October 7, 2022- Stealth War 106: Taiwan to Regard Chinese Intrusions into its Airspace as “First Strikes”; UNHRC Votes Down Xinjiang Motion; New Blockbuster in China Depicts Evacuation of Nationals from Conflict Zone; U.S. Adds Chinese Military, Intel-linked Firms to Blacklist; China, Russia Prevent UN Security Council from Meeting on North Korea

By: Jamestown Foundation

Fri October, 2022, Age: 8 months


October 7, 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. To continue to receive this weekly collection, click the button below to subscribe. 

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Stat Du Jour 
This issue’s number to watch


The proportion of Americans (per Pew Research Center) who now hold negative views of the People’s Republic of China—a major increase from the 35% who held negative views two decades ago.

This Week: 

* Taiwan to Regard Chinese Intrusions into its Airspace as “First Strikes”

UN Human Rights Council Votes Down Xinjiang Motion

* New Blockbuster in China Depicts Evacuation of Nationals from Conflict Zone 

U.S. Adds Chinese Military, Intel-linked Firms to Blacklist

China, Russia Prevent UN Security Council from Meeting on North Korea, Despite Multiple Ballistic Missile Tests

Top Stories

Taiwan to Regard Chinese Intrusions into its Airspace as “First Strikes”

(source: Taiwan News)

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense announced that intrusions by Chinese warplanes  into Taiwanese airspace would be regarded as a “first strike.” The remarks were made by Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Wednesday. Earlier in the meeting, Chiu slammed China for undertaking multiple aerial incursions across the median line in the Taiwan Straits since U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August. According to Chiu, respecting the median line was a tacit understanding between Taiwan and China, but Beijing has shattered this modus vivendi.

While the media has seized on Chiu’s tough remarks, many analysts believe that Taiwan’s goal in classifying PRC intrusions of its airspace as a first strike is deterrence rather than confrontation. Moreover, while Chinese planes have repeatedly probed Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the People’s Liberation Army has generally refrained from entering Taiwan’s actual airspace. Nevertheless, last month, a Chinese drone was shot down over the island of Jinmen, which is Taiwanese territory. The downing of the drone was preceded by a warning from Taiwan that live ammunition would be used against drones intruding into its airspace.

(source: Wikipedia)

UN Human Rights Council Votes Down Xinjiang Motion 

On October 7, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released a statement on the UN Human Rights Council’s vote against the “draft decision” on the PRC’s abuses in Xinjiang, which occurred the previous day. Specifically, the council voted against debating the topic, with 19 votes against, 17 for and 11 abstentions. Despite growing international willingness to stand up to Beijing, the outcome is indicative of the PRC’s influence and other nations’ concerns over accountability for their own abuses. Concerns about the global economy, food and energy supplies, and domestic and international unrest, along with Beijing’s strong development and security outreach campaign over the past year likely also deterred votes. In this context, Xinjiang is a bellwether of global relations with the PRC’s government.

In the press release, a Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson decried the document as a conspiracy by U.S. and Western partners, “to smear China’s image and contain China’s development.” Predictably, Beijing’s policies are portrayed as legitimate and effective counter-terrorism measures, which have prevented a violent terrorist event for five years, and are supported by almost 100 countries. The document then pivots to accuse the US and the West of numerous human rights abuses that must be addressed.

The vote occurred despite the fact that a long-awaited UN report on human rights conditions in Xinjiang determined that Beijing is responsible for “serious human rights violations” against the peoples of the region. The Jamestown Foundation has been one of many involved in investigating and documenting the PRC’s systematic oppression of the Uyghur population, including evidence of the central government’s knowledge and involvement, forced sterilization, re-education camps, coercive labor and forced displacement, budgets for such programs, the spread of such tactics to Tibet, and the policy’s impacts on surrounding nations. Such efforts, particularly those of Dr. Adrian Zenz, led PRC media to criticize the Jamestown Foundation and others as “anti-China” forces seeking to “smear” China’s reputation.

(source: Global Times)

 New Blockbuster in China Depicts Evacuation of Nationals from Conflict Zone

As China has expanded its global footprint, its nationals have increasingly found themselves in combat zones, and as a result, Chinese civilian and military authorities have increasingly found themselves in conflict zones. From 2011 to 2016, China conducted multiple non-combatant evacuation operations (NEOs) of its nationals from war-torn countries including, Libya, South Sudan (multiple times) and Yemen. The 2015 Yemen NEO was notable as it was the first evacuation conducted exclusively by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), specially the PLA Navy, and because China evacuated a significant number of foreign nationals (225) for the first time. Now a blockbuster film in China called Home Coming, which is in the style of nationalist movies popularized by  films such as Wolf Warrior and the Battle of Lake Changjin, depicts exactly such an evacuation scenario for audiences on the silver screen.

The film, which was released to coincide with China’s week-long national day holidays takes place in a fictional African country in the midst of a brutal civil war. The main characters are two unarmed Chinese diplomats, who are trying to extract 125 of their fellow citizens from rebel-controlled areas. The film has stoked nationalist pride in China, with one commentator saying a “Chinese passport might not get you anywhere you want, but it can always bring you back home.” The film has been a financial success as well, breaking records and grossing around $85 billion at the box office.

(source: Flying Mag)

U.S. Adds Chinese Military, Intel-linked Firms to Blacklist

The U.S. government has added at least 13 firms tied to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) military and intelligence agencies to a trade blacklist, and over 30 more to its unverified trade list. The companies either had known ties to the PRC’s defense and security sectors, or could not be verified as appropriately separate from them. Included on the black list are drone maker DJI Technology, genomics firm BGI Genomics Co., surveillance technology Zhejiang Dahua Technology, China State Construction Group Co and rolling stock manufacturer CRRC Corp Ltd. Numerous other firms were restricted based on their links to the semiconductor industry including the PRC’s “top” memory chip maker among them. These actions are just the latest in a string of U.S. sanctions targeting China’s access to advanced dual use technology, including the CHIPS Act, which seeks to bring the semiconductor manufacturing industry back to US soil and foster high-tech competition while securing US supply chains against factories based in Taiwan and the PRC mainland.

An overlooked addition to the blacklist, however, is BGI Genomics Co., which a January 2021 investigative report by a western news agency confirmed had extensive links to the People’s Liberation Army. As The Jamestown Foundation has published previously, there is a quiet biotechnology arms race between the U.S. and the West on side, and China and Russia on the other. Such technologies are well on their way to achieving science fiction like enhancements of the human mind and body. Additionally, the research can be used to create highly tailored compounds and organisms to disrupt or destroy very specific parts of lifeforms. Collecting and analyzing the genetic information of citizens or specific personnel, or for that matter tampering with their medical records, can allow a hostile actor to track, disqualify, or otherwise neutralize a variety of opponents in numerous ways. The banning of BGI is just one small step in the right direction.

(source: Wikipedia)

China, Russia Prevent UN Security Council from Meeting on North Korea, Despite Multiple Ballistic Missile Tests

Over the course of the year, North Korea has launched a record number of more than 40 ballistic and cruise missiles in twenty separate tests, possibly taking advantage of the US shifts in focus to Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s February invasion and the Taiwan Straits since China organized mass military exercises there this summer. However, the launches this week finally brought the issue to the forefront, as a North Korean Hwasong-12 missile was fired over Japan on Tuesday, forcing the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts and halt trains. The missile, which is capable of reaching the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam Island and beyond, flew an estimated 4,600 kilometers before landing in waters approximately 3,200 kilometers east of Japan. The launch violated numerous UN Security Council resolutions, and was the sixth round of North Korean weapons tests in less than two weeks.

Responding to the launch and intensifying provocations, the U.S. and its allies called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, October 6. During the meeting, nine of fifteen UNSC members endorsed a joint statement against North Korea before Russia and China blocked the resolution. North Korea did not speak at the meeting, instead deciding to fire two more missiles from the North’s capital region. The missiles were launched 22 minutes apart and flew 217 miles and 497 miles respectively, neither reaching Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Despite the launches both immediately preceding and during the Security Council meeting, in the final analysis no decision was reached about how to handle the situation. Instead, a blame game ensued between the US and its allies on one side and China-Russia on the other.

China and Russia insisted  that US-led military exercises in the region, specifically the recent joint naval operation in the Sea of Japan with allies Japan and South Korea involving the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan, provoked North Korea by boxing it in. Beijing and Moscow further extrapolated that unless the U.S. ceases its warmongering, there will be no peace on the Korean Peninsula, but rather an escalation of the growing crisis. In contrast to the views of Russia and China, the U.S-led coalition asserted that the exercise was meant to deter further North Korean launches by showing a “firm” resolution to the North’s provocations. They also cited the belief that by doing nothing, North Korea will only be emboldened in the future, perhaps even believing they can wrench concessions from the West as Russia and China defend their actions. Ostensibly, the carrier was present off the Korean Peninsula as part of the drills between the U.S., South Korea, and Japan. 




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