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China Fires ‘ Aircraft- Karrier Killer ‘ Missile In Warning To US

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2017 08 21t053828z 1769969904 rc175ee61300 rtrmadp 3 northkorea missiles China Fires ' Aircraft- Karrier Killer ' Missile In Warning To US

Ballistic missiles launched in response to US aerial activities in a ‘no-fly zone’ area during a Chinese naval drill.
China has fired two missiles, including one dubbed an “aircraft-carrier killer”, into the South China Sea, according to a news report, in a pointed warning to the United States as tensions in the disputed sea lane rise to new levels.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Thursday that Beijing fired one intermediate-range ballistic missile, DF-26B, from Qinghai Province and another medium-range ballistic missile, DF-21D, from Zhejiang Province on Wednesday in response to US aerial activities in a “no-fly zone” area.
In response, Mark Esper, the US defence chief, said China has repeatedly fallen short of promises to abide by international laws, noting that China seems to be flexing its muscles the most in Southeast Asia.
The two missiles were reportedly fired in the direction of the area between Hainan province and the disputed Paracel Islands, the Hong Kong-based publication added, quoting an unnamed source.
According to the paper, a US U-2 spy plane had reportedly entered a Chinese-designated “no-fly zone” on Tuesday without permission during a live-fire naval drill conducted by China in the Bohai Sea off its north coast.
In a social media post, Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, said that the US move “severely disrupted” China’s normal exercises and “training activities.”
Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, described the spy plane overflight as “provocative actions” and urged the US to stop.
The DF-26B missile, which was formally launched earlier this month, is capable of hitting moving targets at sea, making it an “aircraft-carrier killer”, according to the state-owned Global Times.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, was previously quoted as saying that the missile can carry conventional or nuclear warheads and is capable of launching precision strikes on land and sea targets.
With its range of 4,500km (2,796 miles), DF-26 can reach the West Pacific and the Indian Ocean, as well as American facilities in Guam, the British island of Diego Garcia and even the Australian city of Darwin
‘Within accepted rules’
Meanwhile, the DF-21, has been described as an anti-ship ballistic missile system, also meant for attacking moving ships at sea.
In July, two US aircraft conducted freedom of navigation exercises and military drills with its allies in the South China Sea, prompting an angry response from Beijing.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity to Reuters, a US official confirmed the firing of the two missiles on Wednesday adding that an assessment was under way to determine the type of missile launched.
The Pentagon, meanwhile, confirmed the U-2 overflight, adding that the activity in the Indo-Pacific region was “within the accepted international rules and regulations governing aircraft flights”.
News of the missile launches come as the US announced that it was blacklisting 24 Chinese companies and targeting individuals it said are part of construction and military actions in the South China Sea, its first such sanctions move against Beijing over the disputed seas
The US Commerce Department said the two dozen companies played a “role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.”
Separately, the State Department said it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese individuals “responsible for, or complicit in”, such actions and those linked to China’s “use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources”.
In July, Washington said it could sanction Chinese officials and enterprises involved in coercion in the South China Sea after it announced a tougher stance rejecting Beijing’s claims to offshore resources there as “completely unlawful”.
China claims virtually all of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of an area, through which more than $3 trillion of trade passes each year.
The US accuses China of militarising the South China Sea and trying to intimidate Asian neighbours who might want to exploit its extensive oil and gas reserves.
US warships have gone through the area to assert the freedom of access to international waterways, raising fears of confrontation.
A spokesperson for China’s embassy in Washington condemned the US sanctions as “completely unreasonable,” and urged the US to reverse them.
“(South China Sea Islands) is an integral part of China’s territory, and it is fully justified for us to build facilities and deploy necessary defence equipment there,” the spokesperson said.
“The Chinese government has firm determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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International

Muslim World Protests , Condemns Macron’s Support For Offensive Cartoons

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67506 scaled Muslim World Protests , Condemns Macron's Support For Offensive Cartoons

– Charlie Hebdo published the cartoon amid tensions between France and Turkey
– French school teacher was beheaded for showing Mohammed cartoons to his class
– France President – Emmanuel Macron has drawn anger in the Islamic world by defending offensive cartoons
– Erdogan called the cartoonists ‘scoundrels’ and accused the West of wanting to ‘relaunch the crusades’ with attacks on Islam
– Bangladeshis joined calls to boycott French products, which is already underway in Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar
– Iranian newspaper depicted Macron as the Devil, as ambassador in Tehran was summoned in protest
The Islamic world’s anger at France deepened today as Turkey condemned a Charlie Hebdo cartoon showing its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifting a woman’s burka to look at her naked backside.
Erdogan called the cartoonists ‘scoundrels’ and accused the West of wanting to ‘relaunch the Crusades’ by attacking Islam after the image appeared on the front of this week’s magazine.
‘I don’t need to say anything to those scoundrels who insult my beloved prophet on such a scale,’ Erdogan said, calling it a ‘disgusting attack’.
Showing Erdogan in a T-shirt and underpants, the caricature has Erdogan saying ‘Ooh, the Prophet’ as he looks at the woman’s backside, and comes with the caption: ‘Erdogan – in private he’s very funny’.
A Charlie Hebdo cartoon showing the naked Prophet’s backside was the image which French school teacher Samuel Paty showed to his class in the lesson which led to his murder and beheading earlier this month.
French president Emmanuel Macron has staunchly defended free expression and the right to mock religion in the wake of the terror attack, but has become a target of anger in the Islamic world.
Turkey has vowed to take ‘legal, diplomatic actions’ in response to the cartoon while Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani also took aim at France today by warning that insulting the Prophet would encourage ‘violence and bloodshed’.
Rouhani said that ‘the West should understand that… insulting the Prophet is insulting all Muslims, all prophets, all human values, and trampling ethics’.
‘Insulting the prophet is no achievement. It’s immoral. It’s encouraging violence,’ Rouhani said in a televised speech during the weekly cabinet meeting.
‘It’s a surprise that this would come from those claiming culture and democracy, that they would somehow, even if unintentionally, encourage violence and bloodshed,’ he added.
Rouhani also called on the West to ‘stop interfering in Muslims’ internal affairs’ if it ‘truly seeks to achieve peace, equality, calm and security in today’s societies’.
European leaders have come to Macron’s defence in his row with Erdogan, with Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab today calling on NATO allies to stand together in defence of tolerance and free speech.
‘The UK stands in solidarity with France and the French people in the wake of the appalling murder of Samuel Paty,’ Raab said in a veiled rebuke to Turkey.
Erdogan has accused the French leader of an ‘anti-Islam agenda’ and tangled with him on other issues including Syria and the Mediterranean.
The Ankara prosecutor’s office said it was launching an investigation into the publication of the cartoon.
‘French president Macron’s anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit,’ Erdogan’s top press aide Fahrettin Altun said today.
Altun said the image was a ‘most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred’.
‘Charlie Hebdo just published a series of so-called cartoons full of despicable images purportedly of our President,’ he said.
Turkey’s vice president Fuat Oktay also condemned the ‘immoral publication’ by what he called an ‘incorrigible French rag’.
‘I call on the moral and conscientious international community to speak out against this disgrace,’ the vice president said.
Macron has vowed that France will stick to its secular traditions and laws guaranteeing freedom of speech which allow publications such as Charlie Hebdo to produce inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The French government has also shut down a Paris mosque and raided other Islamic associations in the wake of Paty’s killing in the Paris suburbs earlier this month.
Paty showed his students some of the cartoons in a lesson on free speech, leading to an online campaign against him which ended in his grisly murder.
An attack on Charlie Hebdo by jihadists in 2015 left 12 people dead, including some of its most famed cartoonists.Macron’s defence of Charlie Hebdo, and his recent comment that Islam worldwide is ‘in crisis’, have prompted Erdogan to urge Turks to boycott French products.
Macron’s stance has also sparked anti-France protests in Turkey and in other Muslim countries including Bangladesh.
Tehran summoned a senior French envoy, the charge d’affaires, and the Saudi foreign ministry posted on Twitter to denounce ‘the offensive cartoons of the Prophet’.
Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim slammed Macron’s comments on Islam being in crisis as ‘offensive’ and ‘unreasonable’, adding in a statement: ‘With freedom comes responsibility.’
Macron has also drawn fire in Pakistan and Morocco, while the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah have also spoken out against France.
Previously, European leaders including German chancellor Angela Merkel had defended Macron after Erdogan suggested he needed ‘mental checks’.
‘They are defamatory comments that are completely unacceptable, particularly against the backdrop of the horrific murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamist fanatic,’ Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
On Tuesday, Dutch PM Mark Rutte came to the defence of his country’s far-right politician Geert Wilders after Erdogan brought legal action against him.
Wilders had shared a cartoon of the Turkish president wearing an Ottoman hat shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse on Twitter.
‘I have a message for President Erdogan and that message is simple: In the Netherlands, freedom of expression is one of our highest values,’ Rutte said.

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Goodluck Jonathan Observing Tanzanian Election

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images 2020 10 28T153931.702 Goodluck Jonathan Observing Tanzanian Election

ELECTION DAY IN TANZANIA:
The African Union (AU) Expert Election Observer Team which I lead visited some polling stations in Dar es Salaam this morning as voting got underway in Tanzania’s general elections.
The African Union sees today’s polls as yet another opportunity for the good people of the United Republic of Tanzania to deepen democracy and peace in the country.
-GEJ

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#WTO – DG : France , Germany , 104 Other Countries Back Okonjo – Iweala

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images 2020 10 28T094609.198 #WTO - DG : France , Germany , 104 Other Countries Back Okonjo - Iweala

The 27 European Union member states have backed Nigeria’s former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her bid to become the first African and first female director-general of the World Trade Organisation.
The EU member states are France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
The latest support for Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy brings the number of countries officially endorsing her to 106 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO.
The 55-member African Union had earlier officially supported the former World Bank director over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
Okonjo-Iweala had also won the goodwill of a group of Caribbean and Pacific States as well as others from Asia.
The European Parliament endorsed Okonjo-Iweala to head the WTO, saying she is well-equipped. The Parliament had subsequently written the EU to support the Nigerian candidate.
When EU member states convened on Monday, they failed to find a consensus around the choice but the EU representatives reconvened and agreed to back Okonjo-Iweala, according to AFP news agency.
The WTO’s consultation process ends today and the new leader is expected to be named in November but an EU official said the EU will publicly announce its support for the 66-year-old economist today, according to AFP.
The final winner between the two women will replace Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo and former director-general of the 25-year-old trade organisation.
The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO’s top post, which has been whittled down over two rounds of consultations, had included three Africans – Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya.
The third and final round of consultations seeking to establish consensus around one candidate is due to end today, with the announcement due in early November.
If Okonjo-Iweala is confirmed, she will join the WTO at a difficult time, with the world facing a deep post-coronavirus recession and a crisis of confidence in free trade and globalisation.
A trade war is brewing between the world’s anchor economies -the United States and China – and the European Union will see G7 member Britain leave its single market at the end of the year.
US President Donald Trump faces a tough battle for re-election early next month, but under his leadership, Washington’s relationship with the WTO has suffered.
His administration has appealed a WTO ruling that faulted US duties imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods.
Usually, the WTO Appellate Body would have three months to rule on any appeals filed.
But that process has been complicated since the WTO Appellate Body – also known as the supreme court of world trade – stopped functioning last December as the US blocked the appointment of new judges to the panel.

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