Links for Friday, August 21, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.


More important China news and analysis from around the web:

“Taiwan’s military has flashy American weapons but no ammo,” says the journalist Paul Huang in Foreign Policy. Huang writes:

…in reality, not only is the Taiwanese military facing a serious shortage of soldiers and an entirely dysfunctional reserve system, as my previous reporting for Foreign Policy revealed, half of its tanks may not be able to run — and even fewer have functional weapons. These failures are costing lives even before China fires a single shot. As Taiwanese politicians showcase flashy U.S. weapons bought with taxpayers’ money, the logistics inside the military remain so abysmal that a young army officer killed himself after being pressured to buy repair parts out of his own pocket…

The dilapidated state of the military has many roots, but veteran staff officers have proposed one likely theory to explain it.

Chang Han-ching, a retired navy captain and a researcher for the Taiwan Center for International Strategic Studies, believes it was the Taiwanese military’s hasty yet critically flawed downsizing that hollowed out its logistics. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Taiwan committed itself to cutting the force size from half a million strong to fewer than 200,000…

The root cause of problems, therefore, appears to go far deeper than just broken tanks and not enough mechanics. Interviewees suggested the answer must lies somewhere between the military’s dysfunctional organizational culture, lack of civilian audit and oversight, and an ineffectual leadership (both military and political) that seems to give little thought to preparing troops for actual war.

Related, by Robert Kagan in Brookings: China’s dangerous Taiwan temptation.

A consensus is growing that China’s Uyghurs face genocide,” writes Isabella Steger in Quartz today (paywall; also republished in Yahoo News).

A growing number of people moved to use the term genocide last year as more testimonies of forced sterilizations endured by Uyghur and Kazakh women in camps in China came to light — forced suppression of births in a specific community, under the UN’s definition, is one of the five acts that constitutes genocide.

Steger writes that some of the most significant people now adopting the term “genocide” to describe the plight of the Uyghurs are Jewish commentators and leaders, who are among the most hesitant to make comparisons to the Holocaust. However, Peter Irwin, a spokesperson for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, says, “It’s absolutely crucial that we don’t get mired in a debate about labels… The international community has an obligation to respond, irrespective of whatever label one might want to apply.”

Related, by James Millward in the Guardian: The Uyghurs’ suffering deserves targeted solutions, not anti-Chinese posturing.