Posts Tagged ‘china’

By Christopher Harper

For those of us who lived through the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the Chinese spy balloon seemed like déjà vu all over again. The incident seemed far more dangerous than President Biden and his administration believed it was.

Sure, a balloon isn’t a bomber. But past spy vs. spy endeavors have had near-disastrous consequences.

In May 1960, American pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down in his CIA spy plane over Russia. President Eisenhower thought the pilot had died and declared the mission was aimed at surveying weather. The aircraft had accidentally wandered off course.

The Russians quickly showed the spy plane and the pilot, embarrassing the Americans just before a critical summit with Russia. The incident seriously affected East-West relations, ultimately leading to the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis.

It’s unclear what will happen because of the Chinese balloon, but it’s unlikely to be anything good.

The Chinese have engaged in ongoing espionage in the United States, and little has been done to stop it. Now is the time to do so.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has found 160 serious incidents of Chinese spying in the United States since 2000. See

U.S. companies have also filed more than 1,200 cases of intellectual property theft against Chinese companies and their agents.

The results of the investigation are rather chilling:

–42% of the spies were Chinese military or government employees.
–32% were private Chinese citizens.
–26% were non-Chinese, usually persons recruited by Chinese officials.
–34% of the incidents sought to acquire military technology.

The investigation also found that the Chinese have become far more aggressive in recent years. More than three-quarters of the espionage incidents happened between 2010 and 2021. Also, the number of hacking incidents has dramatically increased, particularly from Chinese government operations known as People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398 and APT4.

Moreover, the investigation found that various university professors had used their positions to obtain funding from the U.S. government and then provided the results to China in various scientific fields.

The balloon incident should underline the need for greater emphasis on battling Chinese espionage. If the Biden administration fails to stand up to China, the Beijing government and President Xi will only become more emboldened in their efforts.

Got a call first thing this morning from the plumber concerning the frozen pipes in the attic apartment that DaWife and I first lived in when married and has now been rented out to the same fellow for nearly 30 years. Water was leaking to the 2nd floor where my brother lives. I called and emailed Saturday concerning the problem, apparently it’s a good thing I called fast because while there are a lot of people ahead of me which means we likely won’t see them today, the number of people behind me is a whole lot longer.

That artic blast is a full employment program for the plumbing and heating industry which I suspect isn’t laying off anyone in New England anytime soon, but then again in an age where automation is taking over a lot the trades remain the best option out there during a recession.

My thought on the Chinese balloons was that it would be a better idea to capture it in the air rather than shoot is down as we don’t know if they might contain hazardous materials. With a slow moving balloon of indeterminate weight I don’t know how practicable such a move would have been but if that wasn’t possible I don’t see the advantage of allowing to to gather intelligence and transmit it in real time letting it traverse the country before taking it out over the Atlantic.

By waiting that long you basically gave China not only the real time data they were looking for but data on the use of such balloons as a delivery system for bio weapons for either a first strike or an attack if we defend Tawian.

The Biden administration’s reaction tells me that what I’ve said before still applies, when you buy them, they stay bought.

Let’s point one important thing concerning all this reparations talk that nobody is discussing.

My four grandparents came here around 1906 over 40 years after the end of slavery in the US. and as Sicilians were considered to be of a different “race” than the WASPS in Massachusetts where they settled having to work like dogs to get to where they were.

Even if you make the stupid argument that reparations are due to people who were never slavers and whose parents were never slaves (and whose grandparents were likely never slaves either) why the hell should any of the descendants of people who were no where near America in the 19th century be responsible for those sins?

This past weekend the NFL “Pro-bowl” became a flag football game and skills competitions that I suspect people didn’t care much about.

The reason the pro-bowl is in decline? That’s simple. Current salaries.

When an NFL player was not making generational wealth the bonus from even the loser’s share of a pro-bowl game was something worth showing up for, not to mention the trip to Hawaii.

But when you are making a fortune playing the game already there is little incentive to show up to play an extra game that you have the potential to be hurt at, and one injury could mean the end of your seven to eight figure paycheck.

Thus the well paid stars who the pro-bowl is meant to feature give it a miss and the middle tier guys to whom that extra cash might mean something show up and now you don’t even have a real football game.

How it draws any eyeballs escapes me.

Finally there was yet another “clarification” concerning homosexuality from the Pope as he continues to try to dance around reality so as not to have to speak the truth aloud so in the interest of clarity let me give you four basic Catholic truths.

  1. There are NO circumstances where sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is not mortal sin.
  2. There are NO circumstances where homosexual sex is not mortal sin.
  3. Mortal sin, sexual or otherwise, if sacramentally confessed with a firm resolve to amend is forgiven independent of sexual orientation.
  4. If you fail in your resolve and sin again, sacramental confession remains available so you can pick yourself up and try again.

This is Catholic 101 and any Priest or Bishop who tells you different is at best ignorant and at worst a liar.

Full of hot air

Posted: February 4, 2023 by navygrade36bureaucrat in war
Tags: , , , ,
High Altitude Balloon at the Natl Air and Space Museum Washington DC 11/13/2017

Balloons are nothing new. When I was stationed in Pensacola, I saw pictures of Naval Astronauts that went up in high altitude balloons to help us determine the effects that altitude would have on the human body. This helped us prepare astronauts on future space missions to safely live for extended periods at that altitude. Hot air balloons were used in warfare as far back as the U.S. Civil War. Heck, last year the U.S. was testing out steerable balloons off the coasts of California and North Carolina. So when China floated balloons out last year in international waters, it wasn’t a big surprise.

Flying a balloon 12 miles off the coast is fine, and we’ve been (mostly) consistent in our approach to accepting international norms on airspace and territorial waters. That’s why we don’t ram the Russian intelligence vessels that park off the coast in the Atlantic…or shoot across their bow, or any other nonsense that the crusty drunk guy at the bar will tell you we should absolutely be doing to maintain our honor as a nation…or something like that.

Oddly specific, I know, but I’ve had more than a few of those conversations.

But flying it over U.S. airspace? That’s a whole new level of brazen. I would be quite happy if we shot it down or otherwise captured it.

Do I think China would start WW3 over it? Nope. China will launch its war on its own terms. Yes, they would absolutely protest and try to impose consequences, but it wouldn’t involve WW3.

Why is China doing this? Intelligence from a camera or other devices is going to be better the lower in altitude you are, and balloons are far lower than satellites. But I think it goes further than that. China thinks it can get away with this violation. It’s not dissimilar to the U.S. driving two aircraft strike groups through the Taiwan Straits in 1995 as a response to China’s military exercises near Taiwan. The difference here is we never sailed in Chinese waters, but the balloons are obviously over U.S. territory.

What should our response be? It should have been to fire warning shots at the balloon when it crossed into airspace, give it a chance to leave, and if not, take it down as safely as possible. Following that, I propose hosting Japanese, Korean, Australian, Canadian and Taiwanese military leaders to discuss combining air space pictures to prevent this in the future. Since we already share air space pictures with each country in some way, getting them into a NORAD-like agreement in response to Chinese airspace violation is the perfect tit-for-tat response that would show real consequences to China’s military and government while not punishing the average Chinese citizen that doesn’t get much say in the matter.

What will actually happen? Nothing. The balloons will float away and the media will bury this story, like they buried the balloon story from last year. Unless a balloon hits a plane (unlikely) or malfunctions (I mean, it IS made in China!), there won’t be consequences for this at all, which will just encourage this in the future.

UPDATE: Well this post didn’t age well…two hours after posting and one balloon is shot down. Nicely done.

This post reflects the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

China: A realistic look at the demonstrations

Posted: November 29, 2022 by chrisharper in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

By Christopher Harper

As the news media focus on stories about Chinese demonstrations against COVID rules, few analysts are looking at the obstacles the protestors face.

President Xi Jinping has installed two of his closest allies as leaders of the Chinese police and security forces.

Wang Xiaohong’s appointment as public security minister in June marked a significant breakthrough for Xi in his consolidation of power.

Xi and Wang have known each other since the mid-1990s when the former rose through the ranks in southeast Fujian province, and Wang was a senior policeman in the provincial capital, Fuzhou.

As China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong, Xi oversaw a sweeping overhaul of the People’s Liberation Army during his first term from 2012 to 2017 when I first visited the country. t the time, China had a robust economy and little dissent.

Xi, however, locked down the propaganda machine even more than his recent predecessors. The party’s most important propaganda organs routinely offer fawning coverage of his activities, such as triumphal recent tours of Hong Kong and Xinjiang, where the dislike for the party leadership is highest.

But the third traditional pillar of Chinese party power, the internal security apparatus, or the “knife,” has been a relative holdout, Peter Mattis, an expert on China’s security apparatus, told The Financial Times.

In the year before Wang’s appointment as China’s top cop, at least three current or former public security vice-ministers were purged for corruption. Two of them were accused of colluding with each other, criticizing “the party’s major policies” and having “hugely inflated political ambitions.” “This is why [Xi’s] rectification campaign against the political-legal apparatus is so important,” said Mattis. “The progression through these areas is how Mao seized power.”

Xi has also worked diligently to install allies at the party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, which oversees China’s police, state security, and courts. In a measure of its importance, the commission enjoys an official budget bigger than the military. Xi protégé Chen Yixin has been the CPLC’s general secretary and de facto head of operations since 2018.

Chen worked closely with Xi 20 years ago in Zhejiang province, where the future president served as governor and party secretary. Xi brought Chen to Beijing in 2015 and dispatched him to Hubei province, the center of the global coronavirus pandemic, to help stabilize the outbreak in 2020.

In a recent speech to internal security officials, Chen said: “Our party, country, and people are so lucky to have Xi Jinping as the core of the party, as the people’s leader and as commander-in-chief.

“He has the aura of leadership, outstanding intelligence, personal charisma, and the people are in his heart,” Chen added. “The more complicated the situation and the more arduous the task, the more we need Xi Jinping as our helmsman.”

While the media focus on et demonstrations, it’s essential to understand precisely the power of the Chinese state to put down any severe threats to the regime.