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

PLA holds 3-month long exercises

The People’s Liberation Army launched large-scale exercises that will last for three months and involve multiple branches and military regions on Friday, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper Want Daily.

The move is a response to the joint military exercise held by the United States, India and Japan off Japan’s southern coast from July 25 to 30, according to Agence France-Presse. Continue reading

Beijing assembles people’s army to crush China terrorists with an iron fist

Headline-grabbing “people’s war” on terrorism is a nationwide crackdown designed to show that president Xi Jinping’s Communist Party is taking charge

Thousands had packed the stands at the home of Yining FC but there was to be no football that morning.

Instead, as the sun rose high above the stadium and locals huddled under pink and purple umbrellas, a convoy of open-backed trucks rolled on to the Astroturf pitch and delivered an unusual cargo: 55 handcuffed prisoners flanked by rifle-toting guards.

From a platform high above, Communist Party leaders delivered the verdicts they hoped would send a clear message to the “rampant and unruly” criminals they had come to condemn.

All were declared guilty of charges related to separatism and terrorism. Three were sentenced to death for using knives and axes to slaughter the wife and two young daughters of a computer recycler rumoured to have discovered extremist material on a discarded hard drive. Continue reading

Samaras proposes joint navy warship patrols with Chinese

As China’s presence on the international stage grows, it can rely on its ‘strategic partnership’ with Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras tells Chinese President Xi Jinping on Rhodes

Crete could serve as a regional node for the support, maintenance and repair of the Chinese Navy and the possibility exists for joint naval operations between Greece and China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, the prime minister told the visiting Chinese president on Rhodes on Sunday.

“On Crete there is all the appropriate infrastructure for refuelling, maintenance and repairs for all your country’s navy units. There is a possibility of cooperation, for example, in joint patrols of war ships. And another example, in the area of fighting piracy, where the interests of our two peoples coincide,” Antonis Samaras told Xi Jinping.

Crete is also home to a Nato miltary and navy base at Souda bay.  Continue reading

Beijing, Seoul agree to direct trade in national currencies

While you were busy watching fireworks on the Fourth of July holiday, or were perhaps distracted by the World Cup events in Brazil, China just pulled South Korea into its sphere of influence. This is but one piece of a bigger predicted picture (See also here) by Global Geopolitics where China will be a regional power leading an Asian bloc of nations under its protectorate — with the US out of Asia.

China designated a clearing bank in Seoul for yuan transactions in South Korea on Friday, coinciding with a visit by President Xi Jinping, as Beijing promotes greater use of its currency overseas, AFP reports. Continue reading

‘Double 7′ strategy may give China more control over internet: Duowei

China is deploying what is referred to as its “double seven” strategy in an attempt to take more control in the global governance of the internet, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.

Representatives of China are currently among the 3,300 people from 130 countries in London to attend the 50th global conference of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates the internet’s global domain name system.

The corporation established in California in 1998, helps keep internet protocols in order by ensuring that each web address is not assigned more than once. The organization also facilitates the addition of top-level domains, which are suffixes to web addresses like “.com”, “.org”, and “.gov”. Continue reading

Xi Jinping may be more ambitious than Mao: Lee Teng-hui

China’s president, Xi Jinping, may be even more ambitious than the country’s late founder Mao Zedong when it comes to challenging the United States for global leadership, Taiwan’s first directly elected president said Thursday.

“Do you really believe Xi wants to democratize?” Lee Teng-hui asked rhetorically in response to a student from Soochow University in Taipei who asked whether Taiwan would consider unification with the mainland if Beijing underwent political reforms.

What Xi wants is more power and influence over world affairs, Lee said, and aims to replace the US dollar with the renminbi as the global trade settlement currency. Continue reading

Obama forced to concede new ‘international order': Duowei

The rise of China and Russia is forcing the US president, Barack Obama, to concede the dawn of a new “international order” that is no longer controlled by the United States, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.

Delivering a commencement speech over the weekend at the US Military Academy at West Point, Obama said he would seek a new international order with more international cooperation, stronger international standards and institutions and alliances to help resolve challenges ranging from terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change to economic decline.

Our adversaries would like to see America sap its strength by overextending our power,” Obama said. “So we have to shape an international order that can meet the challenges of our generation.Continue reading

EU firms help power China’s military rise

Beijing (AFP) – As China boosts its military spending, rattling neighbours over territorial disputes at sea, an AFP investigation shows that European countries have approved billions in transfers of weapons and military-ready technology to the Asian giant.

China’s air force relies on French-designed helicopters, while submarines and frigates involved in Beijing’s physical assertion of its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea are powered by German and French engines — part of a separate trade in “dual use” technology to Beijing’s armed forces. Continue reading

China’s President Xi urges greater military use of space

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the air force to adopt an integrated air and space defence capability, in what state media on Tuesday called a response to the increasing military use of space by the United States and others.

While Beijing insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, a Pentagon report last year highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities and said Beijing was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.

Fears of a space arms race with the United States and other powers mounted after China blew up one of its own weather satellites with a ground-based missile in January 2007.

A detailed analysis of satellite imagery published in March provided additional evidence that a Chinese rocket launch in May 2013, billed as a research mission, was actually a test of a new anti-satellite weapon. Continue reading

Beijing set to seal Russian natural gas deal amid Ukraine crisis

Beijing’s refusal to stand against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine could result in a lucrative natural gas deal with Russia next month, reports the Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao.

Following more than a decade of false starts, sources say Chinese president Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will make a final decision next month on the multibillion dollar deal that will see Russia supply pipeline gas to China for 30 years. The deal is expected to come into effect by the end of the year. Continue reading

US unsettled by China’s ‘three warfares’ strategy: Pentagon report

The US and its military partners are reaching for new tools to counter an unconventional ”three warfares” strategy that China is using to advance aggressive territorial claims, according to a Pentagon report.

It says the People’s Liberation Army is using what it calls ”legal warfare”, ”media warfare” and ”psychological warfare” to augment its arsenal of military hardware to weaken the resolve of the US and its regional partners to defend islands and oceans in the East and South China seas. Continue reading

Bundesbank, PBOC in Pact to Turn Frankfurt Into Renminbi Hub

The central banks signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin today, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in an e-mailed statement.

Germany’s financial capital prevailed over Paris and Luxembourg in a euro-area race to win trade in renminbi, which overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in October, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The U.K. Treasury said on March 26 that the Bank of England would sign an initial agreement with the PBOC on March 31 to clear and settle yuan transactions in London.

“Frankfurt is one of Europe’s foremost financial centers and home to two central banks, making it a particularly suitable location,” said Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank’s executive board. “Renminbi clearing will strengthen the close economic and financial ties between Germany and the People’s Republic of China.” Continue reading

The new ‘silk road’, a rail link from China’s factories to heart of Europe

FRANKFURT: One of the world’s longest railways — a “modern-day silk road” — covers some 11,000 kilometres (24,000 miles) en route from the Chinese megacity of Chongqing to Duisburg, a key commercial hub in western Germany.

On Saturday, as part of his landmark visit to Germany, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the last stop on the “Yuxinou” rail line, an industrial feat that promises to revolutionise transport between Europe and Asia.

Duisburg is a steel-making town of around half a million on the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers that boasts the world’s biggest inland port and is one of Germany’s most important transport and commercial hubs.

Despite the vast distances between them, it takes just 16 days for trains to travel to Duisburg from Chongqing, a sprawling metropolitan symbol of rising China with a population of more than 30 million. Continue reading

Merkel miffed at Barack Obama and David Cameron ‘nuclear war game’

Hopefully this is not a hint of what’s to come in the future, but the threat is real. Many people don’t know that even JFK warned about the Soviets and their nuclear bomb in Washington D.C..

Consider the following, which was told by JFK to Time Magazine:

In late July 1961, President Kennedy, just back from the grim Vienna summit with Khrushchev, asked me to dinner in Palm Beach. After daiquiris and Frank Sinatra records on the patio, his three guests and I gathered around the table for fish-in-a-bag, a White House recipe. Between lusty bites, Kennedy told the story of Khrushchev’s anger over West Berlin, the island of freedom in the Soviet empire’s East Germany. “We have a bustling communist enclave just four blocks from the White House,” I noted, meaning the Soviet embassy. Kennedy paused, fork between plate and mouth, and said, “You know, they have an atom bomb on the third floor of the embassy.” Aware of JFK’s love of spy stories, I said something like, “Sure, why not?”

No, Kennedy continued, it was his understanding that the Soviets had brought the components of an atomic device into the building in inspection-free diplomatic pouches and assembled it in the upstairs attic. “If things get too bad and war is inevitable,” he said, “they will set it off and that’s the end of the White House and the rest of the city.” I laughed. Still suspending his bite of fish, Kennedy said, “That’s what I’m told. Do you know something that I don’t?” No sign of mirth. The conversation moved on.

Five years ago I was lecturing in Staunton, Va., and retold the story. In the question session, a man in the audience rose and said, “You may not believe that story about the bomb in the attic, but I do. I worked for 25 years at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and that was our understanding.” And now I can hear Kennedy asking again, “Do you know something I don’t?”

Source: Were the Russians Hiding a Nuke in D.C.? (Time)

 

World leaders played an interactive nuclear war game designed to test their responses to a terrorist atomic “dirty bomb” attack that threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands of people

David Cameron joined Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Xi Jinping and other world leaders to play a “nukes on the loose” war game to see how they would cope with a terrorist nuclear attack.

The German chancellor grumbled at being asked to play games and take tests with the Prime Minister, US and Chinese presidents around a table with dozens of heads of state at a nuclear summit in The Hague.

Continue reading