US – China Relations

But the most troubling aspect of Huawei is not its penchant for pilferage but its potential role in China’s global assault on democracy: Our view

The Editorial Board, USA TODAY
Date: March 21, 2019

The Trump administration does many things in foreign policy that are head-scratching, if not downright alarming.

Huawei store in Beijing. (Photo: Andy Wong/AP)

Its aggressive posture toward the Chinese technology equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. is not one of them.

Recent Justice Department lawsuits against the company — one alleging various financial crimes, the other focused on intellectual property theft — appear well-founded.

The State Department’s ongoing (though apparently not particularly successful) efforts to persuade foreign nations not to build out their internet infrastructure with Huawei equipment is even sounder.

While the U.S. government’s spat with a single China-based company might seem like a small matter, it is not. This one company symbolizes the challenges presented by China’s increasing global clout: its efforts to appropriate Western technology; its use of telecom networks for both espionage and censorship; and, ultimately, its ongoing effort to extend autocratic power.

HUAWEI: Politicizing cybersecurity is a losing proposition for consumers

Founded in 1987 by a former People’s Liberation Army engineer, Huawei (pronounced Wah-way) has long received special treatment from the Chinese government and, likely, subsidies that have allowed it to undercut competitors and become the world’s largest maker of internet equipment (and the  second largest maker of cellphonesbehind Samsung).

The company has spent decades in a mad dash to catch up with competitors. In 2003, Huawei admitted to stealing Cisco Systems’ source code and has been accused of such broad-based theft that it once  copied a manual right down to the typos. Motorola has accused Huawei of recruiting its workers to pilfer property.

The suit filed by the Justice Department alleges a years-long campaign to reward Huawei workers for acquiring technology by whatever means. It focuses heavily on yet another instance of theft, involving a Huawei worker who took a T-Mobile robot from a lab in Bellevue, Washington, photographed and measured it, then returned it in what the company said was a mistake. The robot, nicknamed “Tappy,” is designed to test cellphones by mimicking the way human hands and fingers interact with them.    [FULL  STORY]

Imagine what happens next. 

The National Interest
Date: March 21, 2019  
By: Michael Peck

Now comes Admiral Lou, who represents what seems to be a growing Chinese belief that America is too weak to fight . The Chinese are certainly not the first: the Germans and Japanese thought the same in 1941 (perhaps China should remember that the Japanese thought the Chinese were weaklings in the 1930s).

Admiral Lou Yuan is China’s Curtis LeMay.

LeMay, the U.S. Air Force general who torched Japanese cities and later headed Strategic Air Command, was notorious for his bellicosity. In the 1950s and during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he tried to get the U.S. to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union: during the Vietnam War, he urged bombing North Vietnam “back to the Stone Age.”

Now comes Lou Yuan, deputy chief of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences and a prolifically hawkish military commentator who supports a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Last month, Yuan told an audience at a Chinese military-industrial conference that China could solve tensions over the South East China Sea by sinking two U.S. aircraft carriers .

This would kill 10,000 American sailors. “What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” said Lou. “We’ll see how frightened America is.”

Lou has previously urged an invasion of Taiwan if the U.S. Navy uses the island, regarded by China as a renegade territory, as a naval base. “If the US naval fleet dares to stop in Taiwan, it is time for the People’s Liberation Army to deploy troops to promote national unity on the island,” he said.    [FULL  STORY]

It is safe to say that the Pentagon and Silicon Valley are very different places. But that gap could harm U.S. national security. Defense News takes an in-depth look at the problem and it could be fixed.

Defense News
March 21, 2019
By: Aaron Mehta

WASHINGTON — For the second time in a week, the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer has taken a shot at Google, warning that the tech company’s investments in China are doing long-term damage to America’s security.
But Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he also plans to meet with the tech giant to “debate” about its roles and responsibilities as a commercial enterprise versus how much the firm owes to America as its home nation.

“In my judgment, us assisting the Chinese military in advancing technologically is not in U.S. national interests, so it’s a debate we have to have,” Dunford said at a Thursday event hosted by the Atlantic Council.
For more on the split between the tech industry and the Pentagon, click here.

His comments followed up on statements made in a Senate hearing last week, where he said Google was “indirectly benefiting the Chinese military” by its operations in the communist nation. Asked to follow up on those conversations Thursday, the chairman expressed the belief that no company can do work in China without it being siphoned off.    [FULL  STORY]

Possible?

The National Interest
Date: March 6, 2019
By: Salvatore Babones

A future battleship could respond to Chinese provocations by disabling Chinese seabed sensors or cutting Chinese undersea cables. It could survive being rammed by enemy ships—a favorite tactic of the Chinese and North Koreans. And if A2/AD did escalate into a shooting war, it could operate in the danger zone while U.S. offensive actions turned the tables.

In World War II, the Japanese super-battleships  Yamato and Musahi each mounted nine 18.1-inch guns, the largest naval guns ever deployed, but they never sank a single American ship. In a conflict decided by naval aviation,  Yamato and Musahi were used mainly as flagships and troop transports. Despite their huge armaments, they were steel dinosaurs from an earlier strategic age.

But how do you sink a steel dinosaur? The answer is: “with difficulty.” It took eleven torpedoes and six bombs to sink the  Yamato. The  Musahi took nineteen torpedoes and seventeen bombs. And at the time they were sunk, both ships were already limping along on patch-up repairs from earlier torpedo strikes. They may have been strategically useless, but the  Yamato and Musahi were almost (if not quite) indestructible.

Naval construction requires decades of advance planning, and naval planners are always at risk of fighting the last war. Since the end of World War II, U.S. naval planning has revolved around the aircraft carrier. But world wars are few and far between, and other missions abound. When it comes to countering the rise of China, some of the most frequent missions are freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) requiring no fighting at all.

Over the last several years China has become increasingly aggressive in asserting  illegal maritime claims  in the South China Sea. In response, the United States regularly conducts FONOPs,  sailing destroyers  within twelve nautical miles of China’s artificial islands to repudiate Beijing’s claims to sovereign territorial waters. So far, China has been sensible enough not to challenge any of these operations.

But a destroyer is a fragile fish. In June last year the  USS Fitzgerald was put out of action by a collision with a container ship, with the loss of seven lives—on the destroyer. Then in August the  USS John S. McCain  was nearly sunk by an oil tanker. Ten sailors lost their lives. The tanker suffered no injuries. Leaving aside the issue of poor seamanship, these two collisions illustrated a potentially more serious shortcoming of today’s naval ships: poor survivability. Navy ships used to threaten oil tankers, not the other way around.    [FULL  STORY]

CBS News 
Date: February  20, 2019 
By: Dan Patterson, Graham Kates

China’s Huawei is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies — millions of people use their phones, and its equipment and technology make it the driving force in 5G, the emerging standard that promises blazing-fast speed on wireless networks.

But Huawei is also caught in a fight with the U.S. government, which alleges it works with the Chinese government to steal from U.S. companies, and that it has illegally done business with Iran.

Huawei’s founder and president, Ren Zhengfei, denied the allegations in an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Bianna Golodryga, his first TV interview with an American journalist.

“We never participate in espionage and we do not allow any of our employees to do any act like that,” he said. “And we absolutely never install backdoors. Even if we were required by Chinese law, we would firmly reject that.”    [FULL  STORY]

Bloomberg
Date: February 16, 2019
By: Marc Champion

Pence speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Saturday. Photographer: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

If China and the U.S. are in the midst of a divorce, Europeans look increasingly like the children.

That was the impression given by a series of back-to-back appearances on Saturday, from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The speeches put growing great power rivalries on display, but with Europe more the object of a custody battle than a participant.

Speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference, Yang looked like he was trying to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its European Union allies, singling out transatlantic differences over multilateralism and technology investment.

He spent much of his speech extolling the virtues of cooperation, international organizations and free trade, popular in Europe, and attacked the dangers of “protectionism,” as well as “hegemony and power politics.” The U.S. wasn’t named, but the target was clear.

Yang disputed Pence’s warnings that Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. would expose European 5G networks to the risk of espionage and suggested that Europeans deserve more respect from their traditional ally.

“I hope some Americans will have a bit more confidence in themselves and be a little more respectful to people, people in the so-called old world,’’ said Yang, a former Chinese ambassador to the U.S., using a common American euphemism for Europe. “People all know where their interests lie, so let there be fewer lecturers.’’    [FULL  STORY]

China’s politics are such that China’s ruler is in no position to negotiate in good faith with the United States.

The Daily Beast
Date: 02.16.19
By: Gordon G. Chang

Photo by: AFP Contributor

There was virtually no progress on “structural” issues in the just-concluded U.S.-China trade talks in Beijing, and unfortunately there won’t be any unless President Donald Trump decides to walk away from the ongoing negotiations.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, is in no position to negotiate in good faith with the U.S., in large part due to Communist Party politics. Trump, therefore, has to either abandon his ambitious trade goals or push Beijing to the edge of the cliff.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met Xi on Friday and the talks head for Washington next week.

“I hope you can make persistent efforts to push forward an agreement that can benefit both sides,” Xi said, according to state broadcaster China Central Television. “We all think that in terms of maintaining the prosperity and stability of the world, as well as promoting global economic prosperity and development, our two countries share broad mutual interest.”

China and the U.S. “share broad mutual interest”? Actually, both countries, at far different stages of economic development, do not.

The conduct of China’s senior leaders betrays a belief that they calculate their interests in ways far different than their American counterparts. After all, over the course of decades, the Chinese party-state, either directly or through enterprises and affiliated concerns, has stolen trillions of dollars of U.S. intellectual property.    [FULL  STORY]

China’s ominous and extensive military build-up in the South China Sea has all the hallmarks that it is “preparing for World War III”.

News Corp Australia Network
Date: January 31, 2019
By: Jamie Seidel

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet practices firing rockets at a weapons range. Military aircraft have not yet been stationed on Beijing’s island fortresses. Picture: PLASource:Supplied

Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma has said what many fear: China’s military build-up in the South China Sea looks as though it is “preparing for World War III”.

His blunt statement came during a Senate hearing yesterday discussing the new challenges being presented by Russia and China.

And Senator Inhofe isn’t happy about how the world has got to where it’s at.

He says the US sat back and watched as China staked its claim on the contested reefs and rocks, and did nothing as it turned them into artificial islands bristling with weapons and fortifications.

And the way it has muscled-in on this disputed territory has resulted in a significant change to the balance of power in South East Asia.    [FULL  STORY]

CNBC.com
Date: Jan 29, 2019
By: Kate Fazzini

  • China and Russia pose the biggest cyberthreat to the United States, but for very different reasons, representatives from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence say.
  • The ODNI report also says Russia has developed the capability to shut down U.S. infrastructure, including power and energy companies, as it did in Ukraine in 2015.
  • Threats from Iran and North Korea area also continuing to grow, including substantial attacks against the banking sector, according to the intelligence officials.

A new government report calls China the top cyber-espionage threat to government agencies and

Joshua Roberts | Reuters
FBI Director Christopher Wray; CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats arrive with other U.S. intelligence community officials to testify before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “worldwide threats” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 29, 2019.

U.S. businesses, and warns that the country has “the ability to launch cyber attacks that cause localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure — such as disruption of a natural gas pipeline — for days to weeks in the United States.”

A day after two landmark indictments against against China’s Huawei, the Senate heard from leaders from the CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Security Agency and FBI on the increasing threats from China, as well as new cyberthreats posed by Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Legislators also discussed actions beyond the criminal cases like those brought against Huawei, including legislation meant to combat cyber espionage and other threats. Huawei and China responded to the Justice Department’s allegations early Tuesday, questioning the allegations and saying they have tried to cooperate with U.S. authorities with little response.

The Senate hearing gave new insight into the scope of the worst global cyberthreats, and some insight into action legislators and intelligence officials might take to prevent it.
[FULL  STORY]

 

Joshua Roberts | Reuters
FBI Director Christopher Wray; CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats arrive with other U.S. intelligence community officials to testify before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “worldwide threats” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 29, 2019.
A new government report calls China the top cyber-espionage threat to government agencies and U.S. businesses, and warns that the country has “the ability to launch cyber attacks that cause localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure — such as disruption of a natural gas pipeline — for days to weeks in the United States.”

A day after two landmark indictments against against China’s Huawei, the Senate heard from leaders from the CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Security Agency and FBI on the increasing threats from China, as well as new cyberthreats posed by Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Legislators also discussed actions beyond the criminal cases like those brought against Huawei, including legislation meant to combat cyber espionage and other threats. Huawei and China responded to the Justice Department’s allegations early Tuesday, questioning the allegations and saying they have tried to cooperate with U.S. authorities with little response.

The Senate hearing gave new insight into the scope of the worst global cyberthreats, and some insight into action legislators and intelligence officials might take to prevent it.

 The New York Times
Date: Jan. 29, 2019
By: Paul Mozur and Raymond Zhong

Wilbur Ross, the United States secretary of commerce, speaking on Monday about charges of bank fraud and stealing trade secrets against Huawei of China.CreditCreditSarah Silbiger/The New York Times

SHANGHAI — Ever since Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer at the Chinese technology giant Huawei, was arrested in Canada nearly two months ago, Chinese officials have denounced the move as “wrongful” and “arbitrary” — a political affair cloaked in a judicial one.

Now that the United States has laid out its case against Ms. Meng in greater detail, neither Huawei nor the Chinese government has easy options for responding or retaliating.

Huawei, the world’s largest provider of the equipment that powers mobile phone and data networks, said on Tuesday that it was innocent of charges unveiled in Washington the day before that it had misled the United States government about its business in Iran, obstructed a criminal investigation and stolen American industrial secrets.

China’s Foreign Ministry called again for the United States and Canada to release Ms. Meng, who is a daughter of Huawei’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei.    [FULL  STORY]