Books

07.10.17

Destined for War

Graham Allison
China and the United States are headed toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred 16 times. War broke out in 12 of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the 17th case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war.In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the 21st century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past—and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today. —Houghton Mifflin Harcourt{chop}

Haley Says China May Face Trade Sanctions If It Continues To “Hold Hands” with N. Korea

Kathryn Watson
CBS News
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.S. is going to “push hard” against China amid threats from North Korea, and that China needs to do more when it comes to the country that just days ago test-launched an intercontinental...

Take a Tour of China’s First Aircraft Carrier, a Secondhand Soviet-Era Ship Now in Hong Kong

Zheping Huang
Quartz
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was open to the public for the first time this past weekend. The event took place in Hong Kong as part of the 20th anniversary marking the city’s handover to Chinese rule.

Viewpoint

07.09.17

Why Won’t China Help With North Korea? Remember 1956

Sergey Radchenko
President Donald J. Trump’s short-lived honeymoon with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping is over. On June 29, the U.S. imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank, a Chinese shipping company, and two Chinese nationals, all accused of helping...

War Games Could Inflame What They Aim to Prevent: Conflict with China

Stuart Rollo
Guardian
Australia is sleepwalking along a path of military expansion and confrontation in line with U.S. security priorities, instead of setting our own security policies

How China Misread Donald Trump

Paul Gewirtz
Politico
Trump’s view of China is quickly turning sour. The reason for his dwindling patience is Beijing’s failure to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program.

US, China Divided over How to Deal with New North Korean ICBM Threat

Ben Wescott and Stella Kim
CNN
A paradigm-changing North Korean missile test has left the United States and China split over how to deal with the aggressive rogue state.

Chinese Media Says India Needs to Be Taught a 'Bitter Lesson' over Its Border Dispute

Joseph Hincks
Time
An editorial that ran in China's Global Times Tuesday has ramped up the rhetoric in an ongoing military dispute along a portion of the Sino-Indian border...

Pakistan Pivots to China Amid Fresh Concerns over US Ties with India

Pamela Constable
Washington Post
The words from Pakistan’s top foreign policy adviser could not have been clearer. At a news conference welcoming China’s foreign minister to the Pakistani capital this week, Sartaj Aziz declared, “Pakistan’s relations with China are the cornerstone...

US-China Honeymoon Over: Washington Sanctions Chinese Bank and Sells Arms to Taiwan

Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes
Guardian
Relations between the world’s two largest economies look to be entering a new phase of turbulence after the US punctured Chinese celebrations of the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return by unveiling sanctions against a Chinese bank linked to North...

Indian Bunker in Sikkim Removed by China: Sources

PTI
China has removed an old bunker of the Indian Army located at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan in Sikkim after the Indian side refused to accede to its request.

China and India Border Dispute Raises Fears of New Asian War

Reuters
Reuters
China has accused Indian border guards of crossing into its territory from the state of Sikkim on India's northeastern border with Tibet, the Chinese foreign and defence ministries have said, complicating an already difficult relationship...

Unless China Changes Tack, India Won’t Be the Only Country Opposing One Belt, One Road

Harsh V Pant
Quartz
India said about OBOR that “no country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Former State Department Security Officer Accused of Spying for China

Charlie Savage
New York Times
F.B.I. agents found top-secret documents on a device he brought back from Shanghai.

U.S., China Meet on North Korea after Trump Points to Failed Chinese Effort

David Brunnstrom
Reuters
Top diplomats and defense chiefs from the United States and China began a day of talks in Washington on Wednesday looking for ways to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

China Cancels Military Meeting With Vietnam Over Territorial Dispute

Mike Ives
New York Times
Analysts, citing government sources, said that the Chinese delegation had unexpectedly cut short a trip to Vietnam after tempers flared during a closed-door discussion on disputed territories in the South China Sea.

What Are the Odds of a U.S.-China War?

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
Two fiery nationalists— Xi Jinping and Donald Trump—now occupy the seats of power in Beijing and Washington. In their mission to make their countries great again, one pursues the “China Dream,” one “America First.” Both see the other as the chief...

Are China’s New Naval Capabilities a Game Changer?

Paul Haenle & Robert Ross from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As the post-World War II order adjusts to a rising China, America’s predominance in the Asia-Pacific faces new challenges. Over the past five years, China has substantially built up its navy and demonstrated more assertive behavior toward its...

China May Soon Establish Naval Base in U.S. Ally Pakistan

Wajahat S. Khan
NBC News
Nuclear-armed Pakistan is a key ally of the United States — but the relationship is far from untroubled. And one of Washington's main geopolitical rivals appears ready to step in...

‘Islamic State Killings: China’s Censored Social Media Is in Uproar, so What’s Beijing Thinking?

Coco Liu
South China Morning Post
The deaths of two Chinese prompt widespread calls for retribution. Beijing, seeking favour in the region with its Belt and Road Initiative, remains curiously silent.

Are China and the United States Headed for War?

New Yorker
Professors, pundits, and journalists weigh in on a heated topic.

China Developing Hypersonic Missiles For Jet Fighters

Sky News
Sky News
If the ramjet engine is successfully miniaturised it will allow air-to-air missiles to strike targets at more than 4,000mph.

China Developing World's Fastest Amphibious Fighting Vehicle

The North China Institute of Vehicle Research has built the armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) that can attain a top speed of 50 kilometres per hour on calm waters.

Conversation

06.09.17

Australia Is Debating Chinese Influence. Should the U.S. Do the Same?

Bruce Jacobs, Kerry Brown & more
“The Chinese Communist Party is waging a covert campaign of influence in Australia,” went the claim in the newspaper The Age, in a series of articles exploring China’s hard and soft power “Down Under.” The articles set off a domestic debate about...

China Says It Is Vigilant as Two U.S. Bombers Fly over South China Sea

Reuters
The U.S. military conducts such "freedom of navigation" patrols to show China it is not entitled to territorial waters there, U.S. officials said at the time...

China Likely to Set up Military Base in Pakistan – Pentagon

Telegraph
The report from the Pentagon predicts China will expand its military prowess after the construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, a strategic location at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.

Beijing Lashes Out Over Pentagon Report on Chinese Military

Christopher Bodeen
Associated Press
Beijing says it is “firmly opposed” to a Pentagon report that highlighted China's construction of military facilities in the South China Sea and speculated that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas...

Former Top U.S. Spy James Clapper Warns of China’s Russian-Style Behavior in Australia

Ezra Fieser
ABC
China’s growing influence over Australian politics has similarities with Russia's recent meddling in American democracy...

As China Pulls Trade from North Korea, Russia Gets Cozy with Kim Jong Un

USA Today
Trade between Russia and North Korea increased by 73% during the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period the year before, boosted mostly by increased coal deliveries from Russia, according to Russian state-owned news site Sputnik.

China Tries to Play Nice at Key Security Forum

Nikkei Asian Review
Although China attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone in this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, a major Asian security forum held here through Sunday, officials’ uncompromising comments on Taiwan and the South China Sea only highlighted its rifts...

Russia and China Are Bulking Up in the U.S.’s Backyard

Ezra Fieser
Bloomberg
Putin and Xi are working to win over small, poor countries with promises of aid, military support, and investment, even as Trump scales back.

Trump May Turn to Vietnam for Help on South China Sea

CNBC
On Wednesday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will be the first ASEAN leader to visit the White House since President Donald Trump’s election and the U.S. may look to tap into the emerging market’s friction with China.

South China Sea: U.S. Warship Challenges China’s Claims with First Operation under Trump

CNN
A U.S. Navy destroyer has sailed close to a disputed South China Sea island controlled by China for the first time under U.S. President Donald Trump.

Taiwan Simulates ‘Chinese Invasion’ during Military Exercise amid Growing Tensions with Beijing

Daily Mail
Military forces in Taiwan have today simulated a ‘Chinese invasion’ as part of live-fire war games amid rising tensions with Beijing.

What Do Trump’s Views on Europe Mean for China?

Paul Haenle & Tomáš Valášek from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
President Trump will travel to Europe in May for his first time since taking office to meet with European Union (E.U.) leaders, attend a NATO meeting, and visit the organization’s headquarters in Brussels. Although he has walked back some of his...

Philippines, China Play down Duterte's Talk of War in Disputed Sea

Reuters
The Philippines and China played down on Monday a warning by President Rodrigo Duterte that China would go to war if the Philippines drilled for oil in the disputed South China Sea.

Why China Still Can’t Beat U.S. to Become the World’s Most Powerful Navy

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China will eventually become the world’s No 2 aircraft carrier power, trailing only the United States, but its carrier strike group air crews are still far below international standard, military experts say.

Taiwan’s Failure to Face the Threat from China

ENOCH Y. WU
New York Times
China’s aggression in the Asia-Pacific region has been met with little tangible response from the United States and other countries. China’s neighbors have acquiesced to Beijing’s claims to the airspace above the East China Sea and have stood by as...

Can South Korea and China Patch Things up over THAAD?

James Griffiths
CNN
Moon will be attempting to start the healing process Thursday, when South Korean special presidential envoy Lee Hae-chan meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and two more senior officials Friday.

China, Philippines to Hold First South China Sea Talks Friday

CLIFF VENZON
Nikkei Asian Review
The meeting will take place in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, which is also hosting talks on Thursday between China and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on establishing a framework for a code of conduct in the...

Evaluating Trump’s First 100 Days

Paul Haenle & Jon Finer from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
One hundred days into Donald Trump’s presidency, he has shocked the establishment and foreign governments with many foreign policy reversals, and also some surprising areas of consistency. In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Jon Finer, former...

Commentary: Why North Korea Is Turning into a Headache for China and Xi Jinping

Bo Zhiyue
Channel NewsAsia
Chinese President Xi Jinping has found himself in a peculiar predicament over the North Korean nuclear issue. Although Xi is widely believed to be far more popular as a global leader than his immediate predecessor, President Hu Jintao, he is...

China, Philippines to Start South China Sea Talks: Ambassador

Benjamin Kang Lim
China and the Philippines will start bilateral consultations on the disputed South China Sea this week, the Philippine ambassador to Beijing said, as Manila looks to ease tensions with Asia’s top economic power.

North Korea Blights China’s One Belt, One Road Party with Missile Launch

James Griffiths
North Korea’s missile launch Sunday came at a highly embarrassing time for China, its chief ally and economic partner. As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to inaugurate the Belt and Road Forum, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile from a base in...

South Korea’s New President Moves to Soothe Tensions with China

CHOE SANG-HUN
New York Times
Moon Jae-in, the newly elected leader of South Korea, moved swiftly to mend ties with China on Thursday, announcing plans to dispatch a delegation to Beijing to resolve a festering dispute over the deployment of an American missile-defense system in...

Sri Lanka Rejects Chinese Request for Submarine Visit: Sources

Shihar Aneez, Ranga Sirilal
Reuters
Sri Lanka has rejected China’s request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister who worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as...

China’s Missile Tests in Bohai ‘Aimed at THAAD’

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
Chinese rocket forces tested a new type of missile aimed at the country’s waters west of the Korean peninsula, the defense ministry announced in a rare public statement. The statement did not say what missile was tested or when the launch took place...

North Korea Expected to Ask China for a Break at Summit

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
North Korea is expected to press China to tone down its economic sanctions when its delegation attends an infrastructure and trade summit in Beijing on Sunday, observers said.

China Coast Guard’s New ‘Monster’ Ship Completes Maiden Patrol in South China Sea

Franz-Stefan Gady
Diplomat
The world’s largest coast guard vessel, the 12,000-ton China Coast Guard (CCG) cutter 3901, has successfully completed its first patrol in the South China Sea this month, according to Chinese government reports.

Syria Says up to 5,000 Chinese Uighurs Fighting in Militant Groups

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Up to 5,000 ethnic Uighurs from China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang are fighting in various militant groups in Syria, the Syrian ambassador to China said on Monday, adding that Beijing should be extremely concerned about it...

After North Korea Criticism, China Says Wants to Be Good Neighbor

Reuters
China said on Thursday it wants to be good neighbors with North Korea, after the isolated country’s state news agency published a rare criticism of Chinese state media commentaries calling for tougher sanctions over the North’s nuclear program.

China Tells U.S. and North Korea to ‘Stop Irritating Each Other’

Ben Blanchard
Independent
China has called on all parties in the Korean standoff to stay calm and “stop irritating each other” a day after North Korea said the United States was pushing the region to the brink of nuclear war.

Viewpoint

05.03.17

Thinking about War with China

Chas W. Freeman
Let’s not kid ourselves. The armed forces of the United States and China are now very far along in planning and practicing how to go to war with each other. Neither has any idea when or why it might have to engage the other on the battlefield but...

As U.S. And China Find Common Ground on North Korea, Is Russia the Wild Card?

JAMES PEARSON
Reuters
When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency.

Trump’s Pick for Ambassador to China Says He Will Work with Beijing on North Korea

Anne Gearan
Washington Post
President Trump’s choice to be ambassador to China pledged Tuesday to leverage a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping to persuade China that it is risking its own security if it fails to prevent a nuclear crisis with North Korea.

Trump Warns North Korea on Missile Tests, Says ‘We’ll See’ If Military Action Is Needed

NBC News
President Donald Trump declared that neither the U.S. nor China would be “happy” if North Korea tested more missiles, and said “we’ll see” if military action would be needed to curb the country’s nuclear ambitions.

Pals Donald Trump and Xi Jinping Still Split on North Korea

BENNY AVNI
Daily Beast
Even President Trump’s newfound and well-advertised friendship with Xi Jinping may not be enough to overcome the sharp differences between the United States’ and China’s goals on North Korea.

Holiday Hush as Chinese Tourists Shun South Korean Resort Island amid THAAD Missile Shield Row

liu zhen
South China Morning Post
During the May Day holiday, the Jeju Cruise Terminal in South Korea used to be packed with thousands of passengers from the ports of Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao disembarking from large cruise liners and boarding their tourist buses.

Philippines’ Duterte Says Helpless against China

Channel NewsAsia
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday (Apr 27) there was no point protesting Chinese artificial island building in disputed areas of the South China Sea because it could not be stopped.

China Tried to Hack Group Linked to Controversial Missile Defense System, U.S. Cybersecurity Firm Says

Joshua Berlinger, Juliet Perry
A cybersecurity firm in the United States believes state-sponsored Chinese hackers were trying to infiltrate an organization with connections to a U.S.-built missile system in South Korea that Beijing firmly opposes.