Diplomats, pundits and academics unanimously refer to the threat of an emerging Chinese military in terms of its capability to make war and more specifically to interdict the Taiwan Strait in the event of a military confrontation over Taiwan.
Worrying as this may be, the ongoing military buildup is not China's greatest threat to the international community -- but its amoral foreign business policy is.
Although partner countries welcome Beijing's policy of not interfering with their internal affairs and not making business conditional on respect for human rights, many fail to see that the practice will hurt international security in the long run. From Sudan to Myanmar, China's indifference to human rights violations in countries that provide it with natural resources has led to grave abuses and fed wars. In Sudan, violence now threatens to spill into neighboring countries and disrupt regional order.
Further indication of the nefarious effects of this policy is Beijing's "exploitation" -- as US Representative Joseph Lieberman put it at an international security conference over the weekend in Munich, Germany -- of the vacuum created by economic sanctions against Iran to further its business interests. While Germany makes the "principled decision to curtail its exports to Iran," Lieberman said, "the People's Republic of China exploits that decision for its own commercial advantage" by picking up business opportunities.
Beyond bad business practice, Beijing's behavior also undermines international efforts to prevent Tehran from successfully developing nuclear weapons. By weakening the effect of the sanctions, Beijing makes it likelier that states like Israel, which feels threatened by the specter of a nuclear Iran, will act preemptively and open a Pandora's Box of conflict in the Persian Gulf, with repercussions on a regional -- and global -- scale.
What makes the situation doubly ironic is that China is one of the handful of states involved in talks on strengthening sanctions against Iran.
History has shown that irresponsible leaders feel no compunction in selling weapons to states or groups that will likely turn them against their neighbors, their own people or against the very state that sold them the weapons.
This is where the nexus of China's military growth and its irresponsible business policies possibly creates the greatest threat. Led by their domestic military-industrial complex, modernizing military powers begin to produce their own weapons. After a certain period, the military-industrial complex reaches a point where it needs to export weapons to finance its growth and continue to meet the demands of government. There is no reason why China would not go down that path and, in time, become a major arms exporter.
Left unchecked, China's trade policy and lack of transparency in the arms trade will feed wars in countries all over the world -- especially in resource-rich regions in Southeast Asia and Africa -- that cannot afford to purchase Western weapons or, because of their conduct, are barred from doing so. Non-state groups like al-Qaeda, and conceivably Hezbollah, would also have better access to more modern and deadlier weapons made in China.
For the sake of fair trade, international security and the countless lives at stake, the world must unequivocally tell Beijing that powers worthy of respect must act responsibly in every sector.
Unless Hollywood movies like Greenland, Deep Impact, and Armageddon have predictive powers and a rogue space rock is heading our way, stopping Chinese Communist Party expansionism is likely to prove the single most challenging and dangerous problem of our lifetimes. How can the United States, Taiwan, and other liberal democracies prepare for and prevent attacks from China? How can Washington bolster Taipei’s confidence when it doesn’t recognize Taiwan as a real country and, so far, lacks the political will to make major adjustments to its ossified China policy and Taiwan policy? How can Taiwan make itself heard on the world stage when
Hypersonic weapons are defined as armaments capable of traveling at speeds faster than Mach 5 and can be broadly classified into two types: hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) and hypersonic cruise missiles. The former are launched into the upper atmosphere by ballistic missiles. The vehicle is then separated from the booster to maneuver, or glide, toward its target. The latter can be launched from a jet plane or rocket to reach supersonic speed before igniting a scramjet engine to achieve hypersonic speeds. As the US engages in a great-power competition with China and Russia, all three countries are racing to field hypersonic
The number of people emigrating from Hong Kong has been rapidly increasing, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data show, with the territory’s population dropping by 110,000 people from 2019 to this year. China’s imposition of a National Security Law has clearly triggered a massive population outflow. However, not only people but also foreign businesses are leaving Hong Kong. For example, Vanguard Group, the world’s second-largest asset management company, VF Corp and Sony Interactive Entertainment have moved their top regional management from Hong Kong to Singapore. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, has also relocated staff
Oppression is painful, and not being able to express it increases the pain 10-fold. This level of pain is something that Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians understand all too well. A question often posed to Uighurs in the international arena is: “You say you are facing genocide, but why don’t we see corpses, like in Rwanda and in Bosnia?” If you were a Uighur, what would you say? What if you replied: “The source of the problem is your lack of vision. It’s an indication of your weakness and China’s strength, and it is not a matter of our sincerity.” Such a harsh response would