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Sputnik Chinese: China Launched Satellites for African and Latin American Countries

Sputnik Chinese, the news agency that the Russian government owns, reported that, on December 20, 2019, China launched an Ethiopian satellite and a Brazilian satellite with its Long March 4B rocket.

The Ethiopian satellite was the country’s first satellite. China designed and built it. Out of the total cost of US$ 7 million, China paid US$ 6 million for it.

The Brazilian satellite was the country’s sixth satellite. It is part of a joint Sino-Brazilian project.

A little earlier, China also sent two more Beidou Satellites of its own into space. It thus completed the 24-satellite setup of the Beidou global navigation system. 24 satellites are what is needed to provide full global coverage; both the U.S.’ GPS system and the Russian navigation system also use 24 satellites.

In 2019, China made 30 launches; it has sent over 50 spacecraft into space leading Russia and the U.S.

Source: Sputnik Chinese, December 21, 2019

Xi Jinping Promoted Nearly 100 Generals

In four days in December, Beijing promoted 96 generals.

On December 12, 2019, Xi Jinping promoted seven Chinese military officers to the rank of General.

On December 10, the army promoted 52 officers, including six to Lieutenant General and 46 to Major General.

On December 9, the armed police promoted 37 officers, including one to Lieutenant General and 36 to Major General.

Usually Beijing promotes generals around August 1st, the anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Liberation Army. Observers think that Xi did this large scale off-cycle promotion to impose stronger control over the military, as he is facing the U.S. trade war, Hong Kong Protests, a falling economy, and political rivalry inside the Communist Party.

Source: Epoch Times, December 12, 2019


Russia Concerned about China Copying Russian Weapons

Voice of America quoted a statement from an official in charge of intellectual property protection at a Russian technology group. He said that China has been copying Russian weapons and equipment on a large scale, from aircraft engines to Sukhoi fighters and from carrier-based aircraft to air defense missile systems and to portable air defense missiles. The official said that even the short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system Pantsir-S1 (NATO reporting name: SA-22 “Greyhound”) saw its copycat in China.

China has been a major buyer of Russian weapons and equipment for many years. Piracy is also a major problem in military and technical cooperation between the two countries. In the past two or three years, Russia’s major arms trading projects with China have included the Su-35 fighters and S-400 air defense missiles. However, China has purchased a very limited number of these weapons. Military analysts believe that the main purpose of China’s procurement of these weapons was imitation.

The Military-Industrial Courier, a weekly Russian newspaper, has published a long article saying that China developed the J-11B fighter on the basis of the Su-27 fighter aircraft and it also developed the J-15 on the basis of the carrier-based aircraft Su-33. The Xian H-6 bomber also comes from the Soviet Tupolev Tu-16 bomber. Furthermore, the armored fighting vehicles that started to equip the Chinese army in 2012 are also reminiscent of the two models of infantry fighting vehicles from the Soviet Union and Russia. China’s Yuan-class conventional-powered submarine also uses Russian technology.

Zvezda (Red Star), a Russian state-owned nationwide TV network that the Russian Ministry of Defense runs, has published a long story, detailing how China has been copying Soviet and Russian weapons and equipment since the 1950’s. The report said that 95 percent of current Chinese weapons and equipment have elements from Soviet or Russian weapons.

Source: Voice of America, December 15, 2019

Retired Taiwan General Sentenced for Receiving Political Donation from CCP’s Contact in Hong Kong

The Taipei Court sentenced Luo Wen-shan, a retired Lieutenant General, to 2.5 years in prison for violating the Political Donation Law.

In the past, Luo has served the Administrative Deputy Minister of National Defense and the Deputy Commander of the Joint Logistics Headquarters.

He was charged with receiving political donations from Hong Kong businessman Hui Chi-Ming amounting to a total of HK $2 million (US $255,500).

Hui immigrated to Hong Kong from Guangdong Province in the late 1980s and chairs the Hong Kong Hoifu Energy Group and Sino Union Petroleum & Chemical International. As a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, Hui has met with several of the Chinese Communist Party’s top leaders, including Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Hu Jintao, and Wen Jiabao. On multiple occasions, he has also led China’s delegation to visit other countries.

Luo also received HK $137,500 (US $17,563) from Ho Biu, another Hongkonger in August 2012.

Luo claimed that the money from Hui and from Ho was used to pay for the Presidential campaign advertisements for Ma Ying-jeou during the Taiwan elections and the cost of Hui’s meeting with Ma Ying-jeou and Lien Chan. Ma was the former Taiwan President and the Kuomintang Chairman. Lien also served as the Kuomintang Chairman and former Taiwan Premier.

Source: Radio Free Asia, December 3, 2019

China Decided to “Teach the United States a Hard Lesson.”

People’s Daily reported on December 2 that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a ban on U.S. military vessels and aircraft. They are now prohibited from using Hong Kong for logistics. At the same time, China also announced sanctions on a number of U.S. NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that China identified as “playing an evil role in the Hong Kong riots.” The People’s Daily commentary suggested that it’s about time to “teach the United States a hard lesson.”

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) reported on December 3, along with several Taiwanese media companies, that the Mainland ban should be considered an opportunity for Taiwan to extend an invitation to the U.S. Navy to dock at a Taiwanese port for logistical supplies. The U.S. never truly had a dependency on Hong Kong, and Taiwan can offer much better reliability for supplies.

Global Times published a commentary on December 6 that maintained the region is facing a historic change of military balance. China now has a far superior military power over the Taiwan Strait. The commentary explained that, if the U.S. and Taiwan get closer, Mainland aircraft can attempt flying over the Taiwanese presidential palace and the Mainland navy also has the option of entering the Taiwanese coastal line. The cost for the U.S. to intervene in a Taiwan Strait conflict is rapidly growing. So if Taiwan wants more collusion with the U.S., just go ahead.

(1) People’s Daily, December 2, 2019
(2) CNA, December 3, 2019
(3) Global Times, December 6, 2019

Belgium Trade Delegation Experienced Severe Cyberattacks in Beijing

The media from Belgium reported that the Belgian Trade Delegation experienced severe cyberattacks that were as high as 135 times per hour, while visiting Beijing.

Princess Astrid, Defense Minister Didier Reynders, and Minister for Security and the Interior Pieter De Crem led the delegation to visit Beijing and Shanghai from November 17 to 22.

Accordingly to Geert Baudewijns, a Belgium network security expert who was a member of the delegation, found it to be suspicious that he saw mobile devices outside their hotel in Beijing and all of their network traffic had to go through some specific network system. He brought a few laptops to China. Using special monitoring tools, he found his laptops were hacked into fairly often. Cyberattacks against his computer were as high as 135 times every hour.

It was hard to pinpoint the attacker. From the IP address, Baudewijns felt it might be related to China’s National Security office.

Source: Epoch Times, November 23, 2019