China military parade marks 90th anniversary of PLA, China’s Army Day parade shows resolution to safeguard peace
BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) – Chinese President Xi Jinping watched the military parade marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which falls on Aug. 1, at the Zhurihe training base in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. During the parade, Xi delivered a keynote speech urging further improvement of the PLA’s combat effectiveness and modernization of China’s national defense. Chinese President Xi Jinping has told his troops ‘a strong army is needed now more than ever’ during a huge military parade. XI, wearing military clothing, warned the ‘world isn’t safe at this moment’ as he watched the display at Zhurihe Training Base in China’s remote Inner Mongolia region.
Among the terrifying weapons on display was China’s Chengdu J-20 stealth jet fighter as well as its new DF-31AG intercontinental ballistic missile. The rocket is mounted on an all-terrain vehicle to make it harder to track. The event, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army, was at Asia’s largest military training centre which features life-size mock-up targets, including Taiwan’s presidential palace. It came as a number of the world’s superpowers flexed their muscles in massive parades to showcase their military strength.
China’s Army Day parade on Sunday showed a firm determination of the country to safeguard peace and a peaceful environment needed for development and prosperity, international experts and scholars have said.
China sends troops to its ‘support base’ in East Africa
12 July, 2017: Neil Connor, Beijing | China calls its new facility a ‘support base’ and says it will have mainly logistical functions, however observers see it as a key part of Beijing’s plans to expand its global reach through military might. India in particular views the base with suspicion as New Delhi is concerned that China is confronting it with a ‘ring of pearls’ a series of assets and alliances across the Indian Ocean and into South-East Asia. A report from the Pentagon recently suggested that China is likely to open a military base in Pakistan, India’s main rival in Asia. However, China dismissed this. China started building its base in Djibouti just over a year ago. It is stationed just a few miles from a US camp, and France and Japan also have bases in the nation, which is about the size of Wales. A report by China’s official Xinhua news agency said the decision to set up the base was “made by the two countries after friendly negotiations”. “The base will also be conducive to overseas tasks including military cooperation, joint exercises, evacuating and protecting overseas Chinese and emergency rescue, as well as jointly maintaining security of international strategic seaways.”
Chinese navy can respond in kind to US provocation
The Pentagon claimed on Monday that two Chinese fighter jets performed an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a US EP-3 reconnaissance plane while it was flying over the East China Sea the previous day. The “righteousness” of the Pentagon is ridiculous. The intercept occurred 80 nautical miles (148 kilometers) south of Qingdao, which is a major Chinese naval base. US military reconnaissance threatens China’s national security and an intercept by the Chinese navy is justified. The close-in surveillance of the US military around China’s coastal strategic areas has been a major problem between China and the US. The US defends such robber acts under the guise of “freedom of navigation and overflight.” The Chinese military has exercised restraint when undertaking intercepts. The public actually wanted the US reconnaissance plane to be shot down directly. Of course the PLA would not do it, but the Chinese people really detest US reconnaissance, which is bound to have an impact on the response of the Chinese military. US military planes had better stay away from China’s coastal areas. In 2001, a mid-air collision between a Chinese fighter jet and a US reconnaissance aircraft occurred, causing the death of a Chinese pilot. The US plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Hainan Province and the disassembled aircraft was returned to the US later. If such a collision happens again, the ending will be different. Simply educating the Americans is unlikely to work. The Chinese navy must carry out operations close to the US and its allies, which can become a bargaining chip to urge the US to stop its activities in China’s coastal areas.
It may be difficult for the Chinese navy to practice reconnaissance around Naval Base San Diego on the US west coast. But it can go to Okinawa, Yokosuka, and the coastal areas of Australia. A few days ago, a Chinese survey ship was spotted off the Queensland coast near where Australia and the US were holding joint military exercises. It has disturbed the Australian opinion sphere. US allies should be made to have such a bitter feeling.
China’s blue-water navy is in the development stage. There are more and more occasions when the naval fleet patrols in the Gulf of Aden and visits other countries. The Liaoning aircraft carrier can act more proactively by training close to the waters of US naval bases where it can have a firsthand experience of the ever-changing geopolitics there. China has yet to learn how to provoke the US and its allies. But we cannot sit still and allow others to provoke us. Otherwise, China’s military will be propelled into a passive position and the Chinese public will feel upset. If Chinese warships can always catch attention from US allies, when US naval vessels stir up troubles in the South China Sea again, Chinese society can react more confidently. The US doesn’t respect restraints and rationality, but strength and strong will. Therefore, perhaps it is time for China to change the way it responds, and starts making some troubles for the US.
‘Courtesy Global Times ‘
China, Sri Lanka sign $1.1 billion Hambantota Port deal
Colombo: Sri Lanka on Saturday signed a $1.1 billion deal with China to sell a 70% stake in the strategic Hambantota Port to a state-run Chinese firm, a move that could raise security concerns in India.
The deal had been delayed by several months over concerns that the deep-sea port could be used by the Chinese Navy. Cash-rich China has invested millions of dollars in Sri Lanka’s infrastructure since the end of a brutal civil war in 2009. As part of the deal, the stake in the loss-making port has been sold to China’s state-run conglomerate China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort). Sri Lanka’s minister of ports and shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe and China’s envoy to Colombo Yi Xianliang were present when the Concession Agreement was signed.
Under the 99-year lease agreement, CM Port is to invest up to $1.1 billion in the port and marine-related activities. “This is a very favourable agreement compared with the plan in 2014,” Samarasinghe said, referring to the original plan laid out during former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure.
The agreement was open for further amendments, he said. The deal may raise security concerns in India. According to the new deal, only Sri Lankan Navy will be responsible for security of the deep-sea port, and the port will not be allowed to become a base for any foreign navy. The new provision is seen as an attempt to allay India’s concerns over Chinese Navy’s possible presence in Sri Lanka.
China builds new pipeline to transport oil from Russia
The construction of a new oil pipeline in Heilongjiang province was completed on July 12. Around 15 million tons of crude oil will be transported annually from Russia to China via the new network, which is expected to be put into use later this year. The new pipeline, with a length of 941.8 kilometers, stretches from Mohe at the Russian border to Daqing. It is the China leg of the second East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline project that pumps Russian crude oil to China, and is constructed to tackle the oil shortage in the country’s northeastern region. As several major oil fields in the region have already been excessively exploited, local oil production has decreased in recent years, causing an energy shortage for the region’s 20 refineries. According to local authorities, the new pipeline will transport crude oil from Russia with an annual capacity of 15 million tons.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders appointed new White House press secretary
Sarah Huckabee Sanders was named the new White House press secretary following the resignation of Sean Spicer.
At 34 years old, Sanders – the daughter of former GOP presidential contender and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – has been involved in politics most of her life. She spent her teens in the governor’s mansion in Little Rock before attending Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts school in southwest Arkansas. Sanders has worked on multiple Republican campaigns aside from her father’s own. She worked on former President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004, acted as a senior advisor to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s Senate bid and managed other Arkansas Sen. John Boozman’s bid for the Senate.
INDIA SENDS MESSAGE LOUD AND CLEAR TO CHINA
20 July 2017 | PNS | New Delhi | Rejecting China’s pre-condition of troop withdrawal by India before holding any dialogue on the ongoing stand-off in Dokalam in Sikkim, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said both sides should first pull back their armies to end the tense standoff in the Sikkim sector. The Minister also checkmated the Chinese side, which claimed to have international support on the issue, by saying several countries are supportive of India’s stand at the Dokalam which is just and not “unreasonable.”
“All countries are supporting us and they understand that the stand taken by India on the issue is not wrong as they realise that China is getting aggressive with Bhutan… The law is with our country. We are saying that the matter can be resolved through talks, but both sides have to first take back their armies,” Sushma said in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.
The Minister said the boundaries between India and China are yet to be finalised and the two nations are in the process of settling it through the mechanism of regular dialogue between the Special Representatives of the two countries. Similarly, Bhutan has its own mechanism to settle border dispute with China through bilateral talks.
As regards the tri-junction where all three countries are involved, Sushma said China keeps entering the contended area and try to make semi-pucca road. However, this time the Chinese troops came there with bulldozers and excavators to build a road, she charged and said Bhutan protested against the move in writing to China.
On the issue of One Belt One Road (OBOR) project of China, she said the moment India came to it was part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), New Delhi objected immediately. India maintains that CPEC passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) which is part of India.
Heat Wave Snaps 131-Year-Old Los Angeles Temperature Record
The National Weather Service reports that the temperature downtown hit 98 degrees on Saturday 8 July, 2017. The service reported that record temperature of 95 degrees for the date set in 1886 had been snapped around noon by a single degree. It updated its report later as the mercury climbed higher. An excessive heat wave sent Southern Californians flocking to beaches and in search of water, shade and air conditioning to escape the heat. Forecasters warned that temps up to 110 degrees would be common in inland areas and could be deadly for the elderly, children and outdoor workers. Air pollution also hit unhealthy levels.
102 shot, 15 fatally, in Chicago over July 4 holiday weekend
CHICAGO (WLS) : The violence plaguing Chicago made international headlines, after a bloody Fourth of July weekend. Of the 102 people shot since Friday night, 15 have died. Police said most of the shootings happened Monday night on the South and West sides of the city. “You just destroyed somebody’s family,” one of the victim’s relatives, John Davis, said. His uncle, 56-year-old Tyrone Burdine, was fatally shot in front of his home, with children narrowly escaping the gunfire.
Chicago police express frustration after more than 100 shot in violent Fourth of July weekend. The Chicago Police Department says it is conducting “a very comprehensive review” after the city experienced one of its most violent Fourth of July weekends in recent years, with at least 101 people shot. “We’re doing a debriefing,” said chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. “The mood here is frustration.”
US, INDIA AND JAPAN LARGEST NAVAL EXERCISE OFF INDIAN COAST
10 July, 2017: United States, India and Japan started the largest naval exercise off the Indian coast. The US Pacific command in a statement said the annual drill named Malabar is the latest in a continuing series of exercises to address variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific. The drills involve the US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, India’s lone carrier Vikramaditya and Japan’s biggest warship Izumo.
NORTH KOREA LACKS CAPACITY TO HIT U.S. WITH ACCURACY: U.S. GENERAL
18 July 2017: The United Stated says that North Korea does not have the ability to strike the United States with “any degree of accuracy. Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, Vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Paul Selva has said we need to think seriously about what the possible consequences of preemptive military operations against North Korea.
North Korea 2nd ICBM test puts ‘entire’ US in range
29 July, 2017: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile demonstrated his country can hit the U.S. mainland, hours after the launch left analysts concluding that a wide swath of the United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of North Korean weapons.
The Korean Central News Agency said that Kim expressed “great satisfaction” after the Hwasong-14 missile reached a maximum height of 3,725 kilometres and travelled 998 kilometres before accurately landing in waters off Japan. The agency said that the test was aimed at confirming the maximum range and other technical aspects of the missile it says was capable of delivering a “large-sized, heavy nuclear warhead.”
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the missile, launched late Friday night, flew for about 45 minutes about five minutes longer than the first. The missile was launched on very high trajectory, which limited the distance it travelled, and landed west of Japan’s island of Hokkaido. The agency said that the test confirmed important features of the missile system, such as the proper separation of the warhead and controlling its movement and detonation after atmospheric re-entry.
Kim said the launch sent a “serious warning” to the United States, which has been “meaninglessly blowing its trumpet” with threats of war and stronger sanctions, the KCNA said.
Iran launches satellite-carrying rocket into space
July 27, 2017 l Tehran Times: TEHRAN On Thursday, Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space. The rocken called “Simorgh” (phoenix) is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms. The launch took place at the Imam Khomeini National Space Station in Semnan, some 220 kilometers east of Tehran. Simorgh is larger than an earlier model known as Safir (ambassador) that Iran has used to launch satellites.
In 2013 Iran launched a monkey into space. The country also planned to send humans into orbit, yet it was abandoned due to high costs. Iran has offered to share its scientific findings and satellite data with other countries. Iran’s most recent successful satellite rocket launch was in February 2015, when it put an imaging satellite known as “Fajr” into orbit.
‘Exposed’ Britain forced to call on Nato allies to deal with Russian threats
By : Kate McCann: Britain is being forced to call on France and other Nato allies to defend British waters against Russian spying operations, it has emerged. The number of foreign maritime patrol aircraft stationed in the UK has risen by 76 per cent in a year according to Ministry of Defence records. Nato allies were stationed at RAF Lossiemouth 37 times last year to guard against foreign ships and submarines and carry out training exercises, a significant increase on the previous year when extra forces were deployed to the base 21 times. The British armed forces do not have patrol aircraft of their own after Nimrod was scrapped in 2010 and Russian attempts to spy on the UK’s nuclear deterrent have increased, military experts and Labour’s shadow defence secretary have warned. (Telegraph)
India Today draws a pipe dream for New Delhi
By : Global Times : The Indian magazine India Today has gone viral in the past two days. Its latest cover story, headlined “China’s New Chick,” has an illustration of the map of China looking like a chicken, which excludes Tibet and Taiwan, and a map of Pakistan below, which looks like its chick. A subtitle to the headline declares: “How China is buying out Pakistan with massive new investments and why India needs to worry.” Such hysterical geopolitical imagination is nothing new. What is new, however, is the erroneous exclusion of Tibet and Taiwan from Chinese territory. India Today is believed to be one of the most serious media outlets in the country, but the magazine presents to the world an image of a loser.
A country’s mainstream media usually reflects the level of its elite, but India Today puts the Indian elite in disgrace. It is said that there are two Indias. One is folk India, which has one of highest rates of illiteracy in the world. The other is elite India, a group of supposedly high standards. But India Today makes us realize that the country’s elite behave like clods. They are shallow and arrogant as they have always placed themselves above ordinary Indians. China and India are currently locked in a border standoff. Some Indian elites understandably hate China and want to carve away Tibet and Taiwan. But they know this is an impossibility, so they are reduced to drawing an illustration. It is more ludicrous when the magazine proudly proclaimed that the cover was selected as the “The Cover of the Day” by the Society of Publication Designers, New York.
India is not able to compete with China. Indian officials have toned down the dispute recently, because they realize the People’s Liberation Army is preparing for a military showdown which India will not be able to withstand. So Indian minister of state for external affairs general V.K. Singh stated that India and China are committed to a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution” to the boundary dispute through dialogue and peaceful negotiation.
But China’s stance will not change. If India does not withdraw its troops according to international law, China will force it to. Before that, China will not sit down with India.
How possible is it for India to carve away Tibet and Taiwan from China? The one who can is perhaps an illustrator of a magazine. If China and India compete for who can divide the other, India will be roundly defeated. India had better withdraw its troops to its own territory before China uses up its patience. India Today makes us realize the petty nationalistic ideology of India’s policymakers. India may continue to live in an illusion, but China is bound to resume the order of its border.
Trillion-ton iceberg has snapped off Antarctic ice shelf
13 July 2017 | A trillion-tonne iceberg one of the largest ever recorded has broken away from Antarctica after many months of anticipation and may now pose a serious hazard to ships around the South Pole, scientists said on Wednesday. The calving of the 5,800 square kilometre iceberg leaves the Larsen C Ice Shelf reduced in area by more than 12 per cent, and the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula changed forever. Icebergs calve from Antarctica all the time, but because this one is particularly large, its path across the ocean needs to be monitored as it could pose a hazard to maritime traffic.
The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, weighs more than a trillion tonne. Its volume is twice that of Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. The final breakthrough of the rift was detected in data from NASA’s Aqua MODIS satellite instrument, which images in the thermal infrared at a resolution of one kilometre and confirmed by NASA’s Suomi VIIRS instrument.