ABOVE NIKKEI ASIA REPORT STATES, BHUTAN STARTED FORMAL BORDER TALKS WITH CHINA 39 YEARS AGO. THE RECENT ADVANCE IN CHINA-BHUTAN RELATIONS IS A CONCERN FOR INDIA WHICH HAS ALWAYS DOMINATED BHUTAN AFFAIRS. BHUTAN MAY BE SMALL COUNTRY OF 0.7M PEOPLE WHEN COMPARED WITH CHINA’S 1.4BN BUT INDIA WILL BE KEEN TO ENSURE THAT ANY OUTCOME OF CHINA-BHUTAN BORDER DISCUSSIONS IS NOT AT ITS EXPENSE.

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#4.  CHINA’S PROSECUTORS WARNED BY PRESIDENT XI

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

“China’s public prosecutors have been warned to be alert to the risk of a popular backlash when handling court cases. The Chinese government has imposed some of the world’s strictest controls on public expression, but is still hypersensitive to the risk of any public outcry, which it fears could threaten social stability.

The instruction to prosecutors came in a front-page editorial for The Procuratorial Daily, a mouthpiece for the country’s top prosecuting body, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. The article urged prosecutors to “resolutely oppose and resist wrong Western views of constitutionalism, the separation of powers and judicial independence”, echoing comments by President Xi Jinping.

In a further echo of Xi, it also said prosecutors should “dare to fight and fight well”. They were also urged to standardise the handling of cases, ensure they were handled well and avoid a public backlash by ensuring cases were dealt with properly from the start. It added that China’s prosecutors should improve their research and monitoring of cases and make sure they managed public opinion. “Ensure early detection, a quick response, correct guidance of the public and the proper handling of cases according to the law,” the editorial said.

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS[

WESTERN COUNTRIES CRITICISE CHINA FOR ITS RELIANCE ON AN AUTHORITARIAN SYSTEM OF LAW. CHINA, THE CRITICS SAY, IS UNDEMOCRATIC AND RELIES ON A SYSTEM OF LAW WHICH UPHOLDS THE LEADING ROLE OF THE PARTY AND OVERLOOKS THE RULE OF LAW AND THE SEPARATION OF LEGISLATURE FROM THE EXECUTIVE  AND THE JUDICIARY.  CHINA VIEWS MATTERS QUITE DIFFERENTLY AND SEES ITS LEGAL SYSTEM AS INEXTRICABLY LINKED WITH THE ACHIEVERMENT OF MOVING 1 BILLION OF ITS PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY.  

A RECENT ARTICLE ON LAW IN CHINA BY THE PROSECUTORS OFFICES HAVE REPORTED A NUMBER OF MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE. IN FEBRUARY 2002 THE SUPREME PEOPLE’S PROCURATORATE STATED THAT IT WAS TAKING ACTION AGAINST THOS RESPONSIBLE FOR 246 WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS. OF THESE CASES 22 INVOLVED DEFENDANTS WHO WERE JAILED FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. IN 2020 A SHANDONG COURT FREED A MAN WHO HAD SPENT 13 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER BEING WRONGLY CONVICTED IN 2006 FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT IN A CASE THAT TRIGGERED EXTENSIVE MEDIA AND PUBLIC OUTCRY.

IN MARCH 2023 AN ARTICLE IN THE OFFICIAL LEGAL DAILY NEWSPAPER SAID CASES THAT GENERATED WIDESPREAD PUBLIC INTEREST WERE THE MAIN SOURCE OF PUBLIC PROTEST.

IN RECENT MONTHS PROTESTS HAVE BEEN STIRRED BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS AFFECTING THE TWO PROPERTY GIANTS – CHINA EVERGRANDE GROUP AND COUNTRY GARDEN HOLDINGS. SUPPLIERS, CONTRACTORS AND CONSTRUCTION WORKERS HAVE BEEN UNPAID AND MANY HOUSEBUYERS ARE SUFFERING FROM UNFINISHED PROJECTS. THE RESULT OF THIS TUMULT HAS BEEN A STEEP RISE IN PROTESTS PARTICULARLY IN SHENZHEN, XI’AN AND ZHENGCHOW.

THE IMPACT OF CHINA’S HOUSING SHOCK WILL CONTINUE TO MOUNT AND, WITHOUT INSTITUTIONAL CHANNELS OF PROTEST, SOME ARGUE THAT PROTESTS MAY SPILL OVER ONTO THE STREETS. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT CHINA DOES HAVE A TROUBLED PROPERTY SECTOR AND THIS DOES IMPACT UPON PEOPLE’S LIVES AND SOCIAL STABILITY. CHINA “IS WALKING ON TWO LEGS”. TAKING STEPS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS OF THE TWO DEFAULTING PROPERTY GIANTS AND BRACING ITSELF IN CASE PROTESTS BECOMES A POLITICAL ISSUE.

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