How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. Continue reading

PLA’s cyber attack unit linked to S. China Sea takeover campaign

The new cyber unit of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was identified as Unit 78020 and is based in Kunming, in Yunnan Province, according to a report by security correspondent Bill Gertz and ThreatConnect.com.

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China schemes to dig railway tunnel under Everest

Delhi: China is planning to burrow deep below Mount Everest to build a new rail link to Nepal, which could one day make train travel between Calcutta and Beijing a possibility.

A railway line already runs from Xining in central China as far as Tibet. But Chinese officials said that Nepal had asked for the route to be extended up to the border and on to Kathmandu.

Reports in Kathmandu suggested the proposed line could then continue to Lumbini, a World Heritage Site, passing under Everest to get there. Continue reading

Central banks’ investment in yuan puts currency nearer reserve status

At least 40 central banks have invested in the yuan and several others are preparing to do so, putting the mainland currency on the path to reserve status even before full convertibility, Standard Chartered said.

Twenty-three countries have publicly declared their holdings in yuan, in either the onshore or offshore markets, yet the real number of participating central banks could be far more than that, said Jukka Pihlman, Standard Chartered’s Singapore-based global head of central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

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Great powers manoeuvre in Asia

Consider the territorial disputes roiling the Indian Ocean and other East Asian regions, sparked by China’s repeated _ and increasingly assertive _ efforts to claim sovereignty over vast maritime areas. As China’s incursions reignite long-smouldering disagreements and threaten to destabile [sic] the regional status quo, countries throughout Asia are reconsidering their strategic positions.

For example, the Philippines is revamping its security strategy by enhancing cooperation with the United States _ China’s counterweight in the region _ only two decades after it closed two major American military installations, the naval base at Subic Bay and Clark Air Base. Vietnam, too, has strengthened its ties with the US. And, after decades of absence, America has resumed training programmes for Indonesia’s military. Continue reading

India and South Korea :Strategic ‘Partners’ With Long term Goals

India and South Korea share remarkable common interests – all the more remarkable considering how far apart they are geographically, in area, popula­tion, average income, living conditions and climate. And then consider how different are Indians and Koreans in ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, religious beliefs and influences. It’s hard to imagine two such important na­tions and societies with so little in common, yet so close­ly bound by security and economic considerations.

Yes, appearances can be extremely de­ceiving in a fast-moving high-tech world in which potentially cataclysmic military pressures, on top of domestic political power struggles and the need for trade and commerce, outweigh so much else. After considering all the differences, just look at all India and South Korea have in common. Continue reading

China’s Foray Into Bhutan Worries India

After intruding into the Indian territory of Ladakh, China has made a foray into Bhutan, India’s neighbor and one of its closest allies, according to an intelligence note in possession of the Indian news channel, Times Now.

The channel reported that China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) had intruded into Bhutan and set up three camps and was carrying out patrols. Continue reading