Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Caucus Brief: Taiwan Supersonic Missile Test Flops

TAIWAN SUPERSONIC MISSILE TEST FLOPS.  Taiwan's defense ministry has confirmed reports that a new supersonic anti-ship missile missed its target during a recent routine naval drill.  This missile, the island's first domestically developed supersonic anti-ship missile, has suffered from several earlier failed tests.  This latest failed test coincided with Beijing's well publicized naval drills in the South China Sea in mid-June.

U.S. BLOCKS TAIWAN'S F-16 REQUEST AGAIN.  DefenseNews reports that the U.S. State Department, under orders from the U.S. National Security Council, blocked Taiwan's June 24 petition to submit a letter of request for new F-16 fighter jets. 
A recent report from Lockheed Martin estimates that this sale could generate 16,000 annual jobs and net $8.7 billion.  Now Taiwan faces a Catch-22; Taiwan's de facto embassy in Washington cannot submit a letter of request because it is told the State Department will deny it, however Taiwan is being told by the State Department that its request cannot be processed because it was not received.

DO THE U.S. AND CHINA NEED A 'CYBER DÉTENTE'?  A piece from DoD Buzz examines Henry Kissinger's call for the United States and China to formally or informally agree to dial back their intrusions of each other's computer networks.  The piece argues that while the idea of a cyber détente is an interesting one, any such agreement would most likely be unenforceable.  From the piece: "Probably because no government would trust another to actually stop its cyber-spying, nor would it want to give up whatever edge it can get from exploring others' networks.  An agreement proclaiming cyber-détente would have all the effect of the Kellog-Briand Pact, the international treaty that abolished war in 1928."  

VIDEO: CHINA'S AGGRESSION ON THE HIGH SEAS.  The Brookings Institute has released a short video explaining the importance of the South China Sea and the impact of China's aggression there.

CHINA OPENS OIL FIELD IN IRAQ.  The NYT reports that China's largest oil company has begun operations at Al-Ahab oil field in Iraq, making the field the first major new area to start production in Iraq in 20 years.  The field, which was discovered in 1979, is expected to produce three million tons of crude oil per year.  The China National Petroleum Corporation, a state-owned enterprise, first signed a deal for the field in 1996 with the government of Saddam Hussein, and renegotiated in 2008 for the development rights for 23 years.  This oil field is the China National Petroleum Corporation's largest in the Middle East.


CHINESE NAVAL MISSION REVEALS SECRET DRONE.  Wired Magazine reports that the Chinese military revealed a previously unknown drone during a recent naval exercise.  Last week, a Japanese navy patrol took a picture of what appears to be an unmanned Chinese military drone that was previously unknown to the public.  Picture included.


CHINA AND U.K. STRIKE SPACE DEAL.  The BBC reports that Chinese and United Kingdom companies have agreed to a deal to build and develop three high-resolution Earth observation spacecraft to map China's growth.  From the piece: "Approval for the deal has come from the highest levels in government in both London and Beijing, and the satellite data package was actually part of the £1.4 billion of trade agreements signed between David Cameron and Wen Jiabao during their summit on Monday."

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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