Chips and the PRC

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US seems to be preparing to block the purchase of Lattice Semiconductor Corp, a maker of chips for civilian electronics, by Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, a company backed and funded by the government of the People’s Republic of China.  This is upsetting the deal’s backers.

Lattice management and other deal backers think we should all be “satisfied with their efforts to address national security concerns,” and they’re preparing to appeal to President Donald Trump to overrule the expected CFIUS decision.  This is nonsense.  Canyon Bridge is an arm of the PRC government; it isn’t possible to address successfully national security concerns when the government of an enemy is involved in buying one of our technology companies.

Iran and the Nuclear Deal

Somalia has written our State Department asking for help since al Shabaab, in concert with al Qaeda, has seized and is operating some of Somalia’s surface uranium mines, with a view to sending the output to Iran.

This issue can be summed up in a single word: uranium.  Al-Shabaab forces have captured critical surface exposed uranium deposits in the Galmudug region and are strip mining triuranium octoxide for transport to Iran.

That customer is somewhat speculative on Somalia’s part, but neither terrorist organization has much use for yellowcake except as a money-raising item for sale.  Beyond that, there aren’t many customers in the pool, either, and only Iran and northern Korea have much interest in illicitly obtaining the ore.

Sale of a Stock Exchange

Good idea?

The Chicago Stock Exchange wants to sell itself to Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group, a Chinese conglomerate whose parent is CHX Holdings Inc.  Never mind that this would be a camel’s nose of the People’s Republic of China into our financial system and expose it to PRC hacking, disruption, theft, etc, etc, etc.

Fortunately, a collection of Congressmen persuaded the SEC to indefinitely delay the sale and purchase.  Unfortunately, the deal hasn’t been killed altogether.

Casin…says it is independent of the Chinese government.

Of course it is. In a nation that is increasing its autocratic control over its economy and the businesses in it.  Sure.

Another Cynical Mueller Leak

Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining what role, if any, former national security adviser Mike Flynn may have played in a private effort to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, according to people familiar with the matter.

It’s becoming increasingly crystalline that, whatever purpose Special Counsel Robert Mueller has in his “investigation,” it’s a dishonest one.  That’s the only reason that occurs to me for his careful string of “leaks” to the public, of which this is only the latest.

We’ll See

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

Of course, in the days immediately following the first meeting between President Donald Trump and the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping, just after Trump’s inauguration, the PRC acted like it was going to start honoring then-existing sanctions against northern Korea.

That turned out to be just an act.  Is the present “order” serious, or is it just another empty gesture?

We’ll see, indeed.

A Disingenuous Protest

The PRC is upset over a US Navy ship sailing innocently in international waters.

The USS John S. McCain sailed within six nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands on Thursday as part of a “freedom of navigation operation,” US officials told news agencies.

Geng Shuang, the PRC’s Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General (Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) claimed that the McCain’s passage

severely undermines China’s sovereignty and security.

This is disingenuous: the PRC has no sovereignty or security concerns involving the Spratlys (or any other part of the South China Sea, come to that).  Any sovereignty question involves only Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, the claimants to the group.


German Chancellor Angel Merkel is fully engaged.

Germany will very intensively take part in the options for resolution that are not military….

Her alternative?

I see the need for enduring work at the UN Security Council…as well as tight cooperation between the countries involved, especially the US and China.

Because that’s worked so well in the past.  The UN resolutions have stopped northern Korea from building nuclear weapons and developing the means to deliver them?  Nope.  Not over the decades they’ve been tried.  The PRC has worked so closely with us to curb the PRC’s dog?  Nope.  The PRC is one of the biggest violators of UN sanctions, and even now they’re doing nothing material.

Technology Theft

In a piece on American CEOs’ (and Apple’s in particular) cowardice in their dealings with the People’s Republic of China’s government—censor your stuff or you can’t operate in the PRC, give up your technology to or you can’t operate in the PRC, and these worthies meekly comply—comes this reminder on the latter bit:

Just about everybody in the US capital is complaining about how China forces foreign companies to give up technology in return for market access.

In truth, the PRC isn’t alone in this: willing participants are those American CEOs who acquiesce in the name of short-term profit rather than long-term gain.

Works for Me

The US has imposed additional sanctions on Iran, vindicated by Iran’s launch of a new ballistic missile, a test of a rocket capable of delivering satellites into orbit.

Iran now is objecting, saying the additional sanctions violate the nuclear “deal” signed by ex-President Barack Obama (D).  Iran claims

new US sanctions against the Muslim country constitute a “breach” of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers.

That’s fine.  It’s good that Iran seems to agree with this administration that the thing is a terrible accord and ought to be gotten rid of.  We should tear it up and impose complete sanctions on Iran.

It’s About Time

Now we need to act on it.

The US Pentagon and State Department have devised plans to supply Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weaponry and are seeking White House approval, US officials said, as Kiev battles Russia-backed separatists and ties between Moscow and Washington fray.

We should have done this as soon as the Russians went into Ukraine.  We should have done this, in fact, as soon as the rebels tried to secede and started their war of separation.