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Sea Transportation: The Secret Chinese Fleet
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April 30, 2008: COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Co.) owned the ship that recently tried to deliver a shipment of ammunition to the government of Zimbabwe. COSCO is a $20 billion a year business, owned by the Chinese government, that operates dozens of huge tankers and container transports, as well as ship repair facilities and port operations around the world. It was always understood that COSCO would provide cover for Chinese spy operations, and any "special operations" the Chinese Navy needed help with. However, it appears that COSCO is more into espionage than previously thought. As American counter-terrorism activities increased in out-of-the-way places, they often found that, not only was COSCO already there, but so were plenty of Chinese intelligence personnel, operating under the cover of COSCO employees. It was a near-perfect fit. Port operations are the center of much of what goes into, and comes out of, a country. In many poor countries, the local officials who oversee foreign operators like COSCO can be bribed to look the other way when "special" cargo goes in, or out. COSCO also moves sensitive people, and material, for the Chinese military. It's never been a secret that COSCO works closely with Chinese military and intelligence agencies, but the degree of cooperation has been increasing.  COSCO has also been caught smuggling illegal cargos (weapons, hazardous waste, and so on).


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newjarheadean    maiden commit   4/30/2008 2:39:59 PM
With COSCO doing so much trade in the US why can't more be done to control the espionage. Seems to me the possibility of losing access to western ports would keep things in check.
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Softwar       4/30/2008 3:20:52 PM
Unfortunately, both parties (Dem and Repub) are against making Beijing mad just because we get upset at their use of COSCO as part of their Navy.  They would rather have COSCO ships unloading fake plastic dog poop made in Guangdong - destine for Wal-mart - than be forced to face the facts about espionage and illegal arms trade from their merchant ships being approved at the highest levels by the owners of COSCO - e.g. the PLAN and the communist party.
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Nanheyangrouchuan       4/30/2008 9:57:35 PM
And the world's ship building powers all worked together to make this happen by sending their master builders and tradespeople to China to train the workers and managers as well as upgrade shipbuilding facilities. 

I keep saying that the US should not be surprised if the PRC uses COSCO ships in a land assault against US territory, or Japanese or Korean.  I would suspect Hawaii, Guam, Alaska and small towns on the CONUS west coast make tempting targets.

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newjarheadean    brovo   5/1/2008 5:51:36 PM
yes sir, that invasion option remines me of what i beleave was a world sceam way back when to keep China form buying to many large airliners etc. like you say the cargo ship trojin horse in LA harbor could be a rud revilly.
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newjarheadean    true   5/1/2008 5:59:26 PM
Your  reply  is  the  truth  i'm  effraid. Now i'm no rebel, and  i'm just joken, but this reminds me of the scene in the movie Red heat when the Russain Detective tells the NYC detective "then you should start with them first" LOL!
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Steamboat Jack    It?s dj vu all over again.   5/3/2008 7:42:19 PM
  This isn't the first time COSCO has been smuggling guns for fun and profit.

 See the original Operation Dragonfire from 1996:

Steamboat Jack
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