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Geo-Strategic Trend - 3. page

Chinese Military Attaché Driven Out of Pacific Islands Forum

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been trying to expand its influence over the Pacific Islands for years. It successfully signed a security treaty with the Solomon Islands which allows for police and military exchanges. However, at the China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ meeting in May, its recent push for a similar security treaty with the whole group of island countries did not go through.

The latest development was at the Pacific Islands Forum which was held in Suva, Fiji from July 12 to 15. When U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris was delivering an online speech on July 13, two Chinese officials entered the media section without proper identification. A Fiji news reporter recognized one of them and asked what his identity was. Was he a Chinese embassy official or a Xinhua news reporter? The Chinese official shook his head as if he didn’t understand English. The Fiji reporter then informed the meeting organizer and the police came to remove those two Chinese officials.

Later people in the diplomat circle confirmed that these two people were the Military Attaché and Deputy Military Attaché from the Chinese Embassy in Fiji.

Source: Radio France International, July 13, 2022中国/20220713-贺锦丽正说着话-两名中国使馆武官遭太平洋岛国论坛会议警方驱离

Former Japanese Intelligence Officer Estimates China Sent at Least 20,000 Spies to Japan

While the U.S. intelligence community is busy investigating Chinese spy cases in its country, the Japan intelligence faces the similar challenge: the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sent too many spies to Japan.

Radio Free Asia reported that Masatoshi Fujitani, a former Investigative officer from Japan’s Public Security Investigation Bureau stated in a TV interview that he estimated that China has sent 20,000 to 25,000 spies to Japan so far.

On a Japanese cable channel ABEMA’s “ABEMA Prime” program, Fujitani said, “Through cooperation with intelligence agencies in various countries, (we) estimated that China has sent around 20,000 to 25,000 spies or agents to Japan. Adding (those from) North Korea and Russia, the number of agents in Japan is huge. However, with only 1,700 staff members, our Public Security Investigation Bureau is unable to keep up with the opponents. We can only respond as much as we can within our limited budget.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 8, 2022

Beijing Increases Purchasing of Low-Priced Russian Coal

Though China’s coal demand is decreasing and domestic supply is increasing, since May Russia, has been  offering a big discount on coal. Therefore, Beijing has increased its purchase of Russian coal significantly.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that, in the period of January to May, China’s domestic coal production has increased by 10 percent over the same period last year. It has risen to 1.81 billion tons. At the same time, Russia’s coal delivery to China in May increased by 20 percent, to 5.5 million tons; and from June 1 to June 28, the delivery increased by 55 percent, to 6.2 million tons.

Source: Epoch Times, June 30, 2022

Ukraine Completely Outlawed the Communist Party of Ukraine

Well-known Chinese news site Tencent News recently reported that Ukraine’s Eighth Court of Administrative Appeals completed the hearing of the administrative case on the banning of the Communist Party of Ukraine. The Court issued its final ruling to completely ban the activities of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Property, funds and all other assets of the party and its regional, municipal, district organizations, grassroots organizations and other structural entities will be handed over to the state. Earlier, Ukrainian President Zelensky signed a law to ban pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine. As early as April 9, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the “Supreme Council”) passed a bill. The flag, the national anthem, the monument and the image of the leader of the Soviet Union, and the phrase “Great Patriotic War” were all banned in Ukraine. The names and activities of communist leaders and other associated entities are not allowed in trademarks. After this bill was passed, the Ukrainian government immediately instructed the relevant departments to sue the Ukrainian Communist Party in court.

Source: Tencent News, July 6, 2022

Global Millionaire Migration Report Released

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that the newly released Henley & Partners report revealed the 2022 global high-income population inflow and outflow data forecasts. The research looked at people with wealth of US$1 million or more, and is about true migration, that is, those who spend more than half of their time in a new country for the year. Data shows that with the advent of the post-epidemic era, more and more high-income families have begun to choose investment immigration. Around 88,000 millionaires are expected to emigrate by the end of 2022, and this number will continue to rise, with 2023 expected to be the largest year of millionaire immigration to date, a whopping 125,000. Forecast data in the report shows that the top ten countries with net inflows of HNWIs (high net-worth individuals) in 2022 will be the UAE, Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the U.S., Portugal, Greece, Canada and New Zealand. Plenty of millionaires also expected to turn to Malta, Mauritius and Monaco. On the other hand, the top 10 countries and territories with the largest net outflows of HNWIs are expected to be Russia, China, India, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Brazil, UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Source: NetEase, June 29, 2022

Global Times: U.S. Air Force F-35A Stealth Fighters Deployed to South Korea

Global Times recently reported that the South Korean Ministry of Defense said six fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets from Elson Air Force Base in Alaska have been deployed to South Korea and are scheduled to conduct joint exercises with the South Korean Air Force. According to the report, this is the first time in five years that the U.S. Air Force F-35A stealth fighter has been deployed to the Korean peninsula . The South Korean Ministry of Defense claimed that the joint exercise was aimed at demonstrating the strong deterrence and joint defense posture of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, while improving the interoperability between the South Korean and the U.S. air forces. In December 2017, the U.S. military first publicly deployed F-35As to South Korea. In addition to the F-35A, the U.S. military also invested in the F-22 “Raptor” stealth fighter and B-1B strategic bomber at that time, and launched the “Vigilant ACE” Korea-US joint air exercise.

Source: Global Times, July 5, 2022

Xinhua: Turkey Reiterates Its Rejection of Sanctions against Russia

Xinhua recently reported that a Turkish presidential spokesman reiterated not long ago that Turkey will not follow the West to sanction Russia, and Turkey needs to consider its own economic interests. Turkey has publicly informed Western countries about its position, but, from time to time, it is still under pressure from Western countries to sanction Russia. Turkey emphasized that the Turkish position is “very firm” that they “will not do that.” Since Russia launched a special military operation against Ukraine on February 24, the United States and the European Union have imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Russia. However, as Russia is the EU’s main supplier of natural gas and crude oil, the backlash caused by the sanctions has made the EU even more embarrassed. Turkey’s disagreement with Europe revolves not only over whether to sanction Russia, but also over whether to support Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO. On March 29, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators started a new round of negotiations at the Presidential Palace in the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish President Erdogan met with representatives of both sides before the start of the peace talks and expressed his willingness to facilitate the Russian-Ukrainian Presidential Meeting in Turkey.

Source: Xinhua, June 27, 2022

Lowy Poll: Australians See China as a Military Threat, with Record Low Trust

Australian news network SBS recently reported in its Chinese Edition that a 2022 Lowy Institute Poll showed growing concern over Russian and Chinese foreign policies and the possibility of a potential war on Taiwan. Few saw the Covid-19 pandemic as a threat in 2022. Three-quarters of respondents said China was “very” or “somewhat” likely to be a military threat to Australia over the next 20 years, a 30-percentage point increase from 2018. Only 12 percent of respondents said they trust China, down 40 percent from 2018. A majority of Australians (65 percent) saw China’s foreign policy as a “significant threat” over the next decade – up 29 percent from 2017. Only 11 percent said they had “great” or “somewhat” positive confidence that Xi would make the right decisions on world affairs. This figure is half of what it was in 2020 (22 percent) and 32 percent from 2018 (43 percent). For the first time in the survey results, a majority of Australians (51 percent) said they would support Australia sending troops if China invaded Taiwan and the US decided to intervene. Data also showed 88 percent of Australians were “very” or “somewhat” concerned that China could open a military base in the Pacific island nations.

Source: SBS Chinese, June 30, 2022