November 26, 2021- Stealth War 65: China Missed 12 Million Children in 2010 Census; Protests Break out in Solomon Islands; China Launches New Satellite; Russia, China Agree to Deepen Military Cooperation; Hong Kong Cocaine Seizures Spike

By: Jamestown Foundation

Mon November, 2021, Age: 2 years



November 26, 2021

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. 

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Strategic Indicator
This issue’s number to watch18
Number of “Xi Jinping Thought Research Centers” currently operating in China.
The proliferation of these centers at universities and government think tanks is part of a broader drive to promote Xi Jinping Thought as China’s official ideology. 

This Week:

*  China Massively Underreported Population in 2010 Census due to One Child Policy

*  Protests Break out in Solomon Islands Over Shift of Recognition away from Taiwan to China

*  China Launches Gaofen-11 03 Satellite for Earth Observation

*  Russia, China agree on roadmap to deepen military cooperation

*  Cocaine Seizures in Hong Kong Spike as City Becomes Global Drug Trafficking Hub

Top Stories

(source: Xinhua

China Massively Underreported Population in 2010 Census due to One Child Policy

The number of births in China between 2000 and 2010 was underreported by at least 11.6 million children per recent data from the People’s Republic of China’s latest statistical yearbook. The shortfall likely stems from parents opting not to register second children or female offspring. Approximately 57% of the underreported children born in those years are female, suggesting parents’ desire to keep girls off the books to try for a male child.

The development indicates the pendulum swing in China’s family planning policies from seeking to discourage people from having children to encouraging couples to start families. This shift has occurred because the One Child Policy, which was finally repealed in 2016, has contributed to a demographic cliff in China. An aging population will be a major drag on the party-state’s efforts to create a fully developed economy by mid-century. Despite the repeal of the One Child Policy, and the party’s encouragement of couples to have more children, China’s birthrate has actually declined in recent years. A government report has predicted that China’s population will peak in 2027, but some experts believe it could begin to decline as early as next year.

(source: RNZ)

Protests Break out in Solomon Islands Over Shift of Recognition away from Taiwan to China 

In the Solomon Islands, police have fired tear gas on protesters and imposed a lockdown in the capital city of Honiara. The demonstrations are linked to an ongoing dispute between the central government and the provincial government of Malaita province, which has refused to recognize China, and would like Solomon Islands to maintain official relations with Taiwan. The protesters torched sections of the parliament and attacked Chinese-owned shops.

China has increased its presence in the Pacific Island countries in recent years: seeking to open a naval base in Vanuatu, building a potential dual-use fishing port in Papua New Guinea and redeveloping a strategic airfield on Kiribati, which sparked alarm from the US and Australia.  Nevertheless, the region is still home to four of Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies. The Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu maintain official relations with Taipei and not Beijing.

(source: Xinhua)

China Launches Gaofen-11 03 Satellite for Earth Observation

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced China’s successful launch of its Gaofen-11 03 satellite by a Long March 4B rocket from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on that took place on Saturday. The launch is part of the broader Gaofen series, which launched the first component of the satellite constellation in April 2013 and seeks to improve China’s access to high-definition Earth-imaging capabilities by networking with the three Gaofen-11 satellites. The launch is China’s forty-fourth orbital mission in 2021, surpassing the number of launches it previously made in a calendar year.

Although state media reports the satellite’s operations will include land surveys, city planning, city yield estimation, and disaster prevention, the full capabilities of the vehicle have not yet been published. Only information on Gaofen satellites numbered seven and below has been openly released. With a claimed resolution capability of around ten centimeters, the Gaofen-11 series has comparable standards to the Key Hole (KH) reconnaissance satellites of the U.S. This launch comes as China seeks to increase its space capabilities and gain ground on the U.S. as a global leader in space travel.

(source: ChinaMil)

Russia, China agree on roadmap to deepen military cooperation

On Tuesday, Beijing and Moscow signed a plan for greater military cooperation in a video meeting between Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. The commanders of the PLA Navy, PLA Air Force, Russian Navy, and Russian Air Force also took part in the talks. China and Russia cited increasingly frequent U.S. strategic bomber flights near both countries’ borders as a driver of their cooperation.

Over the course of this year, China and Russia have conducted several joint military exercises, and have undertaken a growing number of joint naval and aerial patrols. For example, in October, the PLA Navy and Russian Navy held a joint naval exercise off the coast of the Russian Far East. China sent a signal of the importance it attaches to joint cooperation with Russia by sending some of its largest destroyers and anti-submarine warfare planes to join bilateral naval drills with Russia for the first time.

(source: IBTimes)

Cocaine Seizures in Hong Kong Spike as City Becomes Global Drug Trafficking Hub

Earlier this month, Hong Kong police interdicted 610 kilograms of Cocaine hidden in metal fruit juice drums, which originated in Brazil. The total value of the seized narcotics was approximately $600 million making it among the largest drug busts in Hong Kong’s history.

The bust highlights Hong Kong’s emergence as a global center of narcotics trafficking. For example, over the first four months of 2021, Cocaine seizures were 60 times higher than in 2020. However, the 2020 numbers may have been artificially low due to the citywide COVID-19 lockdown, and lax drug enforcement as police focused on curbing pro-democracy demonstrations. The nexus of drug trafficking through Hong Kong, is the connection between Latin American suppliers such as the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in Mexico, and triad syndicates such as Sun Yee On and 14K.

Despite, the illegal activities of these groups, a full crackdown by Beijing is unlikely given their role in united front work, and as proxies to target pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere. The most egregious example of the triads doing Beijing’s bidding occurred when members of the 14K and Wo Shing Wo triads attacked protesters in Hong Kong’s Yuen Long station in 2019. Triads also roughed up protesters in Mong Kok in 2014.




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