China's aggression going out of this world (Philippine Star)

Just how alarming China’s expansionist activities are becoming can be gauged by the tension that pervaded the high-level diplomatic talks in Malaysia, with the ASEAN ministers having difficulty in drafting the joint final statement that in very careful language expressed “serious concerns” about the land reclamation activities in the South China Sea.

Stating that the activities have “eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace and security and stability” in SCS, the communique almost echoed the sentiments of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario who has, from the beginning, warned about the serious and disturbing implications of China’s activities in the disputed territories. While his may have been a lonely voice at the beginning, many are gratified to see that his adamant stance over the dispute has started to resonate among our neighbors who were initially hesitant to voice the same concerns. Recent satellite images disclosed that the construction of a 3,000-meter long airstrip in one of the disputed areas in the Spratlys is almost complete, and a US-based think-tank recently reported that China is set to build another similar structure that could be used for military combat purposes.

As an analyst pointed out, China is building “unsinkable carriers” through its reclamation activities in the disputed maritime territories claiming almost the whole area, in fact. China may keep denying it, but there is no doubt in the minds of many that it is engaged in a game of brinkmanship, trying to (literally and figuratively) test the waters and see how far it can get away with its belligerence in the disputed maritime territories. Some are convinced that it is challenging the US economically, politically and military which could pose a serious threat to world peace.

A noted financial analyst confirmed that China is moving to undermine the dollar and trying to establish the yuan as the most dominant foreign currency, seen when it put up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Some have described the move as China’s gambit to set a “new world order” with this soft approach, making money talk as seen in the way it was able to convince a lot of countries even its traditional rival India which has the second biggest stake after China with 8 percent.

Aside from the South China and East China Seas, the Chinese dragon is also trying to sink its claws over the Indian Ocean in what has been described as the “string of pearls” strategy spanning several maritime choke points from the Malay Peninsula to Pakistan, the Maldives and down to Sudan and Somalia. The Chinese have also been making quiet incursions into disputed land borders. Earlier in April, residents in a small village in Burma raised a howl of protest when Chinese soldiers erected a Chinese flag in a disputed territory and said they will build a bridge. The village officials stood firm, saying the friendly relations between the Burmese and Chinese governments would suffer if the soldiers persisted.

Cyberspace is also being invaded, with numerous reports of Chinese hackers penetrating key private and government offices including defense organizations. These hacking activities have actually been going on for years. Two days ago, reports said an elite Chinese cyber espionage group was caught trying to get into the sensitive data files of defense contractors, aerospace firms, carmakers, law firms and political organizations all over the world.

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Chinese aggression is literally going out of this world as seen in their actions involving outer space. According to intelligence sources, China has been boosting its space warfare capabilities in the last 10 years the first warning signal noted by the intelligence community in 2007 when China tested an anti-satellite missile that shot down an orbiting weather satellite creating 3,000 pieces of dangerous debris that are now orbiting in space.

China has since tested six more ground-based anti-satellite weapons raising serious concerns about the vulnerability of virtually every satellite in orbit. A report by the US Department of Defense said China’s space program has been rapidly expanding even outpacing Russia which has set aside billions to develop its space warfare capabilities. As of October last year, China has launched 16 spacecraft that greatly enhanced its satellite communications and surveillance capabilities and providing very high-resolution imagery.

US intel officials confirmed that China has built a vast infrastructure for ground-based missiles and lasers, satellite jammers and other weapons that could destroy satellites and damage sensitive optics and electronics. If this happens, it will wreak havoc on US military communications, navigation and war fighting capabilities.

Sources also disclosed Beijing’s plan for space warfare as outlined in a People’s Liberation Army tome where the potential of “concomitant” or associated satellites to jam GPS (Global Positioning System) signals was discussed. What’s more, these concomitant satellites can also function as surveillance and electronic reconnaissance assets, and can be utilized for deception and information assault.

Earlier, a US military official has sounded alarm bells about the Chinese potential to destroy every satellite in outer space. Adding to the uneasiness is the announcement by Chinese researchers that they are set to launch the SJ-10, a “retrievable scientific research satellite” in the first half of 2016. China is also working on a more ambitious project in finishing a space station by 2022 timed when the funding for the International Space Station (which banned Chinese astronauts over security concerns) runs out opening up the great possibility of China becoming the only nation with a permanent presence in outer space. In which case, the security and sustainability of the outer space environment and the space systems themselves could be put under very serious threat.

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