Paramount Gets China Infusion: $1 Billion, 3-Year Slate Co-Financing Deal With Shanghai Film Group & Huahua Media

 

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has made its most significant long-term alliance in China since Viacom chief Shari Redstone nixed a 49% stake sale to Dalian Wanda for $4.9 billion last year. The studio has closed deals with Shanghai Film Group Corp and Beijing-based Huahua Media for those companies to fund 25% or more of the studio’s entire film slate for the next three years, with an option for a fourth. Continue reading

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

First the Philippines, then Malaysia, now Vietnam… As predicted, Asia will tilt away from the United States and come under the umbrella protectorate of China, and form a new Asian bloc.

Who wants to go to war with China when you have an unstable United States under Barack Obama who may or may not have your back? Who wants to go to war with China with a bi-polar United States that changes its position with every new President? Who wants to go to war with China when the United States is further decimating its own already-troubled military?

These are the perspectives these Asian nations have. If you can’t beat them (China), join them.

 

When he traveled to China for a state visit in October 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was grandly received by Beijing.

Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), was treated much in the same manner during his official trip to China last week.

Yet, while Mr Trong’s visit was aimed at developing stronger ties with China, it does not mean that the communist leadership in Hanoi is pursuing a Duterte-like pivot to Beijing. Continue reading

Taiwan simulates China attacks as tension rises

Taiwan holds military exercises simulating an attack by China as relations with Beijing deteriorate (AFP Photo/SAM YEH)

 

Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan began two days of military drills Tuesday simulating an attack by China as the government sought to reassure the public in the face of deteriorating relations with Beijing.

The island’s armed forces gathered in central Taiwan for annual drills that saw troops practise combat skills with tanks, attack helicopters and artillery.

“The military has active measures to deal with the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea so the public can rest assured. We will enhance training 365 days a year,” defence spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping Speech Seen as Move to Fill Global Leadership Role

China’s President Xi at the World Economic Forum, in Davos. He portrayed further globalization as a historical trend and outlined China’s contributions that had benefited the rest of the world. PHOTO: LAURENT GILLIERON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

 

DAVOS, Switzerland—Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strong defense of globalization at a speech at the World Economic Forum was depicted here as an effort to fill a vacuum being created by the U.S. stepping back from a global leadership role.

Mr. Xi was seen as reacting to growing concerns that the incoming U.S. administration of Donald Trump would shift the world’s largest economy toward protectionism. Continue reading

China will ‘take off the gloves’ if Trump continues on Taiwan, state media warns

Taiwan military march during the National Day celebrations. Photo: AP

 

Beijing: China will “take off the gloves” and take strong action if US President-elect Donald Trump continues to provoke Beijing over Taiwan once he assumes office, two leading state-run newspapers said on Monday.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, Trump said the “One China” policy was up for negotiation. China’s foreign ministry, in response, said “One China” was the foundation of China-US ties and was non-negotiable.

Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, angering Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of China.

“If Trump is determined to use this gambit in taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” the English-language China Daily said. Continue reading

China’s veteran generals fading out in massive PLA reshuffle

Changes to come ahead of 19th National Congress as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power

China’s military is stepping up the pace of a massive reshuffle among its leadership ahead of a Communist Party congress later this year as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power within the armed forces, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Nearly 50 senior officers are due to leave their positions as part of the shake-up, including 18 full-ranking generals, two independent sources told the South China Morning Post. Continue reading

One China, three foreign policy faces

China has a changing attitude to the thornier diplomatic and security crises now afflicting the Asian continent. Depending on the amount of national interest at play and the power it can reasonably project in the relevant geopolitical chessboards, Beijing can put on the face of peace facilitator in Syria, peace broker in Afghanistan and would-be boss in the Western Pacific.

While the main driver for the Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East is the protection of economic interests, the assertion of national sovereignty, combined with the aspiration to become the driving force in East Asia, mostly explains China’s moves in the East and South China seas. The rationale for Beijing’s posturing in Central Asia is instead more nuanced. The region is in fact a crossroads for many stakeholders; here China is committed to safeguarding precious economic assets and, at the same time, exerting some form of power.

In an osmotic way, all of these three approaches are conditioned by China’s interaction with the other great powers – the United States and Russia. Continue reading

Taiwan scrambles fighter jets as China carrier enters strait

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of the South China Sea. /Reuters

 

Taiwan’s military was on placed on high alert as a group of Chinese ships, led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier, transited the Taiwan Strait on Jan. 11.

According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, Beijing’s Soviet-built aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, had not entered Taiwan’s territorial waters but did enter its air defense identification zone in the southwest.

Taiwan sent its aircraft and ships to “surveil and control” the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. Continue reading

Chinese Media Say ‘Big Sticks’ Await Trump If He Seeks Trade War

Chinese state media warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that he’ll be met with “big sticks” if he tries to ignite a trade war or further strain ties. Continue reading

PLA’s hacking hotel

American military intelligence has identified a hotel complex that is serving as an ersatz headquarters for a Chinese military hacking unit. China is basically hiding its operations cyberattack units in plain sight.

 

U.S. military intelligence has identified a headquarters for a Chinese military hacking unit — inside two Beijing hotels.

According to an open-source intelligence report produced by the Army’s Asian Studies Detachment, “the Headquarters/Jintang and Seasons Hotel appear to be located in the same or at least adjacent buildings, both of which are, according to available information, owned by or connected to the People’s Liberation Army 4th Department.”

The Fourth Department, known as 4PLA, until recently was part of the military’s General Staff Department and is also known as the Electronic Countermeasures and Radar Department. The unit was reorganized into a new PLA service called the Strategic Support Force. The roll of the department is to conduct offensive electronic warfare and information warfare, including offensive cyberattacks. Continue reading

Does China’s deep-sea tech upgrade point to submarine signals network under Pacific?

Analysts say PLA military chiefs might already be using their version of a network of sensors and communications technology deep under the sea to make contact with submarine commanders operating far from home. Photo: AFP

 

China has announced plans to upgrade a civilian network of ­sensors and communications technology deep in the Western Pacific that it says is used in scientific research.

But analysts said the PLA could already be using a military-grade version of the communications technology to contact submarines operating far from base.

Buoys anchored between 400 and 500 metres beneath the surface of the Western Pacific would be upgraded this year, state media quoted scientists involved in the project as saying. Continue reading

China Space Plan to Develop “Strength and Size”

In this image taken and made from CCTV, Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping, seen on screen, listens to a question from a school girl in Beijing, China, during a live broadcast from onboard the Tiangong 1 space station, June 20, 2013.

 

China wants to develop “strength and size” in its space program, a China National Space Administration official said last week. In the next five years, the country plans to speed up the development of its space program. China wants to become the first country to carry out a controlled landing of a probe on the far side of the moon in 2018. China also has plans to launch its first probe to the planet Mars by 2020.

China released an official policy proposal, known as a white paper. The document provides details of China’s plans for space exploration for the next five years. It was released by the State Council Information Office last Tuesday.

“To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly,” the white paper said. China says it will use space for peaceful purposes, to guarantee national security and to carry out new scientific research according to the paper. Continue reading

China angered at change in name of Taiwan embassy in Japan

Japan drew angry protests from China after changing the name of its Taiwanese embassy, a move Beijing saw as Tokyo taking a step toward recognizing Taiwan as a separate country.

The name of Japan’s Taiwanese embassy in Taipei was officially changed in a ceremony on Jan. 3 from “The Interchange Association” to “Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association”. Continue reading

Duterte seeks ‘strategic shift’ from US to China: envoy

 

The Philippines is tilting away from its traditional ally the United States towards China in a bid to “normalise” relations following a longstanding territorial dispute, the country’s incoming ambassador to Beijing said Monday.

Manila has been one of Washington’s most loyal allies in Asia, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to end the decades-long alliance after the US criticised his bloody war on drugs that has killed over 5,000 people since he took office in June. Continue reading