“The Chinese people have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will,” Xi said on July 1.
In May of last year, the People’s Liberation Army moved troops south of the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, in other words, into Indian-controlled territory. A month later, on the night of June 15, Chinese soldiers launched a surprise attack, killing 20 Indian troops.
India responded by reinforcing its forces and launching a counterattack in August. China then added to its troop count, increasing the number of soldiers from 15,000 a year ago to 50,000 at this moment. Beijing has also brought advanced weapons to the area and began building bases.
Beijing’s campaign against India has been multifaceted. “Since June of last year, there was a China-attributed attack on the Mumbai electric grid, Chinese-linked Maoist terrorists killed another 20 Indian security forces, and we witnessed a destructive attack on an iPhone parts-manufacturing plant that looks like part of a Beijing political warfare operation to discourage the shifting of supply chains to India,” Cleo Paskal of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Gatestone.
As a result, many in India now see China in the worst possible light. As Paskal explains, “The breadth and depth of the Communist Party’s aggressive unrestricted warfare against India leads one to think there are no barriers to Beijing’s malign behavior.”
The Indian people are right to be concerned. China has changed the definition of “warfare,” and one of its instruments is disease. If SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing COVID-19, did not start out as a biological weapon, Chinese Communist Partyleaders turned it into one, by lying about contagiousness and pressuring other countries to take disease-ridden arrivals from China.
“It’s no wonder many Indians think their second wave of coronavirus was a deliberate release by China to weaken them further,” Paskal notes.
Beijing looks as though it is even thinking of using nuclear weapons to fight the next war.
The Washington Post reported China appears to be building, in an area covering more than 700 square miles in the Gansu desert, 119 missile silos for the ten-warhead DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile. When added to 26 more silos the Chinese military is building elsewhere, China could soon be housing from these fixed locations about as much firepower as the existing U.S. nuclear arsenal. When China’s missiles carried on mobile launchers and submarines are added, China’s warheads could end up exceeding America’s.
Because Beijing already has a sufficient number of nukes to deter others—China has had for a long time sufficient weapons for a so-called “minimal deterrent”—it looks as if Chinese military planners are thinking of using nuclear weapons in an offensive capacity. China’s flag officers and political leaders have in public threatened to use their arsenal in this way.
In any event, Xi Jinping in his bellicose July 1 speech promised to “crack heads and spill blood” of those standing in the way of what are, in essence, his plans to take territory under the control of others.
More significantly, he threatened to take down the existing Westphalian international system of sovereign states, established in 1648. “The Communist Party of China and the Chinese people, with their bravery and tenacity, solemnly proclaim to the world that the Chinese people are not only good at taking down the old world, but also good at building a new one,” Xi said.
A new world? Throughout this century, Xi has made indirect references to tianxia, or “all under Heaven.” For two millennia, Chinese emperors believed they both had the Mandate of Heaven to rule tianxia and the obligation to do so.
Lately, Xi’s references in public pronouncements have become unmistakable, and his subordinates have been clear that Xi believes that everyone outside China owes him obedience.
Xi, while spouting tianxia-like language and bellicose words, has been getting the Chinese people ready for war. On July 1, he talked about foreigners meeting a “wall of steel built with the flesh and blood of 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
Moreover, he is making preparations to use his shiny new military. Amendments to China’s National Defense Law, effective the first of this year, transfer powers from civilian to military officials.
The amendments reduce the role of the central government’s State Council and transfer powers to the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission. Specifically, the State Council will no longer supervise the mobilization of the People’s Liberation Army. At most, the central government will merely implement Party directives.
It is true that the law could be mere posturing—the Communist Party has always been in control—but the signaling is ominous nonetheless. The new law, after all, contemplates the mass mobilization of society for war.
The changes signal the growing clout of the People’s Army inside the Party and highlight the militarization of the country’s external relations. China is fast becoming a military state.
Xi Jinping on July 1 told the world what he is going to do. We are, in all probability, in the last moments of peace.
Gordon G. Chang is a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a member of its Advisory Board, and the author of “The Coming Collapse of China.” Follow Gordon at GordonChang.com and on Twitter @GordonGChang
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Here’s What You Need to Remember: Hypersonic missiles—defined as rockets with a velocity of at least Mach 5, though Russia and America are developing Mach 20 weapons—are dangerous because of their speed.
It also is one step closer to triggering a nuclear war with Pakistan.
Ironically, the first launch of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle, or HSTDV, was a failure. The HSTDV, which is shaped almost like a sailing ship, is supposed to be a testbed for developing future hypersonic weapons such as cruise missiles. It is launched atop an Agni 1, an Indian ballistic missile.
“The vehicle was test launched using the Agni 1 missile platform that was to take it up to a predetermined altitude where scramjet technology—the ability to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 6 while using atmospheric oxygen as oxidizer—had to be validated with separation of the platform and a short flight at high altitude,” according to India’s Economic Times.
“Sources said that while the missile on which the platform was mounted successfully took off from the range, the test could not be completed to demonstrate the vehicle at hypersonic speed as the Agni 1 did not reach the desired altitude for the test. Scientists are looking at the technical reasons behind this and are studying all available data.”
While that doesn’t necessarily mean the HSTDV has a problem, it’s not good news for India’s strategic nuclear deterrent. “The Agni 1 is a nuclear-capable missile that is in service with the strategic forces and has been successfully tested several times in the past,” noted the Economic Times. “Its failure to reach the desired altitude is a reason for concern and is being studied.”
Yet unproven or not, the existence of an Indian hypersonic project is an ominous step for India’s cold war with its neighbor Pakistan. Hypersonic missiles—defined as rockets with a velocity of at least Mach 5, though Russia and America are developing Mach 20 weapons—are dangerous because of their speed. Though the weapons have yet to be tested in combat, the U.S. military is concerned that Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons may travel so fast that they can’t be intercepted. At the tactical level, this means that aircraft carriers and air bases could be destroyed by a salvo of missiles.
But on the strategic level, hypersonic weapons are truly frightening. A hypersonic missile can deliver a nuclear warhead more quickly than a ballistic missile. Or, a hypersonic missile armed with a conventional warhead might be able to destroy an opponent’s nuclear missiles in a first strike, but without the attacker having to resort to nuclear weapons.
Whether or not such a strike would be successful, or whether anyone would be confident enough to risk a nuclear exchange by using hypersonics, isn’t the point. Unlike the United States versus Russia and China, whose homelands are separated by thousands of miles of ocean, the distance between New Delhi and Islamabad is just over 400 miles. A Mach 5 or 10 weapon missile launched from India or Pakistan could hit its target in minutes (Russia’s Avangard hypersonic glider reportedly has a speed of Mach 20, with the United States working on a weapon equally as fast).
Knowing that India has hypersonic weapons could make Pakistan feel trapped in a “use them or lose them” mindset regarding its nuclear weapons.
Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.This piece was originally featured in June 2019 and is being republished due to reader’s interest.
The call to the UN agency follows reporting by The Jerusalem Post on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad running “training camps” to recruit child soldiers.
The Israel-based NGO International Legal Forum (ILF) has called on UNICEF to investigate allegations of Palestinian children being trained as child soldiers in Gaza, following a report by The Jerusalem Post.The NGO, which is a network of over 3,000 lawyers and activists in over 40 nations worldwide, stated that they have “grave concern” following reports that the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) were training and recruiting children.Arsen Ostrovsky, director of ILF, told The Post that UNICEF’s ongoing failure to act on this issue is an “unconscionable dereliction of duty in its central mission to protect and defend children’s rights.”
As reported by the Post, Hamas announced in late June its annual summer camp, where it trains children to take up arms.
According to Post analyst Seth J. Frantzman, the terrorist group says the youth need to be ready to make “sacrifices,” which appears to be the language used to describe recruiting them to be killed. The speech by Hamas members said the camps include religious indoctrination and “security” training.An English video was released by Hamas with an explanation that it intended to “prepare the youth,” calling the summer camps “training camps” that were named after the “Sword of al-Quds (Sword of Jerusalem).” This is the term they used to refer to the 11-day Hamas-Israel conflict in May, dubbed by the IDF as Operation Guardian of the Walls.
As reported by Post correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh, around 50,000 children had registered.The Meir Amit Intelligence Terrorism Information Center published a report that at least one Palestinian child killed in Gaza during the conflict was a member of Hamas. This is especially notable, as an entire front-page story in The New York Times with photos of each child killed in Gaza during the conflict drew significant attention.
UNICEF, the UN agency responsible for humanitarian and developmental aid for children, has stated that recruiting child soldiers violates international humanitarian laws.
“Thousands of children are recruited and used in armed conflicts across the world. Often referred to as ‘child soldiers,’ these boys and girls suffer extensive forms of exploitation and abuse that are not fully captured by that term,” UNICEF’s website states.
“Warring parties use children not only as fighters but as scouts, cooks, porters, guards, messengers and more. Many, especially girls, are also subjected to gender-based violence,” it said.
“Children become part of an armed force or group for various reasons,” the website explained. “Some are abducted, threatened, coerced or manipulated by armed actors. Others are driven by poverty, compelled to generate income for their families. Still others associate themselves for survival or to protect their communities. No matter their involvement, the recruitment and use of children by armed forces is a grave violation of child rights and international humanitarian law.”
The ILF released a statement including a selection of pictures from the training camp showing children receiving “military terror training” by PIJ and Hamas.
“Hamas and PIJ are committing a war crime under customary and treaty international law as appears in the Rome Statute (Article 2(b)(xxvi) and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding the involvement of children in armed conflict, inter alia,” the statement reads.
The citing of the Rome Statute is notable, as it is under this jurisdiction that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched a war crimes probe into both Israel and Hamas for their 2014 conflict, Operation Protective Edge.
According to International Legal Forum advocate Russell Shalev, “As an organization committed to protecting and defending child rights, it is incumbent upon UNICEF to act immediately and without reservation to prevent the continuation of such unconscionable atrocities and abuse of children in Gaza, as well as to hold Palestinian terror groups Hamas and PIJ, accountable for these heinous crimes.”
Nope Seth J. Frantzman contributed to this report.
According to Al Masirah news channel(link is external), the Thar Al-Muhandis Brigade group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Ain al-Asad air base which hosts US and other international forces in western Iraq.
“Coalition forces are co-located with our ISF and Peshmerga partners on ISF bases. Each attack against the Coalition endangers the lives of ISF and Peshmerga forces,” Colonel Marotto said in another tweet, adding: “Each attack against the GoI, KRI and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law and Iraqi National sovereignty.”
This is the second attack on Ain al-Asad this week. An earlier attack on Monday had no casualty.
“This is a serious violation of Iran’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA),” the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK said in their statement. “Iran has no credible civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon.”
“This further step in Iran’s escalation of its nuclear violations is all the more concerning at a time when no date has been set for the continuation of the negotiations in Vienna on a return to the JCPoA,” the three also said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, as quoted by Reuters, “Iran’s nuclear advances will have a bearing on our view of returning to the JCPOA.”
Reuters reported that both European and U.S. government officials expect the news to complicate the already complicated negotiations on the JCPOA, which President Trump pulled the U.S. out of when he came into office but his successor signalled he was ready to return to the deal under certain conditions.
While a month ago the deal seemed all but done, now the end of the negotiations looks a lot more distant. The change of the guard in Tehran after the June elections was one reason. Now, Iran’s move to continue with its uranium enrichment program will present another challenge for the negotiators.
Tehran’s refusal to make any concessions is also an obstacle, according to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Last month, Blinken and his French counterpart warned that the reinstatement of the nuclear deal is at risk unless Iran changed its attitude.
As our July Fourth celebrations were beginning, the U.S. quietly closed and abandoned Bagram Air Base, the largest American military base between the Persian Gulf and the South China Sea.
Afghan looters were soon seen scavenging inside the base.
The long retreat of the American Empire is underway, and this longest war is likely to end in bloody retribution for the Afghans who sided with us against the Taliban and are left behind.
When the last American departed Bagram, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is making plans for “an emergency evacuation of the American embassy in Kabul amid concern that a worsening security situation in Afghanistan could imperil the remaining military and diplomatic corps.”
Other reports suggest that China intends to fill the vacuum left by the departure of America’s power and provide billions from its Belt and Road Initiative to build a highway from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Peshawar, Pakistan.
As America executes its strategic retreat from Central Asia, China is on the move.
In addition to militarizing its frontier with India, China is reasserting its maximalist claims to the South China Sea, ending independence and crushing democracy in Hong Kong, continuing cultural genocide against the Uyghurs, and regularly sending swarms of warplanes toward Taiwan to transmit the message to Taipei that annexation is but a matter of time.
Nor was Chinese President Xi Jinping’s address on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party an exercise in nuance.
“We’ll never accept insufferably arrogant lecturing from those ‘master teachers!'” said Xi, drawing a roar from the crowd of party members and veterans. Clad in a Mao suit, Xi had other warnings for those who seek to stand in the way of Communist China’s destiny:
“The Chinese people will never allow foreign forces to bully, oppress or enslave us … Whoever nurses delusions of doing that will crack their heads and spill blood on the Great Wall of steel built from the flesh and blood of 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
Undeniably, Xi and his predecessors have an awesome record, as the Financial Times relates:
China’s growth could not have been achieved had it not been for the U.S. decision to throw open the world’s largest consumer market to Chinese-made goods, to bring Beijing into the World Trade Organization, and to sit idly by as a huge slice of U.S. industry and manufacturing was transshipped to China for production there and not here.
Between 1990 and 2021, U.S. imports of Chinese-made goods provided Beijing with the trillions it has accumulated to finance its strategic objective of becoming the first power on earth.
But this is water over the dam. Where do we go from here?
China’s assets are impressive. At 1.4 billion people, it has the largest population on earth. If its growth rate continues, it will have the largest economy. Its strategic arsenal of nuclear weapons is a fraction of ours, but given the horrendous damage these weapons can do, a nuclear war would be ruinous if not mortal for both countries.
In terms of conventional military — ships, soldiers, planes, guns, missiles and bases in the East Asia-Western Pacific theater where any war between us would be fought — China’s advantages are greater.
And of the issues over which we might fight — islands, rocks, reefs in the South and East China Seas, and Taiwan — none of them is claimed by us or vital to us. All are claimed by China as rightly theirs.
In the Cold War with the USSR, time, it turned out, was on our side. But in the past decade, Xi Jinping might fairly see time as having switched sides. Either way, we are surely better off relying upon our abilities rather than our weapons to win the competition and settle the rivalry that may settle the future of mankind.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”