As U.S. Navy Capt. James Fanell observed in the Times article, “Chinese maritime surveillance cutters have no other mission but to harass other nations into submitting to China’s expansive claims.” They have cut cables towing Vietnamese sonar arrays, arrested and intimidated Southeast Asian fishermen, harassed U.S. naval vessels and, in one case, erected a barrier to establish China’s exclusive control. These non-naval Chinese vessels are not equipped with military weapons, but demonstrate prowess with water cannons and grappling hooks—sparking frustration and a sense of helplessness among China’s neighboring countries.
China may have shot itself in the foot strategically, but not at the tactical level. Southeast Asian countries lack the capability to match the Chinese on or over the water with military or coast guard assets, a gap in capabilities growing monthly. Bluntly put, Chinese maritime enforcement agencies can muscle other Southeast Asians aside at will—with Vietnamese military outposts being the principle possible exception.
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China’s modernization has polluted many rivers, but the pollution of the groundwater in cities is most serious, with about 64 percent heavily polluted, 33 percent mildly polluted, and only 3 percent considered clean, according to a report by China Youth Daily on Feb. 22.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe re-affirmed sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands in Washington, D.C., Friday, declaring that any challenge to Japan’s ownership of the tiny island group will not be tolerated.
“No nation should make any miscalculation about the firmness of our resolve,” Abe said at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House earlier in the day.
If China can’t back down, and it can’t, and Japan won’t back down, doesn’t that imply seriously bad news for the US? This suggests that the US should start warming up its nuclear arsenal.
North Korea is now under martial law and leader Kim Jong Un has told frontline troops to prepare for war, amid reports that Pyongyang will carry out its third nuclear test, according to South Korean media on Thursday.
Kim gave the secret order to “complete preparations for a nuclear weapons test between Tuesday and yesterday,” reported the JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean national daily. “The country will be under martial law starting from midnight Jan. 29 and all the frontline and central units should be ready for a war,” Kim reportedly said.
In the European Union (EU), 2013 will be the worst year since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. …
In Latin America, 2013 will also be a year of challenges. …
Given this situation in Iran, Israel will no doubt be preparing for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. …
China’s seas have become the areas with the greatest potential for armed conflict in the Asia Pacific region. …
China is moving full speed ahead with the modernization of its navy. On Sept. 25, it launched its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, with the intention of intimidating its neighbors. Beijing is increasingly intolerant of the U.S. military presence in Asia. A dangerous “strategic distrust” is building between the two giants, which will doubtless leave its mark on international politics in the 21st century.
Zhao Feihung is the chairman of the Safe Drinking Water Committee at the Beijing Health Care Association. Her husband works in the National Development and Reform Commission’s Public Nutrition and Development Center. Together, this Beijing couple has not drunken any of the city’s tap water in over 20 years, reported China’s Southern Weekly. Said the 58-year old Zhao, “Out of all the households in Beijing, ours probably knows about the drinking water here the best.”
Beijing Water Worsening
“Tests that we ran last week showed that the nitrate levels in our tap water have already reached 9 milligrams per liter,” Zhao said. This comes close to the limit of 10 milligrams per liter mandated by Beijing. “Even in 2011, it was only 4 milligrams per liter.” Excess nitrate levels indicate a higher level of contamination from garbage, organic pollution and fecal matter.
It is not realistic to expect the CCP to carry out top-down reforms that will share the spoils with the average Chinese. This is why in the future the last three decades will be seen as a period in which the CCP went further and further into a death spiral.
The Party’s cadres want to benefit from an unjust system while somehow mitigating the anger of the rest of the population. Given that genuine reform is impossible, eventually that anger will catch up with them and the Party will be no more.
With reporting by Pingping Yu.
Tianlun Jian, Ph.D., writes regularly on the Chinese economy and advises The Epoch Times on economics. His blog is Chineseeconomictrend.blogspot.com.