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Militarization of South China Sea by China could trigger conflict with US

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To rule the world’s sea, China is using both soft and hard power to increase its military footprint across the world. Deployment of anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems in the Spratly Islands by China has escalated the risks of possible military clashes with the United States and also renewed tensions between countries who are claimants of strategically vital South China Sea .

Xi is working on a mission to set up military bases around the world to challenge US supremacy in Indo- Pacific and for that it requires bases to refuel and repair China’s global fleet.

President Xi Jinping is investing billions of dollars to make China a maritime leader with projects consisting of Gwadar port in Pakistan,Hambantota in Sri Lanka etc and Beijing applied its soft powerby constructing maritime facilities in different countries and region s where it claims territorial rights, as a cornerstone for the economic projects which was steadily transformed into military bases in a planned manner.

Latest escalation between the two superpowers was registered in the Horn of Africa with US military officials have officially complained to China about using military grade lasers to distract its fighter pilots in recent weeks.

In July 2017, China opened its first foreign military base at Djibouti that harbours naval port, large helicopter base, and accommodation for 10,000 troops.

Having build the infrastructure for fully- functional air and naval bases on some of the disputed islands in the South China Sea,China has installed supersonic YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles and HQ-9B anti-air missiles on Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands.

Raising concerns about the militarisation of the South China Sea,White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said,”We were well aware of China’s militarisation of the South China Sea. We have raised concerns directly with the Chinese about this and there will be near-term and long-term consequences.”

China has added more than 3,200 acres of land to the seven territories it occupies in the area.

The islands is also subjected to territorial claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Brunei.

China, since 2013 had reasserted its claim to the artificial islands in the Spratlys by building defence facilities involving air bases, radar and communications systems, naval facilities a and military installations while terming it mainly for civilian purposes and to safeguard fishing and maritime trade.

US Admiral Philip Davidson said China’s “forward operating bases” in the South China Sea appeared complete. “After deployment of forces ,China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania”.

There is a greater likelihood of miscalculation that can trigger into an armed conflict in South China Sea as China could use the bases to challenge the US dominance in the disputed waters and and the
military forces of any other South China Sea claimants”.

Neither denying nor commenting on the missile installation,Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Main aim is to protect China’s sovereignty and security,” she said.

Defying China,US had in February deployed its nuclear warship STRIKE FORCE amid continuing tensions over the South China Sea.

Nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Carl Vinson passed through the South China Sea region accompanied by its strike group of destroyers and cruisers.

The USS Carl Vinson carrying 72 aircraft, some of which are surveillance planes.US President Donald Trump made a pointed plea to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “We would love to have Australia involved and I think Australia wants us to stay involved,” he said.

“Australia, as you know, defends the right of freedom of navigation and overflight throughout the world but we do not want to speculate on operational matters,” he told reporters.

It is being analysed that South China Sea could be a flashpoint for a conflict that could spiral into World War III.

Meanwhile,People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) officials say the Indian Ocean is a common place for the international community.

“It is my opinion China and India can make joint contributions to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean,” Captain Liang Tianjun, deputy chief of feneral office of China’s SSF said.

China is pushing to further its plan to build Kra Canal that would connect the South China Sea with the Andaman Sea across southern Thailand, providing a link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

This would have far-ranging implications for the strategic landscape of Southeast Asia and especially for India, Sri Lanka and the city state of Singapore.

Blog: By Arti Bali,
arti

(Senior Journalist)

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World Alzheimer’s Day 2020: Everything you must know about the brain disease

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.”

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Alzheimer disease

World  Alzheimer’s Day is observed every year on September 21. The day aims at raising awareness and challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer related dementia.

According to Alzinfo, every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. At current rates, experts believe the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to as many as 16 million by the year 2050.

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 is “Let’s Talk About Alzheimer.” The day was first observed in 2012.

What is Alzheimer?

Alzheimer, in simple terms, is a brain disease that negatively affects memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes interfere with daily living. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Most people with the disease get a diagnosis after age 65. If it’s diagnosed before then, it’s generally referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer:

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behaviour.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and community.

Stages of Alzheimer:

  • Stage 1. There are no symptoms at this stage but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.
  • Stage 2. The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.
  • Stage 3. Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration. These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.
  • Stage 4. Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage, but it’s still considered mild. Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks is evident.
  • Stage 5. Moderate to severe symptoms require help from loved ones or caregivers.
  • Stage 6. At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.
  • Stage 7. This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions.

Treatment Of Alzheimer:

Alzheimer’s is most commonly identified through patient and family history, and by talking to the immediate family about the presence of symptoms. Also, brain imagining may be suggested to check for beta-amyloid protein deposits. As of today, there is no curative treatment for Alzheimer’s. Drugs are usually administered to manage symptoms and healthy lifestyle changes.

Despite this, Alzheimer’s is one of the most expensive diseases to get treatment for. The global cost of dementia is estimated to be around $1 trillion currently.

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At 7, child prodigy honours literary legacy with first book

They added that the title of the book, cover page and all the illustration are also a part of her creativity.

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Abhijita a student of Class II

New Delhi, September 20: Padma Bhushan recipient Rashtrakavi Maithalisharan Gupts and Santkavi Siyaramsharan Gupt’s great grand daughter Abhijita Gupta, who is all of seven years and a child prodigy, has penned her first collection of stories and poems.

The book titled ‘Happiness All Around’, and was launched by Oxford Bookstores’ children’s wing, Oxford Junior in collaboration with Invincible Publishers. Seven-year-old Abhijita, taking after her family’s literary legacy, had started writing at a very tender age of five years.

The collection is an attempt to give children something to read, written by someone of their own age. (Abhijita Gupta – “The little poet”/Facebook)
“Abhijita is a student of Class II and is a third generation writer, to poet duo Rashtrakavi Shri Maithalisharan Gupt and Santkavi Shri Siyaramsharan Gupt. She is an avid reader and very expressive with her pen. She wrote her first story when she was a little over five years. By the grace of goddess Saraswati, she is carrying forward the traits of her forefathers and we hope she extends the legacy of Sahitya Sadan Gharana,” her parents Ashish Gupt and Anupriya Gupta said.

They added that the title of the book, cover page and all the illustration are also a part of her creativity.

“For her, every little thing around her matters: what she sees, she hears, she touches, she smells, she tastes and she feels — constantly soaking in the environment around her. And, her debut book proffers just that – the pure senses and humane values like an elixir.”

The collection is an attempt to give children something to read, written by someone of their own age. The book could prove equally useful for parents of young children, as it gives an insight into the mind of a six-seven year old and what thoughts and things interest her. The writings have been left untouched so that the innocence, mistakes included, of the child are not diluted.

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Covid-19 joblessness pushing youths to extremist groups in Northeast

Adding to this are the reports of a large consignment of China-made weapons reaching the hands of the secessionist Myanmar-based radical groups, who share close links with militant groups in India’s Northeast.

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Unemployment Rate in India

India’s Covid-19 pandemic lockdown is now giving headaches to the national security agencies. Youth, left jobless during the pandemic, are reported to be joining the banned rebel groups such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and other such, in droves.

Adding to this are the reports of a large consignment of China-made weapons reaching the hands of the secessionist Myanmar-based radical groups, who share close links with militant groups in India’s Northeast.

The emerging scenario is threatening to upset the delicate balance achieved through years of hard work by the Indian security and intelligence officers, according to senior executives in the national security establishment, who requested to stay unnamed, citing government service rules.

The Arakan Army (AA) — which seeks an independent homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine state — has received the fresh cache of Chinese weapons and is known to be one of the key suppliers of arms and ammunition to the rebel groups in Northeast India.

In addition, the AA opposes India’s Kaladan Multi Modal Project, which provides states like Mizoram — a landlocked province — an outlet to the sea through the Sittwe port in Myanmar, officials said. Interestingly the AA has not opposed the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

Security agencies have told the government that insurgent groups active along the Indo-Myanmar border find easy recruits among youth left unemployed by Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

“The successful induction of the Chinese-made weapons by the AA will have an impact on the security situation in India’s Northeastern states, as much of these weapons are finding their way to some of the dormant militant groups of the Northeast,” the official said.

“The new weapons provide firepower to the northeastern groups whose ranks are increasing as youth left jobless by the pandemic are signing for militant groups.”

Strengthened by new recruits and rearmed, the Khaplang faction National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) — a banned militant group of Northeast based out of Myanmar — is gathering along the Indo-Myanmar Border in areas such as Mon to plan and execute attacks against the Indian security forces.

In 2016, the NSCN (K) killed 18 soldiers of the Indian Army, forcing India to launch cross border strikes on the militant hideouts taking refuge in Myanmar.

Worryingly, for India, peace talks with the Naga rebel groups have failed despite efforts of the Narendra Modi government.

Agencies have warned that groups like the People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK) had recruited 15 fresh cadres in Assam. “There was recruitment of 10-15 cadres by the Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger in the outfit,” the source said.

Further, United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) had recruited 15-20 youths in the outfit from Meghalaya.

In Tripura, intelligence input indicates that extremist Parimal Debbrama of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) is trying to revive his group and some newly recruited members of the outfit had completed their basic training in a hideout of Khagrachari District of Bangladesh.

“These cadres are planning to infiltrate into India for operations,” the source further added.

Intelligence agencies also stated that the India-Myanmar border remained susceptible to threat due to the presence of insurgent groups.

“Many insurgents groups are camping in Myanmar and trying to infiltrate through Tirap, Longding and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Mon District of Nagaland and Charaideo district of Assam,” the source said.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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