China: Their Communists Party Economic Ties To Their War Machine

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

 

China risks ‘the legitimacy of the Communist Party’s regime’ without changes, says law professor

  • Peking University law professor He Weifang calls for China to fulfil the commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001
  • The outspoken critic of China’s legal system made the comments during the ongoing trade war with the United States which has led to an economic slowdown

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Peking University professor He Weifang. Photo: Simon SongPeking University professor He Weifang. Photo: Simon Song
Peking University professor He Weifang. Photo: Simon Song

China risks a “downturn that will fundamentally shake the legitimacy of the Communist Party’s regime” if it does not make structural reforms and fulfil the commitments it made when joining the World Trade Organisation, according to outspoken law professor He Weifang.

Central to the ongoing trade war with the United States have been issues raised by US President Donald Trump surrounding forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft and market access, all of which are areas China promised to correct when it joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001.

China passed a new

foreign investment law

this month in a bid to level the playing field for overseas investors and reassure the global community it remains an attractive investment destination, but many other issues including reducing export subsidies, fair treatment for foreign banks and a commitment to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement have yet to be fulfilled, according to He.

“The trade war is an opportunity for China. It is not that China has to succumb to the US, but it is time for China to fulfil its solemn commitments it made when it became a member nation of the WTO. If there is no structural reform, China cannot sustain its economic growth and the economic downturn will fundamentally shake the legitimacy of the Communist Party’s regime,” 59-year-old Peking University law professor He told the South China Morning Post in a rare interview.

“There is a strong correlation between current US demands in trade negotiations and the commitments that China made in 2001. Back then, Chinese legislators were excited about the then upcoming law changes, but ultimately nothing definite ended up happening.”

Under the pressure of the trade war, China’s economy grew by just 6.6 per cent in 2018, the slowest growth rate since 1990.

“The economy is the only tool for the Communist Party to win the people’s support. However, the government has been prioritising ideological control rather than economic development, which doesn’t and won’t work. We need this external force [from the trade war] to get us back on track,” He said.

Why China is cozying up to Europe

A key sticking point in the ongoing trade negotiations is the US demand for an enforcement mechanism to ensure China lives up to its commitments this time.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing next week to continue the negotiations, with Chinese Vice-Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He then travelling to Washington in early April, Chinese officials announced on Thursday.

“The trade war is not only about tariffs, it is also about the governing structure of the country and its relationship with businesses. The invisible hand of the government is generally behind forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft, which is a big risk for foreign investment, as it is hard for a foreign company to withdraw immediately after the investment,” added He, an outspoken critic of China’s legal system and a prominent Chinese law professor.

Company Law in China states that companies established within China must set up a branch of the Communist Party within their business to “carry out the activities of the party”, although the new foreign investment law failed to mention the “party” or demand foreign companies set up a Communist Party branch.

However, in a press conference in October 2017, Qi Yu, the then deputy head of the Organisation Department of the Communist Party, said 70 per cent of foreign firms had established a party branch, which has raised concerns among foreign enterprises about the influence such branches could have on corporate decision making.

“A board of directors is supposed to be the top management team and policymaker on company issues. A party organisation can cause terrible chaos [within in the company] which can trigger terrible consequences,” said professor He.

“There are different levels of shareholders in joint ventures, but the party organisation having a role among them is ludicrous. This is also a crucial structural problem.”

In February, Qiushi, the Communist Party’s main theoretical journal, published a speech made by President Xi Jinping in August, in which he said that China “must never follow the path of Western constitutionalism, separation of powers, or judicial independence.”

This stance is at odds with China’s WTO commitments and is “why we need judicial independence,” said professor He.

Last year, China also launched a nationwide crackdown on workers trying to form labour unions.

Foreign firms will need to up their game in China with new investment law

Human Rights Watch reported that more than 30 labour activists, factory workers, college students and trade union officials had been detained as of mid-2018 after campaigning for workers rights’ in the southern Chinese city Shenzhen.

“In developed western economies, companies must protect labour rights. China used to compete due to its advantage of inexpensive labour, which resulted from inadequate protection of labour rights. WTO requires that all member countries allow independent labour unions, but China has never fulfilled its commitment on this,” professor He added.

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China chemical blast death toll rises to 44

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

China chemical blast death toll rises to 44

Armed police officers carry an injured man after an explosion at a chemical industrial parkImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Hundreds were injured in the explosion, which was reportedly started by a fire at the plant

The death toll in a huge blast at a chemical plant in eastern China has jumped to 44, with 640 injured, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The powerful explosion followed a fire at the factory, which produces fertiliser.

China’s earthquake administration reported a tremor equivalent to 2.2-magnitude at the time of the blast.

The death toll makes it one of the country’s worst industrial accidents in recent years.

The blast happened at about 14:50 local time (06:50 GMT) on Thursday at a plant in Yancheng, run by Tianjiayi Chemical.

According to Xinhua, a total of 640 people were sent to hospital. Some 32 are in a critical condition and 58 have severe injuries, the agency reports.

Images on social media showed a fireball exploding at the site, billowing clouds enveloping the area, injured people, and damage to buildings.

The blast was so powerful that it knocked down factory buildings some distance away, trapping workers, according to local media.

Staff at the Henglida Chemical Factory, 3km (1.8 miles) from the explosion, said its roof collapsed as they fled, and windows and doors were blown out.

Provincial authorities said firefighters had to be brought in from across the province.

The fire was brought under control at around 0300 local time on Friday, state TV said.

Police at the site of the explosionImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption The cause of the accident is under investigation

Industrial accidents ranging from factory fires to mining disasters are common in China, often due to poorly enforced safety standards.

In November 2018, at least 22 people died and 22 more were injured when a vehicle carrying chemicals exploded in northern Zhangjiakou.

In July the same year, 13 people died after an explosion at a chemical plant in southwestern Sichuan.

The biggest accident in recent years was the August 2015 Tianjin explosion, which killed more than 160 people and injured nearly 1,000.

The exact cause of Thursday’s explosion is still under investigation. Tianjiayi Chemical, founded in 2007, has received six government penalties in the past over waste management and air pollution, according to the South China Morning Post.

Yancheng, China

Chinese Views On The Taj Mahal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Majestic Taj Mahal, a modern wonder and symbol of love

If Varanasi is a holy city of priests and devotees, Agra is a grand city of the emperors — and you can feel it the moment you get off the train at the Agar Fort station.

The Agar Fort, right next to the railway station, was a military base and royal residence of the Mughal Dynasty emperors until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.

The Hall of Public Audience to the right of the pathway through the Lahore Gate was where the emperor would listen to public petitions and meet state officials.

Contrary to the joyful squirrels who littered the ground, the huge pillared hall with the white marble throne in the center backstage gave all the authority and solemnity over its subjects standing down under.

As of today, most of the white marble palaces were built during the reign of the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666). However, there were earlier buildings of red sandstone with layers of decorated columns in the inner court, which were also “of great importance to the study of Mughal buildings’ architectural history,” said a teacher to a group of students on the site.

Xu Qin

The Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am) in Agra Fort

Mounted high on a rocky ridge, Fatehpur Sikri, also known as the “City of Victory,” is a palace city built primarily to afford leisure and luxury to its famous residents during the reign of the third Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556-1605), Shan Jahan’s grandfather.

The city was built massively and preferably with red sandstone.

The architecture features both the Hindu and Muslim styles, popular in India at the time, with large domes, large halls and colossal gateways.

The Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, along with the imperial complex at Fatehpur Sikri, is said to have the most delicate marble screens in India. It enshrines the burial place of the Sufi saint, Salim Chisti (1478-1572), who foretold the birth of Akbar’s son Jahangir.

Today people are often seen at the tomb praying for child birth blessings. With Sufi singers performing in front of the door to the chamber, visitors come in to pay homage to the saint while tying a thread on the marble screens to seek fulfillment of their wishes.

Standing on top of the palace walls, one can enjoy an aerial view of the green Indian countryside with small homes dotting around the rice fields on the outskirts. It is hard to believe the city, due to a lack of water, was abandoned just a few years after its construction.

Xu Qin

Mounted high on a rocky ridge, Fatehpur Sikri is also known as the “City of Victory.”

Xu Qin

The white marble tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chishti at Fatehpur Sikri

Xu Qin

Standing on top of the palace walls, one can enjoy an aerial view of the green Indian countryside with small homes dotting around the rice fields on the outskirts.

The following morning we got up early as the Taj Mahal was desperately waiting to say hello. Sitting on the south bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, the UNESCO-listed mausoleum is perhaps the finest testament to Mughal architecture.

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. According to popular legend, Shah Jahan spotted Mumtaz at the marketplace in his royal complex. It was love at first sight for the two, and he quickly made her his third wife. Mumtaz traveled with Shah Jahan throughout India, as his chief companion and beloved advisor. After bearing him 14 children, Mumtaz died, leaving Shah Jahan devastated.

Taking inspiration from the detailed description of Heaven in the Quran, Shah Jahan started building the Taj Mahal in 1632. To ensure that no one could recreate the Taj Mahal’s beauty, Shah Jahan supposedly severed the hands and gouged the eyes of the artisans and craftsmen after construction was completed in 1647.

Each year, millions of visitors come to the Taj Mahal to appreciate one of the greatest achievements in human history, and the stories of the loving couple flow from everyone’s lips like new gossip.

Looming out like a mirage in the morning fog, the harmony and balance of the Taj Mahal looks astounding from all directions. Inside the building, the marble screens, calligraphy inscriptions and floral inlays were detailed to everyone’s heart content.

Compared to Shah Jahan, those who built the Taj Mahal were classified as the insignificant others, like most of us who were visiting.

As I pressed my finger tip on the wall and felt along the swirling waves of the patterns, I could hear the sound of their chisels: chip-chip, chip-chip…

Xu Qin

Looming out like a mirage in the morning fog, the harmony and balance of the Taj Mahal looks astounding from all directions.

The inside of the Taj Mahal houses the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan

We’re Cracking Apart From The Inside, With Missiles Aimed At Our Back

We’re Cracking Apart From The Inside, With Missiles Aimed At Our Back

 

I’m sorry, but I don’t exactly like the Title either. Here in our Country we are acting like it is back in the 20’s or something ignorant like that. We have our HollyWood and our Politics, the never-ending battle between the Dems and the GOP and we pick Our Country apart. We have several outside State Players and other well-funded hate groups who are actually in the Chess Possession to make this play. Folks, I hope they do not push the ‘ignite’ button. This would be the end of the world as we all know it all because of a couple of dozen people from around whom have some Power in this world who hate us and hate everything’ the West’ stands for. Attacking us from the inside while we bicker among ourselves is a sure Cancer to our Cells.

 

Our current Government has weakened Us with our long-standing Allies and gotten off to a bad start with several other ‘not so friendly States.’ There is always the issue of other ‘unfriendliness’ such as Hezbollah, Hamas and many others. I pray for our Children, and Theirs. Hate, it is such a disgusting thing when we direct it at each other. Our System has many errors within it but it could be very much better. We need to address these things quickly before there is no tomorrow in which to be concerned about.

 

 

 

Why China’s Moon Shot Matters

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘FORTUNE’)

 

By CLAY CHANDLER and EAMON BARRETT

January 5, 2019

As 2019 dawns the separate preoccupations of the United States and China sound a bit like tracks from a Pink Floyd album: while Americans obsess over building “The Wall,” the Chinese have landed a robot on “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

It’s easy to be cynical about China’s moon shot. After years of effort and billions dollars in expense, Beijing has managed to boldly go, well, where America already went—50 years ago. China sent a probe, not an actual person. And, yes, it was both creepy and shameless that in hailing the moon landing, Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, riffed off (or ripped off, depending on your point of view) the famous Neil Armstrong quote, declaring: “It’s a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation.”

Still, China’s successful landing of the Change-e 4 on lunar terrain last Thursday was a significant scientific and technological achievement—one that can’t be dismissed as just another example of Chinese copy-catting. For one thing, China’s effort was the world’s first mission to the surface of the moon’s far side (which, as it turns out, isn’t actually all that dark) and therefore posed unique technical challenges. The far side can’t be seen from earth, and its surface has never been observed up close. Because the moon blocks direct communication from the far side, to transmit images from the probe back to earth, China had to build a separate relay satellite. Moreover, the far side’s surface is soft and powdery, a bit like snow, and so China’s lunar rover, called the Jade Rabbit 2, had to be specially constructed.

As the New York Times points out, the crater where Chinese probe landed is the oldest and deepest on the moon. It may hold clues to the moon’s origins, prove rich in minerals, and possibly serve as a “future refueling base for missions deeper into space.”

China is only the third country, alongside the U.S. and Russia, to send its own astronauts into space aboard its own rockets, and only the U.S. and China have the fiscal and technical wherewithal to mount significant long-term programs for exploring space. China last year launched more rockets into space than any other nation and plans another moon landing, the Chang-e 5, later this year. The country hopes to begin operating its third space station by 2022, and put astronauts on a lunar base sometime in the next decade. Beijing also has plans to to send probes to Mars and return samples of the Martian surface back to earth.

Notably space is yet another sphere where earth’s two technological powerhouses compete but don’t collaborate—and seem almost to inhabit different universes. As the BBC notes, U.S. counter-espionage legislation restricts NASA from working bilaterally with Chinese nationals without express permission from Congress.

More China news below.

Clay Chandler
@claychandler
[email protected]

China persecutes independent leftists in the name of Marxism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

(If Marx was still alive, he would be arrested by the CCP and sentenced to life because he advocates for freedom of press, speech and thought.) (IN TRUTH IT IS THE COMMUNIST PARTY LEADERSHIP ESPECIALLY XI JINPING WHO SHOULD BE ARRESTED BECAUSE THEY ARE TOTAL FRAUDS TO THE IDEAL OF MARXISM)(oldpoet56)

China persecutes independent leftists in the name of Marxism

China Central Television’s program “Marx was right.” Screenshot from Youtube.

On December 28, Beijing police arrested a group of Peking University students for protesting against the takeover of the campus’ Marxist society in yet another testament of the chasm between Marxism and Marxism “with Chinese characteristics.”

The action followed the detention of the society’s president Qiu Zhanxuan for celebrating former China’s Communist Party (CPP) leader Mao Zedong’s birthday on December 26.

The arrests are only the most recent episode of CPP’s repression of independent Chinese leftists. In August, 50 people, among students and workers, who had attempted to establish a trade union at a Jasic Technology factory in Southern China were arrested.

Among the detainees is Yue Xin, a Peking University graduate who has publicly adhered to President Xi Jinping’s thought. Instead of pursuing study abroad, she became a blue-collar worker in the Jasic factory. She has been missing since the police raid in August. The Peking University Marxist group had been campaigning for the release of the detained activists.

This new generation of young leftists who put their values into practice has been accused by pro-government commentators of reading Marx at the covert direction of foreign powers.

On Weibo, CCP ideologue and Global Times’ chief editor Hu Xijin justified the repression on Peking University’s Marxist group, whose core team members have since been replaced with the university’s picks.

I want to tell student Qiu that only China can save socialism. China is the only hope for the future of Marxism. China is now facing a lot of challenges inside and outside the country. All Chinese people who embrace socialist ideals should support the state to go steady in the path of socialism with Chinese character and support the development of Marxism under the circumstances of reform and open doors. Socialism is a very complicated praxis, it is not an dogmatic and idealistic pursue. It is definite that the fate of socialism depends on the fate of China. I hope all young people can realize this. Unfriendly forces have been taking all sort of opportunities to attack us. We have to prevent providing such opportunities for these forces.

Hu’s statement reflects China’s recent appropriation of Marxism as an ideological tool that helps legitimize President Xi Jinping’s governance strategy that is based on authoritarianism and economic progress.

Throughout 2018, the CPP spectacularly celebrated the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx, the father of communist thought. It organized an international academic conference in Bejing, a grand gathering of the Party, funded a giant statue at Marx’s birthplace in Germany, produced a youth-targeted TV series titled “Marx was Right,” and, most recently, released an animated series called “The Leader” based on Marx’s life.

The 5-episode series “Marx was right“, broadcast this year in China’s main state-run TV channel, argues that China’s market economy is a “tool to realize the values and goals of socialism” and an antidote to crises such as those faced by Western democracies in the past decade, from the 2008 global financial crises to the Brexit referendum in the UK.

As Xi put it at the grand Marx’s 200th birthday celebration in Beijing in May:

It is perfectly right for history and the people to choose Marxism, as well as for the CPC to write Marxism on its own flag, to adhere to the principle of combining the fundamental principles of Marxism with China’s reality, and continuously adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and the times.

More than 30 prominent scholars have decided to boycott Beijing’s 2019 World Congress on Marxism, including leftist professor Noam Chomsky, who said he didn’t want to be “complicit in the Chinese government’s game.”

China is the world’s largest manufacturing economy and international investor, and its economy is highly exploitative of the working class.

The CCP’s practice to suppress independent labor movements and workers’ organizations go back decades. While many Marxists believe in workers’ struggle as the driving force for social and political transformation, Chinese ideologues consider young leftist students’ who stand by workers’ rights simply troublemakers.

Following the takeover of Peking University’s Marxist society, Twitter user @luli398 snarkily tweeted:

luli398@luli398

如果马克思活着的话,他也会被中国共产党抓起来,判终生监禁。因为他也主张思想、言论自由和新闻自由。

See luli398’s other Tweets

If Marx was still alive, he would be arrested by the CCP and sentenced to life because he advocates for freedom of press, speech and thought.

What exactly is Marxism with Chinese characteristics? You may have a glimpse into it by watching this propaganda cartoon called “The Leader.”

Is It Time To Kill The World’s Dictators?

Is It Time To Kill The World’s Dictators?

 

At first I was thinking of using the title ‘is it past time to kill your dictator as I am not sure which title was the most appropriate, or, is neither appropriate? In today’s world it does seem that most dictators choose to keep power in a country by fraud sham elections so as to say they are legally elected Presidents. Examples of this could be Mozambique and Robert Mugabe, Cuba with the Castro’s or even Mubarak of Egypt. I used these three as my first examples because none of the three actually died in Office. Mugabe and Mubarak were both removed from Office by their Nations military at the insistence of the will of the people. I am not nor have I ever been a fan of either of the Castro’s but surprisingly they gave up power of their own accord mainly because of age and health reasons. The Castro brothers are different in the reality that most dictators refuse to give up power until they are dead or removed from power by their military.

 

Any time that a country has a ‘one party’ political system that is simply another way to say dictatorship. Good examples of this are with Syria’s President Assad and Russia’s Putin. Then there is the illegitimate Communist government on mainland China where only the Communist Party leadership decides who will be their ‘President’ every 10 years that is until their current President Xi Jinping came into the picture. Now the Mainland has themselves a ‘President for life’ with Mr. Xi Jinping and the people have no power to get rid of him outside of killing him. Another type of example of a Dictator resides in North Korea where their Leader Mr. Kim Jong Un considers himself to be a living God even though I find it odd that the two former ‘gods’ of North Korea are dead. One of the things that these people have in common, just as in Turkey with their ‘President’ Mr. Erdogan, they are all mass murderers. Then there are cases like in Iran where the actual Leader who calls himself the ‘Supreme Leader’ whom should be known as the Supreme Murderer of Iran who has final say in all things even over the Nations President.

 

I know that by the Biblical Scriptures we are told that we should pray for our Leaders. Scripture says nothing about whether these Leaders are Kings (Dictators), Priests or honestly elected Presidents or Prime Ministers as these are just titles.  Folks, titles do not go to Heaven nor to Hell, people do. People also tells us that we are not allowed to murder anyone yet it is very plain that in cases of war we are allowed to defend ourselves and our families. We as people are also allowed to defend ourselves and families if our lives are in imminent danger such as someone who is armed breaks into our home and threatens you. This would also be so if let’s say you are in a store, a concert or a Church and a person or people come in and start shooting, we have every right to defend ourselves. Folks this does include the reality of ‘anyone’ whom is trying to kill you or your loved ones. Folks, this does mean anyone whom is trying to kill you, by this I mean if military people, police or even a Congressman or a President is actively trying to physically harm you, you have the absolute right to defend yourselves. By this I do mean (for example) what happened in Waco Texas in the early 1990’s where the government murdered over a hundred people, women and children included. This was a case where police came bursting through the doors and windows while shooting at the people inside whom had not yet shot one bullet at the Officers.

 

Now let’s get back to the issue of killing your Dictator, do you/we have the right to do so? Even though the human in me says that there should be no Dictators on the face of the Earth, this is not a reality. When it comes to G-d’s Judgement Day all Leaders will have to answer for all of their actions as Leaders both good and evil. On a smaller scale the same situation exists within a Church community as far as the Leaders who are responsible for the safety of the Flock who committed crimes against the Flock. I am not saying here that the members of the Church have the right to kill (lets say, a pedophile) though we do have the right to not allow them to be a part of the Congregation at all and we do have the right to charge them in front of our Nation’s Courts. What I am saying though is that all Church Leaders will have to answer for their actions as ‘Guardians’ of the Flock whether good or evil. So, do we have the right to kill our Dictator even if they are a murderer like Mr. Putin or Kim Jong Un? These Dictators, are they actively trying to kill you or your loved ones? When the answer is no, we have no such right to harm them, peacefully try to remove them from their position, yes, kill them, no.

 

Obviously this letter to you is just my thought, my beliefs. Like is almost all of my letters to you I am simply trying to get you to think about the issue that I am writing to you about. What are your thoughts on this matter, what do you believe? Leave me a note, let me know your thoughts?

China: President Xi Says That Taiwan Will Be Reunited With China, Even If By Force

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

(MAINLAND CHINA IS PART OF TAIWAN, IT IS NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT IN BEIJING IS THE ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT OF CHINA. THE ONLY LEGITIMATE CHINESE GOVERNMENT IS THE ONE IN TAIPEI, XI JINPING AND THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT IN BEIJING ARE A FRAUD THAT MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE EARTH EVEN IF (TO USE MR. XI WORDS) THAT MEANS BY FORCE!) (oldpoet56)  

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the people of Taiwan to accept it “must and will be” reunited with China.

In a speech marking 40 years since the start of improving ties, he reiterated Beijing’s call for peaceful unification on a one-country-two-systems basis.

However, he also warned that China reserved the right to use force.

While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland.

Beijing considers the island to be a breakaway province and Mr Xi’s comments are in line with China’s long-standing policy towards reunification.

But on Wednesday, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the island would never accept reunification with China under the terms offered by Beijing.

“I want to reiterate that Taiwan will never accept ‘one country, two systems’. The vast majority of Taiwanese public opinion also resolutely opposes ‘one country, two systems’, and this is also the ‘Taiwan consensus’.”

Under the “one country, two systems” formula, Taiwan would have the right to run its own affairs; a similar arrangement is used in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has its own legal system, and rights including freedom of assembly and free speech are protected – however, there are widespread concerns in the territory that those freedoms are gradually being eroded.

In his speech on Wednesday, Mr Xi said both sides were part of the same Chinese family and that Taiwanese independence was “an adverse current from history and a dead end”.

Taiwanese people “must understand that independence will only bring hardship,” Mr Xi said, adding Beijing would never tolerate any form of activity promoting Taiwanese independence.

Instead, unification was “an inevitable requirement for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people”, he argued.

He also stressed that relations with Taiwan were “part of China’s domestic politics” and that “foreign interference is intolerable”.

Beijing “reserves the option of taking all necessary measures” against outside forces that interfere with peaceful reunification and Taiwanese separatist activities.

Taiwan Honour guards perform during the rehearsal for the presidential inauguration in Taipei, Taiwan (20 May 2016)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionMany in Taiwan want a separate nation

What is the view in Taiwan?

In a new year’s speech on Tuesday, Ms Tsai said China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values.

“I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” Ms Tsai said, referring to the island’s formal name.

China should “respect the insistence of 23 million people on freedom and democracy, and must use peaceful, on parity means to handle our differences”, she added.

In November, Ms Tsai’s political party saw a heavy setback in regional elections perceived by Beijing as a blow to her separatist stance.

Presentational grey line

How serious is China’s threat?

Analysis by John Sudworth, BBC News, Beijing

The Chinese Communist Party has long spoken about unification as a matter of destiny.

But President Xi is arguably the most powerful leader since Mao – now unconstrained by presidential term limits – and one who has personalised, like no other, the project for “national rejuvenation”.

So should we pay more heed when the threat to retake Taiwan by force if necessary comes from his lips?

China may be a rising military superpower, but sending an invading army across the choppy, well-defended waters of the Taiwan strait would still be a huge military gamble, with success far from guaranteed.

Beyond the slightly more strident tone, Mr Xi’s speech does not appear to signal any dramatic change in those calculations, especially when you take into account the more conciliatory passages offering a further strengthening of trade links.

If there is to be any warfare, it is likely to be of the cyber kind; China is reported to be stepping up its efforts to influence Taiwan’s elections to hurt the prospects of independence-leaning parties and politicians.

The hope has long been that it will be China’s growing economic might, not military force, that will eventually pull Taiwan into its embrace.

Presentational grey line

Why is this so contentious?

Taiwan is a self-governed democracy and for all practical purposes has acted as an independent nation since 1949, when China’s nationalist government was defeated by communist forces and fled there from the mainland.

China however considers the island to be a breakaway province – not a country in its own right – which will one day be fully reunited with the mainland.

Woman holding Taiwanese flagImage copyright AFP
Image caption Beijing insists Taiwan is just a breakaway province

In recent years, Beijing has become increasingly assertive over its claims and what it says is a key question of national sovereignty.

China, for instance, insists that other countries can only have diplomatic ties with China or Taiwan, not both.

Beijing has won over more and more of Taipei’s few international allies to cut diplomatic ties with the island and establish relations with China instead.

Last year, it also forced foreign airlines and hotels to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

China: Inside Xi Jinping’s Plan to Dominate the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG NEWS)

 

Inside Xi Jinping’s Plan to Dominate the World

Elizabeth Economy’s “The Third Revolution” makes the case that China is most dangerous in the realm of ideas.

Man with a plan.

Photographer:  Ikegami Madoka/Getty Images

Who is the most important and disruptive leader in the world today? Most Americans would probably answer, Donald Trump — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin running a close second. But my choice for the must-read book of 2018, Elizabeth C. Economy’s “The Third Revolution,” makes a strong case that China’s Xi Jinping may deserve the title.

Under Xi’s leadership since 2012, an increasingly powerful China has begun throwing its weight around in ways that have led international observers to fear the emergence of a new Cold War — or perhaps even a new hot war — with the U.S. Xi has more candidly announced China’s ambitions to take center stage in world affairs than any leader since Mao Zedong; he has also amassed greater personal power than any Chinese leader since Mao. Economy’s book traces Xi’s influence and ambitions through an exhaustive reading of his speeches as well as an astute knowledge of Chinese politics and policy. It should be required reading not just for China-watchers but for anyone interested in U.S.-China relations and the future of world order.

Economy, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, catalogs the changes China has experienced under Xi: The replacement of collective leadership with personalized rule, the constriction of the political system, the efforts to tightly restrict the flow of ideas into China while expanding the stream of ideas and influence rushing out of it. Economy is also a reliable guide to Xi’s seemingly contradictory efforts to stimulate game-changing, high-tech innovation while also steadily increasing the role of the Communist Party in China’s economy and society.

Turning from the domestic to the foreign, Economy provides a concise discussion of China’s expanding military footprint, push to create new international institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, launching of the Belt and Road Initiative and other major geo-economic projects, increasing use of coercive diplomacy toward its neighbors, and other efforts to project influence not just in the Asia-Pacific but globally. All of these undertakings seem impressive at first glance, and Xi’s vision seems to be carrying the day in Chinese politics for now. But as Economy reminds us, all the elements of his agenda — from his grab for unchallenged individual authority to his drive for greater power and prestige overseas — carry the danger of provoking a backlash, whether from dissatisfied rivals at home or wary competitors abroad, that could ultimately waylay Xi’s “Chinese Dream.”

Perhaps the most valuable part of the book takes us from the realm of hard power to the realm of ideas. As Economy points out, Xi is advancing an ambitious ideological vision: “A uniquely Chinese model” that will “perhaps become a standard bearer for other countries disenchanted with the American and European models of liberal democracy.” That model may seem to cut against the flow of the post-World War II era, in which the world has become progressively more democratic. Yet it actually fits quite well with the more recent propensity of things, as democracy has receded, the allure of the American liberal-capitalist model has faded, China’s economic performance has wowed developing countries around the world, and authoritarian ideas make a resurgence. Economy’s book is thus a useful reminder that of all the ways China is testing American leadership, this ideological challenge may ultimately be the most important, and the hardest, for the U.S. to handle.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Hal Brands at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tobin Harshaw at [email protected]

Damn… I Sure Hope I’m Wrong

Damn… I Sure Hope I’m Wrong

 

Folks this is simply the thoughts of an old man, roll with it where you will, or not. Time, age, it does give one advantage to the times people see fads come and go. I know that I am not the brightest bulb in the package but I do enjoy history and memories what one sees and understands often come from that. This article to you tonight is strictly a ‘what if’ letter and damn, I sure hope I’m wrong.

 

What If, what if President Trump is considered to be at the weakest point of his Presidency right now? What if right now even our Allies have no trust at all in Mr. Trump’s Leadership or even worse, if they consider the U.S. to now be a likely enemy? Now our real Enemies challenge U.S. authority all over the globe, Russia has been pushing the “West” for a fight over Crimea and now over the mainland of Ukraine, Mr. Putin has installed several hundred tanks facing Ukraine along their Border. Russian Naval Ships have fired on boarded and taken control of Ukraine Naval Ships.

 

If Mr. Putin and President Xi Jinping decided on a date over this Christmas Holiday to coordinate an attack on two fronts, first with Russia doing an all out attack on Ukraine and second, China doing an all out assault on Taiwan. Then of course this day would happen to be the time Hamas does an all out assault on Israel from the south and also the day Hezbollah does the same into northern Israel. My question is how would the U.S. Government and Military handle these situations, or could they in any real way enter into a WW3 situation, and win? There would also be the reality of every Three-Bit Dictator attacking whomever they choose all around the world. If the U.S. had great leaders would they take this kind of a chance? The reality is, we don’t have a mentally competent Leader in the Oval Office. So, what would happen if all of this occurred? You know folks, there is one thing that the world seems to forget about. Folks wake up, all of our ‘ways of life’ can change is just a fraction of a second with one bright flash up in the skies.

 

As I said, this was just a ‘what if’ theory and all I can honestly say is, I sure hope I’m Wrong!