Category: Kings of the East

CHINESE SORTIES OVER DISPUTED ISLANDS SPARK WAR FEARS

Michael Carl

The U.S. is monitoring increased international tensions in the disputed Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea after twice in three days China sent jet fighters to the “Air Defense Identification Zone” it has declared around the chain.

The sorties came after both Japan and South Korea sent fighters into the area to challenge China’s exclusive claim to the uninhabited islands.

Chinese Air Force Col. Shen Jinke claims his nation’s flights are routine and a “defensive measure and in line with international common practices.”

The islands located about 250 miles east of the Chinese mainland have been a point of contention over the past year, because Japan and China, along with Taiwan and South Korea, all express claims to them.

Clarion Project Intelligence and National Security analyst Ryan Mauro says the declaration is China flexing its muscle.

“This is a way of China declaring military domination over the islands without officially taking them over. By saying it is an air defense zone, China is trying to dominate the airspace. It’s basically saying, ‘These are ours and if your aircraft trespass, we have the right to shoot them down,’” Mauro said.

C. J. Burke, CEO of intelligence and consulting firm Burke and Associates, notes China’s long history of animosity toward Japan.

“I think instead you’re seeing the outbreak of a war of ideals. China has had a major issue with Japan for the last 5,000 years or so, and World War II only exacerbated this,” Burke said.

Burke says he believes many Chinese wouldn’t object to a war with Japan.

“Large contingents of the Chinese population would relish a war with Japan (even if they haven’t thought out how that would actually turn out). So China makes inroads with these groups and simultaneously pressures Japan,” Burke said.

Burke said people in both countries hold long-standing resentments toward the other.

“China has a populace that would be happy to see Japan suffer. And Japan feels much the same way at a sociological level. So China pressuring this way costs the emperor and the Diet some infra-political coinage,” Burke said.

A former CIA station chief who asked not to be identified said a war between China and Japan would “cost the U. S. economically big time.”

However, he added that in reality, the war would evolve into a war between the U. S. and China.

“It would not be a war between Japan and China. The U.S. has a mutual defense treaty with Japan, as well as our treaties with South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and the Philippines. So, it would be a war between the U.S. and China,” the former station chief said.

A war would end trade between the U. S. and the Far East, he said, however, it also would erase the U.S.’s debt to China.

“Some parts of the Japanese political scale really would enjoy lashing out at China,” Burke said.

Analysts speculate on Taiwan’s interest in the dispute. Burke said Taiwan also claims the islands and any conflict would impact Taiwan’s economy. He added that Taiwan also sees the islands as a military asset.

“The ownership of the Senkaku Islands puts some pressure on Taiwan as they can be used for staging, intelligence gathering, etc. A quick look at the map affirms this,” Burke said.

Burke said the dispute may be reflected by Taiwan’s military hardware purchases.

“This is the major focus of this dance. Watch for submarine purchases on the part of Taiwan, U.S. 7th fleet deployments and weird holidays or ceremonies in China that reaffirm patriotism,” Burke said.

Analysts are mixed on whether they believe there will be a war in the region, but one result could be a Japanese military.

“The dispute may push their increasingly nationalist government to push further to amend their constitution to allow for an actual military,” said one analyst who asked not to be named.

Burke said he believes the U. S. will stick with Japan.

“The U.S. has already affirmed that the Japanese Defense Treaty applies in the case of the Senkaku Islands, so there wouldn’t be a war between the PRC and Japan,” Burke said. “It’d be something with the U.S. involved. At this time, China doesn’t have the means to wage even tactical war with the U.S. and Japan. So this isn’t in the cards.”

The mission sending Chinese jets to the area came three days after the U.S. flew two B-52s over the islands. The unarmed B-52s were flying from Guam to Okinawa to participate in the naval exercise with the Japanese navy.

The Japanese government also ordered its two major airlines, Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways, to ignore China’s order.

Both Japan and the United States say they will challenge China’s claim to 1 million square miles of the East China Sea, an issue analysts say is a test of Japanese Prime Minister Shintaro Abe’s government.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5882

US panel: China navy power growing in the Pacific

By MATTHEW PENNINGTON 41 minutes

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional advisory panel sounded a warning Wednesday about China’s military buildup, predicting Beijing could possess the largest fleet of modern submarine and combatant ships in the western Pacific by 2020.

 The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said China’s military modernization is altering the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region and challenging decades of U.S. pre-eminence.

The commission advises Congress on the national security implications of the relationship between the two world powers.

The groups’ annual report also examined cyberintrusions from China, the trade and economic relationship with the U.S., and China’s global ties.

The primary recommendation is that Congress fund shipbuilding and increase the Navy’s operational presence region in support of the Defense Department’s goal to base 60 percent of its warships in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, compared with about 50 percent currently.

That’s a priority of the Obama administration’s diplomatic and military rebalance to Asia after a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The commission said it welcomes the policy, but added: “There is growing concern among U.S. allies and partners that the Department of Defense will be unable to follow through on its commitment to the rebalance due to declining defense budget and continuing security challenges elsewhere.”

The panel also recommended that the U.S. improve air and maritime capabilities of allies in the region.

Last year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the commission of “indulging in Cold War mentality.” Beijing says it has no offensive intent, and says Washington of trying to contain it.

The U.S. far outstrips China in military spending, but in Asia faces a greater burden in fielding forces far from its own shores.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, voiced concern that at a time when the U.S. military faces budget cuts, China’s military spending is increasing and its leaders want to increase combat readiness.

“Its current pace of military modernization shows that Beijing is developing the ability to project power and influence further abroad,” McKeon, R-Calif., told a committee hearing Wednesday.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said that while the U.S. should monitor military developments in China, an adversarial relationship between the two powers is not inevitable.

“There is no reason that we should have China as an enemy,” Smith said. “We should certainly look for ways to work together.”

The report’s assessment of China’s naval capabilities draws on information from think tanks and U.S. naval intelligence. It said China is known to be building seven classes of vessels, including nuclear and diesel submarines, destroyers and other warships. It expects the naval modernization to continue for the “forseeable future.”

China’s is also advancing its capabilities in space, which is viewed as critical because of the use of communication satellites for intelligence and modern warfare.

For the first time, there are public indications China may be developing the ability to target satellites at the high altitude used by the U.S. global positioning system and many military and intelligence satellites, according to the report.

But China described a May suborbital rocket launch it conducted as part of a high-altitude scientific experiment.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5851

Radio Silence

Pentagon, State Department silent on threatening reports outlining Chinese plans for nuclear attacks on U.S. cities

BY: Bill Gertz

The Obama administration declined to comment on Sunday on provocative state-run Chinese media reports outlining Beijing’s nuclear war plans, including land-based and submarine-launched missile strikes on U.S. cities that would kill up to 12 million people.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf and Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith would not respond when asked about the highly unusual Chinese reports published Oct. 28 in numerous major Communist Party-controlled television and newspaper outlets.

The Chinese reports included maps showing nuclear strikes on Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest, along with the resulting radiation plumes stretching thousands of miles across the western United States.

Global Times, viewed as China’s most xenophobic anti-U.S. media outlet, stated in its report that “the 12 JL-2 [submarine-launched ballistic missile] nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans.” The newspaper is a subsidiary of the People’s Daily, the organ of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

Harf referred questions about the attack scenarios to the Pentagon, where Smith would not comment directly, despite the fact that a key mission of the Pentagon is to deter nuclear attacks like those outlined in the Chinese press.

Smith said annual Pentagon reports to Congress documented what she called China’s “long-term modernization of strategic nuclear forces featuring the introduction of road-mobile, solid propellant ICBMs and continued development on ballistic missile submarine, the Type 094 and an accompanying new submarine launched ballistic missile, JL-2.”

“We continue to monitor these development very closely,” she said.

The Chinese nuclear saber rattling is expected to complicate the administration’s push for a new round of strategic arms cuts with Russia. President Barack Obama in June repeated his call for ultimately eliminating all nuclear weapons and called for a one-third cut in the projected New START arms treaty warhead level of 1,550 warheads.

However, Russia has balked at further cuts and is developing a new medium-range nuclear missile partly as a result of China’s growing arsenal of nuclear missiles.

China is rapidly expanding its nuclear forces with new missiles, submarines, and warheads. At least one of the warheads is based on warhead designs stolen from U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories in the 1990s, U.S. officials have said.

The Chinese reports last week stated that the nuclear forces revelations were the first time Chinese media had discussed detailed plans to counter U.S. nuclear deterrence in the Pacific.

Previously, details of China’s nuclear forces were among the most closely guarded secrets in the Chinese military.

In addition to Global Times, the reports also appeared in other Party organs, including China Central TV, People’s Daily, PLA Daily, China Youth Daily, and Guangmin Daily newspapers.

The reports also coincided with China’s first official disclosure of new ballistic missile submarine capabilities, described by Global Times as “secrets of our first-generation underwater nuclear force.”

The reports were unique due to the level of threatening rhetoric and rare public discussion of plans for nuclear attacks, including plans to fire road-mobile DF-31A road-mobile long-range missiles over the North Pole to attack U.S. cities. The missile has a range of up to 7,500 miles.

“If we launch our DF-31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore, and Norfolk, whose population account accounts for about one eighth of America’s total residents,” Global Times stated.

For submarine-launched nuclear missiles, the Chinese plan to target key west coast cities.

“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angles, San Francisco, and San Diego,” Global Times said.

One graphic showed eight warheads hitting Washington state and Oregon and the nuclear radiation spreading as far east as Chicago. Another map shows five nuclear warhead destruction radii in downtown Los Angeles.

The Chinese nuclear war stories were first disclosed by the Washington Times on Thursday.

Former State Department official and China hand John Tkacik said the threatening Chinese reports are “wholly orchestrated by the Central Propaganda Department for well-planned strategic purposes.”

“While there’s no doubt Beijing’s media coverage of China’s nuclear missile submarines is aimed at psyching out Washington, the real targets of this new nuclear propaganda are Japan, India, and the South China Sea states, all of which place heavy reliance on their relations with the United States in balancing China,” Tkacik said.

The failure to respond to the threats is undermining the confidence among U.S. allies and friends in Asia concerned with the American commitment to protecting Asia.

“These stories should be a fire bell in the night for Washington to step up America’s cooperation with allies in anti-submarine warfare.”

However, Beijing appears to be calculating that U.S. war weariness will lead to further slashed budgets for counter-nuclear programs, anti-submarine warfare, and missile defense, he said.

“Even with deliberately provocative articles like this series of reports on China’s nuclear missile submarines and targeting American cities, the general inclination inside the beltway is to treat China as a friend. I just don’t understand it,” Tkacik said.

Richard Fisher, a Chinese military affairs expert, also said the propaganda highlighting nuclear strikes on the United States appears part of Beijing’s calculated strategy to stoke nationalism and military worship in China.

The Global Times report, in particular, “is most provocative when it speculates about the possible damage that a JL-2 missile strike would cause against the West Coast of the United States.”

“Official and semi-official U.S. threat assessment publications usually are not so indelicate as to speculate on the potential for millions of Chinese or Russian deaths in a nuclear war,” Fisher said. “We usually leave that up to the imagination of their governments.”

One of the graphics published showed patrol areas southeast of Taiwan where new Type 094 ballistic missile submarines will conduct patrols.

Fisher said China’s large-scale Maneuver 5 war games last week included submarine, surface ship, and bomber exercises.

“Could the PLA Navy be starting to practice [missile submarine] operations to support the deployment of their nuclear missiles submarines [set to begin next year]?” Fisher said.

Fisher also said the nuclear war reports and estimates of killing Americans may be linked to Chinese pique at the United States over the late-night ABC comedy show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” A recent unscripted segment on the show featured children answering questions and one boy suggested that the U.S. response to China should be to “kill all the Chinese.” ABC later apologized for the segment.

Also last week, China’s military released a feature-length film that accused the U.S. government of subverting China’s communist system and imposing American values.

The military film said the Pentagon was using military-to-military exchanges for those ends and to corrupt Chinese military officers who take part in the exchanges.

The film, titled “Silent Contest” also criticized western non-governmental groups, exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and Uighur human rights activist Rebyia Kadeer.

Groups singled out as subversive included the Carter Center, the Asia Foundation, the International Republican Institute and the Ford Foundation who are behind an “America’s cultural invasion” of China.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5808

Japan’s PM warns China on use of force as jets scrambled

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s leader warned China on Sunday against forcibly changing the regional balance of power, as reports said Tokyo had scrambled fighter jets in response to Chinese military aircraft flying near Okinawa.

Verbal skirmishing between Asia’s two biggest economies, who dispute ownership of an island chain, escalated as Beijing warned Tokyo that any hostile action in the skies against Chinese drones would be construed as an “act of war”.

“We will express our intention as a state not to tolerate a change in the status quo by force. We must conduct all sorts of activities such as surveillance and intelligence for that purpose,” Abe said in an address to the military.

“The security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe. This is the reality,” he said. “You will have to completely rid yourselves of the conventional notion that just the existence of a defence force could act as a deterrent.”

Abe presided over an inspection of the military at which a US amphibious assault vehicle was displayed for the first time, an apparent sign of Japan’s intention to strengthen its ability to protect remote islands.

The defence ministry plans to create a special amphibious unit to protect the southern islands and retake them in case of an invasion.

“There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law,” Abe earlier told the Wall Street Journal in an interview following a series of summits this month with regional leaders.

“But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he said in the interview published Saturday.

“So it shouldn’t take that path, and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community,” Abe added.

On Sunday Jiji Press and Kyodo News reported that Japan had deployed jets for two days running in response to four Chinese military aircraft flying over international waters near the Okinawa island chain.

Two Y8 early-warning aircraft and two H6 bombers flew from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean and back again but did not violate Japan’s airspace, the reports said.

The Japanese defence ministry was not immediately available for confirmation.

Japan’s military is on increased alert as Tokyo and Beijing pursue a war of words over the disputed islands in the East China Sea that lie between Okinawa and Taiwan.

On Saturday China responded angrily after a report said Japan had drafted plans to shoot down foreign drones that encroach on its airspace if warnings to leave are ignored.

Tokyo drew up the proposals after a Chinese military drone entered Japan’s air defence identification zone near the disputed islands in the East China Sea last month, Kyodo said.

“We would advise relevant parties not to underestimate the Chinese military’s staunch resolve to safeguard China’s national territorial sovereignty,” China’s defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said in comments posted on the ministry’s website.

“If Japan takes enforcement measures such as shooting down aircraft, as it says it will, that would constitute a serious provocation, an act of war of sorts, and we would have to take firm countermeasures, and all consequences would be the responsibility of the side that caused the provocation.”

Tokyo and Beijing both claim the small uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Japan administers them and calls them the Senkakus. China refers to the islands as the Diaoyus.

One of Abe’s first decisions as prime minister was to increase the defence budget for the first time in 11 years.

Tokyo also plans to hold a major air and sea exercise next month to bolster its ability to protect its remote islands.

In the Wall Street Journal interview, Abe said Japan had become too inward-looking over the past 15 years, but as it regains economic strength “we’d like to contribute more to making the world a better place”.

The Journal said he made it clear that one way Japan would “contribute” would be countering China in Asia.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5775

China bypasses American ‘New Silk Road’ with two of its own

 

BEIJING — Armed with tens of billions of dollars in investment deals and romantic tales of ancient explorers, Chinese President Xi Jinping has spent much of the past month promoting his vision of two new “Silk Roads” to connect his country to the West and secure its energy supplies — one by land and another by sea.

In the process, he has eclipsed an American vision of a New Silk Road that was advanced with much fanfare by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton two years ago and was supposed to revitalize Afghanistan as the link between Central and South Asia.

The contrast between the two visions — one with huge sums of money on the table, the other struggling to get off the ground — only underlines how China’s ever-
growing clout in Asia is challenging the influence of the United States.

In Central Asia in particular, China’s leader has taken advantage of Russia’s relative decline and the planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to expand his country’s influence, experts said.

“China is making a pretty bold move,” said Chris Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Xi Jinping sees a huge gaping hole in terms of trade and economic opportunities that the U.S. has so far failed to take advantage of.”

Dating back more than two millennia, a web of trade routes linking oasis towns brought Chinese silks and other products from across Asia to the West.

In his call for a new Silk Road, Xi was underlining the importance of China securing its energy supplies — overland to the gas and oil fields of Central Asia and beyond, and by sea through Asia’s contested waters and via the busy Strait of Malacca.

Last month, Xi traveled to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and signed tens of billions of dollars’ worth of investment deals, taking a share in a major Kazakh oil field and expanding gas imports piped from Turkmenistan.

In Astana, Kazakhstan, where deals worth $30 billion were inked, he talked wistfully of almost hearing “the ring of camel bells echoing in the mountains” and seeing “the wisp of smoke rising from the desert.”

Xi spoke of the travels of Han dynasty envoy Zhang Qian to the region more than 2,100 years ago, but more substantively, he proposed the establishment of a “Silk Road economic belt” to boost trade and transport links and strengthen regional policy coordination from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea.

As well as the geostrategic energy play, Beijing sees economic benefits in moving goods from western China, which has lagged the booming east coast, through Central Asia.

China’s courting of the Central Asian republics has drawn comparisons to the Great Game, the 19th-century rivalry between Russia and Britain in the region.

Viewed as a race, China is ahead, eclipsing Russia as the largest trading partner of four of the five Central Asian republics.

Xi was the third consecutive Chinese president to visit the former Soviet Central Asia region, countries that no U.S. president has visited. There are tremendous business opportunities in the area for U.S. companies in telecommunications, oil and roads. But at the moment, China is “coming out on top in the region,” said Martha Brill Olcott of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5737

China’s Armageddon Highway – Todd Sandberg

One of the most amazing developments of the past quarter century has been the economic boom in China. For decades that nation has had a GDP growth well above ten percent. China has now become so large in size that it is starting to challenge the U.S. for the status of world superpower.

China already outranks America in many key areas: The world’s fastest train, the largest building by volume, and the city with busiest container port traffic are all in China. The Asian giant can also boast of the largest auto market. General Motors sells more cars in China than it does in its home market—the United States.

What makes the industrialization of China all the more stunning is that it occurred in a nation with 1.35 billion people. There are over 160 cities in China with a population over one million, and most of these cities look like the skyline of New York or Chicago. I’m sure most you have never heard of Chongqing and Chengdu. Both of these cities have populations greater than 7 million.

All these urban centers require a huge amount of energy and raw materials to maintain themselves. Because China is resource poor, each day it must import more than five million barrels of oil. China is the largest consumer of many minerals like aluminum (1/3 of world’s total), iron ore (1/2), copper, zinc, tin and even gold.

Because China’s natural resource needs are so large in scale it has been compelled to create supply chains like no other nation on earth. While America will buy most goods on the open market, China has established binding relationships with its key suppliers. The nation of Tanzania is good example. Chinese companies have invested billions into this African nation’s infrastructure to ensure access to its natural resources. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania in March, saying his country would continue to offer financial assistance to Tanzania with, “No political strings attached,” which is obviously not true.

The area that has to be high on China’s resource list is the Middle East. Without Arab oil, China’s economy would grind to a halt. The keen awareness of this fact is the reason why there is heavy diplomatic traffic between Beijing and the capitals of the oil rich states. China’s mastery of diplomacy has already proven itself in a major way. Even though America liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein, it is Chinese firms that are now pumping oil out of the ground and sending it back home.

The importance of ties to the Middle East has to be a key reason why China has recently said it is seeking to develop an “international highway” that will connect China’s Yunnan province with the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. The foreign ministers of China and India have met four times this year to hammer out the details of this plan.

There has long been a barrier between China and the subcontinent. The Himalayan mountain range provides a natural obstruction, but the political impasse has actually been the great hurdle. The border region has long been a source of territorial disputes. It was just a few months ago that India blamed China for infringing on its territory. The establishment of a major trade agreement would help to diminish these disputes.

The construction of an “international highway” would be a huge boon for Bible prophecy. The book of Revelation predicts and army of 200 million soldiers will someday invade the Middle East. If China starts building a highway to Armageddon, you can be sure the Tribulation hour is very near.

“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:13-16).

“And the sixth angel poured his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12).

–Todd

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Kings of the East: China, Japan on the brink

Chinese warships have pointed missile radars at Japanese military targets and taken the two regional powers to the brink of “a dangerous situation”, say Japanese officials.

The news overnight marks a dangerous escalation of a four-month diplomatic and military stand-off between Australia’s two largest trading partners, involving disputed islets in the East China Sea.

Japan’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, told reporters last night that a Chinese frigate pointed a missile control radar at the Japanese destroyer Yuudachi on January 30.

 

“Something like fire-control radar was directed at a Japan Self-Defense Maritime escort ship in the East China Sea,” Mr Onodera told reporters in Tokyo.

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He also said a Chinese vessel had similarly targeted a Japanese ship-based helicopter two weeks earlier.

“This is extremely abnormal behaviour,” Mr Onodera said.  

“One step in the wrong direction could have pushed things into a dangerous situation,” he said.

China Tuesday night  called for calm. In a statement issued ahead of Japan’s accusation, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman urged Japan “to stop all provocative actions” including sending vessels and planes to the Diaoyu Islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese. 

“We hope Japan can take actions to show sincerity and willingness to work with China through talks and negotiations to control and manage the current situation,” said spokesman Hua Chunying. 

Diplomats and military officials in the United States, Japan and China had previously warned that the dispute was only one accident away from open military conflict.

But last night’s news out of Tokyo suggests the two regional powers have come closer to live fire than many had feared.

Western military officers and diplomats were last night seeking more information to determine if the Chinese radar targeting amounted to what is known as “guide mode”, which implies a missile has been locked onto a target.

“If you are the Japanese captain you would have an incredibly uncomfortable choice to make very quickly,” said a Western diplomat, who has been closely following the dispute. “You’re seconds away if that thing decided to fire”.

Mr Onodera’s ambiguous language might also cover general radar scoping, known as “acquisition mode”, or a targeted radar lock, known as “track mode”, which falls short of an implication that a missile has been prepared for firing.

A chorus of outspoken Chinese generals have advocated a tough military stance ever since the Japanese Government brought the Senkaku Islands, or Diaoyu in Chinese, from private Japanese owners in September.

Japanese officials said the nationalisation was intended to de-escalate tensions by preventing the islands from falling into the hands of a hawkish politician.

But Chinese leaders immediately launched a fiery anti-Japan propaganda war, facilitated mass protests and formed a special security “small group” to steer the crisis. 

Last month China’s new Communist Party boss and military leader, Xi Jinping, took the rare step of ordering the People’s Liberation Army to be prepared for war.

A fortnight ago a People’s Liberation Army officer, Colonel Liu Mingfu, ratcheted the sabre-rattling to a new level by raising a scenario with Fairfax Media that he said would justify a nuclear attack, while clarifying that he was not calling upon China to take such measures.

This week, however, a more powerful PLA general who is often categorised as a “hawk”, and is known to be close to Mr Xi, called for cool heads to prevail. 

He used a running race metaphor to argue that China should not be drawn into war just as it was about to overtake the United States after nearly two centuries of effort.  

The same metaphor is also used in a book recently published by Col Liu Mingfu, How the People’s Liberation Army Can Win.

“We should not be interrupted by accidental [warfare] again,” wrote Gen Liu Yuan, in an essay extract published in the Global Times.

“What the Americans and the Japanese fear is that we will catch up with them, which is why they exhaust every possible means to suppress China’s development,” wrote Gen Liu. “We should not fall into their trap.”

The Japanese Defence Ministry has previously revealed that Japanese fighter planes were scrambled against Chinese aircraft in the area on 91 occasions between October and December.

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Does China Plan To Establish “China Cities” And “Special Economic Zones” All Over America?

Kings of the East moving! Soon to own much of America! Keep looking up!

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
Jan 23, 2013

What in the world is China up to?  Over the past several years, the Chinese government and large Chinese corporations (which are often at least partially owned by the government) have been systematically buying up businesses, homes, farmland, real estate, infrastructure and natural resources all over America.  In some cases, China appears to be attempting to purchase entire communities in one fell swoop.  So why is this happening?  Is this some form of “economic colonization” that is taking place?  Some have speculated that China may be intending to establish “special economic zones” inside the United States modeled after the very successful Chinese city of Shenzhen.  Back in the 1970s, Shenzhen was just a very small fishing village, but now it is a sprawling metropolis of over 14 million people.  Initially, these “special economic zones” were only established within China, but now the Chinese government has been buying huge tracts of land in foreign countries such as Nigeria and establishing special economic zones in those nations.  So could such a thing actually happen in America?  Well, according to Dr. Jerome Corsi, a plan being pushed by the Chinese Central Bank would set up “development zones” in the United States that would allow China to “establish Chinese-owned businesses and bring in its citizens to the U.S. to work.”  Under the plan, some of the $1.17 trillion that the U.S. owes China would be converted from debt to “equity”.  As a result, “China would own U.S. businesses, U.S. infrastructure and U.S. high-value land, all with a U.S. government guarantee against loss.”  Does all of this sound far-fetched?  Well, it isn’t.  In fact, the economic colonization of America is already far more advanced than most Americans would dare to imagine.

So how in the world did we get to this point?  A few decades ago, the United States was the unchallenged economic powerhouse of the world and China was essentially a third world country.

So what happened?

Well, we entered into a whole bunch of extremely unfavorable “free trade” agreements, and countries such as China began to aggressively use “free trade” as an economic weapon against us.

Over the past decade, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs to China.  When the final numbers for 2012 come out, our trade deficit with China for the year will be well over 300 billion dollars, and that will be the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the world.

Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade that comes to more than 2.3 trillion dollars.  That 2.3 trillion dollars could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers, and in turn taxes would have been paid on all of that money.  But instead, all of that money went to China.

Rather than just sitting on all of that money, China has been lending much of it back to us – at interest.  We now owe China more than a trillion dollars, and our politicians are constantly pleading with China to lend more money to us so that we can finance our exploding debt.

Today, the U.S. government pays China approximately 100 million dollars a day in interest on the debt that we owe them.  Those that say that the U.S. debt “does not matter” are being incredibly foolish.

So thanks to our massive trade deficit and our exploding national debt, China is systematically getting wealthier and the United States is systematically getting poorer.

And now China is starting to use a lot of that wealth to aggressively expand their power and influence around the globe.

But isn’t it more than a bit far-fetched to suggest that China may be planning to establish Chinese cities and special economic zones in America?

Not really.

Just look at what has already happened up in Canada.  It is well-known that the Chinese population of Vancouver, Canada has absolutely exploded in recent years.  In fact, the Vancouver suburb of Richmond is now approximately half Chinese.  The following is an excerpt from a BBC article

Richmond is North America’s most Asian city – 50% of residents here identify themselves as Chinese. But it’s not just here that the Chinese community in British Columbia (BC) – some 407,000 strong – has left its mark. All across Vancouver, Chinese-Canadians have helped shape the local landscape.

A similar thing is happening in many communities along the west coast of the United States.  In fact, Chinese citizens purchased one out of every ten homes that were sold in the state of California in 2011.

But in other areas of the United States, the Chinese are approaching things much more systematically.

For example, as I have written about previously, a Chinese group identified as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has purchased 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan.  Their stated goal is to build a “China City” that has artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.

In other instances, large chunks of real estate in major U.S. cities that are down on their luck are being snapped up by Chinese investors.  Just check out what a Fortune article from a while back says has been happening over in Toledo, Ohio…

In March 2011, Chinese investors paid $2.15 million cash for a restaurant complex on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. Soon they put down another $3.8 million on 69 acres of newly decontaminated land in the city’s Marina District, promising to invest $200 million in a new residential-commercial development. That September, another Chinese firm spent $3 million for an aging hotel across a nearby bridge with a view of the minor league ballpark.

Toledo is being promoted to Chinese investors as a “5-star logistics region“.  From Toledo it is very easy to get to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Indianapolis…

With a population of 287,000, Toledo is only the fourth largest city in Ohio, but it lies at the junction of two important highways — I-75 and I-80/90. “My vision is to make Toledo a true international city,” Toledo’s Mayor Mike Bell told the Toledo Blade.

But some of these deals appear to be about far more than just making “investments”.  According to the Idaho Statesman, a Chinese company known as Sinomach (which is actually controlled by the Chinese government) was actually interested in developing a 50 square mile self-sustaining “technology zone” south of the Boise airport…

A Chinese national company is interested in developing a 10,000- to 30,000-acre technology zone for industry, retail centers and homes south of the Boise Airport.

Officials of the China National Machinery Industry Corp. have broached the idea — based on a concept popular in China today — to city and state leaders.

The article suggested that this “technology zone” would be modeled after similar projects that already exist in China, and that Chinese officials were conducting similar negotiations with other U.S. states as well…

Sinomach is not looking only at Idaho.

The company sent delegations to Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania this year to talk about setting up research and development bases and industrial parks. It has an interest in electric transmission projects and alternative energy as well.

The technology zone proposal follows a model of science, technology and industrial parks in China — often fully contained cities with all services included.

Thankfully the deal in Idaho appears to be stalled for now, but could we soon see China establish special economic zones in other communities all around America?

The Chinese certainly do seem to be laying the groundwork for something.  They have been voraciously gobbling up important infrastructure all over the country.  The following comes from a recentAmerican Free Press article

In addition to already owning vital ports in Long Beach, Calif. and Boston, Mass., the China Ocean Shipping Company is eyeing major ports on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. China also owns access to ports at the entry and exit points of the Panama Canal.

And due to fiscal woes plaguing many American cities and states, U.S. legislators have been actively seeking out Chinese investors. In one of the worst cases, Baton Rouge, La., Mayor Kip Holden offered the Chinese government ownership and operating rights to a new toll way system if the Chinese would provide the funding to build it.

Does it make sense for the Chinese to own some of our most important ports?

Isn’t there a national security risk?

Sadly, there isn’t much of anything that our politicians won’t sell these days as long as someone is willing to flash a lot of cash.

The Chinese have also been busy buying up important real estate on the east coast as a recent Forbes article explained….

According to a recent report in the New York Times, investors from China are “snapping up luxury apartments” and are planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on commercial and residential projects like Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. Chinese companies also have signed major leases at the Empire State Building and at 1 World Trade Center, the report said.

But it is not only just land and infrastructure that the Chinese have been buying up.

They have also been purchasing rights to vital oil and natural gas deposits all over the United States.

There have been two Chinese companies that have been primarily involved in this effort.

The first is the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).  According to Wikipedia, CNOOC is 100 percent owned by the Chinese government…

CNOOC Group is a state-owned oil company, fully owned by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) performs the rights and obligations of shareholder on behalf of the government.

The second is Sinopec Corporation.  Sinopec Group is the largest shareholder (approx. 75% ownership) in Sinopec Corporation.  And asthe Sinopec website tells us, Sinopec Group is fully owned by the Chinese government…

Sinopec Group, the largest shareholder of Sinopec Corp., is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical group incorporated by the State in 1998 based on the former China Petrochemical Corporation. Funded by the State, it is a State authorized investment arm and State-owned controlling company.

So whenever you see CNOOC or Sinopec, you can replace those names with the Chinese government.  The Chinese government essentially runs both of those companies.

And as you can see from the following list compiled by the Wall Street Journal, those two companies have been extremely aggressive in buying up rights to oil and natural gas all over the nation…

Colorado: Cnooc gained a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming in a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Louisiana: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 265,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale after a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.

Michigan: Sinopec gained a one-third interest in 350,000 acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.

Ohio: Sinopec acquired a one-third stake in Devon Energy’s 235,000 Utica Shale acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal.

Oklahoma: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 215,000 acres in a broader $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.

Texas: Cnooc acquired a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy’s 600,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $2.16-billion deal.

Wyoming: Cnooc has a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming after a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy. Sinopec gained a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 320,000 acres as part of a larger $2.5 billion deal.

Gulf of Mexico: Cnooc Ltd. separately acquired minority stakes in some of Statoil ASA’s leases as well as six of Nexen Inc.’s deep-water wells.

So why is the U.S. government allowing this?

That is a very good question.

For a nation that purports to be pursuing “energy independence”, we sure do have a funny way of going about things.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that China is absolutely mopping the floor with the United States on the global economic stage.  China is rising and America is in an advanced state of decline.  Global economic power has shifted dramatically and most Americans still don’t understand what has happened.

The following are 44 more signs of how dominant the economy of China has become…

1. A Chinese firm recently made a $2.6 billion offer to buy movie theater chain AMC.

2. A different Chinese firm made a $1.8 billion offer to buy aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft.

4. It was recently announced that the Federal Reserve will now allow Chinese banks to buy up American banks.

6.$400 million contract to renovate the Alexander Hamilton bridge in New York was awarded to a Chinese firm.

7.$7.2 billion contract to construct a new bridge between San Francisco and Oakland was awarded to a Chinese firm.

11. The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.

12. In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China.  In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.

13. The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.

15. The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.

20. Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.

21. In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.

23. After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government.  The price for entering into many of these “joint ventures” was a transfer of “state of the art technology” from General Motors to the communist Chinese.

29. Back in 1985, the U.S. trade deficit with China was just 6 million dollars for the entire year.  For the month of November 2012 alone, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 28.9 billion dollars.

30. China now consumes more energy than the United States does.

31. China is now the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world.

32. China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.

33. China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.

35. Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.

36. China now produces 11 times as much steel as the United States does.

37. China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.

38. China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

43. According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016.

44. Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.

Without the “globalization” of the world economy, none of this would have ever happened.  But instead of admitting our mistakes and fixing them, our politicians continue to press for even more “free trade” and even more integration with communist nations such as China.

In fact, according to Dr. Jerome Corsi, the U.S. government has already set up 257 “foreign trade zones” all over America.  These “foreign trade zones” are apparently given “special U.S. customs treatment” and are used to promote “free trade”…

Corsi noted that the U.S. government has created 257 foreign trade zones, or FTZs, throughout the United States, designed to extend special U.S. customs treatment to U.S. plants engaged in international-trade-related activities.

The FTZs tend to be located near airports, with easy access into the continental NAFTA and WTO multi-modal transportation systems being created to move free-trade goods cheaply, quickly and efficiently throughout the continent of North America.

“There is nothing in the U.S. government’s description of FTZs that would prevent a foreign government, like China, from operating a shell U.S. company that is in reality owned and financed by the Chinese government and operated through a Chinese government-owned corporation,” Corsi wrote.

Sadly, we are probably going to see a whole lot more of this in the years ahead.

According to Corsi, a professor of economics at Tsighua University in Beijing named Yu Qiao has suggested the following plan as a way to transform the debt that the United States owes China into something more “tangible”…

  1. China would negotiate with the U.S. government to create a “crisis relief facility,” or CRF. The CRF “would be used alongside U.S. federal efforts to stabilize the banking system and to invest in capital-intensive infrastructure projects such as high-speed railroad from Boston to Washington, D.C.
  2. China would pool a portion of its holdings of Treasury bonds under the CFR umbrella to convert sovereign debt into equity. Any CFR funds that were designated for investment in U.S. corporations would still be owned and managed by U.S. equity holders, with the Asians holding minority equity shares “that would, like preferred stock, be convertible.”
  1. The U.S. government would act as a guarantor, “providing a sovereign guarantee scheme to assure the investment principal of the CRF against possible default of targeted companies or projects”.
  2. The Federal Reserve would set up a special account to supply the liquidity the CRF would require to swap sovereign debt into industrial investment in the United States.

Apparently the Bank of China really likes this plan and would like to see something like this implemented.

In the years ahead, perhaps many of you will end up working in a “special economic zone” for a Chinese company on a project that is being financially guaranteed by the U.S. government.

If that sounds like a form of slavery to you, the truth is that you are probably not too far off the mark.

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and we should have never allowed ourselves to get into so much debt.

Now we will pay the price.

To get an idea of how much the world has changed in recent years, just check out this incredible photo which contrasts the decline of Detroit over the years with the amazing rise of Shanghai, China.

Things did not have to turn out this way.  Unfortunately, we made decades of incredibly foolish decisions and we wrecked the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

Now the future for America looks really bleak.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4703

Kings of the East: War is Coming!

No Obvious Reason” Why China Is Stockpiling Rice, Iron Ore, Precious Metals, Dry Milk

Mac Slavo
SHTFPlan.com
January 11, 2013

If there were ever a sign that something is amiss, this may very well be it.

United Nations agricultural experts are reporting confusion, after figures show that China imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2012, substantially more than a four-fold increase over the 575,000 tons imported in 2011.

The confusion stems from the fact that there is no obvious reason for vastly increased imports, since there has been no rice shortage in China. The speculation is that Chinese importers are taking advantage of low international prices, but all that means is that China’s own vast supplies of domestically grown rice are being stockpiled.

Why would China suddenly be stockpiling millions of tons of rice for no apparent reason?

Perhaps it’s related to China’s aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in central Asia.

If a 400% year-over-year increase in rice stockpiles isn’t enough to convince you the Chinese are preparing for a significant near-term event, consider that in Australia the country’s two major baby formula distributors have reported they are unable to keep up with demand for their dry milk formula products. Grocery stores throughout the country have been left empty of the essential infant staple as a result of bulk exports by the Chinese.

A surge in sales of one of Australia’s most popular brands of infant formula has led to an unusual sight for this wealthy nation: barren shelves in the baby aisle and even rationing of baby food in some leading retail outlets.

We’d be more apt to believe the Chinese were panic-buying baby formula had the Chinese milk scandal occurred recently. The problem is that it happened four years ago. Are we to believe the Chinese are just now realizing their baby food may be tainted?

In addition to the apparent build-up in food stocks, the Chinese are further diversifying their cash assets (denominated in US Dollars) into physical goods. In fact, in just a single month in 2012, the Chinese imported and stockpiled more gold than the entirety of the gold stored in the vaults of the European Central Bank (and did we mention they did this in one month?).

Their precious metals stockpiles have grown so quickly in recent years that Chinese official holdings remain a complete mystery to Western governments and it’s rumored that the People’s Republic may now be the second largest gold hoarding nation in the world, behind the United States.

We won’t know for sure until the official disclosure which will come when China is ready and not a moment earlier, but at the current run-rate of accumulation which is just shy of 1,000 tons per year, it is certainly within the realm of possibilities that China is now the second largest holder of gold in the world, surpassing Germany’s 3,395 tons and second only to the US.

But the Chinese aren’t just buying precious metals. They’re rapidly acquiring industrial metals as well.

Spot iron prices are up to an almost 15-month high at $153.90 per tonne. The rally in prices, which started in December 2012, is mainly due to China’s rebuilding of its stockpiles as the Asian giant gears to boost its economy, which in turn, could improve steel demand.

The official explanation, that China is preparing stockpiles in anticipation of an economic recovery, is quite amusing considering that just 8 months ago Reuters reported that China had an oversupply, so much so that their storage facilities had run out of room to store all the inventory!

When metals warehouses in top consumer China are so full that workers start stockpiling iron ore in granaries and copper in car parks, you know the global economy could be in trouble.

At Qingdao Port, home to one of China’s largest iron ore terminals, hundreds of mounds of iron ore, each as tall as a three-storey building, spill over into an area signposted “grains storage” and almost to the street.

Further south, some bonded warehouses in Shanghai are using carparks to store swollen copper stockpiles – another unusual phenomenon that bodes ill for global metal prices and raises questions about China’s ability to sustain its economic growth as the rest of the world falters.

Now, why would China be stockpiling even more iron (and setting 15 month price highs in the process) if they had massive amounts of excess inventory just last year?

Something tells us this has nothing to do with an economic recovery, or even economic theory in terms of popular mainstream analysis.

Why does China need four times as much rice year-over-year? Why purchase more iron when you already have a huge surplus? Why buy gold when, as Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben Bernanke suggests, it is not real money? Why build massive cities capable of housing a million or more people, and then keep them empty?

It doesn’t add up. None of it makes any sense.

Unless the Chinese know something we haven’t been made privy to.

Is it possible, in a world where hundreds of trillions of dollars are owed, where the United States indirectly controls most of the globe’s oil reserves, and where super powers have built tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and spent hundreds of billions on weapons of war (real ones, not those pesky semi-automatic assault rifles), that the Chinese expect things to take a turn for the worse in the near future?

The Chinese are buying physical assets – and not just representations of those assets in the form of paper receipts – but the actual physical commodities. And they are storing them in-country. Perhaps they’ve determined that U.S. and European debt are a losing proposition and it’s only a matter of time before the financial, economic and monetary systems of the West undergo a complete collapse.

At best, what these signs indicate is that the People’s Republic of China is expecting the value of currencies ( they have trillions in Western currency reserves) will deteriorate with respect to physical commodities. They are stocking up ahead of the carnage and buying what they can before their savings are hyper-inflated away.

At worst, they may very well be getting ready for what geopolitical analyst Joel Skousen warned of in his documentary Strategic Relocation, where he argued that some time in the next decade the Chinese and Russians may team up against the United States in a thermo-nuclear showdown.

Hard to believe? Maybe.

But consider that China is taking measures now, in addition to their stockpiling, that suggest we are already in the opening salvos of World War III. They have already taken steps to map our entire national grid – that includes water, power, refining, commerce and transportation infrastructure. They’re directly involved in hacking government and commercial networks and are responsible for what has been called the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. Militarily, the PRC has been developing technology like EMP weapons systems, capable of disabling our military fleets and the electrical infrastructure of the country as a whole, and has been caught red-handed manufacturing fake computer chips used in U.S. Navy weapons systems.

If you still doubt China’s intentions and expectations, look to other governments, including our own, for signs that someone, somewhere is planning for horrific worst-case scenarios:

Perhaps there’s a reason why former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has warned, “those who can, should move their families out of the city.”

As Kyle Bass noted in a recent speech, “it’s just a question of when will this unravel and how will it unravel.”

Given how similar events have played out in history, we think you know how this ends.

It ends through war.

Governments around the world are stockpiling food, supplies, precious metals and arms, suggesting that there is foreknowledge of an impending event.

Should we be doing the same?

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4675

Kings of the East: What is China up to?

The Chinese Google Earth mystery: Ex-CIA analyst spots strange buildings in the middle of the desert on satellite images

  • Unidentified buildings found in desert in southwest China
  • Complex of roads and houses spotted on Google Earth by ex-CIA analyst
  • Appears to have been built ‘in a hurry’ but no answers as to what it may be

By Sara Malm

PUBLISHED: 12:03 EST, 9 January 2013 | UPDATED: 03:20 EST, 10 January 2013

 

Satellite images taken by Google Earth have unveiled a mystery construction complex in the middle of the Chinese desert.

Former CIA analyst Allen Thomson was looking for an orbital tracking site near the city of Kashgar in southwestern China, when the strange lines and buildings caught his eye.

What appears to be a collection of structures and roads have baffled the expert who has been left puzzling what they might be.

 

 ‘I haven’t the faintest clue what it might be,’ he told Wired magazine.

‘But it’s extensive, the structures are pretty big and funny-looking, and it went up in what I’d call an incredible hurry.’

 

Mr Thompson, who left the CIA in 1985, has discovered similarly strange things on Google Earth before, such as the giant jigsaw grids in China in 2011 which appeared to be satellite calibrator grids.

But this time he has been left with no clue as to what it may be.

It is not the first time strange patterns and buildings have been uncovered in remote parts of China using Google Earth.

In 2011 patterns were discovered in the Gobi desert in China’s north-east interior which remain unexplained.

However, this did not stop people from guessing, taking to online forums to establish their origins.

Some claimed that they were ‘codes’ designed to be read by UFOs, to fears that they were missile practice targets modelled on U.S. cities, before researchers came to the slightly less scary conclusion that some, at least, were used to calibrate cameras in China’s spy satellites.

Late the same year, also in the Gobi, buildings and ‘masonic-looking’ road structures led to a number of more or less serious theories as to what the secretive superpower might be up to including nuclear bomb-making, Jetplane test range and driving schools.

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