U.S. on alert for China moves

Chinese soldiers and children holding U.S. and Chinese flags line up on the tarmac to greet President Donald Trump as he arrives at Beijing Airport, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, in Beijing, China. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

 

China’s government is known for using high-level foreign visits to conduct tests of new military equipment such as missiles and stealth aircraft, and the White House is hoping Beijing does not conduct provocative tests while President Trump is visiting the country this week.

The most notable example was the January 2010 visit to China by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, when the Chinese military sought to sabotage the trip by flight-testing the first J-20 stealth fighter. Mr. Gates wrote in his memoir that the People’s Liberation Army nearly “wrecked” the visit. Two hours before he met with then-Chinese President Hu Jintao, China released photos of the new J-20 in what Mr. Gates called “about as big a ‘f– you’ as you can get.” Continue reading

Zhongnanhai: the mysterious hub of the China’s Communist Party

Zhongnanhai, as China’s power center, is a mystery to most people on the mainland. It used to be an imperial garden in central Beijing, adjacent to the Forbidden City, but once the Communist Party of China (CPC) selected the garden as the central headquarters, not even senior government officials can freely move in and out, reports our Chinese language sister newspaper Want Daily.

Only a very few of China’s first-generation leaders can live there, with some of their descendants still residing “illegally.” Currently, the complex serves as the central headquarters for the CPC and the State Council. Continue reading

The veil is lifting on the world’s largest military

china military flag

 

So secretive is China’s army that it began admitting foreign journalists to its monthly–and highly uninformative–briefings only last year.

But in the past few months extraordinary revelations have appeared in the Chinese media about corruption in the highest ranks of the People’s Liberation Army: a deputy chief of logistics built a mansion for himself modelled on the Forbidden City (among his treasures was a statue of Mao Zedong, in gold); the country’s most senior uniformed officer had a basement stacked high with cash; and in January it emerged that no fewer than 15 generals, including a former deputy chief of the nuclear arsenal, were being investigated for graft.

Never before in China’s history have so many high-ranking officers faced such charges at once. Continue reading