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China Watch

by soj Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 07:27:57 AM EST

I was curious exactly what China's been up to in just the past week.  Are you curious?


The plenipotentiary for Russia's president, Konstantin Pulikovsky, says Russia is ready for "rapprochement" with China:

"Russia is not very popular in the European Union and its level of participation or influence on European problems is being lowered. Therefore, it is important that we have a friendly country in the East such as China," Konstantin Pulikovsky, the Russian President's plenipotentiary in the Far Eastern region, said.

China has formally protested Japan's decision to grant drilling right for gas in a disputed area of the E. China Sea, which may turn into a major impasse between the countries.

(Chinese) Major General Zhu Chenghu, a dean at the University of National Defense, says that China will never tolerate Taiwanese independence:

Zhu told Hong Kong-based reporters that if the Americans "draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition into the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons."

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Chinese government's principles and stance on the Taiwan issue have been consistent and clear.

The Chinese government "distanced" itself from the general's views, but not much (and the general hasn't been fired or even demoted).  More on what he said:

"We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all cities east of Xian [in central China], he said. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."

Although it looks unlikely, the state-owned Chinese company CNOOC wants to buy American oil giant UNOCAL for 18.5 billion, which shows the kind of cash that the Chinese gov't is willing to spend on acquirement.

The recent defection of a Chinese diplomat in Australia has unveiled China's vast "human intelligence" spying network in that country - at least 1,000 informers and spies are in place:

China employs a relatively small number of well-trained, professional spies, intelligence analysts said, charged with digging up the most sensitive military secrets and strategic policy.

In the second tier, China relies on well-placed front companies and scientists to go after key technologies, including dual military and civilian-use products that are easier to acquire than top-secret military items.

But it's China's biggest concentric ring that often garners the most attention. Beijing is known for gathering small bits of information from "friends" -- Chinese businesspeople, students, scientists, trade delegations and tourists traveling overseas -- which it assembles into a bigger picture.

"They spread a rather wide net," said James R. Lilley, a former CIA station chief and U.S. ambassador to China. "It's often a rather blurred line between 'cooperator' and 'undercover agent.' "

The Chinese government holds billions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasury bonds.

The U.S. trade deficit with China is now 15.8 billion dollars.

China is building a $1.5 billion industrial park in Moscow, Russia.

China is pressuring its scientists to cover up the origin and nature of the bird flu, which may be the next world pandemic.

China is working to double its nuclear power capacity by 2020 - already $8 billion is being budgeted to build new plants.

China has a strong relationship with Viet Nam, a fellow Communist country, and the two nations have $6.74 billion in trade.

The Chinese government uses sophisticated filters to keep its citizens from accessing parts of the internet:

Sixty-four Internet users languish in prison for their writings. China blocks access to tens of thousands of Web sites, restricts Web searches and demands that all domestic Web sites and Web logs register with the government or face closure.

China's rulers foster the impression of an all-encompassing ability to monitor Internet usage. Arrests of Internet "subversives" are widely reported. And no one denies persistent but unconfirmed reports that as many as 30,000 government employees toil at monitoring Internet traffic.

Ecuador, a country in South America which hosts an American military base, is turning to China for economic help:

The government, now headed by President Alfredo Palacio, Mr Gutiérrez's former deputy, had held talks over a long-term oil sales contract with a Chinese oil company and aimed to attract investment from China, Canada and elsewhere to two multimillion-dollar oil refinery projects. In the biggest, at Jaramijo on the north coast, Ecuador is seeking to raise about $3bn.

The Chinese government has banned all media partnerships with foreign broadcasters.

Pakistan has spent $600 million to buy 7 frigates (Naval vessels) constructed in China.

Nigeria has signed a deal with China for $800 million worth of oil per year.

Russia has decided to terminate its enormous Far East oil pipeline project in China instead of Japan after China said it will pay Russia $13 billion for its construction.

China has implemented jail terms for violators of its one child policy.

China has signed a deal to build oil and gas pipelines from Kazakhstan worth $700 million.

And ahead of the 2008 Olympics - which will be held in Beijing - China is working with Russia for joint training of its atheletes in the hopes of coming in first during the medal count.  During the last Olympics in 2004, China came in second behind the United States.

Again, these are just the stories from the past week alone...

Pax

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not sure what your point is...
I am sure you can find similar headlines with  dozen or so other countries.

I'd trump this in any case by this non-headline: 100% of China's oil imports use maritime routes controlled by the US Navy...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 01:15:36 PM EST
Is that so?

Pax


Night and day you can find me Flogging the Simian

by soj on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 01:39:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
soj, pleass do not forget I have almost no internet access currently (this is written on my phone), so please use quotes rather than links if you can...

That said, I could access your link and will comment as such:

  • this is about the third "final" decision on an itinerary by the Russians, so I will not hold my breath...

  • as a consequence, the pipe is far from built and unlikely to provide oil to China before a nimber of years (the same holds true for the Kazakhstan to China pipe which also benefits from big announcements and signatures every now and then). So China will keep on receiving some volumes of oil from Russia by railcars for the foreseeable future, and the rest is, well, premature to count on.

So yes, the Chinese are scared to death about their oil dependency, which is why they have actually been really quiet on the international front (apart from their still awkward attempts at couring other oil producers around the world...).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 17th, 2005 at 04:29:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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