China Caucus Blog

Caucus Brief: Admiral Warns Of Growing Threat Of Conflict With China Over Territorial Claims
Posted by The Congressional China Caucus | March 23, 2012

  A piece from Bill Gertz reports that retired Admiral Patrick Walsh, formerly commander of the Pacific Fleet, warns that China’s aggressive territorial claims along with U.S. defense cuts are increasing the risk of conflict in Asia.  From the piece: “The retired four-star admiral said China’s Go strategy is: ‘I’m going to put pressure on you from as many different angles as I can, and from as many different perspectives as I can, from as many different geographical locations as I can … all you have to do is yield and your life with get better. That’s the world that we’re stepping into here. That’s what we’re certainly witnessing.’  Walsh said the Navy is facing a major challenge in balancing budget cuts with maintaining ‘sufficient power to deter armed conflict and suppress threats to the commons in the maritime domain.’  ‘Nations in the region are watching with keen interest the affect of U.S. economic challenges and the strain of more than a decade of war,’ he said.”

CHINESE LAWYERS CHAFE AT NEW OATH TO COMMUNIST PARTY.  According to the NYT, Chinese lawyers have caustiously come out against a decision by the Chinese government require all attorneys to take an oath of loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.  From the piece: “The Justice Ministry posted the oath on its Web site on Wednesday. The core of it says: ‘I swear to faithfully fulfill the sacred mission of legal workers in socialism with Chinese characteristics. I swear my loyalty to the motherland, to the people, to uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system, and to protect the dignity of the Constitution and laws’… But some critics said the oath was a farce. ‘The oath itself is full of contradictions,’ said Pu Zhiqiang, a lawyer who has represented Lu Qing, the wife of Ai Weiwei, the rebel artist who was detained without charge in two secret locations for 81 days last year. ‘Lawyers swear loyalty to the party and to the sanctity of the law? We all know that the party’s interference is often the reason why the law can’t be implemented.’”

THE TOP FIVE RUMORS SWEEPING THE CHINESE INTERNET.  A piece from Foreign Policy reports on the most profilific internet rumors that have swept China.  These rumors include talk of the rise of Mao Zedong’s grandson and reports of armed chaos in Beijing.  From the piece: “The public hasn't seen or heard from high-ranking Communist Party leader Bo Xilai since he was sacked last week in Beijing, and the Chinese Internet has been awash with debate over what's actually going on behind palace walls… Speculation is rife that a coup might have happened, with the only general consensus being that something big is going on in Beijing. What follows is a curated guide to the "information" -- read: wild rumors and speculation -- floating around online in Chinese about Bo Xilai's surprising fall from grace and what his sacking means for the future of the Chinese Communist Party.”


CHINA AND AUSTRALIA IN $31 BILLION CURRENCY SWAP.  According to the Financial Times, China has signed an agreement with Australia to swap $31 billion in currency, a move that is being widely reported as an attempt to boost the profile of China’s renminbi in developed markets.  From the piece: “Beijing has established nearly 20 bilateral swap lines over the past four years, but Australia ranks as the biggest economy yet to sign such a deal, which analysts said could give a shot in the arm to Beijing’s goal of internationalizing its currency… China now has more than Rmb1.5tn in swap lines with other central banks, but they have largely been symbolic. Only Hong Kong, the hub of offshore renminbi trading, has had to activate its swap with China, doing so briefly in 2010 when it faced a renminbi squeeze.”


CHINA TO PHASE OUT PRISONER ORGAN DONATION.  The WSJ reports that Chinese officials plan to phase out a program of harvesting organs of death-row inmates.  From the piece: “Huang Jiefu, China's vice minister of health, said on Thursday that Chinese officials plan to abolish the practice within the next five years and to create a national organ-donation system, according a report from the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency.  ‘The pledge to abolish organ donations from condemned prisoners represents the resolve of the government,’ Xinhua quoted Mr. Huang as saying. The Ministry of Health didn't respond to requests to comment.  Officials in the world's most populous country have admitted that China has depended for years on executed prisoners as its main source of organ supply for ailing citizens.”

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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