<strong>Chinese Domestic Responses to Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit</strong>

Chinese Domestic Responses to Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

Chinese Domestic Responses to Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on 2nd August as a part of her East Asia tour. Amid several speculations as well as Xi Jinping’s stern warning to Biden about not ‘playing with fire’ over Taiwan, Pelosi did become the 1st high-profile U.S. Official to visit Taiwan after nearly 25 years.

Change is Required in Japan Security Policy

Change is Required in Japan Security Policy

Change is Required in Japan Security Policy

By – Oktay Degirmenci;

Following the visit of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years on August 2; China’s launch of missiles into waters less than 160 kilometers from Japan on August 4 as part of military exercises will likely increase Japanese public support for the country’s defensive military buildup.

India’s Role as Major Regional, Global Player: necessary for some, forced for others

India’s Role as Major Regional, Global Player: necessary for some, forced for others

India’s Role as Major Regional, Global Player: necessary for some, forced for others

By – Radomir Romanov;

What are India’s priorities and goals in its foreign policy today?

As Prime Minister N. Modi noted- the main goal of India’s foreign policy is to maintain the common good and to promote Delhi’s “soft power” through historical, religious and philosophical teachings.

Understanding China’s Long-Term Strategic Vision

Understanding China’s Long-Term Strategic Vision

By – Neeraj Singh MANHAS;

Prior to the 20th Party Congress (PC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) due later this year, the public domain preparatory materials provide a very clear image of future drives, motivations, and strategic perceptions. At least four key documents come to mind in this context. These include:

The Historical Resolution introduced on 11/11/2021. According to the official description of the meeting’s resolution, China has “made historic achievements and undergone a historic transformation” under Xi’s leadership. It lauded Xi, Mao, and Deng for guiding the country through “the momentous shift from standing up and becoming affluent to becoming strong.”
The Communiqué of the 6th Plenum of the 19th CPC Central Committee in 11/11/2021. The Central Committee heard and discussed the report on the work of the Political Bureau, which was presented by Xi Jinping on behalf of the Political Bureau. It also considered and adopted the Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century and the Resolution on the Convocation of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
The Joint Statement on ‘International Relations Entering a New Era and Global Sustainable Development’ of 04/02/2022 between Russia and China. At the invitation of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin visited China. The Heads of State held talks in Beijing and took part in the opening ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games.
The article published by Politburo Member Yang Jiezhi in the People’s Daily on 16/05/22. The article elaborated on how China, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, made progress this year by hosting major events such as the Winter Olympic Games, making strides in high-quality development and bolstering interactions with the rest of the world.
Under President Xi Jinping [XJP], while mechanisms have changed, the overall strategy and objectives of China’s foreign and security policy on safeguarding national independence, state sovereignty, creating an international environment favourable to its reform, opening and modernisation efforts, as well as maintaining world peace and promoting common development have remained consistent. This is the most important point to emphasise. The fundamental reasons for this include the ongoing successful layer-by-layer implementation of Deng Xiaoping’s Four Modernisations introduced in 1978; which facilitate opening to the world, with the West in particular providing positive enablement; the successful manipulation of international political, financial, and trade institutions; and China’s ability to leverage virtually unhindered technology transfers.

Clearly, CPC’s primary objective is the maintenance of its monopoly on power in China, the maintenance of domestic political stability, and the restoration of China to its self-assessed historical grandeur as the most important state and nation in the world. Similar to the “centre of the world” perspective.

Fulfilment of the targets set for 2020-2035 are an essential requirement to achieve these objectives, which once achieved would mean that by 2049, China expects to become a global leader in terms of comprehensive national strength and international influence, and to stand taller and prouder among the nations of the world.

The XJP era is also termed as “the New Era“, with each of the six phases, Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; outlined in the Historical Resolution and the Sixth Plenum Communiqué adding a ‘new’ dimension to the development of the “new” China founded in October 1949.

The CPC already asserts that the Chinese nation stands tall and resolute in the East, wields a profound influence on the course of world history, and has become a significant force pushing human progress and development. China argues that its paradigm of growth (political, economic, and social) has developed a new model for human progress and widened the avenues for developing nations to achieve modernization.

China’s leadership is well aware that its continued rise would not be unchallenged for a variety of reasons. Consequently, the CPC’s assessment of problems is equally sharp, and seven characteristics stand out in particular:

First, as corruption is recognised as the greatest threat to the Party’s long-term control, the CPC cannot afford to lose this crucial political battle.

Second, the traditional growth model cannot be sustained as quality and innovation-driven growth is required, which necessitates globalisation. However, it also permits the outside world to impose hurdles.

Third, the necessity for self-reliance in science and technology as a strategic pillar for China’s development, while ensuring open access to technology and international markets in the interim.

Fourth, to secure the security of food, energy, and resources. [The emphasis on food security and rural revitalization is particularly pertinent, since it shows a potentially exploitable weakness in a crucial area.]

Fifth, can China continue to capitalise on its enormous market? Conditions must be established for this to occur.

Sixth, to ensure that China’s armed forces continue to protect the CPC’s power monopoly and China’s security and development interests. Significant progress has been achieved in modernising the PLA and revising its doctrines to meet the demands of technology-based warfare in the twenty-first century. This stems from the demand that the CPC’s primary priority be national security. Likewise, self-defined territorial integrity is essential. This correlates to China’s demand for universal, comprehensive, and indivisible security, especially in the current difficult context. This should be “fair” in the Asia-Pacific setting as well. This loaded language is used to resist the development of the Indo-Pacific architecture and the QUAD in order to defend China’s interests in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean.

And seventh, despite its immense achievements, China is still, in its own estimation, the largest developing country in the world, with the greatest dilemma facing its society being between unplanned and inadequate development and the people’s ever-increasing desire for a better living. [In effect, a degree of accountability to the Chinese people is acknowledged.]

Clearly, security and development are China’s top two concerns. Yang Jiezhi, the high-ranking Chinese politician and diplomat, believes China has retained its initiative and advantageous position in the broader strategic framework, and China is confident in its ability to protect its sovereignty, security, and development interests.

In spite of Yang’s assurance, China assumes that substantial measures are currently underway to destroy security and stability in China’s periphery as well as to undermine China’s core and major interests. In response, XJP launched his new Global Security Initiative (GSI) on April 21, 2022 at the Boao Forum. This establishes security as the prerequisite for progress. Prior to September 2021, XJP presented his Global Development Initiative (GDI) at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The GDI and GSI are a “new” endeavour to meet and overcome the issues China faces in the significantly altered regional and worldwide environment of the present day. Several of these modifications were initiated by China.

The combined effects of the GDI and GSI require additional research. Other than CPC rule, Yang argues that China possesses five strategic factors that favour its future, including a firm foundation established by China’s persistent and rapid development, long-term and enduring stability, and a tremendous drive that gives China confidence and strength. (It is notable that US Secretary of State Blinken’s May 26, 2022 address on the US Administration’s approach to the China problem follows a similar line of thought.)

China will continue to prioritise coordinating development and security, protecting its territorial integrity as it defines it, preventing regime change and containment, and expanding its regional and international network of alliances. The GSI will be utilised here. China will lead the reform and development of the global governance system in order to achieve a status quo plus position and strengthen trade, investment liberalisation, and facilitation processes by utilising the GDI framework correctly. Given its external dependence in the economic, energy, and scientific fields, the latter is crucial. China’s efforts to combat climate change and exploit cyberspace, outer space, the Polar regions, and the Deep Seas will not falter or waver. Neither will the absolute concentration on strengthening, modernising, and technologically advancing the PLA under Party rule.

China has become a powerful entity over the course of the last four decades or more, with an unmistakable desire to be at the centre of a newly minted “community of common destiny” (with China at the centre), to which end it has announced and is implementing a series of initiatives, including the BRI processes, trading arrangements, the GDI, and now the GSI. This is supported by the PLA, the world’s third-most powerful military force.

The current superpowers and those who are unimpressed by China’s protestations, enticements, and rhetoric of principles that it does not adhere to have been steadily pushing back against Chinese actions and ambitions. In addition to the COVID-19 experience of countries with China, its ongoing predatory actions in its neighbourhood and its strengthened alliance with Russia just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 have given the pushback more momentum.

China now fears technological and commercial denial along with containment. Its responses to the growing Indo-Pacific framework, the QUAD, and now the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework [IPEF] reveal a degree of anxiety. China is plainly frightened, but when will it yield? The result of the Ukraine-Russia conflict may provide some insight. But can and will Xi Jinping make course adjustments prior to the 20th Party Congress? It is prudent not to bank on it; course adjustments, if they occur, are more likely to be gradual than abrupt.

Neeraj Singh MANHAS is a Director of Research, Indo-Pacific Consortium, at Raisina House, New Delhi. He has authored four books under his name and has various research interests covering India-China in the Indian Ocean, India’s maritime securities, and Indo-Pacific studies. His writings have appeared in The Daily Guardian, The Hindu Business Line, China-India brief (National University of Singapore), The Diplomatist, Chanakya Forum, and The Rise, among other online platforms.


China in the Indian Ocean Region: Ports and Bases

China in the Indian Ocean Region: Ports and Bases

To open the full map, click here.

China’s economic and military footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has expanded over the last two decades. The map above represents this footprint in the form of ports, overseas military bases and suspected outposts. China’s port infrastructure projects are spreads across the IOR and Beijing has financed, built and/or operated more than 21 ports in the region.

The above map does not represent the entirety of China’s port infrastructure projects. In some cases, Beijing has built entire ports from scratch or built a new port terminal, while in other projects it has upgraded the port infrastructure. The most recent project to be completed was the Lamu port in Kenya, which was made operational in May 2021. Other projects like the Bagamoyo project in Tanzania were cancelled by the newly elected government and construction halted, but negotiations between China and Tanzania are underway. The map also represents China’s overseas military presence in the IOR, including suspected military outposts used for intelligence collection. The PLA support base in Djibouti was built in 2016. Other suspected listening posts in the IOR are based in Myanmar’s territory. 

Here is a list of ports mapped: 

(Information compiled by – Samikshya Das and Ahana Roy)

1. Port Sudan- Port Sudan is the main seaport of Sudan which is located on the western coast of the Red Sea. The port is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) that runs from the Chinese coast via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean. Sudan’s state-run Sea Ports Corp. is considering China Harbour’s offer of $543 million USD in funding to expand facilities at the historic port. The facility is set up to transport cattle, camels and sheep for Asian markets.

2. Massawa New Port- The New Massawa port is the primary port for the import of goods into Eritrea. This port project was taken up by China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. With 400 million USD in 2014. The project includes the construction of corresponding port area, incoming road, goods yard, office facilities, inspection area, power supply, water supply and drainage facilities, communication, installation of safety systems and the construction of other related facilities.

3. Dolareh Multipurpose Port- This multipurpose port was built to make Djibouti a major commercial and logistics hub between Asia, Africa and the rest of the world. It was the country’s first modern, deep-water, multi-purpose port. The port was financed by Djibouti Ports SA and China Merchant Holdings and built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation. The Doraleh Multipurpose Port was finally opened in July 2018 and was built at a cost of US$580 million.

4. Tadjourah Port- The Port of Tadjourah became operational in June 2017, under the aegis of the Djiboutian government, and its plan is to expand regional infrastructure network. It was primarily built to support potash export and it also serves as a multipurpose port for the region. The construction of this new port is administered by the Chinese company, BAO YE HUBEI Construction Engineering Group Ltd. It was financed by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the Saudi Fund for Development.

5. Mombasa Port- Port of Mombasa, the only international seaport in Kenya is the biggest port in east Africa. It is managed by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and apart from cargo handling, the port is frequented by cruise ships. The project was initiated in by the Kenyan Government and carried out by China Roads and Bridge Corporation in 2011 at a cost of $82.15 million. The project aimed to increase the port throughput by 33%, consolidating the leading status of Mombasa as well as Kenya in East Africa. 

6. Zanzibar New Port- This port has a 300 metre docking space and 65 metres of land craft, modern handling equipment with the capability to handle 200,000 containers and 250,000 tonnes of loose cargo. The Government of Zanzibar signed a 230 million USD deal with China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. For the construction of a new port at Maruhubi. Zanzibar will have 25 years including a grace period of five years to repay the loan from the time the money is released; The agreement gives CHEC 13 per cent of the port shares for an undisclosed period of time.

7. Dar Es Salaam Port- The Port of Dar es Salaam is the principal port serving Tanzania and is one of three ocean ports in the country which handles over 90% of the country’s cargo traffic. Tanzania’s government signed a $154 million contract with the state-run China Harbour Engineering Company to expand the main port in the commercial capital and to build a roll-on, roll-off terminal and deepen and strengthen seven berths at the port.

8. Lamu Port- Lamu port is part of a large-scale transport corridor connecting Lamu, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. The port is part of the larger Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor, which is worth $23 billion. China Communications Construction Company built the first three of the intended 32 berths for $367 million.

9. Beira City Fishing Port- This project is a valuable platform to secure and scale up the fishing industry in Mozambique. Chinese government funding of some USD 120 million has enabled the makeover of Mozambique’s fishing port of Beira in the north of the country. The China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd has been rehabilitating the port since 2017 and has now become double in size.

10. Tamatave Port- In November 2015, the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) signed a contract for the project of Tamatave Deepwater Port in Madagascar, which involves the construction of container and bulk terminals along with other auxiliary facilities. The global traffic of Toamasina Port is evaluated at 1.7 million tons per year, of which 70% is containerized. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) offered 411 million USD to fund the project and 227 million USD has been provided by the Government of Madagascar.  

11. Techobanine Port- The construction of the Techobanine Port and Railway project in Mozambique is being led and funded by the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and the Muiake Company, in coordination with the China Railway International Group. This infrastructure project for the deepwater port of Techobanine in Matutuíne district, southern Maputo province is expected to make feasible the exploitation of heavy sands in the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane. 

12. Port of Durban- The Durban port expansion is China’s second biggest mega-project in South Africa, costing $15 billion and is financed by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries. The Port of Durban, located in South Africa, is the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. 

13. Richards Bay Port– In view of expanding the Richards Bay Port and developing a completely new shipbuilding and repair facility, South Africa signed a deal with China’s Chery Holdings, with other partners such as South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation, the China Development Bank, the China Africa Development Fund and Imbani Holdings. The Port of Richards Bay is located on the coast of South Africa, facing the Indian Ocean. Not only is it the most modern port in all of South Africa, it also contains largest coal export facility in Africa.

14. Chittagong Port-Fuelling bilateral ties between China and Bangaldesh, China has provided large-scale funding for Chittagong port development and construction, for the sake of achieving joint economic and trade development. Located on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, Chittagong port is the main seaport of Bangladesh, handling about 80% of Bangladesh’s export-import trade.

15. Gwadar Port-The Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province is a project of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and is operated by China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC). The Gwadar Port, situated on the Arabian Sea, is viewed as a link between the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) projects. 

16. Hambantota Port- The Hambantota Port is a part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and was handed over to China Merchants Port Holdings on a 99-year lease by the Sri Lankan government. The Hambantota International Port is Sri Lanka’s second largest deep water port, located in Hambantota, close to international shipping routes like the Suez Canal and the Strait of Malacca.

17. Kyaukphyu Port-The Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Deep Sea Port Project signed between Myanmar and China is a cornerstone project under the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is itself a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The China International Trust and Investment Corporation Group (CITIC) is the main developer of the project, which also includes plans to construct an industrial zone. Located on the western coast of Myanmar in Rakhine state, the Kyaukphyu Port sits on the Bay of Bengal and is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. 

18. Karachi Deepwater Terminal-The Karachi deep water container terminal started operating on December 2016, at the Karachi Port in Pakistan, one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep-water seaports. The Karachi terminal, also known as the Hutchison Ports Pakistan (HPP) terminal, was developed under a public-private joint venture of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Ports, is a vital project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) system, which is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

19. Colombo Port Terminal– A consortium including the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is involved in the engineering, procurement and construction of the East Container Terminal (ECT) at Colombo Port in Sri Lanka. Another Chinese company, the China Merchant Port Holdings Company, is involved in the Colombo International Container Terminal as well. The ECT project requires the construction of a quay wall and infrastructure around it.

20. Payra Port– Two Chinese companies, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) were responsible for the construction and development of core port infrastructure at Payra port. CHEC built the core infrastructure for $150 million USD while CSCEC fortified riparian areas, reduced flood risk and set up housing, education and health facilities at $ 60 million USD.

21. Bagamoyo Port-This port in Tanzania is a stalled port project that is currently being renegotiated by the Tanzania government and China Merchant Holdings. The $10 billion USD project is 75 km to the north of Bagamoyo town and is expected to reduce the congestion at the port of Dar Es Salaam.

Beyond the ports mapped, we have also focused on the following:

1. PLA Support Base-Situated in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Support Base is a military base operated by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).  The PLA Support Base primarily serves to support military logistics for Chinese troops in the Gulf of Aden, and also other activities involving maritime public goods, including peacekeeping, humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Africa. It also bolsters the Chinese navy’s efforts to prevent piracy and allows easy access for the PLA’s warships into the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, significantly increasing China’s power projection and blue water capabilities. 

India Watch:
The Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region has several pressing implications for India’s influence in the region. For starters, Chinese seaports and maritime engagements in IOR states could enhance the PLA-N’s power projection capabilities in the IOR. By building debt burdens and cultivating goodwill/influence with governments across the region, Beijing opens up the possibility of having more overseas bases or ports that it can operate. The close engagement with African states could also translate into defence agreements and other military engagements that expand the PLA-N’s area of operations and experience. 

For India, these developments ought to reinvigorate the focus on domestic and diplomatic efforts that enhance India’s presence and influence on the IOR. The SAGAR and SAGARMALA projects are significant efforts in this regard to improve domestic capacity and deepen maritime security with neighbours in the region. Similarly, the focus on the Blue Economy can diversify India’s maritime economic engagements and offer development opportunities to the IOR. 

Key Chinese Shipyards

Key Chinese Shipyards

Map prepared by Eerishika Pankaj

To open the full map, click here.

Here is a list of shipyards mapped:

(Information compiled by- Siddhant Nair and Ahana Roy)

1. Bohai 

The Bohai Shipyard engages in shipbuilding, repairing, and steel structure processing. The shipyard also serves as a research facility for technical equipment. The shipyard is located on the Bohai gulf. The shipyard is used by the Chinese to build nuclear submarines, with the first nuclear submarine being launched in 1981. Recently, satellite imagery showed that the Bohai shipyard was being upgraded which would allow it to build two submarines simultaneously. In total, the shipyard will have the capacity for four or five submarines in the sheds at one time.

2. Dalian

The Dalian Shipyard is a large shipbuilding shipyard, capable of building a ship with 36000 dwt capacity, and repairing more than 200 vessels annually. It is also an essential export base for electro-mechanical products. The shipyard has built over 2600 vessels since its liberation.

3. Jiangnan

Located on the northeast of Shanghai, Jiangnan shipyard is one of China’s largest commercial and naval shipbuilding facilities. The shipyard engages in building and repairing commercial vessels, and People’s Liberation Army vessels. The shipyard consists of eleven piers, four dry docks, assembly shops, storage areas, and administrative and engineering support facilities. Jiangnan has also been the site of China’s third aircraft carrier.

4. Hudong Zhonghua

Through the merger of Hudong Shipbuilding Group and Zhonghua shipyard, Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding was formed. It is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), producing both military and civilian ships. The Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) – a type of amphibious assault ship was constructed here for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and launched in November 2021. In January 2022, Hudong-Zhonghua signed its largest LNG carrier shipbuilding contract with Japanese company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).

5. Wuchang

Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co Ltd shipyard is located in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province. An affiliate of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, the shipyard is a modernised base for the construction of submerged and surface vessels. Haixun 06, a large-scale ocean patrol ship, was launched from Wuchang Shipbuilding in February 2021. It is also a major manufacturing base for public service ships and ocean engineering equipment in China.

6. Huangpu Wenchong

Huangpu Wenchong is a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The shipyard is located in Huangpu District, Guangzhou, adjacent to Huangpu Port. It is amongst the biggest shipyards that deal with constructing military and commercial cargo ships. China’s and the world’s first AI-powered drone mothership–Zhu Hai Yun–was launched from Huangpu Wenchong Shipyard in May 2022.