Category: Kings of the East

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

Chinese destroyer’s ‘unsafe’ interaction with USS Decatur in South China Sea seen in stunning photos

Fox News

This U.S. Navy photo, first obtained by gcaptain.com, shows the incident between the USS Decatur, left, and the Luoyang. (U.S. Navy)

A Chinese destroyer came a stone’s throw away from a U.S. Navy ship as the American vessel sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea, stunning photos released Tuesday showed.

In the photos, first obtained by gcaptain.com, the People’s Republic of China destroyer Luoyang is seen within 45 yards of the USS Decatur before the U.S. ship is forced to veer away to avoid a collision near the Gaven Reefs on Sunday, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman said.

The photos were deemed to be legitimate, but it wasn’t clear how they were obtained, a U.S. Navy official told Stars and Stripes.

The destroyer conducted an “an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver,” Gorman said. He added the Chinese ship conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers that were accompanied by warnings urging the Decatur to depart.

The USS Decatur, a guided-missile destroyer, was conducting a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea, a U.S. defense official told Fox News in a statement. The operation was conducted to “uphold the rights and freedoms of all states under international law. Decatur sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands,” the official said.

China claims the rights to most of the strategic waterway and has built man-made islands on reefs and equipped them with airstrips, radar domes and missile systems.

China opposed the U.S. warship’s entry into the waters around the reefs, the Chinese defense ministry said in a statement Tuesday. Chinese officials confirmed it sent the Luoyang to drive the USS Decatur away and urged the U.S. to stop its “provocative” actions.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9407

Turkic Muslims: China’s and the Muslim World’s Achilles Heel

By Dr. James M. Dorsey September 26, 2018

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 959, September 26, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A list of 26 predominantly Muslim countries considered sensitive by China reflects Chinese concerns that they could reinforce religious sentiment among the People’s Republic’s Turkic Muslim population with potentially far-reaching consequences if the Islamic world were to take it to task for its crackdown in Xinjiang, the most frontal assault on Islam in recent history.

A list of 26 predominantly Muslim countries considered sensitive by China, which was compiled by Human Rights Watch as part of a just published report on the crackdown in China’s strategic northwestern province, details the rollout of the world’s most intrusive, 21st-century surveillance state as well as an attempt to re-educate a population of 10 million. That population includes primarily Uighurs, an ethnically Turkic Muslim group, as well as Muslims of Central Asian origin.

The re-education is designed to reshape the population’s religious beliefs so that they adopt an interpretation of Islam that is in line with the Chinese Communist Party’s precepts rather than prescriptions of Islamic holy texts in a bid to counter Turkic Muslim nationalist, ethnic, or religious aspirations as well as political violence.

China worries that national and religious sentiment and/or militancy could challenge China’s grip on Xinjiang, home to 15% of its proven oil reserves, 22% of its gas reserves, and 115 of the 147 raw materials found in the People’s Republic as well as part of its nuclear arsenal.

Included on the list of countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan; former Soviet Central Asian nations, many of which border on Xinjiang; Southeast Asian nations like Malaysia and Indonesia; and key Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, which have historic, ethnic, and linguistic ties to China’s Turkic Muslims and have been sympathetic for decades to Uighur aspirations.

China’s crackdown, according to a plan developed by the Baluntai Town government in north-central Xinjiang, involves targeting, among others, Turkic Muslims who remain in contact with family and friends abroad, people who have stayed abroad “too long,” and those who have, independently and without state permission, organized Hajj pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia. China is particularly concerned about Uighur contact with Muslim countries.

Human Rights Watch quoted Inzhu, a 50-year-old mother, who lives in an unidentified country, as saying, “It was 2 a.m. and my daughters [in a foreign country] were chatting with their father [in Xinjiang] on the phone. You know, they’re daddy’s girls and they were telling him all their secrets … when suddenly my daughters ran in to tell me, ‘The authorities are taking away daddy!’”

For China, the Muslim world’s silence constitutes a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Beijing’s campaign in Xinjiang is effectively enabled by this silence, which is driven primarily by the desire of governments, many of which are deeply indebted to China, to preserve economic relations. It allows it to largely ignore criticism by Western nations and human rights groups as well as the Uighur Diaspora.

On the other hand, the silence potentially gives Muslim countries a degree of leverage. Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad seemingly exploited that leverage with China treading carefully in the face of an anti-Chinese election campaign that returned the 93-year old to office in May. Maharthir subsequently suspended US$22 billion of Chinese-backed Belt and Road-related infrastructure projects.

This leverage could also factor in the intention of financially troubled Pakistan to review or renegotiate agreements related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crown jewel in the Belt and Road initiative and at US$50 billion plus, its single largest country investment.

The risk for China is that mushrooming publicity about its crackdown in Xinjiang, which includes pressure on Uighurs abroad to return to the Chinese province or risk incarceration – a push that has led countries like Egypt, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia to extradite Uighurs to China – will make it increasingly difficult for Muslim countries to remain silent.

The risk is also that the crackdown could have a boomerang effect, fueling radicalization at home as well as abroad. A study quoted in The New York Times by Qiu Yuanyuan, a scholar at the Xinjiang Party School, where officials are trained, warned that “recklessly setting quantitative goals for transformation through education has been erroneously used … The targeting is imprecise, and the scope has been expanding.”

The risks are enhanced by black swans such as a recent court case in Kazakhstan that forced the government in Astana to walk a fine line between avoiding friction with China and shielding itself from accusations that it is not standing up for the rights and safety of Kazakh nationals.

Kazakhs were taken aback when 41-year-old Sayragul Sauytbay, a Chinese national of Kazakh descent, testified in an open Kazakh court that she had been employed in a Chinese re-education camp for Kazakhs only that had 2,500 inmates. She said she was aware of two more camps reserved for Kazakhs.

Ms. Sauytbay was standing trial for entering Kazakhstan illegally. She said she had escaped to Kazakhstan after being told by Chinese authorities that she would never be allowed to rejoin her family because of her knowledge of the camps. Ms. Sauytbay was given a six-month suspended sentence and allowed to stay in the country where her recently naturalized husband and children reside.

The inclusion of ethnic Kazakhs, a community in China of 1.25 million people, in the crackdown sparked angry denunciations in Kazakhstan’s parliament. “There should be talks taking place with the Chinese delegates. Every delegation that goes there should be bringing this topic up … The key issue is that of the human rights of ethnic Kazakhs in any country of the world being respected,” said Kunaysh Sultanov, a member of parliament and former deputy prime minister and ambassador to China.

Anti-Chinese sentiment in the Pakistani Chinese border province of Gilgit-Baltistan ran high earlier this year after some 50 Uyghur women married to Pakistani men were detained on visits to Xinjiang and China refused to renew the visas of Pakistani husbands resident in Xinjiang.

Beyond economic leverage, China has so far benefited from the fact that Muslim politicians and leaders see more political mileage in pushing causes like the Palestinians rather than those that have not been in the Islamic world’s public eye.

You gain popularity if you show you are anti-Zionism and if you are fighting for the Palestinians, as compared to the Rohingya or Uighurs,” said Ahmad Farouk Musa, director of the Islamic Renaissance Front, a Malaysian NGO.

It’s a bet Muslim countries and China could continue to win, but could prove costly if they eventually lose.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9395

China’s Pastors Take Their Stand: Jesus Is Lord

Eric Metaxas, Stan Guthrie

I want you to meet some brave Christian leaders pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

When thinking of the golden age of the Church, many of us hearken back to the book of Acts, when Peter and John stood up to the religious authorities, who told them to be silent about Jesus the risen Messiah. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God,” they answered, “you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” Then they prayed for boldness, and the Church exploded across much of the ancient world.

But there’s a golden age for the church going on right now—with the same kind of courage, persecution, and Spirit-empowered growth. Where is it? In communist China.

World missions historians tell us that when all the foreign missionaries were kicked out of Mao’s China a few years after the Second World War, there were probably no more than 3 million believers in Jesus Christ in the whole, vast nation. But today, seven decades later, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life counts 67 million Christians of all kinds—35 million independent Protestants, 23 million Protestants in government-sanctioned churches, and 9 million Catholics. Other estimates go even higher.

Whatever the true number is, it’s almost as many as there are members of the Communist Party! Maybe that’s why the government is cracking down on Christians. According to Christianity Today and other news outlets, Under President Xi Jinping, China’s government has been tightening its grip on religious affairs.

In February, regulations aimed at religious groups have brought increased pressure on churches to be “Chinese” culturally and to submit to the authority of the Communist Party. Churches are being told to burn their crosses and replace them with Chinese flags and to display slogans praising the Communist Party. Some are being forced to join the government-sanctioned churches and permit video surveillance of their services.

Meanwhile, in Jiangxi province, authorities have forced at least 40 churches to display banners forbidding foreigners from preaching and anyone under 18 from attending. In August, they even published new rules stating, “Party members who have religious belief should have strengthened through education.”

In the spirit of Peter and John, a group of at least 250 Chinese pastors has publicly signed a joint statement opposing the new regulations. In the statement they declare that Jesus is Lord of all, offering eternal life to anyone who will repent and believe in Him.

But they also say, in a challenge to the Chinese communists, “God hates all attempts to suppress human souls and all acts of persecution against the Christian church, and he will condemn and judge them with righteous judgment.”

Then, like Peter and John, they pledge obedience not to the earthly authorities but to King Jesus, no matter what. “We declare that in matters of external conduct, churches are willing to accept lawful oversight by civil administration or other government departments as other social organizations do. But under no circumstances will we lead our churches to join a religious organization controlled by the government, to register with the religious administration department, or to accept any kind of affiliation.”

They close their incredible joint statement with the bracing yet sobering words, “For the sake of the gospel, we are prepared to bear all losses—even the loss of our freedom and our lives.”

Friends, is it any wonder that the church in China has grown, and continues to grow? What we’re seeing before our eyes is the golden age of the church in China. How can we not pray for these wonderful brothers and sisters? And more than that, how can we not emulate their costly faithfulness in our own little corner of God’s world?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9391

VOSTOK 2018: Russia And China Hold Largest-Ever War Games That Has NATO Wondering What They’re Really Preparing For

The drills, which also include Mongolian soldiers, have been condemned by NATO as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict”. The military exercises come at a time of escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in western affairs and conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

 

by Geoffrey Grider September 11, 2018

Russia launched Tuesday what it called its largest ever military drills, with hundreds of thousands of troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a show of force NATO condemned as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict.”

War games are part of the battle readiness plans that all industrialized nations need to have to maintain their peace and security. But the unprecedented and aggressive war games that kicked off this morning between Russia and China has NATO and the United States wondering exactly what the two nations are really preparing for. NATO is accusing Russia of preparing for ‘large scale conflict’ that would be of thier own making.

From a biblical perspective, this much mutual cooperation between two of the ‘heaviest hitter’ nations in the in scripture should absolutely be raising some red flags.

“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:” Ezekiel 39:1 (KJV)

FROM YAHOO NEWS: President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the games after hosting an economic forum in Russia’s far eastern city Vladivostok where his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is one of the prominent guests.

The week-long war games dubbed “Vostok-2018″(East-2018) “have kicked off” in far eastern Russia, the defence ministry said. Taking part in the drills are around 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 military vehicles, 80 ships and 1,000 aircraft, helicopters and drones.

Some 3,500 Chinese troops will take part in the games.

The defence ministry released video footage of military vehicles, planes, helicopters and ships getting into position for the initial stage of the drills. Putin praised Russia’s increasingly close ties with China as he met with Xi at the economic forum in Vladivostok on Tuesday.

“We have trustworthy ties in political, security and defence spheres,” the Russian leader said. Xi for his part said the two countries’ “friendship is getting stronger all the time.”

The drills, which also include Mongolian soldiers, have been condemned by NATO as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict”. The military exercises come at a time of escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in western affairs and conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

The Russian army has compared the show of force to the USSR’s 1981 war games that saw between 100,000 and 150,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers take part in “Zapad-81” (West-81) — the largest military exercises of the Soviet era.

But Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said these exercises are even larger.

“Imagine 36,000 military vehicles moving at the same time: tanks, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles — and all of this, of course, in conditions as close to a combat situation as possible,” Shoigu said.

The exercises will be held across nine training ranges and three seas: the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

The Russian army is rolling out all of its latest additions for the event: Iskander missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, T-80 and T-90 tanks and its recent Su-34 and Su-35 fighter planes. At sea, the Russian fleet is deploying several frigates equipped with Kalibr missiles that have been used in Syria.

Wednesday will see games featuring anti-aircraft technology, while the main event will be on Thursday, the defence ministry told journalists covering the event in eastern Siberia and the Far East.

NATO said that Vostok-2018 “demonstrates Russia’s focus on exercising large-scale conflict”.

“It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time — a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence,” the alliance’s spokesman Dylan White said late August.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed such concerns on Tuesday

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9377