Collective China Crisis: An Analysis of China’s Threatening Rise and a Revival of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

President Marcos and US President Johnson at the SEATO Conference at Malacañang Palace in 1966


Russian attempts to interfere in Western politics are well-documented. But, despite the similarities in policy, Chinese attempts at interference usually go unheralded. Six months had passed since the incarceration of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig (both of whom are Canadian diplomats) for allegations of espionage; however, their detainment is widely believed to be a form of retaliation against Canada for arresting Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, at the United States’ request. Later, in March 2019, citizens in Hong Kong protested their government’s attempts to pass a bill that, if ratified, would mandate that Hong Kong extradite defendants suspected of offences against the Chinese state. This bill would threaten Hong Kong’s sovereignty. In both instances, China’s attempts at extradition and to have their nationals released raises serious concerns about whether China is imperiling western security and sovereignty. If foreign policymakers conclude that China constitutes a threat to western security they must then question what the best method is to mitigate such a threat: concede to China’s demands, or isolate China?

In this paper, I will use the case study of the 2019 Hong Kong protests to analyze China’s behaviour towards its neighbors. Then, by analyzing China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Chinese actions against Canada, I will demonstrate how China’s behaviour against Hong Kong reflects its conduct even towards states that do not border China—and why should the world be concerned. Finally, I will present a blueprint that showcases the administrative structure of a revived Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, whose mission is to expand fiscal prosperity and preserve the sovereignty of states on the Asian-Pacific corridor.

Unpleasing Echoes of Neighborly Tyranny: The Case of Hong Kong

Since the handover of Hong Kong to China from Britain in 1997, tensions worsened between Hong Kong and China throughout the 21st century as China made neocolonial advances in attempts to erode Hong Kong’s sovereignty. Under the one country, two systems constitutional principle, China is solely limited to handling the diplomatic relations and defence of Hong Kong, while Hong Kong is responsible for its own economy and domestic affairs. However, China has made numerous attempts to gain more leverage over Hong Kong; the Chinese interpretation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law is the universal interpretation of the law that no one else can question. In essence, Hong Kong is becoming the Xiongnú over which the Han (China) could gain leverage; after all, China’s actions are part of its goal to realize the Chinese dream of weida fuxing, or great rejuvenation (Xiaoming 2015).

To realize the China Dream we must keep to the Chinese way

To realize the China Dream we must advance the Chinese spirit

To realize the China Dream we must consolidate Chinese power (Kerr 2015, 2)

While this is “the greatest dream of the Chinese people in modern times” , it is a nightmare for Hong Kong because realizing the dream would come at the expense of Hong Kong’s sovereignty. This section will demonstrate how China’s unilateral pursuit of weida fuxing would undermine the sovereignty of its neighbours and would therefore contravene its own ethical principle of mutually respecting another state’s sovereign responsibilities. I will employ Edward Luttwak’s (2012) concepts of the “echoes” (Luttwak 2012, 30) of the former Chinese tributary system, or in simpler terms, the application of ancient Tianxia practices in a modern-day context.

The principles of the ancient Chinese tributary system greatly influence the conduct of Chinese foreign policymakers today. Among those principles, is “the striving to reward visitors with memorable gifts, as if to ensure their eagerness to visit again.” (Luttwak 2012, 30). We cannot analyze this sentence at its face value. Intrinsically, it means that when China provides states benefits (memorable gifts) of having bilateral relations with China, states would be encouraged to deepen their bilateral relations with China (the visit again part). I would even argue that states may ask for more benefits from China. Another tributary system principle to which Chinese foreign policymakers is ensuring that China would project a caring, benevolent image” (Luttwak 2012, 33) towards the country with which it fosters diplomatic relations. However, note the double irony here: first, China is the state with a malevolent political reputation with disregard for human rights and Hong Kong is the state with a clean political reputation. Second, no state with which China maintains bilateral relations would benefit both politically and economically; no state would, if they realized this beforehand, want to pursue further relations with China (or not to visit again, using Luttwak’s terms).

China’s recent infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, which encompass rail connections connecting Hong Kong and Guangzhou and investments in residential developments, are all part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The major benefit of these infrastructure projects (or in this case, the “memorable gift”) is that it will bolster economic development in Hong Kong and consequently further integrate the latter into China. However, Hong Kong residents, the people who must pay for these projects, are in oblivion to China’s bieyouyongxin or ulterior intent (Liff and Ikenberry 2014, 68) Moreover, China utilizes their Tao Guang Yang Hui or “hide brightness, nourish obscurity” (Zhu 2013, 125) method to conceal their bieyouyongxin. I argue that China’s foreign policy is based on a new principle of “nourish brightness, nourish obscurity” or “keep both a low and high profile”. China persistently promotes the benefits of the infrastructure projects (its nourishment of brightness) but maintains its silence on the drawbacks they could have on society (its nourishment of obscurity). Knowing this, we could identify China’s bieyouyongxin, or evil ulterior intent: ensnare Hong Kong into a debt trap and make it refinance its debt for years; in the process, erode Hong Kong’s sovereignty through gaining control over parts of its economy. 

Furthermore, China’s communist government tries to gradually gain leverage over Hong Kong through forcing the latter’s people to assimilate into Chinese culture. ; after all, China utilizes indoctrination, a tool of its barbarian handling. “the Xiongnú were to be persuaded to accept the authoritarian Confucian value system and the collectivistic behavioral norms of the Han” so the latter can “undermine the entire political culture of the Xiongnú and make them psychologically dependent…on the imperial radiance.” (Luttwak 2012, 27). China believes itself to be in the best position to “set social and moral criteria for assessing fair, humanitarian governance and proper social relations.” (Wang, Lee and Zhou 2011); if states meet these criteria, they will have a just, stable society. Moreover, the Chinese believe that they have a superior role model of morality and politics that the international community must universally adopt. Hence why China strives to have a hexie shije, or harmonious world(Zhu 2013, 120) that reflects the cultural, political image of China; China does so through eroding other states’ sovereignties. Western states though, view Chinese infringement upon others’ sovereignties as immoral acts; I argue that China is adopting its own version of Niebuhrian beliefs, which theorize that it is justified to do evil if the intent is to promote morality (Niebuhr 1996). We can thus argue that to determine the level of a superpower’s hegemony in the Asia-Pacific, we must see how many Asian states adopt a superpower’s politics, definition of morality, vision of society, and concept of justice. 

China reserves the right to make a correct interpretation of the Basic Law; it is the latter right that serves as prima facie evidence of China’s erosion of Hong Kong’s sovereignty for the latter’s lawmakers cannot ratify laws that promote justice. China’s right to do so would impede Hong Kong from providing fundamental freedoms, like universal suffrage; this worries China since “[local] patriots ruling Hong Kong” would promote Hong Kong’s secession from China (Hung-Yee 2016, 194). Political candidates striving to become the Chief Executive of Hong Kong are subject to screening by China’s nominating committee for the purposes of not appointing anyone who is a Chinese political dissident. Finally, in 2019, the once proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong tried to extradite fugitives to China from its territories outside its mainland for criminal offences. Legal critics say that this bill is unnecessary and could subject defendants to China’s unjust criminal justice system. Human rights activists fear that the bill would allow for the arbitrary detainment of peaceful activists (LSHK 2019). Moreover, it would also endanger the security of citizens who are nationals of western superpowers, which could ignite another diplomatic dispute between China and the West. The extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong could be repealed if Hong Kong ratifies this bill, which would endanger American navy personnel, businessmen and civilians for extrajudicial arrest without proper due process (Meick 2019). Given the large American military presence in Southeast Asia, it would not be surprising for the United States to relocate their naval ports and businesses elsewhere to keep Americans from arbitrary detention in China.

The overall level of Chinese influence over Hong Kong’s political system and judiciary demonstrates how China is placing Hong Kong under its sphere of influence so that it may one day gain total political leverage over it. The people of Hong Kong reject China’s quanmian guanzhi quan or “plenary power to govern” (Hung-Yee 2016, 195) for it lets China impose its governance and concepts of justice by appointing pro-Beijing politicians and mandating a Chinese interpretation of the Basic Law. China’s efforts to breach other states’ sovereignty would be counterproductive to China’s pursuit of promoting morality, which would tarnish its international image and discourage the world from pursuing further diplomacy with China.

It is important to note that China uses intimidation tactics to silence its peaceful dissidents both in China and abroad. Upon learning of the Hong Kong Police Force allegedly clashing with protesters at Hong Kong’s Airport, the Chinese government declared the protests as acts of “terrorism” (Hale, Kuo and Graham-Harrison 2019) and deployed its troops to Shenzhen. I would argue China did so to prepare for deployment into Hong Kong so China can use ferocious, fatal force to end the protests and finally annex Hong Kong. The deployment of China’s army undermines their objective of heping fazhan for it would further anger the protesters and may lead to a Sino-British military confrontation. After all, any serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, under which the freedoms of Hong Kong people are protected, may provoke Britain to deploy its forces so that they could enforce its provisions on behalf of the Hong Kong people After all, Hong Kong is a former British colony and 300,000 Britons still dwell there; therefore, it is in the best interest of the United Kingdom to protect its people there.

Dangerously Blind to China’s Threat: Lessons from Hong Kong

Sometimes, it is the friend who make the foe. When western states invested in China as part of China’s yin jin lai  or “bringing in” (Zhu 2013, 121) fiscal policy, China became a global economic superpower that threatened the prosperity of the western economy. I believe many of us are in oblivion to China’s threat for it adopts a “liberal approach that focuses on soft power combined with the traditional, realist approach that focuses on hard power.” (Zhu 2013, 122). To put it succinctly, China pursues heping fazhan (Zhu 2013, 123), or peaceful development, but does so with an evil bieyouyongxin. China’s behaviour towards Hong Kong is an excellent example of this, in that China appoints its Chief Executive and invests in the city (heping fazhan) until China could later infringe upon its sovereignty (the evil bieyouyongxin). The treatment of Hong Kong reflects China’s behaviour on the international stage. Both the Belt and Road initiative and its interference in Canadian life constitute strong prima facie evidence of China’s attempts to expand its relative power. Here, I will analyze the case studies to demonstrate how China’s pursuit of global hegemony would contradict the foreign policy principles the Chinese set which consequently would undermine its objectives of achieving true global heping fazhan.

Tightening Their International Influence: China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Like the residents of Hong Kong who were oblivious to the drawbacks of China’s infrastructure projects, the world is oblivious to the drawbacks of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The main objective of the Belt and Road Initiative is to possess “a community of common destiny” where Chinese communism is utilized to integrate the economies of developing Eurasian and African states. However, Pakistan, Burma and Malaysia, for instance, never reaped the fiscal benefits the Belt and Road Initiative promised (Funaiole and Hillman 2018); those states must still pay the price of these infrastructure projects and their interest rates for years. This is a sign of China’s utilization of debt-trap diplomacy, when investor states (i.e. China) demand large concessions from investee states should the investee state be unable to repay the investor state’s investment (Parker and Chefitz 2018). From what I can observe, the major concession that China demands from its investee states is a partial relinquishment of their economic sovereignty while synchronously “skewing President Xi’s signature foreign policy [or China’s common destiny] vision.” (Hillman 2018, 4). The vision that China possesses is becoming the main global economic, political hegemon the world must depend on for other countries’ survival. China’s According to Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad, “there is a new version of Colonialism happening” (Mohamad 2018) that China is engaging in.

Another goal of the Belt and Road Initiative is to resist American power in Asia, especially in the Spratly Islands. To describe the policy, Medeiros (2009) coined the term countercontainment. China believes the Spratly Islands rightfully belong to China because Chinese fishermen have used the islands since 200 BC, whereas other states believe China has control only over the islands’ reefs (Wortzel and Higham 1999, Shunji and Sakamoto 2015). As a means of defending its territorial claim, China deployed its navy with anti-missile systems and installed an airstrip there; Medeiros (2009) sees such deployment as non-confrontational advances. I disagree with Medeiros for such moves would provoke the United States to come at the defence of its Asian allies (Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam) if China attacked any of them, thus making its moves confrontational. However, I must agree that China is in a dilemma: either it chooses to combat states that threaten the success of its hegemonic objectives, or it must find alternative soft power means to expand its hegemony. “The opacity of Beijing’s intentions and programs” would give reason for other states to zhongguo weixie de chaozuo, or hype the China threat since China may imbalance the balance of power, therefore causing volatility in the Indo-Pacific (Liff and Ikenberry 2014, 68-72). China’s military moves are counterproductive to achieving international heping fazhan, for it would raise the risk of a maritime interstate conflict; after all, such conflict is inevitable for China must later challenge the United States’ military anyway (Mearsheimer 2010). Moreover, China never respects verdicts of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which recently ruled that it cannot claim its “historic rights” to resources in the nine-dash line of the islands (Philippines v. China 2016). China in this regard would not just undermine its achievement of heping fazhan, but it would also tarnish its reputation as a benevolent state. It is therefore “stupid for China to push itself to the center of international disputes,” (Zhu 2013) just as it is stupid for China to start them for Indo-Pacific and western states would pay a high cost of money as well as lives to resolve them.

Hypocrisy, Irony and Strategy (That Fails): The Canadian Case

It is important to recognize that China prefers to resolve international issues through bilateral means instead of multilateralism because it fears that western democratic superpowers would subject China to their control. Heping fazhan, or peaceful development, is a term China employs “to ease anxieties about China’s global expansion of trade and influence” (Zhu 2013, 7) Ironically however China’s foreign policy never promotes peaceful development; instead, it promotes instability in both politics and during an individual’s livelihood; this instability is evident in Canada. Here, I will demonstrate how China is treating Canada like the Xiongnú for the purposes of facilitating its own hegemonic advances in attempts to erode Canadian sovereignty.

Sun Tzu’s Art of War is among the most widely used texts by members of most militaries to learn tactical strategies that could help them successfully win battles during warfare. However, according to Luttwak (2012), some Chinese politicians in their government’s executive branch never understood Tzu’s ancient military strategies. Luttwak refers to these misunderstandings as “residues”.

 “The first detectable residue of the…Art of War mentality, or rather of the misapplication of intracultural norms to intercultural conflict, is the presumption of unlimited pragmatism in interstate relations.” (Luttwak 2012, 76). What Luttwak means with “unlimited pragmatism” is that China believes it could determine the future behavior of rational states and compel everyone, be they foreigners or Chinese citizens, to accept China’s rise to power. Some methods China uses to try to wield its power include pressuring the press and interfering in political elections; yet the execution of these methods is often unsuccessful. China’s attempts to project its power damages its bilateral relationships with states; especially when it tries to impose psychological control over other states’ citizens. “China wants the world to have positive feelings towards China and things Chinese. For China to achieve these goals, people (including the Chinese diaspora) must admire China to some degree.” (Manthorpe 2019, 195).

A freedom of conscience must come with a freedom of peace of mind. Journalists of all foreign Chinese-language press must act as “cheerleaders for the Chinese Communist Party” (Manthorpe 2019, 171); failure to do so would cause China to utter hollow but quasi-credible threats against them. In 2010, Tao Wang, a British Columbia NDTV reporter, published an article that criticized Chinese politics and sparked anger amongst Chinese politicians.

“[My] activity in Canada is a threat to China’s national security…’ He said I must stop all activities in Canada, which, in my understanding, is my reporting with NTDTV. He said if I don’t follow instruction, they will take [further] action on my company… ‘If you ever go public on this, you are — in Chinese words — seeking death.’” (Woo 2010, quoting Wang).

Then, eight years later, the Canada Wenzhou Friendship Society, a group connected to China’s Communist Party, attempted to bribe Chinese expatriates with $20 to elect Chinese candidates into political office (Manthorpe 2019). “WeChat” is a Chinese social media app through which the Chinese diaspora abroad received their monetary bribe from Beijing. 

In both examples listed above, China is in an endless pursuit of interfering in Canadian life for the purposes of advancing its hegemony. Its pressuring of journalists reporting for Sino-Canadian press violates their their rights to privacy, speech and conscience, which are Canadian civil liberties to which they are entitled. Fortunately, despite fears of losing either an individual’s life or democracy, China had failed in its attempts to interfere in Canadian public as well as political life. I believe China is under the delusion that its diaspora can be as emotionally subordinate to China’s political control as the people from the former Han regions of Qi, Qin, Zhao, Wei and Yan. After all, China is both autistic and arrogant, since it has a strong sense of “centrality and hierarchical superiority” (Luttwak 2012, 35) and is at the same time ineffective in understanding states’ behavior as well the emotions of their diaspora. Moreover, China’s moves would also contradict Chinese foreign policy principles that undermining their objective of achieving heping fazhan. Among those, is “mutual respect for sovereignty” (Zhu 2013, 5), which includes respecting a state’s sovereign duty to protect constitutional rights for the foreign diaspora who dwell there. Another Chinese foreign policy principle that China itself violates is “non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”, which includes not meddling in another foreign democracy through using bribery to elect politicians who would advance their interests there. Any attempts to do the opposite (which is what China is doing) would trigger political instability there, thus failing to achieve worldwide heping fazhan

Furthermore, according to Luttwak (2012), there exists another myth of the Art of War that China believes. That is the “tendency of Chinese officialdom to believe that long-unresolved disputes with foreign countries can be resolved by deliberately provoking crises, to force negotiations that will settle the dispute.” (Luttwak 2012, 78). I would add to Luttwak’s argument that even short-term disputes could trigger crisis with China, provided that they involve the maltreatment of its or nationals abroad Moreover, Liff and Ikenberry (2014) contend that China engages in jiji fangyu or “active self-defence” should states “affront…its sovereignty and territorial integrity” (67). I would add that China engages in a retaliatory form of political jiji fangyu if their citizens abroad suffer from what it believes to be their maltreatment (e.g. an unjust arrest) from foreign states. Such retaliatory political jiji fangyu could take the form of arbitrary detention for individuals from the state where Chinese nationals are maltreated and (in extreme cases) subjecting them to capital punishment.

In 2018, Canadian authorities in Vancouver, at the behest of the United States, arrested Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive, for having her company help Iran circumvent international economic sanctions. In response, China extrajudicially arrested two Canadian diplomats: Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig for allegations of espionage. Despite these charges, it is widely believed that their detainment stems not from espionage but is instead intended as retaliation for Wanzhou’s arrest (Manthorpe 2019). China is yet to present prima facie evidence that corroborates Canadian diplomats’ criminality. However, we must note that China’s judiciary acts as a representative of the communist state (Song 2007) for its judges administer justice that serves in the best interests of its political leaders. The maladministration of justice for the incarcerated Canadian diplomats would thus be a retaliatory form of China’s political jiji fangyu for China believes that the unjust detainment of Meng Wanzhou would constitute an attack against China. Again, China runs against its own foreign policy principles, which is “mutual respect for sovereignty” (Zhu 2013, 5); this includes respecting a state’s sovereign duty to comply with a bilateral extradition treaty. I argue that China’s arbitrary detention of the Canadian diplomats would somehow breach Canadian sovereignty, for China is using intimidating tactics to coerce to renege on the Canadian-American extradition treaty and release Wanzhou. After all, through coercion, China is attempting to override Canada’s legal authority so that China may set their nationals free, which would disrespect the mutual sovereignty of states’ independent judiciaries and thus exacerbate this Sino-Canadian diplomatic crisis.

Given my evaluation of Chinese foreign policy, I deduce that China can enjoy great rapprochements with other states if it ends its pursuit of a foreign policy of hypocrisy and instead starts practicing the morality it preaches. China must reassess its methods of diplomacy and move away from using ancient methods to conduct it. More importantly, China must know that diplomacy is not just about maintaining excellent relations with other states; it is also ensuring that each other’s nationals are treated with respect and dignity everywhere in the name of justice.


Asia-Pacific Treaty Organization (APTO)

A 21st Century Revival of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

Charter of the Asian-Pacific Treaty Organization

Preamble to the Charter:

 We, the leaders of these precious Asian-Pacific signatory states, shall hold these facts to be unquestionably true. All individuals dwell under equality with irrevocable liberties, which encompass self-existence, happiness, and the pursuit of justice. We shall remain loyal to the United Nations and protect the values it forever upholds. We shall strive towards a common goal of promoting peace. We shall preserve each other’s cultural and democratic sovereignty while advancing each other’s national greatness. We shall deter instability and strengthen our cherished security. We shall be the United Nations of Asia-Pacific and no enemy shall divide this union. May the creators of our respective religions bless us all.

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Section II: Articles of Order

  1. The signatories must, in compliance with the Charter of the United Nations, to resolve all foreign disputes through nonviolent means. Such resolutions shall be made without the threat of blackmail and without imperiling the security of all other APTO members. They shall never make illegitimate military advances for their own unilateral gain.
  2. All western signatories must invest in and expedite the fiscal development of Asian-Pacific signatories. In turn, all Asian-Pacific states must invest in jobs for the residents of the western signatories. If a non-signatory state commits an act of economic war against a signatory state, all nearby APTO members must come to the fiscal aid of their fellow signatory.
  3. All signatories must advance help each other advance their militaries before any potential attack against a signatory by a non-signatory state occurs. Also, any state
  4. Following two years of the charter’s ratification, all signatories must transition from non-renewable to renewable energy resources. Renewable energy sources must be used in all signatories as a means to strengthen environmental security.
  5. Confidential emergency meetings shall be held if a signatory deems there exists a threat of an imminent attack against them by either a non-signatory state or non-state entity.
  6. Public emergency meetings shall be held should natural calamities strike Asian-Pacific states
  7. All signatories concur that any attack against any signatory shall constitute an attack against all signatories of this treaty. All must respond with military force in defense of the attacked signatory until the attacker is brought to justice and stability is restored in the Asia-Pacific area. The military moves of all signatories must be reported to the United Nations Security Council.
  8. Any intervention conducted under the auspices of APTO shall not infringe on the cultural sovereignty of the state where forces will intervene. No APTO state, unless authorized by the United Nations Security Council, shall overthrow a head of state whose forces threaten the signatories.
  9. What constitutes an attack is a strike on a signatory’s military assets anywhere in the world or areas where it is heavily populated by individuals in the signatory’s state.  
  10. Three committees must exist to ensure signatories are complying with the articles of this charter. Two to three western delegates from various states must chair each committee for a calendar year. Delegates must then switch committees annually. These committees are:
    1. Committee on counterterrorism, anti-state warfare and extradition (CASEXT)
    2. Committee on anti-economic warfare (CAW)
    3. Committee on environmental protection (CEP)
  11. Public referenda must be held in the respective signatories to ratify the articles of the charter. Each head of state in the signatory must inform all other signatories of the referenda results.
  12. Every year, a summit must be held to discuss international security issues facing Asia-Pacific. Every four years, signatories may review the charter for the purposes of potentially amending it. Following five years, signatories may exit the organization after a public referendum vote.

Section III: The Committees and Their Respective Functions

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Section IV: APTO Extradition Policy and Procedure

  1. APTO shall extradite accused people who may threaten the security of the respective signatories’ populaces. In this regard, CASEXT will have an extradition unit (EXTRU) whose members will be appointed by the delegates of CASEXT.
    1. Each member shall be led by a westerner and an Asian-Pacific general; both officials must act as a liaison between their team and CASEXT. 
    1. A maximum of one member from their respective Asian-Pacific military may join the extradition unit. Heads of signatory states must nominate such members.
  2. Extraditable Offences
International Offences (Automatic extradition to the International Criminal Court)Domestic Offences (Automatic extradition to jurisdiction where crime was committed)[1]
Assisting states circumvent sanctions Homicide and/or manslaughter
Genocide* Sexual Assault
Extrajudicial rendition or killings Larceny
Financially sponsoring terrorism Fraud
Political Repression Piracy
Ethnic Cleansing Abduction
Cannibalism* Burglary
Recruitment of child soldiers Arson or damages against property

*international offenses that can be tried in the area of jurisdiction where the crime was committed.

However, the prosecutors must not seek the death penalty for international and domestic offenses.

  • Intelligence Possession, Sharing and Reporting
    • CASEXT is mandated to keep an updated roster (AKA the no-fly list) that lists suspects who may pose a threat to Asian-Pacific security. All signatories must have a copy of this roster.  
    • It is incumbent on airlines (from a signatory or non-signatory state) that land and depart in signatory states to report, in confidence, about a suspect’s presence near their aircrafts.
    • Any attempt to block intelligence reporting shall be reported to CASEXT
  • Incarceration Procedure
    • It is incumbent on both airlines and signatory states’ airports to block all suspects from flying.
    • Should the suspect be a national of a country serving on the United Nations Security Council, a confidential emergency meeting must be held without that country’s representative
    • With the authority of the United Nations Security Council and CASEXT’s generals, they may authorize an operation to incarcerate the suspect and strengthen Asian-Pacific security. No veto power by the P5 can be used in this regard.
    • Should the suspect be outside a signatory state, then, by virtue of authority vested in Article 42 of the United Nations Charter, EXTRU may infringe the sovereignty of the non-signatory state to incarcerate the suspect
    • If a non-signatory state thwarts the operation, EXTRU reserves the right to combat the non-signatory state’s forces in a proportionate fashion. All nearby signatory states’ militaries must be on standby for deployment in the event that EXTRU needs assistance in combat.
    • All extradition operations must not kill the suspect; if the suspect is believed to be in possession of arms, EXTRU must plan to use nonlethal means to subdue the suspect before the operation occurs. EXTRU can use, if attacked, lethal force against militaries defending the suspect.
  • Extradition Hearing Guidelines
    • Seven days after the suspect’s arrest, CASEXT must hold an extradition hearing and ascertain if there is evidence that the suspect committed an offence
    • The suspect is entitled to have a legal team acting in his or her defense. The legal team, however, does not reserve the right to make a plea deal with CASEXT’s prosecutor.  
    • The presiding officers of the extradition hearing must comprise of an attorney appointed by APTO and the current chairpersons of CASEXT.
    • Verdicts must be reached in 72 hours. Should the hearing find that the suspect is culpable for the offense committed, then CASEXT must, in 48 hours, extradite the offender to the signatory requesting extradition or the international criminal court for further proceedings.
    • APTO must assign a signatory to detain the suspect before the extradition hearing.
  • Extradition Waivers
    • If the suspect is mentally ill that they cannot stand trial or that due to their mental illness, they are not criminally responsible. However, to prevent reoffending, the signatory requesting extradition and state where suspect was arrested must pay for their mental institutionalization.
    • If the suspect is under the age of 12 (child status). However, like in 6.1, the signatory reques-ting extradition and the state where suspect was found must pay for their mental institutionalization and the counseling of parents. In lieu of pressing charges for child negligence as well as the crime committed, both the parents and child are inhibited from entering the signatory state where the crime was committed for at least 10 years. 
    • Should there exist evidence that the extradition request is politically motivated, then CASEXT must immediately release the suspect and consider such request as null and void
    • If the charge incurred by the signatory state carries a death penalty, then extradition must be waived. A formal agreement must be made to find alternative sentences for the suspect should the state requesting extradition demand the suspect be tried there.
    • If CASEXT’s prosecution fails to corroborate the culpability of the suspect. 

Application to Meng Wanzhou’s Case: if this organization were to exist, Meng Wanzhou’s case would have been handled in a more expedient, strategic fashion. The United States would have filed an extradition request to CASEXT instead of Canada. The airline’s crew that flew to Vancouver would have blocked her from boarding the plane. It would have then been the duty of the crew to contact the authorities of CASEXT and report that she tried to board their flight. The United Nations Security Council would hold an emergency meeting without China inside it for the purposes of avoiding conflict of interest with the suspect. CASEXT’s EXTRU, would, at the discretion of the United Nations Security Council president, have flown to China and detain Wanzhou there. Should China have tried to block them from detaining her, then CASEXT would have the rights to utilize military means to successfully conduct the operation. Once the suspect was detained, she would have been detained at another signatory state until her extradition hearings started. If she was found guilty at the extradition hearings, she would go to the United States for further criminal proceedings.

Section V: The Economic Replenishment and Sovereignty Restoration Mechanism

This mechanism is intended to fiscally bail out Asian-Pacific countries whose sovereignty is threatened by their prolonged financial indebtedness to China. Western states would have an interest to bail out Asian-Pacific states to isolate China and enjoy economic prosperity with them through orderly trade. Any other economic crisis an Asian-Pacific state suffers from that is not caused by China’s conduction of debt-trap diplomacy is ineligible for APTO’s bailout.

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Canada and U.S.A. European Union Britain Australia & N.Z.
Philippines Kyrgyzstan* Myanmar Malaysia
Japan Laos Hong Kong Indonesia
South Korea Mongolia* India  
Taiwan Taiwan* Singapore  
  Thailand* Pakistan  
  Tajikistan* Sri Lanka  
  Vietnam Bangladesh  
  Cambodia Maldives  

*Countries with no European or American colonial ties, but are prone to China’s debt-trap diplomacy

I sorted out these countries based on their former American or European colonial ties. However, we must consider that a single western state cannot fiscally bail out an Asian-Pacific state alone. I therefore grouped them into pairs; as you can see, these countries are their closest neighbors in terms of geographical proximity. They neither need to share a land border (i.e. Australia and New Zealand) nor do they need to be state entities (i.e. European Union and United Kingdom).

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Applications with China:

Laos is among the most prone states to suffer from the politico-economic consequences of the Belt and Road Initiative (Hurley, Morris and Portelance 2018); Laos owes China $12.6 billion, which is almost the entire Laotian GDP (IMF 2017). Among the controversial Chinese investments in Laos is the railway on the Mekong River. Although China will compensate Laos for 70% of the project, Laos must pay for the remaining 30%. The 30% remainder will be covered by a loan from the China Exim Bank, with a 2.3% interest rate. As Laotian debt to China increases, so too will the Chinese influence there; in Ton Pheung, the Chinese yuan is used as a payment means while Laotians there speak Mandarin (O. Ward 2018). When China expropriated Laotian land for the Laos-China railway, which displaced Laotians, China never reimbursed them for such move. 

On Sovereignty Restoration: Hong Kong and Taiwan are at high risk of losing their semi-sovereignty to China. Any secession declaration from either state will constitute an act of war according to China.  

  1. Firstly, we must halt the construction of the Kunming-Vientiane railway in Laos. In doing so, we must compensate for either what had been constructed or to demolish the railway. We must then
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***this is assuming that Exim Bank made a one-time loan payment of $615M. H.

Then, we must look at the GDPs of Laos’ neighboring states: Thailand and Vietnam.

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Thailand GDP: $455,200,000,000 Vietnam GDP:$233,900,000,000

Of course, it would not make any fiscal sense for two developing states to pay this much, for such expenditure would consume much of their GDP. So, we must resort to seeking the monetary aid of two members from the Western economic bloc. In this case, it would be the European Union because of Laos’ former colonial ties to France.

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Because the European Union has a higher GDP than the United Kingdom, it will help cover the Laotian bailout cost of Vietnam, who has a lower GDP than Thailand. The United Kingdom will help cover the Laotian bailout cost of Thailand, since it has a higher GDP than Vietnam.

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Kingdom GDP:$2,600,000,000,000 European Union:$19,390,000,0000,000
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My plan is generally this: states with the higher GDP, be they western or Asian-pacific, will pay more to bail out Laos. The bailout plan I put forward intends to expel China from Laos (at least financially) so Laos’ economy can preserve its sovereignty. However, we must be proactive, for this fiscal banishment could possibly trigger a fiscal retaliatory response from China. Potential responses may include the imposition of tariffs on western products or the prohibition of western food imports to China.

27% of British exports to China are its automobiles that are worth $5,416,659,000 American or £4,500,000,000 pounds (M. Ward 2017). Meanwhile, the European Union exports automobiles worth €22,400,000,000 or $25,337,782,400 American (ACEA 2019). If China banned automobile sales from both the United Kingdom and European Union because they bailed out Laos from Chinese debt, then both would lose $30,754,441,400 American in the forthcoming fiscal year. In total: $21 billion American dollars of Chinese investment to Europe would be at stake (Obe and Hollinger 2018).

For western states, the International Monetary Fund should only provide up to $5,999,999,999.99 worth of replenishment loans due to the monetary loss from the suspension of Chinese trade. This certainly applies to the United Kingdom, who must qualify for $5,416,659,000 in replenishment loans. Once the United Kingdom makes $10,833,318,000 in automobile sales, it must repay half that amount before the next fiscal year. Any delay is subject to a 1.75% monthly interest rate. The European Union, however, must be ineligible for replenishment funds, since it has an extremely high GDP and the IMF could reserve those funds for other destitute states. Plus, the profits lost by the European Union from the Chinese market would not instantly send it into an economic crisis.

The International Monetary Fund, however, should recommend that both the European Union as well as the United Kingdom export their automobiles to Vietnam and The Philippines. After all, the latter states import $5.7 billion of cars per annum (Workman 2017). Thus, any kind of intervention by the International Monetary Fund (be it replenishment funds or recommendations) would be necessary to prevent international fiscal volatility.   

  • Once the European Union and the United Kingdom pay China to leave Laos, we must mobilize the displaced Laotians back to Ton Pheung. Laos to request assistance from the French navy[2] to facilitate this mobilization. Upon the Laotians’ return, members of the French navy must guard the district of Ton Pheung and interdict any Chinese national from entering there. Such guarding is needed to ensure Laotians could resettle in their community without Chinese interference. 

Next, the French Navy must organize an operation to incarcerate the operatives of the Blue Shield Casino. This group is notorious for child prostitution; human, wildlife and drug trafficking; and child prostitution (Master and Wongcha-um 2018). After the arrest of the operatives, Hong Kong must work in concert with other APTO forces to conduct more operations to dismantle the transnational criminal organization: Zhao Wei, under which Blue Shield Casino is affiliated. The most important operation in this regard would be the incarceration of Zhao Wei and Guiquin Su. Sovereignty may be infringed upon APTO states should the circumstances warrant it.

We must then reverse the environmental damage caused by the construction of Vientiane-Boten Railway. In this regard, Laos must exit from China’s Special Economic Zone and enter it into an international economic environmental zone (IEEZ). Laos, along with the help of western APTO states, must detoxify the Mekong River from the runoff waste caused by the railway. APTO also must order Laos to ban plastics used and further expand the National Protected Areas to protect species whose existence were once threatened by the railway construction (Robichaud, et al. 2001). Any failure of the Laotian government to enforce these environmental policies within a reasonable period of time would be subject to sanction, which could include APTO divesting its investment for Laotian economic development. Moreover, all other APTO states must ensure fair, clean commerce occurs in the Laotian IEEZ; they must also respect Laotian cultural & political sovereignty.

  • Finally, we must address the endangered political sovereignty of Laos as well as Hong Kong. As Chinese economic leverage grows in Laos, there is a significant chance that China could gain political leverage over Laos. In light of this possibility, members of APTO must allocate their military and fiscal resources to ensure the security of both the voting processes as well as the voters themselves. Any states that are suspected of conspiring to interfere in the referenda voting processes cannot have their nationals enter the voting APTO state. In this regard, all ground and air transportation towards the voting states must be suspended for a week before the referenda. Moreover, other APTO states cannot interfere in the voting processes to serve their own unilateral interests.

If Hong Kong and Taiwan, for instance, decide to hold a referendum to decide on whether they should secede from China, then APTO’s western bloc must prepare for all possible voting interference. APTO’s western bloc must therefore equip the voting states with updated voting systems and have their intelligence agencies help defend them against foreign cyberattacks. Following the counting of the results, ballot scrutineers should publicly audit the voting processes and results to ensure votes were properly counted (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018). This public audit must be done with the presence of two neutral proctors to ensure spoiled ballots are not counted and the privacy of voters is upheld.

Members of the APTO western bloc must use their defense resources to protect the voting integrity of the referenda. All states must agree to maintain their presence near the referenda states for seven days before and after the respective referenda. The same agreement applies a week before and after the secession (if people voted for it) of the voting state. There must be a minimal deployment of ground troops from each respective western state to guard voting sites. However, there must be a maximum presence of ground troops on the Hong Kong-China border. Nearby Asian-Pacific and western navy fleet must patrol the waters from the Taiwan Strait to the South China Sea. Any state that encroaches on the seceding states’ sovereignty post-referenda will be stricken by APTO forces.


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[1] Note: the lists on international and domestic offences are non-exhaustive.

[2] France has an interest in Laos, since 200,000 of the 1.6 million French citizens dwell there (Nicholson 2017)