• Identity Found of Alleged NSA Cyber-attack on Chinese University: China has declared that they have been able to identify the personnel behind the cyberattack on Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU). In its investigation, they have found multiple samples of the spyware named SecondDate, a cyber weapon developed by the NSA. The spyware is a highly advanced cyber espionage tool that enabled attackers to take control of network devices and the data traffic flowing through them, and use them as a base for further attacks. In the incident that occured last year, China claimed it pursued and successfully detected the origins of the attack from the Office of Tailored Access Operations of the U.S.' National Security Agency (NSA).  Now, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) and Chinese internet security company 360 have confirmed their knowledge of the exact identity of the individual(s) perpetrating the attack. The succesful tracing demonstrates China’s capacity to defend against cyberattacks and sets up an internationally known foundation in cyber-tech. US has stated Chinese hackers breached diplomats mail accounts, whereas, China updated its anti-espionage legislation this year to include cyberattacks as a jailable offense. The USA has also alleged, on the same day, that China routinely conducts cyber espionage and intends to launch them in the event of conflict, in a Pentagon strategy paper.

  • China’s new Fujian attempt to reunify with Taiwan: The CCP has published a planning document on turning the Fujian Province (the closest Chinese province to Taiwan) into a demonstration zone for “integrated development” with Taiwan . It has been referred to as a blueprint for Taiwan’s development by the state-owned tabloid, Global Times. The 21 points, state how the province will play a key role in the “peaceful unification of the motherland.” The document encourages Taiwanese to “apply for a Taiwan resident residency permit” and buy homes, along with measures for a smooth transition to live, work and study. This plan has been set a few months prior to Taiwan’s presidential election. However, it is unlikely to work as investors are suspicious of Chinese promises and only 8% to 12% of Taiwanese have a positive outlook on unification. On the same day, China's National Development and Reform Commission has announced its readiness to build a high-speed railway to Taiwan as part of its proposals for "cross-strait integrated development." The plan is part of a broader effort to create interconnected living circles between mainland cities and Taiwan-controlled islands, such as Quemoy (Kinmen) and Matsu.

  • Beijing Culture Forum Held to Promote Global Civilisation Initiative: The Beijing Cultural Forum, which was organised by the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee, opened on 14th September. The event was attended by more than 600 Chinese and foreign guests, including heads of state as well as Politburo Stading Committee member Cai Qi and Politburo member and Party Secretary of Beijing, Yin Li. Li Shulei, Politburo member and head of the propaganda department was also present and delivered a congratulatory letter from Xi Jinping on the cultural civilization of China. Cai Qi pointed out that the letter declares the significance of implementing the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). He also stated that China will work with the international community to promote cultural exchanges, strengthen people-to-people exchanges and develop high-quality cultural tourism. The event was co-hosted by the Beijing Municipal Party committee and municipal government.

  • China Issues New Permanent Residence ID Card for Foreigners: China’s National Immigration Administration, in a press conference, announced that it will use a new version of permanent residence identity card for foreigners starting from 15th December 2023. Holders of the older version will have to reapply for their identity cards. The newer version of the cards was introduced to improve the informatization level of foreigner services. The National Immigration Administration stated that it will work with other department to accelerate the upgradation of information systems, facilities and equipment. Foreigners will be able to use the new card to purchase transport services, tickets and other goods without presenting their passport. The new card has adjusted the number of digits on the card number from 15 to 18. The card will allow its holder to enter and exit the Chinese border several times without the need for additional visa procedures. It will be accepted as a legal identification document by government departments and private entities.

  • China calls on EU to comply with WTO rules: China has urged the European Union (EU) to adhere to principles of equity, fairness, and transparency, while complying with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and minimizing negative global trade impacts when implementing its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The Chinese Ministry of Commerce expressed its consistent stance that EU policies related to CBAM should align with WTO principles and avoid protectionist measures and green trade barriers. China is actively engaging with various WTO members within the framework of the organization to promote multilateral discussions on green trade policies. The ministry's spokesperson emphasized that climate change is a global challenge requiring cooperation and adherence to the principles of multilateralism and common but differentiated responsibilities. Countries must work together to address climate change through broader global cooperation.


  • The Apple vs Huawei Debacle in Chinese Media: Apple’s iPhone 15 has predictably drawn an intense amount of attention on Chinese media. Topics discussing the new launch attracted 380 million views and more than 800,000 discussions on Weibo. It has been a mixed reaction as many online users liked its faster chip and improved gaming capabilities, while others preferred Huawei’s new smartphone. China’s large gaming community raved about how console-quality games, such as Resident Evil 4 Remake, could be played on a phone. People also commented on the lack of real new advances in the phone. However, many viewed choosing an American brand over a domestic product as unpatriotic. This follows the roll-out of Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro, which was earlier viewed as a triumph by China, subverting US sanctions. Its locally produced processor was a symbol of the country’s defiance of crippling US tech sanctions. Sina, a Chinese news portal’ survey showed that there were 61,000 votes for the Huawei device versus 24,000 for the iPhone 15. Influenced by these factors, Apple occupies a leading position in China’s premium smartphone market. In a recent turn of events, there were reports that Chinese government agencies were banning the use of the phone which caused a downturn in sales. The Chinese foreign ministry later clarified that no such specific laws have been made.


  • India’s Changing Taiwan Policy: India’s policy towards Taiwan has witnessed significant change in the past few years. There are several reasons for the foreign policy shift. First, a change in governance in India has produced an assertive foreign policy and defence posture. Second, there has been a sharp decline in relations with China due to the border military standoff. Third, India’s engagement with the West has deepened in response to the growing tensions with China. Crucially, economic and trade engagements create a win-win situation for India and Taiwan. India gains a trade partner that produces over half of the world’s semiconductors which is crucial advanced manufacturing. Taiwan has emphasised outreach to its neighbourhood since 2016 as part of its ‘New Southbound Policy’  with the objectives of diversifying Taiwan’s risks and minimising overdependence on any single market; and to strengthen the country’s relations with its neighbours. Taiwan could replace its economic dependence on China with Indian partnerships and gain allies through India’s involvement in diplomatic initiatives such as G20 and BRICS.  , India also recently sent the former Navy, Army and Indian Air Force chiefs to express Indian views for the Taipei Ketagalan Forum’s 2023 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue. Additionally, Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Anil Chauhan was commissioned to examine the wider impact of any war over Taiwan that involves the US and its allies, and deliberate upon what action India could take in response. As a member of QUAD, India’s multi-alignment and hedging policies would be greatly tested in the case of a Chinese war against Taiwan backed by the US.

Prepared By

Alok has recently finished his M. A. In Politics with International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is currently a China Studies fellow at Takshashila Institution.

Ananya Singh is a student of International Studies and Public Policy at FLAME University. She is actively involved in research pursuits such as taking on corporate risk analysis internships, publishing articles on the conflict and politics in Asia; undertaking research on economic policy; engaging in various national-level youth G20/policy-making/leadership conferences and debates; and creating webinars/media on sociopolitical issues. Her research interests in the field currently include political risk analysis, defence studies, maritime security and international law with a regional focus on West Asia. She has also supplemented her portfolio with proficiency in French and an understanding of German and Persian.

CiCM 14th September 2023

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