Sputnik News – June 16, 2018
Two B-52 heavy bombers flew “in the vicinity of the South China Sea,” US Pacific Air Forces said June 6.
While US Navy warships sometimes conduct “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea as a way to challenge what Washington maintains are Beijing’s excessive maritime claims, flying the potentially nuclear-armed B-52s over the waterway represented an “escalation,” Business Insider reported Friday.
On Friday, the PLA-Navy practiced its responses to an aerial attack on islands in the South China Sea. Chinese forces targeted three unmanned aerial vehicles flying in formation “at varying heights and directions” as part of efforts to improve the force’s fighting ability, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a PLA Daily report.
On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping “stressed building an elite maritime force to resolutely accomplish various missions entrusted by the Party and the people” while visiting a navy outpost, Xinhua reports.
Mark Hodge – June 15, 2018
A NEW strain of deadly bird flu which kills 38 per cent of those infected and could spark a global pandemic has been identified in China.
Scientists around the world believe the new pathogen, dubbed “Disease X”, could be as lethal as 1918 Spanish flu which killed up to 100million people.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, told The Telegraph that virus H7N9, which is circulating poultry in China, could cause a global outbreak.
He said: “[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans.
“It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic.”
In China, the deadly pathogen has killed 623 of the 1,625 people which have been infected.
Newsmax – June 9, 2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping will open late Saturday a two-day regional security summit attended by Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the US over trade and Washington’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.
Armored vans lined the streets of the coastal city of Qingdao as world leaders arrived Friday for the 18th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia.
Its member states also include four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics, Pakistan and India. Iran is an observer member.
Authorities emptied an entire ocean-side swathe of the city — clearing out shopkeepers, residents and day-trippers to make way for Xi, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the meeting.
Yahoo – June 7, 2018
Fighter jets, helicopters and thousands of troops in Taiwan fought back a simulated Chinese invasion Thursday as the self-ruled island faces increasing military and diplomatic pressure from Beijing.
Relations between Taipei and Beijing have deteriorated since President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016, as her government refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is part of “one China”.
Live-fire drills began Monday with troops simulating surprise air and coastal assaults to reflect increased military threats from China, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province to be brought back into the fold – by force if necessary.
Tsai watched Thursday’s session of the ongoing “Han Kuang” (Han Glory) exercise involving 4,100 soldiers, attack helicopters and fighter jets from an air base in Taichung.
Patrick Goodenough – June 1, 2018
(CNSNews.com) – Amid simmering U.S.-China tensions in the South China Sea, a top U.S. general on Thursday underlined the military’s readiness to “protect U.S. and allied interests in the region,” and made a reference to the U.S. experience in “taking down small islands” in the Pacific during World War II.
“We continue to seek areas to cooperate with China where we can, but where we can’t we’re prepared to certainly protect both U.S. and allied interest in the region,” Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Director of the Joint Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon.
He declined to say whether China or North Korea posed a bigger security threat, saying the threats were very different, and both were taken seriously, but that it was not “useful, actually, to compare the two.”
Sputnik News – May 25, 2018
The Western European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal have until next Friday to provide Tehran with concrete proposals to offset the consequences of the US decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a senior Iranian official said.
“To be honest with you, we are not confident,” the official said, speaking to reporters before the start of Friday’s talks with representatives from Iran, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany on how Tehran might mitigate the financial and economic impact of Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.
“We expect the (economic) package to be given to us by the end of May,” the official noted, according to Reuters. “I’m sorry to say that we haven’t seen Plan B yet. Plan B has just started to be figured out.”
Ryan Pickrell – May 19, 2018
The U.S. and China have finally reached an agreement on trade, defusing rising trade war tensions, White House officials announced Saturday.
Following two days of bilateral consultations on trade, representatives from Washington and Beijing reached a consensus on trade, with the latter agreeing to take “effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China,” a joint statement explained.
An increase in exports to China would “meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development,” as well as “help support growth and employment in the United States,” according to the statement.
PNW – May 10, 2018
The Chinese police in Nanchang made news in mid April when the press reported the arrest at a concert of a man wanted for fraud. The story was significant because automatic facial recognition systems, linked through now 176 million cameras across the country (rising to 600 million by 2020), had picked the man out of a crowd of 60,000 concertgoers and allowed the police to pinpoint his location in real time.
The episode was promoted by the Chinese government as proof positive of the benefits of the Chinese surveillance state, but the notion that an authoritarian government uses automatic facial recognition to track its citizens everywhere has sent shivers down the spine of anyone concerned about privacy and who may not have full faith in the benevolence of the Chinese government.
Facial recognition holds the promise of an incredible leap forward in law enforcement but backwards in individual rights. No longer will oppressive governments need to employ human watchers to monitor video footage.
Now highly accurate computer algorithms, monitoring tens or even hundreds of millions of video feeds, match patterns of facial geometry to identify individuals, even if beards or makeup are used. A criminal suspect shows his face on a public street, at a shopping mall, in a bank or at a bus stop and an alert can immediately go out to summon police for arrest.
Tellingly, the same system can be used against terrorists, political dissidents, union leaders, human rights protestors, members of the press, the poor, or ethnic minorities. As Paul Harvey used to say, you can run, but you can’t hide.
RT – May 1, 2018
The world is now 12 percent of GDP deeper in debt than it was at the peak of the financial crisis in 2009, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF). China was described as a “driving force” behind the new debt levels.
According to its Fiscal Monitor report, global debt is at a historical high, reaching the equivalent of 225 percent of GDP.
“One hundred and sixty-four trillion is a huge number,” said Vitor Gaspar, head of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department. “When we talk about the risks looming on the horizon, one of the risks has to do with the high level of public and private debt.”
The ballooning debt could make it harder for countries to respond to the next recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten, according to the fund.
Sputnik News – April 24, 2018
Taiwan’s yearly live-fire drills in June will focus on repelling a simulated invasion from the China, officials said Tuesday after China began its own live fire exercises off the mainland last week.
China says their drills, which started on April 18, were to protect Beijing’s territorial sovereignty. China’s People’s Liberation Army regularly holds naval drills as much of the land it claims in the South China Sea remains disputed. This exercise was conducted in their territorial waters, within a 5-by-10 mile zone just a few nautical miles off the coast of Quanzhou Bay, Taiwan News uncovered.
“Taiwan’s people are very clear about this and will not accept it,” said Taipei’s Mainland Affairs Council on their website the day following China’s drill. “We are determined in our defense of our nation’s sovereignty and dignity and will absolutely not yield to military threats or inducements.”