TAIPEI - Beijing has reached a new peak in its bid to control the widely disputed South China Sea after pacifying rivals, keeping Washington away and building out artificial islands that are ready for military hardware. China will be able to keep three fighter-jet regiments on the same number of islets that it has constructed in the sea, according to a June 6 Pentagon report. China’s estimated 3,200 acres (1,294 hectares) of reclaimed land in the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea will be used largely for military installations, a think tank forecast in March. Joint military exercises with Russia In another sign of tighter maritime control, Beijing’s official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday that a Chinese destroyer, frigate, supply ship and helicopter had joined Russian vessels for phase one of “complex” and “lengthy” joint military exercises that are starting in the South China Sea. Russia has the world’s second most powerful armed forces and China the third. “I think there is … [Read more...] about Obstacles at Bay, Beijing Steps up Control Over Disputed South China Sea
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SINGAPORE - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday slammed China's militarization of disputed South China Sea islands, insisting that weapons systems recently deployed in the area were meant to intimidate and coerce Beijing's neighbors. The comments came during a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual Asian defense forum in Singapore. In the speech, Mattis laid out the broader U.S. strategy for a "free and open" Indo-Pacific region. "China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the openness our strategy promotes. It calls into question China's broader goals," Mattis said. Specifically, the Pentagon chief mentioned China's deployment of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, electronic jammers, and the landing of a bomber aircraft at the Paracel Islands off the coast of Vietnam. "Despite China's claim to the contrary, the placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion," Mattis … [Read more...] about Mattis: China Trying to Intimidate Neighbors in S. China Sea
TAIPEI - A surge in naval maneuvers in the South China Sea by Western allies this year is keeping China from any further expansion into the contested waters, analysts say. Vessels from Australia, France, Japan and the United States have sent ships to the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea in 2018. They believe the sea rich in fisheries and fossil fuel reserves to be an international waterway, but China claims about 90 percent of it and has militarized several key islets. The foreign military exercises, naval ship passages and ports of call, along with one U.S. B-52 flyby have effectively stopped China from pushing ahead with expansion that’s also opposed by five other maritime claimants in Asia, experts believe. “You take a realist perspective of power, and it’s a way of ensuring the South China Sea is permanently contested,” said Alan Chong, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “So, the Chinese will issue angry statements and so … [Read more...] about Surge in South China Sea Naval Exercises in 2018 Vexes Beijing
More than a year since its beginning, the true origin of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, but investigations into the matter have uncovered new questions about a scientific practice known as “gain-of-function” research. Most of the scientific community still contends that the novel coronavirus wreaking havoc on the world is of natural origin . Others argue gain-of-function (GoF) research may have potentially played a role, though, and critics have warned for years the field was dangerous enough to cause a pandemic. The simplest explanation of GoF research is that it is the process of taking a disease and making it more dangerous for some kind of scientific benefit. It can take a variety of forms, but the desired outcome is typically to make a disease more contagious, more deadly or both. (RELATED: These Members Of Congress Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 Since The Capitol Riot) This is primarily done for one of two reasons: to aid in the … [Read more...] about Why Aren’t We Talking More About China’s ‘Gain Of Function’ Coronavirus Research?
The Japanese government just announced that it intends to release over 1.2 million tons of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the North Pacific. This would result in dangerous radionuclides flowing across the ocean to Russia, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast . The release of this material — which is strongly opposed by local scientists and residents in Japan — would begin in two years and continue for another 40 years. The Biden administration must urge Japan to abandon this unnecessary and dangerous plan. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused by the 9.1 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and a 14-meter-high tsunami. The tsunami flooded and disabled emergency generators needed to pump cooling water into the nuclear reactor cores, causing three reactor core meltdowns and hydrogen explosions. Radionuclides flowed eastward across the Pacific and were eventually found in waters off California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, British … [Read more...] about The danger of Japan dumping Fukushima wastewater into the ocean