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Halifax International Security Forum: Chinese Communist Party Is the Virus that Endangers the World

On November 16, the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX), a think tank based in Halifax, Canada, published a Handbook for Democracies to support a shared understanding of the challenge that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to freedom around the world. The title of the Handbook is China vs. Democracy: The Greatest Game.

“The year 2020 witnessed a paradigm shift in the democratic world’s understanding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” said Peter Van Praagh, HFX President. “The 2020 paradigm shift in people’s attitudes toward China was a concrete change from the old conventional wisdom that an economically vibrant China would progress toward more freedom for its people, to the new conventional wisdom that the Chinese Communist Party is, in fact, the virus that endangers the world.”

The report said, “HFX spent the past decade calling attention to the challenge China poses through panel discussions at our annual Forum in Halifax. It was not until 2020, however, with the emergence of the global coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan, China, and all the uncertainty that accompanied it, that people around the world began to understand the real threat—to our supply chains, to international organizations, to the open exchange of information, to the protection of confidential information, and to freedom of the seas and skies.”

To compile the report, HFX, between February and October 2020, conducted in-depth interviews with more than 250 global experts and policy-and decision-makers.

The report states, “Accordingly, the PRC is intent on undermining democracy abroad. While the CCP continues to target democracies such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, India, Japan, and Australia, it is Hong Kong and Taiwan that stand on the front-line of the PRC’s global assault on democracy; their very existence as democracies now hangs precariously in the balance.”

The report also states, “The PRC has committed to modernizing its military while growing bolder and more assertive geostrategically—and not just in Asia. What may sometimes look like innocent and incremental steps risk developing into a pattern that, in a decade or two, could transform the balance of military power as well as the relevance of alliances and partnerships among democracies.”

The report calls on the world’s democracies saying that they “must pursue a carefully considered yet robust push back—a push back that Xi’s China has brought upon itself. The CCP must recalibrate its global ambitions and step back from its ongoing assault on the world’s democracies.”

The handbook also features a set of principles that HFX will champion around the world to defend the values that underpin democratic societies. At the end of the handbook, it placed a list of practices that undermine its values and way of life and that the democratic world should defend itself from doing:

Ignoring China’s attempts to interfere with democratic societies;

Submitting to, collaborating with, or participating in any censorship or self-censorship of ideas, writings, artistic endeavors, or statements related to the People’s Republic of China;

Participating in any business or technology-related practices or exchanges that aid and abet Chinese Communist Party oppression of its own people;

Neglecting to oppose attempts by the People’s Republic of China to bring global governance of the internet and technological standards into alignment with its own authoritarian values and ambitions;

Supporting or engaging in any kind of punishment or sanction of anyone for engaging in criticism of china;

Failing to support democratically-minded people and governments around the world who the People’s Republic of China pressures or intimidates;

Knowingly buying or trading in Chinese products or services made with forced labor, or that are the result of criminal activities like counterfeiting or intellectual property theft.

Source: Halifax International Security Forum, November 16, 2020

U.S. Senate Majority Released New China Report

On November 18, U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, published a majority report entitled, “The United States and Europe: A Concrete Agenda for Transatlantic Cooperation on China,” to advance greater collaboration between the United States and Europe on the challenges that China poses.

Risch’s counterparts from the EU and the U.K Foreign Affairs Committees are Member of the European Parliament David McAllister, chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, who joined him in the release of the report. Jamie Fly, senior fellow and senior advisor to the president at The German Marshall Fund of the United States moderated the event.

Risch stated, “Legislatures in free and open nations must step up and do our part to protect our freedoms and uphold the interests and values that nations on both sides of the Atlantic share. It is my hope that this report and event are just the starting point as we continue to chart a cooperative path forward on China.”

David McAllister said, “The transatlantic partners are facing similar challenges as regards China: unfair trade practices, cyber security, disinformation and the pursuit of geopolitical and technological dominance.”

Tom Tugendhat added, “It is clear to policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic that we’re seeing active attempts by the Communist Party of China to undermine the rules based system and rewrite the code of global exchange. We need to back our values and invest in our allies to defend our interests, and that means a coordinated response. The peace and prosperity of the last 70 years is based on the values of freedom that matter to us; together we can defend them.”

“Just as the United States and its European allies have tackled so many other challenges together, hopefully leaders on both sides of the Atlantic will follow this report’s advice and find common approaches to ensure that China does not further threaten the prosperity and security of Americans and Europeans,” said Jamie Fly.

Source: Senate Foreign Relations Committee, November 18, 2020

Former Raytheon Engineer Sentenced for Violating Arms Export Control Act

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday, November 18, that the Arizona District Court sentenced Wei Sun, a 49-year-old Chinese engineer, to 38 months in prison. Sun previously pled guilty to a felony charge of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).

According to the DOJ’s press release, Sun is a naturalized citizen of the United States. “Sun was employed in Tucson for 10 years as an electrical engineer with Raytheon Missiles and Defense. Raytheon Missiles and Defense develops and produces missile systems for the United States military. During his employment with the company, Sun had access to information directly related to defense-related technology. Some of this defense technical information constituted what is defined as ‘defense articles,’ which are controlled and prohibited from export without a license under the AECA and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR).”

“From December 2018 to January 2019, Sun traveled from the United States to China on a personal trip. On that trip, Sun brought along unclassified technical information on his company-issued computer, including data associated with an advanced missile guidance system that was controlled and regulated under the AECA and the ITAR.”

“Despite having been trained to handle these materials correctly, Sun knowingly transported the information to China without an export license in violation of the AECA and the ITAR.”

According to Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers, “Sun was a highly skilled engineer entrusted with sensitive missile technology that he knew he could not legally transfer to hostile hands.” “Nevertheless, he delivered that controlled technology to China. Today’s sentence should stand as a warning to others who might be tempted similarly to put the nation’s security at risk.”

Source: Department of Justice, November 18, 2020

State Department Issues Research Report on China’s Challenges

The Office of Policy Planning Staff of the United States Department of State (DOS) issued a research report on Tuesday November 17, which summarized the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), analyzed the ideological roots behind the behavior and the vulnerabilities that the Chinese Communist regime faces, and provided suggestions on how the United States should respond to China’s challenges.

The report, titled “The Elements of the China Challenge,” states that “awareness has been growing in the United States — and in nations around the world — that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has triggered a new era of great-power competition. Yet few discern the pattern in China’s inroads within every region of the world, much less the specific form of dominance to which the party aspires.”

The report characterizes the Chinese Communist regime as “modeled on 20th-century Marxist-Leninist dictatorship.”

The report is composed of five sections: the China Challenge, China’s Conduct, the Intellectual Source of China’s Conduct, China’s Vulnerabilities, and Securing Freedom.

The report said, “The CCP aims not merely at preeminence within the established world order — an order that is grounded in free and sovereign nation-states, flows from the universal principles on which America was founded, and advances U.S. national interests — but to revise the world order fundamentally, placing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at the center and serving Beijing’s authoritarian goals and hegemonic ambitions.”

The report concludes that “meeting the China challenge requires the United States to return to the fundamentals. To secure freedom, America must refashion its foreign policy in the light of ten tasks.”

The ten tasks include:

1. “Securing freedom at home by preserving constitutional government, promoting prosperity, and fostering a robust civil society,” 2. “Maintaining the world’s most powerful, agile, and technologically sophisticated military while enhancing security cooperation,” 3. “Fortifying the free, open, and rules-based international order that it led in creating after World War II,”                          4.“Reevaluating its alliance system and the panoply of international organizations,”
5. “Strengthening its alliance system by more effectively sharing responsibilities with friends and partners and by forming a variety of groupings and coalitions to address specific threats to freedom,”
6. “Promoting American interests by looking for opportunities to cooperate with Beijing, subject to norms of fairness and reciprocity,”
7. “Educating American citizens about the scope and implications of the China challenge,”
8. “Training a new generation of public servants — in diplomacy, military affairs, finance, economics, science and technology, and other fields — and public-policy thinkers who not only attain fluency in Chinese and acquire extensive knowledge of China’s culture and history,”
9. “Reforming American education, equipping students to shoulder the enduring responsibilities of citizenship in a free and democratic society by understanding America’s legacy of liberty,”
10. “Championing the principles of freedom through example; speeches; educational initiatives; and public diplomacy.”

The 70-some-page-long report contains more than 20 pages of footnotes, accounting for almost half of the main body of the report.

Source: State Department,

China USES Microwave Weapons against India

A few days ago it was reported that the Chinese military used microwave weapons to retake the two hills that the Indian army occupied after the standoff that occurred at the disputed border for several months. By releasing microwaves at the foot of the mountain, the Chinese military turned the mountain top into a “microwave oven.” The Indian troops on the mountain began to vomit and couldn’t stand and eventually had to leave.

Microwave is a high-frequency electromagnetic wave with a radiation wavelength range from one millimeter to one meter, a frequency between 0.3 GHZ and 300 GHZ, and a propagation speed equal to the speed of light. Microwave weapons, also known as radio frequency weapons or electromagnetic pulse weapons and can be used to attack the electronic systems of various weapons and equipment. This is especially important information with regard to warfare targets such as command and control centers and communication transmission networks, causing the entire combat command system a “sudden death.” It can also penetrate armor to kill the personnel directly.

In the field of microwave weapons, the United States, China, and Russia are the leading countries in research and development.

On January 9, 2017, a research team at China’s Northwest Institute of Nuclear Technology was awarded the first prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award for 2016. The winning project was the “High Power Microwave Anti-Missile System.” Huang Wenhua, the team lead, said, “This achievement is for a disruptive technology that represents a major leap forward. It is also a pioneer internationally.”

China’s high-power microwave anti-missile system can be used for naval air defense and anti-missile warfare. It is reported that China’s Type 055 destroyer is equipped with a microwave anti-missile system which can disable the electronic equipment of incoming enemy aircraft and missiles, and even burn the enemy’s pilots. once quoted a paper in March 2017 and reported that China’s microwave weapons are currently undergoing a series of tests for aircraft self-defense, space control, suppression of enemy air forces, and combat command and control communications. It also successfully developed gigawatt-class high-power microwave air defense weapons, and conducted experiments to destroy aircraft and other targets.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, November 16, 2020

Beijing’s Bullying: Blacklisting “Taiwan independence” Personnel

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao newspaper carried an article stating that the Chinese regime is preparing to blacklist “Taiwan independence” diehards, and may launch crackdowns and impose life-long sanctions, referring to the legal provision of the “crime of committing secession.”

A Ta Kung Pao front page article on November 15 claimed that “Authorities in mainland China are preparing to blacklist ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards, and punish those who have made aggressive ‘Taiwan independence’ remarks and committed vile ‘Taiwan independence’ actions, along with their major sponsors. Legal provisions from the anti-secession Law, criminal law, and the national security law will be used to bring those people to justice and hold them accountable for life.” The article pointed out that the crime of secession can have a sentence of up to life in prison.

Shuh-Fan Ding, a professor at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, told Radio Free Asia that the purpose of the blacklist is more for intimidation than for real punishment. “The mainland wants to have a psychological impact. First, it aims to warn the people about ‘Taiwan independence’; second, it attempts to reduce Taiwan’s support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through intimidation because the DPP is considered a ‘Taiwan independence’ party.’” Shuh-Fan believes that, considering the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) handling of the Hong Kong issue last year, this crackdown and sanctions against “Taiwan independence” will also have a counterproductive effect.

Paul Huang, a Taiwanese freelance writer, said that the CCP’s implementation of the “Taiwan Independence” diehards list, similar to the promulgation of the Hong Kong national security law, is to enforce Beijing’s will. “What I am worried about is that the mainland will enact an unlimited authorization bill, or that the list can be expanded at any time without any warning. Then hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese in mainland China may be upset because of this. One must be cautious with his words and deeds even inside Taiwan. This is the biggest concern.” “We need to look at the detailed enforcement (measures). If it is just a blacklist, similar to the US Department of Commerce’s sanctions mechanism against China, it is just a concept of denying entry. If it is more offensive, the mainland will turn this into a law that can be criminally prosecuted, much like Hong Kong’s national security law.”

Since the enforcement of the Hong Kong national security law in June this year, Beijing has arrested a number of student leaders for violating the national security law and inciting the secession of the nation. The CCP’s General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the “Five Points” on Taiwan in 2019, namely, cross-strait reunification, the Taiwan version of “one country, two systems,” no promise of abandoning military reunification, deepened cross-strait integration and development, and promotion of the consensus of peaceful reunification. At the same time, the “Five Points” was formally written into the decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the CCP’s 19th Central Committee.

The Mainland Affairs Council, the Taiwanese government’s agency handling cross-strait affairs, issued a statement in this regard, stating that the mainland’s use of force and legal means to bully and threaten dissidents with the intent of intimidating Taiwan into self-censorship, inciting cross-strait antagonism, and sabotaging peace and stability will only be futile and counterproductive. The Mainland Affairs Council stated that Taiwan will not give in under threats.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 16, 2020

China’s Elderly Population to Reach 400 million in 2035

China has become an aging society. It is estimated that the number of elderly people over 60 will reach 400 million in 15 years, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the population. Some organizations predict that the labor force will shrink substantially in the future. Statistics show that there were 14.65 million newborn babies nationwide last year. The birth rate dropped to about 10 per thousand. It is projected that, in ten years, it will further drop to less than 11 million births every year. After the “two-child policy” was adopted, there was no peak in the number of births.

Zheng Gongcheng, a Chinese scholar, said at a recent forum that the process has been accelerating. It is expected that by 2035, China will be considered a “super-aged society.” The average annual increase in the elderly population is about 10 million, and the total will reach about 400 million by then. The number of the elderly population, that is, those over 80 years old, will increase by more than 1 million annually.

A country is defined by the United Nations as “aging” if the percentage of those over 65 exceeds 7 percent; it is considered “aged” if it exceeds 14 percent, and “super-aged” when it is over 20 percent. In 2011, the weighted average of the percentage of the global aging population was 8.1 percent, indicating that the world has entered the era of aging.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 14, 2020

Beijing Issues Joint Operations Guideline for Chinese Military

On November 13, the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Chinese Communist regime’s top military command group, issued the “Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Joint Operations Guideline (Trial Version).”

The “Guideline” aims to build the PLA into a world-class army force, with a focus on the establishment of a system of laws and regulations for joint operations. It attempts to answer the “important questions of ‘what wars to fight and how to fight.’” The goal is to strengthen the preparedness for the wars.

The “Guideline” is supposed to be the top-level regulation of the Chinese military. It focuses on some fundamental issues of implementing joint operations, including unifying operational strategies, defining rights and responsibilities, and directing operations. It also sets out to clarify “important principles, requirements and procedures for join operation command, combat preparedness, national defense mobilization, and political work.”

The CMC asked that the “Guideline” be used as the base for organizing and implementing joint operations and joint training, so as to improve the ability to win.

Source: People’s Daily, November 14, 2020