Archive for ‘Military’

01/07/2014

Army chief Bikram Singh to begin rare China visit tomorrow – The Times of India

Chief of the Army Staff General Bikram Singh r...

Chief of the Army Staff General Bikram Singh received by Director for General Staff Duties Sanjeev Chopra (Photo credit: UN Women Asia & the Pacific)

Operationalisation of a new border defence agreement to deal with recurring troop incursions along the LAC besides improving defence ties, is expected to top the agenda of General Bikram Singh as he starts a rare visit by an Indian Army chief to China from tomorrow.

“Currently India and China maintain exchanges and cooperation at various levels. This is very significant for the two countries,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said here today.

“The visit you mentioned will be an important event in military to military exchanges between China and India,” he said commenting on Singh’s visit at a media briefing.

“We wish full success of this visit so that the mutual trust between the two armies can be enhanced,” he said.

To deal with tensions arising out of the incursions by both sides, India and China signed the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) last year.

Singh’s visit was aimed at implementing a number of steps incorporated by BDCA on the ground, officials said.

The Indian Army chief’s four-day visit is taking place after a gap of nine years.

via Army chief Bikram Singh to begin rare China visit tomorrow – The Times of India.

17/06/2014

Top China diplomat to visit Vietnam in possible thaw over oil rig | Reuters

China’s top diplomat will visit Vietnam on Wednesday in a sign the two countries want to ease tensions over China’s deployment of an oil rig in the disputed South China Sea, but experts said there were many obstacles to healing the ruptured relationship.

Map of the South China Sea

Map of the South China Sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The visit by State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister, will be the highest level direct contact between Beijing and Hanoi since a Chinese state oil company parked the rig in waters claimed by both countries on May 2. Yang would attend an annual meeting on bilateral cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing. Vietnamese officials said Yang would meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as well as the head of the country’s ruling communist party. “We hope that Vietnam keeps its eye on the broader picture, meets China halfway and appropriately resolves the present situation,” Hua said, without directly mentioning the rig. Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said the rig would be discussed. Ties between the two neighbours have been largely frozen since early May, with both sides constantly accusing the other of inflaming the situation. Dozens of Vietnamese and Chinese coastguard and fishing vessels have repeatedly squared off around the rig, resulting in a number of collisions. via Top China diplomat to visit Vietnam in possible thaw over oil rig | Reuters.

17/06/2014

China Seeks Shorter, ‘More Portly’ Troops With Brainpower – Bloomberg

China’s military has relaxed its height, eyesight and weight requirements for soldiers in an effort to attract more educated personnel, the state-owned China Daily newspaper said today.

Male recruits can now be 1.6 meters tall (5 foot 2 inches), down from 1.62 meters, while the minimum height for women will reduced by the same margin to 1.58 meters, the paper said, citing the Ministry of Defense’s recruitment office. The upper weight limit for male enlistees was also relaxed to “allow more portly young men” into the military, it said.

Eyesight standards were also lowered because nearly 70 percent of high school and university students in China are short-sighted, it said. Mental illnesses including schizophrenia, dissociative disorder, depression and bipolar disorder has also been removed from a list of conditions barring candidates from enlisting, according to the paper.

The looser requirements come as President Xi Jinping tries to hone the world’s largest army by headcount into a professional fighting force capable of winning wars. Efforts by China’s military to attract better-educated recruits to match its modern weaponry has been hampered by a decline in the health of candidates. According to Beijing’s army recruitment office, some 60 percent of college students fail the physical fitness examination, with most graduates being overweight, the China Daily reported in August.

via China Seeks Shorter, ‘More Portly’ Troops With Brainpower – Bloomberg.

13/06/2014

Japan denies brush with Chinese planes, demands China withdraws footage | Reuters

I sincerely hope China and Japan are NOT sleep walking into a major war.

“Japan on Friday denied Beijing’s claims that its Self-Defence Force planes came “dangerously close” to Chinese aircraft in an incident over the East China Sea on Wednesday, demanding China takes down the footage allegedly showing the incident.

A Chinese SU-27 fighter flies over the East China Sea, in this handout photo taken May 24, 2014 and released by the Defense Ministry of Japan May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout via Reuters

The tit-for-tat accusations and denials are part of a long-running territorial dispute between Asia’s largest economies. They follow a similar incident on May 24, when Japan said Chinese aircraft came within a few dozen metres of its warplanes. China, where bitter memories of Japan’s wartime militarism run deep, lays claim to Japanese-administered islets in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. China declared its air defence zone covering most of the East China Sea last year despite protests by Japan and the United States.

On Thursday, China said two Japanese F-15 planes followed a Chinese Tu-154 aircraft and came as close as 30 metres, “seriously affecting China’s flight safety”. It posted a video allegedly showing that incident on the defence ministry website.

“We believe there is no truth in China’s assertions that Japanese fighter planes came within 30 meters of a Chinese plane and severely affected the flight’s safety,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

“The planes (in the video) are different,” he said in response to a reporter’s question about the rationale behind Japan’s assertion, adding Japan lodged a protest late on Thursday and demanded that Beijing take down the footage.

China responded by calling on Tokyo to “immediately stop all its provocative words and acts”.”

via Japan denies brush with Chinese planes, demands China withdraws footage | Reuters.

12/06/2014

First Scorpene submarine to be ready by Sept 2016: Admiral Dhowan – The Hindu

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Robin Dhowan has said that the construction of French-origin Scorpene submarines at Mazagon Dock is progressing well, with the first submarine now scheduled to be delivered by September, 2016.

Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R.K. Dhowan (R) being welcomed by Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Satish Soni (L) at Southern Naval Command in Kochi on Thursday.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a Naval Investiture Ceremony on Thursday, Admiral Dhowan said while the Navy intended to take delivery of the first Scorpene diesel-electric submarine, built under Project 75, in September 2016, it would also ensure that the intervening period between delivery of the remaining five was minimised.

Asked about the arrest of two people in an LTC documents forgery case involving 30 navy officials by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Admiral Dhowan said whenever such instances came to the Navy’s notice, it carried out thorough investigation and took decisions based on their outcome.

On the proposed government move to ramp up foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector, he said it was the government’s call and the force would follow “whatever decision taken by the government”.

He said the Navy would host Prime Minister Narendra Modi on board the newly-inducted aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Saturday. “We intend to take the PM on board the carrier and showcase various operational activities undertaken by it.”

Admiral Dhowan said the carrier was fully operational and its integral fleet of MiG 29 K fighter jets flown by Indian naval pilots fully integrated to the platform.

The Admiral said operating at sea was not an easy job, but despite the harsh working conditions, navy personnel always wore a smile on their faces. “We are proud of our officers and men.”

At the investiture ceremony earlier in the day, he stressed the importance of team work and training in operating complex platforms in multi-dimensional force.

via First Scorpene submarine to be ready by Sept 2016: Admiral Dhowan – The Hindu.

25/05/2014

China continues advance into South China Sea; military base to be built on artificial island

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

Design of military base to be built on disputed island

Design of military base to be built on disputed island

The No. 9 Design & Research Institute of China State Shipbuilding Corporation recently displayed on its official website its proposed design of an artificial island to be built on a reef in the South China Sea.

It aims at providing a reserve of designs for an artificial island China may build there.

On the website, there are also the following designs for the work platform for construction of the island, which can be installed on a transformed civil ship at low cost.

The reclamation on Johnson South Reef continues, as shown in the bottom photo.

Johnson South Reef , also known as Chigua Reef, Yongshu reef, Gạc Ma Reef and Mabini reef, is a reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea controlled by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), but whose ownership is disputed…

View original 218 more words

22/05/2014

India scales up military forces on disputed China border – CSMonitor.com

Very interesting: Pakistan is invited to Modi’s inauguration, but China is not; and more troops along Chinese border but not  along border with Pakistan!

“India is raising a new mountain strike corps of nearly 90,000 soldiers to strengthen its defense along its disputed border with China in the high reaches of the Himalayas.

Chinese troops hold a banner which reads: "You've crossed the border, please go back" in Ladakh, India. India is raising a new mountain strike corps consisting of some 90,000 soldiers to strengthen its defence along its disputed but largely uninhabited border with China in the high reaches of the Himalayas. Photo taken Sunday, May 5, 2013.

China will be a top foreign policy challenge for Narendra Modi, the incoming prime minister who won a landslide victory last week. Business ties between India and China are booming. But despite rounds of talks, the two countries have yet to resolve their decades-old dispute over the 2,000-mile border between the two countries. It remains one of the most militarized borders in the world.

The strike corps will have its own mountain artillery, combat engineers, anti-aircraft guns, and radio equipment. Over 35,000 soldiers have already been raised in new infantry units in India’s northeastern state of Assam. The entire corps will be fully raised over the next five years with 90,274 troops at a cost of $10.6 billion. The proposal to raise a new strike corps was recommended last year by India’s China Study Group, a government body that considers all strategic issues related to China.

The strike corps signals a new assertiveness in New Delhi and will provide an additional defense capability to India, which for a long time focused on the land borders with Pakistan. While the decision predated Mr. Modi, he is likely to further strengthen India’s military modernization which is one of his party’s top agenda items.

“China has made frequent border transgressions into Indian border,” says retired Lieutenant General Prakash Katoch, who formerly commanded the Indian Army‘s Special Forces wing. “The new prime minister has to ensure that our borders are well protected. It cannot be business as usual.”

He predicts that as both countries are growing and keen to increase their influence, China and India will increasingly step on each other’s areas of interest and importance.”

via India scales up military forces on disputed China border – CSMonitor.com.

Enhanced by Zemanta
19/05/2014

‘No Gene for Invasion in Chinese People’s Blood,’ Says Xi, Amid Sino-Vietnam Tensions – Businessweek

As tensions grow between China and its neighbors, some words of reassurance are certainly welcome. Still, it’s questionable just how calming Xi Jinping’s recent ones were.

Ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam are confined to a dockyard camp in Hong Kong on Nov. 1, 1979

China does not accept that “might is right,” said China’s president and party secretary, speaking yesterday at a commemoration ceremony in Beijing for the 60th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. “There is no gene for invasion in Chinese people’s blood,” Xi continued, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on May 16.

Speaking of invasions, that is what China did when it sent troops into northern Vietnam in 1979, a foray that sparked a short-lived but bloody war between the two countries. China and Vietnam have a history of “collaboration and cordiality, but also tumult and hostility” going back as far as the first century B.C., wrote Dennis McCornac, a professor at Loyola University Maryland, in 2011.

via ‘No Gene for Invasion in Chinese People’s Blood,’ Says Xi, Amid Sino-Vietnam Tensions – Businessweek.

Enhanced by Zemanta
13/05/2014

Dressed to kill: First female PLA honour guards steal limelight at leader’s visit | South China Morning Post

Clad in skirts, riding boots and hair pulled back into the classic chignon, 13 women soldiers from China’s military debuted as honour guards on Monday to welcome the visiting Turkmenistan president.

They are the first female People’s Liberation Army honour guards since the squad was established in 1952. Their attire of knee-high skirts and five-centimetre heels singled them out from the rows and rows of sober, hunter-green uniforms of their male comrades.

Their presence apparently left an impression on President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is in China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

“It’s very nice, very good,” Berdimuhamedov said of the female soldiers.

via Dressed to kill: First female PLA honour guards steal limelight at leader’s visit | South China Morning Post.

Enhanced by Zemanta
06/05/2014

China’s Military Recruits Monkeys to Protect Air Force Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The Chinese air force has a new secret weapon to protect one of its bases: macaques.

These fuzzy new recruits have been called upon after numerous methods to rid a base of an abundance of migrating birds—from sending  soldiers scampering high up into trees to training eagles and setting up sound and light effects—fell flat. Birds are a headache world-wide in the aviation industry because they can get stuck in the engines of aircraft.

Soldiers have trained the monkeys, according to the official People’s Liberation Army-run news portal, to scamper up trees and rip down the birds’ nests, with one monkey able to destroy six to eight birds’ nests per day. Two macaques have cleared about 180 nests in the month since the PLA adopted them, according to the report.

The macaques’ odor is also said to repel the birds from rebuilding their nests at the same spots, according to a local expert whom the report quotes.

via China’s Military Recruits Monkeys to Protect Air Force Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 484 other followers