Thursday, January 31, 2019

US Warships Again Enter Taiwan Strait, But This Time With Chinese Bombers Overhead

US Warships Again Enter Taiwan Strait, But This Time With Chinese Bombers Overhead

Image result for flying H6 strategic bombers and reconnaissance planes in the vicinity since Thursday.

For the first time this year the United States has sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait Thursday in yet another challenge to the 'One China' policy and in accord with the US Navy's "freedom of navigation" operations. It seems the US Navy is establishing this almost as "routine" given the number of times this provocative act has been done over the past number of months (3 times last year); however, this time China's air force was busy overhead flying H6 strategic bombers and reconnaissance planes in the vicinity since Thursday
Image result for flying H6 strategic bombers and reconnaissance planes in the vicinity since Thursday.
“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman told USNI News, referring to the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell and the USNS Walter S. Diehl. “The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.” 

US Navy prior passage through the Taiwan Strait, file photo

Taiwan described the ships' passage through the approximately 110-mile-wide strait as necessary to “ensure the security of the seas and regional stability” according to Reuters. China's response was to warn US officials to abide by the 'One China' principle while reiterating "concern" over growing tensions caused by such actions, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. 
But it appears China's verbal threats are increasingly being boosted by putting potential deterrent assets in the air as there's been an uptick in Chinese military aircraft conducting "drills":
Beijing sent several bombers and aircraft through the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, earlier on Thursday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a separate statement.
A similar Chinese operation was conducted on Tuesday, the ministry said, and both were monitored closely.

An H-6K, considered "China's B-52" via War is Boring

This as the US Navy has recently stated it hasn't ruled out sending an aircraft through the contested waters, which hasn't happened in over a decade. 
But it remains a significant potential flashpoint for escalation between Beijing and Washington, especially given the Pentagon's latest declassified report published earlier this month highlighting China's ambitious defense technology modernization plans driven primarily by  "Beijing's longstanding interest to eventually compel Taiwan's reunification with the mainland and deter any attempt by Taiwan to declare independence."
The Defense Intelligence Agency report also stated, "Beijing's anticipation that foreign forces would intervene in a Taiwan scenario led the (People's Liberation Army) to develop a range of systems to deter and deny foreign regional force projection."
Notably the report was issued the same month that President Xi Jinping gave a landmark Jan. 2 speech which offered a vision of the future relationship between China and Taiwan that blatantly contradicts what Taiwan wants for itself - which is, more autonomy, if not outright independence, as the ruling pro-independence party has repeatedly insisted.
Though giving up some of their freedoms might seem daunting, Xi tried to assure Taiwan that there was "nothing to fear" from reunification with Beijing - and that they would enjoy even greater economic prosperity under "one country, two systems". And while Xi said he'd be willing to give Taiwan "broad latitude" for peaceful reunification, China absolutely would not tolerate "any form of separatist activities."
While Taiwan is satisfied with the status quo, Beijing is growing increasingly uneasy - evidenced by Beijing's incessant military posturing in the Strait of Taiwan. And if markets are fearful about a collapse in the global trading order due to the US-China trade spat, imagine how they would react to saber-rattling between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan. A future US decision to send a carrier group through the Strait, for example, would unleash just this scenario. 

Andrew Bolt's 'tidal wave of immigrants' article prompts press council complaint

Andrew Bolt's 'tidal wave of immigrants' article prompts press council complaint

News Corp columnist wrote about Australia being swamped by non-English speaking migrants
Image result for Andrew Bolt's 'tidal wave of immigrants' article prompts press council complaint

Aug 12. 2018
The Australian Press Council has received an unspecified number of complaints about an article by Andrew Bolt that argues a “tidal wave” of migrants are swamping Australia, forming enclaves and “changing our culture”.
In a highly-inflammatory column headlined “The foreign invasion”, Bolt says migrant communities are not assimilating and failing to always speak English. “Immigration is becoming colonisation, turning this country from a home into a hotel,” he wrote in a column widely syndicated in the News Corp tabloids on Thursday.
“There is no ‘us’ any more, as a tidal wave of immigrants sweeps away what’s left of our national identity. Another 240,000 foreigners joined us last year alone, not just crowding our cities but changing our culture.”

The president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Jennifer Huppert, said articles such as Bolt’s do nothing for the cohesion of Australian society.
“There is a rise in ultra-rightwing activity in Victoria and this type of activity can fuel antisemitic, anti-Islamic and general racist debate and language in our community.” Huppert told Guardian Australia. “Articles like this definitely don’t help cohesion in society.”
The press council confirmed there had been at least one complaint but is not at liberty to divulge how many or the nature of the complaints.

Bolt singles out groups such as Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish and quotes what percentage of the community where they live that they represent.
“In Melbourne’s North Caulfield, 41 per cent of residents are Jews, including hundreds who have lately fled South Africa,” he said. “Dandenong now has an official Little Indian Cultural Precinct, with 33 Indian businesses.”
Huppert says listing the percentage of the community that is Jewish is meaningless.
“It tells us nothing about social cohesion. It doesn’t inform the debate in any meaningful way, it’s purely looking at census figures,” she said.
“It doesn’t say whether they are integrated into the broader community.
“You’d be very hard-pressed to say Jews hadn’t integrated into the wider community and I think you can extrapolate that to other migrant groups as well.
“In all groups there are smaller elements who like to live an isolated life but they are in the minority. There are Jews living everywhere in the country who are engaging in the broader community and who are in leadership roles in every sector of our community.”
Bolt breached the Racial Discrimination Act over two articles he wrote in 2009. He was sued by nine people in the federal court who said he implied light-skinned people who identified as Aboriginal did so for personal gain.
Sharad Gupta, the president of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria, questioned why Bolt believed it was a bad thing that there were clusters of Indian businesses, such as the Little India precinct in south-east Melbourne.
“[Indians] settle, they start businesses and are helping the economy and generating employment,” he said.
“I’ve been in Australia for the last 22 years, and I can see multiculturalism has grown up. [That] kind of segregation is not there. People have accepted migrants here.”

Susan Gin, the president of the Chinese Association of Victoria, said Bolt’s column was akin to a “good rant, similar to what some of us might in indulge in after frustrating day at work” but his view was in the minority.
“One does not need to stoke fear about Box Hill, for example, that it is predominantly Chinese people and Chinese signs,” Gin said.
Gin pointed to Victoria’s Italian community, which had “huddled” initially around Lygon street, in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton, but was now spread across the city.
“There is a deep desire and willingness [among migrants] to become Australians, to adopt Australian values, to adopt Australian customs and culture. That takes time and it requires patience from both sides.”


Andrew Bolt punches attackers

    bolt front page
Tony Thomas, on hand to record the fascist left’s latest attack on those with whom it disagrees, describes the assault in Lygon Street, Melbourne, today on Andrew Bolt:
Andrew Bolt was ambushed and assaulted by a trio of thugs at 11.55am today as he entered Il Gambero Restaurant in Lygon St, Carlton to speak at the launch launch of Quadrant contributor Steve Kates’s new book.
Bolt was unhurt.  Two of the thugs wore ‘hoodies’ to conceal their faces, according to witnesses, and one was filming the ambush.  The thugs came off worse. Bolt, who is tall and strongly built, told his audience shortly after about his self-defence:
“It is important when you have a chance, if you don’t mind, because I am an alpha male. You need to assert your masculinity even in times like these. It is important to smash one of the f*****s in the face (audience laughter) and when you have knocked him down, to kick him in the balls.
“I should not have said that word, I hope it goes nowhere…Western civilisation after all. They would hold it against Trump too, wouldn’t they?”
He continued, “I beg them to release the video they were making of it , release all of it.”
Bolt wore a white shirt with sleeves rolled up. On his left sleeve he had a tennis-ball sized patch of pink  color  and on his collar, a smaller patch of blue from the dye the thugs sprayed on him.
He said, “They hope, by punishing someone symbolic, they will silence and intimidate the rest of us. It didn’t work on Donald Trump and it shouldn’t work on anyone here. It’s important to keep going.”
He told Quadrant, “They’d been waiting half an hour for me. When I arrived they shouted something and one came at me from behind over my shoulder. I punched one in the head and he fell over. I turned to face the other and the first scrambled up and I kicked him between the legs. Two came up to me to fight – it’s a bit blurred in my mind – one tried to hold me tightly and then they all ran off.”
Bolt says their operation was similar to that of the Antifa (Anti-Fascist)   group.
Bolt was interviewed half an hour after arrival by a male and female police member.
“It was frightening,” says Phoebe M., who was about to enter the restaurant with her husband at the same time. “I saw people attacking this man and there were outdoor chairs and tables flying about and I thought it might be a terror attack.”
Her husband Michael M., who was closer to the action, said the two attackers wore black hoodies, rather than masks Bolt thought. “They were swinging blows at him but Bolt landed more on them. I can’t remember whether he knocked one down.”
Phoebe said, “I shouted to them, ‘Get out of here, leave him alone’. After, I asked the staff if Bolt was all right and they said he had gone  to the washroom to clean himself up.”
The incident is likely to have been caught on security cameras nearby.
Bolt on his blog this afternoon wrote, “Police are now looking for a Left-wing fascist with a big bruise on his face and another between his legs. They also want to speak to a tubbier protester once he’s stopped running.”
Bolt was calm when he came to the stage on the upper floor to introduce economist Steve Kates and Kates’ book of blog entries he made while covering the US election, “Donald Trump: The Art of the Impossible”.
Bolt began, “Thanks Steve for inviting me. Next time I hope to get a better sort of reception. We are facing something     that is what it  pretends to oppose. It is the new fascism I met outside the door.
“This is, unfortunately, Melbourne today. The same sort of people have attacked at a number of other (conservative) meetings.
“We had to cancel my  own Melbourne book launch because of such threats. Groups had put up inciting posters all around the city. The police told us they could only offer to deploy one to three police to defend us because they were committed to a massive police operation to provide security at the annual South Sudan beauty pageant, which had involved extreme violence three times.
“That is where Victorians are today.
“Last night there was another attack by a refugee only a couple of weeks after the ASIO director said there was no connection between refugees and such events. There’s been four attacks in a row involving Muslim refugees. If you point this out you yourself  face violence in the streets from people who are against the freedoms we have, especially free speech. Without that freedom you can’t defend any  other freedom.
“Laws are also being used to make it almost impossible to express dissent on some issues without being sued or risking physical attack. That’s poor and very sad.”
This, he said, was under a supposed “Liberal” government practising Labor-style finances, Labor-light social policies and looking for bi-partisan global warming policies. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had appointed a committee to better locally enforce UN treaties on our business leaders about  “human rights”, and Bishop had appointed ex-ACTU President Jennie George to help advise her.
“We don’t have a Liberal government any more, this one has no stomach for a  fight,” he said.