Satellite-killing Missile Test
BEIJING (Reuters, January 20, 2007) - Beijing insisted Friday it was opposed to an arms race in space after Japan and Britain joined a chorus of concern over a satellite-killing missile test by China -- the first known experiment of its type in more than 20 years. The United States says China used a ground-based ballistic missile to shoot apart an aging weather satellite on January 11, scattering debris that could damage other satellites and raising risks of escalating military rivalry in outer space.
China Criticized for
Anti-Satellite Missile Test
Destruction of an Aging Satellite Illustrates Vulnerability of U.S. Space Assets
By Marc Kaufman and Dafna Linzer
The Washington Post
Friday, January 19, 2007; Page A01
The Chinese military used a ground-based missile to hit and destroy one of its aging satellites orbiting more than 500 miles in space last week -- a high-stakes test demonstrating China's ability to target regions of space that are home to U.S. spy satellites and space-based missile defense systems.
The test of anti-satellite technology is believed to be the first of its kind in two decades by any nation and raised concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. satellites and a possible arms race in space.
China's action drew sharp protests from other nations with satellite programs -- a predictable response that experts said dramatically illustrates Chinese willingness to face broad international criticism when it comes to space, which Beijing considers a key part of the push to modernize its military and increase its ability to compete in high-tech warfare.
"The U.S. believes China's development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said yesterday. "We and other countries have expressed our concern regarding this action to the Chinese."
A spokesman at the Chinese Embassy said that he had no information about the anti-satellite test. The Chinese military did not mention the test either. But a Chinese newspaper that concentrates on foreign affairs, Global Times, relayed the reports from Washington in today's editions. The newspaper quoted Maj. Gen. Peng Guangquin as saying that the U.S. government was making too much of the test.
In addition to introducing a renewed military dimension to space, the destruction of the Chinese satellite created a large "debris cloud" that can seriously damage other satellites in nearby orbit, and possibly even spacecraft on their way to the moon or beyond. Analysts said that based on computer models, as many as 300,000 pieces of debris may have been created. While many would be very small, they said, hundreds would be large enough to create potentially serious problems.
The United States and the Soviet Union tested anti-satellite technology in the 1980s, and the United States shot down one of its orbiting satellites in 1985. Partially as a result of the debris problem, both sides stopped the programs.
The Chinese test, first reported online by the magazine Aviation Week and Space Technology, comes at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China over space. China is leading an effort in the United Nations to set up an international conference to address what many consider to be an imminent space arms race. The United States has opposed the idea, arguing that it is not needed because there is no arms race in space. The Bush administration nevertheless released an updated national space policy last fall that strongly asserted an American right to defend itself in space against any actions it considers hostile.
The U.S. military is especially dependent on satellites for navigation, communications and missile guidance, while the American economy could also be broadly damaged by disruptions of communications, weather and other satellites. Some in the administration believe that this has left the nation especially vulnerable to attack and have proposed efforts to develop ways to defend its assets in space.
The day the test was conducted, the chiefs of major U.S. intelligence agencies presented their annual threat assessments to Congress. Neither China's anti-satellite program nor its general push toward space weapons was mentioned during the public hearing or anywhere in the written testimonies of the director of national intelligence, the director of the Pentagon's intelligence agency or the CIA director.
The United States retains the ability to destroy low-orbit satellites and has been conducting research on more advanced systems for years.
Officials who have been briefed on the test said that the Chinese ballistic missile reached as high as some U.S. spy satellites are positioned. Other satellites positioned at the same altitude are part of the missile defense network that the U.S. military is assembling. Sources said a hit-to-destroy ballistic missile could knock out any satellites at that low orbit. Many sensitive communications satellites are much higher, at about 22,000 miles above Earth, and officials said yesterday that the recent test does not prove that China has the capability to disrupt those systems. Still, U.S. intelligence officers and administration officials fretted.
"It's unfortunate that China is going down this path," said one administration official. "No one has done this in over 20 years, and in that time, international cooperation in space has come so far. It is a bustling commercial, scientific and research arena. This sort of thing is such a throwback to the Cold War."
The issue of possible hostilities in space became more real in August when National Reconnaissance Office Director Donald M. Kerr told reporters that a U.S. satellite had recently been "painted," or illuminated, by a ground-based laser in China. The United States did not make any formal protest then, but it did yesterday.
Johndroe of the NSC said that Australia and Canada have lodged protests, and Britain, South Korea and Japan are expected to follow suit.
He said the Chinese satellite was shot down using a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile, which slammed into its target 537 miles above earth on Jan. 11.
"In my view, the Chinese are sending a strong signal here," said Jeffrey Kueter, president of the George C. Marshall Institute, a nonprofit space and defense think tank in Washington. "They're saying they can hold our space-based, war-fighting capability at risk, and are putting into doubt our ability to challenge them. They're a rising space competitor."
Kueter said the test makes it essential for the United States to get more serious about developing technology to defend its satellites.
Michael Krepon, president emeritus of the Henry L. Stimson Center, another nonprofit involved with security issues in Washington, called the Chinese test a predictable -- and unfortunate -- response to U.S. space policies.
"The Chinese are telling the Pentagon that they don't own space," he said. "We can play this game, too, and we can play it dirtier than you."
Krepon said the Chinese test "blows a whole through the Bush administration reasoning behind not talking to anybody about space arms control -- that there is no space arms race. It looks like there is one at this point."
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said the Chinese action makes it essential that the administration begin negotiations to stop any possible space arms race. "The Chinese anti-satellite test is terrible news for international stability and security, and could presage the dawn of a new arms race -- this time in space," Markey said. "American satellites are the soft underbelly of our national security, and it is urgent that President Bush move to guarantee their protection by initiating an international agreement to ban the development, testing, and deployment of space weapons and anti-satellite systems."
Correspondent Edward Cody in Beijing contributed to this report.
China tightens controls on foreign news
By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP
September 10, 2006
SHANGHAI, China - China tightened its control over the distribution of news by foreign agencies Sunday, further restricting international access to the already tightly regulated Chinese media market.
The new measures took effect immediately upon being issued by the state Xinhua News Agency. The regulations give Xinhua broad authority over foreign news agencies, requiring them to distribute stories, photos and other services solely through Xinhua or entities authorized by Xinhua.
The rules would affect The Associated Press, Reuters and other foreign news agencies seeking wider access to the rapidly expanding Chinese market. It was unclear how other news organizations would be affected.
Under a decade-old set of regulations, foreign news agencies were allowed limited distribution of financial data and other information — deals that the new rules appear to rule out.
The tighter restrictions underscore how the Communist Party's political agenda and Xinhua's business interests are coinciding.
President Hu Jintao's leadership has sought to rein in state-controlled media that have strayed from party dictates in search of profits and market share. Journalists and editors have been fired and arrested.
At the same time, Xinhua has been trying to transform itself from an agent of stodgy government propaganda into a worldwide competitor. The agency, founded in 1931 as the Red China News Agency, is trying to build a financial news service and has been trying to leverage Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics to boost its sports coverage and photo services.
"We must also learn, borrow and make use of anything that is advanced, and beneficial to us, the aim being our own growth and expansion," Xinhua's head, Tian Congming, said according to the text of a speech given at a closed-door meeting earlier this year. "Only thus, can we truly hope to find the entry point for leapfrogging growth."
As part of its new powers, Xinhua also will police the distribution of news in the mainland by agencies from Hong Kong, a former British colony now ruled by China but that operates under separate laws and with a free press. It also affects agencies in Taiwan, which Beijing claims but does not control.
Under the rules, any reports that disrupt "China's economic and social order or undermine China's social stability" will be banned as will news that undermines the country's "national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity," Xinhua said.
The rules issued by Xinhua made no specific mention of foreign distribution of Internet or video news content, although such activities are restricted under other guidelines.
China has long sought to limit foreign distribution of news inside the country while exercising harsh limits on domestic media that are often arbitrarily enforced by vaguely worded state security rules that mandate harsh penalties, including long prison terms, for violations.
The new rules appeared designed to end any uncertainties over the government's determination to prevent foreign news businesses from operating in the Chinese mainland.
"Foreign news agencies shall not directly solicit subscription of their news and information services in China," it said.
Xinhua said the rules were meant to "promote the dissemination of news and information in a sound and orderly manner."
Other news banned by the rules includes information that may "endanger China's national security, reputation and interests," violate "China's religious policies or preach 'evil cults' or superstition," or "incite hatred and discrimination among ethnic groups" or undermine their unity.
Also forbidden is "other content banned by Chinese laws and administrative regulations," it said.
"Xinhua News Agency has the right to select the news and information released by foreign news agencies in China and shall delete any materials mentioned in the items above," it said.
Xinhua said any violation would be met with a warning and it would "demand rectification within a prescribed time limit, suspend its release of specified content, suspend or cancel its qualifications for releasing news and information in China."
The rules impose "disciplinary penalties" on staff members who violate such restrictions, it said.
Sun Tzu's 2,500-Year-Old 'Art of War'
Guides China's Strategy Today
Friday, Sept. 8, 2006
On June 19, the Daily of the Chinese People's Liberation Army reported that "in the past few days" the Seventh (!) Symposium on Sun Tzu's "Art of War" was held.
The report said: "Sun Tzu's ‘Art of War' advocates winning ‘without fighting.'"
Hitler, the last major Western European conqueror, and his top officers, some of whom had fought World War I for four years without winning, had possibly never read Sun Tzu's "Art of War." Many Westerners still regard themselves as supermen (the word coined by Nietzsche) because the Industrial Revolution mass-produced machines that mass-produced machine weapons like machine-guns, and that made the West for a while militarily (and hence, in many Western eyes, universally) superior to comical natives outside the West, such as Chinese, who valued individual artisanship and hated mass production.
It never occurred to Western supermen that when their ancestors pillaged the Roman Empire, "the Center of the World" (as China called itself) had existed for 4,000 years, and book printing had been invented in the Center of the World centuries before it appeared in Europe.
Gunpowder, which initiated the era of firearms, was originally invented in China, not in any Western country.
In World War II, Hitler also fought, without winning, for more than four years. Sun Tzu's key word 25 centuries ago was strategy. In post-Roman Europe, the word was borrowed (from Greek) in 1810, and so Hitler knew it. But his fighting of World War II shows no trace of grand strategy and hence could end in nothing but his suicide.
To invade Russia, Hitler invaded Poland and thus ensured the Anglo-American bombing of Germany from England and then the invasion. In Russia, his troops just pushed eastward (Drung nach Osten) until they reached Moscow, which was undefended, since Stalin had been waiting for his Siberian and Far Eastern troops. Every Muscovite knew that even food store managers had fled from Moscow; Hitler and his top command did not.
Once, it had been reported to Hitler that a member of the British Embassy wanted to spy for Germany. "Then he is a traitor!" shrilled Hitler in disgust. Hitler, who exterminated 12 million civilians, regarded himself as a noble Western warrior, a knight, representing the best of Western ("Aryan") chivalry.
From the online bookstore China Books (www.chinabooks.com), I bought a recent study entitled "The Strategic Advantage: Sun Zi and Western Approaches to War." I bought it because the study was written by five Chinese in China, edited by a Chinese, and published by New World Press in Beijing. I wanted to see how the Chinese press today treats Sun Tzu.
The Chinese authors, officially published in China, regard Sun Tzu as the founder of war strategy and the teacher of the Chinese military. Sun Tzu's "Art of War" contains a special chapter, "Value of Spies." It says that no one in the armed forces deserves higher rewards than spies. Still higher rewards are given to double spies.
The Western noble knight Hitler would have been scandalized by Sun Tzu's evaluation of spies. As a result of his ignorance of what was going on in Moscow, Hitler marked time in October and November of 1941 around undefended Moscow until Stalin's Siberian and Far Eastern troops arrived in December 1941 and routed Hitler's troops. He barely managed to turn their panicky flight into a retreat.
In 1942, Hitler continued his Drung nach Osten, but the Soviet troops secretly concentrated in superior numbers (owing again to Hitler's scorn for spies) and encircled Hitler's army, which surrendered with its commander in chief at the head. To show to all the foreign correspondents in Moscow the scope of Hitler's debacle, Hitler's captive army was marched through Moscow.
The rest was Hitler's Drung nach Westen, which was as devoid of any grand strategy as had been his Drung nach Osten and which ended in his suicide.
How was Sun Tzu's precept of winning "without fighting" to be complied with? What the Chinese dictators call "assassin's mace," and some Western scholars call "superweapons" (provided they even notice them), Sun Tzu named QI, the "extraordinary force."
In decades past, QI was created by science and technology. If the United States had had atom bombs already in 1941 and dropped them on Japan right after Pearl Harbor, that would have been Sun Tzu's classical winning "without fighting" –except for one detail.
Sun Tzu lived under Absolutism, a word that appeared in the English language only in 1830. But Absolutism, or whatever else it maybe called, existed in China for 25 centuries before Sun Tzu, and about as long after him, as well as from 1949 up to now. To wait for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor or Germany's invasion of Poland would have seemed to Sun Tzu absurd or insane. Top-paid and greatly respected spies were to inform the United States about Japan's forthcoming attack on Pearl Harbor and Germany's invasion of Poland, and the United States was to QI Japan and Germany with atom bombs.
In the second half of the 19th century all kinds of Western conventions established the concept of "aggression" versus "defense" against it. The United States defended itself against Japan's aggression at Pearl Harbor, and "the democratic West" defended itself against Hitler's aggression.
What is known today as "democracy" would have horrified Sun Tzu as strategically absurd or insane, while Chinese Absolutism would have seemed to him absolutely necessary, in combination with QI, for "winning without fighting."
Therefore, when official Chinese authors of today write about Sun Tzu, they describe the Absolutism of the China of his times AND that of their China today. Surely Absolutism is the best form of government for war, with its secret development of QI, its deception, which Sun Tzu considered the essence of winning without fighting, and, last but not least, its espionage.
Incidentally, the scope of Chinese espionage in the United States today is unprecedented, for in the United States today there seem to be no spies, so despised by Hitler, but there are only millions of legal and illegal aliens, and if some of them are spies, the problem is to enable them to make a living in the United States, complete with social benefits.
As for American spies in China, there is a problem. Russian studies began to grow in the United States in the 1940s and the 1950s, and so in the 1970s enough Americans knew enough Russian (after all, an Indo-European language) to read Soviet propaganda publications and pass them to the U.S. government and U.S. Congress for espionage data.
Fewer "CIA analysts" know Chinese, and hence the CIA has not been testifying in Congress about the peacefulness of China, as it did about that of Russia (and thus gave me enough material for my satirical Commentary article, reprinted in more than 500 periodicals all over the West to their readers' bitter laughter).
I am told that in contrast to European countries, China was never engaged in conquests such as the conquest of America, mistaken for India by Columbus. This is true. Columbus was after gold and slaves, while China had paper money, and there was nothing she wanted to buy from other countries, which were perceived by China, with its silks and porcelains, as populated by paupers and savages. It was ridiculous to suppose that anyone wanted to topple the sophisticated Center of the World in order to establish a Western savage pauperland.
China's navy surpassed the pathetic flotilla of Columbus by hundreds of times, but it was used to protect China against Western adventurers like Columbus, out to conquer "India" in search of gold and slaves.
In the past two centuries, the correlation has changed. The West has invented – no, not silk or porcelain, but protection against Absolutism, and the Tiananmen Square movement demonstrated that for many Chinese this invention is more precious than that of silk or porcelain.
On the other hand, today's globalism is useful to the "sovereigns" (Sun Tzu's word) for the creation of QI. Western private enterprise, science and technology help the "sovereigns" of China to create QI, necessary for winning (globally) without fighting, or to use the phrase that appeared in China over ten centuries ago and is used by today's "sovereigns" of China, to create the "assassin's mace."
In China, Living With the Unspeakable
By John Pomfret
The Wshington Post
Thursday, September 7, 2006; Page A27
Forty years ago this past August, the first killings were carried out to launch the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Two educators in Nanjing and a high school principal in Beijing were the first victims of the Red Guards, the shock troops of Mao Zedong's war against rivals in the Communist Party.
Over the following 10 years, 18 million city kids were dispatched to the countryside to hack out meager existences amid the peasantry. Millions of officials were purged and hundreds of thousands were executed. My college classmate at Nanjing University, Wu Xiaoqing, was the son of the two educators who were murdered in Nanjing; he was 11 when his parents died.
When we studied together he had the nickname "Old Wu" because he seemed old before his time.
Today China's juggernaut economy, freewheeling night life and sophisticated diplomacy make it seem a world away from the Communist Party-imposed madness of the 1960s. Wu's life is an example. He's a university professor, a published author and the father of a young woman who is preparing for college in Australia. No other country seems to have been so adept at avoiding the pitfalls -- and erasing the memory -- of its past.
Wu's parents were beaten to death by a gang of Red Guards on Aug. 3, 1966. At the time, his father was the top educator in Jiangsu province and his mother was the party secretary at a leading university in Nanjing. The gang descended on their home, dragged the parents out onto the streets in their pajamas and set upon them savagely. The autopsy report on Wu's father listed six broken bones, a brain hemorrhage and massive trauma to his internal organs.
A few years later, Wu had the opportunity to join the Communist Party -- a road to a good future in China -- but there was a condition. Party officials told him he had to have a "correct" understanding of why his parents died. Wu wrote in his application that his father died of chronic hepatitis and his mother of high blood pressure, and he added the requisite denunciation. "My parents made mistakes and you must criticize mistakes," he wrote. "The Cultural Revolution is great!"
His application for party membership was accepted. He felt no remorse for joining an organization responsible for the murder of his parents. "I know I wrote lies. They made me write lies," he rationalized to me later. "But a party membership helped improve my life."
When the Cultural Revolution ended, Wu passed college entrance exams and found a job at the university where his parents were killed. His reasoning was simple. His family had been victimized there so he would be protected there. His parents' murderers were never prosecuted, despite the fact that two Chinese journalists (a writer and a photographer) documented the whole affair and the evidence was quickly placed in the hands of the police.
Old Wu kept his head down. He did not march during the 1989 student protests that ended in the Tiananmen Square crackdown. And after the crackdown he was put at the head of a committee investigating professors in the history department of his university. In recent years, Wu was assigned to write a chapter in a high school history textbook about the Cultural Revolution. He tried to slip in some details about the horrors of the time, including a subtle critique of the systemic nature of the problem. But it was excised by a censor's knife.
Wu is aware of the Faustian bargain he's made to live -- and live well -- in the People's Republic of China. It's a bargain that millions of people like him in China's growing middle class have made. They inhabit a system that many despise, but it's also a system they believe they can't live without. The cost of moving forward is forgetting the past, Old Wu would say, including the dream of bringing to justice the people who killed your parents.
China wants the 21st century to become the Chinese century, yet history has a way of sneaking up on countries, just as it does on people. The late Chinese writer Ba Jin lobbied hard in the last years of his life for a museum to commemorate the victims of the Cultural Revolution; it was never built. I asked Wu what he thought about such a museum. Forty years after the Cultural Revolution, he said, "China isn't ready for it." in China.
The writer is a correspondent and former Beijing bureau chief for The Post. He is the author of "Chinese Lessons."
Human Rights In China: Best Not to Criticize
the Government on TV; You Could Be
Breaking Your Own Neck
By AUDRA ANG, Associated Press Writer
July 27, 2006
BEIJING - Chinese investigators have concluded that an activist who said he was paralyzed after assailants broke his neck inflicted the injury on himself, his son said Thursday.
"We cannot accept this decision," said Fu Bing, whose father, Fu Xiancai, criticized the government's treatment of people who were forced to relocate as a result of the Three Gorges dam project.
Fu Xiancai was injured three weeks after German public television broadcast an interview in which he said he had been threatened and beaten for complaining about inadequate compensation for relocated residents.
He says that on June 8, he was called into the Zigui County Public Security Bureau in Hubei province and criticized for his television appearance. He was attacked after leaving the police station, he said.
On Wednesday, the head of the security bureau's forensics department and another county official told Fu Bing that experts concluded the injuries were self-inflicted, Fu Bing said.
Investigators refused to release other details, but said they found no other footprints at the scene, indicating his father had been alone, Fu Bing said.
A man who answered the phone at the security bureau Thursday said he was "unclear" about the case and refused to give his name.
Authorities told the Fu family not to appeal the decision or file a new complaint, Fu Bing said.
"My father was beaten with a wooden stick, first on his thighs, then repeatedly on his neck. He was beaten until he fell to the ground and lost consciousness. His body went numb," Fu said.
"He is very upset about the results of this investigation," he said. "He will definitely appeal."
Fu Xiancai underwent an operation last month that may enable him to use a wheelchair, but doctors have said he will not walk again.
The New York-based group Human Rights in China said it was "strongly concerned" about the Chinese investigation.
The rights group said authorities were "unlawfully pressuring Fu Xiancai to forgo any legitimate appeals process and refusing to disclose the experts who determined that Fu could have single-handedly struck himself from behind with such force as to shatter three of his vertebrae."
Political activists in China regularly face suppression by police and security forces. In recent years, activists have complained increasingly about attacks by thugs who they claim act on orders from authorities.
The Three Gorges dam was designed to stop flooding on the Yangtze River and produce enough electricity to light Shanghai. But it required relocating 1.13 million people, generating anger and resentment. The issue is particularly volatile around Zigui, home to many relocated people.
Germany's government has demanded an investigation and punishment for those responsible. The German Embassy in Beijing gave Fu $7,510 to help pay for the surgery.
Fu Bing said his 47-year-old father is slowly recovering, but his muscles are weak and he cannot sit up.
"He's been beaten before, although never this seriously," he said. "But his will is still very strong."