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

Asia emerges as an economic zone

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg

 

Asian currencies (Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and China) are now trading in lockstep with the Japanese yen. In large part this is managed: so many Asian countries compete in the same export markets that their central banks try to keep their currencies aligned with each other. 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

China ‘SCRAMBLES 25,000 extra troops to North Korea’ & puts country on ‘NATIONWIDE ALERT’

North Korea China

China has reportedly set 25,000 troops along the North Korean border [Reuters/Getty]

 

CHINA has scrambled another 25,000 troops to be militarised along the North Korean border as the country is put on ‘nationwide alert’ amid heightened tensions between the hermit state and the West, according to reports.

All five regions military regions from China have been ordered by Beijing to maintain readiness for the possibility of conflict along their border with Kim Jong-un’s kingdom, according to UPI.

China’s armoured and mechanised infantry brigades in the Shandong, Zhejiang and Yunnan provinces have been given the go-ahead. Continue reading

Japan scrambles jet fighters at record pace as Chinese military activity rises

FILE PHOTO: A Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15 fighter scrambles at the Air Self Defense Force Naha base in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 13, 2015. Kyodo/via REUTERS

 

Japan worries that China’s probing of its air defences is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan.

“Recently we have seen Chinese military aircraft operating further south and that is bringing them closer to the main Okinawa island and other parts of the island chain,” Japan’s top military commander, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, told a briefing in Tokyo. 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

Procurement: Taiwan Rebuilding Against China

Taiwan has finally begun upgrading its force of 144 elderly F-16A Block 20 fighters. These are some of the oldest F-16s still in service. The upgrades will cost about $38 million per aircraft. Taiwan has on order 66 F-16 block 50/52 fighters, a sale which has been blocked by local politics, and Chinese protests, for years may now be happening because the new U.S. government has expressed interest in dealing with Chinese threats.

The F-16As are 1980s technology but the F-16 is a very upgradable aircraft. That is largely because the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going strong until 2016. The U.S. still has about 1,200 F-16s in service (about half with reserve units). The 16 ton F-16 also has an admirable combat record, and is very popular with pilots. It has been successful at ground support as well. When equipped with 4-6 smart bombs it is an effective bomber. 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

Has China been Practicing Preemptive Missile Strikes against U.S. Bases?

What a great time to have most of the U.S. carrier strike groups docked on the mainland… for China, that is.

Please see the source for more eerie satellite pictures, etc…

 

Fig. 10: Possible moored ship and naval facility targets, imagery dated August 2013. Compared for scale with actual U.S. destroyer.

You’ve probably heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers. Or perhaps you’ve read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force would make short work of it. In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to strike U.S. bases. This is a time of increasing tension, with China’s news organizations openly threatening war. U.S. leaders and policymakers should understand that a preemptive Chinese missile strike against the forward bases that underpin U.S. military power in the Western Pacific is a very real possibility, particularly if China believes its claimed core strategic interests are threatened in the course of a crisis and perceives that its attempts at deterrence have failed. Such a preemptive strike appears consistent with available information about China’s missile force doctrine, and the satellite imagery shown below points to what may be real-world efforts to practice its execution. Continue reading