China's Spies

As John pointed out earlier, it appears that four have been arrested in Los Angeles under suspicion of conducting espionage for the Chinese government.

I'm not going to link to the article, since it seems that only one story on the topic has been written and one news source (the Washington Times) has carried it, though a few others have "re-broadcast". (This is interesting in itself: even CNN isn't covering it... But I guess John hit on that too, so I'll leave it.)

This revelation shouldn't come as a surprise. Espionage is, as they say, the second-oldest profession, and has just as many morals as the first. Nations spy on each other regularly; they've been doing it for hundreds of years, in times of war and peace. It's a fact of life. What this should do is cement the conclusions that Red China has dreams of superpower-status, is willing--even interested--in going toe-to-toe with us to get it, and has been working toward that end for many years. In fact, after doing a bit more digging, I found an interesting article from about five months ago: two Chinese dissidents (one a senior member of the Chinese Consulate in Sydney) seeking asylum stated flatly that China had over a thousand agents working in Australia.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Anyway, the upshot is that this spy ring has been funneling information to Beijing for about fifteen years or so, and that apparently a sizable chunk of it had to do with our Naval weapons and engineering systems: specifically Aegis technology (like that found in our Ticonderoga and Arleigh-Burke Class ships) and submarines, up to and including our new Virginia Class boats.

Authorities say that, based upon preliminary investigation, "China now will be able to track U.S. submarines." I'm not going to try to discern what information could possibly give them that capability (since there's really a myriad of things that interplay), but I will submit that to actually track a submarine is not merely a question of technology or knowing "secrets," but one of guts, cunning, training, and determination. While the Chinese may have an upper hand in some respects, I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that they can, at present or in the near future, track any U.S. sub at any time.

When reading the article, I also recommend paying particular attention to what it has to say about Mr Chi's visit to the USS John C. Stennis and how these things bode for the safety of our carrier force. We have made the aircraft carrier, a symbol of American power and our single strongest offensive unit, the very centerpiece of our battle fleet; perhaps a change in operational doctrine might be in order?

I submit these things for your consideration.


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