Monday, July 02, 2012

China - the Sleeping Giant Starts to Awaken! (Part 4)

ChinaAid: Another Life Lost Unnecessarily to China’s One-Child Policy
"Forced abortions are not a choice but violence against women and their unborn children."
Christian Newswire  
Friday, June 29, 2012
ZHENGJIAMEN, Hubei, China, —ChinaAid published yesterday a story from the Southern Metropolis Daily reporting on the “induced miscarriage” of Hu Xia, who was seven-month’s pregnant with her second child. (Link to report) Local officials in Shangche township, Jianli county of Hubei province, claimed that Hu Xia’s family could not pay the fine and described the abortion as “voluntary.”
China’s family planning agencies have received negative publicity over the past several months, as cyber-journalists and Chinese families have challenged the brutality of the “one-child policy.” ChinaAid broke stories about recent forced abortion cases in Hunan and Shaanxi provinces that spurred outrage and debate both outside and inside of China. (Link to story) In the case from Hunan, Cao Ruyi was able to keep her child after local officials were faced with unwanted media attention (Link to story). The Hu Xia case is the latest case to appear in the Chinese press.
“Another life was lost unnecessarily to advance China’s ‘one-child’ policy, which cannot be sustained without violence and coercion,” said Bob Fu, ChinaAid’s President. Forced abortions are not a choice but violence against women and their unborn children.” “International attention can help save some women from violence in the short-term, but consistent international condemnation is needed to help convince Beijing that this policy makes a rising China look barbaric and backward.”
Chinese human rights defenders, cyber-journalists, and families faced with “voluntary” forced abortions are increasingly challenging a hated policy, both because it leads to violence against women and because it is creating a two-tier baby system, rich families who can bride or pay huge fines for a having a second child and poor families who cannot. China has the highest suicide rate in the world among women, a fact many believe may be linked to strict enforcement of the one-child policy.
Slip-Up in Chinese Military TV Show Reveals More Than Intended
Piece shows cyber warfare against US entities
By Matthew Robertson & Helena Zhu
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 21, 2011
Last Updated: April 7, 2012
A standard, even boring, piece of Chinese military propaganda screened in mid-July included what must have been an unintended but nevertheless damaging revelation: shots from a computer screen showing a Chinese military university is engaged in cyberwarfare against entities in the United States.
The documentary itself was otherwise meant as praise to the wisdom and judgment of Chinese military strategists, and a typical condemnation of the United States as an implacable aggressor in the cyber-realm. But the fleeting shots of an apparent China-based cyber-attack somehow made their way into the final cut.
The screenshots appear as B-roll footage in the documentary for six seconds—between 11:04 and 11:10 minutes—showing custom-built Chinese software apparently launching a cyber-attack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university. As of Aug. 22 at 1:30pm EDT, in addition to Youtube, the whole documentary is available on the CCTV website. But by Aug. 25, multiple media noted that the video had been removed.
The screenshots show the name of the software and the Chinese university that built it, the Electrical Engineering University of China’s People’s Liberation Army—direct evidence that the PLA is involved in coding cyber-attack software directed against a Chinese dissident group.
The software window says “Choose Attack Target.” The computer operator selects an IP address from a list—it happens to be—and then selects a target. Encoded in the software are the words “Falun Gong website list,” showing that attacking Falun Gong websites was built into the software.
A drop-down list of dozens of Falun Gong websites appears. The computer operator chooses, the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
The IP address belongs to the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), according to an online trace.
The shots then show a big “Attack” button on the bottom left being pushed, before the camera cuts away.
“The CCP has leaked its top secret here,” says Jason Ma, a commentator for New Tang Dynasty Television. “This is the first time we see clearly that one of the top Chinese military universities is doing this research and developing software for cyber-attacks. There’s solid proof of it in this video,” he said.
The Chinese Communist Party has consistently denied that it is involved in cyber-attacks, but experts have long suspected that the Chinese military engages in them.
“Now we’ve got proof,” Ma says. “They’re also extending their persecution of Falun Gong overseas, attacking a civil website in the U.S. These are the clear messages revealed in these six seconds of video.”
Network administrators at UAB contacted on Friday took a look at the IP address on their network and said it had not been used since 2010.
One of the technicians also recalled that there had been a Falun Gong practitioner at the university some years ago who held informal Falun Gong meetings on campus. They could not confirm whether that individual used that IP address.
A UAB network administrator assured The Epoch Times that they have safeguards against both network intrusions, and that their network is not compromised.
After the short interlude, the documentary continued with the themes it had started with for another nine minutes.
Last month McAfee, a network security company, said that an unprecedented campaign of cyber-espionage—affecting over 70 organizations or governments around the world and implicating billions of dollars in intellectual property—was being carried out by a “state actor.”
Later evidence traced IP addresses involved in the attack to China, and a growing mountain of other circumstantial evidence also suggests that the attacks originated from China.
The military documentary on July 17, on the other hand, was meant to show that the United States is the real aggressor in cyberspace, and that China is highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. “America is the first country to propose the concept of a cyberwar, and the first country to implement it in a real war,” the narrator said at one point.
It might have worked, except for those screenshots.
Update 2: On Aug. 26 Government Computer News (GCN)—a publication for U.S. government IT professionals—called the six seconds of cyber-attack footage “the smoking gun on China’s U.S. cyberattacks.” In July, GCN had published a report on the anatomy of a cyber-attack that appeared to originate in China. It was an attack on a “honeypot” network—a trap GCN created specifically to attract an attack to examine hackers’ modus operandi. GCN’s John Breeden writes that the type of “push of a button” attack documented in the CCTV footage, “is exactly what I said happened to the GCN honeypot network.”
GCN “focuses on how to buy, build and manage the technologies that run [U.S.] federal, state, and local government,” according to its online description.
Update: The University of Alabama at Birmingham made a statement after the news broke, noting that the IP address belonged to a website that was decommissioned in 2001 because it had been created against UAB rules. They said that they believe the purpose of the action demonstrated in the video was not to launch an attack from that website, but to block access to it, and that they’re not aware of any such attack, past or present.
Nuclear Arsenal in China Much Bigger Than Believed, Says Expert
Strategists and arms control experts disagree over recent report
By Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times Staff
Created: June 28, 2012
Last Updated: July 2, 2012
The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) notoriously opaque nuclear arsenal could be much bigger than the estimates prevalent in the United States—up to 1,800 warheads as opposed to the 300 or 400 currently thought—according to a report authored by a retired Russian colonel general.
In addition, the report says that the PRC has rail-mounted intercontinental ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads, and nuclear warheads on a series of ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) and cruise missiles—statements that contradict dominant understandings of China’s nuclear posture.
[Left: A Chinese military propaganda poster showing the country’s nuclear might. (Military-Industrial Courier)]
Viktor Yesin, the former chief of the main staff of the Strategic Rocket Forces and currently professor at the Academy of Military Sciences, published his view in the military publication Military-Industrial Courier in early May.
He writes that Chinese factories that supply fissile material could have as of 2011 produced 40 tons of weapons-grade uranium and about 10 tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for a total of 3,600 nuclear warheads.
Yesin reasons that about half of this fissile material would not be used in warheads, but for stockpiles or other uses. Of the 1,600–1,800 warheads that were probably built, in Yesin’s view, perhaps 800–900 would be operationally deployed with the rest in storage, he says.
A translation of Yesin’s journal article, which runs to nine pages in English, was disseminated by Phillip Karber of the Asian Arms Control Project, which focuses on the strategic implications of the PRC’s nuclear weapons buildup.
Karber’s research on the PRC’s network of underground tunnels used for storing nuclear weapons has previously drawn controversy, particularly from the arms control community.
In this case, views of the Russian colonel general’s warhead estimates are no different, where an analysis of the recent report becomes an exercise in examining the wider debate about the PRC’s nuclear posture.
Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, who also blogs on arms control issues, wrote in an email commenting on Yesin’s journal article that the retired general’s views, which he was already familiar with, are “exaggerated” and “alarmist.” Lewis also questioned the veracity and provenance of the information.
On the other side, Richard Fisher, an analyst of the PRC’s military modernization and senior research fellow with the International Assessments and Strategy Center, says, “Gen. Yesin has dropped a nuclear bomb on the hubris of the American arms control community.”
Yesin is a prominent commentator on strategic issues in Russia, and according to an introduction prepared by the Asian Arms Control Project “is viewed as an authoritative source closely associated with Russian government positions.”
“Over the last 15 years he has been a major adviser to Putin,” Karber says, adding that Yesin would have a close understanding of the PRC’s nuclear arsenal in part due to extensive contacts over several decades between the two powers, and access he may have to classified sources.
Apart from the large estimates of warheads that Yesin gives—which agree with estimates Karber gave in a previous study on the PRC’s underground tunnel network—Yesin’s remarks about rail-mounted ICBMs equipped with nuclear warheads are significant in Karber’s view.
“When you have that degree of mobility you can’t track how many there are. They drive into a rail tunnel and you can’t tell if there are 20 in there or only 1,” Karber said. Such weapons could be used as a first strike against enemy forces or as a second strike capability against cities.
The idea of rail-mounted nuclear weapons and nuclear warheads on ballistic and cruise missiles—hundreds of them at least, according to Karber—upends the assumption that the PRC has a small nuclear force focused solely on deterrence.
The assumption that the PRC does have such a small force is shared by Jeffrey Lewis and others in the arms control community. They say that only insufficient evidence, or in some cases recycled, discredited claims or other misinformation, has been put forward to disrupt these basic assumptions.
A practical issue raised by Yesin’s report is the possibility of a nuclear arms race as countries in the PRC’s periphery seek to gain a semblance of nuclear parity in the face of the PRC’s enormous arsenal.
Those countries, which currently see themselves under America’s security umbrella, could feel that the United States was unable to protect them.
Fisher said, “By building to a level of superiority in nuclear weapons, China could cause the greatest period of nuclear proliferation in the world, as Japan, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, and others could all rush to develop their own deterrent nuclear forces.”
Also See:
China - the Sleeping Giant Starts to Awaken!
(Part 1)
08 June 2008
(Part 2)
15 May 2009
(Part 3)
02 September 2011
How Long Before China Crushes Taiwan?
17 December 2009