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China Reform Monitor - No. 784
SECDEF: China focused on “narrowing strategic options” of U.S.;
China in $16 billion oil deal with Venezuela
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
October 8, 2009
Former chief of India’s Space Research Organization Dr K Kasturirangan said China's military capabilities in space continue to concern India. He said China’s threat to India's satellites called for an immediate enhancement of capabilities to ensure the security of space assets and develop its own military capacity in space. "India has spent a huge sum to develop its capabilities and place assets in space. Hence, it becomes necessary to protect them from adversaries," he said in comments carried by the Press Trust of India.
[Editor’s Note: On September 23 India successfully launched seven satellites on one launch vehicle and last year put 10 satellites in space in a single launch. Not wanting to be left behind by China, India hopes to send a manned mission into space within four years, the Voice of America reports.]
At a speech to the Air Force Association, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said: "We should be concerned less with [China’s] potential ability to challenge the US symmetrically – fighter to fighter or ship to ship – and more with their ability to disrupt our freedom of movement and narrow our strategic options.” He continued that China’s “investments in cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weaponry, and ballistic missiles could threaten America's primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific – in particular our forward air bases and carrier strike groups." The United States 2009 National Intelligence Strategy document released this week noted China's "natural resource-focused diplomacy and military modernization" and said Beijing remains "very aggressive in the cyberworld," the Agence France Presse reports.
The Export-Import Bank of China has threatened to stop concessional loans to Chinese companies that supply poor quality goods to African consumers, the Zambia Daily Mail reports. The Bank’s deputy division chief for concessional loans, Yi Yang, made the announcement to a gathering of officials in Beijing tasked with monitoring Chinese projects in Africa. He said the Chinese government's policy on exported products forbids any firm to trade in poor quality goods as this reflects badly on China’s trade activities. Yi said the Bank is concerned about persistent complaints from African consumers and that action should be taken against firms exporting substandard products. Yi urged African consumers to report Chinese companies that supply poor quality goods to the local Chinese Embassy.
Venezuela has announced a $16 billion investment deal with China for oil exploration. The move comes shortly after Venezuela signed a similar agreement with Russia, which is estimated to be $20 billion. Speaking on state television, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the deal with China was over three years and that the investment would go towards developing heavy crude oil resources in the Orinoco River belt. Chavez said the deals would boost oil production in Venezuela by about 900,000 barrels per day, the BBC reports.
China Great Wall Industry Corporation will develop a new satellite for Pakistan by 2011 called PAKSAT-IR. According to an agreement inked by Pakistan’s Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Farrukh Qayyum, and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Luo Zhaohui, China will fund the satellite project with a 20-year soft loan of 1.35 billion RMB (about $222 million), the Associated Press of Pakistan and the official China Daily report.