Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations

An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last month. The Chinese government killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 C.I.A sources from 2010 through 2012. Credit Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

 

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A. Continue reading

Taiwan-born officer in US Navy admits revealing defence secrets

Edward Lin tells court martial he mishandled classified information in an attempt to impress women, but more serious espionage charge is dropped

The US Navy abandoned efforts to convict a Taiwan-born officer of spying for China or Taiwan, striking a plea deal on Thursday on a lesser charge that portrays him as arrogant and willing to reveal military secrets to impress women.

The agreement was a marked retreat from last year’s accusations that Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin gave or attempted to give classified information to representatives of a foreign government. Continue reading

Exclusive: Trump says ‘major, major’ conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy

U.S. President Donald Trump looks out a window of the Oval Office following an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

 

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.

Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table.

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” he said. Continue reading

China sets global naval role after launch of aircraft carrier

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is seen during its launching ceremony in Dalian, Liaoning province, China, April 26, 2017. Reuters/Stringer

 

Vessel was launched on Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and regional worries about Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.

China launched the carrier on Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and regional worries about Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and its broader military modernisation programme. Continue reading

China ‘in Secret Talks with N.Korea’

Beijing and Pyongyang are in secret talks about the North’s nuclear weapons program, reports said last week.

NBC on Thursday quoted a U.S. government source as saying that China sent its “top nuclear negotiators” to Pyongyang to “communicate the gravity of the situation to the North.” Continue reading

Fracking Comes to the Arctic in a New Alaska Oil Boom

Alaska’s North Slope region, including the National Petroleum Reserve (NPRA), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). US Geological Survey/Wikipedia

 

Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama’s 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive new volumes of oil. The Conversation

This comes at a time of low oil prices, when many observers felt the Arctic would remain off limits. Alaska has proved precisely the opposite. Although it has gone largely unnoticed outside the industry, foreign firms are partnering with American companies to pursue these new possibilities. I expect this new wave of Arctic development will help increase US oil production and influence in world oil markets for at least the next several decades. Continue reading

World War III nightmare scenario brewing in the East China Sea

Mounting threat: Japanese F-15 jets are intercepting Chinese military planes daily. (Toru Yamanaka | AFP | Getty Images)

 

OKINAWA-While the world watches mounting military tensions in the South China Sea, another, more ominous situation is brewing in the East China Sea that could be the trigger point for a major war between the superpowers. At the heart of tensions are eight uninhabited islands controlled by Japan that are close to important shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves. China contests Japan’s claims and is escalating its military activity in Japan airspace. In response, Japan has been doubling its F-15 jet intercepts.

The situation increases the risk of an accidental confrontation — and could draw other countries, like the United States, into a conflict. It’s a topic President Trump will likely bring up with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate this week. Continue reading

READY FOR WAR: China deploys missiles capable of ANNIHILATING US military bases

Tensions between Taiwan and China are on the rise [Getty]

 

CHINA has deployed a range of highly accurate ballistic missiles capable of launching precise strikes against US military bases amid increasing tensions in the region.

The bases in Okinawa, Taiwan, are within range of the missiles, as relations between the two super-powers continue to decline.

In January, China revealed war with the US is now a “practical reality” as military officials prepare to “retaliate decisively” to any of Donald Trump’s new policies they consider to be a threat. Continue reading

Taiwan says capable of strike against China

 

Taiwan said for the first time publicly that it is capable of launching missiles at China, as the government on Thursday unveiled a major defence report warning of increased risk of Chinese invasion.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement. Continue reading

Taiwan Joins Global War On Cash: Plans To Ban Purchases Of Houses, Cars, & Jewelry

 

The cancerous virus of freedom-destroying worldwide cash-bans – in the name of fighting terrorism – has reached Taiwan this week. With the aim of ‘preventing money-laundering’, Taiwan may ban cash purchases of properties and luxury goods, Taipei-based Economic Daily News reports, citing unidentified official at Ministry of Justice.

As we previously noted, the War on Cash is not merely continuing, it is intensifying. Continue reading

China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

cctv-warheads

 

Multi-warhead weapon tested amid growing tensions with the United States

China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.

The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.

The missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in central China and flew to an impact range in the western Chinese desert.

No other details about the test could be learned. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross suggested in a statement the test was monitored. Continue reading

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier ‘takes shape’ after two years, nine months of construction: media

Mainland China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier, the Shandong, pictured during construction in Dalian in December 2016. Photo: Kyodo

 

Building of the Shandong by mainland China likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier was “taking shape” after two years and nine months of construction, mainland Chinese media reported – a move likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness.

Construction of the Shandong, named after a province in China’s east coast, began in 2014, the mobile app of Shandong television and radio said in a report seen on Tuesday. Continue reading

Taiwan simulates China attacks as tension rises

Taiwan holds military exercises simulating an attack by China as relations with Beijing deteriorate (AFP Photo/SAM YEH)

 

Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan began two days of military drills Tuesday simulating an attack by China as the government sought to reassure the public in the face of deteriorating relations with Beijing.

The island’s armed forces gathered in central Taiwan for annual drills that saw troops practise combat skills with tanks, attack helicopters and artillery.

“The military has active measures to deal with the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea so the public can rest assured. We will enhance training 365 days a year,” defence spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading

China will ‘take off the gloves’ if Trump continues on Taiwan, state media warns

Taiwan military march during the National Day celebrations. Photo: AP

 

Beijing: China will “take off the gloves” and take strong action if US President-elect Donald Trump continues to provoke Beijing over Taiwan once he assumes office, two leading state-run newspapers said on Monday.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, Trump said the “One China” policy was up for negotiation. China’s foreign ministry, in response, said “One China” was the foundation of China-US ties and was non-negotiable.

Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, angering Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of China.

“If Trump is determined to use this gambit in taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” the English-language China Daily said. Continue reading

Taiwan scrambles fighter jets as China carrier enters strait

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of the South China Sea. /Reuters

 

Taiwan’s military was on placed on high alert as a group of Chinese ships, led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier, transited the Taiwan Strait on Jan. 11.

According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, Beijing’s Soviet-built aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, had not entered Taiwan’s territorial waters but did enter its air defense identification zone in the southwest.

Taiwan sent its aircraft and ships to “surveil and control” the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading