An IDC Report

(With inputs from Bloomberg)


New Delhi, 15 May 2005

China's is building up its Maritime Interests in the Indian Ocean which are likely to clash with our own so we should be careful .Trade with China has risen rapidly to $14 b and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao with a large delegation visited India recently after a trip to Pakistan He assured them that China would ensure Pakistan's territorial integrity and on the other hand pressed for closer relations with India. Both Dr Manmohan Singh and Wen agreed to form a strategic partnership to end the border dispute and boost trade in a deal marking a major shift in relations. "India and China can together reshape the world order," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a ceremony for his Chinese counterpart.

NSA M K Narayanan signed an agreement with Vice Minister Dai Bingguo in Delhi which envisages that the countries would consider historical factors, geographical features, people living in the area, security and whether the area was currently under Indian or Chinese control when marking the border. This means China will keep what it has and so will India with minor changes possibly in the Tawang sector. Interestingly Vijay Nambiar India’s former envoy to Pakistan and China took over as the Deputy NSA. India noted that Pakistan had signed a joint production agreement with China for FC 17P planes, four F 22P frigates and was forced to delay the opening the of the already completed Gwadar deep-sea port for security reasons, which the Chinese PM was to inaugurate. USA would supply 8 PC 3 Orions with Harpoons and 24 F 16s.

China like India has the great advantage of many ethnic Chinese all over the world and it is known they use them for intelligence and India should be aware. According to a new Pentagon report and China wathers, China is improving its far-flung system of human spies, recruits, sleeper agents and electronic eavesdropping in tandem with its build up of conventional military power. Since the mid-1980s China has developed the world's third- largest capability, after the U.S. and Russia, to intercept conversations and messages, according to the ``Intelligence Threat Handbook'' distributed to Pentagon personnel.

“The more they have an advanced intelligence capability, the more concern there is about China's military and weapons,'' said Jeffery Richelson, author of “The U.S. Intelligence Community,'' which is in its third edition. “This makes China's strategic clout greater and demonstrates why many nations, and many Americans, are concerned about a future threat from China,'' said Larry Wortzel, a defense fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former China analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

China, for example, recently fielded a new land-attack cruise missile similar to the U.S. Tomahawk that will require precise coordinates of targets as well as images to store inside the missile's tracking system. Wortzel said, “The Chinese always have had good intelligence but this handbook shows they are focusing on specific needs for their military improvement so the U.S. needs to be vigilant.''

Electronic Intelligence

China monitors signals from India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Taiwan, the 102-page handbook says. “Signals from U.S. military units located in the region are of particular interest to these monitoring stations. There is no indication that this capability presents a significant threat to U.S. forces.''

Chinese ships “monitor U.S. military operations and exercises in the Asia-Pacific region,'' supplementing several dozen monitoring sites in China and listening posts in Burma, Rocky Island in the Paracel Archipelago in the South China Sea and the Coco Islands in the Andaman Sea, the handbook says.

“This gives China extensive capability to conduct sophisticated signals intelligence operations throughout Southeast Asia,'' it says.

Still, “while it is expected that China will improve its capabilities –– increasing the collection threat to the United States –– the majority of intelligence will probably continue to come from'' spies and China's harvesting of unclassified information such as Rand Corporation reports and congressional documents, the handbook says.

Avoiding Surprises

The improvements accelerated after China's apparent surprise in March 1996 at the U.S. decision to dispatch the aircraft carrier USS Independence to the vicinity of Taiwan, after China during a war exercise fired missiles over the island in protest against its first presidential election, the commander of the U.S. Air Forces in the Pacific said.

“When you get ‘surprised' as a nation you want to ask yourself whether you want to be surprised again or whether you want to develop capability to not be surprised,'' General Paul Hester, the commander of Pacific Air Forces told reporters in an April 28 breakfast meeting.

“They are developing the capability to not be surprised and to be able to see further away from their shoreline than they could in 1996.'' Hester said.

China now has only a limited ability to take spy satellite photos and uses that to collect images over Russia although U.S. intelligence agencies believe that China will “probably develop'' a satellite camera system capable of snapping ground images of higher resolution, the handbook says. It does not say when this capability will be achieved.

Human Spies

China has the potential for a robust human spy system within the U.S.–– seven diplomatic establishments and 2,750 commercial offices in addition to an estimated 100,000 current and former students from the Peoples Republic, the handbook said. In addition, 27,000 PRC delegates visit the U.S. annually, it said.

Chinese intelligence makes an active effort to recruit Chinese-Americans, although “there is no evidence that the PRC considers Chinese-Americans to be more vulnerable to approach than any other group,” the book said.

“Chinese human intelligence operations rely on collecting a small amount of information from a large number'' of ethnic Chinese, it said. “The PRC attempts to recruit or at least ‘make friends' with as many Chinese-Americans as possible, apparently hoping that at least some will perceive an obligation to help China, perhaps on a confidential basis.''

This strategy, while not “particularly efficient,'' has the potential to “overwhelm U.S. law enforcement and counter-intelligence because of the sheer quantity of operations they undertake,'' the book says.

Wortzel said the depiction of China's human spying tactics is “realistic.'' ‘The characterisations of the use of ethnic Chinese- Americans in espionage is realistic and has no, repeat no tinge of racism,'' he said. China has also despatched agents as longterm sleepers and the Embassy in Chanakyapuri is big and very interesting to watch. US believes if large numbers of PRC nationals leave China and settle permanently in the U.S., “some of them may some day find their way into positions of intelligence potential,'' the books says.

The handbook is the latest edition of a publication first released in 1995. It's produced by the Pentagon's Greenbelt, Maryland-based Operational Security Support Staff. “The material makes it the most authoritative unclassified U.S. government publication on foreign intelligence operations directed against U.S. government and commercial institutions,'' Richelson said. “Basically it is a pretty good document that can be used by government security officers to sensitize government employees to Chinese espionage through defensive security education and counterintelligence programs without being alarmist,'' Wortzel said.

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