New attack drones, 5th-generation stealth fighter jets, reconfigured cargo planes and Russian-built air defenses are making China’s Air Force even deadlier. In fact, all of these advances present a great concern to U.S. war planners. The size of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force is reported to include a total of 2,500 aircraft, making it the third-largest in the world, according to the Pentagon’s 2020 China Military Power report. U.S. threat assessors are not merely concerned about the size of the Chinese Air Force but the increasing technical sophistication and multi-mission tactics with which it operates. For instance, as part of its discussion of Chinese airpower, the report notes that China operates highly advanced, Russian-built S-400 and S-500 air defenses. These systems, among the best in the world, increasingly use networked digital processors, faster computer speeds and a wider range of frequencies to detect aircraft. Russian media reports have claimed that their air defenses can even track stealth aircraft, a claim that has yet to be formally verified. Yet another concern with China’s air power is its fast-increasing attack range. The Chinese Y-20 cargo plane, for instance, is likely being configured into a tanker aircraft to nearly double the attack range of Chinese fighter jets. Technically speaking, while the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46 tanker is certainly different from its C-130s, it would not be at all technically difficult to convert a large Y-20 into a tanker configuration. This not only better enables a potential attack on Taiwan but also massively expands the Chinese reach into more areas of the South China Sea from the mainland. While many of China’s fighters are within range of attacking Taiwan on a single sortie, expanded combat radius would not only increase surveillance options but also enable much longer “dwell time” for fighter planes searching for targets in the skies above Taiwan. Operating a large tanker of this kind might also greatly improve China’s aircraft carrier power-projection capabilities by virtue of creating possibilities for longer-range, more expansive combat missions from the ocean. Such a possibility is further strengthened by ongoing Chinese efforts to engineer a carrier-launched variant of Beijing’s J-31 stealth fighter for domestic use. Such a platform, described by Chinese newspapers as a J-31B, brings stealthy 5th-generation attack possibilities to maritime warfare, not unlike the U.S. F-35B and F-35C. These factors are quite likely just one of many reasons why the U.S. Air Force continues to seek accelerated modernization and large size increases. Many senior Air Force leaders express great concern that not only is the force aging and in need of revamped sustainment efforts but is also insufficient to meet the requested mission demands of combatant commanders forward-deployed around the globe. Air Force leaders are continuing to ask for the increase in size up to 386 squadrons first requested several years ago. While many believe current efforts are inadequate to meet the threat, there are a number of impactful sustainment activities underway with U.S. Air Force platforms. F-15 continue to be revamped with new weapons, radar and high-speed computer systems to ensure the 1980s aircraft can stay in front of the Chinese 4th-generation J-10. In addition, the Air Force recently completed software upgrades to F-22 weapons to enhance range, guidance and accuracy. Furthermore, the service is reconfiguring some of the “wing boxes” of its fleet of aging C-130s and a wide swath of upgrades has already made the well-known B-2 bomber much more advanced than it was during its inception. The B-2 is receiving new air-defense warning sensors, upgraded weapons and massively improved computer processing speed, among other things. None of this, however, Air Force weapons developers say, removes the need for new platforms and weapons as soon as possible.
President Trump recently ordered a 12,000-troop reduction in American military personnel stationed in Germany. That leaves about 24,000 American soldiers still in the country. A little more than half of the troops being withdrawn will return home. The rest will be redeployed to other NATO member nations such as Belgium, Italy, and perhaps Baltic and Eastern European countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be furious. She claims the redeployments will “weaken the (NATO) alliance.” German commercial interests chimed in that the troop withdrawals will hurt their decades-old businesses serving U.S. bases. Perhaps, but Merkel surely cannot be surprised. Six years ago, all NATO members pledged to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Yet only eight of 29 so far have kept their word. Germany spends only about 1.4 percent of its GDP on defense. As NATO’s largest, wealthiest and most powerful European member, it sets the example for the rest of alliance. Merkel’s reneging on her 2014 pledge helps explain why less wealthy and influential NATO members also see no reason to meet their obligations. Germany surely knows that 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II, and the 29th year since the fall of the Berlin Wall — the symbolic end of the Cold War. Will there be any point in the future when Europe is confident enough to be a full defense partner with the U.S. rather than an eight-decade client? NATO, of course, still provides a common European defense, but only by habitually relying inordinately on U.S. military contributions. That dependence seems increasingly odd when the European Union has an aggregate GDP nearly as large as America’s. More important, NATO’s frontline threats are now mostly concerned with rogue member Turkey, especially its bullying of Greece and its increasingly aggressive stance in the Middle East. Russia always poses a threat to Europe. But the likely flashpoints are not on the German border, but more likely eastward in the Baltic states or on the Russian frontier with Poland. Moreover, the Merkel government has concluded, over American objections, a huge natural gas deal with Russia that is currently under some U.S. sanctions and short of cash. Russian energy exports to Germany are said to earn Russia $10 billion a year, with a likely doubling of that income once additional pipelines to Germany are completed. Merkel likes to lecture the world on moral issues, but what is so noble about empowering Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently reclaimed Crimea and seems now to be eyeing Belarus? Like a modern-day Byzantine emperor Justinian, who recovered much of the lost Western Roman Empire, Putin seems to think he can reabsorb the lost Soviet republics. In recent polling, Germans were more anti-American than any other nation in Europe. And while about 75 percent of Americans believe the U.S. still has a good relationship with Germany, only about a third of Germans feel that way about the U.S. Nearly half the German population in some polls want U.S. troops out. Note that Germany piles up the largest annual trade surplus with the U.S. of any nation in Europe — roughly $55 billion to $70 billion in most years. The Trump administration says the surpluses have grown in large part due to asymmetry in tariffs and duties, with Germany the far more protectionist of the two partners. With Germany now united, rich and often angry, and with the Soviet threat largely over, it’s Germany, not the U.S., that seems to have altered its view of this once-solid relationship. Does Merkel really believe that if her nation cuts huge deals with NATO’s historically greatest threat, polls as the most anti-American country in Europe and still refuses to honor its promises to increase defense spending, Germany still deserves a large American commitment of 36,000 troops to anchor its defense? There is one caveat that the Trump administration and other European countries might consider. According to its founders, NATO was created for three reasons: to keep the always aggressive Russians “out” of Europe, to keep the often isolationist Americans “in” to help protect it, and to keep the supposedly restless Germans “down” in order to avoid a replay of their invasions that ignited both world wars. In other words, the huge defense commitment to an often ungracious Germany over eight decades was not just envisioned to create a central base from which to protect Europe from ancient Russian ambitions, but also to remind Germany itself of its checkered past. That third mission seems ossified and silly now. But it is not entirely forgotten, and it may explain why many in Europe — and some in Germany itself — are worried when any American soldiers leave Germany.
Bottom line.. Germany has not kept its word on it’s commitment to NATO, and Trump isn’t a sucker. Thanks to Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, PhD. for that excellent analysis and perspective!
The Pentagon has created a task force to investigate UFOs following several unexplained incidents that have been observed by the U.S. military. The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force was launched earlier this month by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, boosting an effort by the Office of Naval Intelligence, officials said. The Defense Department said Friday that it hopes to “improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs. The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.” “The safety of our personnel and the security of our operations are of paramount concern. The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report,” the department said. “This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing.” The plans for the task force, which is expected to be officially unveiled in the next few days, were first reported by CNN on Thursday. The move marks an extension of previous efforts to look into UFOs — but stops well short of trying to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life. Since 2018, a Navy task force has been informally investigating such incidents and has coordinated information with U.S. intelligence agencies. In April, the Defense Department released and declassified three videos of Navy pilots encountering UFOs in 2004 and 2015. In 2017, The New York Times reported on the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which had previously been disbanded, according to the Pentagon. While the new task force’s work will remain classified, that status could change if the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s proposal for an unclassified report on UFOs is adopted by the full Senate and House.
Things that make ya go, “hmm…” 🙂
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced the State Department is expanding its Clean Network initiative to keep Americans’ data safe from Chinese vendors looking to exploit the data. He said there are five new lines of effort. The first is “Clean Carrier” — working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies do not provide international telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations. “I join Attorney General Barr, [Defense] Secretary Esper, and Acting [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Wolf in urging the [Federal Communications Commission] to revoke and terminate the authorizations of China Telecom and three other companies providing services to and from the United States,” he said. The second is “Clean Store” — removing untrusted Chinese apps from U.S. app stores. “President Trump has mentioned impending action on TikTok, and for good reason. With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat, and others are significant threats to the personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for CCP content censorship,” Pompeo said. The third is “Clean Apps” — working to prevent Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular U.S. apps. “We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus,” he said. The fourth is “Clean Cloud” — protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and American businesses’ most valuable intellectual property — including COVID-19 vaccine research — from being accessed on cloud-based systems run by Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent. “The State Department will work closely with Commerce and other agencies to limit the ability of Chinese cloud service providers to collect, to store, and to process vast amounts of data and sensitive information here in the United States,” he said. The fifth is “Clean Cable” — working to ensure that the CCP cannot compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect the U.S. and others to the global internet. “Huawei Marine significantly underbids other companies on multiple procurements to connect Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and Europe using Chinese state-backed underseas technology,” he said. “We can’t allow that to continue. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network,” he said.
Kudos to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo and the rest of the Trump Administration doing this for all of us. Excellent!! 🙂
Allowing citizens to sue China for damages caused by the novel coronavirus would backfire and open up the United States to the same level of scrutiny from other countries around the world, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Thursday. Feinstein, whose remarks came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, said, “We launch a series of unknown events that could be very, very dangerous. I think this is a huge mistake.” “Where I live… we hold China as a potential trading partner,” she said earlier. “As a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time. And as a country growing into a respectable nation among other nations. And I deeply believe that. I’ve been to China a number of times. I’ve studied the issues.” Feinstein claimed other countries, including China, may decide to use the new legal precedent against the U.S., setting off a chain reaction, resulting in global chaos. Her comments come three months after Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, provided a statement to Fox News about a lawsuit he filed against China on behalf of the state, saying that the impact of COVID-19 has led to thousands of Missourians being infected, killed and economically devastated. “In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real — thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table,” he wrote. After the lawsuit was filed, an article posted on the Global Times, which is a branch of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP’s) People’s Daily, said the nation is “extremely dissatisfied with the abuse of litigation” by U.S. leadership,” and is considering punitive countermeasures against U.S. individuals, entities and state officials, including Schmitt. As the partisan divide with respect to China continues to deepen, Democrats have refrained from condemning the CCP’s actions while Senate Republicans — along with members of the Trump administration — have chosen to take the Chinese government head-on. In addition to Schmitt’s efforts, GOP Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rich Scott, R-Fla., have been publically critical of the CCP, with Scott going so far as to introduce a Senate bill to shield vaccine research from Chinese spies and infiltrators. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also taken a hardline stance against China, warning state governors of China’s sophisticated practices with regard to U.S. infiltration and later claiming the CCP poses a real “risk” to the safety and security of America. In 2018, President Trump slammed Feinstein for having a Chinese spy on her staff serving as her driver. Feinstein was said to have been “mortified” when she learned the news, according to Politico. The FBI wasn’t able to charge the individual, but Feinstein “forced him to retire,” a source told the San Francisco Chronicle. Feinstein’s comments come as the results of a new Pew Research Center survey were released, showing that over three-quarters of American adults blame the Chinese government for the global spread of the coronavirus and over 60 percent of respondents said the country has done a poor job handling the aftermath of the outbreak. The survey, which polled 1,003 individuals and was conducted from June 16 to July 14, showed 73 percent of U.S. adults have an unfavorable view of China, which marks the most negative rating in the 15 years that Pew Research Center has been conducting polling on the subject.
Again, we see another high-profile Democrat lauding and kissing up to China, even while we’re all suffering in one way or another from the Wuhan virus. In the case of Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)…she’s in her late 80s (currently 87), and is an old-school, liberal globalist. So, this totally makes sense for someone like her. She was also the former mayor of San Francisco, which is over 35% Asian. So, probably on some level, it’s ethnic pandering. But, her timing couldn’t be worse. She’s utterly clueless about the current paradigm, and how a solid majority of Americans feel about the Wuhan virus , and whom they rightfully blame; China. So, her comments here are at best ill considered, ill timed, and shows just how tone-deaf and out of touch with Americans she is. She is clearly more worried about China and appeasing them, then Americans. As a U.S. Senator, she should be far more worried about putting Americans FIRST.
The mysterious, unsolicited packages of seeds supposedly being sent from China to homes across America – prompting agriculture departments in at least 31 states to issue warnings against planting them – may be invasive species and could be tied to a fake product review scam, police and officials are saying. The packages, based on photographs and statements from officials, appeared to have been shipped by China’s state-owned postal company and contained Chinese lettering on the exterior, advertising products ranging from jewelry to toys. But, what’s actually inside seem to be random plant seeds. States from coast to coast have been urging residents to report the unexpected deliveries to their local agriculture departments over concerns that the seeds could be invasive or harmful species. The packages have garnered the attention of federal investigators — with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) working alongside the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and other federal and state agencies. USDA officials have been asking anyone who received a suspicious seed package to contact their state plant regulator or their state’s APHIS plant health director. “Do not plant seeds from unknown origins,” the USDA urged in a statement. Officials in several states said there didn’t appear to be a clear pattern to the packages, which have been showing up at homes in the city, suburbs, and in rural areas. The number of packages being reported also varied. In Indiana, for instance, an official with the state attorney general’s office said it had received only a handful of reports, while in Ohio, officials have received roughly 150 calls about the packages over the past month. “We have done some researching and it does appear that these seeds are tied with an online scam called ‘brushing’,” the Whitehouse Police Department in Ohio – one of the states where the packages reportedly have been sent – posted on Facebook. “A brushing scam is an exploit by a vendor used to bolster product ratings and increase visibility online by shipping an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then submitting positive reviews on the receiver’s behalf under the guise of a verified owner. “Although not directly dangerous, we would still prefer that people contact us to properly dispose of the seeds,” the department added. North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also reported the deliveries were “likely the product of an international Internet scam.” It’s not the first time this type of scam has surfaced. In 2018, a Massachusetts couple who kept receiving mystery packages from Amazon containing items ranging from USB-powered humidifiers to rechargeable dog collars feared they were being targeted. Here’s how the scam works: a seller trying to boost the ratings of their own merchandise sets up a fake email account to create an Amazon profile, then purchases the items with a gift card and ships them to the address of a random person. Once the package is delivered, the owner of the Amazon account is then listed as a “verified buyer” of the product and can write a positive review of it that gets higher placement on product pages because of their status, James Thomson, a former business consultant for Amazon told the Boston Globe at the time when asked about the couple’s deliveries. However, the deliveries of the plant seeds are more widespread and it’s not immediately clear which e-commerce website the fake reviews may be appearing on, if this is the motive behind the packages. On Monday, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokesperson Michael Wallace told the New York Times that the agency has received “over 900 emails and several hundred telephone calls” from people who claimed to have received the seeds. Officials in Florida say they have gotten 160 reports about the seeds. And in Louisiana, Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain told the New York Times that some of the packages sent to residents there appear to contain seeds for water lily plants. “Obviously they’re not jewelry,” Lori Culley, a resident from Tooele, Utah, said to Fox13 after receiving one of the packages. “At this time, we are not sure what the seeds are and therefore are urging everyone to be exceedingly vigilant,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black also said in a statement. “If you have received one of these packages in the mail, please use extreme caution by not touching the contents and securing the package in a plastic bag.”
Indeed.. We’ll keep an eye on this developing story, and the possible national security implications from China, who is becoming more and more of a threat to us.
A long-hidden UFO investigative unit within the Pentagon will make some of its findings public, according to a New York Times report. The unit, which is now part of the Office of Naval Intelligence, has spent over a decade discussing mysterious events in classified briefings, according to the news outlet. A government contractor told the Times that he gave a classified briefing to the Department of Defense in March, describing retrievals from “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth.” The Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force at the Office of Naval Intelligence was described in a Senate Intelligence Committee report last month. The unit standardizes “collection and reporting on unidentified aerial phenomenon, any links they have to adversarial foreign governments, and the threat they pose to U.S. military assets and installations,” the report said. “However, the Committee remains concerned that there is no unified, comprehensive process within the Federal Government for collecting and analyzing intelligence on unidentified aerial phenomena, despite the potential threat,” it added. “The Committee understands that the relevant intelligence may be sensitive; nevertheless, the Committee finds that the information sharing and coordination across the Intelligence Community has been inconsistent, and this issue has lacked attention from senior leaders.” In the report, the Senate Intelligence Committee directs the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to submit a report to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena (or “anomalous aerial vehicles”). The report must include “observed airborne objects that have not been identified.” The Committee says that the report should be submitted within 180 days of the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal 2021. The bill was introduced on June 8, 2020. The New York Times reports that a small group of government officials and scientists believe that objects of “undetermined origin” have crashed to Earth and been retrieved, including former Sen. Harry Reid. While some have been found to be man-made materials, there are question marks over others. The publication cites Eric W. Davis, an astrophysicist who worked as a subcontractor and a consultant for the Pentagon UFO program. Davis, who now works for defense contractor Aerospace Corporation, said he also gave briefings on the recovery of unexplained objects to staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Oct. 21 and Oct. 23, 2019, respectively, the Times added. “As we have said previously, the Department of Defense and all of the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously, and examine each report,” a spokesperson for the Department of Defense said. “This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ (UAP) when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing.” The Department of Defense, she explained, does not discuss publicly the details of either the observations or the examination of reported incursions into its training ranges or designated airspace, including incursions initially designated as UAP. “Regarding the task force mentioned in the article, I can say that the department is creating a task force to gain knowledge and insight into the nature and origins of UAPs, as well as their operations, capabilities, performance, and/or signatures,” she added. “The mission of the task force will be to detect, analyze, catalog, consolidate, and exploit non-traditional aerospace vehicles/UAPs posing an operational threat to U.S. national security and avoid strategic surprise.” Nick Pope, a former employee and UFO investigator for Britain’s Ministry of Defense, said he “fully supports” the creation of the task force, which he believes will address some of the concerns that the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee have. “UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) was a term we popularized at the UK Ministry of Defence in the Nineties, as part of a ‘rebranding’ of the UFO phenomenon, attempting to ditch the pop culture baggage that attached to the term ‘UFO’ and reframe the debate as the defense and national security issue that those of us studying the phenomenon knew it to be,” Pope said. “Every government rightly wants to secure the territorial integrity of its airspace and ensure that all objects and phenomena in its airspace or in close proximity to its military assets are identified.” In speaking with the New York Times, Reid said he believes the government and the private sector may have retrieved materials from unidentified objects. “After looking into this, I came to the conclusion that there were reports — some were substantive, some not so substantive — that there were actual materials that the government and the private sector had in their possession,” Reid said in the interview. Reid’s comments are the latest from the former lawmaker. In June 2019, he told Nevada’s KNPR that he wished lawmakers would hold public hearings into what the military knows. “They would be surprised how the American public would accept it,” Reid said during the wide-ranging interview. “People from their individual states would accept it.” The former Nevada senator has also tweeted multiple times about the topic, including in April, when he said he was happy the Pentagon released three videos of “unidentified aerial phenomena”, adding the “American people deserve to be informed.”
Things that make ya go, “hmmmm.” For more, click on the text above. 🙂
The Chinese government on Wednesday threatened retaliatory “countermeasures” after U.S. officials abruptly ordered the closure of Beijing’s consulate in Houston. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the Trump administration ordered the closure in an “unprecedented escalation,” and promised to “react with firm countermeasures” if the move is not rescinded. The ministry called the closure a “political provocation unilaterally launched by the U.S. side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the U.S.” It also accused the Trump administration of stigmatizing and “unwarranted attacks” against China’s social system, “harassing” Chinese diplomatic and consular staff, “intimidating and interrogating” Chinese students and “confiscating their personal electrical devices, even detaining them without cause.” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Denmark, said the closure was ordered “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.” “The United States will not tolerate [China’s] violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the [its] unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior,” she said. “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.” The move escalates tensions already somewhat strained by blame over the COVID-19 pandemic, trade disputes and Beijing’s military actions in the South China Sea. Possible countermeasures may include shutting down the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, a Chinese academic told the Communist Party-run Global Times newspaper. “China strongly condemns such an outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-U.S. relations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement posted to social media. “We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision, otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions.” Tuesday night, authorities in Houston responded to a fire at the consulate, where witnesses saw papers being burned outside the facility. The closure came ahead of a Senate foreign relations committee hearing on Wednesday that will examine U.S.-China relations. The hearing will include testimony from Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) lauded the closure, tweeting: “#China’s Houston consulate is a massive spy center, forcing it to close is long overdue.”
Agreed, Senator. Agreed. Kudos to President Trump, Sec of State Mike Pompeo, and the rest of his team for making this happen. For more, click on the text above. Excellent!! 🙂
The police and fire departments in Houston, Texas, responded on Tuesday night to reports of a blaze at the Consulate General of China. The fire turned out to be Chinese agents burning a massive trove of documents after the U.S. government ordered the consulate to be closed due to allegations of espionage. KHOU News in Houston reported that people living near the consulate made 911 calls at around 8:20 p.m. local time to report fires burning in the courtyard, but when firefighters arrived, they were denied permission to enter the premises. The Houston Fire Department explained “it would not enter the premises without consent unless there is a threat to health and safety, which officials said there was not.” The document fire was quite noticeable from outside the consulate grounds. Several fire and police vehicles arrived at the consulate building in response to the 911 calls. “You could just smell the paper burning, but all the firefighters were just surrounding the building. They couldn’t go inside,” an eyewitness told KPRC News. “It appears to be open burning in a container within the courtyard of the Chinese consulate facility. It does not appear to be an unconfined fire but we have not been allowed access. We are standing by and monitoring,” Houston fire chief Sam Pena said, as quoted by KTRK News. The Houston Police Department also said its officers responded to the 911 calls and were denied permission to enter the building. The fires were reportedly extinguished soon after the fire department arrived at the scene.
To see videos, and more, click on the text above.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed the ban on the addition of new equipment from Huawei to UK 5G networks, and all Huawei components must be removed from Britain’s 5G by 2027. The move came after Five Eyes allies warned of the security risks of using the “effectively state-owned” Chinese tech firm. Mr Dowden made the announcement in the House of Commons on Tuesday, weeks after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Huawei, barring the sale of American components to the Chinese company over security concerns. It represents a significant reversal by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who agreed in January on a contract for Huawei to build 35 per cent of Britain’s 5G network. “This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,” the British digital secretary said, according to the BBC. The decision follows a ruling from the National Security Council that Huawei should not be used in any part of Britain’s 5G. The new restrictions also apply to Huawei’s broadband components. The judgment officially came as a result of a review conducted by the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of the signals intelligence services GCHQ, which ruled last week that the security of Huawei would be compromised if using any other components than the now-banned American ones. As the U.S. sanctions only affect future equipment, the government will not call for the removal of Huawei from 2G, 3G, or 4G. While a major step, others have warned that the government’s decision does not go far enough and that the Chinese equipment should be removed sooner and in its entirety. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said on Tuesday: “This is a partial victory. ‘No’ to Huawei is great, but we cannot wait until 2027 for removal of the kit.” The Guardian reported on Monday that 60 Conservative MPs could rebel against the government over the long delay in the removal of Huawei, calling instead for the end of purchasing all Huawei equipment in the next 12 months — not just 5G — and removing it from all systems by 2026. However, BT has said that it could take as long as ten years to completely remove Huawei from Britain’s telecommunications infrastructure. The news comes as the chairman of Huawei UK has reportedly stepped down, according to claims by Sky News. Former BP boss Lord Browne of Madingley had told Reuters last week that there was “no diplomacy here” in the government’s dealings with Huawei. “The UK has had a very long relationship with China, and I hope it’s not one that they simply throw away,” Lord Browne complained. The UK stepping back from Huawei, however, represents a positive step towards redressing relationships with other democratic nations, particularly Five Eyes partner the United States, which have expressed concern of communist China becoming too close to the United Kingdom. Britain is said to be exploring an international partnership comprised of a combination of the Five Eyes, the G7, and India and South Korea to construct an alternative to Huawei. U.S. sources speaking to the Financial Times on Monday said that the UK’s hitherto reluctance to come to a firm decision on Huawei was holding up plans for the proposed Five Eyes-Plus or ‘D10’ union of ten democratic nations.
We agree with Nigel Farage, that while this is most definitely a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go nearly far, or fast, enough. Huawei is entirely owned and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and their Army. And, it is a vehicle through which they spy on the U.S., UK, and our other allies in order to advance their agenda of global conquest, which of course is a threat to the U.S., the UK and other western deomcracies. The Brits historically are notorious for being suckers. Hello..Neville Chamberlain? To be clear, even a great guy like PM Boris Johnson wouldn’t have done this without some behind the scenes pressure from President Trump. Regardless, we’re glad they made this decision and hope they implement it quicker and more broadly. This the kind of pressure ALL of the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing partners (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the United States) need to be exerting on China now more than ever.