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Xinhua: China Passed New National Defense Law

Xinhua recently reported that the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress just passed major amendments to the National Defense Law. The newly amended law established “Xi Jinping Thought” as the guiding principle in national defense activities and it enhanced the National Military Commission Chairman Accountability System. The amendments also defined new areas of national security and the need to defend the national interests in these areas. Xi Jinping’s foreign relationship principles have also been applied to policy directions on military related foreign affairs. The new amendments “decisively” clarified and reinforced the concept of “all-people national defense.” It requires that “all state organizations and armed forces, all political parties and people’s organizations, and all enterprises and institutions, social organizations and other organizations” must “support and participate” in national defense duties, and complete assigned national defense tasks. All citizens must strengthen their awareness of national defense. Students and public officials should also take military training or receive national defense education.

Source: Xinhua, December 26, 2020

Wang Yi Said any Issues between China and the U.S. Can Be Discussed, including Taiwan

China Review News Agency published a “Quick Commentary” in which it stated that, on the 7th, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a video exchange with a delegation from the US-China Business Council’s Board of Directors. He put forth five suggestions on promoting the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations, including opening up dialogues at all levels and strengthening communication. He expressed that any question can be raised at the negotiation table, including strategic, overall, and long-term issues. Discussions could also start on specific issues to seek breakthroughs and solutions.

He pointed out that the new US government will come to power on the 20th of next month. Therefore, this is an opportunity for China and the United States to reverse or ease the tense relations from the past three years. In addition to Wang Yi, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, and Fu Ying, the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, also recently sent out messages to promote talks, calling for the promotion of Sino-US relations to be put back on track.

Wang Yi pointed out that any issue between China and the United States can be brought to the table for discussion. His attitude seemed quite proactive and open, showing that the Chinese side is confident and determined. He pointed out that any issue could be discussed, including Taiwan and that, in recent years, the Trump administration has frequently played the “Taiwan card.” As part of the U.S. policy to contain China and decouple from China, the Taiwan Strait is most likely to become a tipping point for China and the United States, and communication and control are urgently needed.

Many people expect that the new US government will not easily let go of the “Taiwan card,” but they do not rule out the gradual adjustment of policies under pressure from China. In the past, between 2005 and 2008, in the late Bush administration, China and the United States once formed a situation of joint control and containment of “Taiwan independence.” Now, China has more strength and determination to crack down on any external intervention and crack down on the separatist activities of those who favor “Taiwan independence.”

China’s side has taken the initiative to send out messages and appeals to promote talks, and it is also preparing for the opening of dialogues at all levels between China and the United States. Biden’s victory did bring a turning point for returning Sino-US relations to the right track and a resumption of dialogue between the two sides can be expected. Enhancing communication will make it possible for both sides to manage differences and to expand the convergence of interests effectively, which will be beneficial to the stability of the situation across the Taiwan Strait. [Editor’s note: This report, which was on a number of major Chinese media websites on Dec. 8, 2020, shows how confident Wang Yi is on Biden’s victory and on the Biden administration’s cooperation. This report can be no longer be found online but has been archived.


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: China’s Rocket Force Increased over 35 Percent in Three Years

A report titled, “Chinese nuclear forces, 2020” was published on December 10 as a result of the research of Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project with the Federation of American Scientists, and Matt Korda, a research associate with the project. The report examines China’s nuclear arsenal, which is estimated to have surpassed France’s as the world’s third largest.

The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF), formerly the Second Artillery Corps (SAC), is China’s strategic and tactical missile force. The PLARF is a component part of the People’s Liberation Army and controls the nation’s arsenal of land-based ballistic missiles—both nuclear and conventional.

According to the December 10 report, “the number of ballistic missile brigades has increased by over 35 percent in just three years. Some of those are still under construction.  … We estimate the PLA Rocket Force currently has up to 40 brigades with ballistic or cruise missile launchers. Of those brigades, approximately half operate ballistic missile launchers with nuclear capability, a number that is likely to grow further as bases currently under construction are completed.”

The report stated that 12 of the brigades belonged to the eastern and southern command theaters, which mainly deal with Taiwan and South China Sea affairs.

The Chinese government did not publish nuclear weaponry information such as the number of warheads. The report estimated that “China has produced a stockpile of approximately 350 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 272 are for delivery by more than 240 operational land-based ballistic missiles, 48 sea-based ballistic missiles, and 20 nuclear gravity bombs assigned to bombers. The remaining 78 warheads are intended to arm additional land- and sea-based missiles that are in the process of being fielded.”

As of 2019, the U.S. had an inventory of 3,800 nuclear warheads, while early this year, Russia had 4,500.

Although China only recently has begun to reassign a formal nuclear mission to the PLA Air Force units, it is developing a bomber with a longer range and improved capabilities to replace its current H-6 bombers. “US officials have stated for several years that the new bomber, known as H-20, will have a nuclear capability. In early 2020 the US Defense Department described the H-20 as a ‘stealth’ bomber whose production will begin within 10 years.”

Although the Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) are still a very noisy design, “it seems likely that China will end production after its now-completed six boats and will turn its efforts to developing the quieter third-generation (Type 096) SSBN, which is scheduled to begin construction in the early 2020s. The completion of a new construction hall at Huludao, where the PLA Navy’s submarines are built, indicates that work may soon begin on the Type 096, which is expected to be larger and heavier than the Type 094.”

Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 10, 2020

Professor Claims Chinese Academy of Sciences Developed Hypersonic Jet Engine

At the end of November, the team of Professor Jiang Zonglin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Mechanics published a research paper in the Chinese Journal of Aeronautics, a peer-reviewed academic publication. In his paper, he claimed that the Academy has developed a “standing oblique detonation ramjet engine,” or sodramjet for short. The team said that the engine could take a flight at up to 16 times the speed of sound and an aircraft powered by such an engine could reach anywhere in the world within two hours.

According to the South China Morning Post, the sodramjet was an American idea. An engineer named Richard Morrison came up with the idea and presented it in a 1980 paper that can be downloaded from NASA’s website.

Dr. Uzi Rubin, founder and first director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, an expert in hypersonic missiles, said the new design was still “very experimental” and its advantages still remained uncertain. He said, “Even though it looks promising … it will take about a generation for it to be used commercially.”  “I believe that hypersonic human flight is not imminent, if it can be done at all.”

Source; Radio Free Asia, December 6, 2020

Chinese Arms Companies’ Sales Increased by 4.8 Percent in 2019

On December 7, 2020, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) issued a report on the state of the global arms industry in 2019. “The data showed that arms sales of the world’s 25 largest arms-producing and military services companies (arms companies) totaled US$361 billion in 2019.”

“12 U.S. companies appear in the top 25 for 2019. They account for 61 percent of the combined arms sales of those top 25.”

“The top 25 also includes four Chinese companies. Three are in the top 10: Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC; ranked 6th), China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC; ranked 8th) and China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO; ranked 9th). The combined revenue of the four Chinese companies in the top 25—which also includes China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC; ranked 24th)—grew by 4.8 per cent between 2018 and 2019.”

SIPRI Senior Researcher Nan Tian said, “The Chinese arms companies are benefiting from military modernization programs for the People’s Liberation Army.”

“After the USA, China accounted for the second largest share of the 2019 arms sales of the top 25 arms companies. Its share was 16 percent.”

Source: SIPRI, December 7, 2020

Former Raytheon Engineer Sentenced for Violating Arms Export Control Act

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday, November 18, that the Arizona District Court sentenced Wei Sun, a 49-year-old Chinese engineer, to 38 months in prison. Sun previously pled guilty to a felony charge of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).

According to the DOJ’s press release, Sun is a naturalized citizen of the United States. “Sun was employed in Tucson for 10 years as an electrical engineer with Raytheon Missiles and Defense. Raytheon Missiles and Defense develops and produces missile systems for the United States military. During his employment with the company, Sun had access to information directly related to defense-related technology. Some of this defense technical information constituted what is defined as ‘defense articles,’ which are controlled and prohibited from export without a license under the AECA and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR).”

“From December 2018 to January 2019, Sun traveled from the United States to China on a personal trip. On that trip, Sun brought along unclassified technical information on his company-issued computer, including data associated with an advanced missile guidance system that was controlled and regulated under the AECA and the ITAR.”

“Despite having been trained to handle these materials correctly, Sun knowingly transported the information to China without an export license in violation of the AECA and the ITAR.”

According to Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers, “Sun was a highly skilled engineer entrusted with sensitive missile technology that he knew he could not legally transfer to hostile hands.” “Nevertheless, he delivered that controlled technology to China. Today’s sentence should stand as a warning to others who might be tempted similarly to put the nation’s security at risk.”

Source: Department of Justice, November 18, 2020

China USES Microwave Weapons against India

A few days ago it was reported that the Chinese military used microwave weapons to retake the two hills that the Indian army occupied after the standoff that occurred at the disputed border for several months. By releasing microwaves at the foot of the mountain, the Chinese military turned the mountain top into a “microwave oven.” The Indian troops on the mountain began to vomit and couldn’t stand and eventually had to leave.

Microwave is a high-frequency electromagnetic wave with a radiation wavelength range from one millimeter to one meter, a frequency between 0.3 GHZ and 300 GHZ, and a propagation speed equal to the speed of light. Microwave weapons, also known as radio frequency weapons or electromagnetic pulse weapons and can be used to attack the electronic systems of various weapons and equipment. This is especially important information with regard to warfare targets such as command and control centers and communication transmission networks, causing the entire combat command system a “sudden death.” It can also penetrate armor to kill the personnel directly.

In the field of microwave weapons, the United States, China, and Russia are the leading countries in research and development.

On January 9, 2017, a research team at China’s Northwest Institute of Nuclear Technology was awarded the first prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award for 2016. The winning project was the “High Power Microwave Anti-Missile System.” Huang Wenhua, the team lead, said, “This achievement is for a disruptive technology that represents a major leap forward. It is also a pioneer internationally.”

China’s high-power microwave anti-missile system can be used for naval air defense and anti-missile warfare. It is reported that China’s Type 055 destroyer is equipped with a microwave anti-missile system which can disable the electronic equipment of incoming enemy aircraft and missiles, and even burn the enemy’s pilots. once quoted a paper in March 2017 and reported that China’s microwave weapons are currently undergoing a series of tests for aircraft self-defense, space control, suppression of enemy air forces, and combat command and control communications. It also successfully developed gigawatt-class high-power microwave air defense weapons, and conducted experiments to destroy aircraft and other targets.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, November 16, 2020

China Built a New Tunnel in the Doklam Region between China and India

Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported, according to Indian media, that new satellite images showed China has built a new tunnel in the Doklam region where China and India had more than 70 days of military confrontation in 2017. The new tunnel is around 500 meters and will ensure smooth winter time military deployments. In winter, for several months, the Doklam region is often fully covered with heavy snow. If there were no such tunnel, entering that region could be significantly disrupted. China constructed this critical tunnel while having another military conflict with India in the eastern Ladakh region. So far China and India have conducted eight rounds of negotiations without reaching an agreement. There is no plan to disengage on either side. It appears that the current military confrontation will continue through the entire winter. While China was improving road conditions, India also strengthened its road quality in the Doklam region to ensure swift military operations. In the past three years, China more than doubled the number of air force bases, air defense positions, and helicopter airports. As soon as the construction is completed, these facilities will provide strong support for the Chinese military  .

Source: Sina, November 12, 2020