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Briefings - 3. page What Does Australia Want to Do with the Largest Military Exercise Encircling China in 30 Years? (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 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: (People’s Daily), September 7, 2017

Beijing Enforces Real-Name Registration on the Internet

According to new rules that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s highest Internet regulator, recently announced, starting on October 1, 2017, only users who have provided their identity information will be able to post online content or comments on the Internet. Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported on August 26 that the new rules aim to prevent the spread of views the state bans or which the law prohibits, that the circulation of such information has to be stopped immediately, and that measures must be taken for its removal.

The CAC website explicitly required that website operators will have to review comments on news stories before they can appear online. At the top of the CAC’s list of harmful information are: endangering national security, revealing state secrets, subverting state power, damaging national honor and interests, undermining national unity, spreading rumors or disrupting the social order.

On August 29, China’s state media Global Times published an article to defend the above provision. The article said, “Without real name authentication, one cannot function on the Internet.” The article also claimed that the vast majority of the people had widely accepted real name certification.

An analysis published at a Shanghai-based news and finance web portal,, expressed the expectation that online promotional activities will be curtailed. In recent years, online public relations companies have hired paid commentators to promote products. Some well-connected public relations companies even offer services to remove web pages that contain negative consumer reviews. CAC’s new regulation prevents commercial operations from generating massive favorable comments or from selectively removing unfavorable comments.

1., August 31, 2017
2. Radio France Internationale, August 26, 2017中国/20170826-大陆网民发表意见十月开始需用实名
4. Cyberspace Administration of China website, August 25, 2017

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

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

Global Times: Taiwan Reunification Time Table Hard to Establish, but Mainland Cannot Wait Too Long

Global Times recently reported that the press interviewed Wang Zaixi, the former Deputy Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of Mainland China. Wang stated that the Taiwan Issue has its historic complications and that finding a resolution is pretty challenging. Thus, the reunification may take quite some time. It is fairly difficult to come up with a clear time table to reach that goal. However, the urgency should not just fade away. From what has been demonstrated inside the island, the possibility of a peaceful reunification is “slowly disappearing.” Wang expressed the belief that the current Taiwanese administration is “laying the groundwork” for declaring independence. He cautioned that the 1.3 billion Mainland Chinese people “will not allow” the reunification process to drag on for too long a time. If an agreement cannot be reached, a phased approach may be more realistic. It is also possible that the reunification can be achieved with “overwhelmingly high military pressure,” but without a full-blown war.

Source: Global Times, September 2, 2017

U.S. Unemployment Rate Seems to Be Beating Predictions

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, although U.S. economic growth can only be called “modest,” it seems the U.S. unemployment rate has, unexpectedly, been going down over the past seven months. The job market numbers saw growth in the last five months. The rate of job growth is double the required rate to sustain long-term stability. Even those who are not actively looking for a job have gotten “sucked into” the working population. The market analysts have been expecting a slow-down in job growth since the unemployment rate was already at a low level. Experts are trying to explain the “unexpected” good news for the U.S. job market. The generally agreed upon explanation is that there has been steady consumer spending, high expectations of results from of the Trump tax-cut, stable oil prices, and the growth of U.S. exports. However, according to Bloomberg, the latest unemployment statistics did not include the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Source: Sina, August 31, 2017

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