Wednesday, November 28, 2012

• China: Sea & Himalayan claims on New Passports

by Frank Jack Daniel - Friday, November 23, 2012
NEW DELHI -- India is stamping its own map on visas it issues to holders of new Chinese passports that contain a map depicting disputed territory within China's borders, the latest twist in tension in Asia over China's territorial claims.





Chinese territorial aggression 
China's new microchip-equipped passports contain a map that marks its claims over disputed waters and also show as its territory two Himalayan regions that India also claims. The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view.

In response, India is issuing visas stamped with its own version of the borders, sources with knowledge of the dispute told Reuters. "The correct map of India is stamped on to visas being issued on such passports," said one of the sources, who declined to be identified. China's long-standing territorial disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian neighbors have grown heated in recent months. On Thursday, the Philippines responded angrily to the new passports, saying Chinese carrying the document would be violating Philippine national sovereignty.



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India and China fought a brief, high-altitude border war in 1962. The nuclear-armed neighbors have held multiple rounds of talks to resolve their disputed Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh regions where they fought the war but have made little progress. In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that China has selected the maps as background on the inside pages of the passports issued by the Ministry of Public Security in May. "The design is not targeting a specific country," Hua said.

"We hope that the relevant countries take a rational and sensible attitude ... to avoid causing interference with normal Sino-foreign personnel exchanges."

Death By China


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India, China back to sparring over Arunachal and Aksai Chin
by Kartik Shuklapaksha, Kaliyug Varsha - Friday, November 23, 2012

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It all started with the Chinese government showing Arunachal and entire Aksai Chin as part of its territory in maps of the country on their new e-passports. 

New Delhi -- India and China are back to sparring over territorial claims involving Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin.
It all started with the Chinese government showing Arunachal and entire Aksai Chin as part of its territory in maps of the country on their new e-passports.
Unhappy at this, the Indian embassy in Beijing is said to be issuing visas to Chinese nationals with a map of India showing Arunachal and Aksai Chin as its territories.
After the water marks in the new Chinese e-passports showed Arunachal and Aksai Chin as part of China, the Indian mission started issuing visas with Indian maps including these places as part of its territory.

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China had triggered a diplomatic row by issuing stapled visas to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, terming it as a "disputed territory" and denied visas to those hailing from Arunachal Pradesh. Peeved over this action, India lodged a strong protest with China which subsequently reverted to issuing normal visas to residents of J-K but without officially admitting that they were doing so.

China's claim to Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a 1,030-km unfenced border with it, is not new. In 1962, China and India fought a brief war over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, but in 1993 and 1996 the two countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control to maintain peace and tranquility. Significantly, these developments occur even as a high-level team of Chinese diplomats, for the first time, visited Sikkim in connection with consular issues, which was seen as reconfirmation of Beijing's stance of accepting the state as part of India.

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The development comes to light days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Cambodia where the two leaders discussed ways to move forward on the vexed boundary issue.

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is expected to visit Beijing soon for the next round of boundary talks at the level of Special Representatives with his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo.

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China threatens USA
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China angers neighbors with sea claims on new passports
by Manuel Mogato - Thursday, November 22, 2012

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MANILA -- The Philippines and Vietnam condemned Chinese passports containing a map of China's disputed maritime claims on Thursday, branding the new design a violation of their sovereignty.

The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view.

Stand-offs between Chinese vessels and the Philippine and Vietnamese navies in the South China Sea have become more common as China increases patrols in waters believed to hold vast reserves of oil and natural gas. "The Philippines strongly protests the inclusion of the nine-dash lines in the e-passport as such image covers an area that is clearly part of the Philippines' territory and maritime domain," Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Thursday, referring to the lines on the passport map.

CHINA: Overseas Student SPIES


Vietnam had written to China in protest against the new passports and had asked it to "reverse their incorrect content", said Luong Thanh Nghi, a spokesman for Vietnam's foreign ministry. "This action by China has violated Vietnam's sovereignty to the Paracel and Spratly islands as well as our sovereign rights and jurisdiction to related maritime areas in the South China Sea, or the East Sea," he told a news conference. Malaysia and Brunei are also claimants in the dispute which overshadowed an Asian leaders' summit in Cambodia this week.

China is also embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan. China's foreign ministry said in a faxed response to questions that the new passports met international standards.
"The passports' maps with their outlines of China are not targeting a specific country. China is willing to actively communicate with the relevant countries and promote the healthy development of Sino-foreign personnel exchanges," it said. It was not clear when China began printing the new passports. 

CHINA: Stealing Technology


The issue was brought to light by keen-eyed Vietnamese officials who are in the process of renewing six-month visas for Chinese businessmen. "I think it is one very poisonous step by Beijing among their thousands of malevolent actions," said Nguyen Quang A, a former adviser to the Vietnamese government, to the Financial Times.
In response, Vietnamese immigration is refusing to paste visas inside the new passports, instead putting the visa on a separate, detached, page. "When I tried to cross the border, the officials refused to stamp my visa," said David Li, 19, from Guangdong province, who ran into problems getting into Vietnam on Nov 19.

"They claimed my visa was invalid. They said it was because on the new passport's map, the South China Sea part of China's marine border crossed Vietnam's territory, so if they stamped on it, it means they acknowledge China's claim," he added. Mr Li said two other passengers on his flight also had problems with their new passports, and that he was forced to buy a new visa for 50,000 Vietnamese dong (£1.50). Kien Deng, a Chinese travel agent who has worked in Vietnam for three years, said the Vietnamese officials had used the map for their financial advantage, charging a fee of 30 yuan (£3) to holders of the offending passport in order to insert a new visa. "They are playing a cheeky trick which makes foreigners like us suffer," he said. 

CHINA: FAKE and Poisonous Products


"There are 20,000 students who visit Vietnam from China every year, and 70,000 businessmen in Hanoi and at least as many again in Saigon. So it adds up to a huge amount," he said. The new passport also stakes a claim to the Japanese Senkaku islands, which have been a great source of friction between China and Japan. However, the scale of the islands is so small as to be invisible, and Japan has not yet lodged a complaint, according to the Financial Times. The dispute spilled over into Southeast Asia's normally serene government summits this year, with China accused of seeking to stall debate and divide the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the issue.

Philippine diplomats accused China at this week's summit in Phnom Penh of using its influence over host Cambodia to push a formal statement saying that ASEAN did not want to "internationalize" the dispute.

The Philippines, which sees its alliance with the United States as a crucial check on China's claims at a time when the United States is shifting its military focus back to Asia, protested to Cambodia and succeeded in having that clause removed from the final statement.

MORE STORIES:
:!: China stamps passports with sea claims
:!: China angers neighbors with sea claims on new passports
:!: China angers neighbors with sea claims on new passports
:!: Planning for China’s Fall by Michael Auslin







Several of China's neighbours have also protested against the new map

A fresh row has broken out between India and China over territorial claims in the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin area in eastern Kashmir.

In new passports, China's maps show the two areas as Chinese territory. The Indian embassy in Beijing is said to have retaliated by stamping Chinese visas with a map of their own which shows the territories in India.

Several of China's neighbours have also protested against the new map. Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan have all objected because it shows disputed islands in the South China Sea and Taiwan to be a part of China. They have described the new design as a violation of their sovereignty. Chinese official maps have long shown Taiwan and the South China Sea to be part of its own territory, but the inclusion of such claims on the passport has caused considerable anger.

The potentially oil-rich Paracel Islands, claimed by Vietnam since their troops were forced to leave by China in the 1970s and also claimed by Taiwan, make an appearance on the map, as do the Spratly Islands, part of which are claimed by the Philippines.

The disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, at the centre of recent tension between China and Japan are not included in the new document.

Relations between India and China have been uneasy - the two countries dispute several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.

Delhi is yet to officially take up the row over the map with Beijing
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India counters China map claims in tit-for-tat move
by channelnewsasia - 24 November 2012



File picture. An Indian soldier patrols at Bumla Pass, on the India-China border, in the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. (AFP/Biju Boro) 

NEW DELHI: India is stamping its map on visas given to Chinese visitors, an Indian official said, after China began issuing passports showing disputed territories as its own.

"We have started issuing visas with India's map as we know it," said a foreign ministry official, who did not wish to be named, declining to comment further.

India's tit-for-tat action comes after China began issuing new biometric passports showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai China -- regions that New Delhi claims -- as part of Chinese territory.

And the response comes amid already strained ties between the two Asian giants.

Beijing has also included disputed islands in the South China Sea in the map outline on the new passports, angering both the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as areas including two of Taiwan's most famous scenic spots.

Early this week, the Philippines foreign secretary wrote a protest note to the Chinese embassy and the Vietnam government said it has also lodged its objections with Beijing.

India's The Hindu newspaper said the Indian government had decided not to take up the issue formally with China.

"It feels it will be better to speak through actions... than words," the newspaper quoted an unidentified government official as saying.

Beijing has attempted to downplay the diplomatic fallout from the recently introduced passports, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying the maps were "not made to target any specific country".

The disputed border between India and China has been the subject of 14 rounds of fruitless talks since 1962, when the two nations fought a brief, bloody war over the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

China's build-up of military infrastructure along the frontier has become a major source of concern for India, which increasingly sees Beijing as a longer-term threat to its security than traditional rival Pakistan.

India is also wary of increased Chinese activity in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which New Delhi sees as within its sphere of influence.





New Chinese Passports Rile Asian Neighbors
by Kate Woodsome - Saturday, November 24, 2012


Whenever a country issues new passports, someone almost always complains about the new design. But China's latest edition of travel logs is drawing formal criticism from countries across Asia.

The passports feature a map of China that includes areas of the South China Sea claimed by other countries, as well as territory claimed by India. Taiwan's government objected to the passports Friday, following similar protests by the Philippines and Vietnam.

Officials at the Indian Embassy in Beijing are protesting in their own way, stamping Chinese visas with a map showing the disputed territory belonging to India, according to The Press Trust of India. John Blaxland, with the Strategic and Defense Studies Center at Australian National University, called China's move "pretty clever." "It basically forces everyone who's a claimant of South China Sea elements to acknowledge it by stamping it," he said.

As China's military and economic influence has grown throughout the world, Beijing has become more brazen in its claim to territories believed to be rich with oil and natural gas across the Asia-Pacific. China’s Foreign Ministry said the “nine-dash” map of the sea printed in the new passports wasn’t targeted at any specific countries. Blaxland described China’s move as part of a "long game" being played by a new generation of leaders who will steer the country for the next 10 years.

"We've just seen a major transition in China… They can act deliberately and slowly, and slowly get their way. There's really not very much anyone is seriously prepared to do about it," he said. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations discussed the territorial disputes at a summit in Cambodia earlier this week but failed to achieve a united stand on how the 10 member countries should respond to China. Carl Thayer, a professor emeritus at the University of New South Wales, said the map in China’s new passports may partly be in response to Vietnam’s passage earlier this year of a Law of the Sea.

The law asserts Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands, which are claimed by both Hanoi and Beijing. “It's just finding one more way of turning the screw that China has jurisdiction,” Thayer said. Although Vietnam and the Philippines have been most vocal in their opposition to China’s moves, Brunei and Malaysia also have rival claims in the South China Sea, and Japan is embroiled in its own dispute over islands in the East China Sea. All the territorial spats have raised concerns about a potential maritime conflict, prompting the United States to wade into the controversy.

The Obama administration says it is not taking sides but is pushing for the countries to adopt a code of conduct, which China opposes. Blaxley said the United States wants to secure its freedom of navigation in the region. 

When you think back to the days of the Cold War, there was a clear code of conduct between Soviet or NATO or Western ships, that when they encountered each other, there was a protocol. Well there isn't one at the moment for the South China Sea, and that is problematic,” he said.

Despite that, Blaxley said neither the United States nor any of the other countries directly affected by China’s moves have much of an appetite to take action regarding the passports or the territorial claims. As a result, Thayer said the passports will not change the reality on the ground, and will serve more as a political stunt than anything else.

A stunt, he said, that other countries are as capable of performing.
"I flew Air Vietnam," he said, "and it had a map up there clearly indicating that the Paracels and Spratlys were Vietnamese."








Neighbouring countries are protesting against a map on new Chinese passports

Vietnamese officials are refusing to stamp new Chinese passports bearing a map that lays claim to disputed areas. Border authorities have instead been issuing visas on separate pieces of paper and stamping those issued previously as invalid.

Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan have objected to the map because it shows disputed islands in the South China Sea to be a part of China. India is also embroiled a row over the map's inclusion of disputed areas. Official Chinese maps have long shown Taiwan and the South China Sea to be part of its own territory despite ongoing disputes with its neighbours. China's Communist party newspaper, The People's Daily, said that Vietnam and other neighbours were trying to contain China with help from the United States.

Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan have already complained to China about the map on the new passport, which they say is an infringement of their sovereignty. The potentially oil-rich Paracel islands, claimed by Vietnam and also claimed by Taiwan, appear on the map, as do the Spratly islands, part of which are claimed by the Philippines. India, which disputes two Himalayan regions also claimed by China that is included on the map, is stamping its own map on visas it issues to Chinese citizens.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is still currently accepting the new Chinese passports while it considers its options, says Foreign Ministry spokesman Raul Hernandez. Last week, a meeting of the Association of South East Asian (Asean) nations in Cambodia saw China and the Philippines openly clash over disputed islands. Asean has been trying to reach consensus over how to resolve the various territorial disputes with China
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Vietnam Avoids Stamping Controversial Chinese Passports
by Marianne Brown - Monday, November 26, 2012



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A group of Chinese tourists to Vietnam at the Lao Cai border gate on Nov 23. Four passports were stamped as invalid -- cancelled on that day there. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A new passport design issued by China is causing a stir in Asia.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, but Vietnam and four other governments have claims in the region, including the Spratly Islands, which are believed to sit atop mineral deposits.

The passports have caused a stir in the region, prompting protests from several countries, including Vietnam. To deal with the controversy, officials say passports featuring China’s “nine-dotted line” map of the area will be stamped as invalid.

China’s controversial demarcation is know as the “bull’s tongue line” in Vietnam. Colonel Luong Van Son, deputy director of Lao Cai provincial border police says new passport holders are allowed to enter the country, but officials issue visas on separate pieces of paper. Luong says this was a “light” approach to the problem agreed upon by government ministries and, so far, China had not reacted. He added the passport design is a “serious violation” of Vietnamese sovereignty and is not recognized by the international community.

Last week, a spokesman for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luong Thanh Nghi, protested the new passport design. He says the ministry had sent a diplomatic note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi objecting to the move and asked China to cancel the passport. The Philippines and Taiwan also objected. In Manila Monday, Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez says authorities there are still accepting the passports for visa applications, for now. "What we can say is we are considering different options as far as follow-up action. I don't know what are those options," he said.

The passport also includes territory claimed by India. In response, officials at the Indian Embassy in Beijing stamped Chinese visas with a map embossed with New Delhi’s own map. Observers say the move is part of an ongoing trend of China asserting territorial claims in the area.

http://www.voanews.com/content/vietnam- ... 52892.html
HANOI — A new passport design issued by China is causing a stir in Asia. The passport features a map that includes territory claimed by other countries. It includes the South China Sea, which is also claimed by Vietnam. Officials are finding their own way around the problem.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, but Vietnam and four other governments have claims in the region, including the Spratly Islands, which are believed to sit atop mineral deposits. The passports have caused a stir in the region, prompting protests from several countries, including Vietnam. Colonel Luong Van Son, deputy director of Lao Cai provincial border police says new passport holders are allowed to enter the country, but officials issue visas on separate pieces of paper.

Luong says this was a “light” approach to the problem agreed upon by government ministries and, so far, China had not reacted. He added the passport design is a “serious violation” of Vietnamese sovereignty and is not recognized by the international community. Last week, a spokesman for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luong Thanh Nghi, protested the new passport design. He says the ministry had sent a diplomatic note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi objecting to the move and asked China to cancel the passport. The Philippines and Taiwan also objected. In Manila Monday, Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez says authorities there are still accepting the passports for visa applications, for now.

"What we can say is we are considering different options as far as follow-up action. I don't know what are those options," he said. The passport also includes territory claimed by India. In response, officials at the Indian Embassy in Beijing stamped Chinese visas with a map embossed with New Delhi’s own map. Observers say the move is part of an ongoing trend of China asserting territorial claims in the area. China’s Foreign Ministry says the map of the sea printed in the new passports is not targeted at any specific countries.







The new Chinese passport outlines all of the South China Sea as part of China’s territorial waters. The Philippines has protested China’s depiction of its claims. The potentially oil- and gas-rich waters also are claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Buried away in the corner of a New Zealand daily newspaper, barely noticeable, is an item entitled “China’s new e-passports cause anger.”
The meager attention given to a major geopolitical issue is indicative of the naïve, if not outright stupid, mentalities of New Zealand journalists, politicians, diplomats, and business leaders who cannot see further than Chinese smiles, handshakes, and trade.[1]

The entire article reads as follows:
China has redrawn the map printed in its passports to lay claim to almost all of the South China Sea, infuriating its neighbors. In the new passports, a nine dash line has been added that hugs the coasts of the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and some of Indonesia, scooping up several islands that are claimed both by China and by its neighbors. China has printed nearly six million of the passports since it quietly introduced them in April, judging by the monthly application rate. The Philippines joined Vietnam yesterday in voicing it anger at the new map. 

“The Philippines strongly protests the inclusion of the nine-dash lines in the e-passport as such image covers an areas of the Philippines’ territory and maritime domain,” said Albert del Rosario, a foreign affairs spokesman.[2] This is typical of the quagmire that is called named “Asia,” as if there is, has been, or can ever be, such a unitary bloc in geopolitical, ethnographic or even just pragmatic economic senses. “Asia” as a unitary idea exists only in the minds of those in business, political and diplomatic circles, particularly in New Zealand, Australia and the USA, who have a reductionist outlook based on trade. This surreptitious symbolic declaration of imperial expansion inaugurated by the Chinese in April was “noticed by keen-eyed Vietnamese officials who are in the process of renewing six-month visas for Chinese businessmen,” according to the lengthier report that was carried by the London Telegraph, from which The Dominion Post culled the five brief paragraphs.[3] 

Vietnam has a long history of standing up to Chinese expansionism,[4] and has been the first to challenge China on this. The Telegraph’s Malcolm Moore adds that “In response, Vietnamese immigration is refusing to paste visas inside the new passports, instead putting the visa on a separate, detached, page.” Recognizing the passport with a visa would imply recognition of China’s claim to Vietnamese territory.[5] “The new passport also stakes a claim to the Senkakku islands, which have been a great source of friction between China and Japan.”[6] 

Claims Against India 
However, The Telegraph report is also far from adequate, failing to even mention the very significant inclusion of the Indian territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin that have also been included on the passport map. India, also having a history of resistance to China’s expansionism, in response has issued visas stamped with maps of India that include Arunachal and Aksai Chin.[7] An Indian Express article concludes: Incidentally, the new outline map on Chinese e-passports also includes Taiwan and South China Sea in its territory, leaving Beijing’s other neighbors such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia too infuriated. 

Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam have all protested against the new map. About three years ago, China had created a diplomatic row by issuing stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, terming it a “disputed territory”. It has always denied visas to those hailing from Arunachal.[8] It seems enigmatic that China would now make such a provocative gesture when it is attempting to show its commitment to being a player for stability in the region, to be a reliable trade partner and part of a regional community, if not a world community. Is China as a nation irredeemably sociopathic? China clashed with both Russian and India during the 1960s over disputed border areas. These disputed areas have supposedly recently been settled peaceably. The Indian Express commented on the territorial contentions with India:
In 1962, China and India fought a brief war over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, but in 1993 and 1996 the two countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control to maintain peace and tranquility.[9]

Russia
The dispute with Russia was supposedly settled amicably in 2008, whereby Russia would hand over Tarabarov Island and half of the Bolshoi Ussuriysky at the confluence the of Amur and Ussuri rivers. The agreement was thought to be the basis for a Sino-Russian rapprochement. While Russia gave up Tarabarov and half of Bolshoi Ussuriysky, totalling 174 square kilometres, China supposedly gave up its claim to the other half of Bolshoi Ussuriysky. What is noted about all these concessions is that China seems invariably to get the better end of the deal. Russia’s retreat from Central Asia with the implosion of the USSR has seen China attempt to full the power vacuum.

Indian researcher Sudha Ramachandran offered a perceptive analysis, writing last year of China’s strategy: “A Sino-Tajik border agreement that was ratified recently by Tajikistan’s parliament flies in the face of images of China being a ‘bullying’ and ‘belligerent’ power that ‘will go to any length to fulfill its territorial ambitions.’” The agreement requires Tajikistan to cede about 1,000 square kilometers of land in the Pamir Mountains to China; only 3.5% of the land China was claiming. Under border agreements with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, China received 22% and 32% respectively of disputed land. Ramachandran states that of 23 territorial disputes since 1949, China has offered “substantial compromises” in 17, usually accepting half the territory that has been demanded.[10] 

Ramachandran offers an explanation for China’s “generosity” that is uncommonly insightful, and should be read in full: However, there is more to it than meets the eye. 
The territorial concessions that China is believed to have made are not quite as substantial as they appear to be. Srikanth Kondapalli, a China expert at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi pointed out that China’s strategy of stepping up territorial claims and then settling for less has enabled it to appear to be making a major territorial concession to reach a border resolution agreement. In several disputes, “whether China actually gave up territory or made a substantial concession is a debatable question,” he told Asia Times Online... 

“China will claim more before settling for less,” he said. “The so-called territorial concessions that it will probably extend while settling the dispute will not merit being regarded as concessions.”[11] However, in recent months there are indications that China will, when it regards the time as right, act as belligerent as necessary and throw diplomacy overboard. A significant factor that does not seem to be taken into account is that China is likely to be acting dialectically, as it did under Mao.
While the West enthuses over the “changes” that are taking place in China particularly in terms of trade, should it be inferred from this that China has also abandoned the dialectical character of its policies, simply because it now talks of trade rather than “world revolution”? Lenin[12] succinctly described the complex twists and turns of dialectics: “One step forward, two steps back,” which became Mao’s axiom.

Filipino diplomat A Del Rosario, previously quoted in connection with the Chinese passport map, is cognizant of this strategy still in operation: Lest we are lulled into a false sense of security and delude ourselves that quiet diplomacy is working, let us be wary of reports Chinese ships have withdrawn from Pag-asa in the Spratly group of islands. Remember it was Chairman Mao Zedong who said “To take one step forward, take two steps backward.”[13] The timing of the new passport map is a provocation that reiterates China’s territorial ambitions, which warns the world that China’s diplomacy should not be taken as a sign of retreat. Shubhajit Roy writes of the timing:
Significantly, these developments occur even as a high-level team of Chinese diplomats, for the first time, visited Sikkim in connection with consular issues, which was seen as reconfirmation of Beijing’s stance of accepting the state as part of India. 

The development comes even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Cambodia where the two leaders discussed ways to move forward on the vexed boundary issue.[14] This shows the duplicitous character of China; which I contend is sociopathic. Behind a decades’ long façade of “opening up” diplomatically and commercially, China is biding its time, building up and securing the economic strength that it could not secure under the clinically deranged Mao Zedong.[15] China has not compromised despite its gains, including the territorial gains achieved diplomatically with Russia. Her long-range hegemonic goals remain the same.

Tensions are, as paradoxical as it might appear to those who are naïve, increasing regardless of the superficial rapprochement of China with others in Asia and the Pacific regions. Aljazeera observes: "Stand-offs between Chinese vessels and the Philippine and Vietnamese navies in the South China Sea have become more common as China increases patrols in waters believed to hold vast reserves of oil and natural gas".[16] Aljazeera also observes that the dispute came at the time of an ASEAN summit:
Malaysia and Brunei are also claimants in the dispute which overshadowed an Asian leaders’ summit in Cambodia this week. China is also embroiled in a territorial dispute with Japan.[17]

Japan
In September the long-time antagonism between China and Japan again erupted when China sent six government vessels into the South China Sea near the Japanese Senkaku islands. The ships had been dispatched after Japan announced its intention of buying the islands from their private owner.[18] The Chinese response to Japanese diplomatic protests was to instigate riots against Japanese citizens and businesses in China. The Brisbane Times reported: Panasonic’s factory and a Toyota dealership in the port city of Qingdao were damaged by fire, while military police were called in to control thousands demonstrating at the Japanese consulate in Shanghai as protests escalated… 

Protests occurred in Qingdao, Xi’an, Guangzhou and Hong Kong on Saturday as more than 1000 demonstrators gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing. Japan’s Kyodo News said more than 40,000 people joined demonstrations in 20 Chinese cities... In Shanghai yesterday, hundreds of military police were brought in to separate groups of protesters outside the Japanese consulate, chanting: “Down with Japan devils, boycott Japanese goods, give back Diaoyu!” There were no reports of injuries.[19]
Despite the reference to Chinese police being called in to “control” the riots, it would be naïve to think that these demonstrations did not take place at the prompting of Chinese officialdom. China does not feel constrained by diplomacy or business.

Chinese policy is undertaken in the pursuit of hegemonic geopolitical long-term aims that are quite beyond the comprehension of the small-minded politicians in Wellington and Canberra and the greed-driven enthusiasts for China free trade. China functions on an entirely different level of reality, which is expressed dialectically, as previously stated. Further, despite the calm exterior of Chinese diplomats and politicians on the world and regional stages, none of the old irrational fanaticism of the Mao era has disappeared; it can be tapped into at any time with the same crazed zeal as the Red Guards during the Mao era.

USA and Russia
The USA and China are in a symbiotic relationship that will not be jeopardized for the sake of US relations with Asia. Nozawa conclude in The Brisbane Times with a significant remark: "Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrives in China today to reassure Chinese leaders the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia is not meant to provoke a confrontation over China’s increasingly assertive posture towards its neighbors".[20] It seems significant that America’s assurances were given to China just prior to Panetta’s arrival in Japan. Was this a warning to Japan and others that, despite the rhetoric on the world and regional stages, the USA interest in Asia and the Pacific does not include a policy of containing China? The regional rivalries that exist are between the USA and Russia, not between the USA and China, and the Russo-China rapprochement is about as enduring as China’s commitments to peace over the disputed territories in the South China Sea and India. China has taken what it wants from Russia and others through diplomacy, which only shows Russia’s weakness vis-à-vis its relations with China.

While the USA and China extend into the Pacific, Putin’s Russia has a new agenda in the region. A news report that was published in the midst of the antagonism between Japan and China analyzed Russia’s intended expansion of influence into the Pacific, quoting Putin as stating at the APEC summit that Russian is an “intrinsic part of the Asia Pacific region.” The news report perceptively states that Putin’s aims will have to contend with both the USA and China. The APEC meeting was held in Vladivostock, meaning “Lord of the East,” named as such after China ceded the territory to Russia in 1860.[21] The symbolism of the Vladivostock summit would not have been lost on China. Was this the reason why China flexed her muscled several weeks later in regard to Japan, reminding Russia that she has been a declining power, while China has been in the ascent? Further realistic thinking came from a Rand analyst: “There are those in Russia who see China as a prospective threat” despite the two countries’ close relationship, said Olga Oliker, senior international policy analyst at the Rand Corporation. 

“If Russia does find a way to greater prominence in Asia, it is possible that Russia will find its own interests and pursue them, not always in ways that align with China’s needs.”[22] Despite Oliker’s conjecture that the USA and Russia might find accord vis-à-vis China, historical dynamics make this unlikely. Nonetheless, wherever such developments might lead, it seems certain that the ignorant and the greedy that shape China policy in New Zealand and Australia will be pushed about by the multiplicity of crises waiting to erupt in a region seething, albeit usually below the surface, with ancient discords.

Notes
[1] “China’s new e-passports cause anger,” Dominion Post, Wellington New Zealand, November 24 2012, B3.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Malcolm Moore, “China’s neighbours protest its passport map grab,” The Telegraph, 22 November 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -grab.html
[4] K R Bolton, “Has Vietnam lost the struggle for freedom?”, Foreign Policy Journal, June 10 2012, http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/201 ... r-freedom/ 
[5] Malcolm Moore, op. cit. 
[6] Ibid.
[7] Shubhajit Roy, “India, China, in passport map row again,’ The Indian Express, 24 November 2012, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india ... n/1035633/
[8] Shubhajit Roy, Ibid.
[9] “China shows Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as its territory,” Indian Express, 23 November 2012, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/china ... y/1035332/
[10] Sudha Ramachandran, “China plays long game on border disputes,” Asia Times Online, 27 January 2011, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/MA27Ad02.html
[11] Ibid.
[12] V I Lenin, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back,” “A Few Words on Dialectics,” Appendix, Collected Works, 4th English Edition (Moscow: Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965), Vol. 7, pp. 203-425.
[13] A Del Rosario, “Two Steps Backward, One Step Forward,” Manila Standard Today, 1 August 2012.
[14] Shubhajit Roy, op. cit.
[15] For details on Mao’s sociopathy see: Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (London: Jonathan Cape, 2005), inter alia.
[16] “Philippines protest China e-passport map,” Aljazeera, 22 November 2012, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-paci ... 58870.html
[17] Aljazeera, op. cit.
[18] Shigeki Nozawa, “Islands dispute sparks riots in Chinese cities,” Brisbane Times, 17 September 2012, http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/i ... 260ge.html
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] “Putin’s Pacific ambitions face challenge,” gulfnews.com, 10 September 2012, http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other-wo ... -1.1072562
[22] Ibid.





WASHINGTON -- The US today said it does not endorse the new “controversial” Chinese map on its passport which depicts certain disputes territories as its own, causing a major diplomatic row in the region including with India.

“No, it is not an endorsement. Our position, as you know on the South China Sea continues to be that these issues need to be negotiated among the stakeholders, among ASEAN and China, and you know a picture on a passport doesn’t change that,” State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.

Responding to questions on this issue, Nuland said her understanding is that there are certain basic international standards that have to be met in a passport.
“You know stray maps that they include aren’t part of it,” she said. “As a technical legal matter, that map doesn’t have any bearing on whether the passport is valid for US visa issuance or for entry into the United States...,” she said.

“I’m not sure whether we’ve had a chance to have that discussion with the Chinese, frankly, the first time this issue came to the attention of some of us was over the weekend when the passports started being rejected in various countries,” she said. “So presumably from the perspective that it is considered provocative by some of those countries, we’ll have a conversation about it, but in terms of the technical issue of whether the passport is...,” she said.

“I would expect that we’ll probably have a conversation about the fact that this is considered difficult by some of the countries,” Nuland said. Nuland said the US continues to monitor all Chinese military developments very carefully. “This is another in the category of our regular requests that China be as transparent as it can about its military capabilities, and intentions. And we regularly encourage China, both privately, and publicly to use its military capabilities, including this new aircraft carrier, in a manner that is conducive to maintaining peace, and security, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” she said in response to a question on the latest development on the Chinese military front.

“I think we’ve made clear through the various — strengthening of our security support throughout the region that we will continue to support our allies, as we deem necessary, and to take appropriate steps,” she said. “It is incumbent on China as it increases its own military investments, that it be more transparent than it has been about what it’s spending the money on, and to make sure that its capabilities can clearly be seen as a force for peace,” Nuland said.