Ming Pao Articles Quoting Me About Quad and International China Strategy

Ming Pao in Hong Kong on March 31 and April 2 published articles on the Biden Administration’s China strategy and the Quad. Two sections quote me. The gist: The Administration is working with others who share concerns about China’s increasingly pushy posture in economic relations, in the South China Sea, in Hong Kong or in international organizations.  Rather than letting China isolate each country, we can take a common stance on the “rules of the road.”

The reporter also asked about whether India’s purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia will disrupt our cooperation. While Congress passed a law in 2017 authorizing sanctions for such purchases, the Adminsitration will likely just disregard the purchases and pursue strategic interests with India. Nonetheless, the purchase is a reminder that India’s interests are generally aligned with those of the US but India will always go its own way.

What I sent them in English:

—  The Quad and other meetings with Europe and friends in Southeast Asia, represent a chance to work with others who share concerns about China’s increasingly pushy posture in economic relations, in the South China Sea, in Hong Kong or in international organizations.  Rather than letting China isolate each country, we can take a common stance on the “rules of the road” be they trading rules, human rights or behavior in diplomatic relationships.  China will feel increased pressure because its practices under the current administration are out of step with what the rest of the world sees as fair, and that “rest of the world” talks to each other about China.
—  India has long purchased Russian weapons so it shouldn’t be surprising that they want to buy these missiles –a sale first announced in 2018. Unfortunately, Congress had passed a law in 2017 called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (Caatsa), that requires the President to invoke sanctions against countries that buy Russian weapons.  At the time, under President Trump, the White House and State Department cited the law as potentially unconstitutional in restricting the President’s authority in foreign affairs.  Thus, it remains to be seen whether the new Administration will invoke sanctions, use the threat to pressure India, or ignore the sale and see if Congress responds.

And the Chinese pages from Ming Pao on 31 March and 2 April 2021:

Preview for snowy US-China get together

Solid article by Mark Magnier for South China morning post quotes me, Jeff Moon and others. My prognosis: both sides need to lay down markers (US on Human Rights, cyber-spying, trade, technology, South China sea) (China on Taiwan, South China Sea, economic independence). However, both need to show that they are not isolated, so will look for areas of cooperation, probably: climate change, lowering trade tensions, opening investment flows, North Korea.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3125889/us-china-relations-alaskas-chill-mirrors-outlook-talks-between

Article in theFrontierPost (Peshawar, Pakistan) on what to expect from President Biden

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My article in the Frontier Post today about what to expect from our President elect. Pure speculation, no inside sources. Check back in six months to see if I got it right.

In any case, the conclusion for the moment:

Biden will emphasize diplomacy and development, seeking to return the US to leadership through negotiation, communication and active organizing efforts on world issues. Pakistan has a chance to be a partner with the new Administration if it wants to focus on peace in Afghanistan and economic development in Pakistan.

Link to the full article: https://thefrontierpost.com/what-does-president-biden-mean-for-pakistan-and-afghanistan/

or at the page here.

National Journal on Pompeo’s Interviews

National Journal reporter did an exhaustive analysis of Secretary of State Pompeo’s. He used one quote for me, but the highlights are the numbers showing a decidedly domestic focus, centered on the Fox news network. Is this Pompeo supporting his boss or Pompeo trying to build his own reputation among conservatives?

See: https://www.nationaljournal.com/s/710959?unlock=0HTWVRU18IKPDI4R

Quotes in Ming Pao about US election

I did a (written) interview with a Ming Pao (Hong Kong) reporter about the Foreign Policy implications of our election. It was published on October 13 in Chinese.

Some quotes:

“American first” has ended up producing “America Alone”

As we head into a new era, these Alliances can help create a system of global cooperation on global issues, help us benefit from each others’ strengths, help us open our markets to each other on an equal basis, and organize solutions to technological, political, military and diplomatic challenges we all face. Alliances underpin US leadership to make the rules that we all must follow –including emerging powers like China.

,,,”as long as the authorities in Beijing continue to interfere in the politics, the security environment, the education system, the judicial system and the daily life of Hong Kong, the US will maintain sanctions and restrictions –no matter which party controls the White House or the Congress.”

Here’s the Chinese page in full.

Here are the english questions and answers.

Former Consuls General Statement on Hong Kong

A bunch of us signed on to a statement about the situation in Hong Kong; widespread and strong support. Others did the drafting and work, but thanks to miracle of alphabetical order, I ended up on top of the list. Apologies to Joe Yun at the end.

Hong Kong Open Statement

We, the undersigned, want to express our grave concerns about China’s recent actions to undermine the rights of the people of Hong Kong, and to voice our strong support for congressional action to ensure that the United States supports the people of Hong Kong in these difficult times.

When the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China agreed in 1984 to a transition of governing power over Hong Kong in 1997, the people of Hong Kong were promised at least 50 years to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, as well as the maintenance of Hong Kong’s open and free society, respected common law system, and democratic traditions.  In recent years, China has reneged on that promise, encroaching on its promise of “one country, two systems”. Beijing’s latest move to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, even as it circumvented the city’s elected legislature, has undermined the rights of the people of Hong Kong and signaled a fundamental breaking of China’s promises. The United States must work closely together with countries around the world to support the people of Hong Kong who are threatened by this new law.

We support efforts in Congress to help the people of Hong Kong who will now be at greater risk of imprisonment and persecution under the new national security law. That is why we support the bipartisan Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act that would offer asylum to Hong Kong activists, protestors and those most at risk of persecution under the new law. We also support the bipartisan Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act, which would provide Temporary Protected Status for Hong Kong residents already living in the United States, expedite Special High Skill Visas for highly-skilled Hong Kong residents, and offer additional immigration opportunities to Hong Kong residents in the event of an even deeper crackdown by Beijing.

By passing both these bills, Congress would show that America is prepared to open its doors not just to brave activists and peaceful protestors but also other Hongkongers that Beijing fears will leave. The situation in Hong Kong is urgent and requires a strong U.S. response rooted firmly in our values and long history of providing safe harbor to those fleeing tyranny.

Richard Boucher, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Amb. James B Cunningham, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, former Ambassador to the UN, Israel and Afghanistan

Glyn Davies, Ambassador (ret.), former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs 

Joseph R. Donovan, Jr., Ambassador (ret.), former Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Michael Fuchs, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Nina Hachigian, former U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN

Clifford A. Hart, Jr., former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

James Keith, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Kelly Magsamen, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Richard W. Mueller, former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Laura Rosenberger, former Director for China on the National Security Council

Amy Searight, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs 

David B. Shear, former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Susan Shirk, Research Professor School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

Susan Thornton, former Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Kurt Tong, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Richard Williams, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Stephen M. Young, Ambassador (ret.), former U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau

Joe Yun, Ambassador (ret.)

July 5, 2020 – Ming Pao Interview — Sad days for Hong Kong

Ming Pao published on July 5 some additional questions and answers with me on Hong Kong. See the Chinese articles here and here. The full text in English is here.

TL-DR: All my life, I’ve been bullish on Hong Kong, even at critical moments like the Handover.  No more.  I’m afraid that, over time, the city so many of us love will lose its energy and its lustre. 

Hong Kong — then and now

Second episode of the AmDipStories podcast, this on Hong Kong: https://amdipstories.org/hong-kong-the-chinese-are-coming/ Told some history before the handover, the night of, and now the pressures from China. Xi Jinping is moving China backwards towards more party control, more repression and more support for state enterprises, and trying to take Hong Kong with it. Not a good situation, but we need to focus our pressures on Beijing authorities and help Hong Kongers avoid getting caught in the middle.

Boucher, Greenspan, Chief Executive C.H.Tung, Finance Secretary Donald Tsang shortly after the 1997 Handover.

China imposing national security law on Hong Kong

Ming Pao in Hong Kong asked me for some answers about China’s latest move to stifle dissent in Hong Kong. I wrote up some answers here that they used (in Chinese) on the front page here and here.

The gist: While Chinese leaders seem determined to impose this law, they are provoking a strong and widespread reaction in other countries.

China under Xi Jinping has gone backwards from reform, emphasizing instead tighter control by security services, more party control in media and the economy, and more favoritism for cumbersome state enterprises.

The political consensus in the United States is solid and increasingly shared by the US business community which often sees Chinese entities as unfair competitors who benefit from closed markets, government subsidies and stolen intellectual property. China has few if any defenders in US debates and any concerns about Hong Kong are easily overshadowed.

There are strong feelings across the political spectrum in the United States that China under Xi Jinping cannot be allowed to assert its will and must abide by international rules in the South China Sea, with regards to Taiwan, with regards to Hong Kong, with respect to human rights, in business rules and any number of other areas. This sentiment has grown stronger throughout the world, not just in the United States.

The response in the US has become more determined and the prospect of international coordination on steps against China is growing –should the United States decide to take the lead.

Unfortunately, the response to China will create a political contest with scant regard for Hong Kong itself or for US business interests in Hong Kong.