Research

The security risks carried by the Chinese tech frontrunner Huawei

For more information, please visit the link 👇

CHINESE COMPANY NUCTECH – A MAJOR SECURITY CHALLENGE FOR GEORGIA 

  • its cooperation with the Georgian government,
  • fraudulent activities related to Georgian and foreign tender procedures,
  • malfunctions of its security equipment,
  • corruption scandals worldwide.

Back then, our team has already stressed out the high-security risks threatening the national security of those states, where Nuctech has operated.

For more information, please visit the link 👇

Inside the 20th national congress of the Chinese Communist party: What to expect

At the end of September, right after Xi Jinping visited Central Asia, false information about a coup against him in China was spread all over social media. The emergence of these rumors was caused by thousands of canceled flights in China, Xi not showing up in public (in reality going through a mandatory quarantine after his international trip), and footage of military equipment moving towards Beijing. In fact, such information was not confirmed but labeled “wishful thinking” coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. One could believe that it is plausible for Xi Jinping to encounter the coup one day due to the mounting discontent of the Chinese elite following the economic and policy breakdowns. In fact, the country’s ruler, Xi Jinping, was found to have completely different plans that are far from facing a military coup and include making himself a supreme force in the country and ensuring China’s return to the list of the leading global powers after economic and political stagnation.

On October 16, the Chinese Communist Party is expected to hold the 20th National Congress in Beijing, where they will elect new leadership for the next five years, most probably abandoning the “Seven up, eight down” policy tradition and consolidating Xi Jinping’s power. Party congress will also address the most critical issues in the PRC, such as the declining economy, worsening relations with the US, and restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The congress will be attended by 2296 delegates representing ethnic minorities, women, and all provinces and regions. According to the Eurasia Group, with Xi securing the third term, he is expected to enhance the share of his political associates both in the 25-person Politburo and its Standing Committee. Wang Yang will likely remain the Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, while Xi’s supporter members, Ding Xuexiang, Huang Kunming, Li Xi, Li Qiang, are expected to be promoted. Many people believe that congress has a symbolic weight, and the names of the leaders with their positions have already been agreed upon in advance. Besides those projected to be put forward, several political individuals keep close ties with Xi Jinping and will replace the retired ones. For instance, He Lifeng is anticipated to take the post of Vice Premier in charge of economic and financial affairs. The latter has worked with Xi in Fujian province and has accompanied him during almost all domestic or international trips. Miao Hua represents another example, becoming the Vice Chairman in charge of political affairs. Miao Hua, likewise He Lifeng, met Xi in Fujian and since then has served in PLA.

Accordingly, Xi Jinping has begun celebrating his stay in office. After completing the mandatory 10-day quarantine following his Central Asia tour, the Chinese leader took six colleagues and Politburo Standing Committee members to an exhibition dedicated to the achievements of his first two terms.

As stated by Financial Times, while two of Xi Jinping’s colleagues from the Politburo’s Standing Committee, Li Zhanshu and Han Zheng, are expected to step down due to their age, Xi may reduce the age limit even further, prompting the resignation of three other committee members. Premier Li Keqiang is among those three members. Li was considered Xi’s main rival before the latter was appointed a head of the party and the state and, accordingly, enjoyed great popularity among Xi’s critics. Nevertheless, Xi Jinping managed to sideline Li effectively due to the latter’s liberal attitude and loyalty to the CCP.

Xi Jinping will likely change the constitution during the party congress, fully adapting it to his political ideas and thoughts. The new amendment will ensure the “implementation of the eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct by the Political Bureau of the 19th CCP Central Committee”, correcting the flaws related to the useless formal procedures and advancing the President’s power. The eight-point decision covers the following aspects:

• doing better research and analysis and truly understanding actual conditions when doing grassroots-level studies;

• streamlining meetings and improving the way meetings are conducted;

• making documents and briefing papers more concise and improving writing styles;

• standardizing procedures for working visits abroad;

• improving security guard work and continuing to observe the principle of doing what improves relations with the people;

• improving news report;

• having strict rules on the publication of articles; and

• promoting frugality and the strict observance of rules on incorruptibility in government.

This way, Xi Jinping is trying to resume the “Great Helmsman” status, most commonly referred to as Mao Zedong. One can assume that his ambitions go beyond those five years of his third term, as Xi has reverted to “Two Centenaries” goals, aiming to return the country among the leading global powers by 2049 when the PRC celebrates its 100th anniversary. The first part of his policy aims to achieve tremendous progress in the economy, carbon neutrality, military, and technology, while the second phase will be devoted to transforming China into a “strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and modern socialist country”.

All in all, Xi Jinping’s ambitions for the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party go beyond the limit as he tries to extend his term in office, ignoring political traditions and adapting Chinese politics to his desires and interests projected until 2049. This is facilitated by the constitutional and economic changes he initiated, as well as the rigid policy of removing opponents and appointing supporters to higher state bodies.

Author of the Article – Ani Kintsurashvili, Senior Researcher, Civic IDEA

CHINA NUCLEAR INDUSTRY 23 CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD
IN GEORGIA

Civic IDEA’s 11th China Watch report discusses the controversies around China’s state-owned nuclear company China Nuclear Industry 23 Construction Co., Ltd., alternatively referred to as “CNNC No.23” or CNI23 operating since 1958. There is no record provided by internet sources about the misconduct related to particularly CNI23 and its representation in different states. Nevertheless, some problems and scandals are still associated with its founding investor firms: China National Nuclear Corporation and China General Nuclear Power Engineering Co., Ltd. China General Nuclear Power Engineering Co., Ltd. first appeared on the Georgian market in 2012 and since then has won several state procurements and made private investments.

For more information about the CNI23, see the attachment below: 👇

Big Power Game, Xi’s Voyage to Central Asia

Author of the Article – Ani Kintsurashvili, Senior Researcher, Civic IDEA

Collection of Articles Vol. 2 “From Caspian to Black Sea Economic, Academic and Digital Threats posed by the PRC”

Civic IDEA has the honor to share with the audience the second part of the series of Collection of Articles under the name “From Caspian to Black Sea: Economic, Academic and Digital Threats posed by the PRC”. Publication in front of you is the second edition of a collective effort by Civic IDEA and its partners and distinguished experts from the region to analyze and debate the Chinese activities in their respective countries in various fields, be it academia, business, politics, or other state matters. This time, the publication was inspired by the outstanding work of our Taiwanese partner Doublethink Lab about the Chinese influence operations assembled in China Index-2021, to be followed at https://china-index.io. This regularly updated web tracker allows all interested in monitoring and measuring PRC influence around the Globe.

The contributor authors to the second issue of the collection of articles are the following:

Tinatin Khidasheli – Chairperson, Civic IDEA

Ani Kintsurashvili – Senior Researcher, Civic IDEA

Vusal Guliyev – Fellow, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University

Gubad Ibadoghlu – Senior Visiting Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Umedjon Majidi – Anti Corruption Expert, Sarajevo, BIH

Gia Jandieri – Director, New Economic School of Georgia

Danila Bekturganov – Director, NGO “Civil Expertise”

Denis Cenusa – Associated Expert, Think Tank EESC (Lithuania) / Think Tank Expert-Grup (Moldova)

Civic IDEA is also grateful to National Endowment for Democracy and the US Embassy for their immense support and contribution.

Georgia’s Foreign Debt Policies: PRC’s bank among Georgia’s top creditors

Civic IDEA started observing Georgia’s foreign debt policy after the Georgian Dream officially refused financial assistance from the European Union. It turns out that Georgia is still actively borrowing from various financial institutions or directly from other countries, and the two main creditors of the country are the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). On September 21, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is highly affected by China, officially announced that it would provide the Georgian government with a USD 100 million loan, aiming to strengthen Georgia’s electricity sector. On September 24, ADB already approved a USD 15 million loan to assist Georgia in effectively implementing the vaccination programs. Three weeks before the debt approval from the ADB, the Georgian government publicly refrained from taking 75 million Euros worth of aid from the European Union. According to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s official statement, Georgia has begun the reduction of its foreign debt, and therefore, no additional assistance from the EU was needed. 

Based on the information we have, the question naturally arises: Why does the Georgian government take debt from the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank when their services are twice as expensive as the EU’s? We will provide our readers with a consistent history of when, why and under what conditions the Government of Georgia decided to cooperate with the bank, which was established only recently, in 2016.

CAN RUSSIA FIND MORE FRIENDS AND SUPPORTS IN WAR AGAINST UKRAINE? POSITION AND REACTIONS OF CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRIES

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine found Central Asian states in surprise. Undoubtedly their attention was occupied by events in Kazakhstan beginning of 2022 and developments following widespread unrest when Russian military aggression against Ukraine shook the world.

As for the facts, all Central Asian states and their economies are intertwined with Russia. Some are members of the Eurasian Economic Union as well. The cooperation and interdependency are so high that the threat of Western sanctions over the Kremlin having an effect on them is very tangible and high.

Moreover, three countries of Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, along with Armenia and Belarus, are members of the Russian-led security/military alliance – the CSTO. Therefore, Moscow’s expectation of demonstrated support, including military, was rather realistic and projected.

Despite relatively clear links and bondages to Moscow, the reactions and political statements of national governments from Central Asia differed from complete silence to support or concerns over the developments in Ukraine. President Putin’s recognition of breakaway regions and dismissal of Ukrainian statehood should’ve rung a bell in some Central Asian states, particularly those with significant Russian minorities.

Civil society appeal for immediate launch of Georgia’s rapid EU accession procedure

You can sign the statement on the link provided below. Join us and together let’s demand the active steps and real decisions of the Parliament on the path of the country’s European integration.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfTFgZaZY8TULjSGwLxUGYkt5t8SNN2frsLtkychrpMPpk4_Q/viewform?fbclid=IwAR24dQ3iYghPdFx1MmR-QLqnr2DI9GRYTuPyt1jkzeHe96UzMaGBF9TxPa4

Today, as never before, the joint and rapid action of all branches of the Georgian government is crucial to ensure Georgia’s European perspective. It is the duty of all representatives of the Georgian state to act quickly and purposefully in order to use the window of opportunity, which has been created to stop the criminal decisions and actions of the Vladimir Putin regime, and to ensure the country’s European future.

Georgia is the first victim of the Putin regime, the long-term struggle of the Georgian people for freedom deserves proper assessment and European perspective.

At the same time, we realize that the non-fulfillment of the Charles Michel Agreement is a significant obstacle to the establishment of relations with Georgia as a trusted partner. Therefore, we consider the fulfillment of the Charles Michel Agreement to be the most important condition for strengthening democratic governance in the country.

Correct and timely statements and resolutions are important for EU integration, but only a first step. Today, by making relevant decisions in the Parliament of Georgia, we must show the whole civilized world, including the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission, that Georgia’s struggle for democratic, free and European statehood is irreversible and we are doing our best to ensure it.

Accordingly,

1. The parliament of Georgia, in accordance with Article 78 of the constitution of Georgia, should immediately adopt a resolution on the launch of relevant procedures for Georgia’s accelerated accession to the European Union.

2. The parliament of Georgia should call on the executive government of Georgia to immediately apply for Georgia’s EU membership.

3. The government of Georgia should promptly present an action plan on the measures to be taken during this week for Georgia’s accelerated accession to the European Union.

4. The government of Georgia should, in accordance with the constitution, grant the President of Georgia the relevant powers to start negotiations with the European Union.

Signatories:

1. Civic Idea

2. Democracy Research Institute (DRI)

3. Open Society Foundation

4. Democracy Index

5. Institute for the Study of Nationalism and Conflict

6. Eastern European Center for Multiparty Democracy

7. Civil Council on Defense and Security

8. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association

9. Georgian Court Watch

10. Investigative Journalists’ Team “iFact”

11. Center for the Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG)

12. Human Rights Center

13. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)

14. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)

15. Social Justice Center (former EMC)

16. Tolerance and Diversity Institute

17. School of Tomorrow

18. Equality 17

19. Mothers Against Gambling

20. Caucasus Dialogue Foundation

In addition, the application is signed by more than 150 individuals.

Note: The civil society appeal for the immediate start of Georgia’s accelerated EU accession procedure, signed by more than 150 individuals and dozens of representatives of civil society organizations, had been prepared before the ruling party officially announced its intention to apply for the EU candidate status. Due to the special importance of the issue, we are spreading the initial version of the appeal.