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Cake day: Nov 08, 2021

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At the moment we again witness an aggravation of the relations between Washington and Beijing because of American military presence in the South China Sea. In the middle of July, the Unified Combatant Command of USA in the Indo-Pacific published a statement in connection with coming of USS Benfold destroyer on July 13 near the Paracel Islands. Accusations from China that "operation to secure freedom of navigation" has violated China's sovereignty were marked as false. The American side considers the growing amount of insinuations from the People's Liberation Army as actions against Pentagon's legal naval maneuvers. It was emphasized about the "peaceful" pass. Such operations should demonstrate that China has no legal ground for getting the disputed waters. Beijing's policy towards these water areas goes against international standards and conception of a "free and open Indo-Pacific region." It is worth mentioning that American media deliberately published information about incident in June over the South China Sea. According to sources in Pentagon it is reported about PLA's "unprofessional" behavior. Chinese Su-30 allegedly was too close to the C-130 transport aircraft. It is mentioned that Chinese military methodically makes these provocations. At the same time Washington actively supports the tension in the South China Sea. This year is the first time when a Carrier strike group Ronald Reagan was dispatched there. Also the exercises are planned for providing naval security. Americans ironically say these moves are aimed at supporting "world order based on rules." Meantime Beijing is refraining from firm actions and expresses its discontent of what is going on. We do not see any real moves yet.
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The Americans are satisfied with the results of G7 summit to make steps for further deterrence of China. Many US political experts positively consider the anti-Chinese statements during the G7 summit. In the final communique the G7 presented almost all pretensions to China - East China Sea, South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet. Experts believe Washington succeeded in toughening critics against Chinese authorities. Allegedly the "gravely concerned" statement was not presented in the last year's final communique. Following the summit results the White House published a material call "The United States continue to improve cooperation within the G7" against the challenges of the 21st century, including the ones that come from China. The document declares a unified approach of the G7 to counteract the "unfair economic practices" of China. Likely the consolidated approach is important to minimize the damage of Beijing's non-transparent policy that distorts the market principles. In its statement the White House highlighted the following directions of cooperation within the G7: the stability of production and logistic chains (including supplies of critical minerals), cybersecurity, quantum development, providing of informational and communications compatibility, promoting the market oriented trade and technical standards, boosting of multilateral framework mechanism for debt restructuring (under the aegis of G20), fighting the forced labour, observance of human rights. The experts consider the summit agreement "partnership for global infrastructure and investment" in opposition to China's Belt and Road Initiative as a good move. On the whole Washington tried to use the summit in Ellmau to strengthen positions of like-minded allies against China. The final goal is to cut Beijing from the advanced technologies of the collective West and China's exclusion from the leading positions in the western-centric economic system.
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The computer systems of China's state departments were infected with American spy-virus. Beijing believes this will negatively affect the difficult biliteral relations, especially in the field of informational security. In the beginning of July China's 360 security company that specializes in the Internet security published a report that says about hundreds of national communication systems that were infected with a trojan. The report highlights that program that checked the data correctness input was injected by the NSA and first was discovered in the data base of a Chinese state research institute. According to the report, the trojan allegedly was installed remotely to the computers with a connection to the Internet and with Windows 98 or later. The virus opens the access to the system and allows to examine all information on that PC to a special NSA department. A special platform named FOXACID was created for that purpose and widely used for cyber attacks against China. Also, the virus carries out a control operation to provide a long-term access to the infected PC. The competent authorities including National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China carried out an investigation and found a variety of versions of the trojan in many computer systems of the leading research institutes along China. There is a high possibility that virus is still operates in the key governmental data bases, sending the sensitive data to the Pentagon affiliated company. On the regular briefing for media the official spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhao Lijian demanded from the US to explain this incident, asking Washington to stop this illegal activity. The diplomat openly named the US "a hacker empire of informational reconnaissance that stealing secrets." He also emphasized that the United States lately inflated the military budget in this sphere, increased numbers of cyber departments and activity of international cyber exercises. Zhao Lijian presented the 2020 statistics that show more than 42 million cyber attacks against China's information and communication systems. More than 53% of these attacks came from the territory of the United States.
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China - Asia Pacific (The Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative)
![](https://lemmy.ml/pictrs/image/63e88ffd-d318-430b-8807-3f559cdd37ab.jpeg) Beijing is increasing its work with the South Pacific countries to expose the American general line in foreign policy in the region. China represents this as futility of new integration initiative of Washington. China is watching the new American initiative "Partners in the blue pacific" including Australia, Great Britain, USA, New Zealand and Japan with an unwavering look. In the beginning of July, the spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhao Lijian stated that Beijing is ready to welcome the real efforts of various countries for sustainable and thriving development of island states in the south part of the Pacific Ocean. But he remarked that all these undertakings should be fulfilled on a base of respecting the independence and sovereignty of sub regional countries (a dig against Washington). As if those initiatives should not lead to creation of exclusive block structures and to undermine the interests of the third parties. It is worth mentioning that rumors about an online meeting that have been spreading by the media around negotiations between Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs and 10 island states in July are far away from being true according to the diplomat. At the same time the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs started a massive targeted work with the countries of Asia Pacific on the issue of regional security. Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Jianghao presided at online Lancang-Mekong meeting and took part in videoconference of steering committees to develop biliteral cooperation between China and Vietnam, PRC and Cambodia. The head of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs Hong Liang carried out another round of talks between Chinese and Japanese delegation heads over high level consultant work on the sea affairs. And he asked to respect China's sovereignty and concern over security in the East China sea and South China sea. And warned Tokyo from any actions that possibly may aggravate the situation. Furthermore, the head of the Department of Asian Affairs of China's Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong apart from his meeting with head of diplomatic mission of Thailand in Beijing, had a lot of conversations with ambassadors of Malaysia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Sri-Lanka and Maldives and afterwards published detailed press releases that cover the issues of the Indo-Pacific region. The head expressed the known negative assessment of the Indo-Pacific strategies criticizing the G7's idea of creation of Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII). Former US Blue Dot Network initiative, building a better world, economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region the head described as actions of egoistic and primary geopolitical nature. According to him, despite all the promises, it will not be implemented at any significant scale. Liu Jinsong actively compared the interconnection and block policy. He emphasized that states of the south should not be pleased with Western global domination. Also, he marked the central role of ASEAN in the regional affairs and called for a joint cooperation to fulfil the conditions of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Also, he noticed that worsening of global problems like food supplies, energy, production and supply chains, financial security is very dependent on perturbations in domestic and foreign policy of Western countries. He paid a special attention that US dollar becomes a global issue. The Chinese side noted that Partners in the blue pacific initiative is still under investigation by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. In fact, an anti-China structure is being created or informal projection of military and technological partnership of AUKUS. Beijing understands that. At the same time China uses all opportunities to tell its partners that many initiatives from Washington, especially economic ones, are worthless. Their main aim is to gather all the allies to play geopolitical games in the Asia-Pacific. Beijing withstand the USA in all possible ways.
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Lloyd Austin's speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue
![](https://lemmy.ml/pictrs/image/883429b2-0bed-458e-a739-03dcb1ea1a6f.jpeg) On June 11, 2022, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Shangri-La summit in Singapore put emphasis on the expansion of alliances and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region to counter the regional challenges, having China in mind. The main thesis of his report was the Indo-Pacific region as the priority of US foreign policy. Among the achievements of the current American administration Austin named the development of cooperation within QUAD, creation of AUKUS, strengthening of strategic coordination with Japan and South Korea and deepening of relations with countries in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. The network of American alliances and partnerships is characterized as a guarantee of regional stability. The Pentagon's head underscored that conception of integrated deterrence is making the base for allied partnership with Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Thailand. Also, he noticed that defense cooperation with Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam goes to a new level. Austin also supported the more active integration of European countries into affairs of the Asia-Pacific. According to him this is important to widen the dialogue between the members of the North Atlantic Treaty and Asian countries. The same time Secretary of Defense tried to convince the partners that US Administration is not looking for a confrontation or creation of Asian alliance like NATO. Among the promising sectors of work with allies the head of Pentagon marked the strengthening of military potential of the regional states by joint research and development work, supply chains integration and industrial potential. He also paid attention to the importance of increasing of military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region and to maintenance of multibranch mechanism of cooperation like AUKUS, cooperation between USA, Australia and Japan, the White House initiative to increase awareness about the situation in ocean of the Indo-Pacific, which implies the active cooperation of QUAD, ASEAN and countries in the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean to fight the illegal fishing. Austin paid a special attention to the anti-Chinese subject-matter. According to him Beijing is committing more aggressive policy in the region, increasing tensions in the East China Sea and South China Sea, makes illegal activities in the territorial waters of other regional countries and provokes confrontation with India. The other important topic was a Taiwanese issue. Austin said the stakes are high and pointed at fact that supporting peace and stability in the Taiwanese Straight is a matter of international concern. He noticed the growing destabilizing activity of People's Liberation Army. And he assured that US Administration is against one-way attempts to change the status-quo and ready to continue any assistance to enforce the defense potential of the island. Many noticed the openly anti-Chinese rhetoric and tough posture on Taiwan and situation on the border between China and India. On a large scale the speech of US Secretary of Defense once again proved the intensions of US Administration to improve the net of pro-American alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, mobilization of allies under the slogan of promoting the world order based on rules and creation a zone of instability around China.
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On the US tariff policy towards China
![](https://lemmy.ml/pictrs/image/b5ed3001-ad15-456e-9748-265ddab8698d.jpeg) One of the main opponents of tariff easing is the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. On June 6, during the conference at Asia Society Policy Institute she expressed doubts about the need to link an inflationary measures exclusively with tariffs against China. She also supported the idea of a long-term strategic vision for US-China economic relations. Prior to that she stated the need to preserve the instrument of pressure in trade talks with Beijing. It is believed that Tai's statements were a reaction to the interview of Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo to CNN from June 5. The Secretary noted that the tariff reduction on a wide range of Chinese goods and products (except for tariffs on steel and aluminum) may be a reasonable decision. According to the information available, Tai's views are shared by the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and many other representatives of the US industrial lobby. It should be mentioned that most US legislators are against any kind of trade relief for Beijing. They call for a development of an American industry instead of supporting companies which subsist on supply chains linked to China. The White House is worried that the tariff relief may be used by the republicans to accuse Biden of showing weakness. As a result, Washington doesn't have a well-developed strategy for trade with China. But experts believe that the policy will be tightened. At the same time, it is proposed to increase pressure on China in other areas. Washington may start investigating China's subsidies for key industries, according to the section 301 of the Trade Act.
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The US Administration has declared its commitment to strengthening the military presence in the Asia-Pacific region with only one purpose - to deter China. In mid-May, Senate hearings were held, where Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke. Both speakers paid considerable attention to the problem of China. The head of the Pentagon announced his intention to hold a face-to-face meeting with Defense Minister of China Wei Fenghe at the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 10-12 in Singapore. He also added that it is important for the US Administration to keep contacts with Chinese counterparts as part of efforts to maintain open two-way communication channels. At the same time, the main thesis of a Lloyd Austin's speech was that China is still the main threat for the US. Washington intends to build up its military potential in the Indo-Pacific; increase the stocks of weapons and equipment and strengthen the defense infrastructure, in particular, missile and air defense on Guam according to the National Security Strategy. To do this, the budget for 2023 includes $6bn for the implementation of the Indo-Pacific initiative. Mark Milley also emphasized that within the framework of the announced by the leader of China Xi Jinping army modernization, there is also a task for the People's Liberation Army to be ready for the hypothetical seizure of Taiwan by 2027. At the same time Gen. Milley notice that this doesn't necessarily mean that China is going to seize Taiwan for real by this time. But the Beijing's striving to provide the necessary facilities for the reunification of the island deserves the closest attention. In general, the statements of the high-ranked representatives of the defense department once again demonstrated the US Administration's focus on deterrence of China. Lawmakers positively perceived this anti-Chinese sentiment. At the same time, they expressed concern over the expansion of the Republic of China Navy which is estimated to have around 460 naval ships by year 2030 against 280 ships in the US. For this reason, the main emphasis was placed on the importance of strengthening Washington's relations with its allies and partners to maintain the needed military potential in sea.
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The US government launched project aimed at providing consulting assistance to Ulaanbaatar in the energy sphere for the sake of its sustainability and independence, especially from China. In late May, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the five-year, $12mln Mongolia Energy Governance program that will be a part of USAID's Climate Change Strategy 2022-2030, which was launched on April 22. The main goal is to achieve energy independence of Mongolia from China. Washington recommended Ulaanbaatar to create conditions for the transition to renewable sources of energy in order to refuse to import it in the future. At the same time Washington actively promotes the importance of protecting the environment, which is allegedly being damaged by the current energy consumption model. Through the project, USAID will work directly with key government and private sector partners to form a favorable environment for private foreign investments and to increase adoption of modern clean energy technologies. For this purposes USAID will work closely with Mongolian state structures to reform a public procurement system; increase availability of energy projects for external control and to adjust an investment legislation. Americans promise to demonstrate the real results of the program by the example of the fight against air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. Set of measures assigned to consulting company АВТ Associates includes formation of mechanisms for the district heating modernization and implementation of new renewable energy sources. The Mongolian Renewables Industries Association will help with USAID program. They will also partner with the Stockholm and Environmental Institute, Vitelli and Associates, and Arizona State University. In general, the project carries a frank political load. Washington for once again tries to take Ulaanbaatar out of the Beijing's sphere of influence by inspiring Mongolia with the idea that the "threat" from China could be avoided by rapprochement with the US and their allies. It must be said that Ulaanbaatar seems to be easily manipulated.
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China stepped up work in the development of new types of weapons and military equipment. In this connection US and Australia are trying to level Beijing's military potential in Asia-Pacific region. In spite of sanctions pressure China continues to focus on producing new types of weapons superior to their western counterparts. According to the available data, public and state enterprises of China are planning to invest $471mln in creation of a venture capital fund, aimed at development of advanced military technology in circumvention of US sanctions. Guangzhou Haige Communications Group, China Poly Group and other companies will take part in this project. The fund should become a platform for imposing technology competition on US, stimulating innovation market, strengthening foreign ties and commercialize technologies. Besides, experts believe that costs of building ships for the People's Liberation Army Navy Beijing will compensate by civil shipbuilding. In particular, China State Shipbuilding Corp., which fulfills commercial orders for Taiwan, France, Japan and Switzerland, is now building the third aircraft carriers for the People's Liberation Army. To overcome the current situation, specialists from US recommended that Washington reorient foreign companies to Japanese and South Korean shipbuilders. According to Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a threat to the Australian Navy and other US allies in Asia-Pacific region is Chinese YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missiles that can be used as the most effective tool to counter Western fleets in the event of their attempts to enter the waters disputed by Beijing in the Western Pacific. Phased array radars of Australian Hobard-class destroyers and Anzac-class frigates may locate such missiles only within line of sight. China hypersonic missile technology is another reason for Washington and Canberra to be worried. In April 2022, Australia, Great Britain and US announced their intention to expand cooperation within AUKUS in productions of hypersonic missiles. At the same time the ramjet engine, produced by Australian Hypersonix, will help to overcome the backlog of the United States. Alongside this, US and Australia deepen coordination of their armed forces trying to form a system of complex deterrence on China in space and cyberspace. In March 2022, a meeting of the leadership of the ministries of defense of US and Australia was held at the intelligence center Pine Gap. According to the statement of the parties, Washington in working on the expansion of the digital convergence with Canberra to provide communication between space commands; to expand joint cybersecurity exercises and to improve China satellite surveillance. All of this is a result of the increasing China's military capabilities in space and cybertechnologies. Beijing announced a creation of artificial intelligence system, which will automatically recognize shock waves in wind tunnels used to develop hypersonic missiles. China also developed microwave device which can disable and destroy satellites. Moreover, China tested a hypersonic planning device capable of carrying nuclear weapon. In response to this, specialists from "CSIS" recommended Washington to deploy a sensor system in orbit to counter Chinese weapons. As a result, US signed a $32mln contract with "GEOST" to create a prototype of space-based sensors. Thus, we see that the confrontation between US and China is reaching a new level.
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The US Administration declared its commitment to deepen interaction with countries of the southern part of the Pacific Ocean and warned them against cooperation with Beijing. On hearings of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 26, Antony Blinken stated that Washington had received official assurances from Solomon Islands that they are not planning to set up a base for the needs of China. He also noted that the US will continue to monitor the situation. At the same day during the teleconference with the US Department of State's Asia Pacific Media Hub in Manila Daniel Kritenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, voiced the details of a recent trip to the southern part of the Pacific Ocean of the US delegation, led by the 1st National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell. On Fiji the American delegation met with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and held a strategic dialogue with senior members of his government. They also met with the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Secretariat to discuss a variety of topics from enhancing US engagement with the PIF to climate change and environmental resilience and coast guard cooperation. In Papua New Guinea they had a meeting with Prime Minister James Marape, the defense secretary and the chief of the armed forces of the country. They have discussed expanding security cooperation, crime prevention and regional stability. Daniel Kritenbrink did not disclose any details about the agreements reached. He also described the negotiations as productive. Taking into account the current situation in the region, it was decided to create a strategic dialogue mechanism with Solomon Islands (seems like at the level of Deputy Secretary of State). The first meeting is scheduled for September. Daniel Kritenbrink emphasized the US intention to expand the diplomatic cooperation with the southern part of the Pacific Ocean according to the US Indo-Pacific Strategy. In particular, the opening of the American diplomatic mission on Solomon Islands is planned by the end of the year. He also admitted the possibility of new official visits in foreseeable future. Daniel Kritenbrink routinely noted, that the growing influence of Beijing in Oceania poses such threats as strengthening the military presence of China, militarization of the region and uncontrollable fishing trade. At the same time Washington's double standards are striking in the example of the agreement between China and Solomon Islands. While ignoring worries of other countries about indivisible defense, Washington demonstrate its determination to oppose encroachment on the sphere of their traditional influence.
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We have an opportunity to observe how the development of relations between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries is starting to annoy Washington. The Americans are using any excuse to publicly condemn Beijing for its regional policy. American officials are intensifying their rhetoric against China and its relations with Latin American and Caribbean countries. For example, while announcing Secretary Blinken's trip to Panama a representative of the White House has made ironic comments about China-Panama relations, which had received a positive boost after visit of Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes. Moreover, on hearings of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations American officials have criticized China in every possible way for "undermining interests of the countries of the region". China was accused of disinformation and aggressive promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative and its telecom technologies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China protested such groundless accusations. They asked the United States to abandon the cold war mentality and the Monroe Doctrine and to stop exerting pressure on Latin American and Caribbean countries, forcing them to choose sides. It seems like the Americans won't even consider such possibility and will further exert their pressure to deter the Chinese influence. Many experts notice that such measures fit into Washington's overall policy against Beijing. American officials ignore natural aspiration of emerging countries to strengthen their economies and improve the quality of life of their citizens, and openly call Latin countries to wrap their cooperation with China. At the same time the Americans themselves prefer to ignore the difficult economic situation in the region, which is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unstable geopolitical situation. Moreover, draconian measures of the Federal Reserve System to tighten monetary policy negatively affect economies of emerging countries and result in the interest rate increase and slowing down the recovery after COVID-19. As it stands, all attempts of the United States to push China out of the region are immoral and egoistic. But at the same time, it is absolutely typical of the US. It is worth to be mentioned that in spite of the US irritation the Chinese aid to Latin American and Caribbean countries especially in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic fight pays its political and economic dividends. In 2021, the volume of trade with the region exceeded $450bln (+41,1%), that was the new record. Chinese relations with the heavyweights of the region have been noticeably strengthened. After the President of Argentina Fernandez visited China on February, 2022, local newspapers have widely spread his call to get rid of economic dependence from the US and Bretton Woods institutions. Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative was a significant step towards strengthening cooperation between China and Argentina. According to forecasts it will bring more than $2bln of the Chinese investments into the Argentinian economy. Moreover, the two sides also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in industrial production, agriculture, high tech and green energy. Cooperation with China has a positive effect of the Argentinian economy. In 2021, the volume of bilateral trade reached $138,1bln (+30,9%). China is the main exporter of machinery, organic chemicals, steel and fertilizers. The main products that Argentina exports to China are minerals, cotton, meat and wood. Economists believe that amid global energy transformations and technological revolution relations between China and Argentina have a strong potential in agriculture, infrastructure, digital technologies and development of low-carbon economy. Given these premises, it can be noted that in spite of Washington's policy against Beijing in Latin America, China does not give up its intentions to expand cooperation with the region. The US is outraged, but China continues to pursue its interests.
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The US Administration is highly concerned with the growing Chinese influence in Oceania and is actively trying to build up its diplomatic contacts with the region. Washington increases coordination with Canberra and Wellington. On April 13, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke with Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele about bilateral cooperation and plans to reopen the US Embassy in Honiara. Later that day Wendy Sherman had video calls with New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Chris Seed and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary Kathryn Campbell. They reached an agreement on increasing cooperation and strengthening peace and security in the region. Sherman also expressed her concern about the "current situation in the Indo-Pacific Region". A number of experts believe that there is a growing concern in the US Administration about an ongoing preparation of a security deal between China and Solomon Islands. Analysts fear that this agreement will let China built its first military base in Oceania. Washington is actively trying to involve Canberra and Wellington in its measures, aimed at containing China, because of their traditional political influence in Southern Pacific. Of particular note are the visits of the Australian spy chiefs Paul Symon and Andrew Shearer to Solomon Islands on April 6, and Federal Pacific Minister Senator Zed Seselja on April 12-13, who held meetings with Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare. According to sources familiar with the situation, The United States will send a delegation of senior officials, led by National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of the East Asia and Pacific Department Daniel Critenbrink to Solomon Islands. The main goal is to violate the agreement. For this reason, the White House is allegedly working out ways to increase the volume of practical cooperation with the region. Soon we will see whether Washington can effectively oppose Beijing in the region.
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US continue to promote the topic of intellectual property violations by Beijing. On April 8, Chinese national Xiang Haitao, who was employed by the American agricultural company Mansanto has been sentenced to 29 months in prison and a $150,000 fine for allegedly conspiring to steal trade secrets. According to the investigators, Xiang Haitao was trying to hand over to the Chinese government a copy of a Mansanto algorithm, which is used in data collection and storage and helps to increase agricultural productivity. On April 9, a court has found professor Feng Tao of the University of Kansas guilty of fraud and providing false information. Prosecutors alleged that Feng Tao concealed his affiliation with the Chinese Fuzhou University when he applied for the American government grant for research in the field of renewable energy and shale gas. This way he withheld an information about a conflict of interest and illegally received financing. Now he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division Matthew Olsen propagandistically declared on this subject, that a business espionage "undermines" a competitive ability of the American companies and carries a threat to the US national security. A number of experts emphasizes that the both cases were initiated under the US Department of Justice effort to counter Chinese espionage in American businesses - the so-called China Initiative. (By the way, on February 23, the initiative was officially ended due to allegations of racial discrimination by human rights groups). Experts also note the importance of building up efforts to counter Chinese espionage. The annual damage of such activities is estimated roughly by $600bln. Therefore, a group of parliamentarians led by senator Marco Rubio has submitted relevant draft laws for consideration by both houses of the US Parliament. Republicans offered to resume the China Initiative and this time to pay special attention to the activity of "the Chinese Communist Party agents" in the US. Moreover, according to the proposed draft laws competent departments are required to report annually to the Congress on the measures taken to protect the critical infrastructure (military facilities, universities, laboratories) and to deal with a business espionage. In general, all these measures fit perfectly into the framework of the US attempts to deter Chinese influence in different areas. The work in this direction is conducted consistently and methodically.
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The White House continues to take steps to deter expansion of the Chinese influence. The US Administration is aiming at strengthening its ties with the smaller Asia-Pacific countries to contain China in the region. In late March the US State Department appointed a senior advisor at the Asia Group and the Asia program at the US Institute of Peace Joseph Yun, who also served as US special envoy for North Korea and ambassador to Malaysia, to be Special Presidential Envoy for Compacts of Free Association (COFA) negotiations with the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. The COFAs will be up for renewal in 2023 and 2024. It should be noted that these agreements provide the US Armed Forces with access to the military infrastructure of the three countries in exchange for economic assistance. The US State Department noted, that these agreements are vitally important. The renewal of COFAs is a major task because of their strategic value for the regional security and their contribution to keeping Indo-Pacific region free and open. It was mentioned that the presence of the US Armed Forces on archipelagos, that are part of the so-called "Second Island Chain" in the Pacific Ocean, is one of the vital factors of the American leadership in Asia-Pacific Region and of the functioning of key transport corridors through the East and South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. Washington makes no secret that its policy is aimed at containing China's abilities to demonstrate power in the region. Specialists familiar with the situation believe, that by doing so the White House is sending the message that the containment of China's regional ambitions is still among the US foreign policy priorities. Political analysts also point out the geopolitical meaning of strengthening the US position in Oceania. The appointment of the veteran envoy with more than 30 years of diplomatic experience is designed to demonstrate its regional allies Washington's determination to achieve progress at forthcoming consultations. At the same time a number of experts criticize the White House for its sluggishness and the lack of decisive actions in standoff with China. As if Washington has to demonstrate its readiness to take bold measures, otherwise Beijing won't take it seriously.
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American specialists consider Beijing's growing presence in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean as an encroachment on the traditional sphere of influence of the US and as a threat to the American national interests in the region. Expert community got stirred up by the information that China and Solomon Islands have signed a security agreement. Although its terms are kept in secret, it is estimated that the new document will allegedly give the government of the archipelago an opportunity to ask China for military aid in case of civil unrest, and for disaster control. Moreover, the People's Liberation Army's ships will be able to use archipelago's port infrastructure, particularly, for defending China's projects and Chinese workers on Solomon Islands. According to the specialists' research, if all of it is true, then the agreement is going to be the most massive and comprehensive deal among the agreements China has with countries of the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. In this contest, specialists also underline the strategic importance of the archipelago's location within the so-called "Second Island Chain", availability of deep-sea bays and natural resources in the country. All in all, further strengthening of China in the Pacific Ocean will provoke serious concerns in the White House. Political analysts remind, that during his "historical" visit to Oceania (Australia and Fiji) on February Antony Blinken announced the US would reopen its embassy on the Solomon Island, which was shuttered 30 years ago. This decision is seen as an attempt to curb the China's growing influence in this part of the World. By the way, the decision of Solomon Island to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China in 2019 was badly received by the region. Many believe that the US Administration will exert every effort to prevent any further security agreement between China and Solomon Islands. US will involve in this its regional allies - Australia and New Zealand. Something tells me that we are going to see the actual steps of the US pretty soon.
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For once again the US make an effort to contain China. Recently the Federal Communications Commission revoked a license of the Chinese telecommunication corporation Pacific Networks and its subsidiary ComNet LLC. American regulator stated that these companies were banned over national security concerns as they were controlled be the Chinese government. And there is more to come. At the same time the US Customs and Borders Protection banned all goods made by one of the largest Chinese sportswear producer Li-Ning. The Department stated that the company was accused of using North Korean labor in its supply chains and that it is against fundamental human rights. That was amusing to hear as earlier the same measures were implemented under the pretext of countering forced labor of the Uigurs in Xinjiang. And that is not all. The New York State Attorney's Office brought in action several cases on attempts of Chinese secret services to put pressure on expat community and to organize a surveillance of the most prominent dissidents. Three American and two Chinese citizens have been charged with working in the US on behalf of the Ministry of State Security of China. With a touch of propagandism the Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department's National Security Division declared that American authorities intend to make every effort possible to stand against repressive policies of authoritarian Beijing in the US According to authorities, Chinese intelligence agency tried to expose a certain politician of Asian origin to prevent his nomination to the US House of Representatives. It is believed that this information is referred to Yang Xiong, who is seeking nomination from Democratic Party. It is worth mentioning that Washington is stepping up its pressure on Beijing on all fronts. As a matter of principle, American politicians make no secret of their long-run objective to deter Chinese technological and industrial development to the limit. The vector is set, and now they are just following it. At the same time, the American side also demonstrate its determination to oppose "malicious influence" of the Chinese Communist Party abroad.
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One notable fact came to the front recently. Washington and London demonstrate their mutual interest in buildup of cooperation in Asia-Pacific Region (APR) in a wide range of aspects. In mid-March the White House press service stated that on 7-8 of March the United Kingdom and United States held high-level consultations on the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR). The exact place and format of the meeting was not mentioned. The US delegation included the Indo-Pacific Coordinator at the National Security Council Kurt Campbell and representatives of the Department of State and Pentagon. The UK delegation was led by Deputy National Security Advisor David Quarrey. A joint statement was released following the meeting. It was announced that London and Washington will create a conversation mechanism on issues of the IPR. Representors from the National Security Council and Ministries of Foreign Affairs will sit in it. The primary objective will be to coordinate implementation of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and the UK's Indo-Pacific tilt, as set out in its Integrated Review. In the joint statement Washington, London and European partners vowed to enhance their engagement with the region and to prepare to meet the challenges of systematic cooperation with China. They reaffirmed the importance of the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait; discussed Hong Kong; expressed the support of the centrality of ASEAN and the will to advance cooperation with India, countries of the South Pacific Ocean and ASEAN itself. They also noted some progress made on AUKUS and for once again reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the delivery of conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines to Canberra to promote stability in the region. As for economic cooperation, participants focused attention on cooperation in APR through supporting "green" transitions as part of the Clean Green Initiative and Build Back Better World agendas. They emphasized the importance of collaboration on emerging technologies and opposing any economic coercion (under which is surely meant China); and, finally, expressed their discontent with Beijing's behavior, especially in regards to Australia. Surely such consultations are just a part of Washington's effort to push military and financial potential of its European partners to follow American policies. It is worth to be mentioned that lately the US Administration significantly extended political contacts on different levels with the UK and EU to seal western presence in APR, firstly, in matters of security.
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In March the Congressional Research Service released a report called "China Naval Modernization: Implications for US Navy Capabilities". The report emphasizes an accelerated modernization of the People's Liberation Army Navy that poses a great threat to the leadership of the US in Asia-Pacific Region (APR). According to authors, by year 2025 Chinese Navy will consist of 420 ships, and by year 2030 - of 460. Beijing is planning to pass into service its third Type 003 aircraft carrier, new Type 096 ballistic missiles nuclear submarines, unmanned surface and undersea vehicles. The report also notes that China is pursuing the objective of power projection beyond the first island chain (Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia). Beijing is believed to intend to challenge the US Navy in the Western Pacific and to get sea trade routes under control. Among other problems the report mentions the strengthening of the positions of the Chinese Navy in the water areas of East and South China seas and the Taiwan Strait; the executing operations in waters (anti-piracy and anti-drug campaigns); disaster control (China's participation in the organization of humanitarian supplies for the Kingdom of Tonga in January-February is given as an example). People's Liberation Army Navy is seen as an essential part of Chinese anti-access/area denial policy. Beijing is allegedly trying to increase its potential in sea to impede US Navy operations in areas of its strategic interests. It is believed that achieving of this goal by China will undermine the status of the US as the leading naval power. The Pentagon is recommended to include Asia-Pacific forces in its joint exercises and to implement in the US Navy new combat platforms. The importance of completing the work on the concept of overcoming Chinese anti-access/area denial policy potential was also emphasized. All in all, it is worth mentioning that accelerated modernization and expansion of the Chinese Navy is still in focus of the expert community. At the same time specialists are fully aware of Beijing's ambition to build a modern fleet with global reach. The report appeals for The US Administration and Congress to take additional actions to deter Chinese military activity in APR. Without doubt American authorities are fully aware of this fact and will do everything necessary to contain China. As usual Beijing will have to face an opposition from Washington.
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It is worth mentioning that American specialists are highly concerned by the rapid increase of China's capabilities in cyberspace. This being said, they are calling the US Administration and the Congress more and more insistently to work out measures to strengthen "defensive digital line" of the US. In early March the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (which is under direct supervision of the President and the Congress) held a hearing on potential threats from China in cyberspace. Specialists believe that the rapid development of China's capabilities in this sphere poses a threat to the US national security and safety of its allies. Participants stressed out the practical importance of the People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force who are in charge of space, cyber, and electronic warfare and security. Experts presume that international operations of Chinese hackers are curated by the Ministry of State Security of China. Intellectual property theft and disinformation were also among the named threats. Specialists mentioned vulnerabilities of the American information infrastructure and the lack of highly-qualified personnel. Countermeasures of the US Administration which include putting Chinese enterprises to the restrictive list were also called insufficient. It seemed at the hearing that all Chinese companies are considered as a potential threat, as they have to pass all the information and technological developments to the central authorities according to the Chinese Communist Party policy aimed at achieving interrelationship of private enterprises and defense industry. Analytics suggested the Congress to develop special initiatives which will increase funding for research on neutralization of malicious software, and to expand the amount of visa quotas for IT specialists from abroad. The importance of strengthening the public-private partnership was especially emphasized. American enterprises (such as Google LLC and Microsoft Corporation) are apparently obliged to inform the government about any threats to critical infrastructure. Expansion of the restrictive list of Chinese companies and deepening cooperation with partners and allies also were among voiced proposals. It is worth mentioning that a number of authoritative political scientists called the Congress for early pass on the US Innovation and Competition Act which also contains measures of threat relief in cyberspace. The US are forced to operate within free market standards that impose certain restrictions. We will follow the further action of Beijing.
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The US Administration is building up pressure on Chinese enterprises under a pretext of their alleged connections to defense industry of China. Moreover, Washington is accusing Beijing in theft of technology. The United States Department of Commerce added to its restrictive list 33 Chinese companies that are operating in knowledge-intensive sectors (research centers and production of hi-tech machinery). The official motive was that the purchased in the US production is allegedly used for prohibited by the American export control purposes (e.g. aiding development of the Chinese defense industry). It should be noted that due to the lack of clear evidence of illegal activities of these companies, they are added to the so-called "unverified list" of businesses. As a result of this decision export licenses for the supply of goods and technologies for mentioned companies were suspended. Experts note that enterprises involved could be excluded form the list if Beijing allow American side to inspect them. At the same time the US Department of Justice charged Chinese telecommunications company Hytera with "stealing trade secrets", in particular American mobile radio technology. According to investigators, as a result of conspiring with employees of Motorola Solutions Inc. the Chinese enterprise had allegedly received confidential information that allowed Hytera to develop its own products and promote them on the American market. If the criminal case proves successful, the enterprise would face fine of three times the value of the stolen trade secrets, including R&D costs. The exact amount of the fine is not specified. It is worth mentioning that Hytera was previously included by the US President Biden in the list of companies that pose a threat to US national security. The enterprise is prohibited from obtaining licenses form regulatory authorities. Under Trump the use of telecommunication equipment of Hytera by publicly funded companies was limited. All in all, the new steps taken by the American administration are in line with Washington's efforts to undermine economic and technological potential of China.
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