New China-US military ties: agree to disagree

Military_China Chang-US HagelChinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (L) and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) review the guard of honor at a welcoming ceremony before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

China-US military: agree to disagree – CCTV News – English

< Video China-US military: agree to disagree

Chinese President Xi Jinping (second right) shakes hands with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (second left) during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on China and the US to build a new model of military relations in a meeting with visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

As an important part of Sino-US ties, military relations should be advanced under the framework of building a new type of major power relations, Xi, who is also chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, told Hagel.

The two countries need to effectively manage their differences and sensitive issues to ensure major power relations always go forward on the right track, Xi said.

The new type of China-US military ties are in the initial phase and the two sides have different understandings but they are looking for ways to advance, said Liu Weidong, an expert on US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Hagel is wrapping up his first visit to China since he became defense chief in February last year. His visit came after a stop in Japan, with which China has been embroiled in territorial disputes over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

The defense chief’s exchanges with Chinese military officials saw both blunt exchanges and handshakes, said an opinion piece by the Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.

Before coming to China, Hagel said the goal for his Asia visit was to assure US allies of commitment to “our treaty obligations.” He openly welcomed Japan’s attempt to ease the ban on its collective self-defense in a written response to Japan’s financial newspaper Nikkei and reassured Tokyo that the Diaoyu Islands fall under the US-Japan Security Treaty.

He was received with frank and outspoken comments from Chinese military officials before the public, which is rarely seen, said analysts.

Before reporters, Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, said Tuesday that Hagel’s remarks on China made at the US-ASEAN defense ministers meeting in Hawaii last week and to the Japanese politicians were “tough.”

“The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks,” Fan noted.

Also in the presence of the press, China’s defense minister Chang Wanquan called on the US to keep Tokyo within bounds and not be permissive. He said China would not take pre-emptive action, but its armed forces are ready to respond.

It’s rare that Chinese military officials publicly express such attitudes and language, said Niu Xinchun, a research fellow with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, noting that China has been angered by US rhetoric.

“The strong remarks display the diplomatic style of China’s new leadership and China’s increasing confidence,” he told the Global Times.

It’s also a tactic with which China wants to press the US to take China’s feelings seriously, Liu noted.

Hagel also faced sharp questions when giving a speech at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s National Defense University. One Chinese officer voiced his concern that the US was stirring up trouble in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to hamper China’s development out of fear of China as a challenge, Reuters reported.

“These questions are prepared by the organizer to deliver China’s worries about a possible threat from the US-Japan alliance,” said Liu.

Reuters reported China appeared to be getting anxious that the recent tough talk by US officials over China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors could be a preview of what US President Barack Obama would say when he visits Asia later this month.

China’s defense ministry Wednesday also voiced strong opposition to a bill passed by the US House of Representatives that called on the Obama administration to sell Perry-class frigates to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Hagel was the first foreign official allowed onboard China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province.

This was seen as a gesture of China’s sincerity and transparency by analysts.

With outspoken expressions and openness occurring at the same time, the exchanges between China and the US military indicate the wisdom of communication and the art of balance, said the Xinhua opinion piece.

An Obama administration official acknowledged that the tone was sharper on issues surrounding the South China Sea and the East China Sea than it had been on the last visit by a US defense secretary to China, which was in 2012.

“But in other areas the tone was actually improved,” the official said, pointing to discussions on Sino-US military cooperation and even North Korea, according to Reuters.

Hagel said at the university that with the modernization and expanding presence in Asia and beyond of the Chinese army, forces from the two countries will have closer proximity, “which increases the risk of an incident, an accident, or a miscalculation.”

“But this reality also presents new opportunities for cooperation,” he said.

China and the US can enhance their mutual understanding when the divides are frankly discussed, although it’s not likely to eradicate the mistrust between the two sides in just one visit, said Tao Wenzhao, an expert on US studies also with CASS.

By Sun Xiaobo Global Times

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China should offer Hagel tough welcome

US Hagel-Japan-onodera

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) shakes hands with Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera – US Backs Militarization Of Japan In Response To China US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concluded his Japanese tour and kicked off a visit to China on Monday. In Tokyo he made many remarks that were pleasant to Japanese. Hagel publicly warned China not to tackle the ongoing territorial disputes with neighboring countries as “the Russians have done with Ukraine.” It’s expected he will soft-pedal on these issues when he is in Beijing.

< Video: Fan Changlong: “dissatisfied” with remarks by Chuck Hagel.

But Chinese officials should respond to Hagel’s unusually forceful remarks with toughness. The US hasn’t totally sided with countries like Japan and the Philippines over their territorial disputes with China yet. However, there is little difference between Washington’s current partiality for Tokyo and Manila and open support of confronting China.

Many Chinese believe the core of the US “rebalancing Asia” strategy lies in that the US is attempting to burden China’s rise through instigating confrontation with other countries in the neighborhood. It’s during the implementation of this US strategy that territorial spats have been escalated due to the aggressive and offensive policies of Japan and the Philippines.

Chinese public opinion has given up hope of reason with the US, since Washington is adept in manipulating double standards.

In the US eyes, Japan’s “nationalizing the Diaoyu Islands” and the Philippines’ trickery to bolster its territorial clam through reinforcing a marooned navy ship that it stationed in Ren’ai reef are not violations of the “status quo,” while any countermeasures by China are called “aggression.”

The US is good at maneuvering in East Asia. But it overestimates the value of the “rebalancing Asia” strategy if it misperceives China as easily cowed into submission. China is not Russia, nor will the South China Sea and East China Sea be Crimea. Restraint is the basic philosophy of China in front of frictions, but we also make it clear, “Don’t irritate us!”

If Washington continues to indulge Tokyo and Manila in provoking China, it will pay the price sooner or later. The cost is that the US will feel ashamed.

For instance, China will spare no efforts to prevent the Philippines consolidating the rusting ship in Ren’ai Reef. Any promises that the US makes to the Philippines and Japan that they can do whatever they want in Ren’ai Reef and Diaoyu Islands will prove empty.

China has no intentions to imitate Russia in how to deal with frictions on its periphery. It’s the US that should learn a lesson from the Crimea crisis. Washington suppressed Russia’s strategic space, but it got cold feet when Moscow upped the ante.

Conflicts in Europe cannot be replicated in East Asia. The US should be careful that it cannot suppress China as it has done with Russia. Countries like Japan and the Philippines shouldn’t be used as pawns to contain China.

China emphasizes the importance of building a new type of major power relationship with the US. As the sole super power, the US has gained the upper hand in Sino-US relations, but it will finally get trapped if it continues to snub our Chinese feelings. – Global Times


Chinese, U.S. defense chief vow to boost new type military ties

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Interesting times in East Asia

South-East Asia is in a strategically unenviable spot – too small to shape North-East Asia, and too near to it to avoid the havoc of conflict there.
Trouble Water_South Korea_East China

Troubled waters: South Korea conducting a drill to guard a maritime science research station set up on the South Korea-controlled underwater reef of Ieodo. Conflicts can result from miscalculation, misperception or misinterpretation of an adversary’s actions or intentions. -EPA

IF outright aggression between nations often results in conflict, conflicts need not result directly from aggression alone.

Conflicts also arise from doubts, uncertainty and lingering suspicions. They can result from miscalculation, misperception or misinterpretation of an adversary’s actions or intentions.

Several of these “triggers” are on full display in North-East Asia today. Contributory factors include historical grievances between Japan and its immediate neighbours China and the Koreas, China’s growth and assertiveness, Japan’s brashness, Korea’s sensitivities and US ties to Japanese security interests.

That these countries are major players does not insure against open conflict between them. These major powers have the means to initiate and sustain full-scale war.

Nor is the location of potential conflict in North-East Asia a comfort to South-East Asia. Whether individually or together, Asean countries are not strong enough to deter or resolve such conflict, yet are not sufficiently far away to avoid its fallout.

Several of the disputes stem from Japan’s 2012 nationalisation of the Senkaku/Diaoyu/Diaoyutai islands also claimed by China and Taiwan in the East China Sea. As with other provocations, this occurred against the backdrop of Japanese atrocities against Chinese and Korean populations during the Second World War.

Then last November, China declared an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over disputed islands and waters. After the United States declared the first ADIZ in 1950, Britain, Canada, India, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan followed. 

A country’s ADIZ requires foreign civilian vessels to identify themselves before entering. Essentially controversial and provocative, it is unilateral, unregulated and unauthorised multilaterally.

Beijing presumably thought that all countries had equal rights to declare such a zone. It may not have anticipated the protests it received, particularly from countries that had done the same thing before.

In December, Chinese and US warships narrowly avoided a collision. Despite both countries downplaying the incident subsequently, different versions of the event resulted.

Spats had erupted between China and Vietnam, and the Philippines, over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s presence in disputed territories in the South China Sea. Then in mid-2013, a China-Vietnam summit cooled tensions, leaving the Philippines somewhat in the cold.

But as if to sow doubts about Beijing’s own diplomatic competence, PLA(N) ships were reported in disputed waters off Sarawak late last year and early this year. This surprised Malaysian diplomatic and policy circles, since China had previously avoided upsetting Malaysia.

Countries in the region puzzle over why China is putting on such provocations, beyond testing the reactions of the other claimant countries. However, such tests can be made by other countries as well.

Late last month, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that China was preparing to declare an ADIZ in the South China Sea. The area includes disputed islands and waters claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The report suggested the new ADIZ would initially cover the Paracel Islands and eventual­ly include virtually the whole sea. Beijing immediately retorted, warning Japan against spreading baseless rumours.

The Japanese report was either a truthful account or an attempt to test China’s response. That response has been clear enough.

The Japanese government, meanwhile, has been working hard producing its share of follies and fumbles.

In mid-December, Tokyo called a meeting with Asean countries to discuss defence concerns vis-à-vis China. That meeting flopped, as Asean leaders downplayed the defence aspect and preferred discussing economic relations with Japan.

Then after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in December, Tokyo announced plans to nationalise another 280 islands. It coincided with the National Security Council’s launch to streamline the operations of security agencies and military forces under the office of the nationalist Abe.

That month, Abe criticised China’s ADIZ, calling it an attempt to change the regional status quo “by force”. Observers in the region were baffled by Tokyo’s definition of “force”.

Then the Japanese government revised textbooks to instruct schoolchildren that the islands in dispute with other countries were “an inherent part” of Japan. That again brought Beijing and Seoul together to condemn Tokyo.

At the same time, Japan planned military exercises with US and Indian forces, incorporating a US$2bil (RM6.65bil) loan to India. Days later, Tokyo planned more military exercises with US and Australian forces.

Such military responses with major countries outside East Asia do nothing to improve fraying relations within the region. But that disconnect apparently fails to concern policymakers in Tokyo.

Within Japan, Abe’s government is expanding its military forces over the Nansei Islands, covering Okinawa and the Senkakus. But reactionary nationalists had long seen the restrictions of Japan’s post-war “pacifist” Constitution as a hindrance.

Abe is now on a personal crusade to revise the Constitution to allow for a more assertive military. In his “historic mission”, Abe’s target is Article 9 which bans the use of military force to resolve disputes abroad.

The problem for Abe: a news survey last month showed 53.8% of the Japanese public opposing changes to the Constitution. How would a democratic Japan reject that majority view?

Abe seeks changes to permit Japanese force­s to make pre-emptive strikes, amounting to unilateral attacks on another country where self-defence may not be invoked.

After the US government advised US commercial airlines in November to abide by China’s ADIZ, Tokyo expressed bewilderment. Abe promptly concluded that the US had made no such decision.

Reports early this month said that Japan and the US had agreed to ignore China’s ADIZ in their military manoeuvres. But an ADIZ customarily applies to civilian, not military, vessels.

In other matters, however, there has been less agreement between Washington and Tokyo. A senior US military official warned against revising Japan’s Constitution. Since the overriding purpose was to build a trilateral alliance in North-East Asia comprising the US, Japan and South Korea to alienate China, a revised Japanese Constitution would instead alienate South Korea and disrupt the alliance.

In December, the US expressed “disappoint­ment” over Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine. The following month, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy objected to the cruelty of Japan’s annual dolphin hunt, provoking protests.

Three US Congressmen have lobbied Secretary of State John Kerry to address the “comfort women” issue with Japan. It involved more than 200,000 Korean women and girls who had been sexually abused by Imperial Japanese forces.

When NHK broadcast chief Katsuto Momii trivialised the issue, suggesting Japan’s wartime actions were acceptable, he caused more controversy. Momii was Abe’s pick for the top media job.

Kerry is due in China and South Korea in a week to discuss North Korea. Japanese observers note that he will be bypassing Tokyo. However, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida was in Washington on Friday to discuss with Kerry the Abe-Obama summit in Tokyo in April. Abe has found a compelling need to reaffirm bilateral ties with the US.

While the scheduled summit will bear on the “US pivot” to East Asia, other countries may also do a pivot or at least a pirouette. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has directed major state-owned companies to relocate their head offices to Russia’s far east to help develop the region.

Where political and economic concerns converge, strategic considerations are never far behind. Such concerns, never lacking in East Asia, are now set to multiply.

 Behind The Headlines by Bunn Nagara Asia News Network

  • Bunn Nagara is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.
  • The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own. 

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China successfully tested new ultra hypersonic missile vehiche seeks to calm US fears

China hypersonic missile test not targeted at any country: DM CCTV News – CNTV English

The Ministry of National Defense issued a statement on Wednesday dismissing media reports that China’s recent ultrahigh-speed missile test flight was aimed at delivering warheads through the missile defenses of the United States.

“It is normal for China to conduct scientific experiments within its borders according to its plans. The tests were not aimed at any nation nor any specific target,” the ministry said in a written reply to China Daily.

Western media have been playing up the significance of the hypersonic missile delivery vehicle test since The Washington Free Beacon news website quoted an anonymous Pentagon official as saying that the test was conducted with the aim of sending warheads through US missile defenses.

In an article on the test, the website reported that the new hypersonic missile was detected traveling at extremely high speeds over China.

US Pentagon spokesman Jeffrey Pool told the website, “We routinely monitor foreign defense activities and we are aware of this test.”

Observers said reports that play up competition on military capabilities indicate a lack of mutual understanding on the part of the militaries of China and the US, but the misperceptions can be resolved through talks.

Lack of mutual strategic trust between the two nations is the reason why the US is worried about China’s military development, said Fan Jishe, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“Washington is afraid that China’s growing power will reduce its influence in the region, and threaten the interests of its allies, such as Japan and the Philippines. … The US still enjoys the leading position in military ability, both strategic weapons and conventional armaments,” Fan said.

“The US has been devoted to high-tech weapons research for a long time, and China is still rather backward in this field,” he said.

China has been sufficiently transparent on developments in its military technologies to allow for the development of mutual trust with other nations, he added.

Li Qingkong, deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said, “There is no need for the US or any other country to worry about the development of the Chinese military, given that China’s military expenditure is much lower than that of the US.”

Such weapons use cutting-edge technology for flying and maneuvering at ultrahigh speeds in space and within the Earth’s atmosphere.

The advantages of hypersonic craft include precise targeting, very rapid delivery of weapons, and greater survivability against missile and space defenses.

The Washington Free Beacon said the US, Russia, and China are all engaged in research on hypersonic weapons, while India is also developing a hypersonic variant of its BrahMos cruise missile. – China Daily

China launches probe and rover to moon

China Lunar Probe_Change-3_Long March B3
The Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Dec. 2, 2013. It will be the first time for China to send a spacecraft to soft land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body, where it will conduct surveys on the moon. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

>>Click here to see more photos

Video: Chang´e lunar probe launch success CCTV News – CNTV English

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China launched the Chang’e-3 lunar probe with the country’s first moon rover aboard early on Monday, marking a significant step toward deep space exploration.

The probe’s carrier, an enhanced Long March-3B rocket, blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 1:30 a.m.

Chang’e-3 is expected to land on the moon in mid-December to become China’s first spacecraft to soft land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body.

It is also the first moon lander launched in the 21st century.

The probe entered the earth-moon transfer orbit as scheduled, with a perigee of 200 kilometers and apogee of 380,000 kilometers.

“The probe has already entered the designated orbit,” said Zhang Zhenzhong, director of the launch center in Xichang. “I now announce the launch was successful.”

“We will strive for our space dream as part of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation,” he said.

Amid efforts to promote lunar probe campaign among the public, the Chinese Academy of Sciences opened a microblog account for the Chang’e-3 mission, attracting more than 260,000 fans who continuously posted congratulatory comments.

The probe’s soft-landing is the most difficult task during the mission, said Wu Weiren, the lunar program’s chief designer. “This will be a breakthrough for China to realize zero-distance observation and survey on the moon.”

More than 80 percent of technologies and products of the mission are newly developed, he said.

The Chang’e-3 will lay a solid foundation for manned lunar orbit mission and manned lunar landing. China has not revealed the roadmap for its manned mission to land on the moon.

So far, only the United States and the former Soviet Union have soft landed on the moon.

Chang’e-3, comprising a lander and a moon rover called “Yutu” (Jade Rabbit), presents a modern scientific version of an ancient Chinese myth that a lady called Chang’e, after swallowing magic pills, took her pet “Yutu” to fly toward the moon, where she became a goddess, and has been living there with the white rabbit ever since.

Tasks for the moon rover include surveying the moon’s geological structure and surface substances, while looking for natural resources.

A telescope will be set up on the moon, for the first time in human history, to observe the plasmasphere over the Earth and survey the moon surface through radar.

The lunar probe mission is of great scientific and economic significance, said Sun Zezhou, chief designer of the lunar probe.

The mission has contributed to the development of a number of space technologies and some of them can be applied in civilian sector, he said.

Chang’e-3 is part of the second phase of China’s lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to the Earth. It follows the success of the Chang’e-1 and Chang’e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010.

After orbiting for 494 days and intentionally crashing onto the lunar surface, Chang’e-1 sent back 1.37 terabytes of data, producing China’s first complete moon picture.

Launched on Oct. 1, 2010, Chang’e-2 verified some crucial technologies for Chang’e-3 and reconnoitered the landing area. It also made the world’s first lunar holographic image with a resolution of 7 meters.

Currently, Chang’e-2 is more than 60 million km away from the Earth and has become China’s first man-made asteroid. It is heading for deep space and is expected to travel as far as 300 million km from the Earth, the longest voyage of any Chinese spacecraft.

China is likely to realize the third step of its lunar program in 2017, which is to land a lunar probe on moon, release a moon rover and return the probe to the Earth.

The moon is considered the first step to explore a further extraterrestrial body, such as the Mars.

If successful, the Chang’e-3 mission will mean China has the ability of in-situ exploration on an extraterrestrial body, said Sun Huixian, deputy engineer-in-chief in charge of the second phase of China’s lunar program.

“China’s space exploration will not stop at the moon,” he said. “Our target is deep space.”

China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003, becoming the third country after Russia and the United States to achieve independent manned space travel.

Despite fast progress of the lunar mission, China is still a newcomer in this field.

The former Soviet Union first landed its probe on the moon on Jan. 31, 1966, while the United States first sent human beings to the moon in 1969.

About a day before the launch of Chang’e-3, India’s maiden Mars orbiter, named Mangalyaan, left the Earth early on Sunday for a 300-day journey to the Red Planet.

Chinese space scientists are looking forward to cooperation with other countries, including the country’s close neighbor India.

Li Benzheng, deputy commander-in-chief of China’s lunar program, told media earlier that China’s space exploration does not aim at competition.

“We are open in our lunar program, and cooperation from other countries is welcome,” he said. “We hope to explore and use space for more resources to promote human development.” – Xinhua

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Defeated Japan ought to honor terms dictated by Cairo Declaration in post-war world order

As the world is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration Sunday, it is high time that Japan observed the terms dictated by the historic document.

Cairo Declaration_conferenceGeneralissimo Chiang Kai-shek, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill met at the Cairo Conference in Cairo, November 25, 1943.

Chinese embassy marks 70th anniversary of Cairo Declaration

Video: Declaration supports China´s Diaoyu Islands sovereignty CCTV News – CNTV English.

On Dec. 1, 1943, the Cairo Declaration was broadcast in a communique on radio in Chongqing, Washington and London, setting the tone for an imminent end to the most destructive war in human history.

The landmark document, issued by China, the United States and Britain, voiced the determination of the Allies of World War II to continue military actions until Japan’s unconditional surrender.

It also set goals for the post-war order, in which Japan shall restore all the territories it has stolen from China, including Taiwan. The Diaoyu Islands, which for recent years Japan has claimed as its own territory, was then affiliated islands of Taiwan.

The Cairo Declaration serves as a cornerstone of the post-war order in East Asia. By incorporating history, international law and bilateral treaties, the document laid the foundation for regional peace.

On July 26, 1945, the Potsdam Declaration, issued by the United States,Britain and China, reaffirmed that the terms of the Cairo Declaration would be carried out, and stipulated that “The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.”

By signing the Instrument of Surrender a month later, Japan specifically accepted the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, which incorporated the terms of the Cairo Declaration.

The normalization of Sino-Japanese relations was also achieved within the framework of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration. In the Sino-Japanese Joint Communique inked in 1972, Japan agreed that “it firmly maintains its stand under Article 8 of the Potsdam Declaration.”

Six years later, in the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, the two countries pledged to strictly observe the principles in the joint communique, and vowed that “they will use peaceful means to settle all disputes and will refrain from the use of force or the threats of the use thereof.”

The post-war order in East Asia, which has weathered the vicissitudes of time, remains steadfast in its commitment to the restoration of territories seized or occupied by invaders, as well as the international status of those countries that fell victim to Japan’s aggressive war.

On such basis, East Asia has quickly emerged from the ashes of war to become enviable economic powerhouses of the world. Amid overall peace, Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore as well as many Southeast Asian countries and regions have witnessed spectacular growth in past decades.

The Cairo Declaration, as well as other related documents, have served as legal guardians for economic prosperity in East Asia.

To ignore these documents and allow the then militarist invaders maintain their stolen land would defy the post-war East Asian order, risk a resurgence of the once rampant Japanese militarism, and breed historical resentment in countries, on which Japan’s war of aggression had wreaked havoc.

China loves peace and needs a peaceful environment for its domestic development. It is Japan that has provoked the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, and heightened regional tension to challenge the post-war order.

Despite the strong opposition from China, Japan, on Sept. 10th last year, unilaterally announced its “nationalization” of the Diaoyu Islands, riding roughshod over the declaration.

Over the past year, Abe’s government has turned a blind eye to the evidence presented by the Chinese government and the testimony given by Japanese witnesses, and refused to recognize the agreement to “shelve the disputes” over the islands issue, which was struck by the two sides in 1970s.

If Japan would not even admit the dispute, how could dialogues and negotiations be launched to seek a settlement?

To amend Japan’s current pacifist peaceful constitution and beef up its military muscle is the major factor behind the Abe administration’s hell-bentness on having its own way.

As stipulated in its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan has no right to wage war. The so-called “China threat” is a lame excuse Japan has invented to break the restraints imposed by the constitution.

What’s more, the Abe administration takes an apathetic stand on war crimes Japan committed some 70 years ago.

Provocative remarks and actions, such as quibbling with the definition of “aggression”, sparing no efforts to revise the country’s war-renouncing constitution and visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, have been repeatedly brought up by the prime minister.

The dispute over Diaoyu Islands has thus borne heavily on Japan’s understanding on its aggressive and militarist past, its intention to amend the pacifist constitution and the post-war order in East Asia dictated by the Cairo Declaration.

The post-war order in East Asia and in the Asia-Pacific at large, as prescribed by the Cairo Declaration, serves not only as an warning and caution against the catastrophe of war and a penalty on war crime perpetrators, but also an important gateway toward the hard-won regional peace, all of which entails a regular and in-depth review of the historic document.- Xinhu

Experts say Cairo Declaration establishes post-war world order

The Cairo Declaration, issued by Britain, China and the United States in 1943, is of great significance in rebuilding the international order after the end of World War II, experts said.

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the declaration, which stated that all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese should be restored to China, experts at home and abroad called on the international community to jointly safeguard the established international order.

The most important significance of the Cairo Declaration is that major territories seized by Japan since 1895 should be restored, said Michael Schaller, a regents professor of the University of Arizona.

He said the declaration included a determination that Japan should “give up virtually all the territory it had acquired by force since 1895 and 1914, including northeast China, the island of Taiwan and nearby islands … and Pescadores.”

“When Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration … as part of its agreement to surrender, it acknowledged that in doing so it was also accepting the terms of the Cairo Declaration …” added Schaller, who is also a member of the Society for the Historians of American Foreign Relations.

“I don’t think there was any ambiguity or confusion about the fact that Japan would need to surrender all territories it had seized on the Asian mainland and Taiwan. I don’t think that even today’s strident Japanese nationalists question that,” he said.

Dan Plesch, director of the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University of London, said the Cairo Declaration was the culmination of a success for China during World War II.

“This in turn was only made possible because of the heroic resistance of the Chinese people to Japanese aggression,” he said.

In regard to the role played by the declaration in post-war reconstruction and today’s world order, Plesch said the document was an important agreement that led to the end of World War II.

“Its content, particularly with respect to Japan, was part of the settlement which enabled the war to come to an end with the Japanese surrender,” he said.

Plesch said that as the declaration stipulated the solution to territorial and border issues, any defiant moves are “potentially highly destabilizing with respect to international order.”

Huang Dahui, director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, said that in face of Japan’s flagrant defiance of the post-war order set up by the Cairo Declaration and other documents of international law, the international community should have a better understanding of the declaration to ensure obedience to relevant terms.

The Cairo Declaration stated in explicit terms that “all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa (Taiwan), and Pescadores” shall be restored to the Chinese, he said, adding that the Diaoyu Islands, then administrated by Taiwan, should be included in the returned territories.

The Japanese government, however, took a unilateral action to “nationalize” the Diaoyu Islands in a move not only to severely infringe upon China’s territorial sovereignty, but also to publicly challenge the outcome of the world anti-fascist war and the post-war international order, Huang said.

The three signatories of the Cairo Declaration — Britain, China and the United States — should work together to ensure the implementation of the document and safeguard the fruits of the victory, he said. – Xinhua

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China monitors US bombers in defense zone

B-52  J15-fighterChina’s defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng on Wednesday said the country has observed US B-52 bombers flying in the newly established air defense identification zone over East China Sea.


Geng said the US aircraft flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone from 11:00 a.m. to 1:22 pm Tuesday, about 200 km to the east of the Diaoyu Islands.

The Chinese army monitored the entire process, carried out identification in a timely manner, and ascertained the type of aircraft.

“We need to stress that China will identify every aircraft flying in the air defense identification zone according to the country’s announcement of aircraft identification rules for the air defense identification zone,” Geng said.

“China is capable of exercising effective control over this airspace,” Geng added.

China announced the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone on Saturday. The US State Department and certain officials expressed concern after the announcement.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said Tuesday that the US conducted a training exercise that had been planned for a long time. It involved two aircraft flying from Guam and returning to Guam.- Xinhua

US B-52 bombers challenge China’s new ADIZ

China’s latest move in defending its sovereignty is facing opposition from other countries. Two US B-52 bombers have flown over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, in defiance of the air defense identification zone set on Saturday. China is taking a measured response, while stressing that it has the ability to manage and control its airspace.


Just days after China announced the establishment of an air defense identification zone, or A-D-I-Z. The US sent two B-52 bombers through the zone and over the Diaoyu Islands

China’s defense ministry asserted it has the ability to control the airspace. It says it identified the aircraft and monitored the entire two hours and 22 minutes.

The US said it was a long planned training mission, and put its own spin on the matter to fault China.

“This unilateral action appears to be an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea. This will raise regional tensions and increase the risk of miscalculation, confrontation, and accidents. We have made this case to China.” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Japan, which claims the Diaoyu Islands as its territory, was quick to join its ally.

“Our stance is that China’s move cannot be accepted, and so I think the US is also dealing with the issue with the same stance.” Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera said.

Aircraft flying through an A-D-I-Z must report a flight plan, maintain two-way radio contact and respond to identification inquiries, or face defensive emergency measures.

More than 20 countries and regions use such zones, including the US and many of China’s neighbors.

The Foreign Ministry called for calm, saying the zone does not target any country.

“China’s establishment of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea is a legitimate exercise of the right of self-defense. It’s not aimed at any particular country or target. So we hope that the countries concerned will not overreact or panic over the event.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

China has also lodged protests over US and Japanese criticism. The country says the establishment of the zone has a sound legal basis and is in accordance with common international practice.

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China sets up air defence zone over East China Sea, a strategic move

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China sets up air defence zone over East China Sea, a strategic move

China air defence zone


The Chinese government on Saturday issued a statement on establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.

The move, however, provoked anger in Japan, which accused China of “one-sidedly” setting up the zone that covers the disputed Diaoyu islands, and described the zone as “totally unacceptable.”

Having no intention to generate tensions, China’s move is to uphold its own legitimate rights and safeguard what has always been its own.

As pointed out by many military experts, the establishment of the air zone is a necessary, rightful and totally legitimate measure taken by China in protecting its sovereignty and providing air security.

Actually, the establishment of the air zone is not only perfectly legitimate, but also in line with current international practice.

An air defense identification zone is established by a maritime nation to guard against potential air threats. Since the 1950s, more than 20 countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany and Japan itself, have successively established such zones.

China’s Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun has stressed that the zone “has no particular target and will not affect the freedom of flight in relevant airspace.”

Since the zone is both in line with the UN Charter and in respect of relevant international laws and customs, China has every right to decide on its own whether to set up such zones, without getting permission from any other countries.

And Japan should know better than to continue its overreaction and learn to accept the “unacceptable.”

On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry also voiced concerns over the zone, fearing it might “constitute an attempt to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” and increase tensions and risks in the region.

But is it China to blame for upsetting the status quo over the islands?

The status quo of the Diaoyu islands, which had lasted for decades under the principle of shelving the dispute, has already been broken more than one year ago when the Japanese government launched a unilateral move to “purchase” and “nationalize” the islands.

The farce of “buying” the Chinese territories is a sign of Japan’s expanding nationalism and growing belligerence, which should be identified as the real danger in the region.

Instead of “increasing tensions and creating risks,” the setup of China’s air zone could contribute much to regional peace and security by curbing the increasing rampancy of Japan’s right-wing forces, as well as the continuous and dangerous provocations of Japanese politicians, which even Washington should be vigilant against.

The White House has repeatedly said that the United States does not take a position on territorial disputes between China and Japan, a neutral stance the Chinese government has appreciated.

But keeping a blind eye to the dangerous tendency in Japan could prove to be risky and might even jeopardize the US national interests.

Air defense identification zone a strategic decision: experts

The establishment of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone is a strategic decision in accordance with China’s current national security situation, experts said.

“Setting up the air defense identification zone can effectively safeguard national sovereignty and security,” said Zhang Junshe, a military expert, adding that the move conforms to the fundamental spirit and principle of international law.

The Chinese government issued a statement on Saturday morning on establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone. It also issued an announcement on the aircraft identification rules and a diagram for the zone.

According to the announcement, China will take timely measures to deal with air threats and unidentified flying objects from the sea, including identification, monitoring, control and disposition.

“The move also accords with common international practices as the United States and Canada took the lead around the world in setting up such zones starting in the 1950s,” said Xing Hongbo, a military and legal expert, adding that more than 20 countries have set up air defense identification zones since then.

“Various aircraft with high altitude and high-speed flying capabilities have been broadly used around the world with the development of aviation technology, and it’s hard for China to identify an unidentified flying object and adopt countermeasures immediately,” said Meng Xiangqing, a military expert.

The establishment of the zone can help set aside early warning time to ascertain an aircraft’s purpose and attributes and adopt measures to protect air defense security, Meng said. – Xinhua

NSA secretly hacks, intercepts Google, Yahoo daily


The United States’ National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers worldwide. That’s according to documents released by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, The Washington Post reports.

Video: NSA intercepts Google, Yahoo traffic overseas report | The National

Google hacked by NSAAccording to the documents, the agency and its British counterpart GCHQ, through a project called MUSCULAR, collected data stored on Google and Yahoo servers. That allowed both governments access to hundreds of millions of user accounts from individuals worldwide.

“From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants,” RT cites the Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani.

A January 9th document says that in the preceding 30 days, collectors had processed over 181 million pieces of information, including both metadata and the actual contents of communications.

The government can already request information from phone or data through the FISA Amendments Act but this data collection would ostensibly take place without Google and Yahoo even being aware of it.

When you send email or store files with an internet company, that data is regularly shared among servers around the world, in order to ensure quick access to your information from wherever you happen to be. Google and Yahoo run customized private networks to shuttle that information around, passing between and within countries, as the Post indicates in a graphic. To move that information, the companies use fiber optic connections, light-speed networks running over thin glass cables. According to the Post, it’s those connections that the NSA is able to monitor. None of Yahoo’s inter-server traffic is encrypted. Not all of Google’s is either.

The MUSCULAR program, according to Wednesday’s leak, involves a process in which the NSA and GCHQ intercept communications overseas, where lax restrictions and oversight allow the agencies access to intelligence with ease.

“NSA documents about the effort refer directly to ‘full take,’ ‘bulk access’ and ‘high volume’ operations on Yahoo and Google networks,” the Post reported. “Such large-scale collection of Internet content would be illegal in the United States, but the operations take place overseas, where the NSA is allowed to presume that anyone using a foreign data link is a foreigner”.

The Post points out that company staffers were surprised and angry to hear that their their networks had been compromised. Google said that it was “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers”.

The report comes amid a storm of protest about NSA surveillance both at home and overseas of phone and Internet communications.

On Tuesday, US officials said reports that American spy agencies snooped on millions of Europeans were false.

Alexander told lawmakers that in many cases European spy agencies had turned over phone records and shared them with US intelligence.

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China unveils nuke submarine, moving towards military transparency

China's nuke subsmarine

The world has been given a rare glimpse into China’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet, with State-owned media carrying extensive coverage of the previously mysterious strategic deterrence force.

The unprecedented revealing of the underwater fleet is a demonstration of China’s confidence in its sea-based nuclear strike capability and serves as a deterrent to any attempted provocation amid the changing geopolitical situation, said military observers.

Starting on Sunday, China Central Television carried serial coverage two days in a row on the submarine force of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s Beihai fleet in its flagship news program Xinwen Lianbo.

The People’s Daily, the PLA Daily and the China Youth Daily on Monday all carried front-page stories, features and commentaries on the submarine force, applauding its achievements since the launch of China’s first nuclear-powered submarine in December 1970.

According to the reports, the idea of building a nuclear submarine was initiated by Chairman Mao Zedong in the late 1950s to break the global military powers’ “nuclear blackmailing and monopoly.”

In September 1988, China launched a carrier rocket from a nuclear submarine, becoming the fifth country in the world to have the capability of sea-based nuclear strike.

While striving to improve its strike capability, the submarine force has also maintained a good safety record, with no single nuclear accident reported during the past four decades, said the reports.

The People’s Daily on Monday hailed the submarine force as “a shield preserving world peace and stability” and “a cornerstone to safeguard state sovereignty, security and development interests.”

Du Wenlong, a military expert, told the Global Times on Monday that the latest publicity shows the maturity in the submarine force’s sea-based nuclear strike capability, and implies progress in the development of China’s new generation of submarines.

According to military observers, the submarines shown in the CCTV report and newspaper photos are the old models, which were put into service in the 1980s. It is reported that the navy is replacing them with Jin-class submarines, and a newer model, the Tang-class, is reportedly in development.

Du said in comparison to foreign submarines, China occupies a seat within the leading group but lags behind the US and Russia in terms of the submarine’s noise output and the number of missiles it can carry.

Li Jie, another military expert, shared similar views, noting Chinese submarines still fall behind US and Russian ones, but have better prospects than French and British ones.

The growing capability of the Chinese submarine force is in line with the global emphasis on sea-based nuclear strike capability.

Sea-based nuclear deterrence is more covert, so it gives the countries the capability to launch a counterstrike after their main nuclear bases are destroyed, Li explained, noting its development requires strong comprehensive scientific and technological capabilities.

In addition to the demonstration of more transparency in the military, Li said the revealing of the force is also a deterrent to foreign provocation.

According to reports, during the submarine force’s drills, it has repeatedly been tailed and interrupted by foreign ships and aircraft, including one time in international waters in the West Pacific.

“The changing international situation has caused containment to China’s growth. The US-Japan alliance and US pivot to the Asia-Pacific both apparently target China. The publicity of the submarine force is a warning to any country that attempts to provoke China, telling them whoever makes the first strike should think about the consequences,” Li said.

CCTV commentary said the submarine force has equipped China with a more covert and reliable nuclear counterstrike capability in addition to its intercontinental ballistic missile and strategic bomber, which would make China’s rivals abandon their war attempts for fears of the unbearable price they might have to pay.

- Contributed By Yang Jingjie Global Times


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