Three of the biggest bank failures in US history happened in the last 100 days, yet majority of Americans don't know a single thing happened.— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 1, 2023
Monday, May 01, 2023
China And India
Monday, March 27, 2023
Ukraine is being made to fight the war the hard way, not the smart way......... Unfortunately, NATO states, including the U.S., have been reluctant to provide the Ukrainians with missile systems with too long of a range, seemingly for fear of escalating tensions with Russia. Instead of allowing the Ukrainians to degrade Russian forces far from the front line, Ukraine is being prepared to attack that line. The Ukrainians’ fortitude and ingenuity up to this point suggest that they could indeed accomplish their task—but it’s been made much harder than it needs to be.
@KaiserKuo Listened to this with utmost interest https://t.co/7eLWpLM2vy I have some questions for @ryanl_hass— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) March 25, 2023
Friday, March 24, 2023
Ryan Hass, Xi Jinping, China, Russia
Interests, Not Ideology, Should Drive America’s Approach to China Ideologues prefer to understand the U.S.-China relationship as a contest between good versus evil. They take comfort in clean divisions between democracies versus autocracies. They like parallels between the current U.S.-China great power contest and the U.S.-Soviet Union Cold War. The United States triumphed over the Soviets in the Cold War, after all, so why not repeat the cycle again now with China, they ask. .......... invoking Cold War analogies misdiagnoses the nature of the U.S.-China relationship and creates a false hope that the United States has the capacity to compel the collapse of China. ........ Any American attempt to treat China as its existential enemy (a la the Soviet Union during the Cold War) would isolate the United States from its friends and allies, none of whom have any enthusiasm for joining an anti-China containment coalition. ....... Not even America’s closest partners in Europe or Asia would sign up for a role in erecting such a global economic partition. ......... Trade data does not support arguments that China is seeking to bifurcate the global economy, though.
Over 150 countries view China as their largest trading partner, making China the world’s largest trading power.Even as Beijing pursues more statist economic policies at home, it continues to look for opportunities to gain leverage by locking in other countries’ dependence upon China for future economic growth. ......... a recognition that the bilateral relationship is deeply competitive. ......... Both countries also are battling each other to dominate the frontiers of innovation in technological fields that will define the coming century, such as quantum computing, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and clean energy. ............. bilateral trade in goods hit a record in 2022, nearing $700 billion ........ by virtue of their positions as the world’s two most powerful countries, the United States and China also face planetary interdependence. From climate change to the global economy and pandemics, they both are harmed or helped by their (in)ability to pool capabilities to confront shared threats.......... The sooner leaders in Washington and Beijing embrace the framework of competitive interdependence for understanding the nature of U.S.-China relations, the better they will be able to compete without resort to conflict. The framework pushes both sides to coexist within a heightened state of competition, not out of amity but rather a sober recognition of the parameters within which the relationship operates. The hard truth is that neither the United States nor China would be able to achieve their national ambitions if they end up in conflict with each other. ........... the goal of strategy is to minimize risks and maximize benefits. The current trajectory of U.S.-China relations is moving in the opposite direction. Risks of conflict are rising, while benefits from the relationship for American and Chinese citizens are receding. ......... a degree of strategic maturity that has been in short supply in recent years ......... The current downward trajectory of the relationship, if not arrested, will continue to generate sharp incidents of growing intensity. Expecting that U.S. and Chinese leaders would manage all such future incidents wisely and calmly requires the triumph of hope over reason. ........ What is needed now is clear-eyed, evidence-based, interest-driven thinking about how the world’s two most powerful countries can compete without resort to conflict, both now and in the future.
Mr. Hass. I read some of your comments about the Xi visit. There are some questions I would like to ask you. May I?— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) March 22, 2023
2/ I suspect China's leaders feel less isolated on world stage than many in West suspect. Saudi Arabia reportedly plans to host Xi for visit. No BRICS countries have condemned Russia's invasion. Wang Yi reportedly may visit India soon. Chinese outreach to Global South increasing.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
3/ This raises the premium for Western unity in addressing China on its approach to Russia/Ukraine. Planned April 1 EU-China Summit will be an important event. Would be helpful for Beijing to hear a message from EU leaders that rhymes with what Biden conveyed to Xi last week.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
4/ Important for Beijing to hear consistent message from US + EU on need to 1) avoid backfilling sanctions, 2) refrain from sending arms to Russia, 3) contribute meaningfully to relief of humanitarian suffering in Europe, and 4) support efforts to hasten termination of conflict.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
5/ US and EU should not offer concessions to China to compel caution and prudence on Russia/Ukraine, but should make clear in a matter-of-fact way that PRC's decisions now will determine what range of trajectories for China's relations with West will be available in the future.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
6/ Beijing’s aspiration to become a geo-economic power requires functional relations with West. Beijing has its own incentives to avoid full rupture with West over Russia/Ukraine. Self-sufficiency and deepening ties with developing world are important, but not a substitute. END.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
Trade balance of Brazil and China 2021 was 125 billion dollars, Brazil with the USA and Europe was 120 billion dollars.According to eurostat in 2021, China has overtaken the US as the biggest partner in the EU.— Pedro Lacerda 🇧🇷 (@pedrolacerdass) March 22, 2022
A month ago, it was the US and friends playing Olympic boycott against a “genocidal regime.”— Betelnutgeuse (@Betelnutgeuse) March 22, 2022
Now it’s how China’s actions will determine “relations with West.”
Global South eyeing China to be a leader.
West looking at China to get in line, or else.
March 22, 2022
What a collection of fantasy of Western Departmentalism— 🇨🇳希小瑞GoDRic🏳️🌈☭ (@SheraxGoDRic) March 22, 2022
You offer no concessions and expect China to cooperate with you? That’s not how diplomacy works.— Bryant Z (@Coffeecurd) March 21, 2022
Speculation that China might invade Taiwan to distract from mounting domestic challenges - or because Chinese leaders imagine that their window of opportunity to seize the island is closing - is not just wrong, but dangerous. Here's why: https://t.co/mawriqRj1e THREAD— Jessica Chen Weiss (@jessicacweiss) March 21, 2023
I think @jamescrabtree gets the dilemma for US strategy in Asia right. US is under pressure simultaneously to maximize deterrence while minimizing provocation. He also is right to point out that PRC and others’ actions cast long shadow on regional stability as well. https://t.co/TMaqiFzKPd— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 22, 2023
As Xi’s visit to Russia makes clear, Beijing remains firmly committed to growing its relationship with Moscow. https://t.co/a5Vc5TxuEs— The Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst) March 20, 2023
1/ This feels like an instance when @SecBlinken is right on the merits but wrong on the message. China wants to frame itself as committed to peace and the US as supporting prolongation of war. Better to frame in affirmative that US…https://t.co/0rqEkTahFt via @Barronsonline— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 20, 2023
3/…to restrain Russian aggression, commit to protecting principle of territorial integrity, etc.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 20, 2023
US could draw more support and have greater effect by making affirmative case for what constructive PRC role would look like than by warning others not to be duped by PRC. END
Looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to and learn from this conference in Singapore this week. Please join us if you are in town and interested. https://t.co/zGQtUzQIcQ— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 20, 2023
Impressive chart - US economy over-performing pre-COVID trend and Chinese economy underperforming it.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 19, 2023
This chart reinforces need for modesty in real-time forecasting of impacts of major events on major power competition. https://t.co/7G3xPNzFFi
@ewong and @StevenErlanger break down Xi’s likely aims for his upcoming visit to Moscow and how such efforts will be received in US and Europe. https://t.co/v1HdeqJBeX— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 19, 2023
US-PRC relations are off track. Risks of conflict are rising, while benefits from the relationship for American and Chinese citizens are receding. Ideological arguments don't carry answers. Evidence-based, interest-driven thinking is needed.https://t.co/cKuSIlMmmx— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 17, 2023
Thoughtful round-up of key takeaways from China's National People's Congress on a range of issues by members of the CSIS Trustee Chair team. https://t.co/3nYDg4t51H— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 17, 2023
NEW: US importers bore almost the entire burden of tariffs Donald Trump placed on more than $300 billion in Chinese goods, a report by an independent US government agency found.— Eric Martin (@EMPosts) March 15, 2023
USTR is currently reviewing if the 301 duties should remain.@apgmonteirohttps://t.co/xPsn4SACZj
Sharing a range of perspectives from across Brookings on the significance of this week's AUKUS announcement.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 15, 2023
Featuring: @brucebrookings @MichaelEOHanlon @AmyJNelsonPhD @ConStelz @ProfTalmadge @AndrewIYeo Tom Stefanick, myselfhttps://t.co/eYknVReZNQ via @BrookingsInst
China as Peacemaker in the Ukraine War? The U.S. and Europe Are Skeptical Chinese officials say Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip to Moscow is a peace mission. But U.S. and European officials say he aims to bolster Vladimir V. Putin....... And even a call by Mr. Xi for a cease-fire would amount to an effort to strengthen Mr. Putin’s battlefield position, they say, by leaving Russia in control of more territory than when the invasion began. ...... A cease-fire now would be “effectively the ratification of Russian conquest,” John Kirby, a White House spokesman, said on Friday. “It would in effect recognize Russia’s gains and its attempt to conquer its neighbor’s territory by force, allowing Russian troops to continue to occupy sovereign Ukrainian territory.” ......... for Chinese officials to come out of the meeting claiming “we’re the ones calling for an end to the fighting and nobody else is.” ....... In an article published in a Russian newspaper on Sunday, Mr. Xi wrote that China had pursued “efforts to promote reconciliation and peace negotiations.” ......... Skepticism of one of Mr. Xi’s stated goals pervades thinking in Washington and some European capitals. American intelligence agencies have concluded that relations between China and Russia have deepened during the war, even as Russia has become isolated from many other nations. ........ The two countries continue to do joint military exercises, and Beijing has joined Moscow in regularly denouncing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. China remains one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil, which has helped Moscow finance its invasion. ......... Chinese officials have at no point condemned the invasion. ........... “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-around containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development.” ....... But China remains firmly anchored in the global economy, and Mr. Xi and his aides want to avoid being seen as malign actors on the world stage, especially in the eyes of Europe, a major trade partner. ....... Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin have a strong personal affinity and, as of this week’s state visit, have met 40 times since Mr. Xi became China’s leader in 2012. Mr. Putin called Mr. Xi a “dear old friend” in an article published in a Chinese newspaper on Sunday, saying the two enjoyed the “warmest relationship.” ......... China’s recent mediation of an initial diplomatic rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran had boosted notions of China as a peacemaker. ....... China is not a close partner of either country and has a very specific economic interest in preventing the two from escalating their hostilities — it buys large amounts of oil from both. .......... Mr. Xi has not talked to Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, since the war began, much less asked for his perspective on peace talks. ........... Mr. Zelensky has said he would enter peace talks only if Mr. Putin withdrew his troops from Ukrainian territory. That includes the Crimean Peninsula, which the Russian military seized in 2014, and the Donbas region, where that same year Russian troops stoked a pro-Russia separatist insurgency. ........... Qin Gang, the foreign minister of China, spoke by phone with Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, and stressed that the warring sides should “resume peace talks” and “return to the track of political settlement” ......... Analysts in Washington concur. “I don’t think China can serve as a fulcrum on which any Ukraine peace process could move,” said Ryan Hass, a former U.S. diplomat to China and White House official who is a scholar at the Brookings Institution. ......... Mr. Hass added that China would have a role as part of a signing or guaranteeing group for any eventual peace deal and would be critical to Ukraine’s reconstruction. “I believe Zelensky understands this, which is why he has been willing to exercise so much patience with China and with Xi personally,” he said........... they saw it as a further sign of China’s friendship if not alliance with Russia, as well as an effort by China to present itself as a mediator in the war. ....... He suggested that Washington wanted the war to continue to further weaken Russia. “Some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize,” he said. “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harms on Europe. They might have strategic goals larger than Ukraine itself. This warfare must not continue.” ........ many European officials, like their Ukrainian and American counterparts, are convinced that early talks on a peace settlement will be at the expense of Ukrainian sovereignty. ......... “It is not a peace plan, but principles that they shared” .
Japan’s Prime Minister Becomes Latest G7 Leader to Visit Ukraine Fumio Kishida, who has been seeking a more active role for his country in international affairs, made an unannounced trip to meet with Ukraine’s president. ......... Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has galvanized Japan’s foreign and military policy, stoking concerns about the costs of geopolitical instability. Policymakers and the public alike worry that the country would be unprepared to handle a crisis in its own backyard, whether North Korean aggression or an attempt by China to take the self-ruled island of Taiwan. ....... Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, said the prime minister’s show of solidarity with Mr. Zelensky was in contrast to the partnership between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin, calling the alignment between the Chinese and Russian leaders “nefarious.” ........ “Prime Minister Kishida stands with freedom, and Xi stands with a war criminal,” the ambassador wrote. ....... A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry responded to news of the visit by saying Japan should “help de-escalate the situation instead of the opposite.” ....... The war has raised concerns about Japan’s reliance on other countries for food and energy, most of which it imports. Prices for commodities such as natural gas jumped after the invasion, putting cost pressures on Japan’s production of electricity. In response, the country has pushed for closer relationships with its allies and broken a decades-long deadlock in military spending as it plans to double its budget over the next five years. ....... Mr. Kishida embarked for Ukraine from India, where he had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on issues including protecting freedom of navigation in the Pacific. ........ In a speech on Monday at the Indian Council of World Affairs, a research institute in New Delhi, Mr. Kishida said that Russia’s war had driven a “paradigm shift” in global affairs. ..... “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine oblige us to face the most fundamental challenge: defending peace,” he said, according to prepared remarks. .
March 21, 2023
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Xi In Moscow
What Zelenskyy should know before he talks with Xi
Russia and China want to disrupt the world order, NSC spokesperson says “They’d like to rewrite the rules of the game globally,” John Kirby said.
Xi Jinping visits Moscow to meet Putin (March 20)
Blinken slams Xi for providing ‘diplomatic cover’ to Putin during Moscow visit
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow, discuss Chinese peace plan for Ukraine Washington and its allies are skeptical that Xi can be an honest broker; US urges China and Russia to ‘respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity’ ....... The two leaders meet for 4.5 hours, and Russian media reports that Putin ‘went out into the street’ to see Xi off as they parted, a rare move for him .
Xi Jinping says China ready to ‘stand guard over world order’ on Moscow visit Chinese leader expected to position himself as peacemaker but US condemns Xi for providing ‘diplomatic cover’ for atrocities in Ukraine .
Putin rips West as trying to stifle Russia, China's 'development,’ while Xi arrives in Moscow
Putin and Xi prepare for second day of talks in Moscow as Japanese PM heads to Ukraine Chinese and Russian leaders to discuss Ukraine in formal talks after friendly dinner, while Fumio Kishida meets Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv .
China bills itself as a Ukraine peacemaker but US says Xi’s talks with Putin provide ‘diplomatic cover’ for war
Xi: China's proposal on Ukraine reflects unity of global views Xi has been seeking to present China as a global peacemaker and project it as a responsible great power.
🇨🇳🇷🇺visit. The formula for the successful implementation of China’s “Peace Plan”. The first and major point is the capitulation or withdrawal of the russian occupation troops from 🇺🇦 territory in accordance with the norms of international law and the UN Charter.— Oleksiy Danilov (@OleksiyDanilov) March 20, 2023
President Xi Jinping Meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) March 21, 2023
🔗Full text: https://t.co/fJTDQWEWCx pic.twitter.com/GBRJsH5pf5
New international order is here pic.twitter.com/PAvBiwwyJk— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) March 20, 2023
President Xi Jinping: No country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile. pic.twitter.com/Zrp9P7MekA— XIE Yongjun 解勇军 (@XIEYongjun_CHN) March 20, 2023
🇺🇸☠️Damn it! It must be on American terms https://t.co/WhcSTQ6hSy— FatFinger™ (@longshortgamma) March 20, 2023
After invading Iraq, the US has gone into the conflicts in Syria and Libya and continued to peddle the US model of democracy across the world. There is reason to ask: who will be the next victim of US hegemony for another 20 years? pic.twitter.com/b9QBjvpKHT— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) March 20, 2023
20 years on, George W. Bush’s promise of democracy in Iraq and Middle East falls short the main arguments for the invasion: that there were weapons of mass destruction. ....... “it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and in some cases deliberately misleading.” ........ “The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution,” Bush said in November 2003. He also said that the U.S. would be pursuing a “forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East.” ........ In 2003, there was indeed, as Bush noted, a “freedom deficit” in the Middle East, where repressive authoritarian regimes dominated the region. Yet, in spite of tremendous upheaval in the Middle East over the past two decades, many authoritarian regimes remain deeply entrenched. ......... The non-profit group Freedom House evaluates countries in terms of democratic institutions and whether they have free and fair elections, as well as people’s civil rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and a free press. Freedom House rates each country and its level of democracy on a scale from 2 to 14, from “mostly free” to “least free.” ............ In 2003, the average Freedom House score for an Arab League member was 11.45 – far more authoritarian than the global average of 6.75 at the time. ......... the Freedom House report in 2003 classified a little over 46% of all countries as “free,” but no country in the Arab League met that threshold. ......... The fall of Hussein’s regime in April 2003 produced a nominally more democratic Iraq. But after fighting a series of sectarian insurgencies in Iraq over an eight-year period, the U.S. ultimately left behind a weak and deeply divided government. .......... Rivalry between Iraq’s three main groups – the Sunni and Shiite Muslims as well as the Kurds, the largest ethnic minority in the country – paralyzed early attempts at political reorganization. ........
in 2023, Freedom House continues to score Iraq as “Not Free” in its measure of democracy......... In 2014, widespread protest movements associated with the Arab Spring toppled dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. In other countries, such as Morocco and Jordan, monarchs were able to offer concessions to people and remain in control by delaying public spending cuts, for example, and replacing government ministers. ........ In Egypt, the military has reasserted itself and the country has slid steadily back to authoritarianism. In Yemen, the political vaccum created by the protests marked the start of a devastating civil war. ........ The average Freedom House democracy score for members of the Arab League is today 11.45 — the same as it was on the eve of the Iraq invasion. ........... It is hard to know if a different approach might have yielded better results. ...... the vision of an Iraq as an inspiration for a democratic transformation of the Middle East has not come to pass. .
The collapse of major US banks leads to bills calling for more regulation bipartisan-backed deregulation in 2018 led to the banks’ collapse ......... lax government policy that included overspending – which Barr says, fueled inflation, as well as long-term low interest rates – not deregulation, was behind the banks’ failures. ........ banks with US$50 billion in assets be subject to strict standards ....... But the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 loosened the standards, raising the asset threshold to $250 billion, meaning fewer banks were under strict controls. ........ During 2022, Silvergate’s deposit base grew dramatically, almost doubling its assets to $210 billion. But the bank did not have either the administrative capacity or market demand to lend out all of the money, as banks normally do. So, it invested the excess deposits in Treasury bonds and mortgage investment products. ......... Industry leaders, among them Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, lobbied Congress in 2015 to roll back some of the Dodd-Frank Act provisions. ........ These standards were arguably designed to specifically prevent and address the type of circumstances that triggered these recent bank failures: multiple failures and contagion in the financial system, market panic, deposit runs and liquidity crisis. .
Tuesday, March 07, 2023
A Rival for Erdogan Emerges as Opposition Parties Pick a Candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of Turkey’s largest opposition party, and his allies are looking to unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who they say has damaged the country’s democracy........ At stake in the simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, which Mr. Erdogan has said will be held on May 14, is the economic future of Turkey, one of the world’s 20 largest economies. It is also a United States ally in NATO with a wide array of economic and diplomatic ties stretching across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. .
‘A Decade of Fruitless Searching’: The Toll of Dating App Burnout Ten years after the launch of Tinder, some long-term online daters say endless swiping has been bad for their mental health. .
Imagine What These Women Could’ve Done if They’d Had Wives the beginning of the end of their marriage may have been when Dundy published her best-selling and critically acclaimed novel “The Dud Avocado.” “Ken felt emasculated and betrayed,” Ciuraru explains. “‘You weren’t a writer when I married you!’ he yelled one night as he threw a copy of her book out the bedroom window.” ........... the persistence of the gender pay gap in our country, despite the fact that women are now a majority of the college-educated work force. ........ In 2022, women ages 25 to 34 earned about 92 percent as much as men of the same ages .......... Fathers ages 25 to 54 not only earn more than mothers the same age; they also earn more than men with no children at home. ........ Mothers across many countries are still hampered by what economists call the “sticky floor” of gender norms, including “the expectation that women shoulder a greater share of child care and household tasks than men” ........ I do wish we would reconsider the idea of the “creative genius” and what that looks like. It doesn’t have to be a self-centered (usually male) tyrant. ........ .
World out of balance is not yet China's to set right Beijing is keen to assert leadership but nations now have many choices ........ nations from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia are starting to distance themselves from Beijing and move into closer orbit around America. ....... Outside the West, however, many nations are acting on their own accord -- an implicit sign that they do not perceive there to be a global leader. ............. Nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are taking new trajectories, becoming gateways for Russian finance and refusing to put America's needs ahead of their own. ......... So far, only one nation has succeeded in recent years in getting other nations to redesign their societies and economies around it: the U.S. ........
A new era of vertical globalization is underway where barriers are going up around the globe in many different areas, not just trade and immigration......... Whatever Beijing does is often immediately met with a suspicious eye, complicating every Chinese initiative. ....... Like COVID-19, the Ukraine war is testing the world. ....... For China, the transformation that the Ukraine war has unleashed on the world could be equal to what World War II did for America, clearing the way for Washington to build and lead a new postwar order. But unlike after that war, the world stage is now crowded with a spectrum of ambitious powers. .
About 100 Chinese Congress delegates chosen from U.S.-targeted companies Defense, chip sectors newly represented while tech giants notably absent ........ Beijing's push for independent semiconductor and commodity supply chains. ......... The "Two Sessions" of the National People's Congress and the advisory Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference bring together a total of about 5,150 delegates. .......... A number of representatives hail from state-owned military-industrial companies, including: arms manufacturer China North Industries Group (Norinco); China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.; and China Electronics Technology Group Corp., which handles IT services for the military, among other clients.......... Internet companies had been a major driver of economic growth, affording political clout to big names like Ma and Li. But Beijing began cracking down on the industry in fall 2020, following rare apparent criticism of the government by Alibaba Group Holding founder Jack Ma. .
SCAMMERS USE VOICE CLONING AI TO TRICK GRANDMA INTO THINKING GRANDKID IS IN JAIL "WE WERE SUCKED IN. WE WERE CONVINCED THAT WE WERE TALKING TO BRANDON." if you have a Facebook page... or if you've recorded a TikTok and your voice is in there for 30 seconds, people can clone your voice." ...... Take ElevenLabs, whose AI voice synthesis service costs as little as $5 per month, and can produce results so convincing that a journalist used it to break into his own bank account. It's even spawned an entire genre of memes impersonating President Joe Biden. ElevenLabs' voice cloning has only been around since 2022. Imagine the damage it — and competitors looking to ride the coattails of its success — could do in just a few more years.
AI PILOT CRUSHES HUMAN DOGFIGHT RIVAL IN 90 SECONDS "THE ERA OF AIR COMBAT IN WHICH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL BE THE KING IS ALREADY ON THE HORIZON." "The era of air combat in which artificial intelligence will be the king," they add, "is already on the horizon." ......... "Aircraft with autonomous decision-making capabilities can completely outperform humans in terms of reaction speed," the study reads....... the AI simply doesn't have to worry about human things, like losing oxygen to the brain during quick turns — or being afraid of death.
OPENAI CONFUSED BY WHY PEOPLE ARE SO IMPRESSED WITH CHATGPT "LIKE, HONESTLY, WE DON'T UNDERSTAND. WE DON'T KNOW." . Even company CEO Sam Altman, has publicly disparaged ChatGPT in the press, calling it a "terrible product." ......... "we work on these models so much, we forget how surprising they can be for the outside world sometimes."
The inside story of how ChatGPT was built from the people who made it Exclusive conversations that take us behind the scenes of a cultural phenomenon.
Japan must tread carefully in lining up with U.S. and Taiwan Securitization of economic policy toward China will come with real costs ....... Given China's vast market, countering perceived economic security threats posed by Beijing will come with real economic costs. ........ Given Japan's repeated description of Taiwan as a "precious friend" in official statements in recent years, the growing relationship between military and economic security will likely lead to deepening ties and greater bilateral coordination with Taiwan. ........ Taiwan already has a robust technology screening regime. It will most likely try to use recent developments to reemphasize to its own tech companies the value in shifting production away from China. ......... In its 2013 Diplomatic Blue Book, Japan called Taiwan "an important partner" with which it shared "close economic ties." By 2020, Taiwan was elevated to "an extremely crucial partner and an important friend, with which Japan shares universal values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law." ........ the two governments have upgraded the names of their respective diplomatic offices. Tokyo's representative office in Taipei, which previously carried the vague name Interchange Association, became the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. Similarly, the name on Taipei's outpost in Tokyo changed from the Association of East Asian Relations to the Association of Taiwan-Japan Relations despite opposition from China. .........
China’s Leader, With Rare Bluntness, Blames U.S. Containment for Troubles Xi Jinping criticized what he called a U.S.-led campaign of “encirclement and suppression.” His new foreign minister said it was impossible for China not to fight back. ....... Mr. Xi has hailed China’s success as proof that modernization does not equal Westernization. He has urged China to strive to develop advanced technologies to reduce its reliance on Western know-how. Then on Monday, he made clear what he regarded as an important threat to China’s growth: the United States. ......... he is bracing for more confrontation and competition between the world’s two largest economies. .......... The Biden administration has depicted Mr. Xi as seeking to reshape the United States-led international order to bolster Beijing’s interests. China’s close alignment with Russia, at a time when the West is seeking to isolate Moscow over its war on Ukraine, has intensified concerns about a new type of cold war. ........ Mr. Qin also called for the United States to take a less confrontational stance toward his country. “If the U.S. doesn’t step on the brakes but continues to speed up, no guardrail can stop the derailment” ........... Mr. Qin, the foreign minister, denied the weapons allegations and criticized U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan. He blamed an “invisible hand” — the United States, in other words — for escalating the conflict in Ukraine. .........
Los Angeles Is a Fantastic Walking City. No, Really. A stroll down Rosecrans Avenue is not a pleasure. But it does offer a 27-mile canvas of the city’s vastness and its diverse communities coexisting. ....... Places we think of as towns (Hollywood) are actually just neighborhoods, while places that sound like neighborhoods are cities (West Hollywood). ........ Rosecrans Avenue is just over 27 miles long, running east from the beach through South Los Angeles to the Orange County town of Fullerton. ........ Often, when people from outside California know of Rosecrans Avenue, it’s because of the street’s storied place in West Coast rap history. DJ Quik and Problem named an album for it. The Game and Kendrick Lamar invoke it in multiple songs. .......... Gentrification is unrelenting, revising the city every day. ......... There was a feeling I’ve experienced only in Los Angeles: I was in the middle of nowhere and at the center of everything, all at once.
Ukrainian Soldiers, Nearly Encircled, Push Russians Back The battle for Bakhmut is not over — at least not yet. Ukrainian assault brigades offered Moscow a bloody reminder of that over the weekend. .......... “I’m confident Bakhmut will hold,” said Col. Yevhen Mezhevikin, commander of a combined tactical group fighting in Bakhmut. “We have enough forces to throw the enemy back from this city, but it depends on the tasks the command has, be it holding the city, or inflicting maximum losses on the enemy.” ......... Bakhmut itself, a city with a prewar population of 70,000 inhabitants, has little strategic value. It was simply the next in the line of fire of a Russian offensive to seize the eastern province of Donetsk. But the battle for the city has created a defining moment of the war for both the Russian and the Ukrainian armies. No longer is the fight about Bakhmut: It is a marathon contest to see which army can break the other. .......... Russia has thrown tens of thousands of newly mobilized troops into a huge ground assault to take the city by sheer force of fire and manpower. Ukraine has used every hard-learned tactic from a year of war to hold ground and inflict maximum casualties on the invader, often battling from house to house in neighborhoods of smashed houses and stunted trees. .......... “The temperature is above zero for a third day,” he added. “Everything melted. Mud up to the knee. Rain 10 times a day. Makes it difficult to perform tactical tasks.” .........
“My daughter left but I stayed,” she said. “It’s home,” she said in explanation............ this is predominantly an artillery war. ............ “Imagine: Twenty guys come, we kill them. In five minutes, 20 more guys come, we kill them. In an hour, 20 more. They don’t care about men.” .......... A commander from another battalion, Dnipro 1, which spent months pitted against Wagner units, said he found them more agile and enterprising than most Russian Army units. ............. The commander, who uses the code name Duke, said Wagner used untrained prisoners in the first line of attack and then, after one or two hours, as the Ukrainian troops were tiring, sent special forces into the fray, attacking from the flanks. “It was very good tactics” .......... Ukraine has been able to use Bakhmut as a kill box to grind down the vast numbers of newly mobilized Russian soldiers who were introduced to the battlefield late last year, he said. Even Wagner’s forces are said to have been worn down since the summer. ......... They sometimes demolish whole residential blocks to defeat a single sniper ...........
the more confident Ukrainian commanders insist that the Russians have little fight left. “Russia is attacking on its last legs”
Saturday, February 25, 2023
The Chinese Proposal Is A Start
It is not going to be possible for Ukraine to cede any territory, but it could proactively pledge to not join NATO and Russia could pledge to not cross its borders in the future, with China and the US as guarantors for the pledge.
Ukraine could pledge to rearchitect its constitution and have a federal structure and a major devolution of power.
War crimes and destroyed infrastructure and buildings are going to be thorny issues. Instead of making the Russians to pay for it all, the US, China and the EU could help take off some of the load. Bucha asks for judicial action. Some Russian army units might have to face The Hague, or something designed separately and of limited jurisdiction in time.
At that point all sanctions can be lifted.
And the refugees can come home.