Chinese bid for A123 may raise security risks: Senators

A123

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Chinese company’s attempt to take over government-backed battery maker A123 raises serious national security concerns, a bipartisan group of lawmakers said this week, adding to growing congressional opposition to the deal.

China’s Wanxiang Group Corp is currently competing with U.S.-based Johnson Controls Inc to buy bankrupt A123, which makes lithium ion batteries for electric cars.

The government must ensure that any sale of A123’s technology, which has also been used by the military and to support the U.S. electrical grid, does not threaten domestic security, the senators said in letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other top cabinet officials.

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China Launches Aircraft Carrier

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China J-16 Landing on Deck

Langley Intelligence Group Network LIGNET

China has entered a critical phase in its rapid military expansion — and it is flexing its muscle for the world to see.

China just announced that it has succeeded in landing a J-15 fighter on an aircraft carrier, a milestone most experts didn’t expect the Chinese military to achieve for several years.

Gordon G. Chang, an expert on Asian geopolitics, tells LIGNET, the global intelligence and forecasting service, that China is becoming desperate as a result of its deteriorating economy and the desire to claim more land.

Chang also believes the “military is starting to break free of civilian control.” He calls this “a very, very troublesome event.”

Is this just the beginning of China’s aggressive attempt to position itself as a global military superpower?

As the Obama administration prepares to announce the replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, this looms as a critically important question.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4LIGNET will hold an emergency briefing on the escalating tensions between the United States and China.

Leading the intelligence panel will be former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who recently served as U.S. ambassador to China.

We strongly encourage you to join this urgent LIGNET briefing Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 11 a.m. EST to discover how this new China could have dire consequences for America and inescapable economic ramifications.

If you would like to register to watch this important briefing, you can sign up by clicking here.

Silicon Valley exporter sentenced to prison

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley electronics exporter was sentenced to a little more than a year in prison for selling sensitive technology to China without a license.

Fu-Tain Lu had was also ordered on Monday to pay a $5,000 fine and forfeit $136,000 worth of sensitive electronics. The 65-year-old Lu had pleaded guilty to one felony charge in November, admitting he sold microwave amplifiers to a Chinese company. U.S. companies are required to get the permission of the Department of Commerce before selling and shipping amplifiers to China.

The U.S. government restricts the sale of some technologies if they are for military use. The Justice Department also said Lu instructed employees to lie about where the products were going.

Fake Chinese parts in US-made arms leave India at risk

New York: India, a big buyer of American arms, is understandably concerned by a key US senate committee report that finds vast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in US military equipment. Where does it leave India if suspect parts have crept into US-built aircrafts and missiles it has bought or put on its shopping list? The failure of a single electronic component could put an Indian airman or soldier at risk.

Over a 14-month investigation, the Senate committee’s investigative staff amassed a database with 1,800 cases of counterfeiting involving about 1 million parts. It found that 70 percent of the suspect parts were traced to fly-by-night, unscrupulous Chinese companies who supplied electronics and other computer chips to large US defence manufacturers.

Picture courtesy Boeing
India will acquire ten C-17 Globemaster-III aircrafts from Boeing for $4.1 billion, which will be delivered in 2013.

Defence Minister AK Antony told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday that India was verifying if “faulty spare parts made in China” were used in defence equipment being sold by the US to India.

“There have been media reports in this regard, which are being verified,” Antony said this week.

According to Bloomberg, the US Air Force had in January this year suspended a company called Hong Dark Electronic Trade Co., in Shenzhen (in southern China), from supplying parts to US contractors after it supplied about 84,000 fake components to a middleman, who then sold the suspect electronic parts to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, among others.

Bloomberg quoted Air Force Deputy General Counsel Steven Shaw’s memo saying; œMany of the 84,000 electronic parts from Hong Dark have been installed on aircraft such the C-17 transport and helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache and CH-46.”

Given Shaw’s memo, India should double-check what it is paying for when it receives new aircraft. The first of the 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft ordered last year will be delivered to the Indian Air Force in June next year. India is forking over $4.1 billion (Rs 22,960 crore) to buy the US Air Force’s workhorse used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan, making it the largest defence contract to have been signed by the two governments.

Antony listed some of the other US military equipment India had bought in the last five years. Last year, India purchased an amphibious transport vessel, the USS Trenton (re-christened INS Jalashwa), for nearly $50 million with six-UH-3H helicopters to operate alongside, costing another $49 million.

It also bought Harpoon anti-submarine missiles under a package worth $200 million, and long-range acoustic devices, modern hull penetrating periscopes, side scan sonar, C-130J transport aircraft, sensor-fused weapons, P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft and quick reaction team boats from the US.

One reason India is beefing up its arsenal is China, which has been expanding its military and modernising its equipment at a tear. This has triggered a simultaneous build-up of advanced weaponry in the Asia-Pacific region on a scale and at a speed not seen since the Cold War arms race between America and the Soviet Union.

India has purchased some $12.7 billion in arms, 80 percent of them from Russia, during 2007-2011, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India and the US want to eventually move beyond a seller-buyer relationship to substantial co-production and eventually, high-technology joint research and development of weapons.

by 

Original Post: http://www.firstpost.com/world/fake-chinese-parts-in-made-in-usa-arms-leave-india-at-risk-414524.html

GE to Hire 5,000 U.S. Veterans, Investing in Plants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Electric Co plans to hire 5,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years and to invest $580 million to expand its aviation footprint in the United States this year.

The largest U.S. conglomerate unveiled the moves ahead of a four-day meeting it is convening in Washington starting on Monday to focus on boosting the U.S. economy, which has been slow to recover from a brutal 2007-2009 recession.

“We should have the confidence to act and to restore American competitiveness,” Chief Executive Jeff Immelt, a top adviser on jobs and the economy to President Barack Obama, said in a statement.

The U.S. unemployment rate — seen as the main barrier to a move vibrant recovery — fell to a near three-year low of 8.3 percent in January, helped in part by the manufacturing sector adding about 50,000 workers. Even with that improvement, 23.8 million Americans remain out of work or underemployed, which is keeping the economy a key issue heading into November’s presidential elections.

The world’s largest maker of jet engines plans this year to open three new U.S. aviation plants, in Ellisville, Mississippi; Auburn, Alabama, and Dayton, Ohio. After cutting headcount significantly during the recession — as did its major peers including United Technologies Corp and Caterpillar Inc — GE has added about 9,000 U.S. workers since 2009, and has already announced plans to hire another 4,500 people.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company, whose operations range from making loans to mid-sized businesses to manufacturing railroad locomotives, plans to discuss these moves at the Washington meeting. Boeing Co CEO James McNerney and Dow Chemical Co CEO Andrew Liveris are also scheduled to speak.

(Reporting By Scott Malone; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Counterfeit Chinese Parts in US Military Weapons

NEWSMAX

By: Henry J. Reske

Counterfeit Chinese electronics have found their way into U.S. military weapons systems. A congressional investigation has found at least 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics in weapons and the number of suspect parts could exceed 1 million, The Washington Post reported.

“We cannot allow our national security to depend on electronic scrap salvaged from trash heaps by Chinese counterfeiters,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told the Post.

The findings are based on defense contractors’ records, and Levin contends that they represent “just the tip of the iceberg.”

China was the source in more than 70 percent of the cases when the parts were traced, according to Senate staffers. About 20 percent of the other cases led to Britain and Canada, resale points for fake Chinese parts, the Post reported.

The parts, often salvaged from old electronic components, are unreliable.

“We can’t tolerate the risk of a ballistic missile interceptor failing to hit its target, a helicopter pilot unable to fire his missiles or any other mission failure because of a counterfeit part,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told the Post.

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China’s unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasts off

n this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a modified model of the Long

BEIJING (AP) — China’s unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasted off Tuesday morning, in the latest step in what will be a decade-long effort by the country to place a manned permanent space station in orbit.

The spacecraft took off from a base in the far western city of Jiuquan, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Minutes later, Xinhua cited Chang Wanquan, who leads China’s space program, as announcing the launch a success.

China launched its own space station program after being rebuffed in its attempts to join the 16-nation International Space Station, largely on objections from the United States. The U.S. is wary of the Chinese program’s military links and the sharing of technology with its chief economic and political competitor.

Earlier Chinese news reports did not specify a launch date for Shenzhou 8. Chinese space officials rarely speak to foreign media.

The Shenzhou 8 will attempt to dock with an experimental module, carrying out maneuvers to couple with the Tiangong 1 module now in orbit. The 8.5-ton, box car-sized Tiangong 1 launched last month.

Following Shenzhou 8, two more missions — at least one of them manned — are to meet up with the module next year for further practice, with astronauts staying for up to one month.

Plans call for launching two other experimental modules for more tests before the actual station is launched in three sections between 2020 and 2022.

At about 60 tons when completed, the Chinese station will be considerably smaller than the International Space Station, which is expected to continue operating through 2028.

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