China American Cold War

In mid-2018, the US declared the China American Cold War a go. It comprised a series of ratcheting trade tariffs by the Trump Administration directed at China. these were directed largely at shifting global manufacturing supply chains, especially in technology, away from China. The measures were directed specifically at China’s stated aim of dominating global technology, artificial intelligence and robotics by 2025.

Other dimensions of the growing Great Power conflict included freedom of navigation through the South China Sea where China had constructed series of far-flung militarised atolls that armed the distant approaches to its mainland and effectively claimed that ocean as sovereign Chinese.

The Cold War was also concentrated around Chinese ‘sharp power’ which had made significant inroads in influencing policy outcomes within the US alliance network in and around the Asia Pacific via bribes, debt diplomacy and corruption of media.

The China American Cold War showed all of the characteristics of an historic, ideological struggle between liberal democracy and statist growth that had defined the 20th century battle between the US and the Soviet Union.


Trump/XI meeting shunted again

The God King’s diary is guiding global markets, via SCMP: A meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to end the trade war may be put back to June, sources have said, as they will not be able to finalise an agreement by April. It had initially been hoped that they


Foreign influence law nets Confucion Institutes

Bravo. Via Domain: The Confucius Institute cultural and language education centres have received letters from the Attorney-General’s Department, alerting them to the introduction of the transparency regime, one of the measures put in place by the government in a bid to crack down on foreign interference and influence in Australia. …Some other university-based facilities have


Who will win the tech cold war?

Via Gideon Rachman at the FT: During the cold war, there was an “east” bloc and a “west” bloc and nations were defined by whether they were closer to Washington or Moscow. …In the battle for influence with China, the US’s trump card is often security rather than trade. Countries including Japan, South Korea, Germany


Australia’s Cold War 2.0 bill mounts

Aussie coal is still struggling to get a berth in China, at The Australian: Australia’s coal exports to China could face a continued slowdown as Chinese authorities step up their campaign to improve the environment, with new figures showing a sharp cut in coal imports into China in February. “China has been slowing coal imports


Costello: Australia will back US over China

Via the AFR comes Peter Costello on the US/China Cold War: “This has always been Australia’s strategic dilemma – if Australia ever has to choose between economic prosperity and its security, it will choose its security,” Mr Costello said. Conflict is inevitable, said Mr Ferguson, Harvard University professor…Survival for Australia, caught between such a conflict,


MB Fund Podcast: China Attacks!

In this week’s webinar we explored the retaliation of China on a number of fronts (recorded before today’s big coal escalation). Join MB Fund’s Head of Investments Damien Klassen, Chief Strategist David Llewellyn Smith and Tim Fuller as we bring you up to speed on the levers China can pull to exert influence on the


Canberra does boats as China launches cyber war on Parliament

Via The Australian: An international cyber hunt ­involving Australian, US and British intelligence agencies has been launched in response to an attack on the Australian parliament and the major political parties using a form of sophisticated “tradecraft” that had not been detected before. While the source country has not been identified beyond doubt, intelligence officials


Chinese drug money mass laundered in Aussie property

Via Banking Day: Nathan Lynch of Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence The revelations about Chinese asset recovery agents operating covertly in Australia will put pressure on the Department of Home Affairs to introduce law reforms ahead of the May general election. The government is sitting on “Phase 1.5” legislation that will prepare Australia for the introduction


Huang exile poisons Chinese papers

Via Domain: Two Australian Chinese-language papers have dedicated their front pages to an open letter backing billionaire Huang Xiangmo, whose permanent residency was cancelled for reasons including character grounds in early February. The letter, which appeared on the front pages of the Sing Tao Daily and Australian Chinese Daily and inside a third, the Daily


Cold War 2.0 advances as silicon curtain descends

Via Bloomie: Secretary of State Michael Pompeo came close to issuing an us-or-them ultimatum to nations buying from Huawei Technology Co., saying in Hungary that contracts with the Chinese networking giant could limit the availability of U.S. equipment. “If that equipment is co-located where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for


Time Gotti retired

Old man Gotti has gone way beyond the pale today: The anger China has with Australia is unique and does not apply to any of its other developed country trading partners….business people were told mid last year that a number of our universities would see a softness in Chinese enrolments during 2019. And, of course,


Tony Abbott ensnared by United Front

Via Domain: Mr Abbott, fundraiser John Caputo and state MPs John Sidoti and Mark Coure, were all VIP guests at a Chinese New Year function attended by Beijing’s highest ranking United Front affiliates in Australia. The United Front Work Department is a unique agency overseen by the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and which leads


Australia joins Western assault on Chinese IP theft

Via the AFR: The Morrison government has joined foreign allies to blast China’s “huge” state-sponsored hacking attacks against Australian and other global companies. Alastair MacGibbon, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre at the Australian Signals Directorate in Canberra, said potentially thousands of companies including Australian firms using outsourced technology providers had suffered cyber attacks


China ready to deal with Trump on trade?

Via The Economist: Their words were guarded, their tone sober. At a Politburo meeting to discuss economic plans for 2019, China’s top leaders agreed that they should be ready for problems and must, above all, maintain domestic stability. It was a striking contrast with the same meeting a year earlier. Then the Politburo oozed confidence,


Can Huawei be contained?

Via FT: China has summoned the US ambassador in Beijing to demand the cancellation of an arrest warrant for Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms company Huawei, in the latest sign that her detention is souring relations between the two powers. Beijing also threatened Canada with “serious consequences” following the arrest of Ms


How big a problem is Huawei?

At the diplomatic level most definitely and that could deliver a market shock if it goes badly. Via NYT: As President Trump was arranging a trade truce with President Xi Jinping of China in Buenos Aires over dinner on Saturday night, his administration was coordinating the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive who was flying through


What has Cold War 2.0 cost Trump’s stock market?

Via FTAlphaville: Just days after President Trump broke bread with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires and agreed to a ceasefire in the US-China trade war, Trump tweeted that his administration is working closely “on seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible”. If not, the self-proclaimed “Tariff Man” warned that new


China spits APEC dummy again

Via the AFR: China has accused the United States of spoiling the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit by attending with “great anger”. However, it says it will not oppose Australia’s partnership with the US to redevelop Papua New Guina’s naval base at Manus Island. Reiterating calls by Chinese leaders for Australia and other countries


China hacks Aussie IP

The AFR has the scoop: An investigation by The Australian Financial Review and Nine News has confirmed China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), is responsible for what is known in cyber circles as “Operation Cloud Hopper”, a wave of attacks detected by Australia and its partners in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance. A senior


Angry China versus everyone in Cold War 2.0

Via Bloomberg: The European Union is hammering out the first bloc-wide rules to prevent foreign investments from threatening national security, as Chinese acquisitions foster political unease. Negotiators representing EU governments and the European Parliament may agree on draft legislation to screen foreign direct investments on November 20, according to Franck Proust, a French member of