By Rene Wadlow-President,Association of World Citizens 
Public Opinions International
4th FEBRUARY 2017 | KAMPALA-UGANDA EAST AFRICA

The start of 2017 has seen an increase in military action and tensions in the separatist areas of Ukraine, especially in the Donetsk and Lulansh regions and around the city of Avdiyivka.  There has been high-caliber artillery fire along with small arms and morters. There had already been a sharp increase throughout the spring and summer of 2016, with an average of 1000  exchanges a day, as monitored by the some 1,100 staff members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) posted to the area.  The Secretary-General of the OSCE, Lamberto Zannier, has recently called for respect of a cease-fire already negotiated through the OSCE’s Minsk group.

The possibility of a new “Cold War” with its military buildup, lack of cooperation, and the stilling of opposition voices is real. The politically divided and potentially more violent Ukraine highlights broad social, economic and geopolitical orientations that will have long-range consequences.  The current situation in Ukraine and Crimea does not led itself to calm considerations or compromises.

The OSCE has tried to develop conflict-reduction steps in addition to monitoring the situation on the ground.  The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has tried to promote dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian civil society groups; the OSCE Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings has tried to raise awareness of local authorities about the threat of human trafficking in eastern Ukraine especially among internally displaced persons, and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities has organized an expert discussion  on minorities’ linguistic rights.

However, we are still far from a satisfactory resolution of the conflict and the political tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and the NATO alliance.  Western economic sanctions against Russia are still in place, harmful to the Russian economy but not harmful enough to modify Russian policy. The Western economic sanctions still operative were followed by Russian economic sanctions on European Union food products causing difficulties for EU agricultural production.

There is a need to move beyond the current deadlocked and tense situation.  Ukraine faces real internal problems: political, economic, and social.  There is a need for dialogue, trust-building, and reconciliation within the country – all stepping stones to stable internal peace.  There is also need for de-escalation of international tensions.

At the start of the armed conflict, on 17 April 2014, there was a one-day negotiation in Geneva between the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergy Lavrov.  The Association of World Citizens proposed to them a federal-decentralized government for Ukraine that would not divide the country on the pattern of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia or Transnistra in Moldova but would foster local and regional autonomy. At a press conference following the Geneva meeting Sergy Lavrov said that the Ukrainian crisis must be resolved by the Ukrainians themselves and that they should “start a nationwide national dialogue within the framework of the constitutional process which must be inclusive and accountable.”

The Association of World Citizens proposal warned against simplified concepts in the Ukraine discussion.  Federalism is not the first step to the disintegration of the Ukraine.  But federalism is not a “magic solution” either.  Since the Geneva meeting there has been a certain degree of decentralization but not a real federal structure.  There has been a proclamation of a Donetsk People’s Republic and a Luhansk People’s Republic.

Those of us outside the Ukraine must help facilitate discussions of national governmental structures for the Ukraine and regional security cooperation so that common interests may be found and current tensions reduced.

 

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28th JANUARY 2017 | WASHINGTON DC
The White House
Released By Office of the Press Secretary
 
 

Presidential Memorandum Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council

Signed on January 28, 2017 by H.E Donald J. Trump President of the United States of America (USA)

               MEMORANDUM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT

               THE SECRETARY OF STATE

               THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

               THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

               THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

               THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

               THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

               THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION

               THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE

               THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY

               THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OF STAFF

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF STRATEGIST

               THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

               THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE UNITED NATIONS  

               THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

               THE CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS

               THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

               THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

               THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

               THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR HOMELAND SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ECONOMIC POLICY

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY

               THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR INTRAGOVERNMENTAL AND TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES

               THE Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President

               THE COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT

               THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

               THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

               THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

               THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION   

               THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY

               THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY

               THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENT'S INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY BOARD

               THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCYMANAGEMENT AGENCY

               THE ARCHIVIST OF THE UNITED STATES 

Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council

As President, my highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of the American people.  In order to advise and assist me in executing this solemn responsibility, as well as to protect and advance the national interests of the United States at home and abroad, I hereby direct that my system for national security policy development and decision-making shall be organized as follows:

  1. The National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and Supporting Staff

The National Security Act of 1947, as amended, established the National Security Council (NSC) to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to the national security.  There is also a Homeland Security Council (HSC) -- established through Executive Order 13228 of October 8, 2001, and subsequently codified in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 -- that has the purpose of advising the President on matters pertaining to homeland security.  Each Council is also responsible for the effective coordination of the security-related activities and functions of the executive departments and agencies.

The security threats facing the United States in the 21st century transcend international boundaries.  Accordingly, the United States Government's decision-making structures and processes to address these challenges must remain equally adaptive and transformative.  Both Councils are statutory bodies that the President will continue to chair.  Invitations to participate in specific Council meetings shall be extended to those heads of executive departments and agencies, and other senior officials, who are needed to address the issue or issues under consideration.  When the President is absent from a meeting of either Council, the Vice President may preside at the President's direction.

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (Homeland Security Advisor) shall be responsible, as appropriate and at the President's direction, for determining the agenda for the NSC or HSC, respectively, ensuring that the necessary papers are prepared, and recording Council actions and Presidential decisions in a timely manner.  When international economic issues are on the agenda of the NSC, the National Security Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy shall perform these tasks in concert.

The NSC and HSC shall have as their regular attendees (both statutory and non-statutory) the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the National Security Advisor, the Homeland Security Advisor, and the Representative of the United States to the United Nations.  When international economic issues are on the agenda of the NSC, the NSC's regular attendees will include the Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.  The Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as statutory advisers to the NSC, shall also attend NSC meetings.  The Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, the Assistant to the President and Chief Strategist, the Counsel to the President, the Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget are invited as attendees to any NSC meeting. 

In addition to the NSC and HSC, there is also a single NSC staff within the Executive Office of the President that serves both the NSC and HSC.  The staff is composed of regional, issue-focused, and functional directorates and headed by a single civilian Executive Secretary, pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 3021, who is also the Chief of Staff.  All policy and staff activity decisions will be transmitted to the Executive Secretary for appropriate distribution and awareness.  The purpose of the NSC staff is to advise me, the National Security Advisor, the Homeland Security Advisor, the NSC members, the HSC members, and others in the White House; to facilitate the implementation of Administration policy; and to help coordinate the national-security-related activities of the executive departments and agencies. 

  1. The Principals Committee

The Principals Committee (PC) shall continue to serve as the Cabinet-level senior interagency forum for considering policy issues that affect the national security interests of the United States.  The PC shall be convened and chaired by the National Security Advisor or the Homeland Security Advisor, as appropriate, in consultation with the appropriate attendees of the PC.  The Chair shall determine the agenda in consultation with the appropriate committee members, and the Executive Secretary shall ensure that necessary papers are prepared and that conclusions and decisions are communicated in a timely manner.  Invitations to participate in or attend a specific PC shall be extended at the discretion of the National Security Advisor and the Homeland Security Advisor, and may include those Cabinet-level heads of executive departments and agencies, and other senior officials, who are needed to address the issue under consideration.

The PC shall have as its regular attendees the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, the Assistant to the President and Chief Strategist, the National Security Advisor, and the Homeland Security Advisor.  The Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.  The Counsel to the President, the Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget may attend all PC meetings. 

The Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor (Deputy National Security Advisor), the Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and the Executive Secretary (who shall serve as the Executive Secretary of the PC) shall attend all of the meetings of the PC, and the Representative of the United States to the United Nations and the Assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives may attend as appropriate.

When international economic issues are on the agenda of the PC, the Committee's regular attendees will include the Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (who shall serve as Chair for agenda items that principally pertain to international economics).\

  1. The Deputies Committee

The Deputies Committee (DC) shall continue to serve as the senior sub-Cabinet interagency forum for consideration of, and where appropriate, decision-making on, policy issues that affect the national security interests of the United States.  The DC shall be convened and chaired by the Deputy National Security Advisor or the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor (Deputy Homeland Security Advisor), as appropriate.  The Chair shall determine the agenda in consultation with the regular DC members, and the Executive Secretary shall ensure that necessary papers are prepared and that conclusions and decisions are communicated in a timely manner.  Invitations to participate in or attend a specific DC meeting shall be extended by the Chair to those at the Deputy or Under Secretary level of executive departments and agencies, and to other senior officials, who are needed to address the issue under consideration.

The DC shall have as its regular members the Deputy Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Attorney General, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  the Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President, the Deputy National Security Advisor, the Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

The Executive Secretary shall attend the DC meetings.  The Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs may attend all DC meetings.  The relevant Deputy Assistant to the President for the specific regional and functional issue under consideration shall also be invited to attend.  Likewise, when and where appropriate, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communication, the Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Transnational Issues, and the Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, shall also be invited to attend.  Other senior officials shall be invited where appropriate. 

The DC shall review and monitor the work of the interagency national security process, including the interagency groups established pursuant to section D below.  The DC shall help to ensure that issues brought before the NSC, HSC, and PC have been properly analyzed and prepared for decision.  The DC shall also focus significant attention on monitoring the implementation of policies and decisions and shall conduct periodic reviews of the Administration's major national security and foreign policy initiatives.  The DC is responsible for establishing Policy Coordination Committees (PCCs) and for providing objectives and clear guidance.

  1. Policy Coordination Committees

Management of the development and implementation of national security policies by multiple executive departments and agencies typically shall be accomplished by the PCCs, with participation primarily occurring at the Assistant Secretary level.  As the main day-to-day fora for interagency coordination of national security policies, the PCCs shall provide policy analysis for consideration by the more senior committees of the national security system and ensure timely responses to the President's decisions.

Regional and issue-related PCCs shall be established at the direction of the DC.  Members of the NSC staff (or National Economic Council staff, as appropriate) will chair the PCCs; the DC, at its discretion, may add co-chairs to any PCC.  The PCCs shall review and coordinate the implementation of Presidential decisions in their respective policy areas.  The Chair of each PCC, in consultation with the Executive Secretary, shall invite representatives of other executive departments and agencies to attend meetings of the PCC where appropriate.  The Chair of each PCC, with the agreement of the Executive Secretary, may establish subordinate working groups to assist that PCC in the performance of its duties.

An early meeting of the DC will be devoted to establishing the PCCs, determining their memberships, and providing them with mandates and strict guidance.  Until the DC has established otherwise, the existing system of Interagency Policy Committees shall continue.

  1. General

The President and the Vice President may attend any and all meetings of any entity established by or under this memorandum.

This document is part of a series of National Security Presidential Memoranda that shall replace both Presidential Policy Directives and Presidential Study Directives as the instrument for communicating relevant Presidential decisions.  This memorandum shall supersede all other existing Presidential guidance on the organization or support of the NSC and the HSC.  With regard to its application to economic matters, this document shall be interpreted in concert with any Executive Order governing the National Economic Council and with Presidential Memoranda signed hereafter that implement either this memorandum or that Executive Order.

The Secretary of Defense is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

 

DONALD J. TRUMP
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA)

 

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By Robert Daly
20th JANUARY 2017 | 
Public Opinions International

Each weekday morning, I cross D.C.’s National Mall and pass a sign on Constitution Avenue bearing an epigram by the U.S. architect Daniel Burnham: Make No Little Plans. Little plans, Burnham warned, have “no magic to stir men’s blood,” so we must “make big plans; aim high in hope and work,” and “remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.”

And every morning, these words make me think not of Burnham’s 20th century United States, but of 21st century China. That is now where staggering plans are made and funded. Some Chinese plans will improve lives around the world, while others may erode the liberal international order the United States has led since 1945.

By 2016, a broad swathe of Americans had begun to feel the effects of China’s development in their everyday lives—in shopping malls, at the multiplex, in paychecks—and to sense that the center of global power might be shifting from the United States toward China. Since the two countries established relations in 1979, U.S. institutional and ideational impact on China has far outstripped China’s minuscule influence on U.S. tastes and values. In 2016, China’s big plans may have begun to tilt the balance. Consider the summer of 2016: In June, China built the world’s fastest supercomputer (unlike the previous fastest machine, also made in China, the new one used only Chinese chips—and no U.S. hardware); in July, China completed the world’s biggest radio telescope; and in August, it sent the world’s first quantum-communications satellite into orbit.

China’s 2016 successes followed its construction of the world’s longest high-speed rail network; its creation, over the last few decades, of cities, like Pudong and Shenzhen, out of rice paddies; and its development of the world’s largest telecom system. It is now China, not the United States, that uses industrial policy to master emerging technologies, makes massive capital investments, appropriates land, and quickly brings new ideas to market on a continental scale. China increasingly drives global supply and demand, while the West settles for Nobel prizes.

The United States offers developing nations sermons on democracy; China builds their airports, harbors, and highways. Which approach will garner greater influence?

China’s ability to plan big depends in part on foreign innovation, some of it stolen, and on an authoritarian government that botches many of its grand projects. But that will be scant consolation for Americans if the next wave of discovery, not to mention both the hard and soft power accrued by it, is spurred by Chinese telescopes and satellites. China, furthermore, is aware of its creativity deficit. In 2016, Beijing accelerated its Silicon Valley shopping spree, buying tech and talent it couldn’t produce at home. Americans often observe that China is imitative, not innovative, and that its politicized universities and denial of personal freedom make it dependent on others for new ideas. That may have been important before China got rich, but does China’s inability to foster innovation still matter now that it can purchase it overseas?

China’s big plans don’t stop at its borders. Beijing intends to lead the integration, through infrastructure, of Eurasia and Africa. (On January 1, the first China-United Kingdom freight train set off from the city of Yiwu.)

If China builds the infrastructure that binds and enriches the world’s non-American nations, most of which already count China as their top trading partner, the United States will be a bystander to one of the century’s great transformations. The United States offers developing nations sermons on democracy; China builds their airports, harbors, and highways. Which approach will garner greater influence? As David Lampton, author of The Three Faces of Chinese Power, has said, “put your money on money.”

While the scope of Beijing’s investments is staggering, the purchasing power of Chinese consumers may prove more influential yet. Credit Suisse estimates that, since 2015, China has had a larger middle class (people with U.S.$50,000-500,000 in annual income) than the United States. That means China will be tastemaker to the world. Products will be designed to satisfy Chinese consumers and Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.) regulations. Some cell phones sold in the United States are already built to Chinese specifications. Hollywood studios, aware that China may soon offer the world’s biggest box office, rewrite scripts to ensure U.S. movies play on Chinese screens. These erstwhile architects of U.S. soft power have given the C.C.P. a channel for the export of censorship.

What’s At Stake?

Barring a domestic economic or political collapse—both unlikely—China is destined to be the world’s largest market for most products and commodities, the top issuer of everything from Ph.D.s and patents to greenhouse gases, and a leading shaper of global norms and institutions. There is nothing nefarious in this; it’s just the law of large numbers. When hundreds of millions of people in the same country get rich fast, that country’s power increases. In broad terms, China is doing what other rising powers, including the United States, have done: using financial and military power to shape the external environment to its aims.

It is those aims, not Chinese power per se, that should concern China’s neighbors and the United States.

Do we wish to live in a world that is increasingly amenable to an increasingly repressive C.C.P.?

The C.C.P.’s primary goal is maintaining its monopoly on power. China’s military strategy, trade and investment policy, global media, and cultural and educational exchanges all serve that end. Because the C.C.P. feels constrained and demonized by the modern liberal order, it uses its economic and military might to break constraints and change minds. Beijing is trying to persuade the world to accept the C.C.P.’s domestic standards for the treatment of individuals, information, and institutions as legitimate alternatives to liberal norms. This program is evident in China’s rejection of international law in the South China Sea, its gaming of international trade rules, its curbing of Internet freedoms in the name of “cyber security,” its attempts to weaken NGOs in China and at the United Nations (U.N.), and in its readiness to punish nations which host the Dalai Lama or celebrate Chinese dissidents on their own soil. China pushes these policies even as it provides a growing number of public goods, including U.N. peacekeeping, disaster relief, medical aid, and badly needed infrastructure investment. For the C.C.P., there is no contradiction between the illiberal and beneficial aspects of its foreign policy: protectionist authoritarianism provides the stability that makes Chinese generosity and trade possible. All of these variables should be understood and welcomed, in Beijing’s view, as essential parts of a balanced equation.

The question posed by China’s drive to shape world order is, do we wish to live in a world that is increasingly amenable to an increasingly repressive C.C.P.? What range of compromise to liberal principles should we accept to secure peace, accrue wealth, and develop technology in a world in which China is one of the dominant powers?

Twilight of the Engagement Consensus

China’s growing influence; the policies of General Secretary Xi Jinping, who sees Western values as an existential threat to his state; and Chinese assertiveness in the Western Pacific have convinced many Americans that the policy of engaging China has failed. Engagement, pursued by all American presidents since 1979, has been based on recognition that U.S.-China relations are both cooperative and competitive, and on the belief that encouraging cooperation is the United States’ best means of convincing China to support the liberal international order.

China has supported global norms more often than not over the past three decades, but under Xi, China seems determined—gradually and peacefully, if possible, and through coercion if necessary—to become the benign hegemon of Asia. China can only achieve this through the weakening of the United States’ alliance system and rejection of key principles of international law.

Against this background, a growing number of U.S. analysts, and several of Donald Trump’s advisors, argue that, through engagement, the United States has naively raised a tiger that devours U.S. prosperity. U.S. policy should therefore be guided by clear recognition that relations with China are, in essence, strategically, economically, and ideologically competitive. We should cooperate where we can, but steel ourselves to compete when we must.

2017: Rebalance Redux

When Donald Trump takes the oath of office on January 20, Chinese leaders and citizens will pay closer attention than they have to any prior inauguration. His campaign rhetoric, tweets, and appointments suggest Trump is eager to launch a competitive era in U.S.-China relations. China is less keen on adversarial relations. Its continued development requires a peaceful external environment and access to the American market. Because China has more to lose from heightened competition than the U.S., it will meet any Trumpian onslaught with the full attention of its government and military and will mobilize industry, media, and public opinion as only authoritarian regimes can. President Trump, meanwhile, cannot possibly make competition with China his top priority. His administration will be too busy and distracted, domestically and internationally, to pay the strategic attention to China that his China rhetoric has implied. The new president will therefore have to refine his competitive instincts in light of the complexity, ambiguity, and high risk which remain baseline facts of Sino-U.S. relations.

President Trump will also have to deal with the fact of limited resources. Early in its tenure, his team must review its global policy priorities and conduct an audit of America’s finances and will. If its assessments are thorough and objective, the administration is bound to find that China’s increased power, U.S. commitments in the Middle East and Europe, the domestic budget crisis, and the need to rebuild the U.S.’s job base and infrastructure—all while cutting taxes—mean that the U.S. cannot sustain the type of primacy to which it is accustomed in the Western Pacific. The Trump administration will have no choice but to rely on allies and partners, trade, diplomacy, and soft power to achieve its aims in the region. Sooner or later, and the sooner the better, Trump is bound to rediscover the strategic rationale for the Rebalance to Asia.

Whether or not Trump’s pledge to build a 350-ship navy is realistic, it signals his acceptance of the need for a military rebalance; the only threat that might justify such expense is China’s challenge to U.S. preeminence. A military buildup alone, however, will not convince Asian nations that the United States can check China’s power over the long haul. To compete in a region that boasts 60 percent of the world’s consumers and roughly two-thirds of global economic growth, the United States must set trade standards that benefit Asia as well as American companies and consumers. That means the Trump administration will have to resurrect the economic rebalance in some form, despite the death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Coordinating the security and prosperity legs of competition with China, moreover, will require U.S. participation in the growing number of organizations, treaties, and financial institutions that are reshaping Asia. Diplomatic rebalancing must therefore be added to the mix.

That completes the equation: military + economic + diplomatic focus on Asia was precisely the formula for the rebalance announced by Obama in 2012.

President Trump will not replay the Obama rebalance; he will reinvent it on a more militarized and moralistic basis. To convince a skeptical electorate to pay for an expanded military, Trump will likely invoke an issue he has shown no interest in to date: human rights. After all, the primary reason that the U.S. (and much of the rest of the world) should be wary of China’s wealth and power is that they come packaged with political practices that are noxious to free nations—practices that grow more severe as Xi tightens his control over Chinese society. Under Xi, China is “going bad,” as the journalist James Fallows put it in the December 2016 issue of The Atlantic. Fallows cautioned that “by ‘bad’ I don’t mean morally,” but that is exactly what he means. Trump is sure to seize on that “badness” eventually to make his case to taxpayers, and his penchant for moral critiques—“crooked,”China’s “rape” of the American economy—indicates that once he gets warmed up, he will attack China’s human rights record with gusto.

Re-Engagement

Even as it pursues its rebalance, the Trump administration will discover that it cannot isolate China. China has so much to offer the world (see money, above) that Trump will find little international support for policies aimed at stanching its economic development.

Only by engaging can the United States continue to benefit from the talent and energy of the one-fifth of humanity that resides in China...can the United States continue to catalyze change in a China that can still be influenced by American policy and American examples.

Obama’s disastrous opposition to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank demonstrated that even the United States’ closest allies will not join in unreasonable opposition to China. The U.S. and China are now so interdependent, moreover, that Washington cannot impose economic costs on China that don’t ricochet onto U.S. allies and the United States itself.

Faced with the fact (facts keep cropping up) of mutual dependence, the Trump team will realize that, just as it has no choice but to reclaim the rebalance, it cannot abandon engagement altogether.

Only by engaging can the United States continue to benefit from the talent and energy of the one-fifth of humanity that resides in China, and only through engagement, coordinated with military, economic, and diplomatic strength, can the United States continue to catalyze change in a China that can still be influenced by American policy and American examples.

He may not adopt the terms engagement and rebalance, but President-elect Trump is fortunate that these policies provide a rough roadmap for managing U.S.-China relations, even in an era of heightened competition. The aim of Trumpian Rebalance and Engagement should be to convince Beijing that, while a risen China is welcome as a leading provider of public goods and contributor to global norms, the United States and its allies are determined to prevent an illiberal China from dominating Asia.

That’s a Big Plan that Daniel Burnham might applaud. Realizing it will require the hard work of decades. The alternative is a new Cold War—one that renders all talk of global norms obsolete.

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Written by Bonnie S. Glaser Senior Adviser for Asia and Director, China Power Project and | Michael J. Green Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair
24th JANUARY 2017 | WASHINGTON DC
Public Opinions International

On January 11, Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Taiwan, based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances, at his Senate confirmation hearing. He also indicated that he is not aware of “any plans to alter” the U.S. “one China” policy.

Q1: What is the U.S. “One China” policy? Why does it exist?

A1: When the United States moved to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and de-recognize the Republic of China (ROC) in 1979, the United States stated that the government of the People’s Republic of China was “the sole legal Government of China.” Sole, meaning the PRC was and is the only China, with no consideration of the ROC as a separate sovereign entity.

The United States did not, however, give in to Chinese demands that it recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan (which is the name preferred by the United States since it opted to de-recognize the ROC). Instead, Washington acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan was part of China. For geopolitical reasons, both the United States and the PRC were willing to go forward with diplomatic recognition despite their differences on this matter. When China attempted to change the Chinese text from the original acknowledge to recognize, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher told a Senate hearing questioner, “[W]e regard the English text as being the binding text. We regard the word ‘acknowledge’ as being the word that is determinative for the U.S.” In the August 17, 1982, U.S.-China Communique, the United States went one step further, stating that it had no intention of pursuing a policy of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan.”

To this day, the U.S. “one China” position stands: the United States recognizes the PRC as the sole legal government of China but only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China. Thus, the United States maintains formal relations with the PRC and has unofficial relations with Taiwan. The “one China” policy has subsequently been reaffirmed by every new incoming U.S. administration. The existence of this understanding has enabled the preservation of stability in the Taiwan Strait, allowing both Taiwan and mainland China to pursue their extraordinary political and socioeconomic transitions in relative peace.

Q2: What is the U.S. position on who has sovereignty over Taiwan?

A2: In the San Francisco Treaty of Peace of 1951, Japan renounced “all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.” Neither the Republic of China nor the People’s Republic of China were parties to the treaty, and thus neither was declared a beneficiary of the Japanese renouncement.

While President Richard Nixon’s private notes show him willing to recognize the status of Taiwan as determined and part of China, subsequent U.S. documents and statements show the United States as having no position on the Taiwan sovereignty question.

The U.S. position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan remains steady and consistent with its “one China policy”: both sides of the Taiwan Strait should mutually and peacefully agree to a resolution of this as yet unsettled issue. The United States doesn’t agree with Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, nor does it agree with Taipei that the ROC is an independent, sovereign state.

Q3: What is the Taiwan Relations Act, and what role does it play in U.S. policy toward Taiwan?

A3: After the Jimmy Carter administration recognized the PRC, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 to protect the significant U.S. security and commercial interest in Taiwan. The TRA provided a framework for continued relations in the absence of official diplomatic ties. It also set out U.S. commitments regarding Taiwan’s security and empowered Congress to oversee various aspects of U.S. Taiwan policy. The law required that the president inform Congress promptly of any anticipated danger to Taiwan and consult with Congress to devise an appropriate response. The TRA also authorized the continuation of commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan. Each subsequent Congress has reaffirmed the TRA to ensure that the absence of diplomatic ties does not negatively affect the continued strong, substantive relationship enjoyed by the United States and Taiwan.

The TRA sets forth the American Institute in Taiwan as the corporate entity dealing with U.S. relations with the island; makes clear that the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means; considers any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States; mandates that the United States make available defensive arms to Taiwan; and requires that the United States maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.

The TRA also reaffirms unequivocally that the preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are objectives of the United States. The TRA gives the United States the legal means to continue relations with Taiwan in economic, cultural, and security dimensions. In lieu of official exchanges, all programs, transactions, and relations are conducted and carried out by a nonprofit corporation under contract of the State Department—the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). AIT and its counterpart, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), handle interactions between Taiwan and the United States. Together, these two private organizations carry out the unofficial relationship between the United States and Taiwan, but neither operates in an official capacity as an embassy.

Q4: What are the Six Assurances?

A4: In the third U.S.-China communique signed on August 17, 1982, the United States stated “that it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan”; “that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China”; and “that it intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution.”

Concerned about the possible impact of the communique on Taiwan, President Ronald Reagan placed a secret memorandum in the National Security Council files that stated that U.S. willingness to reduce arms sales to Taiwan was conditioned upon the continued commitment of China to the peaceful solution of cross-Strait differences. The memo underscored that the quantity and quality of weapons provided to Taiwan must be determined by the threat posed by the PRC.

Reagan also took the additional step of asking the head of AIT, James Lilley, to deliver orally, in the president’s name, six assurances regarding U.S. policy toward Taiwan. Those assurances are that the United States:

  • Had not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to the Republic of China;
  • Had not agreed to hold prior consultations with the PRC regarding arms sales to the Republic of China;
  • Would not play a mediation role between the PRC and the Republic of China;
  • Would not revise the Taiwan Relations Act;
  • Had not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan; and
  • Would not exert pressure on the Republic of China to enter into negotiations with the PRC.

Q5: Why is Taiwan important to the United States?

A5: Taiwan ended martial law in 1987 and held its first direct democratic presidential election in 1996. Today, Taiwan is a fully functioning democracy, respects human rights and the rule of law, and has a open economy that, in 2015, made it the ninth-largest U.S. trading partner, with bilateral trade between the United States and Taiwan reaching $66.6 billion. As such, Taiwan is a vital partner for the United States in Asia, a robust, prosperous, free, and orderly society with strong institutions that stands as a model for the region.

Taiwan and the United States are engaged in joint programs, under the Global Cooperation Training Framework, working together to expand their already robust cooperation to address global challenges in such areas as international humanitarian assistance, public health, environmental protection, energy, technology, education, and regional development.

In 2012, the two countries jointly launched the Pacific Islands Leadership Partnership, and in 2014 the United States joined as a founding partner of the Taiwan-initiated International Environmental Partnership program. The partnership is also highlighted by recent cooperative efforts of Taiwan and the United States in response to pressing issues ranging from the Ebola and MERS epidemic to the humanitarian refugee crisis in the Middle East. Taiwan has proved to be a vital partner not just for the United States, but for the region.

Taiwan’s government is committed to maintaining the peace and stability that currently exists across the Taiwan Strait, a top U.S. priority for the region. The United States’ adherence to its long-standing commitment to the people of Taiwan remains important for maintaining U.S. credibility throughout East Asia.

Q6: What are U.S. obligations and commitments regarding the defense of Taiwan?

A6: The Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of China was in effect from March 3, 1955, to January 1, 1980. The termination of the treaty ended the obligation that both parties had to provide the other with aid and military support in the event of an attack. Some of the content of the treaty was included in the Taiwan Relations Act. The TRA states that any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, is a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and to be considered of grave concern to the United States. It also establishes that the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.

The TRA set forth a policy of providing Taiwan with arms of a defensive character, but the specific decisions regarding weapons sales are left up to the president, who is obligated to notify Congress of pending arms sales. In the last 10 years, the United States has approved $23.7 billion in arms to Taiwan. The TRA also requires that the United States maintain the capacity resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.

Q7: Why is China so fearful of Taiwan becoming independent?

A7: With the return of Hong Kong to Chinese control in July 1997, Taiwan remains one of the few areas over which Beijing claims sovereignty but does not control. It is widely viewed by Chinese on the mainland as the last vestige of the century of humiliation that began with the Opium Wars in the middle of the nineteenth century. The persisting separation of the mainland and Taiwan is also portrayed as a hindrance to China’s reemergence as a great power, which President Xi Jinping has dubbed the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Chinese Communist Party’s legitimacy is linked to its pledge to achieve reunification of Taiwan with the motherland. A commonly held view on the mainland is that no Chinese leader could remain in power if he allowed Taiwan to separate from the PRC and be recognized by the international community as an independent sovereign state.

The Anti-Secession Law, adopted by Beijing in 2005, sets forth three conditions under which China would be justified in using “non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity: 1) Taiwan independence forces cause Taiwan’s secession from China; 2) Major incidents entailing Taiwan’s secession from China occur; or 3) possibilities for peaceful reunification are completely exhausted.

Bonnie S. Glaser is a senior adviser for Asia and director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. Michael J. Green is senior vice president for Asia and holds the Japan Chair at CSIS.

Critical Questions is produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues. Its research is nonpartisan and nonproprietary. CSIS does not take specific policy positions. Accordingly, all views, positions, and conclusions expressed in this publication should be understood to be solely those of the author(s).

 

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Public Opinions International
By Adam Azim | Director Public Opinions| Washington DC

Given that the foundation of American liberty and society is based on John Stuart Mill’s “Utilitarianism” as manifested by Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence”, strategy then becomes a matter of four elements: 1)The strategy itself, 2)the objectives that one seeks to accomplish through the execution of a strategy, 3)identifying and coping with the challenges that emerge as the strategy unfolds, and 4)the opportunities that arise in accomplishing the objectives through the course of executing a strategy.

With that said, it becomes a matter of curiosity as to whether Donald Trump’s soft rhetoric and sentiment toward Russia is the strategy to some bigger objective that no one can see at the moment or whether detente (the warming of relations) with Russia is the objective. There are some, if not many, individuals who argue or insinuate that Mr. Trump seeks detente as the objective of his policy toward Russia. They use his appointment of Rex Tillerson as well as Donald Trump Jr.’s previous statements of how Russia forms “a disproportionate amount” of Trump assets (reported by Carl Bernstein on CNN) as evidence to argue that Russia and Trump essentially click and thus detente with Russia becomes Trump’s objective.

Others cite detente with Russia as a means of weakening Russia’s position in the Middle East given the success the Obama Administration had with somewhat balancing the playing field in Syria between opposition forces and Assad after the Obama Administration talked Russia into removing chemical weapons out of Assad’s control.

But given that Russia has had continued success in gradually pulling Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Turkey, Gulf Arab states, and China through oil and gas deals out of America’s grip and forming a de facto “eastern bloc” that is opposed to the United States, will detente as a strategy or objective actually help the United States in regaining an upper hand over Russia in international affairs? Or will detente enable Russia to extract concessions from the United States and thus weaken America’s position as opposed to strengthen it? It is critical that detente, if pursued by the Trump Administration, be played slowly and softly as opposed to wholeheartedly given the history of Russia as having taken advantage of U.S.-led detente during the Carter Administration by launching an invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and fueling the communist Tudeh Party before the fall of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in that same year. Given the consensus-building in the Eastern World over Syria that Russia seeks to carry out in an Astana conference on January 23, it seems as though Russia is already taking advantage of Mr. Trump’s Russia policy.

Detente, while serving as a means of fending off Russian aggression in the Western Hemisphere during a time of internal balancing for the United States, may lead to American losses in places like the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. If the United States is willing to incur managed losses in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe in the short-term in order to undergo internal balancing and then push back against Russian advances in the long-run, then detente becomes a strategy in strengthening America’s position in the world vis-a-vis Russia. But if Mr. Trump decides to relinquish the Eastern World to Russia and is willing to live with a divided world in which Russia rules the East and America tentatively manages the Western World, then detente for the United States tragically becomes the objective.

 

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