BY: Bill Gertz
The Pentagon invoked a U.S. defense treaty with Japan and warned China on Saturday that its declaration of an air defense zone over the East China Sea is increasing the danger of military conflict.
Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued statements late Saturday expressing “deep concern” over China’s creation of the air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, that extends over Japan’s Senkaku Islands, which China claims as its territory.
“We view this development as a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region,” Hagel said. “This unilateral action increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations.”
Hagel then reaffirmed the U.S. military commitment to the 1952 U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty.
“The United States reaffirms its longstanding policy that Article V of the U.S. Japan Mutual Defense Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands,” Hagel said.
A reference to the defense treaty is the clearest sign that the Pentagon fears China will use the creation of a new air defense zone to block U.S. and Japanese aircraft or ships from passing through the zone that includes large areas of international waters.
Such actions could set off the use of force and a Read more…
China’s central bank has said it no longer sees any benefit in increasing its $3.66 trillion foreign currency reserves – already the world’s largest. China will cap its purchases of US dollars in an effort to limit the depreciation of the yuan.
“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Bloomberg quoted Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank as saying Tuesday.
Decreasing the influence of the dollar and other currencies is a step closer to reaching China’s 2015 goal to “float” its currency and according to the People’s Bank of China will help the everyday Chinese citizen.
Between July and September 2013 China’s increased its foreign – currency holdings by $166 billion, boosting it to the world’s highest of $3.66 trillion. This is also more that the Read more…
As of Friday August 9th, the heat wave in eastern Asia continues but in central Europe it has subsided. Some of the highlights below.
This map illustrates quite well where the core of the heat wave in China has taken place. It is dated August 1st, so you can now add 9 more days to number of days of “continuous high temperatures” which means days of 35°C+ (95°F+). Map from the Chinese newspaper ‘Global Times’.
On Wednesday August 7th Shanghai once again broke its all-time heat record with a 40.8°C (105.4°F) temperature, besting the record set just the day before (40.6°C/105.1°F), and also on July 26th. Prior to this summer, the record for Shanghai was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. Records in Shanghai date back to 1872. On August 8th the Read more…
Russian-Chinese anti-terror drills are in full swing with the latter’s tanks and gunships training at a military range in the Urals. It comes less than a month after joint naval drills, the largest of their kind China has participated in to date.
The joint counter-terror exercises, codenamed Peace Mission 2013, went live on Saturday and will last until August 15.
“The key goal of the upcoming maneuvers is to organize the joint work by control authority and troops to prepare and conduct military actions during the anti-terrorist operation. The maneuvers will take place in three stages, which include the re-deployment of troops, the planning of the operation and joint military actions,” a military press release said.
Maneuvers have been prepared by the United Strategic Command of the Russian Central Military District and the Shenyang Military Region of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
Still from RT video
The drills at the Chebarkul military training area in the Chelyabinsk region involve 1,500 personnel, 600 of whom are Chinese servicemen. Overall 250 pieces of military hardware are taking part in the exercises, as Chinese troops brought along their own tanks, light reconnaissance vehicles, 120-mm self-propelled howitzers, 152-mm self-propelled guns, JH-7A ‘Flying leopard’ fighter-bombers and Harbin Z-9 gunships Read more…
A child cooks shrimp and an egg in a frying pan heated by a manhole cover on a hot summer day on July 31 in Jinan, China. It has been so hot that eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard burst into flames in one of the worst heat waves in 140 years. AP
SHANGHAI (AP) – It’s been so hot in China that folks are grilling shrimp on manhole covers, eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard has mysteriously caught fire by itself.
The heat wave — the worst in at least 140 years in some parts — has left dozens of people dead and pushed thermometers above 104 degrees F in at least 40 cities and counties, mostly in the south and east. Authorities for the first time have declared the heat a “level 2″ weather emergency — a label normally invoked for typhoons and flooding.
“It is just hot! Like in a food steamer!” 17-year-old student Xu Sichen said outside the doors of a shopping mall in the southern financial hub of Shanghai while her friend He Jiali, also 17, complained that her Read more…
Animal footprints are visible in dry and cracked mud on the bank of the half-full Bewl water reservoir in Kent on April 5, 2012. Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warn.
Governments worldwide are failing to do enough to tackle drought, which lacks the headline-making punch of a hurricane but can have an equally devastating human and economic impact, the UN weather agency warned Thursday.
“A flood or hurricane is over within hours or days. A drought can last weeks, months, a season, a year. But droughts can cause as many deaths over time as any other natural disaster,” said Robert Stefanski, head of World Meteorological Organisation?s (WMO) agriculture division.
Droughts in recent years have struck regions ranging from the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, China, India, Mexico and Brazil to the United States, Russia and southeastern Europe.
Droughts are estimated to affect tens of millions of people and cause tens of billions of dollars in economic losses every year.
They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, yet Read more…