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.