PLA developing submarines powered by lithium-ion batteries

China is experimenting with a lithium-ion battery propulsion system for submarines and aims to achieve results within the next five years, according to a report from Tokyo-based international news magazine the Diplomat.

Lithium-ion batteries offer much higher energy density and longer dive times than conventional diesel-powered submarines, which is why Chinese researchers see them as the “wave of the future,” says Andrew Erickson, a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Continue reading

PLA Navy will have 415 warships in near future: US expert

Meanwhile, the U.S. will have only a bit over 300 ships by 2020. The balance of power is shifting before our eyes and a new chapter in world history will open up, especially as China strengthens its alliance with Russia to form One Clenched Fist.

 

James Fanell, the former director of the US Pacific Fleet’s intelligence and information, predicted China will eventually have about 415 warships including four aircraft carriers and 100 submarines in the near future while attending a two-day conference held by the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute in Newport, Rhode Island last week, reports the Defense News. Continue reading

US bishops struggling under Francis’ pontificate

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are gathering at a moment of turbulence for them and the American church, as Pope Francis moves toward crafting new policies for carrying out his mission of mercy – a prospect that has conservative Catholics and some bishops in an uproar.

The assembly, which starts Monday in Baltimore, comes less than a month after Francis ended a dramatic Vatican meeting on how the church can more compassionately minister to Catholic families.

The gathering in Rome was only a prelude to a larger meeting next year which will more concretely advise Francis on church practice. Still, the open debate at the event, and the back and forth among bishops over welcoming gays and divorced Catholics who remarry, prompted stunning criticism from some U.S. bishops.

“Many of the U.S. bishops have been disoriented by what this new pope is saying and I don’t see them really as embracing the pope’s agenda,” said John Thavis, a former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service. “To a large degree, the U.S. bishops have lost their bearings. I think up until now, they felt Rome had their back, and what they were saying – especially politically – would eventually be supported in Rome. They can’t count on that now.” Continue reading