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Thursday, February 29, 2024

MEDIA EXTRACTS ON CHINA #490

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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 #490

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#1  US ALLEGES KEY CHINESE INTERFERENCE WASHINGTON POST

#2  ‘FOREIGN AFFAIRS’ WRONG AGAIN RE CHINA

#3   THE IMPACT OF CHINA’S OPENING UP BY PROFESSOR MAHBUBANI

#1 US ALLEGES KEY CHINA INTERFERENCE

“The Chinese military is ramping up its ability to disrupt key American infrastructure, including power and water utilities as well as communications and transportation systems, according to U.S. officials and industry security officials. Hackers affiliated with China’s People’s Liberation Army have burrowed into the computer systems of about two dozen critical entities over the past year, these experts said.

The intrusions are part of a broader effort to develop ways to sow panic and chaos or snarl logistics in the event of a U.S.-China conflict in the Pacific, they said.

Among the victims are a water utility in Hawaii, a major West Coast port and at least one oil and gas pipeline, people familiar with the incidents told The Washington Post. The hackers also attempted to break into the operator of Texas’s power grid, which operates independently from electrical systems in the rest of the country.

“It is very clear that Chinese attempts to compromise critical infrastructure are in part to pre-position themselves to be able to disrupt or destroy that critical infrastructure in the event of a conflict, to either prevent the United States from being able to project power into Asia or to cause societal chaos inside the United States — to affect our decision-making around a crisis,” said Brandon Wales, executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). “That is a significant change from Chinese cyber activity from seven to 10 years ago that was focused primarily on political and economic espionage.”

 

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS;-

THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO POSSIBILITIES WHERE CHINA IS CONCERNED. EITHER CHINA IS A THREAT TO PEACE OR CHINA IS A BOOST TO PEACE. EITHER BAD NEWS OR GOOD NEWS.

IN THE ABOVE ARTICLE A SENIOR MEMBER OF THE US ESTABLISHMENT MAKES THE POSITION OF THE US QUITE CLEAR – CHINA IS BAD NEWS. HE IS BRANDON WILES AND MR WILES HOLDS A LEADING POSITION IN THE US GOVERNMENT. HIS TITLE IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY’S CYBERSECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY. 

MR WILES STATES THAT CHINA IS ATTEMPTING TO INTERFERE WITH THE SECURITY OF THE US “ TO EITHER PREVENT THE UNITED STATES FROM BEING ABLE TO PROJECT POWER INTO ASIA OR TO CAUSE SOCIETAL CHAOS INSIDE THE UNITED STATES – TO AFFECT OUR DECISION-MAKING AROUND A CRISIS.” CHINA IS A THREAT – A MAJOR THREAT – TO THE US. IT IS NO EXAGGERATION TO CONCLUDE THAT THE US SEES CHINA AS ITS ENEMY – ITS MAJOR ENEMY.

CHINA SEES THINGS QUITE DIFFERENTLY. THE US IS NOT THE ENEMY. THE US DOES NOT NEED TO BE DESTROYED IN ORDER FOR CHINA TO CONTINUE ALONG THE PATH OF BEING THE BIGGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD AND MAKING ITS PEOPLE PROSPEROUS IN THE PROCESS. THE WORLD – SAYS CHINA – CAN EMBRACE A GROWING US AND A GROWING CHINA. CHINA DOES NOT SEEK TO IMPOSE ITS WAY OF LIFE OR ITS POLITICAL PRIORITIES ON ANY OTHER COUNTRIES. CHINA INTERACTS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES ON THE BASIS ONLY OF MUTUAL BENEFIT.

CHINA WILL CONTINUE TO GROW INTERNALLY AND WILL CONTINUE TO CREATE WIN-WIN SITUTATIONS IN ITS DEALINGS WITH ALL OTHER COUNTRIES. IT HOPES THAT THE US WILL RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO OBSTRUCT CHINA’S PROGRESS. IF THE US TRIES TO SUBJUGATE CHINA THEN WAR WILL ENSUE. CHINA KNOWS THAT IS A POSSIBILITY BUT CHINA IS NOT COWED. IT SIMPLY HOPES THAT WASHINGTON SEES COMMON SENSE AND RECOGNISES THE SYNERGY THAT WILL BE CREATED WITH THE US IF THE US CEASES TO TREAT CHINA AS A FOE BUT, INSTEAD, WORKS IN HARMONY WITH CHINA TO BUILD A MORE PROSPEROUS WORLD FOR ALL MANKIND.

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#2  ‘FOREIGN AFFAIRS’ – WRONG ABOUT CHINA AGAIN

“Over the past decade, the prospect of Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific has moved from the realm of the hypothetical to the war rooms of U.S. defense planners. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has significantly accelerated his country’s military buildup, now in its third decade. At the same time, China has become increasingly assertive across a wide swathe of the Pacific, advancing its expansionist maritime claims and encroaching on the waters of key U.S. allies and important security partners, including Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Xi has asserted, with growing frequency, that Taiwan must be reunited with China, and he has refused to renounce the use of force to achieve that end. With the United States distracted by major wars in Europe and the Middle East, some in Washington fear that Beijing may see an opportunity to realize some of these revisionist ambitions by launching a military operation before the West can react.

With Taiwan as the assumed flash point, U.S. strategists have offered several theories about how such an attack might play out. First is a “fait accompli” conquest of Taiwan by China, in which the People’s Liberation Army employs missiles and airstrikes against Taiwanese and nearby U.S. forces while jamming signals and communications and using cyberattacks to fracture their ability to coordinate the island’s defenses. If successful, these and other supporting actions could enable Chinese forces to quickly seize control. A second path envisions a U.S.-led coalition beating back China’s initial assault on the island. This rosy scenario finds the coalition employing mines, antiship cruise missiles, submarines, and underwater drones to deny the PLA control of the surrounding waters, which China would need in order to mount a successful invasion. Meanwhile, coalition air and missile defense forces would prevent China from providing the air cover needed to support the PLA’s assault, and electronic warfare and cyber-forces would frustrate the PLA’s efforts to control communications in and around the battlefield. In a best-case outcome, these strong defenses would cause China to cease its attack and seek peace.”

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS;-

LET’S BE CLEAR; TAIWAN IS PART OF CHINA. WHO SAYS SO? THE US AND CHINA. BOTH SIGNED THE SHANGHAI COMMUNIQUE IN FEBRUARY 1972 ACKNOWLEDGING THERE IS ONLY ONE CHINA AND THIS WAS RE-CONFIRMED BY PRESIDENT BIDEN AT THE RECENT MEETING IN CALIFORNIA WITH PRESIDENT XI JINPING. CHINA HAS ALWAYS RESERVED THE RIGHT TO USE FORCE AGAINST TAIWAN IF TAIWAN TOOK ANY STEPS TO SECEDE FROM CHINA.

THE US HAS TOYED WITH THIS POSSIBILITY AND THE VISIT TO TAIWAN BY NANCY PELOSI WHEN SHE WAS THE THIRD RANKING POLITICIAN IN THE US BEHIND THE PRESIDENT AND THE VICE-PRESIDENT PROMPTED TALK IN WASHINGTON OF INDEPENDENCE FOR TAIWAN. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE NO-NO FOR CHINA WHO LET RIP WITH A SUSTAINED DISPLAY OF MILITARY FORCE TO MAKE CLEAR TO THE US THAT TAIWAN IS A PART OF CHINA.

CHINA  HAS FRONTIERS WITH 14 COUNTRIES AND FROM TIME TO TIME HAS HAD CONFRONTATIONS OVER DIFFERENT ISSUES WITH SOME OF THE 14. BUT CHINA HAS NEVER SECEEDED TERRITORY TO ANY ONE OF THE NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES.

WITHIN THE US DECISION-MAKING ELITE THERE ARE THOSE WHO WANT TO GIVE CHINA A BLOODY NOSE – BRING IT TO HEEL – AND INDEPENDENCE FOR TAIWAN IS ALWAYS THE ISSUE THEY FOCUS UPON TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL. SO TAIWAN IS ALWAYS ON THE AGENDA. BUT THE US KNOWS CHINA IS QUITE INFLEXIBLE. SO BRINKMANSHIP EXISTS AS THE US SENDS ITS B52 AIRCRAFT 3000 MILES FROM THE US WEST COAST TO TEST CHINA’S RESOLVE. AIRCRAFT FROM CHINA AND THE US WERE SEPARATED BY JUST 10 FEET IN THE MOST RECENT NEAR COLLISION.

CHINA DOES NOT WANT WAR WITH TAIWAN. IT WANTS TO FOCUS ITS ACTIVITIES ON PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHINA. WAR WITH TAIWAN UNDERMINES THAT PRIORITY. BUT CHINA WILL HAVE NO TRUCK WITH TAIWAN INDEPENDENCE AND, IF PUSHED TO THE BRINK, CHINA WILL USE FORCE.

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#3       45TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHINA’S ECONOMIC REFORMS – PROFESSOR MAHBUBANI

Professor Mahbubani – “In the year 2000 China proposed a Free Trade Agreement to ASEAN, the US trade with ASEAN was $135bn and China’s trade with ASEAN was only $40bn. By the end of 2022 China’s trade with ASEAN had grown to $975bn – almost USD1 trillion. To reach this figure China had made two key decisions. First, it opened up its economy in China and, second, China opened up its economy to the world.”

GRAHAM PERRY COMMENTS;-

IT IS STILL THE CASE THAT MANY PEOPLE READING ABOUT CHINA TODAY DO SO THROUGH THE PRISM OF THE OLD USSR. MAYBE THE INFLUENCE OF THE FICTION OF  JOHN LE CARRE AND LEN DEIGHTON SET THE SCENE FOR A REVIEW OF CHINA TODAY. THIS IS TOO MECHANICAL – TOO SIMPLISTIC – TOO NARROW MINDED.

LOOKING AT THE OLD USSR AND THE PRESENT DAY CHINA, THE REAL SIGNIFICANCE IS THE DIFFERENCE AND NOT THE SIMILARITY. JUST TWO EXAMPLES SUFFICE;

THERE WAS NO TOURISM INTO THE USSR AND NO USSR CITIZENS FILLED THE TRAVEL LOUNGES OF INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS TO TRAVEL THE WORLD. CHINA IS THE OPPOSITE WITH 137M CHINESE TOURISTS RETURNING HOME AFTER HOLIDAYING IN ALL FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD IN THE LAST YEAR BEFORE COVID. AND CHINA TOURISTS COMING TO CHINA REMAINS A SIGNIFICANT FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER FOR CHINA. TWO-WAY TOURISM IN CHINA. NO TOURISM IN THE USSR.

ADDITIONALLY, EVERYTHING ABOUT THE USSR WAS THE POWER OF THE CENTRE. ALL DECISIONS WERE MADE IN MOSCOW. CHINA, SINCE 1979, HAS DECENTRALISED AND GIVEN INITIATIVE AND DECISION MAKING TO THE PROVINCES. FINALLY CHINA HAS 800+ BILLIONAIRES. THE USSR HAD NONE

CHINA IS NOT QUITE A “RAGS TO RICHES” STORY  BUT TAKING 1 BILLION PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY REQUIRES THE MOST ENORMOUS CHANGE AROUND IN THE THINKING AND MENTALITY IN CHINA. AND THAT IS MAHBUBANI’S POINT. CHINA IS NOT THE OLD USSR. CHINA REMAINS A COMMUNIST PARTY. MAO TSETUNG’S PORTRAIT STILL DOMINATES THE ENTRANCE TO THE FORBIDDEN CITY AND CHINESE POLITICAL PROUNCEMENTS CONTAIN MUCH JARGON. BUT DISMISS IT AND YOU SET OFF ON THE WRONG PATH IN TRYING TO UNDERSTAND CHINA.

FESTIVE GREETINGS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS

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