Chinese Military Plans Foreign Port Destruction

Ellanjay

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A Chinese military drone is presented during a military parade on Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2015. (Rolex Dela Pena/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese military drone is presented during a military parade on Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sept. 3, 2015. (Rolex Dela Pena/AFP/Getty Images)
Thinking About China

Chinese Military Plans Foreign Port Destruction​

Stealthy underwater explosions, drone fighter jets, and military AI reveal the CCP’s technological aggression
Anders Corr
Anders Corr
November 2, 2021 Updated: November 3, 2021
News Analysis
The Chinese military is unveiling a range of sophisticated military technologies, from underwater stealth attacks against foreign ports, to drone fighters and military artificial intelligence (AI).
China’s military is testing stealthy underwater explosions for purposes of the destruction of foreign ports, according to the Global Times, an ultra-nationalist news outlet controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“If we can use stealthy ways, like underwater explosions to destroy the ports, we can kill off the enemy’s war potential,” Captain Zhao Pengduo, the deputy director of the Naval Port Demolition Test Program, said on a China Central Television (CCTV) program.
Just in case the West missed it, the Global Times translated the comments and published them on Oct. 25. The testing and its publication, in English, could be an attempt to prove the credibility of China’s naval threat to the United States as tensions rise over Taiwan, the South China Sea, and Japan’s Senkaku Islands, all of which Beijing claims as its territory. The CCP thus reveals that its intentions are not honorable.
Scientific sensors were placed on the small wharf for the test prior to its destruction. Chinese state media reported that “as the explosion took place, nearly 1,000 pieces of data were gathered, which were then analyzed to accurately evaluate how the wharf was damaged … noting that this will provide scientific support to attack hostile ports in a real war.”
According to a Beijing military expert quoted by the Global Times, “This tactic can play a significant role in many combat scenarios, including countering the US’ naval warfare aimed at China.”
The expert continued, “Since the US now understands its large vessels like aircraft carriers and large military facilities near China are vulnerable to attacks, it is scattering its forces to … smaller locations.”
The expert claimed that the scattering of the U.S. Navy would make logistics, command, and communications more difficult, presumably forcing U.S. ships to rely on numerous regional ports that are vulnerable to China’s stealthy underwater explosions. Beijing’s military strategy is apparently to force the failure of port-based logistics chains upon which the U.S. and allied navies rely.
Stealthy underwater explosions could be facilitated by AI enabled drones. So as concerning is a new report from Georgetown University that claims the Chinese military could be spending more on AI than the United States.
In this Oct. 1, 2009, photo a truck loaded with the Chinese made drone, the ASN-207, takes part in a military parade. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) A truck loaded with the Chinese made drone, the ASN-207, takes part in a military parade in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2009. (Vincent Thian/AP)
Based on publicly-available Chinese military procurement records, the Georgetown researchers conclude that the Chinese military spends between $1.6 billion and $2.7 billion annually on AI; while the United States only spent from $800 million to $1.3 billion last year. The Chinese military’s primary source of AI technology may be the United States, according to the report.
Georgetown researcher Ryan Fedasiuk, who coauthored the report, claims that the Chinese military bought AI systems “designed to identify undersea vehicles, wargame Taiwan operations, track U.S. Navy ships, and deploy electronic countermeasures.”
AI will be critical to the future of air combat as well. Simulations over the past couple of years have shown that AI-enabled fighter jets often out-compete their human-only cousins.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Oct. 29 that China’s air force could test the world’s first two-seat stealth fighter within the next two weeks. One of the pilots would operate the plane, a variation of the J-20 Weilong Mighty Dragon, and the other will operate AI-enabled “loyal wingman” drones that accompany the J-20 into battle.
“Experts said the variant showed China had beaten the US and other competitors,” according to the SCMP, which is owned by China’s Alibaba Group. Development of the J-20 variant “was an attempt to prove that the US concept of next generation air dominance (NGAD) could be successfully applied in Chinese aircraft technology,” the report said.
Prior news of China’s hypersonic missile development, and installation of hundreds of intercontinental ballistic missile silos in the Xinjiang region, add to more recent concerns of underwater explosion tests, AI progress, and stealth fighter jet development to paint a dim picture of the CCP’s intentions and willingness to execute goals such as the invasion of Taiwan.
U.S. lawmakers and regulators recently responded to Beijing’s increasingly threatening behavior, including through the essential disruption of China’s theft of American intellectual property that fuels the Chinese military-industrial complex. One effective way to approach this is by clamping down on some of China’s most important technology companies.
On Oct. 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appealed to national security considerations in the revocation of a China Telecom subsidiary’s authorization to operate in the United States.
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Oct. 28 for legislation that prevents U.S. regulators from granting new equipment licenses to five companies designated on the FCC’s “Covered Equipment or Services List.” The companies include Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Zhejiang Dahua, all of which are considered to be security threats.
In a vote of 420 to 4, the House had previously approved the law. The majority is veto proof in both houses, so President Joe Biden will likely sign the bill into law shortly.
But restrictions on Beijing’s ability to steal American technology are entirely inadequate to date. The Georgetown study found that the U.S. Commerce Department only restricts 22 of 273 firms that supply the Chinese military. Fedasiuk wrote in a tweet, “Almost none are subject to financial sanctions.”
The United States must get much more serious about defeating Beijing’s plans to steal American technology and use it to build the CCP’s economic and military strength against democracy and human rights on a global scale. More subsidies of American technology, before stopping the technology leakage problem, could only make it worse. The $250 billion U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, for example, is currently held up in the House. It includes massive technology subsidies geared for the competition with China, and should be revised to ensure that the CCP does not thereby benefit more than America.
Anders Corr has a bachelor’s/master’s in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. He authored “The Concentration of Power” (forthcoming in 2021) and “No Trespassing,” and edited “Great Powers, Grand Strategies.”
 

Ellanjay

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China’s Control of Global Supply Chains Will Extend to the Sea and Moon​

A cargo ship moves toward the Bayonne Bridge as it heads into port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Oct. 13, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A cargo ship moves toward the Bayonne Bridge as it heads into port in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Oct. 13, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Thinking About China

China’s Control of Global Supply Chains Will Extend to the Sea and Moon​

Nearly all electronics depend on China regardless of where it is ‘made’

Antonio Graceffo
November 2, 2021 Updated: November 3, 2021
News Analysis

When it comes to supply chains, all roads lead to China, even if the products are “made” elsewhere.
A laptop sold in the United States, with a “Made in China” sticker, is assembled in China, and many of the components are also sourced from China. This is the easy part of tracing global supply chains, as most consumers know that the large components of many everyday products come from, or are assembled, in China. The part that many people do not know, and the reason why China is able to dominate global supply chains so thoroughly, is that the small things—the metals and elements that are crucial to making electronics work—are also dependent on China.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 11th and 12th Five-Year Plans encouraged Chinese companies to invest overseas, while it pledged financing and support from Chinese state-owned banks. One of the goals stressed in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) was to strengthen China’s position in metals.
The 13th Five Year Plan, which spanned from 2016 to 2020, was dubbed a “decisive battle period” by the CCP, which sought to control the global nonferrous metal industry. This strategy is coupled with “Made in China 2025,” which seeks to dramatically expand China’s strategic industries and national defense, as well as science and technology. To this end, an action plan for China’s metals industry to achieve world power status was announced in October 2016 by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The CCP’s Five-Year Plans, Made in China 2025, as well as achieving world status in metals, all included directives for state-owned enterprises—funded by state-owned banks—to purchase and control mines in resource-rich countries around the globe.
To further ensure the country’s domination of mineral markets, Beijing imposed export restrictions on those elements that are produced in China. These restrictions have been the subject of World Trade Organization grievances that were filed by the United States and the European Union, as well as Japan and Mexico, citing unfair competition.
Several laptop brands advertise themselves as “not made in China,” but this is a bit of a misnomer, because even these laptops are dependent on inputs from China. The typical laptop contains many, or all, of the following elements that originate from countries spread out across the world, but which are controlled by the Chinese regime: graphite, cobalt, lithium, chromium, vanadium, magnesium, antimony, and copper.
Epoch Times Photo Workers drain away polluted water near the Zijin copper mine in Shanghang, China, on July 13, 2010. Pollution from the mine contaminated the Ting river, a major waterway in southeast China’s Fujian Province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
China, alone, supplies or controls half of the raw materials used across the world. Graphite used in rechargeable batteries is found in China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Madagascar, but 69 percent of it comes from China. Cobalt originates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where Beijing controls 35 mining companies. China controls 86 percent of the global supply of magnesium, although this element can be found in the United States, Israel, Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey.
Ninety percent of the world’s lithium comes from Chile, Argentina, and Australia. Through investment in local companies, China now controls 59 percent of the global supply. And it is not just developing countries that are giving up their resources in exchange for Chinese cash. In Australia, China now controls 91 percent of all lithium mining, as well as 75 percent of the country’s reserves.
Two of the primary sources of vanadium are Kazakhstan and South Africa, both of which are members of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as “One Belt, One Road”). In Kazakhstan, the China Development Bank (CDB) is heavily funding the mining sector. And in South Africa, Beijing is now planning investments in vanadium mines.
Chinese companies also bought significant stakes in the largest copper mines in the DRC. In total, China owns 30 overseas copper projects in the operating stage, and an additional 38 in the exploration stage.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest chromium reserve, accounting for about 12 percent of the global total. China is the world’s largest consumer of chrome and chromium, and secures its supplies by investing in extraction in countries such as Cuba and Zimbabwe. Over the past five years, China has invested billions in Zimbabwe’s metals sector, and is a major owner in one of the country’s largest chrome-mining companies, Zimbabwe Mining and Alloy Smelting Company (ZIMASCO).
Locals describe the China-Zimbabwe relationship as exchanging mining equipment and technology for ore. This is a pattern and a strategy that China has used in resource-rich countries across the globe. Namely, that China provides construction and technological services to the local mines. In exchange, the mines agree to sell a percentage of their output to Chinese companies at an agreed upon price. Other tools used by the CCP include mergers and acquisitions, whereby Chinese companies, many of them state-owned and funded by state-owned financial institutions, purchase controlling interest in local mining companies.
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa reviews a military honor guard with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 3, 2018. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images) Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa reviews a military honor guard with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 3, 2018. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ellanjay

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[Continues from last post]
A traditional leader in Mashonaland Central, a province in Zimbabwe, accused China of looting the country’s mineral resources. Local miners have complained that the Chinese regime exploits workers. In one incident, a Chinese manager of a mining company shot two Zimbabwean workers over a wage dispute in June last year.
China controls 90 percent of the world’s antimony supply and, until one year ago, owned 100 percent of the antimony processing plants. Once antimony is extracted from the ground, it must be processed into ingots in order to be used in the manufacture of other goods. Although antimony is found in Russia, Australia, and Tajikistan, nearly all of it is sent to China for processing. Last year, for the first time in 30 years, an antimony processing plant, called a roster, was built outside of China.
In addition to investing in other countries, the CCP is now scrambling to dominate the newer sector of undersea mining. Approval for seabed mining comes from the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Chinese companies have already filed 30 requests with the ISA for various undersea mining projects.
After conquering the seas, China plans to mine the moon. Last year, its Chang’e 5 lunar probe landed on the moon and brought back 2 kilograms of samples. American space analysts suggest that China is building up its lunar research experience in order to support future moon-based mining projects. Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that he believes mining the moon will be possible in this century. Meanwhile, there is evidence and speculation that the moon contains many critical materials. The CCP hopes to have a manned moon landing by 2030 and to build a lunar research station. Bao Weimin, director of the Science and Technology Commission of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has proposed creating an “Earth-Moon Special Economic Zone” by 2050.
At the rate China is expanding its control of laptop inputs, it is likely that 20 years from now, not only will most, or all, of the inputs lead back to Chinese companies, but some will originate from under the sea or the moon.
Antonio Graceffo, Ph.D., has spent over 20 years in Asia. He is a graduate of Shanghai University of Sport and holds a China-MBA from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Antonio works as an economics professor and China economic analyst, writing for various international media. Some of his China books include “Beyond the Belt and Road: China’s Global Economic Expansion” and “A Short Course on the Chinese Economy.”

 

Ellanjay

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China’s ‘Satellite Crusher’: ‘Space Pearl Harbor’ Is Coming​

The United States is now behind China in the ability to take down satellites. The Shijian-21 satellite is a game-changer, said Weichert, who also produces The Weichert Report. It is a real-world offensive capability that can hunt and destroy American systems and render the U.S. military on earth deaf, dumb, and blind. Picture: A Long March-2F carrier rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft with the second crew of three astronauts to China's new space station, lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert in northwestern China on Oct. 16, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
The United States is now behind China in the ability to take down satellites. “The Shijian-21 satellite is a game-changer,” said Weichert, who also produces The Weichert Report. “It is a real-world offensive capability that can hunt and destroy American systems and render the U.S. military on earth deaf, dumb, and blind.” Picture: A Long March-2F carrier rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft with the second crew of three astronauts to China’s new space station, lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert in northwestern China on Oct. 16, 2021. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Viewpoints

China’s ‘Satellite Crusher’: ‘Space Pearl Harbor’ Is Coming​

Gordon G. Chang
November 2, 2021 Updated: November 3, 2021
Commentary


On Oct. 24, China launched its Shijian-21 into orbit. The satellite, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., is “tasked with demonstrating technologies to alleviate and neutralize space debris.”
As Beijing sees it, American satellites constitute “debris.”

Shijian-21 has a robotic arm that can be used to move space junk—there are more than 100 million pieces of it floating around the earth—or capture, disable, destroy, or otherwise render unusable other nations’ satellites. That arm makes Shijian-21 a “satellite crusher.”
Brandon Weichert, author of “Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower,” told the Gatestone Institute that the Chinese satellite was launched into geosynchronous orbit, where many of America’s most sensitive satellite systems—those critical to Nuclear Command, Communications, and Control (NC3); surveillance; and military communications—are located.
“Because the U.S. satellites in geosynchronous orbit are so far away from earth, they are both expensive and hard-to-replace,” Weichert said. “Losing any of these systems, with no replacements on hand, would give China’s military an unprecedented advantage in the event of an outbreak of hostilities.”
China has designed its new space station, as Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center tells me, “to incorporate additional large military modules that can be equipped with lasers, microwave, or missile-based anti-satellite systems.”
In September 2008, China’s Shenzhou-7 manned mission came within 45 kilometers of the International Space Station as the Chinese crew was launching a microsatellite, “an obvious simulated ISS-intercept mission,” Fisher said. One of the veterans of that mission, Fisher told Gatestone, is now the commander onboard the Chinese space station.
“They’re going counterspace in a big way,” Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten said on Oct. 28 at an event sponsored by the Defense Writers Group.
Hyten, previously commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command, said Chinese military officers “are doing all those things because they saw how the United States has used space for dominant advantage.”
“For many years, Washington has taken its space superiority for granted,” Weichert said.
Complacency is not the only American disease, however. American blindness also had a role. At one time, America was dominant in space, and American political leaders decided to go slow on developing anti-satellite weapons for fear of triggering a competition. With the United States having the most assets in orbit, the reasoning went, the U.S. would have the most to lose in such a race.
That view was the product of a fundamental misunderstanding of Chinese and Russian attitudes. The misunderstanding also directly led to America falling behind in another crucial space technology. The United States was the early leader in hypersonic flight with the X-15 reaching Mach 6.7—6.7 times the speed of sound—in 1967. Now, however, America is about a half-decade behind China. The United States is also trailing Russia.
“We had held back from pursuing military applications for this technology,” Ambassador Robert Wood, U.S. representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, told Yahoo!
Wood, as described by that site, “implied that U.S. officials had tried to avoid spurring a scramble for hypersonic missiles.”
All that American restraint did was to allow the Chinese and Russian militaries to grab commanding leads in the race to deploy these impossible-to-defend-against delivery systems for nuclear weapons. In late July, Beijing shocked the Pentagon with an orbital test of a hypersonic glide vehicle.
Similarly, America is now behind China in the ability to take down satellites.
“The Shijian-21 satellite is a game-changer,” said Weichert, who also produces The Weichert Report. “It is a real-world offensive capability that can hunt and destroy American systems and render the U.S. military on earth deaf, dumb, and blind.”
Space, of course, is the ultimate strategic high ground, conferring control of the earth. Therefore, American leaders should have known that China would try, as Weichert explained, to build the capabilities “to first knock the Americans out of orbit and then to place their own systems there.”
The United States has the ability to catch up, of course, but big course corrections are necessary. For one thing, American satellites are easy pickings for the Chinese military. As Hyten put it, “We actually put the president in a tough spot because we have a handful of fat juicy targets, while the adversary has built hundreds of targets that are difficult to get after.”
The result, the general said, is that America does not have “a resilient space architecture.”
A resilient architecture, Hyten correctly believes, would be composed of lower-cost surveillance satellites that, in the words of SpaceNews, “can be mass-produced and deployed fast.”
Unfortunately, “the Department of Defense is still unbelievably bureaucratic and slow,” Hyten observed. The Pentagon’s bureaucracy “is just brutal.” So don’t count on the U.S. military, which has taken a decade to design a yet-to-be-launched survivable space network.
Fortunately, there is also Elon Musk, a bureaucracy of one. His company, SpaceX, is building the Starlink constellation of telecommunications satellites in low-earth orbit. When complete, there will be some 42,000 satellites that can be used by the satellite-dependent U.S. military when China has crushed, lasered, shot down, or bumped out of orbit America’s military assets in space.
Of course, China will also try to take down the Starlink constellation too.
Beijing, Weichert told Gatestone, is planning a “Space Pearl Harbor.”
From the Gatestone Institute.
Gordon G. Chang is a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a member of its Advisory Board, and the author of “The Coming Collapse of China.” Follow Gordon at GordonChang.com and on Twitter @GordonGChang
 

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