Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hamas agents ordered weapons from China

JERUSALEM — Israel has evidence that the Hamas regime has been ordering weapons and military equipment directly from China.

Israeli officials said the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip has sent agents to Beijing to negotiate weapons deals with state-owned Chinese companies. In 2008, they said, Chinese-origin extended-range rockets were acquired and sent to the Gaza Strip via Iran.

"We now believe that Hamas has been dealing directly with Chinese suppliers, rather than through Iran," an official said.

During the war in the Gaza Strip in early 2009, Hamas fired scores of Chinese-origin 122 mm and 170 mm rockets, with ranges of up to 40 kilometers, into Israel.

Officials said Hamas has been using agents from Europe, Israel and the West Bank to help facilitate the Chinese weapons procurement. On April 26, a Palestinian man from the West Bank city of Hebron was indicted on charges of trying to purchase weapons for Hamas.

Saadi Jamjum, a 33-year-old car dealer, was alleged to have traveled to China for Hamas in March 2009. The indictment said Jamjum was asked by a Hamas agent, identified as Raid Abu Hatlah, to purchase 60 telescopic rifle sights, 2,000 M-16 rifle magazines, 2,000 additional gun clips, 1,000 radios, 400 mobile phones and dozens of listening devices.

The indictment said the Chinese weapons were to have been shipped to the Gaza Strip via cargo registered as containing toys. To enhance the credibility of the shipment, Jamjum was ordered by Abu Hatlah, a resident of the Gaza Strip, to purchase thousands of dollars of toys from a Chinese factory.

The Chinese suppliers of the weapons allegedly ordered by Jamjum were not identified.

Officials said Hamas has sought to diversify its military suppliers in wake of the 22-day war with Israel. So far, Iran and Hizbullah have been virtually the sole suppliers to the Hamas regime

Friday, April 24, 2009

Russia: China shamelessly steals fighter jet technology

China completes the tests of its latest fighter. Chinese engineers say that J-11BS represents the aviation of the fourth generation. Foreign experts say that the Chinese have actually stolen the idea of the fighter jet from Russia.

China’s latest J-11BS fighter was unveiled on April 10. The development of the aircraft is to be finished by the end of 2009. The serial production is to be launched in 2010.

Chinese engineers have not offered anything new. The J-11BS is a two-seated modification of the J-11B, which appeared in China as a result of an international scandal.

China purchased a batch of Su-27 SKK from Russia in 1992. The country later said that it would like to build its own fighters on the Russian license. Russia then received orders for the two-seated version of the same aircraft – Su-30 MKK.

The miracle of the Chinese aircraft-making company Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) took off in 1998 – the J-11 aircraft, which was actually a licensed product.

China ’s military administration said six years later that it no longer needed licensed fighter jets because their battling capacities did not match the country’s needs, as it was said. China had 95 new J-11 aircraft added to its arsenal; the planes virtually represented Russian fighter jets assembled in China.

However, China proved to be unable to develop the production of aircraft engines, and the country continues to purchase Russian engines for Su-27 MKK and Su-30 MKK, which supposedly do not meet China’s demands.

In February 2007, China represented J-11B, which bore a striking resemblance to Russia’s Su fighters, as US experts wrote.

China is currently working on the deck-based version of the Su-27 aircraft. The country apparently uses its previous experience and copy Russian fighters for it. Therefore, Russia refused to sell deck-based Su-33 to China in 2008.

Sergei Balmasov,
Pravda.Ru correspondent

Monday, April 20, 2009

60th anniversary celebration for Chinese Navy

BEIJING -- China's navy is set to hold a huge maritime ceremony to mark its 60th anniversary in April, and has invited ships and top officials from dozens of countries to attend, media reported Saturday.

Chinese naval soldiers welcome the arrival of a Pakistani destroyer at the Qingdao port in east China's Shandong province, April 18, 2009. [Xinhua]

The four-day celebration -- set to begin Monday in and off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao -- will involve 21 naval vessels from 14 countries, Xinhua news agency said.

Officials from 29 nations are also due to attend, including the US chief of naval operations, and the Russian navy commander-in-chief.

The ceremony, which will include a fleet parade and a sampan race, will mark the founding of the People's Liberation Army's navy on April 23, 1949, Xinhua said, months before the People's Republic of China was formally established in October.

The navy was formed when a unit of the Kuomintang's coastal defence fleet defected in the civil war after WWII, bringing with it nine warships and 17 other boats, Xinhua said.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

China launches BeiDou-2 (COMPASS-G2) navigation satellite

China launches BeiDou-2 (COMPASS-G2) navigation satellite

BeiDou-2 (COMPASS-G2) - China’s second geostationary navigation satellite - has launched from the Xichang satellite Launch Center, in Sichuan Province, via a CZ-3C Chang Zheng-3C (CZ3C-2) launch vehicle. Lift-off was at 16:16 UTC.

The launch is the first in a series of launches announced by China to form the complete Compass constellation. This constellation of satellites will consist of approximately 30 vehicles, including 27 MEO satellites, with nine satellites for each orbit plane - and four GSO satellites (58.75 degrees E, 80 degrees E, 110.5 degrees E, and 140 degrees E). The BeiDou-2 was developed from the DFH-3 satellite platform and has a lifespan of 8 years.

The Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS) is China’s second-generation satellite navigation system capable of providing continuous, real-time passive 3D geo-spatial positioning and speed measurement.

The first phase of the project will deal with coverage for the Chinese territory. However, a future Compass constellation will cover the entire globe.

This was the second flight of the CZ-3C Chang Zheng-3C launch vehicle. The rocket was developed to fill the gap between the CZ-3A Chang Zheng-3A and the CZ-3B Chang Zheng-3B, with a payload capacity of 3800 kg for GTO. This is a three stage launch vehicle, identical to the CZ-3B, instead using two strap-on boosters on its first stage.

The development of the CZ-3C started in February 1999. The rocket has a lift-off mass of 345,000 kg. The first two stages as well as the two strap on boosters use hypergolic fuel while the third stage uses cryogenic fuel. The total length of the CZ-3C is 54.80 meters, with a diameter of 3.35 meters on the core stage and 3.00 meters on the third stage.

This was the 117th successful Chinese orbital launch and the 116th launch of a Chang Zheng launch vehicle.

The Xi Chang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in the Sichuan Province, south-western China and is the country’s launch site for geosynchronous orbital launches.

Equipped with two launch pads (LC2 and LC3), the centre has a dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site. The Command and Control Centre is located seven kilometers south-west of the launch pad, providing flight and safety control during launch rehearsal and launch.

Other facilities on the Xi Chang Satellite Launch Centre are the Launch Control Centre, propellant fuelling systems, communications systems for launch command, telephone and data communications for users, and support equipment for meteorological monitoring and forecasting.

The first launch from Xi Chang took place at 12:25UTC on January 29, 1984, when the CZ-3 Chang Zheng-3 (CZ3-1) was launched the Shiyan Weixing (14670 1984-008A) communications satellite into orbit. The launch of the new BeiDou-2 satellite was the 50th successful orbital launch from Xi Chang.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Russia-China military deals worth $16 bln since 2001

MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russian-Chinese military-technical cooperation totals $16 billion since 2001, but the Chinese share of Russian arms exports is decreasing, the head of Russia's arms export monopoly has said.

"In the past 15 years, China has been one of our major customers, buying up to $2.7 billion-worth of Russian-made weaponry. The value of Russian-Chinese military-technical cooperation since 2001 totals $16 billion," Rosoboronexport's general director Anatoly Isaikin said in an interview published on Friday with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily.

Russia has sold China Su-27 and Su-30 fighters, Kilo class diesel submarines, and air-defense systems, among other types of weapons and equipment.

However, the official said the Chinese share of Russian arms exports decreased to 18% last year, and could drop to 10-15% in the future for a number of reasons, including Russia's expansion into other arms markets.

He said Russia was unfazed by the prospect, because the sales volumes remained relatively high.

"After all, sales volumes [to China] are still high, averaging $1 billion a year," Isaikin said, adding that Russia's first arms deal of this year was signed with China for the delivery of more than 100 jet engines for the Chinese J-10 fighter.

Military analysts believe, however, that Russian-Chinese military cooperation has been overshadowed by Russia's concerns that China may use Russian technology to produce their own copycat versions of military equipment.

For instance, Russia has refused to sell its Su-33 carrier-based fighters to China over fears that Beijing could produce cheaper export versions of the aircraft.

Russian Defense Ministry sources earlier confirmed that the refusal was due to findings that China had produced its own copycat version of the Su-27SK fighter jet in violation of intellectual property agreements.

Solovtsov said both countries were making efforts to resolve existing problems.

"We signed an agreement in December last year on the protection of intellectual property in the sphere of military-technical cooperation," the general said, adding that mechanisms to implement the provisions of the document would be developed in the near future.

He also said that China would continue to buy military transport aircraft and aircraft engines from Russia, and was also interested in air-defense systems and naval equipment.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

China, US to resume military exchanges

China and the United States will resume military exchanges that were suspended last November.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday that President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart, Barack Obama, reached the agreement at their first meeting on Wednesday, one day before the G20 summit in London.

Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands with US President Barack Obama (R) at Winfield House, the US ambassador's residence in London April 1, 2009. [Agencies]
The White House said in a statement on Wednesday: "Both sides share a commitment to military-to-military relations and will work for their continued improvement and development."

A researcher lauded the move.

"In the long term, repairing and developing military ties between China and the United States are in the interests of both," Zhang Tuosheng, with the China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies, told China Daily.

The two countries held military defense policy talks in Beijing in February, in what analysts said was a prelude to a resumption of military exchanges.

ASEAN summits

Premier Wen Jiabao will propose a series of initiatives to strengthen cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Pattaya, Thailand, this month, Qin said.

ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea will hold several summits from April 10 to 12.
The financial sector will be Wen's focus, Qin said, adding that the summits will help Southeast and East Asian nations fight the financial crisis.
Facing common challenges with ASEAN, China is willing to work with the 10-member bloc to tackle the financial crisis, Qin said.
China and ASEAN plan to build the world's most populous free-trade area by 2010.
They have already implemented free-trade pacts on a wide range of goods and are working to liberalize investment and the service sector.