Roger Garside, Prospect
I left China convinced that its problems are insoluble without political change, but knowing that today’s leadership is implacably opposed to that. Between the dynamism of the private sector and the growth of Christianity, on the one hand, and the value-destroying state sector and dead hand of dictatorship on the other, a new China is struggling to be born. The intellectuals I met wait with acute anxiety. One venerable authority said to me: “The crisis is already there: it will present itself through some random incident, impossible to predict. How it will play out is hard to say, but a financial crisis would certainly lead to a social crisis.”
Catherine Shu, TechCrunch
China’s crackdown on Internet freedom is getting even more intense. Last Friday, the country’s top Internet censor announced a new set of regulations meant to eliminate posts by anonymous users on Internet forums and other platforms. The Cyberspace Administration of China will start enforcing those rules on Oct. 1. According to the new regulations, Internet companies and service providers are responsible for requesting and verifying real names from users when they register and must immediately report illegal content to the authorities.
Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said on Monday a report claiming its billionaire chairman, Wang Jianlin, was prevented from leaving the country was “groundless” and that it planned to take legal action. Taiwanese news site Bowen Press had reported on Sunday that Wang, who was with his family, was stopped from leaving Tianjin airport on Friday and had been detained for a few hours. It was not clear from the report if Wang’s family had also been stopped from leaving.
India and China have agreed to an “expeditious disengagement” of troops at a disputed border area where their soldiers have been locked in stand-off for more than two months, the South Asian nation’s foreign ministry said on Monday. The decision comes ahead of a summit of the BRICS nations—a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa—in China early next month, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.
Kim Tong-Hyung, TIME
North Korea fired several rockets into the sea Saturday in the continuation of its rapid nuclear and missile expansion, prompting South Korea to press ahead with military drills involving U.S. troops that have angered Pyongyang. The US Pacific Command revised its initial assessment that the first and third short-range missiles failed during flight to say they flew about 250 kilometers (155 miles). It said that the second missile appears to have blown up immediately and that none posed a threat to the US territory of Guam, which the North had previously warned it would fire missiles toward.
Brad Lendon and Will Ripley, CNN
North Korea kept up its bellicose rhetoric against the United States on Monday as South Korean officials said Pyongyang may be preparing its sixth nuclear weapon test. Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told South Korean lawmakers at a closed door parliamentary session that it has detected signs of North Korea preparing for another nuclear test at its Punggye-ri underground test site. Speculation of when North Korea would conduct another nuclear test has been rife this year, with it being pegged to various days important in North Korean history.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has urged Moscow to meet its international commitments to be fully transparent about war games planned for next month in Belarus and western Russia. “We are going to be watching very closely the course of these exercises,” Stoltenberg told journalists in Warsaw on August 25 following talks with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. He was referring to the Zapad 2017 joint Belarusian-Russian military exercises that are expected to take place September 14-20.
Roman Olearchyk, Financial Times
US-Russian relations will be “crippled” unless a solution is found to the Ukraine crisis, the newly appointed US envoy on the country has warned, dashing any hopes Moscow may still harbor for rapprochement under Donald Trump’s presidency. Kurt Volker also confirmed to the Financial Times that the US administration was “seriously considering” whether to change its position and deliver lethal weapons to Ukraine. His comments in Kiev came after Jim Mattis, US defense secretary, last week spoke in favor of arming Ukraine as he stood alongside president Petro Poroshenko on the 26th anniversary of the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.
Joseph Marks, Nextgov
A major intelligence policy bill would bar President Donald Trump from establishing a cybersecurity working group with Russia and order top administration officials to develop a plan to counter Russian meddling in future US elections. The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a draft of the bill in late July but only posted the full text this month. Trump floated the idea of a US-Russia cyber working group soon after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a G-20 meeting in July.
Ellen Mitchell, The Hill
President Trump earlier this month accused some of his top economic advisors of being “globalists” that were resisting his agenda, Axios reported on Sunday. During Gen. John Kelly’s first week as White House Chief of Staff, the former Homeland Security secretary called a meeting to discuss the administration’s plans to investigate China for stealing US intellectual property and technology. “China is laughing at us. Laughing,” said the President.
Venezuela has kicked off two days of nationwide military drills seen as a deterrent against military intervention by the United States. Warplanes, tanks, and 200,000 troops of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) were deployed along with 700,000 reserves and civil militia members as the exercises formally launched on Saturday. “The people and the FANB are defending territory and sovereignty,” President Nicolas Maduro wrote on Twitter. “Against the belligerent threats of the United States, all Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to contribute to the integral defense of the nation.”
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang appeared in public for the first time in more than a month on Monday, ending an absence from the political scene that triggered online speculation about his health and position. The Communist Party leadership is notoriously opaque and changes this year have included the unprecedented sacking of a politburo member and a vice-minister in a corruption crackdown. The government website showed pictures of Quang at his office welcoming Cuban ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz.