Tag Archives: defence

Japan defence paper warns for first time of crisis over Taiwan

Annual defence report calls on Japanese government to pay attention to US-China tensions over Taiwan with ‘a sense of crisis more than ever before’.

Japan, in its annual defence white paper, has warned growing military tensions around Taiwan, as well as economic and technological rivalry between China and the United States, could threaten peace and stability in East Asia.

This marked the first time that the report (PDF) – which was approved by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government on Tuesday – took up the issue of stability around Taiwan.

“China has further intensified military activities around Taiwan including Chinese aircrafts’ entering the southwestern airspace of Taiwan,” the report said in its new section on Taiwan. “In the meantime, the United States has demonstrated a clear stance of supporting Taiwan in military aspects, such as transits by US vessels through the Taiwan Strait and weapon sales.”

Stabilising the situation surrounding Taiwan, it said, was important for Japan’s security and also the stability of the international community.

“Therefore, it is necessary that we pay close attention to the situation with a sense of crisis more than ever before,” it said.

For Japan, Beijing’s recent uptick in military activity around Taiwan is worrying since the self-ruled island lies close to the Okinawa chain at the western end of the Japanese archipelago.

Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory, and has never ruled out the use of force to retake the island.

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete the “reunification” with Taiwan, while the Chinese military in June branded the US as the region’s “greatest creator of risks” when a US warship transited the narrow waterway that separates Taiwan from the Chinese mainland.

As tensions grow, Tokyo has become more outspoken on the issue, with the Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Asa saying earlier this month that Japan should join forces with the US to defend Taiwan from any invasion.

Aso’s comments immediately prompted a sharp rebuke from Beijing, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying they “harmed the political foundation of China-Japan relations”.

Aso later clarified his comments saying that any contingency over Taiwan should be resolved through dialogue.

The Japanese defence white paper also identified the South China Sea as another domain that is key in the US-China rivalry.

“In the South China Sea, China is expanding its military activities, including ballistic missile launches and military exercises involving aircraft carriers,” the paper said.

“Meanwhile, in July 2020, the United States criticized China’s claims of maritime interests as being illegal, and toughened its stance against China further by implementing Freedom of Navigation Operations and military exercises involving aircraft carriers.”

Therefore, it added, it was necessary to pay greater attention to the military trends of the two superpowers in both Taiwan and the South China Sea.

The defence paper, also for the first time, included a section on threats posed by climate change, which it says will increase competition for land and resources, and may trigger the mass movement of climate refugees.

An increase in disasters linked to global warming could also stretch military capabilities, it added, while Arctic Sea ice melting could lead to the militarisation of northern waters.

Antonio Rudiger's 'disgusting' pre-match comments may harm Paul Pogba biting defence

However, former France midfielder Patrick Vieira thought Pogba’s reaction made it clear he was bitten.

“When you see that Pogba reaction, it felt like a bite,” Vieira said.

“So I don’t really understand what he was trying to do there, Rudiger.”

Meanwhile, former United captain Roy Keane insisted it could have been a lot worse and it was only a “nibble” from Rudiger.

“I think it was more of a nibble wasn’t it than a bite,” Keane reacted.

“Yeah it wasn’t a proper bite. But a silly thing to do.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

GB News' Michelle Dewberry in firm defence of Thatcher: 'I can do anything thanks to her'

Ms Dewberry will be joining the new television channel GB News. The businesswoman and broadcaster will anchor a programme five nights a week connecting with communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Born and bred in Hull, Ms Dewberry is a strong advocate of addressing the north-south divide and an outspoken champion of non-metropolitan communities.

Since leaving school at 16, she has founded several start-ups, advised multiple businesses and worked on numerous projects to support the unemployed back to work.

Ms Dewberry stood as a candidate in Hull in two general elections, first as an Independent in 2017 and later for the Brexit Party in 2019 when she secured nearly 18 percent of the vote.

Commenting on joining GB News, she said: “We are aiming to create something different and yes, opinion will feature in that. We will discuss the news, not just report it.”

As anticipation for the channel grows, unearthed reports shed light on Ms Dewberry’s personal opinions.

In 2019, the Apprentice star clashed with author Afua Hirsch on whether Margaret Thatcher should have been honoured with a statue in her hometown.

Ms Hirsch claimed the former Prime Minister helped to “create neoliberalism”, while Ms Dewberry contended that she helped females believe they can “achieve anything”.

During a debate on Sky News’ The Pledge, Guardian columnist Ms Hirsch argued: “She did more harm to equality than any other leader in my lifetime.

“She created the destruction of banking reforms that helped create the credit crisis. She helped create neoliberalism that has made us unequal.

“There are so many of our current problems that began with her.”

Ms Dewberry fired back: “I really do believe I can achieve anything that I want.

“I don’t believe my gender holds me back.

“You might call me deluded but I don’t believe that.”

Ms Hirsch interjected: “I don’t call you deluded.”

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The Apprentice star continued: “I feel like I can do anything and one of those reasons that I have that belief is because of people like Margaret Thatcher.

“The daughter of a greengrocer or whatever he was. She rose up in a significantly male-dominated field to become the very, very top of her industry and field and I respect that.

“She may have made some ridiculous decisions, you know, she did many things that I disagree with.

“But I massively respect the achievement that she made and in this environment where we’re constantly telling little girls ‘you’re going to be discriminated against’.

“We must be showing them areas where they won’t be.”

The heated comments followed a brand new statue of Margaret Thatcher being approved in her hometown of Grantham in Lincolnshire.

The statue is due to be erected later this year, but a date is yet to be fixed.

The council agreed to put it on a 10ft (3m) high plinth to prevent vandalism, making the entire structure more than 20ft (6m) high overall.

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In a report addressed to the committee IN 2019, police said it would not “object” to the statue in the town, but warned of the possible consequences.

The police said: “The divisive nature of Baroness Thatcher due to her political career and policy legacy and the potential for this to result in vandalism has been raised as a concern.

“A threat assessment has been carried out by Lincolnshire Police who consider there is a possibility any public statue of Baroness Thatcher could be a target for politically motivated vandals.”

However, Councillor Matthew Lee, leader of South Kesteven District Council, said Mrs Thatcher deserved the memorial regardless of people’s politics because of her impact on British life.

Mr Lee said: “Margaret Thatcher was an important political figure, both nationally and internationally, and deserves to be recognised in her hometown.

“Whatever your views, the statue will undoubtedly attract more visitors to the town which can only be good news for Grantham’s local economy, bringing benefits and opportunities for residents and local businesses.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

UFO hunters division of Ministry of Defence could be revived after Pentagon report

The large portion of the Pentagon report, set to be declassified on June 1, has conspiracy theorists across the world sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation, as the US military will finally lay bare their findings on all Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) – the official military term for UFOs. No government agency has been monitoring unidentified objects flying over the skies of Britain since the MoD’s UFO department was disbanded in 2009.
Speaking to the Telegraph about the potential findings of the US report, a defence source said: “I think that if there was enough evidence to suggest that there was something, and that we needed to do it as well as the US, then of course we’d think about it. We’d look at it.

“There’s all sorts of things that we wouldn’t rule out, and this would certainly be one of them.”

Hints of the department’s revival follow a former MoD insider’s belief that the Pentagon report will finally “give us some answers” on the phenomena.

Nick Pope, who investigated sightings for the Government in the 1990s said: “Whatever we are dealing with, there’s a realisation it’s a serious defence and national security issue.”

He added: “This report that’s going to Congress, is going to be a proper intelligence analysis of the phenomenon.

“There’s been some interesting leaks. Apparently, the idea that it’s aliens has not been discounted.”

Former US President Barack Obama recently told James Corden that the US has footage of UFOs which scientists and the military “can’t explain”.

Mr Obama said: “We don’t know exactly what they are.

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“As we collect additional data, we expect to close the gap between identified and unidentified and avoid strategic surprise regarding adversary technology.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

Lewis Hamilton comments have Red Bull boss biting back in defence of Max Verstappen

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has hit back at Lewis Hamilton, after the Briton sent a sly dig to Max Verstappen after winning the Spanish Grand Prix, saying Mercedes couldn’t “continue to rely on mistakes from others.”
Now leading the driver’s standings despite coming into the season on the backfoot, the Briton said: “I wouldn’t say it’s surprising as I know what my team is capable of.

“Definitely the first test didn’t look great and at the first race we were still up there but you could see the deficit from us to the Red Bulls.

“But I think in terms of overall output through the weekend, we’ve managed to do a better job.

“We really can’t continue to rely on mistakes from others — we’ve got to get our heads down and continue to work. We’ve got a good package but it does have its weak areas that we need to continue to work on.”

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Minor mistakes, mostly down to track limit decisions, have plagued Verstappen throughout the whole season, with a win taken away in Bahrain, a precious point for fastest lap removed in Portugal, whilst Hamilton’s few errors have seen him extend his lead in the standings, despite hitting the barriers in Imola.

It now seems to be a straight fight between Hamilton and Verstappen for the 2021 world title, with the Red Bull driver trailing behind by 14 points heading into round five at Monaco.

Yet Horner shrugged off the comments and had no concerns about his drier this season.

“Max will do his talking on the track,” Horner told ESPN.

“Lewis has demonstrated he’s capable of, excuse my French, dropping a b*****k occasionally.

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“He’s capable of making a significant mistake as we saw in Imola, and he just got very lucky that he wasn’t a lap down and didn’t pay a bigger price for it.

“Look, they can all make mistakes and we’re at the non-pressured stage of the championship at the moment. As we get to the business end it will count for more.

“When five races are left and if there is still the points difference that there is now, that’s when the pressure mounts up, not at this stage.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Pentagon watchdog to probe US Defence Department's handling of UFOs 'Utter mess'

Mr Pope said: “I seldom repost my old Tweets, but the DOD Inspector General announcing an evaluation of DOD’s handling of the UFO issue should absolutely be viewed as part of the struggle that I mentioned the day before the announcement. There are disagreements. There are factions.”

When the Pentagon acknowledged the UFO video earlier last year, many were expecting the US Government to straight admit aliens are real and they are here.

Instead, Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough said the video was released to the public to dismiss any misconceptions about whether or not it was real.

However, this was not to be seen as the Pentagon making any statement about the speculative nature of mysterious object seen in the video.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

China vs Australia: Canberra prepares for war with £400m defence upgrade as tension mounts

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

And also said his country would be teaming up with the United States in expanded war games aimed at ensuring both nations were battle-ready. In an announcement that comes amid an increasingly bitter diplomatic and trade spat with , Mr Morrison said must expand its military assets in the Northern Territory to be able to respond to unspecified tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

A total of A$ 747million (£418million) is being invested, he announced.

Mr Morrison told reporters: “Our objective is a free and open Indo-Pacific, to ensure a peaceful region, one that, at the same time, Australia is in a position to always protect its interests.”

He avoided naming China – but Australia’s prioritising of the Indo-Pacific comes against a backdrop of increasing competition between the two in the region in recent years.

Relations deteriorated sharply last year, after Canberra demanded an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, triggering trade reprisals by Beijing.

Mr Morrison said an airstrip in the Northern Territory will be lengthened to support larger aircraft, firing ranges overhauled and new training facilities developed for both Australia’s own defence personnel and US marines.

The military upgrades will get underway this year and are scheduled to be completed by 2026.

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The funds come from an Australian defence plan which will see Canberra spend $ 270 billion in the next decade to improve Canberra’s long-range strike capabilities, with the country increasing defence spending by 40 percent over the course of the next decade.

Speaking last year, Mr Morrison said the extra funding was needed as the Asia-Pacific region was experiencing the greatest level of economic and strategic uncertainty since World War II – again, without singling out China.

Australia’s assertive approach has gone down well in Washington, and Morrison said the new facilities will enhance joint military drills with the US

More than 2,000 US Marines have already travelled to northern Australia to take part in annual joint training activities.

Australia and the United States also hold war games twice a year, with the next due to begin in August.

In the past, more than 30,000 troops have taken part in the drills, which happen off Australia’s east coast.

Michael Goldman, Charge d’Affaires at the US embassy in Canberra, said: “The United States and Australia have been deeply engaged in defence cooperation for over half a century.

“We will continue to look for additional ways to partner with Australia, as our ally, to advance the security and prosperity of Americans, Australians, and the peoples of the Indo-Pacific region.”

The announcement comes hard on the heels of a claim by Mike Pezzullo, Australia’s Home Affairs Department Secretary, that liberal democracies must brace themselves for war.

Mr Pezzulo did not offer a specific reason for his remark, but tensions with China, particularly centred on Taiwan, are almost certainly a factor.

Speaking on Sunday, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton also said a conflict between China and Taiwan “should not be discounted”.

Last week the Australian Government used new powers to block up two deals struck between the state of Victoria and Beijing in accordance with the Belt and Road outward investment initiative.

The move prompted an angry reaction from the Chinese embassy in Australia, which branded the move “provocative”

In a statement, it claimed the decision was “bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself.”

It added: “It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations.”

KNOCKOUT! Beterbiev blasts out Deines in 10th round of one-sided but drawn out Moscow title defence

Light heavyweight world champ Artur Beterbiev defended his WBC and IBF world championships and unbeaten record with a 10th-round TKO of Russian-born German opponent Adam Deines in Moscow on Saturday.

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Beterbiev also kept his 100% KO ratio intact, making it 16 early victories from all 16 professional fights with a spine-tingling sweeping left hook that sent Deines stumbling to the canvas.

Although the 30-year-old managed to rise before the 10 count, trainer Dirk Dzemski deemed his charge in now position to continue and rightly threw in the towel.

That was despite Deines, who slips to 19-2-1, being knocked down in the first round which left the 6,000 inside the stadium guessing as to the seconds rather than rounds remaining of Beterbiev’s professional debut in front of home fans.

Nevertheless Deines slowly gained a footing after the first few rounds, Beterbiev seemed as though he couldn’t find a rhythm despite never taking anything less than a forward step and cutting off the ring for his Russian-born Magdeburg-based opponent.

As the middle-rounds approached, Beterbiev found more success and more of a groove, although Deines found chinks in the formidable armour in the eight round that were made up for by a Beterbiev perhaps as much perplexed by the German’s heart as at his own inability to knock him out.

Then in the tenth any fears of a first time going to points as a pro when a left hook crashed onto the side of Deines chin and sent him stumbling to the floor. Despite rising before the referee’s count of ten, trainer and former fighter Dzemski had seen enough and saved his man from further punishment.

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