Check out the TB2K CHATROOM, open 24/7               Configuring Your Preferences for OPTIMAL Viewing
  To access our Email server, CLICK HERE

  If you are unfamiliar with the Guidelines for Posting on TB2K please read them.      ** LINKS PAGE **

*** Help Support TB2K ***
via mail, at TB2K Fund, P.O. Box 24, Coupland, TX, 78615

ALERT The Winds of War Blow in Korea and The Far East
+ Reply to Thread
Page 112 of 117 FirstFirst ... 12 62 102 110 111 112 113 114 ... LastLast
Results 4,441 to 4,480 of 4651
  1. #4441
    Alert 5‏ @alert5 · 3h3 hours ago

    China has started inspecting its second set of S-400 system

  2. #4442
    Taiwan lands aircraft on highway as part of military drills

    By Johnson Lai, Associated Press
    CHANGHUA, Taiwan — May 28, 2019, 5:01 AM ET

    Taiwan landed war planes on a normally busy highway Tuesday to simulate a response to a Chinese attack on its airfields, part of annual drills designed to showcase the island's military capabilities and resolve to repel an attack from across the Taiwan Strait.

    Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen presided at the exercise in the southern county of Changhua, not far from one of the island's main air bases at Taichung, which comes amid perceptions of a rising military threat from China, whose rulers claim the island as their own territory.

    "Our national security has faced multiple challenges," Tsai said. "Whether it is the Chinese People's Liberation Army's long-distance training or its fighter jets circling Taiwan, it has posed a certain degree of threat to regional peace and stability."

    "We should maintain a high degree of vigilance," she added.

    Aircraft deployed included U.S.-made F-16, French Mirage 2000 and Taiwan-made IDF fighter jets and U.S.-made E-2K airborne early warning aircraft.

    The drill marked the exercises debut of the first F-16 upgraded to the "V'' configuration, featuring advanced radar and other combat capabilities. The air force is spending about $4.21 billion to upgrade 144 existing F-16A/Bs to the F-16V version under its "Phoenix Rising" project.

    Taiwan is largely dependent on the U.S. for military hardware and has also asked to purchase entirely new F-16V fighters and M1 tanks.

    American arms sales to Taiwan have long been a thorn in the side of U.S. relations with China, routinely drawing protests from Beijing that Washington was reneging on earlier commitments.

    In a sign of growing security cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. under the Trump administration, National Security Council Secretary General David Lee met with his U.S. counterpart, National Security Adviser John Bolton, earlier this month, drawing a protest from China.

    The visit was the first between national security chiefs from the two sides since the breaking off of formal diplomatic ties in 1979.

    While no details were given, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Monday that China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to (the meeting)."

    "We firmly oppose official exchanges in any form between the U.S. government and Taiwan on any pretext," Lu said.

  3. #4443
    Taiwan's military trains for a Chinese invasion on the beach

    By Johnson Lai, Associated Press
    FANGSHAN, Taiwan — May 30, 2019, 6:01 AM ET

    Taiwanese tanks and soldiers fired at simulated Chinese forces and assault helicopters launched missiles in an anti-invasion drill Thursday on a beach on the island's southern coast.

    The live firing was part of annual exercises designed to showcase the military's capabilities and resolve to repel any attack from across the Taiwan Strait. The Han Guang exercise wraps up Friday.

    China and Taiwan split during a civil war in 1949, but China claims the self-governing island as its territory.

    Asked about the exercises, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said China would strive for peaceful reunification with Taiwan.

    "What should be pointed out is that seeking Taiwan independence is suicide and resorting to force is no way out," he said.

    The simulated response to a Chinese beach landing included fighter jets and missiles launched at targets in the sea.

    The Defense Ministry said the joint army-navy-air force operation tested the island's combat readiness in the face of the Chinese military threat.


    Associated Press writer Chris Bodeen in Beijing contributed to this story.

  4. #4444
    Japan, Russia accuse each other of military buildups

    By Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press
    TOKYO — May 30, 2019, 2:41 PM ET

    Russia and Japan accused each other of military buildups as their foreign and defense ministers met in Tokyo on Thursday for talks that failed to make progress on decades-long island disputes.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint news conference after the talks that Russia was concerned about Tokyo's plan to build a pair of land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, saying they pose a "potential threat to Russia."

    The Aegis Ashore systems, planned for deployment in Akita on Japan's northern coast and in Yamaguchi in the southwest, are part of Japan's rapidly expanding missile defense system to bolster its ability to counter potential threats from North Korea and China.

    Under guidelines approved in December, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government plans to increase purchases of expensive American military equipment including F-35 stealth fighter jets and cruise missiles as Japan continues to expand its military cooperation with the U.S.

    Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono accused Russia of a military buildup on Russian-controlled islands claimed by both countries.

    The dispute over the islands, which Russia calls the southern Kurils and Japan the Northern Territories, has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending their World War II hostilities.

    "Our country's legal position does not accept the missile drills, fighter aircraft deployment, and enhancement of the military presence in the Northern Territories," Kono said.

    Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told his counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, and Lavrov that the Aegis Ashore interceptors are "purely for defensive purposes and never for use to threaten Russia or other countries."

    Lavrov brushed off Kono's criticism, saying his country is only operating in its own territory. "Under international law, the territory is under Russia's sovereignty and those are Russian military activities in Russian-held territory," he said.

    Regaining the disputed islands, which are north of Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, has been a priority for Abe and his conservative base. Abe is eager to make progress on the dispute with Russia and find opportunities to cooperate in developing oil and gas and other natural resources.

    In November, Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to accelerate negotiations based on a 1956 Soviet proposal to return two of the islands to Japan, but progress has since stalled.


    Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at

  5. #4445
    New Satellite Imagery Reveals Chinese Navy Simulating An Invasion On Taiwan

    by Tyler Durden
    Zero Hedge
    Thursday 05/30/2019 - 22:20

    New satellite images show the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) recently conducted war games to simulate an invasion of Taiwan, reported ThePrint.

    The PLAN used Type 071 (NATO reporting name: Yuzhao), an amphibious transport dock, designed to carry 800 fully armed troops, dozens of vehicles and landing crafts, and four helicopters, was used to practice circular deployment with other vessels ahead of a beach assault.

    "This formation [circular deploymen] provides safety from shore fire as well as aerial attacks, since most landing ships carry only short-range air defence and close-in weapon systems (CIWS),"
    said ThePrint.

    A Type 072A vessel (NATO reporting name: Yuting II), a landing ship designed to carry 250 fully armed troops ten tanks, four landing craft, a medium helicopter, was used to transport amphibious vehicles near the beach landing. Ahead of the invasion simulation, reconnaissance aircraft surveilled above.

    The amphibious exercise used landing craft air cushion vessels to bring troops and vehicles ashore. Some of the first vehicles on land were type-08 amphibious armored vehicles and/or Type 05 amphibious fighting vehicles.

    The PLAN’s recent upgrade of landing craft air cushion vessels demonstrates that these hovercraft will be used in future military exercises.

    ThePrint said the PLAN also practiced re-embarkation after the landing exercise and regrouping to fine-tune their amphibious warfare tactics.

    "The re-embarkation is rarely caught on satellite imagery. This exclusive satellite image displays the process of re-embarkation with five amphibious fighting vehicles lined up in the queue for loading on Type-72 Yukan and Yuting class vessels," ThePrint said.

    China has vigorously criticized any action by Taiwan to acquire Western armament, claiming that the militarization of the Taiwan Strait is damaging the 'One-China policy,' which states that Taiwan will eventually be reunified with the mainland.

    While China has never ruled out the possibility of invasion and it has continued acquiring the military capability to do so, Taiwan's air, sea and land forces, conducted a war exercise Thursday to repel an invading army.

    Regional tensions have also grown due to China's territorial claims and aspirations in the South China Sea, something which has prompted Japan to cast aside its postwar pacifism.

    With the probability of China taking Taiwan by force is rising, the military balance in the Taiwan Strait is firmly in China's favor.

    With both sides preparing for a cross-strait war, it's only a matter of time before the powder keg is ignited.

  6. #4446
    Holger Zschaepitz
    þ @Schuldensuehner
    12h12 hours ago

    China is slowly expanding its power: #Portugal has become 1st Eurozone country to issue bonds denominated in China yuan. Lisbon to sell 2bn Yuan Panda bonds w/maturity of 3yrs. Portugal is one of Europe’s biggest recipients per capita of Chinese investment
    Attached Images

  7. #4447
    China vows military action if Taiwan, sea claims opposed

    By Annabelle Liang, Associated Press
    SINGAPORE — June 2, 2019, 7:30 AM ET

    China's defense minister warned Sunday that its military will "resolutely take action" to defend Beijing's claims over self-ruled Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters.

    Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore, Gen. Wei Fenghe did not direct the threat at the U.S. but loaded his address with criticism of activities by Washington, including support for Taiwan and leading so-called freedom of navigation operations in the strategic waterways that China virtually claims as its own.

    Wei said the People's Liberation Army would not "yield a single inch of the country's sacred land."

    China's ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China, and has used increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward the democratic island, which split from the mainland amid a civil war 70 years ago. It opposes Taiwan's independence and formally says it seeks a "peaceful reunification" while refusing to rule out the use of force if necessary to achieve that goal.

    "The PLA has no intention to cause anybody trouble but it is not afraid to face up to troubles. Should anybody risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all enemies," Wei said.

    Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated since Taiwan elected a pro-independence president, Tsai Ing-wen, in 2016. China has since increased diplomatic pressure, cut off its contacts with the island's government and discouraged travel there by Chinese tourists.

    "China must be and will be reunified. We find no excuse not to do so. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs, at all costs, for national unity," Wei stressed.

    "We will strive for the prospect of peaceful unification with utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force."

    Wei was addressing defense chiefs, officials and academics at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

    U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who spoke to the same gathering on Saturday, was not present at Wei's speech. Shanahan called China's efforts to steal technology from other nations and militarize man-made outposts in the South China Sea a "toolkit of coercion" and urged it to stop activities the U.S. perceives as hostile.

    China is pitted against smaller Southeast Asian neighbors in multiple disputes over island reefs, corals and lagoons in the South China Sea, where it constructed seven outposts equipped with airstrips, radar and missile stations that Shanahan said Saturday could become "tollbooths" in one of the world's busiest waterways.

    Beijing is currently firming up a pact with four rival claimants, containing norms and rules aimed at preventing a shooting war in the disputed waters.

    On Thursday, China's Defense Ministry dismissed a report that Australian navy pilots were hit by lasers earlier in May while exercising in the waters claimed by China. And on Sunday, Beijing closed off an area near Paracel Islands, which is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, for military training exercises.

    Wei said China built "limited defense facilities" but much of it was aimed at improving services and infrastructure for people living there.

    "It is only when there are threats would there be defenses. In face of heavily armed warships and military aircraft, how can we not deploy any defense facilities?" he said.

    Most of the islands are uninhabited and have been used by fishermen from all sides to shelter during storms.

    Wei and Shanahan met on the sidelines of the conference Friday and agreed to improve communication and deepen exchanges and cooperation between their militaries.

    On Sunday, Wei said the countries recognize that a conflict or war between them would have wide-reaching effects.

    "It takes two to cooperate but only one to start a fight," he said. "We hope that the U.S. side will work with us towards the same goal, follow the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and steer the China-US relations in the right direction."

    China last sent a high-ranking general to the conference in 2011. Its officials have been quick to downplay this as a mere coincidence, given the busy schedules of their higher-ups.

    But some observers see Wei's presence this time as a pointed attempt by China to cement its relationships in the region amid a trade war with the U.S. and having its businesses targeted with sanctions.

  8. #4448
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    ^ You know, you've got to be careful about the table stake limit you declare...

  9. #4449
    Russian, Chinese leaders hail burgeoning ties

    By Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press
    MOSCOW — June 5, 2019, 12:47 PM ET

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping for Kremlin talks that reflected increasingly close ties between the two former Cold War-era communist rivals.

    Xi called Putin his "close friend," noting that they have met nearly 30 times over the last six years. The trip marked Xi's eighth visit to Russia since he took the helm in 2012.

    "We will strengthen our mutual support on key issues," Xi said, sitting next to Putin in an ornate Kremlin hall.

    Relations between Russia and China have become increasingly close as they both face mounting tensions with the U.S.

    Moscow's ties with Washington have declined sharply over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria and the allegations of Kremlin meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential elections, while China is engaged in a spiraling trade war with the U.S.

    "Protectionism and unilateral approaches are on the rise, and a policy of force and hegemonism is increasingly taking hold," Xi said.

    Putin and Xi were meeting in Moscow as world leaders gathered on the south coast of England to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

    Putin, who attended 70th anniversary commemorations in France five years ago, has not been invited. Russia was not involved in D-Day but the Soviet effort was crucial in defeating the Nazis on the Eastern Front.

    The Russian leader emphasized that Moscow and Beijing have the same view on many global issues, particularly noting their shared opposition to Washington's withdrawal from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a key Cold War-era arms control pact.

    In a joint statement issued after the talks, Putin and Xi criticized the U.S. move, saying it will "undermine strategic stability."

    They also voiced worry about the growing threat of an arms race in space, calling for a global ban on deployment of weapons in orbit.

    The two presidents underlined their shared approach to international crises, emphasizing the need to preserve a nuclear deal with Iran and promising to help advance the stalled talks on North Korea's denuclearization.

    Also on Wednesday, Xi and Putin will mark the launch of a Chinese car factory south of Moscow and visit Moscow's zoo, to which China has presented a pair of pandas. With a smile, Putin said that "we highly appreciate that friendly gesture."

    Later this week, Xi will be the most prominent guest at Russia's major investment conference in St. Petersburg on Friday.


    Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report

  10. #4450
    Russia, China Prepare To Dump Dollar, Agree To Bilateral Trade In National Currencies

    by Tyler Durden
    Zero Hedge
    Wednesday 06/05/2019 - 13:10

    Just one month after conducting joint military exercises, Russia and China are set to sign an agreement which would boost the use of their national currencies in bilateral and international trade in an attempt to move away from the current dollar-denominated financial system, according to Russian state-owned news outlet TASS.

    It is planned that Russia and China will be developing bilateral payments in national currencies, encourage and expand the use of national currencies, particularly through promotion of their use when signing international trade contracts.

    According to the draft agreement, the sides will also assume required measures to lift barriers for payments in national currencies. -TASS

    The Kremlin released a draft decree on Wednesday outlining "settlements and payments for goods, service and direct investments between economic entities of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are made in accordance with the international practice and the legislation of the sides’ states with the use of foreign currency, the Russian currency (rubles) and the Chinese currency (yuan)."

    According to the draft, Moscow and Beijing will cooperate to develop a national payments system, along with cross-border payments in national and other currencies.

    "The sides deepen the cooperation in the field of national payment card systems and within the framework of the Russian and Chinese legislation provide support to commercial banks in their independent decision-making on joining the payment system in the state of the other side," reads the document.

    Last November, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that discussions were under way to allow the use of China's UnionPay credit card in Russia, and Russia's Mir card in China.

    "No one currency should dominate the market, because this makes all of us dependent on the economic situation in the country that issues this reserve currency, even when we are talking about a strong economy such as the United States," Medvedev said last year.

    "I want to say something that may raise a few eyebrows, but I think some of these [US] sanctions are good or useful because they forced us to do what we should have done 10 years ago," he added.

    Beijing and the Kremlin have grown considerably close in recent years

    On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping touted a new level of relations with Russia during his three-day visit. "Step by step, we’ve been able to bring our relations to the highest level in history," said Xi.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin chimed in, adding as he kicked off the meeting that ties between the two countries are "at an unprecedented level."

    "We confirmed that the positions of Russia and China on key world problems are close, or as the diplomats say, coincide," said Putin after the first round of discussions with Xi - who he called a "dear friend."

    Xi, who will address a flagship investment forum Friday in the Russian leader’s hometown of St. Petersburg, will sign about 30 documents with Putin after the talks focused on trade, investment and energy. Bilateral trade increased last year by about a quarter to a record $108 billion. The countries’ first natural gas pipeline is due to open later this year and China is investing in Russia’s Yamal Arctic LNG project. -Bloomberg

    Xi brought two Chinese pandas to donate to the Moscow Zoo. Later, the Chinese leader will attend the opening of a Chinese car plant, before receiving an honorary doctorate from Putin's alma mater in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

  11. #4451
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Thanks to northern watch for posting the news day after day.

  12. #4452
    U.S. preparing to sell over $2 billion in weapons to Taiwan, testing China - sources

    Mike Stone, Patricia Zengerle
    June 5, 2019 / 2:27 PM / Updated an hour ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion (1.6 billion pounds) worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the negotiations said, in a move likely to anger China as a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies escalates.

    An informal notification of the proposed sale has been sent to the U.S. Congress, the four sources said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the possible deal.

    The potential sale included 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2 Abrams tanks worth around $2 billion as well as anti-tank munitions, three of the sources said

    For many years, Taiwan has been interested in refreshing its existing U.S.-made battle tank inventory which includes M60 Patton tanks.

    The United States is the sole arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

    Reporting by Mike Stone and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken, Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker

  13. #4453
    China launches four-stage rocket with satellites from Yellow Sea

    By Elizabeth Shim
    June 5, 2019 / 10:58 AM

    June 5 2019 (UPI) -- China "successfully" sent into orbit a solid-fueled launch vehicle from the Yellow Sea, according to Chinese authorities.

    China's National Space Administration stated Wednesday it had launched the Changzheng 11, a four-stage rocket carrying five commercial satellites and two "wind-measuring devices."

    The launch comes at a time tensions are escalating with the United States over trade and defense. Over the weekend, China's defense minister accused Washington of destabilizing the Pacific.

    The launch marks the first time China used an offshore platform to send the Changzheng 11 into orbit.

    In January, China launched the same rocket with four satellites. The country has sent the rocket into the atmosphere a total of six times, not including the Wednesday launch.

    "With the success of this rocket launch, China has filled a technological vacuum," CNSA said in its statement.

    China is increasingly using its northeastern waters to test rockets; reports indicate China tested submarine-launched ballistic missiles in Bohai Bay, not far from North Korea, on Sunday.

    Economic tensions with the United States have yet to subside as the Trump administration continues to ban equipment from tech firm Huawei.

    On Wednesday, China appeared to be retaliating against U.S. companies, fining a Ford Motors joint venture, Changan Ford, $23.6 million, according to CNN.

    The fine equals 4 percent of company sales in Chongqing in 2018

    Chinese authorities are claiming Changan Ford deprived downstream dealers of pricing autonomy, restricted competition and hurt the interests of consumers, according to the report.

    The move comes soon after China said it is investigating FedEx, following claims from Huawei the delivery company diverted two packages for the firm's Chinese offices to the United States.

    Ford's sales in China dropped 40 percent from 2017 to 2018.

  14. #4454
    Stratfor‏Verified account @Stratfor · Jun 4

    China's Foreign Ministry has issued an official travel advisory for Chinese citizens and corporations in the United States, citing increased harassment from U.S. law enforcement agencies.

  15. #4455
    Taiwan confirms request for US tanks air defense systems

    By The Associated Press
    TAIPEI, Taiwan — June 6, 2019, 1:21 AM ET

    Taiwan confirmed Thursday it has asked to purchase more than 100 tanks, along with air defense and anti-tank missile systems from the U.S. in a major potential arms sale that could worsen frictions between Washington and Beijing.

    The Defense Ministry said in a statement it has submitted a letter of request for 108 cutting-edge M1A2 Abrams tanks, 1,240 TOW anti-armor missiles, 409 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 250 Stinger man-portable air defense systems.

    The request is proceeding "as normal," it said. It wasn't clear when the official request had been issued, after which the U.S. has 120 days to respond.

    Reports have also said Taiwan is seeking 66 additional F-16 fighter jets in the most advanced "V'' configuration.

    President Tsai Ing-wen said in March that Taiwan was seeking tanks and fighters, but didn't provide any details.

    The U.S. is the main supplier of defensive weapons to Taiwan, which China considers its own territory to be brought under its control by force if necessary.

    The M1 Abrams would mark a significant upgrade from the aging tanks Taiwan's army now uses, while the TOW and Javelin systems would upgrade Taiwan's ability to repulse an attempt by China to land tanks and troops from across the 160 kilometer (100 mile)-wide Taiwan Strait.

    The Stingers meanwhile could help boost Taiwan's defenses against China, which has more than 1,000 advanced fighter aircraft and 1,500 accurate missiles pointing at the island.

    Taiwan, which split from China amid civil war in 1949, has had no formal diplomatic ties with the U.S. since Washington recognized Beijing in 1979.
    However, U.S. law requires it to take threats to the island seriously and to "make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability."

    China objects to all military and official contacts between Taiwan and the U.S. and says arms sales to the island constitute both interference in its internal affairs and a betrayal of earlier commitments made by Washington to Beijing.

    Tsai has made beefing up Taiwan's armed forces a central task of her administration amid increasing Chinese military threats and a campaign to increase Taiwan's diplomatic isolation and weaken its economy.

    While China's military spending and numbers of ships, planes and missiles vastly outstrip those of Taiwan, the island is basing its defense on geographical factors and asymmetrical warfare, in which a weaker opponent can hold off a stronger one by pinpointing weaknesses and using specialized weaponry and tactics.

    Tsai has also pushed to revamp the island's domestic arms industry and last month inaugurated a shipyard to build at least eight diesel-electric submarines.

    Taiwan currently operates just four aged submarines and pressure from China has prevented it from buying more abroad.

    Thursday's Defense Ministry announcement comes as the U.S. and China are engaged in an increasingly acrimonious battle over trade and technology. The Trump administration has imposed up to 25% tariffs on $250 billion in imports from China and is preparing to increase import duties on another $300 billion.

    Beijing has responded by imposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, which went into effect Saturday. It also retaliated against the U.S. blacklisting of Chinese technology giant Huawei by announcing Friday that it will establish its own list of "unreliable entities" consisting of foreign businesses, corporations and individuals. No details have been given.

  16. #4456
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Central PA

    China says seriously concerned about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan (fair use)
    JUNE 6, 2019 / 3:35 AM / UPDATED 10 HOURS AGO Reporting by Cate Cadell

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it is seriously concerned about U.S. arms sales to self-ruled Taiwan, after a source told Reuters that Washington was planning a $2 billion weapons sale to the island China claims as its own.

    China urges the United States to stop arms sales to Taiwan to avoid harming bilateral relations, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing.



  17. #4457
    Ian Easton
    ‏ @Ian_M_Easton
    9h9 hours ago

    Taiwanese media reporting that US Indo-Pacom @INDOPACOM and FBI @FBI sending over 100 personnel to Taiwan next week. Will mostly be closed door meetings, but also include public remarks by @iingwen and possibly US major general. Outstanding if true!

  18. #4458
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Was addressed on BBC Radio World Service tonight.....

    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....

    North Korea’s Nuclear Bomb Is Much Bigger than Previously Thought

    A new look at 2017 test data reveals an explosion 16 times as powerful than the one that leveled Hiroshima.

    By Patrick Tucker
    Technology Editor
    Read bio
    June 4, 2019

    Scientists looking anew at a 2017 North Korean nuclear test discovered that the explosion was likely about two-thirds more powerful than U.S. officials previously thought.

    Earlier data put the yield somewhere between 30 and 300 kilotons; the U.S. intelligence community said 140 kilotons. That was already the most powerful device tested by North Korea, topping a 2016 test by about an order of magnitude. But a new look at seismological data suggests that the blast was between 148 and 328 kilotons, and probably around 250 kilotons.

    That’s the conclusion from a group of researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz; the Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica; and elsewhere, as published Monday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. The team combined sound-wave data recorded during the blast with information about North Korean nuclear tests since 2006 and plugged it all into models showing how sound would travel through various types of rock at an estimated depth of 430 to 710 meters.

    A 250-kiloton weapon would be about 16 times more powerful than the one that leveled Hiroshima. Detonated over Washington, D.C., it would have knocked down virtually every residential structure in the downtown area and inflicted third-degree burns on everyone within a three-mile radius.

    Estimating the size of the bombs that North Korea tests underground is no easy matter outside of the country. The regime doesn’t release information such as the depth of the testing sites, the density of the surrounding rock and soil, etc. Outsiders are left to look at seismological sound waves of the sort that governments use to measure the size of earthquakes. (Underground nuclear bomb tests produce direct and compressed waveforms, not the wavey ones of natural earthquakes.) Scientists use data from teleseismic stations around the world that measure P, or primary, waves. These are the initial waves that occur in earthquakes when two big tectonic plates slip past each other. The P waves indicate the size of the S, or secondary, waves that knock down buildings.

    The 2017 North Korean test produced an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude. But how you look at that data shapes the conclusion that you reach. The new research uses a statistical trick called a “relative waveform equalization procedure,” essentially a bit of tuning, like removing static noise from an audio signal, to enable the researchers to better compute “two very closely located explosions recorded at multiple stations,” according to the paper.

    Steven Gibbons, a geophysicist with the program for Array Seismology and Test-Ban-Treaty Verification at the Norwegian Seismic Array, or NORSAR, who was not affiliated with the study, told the American Geophysical Union, “They’ve modeled what the reflection would look like for different yields and depths and solved for what the signal would look like if you didn’t have to account for this returning wave. The most impressive thing in the paper for me is how similar these waveforms are. This is what gives me confidence that they’ve done a good job.”

    Related podcast:

    Nuclear weapons awareness in the 20th and 21st centuries

    Nuclear weapons awareness in the 20th and...


  19. #4459
    IndoPacific_SCS_Info Retweeted
    þ @IndoPac_Info
    13h13 hours ago

    Thread: For 2 hours, much #European mobile traffic was rerouted through #China - It was China Telecom, again. The same ISP accused last year of hijacking the vital internet backbone of western countries for Chinese intelligence gathering
    Attached Images

  20. #4460
    Parting the Red Sea: Why the Chinese and U.S. armies are fortifying this tiny African country

    In Djibouti, two superpowers have built heavily guarded bases only a few kilometres apart, watching the crossroads between Asia, Africa and the Middle East in an increasingly tense standoff for global supremacy.
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Geoffrey York Africa Bureau Chief
    The Globe And Mail
    Published June 6, 2019 Updated 26 minutes ago

    From the edge of a cargo port at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, a visitor can peer over a high wall and gain a glimpse of the future: China’s first overseas military base.

    Access to the 36-hectare Chinese base is tightly controlled. From a distance, only a huddle of grey and beige buildings with Asian-style roofs is visible. But beneath the barracks is a maze of subterranean structures, connected with tunnels. In total, the base has room for up to 10,000 Chinese soldiers

    If there is a military front line in the growing global tensions between China and the United States, it is here in Djibouti, a small country of less than a million people on one of the world’s most strategically important sites.

    In this hot and arid corner of the Horn of Africa, thousands of U.S. and Chinese soldiers are deployed at heavily guarded bases just a few kilometres from each other.

    Djibouti dominates access to Bab el-Mandeb (the “Gate of Tears” in Arabic), a crucial choke point at the entrance to the Red Sea, only 25 kilometres wide at its narrowest point. It commands access to the Suez Canal shipping route that connects Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and it is the only place in the world where Beijing and Washington have large-scale military bases so close together.

    Tensions between the two rival superpowers are already rising. Beijing has complained of spying by low-flying U.S. aircraft near the Chinese base, while Washington alleges that the Chinese have taken unauthorized photos of U.S. warships and even shined lasers into the eyes of U.S. pilots to blind them temporarily.

    “It’s a cat-and-mouse game,” says Ibrahim Ahmed Djama, an official at the Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority, which operates a major port adjacent to the Chinese base.

    In a vigorous but covert lobbying campaign, senior U.S. officials tried to persuade Djibouti to deny permission for the Chinese base – but the government refused to bow to the pressure, according to Djibouti officials in interviews with The Globe and Mail.

    The Chinese base opened in mid-2017 with a flag-raising ceremony by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers. Since then, the base has become an object of fascination for military analysts. They pore over satellite photos, trying to calculate the capacity of the hangars, barracks, naval piers and an estimated 23,000 square metres of underground structures.

    Troops from the Chinese base have already held live-fire combat drills in Djibouti with machine guns, heavy artillery, sniper rifles and armoured vehicles – the largest-scale exercises it has ever conducted on foreign soil.

    Many countries, indeed, are jostling for room in Djibouti. This is the new Casablanca that has become a magnet for international espionage and intrigue. It contains perhaps the world’s biggest concentration of military bases in such a confined space. The French Foreign Legion, Japan, Germany, Spain and Italy are among those with a military presence in Djibouti.

    The Japanese base, adjacent to the U.S. base, is the first Japanese overseas base since the Second World War. Japan has expanded the base’s size and activities in recent years. Chinese media reported in 2017 that a Japanese naval ship had covertly sent frogmen to approach a Chinese warship as it docked in Djibouti. Chinese soldiers used lights and verbal warnings to chase them away, the report said.

    China is spending US$20-million annually to lease the site for its military base. Satellite images show that the Chinese base includes a tarmac for helicopters and drones, repair facilities for commercial and naval ships, storage rooms for arsenals of weapons and a nine-metre-wide security wall around it. “It’s a fortress,” says Mr. Djama as he drives past a vantage point where the Chinese base can be seen.

    Just 12 km from the Chinese base is its main rival: Camp Lemonnier, opened in 2003 and now the biggest U.S. military base in Africa, with about 4,500 troops stationed in it. Beijing has complained that the Pentagon uses the base to gather intelligence on its Chinese rival.

    “That’s what the Chinese are claiming – they complained several times to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Americans were overflying their base with helicopters and drones,” said Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of the ports and free-trade authority in Djibouti.

    He agrees that the Chinese and U.S. troops are in close enough proximity to trigger an accidental conflict. “It could happen, it could happen,” he told The Globe in an interview. “But I think it can be controlled,” he said. “If they want to fight, they have plenty of places in the world to do it. Here they are too close. We put them too close to fight.”

    Djibouti’s demanding guests

    The Djibouti government has felt obliged to remind the Chinese and Americans of the need to respect their host’s rules. “The position of my government is: ‘Don’t forget, both of you are guests,’ ” Mr. Hadi said. “They understand very well what that means.”

    But if the Americans are guests, they can be demanding ones. Djibouti officials tell the story of how high-level U.S. officials put intense pressure on the tiny country when they heard that Russia was seeking permission to open a military base here.

    “The Americans heard rumours that the Russians are coming,” recalled one official, who didn’t want to be identified by The Globe to preserve diplomatic relations. “They came here and met our President and said, ‘Please don’t do that.’ He said, ‘Okay, I’m a friend of the USA, so I’m not allowing Russia to come.’ A few months later, the Chinese came, and again the Americans complained. And the President said, ‘Hey, we agreed on Russia. You said only Russia. You can’t tell me not to accept the Chinese.’ ”

    After losing the battle to prevent the Chinese base from opening, the United States invested heavily in Camp Lemonnier, extending its lease on the site, doubling its lease payments to US$63-million annually and announcing more than US$1-billion in upgrades. The Pentagon has used the base for hundreds of drone attacks on terrorist targets in Somalia.

    Washington has continued to complain vociferously about the Chinese base. President Donald Trump’s national-security adviser, John Bolton, alleges that China used “military-grade lasers” from its Djibouti base to “target and distract U.S. pilots” in 10 separate incidents. “Two of our American pilots suffered eye injuries from exposure to laser beams,” he said in a December speech.

    The same alarmist tone fuels the rhetoric of other U.S. officials. General Thomas Waldhauser, head of the U.S. military command for Africa, told a U.S. Senate committee that he is worried about a possible Chinese takeover of one of Djibouti’s biggest ports, the Doraleh Container Terminal, adjacent to the Chinese base, which was nationalized by the government last year.

    The U.S. general estimated that 98 per cent of supplies for U.S. military operations in Eastern Africa go through the port. “If we were denied access or had limited access, it would have a significant impact on our activities in East Africa,” he said, describing the port access as a “strategic imperative” for the United States.

    Mr. Bolton said a Chinese takeover of the container terminal would shift the “balance of power in the Horn of Africa” and would endanger the Pentagon’s ability to “protect the American people” from terrorist organizations in Eastern Africa.

    China and Djibouti have scoffed at the U.S. allegations. China has formally denied the laser-attack allegation, and senior Djibouti officials have complained of “misinformation” by the United States on the port issue.

    “I think the American politicians are manipulated, they are given wrong information, they are far away from Africa and Djibouti,” Mr. Hadi said.

    Yet he also acknowledges that the Djibouti government might allow Chinese investors to win a share of the container terminal – perhaps as much as 33 per cent, he says. (One of his aides later rushed after The Globe journalist to urge that this comment be deleted from the interview.)

    Beijing has been unimpressed by the U.S. efforts to halt China’s expansion in Djibouti. “The U.S. government needs to abandon its old mentality of regarding Africa as its own sphere of interest and trying to drive out others from there,” Chinese researcher Shen Shiwei wrote in the state-owned Global Times newspaper after Mr. Bolton’s speech.

    But there is little doubt that China sees its base in Djibouti as the first of many bases worldwide, under a doctrine known as “the String of Pearls” – an emerging network of Chinese ports and bases from South Asia to Africa. The strategic port of Walvis Bay, on the Atlantic coast of Namibia, is often reported to be the next Chinese naval base in Africa, although there has been no official confirmation.

    “We will be gradually moving from depending on dispatching supply vessels to setting up overseas bases,” said Li Chunpang, political commissar of the Chinese military base in Djibouti, in a recent interview with Chinese state television.

    China’s bigger plans

    China has dramatically expanded its military presence in Africa in recent years, launching a growing number of naval patrols, military training programs, exchanges, port visits, anti-piracy operations and joint exercises. Last year alone, the PLA conducted drills in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Gabon. It has sharply increased its contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations, sending about 2,400 Chinese troops to serve in UN missions in Africa.

    China originally portrayed its base in Djibouti as merely a “logistics” base to support its peacekeepers and anti-piracy operations. But it is increasingly clear that the base is much more than that. It protects Chinese interests in the region, including the crucial sea lanes that carry half of China’s oil supplies.

    “The Djibouti base enables the PLA to project force and protect Chinese citizens, supply chains and other interests in Africa and along its ‘Maritime Silk Road’ across the Indian Ocean,” wrote Canadian analyst Michael Kovrig last October in a commentary for the International Crisis Group, only a few weeks before he was arrested by Chinese police during the diplomatic dispute between Canada and China.

    China, like the United States, has an unofficial purpose for its military base: to expand its geopolitical influence in a global hot spot, at the intersection of Africa and the Middle East.

    And in a region where thousands of Chinese citizens are working on construction and engineering projects, China wants to demonstrate that it can protect and rescue its citizens if they are threatened with violence – as its troops did in the plot of the hugely popular 2017 Chinese action movie Wolf Warrior 2. “Set in a nameless African country that descends into chaos, it closes with the hubristic message that China’s government will protect its citizens wherever they go,” Mr. Kovrig noted.

    China’s military operations in Djibouti are, in some ways, a response to the Pentagon’s expansion across Africa. Thousands of U.S. troops are stationed across the continent. Researchers have found U.S. military activity in at least 49 of the 54 African countries in recent years, including special-forces operations, military exercises and training missions.

    Since the beginning of Mr. Trump’s presidency in 2017, the Pentagon has openly declared that it is entering an era of “great power competition” with China and Russia. This includes a rivalry for influence in Africa, where the Pentagon is increasingly worried about terrorism. The United States has used its Djibouti-based drones to escalate its military strikes against al-Shabaab, the Islamist militia in Somalia, and it is determined to prevent any Chinese threat to its Djibouti base.

    All of this has Djibouti watching the Chinese and Americans carefully. “We are happy to have our friends here, but our intention is not to suffer from our generosity,” Djibouti’s Finance Minister Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh told The Globe in an interview.

    “Are different powers conflicting in Djibouti? They should not. It’s not in our interest. And it’s not in their interest either. The two superpowers have more to gain from the stability of this region than from creating unnecessary conflict.”

  21. #4461
    From: Parting the Red Sea: Why the Chinese and U.S. armies are fortifying this tiny African country
    Attached Images

  22. #4462
    From: Parting the Red Sea: Why the Chinese and U.S. armies are fortifying this tiny African country
    Attached Images

  23. #4463
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....

    The Perfect Storm Confronting Xi Jinping

    Dean Cheng
    June 5, 2019

    Entering 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to be charting a very new path not only for China but for himself. With the 13th National People’s Congress, Xi effectively ended term limits, amending the constitution of the People’s Republic of China to ensure he could remain president indefinitely. Since there are not formal term limits on the position of general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the actual top position of power, nor on the attendant chairmanship of the Central Military Commission, this meant Xi could hold the reins of power for as long as he wished. Xi was now the most powerful Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping.

    Not only had Xi overturned Deng’s efforts to ensure orderly and regular transfers of power within the CCP system, he was also ever more clearly abandoning Deng’s famous dictum governing foreign policy: “Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.” This was evidenced in Xi’s willingness to take up the challenge posed by President Donald Trump on U.S.-China trade relations.

    Whether it was confidence due to his growing domestic strength, a belief that the balance of economic power in the U.S.-China relationship had already shifted, or a concern about appearing weak in front of Trump, Xi seems to have reached the conclusion that China, under his leadership, can successfully challenge the United States. This appears to have been a dangerous miscalculation. Xi may soon find that a perfect storm of agricultural problems, internal unhappiness, and his own chosen hard line on the trade war could undermine the domestic power he has worked so hard to consolidate.

    Even before the 19th Party Congress in 2017, Xi had been steadily consolidating power. Since rising to the position of general secretary in 2012, he has become the head of many of the “leading small groups,” which coordinate interactions between the CCP (which sets policy) and the various ministries of the government (which have the bureaucratic means of implementing power). In essence, he has been concentrating power in himself to an extent not seen since Deng, if not Mao Zedong.

    Xi’s efforts to concentrate power, however, have had the ironic effect of also increasing internal duress. Juliette Genevaz, for example, has noted the impact of divergent national and local economic policies, the anti-corruption campaign, and the crackdown on social media and dissent in elevating pressures on his leadership.

    At the same time, Xi has been propounding the idea of “the China Dream of the great revival of the Chinese people.” Though the precise meaning of this dream has not been specifically laid out – and has almost certainly evolved – it appears to clearly set certain milestones. These include China becoming a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by 2021 (the CCP centenary) and “a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by the time the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary in 2049.”

    This may have been intended simply to rouse domestic pride, but the concomitant announcement of economic policies such as “Made in China 2025” has raised suspicions of whether the China Dream might not also include a strong element of economic dominance. Chinese behavior over Sri Lankan debt, ninety-nine year leases on Australian ports, and ongoing cyber economic espionage has created concerns that an economically stronger China might pursue policies that would benefit China — and few others.

    This might not have led to the ongoing breakdown in U.S.-China economic relations, except for the presence of Donald Trump in the White House. While Xi’s relationship with Trump does not appear a negative one (such as the rocky one between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel), the two nations find themselves now engaged in a trade conflict shaping up to be a trade war. This was partially precipitated by Trump’s decision to invoke tariffs against what were termed unfair Chinese trade practices. The decision should not have come as a surprise, given Trump’s 2016 campaign, which included a heavy dose of economic nationalism. But while candidate Trump campaigned on Chinese currency manipulation and the trade deficit, President Trump’s actions appear to have been motivated less by these elements and more by Chinese trade practices related to intellectual property.

    The November 2018 letter from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office outlining why the United States was preparing to impose additional tariffs listed four key complaints. First, China uses foreign ownership restrictions, such as joint venture requirements, as well as administrative processes to compel U.S. companies to transfer technology to the People’s Republic. Second, U.S. companies seeking to license technologies to Chinese firms must often transfer key information and processes. Third, Chinese technology acquisition includes unfair methods such as access to the state banking system for funds. Finally, China engages in a variety of cyber economic espionage activities. This last element contradicts a commitment made by Xi to President Barack Obama in 2015, in which both sides agreed not to engage in economic cyber espionage. While China appears to have reduced the level of such actions, it has certainly not suspended them, a point made clear in the 2018 National Counterintelligence and Security Center report.

    The Chinese have offered, in response to Trump’s pressure, to address the trade deficit. China has floated, at various points over the past two years, increasing purchases of American goods by $200 billion to $1 trillion. But Beijing has been far less forthcoming on the issue of intellectual property, as the U.S. Trade Representative letter notes.

    In the last several weeks, the Chinese have taken an increasingly hard line. American officials claim that China was reversing changes it had previously agreed to implement, effectively overturning the results of months of negotiations. Trump promptly applied new tariffs to a variety of Chinese goods, elevating them to 25 percent, effective May 10. Chinese officials in turn have now raised the possibility of embargoes on rare earth exports and blacklisting American companies like FedEx.

    It may be that Xi believes that China could weather any trade war with the United States. After all, as an authoritarian state, especially one with control over news media and social media, it could limit any discontent with rising prices. Moreover, since China is not a market economy, and the state plays a major role in not only manufacturing but finance (because almost all banks are state-owned), Xi and the rest of the Chinese leadership may also believe they have the levers to keep the Chinese economy on a largely even keel, whatever the state of U.S.-China relations.

    Alternatively, perhaps Xi and the Chinese Politburo believe China’s economy and overall comprehensive national power have reached the point where the People’s Republic can, in fact, challenge the United States. This challenge would not be military (and fortunately there is little evidence that U.S.-China relations have deteriorated to the point of military confrontation); rather, it would be economic. The threat about rare earths would seem to support this view — China’s dominance of the market for rare earth metals, which are vital for cell phones and electric cars, as well as many military applications, would seem to give China a particular economic advantage over its rival. Xi, like Mao, would like to signal that China has “stood up” under his rule.

    Several recent developments, however, should serve as a warning that China’s assumptions are by no means assured. In the realm of information and communications technologies, there is a presumption that China is in the advantaged position, especially when it comes to supply chains. After all, China is one of the largest manufacturers of integrated circuits, the microchips that make everything from microwaves to military radars function, as well as a major supplier of rare earth minerals.

    As the 2018 clash over China’s ZTE showed, however, that does not mean that China dominates the supply chain even for Chinese companies. ZTE, it turns out, is crucially dependent on American suppliers for a range of parts from optical components to microchips to software. When the Department of Commerce proposed a seven-year ban on sales of any American components to ZTE for violating sanctions on North Korea, this would have been fatal for China’s second-largest provider of information and communications technology. While the ban was lifted (after ZTE paid a $1 billion dollar fine), it is clear that an intertwined supply chain works both ways.

    Another concern for Xi has to be food security. As every Chinese leader is undoubtedly aware, regime change has often occurred in the thousands of years of Chinese history because of famine and food supply problems. More recently, some have attributed the Arab Spring to a rise in food prices. Xi would undoubtedly want to avoid any parallel problem arising in China.

    China, however, has been a net food importer since at least 2007. This includes both grains and soybeans, central pillars of the Chinese diet. This is partly due to the growing need for animal feed, as China’s livestock production has expanded to meet increasing demands from a wealthier population.

    Unfortunately, Xi is now confronted with a double-barreled threat. First, fall armyworm has arrived in China. Since it was first detected in January, the pest has spread across some 8,500 hectares of Chinese grain production areas, affecting six provinces mostly in southern China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture worries that this voracious creature may affect staple crop production such as corn, rice, wheat, and sorghum, as well as others to include soybeans and cotton. “Experts report that there is a high probability that the pest will spread across all of China’s grain production area within the next 12 months.” There is no natural predator in China that feeds on the fall armyworm, nor are there any registered pesticides in China to counter it.

    At the same time, African Swine Fever is now threatening China’s pigs, spreading across the country since the first confirmed case in northeast China last year. Cases of this disease have now been reported in every province. As the world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, African Swine Fever is a direct threat to the livelihood and diet of a substantial portion of China. Unfortunately, there is no cure; the only solution is to cull herds, impose quarantines on affected farms, and hopefully halt the disease from spreading.

    This combination of agricultural threats means Xi will likely have to substantially increase his imports of foreign foodstuffs in order to keep food prices stable in China — and even then, pork prices are likely to rise. Indeed, domestic meat prices are likely to increase substantially as feed supplies are affected by fall armyworm. Yet a key Chinese tool in its trade war with the United States are the tariffs it has placed on agricultural products, including soybeans. It is not at all clear whether this is sustainable, especially since the United States is one of the world’s most efficient agricultural producers. At a minimum, raising tariffs on American agricultural products will mean a rise in the price of those products when they are imported to counter domestic shortfalls.

    Moreover, if Xi is worried about domestic stability, he likely cannot pass along tariff-induced rises in food prices to the consumer (at least not in full). Indeed, given the combination of agricultural threats affecting vegetables, meat, and grains, he may have to substantially subsidize food prices to keep them from rising excessively, even before tariffs are taken into account. This combination is likely a substantial increase in governmental outlays, some of which will have to come from China’s hard currency holdings (e.g., any major purchases of foreign grain or meat).

    This does not necessarily mean China will lose the trade war with the United States. Xi is correct that the CCP retains many levers of power and influence to manipulate the population. But neither can Xi be confident that he will emerge triumphant, especially if questions arise within the party about his handling of these various crises.

    In a year that marks both the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, Xi may yet regret assuming the mantle of concentrated power.

    Dean Cheng is the Senior Research Fellow for Chinese Political and Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.

  24. #4464
    China conducts probable test launch of JL-3 SLBM

    Andrew Tate, London - Jane's Defence Weekly
    03 June 2019

    Photographs posted on Chinese social media sites appear to show that China conducted a missile launch on 2 June, which online sources suggest was a test firing of the country’s next-generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the JL-3.

    The event took place during the time an area in the Bohai Sea was closed for a “military mission” as notified by the Liaoning office of the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA). The MSA had issued two closure notices – from 07:00-1300 h (local time) on 1 June and from 02:30-12:00 h on 2 June – for naval activities in the Bohai Strait, southwest of the naval bases around Lushun and Dalian, at the entrance to the largely enclosed Bohai Sea.

    State-owned Global Times newspaper reported that on 2 June at about 04:00 h “residents across multiple provinces in China” had seen “an unidentified flying object (UFO) with a glowing fiery tail streak across the sky”, photographs and video clips of which were posted on many Chinese social media sites.

    The event was observed in Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei, and Henan provinces, which would be consistent with a missile fired from the Bohai Sea following a flight path into the desert areas of western China where ballistic missile test firings usually impact.

    A previous JL-3 test launch took place in late November 2018, according to an article by Bill Gertz in the Washington Free Beacon , quoting US defence officials. A similar sea closure area south west of Dalian was established by the Liaoning MSA on 22 November, but there was no observed missile flight. This probably indicated that the November launch was to demonstrate satisfactory underwater ejection of the missile from the launch tube.

  25. #4465
    China Buys Most Gold In Over 3 Years Amid "Determined Diversification" From Dollar

    by Tyler Durden
    Zero Hedge
    Monday, 06/10/2019 - 11:15

    China continued its renewed (public) gold-buying spree in May adding almost 16 tons of the precious metal to its reserve - the biggest monthly increase since January 2016.

    “It’s a diversification away from the U.S. dollar, particularly given the trade tensions and the potential technology cold war that’s evolving,” said Bart Melek, global head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.

    “We have to remember that gold is nobody’s liability.”

    This is the sixth straight month of buying since China's publicly reported pause.

    While this figure is hotly contested as being an underestimate of Chinese State’s actual gold holdings, its the only figure available, and whatever the real number, its notable that the Chinese government has revived the trend of announcing physical gold purchases each and every month.

    As Bloomberg reports, the rise reflects the government’s “determined diversification” away from dollar assets, Argonaut Securities (Asia) Ltd. analyst Helen Lau said, adding that retail demand has also picked up. At this rate of accumulation, China could buy 150 tons in 2019, according to Lau.

    Finally, as's Ronan Many recently noted, with China in one of the driving seats of the world’s physical gold market, along with India and Russia in the other, it is opportune then that the London Bullion market Association (LBMA) has chosen Shenzhen in China as the location for its annual conference this coming October where they should have plenty to talk about as China’s gold market continues to fire on all cylinders. It also raises some questions such as why the international gold price continues to be established by the paper gold markets of London and the US COMEX. Maybe China prefers it that way.

  26. #4466
    China increases construction rate of amphibious assault ships

    Andrew Tate, London - Jane's Defence Weekly
    10 June 2019

    The eighth Type 071 (Yuzhao)-class amphibious assault ship on order for China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was launched at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai on 6 June, making it the fourth of these 20,000 tonne landing platform dock (LPD) vessels to have entered the water since June 2017.

    Construction of the seventh LPD began in April 2018, with the ship entering the water on 28 December 2018: a period of eight months to assemble the complete hull and launch the ship. Assembly of Hull 8 was carried out in the same part of the dock vacated following the launch of Hull 7, meaning that Hull 8 was completed in just six months. Fitting out and trials are likely to take a further 12 months before the ship is ready for commissioning.

    As previously reported by Jane's, another hull is being constructed in the same dock as the LPDs, and it seems certain that this will be the PLAN's first Type 075 helicopter assault ship. Progress on this ship has also been rapid, as assembly must have commenced after the dock was drained following the launch of the seventh Type 071 in December 2018 and a large part of the Type 075 was sufficiently complete to be watertight and float when the dock was flooded again for the most recent LPD launch.

    Although assembly of the Type 075 may take longer than the repeat builds of the Type 071, given that it is both larger and a new design, it looks likely that it will be launched before the end of 2019.

    The most recent satellite imagery shows that the hull of the Type 075 in its current state has a beam of about 32 m. As the bow and stern sections have yet to be added, its length cannot yet be established but it seems likely that the displacement will be about 35,000-40,000 tonnes.

  27. #4467
    ELINT News
    ‏ @ELINTNews
    3h3 hours ago

    #UPDATE: Chinese aircraft carrier sails between Okinawan islands

    The carrier task group led by the Liaoning included five other vessels, including two guided-missile destroyers, two frigates & a combat support ship, the ministry said in a statement

  28. #4468
    Conflict News
    ‏ @Conflicts
    39m39 minutes ago

    PHILLIPINES: The Filipino military say the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese fishing boat 'appears to be deliberate'.

  29. #4469
    "Explosion" Triggers 'Small Quake' Near North Korea-China Border Ahead Of Xi's Historic Visit To Pyongyang

    by Tyler Durden
    Zero Hedge
    Mon, 06/17/2019 - 08:54

    AFP is reporting a "suspected explosion" near the China-North Korea border that appears to bear some resemblance to an eartquake, possibly one triggered by the country's nuclear program.

    Reports about a possible quake could turn out to be far more innocuous than they seem at first. Reports of a quake from March turned out to be unconnected to any new nuclear tests

    In an unfortunate example of timing, news of the quake followed not long after state media announced that President Xi Jinping would make an official state visit to Pyongyang this week in what will be a historic occasion for North Korea. Xi will meet with Kim during the visit on Thursday and Friday (June 20 and 21) during the first trip by a Chinese leader to Pyongyang in 14 years.

    Kim has repeatedly visited with Xi and other senior Chinese officials during trips to Beijing over the last two years. He also recently visited Russia in the first meeting between a North Korean head of state and a post-Soviet Russian leader. But visits to Pyongyang by foreign dignitaries are few and far between.

    The visit coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and North Korea. Media reports claimed the two leaders will 'exchange views' on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

    But the timing of the visit - coming at a time when tensions with Beijing are escalating and denuclearization talks with North Korea have stalled following the collapse of talks in Hanoi - likely isn't a coincidence. The message to Washington is clear: Refuse to play nice on trade, and North Korea could quickly become a geopolitical problem again.

  30. #4470
    State media say Chinese President Xi to visit North Korea

    By Yanan Wang, Associated Press
    BEIJING — June 17, 2019, 9:17 AM ET

    Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to North Korea this week, state media announced Monday, as U.S. talks with North Korea on its nuclear program are at an apparent standstill.

    Xi will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the visit on Thursday and Friday, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said. It said the trip will be the first by a Chinese president in 14 years

    North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency also announced the visit, but provided no further details.

    The visit coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and North Korea, CCTV said. The broadcaster added the leaders will exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

    The visit comes as negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea appear to have reached an impasse.

    A summit in Vietnam in February between Kim and President Donald Trump failed after the U.S. rejected North Korea's request for extensive relief from U.N. sanctions in exchange for dismantling its main nuclear complex, a partial disarmament step. Since the summit's breakdown, no major contacts between the U.S. and North Korea have been announced.

    Kim traveled to the Russian Far East in April for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The move was viewed as aimed at strengthening his leverage over Washington and persuading Moscow to loosen its implementation of the international sanctions against North Korea.

    Last month, North Korea fired short-range missiles and other weapons into the sea in an apparent effort to apply pressure on the U.S.

    KCNA reported in April that Kim said he will give the U.S. "till the end of the year" to reach out with further proposals.

    Since taking office in 2012, Xi has met with Kim four times in China. The meetings were timed in proximity to Kim's meetings with Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, highlighting Beijing's role as a key player in the nuclear standoff. Beijing has long advocated a "dual suspension" approach in which North Korea would halt its nuclear and missile activities while the U.S. and South Korea cease large-scale joint military exercises.

    Chinese political scholar Zhang Lifan said the aim of Xi's trip is likely not to make any breakthroughs, but rather to remind other countries of China's unique position.

    Zhang said Beijing may be seeking to gain leverage ahead of a G-20 summit in Japan later this month and reassert itself as a global player amid growing concerns over its economy.

    "North Korea is a card for China to play," Zhang said. "China may want to show off its relationship with North Korea and demonstrate its importance to U.S.-North Korean relations."

    South Korea's presidential office said it hopes Xi's visit to North Korea will contribute to a swift resumption of negotiations to resolve the nuclear standoff. It said it has been engaging in discussions with Beijing over the possibility of a visit by Xi, which it views as a positive development in efforts to peacefully resolve the peninsula's issues.


    Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim and Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

  31. #4471
    2,000 air force personnel from 4 nations join Red Flag-Alaska exercises

    By Ed Adamczyk
    June 14, 2019 / 4:03 PM

    June 14 2019 (UPI) -- Red Flag-Alaska, an exercise involving 2,000 personnel, 85 aircraft and the air forces of four Pacific Rim countries, is underway, the U.S. Air Force announced.

    The majority of the aircraft, from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, the South Korean Air Force, the Royal Thai Air Force and the U.S. Air Force, are flying from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base, both in Alaska.

    The exercise is directed by Pacific Air Forces, a U.S. Air Force component, and allows U.S. forces to train with coalition partners in a simulated combat environment.

    It is the first time that senior enlisted leaders from the four countries' air commands have gathered in the same location. The exercise will conclude on June 21.

    "Any time we come together in a training environment like this, we get really good and realistic training opportunities with our partner nations," U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth O. Wright said in a press release.

    "I think opportunities like Red Flag are extremely important for us to get those repetitions in with our allies. I encourage all participants to take advantage of these opportunities where you get to work at a tactical level with our Indo-Pacific and our European counterparts because you never know how those relationships might pay off one day," Wright said.

    The program, which is conducted several times each year, dates to 1975, when it was first undertaken at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. All Red Flag-Alaska exercises take place over the isolated, 67,000 square-mile Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex over central Alaska, and involve integration of various forces in realistic threat environments.

    Red Flag-Alaska executes the world's premier tactical joint and coalition air combat employment exercises and are designed to replicate the stresses warfighters must face during their first eight to 10 combat sorties, a USAF statement said.

    "What they found in previous wars is that pilots were dying within their first 10 flights in-theater [in combat situations]," said Capt. James Carson of the U.S. Air Force's 354th Operations Group. "That's the idea behind RF-A. We try to provide similar flights to what pilots can expect to see when they actually go to war, but in a safe environment."

    Among those involved in the exercise are personnel of the New York Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing, who are testing and operating MQ-9 Reaper drones in simulated combat situations. .

  32. #4472
    Major JCG base planned at Kagoshima Port to counter Chinese activity around Senkakus

    June 14, 2019
    The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The Japan Coast Guard plans to establish one of the nation’s largest bases at Kagoshima Port, to support security operations that would strengthen the JCG’s ability to counter repeated incursions into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands by Chinese government ships, according to sources.

    The port will be expanded and three more helicopter-capable patrol vessels will be deployed to the base by the end of next fiscal year. The 6,000-ton to 6,500-ton vessels are the largest class of patrol vessels possessed by the JCG. This will be the first time several patrol boats of this size are positioned at a single base.

    Since the Japanese government nationalized the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture in September 2012, Chinese government ships have sailed through the contiguous zone — an about 22-kilometer-wide area outside the territorial waters — around the islands almost daily. These vessels also intrude into Japan’s territorial waters several times a month. As of Thursday, Chinese ships had sailed through the contiguous zone for 63 consecutive days, their longest continued presence in the waters. Furthermore, government ships of 3,000 tons or more have also entered these waters as China steps up its activities in the region.

    Twelve JCG patrol vessels dedicated to security operations around the Senkaku Islands have been stationed on Okinawa Prefecture’s Ishigakijima island, the closest base to the front line. However, these vessels are mostly in the 1,000-ton to 1,500-ton range and struggle to operate in adverse weather conditions.

    Consequently, the JCG decided to build up its fleet of patrol vessels that can stably carry helicopters and withstand bad weather at Kagoshima Port, the closest major port on Japan’s main islands to the Senkaku Islands.

    Currently, the JCG has stationed one helicopter-capable, 6,500-ton patrol vessel — the largest in its fleet — at Kagoshima Port. According to government sources, the JCG will prepare a new dock for the exclusive use of the patrol vessels, and will deploy another two 6,500-ton vessels and one 6,000-ton vessel there by the end of fiscal 2020.

    In addition, the JCG plans to station a 6,500-ton patrol ship on Ishigakijima in fiscal 2021. The JCG believes reinforcing its deployments in the region will create a system that allows the stable execution of security operations around the Senkaku Islands

  33. #4473
    From: Major JCG base planned at Kagoshima Port to counter Chinese activity around Senkakus

  34. #4474
    China Unveils New Radar System To Detect US Stealth Jets

    by Tyler Durden
    Zero Hedge
    Tuesday, 06/18/2019 - 23:45

    China, the rising power, has designed a new radar system that can detect American stealth warplanes and is also immune to their "radar killer" missiles, its creator told Naval and Merchant Ships magazine, first published by Global Times.

    The new radar can be deployed on vehicles, on land and warships, but its creator Liu Yongtan said this particular model would be a land-based mobile system, can detect naval and aerial hostiles from hundreds of kilometers away in any weather condition.

    Liu, who is an expert in radar systems, said the new radar features "high-frequency electromagnetic waves that have long wavelengths and wide beams."

    He said the long wavelength can detect stealth warplanes, which use high-tech materials to evade detection from microwave radars, but currently, there are no planes that can escape detection against high-frequency surface waves

    The Global Times said the new radar system has "immunity" from anti-radiation missiles, which track and destroy the source of the electromagnetic waves.

    This is because the anti-radiation missiles would need special antennas to track high-frequency surface waves, but these antennas are too large to fit inside the missiles.

    Shi Lao, a Shanghai-based military commentator, said Liu's radar system could be an effective coastal monitoring system that would be able to protect about 250 miles of coastline.

    "HFSWR could work 24 hours in all weathers, which would be much cheaper than operating early warning aircraft," Shi said.

    "They can be deployed relatively quickly with high mobility if they are mounted on vehicles, and may be loaded onto warships in the future."

    This comes at a time when America, the status quo power, is being challenged militarily in the Eastern Hemisphere by China. In response, Washington has supplied Australia, South Korea, and Japan with stealth jets, dubbed the F-35 friends cycle.

    Beijing would most likely deploy this new radar system across the militarized islands in the South China Sea.

    State broadcaster CCTV had recently reported that China had already installed the new radar in Weihai, on the country's east coast in Shandong province.

    Upgrading the China maritime early warning defense system to detect stealth warplanes is happening as Washington and Beijing duke it out in an economic war that could one day lead to a shooting war in the South China Sea.

  35. #4475
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....

    World News
    June 21, 2019 / 2:31 PM / Updated 2 hours ago

    Kim, Xi reach consensus, to develop relations no matter the international situation: KCNA

    2 Min Read

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during Xi's visit in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this picture released by by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 21, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS

    SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and China’s President Xi Jinping reached a consensus on “important issues,” and agreed on Friday they will carry forward friendly relations “whatever the international situation,” North Korean state media KCNA said on Saturday.

    Xi left the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Friday after a two-day visit, the first by a Chinese leader in 14 years.

    China is North Korea’s only major ally and Xi’s visit was aimed at bolstering the isolated country against pressure from United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs and stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.

    The visit comes a week before Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump are due to meet at a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, amid a trade dispute that has rattled global financial markets.

    During a luncheon on Friday, the last day of Xi’s visit to Pyongyang, the leaders discussed a series of plans for strengthening collaboration between their two countries, and talked about the “major internal and external policies” of their respective countries and exchanged views on domestic and international issues of mutual concern, KCNA said without elaborating.

    Reporting by Joyce Lee and Hayoung Choi; editing by Sandra Maler and G Crosse

  36. #4476
    South China Sea: Satellite image shows Chinese fighter jets deployed to contested island

    By Brad Lendon, CNN
    Updated 3:48 AM ET, Fri June 21, 2019

    Hong Kong (CNN) A satellite image obtained by CNN shows China has deployed at least four J-10 fighter jets to the contested Woody Island in the South China Sea, the first known deployment of fighter jets there since 2017.

    The image was taken Wednesday and represents the first time J-10s have been seen on Woody or any Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea, according to ImageSat International, which supplied the image to CNN.

    The deployment comes as tensions remain high in the South China Sea and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to meet United States President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit in Japan next week.

    Analysts who looked at the satellite photo for CNN said both the placement of the planes out in the open and accompanying equipment is significant and indicates the fighter jets were on the contested island for up to 10 days.

    "They want you to notice them. Otherwise they would be parked in the hangars," said Peter Layton, a former Royal Australian Air Force officer and fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. "What message do they want you to take from them?"

    Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, said the deployment is designed to "demonstrate it is their territory and they can put military aircraft there whenever they want."

    "It also makes a statement that they can extend their air power reach over the South China Sea as required or desired," Schuster said.

    The J-10 jets have a combat range of about 500 miles (740 kilometers), putting much of the South China Sea and vital shipping lands within reach, Schuster said.

    The four planes are not carrying external fuel tanks, the analysts said. That suggests they were to be refueled on the island, so the plan may be to keep them there awhile.

    "It could be an early training deployment as part of getting the J-10 squadron operationally ready for an ADIZ (air defense identification zone) declaration," Layton said. "This activity may be the new normal."

    China said in 2016 it reserved the right to impose an ADIZ over the South China Sea, which would require aircraft flying over the waters to first notify Beijing. It set up an ADIZ over the East China Sea in 2013, prompting an outcry from Japan and the United States, but the zone has not been fully enforced.

    Woody Island, known as Yongxing in China, is the largest of the Paracel chain, also known as the Xisha Islands in China.

    The Paracels sit in the north-central portion of the 1.3 million-square-mile South China Sea. They are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, but have been occupied by China since 1974, when Chinese troops ousted a South Vietnamese garrison.

    The past several years have seen Beijing substantially upgrade its facilities on the islands, deploying surface-to-air missiles, building 20 hangars at the airfield, upgrading two harbors and performing substantial land reclamation, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

    Woody Island has served as a blueprint for Beijing's more prominent island-building efforts in the Spratly chain to the south, AMTI said in a 2017 report.

    The appearance of the J-10s on Woody Island comes just over a year after China sent its H-6K long-range bombers to the island for test flights for the first time.

    The PLA claimed that mission was a part of China's aim to achieve a broader regional reach, quicker mobilization, and greater strike capabilities.

    "The islands in the South China Sea are China's territory," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said after the bomber flights. "The relevant military activities are normal trainings and other parties shouldn't over-interpret them."

    A military expert, Wang Mingliang, was quoted in a Chinese statement as saying the training would hone the Chinese air force's war-preparation skills and its ability to respond to various security threats in the region.

    In 2017, a report in China's state-run Global Times, said fighter jets -- J-11s -- were deployed to Woody Island for the first time, with the new hangars able to protect the warplanes from the island's high heat and humidity.

    That report said such hangars would be useful on other Chinese islands to greatly enhance Beijing's control over the South China Sea.

  37. #4477
    Franz-Stefan Gady‏Verified account @HoansSolo · Jun 20

    #New: 3 nuclear-capable Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers have violated Japanese airspace, according to #Japan's MoD. 1.) R. bombers entered Japanese airspace off Minamidaitōjima southeast of Okinawa and off Hachijō-jima in Philippine Sea.
    Japan scrambled fighter jets

  38. #4478
    Russian Exercises
    ‏ @RUSexercises
    21h21 hours ago

    TASS: For the first time, comprehensive mobilization exercises are being conducted in the Far East

  39. #4479
    Australia planning new port in north for use by US Marines: report

    June 23, 2019

    Sydney (AFP) - Australia is planning to build a new deep-water port on its northern coast able to accommodate US Marine deployments as part of efforts to counter China's growing presence in the region, the ABC reported Monday.

    The national broadcaster quoted multiple defence and government officials as saying the facility would be about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, which controversially leased its own port to a Chinese operator in 2015.

    The Darwin port already includes military facilities and hosts visiting US ships, but the ABC said the new port would offer large amphibious warships a more discreet and less busy base of operations.

    US Marine units of more than 2,000 troops regularly rotate through Darwin as part of the close military cooperation between the two allies.

    Both Australia and the United States have been building up their military presence across the western Pacific to counter moves by China to gain influence across the strategically vital region, notably by creating armed outposts on disputed islands in the South China Sea.

    As part of that effort, Washington and Canberra recently announced plans to build a joint military base on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, northeast of Australia.

    The ABC said the new Australian port at Glyde Point would include commercial and industrial operations in addition to facilities for military activities.

    An announcement concerning the port could come in the next few weeks to coincide with the height of the bi-annual Talisman Sabre US-Australian military exercise in mid-July, ABC said.

    The US consulate in Sydney declined to comment on the ABC report, and the Australian Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for a response.

  40. #4480
    Report: China fighters buzz Canada warship in East China Sea

    By The Associated Press
    BEIJING — June 27, 2019, 9:00 AM ET

    A report says two Chinese fighter jets buzzed a Canadian warship operating in international waters in the East China Sea at a time of heightened tension between Beijing and Ottawa.

    Canadian Global Affairs Institute fellow Matthew Fisher wrote that the Su-30 fighters flew within 300 meters (980 feet) of the bow of the frigate HMCS Regina

    Fisher, who was aboard the ship, said the display was more aggressive than previous encounters between the Canadian navy and Chinese warplanes, but was not considered dangerous. Fisher didn't say when the incident occurred, although his report on the institute's website was dated Tuesday.

    "This was not a dangerous scenario but it is one that we certainly paid close attention to," Regina's captain, Cmdr. Jake French, was quoted as saying. "I will not characterize their intent, but we have seen a lot of 'fast air' over the past week flying from where many of their bases are."

    The event comes amid Chinese fury over Canada's arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, in December at the request of the United States. Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei's founder, is under house arrest in her Vancouver mansion.

    In apparent response, China has arrested two Canadians for alleged spying, sentenced another to death for drug smuggling, and this week suspended imports of Canadian meat products.

    Fisher wrote that the ship had been followed for weeks by Chinese destroyers, frigates, corvettes and coast guard cutters as it traveled through the disputed South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety, through the Taiwan Strait and into the East China Sea.

    However, French was quoted as saying that relations at sea with the Chinese military had been "professional and cordial."

    China's defense ministry on Thursday said it had closely followed the passage of the Regina and its replenishment ship, MV Asterix, through the Taiwan Strait.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

NOTICE: Timebomb2000 is an Internet forum for discussion of world events and personal disaster preparation. Membership is by request only. The opinions posted do not necessarily represent those of TB2K Incorporated (the owner of this website), the staff or site host. Responsibility for the content of all posts rests solely with the Member making them. Neither TB2K Inc, the Staff nor the site host shall be liable for any content.

All original member content posted on this forum becomes the property of TB2K Inc. for archival and display purposes on the Timebomb2000 website venue. Said content may be removed or edited at staff discretion. The original authors retain all rights to their material outside of the website venue. Publication of any original material from on other websites or venues without permission from TB2K Inc. or the original author is expressly forbidden.

"Timebomb2000", "TB2K" and "Watching the World Tick Away" are Service Mark℠ TB2K, Inc. All Rights Reserved.