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China Plans to Launch 17 Satellites in 2008

Huang Qiang, secretary-general of the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, revealed on January 7, 2008, that China plans to launch 15 rockets, 17 satellites and its third manned mission in 2008. The launch of Shenzhou VII in October will include a space walk; it wil initiate a joint effort with Russia to explore Mars in 2009. The agreement between China and Russia was signed on June 27, 2007.

Source: Southcn.com, January 8, 2008
http://news.southcn.com/china/zgkx/content/2008-01/08/content_4303378.htm http://bbs.tiexue.net/post2_2344250_1.html

China’s National Defense Adopts a New Policy

In its January issue, the Mirror Monthly (Hong Kong) published an article titled, “China’s National Defense Adopts an All New Policy Of ‘Empower the Nation and Build Up the Military.’” The article reports the speculation about the “China threat theory.” It states that the Chinese military has ended its era of “endurance,” in which it let economic growth take the precedence. Thus military growth is naturally the next step. It is in line with the direction given by Hu Jintao in his report delivered at the Seventeenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to “grow the nation and military together.” The article used the GDP growth rate as the benchmark to justify the increase in military spending. It claimed that the military spending increase is far from meeting the existing demand and the western world ought to expect a larger increase in the future and shouldn’t be alarmed.

Source: Military China, January 8, 2008
http://www.milchina.com/Get/ping/010812165.htm

Singapore and China Signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement

On Monday, January 7, 2008, in Beijing, Singapore and China signed a bilateral agreement on defense exchanges and security cooperation, formalizing on-going activities between Singapore’s Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). MINDEF says that it “marks a significant milestone in Singapore’s bilateral defense relationship and is a testament to the growing defense ties between Singapore and China.” The new agreement, written by Permanent Secretary for Defense Chiang Chie Foo and PLA’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General (LG) Ma Xiaotian, also includes new areas of cooperation such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. The deal was signed at the end of the inaugural China-Singapore Defense Policy Dialogue (DPD).

Source: Central News Agency, January, 7, 2008

Unwelcome Guests: Military Bombers Fly over Japanese Gas Field

According to Asahi Shimbun, on September 11 and 12, 2007, Chinese military bombers flew over a gas field in the East China Sea more than forty times. Japan‘s Self-Defense Forces’ F4 fighters scrambled to respond. At times, Chinese bombers and Japanese F4 fighters were only 5 kilometers apart. The encounters were confirmed by Taiwan‘s military sources and by the Japanese government. The gas field is Chunxiao gas field, which Japan has named ”Shirakaba,” or white birch.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, December 31, 2007
http://www.asahi.com/world/china/news/TKY200712300153.html

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