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Chinese President’s U.S. Package Falls Short

Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the U.N. 60th anniversary summit in New York on September 13. Before his U.N. mission, he is scheduled to visit Canada, Mexico and Washington, D.C. and have meetings with the North American leaders.

The U.S. trip will be the first one for Hu Jintao since he came to power in March 2003. Publicly, the meeting between Hu and Bush is expected to focus on issues over trade, Taiwan relations and North Korea’s nuclear program, among other things.

But the Chinese President seems to be more concerned with the scale of his U.S. reception than what will be talked about in the meeting. After more than two years since his ascension to the top position in China, Hu is eager to break out of the shadow of his predecessors and establish his own legacy. The visit to North America, particularly the meeting with U.S. President Bush, is therefore a very significant event, designed to bolster his image back in China as a recognized world leader.

Initially, Bush offered his Texas ranch to accommodate Hu, a perfect opportunity to discuss bilateral relations in a more relaxed environment and make real progress. But in the Chinese leader’s mind, "barbecue at Bush’s ranch" would be too casual and not in keeping with his image. Hu prefers a formal "state visit," complete with red carpet, a 21-gun salute at the White House, a state banquet, and joint statements before the media.

Prior to the trip, China demonstrated its goodwill toward Washington in expectation of a "state visit." On July 21, Beijing announced for the first time that it would allow the Chinese yuan to appreciate by two percent; on July 26, it restarted the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons; and on July 28, it announced the purchase of 50 airplanes from Boeing.

These gestures were not enough for Washington to grant him a "state visit." Instead, Hu was offered a "working visit" to meet with Bush for one hour at the White House on September 7. There will be no state banquet, either. White House spokesman Trent Duffy told reporters, "It is not an official state visit." Instead of a state dinner, Bush will host a luncheon for Hu at the White House.

To the Chinese leader, such an offer from Washington must be very disappointing. In order to save face, China’s state-run media continues to interpret it as a "state visit." In response to reporters’ questions, the spokesperson of Foreign Affairs Ministry Qing Gang stated, "Invited by President Bush, President Hu Jintao will make a state visit to the United States between September 5 and 8." Nevertheless, Hu should have gotten the messagethe United States is wary of the course that China is taking.
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Before Hu took office, many people had high expectations for him, believing that he would loosen China’s political controls, which would lead to a more open society. But the signs so far indicate that Hu is continuing the communist tradition and assuming an even harder-line approach. Hu is particularly strict on media control and has even vowed to learn from Cuba and North Korea to govern the country.

On August 2, 2005, China issued new rules restricting foreign investment in cultural products and media in China. According to the new government regulations reported by China’s state media, Xinhuanet, China will not permit any more overseas satellite television channels to land on its mainland and will not allow any foreign investment in the country’s news media.

Hu is also applying greater pressure on Taiwan. At the 2005 National People’s Conference, China passed a secession law giving China the "right" to attack Taiwan at any perceived signs of Taiwan independence. Beginning on August 18, 2005, China held an unprecedented, joint military exercise with Russia on China’s Shandong Peninsula. The eight-day military exercise involved nearly 10,000 troops from the two armies, navies, and air forces as well as airborne units, marine corps and logistics units. Although China, which footed the bill for the joint exercise, stated that it was not aimed at any specific target, many viewed Taiwan and the United States as the imagined enemies. Following the exercise, China also signed a massive arms deal with Russia to further put pressure on Taiwan and the United States.

From the Editor

Amidst predictions of the 21st century being "China’s century," China has steadily gained prominence over the past decade. Few discussions about trade and the global economy go by without China getting involved. The upcoming attendance of China’s President Hu Jintao in the 60th U.N. Summit in New York and his visit to North America are drawing a new wave of attention to the already hot topic of China’s present and ongoing role in the world.

For each of the past 10 years, China has been claiming a close to double-digit economic expansion spurred by unbridled international investment and is looking to become one of the world’s largest economies. Many tend to believe that China will be the driving force for future economic development, so no country can afford not to engage with China. On the other hand, China’s communist leadership refuses to budge on its repressive political system. At the same time, Beijing’s government is spending extravagantly on military build-up and modernization, thanks to its newfound economic muscle. Many have asked themselves: Is China’s rise a blessing or a threat to the world?

There are certainly arguments for both. To counter the "China threat" theory, Hu Jintao introduced the concept of "peaceful rise" through his top think tank assistant Long Yongtu at an international forum in 2004. While Hu has won some believers, recent developments in China do not bode well for a benign outcome. One recently defected Chinese diplomat’s story, featured in this issue, is particularly disconcerting. The Chinese government has been following former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s plan of "biding our time, building up our capabilities, and striking when the time is right." China is also using trade prospects to win over its neigboring countries and Western democracies such as France and Australia. Meanwhile, many view Beijing’s repeated saber-rattling toward Taiwan and related nuclear strike threats to the United States as warning signs of a belligerent, oppressive regime fueled by a powerful economya dicey proposition indeed.

Hu Jintao will likely continue to harp on China’s "peaceful rise" in his visit to North America. For sure, China needs a peaceful environment for it to prosper, and the world is hoping for the same. However, as long as China’s political landscape remains that of a totalitarian communist regime, the concept of such a peaceful rise is dubious, no matter how Hu spins it.

 

News Briefs

North Korea Exports Drugs to China

[Huaxiabao.org, Aug. 4, 2005] The number of drug smuggling cases has dramatically increased along the China-North Korea border within recent years. The more than 500-kilometer-long border (over 300 miles), home to one million ethnic Koreans, has become another drug zone along with southwest, southeast, and northwest China. Chinese police have seized drugs including crystal meth, solid heroin, ecstasy, yaba, and morphine. In just the first half of 2005, Chinese police in the northeast have had as many as 21 drug smuggling cases, involving more than 200 kilograms (about 440 lbs.) of drugs.

Top Kelon Heads Detained for Alleged Fraud

[Latelinenews.com, August 1, 2005] Gu Chujun, Chairman of the Board of Kelon, the well-known Chinese refrigerator and air-conditioner maker, was detained by police, along with Vice-President Yan Yousong, and Assistant to the President Jiang Yuan, for allegedly using 700 million yuan (US$43.4 million) of Kelon’s money fraudulently. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) is currently continuing its investigation into Kelon.

Beijing Faces Population Crisis

[Beijing Evening News, Aug. 1, 2005] Beijing is facing a maximum capacity crisis. By 2008, the population will reach 15 million; by 2010, 15.55 million; and by 2025, 17 million. After 2025, the population will level out around 16 million. According to experts, by 2010 the elderly population (age 60 and over) will reach 2.17 million, accounting for 14 percent of the total population. The peak of the aging population will be in 2045, when senior citizens will make up 38 percent of the population.

Beijing’s International Students on the Rise

[Central News Agency, July 25, 2005] According to estimates, by 2008 Beijing will have 80,000 international students. Experts of Chinese language studies worry that, facing the global popularity of the Chinese language, there will be a severe shortage of Chinese language teachers in Beijing as well as in the rest of China.

Officials in Sichuan Province Change Vehicle Plates by Pressing a Button

[Chongqing Evening News, July 26, 2005] An electric license plate-changing system installed in some government officials’ vehicles in Sichuan Province enables an eye-catching government official’s license plate to suddenly become an ordinary license plate at the touch of a button. It is reported that this kind of vehicle can be easily found next to luxurious businesses such as famous restaurants, nightclubs, saunas, and spas. For those cars that cannot change plates, business owners will cover both front and back plates tightly with a "fig leaf." After installing this face-changing equipment, some officials only need to press a button to show off their power and prestige, or to do something forbidden while not exposing their official identities.{mospagebreak}

Chinese Vice-Premier Comforts Army Forces in Xinjiang to Prevent Rebellion

[Central News Agency, Aug. 3, 2005] According to reports from the East Turkistan Information Center, Vice-Premier Huang Ju traveled to Xinjiang recently to comfort army forces stationed in the region. The trip was made to prevent the army from rebelling against the Chinese government, and to ensure stability during the Oct. 1, 2005, 50-year anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang.

Hong Kong University Professor Upsets Beijing, Ordered to Stop Bird Flu Research

[Apple Daily, July 18, 2005] Professor Guan Zhi, a virologist from Hong Kong University, enraged Beijing by exposing the fact that the Qinghai Bird Flu came from southern China, which contradicts statements made by the Chinese government. On July 9, 2005, authorities came to his Flu Research Center in Shangtou University and demanded that researchers destroy or hand in all flu samples. According to officials from the Agricultural Department, an order had been given to stop the Flu Research Center from conducting further bird flu research.

China Jams Sound of Hope Radio Broadcasts

[The Epoch Times, Aug. 7, 2005] Many audiences of the Sound of Hope International Radio Network in all areas of mainland China recently gave feedback to the radio network saying that, the daily four-hour broadcast to China has suffered severe jamming from the Chinese Communist Party and hence they could not receive the radio network’s program at all. A non-profit organization, The Sound of Hope Radio Network was established in 2003 in San Francisco, and has gained rapid popularity in the Chinese community. During these two years, the radio network has accumulated close to 20,000 broadcasting programs and interviews across the network, and has established branch stations in more than 30 cities in four continents world wide, and has been broadcasting into mainland China for four hours daily through shortwave.

Serious Pollution Harms Yellow River

[Xinhuanet, July 10, 2005] "A stench assailing the nostrils from 100 yards away, and churning black water constantly producing white foam." This is what a reporter witnessed lately at Tongguan County, Shanxi Province, where the Wei River flows into the Yellow River. The Yellow River’s largest tributary, the Wei River has lost almost all its useful functions and has instead become a black, stinking "Waste River."

[Xinhuanet, July 8, 2005] In the Gansu Province section of the Yellow River, 65.22 percent of city sewage is directly dispersed into the Yellow River untreated, which has resulted in serious pollution. The issue of preventing and treating the pollution at the Gansu section of the Yellow River has been brought to the attention of the National Political Consultative Conference standing committee.{mospagebreak}

Chinese Communist Government Officials Gamble with Government Money

[The Epoch Times, July 17, 2005] A recent Chinese Communist Party internal communication revealed that Chinese communist government officials use government money for high-stakes gambling at overseas gambling establishments. The communication reports that individuals from mainland China, especially high-ranking government officials at every level, gamble in Las Vegas, and pointed out that, "Regardless of how conservative the estimate is, Chinese gamblers throw away no less than one billion U.S. dollars in Las Vegas every year."

Four Thousand Corrupt Chinese Officials Flee with US$50 Billion

[Central News Agency, August 7, 2005] According to an official Chinese government investigation report, since the reform and open policy, about 40,000 corrupted officials have fled China with an estimated US$50 billion of stolen money.

China Raises Limit on Carrying Foreign Currency Abroad

[Mingpaonews.com, August 3, 2005] The State Administration of Foreign Exchange has raised the limit on foreign currency obtainable through foreign exchange for citizens leaving the country on personal business. Those staying abroad for less than six months can now exchange up to US$5,000 before leaving the country, instead of the previous limit of US$3,000.

More Than 10,000 Farmers in Zhejiang Province Protest Against Local Factory’s Environmental Pollution

[Voice of America, July 19, 2005] The farmers in Xinchang County, Zhejiang Province held a protest against a local pharmaceutical factory, Jingxin Pharmaceutical, because of its serious environmental pollution, and fought with the police. Now this pharmaceutical factory has suspended its production. Jingxin Pharmaceutical was established in 1990, and is a key high-tech enterprise.

200,000 People Die of Adverse Drug Reactions Each Year in China

[Central News Agency, August 1, 2005] Of the 50 million people hospitalized every year, 2.5 million are related to the improper use of drug therapy (including self-medication, obtaining drugs without prescriptions, counterfeit drugs, etc.). Adverse drug reaction causes nealy 200,000 deaths each year. According to Du Wenmin, the deputy director of the Shanghai Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Center, people who use drug therapy improperly account for 11 to 26 percent of the total drug consumers in China.{mospagebreak}

Shenzhen’s Population Exceeds 10 Million, Approaches Limit

[Central News Agency, July 31, 2005] By the end of June 2005, Shenzhen City’s actual population reached 10.35 million, although only 1.71 million have been officially registered as residents. It is the only mainland Chinese city with such a large gap between the registered population and non-registered population. The Shenzhen City Police Department’s newly published data shows that Shenzhen City’s population is approaching the city’s limit. If the population inflation cannot be effectively controlled, the environmental capacity of resources such as land, energy, and water will be very difficult to sustain.

2,672 People Died in Coal Mining Accidents in the First Half of 2005

[The Epoch Times, July 17, 2005] In the first half of 2005, there have been 2,672 deaths in China due to coal mining accidents, according to Chinese media reports on July 16, 2005. Official data shows that more than 5,000 people died in coal mining accidents last year. But according to independent observers, the real death toll is more likely approaching 20,000. In order to keep their coal mines from being shut down or fined, some coal mine authorities are deliberately falsifying death tolls.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s plan of "reorganizing coal mines" in view of the frequent accidents and deaths has never truly been carried out due to pressure from tight electricity supplies as well as recently increasing oil prices.

Gas Shortage in Guangzhou City

[Central News Agency, August 13, 2005] As the oil prices around the globe skyrocket, Guangzhou has witnessed its first gasoline shortage in decades, which has affected normal social life in Guangzhou. In recent days, hunting for gasoline has become very common among drivers in Guangzhou. Many gas stations in Guangzhou are posting signs "out of gas" or "short of gas," signs, while there are often long lines at stations that do have gas. Some drivers say that they don’t care about picking the type of gasoline, as they would be content with being able to fill up their gas tanks during the gas shortage. Guangdong Province consumes 40,000-50,000 metric tons of gasoline every day, while daily consumption in Guangzhou alone reaches nearly 10,000 metric tons.

Infected Pork Seized in Sichuan Province

[Xinhuanet, August 10, 2005] Since the outbreak of streptococcus suis in pigs in Sichuan Province, Sichuan’s Department of Industry and Commerce formed an emergency response center to handle the crisis in an attempt to prevent the meat or meat products of dead pigs from circulating in the market. According to this report, 29,000 kilograms (approximately 64,000 lbs.) of pork from infected pigs were seized. According to statistics, 214 people have been infected with the disease, and 39 of them have died of the outbreak. Many local departments have begun investigating local officials for failing to fulfill their duties. At present, 17 officials have been punished.{mospagebreak}

New Wave of Competition Among China’s Youth for Hong Kong’s Colleges

[Central News Agency, August 10, 2005] Eight of Hong Kong’s colleges will accept over 1,000 students this year from mainland China by expanding their acceptance coverage to 17 provinces in China, a fact that has helped create a new wave of applications for Hong Kong’s colleges. While the University of Hong Kong plans to accept 250 undergraduates, nearly 5,000 students have applied-twice the number from last year, and pushing the acceptance ratio to as high as 20 to one. The number of applicants in China for other Hong Kong colleges, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Baptist University, and Lingnan University, has also doubled this year.

China’s National Security Bureau Rejects Imprisoned Reporter’s Attempt to Hire Lawyer

[Central News Agency, August 25, 2005] Mary Lau, wife of Ching Cheong, a Hong Kong-based top China correspondent for Singapore’s The Straits Times, said yesterday that she had received a written notice from officials of China’s National Security Bureau, denying the family’s application to hire a lawyer for Ching. According to the notice, the application was rejected because Ching was still under investigation for allegedly taking money from and spying for Taiwan.

In a report from Xin Bao, Lau was quoted as saying that the authorities at the National Security Bureau denied the application based on Article 96 in the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China. Article 96 states that Ching Leong has the right, while detained, to hire a lawyer to defend him, file a complaint, or obtain a guarantor pending trial, but such an application must be approved by the investigating authorities.

One Seventh of Shanxi Province’s Land Left Hanging After Aggressive Coal Mining

[Nanfang Daily, August 28, 2005] As much as 20,000 square kilometers (over 7,700 square miles) of land in Shanxi Province is devoted to mining. Given Shanxi’s total land area of 156,000 square kilometers (over 60,000 square miles), almost one-seventh of Shanxi’s land has been affected by the mines. The resulting land subsidence has cost 2.6 billion yuan (US$321 million) in the past ten years alone.

A study by the Shanxi Ministry of Land and Resources indicates that 6,000 square kilometers (over 2,300 square miles) of Shangxi’s mined land are undergoing geological disasters. There have been 1,842 cases of land subsidence because of coal mining, with 47,000 hectares of land damaged, including 18,000 hectares of farmlands. In particular, in New Road Village of Wanbolin District, Taiyuan City, there are many cracks dozens of centimeters wide in the walls of villagers’ homes. The sinking ground has made many buildings tilt, while some of them have already collapsed.{mospagebreak}

Appealers Outraged at False State-Run Media Reports

[The Epoch Times, August 21, 2005] Recently, newspapers such as the Beijing Daily, Beijing Evening, Jinhua Times, and New Beijing, have followed official state-run media in reporting that, for the people who go to Beijing to appeal, 94 percent of their issues are resolved in Beijing. CCTV also broadcasted scenes where the Director of the Beijing Police Department personally interviewed appealers.

People who have been appealing to the government for extended periods of time were outraged at these false reports: "We, hundreds of people appealing day and night, have never seen even the shadow of the director. Where did they get that video? We have only been received by low-level office assistants. Aren’t they falsifying the news?"

On Germany’s General Election

[Editor’s note: China pays close attention to the general election in Germany. The article below is an analysis of what the result of the German presidential election may mean to China. The article was first published in China’s state-run media China Youth Daily and republished in Xinhuanet.com on September 29, 2005.]

It Is Not Good News to China If the Age of Schroeder Is Over

"Please hurry to find a solution!" The chaos after German election on September 18 made Mr. Barroso, President of the E.U. Commission, anxious. The headquarters of the European Union was expecting the deadlock between two German major political parties to end soon. It was because the German election not only has a huge impact on Germany itself, but also affects European Union’s nerves.

On September 28, two major German parties held a second round of negotiation. Various signs have indicated that, after a deadlock for ten days, to form a "grand coalition government" by Christian Democrats/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) would be more practical and popular. However, the two parties have not reached a clear compromise.

Outsiders need not to worry about complicated election and political struggles in Germany. Nonetheless, one has to pay attention to the impact of German election both on Germany and on other major powers in the world.

Which Direction Is European Political Situation Turning To?

As early as in May/June this year, referendums on "The treaty of European Constitution" held in France and Netherlands have failed one after another. After the July bombing in London, some politicians and analysts around the world believed that, having experienced these events, European countries will make a "right" turn in the future elections.

Germany is one of the largest member states of the European Union and it is also one of the "twin engines" for this giant ship of European Union. Not only has the German election served as a "wind cone" for the European politics but also has had a solid influence on the European political direction.

Prior to the election, CDU/CSU led the poll by 20 percent. It was believed in a lot of analyses and comments that right-wing Merkel would be the new Chancellor of Germany and the political trend in Germany would lead European politics to turn "right" altogether. However, the result of the election indicated that the left-wing has unexpectedly gained support from a large number of people. It was too early to have a "right-turn" conclusion. Even though two parties would reach a compromise that Merkel would take the position as Chancellor for the "grand coalition government," SPD would not easily give up its power in the coalition government. Merkel will not be able to follow her own agenda during her administration.
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The Guardian in the United Kingdom even believed that the European political trend is not turning "right" but "left." It reported that the German election has caused a strong reaction in France. The popularity of French right-wing political star Sarkozy faded. The right-wing government in Norway stepped down after a recent election. The British conservative party is unable to recover after a decline. Italian right wing and pro-U.S. government continues to lose people’s support and faces a risk of failure in the next year election. "In fact, the European political trend is not unclear."

European Union’s Foreign Policy Faces an Adjustment

Over the past several years, Germany led by Schroeder, and France led by Chirac, have been European Union’s "motors" and they are also two advocates for European Union’s independence in foreign relations and defense. It may be said that these two "brothers" have caused the United States endless headaches when dealing with Europe.

Schroeder and Chirac ganged up on Bush on the 2003 Iraq war, causing relations between Europe and the United States to slide to a new low since the end of the World War II. After Bush was re-elected, although both the United States and Europe have expressed their "good will" of "reconciliation," and Bush has had several meeting with Schroeder and Chirac to reconcile, the United States has taken a firm stance. Bush would oppose anything that is advantageous to Schroeder and Chirac. A good example is the United States’ stance against Germany to be "a permanent member the Security Council" in the reform of U.N. Security Council.

But after the German election, no matter who takes Chancellor’s office, the hard-line policy adopted in the age of Schroeder toward the United States would be gone forever. Whether in Germany or other European countries, it is believed that in the "post-Schroeder age" it is very important for Germany to fix its relations with the United States. Germany should show a positive attitude (advantageous to the United States) on the Iraq issue. Germany’s attitude on other issues, such as the nuclear problem in Iran, Syria and so on, would be more "flexible."

Since there is little hope for French President Chirac to be re-elected, the European Union, led by Germany, France and the United Kingdom, would be more cooperative with the United States in military and political integration.
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China-E.U. Relationship Would Enter a Phase of Adjustment

In recent years, China-E.U. relations have been heated up rapidly. Both sides established a strategic partnership and published "policy documents" toward each other. On the one hand, it is a natural result of the peaceful rising of China and the change of international environment. On the other hand, the friendly attitude toward China by Schroeder and Chirac is also a very important factor.

In the past two years, almost all of motions proposed to strengthen relations between the European Union and China have been strongly supported by France and Germany. On the issue of arms embargo against China, Schroeder and Chirac are part of the determined group to lift the ban.

From the perspective of realistic interests of both sides, it is a main trend that China and the European Union will continue to maintain close relationship. However, on some important issues that would bother China-E.U. relations, such as the arms embargo against China and the "position in the market economy," Merkel and next French President will not be as positive as in the age of Schroeder and Chirac. China-E.U. relations might enter a new phase of adjustment. Germany will take turn to be the Chairman State of the E.U. Commission in the first half of 2007. Then, we will see how Germany will further develop relations between China and the European Union.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2005-09/29/content_3560177.htm

The United States Worried About Losing Its Dominance of Space: Threatening to Destroy E.U. Satellite

[Editor’s note: The article below is translated from an article published on People’s Daily, official media of the Chinese Communist Party, on November 29, 2004, reflecting the views of the Chinese government on GPS technology.]

According to the October 24 [2004] issue of (American) Business Week, the U.S. military has drafted a detailed operation plan, "when necessary," to destroy satellites of the Galileo global satellite navigation system of European Union. After publication, it immediately drew high attention from all over the world. AFP, Reuters, the British Financial Times and the U.S. Washington Post re-published the news. The BBC even had a feature report on this issue, analyzing how the United States would handle the satellites of the Galileo system. Several media said that the act by the United States thickened the smell of the gunpowder in the air space.

Repeatedly Threatens to Attack

Business Week reported that after long time preparation, U.S. Air Force released a confidential document last August. Under Secretary of U.S. Air Force Peter Teets was one of its authors. In the document, he first asked: "What will we do ten years from now when American lives are put at risk because an adversary chooses the Galileo constellation, such a Global Positioning System, to attack American forces with precision?" He himself answered the question by saying that the "most wise" way for the United States is to attack satellites of the system.

This is not the first time that the United States threatened to attack satellites of the Galileo system. Business Week also revealed that previously U.S. and European officials held a special meeting in London to discuss the issue about the Galileo system. At the conference, U.S. officials requested the European side to make a concession of "not damaging American interests," but were refused. They had a heated argument. U.S. representatives threatened to destroy the Galileo satellite positioning system when necessary. Upon hearing these words, European representatives rebutted in anger that if the Galileo system will be used for the military or for a war against the United States by some countries, Europe will not turn off or jam satellite signals. A senior official who attended the meeting revealed that, after listening to European representatives’ hard-line position, U.S. representatives reacted "cool-headed," yet implied that the United States has made a plan to handle satellites that may pose a threat to U.S. interest in the future.

Our reporter interviewed Sanches, spokesperson for Galileo program of the European Commission about the report of the U. S. threats to satellites of the Galileo system. He stated that if there were people in the United States threatening such, it would be "unwise" and "such opinion would not be worthy of any comment by the European Union." Specifically he told the reporter that the United States always had reservations about the cooperation between Europe and China in this field. However, related parties have signed agreements. "It seemed to make no sense in further commenting."
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Why It Fears the Galileo

Why did the United States threaten to attack European satellites? The United States worried that, when the Galileo system starts to operate, the United States would lose its dominance of space.

In 1973, the United States started to develop the Global Positioning System (GPS). Having continuously improved the system for 20 years at the cost of US$20 billion, it finally was completed in 1994. The GPS consists of 24 satellites that orbit about 17,000 km above the earth. By using signals transmitted from the satellites, receivers on the ground may position their own locations and precisely discover a target. For military purposes, the GPS can navigate military aircraft, ships and missiles as well as locking up targets of attack. For civilian purposes, it can navigate airplanes, vessels, and motor vehicles. Today countries around the world use the GPS and the United States has made a huge profit. However, to prevent the military in "some countries" from utilizing the GPS to threaten the United States, it provides satellite signals of lower precision to other countries and the most precise satellite signals to its own military. In doing so, the United States is able to get the precise position of any object on earth while other countries can only have a "rough idea." Worse still, the United State can, if needed, disrupt signals transmitting to certain countries to paralyze the aircraft and vessels of these countries.

E.U.’s Galileo satellite positioning system poses a challenge to America’s "dominance of space." Europe proposed the Galileo program in 1999. It prepared to invest 3.6 billion euros and to launch 30 satellites into space at an altitude of 24,000 km as the Galileo satellite positioning system. E.U. pointed out that the said system would mostly be used for civilian purposes to provide precise positioning service with error range of 1 meter. In comparison with the American GPS, the Galileo system is more advanced and more reliable. The signals that the United States provides to other countries could discover an object of only about 10 meters long on the ground. However, Galileo could find an object of one meter long. A military expert made a vivid analogy that the GPS can find a street while the Galileo can find a door of a house. If Galileo is to be used for military purposes, it would mean that other countries would be equipped with a "far-sighted eye" that only the United States currently has it. The Business Week article believed the reason why the United States threatened to destroy the Galileo satellites is to a large extent "targeting China." Not long before the United States made the threat, China and European Union held a ceremony to sign the technology agreement for the Galileo program that allowed the cooperation of both parties to enter the critical operation stage. China is the first non-E.U. country that has participated in the Galileo program and China will have a 20 percent ownership of the system and full rights to use it. At a press conference held by Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry on October 26, a reporter raised the Business Week article. Zhang Qiyue, Spokesperson of Foreign Ministry, said that Galileo cooperation between China and Europe is completely for the purposes of civilian navigation technology and industry. There is no intent to target a third party in the cooperation between China and Europe. It is absurd and ridiculous that some reports or some people said that this cooperation would be devoted to military uses. "I would like to advise certain people to give up this cold war ideology," Zhang added.
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The United States Does Not Just Talk

In the early morning on October 26, British Broadcast Company carried a complete report on the threat by the United States. An expert said that it is not totally impossible for the United States to "destroy the satellites" as it threatened. In fact, U.S. military has already started preparation for a real-time operation in order to "cope with a threat from outer space."

According to U.S. media, soon after U.S. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld took office, he received a report from a confidential committee in the Pentagon. This committee is specifically responsible for the study of "the threat from outer space." Not long ago, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency made a highly classified proposal for weapon development, which started the process of "weapons entering the space." In the proposal, the Missile Defense Agency requested Congress to allocate $ 68 million in 2005 for the development of a satellite with offensive capabilities.

Then, how does the United States deal with the Galileo satellites? A British military expert thought that the "direct attack" would be the most effective measure for the U.S. military. According to U.S. media, U.S. Air Force is developing various space weapons. The "space bomber" draws most attention. It can fly beyond the atmosphere and launch missiles from 96 km above ground to attack enemy satellites. Moreover, the U.S. military is also developing anti-satellite missiles and space laser weapons. At the same time, the U.S. military has built space war troops, established a new "star war school" under the Air Force Command and set up two new troops for the attack and defense in a space war, respectively. U.S. military "space war" exercise has been carried out frequently. As early as 3 years ago, the U.S. military had held a five-day space war exercise titled "Schriever 2001," which brought back memories of the demonic "star war project" in the cold war. Since then, the U.S. military has carried on such space war exercise several times.

European Countries Will Not Compromise

Most European media held that European Union would not give in to U.S. threats. Firstly, this is European Union’s own need. At the launch of the Galileo program, Prodi, President of European Union Commission remarked that this is a matter of the future of Europe, a struggle between monopoly and anti-monopoly and a diplomatic struggle involving political, economic, military, and national interests. It brought back to the Europeans the pride no less than that of Airbus and Ariane rocket. French President Chirac refuted the United States that to give up the Galileo program would mean "to accept the present pitiful situation of a subordinate to the United States in the space sector." Nowadays, not only did the original 15 member countries of European Union but also the 10 countries that recently joined European Union participate in the development of Galileo system.
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Secondly, this is also the need of a lot of non-E.U. countries. Business Week believed that it is also possible for countries like Russia, Israel and others to join this program after China. A European scholar said that, taking China as an example, the overwhelming majority of its satellite navigation application is set up on the U.S. GPS. Once there is a war, the United States would turn off the application to China and consequence would be beyond prediction. Therefore, a big country such as China must have multiple satellite navigation systems.

Regarding this issue, the Business Week editorial warned that competition between Galileo and the GPS would cause the international community to have a new political split just as the Iraqi war, which would divide the international political arena into two big camps of pro-U.S. and anti-U.S. "In front of the conflict, all countries cannot help express their stance," said Business Week.

http://www.people.com.cn/GB/jingji/8215/41174/41178/3020351.html

On Satellite GPS Technology

[Editor’s note: The article below is translated from a news report published on Xinhuanet.com, a website of the Chinese government official news agency, on July 28, 2005. China has been very eager to develop satellite GPS technology.]

For the First Time China Participates in Galileo Satellite Program

On July 28 in Beijing, the Chinese general contractor for the European Galileo program signed three contracts with Galileo Joint Undertaking. China is the first non-E.U. country that signed a contract that deals specifically with applications.

The Galileo Industry, with 3.5 billion euro investment, is an independent global satellite navigation system for civilian usage developed by European Union. The United States controls the use of the current Global Positioning System (GPS) developed by the United States. The deployment of Galileo’s 30 navigation satellites and the ground devices will be completed by 2008. The system’s ground target precision is one meter, while the non-military precision of GPS is 10 meters.

Vice Minister Ma Songde of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology said during the signing ceremony: "The signing of the three contracts by China and European Union marked a substantial step of Chinese companies and the Galileo Industry. In the near future, China and European Union will sign more comprehensive, multi-level and advanced cooperation contracts." Mr. Ma is in charge of new technology R&D in the Ministry.

According to news sources, the contracts in the near future will include construction of space and ground devices for the Galileo system. Galileo’s first navigation satellite will be launched later this year.

Galileo Joint Undertaking Executive Director Rainer Grohe told the reporters, "Our cooperation will generate mutual benefits for each other."

Under these newly signed contracts, China will participate in development of applications in fishery, position-based service standardization, and restoration of positioning signal in the ionosphere in global satellite navigation system.

China National Remote Sensing Center Deputy Director Zhang Guocheng said, "Fishery application system utilizes global satellite navigation system to manage fishing boats. This is very important to China’s Fishery Industry." He added, "Position-based service is an important part of the application in consumer market. Restoration of positioning signal in ionosphere can help the receiver to function in areas where there is no signal."
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Chairman Meng Bo of China Galileo Industries Ltd., the Chinese general contractor, said, "Application of GPS is primarily for military and civilian usage is secondary. The U.S. side gives no guarantee to its customers, and the signals can be turned off any time without advance notice. Galileo system is primarily for civilians; they guarantee their customers that the signals will not be turned off arbitrarily.

China is the first non-E.U. country that participates in the Galileo program and pledged to provide 200 million euros for R&D. China has invested 70 million euros for technology development, the remaining 130 million euros will be used to deploy space and ground devices.

Based on E.U. predictions, Galileo system will bring revenue of tens of billions of euros and tens of thousands of jobs before 2020. China’s Galileo satellite navigation application will generate economic benefits of 260 billion yuan (US$31.7 billion) before 2020.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/ 2005-07/28/content_3280430.htm

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