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Geo-Strategic Trend - 3. page

German Ambassador to China Complained about Issues between China and Germany

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, at a press conference not long ago, the German Ambassador to China, Michael Clauss, described a series of issues that Germany had with China. One issue that the Ambassador discussed specifically was the agreement between the two governments to establish a mechanism to facilitate on-going dialogues on Internet security. Clauss said the original discussion started in June. However, because of the lack of good faith in such a dialogue on the Chinese side, there has been no activity since then. The spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, later responded that the comments that Ambassador Clauss made were almost “flipping right and wrong,” because, after multiple invitations from China, the German government kept delaying sending the delegation. She thought Mr. Clauss should be more constructive and should make more positive contributions to the China-Germany relationship.

Source: Sina, December 27, 2017

China Keeps Silent on North Korea’s Massive Fake Chinese Currency Brought into China

Duowei cited a Japanese media report that North Korea has recently been mass producing counterfeit Chinese currency renminbi and bringing the counterfeit money into China.

According to South Korean media reports, the North Korean source responsible for the original manufacture of the counterfeit currency is the Pingcheng mint factories under the North Korean Workers’ Party “Room 39.” Its counterfeit money is very sophisticated. Even the bank staff that deals with cash every day cannot tell the difference unless they check very carefully.

The forgery and circulation of other countries’ currencies is called “economic terror” and could have become a big diplomatic issue. However, the response of the Chinese government is quite puzzling. To date, only a handful of police stations have placed a note, “The occurrence of a large amount of counterfeit money made in North Korea,” on the front page of their official websites to remind the public. The official media have been silent. The Chinese government also has not issued a protest to North Korea.

Source: Duowei, December 19, 2017

Xinhua: Beware of Japan’s Ambition to Become a Military Power

Zhang Huanli, a scholar at the Research Center for International Affairs and a former reporter for Xinhua News Agency in Tokyo, said in an interview with Xinhua that all sides should pay close attention to how much Japan’s defense budget has grown year after year.

Zhang said that Japan’s military expenditures have been breaking new record highs. In the past, Japan had unwritten rules that its defense budget should be controlled and be within one percent of its GDP. Since Abe came to power, this restriction has long been broken. In addition, this year Japan also added more defense-related funds through supplementary budgets. This means that by the end of 2018 Japan’s actual defense budget will far exceed 5.2 trillion yen.

“Doing so, Japan, on the one hand, wants to cater to the United States. On the other hand, Japan hopes to show the United States its determination to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance by strengthening its cooperation with the United States in the military field.”

Zhang Huanli pointed out that, In the long run, increasing military spending in Japan will pose a threat to the security of the Asia-Pacific region. So far, the Abe administration has not made a sincere apology for the crimes that led to the war of aggression. To make matters worse, ever year, Abe has offered sacrifices to the Yasukuni Shrine. This disguised visit to the Yasukuni Shrine undoubtedly is a form of recognizing the war of aggression. Countries that once suffered Japanese aggression cannot avoid remaining vigilant to how Japan’s military expenditures increase by the year and to its ambition to become a military power.

Source: Xinhua, December 23, 2017

BBC Chinese: China Continued Expanding Military Construction in South China Sea

BBC Chinese recently reported that, according to documents that the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published, China continued its expansion of the construction of artificial islands and the military facilities on the islands in the South China Sea. CSIS also released clear satellite photos that show new ammunition depots, aircraft hangars, and radar. The latest equipment effectively made these islands China’s most advanced military bases. For the time being, the facilities are mostly unused; CSIS described them as proof of “slow development of crisis.” It also pointed out that the radar systems are a highlight because they are sufficient enough to monitor “everything in the region.” China dismissed the CSIS “criticism” as “making a big fuss over a minor move,” which was solely for the purpose of self-defense. China also announced that, in 2019, it will launch three optical satellites to establish 24-hour monitoring over the South China Sea.

Source: BBC Chinese, December 19, 2017

China News: Saudi Arabia and Israel are Getting Closer to Each Other Publicly

China News, a state owned and internationally oriented Chinese news agency, recently published a commentary on the latest Middle East situation. The article started with the Trump Administration’s official acknowledgement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The author described the reaction from the Arabic world, saying, “unusually low-key,” and that’s “expected.” The reason is that Saudi Arabia has, publicly, been getting closer and closer to Israel. The two nations have been aligning their actions recently on the world stage, such as aiming against Iran and working together in the UN against Syria. For many years Saudi Arabia has been providing much needed funds to support the Palestinian authority. However, Iran was the one leading a tougher movement against Israel, which is challenging Saudi Arabia’s leadership role in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia’s influence was damaged in dealing with the Yemen rebels and Qatar. The commentator suggested that when Saudi Arabia’s money and resources are combined with Israel’s military power and intelligence, the cooperation between these two nations should be quite effective and decisive. The biggest losers in this new era are the Palestinians.

Source: China News, December 19, 2017

Australian Prime Minister: A Total of 10 Political Candidates Closely Associated with Chinese Intelligence

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull emphasized the “Chinese Threat” again when he visited a local community. Turnbull said he was by no means against China since he had been doing business in China for 25 years. However, as the nation’s leader, he asked the Australian people to “stand up.” Turnbull also told the media that the Australian national security services confirmed that, in the past elections, a total of 10 candidates were “closely associated” with Chinese intelligence agencies. At least one of these candidates has already won an election. This is part of a wider Chinese plan to penetrate the Australian parliament. As soon as Turnbull made these comments, the Labor Party immediately accused the current administration of “intentionally leaking national security information,” in order to make the Labor party look bad. The spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that the China-Australia relationship is being “poisoned.”

Source: Sina, December 11, 2017

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