This fascinating article by Lee Ming, writing for the Falun Gong paper Epoch Times, says that a Chinese power struggle between the old guard and the new school is brewing. The two sides are supporters of current leader Hu Jintao and previous alpha-Panda Jiang Zemin.
Is there any way that both of these odious, elderly murderers can lose?
The writer indicates that Hu faced a hushed-up assassination attempt in May of 2006 during a visit to a military base, and is not fully in control of his military. When the Chinese military destroyed a satellite recently, creating grave concern here as an explicit asymmetrical threat to our ability to wage the American way of war, their Foreign Ministry was completely out of touch for days. The writer posits that the test demonstrated that Hu was being humiliated by his own military. American spokesmen hinted at an inkling of this revelation by Ming, speculating, in explanation of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s dumbfoundedness, that perhaps Hu’s circle were taken by surprise. It looks like they were more correct than they knew.
It’s plain to anyone with a room-temperature IQ: China is an even more dangerous menace than we thought. Seemingly orderly transitions of power actually mask the reality of China: an unstable arena for strife between would-be dictators. The orderly transition of power myth is further belied by the purges, assassination attempts, and deadly struggles detailed by Lee Ming. China’s leaders are nothing more than gangsters fighting turf wars, and accumulating an ever-more deadly armory financed by the same Free World that will, one day, face down the barrel of a gun and confront an existential peril.
In civilized powers, the political leadership is supreme over the military. An elaborate protocol, encapsulating the concerns of authentication of threat, chain of command, and authorization to launch, guards against the merest possibility of an accidental nuclear launch. Or a deliberate nuclear strike by a rogue general, acting alone. There is no such assurance with China’s atomic arsenal. As has just been made very clear, China’s leaders can’t even be relied upon to be in the decision and information loop. And this is an essential characteristic of their political system. It is behaving as designed.
This can’t be tolerated. We must either force China to disarm, or foment a beneficial revolution in Chinese government-peacefully or otherwise. The Falun Gong and the Christians are an unused weapon which we can roust, if we choose. So is the trade that China depends on-in that field, we unilaterally disarmed by giving China permanent Most Favored Nation status. There’s a lot we can do. There’s not a lot that we’re doing, and I don’t think our leaders appreciate the existence of the sword that hangs over our heads, thanks to the nature of China’s government. One way or another, this has to change.
CARACAS, Venezuela - Meat cuts vanished from Venezuelan supermarkets this week, leaving only unsavory bits like chicken feet, while costly artificial sweeteners have increasingly replaced sugar, and many staples sell far above government-fixed prices.The problem is you, honey.
President Hugo Chavez's administration blames the food supply problems on unscrupulous speculators, but industry officials say government price controls that strangle profits are responsible. Authorities on Wednesday raided a warehouse in Caracas and seized seven tons of sugar hoarded by vendors unwilling to market the inventory at the official price.
Major private supermarkets suspended sales of beef earlier this week after one chain was shut down for 48 hours for pricing meat above government-set levels, but an agreement reached with the government on Wednesday night promises to return meat to empty refrigerator shelves.
Shortages have sporadically appeared with items from milk to coffee since early 2003, when Chavez began regulating prices for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor.
Yet inflation has soared to an accumulated 78 percent in the last four years in an economy awash in petrodollars, and food prices have increased particularly swiftly, creating a widening discrepancy between official prices and the true cost of getting goods to market in Venezuela.
"Shortages have increased significantly as well as violations of price controls," Central Bank director Domingo Maza Zavala told the Venezuelan broadcaster Union Radio on Thursday. "The difference between real market prices and controlled prices is very high."
Most items can still be found, but only by paying a hefty markup at grocery stores or on the black market. A glance at prices in several Caracas supermarkets this week showed milk, ground coffee, cheese and beans selling between 30 percent to 60 percent above regulated prices.
The state runs a nationwide network of subsidized food stores, but in recent months some items have become increasingly hard to find.
At a giant outdoor market held last weekend by the government to address the problems, a street vendor crushed raw sugar cane to sell juice to weary shoppers waiting in line to buy sugar.
"They say there are no shortages, but I'm not finding anything in the stores," grumbled Ana Diaz, a 70-year-old housewife who after eight hours, had managed to fill a bag with chicken, milk, vegetable oil and sugar bought at official prices. "There's a problem somewhere, and it needs to be fixed."
SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- China on Friday hailed the development of its Jian-10 fighter jet, aircraft engines and air-to-air missiles as a sign it had soared into the top levels of aerospace defense technology.Iran's frequent boasting that their nuclear technology is "home-grown" is another example of protesting too much. It's obviously not home-grown, or you wouldn't need hundreds of Russian and Chinese technicians on your soil, doing all the work for you.
China "has become the world's fourth country that is capable of developing on its own advanced fighter planes, engines and missiles," Geng Ruguang, deputy general manager of China Aviation Industry Corp., was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.
Geng made the comments at a news conference in Beijing on Friday where the state-run aerospace company, known as AVIC I, unveiled a model of the Jian-10, Xinhua said.
It didn't name the other three countries ranked alongside China, although analysts said Geng was likely referring to France, Russia and the United States, all leading exporters of high-tech military aircraft.
Geng's announcement seemed intended to underscore the growing sophistication of China's domestic arms industry, which has struggled following the imposition of a ban on weapons sales by the United States and European Union.
It also reflects China's attempts to develop homegrown technology and intellectual property to avoid paying licensing fees to foreign companies.
Researchers at a Chinese government run think tank linked to Sun Bigan, Beijing's special envoy to the Middle East, expect the region to be engulfed in war before the end of next June. Reason: non-Arab Islamist Iran and its secular Arab ally, Syria, are determined to avenge the humiliating defeat of the (overwhelmingly Muslim) Arab armies by Israel in its historic Six-Day War, which began on June 5, 1967.If I was Assad, I would feel quite emboldened by Israel's failure to bomb me, and demonstrated weakness in Lebanon. If I was Ahmadinejad, I would relish pre-empting any Israeli strikes on my nuclear program.
The Chinese view is that the looming 40th anniversary of the conflict--which resulted in the loss of Arab lands, including the contested West Bank territories and Golan Heights--is galvanizing the fanatically anti-Israel leadership of Iran (which, in '67, was ruled by the pro-American Shah, with whom Israel enjoyed a productive and close relationship). Iran's Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly vowed to destroy the Jewish state, is reportedly obsessed with erasing the so-called stain of Israel's victory by erasing Israel itself.
Along with the recently evacuated Gaza strip, which was occupied by Egypt prior to the '67 war, the West Bank lands have been earmarked for a Palestinian Arab state. It is generally assumed that any Israeli peace pact with Syria would include return of the disputed Golan, a strategically significant area from which Syrian forces shelled Israeli farms and villages before the war.
Sun is a strong supporter of both Iran and Syria--and an effective opponent of tough sanctions and other punitive measures against Tehran. Iran's counterproposal of "serious negotiations" aimed at ending its nuclear standoff with the West, in response to a proposed package of incentives, was basically his idea, as China Confidential has reported.
MOSCOW — The business chief of Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Anatoly Voronin, was killed on Sunday night in his apartment in central Moscow, the agency reported. Death was the result of multiple knife wounds, according to police, Itar-Tass reported. Several theories are being investigated, the agency said.
The body of 55-year-old Voronin was found at his home by his driver, the news agency said. He had worked at the agency for 23 years. His death is the latest in a spate of high-profile killings in Russia in little over a month.
A deputy Central Bank governor, Andrei Kozlov, was shot dead with his driver on September 13 as he left a soccer match in Moscow. Russian officials arrested an unspecified number of people involved in the killing, the Prosecutor General's office said yesterday.
The journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of President Putin, was shot in the entranceway of her apartment building on October 7. Leaders from around the world including President Bush called on the Russian government to carry out a thorough investigation to find her killers. No arrests have yet been made.
Geopolitics: After North Korea's nuclear bomb test, the People's Republic of China insists that "punishment should not be the purpose" of any response. Maybe the problem isn't North Korea, but China.
On the surface, China's unwillingness to get tough with its client is perplexing. North Korea's intransigence on nuclear weapons increases risks on the Korean Peninsula, something China says it doesn't want.
China is said to be especially worried about the prospect of a collapse of Kim Jong Il's murderous regime, sending millions of North Korea's 23 million people across the border as refugees.
Yet it's clear none of the jawboning on North Korea has worked. Not China's attempt to talk Kim Jong Il into giving up nukes. Certainly not former President Clinton's efforts to sign a deal with the Hermit Kingdom, giving it more trade and aid. Not President Bush's six-party talks. Not even South Korea's "sunshine policy." Nothing.
So what, short of war, would work? The simple answer is a naval blockade and trade quarantine that should isolate North Korea and bring it to its knees in short order. But as we noted here Wednesday, China would have to help, since it supplies North Korea with about 90% of its energy and 80% of its consumer goods.
China, however, won't play ball. Why? It's already boosting defense spending at a double-digit rate to counter U.S. and Japanese influence in the Pacific. An enhanced U.S. and Japanese presence, along with a democratic and unified Korea, would make its job that much tougher.
There's another, more ominous reason for China's reluctance to help: The country is responsible for much of the proliferation of nuclear technology to terrorist states in recent years. That includes its main client, North Korea.
As the State Department noted in a 2003 report, "Chinese state-owned corporations have engaged in transfer activities with Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and Libya that are clearly contrary to China's commitments to the U.S."
China's actions, the report added, "call into serious question China's stated commitment to controlling missile proliferation."
China signed agreements with the U.S. in 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2002 to halt shipments of nuclear and missile technology to rogue nations. It broke each one in what can only be called a cynical game that its government still plays with the West.
North Korea, which tested a nuclear weapon Oct. 9, is a case in point. Much of its cutting-edge nuclear technology most recently came from the now-defunct A.Q. Khan network in Pakistan. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Khan swapped nuclear know-how with North Korea for missile technology.
Where did Khan and Pakistan get that know-how? From China. And where did North Korea get the missile technology it bartered with Khan? Also from China. Thus, a picture emerges of a China not at the periphery of WMD proliferation, but at its center.
China plays the same game with Iran — trading nuclear technology for oil — though it denies such an arrangement.
The Chinese need to be pulled aside and told: No more sales of nuclear technology to rogue states, or their $250 billion in exports to the U.S. may be threatened. That ought to move talks along.
South Korea said it was making sure its troops were prepared for atomic warfare, and Japan imposed new economic sanctions to hit the economic lifeline of the communist nation's 1 million-member military, the world's fifth-largest.
North Korea, in its first formal statement since Monday's claimed atomic bomb test, hailed the blast as a success and said attempts by the outside world to penalize North Korea with sanctions would be considered an act of war.
North Korea said Monday it has performed its first-ever nuclear weapons test. The country's official Korean Central News Agency said the test was performed and there was no radioactive leakage from the site.S. Korea detects signs of N. Korea's nuke test
SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea received intelligence on Monday that North Korea might have conducted a nuclear test, officials here said.[cognac to RIP Ford]
"President Roh Moo-hyun called in an emergency meeting of related ministers on Monday to discuss the North Korean nuclear issue," Foreign Ministry spokesman Choo Kyu-ho said. "The meeting comes as there has been a grave change in the situation involving the North's nuclear activity."
He refused to go into further detail, citing the sensitivity of the issue.
NORTH KOREA could carry out a nuclear test as early as tomorrow, according to Chinese sources.
Preparations to detonate a bomb at a 2,000 metre-deep abandoned coalmine close to the Chinese border have reportedly been completed, enabling North Korea to go ahead with the controversial test as the leaders of Japan and China hold urgent talks at a summit in Beijing.
Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader who celebrates 19 years as head of his country’s Workers’ Party tomorrow, is reported to have given orders that the test should “not excessively rock” Mount Paetku, a nearby peak considered sacred by many Koreans.
The threat of a nuclear test will dominate tomorrow’s talks between President Hu Jintao of China and Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, who took office only 15 days ago.
At least two Tibetans were killed when the Chinese army opened fire on a group of defenceless refugees, a UN representative has confirmed.The Beijing Olympics should be cancelled. They were given to China on the condition that human rights see an improvement, and the Chinese have reneged so much and so often that they obviously never intended to honor the deal. If our civilization had any guts left, we would move the Olympic games to Taiwan instead.
An urgent investigation is to be conducted by the Nepal and China offices of The United Nations High Commission for Refugees after the head of the UN sponsored Tibet Refugee Centre in Katmandu, Loudhup Dorjee, validated early reports which emerged on Tuesday.
Mr Dorjee reported that a caravan of seventy Tibetans, including women and children, were shot upon at the Nangpa la pass on the Tibet Nepal border and that forty were able to escape into Nepal.
He said: "We don’t know what happened to those who didn't manage to escape."
Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: "It is now vital that UN agencies and the wider international community both take immediate steps to ensure the safety of Tibetan refugees fleeing into Nepal and launch an independent and transparent investigation into the killings."
Neither Chinese nor Nepali officials were available for comment on the reported shootings, which allegedly took place on September 30 at the 19,000ft pass just west of Mount Everest.
Every year, hundreds of Tibetan refugees trek for days through the mountains to escape Chinese rule in Tibet, braving high altitudes, fierce weather and Chinese border troops.
While refugees have been shot at along the border in the past, Mr Dorjee said this was the first time in recent years that troops had killed any.
He said he had been in touch with the group of refugees involved in the latest incident, and that they had crossed into a remote part of Nepal and were still about a week away from reaching Katmandu.
Tens of thousands of Tibetans have fled Tibet since a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese forces, which occupied the Himalayan region eight years earlier.
Among them is the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ spiritual leader and 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who lives in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, where his Government-in-exile is based.
We first wrote about Mr. Montaperto back on June 26th, and posted additional comments on his case last week. As we observed at the time, Montaperto was no ordinary intelligence analyst. At the time he was dismissed from government service, he was running a U.S. Pacific Command think tank, charged with assessing the threat from the PRC. Before that, he was a China analyst for DIA; former colleagues recall taht Mr. Montaperto consistently downplayed the military and economic challenges posed by Beijing.
At one point (in the early 1990s), Montaperto apparently applied for an analyst position at the CIA. His pre-employment polygraph reportedly raised serious questions about his conduct, and suggested that he may have posed an esiponage threat. The CIA decided not to hire Montaperto and passed their concerns to DIA, which failed to follow up. Montaperto remained on the government payroll for another 13 years; there's no telling what he might have passed to Beijing in the years that followed. According to Scarborough and Gertz, prosecutors are convinced that he passed sensitive reports on Saudi and Iranian missile deals to Beijing. His information may have also allowed the Chinese to plug leaks that prevent us from tracking key Chinese arms deals.
And for all this, Montaperto will spend three months in jail. Moreover, according to the Times, a number of current/former government employees wrote letters of support for Montaperto. There is something very distressing about the sentence Montaperto received, and his continued support in certain federal circles.
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize must not be awarded human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, or else. The China's government has stressed this in no uncertain terms to visiting members of Norway's Parliament this week, Norwegian media report. Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Yesui allegedly made this threat his most important message to the delegates.
The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is due to be announced on October 13. Kadeer, who lives in exile in the US after being released from prison in 2004, is assumed to be a candidate for her advocacy of the rights of China's 8 million ethnic Uighurs. Beijing accuses the former businesswoman of terrorism.
The unabashed Chinese threat is roundly denounced both by officials and press in Norway. State Secretary at the Royal Norwegian Foreign Ministry, Raymond Johansen, slammed it as "totally unacceptable" and "inappropriate." "Whoever wins the Prize, the Norwegian Government is prepared to suffer whatever consequences may follow, as the [Norwegian Nobel] Committee does as it pleases," Johansen told newspaper Aftenposten on Friday. Meanwhile media draws parallells to the frustrated efforts of Nazi Germany to prevent the pacifist dissident Carl von Ossietzky from being awarded the prize in 1935. Adolf Hitler subsequently banned all Germans from receiving it "for all time."
In accordance with the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are appointed by, but independent of, Norway's Parliament -- an arrangement often disbelieved by authoritarian regimes. "It was hard for them to understand that we have no influence with the Committee," says Conservative party leader Erna Solberg, referring to the Beijing government.
The latter protested strenously when the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and later cautioned against awarding it to dissidents Wei Jingshen and Wang Dan, who were wrongly rumored to have been nominated for the world's most prestigious award.
Analysts familiar with the highly secretive committee's modus operandum believe such diplomatic protestations to be not only ineffective, but possibly outright counterproductive. If anything, the Norwegian Nobel Committee may well decide to take an extra look at Rebiya Kadeer's candidacy in light of the current ruckus.
September 06, 2006 ㅡ A dispute between China and South Korea over a 1,000-year-old Manchurian kingdom and its successor state has flared up again. A government research center in China released the texts of research papers that contend the Balhae Kingdom, which was established after the fall of the Goguryeo Kingdom and ruled the area from 698 to 926, was founded by Chinese minorities, was in China's sphere of influence and was, in effect, a Chinese provincial government.
Those claims threaten to trigger the kind of emotional reaction in Korea that appeared two years ago when the simmering dispute over the status of Goguryeo reached a flash point: Koreans accused China of "hijacking its history." Koreans say, with some historical justification, that Goguryeo was a predecessor state of modern Korea with no ethnic links or political subordination to the Middle Kingdom.
News reports here said the government, which intervened with China two years ago, would study the papers before responding.
The Center of China's Borderland History and Geography Research posted on its Web site a summary of 18 research papers that it announced in September 2005 but were not made public until now. One paper deals with the history of the Balhae Kingdom, and contends that it was not organized by descendants of the Goguryeo dynasty's people but by "minor tribes" in China. Another paper contends that Balhae's rulers were named by the Chinese emperor in Beijing, making Balhae a vassal state and saying its history cannot be separated from that of China.
A Foreign Ministry official said the documents are now being studied by the Northeast Asia History Foundation, a research institute set up by Seoul this year in the aftermath of the dispute in 2004 with the purpose of countering further historical claims by China.
In a development that Koreans consider related, Chinese media reported Monday that China is planning a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on the Chinese side of Mount Baekdu, known as Mount Changbai in China. The mountain, on the China-North Korea border, has mystical symbolism for many Koreans, especially in the North.
The case of a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who last week pleaded guilty to espionage-related charges highlights China's intelligence penetration of the U.S. government.
Former DIA analyst Ronald Montaperto was sentenced to three months in prison for illegally retaining classified documents. He was not charged on more serious spying charges, including passing top-secret information to a Chinese military intelligence officer, Yu Zhenhe.
According to court testimony, Montaperto signed in to a secure area of the Pentagon in 1988 and read top-secret intelligence reports on Chinese CSS-2 medium-range missile sales to Saudi Arabia, in November, and then in December read documents on Chinese C-802 anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran.
After each reading, Montaperto then met a short time later with Col. Yu, who was identified in court papers as a senior Chinese military intelligence officer.
U.S. officials said the disclosures by Montaperto coincided with the loss of a major electronic eavesdropping program that successfully spied on Chinese government links to illicit arms sales.
The loss of the communications link was a major blow to efforts to track Chinese arms sales, the officials said.
U.S. officials said investigators and prosecutors mishandled the Montaperto over more than a decade. He was first identified in the late 1990s by a Chinese defector as one of 10 "dear friends" who were informal agents of the Chinese government.
He was caught in 1991 improperly withholding classified documents but was not properly investigated by the FBI and was allowed to retain his security clearance, the officials said.
It was not until 2003 that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service re-investigated Montaperto and found that he had passed classified information.
China's plan to send a large contingent of peacekeeping troops to war-torn Lebanon--as many as 1,000, according to French President Jacques Chirac--is causing concern among some Israeli analysts, who see China as an increasingly meddlesome power in the Middle East.
The criticism contrasts sharply with Israel's history of supplying China with advanced military technology and arms.
Around 200 Chinese engineers already work for the United Nations in Lebanon clearing mines and unexploded ordnance. But the UN peacekeeping force is being expanded to uphold a shaky truce between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese proxy of China's Shiite Islamist ally, Iran.
There is growing evidence that Iran is resupplying Hezbollah with weapons through China's Arab ally, Syria, and Stalinist vassal, North Korea.
Chinese Communist Party intellectuals are attempting to condition world opinion ahead of a possible North Korean nuclear bomb test and new missile launching.
The party propagandists and analysts are spreading the word that the United States is not sincere about negotiating an end to the North Korean nuclear dispute and is instead determined to topple the regime of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il.
Zhang Liangui, an influential analyst who is considered one of Beijing's top North Korea experts, is telling foreign academicians and journalists that if the Bush administration was really serious about a peaceful solution to the North Korean problem, it would follow the example set by the Clinton administration. With ex-President Jimmy Carter as principal negotiator, Clinton agreed to a stunning 1994 appeasement plan under which Pyongyang agreed to end its nuclear program in exchange for fuel, food and a light-water nuclear reactor. The scheme essentially empowered and emboldened North Korea to continue its weapons programs, including the development of long-range missiles capable of striking the US and an arsenal of nuclear bombs.
Zhang has in the past argued that Kim's overthrow would be a disaster for Beijing, resulting in a mass exodus of North Korean refugees, the end of South Korean investment in China, and the elimination of a useful buffer state between China and South Korea, where some 30,000 US troops are stationed.
Zhang is believed to have close ties with Chinese military strategists. The People's Liberation Army--which lost over a million men fighting for North Korea during the Korean War--has a strong relationship with North Korea's armed forces.
The bilateral relationship has traditionally been described as being as close as "lips and teeth." China provides the secretive, Stalinist state with virtually all its fuel and most of its food.
Statistics recently published by the oil cartel OPEC show that Russia is currently extracting more oil than Saudi Arabia, making it the biggest producer of “black gold” in the world, the British Financial Times reported on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
OPEC statistics show that in the period since 2002 Russian companies have surpassed the Saudis as the world’s biggest oil producers on an on-and-off basis. The latest figures, however, have been hailed in Russia as evidence that such periodic production spikes are no one-offs and that Moscow really does have a right to lay claim to the number one spot.
According to OPEC, in June 2006 Russia extracted 9.236 million barrels of oil, which is 46,000 barrels more than Saudi Arabia. The statistics also showed that Russian production in the first half of this year increased to 235.8 million tons, a year-on-year improvement of 2.3 percent.
Jimmy Wales, founder of the open-forum internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, vowed yesterday he would not go down the same path as search engine Google by bowing to pressure from Beijing to censor sensitive articles.
Wikipedia, whose open invitation to write and edit articles has become increasingly popular in China, has been blocked by mainland censors since October. Mainland internet users have had to rely on a similar, but heavily censored clone, put together by Chinese Web portal Baidu, which puts a positive spin on events politically sensitive to Beijing such as the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989.
Mr Wales, chairman of the charity behind Wikipedia, told the first gathering of all-China Wikipedia users he is eager to make the encyclopaedia accessible on the mainland, but not at the expense of sacrificing its independence or its culture of allowing users to add to and modify its pool of knowledge.
In Hong Kong for three days to speak at the Chinese Wikimania 2006 conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he referred yesterday to the controversial decision by Google in February to bow to pressure from Beijing to introduce a censored version for the mainland in return for access to its market.
"One of the things deeply important to me, and to the entire Wikipedia community, is that whatever we do to become accessible in China, it not be viewed as what Google has done in compromising censorship.
"If there are subtle changes to policy that we can make which are acceptable anyway because ... we do it already in Germany or it's about quality, then it's fine.
"But it is not acceptable for us to do something to make sure the Chinese government authorises every edition of everything that comes out," Mr Wales added.
Chinese intelligence is biting its fingernails over the prospect of Fidel Castro’s demise in Cuba.
Hand-picked as the successor to his brother Fidel, Raul Castro is rightly known as the “Chinaman.” Ever since he visited China in 1997 he has been unstinting in his praise for the Beijing government and has played a key role in recent years in turning his island into a China-type bastion.
But according to Intelligence Online sources in Beijing, leaders of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and, even more, the intelligence agencies are worried about what they might lose if the Havana regime collapses.
This would include a major base for intercepting communications at Lourdes which was taken over from Russia’s GRU by the 3rd Bureau (Zongcan Sanbu) answering to the PLA’s general staff and headed by Qiu Rulin; a transmission station operated on conjunction with Cuba’s Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI) at the Bejucal intelligence base; a listening post at Jeruco some 50 km east of the complex at Lourdes; a Sino-Cuban intelligence liaison and transmission center in Havana; and, lastly, a hub for Humint exchanges between the DGI, which is lead by general Eduardo Delgado Rodriguez, and the 2nd Bureau of China’s state security department (Goanbu) run by Zhan Yongjie.
In addition, the PLA’s naval forces would lose a base on Pinetree Island, where some of their spy ships put in. They would also be denied a naval base at Cienfuegos, which would enable Chinese submarines to pose a direct threat to the U.S. in the case of conflict (over Taiwan, for instance).
The Lider Maximo’s health problems in recent times haven’t prevented major Chinese delegations from visiting Havana. The most significant trip took place in March when eight Chinese generals, including lieutenant-general Peng Xiaofeng, the political commissar of the Second Artillery Force (Di Er Pao Ping) and his chief of staff, lieutenant-general Yu Jixum, were received by the Cuban chief-of-staff, Alvaro Lopez Miera.
At the time the CIA submitted a report to president George W. Bush stating that the Second Artillery Force was in charge of China’s ballistic missiles and wondering whether Beijing would supply Cuba with imported missiles or help it design them on the island.
CHINA’S new top official in Tibet has embarked on a fierce campaign to crush loyalty to the exiled Dalai Lama and to extinguish religious beliefs among government officials.
Zhang Qingli was appointed Communist Party secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region in May. An ally of President Hu Jintao, Mr Zhang, 55, has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over this deeply Buddhist region. He was previously head of the paramilitary Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in that mainly Muslim western region, overseeing migration of ethnic Han Chinese as well as border security.
Mr Zhang’s drive to stamp out allegiance to the Dalai Lama, who fled to India during an anti-Chinese uprising in 1959, has adopted a tone rarely seen since the mid-1990s. Then Beijing began a barrage of rhetoric against the region’s god-king and banned his photograph after he enraged China by unilaterally announcing the discovery of the reincarnation of Tibet’s second holiest monk, the Panchen Lama.
In May Mr Zhang told senior party officials in the region that they were engaged in a “fight to the death” against the Dalai Lama. Since then he has implemented several new policies to try to erode the influence of the 71-year-old monk who China’s rulers believe is waging a covert campaign to win independence for his Himalayan homeland.
Ethnic Tibetan civil servants of all ranks have been banned from attending any religious ceremony or from entering a temple or monastery. Previously only party members were required to be atheist, but many of them quietly retained their Buddhist beliefs. Patriotic education campaigns in the monasteries that have been in the vanguard of anti-Chinese protests have been expanded. Ethnic Tibetan officials in Lhasa as well as in surrounding counties have been required to write criticisms of the Dalai Lama. Senior civil servants must produce 10,000-word essays while those in junior posts need write only 5,000-character condemnations.
LONDON - The United States should "shut up" with its concerns about China's growing military spending because the increase is no threat, a Chinese ambassador said Thursday.
Sha Zukang, China's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that American concerns about his country's growing military might were misguided.
"It's better for the U.S. to shut up," Sha said. "Keep quiet. It's much, much better."
Sha said the world need not worry about China's growing economic and military might because "China basically is a peace-loving nation."
"China's military buildup is not threatening anyone," Sha said. "This is a legitimate defense."
China's 2.3 million-member People's Liberation Army is the world's largest fighting force, and Beijing has alarmed its neighbors with double-digit percentage increases in military spending nearly every year for a decade.
U.S.-China military relations have been strained over a number of issues in recent years, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's push for Beijing to be more open about its defense priorities, its military budget and its nuclear arsenal.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will make a state visit to China this month, the government said today, amid efforts to increase his country’s oil sales to energy-hungry Beijing.
Chavez will visit China on August 22-27, said a brief statement on the Chinese foreign ministry web site. It said Chavez was formally invited by Chinese President Hu Jintao but did not give details of his itinerary or planned meetings.
Since taking office in 1998, Chavez has forged strong ties with Beijing. Oil-rich Venezuela is increasing its fuel shipments to China, which has been looking for new energy sources to fuel its blistering economic growth.
Venezuela, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, currently sells 70,000 barrels a day of mainly fuel oil to China, a fivefold increase from 2004. Chavez has said he would like to see total oil exports to China reach 300,000 barrels a day by the end of this year.
Research has revealed that North Korea systematically abducted young intellectuals, engineers, and public servants from the South during the Korean War under prearranged plans.
The War Abductees Information Center under the Korean War Abductees' Family Union (KWAFU) and economics professor Kim Myeong-ho at Kangnung University recently released the result of a complete survey of 96,013 abductees during the Korean War.
The research is the first survey of the time period of abductions and professions of all the war abductees reported so far.
According to the paper titled, Research on the Verified Analysis of the Realities of the Korean War Abductees, which Dong-A Ilbo obtained, a total of 84,659 people (88.2 percent) were abducted during the three months between July and September in 1950, immediate after the outbreak of the war.
During the period, 2,919 public servants, 2,836 engineers, 863 professors and teachers, 572 medical staffs, 190 judicial officers, and 169 politicians including assemblymen were abducted to North Korea.
Over 80 percent of the abductees were kidnapped from their homes or nearby their homes, which indicates that the North made a list of the people to kidnap and identified their home addresses. Furthermore, 69 percent of all abductees were in their 20s and 30s.
In regards to this, professor Kim's research team said that the communist regime purposely seized the so called "intellectuals" from the South to meet their needs for brains.
The statement of Kim Il Sung in 1946, which the War Abductees Information Center confirmed at the Unification Ministry's information center in 2004, also backs up the assumption of the research team that the abductions were planned in advance of the war.
In a statement under the title of "About Bringing Intellectuals from South Korea" on July 31, 1946, Kim Il-sung said, "To solve the problem of lacking intellectuals, we have to bring them from the South. We have to rescue them from the American imperialists and their collaborators."