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Pakistan reiterates support to ”One China Policy”

Modi did not mention China in his speech to the troops, but his gestures and words were loud and clear, cautioning Beijing over its desire of “expansionism”.



Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Islamabad, July 3 : At a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Ladakh, amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese forces, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has reaffirmed Islamabad”s extended support to China”s “One China Policy”, along with a complete alliance against India.

Qureshi held a brief telephonic conversation with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday, immediately after Modi concluded his visit to Ladakh.

As per an official press release, “bilateral, regional, and international issues were discussed” with Islamabad underscoring that the two countries are “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners”, who are facing “common challenges”.

Beijing”s ”One China Policy” has its core interests in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, while the multi-billion dollar Silk Route, part of which is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), making Pakistan”s support and the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh sensitively important.

Pakistan”s open support to Beijing is certainly in line with the concerns New Delhi and Washington have raised over the increasing presence of China in the region along the CPEC belt, stretched from Gwadar Port to Gilgit-Baltistan.

Islamabad has been open in siding with China when it comes to countering the threat it faces from mutual rival India, a point Qureshi re-asserted during his telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart.

“Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that regional security situation was deteriorating and underlined that India”s belligerent posture and expansionist policies were imperilling peace in the region,” read a press release from Pakistan Foreign Office.

“Apart from committing egregious violations of human rights in IOJ&K, India was seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. The Foreign Minister also briefed about the repeated violations committed by India across the LOC as well as targeted killing of the civilians. In the face of Indian provocations, Pakistan was exercising restraint,” Qureshi maintained.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Prime Minister was on a visit to Ladakh, his first visit after the India-China standoff.

Modi did not mention China in his speech to the troops, but his gestures and words were loud and clear, cautioning Beijing over its desire of “expansionism”.

“Age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back,” Modi said in his address to troops in Ladakh.

While Modi”s message to China is a cautious intimation, Pakistan is keeping a very close eye on the developments in the region. China”s presence in Ladakh will need Islamabad”s support to sustain and Islamabad is extending every support to ensure New Delhi remains challenged.


Chinese mainland reports 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases





BEIJING, Aug. 10 : Chinese health authority said Monday that it received reports of 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Sunday, including 35 imported cases and 14 locally-transmitted ones.

All the 14 locally-transmitted cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

One new suspected COVID-19 case, which was imported from outside the mainland, was reported in Shanghai Municipality.

No deaths related to the disease were reported Sunday.

A total of 64 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on Sunday, the commission said.

By the end of Sunday, a total of 2,169 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 2,037 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 132 remained hospitalized, with one in serious condition. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

As of Sunday, the overall confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 84,668, including 802 patients who were still being treated, with 41 in severe conditions.

Altogether 79,232 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

There were still seven suspected COVID-19 cases, it added.

According to the commission, 2,305 close contacts were discharged from medical observation on Sunday, and there were 24,055 close contacts still under medical observation.

Also on Sunday, 31 new asymptomatic cases, including 24 from outside the mainland, were reported, and three asymptomatic cases were re-categorized as confirmed ones.

The commission said 283 asymptomatic cases, including 136 from outside the mainland, were still under medical observation.

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national security law

Leading pro-democracy figure detained over alleged foreign collusion as police search Apple Daily offices




Jimmy Lai

Hong Kong, Aug 10 : Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai was arrested on Monday “for collusion with a foreign country” under the new national security law imposed in the city by Beijing, a media report said.

Sources told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper that Lai’s two sons, and senior executives from the tabloid-style Apple Daily were also arrested in the sweeping police operation.

“He was arrested for collusion with a foreign country, uttering seditious words and conspiracy to defraud,” one of the sources told the SCMP.

Lai’s top aide, Mark Simon, who is not in the city, was also being sought by Hong Kong police, according to the source, who would not say what offence the latter was accused of committing.

The source said the city’s opposition activists were not likely to be targeted in Monday’s operation.

Meanwhiel, another source told the SCMP that of Lai’s two sons was arrested on suspicion of collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, and the other was detained for conspiracy to defraud, according to another source.

The four others included Apple Daily’s CEO Cheung Kim-hung, and Chow Tat-kuen, its chief financial officer.

Chow was also arrested for collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, while Cheung was arrested for conspiracy to defraud.

Police said the operation was continuing and so far arrested they had arrested at least seven people aged 39-72.

“They are suspected to be involved in offences including collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security and conspiracy to defraud,” the force said.

“The operation is ongoing and we do not rule out more arrests.”

Lai’s arrest came two weeks after the new police unit took its first action against anti-government activists, not directly related to street protests, said the SCMP newspaper report.

On July 29, four students, aged from 16 to 21, were taken into custody on suspicion of secession under the new legislation which is aimed at punishing acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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Russian jet intercepts US reconnaissance plane over Black Sea

The crew of the Russian fighter identified the targets as a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance aircraft and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane



Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet

MOSCOW, August 7 : A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Black Sea, Russia’s National Defense Control Center reported on Friday.

On August 7, the Russian airspace control systems detected two air targets over the neutral waters of the Black Sea approaching Russia’s state border. A Su-27 fighter from the Southern Military District’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to intercept the targets, the Center said.

“The crew of the Russian fighter consistently approached the air targets at a safe distance and identified them as a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance aircraft and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane,” it said.

No violations of the Russian state border by the US spy planes were allowed, the National Defense Control Center stressed.

“After the US reconnaissance planes moved away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to its home airfield,” the Center said.

The entire flight of the Russian Su-27 fighter proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace, it stressed.

This is the eighth such incident over the past 16 days. The previous incidents took place on July 23, 24, 27, 30 and 31 and August 4 and 5. In particular, a Russian Su-27 fighter plane was scrambled on August 5 to intercept a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane over the Black Sea.

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