Monday, February 15, 2016

The Real Agenda by Erick San Juan

The Real Agenda by Erick San Juan

Is Obama engaging in soft touch (a.k.a. soft power) operation by launching the first ever meeting of US plus ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, U.S.A.? (The same place where Obama held his famous "short-sleeves summit" with Chinese President Xi Jinping three years ago.) And this time minus China, but China will be one of the topics in the two-day summit with the ten ASEAN leaders and Obama on the territorial disputes with some ASEAN members and China in the South China Sea. With the intention of Obama to counter the growing influence of China in the region where China uses its soft power operation to penetrate the ASEAN reportedly in disguise of helping its neighbors economically.

According to L.A. Times online ASEAN is very important for “the US because the U.S. and the 10 ASEAN nations traded $254 billion in goods and services in 2014 — about 8% of all American trade, or the equivalent of about half the U.S. trade volume with China.

Four ASEAN countries — Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia — have joined the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and others have expressed interest.

"It's America's fourth-largest trading partner. It's by far the largest destination for U.S. investment in Asia — more than China, Japan, South Korea and India combined. It's huge," said researcher Ian Storey of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. "Southeast Asia is enormously important to the United States, and the Obama administration has been giving it the attention it deserves."

About 4 million people living in the U.S. were born in ASEAN countries, including 1.8 million from the Philippines and 1.2 million from Vietnam, according to 2012 Census Bureau data. That's about 10% of the foreign-born population. Among U.S. citizens naturalized in 2013, more than 111,000 came from ASEAN countries — 54% more than from mainland China.”

But why the sudden interest in the ASEAN members that Obama had to give two days for such an ‘informal’ meeting? Is the China threat too strong now that Obama had to rely on ASEAN to neutralize the perceived ‘enemy’?

The growing China threat is for real and the mere fact that Bill Gertz, the senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon revealed this in his article Chinese Defector Reveals Beijing’s Secrets, the possibilities are high that even the use of nuclear weapons in the region should be a major concern.

According to Gertz, “A defector from China has revealed some of the innermost secrets of the Chinese government and military, including details of its nuclear command and control system, according to American intelligence officials.

Businessman Ling Wancheng disappeared from public view in California last year shortly after his brother, Ling Jihua, a former high-ranking official in the Communist Party, was arrested in China on corruption charges.

Ling Wancheng, the defector, has been undergoing a debrief by FBI, CIA, and other intelligence officials since last fall at a secret location in the United States, said officials familiar with details of the defection who spoke on condition of anonymity. The defector is said to be a target of covert Chinese agents seeking to capture or kill him.

Among the information disclosed by Ling are details about the procedures used by Chinese leaders on the use of nuclear weapons, such as the steps taken in preparing nuclear forces for attack and release codes for nuclear arms.

Other secrets revealed included details about the Chinese leadership and its facilities, including the compound in Beijing known as 'Zhongnanhai'. That information is said to be valuable for U.S. electronic spies, specifically for cyber intelligence operations targeting the secretive Chinese leadership.

Other officials said Ling defected sometime in the summer of 2015 after his brother, once the senior administrative aide to former Chinese leader Hu Jintao, came under suspicion for leaking state secrets.

Intelligence officials said Ling, if confirmed as a legitimate defector in debriefings over the next several months, would have the most privileged information of any defector from China to the United States in more than 30 years.

“This is an intelligence windfall,” said one senior official.

The events surrounding Ling’s defection and his brother’s arrest appear to be part of a complex internal power struggle in China led by current leader Xi Jinping targeting hundreds of Party leaders and officials. Under the guise of a nationwide anticorruption drive within the Chinese leadership, Xi is said to be systematically removing rivals from previous administrations.

Officials said Ling Wancheng is being kept under tight security after U.S. intelligence agencies detected the activity of covert Chinese agents tasked with tracking down Chinese nationals sought by the government.

The defection was triggered by the arrest of Ling’s brother, Ling Jihua, a former presidential aide who secretly obtained some 2,700 internal documents from a special Communist Party unit he headed until 2012. The unit was in charge of storing and archiving classified documents.

During an investigation of Ling’s residence, Chinese authorities discovered that 2,700 secret documents had been photocopied. Most of the photocopies had been produced after September 2012, when Ling Jihua was transferred to another government ministry.

The secrets included security passcodes and communications codes used at Zhongnanhai, blueprints, and command and control information used by Communist leaders and the State Council, the cabinet, and the Central Military Commission.

Launch procedures for firing nuclear missiles used by Party leaders and People’s Liberation Army leaders also were leaked.

China’s nuclear arsenal and the conditions for its use are among Beijing’s most closely guarded secrets. Very little information is held by U.S. intelligence agencies on how China would use nuclear weapons and when it would conduct nuclear attacks.”

If all these leaked information are now in the hands of the US intelligence, the threat for a first strike policy is not far-fetched and the US allies in the region are in the crosshairs whether we like it or not.

There is no better time to consolidate forces than now that Obama is giving the ASEAN leaders to be wary of a regional conflict.

The question is- who will strike first? Will the US leak how the Chinese missiles trajectory will really scare the ASEAN?

Let's all be vigilant!

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