China: Spies, Drugs and the U.S. Navy

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November16, 2006: Police have arrested two Taiwanese businessmen and charged them with spying for Taiwan. China is coming down hard on Taiwanese espionage activities inside China, or even nearby. Six months ago, Chinese agents kidnapped two Taiwanese in Vietnam, who were suspected of spying on China. The two men were hustled back to China, where they remain.

November 15, 2006: Chinese scientists have demonstrated their skills in robotic technology by developing a security robot. This type of technology has been in use in the West for a about a decade, and the Chinese robot, a 122 pound vehicle that looks like a miniature car, is competitive. It is intended to conduct security patrols for industrial sites or airports. It uses ultrasonics to detect obstacles and pattern-recognition and digital cameras to look for suspicious activity.

November 14, 2006: The U.S. Navy admitted that a Chinese submarine had shown up, "close" to one of its carriers during a recent training exercise off Okinawa last month. The Americans pitched the incident as a warning that the American and Chinese navies should coordinate their movements on the high seas to avoid any accidents. Chinese submarine sailors, on the other hand, were celebrating a great victory. The Song class sub (a Chinese made boat), had gotten past U.S. patrols, and come close enough to the USS Kitty Hawk, to launch an attack with anti-ship missiles. This was a first for a Chinese sub, something the American admirals wanted to play down. During the Cold War, Russian subs regularly shadowed American carrier task forces.

November 3, 2006: The booming production of heroin is Afghanistan has resulted in more heroin coming into China. Over the Summer, police in northwest China caught several dozen Pakistani, Afghan and African heroin smugglers. The drugs were headed for coastal cities, where plenty of money, and people looking for ways to spend it, provides a strong market for drugs like heroin. For generations, the main source of heroin was warlord producers along the Burmese border region. But Afghan heroin has become more plentiful and cheaper. Thus there is apparently a sharp increase in the addict population (currently about five million), and the spread of AIDs and other diseases because of needle sharing. China sees this heroin invasion as a national security issue, and is looking for ways to stop the problem.

 

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