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U.S.-China Relations: CCP’s Advice to the Biden Administration (Chinese Media’s Editorial on the Biden-Xi Talk)

After Joe Biden called Xi Jinping on Chinese New Year’s Eve (February 11, 2021), and they spoke for 2 hours, several of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) primary media published commentaries discussing the CCP’s advice to the Biden administration.

1. Xinhua:

The talk showed three positive signals. The first positive signal was the Chinese New Year’s greeting to each other.

The second positive signal was the willingness to communicate. China and the United States should re-establish a number of dialogue mechanisms to understand each other’s policy intentions accurately and to avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations.

The third positive signal was the identification with the spirit of cooperation.

The Xinhua article also stated, “The Sino-U.S. relationship is at a critical juncture at this moment. The diplomacy by the head of state will have an irreplaceable guiding role (on this issue).”

2. People’s Daily:

(We) must point out, China wants to develop a cooperative relationship with the U.S. but this cooperation must be a cooperation based on principles. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang related issues are China’s internal affair. They are related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The U.S. should respect China’s core interests and act with caution.

How to deal with differences is a subject that both China and the U.S. must answer well. … China and the U.S. should re-establish all kinds of dialogue mechanisms to understand each other’s policy intentions accurately and to avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations.

3. Huanqiu (Global Times):

The U.S. briefing also said that Biden started with his New Year wishes to the Chinese people, which was widely seen as Biden’s gesture to show respect to President Xi Jinping and China. He seemed to use that goodwill to balance some tough messages the new U.S. administration has been sending to China and how the public opinion has been interpreting them lately.

Choosing the conversation time at the Chinese New Year’s Eve and starting with a Chinese New Year’s greeting between the two heads of state reaffirmed Biden’s basic attitude of wanting to compete with China with the bottom line of not to turn competition into conflicts.

The Sino-U.S. relation has become more and more complex. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced on February 10 that it would establish a China Working Group to coordinate each of the DOD’s components of China policy and actions. This is an unprecedented mechanism arrangement. It should impact the overall U.S. – China policy. There is a trend of more conflict between China and the U.S. Some U.S. elites have the attitude of “the tougher toward China the better,” but if that keeps developing, the U.S. will face inevitable strategic risk. Therefore, controlling Sino-U.S. differences is a key issue that the Biden administration has no choice but to discuss seriously with China.

1. Excerpt in Chinese:

积极信号之一是互致新春祝福。

积极信号之二是保持沟通意愿。中美双方应该重新建立各种对话机制,准确了解彼此的政策意图,避免误解误判。

积极信号之三是认同合作精神。

当前,中美关系正处于重要关口,元首外交具有不可替代的引领作用。

Source: Xinhua, February 11, 2021
http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/2021-02/11/c_1127094070.htm

2. Excerpt in Chinese:

需要指出的是,中方致力于同美方发展合作关系,但这种合作,必然是有原则的合作。台湾、涉港、涉疆等问题是中国内政,事关中国主权和领土完整,美方应该尊重中国的核心利益,慎重行事。

如何处理分歧,是中美双方必须回答好的一个课题。为了维护两国民众福祉与世界和平稳定,双方都有必要在有不同看法的问题上,做到相互尊重、平等相待,以建设性方式妥善管控和处理。中美双方应该重新建立各种对话机制,准确了解彼此的政策意图,避免误解误判。在这方面,双方曾经积累了大量经验。美国前财长雅克布·卢近日在公开活动中回忆了亲身参与中美战略与经济对话的经历,强调双方要通过对话协商,在有共同目标的领域找到合作方式,在有意见分歧的领域找到改变和进步的路径。此次中美两国元首通话中,拜登总统也表示,美方愿同中方本着相互尊重的精神,开展坦诚和建设性对话,增进相互理解,避免误解误判。应该说,这样的思路如果能够落到实处,将有助于中美关系尽快回归正轨。

事实早已证明,正确的政治决断,是保证中美关系不脱离正确航向的基本前提。多考虑合作,不蓄意对抗,才是两国之福。

Source: People’s Daily, February 14, 2021
http://cpc.people.com.cn/n1/2021/0214/c64387-32029422.html

3. Excerpt in Chinese:

美方的通报也说,拜登一上来就向中国人民表达了他的新年祝福,这被广泛看成拜登向习近平主席和中国表达尊重的姿态。他似乎想用这一善意平衡美国新政府近来传递出的一些对华强硬信息以及舆论对那些信息的解读。

这次两国领导人的通话选在除夕,以两位元首相互拜年开始,再次验证了拜登希望同中国竞争、但给竞争设下不演变成冲突的底线这一基本态度。

中美关系复杂化的趋势越来越明显。美国国防部10日宣告成立中国工作组,要协调国防部各部门的对华政策和行动,这是美国军方前所未有的机制性安排,应该也会对美国的整体对华政策制定产生影响。中美摩擦点呈增多趋势,美国部分精英中存在“对华越强硬越好”的情绪,而那样发展下去显然意味着美国难以承受的战略风险,因而管控中美分歧将是拜登政府不得不认真与中方共同探讨的关键事项。

Source: Huanqiu, February 11, 2021
https://m.huanqiu.com/article/41t9jigLliO

 

Pandemic: People in Shanghai Do not Trust China-Made Vaccine

China has started providing COVID-19 vaccine to doctors, nurses, and people in essential industries. However, several official documents from Shanghai, which the Epoch Times obtained, show that people in Shanghai do not want to take the China-made vaccine.

Jing’an District is a main district in Shanghai, with a population of 1.06 million. It has 9 tertiary hospitals (usually these are the comprehensive and general hospitals in the city and have over 500 beds), 9 secondary hospitals (usually with 100 to 500 beds), and 15 society health service centers.

A report by the Jing’an District Health Committee on January 8, 2021, stated it had “surveyed 113,000 people in the district and 24,000 expressed interest in taking the vaccine.” That means 21.2 percent of the people were willing to take the vaccine, while 78.8 percent people were not.

Two other reports by the Jing’an District Health Committee showed that healthcare providers have a low interest in the Chinese vaccine. The Cishuixian Women and Children’s Hospital surveyed 135 people, but only 33 people were willing to take the shot. In Huadong Hospital, 616 out of 1,261 surveyed people were interested. In the Shanghai Dermatology Hospital, 124 out of 735 surveyed people were interested.

Government employees were not interested either. Only 25 people from the 155 people surveyed in the Shanghai Municipal Health Insurance Management Center were open to taking the vaccine.

Ten delivery companies surveyed 1,196 people, with a total of 12 people showing interest. One taxi company has 2 people out of 101 surveyed who showed interest and another taxi company had only 1 out of 30 surveyed who showed interest.

The district has 42 senior centers and 1 rescue station in the district. A total of 1,317 people in these institutes were surveyed. While 35 institutes reported zero interest, the other 8 institutes had 48 people who showed interest.

Excerpt in Chinese:

新一轮新冠病毒(COVID-19,中共病毒)疫情正在上海扩散,中共已对医生、护士、工勤人员等部分重点人群开展疫苗接种。

大纪元日前获得了中共上海市政府的部分防疫文件,文件披露上海市民普遍抗拒接种新冠病毒疫苗,包括医护人员在内的重点人群多数不愿接种。

上海市静安区卫生健康委员会在2021年1月8日提交的《2020年度静安区疾病预防控制工作汇报》中透露:1. “辖区排摸11.3万人,有意愿接种的2.4万人”;愿意接种新冠疫苗的比例仅为21.2%,不足四分之一;换言之,四分之三的上海静安区市民是不愿意接种新冠疫苗的。

静安区是上海市的主要城区之一,依据静安区卫健委工作汇报文件,静安区常住人口105.77万,户籍91.41万;户籍60岁以上人口占比39.06%;辖区内的医疗资源丰富,有三级医院9家,二级医院9家,社区卫生服务中心15家,公卫专业机构5家。

上海静安区卫健委的内部文件披露出,重点人群接种新冠病毒疫苗的意愿非常低。

以医疗卫生系统为例。根据静安区卫健委今年1月填报的《上海市新型冠状病毒疫苗接种摸底登记汇总表》,上海三级医院慈水仙妇儿医院排摸总人数135人,其中意愿接种人数只有33人,排摸对象属于重点人群中的医疗卫生人员。

根据静安区卫健委去年底填报的静安三级医疗机构《疫苗摸底登记汇总表》数据,意愿接种比例最高的上海市华东医院排摸1,261人,意愿接种616人,占比也未过半;而上海市皮肤病医院排摸735人,意愿接种124人,占比还不到五分之一。

即便是中共的公务员系统,对于新冠疫苗也是相当地抗拒。例如上海市政府的上海市医疗保险事业管理中心排摸155人,愿意接种的只有25人,占比不到六分之一。

而上海静安区卫健委的疫苗摸底文件表明,作为重点人群的物流和运输系统,很多人都不愿接种。静安区内的10家快递公司总共排摸了1,196人,意愿接种疫苗的只有12人,平均一家快递公司只有一人有意愿接种。

静安区卫健委今年1月7日-15日填报的物流行业《疫苗接种摸底汇总表》显示,上海大众运行物流股份有限公司排摸92人,愿意接种的只有30人;上海夜城出租汽车服务有限公司排摸101人,愿意接种的只有2人;上海中山汽车出租公司排摸30人,愿意接种的只有1人。上海芷新(集团)有限公司(含客运总站、芷新客运)排摸300人,意愿接种人数合计53人。

静安区福利和养老机构的《疫苗接种摸底汇总表》显示,在辖区内42家养老院和1家救助站中,有35家机构是零意愿接种、即一个愿意接种疫苗的人都没有;静安区43家养老(含救助)机构排摸总共1,317人,愿意接种的只有48人。

Related postings on Chinascope:

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Pandemic: Status of COVID-19 in China as of February 4, 2021

The COVID-19 virus has continued to spread in China. Both Beijing and Shanghai have reported cases.

As of February 4, 2021, the Chinese government published 10 high-risk areas and 51 medium-risk areas, in Beijing, Shanghai, the three provinces: Hebei, Heilongjiang, and Jilin.

High-risk areas are in five cities:

  • Beijing (with 1 high risk area)
  • Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (1)
  • Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province (4)
  • Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province (3)
  • Tonghua City, Jilin Province (1)

Medium-risk areas are in the following cities:

  • Shanghai (with 3 medium-risk areas)
  • Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (3)
  • Xingtai City, Hebei Province (2)
  • Baoding City, Hebei Province (1)
  • Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang Province (1)
  • Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province (21)
  • Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province (19)
  • Changchun City, Jilin Province (1)

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Pandemic: Fake Vaccine in China

China reported a case involving fake COVID-19 vaccine. The public security authorities recently cracked a case involving counterfeit vaccine. The authorities arrested more than 80 suspects and seized more than 3,000 sticks of fake vaccine which were filled with physiological saline.

The case involved police from Beijing, Jiangsu Province, and Shandong Province. The suspect has been selling the fake vaccine since September 2020.

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Military: China’s Airplanes Practiced Missile Attack on U.S. Carrier

According to intelligence from the U.S. and its allies, Chinese bombers and fighter jets carried out a simulated missile attack on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea.

They conducted the exercise in Taiwan’s air defense airspace on January 23, after China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command dispatched the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group into the South China Sea.

A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said the Chinese aircraft did not come within 250 nautical miles of U.S. Navy ships.

Another person familiar with the matter said the Chinese planes had been staying about 250 nautical miles from the USS Roosevelt battle group. Dialogue between the pilots of the Chinese H-6 bombers showed that the planes were conducting a mock locking down and releasing anti-ship missile against the U.S. aircraft carrier.

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Military: The PLA Equipped Soldiers in Tibet with Self-Destruct Helmets

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) equipped its soldiers stationed in Tibet with new helmets that have a self-destruct button. The button would trigger an embedded bomb to go off, killing the soldier.

The state-run media China Observer reported on Dec. 27, 2020, “At a battalion or brigade level command center, a commander uses a navigation system to monitor the soldier who is far away. The commander can activate the self-destruct function on the soldier’s helmet if he is unable to contact him.”

The report stated that soldiers can also press the button themselves. “If a soldier is seriously wounded and doesn’t want to be captured, he can activate the self-destruct function himself. This can maintain his dignity, as well as prevent the enemy from obtaining this system.”

The new helmet is part of an “individual soldier digital combat system” given to troops in the Tibet theater command. They face Indian troops at the border, where there were recent skirmishes over disputed territory in the Ladakh region.

The system includes an antenna and bomb, night-vision multifunctional glasses, and a digital control terminal that can be worn on the arm.

After being equipped with the system, soldiers at the frontline can communicate with the battalion commander at the command center via radio. Meanwhile, the commander can see the frontline via video footage captured by the soldier’s camera-equipped jacket. The footage can help the commander to make decisions such as ordering the soldier to fire artillery targeting Indian soldiers.

Soldiers in special forces units, the squad infantry, as well as the artillery, aviation, and armor divisions will be equipped with this system.

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Source: The Epoch Times, January 11, 2021
https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-develops-helmets-for-military-soldiers-with-self-destruct-button_3651136.html

Military: China Tested the Biden Administration’s Position on Taiwan

On January 23, China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone. China’s planes included eight nuclear-capable bombers, four fighter jets and an anti-submarine patrol aircraft. In response, Taiwan’s air force warned away the Chinese aircraft and deployed missiles to monitor them.

After the incident and on the same day, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command dispatched an aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt into the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas” in the waterway.

Also on the same day, the U.S. State Department released a statement confirming its support for Taiwan. The statement asserted,

“The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.

We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Indo-Pacific region — and that includes deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan. The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan. The United States maintains its longstanding commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”

However, on the next day, Beijing sent another 15 aircraft to break into Taiwan’s airspace.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy Framework that the Trump administration declassified stated the following:

“Objective: Deter China from using military force against the United States and U.S. allies or partners, and develop the capabilities and concepts to defeat Chinese actions across the spectrum of conflict.”

One action toward this objective is: “Devise and implement a defense strategy capable of, but not limited to: (1) denying China sustained air and sea dominance inside the “first island chain” in a conflict; (2) defending the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan; and (3) dominating all domains outside the first island-chain.”

Sources:
1. New York Post, January 23, 2021.
https://nypost.com/2021/01/23/china-sends-warplanes-into-taiwans-airspace-report/
2. State Department, January 23, 2021.
https://www.state.gov/prc-military-pressure-against-taiwan-threatens-regional-peace-and-stability/
3. New York Post, January 25, 2021.
https://nypost.com/2021/01/25/china-sends-warplanes-into-taiwan-airspace-for-2nd-straight-day/

 

Economy: How Much Did China Buy from the U.S. in 2020 to Fulfill Its Trade Agreement Promise?

The United States and China signed the Phase I Trade Agreement on January 15, 2020. Washington agreed to reduce some added tariffs in exchange for Beijing, in the years of 2021 and 2022, agreeing to buy an additional total of $200 billion in goods and services from the U.S., over and above China’s purchases from the U.S. in 2017.

A year after the agreement, China didn’t reach its purchase target and the U.S. trade deficient from China increased again.

China agreed to buy around $159 billion in American goods. However, according to a report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, by November 2020, China’s actual purchases were around $82 billion, or 52 percent of the target.

China fulfilled 67 percent of its purchase goal on agricultural products, 52 percent on manufacturing goods, and 31 percent on energy products.

On the other hand, China kept increasing its exports to the world. Beijing stated on January 7 that leading with the strong export of medical supplies, China’s trade surplus with the world has increased to $535 billion, the new high from 2015.

The U.S. also tried to remove structural blocks that American companies faced in China in the Phase I Trade Agreement, in the areas of protecting intellectual property, avoiding forced technology transfer, and easing restrictions on market entry to China.

Last June, China announced it would open its $45 trillion financial market to the world. It also granted American Express a license for clearing house transactions. In September, China issued a draft regulation on protecting business secrets. However, these actions have not materially changed the real situation in China.

Some analysts think that the positive side of the trade agreement is that the Trump administration changed people’s view of China in the economic field and made companies rethink their dependence on the supply chain from China.

Doug Barry, the spokesperson of the US-China Business Council told VOA, “I hope the new administration can support the successful completion of the Phase I agreement and reach an accord with China to start the work of Phase II, which will focus on resolving China’s subsidies to state-owned enterprises, opening more economic fields to foreign competitors, and other trade issues.”

Source: VOA, January 16, 2021
https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-trade-economy-tariff-20210115/5739614.html