June 24, 2022- Stealth War 93: Under Chinese Pressure, Qatar Quickly Corrects Itself on Taiwan; Xi Calls for International Security Cooperation at BRICS Summit; China Commends Nepal for Exiting U.S. State Partnership Program; China Launches Third Aircraft Carrier; Taiwan, U.S., Respond to Large Incursion By China into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone

By: Jamestown Foundation

Fri June, 2022, Age: 12 months


June 24, 2022

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

Subscribe Today

Stat Du Jour 
This issue’s number to watch18.4 percent

Unemployment rate among Chinese aged 16 to 24. This figure is expected to rise to as high as 23 percent by July-August with a record 10.76 million college graduates currently hitting a challenging domestic job market.

This Week: 

Under Chinese Pressure, Qatar Quickly  Corrects Itself on Taiwan

* Xi Calls for International Security Cooperation at BRICS Leaders’ Summit

* China Commends Nepal for Exiting U.S. State Partnership Program

* China Launches Third Aircraft Carrier

* Taiwan, U.S., Respond to Large Incursion By China into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone

Top Stories

(source: Global Times)

Under Chinese Pressure, Qatar Quickly  Corrects Itself on Taiwan

The tiny, energy rich Gulf State of Qatar, which will host the World Cup in November and December, requires a Hayya card for all foreign visitors, which also functions as a visa to enter the country. However, the Qatari organizers of the games have struggled with how to classify foreign visitors from Taiwan. Taiwanese nationals were first issued cards using the term: “Taiwan, Province of China”, but after complaints from Taipei, the name was changed simply to “Taiwan.” This invariably angered Beijing, which pressured Qatar to change the name used for Taiwanese World Cup visitors yet again. Under Chinese pressure, Doha quickly relented and changed the name to “Chinese Taipei”, which is the moniker used for Taiwanese athletes competing in the Olympics.

In addition to changing the name used on the Hayya cards of Taiwanese World Cup attendees, Assistant Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi also held a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador in Doha, wherein he reiterated Qatar’s firm support of the One China Principle and pledged never to change this position. The Chinese Ambassador praised Qatar’s “timely correction” and ultimate display of obeisance to Beijing. Economic ties between China and Qatar have deepened  recently. In 2021, the two sides signed a 15-year contract for Qatar to export 3.5 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year.

(source: CGTN)

Xi Calls for International Security Cooperation at BRICS Leaders’ Summit

On June 23, President Xi Jinping presided over the 14th Annual BRICS Leaders’ Meeting, which was held via virtual conference this year. During the meeting,  Xi made a speech entitled “Building a High-Quality Partnership to Open a New Journey of BRICS Cooperation.” The speech addressed four key themes.  First, Xi made a thinly veiled allusion to the West and their partners, accusing them of overriding the sovereignty of smaller nations and forcing them into military alliances and conflicts. He proposed that the BRICS nations promote and implement a global security initiative, framing it as a non-coercive peace-seeking alternative to Western alliances. Second, he emphasized the necessity of enhancing BRICS New Development Bank as a means of pursuing global development, trade, and financial security on the group’s own terms.

Third,  Xi called for greater collaboration on scientific and technological development as a means of bypassing what was framed as Western efforts to suppress the development of other nations including through sanctions, and limiting technology transfers to countries such as China and Russia. Fourth, Xi stated that BRICS must continue to expand, bringing in more nations through its BRICS+ model, which state media later emphasized as necessary for bypassing international institutions supposedly hampering the development of non-Western countries. The group then released a detailed joint declaration, expounding on these themes and the meeting’s consensus. Whether the meeting will result in more tangible outcomes remains to be seen. For years, experts have debated whether or not BRICS really matters in global affairs. While this meeting has not ended that debate, it certainly appears to indicate that Beijing hopes to win it by advancing BRICS+ as a viable multilateral platform for exchange exclusive of the U.S. and its allies.

(source: SCIO)

China Commends Nepal for Exiting U.S. State Partnership Program

On June 20, following a scandal prompted by a fake document, Nepal’s government announced that it wishes to withdraw from the U.S.’s State Partnership Program (SPP), a move which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was quick to commend. The program facilitates exchanges between the U.S. National Guard and a variety of public servants in a given host country, and focuses primarily on education, training, and direct aid for crisis management, disaster response, and other humanitarian projects. The SPP is intended to function as a security alliance, and although it is mentioned in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy Reports, the program predates the strategy’s existence. To withdraw, a nation need only submit a letter to the U.S. stating that it has decided to do so. However, the actual orders given by the government in Kathmandu to its foreign ministry are apparently so vaguely worded that it is unclear if and how the government has decided to withdraw. It is similarly unclear if the confusion was created on purpose or not, given the pressure of the scandal.

The fraudulent document, believed to be of unknown origin, which made it seem as if the U.S. is pressuring Nepal into a military alliance, sparked an immediate outcry. This prompted some to speculate that the SPP would allow U.S. troops to establish bases in the country, building on similar disinformation surrounding Nepal’s eventual acceptance of money from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation and recent high level visits by U.S. officials regarding the SPP amongst other areas of cooperation. However, it was Nepal, and not the U.S., that requested to participate in the SPP, first in 2015 and again in 2017, before it was finally accepted by the U.S. in 2019. Each major Nepalese political party was in power when a request was made, causing both parties to blame the other as they try to gain the political advantage. Furthermore, the nascent democracy has only transitioned to a civilian-led military in the last decade or so, raising concerns over the degree to which the country’s military leadership may have made such requests without government oversight. While there are indeed still serious issues with civil-military relations that must be addressed, the U.S. Embassy in Nepal stated that Kathmandu’s government, civilian, and military leaders collaborated on each request to join the SPP, indicating that such accusations are intended to deflect blame due to public outcry. Given that the PRC was quick to contact the current prime minister and his main competitor immediately after the announcement to turn down the SPP, while emphasizing their strategic partnership, one is left wondering if Beijing is merely taking advantage of the opportunity the scandal presented, or if it had a hand in causing it.

(source: Wikipedia)

China Launches its Third Aircraft Carrier

On June 17, China unveiled its third aircraft carrier marking an important milestone in its military modernization efforts. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) “Type 003” aircraft carrier was launched from a Shanghai shipyard at great expense and with great fanfare, according to CCTV. The aircraft carrier is among the most technologically advanced Chinese naval platforms constructed to date, and is only the second carrier to be fully built in China. Unlike the Shandong and Liaoning carriers, however, the Fujian does not use a ski-jump style platform for plane take off, but is instead equipped with an electromagnetic catapult system. The 80,000-plus ton carrier is the PLAN’s first catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR)-capable vessel, a takeoff system only found aboard the USS Navy’s new nuclear-powered carrier, the USS Gerald Ford. Unlike its American counterpart, however, the Fujian is conventionally powered. The carrier is also larger than its older counterparts, which translates to an increase in aircraft capacity and range. According to state media, the carrier is expected to support an updated version of the Shenyang J-15 multirole fighter that includes an electronic warfare variant as well as two other aircraft that are currently under development: the KJ-600 and J-35. The carrier has been ominously named after the southeastern province closest to Taiwan, which the PLA has repeatedly threatened to invade immediately should it adopt formal independence.

Despite the hype surrounding the launch, it will be some time before the carrier is operational and joins one the PLA theater commands. The Chinese Ministry of Defense has not announced an entry date into service. Official images from Xinhua show that shelters remain along the  flight deck of the Fujian, which indicates that its catapults are still being fitted out. Mooring and sailing tests also need to be conducted as well. Other issues include concerns over the carrier’s underlying technology, especially in light of recent Pakistani complaints about Chinese-manufactured frigates. Reports claim the Chinese-purchased warships are ineffective at hitting targets due to faulty onboard missile systems, defective air and surface surveillance sensors, and poor engines. If the same issues are endemic to this new PLA carrier, even if operational, the naval vessel may not perform up to China’s high expectations.

(source: Wikipedia)

Taiwan, U.S., Respond to Large Incursion By China into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone 

Earlier this week, the Republic of China’s Ministry of Defense reported the third largest aerial incursion by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) this year. The sortie, which involved 29 PLAAF planes, including 17 fighter jets and six bombers, was also the largest since Beijing declared sovereignty over the Taiwan Straits, which is considered an international waterway under international law.

The second largest incursion by China into Taiwan’s ADIZ this year occurred at the end of May. That incursion coincided with a meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. After the meeting, Tsai announced that recent legislation sponsored by Duckworth will enhance cooperation between the U.S. National Guard and the Taiwanese military.

In response to this week’s 29-plane incursion, Taiwan’s air force scrambled fighter jets to warn away the Chinese planes, while missile systems were put on alert to monitor the route taken by the intruders. On June 24, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon transited the Taiwan Strait, which according to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM) demonstrates that the U.S. “will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows including within the Taiwan Strait. By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations.




Twitter feed is not available at the moment.