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  • For China to repress Uighurs

  • And build illegal military bases in the South China Sea

  • It takes technology.

  • And American satellite companies are helping.

  • This is China Uncensored,

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Boy, was I depressed a few weeks ago

  • when I found out Microsoft

  • has been working with Chinese military universities

  • to create artificial intelligence technology

  • that the Chinese regime may be using to repress its citizens.

  • Then I found out Google was doing pretty much the same thing.

  • And I was like, okay,

  • now I'm really depressed.

  • And then the episode I made about that

  • was demonetized by YouTube,

  • which is owned by Google.

  • And that was when I hit rock bottom.

  • At least that's what I thought.

  • But it turns out,

  • I had discovered a rock bottomless pit.

  • Because guess what?

  • It gets so much worse.

  • Have you ever taken the time to think about

  • how Chinese authorities communicate

  • with their military and police about things like,

  • who to repress next?

  • Let's be honest,

  • you're not thinking about

  • how Chinese authorities communicate.

  • You're probably spending more time wondering about

  • if you should get fries on the side with that burger.

  • Let me help you,

  • the answer is: Get a side of pizza.

  • Then get fries on top of *that.*

  • But to operate a system of mass surveillance,

  • with AI facial recognition and real time GPS mapping,

  • that requires transmitting a lot of data.

  • And the best way to transmit data

  • to and from remote locations is a satellite.

  • But when it comes to satellite technology,

  • Chinese satellites are way behind.

  • See, the China Academy of Space Technology satellite

  • can only achieve speeds of 20 gigabytes per second.

  • But an American-made SSL satellite

  • can transmit 220 gigabytes a second.

  • And a Boeing satellite can reach 260 gigabytes a second.

  • USA number one!

  • And China's complex surveillance systems

  • just need those faster speeds!

  • And the solution is simple.

  • They just use the Americans satellites.

  • But, you say, is that even legal?

  • Well, it's *not* legal for US companies

  • to sell satellites to China.

  • But here's the thing: American satellite companies

  • like Boeing and SSL love money.

  • And China has a lot of money.

  • And when lots of money is involved,

  • there's always a loophole.

  • And this Wall Street Journal report uncovered it.

  • It shows the horrifying way China exploits US satellites

  • to strengthen its police and military power.

  • You know those fake islands China

  • built in the South China Sea?

  • The ones that now have military bases

  • and missile launchers on them?

  • They're getting internet thanks to

  • a fleet of US made satellites.

  • The mass surveillance driving a brutal crackdown

  • of ethnic Uighurs Muslims in China's Xinjiang?

  • Thanks to more US satellites.

  • Even the broadcast of state-run media propaganda

  • is being carried on US made satellites.

  • In fact, a new satellite being built by Boeing

  • could even help the Chinese regime

  • replace the US made GPS system.

  • And it could also improve the People's Liberation Army's

  • missile guidance systems.

  • Now again,

  • that seems like it should be totally against the law

  • for US companies to sell satellites to China

  • for all that stuff, right?

  • And again, it is.

  • But that's where the loophole comes in.

  • Once the satellite is in space,

  • there are no regulations on how

  • the bandwidth of that satellite is used.

  • And thathas allowed China to essentially

  • rent the capacity of U.S.-built satellites

  • it wouldn't be allowed to buy.”

  • Why own, when you can rent?

  • Especially when owning is illegal.

  • Don't worry, because all of the companies

  • mentioned in the Wall Street Journal Article

  • Boeing, SSL, and the Carlyle Group

  • said they absolutely comply with all US laws.

  • And they do.

  • Technically.

  • See China doesn't own the satellites.

  • They just own a big share in the company

  • that owns the satellites.

  • And then China rents bandwidth from those satellites.

  • Here's how it works.

  • There's a company called Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co.,

  • aka AsiaSat.

  • It's based in Hong Kong.

  • And Hong Kong isn't China.

  • Well it is,

  • but apparently not the part of China

  • that's affected by US export controls.

  • That was clever!

  • So the Hong Kong company, AsiaSat,

  • buys satellites from a US company,

  • like Boeing or SSL.

  • Now that order has to be approved by the US government

  • to make sure no one's violating US laws on satellite export.

  • And to help the US government understand

  • how everything is totally legit,

  • the Carlyle Group,

  • one of the US's biggest private equity firms,

  • that owns a big chunk of AsiaSat

  • they send a compliance report to the US government.

  • And the US government reads that report and says,

  • oh, AsiaSat is a *Hong Kong* company.

  • That's ok!”

  • And they approve the deal.

  • But here's the twist.

  • Another big chunk of AsiaSat is owned by the CITIC Group.

  • Which is owned by the Chinese government.

  • Is that a problem?

  • Well, I'm sure if it was,

  • the managing director of the Carlyle Group,

  • who also happens to be the Chairman of AsiaSat,

  • would have said something to the US government

  • to blow up that incredibly lucrative deal.

  • So Chinese state-owned CITIC

  • then goes on to sell bandwidth

  • from those American made satellites to Chinese entities.

  • For example, state-run propaganda broadcasters,

  • soldiers in the South China Sea, or police in Xinjiang.

  • Now obviously, Boeing or SSL,

  • even AsiaSat claim they never specifically intended

  • for their technology to be used by China's

  • Ministry of Public Security and the police.

  • Which I believe.

  • Even though China's Ministry of Public Security

  • has specifically said that's how they were using it.

  • I mean, how could these poor US companies

  • and AsiaSat executives know that a major owner of AsiaSat

  • was a conglomerate owned by the Chinese government,

  • that had specifically bragged about how

  • AsiaSat's satellites helped ensure communications for authorities

  • as they quelled anti government protests and riots

  • in Tibet and in Xinjiang.”?

  • And how could they know that their data feeds,

  • which provide internet coverage to the South China Sea,

  • would be used to provide internet coverage to...

  • the South China Sea?

  • Where China is building all those military bases.

  • Look, that stuff's complicated.

  • It's not like rocket science.

  • A spokesperson for the Carlyle Group

  • told the Wall Street Journal that

  • AsiaSat, because of privacy issues,

  • doesn't monitor or regulate the content that flows through it,”

  • so obviously there's no way anyone at AsiaSat

  • could have known what the Chinese military was up to.

  • Of course AsiaSat does draw the line somewhere.

  • For instance,

  • all that stuff I mentioned about the Chinese military and police

  • that's okay.

  • But AsiaSat did drop Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

  • I mean, those are funded by the US government

  • and broadcast sensitive news into China

  • that the Chinese Communist Party would much rather

  • Chinese people don't know about.

  • Clearly the greater of two evils.

  • And none of this is new.

  • It's has been going on for years.

  • And actually,

  • the US government *has* known about it.

  • Previous administrations just thought the profits

  • would help American satellite companies

  • reinvest in development.

  • Or give the US insight into China's space capabilities.

  • Or that China would use these US satellites

  • for benign purposes

  • such as broadcasting sports.

  • Yes, sports.

  • Like target practice.

  • More people in the US government

  • really need to watch China Uncensored.

  • But seriously, according to Boeing,

  • The State and Commerce departments

  • over four administrations

  • and most recently in 2017—

  • have reviewed and approved export licenses

  • for the AsiaSat satellite constellation

  • to provide commercial bandwidth services

  • to the Asia region, including China.”

  • 4 administrations?!

  • Thanks Obama.

  • And Trump.

  • And Bush.

  • And Clinton.

  • Wow, I never thought I'd be able to use them all

  • in the same sentence in that way before.

  • But again, the problem is that the government

  • only regulates satellite exports,

  • not satellite bandwidth usage.

  • And that's the loophole

  • that's allowed the Chinese Communist Party

  • to use the best American technology

  • to repress the Chinese people.

  • There might be some hope though.

  • When the Wall Street Journal reached out

  • to the Commerce Department for comment,

  • a spokesman said itregularly updates its regulations

  • to counter evolving national security threats,”

  • and it considered human rights part of that.

  • And the State Department said,

  • itstrongly urges companies to implement

  • stringent safeguards to ensure that their commercial activities

  • do not contribute to China's human-rights abuses.”

  • So maybe this loophole will close.

  • Especially if you write to your representatives

  • and tell them what you think.

  • But at the end of the day,

  • the fundamental problem isn't that

  • there's not enough government regulation.

  • It's that private companies,

  • like Microsoft, Google, Boeing, Carlyle Group, and SSL,

  • put profit above human rights.

  • At least Boeing,

  • in response to questions from the Wall Street Journal,

  • said it has put on hold

  • its latest satellite deal involving China,

  • the one that would bolster the Chinese rival to GPS.”

  • So what do you think?

  • Are you depressed too?

  • I recommend french fry covered pizza.

  • But you know what always cheers me up?

  • Answering a question from

  • a member of the China Uncensored 50-Cent Army!

  • Those are fans of the show who support it

  • on the crowd funding website Patreon.

  • Largezo asks,

  • If the US and PRC went to war

  • would you guys run out of jokes?”

  • Well, as much as I'd hate for war to happen,

  • if anything I think it would just give me

  • more types of jokes to make.

  • I mean, that's pretty much infinite references to Fallout.

  • Yeah, the Daily Show did pretty well for itself

  • during the Iraq War.

  • Comedy is just tragedy plus time.

  • And jokes about poop.

  • Or a man getting hit in the groin by a football.

  • Just the boing and homer laughing

  • Man, that gets me everytime.

  • So yeah, lots to look forward to.

  • Thanks for you question, Largezo.

  • So