China expresses concern about Indian missiles on border


A signboard is seen from the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

A signboard is seen from the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh, November 11, 2009. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped India could put more efforts into regional peace and stability rather than the opposite, in response to Indian plans to put advanced cruise missiles along the disputed border with China.

Indian military officials say the plan is to equip regiments deployed on the China border with the BrahMos missile, made by an Indo-Russian joint venture, as part of ongoing efforts to build up military and civilian infrastructure capabilities there.

The two nuclear-armed neighbors have been moving to gradually ease long-existing tensions between them.

Leaders of Asia’s two giants pledged last year to cool a festering border dispute, which dates back to a brief border war in 1962, though the disagreement remains unresolved.

Asked about the missile plans at a monthly news briefing, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said maintaining peace and stability in the border region was an “important consensus” reached by both countries.

“We hope that the Indian side can do more to benefit peace and stability along the border and in the region, rather than the opposite,” Wu said, without elaborating.

China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) ruled by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

India is also suspicious of China’s support for its arch-rival, Pakistan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visits China next month to attend the G20 summit.

Modi’s government has ordered BrahMos Aerospace, which produces the missiles, to accelerate sales to a list of five countries topped by Vietnam, according to a government note viewed by Reuters and previously unreported.

Modi visits Vietnam, which is embroiled in a dispute over the South China Sea with Beijing, before arriving in China.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: Reuters “China expresses concern about Indian missiles on border”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China military says it is providing medical training for Syria


China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday it has been providing medical training for Syria, following a visit to the war-ravaged country last week by a senior Chinese officer.

While relying on the region for oil supplies, China tends to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

But China has been trying to get more involved, including sending envoys to help push for a diplomatic resolution to the violence there and hosting Syrian government and opposition figures.

Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, met Syrian Defence Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij in Damascus last week and discussed personnel training.

Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a monthly news briefing that this year marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries and that they had long been good friends.

“China has always played a proactive role in looking for a political resolution for the Syrian issue,” he said.

“At the agreement of both countries militaries, China has provided medical equipment as well as medicine and other humanitarian aid to Syria, mainly to ease the humanitarian crisis,” Wu added.

“On the same consideration, China has also provided medical, nursing and other professional training,” he said, without elaborating.

Wu said in a later statement that the training would take place in China.

While China has shown no interest in getting involved militarily in Syria, China’s special envoy for the crisis there in April praised Russia’s military role in the war.

China has its own security concerns about violence in the region.

China is worried that Uighurs, a mostly Muslim people from western China’s Xinjiang region, have been fighting with militant groups in Syria and Iraq, having traveled there illegally via Southeast Asia and Turkey.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel and Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: Reuters “China military says it is providing medical training for Syria”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s Covert Weapons Procurement Revealed in Florida Case


August 21, 2016: Chicago, Illinois, U.S. - A F-35 performs as part of the Heritage Flight Team over Lake Michigan during at the 2016 Chicago Air and Water Show in Chicago, IL. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

August 21, 2016: Chicago, Illinois, U.S. – A F-35 performs as part of the Heritage Flight Team over Lake Michigan during at the 2016 Chicago Air and Water Show in Chicago, IL. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

‘Technology spy’ sought advanced jet engines, Reaper drone for reverse engineering

China’s government covertly tried to obtain advanced U.S. fighter jet engines and a Reaper drone in a high-technology spying operation uncovered by federal authorities in Florida.

A Chinese-born woman, Wenxia Man, was sentenced to 50 months in prison on Friday following her conviction for conspiracy to export restricted American defense articles, namely engines for F-35, F-22, and F-16 jets, and the Reaper, a front-line unmanned aerial vehicle used by the military and intelligence agencies.

Court papers in the case stated that Man, a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in California who is also known as Wency Man, worked with a Chinese government procurement agent, Xinsheng Zhang, in trying to purchase the military items. The Chinese planned to reverse-engineer the U.S. military goods to avoid the costs and time required for indigenous development. Zhang operated from China and remains out of reach of prosecutors.

Michael Walleisa, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence of 78 months for the weapons conspiracy conviction.

“There is hardly a more serious case than a case such as this that involves some of our most sophisticated fighter jet engines and unmanned weaponized aerial drones,” Walleisa said in a sentencing memorandum.

“The potential for harm to the safety of our fighter pilots, military personnel, and national security which would occur had the defendant been successful is immeasurable, particularly where, as here the clear intent of the co-conspirators was to enable the People’s Republic of China to reverse engineer the defense articles and manufacture fighter jets and UAV’s.”

The conspiracy revealed that China was seeking to “increase its military capabilities and might to the potential detriment of the United States,” Walleisa said.

The U.S. government imposed an arms embargo on China in 1990 following the Chinese military’s massacre of unarmed pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square a year earlier.

Between 2011 and 2013, Man and Zhang worked together to solicit three sets of General Electric and Pratt and Whitney turbofan engines for the F-35, F-22, and F-16 jets, as well as a General Atomics Reaper drone and technical details of the equipment. The Chinese were prepared to pay $50 million for the embargoed items.

Authorities launched an investigation of the case after Man contacted a defense industry source who alerted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in Miami. The Pentagon’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service also investigated the case.

Man used a company called AFM Microelectronics, Inc. in trying to buy the military equipment. She disclosed to an undercover federal agent in 2012 that the jet engines were meant for the Chinese government and that she knew it was illegal to export them, according to court papers.

China is engaged in a major military buildup that includes two new advanced stealth jet fighters that U.S. intelligence agencies say benefitted from stolen American aircraft technology.

The attempt to buy embargoed jet fighter engines highlights what military analysts say is China’s major technology shortfall—its inability to manufacture high-quality jet engines. Turbofan engines require extremely precise machine work and parts because of the high speeds of their spinning engine fans.

Zhang was described by the government in court papers as a “technology spy” working for China’s military-industrial complex. The Chinese government buys arms and military technology from Russia and other states “so that China can obtain sophisticated technology without having to conduct its own research,” the indictment in the case states.

The name of the Chinese entity was not disclosed. China’s government defense industry group is SASTIND, an acronym for State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Zhang sought to buy the operating system and aircraft control system for the MQ-9 Reaper as well as the unmanned aerial vehicle itself and the technical design data for the aircraft. The drone sought was an armed version capable of firing Hellfire missiles.

Man, 45, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to export defense goods with a license.

At sentencing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom told the court that Man hoped to get a $1 million commission on the illegal export and that she wanted to help China compete with the United States militarily.

“I’m innocent,” Man told the judge, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper reported. “This is my country, too.” She plans to appeal the conviction that was reached after a jury trial in June.

Michael Pillsbury, a China specialist at the Hudson Institute, said the Man case highlights China’s large-scale technology theft program.

“The scope and the ambition of their technology intelligence collection is breathtaking,” said Pillsbury. “They’re not after petty secrets.”

The Man case is similar to an earlier Chinese technology acquisition operation headed by Chi Mak, another naturalized Chinese citizen. In 2007, Mak, an electrical engineer at the U.S. firm Power Paragon, was convicted of conspiracy to export sensitive electronics defense technology to China.

Mak was a long-term technology spy who operated for 20 years. U.S. officials believe Mak provided China with secrets to the Aegis battle management system, the heart of current Navy warships.

China has deployed a similar version of the Aegis ship, known as the Type 052D warship.

Source: Washington Free Beacon “China’s Covert Weapons Procurement Revealed in Florida Case”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China Builds 5 Lighthouses on Its Artificial Islands


The lighthouse China put into operation on Subi Reef in on May 5.

The lighthouse China put into operation on Subi Reef in on May 5.

Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report today that China has put into operation 4 multifunctional lighthouses on its artificial islands respectively on Fiery Cross, Cuarteron, Johnson South and Subi Reefs. The construction of a fifth on Mischief Reef has mainly completed.

The report says that China builds the lighthouses to perform its international obligations on marine search and rescue, navigation safety, fishery operation, disaster prevention and marine environmental protection. However, this blogger believes that it is obvious that those lighthouses enhance China’s presence in the sea areas it claims and greatly facilitate the operation of its navy in the sea area.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “China has put into operation five lighthouses on islands and reefs in the South China Sea with services public in nature” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China shows first images of Mars rover, aims for 2020 mission


Concept portrayal of China's Mars rover and lander released on August 23, 2016 by lunar probe and space project center of Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence. China Daily/via REUTERS

Concept portrayal of China’s Mars rover and lander released on August 23, 2016 by lunar probe and space project center of Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence. China Daily/via REUTERS

China has showed off its first images of a rover it plans to sent to Mars in mid-2020, which is designed to explore the planet surface for three months, state media said, the latest aim of China’s ambitious space program.

China in 2003 became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

It has touted its plans for moon exploration and in late 2013 completed the first lunar “soft landing” since 1976 with the Chang’e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover.

China’s latest manned space mission is due in October and is aiming for a manned moon landing by 2036.

State news agency Xinhua, in a report late on Tuesday, said the 200 kg (441 lb) rover would have six wheels and be powered by four solar panels, two more than the rover China shot to the moon and 60 kg (132 lb) heavier.

“The challenges we face are unprecedented,” Zhang Rongqiao, chief architect of the Mars mission, said, according to Xinhua.

The probe would carry 13 payloads including a remote sensing camera and a ground penetrating radar, on what is expected to be a three-month exploration mission blasting off in July or August 2020, the report added.

“The lander will separate from the orbiter at the end of a journey of around seven months and touch down in a low latitude area in the northern hemisphere of Mars where the rover will explore the surface,” it said.

The Beijing News added that the northern hemisphere was not as good a place to utilize solar power as the equator, but that the geographic conditions were better.

Advancing China’s space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power.

China insists its program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities, saying it is pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.

Apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles, and the U.S. Congress has banned NASA from engaging in cooperation with its Chinese counterpart due to security concerns.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Gao Liangping; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: Reuters “China shows first images of Mars rover, aims for 2020 mission”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Japan, China, South Korea to urge North Korea to stop provocation


Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (C) reads a statement after a trilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se in Tokyo, Japan, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Katsumi Kasahara/Pool

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (C) reads a statement after a trilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se in Tokyo, Japan, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Katsumi Kasahara/Pool

Japan, China and South Korea agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from provocation and follow U.N. Security Council resolutions, after its latest missile launch towards Japan early on Wednesday.

Foreign ministers from the three Asian neighbours also sought to soothe their often-testy relations, and have reached an understanding on a trilateral summit meeting in Japan this year, a Japanese official said.

“We have confirmed that we will urge North Korea to exercise self-restraint regarding its provocative action, and to observe the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions,” Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference after hosting the meeting with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts.

A North Korean submarine fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday that flew about 500 km (300 miles) towards Japan, a show of improving technological capability for the isolated country that has conducted a nuclear test and as series of missile launches this year in defiance of UN sanctions.

In the face of the North Korean threat, cooperation among Japan, China and South Korea was more important than ever, Kishida said after his meeting with China’s Wang Yi and South Korea’s Yun Byung-se.

Yun promised South Korea’s support to realise a trilateral summit by year’s end, as well as to cooperate economically and to achieve a successful summit of the Group of 20 big economies next month in China.

Wang said China opposed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes and any “words or actions” that cause tension on the Korean peninsula, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

China will continue to push for the peninsula’s denuclearisation, seek a resolution through talks and uphold regional peace and stability, Wang added.

The three ministers share the understanding that Japan will host a trilateral summit this year, though dates have yet to be worked out, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told reporters.

‘MANY PROBLEMS’

Relations between the three big Asian economies are often difficult with the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression affecting ties between it and China and South Korea, territorial disputes hurting links between Japan and China, and Japan and South Korea, and China suspicious of the others’ U.S. ties. The meeting marked the first visit to Japan by a Chinese foreign minister since the Japanese government took over three of the tiny islands at the centre of a dispute with China, from private Japanese owners in September 2012.

“Trilateral cooperation is a very important part of East Asian cooperation,” Wang told his counterparts at the beginning of the meeting.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Wang’s willingness to go to Tokyo showed “China’s sufficient sincerity to cooperate with Japan and South Korea”.

At the same time, it warned Japan and South Korea to “abandon the Cold War mentality and view the peaceful rise of China as vigour to regional development”, while avoiding “being the tools for some countries outside the region to undermine regional stability.”

Wednesday’s meeting had earlier appeared in doubt after a flare-up in Sino-Japanese tension over their dispute over tiny islands in the East China Sea.

South Korea and Japan have a territorial dispute over small islands about half way between their mainlands.

Tensions have also been escalating between South Korea and China over a decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy an advanced anti-missile defence, which the allies say is meant to counter growing threats from North Korea.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Xiao Yu; Additional reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo in Tokyo and Ben Blanchard and David Stanway in Beijing; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “Japan, China, South Korea to urge North Korea to stop provocation”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Philippines summons Chinese envoy over drug trafficking from China


A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation unit shows confiscated methamphetamine, known locally as Shabu, along with Philippines pesos seized from suspected drug pushers during an operation by the police in Quiapo city, metro Manila, Philippines July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation unit shows confiscated methamphetamine, known locally as Shabu, along with Philippines pesos seized from suspected drug pushers during an operation by the police in Quiapo city, metro Manila, Philippines July 3, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The Philippines government said on Wednesday it had summoned the Chinese ambassador earlier this week to explain reports that traffickers were bringing in narcotics from China, opening a new front in President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs.
On Tuesday, the country’s police chief told a Senate hearing that China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were major sources of illegal drugs, and Chinese triads were involved in trafficking.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that the Chinese ambassador had been summoned for an explanation, and the government would also send a diplomatic communication to Beijing to “pursue this in a more aggressive note.”

Speaking to Reuters, Yasay recounted his exchange with the envoy.

“(The ambassador) said that this is not true and I told him these reports are based on intelligence information, they have been validated so far as we are concerned, so I wanted a clarification from him,” Yasay said.

More than 1,900 people have been killed in the anti-drugs campaign since Duterte, nicknamed “the Punisher”, came to office seven weeks ago, according to the police, and nearly 700,000 drug users and drug peddlers have turned themselves in to escape the crackdown.

Speaking at a military base outside Manila on Wednesday, Duterte said China has offered to build rehabilitation centers for drug addicts in military camps and has invited the Philippine police chief to visit Beijing to see what equipment Chinese police use to fight drugs.

China imposes capital punishment on drug offences.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Manolo Serapio Jr.; Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: Reuters “Philippines summons Chinese envoy over drug trafficking from China”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


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