Just before the Winter Olympics in China, Putin and X meet and signed a strategy joint statement, a treaty for energy projects including a new pipeline which could compensate Russia´s North Stream 2 and European gas pipelnies and rumors spread that Xi was asking Putin to postpone his invasion in Ukraine after the Olympic Games.
The Global Timesreported about the opening of the Winter Olympics and about the symbolic meaning of the snowflake jogo and then immediately about the joint Xi-Putin statement. China and Russia are the only two states in the world that oppose US hegemony The China and Russia threat theory must be overcome, as well as cold war thinking and zero-sum thinking and NATO must forego further eastward expansion. New keyword:The 4 consensuses.
However the Olympic Games ended on February 20th and Putin started his war against Ukraine on February 24th. Might be coiincedence or not, however now everybody believes in the China and Russia threat and now it is not a Cold War thinking, but a hot war. Maybe China thought that Putin will achieve a Blitzkrieg voctory and China then could have a Biltzkrieg against Taiwan and thereby immediately establish it hoed-for New multipolar World Order. After Putin is stuck ,the next reaction of China at its National People´s Congress is:
China is increasing its military spending more than in recent years. Because Beijing is confronted with a tense neighborhood. At the same time, China is threatening Taiwan. China announces sharply increasing military budget: better combat readiness, more technology. • Experts expect a lot of attention for the Navy, for example for more new ships and transport aircraft. Shortly before China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang opened the National People’s Congress* in Beijing on Saturday morning, a report from North Korea caused a stir: the regime of ruler Kim Jong-un has fired a ballistic missile. It is North Korea’s ninth missile test this year. The fact that ruler Kim is conducting the test at the beginning of the most important political event of the year in China is a particular affront to Beijing. But when Li Keqiang* appeared a little later in the Hall of the People in front of around 3,000 delegates, he didn’t mention the test with a syllable. Not even the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the new missile defense system that South Korea tested a few days ago. And yet all these developments play an important role in Beijing’s decision: China’s military spending is to be increased by a whopping 7.1 percent this year. They rise to the equivalent of 230 billion US dollars. However, it is clear to every observer: China’s military * will receive significantly more generous funds in practice. „The real spending on the military is far greater,“ says Timothy Heath of the renowned US think tank Rand Corporation. „Many areas are simply not included, such as spending on research and development,“
But it is precisely there, in high technology, that China* will invest massively in the coming years. „China wants to develop military capabilities in order to be able to carry out more far-reaching missions in the future and thus assert its interests abroad.“ Heath calls the Belt and Road Initiative the prestige project of China’s President Xi Jinping*. „If partner countries conclude that China cannot provide the necessary security, they will seriously limit their participation in these projects,“ Heath believes. This was in line with Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s remarks to the National People’s Congress: „We will improve military training and combat readiness.“ The country will remain steadfast in order to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests. The logistics and administration systems of the Chinese military are to be modernized more quickly and a modern weapon and equipment procurement system is to be set up. Li demanded,´
„Authorities at all levels must support the development of national defense and armed forces, so that military-government unity, as well as military-society unity, remain rock-solid.“ An arms race looms in Asia The increase in military spending by 7.1 percent is noteworthy from several points of view: On the one hand, it is rising more strongly than in previous years – after 6.6 percent in 2020 and 6.8 percent in 2021. And that despite the corona pandemic, despite a difficult global economic situation and despite massive problems on the domestic real estate market. In addition, the 7.1 percent for the military is well above the targeted economic growth of 5.5 percent – and even more significantly above the 3.9 percent by which all other spending in the Chinese budget is to increase. This makes it clear that the leadership in Beijing is focusing this year on strengthening the armed forces.
Russia has asked China for weapons. Both states are already cooperating militarily, but deliveries would involve Beijing directly in the Ukraine war. A friendship that also involves weapons Jake Sullivan, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, and China’s top foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi, met in Rome on Monday. The official statements afterwards were sparse given that the two spent seven hours discussing the tense US-Chinese relationship and the Ukraine war with their high-ranking delegations. It was no coincidence that shortly before the meeting, the US government announced that at the end of February Russia had not only asked Beijing for economic aid against the consequences of Western sanctions, but had also demanded military support. The US wanted to increase political pressure on China’s pro-Russian stance in the Ukraine war. In Beijing, on the other hand, it was said that the request had not even existed. The US government told its allies in Europe and Asia that Russia has requested five types of military equipment from Beijing, including surface-to-air missiles, drones, armored vehicles, logistics vehicles and intelligence equipment, according to the Financial Times. And China’s government is said to have signaled its willingness to help Russia militarily, which doesn’t have to mean much at first.
According to the Financial Times, the US information also does not reveal whether China intends to help Russia in the future or whether it has already begun providing military support. It is conceivable that Russia is interested in Chinese weapons. After all, the regime in Moscow completely underestimated Ukraine’s resilience. But the question is: would China really deliver? On the one hand, China’s government has already more or less openly supported Russian President and war leader Vladimir Putin. Since the beginning of the war, China has made at best vague statements calling for a peaceful solution and declaring that it refuses to condemn Russia for its war in Ukraine. In China, NATO and the United States are officially held responsible for the fighting in Ukraine, and Moscow’s „security concerns“ are understood. China also rejects Western economic sanctions against Russia. In line with Russian language conventions, Chinese government spokesmen dismiss the term „invasion“ and prefer to use the euphemism „military operation“. Anti-Western conspiracy myths and reports of neo-Nazis in the Ukrainian army and political leadership are also being circulated in China’s state media.
On the other hand, at least the desire for arms deliveries from China would be surprising at first, because up to now it has been the other way around. China has long bought weapons from Russia, such as fighter jets and surface-to-air missile systems. And Russia has helped China develop new weapons. Therefore, armaments experts for China assume that it has not yet sold any weapon systems to Russia. China is now developing many systems itself. Alexander Gabuev, who does a lot of work on Russian-Chinese relations at the Moscow office of the Carnegie Endowment think tank, therefore believes that the Russian request at the end of February may be more a part of ongoing Sino-Russian military cooperation and not necessarily directly related to Putin’s war. What the Russian military is particularly interested in is new Chinese attack drones, for example, but with such deals it would take months for the hardware to be delivered and ready for use, says Gabuev. In any case, China’s official line is that it is neutral in the Ukraine war and can mediate.
But that has actually no longer been possible since Xi Jinping’s personal close ranks with Vladimir Putin at the beginning of the Olympic Games, when the Russian became a special guest for Xi through the diplomatic boycott of the Games by a large part of Western countries. It also remains unclear to what extent Putin informed Xi about his plans to actually attack all of Ukraine. The fact that China is not neutral, as it claims, is also recognized in the political advisory scene in the country, and the pro-Russia position is not shared unanimously. An article by political scientist Hu Wei, vice chairman of an institute affiliated with the State Council in Beijing, was published on a US website over the weekend. Hu harshly criticizes (in Chinese and English) Vladimir Putin, his war and the dangers it poses to China. He says Putin’s war has sparked a major controversy in China, in which „proponents and opponents have divided into two irreconcilably opposed sides.“ In China, the article was immediately blocked. How far such critical voices penetrate into the inner circle around party leader Xi Jinping and influence political decisions is not known.
What is certain is that Putin is hoping that his new friend Xi will cushion the serious economic consequences of the war sanctions. Just on Sunday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Russian state TV that the West is pressuring China to restrict trade with Russia, but that he is confident that relations with China will continue to improve. Russia is currently unable to use around $300 billion worth of frozen financial reserves, „that’s about half of the reserves we had,“ Siluanov said. Because of the funds frozen by the US, EU and other countries, Russia is having trouble meeting some commitments and paying off some debts. On the other hand, despite all the friendship with the Russian president, it is currently difficult to imagine that Xi Jinping wants to bear the costs of Putin’s war debts. There are good reasons for this: Xi wants stability, he has an important party congress to attend this year; China set for 30-year slowest growth in 2022; the national economy is plagued by structural crises such as the escalated real estate market, and zero-Covid against Corona is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain. Also, due to heavy rain, China’s 2022 wheat harvest could be the worst in a very long time. Rising world market prices due to Russia’s isolation for oil, gas and wheat – all products that China has to import in large quantities – are cause for concern.
For the time being, trade relations with the economic blocs EU and USA or with Japan and South Korea in East Asia should be more important for China than the rather small and one-sided trade with Russia. If China’s government were now to deliver weapons to Russia, even as a long-term project, it would no longer be discreetly buffering sanctions, but would take an open position – and be drawn into the Ukraine war by Russia. The result would be a serious rupture in China’s relations with the United States, which would affect the Europeans as allies and be directly affected by the war in Ukraine. Eastern Europe would become a heavily armed zone, with NATO on the one hand and Russia with China on the other. It is not known how far Xi Jinping goes in his rejection of liberal states and US geopolitics, which he shares with Putin.
For Ukraine itself, the story of Russia’s desire for weapons has bitter traits, because without Ukrainian help China’s modern military would probably not exist, at least not at this point in time. Ukraine has for the past few decades provided China with military technology it couldn’t get elsewhere, two Washington Post contributors have pointed out. China’s first aircraft carrier, for example, was an unfinished Soviet model that landed in China from Ukraine under dubious circumstances, rumored to be a casino. Technology for China’s naval missile defense radar and modern jet engines also came from Ukraine. It is therefore sad for Ukraine that China is now on Russia’s side.
Can China help end the war in Ukraine? Green EU politician Reinhard Bütikofer doesn’t think that’s a good idea and speaks of „cheap warm words for Ukraine“. Even almost two weeks after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine*, there is no sign of a diplomatic solution to the conflict. On the contrary: the previous rounds of negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian representatives have hardly brought any concrete results. And that one cannot trust Vladimir Putin* had already been shown in the run-up to the war, when the Russian President openly discussed his plans with Western heads of state and government such as Olaf Scholz* and Emmanuel Macron* at his XXL table in the Kremlin and had lied . This is not a good prerequisite for negotiations on an equal footing. The hopes of some observers are now resting on China*. Couldn’t Russia*’s big and powerful neighbor intervene diplomatically in the Ukraine war? Neither the Europeans nor the USA* could „be the mediators, that’s clear,“ EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a newspaper interview last Saturday (March 5). „It has to be China.“ During a conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, he asked Beijing* to „support the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine and bring about an immediate ceasefire,“ Borrell explained a little later. Ukraine itself is also hoping for Beijing to play a mediating role: „Chinese diplomacy has sufficient tools to make a difference, and we are counting on their efforts to be successful,“ said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
In fact, China has already brought itself into the war as a mediator – albeit very cautiously. At a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress* on Monday, Foreign Minister Wang said his country was „ready to work with the international community as needed to initiate necessary mediation efforts.“ What that means exactly remains unclear at first. Especially since Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian only added a day later that China supports all diplomatic efforts and wants to play a „constructive role“ in promoting peace talks. China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping * said something similar on Tuesday in a conversation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Xi called on the two warring parties to „maintain the momentum of negotiations, overcome difficulties and continue talks,“* Chinese state television said. Andrew Small of the think tank German Marshall Fund believes that China only wants to support mediation and not intervene itself. „Beijing does not want to take on the role of mediator at the moment,“ says the China expert Beijing would be the wrong choice for Small anyway. „China does not have the necessary expertise in relation to Ukraine and European security to be able to really mediate here.“ The green* EU politician and China expert Reinhard Bütikofer doubts that China is „willing and able to play an effective mediating role. Shortly before the start of the war, China agreed to a fundamental, strategic anti-USA and anti-NATO alliance with Russia. So far, public statements from China on Russian aggression against Ukraine have all been characterized by a great deal of understanding for Russia’s imperial demands and cheap, warm words for Ukraine.”
So far, China has not been able to bring itself to a clear condemnation of Russia. Instead, Beijing refuses to speak of an „invasion“ of Ukraine and emphasizes its ties to Russia*. „No matter how treacherous the international storm, China and Russia will uphold their strategic resolve and push forward the comprehensive cooperative partnership in the new era,“ Foreign Minister Wang said on Monday. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are also considered close friends who have met almost 40 times. China calls for „extreme restraint“ in Ukraine war Beijing continues to avoid criticizing Russia for invading Ukraine. Instead, Premier Li has criticized the sanctions, saying they are harming „the world’s economic recovery.“ China calls for „extreme restraint“ in Ukraine war However, China expert Small does not see the close relationship between Beijing and Moscow as a problem. „China’s mediation has proven particularly useful when dealing with ‚friends‘ like North Korea*,“ he says. „But Beijing was ready to put pressure on these friends.“ In the case of Putin, this is unlikely because Xi Jinping has made it clear „that he will not take any steps that would damage Sino-Russian relations.“
In the past, China had repeatedly acted as a mediator, for example in the six-party talks with North Korea that took place in Beijing from 2003. China has also been involved in the peace process in Afghanistan* since 2015. And in 2007, under pressure from Beijing, the government of Sudan approved the deployment of UN troops in the Darfur region. When Xi called Macron and Scholz on Tuesday, he emphasized that China was ready to coordinate with France, Germany and the EU – but he did not mention the United States. Whenever China knows a country or an issue well and is willing to work with Western powers, it can play a helpful role, says Small. In the case of Ukraine, however, “none of this applies”.
For China, there is a lot at stake in the Ukraine war, especially economically. Premier Li Keqiang* announced on Saturday that the country’s economy would grow by just 5.5 percent this year, also due to the international situation – the lowest value in three decades. China is the most important trading partner of Ukraine*, which supplies Beijing with grain and weapons, among other things, and has been part of the New Silk Road* since 2019. The economic ties between China and Russia, which share a 4,000-kilometer border, are also close: China has been Moscow’s largest trading partner since 2010, and China gets the oil, gas and minerals it needs for its economy from Russia. Added to this are China’s global ambitions. As a world power, the country cannot simply look the other way when a conflict threatens to upset the entire international order.
However, there is not just the war in Ukraine, but the revival of Covid in China depsite its Zero-Covid strategy. Southern China’s economic center Shenzhen which is its high-tech metropolis and hometwon for Huawie is in lockdown China is closing down one metropolis after the other because of Corona. Omikron is likely to prevent the country from achieving its growth target. The highly contagious omicron variant continues to spread in China, causing outbreaks in several regions. There were 1,337 new Covid 19 cases on Sunday, the National Health Commission said on Monday. The authorities in mainland China have already reported more Covid 19 cases this year than in all of 2021. The tension in the authorities can also be clearly felt in Beijing: queues of hundreds of meters formed in front of the test centers on Monday. More and more housing blocs are sealed off. In the Xibahe Zhongli residential complex, health workers in white body suits have set up four blue tents, in which the residents queue for the regular tests themselves until midnight. In the southern metropolis Shenzhen, the lockdown has been in effect for all 17.5 million residents since Sunday evening. They are not allowed to leave their apartment complexes this week. Local public transport is suspended, office buildings remain closed and ships are no longer to be loaded at Yantian port This makes the tech metropolis bordering Hong Kong the most serious victim of China’s „zero Covid“ policy to date. Shenzhen is the third most important economic center in China after Beijing and Shanghai. Its added value is almost as high as that of Austria.
On Monday, the Health Commission reported local infections in 56 cities. In the last two days there have been over 5,000 infections – each one leading to mass testing and lockdowns. In Shanghai, too, everyday life is increasingly resembling a de facto lockdown: residents are instructed not to leave the city if possible. Passenger planes were diverted to other cities. The situation is similar in the east coast city of Qingdao. It’s only a matter of time before the next economic metropolis closes down. Last but not least, with Jilin in the northeast of the country, an entire province that is about twice the size of Hungary in terms of area is cordoned off. 24 million people live there. The Volkswagen Group, which operates several production sites there together with a Chinese state-owned company, has already had to temporarily close three plants.
Omicron paralyzes domestic consumption The growth target of 5.5 percentage points set for 2020 is unlikely to be achieved. Even before the omicron eruptions, the goal was extremely ambitious, but now it is utopian. It can be felt everywhere that the virus is not only reducing travel to a minimum, but also massively paralyzing domestic consumption. Many Chinese are afraid of going to restaurants or shopping malls unnecessarily if they are retrospectively identified as possible contacts of corona cases and sent to quarantine. And yet the leading epidemiologists make it clear: the “zero Covid” strategy will continue to be adhered to despite a recent debate. The only possible exit plan was missed last year: Biontech was about to have its MRNA vaccine produced for China with the pharmaceutical company Fosun. But China’s government still refuses to approve all foreign vaccines. The domestic vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac offer protection against severe courses in principle – but not to the extent that the government is willing to risk an easing. Because in many parts of the country the health system is only rudimentarily developed.
Howver, independent of what critics think of China as a mediator,the Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang now defends China’s behavior in the Ukraine war in an opinion piece in the Washington US President Joe Biden will speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping this Friday. The White House said on Thursday that the talks would be about „keeping the lines of communication open“ and discussing competition between the two countries and Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. Earlier on Monday, Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi met in Rome.Before Biden iwassending a high-level delegation to Taiwan as Pompeo and Republicans were doing the same. Both have been criticized by the Global Times, although it believes the purpose is for Biden to show the DDP red lines about a conflict with China in the midst of the Ukraine war.
“Biden sends former officials to Taiwan to ‚offset Pompeo‘, pacify DPP
A bipartisan US delegation of former senior defense and security officials landed in Taiwan island on Tuesday amid the escalating Ukraine crisis, which was hyped by some Western media and Taiwan secessionists as a prelude to Taiwan’s future.
The Washington-proposed visit was described as a „surprise“ by Taiwan media, as the sudden tour overlaps with the Taiwan visit of former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which is scheduled to start on Wednesday. Both the delegation and Pompeo are expected to meet with Taiwan’s regional leader Tsai Ing-wen, but at different time.
Chinese experts said that in addition to the vocal support for Taiwan’s secessionist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority, which is now mired in public opposition and skepticism for its reliance on a US that abandons its allies, the Biden administration also aims to offset impact of former secretary of state, who has ambitions for the 2024 presidential election.
The White House National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, said on Monday that the delegation’s visit is meant to convey consistent support for peace in the Taiwan Straits. In July, 2021, Campbell said the Biden administration does not support „Taiwan independence.“
The delegation’s visit met with strong opposition from the Chinese mainland.
„It is futile for the US to send anyone to show its so-called support for Taiwan,“ Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Tuesday’s routine press briefing.
The delegation is being led by the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, who was a top military official under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and also includes Meghan O’Sullivan, a former deputy national security advisor under Bush, and Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense under Obama, Taiwan media reported.
Wang urged the US to abide by the one-China principle, stop any form of official exchanges with the Taiwan authority and prudently handle the Taiwan question so as not to further seriously damage the overall situation of China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, said Tuesday that no pro-Taiwan action can change the fact that Taiwan is a part of China, nor can it stop China’s reunification process.
Zhu said emboldening Taiwan by colluding with external forces will not bring about the security or well-being of the Taiwan people, and will only further turn Taiwan into an anti-China pawn of external forces and accelerate the demise [of the secessionist authority].
Pacify, balance and offset
Officials from Taiwan’s external affairs authority expressed gratitude for the delegation’s visit, saying it shows the US‘ solid support for the island. The visit comes less than a year after US President Joe Biden sent former US Senator Christopher Dodd to lead a delegation to Taiwan.
However, many Taiwan people, who have witnessed endless US arms sales and the DPP authority’s decision to lift import bans of ractopamine-enhanced pork from the US, suspect that the US is trying to raise the price of its protection fee for Taiwan during this trip.
The US‘ refusal to send troops to Ukraine has made diehard Taiwan secessionists who harbor wishful thinking over Washington even more anxious, with some of them starting to criticize Tsai’s pro-US line, Chang Ya-chung, the president of the Sun Yat-sen School in Taiwan and a member of Taiwan’s major opposition party KMT, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
He said US delegation’s visit is more of a show of support for the DPP, which is mired in opposition, and aimed at pacifying secessionists.
According to the latest poll on February in Taiwan, more than half of adults do not appreciate or have doubts about the US‘ handling of the Ukraine crisis, as they want to know if the US would treat Taiwan in the same way it treats Ukraine.
According to Chang, if Taiwan, instigated by the US, provokes a war with the mainland, it would be impossible for Washington to send troops, as the Taiwan question is China’s internal affairs, which means the legal basis for US intervention is weaker than that of the Ukraine crisis.
Yuan Zheng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that besides ostensibly seeking to placate Taiwan, the US is also sending a signal to the mainland that the Biden administration will not follow in the footsteps of Donald Trump by sending a sitting senior official to Taiwan, as the latest visit follows the model of Christopher Dodd’s visit last year.
Despite the discrepancy between Biden’s words and deeds on the Taiwan question, he still stressed that he would stick to the one-China policy.
Yuan said, „He [Biden] knows that sending an incumbent official to Taiwan at this time will cause high tensions across the Taiwan Straits and in China-US relations.“
The US does not want to see a reunified China, nor does it want a war in the Taiwan Straits amid the Ukraine crisis, said Yuan.
The Biden administration is also facing pressure from the opposition camp. US media said the Biden administration declined to comment on the fact that the tour is overlapping with Pompeo’s, who has repeatedly blamed Biden for not taking the defense of Taiwan seriously.
„Since Pompeo, a Republican who has ambitions for the 2024 election, is also scheduled to visit the island soon, the Democratic administration wants to offset a negative impact ahead of Pompeo’s trip,“ said Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies and a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Some analysts said Biden’s sudden dispatch of the delegation may have been an attempt to „draw red lines“ for the upcoming meeting between Tsai and Pompeo to avoid angering China at a time of instability, while at the same time offsetting the impact of Pompeo’s trip.
According to Lü, Pompeo will boast that the Republicans are „the reliable guardian“ and that the DPP should not support the Democrats, and „he might say the facts in Ukraine prove the Democrats‘ weakness.“
In general, this [Taiwan visit] is a result caused by the internal partisan struggle in the US against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, rather than a move that is aimed at provoking the Chinese mainland, but the DPP authority will find it awkward to handle this, as it is hard to maintain a balance between the ruling Democrats and a former Trump administration official, experts said.
The mainland is being calm, as the number of military aircraft exercising and patrolling around the island of Taiwan remain as usual, and there has been no sign of increasing large naval drills recently as far as the general public is aware of,said Lü
„The world is chaotic enough at the moment. As long as the DPP authority and the US don’t make new extreme provocations, the mainland is unlikely to take new action. China will continue to play a role in stabilizing the international community rather than add more uncertainties, and the mainland will promote the peaceful solution of the Taiwan question with the greatest patience and sincerity,“ Lü noted.
Meanwhile, the Global Times says that the delegations only wanted to reassure the DDP that the US would not abandon Taiwan, but these are empty promises, even if the DDP showered Pompeo with medals and fattened him up, the uestion whteher Tsai would get politcial asylum in the USA would depend on its usefulness to the US
“DPP kowtows to welcome Washington’s ‚bigwigs‘: Global Times editorial
By Global Times Published: Mar 02, 2022 01:06 AM
The news that former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo will pay a visit to the island of Taiwan on Wednesday was announced by foreign media several days ago. No one had anticipated that the Biden administration would have preempted it with a visit by his own delegation.
On Tuesday afternoon, US President Joe Biden dispatched a „heavyweight delegation“ of five former high-level military officers and national security officials to the island. They received the red carpet treatment from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), a groveling reception that is anticipated to be repeated when Pompeo arrives on Wednesday.
This comes at a time when the morale of the DPP authority remains low and its confidence in the US has been seriously eroded. The panic of the DPP authority is very self-evident. The Biden administration has become aware of this mind-set and is worried that the small pawn of the US in East Asia to „contain Beijing“ will be shaken. To this end, Biden suddenly made up his mind to send this delegation in a bid to ease the DPP authority’s panic. Although members of the delegation are former senior Washington officials, Biden’s „dispatch“ has given the group an official status. Just as a spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said previously, the so-called distinction of „official“ and „unofficial“ is just a cover for their „deception.“
Why are those sent to Taiwan all former military officers and senior national security officials? The Biden administration has taken great pains in making the decision. Such an arrangement has an „advantage“ – these people can talk as big as possible. They can say whatever the DPP authority hopes to hear and the US government does not have to take any responsibility for it. One can even imagine the kind of conversation that would take place between them. It will be nothing more than lines just like „Don’t worry too much, we won’t leave you alone.“ But apart from the self-deceiving DPP authority and the „Taiwan independence“ secessionist forces, very few people on the island of Taiwan believe such a trick. This is simply because as long as the DPP authority does not stop its „independence-seeking“ moves, no one can guarantee their safety.
Of course, with the DPP authority in such a desperate situation, as long as some Americans can visit the island and put on a show, they will feel excited. There are even crowds of people in Taiwan rushing to curry favor with an infamous troublemaker like Pompeo. However, no matter how hard the DPP authority searches for beautiful words to flatter Pompeo, they cannot change the fact that he was called the „worst secretary of state in history“ in the US. When Pompeo held this position, a US media outlet bluntly said he was „spurned by many foreign allies, ridiculed by adversaries, disliked by a significant number of his own diplomats“ and he had „damaged the State Department’s reputation, built over centuries of service and sacrifice.“
The DPP authority has racked its brains on how to receive Pompeo. It was reported by Taiwan media that regional leader Tsai Ing-wen will award an order of some kind to Pompeo, and a few „DPP lawmakers“ are vying to invite him to visit different counties and cities on the island to taste Taiwan food, saying they won’t allow Pompeo to go back until he is full and cannot eat anything more.
Of course, it’s common to see the DPP authority do this. In recent years, in order to collude with external forces and solicit their support for the so-called path of „resisting the mainland and protecting Taiwan,“ the DPP authority has bought US weapons and asked Taiwan residents to eat US‘ poisoned pork containing ractopamine. So what if they really won’t allow Pompeo to return until he is quite full?
However, the safety of the DPP authority cannot be guaranteed even if it treats Pompeo and his like with the Taiwan people’s life-blood. For US politicians like Pompeo, Taiwan is nothing more than a pawn to be taken advantage of. Facts have also proven time and again that serving as a pawn of the US always results in a tragic ending. No matter what flamboyant commitments Washington has made, at the critical moment, what it cares about is always the US‘ interests.
How can Taiwan island get what others have not been able to get from the US? The DPP authority knows this well. Therefore, any disturbance or trouble in the world will make the DPP authority upset as a frightened bird, as if their dead end is approaching. Recently, the DPP authority has quietly stepped up their precautions, starting an inventory of air-raid shelters. For the DPP authority, the nightmare of „being abandoned by the US“ is lingering, therefore, as illusory as the clichés of US bipartisan „rock-solid“ commitments to Taiwan are, they will be cherished by the DPP authority as a life-saving straw.
Two groups of former US high-ranking officials will be visiting Taiwan. This is something of a coincidence, but it’s not entirely accidental. The US has in recent years ratcheted up its actions to „use Taiwan to contain China,“ which has objectively instigated the „Taiwan independence.“ But the attempt to „rely on the US to seek independence“ is doomed to fail. Tsai probably has become aware of this, otherwise why has she practiced how to escape in many exercises? When that day comes, whether the Americans would help Tsai flee the island depends on her usefulness.
However the DDP affiliated pan-Green Taipeh Times portrays this meetings in another point of view. The Global Times didn’t report on that Taiwan wants to become a member of the Quad. But propably the Indians will be against a Taiwanese membership in the Quad and even the Biden administration: .
“Taiwan wants to join the Quad, Lai tells delegation
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday conveyed Taiwan’s desire to join the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) to a visiting US delegation.
During a meeting with the bipartisan delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, Lai said he hopes progress could be made on a Taiwan-US bilateral trade agreement, as well as on Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
He also expressed a desire for Taiwan to join the Quad, a strategic security dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia.
“The visit by this delegation has important implications for security in the Indo-Pacific. Taiwanese have largely welcomed the visit and it has boosted morale in Taiwan,” Lai said.
Lai said he expects progress on trade and economic cooperation as a result of the meeting.
An economic alliance of democracies is strategically important, and is tied to peace and stability in the region, he said.
Former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, who is leading the delegation, said the Ukraine crisis has been seen as a turning point for the US, and an opportunity to rethink its past practices.
Mullen said he would take Lai’s suggestions back to Washington for discussion.
Mullen also offered words of encouragement, saying the US was happy to see Taiwan, which he said is a beacon of democracy in the region, continue to prosper.
The delegation yesterday also met with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正), and attended a dinner hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) before concluding their 30-hour visit to Taiwan.
Pompeo has been awarded with the Order of Brilliant Star and gave a a keynote speech at the Prospect Institute. At the same time, an anonymous death threat was sent to the institute.
“Former US secretary of state Pompeo arrives in Taiwan
‘WONDERFUL’: Mike Pompeo said he had been looking forward to visiting Taiwan as he began his four-day stay, during which he is to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen
Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo yesterday evening arrived in Taipei for a four-day visit that is to include meetings with top-level officials.
Pompeo, who served as his country’s top diplomat during the administration of former US president Donald Trump, arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7:38pm, accompanied by his wife, Susan Pompeo, his former adviser on China policy Miles Yu (余茂春) and nine other people.
The group was greeted at the airport by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Tseng (曾厚仁).
Upon his arrival, Pompeo said it was “wonderful” to be in Taiwan.
“I’ve been looking forward to coming to visit with the people of Taiwan for a very long time,” he told reporters. “I’m so much looking forward to my trip, to meeting with businesspeople, people from government, people all across your great nation.”
Pompeo, who is a distinguished fellow at the Washington-based Hudson Institute think tank, had expressed interest in visiting Taiwan after the change of administration in the US in January last year.
During his stay in Taiwan, Pompeo would meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and other top government officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
During his meeting with Tsai today, he would be awarded the Order of Brilliant Star in recognition of his contributions to promoting Taiwan-US relations, the Presidential Office said.
He is also to give a speech at the government-affiliated Prospect Foundation tomorrow, the foreign ministry said.
Meanwhile, Taipei police were yesterday investigating a threatening letter received on Tuesday by the foundation, which had invited Pompeo to Taiwan.
“The American hoodlum Pompeo is coming to Taiwan for a public visit… [I am] ready to shoot and kill him… Please prepare one coffin,” the printed letter read in Chinese, images released by police showed.
It was signed: “A person with schizophrenia.”
Investigators and forensic units have collected fingerprints from the letter and are working around the clock to find the person who sent it by matching the prints with those in the police database, said Chen Chun-cheng (陳俊誠), captain of a criminal investigation division at a Taipei police precinct.
Police are also reviewing surveillance camera footage after it was verified that the letter was sent from a post box in New Taipei City’s Jhonghe District (中和).
The letter could be a prank, but police are not taking it lightly, Chen said, adding that security measures for Pompeo would be tightened.
As the bipartisan law draft for a renaming of the Taiwan Represantitve Office seems to be not found a majority, as Biden´s delegation to Taiwan wanted not only show support for the DDP, but also remind it of the red lines whlie Pompeo wanted to ignite a conflict the cross-Strait tensions seem to be in no danger of an escalation. As Biden wants to speak with Xi and try to convince him to become an mdeiator in the Ukraine conflict and pressure Russia for compromises, China fears domestic and world recession, it might act in a rational way and might not be interested in further economic sanctions.
However, the debate whether Taiwan is defendable still goes on. Now it would also be considered whether to reduce the ADIZ, especially in the southwest and declare it as legitimate Chinese airspace, which is now met with angry protest from the DDP, which in turn quotes Lu Xun’s Ah Q.
Mon, Feb 28, 2022 page3
“DPP decries proposal to reduce ADIZ
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers voiced their disapproval of a report by the legislature’s Legislative Research Bureau recommending that the government reduce swathes of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
In the report titled A Brief Analysis of Issues Pertaining to the Country’s ADIZ — which was later withdrawn from the Legislative Yuan’s Web site — the agency said that the zone’s southwestern portion overlaps with air corridors that Chinese warplanes must take to conduct exercises outside of the Bashi Channel.
This means that Taiwan’s air force must scramble fighter jets in response to routine air and sea drills conducted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), it said, adding that this stresses the endurance of the nation’s fighter pilots.
As Beijing is sure to conduct further maritime drills, the agency recommended that the Ministry of National Defense adjust the scope and range of the zone.
Taiwan’s ADIZ does not need to be adjusted — the personnel of the Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau do,” DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in a YouTube video posted on Saturday.
The recommendation put forward by the agency is tantamount to fleeing from the enemy wherever they advance and pretending that problems cease to exist if they are not acknowledged, he said, adding that the authors of the report “are experts in being Ah Q,”
“Ah Q” is a reference to Chinese essayist Lu Xun’s (魯迅) 1921 novella The True Story of Ah Q about an ignorant peasant who copes with disasters by proclaiming triumph without a basis in fact.
The government has numerous other options that are better than abandoning parts of the zone; for example, making more resources available to the military or cooperating with friendly nations in joint efforts to deter Beijing’s militarism, Wang said.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) and Secretary-General Lin Jih-jia (林志嘉) should launch an investigation into the authoring of the report, Wang added.
DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) on Friday also criticized the report, saying that it was an exercise in school themes not grounded in reality, and that legal concerns raised have no application in the nation’s ongoing struggle with Beijing.
South Korea and Japan, which have also seen incursions into their defense zones, have not expressed an intention to make concessions in the boundaries of their airspace, she said.
Taiwanese fighter pilots have comported themselves according to international protocols when responding to PLA warplanes amid verbal provocations from Chinese pilots over the airwaves, she said.
The agency’s report echoed comments made last year by retired air force general Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲) in the Chinese-language Global Times that Taiwan’s ADIZ is part of Chinese territory into which Beijing is entitled to send warplanes at will, Liu said.
The agency should conduct an internal audit regarding the “confused report whose content has called into question the loyalty of its authors,” she said.
The political sensitivity of the topic is one reason the report was pulled from online, a source said on condition of anonymity.
However, the agency’s function is to provide multiple perspectives for the reference of governmental officials, the source added.
The US historian and author of the programmatic book The End of History Fukuyama doubts the defense and fighting spirit of the Taiwanese, who, unlike the Ukrainians, would only rely on the United States. Sun, Feb 27, 2022 page1
“Taiwanese not ready for defense: Fukuyama
THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE: Taiwanese need to be willing to sacrifice and not depend solely on the US for protection as military threats grow, Francis Fukuyama said
Contrary to this the assessment by Pompeo`s fellow from the Hudson Institute Miles Yu that the defense of Taiwan is now bipartisan consensus in the USA and can no longer be changed. In addition, „distrust, but verify“ now applies instead of Reagan’s mantra „Trust, but verify“. Sounds like Lenin’s „Trust is good, control is better“. Japan Abe calls on the USA to give up strategic ambiguity. But that would be a very far-reaching step and the CCPcould see this as a violation of the 1-China principle?
“Mon, Feb 28, 2022 page1
“Taiwan safer than Ukraine: ex-US official
The top China adviser to former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Saturday said that Taiwan is safer than Ukraine amid growing concern that Russia’s invasion of its neighbor might affect the situation across the Taiwan Strait.
Miles Yu (余茂春), who is now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, made the comments in a broadcast interview days before he and Pompeo are scheduled to arrive in Taiwan.
During their visit from Wednesday to Saturday, the two former officials are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), as well as other top government and business leaders.
However is faced with new regulations in the EU it sees as another measure in the trade war with the USA and parts of the Westwhich it might not want to escalate.Because of unfair competition from China:, theEU wants to defend itself with a new instrument China is still sealing off strategic sectors of the economy from foreign investment. The EU now wants to counter this with a new trading instrument. This also has to do with a bridge in Croatia. Ever since many scenes for the fantasy series “Game of Thrones” were filmed in Dubrovnik, the historic city has been one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. Dubrovnik is in the very south of Croatia*, and anyone who wants to reach the “Pearl of the Adriatic” by land has to leave the European Union for a moment. Because a few kilometers belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina separate the Dubrovnik region from the rest of the country. In a few months, however, this problem should be history: Then the Peljesac Bridge will open, which with a length of 2.4 kilometers connects both parts of the country and saves the border crossing. According to the Croatian government, together with the connecting routes, the structure will cost around 550 million euros. The lion’s share of this, namely 357 million euros, is borne by the European Union*. However, the bridge is not being built by a Croatian company or by a company from the rest of the EU – but by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), a state-owned company from Beijing*. CRBC is one of the largest construction companies in the world; it has built the world’s longest bridge in the Chinese province of Jiangsu*, roads in Ethiopia and Senegal, a port in Mauritania and a railway line in Kenya. The Chinese company is known for completing its projects on time. The Peljesac Bridge in Croatia is also on schedule, with the shell completed in just three years. However, the CRBC was awarded the contract mainly because it was unrivaled in price. The two other companies that had applied for the order – a consortium from Italy* and Turkey* and the Austrian Strabag – could not keep up. No wonder: as a state-owned company, the CRBC was able to call up prices at which the European competition cannot work. The two losing bidders also complained about the distortion of competition caused by the Chinese state-owned company – but in vain.
China´s: trade policy is already perceived as a means of geopolitics It would be unthinkable for a European company to get such a large order in China*. Because Beijing, despite all commitments to free trade, is still sealing off parts of its economy. What Chinese companies are allowed to do abroad, what foreign companies are not allowed to do in China, especially in strategic sectors. For example, European companies in China are not allowed to bid in government tenders. Many politicians in Europe, but also in the USA, find this an unfair competitive advantage for the giant empire. Especially since China not only wants to open up new sales markets with its low-cost construction costs, but is also pursuing geopolitical motives as part of its New Silk Road*. The EU now wants to counteract this with a new measure: With the “Instrument for International Procurement” (IPI), countries that discriminate against European companies in public tenders should be able to be penalized.
In concrete terms, this means that if a state refuses to open up its public procurement market to EU suppliers to the same extent as the EU, sanctions are threatened. In this way, the offers from the relevant third country can either be completely excluded from an award procedure. Or they will be provided with a surcharge. On Monday (March 14), the EU member states and the European Parliament* agreed on this trade sanctions instrument, which had been worked on for around ten years. As early as November 2021, the Trade Committee had passed Parliament’s position without a dissenting vote. A confirmation from the plenum of the EU Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers is still pending, but is considered a formality. This makes the IPI significantly less controversial than, for example, the CAI* investment agreement, which was negotiated between China and the EU but has not yet been ratified by Parliament – partly because of Beijing’s aggressive actions against the EU country Lithuania* and the human rights violations in Xinjiang Province*.
However, that China will open its markets is rather unlikely The new instrument is not a „Lex China“, emphasized the German MEP and SPD politician Bernd Lange at a virtual press conference on Tuesday. However, China would be particularly badly affected because the country invests a lot abroad and at the same time enters the market „with offers that are incomprehensible“, said Lange, who chairs the Committee on International Trade in the European Parliament. More and more countries would „use trade policy as a political weapon“ and try to strengthen their own economy through „unfair means“. All in all, the member states of the EU tender contracts are worth two trillion euros every year. In China there is „no willingness to open the market,“ said Daniel Caspary, MEP responsible for the IPI from the CDU. With the new instrument, the EU is not about closing the European market to third countries, but rather about encouraging other countries to open up. But: „When in doubt, we want to be defensive and apply pressure,“ says Caspary. He emphasized that China also wants to draw know-how into its own country with cheap orders abroad. Tenders below a minimum financial limit and developing countries are not affected by the new instrument. Exceptions could also be created in emergency situations, for example if – as during the corona pandemic – large quantities of medical products have to be procured quickly.
It remains to be seen whether the new EU instrument will really make a difference in trade with China. It is unlikely that China will suddenly open its own markets, according to Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer. „I’m not imagining that.“ The effectiveness of the „instrument for international procurement“ also has to be proven in relation to other countries such as the USA. Because Washington’s „Buy American“ policy disadvantages companies from the EU in a similar way to Beijing’s trade policy. The EU parliamentarians believe that the instrument could have an effect, especially at the lower levels of administration in the USA*. As Lange puts it, “We need to arm us with this gun and put it on the table, even though we know we won’t be using it that often.
While China had no fierce reaction about the new EU law, it however reacts very sensitive on the London based NGO Hongkong Watch which leads a campaign for political prisoners and an an investment boycott in China, accuses China breaking the basic law and the British-Chinese koint declaration with its National Security Law. China now for the first time wants to charge a froeign NGO rerpesentative on the basis of its National Security Law:
“Hong Kong Watch co-founder and CEO Benedict Rogers threatened under National Security Law
Hong Kong Watch has received a formal warning from the Hong Kong Police Force’s National Security Department regarding its website possibly breaching the National Security Law. This makes Hong Kong Watch one of the first foreign organisations to be targeted under the draconian law.
In the letter and subsequent email, addressed to Hong Kong Watch’s Chief Executive Benedict Rogers, the National Security Department accuses Hong Kong Watch of:
‘Engaging in activities seriously interfering in the affairs of the HKSAR and jeopardising national security of the People’s Republic of China. Such acts and activities, including lobbying foreign countries to impose sanctions or blockade and engage in other hostile activities against the People’s Republic of China or the HKSAR, and seriously disrupting the formulation and implementation of laws or policies by the HKSAR Government or by the Central People’s Government.’
The letter accuses Hong Kong Watch of violating Article 29 of the National Security Law, which criminalises collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security. It warns that Hong Kong Watch could face a fine of HK$100,000 or its Chief Executive could face three years in jail for the offence.
As a result of this accusation, the Hong Kong Police in its letter has confirmed that it is using the National Security Law to block Hong Kong Watch’s website in Hong Kong, which was previously reported in early February 2022.
Since the National Security Law came into force in July 2020, over 50 civil society organisations have been forced to close in Hong Kong. The full letter from the Hong Kong Police can be read below.
Lord Patten of Barnes, the last British Governor of Hong Kong and a patron of Hong Kong Watch, commenting on the letter said:
“This is another disgraceful example of Mr Putin’s friends in Beijing and their quislings in Hong Kong trying not only to stamp out freedom of expression and information in Hong Kong but also to internationalise their campaign against evidence, freedom and honesty.”
Lord Alton of Liverpool, a patron of Hong Kong Watch and one of the Parliamentarians sanctioned by China last year, said:
“This represents a significant escalation in the Chinese Communist Party regime’s attempts to silence dissent well beyond its borders and it signifies the attempted application of the abhorrent ‚extraterritoriality‘ clause of the draconian National Security Law which Beijing imposed on Hong Kong. The result of that appalling law is the total destruction of Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy, and now the regime is using that law to try to undermine freedom around the world. It is a direct assault on freedom of expression worldwide, and a shocking attempt to intimidate and threaten an organisation which has been at the forefront of global advocacy for Hong Kong.
This draconian attack on Hong Kong Watch is testimony to its effective advocacy. As a Patron of Hong Kong Watch I know that the team that run it will not be silenced by this – on the contrary, we will renew our efforts, which are needed now more than ever. I hope the British government and other governments in the free world will take this threat very seriously, respond swiftly and robustly to condemn it, and unite to defend freedoms everywhere where they are under assault.”
Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, a patron of Hong Kong Watch and the former prosecutor of Slobodan Milošević in The Hague:
“This interference with the right to think, speak and to act in accordance with basic human rights should be of concern to us all. We cannot afford to allow those in the Hong Kong and Chinese Government to muffle those in the UK and elsewhere who have the power and protections afforded under the law to speak out against this growing human rights crisis.
Will such institutions as the famous five Magic Circle City of London Law firms speak out now in support of HKW and in opposition to these threats to freedom of speech? They were given the opportunity to do so when the PRC sanctioned a number of lawyers and human rights activists a year ago – and said nothing.
Those justifying silence in self-interest when given the chance to speak have only to look to Ukraine’s president to see what courage looks like. Recent events and this latest attack by the PRC against Hong Kong Watch demonstrate one again why the only serious defence of freedom is for us all to speak out. Silence from the UK legal community in the face of this latest attack by Beijing is shameful.”
Commenting on the letter and email, Hong Kong Watch’s Chief Executive, Benedict Rogers, said:
„By threatening a UK-based NGO with financial penalties and jail for merely reporting on the human rights situation in Hong Kong, this letter exemplifies why Hong Kong’s National Security Law is so dangerous.
We will not be silenced by an authoritarian security apparatus which, through a mixture of senseless brutality and ineptitude, has triggered rapid mass migration out of the city and shut down civil society.
Irrespective of this attempt to intimidate our staff and censor our website in Hong Kong, we will continue to be a voice for the people of Hong Kong and those brave political prisoners who have been jailed under this authoritarian regime. We will redouble our efforts to expand lifeboat schemes for those not covered by BNO and will continue to call for Hong Kong officials to face sanctions for their destruction of the city’s autonomy and freedom. The irony is that many of Hong Kong’s police officers and government officials today hold foreign passports, send their children to be educated in the West, and have their savings held in Western banks overseas to avoid Xi Jinping’s ongoing “corruption” crackdowns – and so the likelihood is that these sanctions would be quite effective.”
Sarah Champion MP, a Labour MP, Patron of Hong Kong Watch and Chair of the House of Commons International Development Committee, says:
„For the Chinese Communist Party regime and its proxies in Hong Kong to be threatening a highly reputable international human rights advocacy organisation and its co-founder and Chief Executive, a British national, with imprisonment simply for speaking out for Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy is truly outrageous. I urge the British government and other democracies around the world to make very clear to the authorities in Hong Kong that such threats and attempts to silence legitimate freedom of expression well beyond its borders are abhorrent and unacceptable and we will not stand for it. As a Patron of Hong Kong Watch I applaud our team for their dedication and commitment. I know they will not be silenced.“
Former Leader of the Conservative Party, Conservative Cabinet Minister and co-chair of IPAC, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, said:
“Even as the world watches the appalling attack on Ukraine, this attempt by China to arrest British citizens outside of China should remind us all that Totalitarian China is a threat to freedom everywhere.”
Alistair Carmichael MP, Patron of Hong Kong Watch, the Liberal Democrats‘ Home Affairs spokesperson, and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong, said:
„The Chinese Communist Party regime and its puppet authority in Hong Kong has already destroyed Hong Kong’s freedoms, in total breach of its obligations under an international treaty, the Sino British Joint Declaration. Now they are threatening British citizens and an international advocacy organisation with imprisonment for defending Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy and for speaking out against the grave human rights violations in Hong Kong. This is a completely intolerable assault on freedom of expression around the world. The British government must lead democracies around the world in condemning this harassment of an extremely effective and highly respected international organisation, and its co-founder and Chief Executive, and in standing up for freedom, both for Hong Kongers and now for ourselves.“
Senator Leo Housakos, a patron of Hong Kong Watch in Canada, said:
“This bullying by the Chinese communist regime is a result of continued appeasement by the West. The CCP has grown increasingly belligerent and emboldened, not only toward Hong Kongers but also toward the rest of the world.
These latest threats and intimidation are an attempt to hinder the incredible work being done by Hong Kong Watch, not only in Hong Kong but also in the UK and Canada.
Hong Kong Watch continues to have my steadfast support. And I will be calling on the Canadian Government to make it clear that the draconian National Security Law will not be used to intimidate Canadians or anyone involved with Hong Kong Watch.”
One of Hong Kong Watch’s US Patrons, former US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who also served as a Senator, Governor of Kansas and a Presidential candidate, said:
“It is unbelievable the Chinese government would try to close such a reputable group. The tragic elimination of basic human rights in China and Hong Kong will inevitably lead to economic and security declines.”
The letter from the Hong Kong National Security Bureau in full :
Dear Mr Rogers,
We refer to your email of 16 February 2022 to the Chief Executive, which has been relayed to the Security Bureau for follow up.
2. I would draw your attention to Article 29 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region1 (“National Security Law”) which provides that a person who requests a foreign country or an institution, organization or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of the People’s Republic of China, or conspires with a foreign country or an institution, organization or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao of the People’s Republic of China, or directly or indirectly receives instructions, control, funding or other kinds of support from a foreign country or an institution, organization or individual outside the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao of the People’s Republic of China to, inter alia, seriously disrupt the formulation and implementation of laws or policies by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region (“HKSAR”) or by the Central People’s Government, which is likely to cause serious consequences; or impose sanctions or blockade, or engage in other hostile activities against the HKSAR or the People’s Republic of China commits an offence, namely, “Collusion with a Foreign Country or with External Elements to Endanger National Security” (“Collusion Offence”). Article 38 of the National Security Law provides that the National Security Law shall apply to offences committed against the HKSAR from outside the HKSAR by a person who is not a permanent resident of HKSAR.
3. Criminal investigation reveals that “Hong Kong Watch” has been engaging in activities seriously interfering in the affairs of the HKSAR and jeopardising national security of the People’s Republic of China. Such acts and activities, including lobbying foreign countries to impose sanctions or blockade and engage in other hostile activities against the People’s Republic of China or the HKSAR, and seriously disrupting the formulation and implementation of laws or policies by the HKSAR Government or by the Central People’s Government, constitute the Collusion Offence contrary to Article 29 of the National Security Law. A person who commits the offence shall be sentenced to imprisonment of not less than 3 years to life imprisonment.
4. As the Co-founder and Chief Executive of “Hong Kong Watch”, the acts and activities of “Hong Kong Watch” have been carried out under your directions. You are fully responsible for the acts and activities of “Hong Kong Watch” and liable for the Collusion Offence under the National Security Law.
5. Further, pursuant to Article 43 of the National Security Law and Schedule 4 to the Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the National Security Law (“Schedule 4 to the Rules”2), the Police may require publisher(s) and service provider(s) to remove or take a disabling action on electronic message(s) on an electronic platform the publication of which is likely to constitute an offence endangering national security or is likely to cause the occurrence of an offence endangering national security.
6. In this respect, the Commissioner of Police has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the publication of the website of “Hong Kong Watch” at https://www.hongkongwatch.org/ (“Website”) is likely to constitute or to cause the occurrence of the Collusion Offence which is an offence endangering national security.
7. On this basis and with the approval of the Secretary for Security, the Commissioner of Police has authorized a designated officer to exercise the power under section 7(2) of Schedule 4 to the Rules to issue a notice (“Notice”) to you, as the publisher of the Website, to remove the Website within 72 hours from the sending of the Notice3. For details, please refer to the Notice issued to you by the designated officer for the Commissioner of Police dated 10 March 2022. A person who fails to comply with the requirement in the Notice commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of $100,000 and to imprisonment for 1 year4.
8. You and “Hong Kong Watch” are obliged to remove the Website in compliance with the Notice without delay, and immediately cease engaging in any acts and activities in contravention of the National Security Law or any other laws of Hong Kong. Should you fail to do so, further action will be instituted against you and “Hong Kong Watch” without further notice.
9. If you have any questions, please contact Ms Ann Cheng of the Police at (852) 3660 0761 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What makes the NGO so senstitive for China is that Hongkong Watch published a report “Red caopital in Hongkong”, a detailed analysis about CCP affiliated Chinese capital in Hongkong in which Western investors shouldnot invest and boycott and dinvest.
“NEW REPORT: Hong Kong Watch ‘Red Capital’ report warns democratic governments to learn from China’s strategy of ‘economic coercion’ in Hong Kong
On 3 March, Hong Kong Watch publish a new report entitled: ‘Red Capital in Hong Kong: The Invisible Hand transforming the city’s politics.’ The report provides a warning to democratic governments about the way that Beijing has used ‘economic coercion’ as a key strategy of control in Hong Kong.
The report underlines the way that an influx of mainland money and assets – red capital – changed the power dynamics in the city’s politics. With mainland chambers of commerce now major players, able to dictate which media companies get advertising and how their employees vote, the reservations of the international business lobby about the effect of the extradition bill on the rule of law were batted aside. Beijing has been subsequently able to issue an ultimatum to international business: endorse the national security law or face the treatment of Cathay Pacific – finding that China is a no-fly zone.
Johnny Patterson, Policy Director of Hong Kong Watch says: “20 years ago, Hong Kong’s success relied on international business. The rise of red capital has turned the tables, and recent trends have exposed the level of dependency that many of these international firms have on China. The business community’s acquiescence to the new normal, or in HSBC’s case active enforcement of the Hong Kong government’s priorities, should alarm international policy makers. HSBC’s position has undoubtedly undermined the strength of the UK government’s position on the Sino-British Joint Declaration.”
In its conclusions, the report considers the fact that despite geopolitical tension, capital flows between the West and China have increased in recent years, arguing this should be a cause of concern. Despite the situation in Hong Kong, the coronavirus, and the US-China Trade War driving a growing fissure between China and the West, ties between China and Global Finance are growing, and the total value of China’s stock market has hit record highs. Over the first eight months of 2020, the amount of Chinese onshore bonds held by foreign institutional investors increased more than 20 per cent year on year to Rmb2.8tn ($421bn), according to Fitch Ratings.
The report concludes that steps should be taken to question and stall major institutional investment into firms with ties to the Chinese military-industrial complex or complicit in gross human rights abuses. It underlines that scrutiny should be placed on the component members of passive index funds which track major investment indices such as the MSCI Emerging Markets index.
Patterson continues: “It is time to wake up. We need to be looking at where Western institutional investment is going and where China is targeting its investments. If we allow another ten years of Beijing’s strategic investment of red capital across Africa and Europe, Latin America and Asia to take place unchallenged, we should not be surprised if – when inevitably there are geopolitical flashpoints – we see a rerun of Beijing’s domination of Hong Kong in other strategic geo-political battlegrounds or indeed on our own doorstep. Hong Kong is a canary in the coalmine. It shows why Western researchers need to take red capital seriously, and policy makers need to find solutions.”
The Chinese offered Putin , the joint consensus statement, and an energy pact and a pipeline at the Olympic meeting, which could compensate North Stream 2and other pipelines . In other words, an invitation for Putin to invade Ukraine. The Chinese want to use Putin to push their own expansion in the Indo-Pacific and Taiwan, and tie down US troops in Europe. Then Swift and NS2 will be canceled and Putin-Russia will then be integrated into China´s trading system, financial system and incorporated into the digital yuan for his proxy act. Then he has the Donbass or part of eastern Ukraine, bleeds there in an asymmetrical war, then has to get closer to China, and is then bought by the Chinese economic and financial system. Then Putin and every successor will be totally dependent on China, remain only rulers over his army and nuclear weapons, which would have to be financed more and more by China. And whether he will then use them against NATO is questionable, but maybe the last resort. However China sees that Putin didn´t make his Blitzkrieg victory to topple the Pax Americana to the contrary he united the West and most of the world and could cause a real world recession which will also hit China. Therefore Xi has three options. Try to invade Taiwan in a Chinese Blitzkrieg and as window of opportunity as China´s power make have reached its climax according to the peak power theory, but on the other side Xi sees how Putin is getting in a quagmire or Xi will not intervene in the conflict or China will become a mediator as it is the most economically powerful trade partner for Russia besides the EU. However, Biden seems to try the last option. Lawrow today wanted to fly to Beijing , but returned half the way back to Moscow as the USA are just having a meeting with China. Maybe China can get convinced to exert pressure on Russia to bring it just to a ceasefire. However Xi might keep all options open and wait how the development in Ukraine and the West will be and maybe wants some incentives for an mediation, maybe some easening of US sanctions. .