mardi 31 janvier 2017

President Trump's Art of the Deal

For China, a Painful Rethink on Donald Trump

A man at a bar in Beijing takes a photo of the inauguration of Donald Trump. Whether banning refugees or going ahead with a wall along the Mexican border, President Trump has made clear in his first days as president that he actually means what he says to his popular base.

SHANGHAI—The officials who look after China’s relations with the world respect—even admire—a tough negotiator. 
That’s how they first thought about the challenge of Donald Trump.
Even when he rattled the foundations of U.S.-China relations by taking a call from the Taiwan president after his election, their calm response reflected hopes that he was bluffing. 
Indeed, President Trump encouraged the idea by suggesting that trade concessions from Beijing might make his threats to abandon America’s longstanding “One China” policy go away.
By now, it is dawning on Chinese policy makers how badly they may have misread him. 
Whether banning refugees or going ahead with a wall along the Mexican border, President Trump has made clear in his first days as president that he actually means what he says to his popular base.
The course appears set for confrontation between the two nuclear-armed giants over issues that have been stewing for years: China’s mercantilist trade practices, its cybertheft, military buildup and ambitions to dominate its neighborhood. 
Chinese leaders must decide how—or whether—to deal with a U.S. president who has proven unrestrained by diplomatic protocol than they could have imagined, and just as prone to sound off about U.S. allies as adversaries.
Can China do business with this White House?
The Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto, asked himself the same question after increasingly hostile exchanges with President Trump over whether Mexico would pay for the proposed wall—and canceled his visit to Washington. 
The two leaders later spoke by phone.
The episode stands as a warning about how quickly U.S. ties could unravel with China, a far more important relationship.
Jorge Guajardo, a former Mexican ambassador to Beijing, says the Chinese dictators may conclude that attempting to make nice with President Trump is a waste of time. 
Mr. Peña Nieto had “bent over backwards” to accommodate President Trump, he says, welcoming him to Mexico in August with all the courtesies of a state visit.
“I didn’t think he would be so callous and cruel immediately,” said Mr. Guajardo.
Then there are the tweets. 
Chinese diplomacy is fastidious. 
Official exchanges are minutely scripted. 
Chinese public opinion, conditioned by a sense of national victimhood, is acutely sensitive to foreign slights. 
Imagine, then, the anxiety of Beijing’s leaders knowing that Mr. Trump could blow up a high-level meeting by embarrassing them with a 140-character blast.
That’s the point, of course. 
President Trump employs impulsiveness as a negotiating tactic—the “Art of the Deal.” 
He believes—with some justification—that Chinese negotiators have outsmarted their predictable U.S. interlocutors at every turn. 
Lopsided trade flows illustrate the point. 
U.S. technology markets are open, China’s are closing. 
Where’s the reciprocity? 
“They’re killing us,” President Trump complains.
Mr. Peña Nieto can’t afford a complete rupture; he’s torn between national pride and fear that President Trump will withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and badly damage Mexico’s trade-dependent economy.
China’s trade surplus with the U.S. dwarfs that of Mexico. 
But Beijing has more cards to play. 
If Mr. Trump raises trade tariffs, it can retaliate against U.S. multinationals such as Boeing or Apple that are reliant on the Chinese market.
China has missiles and cyberwarfare capabilities. 
Ultimately, the U.S. would prevail in a military contest over Taiwan or the South China Sea, but at some cost.
Beijing would greatly prefer tough negotiations over a standoff, or worse. 
Xi Jinping needs internal stability as he prepares to consolidate power at a key Communist Party congress late this year. 
Any mishandling of the U.S. relationship could expose Xi to criticism. 
Meanwhile, the economy is stumbling; as capital flees the country, export revenues from the U.S., China’s largest market, are more important than ever.
High-level communication between Beijing and Washington is vital to prevent disagreements spiraling into crises. 
Risk-averse Chinese leaders may try to wait out President Trump, hoping he softens, or his presidency implodes.
If they take the plunge and engage, his unpredictable negotiating style will be a wild card.
Trying to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip will play as disastrously with China as the wall does with Mexico. 
In that sense, President Trump’s ugly spat with the Mexican president is ominous.
Says Mr. Guajardo, the former ambassador: “He doesn’t even allow you to get to the table.”

How to Kill 40.7 million Americans?

This chart shows all the Chinese missiles that target the US
By Alex Lockie

Tensions between China and the US are nearing the brink, as the Trump administration signals a tougher stance on trade and the South China Sea. 
In response, Chinese media has signaled a willingness to fight for Beijing's claims in the much-disputed region.
While Trump plans to oversee a massive military buildup of US forces, especially in the navy, China has been pushing an aggressive and far-reaching modernization of its military forces.
Additionally, China has built a series of artificial islands on the South China Sea and militarized them with the apparent intention of countering even the most advanced US platforms.
The infographic below shows the range of different Chinese missile platforms. 
Ones to note are the DF-21 "carrier killer," specifically designed to take out US aircraft carriers at long range, and the DF-41, a nuclear-capable missile that can reach anywhere in the US in 30 minutes. 

Chinese calculations for nuclear attacks on the U.S. are chillingly clear:
“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.”
“The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill 5 million to 12 million Americans.”

China also has developed land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles — notably the DF-31A, which has a range of 7,000 to 7,500 miles.
“If we launch our DF-31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore and Norfolk, whose population accounts for about one-eighth of America’s total residents -- 40.7 million Americans,” the Global Times said.

Chinese Peril

Obama left a departing gift Trump actually might want: a road map for countering China's plans to dominate the semiconductor business.
By William McConnell
A big part of President Donald Trump's economic message during the campaign was his promise to get tough on China, which he singled out for drawing jobs from the U.S. with the lure of cheap workers and generous government subsidies and for erecting trade barriers that favor exports from that country over imports.
If he wants to fend off threats, he might send his White House staff searching for a Jan. 6 report issued by Barack Obama's White House science officers. 
The web link to the report, which recommended steps U.S. officials can take to protect the U.S. semiconductor industry, no longer works, no doubt because of the new president's zeal to scrub all things Obama from the White House's communications outreach. 
A link to copy from The Deal, owned by The Street, is here.
But Trump would likely be receptive to the report's theme: that China's industrial policy designed to quash the U.S. lead in the global semiconductor market and place itself in that role is a threat to U.S. economic and national security and the U.S. should counteract those efforts.
Regulators' wariness of semiconductor sector acquisitions by buyers with Chinese ties already has killed many recent deals. 
But, typically, the challenges are targeted at only deals involving products sold to the military or that are critical to the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure. 
Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP on Dec. 8 dropped its €670 million ($717.5 million) bid for German chipmaking equipment supplier Aixtron SE after Obama said he would block the Chinese investment fund from acquiring the Aixtron's U.S assets. 
Lam Research Corp. and KLA-Tencor Corp. spiked their $10.6 billion merger in October due to an extended investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. 
In January 2016, Royal Philips NV backed out of its $3.3 billion agreement to sell its Lumileds lighting components business to a Sino-U.S. consortium, citing opposition by Cfius. 
Others deals halted under U.S. government threat include Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc.'s $2.46 billion takeover offer from China Resources Microelectronics and Hua Capital Management, China's Unisplendour Corp. Ltd planned investment in Western Digital Corp., and Tokyo Electron Ltd.'s 2015 effort to acquire Applied Materials Inc. for $9.4 billion.
It's not as if semiconductor deals involving Chinese buyers can't get done. 
In December 2015, GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. was cleared for its $683 million acquisition of SunEdison Semiconductor Limited, and three other semiconductor-related deals involving Chinese and other foreign buyers were approved in 2015: Globalfoundries Inc.'s acquisition of IBM Corp.'s microelectronics business, NXP Semiconductors N.V.'s $1.8 billion sale of its RF Power unit to Jianguang Asset Management Co. Ltd. and Integrated Silicon Solution Inc.'s acquisition by Uphill Investment Co.
According to the report, economic threats should be added to the list of national security concerns that could result in an acquisition of U.S. assets by foreign buyers being blocked by Cfius, particularly if the buyer's home country (China) is violating international trade agreements. 
Under the Obama administration's plan, the U.S. would only expand the definition of national security threat to take much more widespread action blocking deals involving China when the negotiated rules have been violated. 
The report hinted that China's noncooperation on economic and trade issues would provide more proof of a national security threat. 
Trump's only real reservation about the plan might be to quibble with the some of the steps Obama's team recommended as being too plodding and requiring naive faith in China's willingness to negotiate and follow a set of rules governing such issues as each countries' import restrictions and use of government subsidies.
China has stated that it intends to have "advanced world-level" semiconductor capability in all segments of the industry by 2030. 
Its government has committed $150 billion over 10 years to subsidize investment and acquisition and also conditions access to its market on local production and technology transfer.
Coupled with these initiatives, China's gambit is timed to take advantage of the fading phenomenon of Moore's Law, the expectation that the semiconductor industry will double the number of transistors on a chip every 18 to 24 months. 
That pace is much harder to keep up today as industry R&D is spread across more numerous types of products. 
Because semiconductor technology is advancing more slowly, it is now easier for China to narrow the gap in its capabilities, according to the report.
Anne Salladin of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP said the report could launch an important conversation within the Trump administration.
"Cfius is intended to deal with acquisitions on a transaction-by-transaction basis," she said. 
"This is an inexact tool for dealing with repeated purchases by a determined government like those we have seen over the past year," she said. 
While the CFIUS process is designed to prevent deals that could put a specific military or telecom technology in the hands of a hostile government, the statutory criteria it relies on to challenge a transaction were not designed to prevent a string of acquisitions that could supplant U.S. economic leadership bit by bit.
Trump, however, is unlikely to adopt the report without making major revisions, particularly to recommendations urging U.S. and Chinese officials to engage first in dialogue to agree in principle to measures that are reasonable for protecting national security. 
Under the Obama administration report, if China fails to adhere to these agreed-upon norms, one way that the U.S. could respond would be to allow China's policy to affect national security threat assessments of Chinese acquisitions. 
"On its face, it seems as if the report's goals would be aligned with President Trump's, but certain recommendations in the report are not necessarily a blueprint for action. These recommendations rely on norms agreed to by the two countries," Salladin said. 
"That process could take time to put in place and would not immediately apply higher scrutiny to deals."

World's most protectionist country

With Pen Plan, China Etches Nationalist Economic Policy 
BEIJING—After a five-year effort, one Chinese company recently achieved a mission of national interest: helping develop the first fully Chinese ballpoint pen.
What’s not clear is whether it made economic sense.
Chinese manufacturers produce 38 billion ballpoint pens a year—80% of the global market.
But they didn’t make the nib, the part that holds the ball at the tip, long preferring the quality of Japanese and European made versions.
Then, Beijing prodded them to look onshore.
Xi Jinping has vocally defended free trade and globalization in recent days, stepping in as U.S. President Donald Trump flirts with trade protectionism.
But at home Beijing’s policy makers often promote a “Made-in-China” ethos, tapping a rich vein of nationalist sentiment.
The quest, framed as a catalyst for homegrown innovation, has defined how goods are made in major Chinese industries, at the expense of efficiency.
Studies rank China’s economy, the world’s second largest, among the most closed. 
From cars to wind turbines, Beijing limits foreign participation in domestic production. 
Citing “food safety,” Beijing insists that almost all grains consumed in China are domestically grown, and sets artificially high prices to support bumper harvests. 
State media touts locally made consumer products including bidets and rice cookers.
The stationery giant spearheading the nib mission, Beifa Group Ltd., defended the nib strategy as it began mass-producing the pen part this month despite signs that Japan can match the cost.
Officials hoped the domestic effort will pave the way for other advances in Chinese precision engineering.
“It’s meaningful to have a breakthrough in the core technology for the domestic industry,” Zhang Xuelian, Beifa’s spokesman, said in an interview.
“What if there’s a war?”
Beifa’s contribution to Chinese self-sufficiency began in 2011 when the Ministry of Science and Technology asked companies to “achieve the localization of pen-product technology.”
Beifa’s research division took on the development of a key part of the ballpoint: the bullet-shaped, 2.3-millimeter-wide metal socket that feeds ink to the half-millimeter ball at its tip.
The ministry provided $8.7 million for the research, which Beifa undertook with state-owned Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group Co., China’s largest stainless-steel mill.
By September, the mill produced its first fully-domestic ballpoint pen.

Not so smart nation: Despite making almost 40 billion ballpoint pens a year, until recently China was struggling to manufacture one component domestically. 

The project became a focus of national pride.
Li Keqiang played it up during a visit to the Taiyuan mill early last year.
Officials distributed it to foreign leaders at the China-hosted Group of 20 summit in September.
“It’s done! We’ve broken the Japanese and German monopoly,” a local branch of the Communist Youth League, a faction of China’s ruling party, headlined a post this month on a popular microblogging platform.
Such nationalist sentiment has risen in China amid historical grievances between China and Japan, as well as Mr. Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on Chinese goods and interfere with Beijing’s policy in Taiwan and the South China Sea.
While Xi defends globalization abroad, his nationalist policies favor state-run companies back home. 
China unfairly restricts access to its markets while flooding markets with low-price exports such as steel, helping to stoke a populist backlash abroad against globalization.
But when it comes to ballpoints, officials from Japanese and European pen-manufacturing associations separately said there has never been trade friction that may have led China to fear a blocked supply of nibs.
“Any threat or restriction in supply is not conceivable,” said Manfred Meller, secretary of the European Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association.
“Japan and Europe produce and supply ballpoint nibs to everybody.”
World Trade Organization records indicate that China has been involved in only one trade complaint over ballpoint pens: Brazil in 2008 investigated, then imposed antidumping duties against, Chinese pen exports.
Analysts say the century-old technology is neither costly nor esoteric.
Official data show China spends $17.5 million a year to import the nibs at an average cost of less than a cent each.
Chinese officials say domestic output reduced the cost of nibs by a third, to $13,000 a ton.
But the savings may prove short-lived.
After it won government approval of its ballpoint, Beifa said its Japanese supplier offered it price cuts to match China’s production cost.
Taiyuan, which didn’t respond to calls for comment, this month issued an industry standard for the Chinese nibs.
Observers say that is a precursor to a state-backed monopoly.
Beifa has placed an initial order with Taiyuan, and hopes to end imports within two years.
It says China’s project is vital for strategic purposes, but is otherwise ambivalent.
“From an economic standpoint, it may not be all that necessary,” said Ms. Zhang, the Beifa spokeswoman.

The Desperate Kowtowing

Facebook Is Trying Everything to Re-Enter China—and It’s Not Working
Since regulators blocked the service in 2009, Mark Zuckerberg has hired well-connected executives, developed censorship tools and taken a ‘smog jog’ in Beijing—but the company has made no headway.
By ALYSSA ABKOWITZ in Beijing, DEEPA SEETHARAMAN in San Francisco and EVA DOU in Wuzhen, China

Mark Zuckerberg’s 2016 ‘smog jog’ in Tiananmen Square. 

Facebook Inc.’s chances of getting back into China appeared to take a rare turn for the better when an employee noticed an official posting online: Beijing authorities had granted it a license to open a representative office in two office-tower suites in the capital.
Such permits typically give Western firms an initial China beachhead. 
This one, which Facebook won in late 2015, could have been a sign Beijing was ready to give the company another chance to connect with China’s roughly 700 million internet users, reopening the market as the social-media giant’s U.S.-growth prospects dimmed.
There was a catch. 
Facebook’s license was for three months, unusually short. 
Facebook executives found the limitation unexpected and frustrating, people familiar with the episode said.
Facebook never opened the office. 
The official posting disappeared and now exists as a ghost in cached versions of the government website. 
“We did, at one point in time, plan to have an office,” said Facebook spokeswoman Charlene Chian, “but we don’t today.”
The episode is part of Facebook’s running tale of woe in China, where it has been trying to set the stage for a return. 
Blocked on China’s internet since 2009, Facebook has courted Chinese officials, made Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg more visible in China, hired a well-connected China-policy chief and begun developing technology that could cull content the Communist Party deems unacceptable.
It has made no visible headway. 
And as time passes, Facebook is watching from the outside as Chinese social-media giants mop up the market that might have been its own. 
Weibo, along with Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and QQ, are now dominant in China, and it may be too late for Facebook, said industry executives including Kai-Fu Lee, Google’s former China head and now CEO of Innovation Works, a Chinese incubator.
“At this stage and time with WeChat, Weibo and other products, it’s hopeless,” Mr. Lee said.
Facebook also faces a wary central government, which blamed social media for stirring ethnic unrest in 2009 and remains uneasy with Facebook’s ability to be a dissidents’ megaphone, said industry executives and others who deal with Beijing regulators. 
And government censorship would be a prerequisite, under Chinese law, for Facebook to re-enter China.
“It’s important for Facebook to respect the laws and regulations of China,” said Guo Weimin, vice minister of the State Council Information Office. 
Zuckerberg, who declined to be interviewed for this article, has said he considers China crucial to Facebook’s future. 
“Obviously you can’t have a mission of wanting to connect everyone in the world and leave out the biggest country,” he told analysts in 2015. 
“Over the long term, that is a situation we will need to figure out a way forward on.”
His drive has had fits and starts. 
He scored a high-profile board seat at one of China’s top universities to build inroads with Chinese officials but didn’t attend the body’s meeting last year.
“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” Facebook spokeswoman Debbie Frost said. 
“However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China.”
Prospects were brighter in 2005, when Facebook registered “” 
It launched a Chinese-language version of its website in 2008 and was a serious contender in China. A Facebook page purporting to be of then-premier Wen Jiabao had tens of thousands of “likes.”

Locked out
Things changed in 2009, when regulators blocked Facebook and Twitter in an information lockdown after riots in China ’s Muslim Xinjiang region. 
State media said riot leaders used social media to stir unrest.
China had previously blocked social-media sites temporarily during political unrest, and many assumed it would eventually back off this time. 
Instead, it continued blocking Facebook and Twitter. 
Some tech-savvy users found ways around the “Great Firewall,” but Facebook was effectively banned.
Zuckerberg maintained his intense interest in China, studying Mandarin and hosting Chinese officials at his Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. 
He traveled to China to meet business leaders and government officials to maintain communication.
Facebook in a 2012 federal filing said it continued to “evaluate entering China” but faced “substantial legal and regulatory complexities.” 
It shifted focus to wooing Chinese advertisers, with teams in Hong Kong and Singapore pitching the network as a way for Chinese businesses to reach customers outside the mainland.

Facebook Vice President Vaughan Smith at a 2014 internet conference in China.

Over about the past two years, Facebook has stepped up its China groundwork, said current and former Facebook executives and employees. 
Since at least 2014, the task of coordinating the company’s China initiative has fallen to Vaughan Smith, vice president of mobile, corporate and business development, who helped negotiate dozens of Facebook’s earliest acquisitions, they said. 
In December, China’s elite Tsinghua University announced Smith would co-teach a class on innovation. 
He declined to be interviewed.
To deploy a Hong Kong-based field commander, Facebook in 2014 hired Wang-Li Moser, who spent more than a decade at Intel Corp. in China, where former colleagues said she made her name as a quiet fixer. 
She helped Intel navigate Chinese bureaucracy to build a $2.5 billion factory and strengthen government relations.
Born in 1954 in China’s Henan province and now a U.S. citizen, Moser was among the first wave of Chinese to go to college in China after the Cultural Revolution, according to her writings. 
She earned an M.B.A. from Rider University in New Jersey. 
She declined to be interviewed.
“Her role,” said Facebook’s Chian, “is to help us understand and learn more about China.”
That includes building more face-to-face relations with government officials. 
In a 2011 essay, she called arranging meetings with Chinese officials a “long, trivial and pressing” task.
“She makes a point to understand who she’s dealing with,” said Tan Wee Theng, former president of Intel China, who worked with her at Intel and now runs a business-advisory firm.
Her hiring appeared to bear fruit in December 2014, when she accompanied Zuckerberg in a meeting with Lu Wei, then China’s top internet regulator, at Facebook headquarters. 
She accompanied the CEO in March 2016 Beijing meetings with Lu and the Communist Party’s ideology chief Liu Yunshan.
Last fall, she was at China’s World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, an invitation-only event hosted by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the regulator that determines, among other things, which websites are blocked. 
She steered Smith by the arm, striking up conversations with well-placed Chinese friends and acquaintances.

Zuck’s ‘Smog jog’
Zuckerberg has made himself visible in China, joining the board of Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in 2014, a high-profile group that includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook.
In 2015, he gave a 22-minute speech in Mandarin at the university. 
Last spring, he posted a photo of himself jogging through Tiananmen Square on a smoggy day without the pollution mask many wear around the city, causing a stir online.
During Xi Jinping’s 2015 Seattle trip, Zuckerberg was among American business leaders to meet the Chinese.

Zuckerberg met Xi Jinping in Washington state in 2015.

Facebook has rapidly expanded its sales teams in Singapore and Hong Kong in anticipation of more business in Asia, particularly in China, people familiar with the teams said.
Amin Zoufonoun, Facebook’s head of corporate development who has helped drive some of its largest acquisitions, is eyeing potential deals including joint ventures that could help jump-start Facebook’s China growth should it be allowed to return, said people familiar with Facebook. 
Zoufonoun, who declined to be interviewed, joined Zuckerberg on his "Love China, Love Tank" Tiananmen “smog jog.”
Over the past year, Zuckerberg has directed engineers at Facebook to start building and adapting products that can be used in China, according to people familiar with the effort. 
Facebook has been working on technology that could block content in China, said people briefed on the effort. 
The New York Times previously reported that Facebook is working on a tool to allow a third party to block content.
The circumstances Facebook faces are different from a decade ago when Moser made her reputation as an Intel fixer. 
Then, China’s tech sector was weak, and officials were eager for outsiders’ factories to employ thousands and advance China’s technology. 
Now China champions its own rising stars, and Facebook can’t promise the level of job creation offered by hardware makers such as Intel and Apple.
It was Moser’s name on Facebook’s application to open the Beijing office, filed with the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce. 
The agency didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Chinese law would demand more, and censorship is a price that has led Western internet companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google to abandon the market.
Facebook executives worry that agreeing to heavy censorship could create a backlash among the site’s 1.8 billion active users, said people familiar with the company.
Another obstacle for Facebook may be the aftermath of Google’s departure. 
In 2010, Google said it would stop censoring its search engine after concluding Chinese hackers were attacking human-rights activists’ Gmail accounts.
It pulled its engine from the mainland, redirecting users to its Hong Kong site. 
After Google’s departure and declarations about human rights, government officials publicly called Google “unfriendly” and “irresponsible.” 
Within Facebook, said people familiar with the company, the view is Chinese leaders remain wary that, were they to grant Facebook access, the company might leave after deciding it can’t tolerate censorship after all—that Facebook, said one, might “pull a Google.”
While Facebook can’t be a social network in China just now, its top executives continue to urge Chinese companies to use it as an advertising platform. 
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg met with a small group of advertising clients at a swanky Beijing hotel last summer. 
Turnout appeared light, said one attendee. 
A person familiar with Facebook said the event was intended it to be small. 
Sandberg declined to comment.

Amanda Chen, who oversees Facebook’s small-business advertising in China, at a 2016 e-commerce conference in Guangzhou.

A few months later, Facebook’s Amanda Chen appeared at a regional e-commerce convention in Guangzhou. 
Singapore-based Chen, who oversees small-business advertising in China, told attendees how Facebook could help Chinese businesses chu hai, or “go out to sea,” and increase international sales by buying ads on Facebook. 
She declined to be interviewed.
Participants swarmed Chen after her presentation. 
They asked her to connect with them on WeChat, China’s preferred networking method. 
They couldn’t ask to friend her on Facebook in China.

lundi 30 janvier 2017

Why China Fears America's New Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers

By Kyle Mizokami

In 2009, the U.S. Navy finally began construction of the first new type of aircraft carrier in nearly thirty-five years. 
Named after former president and naval aviator Gerald R. Ford, the USS Ford fully takes the nuclear supercarrier into the twenty-first century. 
The technological innovations built into the new ship, while causing the inevitable delays involved in building a first-in-class vessel, will keep the Navy’s unique fleet of super flattops the largest and most advanced in the world for the foreseeable future.
USS Ford follows in the steps of the highly successful Nimitz-class carriers. 
Construction began in 2009 at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Virginia—the same location where the Ford’s predecessors were built. 
Indeed, the Ford class resembles the Nimitz ships in many ways: they measure 1,106 feet long versus the Nimitz’s 1,092 feet. 
Both classes weigh the same: approximately one hundred thousand tons fully loaded. 
Layout is similar, too, with an island on the starboard side, four catapults and an angled flight deck.
The ship is powered by two new-design AB1 nuclear reactors. 
The reactors are manufactured by Bechtel, which beat out longtime naval reactor giants General Electric and Westinghouse for the reactor contract. 
Together, the two reactors create six hundred megawatts of electricity, triple the two hundred megawatts of the Nimitz class. 
That’s enough electricity to power every home in Hampton, Virginia; Pasadena, California; or Syracuse, New York.
Ford is going to need that power, not only to reach its estimated top speed of thirty-plus knots but also the new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which uses electric currents to generate strong magnetic fields that can quickly accelerate an aircraft to takeoff speeds. 
The system is touted as easier on aircraft, extending their service lives, easier to maintain in general and capable of generating up to 25 percent more sorties than the older steam catapult system.
The new carrier will also use a new system to land aircraft. 
The new Advanced Arresting Gear uses a water turbine and induction motors to halt the momentum of landing carrier aircraft. 
Like EMALS, the AAG is expected to be more reliable than the existing aircraft arresting system on Nimitz-class ships and easier on airframes.
Ford will also have the most modern radar systems in the fleet. 
The Ford will have the new Dual Band Radar, which combines both the X-Band AN/SPY-3 Aegis radar and the S-Band Volume Surveillance Radar. 
DBR is capable of search, track and multiple missile illumination, detecting enemy aircraft and missiles and then guiding Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) to intercept.
For self-defense, Ford will have two Mk. 29 missile launchers with eight ESSM each, and two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers. 
It will also have four Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems for point defense against aircraft, missiles and small ships, and four M2 .50 caliber machine guns. 
Ford’s generous electrical capacity means that the ship could someday mount laser self-defense weapons. 
Powered by the ship’s nuclear reactors, such a system would have a virtually limitless ammunition supply, vastly increasing the ship’s defensive capability.
The carrier air wing will form the carrier’s primary means of deploying both offensive and defensive firepower. 
The Ford class will embark two squadrons of ten to twelve F-35C Joint Strike Fighters, two squadrons of ten to twelve F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, five EA-18G Growler electronic attack jets, four E-2D Hawkeye airborne early-warning and control aircraft, and two C-2 Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) planes. 
It will also carry eight MH-60S Seahawk helicopters
Down the road, it will embark the MQ-25 Stingray refueling and intelligence collection drone, the eventual planned sixth-generation fighter to replace the Super Hornet, and, if Sen. John McCain has his way, a new long-range strike drone. 
The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor is also set to replace the C-2 Greyhound in the COD role.
Ford’s entry into active service will once again raise the Navy’s carrier force to eleven ships. 
The Navy’s carrier fleet is unique in having a congressionally mandated minimum force level: U.S. Code § 5062 states, “the naval combat forces of the Navy shall include not less than 11 operational aircraft carriers.” 
For, now the Navy is operating with a waiver.
More ships will follow. 
USS John F. Kennedy, the second aircraft carrier to bear the name of the thirty-fifth president of the United States, is under construction at Newport News and expected to enter service in 2020. 
The third carrier, Enterprise, is expected to begin construction next year and will join the fleet in the early 2020s. 
The current push by President Donald Trump and the chief of naval operations to a 350–355-ship fleet will likely include at least one additional Ford-class carrier in the near term.
Designed with the latest technology, Ford is not without problems. 
Both EMALS and the Advanced Arresting Gear System have run into considerable problems, and the Navy briefly pondered finishing Kennedy with a more traditional, proven arresting gear system. Despite developmental delays, it appears both new takeoff and landing systems are nearly ready. According to the Navy, Ford is 99 percent done and 93 percent of testing is complete. 
Ford is scheduled for delivery to the Navy this April.

India-China rivalry reaches into orbit and beyond

Regional giants chase prestige, power and prosperity in space race
By Go Yamada and Shuhei Yamada

Scientists and engineers work on a Mars Orbiter vehicle at the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) satellite centre in Bangalore on September 11, 2013.

A new space race is under way in Asia, with China and India duelling for dominance while other countries make leaps of their own.
National pride and defence are major motivators, but so are practical considerations — generating income from satellite launches, mitigating natural disasters and monitoring crops.
By establishing a presence in Earth’s orbit, and perhaps the expanse beyond it, governments and companies aim to ensure prosperity on the ground.
After India’s decision in November to scrap its largest bank notes, the picture on the back of the new 2,000-rupee replacement bill was surely the last thing on the minds of cash-strapped citizens.
The image, though, highlights a major national achievement and emphasises the country’s highest aspiration: to secure its place among the stars.
The note features a picture of India’s Mangalyaan probe, Asia’s first successful Mars orbiter. Launched in November 2013, the craft travelled around 670m kilometers and began circling the red planet the following September.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the mission in a televised address. “History has been created,” he said.
“We have dared to reach out into the unknown and have achieved the near impossible.”
Of course, India is hardly alone up there.
Regional rival China in 2003 became only the third nation in history to achieve manned space flight, after the former Soviet Union and the US.
Just as the 20th century space race pitted those Cold War rivals against each other, a 21st century race is picking up in Asia, with New Delhi and Beijing doing some serious jockeying.
The broad goals of enhancing national defence and gaining international prestige remain powerful motivators for reaching skyward.
But Asian countries also have specific, diverse and practical ambitions: to develop their own high-speed communications infrastructure, to explore for natural resources, to mitigate natural disasters and to snag satellite launch contracts from other nations.

In December, Indians saw just how valuable their space program can be.
As Cyclone Vardah bore down on the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the India Meteorological Department used data from the country’s weather satellites to project the storm’s path.
This prompted the evacuation of more than 10,000 people, saving untold lives.
Not a few Indians take advantage of the country’s satellites every time they turn on the television. Tata Sky, a direct-to-home satellite TV company launched in 2006 by Tata Group and 21st Century Fox, is capitalising on entertainment demand among the growing middle class, providing more than 400 channels.
It has a contract with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to use INSAT-4A, a national satellite system; it began 4K telecasts in January 2015.
India’s first satellite launch with its own rocket came in 1979.
It has since sent up 142 satellites aboard 59 rockets, including launches commissioned by other countries and unsuccessful attempts.
The pace has picked up in recent years, with 75 satellites launched on 24 missions since 2012.
The business of launching satellites for other countries is flourishing. 
The ISRO has so far handled 79 satellites for 21 nations, including the US, Japan, Canada, Algeria and Indonesia.

India’s goal, according to the ISRO, is to use satellites for the benefit of society, though as with many space programmes, the defence factor cannot be ignored.
India’s endeavours have been closely linked to its development of long-range nuclear missile technology.
The late APJ Abdul Kalam — whose work on weapons earned him the nickname “Missile Man of India” and who also served as the country’s president — was once a member of the ISRO.
Satellites play a crucial role in military communications and missile guidance.
Remote sensing technology, which uses radar and high-performance cameras to observe the Earth’s surface, can be employed in spy satellites.
In any case, the programme hit a turning point in December 2014, when India fired off a prototype of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III — a large, advanced rocket that can carry a payload of eight tons into low Earth orbit and four tons into a high-altitude geostationary transfer orbit.
The maximum payload is 60 per cent greater than that for the GSLV-MK-II, previously India’s largest rocket in service.

Demand for communications, broadcasting, weather and Earth resources satellites is rapidly growing in emerging countries, where millions are signing up for cell phones and disaster preparedness is an ever-present challenge.
“Many countries, like South Korea and Saudi Arabia, are trying to launch their own satellites,” noted YS Rajan, honorary distinguished professor at the ISRO.
“With the GSLV-MK-III, India will be able to meet the requirements.”
Recent missions have shown the world what India can do.
Last June, it launched 20 satellites in one go — a national record.
In September, it pulled off the feat of launching eight satellites into two different orbits.
The ISRO is now preparing to launch 82 satellites in one mission. That would be a world record.
Low-cost launches are India’s forte. 
The mission to Mars made this clear.
Launching the Mangalyaan cost $74m, about one-ninth the cost of the Maven, an American Mars probe.
The difference was thanks to domestic production, downsizing of parts and the decision to limit the equipment and functionality.
The Mangalyaan project also shows India harbors ambitions far beyond simply putting satellites in orbit.
It plans to follow up by launching a Mangalyaan-2 Mars probe in 2018.
Manned space missions are another possibility.
The launch of the Mark III prototype in December 2014 carried an unmanned crew module, which re-entered the atmosphere and splashed down in the Bay of Bengal, as designed.
Another leap came last May, when India launched and recovered its Reusable Launch Vehicle — a craft that resembles the Space Shuttle.
With the backing of Modi and other officials, the organisation’s budget has been increasing steadily. And engineers who once might have sought jobs in information technology are turning their attention to the heavens.
Some influential voices, however, question the wisdom of chasing national prestige.
“People prefer having rice to eat,” Mr Rajan said.
“A space program involves an enormous cost.”
Last year, ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar said a manned mission “is not a priority at all.”
“Our priority,” Mr Kumar stressed, “is to build capacity for new [satellite] launches.”
Rather than trying to compete in manned space flight — a field in which China has a head start — it may be more realistic for India to focus on higher-performance satellites and probes.
Either way, the country’s space program bears watching.
China, meanwhile, continues to build on that head start, as it strives to become a “great space power”.
That is how Xi Jinping described Beijing’s goal in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on December 20.
The event was held to celebrate the successful launch of the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft in the autumn.
The craft ferried two astronauts to the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, where they stayed for 33 days — a record for China.
Xi said the mission “solidified the foundation” for achieving China’s ambition.
Experience gained during the sojourn should help in the completion of the Chinese space station, scheduled for 2022.
In the first half of this year, China is to launch its Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft — a stepping stone to transporting supplies to the space station.
Wu Yanhua, vice administrator of the China National Space Administration, said the aim “is to rank among the world’s top three by around 2030,” alongside the US and Russia.
On December 27, the government published a space development plan featuring missions to the moon and Mars.
Back in 2011, China entrusted Russia with the launch of a Mars orbiter, but the mission failed.
The country now plans to dispatch a craft to Mars on its own in 2020, including a rover that would explore the planet.
China also aims to develop technology for bringing back soil samples from the planet, and for asteroid exploration.
To the moon — where China soft-landed a craft in December 2013 — it intends to send another two unmanned probes.
The first, scheduled to land in late 2017, is to retrieve soil samples.
The second mission, expected in 2018, will be an attempt at the first soft landing on the far side of the moon.
China hopes to develop technology to communicate with that side through relay equipment.
As for sending humans to the lunar surface — something only the US has done so far — Mr Wu said China is looking into “various methods”.
Behind all of this are three main objectives.

  1. National prestige is one, as Mr Xi’s speech showed. 
  2. Another is to prepare for a space war with the US — after all, China’s space programme is managed by the People’s Liberation Army. 
  3. The third is to develop domestic industries and promote an economic realignment.

The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, China’s answer to GPS, is expected to help with the third goal.
The system is to cover the whole globe, but especially countries tied to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative — its plan to develop infrastructure along routes connecting Asia and Europe.
Thirty-five satellites are expected to be operational by around 2020.
BeiDou is already providing location information services in 317 Chinese cities in China, and related businesses are expected to be worth a total of Rmb400bn ($58.1bn) by 2020.
Plus, offering an alternative to the US-led GPS could strengthen China’s international influence.
Like India, China is also pushing its satellite launch services, mainly through China Aerospace Science and Technology, a state-owned aerospace and defence company.
The country had launched more than 240 Long March rockets as of the end of 2016, boasting a 97 per cent success rate.
In 2016, it launched satellites for Spain, Uruguay and Belarus.
India and China are competing not just to impress the world or flex their military muscles, but to control the region’s communications infrastructure and reap the economic rewards of that dominance. Welcome to the new space race.

Sina Delenda Est: Standing Up to China Is Smart Foreign Policy

China's fifth column is making the argument to do nothing to antagonize China, even if it means forfeiting American interests and ideals. That would be a historic mistake.
By James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara

The Japan Times must be having a hard time finding copy to fill its op-ed pages. 
Exhibit A: a screed from an “adjunct senior scholar” at the Chinese Communist Party–affiliated National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou, China, concerning U.S. strategy toward China in the age of Trump. 
In "Mark Valencia"’s telling, Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency has liberated “U.S. China-bashers” to have a “field day” at China’s expense. 
“Extremism” rules the day in Washington and academic precincts.
Wicked times are afoot, you’d think. 
But bear in mind that a lot of things look like extremism to someone who’s fronting for an extremist regime
To build his case "Valencia" refers obliquely to “two academics from the Naval War College.” 
The nameless academics, he says, suggest that “America should revive its past ‘daring-do’ [we think you mean derring-do, "Mark"] and ‘recognize that close quarters encounters, cat and mouse games between submarines and opposing fleets, and even deliberate collisions’ could become routine elements of the U.S.-China rivalry.”
We confess to being the scurrilous duo. 
The passages "Valencia" quotes come from an article we wrote for Orbis, a journal published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Foreign Policy Research Institute. (Look for the article here since "he" doesn’t bother furnishing a link.)
We compiled the article long before the election, and aimed it at whichever candidate might prevail. Our bottom line: China is already competing with America in the China seas and Western Pacific. Close-quarters encounters between Chinese and American ships and planes are already routine elements of the U.S.-China rivalry—just as they were between Soviet and American ships and planes during the Cold War. 
And Chinese seamen and airmen initiate these encounters.
Washington can either wrest the initiative away from Beijing, or it can remain passive and continue losing ground in the strategic competition. 
Better to seize the initiative. 
To do so the new U.S. administration must relearn the art of deterrence, and to deter Chinese aggression the administration must accept that hazards come with the territory. 
That’s Strategy 101—basic stuff for anyone fluent in statecraft.
"Valencia" is a lumper. 
He lumps our analysis with other commentators’ views, many quite different from our own, before attempting the equivalent of an op-ed drive-by shooting. 
All of our views are equivalent for him; all are expressions of “extremism.” 
The others—Gordon Chang and James Kraska, to name two—can doubtless speak up for themselves should they choose. 
We’ll stick to speaking up for ourselves.
And anyone who takes the trouble to read our item—download early, download often—will realize "Valencia" excerpts a couple of quotations out of context and retrofits them to a predetermined storyline. 
First write conclusion, then fit facts to it!
Let’s go through this point by point. 
First, Valencia implies that Trump’s victory initiated our analysis. 
“This deluge,” he opines, “was stimulated by statements by Trump and his nominees for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson and secretary of defense, James Mattis.” 
He goes on to assert that such “statements by incoming government leaders and influence peddlers provided an opportunity for America’s China hawks to promote their views.”
"Valencia" has it precisely backward. 
And a simple internet search would have revealed the blunder before he committed it. 
Explains Orbis editor-in-chief Mackubin Owens helpfully: “This special issue of Orbis features articles by FPRI associates offering ‘advice to the next president.’ 
Written before the election [our italics], these essays offer recommendations for national security affairs in general, as well as for regional issues.”
And so it was. 
We drafted the article in August—months ahead of the election, and when Hillary Clinton remained the odds-on favorite to win the White House. 
We assumed a Clinton administration would be the primary audience, but wrote it to advise whoever might prevail in November. 
In short, this was a nonpartisan venture, compiled in the spirit of our running counsel to the Obama administration.
And it should have bipartisan appeal.
As secretary of state, it’s worth recalling, Clinton was also the architect of America’s “pivot,” a.k.a. “rebalance,” to Asia—an undertaking aimed at counterbalancing China. 
Considering China’s record of bellicosity in maritime Asia, and considering Clinton’s diplomatic past, we had good reason to believe that she and her lieutenants would prove as receptive to our message as Trump.
More so, maybe
In any event: it’s misleading and false for "Valencia" to accuse us of devising “U.S. tactics in the Trump era.” 
We are devising strategy to deter a domineering China—no matter who occupies the Oval Office. 
That our article appeared after Trump prevailed represents mere happenstance.
Second, "Valencia" insinuates that we hold extremist views. 
Well, we guess so... insofar as anyone who wants to deter an aggressor from further aggression entertains extremist views. 
Deterrence involves putting an antagonist on notice that it will suffer unacceptable consequences should it take some action we wish to proscribe. 
It involves fielding military power sufficient to make good on the threat, whether the requisite capabilities be nuclear or conventional. 
And it involves convincing the antagonist we’re resolute about making good on our threats.
We’re glad to keep company with such hardnosed practitioners of deterrence as Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John Kennedy—extremists all, no doubt. 
Statesmen of yore made Moscow a believer in American power and resolve—and largely held the line against communism.
Except in that trivial sense, though, there’s nothing extreme about our argument. 
We maintain that China and the United States are pursuing irreconcilable goals in maritime Asia. 
The United States wants to preserve freedom of the sea, China wants anything but
Both contenders prize their goals, and both are presumably prepared to mount open-ended efforts of significant proportions to obtain those goals. 
If Beijing and Washington want nonnegotiable things a lot, then the Trump administration must gird itself for a long standoff.
Simple as that.
We also point out that China embarked on a massive buildup of maritime power over a decade ago. Excluding the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Beijing already boasts the largest naval and coast-guard fleets in Asia, not to mention a seagoing militia to augment its navy and coast guard. 
And these forces continue growing. 
China’s navy may number over 500 vessels by 2030. 
By contrast, the U.S. Navy espouses an eventual fleet of 355 vessels, up from 274 today
President Trump is on record favoring a 350-ship force
Defense budgets may—or may not—support a U.S. Navy that large.
These are objective facts about which the Chinese media regularly brag. 
Based on these material trends, we postulate that maritime Asia is becoming increasingly competitive, that China is a formidable competitor, and that the trendlines are running in its favor. How’s that for extreme?
We thus urge U.S. policymakers to acknowledge that the forward U.S. presence in Asia will come under mounting danger in the coming years. 
Washington may have to gamble from time to time to shore it up. 
It may have to hold things that Beijing treasures—things like the Chinese navy’s surface fleet—at risk. 
We encourage decision-makers to embrace risk as an implement of statecraft rather than shy away from it. 
Manipulating and imposing risk is a universal strategy that practitioners in Beijing routinely employ. Washington should reply in kind.
And as "Valencia" well knows—or should know—risk-taking constitutes part of the art of strategy
The approach we recommend is well-grounded in theory, as articulated by the late Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling and many others.
There is nothing novel about risk, then. U.S. leaders must rediscover this elemental fact. 
For too long Washington recoiled from taking risk, treating it as a liability while conflating it with recklessness. 
But a risk-averse nation has a hard time deterring: who believes a diffident statesman’s deterrent threats? 
We simply implore civilian and military leaders to realign their attitude toward risk to match the changing strategic landscape in Asia. 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Our argument, then, is a far cry from the extremism "Valencia" deplores in his hit piece. 
A casual reader of his commentary can be pardoned for concluding that we advocate reckless action on the U.S. Navy’s part. 
But it’s "Valencia" who failed his audience.
Third, "Valencia" claims that because of recent statements from U.S. policy-makers—and by implication because of our writing, which he falsely depicts as a product of those statements—“the damage to the U.S.-China relationship and the stability of the region has already been done.” 
But what damage is he referring to? 
As of this writing, the Trump administration has been in office less than a week. 
The White House has issued no official policy touching the South China Sea. 
As far as we know, our fleets in the Western Pacific have done nothing unusual.
"Valencia", it appears, is objecting to a few China-related tweets from Trump following the November elections. 
"Valencia" is indulging in hype.
China, by contrast, has inflicted colossal damage on regional concord. 
Beijing has repeatedly intimidated the Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan in offshore areas. 
It has built islands occupying thousands of acres of land in the heart of the South China Sea. 
It has fortified these manufactured islets, breaking Xi Jinping’s pledge not to militarize them. 
It has rattled its saber through successive military drills, and issued stark warnings about war through various media mouthpieces.
And lastly, "Valencia" suggests that the United States should relinquish vital interests—including those of its Asian allies—to mollify Chinese sensibilities. 
He cites, for example, a Chinese scholar voicing concern that “The theme of clash of civilizations [is] becoming increasingly popular in Chinese circles.” 
"Valencia" also frets about “a possible Thucydian trap [we think you mean Thucydides trap, "Mark"],” a “supposedly ‘inevitable’ conflict between a status-quo power and a rising power.”
His implication, presumably, is that Washington, the guardian of the status quo, should acquiesce in Beijing’s bullying to escape the Thucydides trap
That would square with China’s party line. 
And indeed, aggressors do love to win peacefully.
"Valencia" further objects that the timing of a U.S. policy turnabout is inconvenient for the Chinese. 
He observes that the 19th Party Congress will convene this fall to determine China’s leadership transition. 
Xi Jinping might take a hard line in advance of the congress to placate nationalist audiences. 
A U.S. policy shift might box him in.
That may be true, but Chinese Communist Party politics cannot form the basis of U.S. foreign policy. 
Nor, it bears mentioning, do the Chinese consult or respect American political timelines as they pursue foreign-policy aims. 
Just the opposite: they regard the last months of a departing administration and early months of an incoming administration as opportune times to make mischief.
"Valencia"’s message to America is plain: do nothing to antagonize China, even if it means forfeiting American interests and ideals. 
He falls squarely into the don’t provoke China school we take to task at Orbis
It is precisely this camp’s thinking that begat paralysis in U.S. maritime strategy in Asia. 
Inaction is no longer tolerable as the strategic circumstances change around us.
As for the Japan Times and its readership: Japanese leaders and rank-and-file citizens should pray the Trump administration rejects "Mark Valencia"’s words. 
If the administration heeded them, it would loosen or abandon the alliance that underwrites Japan’s security and prosperity. 
That would constitute Beijing’s price for U.S.-China amity. 
And if America paid that price, surrendering the Senkaku Islands to China would represent the least of Japan’s worries. 
Dark days would lie ahead.
Let’s make China worry instead.

The Just War

Can Xi Jinping Survive a Nuclear Strike?
By Anthony Capaccio

U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon’s Strategic Command are working on a new evaluation of whether the Russian and Chinese leadership could survive a nuclear strike and keep operating.
The new study, ordered by Congress before Trump took office, drew bipartisan support from members who harbor deep concern about China’s increasing military boldness and distrust of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions.
While Trump has pledged to “greatly strengthen and expand” U.S. nuclear capabilities, he also has predicted he can make deals with Putin that may include reducing U.S. sanctions in return for future cuts in nuclear arsenals. 
The two leaders talked by phone for about an hour on Saturday.
Under the little-noticed provision in this year’s defense authorization measure, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Strategic Command -- which plans and would execute nuclear strikes -- will evaluate the post-attack capabilities of the two nuclear powers. 
The law mandates a report on Russian and Chinese “leadership survivability, command and control and continuity of government programs.”
The review is to include “the location and description of above and underground facilities important to the political and military” leadership and which facilities various senior leaders “are expected to operate out of during crisis and wartime.”

U.S.’s Own Plans

The Strategic Command is also directed to “provide a detailed description” for “how leadership survivability” and “command and control” in Russia and China are factored into the U.S.’s own nuclear war planning. 
The directive was championed by Republican Representative Michael Turner of Ohio, a member of the House Armed Service Committee’s Strategic Forces panel.
“Our experts are drafting an appropriate response,” Navy Captain Brook DeWalt, a spokesman for the Strategic Command, said in an e-mail. 
While “it’s premature to pass along any details at this point, we can update you further at a later date.”
Trump has signaled support for upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 
In a memorandum on Friday, he ordered Defense Secretary James Mattis to “initiate a new Nuclear Posture Review to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies.”
The government already was planning what arms control advocates say may be a trillion-dollar modernization of the air-sea-land triad over 30 years starring in the mid-2020s when operations and support are included. 
Those plans were approved under Barack Obama.
“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” Trump wrote in a Dec. 22 Twitter posting. 
Also in December, Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ show, said Trump told her in a phone call: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
In addition, Trump and his national security team have vowed to confront China on issues from trade to its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

‘Doomsday Clock’
Last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cited “nuclear volatility” along with climate change as reasons it has moved up its symbolic “Doomsday Clock” by 30 seconds to two and a half minutes to midnight, the closest to a potential global disaster since 1953.
Representative Turner said in an e-mail that the U.S. “must understand how China and Russia intend to fight a war and how their leadership will command and control a potential conflict. This knowledge is pivotal to our ability to deter the threat.”
Russia and China “have invested considerable effort and resources into understanding how we fight, including how to interfere with our leadership’s communication capabilities,” he said. 
“We must not ignore gaps in our understanding of key adversary capabilities.”
Targeting “leadership and relocation locations is part of long-standing U.S. strategy to make clear that potential enemy leaders understand they cannot win a nuclear war,” Franklin Miller, a former senior Pentagon official who served under seven defense secretaries and as the National Security Council’s senior director for defense policy and arms control, said in an interview.

Command Bunkers

Because such issues have been part of U.S. nuclear planning for decades, Turner is probably raising more specific issues he can’t talk about publicly, Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said in an e-mail.
Nuclear leaders in Russia and China “plan to direct nuclear forces from inside command bunkers buried deeply beneath the earth or deeply inside mountains,” said Bruce Blair, a Princeton University research scholar on nuclear security policy and co-founder of Global Zero, a group devoted to eliminating nuclear weapons.
Turner’s statement implies that “deterring them requires U.S. strategic cruise missiles that can maneuver around the mountains to strike the bunkers from any angle,” Blair said.

dimanche 29 janvier 2017

The Just War

Confronting China’s invasion of South China Sea is overdue
By Austin Bay
Environmental activists in Manila display placards Tuesday as they picket the Chinese Consulate to protest alleged military build-up by China on the disputed group of islands at the South China Sea.
Since the 1990s China has insistently waged a slow and deliberate imperial war of territorial expansion in the South China Sea.
“Imperial war” is the apt description. 
China exhibits classic imperial ambition
Using economic, diplomatic and military muscle camouflaged by propaganda, Beijing adds territory to its imperial dominion at the expense of less powerful neighbors.
In 1950, the newly installed Communist regime in Beijing took Tibet. 
The Communists defended their action by claiming that “traditionally” Tibet was a Chinese province. 
As progressive Communists they were liberating Tibet from nonprogressives. 
If that sounds like old time Communist propaganda gospel, it was.
Invading Tibet took two weeks. By mid-1951, Beijing had full control of the country.
Weeks and months were the time metric for China’s Tibet operation. 
Soldiers armed with rifles and artillery pieces were the means.
Reporters and headline writers understand the pace and weaponry of that kind of war — rapidly seizing objectives while firing guns.
Tibet is a destination for Buddhist pilgrims and mountain climbers, not an international trade route. So who cared? 
India cared. 
Tibet is an invasion route into India. India felt threatened. 
In 1962 the Sino-Indian War flared over control of southern Himalayan passes. 
China won. 
So China’s invasion of Tibet stood and still stands.
Beijing’s South China Sea invasion moves at a different pace: decades. 
That makes recognizing the invasion difficult and confronting it even more problematic.
News media focus on hours, days and weeks, perhaps a year or two. 
Politicians, particularly in democracies, focus on electoral time. 
U.S. presidents have a four- to eight-year policy window — not even a decade.
Over the last 30 years, China’s principal weapon systems in the South China Sea haven’t been bayonets, aircraft and warships, though Beijing is making increasing use of those classic means of coercion and menace.
China’s principal weapons have been offshore construction barges, construction crews and exploratory oil drilling rigs, all supported by shepherding coast guard vessels and swarms of fishing boats.
The barge-borne construction crews usually begin with a “sea feature” like a reef or a rock in the South China Sea. 
A sea feature is not habitable. 
A sea feature is not, in and of itself, sovereign territory.
No matter. 
To Beijing only power matters. 
The construction crews add thousands of cubic meters of dredged sand and reinforced concrete to the sea feature. Voila, an artificial islet. 
The crews top their manufactured islet with military-grade runways capable of handling high-performance combat aircraft. 
If the final product looks something like a stationary naval aircraft carrier surrounded by a strip of sand, that isn’t a glitch — it’s a feature.
The counterfeit archipelago Beijing has created now extends south from the Chinese coast and Hainan Island to close to Borneo and the Filipino island of Palawan.
Beijing has added a political coup de grace: The counterfeit archipelago is now sovereign Chinese territory, like Shanghai. 
Beijing’s claim is utter fraud. 
It has no legitimate historical claim to the area.
China’s man-made islands encroach on the sovereign territory and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. 
The islets and Beijing’s claim to sovereignty also challenge Indonesian territorial sovereignty. Singapore is wary, and Singapore sits on the Strait of Malacca, the primary shipping route between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Every year, ships hauling goods worth about $5 trillion traverse the South China Sea. 
China’s counterfeit islands disrupt this traffic.
This isn’t the distant Shangri-La of Tibet. 
This is a nontheoretical threat to global trade.
China’s aggression has provoked intense resistance, particularly from Vietnam and the Philippines. But 2017 finds the Philippines buckling, despite its court victory. 
During the Obama Administration the US Navy did conduct Freedom of Navigation Operations to assert maritime right of passage. 
However, Beijing read the Obama Administration as feckless and unwilling to lead. 
Its island-creation program intensified.
The Trump Administration has said China’s South China Sea invasion won’t stand. 
This response from Washington is long overdue.

Apple the Traitor

Apple Sues Qualcomm In China, Harms U.S. National Security
By Gordon G. Chang

Wednesday, Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court announced that Apple had instituted two lawsuits against Qualcomm.
In one of the cases, the Cupertino-based giant alleges Qualcomm did not license “standard essential patents” properly.
In the other case—the far more significant of the two—Apple is seeking 1 billion yuan ($145.3 million) for violations of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law.
Whatever the merits of the anti-monopoly case—and I am expressing no view on merits here—an Apple win will almost certainly undermine U.S. national security.
As an initial matter, Apple vs. Qualcomm is an ordinary dispute between two giants over—what else?—money. 
Qualcomm’s general counsel, Don Rosenberg, who denied the validity of his adversary’s claims, said the two cases in China “are just part of Apple’s efforts to find ways to pay less for Qualcomm’s technology.”
He’s undoubtedly correct on that score as companies always seek to reduce costs. 
The issue is whether Qualcomm, the world’s leader in chips for mobile phones, violated the Anti-Monopoly Law.
Yet to speak about compliance or violation of the AML, as the antimonopoly law is sometimes called, mischaracterizes the situation.
Yes, the AML is technically a law as it was enacted by the National People’s Congress, the highest organ of state power in China, in 2007. 
The law, however, is a fiction, at least in practical terms, because it is less a legal rule than a club Chinese officials consistently use on foreign companies. 
While Xi Jinping, China’s supremo, has presided over the combination of state enterprises and the recreation of formal monopolies without challenge, Chinese competition officials have been using the AML to undermine the competitiveness of foreign companies, especially American ones.
It should be no surprise, then, that the first known application of the law was against Coca-Cola, when it tried to buy domestically owned Huiyuan Juice Group. 
The deal was blocked in March 2009.
Back then, the AML was best seen as an attempt to provide a statutory justification for what officials had already been doing, stopping acquisitions of local businesses. 
In the months before the AML became effective in August 2008, Beijing had arbitrarily used its power to stop, most notably, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and Carlyle in proposed high-profile acquisitions.
Having protected domestic enterprises from takeover, officials in the Xi era have adapted the AML to further Beijing’s goal of fostering domestic technology companies — by injuring foreign ones.
The most notable instance of the use of the AML for this purpose involves, perhaps coincidentally, Qualcomm. 
The San Diego-based business in 2015 both paid a 6.1 billion yuan ($975 million) fine for deemed violations of the AML and agreed in a rectification plan to reduce royalties.
Qualcomm’s business model, largely based on royalty streams, has been under attack in the last half decade in, most importantly, South Korea and the U.S. 
In the U.S. this month, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Qualcomm on the 17th and Apple brought suit against the company in Federal court, in the Southern District of California, on the 20th.
Whatever the merits of these actions in the U.S.—and I express no opinion on these either—the plundering of an American tech company in China can only undermine the United States. 
And that is exactly what will happen because Apple filed suit in China.
The Chinese central government, led by the Communist Party, will do whatever it thinks best for China’s interests in deciding Apple vs. Qualcomm, and it’s clear Beijing will side with Apple. 
If it sides with Apple, it will undermine protection of intellectual property. 
If it undermines intellectual property, it erodes the American economy. 
The American economy, of course, is increasingly dependent on creating such property and licensing it around the world. 
And these days, economic issues ultimately have national security implications, especially when they involve technology. 
So don’t expect Qualcomm to get a fair trial in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. 
There can be no impartial adjudication in China when the Communist Party believes it has an interest.
In fact, this month China’s top judge effectively confirmed the unfairness of the Chinese court system and even boasted about it. 
On the 14th, Chief Justice Zhou Qiang of the Supreme People’s Court told top provincial judges to reject “erroneous” Western notions of judicial independence. 
Speaking of the “trap” of Western ideas, he rejected criticism of the Party’s leading role. 
“Bare your swords towards false Western ideals like judicial independence,” he demanded.
Zhou’s statement is notably not because it breaks new ideological ground—it does not— but because it is reflective of regressive trends in the Chinese capital. 
As the Financial Times noted, Zhou, once a reformist figure, “fired a warning shot at judicial reformers by formally acknowledging that China’s court system is not independent of the Communist Party and rejecting attempts to make it so.”
Jerome Cohen, perhaps the world’s leading expert on the Chinese judicial system, put it this way: “This statement is the most enormous ideological setback for decades of halting, uneven progress toward the creation of a professional, impartial judiciary.”
In short, because Party interference in the court system is increasing, Apple has an excellent chance in prevailing in its anti-monopoly suit in China.
And every American—even Apple shareholders, who also benefit from the protection of intellectual property—should be rooting for the other side.