China denies that it demanded firing of Houston Rockets GM Morey


October 18, 2019 / 3:35 PM / Updated 17 hours ago

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese foreign ministry on Friday rebutted National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver’s claim that Beijing asked that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey be fired for his tweet supporting Hong Kong’s protesters.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters during a daily briefing that China never posed such a requirement.

Silver, speaking at an event in New York, said the league told the Chinese authorities that Morey would not be disciplined or fired.

Reporting by Huizhong Wu; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Catherine Evans

Source: Reuters “China denies that it demanded firing of Houston Rockets GM Morey”

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

Advertisements

Thailand says ‘good feeling’ over China-backed trade pacts


Patpicha Tanakasempipat October 18, 2019 / 7:23 PM / Updated 12 hours ago

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand has a “good feeling” that a China-backed free trade pact for countries with nearly half the world’s population will be agreed this year after years of delay, a Thai official said on Friday.

Negotiators for the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are in the Thai capital this week to try to finalize what could become the world’s largest free trade zone with a third of global gross domestic product.

Progress in talks that began in 2012 has been held up by disputes between China and India over access to markets and lists of protected goods. India wants safeguards to be built into the proposed pact to prevent a sudden surge in imports.

But Thailand said the trade agreement was on track to be concluded while it chairs the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year – and ideally before an RCEP summit on Nov. 4.

We still have a good feeling … that all 16 members, including India, are willing to try to solve the remaining differences,” said Auramon Supthaweethum, director-general of Thailand’s Department of Trade Negotiations. “Our target is still to have a good deal by the end of this year.”

First proposed by China, RCEP comprises the ASEAN member states and six Asia-Pacific countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. ASEAN has existing free-trade agreements with all six Asia-Pacific countries.

RCEP members were working on two parallel negotiations, on market access in goods and services, and on a draft agreement text, the official said.

Market access negotiations, conducted bilaterally, were already 80.4% completed, with 16% of the remainder “near conclusion,” Auramon said, adding that an outstanding 3.6% still need to be discussed urgently.

Countries that don’t have existing free trade agreements with each other, such as China and India, may take longer in their talks, said Auramon.

Members are spending the remaining period trying to get rid of some differences and trying to conclude talks,” she said.

Because it’s done bilaterally, we don’t know the details of their discussions,” she added.

India has reached an agreement in principle with other countries to include a safeguard mechanism that would trigger duties if goods are deemed to have been dumped from a partner country, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters in India last week.

Fourteen chapters of the 20-chapter text have so far been approved by all members, Auramon said.

ASEAN and its partners will hold three more RCEP-related meetings before an RCEP summit early next month, where ASEAN leaders expect to announce the success of the talks.

It’s a significant year, with global trade disputes and uncertainties, and nobody wants to lose out,” Auramon said.

(This story has been refiled to remove an extra word in paragraph 9, move paragraph 10 down to 12)

Reporting by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Matthew Tostevin

Source: Reuters “Thailand says ‘good feeling’ over China-backed trade pact”

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


US Concerns about China’s New Weapons, Especially Hypersonic Ones


Yahoo says in its report “A Direct Threat to the U.S. Military: China’s New Hypersonic Weapons” copied from National Interest that some new weapons shown in China’s 70th national day military parade “provide cause for serious concern among U.S. policymakers”.

It mentions China’s JL-2 SLBM and DF-41 mobile ICBM and is sad that US ICBMs are 30 years old and that US does not have any mobile ICBMs.

However, their greatest concern is China’s DF-17 hypersonic missile. The US lags behind China and Russia in hypersonic technology. So far there has been no defense of hypersonic missiles so that the report wants the US to contribute a larger percentage than current 6% of its 2.6 billion budget for development of hypersonic weapons.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Yahoo’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://news.yahoo.com/direct-threat-u-military-chinas-143400242.html.


Exclusive: Satellite images reveal China’s aircraft carrier ‘factory,’ analysts say


Greg Torode, Michael Martina

October 17, 2019 / 2:17 PM / Updated 11 hours ago

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – High-resolution satellite images show that the construction of China’s first full-sized aircraft carrier is progressing steadily alongside expansive infrastructure work that analysts say suggests the ship will be the first of several large vessels produced at the site.

FILE PHOTO: A combination image of satellite photos shows Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China on October 3, 2018, April 17, 2019 and September 18, 2019. Mandatory credit CSIS/ChinaPower/Maxar Technologies and Airbus 2019/Handout via REUTERS

The images of the Jiangnan shipyard outside Shanghai were taken last month and provided to Reuters by the non-partisan Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), building on satellite photos it obtained in April and September last year.

Noting a series of pre-fabricated sections, bulkheads and other components stacked nearby, CSIS analysts say the hull should be finished within 12 months, after which it is likely to be moved to a newly created harbor and wharf before being fitted out.

The vast harbor on the Yangtze River estuary, including a wharf nearly 1 kilometer long and large buildings for manufacturing ship components, is nearly complete. Much of the harbor area appeared to be abandoned farmland just a year ago, according to earlier images CSIS analyzed.

It dwarfs an existing harbor nearby, where destroyers and other warships are docked.

We can see slow but steady progress on the hull, but I think the really surprising thing these images show is the extensive infrastructure buildup that has gone on simultaneously,” said CSIS analyst Matthew Funaiole.

It is hard to imagine all this is being done for just one ship,” he added. “This looks more like a specialized space for carriers and or other larger vessels.”

Singapore-based military analyst Collin Koh said the modern, purpose-built facility on a sparsely populated island in the Yangtze may provide better security than the congested shipyards of Dalian in northern China. It could also help deepen co-operation between commercial and military shipbuilders.

The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies noted this year that China’s military shipyards were focusing increasingly on larger surface warships, “adding to the sense that Chinese naval-capability development may be entering a new phase.”

China’s navy has recently launched four large Type 055 cruisers and its first large helicopter carrier, known as the Type 075.

Advertisement

China’s military has not formally announced the plans for the third carrier, designated Type 002, but official state media have said it is being built.

The Pentagon said it in its annual survey of China’s military modernization, published in May, that work on the third carrier had begun.

China’s Ministry of Defence did not respond to questions from Reuters.

Funaiole said the latest images appeared to confirm the earlier photos, which suggested the latest carrier would be somewhat smaller the 100,000-tonne “supercarriers” operated by the U.S. but larger than France’s 42,500-tonne Charles de Gaulle.

The images are due to be released by the CSIS China Power Project later Thursday

.

Asian and Western militaries are tracking developments closely. They say this carrier would represent a vital step in China’s ambitions to create a far-ranging navy that can project power around the world to serve Beijing’s expanding global interests.

A series of recent Reuters Special Reports showed how that effort is challenging decades of U.S. strategic superiority in East Asia.

(Click this link to read the series: here (https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/china-army-xi/))

It is expected to be China’s first carrier with a flat deck and catapult launch system, allowing the use of a wider range of aircraft and more heavily armed fighter jets.

China’s first two carriers, which it has dubbed Type 001-class, are relatively small, accommodating only up to 25 aircraft that are launched from ramps built onto their decks. U.S. carriers routinely deploy with nearly four times the number of aircraft.

Foreign military attaches and security analysts say the Type 001 ships are expected to essentially serve as training platforms for what they believe will be fleet of up to six operational carriers by 2030.

They say the construction and deployment of aircraft carriers is considered exceptionally difficult to master. Protecting such a large and vital surface target with escort ships, submarines and aircraft is a core part of the problem.

The PLA navy is not saying much in detail about its plans now, but we can see from their building works that their ambitions are vast,” said one Asian military attache, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. “And they will get there.”

Koh, a research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the new Jiangnan facilities looked permanent and reflected China’s long-held ambitions to bulk up its fleet with more carriers and other large vessels.

We are talking about infrastructure being built quickly and on a large scale. It could well be the start of a ‘factory,’ if you like, for carriers and other very large vessels,” he said.

Reporting By Greg Torode and Michael Martina. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Satellite images reveal China’s aircraft carrier ‘factory,’ analysts say”

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’s Xi Says Those Trying to Split Any Part of China Will Be Crushed


In its report “Chinese President Xi Jinping warns that anyone trying to split any part of country will be crushed” on 13 October, SCMP quotes Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying to Nepel’s leader during his visit there, “Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones. And any external forces backing such attempts at dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming.”

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3032741/chinese-president-xi-jinping-warns-anyone-trying-split-any.


China’s J-20 Fighter May Have Entered Mass Production with Increased Deployment


Our Bureau 09:01 AM, October 14, 2019 14722

J-20 Stealth jet on ground @PLA

China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet may have entered mass-production following its induction into an “ace unit” of the People’s Liberation Army – Air Force (PLA-AF).

With the J-20 fighter jets, the ace unit, which enjoys the honor of shooting down or damaging 59 enemy aircraft, will be able to better perform their duties of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, Global Times quoted Shen Jinke, the spokesperson for the PLA –AF as saying Sunday.

In July this year, there were reports that the J-20 had been deployed to the country’s Eastern Theatre Command, which overseas Beijing’s muscle-flexing over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Last month, a formation of seven J-20s flew over Beijing in PLA-AF markings giving the clearest indication yet that the stealth jets, which Beijing considers a competitor to the US’ F-35, had completed its development program and was in active service with the nation’s air force.

China’s J-20 Stealth Jets flying in formation @Chinamil

The production number for the J-20s are not known but could run into hundreds over the next few years as China aims to retire older generation jets such as J-11 and stop imports of advanced jets from Russia.

While China considers the J-20 a match or more for the F-35, China’s closest adversary, Taiwan feels its recently ordered F-16V jets from the US are more than a match for the J-20, given their ability to network with other battlefield assets and their latest generation armaments.

Source: Defense World “China’s J-20 Fighter May Have Entered Mass Production with Increased Deployment”

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


China’s Nine-dash Line in South China Sea Internationally Accepted


Quartz.com says in its article “China’s controversial South China Sea map is entering pop culture thanks to US companies” that China’s claim on its rights and interests as clearly shown by the nine-dash line in map are “rejected internationally” despite the fact that only seven countries in the world do so; therefore, there is no surprise that US companies recognize and show the map with the nine-dash line.

Quartz is not happy about that but it can do nothing but describing US companies as China’s accomplice.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on qualtz.com’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://qz.com/1727522/chinas-illegal-south-china-sea-map-made-it-into-abominable/.