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US defence establishment alert to ‘stunning’ Chinese military advances Ex-Trump security adviser warns of China 'mischief' on Taiwan by 2024 Message to China: Army, IAF launch major exercise in eastern .. Alliance with US will crush India’s great power fantasies China busts cyberattacks from India targeted at China's defense and military departments Respect for US democracy in decline around the world, Pew survey finds 'Information combat': Inside the fight for Myanmar's soul Iran warns against Israeli threats, calls U.S. military flight over regional waters "provocative" Messages from Macron to Morrison leaked amid submarine deal row Residents, Taliban come together to watch local Afghan wrestling match China’s growing military muscle and its drive to end American predominance in the Asia-Pacific is rattling the US defence establishment. American officials

see trouble quickly accumulating on multiple fronts: Beijing’s expanding nuclear arsenal, its advances in space, cyber and missile technologies, and threats to Taiwan. The weapon system’s design is meant to evade US missile defences, and although Beijing insisted it was testing a reusable space vehicle, not a missile, the test appeared to have startled US officials. Milley and other US officials have declined to discuss details of the Chinese test, saying they were secret. He called it “very concerning” for the United States but added that problems posed by China’s military modernisation ran far deeper.

“The Chinese military capabilities are much greater than that. They’re expanding rapidly in space, in cyber and then in the traditional domains of land, sea and air.” On the nuclear front, private satellite imagery in recent months has revealed large additions of launch silos that suggest the possibility that China plans to increase its fleet of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said China appeared to have about 250 ICBM silos under construction, which he said was more than 10 times the number in operation today. The US military, by comparison, had 400 active ICBM silos and 50 in reserve. Pentagon officials and defence hawks on Capitol Hill point to China’s modernisation as a key justification for rebuilding the US nuclear arsenal, a project expected to cost more than US$1 billion over 30 years, including sustainment costs.

For decades, the United States tracked China’s increased defence investment and worried that Beijing was aiming to become a global power. But for at least the last 20 years, Washington was focused more on countering al-Qaeda and other terrorist threats in Iraq and Afghanistan. That began to change during the Trump administration, which in 2018 formally elevated China to the top of the list of defence priorities, along with Russia, replacing terrorism as the No 1 threat.

For now, Russia remains a bigger strategic threat to the United States because its nuclear arsenal far outnumbers China’s. But Milley and others say Beijing is a bigger long-term worry because its economic strength far exceeds that of Russia, and it is rapidly pouring resources into military modernisation. China may consider military action on Taiwan by the next U.S. presidential election in 2024, former U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien recently told Nikkei, raising the alarm over the growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

O'Brien predicted that China will not do anything to jeopardize the Beijing Olympics in February. But Beijing worries that former President Donald Trump or a China hawk like former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will win the White House in 2024, he said in a virtual interview. "That window between the Olympics and the next presidential election could be a window that President Xi believes that he has an opportunity to create mischief when it comes to Taiwan," said O'Brien, O'Brien suggested that Biden may have intentionally been trying to throw China off and dispel a belief in Beijing that he would be soft on an invasion against Taiwan. "One time, maybe you'd say, 'Maybe he misspoke,'" O'Brien said. "But he's now said it twice, and so he seems to have a plan, and he seems to be attempting to sow some doubt among the Chinese leadership."

"I think it's very important that the allies, that Japan, the United States, India, U.K., the European Union, make it very clear to China that the consequences of an invasion of Taiwan would be very severe," O'Brien said. "Not just militarily but also economically, for the people." He stressed that Japan has a particularly strong reason to support peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. "If China and the Communist Party get ahold of Taiwan, that splits Japan from the rest of the Pacific, all the countries south -- Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines," and the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he said. "Japan is cut off from all of those countries by the geopolitical rock that's Taiwan." Overall, he said members of the Biden administration are doing a "good job" on China policy. But he cautioned the U.S. against allowing China to exploit their bilateral cooperation on climate change without taking concrete action. "They can make empty promises on climate change to obtain advantages on trade, or Taiwan, or other areas. So we need to be careful about that," he said.

"I think bringing them into TPP would probably destroy the whole reason for, the raison d'etre for, TPP, which is to have a free and open trading system with the rule of law and fairness," O'Brien said. Beijing and Washington need to manage their tensions over Taiwan to create the conditions needed for Xi Jinping and Joe Biden to meet, according to Chinese observers. That was the assessment after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met for talks in Rome on Sunday, with Wang saying engaging in dialogue was an “urgent task” for the two nations to avoid further confrontation. He said that was the consensus when Chinese leader Xi and US President Biden spoke by phone in September. “The two sides must earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and make political preparations and provide necessary conditions for the next phase of exchanges,” Wang said, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement. According to observers, Wang’s reference to “political preparations” was mostly about controlling tensions over Taiwan to create the conditions needed for the two leaders to meet – a summit that is expected to happen before the end of the year. Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory and has been angered as Washington moves closer to the self-ruled island.

Shi Yinhong, an international affairs expert with Renmin University, said Beijing wanted a de-escalation of tensions not just over Taiwan, but in other areas too, and that the US should “step on the brakes” to avoid a serious impact on relations with China. The rift between Beijing and Washington goes far beyond Taiwan – they are at odds on issues ranging from trade and technology to human rights and the origins of the coronavirus. Beijing is also concerned by US efforts to build an alliance network in the Indo-Pacific region, which Washington says is needed to counter China’s rising military power. The world’s advanced economies still look with envy at America’s military strength, its technological prowess, its universities and its high-quality entertainment – but much less so nowadays at perhaps the most famous US export of all: democracy. These were the results of a new survey from the Pew Research Centre, which found that opinions of America’s political system have declined overseas even as other forms of US power remain in high regard.

which surveyed more than 16,000 adults from 16 advanced economies between March and May, and another 2,500 adults in the US during early February. More than half of the global respondents – 57 per cent – said that US democracy used to be a good example, “but has not been in recent years”, the report said. Since taking office in January, Biden has sought to convince the American public and the rest of the world that democracy – even with its bitter partisanship and gridlock – can still keep up with authoritarian nations like China, where decisions are made from the top and public dissent is often crushed by the state. Even in his domestic policy agenda, Biden has made the strength and health of US democracy a central issue, as he tries to persuade reluctant members of the US Congress to spend more money on infrastructure and health care. “The autocrats of the world believe the world is moving so rapidly that democracies can’t generate consensus quickly enough to bring their people together to get things done,” Biden said last month.

Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Republican congressman Michael Waltz recently published a co-signed article in Foreign Policy entitled "It's Time to Formalize an Alliance With India." The article suggested that since the disastrous withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the diplomatic performance of the Biden administration has only disappointed many allies. It also noted US "adversaries are growing bolder." Thus "An upgrade is urgently needed," Haley and Waltz wrote. The article highlighted that India has powerful armed forces and a long history of cooperation with the US. The two countries share many common values. India is also a

nuclear power. A US-India alliance can have many advantages. "Just as our alliances with NATO, Japan, and South Korea transformed US security in the 20th century, an alliance with India would help keep us safe in the 21st century," the authors declared, while suggesting a US-India alliance would allow both countries to expand their global strength and counter China. In Haley and Waltz' view, Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan, operated by India, is "the only air base with the proximity to conduct counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan."

Moreover, as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Tajikistan has long enjoyed close ties and high strategic trust with China and Russia. With relations between the US, Russia and China strained, would Moscow or Beijing agree to see the US military aircraft sent out from Tajikistan? In India's view, the US is not only the superpower with the greatest international influence, the strongest military power and the most developed economy and technology. Moreover, India-US relations can also help hedge the geopolitical pressure from China and increase the lever in India's interactions with other powers. But now, with the birth of AUKUS, a trilateral security pact among Australia, the UK and the US, it is believed that far fewer people in India will like the proposal of forging alliance with the US. The Biden administration keeps talking about a "transatlantic partnership," but even France and the EU are "second-rate allies," which are left out of the small Anglo-Saxon core circle. If India aligns itself with the US, India may highly likely end up with what France is going through today.

The Modi government is committed to leading India to become a global power. It has its own plans and logic for the country's future development and foreign policy. The so- called ideology and democratic values are nothing more than tools to achieve India's goals. With the help of the US, it may be possible for India to obtain the recognition and endorsement for a "great power identity." However, if India is arranged by Quad to take the lead in charging in the anti-China front, and becomes "cannon fodder" of US strategy, Indians will not accept it. For India, China is the biggest neighbor that cannot be moved away. It is also a major country vital to India's security and development. In fierce competition between China and the US, if Indian leaders are tempted by some anti-China forces at home and abroad,

put China-India ties behind, abandon its principle of non-alignment, establish formal alliance with the US, this will undoubtedly be tantamount to turning itself to the enemy of China. And if so, such an India will never become a true global power. The Army and IAF on Monday kicked off a major “airborne insertion and combat” exercise along the frontier with China in eastern Ladakh, which will see paratroopers practice capturing territory “behind enemy lines” and then “link up” with their advancing tanks while attack helicopters destroy hostile mechanized forces. The three-day exercise, with hundreds of pre-acclimatized troops and heavy weapon systems at an altitude of over 14,000-feet and minus 20 degree Celsius temperatures, is meant to convey yet another “clear message” to China after the Agni-V missile test last week to “desist from any misadventures along the northern borders”, said sources. “The aim was to validate rapid response capabilities, inter-theatre move, precision stand-off drops, rapid grouping and capture of designated objectives with speed and surprise. The air-drop was particularly challenging due to the sub-zero temperatures and rarefied atmosphere in the super high-altitude terrain,” said a source. Over the next two days, the paratroopers will “hold” the captured territory in the simulated exercise, while enemy tanks are neutralized by attack helicopters like the newly-inducted Apaches. “Friendly” main-battle tanks and infantry combat vehicles, in

turn, will move forward to link up with the paratroopers holding ground to complete the combat manoeuvres. India has forward deployed a wide array of weapon systems — ranging from the Bofors, M-777 and K-9 Vajra artillery guns to T-90S and T-72 main-battle tanks, Smerch and Pinaka multiple-launch rocket systems, and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles — along the LAC since the confrontation erupted in April-May last year. Similarly, the IAF too has deployed Sukhoi-30MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighters as well Apache attack and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters in Ladakh and elsewhere along the LAC. Though India lags behind China in development of border infrastructure and last-mile troop connectivity, the construction of additional roads, ammunition shelters, bridges and tunnels in forward areas has also been a top priority area for the Border Roads Organization during the crisis. China busts cyberattacks from India targeted at China's defense and military departments A number of cyberattacks targeting China and countries in the South Asian Subcontinent have been busted this year with hackers from India behind the attempts to launch attacks on China's defense and military units as well as state-owned enterprises, Antiy Labs, the country's leading anti-virus company, announced on Monday.

According to vice chief engineer of Antiy Labs Li Bosong, the phishing activities they have detected since March mainly targeted the country's government, defense and military units, as well as state-owned enterprises in China, Pakistan, and Nepal. "The hackers disguise themselves as government or military personnel and deliver emails with phishing attachments or embedded links to targets luring them to visit the websites created by them and collect the account password for intelligence gathering," Li said. Antiy Labs discovered that the organization behind the attacks is from India and its activities can be traced back to as early as April 2019 By far, more than 100 phishing counterfeit websites have been found by Antiy Labs, "Once the phishing activities work, the email address will become the starting point of a new wave of cyberattacks that pose great threats to national and social security, as well as to the privacy of governments, entities and individuals," Li noted. When a phishing website is used, it will first show a message like "restricted" or "updating e-mail system." Then, the website will pop up a window asking to log in to the email account again. When this is done, the user will be switched to the fake email login site that the hackers have created. As Myanmar's military seeks to put down protest on the streets, a parallel battle is playing out on social media, with the junta using fake accounts to denounce opponents and press its message that it seized power to save the nation from election fraud, eight people with knowledge of the tactics said.

The mission of the social media drive, part of the military's broader propaganda operations, is to spread the junta's view among the population, as well as to monitor dissenters and attack them online as traitors, the people told Reuters. "Soldiers are asked to create several fake accounts and are given content segments and talking points that they have to post," said Captain Nyi Thuta, who defected from the army to join rebel forces at the end of February. "They also monitor activity online and join (anti-coup) online groups to track them." In September, a junta spokesperson on army-owned Myawaddy TV accused media groups and opposition activists of spreading "fake news" about the situation in Myanmar. Facebook says it has taken down hundreds of accounts and pages linked to Myanmar army personnel since 2018, after the New York Times reported that military officials were behind fake pages inciting violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority, 700,000 fled an army crackdown in 2017, and a Reuters investigation found Facebook was failing to police anti-Rohingya hate speech. Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman on Monday warned against what he called regional threats of Israel and called the latest U.S.-led military flight over regional waters "provocative."

When asked about the allocation of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars by Israel to counter Iran's nuclear program, Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran has never ruled out or ignored the threats posed by Israel against stability and security in the region. "Basically, the nature of this regime (Israel) is creating crisis, and the roots of this regime are growing in insecurity and instability," Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press conference. In the meantime, Israel is well aware of Iran's capabilities and its own limitations, and also knows that Iran is serious about its security, he added.

On Sunday, Israeli, Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and Bahraini fighter jets flew with a U.S. advanced fighter-bomber across the Middle Eastern maritime vital points, including the Strait of Hormuz south of Iran. Australian media on Tuesday published messages between French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as Canberra seeks to push back against allegations it lied to Paris about a multibillion-dollar submarine contract. Australia in September cancelled a deal with France's Naval Group, opting instead to build at least 12 nuclear-powered submarines after striking a deal with the United States and Britain.

The cancellation caused a major bilateral rift, and Macron on Sunday said Morrison had lied to him about Australia's intentions, a unprecedented allegation among allies. Morrison has denied the claim. According to a source familiar with the messages, when Morrison tried to set up a call with Macron about the submarine contract on Sept. 14, two days before the deal with the U.S. and Britain was announced, Macron responded with a message saying "Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarines ambitions?" The message with Morrison's response was not leaked.

France has said Australia did not attempt to inform it of the cancellation until the day Canberra announced its deal with the United States and Britain. "There is no doubt Morrison needed to put his front foot forward and convince Australians and allies that he wasn't being duplicitous and lying, but there was grave concern that the project would not be completed," said Haydon Manning, a political science professor at Flinders University in South Australia. The leaders of the U.S. and China, the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, had strikingly different levels of visibility at the United Nations climate change conference here, but a similar message on one point: the need for action. The Biden administration is "working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words," the U.S. president told the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), making a personal appearance at the summit.

"Will we act? Will we do what is necessary?" Biden asked, adding: "This is the decade that will determine the answer." Biden appeared eager to show a renewed American commitment to fighting climate change after his predecessor Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris deal, although he offered little in the way of new U.S. initiatives. Xi, too, announced no new major commitments. He stressed a theme China has often hammered on in international climate talks: developed nations' responsibility for funding the shift to clean energy.

"Developed countries should not only do more themselves, but should also provide support to help developing countries do better," he said. Developed countries have not kept their promise to give $100 billion annually to developing countries in order to help them in the climate transition. This pledge was a pillar of Paris' promises of 2015 This issue was present in many leader's speeches, and Biden announced that he is working on quadrupling the financial support to developing countries by 2024 "We are also going to try to do our part when it comes to help the rest of the world in taking into action as well", he explained. "It's imperative to support developing nations." Scientists at Japan's Osaka University are using 3D printers to create what they hope could be a more sustainable alternative to the country's famous wagyu beef, and say the move could help address food and protein shortages in the future. Lab-grown, or cultured, meat that has been produced up to this point has largely been minced, the university said, but their researchers are aiming to replicate the high marble content of wagyu, which sets it apart from other types of beef. Professor Michiya Matsusaki and his research team first extracted bovine cells from Japanese Black Cows, and then used a 3D bioprinter to create individual muscle, blood vessel and fat fibres. They manually piece the fibres together to create the meat.

There's no word on the taste, as the researchers' lab-grown wagyu is not ready to be served up just yet. It currently takes up to four weeks to generate a cubic centimetre of wagyu, at a cost of 10,000 yen (approx. $89) a gram. Matsusaki said once the process is refined and automated, the meat could be mass produced within five years, which would bring down the cost.

He said by developing meat from just a few cells, he hoped his wagyu could one day help address food shortage issues. He also believes the technology could one day be applied to regenerative medicine. "If we replace it with human cells instead, we might be able to transplant the human muscle (we generate from the cells), such as thigh muscle, to where it's missing," he said. One estimate by an information service company, Global Information, suggested that the market for cell-based meat could rise to $2.79 billion by 2030 from the current 1.64 million.

Environmental and ethical concerns around the meat industry have also driven interest in vegetable alternatives and the potential for lab-grown products. Clean meat is held up by scientists and environmentalists as a potential breakthrough in the fight against climate change. Rearing livestock accounts for about 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for a warming planet, according to the United Nations, and land used for agriculture is a major driver of deforestation. Dozens of men and some Taliban members sit in a large circle serving as the wrestling ring to watch some action after Friday prayers. A 27-year-old amateur wrestler said he has been coming for the last three years to hone his skills, and the Taliban has not stopped him since the takeover in August.

"We come here every Friday for wrestling and so far, we have not faced any restriction from the Taliban side, even the Taliban are encouraging us and watching our games." When they last ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban banned television, most commercial music and video games, and imposed harsh public punishments on those that broke its rules. This time around, it has said cultural activities would be allowed, as long as they did not go against sharia and Afghanistan's Islamic culture. The Taliban called on the United States and other countries on Saturday (October 30) to recognize their government in Afghanistan, saying that a failure to do so and the continued freezing of Afghan funds abroad would lead to problems not only for the country but for the world. No country has formally recognized the Taliban government since the insurgents took over the country in August, while billions of dollars in Afghan assets and funds abroad have also been frozen, even as the country faces severe economic and humanitarian crises. A group of wild red deer were spotted by a drone for the first time while they were crossing a river in a forest in Aksu Prefecture of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday.

The drone footage showed that the Tarim red deer, or the Yarkand deer, running through the Tarim River with the golden populus euphratica forest and dark green river decorating a picturesque scene. To protect the species, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and the local forestry sectors jointly implemented a project in August 2010 that aimed to expand the Tarim red deer's population, having released 20 deer for the first time. These are FBNC's morning International news Thanks for watching

2021-11-04 10:11

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