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Press review EX - 3 March

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

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  • Beijing expanding airborne surveillance capabilities over East China Sea. EXTREMA RATIO

  • The Biden administration plans to issue a cybersecurity strategy on Thursday that calls on software makers and American industry to take far greater responsibility to assure that their systems cannot be hacked, while accelerating efforts by the F.B.I. and the Defense Department to disrupt hackers and ransomware groups around the world. The New York Times

  • Poland’s tax service website was hit by a cyberattack believed to have been carried out by Russian hackers, according to the country’s top cybersecurity official. The Record by Recorded Future

  • Our research reveals that China has built the foundations to position itself as the world’s leading science and technology superpower, by establishing a sometimes stunning lead in high-impact research across the majority of critical and emerging technology domains. ASPI


Extrema Ratio

G Iuvinale

According to Janes, one of the world's top intelligence agencies, the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) is likely increasing the number of fixed-wing early warning, electronic intelligence (ELINT), and maritime patrol aircraft that can be operated from its Laiyang Air Base in Northeast China.

China plans to inject $1.9 billion into top memory chipmaker Bloomberg China has pledged to invest an additional $1.9 billion in the country’s biggest maker of memory chips, a deal that may herald a renewed influx of government capital into an industry hemmed in by US sanctions.

The Australian

Cameron Stewart

China is hurtling towards dominance over the west in global technology, raising fears it will soon have a stranglehold on the supply of some of the world’s most critical technologies according to a landmark report. The world-first study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute has found that China is much further advanced on key technologies compared to the rest of the world than was previously believed.

China trumps US in key technology research, report says The Wall Street Journal James T. Areddy Chinese researchers lead their American counterparts in the study of dozens of critical technologies, according to a new report that proposes Beijing is dominant in some scientific pursuits and positioned to develop key future breakthroughs. The report, published Thursday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, puts Chinese researchers ahead of Americans in 37 of 44 technologies examined, across the sectors of defense, space, robotics, energy, environment, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, advanced materials and quantum technology.

China on track to dominate development of critical future technologies, ASPI report says ABC Stephen Dziedzic The Australian Strategic Policy Institute "critical tech tracker" found China is beating the United States in 37 of 44 technologies which are likely to propel innovation, growth and military power in coming decades, including artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and quantum technology.

China has ‘enormous and widening’ technology research lead InnovationAus Joseph Brookes China’s dominance in high impact research areas like artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum and robotics portends future technology dominance and should be a “wake up call” to democracies, according to the report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

China leads US in global competition for key emerging technology, study says Reuters Kirsty Needham China has a "stunning lead" in 37 out of 44 critical and emerging technologies as Western democracies lose a global competition for research output, a security think tank said on Thursday after tracking defence, space, energy and biotechnology. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said its study showed that, in some fields, all of the world's top 10 research institutions are based in China.

Video: China leading world in critical technology a ‘wakeup call’ for democratic nations A report finding China to be leading the world in critical technology is a “wake up call” for democratic nations to have a strategic step in this area, says Australian Strategic Policy Institute Senior Analyst Dr. Jamie Gaida.

Chinese diplomats and state media focused on three main topics:

  • Ukraine “peace plan”: Chinese diplomats and state media actively promoted China’s position paper on what they still call “the Ukraine crisis”. They were especially keen to portray the report as proof of China’s constructive role in the war and to stress that the international community was admirative of this “important contribution”.

  • Warmongering Westerners: By contrast, Chinese accounts said NATO brought instability to Asia, accused the United States of bullying, and relayed the “seven dark rules of US diplomacy”. Beijing’s diplomats and state media were particularly active in framing the United States as the aggressor in the South China Sea.

  • COVID-19: Apart from a formal Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebuttal on Monday and Wednesday, Chinese diplomats mostly refrained from commenting on the latest allegations surrounding Covid-19’s origins. By contrast, the nationalist tabloid Global Times and several state media personalities dismissed US media’s “hysterical energy” and countered with recycled arguments about Fort Detrick being the source of the alleged lab leak. China holds 'stunning lead' over US in competition for key technology The Jerusalem Post

  • House committee on China makes case to American people: In the House select committee on China’s first hearing, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) framed the United States’ competition with China as an “existential struggle” as members and witnesses highlighted the growing list of flashpoints between the two countries—including Taiwan, human rights, technology, trade, and TikTok. Senior Fellow for Emerging Technologies Lindsay Gorman told the Dispatch, “The China committee is a critical opportunity for bipartisanship in Congress on an issue that affects every American—the global success of democracy and the post-World War II order that China is trying to undermine and rewrite. It’s vital that this work not devolve into partisan squabbles when there is so much high-level alignment. In technology we’ve seen this alignment bear fruit on the CHIPS and Science Act. If it’s to be successful, committee members making the case of the CCP threat to the American people—and that includes all Americans—must seek to avoid politicization, including avoiding known racist trip-wires.”


Australia's Space Command pushes for 'soft kill' capability to take out enemy satellites ABC Andrew Greene The head of the ADF's Space Command says Australia is working on a plan to acquire "soft-kill" capabilities to take out enemy satellites without creating dangerous debris.

Home Affairs to be restructured in response to new threats: O’Neil Australian Financial Times Tom McIlroy Clare O’Neil has ordered a restructure of the massive Home Affairs department’s work, part of efforts to better respond to a deteriorating global geopolitical outlook and threats from foreign interference and cyber crime.


New report: ASPI’s Critical Technology Tracker - The global race for future power ASPI Dr Jamie Gaida , Dr Jennifer Wong Leung , Stephan Robin & Danielle Cave Our research reveals that China has built the foundations to position itself as the world’s leading science and technology superpower, by establishing a sometimes stunning lead in high-impact research across the majority of critical and emerging technology domains.


Russian diplomats and state media focused on three main narratives:

  • Bryansk attack: After an alleged terrorist attack in Russia’s Bryansk region, Kremlin-backed messengers blamed Ukrainian forces, promised to destroy them, and asserted that they had planted a large amount of explosives in the area and tried to take school children hostage. Russian intelligence-backed sites called the attack a Ukrainian public relations stunt and argued that it proves Ukraine shouldn’t exist.

  • Broader war: Russian propagandists accused Ukraine of building up forces near Transnistria and preparing an attack with “radioactive substances” in the region. They also asserted that the United States was planning a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Ukraine.

  • China: Kremlin-linked accounts showcased growing trade between Russia and China and claimed that any effort to divide the countries would be “doomed to fail”. They also pushed back on renewed attention around the theory that COVID-19 leaked out of a lab in Wuhan. Finally, Russian accounts sent mixed messages on China’s peace plan, with officials saying there was no opportunity for peace at the moment and others arguing that Beijing has a chance to negotiate an end to the war.

United States, EU take aim at Russian sanctions evasion: The United States and the EU took action to reduce Russian sanctions evasion, as the United States sanctioned more than 200 entities across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that support Russia’s war effort and blacklisted 86 groups, including five Chinese firms, from accessing US technology. The EU also passed a new sanctions package further constraining Russian trade and banking. Deputy Director David Salvo said, “Generally speaking, the latest round of sanctions on Russian individuals and entities by the United States, United Kingdom, and EU reinforces transatlantic unity against Russian aggression in Ukraine. However, we’re seeing subtle divisions among EU member states about how severe some of those sanctions should be or which Russian commodities should be excluded from the EU market. That’s normal horse trading by EU negotiating standards, perhaps, but we need to hope those subtle divisions don’t lead to broader disagreement about how to wield sticks to punish Russia’s ongoing malign behavior.”


DHS requires states to spend 3% of new grant’s funds on election security: The US Department of Homeland Security will require states receiving funds from a $2 billion preparedness program to allocate at least 3% of their share to improving election security during the 2023 fiscal year. Elections Integrity Fellow David Levine told the Dispatch, “Requiring states to spend at least 3% of their Homeland Security grant funding on protecting elections is an important step to ensuring election officials have the resources they need to keep up with evolving threats, be they foreign or domestic. Such a requirement will help ensure that those remaining jurisdictions that are ‘target rich, cyber poor’ have more funding to do things like replace outdated equipment, address staffing shortages, and conduct updated training to keep abreast of evolving threats from autocratic actors.”

In case you missed it



On behalf of Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region and its National Security Task Force the Hoover Institution invites you to Then What? Assessing the Military Implications of Chinese Control of Taiwan on Friday, March 3, 2023 from 12:00 - 1:15 pm PT.

The military implications of Chinese control of Taiwan are understudied. Chinese control of Taiwan would likely improve the military balance in China's favor because of unification's positive impact on Chinese submarine warfare and ocean surveillance capabilities. Basing Chinese submarine warfare assets on Taiwan would increase the vulnerability of U.S. surface forces to attack during a crisis, reduce the attrition rate of Chinese submarines during a war, and likely increase the number of submarine attack opportunities against U.S. surface combatants. Furthermore, placing hydrophone arrays off Taiwan's coasts for ocean surveillance would forge a critical missing link in China's kill chain for long-range attacks. This outcome could push the United States toward anti-satellite warfare that it might otherwise avoid, or it could force the U.S. Navy into narrower parts of the Philippine Sea. Finally, over the long term, if China were to develop a large fleet of truly quiet nuclear attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines, basing them on Taiwan would provide it with additional advantages. Specifically, such basing would enable China to both threaten Northeast Asian sea lanes of communication and strengthen its sea-based nuclear deterrent in ways that it is otherwise unlikely to be able to do. These findings have important implications for U.S. operational planning, policy, and grand strategy.



Costs must be measured against the benefits of free trade, such as lower prices and broader supply chains.

We increasingly hear, especially from politicians on the US right, that globalization is a problem. It hurts our workers and makes us more dependent on producers in other countries and their governments.

But is globalization a problem? In answering the question, we need to look not only at the costs of globalization but also at the benefits. To leave out the benefits is to engage in “single-entry bookkeeping.” And the benefits are many—from cheaper goods and services to diversification of supply chains to a more peaceful world.

interview with H. R. McMastervia CBS News

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster says the threat from China is much worse than threat from the former USSR.

interview with Matt Pottingervia CNBC

Hoover Institution fellow Matt Pottinger talks about whether businesses can still operate in China in good conscience, China’s aspirations, and more.

quoting Frank Diköttervia Yahoo! Life

“Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s communes. In pursuit of a utopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods taken from them,” the historian Frank Dikötter explained in an article in History Today.

quoting H. R. McMaster, Matt Pottingervia CBS Mornings

A newly formed House select committee on China warned of increased threats to the U.S. during an inaugural primetime hearing. The hearing comes amid a wave of crises involving China, including a deflated spy balloon and the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab.

quoting H. R. McMaster, Matt Pottingervia Newsweek

H.R. McMaster served as national security adviser to former President Donald Trump between 2017 and 2018. He said: "Because of the complexity of it, especially the interconnectedness of China with the global economy. And the scale of what they're doing from an economic perspective and from an espionage perspective, I think, is unprecedented."

quoting H. R. McMastervia Fox News

Former National Security Adviser HR McMaster said Tuesday at the first House Select Committee on China hearing that the next two years could be a "dangerous period" for the United States as tensions between China and Taiwan could escalate.

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

Gabriele e Nicola Iuvinale


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