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Like a pair of male turkeys puffing up their chests at each other, the U.S. and Chinese militaries are back at it again, engaging in tit-for-tat military exercises in the Yellow Sea. On Sept. 4, the Chinese navy finished live artillery maneuvers, using some of its newest planes, ships and battlefield weaponry in a publicly announced show of military strength. Though Chinese state media called the war games "routine," the timing of the event - just days before a scheduled U.S.-South Korea anti-submarine exercise in the same waters - suggests it's more likely an attempt to send the U.S. a simple message: This is our backyard.

After watching U.S.-led forces obliterate a Soviet-style Iraqi military in the first Gulf War, China realized it needed to improve its own outdated army. It has increased military expenditures every year for the past two decades. While Chinese officials called the relationship with the U.S. "stable" during talks in Beijing this week, given China's ambitions in the region, tensions between the two are sure to continue. Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, says China is "working towards a sphere of influence," and with their stronger military, they can now "send signals they couldn't before." (See pictures of the making of modern China.)

Thanks to a recent technological breakthrough, that's true literally, too. While China has been showing off its new hardware, a potentially more important military advancement has gone largely unnoticed: In May, Chinese scientists announced a demonstration of "quantum teleportation" over 16 kilometers (10 miles), creating what Matthew Luce, a researcher at the Defense Group Inc.'s Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, calls "secure communications guaranteed by the laws of physics." China is now at the cutting-edge of military communications, transforming the field of cryptography and spotlighting a growing communications arms race.

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"Secure quantum cryptography requires signal locality for the nonlocal quantum entanglement between sender and receiver. This is the case in orthodox quantum theory with "passion at a distance" (Abner Shimony's term). However, just as special relativity is only a limiting case of general relativity, so is quantum theory only a limiting case of post-quantum theory with signal nonlocality that can compromise the assumed secure quantum C^3 being used by China and everyone else. In the long run the recent claims of secure quantum C^3 may prove to be another Maginot Line. Discussion of this at the recent Towler Institute Bohm Physics Workshop in Tuscany Aug 28 to Sept 4 2010 was censored." -- Jack Sarfatti

Category: Science