Tag Archives: China

Koreans act as proxies for US-China war

North Korea fired more than 100 artillery shells onto Yeonpyeong Island Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. In March, Seoul blamed North Korea for sinking South Korea’s Cheonan warship, killing 46 sailors.

The United States and South Korea prepared for war games between November 28 – December 1, 2010 as South Koreans demanded vengeance over a deadly North Korean artillery bombardment that has raised fears of more clashes between the bitter rivals. The North, meanwhile, worked to justify one of the worst attacks on South Korean territory since the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea said civilians were used as a “human shield” around artillery positions and lashed out at what it called a “propaganda campaign” against Pyongyang. It claimed the United States orchestrated last Tuesday’s clash so that it could stage joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea with the South that include a U.S. nuclear powered supercarrier — enraging the North and making neighboring China uneasy.

The artillery attack by North Korea against South Korea last week was no random act of senseless violence. It was a super power, China, using a proxy to make a strategic point. It was a calculated move to ramp up tension and challenge the status quo. The Chinese don’t want the Americans and their South Korea allies to hold joint anti-submarine maneuvers in the Yellow Sea (West Sea to the Koreans). The Chinese told the allies that back in July and they were ignored.

At the crux of the matter is the issue of maritime borders. China wants to create a “no-sail” zone in the China Sea. Under international law, a naval power can positions its warships in international waters 22 kilometers or 14 miles or 12 nautical miles from the low tide mark of the shoreline of a foreign country. The Chinese (and many other countries) want to extend this demarcation to 200 miles or the current limit of their “exclusive economic zone”. In the narrow Yellow Sea that would mean an aircraft carrier like USS George Washington would have to stay about 70 miles off the coast of Weihan, instead of the more aggressive 14 miles which is ‘legal’ under international law. Imagine the reaction of the US Navy if a Chinese aircraft carrier were to position itself 14 miles off the coast of Virginia or Manhattan. The Chinese have already announced that they do not want the US/Korean naval maneuvers to stray over the border of the “exclusive economic” zone.

This latest incident is just one in a long chain of events that have been percolating in the background. In September, the Chinese military announced that it had developed a “carrier-killer”. As described in The Global Times, a Chinese government-controlled newspaper, “China undoubtedly needs to build a highly credible anti-carrier capability. Not only does China need an anti-ship ballistic missile, but also other carrier-killing measures. Since US aircraft carrier battle groups in the Pacific constitute deterrence against China’s strategic interests, China has to possess the capacity to counterbalance.” By Chinese strategic interests, the article is referring to China’s stated objective of creating a “no sail zone” extending 1,000 miles from the Chinese coast. Such a “no sail” zone would push US naval power to the east of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Phillipines, New Guinea and Indonesia, creating the equivalent of the “Chinese co-prosperity sphere”. It would only be a matter of time before resource-rich Australia would be included in the “no sail” zone.

US intelligence anticipated the Chinese announcement of the “carrier-killer” when it staged a show of force in early July by surfacing a new version of the Ohio-class nuclear submarine armed with 154 conventional Tomahawk cruise missiles around the periphery of the China Sea: the USS Michigan surfaced in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia (a Los Angeles class attack submarine surface unannounced on November 8th in Okinawa to the chagrin of the Japanese Government during its stand-off with the Chinese over a fishing boat). With this provocation, the US Navy was taunting the Chinese and making clear that it understood that the aircraft carrier was an obsolete weapon system. The admirals were acknowledging that the next war would be fought by submarines and submersible vessels and that they understood the Chinese threat from that corner. Since the US submarine fleet is declining due to exorbitant costs and the Chinese submarine fleet is surging in numbers and capability due to its labor cost advantage and the theft of Western technology ships, the July announcement of joint US/Korean anti-submarine maneuvers on November 28 – December 1, 2010 in the Yellow Sea was a shot across the bow of the Chinese Navy.

With these events as a backdrop, the North Korean artillery attack does not look like a random event. On the other hand, it looks like a carefully orchestrated move by the Chinese to pressure the Americans to back off to a new “no sail” zone demarcated by the “exclusive economic zone”. We will see what our Navy does over the next three days and whether or not this will prompt a proxy war in North Korea. What happened in Korea last week was no random act of mindless violence by a regime crying for attention. The Chinese gave the order.

Sources:        Groundreport        NTDTV           Timesunion

Six countries stay away from Nobel Peace at behest of China

Six countries, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco and Iraq,, have turned down an invitation for their ambassadors in Oslo to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honour of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo next month.  36 ambassadors had accepted our invitation, 16 had not replied. As each year, the Institute has invited all ambassadors based in the Norwegian capital to attend the December 10 ceremony, and the diplomats had until November 15 to say whether or not they would come.

A number of embassies had requested more time to reach a decision on whether to participate knowing the sensitivities of China about participation in the ceremony. China’s rulers were enraged by the decision to give the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last December on subversion charges after co-authoring a manifesto calling for political reform in China, and who they consider a “criminal.” The Chinese embassy in Oslo sent a letter to other countries’ missions in the city requesting that they refrain from attending the ceremony. Everyyear, some countries do not participate for unknown reasons. In 2008, for example, 10 ambassadors were not present.

Source:  Hosted News through Google

China set to construct dam to Brahmaputra against Indian interest

Beijing has formally announced that it would start constructing a dam on the Tsangpo river that flows into Assam as Brahmaputra. The Brahmaputra rises from near Lake Mansarover. After flowing eastwards through Tibet, it takes a U-turn to the south before entering Arunachal Pradesh. The Brahmaputra flows 918km before falling into the Bay of Bengal. China’s plan is to dam the Brahmaputra and divert 200 billion cubic metres of water every year to the country’s north-east regions of Shaanxi, Hebei, Beijing and Tianjin.

Besides India, which raised the construction of a 510 MW dam on the Brahmaputra in talks with the Chinese leadership this week.  India voiced concerns, calling on China to continue sharing data regarding its plans for the Brahmaputra, or the Yarlung Tsangpo as it is known in Tibet. While India and China have set up a joint expert-level group to exchange hydrological data, the absence of a water-sharing treaty means the exchange of information is limited. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia had expressed similar concerns over eight dams being built on the Mekong River.

The Chinese government mounted a defence of its dams on the Brahmaputra and Mekong rivers in reaction to concerns of its seven neighbors.   While China has stressed that its eight dams would help, and not hinder, flood management, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) — represented by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia — has called on China to share more data and be more transparent about its plans. China has been reluctant to join the MRC.

The official Global Times newspaper reported that in China too, some environmental groups and some engineers had voiced concerns over the Brahmaputra dam. “The diversified fauna and flora there have evolved over tens of millions of years and will be damaged. Blocking the river may also overturn the balance of the region’s ecosystem,” said Wang Yongchen of the Beijing-based Green Earth Volunteers.

The newspaper also quoted an engineer with the Sichuan bureau of Geological Exploration and Exploration of Mineral Resources warning that the dam “may not function well at a high altitude, where rivers are likely to be frozen for most of the year” and that the area was “subject to natural disasters such as earthquakes.”

Regardless of these concerns, construction of the dam started on November 12, following the damming of the river on November 8.  After the annoncement, Assam state chief minister Tarun Gogoi said he would request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sign a water-sharing treaty with China.  The CM said he would ask the Centre to closely watch developments across the border and seek a team to study the downstream impacts that India will have to face once the dam comes up in China. The study should be carried out for our future safety. 

In 2006, when it was first reported that China would build a dam on the river as it flows through Tibet, Gogoi had sought Singh’s intervention to impress upon Chinese authorities to stop damming the Brahmaputra in Chinese territory.  Experts fear construction of a dam on the Brahmaputra in China might slowly turn biodiversity-rich Assam and Arunachal Pradesh into semi-arid states and deplete the groundwater table. Gogoi said he would make a joint effort with his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart, Dorjee Khandu, for drawing the Centre’s attention on the Chinese dam on the river on which Assam’s economy largely depends on.

Sources:  ToI         The Hindu

China set to appoint Bishops without Popes approval

China’s government-backed Catholic church will proceed with the ordination of a bishop who does not have the pope’s approval, despite objections raised by the Vatican. The Rev. Guo Jincai will be ordained in Chengde, in northeastern Hebei province, on Saturday, 20th Nov 2010. The ceremony is organized by Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, and worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome. In recent years under Pope Benedict XVI relations have improved. Disputes over appointments in China’s official church have been avoided by quietly conferring on candidates, leading to several ordinations of bishops with the Holy See’s blessing.

However, Guo does not have the pope’s approval. The Vatican also said it was “disturbed by reports” that a number of bishops loyal to the pope are being forced by government officials to attend the ordination. It warned China that reconciliation efforts will be set back if the reports turned out to be true.

Liu said attendance by bishops at the ceremony would be voluntary and the ordination would go ahead as planned because the Chengde diocese needs a bishop. He said the association had informed the Vatican about its plan as early as two years ago. “A Catholic diocese cannot be without a bishop, or the Gospel cannot be spread,” Liu said. “We should not let any political reasons interfere with the spread of the Gospel in China.”

He said in time, China would elect bishops for more than 40 Catholic dioceses that are currently without them and expressed hope that the Vatican would endorse them. Liu maintained that the pope was “very friendly” to China but that some others in the Vatican were not. Recent estimates by scholars and church activists put the number of Chinese Catholics loyal to the pope as high as 60 million – three times the size of the official church.

Source: Washington Post

China quarrels with Taiwan in a film festival

Taiwanese actress Vivian Hsu was reduced to tears on Oct. 23 following an ugly quarrel between delegations from China and Taiwan at the 23rd International Tokyo Film Festival. Here, the actress is pictured on Dec. 6, 2008.

 

An ugly quarrel between delegations from China and Taiwan at a recent Tokyo film festival is a typical of the long characterized interactions between the two sides of the strait on the global stage. Such incidents help explain why most Taiwanese have a dim view of China’s government, and no interest in unification. They also show how far apart the two sides remain politically, despite a historic warming of economic relations.

It started innocently enough. A group of Taiwanese movie stars and starlets lined up to take a stroll down the “eco-friendly” green carpet at the 23rd International Tokyo Film Festival on Oct. 23. A group from China did the same. Then the head of China’s delegation, Jiang Ping, decided to make a scene. After apparently noting that Taiwan’s delegation was participating under the name “Taiwan,” he demanded that this moniker be switched to “Chinese Taipei” or “Taiwan, China.” The head of Taiwan’s delegation refused his Chinese counterpart’s request, saying “no concessions will be made this time around.” Then, as cameras rolled, the two sides bickered.

“The Taiwan area delegation is a part of China’s delegation,” Jiang angrily told news cameras. At one point he gave Japanese organizers 10 minutes to accept his demands. In the end, after more than two hours of heated discussions, neither delegation strolled the green carpet. China later withdrew from the event entirely after the Japanese hosts refused to enforce its demands.

The head of Taiwan’s delegation refused his Chinese counterpart’s request, saying “no concessions will be made this time around.” Then, as cameras rolled, the two sides bickered. “The Taiwan area delegation is a part of China’s delegation,” Jiang angrily told news cameras. At one point he gave Japanese organizers 10 minutes to accept his demands. In the end, after more than two hours of heated discussions, neither delegation strolled the green carpet. China later withdrew from the event entirely after the Japanese hosts refused to enforce its demands.

A news clip of the Taiwanese celebrity Vivian Hsu one of the island’s stars at the festival, crying in Tokyo was played and replayed in Taiwan’s frantic media. Hsu told reporters that one Taiwanese actor had “torn off his tie” after being told they couldn’t walk the carpet. Hsu herself had bought a more than $6,500 Zac Posen-designed dress for the occasion, only to be stymied by the Chinese, media reported. The head of Taiwan’s delegation said he felt as if his daughter’s wedding had been ruined.

Soon the editorials poured forth and talk show discussions ensued. The island’s internecine quarrels were put aside for a moment as politicians and commentators of all stripes lined up to condemn China’s behavior and applaud Taiwan’s delegation for standing up to China. The spat in Tokyo “proved to Taiwan’s people that unification with China is absolutely not a good thing,” wrote the Apple Daily. The presidential spokesman rebuked China, as did the premier, who said Jiang’s behavior was “unreasonable and rude.”

Such a strong reaction to a tiff at a minor event may seem puzzling to outsiders. But it speaks to the petty humiliation Taiwan routinely endures from China at international events — treatment that dredges up deeply emotional issues of identity and respect. While the rest of the world is just now getting to know a more assertive China, Taiwanese have long been familiar with Beijing’s sterner face.

“We have to stand up to say we don’t agree with that type of behavior,” said George Tsai, a cross-strait relations expert at Chinese Culture University in Taipei. “We have our dignity and principles.”

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China and is hypersensitive to any suggestion on the world stage that the island is actually something else — namely, a de facto sovereign and independent state. For that reason, Taiwan is only allowed to participate in the Olympics and other global sporting events as “Chinese Taipei” due to the high-decibel pressure China puts on organizers.

China has in the past two years allowed Taiwan to participate in some World Health Organization meetings as an observer. But it continues to block Taiwan’s participation in other bodies. One example, at the top of Taiwan’s priority list, is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Membership would allow Taiwan to network on green energy issues and receive technical and financial support for such efforts; China continues to block the island’s participation.

Such snubs — hardly newsworthy outside Taiwan — have had a cumulative effect on Taiwanese. In the Taiwan government’s latest opinion poll on cross-strait relations from September, 48 percent of those polled think China is “unfriendly” toward Taiwan’s government, with 37 percent thinking China is “friendly,” despite a dramatic warming in ties and the recent signing of a historic trade deal [5].

Just 10 percent of Taiwanese support unification with China, with a scant 1.7 percent supporting unification “as soon as possible,” according to the government’s latest data. Well aware of this public sentiment, the Taiwan government has recently stressed that it has no timetable for political talks with China. Analysts say that President Ma Ying-jeou has accomplished much of his cross-strait economic agenda, and is likely to put any further, substantial cross-strait talks on hold indefinitely. That’s because he’s now returning to job No. 1 for any Taiwanese politician: winning elections.

Local polls are coming up at the end of November. Those will soon be followed in Taiwan’s hectic election schedule by a primary season, legislative elections and Ma’s own re-election bid in March 2012.

Under the circumstances, slamming China for its film festival tantrum was a political no-brainer. Tsai said that “domestic political considerations” helped explain the strong backlash to China’s belittling behavior; it was an easy way to score points by defending Taiwan’s dignity.

Moreover, China has yet to meet Ma’s longstanding condition for political talks; namely, that Beijing draw down its missile arsenal across from Taiwan, now estimated by the U.S. military at some 1,050 to 1,150 short-range ballistic missiles and scores of cruise missiles.

There are some signs this might change. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao caused a stir in September when he made vague comments suggesting the missile issue could eventually be addressed. Chinese Culture University’s Tsai, who just returned from a trip to China, said Chinese academics told him Beijing is “seriously considering the possibility of re-deploying the missiles,” but that it doesn’t want to appear to do so under pressure.

“So if we keep a low profile, it will be easier for them to do this,” said Tsai, who was told there is “very high-ranking internal discussion” in China on re-deploying the missiles, and even an “inclination” to do so.

But so far there haven’t been any concrete steps. Even if there were, Tsai and other analysts say political talks are “out of the question.” “It’s not in the foreseeable future,” said Tsai. “It’s not in Ma Ying-jeou’s interests, and it’s not on his political agenda.”

Ma’s own premier said conditions are “not yet ripe” for political talks.

And if he needed any help making that point, what better than a fresh-faced Taiwanese actress, reduced to tears by China’s bullying, at an event intended to celebrate cinema and the arts — not power politics.

via China and Taiwan: What cross-strait thaw?.

China continues to snub India

Wen of China 

India and China have expressed readiness to resume high-level defence exchanges that have been put on “pause” after a senior Indian Army officer was offered a stapled Chinese visa. But, China continues to snub India saying that there will be no change in its policy of issuing stapled visas to people of Kashmir.

A group of 15 Nobel Peace Prize winners has released a letter asking the leaders of the G20 nations to press China to free imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo, the winner of the 2010 prize. The group, including former US president Jimmy Carter and Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, also called on the leaders at their summit next month to ask China to free Mr Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, from house arrest. Mr Obama did not sign the letter.

Relationship with Pakistan and China appears to be becoming stronger. China is showing signs of providing nuclear technology to Pakistan. Beijing has been preparing to build two new reactors at Chashma, where it has already built one and is finishing another, despite the qualms of Washington, New Delhi and other capitals.

(with Inputs from sinonewsforindians.wordpress.com )

China snubs India again    Sino-Pak nuclear collaboration   Singh-Wen talks seen positively   Nobel winners lobby for Liu release   Pakistan and China move closer in nuclear embrace    Pakistan and China move closer in nuclear embrace

Group clash in Arunachal Pradesh

Map of Arunachal Pradesh 

Tension persisted in the Namsai subdivision of Lohit district in Arunachal Pradesh following clashes between tribals and non-tribals  over demand for permanent residential certificates by the non-tribals.

Trouble broke out when a procession organised by the Lohit Changlang Development Forum — which represents people from the Deori, Ahom, Moran, Nepali, Lishu, Adivasi, Mising, Sonowal-Kachari and the Koiborta communities — marched towards the subdivisional headquarters town of Namsai from Dirak Gate in Mahadevpur at 9am demanding permanent residential status.

The rallyists to proceed up to a certain distance but they, numbering around 20,000,  crossed the mark. Then the rallyists were provoked by a group of around 20 armed indigenous people who threatened them to leave.  The trouble started and the situation turned worse. Some indigenous poeple also attacked the residence of minister Chowna Mein at Namsai and ransacked it.The nine communities residing in Arunachal Pradesh for several decades had been demanding permanent resident certificates for various reasons.

The State government has passed an order on June 24 this year for issuing Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC) to non-indigenous communities who had settled in the State prior to 1968. The government decision sparked off severe protests from the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and Tai Khampti Students’ Union, forcing revocation of the decision.

The Lohit Changlang Development Forum had been campaigning on behalf of the nine communities against the government’s decision.and today’s procession was taken out to press for the demand of issuing permanent residential certificates

Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad is agitating demanding permanent residential certificates for the non-tribals of the two districts of Lohit and Changlang. This demand has been strongly opposed by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and Tai Khampti Students’ Union.

Additional central forces had been deployed in vulnerable locations. Arunachal Pradesh Police Battalion and India Reserve Battalion jawans, too, are keeping a strict vigil on the situation.

The army had been conducting area domination operations in villages and interior parts of the district at the request of the Lohit district administration to ensure that there was no more trouble. The administration has also issued prohibitory orders in Namsai and Mahadevpur police station areas under Section 144 CrPC and has banned assembly of four or more persons at a place and carrying of any sort of arms or ammunition.

Huts of non-tribals being burnt in some interior areas in Piyong circle of Namsai. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on Monday ordered airlifting of forces from Itanagar to Namsai sub-division in Lohit district to contain clashes

Sources:               The Hindu               Indian Express              Telegraph-1                        Telegraph -2

China to reconsider language policy

The Chinese government would reconsider its plan to promote the use of Mandarin, the language spoken by the majority Han Chinese ethnic group, as the sole language of instruction in universities after hundreds of Tibetan students in western China and in Beijing protested the move this week. On Tuesday, more than 1,000 university and high-school students marched in Tongren (Rebkong in Tibetan) in western Qinghai province, calling for equality of ethnicities and freedom of language.

The protest was sparked by reported comments from the Communist Party’s Qinghai chief, Qiang Wei, calling for the use of “a common language” in schools and suggesting that the province would introduce Mandarin as the language of instruction over the next decade.

Protests spread to other towns in western China last week after videos of the Tongren protest spread through the Internet. The official Xinhua news agency reported protests in at least four prefectures in Qinghai, with students “expressing their dissatisfaction”.

There were no reports of arrests or clashes between police and the students, who appear to have been allowed to carry out the protests.

On Friday, 400 students at Minzu University, a school that specialises in education related to China’s minority groups, marched in thei

via China to reconsider language policy.