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China’s defiant attitude in South China Sea to achieve maritime hegemony

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arti bali

By Arti Bali
Senior Journalist

 

Why China is behaving like  North Korea  when it comes to the way it is handling South China Sea disputes.Defiant China has blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea   by politically motivating the arbitration case while the US chief of naval operations John Richardson stated that US military forces will continue to patrols close to  Chinese-held islands in accordance with the International law.

China has been aggressive  in proclaiming its suzerainty in the South china sea since after the World War II by demarcating 9 dash line  that included several islands of strategic importance to display its territorial expansion and dominating authority in the SCS . To substantiate this claim, China  submitted a map to the UN claiming 9 dash Line in the south China Sea in May 2009.

 

However later in 2013 China declared  that the entire SCS was under its jurisdiction and considers the other countries situated there in were not fully independent  and were under the dominating authority of China .

Systematically and in a planned manner, China started transforming reefs into artificial islands  with military runways  and naval harbors to assert its authority and control in these areas..

 

In fact , China has been harboring ambitions to achieve super power status and for that its experts considered it imperative to establish itself as a major naval power in pacific region which could also bolster its economy. As the strategic SCS is a reservoir of oil and gas  and mineral resources . they therefore have been working on a long drawn strategy since 1947.

 

China has been augmenting its naval presence in Sri lanka’s Hambantota and Pakistan via Gwadar and thereafter  with the countries of Middle –east to ensure constant supply of fuel and to that purpose  Chinese naval assets is being deployed in the regions.

 

Proceeding further ahead in November 2013 , China declared  and Air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in the East china Sea and now after the ruling , China is contemplating to declare ADIZ in the South China Sea asserting its right to track, monitor and take military action against  the planes entering the region,logistics are  still needed for that .  But this could rapidly escalate crisis in the disputed territory .

 

In short , this is a prelude  to the imperialistic designs of China. China’s increasingly claims of  sovereign rights over the high seas have antagonized competing claimants  Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan,  Brunei, and Philippines.

 

The issue is not only related to territorial claims , otherwise it could have been resolved  through negotiations  or resolutions. Access to the sea’s oil and gas reserves  as well as fishing and ocean resources  are really complicating the situation. Further the regional conflict has been transformed into a direct confrontation between China and US.

 

The South China Sea has become a focal point for US-China rivalry in the Western pacific . Thus United States  has also been reaffirming its interest in the Asia Pacific  and strengthening security relations with the ASEAN claimants  in the dispute.

 

To counter United States hegemony, China is aggressively developing an extended naval strategy whereby deploying new naval capabilities. Now with international tribunal ruling delivered on the Philippines vs China in SCS is likely to stoke further tensions in South east Asia.The Hague based permanent court of arbitration concluded  that there was no legal basis for China  to claim historic rights within sea areas falling within the 9 dash line.

Further ruling that China has caused  severe harm to the coral reef environment by building artificial islands.

 

Rejecting the tribunal verdict, China issued a white paper asserting its claim over the SCS for the last 2000 years stating that Philippines, which had filed the petition , was occupying Chinese territory. Rather termed  it as Philippines invasion and illegal occupation by force that started in the 1970s of some islands of china’s Nansha Islands.

 

But the Tribunal ruled that historic claims do not carry weight in international law.

 

As the irreconcilable stands between China  and ASEAN head towards a deadlock, the situation can any time escalate  into a serious crisis  involving China on one side  and US and other countries son the other side.

 

To counter China’s moves in strategic SCS and re-balance Asia-Pacific region, US troops deployment is underway in Australia and Singapore as well as deployment of US naval assets  and aircraft  at Australian and Philippines bases  from where forces may be pushed  forward into conflict zones  in the Western pacific to meet any eventuality.

 

Actually it all started  after the Taiwan crisis in 1995-96, China’s naval strategy has 3 aims

  • To deter the United States from supporting Taiwan  with naval deployments in the event of a conflict
  • To protect China’s trade routes  and energy supplies that run through the Indian ocean and the Strait of Malacca
  • To deploy a sea-based second strike nuclear capability in the western Pacific

Moreover China has built up an extra 800 hectares on their occupied outposts across the South China Sea and Mischief reefs are growing bigger and is surrounded by fleets of dredgers and tankers.

 

It is pertinent to mention  that Hainan which is Chinese naval base is having proximity to the Strait of Malacca and the sea lanes reaching the Indian Ocean  and the Paracel Islands to the south assume much significance  as it is important in providing air cover and sea protection  for Hainan. This it has become compulsion  for China to safeguard its investments  in these Islands  and in the event of  a confrontation  China will land itself in a serious trouble.

 

Both Indian and US support freedom of navigation and over flight and unimpeded commerce based on the principles of international law  as reflected notably in the  United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

 

 

IF US and China’s PLA warships come in direct confrontation due to any miscalculation it will plunge the entire  world into World war II  with dire consequences . Considering the instability existing in almost various countries of the region ad well as in Europe it  will become impossible for the countries  to retrieve their exuberated situations.

 

Considering the instability existing in  various regions and simmering borders  due to ISIS  global threat , China is treading on slippery grounds and it should rather avoid igniting flash points  that will prove detrimental to its own interests.

 

To throw more light on China’s policy, China who has border with only 14 countries,it is claiming territory from at least 23 individual nations based on unsubstantiated  “ historical claims dating back centuries.’

Now in an established  world , countries where the old empires existed  like Ottoman, Persia etc cannot put forth their claims over various  territories on their stated assumptions of their having ruled  the areas in good old days.

 

Therefore , China should be wise enough to accept the tribunal ruling and it is the right time for the world to stop aggressive China’s move sin South China Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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India’s Q3 GDP expected to inch-up above 4.5%

India Ratings and Research gave a forecast of 4.7 per cent for Q3 GDP.

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slowdown in global economic growth

New Delhi, Feb 27 : India’s third quarter 2019-20 GDP growth rate is expected to inch up on the back of rising inflation, along with a modest uptick in the momentum of services and industry.

Several economists polled by IANS said that GDP growth rate is seen in the range of 4.6-4.8 per cent for the third quarter from 4.5 per cent reported for the second quarter of the current fiscal.

Various indicators like air passenger traffic, railways’ freight revenue and commercial vehicles’ sales have shown improvement in Q3FY20 against weak performance in Q2FY20.

The macro-economic data point of the national income and the GDP will be released on Friday.

“We expect the GDP Q3 number to be 4.8 per cent. Since no major improvement was observed among leading indicators, market expectations remain subdued,” said Karan Mehrishi, Lead Economist at Acuite Ratings and Research.

“Generally, Q3 is one of the strongest quarters in a financial year because the inclusion of festive seasons sales and kharif harvest-driven rural consumption, this time, however, nothing noteworthy is foreseen.”

Besides, he pointed out that capacity utilisation levels have also fallen.

“Fresh capex looks unlikely and investments will be moderate driven by the public sector. We are however mindful of the inflation trajectory moving forward,” Mehrishi said.

India Ratings and Research gave a forecast of 4.7 per cent for Q3 GDP.

Edelweiss Securities’ Economist Madhavi Arora said: “We expect a marginal shallow pick up in 3Q, amid still-sluggish corporate earnings and weak industrial sector.”

“While government spending has been a respite for the services sector, its’ contribution to growth will also decline marginally. We expect 3Q GDP to print around 4.6-4.7 per cent.”

Meanwhile, ICRA expects the GDP and the gross value added (GVA) growth at basic prices to rise mildly to 4.7 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively, in Q3FY20, from 4.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent, respectively, in Q2FY20.

“Some industrial and service sectors displayed a pickup in YoY volume growth in Q3FY20 relative to the previous quarter, while the output of kharif crops displayed a mixed trend,” its principal economist Aditi Nayar said.

“Lower raw material costs, high growth of the government’s non-interest revenue expenditure and the stable profitability metrics revealed by the earnings of some banks would provide a cushion to the pace of economic growth,” she said.

However, the extent and duration of coronavirus outbreak would test the sustainability of the nascent upturn in growth in the ongoing quarter.

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Cannabis use rises among the elderly, finds study

Women, and individuals who were married, had a college degree, or had higher income also significantly increased their cannabis use.

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Cannabis

New Delhi, Feb 26 : Cannabis use continues to increase in popularity among adults of 65 years of age and older in the United States, according to a new study.

Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine estimates that cannabis use in adults aged 65 and older increased from 2.4 percent to 4.2 percent in the United States — a significant increase of 75 percent — between 2015 and 2018.

With the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes in many states in the US, medical professionals are studying its use in treating a number of chronic health conditions. Since 1996, 31 states have legalized medical marijuana, while 11 states and Washington DC have legalized recreational use.

The survey categorized cannabis use by asking whether marijuana, hashish, pot, grass, or hash oil was either smoked or ingested.

Researchers observed trends in prevalence of past-year cannabis use, broken down by sociodemographic background, chronic disease, healthcare utilization, and other substance use among adults age 65 and older, in the United States, between 2015 and 2018.

Certain subsets of this population saw an even higher rise in prevalence. For example, researchers estimated that past-year use more than doubled by older adults with diabetes, among those who have received mental health treatment, and those reporting past-year alcohol use.

Women, and individuals who were married, had a college degree, or had higher income also significantly increased their cannabis use.

Researchers say they next plan to acquire more detailed information about how medical marijuana affects older populations, its risks and side effects.

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Ground Zero: A dangerous mix of politics and police inaction?

Eyewitness say when the pro and anti-CAA protesters clashed, the police remained a mute spectator.

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Maujpur anti CAA Violence

New Delhi, Feb 24 : After all, the sudden quiet at Shaheen Bagh, on the boil for over two months, was deeply deceptive, if you look at the way how the protest — for and against the new citizenship law — spilled out to north-east of Delhi, with the police yet again failing to read the situation.

Many locals say the violence at Maujpur-Jafrabad in north-east Delhi erupted soon after BJP leader Kapil Mishra took out a march on Sunday in support of the Controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as well as against the anti-CAA women protesters who had blocked the road at Jafrabad metro station.

The police stepped in when Kapil Mishra addressed the crowd, sources said. He was flanked by the Deputy Commissioner of Police clad in full riot gear. Some people cite a video clip that shows the BJP leader giving an “ultimatum” to the police, saying “he will come back after the visiting US President leaves India”.

“But the DCP did not act,” said a local resident.

Stone-pelting soon started on the crowd protesting against CAA at Jafrabad.

But how does Kapil Mishra get into the picture? The Karawal Nagar (another north-east Delhi locality) politician was in the AAm AAdmi Party and had switched to the BJP just days before the Delhi polls. He contested from Karawal Nagar, but lost.

A few days back, scores of Jafrabad residents had let it be known that on Saturday (February 22), they would start a march to Rajghat. They were responding to an appeal by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad who had called for ‘Bharat bandh’ on Sunday. On saturday, the women protesters were stopped midway, but soon they were at Jafrabad Metro station, blocking the road and the metro station.

Eyewitness say when the pro and anti-CAA protesters clashed, the police remained a mute spectator.

The situation turned uglier: On Monday the violence reached the lanes and by-lanes of some localities where passers-by were beaten up if they did not tell their names to aggressive groups of men.

Many pictures and videos of violence have gone viral where unidentified people have been seen brandishing guns as policemen look on. A head constable, Ratan Lal, lost his life on Monday after being hit by rioters.

The violence has spread to Chand Bagh, Khureji in east Delhi and Hauz Rani in south Delhi and fear stalks the roads. Yet no one knows how it all started and when and how it will end.

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