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Global Times: Eight Chinese Military Planes Entered Southwest of Taiwan Airspace

Global Times recently summarized and commented on Taiwanese media reports about the event that on February 26th  eight Mainland Chinese military aircraft “harassed” the southwestern airspace of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone. This occurred while the USS Johnson missile destroyer was passing through the Taiwan Strait. The aircraft from the Mainland  included J-16 and J-11 fighter jets and a Yun-8 anti-submarine aircraft. The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese military has organized troops to monitor the U.S. warship’s passing operations. The U.S. has carried out this provocative act and attempted to support Taiwan by making some gestures. It is both hypocritical and futile. The spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Defense said that, since 2021, the Chinese military has regularly organized bombers, reconnaissance planes, and fighter planes to conduct patrols and combat drills approaching the surrounding area of Taiwan. The actual number of planes dispatched will only be more, not less than the number hyped by the Taiwan media. The goal is very clear, and that is to take decisive action to counter the vicious actions of forces inside and outside of the island who frequently collude and challenge the one-China principle. The Taiwan Air Force claimed on the evening of the 26th that, for the eight Mainland military aircraft, the Taiwan Air Force sent air patrol forces to respond and broadcasted that they would drive them away, and they conducted active monitoring of the anti-aircraft missile system in place.

Source: Global Times, February 27, 2022

Global Times: Alert! Japan Clamors to Use Electromagnetic Guns to Intercept Hypersonic Weapons

Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper under People’s Daily recently reported that Japan is working on electromagnetic railgun technology to counter hypersonic missiles. This is because Japan is eager to deal with hypersonic weapons from China, Russia, and North Korea. The country has emphasized the need to strengthen deterrence against China. However, while Japan is exaggerating the threat of hypersonic weapons from other countries and making excuses for its own military spending, Japan is also actively developing offensive weapons including hypersonic missiles. Japan’s Defense Ministry is working on rail-gun technology that can fire artillery shells through electromagnetic acceleration, which means they can be fired faster than conventional interceptor systems and can fire continuously. Along with long-range missiles, this next-generation weapon system will provide Japan with multiple layers of interception capabilities. Hypersonic weapons typically travel at more than five times the speed of sound. In November last year, the Financial Times reported that, in August 2021, China conducted a test of a hypersonic weapon saying that the weapon could launch missiles during flight. North Korea also claimed to have conducted a new test of its Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile in September last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously stated that, in 2022, Russia plans to deploy hypersonic cruise missiles.  Japanese policymakers see hypersonic weapons as the next generation of military weapons and believe Japan must immediately strengthen its deterrent capabilities, especially against China.

Source: Global Times, January 5, 2022

China Is Improving Cambodia’s Navy Base

The think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that, in photos released by the Cambodian government and commercial satellite images, Chinese dredgers can be seen near Cambodia’s Ream naval base.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said deepening the port is necessary for big warships to use it and that this is part of a secret agreement between China and Cambodia. It quoted a Wall Street Journal report in 2019 that this agreement would allow the People’s Liberation Army to use the Ream naval base in exchange for Beijing providing money to improve the base’s infrastructure.

Source: Epoch Times, January 22, 2022.

PLA Deployed Unmanned Ground Vehicles at the China-India Border

In September 2020, military soldiers from China and India clashed and the two countries have continued having standoffs along the border between the two countries. The Indian television station Times Now reported that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has stationed unmanned ground vehicles (UGV’s) along the border, including 88 Sharp Claw vehicles. WION reported that the PLA has stationed 120 to 300 Mule-200 vehicles.

According to National Interest, the Sharp Claw can either be controlled remotely, or move on its own. It can be used either as an unmanned delivery truck or as a weapon, such as a mounted firearm.

Sharp Claw was developed by a PLA defense company NORINCO, for surveillance and limited combat capability. The Mule was developed by Zhong Tian Zhi Kong Technology Holdings, with a firing range of 31 miles and a weight capacity of 440 pounds (it can carry ammunition, supplies, or weapons.)

The PLA has also stationed VP-22 anti-mine, anti-ambush vehicles there.

Source: Epoch Times, December 31, 2021

Former Armed Police Chief of Xinjiang Named the New Military Commander of Hong Kong

For the first time, Peng Jingtang, who comes from the Armed Police Force and has experience in Xinjiang, replaced the commander of the Chinese military forces in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong media analyzed this as a signal that Beijing believes that, after the implementation of the national security law, it is still necessary to prevent the Hong Kong version of a color revolution.

On January 10, the Hong Kong media Hong Kong 01 cited public information that Peng Jingtang served as a brigade commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Jinan Military Region, and was a director of the military training division of the PLA Jinan Military Region Command, chief of staff of the Armed Police Force in Xinjiang, and deputy chief of staff of the national Armed Police Force

. In July 2018, Peng was promoted to the rank of Major General.

Hong Kong 01 commented that Peng’s appointment indicates that the dust has not settled in Hong Kong with the passage of the National Security Law. For Beijing, it is still necessary to prevent Hong Kong from becoming a base for opposition to the Chinese regime, and to avert a Hong Kong version of the color revolution. The appointment of Peng Jingtang, a veteran counter-terrorism leader, as the commander of the PLA in Hong Kong is both a deterrent and a precautionary measure.

Source: Hong Kong 01, January 11, 2022深度報道/722361/反恐幹將接掌駐港解放軍-傳遞三大信號

Global Times: Japan Signed New Agreement with the U.S. after the Australian Agreement

Global Times recently reported that the Japanese and American governments signed a cooperation research agreement on defense equipment after the “Security Consultative Committee” (2+2) meeting attended by the foreign affairs and defense cabinet officials of the two sides. The agreement is aimed at countering the development of new weapons such as hypersonic missiles that China and North Korea have advanced. The joint statement of the meeting issued by both Japan and the United States repeated some of the same information about many negative China-related issues, such as the human rights concerns related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong, the importance of peace and stability in Taiwan, the East and South China Sea issues, the Senkaku Islands being subject to the Japan-US Security Treaty, as well as other issues. This was the first Japan-US “2+2” meeting since Fumio Kishida took office as Prime Minister of Japan. It is worth noting that just one day before, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a video conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and signed a historic defense and security cooperation agreement. Before that, Japan had only signed such an agreement with the United States. The Australian Agreement was viewed as a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs, against the backdrop of China’s rising military and economic power.

Source: Global Times, January 7, 2022

Reference News: China and Japan Agreed to Establish a Defense Hotline

Reference News, a well-known branch of Xinhua News, recently reported that, on the December 27, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe held a video conference with the Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. The call took about two hours, which exceeded the original scheduled time. The two defense ministers agreed to strengthen bilateral strategic communication and manage risks to prevent conflicts from escalating. Also, they agreed that a defense hotline will be established in 2022. The Japanese Cabinet recently approved a preliminary budget for 2022. The annual increase in the defense budget was 1.1 percent. It not only marks the tenth consecutive year of growth in Japan’s defense budget, but also breaks Japan’s long-standing rule of capping the increase in the defense budget at under one percent of the nation’s GDP. Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao also reported on this news and indicated that, during the call, Nobuo Kishi emphasized the importance of maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. This point was left out in the Reference News report.

(1) Reference News, December 29, 2021
(2) Lianhe Zaobao, December 28, 2021

Global Times: Russia Started Delivering S-400 Missiles to India

Global Times recently reported that, according to Russian and Indian media reports, Russia has begun to deliver the S-400 air defense missile system to India, and will complete the delivery of the first batch of S-400 missiles when Putin visits India next month. The United States wants to impose sanctions on India for this, but it also fears that, as a result, India may fall to Russia. Recently, The U.S. has been trying to engage India as an ally. Nonetheless, this Russian deal did bring serious obstacles to strengthening political and military relations between Washington and New Delhi. It is puzzling that India is buying the same system that China also bought. It thereby suffers the risk that China will have full knowledge of the system’s technical details. On the other hand, it is understandable that most of India’s current mature air defense systems are medium and short-range missiles. There are not many choices for missiles with a maximum range of 250 kilometers in the market. The S-400 makes sense when India wants to establish multi-source weapons procurement channels.

Source: Global Times, November 15, 2021