Sealing off the Mediterranean

BERLIN/VIENNA/TRIPOLI (Own report) – To ward off refugees, the EU should completely seal off the Mediterranean and immediately force refugees, intercepted at sea, to return to their home countries, demands Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, stating an even tougher position than the EU’s current deportation agreement with Turkey, imposed by Berlin. Kurz also undermines the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and – taking Australia as a model – proposes to resettle those refugees, not immediately deportable, to islands. Refugees reaching the EU without a visa should be placed in detention camps on Lesbos or Lampedusa. Whoever attempts to enter illegally, loses their “right to asylum in Europe,” Kurz declared. Protest came from Libya. Fayez al Serraj, the “Prime Minister” installed from abroad, declared that his country would not take back refugees the EU has deported. In the meantime, the number of refugees, who have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean, is at a new high. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – which is itself participating in the global fight against refugees – between January and Mai 2016, at least 2,443 people have lost their lives on their way from North Africa to Europe – more than ever before.

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Shifting Tides of Military Power in the South China Sea

A 2010 article that foretold what was to come and now is here:

 

Is U.S. naval power in the South China Sea the unstoppable force it once was?

Thirsting for the oil in the waters that break upon China’s shores, Beijing has recently intensified its claim to the entire 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea. Since China’s assertion competes with claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, it has prompted a pledge from the U.S. for increased involvement in the disputes to guarantee free trade and navigation throughout the region. But a Wall Street Journal article about recent military trends in the South Pacific region suggests that Washington’s pledge is insufficiently backed, and more so every month.

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Chinese naval base for Walvis Bay

STRATEGY … Walvis Bay is set to be part of China’s overseas military bases.

 

DISCUSSIONS are under way at the ‘highest levels’ regarding plans by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy to build a base at Walvis Bay in the next 10 years.

According to reports in the Chinese media, Walvis Bay will be one of 18 naval bases that will be established in various regions: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mynanmar in the northern Indian Ocean; Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in the western Indian Ocean; and Seychelles and Madagascar in the central South Indian Ocean.

“These three strategic lines will further enhance China’s effectiveness in taking responsibility for maintaining the safety of international maritime routes thereby maintaining regional and world stability,” the media reports said.

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Australia at risk of becoming an island as Pacific prospers

PORT VILA, Vanuatu — First it was the Pacific Century, then the Asia Pacific Century, then the Asian Century with a recent nod towards the Chinese Century. Now we are hearing of the Indo-Pacific Century. Hollywood to Bollywood, as one US military officer put it recently.

A great sweep of ocean from India to the eastern shores of California is the strategic big picture, we are told. Continue reading