Past Pandemics Exposed China’s Weaknesses

PandemicWhen the novel coronavirus first emerged in China’s Hubei Province, foreign reactions to the country’s handling of the epidemic swung between extremes. At a press conference held in Beijing in late February, Bruce Aylward, who co-led the World Health Organization’s (WHO) joint mission with China on the disease now known as COVID-19, praised what he described as “probably the most ambitious, and I would say, agile and aggressive disease-containment effort in history.” Pointing to a graph that showed a steep decline in cases, he commented, “If I had COVID-19, I’d want to be treated in China.”

Others have been far more critical. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia,” Walter Russell Mead, a professor at Bard College, suggested that China’s “less than impressive” management of the crisis would reinforce “a trend for global companies to ‘de-Sinicize’ their supply chains.” The use of the term “sick man of Asia” in the headline caused particular umbrage and provided a pretext for the expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters from China. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang condemned the use of “racially discriminatory language,” to which U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded with a defense of the free press.

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Why the Coronavirus Could Threaten the U.S. Economy Even More Than China’s

merlin 169675881 3eb0ddaf-b804-48d2-96c4-c30a9fa9d614-superJumboAfter a string of deaths, some heart-stopping plunges in the stock market and an emergency rate cut by the Federal Reserve, there is reason to be concerned about the ultimate economic impact of the coronavirus in the United States.

The first place to look for answers is China, where the virus has spread most widely. The news has been grim with deaths, rolling quarantines and the economy’s seeming to flat line, though the number of new cases has begun to fall.

Advanced economies like the United States are hardly immune to these effects. To the contrary, a broad outbreak of the disease in them could be even worse for their economies than in China. That is because face-to-face service industries — the kind of businesses that go into a tailspin when fearful people withdraw from one another — tend to dominate economies in high-income countries more than they do in China. If people stay home from school, stop traveling and don’t go to sporting events, the gym or the dentist, the economic consequence would be worse.

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Three-way fray spells toil and trouble in South China Sea

Malaysia-Vietnam-JDA-South-China-Sea-ATMI-MapMANILA – A new three-way dispute has broken into the open in the South China Sea, one that brings two Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) members into conflict along with China over coveted energy resources.

Malaysia, Vietnam and China have for weeks been locked in a quiet naval standoff in a disputed southwestern area of the sea, marking a new source of acrimony in ASEAN and Beijing’s latest bid to block Southeast Asian claimants from tapping the maritime area’s rich bounty of oil and gas.

Beijing has deployed its so-called “monster” China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels to an area it considers part of its continental shelf. Of the trio involved in the remote sea standoff, China has by far the greater naval firepower.

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Turbulence on the horizon in the South China Sea?

tải xuống 6The South China Sea remains a focal concern within the international community, grabbing headlines and placed firmly on the agendas of many bilateral and multilateral political and academic summits. While likely to remain relatively stable in 2020, worrying developments and uncertainties are on the rise.

Though negotiations over the text of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) are progressing, substantial divergences over key points are emerging and competition for influence and leadership in regional institution building is heating up. In particular, as the United States takes steps to implement its Indo-Pacific strategy, the South China Sea issue provides a major platform for containing China in the military and security domains.

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Conflict prevention in the South China Sea depends on China abiding by the existing rules

New waveIf China truly wants to coexist and compete peacefully in the Indo-Pacific, it must comply with international treaties and agreements.

This includes international accords that apply to the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where the risk of an incident is growing, not only between the US and China, but also between China and its neighbours. China’s flouting of international rules in the South China Sea may spark a future maritime incident.

Some Chinese charge that the United States is increasing the potential for a dangerous encounter by sailing navy vessels close to rocks or artificial islands controlled by China. That argument was made by Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, an official in China‘s Ministry of Defence, in a recent New York Times column.

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India, US oppose China’s bid on South China Sea code

America is aloneIndia has joined the United States to oppose China’s move to tweak the proposed Code of Conduct on the South China Sea in order to keep its rivals and other nations outside the region away from the disputed waters.

The United States has endorsed India as the net provider of security in the Indian Ocean region, where China has been trying to spread its tentacles over the past few years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American President Donald Trump also sent out a message to China, underscoring in a joint statement that a close partnership between their two nations was “central to a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”. “Cooperation between India and the US at the global level is founded on our common democratic values and objectives, especially in the Indo-Pacific region and other global commons,” Prime Minister said, as he and US President addressed mediapersons after a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tusday.

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Ending Philippines-US military pact will affect South China Sea disputes: Analysts

Ending pinoy usAfter years of threatening to abandon the Philippines’ military alliance with the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte last week confirmed plans to terminate the agreement governing the presence of American troops, a key part of one of Southeast Asia’s major security partnerships.

The announcement was widely interpreted as an attempt by Duterte to extract concessions from Washington, which regards military cooperation with Manila as crucial to countering Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea. US President Donald Trump, however, told reporters he had no concerns about the treaty being scrapped.

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America is alone in its cold war with China

America is aloneIn the contest between the United States and China over who gets to shape the world in the coming century, America seems to be playing to win. But it’s running into a big problem. Despite the global network of alliances Washington has built up, it’s been unable to convince those allies to hop aboard the “great-power-competition” express and leave China behind.

U.S. officials are learning just how challenging it is to persuade friendly nations that America is a reliable partner capable of providing them with viable alternatives to what China has on offer—that the rewards of drawing closer to Washington outweigh the risks of alienating Beijing. That’s in part because of the mixed messages from the American president himself: He’s notoriously iffy about his commitment to allies, even as he often expresses his adoration of the Chinese president (notwithstanding the ongoing U.S.-China trade war).

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The China Challenge

China challengeThe American political class has finally come up with a bipartisan policy: denouncing China. After three years of fulmination, injurious tariffs, and costly Chinese retaliation, the Trump administration announced that China will buy more products, although no one is sure how the pledges, with Chinese caveats, will work out. Each side can rely on its own statistics. China also agreed to improve policies in a few other areas that are in its interest, although with many gaps. In return, the United States will, for at least awhile, hold off on more self-defeating taxes on imports. This package is “Phase One.” “Phase Two” is, well… to come later.

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India - Japan - South China Sea

India - JP - South China SeaJapan and India held the first 2+2 Security Dialogue on November 30th, 2019 in New Delhi between Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Defense Minister Taro Kono and their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

At the dialogue, India and Japan discussed important issues in defense, fuel and ammunition supply, and weapon development cooperation. After the dialogue, the two sides issued a Joint Statement, emphasizing that in the context of the complicated regional development, the two sides need to deepen their defense cooperation and to hold joint exercises between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force in 2020.

Beijing’s scheme to turn the undisputed area into a disputed one in the South China Sea

BJ schemeIn order to monopolize the South China Sea, China is hectically pushing up aggressive activities with neighboring countries in the South China Sea to gradually realize the nine-dash line claim even when it has been totally rejected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Award in the Philippines vs. China case on July 12th, 2016.

Their plot is to turn completely undisputed areas in the waters of its neighbors into disputed ones and then ask for "joint exploitation”. China's behavior completely contradicts the provisions of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS). Some analysts believe that China is trying to implement its own rules of "big fish eat the small" in the South China Sea.

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