The Tianlangxing, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence ship, passed through the Tsugaru Strait off the coast of Japan on July 2, and stayed off the Alaskan coast during the July 11th test of a U.S. missile defence system. (Courtesy Japanese Ministry of Defence)The Tianlangxing, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence ship, passed through the Tsugaru Strait off the coast of Japan on July 2, and stayed off the Alaskan coast during the July 11th test of a U.S. missile defence system. (Courtesy Japanese Ministry of Defence)

The Chinese spy ship that sailed international waters off the coast of Alaska during a recent missile defense test was a class that had never been seen before in Northern Command’s area-of-responsibility, a spokesperson said Friday.

It was the first Chinese military vessel in the area since 2015 when a Chinese “surface action group” transited through, said Michael Kucharek, a spokesperson for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command.

Kucharek would not speculate as to what the ship was doing in the area, but mentioned several times that it was in international waters where it had the right of free navigation.

A military source familiar with the incident told The Epoch Times it was the same ship as reported by the Diplomat on July 4th, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) vessel.

Chinese state-owned media, the English language China Daily, reported on the ship in January in an article based on a report from a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) news outlet. The report focused on a newly commissioned ship, the Kaiyangxing.

The ship that was present for the missile test was the Tianlangxing, which passed through the Tsugaru Strait off the coast of Japan on July 2, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

According to the PLA report cited by the China Daily, the PLA Navy now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels. The report also gave specific information about the ships such as their capabilities and functions.

“Until now, the PLA Navy has never made public so many details about its intelligence collection ships,” said the report.

The newly launched Kaiyangxing was capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock reconnaissance on multiple and different targets,” the China Daily reported.

“The ship is so sophisticated that only a few countries, such as the United States and Russia, are capable of developing it,” it continued.

The China Daily quoted an unnamed source in the shipbuilding industry saying that the United States had 15 such ships.

The Tianlangxing arrived off the coast of Alaska shortly before the July 11 test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

A spokesperson for the Missile Defense Agency told The Epoch Times it was the fastest target the system has been tested against so far.

The ship stayed approximately 100 miles off the Alaskan coast.

The THAAD system is designed to protect against intermediate- and short-range ballistic missiles, like those North Korea has amassed and threatened to launch against Japan and South Korea.

China is North Korea’s closest ally and major trading partner, accounting for 75 percent of North Korea’s imports and exports.

China’s ruling Communist Party, which has a faction that is close to the North Korean regime, has denounced the THAAD system that is now partially deployed in South Korea.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on July 5, the day after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say could reach Alaska, representatives of China and Russia both called for the system to be dismantled.

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The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)The Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA  in Los Angeles in this file photo. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The University of California, San Diego, has invited the Dalai Lama as its commencement speaker in June, and a group of Chinese students at the university is rallying to stop his speech. There may be more to the events than meets the eye, however, as a social media posting said to be from the student group states it has been given directions by the Chinese Consulate.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet, and has been in exile since March, 1959, when he fled Tibet fearing the Chinese occupiers intended to abduct him. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army in Oct. 1950. The CCP pushes a line that it “liberated” Tibet, and heavily censors the topic, while calling the Dalai Lama a “separatist.”

The group trying to prevent the speech is a local branch of the Chinese Student and Scholars Association (CSSA), a nationwide student organization known to receive funding and directives from the CCP through its consulates.

The CSSA has openly stated it is working under the guidance of the Chinese regime.

It published a statement on WeChat that states, translated from Chinese, that in regards to the Dalai Lama going to the university, “the Chinese Student and Scholar Association has asked the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles for instructions, and having received the instructions are going to implement them.”

It tells students to not act outside official guidance of the CCP, and says “specific measures to be taken will be elaborated on in future announcements.”

“Our association has been forced to take tough and unyielding measures,” it states.

The statement appears to have been taken offline, but a Web archive of the page is still available.

The “about us” page on the University of California, San Diego, CSSA website states, translated from Chinese, that it is a “public benefit organization” and is “affiliated to the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles.” It also says it works as a “Chinese embassy bridge.”

Overt Espionage

According to “China’s Espionage Dynasty: Economic Death by a Thousand Cuts,” published by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank, CSSAs are active in more than 150 U.S. universities.

Officially, it states, the CSSAs help native Chinese students by acting as a bridge between China and foreign institutions. On the other hand, “CSSAs may also be a pivotal overt espionage platform for the Chinese government.”

“The vast majority of CSSAs receive funding from the Chinese government or have an active liaison via the consulate back to the CCP,” it states.

It adds that CSSAs may work to “persuade students to act as temporary or prolonged intelligence assets,” and that “Through CSSAs, students can be manipulated into passing intellectual property or research back to their home state or planting malware on a university system.”

According to an FBI podcast on April 14, 2014, it’s not uncommon for foreign intelligence agencies to manipulate students to achieve their objectives—and the students are often unaware they are being used until they’re already in over their heads.

“To foster the relationship, foreign intelligence operatives will flatter and encourage students, show interest in their future success, and even promise to help them obtain a government-issued visa or work permit—but it’s all disingenuous and empty promises,” it states.

It adds, “The truth is, the operatives are just using the student as a pawn to achieve their own ends, without concern for the student’s welfare or future.”

Controlling the Narrative

Preventing a speech by the Dalai Lama may not seem like a big deal, but for the CCP, its use of censorship and controlled narratives are cornerstones of its hold on power. It simultaneously pushes its own narratives on issues, peppered with disinformation, while also using extreme censorship to stop the true narratives from being known.

The issue of Tibet—which includes the CCP’s suppression of Tibetan Buddhists—is one of the CCP’s five “no-go topics,” which also includes its persecution of Falun Gong, its persecution of Muslim Uyghurs, the issue of Taiwanese independence, and the issue of democracy in Hong Kong.

The CCP’s censorship apparatus stretches beyond its own borders, and looks to control similar narratives being raised by foreign governments and news outlets.

“In many cases, Chinese officials directly impede independent reporting by media based abroad,” states a 2013 report from the Center for International Media Assistance.

It adds, however, that “more prevalent–and often more effective–are methods of control that subtly induce self-censorship or inspire media owners, advertisers, and other international actors to take action on the CCP’s behalf.”

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China's self-developed passenger jetliner Comac C919 is presented to the public on Nov. 2, 2015 in Shanghai. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)China's self-developed passenger jetliner Comac C919 is presented to the public on Nov. 2, 2015 in Shanghai. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

China’s first homegrown jet airliner recently completed a $2 billion deal, giving the country a foothold in a lucrative global market with one of the highest barriers of entry.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (Comac) last week signed an order to sell up to 60 of its ARJ21-700 regional jets to China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) in a deal valued at up to $2.3 billion.

The deal, signed during the annual U.K. Farnborough International Airshow, was the biggest single order for Comac’s jets.

The regional jets will be delivered over a span of five years, and CALC will lease the planes to an undisclosed Indonesian airline, in which CALC’s investor, Friedman Pacific Asset Management Ltd., plans to invest. The ARJ21 will be the first Chinese-made jet to enter service abroad. CALC currently has more than a hundred planes in its fleet, most from established aircraft manufacturers Airbus SAS and Boeing Co.

First Domestic Jets

After a ten-year delay due to technical problems, the ARJ21 finally took its maiden flight last month on launch customer Chengdu Airlines, making it the first Chinese-developed jet to enter into commercial service. The plane can carry up to 90 passengers, and is set to compete with regional jets from established leaders such as Brazil’s Embraer SA and Canada’s Bombardier Inc.

The state-owned company also has another jet under development, the C919, which is a larger long-range airliner aimed to compete against Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. The C919, likewise, has been delayed.

Comac’s ARJ21 is part of an effort by China to develop a homegrown civil aircraft industry and establish a foothold in the $3 trillion global narrow-body jet aircraft market. In its latest annual forecast, Boeing estimated global demand will reach almost 40,000 new jets over the next 20 years, most of which are of the single-aisle narrow-body type similar to ones under development by Comac.

China isn’t the only one gunning for global market leaders. Irkut, a subsidiary of Russian state-owned United Aircraft Corporation, also launched its MC-21 single-aisle jet last month. The MC-21 so far has garnered 175 orders, mostly from domestic Russian airlines.

Copying Technology

Beijing has long eyed the global duopoly of Boeing and Airbus with envy. Almost all of its domestic airlines operate planes from the two manufacturers. According to the China Daily, a state-owned newspaper, China plans to wrest 5 percent of the domestic market away from Boeing and Airbus by 2020.

Before the ARJ21, the only production Chinese airliner was the Xian Y-7 produced during the 1970s and 1980s. The Y-7 was a direct copy of Russian Antonov An-24 whose technologies date back to the Korean War. The Y-7 revamp, MA60, had a dangerous track record.

Today, China’s ambitions in the global commercial airliner market rest entirely on the wings of the ARJ21 and the C919. But as Comac readies its global introduction, it cannot escape suggestions that the ARJ21’s development has been assisted by Beijing’s history of reverse engineering and corporate espionage.

Unlike other industries such as automobiles and trains where Chinese companies receive government-mandated technology transfer from their foreign joint-venture partners, China received no foreign help in aviation, which is considered a far more militarily sensitive market.

According to industry journal Aviation Week, initial design of the ARJ21 was based on that of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 produced locally at Shanghai facilities of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which later transferred the factory to Comac.

The ARJ21 took 14 years to develop, a period beset by multiple delays stemming from wing design issues, management and logistical inexperience, and bugs related to its avionics. During development of both the ARJ21 and the C919, Comac officials worried the constant setbacks would allow foreign competitors such as Boeing and Embraer to release more advanced and efficient aircraft that would make Comac’s planes obsolete upon arrival.

The delays required extensive rework which would have been difficult for any manufacturer, let alone an inexperienced company on its virgin product. Regarding Comac’s difficulties, “Chinese manufacturers have no experience of building such commercial aircraft and they have to look for new solutions to every problem they meet,” said Li Xiaojin, professor at Civil Aviation University of China, according to a 2014 report on Chinese corporate espionage by the Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy in Berlin.

Comac maintains a close working relationship with AVIC, which develops military fighter jets.

Comac’s circumstances and difficulties marks it as a prime candidate to receive any technology know-how and design schemes obtained by Beijing’s state-sanctioned corporate espionage. Stealing foreign technology for Chinese economic gains has long been investigated and documented by Epoch Times.

Comac maintains a close working relationship with AVIC, which develops military fighter jets, nuclear-capable bombers, and close to 90 percent of China’s military aircraft aviation and weaponry systems. AVIC’s new J-20 stealth fighter jet allegedly uses technologies stolen from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, obtained by Chinese military’s cyber unit Technical Reconnaissance Bureau in the Chengdu province. The information, according to the U.S. Defense Department, was passed onto AVIC.

Cases of Chinese espionage against foreign aerospace and defense companies are numerous. In March, Chinese-Canadian Su Bin directed Chinese hackers to steal more than 630,000 documents from Boeing related to development of the C-17 transport aircraft, the F-35 and F-22 jets, and other planes.

For now, the ARJ21 has not yet received U.S. aviation authorities’ endorsement, which limits its current market to state-owned Chinese domestic airlines and aircraft lease companies. But if Comac airplanes prove to be capable, reliable, inexpensive, and above all safe, Boeing and Airbus may have reasons to worry.

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The Chinese regime launched a new spy satellite on March 29 (03:17 UTC), claiming it will be used for civilian purposes. According to NASA SpaceFlight, the Ziyuan-3 is a high-resolution remote sensing satellite.
To understand the nature of this satellite launch, we need to look back at earlier launches of China’s Ziyuan satellites.
When it launched its Ziyuan-2 satellite on Sept. 1, 2001, Bill Gertz of The Washington Times reported that the Chinese regime was disguising it as a civilian earth monitoring system. In actuality, he reported, it was a reconnaissance satellite which was used to target U.S. forces operating in the region.
The 2001 satellite was also launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launching Center in Shanxi Province, and Chinese authorities made the same claims about its use as they are now with the current satellite. Chinese authorities said in 2001, according to Gertz, that its uses would include “territorial surveying, city planning, crop yield assessment, disaster monitoring and space science experimentation.”
An unnamed official said otherwise, however. Gertz reported, “An official familiar with intelligence reports on the launch said it is ‘a photoreconnaissance satellite used exclusively for military purposes.’” The official added, “Contrary to officially announced civilian missions, this spacecraft is actually a high-resolution imagery satellite that is producing images of military targets in the areas surrounding China.”
Read MoreChina’s Secret Space Weapons Have the Pentagon Worried
NASA SpaceFlight reported that the ZiYuan-1 program is focused on Earth resources, and “appears to have two distinct military and civil branches.” Its ZiYuan-2 program “is likely used for aerial surveillance operated by the People’s Liberation Army.” The new ZiYuan-3 program, it states, is for stereo mapping and “will be operated by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.”
The line the Chinese regime is using for the new ZiYuan-3 program is almost the same as it used for the ZiYuan-2 satellites that Gertz exposed. The Indian Express reported the satellite is for “land resource surveys, natural disaster prevention, agricultural development, water resources management and urban planning, among other tasks.”

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This news analysis was originally dispatched as part of Epoch Times China email newsletters. Subscribe to the newsletters by filling your email in the “China D-brief” box under this article.
There have been four cases of Chinese espionage against the United States in just the last three weeks. These haven’t been the run-of-the-mill cyberspies either; these are Cold War-style cases of individuals allegedly caught spying on behalf of a communist regime.
Three of the cases involved people trying to steal nuclear technology. Another involved the theft of cutting-edge technology for unmanned submarines.
The first case garnered the most attention. On April 8, the U.S. military held the first hearing on the case of Lt. Cmdr. Edward Chieh-Liang Lin. The U.S. military officer and Taiwanese immigrant served as a “nuclear-trained enlisted sailor” and as a signals intelligence expert, and was allegedly spying on behalf of Taiwan and Mainland China.
Just five days later, a Chinese citizen, Fuyi “Frank” Sun, 52, was arrested in New York for trying to obtain sensitive carbon fiber used in nuclear centrifuges. Sun allegedly told undercover agents he worked for the Chinese regime’s missile program and had close ties to the Chinese military.
The next day, on April 14, another individual was indicted, alongside a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company, in a conspiracy case in Tennessee. Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho was allegedly acting on behalf of the state-run company to illegally transfer nuclear materials to China.
Then, just seven days later on April 21, Amin Yu, 53, was charged in Florida for “acting as an illegal agent” for China and trying to steal sensitive technology, including for unmanned underwater vehicles.
If the tables were turned, and four American spies were caught spying on another country—especially if it were in the course of a few weeks—it would be an international scandal. But with China, the world seems to have gotten somewhat desensitized to its brazen use of espionage.
In fact, only two of the cases were broadly covered by U.S. news outlets.
The unfortunate fact is that there are so many cases of Chinese espionage against the United States—both using cyberattacks and human spies—that they’ve begun to blend in with each other.
Chinese espionage has become the “dog bites man” story, where cases are so common that they’ve lost their shock value. People are no longer surprised by the cases, and so many news outlets seem to gloss over them.
But the importance of these cases is no less significant than it was during the Cold War, and the frequency of spy cases coming out of China isn’t a whole lot different.
The fact is that while China’s use of cyberattacks for espionage has taken center stage, it also has a very large system for conventional espionage—and its spies on both ends will often work together.
The Chinese military’s two main departments for this type of espionage are overseen by its General Staff Department. The cyberattacks are run under its Third Department, which handles signals intelligence (SIGINT); while its human intelligence (HUMINT) operations are carried out by its Second Department.
Epoch Times reported previously that the Chinese regime has between 250,000 and 300,000 soldiers under its Third Department dedicated to cyberespionage. Its Second Department has between 30,000 and 50,000 human spies working on insider operations.
The Chinese military also runs more than 3,200 military front companies in the United States, which are dedicated to theft. The information was revealed by the FBI’s former deputy director for counterintelligence, in a 2010 report from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
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With these numbers in mind, it’s important to point out that even though cases of Chinese espionage (both SIGINT and HUMINT) are regularly exposed, the cases brought to light are just a drop in the ocean compared to the broader picture of what’s taking place.
There is also a lot of overlap between China’s use of cyberattacks and human spies. Sources told Epoch Times in a previous interview that Chinese cyberspies will even at times launch cyberattacks to cover the tracks of spies working as insiders in U.S. businesses and government agencies.
The rationale of using human intelligence operatives was explained well in a previous interview with Jarrett Kolthoff, president of cyber counterintelligence company SpearTip and a former special agent in U.S. Army counterintelligence.
Kolthoff told Epoch Times that Chinese spies are interested in “quantity first, quality second,” and often grab everything they can. He said they look for whatever approach is most effective for reaching this goal, and they “determine that it’s much easier to obtain the information through a rogue insider, or a trusted insider who is working for someone else.”
He said that while the human spy is at work, cyberspies will then launch attacks as a ruse, and this makes it appear the information was stolen through a cyberattack instead of an insider. This prevents the company or agency from searching for the insider spy, and Kolthoff noted “it’s very, very effective.”

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Chinese telecom equipment giant ZTE Corp. was hit with trade sanctions from the U.S. Department of Commerce last month for allegedly violating laws restricting exports of American made technology to Iran and other nations.
Trading of ZTE’s shares was suspended for a month on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and is down more than 3 percent since April 7 when trading finally resumed.
The sanctions were temporarily lifted until June 30, assuming ZTE continues to cooperate with U.S. authorities. The increased scrutiny will likely expose other Chinese firms to similar bans, potentially introducing volatility and downward pressure on Chinese stocks—with the Shanghai Composite already down 13 percent year-to-date.
The U.S. government has been investigating ZTE’s activities dating back to 2012. The company allegedly created shell entities to sell software and telecom equipment containing components made in the United States to Iran, which is in violation of U.S. economic sanctions.
On March 7, the U.S. government barred manufacturers from selling U.S.-made electronic components to ZTE. The sanction was a major setback to ZTE’s global operations. The company delayed releasing its 2015 financial statements by around two weeks to assess its bottom line impact, and three top executives left the firm. Shi Lirong, CEO since 2010, and two executive vice presidents stepped down from their posts on April 5.
The case is ongoing and ZTE isn’t in the clear yet. “The investigations are still in progress, and may result in criminal and civil liabilities under U.S. laws,” the company announced April 6 when it released its 2015 earnings.
A Critical Case
The Shenzhen-based ZTE, China’s second largest telecom company, relies on key U.S. components for much of its equipment. “In the information and communications technology sector, Chinese companies are unable to wholly rely on self-production,” an equities analyst in Hong Kong told Caixin, a Chinese business magazine.
“China still lags behind in key areas, such as the production of computer chips, storage devices, electronic devices used in telecom towers and other advanced materials.”
An unfavorable outcome to ongoing investigations could bar procurement of critical components from U.S. vendors such as Qualcomm for smartphone chips and Xilinx for base station chips, a catastrophic result for ZTE’s global business.
ZTE currently has less than 5 percent global market share on mobile phones, and its latest smartphones all use Qualcomm chips. It’s also a major player in networking equipment such as base stations and switches.
The investigations are still in progress, and may result in criminal and civil liabilities.— ZTE

In a research note to investors, Nomura Securities last month estimated that between 10 and 15 percent of ZTE’s components are sourced from U.S. companies. Of those components, ZTE would be able to secure alternative vendors to cover only 30 percent of its needs from U.S. companies, according to Commerce Department estimates. That means production on some products would be halted, severely crippling ZTE’s ability to compete.
Huawei Implicated?
The Commerce Department released internal ZTE documents from 2011—marked as “top secret internal use only”—which detailed its plans to set up seemingly unrelated intermediary companies to facilitate exports to countries such as North Korea and Iran.
To justify the plan, ZTE analyzed similar trading structures set up by a firm with the alias F7, a competitor to ZTE. A document described how F7 had so-called “cut-off companies” to “sign contracts for projects in embargoed countries.”
The document admitted that once American authorities notified Congress of F7’s business interests in embargoed countries, F7’s ability to do business in the U.S. was hampered. “In 2010, F7’s proposal to acquire U.S. 3Leaf Company was opposed by the U.S. government, citing the impact to U.S. national security,” the memo said.
The company F7 as described by ZTE sounds suspiciously similar to none other than its biggest rival, China’s No. 1 telecom firm Huawei Technologies.
In 2010, the Justice Department blocked Huawei’s purchase of 3Leaf Systems due to national security concerns. ZTE’s documents also claimed that F7 had an ongoing joint venture with U.S.-based digital security firm Symantec. Huawei apparently teamed up with Symantec in 2008 to jointly develop computer network security products, and the alliance was terminated by Symantec in 2012 on grounds that its partnership could jeopardize Symantec’s relationship with U.S. government agencies.
ZTE also described the company as a formidable competitor. “This [F7’s] cut-off company’s capital credit and capability are relatively strong compared to our company; it can cut off risks more effectively,” the document read.
Huawei, with annual revenues of more than $60 billion, is much larger than ZTE and has a bigger footprint in the United States as a leading smartphone maker. It would be hardly surprising if ZTE sought to replicate Huawei’s business practices.
The Pentagon and U.S. Congress believe Huawei has Chinese military ties, and the company has been accused of forging government documents and hacking government e-mail systems. In 2014, the Washington Times reported that Huawei attempted to breach the NSA’s computer network.
The ongoing ZTE case could signal that the U.S. government is increasing investigation and enforcement of trade embargo rules. And Chinese companies, especially ones in the engineering, construction, and financial sectors could be in the crosshairs.
As early as 2010, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence believes several Chinese companies and banks were engaged in exporting restricted technologies to Iran, possibly for use in its military missile program.
Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute, owned by Chinese aerospace firm Avic, was placed on a watchlist in 2014 by the Commerce Department for its business with Iran.
While certain U.N. sanctions against Iran were eased recently, the U.S. continues to maintain unilateral economic sanctions against Iran. As of April 17, no official U.S. investigations have been announced for Huawei.
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There are unconfirmed reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is dating alleged Chinese spy Wendi Deng, the former wife of Rupert Murdoch.
US Weekly cited an unnamed insider on March 31 saying the two are in a serious relationship. It also claims rumors of their relationship have been floating around for at least a couple years.
Putin was married to Lyudmila Putina for 30 years, before announcing their divorce in June 2013. Deng, on the other hand, was married to Murdoch for 14 years, but they reached a settlement in their divorce in November 2013.
While Deng has been accused of being a Chinese spy. there’s no solid evidence that she is acting on behalf of the Chinese regime. She does, however, seem to fancy men in places of power.
Rumors of her alleged role as a Chinese spy were the backdrop to her 2013 divorce with Murdoch, along with rumors she was having an affair with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Australian businessman Clive Palmer claimed in September 2013 that “Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy and that’s why Rupert got rid of her.” He made the claims while also claiming he would sue Murdoch over an unfavorable article on his finances, which had been published in a Murdoch-owned newspaper, The Australian.
“You know Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy and that’s been right across the world,” Palmer said, according to the Daily Mail.
“She’s been spying on Rupert for years, giving money back to Chinese intelligence,” he said.
Deng was allegedly introduced to Murdoch through a wine spilling “accident” at a cocktail party. There were rumors that her eventual marriage with Murdoch had to do with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) desire to influence news coverage in overseas news outlets.
Chinese state media did little to quell suspicions of Deng’s past. Soon after Murdoch filed for divorce in June 2013, the state-run news outlet People’s Daily published an article titled, “Murdoch’s reason for divorce: Getting rid of Deng’s control over News Corp.”
Vision Times reported that under the terms for divorce, Deng wasn’t given any assets in Murdoch’s News Corp. It also notes that while Murdoch’s four adult children will inherit voting shares through Murdoch’s trust fund, his two daughters with Deng will get a non-voting fund (still worth $8.7 million).
It’s not an uncommon tactic for spy agencies to use sexual relationships, sometimes called “sexpionage,” as a method for spying—and this isn’t limited to Chinese spy agencies. It’s a method to compromise a targeted individual, often referred to as a “honey trap.”
Former KGB Director of Foreign Intelligence Oleg Kalugin gave a well-known description of Russia’s stance on this tactic.
“In America, in the West, occasionally you ask your men to stand up for their country. There’s very little difference. In Russia, we just ask our young women to lay down,” Kalugin said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Of course, the tactic doesn’t just use women. Spy agencies have used men for sexpionage just the same.
There were many documented cases of the tactic being used throughout the Cold War, but even recently there have been plenty of cases.
The Telegraph reported in 2011 that leaked French intelligence files claimed Chinese spies were using honey traps to spy on French companies.
An alleged Chinese spy operation was also uncovered in Japan in October 2013 operating out of a Kyoto hostess club. According to The Tokyo Reporter, the club was frequented by Japanese businessmen, and many of them revealed technologies and strategies for the Chinese market with the women employed there.
The Reporter states that the female manager was a Chinese national with alleged relatives in high-ranking positions in the CCP. A 32-year-old hostess working there and a 52-year-old Japan Self-Defense Force member were also arrested and found guilty for having a fake marriage.
In September 2014, a 60-year-old U.S. defense contractor in Hawaii, Benjamin Pierce Bishop, was sentenced to seven years in prison for passing top-secret government documents to his 27-year-old girlfriend, who was a Chinese national.
Information Bishop gave her included plans for the deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear systems and early warning radars, and other defense secrets, according to Reuters.
The process of finding people to exploit has been made even easier with social media, chat rooms, and other websites. Jody Westby, CEO of security company Global Cyber Risk explained some of its current uses in a previous interview with Epoch Times.
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Westby said that if a spy was targeting a business, for example, they would just search the company’s name on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, which would give them a map of the company’s employees.
After they map the company, they’ll start looking at the different profiles of its employees, searching for someone who has a trait that can be exploited—maybe they’re unhappy with their job, or they need money, or they’re involved in a bad relationship.
Individuals who are identified as having the “vulnerability” of lust are the typical targets for honey traps—but it can also be someone who is in a bad relationship, or who is looking for a relationship.

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An apparent copy of America’s top jet has been spotted via satellite sitting on Pucheng Neifu Airport, in Shaanxi province in central China.
The jet can be seen with liveuamap.com, which uses Google Maps, but doesn’t show up when viewed with Google Maps directly.
While the airport has no clear links to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Popular Mechanics notes that it’s located near the Xian Aeronautics Flight Experience Center, which doesn’t turn up any results when searched online.
What’s curious is that nearby are what appear to be replicas of other foreign military planes, including what looks like an American SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft, and what looks like an American E-2 Hawkeye early warning aircraft.
Replicas of U.S. planes are seen on a Chinese airfield, including an E-2 Hawkeye (center, left) and a SR-71 Blackbird (center, right). (Google Maps)
The Chinese regime previously stole more than 50 terabytes of data from U.S. defense and government networks, revealed NSA documents disclosed in January 2015.
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Among files stolen were radar designs and engine schematics for the F-35. It also said China had compromised the weapons systems of the F-22.
It wasn’t clear if the Chinese hackers had obtained models for the complete versions of either aircraft, but several experts have noted some remarkable similarities between the F-35 and China’s J-20 fighter jet.

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The Chinese regime is accusing a Canadian, Kevin Garratt, of spying and stealing state secrets. According to Chinese state-run news outlet Xinhua, authorities announced on Jan. 28 that Garratt will stand trial in Dandong City in northeast China’s Liaoning Province.
It appears the Chinese regime is using the case to lessen international pressure about its own use of espionage.
When he and his wife, Julie Garratt—who was released on bail last year—were arrested in Dandong in August 2014, it was widely reported that the arrests were a tit-for-tat move related to espionage.
Just one week before Garratt and his wife were arrested, Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the Chinese regime for supporting cyberspies who had hacked Canadian government computers and stolen information.
“Chinese authorities could be targeting them to send a message to Ottawa,” Vice News reported at the time, noting it was both the first time Canada had accused the Chinese regime of cyberespionage, and the first time the Chinese regime had accused a Canadian citizen of stealing state secrets.
Just a day prior to Garratt’s indictment on Jan. 27, a spy case involving a Chinese national made headlines in the United States, which may be related to the indictment’s timing.
Mo Hailong, pled guilty in an Iowa court to a long-term conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.
The case of Mo Hailong is significant. While stories about Chinese espionage are common, it’s rare that a Chinese national pleads guilty in a U.S. court for stealing trade secrets.
Chinese authorities have a track record of using spy accusations as a political tool.
In September and October 2015, Chinese authorities arrested four Japanese nationals. Japan denied the accusations—noting that one of the men had merely taken photos of Chinese military aircraft and airfields.
There was broad speculation at the time that the Chinese regime made the arrests in retaliation, after Japan made allegations about Chinese spies operating in Tokyo.
There have been similar cases of a tit for tat response over military and business issues. In August 2014, the Chinese regime declared Australia a military threat to its national security, after Australia finalized a 25-year military pact with the United States.
MORE:CHINA SECURITY: The Inner Workings of Chinese Economic Espionage
After the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice charged five Chinese military officers for cyberespionage in May 2014, the Chinese regime also responded by lashing out at U.S. technology companies—including Microsoft and IBM—which it accused of spying.
In this latest case, it’s likely the Chinese regime is using Garratt to lessen the bad press about its use of espionage, by supporting its frequently used excuse when facing spy accusations that China is also a victim of espionage.
While Mo Hailong is facing at most five years in prison, however, Garratt is facing the death sentence.

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