|To support us with a donation? Click here!Dialogue China BriefingTalking About China NowIssue 113 – August 1, 2022In This IssueThe articles shared here do not necessarily reflect the views of the briefing or Dialogue China. All articles sourced from WeChat public accounts unless otherwise noted.I. Dialogue China Opinions1. What is the Reason for the Chinese Communist Party’s Frequent Provocations Against Taiwan?II. Policy2. Robotics “On the Job” Nucleic Acid Testing: The Government’s Big Buyers, “Identity” to be Approved3. Comprehensive Interpretation of the New Antitrust LawIII. Politics4. There is a Serious Misunderstanding About the “West” Among the Chinese5. Why is it Sometimes More Difficult for Chinese People to “Read China”?IV. Finance and Business6. Village Banks in Henan Province, What Financial Risks Have Been Exposed?Dialogue China Opinions1. What is the Reason for the Chinese Communist Party’s Frequent Provocations Against Taiwan?Wang Dan – Radio Free Asia Commentary – June 22, 2022For some time now, the Chinese Communist Party has taken a series of actions that are interpreted by the international community as targeting Taiwan. Let us analyze it. First, Xi Jinping – as Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party – signed an order and issued the Outline of Non-War Military Activities of the People’s Liberation Army (Draft), which is thought to be preparation for imitating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine under the euphemism of “special military operation.” Second, China’s Foreign Ministry declared the Taiwan Strait China’s internal waters. The implication of this action is the beginning of a unilateral declaration of sovereignty over Taiwan. Although it is clear that the United States and other Western nations will not acknowledge this declaration, it is possible that such a position is a legal principle preparation for a future war in the Taiwan Strait. The third action is that when China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe gave a speech at the Shangri-La Conference in Singapore on June 12, 2022, he took a hard line posture and said that if necessary, “the People’s Liberation Army is prepared to go to war, and fight until the finish.” The phrase “fight until the finish” has not appeared before, and can be seen as an escalation of the rhetoric of military threats against Taiwan. The fourth action was to announce the launch of China’s third aircraft carrier, the Type 003 aircraft carrier Fujian. It is considered a milestone in the development of armaments, and a declaration of China’s military strength to the United States. The fifth action was to have 29 Chinese military aircraft violate Taiwan’s air space on June 21, 2022, the third highest number this year.|
The combination of these actions, and the fact that they all took place within a month, perhaps does not mean that Zhongnanhai has already decided that China is not capable of attacking Taiwan. But it is clearly calling out the United States on the Taiwan issue, and showing force to Taiwan’s democratically elected government. So, how should we view this series of actions by the Chinese Communist Party? Has Xi Jinping really made a decision to initiate a war? In general, I think all these external actions are a function of internal factors of the Chinese Communist Party.
First, we should not absolutely rule out the possibility of Xi Jinping ordering the use of military force against Taiwan. Many people say that the Chinese Communist Party will definitely lose if it uses military force against Taiwan, and therefore will never dare to fight Taiwan. Such a misjudgment is the result of not learning from historical experience. How many people really believed that the Chinese Communist Party would use the People’s Liberation Army to carry out such a violent military operation in the Beijing Massacre in 1989? That the Communist Party will disregard all bounds of human civilization for its own political interests should be considered normal. One should not judge the Communist Party’s thinking by the standards of the civilized world. This is especially true before the opening of this autumn’s critical 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. There are rumors both inside and outside China that Xi Jinping’s authority is being challenged inside the Communist Party due to his political line of allying with Russia against the United States, and his inflexible “dynamic zero” COVID pandemic prevention policy, which has led to the near collapse of the economy. If such information is true, it would be logical for Xi Jinping to create tension on the Taiwan issue, launch a new patriotic fever, and seize the opportunity to consolidate his authority in order to be smoothly re-elected to an unprecedented third term as paramount leader. For Xi Jinping, this could be the perfect way to use the conflict to fulfill his personal ambitions. In this regard, the international community should not project its wishful thinking onto Xi Jinping’s recklessness.
Second, those who know the history of the Chinese Communist Party’s policy toward Taiwan should know that the military force threat has always been an important element of its bluff and bluster. Even when Taiwan’s President Lee Teng-hui visited the United States, the Chinese side launched missiles into Taiwan’s coastal waters, which later proved to be unarmed. The Taiwan issue has always been a card used by the Chinese Communist Party to deal with domestic issues. When domestic problems arise in China, creating conflict over the Taiwan Strait has often been the best option for the Chinese Communist Party to divert the attention of the domestic public. Since Shanghai’s pandemic prevention measures triggered popular indignation, social conflicts in China have been rising. The Xuzhou chained woman incident* and the Tangshan restaurant attack** attracted billions of hits online, reflecting that the collective social mood is already unstable. Under such circumstances, a series of actions to heat up the atmosphere on the Taiwan issue may be the Chinese Communist Party’s smug calculation. Therefore, there is another possibility: that the Chinese Communist Party does not yet really want to use force against Taiwan. The purpose of their series of bluffing is actually to target the Chinese people and try to divert their attention from domestic problems.
* The Xuzhou chained woman incident, also known as the Xuzhou eight-child mother incident, is a case of human trafficking, severe abuse, and subsequent events that came to light in late January 2022 in Feng County, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. The video of a mentally disturbed and imprisoned woman who was chained to a wall and who gave birth to eight children went viral on China’s internet and sparked a huge public outcry. Due to strict political control and censorship of media in China, many of the country’s top investigative journalists left the profession in the 2010s. As a result, Chinese internet users who demanded answers had to dig into the story themselves. Some netizens were arrested while investigating the case, as the incident unfolded during the politically sensitive period of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Local officials first dismissed the human trafficking claims on 28 January, by saying the woman had been legitimately married to a local man and was mentally ill. However, facing continuous public pressure, Chinese authorities later conducted two higher-level investigations that led to the arrests of two people suspected of human trafficking, as well as the woman’s husband for “illegal detention.” Authorities have also punished 17 officials in the county for “dereliction of duty” in the handling of the case.
** On June 10, 2022, a group of men assaulted four women at a barbecue restaurant in Lubei District, Tangshan City, Hebei Province. Before dawn, a drunk man named Chen Jizhi attempted to sexually harass a woman in a restaurant. When he was met with resistance, Chen became angry and along with several of his companions violently assaulted the four women. The surveillance footage was circulated on the Internet soon after the incident, causing extensive discussions on multiple social media platforms in China. People’s Daily said it was not only a crime, but also challenged the public’s sense of security. At the same time, it also sparked discussion about women’s rights in China. On June 10, two suspects were arrested and all nine suspects were arrested the following day.
In short, we should not loosen our vigilance against a Communist Party invasion of Taiwan, but we should also recognize that the threats against Taiwan may also be targeted at the development of social conflicts in China.【Back to Top】Policy2. Robotics “On the Job” Nucleic Acid Testing: The Government’s Big Buyers, “Identity” to be ApprovedHai Yang, Gong Xinran – Southern Weekend – June 26, 2022Why Read This?
At least 10 research institutes and companies in China have announced their fully automated nucleic acid sampling robots. Some companies have completed the project and design of the product within a month, and the finished product has been overlapped several times. In order to improve the level of data collection, we need to consider how to capture the camera when collecting, how to light the oral cavity is darker, and what to do if the lens is inadvertently touched by improper operation. Because of the medical behavior, nucleic acid sampling robot needs to be approved for registration as a medical device, the robot belongs to which type of device, the regulatory authorities are still studying.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Policy3. Comprehensive Interpretation of the New Antitrust LawShi Jianzhong – China Law Review – June 27, 2022Why Read This?
This amendment responds to the needs of China’s high-quality development, strengthens the anti-monopoly regulatory capacity, improves the anti-monopoly regulatory system, improves the legal liability system, and reserves the interface for system refinement, which is more conducive to preventing market monopoly and making the market play a decisive role in resource allocation. It is more conducive to breaking administrative monopoly, better playing the role of the government, promoting a better combination of an effective market and regulatory oversight, and achieving fair competition and innovation and development of positive interactions.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Politics4. There is a Serious Misunderstanding About the “West” Among the ChineseChen Jibing – Tide of Thought – May 30, 2022Why Read This?
As we hear more and more frequently about “Western power,” “Western designs,” and “Western universal values,” many people feel nervous and ominous, lest they get involved in them. In the mainstream narrative of contemporary China In the mainstream narrative of contemporary China, the “West,” whether good or evil, is clearly a “true common denominator” with a high degree of unity of values and interests. For most Chinese, this perception has become a basic and self-evident premise for thinking and discussing many issues. Yet, strangely enough, no one seems to have ever discussed or thought about the question of who is the “West.”（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Politics5. Why is it Sometimes More Difficult for Chinese People to “Read China”?Zhang Jing – Academic Monthly – June 28, 2022Why Read This?
For example, in order to understand China’s position in the world system, it is necessary to go beyond China and understand the whole, and put what we know about China into the whole human knowledge system in order to see the value of China. Today we are trying to make the world “understand China,” but we are facing the embarrassment of not being able to explain what we have said and not being listened to. In order to better explain the Chinese experience, we need to improve our ability to discover general theories from particular experiences, otherwise it will be difficult to break out of the situation where each one speaks his own language.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Finance and Business6. Village Banks in Henan Province, What Financial Risks Have Been Exposed?Tang Yinan – Beijing Cultural Review – June 24, 2022Why Read This?
There was a time when digital platforms claimed that digital technologies such as big data could minimize financial risks and improve efficiency when they entered the financial sector. However, in recent years, the reality of various digital financial products bursting into flames has undoubtedly failed to confirm such confidence. The authors point out that the digitalization of the financial sector has upgraded the original linear stability model of financial transactions into a black box of non-linear instability based on big data.（Read the full text）
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