China a bigger threat than nuclear-armed North Korea ~ Japan

Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force personnel

China’s growing military might has replaced North Korean belligerence as the main security threat to Japan, according to Tokyo’s annual defence review — this despite signs that Pyongyang could have nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

Key Points:

  • China’s military spending is set to rise more than three times that of Japan.
  • Beijing now routinely sends its air and sea patrols near Japan’s western Okinawa islands
  • Japan considers Chinese patrols near its territory a ‘”security concern”

The document’s security assessment on China — listing them as a threat — comes after a section on Japan’s ally, the United States, which, along with Japan’s own defence system, forms the cornerstone of Japan’s security.

This is the first time Beijing has achieved second place in the Defence White Paper, pushing North Korea into third position.

Russia, deemed by Japan as its primary threat during the Cold War, was in fourth place.

“The reality is that China is rapidly increasing military spending, and so people can grasp that we need more pages,” Minister of Defence Taro Kono said at a media briefing.

Full story here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-27/japan-promotes-china-as-bigger-threat-than-nuclear-armed-north/11554880

China Illuminates Outrageous Plans For U.S. Underwriting Of P.R.C. Threat, [VIDEO]

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2019

CONTACT: Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 104

COMMITTEE ON THE PRESENT DANGER: CHINA ILLUMINATES OUTRAGEOUS PLANS FOR U.S. UNDERWRITING OF P.R.C. THREAT  

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, MILITARY PERSONNEL PENSIONS TO BE TAPPED

Washington, D.C.— The Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) yesterday presented chilling evidence that U.S. capital markets have been – to paraphrase the quip attributed to Vladimir Lenin – giving the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) the money to pay for the rope with which they will hang us. In the course of the Committee’s eighth Threat Briefing, influential legislators, finance experts and national security practitioners joined forces to warn about the extraordinary dangers associated with this practice and to urge that an effort now underway to extend it to the retirement funds of U.S. government and military personnel, past and present, must be stopped immediately.

Full Story Here: https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2019/09/10/committee-on-the-present-danger-china-to-make-the-case-for-keeping-federal-pension-funds-out-of-threatening-p-r-c-hands/

Continuous Efforts By Chinese Hackers to Target Foreign Governments…

chinese hackers

Phishing is still one of the widely used strategies by cybercriminals and espionage groups to gain an initial foothold on the targeted systems.

Though hacking someone with phishing attacks was easy a decade ago, the evolution of threat detection technologies and cyber awareness among people has slowed down the success of phishing and social engineering attacks over the years.

Since phishing is more sort of a one-time opportunity for hackers before their victims suspect it and likely won’t fall for the same trick again, sophisticated hacking groups have started putting a lot of effort, time and research to design well-crafted phishing campaigns.

In one such latest campaign discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Check Point, a Chinese hacking group, known as Rancor, has been found conducting very targeted and extensive attacks against Southeast Asian government entities from December 2018 to June 2019.

 

Full story here: https://thehackernews.com/2019/10/chinese-hackers-phishing.html

China – Harsh punishments metered out for speech-related offenses; Deaths in custody, and execution fears

While the Chinese government has developed one of the world’s most technologically sophisticated systems for information control, authorities continue to use low-tech tactics to punish and deter critical reporting and commentary. The following are a selection of such cases from the past few months:

  • Long prison sentences: Huang Qi, the founder of the human rights website 64 Tianwang, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on July 29 for “intentionally leaking state secrets.” In late June, authorities sentenced Liu Pengfei, the moderator of a popular WeChat account that provided Chinese readers with access to foreign news, to two years’ imprisonment. Liu’s arrest came after warnings issued by state media in May that WeChat administrators could be held responsible for discussions in their groups. Mongolian historian Lhamjab A. Borjgin was sentenced on July 3 to one year in prison with a two-year reprieve for “national separatism” and “illegal business [activities]” related to dissemination of his book, China’s Cultural Revolution.
  • Deaths in custody, and execution fears: Chinese Human Rights Defenders reported on September 23 that police had alerted relatives of activist Wang Meiyu that he had died in custody in Hunan. Wang was detained in July after holding a placard in public calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation and the conduct of national elections. In a separate case, Meng Hong, an elderly Falun Gong practitioner sentenced to prison in 2013 for handing out flyers, reportedly died on July 30 while in custody, according to her daughter living in the United States. In Xinjiang, scholar and former president of Xinjiang University Tashpolat Teyip may be “imminently” executed, according to Radio Free Asia. Teyip’s brother has not been able to contact him since his disappearance in 2017 en route to a conference in Germany.

Read Much More Here: https://freedomhouse.org/china-media/china-media-bulletin-cctv-spreads-disinformation-hong-kong-journalists-attacked-activists-die-in-custody-no-138

China issues Passport Information to University Staff….

 

Australia: Beijing’s passport order to University of Technology Sydney staff

Academic staff at University of Technology Sydney refused to hand over personal details, including their passport numbers, after China’s Education Ministry demanded the information to continue a course for visiting students.

Science faculty associate dean for international partnerships ­Graham Nicholson told 21 UTS academics they were required to disclose their passport numbers and dates of birth “as part of the ongoing review of this program” by the ministry.

“You may be concerned by the request for your passport number,” he said in an email obtained by The Australian. “In China, all citizens have an identity card. As we don’t have these in Australia the next best ­option for them is your current passport number.”

Full Story Here: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/beijings-passport-order-to-university-of-technology-sydney-staff/news-story/449ed343de20368803624443e7cf37e7

 

Vanuatu’s lucrative ‘passports for sale’ scheme for Chinese nationals….

A top-down shot of a person handing over Chinese yuan for a green Vanuatu passport.
Photo: Vanuatu passports have been mostly sold to applicants from mainland China under the scheme. (ABC News: GFX/Jarrod Fankhauser)

Are you in the market for a second passport? One that can get you into scores of countries — including Europe, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia — without needing a visa?

Key Points:

  • Applicants can become a Vanuatu citizen without needing to set foot in the country
  • It costs about $220,000 for a single application and more for couples and families
  • More than 4,000 passports have been sold under the scheme, with most to Chinese citizens

Or perhaps you’d like to park your money in a tax haven where there are no personal or corporate income taxes.

Maybe you’d just like to get away from the rat race and live on a picturesque tropical island in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu, then, could be the place for you.

These are some of the selling points of Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment scheme, or cash-for-passports as it’s also known locally.

Sales have been booming in recent years, providing the Government with an unexpected but lucrative source of revenue.

Full Story Here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/vanuatu-passports-for-sale-scheme-to-chinese-nationals/11387292

Papua New Guinea asks China for help to refinance $11.8b national debt..

James Marape walks up some steps with a crowd of people behind him.
Photo: James Marape was sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister in May. (Supplied: PNG Prime Minister’s Office)

In a move experts say could give Beijing even greater influence over Australia’s nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape has reached out to China to help refinance its 27 billion kina ($11.8 billion) national debt.

Key points:

  • Experts are concerned PNG could become shackled to China’s political interests
  • PNG’s debt stands at about 32.8 per cent of GDP
  • PNG wants to move away from an “aid-donor” relationship with Australia

Mr Marape made the request yesterday in a meeting with China’s ambassador to PNG Xue Bing in Port Moresby, according to a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon by his office.

But this afternoon, the Prime Minister appeared to backtrack on the Government’s earlier claims and said the statement was issued to media without his knowledge.

Full Story Here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/png-to-ask-china-for-help-refinancing-national-debt/11391186

Japan; Police arrest another Chinese man cashless payment service fraud…

セブン‐イレブン、7payと同時にPayPay、メルペイ、LINE Payにも対応 - iPhone Mania

Police said Wednesday they have arrested a 25-year-old Chinese man over alleged fraud using the new cashless payment service for Seven-Eleven convenience stores.

Wu Yun Si Qin is suspected of purchasing 10 cartons of e-cigarette cartridges worth 50,000 yen at a 7-Eleven outlet in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward on the afternoon of July 3 by using what is believed to be a 7pay ID and password stolen from a 45-year-old man in Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture.

The suspect, a Nakano Ward resident, has admitted to the allegation, saying he was asked by an acquaintance to make the purchase, and the police suspect there is a crime group behind the case.

The payment service by Seven & i Holdings Co was hacked soon after its launch on July 1, and 808 people have lost a total of 38.61 million yen, as of the end of last month, after their IDs and passwords were stolen.

Full Story Here: https://japantoday.com/category/crime/police-arrest-another-chinese-man-over-7pay-fraud

Hong Kong; Tanks on the streets, Beijing keeps its options open…

A group of Chinese soldiers shouting while grasping bayonets

As another weekend of potentially violent clashes in Hong Kong nears, many people in the semi-autonomous Chinese city and around the world are asking the same question: would China really send in the People’s Liberation Army?

Key points:

  • Analysts say the chances of PLA soldiers descending into Hong Kong aren’t high
  • Hong Kong still has 28 years to go of its One Country, Two Systems model
  • Sending troops would deeply strain a number of diplomatic and financial relations

In recent weeks, the Chinese Government has gone to great lengths to tease the idea publicly.

A propaganda video from the Hong Kong garrison showing troops quelling civil unrest along with a similar large-scale police drill just across the mainland border were hardly subtle in their messaging.

Full Story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-09/would-china-send-troops-to-hong-kong-to-crush-the-protests/11392704