With long toots, two Chinese coast guard ships with displacement exceeding 1,000 tons each left a dock in Guangzhou for the South China Sea to conduct patrols to safeguard China’s sovereignty. An official of the relevant department revealed that a coast guard ship equipped with weapons “will have greater strength to intensify law enforcement on the sea.” He disclosed that China will transform many fishery administration and marine surveillance ships into armed coast guard ships.
Guangzhou Daily says in its report that at about 9:30 am on June 11, a large white ship sailed along the Pearl River, tooting. It was full of power and grandeur and the number “3210” painted on its bow and the marks “CHINA COAST GUARD” on its sides looked quite sharp.
That is a Chinese coast guard ship transformed from China’s most advanced fishery administration ship the Fishery Administration 310. It has a displacement of 2,580 tons. The official revealed that compared with its previous shape, the Coast Guard 3210’s greatest difference from its past is that it has been armed. The two machine canons looked quite impressive on its deck.
Closely following it was the Coast Guard 3102, which also sailed along the Pearl River magnificently for the South China Sea. That ship has a displacement of 1,000 tons and is said to have been equipped with a new type of China-made automatic cannon.
In addition to the two ships, the Marine Surveillance 167, Marine Surveillance 168 and Marine Surveillance 169 that previously belonged to China’s Marine Surveillance South Sea Command have respectively been transformed into Coast Guard 3367, Coast Guard 3368 and Coast Guard 3369 and been immediately commissioned.
Source: Singtao Daily “Coast Guard Ships Carry Weapons to Patrol South China Sea” (translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)
Elite Reference says in its report “Frigates of Chinese aircraft carrier battle group secretly assembled at the military port for aircraft carriers”, “Soviet last aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk, though failed to be commissioned but leaves experience and lessons, which may be provided to China for reference in China’s pursuit of nuclear aircraft carriers.”
I have revealed in my posts that China’s first aircraft carrier the Liaoning has recently set sail for the sea for training, especially landing and taking-off of aircrafts on it and that China has begun research projects for the development of its own nuclear aircraft carriers.
Please refer to my posts: “China: Aircraft Carrier Sets Out for Landing and Taking-off Training on the Sea” on June 12 and “China: PLA on course for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers” on February 22”.
Elite Reference says, “There has been analysis that China will carry out its plan for aircraft carrier construction by stage. At the first stage, four conventional carriers will be built; while at the second stage, at least two nuclear carriers will be built. They are expected to be delivered to Chinese navy around 2020.”
It says that according to Hong Kong’s Asia & Pacific Defence Quarterly, the Soviet Union completed the design of its nuclear aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk, which was dismantled halfway in construction due to lack of funds. However, they already completed building two of its 4 nuclear reactors by that time.
The magazine is of the opinion that as China cannot obtain technical information about nuclear aircraft carrier from the West, Russian and Ukraine where the Ulyanovsk was built, can teach China how to build a nuclear aircraft carrier based on their experience in building the Ulyanovsk. China will certainly want such expertise from them earnestly. As both Russia and Ukraine are under economic pressure and have strategic demand, it is very difficult for a third party to prevent the two countries from providing China with assistance.
Source: Elite Reference “Frigates of Chinese aircraft carrier battle group secretly assembled at the military port for aircraft carriers” (summary and excerpts translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)
Main opposition party says it will reject draft legislation that would allow semi-official bodies to open branches in Taiwan and on mainland
Taiwan’s main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has pledged to stop Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou from allowing cross-strait semi-official organisations to set up reciprocal branch offices.
Joseph Wu Jau-shieh, executive director of the DPP’s Policy Research Committee, said on Wednesday his party would propose a resolution rejecting draft legislation that would enable the mainland’s semi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (Arats) to open a branch office in Taiwan. Arats’ counterpart in Taipei, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), also wants to open a mainland office.
The island’s ruling Kuomintang said yesterday – after a summit between President Xi Jinping, in the capacity of Communist Party chief, and KMT honorary chairman Wu Poh-hsiung – that it would negotiate with opposition parties to remove the political barriers to establishing reciprocal offices.
“It is just like when we promoted the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement [ECFA]. We faced many difficulties in Taiwan, and the opposition parties boycotted it in a high-profile manner. But in the end we overcame the difficulties and signed the agreement, “the Kuomintang’s statement said. The EFCA was signed in 2010.
But Joseph Wu was quoted by the pro-independence Liberal Times yesterday as saying: “The DPP is worried about … whether the [Arats] branch in Taipei would play the same role as the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, which would mean that Taiwan recognises that it is part of [the People's Republic of] China.”
He was also quoted as saying that Ma’s political stance on cross-strait affairs – that of “one Republic of China, two areas” – did not reflect the status quo in Taiwan, and that it would bring “permanent harm” to the island’s future development in the international community. “For [Taiwan's] political positioning, the DPP believes that there is no grey area, because there’s no way to accept the Hong Kong model,” he said.
On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council reiterated that the island’s relationship with the mainland was based on the Constitution of the Republic of China, not on Beijing’s “one-China principle”. It also stressed that, under the constitution, mainland China is part of the ROC, and both Beijing and Taipei “do not recognise each other’s sovereignty but do not deny each other’s jurisdiction”.
Pro-DPP commentator Wang Hsing-ching, who writes under the name Nanfang Shuo, said that interpretation was “out of date” and unconvincing. Wang also claimed that “Ma’s so-called Beijing-friendly cross-strait policies benefit only some financial cliques and big families.”
Source: SCMP “Taiwan opposition party DPP to block reciprocal offices with China”
Note: That is a wield situation. When the DPP was in power, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian of the DPP dared not openly advocate Taiwan independence for fear of losing US support though almost all DPP members advocated Taiwan independence then,.
At that time the DPP denied the existence of “consensus of 1992” reached by representatives of both sides in 1992: “Both sides of the Taiwan Strait agree that there is only one China. However, the two sides of the Strait have different opinions as to the meaning of ‘one China’.”
It means that the PRC regards itself as the only China and Taiwan as a part of it while Taiwan regards its Republic of China (ROC) as the only China and the Chinese mainland as a part of the ROC. There are now two separate independent jurisdictions but both are China, i.e. only one China. A wield consensus!
At that time, for the pro-independence DPP, the consensus is unacceptable. It wants one China and one Taiwan.
Since the KMT came into power in 2008, it has made great efforts for closer economic relations across the Taiwan Strait. It concluded the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement with the mainland and has thus made Taiwan increasingly dependent on the mainland.
Lots of Taiwanese are now making lots of money on the mainland; lots of Taiwanese on the mainland and in Taiwan have married mainland women; and lots of mainland tourists are bringing lots of Renminbi to Taiwan. All those activities are making great contributions to Taiwan’s economy and building up increasingly closer relations between the two sides.
As a result, quite a few DPP members have changed their minds and support the one-China idea now. In October, 2012, DPP heavyweight Frank Hsieh who represents quite a large number of DPP members, made an ice-breaking visit to the PRC and put forth his constitutional consensus to replace the “consensus of 1992” and accept the one-China idea. His trick is that the constitutions on both sides of the strait provide that there is only one China. That is in fact a one-China consensus.
Now, the two sides are making great efforts to set up reciprocal representative offices across the strait. For Taiwan, its office on the mainland may function like a consulate to provide indispensable services for Taiwanese people. However, as point out in my post “China and Taiwan Cross-strait Representative Offices: One Offensive, the other Defensive” on May 7, 2013, the mainland office in Taiwan will certainly launch peaceful offensives in Taiwan for unification of Taiwan with the mainland. That will be a war without gunpowder for unification much better than military attack.
Can Taiwan resist the offensives?
- Warming-up between Pro-independence DPP and Mainland dated July 26, 2012
- Taiwan DPP Heavyweight Frank Hsieh on Icebreaking Trip to Mainland dated October 3, 2012
- Frank Hsieh Indirectly Accepts One China by His Constitutional Consensus dated October 8, 2012
- China and Taiwan Cross-strait Representative Offices: One Offensive, the other Defensive dated May 7, 2013
Ex-CIA operative wants to remain in Hong Kong
Edward Snowden says he wants to ask the people of Hong Kong to decide his fate after choosing the city because of his faith in its rule of law.
The 29-year-old former CIA employee behind what might be the biggest intelligence leak in US history revealed his identity to the world in Hong Kong on Sunday. His decision to use a city under Chinese sovereignty as his haven has been widely questioned – including by some rights activists in Hong Kong.
Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.
“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.
Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.
“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.
I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law
Snowden, a former employee of US government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton who worked with the National Security Agency, boarded a flight to Hong Kong on May 20 and has remained in the city ever since.
His astonishing confession on Sunday sparked a media frenzy in Hong Kong, with journalists from around the world trying to track him down. It has also caused a flurry of debate in the city over whether he should stay and whether Beijing will seek to interfere in a likely extradition case.
The Hong Kong government has so far refused to comment on Snowden’s case. While many Hong Kong lawmakers, legal experts, activists and members of the public have called on the city’s courts to protect Snowden’s rights, others such as Beijing loyalist lawmaker and former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said he should leave.
Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he was surprised by Snowden’s choice, adding: “Snowden’s positive view of Hong Kong no longer matches the reality.”
Law said a possible reason for his choice could be Hong Kong’s role as the region’s news hub.
“Hong Kong remains a hub of the global media, not least because of its proximity to the economic boom in southern China and the ease of access to many other Asian cities. The publicity could complicate efforts by the United States to charge Snowden and have him deported,” he said.
Snowden said yesterday that he felt safe in the city.
“As long as I am assured a free and fair trial, and asked to appear, that seems reasonable,” he said.
He says he plans to stay in Hong Kong until he is “asked to leave”.
The United States has not yet filed an application for extradition.
Snowden could choose to fight any extradition attempt in court. Another option open to him is to seek refugee status from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong.
The UNHCR would not confirm whether it had received an application for refugee status from Snowden.
Earlier, in the interview in which he revealed his identity to the world, Snowden explained that he had sought refuge in Hong Kong because it “has a strong tradition of free speech” and “a long tradition of protesting in the streets”.
Local activists plan to take to the streets on Saturday in support of Snowden. Groups including the Civil Human Rights Front and international human rights groups will march from Chater Gardens in Central to the US consulate on Garden Road, starting at 3pm.
The march is being organised by In-media, a website supporting freelance journalists.
“We call on Hong Kong to respect international legal standards and procedures relating to the protection of Snowden; we condemn the US government for violating our rights and privacy; and we call on the US not to prosecute Snowden,” the group said in a statement.
Source: SCMP “Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’”
- EXCLUSIVE: Whistle-blower Edward Snowden talks to South China Morning Post dated today
- Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years dated today
US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday emerged from hiding in Hong Kong and revealed to the South China Morning Post that he will stay in the city to fight likely attempts by his government to have him extradited for leaking state secrets.
In an exclusive interview carried out from a secret location in the city, the former Central Intelligence Agency analyst also made explosive claims that the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland for years.
At Snowden’s request we cannot divulge details about how the interview was conducted.
A week since revelations that the US has been secretly collecting phone and online data of its citizens, he said he will stay in the city “until I am asked to leave”, adding: “I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the US government in the courts, because I have faith in HK’s rule of law.”
In a frank hour-long interview, the 29-year-old, who US authorities have confirmed is now the subject of a criminal case, said he was neither a hero nor a traitor and that:
- US National Security Agency’s controversial Prism programme extends to people and institutions in Hong Kong and mainland China;
- The US is exerting “bullying’’ diplomatic pressure on Hong Kong to extradite him;
- Hong Kong’s rule of law will protect him from the US;
- He is in constant fear for his own safety and that of his family.
Snowden has been in Hong Kong since May 20 when he fled his home in Hawaii to take refuge here, a move which has been questioned by many who believe the city cannot protect him.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice, I am here to reveal criminality,” he said.
Snowden said that according to unverified documents seen by the Post, the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland since 2009. None of the documents revealed any information about Chinese military systems, he said.
One of the targets in the SAR, according to Snowden, was Chinese University and public officials, businesses and students in the city. The documents also point to hacking activity by the NSA against mainland targets.
Snowden believed there had been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, with hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and on the mainland.
“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he said.
“Last week the American government happily operated in the shadows with no respect for the consent of the governed, but no longer. Every level of society is demanding accountability and oversight.”
Snowden said he was releasing the information to demonstrate “the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries”.
“Not only does it do so, but it is so afraid of this being known that it is willing to use any means, such as diplomatic intimidation, to prevent this information from becoming public.”
Since the shocking revelations a week ago, Snowden has been vilified as a defector but also hailed by supporters such as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American,” he said, adding that he was proud to be an American. “I believe in freedom of expression. I acted in good faith but it is only right that the public form its own opinion.”
Snowden said he had not contacted his family and feared for their safety as well as his own.
“I will never feel safe.
“Things are very difficult for me in all terms, but speaking truth to power is never without risk,” he said. “It has been difficult, but I have been glad to see the global public speak out against these sorts of systemic violations of privacy.
“All I can do is rely on my training and hope that world governments will refuse to be bullied by the United States into persecuting people seeking political refuge.”
Asked if he had been offered asylum by the Russian government, he said: “My only comment is that I am glad there are governments that refuse to be intimidated by great power”.
The interview comes on the same day NSA chief General Keith Alexander appeared before Congress to defend his agency over the leaks. It was his first appearance since the explosive revelations were made last week. Alexander’s prepared remarks did not specifically address revelations about the Prism program.
Snowden’s revelations threaten to test new attempts to build US-Sino bridges after a weekend summit in California between the nations’ presidents, Barack Obama and Xi Jinping.
If true, Snowden’s allegations lend credence to China’s longstanding position that it is as much a victim of hacking as a perpetrator, after Obama pressed Xi to rein in cyber-espionage by the Chinese military.
Tens of thousands of Snowden’s supporters have signed a petition calling for his pardon in the United States while many have donated money to a fund to help him.
“I’m very grateful for the support of the public,” he said. “But I ask that they act in their interest – save their money for letters to the government that breaks the law and claims it noble.
“The reality is that I have acted at great personal risk to help the public of the world, regardless of whether that public is American, European, or Asian.”
The US consulate in Hong Kong could not be contacted yesterday on a public holiday.
Source: “Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years”
EXCLUSIVE: Whistle-blower Edward Snowden talks to South China Morning Post dated today