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International press review Extrema Ratio June 6, 2023

Extrema Ratio focuses on the topics we work on, including geopolitcs, military, cybersecurity, critical technologies, foreign interference, disinformation, international law & national security.

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Extrema Ratio

Xi Jinping sta già portando avanti la sua guerra liminale contro gli Stati Uniti e tutti gli alleati NATO. Lo spettro della competizione e del confronto è talmente ampio che il campo di battaglia è ovunque e la guerra è totale.

The Global News

Negli ultimi anni le autorità statunitensi hanno visto aumentare il numero di casi di “turisti” cinesi che affermano di vagare per l’Alaska, un territorio strategicamente importante.

Secondo i funzionari statunitensi, alcuni cittadini cinesi che si spacciano per turisti sono sospettati di essere spie per conto del regime di Pechino. Secondo USA Today, negli ultimi anni hanno fatto diversi tentativi per ottenere l’accesso alle strutture militari in Alaska, territorio costellato di basi sensibili americane.

Domenico Letizia

L'Opinione delle Libertà

Nella sala Caduti di Nassiriya del Senato, si è svolta una presentazione e una tavola rotonda, sull’attualità e la geopolitica della Cina, coordinata da Angelo Polimeno Bottai, giornalista e presidente di Eureca, a cui hanno partecipato i gemelli Iuvinale, Gabriele e Nicola, il senatore Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, Giulia Pompili, giornalista de Il Foglio, Gabriele Carrer, giornalista di, Arturo Varvelli, capo dell’ufficio di Roma dello European Council on Foreign Relations, Fabrizio Luciolli, presidente del Comitato Atlantico Italiano e membro del Dipartimento Politiche Internazionali del Comitato Scientifico della Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Antonio Stango, editore e presidente della Federazione Italiana Diritti Umani e Giovanni Terzi, direttore di The Global News. L’evento ha visto il volume “La Cina di Xi Jimping: verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico? dei fratelli Iuvinale al centro dell’analisi per comprendere gli strumenti per addentrarsi nelle istituzioni cinesi e analizzarne i rischi.

The Global News

Il massimo leader cinese ha sollecitato la costruzione accelerata di un quarto gasdotto nella regione durante un incontro con i capi di stato dei cinque paesi dell’Asia centrale a maggio.

Xi Jinping sembra dare la priorità alla cooperazione con l’Asia centrale per i gasdotti, con l’intenzione di aggirare la Russia e creare un ponte diretto con i cinque paesi dell’Asia centrale, creando l’influenza della Cina nella regione.



The following is the June 2023, Government Accountability Office report, GPS Modernization Space Force Should Reassess Requirements for Satellites and Handheld Devices. Read More

The Defence Post

The US Army is seeking to integrate explosives into its small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) to provide extra lethality to infantry units.

A request for proposals has been issued to industry partners, noting that lethal drones will likely become a common tool in modern warfare.

A US soldier operates a reconnaissance drone. Photo: US Army


NATO: Military cyber defenders need to be present on networks during peacetime The Record by Recorded Future Alexander Martin NATO member states will next month endorse a greater role for military cyber defenders during peacetime, alongside the permanent integration of private sector capabilities within the alliance's efforts to battle malicious state-sponsored hacking, a senior official said.


Voice of America

At Asia's top security summit, China's defense minister, Li Shangfu, elaborated on Beijing's "new security initiative" using words such as "openness," "inclusiveness," "transparency," " …

Deutsche Welle

Talks between senior officials from the US and China have struck an optimistic note, with both sides agreeing to maintain open lines of communication, China's foreign ministry.

Le Monde

When Xi Jinping inspects a province – a Chinese leader does not "visit," he "inspects" – his watchword is always the same: speed up modernization.

  • China and Russia conducted a joint air patrol today over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea for the sixth time since 2019. China’s defense ministry said the patrol was part of the two militaries’ annual cooperation plan. South Korea scrambled fighter jets after four Russian and four Chinese military aircraft entered its air defense zone. Reuters reports.

  • Senior U.S., Chinese Officials Hold Talks in Beijing. The top U.S. State Department official for Asia became the most senior U.S. official (Bloomberg) to publicly travel to Beijing since U.S. forces shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon in February. Both sides called the talks “candid” and “productive.”

Elon Musk says he learned China will initiate AI regulations Reuters Kanishka Singh The Chinese government will seek AI regulations in its country, billionaire Elon Musk said on Monday, saying he learned about that from his conversations with officials during his recent trip to China.

China Breafing

Following the release of new criteria for permanent residence applications for working staff on May 1, 2023, Shanghai has recently updated its permanent residence application criteria for applicants with a PhD degree.

International Business News

A Chinese Embassy counselor said the maritime issue is "only a very small part" of China-Philippines ties Ji Lingpeng said China's Xi Jinping and Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have agreed to solve the maritime issues …


In a rare attempt to bolster China's yuan, a self-regulatory body overseen by the country's central bank has told major state-owned banks to lower dollar deposit interest rates, four people with direct …

China Neican

  • Central National Security Commission Meeting

  • G7 Hiroshima Summit (2023)

  • Neican: May 2023 Publications

Reading the China Dream

  • Fu Yu and Gui Yong on China's 1990s Generation

  • Youthology, "My Therapeutic Journey"

China Heritage

  • Other People’s Thoughts, XXXV

  • Back When the Sino-Us Cold War Began

China Media Project

  • How a Massacre Shaped China’s Media

  • ‘Fighting to Remember’ June 4th in Hong Kong

  • Digital Vigilantism and the “Good Chinese”

China Leadership Monitor

  • China’s Economy After Covid-19

  • When Grid Meets Web: How COVID-19 Extended the Party-State’s Capacity for Social Control at the Grassroots

  • Xi Jinping’s New Economic Team and Government Re-Organization

  • A “Superior Relationship”: How the Invasion of Ukraine Has Deepened the Sino-Russian Partnership

  • Crisis Management and the Taiwan Situation: Chinese Views and Conflict Avoidance

  • China’s Response to the U.S. Trade War

Opinion Pages

Nikkei Asia

  • TSMC's Fate Will Indeed Be at Stake if China Attacks Taiwan

  • Germany Can Ignore Anxious CEOs While Setting China Policy

  • Taiwan's Island Internet Cutoff Highlights Infrastructure Risks

  • No Sign That It Is Safe Yet to Reinvest in Chinese Tech Companies

Belt and Road


  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday that he would talk to Saudi leaders and other Gulf state officials this week about the possibility of normalizing ties with Israel. “The United States has a real national security interest in promoting normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Blinken said at a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. However, tensions remain high between the countries. Israel’s far-right coalition has supported actions that critics say have fueled violence between Palestinians and Israelis, making it more difficult for Saudis to support normalization. Edward Wong reports for the New York Times.

  • A former executive at ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has alleged that a committee of China’s Communist Party members accessed the data of TikTok users in Hong Kong in 2018, a lawsuit filed in early May in San Francisco Superior Court revealed. The former executive alleges that civil rights activists and protesters were targeted and that their network information, SIM card identifications, and IP addresses were accessed to identify and locate the users. Georgia Wells reports for the Wall Street Journal.

US Air Force denies AI drone attacked operator in test BBC Zoe Kleinman A US Air Force colonel "mis-spoke" when describing an experiment in which an AI-enabled drone opted to attack its operator in order to complete its mission, the service has said.

First in space: SpaceX and NASA launch satellite that hackers will attempt to infiltrate during DEF CON CyberScoop Christian Vasquez On Monday at 11:47 a.m. at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, for the first time ever, SpaceX and NASA sent a satellite into low-earth orbit hoping that it’ll get hacked.

The US and China are caught in a technology trap Foreign Policy Rishi Iyengar and Robbie Gramer The Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s main cybersecurity regulator, announced on May 22 that it would bar semiconductors made by Idaho-based industry giant Micron from being used in key infrastructure projects, citing a failure to pass a weeks-long “cybersecurity review.” Micron said the restrictions could result in the loss of a “high single-digit percentage” of its revenue—a potential multibillion-dollar hit.

Deepfakes are adding an insidious edge to some sextortion schemes, FBI says The Record by Recorded Future Joe Warminsky There was a time when sextortion schemes typically involved digital material that was either coerced or stolen from a victim. The FBI is warning now that deepfakes are changing the nature of the crime.

The Financial Times

The venture capital giant Sequoia Capital is splitting its China business into a separate entity amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.

ABC News

U.S., Japanese and Philippine coast guard ships staged law enforcement drills in waters near the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday as Washington presses efforts to reinforce alliances in Asia amid an increasingly tense …

The Hill

The growing tensions between the U.S. and China has had a major impact on various sectors, including cyberspace, which is now becoming an integral part of modern warfare. As the two powers continue to spar over trade, technology, sanctions and Taiwan, …


  • Venezuelan President Travels to Saudi Arabia. President Nicolás Maduro made a state visit (Al-Monitor) to Saudi Arabia yesterday to discuss “political, diplomatic, and energy alliances,” he tweeted. This was his first visit to the country since 2015.

  • Argentina: A judge dismissed a money laundering case (AP) against Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner before it reached trial, citing insufficient evidence.

Caribbean island of Martinique dealing with cyberattack that disrupted government services The Record by Recorded Future Jonathan Greig The Caribbean island of Martinique is dealing with a cyberattack that has disrupted internet access and other infrastructure for weeks. Martinique has a population of about 360,000 and is controlled by France, serving as an outermost region of the European Union.

North Asia

Senior U.S. and Chinese diplomats held “candid and productive” talks in Beijing and agreed to keep open lines of communication to avoid tensions from spiraling into conflict, officials said Tuesday.

The Conversation

An encounter in which a Chinese naval ship cut across the path of a U.S. destroyer in the Taiwan Strait on June 3, 2023, has both Beijing and Washington pointing fingers at each other.

South & Central Asia

Parliamentary panel on finance debates cyber security, rising white collar crimes The Economic Times The issue of "cyber security and rising incidence of cyber/white collar crimes" was at the centre of deliberations at a meeting of a key parliamentary panel as experts from the industry were quizzed by lawmakers about various facets of unlawful activities, including fraud loan apps.

Australian neo-Nazis are thriving on Elon Musk’s Twitter Crikey Cam Wilson Australia’s far right has enthusiastically returned to Twitter under the leadership of Elon Musk, using the platform to hijack and insert itself into online mainstream conversation.

Cyber threat actors eye aviation industry, airlines step up security Australian Cyber Security Magazine Aviation is a target-rich industry for cybercriminals, with private and state-sponsored crime syndicates increasingly attempting to disrupt it. However, airlines are well aware of the threat and are fighting back with the full backing of regulatory agencies and governments.

CSIRO, Alphinity to set AI standard for ESG The Australian Noah Yim CSIRO and investment manager Alphinity will partner to create a public framework to help inform ESG investment decisions about industry rollout of AI.

  • Afghanistan: Eighty-nine schoolgirls and their teachers were hospitalized (NYT) with respiratory and neurological symptoms in a suspected incident of poisoning at two girls’ schools over the weekend, officials said.


China leads tech race, highlighting need for AUKUS sharing, says think-tank Reuters Kirsty Needham China leads research in 19 of 23 technologies set as priorities by the AUKUS defence partnership of Australia, Britain and the US, including hypersonics, electronic warfare and undersea drones, highlighting the need for Western allies to pool research results, an Australian security think-tank says. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said on Tuesday its survey of the world's top science papers showed China led research in most of the technologies likely to come under the defence partnership's so-called Pillar Two.

  • Push to reverse China influence The Australian The report shows the collective strength of the AUKUS countries has reversed some of China’s strategic power in autonomous systems operation, advanced robotics, adversarial AI-reverse engineering, quantum sensors and protective cyber.

  • AUKUS: three partners, two pillars, one problem The Strategist Alexandra Caples, Jamie Gaida and Danielle Cave Much of the AUKUS discussion to date has focused on Pillar 1, the trilateral effort to support Australia acquiring conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines. Yet achieving Pillar 2, the technology programs, is arguably both of greater long-term value and more strategically challenging. Pillar 2 aims to enhance the US, UK and Australia’s technological edge—and, implicitly, to counter China’s technological advancements—by pooling resources in advanced military capability areas such as AI, quantum computing, cyber technology, undersea capabilities, hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, electronic warfare, and information-sharing.

Russia - Ukraine

  • Destruction of Major Dam in Southern Ukraine Risks Massive Flooding. The collapse of a wall at the Nova Kakhovka dam today triggered flooding (AP) and evacuations from the nearby city. Kyiv and Moscow both blamed the other for the disaster. The dam lies on the Dnipro River, which separates Russia- and Ukraine-controlled regions of Ukraine, though Russia has controlled the dam (Reuters) since early on in the war. The breach sparked concerns that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant could be denied the water it needs for cooling, though the UN nuclear watchdog said a separate pond has enough water to cool the plant “for some months.”

  • The Geneva Conventions ban targeting dams during wartime due to the danger that their destruction poses to civilians. A Ukrainian nongovernmental organization estimated that nearly one hundred towns and villages would be flooded in the aftermath.

  • President Biden is hosting allies in the White House this week in a bid to boost support for Ukraine as fighting intensifies. Biden hosted Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark yesterday and discussed the possibility of transferring Danish-owned F-16 jets to Ukraine. On Thursday, Biden will meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain, who in February said that “nothing was off the table” when considering military aid for Ukraine. Katie Rogers reports for the New York Times.

  • Ukraine has received enough weapons to begin its counter-offensive against Russia, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said yesterday. Kuleba added that the operation would give Ukraine the necessary victory to join NATO. Max Hunder reports for Reuters.

  • Nova Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power plant on the Dnipro River near the front line in Ukraine have been destroyed today, according to Ukrainian officials. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blamed Russia and called for an emergency meeting of the National Security Council. The governor of nearby Kherson, Oleksandr Prokudin, said the water would reach “critical levels” within hours and urged residents in Ukrainian-controlled parts of the region to evacuate immediately. Rachel Pannett, Ellen Francis, and Adela Suliman report for the Washington Post.

  • Ukrainian forces have advanced around Bakhmut, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has said, describing the eastern city as the “epicenter of hostilities.” Jaroslav Lukiv and James Waterhouse report for BBC News.

  • Ukraine has cultivated a network of saboteurs inside Russia and has begun providing them with drones to stage attacks, multiple people familiar with U.S. intelligence on the matter have said. Two U.S. officials told CNN there is no evidence that any drone strikes have been conducted using U.S.-provided drones. Natasha Bertrand, Zachary Cohen, and Kylie Atwood report for CNN.

  • Paramilitary organization Wagner group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has posted a video he says proves his claim that Russia’s defense ministry is targeting his troops. The video showed Lt. Col. Roman Venevitin, a captured commander of a mechanized infantry brigade, confessing to firing on Wagner forces and apologizing for his actions. Matthew Luxmoore reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • The Nazi iconography increasingly worn by Ukrainian troops at the frontline threatens to reinforce Russian President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda and fuel his false claims that Ukraine must be “de-Nazified.” While the Nazi symbols have not reduced Western support for Ukraine, it has put diplomats, journalists, and advocacy groups in a difficult position: Calling attention to the iconography risks playing into Russian propaganda while saying nothing could allow it to spread. Thomas Gibbons-Neff reports for the New York Times.


Kyiv authorities didn’t confirm the attacks Monday and suggested the claims that major battles are underway were a Russian misinformation ruse.


The speed, scale and intensity of Russian hybrid activities has increased in recent years, notes David Cattler.


U.S. efforts to counter Russian propaganda focus almost exclusively on defense: The government is forced to shore up the integrity of our elections and combat disinformation on social media. But there is a different propaganda war the Kremlin is waging against the West (as well as its own people), parallel to its shooting war with Ukraine: It has long weaponized what it calls “traditional spiritual and moral values.” At home, Vladimir Putin aims to ensure the security of his regime and justify its aggressive censorship and revanchism. Globally, Moscow seeks to promote Russian influence, forge alliances with like-minded actors, and stoke divisive culture wars in the West. It’s a campaign the U.S. cannot afford to ignore anymore than it could ignore the invasion of Ukraine.


  • Top Chinese, French Diplomats Discuss Ukraine Peace Plan During Call. A diplomatic advisor to the French president and the director of China’s Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission agreed to (SCMP) “create conditions for the start of political settlement” of the war in Ukraine, China’s foreign ministry said. A Chinese special envoy for Eurasian affairs toured European capitals, including Paris, to promote peace talks last week.

The Financial Times

Many in Italy were aghast when tyre tycoon Marco Tronchetti Provera sold Pirelli, one of the crown jewels of the country’s manufacturing sector, to ChemChina in a $7.7bn takeover in 2015.

Is it real or made by AI? Europe wants a label for that as it fights disinformation Associated Press Kelvin Chan The European Union is pushing online platforms like Google and Meta to step up the fight against false information by adding labels to text, photos and other content generated by AI, a top official said Monday.

Finland, US eye 6G to reduce Chinese tech dependence Euractiv Pekka Vanttinen Finland and the US have signed a Joint Statement on Cooperation in Advanced Wireless Communications in Helsinki, which was seen as the ”free world’s” response to Chinese technology.

France rolls out the red carpet for EV battery factories Reuters Elizabeth Pineau, Gilles Guillaume and Michel Rose Macron and Yang stood side-by-side in Dunkirk to announce that ProLogium had picked the northern French port ahead of sites in Germany and the Netherlands for its first EV battery gigafactory outside Taiwan. It is one of four such gigafactories Macron hopes will transform the poor, former coal mining area near Belgium into a hub for the EV battery industry, creating jobs and helping to put France at the forefront of Europe's energy transition.

  • German Firm Bids to Build Submarines in India. German firm ThyssenKrupp AG and Indian firm Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited are preparing a joint bid to build six submarines for an Indian navy contract worth an estimated $5.2 billion, Bloomberg reported. Germany aims to help India reduce its dependence on Russia for military hardware.


MOVEit hack: BBC, BA and Boots among cyber attack victims BBC Joe Tidy The BBC, British Airways, Boots and Aer Lingus are among a growing number of organisations affected by a mass hack. Staff have been warned personal data including national insurance numbers and in some cases bank details may have been stolen.

Two years to save the world, says Sunak’s AI adviser The Times Mark Sellman and Tom Whipple AI systems will be powerful enough to “kill many humans” within just two years, Rishi Sunak’s adviser on AI has warned. Matt Clifford, who is helping the prime minister set up the government’s AI taskforce, said policymakers should be prepared for threats ranging from cyberattacks to the creation of bioweapons if mankind fails to find a way to control the technology.


  • Shelling and heavy clashes hit areas of Sudan’s capital yesterday, with reports of spreading lawlessness in Khartoum and the western region of Darfur. Fighting is entering its eighth week. Khalid Abdelaziz and Mohamed Nureldin report for Reuters.

  • South Africa Sets Up Office to Facilitate Private Investment in Water Sector. The office aims to assuage the water industry collapse (Bloomberg) by emulating another agency that has attracted more than $10 billion of private money into South Africa’s renewable energy sector. It will be established with help from the country’s development bank and the international Green Climate Fund.

  • Angola/DRC: The two countries are nearing a deal (Reuters) on how to share the benefits of oil production in an offshore block that has been under dispute for fifty years, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) oil minister said. A prospective deal would have each country take a 30 percent stake in the block, with energy company Chevron taking the remaining 40 percent.

Senegal government cuts mobile internet access amid deadly rioting VOA News Senegal's government has cut access to mobile internet services in certain areas because of deadly rioting in which "hateful and subversive" messages have been posted online, it said in a statement on Sunday.

Experts seek adequate cyber security framework for capital market Voice of Nigeria Hauwa Abubakar Anaja Experts in the capital market sector have called for a strong cybersecurity framework in order to protect the data and assets of investors as well as those engaging in online stock trading in the country. They made the call at the virtual conference organised by the Institute of Capital Market Registrars and the Fintech Association of Nigeria.

Middle East

  • More than 80 Afghan students and teachers were seemingly poisoned over the past two days, local officials said yesterday. Most of the victims were girls in an attack that mirrored recent attacks on schoolgirls in Iran. Authorities did not provide details on the suspected motive, adding that an investigation is underway. Rick Noack reports for the Washington Post.

  • Iran presented what officials described as its first domestically-made hypersonic ballistic missile today, the official IRNA news agency reported. Parisa Hafezi reports for Reuters.

  • Kuwait Holds Third Legislative Election in Three Years. The last election was held only eight months ago, but the ruling Al-Sabah family dissolved the most recent parliament, establishing today’s vote (AP). The country’s legislature is uniquely powerful in the Gulf, but its conflicts with the royal family have led to political gridlock in recent years.

  • Iran/Saudi Arabia: Iran is reopening its embassy (WaPo) in Saudi Arabia this week after a seven-year closure, Iran’s foreign ministry said. Iran will also reopen its consulate in Jeddah and its office with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The Defence Post

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards unveiled an intermediate range ballistic missile Tuesday capable of travelling at hypersonic speeds of up to 15 times the speed of sound, state television reported


Iran is reopening its embassy and diplomatic offices in Saudi Arabia on June 6 after a seven-year freeze. The two countries made the decision in March, when Beijing hosted Saudi Arabian National Security Advisor Musaad bin Mohammed al-Aiban and Iranian National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani for trilateral talks. Saudi Arabia and Iran cut ties in 2016 after Iranian protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran in response to Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

OpenAI mulling Israel investment opportunities, Microsoft says Reuters Dan Williams OpenAI is considering investment opportunities in Israel, Microsoft Israel R&D center quoted the company's CEO, Sam Altman, as saying during a visit to the country on Monday.

Big Tech

Twitter missed dozens of known images of child sexual abuse material, researchers say The Wall Street Journal Alexa Corse Twitter failed to prevent dozens of known images of child sexual abuse from being posted on its platform in recent months, according to Stanford University researchers who said the situation indicated a lapse in basic enforcement.

Twitter’s US ad sales plunge 59% as woes continue The New York Times Ryan Mac and Tiffany Hsu Elon Musk recently said Twitter’s advertising business was on the upswing. “Almost all advertisers have come back,” he asserted, adding that the social media company could soon become profitable.

Artificial Intelligence

Human extinction threat 'overblown' says AI sage Marcus France 24 John Plender Ever since the poem churning ChatGPT burst on the scene six months ago, expert Gary Marcus has voiced caution against AI's ultra-fast development and adoption. But against AI's apocalyptic doomsayers, the New York University emeritus professor told AFP in a recent interview that the technology's existential threats may currently be "overblown."

ChatGPT took their jobs. Now they walk dogs and fix air conditioners The Washington Post Pranshu Verma and Gerrit De Vynck Some economists predict artificial intelligence technology like ChatGPT could replace hundreds of millions of jobs, in a cataclysmic reorganization of the workforce mirroring the industrial revolution. For some workers, this impact is already here.

Why the AI boom is not a dotcom redux Financial Times John Plender The media hype over AI since Microsoft announced its investment in ChatGPT in January inevitably calls to mind the excesses of the dotcom bubble.


The rise of the People's Republic of China represents the most significant foreign policy challenge of the 21st century. In all spheres, from the economy, to technology, to security and the environment, engaging with an increasingly dominant China is both necessary and inevitable.

Photo: La Cina di Xi Jinping - Verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico? (Italian)

Gabriele and Nicola Iuvinale

ASE 2023

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