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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
https://www.voachinese.com/a/russia-concerns-weapons-chinese-military-pirated-20191215/5206556.html

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
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/htm/tw-court-12032019134226.html?encoding=simplified

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.

Sources:
(1) People’s Daily, December 2, 2019
http://opinion.people.com.cn/n1/2019/1202/c1003-31486087.html
(2) CNA, December 3, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/201912030145.aspx
(3) Global Times, December 6, 2019
https://m.huanqiu.com/article/9CaKrnKobF2

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
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/11/23/n11676371.htm

Global Times: Russia is Prepared to Help Turkey Make Its Own Fifth-Generation Fighter Jets

Global Times reported on an intention that the Director of Rostec (the Russian State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Products, formally known as Russian Technologies) recently announced. Russia is ready to “provide technical help at any time” to Turkey to develop its own fifth-generation fighter jets. Russia obtained rich experience during its development of the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets. Russia has been delivering its S-400 air-defense missile systems to Turkey since July, which caused a relationship crisis between Turkey and the United States. Turkey plans to deploy the S-400 systems in April, 2020. Washington has delayed its delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey and threatened to cancel the F-35 contract with Turkey altogether. The United States asked Turkey to give up the use of the S-400 systems, but Turkey so far has resisted.

Source: Global Times, November 18, 2019
https://mil.huanqiu.com/article/7RHee2LIQi4

Why Are PLA Special Forces in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily reported on November 16, 2019, that the special forces of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have shown up in Hong Kong. Among the PLA soldiers stationed in Hong Kong who went to the street to clean up road blocks, quite a few wore shirts with Chinese characters of “Special Warfare Eighth Company (特战八连)” and “Snow Maple Battalion (雪枫特战营)” emblazoned on them.

The PLA West War Region established the “Snow Maple” unit in 2000, as the PLA’s first anti-terrorist special warfare force. The unit is called the “Sirius Commando,” with the “Special Warfare Eighth Company” as its core. {1}

People have been questioning whether the PLA special forces are connected to the over 200 “unexplained deaths” of Hong Kong youths since Hong Kong started the Anti-Extradition movement in June. {2}

On November 13th, Hong Kong Security Secretary Li Jiachao stated that, based on preliminary statistics, from June to September this year, there were 256 suicide cases in Hong Kong, an increase of 34 cases from the same period of last year; and 2,537 cases of dead bodies, an increase of 311 cases over the same period of last year. {3}

A Chinese person using the name “Yin Hui” (which might be a fake name to hide his identity) said that he was a police Captain in a city in China and escaped out from China about half year ago. After studying the pictures of the “floating corpses of protesters” in Hong Kong, he concluded that the PLA special forces used a special killing technique called Dim Mak. {4}

Mr. Yin came to an online commentary “Lu & Jiang Review” program as a special guest multiple times to talk about Hong Kong. {5} {6} {7} {8}

On November 15, Mr. Yin revealed, in on an online program, that he received information that the CCP transported 30 high-tech sniper rifles and 5,000 shock exposure bombs {to HK}. He believed those sniper rifles must be for the PLA special forces to use since HK police do not know how to use them.

On November 19, Mr. Yin and hosts Mr. Lu and Mr. Jiang discussed multiple reasons why the CCP sent those PLA special forces to Hong Kong:

1. To crack down on the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

2. To deal with any emerging private or hidden forces of rebellion.

3. To deal with any potential foreign (e.g., CIA) agents.

4. To monitor and control HK Government officers and police. Another PLA special force, the “Snow Leopard,” is stationed in Guangzhou, very close to Hong Kong. The CCP leaders may suspect a potential relationship exists between the “Snow Leopard” commanders and the HK officers and police. Therefore, they sent the “Snow Maple” unit, which has had experience in cracking down on riots in Xinjiang and destroying East Turkestan, so their soldiers were used to killing and would have less sympathy for the Hong Kong people.

They also concluded that the PLA special forces showing up on the streets had the purpose of warning the Western special forces and the Hong Kong government, and to threaten the Hong Kong protesters. {8}

Sources:
1. Oriental Daily, November 16, 2019
https://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/news/20191116/bkn-20191116203901914-1116_00822_001.html
2. Epoch Times, November 17, 2019
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/11/17/n11660720.htm
3. Hong Kong 01, November 13, 2019
https://www.hk01.com/社會新聞/397687/本港今年6月至9月256宗自殺-2537宗屍體發現等個案
4. Chinascope, November 14, 2019

CCP Special Forces Used Dim Mak Technique to Kill Hong Kong Protesters


5. YouTube, November 7, 2019

6. YouTube, November 8, 2019

7. YouTube, November 15, 2019

8. YouTube, November 19, 2019

UDN: China’s First Fully Domestically Made Aircraft Carrier Entered the Taiwan Strait

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, reported on November 17 that China’s first fully domestically made aircraft carrier led a fleet to enter the Taiwan Strait. On the same day, an official from the Taiwanese ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is pro-independence, announced Taiwan’s Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for the up-coming Taiwanese presidential election. Mainland newspaper Global Times called it “a coincidence” and said military exercises are “normal” and this event had nothing to do with the current regional situation. This aircraft carrier has done a few sea trial-runs already. However, it was still a surprise for many observers that it entered the Taiwan Strait when everyone was speculating at what point it will officially deploy to the Chinese Navy. During the period of time when the carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait, both the U.S. Navy and Japan sent warships to monitor its entire passage. According to some analysts, the carrier will be based in China’s Hainan Province in the South China Sea. The Chinese Navy now has two aircraft carriers.

Source: UDN, November 17, 2019
https://udn.com/news/story/7331/4170783

China Seeks to Become a Space Superpower

China is considering the development of an economy outside of the Earth’s perimeter and is planning to establish an Earth-Moon economic zone by 2050. Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of the Ministry of Science and Technology, quoted Bao Weimin, director of the Science and Technology Commission of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), who said that China plans to build an Earth-Moon space economic zone by the middle of this century. Experts predict that China’s annual output in the zone may reach US$10 trillion. Bao said that the development of the space economic zone will not only bring about huge economic benefits, but it will change the current socio-economic model. CASC is the main state-owned contractor for the Chinese space program.

Bao added that China should develop a reliable and low-cost space transportation system between the Earth and the Moon. According to its plan, China will accomplish the basic technology development by 2030 and the manufacture of key transportation technologies by 2040. By the middle of this century, China may successfully establish a space economic zone.

Beijing plans to launch a Mars exploration mission in 2020 and a Mars landing in 2021. Science and Technology Daily quoted Zhang Yulin, former chief of the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), who said that the plan for the future development of China’s manned space flight is neither a simple moon landing nor a manned Mars exploration. Rather, it is to preempt an opportunity to steadily develop and utilize the Earth-Moon space via continuous technological breakthroughs and accumulation. In recent years, China has made rapid strides in the space industry, including a large number of lunar exploration research projects. China’s annual investment in space projects is as high as US$8 billion, second only to the United States.

Source: BBC Chinese, November 6, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-50320040

Comac C919 Aircraft Development Benefited from Secrets Hacked from Western Companies

Crowdstrike, a U.S. cybersecurity research and consulting firm, recently released a report that examined China’s series of aggressive and frequent hacking operations that occurred during the years when Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (Comac) was developing its C919 commercial aircraft. Officials from China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), underground hacking groups and personnel, cyber security researchers, and employees (moles) of multiple companies in many countries were involved in the operations. The purpose of these hacking operations was to assist Comac’s development of the C919 commercial aircraft, obtain a large number of intellectual property rights from foreign companies, narrow the gap between China’s aviation industry and foreign manufacturers capable of making large passenger aircraft, and eventually to be able to compete with industry giants Boeing and Airbus.

Crowdstrike’s report revealed that MSS designated the Jiangsu provincial State Security division to carry out hacking attacks, while the Jiangsu division appointed two coordinators. One coordinator led the hacking team and the other was responsible for recruiting people from aerospace companies in different countries. Between 2010-2015, the hackers attacked a list of companies including U.S. electronic instruments and electromechanical devices manufacturer Ametek, U.S. multinational conglomerate Honeywell that produces engineering services and aerospace systems, French multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component and defense company Safran, U.S. gas turbine manufacturer Capstone, and General Electric.

These hacking operations are different from similar actions in the past. They attempted to recruit and utilize China’s underground hacking gangs whose mission is to gain access to the target company’s network and install malware such as Sakula, PlugX, and Winnti, use these software to find the proprietary intellectual property and trade secrets of the target company, and send the information to the remote servers. If these practices were unsuccessful, another MSS team would try to recruit Chinese employees in the target company and have them install malware on the company’s computer network.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 15, 2019
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/junshiwaijiao/nu1-10152019122804.html

BBC Chinese: China’s Naval Power Is Only behind the U.S.

BBC Chinese recently published an analysis on the growth of China’s Navy after the Cold War. With the end of the Soviet Union, the post Cold War period gave China a golden period of time to develop its economic power, which made China the only country that has the potential of establishing an aircraft-carrier-centered navy which is only behind the U.S. fleets. China’s media have been widely reporting on a new China-made carrier, which in August did its final trial sail before delivery. International observers observed that China has been speeding up its aircraft carrier shipbuilding. It is highly likely that China is aiming to build the next generation nuclear-powered carriers. The currently under-construction third Chinese carrier is expected to have important technology achievements. Assuming there is no major economic downturn, the Chinese economy can sustain a carrier-based navy. Today, China has the second highest military budget in the world. Russia is only number six. Chinese military officials commented in a number of earlier press interviews saying that China may need a minimum of five or six aircraft carriers to have “enough” in service with rotating maintenance schedules.

Source: BBC Chinese, September 25, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-49829195