Liu Zhen

Liu Zhen

Reporter, China

Liu Zhen is a contributor to Inkstone. She covers China's diplomacy and defense from Beijing for the South China Morning Post.

Location
Beijing
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Japanese
Areas of Expertise
China military and diplomacy
Chinese gangs intentionally spread African swine fever for profit
Chinese criminals have been exploiting the country’s African swine fever crisis by intentionally spreading the disease, or misinformation about the disease, to upsell pork, state media has reported.  The gangs use strong-arm tactics to force farmers to sell their pigs for a low price before smuggling the meat to other parts of China. They use forgery and bribery to resell it as healthy stock at a markup. Sometimes the gangs spread rumors about the virus, but in more extreme cases they use drones to drop infected items into farms, according to an investigation by the magazine China Comment, which is affiliated to state news agency Xinhua. African swine fever is not a risk to human health, b
Chinese gangs intentionally spread African swine fever for profit
China tests urban killer drones for export
A Chinese technology firm is testing a new attack drone specifically designed to help ground troops in street-level combat, in the hope that it can sell the unit abroad, reports say. Engineers recently completed a successful air-to-ground test firing exercise for the mini quadcopter named Tianyi, Modern Weaponry reported. The developer, Tianjin Zhongwei Aerospace Data System Technology, said the unmanned aerial vehicle had been designed to carry out both reconnaissance missions and close-range strikes against armored vehicles or individuals in an urban environment. “It is suitable for circumstances that include asymmetric combat, counterterrorism and special forces [operations] and street ba
China tests urban killer drones for export
China’s new supersonic arsenal could give bomber force greater reach
China’s new H-6N strategic bomber could reach a maximum strike range of 6,000km (3,728 miles), military sources said. The H-6 – which is based on the Russian cold war era Tupolev 16 (known to Nato as the Badger) that went into service in 1954 – has been the mainstay of China’s bomber force since the 1970s. The H-6K have played a key role in Beijing’s “island encirclement” drills over the self-ruled Taiwan since early 2018. The military exercises were designed by Beijing to send a warning to the island’s independence-leaning government. The latest variant of the plane was designed to carry CJ-100 supersonic cruise missiles or the WZ-8 supersonic stealth spy drone, which were seen by the publi
China’s new supersonic arsenal could give bomber force greater reach
Mystery weapon shown off – and then removed – in Chinese military video
China’s military published a video clip of what appeared to be the launch of a new type of supersonic cruise missile on Wednesday, only to withdraw the film and replace it with a version with that scene cut out. The original footage, which ran for just over a minute, was released on social media by the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force as part of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which falls on October 1. China’s missiles are likely to be a big feature of the military parade in Beijing on the anniversary, with several of them going on public display for the very first time. The event will be closely watched as China has ramped up its
Mystery weapon shown off – and then removed – in Chinese military video
Hong Kong police get new anti-riot suits from Chinese supplier
Hong Kong police are buying new anti-riot protective gear from a Chinese manufacturer, which has also supplied law enforcement units in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.  Senior superintendent Kong Wing-chueng from the police public relations branch confirmed on Tuesday that the force had bought new protective suits. Sources said 500 sets of the suits had been purchased from a mainland company.  Kong said the purchase was made after protests in Hong Kong turned increasingly violent in recent months. “As a responsible employer, we purchase any equipment that provides the best protection to our officers,” he said. Police sources said it was the first time supplies for the force had been sou
Hong Kong police get new anti-riot suits from Chinese supplier
China set to boost tear gas production as global demand booms
China is expected to increase its production of tear gas and other crowd-control weapons because of higher demand from home and abroad, manufacturers and market researchers said. Although Hong Kong – where tear gas has been extensively used by police during the continuing anti-government protests – relies on foreign suppliers, mainland China produces its own supplies along with other so-called “non-lethal” weapons. These items have been used to equip both China’s own military and riot police and have also been exported around the globe. China started producing its own tear gas in the 1990s. Over the past decade, mainland riot police have reportedly used tear gas at some of the country’s most
China set to boost tear gas production as global demand booms
‘Grandstanding’ Beijing is unlikely to intervene in Hong Kong, analysts say
The Chinese government stepped up its rhetoric against anti-government protests in Hong Kong this week, warning that escalating violence by protesters in clashes with police was showing “signs of terrorism.” Yang Guang, a spokesman for China’s top office overseeing Hong Kong policy, called on the city’s police on Monday to end “violent criminal activity” by demonstrators “with no hesitation or mercy.” But analysts say Beijing is unlikely to directly intervene in Hong Kong, even as pressure is mounting on the city’s police to put an immediate end to months of protests. China amended its counterterrorism law in 2016 to broaden the definition of terrorist activities, but the law is not applicab
‘Grandstanding’ Beijing is unlikely to intervene in Hong Kong, analysts say
Trump said China was ‘getting way ahead of the United States’
What was on Donald Trump’s mind days before he decided to turn up the heat on China? Former US president Jimmy Carter has offered a clue, recalling a phone call they shared in April this year, three weeks before Trump threatened to dramatically raise tariffs on Chinese products. “The main thing that he emphasized to me was, the main purpose of his call, was to say very frankly to me on a private line that the Chinese were getting way ahead of the United States,” Carter said Sunday. What Trump said, according to Carter, underscores deepening worries in the US of the country being supplanted by China as the world’s leading power. Trump has sought to remedy what he considers unfair trade pract
Trump said China was ‘getting way ahead of the United States’
Satellite images reveal China aircraft carrier is coming along
New satellite images have emerged offering a glimpse into China’s progress building its third and largest aircraft carrier. The images, dated to April 17 and released by US think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, lift the lid on the construction work at the Jiangnan Shipyard outside Shanghai. The ship, known as the Type 002, is China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier. “While details regarding the Type 002 are limited, what is observable at Jiangnan is consistent with what is expected for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s third aircraft carrier,” the center’s ChinaPower analysis said. China’s efforts to build a large, home-designed and built c
Satellite images reveal China aircraft carrier is coming along
The US-China fight over 5G is also about the future of warfare
Imagine a group of skirmishers in a jungle. They move forward rapidly, spread a few hundred feet apart. Each of them wears a device on their wrist that displays the position of each squad member. Suddenly one soldier, ambushed by an enemy combatant, is shot and loses consciousness. His smart wearable device detects his condition, immediately tightens a belt around his wounded thigh, injects an adrenaline shot – and sends an emergency alert to the field hospital as well as the entire team. The team switches to a coordinated combat formation. They surround downed comrade, as a helicopter arrives to evacuate him. Auto-driven armored vehicles arrive on site to reinforce the squad’s position – gu
The US-China fight over 5G is also about the future of warfare