Sunday, December 30, 2007

Singapore Opposes Taiwan Independence

A 25 December 2007 article from the Straits Times reports that Singapore officially opposes Taiwan's attempt to gain UN recognition as an independent country. Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has used the United States' stance as proof that the international community does not support recognizing Taiwan as an independent country.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

US, China Energy Dispute

The United States and China are each seeking concessions from the other for reduction of greenhouse-causing emissions, according to a 4 December 2007 story from Bloomberg. Delegates from 187 countries have met in Bali for a two-week conference to create a timeline for replacing the 1997 Kyoto Accord.

China claims that its developing industrial status should preclude acceptance of any mandated limit, while the U.S. says emissions limits will handicap its competitiveness.

The United States uses more energy than any other country, followed by China. The Kyoto Accord set no goals for China, and was not ratified by the U.S.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Japan Considers Stealth Fighter Program

Improvements on Japan's F-15 fleet are being led by Mitsubishi, according to a 26 November 2007 story by Flight International. Tokyo plans on ordering new fighter aircraft, and has requested information about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing F-15 and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Japan is most interested in the F-22, which incorporates stealth technology, but the U.S. is refusing to release information. This has resulted in a Japanese study of stealth technology. This might ultimately develop plans for the first indigenous fighter in almost 30 years. Some suggest the study might actually be designed to force the U.S. to release the desired F-22 information.

Pictures of the ATD-X were leaked to the press in August. It bears a strong resemblance to the F-22.

Pictures from the Moon

On 26 November 2007, China released pictures from its lunar probe Chang'e I, according to The Washington Post. There are claims that the PRC plans a manned space station and manned lunar landing by 2020.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

PRC Solicits High-Tech Industry

The Washington Post reported on 16 November that China is attempting to make Dalian a mecca for high technology industry. The article says over 230 foreign companies have set up businesses in the city over the last decade, lured by tax breaks, attractive worker wages, and other incentives. In 2007 ground was broken for a $2.5 billion Intel Corp. factory and a $6.5 billion nuclear power plant.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Taiwan Pushes for UN Membership

The United States is reacting with displeasure to continued efforts by Taiwan to gain membership into the United Nations. The Republic of China lost its UN seat to the People's Republic of China in 1971. Efforts to regain a seat in the body since that time under the name Taiwan have been blocked by the PRC.

18 U.S. Republican congressmen and 1 Democrat introduced a bill to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on 8 November 2007 that supported Taiwan's UN ambitions.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Probe Enters Lunar Orbit

According to the Associated Press, China said its lunar satellite Chang'e 1 entered an orbit 125 miles from the moon 7 November 2007. Chang'e 1 is scheduled to remain in lunar orbit for a year.

In related news, China will be opening its space program to private funding.

Chinese Toys Recalled

Aqua Dots, craft beads that fuse together when sprayed with water, were recalled 7 November 2007 by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Two US children have been hospitalized and are in comas after ingesting the beads, which apparently release gamma hydroxy butyrate.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gates in China

Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in China 4 November 2007. According to the NY Times, he is expected to discuss Chinese ties to Iran, a US to China telephone hotline, and the recent PRC ASAT test.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

PRC Gets Hacked Back

Fox News reported on 4 September 2007 that Chinese hackers had penetrated a noncritical US DoD site in June. No direct link to the PRC could be proven, but the claim was that the technology was sophisticated enough to implicate a state sponsor.

The Financial Times claimed in a 3 September 2007 story that Defense Secretary Robert Gates' office was targeted. FT also reported another Pentagon source claimed the exact source of the attack was known.

The Taipei Times reported on 1 November 2007 that the Chinese Global Times complained that Lee Fang-Jung, purportedly an agent of the Taiwanese, had carried out recent hacking attacks against the PRC.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fuel Prices Rise

Bloomberg reported that Chinese fuel prices rose by up to ten percent on 1 November 2007. Chinese fuel prices have been regulated, which has led to a third-quarter loss by Sinopec (China Petroleum).

Chinese fuel retailers can sell from eight percent above to eight percent below state-mandated levels. China is the world's second-largest energy market.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sell Arms to Taiwan

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has almost finished a report urging the Bush Administration to approve arms sales to Taiwan, according to a Taipei Times article. Taiwan is currently attempting to purchase 66 F-16 C/D fighter airplanes.

The report will also suggest joint US/Taiwanese military exercises.

China at the Top

President Hu Chintao was reappointed as chairman by the Communist Party Central Committee on Monday 22 October 2007.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Taiwan has no Nukes

Taiwan News Online reported 21 October 2007 that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said Taiwan had no missiles or plans to develop them. Prompted by accusations from Su Chi (蘇起), who claimed Chen had ordered the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) to develop the nuclear weapons, Chen said, "there is no nuclear missile in Taiwan" and that his administration "is not going to develop any nuclear missiles."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Annual Report to Congress

Military Power of the People's Republic of China, 2007.

US Investigates Chinese Helicopter Engines

Canadian-made engines have been used in China's first domestically developed attack helicopter, according to a 23 October 2007 Reuters story. The PT6 engine was developed over 40 years ago. United Technologies Corp in Canada said that the engines were sold to be used on the civilian version of the aircraft, with a Chinese version to be used in the military helicopters. The Chinese claimed delays in developing their own engine caused the Canadian-built units to be used.


This space will be devoted to one of my great interests, Sino-American relations, with a special focus on forecasting potential threats. I hope this will be informative and useful for you.


John R. Shirley