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FILE - A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. VOA

China’s two decades of military modernization has paid off big in missile development and domains like cyber and space, but the Pentagon says China is still relying on spying on others to steal the latest military technology.

“China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including targeted foreign direct investment, cyber theft, and exploitation of private Chinese nationals’ access to these technologies, as well as … computer intrusions and other illicit approaches,” according to a congressionally mandated Pentagon report released Thursday.

Randall Schriver, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told reporters Friday at the Pentagon that China frequently uses tactics that fall just short of armed conflict to reach its goal of becoming a “world-class military by 2049,” from threats and coercion against media and academia to jamming systems against ships in international waters in the South China Sea.

FILE – The Chinese navy’s guided missile destroyer Guiyang takes part in a naval parade off the eastern port city of Qingdao, April 23, 2019. VOA

The report said China has used these illicit approaches to acquire military-grade technologies from the United States that ranged from antisubmarine to aviation equipment.

He said the Chinese were “very aggressive” with modernization and had made “significant progress” in their ballistic and cruise missile development, but he stopped short of calling Beijing an adversary. “We certainly don’t see conflict with China, and it doesn’t preclude cooperation where interests align,” Schriver told reporters.


The report also shows increased Chinese activities in the Arctic region. Arctic states have expressed concerns that Beijing could use its presence there to strengthen China’s military reach, mirroring worries about Chinese military presence in Africa and Latin America following its Belt and Road economic initiative.

“Civilian research could support a strengthened Chinese military presence in the Arctic Ocean, which could include deploying submarines to the region as a deterrent against nuclear attacks,” the report notes.

FILE – The Chinese navy’s 055-class guided missile destroyer Nanchang takes part in a naval parade off the eastern port city of Qingdao, April 23, 2019. VOA

The Pentagon report noted that European allies like Denmark have expressed concern about Chinese proposals to establish a research station and a satellite ground station in Greenland.

Concentration camps

Schriver also noted the U.S. military’s concern that the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission has taken sole authority of the People’s Armed Police, China’s primary force for internal security.

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He accused China of imprisoning close to 3 million Chinese Muslims in “concentration camps” that “erode the rules-based order.” He later defended his description, which harks back to the Jewish concentration camps in Nazi Germany, as appropriate, given the magnitude of the Chinese detentions and the goals of the camps based on public comments from the Chinese government. (VOA)


Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

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This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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