Interview with Professor van Ess after the National People’s Congress and before Tsai’s trip to the US: „One can assume that the Taiwanese army has a more conservative Chinese orientation and is critical of the current Taiwanization of the island by the DDP“

Interview with Professor van Ess after the National People’s Congress and before Tsai’s trip to the US: „One can assume that the Taiwanese army has a more conservative Chinese orientation and is critical of the current Taiwanization of the island by the DDP“

Interview with Professor van Ess after the National People’s Congress and before Tsai’s trip to the US: „One can assume that the Taiwanese army has a more conservative Chinese orientation and is critical of the current Taiwanization of the island by the DDP“

Global Review: Prof van Ess. How do you rate the National People’s Congress? Anything unexpected or new?

Professor van Ess: No, actually nothing exciting happened. But that’s rare at the NVK anyway, because the actually important date every five years is the party congress in the fall before.

Global Review: It is interesting that after Pelosi’s visit, the Republican head of the House of Representatives, McCarthy, wanted to visit Taiwan, but he shifted  the Tsai-McCarthy meeting to the USA for security reasons, and Tsai also wants to visit Cornell University and possibly give a speech there.

Tsai, McCarthy to meet in US: report

CHANGE OF PLACE: Because of security concerns, the president convinced the House speaker to meet in meet in California instead of Taiwan, a ‘Financial Times’ report said

The Taipei Times also makes it clearer what „security concerns“ could mean, namely that in the case of McCarthy’s visit to Taiwan that  China will shift the “new norma”l, which already extends the medium  line and expands into the ADIZ, will now also extend to the „nautical miles“.

China may test Taiwan’s 24-nautical-mile limit: Chiu

Beijing could use a potential visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to Taiwan next month as a pretext to break into Taiwan’s territorial sea baseline of 24 nautical miles (44.4km) and get close to its territorial space, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday.

Chiu made the remarks in response to questions by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) regarding China intensifying its threats by sending more military vessels and aircraft near Taiwan’s territorial space or by crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

China has continued to operate military vessels and aircraft around Taiwan, Chiu said.

In any case, McCarthjy has now made it clear that he will meet with Tsai in the US and reserve the right to visit Taiwan like Peolosi. But is Tsai’s visit to the US that much smoother? China has now issued a warning. Have Taiwanese presidents ever traveled to the US? I can still remember in the 90s, when Lee Denghui visited his former university and gave an alumni speech at Cornell University, where Tsai also studied, which then led to the Taiwan crisis. It remained unclear whether this applied to the visit as such, especially since he apparently did not meet any high-ranking political representatives, or to his speech, in which he spoke of two states. In any case, the CCP is now warning the US about the Tsai visit.

“ China warns US against Taiwan president’s visit

Relations between the US and China are already strained. According to a report, Tsai Ing-wen could make a stopover in California in April. China is „very concerned“.

 Professor van Ess: When Lee Teng-hui traveled to the United States, it was in connection with a number of other events that had strained the American-Chinese relationship extremely: The Tian’anmen Crisis triggered by the Falun Gong sect on the 10th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the demonstrations in Beijing in 1989 (the leader of the cult had fled to the USA beforehand), the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Lee Teng-hui’s journey was just the icing on the cake. However, he also spoke of two states, which the PRC interpreted as an attempt to create a split that the ROC constitution does not allow in Taiwan. Since Lee’s trip, this idea has been smoldering, but no Taiwanese president, including Tsai Ing-wen, has not dared to develop it further. That’s the real issue at stake. In this respect, a trip itself would probably not be the problem, but the question is what is said about her – because the Taiwanese President will have to offer American journalists something.

Global Review: After the electoral defeat of the DDP, which under Tsai wanted to hold the local elections as a referendum for its China policy, the question now arises to what extent THE Taiwanese are such a unit and unity. The KMT sent a delegation to Beijing to endorse the 1992 consensus and further declared that it would fight all „separatist forces,“ the CCP praised this and now wants to formulate a new Taiwan formula of 1 system, 2 systems under Wang Nanhui , while Beijing has just launched a kind of charm offensive against Taiwan. At the same time, former so-called Taiwanese military personnel who had been spying for China were taken to court, the Japanese Nikkei even published an article according to which 90% of the Taiwanese ex-military personnel maintained contacts with China, traveling there and giving information for a money. How could something like this even be tolerated? To what extent is the KMT and these ex-military or even KMT-affiliated military not a 5th column of Beijing, which in case of war would paralyze everything and open the city gates for the CCP, like Sun Tze did through his Art of War and deployment of the 8 agents had not already described?

Professor van Ess: Under Ma Ying-chiu, the KMT had already tried to implement a policy of rapprochement with the People’s Republic of China, which seemed necessary primarily because of the close economic ties between Taiwanese companies and the People’s Republic of China. One can assume that the Taiwanese army has a more conservative Chinese orientation and is critical of the current Taiwanization of the island by the DDP. No one knows where the Nikkei got the number of 90% from, even if it can be real. It is possible that the military is trying to make it clear to the current government in Taiwan by launching such information in a targeted manner that continuing to pursue independence is playing with fire, and it is not so clear whether the army really wants to take part. It’s not at all clear what would happen if Taiwan won with American support. Then many family ties to the mainland would probably have to be severed, and not everyone in authority in Taiwan is enthusiastic about the idea. In this respect, it is obvious that the military, like the business bosses, prefer the status quo and do not want Taiwan to secede. This is a project by other groups in Taiwan that are less elite. A severe social divide, as we see it in other parts of the world.

Global Review: To what extent can there be a new Taiwanese formula at all, since the 1992 consensus has been canceled since the Pelosi visit and the new normality is now aggressive threats from China via the ADIZ and the middle line as the new normality, yes, in the case of a McCarthy visit, even the nautical miles ? Is that even reversible, given that China wants to force the USA out of the entire Indo-Pacific?

Professor van Ess: A lot depends on how the next elections in Taiwan turn out. Not much should happen before then. US arms shipments could fuel this, but I don’t think the Chinese will be foolish enough to respond before the general election. After that, the question is who rules. The KMT would probably seek rapprochement with China again in order to preserve Chinese cultural heritage in Taiwan, in which the DDP has little interest. If the DDP were to win the election, it would depend on how strong it would become. If it got very strong, then it would probably have to go ahead with the independence plans. Then it would get dicey.

Global Review: Beijing has now presented a peace plan for Ukraine, which speaks of the territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as the security interests of the Russians. How can this be united and brought together? Biden sees the peace plan as a PR  coup by the Chinese, who above all need Russia for their multipolar world and against the USA and may also have an interest in a longer war in Europe, and are thus also pushing their Global Security Initiative on the Boaofoum, as well as their Global Development Initiative, after things are not going well with the Silk Road, and want to position themselves as a force for world peace in relation to the Global South and Russia. Scholz sees „light and shadow“. How is the Chinese peace plan or Lula’s peace club to be evaluated, which together as BRIC China, India and Brazil want to send to the battlefield as mediators?

Professor van Ess: I think that the Chinese imagine that the Russian-speaking population should be granted extensive autonomy under the nominal sovereignty of Ukraine, as the Minsk Agreement actually provided for. NATO would have to stay outside. It would have to be clarified what the relationship between Ukraine and the EU would be like. Certainly no membership, but association, probably with EU (mainly German) and Chinese development aid. The Chinese interests are actually surprisingly close to those of the Germans on this issue. Neither can actually be interested in the war continuing and the land route between China and Germany being interrupted. That’s how I interpret Scholz’s words. Biden, of course, has a different picture in mind. The Americans have wanted to contain the Russians right on their doorstep since the 1990s. If that could be combined with an overthrow of Putin, that would certainly be acceptable from their point of view, because it would give the option of moving closer to the Chinese borders. However, overthrowing Putin could have very different consequences, so I guess that’s not the main goal in the US.

Global Review: And how can you bring a peace plan after the alleged pro-Ukrainian group attack relevation on NS? After Russia, under Shoigu’s Ministry of Defense, first declared that the British were behind the North Stream attack, it has now been swayed that it was the US and Biden, particularly after Seymour Hersh’s blog article, which cites an anonymous source claimed it was Biden and the US. China now sees the latest publications by ARD, SWR and Die Zeit, as well as the New York Times, that it was pro-Ukrainian groups as a targeted disinformation campaign by the USA to distract from the authorship of the USA and Biden using smoke screens and smoke bombs. Global Time writes that recent publications about NS and the pro-Ukrainian group are a disinformation smokescreen to distract from Seymour Hersh’s article that it was Biden. At the GT a US Uncle Sam shadow over the destroyed pipeline.

„ US muddies water over Nord Stream with vague new intelligence, shows deterrence to allies

US the culprit. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US the culprit. Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

(…) Lü predicted more American media organizations would be mobilized by the government to set off smoke bombs on the issue, partly to offset the impact of a report by US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh accusing the US government of involvement. 

According to analysts, the US is satisfied with the „Schrodinger’s cat“ state – the country bears no legal liability, because suspicions are not enough evident to start an investigation into the US, while such suspicions consolidate a US image of „contempt of international law and justice.“

Logically, Russia agrees with this historiography that the USA wanted to bomb the Germans to their luck and pursuit of happiness because of their own LNG and geopolitical interests, wanted to speed up the decoupling from Russia and strenghten the transatlantic alliance, while Pistorius and several other experts believe that this is a false flag of the Russians to plunge Europe into an energy crisis, stir up distrust between allies and within the population, spread fear and uncertainty, destabilize Western societies and incite a hot autumn, maybe even regime change by AfD and Wagenknecht´s Left Party because of a gas winter, cause the gas and oil prices to go up in order to fill Putin´s war chest, especially since the essential parts of NS 2 were not destroyed by the attack and remained functional and gas deliveries would still be possible. What’s your assessment?

Professor van Ess: I can only read coffee grounds (or newspaper articles), but I don’t think Hersh’s thesis is not improbable. At least neither can the Global Times imagine that courageous Ukrainian divers could have blown up Nord Stream II so easily without further help from other partners who had the appropriate technical capabilities. Then the only question would be whether it was really Ukrainians who were on the boat or who else it should have been. As a newspaper reader, but really no more than this – because how should I know more – I would consider it quite unlikely that Russians could have rented this boat in Germany in the current situation. That would have been tantamount to a total failure of the Western secret services. Of course, you shouldn’t rule anything out these days, but that would be very unlikely.

Global Review: Perhaps one should also distinguish authorship of the NS attack and the subsequent interpretations and political interests. Yes, it was probably not such a lone fighter group and not without state support – it can also be a Russian false flag operation . But with regard to the publications, it is noticeable that these are now so-called serious media from ARD, SWR, transatlantic Zeit to Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh. It is quite possible that forces around General Milley, parts of the security apparatus and within the Democrats and in the West now want to find a negotiated solution and are therefore spreading such news, as this initially distracts from Biden, raises suspicion about the Ukrainians and further arms deliveries in favor of the attempt of a negotiation offer. Perhaps circles close to Trump or Republicans, also in the security apparatus, now want to focus on China and Taiwan, since the Bachmuth stalemate is now being used for negotiations, especially since the Bachmuth river would now be an ideal demarcation line. McCarthy also wants to meet Tsai, but will not meet Selensky and Mc Carthy also announced that there will be no more blank checks for Ukraine for arms supplies. It is interesting, however, that such information no longer only comes from Putin-related social media or alternative media, but now also from ARD, SWR and even Die Zeit, i.e. the so-called serious “lying press”. What is your theory and what do you think is probable and not?

Professor van Ess: In principle, I don’t use the term” the lying press” – although I have reservations about a lot of what I read, see or hear there, I don’t believe that anyone there would consciously want to lie. The journalists of the mentioned media believe in what they say. So you can write like this. The only problem is that they usually only think in one direction and the editors don’t seem to hire critical journalists. Of course, as a China observer, I can’t really say that much about the subject you want information on. However, it is possible that US American Democrat circles are also concerned that the war of attrition could possibly end in Russia’s favour, because Ukraine can no longer be provided with enough ammunition in good time and that the Ukraine war is being waged by the actual enemy, namely China, too distracting. That would mean that some think tanks in Washington might decide, perhaps because of Brzezinski’s theory that East Central Europe is so incredibly important, that one could get bogged down in Europe and lose sight of the main objective. In fact, the war has meanwhile become very expensive not only for Germany but also for the USA. Trump had actually planned to withdraw from Afghanistan so that resources would be freed. Biden did it in a rather clumsy way, but resources are now tied up again. This may appeal to some who believe in Brzezinski’s thesis, but there are bound to be plenty of other observers who are beginning to wonder if Ukraine isn’t a side-scene that might be better off pacifying.

But in Taiwan, too, there are concerns about the increasing armaments, the previous concentration of the USA on Ukraine and Europe and sees dangers from a global arms shortage, especially for itself, whereby it sees itself as over-dependent on arms imports, which account for 23% of the identify the Taiwanese weapon system:

“Taiwan and a global arms shortage

By Nigel Li 李澤霖 and Kai Suherwan

The West’s resolute response in supporting Ukraine came as a surprise to the Kremlin, as well as many analysts who argued that the West was in decline. There is no doubt that the US and its NATO allies have shown a political unity not seen since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy, too, has defied people’s expectations and risen to the occasion to face down a country 28 times larger than his own. Rapid changes in global events reveal the best and worst in leaders, institutions and ourselves.

The West in the past few months has faced an uncomfortable reality, as its rapid response to supply Ukraine with armaments has left its arsenals at risk of running dry. A larger problem looms: replenishing the acute shortage would take years.

The shortage in the West’s “arsenal of democracy” should be of utmost concern to Taiwan. Nothing guarantees Beijing will not repeat the actions of its Russian partner of no limits. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has never ruled out the use of force to secure “reunification.” With Taipei’s military equipment mostly imported, and primarily from the US, diversifying the nation’s sources of armaments is essential to prepare for confrontation.

So it’s time Tsai visits McCarthy and not McCarthy Selensky.

 Where does the EU stand in between? So far there has been no statement, neither on the NS attack, albeit an Indo-Pacific strategy, which still leaves all the leeway towards China and the USA in terms of economic policy and is initially based more on abstract diversification and ASEAN and hope for an EU-ASEAN free trade agreement as well bilateral agreements and some military symbolism, although recently India has also been discovered, but Indiaso far doesn´t want  to sign neither RCEP nor any other free trade agreement. . China has expressed hope in Global Time that the EU-China Investment agreement CAI could be „unfrozen“, the EU could become a reliable pole for a multipolar world, insofar as it makes its own sovereignty over the US, but China at the same time made clear that a similar EU-Taiwan investment protection agreement would be understood as a “red line. Now, however, the EU seems to be considering further investment controls on Chinese companies:

Chinese companies concerned about EU’s Foreign Subsidies Regulation

Chinese companies concerned about EU’s Foreign Subsidies Regulation
Chinese industry representatives are concerned about the impact of EU’s Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR), in what could be a new round of protectionism by the EU that will affect foreign companies doing business in Europe, experts said.

The regulation, which has come into effect and will officially apply in July, will cause disruption to normal business activities of competitive foreign companies, experts said, urging the EU to provide a level playing field for all market participants.

The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) said on Tuesday that it had submitted feedback to the European Commission on the FSR, while expressing concerns of Chinese-funded enterprises in Europe.

In his speech to the National People’s Congress, Xi found direct aggressive words for the first time, saying no longer  that „certain states“ were against China, but that China was in a protractedwar  in an extremely new hostile environment and explicitly named the USA and the West. To what extent is there still hope in the Chinese Communist Party that the EU or parts of the Europeans can be played off against the USA and new bloc formation and won? Is Scholz and Macron the main hope of the Chinese Communist Party in the EU?

Professor van Ess: Yes, I believe that the CCP has hopes for Scholz and Macron, because neither of them stand for the very pure EU doctrine, which the People’s Republic of China is of course familiar with: there are a number of fundamentalists who like to Relations with China would largely sever. But in the two most important states, the heads of government do not really seem to be taking this hard line. It would certainly be important to also include Italy in the considerations, but there is still no clear line at Meloni. Great Britain is no longer part of the EU. The country appears to have aligned itself closely with the US on the China issue, but in the end it’s money that counts there. And the question is how badly the financial industry in London, with its strong ties to Hong Kong, really wants a decoupling. My perception is that there is strong rhetoric in London that masks a careful balancing of business interests. In this respect, the Chinese strategy is not surprising. In Beijing, they certainly know that this is a very difficult game right now, but that the published opinion – which is clearly against China all over Europe – and the real opinion of the elites, but possibly also of the population – are two different things. Beijing is trying to play that wisely. But it’s a vabanque game.

Global Review: The CCP is now hoping to recover from the Covid crisis and start fresh again, but apparently exports do not seem to have the hoped-for momentum, economic growth rates have to be lowered, especially since the entire global economy is also reeling, indebtedness from state-owned companies, black  or grey banks and the real estate sector still do not seem to be resolved, and the New Silk Road now appears to be becoming a debt trap for Xi-China via the BRI debt trap. That’s why Xi has now decided to create a superfinance regulator agency, which should probably prevent the really big crash and concentrate even more power in the headquarters of the CCP.

“China’s financial regulatory shake-up eyes stability, defusing risks

Reforms aimed at preventing financial risks amid increasing global fluctuations, experts say “

As the Foreign Policy writes:

(Silk) Road to Nowhere? Now China is feeling the consequences of the Ukraine war, Corona and a lack of planning

 (…) China’s Silk Road facing problems? Lots of foreign loans to cash-strapped partners After lending hundreds of billions of dollars, China’s lending for BRI projects has fallen sharply, experts say. This is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s economic slowdown. Support has also waned as partner countries are drowning in debt and projects are literally collapsing. All of this increases uncertainty about the future of the long-term initiative. In 2022, 60 percent of China’s foreign loans went to borrowers in financial distress, down from just 5 percent in 2010, according to Bradley Parks, executive director of the AidData research group at the College of William and Mary in Virginia .“

Lack of planning and a lack of cost sensitivity are lamented, but Xi now seems to want to give the Silk Road a new Marshall Plan by further concentrating power on the supposedly decentralized and economically unthought ideological mega-project Silk Road. One Man, one Road.  It is also acknowledged that the western counter-projects of the G7, the USA and the EU, B3W and Global Gateway still seem to be completely unknown in the world. If China is now experiencing an decline, be it economically, demographically and from its world mission and world power project New Silk Road, especially since it is now making social cuts in order to be able to finance its arms race and the mission of the BRI, the peak power theory regains plausibility that China has already passed its zenith and is now falling or can no longer become the world power? Perhaps then we will also tend towards adventurous foreign campaigns? Especially since climate change will also heat up the north-eastern plain into an uncomfortable living space with 400 million internal migration refugees? Or will the CCP also master this financial crisis like the crashes that have often been announced before?

Professor van Ess: The Silk Road was a major infrastructure project that had few planning specifications but was accompanied by great idealism. That may have stopped temporarily, but I don’t think that’s a really important factor in relation to China’s problems. Certainly annoying if you don’t get your money back quickly, but rather negligible compared to the internal economic problems. The main plan of the New Silk Road was the direct networking of the Chinese with the Western European economy. You can postpone that, but that doesn’t mean it’s abolished. The New Silk Road has never had anything to do with rearmament. This is more of a long-term project designed to create economic links that will open up previously difficult routes. Kublai Khan and the so-called „Pax Mongolica“ in the 13th and 14th centuries are the model.

Global Review:

At the moment the world is in an almost raw material frenzy, also for the energy and transport transition, the 4th industrial revolution, digitization and conversion to hydrogen technology and also for other never-saturated, profit-oriented growth industries, also to reduce delivery problems and dependencies. While the UN convention for the protection of the world’s oceans was being signed, the seabed is now being vigorously plowed up, colonized and developed in search of raw materials – with all the devastating consequences for the environment, humans, animals and plants.

„All living seabed ends up in the machines“

Companies want to dig for raw materials in the sea, also for the energy transition. The geochemist Matthias Haeckel explains the background – and the drastic environmental consequences. Some of the black lumps are as big as pebbles, others are the size of a potato. At a depth of more than 4,000 meters, they lie close together on the sea floor somewhere between Mexico and Hawaii: manganese nodules. They contain valuable raw materials, for example for the energy transition. And some mining companies can’t wait to get them out of the deep sea. That will harm the environment, says geochemist Matthias Haeckel. He is researching the ecological consequences. His insights are urgently needed. Because the responsible authorities will soon be setting the first framework conditions for the extraction of raw materials in the sea.

 The Arctic, Antarctic and also outer space are supposed to open up raw materials for the universally shared ideology of growth, and raw material potential is claimed for asteroids, planets and even the moon, which also envisages their opening up. So the interest is not in a few super billionaires who want to be shot into space, self-vain and pushing the limits, or space tourism or Mars colonization, no matter how much the search for extraterrestrial life, but raw materials, military and satellite use and outposts to increase air sovereignty and superiority at even higher place, as well as space also serves as a military and strategic area rich in raw materials, but the development is likely to take some time. Therefore, one is currently still limited to the this-worldly, earthly sources.

At the moment there seems to be some sort of race for control of commodities, rare earths and lithium between the major powers, with China and the Resource Empire Russia , Australia, Canda being major producers and exporters. Also because of the energy turnaround and the traffic turnaround, including e-mobility, the USA and the EU are now looking for lithium sites in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile as an alternative, as Habeck and Özdemir’s visit to Latin America illustrates, with Iran now also having a huge lithium mine wants to have netdekct. China is also considered the most important producer and exporter of rare earths and now also wants to mine lithium. It is interesting that there now also seems to be illegal mines in China, which is only known from narcotics states such as Colombia with organized crime and militias. The „white gold“ lithium now seems to be causing a gold rush in China as well. It is surprising how illegal prospecting activities can be carried out undetected at all. In any case, the CCP seems to want to prevent a Wild East.

“E.China’s Jiangxi to step up crackdown on illegal mining of strategic minerals By Global Times Published: Mar 12, 2023 08:55 PM

East China’s Jiangxi Province, a major rare-earths production base, has issued a plan to crack down on illegal mining of strategic minerals such as lithium and rare earths, in a bid to promote the high-quality development of the mining sector. 

The move came after illegal mining activities of lithium in Yichun and other places in the province were exposed and drew widespread criticism. 

The province will implement special actions such as strict approval of mining rights, and they will strengthen the supervision of the whole process of mining.

The government will focus on the rectification of the development and utilization of mineral resources, especially tungsten, rare earths, lithium and other strategic mineral resources. 

The goal is to curb illegal activities such as unlicensed exploration and mining, indiscriminate mining, waste of mineral resources, and the illegal occupation of arable land, forest land and nature reserves.

The province will investigate and address illegal transfers of mining rights and cross-border mining. Through this special action, the province’s awareness of running and managing mines will be further enhanced, read the plan.

The plan mandates faster construction of green mines, stronger ecological restoration of mines, regulated production and operation of mining enterprises, and security of the industry and supply chains.

The special action will run through the end of October 2023, striving to achieve a significant improvement in the order of mineral resources exploration and development, the mining ecological environment, and the layout of the industry and supply chain. 

„The plan indicates that China has strengthened the importance of protecting mineral resources, and the country will strictly punish illegal and unplanned mining of rare earths and other resources,“ Wu Chenhui, an independent industry analyst who follows the rare-earth industry, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Jiangxi is home to major reserves of non-ferrous metals and rare metal ores. According to the statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources in 2021, the province has 6.66 million tons of copper ore reserves, 1.21 million tons of lead ore reserves and 1.87 million tons of zinc ore reserves.

Yichun, with the world’s largest reserves of lithium mica ore, is called „Asia’s lithium capital.“ 

However, at the beginning of this year, some media outlets reported that local people were extracting the „white stone,“ an alternative name for lepidolite, the raw material of lithium, to sell it in the burgeoning new-energy industry. 

The investigation led to a thorough scrutiny of the mining sector in the region, with some miners suspended from operation indefinitely.

Wu noted that the increased protection of local resources such as tungsten, rare earths and lithium will help ensure healthy development of the local mining industry.

„Green and sustainable development of the industry should be in accordance with national development goals, so the regulation is needed to promote the healthier development of the industry,“ Wu said.

Professor van Ess: Many people always imagine far too much that all of China is under the wonderful control by the CCP. There are many such things in the provinces. It is not that easy for the authorities to contain this, and in many places local companies and local party cadres are in cahoots.

Global Review: And then China and coal power. Critics in Germany repeatedly point out that the essential point is that Germany only accounts for just 2% of global CO emissions and that China, India and the USA in particular, as the largest emitters, could change anything at all. But China has now declared that it intends to build another 500 coal-fired power plants by 2030 and thus cracks every  Paris Accord 1.5 or 2 or 3 degrees with all sorts of tipping points. Do you have to quote any Indians that you can’t eat all the money that Xi wants to make as a development model for the so-called China-led Global South as development model, ignoring all consequences as his nice statistical growth figures, which he learned as an engineer? Why are the Chinese so crazy as to think their shitty economic growth has no consequences for themselves? Are engineering scientists perhaps like the natural scientist Merkel. Perhaps autistics in matters of environmental protection While the climate change deniers quote the woked ecologists and their philosophers who write children’s books like Habeck and who drop out of university, but  they think that a stupid mathematican or engineer without any ecological knowledge would be better. Consequence. Question: Do we have to destroy the CCP or defeat it through an eco-war in order to avert severe climate change, if not catastrophic climate change for the world as the so called Chinese democratic opposition has also no green New Deal, ecological mindset or whatever. Just stupid Chinese, who want to get rich and more rich and only care about consumerism and their individual freedom at the best.

Professor van Ess: Of course, the first question to ask is whether everyone in China believes in the direct correlation between coal-fired power plants and 1.5 degree targets. Paleoclimate research is quite divided on this. And then the problem is that a country that has a relatively rich East (but of course still far below the Western European level on average) but a poor West cannot actually afford to do without these power plants, because it would give up the plan to raise prosperity there at least to the level of eastern China. If the climate is really that important to us, then we should actually buy the power plants from the Chinese at our own expense and thus enable them to achieve their economic goals of catching up with us in a climate-neutral manner. This would, of course, lead to a significant drop in our own prosperity. In my view, there is no other way. These are communicating tubes. An “eco-war” would also be a war against the economic advancement of other countries. Morally it would be a declaration of bankruptcy. But it might suit the geopolitical goals of some partners who want to stay ahead economically.

Global Review:Nevertheless, there is also other positive news for Xi-China, which wants to become a hi-tech nation: The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which also publishes the China Defense Universities Tracker and is financed by the Ministry of Defense and US armaments companies now issued a report that China is a „leader“ in 37 out of 44 high-tech areas:

“Study shows: China leads in 37 out of 44 key technologies

According to a new study, the USA is ahead in high-performance and quantum computers, chips, vaccines, small satellites, rockets and speech recognition. The US and China have long been recognized as the biggest rivals in artificial intelligence (AI) development. According to the Australian Strategy Policy Institute’s (ASPI) Critical Technology Tracker just released, this area is already among the 37 out of 44 key technologies in which China is a leader. According to this study, the USA is only ahead in high-performance computers, quantum computers, chip design, vaccines, small satellites, space rockets and natural language recognition.

One of the most important duels is taking place in the field of artificial intelligence: „There is a close race between the US and China for dominance in the technology areas of machine learning (China leads) and natural language processing (US leads)“, judge the experts. The ASPI certifies that China has a particularly large lead in algorithms and hardware accelerators for artificial intelligence, where 37 percent of the „world’s top 10 percent of research output“ comes from China. Such investigations alone can be questioned. But other studies also indicate that China’s high investments in new technologies are actually increasingly paying off.

According to another analysis by Japanese business newspaper Nikkei in collaboration with Elsevier, the Dutch academic studies analyst house, China overtook its biggest rival in major AI publications as early as 2019. Numerous publications The team searched academic studies and conference papers from 2012 to 2021 for 800 keywords. During this period, the number of publications rose from around 25,000 to 135,000. The analysis showed that Chinese researchers are not only producing more, but are also ahead in terms of quality. The number of cited US articles in the top publications has stagnated at a good 4,000 since 2019, while the number of cited Chinese studies rose to over 7,000 by 2021. Japanese studies, on the other hand, fall behind and are only in 18th place.

However, it would be premature to declare China the winner of the AI race solely on the basis of the study situation. The American AI expert Paul Scharre, Vice President of the Center for New American Security, points out that the various studies usually use different standards that are not comparable. snapshot According to Stanford University’s AI Index Report, the USA and the European Union are well ahead of China when it comes to citations at conferences in 2021. Two years ago, Chinese productions were still well behind American and European productions in a weighted index that evaluates papers according to their impact.

But Scharre knows that this is only a snapshot. „The next AI index will be interesting.“ Because the study by Stanford University, which could soon be published in a new edition, allows a comparison using the same parameters. Irrespective of this, cutting-edge research is getting the impression that China is on the way from being a former copier of Western processes to becoming a technology powerhouse that needs to be taken seriously.”

 That sounds a bit like the Sputnik shock in the 1950s. But what does „leading“ mean and can’t that be caught up or even surpassed? Is this the end of the story and history? In any case, it shows that the Chinese can do more than just copy, but that also does not mean that the USA is automatically doomed as a declining high-tech nation. How do you rate the report and also the role of the ASPI, which also publishes the China Defense Universities Tracker?

Professor van Ess: Such reports should not be taken too seriously. Politics is made with them. Above all, it is important that our politicians understand where the money for ASPI studies comes from, so that they can learn how to classify the reports that are produced there. When the ASPI prepares reports on the „Seven Sons of the People’s Liberation Army“ and thereby tries to prevent Western science from cooperating with the Chinese scientific institutions that are meant, then it means recognizing the interests behind it and asking oneself whether everything that happens in such cooperations is reprehensible. A mixture of humility and pride also suits us: we should understand that we are good in some of these areas here in Germany, but that there are others who are also good at it. And if you can meet at eye level, then cooperation is better for both sides than isolation.

Global Review: After investment monitoring, regulation of Chinese foreign subsidies, red lists for cooperation between Western and German universities, scientific cooperation and scholarship programs are now being questioned. such as B, in the following article in Focus, which specifically attacks LMU and FU scholarship programs.

“Massive Surveillance & Compulsory Return How China controls its top students in Germany

China subjects its scholarship holders to gag contracts. They contradict the freedom of science guaranteed by the German Basic Law. Research by DW and CORRECTIV. Freedom. Study abroad far from home. This is what young people dream of all over the world. For many, this is only possible with a state grant. But what if that very scholarship prevents freedom? There are more than 7,000 kilometers between China and Germany. Nevertheless, according to a joint research by DW and the investigative platform CORRECTIV in Germany, Chinese students are experiencing close controls by the Chinese state. This applies in particular to young researchers who come to Germany on a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Apparently, the Chinese students are under the control of the embassies and consulates, which, like all diplomatic institutions, are also spy centers for gathering information. It is clear that they are also used as informants and IMs. It’s not in the contract, but seems to be common practice, since China is a neo-totalitarian state. But then the question arises as to whether Chinese students are still welcome at all or whether there can still be scientific exchange without Western self-censorship and defensiveness and sensitization against economic, scientific and espionage in general and without it degenerating into total paranoia or shouldn’t we also use this for our own information gathering and counter-espionage? And isn’t it even conceivable that Germany, given its technological deficit in many areas, can still learn and experience useful things from China? How do you imagine the future of scientific cooperation with China?

Professor van Ess: I believe that a topic is being boiled up here that is actually completely irrelevant. Overall, the fear of losing important knowledge to Chinese students is unfounded. There may be isolated cases of betrayal of secrets, but the presentation of the topic is based on a gross misunderstanding of how university research works. Every decent scientist has an interest in giving their own findings the greatest possible visibility to the outside world. The personality who secretly researches great innovations for himself and whose work others are not allowed to know about is a journalistic fiction. Science just doesn’t work that way. Innovations require input from smart people, no matter where they come from. And you want your own knowledge to be recognized all over the world, including in an important science market like China. In the natural sciences and medicine, Chinese doctoral students have been highly valued as good laboratory workers at German universities. Of course, they bring home what they learn from us, but our system would also work much worse without them.

Conversely, there are a number of scientific areas where it would be dangerous if we cut ourselves off from the knowledge that is available in Chinese universities because they are more advanced there than here. As far as I know, the Chinese consulates do not usually put pressure on their country’s doctoral candidates and students, nor do they „closely monitor“ them. They don’t have the staff to do that.

 I wonder what these corrective findings are really based on. There is a great deal of liberal interpretation of information at play. If the brave correctors were to take a close look at the treaties they criticize and compare them to what other countries are doing that make similar financial investments in their young scientists, they would understand that the post-doctoral obligation for two years of returning home isn ‚t anything special — and it’s not particularly gag, either. Many countries try to protect themselves from brain drain when they have investments in people. Conversely, these scholarships offer many young people the opportunity to go abroad for many years and experience something very different than at home, which most of them could not otherwise afford. This is also our chance to plan something in people’s minds that is important to us. But this is only possible if we create a warm environment.

Suspicion and constant suspicion of espionage are good humus for xenophobia, as the example of the USA shows very well. With hostility, of course, we get the opposite of what we want. There is hardly any other country in the world that offers a similar program that invests such a large proportion of GDP in young scientists. Of course, Chinese students are envied by their fellow students from other countries for this opportunity. I have no idea how it can happen that reputable German journalists only see and describe the black side of such a program and not the white one. Most Chinese students I know (and there are quite a few) just shake their heads at this form of uninformed, even hostile reporting in Germany.

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