Category Archives: International

International Affaris

Kremlin official denounces Moscow riots

Russian deputy presidential chief of staff Vladislav Surkov condemned the recent riots in Moscow in an interview with the Izvestia paper.

The Russian capital saw its biggest public disturbances for almost a decade on Saturday as a 5,000-strong crowd of nationalists and football hooligans clashed with police near Red Square. Rioters also attacked people from the country’s North Caucasus region in protest against the death of football fan Yegor Sviridov in a brawl with North Caucasus migrants.

“Disorders threatening Muscovites’ lives and attacks on police cannot be justified in any way. Neither can the murder of Yegor. Those who killed him should be in prison,” Surkov told Izvestia.

Koreans act as proxies for US-China war

North Korea fired more than 100 artillery shells onto Yeonpyeong Island Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. In March, Seoul blamed North Korea for sinking South Korea’s Cheonan warship, killing 46 sailors.

The United States and South Korea prepared for war games between November 28 – December 1, 2010 as South Koreans demanded vengeance over a deadly North Korean artillery bombardment that has raised fears of more clashes between the bitter rivals. The North, meanwhile, worked to justify one of the worst attacks on South Korean territory since the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korea said civilians were used as a “human shield” around artillery positions and lashed out at what it called a “propaganda campaign” against Pyongyang. It claimed the United States orchestrated last Tuesday’s clash so that it could stage joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea with the South that include a U.S. nuclear powered supercarrier — enraging the North and making neighboring China uneasy.

The artillery attack by North Korea against South Korea last week was no random act of senseless violence. It was a super power, China, using a proxy to make a strategic point. It was a calculated move to ramp up tension and challenge the status quo. The Chinese don’t want the Americans and their South Korea allies to hold joint anti-submarine maneuvers in the Yellow Sea (West Sea to the Koreans). The Chinese told the allies that back in July and they were ignored.

At the crux of the matter is the issue of maritime borders. China wants to create a “no-sail” zone in the China Sea. Under international law, a naval power can positions its warships in international waters 22 kilometers or 14 miles or 12 nautical miles from the low tide mark of the shoreline of a foreign country. The Chinese (and many other countries) want to extend this demarcation to 200 miles or the current limit of their “exclusive economic zone”. In the narrow Yellow Sea that would mean an aircraft carrier like USS George Washington would have to stay about 70 miles off the coast of Weihan, instead of the more aggressive 14 miles which is ‘legal’ under international law. Imagine the reaction of the US Navy if a Chinese aircraft carrier were to position itself 14 miles off the coast of Virginia or Manhattan. The Chinese have already announced that they do not want the US/Korean naval maneuvers to stray over the border of the “exclusive economic” zone.

This latest incident is just one in a long chain of events that have been percolating in the background. In September, the Chinese military announced that it had developed a “carrier-killer”. As described in The Global Times, a Chinese government-controlled newspaper, “China undoubtedly needs to build a highly credible anti-carrier capability. Not only does China need an anti-ship ballistic missile, but also other carrier-killing measures. Since US aircraft carrier battle groups in the Pacific constitute deterrence against China’s strategic interests, China has to possess the capacity to counterbalance.” By Chinese strategic interests, the article is referring to China’s stated objective of creating a “no sail zone” extending 1,000 miles from the Chinese coast. Such a “no sail” zone would push US naval power to the east of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Phillipines, New Guinea and Indonesia, creating the equivalent of the “Chinese co-prosperity sphere”. It would only be a matter of time before resource-rich Australia would be included in the “no sail” zone.

US intelligence anticipated the Chinese announcement of the “carrier-killer” when it staged a show of force in early July by surfacing a new version of the Ohio-class nuclear submarine armed with 154 conventional Tomahawk cruise missiles around the periphery of the China Sea: the USS Michigan surfaced in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia (a Los Angeles class attack submarine surface unannounced on November 8th in Okinawa to the chagrin of the Japanese Government during its stand-off with the Chinese over a fishing boat). With this provocation, the US Navy was taunting the Chinese and making clear that it understood that the aircraft carrier was an obsolete weapon system. The admirals were acknowledging that the next war would be fought by submarines and submersible vessels and that they understood the Chinese threat from that corner. Since the US submarine fleet is declining due to exorbitant costs and the Chinese submarine fleet is surging in numbers and capability due to its labor cost advantage and the theft of Western technology ships, the July announcement of joint US/Korean anti-submarine maneuvers on November 28 – December 1, 2010 in the Yellow Sea was a shot across the bow of the Chinese Navy.

With these events as a backdrop, the North Korean artillery attack does not look like a random event. On the other hand, it looks like a carefully orchestrated move by the Chinese to pressure the Americans to back off to a new “no sail” zone demarcated by the “exclusive economic zone”. We will see what our Navy does over the next three days and whether or not this will prompt a proxy war in North Korea. What happened in Korea last week was no random act of mindless violence by a regime crying for attention. The Chinese gave the order.

Sources:        Groundreport        NTDTV           Timesunion

Indian role in Baluchistan unrest?

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has hit out at Indian Intelligence agencies saying that the RAW or Research and Analysis Wing is inciting violence in the Balochistan province of South-West Pakistan and is actively trying to foster anti-Pakistan sentiments in Afghanistan.

Musharraf, currently living in self-exile in Britain, repeated his claims that the involvement of India and Afghanistan in Balochistan is creating unrest in the Pakistani province. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has levelled similar allegations against India in the past but has never backed up his claims with proof.

Musharraf said Aug 26, 2006 military operation against 79-year-old tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in Balochistan was justified as he had been creating trouble in the province. The operation resulted in the death of Bugti and several of his aides.

He alleged that Bugtis men of firing rockets on Sui, of occupying the hill features and firing rockets and weapons on the Frontier Corps. He also alleged that Bugtis men are blowing up the gas pipeline, the electric pylon, the railway line. Bugti’s grandson, Bramdagh Bugti, is currently living in Kabul and is received by agents of Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, when he goes to India. Indians finance him, give him weapons to create trouble.

India’s conduct on Balochistan was like an open book and that Pakistan had never provided any evidence on preposterous allegations. Sources also claimed that India desired peaceful & cordial relations with Pakistan all throughout.

Sources:      NDTV         Economictimes

Christians clash with Police in Egypt

Egypt’s attorney general ordered the detention of 156 protesters involved in clashes with riot police after the authorities blocked construction of a church in a Cairo suburb.

The authorities had halted construction of the church although the Copts said they had an official permit. Some Christians demonstrated near the church and others near the Giza governor’s office on Wednesday, 24th Nov 2010. One Christian was killed and dozens were wounded in Giza on Wednesday when about 3,000 Orthodox Copts hurled stones at police lines. Some officers threw them back and Muslims also lobbed rocks at the Christian protesters from behind the security cordon.

Thirty lawyers tried to attend police questioning of 120 of the protestors late on Wednesday but were blocked from entering the public prosecutor’s office in Giza, a rights group said. Five lawyers who later managed to enter the building were told by the general prosecutor that they could attend the questioning but could not consult privately with the accused, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said in a statement. “The prosecutors denied the lawyers’ request to consult privately with the accused. They refused to put on record the lawyers’ arguments questioning the validity of the proceedings and they also refused to put on record the injuries sustained by some of the accused,” the group said.

Giza Governor Sayyed Abdel-Aziz said the Christians appeared to have misused a permit for a social center to build a church. The Christians said they had the right permit and would continue to build the three-storey domed structure. Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 79 million people.

Source: Reuters

Iran tests air missile to protect its nuclear plants

Iran has successfully test-fired an air missile called the S-200. Though it shares the same name as a Russian missile S-200, it is said to have the capabilities of a stronger Russian system known as the S-300. The launch was part of Iran’s military exercise that started on Tuesday with the aim of testing the country’s air defence capabilities to defend its nuclear plants from possible attacks.

The tested missile was developed by Iranian scientists and is capable of identifying and hitting targets at low and medium altitudes. The military exercise that concluded on Saturday was the country’s biggest air drill, Iranian military officials said earlier this week.

Iran conducts several war games every year, as part of its military self-sufficiency programme that started in 1992, and frequently unveils new weapons and military systems during the drills.

Earlier this year Iran revealed that it conducted an exercise at several nuclear facilities, including the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the under-construction enrichment site at Fordo, the nuclear uranium conversion facility near Isfahan and the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Iran has been looking to upgrade its air defences, especially as Israel has refused to rule out an air strike over concerns that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.Iran denies the charge and insists the programme is only for peaceful purposes. It has also said Israel would face a “devastating retaliation” if it attacked the Islamic Republic.
Source: Aljazeera

Six countries stay away from Nobel Peace at behest of China

Six countries, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco and Iraq,, have turned down an invitation for their ambassadors in Oslo to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in honour of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo next month.  36 ambassadors had accepted our invitation, 16 had not replied. As each year, the Institute has invited all ambassadors based in the Norwegian capital to attend the December 10 ceremony, and the diplomats had until November 15 to say whether or not they would come.

A number of embassies had requested more time to reach a decision on whether to participate knowing the sensitivities of China about participation in the ceremony. China’s rulers were enraged by the decision to give the 2010 Peace Prize to Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last December on subversion charges after co-authoring a manifesto calling for political reform in China, and who they consider a “criminal.” The Chinese embassy in Oslo sent a letter to other countries’ missions in the city requesting that they refrain from attending the ceremony. Everyyear, some countries do not participate for unknown reasons. In 2008, for example, 10 ambassadors were not present.

Source:  Hosted News through Google

China set to appoint Bishops without Popes approval

China’s government-backed Catholic church will proceed with the ordination of a bishop who does not have the pope’s approval, despite objections raised by the Vatican. The Rev. Guo Jincai will be ordained in Chengde, in northeastern Hebei province, on Saturday, 20th Nov 2010. The ceremony is organized by Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

Communist China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951, and worship is allowed only in state-backed churches, although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome. In recent years under Pope Benedict XVI relations have improved. Disputes over appointments in China’s official church have been avoided by quietly conferring on candidates, leading to several ordinations of bishops with the Holy See’s blessing.

However, Guo does not have the pope’s approval. The Vatican also said it was “disturbed by reports” that a number of bishops loyal to the pope are being forced by government officials to attend the ordination. It warned China that reconciliation efforts will be set back if the reports turned out to be true.

Liu said attendance by bishops at the ceremony would be voluntary and the ordination would go ahead as planned because the Chengde diocese needs a bishop. He said the association had informed the Vatican about its plan as early as two years ago. “A Catholic diocese cannot be without a bishop, or the Gospel cannot be spread,” Liu said. “We should not let any political reasons interfere with the spread of the Gospel in China.”

He said in time, China would elect bishops for more than 40 Catholic dioceses that are currently without them and expressed hope that the Vatican would endorse them. Liu maintained that the pope was “very friendly” to China but that some others in the Vatican were not. Recent estimates by scholars and church activists put the number of Chinese Catholics loyal to the pope as high as 60 million – three times the size of the official church.

Source: Washington Post