China Benefiting Substantially From U.S. Satellites
APS Radio News has learned that China has been benefiting substantially from U.S. satellite technology and has been using that technology to monitor and suppress protest movements in various parts of China, including Tibet and in Xianjing province.
According to various news sources, The Carlyle Group, has been invested with a Chinese conglomerate that provides satellite services to China's government.
Sources say that various U.S.-made satellites have been used to connect Chinese military forces stationed in the South China Sea in territory disputed by Vietnam and the Philippines.
Satellites have been used to monitor and suppress various protest movements in different areas of China, they said.
Although U.S. law prohibits the export of satellites to China, it doesn't regulate how a satellite's bandwidth is used. In essence, China is allowed to use the bandwidth provided by U.S.-made satellites, analysts say.
Sources say that U.S. companies like Boeing and SSL, which is a subsidiary of Maxar Technologiies, Inc., have built statellites being used by China's government and state-owned technology companies.
As well, for the past several years Carlyle Group and a Chinese-based conglomerate, Citic Group, own about three quarters of the Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company.
In turn, Citic Group, is a state-owned investment company, established in 1979 with the approval of Deng Xiaoping. It is one of China's biggest conglomerates, with one the largest pools of foreign assets in the world.
Sources say that China's military and the Ministry of State Security, its main intelligence entity, are among Citic "end-users" of satellite bandwidth.
APS Radio News has learned that the Ministry has used satellites built by SSL and Boeing to monitor dissident groups in Tibet and in Xianjing, where in Urumqi, the capital city of that province, older Uighur residential and business districts have been razed in the past few years to make way for strictly monitored districts.
As well, China seeks to build a major trading conduit to Europe. That project has been referred to as the Belt and Road initiative favored and promoted by President Xi Jinping.
Analysts maintain that U.S.-made satellites and the use of associated bandwidth will allow China to monitor and control restive movement in Xianjing that might otherwise jeopardize or slow down its progress in constructing the Belt and Road initiative, which is seen as a reprise of the old Silk Road.
In the meantime, officials of Asia Satellite Telecommunications would not say whether this technology is being used by police in China's successful efforts to suppress Uighur protesters.
According to reports, China has sent up to a million dissidents from Xianjing to internment camps.
The chairperson of Asia Satellite Telecommunications is a managing director of the Carlyle Group, sources say.
For several years that company has been providing mobile service, made possible by Boeing-built satellites, to military forces stationed in various parts of the Spratly Islands, which are disputed by the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Over the past ten years China has been constructing artificial islands in the South China Sea, in order to reinforce its claims over the area. China maintains that parts of the South China Sea and the Spratly Islands are part its territory dating back centuries.
SSL and Boeing officials maintain that their companies have complied with U.S. export rules and that they cannot monitor and have no control over how China uses bandwidth provided by those satellites.
For its part, officials of the U.S. Department of Commerce say that while the Department regulates the export of various types of technology, it does not regulate how bandwidth is used. They say that matters could change depending on whether human rights abuses are involved in the use of technology, however.
The State Department urges U.S.-based companies to monitor and regulate how their technology is being used such that it isn't being employed to the detriment of human rights.
However, analysts maintain that such technology is being used by China's military and police in its effective suppression of various dissidents in places like Tibet.
They say that bandwidth is being used by Chinese soldiers stationed in various parts of the China Sea, in China's efforts to gain greater control of the region.
Various company officials deny that technology is being used for such purposes. At the same time, they say that they have no control over how bandwidth is being utilized.
The Carlyle Group is the same private equity that in the early 2000's a member of the Bin Laden family had been a "guest of honor" of the group and that the family had been investors in Carlyle managed funds.
In the aftermath of the attacks against the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, it was revealed that the Bin Laden family had invested $2 million into Carlyle's $1.3 billion Carlyle Partners II Fund in 1995, making the family relatively small investors with the firm.
The Bin Laden family liquidated its holdings in Carlyle's funds in October 2001, just after the September 11 attacks.
Just days after the attacks, attributed to Osama bin Laden, The Wall Street Journal reported the Carlyle Group's former connection to members of the Bin Laden family.