How China’s Enormous Fishing Fleet Is Being Used As a Surrogate Navy

But it’s not just about keeping Chinese bellies full. According to an excellent in-depth report from Reuters, Beijing is increasingly equipping fishing boats with geolocation devices, filling them up with subsidized fuel, and dispatching them to the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where they are clashing with rival fishermen from Vietnam and the Philippines. Continue reading

China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

Mexico City (AFP) – The leaders of China, Russia and Japan all descended on Latin America in recent weeks, jostling with the United States to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets.

The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday was in Trinidad and Tobago, the second stop on a five-country tour that began on Friday in Mexico.

Abe’s visit began just as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his tour, which included stops in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. Xi signed more than 100 trade agreements on the trip.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the region for a week from July 11, stopping in Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba. Continue reading

Second Turkish Gaza flotilla will have military escort, group says

Turkey has been on the anti-Israel bandwagon for quite a long time. However, the radicalized nation is now openly provoking war.

The Turkish pro-Palestinian organization IHH announced that its second Gaza flotilla will be launched soon – and will be afforded protection by the Turkish Navy, Israel’s NRG reported on Sunday.

The group’s chairman told local Turkish media that the mission, titled ‘Freedom Flotilla II,’ was in the process of finalizing the legal paperwork needed to commence on the trip, and would embark as soon as it got the necessary permissions. Continue reading

U.S. sales to Russia have only risen since sanctions imposed

U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade data show that exports rose 17 percent from March through May _ the most recent months for which the data is available _ compared with the previous three months, before sanctions were imposed. The value of exports has risen in each consecutive month this year, an unusual trend in a trade relationship that historically fluctuates on a monthly basis.

Russian markets account for less than 1 percent of U.S. exports, but what the U.S. sells to Russia is largely high-tech and expensive goods, including technology and equipment for the energy sector, which faces the threat of targeted sanctions.

Robert Kahn, a senior fellow in international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the rise in exports was evidence that Russian companies were stockpiling goods with the expectation that future sanctions would prevent U.S. companies from selling to their country. Continue reading

Chinese Hackers Stole Plans For Israel’s Iron Dome

China-based hackers stole plans for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in 2011 and 2012, according to an investigation by a Maryland-based cyber security firm first reported by independent journalist Brian Krebs.

The hackers also stole plans related to other missile interceptors, including the Arrow 3, which was designed by Boeing and other U.S.-based companies.

According to Krebs, “the attacks bore all of the hallmarks of the ‘Comment Crew,’ a prolific and state-sponsored hacking group associated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and credited with stealing terabytes of data from defense contractors and U.S. corporations.” The hackers gained access to the systems of three Israeli companies working on missile defense. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services could prove that 700 documents were stolen in the breach although it’s likely that the actual number is higher. Continue reading

Chinese Missile Forces Pose Threat to U.S. in Future Conflict

ASPEN, Colo.—China’s advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the CNO, also said during a security conference Friday that China is building a second aircraft carrier that could be deployed in the not too distant future.

Asked what Chinese weapons systems he is most concerned about if the United States went to war with China, Greenert noted Beijing’s growing arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles.

“They have an extraordinary selection of cruise missiles, and a ballistic missile force that they developed,” Greenert told the Aspen Security Forum.

If the conflict were close to China, the missile forces would pose the most serious threat, he said.

“If it’s in their backyard, I’m a little worried about their ballistic missile [force] because of its reach,” Greenert said. Continue reading

Iran: Hezbollah Can Fire Rockets ‘Nonstop’ at Israel

Senior officer in the Revolutionary Guards claims Hezbollah’s arsenal rivals Hamas’s.

Iranian officials are closely studying the progress of Operation Protective Edge, in light of concern over Israel airstrikes on its nuclear facilities and its ongoing quest to destroy Israel.

Hossein Salami G’anshin, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said in this context that the war in Gaza is an introduction prior to the collapse of Israel, noting that Hezbollah has become a very powerful factor that can launch missiles “non-stop” on all the cities of Israel.  Continue reading

US accuses Russia of violating 1987 missile treaty

The Obama administration has accused Russia of violating a 1987 nuclear missile treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile and says the U.S. is prepared for immediate high-level dialogue with Moscow over the matter.

An administration official told Fox News in a statement that the violation “is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now.” The New York Times first reported the accusation.

President Obama informed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a letter Monday of the U.S.’  determination that Russia broke the agreement. The official said the U.S. is prepared to engage in “senior-level bilateral dialogue immediately” with Russia with the goal of assuring Washington that Moscow will return to compliance with the treaty. Continue reading

N. Korea threatens nuclear strike on White House

Seoul (AFP) – A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military’s General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. Continue reading

China builds listening station in Hong Kong

 

The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light.

Construction began around 2010, with a geodesic dome first appearing in satellite imagery in 2011. The facility has been operational for approximately three years. Continue reading

The Scramble for Africa

BERLIN(Own report) – German businesses are demanding that the government intensify its support for tapping the “continent of opportunity, Africa” in competition with China and other BRICS countries. Parallel to the West’s waning global influence, German businesses are loosing ground on the African continent. This is why German enterprises are pushing for increasing Hermes trade credit insurances, double taxation treaties, and generally “stronger political support for the German industry in Africa.” A building industry federation is explicitly demanding that future allocations of development funds be tied to orders for German/European firms. The German government has indicated its readiness to implement these policies. The KfW Development Bank and other public-sector banks are already seeking ways to support the German industry’s expansion efforts by expanding credit transactions. Continue reading

Germany to Kill Canada-EU Trade Agreement, May Axe US-EU Deal Too

In the end, they will side with Russia. Not only because of legal issues or political issues such as the Snowden ‘scandal’, but because they have historically leaned pro-Russian despite the last 70 years of strong relations with the United States. The current Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is heavily Russian influenced as she grew up in the Soviet controlled eastern portion of Germany and voluntarily participated in the DDR — and held leadership positions. She was groomed to be pro-Russian. Her predecessor, Gerhardt Schröder, strengthened business ties between nations during his tenure, plus he now works for Gazprom, a state-owned (KGB/FSB) Russian gas company — and knows exactly who and what entity he works for.

It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going as leaves don’t fall far from the tree. The espionage ‘scandal’ is only an excuse — because it’s quite clear every nation spies on another, including allies — to do what Germany has long wanted to do: Kick NATO and the Western powers out and rule the European continent on its own.

NATO being shown the door is only one crisis away and a Russian invasion of Ukraine could prove that. NATO, the protectorate of Europe against Soviet aggression, is unprepared to fend off a Russian attack and will sit idly by while anger stirs against its intentional complacency. That would be the nail in the coffin for the West and a boost for Germany’s Fourth Reich to take the military lead, as it’s slowly pushing for now.

Germany is to scupper a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada because the clauses giving legal protection to investors would give them too much power, according to a report in a leading Germany newspaper.

The Canada deal is considered a template for the United States-EU free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is still under negotiation. If Germany rejects the Canada agreement, then the American deal looks likely to fail, too.

A senior European Commission official in Brussels told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “The free trade treaty with Canada is a test for the agreement with the United States.” If the one with Canada is rejected, “then the one with the United States is also dead.” Continue reading

Netanyahu’s dilemma: Back Obama’s save Hamas policy, or fight for its downfall with Egypt and Saudis

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu entangled himself Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27,  in the net he had cast to blur the effect of the unanimous decision by the security-political cabinet of Friday to turn down the ceasefire proposals proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The two diplomats and their partners, a brace of European ministers and Qatar and Turkey, who met in Paris to concoct a peace framework for Gaza, were privately dubbed by wags in Jerusalem the “Save Hamas Squad.”

Netanyahu tried to present the flat cabinet “no” to the ceasefire as a “no, maybe.”

His purpose was to leave an opening for the US and UN to ginger up their pro-Hamas framework for ending hostilities in the Gaza Strip by incorporating elements that Israel’s security needs half way. If that was done, Israel, he indicated, would be amenable to joining lengthy ceasefire accords with Hamas, or even making unilateral halts in violence. Continue reading

Heavy Chinese military build-up in Tibet: Sangay

DHARAMSHALA, July 27 – The Chinese goal is beyond Tibet and that country has border disputes not only with India, but with almost all its neighbours. This observation was made by Dr Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Dr Sangay pointed out that China has been trying to expand its bases after forcefully occupying Tibet and in recent times, the country “highly militarised” Tibet. He revealed that a number of military towns have been set up in Tibet, which has a long border with India, and five major military airfields have been constructed, while the sixth is under construction. He revealed that the Kongpo military airfield is just 50 kilometres from the international border in Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from the six major airfields, a number of small airfields and helipads were constructed just near the international border, he added. Continue reading

Islamic Jihad Said to Have Iranian ‘Judgement Day’ Missile

Sources said that Islamic Jihad’s big ‘surprise’ was a long-range, explosive-laden Iranian-made rocket.

Islamic Jihad has “many more surprises up its sleeve,” said Abdullah Shalah, head of the terror group said Sunday. In an interview on an Arab satellite station, Shalah said that “We have a store of strategic weapons that we have never used,” but was prepared to bring out against Israel if the war in Gaza continued. With that, he did not specify what those weapons were.

According to sources in Gaza, those weapons are Iranian-made “Zelzal” missiles, an unguided missile that can carry a payload of up to 600 kg (1,323 pounds) of explosives for a distance of up to 200 kilometers. Speaking to the Donia Alwattan news site, the sources, which claim to be close to Islamic Jihad, did not say how many such missiles the terror group had, adding that “this is their ‘judgement day’ weapon.” Continue reading