Archive for the ‘tension’ Category

General Hints China’s Navy May Add Carrier

November 17, 2008

A high-ranking Chinese military official has hinted that China’s fast-growing navy is seeking to acquire an aircraft carrier, a move that would surely stoke tensions with the United States military and its allies in Asia.

In an interview published in The Financial Times of London on Monday, the official, Maj. Gen. Quan Lihua, did not say whether China was in fact building a carrier. But the general, a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, said having one was the dream of any great military power. He suggested that the United States had nothing to fear should China acquire one for strictly defensive purposes.

By Andrew Jacobs
The New York Times     

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier,” he said in the interview. “Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”

In recent years, Pentagon officials have been warily following Beijing’s ambitious naval buildup. Since 2000, China has constructed at least 60 warships, and its fleet of 860 vessels includes about 60 submarines.

USS Ronald Reagan

Tensions between China and the United States were heightened last month after the Pentagon announced the sale of $6 billion in advanced weapons to Taiwan. China reacted angrily to the news, warning that the move could worsen relations between the countries. The deal includes Apache attack helicopters and a sophisticated array of missiles, radars and antiaircraft defense systems.

In the interview, the general insisted that China would not deploy a carrier with aggressive intent. “Navies of great powers with more than 10 aircraft carrier battle groups with strategic military objectives have a different purpose from countries with only one or two carriers used for offshore defense,” he said.

Although he did not mention any country by name, his comments were clearly aimed at the United States, which has 11 aircraft carriers, including the USS George Washington, which was recently deployed to Japan. Of the handful of other nations that have aircraft carriers, including Britain, France, Italy and Russia, none have more than two.

Above: USS George Washington

Could China’s Envey of U.S. Aircraft Carriers Now Be a Construction Project?

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Iran Economists Slam Ahmadinejad For “Policy of Tension” With World

November 8, 2008

Iran‘s confrontational attitude toward the rest of the world is costing the country dearly in lost trade and investment, according to a letter signed by 60 economists published on Saturday.

The open letter, the latest broadside against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and published by the semi-official Ilna news agency, denounced the “heavy price paid by the country over the negative consequences of government policy.”


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks with journalists ...
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks with journalists after meeting with his cabinet in Tehran January 23, 2008.REUTERS/FARS NEWS/Files

In particular, it spoke of the “misguided trade policy and the policy of tension with the rest of the world, which has deprived Iran of opportunities for trade and foreign investment.”

by Siavosh Ghazi, AFP
It said the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council over Iran’s refusal to halt uranium enrichment had added billions of dollars in extra costs to the country’s foreign trade.

The letter, signed by economists from major universities around the country, criticises what it calls “extremist idealism,” an “undue haste in acting” and the “absence of cost assessment on economic programmes.”

The economists also warn that the current global economic crisis “will impose heavy costs on the country,” while also pointing out that government finances will be severely hurt by the precipitous recent drop in oil prices.

Crude oil income accounts for 80 percent of foreign earnings…

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Taiwan Strait: Tensions Cool

April 17, 2008

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
April 17, 2008

The United States sent three aircraft carrier strike groups to waters around Taiwan after China told U.S. officials last year there was high risk of a military incident after Taiwan’s March 22 presidential election, according to Pentagon and military officials.
One strike group has been redeployed to the Persian Gulf since the failure of an election-day referendum strongly opposed by Beijing, but two groups remain near the island, the officials said. The Chinese warning, described in a March 31 Pentagon report to Congress, said the danger period would continue until the inauguration of the new Taiwan government next month.
Chinese Embassy Press Counselor Wang Baodong said last night that his government thinks the situation in the Taiwan Strait is “a bit more relaxed” since the defeat of the referendum, which Beijing saw as a step toward independence. “But we still think that the situation is very sensitive and complicated,” he said.
Mr. Wang declined to comment on the deployment of the three aircraft carrier strike groups, led by the USS Kitty Hawk, the USS Nimitz and the USS Abraham Lincoln.

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