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Private Arms Dealers Emerging in China

Arms production and sales have been solely controlled by the military system in China. But the situation is about to change now. Over 100 private enterprises entered the production and sale of military arms, according to a report by PLA Daily. Wang Baohe, from Shaanxi, is probably the first such private “arms dealer.” Wang developed a light wheeled tank which became a key piece of equipment for the Chinese engineer battalion of the U.N. peace-keeping missions it has joined. It also exported the tanks to eight countries through financial aid programs. Wang could start the business because the “Directives of PLA Arms Purchase” issued in October 2002 proposed to establish a coordinated army and civil arm production system.

Source: PLA Daily, November 20, 2008

Where Will Obama Lead the American Military to?

Xinhua published an analytical article speculating the policy changes when Obama swears to the office. The article includes three sections: 1) U.S. defense budget will continue to increase; 2) Withdraw from Iraq and increase military in Afghanistan; 3) Military strategy of moving toward East will not Change. In the third section, the article says, “During Bush administration, U.S. emphasizes to move the military Eastwards, adjust military presence in Korea and Japan, enhance military force in the Territory of Guam, actively working on the military base in Central Asian countries. American’s such strategy has the deep meaning of “working on” China. The article continues: “From Obama’s public statements during election, he does not have strong words on China. But he also said that China is neither enemy nor friend, but a competing opponent. This reflected his view on China.” The article concludes, “In reality, the ‘China Threat’ in U.S. has deep political background, the situation will not change as the national leaders change. It can be predicted that once Obama takes the office, he will possibly make no changes in the aspect of militarily encircling China. U.S. military will continue to have actions in Asian pacific area.”

Source: Xinhua, November 12, 2008

Expanding the Navigation System; China to Launch Dozen Satellites in 2009

China is planning to launch 12 satellites in 2009 as part of Big Dipper Satellite Navigation & Position System (BDSNPS), aiming to provide basic services to domestic and neighboring regions, said Ran Chengqi, deputy head of National Center of Satellite Navigation Project (NCSNP), at a conference on October 28.

BDSNPS was born in 2000. The dozen new satellites, adding onto its current five, is a major step toward a final complete system of 30+ satellites. Ran claimed that the system aims to expand services around the globe.

According to Xinhua, China started its R&D on satellite navigation in 1994, following US, Russia, and Europe.

Source: Xinhua, October 28

China to Launch Small Space Station in 2010-2011

Tiangong 1 is a "target vehicle" of China, which is planned to be launched after Shenzhou 7 and before Shenzhou 8. According to China National Space Administration (CNSA), it will be an eight ton "space laboratory module", and it is planned that Shenzhou 8, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 will dock with Tiangong 1 in two years (which is also its lifespan in design) after the launching of the latter to form China’s first space station.

Source: The Beijing News, September 30, 2008

Xinhua Defending Increases in China’s Defense Budget

Xinhua published a series of articles in the past few days defending the increases in China’s defense budget and further elaborating on how China feels about the speculation from the West over the lack of transparency in the defense budget.

One of the articles cited: “There is an unwritten rule that exists among US intelligent agencies that China’s publicized defense budget only accounts for half or one third of the actual spending. Therefore, the more information we share, more speculation it would bring. … Apparently, China’s defense budget has become their targeted topic.”

On September 5, Japan issued the 2008 Defense White Paper, in which, it named China for lack of transparency in its military spending.

Source: Xinhua, September 9, 2008

Jane’s Information Group Criticized for Hyping “China Threat” Theory

An article from Global Times criticized Jane’s Information Group for hyping the “China Threat” theory in its recently published report.  The report has predicted that China was to grow to be the largest weapons exporting country in the world. The article claimed that the military expense quoted by Jane’s Information Group was overstated without any support. It said that some western countries have never trusted the 2007 White Paper that China submitted. The article also said that the US needs to take the blame for over-hyping the “China Threat” theory. In the mean time, China will continue to grow its military power regardless of the speculations, cited the article.

Xinhua, September 7, 2008
Jane’s Industry Quarterly – China, India and Russia In The Changing Global Defence Market, September 3, 2008

Study Times Calls for Innovative Thinking in the Military

The publication of the Party School of the Communist Party, Study Times, published an article on September 1 entitled “Take Ideology into the Military Transformation.” The article states, “The key to carrying out and promoting military transformation is innovation. Ideology leads action.  People are the main body of the innovation.”  The article cited U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, Admiral William Owens and Admiral Arthur K Cebrowski as examples of such innovation.

Source:  Study Times, September 1, 2008

China’s Military General: No Country is Ready to Fight Against China

An article circulating on the Internet, has quoted claims made by Peng Guangqian, Military General of the Chinese Academy of Military Science: there are few countries that are able to fight a war against China; no country is ready to do that. Peng said that China’s military defense power has made major progress in the past decades. “Even if there are few countries that are able to fight against us, little is assured that those countries will survive even when they defeat China.”

Peng also pointed out that China’s military strategy is gradually shifting its focus from protecting the nation’s interest to surviving during a war. He said the adjustment is moving towards protecting the interest in the development of the country.

Source: Qiang Guo Forum, People’s Daily, September, 3, 2008