ALERT The Winds of War Blow in Korea and The Far East

OldArcher

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Column: China's reported ban on Australian coal escalates dispute beyond mere nuisance - Russell
By Clyde Russell
October 12, 20209:16 PM Updated 34 minutes ago

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) - China has reportedly told coal traders and users to stop imports from Australia with immediate effect in a move that would choke a major trade channel for both countries, a major escalation of political tensions between the pair.

Commodity price reporting agencies S&P Global Platts and Argus, as well as other media outlets, reported in recent days hearing from unnamed sources that Beijing had given “verbal” instructions to some steel mills, power companies and coal traders to halt imports from Australia.

If the reports are accurate - there has been no official confirmation yet - it would constitute a serious deterioration in the relationship between Australia and its largest trading partner. Coal is one of the big three Australian commodity exports to China, coming in behind iron ore and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Ties between the two have been severely strained on a political level by Canberra’s call for an international investigation into the novel coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China before spreading globally.

So far Beijing has effectively banned imports of Australian barley, placed restrictions on wine and meat, and discouraged students and others from travelling to Australia.

While these measures certainly are negative to the sectors involved, they are still relatively insignificant when compared to the overall trading relationship between Australia and China.

Australia is China’s top supplier of iron ore and coking coal, the two main ingredients used to make steel, while also being a major provider of LNG and thermal coal, used predominantly in power stations.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that China has supposedly imposed some sort of ban, or go-slow, on imports of coal from Australia.

The most recent occasion was in March 2019, when there was reported to be an unofficial slowing of customs clearances of Australian cargoes.

However, despite extensive reporting on the delaying of shipments, Australian coal exports to China seemed to show very little impact, with a small dip in February 2019 being made up a rebound in March that year.

It will take several months to work out if China is being more serious this time around, or if the reported import restrictions are just part of the wider cut and thrust of the ongoing political tensions.

In the meantime, vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv show that China has already been slowing imports of Australian coal.

September imports of all coal types from Australia were 5.48 million tonnes, down from 6.04 million in August and 8.17 million in July.

In year-to-date terms, China imported 67.68 million tonnes from Australia in the first nine months, a drop of 7.3% from the same period in 2019.

Still, it’s worth noting that Indonesia, traditionally the biggest supplier of coal to China, has seen steeper declines: China’s imports from Indonesia in September were 4.18 million tonnes, the lowest since Refinitiv started vessel-tracking in January 2015.

For the first nine months of 2020, China imported 86.63 million tonnes from Indonesia, down 17% from the same period last year.

China is believed to have been restricting coal imports, particularly thermal grades, in order to support prices for domestic miners, and it appears that so far Indonesia has taken a bigger hit than Australia.

ESCALATION FEARS

Another factor worth noting is that while coal is one of the big three Australian commodity exports to China, it’s still the one upon which China is least reliant, and Beijing has a realistic chance of being able to source alternative supplies.

In thermal coal, China can source similar grades from Russia, South Africa, Colombia and the United States without incurring too much of a financial penalty through higher freight charges.

In coking coal, the situation is somewhat tricker.

Australia’s share of China’s coking coal imports in the first half of 2020 was about two-thirds, according to the Australian government’s latest Resources and Energy Publication.

Australia is the world’s largest coking coal exporter, supplying about 55% of the traded market.

If China were to stop importing from Australia, it would have to scramble to buy whatever it could from neighbouring Mongolia and Russia, as well as Canada and the United States.

While the price of Australian coking coal would no doubt suffer, the prices of these other types would also likely rally strongly: Cutting off imports from Australia will potentially be a costly exercise for Beijing.

It would also make coking coal cheaper for regional steel-making competitors, such as Japan, South Korea and India, handing those countries an advantage in the highly competitive steel export market in Asia.

These may be costs Beijing is willing to bear in its bid to keep Australia in check, but there is always a risk of undue and unforeseen escalation of the conflict.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison may deem it worth the risk of retaliating, with the obvious candidate being Australian iron ore, upon which China is heavily reliant.

Australia supplies about 68% of China’s iron ore imports, and there is absolutely no way the rest of the world could make up for the shortfall if shipments were halted
.

Given the reliance of the Chinese economy on steel as the key component of infrastructure, construction and manufacturing, an Australian ban on iron ore exports would have a far bigger impact on China than a Chinese ban on Australian coal imports has on Australia.

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

China is shooting itself in the foot. It should aim higher- say, between the eyes... The CCP needs to vanish into the ash heap of history...

OldArcher
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Japan vows to boost missile defense after North Korea parade
Japan has vowed to bolster its missile deterrence capability to respond to threats by North Korean weapons that are becoming “more diverse and complex,” as displayed during Pyongyang’s military parade over the weekend

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press
12 October 2020, 07:38

TOKYO -- Japan vowed Monday to bolster its missile deterrence capability to respond to threats by North Korean weapons that are becoming “more diverse and complex,” as displayed during a military parade held by the North over the weekend.

North Korea, marking the 75th anniversary of its ruling party on Saturday, paraded a variety of weapons systems, unveiling what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile that is larger than any of the North’s known ICBMs. It also displayed what was likely an upgraded version of a missile that can be fired from submarines.

While some experts say the weapons could have been mock-ups of missiles under development, the exhibits appear to signify North Korea's continuous upgrading of its weapons capabilities during stalled nuclear diplomacy with the U.S.

“In order to respond to threats that are diversifying and complex, we will firmly work to strengthen our comprehensive missile deterrence capability,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a regular news conference Monday. “We understand that some of those missiles are said to make it difficult for us to respond with our conventional equipment.”

Kato declined to give details on Japan's analysis of the missiles displayed by North Korea. He said only that Japan would continue to cooperate with the U.S. and other concerned countries to protect the Japanese people.

Under the nearly eight-year tenure of hawkish former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan expanded its military's international role under the Japan-U.S. alliance, amid growing threats from North Korea and China.

Tokyo has repeatedly called the two countries threats to its regional security, and is currently studying a major change to its missile deterrence policy that would include the possibility of developing a first-strike capability on enemy bases to defend against imminent attacks.

Abe's successor, Yoshihide Suga, and his government are expected to compile a new missile plan later this year.

North Korea followed the military parade with a mass gymnastics show Sunday night at Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium. Images and video from the North’s state media showed Kim waving toward the stands filled with masked spectators before watching the show, which was performed by thousands of people in unison.

———


Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

———

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
 

jward

passin' thru
Menagerie, Oct 12-13
White House seeks additional arms sales to Taiwan; Kim Jong Un builds his domestic persona; BTS gets in trouble running afoul of China's account of the Korean War

Good morning/evening,
China reports its September trade data starting at 10 a.m. local time (0200 GMT). It should provide a sense of what the GDP data being released next Monday will look like - a Reuters poll expects exports to have risen 10% from a year earlier while imports are seen up 0.3%.

I am shifting the focus a bit for the lead stories today back towards the bread and butter, with a story on the White House seeking approval for additional arms sales to Taiwan amid escalating saber-rattling war between Beijing and Washington in yet another front in the Sino-U.S. conflict.
There is also another story that goes more into Kim Jong Un’s speech at the parade last week that analysts say were aimed at managing his own people who are feeling the stress from years of economic sanctions as well as the devastating floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Korean group BTS is also in trouble in China after a comment made by the group’s leader that ran counter to Beijing’s account of the brutal Korean War. Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and FILA all pulled products, ads and promotions linked to the group in China amid the controversy.
FILE PHOTO: Band BTS performs during the 2020...
(FILE PHOTO: Band BTS performs during the 2020 MTV VMAs in this screen grab image made available on August 30, 2020. VIACOM)
And please do check out the cosmetics in space story at the very end of this newsletter - a new revenue model for funding important space missions!
Lastly, congratulations to the Lakers for winning the NBA Championship, as well as the Miami Heat for giving the champs some proper competition despite major injuries to key players.
Below are the stories for today. Thanks for reading, as always.
A. The Lead
White House asks Congress to approve three arms sales to Taiwan - sources
WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The White House is moving forward with three sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan, sending in recent days a notification of the deals to Congress for approval, five sources familiar with the situation said on Monday.
The move in the run-up to the Nov. 3 U.S. election, first reported by Reuters, is likely to anger China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary. …
Asked for a response to Monday's news, the Chinese embassy urged Washington in an emailed statement to stop arms sales to and military ties with Taiwan, "lest it should gravely harm China-US relations and cross-Strait peace and stability."
In the emailed statement, an embassy representative said: "China consistently and firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan and has firm resolve in upholding its sovereignty and security."
Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees were notified that three of the planned weapons sales had been approved by the U.S. State Department which oversees Foreign Military Sales, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The informal notifications were for a truck-based rocket launcher made by Lockheed Martin Corp called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), long-range air-to-ground missiles made by Boeing Co called SLAM-ER, and external sensor pods for F-16 jets that allow the real-time transmission of imagery and data from the aircraft back to ground stations.
Notifications for the sale of other weapons systems, including large, sophisticated aerial drones, land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles and underwater mines, to deter amphibious landings, have yet to reach Capitol Hill, but these were expected soon, the sources said. …
News that new arms sales were moving forward came after senior U.S. officials last week repeated calls for Taiwan to spend more on its own defense and to carry out military reforms to make clear to China the risks of attempting to invade.
'I have failed': Kim Jong Un shows tearful side in confronting N.Korea's hardships
SEOUL, Oct 13 (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to shed tears at the weekend as he thanked citizens for their sacrifices, in the most striking demonstration yet of how he is relying on his "man of the people" persona to tackle his country's deepening crises.
Though the young leader has consolidated his rule over the isolated nation with ruthless purges, North Korea watchers say he has also sought to portray himself as a more traditional political leader than his eccentric father, Kim Jong Il.
Speaking at a military parade on Saturday, Kim became emotional as he paid tribute to troops for their response to national disasters and preventing a coronavirus outbreak and apologised to citizens for failing to raise living standards.
"Kim's modesty and candour, and his tears and choking, were all highly unusual, even for someone who publicly acknowledges shortcomings and has an established pattern of being expressive," said Rachel Minyoung Lee, an independent researcher and former open-source North Korea analyst for the U.S. government. …
Kim - who broke into wide smiles when huge new ballistic missiles were displayed in the parade - blamed North Korea's continuing economic hardships on international sanctions, the coronavirus crisis and a series of damaging typhoons and floods.
Since succeeding his father in 2011, Kim has made economic progress a cornerstone of his agenda. He also U.S. President Donald Trump, forming an unprecedented personal relationship that included flowery letters.
But ambitious plans for international trade, construction projects, and other economic measures have stalled in the face of sanctions imposed over his nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
The economy took a further hit when North Korea closed its borders to nearly all traffic due to the pandemic, and summer typhoons caused flooding that further threatened food supplies.
"Our people have placed trust, as high as sky and as deep as sea, on me, but I have failed to always live up to it satisfactorily," Kim said, at one point appearing to choke up. "I am really sorry for that." …
In contrast to his remote father, Kim has taken his wife to political summits with foreign leaders, often stoops to hug children and mingles with workers at public appearances.
Some of this folksy approach has shaped his public response to the country's economic challenges, said Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, a North Korean economy expert at the U.S-based Stimson Center think-tank.
"Kim has been more personally present and visible at disaster reconstruction sites and the like, and he's prioritised a lot of the symbolic construction projects designed to show economic progress," he said.
But despite some early moves towards embracing markets, Kim is not an out-an-out reformer and his policy prescriptions have tended to draw on the North Korea playbook honed by his father and grandfather, state founder Kim Il Sung, Silberstein said.
The United Nations says that, under Kim, North Korea has continued to quash basic freedoms, maintaining political prison camps and strict surveillance of its citizens. Kim had his uncle executed, according to state media, and the United States accused his government of using the chemical warfare agent VX assassinate his half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, in 2017, an allegation Pyongyang has denied.
B. China
China's Qingdao orders city-wide testing after new COVID-19 infections
SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The Chinese city of Qingdao said on Monday it will test its entire population of more than 9 million people for coronavirus, after discovering 12 new infections that appeared to be linked to a hospital treating imported infections.
Daily COVID-19 infections in mainland China have fallen drastically since early in the outbreak, which first emerged in the city of Wuhan. China had reported no new domestically transmitted cases since early August, but has remained on high alert.
Qingdao reported a total of six new COVID-19 cases and six asymptomatic infections on Sunday, all linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital, where infected travellers arriving from overseas have been treated in an isolated area.
The new cases were all of current or former patients in Qingdao Chest Hospital, hospital staff, or their family members. One asymptomatic case was a taxi driver whose wife worked at the hospital and was also infected. …
Qingdao said it has locked down the Qingdao Chest Hospital as well as the emergency department of its central hospital, which the taxi driver visited. Buildings housing infected individuals have also been locked down as part of the city's virus containment measures.
The new infections emerged shortly after China completed its Golden Week holiday, during which millions of people travelled domestically.
Disease control authorities in several cities including Beijing advised residents to avoid unnecessary trips to Qingdao. An investment and trade expo in Qingdao organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 16-18 was postponed, state TV reported. …
The National Health Commission's daily tally reported 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases, but none in Qingdao were included. …
Big-brand BTS promotions disappear as band sparks uproar in China
(Interjection: China tells its own version of the Korean War but facts are:
a) North Koreans were the aggressors who started the war by invading the South.
b) a coalition of UN forces including the U.S., which sent the most troops, joined the war to defend South Korea
c) China intervened once the allied forces moved past the 38th parallel, captured Pyongyang and pushed north (at this point China had clear security and strategic reasons to enter the war directly)
d) China sent troops into the Korean peninsularepel the allied forces and at one points crossed the 38th parallel and at one point captured Seoul, the South Korean capital, before ultimately being driven back
e) China actively fought against South Korea once it entered the war.)

HONG KONG, Oct 12 (Reuters) - South Korean boyband BTS is facing a barrage of criticism in China after its leader made remarks about the Korean War and several big-name brands, including Samsung, have apparently distanced themselves from the K-pop group amid the uproar.
The controversy is the latest example of the political landmines lying in wait for big brands in China, the world's second-largest economy.
The leader of BTS, known by the initials RM, upset many people in China in a speech when the band received an award from a U.S.-based organisation for their contribution to South Korea-U.S. relations.
RM invoked a "history of pain" shared between South Korea and the United States and, referring to the 1950-53 Korean War, spoke of "sacrifices of countless men and women".
The war pitted South Korean and U.S. forces against those from North Korea and China.
The comments touched off heated debate on social media in China.
"They should not make any money from China," one angry user said on the Weibo platform, referring to BTS.
"If you want to make money from Chinese fans you have to consider Chinese feelings."
Posts featuring Samsung's BTS special edition smartphones and earphones disappeared from Chinese e-commerce platforms Tmall and JD.com as the controversy swirled.
BTS-related posts from other companies including sports fashion brand FILA and automaker Hyundai, which have endorsement deals with the seven-member group, also disappeared from their official Weibo accounts, Chinese users said.
C. The Koreas
South Korea sees hope and threat in mixed message from North's Kim
SEOUL, Oct 12 (Reuters) - South Korean officials have seized on conciliatory comments by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the weekend as a sign that tension could be easing but also worry the huge number of rockets he showcased is evidence that peace may be elusive.
Kim sent mixed signals as he addressed an unprecedented night-time military parade early on Saturday, wishing the neighbouring Koreas would "hold hands" again after the novel coronavirus pandemic is over.
While much of the world was captivated by the appearance of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), officials in South Korea were far more concerned by the display of new multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and fast, manoeuvrable short-range missiles that would be ideal for striking targets in the South.
"The parade revealed not only an advanced ICBM but also MLRS that pose a direct threat to South Korea," said South Korean opposition leader Kim Chong-in.
"They've not changed, their threats have grown even bigger."
South Korean ruling party leader and former prime minister Lee Nak-yon said he took hope from Kim's overture to the South as a "positive sign" but worried about what the display of new weapons said about North Korea's intentions.
"North Korea showed advanced weapons including a new ICBM, which indicated it has not abandoned its resolve to develop weapons of mass destruction, and those weapons can threaten peace on the Korean peninsula," Lee told a party meeting. …
When a landmark summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 brought an unprecedented easing of tension between those two countries, North Korea's dealings with South Korea also saw a remarkable thaw.
But relations on the peninsula have been tense since a second summit between Kim and Trump collapsed last year, and they took another blow last month when North Korean troops shot dead a South Korean fisheries official detained at sea.
Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy in Seoul, said despite Kim's conciliatory comments towards South Korea, his main message on Saturday was aimed at the United States.
"By showing a new ICBM, the North suggested they can test it any time if things don't go well after the election. Inter-Korean ties don't count to them," Shin said. …
Former South Korean nuclear negotiator Chun Yung-woo, pointing to North Korea's extensive testing of MLRS and short-range missiles over the past year, while sticking to a moratorium on ICBM testing, said South Korea must not get carried away by hope for peace.
"All the media attention is on North Korea's new strategic weapons but the most serious threat to our security is solid-fuel, short-range tactical missiles and MLRS that they've been madly testing over the past year," Chun said.
"North Korea showed how it has focused on developing its capability to attack the South while our people have been absorbed in a peace campaign," he said.
K-League to again welcome fans back, capacity capped at 25%
Oct 12 (Reuters) - K-League fans will again be allowed back into stadiums, which will have a reduced capacity of 25% from this week, the league said on Monday after South Korea's government eased its restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country is allowing nightspots to re-open and spectators to attend sports events after new coronavirus cases edged lower in recent weeks, with daily infections falling into the double-digit range in the past two weeks.
The Korean top-flight season began on May 8 in empty stadiums before a limited number of fans were allowed to attend K-League games from Aug. 1.
However, a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases forced the government to enforce stricter rules and again bar fans from attending matches.
posted for fair use
 

jward

passin' thru
North Korea's next ultimate ICBM "Hwasong-16" (HS-16) ?


"bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent"


Norbert Brügge, Germany

Update: 12.10.2020​


2020, October 10 -- That is it, the Hwasong-16 with a diameter of 3.0 m (!!). We are can be sure to see the first stage of Unha-X here (as was to be expected).




An exact comparison is here difficult, but the difference in diameter from 2.4 to 3.0 m can be clearly seen.​




Analysis


Like the HS-15, the Hwasong-16 is not a real ICBM. Both are the stages for the new SLV "Unha-X". The HS-16 here has an unusually oversized fairing including the second stage, which, like the transporter, suggests an modeling for the parade.We should not be fooled by the details on the surface.
The HS-16 is without engines about 27 m long. The first stage is about 17.5 m long. The shown mock-up has no engines. The relevant section at the end of the rocket, which is too short and slightly conical, is covered by a pot painted in red. As a result, we still do not know how many engines the Unha-X will have.








Prognosis previously

2019, Dec. 13 -- "Another cruicial test was successful conducted at the Sohae SLG from 22.41 to 22.48 on December 13. The research successes being registered by us in defence science one after another recently will be applied to further bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent of the DPRK.”

2019, Dec. 07 -- "A very important test took place at the Sohae SLG on the afternoon of December 7. The Academy of the National Defence Scienc of the DPRK made a report on the successful test of great significance to the Central Commitee of the Worker's Party."

So far there is no further information or photos, but we can guess what will happen:
The first stage of the upcoming new Unha-X SLV with 3 x 2 "Pektusan-A2" engines was subjected to a static test for the first time. This stage is undoubtedly usable for a real ICBM, which we will see in the near future. Due to the dimensions of this vehicle ("HS-16"), the pad on the Sohae SLG probably will be use, where also the undetected static tests took place at night.

This is what the HS-16 ICBM and its rear could look like​
Norbert Brugge is calling this the "first stage" of the "Unha X".....
O that's for real thing. I thought perhaps it was 'uhhuh' yeah sure as in fake rocket

but:
The Unha or Eunha (Korean: 은하, 銀河, "Galaxy")[6] is a North Korean expendable carrier rocket, which partially utilizes the same delivery system as the Taepodong-2 orbital launch system.[7]

Contents
History
North Korea's first orbital space launch attempt occurred on August 31, 1998 and was unsuccessful. This launch attempt was performed by a Paektusan-1 rocket, which used a solid motor third stage, a Scud-missile-based second stage, and a Nodong-1 based first stage. Nodong-1 was a North Korean-developed stage thought to be a scale-up of the old Soviet Scud missile. The Paektusan-1 stood 22.5 metres (74 ft) tall, was 1.8 metres (6 ft) in diameter, and weighed about 21 tonnes.

Vehicle description


Model of a Unha-9 rocket on display at a floral exhibition in Pyongyang.

The Unha's first stage consists of four clustered Nodong motors, which themselves are enlarged Scud motors. The second stage was initially thought to be based on the SS-N-6, although it, too, is now believed to be based on Scud technology.[4] The third and last stage might be identical to the Iranian Safir's second stage which is propelled by two small gimballed motors.[4][8]
Recent satellite images of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station showing an enlarged launch tower under construction indicate that an enlarged version, called Unha-X, might be under development, coupled with a North Korean propaganda poster showing such a vehicle.[9]
 
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northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Indo-Pacific News
@IndoPac_Info

2h

#XiJinping tells marines to focus on ‘preparing to go to war’ in military base visit. #China’s president says they have ‘important responsibility’ to safeguard the country’s territory, sovereignty and maritime interests
View: https://twitter.com/IndoPac_Info/status/1316201304620822528?s=20
Xi just said that China is going to start a war since no-one else is going to start a war with China
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Xi just said that China is going to start a war since no-one else is going to start a war with China
In a day and age where, as in chess, "killing the king", hasn't been easier than the period when kings would actually take to the battlefield personally. Yeah, Xi and the CCP may well be feeling the pressure.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
I missed this one from earlier in the month.....HC

Posted for fair use.....

Air-Launched Cruise Missiles in Uiju, DPRK.

by Scott LaFoy | October 4, 2020 | No Comments
This article was co-authored with Jeffrey Lewis, who pulled the historical documents and made the connection between the KN05 and the Styx storage site.

North Korea has air-launched cruise missiles, and it looks like they store them at an airfield in Uiju, near the PRC border. We normally talk about the DPRK’s ballistic missile programs due to their high-profile nature and the extensive media coverage afforded to them. The DPRK puts its ballistic missiles on display and incorporates them into strategic propaganda. The DPRK does this less often with its cruise missiles, particularly its air-launched cruise missiles, which are quietly tested without much announcement and no camera coverage. It is unclear if this is due to their strategic value or due to problems with the program, information about the ALCMs has to come from external analysis
Based on Ankit Panda’s writing, declassified NPIC data, and satellite imagery, we believe that the KN05 is probably stored at an expansion to a legacy air-launched cruise missile storage facility attached to Uiju airfield, near Sinuiju and the PRC border. This facility would likely be the initial staging point for ALCM testing in Korea Bay.

Ankit Panda’s new book Kim Jong Un and the Bomb lists, in its appendix, the KN05 missile as a previously “publicly unseen” air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) that is the DPRK’s only flight-tested ALCM. It is a modified Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missile, which also has a ground-launched variant known as the KN01 STORMPETREL. Prior to Panda’s book, the existence of an air-launched variant of the Kh-35 in the DPRK was speculated, but never reported as fact.
Uiju-Up Airfield and associated storage facilities

Uiju
Uiju has been historically associated with the DPRK’s secretive air-launched cruise/anti-ship missile programs and is one of the few airbases that can effectively host the DPRK’s aging Ilyushin Il-28 bomber. The IL-28 has also previously been associated with older DPRK air-launched cruise missile programs.

There have been several previous reports of the DPRK testing air-launched anti-ship or cruise missiles, but these have tended to associate these tests with an air-launched Styx anti-ship missile variant. In 2008 and again in 2011 Yonhap news carried stories that air-launch Styx were fired from an IL-28 bomber. The 2008 story additionally reports that an AN-2, a single-engine biplane better known for paratrooper and special forces use in the DPRK, may have fired two Styx missiles, but also notes how unlikely this is due to the size of both the An-2 and Styx missiles. It may be the case that information was conveyed to Yonhap incorrectly or in an incomplete state, and that the larger An-24 transport aircraft was involved as an experimental ALCM launch platform. However there are no other additional reports of An-2 or An-24-launched ALCMs.

Ankit Panda’s writing indicates that the KN05/Kh-35 is the only ALCM that the DPRK has flight-tested, bringing into question if the 2008 and 2011 flight tests were not of the Styx, but of the KN05/Kh-35 instead. Other analysts, including Haena Jo, have speculated that this may have been the case, or that the Kh-35 would at least be the logical successor to the Styx within the DPRK’s air force.

The Historical Styx ALCM Program
In the mid-1980s, NPIC identified that the DPRK appeared to be experimenting with mating a Styx cruise missile to an IL-28 Beagle bomber out of Uiju airbase, though their final determination was never declassified. Analysts compared the Styx program to earlier observed PRC successes in converting ground-launched Styx cruise missiles into air-to-surface weapons, and believed this was a reasonable path for the KPA to mirror. (CIA-RDP86T00590R000400600002-4 pg iii)

Uiju-Up Airfield Legacy Styx Storage Facility, 2010

NPIC analysts slowly built a case starting in 1983 based on the existence of a Styx Cruise Missile storage facility next to Uiju ( CIA-RDP91T00712R000100080006-9 PDF pg 4). Airfield, and the absence of any other nearby facility (such as a naval base) that could reasonably employ Styx systems. (CIA-RDP86T00590R000400600002-4 pg 7). While analysts struggled to make a definitive connection, the location, the absence of other explanations, and redacted HUMINT indicated that as of 1984 the DPRK “may be testing the Styx cruise missile on the Beagle” (CIA-RDP84T00491R000101610001-8 pg 71). NPIC analysts in 1985 still use language like “if the DPRK success in mating the Styx with the Il-28” (emphasis added, CIA-RDP85T01058R000201940001-0 pg 5).

While a final determination does not appear to be declassified at this time, as of 1985 NPIC analysts were drawing a connection between the cruise missile storage facility and the IL-28s based out of Uiju Airfield. It is unclear from the records whether or not the air-launch Styx cruise missile experiments were successful or if an actual flight test was ever observed.

Starting in 2011, satellite imagery shows the construction of a new munitions depot immediately adjacent to the existing Styx cruise missile depot. The partially buried and berm-protected storage units indicate munitions storage, and its proximity to the older Styx depot implies (though does not confirm) similar usage.
Uiju-Up Airfield Possible KN05/Air-Launched Kh-35 Facility, 2010
Uiju-Up Airfield Possible KN05/Air-Launched Kh-35 Facility, 2011
Uiju-Up Airfield Possible KN05/Air-Launched Kh-35 Facility, 2019


A Side Note: Did the Styx ever fly?
A small mystery in the historical record is whether or not the Styx was ever actually observed successfully launching off an Il-28 bomber. Panda describes the KN05, not the Styx, as the DPRK’s only flight tested ALCM, and the declassified NPIC documents never go so far as to report an actual flight test.

Analysts have occasionally listed the IL-28 and Styx together, as is the case in Scobell et al’s The True Force of North Korea and Bermudez’s Shield of the Great Leader. Others, such as Douglas Barrie, have noted that loading a missile the size of the Styx onto the Il-28 would still provide a significant challenge for the DPRK’s air forces.

However not all missile tests make it into public media, and it is not clear if the absence of an observed, reported missile test is the same as the absence of testing. Much like the KN08, the Styx may be a bit of a Schrodinger’s Missile, that both is and is not operational while unobserved.

Conclusions:
North Korea appears to store the KN05 air-launched cruise missile in Uiju-up Airfield, one of the few airfields capable of basing the IL-28 bombers likely needed to launch the missile, and the only base historically associated with the DPRK’s previous air-launched cruise missile program.

Ankit Panda’s writing revealed the existence of the KN05/Kh-35 ALCM in the DPRK, something that had been previously speculated about but never confirmed as an actual weapons program. Declassified CIA/NPIC documents detail a historical Styx storage facility and apparent ALCM program run out of Uiju-up. Modern satellite imagery shows this historical facility expanded some time around 2011 to include new munitions storage facilities. Together this information implies that the DPRK’s ALCM program, whether experimental or operational, is still probably based out of Uiju-up.
Hopefully we will get some imagery or hints out of the DPRK at some point. But failing that, at least we have a promising candidate site.
 

jward

passin' thru
China says U.S. undermines Taiwan Strait's stability
By Reuters Staff
2 Min Read

BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) - China said on Thursday the United States was seriously undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait after a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed through the waters amid escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei.

Zhang Chunhui, spokesman for China’s eastern theatre command, said in a statement that the Chinese military followed and monitored the USS Barry when the destroyer made what the U.S. Navy called a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Wednesday.
China considers Taiwan a wayward province that needs to be reunited with the mainland, by force if needed. The United States government, on the other hand, has stepped up support for the island recently to support what it considers an important democratic outpost.

Beijing has accused Washington and Taipei of “collusion” towards the island declaring formal independence and recently ramped up air force activity near Taiwan in a show of force.
The White House is pushing forward to sell to Taiwan sophisticated military equipment including MQ-9 drones and a coastal defensive missile system, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, fuelling further tensions in what is already an increasingly adversarial Sino-U.S. relations.

Zhang said the United States should stop its provocative words and actions in the Taiwan Strait, adding the Chinese military will resolutely defend the country’s territorial integrity and maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said in a separate statement that the USS Barry sailed in a northerly direction through the strait and that its forces also monitored the warship, adding that the situation was as normal.”

Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Ben Blanchard; Writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

posted for fair use
 

jward

passin' thru
Reopening of tours to inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom to be announced as early as next week

All News 11:39 October 15, 2020


SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- The resumption of a civilian tour program to the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom is likely to be announced as early as next week, a unification ministry official said Thursday.
Since September last year, tours to the Joint Security Area (JSA) and other sites inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) have been suspended as part of an effort to stem the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever.
"We are in the final stages of coordinating the resumption of the Panmunjom tour amid eased coronavirus guidelines," the official said.
"I believe there will be an announcement as early as next week regarding the resumption," he said.
He added that the newly reported cases of African swine fever in the northeastern county of Hwacheon are unlikely to hinder the reopening of the tours, saying they were "found in a distant area from Panmunjom."
Earlier this month, the U.S.-led UNC said it had authorized the resumption of the tour program on eased concerns over the contagious animal disease, with the exact date of the reopening to be announced soon.
julesyi@yna.co.kr
 

jward

passin' thru
USS Barry cruises through Taiwan Strait after Beijing blasts McCain’s South China Sea transit





The guided-missile destroyer USS Barry sails through the Taiwan Strait, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.

MOLLY CRAWFORD/U.S. NAVY By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 15, 2020


A Navy destroyer passed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, nearly a week after the Chinese military challenged another U.S. destroyer’s presence in the nearby South China Sea.
The USS Barry cruised through the strait in accordance with international law, according to a statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet. It was the 12th such transit by a U.S. warship this year. The last was made Aug. 30 by another guided-missile destroyer, the USS Halsey.
“The [Barry’s] transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the statement said. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”
On Oct. 9, another destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, “asserted navigational rights and freedoms” in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands, a 7th Fleet spokeswoman, Cmdr. Reann Mommsen, said in an email Thursday.
The McCain was warned by the Chinese military and told to leave, Col. Zhang Nandong, a spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command, told the country’s state-run Global Times the same day.
Such operations seriously infringe China’s sovereignty and national interests, and damage regional peace and stability, he told the newspaper.



Petty Officer 2nd Class Noble Myrick, of Butler, Pa., stands watch in the pilot house of the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain in the South China Sea, Oct. 12, 2020.
MARKUS CASTANEDA/U.S. NAVY

“China owns undeniable sovereignty of the islands in the South China Sea and nearby waters,” the report said.
The destroyer USS Mustin steamed near the islands twice this year, on May 28 and again on Aug. 27.
China, Taiwan, and Vietnam each claim sovereignty over the islands and China has set up military airfields and outposts on them that have raised concerns among surrounding nations and in the United States.
The McCain’s patrol “upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging the unlawful restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam,” Mommsen said.
“Unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, of unimpeded trade and commerce, and of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations,” she added.

The United States challenges excessive maritime claims around the world regardless of the identity of the claimant, Mommsen said.
Under international law all vessels, including warships, enjoy the right of innocent passage through territorial seas.
“By engaging in innocent passage without giving prior notification to or asking permission from any of the claimants, the United States challenged the unlawful restrictions imposed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam” in waters near the Paracels, Mommsen said.
International law does not permit continental states, like China, to establish baselines — coastal lines from which sea territory limits are measured — around entire dispersed island groups, she added.
“China has attempted to claim more internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf than it is entitled to under international law,” Mommsen said. “By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are beyond what China can lawfully claim as its territorial sea.”

 

jward

passin' thru
Japan unveils new submarine in face of China's growing assertiveness

1602758734831.png

Kobe – Japan's newest submarine was unveiled Wednesday at a shipyard in Kobe as part of efforts to boost the country's maritime security amid China's growing assertiveness in the region.
The 3,000-ton warship, named the Taigei, was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and is scheduled to go into service in March 2022, becoming the 22nd vessel in the Maritime Self-Defense Force's submarine fleet.

Under its 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines, Tokyo set a goal of increasing the number of its submarines from 16 to 22 in light of increasing activities by Beijing in waters near Japan, especially around a group of Japan-administered islands claimed by China in the East China Sea.
The Taigei, whose name means big whale, measures 84 meters in length and 9.1 meters in width and cost around ¥76 billion ($720 million) to build, according to the MSDF.
The submarine, which can accommodate a crew of 70, has a stealth-like design and is equipped with lithium-ion batteries so that it can remain underwater longer than previous models, it also said.
RELATED STORIES
About 150 people, including Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and MSDF Chief of Staff Hiroshi Yamamura, attended a ceremony held at Mitsubishi Heavy's Kobe Shipyard in Hyogo Prefecture.
Japan currently operates nine 2,750-ton Oyashio-class submarines and 11 2,950-ton Soryu-class warships, and is planning to introduce a 12th Soryu-class sub next year.
The Taigei will be the first in the new Taigei-class category, following the Oyashio and Soryu classes.

posted for fair use
video at source
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Taiwan Must Prepare To Deter Chinese Amphibious Landing: National Security Advisor O'Brien

by Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Friday 10/16/2020 - 19:50

Days after China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted large-scale joint amphibious landing drills on the Chinese coast, President Trump's national security advisor has issued provocative statements Friday while speaking at an Aspen Institute event.

Robert C. O'Brien, currently Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, urged Taiwan to pursue strategies for deterring a Chinese amphibious landing.

"Taiwan needs to start looking at some asymmetric and anti-access area denial strategies" ultimately to deter a land invasion when the time comes, O'Brien stated.



The comments from such a high level Trump official reveal that the White House sees Beijing as fast approaching a hostile and war footing concerning the Taiwan issue.

"China doesn't have the military strength to take over Taiwan now, but perhaps could 5 years from now," he added in the provocative comments which certainly won't go unnoticed in Beijing.

And further on China, responding to Stephen Hadley, former George W. Bush national security advisor, national security advisor O'Brien said, "I think what the president did with the tariffs is he finally woke up the Chinese..." and argued that the Trump administration has succeeded at "establishing alternate supply lines for rare earths" - though without giving details of precisely how or to what extent this has actually been achieved.

The subject of Taiwan in the course of the remote Aspen Institute discussion began with the following comments of O'Brien:


"They're bullying Taiwan, they've taken over Hong Kong lock, stock, and barrel... they've asserted rights to the South China Sea like it's Lake Tahoe or something."
"I don't think the Chinese probably at this point want or likely are prepared for an amphibious landing"... they have massive missiles, but if they strike "They'd lose everything they're hope to gain and become a massive international pariah."
The comments are very timely also considering China at the start of this week kicked off massive amphibious landing drills which are meant to send a "message" to Taiwan over what state-run Global Times calls "rampant secessionist moves".

It also comes as Washington ramps up military weapons sales to the island, something which has come under repeat Chinese condemnation over violation of the 'One China' policy status quo.

 

jward

passin' thru
Why the US and South Korea are drifting apart


Something isn’t quite right with the long-time strategic allies' relationship and hasn’t been for a while

by Grant Newsham October 15, 2020


US President Donald Trump (R) attends a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on June 30, 2019. Photo: AFP/ Brendan Smialowski

When two nations fight a bloody war and are on the same side, it creates lasting bonds – though maybe not for as long as Americans expect. Sometimes when the breakup comes, the Yanks end up saying: “Never saw that coming.”
Could this be said of the US-South Korea alliance? Something isn’t quite right with the relationship and hasn’t been for a while.
Some analysts claim South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in and his close associates see Washington, not Pyongyang as the problem – and the reason the Korean peninsula is divided. It’s claimed Moon et al have a soft spot for the Kim family’s Juche ideology and reckon Korea should be aligned with the People’s Republic of China rather than the United States.
This likely is not a majority opinion in Korea – or even in Moon’s party. But a small, dedicated group, with a clear (though vaguely stated) objective and some ruthlessness can shift an entire country. Just get a grip on enough levers of power before enough people notice.
Far fetched? Maybe not.


Moon apparently can’t do enough to placate Pyongyang, starting with inviting North Korea to the 2018 Winter Olympics. This undercut President Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ approach – which was jolting the North Koreans and was heading towards secondary sanctions on the PRC.
Moon moved to cancel large-scale military exercises with the US military and has kept them canceled – thus reducing readiness. Admittedly, Trump went along with this, but it was Moon who put him in a difficult position. And Moon has been cracking down on South Korean citizen groups opposed to the Kim regime.
As for the PRC, when Covid-19 broke out Moon said South Korea would “suffer together” with China. He probably didn’t ask for a show of hands.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in speaks to the press as US President Donald Trump looks on following a meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone on June 30, 2019. Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski
Earlier, after the US deployed the THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea, the Chinese complained. And in 2017 Moon offered sent a “three no” signal to Beijing: (1) no additional THAAD deployments; (2) no participation in an integrated US missile defense network; and (3) no trilateral alliance with the United States and Japan.
Even if this was just a shrimp balancing between two whales – as the local saying goes – it isn’t what you spring on an ally that sacrificed around 40,000 lives to keep South Korea free, and that has promised to risk World War III on South Korea’s behalf.

Maybe Moon is just naïve? The US had President Jimmy Carter, after all.
But look at Moon’s people – his close advisors and some of his appointees to key positions. For some of them, the description far-leftist isn’t quite enough.
Just take Lee In-young, the Unification Minister appointed in July 2020, and read the transcript of his confirmation hearing in the National Assembly. Lee is biting his tongue but doesn’t seem to have changed much since his days as the #2 person in the Anti-American Youth Association – the underground organization that provided leadership to Jeondaehyup, the violent, radical 1980’s student organization based upon North Korea’s Juche ideology.
Moon has packed the judiciary and tried to bring the prosecutors under control as well. The head of the intelligence service is reportedly chummy with North Korea. And the local media are intimidated as the Moon administration uses libel laws (truth is no defense in South Korea) to silence and even imprison critics – including private citizens.
The military was put on notice with the arrest of a four-star general a few years ago on sketchy “abuse of power” charges of which he was later acquitted. But the military got the message.

And Moon uses the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) like a weapon.
Samsung is in the crosshairs. This seems beyond bringing a powerful company down a notch. Rather, big business is one of the few remaining major obstacles to total control. And get KCTU cells inside a company – like Communist Party committees inside “private” companies in the PRC – and you can intimidate and control.
Until recently there was another missing piece: the National Assembly. Thanks to good timing, this year’s April 15 election was an unexpected and overwhelming victory for Moon’s Democratic Party. The party can now pass any legislation it wants. Peel off three votes and amending the constitution is possible.
Some conservatives alleged the election was rigged, and with Chinese help.
Specifically, they claim that the National Election Commission’s electronic network was hacked and the vote manipulated. That’s the stuff of spy books. But it’s maybe not as hard as imagined. The network is basically a main server at the election commission that connects to each polling site. It’s not the decentralized system Americans are used to. And Chinese Huawei equipment is said to be installed in the hardware.

If true, and given that PRC cybercriminals’ hacked the US Office of Personnel Management in 2015, stealing the personal information of 22 million current and former federal employees, one imagines they could handle the South Korean NEC system without breaking a sweat.
Particular suspicions center on the early votes with their QR-coded ballots. The early votes heavily and uniformly favored Moon’s party – unlike election day voting. A former head of the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology noted: “Either God did it or it was rigged.”

South Korean election officials sort voting papers for ballot counting in the parliamentary elections at a gymnasium in Seoul on April 15. Photo: AFP / Jung Yeon-je
This writer asked a statistician, who claimed he’d verified the algorithm used to allocate votes, why “they” wouldn’t have made the results look less obvious? His answer: “They weren’t meticulous enough.”
Regular citizens – facing government pressure – produced additional evidence of problems with electronic counting machines, counterfeit ballots, and ballot ‘chain of custody’ issues. The evidence is detailed, public, and open to challenge.
Moon’s response? Call it fake news and conspiracy theories, while pressuring the people who raised the charges. The election commission’s response was muddled and unconvincing, as it apparently destroyed the evidence.
One notes that the National Election Commission top officials include Moon loyalists.
The judiciary and prosecutors are sleeping on the job, as are the local and foreign media. Even the main opposition party isn’t so interested, although some observers say that has more to do with the nature of the opposition and its leadership than with the actual fraud charges.
As for claims of Chinese involvement, there is
  • Motive: breaking the ROK-US alliance and getting the Americans off the Korean peninsula;
  • Access: easy, given the hardware and system layout and the Moon administration’s demonstrated close ties with the PRC;
  • Expertise: Chinese hackers are world-class.
But maybe the worries about Moon and the alliance are overblown?
After all, politics is rambunctious anywhere. And there’s a history in which South Korea’s conservative administrations earlier played rough and tried to muzzle opponents, doing shady things with elections.
Yes, politics is always about power, but something seems different as Moon and his coterie quietly take control of the levers of power in South Korea – throttling democracy and consensual government, and stilettoing free speech in the process. If permanent one-party rule is what you’re after, this is how you do it.
And if the people in power express admiration for North Korea and the Chinese Communist Party, maybe they mean it.
US should worry

But it could never happen in South Korea, could it? People can give you any number of reasons why not: South Korea and the US have a solid friendship forged in blood during the Korean War. It’s just local politics.
Moon is a leftist, yes, but he’s a human rights lawyer – and he’s still a democrat and a capitalist. We have a long-time military relationship, a defense treaty and military bases in South Korea. And anyway, Moon can’t get away with it. (Fill in the blank) will stop him.
And there is always “I know lots of Koreans… they’re great guys. They are patriots. And they love America.”
One heard similar excuses for Turkey in the years after Recep Tayyip Erdogan took office in 2003: It’s unthinkable. He’s religious but he’s not going to change things. He’s a capitalist. We have bases in Turkey. NATO is too important.
He wants in the EU. He’s just worried about the Kurds. He faces too much opposition. He won’t get reelected. The military will step in. It’s not in anybody’s interests. The Turks fought alongside us in the Korean War.
For a while now, Turkey has been a headache for Washington, at best – and at worst a sometimes enemy.
But maybe it’s not too late for the South Korean-US alliance. Although a very sizable chunk of the Korean population votes left, a more sizable chunk values the US alliance and, according to public opinion polls, does not want to be unified with North Korea, much less become like the Workers’ Paradise up north. And they don’t want to be a Chinese satrapy either.
Also, assuming a clean election, South Korean voters often vote according to how the economy is affecting them, or to punish whatever party has been caught in the latest scandal.

US and South Korean soldiers in Yeoncheon-gun, South Korea. Photo: AFP Forum via Getty Images/Chung Sung-Jun
But Washington can help itself.
First, don’t demand more money from South Korea for US troops – and stop threatening to withdraw US forces if Seoul doesn’t pay up. All that does is anger people – many of whom are either pro-American or on the fence.
Second, give South Korea preferential trade advantages. The US should have done this immediately after (or even before) the PRC launched an economic war against Seoul over the THAAD deployment. That was a lost opportunity, but it’s not too late.
Third, admit that Moon Jae-in represents a group of Koreans who have different interests and values from ours – and different from those of many South Koreans as well. Stay on guard.
Fourth, Washington might take a look at the April 2020 election, and decide for itself.
So don’t assume the US-South Korea relationship is rock solid.
If the South Korea-US alliance unravels it will be a disaster with global effects, so pay attention. Let’s hope the day won’t come as it did in Turkey, Iran, Venezuela, the Philippines and other places when we hear dumbstruck US officials whine, “Never saw that coming.”
Grant Newsham, a retired US Marine Corps officer and former US diplomat, currently is a senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies and the Center for Security Policy. This article originally appeared October 8 in And Magazine. It is republished with permission.
Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.



Tagged: Block 4Lee Ino-youngMoon Jae-inSouth Korea-China relationsTHAAD missile defense systemUS-South Korean alliance
 

jward

passin' thru
Video Of Chinese Missile Carrier Jet Hauling What Appears To Be A Hypersonic Weapon Emerges
The video could be the first visual evidence that China is actively testing an air-launched hypersonic weapon.
ByTyler RogowayOctober 17, 2020
Chinese Internet
SHARE


Tyler RogowayView Tyler Rogoway's Articles
Aviation_Intel

Video has emerged out of China showing what appears to be an H-6N missile carrier aircraft with a massive weapon slung underneath it. The unique wedge-shaped profile of the missile's forward section points to the possibility that the missile is a hypersonic weapon system. In particular, the form factor looks similar to the one found on China's ground-launched DF-17 hypersonic weapon, which uses a ballistic missile to boost an unpowered DF-ZF hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to a velocity well over Mach 5 before the vehicle continues on maneuvering path through the atmosphere to its target. You can read our previous post on the DF-17 here.

China's work on air-launched adaptations of their ground-launched ballistic missiles is not necessarily new. An air-launched DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile is thought to have been in development for some time. The pursuit of an air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle weapon by China should be expected, as well, but this could be the first time we are actually seeing it.



New Photos Point To Chinese Bomber Being Able To Carry Huge Anti-Ship Ballistic MissilesBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone
Four Of The Biggest Revelations From China's Massive 70th Anniversary Military ParadeBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone
Video Appears To Show China Testing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles Via High Altitude BalloonBy Tyler Rogoway Posted in The War Zone
Air Force Says New Hypersonic Missile Will Hit Targets 1,000 Miles Away In Under 12 MinutesBy Thomas Newdick Posted in The War Zone
How China's Ballistic Missile And Nuclear Arsenal Is Ballooning According To The PentagonBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone

The H-6N is specifically designed to carry outsized loads, from high-speed drone aircraft to anti-ship ballistic missiles, as well as more traditional cruise missiles. It is an advanced outgrowth of the H-6K, which itself is a fully reimagined and updated version of a design that tracks its lineage directly back to the Tu-16 Badger of Soviet origin. You can read all about this unique H-6 variant and its strategic implications in this past piece of ours.


The video footage of an H-6N with a possible air-launched ballistic missile appears to be taken at this location just outside Neixiang Afld. This corroborates my theory that the 106th bde operates H-6N's and, per the CMPR suggesting nuclear-capable ALBMs, is a nuclear unit. https://t.co/aJtOw9PzmD pic.twitter.com/Y4KXN9MldV
— Rod Lee (@roderick_s_lee) October 17, 2020
It is entirely logical that China would develop an air-launched hypersonic weapon that leverages an existing ground-launched design. The most obvious and only known choice would be the aforementioned DF-17 that Beijing touted so heavily at its recent high-profile military parade. Although it is supposedly operational, the exact status of this weapon and its capabilities remains unknown, but China sure wants the world to think that it is a fully functioning hypersonic weapon. Regardless, using it, or at least parts of it, such as the DF-ZF vehicle, for an air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle weapon makes sense.


Chinese Internet
DF-17s at the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party parade.
That's not to say that this solves the mystery of what exactly we are seeing here. Like the U.S., China has a number of hypersonic weapons programs underway and has tested many hypersonic vehicle shapes that could be leveraged for different weapons applications. Work on an air-breathing hypersonic cruise missile is also a certainty. So, this could be an entirely new configuration that features a new hypersonic vehicle, we just don't know for certain at this time. There is also the possibility that this is a more traditional ballistic missile that uses a maneuvering warhead, like the one found on the DF-21D and DF-26, but the imagery seems to point away from the possibility based on the peculiar nose arrangement on the missile. Better quality footage and photos in the future could alter that line of thinking though.


China Media
DF-21D test firing.
Being able to lug a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle hundreds or thousands of miles from Chinese territory would put bases that were previously outside the range of those weapons under threat from a so-far indefinable capability. Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and Wake Island, in particular, come to mind, but such a weapon could be used on many other highly defended adversary locales throughout the hemisphere. Hypersonic weapons are also being developed to counter adversary armadas, as well. Such a capability would assume China is a step ahead of the U.S. in that regard, which is debatable.

As it sits now, this video serves as a reminder that a hypersonic arms race is very real and very active. While the U.S. has an alphabet soup of hypersonic programs under development, and more that are classified, China is not standing still, either. Like the Air Force's own first hypersonic weapon, the bomber-launched AGM-183 ARRW, the People's Liberation Army would benefit greatly from being able to put any target at risk within thousands of miles of its shores via a currently impossible to defend against and highly-precise air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle. If this one video is any indication, they may be actively trying to keep pace with U.S. developments in that regard. Otherwise, the video shows the aircraft carrying a ballistic missile, which, depending on its application, has its own major strategic implications.
Details surrounding this video and the weapon seen in it are bound to change. We will keep you updated with additional information and analysis as we find out more.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

posted for fair use
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Video Of Chinese Missile Carrier Jet Hauling What Appears To Be A Hypersonic Weapon Emerges
The video could be the first visual evidence that China is actively testing an air-launched hypersonic weapon.
ByTyler RogowayOctober 17, 2020
Chinese Internet
SHARE


Tyler RogowayView Tyler Rogoway's Articles
Aviation_Intel

Video has emerged out of China showing what appears to be an H-6N missile carrier aircraft with a massive weapon slung underneath it. The unique wedge-shaped profile of the missile's forward section points to the possibility that the missile is a hypersonic weapon system. In particular, the form factor looks similar to the one found on China's ground-launched DF-17 hypersonic weapon, which uses a ballistic missile to boost an unpowered DF-ZF hypersonic boost-glide vehicle to a velocity well over Mach 5 before the vehicle continues on maneuvering path through the atmosphere to its target. You can read our previous post on the DF-17 here.

China's work on air-launched adaptations of their ground-launched ballistic missiles is not necessarily new. An air-launched DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile is thought to have been in development for some time. The pursuit of an air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle weapon by China should be expected, as well, but this could be the first time we are actually seeing it.



New Photos Point To Chinese Bomber Being Able To Carry Huge Anti-Ship Ballistic MissilesBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone
Four Of The Biggest Revelations From China's Massive 70th Anniversary Military ParadeBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone
Video Appears To Show China Testing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles Via High Altitude BalloonBy Tyler Rogoway Posted in The War Zone
Air Force Says New Hypersonic Missile Will Hit Targets 1,000 Miles Away In Under 12 MinutesBy Thomas Newdick Posted in The War Zone
How China's Ballistic Missile And Nuclear Arsenal Is Ballooning According To The PentagonBy Joseph Trevithick Posted in The War Zone

The H-6N is specifically designed to carry outsized loads, from high-speed drone aircraft to anti-ship ballistic missiles, as well as more traditional cruise missiles. It is an advanced outgrowth of the H-6K, which itself is a fully reimagined and updated version of a design that tracks its lineage directly back to the Tu-16 Badger of Soviet origin. You can read all about this unique H-6 variant and its strategic implications in this past piece of ours.




It is entirely logical that China would develop an air-launched hypersonic weapon that leverages an existing ground-launched design. The most obvious and only known choice would be the aforementioned DF-17 that Beijing touted so heavily at its recent high-profile military parade. Although it is supposedly operational, the exact status of this weapon and its capabilities remains unknown, but China sure wants the world to think that it is a fully functioning hypersonic weapon. Regardless, using it, or at least parts of it, such as the DF-ZF vehicle, for an air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle weapon makes sense.


Chinese Internet
DF-17s at the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party parade.
That's not to say that this solves the mystery of what exactly we are seeing here. Like the U.S., China has a number of hypersonic weapons programs underway and has tested many hypersonic vehicle shapes that could be leveraged for different weapons applications. Work on an air-breathing hypersonic cruise missile is also a certainty. So, this could be an entirely new configuration that features a new hypersonic vehicle, we just don't know for certain at this time. There is also the possibility that this is a more traditional ballistic missile that uses a maneuvering warhead, like the one found on the DF-21D and DF-26, but the imagery seems to point away from the possibility based on the peculiar nose arrangement on the missile. Better quality footage and photos in the future could alter that line of thinking though.


China Media
DF-21D test firing.
Being able to lug a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle hundreds or thousands of miles from Chinese territory would put bases that were previously outside the range of those weapons under threat from a so-far indefinable capability. Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and Wake Island, in particular, come to mind, but such a weapon could be used on many other highly defended adversary locales throughout the hemisphere. Hypersonic weapons are also being developed to counter adversary armadas, as well. Such a capability would assume China is a step ahead of the U.S. in that regard, which is debatable.

As it sits now, this video serves as a reminder that a hypersonic arms race is very real and very active. While the U.S. has an alphabet soup of hypersonic programs under development, and more that are classified, China is not standing still, either. Like the Air Force's own first hypersonic weapon, the bomber-launched AGM-183 ARRW, the People's Liberation Army would benefit greatly from being able to put any target at risk within thousands of miles of its shores via a currently impossible to defend against and highly-precise air-launched hypersonic boost-glide vehicle. If this one video is any indication, they may be actively trying to keep pace with U.S. developments in that regard. Otherwise, the video shows the aircraft carrying a ballistic missile, which, depending on its application, has its own major strategic implications.
Details surrounding this video and the weapon seen in it are bound to change. We will keep you updated with additional information and analysis as we find out more.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

posted for fair use
When I read reports such as the above, I think that the battle for Taiwan cannot be far off.
 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB

In "Blunt Message" China Warns It Might Detain Americans If US Prosecutes PLA-Linked Academics
Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
by Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/17/2020 - 17:20
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After federal agents this summer moved to detain and charge multiple visiting Chinese academics for their undisclosed links to the People’s Liberation Army while at US research universities or laboratories (often involving outright deception to federal agencies), Beijing has escalated things with its own unprecedented warning.
A WSJ exclusive published Saturday cites several sources to say Chinese government officials are threatening to arrest American nationals working or residing in China in response to the DOJ prosecutions of Chinese military-linked researchers. The report cites a series of warnings communicated via "multiple channels" since the summer, including directly to the US Embassy in Beijing.
Via Yahoo News
Recall too that after a developing tit-for-tat, last month the Trump administration announced that it is "blocking" many students from China from obtaining visas to America, specifically graduate students focusing on research in scientific and medical fields over fears they could steal sensitive research, especially related to coronavirus data or the search for a vaccine.

And there was also the mid-July diplomatic fiasco involving Chinese national Tang Juan, a University of California-Davis researcher previously admitted on a J-1 visa, who was alleged to have hid out in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after being sought by the FBI for lying about her PLA affiliation. She was taken into custody and charged later that month, along with a handful of others, including a visiting scholar at a Texas research institution.
And three weeks ago a Chinese scientist accused of stealing trade secrets from a leading American researcher at the University of Virginia had all charges dropped against him after a court concluded he had authorization to access the information in question. But there's now been monthly instances of the DOJ rounding up Chinese academics under such suspicions.
It now appears Beijing too is ready to go 'gloves off' as the WSJ details:
The Chinese message, the people said, has been blunt: The U.S. should drop prosecutions of the Chinese scholars in American courts, or Americans in China might find themselves in violation of Chinese law.
Though the threats up until now have not been detailed to the public, the warnings via diplomatic backchannels began this summer, according to the report, which characterized the communications as a "blunt message".
File image via The New York Times

"China started issuing the warning this summer after the U.S. began arresting a series of Chinese scientists... the people said," the report adds.

Though both sides, including the US State Department, are keeping mum over the potential retaliatory move Beijing is said to be mulling, the US last month did issue a travel advisory telling Americans that given deteriorating Sino-US relations on multiple fronts, especially the Hong Kong national security law issue and a growing blacklist related to Chinese tech firms, they must remain hyper aware when traveling of the possibility for the Chinese government to detain other countries’ citizens “to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”


However, Beijing has claimed that this is precisely what the United States and Western governments are doing in the first place, offering as a foremost example the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, which has marred Canada's diplomatic ties with China. Beijing has said the US was clearly an "accomplice" in her continued detention.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB

In "Blunt Message" China Warns It Might Detain Americans If US Prosecutes PLA-Linked Academics
Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
by Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/17/2020 - 17:20
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrint

After federal agents this summer moved to detain and charge multiple visiting Chinese academics for their undisclosed links to the People’s Liberation Army while at US research universities or laboratories (often involving outright deception to federal agencies), Beijing has escalated things with its own unprecedented warning.
A WSJ exclusive published Saturday cites several sources to say Chinese government officials are threatening to arrest American nationals working or residing in China in response to the DOJ prosecutions of Chinese military-linked researchers. The report cites a series of warnings communicated via "multiple channels" since the summer, including directly to the US Embassy in Beijing.
Via Yahoo News
Recall too that after a developing tit-for-tat, last month the Trump administration announced that it is "blocking" many students from China from obtaining visas to America, specifically graduate students focusing on research in scientific and medical fields over fears they could steal sensitive research, especially related to coronavirus data or the search for a vaccine.

And there was also the mid-July diplomatic fiasco involving Chinese national Tang Juan, a University of California-Davis researcher previously admitted on a J-1 visa, who was alleged to have hid out in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after being sought by the FBI for lying about her PLA affiliation. She was taken into custody and charged later that month, along with a handful of others, including a visiting scholar at a Texas research institution.
And three weeks ago a Chinese scientist accused of stealing trade secrets from a leading American researcher at the University of Virginia had all charges dropped against him after a court concluded he had authorization to access the information in question. But there's now been monthly instances of the DOJ rounding up Chinese academics under such suspicions.
It now appears Beijing too is ready to go 'gloves off' as the WSJ details:

Though the threats up until now have not been detailed to the public, the warnings via diplomatic backchannels began this summer, according to the report, which characterized the communications as a "blunt message".
File image via The New York Times

"China started issuing the warning this summer after the U.S. began arresting a series of Chinese scientists... the people said," the report adds.

Though both sides, including the US State Department, are keeping mum over the potential retaliatory move Beijing is said to be mulling, the US last month did issue a travel advisory telling Americans that given deteriorating Sino-US relations on multiple fronts, especially the Hong Kong national security law issue and a growing blacklist related to Chinese tech firms, they must remain hyper aware when traveling of the possibility for the Chinese government to detain other countries’ citizens “to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”


However, Beijing has claimed that this is precisely what the United States and Western governments are doing in the first place, offering as a foremost example the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, which has marred Canada's diplomatic ties with China. Beijing has said the US was clearly an "accomplice" in her continued detention.
Any American in China should get out now
 

Plain Jane

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Chinese Ambassador Makes Outrageous Veiled Threat To Canadians In Hong Kong
Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
by Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/17/2020 - 19:50
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Canada and China are once again in a diplomatic battle over a range of issues this time with Beijing threatening retaliation over Canada's acceptance of activists from Hong Kong who are seeking political asylum.

China’s ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu issued a somewhat unprecedented threat to Ottawa late this week, saying that accepting anti-China activists could jeopardize the “health and safety” of 300,000 Canadians who live in Hong Kong.

“We strongly urge the Canadian side not to grant so-called political asylum to those violent criminals in Hong Kong, because it is interference in China’s domestic affairs, and certainly it will embolden those violent criminals,” Cong said.

“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong, and a large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes.” This was widely taken as an ominous threat of retaliatory action against Canadian citizens and companies in the region.

Ironically the ultra-provocative remarks came during an event marking the 50th anniversary of Canadian and Chinese diplomatic relations. When pressed over whether the statements were a threat, the ambassador left if open, replying: “That is your interpretation.”

Cong was also responding to the move among dozens of Canadian MPs and senators recently calling for their country to accept more Hong Kong activists in the wake of the over 3-month old Chinese national security law. A number of prominent pro-independence activists fled in the wake of the harsh law, given it's rumored to apply retroactively, and can carry stiff jail sentences for mere political speech, should that speech be dubbed by authorities incitement or "terroristic".

According to Canadian national media reports:

"Canada has accepted at least two Hong Kong activists as refugees, granting them protection in early September. More than 45 other dissidents are awaiting approval for asylum, sources have told The Globe."
Cong had defended the national security law as ensuring "stability" after months of protests, riots, and clashes with police which turned violent and often led to massive destruction of property and temporary shutdowns to things like public transit.


“I want to make clear that a stable and prosperous Hong Kong … is not only in the interest of the vast majority of Hong Kong residents, but it is also conducive to the ma

jority of those … law-abiding foreigners and enterprises in Hong Kong,” Cong emphasized.

Canada's Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne immediately protested the deeply "inappropriate" comments. “The reported comments by the Chinese ambassador are totally unacceptable and disturbing,” he said in a statement. “I have instructed Global Affairs to call the Ambassador in to make clear in no uncertain terms that Canada will always stand up for human rights and the rights of Canadians around the world.”

Cong had also taken Trudeau's prior statements to task alleging the mainland's “coercive diplomacy” in its crackdown in Hong Kong. Trudeau had also mentioned arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in government-run camps.

“There is no coercive diplomacy on the Chinese side,” Cong responded Thursday. “The Hong Kong issue and the Xinjiang-related issue are not about the issue of human rights. They are purely about internal affairs of China, which brooks no interference from the outside.”


He also hit Ottawa over the still contested Huawei affair, charging that Canada is ultimately an “accomplice” to Washington in detaining Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou.

There's been a rapidly downward spiral in diplomatic relations between China and Canada springing from the Huawei controversy, but especially following the mainland's crackdown on protests in Hong Kong. Last month China walked away from free trade talks with China, which had been in process for a year.
 

jward

passin' thru
Demystifying China’s Role in Italy’s Port of Trieste

The ghosts of Chinese control or even ownership have haunted the port since a March 2019 MoU. But those concerns have always been overblown.



By Francesca Ghiretti

October 15, 2020
This article is presented by
Diplomat Risk Intelligence, The Diplomat’s consulting and analysis division. Learn more here
Demystifying China’s Role in Italy’s Port of Trieste

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Gigi26970
At the end of September 2020, Germany’s Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) concluded an agreement with the Port of Trieste, in northern Italy, to invest in the development of the port’s logistic platform. The investment includes the acquisition by HHLA of 50.1 percent of the shares of the platform, with the rest belonging to Francesco Parisi S.p.A. (about 23 percent) and ICOP (22 percent), while the remaining shares will be held by Interporto di Bologna. In Europe, and in Washington too, the move has been welcomed as it dispels the ghosts of Chinese investments and the risks these might have implied.

In March 2019, the Port of Trieste was among the signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Italy and the People’s Republic of China in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The agreement signed by the Port of Trieste with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) amounted to little more than a declaration of intent and goodwill for the development of future relationships between the entities. Nonetheless, the MoU of March 2019 opened the way for a more specific, and to a certain degree pragmatic, bilateral MoU between the Port of Trieste and CCCC, which was signed in Shanghai in November 2019. This latter MoU envisioned three areas of collaboration between the authority of the Port of Trieste and CCCC: one in Italy, one in China, and in one in third countries.

Despite the signing of the second MoU and the enthusiastic tones of the parties involved – which at times have caused misunderstandings in the public in regard to the size and scope of the agreement – the content had very limited and precise objectives, none of which envisioned the management, let alone the ownership, of the Port of Trieste by CCCC. Yet, both after the MoU in March 2019 and the one that followed in November, fear ran high that something similar to what happened to the port of Piraeus in Greece could repeat itself in the Italian port, leading to the expansion of China’s influence in the area. Such concerns were the result of two elements: miscommunication on the Italian side on the actual content of the agreement – content often inflated by some news outlets – and the climate of tensions that through the years has developed around Chinese investments in infrastructure projects.

In order to obtain some clarity and bring the debate back to facts, we must understand what was actually in the agreement between the Port of Trieste and CCCC.

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As noted above, the agreement was composed in three parts; since the section concerning the presence of CCCC in Italy is the most complex we will take it up last. The part regarding the presence of the Port of Trieste in China comprised two offers. First, the participation of the Port of Trieste in a new logistic park in China, which would sell Italian products. The possible areas identified were Shanghai, Ningbo, and Shenzhen. Second, there was a option for Italian enterprises to sell their products on an online platform offered and already operated by CCCC. Similar offers were made to the other signatory of the MoU of March 2019, the port of Genoa, but they were not part of a follow up MoU.

Representatives from the Port of Trieste visited the areas where the logistic park could potentially emerge; however, the latest update shows that the agreement did not go any further than that. In a pattern too often seen with Chinese counterparts, promises were made but nothing followed. The offer made to Genoa had a similar destiny. Nonetheless, the Port of Trieste launched a pilot program for local enterprises in the wine sector to sell their products on the online platform offered by CCCC. The platform officially belonged to CCCC, but the governance of the logistic chain was entirely in the hands of the Italian sides, with a special role for the Port of Trieste. Unfortunately, we do not know how this partnership would have developed as the COVID-19 pandemic brought this effort to a pause, if not to an end.

In regard to the potential collaboration between the Port of Trieste and CCCC in third countries, the agreement envisioned the construction of a large intermodal terminal in the city of Kosice, Slovakia. This part of the agreement is still in motion, but, to the best of our knowledge, it has not come to a conclusion yet.

The part of the agreement that covered CCCC’s presence in the Italian port proposed an investment by CCCC in the already existing “Trihub” project for the reactivation of the Servola and Aquilinia stations, which are to be part of the new intermodal terminal just outside of Trieste.

The Trihub project began in 2017 and was born in a coordinated effort between the authority of the Port of Trieste and Italian Railways Network (RFI). Its aim is to develop the Trieste Campo Marzio station, the main infrastructure serving the port, and turn it into a larger hub connected systematically with the stations of Cervignano and Villa Opicinia. The other part of the Trihub project regards the reactivation of the Trieste Servola and Trieste Aquilinia stations, which will allow for direct trains on the Venice-Trieste line. This is the part of the project in which the Chinese were to be involved.

These are all targeted projects aimed at bettering the rail connection of the Port of Trieste, which views rail connection as one of its strengths, but none of the above included Chinese intervention in the port itself. Furthermore, far from being a rogue initiative, the project was presented at the EU-China Connectivity Platform and received the greenlight from Brussels. So much so that the European Investment Bank loaned 39 million euros for the project to which the Connecting Europe facility added financing of 6.5 million.

Under the arrangement in the MoU, CCCC would have built the station of Trieste Servola and the port authority together with RFI would have managed it while paying rent to CCCC. Nonetheless, even before HHLA took a controlling stake in the development of the new logistic platform, little actual progress had been made. In any case, the MoU did not equate to giving the station to CCCC; there would still have to be an open public bid respectful of Italian and European regulations. However, to this day, CCCC is yet to present such a project proposal, and the new investment by HHLA suggests it might never do so.

Summing up, then: The Port of Trieste was ready to welcome Chinese investments to advance parts of an existing development project. This initial project could have led to further potential future investments. However, if the question is whether the Port of Trieste was selling the port to the Chinese or giving it to them to manage, then evidence shows that the answer is no. In Italy ports are of public ownership, and hence cannot be sold. Even in those cases where long concessions for management are made, these can be rescinded if the counterpart does not comply with the agreement. Finally, any infrastructure investments in Italian ports must go through public bids, meaning that in spite of the agreement between the Port of Trieste and CCCC, the latter (by itself or as part of a consortium) would have had to make the best offer and win the public procurement. For example, despite the March 2019 MoU with the port of Genoa, CCCC did not actually win the public bid for the construction of the new breakwater dam.

In conclusion, foreign investments always carry a risk and undeniably, there have been instances in which Chinese investments have led to an excessive ownership of strategic infrastructure by the Chinese counterpart. However, the process followed by the Port of Trieste embedded such an investment into a European framework and moved with more caution than often advertised. Ultimately, the case of the Port of Trieste shows that the debate on Chinese investments in infrastructure projects is often detached from data. Nonetheless, it is important to have such a debate in order to better understand the phenomenon and determine how to respond to it in the future.

Francesca Ghiretti is a research fellow at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), where she specializes in Italy-China relationship, Europe-China relationship and Chinese foreign policy. She is a Ph.D. candidate at King’s College London, looking at Chinese FDI in the EU.

 

jward

passin' thru
..More on the threats of "hostage diplomacy" Reads as escalation, but mercury is retrograde, so I can't see any actual fwd movement coming from it.. Busy lil bees tho, aren't they
...so many fingers in so many pies that they've had to kick off their kung fu shoe and start using their toes. :: shakes head ::
China warns US it will take Americans hostage if DOJ doesn't release Chinese research scientists who 'lied about working for People's Liberation Army', say sources
  • Sources told the Wall Street Journal Chinese government officials have warned American counterparts repeatedly and through multiple channels
  • China warned the US it will take US nationals residing in China hostage
  • The move, known as 'hostage diplomacy', would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year
  • At least four scientists have been arrested and charged with visa fraud
  • They are accused of lying to US immigration to come to work at US research universities all the while secretly working for the Chinese military
  • China is demanding the DOJ drop the charges against them
  • On one occasion in June, China threatened to detain an American if the US didn't let research scientist Tang Juan return to China, sources said
  • Juan was arrested when a photo of her in a PLA uniform surfaced online
By Rachel Sharp For Dailymail.com

Published: 22:15 EDT, 17 October 2020 | Updated: 22:48 EDT, 17 October 2020






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China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn't release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People's Liberation Army, according to sources.
People familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal Chinese government officials have warned their American counterparts repeatedly and through multiple channels including through the US Embassy in Beijing that the nation will take drastic action if their demands are not met.
The move, known as 'hostage diplomacy', would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year.
At least four scientists have been detained and charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the Chinese military.
China is demanding the DOJ drop the charges against them.
China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn't release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People's Liberation Army, according to sources. Warnings came through the US Embassy in Beijing (above)


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China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn't release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People's Liberation Army, according to sources. Warnings came through the US Embassy in Beijing (above)
Sources said China started warning America it would take US nationals residing in China hostage over the summer.
On one occasion in June, China threatened to detain an American if the US didn't let research scientist Tang Juan return to China.
Juan was questioned by the FBI in June after a photo emerged online of her in PLA uniform.
She had claimed on her visa application she was never in the Chinese military.
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Juan was working at the University of California on cancer research.
Prosecutors later said they found Chinese military documents about research 'related to antidotes for biological agents' on her electronic devices.
Juan holed up in China's San Francisco consulate for a month after being questioned by the FBI over visas fraud and China vowed retaliation if she wasn't permitted to leave and return to China, sources told the Journal.
The FBI arrested Juan and charged her with visa fraud in July when she left the consulate grounds.
The move, known as 'hostage diplomacy', would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year accused of lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the PLA (above)


+6


The move, known as 'hostage diplomacy', would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year accused of lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the PLA (above)
US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out 'arbitrary and wrongful detentions' including 'to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments'


+6


US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out 'arbitrary and wrongful detentions' including 'to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments'
Sources said US officials expected China to retaliate by taking an American hostage but it didn't.
Juan has since been released on bail and her lawyer, Malcolm Segal denied China had interfered at all in her case.
'The Chinese government has played no role whatsoever in the case itself or in her defense, nor do I ever expect them to do so,' he told the Journal.
Four other researchers accused of lying about their ties to the Chinese military have also been charged on similar counts.
In June, Xin Wang, a scientific researcher and high-ranking military officer with China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), was detained at LA International Airport Sunday when he tried to board a flight to Tianjin, China, with stolen university research materials, according to court records.
Attorney David L. Anderson and FBI Special Agent John F. Bennett said in a criminal complaint that Wang lied on his application to obtain a visitor visa for a work-study exchange program.
In June, China allegedly threatened to detain an American if the US didn't let Tang Juan (above) return to China


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In June, China allegedly threatened to detain an American if the US didn't let Tang Juan (above) return to China
He then used this visa to work with scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he collected information to take back to China under the orders of the PLA military lab.
He was arrested and charged with visa fraud, according to court records.
US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out 'arbitrary and wrongful detentions' including 'to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments'.
'The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law,' the advisory reads.
'The PRC government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans: to compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations, to pressure family members to return to the PRC from abroad, to influence PRC authorities to resolve civil disputes in favor of PRC citizens, and to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.'
John Demers, head of the Justice Department's national security division, told the Journal the Chinese government has 'detained American, Canadian and other individuals without legal basis to retaliate against lawful prosecutions and to exert pressure on their governments, with a callous disregard of the individuals involved.'
However the outlet reported that he would neither confirm nor deny the claims of hostage threats and simply said that 'if China wants to be seen as one of the world's leading nations, it should respect the rule of law and stop taking hostages.'
US President Donald Trump


+6

China President Xi Jinping


+6


Tensions have been escalating between the US and China and the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston in July
China has been known to detain foreign nationals in the country over what other countries have said are baseless allegations, as part of a 'hostage diplomacy' tactic.
Tensions have been escalating between the two nations for some time.
Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing of a cover-up over the coronaviurus pandemic and refers to the virus as the 'China virus'.
Then in July, the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, by Friday - giving the nation 72 hours to depart.
Beijing blasted the move a 'political provocation' while people were seen hurriedly burning documents in the building's courtyard.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the shock decision was taken because China was 'stealing' intellectual property and Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell ordered that all Chinese military researchers also leave the US.
Sources later told the Journal the decision was made after US officials said cutting-edge research was being stolen from top American universities and sent back to Beijing.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the US State Department for comment.



Read more:
 

OldArcher

Has No Life - Lives on TB
War with Communist China is inevitable. To think otherwise, is absolutely stupid and suicidal. Likewise, the US should reevaluate all of it’s allies and contacts... Turkey should never have been an ally, and how we treat our actual allies, has got to improve... As the ancient Scotsman said, “Laddie, we’re fooked...”

OldArcher
 

jward

passin' thru
Chinese military beefs up coastal forces as it prepares for possible invasion of Taiwan

  • Missile bases have been upgraded and equipped with the most advanced hypersonic missile the DF-17, according to one military source
  • Build-up of forces comes as the PLA continues with a series of exercises designed to keep up the pressure on the island
Minnie Chan

Published: 8:06am, 18 Oct, 2020

Updated: 11:21pm, 18 Oct, 2020

Coastal rocket bases have been equipped with DF-17 ballistic missiles. Photo: AP

Coastal rocket bases have been equipped with DF-17 ballistic missiles. Photo: AP

Beijing is stepping up the militarisation of its southeast coast as it prepares for a possible invasion of
Taiwan
, military observers and sources have said.
The People’s Liberation Army has been upgrading its missile bases, and one Beijing-based military source said it has deployed its most advanced hypersonic missile the DF-17 to the area.
“The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” the source, who requested anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the topic. “The new missile has a longer range and is able to hit targets more accurately.”

How Korean war memories in China fuel desire to take Taiwan 70 years on

17 Oct 2020

1603065021274.png

The DF-17, which has a maximum range of 2,500km (1,550 miles), made its first public appearance on last year’s
October 1 National Day parade
to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province which it has vowed to take back, by force if necessary. Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated since Tsai Ing-wen from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was elected as president in 2016 and refused to accept the one-China principle.

The deployment of missiles on the coasts of Fujian and Zhejiang provinces previously peaked during the presidency of Tsai’s DPP predecessor Chen Shui-ban.

Ties have come under further strain this year as Taipei moved closer to the United States and signed a series of arms deals, including for Patriot missiles and an upgrade to its F-16 Viper jets.
Satellite images show that both the Marine Corps and Rocket Force bases in Fujian and Guangdong provinces have expanded in recent years, according to Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canada-based Kanwa Defence Review.
“Every rocket force brigade in Fujian and Guangdong is now fully equipped,” he said.

“The size of some of the missile bases in the Eastern and Southern theatre commands have even doubled in recent years, showing the PLA is stepping up preparations for a war targeting Taiwan.”
A satellite image shows how a base in Puning in Guangdong has expanded in recent years. Photo: Kanwa Defence Review


A satellite image shows how a base in Puning in Guangdong has expanded in recent years. Photo: Kanwa Defence Review
Chang said one base in Puning, a city in Guangdong, had been upgraded and now housed a new type of ballistic missile, but declined to say what type because of the sensitivity of the topic.

“The missile base in Puning is responsible for attacking southern Taiwan, but the DF-11 and DF-15 do not have a long enough range to fly over the Central Mountain Range to hit the island’s airbases in Taitung and Hualien [both in eastern Taiwan],” he said.
US warship’s Taiwan passage undermined peace and stability: Chinese military
16 Oct 2020

1603065021308.png

Chang also said the PLA had deployed its Russian-built S-400 Triumf air-defence system that could detect and shoot down missiles, drones and jets from up to 600km away to defend against any attack by the Taiwanese air force.

“The S-400’s radar system is very sophisticated and is able to cover the whole of Taiwan,” he said. “It is able to shoot Taiwanese military aircraft once they take off.”
The PLA’s coastal defences also include 20 air force brigades – some of them armed with the country’s first stealth warplane, the J-20.
A 3D model of southern Taiwan at a PLA Southern Theatre Command centre. Photo: Handout


A 3D model of southern Taiwan at a PLA Southern Theatre Command centre. Photo: Handout
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps – the only wing of the armed forces that has continued to grow during President Xi Jinping’s extensive overhaul of the military – has been earmarked to play a key role in any invasion and 10 of its 13 brigades are now based along the southeast coast.

The Marine Corps headquarters had been based in Chaozhou in Guangdong since 2017 and would play a key role in any attack on a Taiwanese naval base in Kaohsiung, the Beijing-based source said.
Beijing has sought to keep up the pressure on Taiwan with a series of exercises around the island, including a
large-scale invasion drill last weekend
and
multiple air sorties
that saw almost 40 fighters crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait in a single day last month.

On Monday, retired major general Wang Zaixi, who once led the mainland’s semi-governmental organisation for managing ties with Taiwan, described the recent exercises as “unprecedented”.
“Until today, the possibility of peaceful reunification was slim,” he told Chinese news site Guancha.cn. “The live-fire military exercises showed it is just one step away to actual combat.”
From our archive

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Beijing deploys missiles as it boosts Taiwan readiness

posted for fair use
China beefs up coastal forces as it prepares for possible Taiwan invasion
 

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jward

passin' thru
Indo-Pacific News
@IndoPac_Info



#US Working to End #Chinese Secrecy Around Nuclear Capabilities Washington is taking diplomatic and military steps to put an end to #Beijing’s “great wall of secrecy” that surrounds its rapid and expanding strategic weapons program. https://news.usni.org/2020/10/15/u-s

Speaking at a Heritage Foundation online forum, Marshall Billingslea, senior envoy for arms control, said Xi Jin-ping and the CCP leadership are engaged “in a crash nuclear build-up” with the intent of re-establishing China as the Middle Kingdom, the dominant global power.

For the past several years, Beijing has “aggressively” been testing cruise and ballistic missiles. Billingslea said that as of August, China has conducted “at least 70 this year.” The schedule “portends a major shift in Chinese nuclear posture.”
 

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Xi’s lost chance in Asia

Instead of being a responsible global leader under President Xi Jinping, China’s initiatives such as its mask diplomacy and Health Silk Road unraveled the country’s underlying motives of self-interest behind humanitarian aid and assistance. | REUTERS Instead of being a responsible global leader under President Xi Jinping, China’s initiatives such as its mask diplomacy and Health Silk Road unraveled the country’s underlying motives of self-interest behind humanitarian aid and assistance. | REUTERS


  • Oct 16, 2020
Conventional narrative within China depicts Xi Jinping as a statesman, a strongman and a philosopher who has emerged tall since assuming leadership in March 2013. He has absolute power and holds the reins that have catapulted the success of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Building a staunchly nationalistic platform driven by his unique doctrine recognized as “Xi Jinping Thought” (officially, the “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”), President Xi has sought to bring back China’s medieval glory — thus inviting comparison to the legendary Mao Zedong.
Now, with the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the CCP — the Party’s mandated annual convention to map the government’s agenda moving forward — set to be held later in October 2020, Xi faces a test of his policies, ideologies and strategies. Many are keeping a tight vigil on Xi Jinping’s promise that he made to the Chinese people, about building a “Community with a Shared Future for Humankind” (CSF), a cornerstone of his foreign policy in the Asian neighborhood. Observers are also following how it is faring in the post-pandemic period, and whether it can continue to achieve all that it set out to even as Beijing is quickly losing diplomatic ground in an emerging (and hostile) security environment.

Envisioning to take an Asia-centric leadership in world politics, Xi introduced the CSF initiative in 2015 in his keynote address at the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly wherein he encouraged building bilateral partnerships that “engage in extensive consultation and enhance mutual understanding” so that nations “treat each other as equals.” Hailed as an attempt to promote liberal institutionalism, the CSF reflected a vision that protected multilateralism, encouraging the same over any pretence of unilateralism, and promoted a win-win mindset as opposed to zero-sum game ideas. Today, Xi’s vision and Beijing’s commitment to the same ring hollow. In fact, even as the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while dreadingly preparing for its aftermath, a Xi-led China seems to have abandoned any pretence of its commitment to the ideals embedded in the CSF.

At the 2017 CCP National Congress meeting, Xi stated that in order to actualize the CSF vision, China must pursue “peaceful development,” “safeguard world peace,” and “uphold international order.” However, 2020 has shown China in a stark contrast, with its aggressive military maneuvering both on land and at sea, its eagerness to assert dominance within its neighborhood and a disregard for a rules-based international order. Furthermore, China’s revisionist tendencies have led to a degradation of bilateral or multilateral ties, reflecting an apparent abandonment of win-win cooperation for harmonious relations.
Instead of being a responsible global leader — a role Beijing was uniquely positioned to assume had it wielded its soft diplomatic power effectively — China’s initiatives (such as its mask diplomacy and Health Silk Road) unraveled the country’s underlying motives of self-interest behind humanitarian aid and assistance. Moreover, Beijing’s so-called “good neighborly” outlook and politics of generosity was replaced by blatant aggressiveness. When China’s long-time trade partner Australia called for an independent investigation into the origins and early handling of the pandemic, China lashed out with severe retaliatory sanctions (even asking students to boycott Australian universities) — their bilateral ties have only worsened since. At the same time, its military adventurism in the East and South China Seas has increased in leaps and bounds leading to deteriorating ties with both Japan and the Southeast Asian Nations.

The exodus of Japanese manufacturers from China, aided by a $2.2 billion stimulus package for moving to other Southeast Asian countries or back home, highlights the rising distrust in Tokyo towards Beijing. Japan has also shown stringent disapproval of China’s national security law imposed on Hong Kong, offering the city’s citizens asylum. In its strongest statement yet, ASEAN has condemned Beijing’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo while urging adherence to the U.N. Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
With India in particular, China’s ties have reached the brink of war, with both countries facing off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Since the Galwan valley clash in June, tensions have only continued to rise with largely unsuccessful peace talks as both prepare for a long-drawn, high-stakes and high-altitude stand-off for the foreseeable future. Taiwan has been subject to Beijing’s revisionist tendencies as well. China has ramped up its military build-up around the self-run island, intruding into Taiwanese airspace on multiple occasions and causing it to call for the formation of a global coalition in case of a (very real) possibility of war. Even Asian and Indo-Pacific countries like Mongolia, South Korea and New Zealand have borne witness to the rise of China as a revisionist power that has little consideration for international laws and norms — despite the ideology it publicly endorses.

In this sense, China’s overt commitment to the CSF has only become more ironic, if not hypocritical. Its dedication to promote a pluralistic world order has been reduced to a mere narrative aimed at propelling its own rise. Beyond principles of parity and mutual regard, what drives Chinese outlook is the underlying subtext of an otherwise benign conceptualization: the belief that China must play a global leadership role commensurate with its vast and ever-rising capabilities and that its deeper integration must necessarily mean a reorientation of the existing order under Chinese socialist values.
Interestingly, Beijing had swiftly employed the CSF, also called Community of Common Destiny, as a foreign policy tool to solidify ties with its neighbors even as its relations with other states, especially the United States, deteriorated. Xi attempted to use the outbreak of the pandemic — which originated in China’s Wuhan province — to highlight challenges that face the human race as a whole. A popular narrative emerging in Chinese media is that Xi’s CSF conception has gained a new, “vivid interpretation” in the post-pandemic era in which China can “converge global synergy” and helm an international response to the virus. In this vein, Xi advocated for the urgent need to build a community with a shared future for mankind and sought to heighten cooperation with select states in each Asian zone, notably Kazakhstan, Cambodia and Afghanistan.
Beijing’s political goodwill has been invariably met with strong resistance from across the world, with even Europe realizing the perils of China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy. Devastated by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU found Chinese aid unreliable (with poor quality test kits from China being sent back) and an aggressive attempt to weave a web of influence within the continent. In other words, it was interpreted as China’s attempts to advance its self-interests through what many believed was a crisis of its own making.

CSF’s overall notion is inherently good, so much so that it has been previously lauded by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and is invariably embedded in many of the already existing principles as well as initiatives under the U.N.’s multilateral umbrella. However, Xi’s vision remains far removed from his actual actions, policies and intentions. If Beijing truly wants to embrace multilateralism, sovereign equality and mutually respectful partnerships to create a bright, shared future for mankind, it must situate its rise within the existing international order, by taking first Asia into confidence more than any other region of the globe.

Jagannath Panda is a Research Fellow and Centre Coordinator for East Asia at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. He is the series editor for “Routledge Studies on Think Asia.”

 
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