Sunday, November 3, 2013

To the BoE then to the Jesuit General/Vatican Banksters

The very ones [The Jesuits] that are supporting the growth of China and therefor a clash with the US and their allies [ie Canada], "she's right on the money" [sorry for the bad pun]

Is China Spying On Russia Via Bugged Clothing Irons?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Report: Chinese Hackers Were Constantly Targeting Mitt Romney During The 2012 Presidential Campaign

Report: Chinese Hackers Were Constantly Targeting Mitt Romney During The 2012 Presidential Campaign

Barack Obama Mitt Romney debate
Fascinating new insights from the 2012 presidential campaign have come out ahead of the Nov. 5 release of the new book "Double Down: Game Change 2012," but a detail about Chinese hackers targeting Mitt Romney has us asking even more questions.
At Time Magazine's Swampland blog, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann provide an excerpt from the book that details Romney's search for a vice presidential running mate. His longtime adviser Beth Myers is told to make sure the #2 is Commander-in-Chief quality and there's nothing in the background that would hurt the campaign.
Halperin continues (emphasis ours):
Myers set up her operation in a third-floor office on Boston’s Commercial Street that became known as “the clean room.” Because the Romney campaign’s servers were under continual assault by Chinese hackers, the computers in the clean room were not connected to the Internet. Myers insisted that the team be extremely cautious about what they put in e-mail when using their regular computers. Ted Newton and Chris Oman, two veep background checkers, concluded it was best to communicate in code. Based on their junk-food-saturated vetting diet, they called their undertaking Project Goldfish (after the crackers)—ultimately giving each of the VP finalists an aquatic code name. Myers’ plan was to have Project Goldfish completed by Memorial Day. In April she presented Romney with a list of two dozen names, which he whittled down to 11: Kelly Ayotte, John Cornyn, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Bill Frist, Mike Huckabee, Bob McDonnell, Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan.
While the excerpt focuses mainly on the VP search — including a deep dive into Chris Christie's background and why he wasn't chosen — this small detail about cyberwar happening in the midst of a campaign is fascinating.
What were the hackers trying to learn from the Romney campaign? What were they able to extract, if anything? How much information does China extract from targeting emails? Was the Secret Service or a U.S. agency such as the NSA involved in thwarting their attacks? Were they also going after the Obama campign in some fashion as well?
Hopefully, the book's release will see these nagging questions answered.

China To Fund Iran Development Projects With $20 Billion In Sanction-Barred Oil Money: Report

China To Fund Iran Development Projects With $20 Billion In Sanction-Barred Oil Money: Report

11/02/13 10:57 AM ET EDT AP
TEHRAN, Iran -- TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A report by an Iranian media website says China has agreed to finance $20 billion in development projects in Iran using oil money not transferred to the Islamic Republic because of international sanctions.
The tasnimnews website published a report Saturday quoting prominent lawmaker Hasan Sobhaninia saying the deal was reached during talks between Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and Chinese leaders. Larijani visited China this week and Sobhaninia accompanied the speaker.
Iran government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nowbakht said last week that some $22 billion dollars of Iranian oil money is stuck in China because of sanctions.
The U.S. and its allies have imposed oil and banking sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Iran frequently uses barter arrangements because of the sanctions.
China is Iran's top crude oil importer.

Friday, November 1, 2013

China’s Lenovo [once IBM] raises security fears with possible bid for BlackBerry

China’s Lenovo raises security fears with possible bid for BlackBerry Add to ...

Lenovo Group Ltd. is joining the list of suitors considering a bid for BlackBerry Ltd., raising concerns that the Canadian company’s ultra-secure communications network for the global elite might end up owned by a firm based in China.
BlackBerry provides mobile phones and an encrypted wireless network to many of the world’s largest corporations and most Western governments, including top officials in the United States and the country’s military – and would likely draw scrutiny in Washington and Ottawa.


If Lenovo’s reported interest resulted in a deal, the takeover attempt would be subject to a tough regulatory review in Canada. The federal government has killed several foreign takeovers under the Investment Canada Act.
That act permits reviews of deals worth more than $344-million. The government has also granted itself broader powers to halt takeovers of Canadian firms by foreign state-owned companies, particularly those from China. And Ottawa recently barred a bid for Winnipeg-based telecom company MTS Allstream by an Egyptian-led group on national security grounds.
“If the Egyptian company raised some red flags for the Canadian government, we should have red fireworks going off if a Chinese company wants to buy BlackBerry,” said Michel Juneau-Katsuya, the former head of Asia-Pacific at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and chief executive of the Northgate Group, an Ottawa-based cyber-security firm. “BlackBerry is the prime phone used by all government officials and top officials… For that reason alone, it shall not and could not be sold to a foreign entity that is not within the realm of [our] close network of friends.”
Late on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Lenovo had signed a non-disclosure agreement with BlackBerry that would allow the Chinese firm to examine the books of the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker. Executives at Lenovo, which bought IBM Corp.’s personal computer business for $1.25-billion (U.S.) in 2005, have said they were considering a purchase of BlackBerry earlier this year to strengthen their mobile phone business.
Lenovo’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell 1.7 per cent on Friday, closing at HK$8.07.
BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion Ltd., has seen its business collapse in recent years, and the company is considering all options, including a sale. Many potential suitors are circling BlackBerry, including a consortium of companies led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and a separate possible bid led by Mike Lazaridis, BlackBerry’s former long-time CEO.
A spokesperson for Lenovo declined to comment. A spokesperson for BlackBerry said a committee is “conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives,” but that the company will not disclose details “until we approve a specific transaction or otherwise conclude the review of strategic alternatives.”
Lenovo’s chief financial officer previously said the Chinese firm, which is not big in mobile phones, was considering a run at BlackBerry. “We are looking at all opportunities – RIM and many others,” Lenovo’s Wong Wai Ming told Bloomberg News in January.
In an emailed statement, Jessica Fletcher, director of communications for Industry Minister James Moore, said the government is aware that BlackBerry is exploring strategic options. “We do not comment on that process.As for speculation, we have no comment.”
Lenovo was also one of the joint venture partners wanting to license BlackBerry technology in China in a proposed deal that eventually fell apart between BlackBerry and China Investment Corp., one source familiar with discussions told The Globe and Mail. This person also said two Chinese companies were interested in the BlackBerry auction, but they faded away months ago because of the concerns their bids would raise.
Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said members of Canada’s intelligence community told the government to reject China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd.’s $15.1-billion takeover of Calgary-based oil firm Nexen Inc., and would likely tell the Canadian government stop any Chinese takeover of BlackBerry.
However, Lenovo may not be as scary to the Canadian and U.S. governments as Huawei Technologies, a massive Chinese networking company founded by a former People’s Liberation Army engineer, according to one former BlackBerry executive with ties to the company. This person said Lenovo’s products, such as laptops and computers, were less likely to cause concern than Huawei’s more “opaque” networking and wireless equipment.
Financial analyst Peter Misek said that, although a deal with Lenovo is only one of several options, the Canadian government may lack alternatives. However, he added, any national security concerns could be addressed by setting up a separate company to handle sensitive accounts. “You can spin out the government employees and set up a separate entity,” said Mr. Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co.
With a report from Jacquie McNish

Military provocation: Hawaiian waters

China Moves Spy Ship to Hawaiian Waters in “Retaliation” Against U.S.

Unprecedented development showcases Beijing’s increasing military confidence



 China has sent a surveillance ship to Hawaiian waters for the very first time in an unprecedented move which is being described as a provocative retaliation to the U.S. naval presence in the East China Sea.
According to a report by, a news outlet aimed at Asian-Americans, a 4,000 ton People’s Liberation Army electronic reconnaissance ship was recently spotted near Hawaii within the U.S. 200-nautical mile EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).
The report was also picked up by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which ran an article entitled China moves spy ship near isles, Asian media say.
The ship “is equipped with various electronic gear for eavesdropping on radio communications and tracking ships and aircraft. It is also believed to have jamming equipment to interfere with the radio communications of other ships,” according to the report.
The development is unprecedented because China has never sent a ship within the U.S. EEZ, although the U.S. has entered the Chinese EEZ on numerous occasions for decades. It is not known whether the ship violated the territorial waters of the United States, which extend to 12 nautical miles under the 1982 UN convention on the Law of the Sea.
The fact that the ship got within 2,400 miles of San Francisco represents “a potential for offensive actions against the US by the Chinese military,” according to the report.
The development is apparently part of China’s growing military confidence, which was also exemplified with the country’s recent declassification of its nuclear-armed Xia-class submarine fleet, which according to state media represents an “assassin’s mace that would make adversaries tremble.”
China’s increasing aggressiveness in the East China Sea and its challenge to Japanese control of the Senkaku Islands has sparked tensions, with Japan repeatedly scrambling fighter jets earlier this week in response to Chinese military aircraft flying near Okinawa.
Back in September, China also reportedly sent warships to the coast of Syria to “observe” the actions of US and Russian vessels in the region.
“The recent deployment of a PLAN surveillance ship into Hawaiian waters is seen as Beijing’s message to the US and the rest of the world that China can now contest the waters of the western Pacific and that the US Navy no longer has a free pass in the region. It is also seen as a form of retaliation for what Beijing considers the provocative naval exercises the US recently conducted in the Yellow Sea jointly with the navies of South Korea and Japan’s Self-Defense Force,” states the report.
Watch a video demonstration of China’s recently declassified Xia-class submarine fleet below.

Public toilets: forget about signage, its unnecessary

Civilized, We think not!

In confronting Iran, experts say all roads go through China

In confronting Iran, experts say all roads go through China

LAST UPDATED: 11/10/2011 03:35

As Islamic Republic’s No. 1 trading partner, Beijing is seen as cool to tougher Security Council sanctions.

A Chinese flag in Beijing
A Chinese flag in Beijing Photo: Jason Lee / Reuters
Wednesday’s damning IAEA report on the Iranian-nuclear program has turned the spotlight on Tehran’s largest trading partner: the People’s Republic of China.

Immediately after the report’s release Beijing warned that the report – which confirms Iran’s efforts to harness nuclear energy for weapons manufacture – could spawn “turmoil” in a turbulent Middle East.

PM: Iranian nukes endanger Mideast, world peace 

US on IAEA report: 'We won't rule anything in, or out'

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China was “studying” the report, and repeated a call to resolve the issue peacefully through talks.

“I wish to point out that China opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and disapproves of any Middle Eastern country developing nuclear weapons. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran bears the responsibilities of nuclear non-proliferation,” he said Wednesday.

“The Iranian side should also demonstrate flexibility and sincerity, and engage in serious cooperation with the [IAEA]... I want to stress that avoiding fresh turmoil in the Middle Eastern security environment is important for both the region and for the international community.”

For years the Chinese government has walked a fine line on Iran’s atom program, maintaining extensive trade ties with Tehran, while doing its best to avoid antagonizing the West.

China, which as a permanent member of the UN Security Council wields veto power, has backed previous council resolutions condemning Tehran’s nuclear work and supported limited sanctions against it. Harder-hitting sanctions, however, have yet to receive Beijing’s backing.

A US official told Reuters that because of the opposition of both China and Russia – Ira’s seventh-largest trading partner, which helped it build the Bushehr nuclear facility – chances for tougher Security Council sanctions are slim. On Wednesday Russian officials said new sanctions are “unacceptable” to Moscow, and called for continued talks with the Iranian regime.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and head of its Iran Energy Project, said Chinese companies have continued supplying significant quantities of Iran’s refined petroleum in violation of US sanctions laws.

“The Obama administration has assured Congress that Beijing has agreed to do no new deals, and to slow-walk its existing deals,” he told The Jerusalem Post by e-mail from Washington. “Given that Chinese companies signed over $40 billion in new energy deals in recent years, it’s unclear whether this commitment to do no new deals covers these billions of deals already in the pipeline, and how quickly China is moving ahead in implementing what it considers to be existing deals.”

China’s People's Daily newspaper said the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West could erupt into military conflict.

“It is clear that contention between the various sides over the Iranian nuclear issue has reached white hot levels and could even be on the precipice of a showdown,” the newspaper – a Communist Party organ that generally presents the government’s official line – said in a front-page commentary.

China’s official Xinhua news agency also suggested Beijing would respond warily to the report. The UN watchdog still “lacks a smoking gun,” the agency said in a commentary.

“There are no witnesses or physical evidence to prove that Iran is making nuclear weapons... In dealing with the Iran nuclear issue, it is extremely dangerous to rely on suspicions, and the destructive consequences of any armed action would endure for a long time.”

Iran shipped over 20 million tons of oil to China over the first nine months of this year, an increase of almost a third since the same period last year. Overall trade between the two countries rose 58 percent over that period, to almost $33 billion.

“The onus [in the international community] will really be on China, as the only country whose economic relations with Iran have grown,” Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, told Reuters.

Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, wrote in an op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Times that China must be made to feel that its business with Iran is no longer worthwhile.

“In recent years, China’s economic dynamism has brought with it a voracious appetite for energy. This has made energy-rich Iran a natural strategic partner. In 2009, Iran ranked as China’s second largest oil provider, accounting for some 15% of Beijing’s annual imports,” Berman wrote. (The European Union is the leading consumer of Iranian oil.) “In exchange, China has aided and abetted Iran’s quest for nuclear capacity.

Diplomatically, it has done so by complicating oversight of Iran’s nuclear program, and by resisting the application of serious sanctions against Tehran,” Berman continued.

“Chinese leaders have become convinced that Washington prioritizes bilateral trade with Beijing over security concerns about Iran, and that it therefore won’t enact serious penalties for China’s dealings with Iran.

The last, best hope of peacefully derailing Iran’s nuclear drive lies in convincing Beijing that ‘business as usual’ with Tehran is simply no longer possible.”

Chengdu - China's Big Small-town City

Chengdu - China's Big Small-town City

As we got off the Air China airliner, the damp July air reeking of paddy fields and strong manure reminded us of our arrival in Sichuan Province, the heart of agrarian China.  The grey monsoon clouds gave us a hint that our trip would be blighted by wet weather.  This was not altogether an unwelcome prospect, as I, along with my colleagues Jamshed Khan and Amir Liaqat could stay longer and discover more, while waiting for bluer skies needed for evaluating a new fighter, at the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group’s aircraft manufacturing plant in Chengdu.  The city is well-known to quite a few PAF personnel who got their initial training on the FT-5, F-7 and lately, the JF-17 aircraft.  To the rest of Pakistanis, Chengdu is a nondescript city much below Beijing, Guangzhou (Canton) andShanghai in their business or tourism priorities.  They would do well to note thatChengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, now ranks as one of China’s largest cities. Chengdu was recently voted as the fourth most liveable city from an environmental standpoint.  It is also listed amongst the gastronomy capitals of the world, though with menus featuring pigeon’s egg soup, sliced eels (raw) and pig’s trotters, one could see why we had to make do with sticky rice, soya bean curd and noodles for the better part of our month-long stay.

As we drove to the Jin Jiang Hotel in central Chengdu, the first thing that caught our eye were the hundreds of cyclists who would amass during the minute or so that the traffic light remained red, raring to pedal off again at the turn of green.  Men and women of all ages were on bicycles; the poorer families who could not afford more than one bike made use of tricycles, with the daily groceries, the biker’s wife and an odd pet, all huddled in a big wooden crib in good view of everyone, though nobody seemed to care except us!

After checking in the hotel, we decided to take an exploratory walk on the North Renmin Road which led to the colossal statue of a little-revered Mao Tse-tung, overlooking the Tianfu  Square in the city centre.  Nearby was the big complex of the Spring Department Store and People’s Market which had just about every daily use item at very cheap prices. Some men idled away, their vests rolled up to their chests for better ‘air conditioning’ in the humid weather, while others chatted rather loudly often spitting in between the exchanges, these being habits common to the less urbane folk, as we found out.  While we were strolling by the roadside, we observed a noisy scuffle between a man and a woman.  On the way back to the hotel, we were surprised to see the man handcuffed inside a small traffic police kiosk, while the woman, apparently his wife, taking pot shots at the wretched creature as the police desperately tried to keep her off. Our interesting walk came full circle minutes later, when, quite in contrast to the ugly scene, we saw a happy bride and groom being photographed on the studio steps, loudly cheered by a huge crowd of passers-by.  It was an exciting introduction to Chengdu, as much as China, which we were visiting for the first time.

Next day, we were formally welcomed to the aircraft factory by the general manager over a sumptuous lunch, but the 20-course formal dinner the following evening outdid any banquet that we had ever been feted with.  Our hosts were careful to ensure that no kind of animal appeared on the platter and, the qipao clad waitresses were under special instructions to serve the fiery Moutai liquor only to the Chinese.  We sipped green tea instead, much to the amusement of our hosts, for whom tea-drinking is a valued tradition in Chengdu.  During small talk, I ventured to ask one of the managers seated next to me about his children.  Over a hearty laugh, he told me that it was an irrelevant question inChina as Chinese couples (except ethnic minorities) have only one child.  He also added that I needn’t ask about his relatives as the modern Chinese do not have a brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a nephew, a niece or a cousin, all as a consequence of a one-child policy.  Of course, it dawned on me in a while! The cheerful roadside family planning posters hadn't conveyed the deeper implications.

As the days wore on, our flying became intermittent, subject to ever-changing weather. On bad weather days we took tours of the hugely overstaffed aircraft factory, and discussed aerodynamics with accomplished aircraft designers led by the well-respected Professor Ma.  Our long lunch sessions at the factory always started with sweet dishes followed by sour ones, cold servings followed by hot ones, all punctuated by helpings of fried peanuts eaten with chopsticks, for good measure.  Sichuan cuisine had never tasted the same in Lahore, for sure. 

After-dinner walks along the Nanhe River, which traces a swath through the centre of the city, were occasionally alternated with live music shows at the hotel.  Our favourite part featured the erhu, a two-stringed bowed instrument that almost always forms part of any classical Chinese orchestra.  One particular erhu player, a maestro of sorts, could make his instrument whine like a baby, neigh like a horse, and play sounds of wind, rain and thunder, depicting the seasons.

Weekends were well spent exploring the suburbs ofChengdu.  One Sunday we visited the Thatched Cottage of Du Fu, on the western suburbs of the town.  Du Fu is one of China’s greatest poets (712-770 AD) who, in one of his wanderings, spent four years in Chengdu.  His reconstructed cottage adorns a beautiful park by the serene Huanhua Stream.

On another weekend, we drove to the lush green Mount Emei Scenic Area, near the town of Leshan, 140-km south ofChengdu.  The world’s largest statue of the seated Buddha, carved out of a cliff, faces the 10,000-ft high Mt Emei.  The 233-ft high statue was completed in 803 AD by the disciples of a monk named Haitong, who had started the project almost a century earlier.  Aptly named, the Scenic Area was soaked in monsoon mists, with exotic birds whistling and cooing, while friendly monkeys clambered about cheekily.  Du Fu, the poet, may well have captured our thoughts as we left the beautiful and mystifying Mount Emei: “Tomorrow the mountains will separate us; after tomorrow, who can say?”

Sichuan is famous for its giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and it was thoughtful of the factory management to organise a trip to the Wolong National Nature Reserve, about 130-km north-west of Chengdu.  The huge sociable creatures belied their lineage of the ferocious bear family, as they enjoyed being cuddled and patted and fed bamboo shoots from our hands.  Another attractive animal at the Reserve was the cat-sized red panda (Alurus fulgens) which is classified as a family unto itself, though having some relation to raccoons and weasels.  The only thing common with the giant pandas is a diet mainly of bamboo shoots, though it is also omnivorous.  We fed one of them with peanuts which it devoured with relish.

For the remaining days in Chengdu, we found shopping for antiques a good evening pastime, and collected some ornate ceramic teapots and enamelled treasure boxes from the numerous stalls along Renmin Road.  Jamshed was particularly adept at haggling and he would often scoop up wares at 10% of the asking price, much to the amazement of everyone around.  The antiques stalls have since been moved to the dedicated Songxianqiao Antiques Market which has made a name all over China.

Chengdu is claimed to have a 2,000-year history but unfortunately, has little to show for it in extant buildings of earlier eras. An ancient city wall was brought down thoughtlessly on orders of Mao, though the city fathers have been careful not to do the same to his statue in Tianfu Square.  The older traditional buildings are sadly being replaced by soulless steel and concrete ones.  Despite all the change that has made it big, Chengdu still retains a small-town character reflected in the easygoing, rustic lifestyle of its simple inhabitants.  Will Chengdu still be the same when the present older generation is no more?After tomorrow, who can say?