Date: September 29, 2005
Abstract: he Bush administration has elected to waive sanctions against China for its proliferation of advanced weapons to nations hostile to the United States such as Iran.
"A determination has been made to extend the waiver of import sanctions against certain activities of the Chinese Government," noted the official statement released by the State Department.
According to the State Department, the sanctions were imposed because of "activities of the Chinese government relating to the development or production of any missile equipment or technology and activities of the Chinese government affecting the development or production of electronics, space systems or equipment, and military aircraft."
While the Bush administration has declined to impose sanctions on China, Beijing has decided to develop and sell more advanced weapons. The China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. (CPMIEC) has released detailed information on a new cruise missile for export.
Missiles for Sale
The YJ-62 anti-ship missile is now being offered to Chinese military customers for export under the designation of C602. The turbojet-powered missile has a range of 174 miles and flies a low-level mission, skimming the sea surface at 98 feet. During the attack phase, the missile dives under 30 feet to avoid defense detection.
The C602 resembles the U.S. Navy Tomahawk in that it has a conventional mid-body wing, which deploys after launch. The engine inlet is mounted slightly forward of a cruciform tail configuration. The YJ-62 will arm Chinese navy guided-missile destroyers. Two of the new 052C destroyers under construction are fitted with four-canister launchers.
Chinese officials claimed that the C602 export version of the cruise missile uses a strap-down laser ring gyro system coupled with GPS, and agile frequency radar for better attack targeting.
China is also offering an advanced version of the C802 anti-ship missile for export. The C802A has an extended range of over 100 miles and a new turbo-jet propulsion system. The C802A can be adapted for air, land, sea or submarine launch. China has previously sold copies of the C802 to Iran, and the Iranians are expected to arm their aircraft and new Russian submarines with the deadly missile.
China has also put a new land-attack cruise missile on display. The YJ-63 has become China's first in-service land-attack missile. The YJ-63 is clearly related to the Silkworm and Russian Styx-class cruise missile but is powered by an advanced turbo-jet.
YJ-63 missile technology appears to be identical to the Iranian Raad missile co-developed by Tehran and Beijing. The Raad missile provides Iran with a long-range standoff-attack capability against naval targets. Iranian press reports describe Raad as capable of being ship- or shore-launched. The Raad is reportedly in production.
According to Aviation Week, Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani was reported saying that Raad had a range in excess of 300 miles.
While the missile appears intended for the anti-ship role, it can be employed as a land-attack weapon. The Silkworm missile on which Raad is based carries a 1,100-pound warhead. This allows the Raad to be fitted with a biological, chemical or nuclear payload.
China is reported to have provided Iran with the technology to produce the HY-2 Silkworm. Beijing has repeatedly said that it would abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in order to avoid economic and political sanctions required by the MTCR agreements. The nonbinding MTCR requirements restrict ballistic or cruise missiles capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload over 300 kilometers. The performance of the Raad exceeds the MTCR restrictions.
China has not limited its proliferation efforts to cruise missiles. The Washington Times reports that a senior House staffer back from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan said the Taliban and al-Qaida enemy are increasingly turning to Chinese-made arms to fight U.S. troops.
U.S. officials are concerned because new Chinese-made AK-47 rifles and advanced electronic land mines are falling into Taliban and al-Qaida hands. The source said the weapons are bought on the black market, some with proceeds from opium and heroin sales.
In addition, the Washington Times reports that Pakistani forces recovered an unmanned aircraft and seized 21 militants in a raid on suspected al-Qaida hideouts in the tribal areas near Afghanistan.
Pakistani commander Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain stated that the militants used a Chinese-made unmanned spy plane to follow security forces in the rugged area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border. The 21 suspects were detained in a raid on a compound and religious school near the region's main town of Miranshah. The raid netted several leading militants and some non-Pakistani "foreigners."
Americans and our allies will continue to die from Chinese weapons sold to Taliban and al-Qaida terrorists as Beijing goes unpunished. Chinese generals will continue to sell their weaponry to anyone with the cash, even if it comes from heroin sales.
The Bush administration has given China a
free pass on sanctions. Beijing has taken the free pass for what it really is –
a sign of weakness (NewsMax,
Title: China Releases Backlist In Olympic Terror Plot
Date: October 22, 2008
Abstract: China called for the arrest and extradition of eight alleged separatists accused of plotting a campaign of terror to coincide with the Beijing Olympics — a scheme that reportedly included bomb attacks within China and in unspecified countries in the Middle East and South Asia.
A Public Security Ministry spokesman said Tuesday that the eight men, all Chinese citizens, were believed to have financed, incited and organized attacks during and around the Aug. 8-24 games as part of an ongoing insurgency against Chinese rule in the traditionally Muslim west.
Wu Heping told reporters at a news briefing that the men were members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a murky collection of extremists believed to be based across the border in lawless areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He did not say where the men were, but just that China wants them to be arrested and extradited. Wu did not cite specific attacks or take any questions.
In August, violence in Xinjiang — home to the ethnic Uighur minority — killed 33 people, including 16 border guards slain when two attackers rammed a stolen truck into the group before tossing bombs and stabbing them.
The eight men "seriously threatened the security of the Beijing Olympic Games and China's social stability, while at the same time composing a threat to the security and stability of relevant countries and the region," Wu said.
Wu did not say if the eight were thought to be behind the Xinjiang attacks.
Low-intensity campaign of bombings
Radical Uighurs opposed to Chinese rule have long waged a low-intensity campaign of bombings and assassinations against Chinese officials. But terrorism experts say the struggle has taken a deadlier, more radical turn in recent years through exposure to global terror groups such as al-Qaida.
Wu said one of the men planned to bomb a supermarket popular with Chinese in an unspecified Middle Eastern country before the Olympic Games. Another suspect had prepared to attack a Chinese club in a South Asian nation, he said, without giving details.
The men also organized numerous attacks within China, but it was not clear from Wu's statement if any of them were carried out.
Xinjiang's native Uighur ethnic group are Muslims whose language, culture and religion are distinct from those of China's Han majority. Many Uighurs complain of a colonial-style Chinese presence in their territory, chafing under tight religious and cultural strictures and complaining that economic development has disproportionately benefited Chinese migrants (NBC, 2008).
Title: WikiLeaks: Chinese Weapons Fall Into Hands Of Insurgents
Date: February 3, 2011
Abstract: US diplomats also feared that Chinese companies were selling materials to Iran that could be used to build nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.
Chinese-made guns, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles containing Chinese-made components, have all been used against Coalition forces or civilian targets in Iraq, the US claims, while other weapons have been obtained by militants in Afghanistan.
The US was so concerned about Chinese arms and components being sold to Iran that in September 2008 the State Department launched a major diplomatic offensive to put pressure on Beijing.
It decided to share intelligence with eight “key allies” including Spain and Italy to “persuade China to enforce its export control laws more effectively” and to “aggressively implement” UN Security Council resolutions on the sale of arms and weapons materials.
Ambassadors were told to encourage the foreign governments to point out to the Chinese that arms sales to Iran “could ultimately damage China’s reputation and its bilateral relationship with” each of the countries.
Patricia McNerney, of the US Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, listed examples of Chinese-made weapons seized from insurgents in Iraq in a cable sent from Washington to US diplomats abroad.
They included “new-condition Chinese produced small arms” which were “found together with newly-produced Iranian military materiel”; a surface-to-air missile fired at a Boeing 747 civilian airliner over Baghdad in August 2004 “assembled in Iran using a mix of Chinese and Iranian parts”; “two Chinese-origin QW-1 MANPADS (surface-to-air missiles) that Iran had transferred to Iraqi insurgents” and “hundreds of newly-produced Iranian PG-7-AT1 rocket-propelled grenades that contain Chinese-made base detonators” that had been “repeatedly fired at Coalition forces” by Shia militants.
Raising concerns about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme, Ms McNerney added: “Certain state-owned Chinese entities and private firms continue to export or transship key items and/or dual-use technology needed to develop weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery, as well as conventional weapons to Iran.”
She told US diplomats: “Getting China to aggressively implement United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as more effectively enforce its own export controls regarding transfers of dual-use and military items to Iran is an essential component of our overall diplomatic strategy to thwart Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.”
In 2008 the US also confronted China over a shipment to Iran of 208 tonnes of potassium perchlorate, which can be used as rocket fuel.
The alleged breaches were highlighted a year after President Bush had raised the issue of arms sales with Chinese President Hu at a summit in Australia.
China is by no means the only country accused of failing to implement export controls on arms and materials sales to Iran. In April 2009 the ambassador to the EU in Brussels noted concerns that smaller EU member states were failing to take seriously enough the threat posed by Iran.
One EU official told US diplomats that he had to “continually remind” European countries “that the situation is dangerous and unabated will lead to nuclear war in the Middle East”.
Later the same year the German computer firm Siemens was forced to recall 111 boxes of computers that it had sold to a Chinese company linked to Iran’s nuclear programme. A cable from the US Embassy in Berlin noted: “Siemens needs to be more careful about whom they sell to,” though it had “technically” done nothing wrong, as the computers were not controlled export items.The US also raised concerns about the French firm Sofradir selling infrared detectors to a Chinese firm that were being used in thermal imaging systems sold on by China to Iran (Telegraph, 2011).
Title: Passengers And Crew Foil Hijack Attempt In China
Date: June 30, 2012
Abstract: Passengers and crew members thwarted an attempt to hijack a plane in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang, local authorities said Friday.
Ten minutes into the flight between the cities of Hotan and Urumqi, six people on board the plane tried to take control of it "through violence," a short statement by the provincial police said.
The passengers and crew members managed to subdue the alleged hijackers, sustaining minor injuries in the struggle, police said. The plane then returned to Hotan.
Once the plane was back on the ground, police took the suspects, all ethnic Uyghurs, into custody. Police later released their names on state media.
The government said it plans to honor crew members and passengers who offered help. Two air marshals and two flight attendants were injured, the Civil Aviation Authority in Beijing said.
"During the incident, crew members were brave and resolute," the authority said. "The cockpit crew remained calm and landed the aircraft safety at the origin airport. Many passengers were courageous and acted promptly to offer help, highlighting their sense of justice and responsibility as citizens. They played a key role in an emergency situation by safeguarding state security, saving lives and protecting property."
Authorities said the case is still under investigation but operations at the Hotan airport have returned to normal.
Uyghurs are Turkic Muslims, a group linguistically, culturally and religiously distinct from China's majority Han population.
Chinese authorities have often blamed militants of Uyghur descent for outbreaks of violence in Xinjiang in recent years, labeling them terrorists.
Xinjiang was rocked by the worst violence in decades in July 2009 when rioting between Uyghurs and Han Chinese left nearly 200 people dead and 1,700 wounded in the regional capital, Urumqi.
Last year, the authorities carried out a two-month security operation, which ended in October, against violence, terrorism and radical Islam across Xinjiang, a resource-rich region that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and several Central Asian states (CNN, 2012).Title: Beijing Report Says Turkic Chinese Muslim Separatists Fighting With Radical Groups In Syria
Date: October 29, 2012
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Chinese Muslim separatists from the northwest region of Xinjiang are battling Syrian government forces alongside al-Qaida and other extremist groups, an official Chinese newspaper reported Monday.
Radicals among China's ethnic Turkic Uighur minority have been traveling to Syria since May to join the fighting on trips organized by groups opposed to Beijing's rule over Xinjiang, the Global Times reported Monday.
Citing unidentified Chinese anti-terrorism authorities, it said the groups were funding their activities through drug and gun trafficking, kidnapping and robbery, and providing training for "separatists, criminals and terrorists" who had fled Xinjiang.
"After receiving orders from al-Qaida , terrorists from China came to Syria to meet with jihadists already on the ground before forming groups on the front lines," the report quoted an unidentified official as saying.
While foreign jihadists have joined in the 19-month-long Syria conflict that has killed more than 35,000 people, the presence of fighters from China has not been previously reported.
The Foreign Ministry said it had noted the report and called for stronger international cooperation in dealing with organizations seeking to overthrow Chinese rule in Xinjiang.
Such groups "not only damage China's state security, but threaten other countries' peace and stability," spokesman Hong Lei said at a regularly scheduled news conference.
The Global Times report singled out two groups as funneling fighters to Syria; the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and the East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association based in Turkey. East Turkistan was the name given to two short-lived independent Uighur republics in Xinjiang, a vast Central Asian region of mountains and deserts that has been flooded with ethnic Chinese settlers in recent decades.
Xinjiang is the scene of a long-simmering, low-level rebellion against Chinese rule that occasionally turns violent, only to be met with overwhelming force by the military and security services. China accuses the ETIM, believed to be based in Pakistan's tribal districts, of carrying out attacks in the region, but has provided little evidence.
Xinjiang's worst violence in years, a 2009 riot that killed nearly 200 people, mainly targeted civilians, while police stations and government offices have come under occasional attack. China maintains a massive security presence in the area and separatist groups have shown little ability to establish themselves or conduct sophisticated operations.
While the report could not immediately be verified, Chinese anti-terrorism expert Li Wei said Uighur fighters have taken part in the conflicts in Chechnya and Afghanistan, and maintain an active presence in Muslim communities from Southeast Asia to the Middle East."Whether they are there is a matter to verify from the facts, but the history suggests it is a possibility," said Li, director of the Anti-Terrorism Research Center at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China's main intelligence agency (Fox News, 2012).
Title: ‘Terror Threats’ Ground China Flights
Date: October 9, 2012
Source: The Hindu
Abstract: Two flights out of Tibet and southern Jiangxi bound for Beijing were grounded on Tuesday after China’s national carrier, Air China, received “threat calls” from unidentified sources, prompting a tightening of security in many airports across the country.
Officials were unclear whether the calls made to the airline were simply hoaxes. As of Tuesday night, no dangerous items had been found on either aircraft following security checks, the airline said, and both flights were scheduled to depart following delays of several hours.
Tuesday's delays followed another threat call made on Monday, when a flight from the western Xinjiang region, also bound for Beijing, was diverted to Lanzhou after authorities said they had received a terror threat.
The threat later turned out to be a hoax. Late on Monday night, a man surnamed Wang was detained in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang region. The official Xinhua news agency said he had confessed to
police that he had fabricated the threat, although his motive was still unclear.
While Chinese officials have in the past spoken of terror threats from separatist Uighur groups in Xinjiang, they said Monday’s incident appeared to be a hoax. The suspect was thought to be from the majority
Han Chinese ethnic group; Wang is a common Han surname.
In June, officials said passengers and air crew had foiled an attempted hijacking of a flight from the Xinjiang city of Hotan to Urumqi by six Uighur men.
Authorities did not say if the threat calls made on Tuesday had any connection to the Urumqi case. Xinhua reported that two Air China flights scheduled to depart Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and Nanchang, the provincial capital of southern Jiangxi, were grounded after the airline received “threat calls from unidentified sources” hours before takeoff.
Xinhua added that “no abnormalities” were found on the aircraft as of Tuesday night, after initial security checks.
In recent months, a string of terror threat hoaxes have unnerved Chinese security officials. In August, another Air China flight bound for the United States was forced to return to Beijing airport after takeoff following a threat call. No security breaches were found following subsequent investigations.In an another case in August, a Shenzhen airlines flight was forced to return to base after taking off when the airline received a bomb threat, which later turned out to be a hoax inspired by a financial dispute. Investigations found the caller had made up the threat to prevent his creditor from reaching his final destination, and collecting from him the debt he had owed (The Hindu, 2012).
Title: From Beijing With Love: China Aided Iran’s Missile, Nuclear
Programs, Report States
Date: December 20, 2012
Source: Free Beacon
Abstract: China’s government provided goods and expertise for Iran’s nuclear program in the past and also gave Tehran’s Islamist regime missiles and other arms as part of the nations’ anti-United States policies, according to a congressional commission report made public Thursday.
“The authoritarian governments centered in Beijing and Tehran share an animus towards ‘hegemonism’ and a fear of internal instability,” the report prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission states.
“In recent decades the United States, supported by regional allies and security partners, has represented the principal hegemonic threat to Iran and China in two different regional contexts: the Persian Gulf and the Western Pacific.”
The 95-page report, “China-Iran: A Limited Partnership,” was produced for the commission by the intelligence contractor CENTRA Technology and dated October 2012.
China provided nuclear assistance to Iran in the 1990s and promised to halt its support in 1997. However, the report said there are indications Beijing has continued to provide covert assistance to Iranian nuclear programs.
On missile experts, the report said, “China has continued measured support to Iran’s defense programs.”
Recent transfers include several export versions of Chinese missiles, including C-705 anti-ship cruise missiles.
“U.S. government sanctions of multiple Chinese companies over the past two years are further evidence that some technology transfers continue,” the report said.
The arms trade and China’s desire to buy energy resources from Iran are Beijing’s main reasons for not supporting international sanctions against Iran for its illicit uranium enrichment program, the report said.
The report outlines extensive cooperation between China and Iran on nuclear weapons as Beijing sought “opportunities to gain commercial benefit from its extensive military nuclear capacity,” the report said.
However, China halted nuclear cooperation with Iran to preserve relations with the United States.
Equipment with both dual-use civilian and military purposes included a 27-kilowatt thermal (kWt) miniature neutron source and a small calutron—an electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS) device, elements useful for uranium enrichment.
China also provided support for Iran’s Esfahan nuclear center.
Intelligence reports from the 1990s triggered fears in the West. The report said worries “about Iran’s nuclear program—and thus about Beijing’s assistance—was increasing rapidly.”
Also, in 1991 Iran secretly imported 1.6 metric tons of uranium products from China, including about a metric ton of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is used in centrifuges to make highly enriched uranium, the report said.
According to the report, China appeared to oppose Iran’s nuclear policy in response to U.S. pressure but “many in China even see Iran’s nuclear development as a positive in that it counters U.S. influence and provides China with strategic leverage.”
Intelligence reports continue to suggest that China or Chinese entities are covertly providing assistance to Iran’s nuclear program, the report said, based on the imposition of sanctions on Chinese companies or people for weapons of mass destruction transfers to Iran.
For example, Li Fang Wei and the LIMMT Economic and Trade Company, Ltd of Dalian China—sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in June 2006—purchased materials for various subsidiaries of Iran’s Defense Industries Organization, which is involved in nuclear development.
“Although the specific end use was not known, the materials were export controlled and potentially could be used for nuclear, ballistic missile, or military programs,” the report said.
Recently another Chinese broker purchased 20 tons of maraging steel from a U.S. firm, claiming the material was to be used in the manufacture of a “magic horse.”
Mark Dubowitz, a specialist on Iran-China relations at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said China has provided a hospitable environment for Iran to acquire and transfer a range of arms proliferation-related goods.
“The substantial diversion of these goods through China to Iranian end-users or Iranian intermediaries fits the definition of a ‘Destination of Diversion Concern’ under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability & Divestment Act 2010,” Dubowitz said. “The U.S. Congress should pass legislation that formally designates China as a ‘Destination of Diversion Concern.’ A legislative designation by Congress will give the administration leverage to persuade Beijing to crack down on these practices.”
U.S. intelligence reports to Congress also raised new questions about continued Chinese nuclear assistance by indicating since 2000 “some interactions between Chinese and Iranian entities that have raised question about [China’s] ‘no new nuclear cooperation’ pledge” since 1997, the report said.
The latest report to Congress in 2011 said Chinese transfers continued but there was no specific reference to Iran or nuclear assistance.
“There is no publicly available information indicating that China or Chinese entities have directly aided the most sensitive parts of Iran’s nuclear program—uranium enrichment and the ‘possible military dimensions’ addressed in numerous IAEA reports,” the report.
However, Chinese uranium hexafluoride in covert enrichment projects were detected in 1998 and 2002, the report said.
Additionally, the Chinese have provided an array of missiles and related technology to Iran, the report said. They included HY-2 Silkworm anti-ship missiles as well as dozens or perhaps hundreds of missile guidance systems and computerized machine tools to Iran sometime between mid-1994 and mid-1995.
China sold Iran advanced C-801 and C-802 anti-ship cruise missiles in the mid-1990s.
Also, China’s Great Wall Industry Corp. provided the entire telemetry and missile flight-testing infrastructure to support the development of the Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 medium range missiles.China also supplied Iran with modified Chinese FL-7 antiship missiles that can be fired from either helicopters or fast attack craft (Free Beacon, 2012).
Title: Hidden Agenda Behind America’s War On Africa: Containing China By
Date: January 29, 2013
Source: Global Research
Abstract: Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests. Hillary Clinton
France’s military intervention into Mali may at first glance appear to have little to do with the U.S. “pivot” to Asia. But as a French mission supposedly meant to bolster a U.N. sanctioned and African-led intervention has gone from “a question of weeks” to “the total re-conquest of Mali,” what may have begun as a French affair has now become a Western intervention. And this in turn has drawn wider strategic interests into the conflict. Strategic interests, it is becoming clearer, shaped by the imperatives of the U.S. Asia pivot.
The geopolitical posturing over the crisis in Mali, coming as France’s intervention fans out across the region, is no more evident than in the public statements coming from both London and Washington.
As British Prime Minister David Cameron declared, the crisis in Mali “will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months.” Backing up such bluster, Britain has reportedly joined France in dispatching special commando teams to Mali, in addition to surveillance drones.
In Washington, the talk of a long war to be waged across the entire Sahel region of Africa has also begun. As one U.S. official speaking on the Western intervention into Mali warned Monday, “It is going to take a long time and time means that it could take several years.”
Such remarks mirror those made by outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“This is going to be a very serious, ongoing threat because if you look at the size of northern Mali, if you look at the topography — it’s not only desert, it’s caves,” Clinton remarked. “Sounds reminiscent. We are in for a struggle. But it is a necessary struggle. We cannot permit northern Mali to become a safe haven.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the safe haven refrain is also pulsating through the corridors of the Pentagon.
“Some top Pentagon officials and military officers warn that without more aggressive U.S. action,” the Times reports, “Mali could become a haven for extremists, akin to Afghanistan before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
And as the American public is prepped for the opening of a new front in the unending “war on terror,” U.S. intervention accelerates.
As the Washington Post reports, the U.S. is now offering “aerial refueling” to French warplanes, along with “planes to transport soldiers from other African nations.”
U.S. intelligence officials, meanwhile, have reportedly begun drawing up plans to provide “data to help French warplanes locate and attack militant targets.” This, as Pentagon hawks continue to push for the use of drone strikes.
In fact, the New York Times reports the U.S. has begun “preparing plans to establish a drone base in northwest Africa to increase unarmed surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups.”
The paper, which notes the base’s likely location to be in Niger, reports the Pentagon has “not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.”
As one American official told the Times, the decision to establish a permanent drone base in northern Africa “is directly related to the Mali mission, but it could also give Africom [the U.S. Military’s Africa Command] a more enduring presence.”
The very notion, though, of an al-Qaeda threat in northern Mali so dire as to require Western intervention and a permanent U.S. presence is anything but well-defined. As Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy, notes: “it’s by no means clear what threat al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb…poses to the United States.”
Indeed, the very notion of al-Qaeda in Mali posing a threat to the West is predicated on the oft-repeated safe haven refrain. That is, the belief that without foreign intervention al-Qaeda will use northern Mali as a staging ground to launch attacks within Western countries.
“But,” as Stephen Walt questions, “is there any real evidence that the extremists in Mali are plotting to attack France, the United States, or anyone else? Even if they were, is there good evidence that they have the will and the skill to carry out such activities, or that the consequences of a successful attack would be greater than the costs of French (and other) efforts to root them out? And is it possible that intervention in Mali might actually focus the extremists’ attention on the intervenors, instead of the central government?”
The answer to the latter question appears quite clear in the wake of the bloody hostage crisis in neighboring Algeria. Although, as French President François Hollande claimed, the retaliation for the French intervention merely provided “further evidence that my decision to intervene in Mali was justified.”
Interventions, we see, are predicated upon a rather self-fulfilling logic. For in a seemingly endless loop, interventions inevitably seem to create additional problems and crises that are then posited as both justifying the initial intervention, as well yet further interventions. In short, intervention begets intervention.
The Useful Menace
But while Western leaders dig deep to reassure themselves of the justness of their latest intervention, doubts are nonetheless increasing over the competence of the Malian army. As the New York Times reports, despite extensive U.S. training, the Malian army has proven to be “a weak, dysfunctional force that is as much a cause of Mali’s crisis as a potential part of the solution.”
The Western “hope” in Mali, then, as the Economist argues, “is to kill as many as possible of the most fanatical jihadists, and to garrison the northern towns with soldiers from Mali and its neighbours, before the insurgents can regroup or bring in recruits.”
With such “hope” one understands the talk of a struggle to be measured in decades.
Indeed, even the head of the U.S. Africa Command, General Carter Ham, has acknowledged the limitations the West faces in Mali.
“Realistically,” Ham recently remarked, “probably the best you can get is containment and disruption, so that al-Qaida is no longer able to control territory [there] as they do today.”
But as U.S. officials talk up the al-Qaeda threat in Mali, one can’t help but recall the assertion made by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta back in 2011. As Panetta then declared, the U.S. was “within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda.” Yet, after the West’s support of Islamists fighters in Libya and Syria, that handy al-Qaeda specter has evidently been roused sufficiently to haunt the Western mind once more.
Of course, despite all the public claims to the contrary, defeating al-Qaeda has never really been a genuine pursuit of the U.S. anyway. After all, a vanquished al-Qaeda would really denote something of a strategic setback for Washington. It would deprive the U.S. a source of proxy war foot soldiers, while also leaving Washington struggling to justify its global garrisoning. In the end then, the al-Qaeda menace — that gift that keeps on giving — is simply too useful to defeat.
One needs look no further than the intervention into Mali to see the al-Qaeda threat bearing fruit for the West. All the attention on combating al-Qaeda in northern Mali has provided the perfect cover for the U.S. and its junior Western partners to pursue their grand strategy of containment against China. And with China increasingly out competing Western interests throughout Africa, one understands the sudden neo-colonial urge in the West.
According to Razia Khan, the regional head of research for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank, bilateral trade between Africa and China is nearing $200 billion annually, having grown at an average rate of 33.6 percent per year over the past decade. What’s more, in the coming years Africa stands to become China’s largest trade partner, surpassing both the EU and the U.S.
None of this has been lost on Washington. As the presumptive next U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, noted during his Senate confirmation hearing, the U.S. is knowingly playing from behind.
“Now with respect to China and Africa, China is all over Africa — I mean, all over Africa. And they’re buying up long-term contracts on minerals, on … you name it,” Kerry commented. “And there’re some places where we’re not in the game, folks. And I hate to say it. And we got to get in.”
In a 2010 diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, Johnnie Carson, U.S. assistant secretary for African Affairs, echoed Kerry’s concerns. In fact, Carson went so far as to classify China as a “very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals.”
Such U.S. sneering over growing Chinese investments in Africa were aired publicly during Secretary of State Clinton’s visit through African back in August. As Clinton, in a clear jab at China declared on her trip, “Unlike other countries, ‘America will stand up for democracy and universal human rights even when it might be easier to look the other way and keep the resources flowing.’”
(The rights violations of the U.S.-trained Malian army puts just the latest lie to such righteous declarations.)
In response to Clinton’s jab, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency shot back that Clinton’s trip was “aimed at least partly at discrediting China’s engagement with the continent and curbing China’s influence there.”
And it is with such a fear of U.S. containment in mind that Beijing has come to interpret France’s intervention into Mali as a gateway for further Western interventions. As He Wenping of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences warns, “French forces’ involvement in Mali will provide the case for legalization of a new interventionism in Africa.”
And indeed it will, just as the West’s Libyan romp, costing China $20 billion in investments, helped set the stage for the current intervention into Mali. For in order for the U.S. to harness Asia’s (read China’s) growth and dynamism — and thus cement America’s Pacific Century — the U.S. must come to also harness the growth and dynamism of Africa.The U.S. containment of China, then, requires a pivot of sorts to Africa. Only the African pivot appears set to fall under the banner of that ever-malleable “war on terror” (Global Research, 2013).
Title: Seized Chinese Weapons Raise
Concerns On Iran
Date: March 2, 2013
Abstract: An Iranian dhow seized off the Yemeni coast was carrying sophisticated Chinese antiaircraft missiles, a development that could signal an escalation of Iran’s support to its Middle Eastern proxies, alarming other countries in the region and renewing a diplomatic challenge to the United States.
Some of the weapons that officials said were seized off the coast of Yemen in January, from a dhow seen leaving an Iranian port.
Among the items aboard the dhow, according to a review of factory markings on weapons and their packing crates, were 10 Chinese heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles, most of them manufactured in 2005.
The missiles were labeled QW-1M and bore stencils suggesting that they had been assembled at a factory represented by the state-owned China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation, sanctioned by the United States for transfers of missile technology to Pakistan and Iran.
The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January, which American and Yemeni officials say was intended for the Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen. But the presence of the missiles in the seized contraband complicates an already politically delicate case.
The shipment, which officials portray as an attempt to introduce sophisticated new antiaircraft systems into the Arabian Peninsula, has raised concerns in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, as the weapons would have posed escalated risks to civilian and military aircraft alike.
And it has presented the Obama administration with a fresh example of Iran’s apparent transfer of modern missiles from China to insurgents in the larger regional contest between Sunni-led and Shiite-led states, in which the American military has often been entwined.
The United States has previously accused Iran, a Shiite-led theocracy, of sending weapons to the Houthis, who follow an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Saudi Arabia, an American ally, is considered the leading Sunni power in the region. Both sides have aided and equipped groups or governments they deem aligned with their interests, helping to fuel violence in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Sudan and elsewhere.
Iran has rejected the allegations as “baseless and absurd.” Neither the Iranian government nor the Chinese firm that markets QW missiles answered written requests for comment.
The government of Yemen has asked the United Nations to investigate the shipment and report the findings to the Security Council. Yemeni news media reported that United Nations experts were in Yemen last week.
The analysis of the weapons’ markings and origins was based on photographs taken when Yemeni officials briefly displayed the weapons to journalists.
Concerns over sophisticated Chinese missiles reaching Iran’s proxies have considerable regional history. They are part of both the larger worries over antiaircraft weapons set loose by conflicts across the Middle East in the past decade and the lingering frustration in Washington over China’s military aid to Iran.
In 2008, late in the Bush administration, the United States complained to China about two similar antiaircraft missiles that were recovered from Shiite militants in Iraq, according a diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks.
“We have demarched China repeatedly on its conventional arms transfers to Iran, urging Beijing to stop,” the cable noted.
The cable said the QW-1 missiles recovered in Iraq had been manufactured in China in 2003.
Like the American-made Stinger, China’s QW series is part of a class of weapons known as man-portable air-defense systems, or manpads. The cable instructed American diplomats to warn China of the “unacceptably high risk that any military equipment sold to Iran, especially weapons like manpads, that are highly sought-after by terrorists, will be diverted to nonstate actors who threaten U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as civilians across the region.”
The latest discovery of Chinese manpads came after the United States Navy detected the dhow, the Jeehan 1, as it took on cargo in an Iranian military-controlled port. The vessel then embarked on a high-seas smuggling run, according to accounts by Yemeni and American officials.
The vessel tied off on a pier in the harbor on Lesser Tunb Island, a tiny spit of land just west of the Strait of Hormuz that is claimed by both Iran and the United Arab Emirates, officials familiar with its voyage said. The island is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
After passing eastward through the strait and heading south along the Arabian Peninsula, the dhow was stopped on Jan. 23 by the American destroyer Farragut and a Yemeni boarding team off the coast of Al Ghaydah.
The dhow’s Iranian crew initially insisted the vessel was Panamanian-flagged and carried only fuel, an American official said. The military cargo, which included many ammunition crates that had been painted over with white or black paint, was found in hidden compartments, American officials said.
That cargo also included 316,000 cartridges for Kalashnikov rifles, nearly 63,000 cartridges for PK machine guns or the Dragunov series of sniper rifles, more than 12,000 cartridges for 12.7-millimeter DShK machine guns and 95 RPG-7 launchers.
The rifle cartridges were packaged in crates strongly resembling packaging used by Iran’s Defense Industries Organization, another firm under American sanction, according to James Bevan, director of Conflict Armament Research, a private arms-tracking firm that has documented the spread of Iranian ammunition in East and West Africa.
The vessel also carried 10 SA-7 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles with two gripstocks for firing them, nearly 17,000 blocks of Iranian-made C-4 plastic explosives, 48 Russian PN-14K night vision goggles, and 10 LH80A laser range finders made, according to their placards, by the state-run Iran Electronics Industries, also under American sanction.
The original provenance of the SA-7s was not clear, though the crates they were in had stenciling in Bulgarian.
The captain and crew of the Jeehan 1 remain in Yemeni detention, and the dhow has been impounded under Yemeni custody, a Yememi official said.
An American official called the shipment “deeply disturbing” and said it “clearly appeared to violate” Security Council resolutions prohibiting Iran from exporting arms.
Two independent arms-trafficking researchers who have reviewed photographs and written a summary of the markings on the missiles and crates said the weapons appeared to be of Chinese origin.
Matthew Schroeder, an analyst for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington and the Small Arms Survey in Geneva, said that this was the first time to his knowledge that the QW-1M had left state control.
“If so, and these missiles were indeed bound for insurgents, this shipment is extremely worrisome, both from a regional security and a global counterterrorism perspective,” he said.Unlike many older shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles seen in insurgent hands around the world, the QW-1M is believed by analysts to have a seeker head more resistant to countermeasures intended to deceive it (NYT, 2013).
Title: 'False Bomb Threats' Affect 5
Flights In China
Date: May 15, 2013
Abstract: Three Chinese airlines received "false bomb threats" on Wednesday that caused disruption to five different domestic flights destined for the southern city of Shenzhen, state-run media reported.
Shenzhen Airlines said on its official microblog account that it had received multiple threats that lead it to reroute two flights and delay another.
A flight to Shenzhen operated by Juneyao Airlines returned to Shanghai, its point of departure, so that the plane, passengers and baggage could all be checked following a threat, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
The flight eventually
took off using a different plane, the news agency said.
China Eastern Airlines received a threat regarding its flight from the northern city of Lanzhou to Shenzhen, via the central city of Xi'an, Xinhua reported. The flight was subsequently cleared for takeoff, it said.
According to China Eastern's website, the flight's departure from Xi'an to Shenzhen was delayed by more than two hours.
Shenzhen Airlines said that a flight from the eastern city of Nanjing returned to its point of departure, a flight from Xi'an changed course to land in the southwestern city of Guilin, and a flight from Beijing departed late after police talked to passengers.
Police are now investigating the case, according to Xinhua and Shenzhen Airlines.
Asked for further comment
on the threats, Shenzhen Airlines directed inquiries to the individual airports
where the threats were received (CNN, 2013).
Title: China Flights Threatened With Fake
Bomb Threats For The Second Time In A Week; Man Arrested
Date: May 18, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: A Chinese aviation industry news website says a man has been arrested for allegedly making fake bomb threats against several domestic flights bound for Shanghai.
It's the second time in a week that Chinese flights have been threatened with fake bomb threats. A man is in police custody for allegedly making such calls Wednesday.
China Aviation Resources Net said Saturday that a man surnamed Ji and from the eastern city of Yancheng admitted to making the prank calls Friday afternoon, grounding several flights departing from cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen.
The official Xinhua News Agency says the Chongqing bomb threat delayed all outbound flights and forced inbound flights to return on Friday evening.Yancheng police confirmed the arrest Saturday but declined to provide further details (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Hijacker Takes A High Jump During China Anti-Terror Drill
Date: June 4, 2013
Abstract: A paramilitary policeman knocks down a man role-playing as a plane hijacker during an anti-terrorism drill at Nanjing Lukou International Airport in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, on June 3, 2013 (NBC, 2013).
Title: Detroit Airport Evacuated After Dog
Alerts To Explosives From China Flight
Date: June 18, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Detroit Metropolitan Airport officials evacuated a section of the McNamara Terminal Tuesday morning after a canine picked up the scent of explosives on the apron, where planes load, MyFoxDetroit.com.
Officials say the dog smelled a possible explosive chemical in cargo from China that was bound for Atlanta around 10:30 a.m. Crews cleared a section of the terminal between gates A20 and A38 while they investigated.After an X-ray, the cargo was determined to be safe and passengers and staff were allowed back in the terminal (Fox News, 2013).
Title: China Jails 11 For Inciting
Extremism, Related Crimes In Muslim Region Before Riot Anniversary
Date: June 19, 2013
Source: Fox News
Abstract: China says it has sentenced 11 people for inciting religious extremism and related crimes in the northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang.
The sentences handed down Wednesday come shortly before the July 5 anniversary of the bloodiest recent ethnic rioting in the region four years ago.
The Justice Ministry's official newspaper Legal Daily said Thursday that Aihetaimu Heli was given the harshest sentence of six years for uploading to the Internet materials promoting jihad and ethnic hatred.
Others were sentenced to up to five years for breaking into homes and destroying television sets in what the paper called a religious frenzy.Xinjiang is home to China's ethnic Turkic Muslim Uighur minority and sees periodic outbreaks of anti-government and anti-Chinese violence. Authorities have responded with overwhelming force and repression (Fox News, 2013).
Title: Rare Case Of Gun Violence In China
Leaves 6 Dead
Date: June 23, 2013
Source: ABC News
Abstract: In a rare case of gun violence in China, a man fatally shot five people and beat a sixth to death, including some of his factory colleagues and a soldier, police said Sunday.
The 62-year-old man's killing spree started when he used unspecified tools to beat a colleague to death over an economic dispute, according to Shanghai police. The man identified as having the surname Fan killed his colleague on Saturday afternoon at a chemical factory in Shanghai's Baoshan district, the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said on its microblog.
The bureau said Fan then took a hunting rifle that was hidden in his dormitory, asked a driver to take him to another district and then shot him on the way. After killing the man, Fan drove the vehicle back to Baoshan and killed a soldier who was guarding the entrance to a barracks. He also took the soldier's gun.
Fan then returned to the factory and fatally shot three more people with his hunting rifle, including a manager. Police said they captured him in the factory about six hours after his killing spree started.Guns are hard to come by in China. Firearms are tightly controlled and private ownership is for the most part illegal. Citizens who have hunting permits may apply at their local police station for permission to own a hunting rifle (ABC News, 2013).
Title: Clashes In Tightly-Controlled
Muslim Region Of China Leave 27 Dead
Date: June 26, 2013
Abstract: A new outbreak of violence in China's far-western Xinjiang region, home to its Muslim Uighur minority, has left 27 people dead, according to state reports – the area's deadliest unrest since 2009.
According to state media, "riots" broke out in Lukqun, a township about 120 miles southeast of the regional capital, Urumqi, during which police opened fire on "knife-wielding mobs," reports Agence France-Presse.
Police shot at "mobs" who had attacked police stations, a local government building and a construction site, the Xinhua news agency said, citing local officials.
"Seventeen people had been killed ... before police opened fire and shot dead 10 rioters," it said. The mobs were also "stabbing at people and setting fire to police cars", the report said.
Nine police or security guards and eight civilians were killed before police opened fire, the report said, adding that three other people were taken to hospital with injuries.
AFP adds that Xinhua did not explain the cause of the violence, and that state officials were unresponsive to requests for comment.
The Associated Press reports:
A man in Lukqun contacted by phone said the area has been cordoned off and armed police officers were posted at road intersections. Police, anti-riot forces and paramilitary police were patrolling the town armed with pistols and machine guns, said the man, who refused to give his name out of fear of government reprisals.
“People are not being allowed to walk around on the streets,” he said before disconnecting the call.
Uighur activist Dilxat Raxit, based in Germany, issued a statement saying the violence was caused by China's “sustained repression and provocation” of the Uighur community.
Such events are not uncommon in Xinjiang, however, nor is the state's silence about them. The Christian Science Monitor reported just two months ago, after a similar clash between knife-wielding "suspected terrorists" and local authorities left 21 people dead, that "violence flares sporadically" in the region between its native population and job-seeking immigrants from China's Han majority. The worst instance occurred in 2009, when almost 200 people, mostly Han, were killed in riots across Urumqi.
Chinese officials have claimed in the past that such attacks were the work of Islamic separatists, and have attempted to quell outbreaks with a massive security presence in the region. But the native population says the problems run deeper.
"Local people complain that their culture and language are being eroded and that Han now outnumber original inhabitants, who are ethnic Uighurs, with linguistic and cultural ties to central Asian peoples," the Monitor's Peter Ford reported.
Ultimately, it is difficult to determine precisely what is happening in Xinjiang, Mr. Ford wrote in March 2012, because of the tight restrictions the Chinese authorities keep on media in the region. Writing after yet another attack by "violent mobs" that left 12 dead, he wrote that "the authorities have been largely successful in hiding what has been going on from outsiders."
The obvious way for a foreign reporter to find out what is really happening in Xinjiang or [the Tibetan region of] Sichuan would be to go there and talk to people. But that is not as easy as it sounds.
We are allowed to go to Xinjiang, but when I reported from there I found very few Uighurs brave enough to risk the punishment they feared if they were found to have talked to me. Never, in 30 years of reporting from five continents, have I found it so difficult to be a journalist. And after my return to Beijing, I discovered that plainclothes policemen had secretly followed me every step of my weeklong trip. ...So the world is heavily dependent for news from such places on government-sanctioned reports from the official Chinese news agency, whose reports seem designed to obfuscate rather than clarify, and on exile groups who clearly have their own political agenda, however well-meaning they are (CSM, 2013).