Hu Xijin’s opinion only exposes Beijing’s spitefulness

imagesThe Chinese Embassy in Hanoi has recently uploaded on its website an article named “Sincere words for Vietnamese people” written by Hu Xijin, the Editor-in-Chief of Global Times – an official newspaper of Chinese government. Mr Hu Xijin shared Beijing’s view on the 25-year bilateral relations between the US and Vietnam. Accordingly, China was believed to be Vietnam’s only “good friend”, and there are five reasons for which Vietnam should not bolster relations with the US.

As an overseas Vietnamese, I am truly discontent with Mr Hu Xijin’s spiteful opinion, and what’s more he patted himself on the back for representing the viewpoint of the majority of 1.4 billion Chinese people. On this occasion, I would like to respond to Mr Hu Xijin and the Chinese authority in Beijing as follows:

South China Sea dispute: Australia says Beijing's claims have no legal basis

Southchinasea disputeAustralia has formally rejected China's territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea, aligning itself more closely with the US as tensions rise.

In a declaration to the United Nations, Australia said the claims, which take in the majority of the sea, had "no legal basis". China has not reacted.

It comes after the US called some of China's actions in the area "unlawful".

In recent years China has built bases on artificial islands in the sea, saying its rights go back centuries.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam contest China's claims. The countries have wrangled over territory for decades but tensions have steadily increased in recent years, with several maritime confrontations taking place.

US Could Attack China, Seize Disputed Islands In South China Sea Before 2020 US Elections

US could attack chinaAnti-China waves in the US have reached dangerous heights after Washington abruptly demanded the closure of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston. China in retaliation asked the US to close its consulate in Chengdu, nose-diving ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

The United States under Donald Trump is waging an ideological battle against China. In particular, the US defence forces have constantly provoked China by dispatching naval vessels and aircraft carriers to the South China Sea.

The dangerous manoeuvres by the US Navy could trigger a military confrontation between the two nations. The constant provocation and threats by the US is pushing the region in chaos and it is quite likely that the US could further provoke Beijing by attacking Chinese controlled islands and reefs.

China shoots across US bow with South China Sea drills

China shoots acrossBEIJING -- The Chinese military began live-fire drills in the South China Sea on Saturday in a challenge to U.S. freedom of navigation operations there, as the two powers trade shows of military and diplomatic force.

The drills, which will run through Aug. 2, are taking place off the Leizhou Peninsula in southern China, in the northwestern part of the South China Sea, according to the People's Liberation Army. This is not far from Vietnam, which is locked in a territorial dispute with Beijing over the Spratly Islands. China has warned civilian vessels not to enter the area.

The exercises are the latest move in a sharp rise in tensions between China and the U.S. in recent weeks over the South China Sea, the vast majority of which is claimed by Beijing under its "nine-dash line."

Trump’s China policy has no strategy — except to boost his reelection campaign

Trump ChinaTHE UNITED STATES should be leading democratic nations in resisting China’s tightening totalitarianism and escalating belligerence. Instead, President Trump is pursuing a reckless, incoherent and unilateral offensive against Beijing that appears designed to boost his reelection campaign, not manage the complicated challenge posed by the regime of Xi Jinping.

The State Department’s abrupt order shutting down the Chinese Consulate in Houston this week is a case study in Mr. Trump’s counterproductivity. It will inevitably lead to the permanent closure of a comparable U.S. mission in China — probably in Wuhan, where the covid-19 epidemic originated. That will reduce channels of communication and diminish U.S. understanding of China’s domestic situation, while doing next to nothing to address the offensive activities of the Xi regime, from its crackdown in Hong Kong to its attempts to spy on Americans and steal U.S. technology.

South China Sea Showdown: Here's How America Is Trying To Contain China In Its Own Backyard

South China Sea showdownRecent US diplomatic and military moves in the Pacific theater are conveying a strong message to both friends and foes that Washington is determined to preserve the hegemonic status the United States has enjoyed since the end of World War II. The latest confirmation is the addition of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Both the PDI and other US actions are implicitly directed against one target: the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Over the past decade, and especially during President Donald Trump’s administration, the perception has grown within America’s political and policy elites that China is no longer a constructive economic and diplomatic partner. Instead, officials see Beijing as a strategic competitor at best and an outright adversary at worst.

That mounting mistrust of Beijing has several sources. US military leaders have watched with growing unease for years as the PRC’s military budget ballooned and funds were directed disproportionately to the development of sophisticated anti-ship missiles and other anti-access, area denial systems. The primary purpose of such programs was to raise the cost severely to the United States if Washington sent its air and naval forces to defend Taiwan or otherwise interfere with PRC strategic goals in waters near China. An increasingly bold foreign policy agenda has accompanied Beijing’s new military muscle.

Pompeo’s Surreal Speech on China

speech on chinaSecretary of State Mike Pompeo gave one of the most surreal speeches of the Donald Trump presidency at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, on Thursday. In his speech, titled “Communist China and the Free World’s Future,” he declared the failure of 50 years of engagement with China and called for free societies to stand up to Beijing.

I am sympathetic to the argument. I wrote a book in 2017 about how Western hopes that China would converge with the liberal international order have failed. I have argued for almost two years that when Trump leaves office, the United States should put the free world at the center of its foreign policy.

Trump’s Reelection Woes, Not Policy, Are Root of Escalating China Tensions

policies woesThe Trump administration on Tuesday demanded that China close down its consulate in Houston, Texas, which officials say was serving as a hub for espionage and influence operations, within 72 hours. With the deadline quickly approaching, Beijing announced retaliatory measures on Friday, demanding that the U.S. shutter its consulate in Chengdu. This is a major escalation in the already tense standoff between Washington and Beijing, but as Trump looks to bolster his faltering reelection campaign by pumping up his base with anti-China rhetoric, escalating tensions may be precisely the point.

David R. Stilwell, who leads the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told the New York Times that the Houston consulate, the first Beijing opened in the U.S. after relations were established in 1979, had a history of engaging in “subversive behavior.” Stilwell offered no details, but the Times also cited a document showing that multiple FBI investigations were centered on the consulate. The offenses alleged in these probes include attempting to steal medical research and other sensitive information, as well as a talent-poaching strategy to lure dozens of local researchers and academics to Chinese institutions.

The United States Has Gotten Tough on China. When Will It Get Strategic?

The US has gotten toughOn Wednesday, the New York Times reported the Trump administration is weighing a ban on all members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their families from traveling to the United States. We do not know the full details of the proposal, and we do not need to. The move, however it might eventually be worded or implemented, would be a mistake.

Several flaws with the plan are immediately obvious:

There is no public membership list, so there is no way of knowing for certain who is a CCP member and who is not. How could an individual prove they are not a member of the CCP?

There are nearly 92 million CCP members, yet less than 8 million serve in party or government organs, meaning the vast majority of members have no meaningful connection to policy decisions. The single biggest occupational category of party membership is “farmers, fishermen, and cattle workers.”

A Feast to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the PCA South China Sea Ruling

PCADifferent from the last three years, this year is marked with the high-profile 4thanniversary of the PCA South China Sea Ruling. Various events to praise the rule of law in the South China Sea took place.

1. The ‘feast’ begins with a message from the Philippines Foreign Secretary on July 12th 2020. July 12th was the exact day four years ago when The Hague Tribunal issued a ruling rejecting China’s sovereignty claims over most of the South China Sea.

In his message, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. stated that the PCA South China Sea Ruling 2016 was “non-negotiable”, and called for China’s serious compliance with the ruling. Mr Locsin also underscored that the ruling “conclusively settled the issue of historic rights and maritime entitlements in the South China Sea… under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS)”.

By adducing China’s acts in violation of international law cited by the Tribunal, including massive reclamation and construction of artificial features in the South China Sea with severe environmental impacts, Mr Locsin stressed the Tribunal’s conclusion that certain actions of China within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights and “were thus unlawful”.

US’ tougher stance on the South China Sea is part of Trump’s re-election campaign

US tougher stance on the south china sea isThe United States finally said what the world already knew: China’s claims in the South China Sea have no legal basis. It took four years after an international tribunal ruled on the issue. This raises the question why, with only six months left in the current administration, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made this declaration now?

Two reasons stand out – US President Donald Trump campaign’s attempt to bolster its tough-on-China credibility ahead of the upcoming presidential election, and galvanising the growing regional distrust of China to reassert the US as a regional power. If Beijing misreads either of these powerful political forces and provokes a confrontation, its geopolitical overreach will face a backlash that has long been brewing in the region.

With US election season in full swing, Trump attack ads air daily in battleground states with hundreds of millions of dollars in play. The campaign has decided to use China as one of several lines of attack against Trump’s opponent Joe Biden. It’s going to be a tough sell.

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