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...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.
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
'I have failed': Kim Jong Un shows tearful side in confronting N.Korea's hardshipsWASHINGTON, 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.
B. ChinaSEOUL, 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.
Big-brand BTS promotions disappear as band sparks uproar in ChinaSHANGHAI/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. …
C. The KoreasHONG 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.
K-League to again welcome fans back, capacity capped at 25%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.
posted for fair useOct 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.
An exact comparison is here difficult, but the difference in diameter from 2.4 to 3.0 m can be clearly seen.
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
The Unha or Eunha (Korean: 은하, 銀河, "Galaxy") is a North Korean expendable carrier rocket, which partially utilizes the same delivery system as the Taepodong-2 orbital launch system.
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.
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. The third and last stage might be identical to the Iranian Safir's second stage which is propelled by two small gimballed motors.
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.
Xi just said that China is going to start a war since no-one else is going to start a war with ChinaIndo-Pacific News
#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
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.Xi just said that China is going to start a war since no-one else is going to start a war with China
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"."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."
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.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
When I read reports such as the above, I think that the battle for Taiwan cannot be far off.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
Tyler RogowayView Tyler Rogoway's Articles
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.
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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.
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.
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
The video could be the first visual evidence that China is actively testing an air-launched hypersonic weapon.www.thedrive.com
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".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.
Any American in China should get out nowRetaliatory threat communicated to US Embassy that Americans "might" find themselves detained for violations of Chinese law...www.zerohedge.com
In "Blunt Message" China Warns It Might Detain Americans If US Prosecutes PLA-Linked Academics
by Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/17/2020 - 17:20
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.
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."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."
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
By Rachel Sharp For Dailymail.com
- 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
Published: 22:15 EDT, 17 October 2020 | Updated: 22:48 EDT, 17 October 2020
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)
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)
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
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.'
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.