EurAsian Times’ report “Xi Jinping Asks Chinese PLA To Be Battle-Ready After India Bans More Chinese Mobile Apps” on November 26, 2020 shows its misunderstanding whether willful or not of China as it tries to make believe that China may launch a war against India after India bans more Chinese mobile apps.
In fact the recent tensions between India and China have entirely been created by India to please the US as India is now determined forge alliance with the US to contain China.
Previously, Reuters quotes Indian Prime Minister Modi in its report “ India’s Modi says border is secure after deadly clash with China” on June 20, 2020 as saying in a televised statement at an all-party meeting to discuss the border clash between India and China in June 2020 “Nobody has entered our borders or captured our posts,”
Obviously, the border clash resulting in death of 20 Indian soldiers was caused by Indian troops’ attack at Chinese troops in the China side of the line of actual contol. It was India’s intentional provocation to please the US.
China has lots of peaceful means to counter India’s bans. There is no need to fight a war for that. A mere diversion of water from the upper reach of India’s Ganges in China will make India suffer severely.
China’s military leaders almost always call their troops to be battle ready. That is the purpose to keep a military. It utterly has nothing to do with the current tensions with India or US provocations in the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on EurAsian Times report, full text of which can be viewed at https://eurasiantimes.com/xi-jinping-asks-chinese-pla-to-be-battle-ready-after-india-bans-more-chinese-mobile-apps/
Are Russia & China Taking A Lead From NATO & Working To Develop A Joint Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier?Posted: November 29, 2020
Published 9 hours ago on November 29, 2020
By Smriti Chaudhary
China and Russia’s common adversary, the US, has brought the two powers together and have cooperated by carrying out joint military drills and signing deals to jointly produce nuclear reactors. Could this joint effort culminate in the creation of an Aircraft Carrier alliance?
Reportedly, in June 2018, the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation was invited to Russia to bid on a nuclear-powered ice breaker project. According to a report in SCMP, the icebreaker will be 152 meters (500 feet) long, 30 meters wide with a displacement of 30,000 tonnes.
China currently has two aircraft carriers. CNS Liaoning, which was originally a Soviet-era vessel which is 67,500 tons, 999 feet long, and 246 feet across. CNS Shandong which is China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier was commissioned last year by President Xi Jinping. It can carry at least 36 J-15 fighter jets on its flight deck, unlike Liaoning which could carry only 24.
According to reports by the Chinese Navy, CNS Shandong displaces at least 50,000 metric tons of water. It has conventional propulsion systems and uses a ramp to launch J-15 fighter jets, the spearhead of China’s carriers, like CNS Liaoning. The ship also deploys several types of helicopters. “It features the advanced Type 346 S-band AESA radar system,” said a CSIS note on the vessel.
However, none of the Chinese carriers is nuclear powered. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) possesses nuclear-powered submarines but that same systems are not suitable for the aircraft carriers.
“China has strong naval building capabilities, but it is still very weak in nuclear miniaturization. So it can learn from Russia,” Beijing-based military expert Zhou Chenming told SCMP.
“Russia has the technology but no money, China has the money, but doesn’t have the technology. By working together China will move a step closer to one day launching a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.”
Russia started building nuclear icebreakers long before China. The Soviet Union started by experimenting on the icebreakers in the 1950s and brought the nuclear system to its carrier in 1988. Till that time, it already had five nuclear-powered ice breakers that also require high power like the aircraft carriers.
However, before it could complete its first carrier, the Soviet Union collapsed. “China really needs a more powerful, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to catapult its superheavy carrier-based fighter jet, the J-15,” Naval expert Li Jie told SCMP.
China expects to operate at least five aircraft carriers including the country’s first two nuclear-powered ones that would likely be launched around 2025, reported Chinese state media, Global Times.
Citing military experts, the report further said that the third carrier, which will likely use an electromagnetic catapult, will go further into open seas and lay the foundation for the operations of two nuclear-powered carriers to protect China’s global interests.
China plans to have four conventionally powered carriers before having fifth and sixth nuclear-powered carriers, which will be reached by 2030-35.
As reported earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin has displayed his intent developing a military alliance between Russia and China, akin to the western military alliance like NATO. While China has no other option, besides Russia to jointly create the aircraft carrier, the alliance, if established, seems like an imminent danger to the country with the world’s mightiest Navy, the US.
Source: EurAsian Times “Are Russia & China Taking A Lead From NATO & Working To Develop A Joint Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier?”
Note: This is EurAsian Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
By Alfred Chua28 November 2020
Comac has received the type inspection authorisation for its C919 narrowbody programme, paving the way for final flight testing and certification.
The authorisation — issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on 27 November — means that the aircraft design has been finalised and verified, and that no major changes can be made to its structure.
Comac C919 during its first flight in 2017 c Creative Commons
Source: Creative Commons
Comac is hoping to deliver its first C919 in 2021.
The Chinese airframer also hopes to receive the C919’s airworthiness certificate from the CAAC by next year, allowing it to commence deliveries to Chinese carriers. The launch customer for the type will be Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines.
Comac states that its fleet of six C919 prototypes are currently in various parts of China — including in Nanchang in Jiangxi province, Xilinhot in Inner Mongolia, as well as in Yanliang in Shaanxi province — conducting certification test flights.
Moving forward, it notes that the test fleet will carry out “more intensive flight test missions” on its path towards certification.
The authorisation marks a new chapter for the narrowbody programme, which Comac hopes will compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 family. FlightGlobal previously reported in 2019 that the programme timeline had moved to the right by about a year, from an original service entry timeframe of 2020-2021, to 2021-2022.
Cirium fleets data shows that there are 305 firm orders for the C919. Comac has also secured more than 700 commitments for the CFM International Leap-1C-powered aircraft.
Source: flightglobal.com “Comac C919 enters final flight test stage”
Note: This is flightglobal.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
The finding is reported by SCMP in “Coronavirus hunters pick up another piece of the trail in Italy” on Nov. 17, 2020. The report says, “New research suggests the pathogen infected people across the country (Italy) months before it was detected in China.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can befound at Coronavirus hunters pick up another piece of the trail in Italy | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)
According to SCMP’s report “US and Taiwan promote alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative”, US and Taiwan will raise funds for infrastructure projects in developing countries from private business entities and investors in order to counter China’s Belt and Route initiative (BRI).
That is a move due to complete misunderstanding of China’s BRI. China’s BRI aims at win-win cooperation with poor country in order to help them develop their economy and lift their people out of poverty. True, there will be geopolitical consequence to make China popular in the countries BRI has invested, but that will but be a byproduct. The gains China pursues are economic for China as a country. When the countries BRI has invested have grown rich, the market for China’s cheap goods will grow substantially.
Therefore BRI is not exclusive. All other countries are welcome to make investments where China invests. When the countries and regions grow rich, China as the world’s factory will be most benefited while the US and Taiwan that mainly produce products of higher technology have to waite till those countries and regions have grown rich enough to afford their expensive products.
Therefore, US and Taiwan’s investment will not counter but instead facilitate China’s BRI.
Moreover, US and Taiwan’s funds will be raised from entities and investors that pursue adequate return to their investment. BRI mainly invest in poor countries with unstable political situation. The infrastructure projects there are mostly quite risky so that private investoers dare not invest. China’s BRI is not focused on the return of a specific investment but on the economic growth all its investmetns in the area may bring about as a whole.
Moreove, even if China has lost what it has invested, it may be satisfied that the money has been spent to make China popular instead of purchase of US government bonds to fund development of US military to contain China.
Are the private investors from who the US and Taiwan have raised fund willing to suffer such losses?
There has been too much misunderstanding of China resulting in quite a few stupid moves. I believe it’s time for me to write a series of books to help people understand China.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3111622/us-and-taiwan-promote-alternative-chinas-belt-and-road.
H-20 could alter the strategic calculus between the US and China by exposing US bases and fleets to surprise air attacks
By DAVE MAKICHUK
December 27, 2020
Just when things were not going well for the Pentagon, vis-a-vis China’s rapid military growth, US planners now have to rethink the entire scenario.
There’s a new kid on the block, and “he” is terrifying.
It involves China’s new H-20 stealth bomber, which is believed to have a range of up to 7,500 miles, the UK’s Sun reported.
Analysts believe that would easily bring Hawaii — 6,000 miles away — into reach in chilling echoes of the 1941 attack by the Japanese, making it a “truly intercontinental” threat.
According to the South China Morning Post, which cited a London-based Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies report, the state-of-the-art H-20 can carry a massive weapons payload of 45 tonnes and fly great distances without mid-air refuelling.
The 630 mph war machine is still under development, according to the leading think tank, but the Pentagon fears one day it will be able to target US overseas territories such as Guam, The Sun reported.
“Armed with nuclear and conventional stand-off missiles, the H-20 would represent a major break from previous PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) doctrine and equipment development practice,” it reads.
The PLAAF is designed to be a regional force capable of missions on the first island chain – ranging from the Kuril Islands to Japan and onto the Philippines, The Sun reported.
“The H-20, by contrast, would give China a truly intercontinental power-projection capability,” the report said.
Plans for the H-20 were first announced in 2016 and the nuclear bomber may be ready to enter service in five years.
The “strategic bomber,” which was likely modelled after the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, was designed to penetrate anti-aircraft defences and drop devastating nuclear payloads.
Reports have said the H-20 will be able to deliver a payload of 45 tonnes, including nukes, and fire hypersonic cruise missiles.
Importantly, the Hong-20 will also complete the country’s so-called “nuclear triad,” The Sun reported.
This consists of ground-based ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and the long-range nuclear-capable bombers.
While the H-20 still remains mysterious to a large degree, it may not at all come close to rivaling the Air Force’s new B-21 Sky Raider, National Interest reported.
Quoting “military sources,” a report from The New Zealand Herald said the new and still somewhat mysterious H-20 bomber was to make its first public appearance at this year’s cancelled Zhuhai Airshow.
The New Zealand report also said the new supersonic stealth bomber could “double” China’s strike range.
If the H-20 does have the range and passable stealth characteristics attributed to it, it could alter the strategic calculus between the United States and China by exposing US bases and fleets across the Pacific to surprise air attacks, National Interest reported.
Strategic bombers make sense for China because Beijing perceives dominance of the western half of the Pacific Ocean as essential for its security due to its history of maritime invasion, and the challenge posed by the United States in particular.
The two superpowers are separated by five to six thousand miles of ocean — and the United States has spent the last century developing a network of island territories such as Guam, foreign military bases in East Asia and super-carriers with which it can project air and sea power across that span, National Interest reported.
Source: Asia Times “China’s new H-20 stealth bomber could hit Pearl Harbor: analysts”
Note: This is Asia Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Pakistan’s surprise move to declare contested Gilgit-Baltistan region a province will irk India and please China
By FM SHAKIL
NOVEMBER 25, 2020
PESHAWAR – In the run-up to recent local elections, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced he had granted “provisional” provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, a semi-autonomous state that India also claims as part of the disputed region of Kashmir.
Khan’s designation was declared soon after a closed-door meeting in September between the Pakistan army’s top brass and opposition parliamentarians, and has raised widespread speculation that China tacitly supported the potentially explosive announcement.
Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed and other senior military generals apparently advised opposition leaders on the decision, which threatens to spike tensions and possibly armed conflict with India.
Significantly, most of those who met the military’s leadership are part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which is currently spearheading a campaign against the military’s outsized role in politics under Khan’s elected administration.
While Khan’s announcement, made on November 1, did not indicate a timeframe for formally establishing Gilgit-Baltistan into a Pakistani province, potentially the nation’s fifth, the move would help to secure the US$60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through the heart of the disputed region.
How India will respond is a wild card, but analysts suggest New Delhi could opt for new ceasefire-breaking surgical strikes in the territory as it did in September 2016 across the Line of Control in Kashmir, then reputedly to hit militant launch pads.
A future strike, however, would likely be on Pakistani security forces as they move to consolidate Islamabad’s control on the territory.
Khan’s governing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party is now poised to form a government in Gilgit-Baltistan after outpacing the main opposition Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) at November 15 local polls.
Opposition politicians have since said that the issue should have been tabled and deliberated in parliament before making what they say is a hasty decision to change Gilgit-Baltistan’s status, a move some see as a counter to India’s August 2019 withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Critics say that the top brass meeting with opposition leaders, just weeks before Khan’s formal announcement, shows that the “deep state” was pulling strings from behind the scenes and that Khan’s civilian government is fronting a military-devised design. Significantly, the military is leading the China-backed, multi-billion dollar CPEC.
Predictably, India rejected Pakistan’s designation, claiming it was an attempt by Islamabad to hide its “illegal” occupation of the territory. Indian media reports have suggested that China has pushed Pakistan to integrate the region and thus consolidate Beijing’s foothold in the contested region.
Those reports have suggested Islamabad can not likely resist Beijing’s pressure at a time it seeks to roll over a $3 billion Chinese trade finance facility that Khan’s government uses to repay maturing debts.
If China does not extend the financial facility when it expires, the reports suggest, Pakistan would find it extremely difficult to repay the sum, both because of the nation’s dire finances and current poor relations with traditional rich patrons in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Selig Seidenman Harrison, an Asia scholar with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a senior fellow at the Center of International Policy and expert on South Asian affairs, has noted in his research that anywhere between 7,000 to 11,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel have been stationed in Gilgit-Baltistan to construct railroads, the Karakoram Highway, dams, expressways and other infrastructure projects.
Harrison has written in the past that China plans to extend its hold in Gilgit-Baltistan to develop unhindered road and rail access to oil-rich Gulf States via Pakistan, thereby bypassing sea routes that could potentially be blocked in a conflict with the United States.
His academic assessments have noted that Chinese oil tankers currently take 16 to 25 days to reach the Gulf, but that the travel time would be reduced to just 48 hours with the completion of high-speed rail and road links that connect Chinese-built Pakistani ports at Gwadar and elsewhere through Gilgit-Baltistan to western China.
Harrison also previously reported in the New York Times on 22 tunnels constructed by China in secretive locations in Gilgit-Baltistan that even Pakistani soldiers reputedly are barred from accessing. He has suggested that the tunnels may serve as “missile storage sites” while also providing for a gas pipeline connecting Iran to China designed to cross the Himalayas through Gilgit-Baltistan.
Harrison’s initial reports on China’s involvement in Gilgit-Baltistan were published before the birth of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the CPEC. China’s vision for the region has taken clearer shape as BRI and CPEC projects have come into view.
China has so far invested over $30 billion in energy, rail, road and early harvest projects across the country, with another $30 billion reportedly on the way. Beijing has also earmarked investment funds for Gilgit-Baltistan’s power sector, including $8.5 billion to build the world’s tallest roller compact dam, known as Diamer-Bhasha.
The dam, scheduled to produce 4,500 MW of power for the national grid, will have a 200-square kilometer reservoir that will flood as much as 100 kilometers of irrigated agricultural land and at least 32 villages, displacing untold thousands of people.
The future of China’s massive investments in Pakistan depends on political stability in Gilgit-Baltistan, which is adjacent to China’s restive Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region where it holds over a million ethnic Uighurs in controversial camps.
Compared to the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan and Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan is less restive. However, the region has witnessed serious sectarian strife in the past, with local Sunni militants carrying out numerous attacks on the predominantly Shiite population.
Other local groups have taken aim specifically at China’s activities and projects in the semi-autonomous territory. The Balwaristan National Front, a nationalist force agitating for Gilgit-Baltistan independence, has organized several protests against the CPEC and Pakistani authorities.
Those threats could explain why China would prefer for Islamabad to take firmer control of the territory by making it a formal province. Indeed, if the CPEC proceeds smoothly in Gilgit-Baltistan the new infrastructure could greatly reduce China’s costs of trade.
A study on the CPEC’s potential cost-saving impacts on trade, jointly authored by Pakistani and Chinese experts, shows that the once related projects are completed the average transport cost of a 40-foot shipping container between China’s Kashgar and Europe would fall by $1,350 (32.9%) and $1,450 (41.4%) to the Middle East.
Other strategic analysts suggest that the unexpected explosion of China-India border tensions in May this year, resulting in an ongoing military standoff, has amplified Gilgit-Baltistan’s strategic importance while stirring Indian apprehensions of a possible two-front war in the high mountain region.
The battlefield in Ladakh where 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in June along the contested region’s Line of Actual Control is a mere 173 kilometers away from Gilgit-Baltistan, where thousands of PLA soldiers are deployed for building roads, rails and dams and where Pakistan now has an eye on creating its fifth province.
Source: Asia Times “China quietly fuels India and Pakistan’s next conflict”
Note: This is Asia Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
China remains 80th in global index, but survey suggests Xi Jinping’s eight-year drive to root out corruption is having an effect on perceptions
Helen Davidson in Taipei, and Rebecca Ratcliffe in Bangkok
Tue 24 Nov 2020 07.00 GMT Last modified on Tue 24 Nov 2020 07.02 GMT
Almost two thirds of people in China believe corruption has decreased in their country in the past year, with more than 80% saying the government has done a good job in combatting it, a new report has said.
The report from Transparency International was based on surveys of almost 20,000 people across 17 Asian countries, asking about their perceptions of, and experiences with, corruption in the past 12 months.
It found almost one in five respondents across Asia – or about 886 million people – reported paying a bribe or using personal connections to access services. The most likely service to involve bribery was the police, followed by the courts.
“Surprisingly, while most citizens consider corruption a big problem in their countries, they still voice positive support for the actions taken,” the report said.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, took office in 2012 pledging to drive out corruption and subsequently launched an unprecedented campaign to weed out “tigers and flies”.
Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has seen the investigation and punishment of millions of officials, as well as accusations that it has been used to get rid of political opponents.
It has had little effect on China’s place in Transparency International’s global corruption index – the country ranked 80th in 2020, and consistently scores around 40/100. However, it appears to have encouraged the general population, 84% of whom told Transparency International the government was doing well in tackling corruption.
In Beijing, an IT business owner named Chen told the Guardian he felt government officials were “much more well behaved than before”, and believed the improvements were due to internal government reporting systems.
The positive findings from China, as well as similar reports from Cambodia and the Philippines, went against a general trend across Asia, where 66% of people thought corruption had worsened or stayed the same .
Almost three in four respondents believed corruption remained a major problem, and only in Myanmar (50%) and Cambodia (30%) did half of respondents or less think that wasn’t the case. Respondents from Cambodia also believed corruption had decreased, but also reported one of the highest rates of bribery.
Nepal and Thailand had the highest rate of people who believed corruption was on the rise – 58% and 55% respectively. In Thailand, the vast majority of respondents – seven in 10 – said they had little or no trust in the government of Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Prayuth, a former army general, first took power in a 2014 coup, stating such action was needed to stamp out corruption and restore order. Yet his government has been dogged by allegations of abuse of power.
Anger over corruption is one of the drivers behind the escalating pro-democracy protests that have shaken Thailand for more than four months. High-profile scandals – such as the mishandling of a hit-and-run case involving the heir to the Red Bull fortune – have reinforced a perception that members of the country’s powerful establishment are free to act with impunity. Protesters argue that no one should be above the law – not even King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is protected by harsh defamation laws.
Among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Thailand fared worst for citizens’ trust in institutions such as the government, the courts and the police.
Transparency Internationals’s report also found 24% of people across the 17 Asian nations who had paid bribes said they did so because they were asked, while another 30% believed they wouldn’t have received service without using personal connections.
“This suggests that people are paying bribes to speed up essential services, highlighting red tape and inefficient bureaucracy, while pushing those without the means at their disposal to the back of the queue,” the report said.
Kevin, an IT worker in Hangzhou, China, told the Guardian there were fewer opportunities for graft now, but “in the past, regular people complained that it took money to deal with their citizen affairs”.
Thai respondents – as well as Malaysian and Indonesian – were among the most likely to report that they, or someone they knew, had experienced extortion when accessing a government service.
Additional reporting by Lillian Yang
Source: The Guardian “Most people in China believe corruption falling, says Transparency International”
Note: This is The Guardian’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
By Chanel Zagon
8:09am Nov 25, 2020
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has defended his trade agreement with China, claiming it was in the state’s best interest to export product to larger markets.
The premier signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s National Development and Reform Commission to support the $1.5 trillion Belt and Road Initiative in 2018, making Victoria the only government in the country to do so.
The agreement has long been controversial, with the Federal Government consistently sceptical about China’s motives.
However, Mr Andrews told Today “diplomatic issues” between Australia and China should not get in the way of trade agreements.
“I am focused on getting as much product out of Victoria into big markets,” he said.
“There is no bigger market than China. There will be differences.
“You have to separate out these diplomatic issues where you can from our trading.
“It is in our interest to have more product going to China and Europe and our Asian countries.”
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton previously described the Belt and Road agreement as a “propaganda initiative from China”.
“Victoria needs to explain why it is the only state in the country that has entered into this agreement,” he said.
Mr Andrews today said the “status of those agreements” with sister cities was a matter for the Commonwealth and Parliament.
‘Now is the time to borrow and build’
Despite a projected deficit of more than $23 billion revealed in the 2020-21 State Budget, Mr Andrews insisted the government’s record spending spree was necessary in order to repair and rebuild the state’s economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The premier claimed the government had followed the advice of the Reserve Bank, being “borrow now and build”.
“The Governor of the Reserve Bank makes it very clear, now is the time to borrow – borrowing costs are at all time lows,” he said.
“Hard working ordinary Victorians are waking up today to see a Budget that is massive in size and scale because that’s the task that we have.
“Creating jobs, a sense of optimism, a sense of confidence, repairing that damage. It is also people-focused.
“It is a Budget that puts people first and deals with the pain and the damage that has been done.
“Not just so that we can repair that but set us up to be fairer and stronger for the future.”
Source: 9news.com.au “Premier Daniel Andrews defends Belt and Road agreement with China”
Note: This is 9news.com.au’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.