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Others urge Beijing to "strike first", "prepare for conflict" or "kill a chicken to scare the monkeys". They routinely denounce the Obama administration's recent "pivot" to Asia - without naming the United States, Ren in his Melbourne speech accused "external countries" of complicating disputes in Asia. In a political system where civilian officials hew to tightly scripted public positions, these uniformed pundits, both serving and retired, appear free to go well beyond the official line.

Almost all of the most-outspoken generals are military academics or theorists. Foreign military analysts are uncertain if the hawks represent a majority opinion in the 2. It is also unclear if operational commanders share the views of these so-called "activist officers. However, there is one generally agreed explanation for their prominence: The PLA now has something to talk about.

That money has paid for the warships, strike aircraft and missiles allowing the PLA to plan for distant conflict. For the first time in its modern history, China has the firepower to contest control of disputed territory far from its coastal waters.

Over the same period, China has emerged from decades of isolation to become a powerful trading nation with a complex global web of commercial and diplomatic ties. That means military planners are increasingly concerned with security of sea lanes - particularly in the South China Sea - that carry manufactured exports and imports of vital energy and raw materials.

For some Chinese foreign policy researchers, the emergence of the hawks is part of Beijing's "good cop-bad cop" strategy to influence diplomatic negotiations over the disputed territory. For anxious neighbors, though, the tough talk backed up with firepower delivered over a three-decade military buildup, is sending an unnerving signal that a rising China may be ready to use force.

It also conflicts with repeated assurances of a "peaceful rise" from the civilian leadership in Beijing. Japan's Defense Ministry has flagged the Chinese armed forces' growing role in shaping foreign policy as a security risk.

The degree of military influence on foreign policy decisions could possibly be changing, the paper said, adding: The relationship will be closely watched as China's new leader, Xi Jinping , begins to stamp his authority on the Communist Party and the military.

Xi, the "princeling" son of late party leader, military commander and economic reformer Xi Zhongxun, has clearly signaled he will be a strong nationalist. His first speeches after taking power in November had a strong patriotic flavor, with appeals for a "renaissance" of the Chinese nation. As chairman of the Central Military Commission and head of the party, Xi takes command of the PLA after years of cementing close ties with influential senior officers.

One of his jobs after graduation from university was personal secretary to Geng Biao, a revolutionary military commander who became Defense minister after the Cultural Revolution. Xi is close to two influential and outspoken officers who like him are themselves princelings , or offspring of senior leaders: The two are not related. Xi can even be said to be married to the military.

His wife, celebrity folk singer Peng Liyuan, is a civilian member of the PLA, holding a rank equivalent to major general. Some analysts say Xi's family background and his own experience will enable him to exert more control over the PLA than his predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin. While it is too early to say if Xi will encourage or tolerate his outspoken generals, political analysts agree the hawks can be silenced when it suits the political leadership.

When Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the United States in early , it was important to Beijing that the high profile visit go smoothly and Hu receive state honors in Washington. Hawkish talk among the officer pundits died down in the run-up to that trip.

Paramilitary police blocked protesters in Shanghai last September after anti-Japan protests swept China. Among the most bellicose are in a group of about 20 military officers who have become star media and online performers in recent years, including Air Force Colonel Dai Xu, retired army Major General Luo Yuan and Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong. Their commentary and blogs get widespread coverage in state-owned media, military publications and specialist websites that cater to a vast domestic audience eager for news and opinion about China's growing military power.

Their commentary is in demand as part of the extensive coverage devoted to the new warships, tanks, missiles and strike aircraft now entering service with the PLA.

The impact of these new weapons is endlessly analyzed, particularly in scenarios where China is at war with the United States and its regional allies. For retired officers on modest PLA pensions, this market for commentary and analysis provides extra income and the gratification of a high profile in the media, Chinese military experts say.

And, serving officers can advance their careers if their views strike a chord with the military hierarchy. With China in dispute for much of last year with Japan in the East China Sea and Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea, Dai argued a short, decisive war, like China's border clash with India, would deliver long-term peace. He also said Washington would not risk war with China over these territorial spats.

An animated speaker with a shock of thick black hair that's slightly long for a military man, Dai sometimes appears for television interviews in fashionable civilian clothes. On other occasions he appears on the state-controlled military channel, CCTV 7, in his neat, sky-blue air force uniform giving lectures to junior officers on air power or conflicts in the Middle East.

He is also the author of popular books on China's strategic outlook. His best seller, "Sea Totem, China's Carrier," argues that China's new aircraft carrier, commissioned in September, is a symbol of the nation's maritime rejuvenation. Dai did not respond to a request for comment on this article. Luo, who often appears in uniform for his television appearances or panel discussions, has built up a strong online and media following with frequent hard-line advice for dealing with maritime disputes.

His suggestions, however, that Taiwan and mainland China should send hundreds of fishing boats to the Diaoyu islands to fight a "people's war at sea" and to turn the tiny, uninhabited islands into a firing range appear to have been tongue in cheek. Mixed in with his sometimes combustible rhetoric are practical suggestions, including his recent recommendation that China form a coastguard on the U. The chance of conflict in the South China Sea and East China sea this year is arguably high because rival claimants had enacted domestic laws to legitimize overlapping sovereignty claims and had deployed forces to prevent encroachments, he said.

This meant China must take precautions to prevent clashes. China and Japan have grown increasingly bellicose over this group of uninhabited islets and outcroppings known as the Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

That was basically the line from the Chinese Defense Ministry in a written reply to questions about the hawkish officers. The government would never waver in its determination to maintain China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the ministry said.

For some PLA watchers, the scope for these officers to voice controversial opinions is further evidence of expanding freedom of speech in China. There are extreme views from each end," added Ho, a former senior Hong Kong government official and now an advisor to Beijing. A robust debate over national security is "normal" for a major power, Australia's Rudd says. But we find it strange when it happens in another country.

Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong is the best-known of the hawk commentators, appearing frequently as a program host on CCTV 7 and other state-run television outlets. Virulently anti-American, he has a low opinion of U. The United States would "run like a rabbit" if China went to war with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands, he told state television on August Zhang, a professor at Beijing's National Defense University who has studied at Britain's Royal Military College of Science, is also disparaging about neighboring countries' fighting capabilities.

Last year, during the Scarborough Shoal standoff, he told participants of a People's Daily Internet forum it would be a one-sided fight if China clashed with the Philippines. Manila's most potent warship was a 3,tonne, s vintage former U.

Zhang's reputation as a prognosticator, however, has taken a few lumps. He warned of a series of calamities for the U. More recently, Zhang also wrongly predicted Libyan dictator Muammur Gaddafi would prevail over the rebels seeking his overthrow.

On occasion, a battery of belligerent top brass will concentrate their firepower on a perceived challenge to China's territory or dignity. Calling for a tough stand against Tokyo, they accused rightists in Japan of moving the country dangerously toward a revival of its World War Two militarism.

The drumbeat of threats and warnings from uniformed officers is contributing to regional apprehension about China's territorial intentions. Southeast Asian nations have welcomed the U. They are strengthening ties with Washington and boosting military spending. Right-wing voices in Japan calling for re-armament are gaining ground - a trend that solidified with December's landslide election of the hawkish Shinzo Abe as prime minister. Abe has proposed the first increase in Japan's Defense budget in 11 years, citing repeated Chinese incursions into disputed waters.

In Melbourne, Ren explained that Beijing's military buildup was purely aimed at preventing a repetition of earlier foreign aggression that China had been too weak to resist. As PLA firepower mounts, China's political leaders will need to be careful the uniformed hawks don't go too far and increase the risk of conflict, security experts said.

It might be difficult to make concessions or compromise in negotiations over disputed territory once public opinion gets whipped up. Filed November 27, War exercises around East Asia are aimed at breaking what China views as a U. The drills, pitting a "red force" against a "blue force," were the first in this area, combining ships from China's main south , east and north fleets, according to the Chinese military. Land-based bombers and surveillance aircraft also flew missions past Japan to support the navy units.

In official commentaries, senior People's Liberation Army PLA officers boasted their navy had "dismembered" the so-called first island chain - the arc of islands enclosing China's coastal waters, stretching from the Kuril Islands southward through the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan, the Northern Philippines and down to Borneo.

Named Manoeuvre 5, these were no ordinary exercises. They were the latest in a series of increasingly complex and powerful thrusts through the first island chain into the Pacific.

For the first time in centuries, China is building a navy that can break out of its confined coastal waters to protect distant sea lanes and counter regional rivals. Beijing's military strategists argue this naval punch is vital if China is to avoid being bottled up behind a barrier of U. China, traditionally an inwardly focused continental power, is becoming a seagoing giant with a powerful navy to complement its huge ship-borne trade.

The Chinese navy is now the biggest in Asia, with 79 surface ships and 55 submarines. China's strongly nationalistic Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, has thrown his personal weight behind the maritime strategy.

In a speech to the Politburo in the summer, Xi said the oceans would play an increasingly important role this century in China's economic development, according to accounts of his remarks published in the state-controlled media.

China is also making waves in the South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with a number of littoral states. But it is the pace and tempo of its deployments and exercises around Japan that provide the clearest evidence of Beijing's "blue water" ambitions. Fleets of pale grey, PLA warships are a now a permanent presence near or passing through the Japanese islands.

An acrimonious standoff over a rocky jumble of disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyu in China, has given China an opportunity to flex its new maritime muscle. Beijing has deployed paramilitary flotillas and surveillance aircraft to this zone for more than a year, where they jostle with Japanese counterparts. Tension flared dangerously last week when China imposed a new air defense zone over the islands, demanding that foreign aircraft lodge flight plans with Beijing before entering this area.

In defiance of the zone on Tuesday, two unarmed U. B bombers on a training mission flew over the islands without informing Beijing. The flight did not prompt a response from China. Washington and Tokyo immediately signaled they would ignore the restriction. The Obama administration also reminded China that the treaty obliging the United States to defend Japan if it came under attack also covered the disputed islands. Particularly unnerving for Tokyo are the increasingly common transits of powerful Chinese naval squadrons through the narrowest straits of the Japanese archipelago, sometimes within sight of land.

This puts East Asia's two economic giants, both with potent navies, in direct military competition for the first time since the surrender of Japan's two million-strong invasion force in China. Drawing on a reservoir of bitterness over that earlier conflict, the demeanor of both sides signals this is a dangerous moment as U. Even if both sides exercise restraint, the risk of an accidental clash or conflict is ever present. Navy surface warfare officer. As the Manoeuvre 5 drills got under way, PLA Senior Colonel Du Wenlong said he was looking forward to units from the three regional Chinese fleets simultaneously crossing three key chokepoints - two through the Japanese islands, and one between Taiwan and the Philippines, according to reports in the official Chinese military media.

It is unclear if the warships performed a coordinated transit. But the exercises and the response of the Japanese military contributed to a spike in tension. In this and earlier exercises, the PLA provided daily commentaries and details of the ships, courses and drills, with pointed mention of transit points past Japan. Tokyo dispatched warships and aircraft to track and monitor the Chinese fleet in response to the latest drills. Japanese fighters also scrambled to meet Chinese bombers and patrol aircraft as they flew out to the exercises and back.

Japan's defense ministry later released surveillance photographs of a Chinese H6 bomber flying between Okinawa and Miyako Island on October All this attention clearly irritated the PLA leadership.

Beijing accused Japan of a "dangerous provocation" and lodged a formal diplomatic protest, complaining that a Japanese warship and aircraft disrupted a live fire exercise. While the drills were under way, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that his country would not be bullied. Naval commentators suggest the bellicose rhetoric shows that both sides are struggling to adjust to their new rivalry. Chinese and Japanese naval vessels circle each other around disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Part of the problem for Japan is that it has been slow to adjust to China's rise, according to some Chinese foreign policy analysts, and is now excessively anxious.

Some senior Japanese officers accept that China is within its rights to traverse international waters between the Japanese islands. Likewise, they say, the Japanese are entitled to track and monitor these movements and exercises. Koda adds that the Japanese military routinely monitors Russian naval operations around Japan without friction or protest. The ideological keel of Beijing's modern bid to become a maritime power was laid down as China's economic revival in the early s flowed through into sharply increased military budgets.

The starting point for China's leading maritime thinkers is the trauma of European and Japanese colonization. He has documented how China's failure to properly fund its navy was a factor in its defeat in the first Sino-Japanese war and the subsequent loss of Taiwan.

Zhang and Ni are regarded as China's leading advocates of the theories of the American naval officer, strategist and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan. Both subscribe to one of Mahan's principal ideas: A truly powerful nation must have thriving international trade, a merchant fleet to carry these goods and a strong navy to protect its sea lanes. Mahan's works, considered visionary in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are still avidly read and absorbed in Chinese naval schools, Chinese military analysts say.

The rise of earlier seafaring and trading powers - Portugal, Spain, Holland, Great Britain, the United States and Japan - have also provided important lessons for strategic thinkers. The vision and influence of the late Admiral Liu Huaqing, known as the father of the modern Chinese navy, also remains strong.

Liu, who died in , rose to become overall commander of the PLA and a member of the Communist Party's Politburo standing committee, the country's supreme ruling body. While Liu was head of the navy in the s, it was an obsolete, coastal fleet. But Liu was determined that China needed a blue-water fleet and aircraft carriers if it was to match the power of the United States and its allies.

Fundamental to the thinking of many Chinese strategists and military and political leaders is the conviction that China would be foolish to rely on the United States to protect its shipping. They acknowledge that the U. Navy has guaranteed freedom of navigation since the end of World War Two, underwriting an explosion in global trade to the benefit of most other countries, including China.

The figures bear this out. China last year overtook the United States as the world's biggest trader, according to official data from both countries. Up to 90 percent of Chinese trade is carried by sea, including most of its vital imports of energy and raw materials, shipping experts estimate. But Beijing's strategists fear the U. Almost all of China's naval thinkers also agree that recovering Taiwan is crucial to realizing the dream of maritime power.

Restoring "national unity" is a longstanding goal of the ruling Communist Party. But the self-governing island itself has immense strategic value, sitting astride sea lanes that are also vital for Japan and South Korea.

Control of Taiwan would open a huge breach in the first island chain around China. PLA warships and aircraft based on the island could extend China's military reach far into the Pacific and much closer to Japan, without the need to first pass through potential choke points or channels in the chain.

China's turn to the sea has boosted the status of the navy, long the poor relation of the armed forces. The PLA, traditionally a massive ground force, was built around the Maoist strategy of drawing an invading enemy deep into the hinterland, where it could be destroyed through attrition.

Military strategists say this was thinkable before the country industrialized. Now that the eastern seaboard is the throbbing engine of the world's second-ranked economy, fighting a war here would be catastrophic for China, win or lose, they say.

Far better to meet challenges at sea or on the territory of a hostile nation. The late Admiral Liu is credited with sharply increasing the navy's share of the defense budget, outlays that have paid for a rapidly expanding fleet. In its annual assessment of the Chinese military published earlier this year, the Pentagon said the Chinese navy, now the biggest in Asia, deployed 79 major surface warships and more than 55 submarines, among other vessels.

And the PLAN last year commissioned its first aircraft carrier. Wu Shengli, the powerful admiral who now leads this force, is widely regarded as the most influential naval officer since Admiral Liu.

Wu is also a member of the Central Military Commission, China's top military council. PLAN warships are now highly visible in all major oceans, with an active schedule of ship visits to foreign ports. The Chinese navy is part of the international anti-piracy force in the Gulf of Aden. These deployments are heavily publicized in the state-controlled media as the navy becomes a symbol of China's growing international prestige. This openness also applies to combat exercises. But it is difficult to accuse Beijing of secrecy when it comes to recent naval operations near Japan.

The state-run media and a stable of specialist military newspapers, journals, web-sites and television channels devote blanket coverage to the deployment of warships, submarines, aircraft and patrol vessels on missions near China's neighbor.

Some military commentators say Japan shouldn't overreact to these messages, as they are primarily aimed at a domestic Chinese audience. For exercise Manoeuvre 5, the Chinese navy followed the U. Regular television reports from the Type guided missile destroyer Guangzhou showed the 6, ton warship ploughing through heavy seas on route to the exercises.

Officers and sailors were interviewed at battle stations while they tracked targets and prepared missile launches. Tokyo is keeping careful score. In its latest Defense White Paper, published in July, the Japanese military charted steadily expanding PLA deployments near Japan since , documenting bigger visiting fleets, more powerful warships and increasingly complex exercises involving helicopters, support vessels and land-based aircraft. At first, Chinese warships mostly used the wide Miyako Strait between Okinawa and Miyako Island, according to statements from the Chinese and Japanese militaries.

Since then, in a series of firsts, they have transited all the other important channels between the Japanese islands, according to Japan's White Paper. The Chinese fleet continued on around the Japanese islands and back to China. Some Chinese strategists reject fears that deploying a powerful navy increases the odds of conflict. For Japan, there might even be an upside. Chinese warships used to be mostly confined to home waters, and thus hidden.

Now, they can now be monitored. China's growing maritime power has emerged as the biggest challenge to the Japanese military since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tokyo this year halted a decade of declining military outlays with an 0. Defense outlays next year are expected to increase more sharply by about 3 per cent according to senior Japanese military officials.

Japanese military analysts believe their navy still holds a clear advantage in technology and firepower over its Chinese rival but the gap is closing. China this year increased its Defense budget by As Tokyo increases military outlays, it is also repositioning and re-equipping its military. Throughout the Cold War, the Japanese Self Defense Force concentrated the bulk of its firepower in its northern islands, ready to confront the Soviet Union and assist the U.

Now Tokyo is in the early stages of redeploying its forces to the west to counter the sharply increased tempo of Chinese naval operations. The Japanese military is planning to introduce an amphibious landing force, akin to the U. The first members of the 3,strong force will be drawn from the army, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

Japan already has a powerful fleet of helicopter carriers and amphibious landing ships that could support this type of operation. And, it is testing some new amphibious assault vehicles needed to land troops.

Recent exercises also suggest Tokyo's Defense planners are pre-occupied with threats to outlying islands. Just as China's latest major exercise around the Japanese archipelago drew to a close, Japan launched an day exercise involving 34, troops that included an amphibious landing on an uninhabited atoll south of Okinawa. Earlier this year, 1, Japanese troops took part in a joint amphibious landing exercise in California with U.

By John Shiffman and Duff Wilson. Filed December 17, As Beijing seeks to close the military gap, Washington faces a wave of attempts to smuggle out sensitive U. They tread carefully, quickly snapping digital pictures so they could put everything back in place. The agents had allowed a Colorado manufacturer to ship He a type of technology that China covets but cannot replicate: Known as rad-chips, the dime-sized devices are critical for operating satellites, for guiding ballistic missiles, and for protecting military hardware from nuclear and solar radiation.

It was a gamble. This was a chance to take down an entire Chinese smuggling ring. But if He succeeded in trafficking the rad-chips to China, the devices might someday be turned against U.

The microchips were gone. The supervisor on the case, Greg Slavens, recoiled. It also has enacted laws and regulations aimed at keeping that technology away from potential adversaries such as Iran, North Korea and the nation that poses perhaps the most significant long-term threat to U. President Xi Jinping is championing a renaissance aimed at China asserting its dominance in the region and beyond.

A classified Pentagon advisory-board report this year, for instance, asserted that Chinese hackers had gained access to plans for two dozen U. Philip He working as an engineer on a Bay Bridge renovation project in October At the time, he was the target of a Homeland Security sting, suspected of smuggling radiation-hardened microchips to China.

But the smuggling of technology such as radiation-hardened microchips out of America may present a more immediate challenge to the U. If China hacks into a sensitive blueprint, years might pass before a weapon can be manufactured. Ready-made components and weapons systems can be - and are - used immediately. Beijing says its efforts to modernize its military are above-board.

How often the Chinese succeed at acquiring U. By its very definition, black market smuggling is hard to monitor and quantify. Quite often, sensitive U. China also presents a special challenge: It is both the largest destination for legally exported American-made goods outside North America and the most or second-most frequent destination for smuggled U. By one Pentagon calculation, suspicious queries to U.

Reuters analyzed court records from arms-smuggling cases brought by the U. Reporters also interviewed two dozen counter-proliferation agents and reviewed hundreds of internal Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security and Commerce Department documents.

The number of counter-proliferation arrests related to all countries quadrupled from 54 to from to , internal law enforcement records show. Since , the number of China-related space-technology investigations - like the undercover case against the Oakland man - has increased approximately 75 percent, U. Since late , federal agents say they have begun nearly 80 space-and-satellite-related investigations.

Anderson was referring to cases involving all potentially hostile nations, not just China. It also demonstrates the difficulty in dismantling smuggling networks, even when a target appears patently suspicious from the get-go. The Oakland investigation began in spring The man wanted to buy two kinds of rad-chips - of one type and of the other. Buyers were expected to make a deposit, but nobody paid up front.

The suspicious Aeroflex employees contacted Homeland Security Investigations HSI , a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which keeps a special counter-proliferation office in the space technology hub of Colorado Springs. Sierra Electronic Instruments was a start-up run from the one-room office in Chinatown.

The HSI agents concluded that He was buying the rad-chips on behalf of someone else. China Aerospace officials did not respond to requests for comment. An official at a Shanghai subsidiary said he was unaware of the He purchases.

The rad-chips He ordered from Aeroflex are not the most powerful on the market, and could not operate a sophisticated military satellite on their own. But experts say they have few uses other than as one of the many components of a sophisticated satellite. These chips may be legally sold domestically, and to foreign buyers who obtain a State Department license. They may not be exported outside the United States to certain nations, including China. He had the chips sent to his office address in Oakland, making the deal legal.

The agents faced the key question that comes in almost every counter-proliferation case: Could they lure the suspect into a sting? If so, would it be worth the trouble? Undercover operations are time-consuming, expensive and risky. If agents dangled rad-chips in front of the suspect and he got away, the components would probably end up on Chinese satellites.

If they delivered the chips and watched him closely, he might lead them to a network traceable to Beijing. The agents in the case faced another complication: At the time, Aeroflex - the very manufacturer enlisted to help with the sting - was itself under civil investigation for sending rad-chips to China.

Although that investigation was still ongoing, Aeroflex had already admitted that it sent more than 14, rad-chips to China between and Aeroflex exported more than half of those chips even after U.

The company declined to comment, but documents show two mitigating factors - Aeroflex voluntarily disclosed the transgressions and blamed them in part on misreading complex and sometimes competing Commerce Department and State Department regulations. Even so, State Department regulators would ultimately conclude: Thus, if the HSI agents wanted to attempt a sting against the man in Oakland, they would have to trust a company that had admitted aiding a potential enemy on a much larger scale. She leaned it against a wall.

The place had sleeping bags and mattresses on the floor. There was no satellite research equipment. The agent departed, but not before leaving a tiny surveillance device. They placed his name on an automated watch list at airports and border crossings.

He slipped out of the country on Sept. The agents received an automated security alert only the following day, Sept. They also learned that He was booked on a flight from Tijuana to Shanghai that evening. It was too late. Was China about to receive military-grade microchips for its space program? There was no way to know for sure. The agents had two options: Drop the case, or send He the second batch of chips and try to catch him exporting those. Once again, the agents waited and watched.

When two months passed with no indication that He had moved the microchips, Slavens sought the sneak-and-peak warrant. The late night search, on Dec. On the morning of Dec. They confirmed that He had checked in, and they settled in for surveillance. Tijuana was two hours away. The HSI agents planned to stop him at the Mexico border. But after just 3 miles, He pulled into the Port of Long Beach.

Then, he used a Transportation Safety Administration pass - a badge he carried for his Bay Bridge repair assignment - to swiftly get through port security.

Philip He, moments after his arrest at the Port of Long Beach. The agents caught up as the Honda drew near a red and white cargo ship flying a Chinese flag. Stenciled on the mast were the letters ZPMC. This was the same company with the Bay Bridge repair contract to which He had been assigned by the California transit agency. ZPMC did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment.

HSI agents stopped He and his friend as they approached the ship captain. An agent opened the trunk. Stuffed inside a tub of Similac infant formula, authorities found radiation-hardened Aeroflex microchips. If Aeroflex completes remedial measures, such as training employees to follow rules the company already should have been following, half of the fine will be suspended. In September, He pleaded guilty in federal court in Colorado.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. Federal guidelines call for a sentence of 46 to 57 months. Assistant federal defender Robert Pepin said He believed they would be used for commercial mining satellites. Pepin said He deserves a sentence of no more than 24 months, noting that He faces certain deportation when his sentence concludes, and potential separation from his children, who are U.

Despite the scope of the investigation, no one else was charged. The others in the suspected network - the ship captain, the Shanghai broker, the traveling partner and another Oakland suspect - were not arrested.

The fate of the first shipment of radiation-hardened chips - the ones that got away - is unknown. Three different law enforcement agencies have primary responsibility: Each relies on regulators from the State, Commerce and Treasury departments, with help from the Pentagon, to determine which products can be exported where. Agencies approach the task differently. FBI agents view technology smuggling as a counter-espionage challenge.

Commerce agents focus on enforcing the licensing of dual-use items, products that potentially have both military and civilian applications. Homeland Security agents tap a global network of customs informants and foreign police. Each agency also has distinct crime-fighting powers.

Only Commerce agents can issue administrative sanctions. Only Homeland Security agents can search packages at the border without a warrant. State and Treasury officials who are not federal agents can issue administrative and financial sanctions for regulatory violations. As part of a big export-regulation overhaul in , the Obama Administration created the Export Enforcement Coordination Center - known as the E2C2 - to guide a government-wide approach.

The center also includes senior FBI and Commerce agents. After it opened, E2C2 officials say, the new entity produced some quick results. By comparing resources and data, agents say they were surprised to find that in 60 percent of their investigations, two different agencies were investigating the same target.

The Obama plan calls for creating a single law-enforcement agency. But that would take an act of Congress, and some Commerce officials are actively resisting the change.

The E2C2 is just one piece of a four-part export overhaul proposed in The larger initiative includes changes to export restriction lists, licensing procedures, computer infrastructure and law enforcement coordination. Today, senior administration officials describe the project as a work in progress. Most changes have been made by executive order, without congressional legislation.

White House and State Department officials said the project had a few false starts, but is now progressing well. Similar changes are expected in coming months, and this worries some counter-proliferation agents.

In interviews, a dozen agents said they fear the changes will make it easier to smuggle military-grade technology to China. The White House official and a senior Commerce Department official said this worry is overblown. Each requires legislation, and there is little interest in Congress, officials say. By Duff Wilson and John Shiffman. Filed December 18, Their orders come indirectly from the Chinese government and take the form of shopping lists that are laundered through companies with ties to Beijing.

The recruits who buy the weapons and system components for those companies are scientists, students and businessmen, and they appear to be motivated more by profit than ideology. Today, investigations into arms trafficking linked to China have swelled to at least active cases - up by more than 50 percent since , according to a Reuters review of confidential U. The total number is likely higher than because the count does not include many cases that began as regulatory inquiries or investigations into other crimes.

About two-thirds of the cases prosecuted by U. Such was the case of Lian Yang, a year-old software engineer who once worked for Microsoft Corp and had family ties to an anti-government group in China. In March , the father of two pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate U. Yang served nearly 11 months in prison and another four months under house arrest.

He was released in March. Yang said a college friend in China had approached him about buying the microchips. But that friend, Yang said, was simply a businessman like himself, looking to obtain the components for another buyer - and ultimately, for the Chinese government.

Reuters reviewed confidential investigative records gathered by the FBI, including hours of secret recordings, transcripts and emails. They show Yang as an arms trafficking novice, motivated by money and casting about for others willing to help him for a cut of the profits.

In emails and transcripts from an FBI undercover operation, Yang spoke of the urgency to obtain the U. They have the funds. Later, as his plans shrank, he was working on a much smaller sale to net a few thousand dollars. Reuters reviewed arms export and embargo cases brought by the U. Of the cases, 66 - almost one in four - involved China. The cases reveal layers of buyers and sellers that connect to Beijing. In one recent case, investigative records contain the names of 31 Chinese companies - almost all of them state-controlled - that sought to buy smuggled military-grade communications gear.

In another case, a Chinese procurement network used a series of five bank transfers between China and California to cloak a half-million dollar purchase of satellite components.

About a third of the cases linked to China involved military aerospace technology, such as the radiation-hardened microchips.

The individuals trying to obtain these components in the United States ranged from business people to professors, from citizens of China to permanent U. Many had access to technology that cannot legally be exported to China - or enough technical know-how to try to get it. About a year before the FBI began its investigation, Yang attended a wedding where he posed for a photograph next to another guest - former U.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He took company files, including design data for missiles, rockets and drones, to a technical conference in China.

A handful of Americans also have been recently convicted. An export control manager at a Pennsylvania manufacturer falsified records that allowed dozens of sensitive communications devices to be shipped to China and other nations. Two items could be legal to export with U. Five - including the microchips - were totally restricted because of their importance to weapons systems. Yang had left China for the United States in and became a U. He sponsored his parents, too; his mother, he said in interviews with Reuters, had been persecuted by the Chinese government for her involvement in the spiritual movement Falun Gong.

His wife ran a travel agency. They owned two houses in a Seattle suburb; one was paid off and occupied by his parents. In the months that followed the ceremony, Yang and Bailey, himself an entrepreneur, worked together to sell water equipment and liquid crystal displays to companies in China - items that are legal to export.

Both say these business efforts flopped. According to a March email from Yang, the parts were meant for China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the state-owned satellite and missile maker.

They were radiation-hardened versions that would be illegal to send to China. Even so, Bailey wrote in the email: Bailey also wrote that the LCDs - which were legal to export to China - would have to be sold first. But I never had any intention of doing anything illegal or anything to hurt this country and never made any provision to do so. Yang and Bailey had a falling out, and Yang pursued other partners. As Yang presented his plans to try to buy military technology that China sought, his family friend wore a wire.

Carbon fiber such as this cannot be exported to China without the permission of the U. They discussed a cover story.

The family friend, who had experience in international trade, played along. He told Yang that he had already approached two U. The FBI recording captured Yang and the friend talking about setting up a Nevada front company that would claim to want the chips for research. Andaluca is an upscale restaurant in downtown Seattle with subdued lighting and high-backed booths that are ideal for private conversation. The men claimed to know people who could forge paperwork and get radiation-hardened microchips.

According to their secret recording, the agents drew out Yang on the ultimate buyers - the Chinese government - and the potential size of the deal. Using a standard undercover technique, the agents steered Yang to confirm that he understood what he was proposing to do was illegal.

Just before ordering dessert, Yang explained how he believed his effort was actually aiding the United States by helping the balance of trade. Then, they all got the cheesecake. Yang picked up the tab. About three months later, on Dec. His China connections had not come up with upfront money after all. He had already bought a ticket from Vancouver to Beijing for the following day. Yang met the undercover agents in Seattle.

They gave him the chips. He handed them the money. Within minutes, Yang was arrested. He was charged with conspiracy to violate the federal arms trafficking law. His lawyer negotiated a guilty plea for a reduced sentence. Before he began his prison term, Yang said he told his young sons he would be away on business - in China. They provide an excellent balance of nutrition, and we can help cook for you. The king crab and hair crab purchased in the live aquamarine area can be cooked or fried for a service charge.

In addition, cooked food that are fried and roasted, and soup and different rice dishes are provided. The market offers all types of daily necessities, such as food ingredients, cook ware, and household goods.

In addition to being practical, they must also have an aesthetic feel, to become elements of an elegant lifestyle. Finely selected dining ware, kitchen utensils, flower decorations, professional cooking reference publications, and holiday party selections are available. Natural, healthful, and easily accessible, the seasonal fruits from all over are provided, either sliced in box form or freshly squeezed to provide health and vitality for you.

At the fruit stand, all types of carefully selected fruits are available, so that you can select, offering health and value to you. On the right hand side of the entry of AAD, fresh flowers of all selections are displayed, displaying vitality and freshness. All types of colorful flowers and beautiful plants are provided for you to use your creativity to decorate your home. It aims to evolve above the mess found in traditional markets and hopes to let consumers return to the market and enjoy the festival atmosphere found in traditional markets.

The partitions of AAD are clear, with 10 different theme areas in a space of square meters. Evolve to the wholesale concept, directly deliver from the origin, it aims to provide many benefits such as fresh and excellent quality control of products and reasonable pricings to customers.

This way, general consumers or business buyers are able to get good seafood products with excellent values.

By combining aquamarine products, supermarket, theme restaurants, and home aesthetics, the AAD aims to combine an innovative location for consumers that can eat, buy, and purchase with pleasure andintegrate it with a wonderful lifestyle.

We appreciate your interest in Addition Aquatic Development and welcome your comments, suggestions, and your experience in Addition Aquatic Development. Map Hours of Operation: Apologies for any inconvenience. Spirit Through wholesalers facing consumers directly and the model of direct shipment from the origin, the AAD aims to many benefits such as providing good quality control of products and reasonable pricings to customers.

Orientation In the live aquamarine area, temperature controlled tanks contain live seafood from all over the world, providing general consumers and business consumers live fish processing and cooking services. Spirit With the major chief chef from Japan, Mr.

Spirit With first tier ingredients, such as fresh raw oysters, shrimps, and crabs, that are reasonably prices, these top quality sea food are now accessible to all. Orientation This area provides the top food ingredients from all over the world, together with high quality champagne and red wine, so that you can talk and enjoy the food with good friends or the chefs in a way similar to sea side bars abroad.

Spirit This is a key for your pleasure, with abundance of food ingredients, and cooking them yourself in hot pot for your full enjoyment. Orientation Carefully chosen hot pot ingredients such as sea food and vegetables, using seaweed for soup base are provided.

Spirit The market offers all types of daily necessities, such as food ingredients, cook ware, and household goods. Orientation Finely selected dining ware, kitchen utensils, flower decorations, professional cooking reference publications, and holiday party selections are available.

China’s hawks take the offensive

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