Dropping ‘no-war’ pledge a part of Abe’s strategy

 

By CAI HONG, ZHOU WA and REN QI (China Daily) 08:41, January 20, 2014

Increases the bookmark digg Google Delicious buzz friendfeed Linkedin diigo stumbleupon Qzone QQ Microblog Experts say move represents another gesture embracing militarist past

A longtime no-war pledge has disappeared from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s annual working policy revealed on Sunday, while the ruling party vowed to continue visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and push ahead constitutional revision, in another move leading the country in a far-right direction, observers said.

At its 81st LDP annual convention in Tokyo, the party removed the pledge that Japan would “never wage a war”, China Central Television reported on Sunday. Continue reading “Dropping ‘no-war’ pledge a part of Abe’s strategy”

China seeks to calm US fears over missile

EEV – Great example of the Chinese Government , getting its point across. Through building the illusion of the capabilities of its potential adversary. The Chinese military is far more capable than they will ever reveal publicly. This deserves a read from our defense personnel, that understand the semantics involved.

– dismissing media reports that China’s recent ultrahigh-speed missile test flight was aimed at delivering warheads through the missile defenses of the United States

– The advantages of hypersonic craft include precise targeting, very rapid delivery of weapons, and greater survivability against missile and space defenses.

Washington is afraid that China’s growing power will reduce its influence in the region

By ZHOU WA (China Daily)    07:14, January 16, 2014

 

The Ministry of National Defense issued a statement on Wednesday dismissing media reports that China’s recent ultrahigh-speed missile test flight was aimed at delivering warheads through the missile defenses of the United States. Continue reading “China seeks to calm US fears over missile”

China offers $100,000 aid to typhoon-ravaged Philippines

Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, 4:34am

News›Asia
DISASTER
Staff reporters and agencies
US and Japan send rescue teams

China, the world’s second largest economy, has offered US$100,000 in aid to the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

It is the same amount as Vietnam, itself now battling to limit the damage from the storm which made landfall yesterday. Meanwhile, the US has sent US$20 million in aid, while Australia and Britain have pledged US$9.38 million and US$9.6 million respectively.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced yesterday that Beijing would give US$100,000 in aid to the Philippines, as the United Nations, Japan and the United States mobilised emergency relief teams and supplies after one of the biggest storms on record devastated the central Philippines on Friday. China’s offer did not include personnel, but Qin said Beijing could proceed with further assistance after consulting Manila and relief agencies.

The United States has sent 90 marines, aircraft, emergency shelters and 55 tonnes of emergency food. Tokyo is sending a team of 25 medical personnel.

The donation comes a month to the day after China criticised the US for giving tacit backing to the Philippines’ stance [1] after Manila had launched an arbitration case with the United Nations to challenge the legal validity of Beijing’s sweeping claims over the resource-rich South China Sea.

Despite an official death toll of 1,774, authorities in the Philippines fear that the toll could climb to more than 10,000. At least two million people in 41 provinces were affected by the disaster, with tens of thousands of houses destroyed.

An aerial image shows the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in Hernani township, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines. Photo: AP

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity, allowing the government to use state funds for relief and rehabilitation and control prices.

Beijing’s offer highlights the fine diplomatic line it needs to walk amid its ongoing territorial dispute with Manila in the South China Sea.

“Given the tense relationship between China and the Philippines, resentment among Chinese may be triggered if Beijing helps the Philippines,” said Du Jifeng , a Southeast Asian affairs analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Members of the Japan Disaster Relief Medical Team depart. Photo: ReutersQin denied any link between the aid and its relations with the Philippines.

Vietnam, despite itself being hit by a weakened Haiyan, offered emergency aid of US$100,000. It said it “stands by the Philippine people in this difficult situation”.

Reaction to the news of China’s donation among Chinese web users was mixed on Tuesday, with many commenting that Beijing should not have donated any aid.

“The Chinese government should not have offered aid in the first place to a country that’s unfriendly or even hostile to China. Instead, grass-roots organizations and individuals should be encouraged to offer aid,” wrote a microblogger by the name of Mituofo.

IN PICTURES: Typhoon Haiyan leaves a trail of devastation [2]

“China has so many impoverished areas that could use the aid money,” said another called C_Q77

One commenter on the Global Times website wrote: “So many of China’s own children are starving and don’t have enough clothes to wear – Why would the government pretend to be a good guy to other countries while turning a blind eye to your own people?”

Agence France-Presse, Reuters

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1353889/china-offers-us100000-aid-typhoon-ravaged-philippines

Hunan introduces party-pooping austerity measures

 

 
PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 November, 2013, 6:35pm
 

Olivia Rosenman olivia.rosenman@scmp.com

 
 
 
  • wedding_banquet_shunde.jpg
Preparations are made for wedding banquet Foshan, Guangdong province Photo: Chinasmack
 

The southern Chinese province of Hunan has devised a set of party-pooping austerity measures that will restrict the size and scale of weddings, funerals and other celebrations as well as limiting gifts for its 66 million residents, according to a report in the Changsha Evening News.

Personal celebrations, such as birthdays, graduations or promotions must now remain family affairs, and inviting civil servants is strictly forbidden according to new regulations implemented on Friday.

For life’s more monumental moments, the rules are slightly relaxed. Friends and colleagues are permitted to attend weddings and funerals. When it comes to presents, however, they’re off the hook. Only family members and colleagues from the same workplace are allowed to bring gifts.

Local government worker, Mr Li, was in favour of the policy. “I used to spend close to half my annual salary on gifts for friends”, he told the Changsha Evening News.

Extravagant receptions that are commonplace in rural China will become a thing of the past in Hunan. Weddings are now limited to a maximum of 200 people, or 20 tables. When the bride and groom hail from the same place, 300 people are allowed.

Party planners might need to consider location more carefully, for fear of leaving important guests at the mercy of public transport. Processional motorcades are limited to a maximum of eight cars.

The regulations have been designed to address the inevitable waste of lavish celebrations, as well as official corruption, officials say. Expensive gift-giving has long been associated with bribery and embezzlement.

Mr Zhu, former Chair of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, agreed. He told the Changsha Evening News that the new policy would address the fact that giving and receiving gifts had been a way to cultivate guanxi (connections), adding that people would have difficulty adjusting to the new rules.

Many on social media agreed, “Widespread publicity, supervision and transparent reporting channels are absolutely essential. The regulations must be strictly enforced and offenders must be punished”, wrote one Hunan resident on weibo.

But not everyone was so enthusiastic. Local restaurant owners said they were already feeling the effects of the regulations, as the plans were made public before Friday’s implementation.

“About half a month ago, customers began cancelling or decreasing the size of their bookings”, said the owner of a restaurant in the provincial capital Changsha.

The government was less than sympathetic. “The regulations do not ban weddings in restaurants; they simply lay out some controls and limits. In the short term, the regulations will affect Hunan’s restaurateurs, but as soon as they learn to change their tactics and focus more on regular customers, their businesses will become prosperous again” said a spokesperson from Hunan’s Food Industry Association.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china-insider/article/1345289/new-regulations-headache-hunans-wedding-planners

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Chinese military researchers state the U.S. is its Enemy ? China PLA video claims Washington uses military programmes to try to brainwash future leaders

EEV: Currently Searching for the actual video / 3:17 U.S. is implied to be China’s enemy

US accused of using military exchanges with PLA to disrupt China

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 3:52am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 3:52am

Minnie Chan minnie.chan@scmp.com

Wang Xibin

Influential military researchers have accused the United States, in a video they helped produce, of using exchanges between American defence officials and the PLA to undermine the state and corrupt officials.

Military experts said the claims threatened to harm exchanges between the two countries and showed the PLA was trying to address the spread of graft within its ranks and the party.

The unusually hardline video in which the military researchers are quoted was produced by the PLA’s National Defence University, based in Beijing, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences along with the army’s General Staff Department.

“The American elites … confidently believe that the best way to disorganise China is to work closely with it, allowing it to gradually become part of the US-led international and political system,” said General Liu Yazhou, the university’s political commissar and one of the video’s producers.

The 100-minute video appears to be intended for internal distribution but copies have circulated online and state censors had not taken them down as of yesterday. A second producer of the video is General Wang Xibin , a former president of the university.

The video lists several strategies it says the US uses in a bid to weaken the state, including cultural exports, bribing and brainwashing rising young Chinese political stars, and training pro-American activists and scholars through exchange programmes, including ones involving defence officials.

It said Washington used the same tactics to cause the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and to influence the “jasmine revolution” that toppled Tunisia’s former strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Dr Zeng Zhiping, a retired lieutenant colonel and expert in military law, said the propaganda effort would hurt the two countries’ military exchange efforts.

“Only blinkered military officials would be easily brainwashed,” said Zeng, who spent last year in the US on a fellowship studying military law. “I am afraid that under such hardline propaganda, only politically correct officials will be sent to study overseas, and that’s not a good thing for young officers who are keen on learning advanced military thinking in the West and discovering its culture.”

Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong said the film illustrated the contradiction the army and the party faced in trying to instil “traditional Red virtues – hardship and simplicity” – amid the corruption that has taken root after 30 years of economic opening up.

“The party is reluctant to find out the real reasons behind corruption … and blaming US infiltration is … convenient, ” he said.

Dr Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said the video showed that many top PLA leaders harboured long-standing fears about Western countries’ ideological infiltration of the army.

“It is no secret that many in the PLA have been worried for a long time that the so-called softening of young politicians and opinion leaders, partially as a result of their exchanges with the United States, could break China’s resolve to defend key strategic interests,” he said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as US accused of using exchanges to disrupt China.

Japan seeks to ‘nationalize’ islands

With an Upper House election looming this weekend, the Japanese cabinet plans to strengthen territorial claims on hundreds of remote islands in the East China Sea. -China

Daily/ANN  Tue, Jul 16, 2013    China Daily/Asia News Network

With an Upper House election looming this weekend, the Japanese cabinet plans to strengthen territorial claims on hundreds of remote islands in the East China Sea, observers said.

Tokyo will “nationalise” some islands that have no private owners shortly after a survey of islands is completed in 2014, leading Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun quoted an unnamed government source as saying on Monday.

The Japanese government plans to establish a task force to research the ownership and names of around 400 islands, a move described by Agence France-Presse as an attempt to bolster Japan’s territorial claims.

The latest move is designed to establish more reference points in territorial waters, and if the islands’ ownership is unclear, the government will officially name and nationalise them, the newspaper reported.

Wu Hui, an international law expert at the University of International Relations in Beijing, said if part of these islands falls into the scope of territorial disputes, other countries may lodge serious protests.

“Moreover, a unilateral move to nationalise islands will raise questions over the legitimacy of such a move.”

China-Japan relations were greatly damaged after Tokyo illegally nationalised part of China’s Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea in September.

As far as Tokyo is concerned, nationalizing controversial remote islands is part of legislative preparations for further claims, Wu said.

The island survey was announced shortly after the Japanese defence authorities indicated that they may “guard and retake” remote islands, analysts said.

The Japanese Defence Ministry is proposing “boosting the marine functions of the Self-Defence Forces” in its interim report for a planned revision of the country’s long-term defence policy, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported on Sunday.

The move underscores the importance attached by the ministry to strengthening the Self-Defence Forces’ ability to defend remote islands, Kyodo said.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “Tokyo is now attempting greater control of maritime areas in order to give it an advantage in territorial disputes.

“Japan is seeking to be a political and military power with its moves on maritime disputes and its so-called measures to secure maritime interests,” Li said.

In mid-June, the Japanese armed forces participated in a joint military drill with the US Army, which involved the simulated retaking an airport occupied by an “enemy”.

These moves highlight Tokyo’s “desperation” to defend and retake remote islands at an early date, said major Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit Okinawa Prefecture in the southwest of the country on Tuesday.

The trip seems to demonstrate his determination to enhance the defence of remote islands amid the flaring up of tension with China, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper said.

“It is rare for a prime minister to visit remote islands during an election campaign,” Japan’s Jiji Press News Agency commented.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130716-437495.html

 

China trying to strengthen its claim to Okinawa

 

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN

National May. 20, 2013 – 06:49AM JST ( 25 )

 

BEIJING —

China is trying to strengthen its claim on tiny, uninhabited, Japanese-controlled islands by raising questions about the much larger Okinawa chain that is home to more than a million Japanese along with major U.S. military installations. The tactic, however, appears to have done little but harden Tokyo’s stance.

Japan refuses to offer any concessions to China over Tokyo’s control of the uninhabited East China Sea islands, which are called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan. Tokyo issued a formal protest to Beijing over the comments about Okinawa, made last week in the ruling Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, the People’s Daily.

Scholars in Japan and elsewhere, meanwhile, warn Beijing may be shooting itself in the foot by arousing fears of a creeping campaign to nibble away at Japanese territory.

“If China’s goal is to hold talks with Japan over the Senkakus, articles like these are counterproductive,” said M. Taylor Fravel, a Chinese foreign policy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “As a result, Japan has an even stronger incentive now to stand firm with China and not hold talks.”

The Diaoyu issue has rarely been out of the headlines in China since Japan’s government bought the islands in September to preempt Tokyo’s pugnacious former mayor from doing so.

Although the Japanese government purchase was ostensibly aimed reducing tensions, the move was seen in China as an attempt to solidify Tokyo’s sovereignty over the islets. Outraged Chinese staged violent street protests and attacked Japanese property, while the government backed up its objections by dispatching patrol boats to confront Japanese ships and sending a surveillance plane into Japanese airspace. While the sides have avoided clashes, the situation remains tense and neither side has backed down.

The comments about Okinawa appeared in a scholarly editorial in People’s Daily, in an apparent attempt to weaken the historical basis of Japan’s claim to the Senkaku islands by questioning the legitimacy of its control over the entire Okinawa chain. Its authors, Li Guoqiang and Zhang Haipeng, are prominent academics at the government’s Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the editorial is believed to have received high-level approval.

Li and Zhang wrote that Japan’s annexation of the formerly independent kingdom of the Ryukyus, including Okinawa, in 1879 amounted to an invasion and the question of sovereignty remains open. The kingdom had also been a Chinese vassal, giving Beijing a say in its political status, although the ruling Qing dynasty was too weak at the time to oppose Japan, the two wrote.

“Not only is Japan obliterating the truth about the Ryukyu issue, but it is doubling its aggressiveness and making provocations over the Diaoyu issue. Therefore it is necessary to revisit the Ryukyu issue,” Li wrote in a follow-up article in a sister newspaper, Global Times. Neither scholar said what, if anything, China should do about the Okinawa chain.

Japan added the Senkaku islands to its territory in 1895, but China refuses to consider them a part of Okinawa. It claims that they were always part of Taiwan, the self-governing island claimed by Beijing.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said last week that the Chinese remarks about Okinawa were “totally unacceptable to us.”

China’s increasingly combative stance is seen as reflecting the attitudes of the country’s new leader Xi Jinping, who espouses a muscular nationalism and an aggressive approach to China’s territorial claims. China has sparred with the Philippines and Vietnam over overlapping claims in the South China Sea and recently engaged in a three-week standoff with Indian troops along a remote Himalayan section of their disputed border.

China’s navy and air force have also been increasingly active around Okinawa, passing through on their way to the West Pacific and conducting missions over the East China Sea that regularly force Japan to scramble its own jets.

The Chinese assertiveness has prompted a rebalancing of forces to the Asia-Pacific region by the U.S., which already maintains Air Force, Marine, Navy and Army bases on Okinawa, along with about 25,000 troops.

The U.S. occupied Okinawa from the end of World War II until May 15, 1972, and the military’s continued presence there remains a source of tension for Okinawans. Wednesday’s anniversary of the return of Okinawa to Japan was marked with no official ceremonies in the prefecture (state).

Although Washington doesn’t take a formal stance on the Senkakus’ sovereignty, it recognizes Japanese control over them and says they fall within the scope of the U.S.-Japan mutual defense pact.

Washington’s stance has drawn rebukes from Beijing, which already resents the U.S. for emboldening Japan on the issue and is highly criticial of what is referred to as the American military’s “pivot” to Asia.

The U.S. rebalancing “has aroused a great deal of suspicion in China,” former Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei wrote in Foreign Policy magazine this week. “These suspicions deepen when the United States gets itself entangled in China’s dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu islands,” He wrote.

Liang Yunxiang, a Japan expert at Peking University, said China’s questions about Okinawa are in part intended to win over global public opinion by “raising awareness of Japan’s invasion history that Japan has tried so hard to obscure.”

However, Liang said that “the move will, of course, frustrate Japan and the stances of the two sides may get tougher.”

Beijing will likely take further such moves as part of a calculated strategy to increase pressure on Japan and strengthening China’s bargaining position, said Paul O’Shea of the Center for East and Southeast Asian Studies at Sweden’s Lund University.

June Teufel Dreyer, a China expert at the University of Miami, said the danger for Beijing is not only that it could alienate Japan, but that it could raise expectations among Chinese activists. That could make it harder for the government to back away from the issue, posing the “first serious test of Xi Jinping’s leadership abilities,” she said.

__

AP writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/china-trying-to-strengthen-its-claim-to-okinawa

 

Japan protests to China over Okinawa claim

Politics May. 09, 2013 – 07:00PM JST ( 55 )

Japan protests to China over Okinawa claim
Graphic showing US military bases in Japan’s OkinawaAFP

TOKYO —

Japan has lodged a diplomatic protest with China over an article in a state-run publication that challenged Japan’s ownership of Okinawa, home to major U.S. bases, officials said Thursday.

The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, on Wednesday published a call for a review of Japan’s sovereignty over Okinawa, suggesting that Beijing may be the rightful owner.

The call came as the two countries are already at loggerheads over islands in the East China Sea.

“We have protested both in Tokyo and Beijing over the commentary issued by the People’s Daily, followed by a Chinese foreign ministry comment,” a Japanese foreign ministry official in charge of Chinese affairs told AFP.

“We told them that if the Chinese government shares the position of casting doubt about Japan’s ownership of Okinawa, we would never accept it and firmly protest at it,” he said.

“The Chinese side replied to us that the view in the commentary was solely held by researchers,” he added.

The lengthy article in the People’s Daily argued that the country may have rights to the Ryukyu chain, which includes Okinawa.

Okinawa is home to major U.S. air force and marine bases as well as 1.3 million people, nearly all of whom are Japanese nationals and speak Japanese.

The authors of the article, two scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, considered China’s top state-run think-tank, said the Ryukyus were a “vassal state” of China before Japan annexed the islands in the late 1800s.

“Unresolved problems relating to the Ryukyu Islands have reached the time for reconsideration,” wrote Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang, citing post-World War II declarations that required Japan to return Chinese territory.

The article also repeated Chinese government arguments for China’s historical claims over a set of tiny uninhabited islets known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, over which the two sides are squabbling.

Following the article, the Chinese foreign ministry reportedly said “the history of Ryukyu and Okinawa has long called for attention in academia”.

The two nations have stepped up a war of words on the Senkakus in recent months, with Beijing’s vessels regularly entering the waters around the Tokyo-controlled islands, stoking fears of armed conflict.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday dismissed the article as “injudicious” and said Japan’s ownership of Okinawa “is a fact accepted historically and by the international community”.

Analysts said questions over Japan’s right to Okinawa were probably aimed at raising the stakes in the East China Sea dispute.

© 2013 AFP

China should reconsider who owns Okinawa: People’s Daily – China may claim rights to Okinawa

Politics May. 08, 2013 – 05:00PM JST

BEIJING  —

China’s top newspaper on Wednesday published a call for a review of Japan’s sovereignty over the island of Okinawa—home to major U.S. bases—with the Asian powers already embroiled in a territorial row.

The lengthy article in the People’s Daily, China’s most-circulated newspaper and the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party, argued that the country may have rights to the Ryukyu chain, which includes Okinawa.

The island is home to major U.S. air force and marine bases as well as 1.3 million people, who are considered more closely related to Japan in ethnic and linguistic terms than to China.

The authors of the article, two scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, considered China’s top state-run think-tank, said the Ryukyus were a “vassal state” of China before Japan annexed the islands in the late 1800s.

“Unresolved problems relating to the Ryukyu Islands have reached the time for reconsideration,” wrote Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang, citing post-World War II declarations that required Japan to return Chinese territory.

The article also repeated Chinese government arguments for China’s historical claims over a set of tiny uninhabited islets in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

The two nations have stepped up a war of words over the dispute in recent months, with Beijing’s vessels regularly entering the waters around the Tokyo-controlled islands, stoking fears of armed conflict.

Questions over Japan’s right to Okinawa were probably aimed at raising the stakes in the East China Sea dispute, said Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“I think this is psychological warfare,” he said, adding: “The major point is to put pressure on Japan so that the Japanese administration will be forced to make concessions over the Senkaku islands.”

Okinawa is the biggest of the Ryukyu islands, which stretch for about 1,000 kilometers from Japan’s mainland, and were the center of the Ryukyuan kingdom that paid tribute to Chinese emperors until it was absorbed by Japan in 1879.

But some Chinese see historical ties as a basis for sovereignty and dismiss Japan’s possession of the islands as a legacy of its aggressive expansionism that ended in defeat at the end of World War II.

China’s government does not make such claims, but state media have from time to time carried articles and commentaries questioning Japan’s authority.

China is also in dispute with southeast Asian neighbors over huge swathes of the South China Sea, which it claims based on a map published in the 1940s.

Analysts have said that Beijing is growing increasingly assertive in pressing its territorial claims, while nations across Asia have invested massively in upgrading their naval capacity.

© 2013 AFP

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/china-should-reconsider-who-owns-okinawa-peoples-daily

China stands firm on islands: Tokyo must “shoulder all consequences” if it prompts any friction by using military vessels and planes to harass regular Chinese patrols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zhang Yunbi and Ding Qingfen

 

China Daily

 

Publication Date : 03-03-2013

 

Tokyo must “shoulder all consequences” if it prompts any friction by using military vessels and planes to harass regular Chinese patrols around the Diaoyu Islands, a Chinese official warned on Saturday, as tension over territorial dispute continued.

 

Lyu Xinhua, the newly appointed spokesman for the first session of the 12th National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks in his debut briefing in response to a question from China Daily regarding the islands situation.

 

Beijing urged Tokyo to stop any territory infringement, especially “irresponsible remarks” by Japanese leaders, and make significant efforts in improving relations, the spokesman said.

 

Yang Bojiang, an expert on Japanese studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the spokesman’s remark signals a solemn warning against Tokyo’s recent provocations, as “in the past year, Japan has taken initiatives at every key timing to escalate the islands situation”.

 

The Japanese government last September illegally “purchased” part of the islands, a move that has dramatically strained Sino-Japanese ties.

Beijing has enhanced regular patrols around the islands since, and in December Japan scrambled fighter jets in an effort to prevent China Marine Surveillance aircraft from flying.

 

Chinese officials have also charged that Japan tarnished the image of the Chinese military by spreading groundless allegations about the so-called radar targeting a Japanese gunboat by China.

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a policy speech on Thursday to his country’s lower legislative house, cited the alleged ‘radar lock-on’ incident as “a dangerous move that may escalate the situation”.

 

Liu Jiangyong, an expert on Japanese studies and deputy dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, said Japan has broadcast its baseless allegations against China to induce the international community to step up pressure on China.

 

“Consensus has been reached within Japan that blaming China and hyping the threat of China can help the government win more domestic public support,” Liu said.

 

As a peace-loving country, China will not incite trouble, “nor will it be afraid of any troublemakers”, said Lyu, the spokesman of the top political advisory body’s annual session.

 

“We will never back down on issues related to China’s territorial sovereignty,” Lyu said.

 

During Abe’s latest trip to Washington in late February, his appeal for greater support from Washington received a cold response from President Barack Obama on issues regarding the dispute and policies toward China.

 

Wang Fan, assistant president of the China Foreign Affairs University, warned that some key territorial issues, including the Diaoyu Islands dispute, have been utilized as “bargaining chips” to rein in China.

 

“Some countries are resorting to territorial issues to derail China’s steady pace of development and even prompt it to change its peaceful development strategy,” Wang warned.

 

The spokesman confirmed that diplomatic communications have continued between Beijing and Tokyo in an ongoing effort to manage the crisis.

 

China has been hyped as a threat to neighbours, but China has never posed a threat in its defense positions, Wang said, and it is “never a stumbling block but a protector” of navigation freedom in the region.

 

“It is also necessary to clarify that China has shown consistency in guarding sovereignty in the past century, and this has nothing to do with the rising strength of the country,” Wang said.

 

Meanwhile, analysts predicted that it is unlikely for Tokyo, in the near future, to change its stance on the islands dispute.

 

As the Japanese upper house election will probably be held in July, coming out on top in the power reshuffle is the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s top priority. That means Tokyo will give little ground while trying to pit its strength against Beijing, Yang Bojiang said.

 

“We are still unlikely to see major conflict between China and Japan taking place over the islands, as China has upheld dialogue as the best option while the US has told Japan to act calmly,” Liu Jiangyong said .

 

The sessions of the National People’s Congress, which is China’s legislature, and the National Committee of the CPPCC, the top political advisory body, will open on Tuesday and Sunday, respectively

http://www.asianewsnet.net/China-stands-firm-on-islands-43462.html

10 Chinese officials sacked for sex videos ” arranging for women to seduce those officials and then blackmail them “

Xu Wei and Tan Yingzi

China Daily

Publication Date : 26-01-2013

Ten mid-ranking officials in Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality have been removed from their posts, as authorities continued to investigate an online sex-video scandal that led to the sacking of a district official last year.

The officials included four district-or county-level Party chiefs and the head of a Party discipline inspection committee at the municipality’s transportation committee, the municipal government said on its micro blog on Thursday night.

The sacked also include five board directors or executives at five State-owned enterprises, it said.

In November, Lei Zhengfu, former Party chief of Beibei district, was removed from his post only three days after the local disciplinary watchdog confirmed he was in a widespread online sex video.

Government sources said the 10 officials, including Peng Zhiyong, Party chief of Jiulongpo district; Fan Mingwen, Party chief of Bishan county; Han Shuming, deputy Party chief of Changshou district and head of the district government; and Luo Guang, board director of State-owned Southwest Securities Co Ltd, were removed for being involved in the same sex video scandal as Lei.

The municipal government also said that it has busted a criminal ring that used young women to seduce officials and then used secretly filmed sex videos to extort them in 2008 and 2009.

Xiao Ye, one suspect and a key member of the network, and several others, were arrested, as they were accused of arranging for women to seduce those officials and then blackmail them with secretly filmed videos.

Xiao, 45, was the boss of Yonghuang Group in Chongqing, a real estate company that mainly undertakes municipal engineering projects with a total registered capital of 61.7 million yuan ($9.91 million), the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Xiao told several women to send text messages to local officials, saying they had met at a dinner and hoped to keep in touch. If the officials returned the messages, the women would occasionally entice the officials with words or photos.

The women later met those officials in high-end hotels in Chongqing for tea or coffee and later in hotel rooms for sex, which was videotaped with hidden cameras.

Xiao closely monitored the progress of relationships between the women and the officials, and would even require reshooting sex videos if they were of poor quality.

In their next date after the video was filmed, several other suspects arranged by Xiao would break into the hotel room to extort the official.

The report said most officials would offer to compromise after seeing the video, and Xiao would step in at this time as a mediator.

Lei had sex with a woman arranged by Xiao in February 2008 and was extorted by Xiao.

Xiao’s company later saw its business expand and undertake several real estate projects in Beibei district, where Lei was Party chief at that time.

The report said Lei later decided to confess to the Chongqing Party committee, and authorities ordered a police investigation.

Xiao was given a suspended prison sentence by the court of Shapingba district for “disrupting public order”. He was put into a detention centre in 2009 and released a year later.

However, the police investigation of the officials did not continue, and those involved in the scandal were not affected in their political career.

Lei’s scandal was exposed on Weibo in November and the report said the video was leaked by a Chongqing police officer.

Despite reports that suggested the officials were the victims of entrapment, Liu Shanying, a researcher on political studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believed the root of the problem lies with the officials.

“There is an old Chinese saying that says: ‘Flies never visit an egg that has no crack’. The criminal suspects could not have succeeded in their plot if the officials didn’t have such vulnerabilities,” he said.

Liu said the power of supervision by the media and Internet users has been proved in this sex scandal.

“As the case has suggested, real estate and municipal engineering projects are corruption-prone areas, and discipline inspection authorities should work more on these areas,” he said.

The sacking of officials in Chongqing was announced one day after Qu Songzhi, Party secretary of the Chengdu branch of the Red Cross Society of China, was removed from her post, the Beijing News reported on Friday.

Qu is the wife of Li Chuncheng, former deputy Party chief of Sichuan province, who was removed from his post for disciplinary violations in December.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

 

http://www.asianewsnet.net/10-Chinese-officials-sacked-for-sex-videos-41992.html

Beijing brands Tokyo’s “persistent defiance” in territorial dispute as “self-deception”: urged Tokyo to abandon its illusion of occupying the islands.

China bins Japan’s claim of easing tension

 

Zhang Yunbi and Zhao Shengnan

China Daily

Publication Date : 31-10-2012

 

Beijing yesterday hit back at claims by Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba that Tokyo was trying to calm tensions with Beijing over the Diaoyu Islands.

 

It branded Japan’s “persistent defiance” in the territorial dispute as “self-deception”.

 

Japan has denied that a territorial dispute exists over the islands, and Gemba said on Tuesday in Tokyo that his government is seeking to calm tensions with China in maintaining its position over the islands.

 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news conference that Japan’s defiance in the dispute is a total “self-deception”.

 

He criticised Tokyo for ignoring the previous bilateral consensus that the dispute be shelved.

 

Hong said that since Japan’s illegal “purchase” of the islands in September, Sino-Japanese relations have witnessed a substantial change, and Beijing urged Tokyo to abandon its illusion of occupying the islands.

 

China and Russia, both in its territorial row with Japan, on Tuesday held talks on their relations with Japan. Both sides endorsed the importance of safeguarding post-war achievements and international order for sustaining regional and international peace and stability.

 

Japan illegally stole the islands at the end of 1895 Sino-Japanese War, and key post-war documents have returned the islands to China.

 

Lu Yaodong, director of the Japanese diplomacy teaching and research section under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan’s “flashy language” for diplomacy and “easing tension” are aimed at bluffing the international community, and with little sincerity.

 

Lu said: “Tokyo’s stance is not as soft as it seems, as hard-line action has been taken to escalate the territorial fray, including it hiking its budget to boost its regional maritime presence.”

 

Beijing on Monday said there was no plan for Premier Wen Jiabao to meet Japanese leaders during the Asia-Europe Meeting next week in Vientiane.

 

China’s State Oceanic Administration said that as part of regular patrols to safeguard sovereignty, four Chinese maritime surveillance ships on Tuesday were standing by in territorial waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

 

Pictures were taken from the vessels as evidence of the illegal actions of Japanese vessels in the waters, and measures were taken to expel the Japanese patrol vessels, it said.

 

Zhang Haiwen, deputy director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs, said China’s actions were aimed at countering Japan’s illegal entry into the waters, and the Chinese side has been exercising restraint.

 

The moves to force Japanese ships to withdraw shows Beijing’s determination to guard its sovereignty, and as long as Tokyo refuses to admit its “mistake”, tensions will remain, Zhang said.

 

Meanwhile, Japan is not losing any chance to publicise its claim to the islands on the international stage, with Japanese media focusing on the issue at the third trilateral dialogue between India, Japan and the United States in New Delhi on Monday.

 

Tokyo lobbied participants over its stance on the Diaoyu dispute, with Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun saying the desire at the trilateral talks to contain China “seems strong”.

 

The meeting was held to improve cooperation in combating piracy, maritime security and using the nations’ strengths to shape the Asia-Pacific region, reports said.

 

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said China’s ties with the major world players are stable, and the “imaginary trilateral alliance” among the US, India and Japan will have little chance of becoming reality.

 

“The trilateral collaboration is a typical, temporary cooperation on key international issues, and each of the three has its own pursuits and demands. Their collaborative ties may vary on specific issues,” Ruan said.

 

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-10/31/content_15859114.htm

 

 

The government was mum when China’s heir apparent Xi Jinping went missing, and political jitters persist now that he’s reappeared. How many scandals can the leadership take?

Is China Losing It?

Sep 16, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

This year has been Beijing’s annus horribilis. The Chinese regime has been pummeled by a steady stream of political controversies, purges and rumor mongering, made all the more nerve-wracking because a once-in-a-decade succession is due to kick off this autumn, though the date has yet to be revealed. When heir apparent Xi Jinping went missing from public view for two weeks this month, government officials had provided some mimimalist explanations about a minor health problem, but in the absence of transparency the rumor mill ran wild. Even after Xi reappeared on Saturday, some jittery cadres leaked speculation that his disappearance augured possible glitches in the coming leadership transition, expected to begin in October.

What does it all mean? For decades, China’s post-Mao leaders guided their nation’s modernization based on the belief that economic reform and liberalization were possible, even desirable, without a similar transformation in Beijing’s ossified political system.  Thirty years ago the late Deng Xiaoping dazzled the world by adopting capitalistic tools and practices to remake China’s moribund centrally planned economy. “To get rich is glorious,” he was quoted as saying.  And many Chinese did get rich.

What’s more, their country—now the world second biggest economy—became increasingly interconnected with the world. Yet much of that phenomenal growth hinged on Deng’s Grand Bargain with the people: the communist party promised to raise their living standards and modernize the economy, in exchange for political obedience from the citizenry in the face of continuing autocratic, secretive, one-party rule.

Today, scandals that have tainted China’s leadership suggest that Deng’s Grand Bargain is unraveling.  The same old political habits—opacity, corruption, cover-ups, nepotism, disregard for laws, and a sense of impunity among the ruling elite—now clash with the rising expectations of a population that’s not just wealthier but also more politically demanding, Internet-savvy, and conscious of its rights than ever before.

Take the mindboggling lack of information about Xi’s disappearance from public view.  Since the health of senior leaders is considered an issue of national security, those who knew Xi’s status weren’t really talking, partly for fear of revealing “state secrets.” a serious crime. And those who were talking didn’t really know—leading to a proliferation of ludicrous speculation. “This sort of thing was common in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but it’s astounding now that China’s so interdependent with the outside world,” says China analyst David Zweig at the Hong Kong Institute for Science and Technology. “Just imagine if the Chinese currency, the renminbi, were convertible—there would have been a run on the renminbi. If you want to be interdependent with the world, you can’t be so opaque.”

Secrecy and covering up are default positions in China’s political environment.

CHINA GERMANY MERKEL
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping talks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People on August 30, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Diego Azubel-Pool / Getty Images)

Yet secrecy and covering up are default positions in China’s political environment. The latest shoe to drop in Beijing’s web of interlocking scandals  is Friday’s news that former Chongqing top cop Wang Lijun will go on trial Tuesday, Sept. 18  on charges of defection, bribe-taking, “bending the law for selfish ends,” and abuse of power.  It was Wang’s startling flight in February to the American consulate in Chengdu—where he revealed a jaw-dropping tale of blood and intrigue involving his onetime boss and then-Politburo member Bo Xilai and Bo’s wife Gu Kailai—that led to Bo’s purge, Gu’s trial on murder charges, and China’s messiest succession in decades. (Last month Gu was given a suspended death sentence for killing British businessman Neil Heywood).

What infuriates ordinary Chinese and amazes foreign Sinologists is the aura of total impunity which cloaked Gu as she poisoned Heywood, and then tried to cover up the crime. If Wang hadn’t divulged secrets to U.S. diplomats, many Chinese believe Gu literally could have gotten away with murder. And in a more recent controversy, senior official Ling Jihua was demoted after reportedly trying to cover up the fact that his son, and two scantily clad young women, had been in a fiery high-speed Ferrari crash in March. At the root of all these dramas is the fact that many senior officials’ families live way beyond their apparent means — Bo’s annual salary was a measly $20,000 yet “housewife” Gu purchased British real estate worth millions — and feel no need to account for the disparity. “The leadership’s credibility gap is growing because of these scandals,” says Hu Xingdou, a political economist with Beiing’s Institute for Technology.

Many Chinese see the uncertainties and opacity of the current leadership succession as omens that the regime’s old strategy of tinkering with the economy while keeping a tight lid on politics is no longer sustainable. Zhang Lifan, a former researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says, “The scandals are very serious, and require some leaders to push for greater and more genuine transparency.  It’s a life-or-death matter for the communist party.” The big question is whether Deng’s old bargain between the government and the governed is about to expire—and if so, whether China’s new leadership team can come up with a better deal

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/16/is-china-losing-it.html