No US Leadership Even in the West


According to Reuters’ report “’The West is winning,’ U.S. tells China; France wary” US Secretary of State claims that there is no crisis in Western leadership at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 15, 2020 despite the troubles caused to Europeans by U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America first”, ambivalence over the NATO military alliance and tariffs on European goods.

French President Emmanuel Macron said at the conference of international leaders, lawmakers and diplomats “We cannot be the United States’ junior partner” i.e. Europeans do not regard the US as their leader. In addition, he said that while he supported NATO, Europe needed to be able to tackle threats in its neighborhood and at times act independently of Washington.

In fact US President Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord have undermined European priorities. His recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have weakened European diplomacy.

Europe differs from the US on so many major issues so that it is impossible for Europe to regard the US as its leader.

Macron would not even follow the US’s defiance against Russia but advocates dialogue with Russia.

The report says “Macron said the West’s policy of defiance toward Russia in recent years had failed and, as nobody wanted to confront Moscow directly, the only option was to have a closer dialogue to resolve differences.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke immediately after Pompeo and focused his remarks on accusing China through his lies about China’s telecommunications firm Huawei.

However, Britain has said that it would allow Huawei a limited role in building its 5G network while the EU would not ban Huawei. Pompeo and Esper’s speeches merely proved that there is no US leadership even in the West, let alone world leadership.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-security/the-west-is-winning-u-s-tells-china-france-wary-idUSKBN20908M.


Uh-Oh, France Proved That America’s F-22 Stealth Fighter Can Be Shot Down


What does this mean for America’s top dogfighter?

by David Axe December 17, 2019

Follow @daxe on Twitter

Key Point: And the 2009 war game would not be the last to result in “dead” Raptors.

Past evidence seems to confirm that a French fighter pilot once “killed” an American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter in mock combat.

Although not unprecedented, the simulated shoot-down is still a big deal for a couple reasons.

For one, the Lockheed Martin-made F-22 is supposed to be the most fearsome warplane in history, a quarter-billion-dollar-per-plane technological marvel that flies higher and faster than its opponents while avoiding detection by radar. The Pentagon is counting on a tiny number of the pricey Raptors — slightly more than 180 — to ward off potentially much larger numbers of enemy planes for the foreseeable future. Every mock dogfight the F-22 loses undermines the Pentagon’s plans for air dominance.

Plus, the French still have a totally undeserved reputation in non-French military circles for battlefield incompetence — one based mostly on a bad reading of World War II history. That a French pilot could defeat an F-22 speaks volumes about the Raptor’s limitations … and about French air-combat prowess seven decades after Paris’ surrender to Nazi Germany.

The French victory over the F-22 occurred in November 2009. A squad of F-22s from the Air Force’s 1st Fighter Wing in Virginia flew to Al Dhafra, in the UAE, to train with French air force Rafale fighters and Typhoon jets from the British Royal Air Force.

The following month, the French Ministry of Defense released video captures from a Rafale’s forward-facing camera showing an F-22 in a disadvantageous dogfighting position, implying the French plane had won at least one round of pretend fighting.

But the American pilots insisted their planes had gone undefeated against the French during the November exercise — that, in fact, the F-22s had “shot down” Rafales in six one-on-one engagements. Five other simulated battles ended in draws, the Americans said. The U.S. pilots copped to just one loss in the war game — an F-22 defeated by a Mirage 2000 flown by an Emirati aviator.

But a video posted by a French Website on June 18 proves that the Americans were lying — or at least incorrect. The video from the Rafale’s camera clearly shows the French plane maneuvering into a good position to launch an infrared-guided Mica missile against a defending F-22.

To be fair, it’s unclear what scenario the jets were playing out: whether, for instance, the F-22 started out slower and lower in order to let the Rafale gain the advantage for training purposes. Nevertheless, the video shows that the Rafale, a decade older and less sophisticated compared to the F-22, can be roughly comparable to the Raptor when maneuvering at low speed during close combat.

Even before the Emirati and French wins in 2009, the Americans knew the F-22 could be beaten, although they rarely mentioned this uncomfortable fact. During the Raptor’s first-ever major air exercise in 2006, an Air Force F-16 most likely dating from the 1980s managed to “kill” an F-22. A Navy Growler jet,designed to jam enemy radars, repeated the feat in 2008 or early 2009.

No matter how magical the F-22, any pilot can make a mistake,” admitted Lt. Col. Dirk Smith, a Raptor squadron commander.

Recommended: The 5 Biggest Nuclear Bomb Tests (From All 6 Nuclear Powers).

And the 2009 war game would not be the last to result in “dead” Raptors. In June 2012 a contingent of German pilots (flying the same new Typhoon fighters as the British) figured out the best tactics for shooting down the F-22.

Eight times during a two-week war game in Alaska, individual German Typhoons flew against single F-22s in basic fighter maneuvers meant to simulate close-range dogfights. “We were evenly matched,” German Maj. Marc Gruene told Combat Aircraft.

The key, Gruene said, was to get as close as possible to the powerful F-22 … and stay there. “They didn’t expect us to turn so aggressively.”

Gruene said the Raptor excels at fighting from beyond visual range with its high speed and altitude, high-tech radar and long-range missiles. But in a slower, close tangle — what pilots call a “merge” — the heavier F-22 is at a disadvantage. “As soon as you get to the merge … the Typhoon doesn’t necessarily have to fear the F-22,” Gruene said.

Neither does the 30-year-old American F-16, a Navy jamming plane or the 1990s-vintage Rafale — flown by a Frenchman! The worrying implication, of course, is that Chinese, Russian and other rival planes also need not worry about America’s main jet fighter.

This first appeared several years ago.

Source: National Interest “Uh-Oh, France Proved That America’s F-22 Stealth Fighter Can Be Shot Down”

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.


France will not exclude China’s Huawei from 5G rollout: minister


November 25, 2019 / 11:16 PM / Updated 17 hours ago

PARIS (Reuters) – France will not follow the United States and exclude China’s Huawei from its next-generation 5G network, but will have the power to vet all equipment makers for any potential security threat, a minister said on Monday.

French telecoms regulator Arcep kicked off the long-awaited sale of 5G spectrum on Thursday, ending months of intense debate between the country’s telecoms operators and authorities on how to best deploy the new ultra-fast mobile internet technology.

We do not target one equipment maker,” Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told BFM Business television on Monday. “There is no exclusion.”

There are three equipment makers active in France. Huawei has a 25% market share, there is also Nokia and Ericsson. Samsung is not active yet in France but is interested by 5G,” said Pannier-Runacher.

The government will not exclude anyone. We are not following the position of the United States,” she added. “We will proceed on a case by case basis

Telecoms operators will have to seek permission from the prime minister for their 5G network projects, and receive clearance based on national security considerations.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Pravin Char

Source: Reuters “France will not exclude China’s Huawei from 5G rollout: minister”

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-France Win-win Cooperation Leaves US Isolated in Trade War


SCMP says in its report “Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron send a message to the world”, “As well as signing trade and investment deals worth billions of dollars, the Chinese and French presidents vowed to uphold multilateralism and free trade in the face of US protectionism.

Macron’s visit is a follow-up of Xi’s successful visit to France in May to form a united front in China’s trade war with the US. Lucky for China,last month the US imposed US$7.5 billion in tariffs on goods from the European Union to strengthen China-EU united front against the US.

Moreover EU is upset that on November 5, the US began its formal withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord that EU regards as very important for world’s well-being.

As the US is isolated, China is able to stand firm in its trade war with the US while the US could not but accept a partial agreement that it previously firmly rejected.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3036691/french-president-emmanuel-macrons-visit-china-was-success-more.


Macron says Europe-China climate cooperation ‘decisive’


Marine Pennetier

November 5, 2019 / 8:42 AM / Updated 2 hours ago

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Cooperation between Europe and China on reducing climate-warming emissions will be “decisive”, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, after the Trump administration filed paperwork to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping hold a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris, France, March 26, 2019. Thibault Camus/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

The U.S. move is the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change, part of a broader strategy by Trump to reduce red tape on American industry.

But it comes at a time scientists and many world governments are urging rapid action to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.

China and France pledged at this year’s G20 summit to “update” their contributions against climate change beyond their current ones to reflect “their highest possible ambition”.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement encourages countries to make stronger pledges if they are able to do so.

Speaking in Shanghai at a major trade fair, just after a keynote address by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Macron said commitments will need to be enhanced.

If we want to be in compliance with the Paris agreement, we will need next year to enhance our commitments to reduce emissions, and we must confirm new commitments for 2030 and 2050,” he said.

The cooperation between China and the European Union in this respect is decisive,” Macron added. “Next year, we need, in the agenda of enhancement, to be collectively up to the task.”

Speaking to reporters earlier, a French presidential office official expressed regret at the U.S. move, and said Macron and Xi will reaffirm their commitment to the Paris agreement.

We regret this and this only makes the Franco-Chinese partnership on the climate and biodiversity more necessary,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

The text that will be signed tomorrow includes a paragraph on the irreversibility of the Paris agreement.”

Macron and Xi are due to hold a formal meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

China aims to bring emissions to a peak by “around 2030” and raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its total energy mix to 20% by the end of the next decade, up from 15% in 2020.

The United States is the first country to say it will withdraw from the deal, but 10 other countries have failed to ratify it, including Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Lincoln Feast and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Source: Reuters “Macron says Europe-China climate cooperation ‘decisive’”

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 Losing Its European Allies in Its Trade War with China


Reuters report “In China, Macron wants to take Beijing ‘at its word’ on free trade” tells us that China has given Europe “its word” on opening its markets to Europe. Its invitation of Macron to attend China’s giant import fair precisely proves its sincerity to honor its word. As a result Europe will get what the US is fighting a trade war to obtain. The US suffers bitterly the harm caused by its trade war and is still unsure whether it can get what it wants while its European allies are getting what it wants without joining its fight. That will certainly upset the US but what can it do?

China has thus successfully sowed discord between the US and its European allies.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-france/in-china-macron-wants-to-take-beijing-at-its-word-on-free-trade-idUSKBN1XD07N.


‘Belt and Road’ – An appeal to the world


(The Philippine Star)

April 11, 2019 – 12:00am

To date, 124 countries and 29 international organizations have signed Belt and Road Initiative agreements with China.

BEIJING (Xinhua) — Despite the disruptions from growing protectionism and unilateralism, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has showed a stronger appeal with the potential to benefit both developing and developed economies.

To date, 124 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation agreements with China.

France has agreed to jointly promote BRI-related third-party market cooperation with China, while Italy and China have signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly advancing the initiative.

China-Europe freight trains, an artery of international trade, now link 59 cities in China with 50 cities in 15 European countries, with the cumulative number of trips reaching 14,000 by the end of February.

The latest studies by the World Bank and other international institutions suggest that the BRI cooperation will cut the costs of global trade by 1.1 to 2.2 percent and will contribute at least 0.1 percent of global growth in 2019.

As the global economic outlook, especially trade growth, has been on a slowdown trend, the BRI has no doubt added much-needed certainty to the world economy by advancing globalization in a manner that is more open, inclusive and balanced.

More than ever before, the world needs to enhance connectivity to jointly incubate new growth engines and address the problem of unbalanced development.

For developed economies, more active involvement in the BRI will definitely allow them to better tap into the Chinese market that is seeking consumption upgrading and therefore boost their homeland manufacturing.

Moreover, they can cash in on China’s development opportunities in a myriad of sectors, as modern trade routes under the BRI will boost the flow of not only merchandises but also services, especially those concerning environmental protection, financing, laws, logistics and other spheres where developed countries have advantages.

The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is scheduled to open in Beijing in late April. Representatives from over 100 countries, including about 40 leaders of governments, have confirmed their attendance.

Launched in 2013, the initiative is just starting out, and there is a lot more the world can accomplish by seeking to boost shared growth through discussion and collaboration.

Source: Philstar “‘Belt and Road’ – An appeal to the world”

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