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Press review EX - 7 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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Chinese colonization: the latest affairs | How can the world prevent China from taking over Taiwan? Look to India | China to create new top regulator for data governance | Twitter insiders: We can't protect users from trolling under Musk | New ASPI report: Seeking to undermine democracy and partnerships


  • Chinese colonization: the latest affairs. Dahua Technology in Discussions to Provide Surveillance Tech for Libya’s Airports. Extrema Ratio

  • How can the world prevent China from taking over Taiwan? Look to India. ORF

  • China is set to create a new government agency to centralize the management of the country’s vast stores of data, as Beijing seeks to address data-security practices by businesses and streamline its regulatory structure. The Wall Street Journal

  • Twitter insiders have told the BBC that the company is no longer able to protect users from trolling, state-co-ordinated disinformation and child sexual exploitation, following lay-offs and changes under owner Elon Musk. BBC

  • The Chinese Communist Party is conducting coordinated information operations in Pacific island countries. Those operations are designed to influence political elites, public discourse and political sentiment regarding existing partnerships with Western democracies. Our research shows how the CCP frequently seeks to capitalise on regional events, announcements and engagements to push its own narratives, many of which are aimed at undermining some of the region’s key partnerships. ASPI

China

Extrema Ratio

Gabriele Iuvinale

Dahua Technology in Discussions to Provide Surveillance Tech for Libya’s Airports; Chinese Explosive Company Signs 13-Year Deal with Namibian Uranium Mine Owned by China National Nuclear Corp and Iranian "Legacy Investor"; Chinese Port Companies Court Singapore as China Seeks to Expand Maritime Posture; China Construction Bank (CCB) Agrees to Finance Brcko-Bijeljina Highway After EBRD Declines Project; Multiple Investments in Indonesia Announced, Expanding China’s EV Supply Chain Footprint; Legislator suggests national innovation center of rare earth in Inner Mongolia.

ORF

Satoru Nagao

India’s role in preventing a Chinese takeover of Taiwan is the key to keeping the dragon in check in the region. In 2021, the then-Chief of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Philip Davidson, said that China may try to attack Taiwan by 2027; and in 2022, the Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director, David Cohen, stated that Chinese President Xi Jinping wants the People’s Liberation Army to have the capability to take control of Taiwan by force by 2027. In light of these assessments, the United States (US) government is taking the threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan very seriously. How to prevent that from becoming a reality is a matter of great concern. How does India fit into this situation? Indeed, India could play a very big role.

China to create new top regulator for data governance The Wall Street Journal Keith Zhai China is set to create a new government agency to centralize the management of the country’s vast stores of data, as Beijing seeks to address data-security practices by businesses and streamline its regulatory structure.

Xi Jinping urges China to greater self-reliance amid sanctions and trade tensions The Guardian Helen Davidson China must speed up its science and technology development to ensure greater self-reliance, the country’s leader Xi Jinping has told an annual political meeting, as Beijing becomes more isolated by sanctions and other trade concerns.

China Neican

Reading the China Dream

  • Zhao Yanjing on Bailing out Local Government Debt

  • Zhao Yanjing on High Tech Tit-for-Tat

Made in China Journal

  • Setting Knowledge Free: Towards an Ethical Open Access

China Heritage

  • ‘It’s all ruined by the politics.’

China Media Project

  • A Model Opera at Lujiang Middle School

China Leadership Monitor

  • The Sudden End of Zero-Covid: An Investigation

  • The A4 Movement: Mapping its Background and Impact

  • China’s Balance Sheet Challenge

  • China’s Struggle for Common Prosperity

  • Measuring China’s Technological Self-Reliance Drive

  • The Patriotic Education Campaign in Xi Jinping’s China: The Emergence of a New Generation of Nationalists

China Brief

  • The DPP’s 2024 Presidential Candidate-in-Waiting: William Lai

  • The CCTV Spring Festival Gala: A Cultural Showcase Loses its Luster

  • Ten Years On, How is the Belt and Road Initiative Faring in Indonesia?

  • Russia-Ukraine War Compels Japan to Reassess China Challenge, Shift Course on Security

  • The Global Security Initiative: China Outlines a New Security Architecture

interview with Matt Pottingervia Washington Post Live

Hoover Institution fellow Matt Pottinger discusses the rising tensions in the Sino-US relationship, China’s role in the global economy, and the future of Taiwan.

interview with Miles Maochun Yuvia NTD

Hoover Institution fellow Miles Yu talks about why Taiwan matters.

via Hoover Daily Report

On behalf of Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Hoover Institution invites you to Semiconductors and Geo-technology: ‘Know-How’ is Power on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 12:00 PM PT.

quoting Matt Pottingervia South China Morning Post

Amplifying the China threat, Matt Pottinger, Donald Trump’s deputy national security adviser, told the committee that China would not cooperate with the US on anything, yes, literally, on any serious issue.

USA

White House said to consider pushing Congress on dealing with TikTok The New York Times David McCabe In a strategy shift, the Biden administration is increasingly pointing to Congress to give it more legal power to deal with TikTok and other technology that could expose Americans’ sensitive data to China.

US Special Forces want to use deepfakes for psy-ops The Intercept Sam Biddle US special operations command, responsible for some of the country’s most secretive military endeavors, is gearing up to conduct internet propaganda and deception campaigns online using deepfake videos, according to federal contracting documents reviewed by The Intercept.

Biden’s screening test The Wire Katrina Northrop The U.S government is poised to increase its scrutiny of the billions of American investment dollars flowing into Chinese high tech firms. But putting the policy into practice may be harder than many in Washington expect.

Facebook and Google are handing over user data to help police prosecute abortion seekers Business Insider Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert As abortion bans across the nation are implemented and enforced, law enforcement is turning to social-media platforms to build cases to prosecute women seeking abortions or abortion-inducing medication — and online platforms like Google and Facebook are helping.

by Scott W. Atlasvia Newsweek

Almost all of America's leaders have gradually pulled back their COVID mandates, requirements, and closures—even in states like California, which had imposed the most stringent and longest-lasting restrictions on the public. At the same time, the media has been gradually acknowledging the ongoing release of studies that totally refute the purported reasons behind those restrictions.

by Steven J. Davis, Nicholas Bloom, Stephen Hansen, Peter John Lambert, Raffaella Sadun, Bledi Taska via Becker Friedman Institute

From 2019 to early 2023, the share of job postings offering remote work for one or more days per week rose more than three-fold in the United States and by a factor of five or more in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Following the SolarWinds breach discovery in 2020, CISA improved its ability to detect and mitigate risks from major cyberattacks, but work remains to safeguard Federal networks. CISA coordinates Federal agencies’ defense against cyberattacks, but the SolarWinds response revealed that CISA did not have adequate resources — backup communication systems, staff, or secure space — to effectively respond to threats. This occurred because CISA’s continuity, strategic workforce, and workspace allocation plans were not complete or did not meet mission needs.

In response to the May 2021 Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, CISA is improving its ability to detect and mitigate cyber intrusions. CISA completed most of the required tasks in the Executive Order, and it improved its information sharing and coordination.

CISA’s after-action reports on the SolarWinds response identified gaps in the technologies and capabilities needed for cyber incident prevention, detection, and mitigation. Before the breach, CISA had begun to bolster its automated cyber threat detection and to develop its malware analysis and data analytics capabilities. However, CISA still needs to receive all the necessary cybersecurity data from other Federal agencies’ dashboards and complete its plans for development of malware and data analytics capabilities. Until these efforts are completed, CISA may not always be able to effectively detect and mitigate major cyberattacks or meet the Government’s demand for cyber capabilities that protect Federal networks and systems.

by Edward M. Ifftvia Analysis

Just a month ago, imagining a situation in which we no longer had New START would have been premature. But President Putin’s February 21, 2023, announcement that Russia is “suspending” the treaty moves dealing with such a situation from premature to urgent.

interview with Victor Davis Hansonvia The Victor Davis Hanson Show

Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson talks with Mark Moyar about his new book Triumph Regained: The Vietnam War, 1965-1968. Access to North Vietnamese sources changes old assumptions of the war.

North Asia

TSMC’s turning point The Wire Gregor Stuart Hunter Inside one of the Yuan’s austere meeting rooms, opposition politician Chiu Chen-yuan grilled foreign minister Joseph Wu about the latest unstoppable expansion of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Was the company under pressure to export its most sophisticated technology to its new plant in Phoenix, Arizona, Chiu wanted to know. Had the government inked a “secret deal” with the Americans to disadvantage Taiwan?

Southeast Asia

Huawei fights for role as Malaysia reviews 5G tender Financial Times Mercedes Ruehl Huawei is battling back in the competition to build 5G networks in south-east Asia, one of the last regions where the Chinese telecoms equipment maker still retains influence after being blacklisted by Washington.

Europe

Cyberattack hits major hospital in Spanish city of Barcelona Associated Press A ransomware cyberattack on one of Barcelona’ s main hospitals has crippled the center’s computer system and forced the cancellation of 150 nonurgent operations and up to 3,000 patient checkups, officials said Monday.

Germany signals a pivot from China’s Huawei POLITICO Louis Westendarp Leading lawmakers and politicians are calling on telecoms operators to reduce their reliance on Chinese equipment in current and future networks. It comes after a report showed operators have procured high amounts of 5G equipment from Chinese vendors recently, and follows years of German hesitation to slap restrictions on so-called high-risk vendors, a term widely understood to mean Chinese equipment makers Huawei and ZTE.

TikTok rolls out ‘Project Clover’ to assure Europeans on data The Wall Street Journal Stu Woo TikTok executives are rolling out what they call “Project Clover,” a charm offensive aimed at convincing European politicians the video-sharing app is safeguarding user data on the continent.

The internet is about to get a lot safer MIT Technology Review Tate Ryan-Mosley A couple of weeks ago, the Digital Services Act reached a major milestone. By February 17, 2023, all major tech platforms in Europe were required to self-report their size, which was used to group the companies in different tiers. The largest companies, with over 45 million active monthly users in the EU (or roughly 10% of EU population), are creatively called “Very Large Online Platforms” (or VLOPs) or “Very Large Online Search Engines” (or VLOSEs) and will be held to the strictest standards of transparency and regulation.

UK

UK opposition calls for better online protections for children Reuters Martin Coulter Britain's opposition Labour Party has called on the government to enact its long-delayed Online Safety Bill, after Reuters revealed how few underage children Snap had removed from its Snapchat platform.

Australia

Social media being ‘weaponised’ to enable foreign interference Australian Financial Review Max Mason Foreign interference and the spread of disinformation are made easier by social media in the way it uses secret algorithms to put forward content, allows anonymity and provides limited moderation, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation warns.

The new cybercriminal gang Australian businesses need to watch out for Australian Financial Review Max Mason A new cybercriminal gang called Medusa is using a range of tactics, including pretending to be a cybersecurity professional, to grow its profile as it hacks into more businesses, including in Australia.

‘No place in court for robot lawyers’, says Law Council The Australian Ellie Dudley The president of the Law Council of Australia has condemned the use of AI-operated lawyers in the courtroom, saying the “sound judgment” of human beings could not be easily replaced by technology, despite moves in the US to allow the world’s first automated defence lawyer to front a court.

No end to crypto’s ‘wild west’ as govt goes slow on regulation Australian Financial Review Mark Di Stefano Tens of thousands of Australians being burned in recent crypto crashes and frauds has failed to convince the government of the need to expedite new regulations, with internal Treasury documents suggesting new laws are still more than a year away.

World

Police arrest suspected members of prolific DoppelPaymer ransomware gang TechCrunch Carly Page An international law enforcement operation has led to the arrests of suspected core members of the prolific DoppelPaymer ransomware operation.

FDD

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said today that Iran’s ostensible nuclear concessions over the weekend are still subject to negotiations. Rafael Grossi’s statement appeared to reverse his earlier assertion on Saturday, after meeting with Iranian officials in Tehran, that Iran had agreed to address some international concerns over its nuclear activities. Meanwhile, an Iranian government news site denied today that Iran had made concessions during Grossi’s visit. As a likely result of the initial optimism that greeted Grossi’s meetings, the value of Iran’s rial significantly rebounded on Sunday after dropping precipitously against the dollar in recent weeks.

FDD

“Ankara refuses to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization and continues to allow the organization to exist in Turkey. Both Ismail Haniyeh, a top Hamas leader residing in Turkey, and his son have Turkish passports. It is likely that Erdogan wants to keep Hamas in his back pocket as a means of having leverage over Israel as the two countries continue to develop bilateral ties.”

by Peter Berkowitzvia Real Clear Politics

The outpouring of opposition in Israel to the sweeping judicial reforms advanced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government springs from much more than disagreement about the details of the institutional mechanisms for appointing judges and the proper scope of judicial review in a rights-protecting democracy.

by Rose Gottemoeller, Marshall L. Brown, Jr. via The Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists

Vladimir Putin sent anti-diplomatic shock waves around the world when he announced that Russia was suspending its implementation of the New START arms control agreement last week.

by Michael McFaulvia McFaul's World

In 1986, I wrote my honors senior thesis at Stanford University on Soviet decision-making behind military interventions in eastern Europe as well as American responses to them. In my thesis – which turned out to be way too long (256 pages!) – I tried to explain why Soviet leaders intervened in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 but did not militarily intervene in Poland in 1981, instead only supporting the imposition of martial law to destroy the Polish Solidarity movement there.

by Frank Lavinvia Forbes

I was munching on a breakfast of jackfruit and pineapple in downtown Dhaka, chatting with Zarif, a partner at Boston Consulting Group.

by Scott W. Atlasvia NTD

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas says that the World Health Organization’s draft pandemic accord should be publicly vetted. He says the draft agreement contains unresolved deal breakers.

ASPI

New report: Seeking to undermine democracy and partnerships ASPI Blake Johnson and Joshua Dunne The Chinese Communist Party is conducting coordinated information operations in Pacific island countries. Those operations are designed to influence political elites, public discourse and political sentiment regarding existing partnerships with Western democracies. Our research shows how the CCP frequently seeks to capitalise on regional events, announcements and engagements to push its own narratives, many of which are aimed at undermining some of the region’s key partnerships.

The Canberra Times

Sarah Basford Canales

Australian Strategic Policy Institute China analyst Fergus Ryan says it's time for the government to issue a sector-wide direction given the risks posed. "I think there should be a uniform rule about this," Mr Ryan told The Canberra Times. "It doesn't really make sense to me why there would be such a patchwork approach to the problem."

Big Tech

Twitter insiders: We can't protect users from trolling under Musk BBC Marianna Spring Twitter insiders have told the BBC that the company is no longer able to protect users from trolling, state-co-ordinated disinformation and child sexual exploitation, following lay-offs and changes under owner Elon Musk.

WhatsApp agrees to be more transparent on policy changes, EU says Reuters Foo Yun Chee and Charlotte Campenhout WhatsApp has agreed to be more transparent about changes to its privacy policy introduced in 2021, the European Commission said on Monday, following complaints from consumer bodies across Europe.

Misc

Your face is your ticket: A creepy convenience The Wall Street Journal Nicole Nguyen Facial-recognition express lanes come to airports, stadiums and trade shows.


Photo: La Cina di Xi Jinping - Verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico? Gabriele e Nicola Iuvinale 2023 Stango Editore Amazon: 👇 https://amazon.it/dp/8888909494?ref=myi_title_dp Stango editore 👇 https://stangoeditore.com/prodotto/la-cina-di-xi-jinping/

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