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China to accelerate militarising new islands in South China Sea

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Beijing: China will “accelerate militarizing its newly built islands”, warned a state-run daily after a US bomber flew close to it in the South China Sea.

The Pentagon said that an American B-52 bomber “unintentionally” flew over the South China Sea within two nautical miles of an artificial island built by China. Chinese authorities described the move as “provocation”.

An editorial “US actions prompt islands militarization” in the Global Times said on Monday that the US military has adopted a mild tone this time, but “its action is aggressive”.

“The moves of the US will undoubtedly propel China to accelerate militarizing its newly built islands and make them capable of coping with direct military threat from the US.

“As the Chinese mainland is far from this area and China only has one aircraft carrier, it would be too late for China to send fighter jets from the mainland when US jets intrude into the airspace of the islands. The only choice is to deploy the fighter jets on these islands,” the daily said.

“Communist country stressed that these islands serve a peaceful purpose, but the premise of such assertion is that no external military force threatens their security. The US military is undermining this premise, and China should carry out corresponding security deployment.”

It observed that nowadays US warplanes and bombers fly over nearby waters and airspace at will.

“If China does not take due measures, it can be implied that it tacitly approves such hostile actions. This, in turn, will jeopardize the country’s South China Sea strategy. It, therefore, has no other options, but to build up its military capability on those islands. In that case, next time when the US warplanes come over again, there will be Chinese military planes taking off and safeguarding our sovereignty.”

The daily went on to say that there is worry that militarization of the islands will bring more pressure on China from the international community and some Southeast Asian countries will especially be unhappy about it.

“But it is the US military provocations that are propelling China to do so. Chinese countermeasures will be morally correct. They may further complicate the situation in the South China Sea, but will not tarnish China’s international image.”

The editorial noted that if all parties wish for the peaceful South China Sea, they should fulfill their responsibilities rather than providing assistance to the US which intends to intrude China’s island demilitarization.

“The island militarization doesn’t mean a significant rising potential for military clashes. Neither Beijing nor Washington wants a war,” it said, adding: “The US’ exercise of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea should not threaten the security of Chinese facilities. In view of China’s overall military capability and national strength, the US should renounce its arrogance.”(IANS)

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China, US Set To Take Action Against Each Other

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng's arrest

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President Donald Trump with China's President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. VOA

China and the US are set to take action against each other as tensions escalate over trade, cyber hacking and espionage as senior American law enforcement officials identified Beijing as the most serious threat to Washington’s national security, officials said.

China’s methods of non-traditional espionage, including their use of ordinary Chinese expatriates instead of spies at universities and businesses, and intellectual property theft, were explained by the officials from the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security who briefed US lawmakers on Wednesday, CNN reported.

“As the US proceeds a whole of society response to this threat, we must address the vulnerabilities within our system while preserving our values and the open, free and fair principles that have made us thrive,” E.W. Priestap, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Assistant Director of Counter-intelligence told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“What hangs in the balance is not just the future of the US, but the future of the world.”

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) top national security official told lawmakers on Wednesday the administration was reacting to China’s “steadily increasing” economic espionage activity, which costs the US an estimated $225 billion a year.

From 2011 to 2018, more than 90 per cent of the DOJ’s cases alleging economic espionage by a state have involved China, and more than two-thirds of trade secret thefts have a nexus to China, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

Donald Trump, democrats, government,, pakistan
U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

“From underwater drones and autonomous vehicles to critical chemical compounds and inbred corn seeds, China has targeted advanced technology across sectors that align with China’s publicly announced strategic goals,” Demers said. “The play book is simple: rob, replicate and replace.”

Priestap and his colleagues testified hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in an interview with Fox News that the US believes Beijing was behind the massive cyber-attack on the Marriott hotel chain, CNN reported.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the assault was part of a broader Chinese operation that also targeted health insurers and the security clearance files of millions of Americans.

Also Read- Bug Spotted in Microsoft Office 365, Outlook

Those disclosures came a day after President Donald Trump said that he would be willing to use Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions on Iran as a bargaining chip in his trade war with Beijing, which for now is in a 90-day pause.

A Canadian judge on Tuesday night granted Meng a $7.5 million bail, while she awaits extradition to the US.

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng’s arrest. (IANS)