Tag: China

Former Pentagon analyst says China can shut down all the telecom gear it sold to the US

By Michael Maloof

Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access communications technology sold to the United States and other Western countries and could “disable a country’s telecommunications infrastructure before a military engagement,” according to former and current intelligence sources.

The Chinese also have the ability to exploit networks “to enable China to continue to steal technology and trade secrets,” according to the open source intelligence company Lignet, which is comprised of former U.S. intelligence analysts.

The issue centers on the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which U.S. intelligence sources say has direct links to the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. These sources assert that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications firms such as ZTE Corp. have “electronic backdoors” to telecommunications technology sold to the U.S. and other countries.

House to examine plan for United Nations to regulate the Internet

House lawmakers will consider an international proposal next week to give the United Nations more control over the Internet, Hillicon Valley reports.

The proposal is backed by China, Russia, Brazil, India and other UN members, and would give the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) more control over the governance of the Internet.

It’s an unpopular idea with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and officials with the Obama administration have also criticized it.

Larry Strickling, the head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, said the measure would expose the Internet to “top-down regulation where it’s really the governments that are at the table, but the rest of the stakeholders aren’t.”

At a hearing earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also criticized the proposal. He said China and Russia are “not exactly bastions of Internet freedom.”

Lawmakers stay largely silent over Chinese takeover of US bank branches

By Julian Pecquet

U.S. lawmakers have been unusually silent about federal regulators’ decision to allow a Chinese bank to take over 13 bank branches in New York and California, suggesting that they think American banks have much to gain.

Members of both parties usually relish the chance to bash China on everything from government subsidies to the yuan’s exchange rate. Yet Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve to certify a Chinese bank acquisition for the first time was met by near-universal silence.

Scott Talbott, the head lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, said that’s unsurprising. The U.S. wants China to open up its financial services market – foreign ownership of Chinese banks is limited to 25 percent – and allowing a Chinese presence in the U.S. is seen as a necessary trade-off.

“What this boils down to is that there are a ton more potential customers in China for U.S. banks than there are potential customers for the Chinese here,” Talbott said. “So in the long run, the approval is going to benefit the U.S.”

U.S. barnyards help China super-size food production

By P.J. Huffstutter and Niu Shuping

ALBION, Indiana/BEIJINGnside a dimly lit barn in northeast Indiana, where the air smells faintly of corn and earth, the future of China’s food supply is squealing for attention.

A farmhand shuffles through the crowd of pigs inside pen 7E3, patting their fleshy pink backs and checking their water trough. The animals here at the Whiteshire Hamroc farm have been bred for one purpose: to be flown halfway around the world, on a journey fueled by China’s appetite for food independence

In a country where pork is a culinary staple, the demand for a protein-rich diet is growing faster than Chinese farmers can keep up. While Americans cut back on meat consumption to the lowest levels seen in two decades, the Chinese now eat nearly 10 percent more meat than they did five years ago.

China’s solution: to super-size its supply by snapping up millions of live animals raised by U.S. farmers as breeding stock – capitalizing on decades of cutting edge agricultural research in America.

GE moves 115 year old xray unit’s base to China

General Electric Co.’s health-care unit, the world’s biggest maker of medical-imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing to tap growth in China.

“A handful” of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won’t be any job cuts, Anne LeGrand, vice president and general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare, said in an interview. The headquarters will move from Waukesha, Wisconsin, amid a broader parent-company plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation” and development centers.

The move follows the introduction earlier this year of GE Healthcare’s “Spring Wind” initiative to develop and distribute medical products and services in China, GE said in a statement today. More than 20 percent of the X-ray unit’s new products will be developed in China, LeGrand said.

Electronic medical tattoo

A hair-thin electronic patch that adheres to the skin like a temporary tattoo could transform medical sensing, computer gaming and even spy operations, according to a US study published Thursday. The micro-electronics technology, called an epidermal electronic system (EES), was developed by an international team of researchers from the United States, China and Singapore, and is described in the journal Science.

“It’s a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology,” said co-author John Rogers, a professor in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is mechanically and physiologically invisible to the user.”

What can the dollar be replaced with?

For more than a half-century, the US dollar has been not only America’s currency, but the world’s as well. It has been the dominant unit used in cross-border transactions and the principal asset held as reserves by central banks and governments. But, already before the recent debt-ceiling imbroglio, the dollar had begun to lose its luster. Its share in the identified foreign-exchange reserves of central banks, for example, had fallen to just over 60%, from 70% a decade ago.

The explanation is simple: the United States no longer dominates the world economy to the extent that it did in the past. It makes sense that the international monetary system should follow the global economy in becoming more multipolar. Just as the US now has to share the world stage with other economies, the dollar will have to make room for other international currencies.

In my recent book Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar, I described a future in which the dollar and the euro would be the dominant global currencies. And, peering ten and more years down the road, I anticipated a potential international role for the Chinese renminbi.

I ruled out a role for Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the accounting unit issued by the International Monetary Fund. One might think that the SDR, as a basket of four currencies, might be attractive to central banks and governments seeking to hedge their bets. But the process for issuing SDRs is cumbersome, and there are no private markets in which they can be traded.

China is testing their new aircraft carrier

China has begun to test its first aircraft carrier, a retrofitted former Soviet ship called the Varyag.
by Elad Benari

The carrier is a retrofitted former Soviet ship called the Varyag. It is considered the first step in China’s plan to eventually build a handful of carriers as part of a wider development of naval might.

China bought the carrier from Ukraine in 1998 and has been retrofitting it for the past decade or so, The Post noted.

A new engine and radar equipment were added and the carrier retains its original runway to launch fighters.