China threatened us again.
“We . . . will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”
Gen Zhu is a self-acknowledged “hawk” who has warned that China could strike the US with long-range missiles. But his threat to use nuclear weapons in a conflict over Taiwan is the most specific by a senior Chinese official in nearly a decade.
At an impromptu news conference shortly after Australia turned down his request for political asylum, the bookish Chen announced that he’d spent the last four years managing a network of 1,000 informants and spies in Australia on behalf of the Chinese government.
[. . .] Like those of most countries, China’s intelligence efforts employ a system of concentric circles, analysts said. Unlike U.S. intelligence agencies, with their reliance on satellite data and high technology, China is known for its “humint,” or human intelligence.
“They can and do send out thousands of people with limited tasking, flooding the target country,” said Larry M. Wortzel, a former U.S. Army attache in Beijing now at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.
China has three kinds of spies, asylum-seeker Hao told Australian reporters: “professional spies” paid to collect information, “working relationship” spies operating in business circles and “friends” in less formal networks, a category analysts said Chen’s 1,000 spies would fall into.
China employs a relatively small number of well-trained, professional spies, intelligence analysts said, charged with digging up the most sensitive military secrets and strategic policy.
In the second tier, China relies on well-placed front companies and scientists to go after key technologies, including dual military and civilian-use products that are easier to acquire than top-secret military items.
“But you use dual-use or trading companies as far from the embassy as possible,” said an intelligence expert who declined to be identified. “They’re a big radioactive tag.”
In one recent case, a Chinese American couple in Wisconsin was arrested on suspicion of selling China $500,000 worth of computer parts with potential applications in enhanced missile systems. [emphasis added]
Note that Australia turned down his request for asylum.
[. . .] The case has also embarrassed the government of Prime Minister John Howard, which critics accuse of putting trade ahead of human rights to avoid angering Beijing, a charge the administration denies.
It’s really time to think about whether we want our military bogged down in the Iraq quagmire, whether we should be borrowing hundreds of billions from China, and whether we need a draft.