China ship threat
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