April 18, 2017                                                                   Issue No. 14
In This Issue
Shipbuilding & PLA Navy
Comments and suggestions on our content can be sent to Eric Anderson, Research Analyst, at  eanderson@ucsd.edu. 
SITC News Team
UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation
America's Hidden Role in Chinese Weapons Research | South China Morning Post
China's efforts to lure its scientists back from overseas institutions have been paying off militarily, with more than a little help from the United States. Military projects they have been involved in include China's development of hypersonic weapons capable of penetrating missile-defense systems and the design of new submarines able to patrol quietly along the US west coast, researchers familiar with the programs told the South China Morning Post.
China Bets on Sensitive US Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon | New York Times
When the United States Air Force wanted help making military robots more perceptive, it turned to a Boston-based artificial intelligence start-up called Neurala. But when Neurala needed money, it got little response from the American military. So Neurala turned to China, landing an undisclosed sum from an investment firm backed by a state-run Chinese company.
China Tech Investment Flying Under the Radar, Pentagon Warns | New York Times
China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the US government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America's most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says. There are few restrictions on investing in American start-ups that focus on artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, and robotics, the report contends, and China has taken advantage. Beijing, the report says, is encouraging its companies to invest for the purpose of pushing the country ahead in its strategic competition with the United States.
Burn After Reading: Snowden Documents Reveal Scope of Secrets Exposed to China in 2001 Spy Plane Incident | Intercept
A comprehensive Navy-NSA report completed three months after the collision, and included among documents obtained by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden in 2013, finally reveals extensive details about the incident, the actions crew members took to destroy equipment and data, and the secrets that were exposed to China--which turned out to be substantial though not catastrophic. The unredacted Navy report, supplemented by a 2001 Congressional Research Service summary of the incident, as well as the Intercept's interviews with two crew members on board during the collision, presents the most detailed picture yet of the P-3 incident.
Pentagon Tightens Security on China Contacts | Washington Times
Concerned over illicit Chinese acquisition of defense technology, the Pentagon has taken steps to tighten restrictions on employees who travel to China. Security officials also are urging Defense Department travelers to avoid transit through the communist state after several incidents involving Americans who were detained or harassed on the way to third countries.
China Reveals Hypersonic Scramjet Developments and Plans | Next Big Future
China has revealed the first known images of an indigenous scramjet test that it says was successfully conducted at speeds up to Mach 7 and altitudes up to 30 km in December 2015.
First of Its Type: China to Test Next-Generation Hypersonic Engine | Sputnik News
Chinese engineers from the Beijing Research Institute of Machinery are set to test a prototype combined-cycle hypersonic aircraft engine and first-stage carrier rockets later this year, Aviation Week reported.
How America Plans to Crush China in the Hypersonic Arms Race | National Interest
Air Force weapons developers expect to operate hypersonic intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance drones by the 2040s, once scientific progress with autonomy and propulsion technology matures to a new level. The advent of using a recoverable drone platform able to travel at high altitudes, faster than Mach 5, will follow the emergence of hypersonic weapons likely to be operational in the mid-2020s, according to the Air Force Chief Scientist Geoffrey Zacharias.
China's First Robotic Resupply Freighter Transferred to Launch Pad | Spaceflight Now
Chinese engineers rolled out a Long March 7 rocket to a seaside launch complex on Hainan Island in the South China Sea on Monday, aiming to fire a robotic refueling freighter into orbit as soon as Thursday to test technology for China's future space station.
China's Secret Plan to Crush SpaceX and the US Space Program | CNBC
China's breakneck economic expansion may be flagging, but the country's ambitions in space show no signs of slowing down. Alongside ongoing efforts to rival NASA by placing robotic landers, and eventually astronauts, on the moon and Mars, China's government is increasingly looking to its burgeoning space sector to rival US companies like Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX.
China Is Developing Reusable Rockets with Parachutes and Airbags | Popular Mechanics
Reusable rockets are one of the biggest potential boons to space exploration. If you could relaunch a rocket multiple times before discarding it, you could drastically cut down on the costs of spaceflight. So the China National Space Administration  is developing a system to recover parts of rockets used in launches.
Homegrown China GPS System BeiDou to Expand Entire Southeast Asia | New Indian Express
China's homegrown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, a GPS-like global positioning system, will expand its footprints to Sri Lanka, Thailand, and later to the entire Southeast Asia, in a bid to go global, the system's operator has said.
China Revives Program to Launch Rockets from High-Altitude Aircraft | Telegiz
The advent of the Xian Y-20 military transport aircraft (the largest in the People's Liberation Army Air Force) has breathed new life into China's stalled effort to launch missiles and rockets from aircraft flying at high altitudes. Nicknamed "Chubby Girl," the Y-20 entered service with the PLAAF in June 2016 and is now being mass-produced. The plane will be modified to accommodate missiles or rockets weighing from 100 kg to 200 kg as part of the air-launched rocket program.
Chinese State-Owned Corporation Plans Network of 156 Mini-Satellites to Facilitate Global Broadband Coverage | Open Gov
Xinhua News agency has reported that the State-owned China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation (CASIC) is planning a network of 156 mini-satellites to facilitate global broadband coverage. CASIC is a large state-owned hi-tech enterprise under direct administration of central government. This is the first low orbiting, networked satellite project. The satellites developed by China will orbit 1,000 km above the ground, and it fits into the country's wider push for commercial space development, according to CASIC.

China Launches First High-Throughput Communications Satellite | CGTN
Shijian-13, China's first high-throughput communications satellite, was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 7:04 p.m. Wednesday. The satellite, with a transfer capacity of 20 Gbps and a designed orbital life of 15 years, was sent into orbit on a Long March-3B carrier rocket.
China's Space Day Celebrations Centered in Xi'an | Xinhua
Major celebrations of China's Space Day will start on April 24 in Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. This year's celebrations will focus on the applications of space technology in economic and social development, said Tian Yulong, chief engineer of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
Is China Getting Ready to Purchase Russia's Lethal MiG-31? | National Interest
Chinese media are speculating that Russia hopes to offer Beijing its Mikoyan MIG-31BM Foxhound interceptor for export. However, a MIG-31 sale to Beijing is highly unlikely. The origin of the Chinese speculation seems to stem from a recent Russian air defense exercise in which MIG-31BMs featured quite heavily. The exercises are routine for the Russian air defense forces, but because of the proximity of the war games to the Chinese border, the Chinese media have speculated that Moscow is hoping to sell the long-range, high-speed and high-flying interceptor to Beijing.
Maiden Flight of China-Built World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Set for May | The Diplomat
China's Jiaolong (Water Dragon) AG600 seaplane, purportedly the world's largest amphibious aircraft, will conduct its maiden flight on land in May followed by a flight on water in the second half of 2017, Xinhua news agency reported this month, citing the plane's manufacturer, state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
Just How Good Is China's New J-20 Stealth Fighter? | Popular Mechanics
China's first stealth fighter, the Chengdu J-20, "has the potential to provide China with a variety of previously unavailable air combat options and enhance its capability to project power." That is the conclusion of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington DC-based security think tank. CSIS also concludes that the fighter, first flown in 2011, could enter service as soon as 2018.
10 Things You Should Know About China's First Home-Built Aircraft Carrier | South China Morning Post
China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, is near the final stages of construction. Military sources have suggested that the ship may be launched as early as April 23, the anniversary of the foundation of the PLA Navy. Here are 10 key questions answered about the vessel.
April 23: The Day China Launches Its New Aircraft Carrier? | National Interest
China's first indigenously-built aircraft carrier could be set to launch on April 23--the 68th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy. The Type 001A carrier--thought to be named Shandong--is currently being outfitted at the Dalian shipyards in northeastern China. The vessel is a modified version of China's first carrier--Liaoning--that was built from the decaying hulk of the Soviet Kuznetsov-class flattop Varyag.
China Building Navy's Biggest Amphibious Assault Vessel, Sources Say | South China Morning Post
China has started building a new generation of large amphibious assault vessels that will strengthen the navy as it plays a more dominant role in projecting the nation's power overseas, military sources said. The 075 Landing Helicopter Dock is now under construction by a Shanghai-based shipbuilding company, the sources said, and is far larger than similar ships previously constructed for the PLA Navy.
A Recent Report Warned China Could Have 351 Naval Vessels by 2020 | National Interest
China's rapid development of new destroyers, amphibs, stealth fighters, and long-range weapons is quickly increasing its ability to threaten the United States and massively expand expeditionary military operations around the globe, according to a Congressional report.
Shipbuilder Behind Chinese Aircraft Carrier to Move to Xi Jinping's 'Dream City' | South China Morning Post
China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, which is making the nation's first homegrown aircraft carrier, has become the first central government-owned enterprise to pledge to relocate some of its businesses into the Xiongan New Area.
Chinese Scientists Working on World's First Quantum Computer | Ecns.cn
Chinese scientists are developing the world's first quantum computer, which will be much faster than current supercomputers and is expected to come into fruition in a few years, according to a top scientist. Chinese scientists are able to control the change between single particles and the quantum state, a big step in quantum communication and computing, said Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Liberals Reverse Course on Chinese Takeover of Montreal High-Tech Firm | Globe and Mail
The Trudeau government has approved a Chinese takeover of a Montreal high-tech firm, a deal that national security agencies had warned Ottawa in 2015 would undermine a technological edge that Western militaries have over China. Hong Kong-based O-Net Communications announced that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet had given it the green light to acquire ITF Technologies, a leader in fiber-laser technology. Applications for such technology include directed-energy weapons.
As Trump Meets China, US Worries about Beijing's Supercomputers and Industrial Espionage | Defense One
The meeting between President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago took place against new reports of Chinese-government-sponsored industrial espionage and the concerns of top science minds in the intelligence community that China is eclipsing the United States in a key area of national security concern: high-performance computing.
Q&A: Moniz Looks to Get US Nuclear Scientists More Engaged with China and Russia | Science
The Nuclear Threat Initiative recently announced that former US Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, 72, will lead the Washington, D.C.-based think tank starting on June 1. The physicist earned accolades for his diplomatic efforts in hammering out the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Science caught up with Moniz to discuss how he will address nuclear threats in his new role.
Nation to Open Up More Sectors for Private Investment | China Daily
China will open up more industries, including oil drilling and defense technology, to private investors to cope with slowing private investment growth, Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily reported recently. The government will also lure private investment into strategic emerging industries by setting up industrial investment funds, according to the report.
China to Soon Unveil State Firm Ownership Reforms: Xinhua | Fiscal Times
China's long-awaited mixed ownership reforms will allow private capital to invest in firms run directly by the central government, and are part of an ambitious revamp of the country's sclerotic and debt-ridden state sector. Xinhua said the first round of pilot reforms would also involve the China Southern Power Grid and the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, and a second round would begin later this year, extending reforms to more industrial sectors.
Saudi Arabia to Build Chinese UAVs | IHS Jane's
Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology announced on March 16 that its president and the chair of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation had signed a partnership agreement covering the manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Expert: Drone to Soar On Market | China Daily
China is the largest exporter of military drones today, and it is ready to place a new model on the international market. The TYW-1, developed by Beihang University in Beijing, one of China's top institutes for science and technology, is an unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and combat based on the BZK-005 high-altitude, long-range reconnaissance drone, which the university also developed.
Kim Jong Un's Rockets Are Getting an Important Boost--from China | Washington Post
When North Korea launched its Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into space in February last year, officials heralded the event as a birthday gift for dead leader Kim Jong Il. But the day also brought an unexpected prize for the country's adversaries: priceless intelligence in the form of rocket parts that fell into the Yellow Sea. Entire sections of booster rocket were snagged by South Korea's navy and then scrutinized by international weapons experts for clues about the state of North Korea's missile program.
Thailand to Buy More Chinese Tanks, Reportedly for $58M | Defense News
Thailand has taken another step in a burgeoning arms trade with China, with the Thai government approving the purchase of more Chinese-built tanks. According to a Thai government spokesperson, the cabinet has approved the acquisition of 10 more VT4 main battle tanks designed and built by China's Norinco. This batch of tanks, reportedly costing $58 million, will be the second batch of VT4s ordered by Thailand after an earlier batch of 28 tanks was ordered in 2016. The VT4s will replace the elderly M41 Walker Bulldogs currently operated by the Royal Thai Army.
North Korean Missile Parade: JucheFest 2017 | Arms Control Wonk
The North Koreans showed off eight missile and launch systems, of which five were mods, reconfigurations, or totally new. While we don't think all of the missile systems actually exist yet, this was probably a glimpse of the DPRK's aspirational future missile arsenal. 
Russia to Renovate Its Sole Aircraft Carrier This Year | Xinhua
Russia will start to repair its sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov later in 2017 and arm it with new equipment, a senior navy official said. "I think the renovation will begin this year," Viktor Bursuk, deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. Bursuk said the aircraft carrier will not undergo major modifications but "new models of equipment" will be installed on the vessel.
Taiwan Struggles To Acquire 5 Types of Submarine Tech for Local Program | Defense News
Taiwan is short five critical pieces of submarine technology that it needs to achieve its aim of building a new class of indigenous submarines, according to a Taiwanese defense analyst. Speaking to Defense News, Liao Yen-fan, a Taipei-based analyst for the cybersecurity research firm Team T5, said the local defense industry still needs to import the technology for these five items, which include modern torpedo tubes and periscopes.