Mass espionage by 'lovable' China and its 3,500 'front companies'

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By Lev Navrozov

Lev Navrozov emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1972 He settled in New York City where he quickly learned that there was no market for his eloquent and powerful English language attacks on the Soviet Union. To this day, he writes without fear or favor or the conventions of polite society. He chaired the "Alternative to the New York Times Committee" in 1980, challenged the editors of the New York Times to a debate (which they declined) and became a columnist for the New York City Tribune. His columns are today read in both English and Russian.
Lev Navrozov

November 21, 2005

It would be proper to begin this column with what Sun Tzu (the Chinese strategist of the 4th century B.C.) said in his "Ping Fa" ("The Art of War"): "One spy is worth 10,000 soldiers."

But, unfortunately, this is an understatement. Hitler did not like espionage. When he was told that a British embassy official wanted to be a German spy, he said that the man was a traitor and should be spurned. No espionage! The result? Had Hitler's troops entered Moscow in October 1941, he would have won the war in Russia. If he had had just one ordinary Muscovite in Moscow as his spy, the latter would have told him that the Soviet authorities were fleeing from Moscow ("The Big Skedaddle"). But Hitler did not have even one spy in Moscow, and kept planning to surround it, until the Soviet Siberian and Far Eastern troops arrived. Hitler rushed to the disaster area and stopped the stampede of his troops, but said that the war had been lost.

So one spy may be not just worth 10,000 soldiers, but worth more than all armed forces put together, such as Hitler's armed forces in Russia in October 1941.

The Chinese dictators' strategy is "shashou jian" ("the assassin's mace"), that is, one mortal blow by superweapons. Hence the Chinese military must know the West as well as possible to be able to deliver that mortal blow. For example, in order to destroy or neutralize all Western means of (nuclear) retaliation, to circumvent thereby Mutual Assured Destruction, and to have the West at the Chinese dictators' mercy, it is necessary to detect all Western means of (nuclear) retaliation and know about them as much as possible.

The Chinese dictators see the war between them and the West as a duel between a blind enemy versus themselves, who see the blind enemy and hence can use "the assassin's mace" with deadly precision.

The U.S. media cannot avoid reporting the FBI's arrests of alleged Chinese spies. Thus, reported on Nov. 6, 2005, were such arrests in California. On Feb. 14, 2005, ABC Online carried a report headlined "Chinese high-tech espionage growing in U.S.": The number of the FBI's probes into Chinese espionage in California's technology corridor has soared, as Beijing allegedly recruits civilians to steal U.S. know-how, Time magazine reports.

Suspected espionage cases have been reported from New Jersey on the east coast to California in the west, the weekly magazine reports.

But what is the explanation in the U.S. mainstream media of the Chinese dictators' espionage? In "Les Misιrables" Hugo published in 1862, he explained stealing by poverty: his character steals a loaf for his sick mother because he cannot buy it. Obviously, when poverty is gone, stealing will stop. In the same spirit the U.S. mainstream media have been explaining the Chinese spies' stealing of U.S. military secrets. China did not seem to have about a year ago a cruise missile like the advanced U.S. "Tomahawk." No wonder that about a year ago a Chinese-American couple was arrested in Wisconsin for having passed to the Chinese military $500,000 worth of computer parts for missile systems. When China has all weapons that the West does, there will be no stealing. As the ABC report I quoted above puts it: "China is trying to develop a military that can compete with the U.S., and they are willing to steal to get [it]," a senior FBI official was quoted as saying.

Be fair, have a heart, pity China's military who could not, just about a year ago, build independently cruise missiles as advanced as the U.S. "Tomahawk." Hence the theft! Of course, the Sino-American competition in molecular nano or other post-nuclear superweapons is not mentioned. Indeed, it does not exist — the U.S. progress in such superweapons is zero, while it is on them that the Chinese dictators concentrate.

Traditionally, the democracies have vast disadvantages in espionage as compared with the dictatorships. The democracies are open societies-certainly so in peacetime. Much that is secret in the dictatorships is discussed in the media of the democracies, in their legislatures and other public forums. Millions of "illegal aliens" can live as legitimate citizens in the United States as long as they pay the rent. In a dictatorship, any illegal alien is immediately detected as a spy, to be destroyed or insulated for life as a heinous criminal.

But the past quarter of a century has produced a new gap between the advantages of China and disadvantages of the West in espionage. English is the second language of the educated Chinese, while Chinese is regarded in the West as far too difficult even to begin to study it, and except for some cursory remarks in the Western media, China is as much "terra incognita" in the West as it was decades or centuries ago.

Hence the dictators of China have introduced new — mass or universal — espionage. Even the FBI admits that no less than 3,500 Chinese "front companies" are involved in espionage.

This is unprecedented. Stalin did not understand the value of private enterprise for the creation of "front companies" and abolished it by the 1930s. Hitler did not use them either. But think how useful they are for the dictators of China! A Chinese company in the United States trades in a certain field of technology. Why not make several employees of the company spies stealing secrets in that same field of technology? If they are caught, the Chinese owners of the company can plead innocence: How could they know that certain employees of their company were spies?

What about U.S. companies in China? They cannot be coerced by the U.S. government to have spies as employees. On the contrary, many of them transfer U.S. technological secrets to the dictatorship of China in exchange for juicy bits of the Chinese market for the sale of their goods and services.

This is an espionage pushpull: part of Chinese private enterprise pushes to serve the Chinese dictatorship, and part of U.S. private enterprise pulls to serve the same.

It is as wrong to believe that every Chinese is ready to serve the Chinese dictatorship as it was wrong to believe that every Russian was ready to serve the Soviet dictatorship (which collapsed in 1991) or every German was ready to serve the Nazi dictatorship. But SOME Russians and Germans sincerely supported the Soviet and Nazi dictatorship respectively, and SOME Chinese do support the post-1949 Chinese dictatorship.

But there were no 150,000 students and researchers in the United States from Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. Yet this is the figure for students in the United States from the People's Republic of China.

Besides, in the United States there existed trenchant public criticism of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany as dictatorships, while I have never seen or heard, after the Tiananmen massacre was quickly forgotten, anything so negative as the words "dictatorship" or "dictators" applied publicly to China.

A Chinese who decides to become a spy in the United States may well conclude that if the U.S. political establishment feels nothing toward the present regime in China except love, why should not he or she, a Chinese, help that lovable regime?

The awareness by such a Chinese of the growing might of the dictatorship of China and the unfitness of the West for survival works in the same direction. The number of those who want to be on the winning side of history, no matter how wrong that side is, exceeds the number of those who want to be on the losing side of history, no matter how right that side is. The impending or expected or even imagined victory of the dictators of China over the West certainly stimulates treason and espionage on the part of Westerners, as well as conformity and espionage on the part of Chinese.

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