Category: Kings of the East

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

War has erupted in Asia.  India is the second largest country in the world by population, and Pakistan is the fifth largest, and they both possess large nuclear arsenals.  If this conflict continues to escalate, things could get really, really bad very quickly.  On Wednesday, military aircraft were shot down by both sides, there was shelling across the border by both armies, and in recent hours videos have been posted of Pakistani tanks and Indian tanks both heading to the border.  Once one army crosses the “Line of Control”, it is going to be very difficult to get the two sides to sit down at the negotiating table.  War is one of the elements of “the perfect storm” that I have been warning you about, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the conflict that we are going to see in 2019.

The Pakistani military was greatly embarrassed by the successful Indian airstrikes on Monday, and on Tuesday military aircraft from both sides were shot down

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

When the Indian pilot that was shot down was discovered by locals in Pakistan, they started beating the living daylights out of him.  The following comes from the Mirror

The brief clip shows the cameraman approach a group of people huddled around the stricken pilot in what appears to be a small creek.

The pilot, whose arms are being held above his head, is struck in the face twice before being kicked in the back of the head, with someone behind him appearing to attempt to knee him.

The Pakistani military was able to rescue the pilot from the locals, and they are now holding him in a detention facility.

In addition to airstrikes, it is being reported that both armies “have been shelling across the LoC (Line of Control)”.  Needless to say, a lot of civilians that live along the border are really freaked out, and on the Indian side of the border a total of 14,000 bunkers are hastily being constructed to give concerned citizens some shelter.

Most westerners don’t really think of India and Pakistan as prominent global military powers, but the truth is that they both have very large standing armies.  And at this point India is allocating even more money than the UK toward military spending…

India, home to 1.3 billion people, has a conventional army of about 1.4 million soldiers. Pakistan, with a population of over 200 million people, has about 650,000 troops. Both countries have spent billions developing conventional arms. Last year, Pakistan spent about $11 billion or about 3.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. India meanwhile allocated about $58 billion, or 2.1 percent of its GDP on defense, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. India’s ballooning military spending has propelled it to the world’s fifth-biggest defense spender, surpassing the United Kingdom, according to the IISS.

But the big concern is that this crisis could go nuclear.

If India and Pakistan fought a war and it stayed strictly conventional, the rest of the world would probably not be affected too much.

However, it is being reported that India and Pakistan both “possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each”, and if such weapons are actually used the global impact would be “devastating”…

Both India and Pakistan are believed to possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each and have conducted atomic weapon tests. Both countries have test-fired nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan also has refused to renounce a first-strike option with its atomic bombs should it feel outgunned in a conventional war. It takes less than four minutes for a missile fired from Pakistan to reach India. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns that “computer models have predicted that the physical impacts of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or even a single strike on a large city, would be devastating and would reverberate throughout the world.”

Approximately one out of every five people on the entire planet lives in either India or Pakistan.

So the death toll in a nuclear conflict between these two nations could result in a death toll that would be unimaginable.

And let us not forget that it looks like the U.S. is about to enter another new war as well.  In an article that I posted yesterday, I discussed the fact that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has just accused the United States of shipping troops to Colombia and Puerto Rico in preparation for an invasion of Venezuela.  China has come out very strongly against western military intervention in Venezuela, and the Russians already have special forces there.

If someone makes the wrong move, it could end up sparking World War 3.

We are living in one of the most pivotal times in all of human history, and most people don’t even realize it.

If India backs down, Pakistan will probably be willing to go to the negotiating table.  But if India’s tanks cross the Line of Control, Pakistan may feel forced to resort to using nukes because they can’t match India’s military strength, and then all hell could break loose.

Similarly, if the U.S. backs down and doesn’t arm the opposition in Venezuela, there probably won’t be a bloody war in that nation.  But if the U.S. arms the opposition and decides to invade on top of that, it is going to unleash a series of negative consequences that we will not be able to control.

Critical decisions are being made right now that are going to greatly alter our future, and let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9659

Pakistan says it shot down 2 Indian warplanes, shut down its airspace

By Edmund DeMarche | Fox News

Tensions between two of the world’s nuclear powers were raised dramatically Wednesday after Pakistan’s air force said it shot down two Indian warplanes that crossed the disputed Kashmir border and captured each of the aircraft’s pilots.

Police officials in Indian-occupied Kashmir told Reuters two Indian pilots and a civilian on the ground died when the planes crashed. The officials did not confirm the planes were shot down by Pakistani forces.

Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, also claimed an Indian plane shot down a Pakistani fighter jet — although Pakistan denied any of its jets had been hit and photographic evidence had yet to emerge.

The Pakistani official said one of the Indian planes crashed in the Pakistani part of Kashmir and the other went down in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told the Associated Press one of the pilots was injured and was being treated in a military hospital. He did not elaborate on the pilot’s injuries. Ghafoor said the other pilot was in custody.

News sites out of Pakistan posted unconfirmed pictures and videos of one of the pilots who appeared blindfolded and with a bloody nose. Pakistan’s information ministry also tweeted out apparent footage of one of the downed Indian jets as well as a message congratulating the Pakistan Air Force.

A senior Indian police officer said earlier that an Indian Air Force plane crashed in the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. No information about injuries or deaths was immediately available.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said later it closed its airspace to all commercial flights as tensions with India escalated.

Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month.

Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi told the Associated Press he had no information on Wednesday’s incident.

Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month. (AP)

In a televised address, Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, warned against further escalation between the two countries.

“If we let it happen, it will remain neither in my nor [Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi’s control,” he said.

Referring to air strikes by Pakistan earlier Wednesday, he said Pakistan had been obliged to respond to Tuesday’s action by India.

“Our action is just to let them know that just like they intruded into our territory, we are also capable of going into their territory.”

Sushma Swaraj, the Indian foreign minister, said India “does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.”

Residents on both sides of the de-facto frontier, the so-called Line of Control, said there were exchanges of fire between the two sides through the night. In Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, hundreds of villagers have fled border towns.

The airport in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, was closed in what was described as a “temporary and precautionary measure,” an Indian official told the Associated Press.

Asian News International reported that commercial flights between Indian and Pakistani airspace are affected. Its report said Pakistan immediately stopped domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9649

Japanese Government Declares Push For Rapid Militarization In Preparation For Conflict With China

By Andrew Bieszad on January 17, 2019 in Featured, General

Japan has wanted to return to militarism for years, only being restrained by the post-World War II shackles imposed upon them by the US. Now that President Trump has been removing them more so than any president before, Japan is doing exactly what Ted and I warned she would, which is rapidly push for militarism. In a recent statement, Japan explicitly stated this, and while she would not say which nation she was preparing for conflict with, US sources confirm that it is without any surprise China:

Most Japanese military officials won’t name the potential adversary that has spurred rapid Japanese modernization across its ground, maritime and air Self Defense Forces, in a nod to sensitive diplomatic relations.

But it’s not Russia that has spurred Japan’s recent commitment to purchase up to 147 F-35s, or moved Japan to produce the country’s first aircraft carrier since World War II. It’s not North Korea that’s caused Japan to rapidly train, for the first time ever, an amphibious assault brigade to seize or retake the Senkaku Islands to its southwest if they have to.

It’s China. But among many U.S. and Japanese military officials in Japan, it’s “a competitor,” or “that country.”

“We have some weakness to defending Japan, especially on the southwest islands,” Maj. Gen. Shinichi Aoki, commander that Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, said. “So that’s why our Self Defense Force is now trying to set up a strong posture toward that country.”

Japan’s new amphibious rapid deployment brigade has 2,100 troops now and is on track to have more than 3,000 trained by March, Aoki told Military Times during a December visit to Okinawa.

The surge comes amid an intensifying internal discussion in Japan on what types of capabilities are allowed under Japan’s constitution, which “renounce[s] war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” By literal reading it seems to forbid Japan from maintaining forces at all, but in the 1950s Japan determined self-defense only was allowed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling LDP party have pushed for a rewrite of that Article 9 clause to wording that says the Self Defense Forces are constitutional. But Japan’s constitution has never been amended, and political analysts who spoke with Military Times and other visiting reporters in Japan through a trip sponsored by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA said it was unlikely Abe would risk the political capital on an Article 9 vote in the near future.

Instead, in some respects, Japan’s military is moving ahead — constitutional revision or not. From some military officials’ point of view, the changes are still about the defense of Japan and its interests in the Pacific, even if that means it is also about becoming a more expeditionary force that also looks out for its allies.

On board the Izumo, Japan’s three-year-old helicopter destroyer that will be converted to carry F-35Bs, Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces briefed reporters on their expanding role, which calls not just for a regional presence in the East and South China Seas, but also for a regular presence off the coast of Djibouti, where China established a military base in 2017.

“We will never accept a compromise with any attempt to prevent us from keeping the Indo-Pacific free and open,” said Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces deputy director of plans and programs, Capt. Toshiyuki Hirata, without naming China specifically.

Other Japanese officials are more direct.

“Actually this trigger … to be straight out [is] China. The expansion of China. I think it’s clear,” said Keitaro Ohno, parliamentary vice minister for defense for Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. “There is no need for us to operate such kind of aircraft carrier if we don’t have to respond to China in the Pacific Ocean.”

Those Japanese officials emphasized that they do not seek conflict with China, and some pointed to a recent warming of diplomatic relations between the two countries after the U.S. launched a trade war with China. But Japan’s Self Defense Forces are still responding to a rising number of Chinese military aircraft incursions, regular and expanded reach of Chinese warships, including submarines, and other activities that are irritants, such as the regular presence of Chinese civilian fishing craft lingering by the Senkakus.

Japanese defense officials call them “little green fishermen.”

“It’s just … face to face that we are smiling, but under the table that we are some sort of, like, kicking each other,” Ohno said.

On Tuesday, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a new assessment of China’s military power and concluded that the sheer numbers of advanced ships, forces, aircraft, satellites and missiles China has fielded over the last 15 years has increased the risk it will engage in a regional conflict. However, it’s likelier that conflict would arise with Taiwan, not Japan.

“It’s obviously a different situation

[than Taiwan]

because Japan … has a significant capability to defend their territory,” a defense intelligence official said as he briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity.

“I think … neither side has an interest or an intention to escalate the conflict at this point, although there’s a lot of air and naval activity on a small confined space, so there’s always potential for something.”

In response to the increased activity by Chinese aircraft, Japan moved a second squadron to the military side of Naha Airport to be able to more rapidly sortie against aircraft incursions over Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone. In 2016, Japanese fighters sortied 1,168 times — 70 percent of those were against Chinese jets. The numbers for 2017 and 2018 fell a bit, but were an “unbelievable climb” from just a few years before, said U.S. Forces Japan commander Air Force Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez.

You can see the activity in person on Okinawa, where Japanese fighters take regular flight and have the primary responsibility for conducting intercepts in the South China Sea and East China Sea, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Case Cunningham, who commands the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base.

“Every time I fly out of Naha and see [Japan’s] 15s take off, it’s very likely they are headed out to an intercept of some type or other,” Cunningham said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9575

US report says rapidly modernizing Chinese military has set sights on Taiwan

By Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr, CNN

Updated 12:48 AM ET, Wed January 16, 2019

(CNN)Over the last few years China has made a series of ambitious military reforms and acquired new technology as it aims to improve its ability to fight regional conflicts over places like Taiwan, according to a new report from the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

“Beijing’s longstanding interest to eventually compel Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence has served as the primary driver for China’s military modernization,” said the agency’s report, titled “China’s Military Power.”

The report, which was published Tuesday, added that “Beijing’s anticipation that foreign forces would intervene in a Taiwan scenario led the (People’s Liberation Army) to develop a range of systems to deter and deny foreign regional force projection.”

Earlier Tuesday in Beijing, China made plain to the US military that it is will countenance no interference on Taiwan, according to a report on the Chinese military’s English-language website.

“If someone tries to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will do whatever it takes to safeguard national reunification, national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Gen. Li Zuocheng, a member of China’s Central Military Commission, told the US chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson, who is on a four-day visit to China.

The US DIA report estimates that Chinese spending on its armed forces “probably exceeded $200 billion” in 2018, “a threefold increase since 2002.”

In a written introduction accompanying the report, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, wrote that China has used a variety of means to acquire advanced technology to bolster its military capabilities despite some countries attempting to limit its access to that technology over international concerns about Beijing’s human rights policies.

“China shifted funds and efforts to acquiring technology by any means available. Domestic laws forced foreign partners of Chinese-based joint ventures to release their technology in exchange for entry into China’s lucrative market, and China has used other means to secure needed technology and expertise,” Ashley said.

While the report acknowledges that China spends significantly less on defense than the some $700 billion invested by the US in 2018, it says Beijing enjoys an advantage due to the fact that “China has not had to invest in costly R&D of new technologies to the same degree as the United States.”

“Rather, China has routinely adopted the best and most effective platforms found in foreign militaries through direct purchase, retrofits, or theft of intellectual property. By doing so, China has been able to focus on expediting its military modernization at a small fraction of the original cost,” it said.

‘Most modern weapon systems in the world’

China is “on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world,” Ashley wrote.

A senior defense official said the US was concerned that China’s increased capabilities may lead its military commanders to advise its political leaders that they were confident of military success with regard to a campaign against Taiwan.

“The biggest concern is that they are going to get to — they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities,” the official said, referring to China’s leader.

The report notes that the vast majority of China’s missile arsenal is capable of hitting Taiwan while also pointing out that Beijing has developed new weapons systems like the H-6 bomber armed with CJ-20 cruise missiles, which it says is capable of striking areas farther afield, such as US military installations on Guam.

It says, “China has built or acquired a wide array of advanced platforms,” including submarines, major surface combat ships, missile patrol craft, maritime strike aircraft and land-based systems that employ new, sophisticated anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles.

“China also has developed the world’s first roadmobile, anti-ship ballistic missile, a system specifically designed to attack enemy aircraft carriers,” it says.

“China’s leaders hope that possessing these military capabilities will deter pro-independence moves by Taiwan or, should deterrence fail, will permit a range of tailored military options against Taiwan and potential third-party military intervention,” the report said.

Earlier this month Xi called on Taiwan to reject independence and embrace “peaceful reunification” with China in a conciliatory speech that nevertheless took a hard line on the self-governing island’s political sovereignty and freedoms.

And the Chinese leader added that “we make no promise to renounce the use of force. We reserve the option for all the necessary means.”

In response to Xi’s speech, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said the island will “never accept” a “one country, two systems” arrangement with China.

While the report says China has increased its military footprint in the South China Sea and has placed additional military facilities on man-made islands there, the Pentagon assesses that China is seeking to avoid a conflict.

“I think both sides have managed to operate professionally. And we have — it’s not in the Chinese interests for a crisis to spiral in the South China Sea. I think that they are fairly comfortable with the progress they’ve made in building out this infrastructure down there, and then working on negotiations with the other claimant states over a longer term,” the senior defense official said.

Photos show encounter with Chinese warship

Photos show encounter with Chinese warship 03:42

During his China visit, Adm. Richardson said the US Navy would continue to send warships wherever international law allows, something the Pentagon says when undertaking so-called “freedom of navigation” operations near Chinese-claimed territory in the South China Sea.

“The US Navy will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, in order to protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all,” Richardson said in a China-datelined story posted on the US Navy’s website.

He also called on China to avoid dangerous maneuvers during those US operations.

“It important for all military, law enforcement, and civilian vessels and aircraft, including those in the PLA Navy, the Chinese Coast Guard, and the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia, to operate in a safe and professional manner, in accordance with international law,” Richardson is quoted as saying. “Consistent operations and behavior are critical to preventing miscalculation.”

Last fall, the Chinese destroyer Lanzhou came within 45 yards (41 meters) of the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur near the Spratly Islands in an encounter the US called “unsafe.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9568

Be ready for war, crisis: Chinese President Xi Jinping tells army

January 07, 2019 Sutirtho Patranobis – Hindustan Times

China’s armed forces should be ready for combat and be prepared for unexpected crisis and war, President Xi Jinping said on Friday in his first meeting with the military top brass in Beijing in 2019.

The massive and rapidly modernizing, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) should have enhanced awareness of danger, crisis and war, Xi told a meeting of the central military commission (CMC), the top military organization in the country of which he is the chairperson.

It is effectively being seen as Xi’s first order to the military in 2019 where he also signed a mobilization command for the training of the armed forces through the year.

Besides the festering land border problem with India, Xi’s command comes against the background of continuing maritime territorial disputes with multiple countries in the South China Sea and growing tension with the US over Beijing’s aim to reunify Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway nation.

Xi, in fact, said on Wednesday that China reserved the right to use force to achieve “reunification” with Taiwan, which is an independent and democratically-run country.

He brought up Taiwan days after US President Donald Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act into law, reaffirming the US commitment to the island’s security.

“The entire armed forces should have a correct understanding of China’s security and development trends, enhance their awareness of danger, crisis and war, and make solid efforts on combat preparations in order to accomplish the tasks assigned by the Party (the ruling Communist Party of China) and the people,” Xi said.

“The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development,” Xi was quoted as saying by the official news agency, Xinhua, warning that various risks and challenges were on the rise.

The Chinese President stressed the armed forces’ ability to respond quickly and effectively to contingencies, asking them to upgrade commanding capability of joint operations, foster new combat forces, and improve military training under combat conditions.

China and India, in fact, had come close to a military clash in 2017 when border troops from the two countries had a 73-day standoff near the Sikkim border at Doklam.

Diplomatic negotiations finally separated the troops and defused the situation, which had threatened to trigger a border clash.

Interestingly, Chinese state media made an international splash this week by publicizing the testing of the “mother of all bombs” or MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the PLA’s arsenal.

The new bomb’s destructive powers were publicized in a short video this week for the first time, the Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday on its mobile application.

The report said it is China’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb, and that the H-6K bomber could only carry one at a time due to its size.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9543

‘Sink two aircraft carriers’: Chinese Admiral’s chilling recipe to dominate the South China Sea


Beijing has a devastating plan to force the world out of the East and South China Seas — and it could cost the US 10,000 lives.
Jamie Seidel
News Corp Australia Network January 2, 201910:17am
Chinese Military Might
They’re the pride of the US fleet: enormous 100,000 tonne, 333m long nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. But Beijing thinks they’re Washington’s achilles heel.
Rear Admiral Lou Yuan has told an audience in Shenzhen that the ongoing disputes over the ownership of the East and South China Seas could be resolved by sinking two US super carriers.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reports Admiral Lou gave a wide-ranging speech on the state of Sino-US relations. The high-profile, hawkish military commentator reportedly declared the current trade spat was “definitely not simply friction over economics and trade,” but was instead a “prime strategic issue”.
His speech, delivered on December 20 to the 2018 Military Industry List summit, declared that China’s new and highly capable anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles were more than capable of hitting US carriers, despite them being at the centre of a ‘bubble’ of defensive escorts.
“What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” Admiral Lou declared.
He said the loss of one super carrier would cost the US the lives of 5000 service men and women. Sinking two would double that toll.
“We’ll see how frightened America is.”
FIGHTING WORDS
Rear Admiral Lou Yuan is deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences.
In his speech, he said there were ‘five cornerstones of the United States’ open to exploitation: their military, their money, their talent, their voting system — and their fear of adversaries.
Admiral Lou, who holds an academic military rank — not a service role — said China should “use its strength to attack the enemy’s shortcomings. Attack wherever the enemy is afraid of being hit. Wherever the enemy is weak …”
It’s not the controversial commentator’s first aggressive outburst.
And its part of a steadily escalating war of words between the two nations.
Earlier in December, the Chinese state-run Global Times published the views of a panel of such ‘military commentators’ concerning Beijing’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan and the East and South China Seas.
“If the US naval fleet dares to stop in Taiwan, it is time for the People’s Liberation Army to deploy troops to promote national unity on (invade) the island,” Admiral Lou said.
 “Achieving China’s complete unity is a necessary requirement. The achievement of the past 40 years of reform and opening-up has given us the capability and confidence to safeguard our sovereignty. Those who are trying to stir up trouble in the South China Sea and Taiwan should be careful about their future.”
It was just one of a string of similarly hawkish views.
“The PLA is capable of taking over Taiwan within 100 hours with only a few dozen casualties,” said retired lieutenant general Wang Hongguang. “2018 is a year of turmoil for Taiwan, and a possible military conflict may take place in Taiwan soon. (But) As long as the US doesn’t attack China-built islands and reefs in the South China Sea, no war will take place in the area.”
Beijing has annexed several reefs in the South China Sea, engaging in an enormous geo-engineering project to build artificial islands upon which it has placed heavily fortified airfields and ports.
STEEL DINOSAURS?
The United States’ enormous aircraft carriers are considered the centrepieces of its navy and highly visible embodiments of that nation’s power.
At $US8.5 billion ($A12 billion) each, they’re also a huge economic investment.
And questions have been growing over their continued relevance to modern warfare.
As with the ‘gunboat diplomacy’ of huge armoured and heavily gunned battleships before World War II, some military analysts technological advances have made these ships obsolete.
Once, aircraft carriers were able to project military might (through their aircraft) while unseen and outside the reach of defences.
Now, with modern satellite and over-the-horizon radar systems, they can no longer rely upon being unseen. And land-based missiles potentially out-reach their aircraft — forcing carriers to move into ‘danger zones’ before they can be effective.
But heavily networked radars, decoys and antimissile systems aboard the aircraft carriers themselves and their escorts are believed capable of warding off attacks from current-generation missiles.
However, both China and Russia have claimed they are rapidly bringing into service a new generation of hypersonic weapons which simply move too fast to counteract.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9533

Entire world is worried’ after rancorous Asia-Pacific trade summit

John Bacon, USA TODAY Published 10:38 a.m. ET Nov. 18, 2018 | Updated 5:55 p.m. ET Nov. 18, 2018

The U.S. and China offered rival visions for the Asia-Pacific at a summit Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence saying there was no room for “empire or aggression” in the region. (Nov. 15) AP

World leaders meeting for Asia-Pacific trade talks in Papua New Guinea wrapped up a divisive, two-day summit Sunday after failing to agree on a group statement amid a widening rift in U.S.-China relations.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he will release a “chairman’s statement” in the next few days on behalf of the 21-nation gathering. O’Neill acknowledged that “the entire world is worried” about tensions between the two superpowers.

The struggle to find common ground did not bode well for a crucial meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled for the G-20 meeting in Argentina at month’s end.

Trump was conspicuously absent from the Asia gathering, sending Vice President Mike Pence in his stead. Pence and Xi swapped barbs, setting a contentious tone for trade talks involving 60 percent of the world economy.

O’Neill said the talks broke down over language about the World Trade Organization. The U.S. has adamantly opposed the way WTO treats China as a market-driven economy rather than one dominated by state-supported industries.

The same, sharp differences that have crippled trade between the two nations also made working out common language for a communique impossible, O’Neill concluded.

“There were two big giants in the room, what can I say,” O’Neill said.

In his speech to the group, Xi urged the business and political leaders to promote free trade.

“The world today is going through major development, transformation and change,” Xi told the group. “While economic globalization surges forward, global growth is shadowed by protectionism and unilateralism.”

Pence pitched that the United States offered nations in the region a better option for economic partnership and criticized Chinese “authoritarianism and aggression.” He said the U.S. seeks “collaboration and not control” and blasted a Chinese road-building program as forcing debt on poorer neighbors.

“We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don’t coerce or compromise your independence,” Pence said. “The United States deals openly and fairly. We do not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road.”

China’s foreign ministry denied leading developing nations into debt bondage.

“The assistance provided by China has been warmly welcomed by our partners in this region and beyond,” responded Wang Xiaolong, a foreign ministry official.

After the summit, Pence tweeted: “Every nation gathered here at APEC has a place in @POTUS’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Our vision excludes no one. We only ask that nations respect their neighbors’ sovereignty, embrace free, fair, and reciprocal trade, and uphold individual rights.”

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods. The administration also has warned that duties on another $267 billion in goods could be coming, which would subject to tariff virtually all Chinese-made products shipped into the U.S.

China retaliated by levying tariffs on $110 billion worth of a wide variety of U.S. products, including farm equipment, soybeans, electric cars, orange juice, whiskey, salmon and cigars.

“The entire world is worried about the debate about trade relations between China and, of course, the United States,” O’Neill said. “This is a situation that both countries need to sit down and resolve. And I believe that the G20 meeting that is going to be held very shortly will be an opportune time.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9462

Russia And China Are Apparently Both Under The Impression That War With The United States Is Coming…

October 28, 2018 by Michael Snyder

Could it be possible that the U.S. is heading for a major war?  If you ask most Americans that question, they will look at you like you are crazy.  For most people in this country, war with either Russia or China is not something to even be remotely concerned about.  But the Russians and the Chinese both see things very differently.  As you will see below, Russia and China both seem to be under the impression that war with the United States is coming, and they are both rapidly preparing for such a conflict.

Let’s start with Russia.  After repeatedly slapping them with sanctions, endlessly demonizing their leaders and blaming them for just about every problem that you can imagine, our relationship with Russia is about the worst that it has ever been.

And when the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, that pushed things to a new low.  In the aftermath of that announcement, Russian official Andrei Belousov boldly declared that “Russia is preparing for war”

He said: “Here recently at the meeting, the United States said that Russia is preparing for war.

Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it.

“We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people – we are preparing for such a war.”

Here in the United States, there is very little talk of a potential war with Russia in the mainstream media, but in Russia things are very different.  Russian news outlets are constantly addressing escalating tensions with the United States, and the Russian government has been adding fuel to that fire.  For example, the Russian government recently released a video of a mock nuclear strike against their “enemies”

Russian submarines have recently carried out a mock nuclear attack against their “enemies.” The Russian government has released footage of the atomic strike and it is sparking fears that the third world war is quickly approaching.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has published shocking videos that show a range of nuclear missile drills including a submarine carrying out a mock atomic strike. These videos are the latest in a series of escalating war-games ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The Express UK.

I’ll give you just one guess as to who the primary enemy in that drill was.

And what Russian President Vladimir Putin recently told the press about a potential nuclear war was extremely chilling

If any nation decides to attack Russia with nuclear weapons, it may end life on Earth; but unlike the aggressors, the Russians are sure to go to heaven, President Vladimir Putin has said.

“Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply drop dead, won’t even have time to repent,” Putin said during a session of the Valdai Club in Sochi.

Under normal circumstances, Putin would never talk like that.

But these are not normal times.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is ordering his military to focus on “preparations for fighting a war”

China’s President Xi Jinping ordered the military region responsible for monitoring the South China Sea and Taiwan to “assess the situation it is facing and boost its capabilities so it can handle any emergency” as tensions continue to mount over the future of the South China Sea and Taiwan, while diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing hit rock bottom.

The Southern Theatre Command has had to bear a “heavy military responsibility” in recent years, state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as saying during an inspection tour made on Thursday as part of his visit to Guangdong province.

“It’s necessary to strengthen the mission … and concentrate preparations for fighting a war,” Xi said. “We need to take all complex situations into consideration and make emergency plans accordingly. “We have to step up combat readiness exercises, joint exercises and confrontational exercises to enhance servicemen’s capabilities and preparation for war” the president-for-life added.

So who are the Chinese concerned that they may be fighting against?

Needless to say, the United States is at the top of the list

The president instructed the military to ramp-up opposition to ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises being undertaken by the US, Australia, France, the UK, Japan and others through the waterway through which arterial shipping lanes have grown since the end of World War II.

Tensions over the South China Sea have been increasing for several years, and starting a trade war with China in 2018 has certainly not helped things.

At this point, even many U.S. analysts can see the writing on the wall.  For instance, just consider what Harvard Professor Graham Allison recently told Steve LeVine

He said, if history holds, the U.S. and China appeared headed toward war.

Over the weekend, I asked him for an update — specifically whether the danger of the two going to war seems to have risen.

“Yes,” he responded. The chance of war is still less than 50%, but “is real — and much more likely than is generally recognized.”

Of course we didn’t get to this point overnight.  Tensions with Russia and China have been simmering for quite a while, and both of those nations have been rapidly modernizing their military forces.  For much more on this, please see my recent article entitled “Russia And China Are Developing Impressive New Weapons Systems As They Prepare For War Against The United States”.

Sadly, the vast majority of the U.S. population is utterly clueless about these things.

But those that are serving in the military have a much better understanding, and one recent survey found that about half of them expect the U.S. to be “drawn into a new war within the next year”…

Nearly half of all current military troops believe the United States will be drawn into a major war soon, a jarring rise in anxiety among service members worried about global instability in general and Russia and China in particular, according to a new Military Times poll of active-duty troops.

About 46 percent of troops who responded to the anonymous survey of currently serving Military Times readers said they believe the U.S. will be drawn into a new war within the next year. That’s a jarring increase from only about 5 percent who said the same thing in a similar poll conducted in September 2017.

Those numbers are jarring.

Some major stuff must be going on behind the scenes in order to go from 5 percent to 46 percent in a single year.

We truly are living in apocalyptic times, and our world seems to be getting more unstable with each passing day.

We should hope for peace, but throughout human history peace has never lasted for long.  Major global powers continue to edge closer and closer to conflict, and that is a very dangerous game to be playing.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9439

Chinese official finds Trump ‘very confusing,’ says US warships at China’s doorstep building tension

By Gregg Re | Fox News

President Trump’s inner circle is “very confusing” for foreign diplomatic officials in Washington to navigate, China’s U.S. ambassador Cui Tiankai told “Fox News Sunday” in an exclusive wide-ranging interview.

Cui added that U.S. warships are “on the offensive” near China, days after a U.S. destroyer nearly collided with a Chinese military vessel in the South China Sea. The Pentagon said the Chinese ship came within 45 yards of the U.S. destroyer, in an intentionally “unsafe” maneuver.

Cui’s comments come as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump prepare for a possible meeting at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, next month, amid a rapidly escalating trade conflict between the two nations that some have called a new cold war.

Asked by host Chris Wallace whether Trump listens primarily to hardliners like trade director Peter Navarro — who has characterized China as the economic “parasite of the world” — or moderates like chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Cui responded simply, “You tell me.”

The envoy added that other ambassadors seemingly have the same issue. President Trump has repeatedly said he tries to avoid “telegraphing” his moves to foreign adversaries.

“Honestly, I’ve been talking to ambassadors of other countries in Washington, D.C., and this is also part of their problem,” Cui said. “They don’t know who is the final decision-maker. Of course, presumably, the president will take the final decision, but who is playing what role? Sometimes it could be very confusing.”

Trump, citing widespread intellectual property theft in China that cuts into the profits of U.S. companies doing business there, placed tariffs on approximately $200 billion of Chinese imports in September, following his imposition of significant tariffs on nearly $35 billion in Chinese goods in July. China quickly retaliated with $60 billion in tariffs of its own.

The White House has bipartisan support for hitting back at Chinese intellectual property theft. In an interview in June, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., ordinarily a fierce Trump critic, agreed with the administration’s China policy and said that the country “takes total advantage” of the U.S.

“Not only do they steal our intellectual property, they keep our good companies out, and say the only way you’re going to be able to sell your American products in China … is if you come to China, make them there, and give us the techniques and intellectual property,” Schumer said.

And the president has insisted his tariffs are already having a major impact.

“Their economy has gone down very substantially, and I have a lot more to do if I want to do it,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” last week. “They lived too well for too long and, frankly, I guess they think the Americans are stupid people. Americans are not stupid people. We were led badly when it came to trade.”

But in his interview with Fox News, Cui denied that China permits or engages in widespread intellectual property theft, and said even the suggestion was an affront to the country’s population.

“I think all of these accusations about how China has developed are groundless and not fair to the Chinese people,” he told Wallace. “You see, China has 1.4 billion people. It would be hard to imagine that one-fifth of the global population could develop and prosper not by relying mainly on their own efforts, but by stealing or forcing some transfer of technology from others — that’s impossible.”

“It’s important to notice who started this trade war. We never want to have a trade war.”

— China’s U.S. ambassador Cui Tiankai

He added: “It’s important to notice who started this trade war. We never want to have a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests.”

Concerns have been raised that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys, might start dumping its holdings as a way to pressure the United States in the trade dispute. But Mnuchin said this possibility didn’t concern him because it would be contrary to Beijing’s economic interests to start dumping its Treasury holdings, and would be “very costly” to China.

Top U.S. officials have warned that the ongoing conflict with China extends beyond trade. In Senate testimony on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that “China, in many ways, represents the broadest, most complicated, most long-term counterintelligence threat we face.”

He added that “Russia is … fighting to stay relevant after the fall of the Soviet Union,” while “China is fighting tomorrow’s fight…and it affects every sector of our economy.”

Vice President Pence, meanwhile, has accused China of trying to interfere with U.S. elections, including by targeting tariffs toward industries that support Trump and even spreading propaganda in U.S. media outlets.

In response, Cui effectively called the U.S. the aggressor in several spheres of influence. Chinese state-run media companies have recently bought newspaper inserts in U.S. newspapers to influence local opinion in favor of China.

“You see, Chinese media, they are just learning from America media to use all these means, to buy commercial pages from newspapers, to make their views known or to cover what is happening here,” Cui said. “This is normal practice for all the media.” (China does not generally permit foreign-owned media companies to buy such political inserts in its own domestic papers.)

The envoy also said that Chinese warships, which harassed and nearly collided with a U.S. destroyer recently in the disputed South China Sea, had responded appropriately to an intervention on their “doorstep.” Beijing has built up military fortifications on two contested Chinese man-made islands there despite pledging not to do so.

“Where the incident took place, you were right to say it was in South China Sea. So it’s at China’s doorstep,” Cui told Wallace. “It’s not Chinese warships that are going to the coast of California, or to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s so close to the Chinese islands and it’s so close to the Chinese coast. So who is on the offensive? Who is on the defensive? This is very clear.”

Cui said, however, that China would continue to “faithfully” implement sanctions against its longtime ally, North Korea, in order to restore stability to the region. He  said a “coordinated, phased, and step-by-step approach” to North Korean denuclearization is the best approach, mirroring the position of that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

“How can you convince him to give up all the nuclear weapons without any hope that the U.S. would be following a more friendly policy towards him?” Cui asked.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Beijing last week, where top Chinese officials vowed to take “all necessary measures” to safeguard their country. They have since said that high-level communications continue between the two countries.

Still, there were signs tensions between China and the U.S. have eased somewhat in recent days. Global stock market indexes bounced back sharply Friday after their recent plunges, on word of the possible presidential meeting.

And reports have emerged that Mnuchin has advised against labeling China a currency manipulator — a status that could trigger penalties. The Chinese currency has been falling in value against the dollar in recent months, raising concerns that Beijing is devaluing its currency to make Chinese goods more competitive against U.S. products.

Mnuchin did not say this weekend what the forthcoming Treasury report, set to come out next week, will conclude about China’s currency practices. In the past, Treasury has placed China on a watch-list but found that Beijing did not meet the threshold to be labeled a currency manipulator.

The Treasury secretary met Thursday with Yi Gang, head of China’s central bank. “I expressed my concerns about the weakness of the currency.” Mnuchin said.

Cui told Wallace that China, despite its ongoing spat with the U.S. on a variety of fronts, remains optimistic about November’s planned meeting between Trump and Jinping. Kudlow, the chief White House economic adviser, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the one-on-one between the two leaders will “probably” happen.

“There’s a good mutual understanding and good working relationship between the two,” Cui said. “I hope and I’m sure this will continue.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9424

The US military is planning a serious showdown with China that would be a significant show of force on tense tides and involve American warships and aircraft

Ryan Pickrell

Oct. 3, 2018, 8:12 PM

US Navy guided-missile destroyers and guided-missile cruisers. U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Caleb Swigart

  • The US military is reportedly planning to send US warships, combat aircraft, and troops through the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in November in a series of exercises designed to send a message to Beijing.
  • The proposal, which comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and China, has yet to be approved.
  • In recent weeks, Washington and Beijing have quarreled over trade, sanctions, Taiwan, repeated bomber flights over disputed seas, and a confrontation between US and Chinese warships.

The US military is reportedly planning to put on a serious show of force in contested waters from the South China Sea to the Taiwan Strait as a warning to China and a reminder of the United States’ ability to rapidly confront and counter any potential adversaries.

The US Pacific Fleet has proposed a series of exercises for November that would see American warships and aircraft demonstrating US military might in disputed waterways in a message to Beijing, CNN reported Wednesday afternoon, citing several defense officials.

While one official reportedly characterized the plans as “just an idea,” others indicated that the proposal, which already has an operational name, is being circulated at various levels of the military.

Assuming the plan is approved, the operations would be carried out over the course of a week. The plan, derived from the National Defense Strategy and assertions that the US is once again in an age of great power competition with Russia and China, is still under consideration and will require input from the intelligence community on possible reactions from Beijing and other international actors.

News of this plan comes on the heels of serious incidents in the East and South China Seas.

Twice last week, the US sent B-52H Stratofortress heavy long-range bombers tearing through the South China Sea. Those flights were immediately followed by a joint military exercise in which a US B-52 bomber joined forces with Japanese fighter jets over the East China Sea and Sea of Japan.

China called the flights “provocative,” warning the US that it would take “necessary measures” to defend Chinese national interests. Several days later, the Chinese military conducted “live-fire shooting drills” in the South China Sea.

On Sunday, the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. During the routine operation, a Chinese Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer confronted the US warship.

The Chinese vessel, according to the Pacific Fleet, engaged in “increasingly aggressive” behavior. The Chinese ship nearly collided with the US destroyer during the exchange, which was described as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

These incidents came amid other deteriorations in the US-China bilateral relationship, specifically issues pertaining to sanctions, trade, and Taiwan.

In the past two weeks, the US and China have canceled several high-level military-to-military meetings intended to defuse tensions. While some observers have expressed concern, noting that the situation is escalating to dangerous levels, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said the US and China simply need to learn to sort out their differences.

“We’re just going to have to learn how to manage this relationship,” he said Tuesday, adding, “We’ll do that. We’ll sort this out.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9413