China’s aircraft carrier passes through Taiwan Strait

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

China’s aircraft carrier passes through Taiwan Strait

Xinhua

A Chinese aircraft carrier passed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday to conduct scientific research tests and routine training in relevant waters of the South China Sea, according to a spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

The organization of the cross-regional tests and training of the homemade aircraft carrier is a normal arrangement in the process of aircraft carrier construction, is not aimed at any specific target and has nothing to do with the current situation, spokesperson Cheng Dewei said.

China urges US to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)
(HOW ABOUT: WORLD URGES CHINA TO IMMEDIATELY STOP INTERFERING IN HONG KONG’S AND TAIWAN’S AFFAIRS)(oldpoet56)

China urges US to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs

Xinhua

China on Thursday strongly urged the US side to respect China’s sovereignty and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks in response to reports that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference on Wednesday with House members as well as Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Denise Ho to back the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.

“China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes this move,” Geng said at a press briefing, accusing Pelosi and other US politicians of confusing right from wrong, engaging with Hong Kong separatists and grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Geng reiterated the position that Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and brook no interference from any outside forces.

“We strongly urge the US side to abide by international laws and basic norms governing international relations, respect China’s sovereignty, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form and advancing the Hong Kong-related act,” Geng said.

He also called on the United States to stop backing the violent and radical forces as well as Hong Kong separatists and desist from supporting any moves undermining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.

China to impose sanctions on US companies in case of arms sales to Taiwan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China to impose sanctions on US companies in case of arms sales to Taiwan

Xinhua

China on Wednesday urged the United States to immediately cancel the planned arms sales to Taiwan, saying China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests including imposing sanctions on US companies involved in the planned sales.

The US Defense Department on Wednesday officially notified the US Congress of the plan to sell 66 F-16 fighters and relevant equipment worth around US$8 billion to Taiwan and to provide support.

“China firmly opposes the plan and has lodged solemn representations and protests to the US side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press briefing.

The US arms sales plan seriously violated international laws and basic norms governing international relations, as well as the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, especially the August 17 Communique, Geng said.

“[Such a move] constitutes severe interference in China’s internal affairs, and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.”

The spokesman said the Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is associated with China’s core interests. “China has firm determination to safeguard its own national sovereignty, unity and security.”

Geng urged the US side to abide by the one-China principle and relevant provisions laid out in the three China-US joint communiques, “immediately cancel the aforementioned arms sales plan, cease arms sales to Taiwan and sever military ties with the island.”

“Otherwise, all the ensuing consequences will be born by the US side,” Geng added.

Astronomers Uncover Dozens of Previously Unknown Ancient and Massive Galaxies

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ASTRONOMY TODAY)

 

Astronomers Uncover Dozens of Previously Unknown Ancient and Massive Galaxies

For decades, astronomers have been trying to see as far as they can into the deep Universe. By observing the cosmos as it was shortly after the Big Bang, astrophysicists and cosmologists hope to learn all they can about the early formation of the Universe and its subsequent evolution. Thanks to instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have been able to see parts of the Universe that were previously inaccessible.

But even the venerable Hubble is incapable of seeing all that was taking place during the early Universe. However, using the combined power of some of the newest astronomical observatories from around the world, a team of international astronomers led by Tokyo University’s Institute of Astronomy observed 39 previously-undiscovered ancient galaxies, a find that could have major implications for astronomy and cosmology.

The team behind the discovery included members from Tokyo University’s Institute of Astronomy, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Anhui Normal University in China, the University of Ludwig-Maximilians in Munich, the National Astronomical Observatories of China, and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan. Their research appeared in the Aug. 7th issue of Nature.

Artist impression of galaxies detected by ALMA as they appear in the very early, very distant universe. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello

Spotting the “Invisible”

To put it simply, the earliest possible galaxies in the Universe have remained invisible until now because their light is very faint and occurs at long wavelengths that are undetectable by Hubble. The team therefore turned to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array(ALMA), whose telescopes are optimized for viewing this kind of light.

The discovery that resulted was not only unprecedented, but the discovery of this many galaxies of this type defies current cosmological models. As Tao Wang, a researcher from the AISAA and a co-author on the study, explained:

“This is the first time that such a large population of massive galaxies was confirmed during the first 2 billion years of the 13.7-billion-year life of the universe. These were previously invisible to us. This finding contravenes current models for that period of cosmic evolution and will help to add some details, which have been missing until now.”

These galaxies, though they were the largest in existence at the time, were still very difficult to spot. Much of the reason has to do with the extent to which their light has been stretched by the expansion of the Universe. In everyday astronomy, this phenomena is known as redshift, where the expansion of space (the Hubble Constant) causes the wavelength of light to become elongated, shifting it towards the red end of the spectrum.

This allows astronomers to not only tell how distant an object is, but what that object looked like in the past. But when looking to the very earliest epoch of the Universe (over 13 billion years ago) the immense distance stretches the wavelength of visible light to the point where it is no longer in the domain of visible light and becomes infrared.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured this stunning infrared image of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, where the black hole Sagitarrius A resides. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Another reason these galaxies are difficult to spot is that larger galaxies tend to be shrouded in dust, especially when they are still in the early parts of their formation. This tends to obscure them more than their smaller galactic counterparts. For these reasons, there was some suspicion that these galaxies were not as old as the team suggested. As Wang indicated:

“It was tough to convince our peers these galaxies were as old as we suspected them to be. Our initial suspicions about their existence came from the Spitzer Space Telescope’s infrared data. But ALMA has sharp eyes and revealed details at submillimeter wavelengths, the best wavelength to peer through dust present in the early universe. Even so, it took further data from the imaginatively named Very Large Telescope in Chile to really prove we were seeing ancient massive galaxies where none had been seen before.”

What Does This Mean for Astronomy?

Since the discovery of these galaxies defies our current cosmological models, the team’s findings naturally have some significant implications for astronomers. As Kotaro Kohno, a professor with the Institute of Astronomy and a co-author on the study, explained:

“The more massive a galaxy, the more massive the supermassive black hole at its heart. So the study of these galaxies and their evolution will tell us more about the evolution of supermassive black holes, too,” added Kohno. “Massive galaxies are also intimately connected with the distribution of invisible dark matter. This plays a role in shaping the structure and distribution of galaxies. Theoretical researchers will need to update their theories now.”

Ancient galaxies from the study are visible to ALMA (right) but not to Hubble (left). Credit: Wang (et al.) 2019

Another interesting find was the ways in which these 39 ancient galaxies differ from our own. For starters, these galaxies had a higher density of stars than the Milky Way does today; which means that if our galaxy were similar, stargazers would be seeing something very different when they looked up at the night sky.

“For one thing, the night sky would appear far more majestic. The greater density of stars means there would be many more stars close by appearing larger and brighter,” said Wang. “But conversely, the large amount of dust means farther-away stars would be far less visible, so the background to these bright close stars might be a vast dark void.”

Since this is the first time that a galactic population of this kind has been discovered, astronomers are looking forward to what else they might find. As it stands, even ALMA is not sophisticated enough to investigate the chemical compositions and stellar populations of these galaxies. However, next-generation observatories will have the resolution for astrnomers to conduct these studies.

These include the James Webb Space Telescope, which is currently slated for launch in 2021. Ground-based observatories like the ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) are also likely to play a vital role.

It’s an exciting time for astronomers and cosmologists. Ever so slowly, they are peeling back another layer of the Universe to see what secrets lurk beneath!

Further Reading: University of Tokyo

Hong Kong: The Next Bloodbath

Hong Kong: The Next Bloodbath

 

I very much fear that Hong Kong is going to be the next Tienanmen Square except on a much larger scale. The Communist government in Beijing have used the financial muscle generated in Hong Kong to build their country and their military power ever since England turned it back over to them. Now the Chinese government is facing a quandary of sorts. If they do nothing and the protesters continue to stay united against the intrusions of Beijing then the government would have to either back down which would make them look weak or use their military to stop the protesters. Personally I believe that the government will use force to end the peoples blockades of government buildings, stores, and the streets. I can’t help but wonder how many people will be murdered by China’s military in this process. How many protesters will sacrifice their lives in hoping that the West will come to their aid? Personally I do not believe that the U.S. nor the UN will do anything accept talk and issue sanctions which will save no lives in Hong Kong. This is just as I believe that Beijing will totally get away with attacking the legitimate government of China that resides on Taiwan as the world sits back and wrings their hands and whine. Obviously this is just my opinion but this is how I honestly see these events playing out.

 

 

Taiwan: 30 Years, and the CCP STILL UNREPENTANT ABOUT TIANANMEN MASSACRE

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TAIWAN SENTINEL NEWS)

 

Thirty Years On, The CCP is Still Unrepentant About the Tiananmen Massacre


Chinese FM urges US not to ‘play with fire’ on Taiwan-related issues

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Chinese FM urges US not to ‘play with fire’ on Taiwan-related issues

Xinhua
Chinese FM urges US not to 'play with fire' on Taiwan-related issues

AFP

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a joint press conference with Hungarian Trade and Foreign Minister on July 12, 2019 in Budapest.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday urged the United States to correctly handle Taiwan-related issues, and not “play with fire.”

Wang made the remarks here when meeting the press with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

The US government, ignoring China’s solemn position and firm opposition, recently approved arms sales to Taiwan, he said, noting that China has lodged solemn representations with the US side.

China is seriously concerned about Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen’s “transit” in the United States, and firmly opposes any official contact between the United States and Taiwan in any form, added the Chinese top diplomat.

Wang noted that “Taiwan independence” separatist activity is against the trend of history and interests of the people across the Taiwan Strait.

It has neither a future nor a way out, and is doomed to fail, he added.

The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affairs and allows no outside interference, Wang said, adding that no one or any force can stop the historical process of reunification between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait, nor should they underestimate the firm will of the Chinese government and people in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China urges the US side to fully recognize the seriousness of Taiwan-related issues, honor its commitment to the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques with action, and correctly handle Taiwan-related issues in accordance with the important consensus, reached by heads of state of the two countries, on advancing bilateral ties based on coordination, stability, and cooperation, he said.

China urges the United States not to send wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces or make any more wrong moves, and not even to “play with fire” on Taiwan-related issues, said the Chinese foreign minister.

Washington would “lift a rock only to drop it on its own feet” if it attempts to make new difficulties and troubles for the China-US relations, he said.

Taiwan President Risks Infuriating China With U.S. Visit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Taiwan President Risks Infuriating China With U.S. Visit

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan arriving at a hotel in New York on Thursday.Credit Calla Kessler/The New York Times
ImagePresident Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan arriving at a hotel in New York on Thursday.
Credit Calla Kessler/The New York Times

The leader of Taiwan, the self-governing island of 24 million claimed by China, visited the United States on Thursday and said her people would “never be intimidated,” risking China’s wrath and a further fraying of ties between Beijing and the Trump administration.

The visit by President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, which includes stopovers in New York and Denver, is happening over the objections of China, which urged the United States government not to permit it.

Ms. Tsai made the trip in the midst of a protracted trade disputebetween China and the United States, and just a few days after the Defense Department approved a $2 billion arms sale to Taiwan, a deal that China regards as especially provocative.

While Ms. Tsai has visited the United States before, this was her first trip as president to New York, where Taiwan maintains a large unofficial consular and trade office just a few blocks from the United Nations. Taiwan is not a United Nations member and has no representatives, but 17 countries in the world body continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Ms. Tsai’s two-day New York itinerary, which required the Trump administration’s approval, included a summit of Taiwan and American business representatives and a dinner banquet with members of the Taiwanese-American community.

Her entourage, protected by federal agents and New York police officers, arrived at the midtown Grand Hyatt to a raucous welcome by hundreds of pro-Taiwan demonstrators, waving Taiwanese and American flags and screaming “Zongtong hao!” (“Hello president!”) She shook hands and posed for selfies.

Across the street, a smaller but equally passionate group of pro-Beijing protesters was denouncing the visit. Some were heard shouting, “Down with Taiwan!” and “Unify China!” A Reuters photographer witnessed a brawl between members of the rival demonstrations that was broken up by the police.

Later Thursday at a reception held in Taiwan’s consular offices nearby, Ms. Tsai welcomed United Nations ambassadors from the countries, mostly in Latin America and islands in the Pacific Ocean, that recognize Taiwan despite pressure from China.

ImagePolice officers monitoring pro-China and pro-Taiwan demonstrators outside the hotel in New York where Ms. Tsai arrived on Thursday.
Credit Calla Kessler/The New York Times

She thanked them for helping to ensure that Taiwan’s voice is “heard around the world.” And in a pointed reference to China, Ms. Tsai said: “I want to reiterate that Taiwan is not and will never be intimidated.”

The United States broke formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan’s government in 1979, ending what was known as the two-China policy, in order to establish relations with China’s Communist government in Beijing. But the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan and has provided it with defensive weapons meant to deter a Chinese attack.

The Chinese Communist authorities in Beijing have long claimed Taiwan as China’s territory and have threatened to unify it with the mainland by force.

Ms. Tsai’s visit, which has been planned for months, was partly aimed at reinforcing her government’s ties with the Caribbean nations that recognize Taiwan. Her 12-day itinerary included stopovers at St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Haiti.

“Freedom, democracy and sustainability are the Taiwanese values we want to share with all our good friends in the world,” Ms. Tsai said in a speech before her departure from Taiwan.

Taiwan’s tensions with China, with which it has developed expansive commercial ties, have grown under Ms. Tsai, who has been president since 2016. A member of Taiwan’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, she has stressed what she has called the need to strengthen the country’s military defenses. She faces an election in January.

Ms. Tsai toughened her rhetoric on China in April after Chinese fighter jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which separates mainland China and Taiwan, for the first time since 1999. Taiwan jets scrambled and repelled their Chinese counterparts, which came within 115 miles of the island’s coast.

“These actions by China are not only unilateral changes to the cross-strait status quo, even more, they are a brazen provocation to regional security and stability,” Ms. Tsai said afterward.

Ms. Tsai’s pro-independence politics, and Taiwan’s ties with the United States, have led to criticism from China.

In denouncing the Pentagon’s decision to allow the arms sale to Taiwan, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, Ma Xiaoguang, said Tuesday that Ms. Tsai’s party should not rely on foreign strength, which would “draw fire against yourself” and require her to “pay a price.”

A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 6 of the New York edition with the headline: U.S. Visit Risks Beijing’s Fury For President Of Taiwan. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

China to Sanction U.S. Companies for Arms Sales to Taiwan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

 

China to Sanction U.S. Companies for Arms Sales to Taiwan

Beijing says U.S. approval of $2.2 billion in military sales harms its national security

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, shown here in June, arrived in the U.S. on Thursday. PHOTO: RITCHIE B TONGO/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

China will sanction U.S. firms that participate in arms sales to Taiwan, after Washington approved sales of $2.2 billion in tanks, missiles and related military hardware, Beijing said.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that the arms sales “harmed China’s sovereignty and national security” and that the sanctions were necessary to safeguard its national interests.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, part of the United States Defense Department, notified Congress on Monday of proposed arms sales including 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, Hercules armored vehicles, heavy equipment transporters and Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

The proposed sales risk further testing relations between the U.S. and China, already strained by protracted trade tensions. They swiftly drew the ire of Beijing, which sees such sales as interference in its sovereignty claims over the self-ruled island.

It coincided with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s arrival in the U.S. on Thursday, as part of a visit to four Caribbean allies, a trip that has also prompted anger from Beijing.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged the U.S. to immediately withdraw the sale and said it had lodged “stern representations.” The official China Daily said Ms. Tsai was “playing a game of brinksmanship” by building up Taiwan’s military defense.

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The US just quietly challenged China on something Beijing promised to go to war over

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BUSINESS INSIDER)

 

The US just quietly challenged China on something Beijing promised to go to war over

china militaryJon Woo/Reuters
  • The US military recently called Taiwan a country, something that China routinely threatens to go to war over.
  • China thinks of Taiwan as a renegade province with a democratic government that’s an existential threat to the Communist party.
  • No US president for decades has been so supportive of Taiwan, and the US and China now find themselves in uncharted territory.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has engaged China in a trade war that has global markets holding their breath, but his administration recently challenged Beijing on an issue Chinese officials have promised to go to war over.

The US military’s recent Indo-Pacific Strategy paper, published on June 1, goes further than perhaps any US document ever issued in potentially provoking China’s rage over what it sees as the most sensitive issue.

Buried in the paper, which charts China’s efforts to build up a military fortress in the South China Sea and use its growing naval might to coerce its neighbors, is a reference to Taiwan as a “country.”

“As democracies in the Indo-Pacific, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Mongolia are reliable, capable, and natural partners of the United States. All four countries contribute to US missions around the world and are actively taking steps to uphold a free and open international order,” the strategy reads.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway island province that has its own, democratic government. Beijing sees this as an existential threat and the factor most likely to upset the Communist Party’s absolute hold on power in the mainland.

In July 2018, China threatened to blacklist airlines that referred to Taiwan as a country. US airlines fell in line, but the White House protested the strong-arm tactic as “ Orwellian nonsense.”

But now the US itself has clearly said it: Taiwan is a country, and the US will treat it as such.

“The Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs”

Trump Bolton
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with senior military leaders at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.
 NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

In another unprecedented step, a high-ranking Taiwanese minister was allowed to meet with Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, in May. This move predictably enraged China.

At the Shangri La Dialogue, the top defense summit in Asia, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe made clear the stakes of China’s Taiwan problem.

“Any interference in the Taiwan question is doomed to failure. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs,” Wei said, according to Channel Asia News.

Taiwan is “the hot-button issue” in US-China relations, John Hemmings, the director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, told Business Insider.

China has always maintained that it would prefer to reunify with Taiwan peacefully but will do so by force if needed. Additionally, China’s navy has increasingly patrolled the waters around the island and flown nuclear-capable bombers nearby.

But the US has also sailed warships through the narrow strait separating China and Taiwan and has gotten allies to pitch in.

The arms are already moving

Marine Corps Abrams tank Arrow 19 Finland
A US Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams tank from 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, during Arrow 2019 at the Pohjankangas Training Area near Niinisalo, Finland, May 12, 2019.
 US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins

The US’s rhetorical escalation follows the Trump administration normalizing arms sales to Taiwan and the news that it will sell $2 billion in tanks, anti-tank weapons, and air defenses to the island.

According to Hemmings, these weapons have a clear purpose: To fight back against a Chinese invasion of the island.

Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider that the US had now entered “uncharted territory” by acknowledging Taiwan.

The US under Trump has been the most pro-Taiwan administration in decades, Hemmings said. Trump demonstrated this when he had a call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen before Trump even took office.

Taiwan military exercise invasion artillery Han Kuang
Women soldiers from an artillery unit during the live-fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China’s People’s Liberation Army invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan, May 30, 2019.
 REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

For years, China has slowly stepped up pressure on the US in areas like forcing companies to transfer technology, building up military sites on artificial islands in the South China Sea, and naval challenges.

Hemmings referenced a popular anecdote in China, where a frog is cooked by putting it in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize it’s getting cooked until it’s too late. China’s gradual pressure campaign against the US has been compared to this practice.

With the US now quietly acknowledging Taiwan in a strategy document, it may have found its own small way to turn up the heat on Beijing.

More: China Taiwan Military Defense
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