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|A roadmap for US-China relations in 2023|
China’s leaders confront mounting domestic social, economic, and public health-related stresses in 2023. If past is prologue, it is reasonable to expect China’s leaders will respond by seeking to calm their external environment to concentrate on challenges at home. To help counter scrutiny of their domestic governance record, they will want to present an image to their people of being afforded dignity and respect abroad. Nowhere will such symbolism matter more than in the U.S.-China context. How China’s leaders are seen to be managing relations with the United States often is a factor in how their performance is perceived at home. Even as the broadly competitive framework of the U.S.-China relationship is unlikely to change, opportunities may emerge for the United States to advance discrete affirmative priorities with China in the year ahead. Brookings Institute‘We’re in a space race’: NASA sounds alarm at Chinese designs on moon
The US is locked in a space race with China and the country needs to “watch out” that its rival does not gain a foothold and try to dominate lunar resources, Nasa’s top official has warned. The assessment came from the Nasa administrator, Bill Nelson, a former astronaut and Florida senator, who went on to warn that China could eventually claim to “own” the moon’s resource-rich areas. The contest between the US and China, he added, was intensifying and the next two years could determine which country achieves an advantage. “It is a fact: we’re in a space race,” Nelson told Politico. “And it is true that we better watch out that they don’t get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they say, ‘Keep out, we’re here, this is our territory.’” The GuardianUS Computer Giant Dell to Replace all China-made chips in its products by 2024 amid tensions between Beijing and Washington
Personal computer (PC) giant Dell Technologies plans to stop using China-made semiconductors by 2024 and urged its suppliers to cut down on components sourced from that country amid concerns over escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington. That initiative by Dell, which was ranked by research firm IDC as the world’s third-largest PC vendor in the third quarter last year, forms part of the Texas-based company’s efforts to diversify its manufacturing supply chain outside China, according to a report on Thursday by Nikkei Asia, which cited people with direct knowledge of the matter. Dell’s goal is to have all of the chips used in its products, including those produced by foreign suppliers in China, to be sourced from outside the country by 2024, the report said. South China Morning Post
|Russia sends more Arctic oil to China, India after sanctions|
Russia is sending more crude oil produced in the Arctic region to China and India, and at steeper discounts, after Europe slammed its doors shut on Russian supplies last month, trade sources and data show. Arctic grades Arco, Arco/Novy Port and Varandey do not normally head East but are now finding new homes further afield after the European Union, G7 nations and Australia introduced a price cap on Russian oil in December, on top of an EU embargo on Russian crude by sea. Sellers are selling the Russian crudes at bigger discounts as they absorb higher shipping costs. ReutersExpect the Unexpected in 2023: Cyberattacks and the Next Covid
With the new year upon us, the big worries for global security are pretty obvious. We should be concerned about a springtime escalation in the Russia-Ukraine war, with the potential for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in increasing desperation, to use a tactical nuclear weapon. While highly unlikely, a nuclear yield could further distort the world’s military, economic and diplomatic foundations. A second clear danger is a Chinese attack on Taiwan, which would be even more seismic — in regard to everything from a huge impact on the manufacture of high-end microchips to reordering global trading patterns as sanctions are levied against Beijing. US policymakers and analysts will spend a great deal of time anticipating and planning for these dramatic, low-likelihood scenarios. … Yet what things are swimming just beneath the surface that could end up creating unexpected global turmoil? What are we failing to foresee? BloombergChina, Russia to Boost Ties ‘At All Levels’ in 2023 Despite U.S Pressure
Determined to thwart the ongoing efforts of the United States to simultaneously counter both of its top rivals, China and Russia have made a joint resolution to increase their cooperation on a variety of fronts in the New Year. A month and a half after meeting with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 in a bid to stabilize relations between the two top powers, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin late last month. While Xi emphasized China’s “objective and just” stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine, a conflict Beijing has refused to condemn or support, both leaders reiterated their desire to further develop ties throughout 2023. Newsweek
|CCP Foreign Influence|
|Japan says it scrambled to monitor Chinese aircraft carrier operations|
Japan said on Monday it scrambled jet fighters and dispatched aircraft and warships over the past two weeks to keep tabs on China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier and five warships that conducted naval manoeuvres and flight operations in the Pacific. ReutersChina and Philippines agree to ‘manage differences’ on South China Sea
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have agreed to strengthen economic ties and resume talks on oil exploration, as they look to revive their economies amid the pandemic downturn and friction over contested areas of the South China Sea. Xi met with Marcos Jr. on Wednesday during the Philippine President’s first state visit to Beijing, where the two leaders agreed to “appropriately manage differences,” according to a joint statement released Thursday. CNN
|China has under-represented its number of Covid deaths, says WHO|
The World Health Organization has accused China of under-representing the severity of its coronavirus outbreak and the real number of deaths, in its strongest rebuke yet of Beijing’s handling of the pandemic. “We believe the current numbers being published from China under-represent the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions, in terms of ICU [intensive care unit] admissions, particularly in terms of deaths,” Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, told reporters on Wednesday. Beijing’s definition of Covid-19 death, which was changed last month, was “too narrow”, Ryan said, as he called on Beijing to offer greater transparency on the extent of the surge in cases since President Xi Jinping brought an abrupt end to the draconian zero-Covid system of controls. Financial TimesChina’s Covid generation: the surging inequality behind Xi’s U-turn
In late September, Tashi, a student in a rural village of fewer than 100 people in south-eastern Tibet, returned to school after a six-week lockdown. The 15-year-old’s grades had deteriorated markedly after weeks of trying to take classes on a smartphone with patchy internet in a crowded house while being cared for by ageing grandparents. His parents were 750km away in Lhasa, the capital, working. “It was very difficult to concentrate during the lockdown. My three younger siblings were also taking classes in a noisy house,” he says, sitting next to baskets of dried fungi and herbal medicines, which are his village’s main trade. “Now we’re back at school, I’m still lagging behind after months of trying. It’s very demoralising.” Financial Times
|Hong Kong Reopening with China Comes with 60,000 Person Cap|
The border between mainland China and Hong Kong will gradually reopen from Sunday, paving the way for a restoration of economic and social ties that have been disrupted for three years. But recovery is likely to be slow, with Hong Kong setting a maximum limit of about 60,000 people allowed to travel into the mainland from the financial hub every day — a fraction of pre-pandemic flows. Those coming from the mainland will also need to show a 48-hour negative PCR test result, while some land border control points, including Lo Wu, will stay shut for now. BloombergHong Kong’s human rights lawyers are fleeing abroad amid an effort to cleanse the city of dissent
Anonymous threats sent by text message and email. GPS tracking devices placed under a car, and Chinese “funeral money” sent to an office. Ambushes by reporters working for state-controlled media. Accusations of disloyalty in the press. These are some of the methods deployed in a campaign of intimidation being waged against lawyers in Hong Kong who take on human rights cases, have criticized a China-imposed national security law or raised alarms about threats to the rule of law. While some of Hong Kong’s leading rights lawyers have been detained in the past two-and-a-half years, many others have become the target of a more insidious effort to cleanse the city of dissent – part of a wider crackdown by the ruling Communist Party on lawyers across China, say activists, legal scholars and diplomats. Reuters
|US to send delegation of trade and economic officials to Taiwan|
The US is sending a delegation of trade and economic officials to Taiwan next week, as President Joe Biden’s administration seeks to bolster the commercial relationship with the country. The Office of the US Trade Representative announced on Wednesday that Terry McCartin, its top official responsible for trade with China, would lead a delegation to Taiwan from January 14-17. The USTR said officials from other government agencies would also be present. Beijing is opposed to a trade initiative between Taipei and Washington. Financial TimesExclusive: Paraguay election race puts Taiwan ties on a knife-edge
Paraguay would cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and open relations with China if the opposition wins the election in April, its presidential candidate Efrain Alegre told Reuters, hoping to boost soy and beef exports that are its main economic engines. The ruling party candidate, meanwhile, told Reuters he would maintain ties with Taiwan, a self-governed island that China considers one of its provinces and not a county, making the geopolitical question a centerpiece of the election race. Reuters
|Turkey won’t extradite Uyghurs to China, foreign minister says|
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country will not give in to pressure from China to extradite Uyghurs who have Turkish citizenship, even if it has strained their relationship. “Turkish-Chinese ties have suffered over Beijing being disturbed by our attitude on the Turkic Uyghurs issue,” Cavusoglu told reporters at a year-end press briefing in Ankara on Dec. 29, according to Turkish media reports. “They have extradition requests for people who are our citizens, who live in Turkey all the time. Therefore, we don’t grant any such requests,” he said. Turkey has been one of the most hospitable countries to Uyghurs, with whom Turks share ethnic, religious and linguistic connections. Roughly 50,000 Uyghurs live in Turkey, forming the largest Uyghur diaspora outside Central Asia. Radio Free Asia
The China Debrief is a resource of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
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