Categorie
China

Win Some, Lose Some: China’s Campaign for Global Media Influence (William Yuen Yee, The Jamestown Foundation)

In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed the state-owned China Global Television Network (CGTN) to “tell China’s story well” (讲好中国的故事, jiang hao zhongguo de gushi) (Global Times, December 31, 2016). Xi’s exhortations entwine with his broader ambitions to increase China’s “international discourse power” (国际话语权, guojia huayu quan) and thereby augment the nation’s “comprehensive national power” (综合国力, zonghe guoli). (People’s Daily, June 7). Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China has spent billions of dollars to increase the reach of its state-run media outlets and bolster its reputation abroad. CGTN, which was previously the international branch of China Central Television (CCTV) but rebranded in 2016, exemplifies this government-led effort. The state-owned Xinhua News Agency has expanded its overseas bureaus from 100 in 2008 to 181 as of February 2021, a move all the more notable as many Western outlets have slashed their numbers of foreign correspondents (Xinhua, February 9; The Conversation, January 10, 2019). Both CGTN and Xinhua extensively recruit foreign and English-speaking talent (Facebook, April 14, 2018). The state-led effort to raise the international prestige of Chinese state media has produced tangible results. For example, in 2019, the International Olympic Committee recognized Xinhua as one of its four official international news agencies—alongside Reuters, the Associated Press, and the Paris-based Agence France-Presse (Olympics, January 30, 2019).

Win Some, Lose Some: China’s Campaign for Global Media Influence – Jamestown

 

Categorie
Afghanistan China

Opportunities and Challenges for China’s Plans in Afghanistan (Syed Fazl-e Haider, The Jamestown Foundation)

In a September meeting between China’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu and Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, China declared that its first batch of humanitarian aid will reach Afghanistan before the arrival of winter. (The News, September 28). The emergency humanitarian aid is worth approximately $31 million and includes three million COVID-19 vaccine doses, food, medicine and other winter supplies (Global Times, September 8). China is the first foreign country to pledge humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan since the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15. The aid pledge from Beijing came days after the Taliban declared China as their “main partner” in rebuilding and developing Afghanistan. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said “China will be our main partner and represents a great opportunity for us because it is ready to invest in our country and support reconstruction efforts” (Express Tribune , September 2).

Opportunities and Challenges for China’s Plans in Afghanistan – Jamestown

Categorie
China

Far From a Panopticon, Social Credit Focuses on Legal Violations (Jeremy Daum, The Jamestown Foundation)

Two new pieces of draft authority on China’s social credit system, directories of data inputs and punitive outputs from the General Office of the State Council, provide further clarity into the system’s ultimate form and purposes. These official guidance documents present a picture of a social credit structure that is more of a bureaucratic interface for existing legal and regulatory systems than the widespread Western perception of a dystopian algorithm that uses “big-data collection and analysis to monitor, shape, and rate individual’s behavior”(China Brief, January 17, 2017). Social credit includes new enforcement mechanisms but is an extension of the law rather than an independent rule-making authority. Furthermore, the new draft guidance documents emphasize that all collection of data and imposition of punishments requires a legal basis.

Far From a Panopticon, Social Credit Focuses on Legal Violations – Jamestown

Categorie
China Japan

In China’s Shifting Historical Narrative, “War of Resistance” with Japan Retains Key Role (John S. Van Oudenaren, The Jamestown Foundation)

Last month, China commemorated the 90th anniversary of the September 18 incident— the false flag railway explosion that sparked Imperial Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931. In China’s official historical narrative, the incident, which is colloquially known simply as “9-18” (九一八, jiu yiba), marks the beginning of the “War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression” (抗日战争, Kangrì zhanzheng) (PLA Daily, September 18). In addition to the usual blanket state media coverage, the milestone anniversary was met with moments of silence and air raid sirens intended to evoke history (Haiwai Net, September 18). In schools across the country, class time was devoted to “patriotic education activities” (爱国主义教育活动, Aiguo zhuyi jiaoyu huodong) (Sohu, September 23). For example, a kindergarten in Guang’an, Sichuan held a moment of silence, watched a patriotic documentary to understand the horrors of the invasion, and made paper flower bouquets to express their sorrow for the lives lost in the struggle against Japan (Baijia Hao, September 21). Politburo Standing Committee Member and Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Zhao Leji (赵乐际) addressed a ceremony at the September 18 Incident History Museum in the northeastern city of Shenyang near the site of the 1931 bombing. At exactly 9:18 AM on September 18, Zhao, the highest-level official to attend the annual vigil since 2014, led other dignitaries as they rang the museum’s “warning bell” 14 times to signify 14 years of arduous resistance against Japan. (People’s Daily, September 19; Nikkei, September 19).

In China’s Shifting Historical Narrative, “War of Resistance” with Japan Retains Key Role – Jamestown

Categorie
Europe Russia

Kremlin Publicizes Its View on Europe’s Energy Crisis (Vladimir Socor, The Jamestown Foundation)

The Kremlin is skillfully exploiting a European energy crisis caused in part by flawed European policies. On October 6, at the TTF Hub in the Netherlands, the price of natural gas rose to an all-time European record of $1,936 per 1,000 cubic meters. Due to high consumption and limited supply availability, European gas storage levels are at their lowest in at least a decade at the start of the heating season (EurActiv, September 30). Russian Gazprom is playing on the anxiety by limiting the supply and forecasting a “cold, snowy winter in Europe” (Interfax, October 6).

Kremlin Publicizes Its View on Europe’s Energy Crisis – Jamestown

Categorie
Russia

Russian Authorities Expand and Tighten Clampdown on Opposition (Pavel Felgenhauer, The Jamestown Foundation)

On September 28, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB—one of the main successor organizations of the Soviet KGB) published an official order, Number 376, that lists some 60 ambiguous reference points covering all possible information about the state of battle readiness, location, structure and operations of the country’s military, defense industry and space program (Roscosmos). The order specifically forbids the sharing of any such information with international organizations and foreign governments, entities, non-governmental organizations (NGO) or individuals. The crucial aspect of FSB order Number 376 is that it does not refer to the possible transfer to foreigners of classified defense and defense-related data, which could be legally considered treason (treason cases are multiplying in Russia); rather the order specifically forbids the sharing of unclassified, open-source defense and defense-related data, “which, when transferred abroad, may be used against the security of the Russian Federation.” Any Russian citizens who gather unclassified open-source defense and defense-related data with intent to let it be known abroad in any form may be officially labeled as a “foreign agent.” A draft version of FSB order Number 376 was first officially published on July 20, 2021. Now it will legally start being enforced (Pravo.gov.ru, September 28).

Russian Authorities Expand and Tighten Clampdown on Opposition – Jamestown

Categorie
Afghanistan India

India’s Cautious and Calculated Approach to the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan (Animesh Roul, The Jamestown Foundation)

More than a month after Taliban forces stormed Afghanistan, the self-proclaimed Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan (IEA) has yet to gain international political recognition. All eyes are on the primary stakeholder countries behind the Doha Accord of February 29, 2020, which paved the way for the Taliban’s ultimate victory. Although clamor for the Taliban’s global recognition is gathering momentum under Pakistan’s stewardship, India, which has been a major player in rebuilding the war-ravaged Afghanistan in the last two decades, has maintained a studied silence, sitting on the fence with regards to this latest iteration of the fast-shifting “Great Game” in Afghanistan.

India’s Cautious and Calculated Approach to the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan – Jamestown

Categorie
Yemen

Houthi Militants in Ansar Allah Move Toward Marib in Yemen (Michael Horton, The Jamestown Foundation)

After a brief lull in fighting, the rebels of the Yemeni Houthi movement, Ansar Allah, are closer than they have ever been to surrounding Marib city. The city, which is the capital of the governorate of the same name, is also the de-facto capital of Yemen’s internationally recognized government (IRG). The governorate is also home to much of Yemen’s oil and gas handling infrastructure, and the loss of Marib to Ansar Allah will cement Ansar Allah’s control of northwest Yemen.

Houthi Militants in Ansar Allah Move Toward Marib in Yemen – Jamestown

Categorie
Ukraine

Ukraine Expanding Space Program, Plans 2022 Moon Launch (John C. K. Daly, The Jamestown Foundation)

Interest in privatizing space operations by Western companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic has now reached the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, which, for the moment, is focused on technological payloads rather than manned spaceflight. Unfortunately for advocates of Ukraine’s aerospace capabilities, on September 2, a Ukrainian-American rocket exploded two minutes into a test flight launch from Vandenberg Space Base in California (Channel 9, September 3).

Ukraine Expanding Space Program, Plans 2022 Moon Launch – Jamestown

Page 2 of 42
1 2 3 4 42