The Chinese Communist Party has released satellite images depicting their groundbreaking surveillance technology. The Beijing-3 satellite launched in June, revealed extremely clear images of a U.S. city, displaying their technological abilities. Why did the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) choose America as a target for their surveillance experiment?
Photos distributed online display high-resolution images of the San Fransisco Bay area, depicted in an alarming amount of detail. By demonstration of their capabilities, China has provoked concern to the privacy of our national security, which arguably may have well been the CCP’s original intent. With this technology, China can easily observe the day-to-day routines of U.S. military personnel, collecting inventories of America’s national defense, and at a worst-case scenario—creating a real-time strategy for the Chinese Communist Party’s plan of potential attack, should they decide to engage in combat.
The Chinese Communist Party is known to infiltrate their competition, providing an unfair advantage to the surveillance of private development for breakthrough technology. This strategy is claimed to have been learned from the Soviet Union, where they placed communist spies into the Chinese nationalist party, in order to spread communist ideology, ultimately weakening the Chinese nationalist party. Under the communist regime, it was considered—and still remains—“patriotic” to steal plans from the enemy, relaying back sensitive information resulting in the enemy’s eventual demise. These practices are still very much alive today, allowing the CCP access to American technology.
The CCP’s Civilian Army
Often, innovators and organizations fall victim to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) infiltration, where planted communist members relay back information. This historic practice of hidden deception has occurred for now just over a century under the Chinese Communist regime. Before and during Mao’s reign, Chinese-Communist spies were planted in nationalist party in China, sometimes for life. The Chinese Communist plants would live long lives, dying never revealing their true identity within the party. During the course of their lives, the Chinese Communist Party member secretly relayed sensitive information back to the communist regime throughout the course of their existence. This has allowed the Chinese Communist regime easy-access to technological, medical, and pharmaceutical designs, where they can be relayed back to China, and obtained by the CCP. The Chinese Communist Party, then uses cheap Chinese labor, often under inhumane conditions, to construct duplicate designs. The cheap parts and ingredients are then sold back to American for a significantly reduced cost, inevitably driving out domestic manufacturers, who are unable to compete with the bottom-dollar cheap cost. These competitive prices can be achieved through forced work-camps (laogai), re-education facilities (laojiao), and low-cost Chinese labor.
U.S. Corporate Global Expansion
Rather than attempt to shield their product from the Chinese Communist Party, some U.S. corporations choose to work with the totalitarian regime. Strong temptation exists for modern American businesses to expand their products into China’s 1.4-billion-person consumer market1. Perceived as a financial opportunity to some, this deceptive allure entices American corporations to succumb to CCP ideology.
However, in order to expand their product for distribution throughout the People’s Republic of China, American corporations must overlook their own morals, ethics, and the long-term devastations that occur as a result of working with entities aligned with the communist regime. In addition to the CCP’s manipulative tactics, American companies are required to disavow of the modern atrocities which occur daily to minorities in surrounding regions [such as Xinjiang], and even Chinese citizens throughout mainland China. This wicked, inhumane practice spreads discrimination—along with the communist ideology that enacted it—right into American organizations, weaking western values.
As utopian socialist Klaus Schwab describes in his book, “The Great Reset”—and summarized on the World Economic Forum’s official website2, “Eight Predictions for the World in 2030”, [the seventh prediction] —“Western values will be tested to their breaking point.”
With the expansion of surveillance technologies, the need for life-long communist spies secretly planted inside organizations, becomes far less of a necessity. Now, simply anyone with access to China’s observation satellites, such as the Beijing-3, has the upper hand over real-time American intelligence.
On June 11th, 2021 a Chinese Chang Zheng 2D rocket launched four satellites into Low-Earth Orbit3 (LEO) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The Beijing-3, a one-ton satellite, was used to monitor and capture high resolution images around the San Francisco Bay area4. The Beijing-3 contains panchromatic5 and multispectral dual cameras6,
The Beijing-3 satellite uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology for sensitive components such as antennas, telescopes, and even to create it’s own flight path7. The A.I. technology allows the satellite to monitor as many as 500 “areas of interest” per day. The United States has already developed a two-ton satellite using similar technology, deemed the “WorldView-4”.
On Friday November 11, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. PST, the WorldView-4 satellite successfully launched into orbit, from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Built by Lockheed Martin8, the WorldView-4 orbits Earth at an altitude of 617 km, (383 miles). The WorldView-4 has a Circular Error at the 90th percentile (CE90) of 3.5m9, referring to its geolocation accuracy10.
By comparison, the Beijing-3 is two to three times faster than the WorldView-4 satellite. With a capture time of less than a minute, China’s Beijing-3 is able to scan a 77% wider area than WorldView-4. In addition the WorldView-4 has lower quality due to the Beijing-3 increased stability against vibration.
Satellites in Orbit
The Union of Concerned Scientists11, state that 4,550 satellites currently circling our globe12. The United States is responsible for 61.27% of the existing satellites in orbit, with 2,788 satellites. China, (at 9.47%), stands next in line with 431 satellites traveling around earth. Russia, (at 3.67%) has 167 satellites orbiting the planet. All remaining countries are responsible for the remaining 25.58% of the world’s satellites, contributing to a combined 1,164 satellites in existence.
In America, only 167 satellites (5.9%) are used for government purposes. Nearly eighty-five percent (84.61%) of American satellites are used for commercial purposes. (2,359 satellites) The U.S. military rely on only 229 satellites, leaving the remaining 33 satellites owned by American civilians.
“According to the report, the response time of Beijing-3 is 2-3 times faster than that of WorldView-4, one of the most advanced Earth observation satellites created by the US with similar technology.”
“China started relatively late on agile satellite technology, but achieved a large number of breakthroughs in a short period of time,” stated Yang Fang, a project lead scientist of the DFH Satellite Company in a paper published in Spacecraft Engineering this month. “The level of our technology has reached a world leading position.”
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that the Chinese Satellite was able to capture high-resolution images so clear, that they could view the detail of vehicles and their contents.
SCMP stated that scientists analyzing the images reported that they were “sharp enough to identify a military vehicle on the street and tell what type of weapon it might be carrying”
With the increasing evolution of mass surveillance technology, China isn’t the only entity watching from the skies. No matter where you are, someone is always watching, tracking your every move. A decision if that particular reel of footage gets used, is dependent on the needs of the surveillant. No matter the skies, or from space, global surveillance allows the American government to protect our nation from individuals with nefarious intent. However, not everyone with the capability for mass surveillance has our nation’s best interests at heart. In these instances, satellite surveillance can be used as an invisible weapon, against America’s domestic strategies and technologies.
The implementation of wide area surveillance13 has brought America and China’s technological race to another height. Now, the Chinese Communist Party has the ability to clearly view U.S. military weapons testing conducted in remote areas, the shipping of military technology, and conduct real-time inventories on military vehicles, ships, and aircraft. In a worst-case scenario, China has the ability to use this data to strategize a detailed attack on our nation.
Around the clock, U.S. citizens are watched from above using CCTV, wide-area surveillance payload (WASP) systems, predator drones, observation satellites and other forms of surveillance. China has the ability to view American society in detail from an even greater distance, bringing concern to the privacy of our nation. While it’s true that mass surveillance protects against and deters terrorism, it also provides opportunity for invasion of privacy and political weaponization. What steps will be taken to combat these CCP surveillance technologies? How much has China already seen? As the rise of wide area surveillance technology provides greater national security, has it become a liability that jeopardizes America’s advance over international competition?