A jamming device could have sabotaged the Chinese space mission. Add to that, there are delays in the launch of China’s third aircraft carrier. Meanwhile, its neighbor Moscow is frustrated with Beijing’s lack of support. And Chinese jets have buzzed too close to Australian and Canadian planes this week. Chinescope brings you macro and micro news trends from behind the Great Wall and around the world.
China over the week
China’s Tiangong Space Station, or what people like to call the “Palace in the Sky”, constantly captures the imagination of the country’s public. Now the latest mission to the space station, launched on Sunday, is making headlines. But there is more to the story.
The Shenzhou 14 spaceflight mission was launched with the Long March-2F carrier rocket from the Jinquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia. But nearly a week before launch, the Launch Center radiomonitoring team noted an anomaly in their data showing a jamming device hidden in a car, the Beijing Daily reported. The bond world of intrigue in the 21st century has many layers. A sabotage of a Chinese space mission would highlight the impact of geopolitics on all aspects of modern life.
Although the state media article did not specify whether the device was an attempt to sabotage the mission, it still raises suspicions.
But that hasn’t stopped the launch story from being widely discussed on Chinese social media.
The hashtag “space travel” was the number one trend on Weibo, and was viewed 280 million times. The top three search trends on Baidu were related to the launch of Shenzhou 14. The astronauts aboard the flight are Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe, who will remain in orbit for six months.
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On the space and aviation front, China could still have good news. According to satellite images, China is about to complete its 3rd aircraft carrier, Type 003. Initially, it was announced that the aircraft carrier was to be launched on June 3, the day of the Dragon Boat Festival. But we learned that the launch had been delayed. Although the reason has not been revealed, the media speculated that it could be due to “technical problems”.
However, the launch of the Type 003 aircraft carrier does not mean that it will soon be ready for active service or a combat scenario.
For China, however, there are bigger things to fear on the ground, just in its vicinity.
As the Russian-Ukrainian war passed the 100-day mark, Beijing’s support for Moscow lost the promise that many commentators pointed to at the start of the conflict.
Russian officials are growing increasingly frustrated that Beijing is not honoring the agreed ‘limitless partnership’, according to Chinese and US officials quoted by Washington Post. “China has clearly expressed its position on the situation in Ukraine and the illegal sanctions against Russia,” said a Chinese official familiar with the matter.
“We understand [Moscow’s] hard situation. But we cannot ignore our situation in this dialogue. China will always act in the best interests of the Chinese people,” the anonymous official added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has now instructed his closest advisers to assist Russia financially without violating sanctions, the Washington Post reported citing sources. But the complex maze of sanctions in which Moscow finds itself will not be easy for Beijing to circumvent.
A Russian media, RBK, reported that China has banned Russian airlines from flying foreign planes. Russian airlines are grappling with sanctions imposed following the conflict in Ukraine.
RBK added, citing sources, that the Aviation Administration of China asked foreign carriers to update ownership information last month. The request may respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to re-register ownership of the plane in Russia to avoid seizure under sanctions imposed by the United States, Europe and other countries.
If Beijing wants to help Moscow, it will have to find ways to buy Russian goods, but even that seems difficult as Chinese companies have slowly left Moscow to avoid getting caught up in the whirlwind of sanctions. The blame could once again rest on Russian oil and gas.
Read also : Xi absent from front pages of CCP’s People’s Daily, experts reading between the lines
There could also be a big development on the US-China front. Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe is to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore from June 10 to 12, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced.
The United States is in talks with the Chinese side to finalize the first face-to-face meeting between senior defense officials. If the meeting takes place, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will likely speak with Wei Fenghe in person for the first time.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s action-packed 10-day trip to Pacific countries has come to an end in East Timor. In the East Timorese capital, Dili, Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Adaljiza Magno signed agreements ranging from agricultural and media partnerships to economic and technical cooperation. No military or security pact has been signed in East Timor, and China’s proposed collective security agreement with Pacific countries has not progressed.
Returning from the Pacific, Wang Yi stopped over in Malaysia, where he spoke by telephone with Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and spoke of safeguarding the “ASEAN-centric regional cooperation framework”.
Read also : By restricting entry and exit of citizens to targeting academia, China becomes more authoritarian
China in the world news
China’s commercial activity is the subject of occasional intrigue in Indian newspapers. Unlike the United States and Europe, Indians have very little information about the practices followed by Chinese companies in India.
The Home Ministry has now said that nationals of countries with which India shares a land border will need security clearance to be appointed company directors. The notification targets Chinese nationals appointed as directors of Indian companies or subsidiaries of foreign companies.
ThePrint also recently reported a series of investigations into Chinese companies registered in Maharashtra with questionable business practices. These companies used false documents to demonstrate the presence of Indian offices that did not exist. The companies under investigation used an Indian company director with a Chinese stakeholder to fraudulently set up entities.
The scrutiny of China in the world, however, has not been limited to business relations. On the military front, a P-8 surveillance aircraft belonging to the Australian Defense Force was intercepted by the PLA’s J-16 fighter jet during routine maritime surveillance activity in the South China Sea, the Australian Defense Force said.
The interception is not an isolated incident. Senior Canadian officials are increasingly concerned about aggressive Chinese fighter pilots. According to Canada World News, the Chinese fighter jets flew 20 to 100 feet close to the Canadian surveillance plane as part of a United Nations mission. The Chinese jets were flying so close to the Canadian plane that the pilots could make visual contact with both planes.
To read this week
Why China is threading the needle on Ukraine – Andrew Nathan
A 17th century mushroom cloud –James Carter
Blood Brothers: The Scarred History of China’s Ethnic Russians – Li Yijuan and Fan Yiying
Read also : In China, growing pressure to find a scapegoat for the disastrous handling of the Covid in Shanghai
India in China
On June 3, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar spoke at the 2022 GLOBSEC Forum in Bratislava. Jaishankar’s remarks in response to the moderator’s question on India’s position vis-à-vis the US-China strategic competition were widely shared on social media in India and China.
The hashtag “Indian foreign minister says China doesn’t need precedent to determine China-India relations” was trending on Weibo. The hashtag has been viewed 1.46 million times.
Experts this week
“Judging from the situation in India, although the population of India is comparable to that of China, there are several factors that limit manufacturing in India: First, India has too much infrastructural debt, and India only built its first highway in the country in 2012. Till now, the mileage of Indian highways is minimal, moreover, the efficiency of road and rail transport in India is very low and energy security required for transport needs to be improved.In addition, India’s system of separation of powers has also made improving India’s infrastructure particularly inefficient.Secondly, in terms of the business environment, local governments are often wary of foreign investment,” said Zhang Jianping, deputy director of the Academic Committee of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce and director of the Regional Center for Economic Cooperation, during a maintenance. .
The author is a freelance columnist and journalist. He is currently pursuing an MA in International Politics with a focus on China at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was previously a Chinese media reporter at the BBC World Service. He tweets @aadilbrar. Views are personal.
This is a weekly summary that Aadil Brar writes about what is happening in China. This will soon be available as a subscriber-only product.
(Edited by Srinjoy Dey)