August 5, 2022- Stealth War 99: Chinese Missiles Land in Japanese EEZ; U.S. and Indonesia Hold Joint Military Drills; PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi Attends ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Conference, but Nixes Meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Over Pelosi Visit; Chinese Property Sales Set to Decline 30 Percent this Year as Housing Market Reaches New Low; Laos Sinks Deeper in Debt to China

By: Jamestown Foundation

Thu August, 2022, Age: 10 months


August 5, 2022

Welcome to the Stealth War Newsletter, a collection of the top 5 recent news items, collected on The Jamestown Foundation’s website, To continue to receive this weekly collection, click the button below to subscribe. 

Subscribe Today

Stat Du Jour 
This issue’s number to watch2,481

American students who traveled to China for academic study in 2020, a 78.7 percent drop from the previous year. Mounting geopolitical frictions and China’s zero-COVID border restrictions have drastically reduced the number of Americans studying in China. This may lead to a future scarcity of China expertise. 

This Week: 

Chinese Missiles Land in Japanese EEZ for First Time Ever as Tensions over Taiwan Escalate

* United States and Indonesia Hold Joint Military Drills

* PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi Attends ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Conference, but Nixes Meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Over Pelosi Visit

Chinese Property Sales Set to Decline 30 Percent this Year as Housing Market Reaches New Low

* Laos Sinks Deeper in Debt to China

Top Stories

(source: Netherlands Post)

Chinese Missiles Land in Japanese EEZ for First Time Ever as Tensions over Taiwan Escalate

Yesterday, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched four days of live fire exercises in six no-fly/no-navigation zones in the waters around Taiwan in retaliation for U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei earlier this week. In an unprecedented act of aggression, the PLA is conducting some of the drills in Taiwan’s territorial waters. On Thursday, several waves of missiles flew  over Taiwan and 22 Chinese warplanes crossed the median line in the Taiwan Straits.
In addition to threatening Taiwan, the drills unnerved Japan with five Chinese ballistic missiles landing in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Okinawa. According to the defense ministry in Tokyo, four of the five missiles flew over Taiwan before they landed in Japan’s EEZ. “This is the first time ever that Chinese missiles have fallen into Japan’s EEZ” said Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi in a news conference yesterday. In response to the incident, Japan lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels.
Also, on Thursday, the Chinese foreign ministry announced it has canceled a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi, which was scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings in Cambodia this week. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson cited frustration with Japan’s decision to sign a G-7 joint statement on “Preserving Peace and Stability Across the Taiwan Strait” as justification for calling off the meeting. The joint statement explicitly calls on China not to “not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-Strait differences by peaceful means.” 

(source: U.S. Army)

United States and Indonesia Hold Joint Military Drills

On August 3, Indonesia and the United States kicked off the “Super Garuda Shield” joint military exercise in Baturaja, Indonesia. Over 4,000 troops are participating in the exercises, including forces from Australia, Singapore, and Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force. Moreover, Canada, France, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and the United Kingdom are dispatching observers to the drills. The land, sea and air components of each military are set to join the joint exercises as well. The Commanding General of the U.S. Army Pacific Charles Flynn stated that the exercise serves as an important expression of “unity as a group of nations that seek to have a free and open Indo-Pacific and maintain a rules-based order”.

Super Garuda Shield will feature several professional and academic workshops at the Corps level. These workshops will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as combating conventional, unconventional and hybrid threats. Moreover, troops will gain field experience through an amphibious exercise, maritime security training, military operations in urban terrain training, an air defense exercise, airborne operations, and an airfield seizure exercise.

Notably, Super Garuda Shield coincides with the U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. However, the director of the exercise’s ground operations, Major General Stephen G. Smith stressed to reporters that the drill was not in response to recent Chinese threats over the visit, noting that Super Garuda Shield was a “purely military to military exercise.” Nevertheless, Indonesia has quietly sought to deepen defense links with the U.S. as Jakarta has become increasingly unnerved by China’s growing naval power and assertiveness, particularly around the Natuna Islands, where both countries maritime claims overlap.

(source: FMPRC)

PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi Attends ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Conference, but Nixes Meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Over Pelosi Visit  

People’s Republic Of China (PRC) Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently attended the 55th Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Ahead of the conference, Wang met with Cambodian King Norodom Shiamoni. The two discussed China and Cambodia’s deep bilateral partnership, and  King Norodom expressed thanks for the aid that China has provided his country during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Wang thanked King Norodom for Cambodia’s adherence to the one-China policy. Wang Yi also met with Cambodian Prime Minister Candidate Hun Manet.

The conference was attended by all of the ASEAN members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In particular, the meeting’s focuses were on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as rising global oil prices and inflation brought on by the war in Ukraine. Moreover, the ongoing crisis in Myanmar has been of major concern to the ASEAN members. However, the Foreign Ministers who attended the conference were unable to pass an agreement that would push Myanmar into enacting a crisis resolution plan.

In the wake of the United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the ASEAN member countries reiterated their commitment to a one-China policy. Moreover, despite meeting with the Foreign Ministers of other delegations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that Wang Yi had no plans to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is also attending the event. The PRC state media outlet Global Times stated that no meeting would take place due to “China’s outrage toward U.S. provocations.”

(source: Wikipedia)

Chinese Property Sales Set to Decline 30 Percent this Year as Housing Market Reaches New Low

New projections from S&P Global Ratings posit that property sales in China are likely to decrease by around 30 percent this year, more than during the 2008 global recession. Due to huge construction backlogs for new developments, a growing number of urban Chinese citizens have purchased houses or apartments that have yet to be built or have only been partially completed.

As the frustration of these buyers has risen, a growing number are opting not to make payments on their mortgage loans. Investors who have lost their savings in companies that have gone bankrupt, such as Evergrande, as well as depositors who have had their funds frozen by cash-strapped banks, have staged protests outside banks and corporate headquarters. The fall in property sales, and the growing number of non-payments on mortgages has worsened the cash crunch facing Chinese banks. As much of China’s wealth is tied up in property investment, the crisis in the housing market has a spillover impact on the rest of the economy, damaging demand in other areas (e.g., for construction materials, consumer goods). A recent report by UBS predicts the crisis will have increasingly global consequences and predicts it could wipe as much as $1 trillion from the global economy.

(source: Wikipedia)

Laos Sinks Deeper in Debt to China

As global energy costs have risen and tourism has slackened due to the pandemic, the landlocked Southeast Asian country of Laos has fallen on hard economic times. Inflation has begun to spiral, hitting a twenty-two year high of 23.6 percent in June with petrol prices rising more than 100 percent this year.

Over the course of the pandemic, Laos’s foreign currency reserves have dwindled and the country finds itself in a bleak financial situation. A largely agrarian country of seven million people, Laos currently has about $14.5 billion in sovereign debt, which is the equivalent of about 88 percent of the country’s GDP. Much of the debt has gone to finance large-scale infrastructure projects backed by China. In fact, around half of the debt was accrued in the construction of a recently completed high-speed railway connecting Vientiane to Yunnan province in southeastern China as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

As a result of spiking inflation and currency weakness, in June, Moody’s downgraded Laos’s credit rating deeper into junk levels, cautioning that there is a high likelihood of default. The situation in Laos is particularly urgent due to Sri Lanka’s financial crisis wherein the South Asian country defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history. This has given rise to fears across the region that countries which took on large amounts of Chinese credit could be at risk of default as they fall deeper into “debt traps.”




Twitter feed is not available at the moment.