VSChinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden spoke by phone. China first demonstrated the DF-17 missile test on People’s Liberation Army Day. Talk of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is keeping Beijing on its toes. And Beijing is offering Zambia $6 billion in debt relief to avoid another Sri Lanka-like situation. Chinascope brings you the stories that made headlines last week.
China over the week
A series of events again led to the deterioration of US-China relations. Things were already bad enough for Biden and Xi to talk on the phone. The main reason for the call – Taiwan.
“The position of the Chinese government and the Chinese people on the Taiwan issue is consistent, and it is the firm will of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Public opinion cannot be violated. If you play with fire, you set yourself on fire. I hope the US side will see this clearly. The US side should uphold the one-China principle and implement the three China-US joint communiques,” said a reading of the Chinese side’s appeal.
What is happening in Taiwan that would make the two parties discuss? This was because of Nancy Pelosi’s likely trip to Taiwan, the likelihood of which remains in limbo. But the possibility of a visit has kept Beijing on its toes, although no mention of a visit to Taiwan was made in a press release from Nancy Pelosi’s office issued early Sunday.
China feels annoyed by such a high-profile visit to Taipei, and that too by Pelosi, considered one of the most hawkish on China in the Democratic Party.
Former editor of world times, Hu Xijin, threatened to shoot down Pelosi’s plane on Twitter. Hu had to delete the tweet and later complained about Twitter censoring his tweets in a Weibo post.
“The Chinese military will not sit idly by if Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan,” a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson said. The Chinese Ministry of Defense was not bluffing. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has announced a live-fire exercise off Taiwan as a show of force ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit. People’s Daily tweeted about the exercise and shared a screenshot of the maritime notification concerning the exercise and the closure of the coastal zone near the Taiwan Strait.
Several videos showing military equipment, including tanks, transported to Fujian was shared on Telegram and later on Twitter. Some videos allegedly claimed to show the PLA’s live-fire exercise off the coast of Fujian. Some of the videos were old and some of the other videos could not be verified for authenticity.
The visit sparked feelings on Chinese social media. The hashtag “PLA won’t sit idly by and watch if Pelosi visits Taiwan” has been viewed 1.72 billion times on Chinese social media platform Weibo. The hashtag “Pelosi will take decisive action against Taiwan if she visits the mainland” started on Weibo on Saturday. The hashtag has been viewed 460 million times. The search term “how will the PLA react to Pelosi’s visit” was the most popular trend on Chinese search engine Baidu.
Nancy Pelosi’s visit would be the most high-profile trip by a US official since 1997, when Speaker Newt Gingrich of the US House of Representatives visited Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit couldn’t have come at the worst time as China celebrates its annual PLA Day on August 1. This year, the APL will celebrate its 95th anniversary.
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Xi Jinping awarded three people the August 1 medal, a medal dedicated to people who have made significant contributions to the PLA and allied military services.
The most important person to receive the award is Qian Qihu, the creator of the Great Underground Steel Wall, China’s secret tunnel system to protect China’s stockpile of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from nuclear attack . Qian is a respected figure in the PLA, credited with securing China’s second-strike deterrent capability by protecting the strategic missile reserve from an adversary first strike. The “great underground steel wall” could even survive an attack by a hypersonic missile.
To mark the occasion, military broadcaster China Central Television aired a clip showing the first-ever publicly announced launch of the DF-17 hypersonic missile. The missile was shown being launched from a Road Mobile Carrier (TEL) erector launcher. The existence of the DF-17 hypersonic missile was first revealed to the world during the National Day military parade in October 2019. The operational range of the DF-17 missile is between 1,800 and 2,500 kilometers.
A popular Weibo post related to PLA Day caught the attention of many Chinese social media users. “Prepare for war,” the PLA’s 80th Army Group wrote on Weibo, and the post received 1.8 million likes. Many users were quick to link the post to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping spoke at the Central Conference of United Front Work, which was last held in 2015. the world, and promote exchanges and mutual learning between cultures and civilizations Chinese and foreign,” Xi said during his remarks.
The United Front Work Department (UFW), also known as the “magic weapon”, is a key entity in Beijing’s political influence operations – at home and abroad. Ethnic assimilation in Tibet and Xinjiang is another crucial UFW program.
United Front activities are moving forward at full speed. On Monday, the China International Communications Group organized an India-China Youth Dialogue in collaboration with Cheena-Bhavana from Visva-Bharati University. Cheena-Bhavana is a center for Sino-Indian cultural studies in West Bengal, established in 1937.
Amid Beijing’s international crisis, there is a domestic crisis that worries many Chinese families. The outlook for the housing market has plunged rapidly as there are projections of a one-third drop in property sales.
FinancialTimes reported that Beijing plans to raise up to $148 billion to support families seeking help due to stalled property projects. “The People’s Bank of China will initially issue around Rmb 200 billion in low-interest loans, charging around 1.75% per annum to state-owned commercial banks,” it said. FT.
The decision to issue the bailout comes after families in more than 100 Chinese cities refused to pay their mortgages during a collective protest against unfinished building projects. The current crisis is the shadow cast by the financial turmoil of Evergrande last year.
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China in the world news
China has agreed to offer debt relief to Zambia, paving the way for a bailout by the International Monetary Fund to prevent the African nation from sliding deep into a crisis like Sri Lanka’s.
Zambia currently owes China more than $6 billion in loans to build infrastructure projects, including roads, dams and airports. “The agreement is an early sign that China is ready to coordinate with other official creditors to restructure the debts of low-income countries, rather than managing defaults on its loans behind closed doors,” reported FinancialTimes.
As China’s relations with the United States and Europe go through difficult times, Beijing is seeking to refocus its attention on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other regional multilateral mechanisms.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the SCO meeting in Tashkent, alongside Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar. It is unclear whether Jaishankar and Wang had a bilateral meeting at the SCO, but the meeting discussed the upcoming leaders’ summit in Samarkand in September, where Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping could meet face to face for the first time since. the border. off in Ladakh started.
On the technology front, the semiconductor race between the United States and China has caught the attention of keen observers. The United States Congress has taken steps to keep the United States ahead in semiconductor competition.
The Chip and Science Act, or simply CHIPS act, passed House members on Thursday with a vote tally of 243-187. The $280 billion bill includes a key $52 billion subsidy for US semiconductor companies. Washington worries about its dependence on Taiwan for semiconductor supplies
Meanwhile, China is stepping up its efforts to become self-sufficient in semiconductor technology with the breakthrough of minimum wage. China’s vision for developing self-sufficiency may seem like a well-organized campaign, but that’s far from the truth.
Yang Zhengfan, deputy director of an investment division of Sino IC Capital, which manages the state-owned semiconductor investment fund, is being investigated in connection with a corruption scandal. Zhao Weiguo, the former head of state-owned semiconductor company Tsinghua Unigroup, was recently arrested. The Tsinghua Unigroup started at Tsinghua University with deep pockets thanks to support from Beijing. But in 2020, the group found itself in great financial difficulty.
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Experts this week
“The aim is to have Indian manufacturing replace Chinese manufacturing, Indian capital replacing Chinese capital, and establish the ‘US-West + India’ model of industrial cooperation in global industry to replace the model ‘US-West + China.’ Some experts even sum this up as the ABC (Anything But China) policy, that is, it is easy to talk about anything but China. India is carrying out ‘blind condemnation’ of Chinese manufacturers and companies. Under heavy pressure, even some brands could no longer bear the ‘torture’ and chose to withdraw,” writes a blogger named Coldplay Lab. The article was the 2nd most read article on the Guancha website.
The author is a freelance columnist and journalist. He is currently pursuing an MA in International Politics with a focus on China at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was previously a reporter for Chinese media at the BBC World Service. He tweets @aadilbrar. Views are personal.
This is a weekly summary that Aadil Brar writes about what is happening in China. This will soon be available as a subscriber-only product.
(Edited by Srinjoy Dey)