China courting poorer countries - and U.S. foes, with promises of cheaper drones
Unmanned drones could spell havoc for U.S., allies
Drones, unmanned aircraft that can gather information and deliver deadly payloads, have sparked controversy here in the United States. More worrying still is the idea that China can knock off much cheaper drones and offer them to less developed countries such as North Korea and Syria. The idea of these unmanned planes getting into the hands of enemy nations would spread havoc among the U.S. and its allies.
Chinese-made drones could end up arming potential U.S. foes such as North Korea, Iran and terrorist organizations.
These far less expensive drones hold little appeal to such nations friendly to the west, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia or NATO allies. These countries want to buy the best U.S. or Israeli drone hardware. China instead seeks customers in the Middle East and Africa at such weapons expositions such as China's biennial Zhuhai Air Show.
"In the area of the Middle East, there could be direct competition, and the Chinese would have an advantage because they can apparently make unmanned autonomous vehicles, or UAVs cheaper," Ian Easton, a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute. "For countries that don't demand the best technology, good enough would be good enough."
Even worse, Chinese-made drones could end up arming potential U.S. foes such as North Korea, Iran and terrorist organizations.
China already makes drones that don't quite match up to U.S. military drones at a far lesser cost. "In whatever future conflict scenario we're in five or 10 years from now, the proliferation of UAVs is going to complicate things for the U.S. military," Easton says.
Chinese manufacturers supplying the military and state agencies also have begun seeking foreign buyers in a global drone market that aerospace and defense market research firm Teal Group estimates to be worth $89 billion over the next 10 years.
Rampage nations such as Syria might obtain Chinese drones for the surveillance or oppression of their own citizens, Easton said. He added that Chinese drones also could end up in the hands of North Korea or Iran - regional hotspots where the U.S. military may potentially find itself embroiled in future conflicts.
Iran has already sold its own version drones to countries such as Syria and organizations such as Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon and backed by Iran. China-made drones would also let countries like Iran and North Korea to obtain technology which Western countries refuse to sell.
"It's bad enough that China has that kind of capability, but the same capability could end up in the hands of the Iranians or North Koreans or a terrorist group like Hezbollah that Iran is cooperating with," Easton said.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Asia Pacific News
- UN report on food an agriculture holds dire warning for the world
- Missing Malaysia plane was tracked hundreds of miles off course
- Disintegrated - in mid-air? Missing Malaysian plane mystery deepens
- Top Malaysia court delays ruling on use of 'Allah'
- Filipino Cardinal blasts Catholics for hypocrisy
- Chinese train massacre carried out by Islamist gang on 'Holy War' spree
- Pakistan feeling wages of sin; Drug addiction, AIDS rife is South Asian nation
- Indian economy slows in most recent quarter
- While Cambodia's poverty rate drops, many still struggle to survive
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?