Author Topic: China: should we be alarmed yet ?  (Read 9883 times)

space otter

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2015, 01:48:50 PM »

this is semi old news.. thought I had already put it here but sigh.. I forgot..
soooo going backwards in time of posting in the news

just another way for them to be here..
By Torsten Ove / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 29, 2015 11:56 PM

First student to plead in Chinese test-taking scandal deported
The lead defendant in a scheme by Chinese students to cheat on university entrance tests pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to his role as an organizer, and a second member of the conspiracy was deported to China.

Han Tong, 24, who gained admittance to the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 by having someone in China take an English test for him, admitted that he either took entrance tests for others or found impostors to take the tests, each time using counterfeit passports manufactured in China and sent to him in Oakland.

He pleaded to conspiracy, making and using a forged passport and wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

Later in the day, Judge Conti sentenced a second defendant, Biyuan Li, 25, a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in finance, to probation for his role in the scheme and then immediately turned him over to immigration authorities for deportation.

“I wasted a lot of time and money for my stupid decision,” Li told the judge. “I will forever regret my decision.”

Two weeks ago, Li admitted that he paid to have someone else use a fake passport and pose as him in taking a graduate school entrance test so he could get into Carnegie Mellon University and other elite schools.

He and Tong were among 15 Chinese nationals indicted in the plot earlier this year in the U.S. and China.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Tong worked with someone in China identified as “Ada” to take tests himself or recruit associates to take tests for Chinese students trying to get into American schools using fake passports as identification.

“When Ada had a client who had contacted her to have a test taken for them, Ada would arrange for the test to be taken at whatever location she had personnel, like Tong, available,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kitchen. “Ada also provided Tong with the contact information of a document maker in China who could create fake identification documents, such as passports, for use in defrauding the test administration service.”

The document maker used a picture of Tong or another impostor who would take a test but included the name and identification information of the person who was supposed to be taking the test.

A ring of five to seven test-takers took 10 fraudulent tests. Tong said he was paid $2,000 for each test. Federal agents also seized seven fake passports.

Tong is set to be sentenced in November and remains free until then. His lawyer refused comment, but in court he said his client has finished three years of college at Pitt and is hoping to complete his degree at Ohio State University before returning to China.

It’s not clear what the U.S. attorney’s position is regarding that plan.

In Li’s case, he and the government agreed that deportation would be the best punishment.

“I have paid a heavy price for what I have done,” he said in court.

The judge imposed a term of five years of probation and released him to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for immediate removal to China. The probationary term would apply if he ever re-enters the U.S., she said.

Li, an only child of working-class parents who sacrificed to send him to study in America, was the first of the 15 to plead guilty.

He said his decision to cheat brought shame on his family and cost him his chance at the “American dream.”


May 28, 2015 10:50 PM           By Torsten Ove

Pittsburgh authorities indict 15 Chinese in college test-taking scheme
The U.S. Attorney’s office said the defendants, including two living in Pittsburgh, defrauded Educational Testing Services and the College Board, which administer standardized tests, between 2011 and 2015 by either taking the tests for others or paying others to take the tests for them.

Prosecutors said some of the conspirators had counterfeit Chinese passports made in China and sent to the U.S., where they were used by the impostors to fool administrators into thinking they were other people before taking exams conducted in Pittsburgh and its suburbs.

The conspirators received the benefit of the impostors’ test scores on the SAT and other exams for use at American colleges, one of which is identified in the indictment as Northeastern University in Boston.

The 35-count indictment, handed up May 21 and unsealed Thursday, identifies some of the defendants as students who paid up to $6,000 for others in the U.S. to pretend to be them in taking tests, such as the SAT, at Barack Obama Academy, another testing site in Monroeville and elsewhere.

Five of the defendants are identified as test-takers, including the lead defendant, Han Tong, 24, of Pittsburgh.

Another local defendant was identified as Gong Zhang, 23, who prosecutors said received a fake passport at his address on North Craig Street in Oakland from an unidentified conspirator in China on April 1, 2013, and then used it in posing as someone else that day in taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Prosecutors would not say how many students were able to get into American schools through the scheme but said the investigation is continuing.

“These students were not only cheating their way into the university, they were also cheating their way through our nation’s immigration system,” said John Kelleghan, agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Philadelphia, one of the investigating agencies.

It wasn’t clear how the scheme was discovered, but U.S. Attorney David Hickton said Educational Testing Services, based in New Jersey, and the New York-based College Board have cooperated with investigators.

One example of how the scheme typically worked involved Han Tong and Siyuan Zhao, 24, of Massachusetts.

On March 9, 2012, a conspirator accessed Mr. Zhao’s ETS online account and, using Han Tong’s credit card, bought a test to be taken in Mr. Zhao’s name at a Monroeville testing site using a fake passport.

The impostor took the test, prosecutors said, and on March 19 Mr. Zhao accessed the score and had it sent electronically to Northeastern University.

Mr. Zhao was arrested Thursday in Boston and was scheduled to appear in federal court there for a hearing in which prosecutors said they would seek his detention and have him brought to Pittsburgh for trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Mr. Tong and 10 others will be issued summonses to appear in U.S. District Court to face the charges.

The names of three others, all in China, remained sealed.

These are the other named defendants: Biyuan Li, 25, of Boston; Jia Song, 20, of Santa Ana, Calif.; Ning Wei, 24, of China; Songling Peng, 19, of Watertown, Wis.; Xi Fu, 26, of Portland, Ore.; Xiaojin Guo, 20, of China; Yudong Zhang, 21, of Blacksburg, Va.; Yue Zou, 20, of Blacksburg, Va.; and Yunlin Sun, 24, of Berlin, Pa., and Pittsburgh.


AP  May 28,2015

Chinese students paid smarties to take SATs for them, feds say
PITTSBURGH — Fifteen Chinese citizens conspired to take college entrance exams on behalf of others or paid to have that done for them so they could obtain student visas, federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh said Thursday.

The newly unsealed indictment contends the alleged conspirators scammed tests run by Educational Testing Service and the College Board — such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT.

Six named in the indictment were clearly identified as students who paid up to $6,000 to have others charged take the tests. Five defendants were test-takers, including the lead defendant, Han Tong, 24, of Pittsburgh, who even flew to California to take an SAT for one person, the indictment said.

The precise role of the other four defendants — three of whose names remained under seal — was not clear, though the final named defendant allegedly helped with a fake passport.

The test-takers “impersonated others, and those others were able to use the fraudulent test scores to obtain F1 visas,” US Attorney David Hickton told the Associated Press.

F1, or student, visas allow foreign citizens to remain in the country while they’re enrolled in American colleges or universities.

“These students were not only cheating their way into the university, they were also cheating their way through our nation’s immigration system,” John Kelleghan, the special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations office in Philadelphia, said in a prepared statement.

Hickton wouldn’t say whether other students also benefited, or how many there may be, because the investigation was continuing.

For now, the indictment is confined to test-takers and students who benefited from tests administered in Pittsburgh and its suburbs since 2011. Investigators weren’t saying which, or how many, schools the students may have entered fraudulently.

The test-takers allegedly used fake passports that contained the students’ personal information, but a picture of the test-taker substituted for the student, the indictment


Hickton said Princeton, New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service and the New York-based College Board were cooperating with the investigation. Hickton wouldn’t say whether the testing services alerted federal authorities to the alleged scheme, or vice versa, or whether it was discovered by the colleges and universities. A College Board spokesman planned a statement for later Thursday, but ETS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

ETS administers the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the SAT, while the College Board oversees registration for the SAT.

The SAT is commonly used as an academic benchmark for college applicants. The TOEFL is given to foreign students wishing to study in the United States and the GRE tests a student’s readiness for graduate school.

Siyuan Zhao, 24, of Revere, Massachusetts, one of the students who allegedly benefited from the scheme, was arrested Thursday in Boston and prosecutors planned to ask a magistrate to jail him at least until he can be brought to Pittsburgh. Tong and the 10 others whose names were publicized were being mailed summonses to appear in court soon.

The suspects face charges including conspiracy, counterfeiting passports, mail and wire fraud. The fraud counts each carry up to 20 years in prison; 10 years for counterfeiting passports; and five years for conspiracy.

Court records don’t list defense attorneys for any of the suspects, and the AP could not immediate locate phone numbers for them.


8 plead not guilty in Pittsburgh to test-taking scheme

Jun 17, 2015 - Prosecutors say eight Chinese citizens conspired to cheat on American ... where some of the accused paid others up to $6,000 to take exams such as the SAT. ... “What, if any, action to take concerning an applicant or student's ...

By Jason Cato
Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 11:33 p.m.
Prosecutors say eight Chinese citizens conspired to cheat on American college entrance exams and the student visa process, but at least one defense attorney contends the matter was a misunderstanding foisted on unsuspecting youths.

“This is a young person, naive,” attorney Gary Gerson said of his client, Gong Zhang, 23, of Oakland — one of 15 people indicted in May by a federal grand jury. “He tried to help a friend out. He didn't realize what he was getting himself into.”

Prosecutors accuse Zhang and a group of alleged conspirators of having counterfeit Chinese passports made and sent to the United States, where some of the accused paid others up to $6,000 to take exams such as the SAT.

Once accepted into a college or university, those who paid obtained student visas to enter the country, prosecutors say.

Zhang pleaded not guilty Wednesday, as did lead defendant Han Tong, 24, of Pittsburgh and six co-defendants: Biyuan “Jack” Li, 25, of Boston; Songling Peng, 19, of Watertown, Wis.; Yudong Zhang, 21, and Yue Zou, 20, of Blacksburg, Va., and listed as students at Virginia Tech; Siyuan Zhao, 24, of Revere, Mass.; and Yunlin Sun, 24, of Pittsburgh and Berlin, Somerset County.

“We contest the allegations,” said Sun's attorney, Robert E. Mielnicki.

The charges against all the defendants include conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and counterfeiting foreign passports.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti will preside over the case.

In addition to Virginia Tech, two Chinese nationals had fraudulent scores sent to American University in Washington and Northeastern University in Boston, the grand jury said.

Zhang, who is listed as a computer software student at the University of Pittsburgh, is an alleged test-taker.

A Pitt spokesman declined to comment, and a Virginia Tech spokesman did not respond to a message.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton declined to comment on the status of any students or college applicants in the case.

“What, if any, action to take concerning an applicant or student's status is the exclusive purview of the university,” Hickton said. “We have not and will not take any position on a university's decision.”

Prosecutors havn't said how the investigation started, only that it is ongoing. Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service and the New York-based College Board, which makes the SAT, cooperated with investigators.

According to the indictment, beneficiaries contacted test-takers online to request that someone take a standardized test in exchange for money. Test-takers then used fake passports that contained the students' personal information but the test-takers' photos.

space otter

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2015, 08:55:08 PM »

this plot thickens..

Josh Chin in Plano, Texas
Jeremy Page in Beijing,
Alejandro Lazo in Loomis, Calif., and
August 17, 2015

Hunt for Chinese Man in U.S. Fuels Political Intrigue

Brother of top aide to former Beijing leader—who diplomats and analysts suspect has access to sensitive information—hasn’t been seen since October.

Tommy Yuan was preparing for class at the math-tutoring center he owns in Irving, Texas, one afternoon in June when two men walked in alongside the usual group of students’ parents and then quickly left.

The men returned, identifying themselves as representatives of China’s government and speaking with mainland accents. The older man was plump and wore his hair in a comb-over. The younger one was stocky, had close-cropped hair and looked like he “knew how to fight,” said Mr. Yuan.

“If you want to protect your ex-wife, you’ll give us information,” the visitors said, according to Mr. Yuan, who was born in China and settled in the U.S. in the 1990s. They said they were looking for a man called Ling Wancheng.

Mr. Ling’s brother was a top aide to China’s previous president, Hu Jintao, but was placed under investigation by the Communist Party in December and formally accused in July of bribe-taking, adultery and illegally obtaining state secrets.

For much of 2014, Mr. Ling was living under an alias in a mansion in a gated community in Loomis, Calif., near Sacramento, with Mr. Yuan’s ex-wife, neighbors said. The couple hasn’t been seen there since around October.

Mr. Ling is now the focus of political intrigue that could overshadow a visit to the U.S. in September by China’s leader, Xi Jinping.


  For much of last year, Ling Wancheng lived with a woman named Zhang Lijun in this home in a gated community in Loomis, Calif.

For much of last year, Ling Wancheng lived with a woman named Zhang Lijun in this home in a gated community in Loomis, Calif.  Photo:  Alejandro Lazo/The Wall Street Journal 
Diplomats and analysts said Mr. Ling might have had access through this brother to sensitive information about Chinese leaders. If he sought political asylum, Mr. Ling would be the most significant Chinese defector in decades.

It isn’t clear why Mr. Ling, 55 years old, moved to the U.S. in 2013 or 2014. He lost touch with many friends in China around last fall, a family acquaintance said, but later reassured friends he was safe in the U.S.

Before that, he held a senior post at China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, and then moved into private business and developed a taste for expensive hobbies, especially golf, the acquaintance said. Mr. Ling sometimes dressed flamboyantly and seemed less guarded than many members of other politically connected families.

In Loomis, Mr. Ling and Mr. Yuan’s ex-wife used the names Jason and Jane Wang, spoke little English and communicated with neighbors mostly by text message.

“He was so funny, he would send emojis but had trouble with the language sometimes,” said neighbor  Sarah Matteson. “He was really a very funny, happy-go-lucky guy who loved life, loved golf.”

Ms. Matteson and her husband Ray stayed in touch with Mr. Ling by phone until about May, after which he stopped responding, said Mr. Matteson. Three or four months ago, agents who identified themselves as being from the Department of Homeland Security came asking for him, she said.

Agents from the same agency were looking for Mr. Yuan’s ex-wife at her former home in Plano, Texas, in June, said a neighbor there.

DHS officials declined to comment on whether they have tried to locate Mr. Ling or if he has sought political asylum in the U.S., citing a policy of not commenting on individual cases.


The Central Intelligence Agency also declined to comment. China’s foreign and public-security ministries and its Washington embassy didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Senior U.S. officials were notified last summer that Mr. Ling was talking to U.S. authorities. But those officials weren’t told who within the U.S. government was involved in the case and what the conversations involved.

It also isn’t clear if China has been tracking Mr. Ling in the U.S. without clearance from U.S. authorities. There were tensions recently over Chinese security officers coming to the U.S. to find fugitives without following U.S. procedures, said people familiar with the matter.

U.S. officials said the presence of covert Chinese agents and law-enforcement officials on U.S. soil, and their “aggressive tactics” against Chinese nationals here, has been a longstanding U.S. concern that Washington has raised with Beijing over the years. But the officials declined to comment specifically on the role of any Chinese agents in the Ling case.

Mr. Yuan said he met with the two surprise visitors twice at his school and once at a Chinese restaurant in Dallas. He showed a reporter for The Wall Street Journal a July 9 text message arranging dinner at the restaurant. The number, which includes a Washington, D.C., area code, is now out of service.

The two men never showed Mr. Yuan any identification, he said. When he asked for their names, both men said only that their surnames were Wen. They said they couldn’t stay for long, without explaining the reason.


  Ling Jihua, brother of Ling Wancheng and the former head of the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful General Office under President Hu Jintao, at the plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing in 2013.  ENLARGE   
Ling Jihua, brother of Ling Wancheng and the former head of the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful General Office under President Hu Jintao, at the plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing in 2013.   Photo:  Reuters 
A Department of Homeland Security official said the U.S. has a “nonbinding” agreement with Chinese police to cooperate on fugitive investigations. The official said China had two police investigators in the U.S. on detail, but they were directed to assist U.S. officials, not act independently.

China has ramped up efforts to retrieve suspects from abroad through a “Fox Hunt” program launched last year as part of a corruption crackdown. The U.S. agreed to cooperate in April.

China gave the U.S. a list of 40 people Chinese officials want deported, but it didn’t include Mr. Ling or any of his known aliases, said U.S. officials.

Chinese officials haven’t recently asked about Mr. Ling by name through normal diplomatic channels, including direct talks with senior White House or State Department officials, said people briefed on the matter.

Spokesmen for the State Department and Justice Department declined to comment on individual cases and said the U.S. is engaging with China on fugitives in the U.S. but insists on credible evidence of criminal activity.

The intrigue swirling around Mr. Ling could complicate relations between Beijing and Washington that already were strained by alleged Chinese cyberattacks on the U.S. and China’s island-building in the South China Sea.

Mr. Xi’s far-reaching anticorruption campaign has ensnared numerous senior political figures, including Mr. Ling’s brother, Ling Jihua, who led the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful General Office under Mr. Hu. The office controls the president’s schedule, document flow and personal security.

In 2012, Ling Jihua was transferred to a less-important post after his son died in a high-speed Ferrari crash in Beijing. Another brother was placed under investigation in June 2014. They are in detention in China, and their legal representatives couldn’t be reached for comment.

Ling Wancheng hasn’t been officially accused of wrongdoing in China, but recent state media reports have described his business dealings.

Mr. Yuan said the two men who visited him in June accused Mr. Ling of making money illegally and bringing a large sum into the U.S.

“One of them was very serious and said: ‘If you help us, maybe we can help you,’ ” said Mr. Yuan. “That’s when I realized these aren’t the kind of guys you can joke with.”

The men asked Mr. Yuan about his ex-wife’s friends and accused her of a fake marriage with Mr. Ling, said Mr. Yuan.

Her Chinese name is Zhang Lijun, but she also goes by the name Jane Zhang. She is 52 and divorced Mr. Yuan in 2011. He said she mentioned dating someone new last fall, describing him as a “successful businessman.”

By then, she had already been living for several months with Mr. Ling in the California mansion, neighbors said. She didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment, and a mobile-phone number provided by Mr. Yuan was disconnected.

Public records show the house was bought by Wang Cheng and Li Ping for $2.5 million in 2013. Wang Cheng is an alias used by Mr. Ling, the family acquaintance said. Li Ping is a famous Chinese television presenter who married Mr. Ling, said the acquaintance and state media reports. It isn’t clear if they divorced.

Ms. Matteson, the neighbor, said she asked Department of Homeland Security agents who approached her if they wanted to discuss a citizenship issue with Mr. Ling. They replied that they just wanted to talk to him.

She identified Mr. Ling and Ms. Zhang from photographs as the couple who lived in the mansion. Ms. Matteson didn’t recognize pictures of Li Ping.

At the Darkhorse Golf Club, a public course in Auburn, Calif., golf director  Geno Ivaldi said he recognized a photograph of the man he knew as Jason, the first name used by Mr. Ling.

The man was a good golfer and often played with the club’s owner, Li Shuhai, said Mr. Ivaldi. In China, Mr. Li was a business associate of Mr. Ling, according to state-run media.

Mr. Li’s business address in Irvine, Calif., is listed as a contact in property records for the mansion where Mr. Ling lived. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

Mr. Yuan says he got a visit in Texas from Mr. Li shortly before the two mysterious Chinese men arrived. Mr. Yuan met Mr. Li several years ago through his ex-wife, and all three of them are from northeastern China.

Mr. Li said he was looking for Wang Cheng and Zhang Lijun but didn’t need to know where they were, according to Mr. Yuan. He said Mr. Li wanted to pass along some urgent information so Mr. Ling “can make the right decision.”

Mr. Yuan said he couldn’t help. He says he might have spotted her at a local Wal-Mart in April or May but didn’t approach her.

For several months, Ms. Zhang had been renting out the house in Plano that they used to share and she lived in there after their divorce, said Mr. Yuan. No one answered the door when a Journal reporter visited.

Kim Gomez, who lives next door, says two Department of Homeland Security agents came to the house looking for Ms. Zhang in June.

Mr. Yuan said he hasn’t been contacted by Department of Homeland Security agents and hasn’t heard back from the two men who identified themselves as representatives of China’s government. He said he doesn’t know where his ex-wife is.

—Lisa Schwartz, Brian Spegele, Damian Paletta and Miriam Jordan contributed to this article.

Write to Josh Chin at, Jeremy Page at, Alejandro Lazo at and Adam Entous at


Ling Wancheng lived with a woman named Zhang Lijun in a gated community in Loomis, Calif. A photo caption in an earlier version of this article incorrectly said he lived there with his wife. (Aug. 17, 2015)
photo's aren't coming thur.. sorry  also lots of embedded links thur out article

space otter

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2015, 05:41:56 AM »

Posted:  08/17/2015 3:51 pm EDT    Updated:  08/17/2015 3:59 pm EDT
J. Michael Cole
Senior Officer, Thinking Taiwan Foundation

Why China's New Military Recruitment Video Is Alarming



The People's Liberation Army Navy recently released a new recruitment video that is unlikely to assuage growing fears in the region over an increasingly nationalistic and expansionist China.

The slick nearly four-and-a-half-minute video opens with the header "Our Dream." Accompanied by a surprisingly restrained soundtrack, this section appeals to China's youth. We see young Chinese graduating from university and engaging in various sports, including snowboarding. This is interspersed with images of Hong Kong's retrocession, all meant to cultivate pride in a "new" China. "We were born in the 1990s," the accompanying text says, in Chinese. "By then, China had already risen. . . with bright dreams, we want to shine like the new century. . . we want to become very strong."

It doesn't take long, however, for the video to shift to bombastic music and visuals of a very different nature. The appeal to nationalism -- and to China's territorial claims -- is hard to miss, what with footage of the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islets in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Japan and Taiwan, as well as various features in the South China Sea, a source of rising tension in recent years.

There are a few glimpses of the PLAN's humanitarian role, but this is contrasted with, and overtaken by, unmistakable militarism: endless footage of bombs falling, rockets being fired, things being blown up. There is definitely an element of signaling, and it's not meant to be reassuring. If we put this together with a campaign that included a video, aired on CCTV last month, of exercises ostensibly simulating an assault on Taiwan's Presidential Office, the intention is to scare potential opponents, perhaps to win a war without having to fight.

In line with the martial video, the accompanying text shifts to something more troubling. Titled "Call of Duty," part two tells us "71 percent of the globe we depend on is blue water. . . wherever there is blue water, we will be there to secure navigation. . . China's oceanic and overseas interests are expanding rapidly. . . our land is vast but we will not yield an inch of our territory to foreigners."

The text then claims that China has 3 million square kilometers of ocean under its jurisdiction, a territory that includes as many as 6,700 islands. "The struggle over our sea rights is not over,' it continues. 'We will not yield even the tiniest speck of our resources." Note that the text says "resources," not "territory," though the latter is implicit. In other words, territory and the resources it contains are China's alone. According to a recent report on the PLAN by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, the references by Chinese commentators to China's "3 million square kilometers of blue territory" would incorporate "nearly 90 percent of the area within the major bodies of water within the First Island Chain, including the Bo Hai, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea."

The third section of the video is titled, ominously, "The Honor Gene." "Thousands of sea battles forged us. . . in very bloody combat. . . hot blood and the smell of gunpowder, we kept working hard, we kept growing. . . the passionate efforts of youth. . . forging in trials made possible the breakthrough. . . we maintain combat readiness. . . we are prepared for war," the text says.

The last part of the video, "Seeking the Blue Dream," has a less alarming tone. "Here with us, we will let you demonstrate your extraordinary talents. . . we give you the chance to sprout wings. . . the eyes of the entire world are watching us!. . . a strong motherland needs a strong navy. . . let us realize the dream of the great Chinese renaissance together," it intones.

In reality, there are doubts as to whether Beijing, the Central Military Commission, or even the PLAN itself really has the intention of turning the Navy into a global force, especially not in the current geopolitical context, where such an endeavor would risk increasing tensions with the U.S. and and other Western navies.

This is partly the result of a lack of capabilities. Although the PLAN has conducted a number of live-fire exercises in the Western Pacific in recent years, that is a far cry from actual long-distance, months-long deployments. We are still probably years away (ONI says a decade) from the PLAN having the capability, cohesion and interoperability for long-distance blue water missions. So at this point claims of a blue water PLAN are unrealistic. At best, the PLAN is a green water navy that is gradually moving away from its traditional role as a littoral combat force. Its ability to engage in combat in distant theaters of operation is even more questionable, and it will be several years yet before the PLAN can compete with better trained and more experienced opponents such as the U.S. Navy or the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, let alone a combination thereof.

Bombast and appeals to nationalism make all the sense in the world as part of a campaign to recruit young people. However, the undeniably martial tone of the video, combined with references to blood and genes, will hardly contribute to China's efforts to dispel rising apprehensions about its future intentions.

Offline ArMaP

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2015, 06:01:45 AM »
Why China's New Military Recruitment Video Is Alarming
Because it's honest? :)

space otter

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2015, 08:46:26 PM »
Posted: 08/18/2015 09:10 AM EDT | Edited: 08/18/2015 03:20 PM EDT

China's Police Arrest 15,000 For Internet Crimes

Officials launched the "Cleaning the Internet" program last month.

vid at link
BEIJING (Reuters) - Police in China said on Tuesday they had arrested about 15,000 people for crimes that "jeopardized Internet security", as the government moves to tighten controls on the Internet.

Since taking over in 2013, President Xi Jinping has led an increasingly harsh crackdown on China's Internet, which the Communist Party views with greater importance and acknowledges it needs to control, academics and researchers say.

Police have investigated 7,400 cases of cyber crime, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website. It did not make clear over what period the arrests were made, but referred to a case dating to last December.

China launched a six-month program last month, code-named "Cleaning the Internet".

"For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cyber crimes," the ministry said.

The campaign would also focus on breaking major cases and destroying online criminal gangs, it added.

The sweep targeted websites providing "illegal and harmful information" besides advertisements for pornography, explosives and firearms and gambling. In total, the police said they investigated 66,000 websites.

China runs one of the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanisms, known as the Great Firewall. Censors keep a tight grip on what can be published, particularly material that could potentially undermine the ruling Communist Party.

In February, China's internet watchdog said it would ban from March 1 internet accounts that impersonate people or organizations, and enforce the requirement for people to use their real names when registering online accounts.

anybody know if deuem got arrested..

Offline ArMaP

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2015, 01:24:37 AM »
anybody know if deuem got arrested..
Why, does he have a site that provides "illegal and harmful information"? ???

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2015, 04:07:28 PM »
anybody know if deuem got arrested..

Why, does he have a site that provides "illegal and harmful information"? ???

Depends on your definition of "illegal and harmful information"

Pegasus is blocked in China because I support the Dalai Lama. This was told to me by several and confirmed by Deuem  He even told us which building the blockade was in

Offline ArMaP

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2015, 04:15:30 PM »
Depends on your definition of "illegal and harmful information"

Pegasus is blocked in China because I support the Dalai Lama. This was told to me by several and confirmed by Deuem  He even told us which building the blockade was in
I know that, but I never saw deuem commenting about topics like that and doubt he could know where did the blockade came from.

space otter

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2015, 08:36:03 PM »

Bonnie Cao and Ye Xie
10 hrs ago

Chinese Build U.S. Factories, Bringing Jobs Along With Tensions

(Bloomberg) -- When Chen Mingxu was a boy, U.S. businessmen poured into rural China, welcomed with tax breaks and steamed turtle. Thirty years later, in a kind of reverse migration, Chen finds himself in southwestern Alabama smiling wanly over bacon- wrapped meatloaf and banana pudding.
Chen, who employs about 200 locals, manages the first U.S. factory built by Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group Inc. with a $120-million investment in Wilcox, one of the poorest counties in Alabama. The state coughed up around $20 million, outbidding dozens of other cities and states hoping for the jobs and investments.

Last year, Chinese companies plowed $12 billion into the U.S., up from zero in the early 2000s, making it the fastest growing source of foreign direct investment in the country. Chinese-affiliated companies now employ more than 80,000 Americans, according to New York-based Rhodium Group, which tracks cross-border investment.

As the U.S. prepares for a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of September, the countries’ economic relations are undergoing a profound shift. With China facing rising wages, a falling labor supply and excess capacity, its companies are crossing the seas to sink roots in neglected corners of the U.S. heartland.

Chinese Expansion

“Like the Japanese and Koreans before them, Chinese companies want to invest in their export market,” said David Loevinger, a former China specialist at the U.S. Treasury who is now an analyst at fund manager TCW Group Inc. in Los Angeles. “As exporters move up the value chain, you increasingly want to get closer to your customers.”

One of the goals of Xi’s visit is to make progress on a treaty aimed at spurring Chinese ventures in the U.S. and opening up China to areas where foreign investment is barred or restricted. Under the treaty, U.S. banks would be permitted to own Chinese subsidiaries outright, retailers could run their own distribution networks there and manufacturers could build without a local partner.

Even if all that gets agreed to, tensions will hardly dissipate. The U.S. accuses China of vast industrial and governmental spying, and the spread of Chinese money is bound to come with increased concerns. China’s yuan devaluation this month seeped into the election debate, with Republicans accusing Beijing of manipulating its currency to the detriment of American workers.

Hostile Takeover?

As Gene Poteat, past president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers in Falls Church, Virginia, put it, “China’s belligerent expansion into geographical areas claimed by others, their harassment of international flights and their continuous hacking into American cyber networks has not gone unnoticed.”

The Chinese have their own set of worries.

Golden Dragon chose Alabama to bring it closer to clients in the South and avoid anti-dumping tariffs on copper products. But it was caught unawares by the attitudes of some of the workers and the demands of the trade union.

“Individualism is strong among U.S. workers,” Qiao Gaopan, a 37-year-old Golden Dragon engineer, said pointedly. “They don’t listen to you but have lots of opinions.”

And although tens of millions of China’s workers belong to trade unions, those groups have no say on pay or conditions. The inverse is true in Alabama, a right-to-work state where barely a 10th of workers belong to unions that nonetheless wield real power. That created some tensions for Golden Dragon.

Dragon Adapts

When it set up shop a year ago, the company offered workers $11 an hour, less than the $18 paid by a similar factory in Mississippi, according to Daniel Flippo of United Steelworkers. There were also complaints about safety and lack of training and promotion, Flippo said.

As a result, and despite pressure from state and company officials, the workers voted to unionize.

Chen, 33, argued that $11 was only a starting salary for workers with no experience. Either way, Golden Dragon ended up increasing its wages and changing earlier restrictive rules, including a badge-in system and limited sick leave. It also dealt with a complaint over safety. Chen, who studied in Britain and led the company’s

factory in Mexico before coming to Wilcox, took over in May.

Cultural Differences

It hasn’t been easy for the company’s Chinese engineers, who speak limited English and live in trailers onsite about 10 miles from Thomasville, with some 4,000 inhabitants. The only cinema in town was closed several months ago. They spend nights online chatting with relatives in China.

James Deshler, a 29-year-old machinist working at the plant since March 2014, blames cultural differences and language barriers for most of the problems at the company. He said he gets into constant arguments with Chinese colleagues over the lengths of smoking breaks, cleanliness in the restrooms, even the right way to fix a leaking pipe.

There are bright spots. Sue Thomas, for one, is grateful that Golden Dragon came. Thomas, 50, lost her security guard job at the neighboring oil pipe company Energex Tube, as did her husband. She gets along with her Chinese coworkers and said she sometimes brings them home for dinner or takes them to local casinos.

Apart from Golden Dragon’s Wilcox facility, which produces 100 million pounds of copper tubing annually, Alabama is also home to two other Chinese companies -- Continental Motors, which makes piston engines for aircraft in Mobile, and Shandong Swan USA Inc., which makes saws for cotton gins in Montgomery.

Southern Allure

Elsewhere, Sany Group Co., China’s largest heavy equipment maker, has invested $60 million in a factory in Peachtree City, Georgia, pledging 500 jobs. And Wanxiang Group Corp., China’s biggest autoparts maker, has 28 factories in 14 states.

Major merger and acquisitions include Anbang Insurance Group Co.’s $1.95 billion purchase of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel and the sale of One Chase Manhattan Plaza to Fosun International Ltd. for $750 million.

Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said Chinese investment in the U.S. could increase to $100 billion in the next five years.

Chinese remember with mixed emotions the invasion of foreign business three decades ago, when assurances on both sides often went unmet, and note the irony and parallels now that roles are reversed. Observers add that while Chinese companies are entering a steadier market with more established legal systems, they too face confusion and unkept promises.

Complicated Feelings

“This is a market not easy for them to understand immediately and know how to navigate and negotiate into,” said Orville Schell, director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. “There’s a very big learning curve for both U.S. and Chinese companies.”

Alabama did live up to its offers to Golden Dragon, building GD Copper Drive in front of the factory and setting up training programs. But other states have failed to deliver the incentives they pledged to other companies, Chen said, declining to give names.

“States and cities don’t have foreign policy concerns,” said Scissors, the Washington-based analyst, who focuses on China.

On the other hand, Chinese companies just may.

“The best way to beat the enemy is probably to go to their homeland,” Chen said of his factory in Alabama. “As our former leader Deng Xiaoping put it, we’ll cross the river by touching the stones.”

--With assistance from Alfred Cang in Shanghai.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bonnie Cao in New York at; Ye Xie in New York at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at; John Liu at Ethan Bronner, Flavia Krause-Jackson

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2015, 08:01:23 AM »

By Ellen Nakashima August 30 at 7:13 PM
Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties.

U.S. developing sanctions against China over cyberthefts

The Obama administration is developing a package of unprecedented economic sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals who have benefited from their government’s cybertheft of valuable U.S. trade secrets.

The U.S. government has not yet decided whether to issue these sanctions, but a final call is expected soon — perhaps even within the next two weeks, according to several administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Issuing sanctions would represent a significant expansion in the administration’s public response to the rising wave of ­cyber-economic espionage initiated by Chinese hackers, who officials say have stolen everything from nuclear power plant designs to search engine source code to confidential negotiating positions of energy companies.

Any action would also come at a particularly sensitive moment between the world’s two biggest economies. President Xi Jinping of China is due to arrive next month in Washington for his first state visit — complete with a 21-gun salute on the South Lawn of the White House and an elaborate State Dinner. There is already tension over a host of other issues, including maritime skirmishes in the South China Sea and China’s efforts to devalue its currency in the face of its recent stock market plunge. At the same time, the two countries have deep trade ties and the administration has sometimes been wary of seeming too tough on China.

[Scott Walker: Obama should show ‘some backbone’ by canceling Chinese visit]

But the possibility of sanctions so close to Xi’s visit indicates how frustrated U.S. officials have become over the persistent cyber plundering.

The sanctions would mark the first use of an order signed by President Obama in April establishing the authority to freeze financial and property assets of, and bar commercial transactions with, individuals and entities overseas who engage in destructive attacks or commercial espionage in cyberspace.

The White House declined to comment on specific sanctions, but a senior administration official, speaking generally, said: “As the president said when signing the executive order enabling the use of economic sanctions against malicious cyber actors, the administration is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to confront such actors. That strategy includes diplomatic engagement, trade policy tools, law enforcement mechanisms, and imposing sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in certain significant, malicious cyber-enabled activities. The administration has taken and continues to introduce steps to protect our networks and our citizens in cyberspace, and we are assessing all of our options to respond to these threats in a manner and timeframe of our choosing.”
China is not the only country that hacks computer networks for trade secrets to aid its economy, but it is by far the most active, officials say. Just last month, the FBI said that economic espionage cases surged 53 percent in the past year, and that China accounted for most of that.

The expected sanctions move will send two signals, a second administration official said. “It sends a signal to Beijing that the administration is going to start fighting back on economic espionage, and it sends a signal to the private sector that we’re on your team. It tells China, enough is enough.”

The sanctions would be a second major shot at China on the issue. In May 2014, the Obama administration secured indictments on economic spying charges against five Chinese military members for hacking into the computer systems of major U.S. steel and other firms.

“The indictments were a strong move,” said Rob Knake, a former White House cyber official and currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “This is going to be an even stronger move. It’s really going to put China in the position of having to choose whether they want to be this pariah nation — this kleptocracy — or whether they want to be one of the leading nations in the world.”

Some officials within the government urged caution, arguing that sanctions would only create unnecessary friction. But everyone is on the same page now, officials said.

[In a world of cybertheft, U.S. names China, Russia as main culprits]

“Let’s be honest, I can see the White House saying, ‘Let’s not do [sanctions] while the head of state is here,” one administration official said. “I can see maybe they’d shift the timing by a few days .?.?. but I can’t imagine they’d shift the overall decision.”

In particular, officials from national security agencies, as well as at Treasury, which is the lead agency on economic sanctions under the executive order, have been eager to push ahead. The administration’s goal is to impose costs for economic cyberspying. And the best strategy for doing that, officials said, is to use a variety of tools — indictments, sanctions, maybe even covert cyber actions.

Sanctions alone likely will not change China’s behavior, some officials said. “Done in tandem with other diplomatic pressure, law enforcement, military, intelligence, then you can actually start to impose costs and indicate that there are costs to the bilateral relationship,” the first official said.

Some experts warn, though, that there are risks attached to imposing sanctions.

If sanctions are imposed, “I’d say the chances of Chinese retaliation are high,” said Jeffrey A. Bader, Obama’s principal adviser on Asia from 2009 to 2011. But, he said, “if a Chinese company was a beneficiary of stolen intellectual property from an American company, and the evidence is clear cut, then actions or sanctions against that Chinese company strike me as appropriate.”

While some officials fear that China might retaliate by discriminating against U.S. companies or freezing them out of contracts or markets, other officials counter that China has long discriminated against foreign companies, including U.S. firms, restricting access and procurement opportunities to create protected markets for domestic companies and instituting polices that require companies to turn over technology and intellectual property as a condition of doing business there.

The executive order authorizes the Treasury secretary, in consultation with the attorney general and secretary of state, to impose the sanctions on companies, individuals or entities that have harmed national security, or the nation’s economy or foreign policy. It’s not clear how many firms or individuals will be targeted, though one official said the Chinese firms would be large and multinational. Their activity must meet one of four “harms”: attacking critical infrastructure, such as a power grid; disrupting major computer networks; stealing intellectual property or trade secrets; or benefiting from the stolen secrets and property.

It is that last prong, in particular, that has the potential to be quite effective, sanctions experts say. “Obviously, there’s no silver bullet,” said Zachary Goldman, a former policy adviser at the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and now executive director of New York University’s Center on Law and Security. But if the sanctioned companies are large and global, “they will effectively be put out of business.”

In practice, he said, most significant financial institutions refuse to do business with individuals who have been sanctioned by the United States. “So any company that’s been targeted under this authority,” he said, “will likely find it very difficult to participate in the international financial sector.”

The designations are being drawn up by a number of agencies, including the Treasury and Justice departments, the White House and the intelligence community. Evidence that the Justice Department has assembled over the past year or so in preparing possible indictments for economic espionage against Chinese companies and individuals is being used in support of the designations, officials said.

Sanctions provide government officials a greater ability to protect classified sources and evidence than a criminal prosecution might. But, analysts point out, there likely will be significant pressure on the administration to release as much evidence as possible to back up its designations to convince skeptics.

It is possible, some officials said, that entities or individuals from other countries besides China could be included in the sanctions package.

The sanctions would not be imposed in retaliation for China’s hacks of the Office of Personnel Management databases, which compromised the personal and financial data of more than 22 million current and former government employees and family members. The data heists, which took place last year but were discovered this year, were judged as having been carried out for traditional intelligence purposes — not to benefit Chinese industry.

[What to do if you are a federal worker and your info was stolen]

Nonetheless, the severity of the OPM incidents helped convince wavering officials that firm action in the economic spying realm was warranted.

The U.S. government’s response to the personnel data hacks has been much more muted. Rather than a public naming and shaming, it is considering covert cyber action. Officials have hinted at this, saying they may be taking steps that are not public.

The administration plans to raise the issue of China’s behavior in cyberspace at the upcoming Obama-Xi summit, just as it has done at every major bilateral meeting. Cybersecurity is one of the top policy issues in the relationship, and also among the thorniest.

Ruan Zongze, a former Chinese Embassy official in Washington, said in a recent interview that separating economic from political espionage in cyberspace is “impossible.” He said: “It’s really difficult to tell one from the other.”

Ruan, vice president for the China Institute of International Studies, a think tank affiliated with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said the two sides should talk about this. “Finger-pointing,” he said, “is not the best way.”

The relationship between China and the United States is large and complex. “There are going to be areas where we have cooperation and disagreement all at the same time,” the first U.S. official said. “That’s just the reality of the relationship. The economic espionage and cybersecurity issues are going to continue to be a major irritant to the bilateral relationship.”

David Nakamura, Steven Mufson and Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2015, 07:01:39 PM »
lots of pics of people but nothing else at link

By Ben Blanchard
Posted: 09/02/2015 09:01 PM EDT

China Puts On Huge Parade For World War II Anniversary.

The show of military might is a convenient distraction from China's economic woes.


BEIJING, Sept 3 (Reuters) - China will put on its biggest display of military might on Thursday in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War Two, an event shunned by Western leaders but which underscores Beijing's growing confidence in its armed forces.

More than 12,000 troops, mostly Chinese but with contingents from Russia and elsewhere, will march through Beijing's central Tiananmen Square from 10 a.m. (0200 GMT). They will be accompanied by a range of ballistic missiles, tanks and armored vehicles, many never seen in public before, as advanced fighter jets and bombers fly overhead.

For President Xi Jinping, who will preside over China's biggest event of the year, the parade is a welcome distraction from the country's plunging stock markets, slowing economy and recent blasts at a chemical warehouse that killed 145 people.

Xi will be joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of several other nations with close ties to China, including Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Most Western leaders rebuffed invitations to attend, diplomats said, unhappy about the guest list and wary of the message China is sending to a region already rattled by its military assertiveness, especially in the South China Sea.

On the eve of the event, Xi said Japanese invaders before and during World War Two behaved with barbarity and tried to slaughter the Chinese people into surrender.

The Chinese government has repeatedly said the parade is not aimed at today's Japan, but to remember the past and to remind the world of China's huge sacrifices during the conflict. However, it rarely misses an opportunity to draw attention to Japan's wartime role.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not attending the event, which is being held one day after the 70th anniversary of Tokyo's surrender in World War Two.

"For decades, when people in Western countries talk about WWII, they usually refer to the battles on the European continent and have little knowledge about China's role as the major oriental theater of the war," state news agency Xinhua said in an English-language commentary this week.


Xi has set great store on China's military modernisation, including developing an ocean-going "blue water" navy capable of defending the country's growing global interests.

In a sign of that emerging capability, five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama is touring the state.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first time the United States had seen Chinese navy ships in the Bering Sea.

It was not clear whether their presence was timed to coincide with Obama's visit or if it followed a recent Chinese-Russian navy exercise. Chinese state media has said nothing about the Bering Sea deployment.

"It is living up to what the Chinese have been saying, 'We are now a blue water navy. We will operate in the far seas and we are a global presence'," said Dean Cheng, a China expert at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington.

Xi will meet Obama in Washington for talks later this month that will be dominated by a host of thorny issues, including China's growing military reach.

Beijing has been put under lock-down to ensure nothing goes wrong at the parade, with much of the downtown off-limits, a three-day holiday declared and, according to one Chinese newspaper, monkeys used to clear birds' nests from trees along the route.

Factories hundreds of miles away have been closed to guarantee clear skies in the normally smoggy metropolis, and some residents whose apartments overlook roads along which the tanks will rumble have been warned not to look out of windows.

State media has gone into a propaganda overdrive, and entertainment programming on television has been suspended to ensure the proper reverential atmosphere. (Additional reporting by Phil Stewart in WASHINGTON; Editing by Nick Macfie and Dean Yates)

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2015, 02:46:21 PM »

after reading some of the comments on here maybe giving them nasa secrets will slow them down. ;)

Business Insider
Natasha Bertrand
3 hrs ago

The FBI is looking for a star Chinese Ohio State professor with NASA ties who disappeared

© Provided by Business Insider Rongxing Ron Li Ohio State OSU China Rover

A world-renowned Ohio State University (OSU) professor who had access to restricted defense information as part of his work with NASA is under investigation by the FBI for failing to disclose his ongoing connections to Chinese scientists, The Columbus Dispatch has reported.

Professor Rongxing Li, 56, unexpectedly resigned from his position in the OSU Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering in February 2014.

Li told OSU that he was going back to China to take care of his sick mother, and no one has heard from him since.

A month before resigning, Li submitted a proposal to work with NASA on its Mars 2020 project, which gave Li access to Department of Defense information that he was prohibited from sharing with China.

A month after he resigned, homeland security agents searched Li's wife, Jue Tian, before she boarded a plane to China and found thumb drives containing restricted defense information. Neither she nor her husband have been charged.

Li's research interests include "planetary exploration, digital mapping, spatial data structures, coastal and marine GIS, photogrammetry and remote sensing," according to his biography on the Planetary Robotics Vision Ground Processing project website. He had worked with NASA previously on missions such as the Mars Exploration Rover and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

In his Mars 2020 NASA proposal, according to federal search documents reviewed by The Dispatch, Li claimed that he had no ties to China. However, OSU knew he had spent 2012 on sabbatical at Tongji University in Shanghai and subsequently launched an internal investigation into why Li had not notified NASA of his ties to China.

The university reportedly discovered that Li not only had ongoing connections with Tongji, but had also allegedly collaborated on Chinese-government programs aimed at developing advanced technologies.

Li reportedly had access to International Traffic in Arms Regulations information with NASA and with Raytheon, a defense contractor. Concerned that he might have provided China with this restricted information, OSU officials notified the FBI, which is now investigating the circumstances surrounding Li's abrupt resignation and mysterious disappearance.

The Columbus Dispatch   •  Tuesday September 8, 2015 4:31 AM
Professor Rongxing Li was a star at Ohio State University, attracting international attention as he helped NASA rovers explore Mars in the past decade.

Then, early last year, Li quit his post as OSU’s premier mapping expert and disappeared. No news release was issued to explain his departure, and most information about his 18-year tenure at Ohio State was removed from the university’s website.

Now, federal search warrants filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus reveal that the FBI was investigating Li, trying to determine whether he shared defense secrets with the Chinese.

Li, 56, a U.S. citizen who grew up in China, had been director of the OSU mapping and geographic information system laboratory. Also known as Ron Li, he held an endowed chair in the OSU Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering and was known worldwide for his work in mapping.

His renown came, in part, when NASA selected him to help with its 2003 and 2009 Mars exploration missions. His troubles, too, began with NASA projects.

OSU, the FBI and NASA declined to comment about the case. But search warrants unsealed in August lay out why the government took a hard look at Li.

In January 2014, Li submitted a $36.9 million proposal to NASA for imaging work for a 2020 Mars mission. As part of that proposal, Li had access to Department of Defense technical information that he was prohibited from sharing with the Chinese, according to search warrants.

Li had claimed in the proposal that he had no relationships with Chinese scientists. But OSU researchers knew he had spent 2012 on sabbatical at Tongji University in Shanghai, so Ohio State began an internal investigation to determine why Li had not notified NASA of his China connections.

Investigators determined that Li had numerous, ongoing connections with Tongji, including being listed as a professor and as the director of a center for spatial information. The investigators also found online evidence that he had collaborated with Chinese-government programs to develop advanced technologies, serving as chief scientist for one project.

On Feb. 15, 2014, Li notified Ohio State and NASA that he was withdrawing from the Mars 2020 project. He also told Ohio State that he was in China caring for his sick parents. A few days later, he emailed his resignation to the university. According to a search warrant, he said, “With this email I resign from my position at the Ohio State University.”

Jeff Grabmeier, a spokesman for university research, confirmed Li’s unexpected resignation but said he couldn’t discuss it further and could not say why Li left.

According to the search warrant, Ohio State then called the FBI because of the “unusual circumstances of Li’s departure and the restricted and sensitive nature of some of his research.” The university told the FBI that Li had access to International Traffic in Arms Regulations information with NASA and with Raytheon, a defense contractor.

As part of the FBI investigation, Homeland Security agents stopped and searched Li’s wife, Jue Tian, 56, in San Francisco before she boarded a plane for China on March 1, 2014. Agents seized Tian’s computer, a cellphone and several thumb drives. The thumb drives contained restricted defense information, the warrant says.

Investigators also searched Li’s home in Upper Arlington. According to Franklin County property records, Li and his wife purchased the five-bedroom house on Lane Road in 1997.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Solove said no charges have been filed against Li or his wife. She would not comment further.

Charles Toth, an OSU researcher who worked in the same department as Li, said Li ran “his own show” at the university and didn’t work with many other professors. He said he couldn’t say more because of “the sensitivity” of the case. Other professors contacted by The Dispatch didn’t return phone calls.

In 2014, Li was one of five scientists named as fellows for the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. His name, however, is no longer on the society’s online list of 2014 fellows.

Society President Stephen D. DeGloria said he knew Li had left Ohio State and was living in China but had no details of the FBI investigation. He said Li had been nominated as a fellow before he quit at Ohio State.

The Upper Arlington house has been for sale since June.

Tian, who returned from China in mid-2014, did not respond to a request for an interview.

by William Bigelow8 Sep 201584

The FBI is investigating an Ohio State University professor who disappeared and may have given defense secrets to the Chinese government.

Rongxing Li, 56, who taught at the university for 18 years, was internationally famous for his mapping skills, which enabled him to help guide NASA rovers on Mars in 2003 and 2009. Also known as Ron Li, the professor grew up in China. Last year, he quit his job at OSU and vanished.

Li obtained access to Department of Defense technical information by offering a $36.9 million proposal to NASA for imaging work for a 2020 Mars mission. Li said in his 2014 proposal that he knew no Chinese scientists. However, OSU researchers became alarmed because Li had taken a 2012 sabbatical at Tongji University in Shanghai.

Investigators found Li was lying; he had all sorts of contact with Tongji, even his listing as a professor and as the director of a center for spatial information. Worse yet, they discovered he had worked with Chinese government programs to develop advanced technologies.

On Feb. 15, 2014, Li told OSU and NASA he wanted out of the Mars 2020 project, adding he was in China looking after his parents who were ostensibly ill. Days later, his resignation was emailed to the university.

OSU notified the FBI, noting the “unusual circumstances of Li’s departure and the restricted and sensitive nature of some of his research.” The university asserted Li had access to International Traffic in Arms Regulations information with NASA and with Raytheon, an American defense contractor.

On March 1, 2014, the FBI then cooperated with Homeland Security, which searched Li’s wife, Jue Tian, 56, in the San Francisco airport; she was headed for China. On thumb drives belonging to Tian, they found restricted defense information.

In 2014, Li was named a 2014 ASPRS Fellow Award winner. That award is given to active society members who have “performed exceptional service in advancing the science and use of the mapping sciences.”


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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2015, 02:13:58 PM »
19 September 2015


China warns Japan over expanding military role abroad

vid at link

China has said Japan is endangering peace in the region after it passed controversial laws expanding the role of its military abroad.

Japan should learn "profound lessons from history", China's defence ministry said after Japan's parliamentary vote.

The vote allows Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since the end of World War Two 70 years ago.

Tensions between China and Japan have escalated in recent months over a group of islands to which both lay claim.

The security laws were voted through Japan's upper house late on Friday, with 148 lawmakers voting in support and 90 against.

It followed nearly 200 hours of political wrangling, with scuffles breaking out at various points between the bills' supporters and opposition members attempting to delay the vote.

Reaction snapshot:

?"Japan's military stance has potentially become more dangerous... It is deplorable that [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe, after acknowledging the mistake Japan had made over 70 years ago, is now choosing to repeat the same mistake" - China's Xinhua news agency

?The laws will add to "fears that an arms race could be sparked with China and its neighbours". Seoul will find it hard to boost security cooperation with Tokyo without "a frank apology" for Japan's actions in the past - South Korea's Hankyoreh newspaper

Compiled by BBC Monitoring

The new laws fulfil one of Prime Minister Abe's long-held ambitions

The government says that the changes in defence policy are vital to meet new military challenges such as those posed from a rising China.

But China's defence ministry said on Saturday they "run counter to the trend of the times that upholds peace, development and co-operation", the Xinhua news agency reports.

"The move has breached the restrictions of Japan's pacifist constitution," the ministry added.

Many Japanese who opposed the bills - which prompted large public protests - were also attached to the pacifist provisions in the constitution that banned fighting overseas.

another vid at link

Scuffles broke out in parliament amid wrangling over Japan's security bill

China also urged Japan to "heed the security concern" of its Asian neighbours and do more to promote regional peace and stability.

South Korea, which also has a tense relationship with Japan, has warned Tokyo not to exercise the new defence laws without its approval.

But the US, Japan's ally, and the UK have both welcomed the changes.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he looked forward to Japan "taking an increasingly active part in peacekeeping operations".

What is collective self-defence?

Japan's post-World War Two constitution bars it from using force to resolve international conflicts except in cases of self-defence.

The new security legislation allows Japan's military to mobilise overseas when these three conditions are met:
?when Japan is attacked, or when a close ally is attacked, and the result threatens Japan's survival and poses a clear danger to people
?when there is no other appropriate means available to repel the attack and ensure Japan's survival and protect its people
?use of force is restricted to a necessary minimum

What's behind Japan's military shift?

Critics say the changes violate the pacifist constitution and could lead Japan into US-led wars abroad.

Supporters of the measures insist they are essential for the defence of Japan and its regional allies, and will permit greater involvement in peacekeeping activities around the world.

There was a heavy police presence outside parliament during a rally against the new laws

What kinds of military actions do the laws allow?

?Japan would be able to provide logistical support to South Korea if the North invaded, though Mr Abe has said it would still be against the constitution to send Japanese troops to fight on Korean soil.

?It would be legal for Japan to shoot down a North Korean missile headed for the US. Currently, they have to threaten Japan to justify shooting them down. North Korea is thought to be several years from being able to hit mainland US targets though.

?Military action to keep shipping lanes secure, such as minesweeping, even if in an active conflict zone, might be allowed if the restriction on shipping was severe enough to constitute a threat to Japan's survival.

?Armed involvement in hostage rescues would also become possible. In January 2013, 10 Japanese hostages were killed at the Amenas gas plant in Algeria.

?Regional limits on Japanese military support for US and other foreign armed forces would also be eliminated.

Critics have focused on what they say is ambiguity in how the principles of the legislation will be interpreted, and the possibility that future governments will interpret them more broadly.

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2015, 08:42:50 PM »

The New York Times
11 hrs ago

U.S. and China Seek Arms Deal for Cyberspace
WASHINGTON — The United States and China are negotiating what could become the first arms control accord for cyberspace, embracing a commitment by each country that it will not be the first to use cyberweapons to cripple the other’s critical infrastructure during peacetime, according to officials involved in the talks.

While such an agreement could address attacks on power stations, banking systems, cellphone networks and hospitals, it would not, at least in its first version, protect against most of the attacks that China has been accused of conducting in the United States, including the widespread poaching of intellectual property and the theft of millions of government employees’ personal data.

The negotiations have been conducted with urgency in recent weeks, with a goal to announce an agreement when President Xi Jinping of China arrives in Washington for a state visit on Thursday. President Obama hinted at the negotiations on Wednesday, when he told the Business Roundtable that the rising number of cyberattacks would “probably be one of the biggest topics” of the summit meeting, and that his goal was to see “if we and the Chinese are able to coalesce around a process for negotiations” that would ultimately “bring a lot of other countries along.”

But a senior administration official involved in the discussions cautioned that an initial statement between Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi may not contain “a specific, detailed mention” of a prohibition on attacking critical infrastructure. Rather, it would be a more “generic embrace” of a code of conduct adopted recently by a working group at the United Nations.

One of the key principles of the United Nations document on principles for cyberspace is that no state should allow activity “that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs the use and operation of critical infrastructure to provide services to the public.” The goal of the American negotiators is to have Chinese leaders embrace the principles of the United Nations code of conduct in a bilateral agreement with Washington.

But it seems unlikely that any deal coming out of the talks would directly address the most urgent problems with cyberattacks of Chinese origin, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe continuing negotiations.

Most of those attacks have focused on espionage and theft of intellectual property. The rules under discussion would have done nothing to stop the theft of 22 million personal security files from the Office of Personnel Management, which the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., recently told Congress did not constitute an “attack” because it was intelligence collection — something the United States does, too.

The agreement being negotiated would also not appear to cover the use of tools to steal intellectual property, as the Chinese military does often to bolster state-owned industries, according to an indictment of five officers of the People’s Liberation Army last year. And it is not clear that the rules would prohibit the kind of attack carried out last year against Sony Pictures Entertainment, for which the United States blamed North Korea. That attack melted down about 70 percent of Sony’s computer systems.

Sony is not, by most definitions, part of the nation’s “critical infrastructure,” although the Department of Homeland Security does include “movie studios” on its list of critical “commercial facilities,” along with stadiums, museums and convention centers.

Still, any agreement to limit cyberattacks in peacetime would be a start. “It would be the first time that cyber is treated as a military capability that needs to be governed as nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are,” said Vikram Singh, a former Pentagon and State Department official who is now vice president for international security at the Center for American Progress.

Within the Obama administration, the effort to design “a set of norms of behavior” to limit cyberattacks has been compared to President John F. Kennedy’s first major nuclear treaty with the Soviet Union in 1963, which banned atmospheric nuclear tests. That accord did not stop the development of nuclear weapons or even halt underground tests, which continued for decades. But it was a first effort to prevent an environmental disaster, just as this would be a first effort by the world’s two biggest economic powers to prevent the most catastrophic use of cyberweapons.

Joseph S. Nye, a Harvard professor known for his studies of American power, said the concept of a “no first use” doctrine for cyberattacks had been “gestating for some time” in a variety of international forums. “It could create some self-restraint,” Mr. Nye said, but he added that the problem was, “how do you verify it, and what is its value if it can’t be verified?”

That problem goes to the heart of why arms control agreements in the cyberspace arena are so much more complicated than better-known agreements covering nuclear weapons.

In the Cold War and still today, nuclear arms remain in the hands of states, meaning they can usually be counted and their movements observed. Cyberweapons, too, are often developed by countries — the United States, Russia, China and Iran are among the most sophisticated — but they can also be found in the hands of criminal groups and teenagers, neither of which negotiate treaties.

Moreover, it was usually clear where a conventional attack had originated; the trajectory of a missile could be tracked by radar or satellite. Mr. Obama himself noted last week the difficulty of tracing a cyberattack, and thus of deterring it — or retaliating with confidence.

Earlier efforts to get Mr. Xi and other senior Chinese leaders to address cyberattacks have largely failed. Mr. Obama spent a considerable amount of time on the issue during a summit meeting with Mr. Xi at Sunnylands, a California estate, in 2013. But even after that session, the Chinese denied that their military was involved in attacks, and portrayed themselves as victims of attacks from the United States.

It was not an entirely spurious claim: Classified documents released by Edward J. Snowden showed a complex effort by the National Security Agency to get into the systems of a Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, though the United States maintained that the effort was for national security surveillance, not for the theft of intellectual property.

The recent Chinese movement on cybersecurity can be traced to several events, officials say.

The Office of Personnel Management breach, which went undetected for roughly a year, was traced to Chinese sources, and one official said evidence had been presented to Chinese officials. In August, Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, took a trip to Beijing to meet with Mr. Xi and other officials, and used it to increase pressure on China, suggesting that newly devised economic sanctions could be imposed. Mr. Obama referred to that possibility in two recent speeches, suggesting that he would hold off only if there was progress with Mr. Xi.

Last week, a high-level Communist Party envoy, Meng Jianzhu, who is responsible for state security, came to Washington and met with Ms. Rice, several American intelligence officials and the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey. That session focused on coming up with some kind of agreement, however vaguely worded, that Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi could announce on Friday.

For the United States, agreements limiting cyberweapons are also problematic. The country is spending billions of dollars on new generations of weapons, and in at least one famous case, the cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear enrichment site at Natanz, it has used them.

American cyberwarriors would be concerned about any rules that limited their ability in peacetime to place “beacons” or “implants” in foreign computer networks; these are pieces of code that monitor how foreign computer systems work, and they can be vital in determining how to launch a covert or wartime attack. The Chinese have littered American networks with similar technology, often to the consternation of the Pentagon and intelligence agencies.

“One of the things to look for are any rules that bar ‘preparing the battlefield,’ ” said Robert K. Knake, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who worked in the White House cybersecurity office earlier in the Obama administration.

Mr. Obama, who has said little about the United States’ development of cyberweapons during his presidency, has begun to talk about it in recent days. “If we wanted to go on offense, a whole bunch of countries would have some significant problems,” he told the Business Roundtable on Wednesday.


space otter

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Re: China: should we be alarmed yet ?
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2015, 07:45:46 AM »
By Evan Perez   @CNNTech

U.S. pulls spies from China after hack

The United States is pulling spies from China as a result of a cyberattack that compromised the personal data of 21.5 million government workers, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The U.S. suspects that Chinese hackers were behind the breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which exposed the fingerprints of 5.6 million government employees.

Because the stolen data includes records on State Department employees, the hackers could, by process of elimination, identify embassy personnel who are actually intelligence agents.

Employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency assigned to China are at risk of being exposed, U.S. intelligence officials determined in recent months. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CIA has pulled a number of officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

The hack is expected to have a major impact on U.S. national security, in part because the stolen data includes information from U.S. government forms used for security clearances, known as SF86 questionnaires.

The forms contain sensitive private information on current, former and even prospective government employees, as well as their family members and associates, U.S. officials said.

The concern now is that Chinese intelligence could use the OPM data to help determine the identities of future U.S. intelligence employees that may try to enter China. Beijing is known to scrutinize visa applications of people with U.S. ties, based on travel patterns and other data.

Even before the hack, technology advancements in biometrics made it difficult for the CIA to infiltrate operatives pretending to be someone else into China and other countries.

The CIA is now pushing to improve its technological spying capabilities to fill the void.

In Washington on Tuesday, Republican senators pushed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to explain why the Obama administration hasn't responded more firmly to the hack.

Clapper acknowledged that one reason the U.S. hasn't responded is because the U.S. engages in the same type of espionage. "We're not bad at it," he said.

Beijing has long denied it is involved in hacking, and often claims to be a victim of similar attacks. Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated that position on Wednesday.

"The Chinese government firmly opposes any forms of hacking," he said, noting the U.S. and China agreed just days ago not to conduct cybertheft of trade secrets and intellectual property against one another for commercial gain.

Related: Hackers stole 5.6 million government fingerprints - more than estimated

Related: U.S. Intel officials warn hacking is getting worse

Related: Researchers identify Chinese military hacker

 CNNMoney (Washington)  September 30, 2015: 9:50 AM ET USA, LLC
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