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Sunday, January 31, 2010

U.S. ties Israeli billionaire with Chinese intelligence

The Admiralty complex is one of the trademarks of Hong Kong’s urban landscape. Overlooking the port, the complex used to house the soldiers of the British army and the headquarters of the Royal Navy in the region. Today it is part of the city’s business center. One building there houses a group of companies nicknamed the 88 Queensway Group (the address of the building), which the U.S. administration suspects is nothing more than a cover for activity conducted by the People’s Republic of China’s foreign intelligence. Wu Yang, one of the group’s senior directors, provided the Registrar of Companies in Hong Kong with an address that matches the address of Chinese foreign intelligence.

The suspicions were spelled out in a report recently compiled by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was established by Congress in 2000 in order to “monitor, investigate and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.” The report noted, among other things, that the group of Chinese corporations has business ties with Israeli businessman and diamond magnate Lev Leviev.

Using the group, Chinese intelligence acquires oil and energy companies and other important assets in countries in Africa, Latin American, Southeast Asia, as well as in the United States. In this way it promotes Chinese national interests, increases its influence and guarantees the supply of raw materials – first and foremost oil – necessary for its economy.

China is already an important economic-diplomatic and security factor in Africa, and the day is not far off when it will become the major power on that continent – surpassing the United States, France and Great Britain in importance. It has large investments in Congo-Brazzaville, Guinea, Zambia, Nigeria and Angola. Some of these countries are oil producers and some are subject to U.S. and EU boycotts due to their human rights situations. For China, however, the absence of human rights is not an obstacle. Trade between China and African nations has increased tenfold in the past nine years – from $10 billion in 2000 to $107 billion in 2009.

China also aims to penetrate the economies of Argentina and Venezuela. By means of liaisons, the directors of the Chinese companies have succeeded in forging personal ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Nestor Kirchner, the former president of Argentina who is married to the current president.

Source: Intelligence Quarterly
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