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Showing posts from January 20, 2019

Why is Jaitley throwing tantrums at CBI for fixing Chanda Kochhar and other ICICI Bank officers? Is Jaitley peeved at the PM doing an end run around him and having the CBI file a charge sheet against the ICICI? What is his interest? By   Sree Iyer  - January 26, 2019 Is Jaitley peeved at the PM doing an end run around him and having the CBI file a charge sheet against the ICICI? What is his interest? For a few weeks, I thought of not writing anything against the former Finance Minister  Arun Jaitley , due to his delicate state of health, battling Cancer in my country of residence, the United States of America. PGurus have written many critical articles on Jaitley and his policies. After my friends alerted me that he is unwell and undergoing treatment, I thought, I must not be too critical of him.  But after seeing the atrocious and unethical tweets on Friday exploding his anger on the  Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)  for registering a  First Information Report (FIR)  in the ICICI Bank fraud case against  Chanda Kochhar  and other ICICI Bank staffers, I dec

Has the China Collapse Finally Arrived?

January 22, 2019 China has been on the verge of a hard landing for many years, according to some analysts. Will they finally be right in 2019? In this issue of  Sinology , I explain that in the fourth quarter of 2018, China's economic deceleration was not significantly sharper than I expected, and several policy changes should lead to stronger activity and market sentiment in the second half of this year. A hard landing is still not on the horizon. There was not a sharp slowdown in the last quarter Everyone paying careful attention to China should have expected the year-on-year (YoY) growth rates of almost every aspect of the economy to slow a bit last year, as that has been a consistent pattern for about a decade. The economy has become so large, and growth rates were so fast for so long, that this deceleration is inevitable. What has worried many observers, however, is the perception that in the last quarter (4Q18), China's growth rate slowed much more sharply than expe

The invasive species threat from China's Belt and Road Initiative

https :// China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, a program to fuse Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks, has the potential to forever alter the biodiversity of key habitat on multiple continents, a new study warns. Why it matters:  By connecting regions through large infrastructure projects — including ports, railways and telecommunications networks — scientists fear the project could accelerate the spread of invasive species. Such species, once established in a region, could harm biodiversity in ways that are difficult to impossible to reverse. Show less The backstory:  The  Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and is viewed by many as a modern version of the Silk Road that was set up during the Han Dynasty some 2,000 years ago. Details:  The  new study , published Thursday in  Curren

Huawei overseas troubles are mounting

AXIOS CHINA Bill Bishop Speaking of Huawei, the company's position in Europe may have just gotten more complicated. What's new:  The Polish espionage case centered around now fired Huawei employee Wang Weijing could lead to a rethink of Huawei's European marketshare. The Wall Street Journal  reports : Part of the investigation — which officials said Poland is coordinating with the U.S. — involves events at the country’s elite Military University of Technology, whose graduates often go on to take sensitive security and military jobs.. Mr. Wang had visited the university in conjunction with a contest run by Huawei called “Seeds of the Future,” according to the university. In recent years, students there have been among the winners of the contest, which offers all-expenses-paid trips to China, including a week at company headquarters in Shenzhen. Quick take:  The Poland case may be a useful lever for the U.S. to convince European countries they need to "de-Huawei,&

French diplomat: Spies gonna spy – there aren't any magical cyberspace laws that can prevent it Pragmatic chap looks at reality of international relations By  Gareth Corfield in Lille, France 22 Jan 2019 at 17:30 FIC2019  A French diplomat has suggested that future global regulation of cyberspace could exempt spying from regulation "as long as some specific sectors are preserved". Although he prefaced his comments by saying "I speak on my behalf, not for France," Jean Heilbronn went on to tell an audience at French infosec conference FIC2019: "I don't think we need a new global agreement to stabilise cyberspace." Heilbronn – a diplomat whose background includes posts as a political advisor to the French Ministry of Defence and at NATO, as well as a period spent studying at the London School of Economics – spoke during a panel discussion at the Forum Internationale de Cybersécurité titled: "Which form of multilateral regulation can lead to

European Innovation Partnerships: How Successful Have They Been in Promoting Innovation in the EU?

European Innovation Partnerships: How Successful Have They Been in Promoting Innovation in the EU? publication_icon Rumen Dobrinsky wiiw Research Report No. 438, January 2019  33 pages including 2 Tables and 1 Figure FREE DOWNLOAD The paper presents an analytical assessment of the implementation of European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) launched as one of the commitments of the EU Flagship Initiative Innovation Union with the aim to achieve innovative breakthroughs addressing major societal challenges. The EU launched five EIPs to address important societal challenges: (1) Active & Healthy Ageing; (2) Water; (3) Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability; (4) Raw Materials; and (5) Smart Cities and Communities. The paper reviews the rationale of introducing the EIPs as a policy intervention aimed at promoting innovation in the EU and traces the organic evolution and governance structures of the newly emerging formations. It then provides an analytical evaluation of this

Huawei claps back at Western backlash with 5G launches

Huawei announced a new series of 5G-ready products  yesterday, including a core chipset, modem, and smartphone. The announcement follows closely on the heels of Huawei Deputy Chairman Hu Houkun’s boasts about the company’s 5G superiority at Davos (see Wednesday’s Tip Sheet). Why it matters:  There are two legs to the 5G race. 🔷Mobile carriers need to lay the infrastructure (antennas and cell towers) to support the new networks. 🔷 And manufacturers must simultaneously launch consumer electronics that can connect to those networks. The bigger picture:  China is now almost wholly dependent on foreign chipsets. And that makes leaders nervous, especially given a series of actions by foreign governments to limit the ability of Huawei and ZTE to operate internationally and acquire Western technology. That’s why  the country is rushing to build its own capabilities  (Nikkei): “To address this risk, President Xi Jinping aims to increase China's semiconductor self-sufficiency to

What Xi’s dream city will look like in 2050

TRIVIUM CHINA The Xiong’an reform document (see last entry) describes what the city should look like in 2050. The Party will be omnipresent: “Wherever the new area expands, Party organizations will be there.” But the government will keep a low profile: “To the greatest extent possible, [we should] reduce government allocation of market resources and direct government intervention in market activities.” The city will be a hub for foreign investment: “[We will] establish a system that is in line with international trade and investment rules.” “Supportive fiscal, science and technology, and financial policies…will apply equally to domestic and foreign-funded enterprises.” Most housing will be publicly owned: “Individual’s homes will primarily be shared ownership [i.e. by government and individuals].” T he city will be data-driven: “We will] exploring the establishment of an integrated smart city management mode'." And green: “[We will] explore including resource consumption, e

Gwadar, betting on globalization

In early 2019, several states in Middle East announced their interest in the port of Gwadar in Pakistan. The port of Gwadar is the flagship project of  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). With the opening of the CECP to the rest of the world, the port of Gwadar is likely to become a major hub connecting China, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A strategic port for Pakistan and China It was not until 2007 that the deepwater port of Gwadar was inaugurated by President Musharraf. Built with technical and financial support from China, the development of Gwadar Port became China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s main of project in 2015. One of the aims of China is to create a new route linking its western provinces to the sea of Oman; this ambition involves the modernization of the Karakoram road, the development of new infrastructure in Pakistan and finally the construction of a major port, that of Gwadar. This strategic function is not really new. It must be remembered that unt

Swedish defense agency raises concerns over Chinese satellite station in polar region

MERC.ORG Scientists at the Swedish defense ministry have warned that a Chinese satellite station located in Kiruna in northern Sweden could potentially be used by the Chinese military for spying and surveillance purposes.  The accusations  triggered an angry response from the Chinese embassy in Stockholm, calling the remarks “irresponsible” and  “hyped up fabrications” . The station, officially known as the China Remote Sensing Satellite North Polar Ground Station, was built by China in 2016 and is run by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. According to the scientists from the Swedish Defense Research Agency, under the Ministry of Defense, “China could be using the station – which relays images of the arctic regions – to complement military intelligence or provide additional military satellite surveillance should Chinese military satellites be disabled in a time of war.” While the Kiruna station was built for ci

Uyghur Intellectual: A Death Sentence For a Life of Service

Posted by  Amy Anderson Note: This article written by Amy Anderson is based on interviews with Tashpolat Tiyip’s friends, students and relatives. Their identities cannot be revealed due to obvious reasons.   Sometime after he disappeared in 2017,  Tashpolat Tiyip, the president of Xinjiang University, was sentenced to death in a secret trial.  The Chinese state has provided no justification for this horrifying violation of human rights.  Like hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals , it has simply taken his life away. Drawing on interviews with Tiyip’s students and relatives, this article tells the story of his life and demonstrates the grotesque absurdity of the Chinese totalitarian state. A man who has dedicated his life to furthering the vision of the state and his people appears to have been sentenced to death for this effort. A Geographer with a Dream Tashpolat Tiyip, born in 1958, came of age during the infamous Cultural Revolution during his teenage years. Upon his graduatio

Oxford University’s chancellor warns  of national security risks when academics collaborate with China

It emerged this week that Oxford University has cuts ties with Huawei, the Chinese technology company, amid security concerns   Camilla Turner , education editor   Greg Ritchie   19 JANUARY 2019 • 9:00PM Follow  Oxford University’s chancellor has warned of national security risks when academics collaborate with China. Lord Patten, who was the last British governor of Hong Kong, said there should be a point of contact in the Government for universities chiefs to turn to if they are concerned about a particular project. Joint academic research projects in the field of humanities as well as the sciences could be pose security risks, he added. “If the Government has anxieties about a company, then it should be possible for a university – if it is being offered research collaboration with that company – to ask somewhere in Government what’s happening,” Lord Patten told the foreign affairs select committee. “I think the more we talk about this – as the Australians, the New Zealand

The Indo-Pacific Initiative: Opportunities for European and UK Engagement

EVENT Date:  08 February 2019, 0930  Venue: Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall, London Register This conference aims to expand the understanding of what Japan’s Indo-Pacific Initiative is and how it is viewed in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region. Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Initiative views the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as a single maritime theatre, and seeks to promote stability and prosperity in the region through enhancing connectivity between Africa and Asia. The security challenges present in the region, such as promoting non-proliferation, stemming climate change and combatting terrorism, transcend national boundaries and require a global response. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has suggested that Europe could have a collaborative role in the Indo-Pacific, particularly highlighting the UK and France. As the world’s largest trading bloc and one of Asia’s top trading partners, the European Union has an interest in the economic growth and stabilit


Jan 22, 2019 by Corneliu Bjola Like many other technologies, digital platforms come with a dual-use challenge that is, they can be used for peace or war, for good or evil, for offense or defense. The same tools that allow ministries of foreign affairs and embassies to reach out to millions of people and build “digital” bridges with online publics with the purpose to enhance international collaboration, improve diaspora engagement, stimulate trade relations, or manage international crises, can be also used as a form of “sharp power” to  “pierce, penetrate or perforate the political and information environments in the targeted countries,”  and in so doing to undermine the political and social fabric of these countries. The “dark side” of digital diplomacy , by which I refer to the strategic use of digital technologies as tools to counter disinformation and propaganda by governments and non-state actors in pursuit of strategic interests, has expanded in the recent years to the poi