Tin quốc tế mới nhất 25/8, Bộ tứ Kim Cương tung dàn chiến hạm răn đe Trung Quốc | FBNC
US-led Quad plans joint naval exercises as China tensions boil over Harris rebukes China in speech on Indo-Pacific vision Kamala Harris’ Southeast Asia visit draws ire of Chinese netizens Afghanistan fallout engulfs Harris' first day of Southeast Asia trip State Dept says US will continue to help at-risk Afghans leave past Aug 31 Afghans struggle with jobs gone, banks shut, prices on the rise China’s military uses civilian cargo ship for transport in ‘Taiwan invasion drill’ Australia PM says COVID 'groundhog day' to end when more vaccinated Climate activists block streets in central London India, the US, Australia and Japan – members of the Washington-led Quad security grouping – are expected to hold joint naval exercises for the second year running, in the latest coordinated effort to flex military muscles amid tensions with China. The four-day joint manoeuvre off the coast of Guam from Thursday will feature “complex surface, subsurface and air operations including live weapon firing drills, anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, and joint manoeuvres and tactical exercises”, an Indian Navy spokesman told The Hindu. The Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which pledges to promote a free, open and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, is viewed by Beijing as part of a campaign to contain China’s growing influence in the region. The Chinese foreign minister has labelled it the “Indo-Pacific Nato”. Two Indian Navy warships arrived in Guam on Saturday for the annual Malabar naval exercise, which will “witness high-tempo exercises among destroyers, frigates, corvettes, submarines, helicopters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft of the participating navies”, its spokesman said, adding that the holding of four-way exercises during the pandemic was itself a “testimony of synergy”. Beginning with bilateral naval drills between India and the US in 1992, the Malabar naval exercises were expanded in 2015 when Japan became a permanent member. Last year, Australia joined at the invitation of India, effectively making it an exercise joined by navies of all the four Quad members.
This year’s Malabar exercise is being held as tensions between China and the US have intensified on multiple fronts, from Taiwan and Southeast Asia to Afghanistan, where America’s hasty and chaotic withdrawal has been portrayed by Chinese officials and media as the latest evidence of a decaying US global hegemony. It also comes close on the heels of a high-profile tour by US Vice-President Kamala Harris, who arrived in Singapore on Sunday for a five-day tour of Southeast Asia. Harris, the most senior official of the Biden administration to visit the region, is expected to stop in Vietnam next, with reassurances about the US’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific likely to be high on her agenda. Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi, have labelled the Quad as Asia’s Nato and blamed the US for sowing discord among countries in the region. Meanwhile, the Quad members are also bolstering security ties among themselves and with other countries. In April, the four nations joined the French navy for a three-day ‘Quad-plus’ La Perouse naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. And last week, the navy chiefs of India and Australia signed a guidance document to streamline interactions between the two forces at various levels.
China’s military made use of a large civilian cargo ship to transport troops, weapons and supplies in a recent drill, which one analyst said would be used should the PLA launch an attack on self-ruled Taiwan. The exercise was highlighted on state television last week. It involved an amphibious brigade from the 73rd Group Army based in Xiamen, Fujian – the eastern province that faces Taiwan across a narrow strait. Transport was provided by a 16,000-tonne civilian ship, CCTV said in the report on August 17, without saying when or where the exercise was held. “It’s the first time we’ve used a civilian ship with displacement of more than 10,000 tonnes,” Wang Hua, an officer with the 73rd Group Army, told the broadcaster. “In the past we relied on smaller civilian ships of a few thousand tonnes to handle offshore loading of supplies.” During the drill, troops from the brigade’s armoured vehicle unit “repelled” an attack as they were loading the cargo ship, according to the report, which showed dozens of military vehicles being transported on the civilian vessel at sea.
Lu Li-Shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung, said the exercise suggested the People’s Liberation Army was conducting preparedness training for an attack on the island. “[During an invasion] the PLA would need to take control of all the major cities in Taiwan soon after landing,” Lu said. “So civilian cargo ships could become a cover for them to ship in military supplies.” He noted that Taiwan’s military was also preparing for that scenario. “It’s why you see defence of the Tamsui River in Taipei has become a regular part of Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang exercises,” he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that the country’s shipyards have begun work on half a dozen new vessels for its growing navy, and that Moscow is now planning to revamp its armed forces with cutting-edge hardware. Speaking as part of the Army 2021 expo on Monday, Putin announced that “the potential of our sailors is increasing.” Therefore, he said, “today, at leading
shipyards across Russia, two modern short-range ships and four new submarines – including two equipped to carry nuclear missiles – are being laid.” Manufacturers on the Baltic Sea, along the waters of the Arctic and on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the country’s Far East are all now working to deliver the orders. In July, a shipyard in Severodvinsk, near the northern city of Arkhangelsk, put out to sea a nuclear missile cruiser; while in May, another nuclear submarine, ‘Kazan’, was delivered to the navy. In addition, the Russian president said that there is now a need to overhaul the country’s military equipment in order to take advantage of the latest innovations. “We are developing Russia’s defense industry and our armed forces in line with new technological principles based on our scientific and technical advances,” he said. Significant attention is being paid to “areas such as the use of artificial intelligence and robotics to support the troops, as well as the latest command and control systems.” Putin added that the share of modern weapons in the strategic nuclear forces already exceeds 80%, with outdated hardware having been replaced. In April, Putin said that hypersonic and laser weapons are a key focus for the Russian Armed Forces and were an important deterrent in dealing with potentially unfriendly states. “We have patience, self-confidence and righteousness on our side,” Putin added. “I hope no one will think of crossing red lines in their relations with Russia. Where that line sits is ours to
determine.” Those planning provocations, he said, “will regret their deeds in a way they have not regretted anything else for a long time.” Harris said in April she was among the last advisers Biden consulted before making his decision to end the Afghanistan war, and she has joined the multitude of briefings he's received on the matter over the past week. Her advisers had faced questions ahead of her trip about whether the tumultuous end to the 20-year war would undermine her message to leaders in Asia about America's commitments abroad.
There had already been some questions about Biden's attention to southeast Asia; he hasn't spoken directly to a leader from the region since taking office. Part of the reason he's explained for ending the Afghanistan war is a desire to shift focus to modern-day issues, like countering China's rise. On Monday, even as Harris sought to project the administration's focus on bolstering its influence in Asia, she still faced questions about the Afghanistan crisis. "Right now, we are singularly focused on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who worked with us, and Afghans who are vulnerable, including women and children," Harris added. She also defended President Joe Biden,
saying he'd shown "great emotion" over the images coming out of Afghanistan. "The reason I'm here is because the United States is a global leader, and we take that role seriously, understanding that we have many interests and priorities around the world," Harris said Monday. "I am here in Singapore as a reaffirmation of our commitment to our membership in the Indo-Pacific region." China's foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, said on Tuesday (August 24) the U.S. could "bully other countries" to maintain their interests, after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris had earlier accused Beijing of coercion and intimidation to back unlawful claims in the South China Sea. "In order to maintain the idea of America first, the United States can wilfully slander, oppress, coerce and bully other countries and do not have to pay any price. This is the order that the U.S. wants. The United States always tries to use the rules and order as an act of defense for its own selfishness and bullying, but now how many people will believe it?" The U.S. administration has called the rivalry with China "the biggest geopolitical test" of the century and Southeast Asia has seen a series of high-
profile visits by top administration officials, including Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Harris's seven-day trip to Singapore and Vietnam, only her second foray internationally, is aimed at standing up to China's growing security and economic influence, addressing concerns about China's claims to disputed parts of the South China Sea and showing Washington can lead the way. US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ bid to reassure Southeast Asia of Washington’s commitment to the region has been picked apart by Chinese netizens, many of whom have reacted negatively to her visit to the region. Several users of Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo asked why Harris had not instead headed to Afghanistan to resolve the regional turmoil brought about by the withdrawal of American troops. Harris arrived in Singapore on Sunday night, and heads to Vietnam later on Tuesday.
“Why did she head to China’s backyard?” one posted, while another asked, without mentioning Singapore by name if it wanted to “be brothers with the Chinese or ... running dogs for the Americans?” Singapore’s decision to name an orchid after Harris, a gesture it extends to many heads of state and foreign dignitaries, was also scorned by netizens, some of whom said the city state was being a “bootlicker”. There were a few sympathetic voices pointing out that as a small country, the island nation needed to find its own mode of survival. China’s nationalistic tabloid Global Times has been fiercely critical of Harris’ Asia- Pacific trip, with multiple articles suggesting her visit was designed to drive a wedge into the region and contain Beijing.
In a Monday editorial, it claimed Washington would not achieve its goal as Beijing was “the most important partner for Asean”, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ fight against Covid-19, its access to vaccines, and prospects for post-pandemic economic recovery. The tabloid also played up Singaporean broadcaster Channel NewsAsia’s Sunday interview with foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who said the island nation would “be useful but we will not be made use of” in its relations with both China and the US. Lu Xiang, a senior researcher on China-US relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said even though Singapore had long played the role of a middleman between Beijing and Washington, it faced a dilemma in the powers’ strategic competition.
Xu Liping, director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted by the Sina news portal as saying that Singapore was on Harris’ agenda as the island served as the base of the US Navy in Southeast Asia and was deeply tied to the US in terms of security interests. The United States' commitment to at-risk Afghans extends beyond President Joe Biden's Aug 31 deadline to withdraw from the country, a senior State Department official said, adding that the promise of safe passage did not have "an expiration date." "Our commitment to at-risk Afghans doesn't end on August 31," the official told reporters in a briefing, without elaborating how Washington could continue its efforts to help people leave the country if it withdraws completely from the country by the end of the month. But the reports from the ground already show potential evacuees face a perilous journey to the Kabul airport and chaos at the airport gates before they can soldier on through the crowds onto an aircraft. On Monday, one member of the Afghan forces was killed and several were wounded in an exchange of gunfire outside Kabul airport, while no US personnel were hurt, the US military said. Biden has said that the United States expects to evacuate between 50,000 and 65,000 people from Afghanistan.
A week after the Taliban's lightning seizure of Kabul, growing numbers of people in the Afghan capital are facing a daily struggle to get by with their jobs gone, banks still shuttered and food prices soaring. As the days pass, everyday worries about food and rent are adding to the uncertainty in a country whose fragile economy has been crushed by the disappearance of international support. Even before the Taliban swept into the city last Sunday (August 15), conditions had been getting worse, with the insurgents' rapid advance through the provincial cities sending the value of the local afghani currency plunging against the dollar and pushing prices of basic foodstuffs ever higher.
Prices of staples like flour, oil and rice have risen by as much as 10%-20% in a few days and with banks still closed, many people have been unable to access their savings. With Western Union offices also closed, remittances from overseas have also dried up "The banks are closed and the situation of those civilians who have been working with the government is unclear," said Kabul resident and money exchanger Mohammed Aris. While traffic has restarted over the main land borders into neighbouring Pakistan, severe drought conditions across the country have exacerbated the hardships many face and driven thousands to the cities to try to survive in tents and makeshift shelters. China reported no new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Monday for the first time since July, according to its National Health Commission (NHC), as authorities double down on the country's stringent zero-Covid approach. China has been grappling with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant since July 20, when a cluster of Covid-19 infections were detected among airport cleaning staff in the eastern city of Nanjing.
Since then, it has spiraled into the worst outbreak China has seen since 2020, spreading to more than half of the country's 31 provinces and infecting more than 1,200 people. Local authorities responded by placing tens of millions of residents under strict lockdown, rolling out massive testing and tracing campaigns and restricting domestic travels. The strict measures appeared to be working. Daily infections have fallen steadily over the past week into single digits, down from more than 100 from its peak two weeks ago.
If the trend continues, China could become the world's first country to control a major Delta outbreak. Australia must start to learn to live with COVID-19 when higher vaccination targets are reached, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, despite concerns in some states about the impact of a surge in cases in Sydney. ''Once you get to 70% of your country that is eligible for the vaccine, and 80%, the plan sets out that we have to move forward. We cannot hold back." The federal government last month unveiled a four-stage plan to relax restrictions once 70% of over 16s are vaccinated. With over half of all Australians stuck in weeks-long lockdowns to curb the highly infectious Delta strain, Morrison said the country had to move forward.
The states of Western Australia and Queensland however, have flagged that they may not stick to a plan reached with the federal government even if vaccination rates hit 80%, raising concerns due to Sydney breaking new one- day records for infections. While Australia has managed the pandemic better than many other developed countries, a slow vaccine rollout has taken the shine off its early success. Nationally, 30% of people above 16 are fully vaccinated, while 52% have had a least one dose. Vaccinations are running at a record pace but the target of 80% fully vaccinated will not be reached until December at the current rate.
The Pentagon is preparing to issue updated guidance to require all U.S. service personnel to be vaccinated after Monday's (August 23) approval of the Pfizer Inc /BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. The FDA granted full on Monday to the vaccine, which had earned emergency- use authorization in December, making it the first to secure such validation as U.S. health authorities struggle to win over vaccine skeptics. The Pentagon said this month it would seek President Joe Biden's approval by mid-September to require 1.3 million military members to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. military said this month that around half the U.S. armed forces are already fully vaccinated, a number that climbs significantly when counting only active-duty troops and excluding National Guard and Reserve members. Vaccination rates are highest in the Navy, which suffered from a high-profile outbreak last year aboard an aircraft carrier. About 73% of sailors are fully
vaccinated, compared with the U.S. national average of about 60% of adults ages 18 and over. Climate activists blocked traffic near Leicester Square on Monday (August 23) by chaining themselves to a car and a giant pink table erected in the middle of the street. The activists from the Extinction Rebellion group (XR) want an emergency response from governments and a mass move away from polluting industries to avert the worst scenarios of devastation outlined by scientists. The group, which had earlier rallied at London's Trafalgar Square, targeted the medieval Guildhall over the weekend, the home of the City of London Corporation, which governs the city's historic financial centre. London's police warned on Friday (August 21) that protests by environmental activists planned for the next two weeks will cause disruption across the capital and will distract officers from dealing with crime.
Hundreds of indigenous Brazilians set up tents on Monday (August 23) at Esplanade of Ministries or Central Axis in Brasilia, the heart of the country's government, awaiting the decision of a bill curtailing land rights and allowing commercial agriculture and mining on protected tribal reservations. On Wednesday (August 26), Brazil's Supreme Court weighs whether a state government has applied an overly narrow interpretation of indigenous rights by only recognizing tribal lands occupied by native communities at the time Brazil's constitution was ratified in 1988, setting a precedent that may affect hundreds of native land claims. Brazil's powerful farm lobby and far-right President Jair Bolsonaro have pushed for the bill, arguing that indigenous communities are blocking the development of the Amazon while sitting on reservations with mineral resources and agricultural promise.
Indigenous land rights are also being debated by the Supreme Court, which is tasked with upholding constitutional guarantees. Russian roads may be tricky, but nothing can stop you if you are riding a dragon. A car mechanic from Russia's southern city of Krasnodar took to the fire element and installed flame throwers in a classic Lada. Mechanic and constructor Vagan Mikaelyan has been in the business of car repairs for four years, creating various unusual vehicles.
He has developed a Lada with giant spider legs, a chariot Lada Priora on giant wheels, a chisel car and also a bird-mobile which he tried to fly. "But there was nothing with flames. And here it comes," Mikaelyan told Reuters in a garage while demonstrating his new creation, decorated with flashy artwork of a dragon. It took him three days of work and 22,500 roubles (300 dollars) for the car itself and the extra parts. The fire bursts out of two front lights after a driver pulls down a fuel-injecting lever placed next to the driver’s seat. These are FBNC's morning International news Thank you for watching See you in the next morning International news