China details Indian Ocean strategy and interests

China has, for the first time, attempted to spell out its strategy — and plans — to secure its interests in the Indian Ocean in its first “blue book” on the region, released here on Saturday.

The blue book makes a case for China to deepen its economic engagements with the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR) littoral states, but stresses that Beijing’s interests will be driven by commercial — rather than military — objectives. Continue reading

China flexes muscle in Indian Ocean, Navy concerned

NEW DELHI: Increasing presence of the Chinese maritime forces in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and disciplinary issues in the force are expected to be discussed by the top Navy brass in their commanders’ conference starting on Tuesday.

The Navy has been concerned over the increasing presence of Chinese navy’s submarines and other warships in the IOR. In a recent report submitted to the defence ministry, the Integrated Defence Staff headquarters had informed the government quoting the data by American agencies that 22 encounters of Chinese submarines have taken place outside its territorial waters in the IOR.  Continue reading

Vatican bank president’s links to warship manufacturing blindsides Holy See

In the Vatican there’s a German pope, a German bank president with connections to German aristocratic families as well as a German military connection. Is history repeating itself?

ATICAN CITY — The Vatican was drawn into a new controversy Friday after acknowledging that its bank’s new president is also chairman of a shipbuilder making warships — a significant conflict for an institution that has long shunned ties to military manufacturing.

The Vatican announced to great fanfare that Pope Benedict XVI had signed off on one of the last major appointments of his papacy, approving Ernst von Freyberg as president of the Vatican’s bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works.

The Vatican spokesman was caught off-guard, though, when a journalist noted that the German shipbuilder von Freyberg chairs, Blohm + Voss, is known for its military ship construction. Continue reading