September 5, 2017                                   Issue No. 22

Drone Swarms Versus Conventional Arms: China's Military Debate | Financial Times (requires subscription)

With their tiny propellers buzzing, the fleet of Chinese aircraft, little larger than model planes, are flung into the air by huge rubber bands. Soon the sky is full of toylike drones flying in formations over unidentified mountains in China. This unlikely spectacle could represent a revolution in military affairs. The June 11 demonstration of "swarm" technology by China Electronics Technology Group included 119 drones. That made it the world's largest-ever swarm, according to CETC, breaking a US-held record. Developers are working towards a future where thousands could operate in sync, identifying and attacking targets. In theory, such swarms could feature drones fitted with missiles or warheads capable of sophisticated attacks designed to overwhelm defenses with their sheer numbers.
How a Murky Company with Ties to the People's Liberation Army Set Up Shop in BC | Vancouver Sun

One evening in downtown Vancouver last November, some of BC's political and business elite rubbed elbows with executives of one of China's largest state-owned corporations, China Poly Group. They were celebrating the launch of a boutique art gallery by one of China Poly's many subsidiaries, Poly Culture Group, which operates the third-largest auction house in the world. But questions abound about the long-term investment plans by Poly Culture and China Poly Group, a company with deep military roots and a controversial past.
Mass Production of Turbine Blades by Chinese Private Firm to Benefit Military | Global Times

Chengdu Aerospace Superalloy Technology Co. Ltd., is reportedly capable of producing single-crystal turbine blades, which experts said could benefit the military and improve the quality of domestic parts. The firm, which relies on its parent company that produces rhenium, became China's first company to mass produce single-crystal turbine blades, China Central Television reported. Rhenium is a key metal used in producing single-crystal turbine blades, 80 percent of which are used to produce aircraft engines, either jets or rockets, and is vital to the military, the report said. "Mastering the production technology of single-crystal turbine blades and aero engines will offer assured supply to the army and increase our fighter jets' ability to withstand prolonged battles," Xu Guangyu, a retired rear admiral and senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association told the Global Times.
Chinese UAV Development and Implications for Joint Operations | Center for International Maritime Security

UAVs for military operations are not new, however, improvements in lethal payloads, targeting, and ISR capabilities will change the role in which UAVs are utilized. Considering China's own drone diplomacy, the deployment of UAVs is as much a political statement as it is a tactical platform. State-run media has highlighted the successes of its drone program but has not been clear on who, or at what command level, operational control of UAVs is granted. Due to Beijing's standing policy against lethal targeting, release authority is most likely relegated to the Central Military Commission, or even President Xi himself.
Qubits Can Swim Through Seawater | Physics World

Photon-based qubits and entangled states have been transmitted up to 3 m in sea water by Xian-Min Jin and colleagues at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Science and Technology of China. While this distance pales in comparison with the 1,400 km satellite-to-ground transmission achieved earlier this year by another team in China, the ability to send quantum information through seawater is a significant challenge because the liquid medium is much more absorptive of light than air.
Quantum Communication Test Successful, Good News for the Navy | Global Times

Chinese scientists successfully tested quantum communication under the surface of the sea, marking a global breakthrough in such technology. The experiment was conducted by Jin Xianmin and his team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In their experiment, the team was able to conduct communication secured by quantum mechanics between two underwater points several hundred meters apart, Jin told the Global Times, adding that the team was also able to securely communicate with satellites and aircraft from a point several meters under the sea.
The World's Next Fastest Supercomputer Will Help Boost China's Growing Sea Power |
South China Morning Post
China is planning to boost its computing power tenfold within a couple of years by building a new generation supercomputer. The machine will be based on the coast of Shandong province to process the data collected from the world's oceans, according to scientists briefed on the project. An Hong, professor of computer science with the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei and a member of a committee advising the central government on high performance computer development, said the world's first exascale computer would have a dedicated mission of helping China's maritime expansion. An said the machine could be finished as soon as 2019. Three independent supercomputer manufacturers on the mainland are competing for the contract. They include Sugon, or the Dawning Information Industry, which is owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences; the National University of Defense Technology, which built the Tianhe series supercomputers, and the Sunway team.
Chinese, US Scientists Create Electronics that Degrade in Air Moisture | Xinhua News

Chinese and US researchers said that they designed a new form of electronic device that can degrade and physically disappear when it absorbs moisture in the air. Such devices, known as transient electronics, could have a wide range of applications, from eco-friendly disposable electronics and sensors to weapons and explosives that function only temporarily, according to their study published in the US journal Science Advances. "Most of the transient processes reported so far only occur in aqueous solutions or biofluids," co-corresponding author Hangxun Xu, professor of the University of Science and Technology of China, told Xinhua. "The degradation of our transient electronics is triggered by water molecules in the environment, which is more controllable."
Engineer Who Bought American Nuclear Technology for China Sentenced to Two Years | Knoxville News Sentinel

A federal judge ordered a two-year prison term for a 67-year-old engineer who worked as an operative for the Chinese government in buying American nuclear information for China. Chief US District Judge Tom Varlan said the case of engineer Szuhsiung "Allen" Ho did not neatly fit into the category of crimes for which he pleaded guilty since that category often involves the actual possession of or threat of "weapons of mass destruction."