Chinese listening Stations In Fujian Province Upgraded

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China has installed new aerial listening stations on the coast of its Fujian Province, a military spokesman said yesterday, adding that are being taken to counter surveillance and enhance the security of important electronic communications.

Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Major General David Lo said the military is monitoring the development closely and that Taiwan has its own surveillance system to deal with intelligence gathering by Chinese signal-snooping stations.
The statement came one day after the Canada-based Kanwa Information Center reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had set up at least three large aerial listening stations, directly across the Strait from Taiwan.

Lo said that the ministry has instructed its telecommunications units to strictly follow established regulations on frequency signals and radio data encryption to ensure the security of classified information.

According to Kanwa, the PLA has been installing new facilities in Fujian to monitor telecommunications and radio signals, including mobile phones and other types of wireless communications, from military bases and government institutions across the nation’s western region.

One new monitoring station is reportedly only about 23km from the PLA’s Longtian Air Base, where S-300 PMU-2 surface-to-air missiles are deployed. All the antennae and radar dishes at the base are directed toward Taipei and Greater Taichung, Kanwa reported.
Two other new Fujian bases have installed radomes and antennae to intercept electromagnetic waves from Taiwan’s military radar systems, as well as other telecommunications and radio signals, the report said.

China intelligence station near Fujian
China intelligence station near Fujian

It is known that the stations are administered by the Third Department and Fourth Department of the PLA’s General Staff Department, which are responsible for “technical reconnaissance” and cyberwarfare, monitoring telecommunications traffic, electronic countermeasures and radar intelligence-gathering.

A satellite photograph in the Kanwa report shows that the monitoring station near Longtian Air Base has 10 parabolic radar antennae of various sizes, and six large radomes — a weatherproof enclosure that protects a radar antenna inside it.

Russia testing new missile battery in Donbas, expert says

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Russian/rebel troops in the area of Bakhmut road have used a new missile system against the Ukrainian army, Prava sprava NGO head Dmytro Snehiriov writes.

Popasna was the town where the Russian tested their new weapon for the first time. New 220-mm missiles leave much bigger craters than Grad missiles or mortar mines.
The new missile battery has completed testing in Russia, military design bureau Splav Mykola Makarovets confirmed. 

After the testing in Russia, Moscow decided to use the new weapon in Donbas, the expert said. 

Model of Next Generation Aircraft Carrier in Central China

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Satellite images provided by Google Maps indicated that China is apparently building a model aircraft carrier on land at an unknown place in Central China, according to China's nationalistic newspaper Global Times.

Model of Aircraft Carrier in Central China
Model of Aircraft Carrier in Central China

The model of the aircraft carrier is 300 meters long and 80 meters wide. Aboard its flight deck, there is a large helicopter and a carrier-based fighter which looks to be a J-15. Models of an unknown type of surface combat vessel can be seen right next to the aircraft carrier. By looking at the bridge of that model warship, military experts from China said that the vessel is very likely a Type 055 guided-missile destroyer designed to compete against US Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Russian Tank Maker Doesn't Want Armata Sold To Beijing

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Uralvagonzavod, a Russian machine building company in Nizhny Tagil, recently rejected the idea of selling the Armata heavy vehicle platform to China despite the nation demonstrating great interest in the tank platform according to the Vzglyad, a Moscow-based newspaper.

Oleg Bochkaryov, deputy chairman of the Military and Industrial Commission, said that the Armata Universal Combat Platform will be commissioned by the Russian army next month. After they take part in the military parade on May 9 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, all Armata tanks are to be brought back to the plant for modifications before they enter regular service with the Russian military.

Russian Armata main battle tank

After three years of tests with combat units, production of the Armata Universal Combat Platform will officially begin in 2018. China had already demonstrated great interest in purchasing the tanks from Russia even though they are yet to enter active service. However, Uralvagonzavod opposed the idea of providing any advanced tanks to China to prevent Beijing from stealing technology from Moscow through reverse engineering.

Beijing-Moscow High-Speed Rail Line Worth $242 Billion Approved

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A social media post, published by Beijing’s municipal government yesterday, finally confirmed that China are to go ahead with plans to build a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail link between Beijing and Moscow.

The line aims will provide super fast transport across Central Asia and will compete with the Trans-Siberian Railway, cutting travel time between the two countries from six days to two,according to the government’s post on social media website Weibo. 

 However, critics of the 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion) project fear that the investment will have to be shouldered mostly by China. Russian economy has floundered over the last few months due to the sanctions imposed by Europe and the U.S. over Russia’s role in the Ukrainian crisis. The severe drop in crude oil prices has also had a devastating effect on the strength of the rouble. 
A Chinese blog has claimed that the rail link will have multiple long term benefits, including improving the country’s food shortage problems as fertile soil can be easily imported from Russia. The site also said the link would provide an easy way for Chinese farmers to migrate to Russia where they would set up farms to supply food to both countries.  

Russia has long had a strong relationship with China, which has only been strengthen by the recent souring in relations with Europe and U.S. As well as the finalization of this new transport link, in May last year the two countries increased the transfer of energy resources between them, signing a gas supply deal worth $400 billion. The 30 year contract stipulates that 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas will be supplied annually to China, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.  

Trade between the two countries exceeded $95bn in 2014, according to the Chinese customs department, a 6.8% growth on the year before, with raw materials such as oil, ore and timber accounting for 80% of the trade.

U.S. Military Denies Snowden Claim That China Stole Top-Secret Warplane Data

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U.S. military officials are pushing back against a claim that National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden made last week about China stealing top-secret data on a pricey warplane program.

Snowden, a former contractor who fled the United States after exposing NSA spy secrets, shared documents with German magazine Der Spiegel that appear to show that China stole sensitive data about the warplane, including engine schematics and radar design.
The magazine made public a report on China’s intelligence theft earlier this month.
But on Tuesday, the F-35 fighter jet program office told Reuters that the documents released by Der Spiegel only show non-classified data about the jet.

“Classified F-35 information is protected and remains secure,” the program office told Reuters in a statement.

In the statement, Pentagon officials said they continue to take all potential cyberattacks seriously, and that the incident in question was not expected to negatively impact the program, Reuters reported.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Monday denied China stole the jet data, according to The New York Times. The “complexity” of the alleged cyberattacks “means that it is extremely difficult to identify the source,” Mr. Lei said.
“I wonder if they can produce evidence to prop up such accusation and groundless attack,” he said.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren declined on Tuesday to discuss whether the Chinese had been able to peek at U.S. military technology secrets.
“We never talk about cyber-intrusions and we don’t comment on leaked information,” he said.

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