A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault Line

Monday, March 14, 2011By Bob HennellyThe Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.But the New Jersey-New York region is relatively seismically stable according to Dr. Dave Robinson, Professor of Geography at Rutgers.Although it does have activity.“There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,” said Robinson. “There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.”Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage:“The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,”he said.“More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.In 1884, according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website, the  Rampao Fault was blamed for a 5.5 quake that toppled chimneys in New York City and New Jersey that was felt from Maine to Virginia.“Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

The history of earthquakes before the sixth seal: Revelation 6

The History of Earth­quakes In New York

By Meteorologist Michael Gouldrick New York State PUBLISHED 6:30 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:30 AM EDT Sep. 09, 2020

New York State has a long history of earthquakes. Since the early to mid 1700s there have been over 550 recorded earthquakes that have been centered within the state’s boundary. New York has also been shaken by strong earthquakes that occurred in southeast Canada and the Mid-Atlantic states.

Courtesy of Northeast States Emergency Consortium

The largest earthquake that occurred within New York’s borders happened on September 5th, 1944. It was a magnitude 5.9 and did major damage in the town of Massena.

A school gymnasium suffered major damage, some 90% of chimneys toppled over and house foundations were cracked. Windows broke and plumbing was damaged. This earthquake was felt from Maine to Michigan to Maryland.

Another strong quake occurred near Attica on August 12th, 1929. Chimneys took the biggest hit, foundations were also cracked and store shelves toppled their goods.

In more recent memory some of the strongest quakes occurred On April 20th, 2002 when a 5.0 rattled the state and was centered on Au Sable Forks area near Plattsburg, NY.

Strong earthquakes outside of New York’s boundary have also shaken the state. On February 5th, 1663 near Charlevoix, Quebec, an estimated magnitude of 7.5 occurred. A 6.2 tremor was reported in Western Quebec on November 1st in 1935. A 6.2 earthquake occurred in the same area on March 1st 1925. Many in the state also reported shaking on August 23rd, 2011 from a 5.9 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia.

Earthquakes in the northeast U.S. and southeast Canada are not as intense as those found in other parts of the world but can be felt over a much larger area. The reason for this is the makeup of the ground. In our part of the world, the ground is like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together. If one piece shakes, the whole puzzle shakes.

In the Western U.S., the ground is more like a puzzle that hasn’t been fully put together yet. One piece can shake violently, but only the the pieces next to it are affected while the rest of the puzzle doesn’t move.

In Rochester, New York, the most recent earthquake was reported on March 29th, 2020. It was a 2.6 magnitude shake centered under Lake Ontario. While most did not feel it, there were 54 reports of the ground shaking.

So next time you are wondering why the dishes rattled, or you thought you felt the ground move, it certainly could have been an earthquake in New York.

Here is a website from the USGS (United Sates Geologic Society) of current earthquakes greater than 2.5 during the past day around the world. As you can see, the Earth is a geologically active planet!

Another great website of earthquakes that have occurred locally can be found here.

To learn more about the science behind earthquakes, check out this website from the USGS.

 

The plague and the White House: Revelation 6

First lady Melania Trump confirms negative COVID-19 test, says son Barron tested positive but is now negative | Fox News

October 14, 2020

First Lady Melania Trump revealed Wednesday that her 14-year-old son with President Trump, Barron, contracted coronavirus but has since tested negative.

Barron remained asymptomatic throughout the course of his positive diagnosis, the first lady said.

The White House initially said the youngest Trump heir tested negative after both of his parents contracted the virus weeks ago, but subsequent tests revealed a positive diagnosis. More recently, Barron has tested negative, according to the first lady.

Trump said she first thought of Barron upon learning she and her husband had coronavirus.

MINNESOTA CORONAVIRUS CASES LINKED TO TRUMP, BIDEN CAMPAIGN EVENTS: REPORT

“Naturally my mind went immediately to our son. To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think “what about tomorrow or the next day?” she wrote in a letter detailing her experience with Covid-19. “My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive. Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms.”

“In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative,” Trump continued.

Trump said the symptoms of her diagnosis “hit me all at once,” and she experienced body aches, a cough, headaches and extreme fatigue. She said she opted for “a more natural route in terms of medicine,” of taking vitamins and a healthy diet.

President Trump and the first lady announced they’d tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, Oct. 2. Their results came after close aide Hope Hicks also tested positive.

TRUMP INDICATES HE NO LONGER HAS CORONAVIRUS, SAYS HE IS ‘IMMUNE’

Since then, over 30 journalists, White House staff and Trump associates have contracted COVID-19. Many attended a White House Rose Garden ceremony to announce Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court the weekend before.

While Melania and apparently Barron quarantined at the White House, Trump spent three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in an “abundance of caution.”

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Trump was cleared by White House physician Sean Conley to resume in-person events last Saturday.

The Merchant is totally wrong about Iran

Trump thinks ‘maximum pressure’ will change Iran. History says he’s wrong. – The Washington Post

Biden wants to return to the 2015 nuclear deal. His approach is far more likely to work.

A screen showing President Trump and Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tokyo, on Jan. 8. (Koji Sasahara/AP)

By Philip H. Gordon and Ariane M. Tabatabai

October 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM EDT

If former vice president Joe Biden wins the White House, he says America will rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration that the Trump administration abandoned. “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal,” Biden wrote last month, “the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” to strengthen and extend its provisions. He recognizes there is no magical formula to quickly turn Iran into a peaceful, cooperative democracy. But he says his approach would prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, avoid potential military escalation, reconcile the United States with European allies Britain, France and Germany (who, along with China and Russia, remain in the deal), and still allow all of them to use tools such as diplomacy, targeted sanctions and deterrence to address issues such as Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, regional interference and human rights violations.

Compare his approach to that of President Trump, who told Rush Limbaugh last Friday that Iran has “been put on notice: If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before. And they understand that.”

Trump prefers to use “maximum pressure” in the form of belligerent rhetoric, diplomatic isolation and unilateral sanctions to try to force dramatic changes in Tehran. He insists that regime change isn’t his aim, and regularly muses about being able to secure a deal with Iran’s leaders within “the first month” of his reelection. But some administration officials have been more candid about their real goals, noting, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has put it, that while Iran’s government may not change course, “the people can change the government” and that Washington is willing to help them do it. The apparent logic is that sanctions will squeeze Iran’s economy so hard that the Iranian people will rise up and overthrow the regime.

History tells us Biden is right and Trump is wrong.

If maximum pressure were likely to work, it would make sense to pursue it: An Iranian government that respected the human rights of its citizens; abandoned its nuclear ambitions; stopped fomenting violence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen; and that was ready to cooperate politically, economically and diplomatically with the United States would be an unequivocally good thing. But Trump’s approach is based on fantasies about the capacity of economic sanctions or limited force to oust hostile regimes, and a misunderstanding of the history and politics of Iran. History shows that Trump’s approach is more likely to lead to confrontation and chaos than it is to regime change or fundamental shift in Iran’s stance.

It is undeniable that U.S. secondary sanctions have deeply damaged Iran’s economy and inflicted great pain on its frustrated population. With its oil exports dramatically reduced, its economy continues to contract. But even after several years of implementation, U.S. sanctions have not come close to delivering the administration’s stated goals. No new nuclear deal has been reached to replace the one Trump withdrew from, and no talks are even on the horizon — Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said he won’t negotiate, lest Trump politically “benefit from negotiations” and just this week reiterated his vow to resist sanctions through national economic self-reliance. Nor has Iran’s posture changed for the better, at least according to the Trump administration, which regularly recites a litany of Iranian misdeeds and acknowledges that Iran’s nuclear program has moved forward since the United States left the deal. Nor, despite public protests, is there any sign of imminent regime collapse. Far from changing its ways for the better, the regime is brutally cracking down on an already suffering population.

Trump said he beat ISIS. Instead, he’s giving it new life.

Meanwhile, the United States has become isolated from its allies, as demonstrated most recently by its humiliating defeat at the United Nations, when only one member of the 15-member Security Council, the Dominican Republic, supported indefinitely embargoing arms sales to Iran. The European participants in the nuclear deal all still see it not only as the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon but also to avoid the humanitarian consequences and potential for military escalation they believe result from the Trump administration’s maximum pressure.

It should come as no surprise that sanctions have failed to bring down the regime, as the historical record in the region suggests there is little reason to believe that they would: In Iraq, after the 1990-1991 Gulf War, draconian U.S. and international sanctions constrained Saddam Hussein’s efforts to rebuild his military and curbed his nuclear ambitions, but they didn’t loosen his grip on power. In Libya, sanctions helped persuade Moammar Gaddafi to abandon nuclear weapons, but they didn’t threaten his rule. And in Syria, the sanctions applied in 2011 diminished its economy and deepened public discontent, but they have still not dislodged the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Ordinary citizens are rarely able to rise up and oust the ruthless rulers willing to kill them, and dictators can never be persuaded to give up power with sanctions because they value that power more than they value economic relief for their citizens.

Even the use of limited military force or armed assistance to opposition groups doesn’t guarantee successful regime change. In Libya in 2011, it took months of NATO airstrikes before Gaddafi fell — leaving chaos in his wake. In Syria, outside powers funneled weapons and training to the opposition for years, yet Assad still stands. In some rare cases where the U.S. helped oust a regime by arming opposition fighters — such as its support in the 1980s for Afghan Mujahedin post-Soviet invasion — it has produced unintended consequences such as enduring civil war, the advent of the Taliban and the expansion of the global jihadist movement.

The faith Trump has placed in maximum pressure also runs counter to Iran’s history: Since before the overthrow of Iran’s monarchy and its establishment as an Islamic republic, Iranian leaders — despite their differing approaches and internal rivalries — have often held similar beliefs about their country’s place in the world. Outside pressure can influence Iranian policy and has done so in the past, but only when the pressure was enormous and the objectives realistic. During the Iran-Iraq War, Iran’s regime was willing to suffer hundreds of thousands of casualties over eight years before agreeing to a cease-fire that left Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini firmly in power. And before agreeing, in 2012, to return to the negotiating table to resume talks on Iran’s nuclear program, it took American leadership to align the international community against Tehran to lead it to compromise. In either case, had capitulation or regime change been the goal, the pressure would not have worked.

The Iranian regime has lost much of its legitimacy over the past four decades. Today, it is weak, divided and domestically unpopular. But the regime doesn’t derive its hold on power from its legitimacy or inclusivity any more than did Hussein in Iraq or Assad in Syria. It maintains power through violent repression, to which it resorted in 2009 when large crowds took to the street to protest fraudulent presidential elections, and again a decade later when social and economic protests broke out in multiple Iranian cities.

Even if Trump, in a second term, were somehow to change the regime with military force or support for opposition, the prospects for peace and stability in a diverse and divided country of over 80 million people would be poor. The history of America’s regime-change efforts in the region shows that the costs of such endeavors are always higher, the results less appealing and the unintended consequences impossible to predict.

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Despite this reality, Trump, Pompeo, political figures such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and former national security adviser John Bolton, and various analysts have pushed for regime change. They’ve advocated ever more comprehensive sanctions, material support for the Iranian opposition, including rival ethnic groups, and even American military strikes, all designed to weaken and eventually topple the regime. In a Washington Post op-ed this year, Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh called for “relentless pressure that with time cracks the regime.”

Trump notched what he saw as a win when he ordered the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani this year — Soleimani was Iran’s most powerful military figure, overseeing Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps operations throughout the Middle East. His death rocked Iran’s political establishment back on its heels, but made its attitude more hostile, not more acquiescent to U.S. demands. Far from being more secure because Iran has now been deterred, attacks by Iran-backed militia groups since Soleimani was killed have rendered U.S. military and civilian personnel in Iraq so vulnerable that the Trump administration has contemplated shuttering the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

If the goal was to show that a global power could exert its might against a regional power, that was made clear. But if the goal was weakening Iran’s theocracy or ending its regional meddling, the Soleimani attack failed.

To presume that maximum pressure will lead to Iranian capitulation would be to once again pursue a foreign policy based on hope rather than experience. That approach might force Iran back to the negotiating table, but it could just as easily lead to continued expansion of its nuclear program, new efforts by a desperate regime to lash out with attacks on its neighbors, and on Americans and American interests in the Middle East, widespread suffering for millions of Iranians, and an American or Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, followed by probable Iranian retaliation against U.S. and allied targets.

The alternative isn’t to give Iran a free pass. It is, as Biden has proposed, to contain its nuclear ambitions by enforcing the JCPOA; continuing to deter Iran from aggression in the region by maintaining U.S. defense commitments and deployments; working closely with partners in the region and beyond to counter Iran’s expansionist regional agenda and buying time to allow the country’s own dynamic civil society to work towards positive change. Diplomacy, deterrence and arms control offer no guarantees — and don’t necessarily make a great campaign slogan — but they’re almost certain to work out better in the long run than the risky pursuit of maximalist objectives that has little basis in history or logic.

Philip Gordon

Philip H. Gordon is the Council on Foreign Relations Mary and David Boies foreign policy senior fellow. He was special assistant to the president and White House Middle East coordinator under President Barack Obama, and is author of ““Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East.” Follow

Ariane Tabatabai

Ariane M. Tabatabai is the Middle East fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, and an adjunct senior research scholar at Columbia University. She is the author of ““No Conquest, No Defeat: Iran’s National Security Strategy.” Follow

© 1996-2020 The Washington Post

The winds of God‘s wrath is not over yet: Jeremiah 23

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Isn’t Over Yet. Hurricanes Have Struck the U.S. in Late October, Even November

At a Glance

Despite the current lull, hurricane season isn’t over yet.

On average since 2000, 2 named storms, 1 of which becomes a hurricane, formed after mid-October.

There have been a number of impactful landfalls in late October, even November.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is not over yet, despite the current quieter period following Hurricane Delta’s siege on the storm-weary Gulf Coast.

We understand your hurricane fatigue.

We’ve blown through 25 storms, second only to 2005’s 28 storms. Ten of those storms made a U.S. landfall, shattering a record that had stood for 104 years.

Hurricane Delta was the second hurricane to slam southwest Louisiana in six weeks.

Greek alphabet names list after the 21 names in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season were already used up by Sept. 18. Checkmarks show Greek names already used in 2020.

So, how much of the hurricane season is left? When can we finally put this season to bed?

What’s An Average End to the Season?

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through the end of November, a broad definition that’s been in place since 1965 to cover about 97 percent of storms and hurricanes that form, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.

Since 2000, an average hurricane season has produced two named storms after Oct. 13, one of which becomes a hurricane.

Last year, five storms formed after mid-October, including northeast Atlantic Hurricane Pablo.

The record 2005 hurricane season generated seven named storms, three of which became hurricanes, after mid-October.

Only two seasons this century – 2006 and 2002 – failed to produce a single storm after September.

Using a measure called the ACE index – short for Accumulated Cyclone Energy – which takes into account not just the number, but also the intensity and longevity of storms and hurricanes, about 15% of hurricane season activity typically occurs after Oct. 13, according to data compiled by Phil Klotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University.

Average named storms (red) and hurricanes (white) through the Atlantic hurricane season. The yellow-shaded area after the “today” marker denotes average activity left in the remainder of the hurricane season after mid-October.

In 70 years of data since 1950, the season’s last storm formed on average around Nov. 2 and most often formed in either October or November.

In eight of those hurricane seasons, including four this century – 2013, 2007, 2005 and 2003 – the season’s last storm formed in December, after the “official” hurricane season.

In most years, the final storm of the season formed in either October or November. But in just over 10 percent of those seasons, a storm formed in December.

(Data: NOAA, NHC)

Florida, Gulf Coast Late-Season Landfall Threat

So, what are the odds a late-season storm or hurricane becomes a U.S. threat?

Below are the tracks of 43 storms that formed after Oct. 13 from 2000 through 2019. You can see common breeding grounds are the western Caribbean Sea, the southwest and central Atlantic Ocean.

Tracks of Atlantic Basin storms that formed after Oct. 13 from 2000-2019. Segments in black indicate when each storm was a tropical wave, low, or remnant.

(Data: NOAA, NHC)

Given Florida’s Peninsula juts south into the main area for late-season development, the Sunshine State can be hit this late in the season.

Hurricane Wilma’s Category 3 landfall in South Florida in 2005 was the most recent example.

Infrared satellite image of Hurricane Wilma over South Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

(NOAA)

But Wilma was hardly the only case.

Category 1 Hurricane Gladys struck farther up the Peninsula north of Tampa-St. Petersburg in 1968, and small, but powerful Hurricane King tore through Miami-Ft. Lauderdale at Category 4 intensity on Oct. 17-18, 1950.

It’s not just the Florida Peninsula, either.

Hurricane Juan looped off the southern Louisiana coast before moving inland, then made another loop just before Halloween 1985.

About three weeks later on Nov. 21, Hurricane Kate made a Category 2 landfall near Panama City, Florida, still the latest-in-season U.S. hurricane landfall on record. Kate produced an 11-foot storm surge at Cape San Blas, downed many trees and knocked out power in the Florida Panhandle, especially in Tallahassee.

Kate was one of only three U.S. November hurricane landfalls.

Another November hurricane roared ashore in South Florida the same year as the infamous Labor Day 1935 hurricane. The other U.S. November landfall, known as the “Expedition” hurricane, struck North Carolina in 1861, wreaking havoc on a fleet of warships during the early months of the Civil War.

The only three hurricanes to make a November landfall in U.S. history.

East Coast Threat

While most late-season storms are whisked over the Atlantic well off the East Coast, a few have made their mark on the Eastern Seaboard over the years.

The most destructive example of this was 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, which, despite not technically a hurricane at landfall in New Jersey, was one of the costliest storms in U.S. history, with an estimated $74.8 billion damage.

In early November 2009, Hurricane Ida spun down just off the coast of southeast Louisiana, but its remnant spawned a powerful East Coast storm off North Carolina that produced days of damaging coastal flooding, earning the nickname “Nor’Ida,” a combination of nor’easter and Ida.

While “The Perfect Storm” at the end of October 1991 wasn’t a U.S. hurricane landfall, it began by ingesting Hurricane Grace, then evolved into an “Unnamed Hurricane,” lashing the East Coast with destructive, battering waves.

Satellite images taken 24 hours apart on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 1991, showing the “Perfect Storm” morphing into the “Unnamed Hurricane.”

(NOAA)

Central America, Caribbean Threats

Late-season hurricanes have also had severe impacts in Central America and parts of the Caribbean Sea in recent years.

So far this century, four such hurricanes have had their names retired due to their destructive and/or deadly impacts.

In late November 2016, Hurricane Otto made a Category 3 landfall in Central America, bringing damaging winds and flooding rain to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It was the only known hurricane to move over Costa Rica and latest Atlantic Basin landfall on record, among other notables.

In 2010, Hurricane Tomas was the latest hurricane on record to strike the Windward Islands just before Halloween, then spawned deadly flooding and mudslides in Haiti.

In 2008, Hurricane Paloma clobbered the Cayman Islands at Category 4 intensity before roaring into Cuba in early November. Practically every structure on Cayman Brac was destroyed, but nobody was reported hurt.

Damage from Hurricane Paloma on the island of Cayman Brac as seen on Nov. 14, 2008.

(Weather Underground/mangroveman)

In early November 2001, Category 4 Hurricane Michelle was the strongest hurricane to hit Cuba since 1952.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

The Chinese nuclear horn refuses to negotiate: Daniel 7

Envoy: China won’t take part in U.S.-led trilateral arms control negotiation

Geng Shuang Photo:Xinhua

A Chinese envoy said on Monday that asking China to participate in the “trilateral arms control negotiation” is unfair, unreasonable and infeasible.

Geng Shuang, head of the Chinese delegation and deputy permanent representative of China to the United Nations, rejected the so-called “trilateral arms control negotiation” recently hyped up by the United States, in his statement delivered at the general debate of the First Committee of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Geng pointed out that recently the United States named China as “the third largest nuclear power on Earth,” hyped up “nuclear arms race between the U.S., Russia and China” and proposed the so-called “trilateral arms control negotiation.”

“This is just a trick to shift the focus of the international community. The U.S. intention is to find an excuse to shirk its own special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, and seek a pretext to free its hands and gain absolute military supremacy,” he said.

China has pursued a nuclear strategy of self-defense, always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for its national security, and has never and will never take part in any nuclear arms race with any other country, said the envoy.

“Given the huge gap between the nuclear arsenals of China and those of the U.S. and the Russian Federation, it is unfair, unreasonable and infeasible to expect China to join in any trilateral arms control negotiation,” he added.

“China will never participate in such a negotiation and will never accept any coercion or blackmail,” Geng added.

The ambassador emphasized that China’s rejection of the so-called “trilateral arms control negotiation” does not mean that China evades its own responsibility for nuclear disarmament or refuses to participate in the global nuclear disarmament process.

“Ever since the first day of possessing nuclear weapons, China has been advocating the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons,” he noted.

China has declared the policy of “no-first-use” of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and unconditionally commits itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, said the envoy.

“China is the only P5 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council) country who has made such commitments,” Geng noted.

“China is ready to engage in meaningful dialogue on the issues related to strategic stability with all parties on the basis of mutual respect, and will continue its participation in the arms control process under the framework of the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament and the P5,” the ambassador stressed.

The First Committee, also known as the Disarmament and International Security Committee, is one of six main committees of the UNGA. It deals with disarmament and international security matters.

The committee meets every year in October for a 4-5 week session, after the UNGA General Debate. All 193 member states of the United Nations can attend.

General debate in September of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. (Rick Bajornas/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

Statement of H. E. Mr. Geng Shuang, Head of the Chinese Delegation and Deputy Permanent Representative at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 75th Session of the UNGA

(From Chinese Mission to the United Nations)

2020/10/12

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, my congratulations to Your Excellency on your election as Chairman of the First Committee of the current session of the UN General Assembly. The Chinese delegation wishes to assure you and other delegations of its full support and cooperation to make this session of the committee a full success.

Mr. Chairman,

The global strategic security and arms control situation today is faced with the gravest challenge since the Cold War. To maintain its supremacy as the sole super power, the US has reverted to the Cold War mentality, hyped up major power competition and stoked major power confrontation. These hegemonic unilateral acts have posed the gravest threat to global strategic security and stability.

For the past years, to develop military capabilities without constraint, the US has continuously withdrawn from international treaties, sabotaging the multilateral and bilateral arms control and disarmament regime built up gradually after the WWII. The US is investing trillions of US dollars to modernize its nuclear Triad, developing and deploying low-yield nuclear weapons, and expanding the scope of nuclear deterrence. The US has also lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, and even discussed the resumption of nuclear tests. We urge the US to faithfully fulfill its special and primary responsibilities for nuclear disarmament, positively respond to Russia’s appeal for the extension of the New START Treaty, and further substantially reduce its nuclear arsenal, so as to create conditions for other Nuclear Weapon States to join multilateral nuclear disarmament.

The unrestrained development and deployment of a global missile defense system by the US as well as its attempts to deploy land-based intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, not only pose threats to China’s security, but also undermine regional peace and security and disrupt global strategic stability. China is gravely concerned and urges the US to stop relevant deployments. Should the US continue to go down this path, China will take forceful countermeasures in defense of its own national interests when necessary.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture. At present, the US has gone to extremes to shift responsibilities for nuclear disarmament, exercise double standards in violation of international law on non-proliferation issues, and manipulate the peaceful use of nuclear energy for political purposes, putting all the three pillars of the NPT under unprecedented strain. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of NPT, China calls on all parties to take this as an opportunity to reaffirm the treaty obligations and commitments made in the outcome documents of previous review conferences, and work for progress on the three pillars of NPT in a balanced manner. address the differences and disputes constructively, so as to achieve pragmatic outcomes at the 10th Review Conference.

Recently the US named China as “the third largest nuclear power on earth”, hyped up “nuclear arms race between the US, Russia and China” and proposed so-called “trilateral arms control negotiation”. This is just a trick to shift the focus of the international community. The US intention is to find an excuse to shirk its own special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament, and seek a pretext to free its hands and gain absolute military supremacy.

China has pursued a nuclear strategy of self-defense, always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for its national security, and has never and will never take part in any nuclear arms race with any other country. Given the huge gap between the nuclear arsenals of China and those of the US and the Russian Federation, it is unfair, unreasonable and infeasible to expect China to join in any trilateral arms control negotiation. China will never participate in such a negotiation and will never accept any coercion or blackmail.

China’s rejection of the so-called “trilateral arms control negotiation” does not mean that China evades its own responsibility for nuclear disarmament or refuses to participate in the global nuclear disarmament process. Ever since the first day of possessing nuclear weapons, China has been advocating the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has declared the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and unconditionally commits itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against Non-Nuclear-Weapon States or Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones. China is the only P5 country who makes such commitments. China firmly abides by its commitments on the moratorium of nuclear tests, and supports the development of the verification mechanism of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). China supports negotiation for a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices on the basis of a comprehensive and balanced program of work in accordance with the mandate contained in the Shannon Report, and supports the work of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Nuclear Disarmament Verification. China is ready to engage in meaningful dialogue on the issues related to strategic stability with all parties on the basis of mutual respect, and will continue its participation in the arms control process under the framework of the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament and the P5.

In the face of the increasingly complex and ominous international security landscape, the P5 should take proactive measures to manage differences, and work together to maintain global strategic stability. Since the Beijing Conference in January last year, the P5 have reached consensus on carrying out cooperation on strategic security issues including nuclear doctrines and policies, nuclear risk reduction, etc. China suggests that the P5 continue to strengthen dialogue on nuclear policies and doctrines, jointly reiterate that “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, make a commitment not to target their nuclear weapons at any State, commit to the no-first-use of nuclear weapons unconditionally, and conclude legally binding international instruments on providing negative and positive security assurances to non-nuclear weapon States. We urge the US to abandon the policies of nuclear umbrella and nuclear sharing, withdraw all the nuclear weapons deployed overseas, stop the development and deployment of its global missile defense system, and play a due role in improving international and regional security environment.

Mr. Chairman,

The root cause of the current tensions related to the Iran nuclear issue is the US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, re-imposition of illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran, and blocking other parties from fulfilling their obligations under the JCPOA. Having withdrawn from the JCPOA, the US has no right to trigger the Security Council snap-back mechanism, and its unilateral announcement on restoration of the UNSC sanctions against Iran has no legal validity whatsoever. It is imperative that all relevant parties resolve differences over the implementation of the JCPOA through dialogue and consultation within the framework of the Joint Commission focusing on restoring the balance of rights and obligations. China attaches high importance to the concerns of relevant parties over regional security issues, and advocates, on the premise of preserving the JCPOA, the establishment of an alternative multilateral dialogue platform with the purpose of building new consensus on maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The US bears the responsibility for the deadlock of the DPRK-US dialogue regarding the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. China urges the US to show sincerity and respond with concrete actions to the DPRK’s legitimate concerns over security and development, so as to bring the Peninsular nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue. China is committed to upholding the denuclearization, peace and stability of the Peninsula, and to resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation. China is firmly opposed to unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction beyond the mandates of the UNSC resolutions and to any attempt by forces outside the region to use the Peninsula issue as an excuse to beef up military deployment in the region. China will continue to play a constructive role in the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.

Mr. Chairman,

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has sounded the alarm on bio-security and highlighted the importance and urgency of strengthening global bio-security governance. In this connection, China wishes to make the following points. First, all parties should faithfully fulfill their due obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The international community is highly concerned with the US military’s biological programs. We urge the US to act in an open, transparent and responsible manner and fully clarify its activities in numerous bio-labs overseas. Second, efforts should be made to resume negotiation for a verification protocol under BWC framework in order to put in place an effective international verification mechanism for the sake of safeguarding bio-security. We hope that such a decision can be made at next year’s BWC Review Conference. We once again urge the US to stop impeding the resumption of negotiation. Third, it is necessary to set up a scientific advisory body within the framework of BWC and develop a voluntary code of conduct, in order to better regulate bio-research activities and promote the sound development of bio-technologies. Fourth, it is time to establish a fair and inclusive non-proliferation, export control and international cooperation regime under the framework of the BWC, remove discriminatory barriers, ensure developing countries’ rights to the dividends of bio-technologies and jointly lift global bio-security to a new level.

As the only possessor of chemical weapon stockpile, the US should earnestly fulfill its obligations under the CWC and expedite the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. In dealing with the Syrian chemical weapons issue, the provisions of CWC should be strictly observed and the authority of the Convention should be upheld. China strongly opposes political manipulation of the issue by a small number of countries for geopolitical purposes.

Mr. Chairman,

With the rapid development of digital economy, prominent risks associated with data security require global solutions. What is pressing now is to develop a set of international rules on data security that reflect the will and respect the interests of most countries on the basis of universal participation. China rejects attempts of the US and some other countries to politicize the issue of data security, elbow out countries with different views in the name of the so-called Clean Network program, and prey on enterprises of other countries under the pretext of security.

China has recently put forward the Global Initiative on Data Security with a view to addressing data security risks and challenges, safeguarding global data and supply chain security, and promoting digital economic development and cooperation. China’s initiative calls on all states to oppose using ICT activities to impair other States’ critical infrastructure or steal important data, oppose abusing ICT to conduct mass surveillance against other States, desist from requesting domestic companies to store data generated and obtained overseas in one’s own territory, and ask ICT products and services providers not to install back-doors in their products and services. China’s initiative aims to serve as a basis for international rules-making on data security, and is also a commitment of China to safeguarding global data security. China hopes that all parties could support this initiative, and we are open to good ideas and suggestions from all sides. China supports the work of the UN OEWG and UN GGE and hope that these processes will make further progress.

The current security situation in outer space is increasingly challenging. In particular, the US has been pursuing a strategy for dominance in space, blatantly termed outer space as a new war-fighting domain, and has even established an independent Space Force and the Space Command. The US also plans to deploy missile defense system in outer space. These US moves accelerate the militarization and weaponization of outer space and therefore are the most prominent factors affecting outer space security. China urges the US to stop impeding international arms control process on outer space, and join international efforts for negotiation and conclusion of an international legal instrument based on the draft PPWT proposed by China and Russia, so as to fundamentally safeguard lasting peace and common security in outer space.

The rapid development of the military application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) may give rise to security, humanitarian, legal and ethical concerns. Paying high attention to these issues, China is supportive of having in-depth international discussions aimed at exploring effective measures to address the associated risks and ensuring that AI technology will benefit all mankind. China also supports continued in-depth discussions on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) within the framework of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), with the purpose of negotiating a legally-binding international instrument.

Mr. Chairman,

China acceded to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on 6 July this year. This is a significant step taken by China in its active efforts to promote global arms trade governance and to safeguard international and regional peace and security. This testifies to China’s sincerity in upholding multilateralism and building a community with a shared future for mankind. As a State Party to the ATT, China will faithfully fulfill its obligations, and work closely with all parties to promote the universality and effectiveness of the ATT. In this connection, China is ready to provide assistance to the developing countries within its capacity. China attaches great importance to African concerns about the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and supports the African Union’s initiative of “Silencing the Guns in Africa”. To this end, China has provided USD 1.4 million through the United Nations Peace and Development Fund in 2018 and 2019. Standing ready to carry out further cooperation with the AU and African countries in this regard, China also calls upon the international community to provide needed assistance to Africa. Meanwhile, we urge all countries to stop arms sales to non-state actors, and refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states through arms exports.

Mr. Chairman,

No matter how grave the international security situation may become, as long as we stay committed to upholding multilateralism, strengthening mutual trust and coordination centered on the UN, and building a community with a shared future for mankind, we would be able to make progress in international arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation. China is ready to join hands with other members of the international community to make unremitting efforts towards this end.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

No nuclear deal with Russia

Trump Thought He Had a Nuclear Deal With Putin. Not So Fast, Russia Said.

By David E. Sanger and Andrew E. Kramer

Oct. 14, 2020, 2:12 p.m. ET

Trump administration officials want to broaden the New START accord and warn that the price of a new deal will rise after the election. Joe Biden supports a straight five-year extension of the deal.

The Russian hesitance on a new deal may indicate that President Vladimir V. Putin is hedging his bets on President Trump’s re-election.Erin Schaff/The New York Times

President Trump had a pre-election plan to show he had gotten something out of his mysteriously friendly relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

In the weeks before the election, the two men would announce that they had reached an agreement in principle to extend New START, the last remaining major arms control agreement between the two countries. It expires on Feb. 5, two weeks after the next presidential inauguration.

Mr. Trump has long refused to sign off on a clean five-year extension of the agreement, a step both leaders could take without Senate approval. He has described the Obama-era treaty as deeply flawed — the same thing he said about the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Iran nuclear accord — because it did not cover all of Russia’s nuclear arms, or any of China’s.

But if Mr. Putin is really rooting for Mr. Trump to be re-elected, he is not acting like it.

On Tuesday, Marshall Billingslea, Mr. Trump’s lead negotiator, announced that the two leaders had an “agreement in principle, at the highest levels of our two governments, to extend the treaty.” Mr. Billingslea described an added “gentleman’s agreement” to cap each country’s stockpile of weapons not currently deployed on missiles, submarines or bombers. Details needed to be worked out, he cautioned, including the tricky work of verifying compliance.

It sounded like a promising solution, for a few hours.

Then the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov, shot back that this was a figment of someone’s election-season imagination. “Washington is describing what is desired, not what is real,” he said in a statement. For example, he said, Moscow would not freeze the number of tactical weapons it possesses.

With less than three weeks to Election Day, it seems no agreement is in the offing, and Trump administration officials are saying that, after the election, the price will go up. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee who was involved in the negotiation of the original agreement in 2010, has indicated that, if elected, he will agree to a straightforward, immediate extension of the accord for five years, the maximum allowed under the current terms, and then work to expand its scope.

As a result, Mr. Putin, looking at the polls, may be calculating that there is no reason to agree to any additional limits. But it also suggests that despite the C.I.A.’s conclusion that the Russian leader has a preference for Mr. Trump, Mr. Putin may also be hedging his bets — or betting that Mr. Trump will be a private citizen by the time the treaty runs out.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to put the best face on the Russian rejection. “I am hopeful that the Russians will find a way to agree to an outcome that, frankly, I think is in their best interest,” he said at a news conference at the State Department.

But Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, joined the Kremlin’s dismissal of prospects for an agreement before the election, saying the Trump administration’s one-sided announcement of a nuclear limitation deal was an “unclean” diplomatic maneuver.

“I personally don’t see such a possibility,” he said in an interview with state radio, when asked about a deal on New START. “My colleagues, who work in an interagency format and meet with the American delegation, also don’t see such a possibility.”

The Russian pushback echoed across the government. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said the “position of the Russian side is well known and consistent. And for now, we can’t speak of any concrete agreements.” Then the Russian Information Agency, a state news outlet, ran an article saying the Russian foreign ministry “called the American announcement of a New START agreement with Russia nonsense and a setup.”

It was not the first time Mr. Putin, who worked so hard on Mr. Trump’s behalf in 2016, has shown possible signs of backing away from the president.

Earlier this month, he hinted in an interview with state television at an effort to reach out to Democrats. While his goals were unclear, and with American officials cautioning that Russian disinformation may be at work, Mr. Putin spoke warmly of the Democratic Party and suggested that he could work with Mr. Biden on arms control.

Analysts in Russia saw in the rejection of a pre-election nuclear deal the Kremlin preparing the ground in case Mr. Trump loses. “As the chances of a Trump re-election are increasingly remote,” Pavel Felgenhauer, a military commentator for the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper, said in a telephone interview, “why should we bend over backward?”

Mr. Putin’s position all year has been that the New START agreement, which limits both countries to 1,550 deployed nuclear weapons, should be extended for five years. But there are no limits on stockpiled weapons, which are essentially in storage. And that is why fears of a resumed arms race have arisen, as the United States and Russia move to improve their arsenals with new, more sophisticated weapons.

Mr. Putin has taken pride in developing new weapons, some of which have apparently run into trouble in testing, leading to a major accident in the summer of 2019. The current New START treaty does not limit such work — or put limits on tactical weapons.

Mr. Trump has pulled out of a series of arms control treaties, including the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, widely known as the I.N.F. And now Russia has no incentive to negotiate on tactical warheads, which it has preserved and expanded in recent decades while the U.S. abolished most of its arsenal, save for small numbers stored around Europe.

“Russia has an advantage in tactical weapons,” Mr. Felgenhauer said. “It doesn’t make any sense for Russia to negotiate.”

There is little question that Russia had been cheating on the I.N.F. treaty’s limits, and placing medium-range missiles, which appear to be armed with the tactical weapons, on its borders with Europe. The Obama administration considered abandoning the I.N.F., before deciding against it. Mr. Trump went ahead, arguing that the treaty’s restrictions were keeping Washington from countering on similar weaponry that China was deploying in the Pacific.

China was not a party to either New START or the I.N.F., and Mr. Trump has argued that the treaties need to be updated to account for Beijing’s arms buildup. But the Chinese counter that they have around 300 nuclear weapons deployed — a fifth of the number Russia and the United States are limited to under the treaty — and that they would have no interest in any restrictions. Some Chinese officials, somewhat facetiously, have suggested that Mr. Trump’s initiative could lead them to quintuple their arsenal and then enter into arms control talks.

On Beijing entering into nuclear arms talks, Mr. Pompeo expressed hopes on Wednesday “that the Chinese Communist Party will come to see that this is how mature nations deal with these issues,” but he acknowledged that Chinese leaders have “refused to join the conversation.”

Mr. Biden’s advisers say nothing is wrong with the idea of bringing China into arms control agreements. But they have said that abandoning New START in a failing effort to accomplish that goal would only destroy the last remaining significant limits on deployed nuclear weapons.

If Mr. Biden wins, it is possible Russia could get what it wants, a straightforward extension before the February expiration, in a quick deal immediately after a Biden inauguration.

“If we don’t take Trump’s proposal now, it doesn’t mean we lose New START,” Mr. Felgenhauer said.

Lara Jakes contributed reporting.

President Trump and Arms Control

David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent. In a 36-year reporting career for The Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book is “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age.” @SangerNYT • Facebook

Andrew E. Kramer is a reporter based in the Moscow bureau. He was part of a team that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for a series on Russia’s covert projection of power. @AndrewKramerNYT