Thursday, March 31, 2005

China Flexing Muscles in Asia

22 Million Chinese Seek to Block Japan's Bid to Join U.N. Council

A grass-roots Chinese campaign to keep Japan out of the United Nations Security Council has gathered some 22 million signatures, increasing the chances that China will block Japan's bid to join the group, organizers and analysts said today. The petition effort, conducted through popular Chinese Web sites, enjoys tacit support from the government, which has allowed state-controlled news media to cover the campaign prominently. If China prevents Japan's elevation, it would mark the most direct confrontation between Asia's two leading powers since they re-established diplomatic ties in 1972.

China's Secret War

When FBI Assistant Director Dan Szady, who heads the agency’s counter-intelligence division, made a rare public appearance to speak at the National Intelligence Conference and Exposition held last month in Alexandria, Virginia, it wasn’t to discuss Iran, Iraq, or any country in the Middle East, as many may have expected. Instead, the 33-year veteran of the Bureau discussed the “huge” threat posed to our national security by the Chinese intelligence apparatus. His most harrowing charge, among many other disturbing accusations, concerned the existence of an estimated 3,000 Chinese front companies that presently operate within the US. The main purpose of these pseudo-businesses, he said, is to facilitate often-illegal technology transfers to the Chinese government.

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.


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