Asia Communique — Week 13

PLA no show at military meeting - India and China resume dialogue - China allows WHO to visit


You might have already read my previous email about the name change. Nothing changes. Asia Communique will continue to make sense of China, India, and the world during chaotic times.

PLA no show at meeting with US military

“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) declined to participate in the virtual Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) Work Group and Flag Officer Plenary session with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command scheduled for Dec. 14-16, 2020,” said Indo Pacific Command in a statement.

‘Senior Colonel Liu Wensheng, the spokesperson of the Chinese navy, said in a statement in response to the US statement that "the accusation from the US has totally confused right and wrong. The reason why the meeting can't be held in time is that the US has failed to implement the agreement reached by both sides. The US should take full responsibility,”’ reported Global Times.

"We hope the United States can work with China to rebuild a strategic framework for the stable and sound development of bilateral ties, with mutual respect as the premise, enhanced dialogue and consultation as the approach, deepened integration of interests as the driving force, and solid foundation of public opinion as the support," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a talk at the Asia Society.

Recording of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s talk at the Asia Society.

“Four senior Chinese military and armed police officers have been promoted to the rank of general, the highest rank for officers in active service in China.

President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), presented the officers with certificates of order signed by him at a ceremony held in Beijing on Friday,” reported CGTN.

Drone attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ‘a warning for Chinese military’ — SCMP.

China eyes new goal of military parity with US in Asia by 2027 - The Japan Times.

India and China resume dialogue

“India and China on Friday held fresh round of diplomatic talks on the standoff along the friction points of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after a gap of more than two months and reached a conclusion to convene army commanders meet soon,” reported The Economic Times.

“It is our expectation that the further discussions will help both sides to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western sector and full restoration of peace and tranquillity,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson.

“Satellite imagery and communication intercepts along the 3,488 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC) shows that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is undertaking a significant road and building infrastructure upgrade across Karakoram Pass and Aksai Chin to ramp up military capacities and capability against India,” reported The Hindustan Times.

A new map of the Line of Actual Control where India has been constructing new helipads.

“But we have shown that India is not weak. This is new India that will give a befitting reply to any kind of transgression, aggression, or any unilateral action,” said India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

“Senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Australia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Department of State of the United States of America interacted through a video conference on18 December 2020,” said a joint statement issued by Minister of External Affairs.

The US State Department’s version of the statement.

“The Union Cabinet has approved the formation of a ‘National Security Direction on Telecommunications Sector’. The government will be creating a list of ‘trusted’ vendors from whom telecommunications companies like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea can procure telecom equipment,” reported Business Insider.  

“Sixteen trucks loaded with goods entered Nepal from China through the border points at the request of Namkha Rural Municipality. According to Bishnu Lama, chairman of the rural municipality, 12 trucks loaded with flour, rice, pulses, sugar, and warm clothes, among other items, entered Nepal through Hilsa border point,” reported Kathmandu Post.

Read an excerpt of Subramanian Swamy’s new book Himalayan Challenge: India, China And The Quest For Peace.

Strengthen India ties to deal with China, think tank tells Biden - Nikkei Asian Review.

Seven branches of China’s ruling party have India link - Indian Express.

Xiaomi Leads Indian Smartphone Market Thanks to Strong Online Push - Caixin.

China allows WHO investigators to visit

“Beijing will welcome an international team of COVID-19 investigators due to travel to China in January, said the World Health Organization (WHO), which is leading the mission,” reported Reuters.

“China stands ready to enhance its cooperation with WHO to advance the global tracing efforts and contribute our share in our early victory against the pandemic," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

“Chinese authorities on Saturday released rules on foreign investment security review to safeguard national security while spurring foreign investment.

The rules, jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), specified provisions concerning the security review mechanism on foreign investment, including the types of investments subject to review, review scopes, and procedures, among others,” reported Xinhua.

China rethinks the Jack Ma model - The Financial Times

Don’t Miss Out

“Walt Disney Co. executive chairman Robert Iger has told people close to the incoming Biden administration that he would be interested in serving as U.S. ambassador to China, according to people familiar with the matter,” reported Wall Street Journal.

“Huawei has chosen the Business Park in the city of Brumath in France's northeast Grand-Est region as the venue for its first manufacturing plant in Europe, the global telecom leader and the local authorities of the French region announced in a joint statement released on Thursday,” reported Xinhua.

“The European Union has agreed “in principle” to an investment agreement with China, a high-level diplomatic source in Brussels told the South China Morning Post on Thursday, in what would be a big win for Beijing in the face of tattered relations with the US,” according to the Stuart Lau at SCMP.

‘Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday stressed that the TPP-11 sets high standards for regulations on e-commerce, intellectual property, and state-owned enterprises. “We need to ensure that any new member is prepared to meet these standards,”’ reported Nikkei Asian Review.

‘The U.S. Commerce Department announced it’s blacklisting Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. and more than 60 other Chinese companies “to protect U.S. national security,”’ reported Bloomberg News.

“We will not allow advanced U.S. technology to help build the military of an increasingly belligerent adversary.  Between SMIC’s relationships of concern with the military-industrial complex, China’s aggressive application of military-civil fusion mandates, and state-directed subsidies, SMIC perfectly illustrates the risks of China’s leverage of U.S. technology to support its military modernization,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. 

“I once again point out that it is entirely out of the U.S. government’s political agenda to suppress Chinese high-tech enterprises, and Canada played a very disgraceful role in this process. This is, in every way, a grave political incident,” said Chinese ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu in an interview.

Social Talk

On Weibo, one of the top trends was “Zhong Nanshan said the new coronavirus was transmitted from environment to human” (#钟南山称新冠病毒出现环境传人#).

Over 450 million Weibo users viewed the hashtag.

Movers and Shakers

The World China Wants — Rana Mitter

Washington’s warped Asia policy debate — Dhruva Jaishankar

China Is Gnawing at Democracy’s Roots Worldwide — Vijay Gokhale

Off Track Read

China’s Combative Nationalists See a World Turning Their Way — New York Times

Who are the Chinese ‘left’ nationalists? — Lausan.

The World’s Most Important Body of Water - The Atlantic

Pod World

China and India: Pallavi Aiyar and Ananth Krishnan on mutual misperceptions - Sinica.

Veteran diplomat Evan Feigenbaum on U.S. policy in a changing Asia - Sinica.

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