Friday, January 30, 2009

Just finished Mulvenon's latest work

The conclusion is interesting as the article was published before PLAN goes to Africa.

Here it is, enjoy.

Military Affairs — James Mulvenon

* Chairman Hu and the PLA’s "New Historic Missions"

Winter 2009:
Military Affairs
By James Mulvenon
"Chairman Hu and the PLA’s "New Historic Missions""

In a speech delivered on Christmas Eve 2004, Hu Jintao introduced a new set of "historic missions" for the Chinese armed forces. These missions constitute one part of a broader revision of the PLA’s "strategic guiding theory," derived in large measure from Hu Jintao’s overall ideological guidance on "scientific development." This article examines the timing, content, dissemination, and implementation of the "historic missions," which is a useful test case of Hu’s relationship with the PLA as reflected in military political work

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The biggest news of today....

The 2008 national defense whitepaper is out!

Here is the link to the English version

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ukraine studies joint aircraft production options with China
19.01.09 16:53

Ukraine, Kiev, Jan. 19/ Trend News, Z. Novsvitski/

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry is considering the joint production of new L-15 military trainer aircraft with China, Minister Yuri Yekhanurov said after his 5-day visit to China.

L-15 is a new aircraft displayed at the Airshow China-2008. It is equipped with an engine made by the Ukrainian companies Progress and Motor Sich.

“The Defense Ministry has the capacity to implement these projects,” he said. “We are currently studying technical possibilities for repairing and overhauling our aircraft.”

He said cooperation between Ukraine and China would also be interesting by involving Russian companies.

“I think it is high time we hold trilateral talks and agree on joint projects to produce military and transport aircraft, as well as training officers for sea aviation and vessel production,” he said. “The cooperation seems promising. But I would like our Russian counterparts to also find common ground with us.”

Yekhanurov led a defense delegation to China from Jan. 13 to 18.

Have any feedback? Contact our journalist at:

China planning its own full Earth GPS system by 2015
By Rick C. Hodgin
Monday, January 19, 2009 11:45
Beijing (China) - China's state media announced today that it plans to introduce its own set of geostationary orbiting satellites for a Chinese GPS system by the year 2015. The Beidou Navigation System (BNS) will enable its military and civilian users to find their way anywhere in the world without relying on the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

According to Zhang Xiaojin, director of astronautics at China's Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, "The system will shake off the dependence on foreign systems." China plans to launch more than 30 satellites by 2015. Ten will be launched in 2009 and 2010. These will be added to the five it already has in orbit, according to the report.

The five-satellite system allows regional navigation throughout mainland China. As the new system expands it will eventually encircle the globe creating an alternative to the U.S. dominated GPS system in use today. China also views BNS as a rival to the EU's Galileo Position System and Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).

GPS systems operate by receiving signals on the Earth from geostationary satellites which broadcast their location information constantly. While it only requires three sources to be able to triangulate a position, there are distortions in space-time around the Earth's gravitational field (as well as small ones introduced by the sun, moon and other planets). As a result, more than three satellites are used to correct for this error.

Some of the highest-end, several thousand dollar professional GPS systems with land-based augmentation are accurate to within one or two millimeters. The typical GPS found in most portable devices, including Garmins and TomToms, are accurate to within about 18 feet.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Told you, it is a dog-and-pony show

Zhang Yimou to direct Chinese anniversary parade
The Associated Press
Friday, January 16, 2009

BEIJING: Movie director Zhang Yimou will follow up his successful opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics by orchestrating a celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of communist China, his assistant said Friday.

Directing the Oct. 1 celebration indicates how firmly Zhang, 57, is embraced by the ruling Communist Party after last year's Olympic opening ceremony that stunned television audiences around the world.

For a time, Zhang was considered a troublemaker and had several of his films banned.

Zhang made his career directing films such as "Raise the Red Lantern" and "To Live," unflinching stories about the hardships during China's turbulent 20th century that were not well received by Chinese authorities.

He later directed less gritty works such as "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers," which made his work available to a wider audience in China and focused more on historical epic.

More than 40,000 people took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, using thousands of costumes and lavish stage sets. Zhang has said the task was much harder than making any film.

Now, Zhang has been given the task of organizing the celebrations marking the founding of the People's Republic of China, said the English-language China Daily newspaper, citing an unnamed senior Beijing municipal government official.

Zhang Jigang, a vice director of the Olympic ceremonies, will team up with the director to put on a "grand show," the report said. While the anniversary is celebrated every year, China normally puts on a bigger show every 10 years.

Zhang Yimou's assistant, Pang Liwei, confirmed that Zhang will be in charge of a gala on the evening of the anniversary but it was not clear what the event would involve.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the tone will be "solemn" rather than extravagant because of the financial crisis.

That means Zhang may have to rely on eye-catchers besides flying acrobats and an extravaganza of fireworks that marked the Olympic gala. The celebration will follow a parade of tanks and missile launchers that will show off the might of the People's Liberation Army.

The military parade will go down Beijing's main boulevard that crosses Tiananmen Square in the heart of the city, from where Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949, after a civil war with the Nationalists, who fled to Taiwan.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So, the ROC ship allowed PLAN SpOp team to go aboard?

Chinese Naval Force Protects Taiwanese Ship From Somali Pirates
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By James Peng

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- A Chinese naval task force began escorting a Taiwanese merchant ship and three other vessels in the Gulf of Aden in a mission to protect them from Somali pirates.

Two Chinese special forces teams are aboard the merchant ships, which departed yesterday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The Chinese destroyer Wuhan is accompanying the ships.

Ties between the governments in Taipei and Beijing have improved since Ma Ying-jeou became Taiwan’s president last May, ending the pro-independence stance of his predecessor.

China last month deployed vessels to escort merchant vessels along Somalia’s Indian Ocean coast and the Gulf of Aden after the United Nations Security Council authorized naval forces to fight pirates in the area. Buccaneers seized 40 ships last year.

A second destroyer, Haikou, will join the mission at a later stage, Xinhua reported. The vessels are among the most sophisticated in the Chinese navy, carrying anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, Xinhua said last month.

Between January and November last year, 1,265 Chinese commercial ships passed through Somalia’s waters, according to China’s Foreign Ministry. About one-fifth of those ships had confrontations with pirates, ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said last month.

The Chinese force will escort the Taiwanese merchant ship as well as two vessels from Shanghai and one from the Philippines, according to Xinhua.

Taiwan and China, which regards the island as part of its territory, have been ruled by separate governments since the end of a civil war in 1949, when Mao Zedong’s victorious communist forces took control of China’s government and drove Chiang Kai- shek’s Nationalist army to Taiwan.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Peng in Hong Kong at;
Last Updated: January 12, 2009 21:22 EST
US says reached dual-use trade deal with China

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The United States has reached a deal with China clearing the way for full implementation of a trade program for dual-use technology goods, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

"We are pleased to have reached this milestone agreement," Commerce Under Secretary Mario Mancuso said in a statement just one week before the Bush administration leaves office.

"U.S. exporters now have a more streamlined way to export to companies in China who have a record of using U.S. technology responsibly," Mancuso said.

The agreement is good news for U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. (BA.N) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT.O), the world's biggest supplier of machines used to make semiconductors.

The two companies have partners in China cleared to import certain advanced technology goods that also have potential military uses.

The Commerce Department in 2007 imposed new export controls on a targeted list of high-tech goods sought by China's military, such as lasers, high-performance computers, extreme temperature telecommunications equipment and airborne communication and inertial navigation systems.

At the same time, it established a new "validated end user" program to allow pre-screened civilian companies in China to import certain controlled items without having to obtain an individual Commerce Department license.

Last month, Mancuso said the Commerce Department was considering suspending the program because it had not reached an agreement covering surprise inspection procedures for the five companies in China approved to participate.

The two countries have now reached a pact that "will maximize the security and trade-enhancing benefits of the VEU program and continue a promising chapter in civilian U.S.-China high technology trade," Mancuso said.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer)

China, U.S. Reach Accord on Advanced Technology Trade Program
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By Mark Drajem

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and China reached an agreement on a trade program for advanced technology that may aid companies such as Boeing Co. and Applied Materials Inc.

The agreement clears the way for American officials to conduct surprise inspections of the facilities of Chinese companies that want to be pre-screened for the program. If approved, the companies can receive advanced technology for civilian use, such as aircraft parts and computer hardware, which could be exploited for military purposes.

The Commerce Department had threatened to suspend the existing program without an agreement on surprise inspections.

“We are pleased to have reached this milestone agreement with China, one of our nation’s most important trading partners,” said Mario Mancuso, the top Commerce Department official for the export controls.

Saving the program would help Boeing, the world’s No. 2 commercial-plane maker, and Applied Materials, the largest maker of chip-production machinery, which had partners in China cleared to buy their equipment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at

Monday, January 05, 2009

I want to belive it, but I am going to take "wait-and-see" stand

TAIPEI (Reuters) - China may be planning to slowly reduce the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan in a significant show of goodwill towards the self-ruled island, a Taiwanese military official said on Sunday.

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong's Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists (KMT) fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.

But Beijing may be planning to remove some of its approximately 1,300 short-range and mid-range missiles aimed at Taiwan, which is about 160 km away, said island defence ministry spokeswoman Chih Yu-lan.

"We have some grasp of this situation," Chih said.

Relations between the two sides have already improved since China-friendly Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May. His government has signed trade and transit deals with Beijing while avoiding displays of sovereignty for the island.

China's removal of missiles would be particularly popular with Taiwan's public compared with other recent goodwill measures, such as a gift of two giant pandas and financial incentives for Taiwan investors, political experts on the island say.

But Taiwan's military is not backing down, Chih said.

"We would look favourably at this development (in China), but we need to work on our own safety and not rely on someone else's goodwill," Chih said. "We won't relax our own preparations."

Cool, another dog-and-pony show, you know how much I love'em

Military Parade on China's 60th Anniversary

Beijing, Jan 5 (Prensa Latina) The People's Republic of China will mark its 60th anniversary with a military parade showcasing the the People's Liberation Army´s latest weapons.

Despite the importance and solemnity of the national event, extravagance will give way to solemnity and the money so saved will be diverted to reconstruction projects in earthquake-hit areas.

The website of the People's Daily, the official publication of the Communist Party of China, recalled that those parades take place every ten years, when the People's Republic of China celebrates a round anniversary.

President Mao Zedong announced the foundation of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, during a speech at Tiananmen Square, in downtown Beijing.

Tang Xingming, of the Armed Forces' Academy of Military Sciences, said the parade would showcae China's economic and military power.

China last held a massive military parade on Oct 1, 1999, when it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

PLA's Chief of General Staff Chen Bingde will be in charge of the preparations for the grand military parade, the report said.