Placeholder canvas

June 11, 2021 – Stealth War 41: G7 Summit; Chinese Sanctions Law; Huawei’s Cybersecurity Framework

By: Jamestown Foundation

Fri June, 2021, Age: 2 years



View this email in your browser

June 11, 2021

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

Subscribe Today

Strategic Indicator
This issue’s number to watch

2.6 million

Number of births reduced among Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang within the next 20 years due to Chinese birth control policies.

This Week:

* U.S., Asia-Pacific Allies to Push G7 Leaders to Get Aggressive on China

* More U.S. Moves Countering China Amid Growing Technology, Vaccine Competition

* United States Revives Blue Dot Network to Counter BRI

* New Chinese Anti-Sanctions Law Alarm Foreign Business Investors

* Huawei Proposes a Cybersecurity Framework Amid Global Setbacks

* Economic Concerns Override Climate Change Policy

Top Stories

U.S., Asia-Pacific Allies to Push G7 Leaders to Get Aggressive on China 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in departed today for the G7 summit in the United Kingdom that will be taking place over the upcoming weekend. President Moon is one of three guest leaders from the Asia-Pacific invited to the summit, where the issues of China, global vaccine distribution, and supply chain security are set to dominate the agenda.

President Joe Biden will likely use the summit to attempt to convince allies to take a tougher stance against China. Specifically, Biden will request that allies take greater steps in condemning China’s persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, its crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, territorial seizures in the South and East China Seas and its economic coercion against allied states. Though European nations share many of these concerns with the United States, they do not want to get caught in the middle of competition between Washington and Beijing. Germany, in particular, holds substantial commercial interests with China and Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated that Berlin does not want to be involved in a new Cold War.

The United States’ arguments could be boosted by the presence of Asia-Pacific partners at the summit. Before travelling to the UK for the summit, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a speech that the World Trade Organization (WTO), “should penalize bad behavior when it occurs.” China has effectively barred import of Australian barley, wheat, beef, coal and other goods following a steep downturn in diplomatic relations last year. Prime Minister Morrison is expected to garner support for Australia’s push to open a dispute with China within the WTO, and potentially reform the institution to better respond to economic coercion. Despite the recent cease of imports on certain Australian goods into China, the trade relationship appears to be healthy, buoyed by iron ore. Chinese imports of Australian goods actually rose by 55 percent from the previous month.

The political situation, however, remains tense, and Australia continues to work with allies to try to constrain aggressive Chinese behavior. For example, Australia agreed to strengthen its defense ties with another G7 member, Japan, this past Wednesday in a “2+2” meeting between the countries’ defense and foreign ministers. The joint statement released following the online meeting expressed shared concerns about Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea and human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Chatham House’s Renata Dwan has noted that when it comes to international economic cooperation, the G7 has been eclipsed by the less democratic G20, in which China participates, and that divisions of opinion between its members could hurt its ability to promote effective multilateralism. President Biden’s attempts to convince European allies to push back against Beijing might be frustrated by European leaders’ interest in maintaining stable trade relations with China as they recover from the pandemic. However, President Biden may find greater alignment with allies from the Asia-Pacific, including Australia, South Korea and Japan.

More U.S. Moves Countering China Amid Growing Technology, Vaccine Competition

As President Biden meets with global leaders to shore up support against China at the G7 during his first overseas trip, the U.S. has also taken several significant moves at home aimed at countering China. After some delay, the Senate this week voted 68-32 to pass the “U.S. Innovation and Competition Act” (USICA)—an expanded and re-marketed version of the bipartisan “Endless Frontier Act.” The Chinese National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee released a statement upon USICA’s Senate passing complaining that the bill was “full of Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, slandering and discrediting China’s development” and expressing its “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.”

The $250 billion bill would boost funding for scientific research and technology manufacturing to increase American competitiveness with China. But critics have argued that USICA’s main provisions for pure research and development were dramatically cut down, and that new additions have further diluted its original purposes. While it remains a significant piece of industrial legislation, one explainer notes: “The Endless Frontier act was supposed to show that the US could still get big things done—to stay ahead of the curve and beat China. Instead, Congress showed that the U.S. maybe can’t do all that much anymore.” The USICA next faces a tougher path past the House, where it will ironically face competition from a different China competition bill introduced by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) in late May.

In related news, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive on June 9, based on final recommendations submitted by the DoD China Task Force, to speed up department-wide efforts aimed at countering China. The initiatives—some of which remain classified—are designed to focus military procedures and contribute to a whole-of-government response to China, which Austin previously described as the main “pacing challenge” facing the U.S. today.

BRI Roundup

United States Revives Blue Dot Network to Counter BRI

On Thursday, the foreign ministers of China and Burkina Faso met to discuss cooperation in healthcare and infrastructure through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his hope that the two sides would sign agreements to formalize their partnership. In addition, Wang affirmed China’s support for Burkina Faso in counter-terrorism and COVID-19 pandemic recovery. According to Chinese records, 49 African countries have signed official MoUs participating in the BRI, and the ORF reports that China has made bilateral investments in 52 out of 54 African countries.

In an effort to combat China’s growing economic and political influence along the BRI, the Biden administration has announced that it intends to revive the Blue Dot Network, a Trump-era joint initiative between the United States, Japan and Australia that assesses infrastructure projects for their transparency and sustainability. Earlier this week, supporters of the Blue Dot Network convened in Paris to discuss the initiative. The Blue Dot Network would operate in conjunction with the Clean Green Initiative, a G7-led infrastructure project to promote sustainable developments in developing countries. Overall, U.S.-led infrastructure projects have emphasized sustainability and transparency, a sharp contrast to Belt and Road projects that have garnered criticism for environmental costs and lack of transparency.

New Chinese Anti-Sanctions Law Alarm Foreign Business Investors

Yesterday, China passed a new law intended to counter foreign sanctions, which experts are calling the country’s latest and most wide-ranging legal tool. Passed by the National People’s Congress standing committee on Thursday, the law is intended to give Beijing’s retaliatory measures to foreign sanctions more legality and predictability. But despite the attempts at providing greater predictability to the process, the contents of the law have yet to be released, making some foreign companies nervous that it will have a dampening effect on foreign investment in the country. The EU Chamber of Commerce has stated that, “European companies in China are alarmed by the lack of transparency in this process – the first reading was never announced, and there is no draft to examine.”

The law was passed as the United States and its allies have increased sanctions against Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses in the country’s Xinjiang province and crackdown on democracy protests in Hong Kong. Chinese technology companies, such as Huawei and ZTE, have also faced sanctions as a result of security concerns.

Huawei Proposes a Cybersecurity Framework Amid Global Setbacks

Huawei has unveiled a public relations blitz after opening a transparency center in Dongguan, China, releasing a “security baseline framework” that is intended to increase verifiability of its compliability to international legal and regulatory frameworks. The framework comprises 54 requirements spanning categories for backdoor prevention, access channel control, encryption, application security, and secure compilation. Huawei will seek to increase industry adoptions of its security standards, with one company official stating, “We want to invite all stakeholders…to join us in discussing and working on cybersecurity baselines. Together, we can continuously improve product security across the industry.” Huawei has previously pushed for a “unified approach” to cybersecurity within industry bodies such as GSMA and 3GPP, and it has been a key player in China’s state-driven push to become a global leader in standard-setting.

Economic Concerns Override Climate Change Policy

Although China has received criticism for being the world’s biggest carbon emitter—contributing 27 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions in 2019—domestic signs point to its weakening commitment to policies combating climate change. In December 2020, President Xi Jinping pledged to reach a peak in carbon emissions before 2030 and reach net neutral emissions by 2060. According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, however, the influence of China’s economic planning office may have surpassed its environmental ministry, leading to softened climate policies. Sources reported that voices at China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have overtaken their competitors at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), in advocating for less ambitious policies to protect economic growth as both groups guide China’s emissions policy roadmap. For instance, absolute caps on carbon emissions were recently removed from planning guidelines, and the number of companies involved in the plan dropped from 6,000 across a variety of economic sectors to 2,200 solely in the power sector. Moreover, the Chinese government announced Friday that it would no longer grant subsidies for new solar power or offshore wind projects in the 2021 budget. Meanwhile, the G7 has committed to stopping international finance of carbon-emitting coal projects to meet climate change targets. The move is likely to place new pressure on countries that continue to back foreign coal, including China.

Copyright © 2020 The Jamestown Foundation, All rights reserved.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

The Jamestown Foundation 
1310 L St. NW, Suite #810, Washington, DC 20005
202-483-8888 (phone) –