Ongoing Events in China

Adobe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Rattle rattle rattle...

"Fox News reports that the drills took place across the island, with both a military and civilian response component. "Sirens could be heard blaring in Taipei, the nation's capital city, signaling residents to evacuate the streets for 30 minutes," the report details. "The country also tested its missile warning system, which sends mass text messages to residents in the event of incoming attacks." The emergency preparedness drills will last five days, and simulate a Chinese PLA military invasion."

  • Dozens of fighter jets head to airbases in the east at start of annual exercise, while public response also put to the test with air raid sirens
  • President Tsai Ing-wen is expected to observe a maritime drill involving more than 20 warships from aboard a destroyer on Tuesday
"On Monday, China's Foreign Ministry repeated in a public warning: "The Chinese side has made it clear to the U.S. on many occasions that it is firmly opposed to Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. We are fully prepared," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated."

Article below:

 

Adobe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

UK PM hopeful outlines anti-China plan​

"Rishi Sunak has branded China the UK’s ‘largest threat’ and pledged to take multiple steps against Beijing"

"Former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched a broadside against China on Monday, pledging to “face down” Beijing should he become Britain’s next prime minister. Beijing represents the “largest threat” to the UK and to global “security and prosperity” as a whole, Sunak claimed, announcing various anti-China steps he would take as premier."

Article below:

 

Adobe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

China warns of military response to Pelosi’s Taiwan trip – FT​

"Beijing has reportedly told US officials that a visit by the House speaker to Taiwan could trigger a forceful reaction"

Article:

 

Adobe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Nancy, I got your 6!

"Pompeo, deemed by American media as the "worst secretary of state ever," tweeted on Monday, "Nancy, I'll go with you. I'm banned in China, but not freedom-loving Taiwan. See you there!"

"Lü Xiang, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that Pompeo is just trying to get some attention politically as he has given indications he will run for the 2024 election."

"if Pompeo wants to rise again, he has to become a "troublemaker," using outrageous words and deeds to garner attention, Lü said."

Article below:

 

Glenn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

China warns of military response to Pelosi’s Taiwan trip – FT​

"Beijing has reportedly told US officials that a visit by the House speaker to Taiwan could trigger a forceful reaction"

Article:

Yes, it does appear that both China and Russia are drawing red lines in the sand.
 

iamthatis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
There was a rumour recently that there were tanks sitting outside of a bank in Shandong. Or was it Henan? The tanks were protecting banks from irate citizens whose funds were confiscated! They were furious! Or maybe it was a routine yearly military exercise, and everyone was chill?

This is a very reasonable article by Newsweek that explores some reasonable options.


The rumours were mostly spread by crypto enthusiasts and gold-and-silver advocates - and probably those who subscribe to the 'China is deep into its totalitarian Social Credit Score rollout' narrative. I would say there is another reason why the rumour might have been started - to cast China in a bad light, as usual, given recent tensions in the Taiwan Strait:

Although not directly related, tensions have been high between China and the U.S. recently, after an American warship sailed through the Taiwan strait, among a series of voyages about once a month. According to Reuters, the voyages have been viewed as support for Taiwan.

As the article says:

With little information beyond the coordinates shared by the MSA and the accounts of others on Twitter, we cannot say with absolute certainty why there were tanks in Rizhao.

One of the challenges brought about by China's careful safeguarding of its social and mainstream media space is that it creates a void for misinformation.

Without forthcoming comment from the country's representatives, either on social media or elsewhere, rumors can spread quickly and without repercussion, as this case demonstrates.

I've learned that there ARE repercussions, though - of the FRV-dampening sort. I noticed some forum members bought this whole 'OMG Chinese tanks in front of banks!' rumour without much critical thought at all.

I don't really know where to find good information about what's actually going on in China, aside from some twitter feeds that post tourist videos, street food vendors, and engineering feats. If anyone has a decently reliable source, I'd be grateful for the information.
 

Candice

Jedi
Rattle rattle rattle...

"Fox News reports that the drills took place across the island, with both a military and civilian response component. "Sirens could be heard blaring in Taipei, the nation's capital city, signaling residents to evacuate the streets for 30 minutes,"
I live in Taiwan, these drills happen every year, so from our perspective this is not an increase in the “rattling” for war.

However Pelosi’s visit sure is.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
'Shangri-La Dialogue: The reunification is coming and it won't be peaceful.'

US, China Reportedly Eyeing Face-to-Face Meeting Between Top Defense Officials Amid Taiwan Row

5 hours ago


Taiwan claims major Chinese war plane incursion

30 May, 2022
'Pelosi is not bringing peace, but reunification.'

Pelosi addresses Taiwan parliament

3 Aug, 2022
“We come in peace,” Pelosi told Taiwanese officials during a trip that's sparked a furious reaction from China

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a meeting with the deputy speaker and other members of Taiwan's parliament in Taipei on Wednesday morning, amid fierce protests and promises of “resolute countermeasures” from Beijing.

“We come in friendship to Taiwan, we come in peace to the region,” the third most senior official in the US government told Taiwanese lawmakers, adding that she wants to increase parliamentary exchanges between Washington and Taipei.

Calling Taiwan “one of the freest societies” in the world, Pelosi said her Congressional delegation had three main purposes and topics to discuss – security, economics and governance.

Following her brief public appearance in front of the cameras, Pelosi and other US delegation members proceeded to hold a closed-door session with the Taiwanese officials, while journalists were told to vacate the room.


Pelosi, 82, is currently on a tour of the Asian region. She earlier visited Singapore and Malaysia and is expected to hold high-level talks in South Korea and Japan. A stop in Taiwan was not on her official itinerary ahead of the tour.

After Pelosi touched down in Taipei late on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to lodge an official protest and warn that Washington will “pay the price.”

In the meantime, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced a series of military exercises and live-fire drills in six large maritime areas and their airspace around Taiwan.

China to finalize process of reunification with Taiwan, says top diplomat

3 AUG, 2022
"Taiwan is a part of China. The implementation of national reunification is a general trend and historic imminence," the country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said

BEIJING, August 3. /TASS/. The Chinese government will definitely finalize the process of national reunification with Taiwan, the country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a statement.

"Taiwan is a part of China. The implementation of national reunification is a general trend and historic imminence," according to the statement over an unannounced visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan published on Wednesday. "Taiwan’s problem arose when the country was weak and was in chaos, it will definitely finalize as the nation revives," the top diplomat noted.

"We will leave no space for external interference and to forces supporting Taiwan’s independence," he said, adding that the attempts to contain Beijing using Taiwan issue are doomed to failure.

The US has turned into "the main destroyer" of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, according to a statement. "This once again proves that some American politicians are destroyers of the Sino-US relations, whereas the US has turned into the main destroyer of peace between the two shores of the Taiwan Strait and regional stability," he said.
'The US will suffer slowly and painfully.'

China summons US ambassador

2 Aug, 2022
Beijing says Washington must “pay the price” for Nancy Pelosi's “deliberately provocative” visit to Taiwan

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns on Tuesday night to lodge “stern representations” over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, and warn Washington against going down a “dangerous path” of antagonizing Beijing.

“The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious. China will not sit idly by,” Xie told the US envoy to Beijing, as cited by Xinhua.

“Taiwan will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland,” Xie added, stressing that no force or individual should underestimate the “firm resolve, strong will and great capability” of the Chinese people to “defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The US must pay the price for its own mistake. China will take necessary and resolute countermeasures and we mean what we say,
China’s state-run newspaper Global Times quoted the diplomat as saying.

After Pelosi touched down in Taipei late on Tuesday, Beijing announced a series of military exercises and live-fire drills in six maritime areas and Chinese-controlled airspace around Taiwan.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter this, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist attempts,” Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said.

Burns has yet to comment on the diplomatic rebuke, but Pelosi herself tweeted out a brief statement after arriving in Taipei. She claimed her visit honors Washington’s “unwavering commitment” to the island, but in “no way contradicts” the long-standing US policy on Taiwan.


The third most senior official in the US government, Pelosi is currently on a tour of the Asian region. She has visited Singapore and Malaysia and is expected to hold high-level talks in South Korea and Japan. A stop in Taiwan was not on her official itinerary ahead of the tour.

READ MORE: US House speaker Pelosi lands in Taiwan

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, when China’s nationalist government fled to the island following its defeat in the civil war. Beijing considers the island an integral part of the country’s territory and has repeatedly warned that the One China principle is a red line that no country is allowed to cross.
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
'China's "silence" is more powerful than a nuclear bomb.'

China's 'lack of response' to Pelosi visit is not weakness — it's strategy

By Timur Fomenko, a political analyst - 5 Aug, 2022
After the world watched with bated breath for Beijing’s reaction to the American stunt, the lack of a flare-up may seem underwhelming – but it’s not

Sparks flew on Tuesday night as Nancy Pelosi commenced her highly publicized trip to Taiwan, proclaiming a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism and effectively poking her fingers into Beijing’s eyes. It goes without saying that China was furious, yet amidst the social media storm which precluded the visit, a bizarre atmosphere of disappointment arose afterwards among some, who decried Beijing’s response as “weak” for having not physically intervened to block Pelosi’s flight. Twitter was awash with “hot takes” demanding Pelosi’s plane be intercepted and declaring that China’s “bluff” had been called.

This rush for an “on the moment narrative” and expectations being out of control naturally overlooked the fact that Beijing immediately declared afterwards a daunting set of military exercises to be undertaken across the next few days, set in Taiwan’s own territorial waters, with some designated spots even being as little as 12 miles away from the coast. These exercises have effectively closed parts of Taiwan’s airspace. China initiated a growing series of sanctions against the island which has involved the blacklisting of over 100 food companies, as well as a ban on fish imports and the sale of natural sand (critical for semiconductor production).

Yet armchair critics continue to deride China as being weak, simply because it did not opt for taking some sort of military action against the third most senior official in the US government, an event which could have triggered an all-out war. While Pelosi’s visit undoubtedly constitutes an enormous and game-changing provocation which warrants a response of some sort, it is ludicrous to think that what could be the largest conflict since World War II could be premised upon that. It defies every notion of reason, logic and common sense. China is angry and its citizens are even more so, but Beijing isn’t dumb or impulsive.

The People’s Republic of China has been willing to use force on many occasions since its foundation. It threw itself head-first into the fight against the US-led coalition in the Korean War, it went to war against India in 1962 and invaded Vietnam in 1979. China is not afraid of war, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to national sovereignty or to prevent strategic encirclement by an adversary. However, that does not mean it elicits conflicts on a whim. China picks its battles carefully, and on each occasion has always carefully weighed the cost-benefit factors. This has become even more critical as China’s economy has boomed and become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world, which has made the stakes of initiating a conflict far higher and more adverse to China’s interests as a whole.

For China right now, Taiwan is a very serious issue. Xi Jinping has placed maximum political stakes on attaining “reunification”, a goal which clashes with America’s attempts to undermine the One China Policy. But that does not mean war is the only, or the preferred, way to do it. Rather, China is conscious of the reality that such a conflict would gravely undermine its primary objectives of attaining national development and growth, in which Beijing believes it has time on its side and a historical trajectory in its favour. It is not China who is panicking and scrambling to shore up its dominance, but a US that fears it is in decline. Rather, China is becoming more militarily powerful as it strives to integrate itself deeper into the global economy, which comes amidst a concurrent effort from the US to try and contain it, and to isolate it from partners. It is obvious how the US would get its allies to respond to Beijing’s military action, even if China can feasibly win.

Given this, it is a short-sighted and impulsive way of thinking to assume that just because China acted with due restraint to Pelosi’s visit and avoided facing up to a major war with the US, that this is somehow a “defeat” or a loss of face. Beijing did indeed make a lot of thunderous statements which probably didn’t help with expectation management, but the real consequences will be long-term, not short-term. Simply refusing to bombard Taipei on a whim does not mean Beijing is not more set now on trying to tighten the noose around the island. As it was in Hong Kong, China will aim for a swift, yet decisive and bloodless victory which assures its position but brings minimal costs.

For Beijing, it is not about Tuesday night itself but the road ahead. China’s strategy is to continue to consolidate its own advances, both militarily, economically and technologically, while avoiding a major power conflict in the short term which would be catastrophic. This does not mean of course that they have no red lines, and the US is determined to press those as much as it can. In a nutshell, Nancy Pelosi has opened up a new paradigm of tensions and confrontation, but that only makes it more critical for Beijing to be all the wiser, all the more restrained and long-termist in its strategy. This is not a video game.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
They never jail the bad guys in the US.
China Jails Billionaire Xiao Jianhua For 13 Years, Slaps Unprecedented $8.1 Billion Fine
BY TYLER DURDEN
FRIDAY, AUG 19, 2022 - 03:00 PM

In the most glaring lesson yet to the country's upstart nouveau-riche oligarchs, a Chinese court has sentenced Xiao Jianhua, the billionaire founder of Tomorrow Group known for managing assets for descendants of prominent Chinese leaders, to 13 years in prison, and slapped the conglomerate with an unprecedented fine of 55 billion yuan ($8.1 billion), culminating the dramatic break-up of China’s largest privately owned financial empire after a five-year investigation.

The Canadian-Chinese tycoon, who disappeared from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong in 2017, was found guilty of illegally collecting public deposits, using entrusted assets in breach of trust, illegally using funds and bribery, according to a statement by the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People’s Court on Friday, the SCMP reported. Xiao was also personally fined 6.5 million yuan.

“Tomorrow Group and Xiao Jianhua’s criminal acts severely damaged the financial management order, which severely risked the national financial safety, and severely encroached the professional integrity of public servants,” said the Shanghai court in its ruling on Friday. “They should be strictly punished based on the law.”

The sentencing closed the clean-up of Xiao’s financial empire comprising assets worth 3 trillion yuan, and is part of Beijing’s ramped-up efforts to control financial risks in recent years.

Tomorrow Group and Xiao illegally used client funds and entrusted assets of 148.6 billion yuan via Baoshang Bank, the Shanghai court said on July 4. The bank entered the annals of Chinese history in May 2019 when it became the first ever insolvent bank taken over by the government and was placed into bankruptcy a year later.

The company illegally borrowed these funds from Baoshang Bank over the course of 14 years, and it also interfered with the bank’s daily business operations, according to the central bank in 2020.

From 2001 to 2021 – during which Xiao was incarcerated in an unknown location in China for four years – the company and Xiao had given bribes worth 680 million yuan to a number of public servants in the form of stakes in unspecified companies, property and cash, the court said according to the SCMP. The bribes were used to circumvent financial regulation or seek illegal favors.

When asked about Xiao’s right to consular access as a Canadian citizen during a regular briefing on Friday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Xiao does not have the right to consular protection of other countries as Beijing does not recognize dual nationality.

Xiao, 50, was born in Shandong, and began his career in business by selling IBM and Dell computers near the Peking University campus in the 1990s. Within a few years, he was worth an estimated $150 million. Surely, there was no crime there.

Xiao is the owner of Tomorrow Holding (trading as Tomorrow Group), a diversified investment company involved with banking, insurance, real estate development, coal, cement and rare earth minerals.He owns non-controlling stakes in Ping An Insurance, Harbin Bank, Huaxia Bank and the Industrial Bank through a series of other investment vehicles, in addition to being the major shareholder in Baotou Tomorrow Technology.

Xiao reportedly, "worked on behalf of a number of powerful families," in China over the course of his career, and he has been described by The New York Times as "a banker for the ruling class." By 2016, he was worth an estimated $6 billion. Xiao's connections with relatives of China's government leaders were demonstrated by his purchase of a 50% stake in CCB International Yuanwei Fund Management, an investment management company owned by Qi Qiaoqiao, Xi Jinping's sister. According to news reports, Xiao was also involved with the business Pacific Securities, a company later accused of facilitating money laundering.

He has Canadian citizenship and reportedly held a diplomatic passport from Antigua and Barbuda.

He ranked 32nd on the Hurun China Rich List in 2016 and his net worth was estimated at US$6 billion before his Tomorrow Group financial empire was dismantled by Beijing following his downfall five years ago.

He went missing from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong in January 2017. In the small hours of January 27, two vans arrived at the luxurious Four Seasons, where Xiao was staying in one of his several rented serviced flats. At about 1am, five men emerged from the vans and knocked on the door of Xiao’s 28th-floor flat before emerging two hours later with him. Almost 12 hours later, Xiao passed through border controls at the Lok Ma Chau crossing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and disappeared in the mainland Chinese city, the SCMP reported.

Although a low profile figure, Xiao was well-known for his connections with China’s political elite. His businesses ranged from insurance to mining.

The tycoon and the company had illegally collected deposits of 311.6 billion yuan by selling trust, insurance and wealth management products, which were against regulations, the court said. They also had used illegal insurance funds of close to 191 billion yuan from connected insurers including Huaxia Insurance, Tian’an Life Insurance and Yi’an Property Insurance, the court added.

Tomorrow Group used the illegal funds to acquire financial institutions and for securities trading and overseas investment. The company had returned some of the illegal funds by selling assets and transferring capital from overseas after the government intervened.

In 2020, Beijing took control of some of the associated companies, including Huaxia Life, Tian’an Life and Tian’an Property Insurance. Privately owned Huaxia Life, founded in 2006, was the flagship of Xiao’s conglomerate. It had 182.8 billion yuan of insurance premium in 2019, ranking it fourth among China’s life insurers. The crackdown that started in 2017 also placed half a dozen of China’s biggest global asset buyers under regulatory scrutiny to prevent their debt-fuelled acquisitions from harming the nation’s financial system.

Xiao’s arrest was among a series of crackdowns on high-profile Chinese businessmen, including Wu Xiaohui, the former chairman of beleaguered insurance giant Anbang Group, and hedge fund guru Xu Xiang, following a stock market rout in 2015.
 

iamthatis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
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