Russia’s ‘Stolen’ Tech
Commenting on recent affairs in an interview with US media, US National Security Advisor John Bolton accused Russia of building hypersonic missiles based on stolen US military technology.
Speaking about a recent explosion at a military facility in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, Bolton speculated that the incident “demonstrates that although Russia’s economy is roughly the size of the Netherlands, it’s still spending enough on defense to not only modernize their nuclear arsenal, but to build new kinds of delivery vehicles – hypersonic glide vehicles, hypersonic cruise missiles – largely stolen from American technology.”
“Dealing with this capability and the possibility that other countries would get it too remains a real challenge for the United States and its allies,” he said, coyly adding that “we know more than I’m going to tell you” about the incident.
On 8 August, an explosion rocked the village of Nyonoksa in the Arkhangelsk region. Five people were reported dead as a result of the incident. The Russian Defense Ministry disclosed that the explosion happened during a test of a new jet engine, without providing further details. Following the incident, media speculated on the nature of the detonation, suggesting, among other things, that the explosion could have belonged to a prospective nuclear-powered hypersonic Burevestnik ‘Skyfall’ missile.
Hong Kong Protests
Bolton commented on Hong Kong protesters, warning Beijing not to make “mistakes,” lest they face dramatic consequences in international investment.
“The Chinese have to look very carefully at the steps they take, because people in America remember Tiananmen Square,” he said. “It would be a big mistake to create a new memory like that in Hong Kong.”
He asserted that roughly 60 percent of investment in mainland China goes through Hong Kong, because “it has a judicial system that’s trustworthy,” based on the English model “that we know in this country.”
“If Hong Kong loses that reputation because of a bad decision by the Chinese government, they’ll have significant economic consequences in China this time,” he threatened.
According to Bolton, the US Congress is “volatile” over Hong Kong these days, and a “misstep by the Chinese government would cause an explosion on Capitol Hill.”
China has repeatedly called on the US to stop meddling in its internal affairs, saying that the semi-autonomous Hong Kong region falls exclusively within the domain of Beijing’s domestic affairs.
Earlier this week, the Chinese foreign ministry accused Washington of inciting chaos after some US lawmakers condemned what they observed to be a violent crackdown on Hong Kong protesters.
Bolton reiterated his criticism of Venzuelan President Nicholas Maduro and his support for the political opposition in the nation.
“We are entirely behind their justifiable desire to be able to control their own government, to get rid of this authoritarian military regime that’s basically ruined the economy of the country,” he said, noting once again that the US and its allies recognize Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela. Bolton added, however, that “our desire is to see this peaceful transfer of power and have really true free elections.”
Since January, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has repeatedly called for the removal of President Nicholas Maduro from office, and has attempted to persuade the Armed Forces to join his cause. The military has nonetheless remained loyal to Maduro, however, and Guaido’s coup attempt has not come to fruition.
The Maduro administration accused the opposition and its supporters in Washington of sabotage of Venezuelan infrastructure, which led to a prolonged blackout across the country.
The US imposed numerous sanctions on Venezuela, including sanctions on oil exports, which provides the vast majority of the nation’s revenue, inflicting significant damage to the Venezuelan economy already devastated by years of economic hardship.