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International press review Extrema Ratio May 15, 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

L'Italia difetta di un serio dibattito politico riguardo i molteplici rischi provenienti dal regime di Pechino e come contrastarli per difendere gli interessi nazionali e dei singoli cittadini. Eppure, sarebbe sufficiente mutuare talune regole proposte negli USA.

Il 10 maggio scorso, il National Intelligence Council (NIC) - l'organizzazione statunitense con il compito di rendere note le previsioni per l'Intelligence Community (IC) sui problemi e sulle sfide (National Intelligence Estimate) per la sicurezza degli Stati Uniti - ha pubblicato un rapporto parzialmente declassificato dal titolo Digital Repression Growing Globally, Threatening Freedoms nel quale vengono descritti una serie di rischi per la sicurezza nazionale.

China is sending its new Russian-invasion envoy, Li Hui, to Europe next week to seek a political settlement for Moscow's Ukraine annexation.

Li is Beijing's former ambassador to Russia, and his new title is "special representative for Eurasian affairs."

His planned stops, beginning Monday, include Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, and Russia, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters Friday in Beijing.



China

  • Chinese state media says the country will take a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to companies handing over sensitive information. The People’s Daily published an editorial in response to allegations that Capvision was helping to leak information regarding military technology. Kandy Wong. South China Morning Post

  • China sentences 78-year-old American to life in prison on espionage charges. John Leung, who also has permanent residency in Hong Kong, was arrested in April 2021 and sentenced this week in Suzhou. No details of his crime have been provided. Bloomberg

How is the judicial system in HK? Chinese. The judges must be patriots and are chosen by the "Chinese" governor. China extended its genocidal regime to HK called by Xi Jinping "socialism with Chinese characteristics for a community with a shared human future.", said Gabriele Iuvinale on Twitter
  • ByteDance former head of engineering in US claims TikTok owner stole content, inflated user numbers in lawsuit over firing. Roger Yu Yintao claims ByteDance fired him for reporting concerns about a ‘worldwide scheme’ to steal content and fabricate user engagement metrics. Yu, a California resident, joined ByteDance as head of engineering in the US in 2017 and was terminated the following year. South China Morning Post

  • Shareholders of Evergrande's EV unit agree on restructuring deal. Shareholders of China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group accepted a proposal to dispose of two debt-laden subsidiaries, according to a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. Xie Yu.Reuters

  • China's Oppo to shut down chip design unit as smartphone sales slump. Oppo, one of China’s best-selling domestic smartphone brands, will cease operations of its Zeku unit. Reuters

  • Shipping groups press Chinese counterparts for sanctions-proof contracts. Maritime lawyers suggest vessel owners are increasingly asking for bespoke clauses that protect against the impact of western sanctions when negotiating with Chinese counterparts. Oliver Telling and Kate Beioley. Financial Times

  • China opens national blockchain research centre with plans to train 500,000 industry professionals. The research centre, located in Beijing and approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology, will work with universities, research institutes and companies to train workers. Dylan Butts.South China Morning Post

  • How China came to dominate the black market for money laundering. Some experts believe Chinese-controlled entities and individuals are now responsible for as much as half of the industry. Matt Oliver. The Telegraph

Al Mayadeen

Sino-India cooperation is of vital importance for regional stability amid this unstable international atmosphere.Relations between two close neighboring countries and the world's first and second populous countries - China and India have witnessed …

Radio Free Asia

Dong Zhe

ASPI's report 'Gaming Public Opinion' collected data from multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Sina Weibo and ByteDance products and uncovered a CCP cyber influence operation linked to the ‘Spamouflage’ network which sought to portray the United States as a cyber hegemony.

CNBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping leave after a reception in honor of the Chinese leader's visit to Moscow, at the Kremlin, on March 21, 2023.

Reuters

China's clampdown on its consultancy and due diligence sector has driven companies to review their operations after some tested the limits of laws to meet surging demand as China emerged from lockdowns.

Reuters

A 78-year-old U.S. citizen and Hong Kong resident was on Monday convicted of espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in eastern China, a court statement said.

France 24

China sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison Monday on spying charges. John Shing-Wan Leung, who holds permanent residency in Hong Kong, was detained April 15, 2021, by the counterintelligence agency in …

Deutsche Welle

A 78-year-old US citizen was sentenced on Monday by a Chinese court to life imprisonment for spying. Reuters news agency reported that John Shing-wan Leung was a permanent resident of Hong Kong and also a United States passport holder.

Le Monde

China has sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison for espionage, a court statement said Monday, May 15. John Shing-wan Leung, an American passport holder and Hong Kong permanent resident, "was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life …

South China Morning Post

Mark Magnier

China carried out 73 incidents of economic coercion aimed at 19 countries between 2020 and 2022, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Europe was most frequently targeted, followed by Australia and New Zealand and East Asia, with Taiwan the most common ‘core interest’ to trigger coercive measures.

Channel News Asia

China's securities regulator and central bank cut the budget allocation for employee salaries in 2023, following reforms ordered as part of a broader drive to reduce income disparity.

Reuters

China's central bank rolled over maturing medium-term policy loans while keeping the interest rate unchanged on Monday, as expected, but markets expect monetary easing may be inevitable in the coming months to …

‘De-Americanize’: How China is remaking its chip business The New York Times Chang Che and John Liu Seven months after Washington unveiled tough curbs, state funding is flooding in to cultivate homegrown alternatives to produce less advanced but still lucrative semiconductors. And China has not given up on making high-end chips: Manufacturers are attempting to work with older parts from abroad not blocked by the US sanctions, as well as less advanced equipment at home.

Ex-ByteDance executive accuses company of ‘lawlessness’ The New York Times Thomas Fuller and Sapna Maheshwari A former executive at ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, has accused the technology giant of a ‘culture of lawlessness,’ including stealing content from rival platforms Snapchat and Instagram in its early years, and called the company a ‘useful propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party.’ Mr. Yu, who spent part of his ByteDance tenure working in its China offices, said he also witnessed engineers for Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, tweak the algorithm to elevate content that expressed hatred for Japan.

Belt and Road

Seetao

On May 12, 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that China Xiamen Xiamen Tungsten New Energy Materials Co., Ltd. plans to establish a battery field laboratory with the French company Orano in Dunkirk, a port city in northern France. Joint venture with an expected investment of 1.5 billion euros and the creation of 1,700 jobs. Macron pointed out that Xiamen Tungsten New Energy's joint venture with Orano is complementary to ProLogium's factory because it will be upstream in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

Seetao

Seetao

China Road and Bridge signed three new overseas engineering projects, making positive contributions to the improvement of local infrastructure.

Xinhua Silk Road

USA

  • EU and US to pledge joint action on China at TTC forum. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and other senior officials are due to meet for the fourth edition of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Sweden later this month. A draft statement suggests the two sides will address non-market practices and economic coercion while seeking to coordinate on export controls on ‘sensitive items’ such as semiconductors. Philip Blenkinsop. Reuters

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hoping to visit China ‘in the near future’. Close advisor suggests a trip to China would come as US looks for ways to ‘depressurise’ ties with China following the spy balloon row. Finbarr Bermingham. South China Morning Post

  • China’s Jinko Solar raided by federal agents. U.S. Department of Homeland Security this week raided a factory in Jacksonville, Florida and a sales office in San Francisco as part of an ongoing federal investigation. News outlets highlight that Jinko has had several shipments of solar equipment detained under the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act this year, though these shipments have since been released. Nichola Groom. Reuters

  • Top China negotiator for Biden administration announces retirement. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is retiring from her role. Sherman has been considered instrumental in the US Government’s efforts to design an Indo-Pacific strategy responsive to China’s prominence in the region. Bochen Han.South China Morning Post

  • Forrester Research to cut China jobs after Beijing’s crackdown on consultancies. The US tech-focused research group has told staff it plans to cut the majority of its China analysts after Beijing intensified scrutiny of western consultancies in the country. Eleanor Olcott. Financial Times

  • New US solar tax credit rules will do little to break China dependence, experts warn. A lack of domestic capacity threatens to undermine new policy designed to speed up reshoring of clean energy supply chains. Aime Williams, Amanda Chu and Derek Brower.Financial Times

  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said yesterday that the number of migrants encountered crossing the southern U.S. border has dropped by half since Tile 42 ended. However, Mayorkas cautioned that it is “too early” to tell whether the migrant surge has peaked. Summer Concepcion reports for NBC News.

  • Jack Teixeira, the alleged leaker of intelligence reports on Discord, was preparing for a “race war.” “[Teixeira] did call himself racist multiple times,” a friend said in an interview. Filings by federal prosecutors show that Teixeira had amassed a small arsenal of rifles, shotguns, and pistols, as well as a helmet, gas mask, and night-vision goggles. Shane Harris, Samuel Oakford, and Chris Dehghanpoor report for the Washington Post.

  • President Biden declared on Saturday that white supremacy is “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland” as he gave the commencement address at Howard University, the nation’s most prestigious historically Black college. Biden alluded to former President Trump’s past statements to link him to racist elements in American society. Biden will have to shore up support among Black voters as strategists have expressed concern about an enthusiasm gap that could complicate his prospects for re-election. Peter Baker and Zolan Kanno-Youngs report for the New York Times.

  • Generative Artificial Intelligence could mislead voters, impersonate candidates, and undermine elections on a scale and at speeds not seen, according to experts. “We’re not prepared for this,” warned A.J. Nash, vice president of intelligence at the cybersecurity firm ZeroFox. “The big leap forward is the audio and video capabilities that have emerged … it’s going to have a major impact,” Nash added. David Klepper and Ali Swenson report for AP News.

  • U.S. Special Operations forces are not required to vet for past human rights violations by the foreign troops they arm and train as surrogates, newly disclosed documents show. The United States increasingly relies on deputizing local partner forces in places like Niger and Somalia instead of deploying large numbers of U.S. troops. Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt report for the New York Times.

  • U.S. ambassador, Reuben Brigety, has “apologized unreservedly” for claiming South Africa sold weapons to Russia, South Africa’s foreign ministry said. On Thursday, Brigety alleged a Russian ship was loaded with ammunition and weapons in Cape Town last December. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered an inquiry into the alleged incident. Pumza Fihlani reports for BBC News.

  • The Group of Seven (G7) this week is expected to make a joint statement rejecting the use of economic retaliation against nations over policy disputes and other disagreements in a veiled criticism of China’s recent policies. The joint statement will be made during the G7 summit in Japan and comes as concerns mount over Beijing’s increasing use of what its critics call “economic coercion” to show its displeasure with other countries. Annie Linskey, Ken Thomas, and Yuka Hayashi report for the Wall Street Journal.

  • China sentenced a 78-year-old United States citizen, John Shing-Wan Leung, to life in prison today on spying charges. Leung was detained on Apr. 15, 2021, by the local bureau of China’s counterintelligence agency in the southeastern city of Suzhou. Details of the charges against Leung, who holds permanent residency in Hong Kong, have not been publicly released. AP News reports.

  • The U.S. military is working with allies to send more ships and aircraft to the Middle East as Iran escalates its seizures of merchant tankers, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby announced on Friday. Over the past two years, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has attacked or disrupted 15 tankers as tensions between Iran and the United States grow over Iran’s nuclear program. Ari Hawkins reports for POLITICO.

The ScotFree

On May 1, 2023, the United States issued a warning to China regarding their “harassment and intimidation” of Philippine vessels, in the South China Sea. The move comes less than two weeks after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that U.S. foreign policy relating to China will prioritize national security over trade. Yellen stated the United States would make decisions to ensure the national security of the United States and its allies, even if those actions have a negative economic impact.

Foreign Affairs

The United States is suffering the deadliest drug epidemic in its history. Overdoses claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans between August 2021 and August 2022 alone. Over the span of just a few years, drug deaths have doubled. Most of these overdoses involve fentanyl, which now kills around 200 Americans every day.

NSA Chief Paul Nakasone has said he expects to step down in coming months The Wall Street Journal Dustin Volz Gen. Nakasone, 59 years old, has said he is eyeing a possible departure in August or September after spending more than five years jointly running the two organizations, one of the people said, while others said his timing was less precise. Gen. Nakasone’s plans could change, in part because his deputy at NSA, George Barnes, also is expected to retire soon, the people said.

Commerce Department starts process to fund tech hubs across the US with $500 million in grants ABC News Josh Boak The $500 million is part of a $10 billion authorization from last year's CHIPS and Science Act to stimulate investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biotech. It's an attempt to expand tech investment that is largely concentrated around a few US cities — Austin, Texas; Boston; New York; San Francisco; and Seattle — to the rest of the country.

  • Biden-Harris administration launches first tech hubs funding opportunity US Department of Commerce This program will create tech hubs in regions across the country by bringing together industry, higher education institutions, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners to supercharge ecosystems of innovation for technologies that are essential to our economic and national security.

A Republican-led lawsuit threatens critical US cyber protections WIRED Eric Geller The Biden administration's push to tighten the cybersecurity of US critical infrastructure has drawn its first major lawsuit. Three states are suing to block security rules for water facilities. If they win, it may open the floodgates for challenges to other cyber rules. Other agencies are paying close attention as they craft rules for hospitals, emergency broadcast systems, and other vital infrastructure.

Privacy or safety? US brings 'surveillance city to the suburbs' Context News Avi Asher-Schapiro Since the beginning of the year, over a dozen small and medium-sized cities and suburbs have introduced or expanded their use of Fusus tech, a police technology platform that merges public and private cameras with predictive policing and other surveillance tools, is sparking debates in towns across the US.

Bipartisan child safety bill moves ahead after Senate panel vote Bloomberg Government Oma Seddiq The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would combat the spread of child sex abuse material online amid a bipartisan push to protect kids’ safety and privacy on social media. The panel voted unanimously to approve the legislation, which would empower victims of child sex abuse to sue social media platforms that facilitate child exploitation.

Don’t read this if you have a security clearance The Atlantic Thomas Rid Network defenders for the Department of Defense faced a dilemma. They needed to scan for incoming hacks—but they technically were not allowed to look at the hacking tools that were already being used by some of the most determined adversaries of the United States, including Russian military intelligence and North Korean cyberoperators.

How secrecy limits diversity Foreign Affairs Matthew Connelly and Patricia Irvin People from marginalized groups in the United States have consistently had greater difficulty obtaining and retaining clearances than others. Along with clear disparities (and discrimination) in hiring and promotion, this is an important factor in explaining why people from these groups are less likely to hold national security positions.

gCaptain

South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said his country had resolved a dispute with the U.S. over allegations that Pretoria supplied weapons to Russia, and South Africa is unlikely to face U.S. repercussions, Bloomberg News reported Godongwana said in an interview on Sunday.

North Asia

Japan’s ‘myth of security’ raises cyber attack risk Financial Times Leo Lewis In Japan, say cyber security experts, the problem has distinctive features. For some time, Japanese companies felt cushioned by anzen shinwa, or the ‘myth of security’ — the misapprehension that language, insularity and other factors keep potential attackers at bay.

Asia Times

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics plans to establish a central research and development (R&D) facility and will likely build a semiconductor packaging test line in Japan, initiatives that come against the backdrop of a recent rapid improvement in bilateral ties and the ongoing US-driven “decoupling” of the global tech industry.

South & Central Asia

  • The Philippines has placed navigational buoys within its exclusive economic zone to assert sovereignty over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, the Philippine Coast Guard said yesterday. The step comes amid China’s increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea. Beijing has deployed hundreds of coast guard and fishing vessels in disputed areas for years. Reuters reports.

  • Thailand’s opposition secured a huge election victory yesterday after crushing parties allied with the military. Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat report for Reuters.

"I maintain my position that transmission lines, which are a key backbone of the entire power industry, should not have been privatized in the first place. For two primary reasons: One is national security; the other is government financial losses, including tax revenue.

As a result, I wholeheartedly support Sen. JV's proposal to reclaim control of the national grid, particularly from Chinese control. Based on expert testimony submitted during earlier Senate investigations, China acquired the upper hand in regulating the system functioning of the grid because it owns 40% of the consortium."

How Nepalis’ vulnerability grows amid changing nature of cyber crimes The Kathmandu Post Anup Ojha Nepal is at a high risk of cyber crimes as the country does not have proper legal procedures to address the ever-evolving cyber crimes. In the past few years the country has faced many security breaches on government websites; in late January, about 1,500 government websites were shut down.

The Jakarta Post

Gatra Priyandita

A new tracker by a group of experts from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute offers some insight. The recently released Critical Technology Tracker presents a glimpse into how well countries fare when it comes to producing high-quality research on technologies considered ‘critical’ for bolstering a country’s national economic growth and security, ranging from vaccines and semiconductors to quantum computing. How does Indonesia fare in these rankings?

Asia Times

Delivering a speech on the sidelines of last year’s G20 Summit, President Joko Widodo pointed to lithium as the one crucial element Indonesia still needed to make electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Turning, he gestured towards Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese seated near him and observed: “That man has lithium.”

Oceania

Asia Times

Later this month, President Biden is scheduled to make an official visit to Papua New Guinea while en route to the Quad Leaders’ Summit from the G7 Leaders’ Summit. The visit is being hailed as the first time that a sitting American president has ever visited a Pacific island country. It also builds on three prior events attended by senior leadership figures.

Australia

The Quad should commit to a biomanufacturing hub in India The Strategist Saurabh Todi, Shambhavi Naik, Dirk van der Kley and Daniel Pavlich A biological revolution is underway in global manufacturing. Products produced from genetic engineering and biomanufacturing techniques are replacing many chemical, industrial and farm-based products. Some predict that up to 60% of physical items will soon be produced using biotechnology, making biomanufacturing a critically important emerging technology. The upcoming leaders’ summit in Sydney is an opportunity for the members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue to take leadership in manufacturing this critical technology.

Hackers turn up the heat on HWL Ebsworth The Australian Financial Review Max Mason and Michael Pelly Australia’s largest legal partnership, HWL Ebsworth, is facing ransom demands from Russia-linked cybercriminals as the firm sheds big clients who fear they have been caught up in a major data breach. Russia-linked ALPHV claims it stole four terabytes of data from HWLE’s servers spanning internal company files and personal employee data.

$130m Accenture vetting system rollout still facing issues InnovationAus Brandon How The rollout of the Accenture-built government security vetting system continues to face complications, as the agency in charge fails to meet its KPI on baseline clearances.

Channel News Asia

Asian stocks started the week on a cautious note as investors braced for the release of China's industrial and retail data, while awaiting a host of U.S. Federal Reserve officials to speak to vindicate market pricing of rate cuts this year.

Ukraine - Russia

  • Yevgeniy Prigozhin, chief of the paramilitary organization Wagner group, offered to give Kyiv information on Russian troop positions if Ukraine’s commanders withdrew their soldiers from the area around Bakhmut. Prigozhin conveyed the proposal to his contacts in Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate, with whom he has maintained secret communications during the war. One official said that Kyiv rejected the offer because it was thought Prigozhin’s proposals could have been disingenuous. Shane Harris and Isabelle Khurshudyan report for the Washington Post.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has proposed occupying Russian villages to gain leverage over Moscow, bombing a pipeline that transfers Russian oil to Hungary, and privately wishing to hit targets inside Russia’s borders, according to classified U.S. intelligence documents gleaned through intercepted digital communications. Zelenskyy has dismissed the U.S. intelligence claims as “fantasies” but defended his right to use unconventional tactics to defend Ukraine. Zelenskyy has gained the backing of Western governments, in part, by refusing to use Western weapons for attacks inside Russia. John Hudson and Isabelle Khurshudyan report for the Washington Post.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in the United Kingdom today after securing new commitments from Berlin and Paris for military aid and support during his tour of Western European countries. Germany almost doubled its military commitment to $2.95 billion. France has agreed to train and equip several Ukrainian battalions with tens of armored vehicles and light tanks. Annabelle Timsit and Rachel Pannett report for the Washington Post.

  • Discussions have intensified among NATO members about Ukraine’s accession into the alliance as the next NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, looms. Member states are scrambling to bridge divisions over how quickly Kyiv should enter the alliance, as eastern members are pushing for concrete steps to accession. In contrast, western members seek a mere bureaucratic upgrade. Missy Ryan and Emily Rauhala report for the Washington Post.

  • Two Russian commanders, Col. Vyacheslav Makarov, and his deputy Col. Yevgeny Brovko were killed near Bakhmut over the weekend. The killings come amid continued Ukrainian counterattacks on the outskirts of Bakhmut. Russian forces also launched a wave of drones and missiles at Ukraine over the weekend. Ian Lovett and Thomas Grove report for the Wall Street Journal.

  • At least two Russian combat aircraft and two helicopters crashed over the weekend within Russian territory and may have been shot down, unconfirmed reports suggest. Ukraine has not confirmed that its air defenses were involved in the downing of the aircraft. On Saturday, Daniil Bezsonov, a Russian military blogger, said, “The enemy most likely acted from an ambush by its air defense forces … So the enemy most likely knew the route and time of our air group’s departure.” Tim Lister and Kostan Nechyporenko report for CNN.

  • Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, begins a tour of Russia, Ukraine, and other European nations today to discuss a “political settlement” to the Ukraine crisis.Reuters reports.

Russia’s most sophisticated cyber espionage tool: What is Snake, and why is it so dangerous? The Conversation Greg Skulmoski The Snake network can disrupt critical industrial control systems that manage our buildings, hospitals, energy systems, water and wastewater systems, among others – so the risks went beyond just intelligence collection. There are warnings that in a couple of years bad actors may gain the capability to hijack critical Australian infrastructure and cause unprecedented harm by interfering with physical operations.

Russian Twitter drive has Zuma daughter at center, study claims Bloomberg Antony Sguazzin A daughter of South Africa’s disgraced former President Jacob Zuma has been placed at the center of a Russia-backed Twitter campaign to bolster support for the attack on Ukraine, according to social media research commissioned and funded by the Centre for Information Resilience.

Drones, phones and forums: how tech is shaping the war in Ukraine Prospect News David Patrikarakos Microsoft, IBM, Spotify, Apple, Samsung, Siemens, Adobe and Netflix, among others, have all pulled out of Russia. This has led to talk of a ‘tech gap’ opening between not only Russia and the west, but Russia and Ukraine. The more the west sanctions the former and enables the latter, the argument goes, the greater the gap in technological capabilities that will open between the two countries. The mass of cheap Chinese and Iranian weaponry now making its way into Russian hands is proffered as evidence, but to what extent is this really happening?

The Defence Post

The Russian military is reportedly offering salaries up to 10 times higher than the country’s average to entice civilians to join its ground forces in Ukraine.

The information was disclosed by a non-profit organization called Ukrainian Victims of War (UVW), in collaboration with the Ukrainian Catholic University.

The Defence Post

European Council President Charles Michel spoke of progress in talks between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Brussels on Sunday, adding that “momentum should be maintained” towards a final peace deal.

Europe

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz overruled opposition to approve China port deal. Scholz's spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit announced last week that Berlin is sticking to a deal allowing Chinese state-owned shipping company Cosco to buy a 24.99 percent stake in Hamburg’s Tollerort container terminal. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who leads the economy ministry that is in charge of reviewing investments, had pushed for a reduction of Cosco's shares in the terminal. Hans von der Burchard. Politico

  • Shein opens EMEA headquarters in Dublin. The Chinese fashion retailer follows in the footsteps of Temu-owner PDD Holdings with its recent expansion to Ireland. The creation of the office will bring with it 30 new jobs by the end of the year, according to Ireland’s Ministry of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment. DublinLive

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks to be heading for a runoff with opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu after he failed to win a majority of the vote over the weekend. According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, with the unofficial count nearly completed, Erdogan received 49.4 percent of the vote to Kilicdaroglu’s 44.8 percent. Ben Hubbard and Gulsin Harman report for the New York Times.

Taiwan EV battery maker to build 'gigafactory' in France Focus Taiwan Tseng Hsuan-ting and Frances Huang Amid recent market speculations about the investment, Macron confirmed that the Taiwanese company will invest 5.2 billion euros (US$5.67 billion) in a ‘gigafactory’ in Dunkirk, a port city in northern France, where he made the announcement to hundreds of people gathered there.

Reuters

Philip Blenkinsop

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and other senior officials are due to meet for the fourth edition of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council in Sweden, on May 30-31. The draft statement said the two sides would address non-market practices and economic coercion, and aim to hold regular talks on efforts to stop their companies' knowledge linked to outbound investment supporting technologies of strategic rivals - an oblique reference to China.

MillenniumPost

The first ministerial level meeting of India-European Union Trade and Technology Council will be held on May 16 in Brussels to discuss ways to increase cooperation in strategic technologies, digital connectivity, clean energy, trade and investments, an official statement said on Sunday. It said that three working groups under the mechanism will report on roadmaps for future cooperation between the two sides.

Deutsche Telekom does not foresee total Huawei ban in Germany: CEO RCR Wireless News Juan Pedro Tomás ‘There is no ban of Huawei, and I even don’t see a ban coming,’ Deutsche Telekom’s CEO, Tim Höttges, said in a conference call with investors. The country, however, is reportedly considering a ban on certain components made by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE.

Germany strives to catch up with US, China in quantum tech race Euractiv Alina Clasen Compared to its international competition, Germany currently ranks fourth in terms of publications and patents in quantum technology, behind economic powerhouses such as the United States, China and Japan. ‘Our goal is, therefore, to establish Germany at the top of the world in quantum technologies, and the government’s ‘Quantum Technologies Action Concept’ sets the new strategic framework for this,’ Mario Brandenburg, Germany’s state secretary for research.

Irish Independent

The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will lead the trade mission to Beijing and Shanghai, with 14 Irish companies exhibiting with Bord Bia at the international food and drink trade show, SIAL, in Shanghai.

UK

  • After 20 years in UK, Edinburgh chair professor joins China’s hypersonic programme. Physicist Zhang Yonghao resigned from the University of Edinburgh to join China’s new national hypersonic laboratory in Beijing. Stephen Chen. South China Morning Post

Britain and Japan to reach new defense and technology agreement The Japan Times Kyodo The British government said Saturday that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will visit Tokyo this week to sign a new bilateral defense and technology deal with Japan ahead of a Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima. In December, just before the fighter jet announcement, London and Tokyo also launched an initiative to beef up technological cooperation across 14 digital areas ranging from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence.

Leading pensions client warns data for 470,000 members at risk from Capita hack Financial Times Josephine Cumbo, Leke Oso Alabi and Ian Smith USS — the UK’s biggest private sector pension plan — said it had been informed on Thursday that ‘regrettably’ details, including names, dates of birth and national insurance numbers, of about 470,000 members dating back to early 2021 were on the outsourcing group Capita servers accessed by the hackers.

  • Important information about Capita’s cyber incident USS We use Capita’s technology platform - Hartlink - to support our in-house pension administration processes and have been liaising closely with the company over the course of its forensic investigations. While it has been confirmed that USS member data held on Hartlink has not been compromised, we were informed on Thursday 11 May that regrettably details of USS members were held on the Capita servers accessed by the hackers.

57% of UK businesses have been impacted by a cyber security incident Business Leader Tamsen Markham More than half of UK businesses have been impacted because of a cyber security/information security incident caused by a third-party vendor or supply chain partner, according to new research published by ISMS.online. The report found that nearly one in three businesses cite managing vendor and third-party risk as a top information security challenge, with average fines following a data breach or violation of data protection at £237,402.

Climate crisis deniers target scientists for vicious abuse on Musk’s Twitter The Guardian Anna Fazackerley Some of the UK’s top scientists are struggling to deal with what they describe as a huge rise in abuse from climate crisis deniers on Twitter since the social media platform was taken over by Elon Musk last year. Since then, key figures who ensured ‘trusted’ content was prioritised have been sacked, according to one scientist, and Twitter’s sustainability arm has vanished.

UK tech entrepreneur Lynch extradited to the US on fraud charges Reuters Sarah Young and Paul Sandle Mike Lynch, co-founder of UK software firm Autonomy, has been extradited to the United States to face 17 criminal charges in a near decade-long legal battle. Lynch, 57, who has always denied any wrongdoing, could face 20 years in prison.

Middle East

  • A cease-fire between Israeli forces and militants in the Gaza Strip appeared to hold yesterday after a five-day clash that killed 33 Palestinians and two people in Israel. POLITICO reports.

Global Times

he UAE Ambassador to China Ali Obaid AI Dhaheri delivers a speech at BFSU. Photo: Courtesy of Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in China. Recently, the UAE Ambassador to China Ali Obaid AI Dhaheri visited the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU).

Israel high-tech and Korea industry groups sign accord on cybersecurity cooperation The Times of Israel Sharon Wrobel The Israeli High-Tech Association this week signed a memorandum of understanding with a Korean cybersecurity industry group aimed at fostering ties and encouraging business cooperation between cybersecurity and information security companies in both countries.

Daily Sabah

Timur Sirt

The Middle East and Africa region, which also encompasses Türkiye, is under constant threat as the latest data showed about 400,000 malicious files had been detected daily, spearheaded by the fast pace of phishing attacks

Africa

The New York Times

The Chinese embassy in the Central African Republic had a stark warning for its compatriots in the landlocked nation: Do not leave the capital city of Bangui. Kidnappings of foreigners were on the rise, and any Chinese person outside of Bangui was to leave …

Foreign Affairs

Nigeria’s February 2023 general election should have been a triumph of democracy. For the first time since the country transitioned from military to civilian rule in 1999, no former army generals appeared on the presidential ballot.

Military

  • China’s war chest: Beijing’s ‘great wall of steel’ faces obstacles to military supremacy. An assessment of China’s military capacity in light of escalating tensions over Taiwan. Amy Hawkins. The Guardian

South Asia Journal

Defense cooperation between the USA and Bangladesh has made significant progress in the last few years. It is depicted in the exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries, as well …

WGMD - Delaware

Japan is warning that China and Russia have increased military cooperation in a bid to disrupt the current world order in Asia and beyond. Foreign Affairs Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi warned over the weekend that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has “shaken the

Taipei Times

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi on Saturday expressed concern about Russian and Chinese military cooperation in Asia, and said the security situation in Europe could not be separated from that in the Indo-Pacific region since Moscow’ …

China and the US became locked in an intense military confrontation as close as 150km from Hong Kong in early 2021, prompting the US to destroy its own floating sonars to prevent them from falling into Beijing’s hands, it is revealed for the first time.

Financial Express

Indian Navy’s frontline guided missile destroyer INS Mormugao during her first BrahMos Supersonic cruise missile firing, INS Mormugao, has successfully hit ‘Bulls Eye’.

Taiwan News

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked six Chinese military aircraft and five naval vessels around the country between 6 a.m. on Sunday (May 14) and 6 a.m. on Monday (May 15)

Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday Kyiv and its Western supporters could make a Russian defeat in the war in Ukraine "irreversible" as early as this year and thanked Germany for being a "true friend…

Janes

The Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT) was designed and developed by India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The project was centred on upgrading the Arjun Mk 1 MBT, which has been in service with the Indian Army since 2009.

China Military

At the invitation of the organizer, the guided-missile destroyer Zhanjiang of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and the Bayi Aerobatics Team of the PLA Air Force will go to Malaysia to participate in the 16th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition to be held from May 23 to 27.

Janes

The Pentagon's Space Development Agency (SDA) is soliciting industry proposals for space vehicle (SV) prototype variants and associated payloads for the Transport Layer of the agency's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA).

The Defence Post

Hosted by Iceland, the 11-day Dynamic Mongoose exercise aimed to “track and destroy threats lurking beneath the surface.” The activity involved 15 surface ships from 10 NATO members and seven maritime patrol aircraft for support. Missions focused on intercepting three submarines simulating the exercise’s “adversary” team.

China Military

The 13th Chinese Peacekeeping Horizontal Engineering Company to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) passed the UN equipment inspection in the second quarter on May 11, local time.

The Diplomat

Over the last 20 years China has invested in building up a massive force of modern military helicopters. Chinese sources explicitly state such forces “were largely designed around cross-sea flight operations” – namely for the Taiwan scenario.

USNI News

One of the last of the Navy’s Flight IIA Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers was commissioned in a ceremony on Saturday.

The Moodie Davitt Report

The Ministry of Defence has published details of the eagerly anticipated duty free tender at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. The duty free contract is managed and overseen by government, with other concessions at the airport …

The Print

New Delhi: The defence ministry has approved a fresh list of 928 components and subsystems which will only be procured from domestic industry after a ban on their import kicks in under a staggered timeline of around five-and-a-half years.

Times of Oman

The Royal Air Force of Oman has carried out today a medical evacuation, using one of its helicopters, for a sailor of Russian nationality from a commercial ship after he had an emergency health issue.

Times of Oman

Ministry of Defence on Sunday approved the 4th Positive Indigenisation List of 928 strategically-important Line Replacement Units/Sub-systems/Spares and Components with import substitution value worth Rs 715 crore to promote self-reliance and indigenisation in the defence sector...

Ship 20 of Naval Region 3’s Brigade 172, together with a delegation of the Việt Nam People’s Navy (VPN), left the central city of Đà Nẵng on Sunday for international multilateral activities in Malaysia and Indonesia.

According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Ballistic Protection Market," The ballistic protection market was valued at $14 billion in 2021, and is estimated to reach $26.1 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2022 to 2031.

According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Drone Motor Market" was valued at $2.6 billion in 2021, and is estimated to reach $9.9 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 15.1% from 2022 to 2031.

According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Airships Market," The airships market was valued at $349.17 million in 2021, and is estimated to reach $608.1 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6% from 2022 to 2031.

Big Tech

Twitter says it will restrict access to some tweets before Turkey’s election The Washington Post Perry Stein Twitter claimed that it has ‘taken action to restrict access to some content in Turkey’ ahead of the country’s high-stakes election Sunday, but added the blocked content would remain available in the rest of the world. The company did not specify which tweets it would block and why it would block them.

Twitter appeared to limit the reach of investigative news site Bellingcat days after Elon Musk suggested its Texas mall shooter investigation was a 'psyop' Business Insider Pete Syme Twitter appears to have limited the reach of Bellingcat, an investigative news website, as its main account no longer appears in the app's search tool as the website reported on the Texas mall shooter's apparent neo-Nazi beliefs. Right-wing commentators on Twitter suggested that it was fake news, and Elon Musk called it a ‘psyop.’

Samsung's Lee Jae-yong meets Tesla's Elon Musk to talk tech Korea JoongAng Daily Lee Jae-Lim Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Tesla CEO Elon Musk met at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics Device Solutions America in Silicon Valley last week to discuss cooperation on advanced technologies. It signals that Samsung Electronics' semiconductor business may grow even larger as Telsa strives to develop its self-driving technology further.

Artificial Intelligence

Genie out of the bottle' on artificial intelligence The Canberra Times Tara Cosoleto Australia's eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said technology had evolved quicker than policy and was not properly regulated. It also posed a risk to safety, with generative AI used for manipulation, misinformation and extortion. Ms Inman Grant said the platforms benefiting from generative AI needed to ensure it was safe for users and the broader community.

Businesses seek out ChatGPT-tech for searching and analyzing their own data The Wall Street Journal Belle Lin Recent moves by Google, Microsoft and other vendors to harness the technology underlying ChatGPT for search is leading some corporate technology chiefs to rethink that functionality. While the ability to index company data to make it searchable exists, the difference now is that large-language models and generative AI can recognize patterns, make predictions and create content by processing enormous quantities of text, images and audio.

The open-source AI boom is built on Big Tech’s handouts. How long will it last? MIT Technology Review Will Douglas Heaven AI won't thrive if just a few mega-rich companies get to gatekeep this technology or decide how it is used. But this open-source boom is precarious. Most open-source releases still stand on the shoulders of giant models put out by big firms with deep pockets. If OpenAI and Meta decide they’re closing up shop, a boomtown could become a backwater.

On cyber security, is it time to get AI help out more? Gulf News Richard Mack Entities that use AI, machine learning, and analytics to identify and contain intrusion attempts and other incidents generally fare better than those that rely on processes driven by manual inputs to address cyber threats. It’s no wonder that the share of companies with fully or partially deployed security AI and automation increased from 65-70 per cent between 2021 and 2022.

Research

Harnessing the G20’s potential for global counter-ransomware efforts Observer Research Foundation Tobias Scholz and Sameer Patil The G20 can contribute to global counter-ransomware efforts through its Digital Economy Working Group. The grouping should assert itself as a global leader in countering ransomware while complementing existing international efforts. It should facilitate existing efforts of multilateral platforms for responsible state behaviour, declare its support to commence negotiations for a new United Nations Cybercrime Convention, and create a multi-stakeholder capacity-building platform to enhance awareness and strengthen the cyber-resilience of countries in the Global South.

Council on Geostrategy

This year marks the tenth year of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) ambitious global endeavour, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


 

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.


Extrema Ratio provides an objective analysis of the strategic risks posed by the emergence of Chinese state authoritarianism as the dominant geopolitical force.

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

Gabriele and Nicola Iuvinale

ASE 2023

To download the book index, preface and introduction: https://www.extremarationews.com/reuters-news

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