Inside the Ring - Bill Gertz, Pentagon News - Washington Times
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Inside the Ring

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer linked Zhang Shoucheng's Silicon Valley venture capital firm Danhua Capital to China's "Made in China 2025" technology dominance program days before Zhang's apparent suicide. (Associated Press/File)

Physicist linked to China program

A noted Chinese-born physicist and Stanford University quantum scientist who died Dec. 1 was linked to Beijing's major program to corner the world market in key advanced technologies.

America's adversaries recognize that U.S. command and control systems are major targets in a conflict. If the military's ability to communicate is disrupted, then military effectiveness will be severely limited. (Associated Press/File)

Air Force study on EMP threat

U.S. military facilities involved in command and control of forces face a growing risk of disruption by an electromagnetic pulse attack or solar superstorm that could knock out all electronics at the strategic bases, according to a report.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said President Trump believes there is a good chance a deal will be reached on the trade war with the Chinese. (Associated Press/File)

U.S.-China deal at G-20 prompts fears

China specialists in and out of government are increasingly worried that President Trump will make major concessions to China during the Group of 20 economic summit in Argentina this week.

Nathaniel Gleicher (right), Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, monitors election-related content on the social media platform with Samidh Chakrabarti (left), director of elections and civic engagement, and Katie Harbath, global politics and government outreach director. (Associated Press)

Election interference deterred?

Threats by the Trump administration to retaliate for any foreign interference in the midterm elections appear to have deterred China and Russia from attempting to disrupt the voting or vote tallying Tuesday.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking Oct. 4 at the Hudson Institute in Washington, said China was using its power in "more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States." (Associated Press)

New details on Chinese election meddling

Vice President Mike Pence announced earlier this month that China is working to unseat President Trump and meddle in U.S. elections, revealing what he said was Beijing's plan as outlined in an internal government propaganda directive.

M-16A2 Assault Rifle - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Sexton fires the M-16A2 rifle during reflex shooting training, which is the ability to react quickly and accurately to an immediate enemy threat, during the Patriot exercise at Fort McCoy, Wis., July 16, 2008. Patriot is an annual exercise held across the United States that increases the warfighting capabilities of the National Guard and the reserve and active components of the United States Air Force and Army. The participation of Canadian, United Kingdom and Dutch forces increases combined effectiveness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Smith/Released) ** FILE **

Army gears up for info warfare

The Army this month outlined its plan for using modern-day information warfare in future military conflicts as part of new, high-technology warfighting capabilities.

PACOM on China's Belt and Road

The Pentagon's Pacific Command is pushing back against China's attempt to relabel its global infrastructure development initiative to make it more palatable for strategic messaging in support of Beijing's drive for global hegemony.

The Navy's guided missile destroyer USS Decatur was operating in the South China Sea as part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group when a Chinese destroyer came aggressively close, forcing the U.S. ship to maneuver to prevent a collision. The Chinese warship approached the USS Decatur in an "unsafe and unprofessional maneuver," said Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. (Associated Press)

U.S.-China warship confrontation

Amid worsening U.S.-China military relations, a Chinese warship in the South China Sea this week passed dangerously close to a Navy guided missile destroyer in the most provocative encounter in many months.

Chinese propaganda outlets have provided extensive coverage of Bob Woodward's latest book, "Fear," which criticizes the Trump administration. (Associated Press)

China promotes anti-Trump book

China's government propaganda outlets are actively promoting the anti-President Trump book released this week by Washington Post writer Bob Woodward, called "Fear."

Russia, like China, is believed to be using development of advanced missile defenses as cover for secret programs to build satellite-killing missiles. (Associated Press/File)

Russian ASAT test?

Russia conducted a flight test of new missile recently, and U.S. defense officials say Moscow is set to conduct another test of an anti-satellite missile called the Nudol.

According to a Pentagon report, China fears North Korea's provocative nuclear and missile tests will set off a regional conflict. Beijing wants stability, a denuclearized peninsula and no U.S. forces near its borders. (Associated Press)

China set for North Korea invasion

The Pentagon's latest annual report on China's military for the first time reveals contingency plans by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to intervene in North Korea.

"Today we are the most powerful military in the world and find ourselves in a competition among great powers," said Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis. This week he issued a memorandum to the military that emphasized the need for discipline and lethality. "We must have better individual and unit discipline than our enemies," Mr. Mattis said. (Associated Press)

China's Ukrainian jet engines

China has deployed one aircraft carrier and has plans for at least three more of the strategic power projection platforms as part of Beijing's large-scale military buildup.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat said the FBI notified her five years ago that a staff member was "potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information." (Associated Press/File)

China targeted Feinstein

China's intelligence service sought to recruit a Chinese-American staff member for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a lawmaker who had access to the most sensitive U.S. secrets, but Beijing gained no secrets in the case.

John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a security conference in Colorado last week that space is increasingly contested by adversaries that could cripple the United States in attacks on satellites. (Associated Press/File)

Pentagon policy chief on space force

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood recently previewed the Pentagon's plan to answer President Trump's call to create a space force as a separate branch of the military.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month in Beijing, where he revealed some of his views about the People's Liberation Army's military training and experience. (Associated Press/File)

Mattis on the Chinese military

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is considered a warrior scholar steeped in military history. His views on the Chinese military, however, are not widely known and remain hidden -- despite several on-the-record and off-the-record meetings with reporters during his trip to Beijing last month for talks with Chinese military leaders and President Xi Jinping.