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July 2020

Updated: Jul 21, 2020


China’s Dragon Positioning System Eurasiareview

Tags: `Digital Silk Road China Space

A piece describing the launch of another satellite concluding a decades drive by China to be self-sufficient in global satellite navigation. This latest launch will provide true global coverage and is being used by other allies of China in competition to systems owned and developed by the US, Europe and Russia. The system is seen as both status for China’s rising geopolitical influence and its desire to create a ‘digital silk road’ for countries involved in the BRI, giving them an alternative system for GPS needs. It is also asserted in the article that the system can also be used for military, surveillance and spying purposes. Comment: The ‘Digital Silk Road’ is a growing area of a broad conceptualisation of the BRI, along with the ‘Health Silk Road’. Key Quote: “Technological independence and superiority have been hallmarks of superpowers”. “The BeiDou can also be seen as a space equivalent for Beijing’s Belt Road Initiative”. Connected: China's quest to become a space power runs through Silk Road city COVID-19 and Learnings from the Digital Economy With the launch of its BeiDou satellite, Beijing's Space Silk Road is open for business ________________________________________________________

Kazakhstan: Nur-Sultan Revelry Sparks Ire as Coronavirus Crisis Escalates Eurasia News

Tags: Nazarbayev Kazakhstan Corona Fireworks

A piece detailing responses to an expensive firework display to celebrate Nur-Sultan’s birthday as the capital city. The piece mentions several high profile critics of the expensive display during the devastating effect that coronavirus is having on Kazakhstan at this time. It reports that this is somewhat unusual as celebrities, part of the criticism of the timing and message of the fireworks, do not often criticise the ruling powers. Comment: It is not the first time the ruling party has been accused of being tone-deaf and out of touch with the public. A defence of ‘it was to support care workers’ doesn’t appear to have been that well received. Key Quote: “Nur-Sultan’s fireworks were "a killer demonstration of human egoism and political shortsightedness". Sergey Duvanov Connected: Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: The destiny of the Kazakh people is on the scales of history Kazakhstan Locks Down Two Towns Over Coronavirus Kazakhstan's biggest city running out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients Pandemic continues to spread in Eurasia, Central Asia Virus continues to spread in Eurasia, Central Asia Kazakh President Calls COVID-19 'a Passing Phenomenon', Urges People To Fight Virus The Impact Of COVID-19 On Belt And Road Initiative Infrastructure And Construction Projects ________________________________________________________

Watch China’s Unconventional Levers of Power in World Affairs The Diplomat Tags: US China conflict rivalry A heavily hawkish piece detailing arguments about China’s coercion of states through various means. It lists six main ways China is influencing global politics: as a creditor through the BRI system; through supporting regimes not aligned with the West; coercing neighbour states through unpublicised military manoeuvres; using locals and the diaspora to ‘elite capture’; disregarding current norms of international law, and assisting in Russian attempts to destabilise Western institutions.

Comment: One of the numerous reports reflecting rising tensions between the US and China. The sizable China hawks in Washington are dominant and emphasising policy, even if in Trumps’ White house that is, at best, inconsistent as outcomes. Key Quote: “China’s Belt and Road Initiative and other programs rely on bilateral nontransparent deals involving extensive Chinese financing. They are attractive to many foreign corrupt and/or authoritarian leaders adverse to existing international lending norms.” Connected: USA wants to destabilise China internally The Cost of Donald Trump’s Kowtow to China’s Xi Jinping

Balancing act: Major powers and the global response to US-China great power competition

The US is divided, but its elites are united against China

Carriers In The South China Sea

Is US ceding space to China? Pompeo Calls China's Expansionism ‘challenge Of Our Time’ As US Shifts Forces To Asia

As US-China Competition Unfolds, Russia Watches Closely

The EU, India and Russia do not want to pick sides in a US-China contest, but they may have to

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China Forcing Birth Control On Uighurs Taipei Times

Tags: Xinjiang China Uighars Genocide The article contrasts the relaxing of childbearing laws for Han Chinese, moving away from the one-child policy, to an alleged increase in enforced sterilization of ethnic minorities in mainland China. Comment: More distressing reporting about the Xinjiang region. Key Quote: “Experts say the campaign in Xinjiang over the past four years is demographic genocide and part of an effort to subjugate the Uighurs and Kazakhs”. Connected: Being Muslim means you're never safe from China United Nations Experts Call For Action Against China Over Human Rights Violations China forces birth control on Uighurs to suppress population China cuts Uighur births with IUDs, abortion, sterilization

________________________________________________________ China’s Revival of its ‘Middle Kingdom’ Dream – and what it means for the world Times Now News

Tags: Silk Road China Neo-colonialism A piece that summarises some of the ideas and debates about what the role of the New Silk Road is and what its perceived objectives are. Comment: The article places great weight on the construction of Chinese identity after the “century of humiliation” rather than economic factors driving the NSR Key Quote: “President of China, Xi Jinping, in several speeches has alluded to what he has labelled the “Chinese Dream,” harkening back to a golden age of Chinese global hegemony that the millenia old civilisation experienced over two thousands years ago.” Connected: China’s revival of its ‘Middle Kingdom’ dream – and what it means for the world China’s Go West plan fails to capture imagination of foreign firms suffering from ‘regional development plan fatigue’ China exonerates self in whitepaper on COVID-19 ______________________________________________________ Tokayev Highlights Kazakhstan’s Territorial Integrity New Europe

Tags: Kazakhstan borders Russia Post-Soviet Kazakhstan President Tokayev’s measured response to Putin’s claims that former Soviet states left the Union with more territory than when they joined it, potentially leading the way for a land claim by Russia. Tokayev reaffirms Kazakhstan’s right to its borders and the legitimacy of its foreign policies, stating that the multi-vector approach is correct and will develop over time but he does not directly push back against Putin’s words. Key Quote: ”But the situation in the world does not stand still, the geopolitical aspirations of the leading powers are changing.” Tokayev Connected: Kazakhstan, China agree to boost railway cargo transportation Kazakhstan opens road crossings on borders with China

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