It is not certain that Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, actually said, “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” but if he didn’t, he certainly thought it, and if still around would like to claim that prophesy as his own. IBM has announced plans “to help a little-known Chinese company (Teamsun) absorb and build upon key technologies” that IBM licenses, according to the New York Times. The buyer knows what to do with that intellectual property: its advisor, Shen Changxiang, is the former supervisor of the cybersecurity of China’s strategic missile arsenal, was in charge of computer security research for China’s increasingly potent navy, and is a long-time critic of his nation’s reliance on U.S. technology. Teamsun makes no secret of its goal: eliminating the need to buy American products. IBM wants access to China’s market for its “rope”, and the price it is willing to pay is teaching China how to make its own. Perhaps that technology will help the regime to improve its already formidable Great Firewall of China, the web-filtering infrastructure that blocks content the leadership prefers to make unavailable to the masses.
There is more, and worse. Teamsun announced that it plans to “absorb” this intellectual property and technology from other companies such as Google [which should know better, given past dealing with the People’s Republic, unenthusiastic about an open Internet], and Oracle, and replace those companies’ products in world markets. And IBM will also be licensing advanced chip technology and other stuff to Chinese companies. The goal, according to IBM CEO, desperate to reduce the 10% slide in her shares in the three years of her reign, is to “create a new and vibrant system of Chinese companies producing homegrown computer systems for the local and international markets.” Thanks. Whether that is Mr. Shen’s sole interest is unclear, but it seems unwise to assume that he has no uses for this technology other than marketing computer systems. Cyberwarfare, his specialty, leaps to mind.
Then, in an act of whatever the Chinese word is for chutzpah, Premier Li Keqiang informed a U.S. delegation led by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker that China’s ability to cooperate with President Obama’s battle against climate change, ranked by some in the administration as far more important than the battle against ISIL, would depend on the willingness of GE and others to turn over their cutting edge intellectual property to China. This, say the Chinese negotiators according to the Financial Times, would be “part of richer countries’ commitments to a climate change summit this year in Paris”. Li Keqiang undoubtedly is a student of Lenin’s handling of relations with the “richer countries”, but student exceeds teacher when it comes to turning capitalists’ quest for short-term profits to a communist regime’s advantage.
Not to be outdone in narrowness of vision and a desire to prove Lenin right, a group of business executives, members of the Young Presidents’ Organization, visited Teheran in the guise of tourists (allowed under America’s soon-to-be-gutted sanctions program), but with the intention of “getting involved here” as one “tourist” put it -- the quotation marks are those used by the Financial Times to describe these visitors. At the purely social dinners organized by the Iranian hosts, tables were labeled “real estate”, “luxury”, “information and communications technology” so that the Americans could be certain of sitting with Iranians eager to do business. “Everybody loves us here,” exclaimed one American naïf. Well, not everyone. There is that nasty Ayatollah, calling for “Death to America.” But not yet to the American businessmen who will certainly help him earn the cash with which to finance his nuclear ambitions. After, as one profit-hungry businessman put it, helping Obama to sell his deal by speaking about “what we saw.” More precisely, “what we were allowed to see.” A good time was had by all, to the tune of “Happy”, a song to which some young Iranians danced last year, to the consternation of what have come to be called “the hardliners”, who promptly clapped the kids in jail.
Growing up blind and poor in rural China, Chen Guangcheng had few prospects. Yet before he turned 40, Chen was one of China’s most famous human rights activists, known around the world after he became the subject of a dramatic standoff between the American and Chinese governments.
In January, Sri Lanka’s voters kicked out President Mahinda Rajapaksa for being corrupt, repressive, and too close to China. The country’s new government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, promptly drew attention and not a little admiration for halting a Chinese-led
A top intelligence official under President Obama, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, says that the chances Hillary Clinton's private emails were hacked is "very high." Flynn, who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency but is now retired, called it hackings "likely."
Flynn made the comments to Megyn Kelly last night on Fox News:
The Chinese have come up with a new strategy for controlling vital sea lanes. Build islands and then put bases on them. They have, according to U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Harry Harris, built "a 'great wall of sand' in contested waters near its shores … pumping sand onto live coral reefs — some of them submerged — and paving over them with concrete … [creating] over 4 square kilometers of artificial landmass.”
If you harbor any doubts that “conservative” is an all-purpose epithet in the press, then Simon Denyer, the Washington Post’s China bureau chief, will happily erase those doubts. Writing last week about threats to freedom of speech and scholarly inquiry in the former British colony of Hong Kong (“In Hong Kong, fears of Chinese restrictions on academic freedom grow,” March 15), he made it clear where the problem lies: It’s the People’s Republic of China “and its conserv-ative backers in Hong Kong” who want to censor speech and shut down academic freedom.
After China supplanted Japan in 2011 as the world’s second-largest economy, some China scholars, as well as pundits and economists, began forecasting when it would supplant the United States as the largest. Extrapolating China’s remarkable 9-10 percent average annual growth in the prior three decades, these forecasters placed the GDP crossover in 2020. When China experienced a slowdown to 7-8 percent growth in 2012-2014, the crossover was deferred to 2024-2025.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Venezuelan leader, Nicolas Maduro, have much more in common than failing economies, populist rhetoric, and a penchant for extra-judicial political maneuvers: they are both the first and second (respectively) highest recipients of Chinese lending in Latin America—a region that, between 2005 and 2013 has received more than $100 billion in loan commitments from Beijing.
If Pyongyang has an equivalent to the late Richard Helms, the Nixon era director of central intelligence who kept the secrets on Vietnam and Iran, that would be Kim Yong-chol, a four-star general and Kim Jong-un confidante. Kim, a former bodyguard of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, is now the director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB).