China To Deploy Elite Troops In Syria To Fight Alongside Assad’s Army

File photo via “Life of Soldiers” blog

 

According to multiple reports in Middle East regional sources, China plans to send elite military units to Syria to advise and assist the Syrian Army in an attempt to root out the country’s terrorist insurgency, especially Chinese Islamist foreign fighters who have shown up in increasing numbers in Syria’s north since the start of the conflict. Continue reading

Satellite Images Suggest China Is Arming Strategic South China Sea Base With Missiles

Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy recruits chant slogan during a parade to mark the end of a semester at a military base of the North Sea Fleet, in Qingdao, Shandong province December 5, 2013. (REUTERS/China Daily)

 

Satellite imagery of the People’s Liberation Army’s Yulin Naval Base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea shows the deployment of multiple missile launchers, which observers believe are for launching anti-ship ballistic missiles, reports Defense News.

“The direction in which the launchers are facing leads us to believe these are shore-to-ship missiles,” ImageSat International imagery analyst Amit Gur told reporters. Continue reading

Iraq again abandons major U.S. weapons platforms fleeing Ramadi

The Iraqi military abandoned more that  100 vehicles and weapons systems as it fled Ramadi, including several U.S.-origin platforms.

Keeping the military vehicles out of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’s (ISIL’s) hands is vital, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said. Continue reading

China getting military intelligence from US e-waste: report

The United States has been unwittingly providing China with military intelligence and buying back its own waste by selling discarded electronics to companies that ship the materials to China for “recycling,” according to a report from the US-based military affairs website Strategy Page. Continue reading

US defense industry over-reliant on rare earth from China

Rare earth elements from China are being used to build weapons systems sold to the US Department of Defense, according to American geologist Victoria Bruce in an article written for Truthout, a nonprofit news organization based in the United States.

According to Bruce, participants at the meeting were outraged to discover that various top US weapon systems including Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter, Raytheon’s ground-to-air missile system, Boeing’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk, and General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator would not work at all without China-sourced rare earth materials. After learning this fact, a number of the participants promised to take action. Continue reading

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces Start Snap Combat Drills

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Over 2,500 servicemen and 350 weapons systems are involved in snap combat readiness drills for Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), a Defense Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

The drills, involving the headquarters and two missile divisions of the Orenburg Missile Army in Russia’s Urals region, began Monday and are set to run through Saturday, Col. Igor Yegorov said. Continue reading

Of strategic missiles and easy money: Russia’s positioning in the South Caucasus

In recent weeks, important information regarding the military balance of power in the South Caucasus has come to light. On June 3rd it was revealed that Russia has stationed an undisclosed number of Iskander-M ballistic missiles in Armenia. While on June 18th media outlets reported that Russia has begun the delivery of nearly $1 billion worth of weaponry, which include tanks, multiple rocket launchers and artillery cannons, to Azerbaijan. Continue reading

Report: Chinese military able to operate far afield

China’s military is developing capabilities to conduct “new historic missions” far beyond the communist country’s borders, according to an annual Pentagon report to Congress.

Described as “military operations other than war,” the missions include counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, U.N. peacekeeping, protecting sea lanes and protecting space-based assets, the report states.

For example, the People’s Liberation Army in December deployed its 10th task force to the Gulf of Aden to support international counter-piracy efforts.

The report estimates China’s defense budget as $106 billion in 2011, an 11.2 percent increase from the year before. The report notes that the budget could be as high as $180 billion.

Mr. Helvey said there could be associated defense spending not included in China’s reported budget, such as research and development, nuclear force modernization, foreign acquisitions of weapons systems, and local contributions to local military forces.

Full article: Report: Chinese military able to operate far afield (New York Times)

China warns of backlash if U.S. presses rare-earths case with WTO

“It is rash and unfair for the United States to put forward a lawsuit against China before the WTO, which may hurt economic relations between the world’s largest and second-largest economies,” the commentary said. “In [the] face of such unreasonable and unfair charges, China will make no hesitation in defending its legitimate rights in trade disputes.”

China controls 95% of the world’s supply of rare earths and has become increasingly adept at processing the minerals needed to manufacture myriad high-tech products such as cellphones, flat-screen panels and advanced weapons systems.

Beijing has restricted new mining and introduced limits to production — moves other countries have criticized as a strategy to further dominate global supplies.

Full article: China warns of backlash if U.S. presses rare-earths case with WTO (Los Angeles Times)