China ship threat

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

A re­cent U.S. in­tel­li­gence anal­y­sis of a state-run Chi­nese press re­port that stated U.S. Navy ocean-sur­vey ships would be sunk if they en­tered Chi­nese wa­ters was a false story.

How­ever, the March 9 re­port by the Open Source Cen­ter (OSC), an in­tel­li­gence unit lo­cated at CIA head­quar­ters, stated that, in an un­usual move, Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties did not re­move the ar­ti­cle and per­mit­ted it to be cir­cu­lated widely on the In­ter­net.

The ar­ti­cle ap­peared Feb. 19 in two re­gional Com­mu­nist Party spite near to­tal con­trol by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment over its me­dia, es­pe­cially Com­mu­nist Party me­dia or­gans. It states that oc­ca­sion­ally such false sto­ries, how­ever, have been re­ported in of­fi­cial me­dia but does not say why.

The re­port says the In­ner Mon­go­lian and Fu­jian re­ports “con­tra­dict each other as to the ori­gin of the story.”

The In­ner Mon­go­lian pa­per stated that the ar­ti­cle came from the Zhong­gou Xin­wen She, China’s state-run news ser­vice for over­seas Chi­nese. The Fu­jian re­port stated that the story came from the of­fi­cial news agency Xin­hua.

How­ever, nei­ther of­fi­cial news out­let car­ried the re­port, the OSC stated.

The re­port says it was un­usual for the ar­ti­cle to men­tion Chi­nese DF-31 mis­siles be­cause most of­fi­cial Chi­nese me­dia do not use that des­ig­na­tion. Also, the dis­sem­i­na­tion of the re­port on the In­ter­net without men­tion­ing the source in­di­cated that the “ori­gin re­mains un­known,” the re­port says.

“The un­clear ori­gins, con­tra­dic­tory sourc­ing, and un­usual re­port­ing style sug­gest that the ar­ti­cle is likely a false story,” the OSC said.

How­ever, con­sid­er­ing the tightly con­trolled In­ter­net, the re­port notes that “un­usual for an In­ter­net false story, PRC au­thor­i­ties do not ap­pear to have taken action to re­move the ar­ti­cle.”

“As of 9 March 2009, the ar­ti­cle re­mained widely avail­able on PRC web­sites, in­clud­ing those

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