PLA unveils new weapons for air and sea combat following Hague tribunal ruling

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Military vehicles carry DF-16 ballistic missiles in Tiananmen Square last September. Photo: Imaginechina

 

 

Rare disclosure of arsenal seen as warning to US not to provoke military confrontation

The Southern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army unveiled a series of new weapons for sea and air combat during a visit by top military officers.

In a rare revelation, the weapons were shown on state television in the wake of a landmark international tribunal rejecting Beijing’s claims to almost all of the South China Sea.

Military experts said the disclosure was intended to show that the newly formed Southern Theatre Command, which covers the South China Sea, was well-prepared for any potential military confrontation with the US.

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Ex-CIA Director Woolsey: “The Administration Cannot Keep Its Mouth Shut” on War Effort

“Military operations require secrecy,” former CIA Director James Woolsey told Fox News in a recent interview. He criticized the Obama administration for telling the world — and Islamic jihadists — what it plans to do.

“The administration cannot keep its mouth shut on these things,” Woolsey said on Friday. “Had they been in power during World War II, they probably would have made speeches about how well we were doing breaking the Japanese codes. I have no idea why they do this sort of thing, unless they care more about the public relations than they do about winning the war. Continue reading

China threatens to impose air defence zone on disputed area of South China Sea

China raised tensions in the South China Sea on Wednesday by threatening to declare an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over disputed waters where a tribunal has quashed its legal claim.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled on Tuesday that China had “no legal basis” for its “nine-dash line”, which lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea. After considering a case brought by the Philippines, the court ruled against China on virtually every substantive point.

President Xi Jinping responded by saying that China would “refuse to accept” the decision.

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China To Use Pension Funds As $300 Billion “Plunge Protection Team”

One of the more troubling stories to hit the tape last week was that despite, or rather due to, roughly $100 billion in losses in the past 5 quarters, Japan’s gargantuan $1.4 trillion state pension fund, the GPIF, which has desperately been selling Japan’s best performing asset – Japanese Government Bonds – in order to buy local stocks and the Nikkei at its decade highs only to see its equity investment plunge, is now forced to buy even more stocks, i.e. double down, as part of a ridiculous rebalancing which will lead to even more losses.

Japan is not alone.

After China did everything to prop up its own stock market, including arresting hedge funders, sellers, “rumormongers”, halting short selling, eliminating futures trading, and ultimately culminating with the “Buttonwood SPV” in which the PBOC finally threw in the towel and admitted it was directly buying stocks,  we now learn that Chinese pensioners are about to become unwitting stock funds. Continue reading

China’s Hundred-Year Strategy

Beijing has a documented plan to be the premier global superpower by 2049. It’s over halfway there. 

Americans think in four-year election cycles. Chinese leaders think in terms of centuries. Just leaf through the glossy, cream-colored, gold-flecked pages of The Governance of China. This anthology of political theories by Chinese President Xi Jinping is considered almost sacred scripture in Beijing.

Across 18 chapters about leading the most populous nation on the planet, Xi outlines his utopian vision for the Chinese people. In the world he describes, the Chinese are heirs to an ancient and unique civilization entitled to a privileged position among nations. In this world, China is an economic, cultural and military superpower, while the United States is no longer a major geopolitical power.

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Passivity in the Face of Big-Power Aggression

  • The West has developed reasonable-sounding rationales for not acting in the face of what is clearly aggression by big powers. That inaction has bought peace, but the peace has never been more than temporary.
  • Officials in Beijing and Moscow believe their countries should be bigger than they are today. Faced with little or no resistance, China and Russia are succeeding in redrawing their borders by force.
  • Should we be concerned by a nuclear-armed, hostile state falling apart? Of course, but we should be more worried by a hostile state launching nuclear attacks on the Baltics, as the Kremlin has repeatedly threatened to do.
  • The Chinese and Russians may be villains, but it is we, through inaction, who have permitted them to be villainous. The choice is no longer risk versus no risk. The choice is which awful risk to assume.

Speaking in April at the Aspen Security Forum in London, Douglas Lute, Washington’s permanent representative to NATO, said:

“So essentially there is a sense that, yes, there is a new more assertive, maybe even more aggressive Russia, but that fundamentally Russia is a state in decline. We have conversations in NATO headquarters about states in decline and arrive at two fundamental models: states in rapid decline which typically lead to chaos and breakdown, and states in gradual decline. Then we ask ourselves: Which of these two tracks would we rather have our nearest, most militarily capable neighbor, with thousands of nuclear weapons, move along? To many, trying to manage Russia’s decline seems more attractive than a failed state of that size and magnitude right on the border of NATO.”

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What China will do if it loses the South China Sea arbitration ruling

If there ever was a time to follow the always action-packed South China Sea showdown, mark your calendar for July 12th.

Why this specific date? Well, that is the date the International Court of Arbitration has set to issue its ruling in the case of China vs. the Philippines. Most experts are of the collective mind that Beijing is likely to suffer some sort of negative outcome — an outcome they are already trying to distance themselves from.

But what will China do when the verdict is handed down and they likely lose in large measure, as is widely expected? Continue reading

NUCLEAR WAR-NING: North Korean rockets WILL reach US soil, Kim Jong-un tells America

KIM Jong-un has warned the US that North Korean missiles are now capable of hitting American territory after the rogue state conducted a “successful” weapons test.

The tubby tyrant boasted of Pyongyang’s “sure capability” to destroy US targets in the Pacific after testing a medium-range missile yesterday.

Two Musudan rockets were fired from inside the secretive nation’s borders – the first catastrophically failed, but the second flew 250 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan.

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Russia to reveal location of US military satellites in free space database – report

Russia’s own data on near-Earth objects – including military satellites not covered by the open catalog of the North-American warning system NORAD – could soon be made publicly available as a comprehensive database, Russian media report.

Russia is planning to set up a free database on thousands of near-Earth objects, including those not publicly listed in open catalogs of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday.

NORAD doesn’t only track Santa at Christmas – its database also provides details on thousands of satellites launched, destroyed or still functioning. While the catalog does not disclose data on America’s own military or dual-use satellites (or those of allies – Japan, France, Germany and Israel among them), as Izvestia says, it does feature Russia’s defense satellites.

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The ‘Inevitable War’ Between the U.S. and China

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Chinese soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army Navy stand guard in the Spratly Islands, known in China as the Nansha Islands, on February 10. The Spratlys are the most contested archipelago in the South China Sea. Stringer/Reuters

 

Roughly 15 years ago, a Chinese fighter jet pilot was killed when he collided with an American spy plane over the South China Sea. The episode marked the start of tensions between Beijing and Washington over China’s claim to the strategic waterway. So in May, when two Chinese warplanes nearly crashed into an American spy plane over the same area, many in China felt a familiar sense of nationalist outrage. “Most Chinese people hope China’s fighter jets will shoot down the next spy plane,” wrote the Global Times, China’s official nationalist mouthpiece.

Though little talked about in the West, many Chinese officials have long felt that war between Washington and Beijing is inevitable. A rising power, the thinking goes, will always challenge a dominant one. Of course, some analysts dismiss this idea; the costs of such a conflict would be too high, and the U.S., which is far stronger militarily, would almost certainly win. Yet history is riddled with wars that appeared to make no sense. Continue reading

Europe’s robots to become ‘electronic persons’ under draft plan

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An industrial robotic arm pours a glass of beer at the Automatica trade fair in Munich on Tuesday. Photo: Bloomberg

 

Munich:   Europe’s growing army of robot workers could be classed as “electronic persons” and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.Robots are being deployed in ever-greater numbers in factories and also taking on tasks such as personal care or surgery, raising fears over unemployment, wealth inequality and alienation.

Their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability, a draft European Parliament motion, dated May 31, suggests. Continue reading

Drones with radiation detectors designed for nuclear emergencies

They resemble miniature Reaper drones, but the nimbler Sandstorm’s mission will veer sharply from its weapons-laden cousin as the Department of Energy explores using unmanned aircraft to respond to nuclear emergencies.

Instead of laser-guided missiles and bombs under its wings, the Sandstorm payload consists of radiation detection sensors and optical imagery gear. Named for designer Justin Sands of Henderson-based Unmanned Systems Inc., these sleek machines are more maneuverable, but like Reapers they have retractable nose gear and pneumatic brakes. Continue reading

Six Aircraft Carriers Underway Marks Milestone for Navy: Top Officer

As the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the Mediterranean Sea this week, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told lawmakers on Capitol Hill the deployment has historic import [sic] for the Navy.

American warships are operating in the South China Sea, where intensifying territorial counterclaims and aggressive actions by China are responsible for heightening tension, and the Middle East, where two carriers — the Harry S. Truman and the Eisenhower — now are positioned to carry out airstrikes against targets of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

As of last week, Richardson said, the Navy had six carriers underway — a development he called “a milestone.” Continue reading

German 10-year sovereign bond yields turn negative for first time

 Video commentary available at the source.

 

The yield on the 10-year benchmark German bund fell into negative territory for the first time ever on Tuesday morning, amid global growth concerns and jitters over the U.K.’s upcoming referendum on its European Union membership.

At around 8.30 a.m. London time, the yield hit zero and briefly fell into negative territory as investors continued to flock to safe-haven assets. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions and a negative yield implies that investors are effectively paying the German government for the privilege of parking their cash.

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China sends message to US, Japan with frigate near Senkaku

BEIJING — A Chinese frigate on Thursday sailed through a “contiguous zone” near the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands, in the East China Sea.

The move was an attempt to check criticism coming from both Japan and the U.S. over China’s aggressive actions in and above the nearby South China Sea.

Chinese coast guard boats have often sailed into waters near the Senkaku islands, also claimed by China, but this is the first time a Chinese Navy vessel — a 3,900-ton Jiangkai class frigate — has come near the area.

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