- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rear Adm. Yin Zhuo, a leading Chinese navy official, told his nation Aug. 24 that plans to boost U.S. missile defenses in Asia are a strategic conspiracy to trick other nations in the region into investing vast resources to develop nuclear and ballistic weapons.

Adm. Yin told the People’s Daily’s flagship online discussion portal “Strong China Forum” that the objective of the U.S. defense effort is to force nations to deplete military budgets that should be used to develop conventional weapons.

“We think that the United States’ missile defense system conspires to lead developing countries with nascent nuclear deterrence such as China or India astray,” said Adm. Yin, who is in charge of the People’s Liberation Army’s Naval Information System Commission.

The admiral went on to state that one of the purposes of U.S. efforts to develop a missile defense system “is to set up a big trap, a trap in fact for all other countries to fall in. That is to say, it aims to force America’s opponents to invest huge amounts into developing nuclear and ballistic weapons to drain your limited military resources. While in fact these nuclear and ballistic weapons you developed will not have real use in an actual war, they will leave you with no money for developing conventional weapons.”

India: China parts TIED to blackout

A report by India’s intelligence authorities suggests that China played a role in causing two nationwide blackouts in late July that left more than 640 million Indians without power, according to the Indian website One India.

Initially, the cause of the blackouts was blamed on India’s dilapidated power grid and power delivery facilities that could not handle poorly timed power-ration schemes used to share electricity among various Indian states.

The intelligence report stated that faulty parts obtained from China and installed into the Indian power grid system were the ultimate culprit behind the epic power failure.

And the popular sentiment in India tends to support the report’s findings, partly due to growing fears in India of a wave of Chinese-engineered cyberattacks around the nation.

Reports said the Chinese cyberattacks were helped by Chinese-made computer hardware and mechanical parts that played a crucial role in collecting Indian government secrets, including political and military intelligence.

As Asia’s two neighboring giants, India and China remain locked in a competition for regional and global development. India and China have the largest territorial disputes in Asia, and both have witnessed economic growth at dizzying speeds, while militarily both New Delhi and Beijing target each other as potential adversaries.

Prospectors arrested – again

Amid multiple cases of Chinese fishermen illegally fishing in other countries’ waters, triggering serious diplomatic disputes between the Chinese government and all its maritime neighbors, there’s another group of Chinese citizens raising concerns overseas about illegal activities: China’s multitude of gold prospectors in Africa.

Last week, 34 Chinese prospectors were arrested by a special force of police, military and border control agents in the West African nation of Ghana for what reports said were “illegally mining for gold.”

It was the second time in a year that scores of Chinese prospectors were rounded up in Ghana for the same offense. In May, 38 Chinese prospectors were arrested by the Ghanaian police on charges of illicit gold prospecting.

The modus operandi of these Chinese prospectors is to sign a contract with a legitimate gold-mining company in Ghana that then employs many Chinese gold miners. Under legal employment, these Chinese miners use the Ghanaian company’s equipment and tools to conduct illegal gold mining of their own in different mining strips that are specifically prohibited by local laws.

The activities severely damage the environment and deplete local resources, and they are causing mounting anger and outrage in regions where these Chinese miners operate.

The latest case involves the gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti in Ghana, which filed a complaint against the Chinese employees for using company equipment and resources to prospect in prohibited areas.

The Ghanaian government took swift action by arresting the 34 Chinese. Many other suspects fled and are still at large in the African jungle.

Analysts say such illegal Chinese activity in Africa is well organized, with many China-based enterprises serving as the organizers. Many African governments consider the behavior to be akin to organized crime.

• Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com.