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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Leader Class Nuclear-Powered Destroyer

Leader Class Nuclear-Powered Destroyer

 

March 21, 2015 by asian-defence.net

 

Russia is very likely to start construction on the world's third nuclear-powered destroyer with the assistance of China, according to the Sputnik News based in Moscow.

 

Admiral Igor Kasatonov, retired deputy commander of the Russian Navy, said the construction of the 10,000-ton Leader-class guided-missile destroyer would begin in 2017. Vasily Kashin, a military expert from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies based in Moscow, said the project provides a new opportunity for China and Russia to deepen defense cooperation.

 

The Leader-class destroyer would be the world's third nuclear-powered destroyer after the USS Truxtun (DLGN-35) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25) of the United States. Since both American vessels were later redesignated cruisers, the Leader-class would in fact be the only nuclear-powered destroyer in the world. Kashin said that the Leader-class is larger than the two American ships.

 

Unlike the US Navy, Russia does not have overseas naval bases around the world, the piece said, and it makes sense for Russia and China to build nuclear-powered destroyers or cruisers that can remain at sea for longer. Kashin also said China is working hard on the design of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The participation of China in the construction of the Leader-class destroyer may give China the experience it needs, he said.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
A V-22A Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5)

A V-22A Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5)

 

 

March 21, 2015: Strategy Page

 

China has responded to Japanese efforts to defend the Senkaku Islands by building a helicopter base on a Chinese island 335 kilometers from the Senkakus, This is within range of transport helicopters that could bring in troops and weapons in under two hours. This is seen as a response to the Japanese decision in late 2014 to purchase 17 American MV-22 transports. This the Japanese did to defend the Senkaku Islands from possible surprise Chinese attack. The V-22s are faster than helicopters but Japanese territory is about a hundred kilometers farther away than Chinese land. So given sufficient warning the Chinese and Japanese occupation forces would arrive on the Senkakus at the same time.

 

Japan first raised the possibility of buying MV-22 “Osprey” tilt rotor transports in 2013. These would be able to quickly move reinforcements to the Senkakus if the Chinese decided to land troops there and declare such an occupation as proof of Chinese ownership. The Senkakus are uninhabited islets 320 kilometers southeast of the Chinese mainland, 167 kilometers northeast of Taiwan, and 426 kilometers west of Japan's Okinawa Island. Taiwan also claims the Senkakus, which have a total area of 6.3 square kilometers. The islands were discovered by Chinese fishermen in the 16th century and taken over by Japan in 1879. They are valuable now because of the 380 kilometer economic zone nations can claim in their coastal waters. This includes fishing and possible underwater oil and gas fields.

 

The U.S. has also noted the usefulness of V-22s in the Western Pacific. In 2013 the U.S. moved 23 of its MV-22s to an American base on Okinawa. Both the U.S. and Japan long assumed that the biggest threat was the new Chinese Zubr air cushion craft that could get troops and vehicles to the Senkakus in five hours. From Okinawa MV-22s could reach the Senkakus within an hour. China has been getting more aggressive about its claims on the Senkakus, sending more warships and aircraft near the islands, which Japan considers a provocation and possible prelude to a Chinese attempt to establish small bases on the larger islets. One has 4.3 square kilometers of space and its tallest point is 383 meters above sea level. The next largest has 1.08 square kilometers and reaches 177 meters above sea level. The next smaller islets are .32 and .45 square kilometers and basically the peaks of underwater mountains, as are four even smaller ones, three of which only appear during low tide. The largest island has wild goats and some other small mammals as well as vegetation. The only source of fresh water is rain that collects in depressions and crevices. The five largest islands are frequented by sea birds, sometimes for breeding. For a long time the only human visitors were fishermen with boat trouble or in need of fresh water or some of the unique herbs found on the larger islands. Because of the dispute with China there are now more Japanese tourists.

 

China has a history of installing small numbers of troops on islets or reefs (via structures built on stilts) whose ownership China disputes. China then supplies these troops at great expense via boat from the mainland and threatens to strike back if its “garrisons” are attacked. Thus the Japanese watch the Senkakus carefully, in case China tries to send in “occupation forces.” The U.S. has made it clear that its MV-22s in Okinawa would be available to move Japanese troops to the Senkakus in the event of an emergency.

 

Zubr class air cushion vehicle

Zubr class air cushion vehicle

The 27 ton MV-22B cruises at 445 kilometers an hour and its endurance is about 3.5 hours per sortie. The MV-22B can carry up to 32 troops or 9 tons of cargo. The Zubr class air cushion vehicles are 555 ton craft that can carry 130 tons (three tanks or a combination of lighter armored or non-armored vehicles). Top speed is 110 kilometers an hour and range is 480 kilometers. The crew of 31 usually stays out less than 8 hours per mission. The Zubrs also carry two stabilized MLRs (multiple tube rocket launchers), 4 short range anti-aircraft missiles systems (Igla-1Ms) and 2 AK-630 six-barrel 30mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS), for defense against anti-ship missiles. Currently China has two Zubrs and two more are on order. The most likely Chinese transport helicopter for this mission is the Russian Mi-8 with a max speed of 260 kilometers an hour.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 13:35
source AsiaFirst

source AsiaFirst

 

21 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Séoul - Les ministres des Affaires étrangères du Japon, de Chine et de Corée du Sud se sont engagés samedi à travailler à la tenue, le plus rapidement possible, d'un sommet entre leurs trois pays, lors de leur première rencontre à Séoul depuis trois ans.

 

Cette réunion entre les chefs de la diplomatie de ces trois puissances asiatiques avait pour but de calmer les rivalités territoriales et disputes diplomatiques liées à l'occupation japonaise avant et pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

 

Dans un communiqué commun, les ministres disent s'être mis d'accord sur la tenue d'un sommet entre leurs dirigeants respectifs le plus rapidement possible.

 

Ils ont également exprimé leur ferme opposition au développement d'armes nucléaires sur la péninsule coréenne, dans une référence claire aux ambitions de Pyongyang.

 

La rencontre ministérielle de Séoul était la première depuis avril 2012. Le dernier sommet trilatéral s'était tenu un mois plus tard mais, depuis cette date, la Chine, comme le Japon et la Corée du Sud se sont dotés de nouveaux dirigeants.

 

La présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-hye a déjà tenu deux sommets avec le président chinois Xi Jinping, mais évité le Premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe.

 

M. Abe et le plus haut dirigeant chinois se sont rencontrés quant à eux en novembre dernier lors d'un bref sommet à Pékin, en marge du Forum de coopération économique Asie-Pacifique (Apec), mais la poignée de mains fut glaciale. Jeudi, cependant, les deux pays ont mené leurs premières négociations sur la sécurité en quatre ans.

 

Alors que les relations entre la Chine et la Corée du Sud sont au beau fixe, Pékin et Séoul entretiennent des rapports tendus avec Tokyo en raison de contentieux sur des îles disputées ou sur l'interprétation de l'occupation japonaise avant et pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

 

Séoul reproche notamment à Tokyo de ne pas s'excuser assez pour les exactions commises lors de l'occupation de la Péninsule par l'armée nippone entre 1910 et 1945, notamment à propos des femmes enrôlées dans les bordels pour les soldats japonais.

 

Perdure en outre entre les deux pays un différend sur les terres contrôlées par la Corée du Sud mais que le Japon estime siennes.

 

Dans leur communiqué commun, les ministres sud-coréen Yoon Byung-Se, chinois Wang Yi et japonais Fumio Kishida affirment la volonté des trois pays de renforcer leur coopération en regardant l'histoire honnêtement et en avançant vers l'avenir.

 

Le secrétaire général de l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon, a incité les trois pays à avoir un dialogue dynamique, tandis que Washington a décrit la dispute entre la Corée du Sud et le Japon, ses deux principaux alliés militaires en Asie, comme un handicap stratégique.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
China’s People’s Liberation Army – The politico-military nexus

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ongoing anti-corruption drive has, so far, targeted 16 high-ranking military officers, as well as thousands of civil servants. The attention paid to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by the president ever since he became Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 2012 highlights the PLA’s importance as a political actor in its own right.

However, China also has an effective system of civilian control over the military, which works, unlike in the West, not because the armed forces are deemed to be apolitical, but, on the contrary, because they are thoroughly politicised.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
China: setting the agenda(s)?

 

06 March 2015 Alice Ekman Brief - No4 - EUISS

 

Under President Xi Jinping, China is pursuing a dual regional policy characterised by firmness on territorial and maritime disputes, on the one hand, and a more alluring economic diplomacy, on the other. The latter is mainly being conducted through two official concepts, the ‘New Maritime Silk Road’ and the ‘New Silk Road Economic Belt’, named after the 2000-year-old trade routes which connect East and West. The overland route aims to link China with Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East, whereas the maritime corridor would flow from China to Southeast Asia, eastern Africa and, ultimately, Europe.

According to official communications, at the core of both these projects lays large-scale infrastructure development, in particular the improvement of transport links. This will be financed by, among other institutions, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a Chinese alternative to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which was launched last year with representatives from 20 other Asian countries (Japan, Australia, and South Korea were, however, notably absent). Beijing has emphasised that European countries, too, have a vested interest in supporting these new projects and related institutions, in part because the new Silk Road Economic Belt would facilitate trade flows between Chinese and European markets. But with individual EU member states beginning to seriously consider China’s offer, the Union might look at how to shape a common approach based on its priorities in – and long-term views on – Asia.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region - source orientalreview.org

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region - source orientalreview.org

 

March 20, 2015: Strategy Page

 

China is placing increasing pressure on nearby countries like Pakistan, Thailand, Burma (and so on) to arrest and return Chinese Uighur Turks who show up illegally. China accuses these Uighurs of being Islamic terrorists. While a few are most are economic refugees fleeing Chinese oppression in their homeland that has the misfortune of being part of China. Northwest China has long been the home of the Uighur Turks but in the last few decades China has encouraged Han (ethnic Chinese) to migrate to the area (Xinjiang province). Most Uighurs are found in Xinjiang province. There the nine million Uighurs are now less than half the population and most of the rest are Han Chinese. Chinese officials have been publicly urging soldiers and police to be more aggressive against uncooperative Uighurs.

 

The Uighurs are increasingly aggressive in attacking the growing Chinese presence among them. In Xinjiang province what angers the Uighurs is growing pressure from Han Chinese soldiers and intrusive Han government officials. Because of that many Uighurs continue to support anti-Han activity and this makes it possible for Islamic terrorists to survive and operate. The government accuses Uighur activists of endangering state security and tries to keep the unrest out of the news. The same thing is happening in Tibet, where the government is using the same tools to keep everyone under control.

 

While China is obsessed with the few Islamic terrorists fleeing Xinjiang most of these Uighurs are simply fleeing China. Many are showing up in Turkey, via smugglers who specialize in getting Uighurs out and as far away from China as possible. Turkey refuses Chinese demands to return any of these Uighurs unless they are caught engaging in Islamic terrorist activities.

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
Kata’ib Hezbollah with a QW-1 Capture via Federation of American Scientists - source WIB

Kata’ib Hezbollah with a QW-1 Capture via Federation of American Scientists - source WIB

 

March 19, 2015 by ADAM RAWNSLEY - WIB

 

Iraq’s airspace just got more dangerous

 

An Iranian-backed proxy group in Iraq released a video on Sunday showing its fighters in possession QW-1M man-portable air-defense missiles, marking the introduction of one of the more sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons seen in more than a decade of conflict in Iraq. The video, released by the Shiite terrorist group Kata’ib Hezbollah, shows fighters parading with the missile. In one scene, the camera zooms in on the launch tube to reveal its QW-1M markings. China’s Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation manufactures the QW-1M, and the missile launcher first appeared in 2002 at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. But responsibility for its introduction into Iraq likely lies with Iran.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

 

19.03.2015 sputniknews.com

 

La Chine a vendu à la Turquie des systèmes de défense antimissile qui aideront cette dernière à déployer son propre bouclier intercepteur.

 

La Chine a confirmé avoir vendu à la Turquie des systèmes de défense antimissile de sa conception, a annoncé jeudi le quotidien China Daily, citant la déclaration faite mardi 17 mars par un représentant de la China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) sur les ondes de la chaîne de télévision CCTV.

 

Le représentant de la CPMIEC a fait savoir notamment que la Turquie recevrait des systèmes sol-air FD-2000 — HQ-9 dans une version destinée à l'exportation. Il s'agit de la première livraison d'un système de défense antimissile chinois à un pays membre de l'Otan.

 

Selon la CCTV, le système chinois surpasse pour ses performances des armes similaires telles que le Patriot américain, le S-400 russe et le Samp-T franco-italien. D'après les analystes turcs, Ankara a choisi le système chinois en raison de son efficacité et de son prix.

 

Grâce au contrat avec la Chine, la Turquie pourra mettre en place sa propre capacité de défense antimissile balistique.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

 

March 19, 2015: Strategy Page

 

A South Korean investigation of a hacker attack on the computer network of the company that runs South Koreas’ nuclear power plant concluded that the attack came from North Korea. The hackers said they were protesting nuclear power and demanded South Korean nuclear plants be shut down. That was ignored and then the hackers released some stolen documents and demanded a ransom. That was apparently ignored as well. North Korea insists it had nothing to do with the attack but South Koreans have seen a growing number of such attacks that all point to North Korea as the source.

 

South Korea has openly called on China to stop using diplomatic threats and economic bribes in an effort to get South Korea to halt the installation of an anti-missile system. South Korea wants this American THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system for protection from North Korean missile attack. The Chinese would not come right out and say it but they object mainly because THAAD would also make South Korea less vulnerable to intimidation by Chinese ballistic missiles. South Korea openly refused to comply with the Chinese threats and South Korean public opinion became even more enthusiastic about the high tech and very expensive (over $100 million per launcher and associated equipment) THAAD system. China sees South Korea more of an ally of the United States and a potential wartime foe than as an ally in attempts to keep North Korea from doing anything that would cause major economic and diplomatic problems (like starting a war).   

 

North Korea is also unhappy with a new UN study which documents North Korea kidnapping over 200,000 people since the early 1950s. Most of these were South Korean taken during the Korean War (1950-53) but hundreds were taken, from the 1960s on, from eleven other countries. About half these victims were Japanese and Japan has been putting economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea since the 1990s to try and get these people back as well as details of exactly who was taken. North Korea is willing to negotiate over this but these talks are stalled over how much North Korea wants in return for coming clean on these abductions. North Korea now wants Japanese help in getting the UN to back off on threats to charge North Korea with “crimes against humanity” because of the abductions. Negotiations continue, which is usually the best you can hope for when dealing with North Korea.

 

Although China has withheld some forms of aid to North Korea in an effort to halt the North Korean nuclear weapons program, economic aid has more than doubled, to nearly $7 billion a year. since 2009. That’s nearly 20 percent of North Korean GDP and is what is keeping the North Korean economy functioning. Despite that stranglehold on their survival, North Korea continues to resist Chinese “requests” that they get rid of their nuclear weapons program. China could arrange a coup against the ruling Kim dynasty but that risks plunging North Korea into chaos, rebellion or civil war (or all three), which would require a Chinese invasion and occupation to sort out. For the moment China prefers to be prudent and patient.

 

As serious a threat North Korea poses to the neighborhood, Americans are less concerned. Despite the declining ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) prospects a recent opinion poll in the United States showed that 84 percent of Americans believe ISIL is the most serious threat over the next decade. International terrorism also has 84 percent of Americans concerned. Iranian nukes frighten 77 percent followed by North Korea (64 percent) and Russia (49 percent, actually a tie with the Islamic effort to destroy Israel).

 

Despite continuing Chinese aid, North Korea knows that China could do more but isn’t because the Chinese are unhappy with North Koreas’ self-destructive economic policies and determination to build a large number of nuclear weapons. While South Korea, Japan and America see these nukes aimed at them China realizes that China is the traditional overlord of (and threat to) independent minded Koreans. So China sees these nukes as a threat to Chinese power in the region and that sort of insolence cannot be tolerated. While Westerners tend to ignore (or play down) this sort of thing it is taken for granted by Koreans and Chinese. With this in mind North Korea is forging stronger ties with Russia, which is also a historical foe of China that, at the moment, pretends to be a Chinese ally. Russia is in bad economic and diplomatic shape because of the falling price of oil and aggression against Western neighbors, but is still sending some economic aid to North Korea and pledging long-term friendship and cooperation.

 

Despite always giving China a hard time, North Korea encourages this “Chinese solution” by continuing to keep hard-liners from destroying the growing market economy. A growing number of people in the North Korean leadership understand (even if they don’t agree with) the superiority of a market economy over the communist command economy that has failed in every country it has been tried. For many North Koreans this failure shakes the faith in the system. But Chinese leaders point out that the communist bureaucrats in China have prospered along with the new entrepreneurial class. The key is in figuring out how to exploit the newly wealthy entrepreneurs without creating an angry opposition that can overthrow you. That’s what happened to most traditional monarchies in the 19th and 20th centuries and communism was supposed to be immune to that sort of thing but wasn’t. The last thing a thieving bureaucrat wants is democracy and many North Korean (and some Chinese) leaders fear that this is where it all leading.

 

In the short term all this new prosperity is causing the government problems closer to home, literally. Families of senior officials often contain wives or children who want more of the consumer goods and services they are seeing on illegal South Korean videos. In response many officials are not only taking bribes but seeking out opportunities to do so. Supreme leader Kim Jong Un knows, as do his Chinese counterparts, that this sort of thing eventually leads to a bloody (for the senior leadership) revolution. But stopping the corruption once it gets started is difficult and many historians of this sort of thing point that cleaning up this mess is, based on past experience, exceedingly difficult and rarely accomplished in dictatorships.

 

A growing problem in the south is the illegal debt (to North Korean people smuggling gangs) refugees from the north bring with them. The gangs up north will, for a fee of $10,000 to $20,000, get people out if North Korea, through China to a country (like Thailand) that tolerates the local South Korea embassy taking these refugees in and sending them to South Korea. The North Korean gangsters know how much money South Korea gives these refugees to adjust and how much refugees can earn in the more affluent south and adjusts their fees accordingly. In effect these refugees become employees of the gangs for years until their debt is paid off. If payments stop, the gang can kidnap or kill kin still in North Korea or China. The smuggling gangs work with the notorious “snakehead” gangs of China which have been going the same thing for Chinese for decades. The pressure on North Korea refugees is often so great that some commit suicide or turn to crime. The fees the North Korean snakeheads demand have skyrocketed in the past year as the North Korean government increased security on the Chinese border. This required more bribes to get people across as well as greater risk of running into secret police who cannot be bribed and are looking for snakeheads to prosecute and execute.

 

Despite the higher snakehead fees North Korean still pay it and get to South Korea. That is made possible by the growing market economy and prevalence of bribes which enables many more North Koreans to raise the cash to pay the snakeheads immediately on arrival. The snakeheads are fine with this. In South Korea these more affluent refugees often include government officials and military officers. These people had access to more information back home and are a prime source of data on overall conditions in the north. One of the more disturbing revelations is the growing hunger problem in the north and how that is impacting the military. Apparently North Korea has shifted more military resources to the nuclear and ballistic missile programs and part of that shift involved cutting food supplies to the troops. The way this works officers and their families still eat well but the most junior troops (recruits and those only in a year or so) are given just enough to stay alive. Soldiers who demonstrate their loyalty are given more food and this works to control the growing unrest in the ranks. What it does not control is the growing incidence of theft (especially of food or anything that can be sold or exchanged for food) by the constantly hunger young soldiers.

 

Canada revealed that one of their citizens (a clergyman who was born in South Korea) has been arrested in North Korea. The victim went to North Korea in January to do some humanitarian work. North Korea takes a dim view of this sort of thing and frequently arrests foreigners for that, especially if there are clergy. North Korea has not admitted to the arrest yet. Canada repeated its warnings to Canadians to stay out of North Korea.

 

March 15, 2015: In an effort to revive its tourism business North Korea has dropped the quarantine rules it introduced for tourists in late 2014. Quarantine caused a sharp drop in tourist traffic and spending. Back in November quarantine was seen as another new money making idea. This involved holding some visitors in isolation for 21 days to make sure they did not have Ebola. Thus in November North Korea began forcing most foreign visitors to remain in quarantine for 21 days after arrival. This was a scam to extract more money from visitors as they had to stay in designated hotels for the quarantine period and pay for it. Most business and all official visitors were not subject to the quarantine. No cases of Ebola have occurred in China or Korea. However China was considered vulnerable because there are over a million Chinese living in Africa, with over 100,000 living in areas where the Ebola deaths (over 5,000 by late 2014) have been highest. China had made preparations to deal with an Ebola outbreak in China and had experience in dealing with infectious diseases like this. The quarantine turned out to be an expensive mistake. This is especially the case sine, with much effort, North Korea had been able to increase the number of foreign tourists arriving each year to over 6,000. North Korea then went about creating more facilities (like a recently built ski resort) to accommodate them. While some tourists have been imprisoned, or even killed, North Korea is generally safer than most non-Western tourist destinations because there is virtually no crime. If you stay away from politics (the cause of most tourist problems) you are quite safe. Of course North Korea is very expensive as the government overcharges for everything and visitors are escorted everywhere. But for the very adventurous and affluent, North Korea is the place to be. North Korea needs the foreign exchange and have noted that many nations have turned tourism into major industries (often accounting for ten percent or more of GDP and accounting for most foreign exchange. The Ebola quarantine turned out to be a major mistake as tourist arrivals fell by over 90 percent. It took North Korean leaders several months to muster the courage to admit (without saying anything) that they were wrong and drop the quarantine. It is not clear if any senior officials were executed (as has long been the custom up there) for this expensive error in judgement.

 

March 12, 2015: North Korea test fired seven surface-to-air missiles off its east coast. This follows the firing of two SCUD ballistic missiles on the 2nd. These firing were supposed to be a form of protest against recent joint training exercises by American and South Korean forces. These training exercises are held regularly by the most capable military forces and the U.S. and South Korea have long done this. That bothers North Korea a lot because since the 1990s North Korea has been too poor to keep up in the training department. These days its nearly one million troops spend most of their time growing food and working for civilian enterprises to earn money to pay for fuel and other supplies the government can no longer afford to provide. North Korea announced these recent missile “tests” as they usually do without mentioning that they have a growing number of missiles that are reaching their expiration date (when too many aging components become unreliable) and conducting all these missile and rocket firing “tests” off the coasts is largely a case of “use it or lose it” combined with “let’s try and scare our enemies.” But this sort of thing has been going on for so long that it no longer has much shock appeal, but it is good training for the troops who operate these missiles and good for morale when these launches seem to go well. What is never revealed is if the guidance systems of these missiles were still functional. The guidance systems are components most vulnerable to aging and it is believed that many of these elderly missiles are launched with the guidance systems disabled so that a guidance system failure would not turn the missile firing into an obvious failure (as the missile careened about under the control of a failing guidance system).

 

March 11, 2015: South Korea announced a new law that allows it to assign police to guard foreign diplomats and other dignitaries the police believe might be subject to attack. This comes in the wake of the March 5th attack on the American ambassador by a deranged Korean nationalist who blames the United States for the division of Korea. A growing minority of South Koreans blame America for the division of Korea and some of these anti-America activists get violent from time to time. There have previously been attacks like this on American and South Korean officials but never one that involved a knife and left the victim bleeding. This attacker will be prosecuted and his attack appalled most South Koreans. North Korea praised the attacker (who openly praised North Korea and had visited there several times) but police have not been able to find any connection between this attack and North Korea. Then again North Korea has always encouraged South Korean conspiracy theorists who blame America, especially since many of these anti-American activists are pro-North Korea.

 

March 9, 2015: North Korea apologized to Bangladesh after a North Korean diplomat was caught trying to smuggle in 27 kg (59.4 pounds with $1.5 million) into Bangladesh. The senior diplomat had diplomatic immunity and apparently hoped that would protect his luggage from inspection. In this case it didn’t. North Korean diplomats are notorious crooks and since the 1990s have been caught smuggling or distributing drugs and counterfeit currency. More recently they have used their diplomatic immunity to smuggle illegal items (it is illegal to bring more than two kg of gold into Bangladesh without declaring it and paying a fee). In most countries where North Korea ganger diplomats are most active local police pay special attention to the North Koreans in general. Other nations react by severely limiting the number of North Korea diplomats admitted and given diplomatic immunity. In severe cases the North Korean embassy gets shut down and all North Koreans expelled. This keeps North Korea on good behavior, or at least urging its diplomats to try harder to not get caught. But the gangster diplomats are still a major source of foreign currency and useful contacts with powerful foreign gangsters so they remain at work.

 

North Korea needs all the economic help it can get because along with falling oil prices the prices for coal and iron ore (major North Korean exports) are also falling. This is hurting North Korea big time, far more than economic sanctions. The situation is not as dire as with oil (where the price has declined by more than half since 2014.) Coal and oil prices have fallen about 15 percent and the volume of exports (because of lower demand) have gone down about ten percent. This situation is getting worse as the Chinese economy (the main customer for the ore and coal) continues to slow. While mining is only about 14 percent of the North Korean economy it is the major source of foreign currency, which is needed to pay for imports.

 

March 2, 2015: Israel claims that Syria has transferred some long range (700 kilometers) SCUD ballistic missiles to Hezbollah. These missiles carry a half ton high-explosive warhead. These SCUDs are actually North Korean variants on the original Russian SCUD that have a smaller warhead to enable longer range.

 

February 28, 2015: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un made a big deal of ordering his military to prepare for war. This was done as a form of protest against large scale military training exercises, which North Korea can no longer afford. Protests, however, are cheap.

 

February 25, 2015: The UN released a report showing that North Korea continues to operate state-owned merchant ships for use in smuggling operations. The UN reported discovering several cases where North Korean ships earlier caught smuggling were now back in business with new names. This is just the latest round in the international effort to shut down the North Korean smuggling fleet. This fleet grew considerably in the 1990s and the U.S. soon began paying attention. Thus by  2006 the U.S. ordered that American citizens were no longer allowed to own, lease, operate or insure any vessel flagged by North Korea. This made it more difficult for North Korea to maintain its fleet of smuggling ships. At the time it was believed that about ten of the 80 ships registered in North Korea were American.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 13:20
Long March 2C carrier rocket launch photo Xinhua News

Long March 2C carrier rocket launch photo Xinhua News

 

19.03.2015 sputniknews.com

 

Le Pentagone est préoccupé par les progrès de Moscou et Pékin dans le domaine d'armes antisatellites.

 

Le ministère américain de la Défense est profondément préoccupé par les progrès réalisés par Moscou et Pékin dans la mise au point d'armes antisatellites, annonce jeudi l'hebdomadaire The Diplomat. Selon le secrétaire américain adjoint à la Défense en charge des acquisitions, de la technologie et de la logistique, Frank Kendall, le leadership des Etats-Unis est particulièrement vulnérable dans l'espace compte tenu des progrès réalisés par la Russie et la Chine dans la mise au point d'armes antisatellites. Selon l'hebdomadaire, il s'agit d'armes capables d'effectuer des attaques électromagnétiques et de tirer des missiles antisatellites. En 2007, la Chine a déjà testé avec succès un missile antisatellite. Le Pentagone soupçonne la Russie de mettre au point un "chasseur de satellites", un appareil capable de détecter et de détruire les satellites adverses.

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The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), right, the George Washington Strike Group and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships.

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), right, the George Washington Strike Group and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships.

 

March 18, 2015 todayonline.com

 

NEW YORK — The commander of the US Navy Seventh Fleet called on South-east Asian nations to form a combined maritime force to patrol areas of the South China Sea where territorial tensions flare with China.

Countries could streamline cooperation on maritime security while respecting sovereignty and coastal space, as in the case of counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden, Vice Admiral Robert Thomas said yesterday (March 17) at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia.

The US has reassured allies in the region it will back them against China’s assertions to about four-fifths of the sea. China has ratcheted up pressure on some Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, and has accelerated reclamation work on reefs in the waters criss-crossed by claims from Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, the Philippines and Malaysia.

“Perhaps easier said than done, from both a policy and organisation perspective, such an initiative could help crystallise the operational objectives in the training events that ASEAN navies want to pursue,” Vice Admr Thomas said at a panel session with navy chiefs. “If ASEAN members were to take the lead in organising something along those lines, trust me, the US 7th Fleet would be ready to support.”

 

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:25
Argentina Confirms JF-17 Talks with China

The Argentina air force has sent a technical team to China to discuss a possible buy of 12 to 24 Chengdu JF-17 Xiaolong (Thunder) combat aircraft, seen here armed with anti-ship missiles. (Chinese Internet photo)

 

Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: La Gaceta; published Mar 17, 2015)

(Published in Spanish; unofficial translation by defense-Aerospace.com)

 

Argentina Evaluating Offers to Buy 24 Fighter Jets

 

BUENOS AIRES --- Argentina is talking with China about buying up to 24 FC-1 / JF-17 fighters capable of reaching the Falklands, as confirmed by the Minister of Defence, Agustín Rossi. He said that an official delegation will travel to China next week to begin the talks.

 

"The Chief of Staff of the Air Force (Mario Miguel Callejo) is going to China with a technical mission to explore the possibility of purchasing" the fighters, Rossi confirmed as he accompanied President Cristina Fernandez in announcing an investment of $930 million to equip the Army.

 

Argentina’s interest in the Chinese fighters was first reported by the London Sunday Express newspaper The possibility was first raised as part of the trade agreements signed by Fernandez during her recent trip to China.

 

“The aircraft is a single-seat, single-engine design capable of a top speed of Mach 1.8 at an altitude of 55,000 feet. It also has a combat range of 1,350 kilometers, which allows him to fly back and forth to Stanley from the base of Tierra del Fuego," Rossi explained during an interview with Radio America.

 

Rossi declined to give many details of the talks but confirmed that the intention is to buy "not less than 12 and not more than 24" aircraft. If the agreement did indeed materialize, he said it would be "something new for Argentina’s Air Force, which has always had Western equipment."

 

The defense minister said that China is not the only country with which negotiated for the purchase of fighter planes. For the moment, Argentina has "two formal offers" for Spanish Mirage F-1s and Israeli Kfir Block 60s. "We also have an informal French offer," he said, but avoided giving details.

 

Argentina will make its decision once all formal offers are on the table, but the intention is that it should happen before the end of the year. "Then, I'll take the options to the President to make the decision," Rossi confirmed.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 14:35
Un lanceur du système THAAD (US Missile Defense Agency)

Un lanceur du système THAAD (US Missile Defense Agency)

 

18 mars 2015 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

Au grand dam de la Chine, la Corée du Sud et les États-Unis discuteront de l’éventuel déploiement du système de défense antimissile à haute altitude THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) sur le sol sud-coréen lors de leur rencontre de haut niveau sur la défense le mois prochain, a fait savoir une source sud-coréenne s’exprimant sous couvert de l’anonymat.

Washington a fait part de sa volonté de déployer une batterie THAAD sur la péninsule coréenne mais la partie sud-coréenne affirme qu’aucune consultation n’a encore eu lieu sur le sujet, rapporte l’agence sud-coréenne Yonhap.

«Toutes les questions en suspens entre les deux côtés devraient être discutées durant le Dialogue de défense intégrée Corée-USA (KIDD) qui se déroulera mi-avril à Washington», a indiqué la source de l’agence sud-coréenne.

La Corée du Sud sera représentée par Ryu Je-seung, vice-ministre de la Défense, alors que David Helvey, vice-secrétaire adjoint américain à la Défense pour l’Asie de l’Est, mènera l’autre délégation, a-t-il été précisé.

L’armée sud-coréenne envisage depuis quelques années d’acquérir le système THAAD pour renforcer la capacité d’interception de son système KAMD (Korea’s Air and Missile Defense)

Il s’agit des sujets de sécurité les plus urgents et importants, non seulement entre Séoul et Washington mais aussi en termes de relations avec la Chine.

Pékin, de son côté, exerce une pression de plus en plus forte sur la Corée du Sud pour qu’un tel déploiement ne s’effectue pas, en avançant que cela irait à l’encontre de ses intérêts en matière de sécurité.

Mais Séoul affirme que le déploiement du système de défense THAAD servirait à mieux contrer les menaces nucléaires et de missiles de la Corée du Nord et renforcerait sa défense nationale.

Le Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) est un système de missiles antibalistiques américain en service depuis 2008 conçu, construit et monté par Lockheed Martin Space Systems en tant que principal contracteur

Il est destiné à détruire les missiles balistiques de portées moyenne ou intermédiaire dans leur dernière phase d’approche en s’écrasant contre eux (hit-to-kill).

Le missile ne transporte en effet aucune ogive et c’est seulement son énergie cinétique qui sert à détruire. À l’origine, le THAAD a été conçu pour abattre les Scuds et des missiles similaires, mais pas un missile balistique intercontinental.

Le THAAD est conçu, construit et monté par Lockheed Martin Space Systems en tant que principal contracteur

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Japan and India's Warming Defense Ties

U.S., Japanese, and Indian officers during Malabar 2014. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Patrick Dionne

 

March 04, 2015 By Mina Pollmann – The Diplomat

 

From defense sales to joint exercises, Tokyo and New Delhi are expanding the scope of military cooperation.

 

The assertiveness of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy in the Indian Ocean is forcing the government of Narenda Modi to look to modernize India’s naval forces as quickly as possible. This venture, as would be expected, includes overtures to the U.S. (for example, to share technology for India’s next aircraft carrier), but India is increasingly seeking cooperation with Japan as well. India has asked Japan to consider working with India to build submarines and recently announced its plans to purchase Japanese amphibious search and rescue (SAR) aircraft.

Russian-made SAR flying boats had also been considered, but India chose the Japanese option because the Indian defense ministry valued the US-2’s ability to take off and land on waters with high waves. If the export of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force’s US-2 air-sea SAR aircraft to India is realized, it will be the first export under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new three principles on defense equipment transfers, declared in April 2014.

Aside from defense equipment deals, Japan and India have been working to improve their bilateral cooperation in the fields of maritime security, counter-terrorism, and anti-piracy operations since January 2014, when then-Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony met with then-Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.

At the time, the two defense ministers put off the issue of Japanese US-2 sales to India, but it was given added momentum during Modi’s trip to Japan last September. Modi declared during a  joint press briefing with Abe, “We intend to give a new thrust and direction to our defense cooperation, including collaboration in defense technology and equipment, given our shared interest in peace and stability and maritime security.” At the same meeting, Abe and Modi agreed to upgrade “two-plus-two” security talks, increase working level talks on defense equipment and technology cooperation, hold regular maritime exercises, and continue Japanese participation in U.S.-India drills.

Abe and Modi have capitalized on their close personal ties with each other – and the increasingly uncertain external environment created by China’s bellicose foreign policy – to increase security cooperation despite several remaining obstacles, such as the lack of a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.

Last July, Japan participated in the Malabar exercises, traditionally a bilateral India-U.S. exercise, at India’s invitation. Prior to 2014, the last time Japan had participated was in 2007 and 2009. There is no word yet on Japan’s participation in this year’s exercises — whether India and Japan will stand firm in the face of Chinese criticism of Japan’s participation is a critical test of how strong and resilient India-Japan relations can be in the near future.

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Pékin dépasse l'Allemagne et la France comme 3e exportateur d'armes

 

16.03.2015 Romandie.com (ats)

 

La Chine est devenue le troisième exportateur mondial d'armes, selon des statistiques publiées lundi par l'Institut international de recherche sur la paix de Stockholm (Sipri). Elle a dépassé l'Allemagne et la France.

Les chiffres, qui portent sur une période de cinq ans (2010-2014) afin de faire apparaître les grandes tendances, indiquent que sur le marché de l'armement "les Etats-Unis ont nettement pris la tête" (31% des exportations) devant la Russie (27%).

Les trois suivants arrivent loin derrière, avec quelque 5% des exportations chacun. Selon le Sipri, "la France aurait été troisième" si elle avait livré fin 2014 un navire Mistral que la Russie n'a pas obtenu du fait du conflit en Ukraine.

 

Pays asiatiques gourmands

Trois pays asiatiques rassemblent plus des deux tiers des livraisons à l'étranger d'armement chinois: le Pakistan (41% à lui tout seul), le Bangladesh et la Birmanie. Pékin a aussi commercé avec 18 pays africains sur la période.

La Russie fournit pour sa part en premier lieu l'Inde, premier importateur mondial, dont 70% des importations d'armes sont russes. Les Etats-Unis ont la clientèle la plus diversifiée: le premier importateur d'armes américaines, la Corée du Sud, ne représente que 9% du total.

Quant à la France, elle vend d'abord au Maroc (18%) et à la Chine (14%). Le Sipri a relevé que ses "efforts pour augmenter ses exportations d'armes" avait été couronnés par le contrat passé avec l'Egypte en février (24 avions Rafale et une frégate multi-missions).

 

Marché en hausse

Parmi les dix premiers exportateurs mondiaux, la Chine (+143% ces cinq dernières années par rapport aux cinq précédentes), l'Ukraine et la Russie sont ceux qui ont connu la plus forte croissance, tandis que les livraisons de l'Allemagne et la France ont reculé.

Du côté des importations, l'Inde, avec 15% du marché, est loin devant les numéros deux et trois, l'Arabie saoudite et la Chine (5% chacune).

Le Sipri a noté que le volume du commerce mondial d'armes avait augmenté de 16% ces cinq dernières par rapport à la période 2005-2009. Reparti à la hausse depuis une dizaine d'années, le volume d'armement échangé dans le monde reste encore d'un tiers inférieur à son pic de l'après-guerre, atteint au début des années 1980.

 

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Beijing seeks to block deployment of US THAAD system to S Korea


13 March 2015 Pacific Sentinel
 

China is working hard to prevent the deployment in South Korea of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense also known as THAAD, a highly effective anti-missile system to intercept North Korean and Chinese missiles, Bill Gertz, senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, wrote on March 9.

 

China's president, Xi Jinping, is understood to have offered South Korea more trade and business opportunities in return for the Park Geun-hye administration relinquishing the idea of allowing the US to deploy the THAAD system to the Korean peninsula. In addition, Beijing is pressuring the Park administration to allow Chinese telecom equipment supplier Huawei to bid for telecom infrastructure projects in South Korea. Huawei has been blocked from securing contracts in the United States over fears that its network equipment could be used for espionage, fears the company says are unfounded.

 

Kim Min-seok, spokesperson for the South Korean defense ministry, openly declared that the nation has no plan to acquire the THAAD system from the United States during a press conference held on March 9. "Basically, the system would be good to better defend the country from missiles from North Korea, but we will make a judgment by putting the national interest as our top priority," Kim was quoted as saying by the Sputnik News based in Moscow. "We will establish an MD system of our own against North Korea's ballistic missiles by developing L-SAM and M-SAM surface-to-air missiles," Kim said.

 

Read the full story at Want China Times

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region - source orientalreview.org

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region - source orientalreview.org


12 March 2015 By Shannon Tiezzi
 

Xinjiang’s party secretary tells reporters some Uyghurs have joined Islamic State, raising security concerns.

 

Xinjiang’s Party secretary told journalists on Tuesday that the Islamic State (IS) is successfully recruiting Uyghurs to join its ranks. Secretary Zhang Chunxian made the remarks in a press conference held on the sidelines of China’s National People’s Congress.

China’s Global Times had previously reported that around 300 Chinese nationals were fighting alongside IS. Last September, the Iraqi Defense Ministry claimed to have captured a Chinese national involved in the fighting. However, this was the first time a Chinese official publicly drew a link between Xinjiang extremists and IS.

Zhang said that Islamic State “has a huge international influence and Xinjiang can’t keep aloof from it and we have already been affected,” according to the BBC. Zhang called IS a global threat and said international efforts would be required to face the problem. So far, however, the U.S. has had little luck convincing China to support its military operations against IS. 

 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Dalian shipyard

Dalian shipyard

 

Pékin, 13 mars 2015 Marine & Océans (AFP)

 

La Chine est bien en train de construire un deuxième porte-avions, a déclaré à la presse une responsable militaire chinoise, fournissant une confirmation explicite de ce qui est devenu un secret de polichinelle.

 

Le premier porte-avions chinois, le "Liaoning", admis au service actif en septembre 2012, est issu d'un bâtiment inachevé vendu en 1998 par l'Ukraine.

 

Pour son deuxième porte-avions, l'Armée populaire de libération (APL) veut relever le défi d'une construction 100% nationale.

 

"Nous avons importé le premier porte-avions afin d'être capables par la suite de construire le nôtre", a déclaré Mme Liang Fang, officier de marine et professeur à l'Université de la défense nationale.

 

"Eh bien, comme certains médias l'ont révélé, c'est ce que nous réalisons: construire le deuxième porte-avions".

 

Selon elle la Chine a "accumulé beaucoup d'expérience" sur le chantier de rénovation du Liaoning, ce qui lui a permis de passer à "l'étape suivante".

 

Mme Liang s'exprimait mercredi en marge de la session annuelle l'Assemblée nationale populaire (ANP, Parlement), actuellement réunie à Pékin, et ses propos ont été reproduits par la presse étatique.

 

L'APL, qui cultive le secret sur ses programmes d'armement, se garde d'admettre officiellement qu'elle construit un second porte-avions, mais ce secret a été éventé à plusieurs reprises.

 

A chaque fois que cela s'est produit, les articles de presse ou les communiqués publiés ont été rapidement effacés.

 

En s'équipant de porte-avions, outil de projection de puissance par excellence, la Chine selon les experts assume le risque d'écorner l'image qu'elle veut donner d'elle-même: celle d'un pays qui s'arme uniquement pour se défendre, sans prétendre à l'hégémonie.

PLAN Liaoning aircraft carrier (CV-16)

PLAN Liaoning aircraft carrier (CV-16)

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Two J-20 prototypes seen on test flights in Chengdu

 

2015-03-10 wantchinatimes.com

 

Two prototypes of China's J-20 stealth fighter were photographed carrying out test flights in Chengdu recently, reports the Shanghai-based Guancha Syndicate.

 

The prototypes, 2013, 2015, are said to be installed with new avionics developed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group. Its chief designer Pu Xiaobo said the system he created has an open framework that builds on an unified optical interconnect module. The system has comprehensive features covering navigation, detection, identification, attack, management and pilots' health management. It also integrates flight management systems, electronics and aviation electronics, which will ensure the fighter jet can carry out a mission safely and the systems are able to share their resources with each other.

 

Pu and his team built the country's most advanced concept laboratory and a simulation environment to test the design.

 

The stealth fighter was first officially introduced to the public though a PLA recruitment video called Heroes' Sky released on Feb. 26. Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo of the PLA Navy said the film suggested the J-20 will enter service soon. The video also described the quality of the plane's stealth capabilities, flight control system, avionic electronic system, active phased array radar, supermaneuverability, over-the-horizon radar and attack have been improved as well, he added.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Footage from a CCTV broadcast showing the aircraft carrier catapult (Internet photo)

Footage from a CCTV broadcast showing the aircraft carrier catapult (Internet photo)


9 March 2015 Pacific Sentinel
 

A recently unveiled satellite photo showing China testing an aircraft carrier launch system has led experts to believe China has made a breakthrough in the design of its catapult system.

 

China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the catapult being tested to help planes take off quickly is more efficient than the "ski-jump" ramp used to launch aircraft on China's first carrier, the Liaoning.

 

The report said the catapult enables aircraft to be launched quickly, upgrading their combat efficiency.

 

Li Li, a military expert in China, said catapult takeoff device technology is currently dominated by the United States, but if the satellite photo is true, it means that China has "made a groundbreaking and strategic breakthrough" in aircraft carrier technology.

 

Li said both steam and electromagnetic catapults are used to launch aircraft, with the United States the first country to use the electromagnetic launch system.

 

Read the full story at Want China Times

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10 mars 2015 2 10 /03 /mars /2015 19:35
China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was commissioned in 2012.

China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was commissioned in 2012.

 

2015-03-09 wantchinatimes.com

 

A People's Liberation Army Navy official has confirmed for the first time that China is building its second aircraft carrier, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.

 

Ding Haichun, a deputy political commissar of the PLA Navy, acknowledged during an interview with Hong Kong media on March 8 that China's second aircraft carrier is currently under construction and will be more advanced than the country's first carrier, the Liaoning, which was retrofitted from the Soviet-era carrier Varyag and commissioned in September 2012.

 

Once the industrial manufacturing department has completed construction, the carrier will be handed over to the PLA Navy to commence training, Ding said.

 

Naval power and electrical engineering specialist Ma Weiming added that China's catapult launch technology has absolutely no problems and can compete with that of the United States.

 

When questioned by reporters, former PLA Navy political commissar Liu Xiaojiang refused to confirm media speculation that the second aircraft carrier would commcence sea trials as early as this year, noting that the manufacturing process and schedule is highly complex.

 

Liu admitted he is uncertain just how many aircraft carriers the country intends to build. While some have claimed as many as six carriers are needed to safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and interests abroad, Liu said the answer will ultimately lie in how much research and development funding is available.

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10 mars 2015 2 10 /03 /mars /2015 18:35
Un homme accusé d’espionnage pour des photos du porte-avions chinois

 

10 mars 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Un Chinois accusé d’avoir vendu 500 photos du premier porte-avions de l’Armée populaire de libération a été arrêté dans le cadre d’une enquête anti-espionnage, a rapporté la presse officielle.

 

L’homme, identifié sous le nom de M. Zhang, aurait pris ces clichés en répondant à la commande d’une personne se présentant comme le rédacteur-en-chef d’un magazine, a précisé lundi soir la télévision de la ville de Dalian.

C’est dans ce port du nord-est de la Chine qu’a été construit le premier porte-avions chinois, le «Liaoning», admis au service actif en septembre 2012. Ce navire est issu d’un bâtiment inachevé vendu en 1998 par l’Ukraine.

M. Zhang est soupçonné d’avoir photographié le Liaoning d’avril à août 2014 dans le port de Dalian, où se déroule l’entretien régulier du navire-amiral de la marine chinoise.

«M. Zhang a gravement porté atteinte à la sécurité militaire du pays», a commenté la télévision de Dalian.

Selon cette même source, un autre homme a été arrêté à la même époque à Dalian, accusé d’avoir touché 90.000 yuans (13.300 euros) en échange de photos de matériel militaire qu’il aurait remises à un «reporter».

Ce dernier serait un espion étranger qui était surveillé par les services chinois de contre-espionnage, a ajouté la télévision de Dalian, sans préciser la nationalité de cette personne.

Pékin cultive une très grande opacité sur ses programmes militaires et se montre particulièrement sensible sur la question du secret-défense, en lui attribuant un très vaste champ.

La Chine a annoncé la semaine dernière son budget militaire pour 2015, en hausse de 10,1%.

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
INS Viramaditya (foreground) and INS Viraat – photo Indian Navy

INS Viramaditya (foreground) and INS Viraat – photo Indian Navy

 

March 8, 2015 by Dinakar Peri - thehindu.com

 

Reiterating that India-U.S. partnership is a “key component” of America’s “rebalance” to the Indo-Asia-Pacific, a top U.S. Admiral last week expressed concern over China’s increased “assertiveness” in enforcing its claims in the South China Sea and supported India’s increased role in the region under the principles of open sea lanes and freedom of navigation.

 

During the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to India in January, both sides signed a strategic vision document, “U.S.-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region,” which specifically referred to safeguarding maritime security in the South China Sea. It had not gone down well with Beijing.

 

“The South China seas are international waters and India should be able to operate freely wherever India wants to operate. If that means the South China Sea, then get in there and do that,” said Admiral Harry Harris, Commander US Pacific Fleet while speaking at the National Maritime Foundation.

 

At the same time, the Admiral described China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean as “positive” as it was involved in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

 

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Poignée de main entre le général de Brigade Benoit Orsay et le général Sun Jianguo

Poignée de main entre le général de Brigade Benoit Orsay et le général Sun Jianguo

 

9 mars, 2015 Pierre Brassart (FOB)

 

Sun Jianguo, chef d’état-major adjoint de l’Armée Populaire de lLibération a rencontré le général de brigadier Benoit Orsay, le directeur du Bureau de Coopération Bilatérale de l’État-Major Général des Armées et son équipe, en visite à Pékin le 4 mars 2015.

 

Sun Jianguo a déclaré que les relations stratégiques entre la Chine et la France se sont sans cesse améliorées ces dernières années, preuve du nouveau climat qui caractérise le rapprochement franco-chinois. L’approfondissement des liens entre les deux pays, notamment dans le domaine militaire, est mis en évidence par les contacts de plus en plus réguliers entre des militaires de hauts niveaux et par une coopération de plus en plus poussée.

 

Sun Jianguo a également mentionné le fait que cette année, les contacts entre les deux forces armées seront “diversifiés dans la forme et abondants dans le contenu”. Le général chinois espère que les deux partis joindront leurs efforts pour renforcer les relations entre les deux armées et les doter d’une nouvelle vitalité et d’une nouvelle connotation, afin que le rapprochement franco-chinois se transforme en un partenariat stratégique global de longue durée entre la Chine et la France.

 

Benoit Orsay espère quant à lui que les armées française et chinoise peuvent progresser dans leur échanges, promouvant ainsi la compréhension mutuelle et maintenant la bonne coopération actuelle, afin d’avancer vers un nouveau stade de relations entre les deux armées.

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
China overtakes North Korea as Japan's top security concern

Japanese people are more concerned about China's military strength and assertiveness in Asia than any other security issue, according to a public opinion poll released by the government at the weekend.

 

9 Mar 2015 businesstimes.com.sg

 

[TOKYO] Japanese people are more concerned about China's military strength and assertiveness in Asia than any other security issue, according to a public opinion poll released by the government at the weekend.

 

More than 60 per cent of respondents to the survey conducted in January said China concerned them, compared with 46 per cent in a similar poll three years earlier. The number worried about North Korea fell to about 53 per cent from around 65 per cent.

 

Asia's two largest economies are at loggerheads over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, with ships and planes from both countries frequently criss-crossing near the disputed area. North Korea is developing atomic and ballistic missile technology, though it hasn't held a nuclear test since 2013.

 

"There is a lack of transparency in China's military and security policy, including about the budget," Defence Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters on Friday. "We want to continue to seek disclosure from China."

 

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