China is Moving into Another U.S. ‘Sphere of Influence’

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(Photo Credit: MC1 Chad McNeeley/U.S. Defense Department)

 

Sources say a full battalion will be sent in as part of counterterrorism efforts.

As part of its own fight against Islamic terrorism, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will soon deploy hundreds of troops to an area that was previously considered a “sphere of influence” dominated by the U.S. Continue reading

Trump’s Taiwan call seen pre-empting Chinese provocation early in his administration

Vice President-elect Mike Pence dismissed criticism of President-elect Donald Trump for the call to the Taiwan president as ‘mystifying.’

 

Did Donald Trump beat China to the punch?

The President-elect’s interaction with Taiwan’s president was seen by some observers as a pre-emptive hit on Beijing, which some analysts suggested was intent on delivering a testing Trump early in his administration. Continue reading

Rule of the Sea: China Pushes Boundaries

From 2010’s shift prediction and 2015’s South China Sea giveaway to 2016 where China has solidified the region and is now able to project power. This is where America stands today in Asia:

 

As China’s coastguard bullies its neighbors into submission, America looks on.

At 10 p.m. Saturday night, an Indonesian special task force intercepted a Chinese fishing boat at the southern end of the South China Sea. The event took place within Indonesia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone off the Natuna Islands, which are far from mainland China.

Onboard the Chinese vessel were nine crewmen, all of whom were taken into custody by the lightly armed Indonesian force. The Indonesian vessel, with the compounded Chinese vessel in tow, began the trip back to an Indonesian base in the Natuna Islands. Continue reading

China Actually Has Two Currencies—And It’s Fiddling Around With Both

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The problem with micromanaging the economy is that things become rather complicated. That’s why China needs two currencies, one for the mainland, one for international banks. Since the devaluation on August 11, it seems China is losing control of both.

The Renminbi (RMB) or yuan is used within mainland China and can be exchanged for other currencies very restrictively. It is primarily used in trade but also for tightly regulated inbound and outbound investments.

There is no real market for this exchange rate, instead the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) comes up with a fix every day and then trades around it. Continue reading

China’s first runway in Spratlys under construction

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Key Points

  • Satellite imagery shows that China has begun building a runway on reclaimed parts of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands
  • The imagery, provided by Airbus Defence and Space, also shows China building islands on Subi Reef that if linked up would provide enough land for another airstrip

The 23 March images show a paved section of runway 503 m by 53 m on the northeastern side of Fiery Cross Reef, which China began to turn into an island in late 2014. Paving and ground preparation of other sections of the runway has also begun further along the island. In addition, workers have paved about 400 m by 20 m of apron. Continue reading

Chinese tourists could be PLA’s ‘fifth column’ against Taiwan

Wu said Taiwan’s increasingly open policies have opened more channels for mainland Chinese tourists to visit the island for tourism, education, employment and commerce. More than 3 million tourists from mainland China visited Taiwan last year. This is a huge number which gives the PLA a great opportunity to deploy “undercover” troops to the island prior to an invasion, Wu said, as just 1% of this number is equivalent to two divisions of PLA ground forces. Continue reading

China seen targeting banks, military in Forbes web attack

A Chinese hacking group infiltrated the Forbes.com site in November and used it to launch targeted attacks against website visitors from U.S. banking and defense companies, a cybersecurity company said on Tuesday.

The attack took place over a period of several days, starting Nov. 28, and took advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, according to ISight Partners. The vulnerability was kept quiet until Tuesday, when Microsoft issued a patch to plug the security hole in its web browser. Adobe had previously published a patch for Flash. Continue reading

China builds listening station in Hong Kong

 

The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light.

Construction began around 2010, with a geodesic dome first appearing in satellite imagery in 2011. The facility has been operational for approximately three years. Continue reading

China plans cross-strait highways with Taiwan

Beijing drafts plan for symbolic bridge, but lacks approval from Taiwanese authorities

The mainland government has recently approved a national road project that includes two cross-strait highways linking both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

If completed, the project would be a literal and figurative bridge between the mainland and Taiwan and would mark a major milestone in cross-strait relations.

However, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the island’s top cross-strait policy planning body, told the South China Morning Post the project had been “unilaterally worked out by mainland authorities“.

“Based on national security concerns and cross-strait interactions, we have not planned anything with such high political sensitivity and complexity,” the council said, spelling out the island’s political and security concerns. Continue reading

Chinese Weibo users are salivating over Detroit’s bankruptcy

Downtown Detroit has long been one of the nation’s worst housing markets. Home values have plummetedVacancies abound. And foreclosure numbers are through the roof. Not that that’s surprising; who’d want to live in a neighborhood with soaring unemployment and the highest rate of violent crime in the US?

The bad news for Detroiters is that the city’s bankruptcy will likely only deepen the decay of its downtown housing market.

That might deter most prospective home buyers. But some look at Detroit’s hard times and see profit.

Specifically, bargain-hunting Chinese investors. Since the bankruptcy was announced on July 18, talk of snapping up Detroit housing for a pittance has picked up on Sina Weibo (link in Chinese), reports Sina Finance. And it appears to be translating into real interest; Caroline Chen, a real estate broker in Troy, Michigan, says she’s received “tons of calls” from people in mainland China. Continue reading

China deploys Su-27 fighters in Tibet, can target key Indian air bases

New Delhi: China’s all-weather fighter base in Tibet is now widening its range of options in the event of a conflict with India. Intelligence intercepts and satellite monitoring has confirmed that China may have to some extent overcome Tibet’s extreme altitude and temperatures to operationalise an all-weather airfield near the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Continue reading

Coup in Beijing, Says Chinese Internet Rumor Mill

Over the night of March 19 and early morning of March 20, Bejing local time, a message about a large number of military police showing up in Beijing spread widely across microblogs in mainland China.

UPDATE 2: Bo Xilai Placed Under House Arrest, Reports Suggest

The key figures in the action are said to be: Hu Jintao, the head of the CCP; Wen Jiabao, the premier; Zhou Yongkang, who has control of the People’s Republic of China’s police forces; and Bo Xilai, who was dismissed from his post as head of the Chongqing City Communist Party on March 15 by Wen Jiabao, after a scandal involving Bo’s former police chief.

UPDATE 1: Words Related to ‘Coup’ in Beijing Censored on Weibo

Li Delin, who is on the editorial board of Securities Market Weekly and lives in Dongcheng District of Beijing, wrote on his microblog a report that confirmed unusual troop movements: “There are numerous army vehicles, Changan Street is continuously being controlled. There are many plainclothes police in every intersection, and some intersections even had iron fences set up.”

According to the message that went viral on China’s Internet, a military force with unknown designation quickly occupied many important places in Zhongnanhai, the Chinese leadership compound in Beijing, and Beijing in the early morning of March 20, with the cooperation of Beijing armed police.

The troops entered Beijing to “get and protect Bo Xilai,” according to the message.

A mainland Chinese reader has told The Epoch Times that a military coup has taken place in Beijing.

It is still unknown who, if anyone, has been arrested.

The Epoch Times is at present trying to verify the messages.

Full article: Coup in Beijing, Says Chinese Internet Rumor Mill (Epoch Times)