China’s President Xi Jinping ordered the military region responsible for monitoring the South China Sea and Taiwan to “assess the situation it is facing and boost its capabilities so it can handle any emergency” as tensions continue to mount over the future of the South China Sea and Taiwan, while diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing hit rock bottom.
The Southern Theatre Command has had to bear a “heavy military responsibility” in recent years, state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as saying during an inspection tour made on Thursday as part of his visit to Guangdong province.
“It’s necessary to strengthen the mission … and concentrate preparations for fighting a war,” Xi said. “We need to take all complex situations into consideration and make emergency plans accordingly. “We have to step up combat readiness exercises, joint exercises and confrontational exercises to enhance servicemen’s capabilities and preparation for war” the president-for-life added.
According to the South China Morning Post, Xi’s visit to the military command was one of several he made during a four-day trip to the south China province aimed at bolstering confidence amid an economic slowdown, and growing trade and strategic disputes with the United States.
Xinhua reports President Xi “stressed the need to focus on combat research and commanding, to advance work in all areas and accelerate developing strong and efficient joint-operation commanding institutions for theatre commands to comprehensively boost the military’s battle-winning ability.”
The president instructed the military to ramp-up opposition to ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises being undertaken by the US, Australia, France, the UK, Japan and others through the waterway through which arterial shipping lanes have grown since the end of World War II.
“He ordered the troop to keep a close watch for changes in the situations and to strengthen analysis to firmly protect border stability and safety of the people’s life and property,” Xinhua reported Xi as saying.
“After hearing a report on their work, he underlined the importance of preparing for war and combat, while taking consideration of various complex situations, improving response plans and focusing on real-combat training.”
Xi’s words represent a significant ramp-up in the rhetoric between Beijing and Washington. China has been angered by US sanctions on its military for buying weapons from Russia, and by what Beijing sees as renewed Washington support for democratic Taiwan. Earlier this month, US Vice-President Mike Pence took the tensions between Washington and Beijing to a new level: “Using that stolen technology, the Chinese Communist Party is turning ploughshares into swords on a massive scale,” he said.
China, Russia warn US of consequences over sanctions
Moscow and Beijing lashed out Friday at Washington’s new anti-Russian sanctions that also target China for the first time, warning the United States could face consequences.
The United States is “playing with fire”, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said, while Beijing voiced “strong indignation” over the move.
United in their resentment of America’s global influence, China and Russia have sought in recent years to tighten up their ties and this month conducted week-long joint military drills, Moscow’s largest ever war games.
On Thursday, China — which is also locked in a trade war with Washington — got caught up in the sanctions war against Russia as the United States announced a new raft of measures that would punish third countries for dealing with Moscow.
Stepping up pressure on Moscow over its “malign activities,” the US State Department said it was placing financial sanctions on the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Ministry of Defence, and its top administrator, for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.
Beijing on Friday urged the United States to withdraw sanctions or “bear the consequences”.
“The US actions have seriously violated the basic principles of international relations and seriously damaged the relations between the two countries and the two militaries,” said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, adding Beijing had lodged an official protest with the United States.
“We strongly urge the US to immediately correct their mistake and withdraw their so-called sanctions, otherwise the US will have to bear the consequences.”
World War 3: Russia to arm an ‘INVINCIBLE’ nuclear weapon by 2019 says Putin
RUSSIA is finalising a nuclear weapon capable of wiping out an entire city by descending on Earth “like a meteorite” at 20 times the speed of sound, Vladimir Putin has claimed, sparking World War 3 fears.
Tensions between Washington and Moscow reached a new high as the Russian President claimed he has a weapon that can resist any anti-missile systems, making it almost invincible. Mr Putin said: “We know for certain, it’s an obvious fact and our colleagues realise it, that we surpassed all our competitors in this area. “Nobody has precise hypersonic weapons. Some plan to test theirs in 18 to 24 months. We have them in service already.”
And blaming the need of a second nuclear race after the Cold War on the US, which has an advanced ballistic missile defence, he added: “Responding to the development of anti-ballistic missile systems by the US, we are improving our strike capabilities.
“Some are already in service, others will be deployed soon.”
Called Avangard, the weapon will go into active service by next year with the Red Banner Missile Division, based in the Urals, according to a Russian defence industry source.
According to the claims made by Russia, the Avangard is an hypersonic glide vehicle, a spacecraft which is lofted into the atmosphere atop an intercontinental ballistic missile, such as the Satan II, to then glide down at hypersonic speed.
Being 20 times faster than the speed of sound means the Avangard could travel as fast as at 6860 m/s.
The Avangard is loaded with countermeasure systems able to neutralise defence systems – but it can also count on its exceptional manoeuvrability, which makes it almost impossible to track.
Each Avangard can be loaded with a nuclear warhead of as much as two megatons, making its power of annihilation even bigger.
According to Russia, the Satan II, nickname for the RS-28 Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, can carry up to 24 Avangard, meaning Russia could destroy a country’s main cities with one single strike.
This is not the first time Russian officials have spoken out about the Avangard.
During the state-of-the-nation speech on March 1, Mr Putin described his hypersonic arsenal as “invincible”, claiming the Avangard strikes “like a meteorite, like a fireball”.
And in June, Mr Putin said “the Avangard system” was almost completed, adding “is already in the process of its manufacture and has entered its serial production and in 2019 we are planning to deliver it to the Armed Forces.”
Vladimir Putin: World War III Would Mark the ‘End of Civilization’
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that a third world war would lead to the “end of civilization.”
The statement came during the annual “Direct Line With Vladimir Putin” television program, in which the president fields questions from journalists and citizens from all around Russia.
After being asked if a third global war will break out, Putin quoted Albert Einstein, saying: “I know not with what weapons World War iii will be fought, but World War iv will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Putin added: “The realization that a third world war could bring the end of civilization should deter us from taking dangerous steps globally.”
He continued: “We’ve been living in a period of relative peace following the Second World War. We know that there are regional conflicts out there. … But we’ve never had any global conflicts since then. Why? Because global military power has established a strategic parity. And you might find my words inappropriate, but it’s true: The fear that each country has instills respect in their opponents.”
But Putin then said current trends are threatening to bring an end to the relative peace the world has experienced since World War ii.
Many analysts agree with the view that nuclear arsenals have, ironically enough, brought mankind into an era of relative peace. As American astronomer Carl Sagan described it: “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist-deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.” In a major nuclear war, no one wins. The idea of being the first country to “drop a match in the gasoline” is irrational. As Putin said, fear has restrained the nuclear powers from confronting each other.
But the problem is that human beings are not always rational, particularly in wartime.