China

Newt Gingrich: Chinese companies pose serious threats to US

The recent federal indictments of Chinese telecom giant Huawei and its affiliates lay out a frightening story of a foreign company illicitly manipulating and exploiting loopholes in the American business system. The first indictment, filed in the Eastern District of New York, outlines 13 charges related to bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and obstruction of justice. During Monday’s press conference about the indictments, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker clearly described Huawei’s lies about its affiliations with an Iranian subsidiary, Skycom, which misled banks into conducting business that is illegal under U.S. law. As Whitaker pointed out, Huawei has been allegedly deceiving and conducting illicit activities against the U.S. government and global financial institutions for at least a decade. He said this behavior “goes all the way to the top of the company.” The second indictment was filed in Washington and details 10 charges related to theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. This indictment describes how Huawei relentlessly attempted to steal the technology behind T-Mobile’s robot mobile phone testing system, Tappy. In this case, Huawei actually created an employee bonus program for those who engaged in stealing valuable and confidential information from their competitors. These allegations are serious and alarming. Circumventing U.S. sanctions against Iran – a nation ruled by a government that leads chants of “Death to America” and supports terrorist activities – undermines our national security interests. Engaging in activities that add to the estimated $225 billion to $600 billion that is lost every year to China through intellectual property theft is an attack on our economic interests. As I describe in my upcoming book, “Trump vs. China: Facing and Fighting America’s Biggest Threat,” in order to comprehend the significance of these charges – and the substantial risks that Huawei’s alleged crimes pose to America’s national security and economic interests – we must look at the bigger picture. Huawei was founded in 1987 by a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army – the Chinese Communist Party’s military arm. Since then, the company has become the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer – and the second largest smartphone maker. Huawei has benefitted greatly from China’s subjectively discriminatory business policies and has raised significant security concerns among U.S. government officials. In a hearing last February, intelligence officials, including the heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and the director of national intelligence all agreed that they would not advise private American citizens to buy Huawei devices or services. This week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that America’s national security and economic security are threatened by “the immense influence that the Chinese government holds over Chinese corporations like Huawei.” According to Wray, “the potential for any company beholden to a foreign government, especially one that doesn’t share our values, to burrow into the American telecommunications market” would allow “the foreign government the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, to conduct undetected espionage or exert pressure or control.” It is also important to consider the worldwide rollout of 5G telecommunications infrastructure and Huawei’s current leading position in the development of this new revolutionary technology. A company exhibiting this type of illicit behavior and generating the level of concern that it has within the American intelligence community should not be setting the global standards for the world’s telecommunications industry. Yet Huawei is currently testing in, has memorandums of understanding with, or is a confirmed network or vendor for at least 80 countries around the world. The reality is, whoever controls 5G ultimately controls the future. The emergence of this technology will be the cornerstone of the world’s advanced operational capabilities. It will be the key to connected infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, high-tech factories, worldwide commerce, aircraft, and even our personal devices. This 5G technology facilitates the ability to control critical infrastructure on a massive scale – which poses extraordinary security risks. It is not in the United States’ interest to have this emerging industry controlled by a foreign company or government which has already raised substantial security concerns. Lastly, the emergence of 5G and these new connective capabilities will result in a massive influx of data. Already, China has a strict set of laws that force companies to cooperate with government surveillance initiatives. FBI Director Wray said China’s cybersecurity law mandates that “Chinese companies, like Huawei, are required to provide essentially access upon demand (to the Chinese government) with little to no process to challenge that.”

Crazy..  For more on this excellent op/ed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), click on the text above.

Sinking US aircraft carriers will resolve tension in South China Sea, says Chinese admiral

The deputy head of a Chinese military academy told an audience in Shenzhen last month that tensions in the South China Sea could be resolved by sinking a pair of U.S. aircraft carriers, reports said. “What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” said Rear Admiral Lou Yuan, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, news.com.au reported. He said sinking one carrier would kill 5,000 and sinking two would double that number. Brad Glosserman, a China expert and professor at Tokyo’s Tama University, said Lou’s comments reflect a growing belief in China that the United States has lost its stomach for war, according to a report from military.com. The Chinese believe that “Americans have gone soft … [they] no longer have an appetite for sacrifice and at the first sign of genuine trouble they will cut and run,” Glosserman said. In his speech, Loui said there were “five cornerstones of the United States” open to exploitation: their military, their money, their talent, their voting system — and their fear of adversaries, according to the news.com.au report.

Interesting…  For more, click on the text above.

China willing to use ‘force’ to absorb Taiwan if necessary

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated outright on Wednesday that Beijing’s goal is to absorb Taiwan and that China could use “force” to achieve the goal if necessary. Mr. Xi’s comments, which are likely to elevate tension over the prospect of Taiwan’s independence from Communist mainland China, came a day after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen vowed the democracy-oriented island will forever resist the sort of reunification being pushed by Beijing. “Taiwan will never accept ‘one country, two systems,’ Ms. Tsai said in a speech Tuesday, referencing China’s long-held claim that it’s open to allowing Taiwan to have its own semi-autonomous government as long as the island’s sovereignty is fully folded under Chinese rule. Mr. Xi dismissed Ms. Tsai’s remarks Wednesday, delivering his own major speech marking the 40 year anniversary of Beijing’s efforts to improve ties with Taiwan, in which the Chinese president urged the Taiwanese to submit to the reality that they “must and will be” reunited with China. “We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures,” Mr. Xi said in a speech to Chinese military officials and others gathered in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. According to a New York Times report from the Chinese capital, the section of Mr. Xi’s speech referencing “force” drew rousing applause from the crowd, with the president specifically asserting that it could be used against “intervention by external forces.” It was Mr. Xi’s first major speech on Taiwan during his seven-year tenure as Chinese president, and he suggested Beijing’s absorption of the island is becoming a growing priority of his ongoing push to strengthen China’s position on the global stage. While Mr. Xi did not explicitly reference the United States or U.S. military support for Taiwan, his comments on force may have been a reference to the prospect of a military clash with America over Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province. China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists lost to Mao Zedong’s Communists. The Nationalists subsequently fled the mainland and established their own government on the island of Taiwan. While Washington technically does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty from China, it has a special relationship with the island democracy’s 23 million people and laws in place that require the United States to protect Taiwan from Chinese aggression. The issue of Taiwan-China relations is heated and complex one on the Taiwanese internal political landscape, with the latest back and forth between Mr. Xi and Ms. Tsai coming amid concern on the island over the prospect of a Chinese intervention of some kind. In her own speech Tuesday, Ms. Tsai said Taiwanese people treasure their autonomy from China. She then warned city and county officials on the island to exercise caution in any dialogue with officials from the mainland. Ms. Tsai spoke specifically of major gains that a Beijing-friendly opposition party made in Taiwan’s local elections in November. “The election results absolutely don’t mean Taiwan’s basic public opinion wants us to give up our self-rule,” she said, according to The Associated Press. “They absolutely don’t mean that the Taiwanese people want us to give ground on our autonomy.” Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, which in recent years has favored closer ties with Beijing, won 15 of 22 major seats in the local elections, reversing an advantage held by Ms. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party, which projects a far more guarded view of relations with Beijing.

This is probably just Xi puffing his chest out and throwing red meat to his supporters.   But, definitely something to keep an eye on..

Analysis: How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 6 led to immediate blowback. Furious Chinese Communists have begun arresting innocent Canadians in retaliation. So far, three of these “revenge hostages” have been taken and are being held in secret jails on vague charges. Beijing hints that the hostage count may grow if Meng is not freed and fast. Even for a thuggish regime like China’s, this kind of action is almost unprecedented. So who is Meng Wanzhou? Currently under house arrest and awaiting extradition to the US, she will face charges that her company violated US sanctions by doing business with Iran and committed bank fraud by disguising the payments it received in return. But to say that she is the CFO of Huawei doesn’t begin to explain her importance — or China’s reaction. It turns out that “Princess” Meng, as she is called, is Communist royalty. Her grandfather was a close comrade of Chairman Mao during the Chinese Civil War, who went on to become vice governor of China’s largest province. She is also the daughter of Huawei’s Founder and Chairman, Ren Zhengfei. Daddy is grooming her to succeed him when he retires. In other words, Meng is the heiress apparent of China’s largest and most advanced hi-tech company, and one which plays a key role in China’s grand strategy of global domination. Huawei is a leader in 5G technology and, earlier this year, surpassed Apple to become the second largest smartphone maker in the world behind Samsung. But Huawei is much more than an innocent manufacturer of smartphones. It is a spy agency of the Chinese Communist Party. How do we know? Because the party has repeatedly said so. First in 2015 and then again in June 2017, the party declared that all Chinese companies must collaborate in gathering intelligence. “All organizations and citizens,” reads Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law, “must support, assist with, and collaborate in national intelligence work, and guard the national intelligence work secrets they are privy to.” All Chinese companies, whether they are private or owned by the state, are now part and parcel of the party’s massive overseas espionage campaign. Huawei is a key part of this aggressive effort to spy on the rest of the world. The company’s smartphones, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, can be used to “maliciously modify or steal information,” as well as “conduct undetected espionage.” Earlier this year the Pentagon banned the devices from all US military bases worldwide. But Huawei, which has been specially designated as a “national champion,” has an even more important assignment from the Communist Party than simply listening in on phone conversations. As a global leader in 5G technology, it has been tasked with installing 5G “fiber to the phone” networks in countries around the world. In fact, “Made in China 2025” — the party’s aggressive plan to dominate the cutting-edge technologies of the 21st century — singles out Huawei as the key to achieving global 5G dominance. Any network system installed by a company working hand-in-glove with China’s intelligence services raises the danger of not only cyber espionage, but also cyber-enabled technology theft. And the danger doesn’t stop there. The new superfast 5G networks, which are 100 times faster than 4G, will literally run the world of the future. Everything from smartphones to smart cities, from self-driving vehicles to, yes, even weapons systems, will be under their control. In other words, whoever controls the 5G networks will control the world — or at least large parts of it. Huawei has reportedly secured more than 25 commercial contracts for 5G, but has been locked out of an increasing number of countries around the world because of spying concerns. The “Five Eyes” — Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the US — have over the past year waged a concerted campaign to block the Chinese tech giant from dominating next-generation wireless networks around the world. Not only have they largely kept Huawei out of their own countries, they have convinced other countries like Japan, India and Germany to go along, too. Whoever controls the 5G networks will control the world — or at least large parts of it. Yet Huawei is far from finished. The company has grown into a global brand over the past two decades because, as a “national champion,” it is constantly being fed and nourished by the party and the military with low-interest-rate loans, privileged access to a protected domestic market, and other preferential treatment. These various state subsidies continue, giving Huawei a huge and unfair advantage over its free market competitors. Huawei stands in the same relationship to the Chinese Communist Party as German steelmaker Alfried Krupp did to Germany’s National Socialists in the days leading up to WWII. Just as Germany’s leading supplier of armaments basically became an arm of the Nazi machine after war broke out, so is China’s leading hi-tech company an essential element of the party’s cold war plan to dominate the world of the future. As far as “Princess” Meng is concerned, I expect that she will be found guilty of committing bank fraud, ordered to pay a fine, and then released. Even a billion dollar fine would be chump change for a seventy-five-billion-dollar corporation like Huawei. The real payoff of her arrest lies elsewhere. It has exposed the massive campaign of espionage that Huawei is carrying out around the world at the behest of the Party. It has revealed how that Party dreams of a new world order in which China, not America, is dominant. The two Chinese characters that make up Huawei’s name literally mean, “To Serve China.” That’s clear enough, isn’t it?

Agreed..  Thanks to Steven W. Mosher for that eye-opening piece.  Steven is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.”

US B-52s fly near contested islands amid China tensions

The US Air Force conducted two bomber flights this week into areas considered sensitive by the Chinese military, missions that have come amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Earlier this week, US B-52 bombers flew from Guam and transited through the South China Sea, an area where the Chinese government has built islands and established military facilities on disputed features. “That just goes on, if it was 20 years ago and had they not militarized those features there it would have been just another bomber on its way to Diego Garcia or wherever,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday when asked about the bomber flight. “There’s nothing out of the ordinary about it,” Mattis added. On Tuesday, US B-52s also “participated in a regularly scheduled, combined operation in the vicinity of the East China Sea,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn told CNN. A US defense official told CNN that the bombers were escorted by Japanese fighter jets and flew in proximity to the Japanese controlled Senkaku Islands which China lays claim to. The bombers also flew into the Chinese military’s unilaterally declared Air Defense Identification Zone which extends over the area. The two missions comes amid heightened tensions over a series of issues in the last week. Earlier on Wednesday, President Donald Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in the 2018 US elections and the countries are involved in a high profile trade dispute. In the last week, the Chinese government denied a US Navy warship permission to visit Hong Kong, the US sanctioned a Chinese defense entity over its purchase of Russian-made weapons, the State Department approved a military equipment sale to Taiwan and a high-ranking Chinese naval officer canceled a meeting with his American counterpart. “We’re sorting out obviously a period with some tension there, trade tension and all, so we’ll get to the bottom of it but I don’t think that we’re seeing a fundamental shift in anything, we’re just going through one of those periodic points where we got to learn to manage our differences,” Mattis said when asked about the tensions.

Well said, Sec. Mattis.  That’s exactly right.  Nothing really newsworthy about this military flight.  It’s just in the context of the other areas where we’re having some differences with China, that it’s somewhat relevant.

Pentagon: China ‘Likely’ Training Bomber Pilots to Hit American Targets

The Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military and security developments warns this week that China is building up a fleet of long-range nuclear-capable bombers and is “likely” training its pilots to attack American targets. The relevant section of the report concerns China’s “overwater bomber operations,” which have rapidly expanded over the past three years. The Pentagon sees Chinese pilots “gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against U.S. and allied targets.” The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is currently the largest air force in Asia, and the third-largest in the world. Since 2017, new commander Lt. Gen. Ding Laihang has focused on developing a capacity for projecting long-range air power comparable to the U.S. Air Force. “The PLAAF continues to modernize and is closing the gap with the U.S. Air Force across a broad spectrum of capabilities, gradually eroding the United States’ longstanding significant technical advantage,” the Pentagon report cautioned. U.S. analysts are particularly concerned about the latest evolution of China’s H-6 “Badger” bomber, the H-6K, which is capable of launching from Chinese airbases and hitting Guam with standoff precision weapons. The PLAAF is also working on midair refueling techniques and might be able to field nuclear-capable stealth bombers as early as 2025. China’s use of militarized islands in the South China Sea as bases for long-range bomber activity is noted as an area of particular concern. “H-6s could, if deployed to airfields in the Spratly Islands, extend their range through the Balabac Strait into the Celebes Sea or through the Sunda or Malacca Strait to fly into the Indian Ocean,” the report stated. To secure their claims in disputed waters, the Chinese employ a unique naval command that has been given little attention until now, the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM). The Pentagon judged the PAFMM to be the “only government-sanctioned maritime militia in the world.” The militia plays a “major role in coercive activities to achieve China’s political goals without fighting.” In other words, the maritime militia intimidates civilian vessels from other nations that attempt to access waters claimed by Beijing, with just enough operational separation from the regular military to give the Chinese government political cover. China portrays its militia vessels as fishing boats that just happen to have armored hulls and ammunition storage bays. U.S. defense analysts are concerned that China will not only militarize the South China Sea, but nuclearize it.

Nice..  For more, click on the text above.

China’s Economy Weakens as Trade Fight Heats Up, Emboldening Xi’s Critics

China’s ability to go toe to toe with the United States in the ongoing trade dispute was cast into doubt by economic data released this week showing an economy that had slowed down by far more than expected. Fixed income investment, which includes spending on machinery and infrastructure, rose 5.5 percent compared with a year ago, down from 6.0 percent in the prior month. Economists had expected 6.0 percent. It was the lowest level of fixed income investment growth since 1999, before China ascended to the World Trade Organization. Industrial production was up 6.0 percent, below the 6.3perrcent forecast. Unemployment rose to 5.1 percent last month, up from 4.8 percent in June. Retail sales annual gains were expected to rise from June’s 9.0 percent to 9.2 percent. Instead, sales fell to 8.8 percent.

Clearly China has FAR more to lose in this trade dispute than America does.  Maybe Trump’s tariffs strategy IS working after all..  For more, click on the text above.