Trump says ‘big progress’ on possible China trade deal


Yeganeh Torbati, Ryan Woo December 30, 2018

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he had a “long and very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that a possible trade deal between the United States and China was progressing well.

As a partial shutdown of the U.S. government entered its eighth day, with no quick end in sight, the Republican president was in Washington, sending out tweets attacking Democrats and talking up possibly improved relations with China.

The two nations have been in a trade war for much of 2018, shaking world financial markets as the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods between the world’s two largest economies has been disrupted by tariffs.

Trump and Xi agreed to a ceasefire in the trade war, deciding to hold off on imposing more tariffs for 90 days starting Dec. 1 while they negotiate a deal to end the dispute following months of escalating tensions.

“Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China,” Trump wrote on Saturday. “Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!”

Chinese state media also said Xi and Trump spoke on Saturday, and quoted Xi as saying that teams from both countries have been working to implement a consensus reached with Trump.

“I hope that the two teams will meet each other half way, work hard, and strive to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial and beneficial to the world as soon as possible,” Xi said, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

China’s foreign ministry said on Sunday the two countries’ relationship had endured storms before, but that strong ties were important for the economies of both nations and for ensuring global stability and peace.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that Sino-U.S. ties now “stand at a historic new starting point” and that the two sides should respect each other’s sovereignty, security and development interest and appropriately manage differences.

“Both sides should stick to rationally and objectively viewing the other side’s strategic intentions, strengthen strategic communication and promote strategic mutual trust to prevent strategic misjudgments,” he said in a statement.

Excerpts by Chan Kai Yee of Reuters’ report “Trump says ‘big progress’ on possible China trade deal” with the part on government shutdown omitted as it is irrelevant.

Note: This is excerpts of Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

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China Develops Lots of Advanced Weapons in 2018


In its report “Another blowout year: Review of homegrown new types of weapon, equipment in 2018” on December 28, mil.huanqiu.com presents the following new weapons China developed in 2018:

China Is the First to Test an Electromagnetic Rail Gun on Warship

Rail gun is very powerful due to the high speed of gun shot. The US is the first to test such a gun on ground without much success. China, though a late commer, has been testing the gun on a warship.

DF-26 Missiles Fully Commissioned

DF-26 is China’s new generation of intermediate ballistic missiles very powerful in hitting ground and surface targets. In 2018, it has passed the tests of trial installation and operation and combats. Now some rocket force units are entirely installed and operating such missiles.

Incessant News about B-20 Bomber

On May 8, 2018, the outline sketch of a new-type long-range bomber emerges in the major promotion film “Large Nation Takes Off” issued by the aviation industry. Outsiders speculate that the bomber is China’s new-type B-20 bomber, about which there had been lots of rumors.

Later CCTV’s documentary “Permanent Soul of the Army” also mentions “great progress obtained in the research and development of the new type long-range strategic bomber H-20”. It enhanced outsiders’ speculation.

Fourth Sea Test of China’s Homegrown Aircraft Carrier

After the three sea tests of the carrier on May 13, August 26 and October 28, China’s homegrown aircraft carrier began its fourth sea test on December 27.

The frequent sea tests indicate smooth progress of the tests and there is the speculation that the carrier will soon be commissioned.

Maiden Sea Test of China’s 10,000-ton Class Type 055 Destroyer

The test attracts keen interest among Western media and military analysts as Type 055 destroyer is bigger and more advanced than those of the US, Japan, South Dorea.

Shocking Display of J-10B with Thrust Vector Engines

On November 6, J-10Bs displayed highly difficult maneuvers such as Cobra and leaves floating maneuvering enabled by their thrust vector engines.

The show indicates China’s mastery of thrust vector technology.

Y-20 Transport Aircraft Modified as Refueling Tanker

In the past China lacks aerial refueling tanker due to insufficient production of IL-78s to satisfy its demand for large transport aircrafts. As China is able to make large transport aircrafts Y-20 itself now, it is able to modify Y-20 for aerial refueling. That has greatly increased the range of Chinese warplanes.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on mil.huanqiu.com’s report, full text of which in Chinese can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/world/2018-12/13916315.html.


China’s New Light Tank Has Better Mobility in High-altitude Areas


The Type 15 was on show at an exhibition in Beijing last month and the defence ministry confirmed the deployment on Thursday. Photo: Handout

SCMP says in its report “China’s new light tank for mountainous areas goes into service” yesterday that China has commissioned its new Type 15 light tank with better mobility to strengthen combat readiness in Tibet and plateau border.

It says, “The Type 15 has an engine capable of 1,000 horsepower and is significantly lighter than the PLA’s other main battle tanks in service, weighing about 32 to 35 tonnes. That compares to the Type 99, which weighs 54 to 58 tonnes, and the Type 96 at 42.8 tonnes.”

With such a powerful engine the tank it is equipped with 105 mm main gun with quite impressive fire power for a light tank.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2179892/chinas-new-light-tank-mountainous-areas-goes-service.


Third prototype of China’s C919 jet completes first test flight


The third prototype of China’s home-built passenger jet C919 takes off during its first test flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China December December 28, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

December 28, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – A third prototype of China’s home-built C919 narrowbody passenger jet completed its first test flight on Friday, its manufacturer said, in another step forward in the nation’s push to become a global civil aerospace player.

The C919, which will compete with Boeing Co’s (BA.N) 737 and the Airbus SE (AIR.PA) A320, is widely regarded as a symbol of China’s civil aerospace ambition and President Xi Jinping’s policy of upgrading manufacturing capabilities.

In a statement on its official microblog, Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC) [CMAFC.UL] said the plane landed safely at Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 12:45 p.m. (0445 GMT), having flown for 1 hour and 38 minutes.

The jet will next fly to the city of Xian in central China for more test flights with a focus on aircraft flutter and airspeed calibration, the company said.

The second prototype of the C919 jet conducted its first flight in December 2017, seven months after the maiden flight of the first C919.

COMAC said it is assembling a further three prototypes, and that all six will be scheduled to conduct flight tests next year.

The C919 has dozens of customers that have placed orders and commitments for 815 jets.

COMAC is aiming to obtain certification for the plane from Chinese regulators by the end of 2020, as well as Europe’s aviation safety regulator, which agreed in April to start the certification process.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing

Source: Reuters “Third prototype of China’s C919 jet completes first test flight”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China Turbine Blade Breakthrough Enables Use of Electromagnetic Catapult


According to its report “China makes turbine blade breakthrough that could give Type 055 guided-missile destroyers an edge” the day before yesterday with Russian help, China has achieved “Milestone” advance in turbine blade development to “give Type 055 guided-missile destroyer an edge”.

The blade is the core component of powerful gas turbines. With such powerful turbines the destroyers may be equipped with super efficient integrated electric propulsion systems (IEPS) that would allow it to operate high-energy, hi-tech weapons such as laser guns and rail guns much more powerful than conventional weapons.

If such blade is used in the gas turbines of China’s new aircraft carriers, there will be sufficient energy for electromagnetic catapults.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s reports, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2179553/china-makes-turbine-blade-breakthrough-could-give-type-055.


China’s First Homegrown Aircraft Carrier Will Soon Be Commissioned


SCMP says in its report “As China’s Type 001A carrier sets out on fourth sea trial, analysts say call to service must be near” yesterday that the carrier began its fourth sea trial yesterday. According to analysis the short interval between the carrier’s third and fourth sea trill indicates that the “period of snagging on board the carrier is at an end”

The report quotes Hong Kong-based military expert Song Zhongping as saying, “The previous three sea trials mainly solved problems like communications and power, which builds a foundation for the exercises involving warplanes,” and“If the warplanes can smoothly take off and land, then it means the indigenous aircraft carrier will soon enter service.”

The carrier, though conventional, will be very useful if China conducts military reunification with Taiwan when Taiwan declares independence.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/2179704/chinas-type-001a-carrier-sets-out-fourth-sea-trial-analysts-say-call.


China-Russia Alliance Add Wings to Chinese Military


It is common sense that Russia and China military cooperation will add wings to two tigers; therefore, Trump has tried in vain to improve relations with Russia in order to drive a wedge into the Russia-China alliance which has been made possible by the stupid strategy of his predecessor.

SCMP has two reports today on Russian technologies greatly enhancing Chinese military’s capabilities.

First, it says that China’s test of S400 air defense system imported from Russia proves the system’s ability to hit a supersonic ballistic missile at the speed of 3km per second in its report “Chinese missile force puts new Russian S-400 air defence system to the test” (at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2179564/chinese-missile-force-puts-new-russian-s-400-air-defence-system).

Second, according to its report “China makes turbine blade breakthrough that could give Type 055 guided-missile destroyers an edge” (at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/2179553/china-makes-turbine-blade-breakthrough-could-give-type-055) with Russian help, China has achieved “Milestone” advance in turbine blade development to “give Type 055 guided-missile destroyer an edge”.

The blade is “the core component of 330-megawatt gas turbines”. With such powerful turbines the destroyers may be equipped with super efficient integrated electric propulsion systems (IEPS) that would allow it to operate high-energy, hi-tech weapons such as laser guns and rail guns much more powerful than conventional weapons.

If such blade is used in the gas turbines of China’s new aircraft carriers, there will be sufficient energy for electromagnetic catapults.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s reports.