China’s ‘arse­nal’ spurs warn­ings; U.S. panel eyes Tai­wan fight

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Bill Gertz

The U.S. mil­i­tary is vul­ner­a­ble to China’s ad­vanced war-fight­ing sys­tems, in­clud­ing space weapons and com­puter at­tacks that would be used in a fu­ture con­flict over Tai­wan, ac­cord­ing to a con­gres­sional com­mis­sion’s re­port re­leased Nov. 21.

The full re­port of the U.S.China Eco­nomic and Se­cu­rity Re­view Com­mis­sion also pro­vides more de­tails than the sum­mary re­leased last week, show­ing that China is en­gaged in a “largescale in­dus­trial es­pi­onage cam­paign” with “scores” of cases in­volv­ing spies seek­ing U.S. tech­nol­ogy.

The full re­por t presents a harsh as­sess­ment of China’s mil­i­tary buildup and plans for a war against the U.S. if Bei­jing de­cided to use force against the is­land na­tion of Tai­wan.

The re­port pro­vides ev­i­dence coun­ter­ing state­ments by Chi­nese of­fi­cials, and some U.S. of­fi­cials, who say China’s buildup is peace­ful.

“The Com­mis­sion con­cluded that China is de­vel­op­ing its mil­i­tary in ways that en­hance its ca­pac­ity to con­front the United States,” the re­port stated. “For ex­am­ple, China has de­vel­oped the ca­pa­bil­ity to wage cy­ber­war­fare and to de­stroy sur­veil­lance satel­lites over­head as part of its tac­ti­cal, asym­met­ri­cal war­fare arse­nal.”

On Tai­wan, the re­port said ten­sions be­tween the is­land na­tion and China pro­duced an “emo­tion­ally-charged stand-off that risks armed con­flict if not care­fully man­aged by both sides.”

“Such a con­flict could in­volve the United States,” the re­port said.

The U.S. mil­i­tary is “sig­nif­i­cantly ex­posed to such at­tacks,” be­cause of its reliance on sys­tems of com­mand, con­trol, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, com­put­ers, intelligence, sur veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance, the re­port said.

The re­port also warned that “China also could tar­get Amer­ica’s crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in a con­fronta­tion” and said China’s arms buildup ap­pears aimed at “ac­quir­ing the abil­ity to over­whelm the de­fenses of, and suc- cess­fully at­tack, U.S. car­rier bat­tle groups.”

Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and for­mer Strate­gic Com­mand com­man­der, told the com­mis­sion that China “is ac­tively en­gag­ing in cy­ber-re­con­nais­sance by prob­ing the com­puter net­works of U.S. gov­ern­ment agen­cies as well as private com­pa­nies.”

On anti-satel­lite weapons, China used a laser to “blind” a U.S. satel­lite in 2006, and it is test­ing mi­crowave weapons to jam satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“The suc­cess­ful anti-satel­lite test con­ducted by the PLA in Jan­uary 2007 demon­strated the PLA’s abil­ity to de­stroy satel­lites through the use of ki­netic weapons as well,” the re­por t said, us­ing the acro­nym for the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army, the com­mu­nist-con­trolled mil­i­tary.

The re­port said China’s spaceweapons pro­gram is be­ing car­ried out in se­cret “so China can main­tain a pos­i­tive in­ter­na­tional im­age.”

China’s space weapons are planned for use against satel­lites that pass above China and against U.S. Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem satel­lites. The weapons in­clude a com­bi­na­tion of ground-launched mis­siles, weather-mon­i­tor­ing rock­ets and ground at­tacks on earth sta­tions.

To fuel its mil­i­tary and civil­ian econ­omy, China’s gov­ern­ment has en­gaged in what the re­port called “es­pi­onage and in­dus­trial theft ac­tiv­i­ties” iden­ti­fied as “the lead­ing threat to the se­cu­rity of U.S. tech­nol­ogy.”

Re­cent Chi­nese spy cases out­lined in the re­port in­clude the case of FBI-pen­e­tra­tion agent Ka­t­rina Leung, Chi­nese-born de­fense con­trac­tor Chi Mak, and Xiaodong Shel­don Meng, who sup­plied mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy il­le­gally to China.

The re­port stated that “scores of other in­stances of es­pi­onage go un­pros­e­cuted or un­de­tected.”

“As Chi­nese es­pi­onage against the U.S. mil­i­tary and Amer­i­can busi­nesses con­tin­ues to out­pace the over­whelmed U.S. coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity, crit­i­cal Amer­i­can se­crets and pro­pri­etar y tech­nolo­gies are be­ing trans­ferred to the PLA and Chi- nese state-owned com­pa­nies,” the re­port said.

The re­por t con­cluded that “sur­prises” about Chi­nese mil­i­tary and tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ments raise ques­tions about the qual­ity of U.S. intelligence on China.

It also re­vealed that China con­tin­ues to sell weapons and tech­nol­ogy to rogue states and un­sta­ble re­gions.

China is pro­vid­ing mil­i­tary goods to North Korea for use in its mis­sile pro­gram and warned that unchecked trans­fers “could re­sult in the trans­fer of weapons or tech­nol­ogy to North Korea that could desta­bi­lize the mil­i­tary bal­ance on the Korean Penin­sula and fur ther en­trench that regime’s dic­ta­tor­ship,” the re­port said.

China also al­lowed Nor th Korea to use ports and air­fields to ship mil­i­tary goods to Iran and other states, the re­port said.

The com­mis­sion rec­om­mended im­prov­ing the pro­tec­tion of U.S. tech­nol­ogy from Chi­nese spies, and work­ing with U.S. al­lies to counter China’s cy­ber­at­tacks.

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