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Haiwainet.cn: What Does Australia Want to Do with the Largest Military Exercise Encircling China in 30 Years?

Haiwainet.cn (the official website for People’s Daily overseas edition) published a commentary article on the recent military exercises of the Australian Navy’s “Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017.” Below is an excerpt from the article:

According to an Australian Defense Magazine report, the Australian Navy will be conducting military exercises, starting on September 4, in the Indian Ocean and in the Pacific with the code-name, “Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017.” During the three months of military exercises, the Australian Army fleet will also visit a number of countries including Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Excluding Vietnam, the Australian Army fleet will visit almost all countries across the South China Sea and the East China Sea that surround China. What does it mean that Australia’s military exercise route is “encircling” China?

Gao Cheng, a researcher at the Asia-Pacific and Global Strategy Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences mentioned in an interview with Naihai.com that Australia wants to conduct this exercise in order to please the United States and to take this opportunity to consolidate the alliance between the two countries. We can also regard it as Australia’s position toward the United States. In fact, with the recent increase in the amount of attention Australia’s Navy is receiving, the Australian Army is holding a large number of joint exercises with the United States and Japan each year to enhance Australia’s international influence. We also observed that Australia, as a foreign country, is often very active in commenting on South China Sea issues.

Recently,  (China’s) domestic media created a cartoon ridiculing Australia: Australia is depicted as a loudspeaker that a United States radio station set up in the Asia-Pacific. It works very hard and is very proud, but it is becoming more and more like noise in the area. Gao Cheng agreed with this symbolism. He further pointed out that Australia belongs to the “first echelon” in the Asia-Pacific region in its support for the United States. It often acts as the “assistant police” for the United States in the region. However, it also “swings” politically. The honeymoon period with China from the beginning of 2017 fully explains this point. The United States is Australia’s most important ally. China is Australia’s most important trading partner. Australia faces a tough problem trying to balance between these two, but time has proven that, as a “hardcore” ally of the U.S., it is difficult for Australia to get rid of the United States’ political influence.

Gao Cheng said that although it “swings,” Australia’s “pro-U.S.” stance is consistent. Australia boasts, as a “mid-level power,” that it likes to seek dominance in the South Pacific. However, it is impossible to achieve this goal using its own capacity for technology. It needs the support of its U.S. ally. At the same time, Australia regards America as its most trusted ally in security.

Source: haiwainet.cn (People’s Daily), September 7, 2017
http://nanhai.haiwainet.cn/n/2017/0907/c3542184-31106801.html

Global Times: How Should China Respond to North Korea’s New Nuclear Test?

Following North Korea’s latest nuclear test, China’s state media Global Times published an editorial to state China’s stance. Soon after, the article was withdrawn from its website, but it is still available on the website of Sina, which republished the article. Below is an excerpt from the article:

North Korea’s latest nuclear test explosions and a recent series of long-range missile tests show that Pyongyang does not yield to any pressure, soft or hard. It is determined to obtain long-range nuclear strike capability and will not yield to any external pressure. North Korea nuclear issue is almost a dead knot (unresolvable).

Faced with this complex situation, China has to maintain a high degree of calm, take measures from China’s national interests, and minimize the risks that Chinese society faces. The safety of northeast China is of number one importance. We need to make it clear to Pyongyang through a variety of channels that its nuclear tests cannot pollute the northeast of China. China’s strategic security and environmental security are the bottom line in China’s exercise of restraint.

North Korea’s latest nuclear campaign will inevitably lead to a discussion in the UN Security on imposing new sanctions. Intensified sanctions will be inevitable. However, we believe that, despite the fact that Chinese society is very upset about the DPRK’s new nuclear test, we still want to avoid impulsive action. China should not easily agree to extreme sanctions such as one similar to the embargo against North Korea.

Once China has completely cut off the supply of oil to North Korea, or even shut down the border between China and North Korea, it is still uncertain whether it can prevent North Korea’s nuclear activities. The DPRK’s comprehensive and open opposition to China will likely happen. In that way, over a period of time, the contradiction between China and the DPRK will at least become the most prominent contradiction surrounding the Korean Peninsula. The opposition between China and the DPRK will overwhelm the contradiction between the U.S. and North Korea and take most of the energy of the highly tense situation. Washington and Seoul will then achieve the purpose of “outsourcing” North Korea’s nuclear problem to China. That is completely inconsistent with China’s national interests.

Therefore, as long as the DPRK nuclear activities do not pollute China’s northeast, China should avoid the radical attitude of the United States and South Korea in issuing sanctions against North Korea.

China is a big country. China’s agenda and interests are global. The issue of the Korean peninsula will never garner China’s whole attention.

Source: Global Times, republished by Sina, September 3, 2017
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/nd/2017-09-03/doc-ifykqmrv8295988.shtml

Luo Yuan: U.S. Military Force Adjustment Exposes Its Intention; Is That Not Targeting China?

Luo Yuan, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association (CSCPA), published an article in Global Times (a division of People’s Daily) expressing his opinion about the U.S. military strategy against China. In the article, Luo stated, “The United States, which has long been leading the hype of the ‘China threat,’ has, since the Obama administration, been promoting the implementation of the ‘Asia-Pacific rebalancing’ strategy. Although the intention is quite obvious, the United States vows that it is not against China. However, the facts speak louder than words. The recently released CSCPA ‘2016 U.S. military assessment report’ revealed that the United States had completed the 2016 edition of its “national military strategy.” It proposed to focus on the ‘4 +1’ threat, namely the four countries of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and one other non-State form, the “Islamic State.”

“In fact, in the U.S. Defense Department’s report, the 2017 national defense situation report, is titled Look to the Long Term and Invest in the Future.’ Published in February 2016, it had already proposed that the United States was facing the five challenges of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and the ‘Islamic countries.'”

“In line with these strategic objectives, the U.S. military will further reduce its size but strengthen its power. The main goal will be a change to dealing with China, Russia, and other major strategic challenges from dealing with the war on anti-terrorists and non-traditional security threats.”

The article concluded, “After all, is China a ‘threat’ or is the United States a ‘threat’? I am afraid that it is crystal clear. If the United States cannot abandon its fantasy and try to have a mutually beneficial and win-win situation with China, then China will walk its own way and strengthen its power until it is strong enough to be a bargaining chip and for there to be a balance between China and the U.S.”

Source: People’s Daily, August 30, 2017
http://military.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0830/c1011-29503616.html

Xinhua News Analysis: U.S. Army Cyber Command to Upgrade; Cyber War Is No Longer a Future Concept

China’s state media Xinhua published a news analysis on U.S. President Trump’s announcement to elevate the U.S. Cyber Command to a Unified Combatant Command. It said that the upgrade of the U.S. military cyber command to the U.S. military tenth joint operations headquarters, a status equivalent to the U.S. Central Command and other major combat commands, means that cyber space is officially listed as the U.S. military’s fifth battlefield along with marine, land, air, and outer space. Thus the worrying trend of the militarization of cyberspace has been further exacerbated.

The article quoted a statement that the Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Michael Rogers, made at a Congressional hearing in May, “Every conflict in the world now has a conflict in the dimension of cyber space. … A cyber war is not a future concept or a film scene. It has a real existence.”

The article stated in conclusion, “At the beginning of the establishment of the U.S. military cyber command, Commander Keith Alexander asserted that it would not promote the militarization of space in the military. Since then, however, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and other countries have announced the formation of cyber forces. Now the upgrade of the U.S. military cyber command is likely to trigger other countries to follow suit, thus further intensifying the arms race in cyber space.”

Source: Xinhua, August 18, 2017
http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2017-08/19/c_1121509545.htm

Beidou Navigation System Will Be a Global Navigation System Not Subject to the Control of the United States

China’s state media quoted the Russian satellite network’s August 19 report that building a Sino-Russian joint orbit cluster (composed of 50-55 satellites) will help the use China’s Beidou satellite navigation system (BDS) in any part of the world. Many Asian countries are now using the BDS.

After creating a unified satellite cluster, “the concerns over Americans’ and Europeans’ (possible actions) will be completely eliminated.” Americans can cut off the global satellite positioning system and do anything they want with the system, but this will not have any effect on the GLONASS and the Beidou’s service consumers. By 2020, Beidou will become a global satellite navigation system for the Chinese army.

In case there is a conflict between any side of the partnership of the China-Russia, Sino-U.S. and Russia-U.S. with the U.S. side, none of the consumers of the GLONASS and BDS services will be damaged in any way. This is important for all countries that use the GPS and are concerned about U.S. sanctions.

The Sino-Russian joint navigation system is a strategic project. It is no coincidence that both countries regard their cooperation as one of the most promising directions in the high-tech field.

Sources: Global Times, People’s Daily and Xinhua, August 24, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com.vrp3d.com.cn/observation/2017-08/11165033.html
http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0824/c1002-29491324.html
http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2017-08/24/c_129687931.htm

Duowei: China’s Politics Has Gotten Rid of the Shackle of Veteran Interference

The Chinese media Duowei, an online news publication that the Chinese government sponsors, published an article stating that China’s political “Beidaihe time” is nearing completion. The current incumbent high-level Chinese Communist Party leaders and many political veterans will also end this rare summer vacation model.

The article predicted that China’s politics today has basically gotten rid of the shackles of the “veteran politics” as compared to before the CCP’s 18th Congress when Communist veterans were the heavy weights and played an important role in decision making. The article particularly singled out Jiang Zemin as a bad example of “veteran’s political intervention.”

The article said, “The most typical case of Jiang Zemin’s “political intervention” was that during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China, the PLA senior officials said that they would like to consult the ‘old leadership’ and refused to listen to the directives of Premier Wen Jiabao who represented Hu Jintao and went to the disaster area as the commander-in-chief. Behind this embarrassing phenomenon was the influence of Jiang Zemin, who was in the position of Chairman of the Central Military Commission for an extra two years, and the long-term existence of the ‘Jiang Zemin Office’ until the CCP’s 18th Congress. It hindered Hu Jintao’s leadership.

“Jiang Zemin’s ‘political intervention’ meant that he didn’t want to let go of power while the country’s political situation was stable, and he interfered with the high-level personnel arrangements of the Chinese Communist Party when he should not have.”

Source: Duowei, August 14, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-08-14/60006885.html