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First Flight of Wing Loong I-D Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The Chengdu Pterodactyl I, also known as Wing Loong, is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in the People’s Republic of China.

Wing Loong I-D is an upgraded variant of the Wing Loong I, built with all-composite materials, with improved aerodynamics and an engine enabling greater takeoff weight, service ceiling, and endurance. Other upgrades include both internal and external stores, as well as communications equipment. On December 23, Wing Loong I-D made its first flight at an airport in the west of China.

According to Xinhua, the Pterosaur drone series has undergone various rigorous environmental tests to achieve high-intensity normal use. The “Pterosaur” brand name has 100 percent ownership of intellectual property rights. The successful first flight of the Wing Loong I-D drone further enhanced the competitiveness of the Pterosaur series of drones.

Source: Xinhua, December 23, 2018

Quote from Huawei’s Senior VP – “Rely on Comrades on the Hidden Fronts to Take the Risks”

Overseas social networks recently circulated a speech that Huawei’s Senior Vice President, Chen Lifang, delivered in April, earlier this year, at a meeting with the company’s new employees. In one sentence, she mentioned “relying on comrades on the hidden fronts to take the risks” to obtain certain technologies on which the U.S. has imposed sanctions.

The quote was published on the Snowball’s (xueqiu) website, and other overseas websites carried it as well. The Senior Vice President cut to the chase at the meeting. “Why do we have to firmly study from the United States? How much do you understand about the real American manufacturing?” She gave examples of technologies on which China is still falling behind after 30 years of hard work. She said that in the field of composite materials, the process data accumulated by DuPont is more than 25 times what China has collected. In the field of turbofan engines, the number of materials and process tests completed in China is only 5 percent of what GE has done.

Chen expressed the belief that a long list of equipment, including smart grid advanced measuring instruments, material analysis precision testing instruments, mechanical performance testing equipment, new types of non-destructive testing equipment, environmental and safety testing instruments, and special defense testing instruments, all rely on imports. “For those technologies that are embargoed according to the Wassenaar Agreement (export controls for conventional weapons and sensitive dual-use goods and technologies), we can only rely on comrades working on the hidden fronts to take the risks to obtain them.

She also said that as for equipment such as high-reliability and sensitive sensors, new composites, optical fibers, MEMS, biosensors, high-end (especially military-grade) electronic devices and variable frequency speed control devices, we can only rely on special means of importing goods to acquire them.

Chen did not clarify the term “hidden fronts” and the “special means of importing goods.”

Source: Radio France International, December 29, 2018

Dai Xu: If U.S. Warship Intrudes into Our Territorial Water Again, Suggest Sinking It!

On December 8, China’s state media Global Times held its 2019 annual meeting. The theme was, “The China-U.S. competition and the Changing World.” In the discussion regarding the topic, “Will the smoke of war rise again in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait?,” Dai Xu, the president of the Institute of Marine Safety and Cooperation (and a military officer noted for being hawkish), asserted that, if U.S. warships illegally break into China’s territorial waters, suggest China dispatch two warships, one to stop it and one to sink it! “In our territorial waters, we don’t allow U.S. warships to sail at will.”

Dai Xu believes that whether in the South China Sea or the Taiwan Strait, the situation is not optimistic for next year. Tension will be high. “Why do you put the battlefield in the South China Sea and Taiwan? If there is tension in the Taiwan Strait, we don’t have to worry too much. The development of the economy is above all. We must rescue the top issue. However, if the opportunity is presented right in front of us, why not take it? So, the tense situation will instead accelerate our unification. It will only be the beginning of the liberation war. Therefore, we are not afraid of anything. We should be well prepared, wait, and see. As long as strategic opportunities arise, we should take action to put the situation under control.”

Dai Xu expressed the same view on the South China Sea issue, arguing that the “freedom of navigation” proclaimed by the United States is a provocation against China and an interference in sovereignty.

Source: Global Times, December 8, 2018

China’s Lunar Rover Mission to the Dark Side of the Moon

According to Chinese official media, the successful landing of Chang’e 4 is the first touchdown of a spacecraft on the far side of the moon in human history, the first Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 relay and exploration, and the first moon based low-frequency radio astronomical observation. It is also the first time in China for the measurement of the nighttime lunar soil temperature.

The China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) conducted the mission. The lunar rover carried a list of equipment to the Von Kármán Crater on the moon, including a topographic camera, a landing camera, a low-frequency radio spectrum analyzer, a panoramic camera, an infrared imaging spectrometer, and moon-receiving radar.

Source: The Paper, December 9, 2018

The U.S. Launches Encirclement Campaign against Huawei

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that the U.S government is undertaking an unusual “encirclement campaign” to work with its allied countries to cut off Huawei’s breathing room internationally. These governments include Germany, Italy, and Japan. The U.S. excuse for the campaign is national security and these countries all have U.S. military bases. The U.S. argued that the military operations have partial but significant communications dependency on the local communications infrastructure, and Huawei’s equipment introduces uncertainty and security concerns into that infrastructure. However, Huawei is now the world’s largest communications equipment provider (around 22 percent of the global market) and has a competitive pricing advantage. Realizing Huawei’s pricing power, the U.S. government has been offering subsidies to the allies who obtain communications equipment from any non-Huawei suppliers. For years, the U.S. government has also been mounting pressure on domestic Huawei buyers such as Best Buy. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no detailed knowledge and was unclear about the situation, but that China always asks its companies to obey domestic laws in foreign countries.

Source: Sohu, November 24, 2018

PLA Daily: Army to Transition into the Type Oriented toward a “Proactive Strategy”

On November 12, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily, the official voice of the Chinese military, published an opinion article titled, “Promoting the Transition of an Army into the Type Oriented toward a ‘Proactive Strategy.’”

“For a long time, the army has grown with the background of ‘active defense’ warfare, carrying out a ‘shield’ style of build-up and readiness. That is, the army has only passively responded when the enemy entered the country. This type of army is looking at the borders of the territory; its combat guideline is ‘defending the country and fighting against aggression.’ As history enters into the 21st century, the form of warfare is undergoing accelerated and profound changes. The development of the army must be based on the country’s strategic needs. It should have the courage to become the ‘backbone’ of information warfare and take the initiative to transition into the type that has a ‘proactive strategy.’”

“This strategy means planning and designing. It means to take the initiative, instead of relying on external forces, to make strategic plans and calculations. The army that has a ‘proactive strategy’ is in line with the trend of the evolution of the world’s military. It focuses on national strategic needs, works for the goal of ‘protecting its territory and its interests,’ proactively designs land warfare, and actively plans the development of a powerful modern new-type army.”

“Such an army has distinct characteristics: a strong sense of crisis, … a vast and broad strategic vision, … and a forward-looking land warfare design.”

Source: People’s Liberation Army Daily, November 12, 2018