My live TV interview with RT on 3 July on Pentagon's 2015 National Military Strategy Paper.
The updated Strategy highlights the geopolitical reality of rising and perceived new threats to American maritime interests and an America-led world order.
In particular, it categories a Continuum of Conflict the American Military faces into State Conflict, Hybrid Conflict and Non-State Conflict which the United States has to "Deter, Deny and Defeat" towards the State Conflict end of the Contiuum and to "Disrupt, Degrade and Defeat" towards the Non-State Conflict end of the Continuum.
It stresses the imperative of "full spectrum" robust power projection, including air-sea battle, cyber warfare and space warfare. However, increasing reliance has to be placed on America's key strategic strength of strong and powerful regional allies in mounting a robust response to such threats where they occur. 社評：美國新海洋戰略針對誰？
According to David Shambaugh, in a fundamental shift, the United States now finds herself engaged in an all-out competition (read rivalry) with a rapidly rising China. As China is a main beneficiary of the extant US-anchored world order, the world's two great powers would need to find a way to co-exist in sharing power and responsibility, however difficult that may be, as global war is no option. Click here
A Phoenix TV documentary (in putonghua and Cantonese with Chinese subtitles) released on 16 May traces the beginning of China's manufacturing industry where Hong Kong played an initial catalytic role. My interview appearances in the TV clip can be accessed at readings 10:14, 10:47, 13:15, 16:55, 19:26, and 20:34.
The documentary highlights the first 10-years (up to 2025) of a "Three-Step" manufacturing strategy to building China as a strong manufacturing power.
The focus is on the technological and industrial revolution, founded on China's practical need for economic restructuring. It is driven by innovation, intelligent transformation, reinforced infrastructure, green development and human capital with advanced manufacturing and high-end facilities.
The documentary emphasizes the strategic importance of accelerating manufacturing transformation and upgrading if China is to advance from a manufacturing big country into a powerful one by 2025.
A June 2015 issue of China Analysis, a compendium of analyses by Chinese experts on the Mainland and overseas compiled by the European Council for Foreign Relations, a Brussels-based global think-tank, and Asia Centre, a European research body, focuses on the many challenges and opportunities of China's epic New Silk Road initiative of continental proportions.
The Silk Road projects are said to connect countries that represent 55% world GNP, 70 % global population, and 75% of global known energy reserves. They call into question China's possible over-reach, her real intentions, their impact on international relations including neighbors, and the shape of the world order in which the United States and its allies have an immense stake.
The compendium contains various insights on whether, and if so, to what extent, the New Silk Road initiative can be viewed in purely economic and cooperative terms and how China should address a host of practical and geopolitical challenges if the historic project is to realize its full potential as an instrument for global peace and development.
Greetings! My very best wishes to you and your family for an enjoyable and restful summer.
As we go about our daily life and business, the world is becoming increasingly confrontational. Order and trust seem to be breaking down.
A rising Islamic State (ISIS) is occupying a large swathe of territory in Iraq and Syria. Important historical artifacts and heritage sites had been vandalized, pilfered or smashed. No superpower seems able or willing to go all the way to stop it in its tracks.
In the Asia-Pacific, the United States, along with Japan, seems to be intensifying covert or overt tussles with a rising and more assertive China. These manifest themselves in military, trade, economic, and other forms of power rivalry in the South China Sea and beyond.
In Hong Kong, at the time of writing, the impasse over the shape of universal suffrage for the election of the Chief Executive (top leader) in 2017 is looking increasingly ominous. Lack of sufficient votes in the Legislature for the government’s proposals to pass seems a certainty. The endgame is up on 17 June when the proposals are widely expected to be voted down, barring last-minute black swans.
In a rapidly changing world that is becoming more Monet than Caravaggio, you may wish to visit some of the following for perspectives on what is going on in the world beneath the surface.
Geopolitics and International Relations
Are China’s ambitions in the South China Sea a threat? (A TV panel debate on Inside Story with Aljazeera English during the Asia Security Summit in Singapore, 29-31 May)
Turkish-China Relations: New Silk Road in a Changing World (PowerPoint presentation at the 2015 Forum Istanbul , Turkey on 28 April and at Tsinghua University on 10 April, 2015)
US-China 21- The Future of US-China Relations under Xi Jinping ( A Report for the Harvard Kennedy School by the Honourable Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia)
Explaining China's Foreign Policy Reset (A Paper by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR))
Russia-China relations and the changing world order (Radio interview on The World Tonight with BBC World Service)
Resurgence of Russia and China from an Islamic perspective (2015 Annual Strategic Brief by The Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs (IISA), a London-based think-tank)
China's Energy Dynamics 2015 (My Paper in Surviving the Storm, The New Geopolitics of Energy published by the Medina Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom)
US forbids Intel from exporting chips to China for updating world's currently most powerful supercomputer (BBC story and live interview on RT) Click here
Europe's Shattered Dream of Order (A Foreign Affairs analysis)
Civil War in Yemen (An ECFR analysis by a seasoned Yemen specialist)
Warnings of China's imminent collapse are - once again - greatly exaggerated (Op-ed in the South China Morning Post)
Communist Youth League to recruit over 10 million volunteer netizens by end of June (An overview)
China unveils roadmap to judicial, social reform (A report in the People’s Daily)
If the above reading appears too serious, you may wish to relax a bit by checking out my website’s repertoire of inspirational music videos,nature at its best, moving songs, words of wisdom, as well as fun and humour, including a collection in Chinese.
RSS feed and weblinks
This newsletter is uploaded to my web site here so that you may save it for reading at leisure. If you wish to share it with your colleagues and friends, you may use the web link on Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Twitter or other social media devices.
My postings are regularly uploaded under the three blogs CHINAwatch, Publications and What is New on my website http://www.andrewleunginternationalconsultants.com If you wish instant access as soon as they appear, just click on “Subscribe to this blog’s feed” under RSS Feed on top of the right-hand column of each blog. Select the appropriate Google feed option. It is absolutely free of charge.
My web site also includes a collection of mainstream China media and research sites under China Links. You may find it convenient to save my website link on your computer, laptop, tablet, Blackberry, iPhone or iPad as a reference resource.
Real-time consultation service
If you wish to consult me on strategic issues on China by telephone, Skype or video conferencing, including corporate board meetings, please email me personally at email@example.com
For speedy response, please text message me at my Hong Kong mobile +852 98198987. I can also be reached on Skype atandrew.k.p.leung, LinkedIn at andrewleunginternational, Whatsapp at (852) 98198987, WeChat at Andrewkpleung, Facebook atandrewkinpongleung, and Twitter at @Andrewkpleung.
Speaking and lecturing opportunities
Throughout the year, I am open to invitations for speaking engagements, visiting lectures, university summer programs, or tailor-made electives on China as a visiting professor anywhere around the world, using English or Putonghua as a medium of instruction. I am prepared to stay on or near the campus for anything up to several weeks. Please email me with proposals.
A business networking and speaking platform in Hong Kong
As an Advisor to the Denmark-based Executives’ Global Network (EGN) Hong Kong, I wish to extend to you the opportunity of fielding a suitable speaker for an EGN event in Hong Kong. This will be entirely at our own cost with acknowledgement of your support or that of your organization, provided that we are not asked to cover any speaking fee, travel or accommodation expenses.
For background on EGN, please visit the following links -
I will be visiting London from end-June to early-September this year. Up to now, I have accepted an invitation to address the Reform Club, the National Liberal Club, and the Cass Business School. If you wish to make use of my summer stay in London, please give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Separately, my family will be enjoying a week’s relaxation at a small garden villa near Florence commencing Saturday 29 August. You are welcome to visit us for tea or stay with us to share the delights of the Tuscan hills. If you are so inclined, please tell us early so that suitable arrangements can be made. Owing to space limitations, we can take on only up to two couples.
Scam – stolen identity
My identity was stolen by hackers in the wake of my last e-Newsletter. I have since changed to more robust passwords for all my email accounts. There is, however, an impersonation using a make-believe email address email@example.com If you should come across mail from this address, it’s not yours truly.
I look forward to your guidance, advice, comments, suggestions, and criticisms. Please feel free to share any of my papers, articles, presentations, and TV interviews with your colleagues or friends. You are also welcome to publish any of them with full attribution.
If you think that I may add value to your endeavours in any way, please tell me how I may help. On the other hand, if for any reason you do not wish to receive my emails, just ask me to delete your name from my databank permanently. Best personal regards,
Chairman and CEO, Andrew Leung International Consultants Limited (Founded in London, now re-incorporated in Hong Kong) China Futures Fellow, Berkshire Publishing Group, Massachusetts, USA (2011-13) Brain Trust Member, The Evian Group (global think-tank), Lausanne, Switzerland Gerson Lehrman Group (Global Experts) Council Member International Expert, Reuters Insight Community of Experts, Thompson Reuters Senior Analyst, Wikistrat, a cloud-sourced global strategic consultancy Senior Consultant, MEC International (a UK-based global strategic energy consultancy) Distinguished Contributor, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA) (global think-tank) Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) Elected Member, Royal Society for Asian Affairs Advisory Board Member, The e-Centre, European Centre for e-Commerce and Internet Law Advisory Board Member, The Global Analyst, India Hong Kong Advisory Board Member, Denmark-based Executive Global Network (EGN) Global Commercial Agent, Changsha City, China Visiting Professor, London Metropolitan University Business School (The following until 19 May 2010, on permanent relocation back to Hong Kong) Governing Council Member, King’s College London, UK (2004-2010) Advisory Board Member, China Policy Institute, Nottingham University, UK (2005 -2010) Founding Chairman, China Group, Institute of Directors City Branch, London, UK (2006-2010) Vice Chairman, 48 Group Club, UK (2008-2010) Committee Member of RSA, London Region, UK (2006-2010) Visiting Professor, Sun Yat-sen University Business School, China (2005-10)
Included in UK's Who's Who since 2002 Awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) in the July 2005 Hong Kong Honours List
A research note of the European Union Academic Programme (EUAP), Hong Kong (Issue 15, 2 June, 2015) shows how “China’s One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative is poised to link China’s trajectory to become the world’s largest economy to the heart of Europe.
The note, written by a Research Associate (my namesake with no family or other connections) points out that well before the launch of OBOR, direct rail links were rapidly being established between key cities in the heartlands of Europe and China. These include Chongqing to Duisburg, Germany in 2011; Wuhan to Pardubice, Czech Republic in 2012; Chengdu to Lodz, Suzhou to Warsaw, Poland and Zhengzhou to Hamburg in 2013; Yiwu to Madrid in 2014; and Wuhan to Hamburg in 2015.
Most of these routes and new ones through the overland Silk Road Economic Belt go through Central Asia (Kazakhstan),Russia and Belarus.
These rail links cut transport time from 30-45 days by sea to 12-21 days and are 4-5 times less expensive than air freight. They are also greener in carbon footprints.
The Maritime Silk Road will connect China’s south eastern and southern coastal cities with Europe (Venice and Athens) via India and Africa.
Through a $50 billion Silk Road Fund and a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China will be investing in strengthening much-needed transport infrastructure, including port facilities, that are set to embed China into Europe and Europe in China towards closer partnership and common destiny.
On 19 May, the State Council released China's new manufacturing strategy "Made in China 2015" calculated to grow China into becoming the world's leading manufacturing giant by 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Report in the China Daily
The strategy leverages China''s four advantages - Market, Enterprises, Strategy and Talent. It will focus on 10 key sectors: New Information Technology; Numerically-controlled Equipment; Aerospace systems; High-tech vessels; High-Speed Rail; Energy Conservation; New Materials; Medical Devices; Agricultural Machinery; Power Generation.
The strategy characterized by marrying manufacturing and information technology, will be guided by Five Principles - innovation, quality, green development, optimizing structure, and talent. It is mandated to achieve significant milestones by 2025 and 2035.
It will start with five big projects including national manufacturing innovation centers, intelligent manufacturing including innovative high-end equipment, core electronic devices, high-end universal chips, numerical control machines and large airplanes.
The State Council issued China’s Military Strategy 2015, a White Paper, on 26 May. It gives ample space to clarifying China’s strategic intentions. The Paper makes clear that China continues to vouchsafe never to seek hegemony but will be ready for “counter-attack if attacked”.
It reaffirms China’s strategic goal is to realize a moderately prosperous society by 2021, the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and the China Dream of a “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally-advanced and harmonious” socialist nation by 2049, the centenary of the PRC.
On the other hand, the Paper stresses that while a world war is unlikely, a rising China now faces a host of uncertainties including “hegemonism, power politics, and neo-interventionism”, "fermented color-revolutions"as well as “international competition for redistribution of power, rights and interests”, terrorism, hotspot issues, and risks of “small-scale wars”.
These challenges are informed by the United States’ “rebalancing” strategy and Japan’s resurgence, some of China’s neighbours’ “provocative behaviour”, issues over Taiwan, and threats to China’s strategic Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs).
China recognizes the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) in terms of long-range, precision, smart, stealth, and unmanned weapons, including outer-space and cyber varieties.
China therefore needs to embrace “Active Defence” pushing from land to “Open Sea Protection”.
In this regard, the PLAA (Army) will focus on “trans-theatre mobility” in “multi-dimensional, multi-functional, and sustainable operations”.
The PLAN (Navy) should develop both “offshore water defence” and “open sea” operations as a “modern maritime military force” to safeguard China’s territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests, including SLOCs.
The PLAAF (Air Force) hould develop into an “Air-Space Defence Force” equipped for “informatized warfare”, “airborne operations”, “strategic projects”, and “comprehensive support”. It will continue to develop early warning, air strike as well as air and missile defence capabilities. While opposing outer-space weaponization, China will continue to secure “space assets” and seek to maintain “outer-space” security.
The PLASAF (Second Artillery) will be fully prepared to deliver “strategic deterrence”, both nuclear and conventional, including medium and long-range precision strikes, missile penetration, rapid reaction, and survivability. However, China unconditionally pledges never to use nuclear arms first nor enter into a nuclear arms race.
The Paper embodies a variety of military concepts such as “Joint Operations”, “Integrated Systems”, “Civil-Military Integration (CMI)”, and “Preparation for Military Struggle (PMS)” including reconnaissance, command and control, Outline of Military Training and Evaluation (OMTE).
The Chinese military is to be equipped with highly-professional personnel, training and “strategic management”, embracing science and technology and productive of forward-looking military theories and strategies. It should also be prepared to undertake Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTWs) as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
The Paper also emphasizes all-around, pro-active, non-aligned military-to-military and security co-operations with both Russia and the United States as well as many other countries and regions across the globe, including the hosting of military events.
To avoid unwanted military escalation, attention is to be given to “emergency notification, military risk precaution, crisis management, and conflict control”. The object is to deepen mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual learning in a spirit of “Mutual Respect, Equality, Mutual Benefit, and All-Win Cooperation”.
N.B. The most tale-telling focus of the new military strategy is the desire to build the PLAN into a blue-water defensive force, stretching from China's littoral waters to the broad swathe of the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean to China's maritime Silk Road through the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. The latter's inclusion of Djibouti (in the horn of Africa at the entrance of the Red Sea) is instructive.
For background on Djibouti's self-declared role as a rental naval base to the US, France and now China, visit the following expose dated 11 July, 2015 from ChinaSignPost, a strategic consultancy.
China's per capita freshwater availability is only a quarter of the world average. Moreover, there is too little water in the north for grains and power generation while the south has suffered from massive floods throughout history. What is more, most of China's water courses, lakes, rivers, and aquifers have now become polluted. So, water security is a serious threat to national security and social stability.
The long-waited "Water Ten Plan" (Directives) were finally issued by the State Council on 16 April. The outcome of coordination & inputs from more than 12 ministries and government departments, the Action Plan tries to -
"Control pollution discharge, promote economic & industrial transformation and save & recycle resources; Promote science & technology progress, use market mechanisms and enforce law & regulations; Strengthen management & ensure water environment safety; and Clarify responsibilities & encourage public participation".
In total, there are 238 specific actions involved, probably the most comprehensive water policy to date. Overall objectives & targets are as follows -
"By 2020, China’s water environment quality will gradually improve through the following actions -
(a) To greatly reduce the percentage of badly polluted water bodies – over 70% of water in 7 key rivers shall reach Grade III or above (more here);
(b) To improve the quality of drinking water – over 93% of urban drinking water sources shall reach Grade III or above (more here);
(c) To reduce groundwater over-extraction and control groundwater pollution – groundwater falling under “very bad” category shall decrease to around 15% (more here)
(d) To improve the environmental quality of coastal areas – up to 70% of coastal water shall reach Grade I or II;
(e) Improve urban water environment in key regions – the amount of Grade V+ water in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei shall fall by 15%, and Grade V+ water shall be eliminated in Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta;
(f) By 2030, the over quality of the ecological environment will be improved; and
(g) By the middle of 21st century, the quality of the ecological environment should be fully improved and the ecosystem should realize a virtuous cycle."
The following key water bodies & areas are being focused -
3 key regions: Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta & Pearl River Delta; and
36 key cities: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, 27 provincial capitals & 5 cities specifically designated in the state plan (including Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen & Xiamen).
A host of polluting industries are targeted.
"Moreover, the plan also covers pollution control, water efficiency improvement in agriculture, municipal water use, coastal water management and overall ecological environment protection. Controlling total water use to stay within the Three Red Lines is key".
"To stay within the 2020 cap of 670 billion m3 of water use, the Water Ten Plan uses a mix of water efficiency targets and market mechanisms such as water tariff reform, revised water fees, credit financing and environment performance and eco-compensation".
"The government expects the new plan to boost GDP by around RMB5.7 trillion and to result in RMB1.9 trillion of new investment in the environmental protection related industries (in which RMB1.4 trillion will go to purchasing products & services) and create 3.9 million new non-agriculture jobs".
The above excerpts are taken from a summary of the "Water Ten Plan" in ChinaWater Risks, a global think-thank on China's water risks based in Hong Kong.
In an April, 2015 Report, McKinsey & Co highlights the following fundamental disruptive global forces that are changing the world "ten times faster, at 300 times the scale, and 3,000 times the impact", compared with the Industrial Revolution.
The following are abbreviated excerpts -
(a) The first trend is the shifting of the locus of economic activity and dynamism to emerging marketslike China and to cities within those markets. Nearly half of global GDP growth between 2010 and 2025 will come from 440 cities in emerging markets—95 percent of them small- and medium-size cities. By 2025, nearly half of the world’s large companies—defined as those with revenue of $1 billion or more—will be headquartered in emerging markets. China will be home to more large companies than either the United States or Europe. For example, the GDP of Tianjin, a dynamic Chinese city, will be around $625 billion—approximately equal to Sweden.
(b) The second disruptive force is the acceleration in the scope, scale, and economic impact of (mobile) technology.China’s mobile text- and voice-messaging service WeChat has 300 million users, more than the entire adult population of the United States. By 2014, mobile applications had hit 1.2 million. Users had downloaded more than 75 billion total apps, more than ten for every person on the planet. Technology allows businesses such as WhatsApp to start and gain scale with stunning speed while using little capital. Entrepreneurs and start-ups now frequently enjoy advantages over large, established businesses. The furious pace of technological adoption and innovation is shortening the life cycle of companies and forcing executives to make decisions and commit resources much more quickly.
(c) The human population is getting older. Fertility is falling, and the world’s population is graying dramatically. While aging has been evident in developed economies for some time, the demographic deficitis now spreading to China and soon will reach Latin America. A smaller workforce will place a greater onus on productivity for driving growth and may cause us to rethink the economy’s potential. Caring for large numbers of elderly people will put severe pressure on government finances.
(d) The final disruptive force is the degree to which the world is much more connectedthrough trade and through movements in capital, people, and information. Instead of a series of lines connecting major trading hubs in Europe and North America, the global trading system has expanded into a complex, intricate, sprawling web. Asia is becoming the world’s largest trading region. “South–south” flows between emerging markets have doubled their share of global trade over the past decade. The volume of trade between China and Africa rose from $9 billion in 2000 to $211 billion in 2012.
In light of these dramatic shifts, what worked in the past is unlikely to work in the future. Traditional mindsets and intuition will have to be re-educated and re-calibrated if the risks and opportunities of the 21st century are to be fully addressed.
Perhaps China is the only country trying to capture most of these fundamental shifts through enhanced connectivity on a global scale. I am referring to China's latest grand strategy of "One Belt, One Road", recreating a 21st Century Silk Roadlinking the Middle Kingdom even more closely with the four Continents. That was the subject of my PowerPoint presentation on 28 April at the 2015 Forum Istanbul. Click here