China Is Beating the US in the Rare-Earths Game

For more information regarding China and the rare earths situation, see the following previous articles:

 

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It’s time for the administration to use its powers to preserve America’s access to vital defense materials.

How to view China’s recent threat to limit domestic production of rare earths, those 16 elements that make our cellphones and smart bombs work? It’s the latest move in a game that began before the United States realized it was even playing, that has grown more complex than U.S. leaders realize, and that is nearing a very unfortunate ending. Continue reading

Russia launches biggest ever war games

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Russia launched Tuesday what it called its largest ever military drills, with hundreds of thousands of troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a show of force NATO condemned as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict.”

President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the games after hosting an economic forum in Russia’s far eastern city Vladivostok where his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is one of the prominent guests.

The week-long war games dubbed “Vostok-2018″(East-2018) “have kicked off” in far eastern Russia, the defence ministry said. Continue reading

Russia’s “Nuclear Combat” War Games Largest In Nearly 40 Years

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a world war axis, at work.

 

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Russia’s upcoming joint military exercise with China and Mongolia, set for September 11 – 15, will be the largest Russian drill in nearly 40 years according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who said they will be larger than the Soviet military’s 1981 Zapad-81 (West-81) exercises.

“In some ways they will repeat aspects of Zapad-81, but in other ways the scale will be bigger,” Shoigu told reporters from the Russian region of Khakassia.

The exercise, Vostok-2018 (East-2018), will occur in central and eastern Russian military districts, and will involve nearly 300,000 troops, over 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets, and their entire airborne forces, Shoigu said in a Tuesday statement. Continue reading

The China Problem

Un Xi Trump

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Column: North Korea is just a part of the challenge confronting Trump and the United States

“I think I understand why that happened,” President Trump said Thursday, reflecting on a change in North Korean behavior that prompted him to cancel a planned summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. When a reporter asked him to elaborate, the president declined.

Allow me to speculate.

Until recently, the prospects of a summit were high. Experiencing the consequences of debilitating sanctions under President Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign, Kim Jong Un signaled a new openness. North and South Koreans marched together in the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Kim pledged to suspend missile testing and destroy an already-disabled nuclear facility in advance of talks. And most important, at the beginning of May, Kim freed three American hostages in what Trump would describe as a “beautiful gesture” that “was very much appreciated.”

Then the turn came. Continue reading

China and India sail into choppy waters in New Great Game

Looking out at the port of Chabahar. Photo: Reuters / Raheb Homavandi

 

This shadow play is a heady vortex, churning with power projections, spheres of influence, security and commerce

The New Silk Roads, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), will weave and interconnect six major economic corridors. At 12,000 kilometers, the Eurasia Land Bridge Economic Corridor is a rail network from eastern China to western Europe via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

Then there is the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, while the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor runs from Xinjiang to Istanbul. Nine new road links in the Greater Mekong help make up the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. Continue reading

Neighbors wary as China’s PLA modernizes, builds capability

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the People’s Liberation Army is undergoing massive changes as it is reorganized, resized and mobilized. On one hand, the PLA is also getting a bigger role in China’s strategic and foreign-policy outreach. On the other hand, it is shedding weight and becoming a leaner and more information-driven army.

These far-reaching changes will have implications for the region, as neighbors India, Japan and Vietnam and powers like the US and Australia watch closely. Continue reading

India, Pakistan to Become Full Fledged SCO Members

Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.

 

 

The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.

The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading

Russia in 2030

It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.

This dichotomy of thrust and counterthrust by Russia on the one side and the West on the other is for the most part inadequate largely because there is also another crucial factor in deciding the outcome of Russia’s territorial expansion, namely, China and its own territorial ambition that goes against Russia’s objectives in much of Central and East Asia. Continue reading

Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, November 16, 2016. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

 

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that Turkey did not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and could instead become part of a security bloc dominated by China, Russia and Central Asian nations.

NATO member Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU look more remote than ever after 11 years of negotiations. European leaders have been critical of its record on democratic freedoms, while Ankara has grown increasingly exasperated by what it sees as Western condescension.

“Turkey must feel at ease. It mustn’t say ‘for me it’s the European Union at all costs’. That’s my view,” Erdogan was quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper as telling reporters on his plane on the way back from a visit to Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Continue reading

Is China’s latest space mission a step towards PLA tracking of nuclear submarines?

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The cold atomic clock that has been placed into orbit aboard the Tiangong-2 space laboratory. Photo: Chinese Academy of Sciences

 

Chinese scientists are working on a space-based device that could track gravitational ripples produced by submerged submarines

Chinese astronauts have played many roles in space, including teacher, mechanic and tourist.

But all the science classes, repair missions and spacewalk flag-waving have tended to obscure the fact that they are, first and foremost, members of the People’s Liberation Army.

China’s manned space programme has so far given its astronauts few opportunities to fulfil [sic] military roles, but that will all change when its space station is completed in the next six years.

Continue reading

China’s successful new rocket launch signals breakthroughs in nation’s space weaponry: military experts

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A Long March 7 rocket, China’s new model carrier rocket, blasts off in Hainan province on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

It was just one launch, but the successful maiden flight of a new-generation carrier rocket on Saturday pointed to a multitude of breakthroughs in Chinese space weaponry, according to military experts.

The Long March-7 lifted off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in the mainland’s southern-most Hainan province, carrying 13.5 tonnes of cargo – 90 per cent of which was taken up by the rocket’s special non-toxic fuel designed for multiple launch vehicles, plus wind-resistance devices, a re-entry capsule, a number of small satellites and other equipment.

For Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong, there were telling details in the Xinhua photos taken of the bullet-shaped re-entry module soon after it landed in the Badain Jaran Desert, in Inner Mongolia.

“The so-called re-entry capsule looks similar to China’s hypersonic glide vehicle DF-ZF,” Wong said. Continue reading

China says it doesn’t fear ‘trouble’ in S. China Sea

An Asian security summit ended in discord Sunday after China denounced US “provocations” in the South China Sea and declared it does not fear trouble in the contested waters.

“The South China Sea issue has become overheated because of the provocations of certain countries for their own selfish interests,” Admiral Sun Jianguo told an annual forum in Singapore.

Sun, who stressed China’s desire for a peaceful solution, spoke one day after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said any Chinese construction on an islet near the Philippines would prompt unspecified “actions” by the United States and other nations. Continue reading

Understanding Russian Political Ideology And Vision: A Call For Eurasia, From Lisbon To Vladivostok

Perhaps the next superpower on the world stage will indeed be a Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis. It’s often said here on Global Geopolitics that Germany’s Fourth Reich will lead the new superpower, which is to say a United States of Europe. That may strongly be the case, but a twist as described here, can also come into play. This isn’t the first time “from Lisbon to Vladivostok” has been mentioned.

Whatever it may look like, a new superpower emerging certainly isn’t far away as America suicides itself into the history books. The next chapter in world history isn’t going to be the end of the world, but the end of America as we know it.

 

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The five-pointed red star, symbolizing both communism and socialism. This photo accompanied the article in Russia in Global Affairs (Source: Russia in Global Affairs, March 3, 2016).

 

Introduction

In a landmark treatise titled “Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background,” published March 3, 2016 in the Russian foreign affairs journal Russia in Global Affairs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov challenged the Western perspective on Russia with an analysis of Russian history. According to Lavrov, Russia has played an important role in shaping both European history and contemporary European policies. He writes that contrary to the belief widespread in the West that Russia is Europe’s” political outsider, “it is an integral part of the European context, adding that while throughout history Russia’s power has been obstructed by European countries, Europe’s geography, and its historical, intrinsic interconnection with Russia, signifies that the former will always have to consider the latter. Lavrov also sketches out a bipolar world in which Russia confronts the U.S. by expanding its own realm of political influence and power from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as part of a new political entity – Eurasia. The vision of Eurasia and the resultant political goals are in essence an ideological blueprint for an ideological agenda to counter the U.S.

This report will present the Russian perspective, political ideology, and goals, as set out not only by Foreign Minister Lavrov but also by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and citing these ideas’ roots in recent history. It will not, however, include an examination of the extent to which these ideas and goals can actually be implemented at this time, given the country’s current economic, political, and structural situation Continue reading

China Tests its Largest Airship

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This concept art shows China’s 18,000 cubic meter Yuanmeng airship 20km above the ground (and for some reason, off the coast of the Mid Atlantic U.S.). One of the highest flying airships, the Yuanmeng can provide wide area surveillance and communications capability.

 

On October 13, 2015, China started the 24 hour test flight of its largest airship yet in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. The Yuanmeng has a volume of 18,000 cubic meters, length of 75 meters and 22 meters height. It will fly to 20,000 meters to test its control systems and near space flight performance. With solar panels installed on its top, the Yuanmeng will be one of the largest solar powered airships in existence, using solar power to drive its rotors will save additional weight in order to increase payload. Solar power also gives it a total flight endurance of six months. The Yuanmeng’s 5-7 ton payload of data relays, datalinks, cameras and other sensors would also be powered by the sun. Continue reading

SCO expanding

India and Pakistan will now be out of the grips of Western influence.

 

In Ufa on June 10 a summit of the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) states will be held, which currently includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan have observer status. According to official information, the leaders of the SCO member states will adopt the strategy of development of the organization until 2025. By the way, the expansion of the unit has been officially declared for the first time. The new members of the SCO will soon be India and Pakistan. The issue of Iran, which has been seeking an opportunity to join the alliance for nearly 10 years, will be considered only after the lifting of all international sanctions from the country.

“One of the most important decisions that goes beyond the SCO summit is to connect Iran, which applied for it. It was decided to return to it after the conclusion of the negotiations on the nuclear program. If the UN Security Council sanctions are lifted, then Iran can actively join our cooperation,” presidential aide Yury Ushakov said in an interview to the TV channel Russia 24. He also admitted that it had already been decided to include India and Pakistan in the union. Thus, the SCO has become one of the largest economic organizations in the world. Continue reading