Stronger than Article 5 of the NATO Agreement, U.S. Will Defend Taiwan for TSMC Chips?

Hello everyone. Welcome to Zooming In China Tea Time. I’m Simone Gao. 

In an interview with ABC News on August 19th, President Biden suggested that the U.S. would intervene if the CCP invaded Taiwan. Arguing that the situation in Taiwan was “not comparable” to the one in Afghanistan, Biden said that “We have made, kept every commitment. We made a sacred commitment to Article 5 that if, in fact, anyone were to invade or take action against our NATO allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan.” 

But there is a problem with Biden’s claim. The agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan is different from the agreements with South Korea, or Japan, or NATO. Under Article 5 in the NATO agreement, an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all. In that context, the U.S. is sworn to stand and defend all other NATO nations. Article 5 does not extend to non-NATO nations, so it does not automatically apply to either South Korea or Japan or Taiwan.

The agreement between the United States and South Korea is the U.S.-Korea Mutual Defense Treaty signed in 1953. Under this treaty, if either South Korea or the United States is attacked in the Asia-Pacific region, the other will provide military assistance. In the nearly 70 years since the signing of that treaty, South Korea has sent military support to assist in most of the major wars America has been involved in. During the Vietnam War, South Korea sent 320,000 troops to assist the U.S. military. For its part, the United States stations nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea as a deterrent to their hostile neighbor to the north.

There is also the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan that permits the presence of U.S. military bases on Japanese soil and commits the two nations to defend each other if one or the other is attacked.

In the case of Taiwan, though, the defense commitments offered in the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 are much weaker. The Act mentions only that “the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.” 

While the Act does say that the U.S. will consider “any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means…a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States,” grave concern does not necessarily equal a willingness to go to battle. But while the U.S. is not obligated to send troops in support of Taiwan, there has recently been a very public show of America’s support for Taiwan in the face of mounting pressure from China. 

And there is a good reason for that support. Though little talked about in the press, Taiwan is the epicenter of technology manufacturing, especially the hi-tech semiconductor chips that power most of our modern devices. From computers, cell phones and cars to household devices like washing machines and refrigerators, most of today’s devices function through semiconductor chip technology. And most of these chips are produced in Taiwan by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC.

Although TSMC is not the only semiconductor foundry in the world, it is by far the largest. TSMC has a market share of 56% in the global semiconductor foundry market. It manufactures 80% of the world’s most advanced semiconductors.

TSMC is also the go-to producer for the silicon powering companies like Apple, Nvidia and AMD. Intel will be contracting through TSMC in 2022 as well, once their 3nm process is fully functional. And because of advances in technology, including 5G technologies, demand has outpaced their ability to produce the needed components, leading to their current two-year backlog on production. TSMC’s manufacturing capacity for all of 2021 and 2022 is already fully scheduled. 

To catch up to the climbing demand in the industry they dominate, TSMC has outlined a $100 billion investment plan over the next three years. That plan includes a $12 billion semiconductor wafer production plant in Arizona with the possibility of as many as six new factories in that location over the next 10-15 years. But while production has already begun on the facility, the wafer plant is not expected to be fully operational until 2024.

The U.S. government has come to realize the critical importance of technology pipelines, tying them directly to national security interests. To secure those interests, encouraging manufacturing and production companies to bring their resources to America was critical. And while the first TSMC plant will account for just a small part of their current total production capacity, the U.S.’s $54 billion subsidies are drawing interest from Intel, Samsung and others as well.

Even if these other manufacturers could replace TSMC, even if they had similar technologies, and it would not be possible to immediately transfer production capacity from TSMC to other manufacturers. Each company has unique processes that are incompatible with those of others. It would take years for new manufacturers to complete the redesign necessary to produce TSMC chips.

But TSMC’s top-notch technology is not something that could be replaced by other manufacturers. Many original chip manufacturers were replaced by TSMC because they could not develop these top-notch technologies. In 2018, AMD transferred its chip manufacturing to TSMC in order to be more competitive in the chip market. One of the key reasons AMD has now surpassed Intel is that Intel has been unable to catch up with the 7-nanometer chips produced by TSMC. So, this is more than a question of funding and time. It is also a question of technological ability. And for now, technological breakthrough rests largely in the hands of TSMC.

It is clear that the U.S. needs TSMC, but this is not a one-sided relationship. While TSMC has developed the ability to manufacture these chips, the designs and patents for the chips come from the United States. If the U.S. withdrew their permission to use their technology, TSMC’s business would be paralyzed. We saw an example of this when the U.S. imposed an export ban on China, preventing any chips with American technology from being sold to China which led to substantial losses for Chinese companies, including Huawei.

As we move forward in the fast-paced world of emerging technologies, The U.S. and Taiwan need one another. The U.S. does not have the manufacturing capacity to replace that of TSMC. Taiwanese companies cannot afford to lose access to the technologies of the U.S. This kind of reliance on one another is not any weaker than the bonding force of Article 5 from the NATO agreement.

When I interviewed Keith Krach, former U.S. Under Secretary of State, I asked him if the U.S. intended  to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan in the later period of the Trump administration. He said that while he could not share the specifics, they had a strategy, which was to encourage the rest of the world to invest in Taiwan and set up factories. In this way, the security of Taiwan would be directly related to the commercial interests of these countries, and they would be more willing to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait and restrain the CCP.

This pattern was formed because of the existence and relevance of TSMC. Taiwan is not only tied to China and the United States but also has a very important stake in the rest of the world. A loss of TSMC to the control of the Chinese government would mean global economic and communications disruptions. Because the impacts are global, the protections offered to Taiwan need to be global as well. In this way, TSMC can be the sacred mountain for protecting their homeland that Taiwanese people have long claimed it to be. 

That’s all for today. Thanks for watching Zooming In China Tea Time. Please like, share, subscribe and donate to this production if you like our content. Also, head over to my new membership site at zoomingin.tv. You can get video/audio formats of my shows, full transcripts, and in-depth reports only available to members. I will also do live Q & A shows with members on the site. Just $5 a month or $50 a year, cancel anytime. Please check it out. Thanks for watching and I will see you next time.

Why Will Taiwan Not Become 2nd Afghanistan? | Zooming In China

Simone: Hello, everyone. Welcome to Zooming In China. I’m Simone Gao. When U.S. Special Envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad signed the agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan with the Taliban on February 29th, 2020, the hope for American officials was that this would be a peace agreement that enables withdrawal. Under the terms of the agreement, which was brokered during the Trump administration, the U.S. Would commit to withdrawing all troops in return for the Taliban’s promise to begin peace talks with the Afghan government and to guarantee that the Taliban would not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including Al-Qaida, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies. Khalilzad called it a day of hope. But a peace agreement only works if both parties honor it, and despite Taliban leaders’ refusal to hold peace talks with the Afghan government, the Trump administration began withdrawing troops ahead of schedule. Biden continued that withdrawal, even though U.N. Reports showed that the Taliban retained close ties with Al-Qaeda.
 
Simone: And as that final withdrawal began on May 1st, the Taliban followed close behind, taking the country by force. It seems clear now that what the Taliban wanted all of the years of negotiation with Khalilzad was a timeline. They wanted to know when the U.S. Would leave so that they could begin preparing for the result the world watched unfold. The Taliban first took the countryside, but little mention was made in the press. It wasn’t until their final siege on provincial capitals, leading to the taking of Kabul and the fall of the Afghan government on August 15th, that the world took notice, stunned at how quickly Afghanistan had collapsed, sold on the idea that the Taliban was uncontested by Afghan soldiers and citizens. The year and a half the Taliban spent preparing for this moment allowed them to sweep through like a brush fire, as the reporting of these events led us to believe. In truth, the fall was three and a half months in the making. Why did what happened in Afghanistan happen? What will be different after American troops’ disastrous withdrawal from the country? I had these discussions with Brian Kennedy, president of The American Strategy Group. Take a listen.
 
Simone:
Thank you, Brian, for joining Zooming In China today.
 
Brian Kennedy: Great to be with you, Simone, as always.
 
Simone: Okay. So, you published an article recently on the Claremont Institute. So, in your article, you said the disastrous withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan is not the fault of just one person, President Biden. Can you explain that?
 
Brian Kennedy: Yeah, the the article was on the Claremont Institute’s website, called the American Mind, and it’s very popular with a lot of the the folks in the world of President Trump and those who follow his Make America Great movement. And so, I wrote it because I partly wanted to explain that a lot of blame was being put on President Biden as if this was just incompetence, the way they were getting out of Afghanistan. When in fact, I don’t think it was just incompetence. There may have been incompetence, but I was trying to argue that this was high government policy, that Biden and the Vice-President and the Secretary of State Blinken and General Milley and Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense, they were all part of the decision-making process. And as a matter of high government policy, they decided to get out of Afghanistan this way.
 
Brian Kennedy: And so, just saying it was incompetence struck me as an incorrect assessment of what was going on. That this looks to me more like they’re trying to demoralize both the American people and the American military in getting out this way. And it’s important to realize that a lot of malfeasance can get covered up with incompetence, but this is not incompetence. This was intentional, because they had a choice. It’s, it’s not easy to move that many people. It’s not easy to make these momentous decisions. And so, this seems to me very intentional and designed, as I say, to demoralize the United States.
 
Simone: Right. That’s a very, very big claim. Before we before I asked you to explain more on that, I want to ask you, the decision to leave Afghanistan was not made by President Biden, but by President Trump. So, do you think that’s the right decision after all?
 
Brian Kennedy: Well, look, President Trump had run for President back in 2015 and 2016 on the belief that we have to end these forever wars, and President Trump was critical and worried about losing lives over there in Afghanistan and anywhere else, when it wasn’t clear why we were there. It’s one thing to have Americans in a theater of combat, like Afghanistan or Iraq, when they’re actually doing something to stop terrorists. But in Afghanistan, it had moved over time from stopping Al-Qaeda or the Taliban to actually doing a lot of nation-building there. And when we lose soldiers in that process, it’s not really fair to ask America’s sons and daughters or America’s mothers and fathers to give up their children for that kind of an enterprise. So that when President Trump said we were going to end our forever wars and bring our troops home, he had a very specific thing in mind, which is we had achieved our objective over there, which was to stop terrorism.
 
Brian Kennedy: And then we ought to be moving American troops back home, but he had a very specific plan on how that should happen. And he didn’t want to do it in a way, wasn’t going to do it in such a way, that the prestige of the United States was at all compromised. And so, the idea was, remove American NGOs, the people who were working for the, the various humanitarian organizations, let our allies know we were leaving so that, so that they could take out their nationals as well. And then over time, if the situation on the ground was stable, then move out the American military. And so he had a very specific set of guidelines in that process, and that seemed perfectly reasonable to me because, again, we’d achieved our objective over there. And I think President Trump was, was, was acknowledging that and making good on his promise to, to end our forever wars abroad.
 
Simone: You just said it’s not fair to ask American parents to give up their children to, you know, on countries like Afghanistan, to do nation-building and stuff like that. My question is when is it fair, because this is not the first time America has done something like that. America intervened in the Vietnam War fought in the Korean War and you know, American parents gave up their children to help those countries. When is it the right thing to do? And when is it not?
 
Brian Kennedy: Yeah, that’s, I think you make an important distinction, and maybe the word fair is not quite the, uh, the right word, but like, if you look at the Korean War, it was to stop the spread of Communism. And when you look at the Vietnam War, it’s about stopping the spread of Communism. And it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to have the American military have a strategic objective to stop the spread of Communism such that American interests would be protected. Remember, when we were fighting in Korea or in Vietnam, we had a strategic concept about the island shield of Asia that so long as we were in places like Japan or Korea or Vietnam that the Communist Chinese would have to displace us from those countries before they could ever make war on the United States. And this was a strategic concept that had guided American strategists in very sensible ways.
 
Brian Kennedy: And so, so even if we were in Vietnam for, you know, trying to, trying to keep the South Vietnamese government in operation, it wasn’t just about, it wasn’t just about, or even primarily about, South Vietnam. It was about the United States and the security of the United States. When you transpose that to Afghanistan, in Afghanistan, when we first went over there, it was to go after Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda network that was operating in Afghanistan. That was about the defense of the United States. So long as we were doing that, that made perfect sense. If an American soldier went over there and, and fought and died, it was clearly for the defense of the United States, but over time that morphed into the nation-building project. And that’s where things become much more difficult to understand, because, look, we have a military which is voluntary.
 
Brian Kennedy: So, people know when they join the military today that they could be sent to a place like Afghanistan and that they’ll be put in harm’s way. So, American, you know, men and women who are in our military, they do so freely, and God bless them for doing so. But when you’re making political and strategic decisions about that and their lives and the well-being of the country, a policymaker, whether it’s the President or the Secretary of Defense, has to think long and hard about putting such soldiers in harm’s way. Do they do it for the defense of the United States or for the betterment of the people of Afghanistan? One could argue that for maybe the last decade, much of what we’ve been doing is for the betterment of the people of Afghanistan and not much at all for the good of the people of the United States. And that’s where I think Americans rightly become concerned that their investment in the U.S. Military or having their sons and daughters enlist in the American military is not a good idea, because they’re not actually defending the United States. They’re helping some other nation. And I think at the heart of an America-first foreign policy should be, is this good for us–us, the American people–and then on a secondary level, is it good for our allies and the free world? It seems to me, that’s how you ought to judge these things.
 
Simone: Right. And also, I think just from the practical level, I think the Afghanistan debacle raised another question: can democracies be simply transplanted to other countries? Afghanistan, if you think about it, they had never had um, constitutional democracy. It had been ruled by warlords or occupied for thousands of years. Occupation, I mean corruption, is rampant. 90% of the population is illiterate. When our founding fathers designed the American system, they were aware of one thing: you can create a very good system, a system that has checks and balances, so the bad part of human nature would not be able to wreak havoc. However, in the end, the success of the system must rely on the good part of human nature, because the essence of a constitutional democracy is self-governance. People have to have the morality and capability to govern themselves. If they don’t, they can’t make a constitutional democracy work. So, I want to ask you, does this also explain why America failed in Afghanistan? I mean, and also is Afghanistan another example that this model just won’t work?
 
Brian Kennedy: Yes. I think, I think that’s, I think that’s right. That’s very well said. Look, the American founders understood that free government of the kind we have requires self-government, so free government requires self-government. Self-Government is not an easy thing to achieve. One has to have an understanding about freedom, morality, certain habitual virtuous behavior that you engage in. These are things that come over a long period of time. And in America, one might argue that the American experiment in free government started with Magna Carta in England. So, we’ve been working on this for an awfully long time. It’s hard to take that model and simply put that in a country like Afghanistan, where they have no history of that. And they have the, have the overlay, as you suggest, of thousands of years of warlordism to run the country. And they have Islam on top of all that, which has created people in Afghanistan that are very violent as we’ve seen, and not well suited, as of yet, just based on, on everything we’ve seen, to self-government. We know from a, just a model point of view. We have the example of Taiwan.
 
Brian Kennedy: Now, Taiwan, you know, in, in China, you had, you had a Republic and then it, it was defeated by the Communists. And then you had the people from the Republic of China go over to Taiwan. And when they first did that, that was, that was not a full-fledged democracy. It was more of an authoritarian government that over time developed democratic institutions, and the people within the Republic of China on Taiwan developed democratic institutions to where today they’re a, a fully developed democracy, but it’s only because they’ve developed the institutions within both the government and within civil society that allow those things to develop. And so, if you go from a, excuse me, an authoritarian government that was favorable to human rights and with the idea that the goal is freedom, and you can develop the democratic institutions and civil society, you can have a success. And I think the example of what we’ve seen in, in Taiwan is clear. That’s a success story. There you go from not having a democracy to a democracy and, you know, God bless the people of Taiwan for having achieved that. But it seems to me that was their achievement. They did that. Now they’ve had allies around the world, but that was their achievement.
 
Simone: So, talking about Taiwan, the question that has been asked a lot recently within the Chinese community and also propagated by the Chinese media and diplomats is if Afghanistan’s today is Taiwan’s tomorrow. But President Biden, a few days ago, said Taiwan and Afghanistan are not comparable. He said we have made kept every commitment, we made a sacred commitment to Article 5, that if, in fact, anyone were to invade or take action against our NATO allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan. It is not even comparable to talk about that. So, what do you make of it? Do you think President Biden, uh, has a point? I mean, does he really mean that Taiwan is the same case as NATO and Japan and South Korea?
 
Brian Kennedy: Well, that’s an excellent question, and I would say I certainly hope he does. And we who believe in the defense of freedom and we who care about our allies in Taiwan, or Japan, or in Europe, we certainly want President Biden to be defending those countries based on the agreements we’ve made with those countries. Now, I will say transparently that Taiwan is very important to the success of the United States. If Afghanistan collapses, that does not affect the lives of everyday Americans. If the Communist Chinese were to try to take over Taiwan, or God forbid actually take over Taiwan, the economic relationship the United States has with, with Taiwan would be broken, and that would be a material harm on the economy of the United States. A lot of our advanced chip designs and actual computer chips that we use in so many of our electronics here in the United States would be gone, would be lost to us.
 
Brian Kennedy: And our economy would suffer a major, major hit because of that. And so, Taiwan is not only a free country that ought to be defended, but it’s actually vital to the security and prosperity of the United States. So, President Biden is actually right when he says there is something different between the two countries, but now we need to take the next steps and make sure that the American military is prepared to defend Taiwan and Japan and South Korea and the rest of our allies around the world. And Communist China should have no doubt that we’re going to do that. And so, everything we can do now to reinforce that ought to be done.
 
Simone: Hmm. Okay. You know, I think the world has gone through a lot of changes in the past two years from before President Trump you know, before President Trump and then President Trump’s trade war with China and post-President Trump, the COVID and everything. Do you think we have a, a new world order now?
 
Brian Kennedy: Well, unfortunately, I think we do, or we’re seeing one develop. I think there’s a lot of forces within the world that would like there to be a kind of great reset. You hear this talked about, written about, and I do think they want to create a world where the United States is not at the forefront, either militarily or politically. And the development of that world order was substantially accelerated with COVID and with the, you know, loss of President Trump and the awful election that we had here in the United States, which looks to be an election that was stolen. It is only now really being investigated. But part of that world order is a rejection of President Trump and that America-first foreign policy. And so, the struggle you’re seeing in, in America today is over what that’s going to look like in the future. Is America going to have a new world order and an embrace of the great reset, or is America going to turn and have an America-first foreign policy?
 
Brian Kennedy: I myself think the American people are foursquare behind that America-first foreign policy. And so, that new world order, as it were, is not going to be, you know, foist upon the American people easily. And so, big debates I think are going to happen over the next several months of what that looks like. Especially as we head into 2022 and the mid-term elections, especially as we get more and more evidence coming out of the various states about whether the 2020 election was stolen or not. We have an audit, you know, the results of an audit in Arizona coming up. We have new audits beginning in Wisconsin, some in Michigan, some in Georgia. And so, American politics right now is very fluid. And there’s a lot of things going on that the mainstream media is simply not covering. And so I think over time, the the so-called new world order, it may happen, but it’s not going to happen easily. And it may get created without the United States. The United States, it seems to me, is very likely to remain the leader of the free world. It may not be that right this minute because of the leadership in Washington, but I will be very surprised if over time we don’t reestablish the United States as the leader of the free world. That is its proper place. It is compatible with the principles of the country. And it’s also compatible with the principles and desires of the American people.
 
Simone: Hmm. Talking about that, I have two questions. Do you think the results of those audits in different states will actually have a impact on 2022 and also, you know, the Biden administration seems that at least up till today, they didn’t show a lot of weakness towards the CCP. Do you, do you agree? How do you rate their you know their, their policies against the Chinese Communist Party?
 
Brian Kennedy: Yes. let’s take the latter first. The Vice-President Harris has been speaking tough about China and the Biden administration more broadly has seen the dangers of Americans investing in Chinese companies, Communist Chinese companies. And so, I do think there is a very strong remnant of some of President Trump’s policies that some in the national security community have been advancing within the Biden administration. And people are, are, you know, they’re sold on the concept that the Communist Chinese are a threat and a danger to the United States, and you hear that from some serious parts of the administration and from Congress. So, I expect that’s going to continue and that will be a good thing, because that shouldn’t be a controversial proposition. Now, as far as the audits go, I think what the audits are going to show you is that the system of voting we had in 2020 was filled with the ability to have a massive amount of corruption. That the ballot box was stuffed with a lot of illegal ballots.
 
Brian Kennedy: That looks like that’s what we’re going to see in a variety of these states. We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of whether or not the actual electronic voting system operated correctly. Hopefully, we’ll get that out of Arizona and Georgia and Michigan. And finally, I think if we, if we get a clear understanding of that, that should have implications for how we ought to run the elections in 2022, because the worst thing that could happen is that people become cynical about whether their voting system even works or not. And one reason to get to the bottom of 2020 is, one, to find out what really happened, and two, to point us in the right direction for 2022 and 2024. But we can’t get there if we don’t know what happened in 2020, and everybody in the country–Republican, Democrat, Independent–should have a clear interest in making sure that that happens.
 
Brian Kennedy: Because if Joe Biden won legitimately, everyone should get behind him. Everyone should support him. Even if they disagree with him. But if he, if he didn’t win legitimately, we then have some real, you know, understanding and a real analysis to do on how best to move forward. Because the last thing we can have in a free society is a president who’s been elected illegitimately. And you see in his current lack of popularity, his poll numbers are really, really going down very quickly. And that would suggest that he didn’t have very much popularity to begin with. President Biden. And so, that would reinforce the notion that there was a problem with the election. Presidents don’t become this unpopular, this quickly. And so, that’s one more reason we have to get to the bottom of what really happened in 2020.
 
Simone: Okay. All right. Thank you so much, Brian.
 
Brian Kennedy: Thank you, Simone. Great to be with you.
 
Simone: This concludes our program for today. Please like share, subscribe and donate to us if you like our content. Also, head over to my new membership website at zoomingin.Tv. You can get video/audio formats of my shows, full transcripts and in-depth reports only available to members. I will also do live Q and A with members on the website. $5 a month or $50 a year. Cancel anytime. Please check it out. Thanks again. And I’ll see you next time.
 

Will Uyghers Become a Source of Terror or a Subject of Persecution Following the Afghan Debacle?

Welcome to Zooming In China Tea Time. I am Simone Gao. 

In the unfolding stories about Afghanistan, one story has often been missed or misrepresented: the story of the impact of these events on the Uyghur populations living in Afghanistan and China. 

To resist, to rise, requires that first you are free, and for the roughly 1.8 million Uyghur and Turkic people forcibly taken to China’s concentration camps in Xinjiang since 2017, there is no freedom. There is no freedom for the 13 million Turkic Muslims now are under constant surveillance by the Chinese government through the IJOP policing program. That program collects mounds of data from every avenue of their lives and flags citizens believed to be threatening, even when the activities in question are legal and reasonable.

The persecution of the Uyghurs is an ongoing objective for the CCP, and the narrative surrounding who and what they are is the centerpiece of their strategy. In a recent analysis published on Brookings, Ryan Hass, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Center for East Asia Policy Studies, says that while “Chinese leaders are not enthusiastic about the Taliban taking over Afghanistan,” they will recognize Taliban leadership and “will encourage the Taliban to deny safe haven to Uyghur fighters and other groups that could destabilize Central Asia or harm Chinese interests in the region or at home.”  

In doing so, Hess buys into the CCP story that the Uyghurs are a terrorist threat to China and the region. The Washington, D.C.-based Uyghur Human Rights Project suggests that that kind of analysis or reporting “takes at face value China’s claim that it is conducting counterterrorism.” They also caution that China has a pattern of using global events as a “pretext for the repression of Uyghurs,” and the more we believe the notion of a terroristic threat, the more justified the CCP feels in their genocidal policies.

We have only to look at China’s mining activity in Afghanistan to see that practice in place. As the Taliban took control of Kabul, commentators shared concerns that China may be after Afghanistan’s estimated $3 trillion worth of rare earth metals including veins of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, mercury and lithium. 

These metals are used in many items including electronics, electric vehicles, satellites and aircraft, and China has made major advances in each of those sectors. That they will attempt economic inroads with the new Taliban government is likely, and mining is sure to be one part of that effort to build not only economic ties but goodwill as well. 

That process began long ago with the Afghan government, with the inking of a $2.83 billion lease on Afghanistan’s Mes Aynak copper mine in 2007. It seems both sides had high hopes for the mine, with Afghan leaders believing that this could be a big step forward in lowering their dependency on international aid. Currently, 40% of their domestic product comes from that aid, but they are expected to reduce that by half by the year 2030, so there is an urgent push for economic development. In this case, that leaves Afghanistan at the mercy of their economic ties with China. But halfway through that 30-year contract, China has done little to develop the mine.

Just months before the Taliban takeover, the Afghan government was pressuring China to take action on that contract. Afghan media reported in 2020 that inactivity at the time had resulted in $2 billion dollars of lost revenue for Afghanistan at a time when Taliban insurgents were making hundreds of millions of dollars on illegal mining activity each year. 

Haroon Chakhansuri, the Minister of Mines and Petroleum, told Foreign Policy that the Afghan government had issued an ultimatum to either renegotiate the contract in “mutually agreed terms” or it would be given to another country.

Afghanistan’s government had the leverage it needed to take such a demand of their much larger and more powerful neighbor after officials arrested an alleged Chinese spy ring operating in Kabul in December 2020. That ring had been operating for six or seven years and was there to track down Uyghur Muslims with the help of the Haqqani network, a terrorist network linked to the Taliban. 

Though the Afghan government had, at times, cooperated with China on detaining and deporting Uyghurs suspected of terrorist activities, they were “shocked at China’s duplicity.” Until then, they had believed China was operating out of goodwill, but after this arrest, one Afghan leader asked, “Is this the behavior of a friend?”

That notion of goodwill between countries looking out for one another’s interests was built with Pakistan in 1950 when they became one of the first nations to formally recognize the People’s Republic of China government on the mainland. Since then, they have remained close allies as China has continued to provide economic, military and technical help. 

They are also deeply coupled economically, with China investing heavily in Pakistani infrastructure and with a bilateral trade volume crossing the $20 billion mark for the first time in 2017.

For a country that is deeply coupled with China, favors will be expected, and in this case, the favor is Pakistan’s active participation in the arrest, detainment and extradition of Uyghurs, something they have been doing since 1997.

That was made clear recently, as Pakistani citizens who are married to Uyghurs now imprisoned in concentration camps begged their government to take action. In response, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “As far as the Uyghurs, look—China has helped us. China came to help our government when we were at rock bottom.” 

Help from China is not without cost, and their ties with the Taliban are remarkably deep. As one senior Afghan official reminded Chinese officials during negotiations about the Mes Aynak mine, China has “surprisingly strong back-channel contacts with the Taliban” and they could have smoothed out a way to develop the mine but chose not to.

Those deep ties now leave Afghanistan’s sizeable Uyghur community at risk, especially as the Taliban looks for opportunities to negotiate Belt and Road Initiative projects with China. 

In late July, after the U.S. had begun the process of removing troops from Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with representatives from the Afghan Taliban in Tianjin. This was an important meeting, because it placed the Taliban as a major force on the international stage, something democratic countries were unwilling to do because of the Taliban’s known history of human atrocities. 

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian justified the meeting by saying that “the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghanistan Taliban are not the same…. The Afghan Taliban claims to be a political and military organization and publicly prohibits any organization or individual from using Afghan territory to threaten other countries.” 

In almost identical wording, at the first press conference after the takeover, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, “We would like to assure our neighbors, regional countries, we are not going to allow our territory to be used against anybody, any country in the world. So, the whole global community should be assured that we are committed to these pledges that you will not be harmed in any way from our soil.” 

But their territory will be used against the Uyghur population. For several months leading up to the withdrawal of American troops, Uyghurs in Afghanistan and across the globe began sharing their fear that China and the Taliban were growing too cozy with one another. Now, with the Taliban at least temporarily in a governing role in Afghanistan, Uyghurs face an even greater risk of persecution or extradition to concentration camps. 

As outlined in a report by Human Rights Watch, Uyghurs face “massive arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, mass surveillance, cultural and religious erasure, separation of families, forced returns to China, forced labor, and sexual violence and violations of reproductive rights.”

With the Taliban in charge of Afghanistan, the Uyghur people are left with nowhere to go. They have not been safe in China or Pakistan. They will not be safe in Afghanistan. And little has been done on the international stage to combat the concentration camps, the reach of the Chinese government in extracting Uyghurs from other countries, or the attempts by Chinese Government to couch this in language that makes innocent Uyghurs responsible for the devastation of their human rights.

As we watch the events unfold in Afghanistan and as we think about ways to help bring peace and stability to the region, we must not forget the millions of Uyghur and Turkic people at risk not only in the borders of Afghanistan but in the entire region and at the mercy of the CCP.

That’s all for today. Thanks for watching Zooming In China Tea Time. Please like, share, subscribe and donate to this program if you like my content. Also, head over to my new membership site at zoomingin.tv. You can get video/audio formats of my shows, full transcripts, and in-depth reports available only to members. I will also do live Q & A on the website. The membership fee is $5 a month, or $50 a year. So be sure to check it out. Thanks for watching, and I see you next time.

China Loves Biden Going Down the Scientific Route in Covid Origin Searches

Simone: Hello, everyone. Welcome to Zooming In China. I’m Simone Gao. The Biden administration has predicted that science, not intelligence, would be the key to discovering the origin of the COVID-19. What does that mean? The CCP influenced WHO’s first COVID origin report and claimed that the virus came from America’s biological weapons program. However, the CCP is extremely afraid of one thing. What is it? Here’s part two of my discussion with Dr. Sean Lin, former lab director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. It’s very interesting you said that, because as we mentioned before, you said that the evidence should come from intelligence, but the Biden administration said because we lack of enough evidence from the intelligence community, and we are not likely to obtain more evidence from the intelligence community, we have to decide on science to, to figure out whether this is lab-made or from nature.
 
Dr. Lin: Well, I think he’s actually self-conflicting because if it is a scientifical investigation why would you give a 90-days deadline for these kinds of scientific research, right? If it’s scientific issues you take decades for people to figure out where the virus originated. It probably will involve collecting sample even in the wider scales. A more scientific community need to be engaged in it. And there could be a lot of hypotheses, a lot of testing on different potentials in terms of scientific investigation. But for intelligence regarding about the origin, the outbreak, is different issue. And even satellite images can give you a lot of clues, right? Even insiders can give you a direct evidence. And so I think the 90-days deadline only makes sense that it is the intelligence probe, not scientific probing. So that’s why I think these CNN reports actually probably finding excuses for the administration to not release the report in a timely manner as originally planned.
 
Simone: Hmm. You think it’s not gonna be released on August 26th?
 
Dr. Lin: It’s likely. It’s likely. And if it did release, maybe they are not making any conclusive statements regarding the outcome of the investigation. And I saw the news that the administration rejected Republicans’ request for the intelligence community to to release more information regarding the virus origins. So I, I hope they can reconsider that.
 
Simone: Right, right. That’s another big question, because the Biden administration said we don’t have enough intelligence currently, we don’t have enough intelligence evidence to tell the origin of the virus. But, on the other hand, the Republican side said, you know, from the intelligence community’s evidence, we have already concluded, this is very likely from a gain of function experiment that leaked from the lab as, as said by, uh, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. When I interviewed him, he said this to me as well. So, what is your take on this? Does the intelligence community have enough evidence you think that will give us a pretty good idea where the virus come from?
 
Dr. Lin: Well, I believe that the intelligence community in the United States have collected ample evidence, even though they are circumstantial, but there are ample evidence suggesting there was a potential leak from Wuhan Institute of Virology in probably September 2019, right? So, from the report from the China Task Force in the United States Congress, we can see indirect circumstantial evidence and probably more informations. Uh that’s why the former Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe told the media that he believed United States intelligence have ample evidence, you know, to, to make a conclusion. But at the same time, I also believe they are all circumstantial right now. And so but I don’t think the current administration have a strong determination in bringing out the results to the public. Even in the CNN report when they talk about the team of investigations, they are short on manpower, they are missing people who understanding Chinese and also experts in biology fields. And, and I think actually they’re more like excuses because even in a research institute that I worked before, it’s a unit under the DoD, um we have a pipeline to analyze large quantity of datas. We can analyze tens of thousands of virus samples especially genome samples, very quickly. And especially you are, you are very clear what you are looking for, right? Even there, there are more than 22,000 genome sequencing datas. You can set up the parameter, you can quickly identify how many samples are coronavirus, how many samples are bat coronavirus, uh, any of them having very interesting, unique features in the spike proteins. All these can be done quickly. And there are other virologists who have clearance also can understand Mandarin as well, even though there are not many, but you can identify these kind of experts. And as long as the team is open to these kinds of collaborations, I think the result can be brought up very quickly. So, that’s why I think the CNN report pretty much just finding the excuse right now, and I’m worried that,uadministration don’t have a real solid determination, want to,ureveal the results to the public. That’s what I worry about.
 
Simone: Right. Right. Why is that?
 
Dr. Lin: Because I think this is related to the current administration’s foreign policy related to China, and especially they are not treating the Communist Party as rivals. They still want to collaborate, uh with the Communist Party on certain aspects, just like a climate changes, right? So, if you want to collaborate, you have to give some rooms for the Communist Party and maybe have some compromise for the Communist Party and especially for the original of outbreak issues. Um, if the investigation showing the Chinese government is covering up the outbreak covering up the potential lab leak, so of course, if that happens Chinese government will be held accountable for what they did the damage to the whole international community. So, that will be too huge a crime, and Chinese government don’t want to see that. And the Biden administration may not want to get to their results if they still want the collaboration with Communist regime in certain aspect. And that’s why I’m worried about the results might not come in a timely manner.
 
Simone: I see. I see. Well, as you know according to the person who broke the story of the alleged Chinese defactor Dong Jingwei, according to him, Dong Jingwei also exposed a number of, uh, I mean, I don’t know how many, but a number of intelligence community members who are compromised by the CCP. I mean, there could be intelligence community members or there could be politicians. Do you think that played a role as well? Why this probe might not go very smoothly?
 
Dr. Lin: You put out a very, very critical information, and definitely Chinese government have been working on infiltration in the United States political circle, academia circles intelligence communities for a long time, for decades. And even nowadays, right? For example, in United States Congress, people being questioned about why Congressman Swalwell was still in a House intelligence committee while the intelligence agencies are very clear that he has connection, has a relationship with a Chinese spy. How could that be possible? And there was a saying in the town of Washington, D.C., saying that the town, half was controlled by Saudi Arabia and half was controlled by the Communist Party. Right? So, that’s maybe a little bit exaggeration, but it clearly tell you how powerful the China lobby works in Washington, D.C., And, and there are so many uh Chinese spies being sent out to the United States and FBI director Christopher Lacy, all mentioned that the FBI been working heavily on China spy cases. Every 10 hours, they have a new case regarding Chinese, uh spies. So many Chinese spies in so many fields, and especially in biotechnology field. And so it’s likely even many of the scientists working together with the Chinese government, they may be trained in United States and then they can brought the datas back to China, or even, you know, still working with Chinese government agency while they’re working with the United States government research institute or academia. So, there are all kinds of ways the Chinese government can steal the information from the United States and with political inference, with political infiltration. So, of course the Chinese government can mobilize these kinds of forces to interfere with the investigation process and try to make Chinese government escape the international criticisms regarding their covering up of the outbreak.
 
Simone: Yeah. You know, it’s very interesting, the Biden administration has expressed the possibility of launching another investigation if this one proves inconclusive, but it is unclear whether a decision has been made or not. So I mean, what is your take on this? Is it possible that they will do this all over again and will the second one yield any ground-breaking conclusions?
 
Dr. Lin: I think another investigation will only serve for the Chinese Communist Party as additional procrastinating tours because Chinese government definitely want the international society to be trapped into the scientifical questioning of where the virus come from, right? Because it always take decades to investigate how the virus originated, will be there animal reservoirs, how many animals can be reservoirs which one will be the intermediate animal reservoirs and who are the patient zeros in different countries? These can be a lot resource and, time-consuming process, right? So, Chinese government want it to be that way. And if Biden administration want to launch another investigation Chinese government will be happy about it. And, and that also tells that the current administration, they are not confident in releasing part of the report from these 90-days investigation even though the intelligence community probably had a lot of very useful, very powerful information already, but if the administration don’t have the, but if the leadership doesn’t have the will and the determination to expose the CCP’s crime, then everything can change.
 
Simone: So, it’s very worrisome based on what you said, if the Biden administration is insist on this, uh, scientific approach, this could be a non-ending game, forever-going game to probe, you know, to try to find the origin of the virus, which the CCP will be very happy about. Right?
 
Dr. Lin: Definitely CCP set up this kind of trap for international society to investigate this origin of virus for decades. You can put a lot of resource manpower on it without any clear results, and CCP knows that. That’s why for nowadays, their political narratives is to shift the brain to the United States, blaming United States military, blaming Fort Detrick. They can play this game all day long, and they know the more they play in it the more obscure the whole landscape is, right? And other international communities, other countries may not be so sure, uh, what kind of information the U.S. Got, and many countries may be wobbling in, in supporting additional investigations. So, it’s just help make whole things more complicated. CCP will be happy about it. And as long as they can procrastinate the whole process, it will serve the Communist Party really well. And at the same time they can work more aggressively in developing more mutant virus and Chinese government building more P3 research lab. That’s like building more Pandora box inside China. The Chinese government has ordered every province to build up more P3 research lab. You can even, you can see even for the top research lab in Wuhan, Institute of Virology, cannot guarantee their safety operations. And how could, how could the Chinese government guarantee the safety of more P3 research labs in different province?
 
Simone: Yeah, that’s just incredible. That’s scary. In your opinion, if the Chinese Communist Party will be happy about this scientific approach probe about the virus origin is there an area that the CCP will not be very happy about if the U.S. Goes on that route?
 
Dr. Lin: I think what is lethal to the Chinese Communist Party is to expose how did they cover the outbreak in Wuhan. Um why they did not let whole international community know earlier that the disease is human transmissible, human-to-human transmission very efficiently, and also how the government block Wuhan people go to other cities in China, while letting the Wuhan people, potentially infectious, to travel to other countries. This is like, uh, spreading virus to the world intentionally. And so this is actually very, very powerful aspect that the international society need to take a strong stand, to really criticize Chinese government on covering up the outbreak. And if the Chinese government can release information much earlier, then international society can have a lot of time to prepare have good efforts in prevention to make these things turn into a pandemic. So, the Chinese government definitely had the original sin to make the virus spreading to the whole world. I think this is more detrimental than a local cause the outbreak, whether it’s lab leak or not. Because lab leak a local outbreak, it happens in other countries as well, as long as you deal in it properly. As long as you inform other con depositing in other countries in a timely manner and other country can take effective measures to protect themselves. If you intentionally make it spread to the other world, then of course it become very, very hard to handle it. And you see, the virus has so many variants in other countries with poor public health infrastructures. Right? So it become a nightmare for the whole world.
 
Simone: Yeah. I think that’s why the Republicans’ report on, you know, that Wuhan lab, the pandemic actually probably started before September, 2019 is very important.
 
Dr. Lin: It’s very, very important.
 
Simone: Yeah, because I mean, basically I think it’s a manslaughter or premeditated murder kind of a comparison. If they really just got to know about this virus, the outbreak, in late December, I mean the end of December and I mean the start of December, and they only know that this human transmissible on December, December 20th, then, you know, by January, the virus has already spread to the world. It leaves some very few days to, to do the right thing. So, maybe they’re just, maybe they just didn’t know what to do there. They had like a poor management skills and stuff like that. But if they knew in September, then it leaves them like 3, 4 months to prepare to think about what to deal with, how to deal with it. If they still decided, you know, that Wuhan people can travel to America, but not to Beijing, that would be a problem, right? That would be a big problem.
 
Dr. Lin: Yeah, it’s a huge problem. Even if Chinese government take, uh, strong measures in early January to block Wuhan people travel to all the world, it can make a big difference. You know, right now the virus has like its own experiment field in so many different continents to find that more powerful varients, you know, higher transmissibilities maybe even higher pathogenicities. And so, the virus has the upper hand now. Once you spread the virus to global villages, it totally change the game. Because if you look at the history of other disease outbreak, whether it’s SARS, whether it’s MERS, whether it’s Zika virus, you all start from one local region, right? Even the most dangerous Ebola, it start from one local region, and it take awhile for the virus to adapt to the human community to further spread in the local before it can turn into a local endemic and then to a global pandemic. It takes awhile even for the pandemic flu, it takes awhile for it to spread globally, but this time the virus, the SARS-CoV-2 just quickly spread to so many different continents and incubating different continents. So of course, so the human society become very, very challenging to, to deal with the virus, to defeat the virus. It just changed the game fundamentally. That’s why I call it its original sin when the Chinese Communist Party spread the virus to the whole world.
 
Simone: Yeah. The coverup is a premeditated murder, I would say.
 
Dr. Lin: Yeah. I agree.
 
Simone: Yeah. Okay, uh, Dr. Lin, these are my questions. Do you have anything else to add?
 
Dr. Lin: I was just want to emphasizing that the whole world need to see clearly what CCP has done to the whole world, not to be trapped into a so-called scientific investigation of the origin of virus. Need to keep in mind, we just talk about the origin of the outbreak, need to hold CCP accountable for what they cover up. That’s my messaging. Thank you.
 
Simone: Okay. Thank you, Dr. Lin.
 
Dr. Lin: Thank you.
 
Simone: That’s it for today. As you know, we released a documentary movie on The Clean Network last week. It is part two of a documentary series called The American Dream Takes On China, Inc. That tells the story of former Under Secretary of State Keith Krach leading a group of Silicon Valley veterans beating the CCP in the economic battlefield. We first published it on our membership website. Now it’s available on our YouTube channel. So, be sure to check it out. And if you like our production, please sign up for our membership website or donate to us. Our website is zoomingin.tv. Thanks for watching. I’m Simone Gao, and I’ll see you next time.

Could Wuhan Lab Data Acquired by the U.S. Contain Info Linked to China’s Bio Weapons Program?

Simone Gao: Hello, everyone. Welcome to Zooming In China. I’m Simone Gao. CNN reported that the U.S. Intelligence community is still divided over two theories of the SARS-CoV-2 origin and that the 90-day report is not likely to reveal earth-shattering information. Why is that? The Biden administration has predicted that science, not intelligence, would be the key to discovering the origin of the virus. What does that mean? Also, the U.S. Intelligence community has obtained a large amount of bats and rats virus sample data from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Would that be the silver bullet of this probe? I had these discussions with Dr. Xiaoxu Sean Lin, former lab director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. This is part one of our interview.Thank you, Dr. Lin, for joining Zooming In China today.

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: Thank you, Simone. Great to join you.

Simone Gao: So, regarding Biden administration’s 90-day report the COVID origin report CNN reports that after three months of pouring over data and raw intelligence, the intelligence community is still divided over two theories, one suggesting that the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan and the other suggesting that it jumped naturally to humans from animals. The sources said the report, as it stands right now, contains nothing too earth-shattering. So my question is, you know, regarding the natural origin theory, as far as I know, they haven’t found the intermediate host between bats and the humans, and that is a critical piece of evidence that will prove that the virus has a natural origin. So without that, how can part of the intelligence community be sure that this virus started in nature?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: So definitely the current evidence showing that only one virus isolated has been identified in a bat that’s RaTG13 by Dr. Hosseini’s group showing 96.2% homology with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But that virus still have a long gap in, in the path of evolution to become a SARS-CoV-2. So you definitely need an intermediate animal host in order to show that this virus is nature origin. But right now, even though there are samples being identified from pangolins and other animals having virus samples similar to RaTG13, but they are also far away from SARS-CoV-2. So, we don’t have any intermediate animal hosts being identified, and China say they have screened hundreds or thousands of animal samples in Wuhan and other provinces as well, but no sample is showing positive. So, no animal sample can be identified as an intermediate animal host. So, it is the biggest gap in the series of, of national origin. And this part even Chinese government don’t deny because right now the Chinese government narrative has been been pushing the international society to accept that origin may be a lab leak from United States military, or a transmissions through frozen food, right? Even the Chinese government don’t believe that the virus may be a natural origin right now. So, I don’t think the United States intelligence community can identify any virus strain that have higher homology to the SARS-CoV-2.

Simone Gao: Yeah. That’s why people wonder how can they make such a conclusion that the virus is actually from nature. But another question I have is do you agree with CNN that this 90-day report will not have ground breaking discoveries?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: Oh, definitely. I think it’s very difficult for any groundbreaking evidence being discovered through these kinds of intelligence committees’ efforts. Because, timing-wise, it’s too late. The Chinese government have plenty of time from last year to to shift through their animal samples, human samples virology testing results from different resources. And they have been able to probably clean the datas, uh, change the data, and they rejected international collaborations on the investigations, right? So it’s too late to get, uh, very strong evidence directly from Chinese government. And also even WHO’s investigation team cannot get any raw sample datas, uh, raw data analysis from Chinese government. So I think the United States intelligence can only rely on maybe insider informations, satellite images and other circumstantial evidence to suggest that the virus may not come from the natural origin or may not come from the frozen food or maybe a potential lab leak. So definitely we need to keep in mind, this is a intelligence probe not a scientific study. This is not a scientific study that can identify a virus origin, because the other virus like HIV and SARS, you know, for decades, we don’t know what the true origin of the virus. We we, we don’t think 90 days can do the magic.

Simone Gao: Yeah, it’s very interesting. You said this is not a scientific probe, it’s intelligence work and you know, CNN reports that the Biden administration said because we lack a windfall of new information, uh, they don’t expect to uncover a smoking gun, like intercepted communications, for example, that would offer definitive proof for either theory. So, the Biden administration’s 90-day push is predicted expectations that science not intelligence will be the key. I mean, you just said the opposite. What, what is your take on this?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: Yes, I think the issue here is to investigate how the virus outbreaked in Wuhan, right? It’s the origin of the outbreak. And so this is epidemiology and public health questions, not the virology question regarding how the virus originated in animal species and how did it went through zoonotics transmission to become infectious to human being. Not this kind of scientific question. And so, for origin of the outbreak, so there are so many different scenario, right? So, definitely international society have the right to investigate whether this was a potential lab leak from Wuhan in China. And that’s why I believe it was more critical for the intelligence community to to be transparent, what kind of information they have collected. So, for them several months ago, there are so many reports talking about potential insiders defected from Chinese government, right? So, those insider news probably will provide direct evidence regarding any potential gain of function research, any lab engineering of dangerous viruses and any coverup of the true patient zero or when exactly did the outbreak started. Right? So, it could be earlier than December, 2019. So, these are very important information that international society demand a clear answer on it. So, this is regarding about the origin of the outbreak. And that’s why I believe it’s a question for intelligence community, not the scientific question.

Simone Gao: Hmm. Not a scientific question. But you know, last week CNN also reported that the intelligence community, they obtained a trove of genetic data drawn from virus samples at the Wuhan lab. You know, some officials believe this could have been the source of the outbreak. What do you think of this batch of data? Is it likely to contain the groundbreaking information that will tell us the origin of the virus?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: Well, from the CNN report it’s clear that a database is collected. It was, it was identified through some intelligence community efforts, maybe it’s Cloud copy of previous database. So, they suggesting all the data in this resource might not be of top secrecy inside the Chinese government. And if this is a database related to the collaboration between military projects with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, I don’t think it will be a database that previously open to scientists inside China, outside China. Even the Chinese government claim that the, the database was took offline on September 12th, 2019 because of cyberattack. But if it was a public sharing database, then after you resolving the cyberattack issues, you should bring back the database to the public, right? So Chinese government didn’t do that for 18 months. So I don’t think, uh this was related to a data cyberattack. So it may have some information related to gain of function studies inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but at the same time, I don’t think they have very, very sensitive information, maybe related to military projects, maybe design bioweapon programs. Those kinds of information you probably won’t see in this kind of database. So, that’s why I believe they there won’t be any earth-shattering evidence coming from these database.

Simone Gao: Right, right. What you just said is very interesting. You said you know, the evidence, the data that’s related to the military project, won’t be revealed, it won’t be even put on the website online. So this this batch of data wouldn’t contain information of that. So, because of that, it won’t tell us the origin of the virus. So, your assumption is, you know, the data that related to the military project is the key. And are you saying the origin of the virus is definitely related to this military program?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: I was emphasizing the Chinese government is developing, uh, bioweapon programs and there are many military units and also have a lot of collaborations through military-civil fusion projects working with many universities’ research institutes, like Wuhan Institute of Virology, inside China. So, some of the projects probably related to the bioweapon programs, uh, that’s for sure, because Chinese government clearly has strategies decisions in developing more bioweapon programs. And these can be confirmed by many of the military generals books and the writings even in military universities. So Chinese government’s working on bioweapons, but of course we don’t know exactly whether, SARS-CoV-2 was directly related or directly an outcome of a military bioweapon program, but it’s likely to be a product of gain of function studies. So people have been questioning about the role of Wuhan Institute of Virology in this part. Of course, right now we don’t have direct evidence that circumstantial evidence suggesting a lab leak from Wuhan Institute of Virology. And you can see the report from the Republican committees the China Task Force in the United States, uh, House Congress. So in this way if the international society can identify some gain of function studies that’s related to SARS-CoV-2, of course it make the whole world clear how severe the situation it is, how badly the Chinese government cover up, uh these crime in developing a bioweapon program that harmed society harmed the whole world.

Simone Gao: Hmm. Okay. So, can you just elaborate a little bit more about you know, the nature of this bad of data, this batch of data? So according to the reportthe data contains the genome sequencing of the virus samples, and also supposedly the substantial, you know, the circumstantial and background information such as data entry background of the sample, like where they’re collected and the nature of the virus and stuff like that is equally important. But you were saying even with that, it’s not enough to reveal, probably not enough to reveal, the nature of the origin. Can you explain a little bit more?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: So, right now it’s very clear that Wuhan Institute of Virology has the capacity to engineer recombinant coronavirus through reverse genetics, and their technology has matured. So they the engineering, the editing trace can be completely coverup or erased through the recombinant technology. So basically, that’s saying you can engineer a recombinant virus without without any evidence, without any trace left in the engineering process. So, from the outcome, from end product from the genome sequencing, you cannot tell whether this virus was engineered or was actually isolated. And so that’s why it’s very difficult.

Simone Gao: Right. So, the genome sequencing is not enough. What about the other background information such as the type of the virus, where they’re collected you know, what other information would they register when they do this kind of a data entry?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: So, I think think Chinese government took at least the database offline, so I think they do contain certain level of sensitive information. So, these are probably related to the contextual information regarding the samples or where they collect the samples, or when did they collect the sample, where they do the where do they conduct the research work and what kind of work is, again, after you start it, is it related to reverse engineerings and what kind of animals the, those samples were collected. So, there may be some sense that information regarding the the Institute doing gain of function studies, testing whether the virus have gaining capability to infect human beings, or maybe we even with higher transmissibility or even higher pathogenicities. So, that may be related to that. So, I think Chinese government is it’s quite clear that some of the studies is against medical ethics. If it’s remotely related to a military project, of course it become even more sensitive. So I think the contextual information can provide additional insight in terms of scale, the scope of the gain of function study that’s been conducted in Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Simone Gao: But it’s not enough to draw a definitive conclusion that this virus is from, you know, nature or it’s lab-made. Is that right?

Dr Xiaoxu Sean Lin: Yes. And I think the most convincing evidence is probably come from a defector insight. Anyone who can bring up a lab note or a project design or procedural documents showing a gain of function study was conducted in the lab at what times, and also what kind of engineering they did to the virus or any testing results raw datas. So, I think the insider information will be those most powerful information that the intelligence community can collect. And I hope the United States intelligence community can reveal to the public what kind of information that a defector from China has brought up and that’ll be a more eye-opening thing than any other generic uh intelligence probe, or scientific analysis.

Simone Gao: That’s it for today. As you know, we released a documentary movie on The Clean Network last week. It is part two of a documentary series called The American Dream Takes On China, Inc. That tells the story of former Under Secretary of State Keith Kroch leading a group of Silicon Valley veterans beating the CCP in the economic battlefield. We first published it on our membership website. Now it’s available on our YouTube channel. So be sure to check it out. And if you like our production, please sign up for our membership website or donate to us. Our website is zoomingin.tv. Thanks for watching. I’m Simone Gao, and I’ll see you next time. 

China’s Zero Tolerance on Coronavirus Backfires | Zooming In China

Welcome to Zooming In China. I’m Simone Gao.

As China enters its fourth week dealing with a second outbreak of the Coronavirus within its borders, the CCP has reverted to its prior tactics of shutdowns and silence. Official reports show 583 new cases last week, an 85% increase over the prior week’s total. The increase is due to the highly transmittable nature of the Delta variant, a challenge multiple countries are now navigating, including the U.S. But China remains in the spotlight with this outbreak, in large part because of their own secrecy and their own deception.

The numbers are not likely to be true. As CNN reported during the early days of the pandemic, based on leaked health data, thousands of daily new cases were not reported by Chinese health officials. 

On just one day—February 10, 2020—officials reported only 2,478 cases when the total privately recorded was 5,918. 

Later evidence shows even that was an underestimated number. We can be sure that the numbers being released by the CCP on this second round of infection are underreported, too.

What we do know is that the majority of the new Coronavirus cases in China are among those who have been vaccinated. One cause of that may be the quality of Chinese vaccines. As has been reported, Chinese vaccines continue to be a concern to the international community, because they have not been shown to be as effective as those produced by other nations. Still, those who have been vaccinated are showing less serious symptoms and having better outcomes than those who are not. 

Despite those better outcomes, the Chinese government has returned to the strategies used during the early outbreak in dealing with this second round. The Delta variant has now been found in more than a dozen cities since it was first identified in Nanjing in late July. But their “zero tolerance” 

tactics have drawn criticism. Xi Chen, a health economist at the Yale School of Public Health, told the Associated Press that “I don’t think ‘zero tolerance’ can be sustained. Even if you lock down all the regions in China, people might still die, and more might die due to hunger or loss of jobs.”

The worries he shares have been seen by university students in Yangzhou. One of those students, Zhou Xiaoxiao, told press sources that food items like eggs and other necessities were difficult to find once shoppers stocked up to prepare for the lockdown they knew would come. She also noted that the price of vegetables has risen and, while it is not a problem for her, she said “to the kind of family whose life isn’t very good and who have no income, it’s very troublesome.”

To offset the real risk of vulnerable Chinese citizens starving during these lockdowns, Xi Chen says that China needs to learn how to “allow the virus to exist” in areas with high vaccination rates and stronger health care. The Chinese leadership disagrees. Responding to the suggestion that they allow the virus to exist, former health minister Gao Qiang said that “we not only cannot relax epidemic control but have to further strengthen weak links, plug loopholes, and resolutely monitor the epidemic situation and issue early warning. This is not to ‘coexist with the virus’ but to engage in long-term struggle to eradicate the virus.”

And that is the approach they are taking. On Tuesday of last week, the Zhangjiajie government announcing that no one would be allowed to leave the city, mimicking the approach in Wuhan and other cities last year. For those who want to leave the province of Jiangsu, they must provide a negative coronavirus test taken within the last 48 hours. Flights to Nanjing and Yangzhou were cancelled. Domestic flights are allowed to leave some cities with reported cases, except Nanjing, Yangzhou and Zhangjiajie, but flights and trains coming into Beijing from areas with reported cases are forbidden. 93 highway checkpoints have been established in Jiangsu province to test drivers for Covid. 

Those are just the actions that have been made public. Citizens within China are telling a far bleaker story. On a site for CCP-banned news, one author says that they are timid and afraid to resist and now the “country is closed, and I can’t leave” offering readers the advice that they should “prepare for winter and think about how to live in a black-market environment.”

Officials in Beijing have taken even more oppressive measures for those they believed helped to spread the virus, issuing warnings, fines and even imprisoning some. While the government at first said that the earliest cases of this second outbreak came from those who passed through Nanjing’s airport, and that employees may have been infected from improper handling of trash, that was later corrected to show that the virus had come from a Russian airliner that arrived on July 10th.  Employees involved in the cleaning of that plane, who later gathered in improper ways in an employee-designated area, have been punished. One traveler, a 64-year-old woman suspected to carrying the Delta variant from Nanjing to Yangzhou, has been arrested on charges of hindering disease prevention. And 47 officials across China, including heads of local governments, health commissions, hospitals and airports, have been punished for negligence.

The U.S. has played no part in this second round of coronavirus transmission in China, just as it played no part in the first. Yet, instead of using the press to calm and inform their citizens, the CCP has used it to attack America, its favorite scapegoat. As the U.S. and the rest of the world seek to find the origin of the virus and the CCP’s responsibility in covering up the pandemic, Beijing  launched a media and diplomatic campaign to accuse America as the maker and spreader of the virus, a familiar tactic by the CCP. 

We know the truth that the coronavirus began in the city of Wuhan sometime in 2019. That it began in that region is not in question. How it started has remained a source of debate. The international community believes that the virus emerged either through transmission from animal to human in that region or from a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. China, however, is claiming that American soldiers attending a military sports games in Wuhan, China in october 2019 brought the disease with them from Fort Detrick, the original location of the U.S.’s biological weapons program prior to the dissolution of that program in 1969. This is a baseless claim. The U.S., as a member of NATO, does not have a biological weapons program. No NATO member country does. What we have is a biological weapons DEFENSE program to guard citizens of this country and of the world from a potential bioterrorism attack.

China is battling the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, as is most of the world. They are struggling to find a way to control the outbreak, just like many other nations. They are attempting to find a balance between controlling the spread through quarantine and keeping a stable economy by allowing work and socializing to continue, with proper precautions. So are the United States and our allies. So why, in the midst of a struggle common to all countries and economies, is China pointing fingers and placing blame? And why is that blame centered on a biological weapons argument? 

Because the Wuhan Institute of Virology is far more than a benign research facility studying bats. It is an institute connected to the Chinese military where they are studying biological elements for use in bioweapon programs. That is the reason that several researchers at the lab became ill prior to the first identified case of the outbreak with symptoms “consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illnesses,” according to the State Department. That is the reason for the rush to destroy records as news of the virus outbreak began. It is the reason for the resistance to any investigation, by the World Health Organization or others, into the activities there around the time of the earliest cases. And it is the reason they have tightly guarded all research from that facility.

Until now. On August 5th, CNN reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had obtained and were sorting through “a treasure trove of genetic data” that they had extracted from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. That data includes genetic blueprints of virus samples from bats and rats being studied at the lab.

There is a lot to talk about regarding this database, including the Biden administration’s approach of searching for origins of the virus based on science instead of intelligence findings. Why take an approach like that? What could it mean? We will analyze this in our next episode.

That’s it for today. As many of you may have known, we released a documentary movie on the Clean Network this week, it is part 2 of the documentary series “The American Dream Takes on China Inc”, that tells the story of a group of Silicon Valley veterans beating the CCP in the economic battlefield. We first published it on our membership website, now it is available on our YouTube Channel Zooming In with Simone Gao and Zooming In China. Be sure to check it out. And if you like our production, please sign up for our membership website or donate to me. Our website is zoomingin.tv. Thanks for watching, I am Simone Gao and I will see you next time.

How China’s Nationalism Turned the Olympics Into a Battlefield for Chinese Supremacy

Simone Gao: Hello, everyone. Welcome to Zooming In China. I’m Simone Gao.
 
The Olympics have a storied history, running first from the 8th to 4th century B.C. in Athens, Greece, before beginning again in 1896. 241 athletes from 14 different nations competed in 43 different events during that first revival of Olympic competition. In this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics we are witness to 205 nations with more than 11,000 athletes competing in 339 events. But it is not the numbers that tell the story.
 
The story of the Olympics is meant to be one of spirit and of heart. Of solidarity among athletes who have spent the better part of their lives focused on this one dream, this one moment, where they might rise to be recognized as the greatest in the world. While the athletes represent their countries, and there is pride in that, at its core, the Olympics is meant to unite the world under one common purpose: to bear witness to the pinnacle of human athletic achievement and to celebrate greatness, no matter its source. 
 
Could that be a problem? 
 
On the bright side, people would want to believe that no team may more fully represent what the Olympic spirit might look like in practice than the Refugee Olympic Team, the plus one to the 205-nation total. Since the introduction of this team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, the Olympic Solidarity project has provided more than $2 million in scholarships allowing these talented but displaced athletes to “train for the Games while continuing their sporting career and building for the future.” In Tokyo, 29 athletes from 11 countries are competing on this truly international, truly unified team.
 
But in reality, the Olympics can not and has not lived up to this ideal. The International Olympic Committee says that “we oppose any form of discrimination against a country or individual on the basis of race, religion, politics, gender or other reasons. With the broad minds of global citizens, we will tolerate, respect, appreciate and learn from other cultures, learn from each other’s strengths, and make progress together.”
 
Those are values that cannot be fully realized in a single athletic competition, even one the size and length of the Olympics. Those are values that, to be upheld, must extend to the life each athlete is able to live in their home country, to the ways those countries treat their citizens and to the behavior of each country as a member of the global community. 
 
We have borne witness to a world where there have been genocide Olympics repeatedly. In 1936, the Olympics were allowed to be held in the host city of Berlin, Germany, granting Hitler an opportunity to showcase himself as an honorable leader and his country as a prosperous one. In truth, Hitler had begun his concentration camp system three years earlier with the creation of Dachau on March 22, 1933. And in 2008, the world willingly overlooked China’s role in the Darfur genocide, overlooked China’s severe human rights violations within its borders against the Christians, Falun Gong, the Uighurs, the Tibetans, the Mongolians and any political dissidents. World leaders, including U.S. president George W. Bush, chose to participate in the Beijing Olympics and settled for small protests at the event. Can we uphold the so-called Olympic spirit if those Olympics are being hosted by a country engaged in unspeakable crimes against humanity?
 
The failures of the Olympic spirit run far deeper than large-scale human rights violations. They run into the individual lives of athletes chosen to represent their country and to the tensions those countries carry with one another. 
 
China’s approach to the Olympic games is one of winning at all costs, even the cost of its athletes. Their Olympic program, built after the Soviet model and refined through Chinese efficiency, is duplicated year-after-year in their 2000 government-run sports schools spread across the country. Children, hand-picked by State scouts, usually in their pre-teen years are removed from their families and required to focus exclusively on training for six grueling days a week, year-round, with few visits home and no real education. They are denied a childhood in the name of winning gold for their country. And for the tens of thousands who fall short of Olympic selection, they will carry the weight of lifelong hardships in their home country. With little education, damaged bodies and no career training, they will be left without options and without support from their government. 
 
For those who are selected for Olympic competition, they will carry the weight of expectation. In the case of China, that means an expectation of gold. Silver and bronze are seen as failures. Just before the beginning of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games, Gou Zhongwen, head of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said that “we must resolutely ensure we are first in gold medals.” 
 
That attitude has now been taken up by the Chinese nationalists attacking their own athletes and rival countries on social media. “To these people, Olympic medal tables are real-time trackers of national prowess and, by extension, of national dignity. In that context someone who fails at a competition against foreigners has let down or even betrayed the nation,” said Dr Florien Schneider, director of the Netherlands’ Leiden Asia Center.
 
We see the cost in the tears and apologies of Chinese athletes who, in the eyes of their country, have failed in the expectation to put nation above self. China’s table tennis mixed doubles team Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, heavily favored to win, came up just short in a 3-4 loss to Japan’s Jun Mizutani and Mima Ito. 
 
Instead of celebrating the incredible accomplishment of being second in the world at the Olympic Games, the pair tearfully apologized and said that the Chinese team as a whole “cannot accept this result.” 
 
They did not, neither did their fans. The social media pages of the two Japanese players were so bombarded with verbal harassment and threats from angry Chinese people that they had to turn off the commentary function of their accounts.  
 
This kind of response is bred from a nationalistic approach to competitive sports. The Chinese government’s obsession with gold began with the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and from the earliest essay of Chairman Mao Zedong who wrote of China’s need to overcome the “sick man of Asia” perception and develop its strength. In the eyes of the CCP, only gold showcases that international strength, that defeat of other nations. Only gold is good enough.
 
Especially in a match against host country Japan. These two geographic neighbors have a complicated history fractured by Japan’s invasion and occupation of Manchuria, in northern China, in 1931 followed by the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945. Despite 76 years of distance from the end of the war, Chinese nationalists still saw the table tennis mixed doubles match not as an athletic event but, instead, “a standoff between China and Japan.”  
 
But not all Chinese citizens support this kind of nationalistic view of sports performance. One Weibo user replied that the mixed doubles match “was brilliant. Both sides were very strong and were very humble and respectful toward others.” Even State-run Xinhua news agency posted that, “I hope that all of us in front of the screen will establish a rational view of gold medals, and of victory and defeat to enjoy the Olympic spirit.”
 
But to say it is not necessarily to live it.  Dr. Jonathan Hassid, political science expert at Iowa State University, noted that “the CCP tries to exploit online nationalism for its own purposes, but events like this show that once Chinese citizens get riled up, the state has great difficulty in controlling those feelings.” Once a country stifles dissent of any kind and requires strict allegiance and obedience to anything believed by its leaders, it breeds a nationalism that bleeds into the ideal of the Olympics. The kind of nationalism that promotes country over citizen. The kind that promotes the grandeur of the Games over the travesty of human rights violations. 
 
We made the mistake of overlooking early concentration camps in Germany in favor of the 1936 Olympics being held on schedule in Berlin. We mistakenly thought that small protests at the 2008 Beijing Olympics would impact the genocide without disrupting competition in the Games. We were wrong, and we failed not just Olympic values but humanity because of it. Countless lives were lost.
 
In response to the question of whether the U.S. should boycott next year’s Beijing Olympics, an unnamed former senior Treasury official told CNBC that, “It’s better to go there and dominate.” I disagree. It is better for the United States to stand in solidarity with the people, the human beings held in the Xinjiang internment camps and refuse to support a nation that would inflict that kind of extended torture on its people. It is better to uphold the values that underlie humanity than to disregard them in the hunt for athletic supremacy.
 
Genocide olympics can not be tolerated. 
 
That’s it for today. Again, we will release a documentary movie on the Clean Network today, it is part 2 of the documentary series “The American Dream Takes on China Inc”, that tells the story of a group of Silicon Valley veterans beating the CCP in the economic battlefield. We will publish on the membership website today and premiere it on Youtube two days later, on Sunday. For future documentary movies that are not part of this series we will put the full length movies on the membership website only. So if you would like to watch this movie earlier and to support me, please sign up for our membership website zoomingin.tv.
 
Thanks for watching. I am Simone Gao and I’ll see you next time.
 
Oh, before I leave, enjoy the trailer of the documentary movie The American Dream Takes on China Inc part 2: The Clean Network.

China and India Heading to War Over Water? China to Build Huge Hydropower Station on Border

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Zooming In China, I’m Simone Gao.

A new report from Bloomberg on August 3rd seemed to bring hope to a darkening border dispute between China and India. China and India have mutually agreed to pull back troops from the site of a deadly dispute in June 2020 where 20 Indian and 4 Chinese soldiers were killed. After more than a year of both sides protecting that border, it will now be replaced with a demilitarized zone neither side will patrol in order to prevent a repeat of that conflict. Similar zones exist throughout their disputed 2,170-mile border.

The photos coming from the area capture a different story for the rest of that border. They show heavily armed vehicles traversing dangerous terrain, carrying more soldiers and heavy weaponry to a battle the international community sees coming but seems powerless to stop. Both sides have sent troops to the area over the past year, China increasing their troops from 15,000 to over 50,000 and India keeping pace with tens of thousands of their own. The deployments on both sides have reached the highest level in decades, and what the August 3rd announcement does not show is a willingness to remove those troops altogether.

The propaganda coming from China’s People’s Liberation Army has increased in tempo, too, most recently with a video posted online by the Henan provincial military district. In the video, a graphic clip of the June 2020 battle shows troops, who had been denied guns to reduce skirmishes, wading through waist-deep water while throwing stones and waving bayonets at one another. The video was shown during an interview with the family of one of the four Chinese soldiers killed in that dispute. Clearly this is an attempt to fuel anger and a desire for justice among the Chinese people to gain their support for a coming war. A war between two nuclear-armed countries.

The preparations are already in place. Both China and India have been at work building infrastructures that will support a lasting presence in the area, including insulated cabins and huts for use by the soldiers during the long Himalayan winter. China has built underground bunkers and tunnels, power structures including hydroelectric power stations and solar panels, and helipads and field hospitals. They have also moved heavy artillery to the area, including advanced surface-to-air missiles.  

India is deep in preparations as well, building their own roads and tunnels as well as housing for around 18,000 troops. Previously, they had housing for only 5,000. And along with their own heavy artillery, they have sent a squadron of 18 fighter jets to the surrounding regions, prepared to engage if necessary. A second squadron is being readied.

It would be easy to cast this as a simple border dispute, an argument over land that was only vaguely defined following the last China-India war in 1962. An official border was never determined after that war, the land instead being drawn by a demarcation line, or what is known as the Line of Actual Control. India draws that line at the location where Chinese troops withdrew in 1962. China draws it in the location they held before the war, in 1959. One area China continues to try to claim is an area where India has established a full state: Arunachal Pradesh.

If this were just a battle over an ill-defined border, it would be easier to believe that there is daylight coming, a reversal of the march toward what may become a nuclear incident. But there is more at stake. There is a reason this land is so hotly contested and so important to each side. And that reason is water. 

The international water at the heart of this conflict is the Yarlung Zangbo River that runs through China’s territory in Tibet. It then flows into India, known there as the Brahmaputra River, and through Bangladesh as the Jamuna River until it finally flows into the Indian Ocean. This is a river that matters. It matters to the identity of the Tibetan people, to the economy of the Chinese people and to the very lives of citizens in India and Bangladesh. The fighting, then, is not about the land itself. It is about the survival of people, countries, and identities.

During the disastrous floods in China’s Henan Province, rather than staying in the area to help his people through the crisis, General Secretary Xi Jinping traveled instead to Tibet. He went to survey the area surrounding Linzhi, part of the land contested between these two countries, and to the Niyang River Hydropower Station. Both sites important to China’s intention to “implement hydropower development in the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River” outlined in the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan and their 2035 Vision.  It is scheduled to begin construction between 2030 and 2035 with an estimated completion date of 2045. It will be three times the size of the Three Gorges Dam.

This new project, called the Mo Dehydration Power Station, comes from a country that has exhausted its ability to build dams in many other areas. Chinese water conservancy expert Wang Weiluo reports that “The hydropower resources in other provinces except Tibet are almost exhausted. The only thing left is the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the hydropower resources of the Tibet Autonomous Region are concentrated in the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River.” With so many hydroelectric projects scattered throughout China, why risk a war with India to build a new one on contested lands in international waters? 

Money is a big part. This is a project estimated to bring in a total of 3.6 trillion yuan for China, with 22.19 billion yuan slated for Tibet. While that might seem like a needed boost for the Tibetan people, it is meant as a benefit to the Chinese government. Tibet’s total fiscal revenue for 2019 was just 22.19 billion yuan, which was then subsidized by the Chinese government who added another 190.12 billion yuan. This power station, then, does little more than offset part of what the Chinese government was subsidizing to the region. It does not improve the lives of the Tibetan people who live there.

But controlling the water is bigger than money. Constructing the Mo Dehydration Power Station will give China the complete strategic control over the water resource of the Yarlung Zangbo River. This will be China’s most powerful move against an ever hostile and dangerous rival: India. Likewise, handing the security of these powers over to the CCP would mean a loss of control and survival, not just in this contested area but in their entire country. And it means putting the lives of 1.37 billion people in India and 163 million people in Bangladesh at the mercy of the CCP. 

For India and Bangladesh, this is about life itself. The Brahmaputra River is the most significant source of water in both countries, and any diversion of that water would be disastrous for both countries. 130 million people in India and Bangladesh live along the Brahmaputra delta with another 600,000 living on the river’s islands. These people rely on the river’s yearly flooding for the moisture and sediment it brings to the soil. That flooding brings the nutrients needed for their agriculture and marine farming that are key to their food production and their economies. The fish caught on the river’s floodplains and ponds are the primary source of protein for people in the area, and two of their three seasonal rice varieties cannot survive without the floodwater. Already facing serious climate refugee challenges due to rural lands being lost under the rising seas, a loss of the Brahmaputra’s river natural flooding would ravage both countries. 

The Tibetans won’t be happy either. As Weiluo also makes clear, “In the hearts of the Tibetans, the Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon is the place where gods live. It is the mother river of the Tibetans and the cradle of the Tibetan culture.” Chinese author Han Xuemei adds that “among the primitive Tibetan religion Bon, the sacred concept of awe of nature and ecology has the deepest impact on Tibetans. They believe that the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a holy land, and the sacred mountain and lake are the ancestors and protectors of their nation. Not only would this project be destroying their sacred areas and cultural spaces that are critical to their identity as a people, the Tibetan people do not economically benefit from the project. Tibetans are not employed in dam construction projects because the Chinese government is worried that they will destroy the engineering facilities, according to Weiluo.

How will the Mo Dehydration Power Station project unfold? We will keep you updated. 

That’s it for today. As some of you may have already seen, we are about to release a documentary movie on the Clean Network. It is part two of a documentary series “The American Dream Takes on China Inc.” that tells the story of a group of silicon valley veterans beating the CCP in the economic battlefield. We will publish it on the membership website first on Friday and premiere it on YouTube two days later on Sunday. 

For future documentary movies that are not part of this series, we may put them on the membership website only. So if you would like to watch this movie earlier and to support us, please sign up for our membership website: zoomingin.tv. Thanks for watching. I am Simone Gao and I will see you next time. Oh, before I leave, enjoy the trailer of the documentary movie, the clean network.