China’s First Aircraft Carrier Leaves Homeport for Sea Trials

 

China’s First Aircraft Carrier Leaves Homeport for Sea Trials

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has left its homeport of Qingdao in east China’s Shandong Province to conduct scientific experiments and sea training, naval authorities said Tuesday.

This was the first time for the carrier to leave its homeport to conduct training voyage since it anchored there in February, according to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

The Liaoning and its crew members had conducted a series of scheduled tests and training drills in the homeport during the period.

Currently, China operates one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was refitted based on an unfinished Russian-made carrier and delivered to the Navy on Sept. 25, 2012.

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Taiwan renews arms sales call amid US-China summit

Taiwan renews arms sales call amid US-China summit
Taiwan urged the United States Sunday to continue arming it with defensive weapons as it kept a wary eye on the first summit between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

During the meeting in California, the Chinese side had asked the US to end its arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing sees as part of its territory.

“We urge the United States to continue selling defensive weapons to the Republic of China (Taiwan) according to the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances the United States promised to Taiwan,” Taiwan’s defence ministry spokesman David Lo told reporters.

Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. But it has continued to arm the island in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act approved by Congress the same year.

In 1982 the Reagan administration orally delivered “Six Assurances” to Taipei, promising not to set a date to end arms sales to Taiwan, nor to hold prior consultations with China on such sales.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry has set up a group to monitor Xi’s visit to the United States, officials said.

Ties across the Taiwan Straits have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan’s China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008. He was re-elected in January 2012.

But Beijing has still refused to renounce the possible use of force to reunify with Taiwan, even though the island has ruled itself since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.

Taiwan has continued to seek advanced weapons, largely from the United States.

Exclusive: Pakistan expresses interest in non-nuclear EMP weapons technology

by Zaki Khalid
[Terminal X Report]

Well-informed sources say that Pakistani security officials have expressed interest in the research and development of non-nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapons.

Sources privy to the development had earlier shared that a panel of Chinese and Russian experts had met in Moscow to discuss means of collaborating for a giant Asian EMP-shield (‘umbrella‘) that would protect regional airspace, particularly that of Russia and China, from intruding systems.

In this context, Pakistani officials expressed their interest. It is expected that as previously, Pakistan will approach its counterparts in China to map a possible joint R & D venture.

Source: http://www.terminalx.org/

NATO to set up cyber-defence rapid reaction teams

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NATO defence ministers agreed Tuesday to set up rapid reaction teams to help defend the military alliance against a growing number of cyber-attacks, many of them blamed on China.

“In the progress report we have adopted today, we agreed to establish rapid reaction teams that can help protect NATO’s own systems,” alliance head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

This “cyber-defence capability should be fully operational by the autumn,” Rasmussen told a press conference.

“This is a first phase. A second phase would be to look into how the alliance can respond to requests from Allies who come under cyber-attack,” he said.

Rasmussen stressed that cyber-security — the defence of the electronics information systems at the heart of modern warfare — remained the responsibility of its 28 member states.

But “this is a serious challenge (which)… can have devastating consequences,” he said, adding that NATO suffered more than 2,500 attacks last year.

“An attack on one ally, if not dealt quickly, can affect us all.”

The cyber-security issue is top of the agenda for a two-day defence ministers’ meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, attending his first NATO meeting since taking office, on Saturday accused China of waging cyber-espionage against the US after an American report found evidence of a broad Chinese spying campaign against top US defence contractors and government agencies.

CM-400AKG, tough job for Indian Navy

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China has developed a hypersonic Aircraft carrier killer missile and has been deployed by the PAF.
The missile has been described as the PAF’s Hypersonic ‘Carrier Killer Missile’
Pakistan has deployed a new hypersonic long-range air-launched missile that officials in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have described as “a hypersonic aircraft carrier killer missile”.
The CM-400AKG is a Mach 4 plus-capable air-to-surface weapon developed in China and now in service with JF-17 fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force. The weapon, designated CM-400AKG, was designed and developed in China by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) and was revealed at Airshow China 2012, held in Zhuhai in November.
The CM-400AKG is now part of the operational weapon set of the PAF’s JF-17 Thunder multirole fighter. “This is a mature weapon that has been fully tested. It is not conceptual. It is in service,” Air Commodore Mahmood Khalid, PAF JF-17 Deputy Project Director stated. “The CM-400AKG is a very high-speed missile that is very tough to intercept. It hits the target at Mach 4 or above and its kinetic impact alone is enough to destroy any high-value target, like an aircraft carrier.”
The CM-400AKG first appeared, briefly, in public at last year’s Dubai Airshow, when a placard for the weapon was placed alongside a PAF JF-17 – and then removed. The weapon itself was not shown. At the time PAF personnel acknowledged it was a new Chinese-built air-to-surface stand-off missile. However, the initial assumption that it was a derivative of the C-802 anti-ship missile has proved to be very wide of the mark.
The CM-400AKG is a 400 kg solid-rocket-powered weapon that can be fitted with either a penetration or blast/fragmentation warhead. It is a fire-and-forget precision-guided weapon that can be fitted with several seeker options, which are understood to include an active radar seeker and an imaging infrared seeker with target-recognition (TR) capabilities. PAF sources say the missile can be pre-programmed with digital imagery for highly precise attacks against fixed sites in TR mode, but it can also be re-targeted in flight by using the radar seeker option.
The range of the CM-400AKG is estimated to be in the 200-250 km class(Indian navy ships will need to be at max 200km away from Pakistani coastline, to enforce an effective blockade). It is designed for use against fixed or what were described as “slow moving” targets. CASIC data indicates that after launch the CM-400AKG climbs to high altitude and terminates with a high-speed dive on the target. The PAF describes the missile’s impact velocity as “hypersonic” (> Mach 5).

Both CASIC and the PAF note that the CM-400AKG has been developed as a JF-17 Aircraft carrier killer weapon. The PAF currently has two squadrons of approximately 36 JF-17s operational.

Chinese patrols in Asian seas ‘legitimate’: general

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Chinese warships will continue to patrol waters where Beijing has territorial claims, a top general said Sunday, amid simmering rows with neighbouring countries over the South China Sea and islands controlled by Japan.

Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, defended the patrols as legitimate and said his country’s sovereignty over the areas could not be disputed.

“Why are Chinese warships patrolling in East China Sea and South China Sea? I think we are all clear about this,” Qi told the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore.

“Our attitude on East China Sea and South China Sea is that they are in our Chinese sovereignty. We are very clear about that,” he said through an interpreter.

“So the Chinese warships and the patrolling activities are totally legitimate and uncontroversial.”

Qi was responding to a question from a delegate after giving a speech in which he sought to assure neighbouring countries that China has no hegemonic ambitions.

“China has never taken foreign expansion and military conquering as a state policy,” he said.

One delegate however said there appeared to be growing regional scepticism over China’s peaceful intentions because it was inconsistent with moves to send naval patrols to waters where other countries also have claims.

China is locked in a territorial dispute with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

The four states have partial claims to islands but China says it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the sea, including areas much closer to other countries and thousands of kilometres from the Chinese coast.

China also has a dispute with Japan over the Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea.

“I do hope the statements of the good general today will be translated into action,” Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters.

He said Qi’s remarks about China having no hegemonic ambitions were “far from what is happening” in the sea.

Manila last month protested at what it called the “provocative and illegal presence” of a Chinese warship near Second Thomas Shoal, which is occupied by Philippine troops.

Among the other moves that have caused alarm were China’s occupation of a shoal near the Philippines’ main island last year, and the deployment in March of Chinese naval ships to within 80 kilometres (50 miles) of Malaysia’s coast.

Competing claims have for decades made the area — home to rich fishing grounds and vital global shipping lanes and believed to sit atop vast natural gas deposits — one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

China and Vietnam fought in 1974 and 1988 for control of islands in battles that left dozens of soldiers dead.

The US-China strategic rivalry also loomed large during the conference, with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday accusing Beijing of waging cyber espionage against the United States.

But General Qi on Sunday allayed concerns that China had dropped a pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict.

Omission of the “no-first-use” pledge in a recent defence white paper had created ripples in military circles and sparked speculation that China may have abandoned the policy.

Qi also distanced his government from claims by some Chinese scholars that the Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, do not belong to Japan.

“This is only an article of particular scholars and their views on these issues… it does not represent the views of the Chinese government,” he said.

Maritime disputes and the risks of conflicts that could hurt Asia’s economic growth were a running theme during the three-day conference that ended Sunday.

“Asia holds great promise for ourselves and the world but continued peace and prosperity in this region are neither fait accompli nor automatic,” Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told the conference.

“Instead, if we are to continue to enjoy stability and progress, we must work effectively in unison to strengthen areas of common interests.”

The Philippines’ Gazmin defended Manila’s move unilaterally to bring its territorial dispute with China before a UN tribunal after China refused to take part.

“We hope that the arbitration tribunal will issue a clarification in accordance with international law that will direct China to respect our sovereign rights,” Gazmin told the forum.

Ladakh: China troops intrude into Indian territory

In a deep incursion,Chinese troops have entered the Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector in eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post, setting the stage for a face-off with Indian troops.

A Platoon-strength contingent of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there, according to highly placed sources, which said that a Chinese Army Platoon usually consists of around 50 men.

Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

ITBP has asked for a Flag meeting with the Chinese side but there has been no response as of now, sources said.

When contacted, the spokesman of Udhampur-based Northern Command Col Rajesh Kalia said,” due to differences in perception of the Line of Actual Control(LAC) a few face-offs take place in the eastern Ladakh side. These are resolved amicably through existing mechanism.” He refused to elaborate.

The Ladakh Scouts, an Infantry regiment of the Indian Army and specializing in mountain warfare, has also moved towards the area where the situation was described as tense.

The place has not been known to have any permanent civilian population.

DBO, located in northernmost Ladakh, is an historic camp site and located on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China.

It lies at the easternmost point of the Karakoram Range in a cold desert region in the far north of India, just 8 km south of the Chinese border and 9 km northwest of the Aksai Chin LAC between China and India. Temperature plummets as low as minus 30 degree Celsius in the winters.

Other than Siachen Glacier military base, it is India’s northernmost built-up area. The nearest inhabited town is Murgo to the south, which has a small population of Baltis who primarily depend on apricot farming and yak rearing.

Video: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/news/Exclusive-Proof-of-Chinese-intrusion-in-Indian-territory/videoshow/10067448.cms