China’s Private Security Sector Booms as Overseas Investment GrowsChina’s Private Security Sector Booms as Overseas Investment Grows

Security guards from Zhongzhou Bodyguard pose in suits and shades in the company gym in Shenzhen. The firm has been looking after China’s business leaders for the past 11 years. Photo: Handout

In its article “A peek into China’s top ‘bodyguard factories’” today, SCMP describes China’s booming bodyguard firms and schools due to the demands for protection of China’s investment, firms and personnel abroad.

The article describes Zhongzhou Bodyguard, a private bodyguard company that “has provided minders for thousands of clients, including many of China’s top businessmen” for the past 11 years. The company trains its recruits to master the art of hand-to-hand combat, knife-throwing or marksmanship, etc.

It says, “One of the company’s top trainers is Wang Yuhao, a former soldier with 12 years’ military experience who was once part of a team assigned to protect then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

“He joined the company in 2011 and now, aged “nearly 40”, splits his time between looking after elite businesspeople at home and abroad, and teaching others how to do so.”

Source: SCMP “A peek into China’s top ‘bodyguard factories’” (summary and excerpts by Chan Kai Yee, full text of which can be found at

Chinese military developing unmanned supply truck

A still from a video released by the MND in Beijing showing what appears to be a prototype of an unmanned supply truck being developed for the Chinese military. Source: Chinese MND

Gabriel Dominguez – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly 18 July 2017

The Chinese military is developing an unmanned supply truck. Video footage recently released by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Beijing shows what appears to be a prototype of an 8×8 unmanned supply truck conducting trials at an undisclosed location demonstrating its ability to navigate obstacles and control speed.

The footage, which does not provide further details about the truck or the programme, is part of an English-language video entitled ‘PLA Today’ that showcases China’s growing military capabilities, including in so-called battlefield smart supply vehicles.
The MND released the video on 16 July, two weeks ahead of the 90th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The prototype shown in the footage appears to be somewhat similar in appearance to the US 8×8 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT).

In the past China has used technology from Western suppliers as the base for its logistics vehicles. For example the SX2300, which is built by the Shaanxi Automotive company, is based on technology from Steyr, and Shaanxi also signed a co-operation deal with Germany-based truck manufacturer MAN in 2003.

The result is that the origins of the new unmanned vehicle are uncertain. However, the prototype does appear to be optionally manned, and may employ a leader-following system or way points and GPS to navigate roads.

Forerunners to this prototype include the Norinco Crew Task Support Unmanned Mobile Platform, which is capable of autonomous operation, teleoperation, follower behaviour, and waypoint navigation. With this technology already having been developed and tested by the Chinese defence industry, it is possible that the system has been transplanted onto the recently shown prototype truck for trials.

Source: IHS Jane’s “Chinese military developing unmanned supply truck”

Note: This is IHS Jane’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

New BVRAAM may have entered PLAAF service

A PLAAF CAC J-10C combat aircraft armed with PL-10 short-range AAMs (outer underwing pylons) and what appear to be new BVRAAMs (mid-underwing pylons). Source: Via Chinese internet

Andrew Tate and Neil Gibson – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

18 July 2017

Images have emerged on Chinese online military forums showing a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) J-10C combat aircraft armed with what appears to be a new beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).

The fighter was photographed carrying two PL-10 short-range AAMs on its outer underwing pylons and two of the new missiles on its mid-underwing pylons.

Although nomenclature is uncertain as no official information is forthcoming, it is likely that the new missile is the one being referred to unofficially as the PL-15, with its appearance on the underwing pylons of a J-10C possibly reflecting that it is now in service.

The missile is estimated to be around 3.7 m long, with a diameter of 200 mm. It is fitted with low aspect ratio aerodynamic stabilising surfaces (trapezoidal wings) on its mid-section and at the moveable control surfaces (clipped delta fins) at its tail.

The respective surface spans approximately 390 mm and 515 mm. There is no visible evidence of a thrust vectoring control (TVC) system present at the rear of the new missile, as can clearly be seen on the PL-10, so control appears to be aerodynamic only. Additionally, there are no air intakes that would be necessary if propulsion was provided by a ramjet, so it can be assumed that a standard form rocket motor is being used.

Photographs of a similar missile carried by a Shenyang Aircraft Corporation J-16 emerged in 2012, which is thought to be undergoing development trials. Like the recent sighting, the missile’s aerodynamic surfaces are the same low aspect ratio planform, which facilitates loading in the internal weapons bay of the CAC J-20 ‘fifth-generation’ fighter.

Source: IHS Jane’s 360 “New BVRAAM may have entered PLAAF service”

Note: This is Jane’s 360’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Taiwan says Chinese aircraft flew near island in military exercise

TAIPEI (Reuters) – China flew several fighter and reconnaissance aircraft near Taiwan in a training exercise, the self-ruled island’s defense ministry said on Friday.

Despite decades of growing trade across the Taiwan Strait, China has never renounced the use of force, if necessary, to reclaim what it considers a breakaway province to which the defeated Nationalists fled after losing a civil war in 1949.

“We were in a position to monitor their movements from the beginning to the end,” defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said, describing what he called a routine exercise. “There’s nothing for our people to worry about.”

The ministry released two photographs, one showing a Chinese warplane as it flew near Taiwan on Thursday.

The Chinese government has not issued a statement on the exercise.

In a similar military exercise last week, China flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait between Japan’s islands of Miyako and Okinawa to the northeast of Taiwan, which Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had also monitored.

Such exercises were legal and proper and Japan should “get used to it”, China’s defense ministry said at the time.

The flyover by the formation of Xian H-6 bombers was “unusual”, Japan’s defense ministry said in a statement, but added there had been no violation of the country’s airspace.

China’s navy and air force have held exercises in the Western Pacific in recent months, as they hone their ability to operate far from home shores.

Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Source: Reuters “Taiwan says Chinese aircraft flew near island in military exercise”

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, Russia to Begin Joint Mass Production of New Heavy Helicopter

According to Russian’s report on July 18, China and Russia have jointly developed a new heavy helicopter with takeoff weight between 38.4 to 40.9 metric tons, commercial load between 10 to 15 tons, maximum range of 630 km and speed of 300 km/hour. The helicopter adopts the advanced technology of Russia’s Mi-26 helicopter and is able to operation day and night in all kinds of weather.

Due to conscientious cooperation, it takes only one year to finish the design and resolve all the technological problems since the cooperation development agreement was signed in June 2016 when Russian President Putin visited China.

Russia is in charge of technological investment, proposal of technological suggestions and some specific systems of the helicopter while China is in charge of the design and manufacture of the prototype, test flight, certification and sales.

Mass production of the advanced heavy helicopters will be carried out in China.

Source: “Russia media: Technological problems resolved in China-Russia joint development of heavy helicopter: China is in charge of manufacture” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Exclusive: U.S. bank card companies to seek licenses to operate in China in months

Sumeet Chatterjee July 20, 2017 / 6:31 PM / 2 hours ago

HONG KONG (Reuters) – U.S.-based payment card companies, including American Express (AXP.N), MasterCard (MA.N) and Visa (V.N), are preparing to submit license requests to operate in China within months, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The long wait for the U.S. companies is, though, unlikely to end soon. It may take as long as two years or more for the companies to clear all official scrutiny, including from banking regulators, and for them to pass a security review, as well as meeting other conditions, the sources said.

The move comes against a backdrop of growing economic friction between China and the United States, after the two countries failed on Wednesday to agree on major new steps to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.

U.S. payment network operators have been waiting for more than a decade to get access to China. It is set to become the world’s largest bank card market by 2020, when the number of cards in circulation is forecast to rise to 9 billion from 6 billion in 2016, according to research firm GlobalData Plc.

China first agreed in 2015 to open the card market to local and foreign businesses, a move triggered by a 2012 World Trade Organization ruling. However, foreign card companies have been unable to set up local operations in the absence of a clear roadmap from Chinese authorities.

In May, Beijing and Washington agreed to a July 16 deadline for China to issue “necessary guidelines” for the launch of local operations by U.S. payment network operators, leading to “full and prompt market access”.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, issued the guidelines on June 30, according to three people familiar with the matter and a copy of the document reviewed by Reuters.

The expected entry of foreign card companies will challenge the dominance of state-backed China UnionPay Co Ltd, which currently is the sole operator in a yuan bank card payment network worth more than $8 trillion in China.

“It’s exciting that the uncertainty is finally over and they have finally come out with the rule book, but it’s not going to be a fast and smooth journey,” said one of the people with knowledge of some of the U.S. payment companies’ plans.

The people said the applicants would be subject to intense scrutiny by the banking regulator as well as security agencies. The companies will also have to set up extensive local infrastructure.

An American Express spokesman said it will apply for a license as soon as possible. “The PBOC’s guidelines clearly set forth the process … and we’re continuing to work with different regulators as we move through this process,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Visa declined to comment, citing the quiet period ahead of the announcement of the company’s quarterly results. MasterCard did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The PBOC declined to comment in response to questions faxed to them by Reuters.

Under the conditions laid out by the central bank, all payment companies would have to set up technology and data infrastructure and a back-up data system within China.

This is a concern for the foreign payment network operators, which fear this could result in internal systems being put under surveillance and could make it difficult to maintain the confidentiality of proprietary data, according to industry insiders familiar with the situation.

“There was some expectation that this requirement would be eased a bit but that has not happened, so all the companies will have to build business plans keeping this mind,” said one of the people. “That’s the biggest challenge.”

Some industry insiders have privately expressed concerns about whether China would provide a level-playing field for foreign companies, which could significantly impact the market share of UnionPay, set up in 2002 by China’s central bank and China’s top government body, the State Council.

UnionPay also has been expanding its operations overseas and has a presence in over 160 countries including the United States, while the likes of MasterCard and Visa have been waiting to offer yuan-denominated cards for years.

UnionPay’s share of the global credit card market rose to 25 percent in 2015 from 13 percent in 2010, drawing level with MasterCard but lagging Visa’s more than one-third market share, according to Euromonitor International.

The plans by the major global card companies to enter China also comes at a time when Chinese consumers are increasingly turning to mobile and online payments and money transfers using services such as Tencent Holdings’ (0700.HK) WeChat Pay and Alibaba Group Holding’s (BABA.N) affiliate Alipay.

Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Additional reporting by Lusha Zhang in Beijing; Editing by Philip McClellan in Singapore

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: U.S. bank card companies to seek licenses to operate in China in months”

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 Next Homegrown Aircraft Carrier Will Use 4 Steam Catapults

China’s Science and Technology Daily says in its report yesterday that there has been recent media report that China’s next homegrown Type 002 aircraft carrier to be launched by the end of this year the earliest will be equipped with 4 steam catapults instead of electromagnetic ones.

The newspaper interviewed Chinese naval expert Li Jie for that. According to Li, steam catapults have been in use for half a century and proved very reliable while electromagnetic one is a brand new technology that needs actual proof of its reliability in spite of its great advantages compared with steam ones. China had better wait and see.

Moreover, electromagnetic catapult consumes lots of electricity so that the aircraft carrier must be a nuclear one with total power exceeding 60 MW. Judging by Li’s words, China’s next aircraft carrier will not be a nuclear one.

Source: Science and Technology Daily “Will China’s Type 002 aircraft carrier be equipped with 4 steam catapults? Expert gives explanation” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)