On May 3 China placed the Haiyang Shiyou 981 deep water semi-submersible drilling rig 119nm off the coast of Vietnam and 180nm from Hainan Island. The rig lies 17nm from Triton Island, part of the Paracel islands that China occupied by force from then South Vietnam in 1974. Vietnamese and international condemnation was swift and strident. Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Bing Minh called the move a violation of Vietnamese sovereignty and the U.S. State Department described the move as “provocative”. Chinese Foreign Ministry (FMPRC) Spokesperson Hua Chunying said the rig was normal part of regular offshore resource exploration activities China is entitled to conduct in its territorial waters off of the Paracel islands (FMPRC press conference, May 6 and 12). The move is in fact a deliberate Chinese escalation of its territorial and maritime dispute with Vietnam. This marks the first time that any claimant has unilaterally explored for hydrocarbon resources in a disputed part of the South China Sea, although Chinese officials maintain the activity in question is a decade old, and claimants have previously granted concessions to international energy companies to explore disputed areas (FMPRC press conference, May 14). Continue reading
March 21, 2014 | Dr. David Lai
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Indian, Chinese and Russian officials will meet on Friday to discuss Afghanistan. Is there substance to this trilateral?
By Ankit Panda January 16, 2014
On Friday, senior officials from India, China, and Russia will meet in Beijing for a trilateral discussion on the emerging security situation in Afghanistan ahead of the United States’ drawdown and the upcoming general election scheduled for April. Cooperation between the three powers on Afghanistan has been burgeoning since 2013 and could become a major factor for Afghan leadership following a U.S. withdrawal.
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By Mar Cabra
January 23, 2014, 1:30 pm
Until now, no journalist had been able to crack the secret offshore money system on a global scale. But Offshore Leaks laid it bare: Columbia Journalism Review called it “a landmark series on offshore tax havens that has law enforcement scrambling and scofflaws sweating from Mongolia to Germany, Greece to the US.”
Hundreds of articles showed how fraudsters, politicians and the wealthy move and hide money. It took two years for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to piece it all together.
The result is a global investigative reporting project that has had unprecedented impact around the world. It prompted high profile resignations, criminal and civil inquiries, policy changes, and official investigations on four continents.
This week we published the last major chapter in the series: the extensive links of China’s elites to tax havens around the world.
We have gathered the stories from more than 60 countries and displayed them in an interactive map that illustrates the breadth of the work.
English: The Muslim population of the world map by percentage of each country, according to the Pew Forum 2009 report on world Muslim populations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
June 17, 2012: The continuing violence in the Moslem south has led to 5,000 dead and 8,000 wounded in the last eight years. But it has also led to over 200,000 people leaving the area. Most of those fleeing have been Moslem. About 30 percent of the Buddhists in the south (who were 20 percent of the population in 2004) have fled and ten percent of the Moslems. Criminal gangs, whose main business is smuggling drugs and other contraband from Malaysia, have long dominated the area. The gangs agreed to support the Islamic terrorists, since both groups had something to gain by trying to weaken law and order in the area. While the gangs made it more difficult to improve the economy, they were more tolerable than the Islamic terrorists. All this has become too much for most Moslems. The Islamic terrorists wanted to expel all non-Moslems, shut down secular schools, and didn’t care if they made it difficult to improve the economy. This was too much for most of the Moslems the Islamic terrorists were supposed to be representing. Those that don’t flee are increasingly joining pro-government armed defense groups. The gangs and Islamic terror groups refuse to negotiate or quit, so it’s a fight to the death. The gangs will probably turn on their Islamic radical allies eventually, as the criminal organizations are not run by religious fanatics but business-minded entrepreneurs who are not keen on getting wiped out. Then again, the gangsters believe that the Islamic radicals will have to be killed, otherwise the southern gangsters will have some pretty deadly and determined enemies in their own backyard.
An interview with Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky, Institute of World Economy & International Relations, Moscow
Thu Jun 7, 2012 4:6PM GMT
That is important that there have been several military exercises that give opportunity for joint operations here in Central Asia. Of course, this organization is the only real mechanism that can help stop terrorist activities here. It is a problem of course and this problem is on the way of solution.”
Ahmadinejad said NATO members are trying to resurrect what he called past colonialist relations, adding “the colonialists are equally opposed to the development of China, Russia, India and Iran as well as other members of the SCO.”
He further called for a new world order, saying the current one has failed because of its “inhumane and unfair nature.”
The SCO is an intergovernmental organization that was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Iran, India, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Pakistan are observer members of the organization.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky from Moscow’s Institute of World Economy & International Relations to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV:Nadein-Rayevsky, tell us what you think about the declaration especially the fact that it seems very firm regarding the expansion of the Western countries, in particular the United States, as they have said with the concentration in the Asia-Pacific.
Nadein-Rayevsky:In fact, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the last years has become a rather prominent and important partner of many international organizations in the world.
First of all, that was very important that it begins the cooperation from real problems; problems that are dangerous for all the countries of the region. First of all, there is the problem of terrorism and, of course, the problems of separatism and drug trafficking which are very dangerous things the countries of the region have to deal with. Continue reading
6 Feb, 2012, 10.58AM IST, Rajat Pandit,TNN
MUNICH: After the first four “real” battlefields of land, air, sea and now increasingly space, India needs to get very serious about the virtual front as well. The country should begin planning a full-fledged military cyber command, instead of the current piecemeal and disjointed steps to bolster cyber-security, grappling as it already is with incessant online espionage and other attacks from China, Pakistan and others.
Experts said the emergence of “cyber-weapons” like the Stuxnet software ‘worm’ that was used to sabotage Iran’s nuclear programme over a year ago, had changed the entire security ballgame, almost on par with the use of nuclear bombs for the first time in 1945. Continue reading
By Yoon Jung Park
Rhodes University, South Africa
Visiting Professor, Howard University, Washington DCTwo South African young men view a poster advertising a 2006 Chinese cultural festival in Pretoria, South Africa.
While there is a long history of limited migration from China to Africa, the past decade has brought tens of thousands of Chinese to African cities, towns, and rural areas. These migrants are part of the growing political, economic, and sociocultural ties between China — now the world’s second largest economy — and the poorest and most underdeveloped continent.
In a clever political move, China recently supported South Africa’s candidacy to become the newest member of the international organization of rapidly emerging markets that make up BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), thus ensuring South African (and perhaps even African) support for China at the United Nations Security Council as well as other international bodies.
In terms of economic ties, trade figures between Africa and China are dazzling with respect to both their rapid rate of growth as well as their actual total, now estimated at more than $120 billion. Beijing is now Africa’s largest trade partner, with Chinese investments fueling 49 countries and a wide range of sectors, including mining, finance, manufacturing, construction, and agriculture. Where many Western investors see risk, the Chinese see opportunity — an outlook that has led to phenomenal growth in the numbers of Chinese in Africa.
A modified model of the Long March CZ-2F rocket carrying the unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northwest Gansu Province in November.December 30, 2011
China is shooting for the moon in an effort to become a major player in the long-dormant space race.
A newly released five-year plan outlines Beijing’s goals of developing new rockets, satellites, and embarking on deep-space navigation. Longer-term, the aim is to have a global satellite-positioning system in place, construct a space station, and eventually to put a man on the moon.
Clean-burning fuels will power its next-generation rockets, which will launch heavy cargos into space, according to details of the program released by the government this week.
China’s space program has already made major breakthroughs in a relatively short time. In 2003, it became the third country to launch its own astronaut — known as a “Taikonaut” — into space, and five years later, completed a spacewalk. Continue reading
As the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to emphasize the need to raise the quality of its personnel, analyzing the recruitment, education and training of the officer corps becomes all the more important for assessing Chinese military modernization, especially for the technology-dependent PLA Air Force (PLAAF). Based on the available information, it is unclear whether the PLAAF has succeeded in reforming officer recruitment, education and training to build a more highly-educated officer corps capable of commanding, operating and supporting a growing high-tech force in a combined-arms and joint environment. It is clear however that a number of challenges remain, including limited opportunities for joint training in the academy and a lack of centralized management.
PLAAF officers come from military academic institutions, a Defense Student (Reserve Officer) Program and direct recruitment of civilian graduates. The PLAAF, which has multiple officer academic institutions, separates its education and training system at each level (cadet, basic, intermediate and advanced) based on the five officer career tracks: military/command, political, logistics, equipment and special technical. Whereas all PLAAF academic institution graduates receive their specialty training as a cadet, Defense Students and directly recruited graduates must receive their specialty training after graduation. In addition, almost all new officers serve a one-year probationary period and must serve at least eight years before leaving the military. Continue reading