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Showing posts from July, 2018

CHINA: A censor for the Internet of Things? My curiosity was piqued this morning by a headline on CoinDesk, a website that reports on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain:  China's government censorship agency is hiring a crypto expert . The headline somewhat mischaracterizes the identity of the recruiting organization and the nature of the job advertised, although I have repeated the sin above — mea culpa. It is, however, natural to associate cryptocurrency and censorship after recent news stories about #MeToo activists in China  using blockchain to dodge censorship . The recruitment ad itself is interesting. It was published  on  (in Chinese): State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film, and TV  (SAPPRFT) was formed   by departmental merger in 2013 as the super-regulator in charge of all newswires, newspapers, and magazines, as well as all audio, video, and broadcast media. SAPPRFT’s death   was announced  (in Chinese) in March this year, when it was again restructured. Mos

Xinjiang: The ‘happiest Muslims in the world’ and their GPS trackers “ How the ‘Happiest Muslims in the World’ are coping with their happiness”  is the caustic title of a  grim account of ordinary Uyghurs’ lives rights now  by Gene A. Bunin, a Uyghur-speaking scholar and longtime resident of Xinjiang. The testimony of an ethnic Kazakh woman  who fled from Xinjiang to Kazakhstan after working in a re-education camp was  published to YouTube  with English subtitles on July 14. The Financial Times now  reports (paywall), “Deliberations were scheduled to end last week but have been extended to begin again on Wednesday after the judge rejected Ms Sauytbay’s plea bargain to face criminal charges in Kazakhstan rather than be deported to China.” “ About 11,500 Chinese Muslims are joining the  Hajj  this year, fewer than the 12,800 last year,”  according to nationalist rag the Global Times . About 3,300 of them will carry a GPS device that will “help Chinese organizers” see their real-time location. The  Hajj  is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca

Who is allowed to report the news in China?

Supchina com Earlier this month, Q Daily 好奇心日报, a Shanghai-based website,  was ordered to halt original news reporting , which the authorities called “illegal news information services.” Founded in 2014, Q Daily is known for its relatively progressive coverage on public issues. Permits for online news and information services are required by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). While — technically — any website that publishes news or information about anything requires such a permit, enforcement has traditionally been spotty. But in these tightening times for media , we can expect “illegal online news and information services” to be a more frequent charge against companies or people who publish information the Party does not like. There are three types of permit for legal online news and information services in China: Editing and publishing  (采编发布服务 cǎibiān fābù fúwù) — required for original reportage. Although this permit is technically required for any original reporting

Along the road – Gwadar and China’s power projection

31 July 2018 By Frédéric Grare Summary > The construction of the Gwadar port and the Chinese presence on the shores of the Arabian Sea highlight a new geostrategic dynamic and is likely to affect the regional balance of power. > Pakistani officials have always claimed that the port has no strategic purpose; but without economic integration with the only promising market in the region, India, the military use of the port remains the only rationale. > The port increases China’s leverage in the Strait of Hormuz and will embolden Islamabad to continue with its destabilising policies in the region. > The European External Action Service could initiate a dialogue with Beijing about its activities in the Indian Ocean in general and Gwadar in particular. Gwadar port’s economic and strategic viabil- ity rely on Pakistan’s political stability, something which can less and l

China launches Earth observation satellite to monitor Belt and Road Initiative

PTI Published Jul 31, 2018, 3:41 pm IST Updated Jul 31, 2018, 3:41 pm IST The Gaofen-11 can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief as well as for BRI.  The satellite was launched on a Long March 4B rocket at 11 am (local time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province. (Representational image) Beijing:  China on Tuesday successfully launched an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project which will also provide data for the Belt and Road Initiative, official media reported. The Gaofen-11 satellite was launched on a Long March 4B rocket at 11 am (local time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province, state-run  Xinhua  news agency reported.   It was the 282nd flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket. The satellite can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief. Its

Why Australia wants to build its own 'Belt and Road' scheme with Japan and the US to rival China's investment

STEPHEN DZIEDZIC PHOTO   Australia, Japan and the US have confirmed they are pushing ahead with their own fund. AAP: MICK TSIKAS Australia is teaming up the United States and Japan to set up a regional infrastructure scheme to rival China's massive Belt and Road Initiative. Details are scant, and there are plenty of unanswered questions. All three countries are signalling they want to offer countries in the region an alternative to Beijing. Dollar for dollar, Australia, the US and Japan do not have the capital to compete with the emerging superpower. Still, if you're the leader of an infrastructure-hungry nation in South-East Asia or the Pacific, then life might soon become interesting. More countries might soon be knocking on your door with money in hand. Hang on, what is the Belt and Road? China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a massive global network  of infrastructure projects. China's new 'Silk Road' The Chinese Government is inviting wor

Philippines raises concern over Chinese radio warnings to stay away from South China Sea islands

DIPLOMACY & DEFENCE A Philippine air force plane on patrol near Chinese-held islands was warned to leave and ‘keep off to avoid misunderstanding’, according to a report Associated Press UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018, 10:47AM  64 The Philippines has expressed concern to China over an increasing number of Chinese radio messages warning Philippine aircraft and ships to stay away from newly fortified islands and other territories in the South China Sea claimed by both countries, officials said Monday. A Philippine government report showed that in the second half of last year alone, Philippine military aircraft received such Chinese radio warnings at least 46 times while patrolling near artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago. Duterte vows for first time to ‘defend our interest’ in South China Sea The Chinese radio messages were “meant to step up their tactics to our pilots conducting maritime air surveillance in the West Philippine Sea”,

Pompeo's Indo-Pacific strategy is just a start

By Alyssa Ayres Editor's Note: Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of "Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World." The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author. View more  opinion  articles on CNN. (CNN) —  In a  speech  before the US-India Business Council of the US Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific economic strategy, seen by many as the  response  to China's Belt and Road initiative. Pompeo offered news about a new $113 million allocation to promote  digital, energy, and infrastructure  connectivity in the Indo-Pacific. And while he spoke about leveraging these initiatives with US allies and partners in the region, he said little about what Washington would pursue, with whom, and where. Pompeo needs to articulate a specific strategy for US economic statecraft beca

US competes with China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ with US$113 million Asian investment programme

The infrastructure development plan was revealed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Washington Shi Jiangtao    Owen Churchill UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018, 11:43AM  116 The US government is expanding its infrastructure drive in the Asia-Pacific region using new investment programmes amid rising anxiety in Washington about China’s aggressive overseas development policies. Announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, the initiative follows concerns about the Trump administration’s commitment to engaging with countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Many Chinese firms ‘will go bankrupt, if US delivers on tariff threat’ In response to China’s ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative” – a group of multibillion-dollar transport and power projects that Beijing has used to assert its influence in Asia and beyond – Pompeo’s “Indo-Pacific Economic Vision” will increase the financial support that the US government provides to countries in the re

Follow the New Silk Road

In the first part of a week-long series revealing the effects of China's Belt and Road Initiative on cities around the world,  Jon Watts  journeys from the steppes of Central Asia to the Black Sea and into Europe, as Beijing's grand plan radically remakes the lives of people in its path    Cities is supported by About this content The Journey The Silk Road setting feels timeless: an expanse of desert scrub below the Tianshan Mountains, where weather-beaten farmers herd flocks of sheep much as their ancestors might have done in Marco Polo’s day. Rising up surreally in their midst, however, are the new landmarks of a modern development: the gleaming yellow gantries of the world’s biggest dry port and the shopping mall towers of a duty-free zone the size of a city. Welcome to Khorgos, China’s new land gateway to the mineral-rich resources of Central Asia and the consumer-rich markets of Europe. Further from the sea than almost anywhere on Earth, it is both the middle of