| Postuar mė 23-3-2005 nė 12:52||
|Apogjeu i Kines|
Its economy reeling, China rattles saber at Taiwan
By George Friedman
Jewish World Review, March 18, 2005
With the Middle East continuing to boil, foreign policy attention has shifted toward China, which passed a controversial law authorizing the use of
force should Taiwan declare its independence. On its face, the law appears to serve no purpose.
Begin with the fact that Taiwan does not formally dispute China's claims that it is a province of the People's Republic. For Taipei, a
declaration of independence would be legally radical, but in all practical ways, Taiwan is an independent country already.
If Taiwan is part of China, then, from a strictly legal viewpoint, Beijing could do what it deems is necessary in its "province" without any
special legal authorization. And if Taiwan is not part of China, then Beijing doesn't need a law to invade a foreign country. It's done all
the time, and passing a law won't make anyone feel better about it.
Viewed from a strictly military perspective, China would not have an easy time invading Taiwan. The People's Republic doesn't have much of
an amphibious force, and what it does have is certainly not in a position to fight its way across the Taiwan Strait against Taiwan's air force
and missiles, land an invading army and maintain supply lines. Add the United States to the mix, and Chinese forces aren't going anywhere.
True, China could carry out a nuclear strike against Taiwan, but that would burn up some very valuable economic infrastructure not Beijing's
goal. It could also try to isolate Taiwan by firing anti-ship missiles at merchant vessels heading to and from the island. But missiles can go both
So China didn't need this law from a legal sense; and the passage of the law doesn't change the military reality, which is that a full-blown
war is unlikely. Therefore, since China is a serious country that doesn't do things frivolously, why in the world did the National People's
Congress pass this law?
The answer is rooted in a point I've made before, but which bears repeating: China is not doing nearly as well economically as it appears. True,
its exports are surging, but that doesn't mean the exports are profitable. Bad debts in China total an astounding $600 billion, according to
Standard and Poor's and I'd put the number higher. The Chinese economic miracle, which has been nothing to sneeze at, is running out of
steam, as the rest of Asia did before it.
This poses a tremendous political challenge to the Chinese government. The Communist Party's claim to authority no longer rests on the
ideological claims of Mao Tse-tung and Karl Marx; it rests on the fact that the Communist government of China delivered prosperity. It didn't
deliver it throughout China's geographic expanse and it didn't deliver it equally, but it did deliver it more quickly and broadly than
imaginable. Success in China, as in politics everywhere, is the root of popularity.
For the past 30 years, Beijing's problem was to manage accelerating prosperity. That's not hard to do. Imagine, however, that China's
boom were to end and the government had to manage an economy that was growing much more slowly than before, or even contracting. That is a much
tougher political problem.
If China no longer can call on the revolutionary zeal of the workers and peasants, how does it maintain its popularity and legitimacy? The one thing
that remains and is a very powerful force indeed is Chinese patriotism and nationalism. If the Communists can't rally the masses to Marx,
they can rally them to China.
Passing a law authorizing war in the event of secession makes no sense, if one assumes that China is economically healthy. If, on the other hand, one
thinks of China as facing hard times, increasing the level of tension with Taiwan makes perfect sense. Even if Beijing has no intention or ability
to invade, Taiwan is a patriotic issue, and the threat of war generates social solidarity and support for the government.
Over the past few weeks, observers have noted an odd hardening of China's foreign policy and a harsher edge to its tone. I would argue that China
is in economic difficulty and a Chinese government in economic trouble is also in deep political trouble. Therefore, acting like a superpower is an
antidote to economic problems, and legally committing itself to protect China's sovereignty makes a certain kind of sense.
The Chinese government knows its economic condition better than anyone. It is preparing the ground for a shift in its international behavior based on
worsening economic conditions. This doesn't mean war, but it does mean a lot more discussion of war and another headache for the United States
at a time when Washington doesn't need any more foreign policy headaches.
** George Friedman is the founder and CEO of STRATFOR.
| Postuar mė 11-5-2005 nė 21:30||
|China's Secret War |
| 3/31/2005 |
Flooding the Zone
"Foreknowledge cannot be gotten from ghosts and spirits, cannot be had by analogy, cannot be found out by calculation. It must be obtained from
people, people who know the conditions of the enemy". --Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The Chinese seem to have taken Sun Tzu's sage advice to heart. As detailed in the Cox Report of 1997, the Chinese have created an intricate
network of spies that continues to provide them with a wide range of classified American technology. As the Cox committee stated forebodingly eight
years ago, "The PRC's appetite for information and technology appears to be insatiable, and the energy devoted to the task enormous."
The Chinese do little to hide their desire for advanced technology, producing intelligence manuals that detail, in exact terms, methods through which
agents can procure advanced technical information from American sources. Recently, this strategy appears to have been honed to a sharp edge.
Nowhere is this massive theft felt more acutely than in the heart of America's technical development industry, Silicon Valley. Rather than
dispatching a few agents to the area, the Chinese have "flooded the zone," enlisting dozens, possibly hundreds, of their own citizens to aid
the overall effort. One US intelligence source detailed the strategy, stating to Time Magazine last month that, "The Chinese are very good at
putting a lot of people on just a little piece and getting a massive amount of stuff home." Numerous cases over the past decade have demonstrated
the depth and reach of the network. Several of these instances of Chinese espionage have come to the forefront within the past year. The cases that
have been uncovered are alarming. But they become terrifying when one considers that they represent only the tip of the iceberg.
Among the most troubling instances is the case of Martin Shih. A 61-year-old Silicon Valley businessman and resident of the United States, Shih owned
an impressive coterie of corporations, including Night Vision Technology in San Jose and Queening Hi-Tech in Taiwan. At the same time as Shih ran his
profitable international businesses, he was also a critical asset of Chinese intelligence. At Beijing's behest, Shih shipped cutting edge night
vision technology to Chinese technical research centers, such as the North China Research Institute, which are closely linked to the PRC military.
Taking his betrayal a step further, Shih traveled to China in June 2002 where he met with Chinese scientists, to whom he imparted the latest American
advances in the field. They were then able, with Shih's invaluable aid, to manufacture optical technology on par with modern American designs.
Shih was arrested in May 2004 and faces 45 years in prison. But the damage had been done. Almost single-handedly, Shih destroyed America's
advantage in night optic technology -- a critical component of our continuing dominance on the battlefield.
And night vision technology was not the only modern weapon system that China hoped to compromise. Also in Chinese crosshairs was the newest version of
the Hellfire anti-tank missile, which utilizes an advanced radar guidance system. In early 1999, the University of Beijing placed an order with a
California firm for 25 low-noise amplifier chips that are an important component of the overall guidance system. When unable to make the delivery
because of export laws, the California firm was told by the university that they had another supplier. This supplier was Ting-Ih Hsu, a former
employee of Lockheed Martin who ran several Orlando based corporations. One of these corporations, Azure Systems, ordered the same chips six months
later from a Lockheed subsidiary. Fortunately, this came to the attention of U.S. Customs, which put Mr. Hsu under surveillance. Custom agents
witnessed a business associate of Hsu receive the chips, then attempt to send them to Hong Kong, where they were to be forwarded to Beijing Ghz
Electronics, a state owned corporation. In 2004, both Hsu and his associate were charged with illegally attempting to export protected technology. The
Hsu case is yet another example of China's unrelenting style in procuring technologies they consider important in their quest to challenge
The list of additional recent Chinese espionage cases is long and disturbing. It includes, among others, the theft of Blackhawk helicopter engines and
optical devices by a South Korean man arrested last year. A Chinese-American couple in Wisconsin was arrested in 2004 for sending over $500,000 worth
of computer parts to the Chinese government that can be used to improve missile guidance systems. Statements from officials such as Szady hint that
cases like these are just a small sample of the overall secret Chinese war against America. Indeed, in the words of one unnamed senior FBI source,
"the Chinese are stealing us blind, the 10 year technological advantage we had is vanishing."
Manning the Gates
To defend itself from this wave of Chinese espionage, America relies on its primary counter-intelligence agency, the FBI. Unfortunately, just as the
Chinese efforts against the United States accelerated in the 1990s, the bureau's political masters saw fit to cripple their ability to counter
such a threat. Under the Clinton administration, joining the counter-intelligence division became a good way to ruin a promising FBI career. Funds
were cut, hundreds of agents were transferred to other divisions, and morale was at an all-time low. This degradation of America's
counterintelligence defense would set the stage for some high-profile blunders on the part of the FBI.
One such misstep was the controversy surrounding the Taiwanese-American nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee. Lee, who had been an employee at the Los Alamos
National Laboratory since 1978, was considered by the FBI to be a major security risk. In 1999, Lee was fired and then imprisoned for nine months on
59 felony counts. His case, however, quickly became a total debacle. In the words of prosecutor and special investigator Randy Bellows, "This
investigation was a paradigm of how not to manage and work an important counter-intelligence case." With the collapse of the investigation,
questions concerning Lee's suspicious actions, such as his transfer of classified nuclear data to computer disks that have never been found, will
probably go forever unanswered. The FBI's mishandling of the Lee counter-intelligence investigation either imprisoned and defamed an innocent man
or, quite possibly, allowed an American scientist who would have been considered a top Chinese agent to walk away from his betrayal a free man.
A further disaster was in store for the FBI's struggling anti-China effort. In the late 1970's, the FBI recruited Katrina Leung, a Chinese
student at the University of Chicago. However, according to government prosecutors, Leung was actually a highly effective Chinese double agent. When
Leung was arrested in 2003, she had in her possession extremely sensitive classified documents dealing with the FBI's efforts against Chinese
espionage, including the home phone numbers of FBI counter-intelligence agents. It was revealed early on in the government's case against Leung
that she had conducted relationships with two high ranking FBI agents, giving her access to comprehensive accounts of espionage investigations carried
out at government labs, including the inquiry into Wen Ho Lee. The stark conclusion of some FBI counter-intelligence experts was that Leung had fed
her Chinese handlers detailed information concerning the investigations, allowing them to tailor their espionage efforts accordingly. The FBI also
realized that perhaps Leung's highly regarded information, which had landed on the desk of four U.S. Presidents, might have all been a wildly
successful Chinese disinformation plot. Leung's case was overturned by a federal judge last month on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct, a
dismissal which is currently being challenged by the government.
With budget cuts, failed investigations, and reckless actions taken by two high ranking agents, the FBI has proven to be a brittle shield against the
veritable deluge of Chinese intelligence operatives infiltrating the United States. Fortunately, in the past four years, the FBI leadership seems to
have awoken to the threat, with Director Robert Mueller making counter-intelligence his second highest priority, after counter-terrorism. This
reemphasis is a long time coming, and will hopefully be continued by administrations that realize the importance of a concerted government effort
against Chinese espionage. Still, even with these positive developments, the bureau faces a monumental challenge, considering the scope of the
PRC's espionage effort.
Rooting Out the Network
The Chinese have constructed a spy network whose scope would have impressed even the KGB. The existence of such an apparatus should trouble American
policy makers who only recently listened as CIA director Porter Goss testified in unusually blunt terms about China's efforts to counter American
military power throughout Asia. In addition, the Pentagon's upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review is expected to express a harsher and more
realistic view of China's military ambitions than ever produced before. The Chinese, for their part, have responded with their standard bellicose
rhetoric: China has recently approved an "anti-succession law," which serves as a severe warning to U.S. ally Taiwan.
It is obvious that effective intelligence is a vital part of the Chinese effort to achieve their goal of regional dominance. One senior FBI official
put it best: "China is trying to develop a military that can compete with the U.S., and they are willing to steal to get [it]." As they mine
the American defense industry for technology, the Chinese also appear to be close to procuring European weapon equipment, allowing them to quickly
make up for their deficiency in sophisticated command and control technology. As prominent military experts recently suggested, the European
technology represents "The missing pieces of the People's Liberation Army puzzle."
With their fervent pursuit of American secrets and their newfound ability to purchase advanced western weaponry from our French and German
"allies," the Chinese seem well on their way to achieving their stated goal of effectively countering American military might in the
Pacific. While the recent steps taken by the Bush administration against Chinese espionage are promising, it will require a determined government-wide
effort -- backed by a significant amount of political will -- before the United States can begin to root out the powerful Chinese intelligence network
in its midst.
-- Patrick Devenny is the Henry M. Jackson National Security Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C.