Posts Tagged ‘cyberespionage’

China’s Secret Weapon in South Korea Missile Fight: Hackers

April 21, 2017

China denies it is retaliating over the Thaad missile system, but a U.S. cybersecurity firm says they are

This 2015 handout photo from the U.S. Department of Defense shows a terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor being test launched on Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.

This 2015 handout photo from the U.S. Department of Defense shows a terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor being test launched on Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / DOD / BEN LISTERMAN
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April 21, 2017 5:20 a.m. ET

Chinese state-backed hackers have recently targeted South Korean entities involved in deploying a U.S. missile-defense system, says an American cybersecurity firm, despite Beijing’s denial of retaliation against Seoul over the issue.

In recent weeks, two cyberespionage groups that the firm linked to Beijing’s military and intelligence agencies have launched a variety of attacks against South Korea’s government, military, defense companies and a big conglomerate, John Hultquist, director of cyberespionage analysis at FireEye Inc., said in an interview.

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The California-based firm, which counts South Korean agencies as clients, including one that oversees internet security, wouldn’t name the targets.

While FireEye and other cybersecurity experts say Chinese hackers have long targeted South Korea, they note a rise in the number and intensity of attacks in the weeks since South Korea said it would deploy Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, a sophisticated missile-defense system aimed at defending South Korea from a North Korean missile threat.

China opposes Thaad, saying its radar system can reach deep into its own territory and compromise its security. South Korea and the U.S. say Thaad is purely defensive. The first components of the system arrived in South Korea last month and have been a key issue in the current presidential campaign there.

One of the two hacker groups, which FireEye dubbed Tonto Team, is tied to China’s military and based out of the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, where North Korean hackers are also known to be active, said Mr. Hultquist, a former senior U.S. intelligence analyst. FireEye believes the other, known as APT10, may be linked to other Chinese military or intelligence units.

China’s Ministry of Defense said this week Beijing has consistently opposed hacking, and that the People’s Liberation Army “has never supported any hacking activity.” China has said it is itself a major hacking victim but has declined to offer specifics.

Mr. Hultquist said the two hacking groups gained access to their targets’ systems by using web-based intrusions, and by inducing people to click on weaponized email attachments or compromised websites. He declined to offer more specific details.

HACK ATTACKS

Recent cyberattacks attributed to Chinese state-backed groups.

  • Since February Spear-phishing* and watering hole** attacks were conducted against South Korean government, military and commercial targets connected to a U.S. missile defense system.
  • February, March Attendees of a board meeting at the National Foreign Trade Council were targeted with malware through the U.S. lobby group’s website.
  • Since 2016 Mining, technology, engineering and other companies in Japan, Europe and North America were intruded on through third-party IT service providers.
  • 2014-2015 Hackers penetrated a network of U.S. Office of Personnel Management to steal records connected to millions of government employees and contractors.
  • 2011-2012 South Korean targets, including government, media, military and think tanks were targeted with spear-phishing attacks.
  • *Sending fraudulent emails made to look as if they come from a trusted party in order to trick a target into downloading malicious software.
  • **A strategy in which the attacker guesses or observes which websites a targeted group often uses and infects them with malware to infect the group’s network..
  • Sources: FireEye, Trend Micro, Fidelis, PricewaterhouseCoopers and BAE Systems, WSJ reporting

Mr. Hultquist added that an error in one of the group’s operational security provided FireEye’s analysts with new information about the group’s origins.

South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last month that its website was targeted in a denial-of-service attack—one in which a flood of hacker-directed computers cripple a website—that originated in China.

A spokesman said that “prompt defensive measures” ensured that the attacks weren’t effective, adding that it was maintaining an “emergency service system” to repel Chinese hackers.

The ministry this week declined to comment further, or to say which cybersecurity firm it had employed or whether he thought the attacks were related to Thaad.

Another cybersecurity company, Russia’s Kaspersky Lab ZAO, said it observed a new wave of attacks on South Korean targets using malicious software that appeared to have been developed by Chinese speakers starting in February.

The attackers used so-called spear-phishing emails armed with malware hidden in documents related to national security, aerospace and other topics of strategic interest, said Park Seong-su, a senior global researcher for Kaspersky. The company typically declines to attribute cyberattacks and said it couldn’t say if the recent ones were related to Thaad.

The two hacking groups with alleged ties to Beijing have been joined by other so-called hacktivists—patriotic Chinese hackers acting independently of the government and using names like the “Panda Intelligence Bureau” and the “Denounce Lotte Group,” Mr. Hultquist said.

South Korea’s Lotte Group has become a particular focus of Chinese ire after the conglomerate approved a land swap this year that allowed the government to deploy a Thaad battery on a company golf course.

Last month, just after the land swap was approved, a Lotte duty-free shopping website was crippled by a denial-of-service attack, said a company spokeswoman, who added that its Chinese website had been disrupted with a virus in February. She declined to comment on its source.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t respond to questions about the website attacks. The ministry has previously addressed Lotte’s recent troubles in China by saying that the country welcomes foreign companies as long as they abide by Chinese law.

The U.S. has also accused Chinese state-backed hacking groups of breaking into government and commercial networks, though cybersecurity firms say such activity has dropped since the two nations struck a cybersecurity deal in 2015.

The two Chinese hacking groups named by FireEye are suspected of previous cyberattacks.

FireEye linked Tonto Team to an earlier state-backed Chinese hacking campaign, identified by Tokyo-based cybersecurity firm Trend Micro Inc. in 2012, which focused on South Korea’s government, media and military. Trend Micro declined to comment.

Two cybersecurity reports this month accused APT10 of launching a spate of recent attacks around the globe, including on a prominent U.S. trade lobbying group. One of those reports, jointly published by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and British weapons maker BAE Systems, said the Chinese hacker collective has recently grown more sophisticated, using custom-designed malware and accessing its targets’ systems by first hacking into trusted third-party IT service providers.

Because of the new scrutiny from that report, FireEye said in a recent blog post that APT10 was likely to lay low, though in the longer run, it added, “we believe they will return to their large-scale operations, potentially employing new tactics, techniques and procedures.”

Write to Jonathan Cheng at jonathan.cheng@wsj.com and Josh Chin at josh.chin@wsj.com

 

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UK Spy Chief Sees Growing Threat From Russian Cyber-Attacks, Espionage

November 1, 2016

NOV. 1, 2016, 6:51 A.M. EDT

LONDON — Russia is pushing its foreign policy in increasingly aggressive ways including cyber-attacks and espionage, posing a growing threat to Britain and the rest of Europe, the head of Britain’s internal intelligence agency MI5 has said.

Andrew Parker said Russia had been a covert threat for decades, but what differed now from the Cold War era was that there were more and more methods available for it to pursue its anti-Western agenda.

Andrew Parker, Head of Britain’s MI5

“Russia increasingly seems to define itself by opposition to the West and seems to act accordingly,” he told the Guardian newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.

“It is using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in increasingly aggressive ways, involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks. Russia is at work across Europe and in the UK today.”

Parker’s interview coincided with a British government announcement on plans to invest an extra 1.9 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) in cyber security defences.

Already strained by the case of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent murdered in London in 2006, relations between Britain and Russia have further deteriorated over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and Syria.

Parker said the targets of Russia’s covert activities in Britain included military secrets, industrial projects, economic information and government and foreign policy.

On Islamic extremism, Parker said Britain’s security services had foiled 12 attack plots in the past three years, but that the threat would endure for at least a generation.

“That sort of tempo of terrorist plots and attempts is concerning and it’s enduring. Attacks in this country are higher than I have experienced in the rest of my career, and I’ve been working at MI5 for 33 years,” he said.

“The reality is that because of the investment in services like mine, the UK has got good defences. My expectation is that we will find and stop most attempts at terrorism in this country.”

The threat level is officially set at “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

Parker broke down the threat into three components: homegrown extremists numbering about 3,000, Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq trying to incite plots against Britain, and online propaganda by IS and other extremist groups.

He added: “This is something we have to understand: it’s here to stay. It is an enduring threat and it’s at least a generational challenge for us to deal with.”

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)

Related:

 (Includes cyberspying, cybertheft)

China and Russia held joint military exercises in the pacific Ocean in 2014 — they executed similar exercises in the South China Sea during September 2016.

While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton began what was called the “U.S. pivot to Asia.” In this photo, Hillary Clinton talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. on September 5, 2012. Today Hillary Clinton is running to become the next President of the United States and China’s former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has been promoted to the number three leadership within the Chinese Communist Party. China seems to be in control of most of the South China Sea and is pressuring all U.S. allies from Japan to Australia to Singapore to ally themselves with China or face consequences. In 2012, Hillary Clinton was a big advocate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After Donald trump said the TPP was not a good deal for American workers, Hillary Clinton became against the TPP.

Those were fun times, weren’t they?  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov press a red button symbolizing Mrs. Clinton’s  intention to “reset” U.S.-Russian relations during their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, March 6, 2009. Only the Clinton State Department Used the word for “overcharge” instead of the word for ‘reset.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton left her post as U.S. Secretary of State with a Russia in military resurgence. The button meant “Reset to the Soviet Union and the Cold War” to Putin’s Moscow government, we suppose. (AP Photo)

A general view shows destruction in Aleppo’s rebel-held Bustan al-Basha neighbourhood on October 6, 2016. Credit George Ourfalian, AFP

 (From Sunday, June 26, 2016)

 

The number of migrants and refugees during the Obama Administration has exceeded the total number from World War II.

Because the threat of Radical Islamic Terrorism was not addressed more forcefully from the start with a concerted campaign to eliminate them,  the number of killed, wounded and displaced has continued to rise. The citizens of Syria and other places gave up waiting for Barack Obama to end the war and, at great peril to their own lives, and the lives of their family members, they became refugees and migrants.  How much longer must the world stay in this state of upheaval?

President Obama now has the distinction of being the longest serving American president during war in the history of the United States. That’s his legacy.

 

 

U.S. Navy sailors taken prisoner by Iran, January 12, 2016

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China Debuts J-20 Stealth Jet — Gets Into the Major Business of Overseas Military Sales

November 1, 2016

NOV. 1, 2016, 2:00 A.M. E.D.T.

China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China’s International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. China’s J-20 stealth fighter has made its public debut at Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai in the latest sign of the growing sophistication of the country’s military technology. (AP Photo)

ZHUHAI, China — China showed its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter in public for the first time on Tuesday, opening the country’s biggest meeting of aircraft makers and buyers with a show of its military clout.

Airshow China, in the southern city of Zhuhai, offers Beijing an opportunity to demonstrate its ambitions in civil aerospace and to underline its growing capability in defense. China is set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade.

China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter on an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS
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Two J-20 jets, Zhuhai’s headline act, swept over dignitaries, hundreds of spectators and industry executives gathered at the show’s opening ceremony in a flypast that barely exceeded a minute, generating a deafening roar that was met with gasps and applause and set off car alarms in a parking lot.

Experts say China has been refining designs for the J-20, first glimpsed by planespotters in 2010, in the hope of narrowing a military technology gap with the United States. President Xi Jinping has pushed to toughen the armed forces as China takes a more assertive stance in Asia, particularly in the South China and East China seas.

“It is clearly a big step forward in Chinese combat capability,” said Bradley Perrett of Aviation Week, a veteran China watcher.

State-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) was also bullish on China’s appetite for new civilian planes, estimating the market would need 6,865 new aircraft worth $930 billion over the next 20 years.

The COMAC forecast – similar to long-term outlooks from well-established rivals Boeing Co and Airbus Group – said China would make up almost a fifth of global demand for close to 40,000 planes over the next two decades.

QUESTIONS UNANSWERED

After screeching onto the Zhuhai stage as a pair at low-level, one of the J-20s quickly disappeared over the horizon, leaving the other to perform a series of turns, revealing its delta wing shape against bright sub-tropical haze.

It was China’s second successive display of stealth at the biennial show, following the 2014 debut of the J-31.

But analysts said the brief and relatively cautious J-20 routine – the pilots did not open weapon bay doors, or perform low-speed passes – answered few questions.

“I think we learned very little. We learned it is very loud. But we can’t tell what type of engine it has, or very much about the mobility,” said Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor of FlightGlobal. “Most importantly, we didn’t learn much about its radar cross-section.”

A key question whether the new Chinese fighter can match the radar-evading properties of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air-to-air combat jet, or the latest strike jet in the U.S. arsenal, Lockheed’s F-35. The F-22, developed for the U.S. Air Force, is the J-20’s closest lookalike.

But the mere display of such a newly developed aircraft was a revealing signal, others said.

“It’s a change of tactics for the Chinese to publicly show off weapons that aren’t in full squadron service yet,” said Sam Roggeveen, a senior fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute, “and demonstrates a lot of confidence in the capability, and also a lot of pride.”

C919 PASSENGER JET ABSENT

Other aircraft on display on Tuesday alongside the latest Chinese weapon systems, radar and drones, included the Xian Y-20 strategic airlifter, and what organizers say is the largest amphibious plane now in production – the AG600.

The flying boat is officially promoted as a fire-fighting or search and rescue plane. But analysts note the AG600 – first unveiled 10 days after a Hague tribunal ruled against China’s claim to parts of the South China Sea in July – is well suited to resupplying military outposts in the disputed area.

A model of a wide-body jet being developed by COMAC and Russia’s UAC was also on show, revealing design details such as wingspan and cruising speeds for the first time. Airbus and Boeing dominate the wide-body segment.

Notably absent from the airshow schedule, though, was the 150-seater COMAC C919 passenger jet, which has been beset by delays and is now running three years behind original plans.

COMAC said at the show that China Eastern Airlines will be the launch customer for the C919, which may take its first test flight later this year or early 2017, and that it had clinched 23 new orders for its C919, taking total firm orders to 570.

(Additional reporting by Michael Martina in BEIJING; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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How China Is Catching Up on Stealth Technology with a Knockoff F-35

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By Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One

New technical specs about China’s new J-31 fighter, a plane designed to rival the American-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, popped up on a Chinese blog last week. So who has the advantage — the U.S. or China?

China’s twin-engine design bears a striking resemblance to the single-jet F-35. Still, the Joint Strike Fighter is expected to fly slightly farther and carry a heavier load of weapons, according to the data, which was first reported by Jane’s.

Military experts say that while the J-31 looks like, and may even fly like, the F-35, it’s what’s under the hood and embedded in the skin that really matters. The U.S. has the better computer software, unique sensors and other hardware, stealth coating, and engines technology—all critical attributes that make fifth-generation aircraft different than the military jets of last century.

Exactly how long that advantage lasts is up for debate; senior Pentagon officials and experts believe American technology superiority is shrinking. That means the U.S. military’s weapons will not overmatch adversaries for as long as they have in past decades.

“It’s basically, are they producing weapon systems that have fifth-generation characteristics that potentially nullify some of our planned advantages in the future battlespace,” said Peter Singer, a strategist and senior fellow at New America.

“[W]e were depending more so on the [American weapons] having that generation-ahead edge, and if we don’t have that generation-ahead edge, that is incredibly scary for us in various scenarios,” Singer said.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work and acquisition chief Frank Kendall have spent much of the past two years warning that the U.S. military’s technology advantage is eroding.

“What it does is reduce the cost and lead time of our adversaries to doing their own designs, so it gives away a substantial advantage,” Kendall said of cyber espionage at a 2013 Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing.

Since then, Work and Kendall have been leading projects to find technologies that will give the American military an advantage on the battlefield of the future.

China is suspected of stealing F-35 design data in 2009. U.S. officials have said classified information was not stolen in that breach, but in 2011 it emerged that China was building a multirole, stealth fighter of its own that could strike targets in the air and on the ground, like the F-35. The J-31 flew for the first time in 2012.

The Pentagon huddled with defense companies in 2007 to urge firms to better protect their networks. Companies are attempting to beef up their cybersecurity, but there is a gap in the security talent, said Justin Harvey, chief security officer for Fidelis Cybersecurity, a firm that works with the U.S. government and private industry.

“They’re buying these tools, but they’re not investing a ton in the people,” he said. Whenever a company is attacked, they typically call Fidelis or similar cybersecurity firms to consult because they don’t have employees with the training or experience to assess the breach.

“I think 90 percent of U.S. companies are not equipped to deal with cyber espionage,” Harvey said.

The defense industrial base and financial services industry are the best-protected, he said.

Cyber espionage allows rival companies to get access to the information gleaned during testing “for the cost of breaching your network,” Singer said.

Cyber theft allows China to save tens of billions of dollars in research-and-development, the experimentation and testing a new weapon goes through before it reaches the battlefield, experts say. While the Chinese jet fighters might still be inferior to the American planes, not having to do early research and development allows them to focus on upgrades and improvements.

This means the 10- to 20-year advantage an aircraft like the F-35 was supposed have on the battlefield might not be there, Singer said. Those Chinese plans could then compete against U.S.-made aircraft 20 years from now when the U.S. government allows more and more allies to buy the F-35.

“Those future competitions will be incredibly difficult because we’ll have paid the R&D for our competitors,” Singer said.

Increased research-and-development costs, ever common in Pentagon acquisition projects, often lead to a decrease in the total number of items purchased. Most recently, this was the case with the F-35’s older brother, the F-22 Raptor. The Air Force had wanted more than 700 planes, a number cut first to 381 and ultimately to 187.

“The expense of our fifth-generation [fighter aircraft] means we have not been able to buy as many as we want,” Singer said.

Related: The $1 Trillion Question for the F-35: Is the U.S. Buying an Inferior Plane?

But the F-35, unlike previous aircraft, has been designed to receive upgrades over the years, which will ultimately improve its capabilities, allowing it defeat new threats.

F-35 development will end in October 2017. After that the program will move into a “follow-on development” phase, said F-35 project spokesman Joe DellaVedova. “One of the F-35’s great strengths is that it’s a growth platform, so its software, its processors, its radar, its capability; there’s a lot of room for growth.”

The jet fighters will get software and hardware upgrades every two years on an alternating basis.

The F-35 itself and its ground equipment undergo multiple tests each year to make sure the systems can withstand cyber attack, DellaVedova said. “We take the cyber threat very seriously,” he said.

While the Chinese planes might still have inferior systems, stealing intellectual property and subsequent R&D savings also allows Beijing to make drastic changes in prototypes.

For the J-20, a Chinese stealth fighter being built to rival the F-22, there have been numerous prototypes in which the plane’s design has become stealthier, Singer said.

“Their designs, their capabilities are shifting from prototype to prototype in a way that has not happening with the current way that we are building our fifth-gen systems,” he said.

This piece originally appeared on DefenseOne. For more from DefenseOne:

Can the U.S. Trust China to Stop Stealing Business Secrets?

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/09/26/How-China-Catching-Stealth-Technology-Knockoff-F-35

Related:

 (Includes cyberspying, cybertheft)

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China battles fierce competition and quality issues in fight for weapons sales

By Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
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More than 900 Chinese weapons will be on display at Zhuhai air show, but it still trails US and Russia in global market share

Monday, October 31, 2016, 8:43 a.m.
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The biennial Airshow China expo in Zhuhai, which starts on Tuesday, will showcase many advanced, Chinese-made weapons to potential customers in Asia and Africa.

More than 900 Chinese weapons will be on display, according to the organiser of the six-day show, which will feature more than 700 exhibitors from more than 42 countries and regions – with more than 400 exhibitors from China alone.

But while military experts say the quality of cheaper Chinese weapons has improved, Chinese manufacturers are still struggling to build brands in an international market dominated by competitors from the United States and Russia.

At September’s Africa Aerospace and Defence air show in Pretoria, South Africa, Chinese exhibitors struggled to find buyers even though Beijing tried hard to secure sales of its L-15 Falcon trainer and JF-17 fighter, Andrei Chang, the founder of military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence, told the South China Morning Post.

 The Chinese missile frigate Yuncheng launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise in the South China Sea in July. Photo: Xinhua

He said Cameroon had received four Harbin Z-9 attack helicopters from China after Beijing offered a US$100 million loan last year, but one of them had crashed soon after being handed over. Cameroon was still negotiating with China over the accident and had no any plans to buy any more Chinese weapons due to quality concerns, Chang said.

Professor Jonathan Holslag, head of research at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies, said financial problems were causing many countries, including South Africa, to be more hesitant and cautious when purchasing new arms.

“There is also fierce competition and many countries are willing to make offers at knockdown prices,” Holslag said, adding that many of Beijing’s previous clients harboured quality concerns.

“Military sales come with important maintenance and training services and China has still a way to go in this regard,” he said.

Chinese arms manufacturers may find it even more challenging to make sales following the reported failure of Chinese-made C-705 anti-ship missiles to hit their targets during an Indonesian exercise in September that was watched by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

IHS Jane’s reported that two C-705 missiles failed to hit their targets after being fired from two of the Indonesian navy’s KCR-40-class missile attack craft during the large-scale Armada Jaya 2016 exercise in the Java Sea on September 14.

Indonesia had acquired a licence that would allow state-owned aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia to produce C-705 missiles locally by 2017 or 2018, according to an earlier report in The Jakarta Post.

 Shore-to-ship missiles on display during a parade in Beijing in September 2015. Photo: Xinhua

It is not clear whether the licence contract will be affected by the failed launch, but Chinese military experts said the poor performance of the C-705, a high-subsonic missile guided by the US Global Positioning System (GPS) or Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), might have an adverse short-term impact on international sales of Chinese-made weapons.

“It’s impossible to make sure all missiles can hit any targets accurately,” said military observer Zhou Chenming, who previously worked for a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the main state-owned contractor for the country’s space programme, and is now a researcher at the Knowfar Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies, a non-government think tank in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province. “Normally, a manufacturer would note a general kill probability at 90 to 95 per cent during range tests.

“When a missile is fired, human factors play the key role during the intermediate operations to decide whether it will hit its designated target, including a series of reference data such as what altitude it needs to ascend to in the first stage and when it needs to turn.”

Zhou said the capabilities of the C-705 missile and the shorter-range C-701 and C-704 models had been proven in recent attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on United Arab Emirates vessels that were part of a Saudi Arabian-backed coalition supporting the Yemeni government.

Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said local weather, and whether the Indonesian missiles operators had followed all the necessary procedures, would also affect the launch result.

“Weapons are made with various metals and other sensitive materials, so local weather like temperature, humidity, salinity may cause problems,” Li said, adding that the climate in China was very different from that in Indonesia.

Li cited the example of at least six crashes by Russian Sukhoi Su-30 series jet fighters in India from 2009 to 2015, whereas similar problems were not encountered by the Vietnamese and Indonesian air forces or China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

 A People’s Liberation Army Air Force GJ-1 drone at the Zhuhai air show in November 2014. Photo: Dickson Lee

A comprehensive report in June last year by the Russian website Russia Beyond the Headlines said that India’s harsh climate, different training requirements and problematic maintenance systems were all key reasons behind the crashes.

The report said Sukhoi kept a close eye on products sold overseas as part of its after-sales service.

Military experts said that was something Chinese arms producers would need to emulate in the longer term if they hoped to build up brand names for their weapons in the international market.

“Many countries decide to buy weapons from the US and Russia just because of the security guarantees, similar to an alliance, which China is so far is incapable of giving to its African and Asian clients,” Zhou said.

Dr Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy, a research associate at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, said China’s defence industry was getting bigger but the quality of the weapons it produced was not the best.

“I do not think that China has built its brand in the field of global weapon exports … but in recent years, China has been paying a lot of attention on research and innovation,” he said.

“Certainly, cutting-edge technology will be very critical in shaping the global arms market. The US and some other countries are way ahead of China in defence research and manufacturing … another important factor is that major importers of arms lack the required political trust in China, and China doesn’t figure at the top of many countries’ priority lists for arms procurement.”

Zhou said political trust was a key factor behind the new Sri Lankan government’s reluctance to commit to Chinese arms purchase agreements signed by its predecessor.

Last month’s Chinese-language Kanwa Defence Review also reported that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who assumed office in January last year, might renege on Chinese weapons deals.

In an exclusive interview with Chang, Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunathilake, Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff, denied rumours it had signed a JF-17 contract with China or Pakistan and said Sri Lanka had decided against making such a purchase.

“I didn’t make final decision, so far I’ve just watched a demonstration of the JF-17’s flight simulator on the ground,” he said.

 President Xi Jinping met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in Goa, India, on October 16. Photo: Xinhua

Gunathilake said Sri Lanka did need to buy new generation aircraft to replace its ageing Chinese J-7s and Russian MiG-27s and was considering buying second-hand F-16s from the US.

“The problem is it’s too expensive,” he said.

Li said that in order to compete with American and Russian arms manufacturers, Chinese firms would have to offer long-term security assurances,training services and other after-sales services to customers.

“China’s advantage is focused on ‘hardware’ – making weapons,” he said. “The ‘software’ related to after-sales service will take longer to come up with a comprehensive system.

“Creating a weapons brand is challenging, but it’s the ultimate goal and necessary for a country to further perfect its military-industrial complex.”

More than two-thirds of African countries are using Chinese military equipment according to The Military Balance 2016 report published in February by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). It described Africa as an increasingly important market for China’s defence exports, with Nigeria, Uganda and Djibouti among 10 countries that had become “emergent customers” for Beijing’s arms exports since 2005.

But China still accounted for only 5.9 per cent of global arms exports from 2011-2015, according to a recent report on global arms transfers by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), well behind the US and Russia, the world’s two largest arms exporters.

The SIPRI report said China had supplied major arms to 37 states between 2011 and 2015, but 75 per cent of its exports were to states in Asia and Oceania. Pakistan was the main recipient of Chinese exports, accounting for 35 per cent of the total, followed by Bangladesh (20 per cent) and Myanmar (16 per cent).

 Chinese sailors salute on top of a submarine during a fleet review at a Sino-Russian joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea in April 2012. Photo: Reuters

The PLA Daily reported recently that China had spared no efforts to expand overseas markets, with submarines, missiles and fighter jets being among the sophisticated weapons exported to neighbours. It added that Beijing would be transferring at least 13 submarines worth a total of about US$6.2 billion in the coming years, with eight going to Pakistan, three to Thailand and two to Bangladesh.

The 11 modified diesel-electric attack submarines destined for Pakistan and Thailand, which analysts speculate will be a lighter, export version of the PLA Navy’s Type 041 Yuan-class conventional attack submarine, might feature air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems allowing the submarines to stay submerged for longer.

According to earlier PLA Daily reports, China has also provided missiles and tanks to Pakistan, which established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1950, becoming one of the first countries to switch recognition from Taipei. Pakistan is also the co-developer of China’s JF-17 fighter.

Chaturvedy said the close relationship between China and Pakistan had caused India to enhance its defence cooperation with Japan, import more weapons from Russia and other countries, and develop more home-made arms.

“Russia was the dominant supplier of arms for India, but in recent years India has diversified its sources,” he said. “The US, Israel, and some European countries including France have become very important in this regard. Gradually, Russia’s importance will be reduced due to policy changes and the willingness of major countries to strengthen relations with India.

“India will also give top priority to a new category of procurement known as indigenous design, development and manufacturing. The ‘Make in India’ programme is an attempt to transform the indigenous defence industry through the public-private partnership model. In the case of global procurement, India is keen on technology transfer rather than just buying arms.”

Democrats Brace for More Leaks From Hackers

August 15, 2016

Two websites believed to have ties to the Russian government now serve as portals for leaking sensitive information about the Democratic Party

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, shown Friday, is among Democratic officials whose cellphone numbers were hacked.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, shown Friday, is among Democratic officials whose cellphone numbers were hacked. PHOTO: WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES
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Updated Aug. 14, 2016 10:03 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Two websites created in recent months and whose operators are believed to have ties to the Russian government now serve as portals for leaking sensitive and at times embarrassing information about the Democratic Party and its supporters.

Some computer experts and Democrats in Congress believe both websites—the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress page and DCLeaks.com—have ties to Russian intelligence services and that the sites are using hacked information to try to influence the November elections.

The precise motives of the entities controlling these webpages cannot be learned because their identities are unclear.

U.S. officials are now debating whether to publicly accuse the Russian government of conducting the attacks, two people familiar with the deliberations said, though no final decision about how to proceed has been made.

“I certainly believe that this is a coordinated Russian effort against the U.S. political process,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, in an interview Sunday. “It’s an act of hostility by a foreign power.”

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Rep. Himes said the U.S. must make clear that “there will be a cost to be paid for that sort of hacking.” But, he added, “If you are going to make an accusation against a foreign country, you better dot your i’s and cross your t’s.”

U.S. officials have told some members of Congress that they are certain that Russian hackers were behind the latest breach, two people familiar with these briefings said.

Hackers and spies have long targeted U.S. political parties, but the deliberate leak of party emails and other records this year has created new challenges for law enforcement and intelligence officials as they search for motives and a potential response.

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“The incident itself is unprecedented, but they are trying to follow past precedents in their response,” such as with Russia’s alleged recent hacks on White House and State Department systems, where the full U.S. response isn’t known, said Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the New America think tank and an expert on the use of cyberweapons by nation states.

On Friday, after being dormant for a month, Guccifer 2.0 posted a spreadsheet containing the personal cellphone numbers and personal email addresses of close to 200 current and former House Democrats and their senior staff members.

Hours later, WordPress, an online publishing platform, stripped the information off the webpage, saying it violated its privacy policy. But the information by then was public and had prompted many people to bombard lawmakers and their staff with harassing emails and text messages, people familiar with the matter said.

Twitter also suspended the Guccifer 2.0 account on its service early Saturday for violating terms of use, but by late Saturday the Twitter account was back online after the suspension had been withdrawn.

“Here I am! They’ll have to try much harder to block me!” the Guccifer 2.0 account said in a tweet Sunday.

Dozens of House Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California,spent the weekend changing their cellphone numbers and trying to learn the extent of potential damage.

By having access to cellphone numbers and email addresses, spies and hackers could attempt to intercept communication to and from these lawmakers, particularly those on sensitive committees that oversee things like intelligence and the military.

And in making the information public, the hackers sowed fear among a number of Democrats that they were being watched. The lawmakers hadn’t been warned that their information had been stolen before its publication late Friday.

Close to 24 hours after the lawmaker spreadsheet was posted on Guccifer 2.0’s WordPress account, another site, DCLeaks.com, released internal records from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, a pro-democracy group, including its 2014 priorities in places like Afghanistan, Armenia and Macedonia. Mr. Soros is a large-scale contributor to liberal causes.

DCLeaks.com previously published the content of emails and records connected to the Democratic Party, as well as those of retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, a former supreme commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It also released emails from Republican Party operatives, though those messages were fairly limited and mundane.

DCLeaks.com was created in April, according to website domain registration records. Its contact information is listed as a domain registration company in Australia, a setup that can shield the identity of people creating websites.

The Guccifer 2.0 WordPress account was created in June, just days after the Democratic National Committee said that Russia-linked hackers had stolen many of its emails and records. WordPress didn’t respond to requests for comment about who created the page.

On its WordPress page, Guccifer 2.0 claims to be from Eastern Europe, though many analysts have questioned parts of its self-published background. Guccifer 2.0 told The Wall Street Journal late Friday in a Twitter direct message conversation that “I’m acting alone” and “I have a lot of docs and emails.” It also said “I won’t disclose my whereabouts for the safety reasons. i have a full archive of docs and emails from the dccc server,” in an apparent reference to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Guccifer 2.0 has said it is turning over more records to WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy group, to publish later. Representatives from WikiLeaks didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Cybersecurity firms that have scrutinized the DNC and DCCC hacks have pointed to evidence they say shows that the breaches came from two well-known cyberespionage groups with suspected links to the Russian government. These groups also have been accused of interfering in the political process in other countries, such as France and Germany.

The governments of Ukraine and Estonia also have accused Russian hackers of interfering in their domestic politics. Russian officials have long denied interfering in politics in other countries.

ThreatConnect, a cybersecurity firm, has examined emails purportedly sent by Guccifer 2.0, and said they suggest a direct link between the hacking entity and DCLeaks.com.

“There’s something happening between Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks,” said Toni Gidwani, ThreatConnect’s director of research operations.

Dimitri Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest, a think tank that has urged closer ties between Washington and Moscow, said it was very likely that Russian intelligence agencies were behind the latest breach.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking into the theft of records from the DNC and the DCCC.

Write to Damian Paletta at damian.paletta@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-brace-for-more-leaks-from-hackers-1471220388

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The World Is a Scary Place

April 28, 2016

 

South China

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The A-10 might seem like an unlikely plane for the mission, though. The heavily armored twin-engine “Warthog” has been in service since the 1970s, and was designed for close-air support, in which combat aircraft assist ground troops by attacking enemy tanks, vehicles and positions. There is none of that around Scarborough Shoal, and the plane is considered more vulnerable than other American military planes against surface-to-air missiles.

The A-10 also is slower than numerous rival aircraft, including the Chinese J-11B fighter used to intercept a Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane in August 2014 in a move the Pentagon criticized as aggressive and dangerous.

[Scarborough Shoal and U.S. maritime patrols at the center of latest dispute in South China Sea]

A former official said during an interview on the sidelines of the Asan Plenum 2016 in South Korea the United States has not ruled out using nuclear weapons against North Korea.

The “Warthog” does send a message, though. Known for flying loud and low, it arrived in the Philippines this month as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter visited and the United States announced it would use five Philippine military bases on a rotational basis. The plane isn’t meant for dogfights with Chinese fighters, but is capable of flying through international airspace near Scarborough Shoal and demonstrating the Pentagon’s commitment to keeping the skies there open to everyone.

Air Force Col. Larry Card, the commander of the new air contingent in the Philippines, appeared to touch on this in a recent news release.

“Our job is to ensure air and sea domains remain open in accordance with international law,” Card said. “That is extremely important, international economics depends on it – free trade depends on our ability to move goods. There’s no nation right now whose economy does not depend on the well-being of the economy of other nations.”
The Air Force said the missions promote “transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, representing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come.”

[U.S. ramps up military presence in Philippines, starts joint patrols in South China Sea]

Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for Air Forces Pacific, said Wednesday that the A-10 has excellent loiter capabilities and maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude that are “necessary for conducting the air contingent’s air and maritime domain awareness and personnel recovery missions.”

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Military, defense and security at home and abroad.
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Using the A-10s and HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters around the Philippines within the last week was “strategically and economically the right decision” because they already were present after the recently concluded military exercise Balikatan, he said. That operation ran from Aug. 4 to 16 and included thousands of U.S. troops.

The Philippines also maybe be interested in eventually obtaining used A-10 jets as the Air Force retires them, giving the United States another reason to grow Manila’s familiarity with them. The Philippines uses the aging OV-10 turboprop plane for close-air support. An American version of the aircraft has popped up in the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State in a very limited and secretive role, but the plane is largely considered obsolete.

Related on Checkpoint:

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These are the military bases the U.S. will use in the Philippines. China isn’t impressed.

Navy admiral warns of growing sense that ‘might makes right’ in Southeast Asia

The U.S. and India are deepening military ties — and China is watching

Related here on Peace and Freedom

Out Source; Link to the New York Times http://www.infowars.com/united-states-plans-first-use-of-nuclear-weapons-against-north-korea/

 

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy Address, April 27, 2016, Washington DC — Text and Commentary

April 27, 2016

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you, and thank you to the Center for the National Interest for honoring me with this invitation.

I would like to talk today about how to develop a new foreign policy direction for our country – one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.

It is time to shake the rust off of America’s foreign policy. It’s time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold.

The direction I will outline today will also return us to a timeless principle. My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people, and American security, above all else. That will be the foundation of every decision that I will make.

America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.

But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly look back.

We have a lot to be proud of. In the 1940s we saved the world. The Greatest Generation beat back the Nazis and the Japanese Imperialists.

Then we saved the world again, this time from totalitarian Communism. The Cold War lasted for decades, but we won.

Democrats and Republicans working together got Mr. Gorbachev to heed the words of President Reagan when he said: “tear down this wall.”

History will not forget what we did.

Unfortunately, after the Cold War, our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense.

Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, and this led to one foreign policy disaster after another.

We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper.

It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism; thousands of American lives, and many trillions of dollars, were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their unjust enrichment.

Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster.

No vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy.

Today, I want to identify five main weaknesses in our foreign policy.

First, Our Resources Are Overextended

President Obama has weakened our military by weakening our economy. He’s crippled us with wasteful spending, massive debt, low growth, a huge trade deficit and open borders.

Our manufacturing trade deficit with the world is now approaching $1 trillion a year. We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own.

Ending the theft of American jobs will give us the resources we need to rebuild our military and regain our financial independence and strength.

I am the only person running for the Presidency who understands this problem and knows how to fix it.

Secondly, our allies are not paying their fair share.

Our allies must contribute toward the financial, political and human costs of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so. They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us.

In NATO, for instance, only 4 of 28 other member countries, besides America, are spending the minimum required 2% of GDP on defense.

We have spent trillions of dollars over time – on planes, missiles, ships, equipment – building up our military to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia. The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense – and, if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.

The whole world will be safer if our allies do their part to support our common defense and security.

A Trump Administration will lead a free world that is properly armed and funded.

Thirdly, our friends are beginning to think they can’t depend on us.

We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies.

He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms, even before the ink was dry.

Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon and, under a Trump Administration, will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

All of this without even mentioning the humiliation of the United States with Iran’s treatment of our ten captured sailors.

In negotiation, you must be willing to walk. The Iran deal, like so many of our worst agreements, is the result of not being willing to leave the table. When the other side knows you’re not going to walk, it becomes absolutely impossible to win.

At the same time, your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them.

President Obama gutted our missile defense program, then abandoned our missile defense plans with Poland and the Czech Republic.

He supported the ouster of a friendly regime in Egypt that had a longstanding peace treaty with Israel – and then helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in its place.

Israel, our great friend and the one true Democracy in the Middle East, has been snubbed and criticized by an Administration that lacks moral clarity. Just a few days ago, Vice President Biden again criticized Israel – a force for justice and peace – for acting as an impediment to peace in the region.

President Obama has not been a friend to Israel. He has treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power in the Middle East – all at the expense of Israel, our other allies in the region and, critically, the United States.

We’ve picked fights with our oldest friends, and now they’re starting to look elsewhere for help.

Fourth, our rivals no longer respect us.

In fact, they are just as confused as our allies, but an even bigger problem is that they don’t take us seriously any more.

When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, no leader was there to meet or greet him – perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One.

Then, amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia — it’s called no respect.

Do you remember when the President made a long and expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark to get the Olympics for our country, and, after this unprecedented effort, it was announced that the United States came in fourth place?

He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment.

The list of humiliations goes on and on.

AFP 551355809 A ELE ELE USA DC

Donald Trump delivers a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27, 2016, in Washington. (Photo Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images)

 

President Obama watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression and expands even further with its nuclear reach.

Our president has allowed China to continue its economic assault on American jobs and wealth, refusing to enforce trade rules – or apply the leverage on China necessary to rein in North Korea.

He has even allowed China to steal government secrets with cyber attacks and engage in industrial espionage against the United States and its companies.

We’ve let our rivals and challengers think they can get away with anything.

If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.

Finally, America no longer has a clear understanding of our foreign policy goals.

Since the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy.

One day we’re bombing Libya and getting rid of a dictator to foster democracy for civilians, the next day we are watching the same civilians suffer while that country falls apart.

We’re a humanitarian nation. But the legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion, and disarray.

We have made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before.

We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.

Our actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have helped unleash ISIS.

And we’re in a war against radical Islam, but President Obama won’t even name the enemy!

Hillary Clinton also refuses to say the words “radical Islam,” even as she pushes for a massive increase in refugees.

After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep! Incredible.

Clinton blames it all on a video, an excuse that was a total lie. Our Ambassador was murdered and our Secretary of State misled the nation – and by the way, she was not awake to take that call at 3 o’clock in the morning.

And now ISIS is making millions of dollars a week selling Libyan oil.

This will change when I am president.

To all our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be a reliable friend and ally again.

We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests, and the shared interests of our allies.

We are getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focusing on creating stability in the world.

Our moments of greatest strength came when politics ended at the water’s edge.

We need a new, rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, as well as by our close allies.

This is how we won the Cold War, and it’s how we will win our new and future struggles.

First, we need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.

Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States.

Events may require the use of military force. But it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.

In this we’re going to be working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world, all of which are at risk from radical Islamic violence.

We should work together with any nation in the region that is threatened by the rise of radical Islam. But this has to be a two-way street – they must also be good to us and remember us and all we are doing for them.

The struggle against radical Islam also takes place in our homeland. There are scores of recent migrants inside our borders charged with terrorism. For every case known to the public, there are dozens more.

We must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies.

A pause for reassessment will help us to prevent the next San Bernardino or worse — all you have to do is look at the World Trade Center and September 11th.

And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as, a nation, be more unpredictable. But they’re going to be gone. And soon.

Secondly, we have to rebuild our military and our economy.

The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look what’s happened to us!

Our nuclear weapons arsenal – our ultimate deterrent – has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal.

Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today.

The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during that time.

The Air Force is about 1/3 smaller than 1991. Pilots are flying B-52s in combat missions today which are older than most people in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that, in real dollars, cuts nearly 25% from what we were spending in 2011.

Our military is depleted, and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned.

But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, not one dollar can be wasted.

We are also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again – and to put Americans first again. This will ensure that our own workers, right here in America, get the jobs and higher pay that will grow our tax revenue and increase our economic might as a nation.

We need to think smarter about areas where our technological superiority gives us an edge. This includes 3-D printing, artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare.

A great country also takes care of its warriors. Our commitment to them is absolute. A Trump Administration will give our service men and women the best equipment and support in the world when they serve, and the best care in the world when they return as veterans to civilian life.

Finally, we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests.

Businesses do not succeed when they lose sight of their core interests and neither do countries.

Look at what happened in the 1990s. Our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were attacked and seventeen brave sailors were killed on the USS Cole. And what did we do? It seemed we put more effort into adding China to the World Trade Organization – which has been a disaster for the United States – than into stopping Al Qaeda.

We even had an opportunity to take out Osama Bin Laden, and didn’t do it. And then, we got hit at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the worst attack on our country in its history.

Our foreign policy goals must be based on America’s core national security interests, and the following will be my priorities.

In the Middle East, our goals must be to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. We need to be clear-sighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies.

And we must only be generous to those that prove they are our friends.

We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes. But we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests. Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism.

I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia – from a position of strength – is possible. Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a good deal for America, then we will quickly walk from the table.

Fixing our relations with China is another important step towards a prosperous century. China respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically, we have lost all of their respect. We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit we must find a way, quickly, to balance.

A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways.

After I am elected President, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies, and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges.

For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO’s outdated mission and structure – grown out of the Cold War – to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism.

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must fight to win. I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary – and will only do so if we have a plan for victory.

Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction.

The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy.

With President Obama and Secretary Clinton we’ve had the exact opposite: a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy – one that has blazed a path of destruction in its wake.

After losing thousands of lives and spending trillions of dollars, we are in far worse shape now in the Middle East than ever before.

I challenge anyone to explain the strategic foreign policy vision of Obama-Clinton – it has been a complete and total disaster.

I will also be prepared to deploy America’s economic resources. Financial leverage and sanctions can be very persuasive – but we need to use them selectively and with determination. Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules.

Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce it.

However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are signs of strength.

Although not in government service, I was totally against the War in Iraq, saying for many years that it would destabilize the Middle East. Sadly, I was correct, and the biggest beneficiary was Iran, who is systematically taking over Iraq and gaining access to their rich oil reserves – something it has wanted to do for decades. And now, to top it all off, we have ISIS.

My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations.

That is why I will also look for talented experts with new approaches, and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.

Finally, I will work with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions. Instead of trying to spread “universal values” that not everyone shares, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions.

These are my goals, as president.

I will seek a foreign policy that all Americans, whatever their party, can support, and which our friends and allies will respect and welcome.

The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies.

To achieve these goals, Americans must have confidence in their country and its leadership again.

Many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than their own.

Americans must know that we are putting the American people first again. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy – the jobs, incomes and security of the American worker will always be my first priority.

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must do the same.

We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism.

The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down, and will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.

NAFTA, as an example, has been a total disaster for the U.S. and has emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs. Never again. Only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. Their will be consequences for companies that leave the U.S. only to exploit it later.

Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries.

I will view the world through the clear lens of American interests.

I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. We will not apologize for becoming successful again, but will instead embrace the unique heritage that makes us who we are.

The world is most peaceful, and most prosperous, when America is strongest.

America will continually play the role of peacemaker.

We will always help to save lives and, indeed, humanity itself. But to play that role, we must make America strong again.

We must make America respected again. And we must make America great again.

If we do that, perhaps this century can be the most peaceful and prosperous the world has ever known. Thank you.

*****************************

Donald Trump, Laying Out Foreign Policy, Promises Coherence

By 
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump, fresh from a string of resounding primary victories in Eastern states, promised a foreign policy on Wednesday that he said would put “America first,” castigating President Obama and Hillary Clinton for what he described as Middle East missteps that had disillusioned the nation’s allies and emboldened its rivals.

Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State and the rejection of trade deals and other agreements that he said tied the nation’s hands. He also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, and reminded his audience that he had opposed the Iraq war.

“America is going to be strong again; America is going to be great again; it’s going to be a friend again,” Mr. Trump declared. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy, based on American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”

“The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends and when old friends become allies,” he said. “That’s what we want: We want to bring peace to the world.”

Speaking soberly, and reading from a teleprompter in the first foreign-policy address of his campaign, Mr. Trump broke little new ground in terms of policies or programs. He declined, for example, to give details on his plans to destroy the Islamic State to avoid tipping the military’s hand,. saying only that “they will be gone quickly.”

But he elaborated on his recent demand that America’s allies bear a greater financial burden for their own security. As president, he said, he would hold summit meetings in Europe and Asia to overhaul NATO and rebalance nuclear security arrangements with Japan and South Korea. (He did not repeat a statement he made to The New York Times that those countries should consider acquiring their own nuclear weapons.)

Mr. Trump was scathing about the Obama administration’s intervention in Libya, lashing Mrs. Clinton to the policy, which he said had left a security vacuum to be filled by the Islamic State. He also faulted Mr. Obama for his policy in Syria, saying that the president failed to enforce the red line he had laid down there. Yet Mr. Trump also made clear he would only use military force as a last resort.

Read the rest at The New York Times:

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China, Germany Working on Cybersecurity Deal, Envoy Says

March 17, 2016
Agreement would aid both the “Made in China 2025” plan and Germany’s “Industry 4.0” initiative, Michael Clauss tells Caixin
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By staff reporter Chen Qin
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Michael Clauss, German ambassador to China

(Beijing) – China and Germany are working to reach an agreement this year to strengthen cybersecurity as both countries seek to upgrade their manufacturing industries with advanced digital technologies, says Michael Clauss, the German ambassador to China.

The countries’ separate strategies – which China calls “Made in China 2025” Germany refers to as “Industry 4.0” – will generate a tremendous amount of data that need to be safely stored and communicated, the ambassador said in a recent interview with Caixin.

“We will witness an exponential increase in industrial data flows,” he said. “This is why cyber and data security have become such important issues.”

Clauss said that in October Premier Li Keqiang agreed with visiting Chancellor Angel Merkel to prepare a Sino-German agreement on cyber matters that is expected to be finalized around June, when the cabinets of the two nations meet for joint governmental consultations.

Clauss also addressed the concerns about the data security of some German companies operating in China, and explained why the two nations are cooperating even though they are potential rivals in manufacturing.

The following is excerpts of Caixin’s interview with the ambassador.

Caixin: What do you think will be the highlights of this agreement on cybersecurity?

Michael Clauss: There are two key elements. The first is refraining from economic cyberespionage. The second element consists in developing a mechanism for dealing with possible breaches, e.g., when we face a case of espionage.

Who proposed the agreement and why?

The issue was addressed by the German side during the visit of chancellor Merkel. Cyberattacks against our companies have been on the rise quite dramatically over the last couple of years, and recent developments with regard to cyberespionage are worrying us.

A further reason for addressing cyber and data security is the digitization of industrial processes, Industry 4.0 as we call it. Industry 4.0 will induce much greater data flows in future. We will witness an exponential increase in industrial data flows. To illustrate this point: An autonomous car, i.e., a car which is steered by itself, requires a massive increase in the flow of data for measuring the distance to other cars, analyzing the road conditions, circumventing traffic jams, calculating passing maneuvers, to name but a few. Now, against the backdrop of the data generated by only a car, picture the data volume which the digitization of the whole industry will generate. This is why cyber and data security have become such important issues.

What’s the current status of negotiations on the agreement?

We have urged the Chinese side to quickly nominate a negotiator so that talks can start without delay.

How do you think the government can strike a balance between the needs for national security and the protection of personal information?

All governments in the world will have to find a balance between security and the protection of personal information. A government may want to set limits on the protection of personal information, e.g., for fighting terrorism. It is, however, also safe to assume that a government that solely focuses on security will hamper innovation. Every government has to strike a balance for itself. But it is clear that a too narrow focus on security will harm business and innovation. For instance, if German companies interested in investing in China are required to locate their servers in China and to hand over their encryption codes, they are likely to look for alternative investment locations.

Some German CEOs have told me that they are hesitant to engage in Industry 4.0-related activities in China since they are concerned about data security. When talking to members of the Chinese government and party officials we therefore stress that the cybersecurity law and other security-related measures could hamper innovation and should therefore also take account of the needs of business.

Has there ever been a dispute similar to the one involving Apple Inc.’s refusal to help the FBI unlock a dead terror suspect’s iPhone?

In Germany, cybersecurity and data protection are extremely important issues. And we pay huge attention to it. Government access to information protected by law is subject to strict controls by independent bodies. In Germany, this function is, inter alia, fulfilled by a parliamentary committee which is not subject to instructions by government of any kind and by independent courts. Individuals in Germany have the right to know which personal information is stored by governmental bodies, the right to have it deleted or blocked, if illegally stored.

Germany’s Industry 4.0 initiative seems to have attracted a lot of attention from Chinese companies. What’s your comment?

There is definitely enormous interest in Industry 4.0 in China. A lot of Chinese investments are especially targeting companies engaging in Industry 4.0. This is obvious, and I think these investments are also triggered by the policy of the Chinese government to invest in advanced and innovative industries. In today’s world, the most advanced concept on innovation in industry is probably Industry 4.0.

We know that the United States and Japan are also quite advanced, and I think the three of us are leading with regard to the digitization of industry. However, Industry 4.0 is the most advanced concept. Our cooperation also makes a lot of sense with regard to our economic structure. China and Germany are both export nations and we are both the ones with the highest share of industry in GDP.

Has there been any discussion between the Chinese and Germany governments regarding cooperating on the initiative?

Germany and China have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining our cooperation on Industry 4.0. The MOU was signed on the German side by the minister for economic affairs and the minister of science and technology. There is intensive government-to-government contact on Industry 4.0.

The Chinese concept Made in China 2025 and the German concept Industry 4.0 are highly compatible and partially even overlapping. I think the Chinese government and the party have understood that digitizing industrial production is key for future industrial competitiveness. Failing to gain the lead in this development might mean falling behind quite dramatically.

How is Germany’s Industry 4.0 different from the industrial development in the United States and Japan?

Let me illustrate the different approaches again with the example of a car. The U.S. is very strong in the field of IT, and the Internet giant Google is reported to be building a car. This car will mainly be based on Google’s IT knowledge. Traditional manufacturing such as the auto body will only supplement Google’s IT.

Germany comes from a different angle. We are very strong in manufacturing. We will thus base the production of the future car on our knowledge in automotive manufacturing and integrate IT in it.

In the end, the country that wins the race in digital manufacturing will define its future standards. Given that China and Germany have similar economic structures and are both strong in manufacturing, it makes sense to join our forces and define the standards together.

Some people in Germany wonder why we should cooperate with China on Industry 4.0. In the end, we are all competitors and we may just be helping China to outcompete German companies. That may be true, but we will also be competing with the United States. And the advantage of our cooperation with China is, first, our similar approach to the digitzation of industry, and, second, the size of the Chinese market. Germany has 82 million inhabitants and consumers compared to China’s market of 1.4 billion.

http://english.caixin.com/2016-03-17/100921423.html

Donald Trump Worries China

February 25, 2016

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By 
The Washington Free Beacon
February 24, 2016 5:00 pm

China warned the United States on Wednesday not to adopt punitive currency policies that could disrupt U.S.-China relations after Donald Trump’s win in the Nevada caucus.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing that “we are following with interest the U.S. presidential election.”

Hua was asked about China’s response to a possible Trump presidency and his announced plan to punish China for currency manipulation with a tax on Chinese goods.

“Since it belongs to the domestic affair of the U.S., I am not going to make comments on specific remarks by the relevant candidate,” she said.

“But I want to stress that China and the U.S., as world’s largest developing and developed countries, shoulder major responsibilities in safeguarding world peace, stability and security and driving world development,” the spokeswoman added.

“The sustained, sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and benefits the world. We hope and believe that the U.S. government will pursue a positive policy toward China in a responsible manner.”

The comments came as Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, is holding talks in Washington that include U.S. concerns about a Chinese military buildup on disputed islands in the South China Sea, and cooperation on dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

Hua said Wang and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed the two sides will enhance cooperation and increase talks and exchanges.

“We stand ready to preserve and advance China-U.S. relations together with the U.S. side,” she said.

Kerry said he spoke to Wang about reducing tensions and finding diplomatic solutions to competing South China Sea claims.

“We want there to be a halt to the expansion and militarization of occupied features,” Kerry said. “Everyone benefits by true demilitarization, non-militarization.”

Kerry also said the United States remains committed to freedom of navigation and overflight, “something which China says it does not stand in the way of; it agrees that there should be peaceful freedom of navigation.”

Reports from Asia say Chinese state-run media have been ordered by the Communist Party to minimize reporting on the U.S. presidential election.

Hong Kong’s Chinese-language news outlet Oriental Daily reported Feb. 5 that the Party’s Propaganda Department, which sets policies for all state-run media, ordered all publications to ban election coverage of U.S. policies toward China and to focus election coverage on negative stories and scandals.

Trump won the Nevada caucus with 45 percent of the vote, increasing his chances of winning the Republican nomination later this year.

Last month, Trump vowed to impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese good to offset China’s devaluation of the yuan.

“They’re devaluing their currency, and they’re killing our companies,” Trump said. “We are letting them get away with it, and we can’t let them get away with it.”

The Obama administration has adopted conciliatory policies toward China on trade and currency issues.

Trump, on his campaign website, outlined a hardline approach to dealing with China that involves officially declaring China a currency manipulator and negotiating an end to the practice.

Trump also wants to thwart China’s theft of intellectual property and adopt policies aimed at bring jobs back from overseas to the United States.

Bolstering the U.S. military and “deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas” are other goals.

“These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China,” the Trump website states. “A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.”

http://freebeacon.com/politics/china-warns-u-s-after-trump-wins-nevada-caucus/

Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama at the White House, Sept. 25, 2015. Xi told President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry that China would not militarize the South China Sea.

Chinese HQ-9 System

Anti-China rally in Manila, the Philppines. The Philippines says China is bullying its fishermen, steeling their catch, and doing irreparable damage to the ecosystem. The Philippines took its complaint to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. NOEL CELIS, AFP photo

South China Sea

Director of U.S. Intelligence James Clapper: ISIS to attempt U.S. attacks this year

February 9, 2016

Updated 2:39 PM ET, Tue February 9, 2016 | Video Source: CNN

Includes video:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/politics/james-clapper-isis-syrian-refugees/

Photo: James Clapper

Washington (CNN) Top U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that ISIS was likely to attempt direct attacks on the U.S. in the coming year and that the group was infiltrating refugees escaping from Iraq and Syria to move across borders.

ISIS “will probably attempt to conduct additional attacks in Europe, and attempt to direct attacks on the U.S. homeland in 2016,” Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

who was also at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, estimated that violent extremists were active in about 40 countries and that there currently exist more terrorist safe havens “than at any time in history.”

Clapper warned that ISIS and its eight branches were the No. 1 terrorist threat, and that it was using the refugee exodus from violence in Iraq and Syria to hide among innocent civilians in order to reach other countries.